Thursday, June 12, 2014

Resources of interest for January 2015 class

For the benefit of students already considering their options for next year, this is a post where I'll post some resources that come up that might be interesting to think about for the 2015 class.

June 2014

Bravo to India for setting a new world standard for open access policy

Open Data Burkina
Bouchout Declaration on Open Biodiversity Knowledge Management 

OpenFDA (U.S. Food and Drug Administration)

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Tim Berners-Lee calls for Internet Bill of Rights

This is great timing, as it flows directly from our conversation last night! According to CBC News, World Wide Web inventor Tim Berners-Lee is calling for an Internet Bill of Rights.


CBC News (2014). Web founder Tim Berners-Lee calls for internet bill of rights. Retrieved March 12, 2014 from

Thanks to Albert Lessiwe for the alert.

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

U.S. open access policy lobbying latest: the FIRST Act

This may be relevant to students working in the area of open access policy. Thanks to the Scholarly Publishing and Academic Resources Coalition for the alert!

Full text of the message sent to the SPARC Open Access Forum:

Late yesterday in the U.S. Congress, Representatives Bucshon (R-IN) and Smith (R-TX) introduced H.R. 4186, the "Frontiers in Innovation, Research, Science and Technology (FIRST) Act." Section 303 of this bill includes language that would severely undercut the implementation of strong public access policies for both articles and data in the United States and set a damaging precedent.

ACT NOW: Send a letter to members of the House Science Committee using our legislative action platform (for US-based supporters)

Specifically, Section 303 would:

 - Establish a minimum allowed embargo period of 24 months and allow its further extension up to 36 months;

 - Sanction simply linking to full text of articles on publishers' websites, without ensuring that federal agencies retain a copy of the text of the articles reporting on their funded research; and,

 - Delay implementation of public access policies by a minimum of an additional 18 months by requiring federal agencies to repeat the planning process required by the White House Directive on Public Access.

We cannot allow Section 303 to become law and double—or even triple—the delay imposed on those who need access to cutting-edge research through federal public access policies.  If you live in the United States, please help in this effort by sending a letter to members of the House Science, Space and Technology Committee urging them to oppose Section 303.  Legislators must hear from Americans across the U.S. who support Open Access that this legislation will be damaging to universities, scholars and researchers, students, entrepreneurs, and the general public.

Click here to send a letter to members of the House Science Committee using our legislative action platform

Thank you for your support.  You can visit our informational page on Section 303 of the FIRST Act on the SPARC website for details on the bill and bookmark it for the latest updates as this concerning legislation is debated in the U.S. Congress.

Nick Shockey
On behalf of the SPARC team

For more details see:

Sunday, March 9, 2014

Two creative ideas to address tough poverty issues

The mind unleashed (2014). Swiss To Pay Basic Income 2,500 Francs Per Month To Every Adult. Retrieved March 9, 2014 from
Shank, J. (2014). Utah is on track to end homeless by 2014 with this one simple idea. NationSwell. Retrieved March 9, 2014 from
(The simple idea: end homelessness by giving every homeless person an apartment, no strings attached.

Canada's information management priorities by department

Thanks to the CLA government information network for pulling out this list of Canadian government information management priorities for 2014-15 by department

Sunday, March 2, 2014

DiverCiné: film fest coming up

Possibly of interest - the DiverCiné film festival: World Cinema from La Francophonie, March 7 - 16 at the Bytown Cinema. Films from Morocco, Senegal, Tunisia, Haiti, Canada, Romania, Belgium, France, Cambodia and Switzerland.

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Federal court (Canada) pushes back against copyright trolling

Article in Slaw

Thanks to CLA twitter feed.

École des Donneés / School of Data

Possibly of interest:

School of Data est un projet de l’Open Knowledge Foundation lancé en mai 2012 qui a pour but de donner plus de pouvoir à la société civile en enseignant les compétences nécessaires pour réutiliser des données.
- See more at:
School of Data est un projet de l’Open Knowledge Foundation lancé en mai 2012 qui a pour but de donner plus de pouvoir à la société civile en enseignant les compétences nécessaires pour réutiliser des données.
- See more at:
School of Data est un projet de l’Open Knowledge Foundation lancé en mai 2012 qui a pour but de donner plus de pouvoir à la société civile en enseignant les compétences nécessaires pour réutiliser des données. - See more at:
School of Data est un projet de l’Open Knowledge Foundation lancé en mai 2012 qui a pour but de donner plus de pouvoir à la société civile en enseignant les compétences nécessaires pour réutiliser des données. - See more at:
School of Data est un projet de l’Open Knowledge Foundation lancé en mai 2012 qui a pour but de donner plus de pouvoir à la société civile en enseignant les compétences nécessaires pour réutiliser des données. - See more at:
School of Data est un projet de l’Open Knowledge Foundation lancé en mai 2012 qui a pour but de donner plus de pouvoir à la société civile en enseignant les compétences nécessaires pour réutiliser des données. - See more at:

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

The day we fight back against mass surveillance

The internet fight back against mass surveillance is the major global communication and information policy news item for today, Feb. 11, 2014.

