OKAPI Spotlight – March 2009

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

On Campus
Paul Courant: Public Goods and the Public Good: Economics, the University and the Library
Seminar Series on the Future of Scholarly Communications, Center for Studies in Higher Education
Friday, March 6, 2009
12:00 – 1:30 PM, 110 South Hall
Former Provost and Executive Vice President for Academic Affairs and current University Librarian and Dean of Libraries Paul Courant will offer reflections and speculations on the circumstances and prospects of universities, especially public flagships. How are we to understand the changes in the technical and political environments that seem to be putting the quality of U.S. public universities at risk, and what might we do about it?

Soul of the New Machine: Human Rights, Technology, and New Media
May 4th and 5th, 2009: 8am- 6pm
Clark Kerr Campus, UC Berkeley
Sponsored by John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation and Humanity United, this conference will focus on bringing together human rights researchers and advocates, software developers and programmers, and digital tools and technologies. The conference will also include a competition “for new ideas using mobile applications for human rights
investigations and advocacy.”

Using Technology to Bring a State ‘School Ready’ Early Childhood Program to Scale
March 16, 2009: 4:00pm – 5:00pm
290 Hearst Memorial Mining Building, the Maria & Dado Banatao Conference Room
Dr. Susan Landry, Director and Founder of the Children’s Learning Institute, will discuss how young children from economically disadvantaged backgrounds benefit from having technologies in the classroom. “Her findings show that combining a facilitated Internet based-professional development program with a PDA progress-monitoring system that informs instruction was the most effective approach.” Dr. Landry’s research was based in Texas and  “examined the gains in teacher instructional practices and growth in children’s language, emergent literacy and math skills before and after the use of the technology-driven program.”

Musical video, ‘The Nano Song,’ a megahit on YouTube
A group of UC Berkeley students submitted a song explaining nanotechnology to an online contest hosted the American Chemical Society (ACS). The video was released in February, and since then “’The Nano Song‘” had spread virally, with mentions by PhysOrg.com, Scientific American, WIRED, and boingboing. When YouTube featured the video on its home page, it quickly racked up close to 300,000 hits (as of the first week of March), along with a mountain of comments from viewers, like “‘Nano Song’ is rocking the globe!”

Copyright and Copyleft in Publications
Creative Commons, an Alternative to Traditional Copyright, Promotes Wider Access to Knowledge
By Ian Elwood
UC Berkeley students now have the option to give their student projects, thesis and dissertation a Creative Commons license. Traditionally, all works were granted a standard copyright. According to the Creative Commons website, “Creative Commons licenses are not an alternative to copyright. They work alongside copyright, so you can modify your copyright terms to best suit your needs.” Instead of “all rights reserve” owners can specify how his or her work can and cannot be used, emphasizing that some rights are reserved. Creative Common licenses allow one’s work to reach a larger audience since the barrier of accessibility is lowered drastically. Traditional copyright makes works incredibly inaccessible, forcing one to pay expensive fees in order to access a copyrighted work.   At the same time “choosing an alternative to traditional copyright is one small act that could serve as a catalyst to reduce many of the existing costs of education” since universities are paying outrageous amounts of money in copyright fees. So far, 2 students, Joseph Lorenzo Hall and Danah Boyd, intend to file their dissertations under a Creative Commons license.

Around the World

The Research Library’s Role in Digital Repository Services
Four leading associations serving research universities—the Association of Research Libraries, the Association of American Universities, the Coalition for Networked Information, and the National Association of State Universities and Land-Grant Colleges—jointly prepared a paper intended to provide guidance to each organization and its members.

Open Access Week declared for 2009
It was declared this month that October 19 – 23, 2009 will be Open Access Week. In the past, the Open Access event only occurred for a day. This “an opportunity to broaden awareness and understanding of Open Access to research, including access policies from all types of research funders, within the international higher education community and the general public.” Last year, 120 campuses in 27 countries celebrated Open Access Day. Organizers of the even include SPARC (the Scholarly Publishing & Academic Resources Coalition), the Public Library of Science (PLoS), and Students for FreeCulture. This year, in order to ‘enhance and expand the global reach of this popular event,” other organizers will include eIFL.net (Electronic Information for Libraries), OASIS (the Open Access Scholarly Information Sourcebook), and the Open Access Directory (OAD).

The Open-Source Encyclopedia, Now in Hardcover
Users can now create their own book of favorite Wikipedia articles. Wikipedia has set up a special page for users to drag and drop their favorite articles, which would then be compiled and printed out by PediaPress. This is interesting since PediaPress is offering something ‘old fashion’ for users- a book! Latest technologies have given rise to digital books and readers (e.g Amazon’s Kindle, iPhone app); even reading a Wikipedia articles involves technology of some sort!


Comments are closed.

%d bloggers like this: