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1. SHOW (Share Open Access Worldwide) Event

In 2011, I have co-managed the SHOW event, the first-of-its-kind manifestation to celebrate Open Access Week in Croatia, aiming to introduce students to the Copyleft movement, Creative Commons licensing, Open Projects, Open Content movement, Open Access movement and the Right to Research Coalition action.

SHOW event was held from October 26 through October 27 at the Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences in Rijeka.

The SHOW program went as follows:

Wednesday, October 26:

12:00 – 12:30 Opening Speech @ Atrium

12:30 – 13:30 Tomislav Medak : Creative Commons Licensing @ Atrium Staircase

Tomislav Medak is a philosopher with interests in constellations, contemporary political philosophy, media theory and aesthetics. He is co-ordinating theory program and publishing activities of the Multimedia Institute/MAMA (Zagreb, Croatia). He’s a free software and free culture advocate. He’s project lead of Croatian Creative Commons team and board member of international commons organization iCommons. He’s member of urban activist initiative Right to the City. He is a member of the Zagreb based theatre company BADco.

14:00 – 16:00 Round Table: Intellectual Property in a Digital Age @ Atrium Staircase

Both scientific and artistic achievements do not occur in a vacuum, they built on their contexts, “sampling” the intellectual environment of the time to create something new. Our digital culture has fractured information and the shards float freely in and out of attribution. Shouldn’t our creative practices reflect this reality? Manifestos abound on the Web declare that ideas “are not owned by an individual or corporation” and should therefore “be freely available as seeds for more ideas, and not bound and haggled over by lawyers and politicians.” In many ways, intellectual property laws are fighting a losing battle with new modes of creation and expression eroding the copyright model.

Speakers: Tomislav Medak, Nebojša Zelic, Neven Petrovic, Ivana Kunda, Debating Club
, Moderator: Andrej Kljun

16:30 – 17:30 Aleksandar Blagojevic: We are Open Source Beings – Let’s Live That Way @ Atrium Staircase

“You are an open source being. Your parents did not need a prestigious university degree in order to learn and understand how to have you. They also did not purchase the special “top USA company” licence to make you. They were in love – that was more than enough to bring you to life.” Aleksandar Blagojevic is the leader and the founder of the Pirate Party of Serbia.

18:00-19:30 Right to Research Coalition Webcast: Open Access and the Impact of Open on Research @ Hall no. 6

Webcast will feature John Wilbanks, a Senior Fellow at the Kauffman Foundation and the former Vice President for Science at Creative Commons, who will discuss Open Access and how open has the power to transform research. This webcast will also feature Goldis Chami who will describe the student role as a catalyst for creating change on campus, using her personal experience at the University of British Columbia.

20:00 – 21:30 Movie: Rip Remix! Manifesto @ Hall no. 6

Web activist Brett Gaylor and musician Greg Gillis, better known as Girl Talk, serve as your digital tour guides on a probing investigation into how culture builds upon culture in the information age. Girl Talk repositions popular music to create a wild and edgy dialogue between artists from all genres and eras. But are his practices legal? Do his methods of frenetic appropriation embrace collaboration in its purest sense? Or are they infractions of creative integrity and violations of copyright?

Thursday, October 27:

11: 00 – 12: 00 Sara Uhac and the Publishing Academy: Publish Open Access @ Atrium

Sara Uhac is a PhD Researcher in Communication Sciences, enrolled in a PhD course at the University of Lugano specializing in Publishing Studies. Together with her higher studies, she currently holds the position of Head of Journal Publishing at InTech.

Publishing Academy Rijeka is an EU funded project that will train 35 bright bachelor students during 6 months in skills such as publishing, editing, proofreading, translation, design, marketing and librarianship.

12: 00 – 12:30 Bernard Koludrovic: “Drugost” @ Atrium

Journal of Cultural Studies “Drugost” (Otherness), publishes papers that examine the cultural studies as a discipline, or apply its categorically apparatus over a wide range of cultural topics.

