European Commission Communication on Access to Scientific Information

The European Commission has adopted a Communication on access to scientific information in the digital age. The Communication announces a series of measures on how the Commission will deal with open access in FP7 funded projects – and how it will use its funding programmes to improve the access to and the preservation of scientific information. The following measures will be adopted:

A. ACCESS TO COMMUNITY FUNDED RESEARCH RESULTS
– Costs for publishing, including open access publishing, defined as eligible costs in
Community funded research projects.
– Specific guidelines to be issued, within specific programmes, on the publication of articles
in open repositories.

B. CO-FUNDING THROUGH COMMUNITY PROGRAMMES
– Approximately €50 million for work on infrastructures, in particular digital repositories, in
2007-2008.
– Approximately €25 million for digital preservation and collaborative tools in 2007-2008.
– Approximately €10 million on access to and use of scientific information through
eContentplus programme.

C. INPUT FOR THE FUTURE POLICY DEBATE
– Study on the economic aspects of digital preservation.
– Funding of research on publication business models and on the scientific publication
system.

D. POLICY CO-ORDINATION AND DEBATE WITH STAKEHOLDERS
– Deliberations in the European Parliament and Council; further discussions with
stakeholders.
– Exchange of good practices for new models of access to, dissemination of, and
preservation of scientific information.

Related documents are available here – the Staff Working Paper is useful and comprehensive.

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TARA-Derived Teaching/Learning Resources – Test

TARA meets Flickr!
Repository interoperability is a hot issue internationally and a number of important projects are currently underway in this area. Meanwhile we have an immediate practical need to learn about the potential for linkages between the primary research resources deposited in TARA and the university’s teaching needs ‘on the ground’. A seamless interface between Dspace-based TARA, the College VLE (WebCT or equivalent) and the National Digital Learning Repository (NDLR) would be great, but before thinking about building system solutions we need to understand more about the needs and behaviours of potential users.

Selected images from the Nicholas K. Robinson Collection of Caricature have been uploaded from TARA directly to Flickr (via Flock). This is a test demo examining a Web 2.0 method – quick, simple, user-generated and free! – of repurposing TARA repository-based resources for use in teaching. This method allows direct upload of the web images as they are being viewed in TARA, and image cropping, rotation, addition of description and tagging at the point of upload using the Flock browser’s special features. The usual Flickr facilities may be used as required: addition of notes to image, creation of ‘sets’, creation of slideshows, facility for comments by viewers/students, restrictions on access. There’s an even faster way to do this: downloading Bill Conan’s handy Firefox extension allows you to right-click an image in TARA (or any website), and send it straight to your Flickr account.

The advantage is simple and pretty basic: a learning resource is built ‘on-the-fly’ as a lecturer browses images in TARA. The Flickr slideshow link may be subsequently added to WebCT & Moodle courses and deposited in the NDLR as a reusable learning object. Of course, there are more high-tech/better ways to achieve this kind of thing – this is just a zero-cost start for us to explore the spaces within and between these systems. (The demo is for the TCD School of Histories and Humanities Digital Image Project).

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Scientific Publishing in the European Research Area: Access, Dissemination and Preservation in the Digital Age

On 15 and 16 February 2007 the European Commission will host a conference in Brussels on scientific publication issues.The goal of the conference is to bring together stakeholders concerned with access, dissemination and preservation issues in connection with scientific publication and data in an effort to provide policy options for scientific publishing under FP7 and in the European Research Area. Both the Commissioner for Science and Research, Mr. Potočnik and the Commissioner for Information Society and Media, Ms. Reding will be speaking at the event.

Research – Science and Society

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