Tuesday, February 4, 2014

EU copyright consultation: comments due Feb. 5

There's still time to participate in the EU copyright consultation! If you're looking for ideas on how to respond, note that several students in ISI 5162 have granted permission to post their responses or suggestions on how to respond.

Lisa Shaver

Matthew Tosaj

Amy-Anne Touzin

If you'd like to participate, Maira Sutton's page on the Electronic Frontier Foundation page is a good starting point for the links and tips about how to respond:

Readings from Syllabus (for easier clicking)

I've noticed that the URLs in the PDF don't always work so have posted the readings list below ~

Michael A. Carrier, SOPA, PIPA, ACTA, TPP: An Alphabet Soup of Innovation-Stifling Copyright Legislation and Agreements, 11 Nw. J. Tech. & Intell. Prop. 21 (2013).

Castells, Manuel (2004). Informationalism, networks, and the network society: a theoretical blueprint. In Castells, Manuel (ed.), The network society, a cross-cultural perspective (pp. 3-45). Northampton, Edward Elgar. Pre-publication version available at:
DeNardis, Laura (2012). Hidden levers of internet control. Information, communication & society 15(5): 720-738.
Feenberg, Andrew (1992). Subversive rationalization: technology, power and democracy. Inquiry 35: 301-22.
First Nation Public Library Strategic Liaison Community (2004). Our way forward. Strategic Plan: First Nations Public Libraries.
Gleeson, Deborah, Lopert, Ruth and Reid, Papparangi (2013). How the Trans Pacific Partnership Agreement could undermine PHARMAC and threaten access to affordable medicines and health equity in New Zealand. Health Policy 112:3, 227-233.
Hess, C. and Ostrom, E. (2007). Introduction: an overview of the knowledge commons. In: Understanding knowledge as a commons: from theory to practice, p. 4 – 26, eds. Hess & Ostrom. Cambridge: MIT press.
International Federation of Library Associations (2010). IFLA World Report 2010: Analysis and Conclusions. (53 pages) (to skim)
International Association of Scientific, Technical and Medical Publishers (STM) (nd). About the association
International Coalition of Library Consortia (ICOLC) (2010). Revised statement on the global economic crisis and its impact on consortial licenses.
Lessig, Lawrence (2006). Code. Version 2. New York: Basic Books. (chapter 7, What things regulate, Pp. 120-137).
Lexchin, Joel (2013). Canada and access to medicines in developing countries: putting intellectual property first. Globalization and health 9:42
Mansell, Robin & Tremblay, Gäetan (2013). Renewing the knowledge societies vision for peace and sustainable development. Paris: UNESCO. Pp. vii-44

McClure, Charles R. (1996). Information policy: libraries and federal information policy. The Journal of Academic Librarianship, 1996, Vol.22(3), pp.214-218

Mueller, Milton, Mathiason, John R., McKnight, Lee (2004). Making sense of internet governance: defining principles and norms in a policy context, v 2.0. Internet Governance Project: Syracuse University, Convergence Centre. 26 April.
Rowlands, I. (1996). Understanding information policy: Concepts, frameworks, and research tools. Journal of Information Science 22:1, 13-25.
Stiglitz, J. (2006). Scrooge and intellectual property rights: a medical prize could improve the financing of drug innovations. BMJ British Medical Journal 333:7582 p. 1279
United Nations (1948). The universal declaration of human rights.
World Economic Forum (2013). Outlook on the Global Agenda 2014. (49 pages - lots of pictures)
World Economic Forum (n.d.). Human capital
Zhao, Yuezhi (2004). Between a world summit and a Chinese movie: visions of the ‘information society’.

Abbate, Janet (1999). Inventing the internet. MIT Press. Available online via uOttawa library.
BBC News (2012). US and UK refuse to sign UN’s communication treaty. 14 December.
Canadian Library Association. Feliciter. December 2013 issue: international libraries.
DeNardis, Laura (2010). The emerging field of internet governance. Yale Information Society Project Working Paper Series. (17 September). Available at SSRN:
Directory of Open Access Journals. Subject: Library and Information Science. 146 journals.
E-LIS. The open archive for library and information studies

Fitoussi, Jean-Paul, Stiglitz, Joseph (2013). On the measurement of social progress and wellbeing: some further thoughts. Global Policy 4:3 290-203 September 2013.

