An Open Digital Global South, May 25-26, 2017

The event is open to the public. Please register here

Join the conversation on Twitter at #OpenGlobalSouth

This conference explores the promises and risks of openness in scholarship in relationship to the Global South. Research and scholarship are increasingly adopting ‘open’ models of practice and sharing, as open access publications, open data, and open source software. This openness supports improved research reusability, reproducibility, and visibility. Scholarly ‘openness’ is intended to facilitate the free flow of information, to address barriers to equitable access, and to foster global intellectual conversations. Do attempts at promoting openness in scholarship create new forms of exclusion or hierarchy in various regions of the world? How are Southern scholars and publishers’ experiences with open access and open data taken into account within conversations on developing standards and models for ‘open’ scholarship in the Global North? Are there unanticipated opportunities or risks created through the implementation of models for open data, open software, or open access to research?


9:15-9:45 || Registration, Breakfast

9:45-10:00 || Welcoming Remarks

10:00-11:00 || Kavita Phillip, UC Irvine, Keynote

11:00-12:30 || Situating Open Access in the Global South

Open Access can and has been approached and implemented in many ways to serve its diverse constituencies. Similarly, participation in Open Access scholarship takes many forms, whether in readers’ use, re-use, and engagement, or in authors’ publication and sharing. How are multiple models of OA being considered to reflect the different needs of open access’ participants, particularly in the global south? When and how do open policies and practices improve global participation in both the production and consumption of open scholarship? How, for instance, does the adoption of APC-funded open access affect authors around the globe?

  • Laura Czerniewicz, UCT, South Africa
  • Arianna Becerril, Redalyc
  • Conrad Omonhinmin, Covenant University
  • Solange Santos, SciELO
  • Jingfeng Xia, East Stroudsberg University

12:30-1:30 || Lunch

1:30-3:00 || What is Predatory Publishing? Questioning the Critique of Open Access Journals

To critics of OA journals whose APC-based business model are seen as evidence of dubious publishing ethics, the Global South provides something of a “perfect storm,” a scenario in which unscrupulous publishers prey on practitioners likely to be enticed by the low APC charged by these OA journals or the lack of rigorous peer review. Casting the Global South as the perfect prey is, we believe, part of a broader trend within the discourse of global OA publishing. As activists, watchdogs, and research integrity experts take the central stage of OA debates, there has been increasing use of predator-prey language, and of moralizing critiques of current publishing scenarios. To some extent, this powerful rhetoric has foreclosed empirical questions about academic and publishing markets, and about past, ongoing, and novel North-South hierarchies that these markets derive from and now sustain. This panel wants to replace moralizing narratives with evidence-based discussions into the realities of so-called “predatory journals,” ask how predatory these journals really are, who exactly are their prey and beneficiaries and, more broadly, what the future of OA publishing in the Global South could and should be.

  • Kishore Vattikoti, OMICS
  • Jingfeng Xia, East Stroudsberg University

3:15-4:45 || Researcher Experiences

Individual researchers experience the limitations and possibilities of open research practices on a day-to-day basis. At Davis our research community reflects the global nature of scholarship, with many researchers hailing from the Global South. The diversity of experiences, perspectives, and knowledges enriches the university through expanding possibilities for innovation and research. How have international scholars’ open practices been shaped by working and studying at institutions in the Global North?  This panel will serve as a conversation between local researchers on their experiences with open practices and how these are inflected or informed by their work in both the Global South and North.

5:00|| Reception


9:45-10:45 || Ruth Okediji, University of Minnesota, Keynote

10:45-11:00 || Break

11:00-12:30 || Risks and Opportunities in Digital Openness Beyond the Journal, Part 1: Open Objects and Digital Things

Technological innovations have made it much easier and cheaper to convert real world entities into digital representations (e.g., 3D scans, genome sequencing, etc). This digitalization, and the ease of sharing that information has revolutionized the study and exploitation of these objects.  One use of this data is that it allows people to synthesize these entities from the data (e.g., 3D printing, synthetic biology). Such synthesis comes with both benefits (e.g., rapid and cheap dissemination) and risks (e.g., biopiracy, inaccurate representation of the original objects). This panel asks about these risks and benefits in relation to the Global South.

  • Margo Bagley, UVA Law
  • Aaron Fox, Columbia
  • Maurizio Forte, Duke

12:30-1:30 || Lunch

1:30-3:00 || Risks and Opportunities in Digital Openness Beyond the Journal, Part 2:  Open Digital Information

While open data offers scholars serious benefits such as transparency, sharing and pooling of knowledge, there are some risks involved, some well appreciated, some less so. The best example comes from medical research, where extensive protocols are in place (though not always used) for protecting privacy of data.  Less appreciated are risks in other areas. For example, poachers of animals and plants utilize scientific publications to find and capture newly discovered or rare species. Similarly, archaeological information can be used by looters.  This panel explores issues which blanket policies on openness do not address and considers how policies on openness could learn from fields such as anthropology and medicine which have experience protecting privacy. What role do/should journals play in the “hiding” of such information? How have different disciplines developed tools and practices to deal with issues of privacy, confidentiality, and sharing information? How do the practices for protecting information affect research and knowledge sharing?

  • James Leach, CNRS
  • Kim Fortun, RPI
  • Pranesh Prakash, Centre for Internet and Society, India

Storify of Future Proofing Law symposium at #UCDavis #futureproofinglaw #AI #algorithms #robots #CRISPR

This may be of interest to some here.  I made a Storify of the Tweets from the “Future Proofing Law” symposium that was at UC Davis yesterday and the day before.  There were multiple scholarly publishing related sessions and presentations as well as discussions of many topics connected to ICIS in various ways such as open scholarship, intellectual property, publishing and more.

