April 26th is World Intellectual Property Day

April 26th is World Intellectual Property Day and is celebrated around the world. Launched by the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) in 2000 the day was created to raise awareness about how intellectual property like patents, trademarks and copyright are both used and in turn foster creativity.  This year’s theme is Digital Creativity: Culture Reimagined.

Universities are both creators of intellectual property through faculty, instructor, researcher and student output, but are also consumers of intellectual property. Ryerson University Library and Archives spends millions of dollars per year on book and digital journal subscription purchasing. Most of these on-line journal articles are not publicly available to those outside of a university environment without a fee. At universities we are digitally privileged because we pay a substantial amount yearly for access to this content.

The purchases universities make support publishers and at the same time give instructors, researchers and students timely access to the latest scholarly information that can be used in their courses and for their research. Ryerson researchers are also part of the creative cycle as they create and publish new works citing the work that has gone before them.

More about:
World Intellectual Property Day
WIPO

FACETS: New Canadian Open Access Journal

Faculty members looking for a new venue for sharing research will want to know about FACETS, a new multidisciplinary, peer reviewed open access journal published by Canadian Science Publishing. The journal publishes articles in the biological sciences, biomedicine and health, environmental science, engineering, physical sciences, and integrative sciences (such as ethics, public health, science policy, sustainability, etc.).

The creation of this journal is part of a larger shift in academic publishing away from traditional for-profit commercial publishers to an open access landscape that permits faculty members to retain copyright over their intellectual property and facilitate wider sharing of the results of their research. These and other open access benefits prompted the drafting of the Tri-Agency Open Access Policy on Publications, which now requires that research funded by NSERC, SSHRC, and CIHR be made open access.

Dr. Imogen Coe, Dean of the Faculty of Science at Ryerson and one of the editors for the new journal, notes that “The classic routes of publication are extraordinarily expensive for new researchers, for small labs with limited funds and for individuals all over the world who want access but get stuck with expensive paywalls.“

As a new journal, FACETS does not yet have an impact factor, a metric that reflects the average number of citations to articles recently published in a specific journal. Dr. Coe advises emerging researchers to “find a balance between impact factor and other measures of impact and contribution.” She also points out that some researchers mistakenly rely on impact factors as a measure of article quality. “Publication in the highest impact journal in the world – with no subsequent citations suggest that there was really no impact of the contribution. Publication in a low impact journal combined with huge numbers of citations suggests a truly impactful contribution.”

A major challenge for libraries supporting open access publishing is finding sustainable funding to support article processing fees (APCs). FACETS will charge an APC of $1350, which is less than most other APCs. The Ryerson Library provides some support for open access author fees via memberships with Biomed Central, the Public Library of Science, and Hindawi. For more information about open access publishing, the library’s open access author fund, and our Digital Repository, please see: http://learn.library.ryerson.ca/scholcomm.

Open Access Textbooks: Open Education Week 2016

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A Guest Blog By Michelle Schwartz of the LTO for Open Education Week 2016

In February, Ryerson was excited to host Rajiv Jhangiani, a faculty member from Kwantlen Polytechnic University, for a talk on his research into the use of open textbooks to teach psychology. Open textbooks are defined as textbooks to which the copyright holder has assigned an open license, which allows anyone the right to access, reformat, and customize the textbook to best meet their needs. These textbooks can be downloaded or printed in hard copy for a small cost via print-on-demand. The author, rather than a publishing company, retains the copyright, and the textbooks are often peer reviewed.

Dr. Jhangiani is the author of two open textbooks hosted by the BC Open Textbook Project. The Open Textbook Project is an initiative by the government of British Columbia to make education more accessible. By developing open access textbooks for the subject areas with the highest enrollments in the province, British Columbia hoped to reduce the financial burden on students. The project has grown steadily over the course of the last few years, and as of March 2016, could boast of the following statistics:

Number of BC Open Textbooks: 139
Number of students using open textbooks: 12,159
Number of faculty adopting open textbooks: 110
Number of institutions adopting open textbooks: 26 (21 Public, 5 Private)
Student savings: $1,215,900 – $1,540,680

As an example of an open textbook, Dr. Jhangiani’s Research Methods in Psychology is in its 2nd Canadian edition. It can be downloaded for free in a multitude of formats, from PDF to epub, and it can be printed on demand for a small fee – $10.90 for black and white, or $32.25 for a colour version. As a comparison, a textbook on the same topic from a major publishing company is currently retailing on Amazon.ca for $276.

