On this episode of Open Views I'm joined by Dr. Matthew Cockerill from BioMedCentral, a commercial Open Access publisher. BioMedCentral has a portfolio of 182 journals, a combination of both general titles such as the Journal of Biology, and much more specialized such as Malaria Journal and Biomedcentral Bioinformatics. All the research published by BioMed Central's journals is open access, but BioMed Central also provides access to various additional products and services that require a subscription. BioMed Central also operates Open Repository, a hosted digital repository solution for institutions.
Matthew Cockerill started off as Biomedcentral's first employee, back in 1999, and has since served in several roles: technical director, operations director, and now Publisher, which is essentially like the managing director. He agreed to a conversation to talk about his work at BiomedCentral, and also the relevance of the Open Access model in an interconnected world.
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The Synaptic Leap is a project started by Ginger Taylor aiming to create enabling systems to make open source, collaborative development straightforward for biomedical researchers. The project bills itself as "Open Biomedical Research", and this is the topic of this week's show.
This week on Open Views I'm joined by Dr. Matthew Todd, lecturer in organic chemistry at the University of Sydney in Australia. Dr. Todd's work in drug discovery for tropical diseases such as schistosomiasis is internationally recognized. He is also a proponent of the use of the Free/Open Source model for doing biomedical research in areas such as tropical diseases and biochemistry.
Dr. Matthew Todd is currently a research advisor at The Synaptic Leap, and we'll be talking about what Open Source in bio-medicine really means, how it is implemented, and what the impact of the Free/Open model is in biomedical research.
My guest this week on Open Views is Joichi Ito, Chairman of Creative Commons and Chairman of Six Apart Japan.
Joi has received much recognition for his role as an entrepreneur focused on Internet and technology companies and has founded PSINet Japan, Digital Garage and Infoseek Japan, and provided the initial venture capital (through his venture firm Neoteny Corp.) to Six Apart, the company that created Movable Type, Typepad and now owns LiveJournal.
He is on the board of Technorati, Digital Garage, WITNESS, Pia Corporation, Socialtext and iCommons. In October of 2004, he was named to the board of ICANN for a three-year term starting December 2004. In August of 2005, he joined the board of the Mozilla Foundation. He also served on the board of the Open Source Initiative (OSI) from March 2005 until April 2007.
As this all makes clear, Joi Ito is a serial entreprenuer and also a prolific Free Culture activist. He joins me on Open Views to talk about his work with Free Culture both in a global and Japanese context.
The Free Software Foundation (FSF), started by Richard Stallman, is an advocacy organization promoting computer users' rights to use, study, copy, modify, and redistribute
computer programs. These rights are part of what the FSF considers as the freedoms for users of computer software:
John Sullivan is the Campaigns Manager at the FSF, and has been involved with the BadVista, PlayOgg and Defective by Design educational campaigns, aimed at shedding light on the restrictions imposed on consumers of technology.
Heather Ford is a South African who has worked in the fields of Internet policy, law and management in South Africa, the United Kingdom and the United States. She is the Executive Director of iCommons, a UK private charitable corporation.
Incubated by Creative Commons,
iCommons is an organisation with a broad vision to develop a united
global commons front by collaborating with open education, access to
knowledge, free software, open access publishing and free culture communities around the world.
Professor Peter Suber joins me this week on Open Views for an in-depth look at some of the historical background for Open Access, the current state of OA around the world, and the challenges posed by traditional publishing companies.
He is also Senior Researcher at The Scholarly Publication and Academic Research Coalition (SPARC), and Research Professor of Philosophy in the Department of Philosophy at Earlham College in Richmond Indiana.
Suber was the principal drafter of the Budapest Open Access Initiative, and sits on the Steering Committee of the Scientific Information Working Group of the U.N. World Summit on the Information Society, the Advisory Board of American Library Association Information Commons, and the Board of Governors of the International Consortium for the Advancement of Academic Publishing.
He has been active in promoting open access for many years through his research, writing, speaking, and other forms of advocacy.
See also: Richard Poynder's recent interview with Prof. Suber, and Suber's Open Access Newsletter
The Information Program supports four initiatives which enable access to knowledge in poorer countries: a project on the reform of intellectual property; the eIFL library consortium; the Open Access Initiative, and an East-East translation program.
Vera Franz talked to me about the detailed problem with the current intellectual property/policy regimes around the world and the OSI's strategy for combatting the issues. Her experience monitoring and working with trade organizations such as the WTO and WIPO provides perspective on how the people drafting these regulations and policies deal with Open Source, Free Culture and transparent processes in general.
The Sunlight Foundation was founded in January 2006 with the goal of using the power of the Internet and new information technology to enable citizens to learn more about what Congress and their elected representatives are doing.
In 2002, Sunil Abraham was elected as a Fellow of Ashoka.org, an international organization whose mission is to promote positive social change by investing in social entreperneurs with innovative solutions that are sustainable and replicable.
Mahiti is the for-profit company that Sunil founded in 1998, in order to create simple, effective, and affordable solutions for non-profit and volunteer organizations, so that they could do their work better.
