My talk on #openaccess at University of Leicester 2014-04-04:1300 UTC

I’m talking tomorrow at the University of Leicester in the heart of England. Leicester is where Richard III was recently dug up in car park. But more importantly it’s an excellent University and I have worked with the Biomedical groups in the past. It’s where DNA fingerprinting was discovered by
Here’s our session

The international Open Access movement has been embraced by UK government and funding councils (including new HEFCE requirements) for both publications and now the data behind them. Come and meet some OA enthusiasts from within the University and influential expert visitors and find out how Open Access might benefit you personally. OA is a great way of increasing the visibility of your research which can lead to new collaborations and impacts.

You’ll be able to follow remotely and also tweet – if you have a good question, tweet it.
I don’t know what I shall talk about.
What? PMR doesn’t prepare his talks?
I don’t even know how much I shall talk and how much the others there will talk about. I’ve got things at the top of my mind and so have they. If there is a small group (say less than 20) I like to rearrange the seats into a circle. But if it’s a tiered theatre then it becomes more of a lecture or Q and A.
I do prepare my talks. I have slides, blogposts, code, repositories. And I will flip between them as needed. I give demos. Most demos work; some don’t. I’m happy now with eduroam – the academic network – so I don’t have to go through tedious registration. (One US university – Penn State – made us install keyboard logging software to track everything we did).
I’ve asked whether this can be recorded- and it will be!. When sessions aren’t based on linear slides (which I don’t normally like) then it’s useful to know what I and others said and be able to present it to others.
Michelle Brook won’t be physically there but we’re hoping to get a Skype connection so she can talk us through some of the WellcomeTrust APC data. (below).
It’s always tremendous to have a hashtag, and also to storify it. I’ll tweet it when we know.
So.. What’s at the top of my mind?

  • What is Open? Open is a state of mind, not a process. Is Open Access Open? Why are we spending billions of dollars on Open Access – the answer is not trivial.
  • The Wellcome Trust APC data set . This is massively important. WT and Michelle and community have made something wonderful. It’s something that libraries should start broadening asap. It could be the start of Open Bibliography – the “map of scholarship”. Probably the main focus
  • The Hargreaves review of copyright. Again massively important. Every library in UK should be actively preparing to take action NOW. And do not sign any agreements with any publisher till you understand this.
  • Aaron Swarz. Are you fighting for what he believed in?
  • Content Mining and The hidden wealth in University repositories. I’m hoping to have time to show machines That was my initial title for this session, but events have overtaken us.
  • The rise of the anti-publisher. Elsevier and NPG have recently made it clear they are gearing up to restrict access to knowledge. The ACS cuts off whole Universities. Many publishers market CC-NC-ND as “what authors want”.  Publishers – with their restrictions and “Universal Access” are now between Bradbury’s firemen and Orwell’s Ministry of Truth. Where do Universities and Libraries stand? Are they working for the readers of the world or – implicitly – for publishers?
  • The Future of Science reference is not in libraries or publishers but in the new generation of Wikipedia – where I’m speaking, Mozilla – and hopefully – our own Content Mine.  Now is the time to jump on the bus or you will miss the Digital Century.

And what’s at the top of yours? I’m guessing…

  • How are we going to force our authors to make their publications Open Access so we can put them in the next REF?

No. It should be:

  • What is the role of the University Library in the Digital Century?

Let’s go back to Ranganathan….
I hope you are kidding. Every librarian should recite the laws till they know them by heart:

  1. Books are for use.
  2. Every reader his [or her] book.
  3. Every book its reader.
  4. Save the time of the reader.
  5. The library is a growing organism.

For “Book” read “Knowledge”. In the digital read-write age we should add some more:

  • save the time of the author
  • the whole world are authors and readers

However with the rise of the AntiPublisher we have new laws. Four years ago I wrote  Nahtanagran’s laws of modern library science:

  1. Books are for selling.
  2. Every purchaser his [or her] books.
  3. Every book its purchasers.
  4. Make money for the seller.
  5. The seller is a growing organism.

Has it got better in the last four years?

  • No. It’s got worse.

Is Open Access as currently envisaged going to make it better or worse? Think before you answer. And we’ll discuss tomorrow.

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