Though the importance of this cost difference to students cannot be understated, perhaps an even greater benefit of open textbooks was brought up by Dr. Jhangiani at his talk – by publishing with an open license, Dr. Jhangiani felt he had much more latitude to provide unique Canadian examples that he thought would be most beneficial to his students, without the pressure from a publishing company to try to address larger markets. Because the textbook is published with an open license, any educator can take the textbook, use the chapters that they like best, and replace Dr. Jhangiani’s examples and case studies with the material that is most relevant to their course. This flexibility is the strength of the open textbook model!

If you are interested in adopting an open textbook in your course, check out the offerings available at BC Campus, Open Stax College from Rice University, and the Open Textbook Library from the University of Minnesota.

If you have questions about adopting an open textbook or you have thoughts on how you might like to use them in your course, contact us at the LTO, michelle.schwartz@ryerson.ca, ext. 2094.

The Ryerson Library and Archives can also assist in finding open access educational resources to use in your teaching – please contact your Subject Librarian , call Ann Ludbrook at ext. 6910  aludbrook@ryerson.ca or have a look at the Ryerson Library Open Access Educational Resources Guide.

Happy Open Education Resources Week March 7th-March 11th!

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What are Open Education Resources (OER)?

OERs are educational works created by other instructors like lectures, tests, syllabus, assignments, textbooks, journal articles, case studies etc. that the author decides they want to let other educators use freely in their teaching. OERs can be used and reused freely for educational purposes because the author has freely released the work to the public for that use – usually using one of the six types of a Creative Commons  licence. These licences allow different levels of use – some allow adaptation and even commercial use and some do not. All Creative Commons licences require citation. The best OER resources are governed by a principle of  “The 5 Rs”.

“The 5 Rs” – in order for a resource to qualify as an OER users should be able to

•   Reuse – use the content in a wide range of ways (e.g., in a class, in a study group, on a website, in a video)

•   Revise – adapt, adjust, modify, or alter the content itself (e.g., translate the content into another language)

•   Remix – combine the original or revised content with other open content to create something new (e.g., incorporate the content into a mashup)

•   Redistribute – share copies of the original content, your revisions, or your remixes with others (e.g., give a copy of the content to a friend)

•   Retain – make, own, and control copies of the content

(The 5rs  is based on original writing by David Wiley, which was published freely under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 license at: http://opencontent.org/blog/archives/3221.)

In Canada there are some leaders of Open Educational Resources paving the way to support instructors who want to use resources like these that are free of copyright restrictions. One of these is the BCcampusOpenED resource that hosts Open Access textbooks, including peer-reviewed Canadian editions, and has had adoptions of these textbooks by more than 26 Canadian institutions, saving students over a million dollars of textbooks cost to date. In Ontario eCampus Ontario hosts Open Access educational resources and guides you to other open materials. Ryerson University Open Learning has Open Access modules created by Ryerson instructors such as videos from The Naked Entrepreneur and a module Therapeutic Communication and Mental Health Assessment. Michelle Schwartz at The Learning and Teaching Office has created a great best practices resource for faculty and instructors who want to explore open access educational resources called The Open Access Classroom. Open Access Education resources are free for you to use and reuse and adapt to fit your teaching aims as long as you cite the source. Perhaps most importantly these resources are free of copyright restrictions and you can provide them to your students free of charge.

Celebrate Fair Dealing Week – Celebrate User’s Rights

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What would happen if everytime you wanted to use an image in an school assignment, instead of just crediting it – you had to write to the photographer for permission to use it? Or your instructor wanted to use that same image in a preszentation but they needed to wait to hear back from a publisher for permission before they could post it to D2L – and your test is Friday? What would happen if you wanted to photocopy a single chapter of a Library Reserve book to read at home – but first you needed the formal ok of the author? What about if you were working on a research assignment with a classmate and wanted to send a single article you scanned from a journal to them so they could read it too – but couldn’t because it would be considered copyright infringement. What if your professor could never upload anything ever for you to read to your class no matter if it is a just a few pages and important for your educational studies without it being against the law?
Luckily in Canada we have something called fair dealing, a copyright exception that gives you a user’s right to make and use short excepts of copyrighted materials for certain purposes such as education, private study, research and criticism and review – activities you do everyday as a student.  If that copyright exception – fair dealing – was not in Canadian laws and in the Copyright Act – that material would be unavailable for you to copy without a licence – which could limit your access to material that contain knowledge you need to learn. Much of what students and educators do on a daily basis would be really really hard without fair dealing.
Fair dealing is really important because it allows a freer flow of information to happen in an educational setting – it promotes learning and scholarship. Creator’s rights (an authors or publishers right to be compensated for the use of a work) is in balance with your right to use a short excerpt of a work without having to get the permission every time you use copyrighted material in your school work. So celebrate Fair Dealing – it is a user’s right that Canadians should use, not lose.

