Open Access/Data

Open Access usually refers to the open-access movement, the worldwide movement to disseminate scientific and scholarly research literature online, free of charge and free of unnecessary licensing restrictions. (See Wikipedia entry, Public Library of Science) See also the Open Definition initiative.

Excessive terms in Crown Copyright end-use license agreement

As an example of the extremely proprietary license agreements used by the Canadian Government for works under crown copyright that should be in the public domain, I am including the license agreement that came with the "Postal Codes by Federal Ridings (2003 Representation Order) File (PCFRF)" that I wrote about earlier in this BLOG.


The Government of Canada (Statistics Canada) is the owner or a licensee of all intellectual property rights (including copyright) in this data product. In consideration of your payment of the requisite fee, you or your organization, as the case may be, (hereinafter referred to as the "licensee") are granted a non-exclusive, non-assignable and non-transferable license to use this data product subject to the terms below. This license is not a sale of any or all of the rights of the owners(s).

Federal Libraries: Ahead of the Digital Wave: Transforming Services, Building Communities

I will be on a panel at the Council of Federal Libraries Annual Fall Seminar. This year it will be on Wednesday, September 14, 2005 at the Ottawa Congress Center.

2005 Ahead of the Digital Wave: Transforming Services, Building Communities

Information Panel: Current and Future Intellectual Property Issues - Their Impacts on Service Delivery and Community Building.
Moderator: Steven Cohen


  • Virginia Jones, Access Copyright
  • Ross Gordon, CFL Consortium
  • Russell McOrmond, Digital Copyright Canada

The Importance of Open Access, Open Source, and Open Standards for Libraries


The open access, open source software, and open standards concepts have been garnering increased attention in the field of librarianship and elsewhere. These concepts and their benefits and importance to libraries are examined. Benefits include lower costs, greater accessibility, and better prospects for long-term preservation of scholarly works.

Read full article by Edward M. Corrado in "Issues in Science and Technology Librarianship"...

Wired: The Beeb Shall Inherit the Earth

This Wired article by Cory Doctorow includes:

America's entertainment industry is committing slow, spectacular suicide, while one of Europe's biggest broadcasters -- the BBC -- is rushing headlong to the future, embracing innovation rather than fighting it.

Unlike Hollywood, the BBC is eager and willing to work with a burgeoning group of content providers whose interests are aligned with its own: its audience.

Dutch academics declare research free-for-all

Another Open Access story, this one reported by Jan Libbenga of The Register:

Scientists from all major Dutch universities officially launched a website on Tuesday where all their research material can be accessed for free.

This type of a move is badly needed in Canada where the university community has been inappropriately lobbying government for an exemption from copyright rather than pursue an appropriate free market solution such as Open Access.

SPARC Open Access Newsletter, issue #85

SPARC Open Access Newsletter, issue #85 - May 2, 2005


  • NIH policy launches today
  • Archived postprints should identify themselves
  • Trojan horse eprints
  • Top stories from April 2005
  • Coming up later this month
  • Housekeeping
  • Credits

Canadian Open Access Success Stories: Public Knowledge Project

I have been circulating a message asking to connect with Canada's Open Access community, trying to learn about success stories. One of the sites I was pointed to has been around for quite some time.

The Public Knowledge Project is dedicated to exploring whether and how new technologies can be used to improve the professional and public value of scholarly research. Bringing together scholars, in a number of fields, as well as research librarians, it is investigating the social, economic, and technical issues entailed in the use of online infrastructure and knowledge management strategies to improve both the scholarly quality and public accessibility and coherence of this body of knowledge in a sustainable and globally accessible form.

What you can do to promote open access

Peter Suber, Open Access Project Director, has published his list of What you can do to promote open access. It includes suggestions for everyone from Universities, Journals and publishers, Foundations, Learned societies, Governments and Citizens.

As Canada heads into an election it may be an appropriate time to ask your current MP and all future candidates whether they will help promote Open Access as part of government.

The Early History of Nupedia and Wikipedia: A Memoir

This SlashDot article includes:

Larry Sanger was one of the moving forces behind the pioneering Nupedia project. That makes him one of the people to thank for Wikipedia, which has been enjoying more and more visibility of late. Sanger has prepared a lengthy, informative account of the early history of Nupedia and Wikipedia, including some cogent observations on project management, online legitimacy, dealing with trolls, and other hazards of running a large, collaborative project over the Internet.

PLoS Biology: Funding the Way to Open Access

This article by Robert Terry, Senior Policy Adviser at The Wellcome Trust, Cambridge, United Kingdom, includes:

I now believe it is the funders of research—charities, governments, and other publicly funded bodies such as national research agencies—who hold the purse strings that can untie scientific discoveries from a publishing market that is no longer serving the community as well as it could. That is why today the Trust is a leading advocate for enabling free access to research literature through support for new publishing models, such as that of the Public Library of Science, and the establishment of publicly accessible repositories, working in partnership with the United States National Institutes of Health–funded PubMed Central.

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