OKAPI Spotlight – March 2008

Every month, OKAPI Spotlight features Open Knowledge news at UC Berkeley and around the world. To contribute, join our email listserv or contact Lizzy.


Advancing OpenCollection Project
Funded by the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, UC Berkeley and its consortium partners at the Museum of the Moving Image (New York) and the University of Toronto will work together to help create “a truly scalable, flexible, internationalized, and full-featured web-based collections management solution for institutions and collections of many sizes.” This 28-month project will first focus on working with OpenCollection, an open source application, which will be the foundation for this project. The Information Systems & Technology (IST)-Data Services will work closely with the Phoebe A. Hearst Museum of Anthropology, Berkeley Natural History Museum, Berkeley’s Education Technology Services (ETS) and other IST units.

Chancellor’s Awards for Public Service
Deadline: March 18th, 2008

“The [UC Berkeley] campus community is invited to submit nominations for the Chancellor’s Awards for Public Service to recognize students, staff, and faculty for their contributions to civic engagement in 2007-2008. Individuals, groups, and programs may be nominated in the following categories: Civic Engagment, Research in the Public Interest, Service Learning Leadership, Campus/Community Partnerships and Community Impact. A nomination form and guidelines can be accessed from the Community Relations website at communityrelations.berkeley.edu and the Cal Corps Public Service Center website at calcorps.berkeley.edu .”


Intellectual Property Donor Sticker
First posted at Gizmodo.com, this sticker, clearly inspired by the Organ Donor sticker, is placed on the back of one’s driver’s license. It states: “In event of death, please donate all intellectual property to the public.” Under the current copyright law in the US, a work can “be stifled by 70 years of copyright protection.” Like the author of the post, we are also not sure if this sticker is legal binding or not. Perhaps a future version of the Organ Donor sticker can include the option to be an Intellectual Property donor right under it?

The Center for History and New Media at George Mason University just released a public beta of Omeka, a free open source web platform for publishing online collections and exhibitions. Omeka is for cultural institutions, enthusiasts, educators who are interested in collaborating with others to build and create online collections. This web platform “is designed with non-IT specialists in mind, allowing users to focus on content rather than programming.” OKAPI hopes to collaborate with others and use Omeka in the near future.

Encyclopedia of Life
Recently launched, the Encyclopedia of Life (EOL) is focused on “organiz[ing] and mak[ing] available via the Internet virtually all information about life present on Earth.” Each of the 1.8 known species will have an individual webpage. EOL is for everyone to explore, though there will be “several linked pages aimed at more specialized users.” EOL is funded by the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation and  Alfred P. Sloan Foundation, as well as by smaller donors. The EOL team is made up of scientists and non-scientists from all over the world.

Bayanihan Books

Based in the Philippines, this group works to solve two problems surrounding today’s textbooks in the Philippines: 1) there are not enough books for students in public schools, and 2) these textbooks are full of errors that range from spelling to factual and everything else in between. Bayanihan Book proposes to “improve quality and reduce cost of the textbooks, simplify public access to educational materials, and allow more publishers to participate,” by inviting volunteers- “educators, authors, editors, proofreaders, illustrators, photographers, reviewers” to help create textbooks. The public will review textbooks before being published “under a license that would permit everyone to use and publish the textbooks without paying royalty to anyone.”

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