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Open Access Wall of Fame

Next time you visit the Library, please drop by our new Open Access Wall of Fame, located on the main floor of the Library, near the Research Help area.  The Wall of Fame provides us with an avenue to acknowledge and support Ryerson faculty who consider open access avenues when publishing their work. Open Access material is scholarly work that is made legally available with no restrictions so that anyone can access the full text.  RULA supports open access through our Digital Repository, an online space for collecting, preserving, and providing online access to research and teaching materials created by the Ryerson community.

Catherine MiddletonCatherine Middleton is a professor with the Ted Rogers School of Information Technology Management (TRSM), a current Canada Research Chair, and a consistent contributor to the Library’s Digital Repository, a space for collecting, preserving, and providing online access to research and teaching materials created by the Ryerson community. Upon her induction to the Open Access Wall of Fame, Professor Middleton made the following statement:  “Publishing work in open access venues like the RULA Digital Repository is crucial to make academic research accessible to broad and diverse audiences, including policy makers, students at all levels, and interested citizens.” Read more about Catherine here.

Portrait of Dr Harald BauderDr. Harald Bauder is the Academic Director of the Ryerson Centre for Immigration & Settlement and a Graduate Professor in Immigration & Settlement Studies and the Department of Geography. Dr. Bauder co-authored a report, “Toronto’s Little India: A Brief History“, which is available in RULA’s Digitial Repository.  This report has been viewed 11592 times, and downloaded 611 times, and is the most popular item in the repository.

E. Guacciardi (2)  Dr. Enza Gucciardi is an Associate Professor in the School of Nutrition and an Affiliate Scientist with the Toronto General Hospital Research Institute. She has written over a dozen publicly-accessible manuscripts on diabetes research, many of which are accessible in RULA’s Digital Repository.

Introducing Ryerson Library’s Open Access Wall of Fame

Ryerson Library is very proud to announce the inaugural inductees for the Library’s Open Access Wall of Fame!

The Wall of Fame honours researchers who have demonstrated a commitment to ensuring their research is open and available to all. Our aim is to acknowledge and support those who consider open access avenues when publishing their work. Open Access material is scholarly work that is made legally available with no restrictions so the anyone can access the full text.

This year’s inaugural inductees are Dr Harald Bauder and Dr Enza Gucciardi.

Portrait of Dr Harald BauderDr Bauder is the Academic Director of the Ryerson Centre for Immigration & Settlement and a graduate Professor in Immigration & Settlement Studies and the Department of Geography. Dr Bauder has been a long-time supporter of Open Access publishing, participating as both as writer and an editor. He was the editor of the journal ACME: An International e-Journal for Critical Geographies  for nearly a decade and also served as editor of the open-access book publisher Praxis (e)Press. Through Praxis (e)Press, Dr Bauder published the textbook Critical Geographies: A Collection of Readings with Salvatore Engel-di Mauro. In addition, as the inaugural Academic Director of the Ryerson Centre for Immigration and Settlement (RCIS), Dr Bauder founded and edited the open-access RCIS Discussion Paper Series and the RCIS Research Briefs. Other Open Access publication venues include Comparative Migration Studies, the CERIS Working Paper Series, and popular media, such as Open Democracy. For more information about Dr Bauder’s work, including links to his publications, please see his faculty page.

E. Guacciardi (2)Dr Gucciardi is an Associate Professor in the School of Nutrition and an Affiliate Scientist with the Toronto General Hospital Research Institute. She has written over a dozen publicly-accessible manuscripts on diabetes research. On the subject of open access, she writes:

I feel that everyone should have equitable access to publicly-funded research. Many libraries cannot purchase all of the journals available, particularly in less developed countries; thus, open access material helps to support research at all institutions worldwide. I also believe that publishing in open access journals will help attain a higher level of impact from greater numbers of citations. Ultimately, if all research is moved out from behind paywalls, our work can inspire broader collaboration, proliferate more research and potentially have greater benefits on society globally.

For more information about Dr Gucciardi’s work, including selected publications, please see her website.

Congratulations to Dr Bauder and Dr Gucciardi! Ryerson Library is honoured to have you as our first Open Access Wall of Fame inductees.

Celebrate Open Access Week with Ryerson Library!

International Open Access Week takes place October 19th to 25th, 2015! Open Access material is work that is made legally available on the public Internet with no restrictions so the anyone can access the full text. To celebrate this important cause, the Library is proud to host the following events.

1) The Internet’s Own Boy: The Story of Aaron Swartz

This documentary film will be streaming on Tuesday, October 20th between 10:00 AM and 5:00 PM in the SLC amphitheatre.  The film depicts the life of American computer programmer, writer, political organizer, Internet activist, and lifetime open access advocate, Aaron Swartz.