Sunil's work as an activist using free/open-source tools, his projects with organizations such as the Open Society Institute, the International Open Source Network, AsiaSource, and his presentations to a long list of both private, and public orgnizations have made him both an important and admired member of the larger Free and Open Source worlds. In addition to this non-profit he is also a successful social entrepreneur, as the Ashoka.org fellowship recognizes.
Ethan Zuckerman joins me again on this week's Open Views, to talk about his current venture, Global Voices. The project is a citizen journalism initiative aimed at providing visibility into the global blogosphere. The project is not just a blog, and it's not a repository for journalists. Instead the objective is to bring out the voices in the global community and get a sense of what issues are being discussed around the world.
Ethan Zuckerman was a guest on Open Views a few months back, as founder of GeekCorps. Since his departure from GeekCorps he has become a fellow at the Berman Center for Internet and Society, at Harvard Law School, which is where he co-founded Global Voices.
Ronaldo Lemos is the director of the Center for Technology & Society (CTS) at the Fundacao Getulio Vargas (FGV) Law School in Rio de Janeiro, and Project Lead for Creative Commons in Brazil.
Ronaldo Lemos was professor of Sociology of Law at the University of Sao Paulo Law School and at the Brazilian Society for Public Law (SBDP). Professor Lemos is the author of several articles published in Brazil and abroad, and of two books, Comercio Eletronico (2001) and Conflitos sobre Nomes de Dominio e Outras Questes Juridicas da Internet (2003). He earned a J.D. from the University of Sao Paulo Law School, a Master of Laws degree from Harvard Law School, and a Doctor of Laws degree from the University of Sao Paulo.
Professor Lemos coordinates the Intellectual Property area at the FGV Law School in Rio de Janeiro. He works with the Brazilian Federal Government in the implementation of its Free Software program, and with the Ministry of Culture in the implementation of its digital culture policy. He is one of the four members appointed by the Ministry of Justice to its electronic commerce commission.
Dean Jansen is part of the Special Projects team at the Participatory Culture Foundation. The PCF is the non-profit organization which creates the Democracy Internet TV Platform, soon to be named Miro.
DemocracyPlayer aims to change the way mass-media works, by giving control of Internet TV back to the public. You can control how you download, re-mix, and distribute different video channels. In essence DemocracyPlayer lowers the bar for anyone to create their own online TV channel.
Doc Searls is one of the co-authors of the Cluetrain Manifesto: The End of Business as we know it , and Senior Editor of Linux Journal.
In August, 2005, Doc recieved the fist annual Google O'Reilly Open Source Award for Best Communicator.
In 2006, Doc was named a Visiting Scholar at the Center for Information Technology and Society at the University of California, Santa Barbara, and a Fellow with the Berkman Center for Internet and Society at Harvard University.
Dr. David Lipman is currently the Director of the National Center for Biotechnology Information (NCBI), which is a division of the National Library of Medicine within the National Institutes of Health . NCBI was created by Congress in 1988 to do basic research in computational biology, and to develop computational tools, databases and information systems for molecular biology.
After medical training, Dr. Lipman joined the Mathematical Research Branch of the National Institute of Diabetes, Digestive, and Kidney Diseases (NIDDK) as a Research Fellow. In his research on computational tools, he developed the most widely used methods for searching biological sequence databases. There are thousands of citations to Dr. Lipman’s methods in papers which have used them to discover biological functions for unknown sequences and which have thereby advanced the understanding of the molecular basis of human disease.
My guest this week goes by the pseudonym CameraGirl. She is the lead technical coordinator for Burning Man , and is in charge of getting all the Information Technology pieces working in the desert location that Burning Man manifests itself in.
CameraGirl, aka Heather Gallagher, gave me some insights into what makes Burning Man happen, and where the open and transparent models of the free culture world intersect with the societal exprimentation and performance art that the event is about.
Music this week by Aor Agni
Lawrence Liang's work in the area of intellectual property, and specifically his position against concepts like intellectual property are what interested me in interviewing with him. He has been working towards mapping the ideas of Open Source into the cultural domain.
Lawrence authored "The Guide to Open Content Licenses ", a handbook of different Open licenses and their applicability.
Music this week by Ben Othman
Wendy Seltzer founded and leads the Chilling Effects clearinghouse, a project to study and combat the ungrounded legal threats that chill activity on the Internet. She also helped start and now leads
the Openlaw project, an experiment bringing
the methods of open source and Free Software development to legal
argument in the public interest.
Ms. Seltzer is currently visiting assistant professor at Brooklyn Law School, where she will be teaching Internet Law and Privacy. She was previously a staff attorney with the Electronic Frontier Foundation, focused on intellectual property and free speech issues. She is also a fellow at the Berkman Center for Internet and Society at Harvard Law School.
Richard Baraniuk is the Victor E. Cameron Professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering at Rice University. In 1999 he launched the Connexions project, a non-profit start-up that is aiming to bring the idea of "Rip, Mix, Burn" into the academic world. Connexions is a way for authors, educators, and learners worldwide to collaborate on all kinds of educational materials.
Richard vision is to revolutionize how we interact with textbooks, to make them more interesting, more current, and more relevant to individual academic curricula and institutions. The music world has benefited greatly by the ability to rip tracks, remix them into a different lineup, and customize tracks by our musical tastes. This is what Connexions will do for textbooks - create custom educational material to fit the learning/teaching styles of every user.
Other talks by Rchard Baraniuk:
(This recording is also available from archive.org: http://www.archive.org/details/OpenViewsCoryDoctorow)
Cory Doctorow is currently a mostly full-time, award-winning science fiction author. His novels are all released under Creative-Commons licenses, and can be downloaded directly from his website at Craphound.com. Cory won the John W. Campbell Award for best new writer for 2000, the Locus Award for Best First Novel for Down and Out in the Magic Kingdom in 2003, and in 2004 he won the Sunburst award for best Canadian Science Fiction Book for his short story collection, A Place So Foreign and Eight More.
Peer-to-Peer (or P2P) is most often thought of in terms of the file-sharing computer networks that have been vilified by the recording and movie industry associations, for allegedly permitting (if not encouraging) rampant digital content "piracy". But Michel takes the concept of peer networks, to the realm of society. We're creating a new world, where peer production is taking on traditional societal models. The most obvious example is Wikipedia - an encyclopedia designed to be created by collaborators, and gaining sufficient momentum (and arguable credibility) to take on the likes of
Brittanica. The success of the Wikipedia project could be attributed to peer production - basically global collaboration amongst a like-minded group.
Melissa Hagemann, my guest today on Open Views, is the program manager for the Information Program at the OSI. Melissa was profiled as a Scholarly Publishing and Academic Resources Coalition (SPARC) Innovator in December 2006 for her work promoting and facilitating Open Access.
Melissa could well be given the credit for the sucess of the Open Access movement. Considering the initiative is just over 5 years old, it's impressive that organizations as large as the National Institutes of Health
have mandated are considering instituting that all the reseach they fund be released under an Open Access model and deposited into PubMed Central, the online digital library maintained by the NIH. Essentially this makes all NIH funded peer-reviewed articles completely freely available to anyone who wants it.
After I spoke with Wayan Vota, currently Director of IESC-GeekCorps, about the work of Geekcorps in Mali. I wanted to get some more insights into why Geekcorps came into existence, from the person who founded the organization. But more importantly, I wanted to find out what has been learned from the collaborative model, global volunteerism, and the experiences working in Africa towards a better
Ethan talked to me for almost 90 minutes, about his GeekCorps experiences, his work with the Berkman Center, and his ongoing work as a global activist. This is the abbreviated 45 minute version of the interview. The longer version is available by request.
On this show I've spoken to editors from the Public Library of Science - Mark Patterson and Virginia Barbour - and to the Executive Director of Science Commons, John Wilbanks. They are all involved with the production and distribution portion of the Open Acces equation. What happens on the other side? How does Open Access affect an institution in the developing world, and does the model really have the promised benefits?
Are the problems stated by the Open Access movement "real", or just marketing?
To answer these questions, and to get a clear perspective from the end-user-side of Open Access, I spoke with Jennifer Papin-Ramcharan. Jennifer is the Engineering and Physical Sciences Librarian at the University of the West Indies, in Trinidad and Tobago. Jennifer agreed to talk to me about her experiences with Open Access.
John Wilbanks is currently the Executive Director of Science Commons
Kembrew McLeod is author of the Oboler Award winning book Freedom of Expression, and the documentary films Copyright Criminals and Money for Nothing.
Kembrew is currently Associate Professor at University of Iowa, in the Department of Communication Studies.
This audio file is released under a Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial 2.5 license. If you find it useful or interesting, please consider donating a few bucks to this station (KRUU).
Wayan Vota is director of IESC-Geekcorps.
Geekcorps pairs skilled volunteers from US and European high tech companies with businesses in emerging nations for one to four month volunteer tours, although many volunteers have extended their stays for much longer. Volunteers have served in 14 nations including Ghana, Senegal, Mali, Vietnam and Morocco, and have completed over a hundred projects. Geekcorps became a division of the International Executive Service Corps in 2001. The group is now officially known as the IESC-GeekCorps, and is located online at geekcorps.org
Richard Poynder is a feelance journalist, with contributions in the Financial Times, Information Today, Information World Review, and a regular blogger on his Open and Shut blog. In 2003 Richard Poynder had the idea to write a book about the open source and free culture movements - focusing on the people behind the movements.
The interviews that Richard has compiled thus far include Michael Hart, founder of Project Gutenberg, Richard Stallman, founder of the Free Software Foundation, Eric Raymond, founder of the Open Source Institute, Lawrence Lessig, creator of the Creative Commons license and the person who created the "free culture" monicker, Richard Jefferson, creator of the Biological Open Source License, and others.
The full text of his interviews and biographies can be found from his Open and Shut blog.
Richard agreed to speak with me about the free culture world and what he found to be interesting about the open source movements.