Friday, April 21, 2017

The Open Scholarship Initiative 2017: Meeting report #OSI2017

The Open Scholarship Initiative 2017: Meeting report

I attended, along with Smithsonian Libraries' Director Nancy E. Gwinn, the 2017 Open Scholarship Initiative (OSI) meeting held at George Washington University, 19-21 April 2017. I also attended last year's meeting, held at George Mason University, which also attended by Nancy Gwinn and Mary Augusta Thomas.

The OSI is:
an ambitious, global effort to establish high level dialogue and cooperation on these issues. OSI is manged by the National Science Communication Institute (nSCI) in long-term partnership with UNESCO (the United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization). OSI brings together a diverse and high-level group of scholarly publishing decision makers from around the globe into a series of annual meetings that are thoughtfully designed and constructed so these leaders can personally share their ideas and perspectives and look for common ground and actionable solutions. Ideas generated at each meeting are refined throughout the year through a broadening circle of delegate voices, and can be formalized into decisions at annual meetings over the next 10 years, with the goal of ensuring that solutions are workable and widely adopted, and that new and remaining issues are continually reviewed and agreed-to solutions are fine-tuned.
Following on the work of last year's meeting, the main goal for OSI2017 is:
to lay the groundwork for making progress as a broad community on the workgroup issues and topics. OSI2017 groups (not just workgroups but also stakeholder and leadership groups) will also rough out specific solutions and frameworks, and the full group will debate broad issues affecting OSI and the full community.
The meeting opened with welcomes from Bhanu Neupane (Program Manager, UNESCO) and Geneva Henry (Dean of Libraries and Academic Innovation, George Washington University). This was followed by a talk by Internet pioneer (and current Google Vice President) Vint Cerf. Cerf gave a great and concise talk that keyed directly into the topic of Open Scholarship. Focusing on incentive and behavior, his take away quote was:
Whenever you see behavior you don't like, you need to understand the incentives behind the and change those incentives.
The rest of day one was focused on workgroup meetings. I participated in the workgroup, "Standards, Norms, and Best Practices" and the stakeholder group, "Scholarly libraries & groups". The charge of the work group was:

Standards, Norms, and Best Practices
What standards, norms, best practices, exit strategies, and incentive systems does the world of scholarly communications need? What is the future ideal? What will it take (including studies or pilots) to develop a better understanding of how the scholarly communication system works now? This workgroup will also necessarily touch on norms and definitions, so will include discussions as warranted about open and impact spectrums as covered in OSI2016.

This work group was an outgrowth of the "What is Open?" group that I participated in at OSI2016 (See Report from the "What Is Open?" Workgroup). Building on the D.A.R.T. framework (discoverable, accessible, reusable, transparent) as dimensions of "open", the group developed a matrix that outlined different stakeholders (funders, researchers, universities, libraries, societies, and publishers) and dimensions (Idea Generation, Knowledge Creation, Interpretation and Analysis, Dissemination, and Evaluation) and used this as a method of outlining where we are as well as facilitating a gap analysis.

The Scholarly libraries & groups stakeholder meeting focused on ways in which scholarly libraries (and related groups) have collaborated in the past and ways in which they can collaborate in the future.

Day two continued the work of the workgroups and stakeholder sessions and concluded with reports from the work groups. The final half day continued the work group and stakeholder reports. There was an opportunity for a series of "fast pitch" talks where participants could describe an ongoing or planned project to create awareness or seek support or participation.

The meeting concluded with final thoughts by Keith Yamamoto (Vice Chancellor for Science Policy and Strategy at UC San Francisco). Yamamoto gave a summary of his thoughts about where OSI has been, what was accomplished at this meeting and what the ambitions for the group going forward can be.

In conclusion, Yamamoto noted of OSI, there are:

  • Great challenges
  • Awesome conceptual ambitions
  • Undefined output aspirations


Tuesday, April 04, 2017

Some quotes from Homage to Catalonia by George Orwell on the Café Moka #Barcelona

Some quotes from Homage to Catalonia by George Orwell on the Café Moka


George Orwell, in Homage to Catalonia (1938), references the Café Moka in many spots located next to the then POUM headquarters, the cafe is still there on La Rambla, but heavily (some say brutally) modernized.

For more history of Orwell in Barcelona, see "George Orwell's Barcelona" by Nigel Richardson. The Telegraph (21 April 2013)



* * * * * 

Next door to the POUM building there was a café with an hotel above it, called the Café Moka. The day before twenty or thirty armed Assault Guards had entered the café and then, when the fighting started, had suddenly seized the building and barricaded themselves in. Presumably they had been ordered to seize the café as a preliminary to attacking the POUM offices later. p.114

The pavement was covered with broken glass from the sign over the Café Moka, and two cars that were parked outside, one of them Kopp’s official car, had been riddled with bullets and their windscreens smashed by bursting bombs. pp. 115-16

The domes commanded the street, and a few men posted up there with rifles could prevent any attack on the POUM buildings. The caretakers at the cinema were CNT members and would let us come and go. As for the Assault Guards in the Café Moka, there would be no trouble with them; they did not want to fight and would be only too glad to live and let live. p. 116

