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In the academic world, the conflict between research institutions and publishers about the latter’s reluctance to embrace open access strategies has been looming for years. While the Internet makes distribution of research much cheaper and easier, subscription fees for the most important journals kept rising. Already in 2009, the MIT Faculty had unanimously adopted a university-wide Open Access rule (“Universities as Copyright Regulators: Power and Example“). In 2012, we can finally observe open battles on the issue.
After earlier this year more than 10.000 researchers had joined the boycott of Elsevier (see also “Elsevier Withdraws Support for Research Works Act, Continues Fight Against Open Access“), last week Harvard University issued an official “Memorandum on Journal Pricing“. After criticizing the “untenable situation” that “many large journal publishers have made the scholarly communication environment fiscally unsustainable and academically restrictive”, the memorandum suggests the following 9 points to faculty and students (F) and the Library (L): Read the rest of this entry »
Last weekend the board of the Wikimedia Foundation, the organization behind the free onlince encyclopedia Wikipedia, met in Berlin to decide on recommendations for restructuring (see “Wikimedia Governance: Showdown on the Board” and “Redrawing the Borders of Wikimedia Governance“). Three important things happened at and around the board meeting.
First, Wikimedia executive director Sue Gardner’s recommendation to centralize fundraising and funds dissemination was largely followed. Only four local Wikimedia chapter organizations – Germany, France, UK and Switzerland – will be allowed to process donations on their own when received via the main Wikimedia project pages such as Wikipedia language versions. A new funds dissemination committee (FDC) will decide on how the funds will be distributed and the whole process will be evaluated in 2015.
Second and probably more importantly, the Wikimedia foundation increases the diversity of potential models of affiliation, previously discussed under the label “movement roles”: Read the rest of this entry »