2) Free Webinar: Faculty Perspectives on Publishing Open Access

Anyone can register for this free webinar to watch it online, or you can drop by LIB489B on Tuesday, October 20th at 2:00 PM and join library staff for a group viewing.

Reports find that perceptions of open access publishing are changing for the better and that more and more faculty members are seeking out OA publications for maximum access and impact. However, other researchers continue to avoid it, and those who are early in their careers still aren’t sure how to fit it in their publishing priorities. In honor of Open Access Week, this one-hour webinar will feature three faculty members who will discuss why researchers do – or do not – publish in open access outlets and how they look to librarians for support in this process.

Alan Daly, Chair and Professor of the Department of Education Studies at the University of California, San Diego, will discuss how open access publishing is the best option for the individual researcher and the research community as a whole. Bruce Herbert, Professor of Geology and Director of the Office of Scholarly Communications at Texas A&M University, will discuss why researchers at his institution avoid open access outlets for publishing research and why subscription-based journals remain the best option for many. Shannon Audley-Piotrowski, Assistant Professor of Educational Psychology at Smith College, will discuss publishing priorities for early-career researchers.

3) Free Up Your Teaching: An Introduction to Open Access Material (LTO workshop)

Wednesday, October 21st 2015, 12:00pm – 2:00pm, POD 372

When combined with creative commons materials, public domain historical materials, and open access journals and books, the Fair Dealings Exception to the Copyright Act implies a greater amount of available content. Learn where to locate free textbooks and images to augment your PowerPoint slides.

Michelle Schwartz, LTO Research Associate, and Ann Ludbrook, Copyright Librarian, will offer tips, resources and information on library services available to reduce the work required to compile course readings. Dr. Nancy Walton, Director of e-Learning, will discuss practical application of open access materials to enhance your teaching.

Register for this workshop now.

Open Education Week March 9-13th, 2015

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This week is Open Education Week!

What is Open Education? It is an educational movement that is committed to producing teaching resources that can be used and then reused by other educators without formally seeking permission. In this model creators of educational content freely release their materials to the public. Other educators can then deliver the material freely to their students, as long as they attribute the original creator. These resources are most commonly made available under Creative Commons licences.  Many MOOCs, open courses, and regular classes now routinely use this kind of content, because there is no need to get copyright clearance and they can be publicly posted on the web.

Open textbooks, like open courses, are created by experts and then made freely available to the public. Projects like the BCCampus OpenEd textbook initiative and the OER Commons give instructors a way to find free-to-share material, and great resources like the Creative Commons search can help anyone find free to use images and music.

Ryerson University Library & Archives is hosting a few events this week to celebrate Open Education Week 2015.

Tips for Finding Free Music, Images, and More: Drop-In

Today 12-1 pm, March 9th, Student Learning Centre (SLC) Rm 515

Find free music & images and more to use in your projects – both commercial and school based. This is a drop-in session.


Is there a Free Textbook in Your Future?

12-1 pm, March 10th, 2015, Student Learning Centre (SLC) Rm 514

Can you imagine a world were some of the textbooks that are used to teach courses you take are free? Find out more about the Open Access Textbook movement.


The Affordable Classroom: Open Access Textbooks (LTO and the Library)

12-2pm March 12th, 2015 POD-372

Do you ever worry about the rising cost of textbooks for your students? Are you interested in hearing about possible alternatives to the traditional textbook model, like open access textbooks? In this workshop you will learn about new Canadian-lead open access textbook repositories, and other open access textbook resources that are freely available on the web to use in your teaching. If you are interested in building your own open access textbook to use in your classroom, this workshop will provide you with the necessary building blocks to get started.

Sign up here

Tri-Agency Open Access Policy Released

After some delay, the Tri-Agency Open Access Policy on Publications has been released. The policy requires that any peer-reviewed publication(s) arising from grants received from any of the three agencies (CIHR, NSERC, SSHRC) be made freely accessible within 12 months of publication. The new policy comes into force for any grants awarded after May 1st, 2015. It’s worth noting that CIHR has had an open access policy since 2008.

Researchers funded by any of these three agencies are required to either:

1) Publish in a journal that allows immediate open access or one that permits open access within 12 months of initial publication; and/or

2) Deposit the final, peer-reviewed author version of your article in an online open access repository, such as RULA’s Digital Repository.

It is important to note that option 2 does not require any payments to publishers, but option 1 might incur an open access article processing fee.

The Ryerson Library maintains deposit accounts, to cover open access charges, with PLoS, Biomed Central, and Hindawi. In addition, we accept applications for funding from other journals, subject to criteria outlined in our Open Access Author Fund policy page.