Up at our end of the Ramblas, round the Plaza de Cataluña, the position was so complicated that it would have been quite unintelligible if every building had not flown a party flag. The principal landmark here was the Hotel Colón, the headquarters of the PSUC, dominating the Plaza de Cataluña. In a window near the last O but one in the huge ‘Hotel Colón’ that sprawled across its face they had a machine-gun that could sweep the square with deadly effect. pp.117-18

In our position it was strangely peaceful. The Assault Guards in the Café Moka had drawn down the steel curtains and piled up the café furniture to make a barricade. Later half a dozen of them came onto the roof, opposite to ourselves, and built another barricade of mattresses, over which they hung a Catalan national flag. But it was obvious that they had no wish to start a fight. Kopp had made a definite agreement with them: if they did not fire at us we would not fire at them. He had grown quite friendly with the Assault Guards by this time, and had been to visit them several times in the Café Moka. Naturally they had looted everything drinkable the café possessed, and they made Kopp a present of fifteen bottles of beer. p.118

Our only chance was to attack them first. Kopp was waiting for orders on the telephone; if we heard definitely that the POUM was outlawed we must make preparations at once to seize the Café Moka. p.124

About a dozen men, mostly Germans, had volunteered for the attack on the Café Moka, if it came off. We should attack from the roof, of course, some time in the small hours, and take them by surprise; they were more numerous, but our morale was better, and no doubt we could storm the place, though people were bound to be killed in doing so. p.125

My wife had come down from the hotel in case a nurse should be needed. I lay down on the sofa, feeling that I would like half an hour’s rest before the attack on the ‘Moka’, in which I should presumably be killed. I remember the intolerable discomfort caused by my pistol, which was strapped to my belt and sticking into the small of my back. p.125

The Assault Guards were still behind their barricades in the ‘Moka’; on neither side were the fortified buildings evacuated. Everyone was rushing round and trying to buy food. And on every side you heard the same anxious questions: ‘Do you think it’s stopped? Do you think it’s going to start again?’ ‘It’—the fighting—was now thought of as some kind of natural calamity, like a hurricane or an earthquake, which was happening to us all alike and which we had no power of stopping. And sure enough, almost immediately—I suppose there must really have been several hours’ truce, but they seemed more like minutes than hours—a sudden crash of rifle-fire, like a June cloud-burst, sent everyone scurrying; the steel shutters snapped into place, the streets emptied like magic, the barricades were manned, and ‘it’ had started again. p.126

The Assault Guards were still holding the Café Moka and had not taken down their barricades, but some of them brought chairs out and sat on the pavement with their rifles across their knees. I winked at one of them as I went past and got a not unfriendly grin; he recognized me, of course. p.129

out. It was easy enough to dodge the Valencian Assault Guard patrols; the danger was the local Assault Guards in the ‘Moka’, who were well aware that we had rifles in the observatory and might give the show away if they saw us carrying them across. p.130

Thursday, March 16, 2017

A Vast Library of Life ... a program at the National Library, Singapore #BHLib

BHL was invited (with Grace Costantino) to give a program at the National Library in Singapore to a broad, local audience. My portion of the program is:

A Vast Library of Life: The Biodiversity Heritage Library. Martin R. Kalfatovic. National Library Board of Singapore. 17 March 2017.

Understanding life on our planet is now more important than ever. The millions of species that we share our Earth with, how they live, their relationships to other species and the environment, and how our mutual life on our planet is more critical than ever. The scientific data collected for hundreds of years is now freely available from Biodiversity Heritage Library (BHL). Singapore is a key partner in this global endeavor anchoring the BHL's data from Southeast Asia. Martin R. Kalfatovic and Grace Constantino from the Biodiversity Heritage Library will discuss the importance of over 300 years of scientific publications about our fellow inhabitants of Planet Earth and how the Biodiversity Heritage Library, a free, global, and open collection of the most important research about life on earth, provides citizens of the world with access to the most authoritative literature available.

2017 BHL Program Director's Report at the #BHLib annual meeting, Singapore

2017 BHL Program Director's Report: 11 Years of Growth and Sustainability. Martin R. Kalfatovic. BHL Annual Meeting. BHL Members' Business Meeting. National Library Board of Singapore. 17 March 2017.


Some more visits to Hindu Temples in Singapore (2017)

On my visit to Singapore this month, I landed early in the morning and my room wasn't ready. I did a quick change, dropped my bags and headed over to Little India to visit some temples.

Here's a quick overview (further below) and links to visits from 2014.

Sri Krishnan Temple (more info)

This was my first stop, and just across from the hotel (not in Little India), also a temple I'd never visited  before




Sri Veeramakaliamman Temple (more info)

Now we're in Little India. One of the oldest Hindu temples in Singapore, it's devoted to Kali. Some wonderful blue tile work. This temple was under renovation on my last visit, so great to see the Gopura (tower in the front) out from under scaffolding and wraps.




Sri Vadapathira Kaliamman Temple (more info)

Another temple devoted to Kali. Full of fabulous art work. It was a festival day and quite crowded on this visit.





Sri Srinivasa Perumal Temple (more info)





Shree Lakshminarayan Temple (more info)





Sri Layan Sithi Vinayagar Temple (more info)

Sadly, this, my "local" temple during my last visit, was all locked up. And didn't get a picture!


Sri Mariamman Temple (more info)

Quick stop in before heading back to the hotel.