Data-Driven Interactive Scientific Articles in a Collaborative Environment With Authorea

Monday, January 23, 2017
12:00NOON – 1:30P.M.
UC Davis, Shields Library,
Data Science Initiative space, 3rd Floor

Lunch served. RSVP here.

Most tools that scientists use for the preparation of scholarly manuscripts, such as Overleaf and ShareLaTex, function offline and do not account for the born-digital nature of research objects. Authorea allows scientists to collaboratively write rich data-driven manuscripts on the web that offers readers a dynamic, interactive experience with an article’s full text, images, interactive figures, data, and code. In this talk, I will show you how Authorea differs from Overleaf and ShareLatex and how we are bringing scientific writing into the 21st century. Please bring your laptop as attendees will be included in the demo (not mandatory but suggested).

Alberto Pepe is the co-founder of Authorea. He recently finished a Postdoctorate in Astrophysics at Harvard University. During his postdoctorate, Alberto was also a fellow of the Berkman Center for Internet and Society and the Institute for Quantitative Social Science. Alberto is the author of 30 publications in the fields of Information Science, Data Science, Computational Social Science, and Astrophysics. He obtained his Ph.D. in Information Science from the University of California, Los Angeles with a dissertation on scientific collaboration networks which was awarded with the Best Dissertation Award by the American Society for Information Science and Technology (ASIS&T). Prior to starting his Ph.D., Alberto worked in the Information Technology Department of CERN, in Geneva, Switzerland, where he worked on data repository software and also promoted Open Access among particle physicists. Alberto holds a M.Sc. in Computer Science and a B.Sc. in Astrophysics, both from University College London, U.K. Alberto was born and raised in the wine-making town of Manduria, in Puglia.

Worth a Read: Open Access and the transformation of academic publishing

This short piece by Brad Weiss provides a reflection on Cultural Anthropology’s transition to open access publishing and a thoughtful discussion of the questions which drove this decision and the subsequent questions which exiting from Wiley-Blackwell has raised.

After the American Anthropological Association began publishing its journals through Wiley-Blackwell in 2004, critics from the Society for Cultural Anthropology wondered:

why should academics give the products of their scholarly labor—in the form of both their articles and their work as reviewers—to a for-profit press that generates its revenue by selling those products back to our home institutions in the form of (rather expensive) library subscriptions?

This question sparked the beginning of a journey towards open access. Read the rest of the story here:

Open access and the transformation of academic publishing: A view from Cultural Anthropology

Worth a read: A simple proposal for the publication of journal citation distributions

This paper in BioRXiv is definitely worth checking out.

Abstract is below:

Although the Journal Impact Factor (JIF) is widely acknowledged to be a poor indicator of the quality of individual papers, it is used routinely to evaluate research and researchers. Here, we present a simple method for generating the citation distributions that underlie JIFs. Application of this straightforward protocol reveals the full extent of the skew of distributions and variation in citations received by published papers that is characteristic of all scientific journals. Although there are differences among journals across the spectrum of JIFs, the citation distributions overlap extensively, demonstrating that the citation performance of individual papers cannot be inferred from the JIF. We propose that this methodology be adopted by all journals as a move to greater transparency, one that should help to refocus attention on individual pieces of work and counter the inappropriate usage of JIFs during the process of research assessment.

Source: A simple proposal for the publication of journal citation distributions | bioRxiv


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David Novak “The Dubbing of a New Era: Audiocassettes, Open Access and the Dissonances of Digital Democracy”

Please join us for a talk by David Novak, Associate Professor of Music at the University of California, Santa Barbara
Thursday, May 26, 2016 12-1:30pm, Social Science and Humanities, Room 1246
Lunch will be served. RSVP here
David Novak is Associate Professor of Music at the University of California, Santa Barbara, with affiliations in Anthropology, Film and Media Studies, and East Asian Languages and Cultural Studies. His work deals with the globalization of popular music, remediation, protest culture, and social practices of listening. He is the author of the award-winning Japanoise: Music at the Edge of Circulation (2013) and the co-editor of Keywords in Sound (2015), as well as recent essays and sound recordings in Public Culture, Cultural Anthropology, Popular Music, Sensory Studies, and The Wire. He is the founder of the Music and Sound Interest Group in the American Anthropological Association, and co-director of the Center for the Interdisciplinary Study of Music.

Co-Sponsored by:
Science and Technology Studies
Innovating Communication in Scholarship
The Center for Science and Innovation Studies

Parachute Researchers and Openness and Biopiracy

Interesting article at NPR’s Goats and Soda by Nurith Aizenman.  It discusses the concept of parachute researchers “Scientists from wealthy nations who swoop in when a puzzling disease breaks out in a developing country

Researchers drop in. They take specimens. And they head home and don’t share. That’s no way to fight an epidemic. Can they do things differently when it comes to Zika?

Source: Scientists Fighting Zika Vow To Stop Parachute Research, Share Discoveries Quickly And Widely : Goats and Soda : NPR

It is of relevance to some of the discussions we have been having on the ICIS project regarding biopiracy and the risks of the commons.  Although I note – I think this article did not quite get into a key aspect of the issue which is that even if researchers share everything there are still possible risks for the countries where samples have been taken.  This may be a major topic for a future ICIS meeting so stay tuned.