12:30 – 13:30 “Hrčak” portal presentation: Creating the Reading Platform @ Atrium

Hrcak is the central portal of Croatian scientific journals. Hrcak offers the access to the journals following the Open Access Initiative. Counting more than 269 journals, this portal is supported by the Ministry of Science Education and Sports, developed and mainteined by the University Computing Centre and was initiated by the Croatian Information and Documentation Society.

13:30 – 14:30 Ivana Hebrang Grgić: Open Access in Croatia @ Atrium

Ivana Hebrang Grgić is an author of a paper titled Open Access to Scientific Information in Croatia: Increasing Research Impact of a Scientifically Peripheral Country . The study introduces some basic Open Access concepts and then switches the focus to understanding of such concepts in Croatia, and to Open Access awareness among Croatian scientists, librarians and governing bodies.

15: 00 – 15:30  David Blažević, Ervin Kamenar: BAST project presentation @ Atrium

The BAST project includes analysis, design, and experimental study of a wireless autonomous sensor model for real time tire pressure measurements. The project is based on a concept labeled ‘Energy Harvesting’ which is the process of converting energy from external sources such as solar, thermal, wind & kinetic energy, to low-level electric energy. The model to be presented was built at the Faculty of Engineering in Rijeka, Croatia.

15:45 – 16:45 Marino Franušić: Free Energy @ Atrium Staircase

Introduction to Free Energy as a term and a concept with basic ideas explained. What is  the difference between renewable energy and free energy, how free energy is accepted among the members of the scientific community and what are the theories of free energy research suppression.

17: 00 – 18: 30 Debate: Digital Music and Remix Culture @ Atrium Staircase

Using the tools of digital technology, even the simplest tools, anyone can begin to “write” using images, or music, or video. But, is our culture a Read-Only or a Read-Write culture? What are “the copyright wars” about today if not about new forms of creativity, or artists making new art?
What is the impact of the digital revolution on the music business? While disc jockeys use their technical expertise and play with bits of culture found in their digital cupboard, the outdated copyright laws are turning them into criminals. Should there be a change in the current state of copyright laws to legalize remix culture and bring us back the creative integrity? If music industry would treat this process more like a game, and less like a product, could it thrive financially from it in the future?

Speakers: Ivan Šarar, Davor Popdankovski, Pero Despero, 
Moderator: Luka Rodela

19: 00 – 20:00 Movie: Steal This Film @ Hall no. 6

Steal This Film is a film series documenting the movement against intellectual property produced by The League of Noble Peers and released via the BitTorrent peer-to-peer protocol. In fighting file sharing, the entertainment industry is fighting the fundamental structure of the Internet. Steal This Film is a film series documenting the movement against intellectual property and was a talking point in the British Documentary Festival.

20:00 – 20:15 Announcing the Art Contest Winner

20:00 – 22:30 Ducks Records: Musical plus Visual Performance

Ducks Records is a collective of artists and non-artists working in various fields, gathered primarily around works of experimental music and sound art, but expanding into video production, performance projects, installations and collaborative theatrical work. The netlabel exists for about a year now. All of their music is free for download:

22:30-22:45 Closing Speech @ Atrium

22:00 – 02:00  After Party: Miće Mace @ Soho Bar, Rijeka

Little Cats Majhne Mucke Die Klines Katzen Los Gatos Pequenos – Two spinsters, who opted to get out of the closet in the absence of “weirdo” and “nonaligned” music in their hometown.

In addition, through both days we are creating an Open Access Comic with Damir Steinfl who works on comics and illustrations which are being published both in print copies and online since 1994. He has displayed his work in various exhibitions, more than forty of them, and he has participated in more than 15 comic workshops. He’s a founder of a non-formal Croatian avant garde comic collective Emisija Emocija. He will be our cartoonist for the SHOW.

