Science Business: Free access to research papers by 2020? ‘Impossible without radical steps’, says EU official. “A senior European Commission official called for ‘radical steps’ to speed up making publicly funded research in Europe freely available to readers, rather than locked behind publishers’ paywalls. ‘We are today at 20 per cent full open access,’ said Robert-Jan Smits, former director-general for research and innovation at the Commission. ‘Fifteen years ago, we were at 15 per cent open access,’ and in 2016 the EU set a target that all publicly research be open, free, to readers by 2020.”
PRNewswire: NASA Debuts Online Toolkit to Promote Commercial Use of Satellite Data (PRESS RELEASE). “While NASA’s policy of free and open remote-sensing data has long benefited the scientific community, other government agencies and nonprofit organizations, it has significant untapped potential for commercialization. NASA’s Technology Transfer program has created an online resource to promote commercial use of this data and the software tools needed to work with it. With the Remote Sensing Toolkit, users will now be able to find, analyze and utilize the most relevant data for their research, business projects or conservation efforts. The toolkit provides a simple system that quickly identifies relevant sources based on user input. The toolkit will help users search for data, as well as ready-to-use tools and code to build new tools.”
Washington Post: Russia is building a new Napster — but for academic research. “What will future historians see as the major Russian contribution to early 21st-century Internet culture? It might not be troll farms and other strategies for poisoning public conversation — but rather, the democratization of access to scientific and scholarly knowledge. Over the last decade, Russian academics and activists have built free, remarkably comprehensive online archives of scholarly works. What Napster was to music, the Russian shadow libraries are to knowledge.”
FedScoop: Library of Congress is spending $1.5M on a public Congressional Research Service reports website. Is it worth it?. “When President Donald Trump signed the Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2018 into law, he put a legislative mandate behind a decades-old transparency initiative. Buried in the bill’s 2,232 pages is a section that directs the Library of Congress to build and maintain a new website — a public-facing home for the taxpayer-funded reports written by the Congressional Research Service. In response, the library has crafted a plan for development, a schedule for deployment and an estimated price tag for the build. Fans of the CRS’s work, however, are wondering whether it’s all worth it.”
Inside Higher Education: New Tool for Open-Access Research. “Get the Research will connect the public with 20 million open-access scholarly articles. The site will be built by Impactstory — the nonprofit behind browser extension tool Unpaywall — in conjunction with the Internet Archive and the British Library.” I’ve signed up to try to get early access.
British Library: British Library to develop shared open access repository services. “The British Library, working with a group of cultural and memory organisations, is piloting a shared repository service for research content built on an open source platform. The repository aims to increase the visibility and impact of research outputs, making the knowledge generated by cultural institutions easier to explore and use for new research.”
Artstor Blog: More than 1 million images now publicly available at library.artstor.org!. “Good news! Artstor has made more than 1 million image, video, document, and audio files from public institutional collections freely available to everyone—subscribers and non-subscribers alike–at library.artstor.org. These collections are being shared by institutions who make their content available via JSTOR Forum, a tool that allows them to catalog, manage, and share digital media collections and make them discoverable to the widest possible audience. These eclectic collections fall into a multitude of categories, including special collections, faculty research and fieldwork, and museum and gallery collections.”