Woo hooooo! Open Access Week is here! Hard to contain your excitement, isn’t it? If you weren’t around for last year’s global event promoting OA, and are wondering if anyone other than librarians should be interested, here’s how the organizers describe open access:

“Open Access” to information – the free, immediate, online access to the results of scholarly research, and the right to use and re-use those results as you need – has the power to transform the way research and scientific inquiry are conducted. It has direct and widespread implications for academia, medicine, science, industry, and for society as a whole.

The best OA introduction is still Open Access 101 from SPARC (The Scholarly Publishing and Academic Resources Coalition). This great animated video (~3 minutes), explains the scholarly information landscape and why we need open access:

And check out A Very Brief Introduction to Open Access (PDF), which explains two ways the research community provides open access, through OA journals (more on those tomorrow) and OA archives or repositories.

Be sure to stop by the Library between now and Friday to pick up information about Open Access, chat with your librarian, and enter our Open Access raffle. And stay tuned to RFoD for more information throughout the week.


Brilliant spoof of an Old Spice commercial from the Harold B. Lee Library at Brigham Young University:

Lots of folks are encouraged and stoked by the new DMCA (Digital Millennium Copyright Act) exemptions (aka “Rulemaking on Exemptions from Prohibition on Circumvention of Technological Measures that Control Access to Copyrighted Works”) recently released by the Library of Congress and announced in a press release. Over at Profhacker, Kathleen Fitzpatrick reports:

The exemption on the cracking of CSS [content scrambling system] now extends to all college and university instructors, as well as students in film and media studies courses, and the permitted “educational uses” now include critical commentary and documentary production, as well as the exceptionally broad category of “non-commercial videos.”

This is good news for a number of our faculty who use digital media in their courses and for other projects, as before these exemptions it had been illegal to extract clips from DRM-protected media, even if they were for use in class and even though use in class would be legal otherwise.

Another Profhacker post by Jason Mittell goes into more detail about implications for teaching and research, including that faculty across all disciplines can now rip clips and do it for use beyond the classroom, such as conference presentations and publications.

If you agree that this is wicked good news, be sure to thank the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF), who were responsible for a lot of the legwork behind this fair use victory.

Yes, the title was a ploy to get your attention. It was People Magazine that named Dr. Neil deGrasse Tyson the “Sexiest Astrophysicst Alive” (not sure who wins the Dead title), and that’s only one among many other, more prestigious, honors.

But really we wanted to draw your attention to a very cool audio resource, Lab Out Loud: Science for the Classroom and Beyond, “a podcast, hosted by two science teachers, that discusses science news and science education by interviewing leading scientists, researchers, science writers and other important figures in the field.”

They interviewed Tyson last year about scientific literacy. Here’s a snippet:

The most important feature [of scientific literacy] is an outlook that you bring with you in your daily walk through life. It’s a lens through which you look that affects how you see the world. And the science literacy that can be promoted along those lines shows up in a lot of ways… So science literacy is not the know-it-all who’s fluent in science jargon; science literacy is the person who knows how to question the world around them, and en route to an answer that’s deeper than you would otherwise get.

And if you’re interested in the flip side of science literacy, how scientists communicate science, check out Matt Nisbet’s Framing Science, in which he argues that “more than sixty years of research in the social sciences suggests that something more than just always focusing on improving ‘science literacy’ will be necessary to successfully engage the public.”

Back in April on copyright’s 300th birthday On the Media (OTM), a radio program critically examining media practices today, looked at “Copyright’s Wrong Turn,” exploring the history of the law and why extending copyrights for dead people and corporations might be a wee bit unproductive.

Call it the Magna Carta of copyright – England’s Statute of Anne was born 300 years ago this weekend and, for the first time in history, conferred upon authors certain rights to the work. Unfortunately, says Duke Law School professor James Boyle, modern copyright law has strayed far from Anne’s original intent.

You can have a listen or read the transcript on OTM’s site.

If you need a little inspiration as end of the semester work intensifies, head on over to the Goldman Environmental Prize website, where today the 2010 winners were announced:

Thuli Brilliance Makama, Swaziland
Tuy Sereivathana, Cambodia
Małgorzata Górska, Poland
Humberto Ríos Labrada, Cuba
Lynn Henning, United States
Randall Arauz, Costa Rica

“Grassroots environmental heroes too often go unrecognized. Yet their efforts to protect the world’s natural resources are increasingly critical to the well-being of the planet we all share. Thus, in 1990 San Francisco civic leaders and philanthropists Richard N. Goldman and his late wife, Rhoda H. Goldman (1924-1996) created the Goldman Environmental Prize. The Goldman Prize continues today with its original mission to annually honor grassroots environmental heroes from the six inhabited continental regions: Africa, Asia, Europe, Islands and Island Nations, North America, and South and Central America. The Prize recognizes individuals for sustained and significant efforts to protect and enhance the natural environment, often at great personal risk. . . . The Goldman Prize views “grassroots” leaders as those involved in local efforts, where positive change is created through community or citizen participation in the issues that affect them. Through recognizing these individual leaders, the Prize seeks to inspire other ordinary people to take extraordinary actions to protect the natural world.” —Goldman Environmental Prize

Every year the winners remind us just how much can be accomplished by individuals committed to protecting the environment and their communities. They also remind me of folks in our own community doing great work providing psychological services to communities in disaster areas, establishing environmental studies education in Rwanda, helping small businesses develop sustainable practices, among so many others.


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The new issue of Whole Terrain, ANE‘s literary journal, is now available. Wooo hooo!

You can read editor Peter Davenport’s introduction to ((r)e)volution online. Other contributors include ANE Environmental Studies doctoral candidate Don Strauss, recent graduate Twyla Dell, and our own John Crocket, as well as Lynn Margulis, and Janisse Ray.

The issue also includes gorgeous artwork from Roger Peet (cover artist), Briony Morrow-Cribbs, and Katja Schindler.

It’s the perfect holiday gift for the Antiochians on your list, or anyone with a passion for the environment and literary and visual arts, and you can order online.

If you’re in town Wednesday, December 9, join us for the ((r)e)volution release party at Brewbaker’s in Keene, New Hampshire, from 6:30-8:30 p.m.

Happy reading!