SHOW project managers and executive producers:
Katarina Lovrecic and Ana Nodilo

2. Michael Nielsen “Doing Science in the Open”, Skype Talk at the University of Rijeka, Croatia

I have invited Michael Nielsen to give a Skype Talk about Open Science at the Science and Technology Park, University Campus in Rijeka, Croatia. On June 2, the students were invited to join the discussion, as explained by Nielsen:

“The internet is causing a radical change in how science is done.  In this talk I’ll describe how mass online collaborations are being used to prove mathematical theorems; how online markets are allowing scientific problems to be outsourced; and how online citizen science projects are enabling amateurs to make scientific discoveries. These and other projects show how we can use online tools to amplify our collective intelligence, and so extend our scientific problem-solving ability.  This promise is only part of the story, however, for today there are many cultural barriers inhibiting scientists from using online tools to their full potential.  I will discuss these cultural barriers, and how they can be overcome.”

3. Share Conference Presentation: Open Access Today

In April 2011, the first Share Conference was held in Belgrade. Among the speakers invited were Bruce Sterling, the science fiction writer, Rafe Kaplan from Google, Samir Allioui from the Dutch Pirate Party and Aleksandar Blagojevic from the Serbian Pirate Party, Jaroslav Valuch, one of the Crisis Mappers, Marin Šarić from Google Books, Chris Csikszentmihályi from MIT Media Lab and many other brilliant, curious and sharing minds.

Together with my colleague Sara Uhač, I held a presentation on Open Access, giving a quick introduction to the model, explaining the importance of opening up access to scientific research.

View this document on Scribd

4. CERN Workshop on Innovations in Scholarly Communication (OAI7), 22nd to 24th June 2011, University of Geneva – CERN, Geneva, Switzerland

I have participated at the workshops and summarized the presentations on the Open Access Advocacy topic.

OAI7 Open Access Advocacy Session: Conversation, Emerging Trends, Integration (Posted on June 29, 2011 at InTechWeb blog)

OAI7 Workshop on Innovation in Scholarly Communication that ended last week in Geneva is that sort of a workshop that stores gems in your mind that you can use for a personal enlightenment later, when all the open access folks are gone, that is, they are back to their digital homes. First such gem to be drown out of the pouch is the one on open access advocacy – a never ending struggle, or a game – with some new moves revealed and improved rules suggested.

The Open Access Advocacy Session included contributions from:

  • Monica Hammes: The Open Access Conversation is more than just advocating for a mandate
  • William J. Nixon: University  of Glasgow, UK, advocacy through embedding: integrating repositories and research management systems
  • Heather Joseph: SPARC, Washington DC, Advocacy at the national and international level

The Conversation: If you don’t like it, change it

“There are 1o,ooo universities and only 124 mandates,” Hammes opens the session. “The problem is that what Institutional Repositories offer is not perceived to be useful, and what is perceived to be useful is not offered by IRs.”

“We really do need mandates,” it is agreed, “but we need to witness commitment of all role players.” Adoption of OA policies remains the main challenge for the OA movement, as defined by Peter Suber, and responsibility for dissemination is on the university.

“Advocacy is a sustained effort to raise awareness,” Hammes reminds us, “a process of turning passive support into educated action. The idea of making research openly available resonates with others agendas.” She continues: “You need to follow the OA debate, not only sticking to the green route, but following up on all things that are evolving and happening.

She calls to our minds 6 Critical success factors for a mandate:

1. Create good value propositions for all stakeholders that will address their concept of value and their concerns over time
2. You repository should be more than a place for storage
3. Mandate implementation should be well resourced
4. The advocacy/marketing/outreach/publicity/lobbying continuum is a never-ending selling job
5. Time and timing is crucial
6. Stay in touch with new developments in Scholarly communication

“Researchers actually think mostly about themselves, their careers,” it is crucial to recognize, “and some of their concerns are becoming real barriers such as the lack of awareness and correct information, belief that self archiving infringes copyright and is teherefore – illegal. They don’t think that OA and peer review and high impact goes together, and in most cases the postprints are missed. Finally, OA practices interfere with traditional practices of scholars.”

