Open Canada

(and maybe a reader will give me the French translation – I do not know the gender).
I am delighted to be speaking at WWW 2007 in Banff Canada as Canada has a very high profile in Open activities. This is is not a comprehensive survey and depends on people I have met or have encountered virtually – order is idiosyncratic.
Heather Morrison has been very active in promoting Openness – coincidentally she posted a a request for a summary of open data just today.
Here’s her home page, splendidly called the The Imaginary Journal of Poetic Economics

Imagine a world where anyone can instantly access all of the world’s scholarly knowledge – as profound a change as the invention of the printing press. Technically, this is within reach. All that is needed is a little imagination, to reconsider the economics of scholarly communications from a poetic viewpoint.

At the same time, she got a reply from Alison Ball:

There are descriptions of Canadian data sites at Some examples of data sets that could be of interest to laypersons are:

  • Canadian Poisonous Plants Information System
  • Canadian Bird Trends
  • CADRMP Adverse Reaction Database
  • National Climate Data and Information Archive
  • Ontario Sport Fish Contaminant Monitoring Program

Wow! Just the sort of material I was looking for! These are exactly the sorts of data that should be Open. Alison is in the National Research Council of Canada which is also much more proactive than most at insisting that data become free.
And here are some more people and instances that I have been sent and Canada can be proud of:

Of the 16 people at the Budapest meeting that became BOAI – three are
Canadian: Jean-Claude Guedon, Leslie Chan, and
Stevan Harnad.

Francis Ouellette – see the Ouellette declaration. Andrew Waller, librarian from the University of Calgary and OA advocate. John Willinsky & the PKP Project / OJS. Canada has a recently, well-funded project called Synergies to support scholarly publishing – most of the nodes (SFU, University of Calgary) are strong supporters of open access.

Public Knowledge Project / Open Journal Systems:
First International PKP Scholarly Publishing Conference, July 11-13,
Vancouver, BC:
(highly recommended!!)
Canadian Association of Research Libraries (CARL) IR Project (all
Canadian university research libraries either have, or are developing
an IR – the CARL metadata harvester site is at:
(Currently 12 IRs; work is being done to roughly double this number
in the very near future.
Canadian Institutes of Health Research – draft Access to Research
Outputs policy:
If passed in a form similar to the draft, this will be a very strong
policy, which calls for open data as well as published results of
Open Access Declaration for the Ouellette Laboratory
IJPE Canadian Leadership in the Open Access Movement series
And Heather is even now teaching a whole (1-credit) course on open access – is this the first?:
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2 Responses to Open Canada

  1. Pingback: Unilever Centre for Molecular Informatics, Cambridge - petermr’s blog » Blog Archive » WWW 2007 Presentation

  2. pm286 says:

    Glen Newton gives me the following info:
    Part of the committee which put together and executed the
    National Consultation on Access to Scientific Research Data
    and an observer on the Canadian committee for CODATA

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