In order to approach them (scholars) better, we need to change the conversation:

  • give them good statistics
  • lower the threshold for participation, i.e. involve students and not only PhDs
  • give advice on copyright
  • leave negative people in peace
  • meet them in their different roles (address their concerns)
  • display conversations around open access with important public figures

“As for the the university management, those in charge need to understand better the legal issues as well as the cost and sustainability of an OA program,” Hammes reminds. “Readers need to be recognized now as important stakeholders, we need to flood them with information they can trust, provide them with links to material, allow them to search, use tools, comment… Finally, we need to engage students – they are the new generation of authors, and in order to achieve that we need to be more inventive and use flyers, posters, post cards, bookmarks, buttons, e-mail campaigns, multimedia events, competitions and other fun things.

“Advocacy is a never-ending selling job,” Hammes concludes, “Change is inevitable and enthusiasm is contagious.”

No Repository is an Island

“The “SILOS” approach for a repository doesn’t work,” William J. Nixon is spirited in explaining, “only advocacy doesn’t work. We need to be embedded.” He presented Enlighten repository from the University of Glasgow, connected to a research system that is custom built, that includes funder info, finance info, human resources, student info, publication pages with a twitter feed, etc.

“Embedded repository is the one with the added value, it gets more engagement and is important for the right advocacy.” Nixon explains how their “embedded journey” which includes projects such as ENRICH and ENQUIRE, was about:

  • Linking publications to funder data from Research System
  • Feeding institutional research profile pages
  • Piloting the collection of output, impact and esteem data via the repository
  • Reducing duplication – users and librarians hate duplications
  • Exploiting new opportunities such as: data mining, business intelligence, analytics, metrics, rankings, visibility

“Re-use, re-use, re-use: the more it’s used the more value there is,” Nixon repeats, “pushing information back to the authors engages the academics.” Finally, he suggests a 4R full text mantra for Enlightenment by Morag Greig, which would result in, well, more full text, since Enlighten repository still contains only 1o% of full text: Remind, Reignite, Reassure, Reiterate!

Coordinating International Advocacy

Heather Joseph presented SPARC‘s role in OA advocacy as not only that of an advocate but also a catalyst for action, one that looks for pressure points in the scholarly communication marketplace to reduce financial pressure on libraries.

This involves, Joseph explains, 3 program areas:

  • Educate stakeholders on opportunities for change in scholarly communication system
  • Incubate demonstrations of business publishing models that advance positive change in the system
  • Advocate for policies that create an environment where a more open system of scholarly communication can flourish

“SPARC’s mission is to create open access as a new norm, and not the friendly alternative, left-wing option. To do that,” Joseph continues, “we understand that some rules of the game need to be changed and new language for communication needs to be invented.” Finally, the biggest challenges of advocacy is to be present at the place where decisions are made and SPARC is getting a seat at the table, is being present when discussions are happening, is positioned in Washington DC, where 8 billion US dollars for STM publishing circulate which does create responsibility. “Influence next, but getting at the table first,” Joseph repeats. “We’re not entitled to a seat just because we want to be there. We have to bring something to the table. Libraries and OA community needs to be where policies are crafted.”

Finding a way to convince people is not easy, but the critical mass could gather around an advocate that can explain 4 principles of taxpayer access:

1. American taxpayers are entitled to open access peer-reviewed scientific articles funded by the US Government
2. Widespread access to the information contained in these articles is an essential, inseparable component of the nations’ investment in science
3. This information should be shared in cost-effective ways that take advantage of the Internet, stimulate further discovery and innovation, and advance the translation of this knowledge into public benefits
4. Enhanced access to information will lead to usage by millions of individuals, scientists, and professionals, and will deliver an accelerated return on the taxpayer’s investments

Heather Joseph did not leave out some results from such actions, one of them the NIH policy which was enacted into US law in April 2008  and now it counts over 2.2 million full text articles available via PubMed Central with nearly 500,000 unique users per day, with 99% articles downloaded at least once, 25% of users being University users, 40% citizens, 17% companies, remainder governments or others. An emerging trend is that of “open grant” making and national discussions on such topics are growing in frequency.

I believe Heather added an essential element to the discussion when she noticed that national advocacy efforts are very loosely coordinated. She proposed structures and networks in place to facilitate an explicit, sustained effort to help coordinate not national, but international advocacy. In this way, “we could be more effective in community,” she concludes.

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