International Development Research Centre (IDRC). Publications
International Federation of Library Associations (IFLA). Publications Series.
Jackson, Steve, Edwards, Paul, Bowker, Geoffrey and Knobel, Cory (2007). Understanding infrastructure: history, heuristics, and cyberinfrastructure policy. First Monday 12:6:
Kurbalija, Jovan. 2010. Introduction to internet governance. Geneva: DiploFoundation, pp. 1-31.
Mueller, Milton (2007). The politics and issues of internet governance. Institute for Debate and Research on Governance. Paris.
Mueller, Milton (2012). ITU phobia: why WCIT was derailed. Internet Governance Project (IGP) Blog. 18 December.
Pinch, Trevor J. & Bijker, Wiebe E. (1984). The social construction of facts and artefacts, or how the sociology of science and the sociology of technology might benefit each other. Social Studies of Science 14:3 (August 1984): 399-441.
Star, Susan Leigh (1999). The ethnography of infrastructure. American Behavioral Scientist 43:3: 377-391.
Winner, Langdon (1980). Do artifacts have politics? Daedalus 109:1: 121-136.

e-lis: case study example

I have posted a sample case study of E-LIS on my blog, The Imaginary Journal of Poetic Economics. The text follows along with a sample of the comments I'd write if a student submitted this work and the mark I'd assign (a B-).

e-lis: e-prints in library and information science
A case study example for ISI 5162, Global Communication and Information Policy Winter 2014
Heather Morrison

E-LIS is the open access archive for library and information science (LIS). My perspective, as an open access advocate, former member of the E-LIS editorial and governance teams and current passionate supporter of this initiative, is that E-LIS is an excellent illustration of good practices in open access, library and information science, and global collaboration in action. E-LIS provides a venue for LIS authors and journals to meet open access requirement policies that are increasingly common among research funders and universities. On the flip side, services like E-LIS, by providing this venue, make it easier for decision-makers (journals, publishers, research funders and universities) to develop open access policies, by removing one of the potential objections (i.e. no venue).
Open access literature, according to Suber (n.d.), is “digital, online, free of charge, and free of most copyright and licensing restrictions”. Open access was defined in 2002 at three major international meetings, held at Budapest, Berlin and Bethesda; the resulting definition is called the BBB definition of open access (Suber, n.d.).
The first of these meetings was the Budapest Open Access Initiative (BOAI) (2002), which in addition to defining open access, developed a visionary statement which from my perspective is less often quoted, but of greater significance, particularly in the context of global communication and information policy. The words are carefully crafted and beautifully expressed, and so repeated here in full:
An old tradition and a new technology have converged to make possible an unprecedented public good. The old tradition is the willingness of scientists and scholars to publish the fruits of their research in scholarly journals without payment, for the sake of inquiry and knowledge. The new technology is the internet. The public good they make possible is the world-wide electronic distribution of the peer-reviewed journal literature and completely free and unrestricted access to it by all scientists, scholars, teachers, students, and other curious minds. Removing access barriers to this literature will accelerate research, enrich education, share the learning of the rich with the poor and the poor with the rich, make this literature as useful as it can be, and lay the foundation for uniting humanity in a common intellectual conversation and quest for knowledge (Budapest Open Access Initiative, 2002).
E-LIS exemplifies the spirit of the Budapest vision, in my opinion. The E-LIS
team consists of the generous hosting and support services provided by the CILEA consortium in Italy, a governance team including E-LIS co-founders Antonella de Robbio and Imma Subirats, whose work in this initiative I have described earlier on the OA Librarian blog (Morrison, 2005a; Morrison, 2005b), and volunteer editors from around the globe. Information about E-LIS can be found on the E-LIS About page which includes a statement that dovetails with the BOAI vision: “Searching or browsing e-LIS is a kind of multilingual, multicultural experience, an example of what could be accomplished through open access archives to bring the people of the world together”. From a personal perspective, to me this is a major and refreshing change from the typical western-centric focus of most search engines found in North American libraries. Not every archive is fully open access, however E-LIS has a strong commitment to open access and does not accept works unless the full text is openly available.
            The global E-LIS team can work with any language that LIS scholars might wish to use to participate in this initiative. Currently 22 languages are supported; all works are expected to have abstracts in English. English and Spanish are the most common languages. Most of the works in E-LIS are peer-reviewed journal articles, and many other types of works are of similar scholarly quality, such as refereed conference proceedings and theses, as described by Morrison, Subirats-Coll, Medeiros and De Robbio (2007) in an invited, non-refereed article in The Charleston Advisor.
            As explained in BOAI (2002), there are two basic approaches to open access, open access publishing or making works open access in the process of publishing, sometimes known as the gold road, and open access archiving, making works open access through archives or repositories, sometimes called the green road. There are two major different types of open access archives, institutional archives (or repositories) and disciplinary or subject repositories. E-LIS is an example of the latter. Some of the best-known subject open access archives are PubMedCentral, arXiv (for physics, math, computing science and related disciplines), and the Social Sciences Research Network. Seamless searching and full-text retrieval are key attractions of subject based archives.
Libraries are frequently the host of their institutional repositories or archives; for example, see the Canadian Association of Research Libraries’ (n.d.) Institutional Repositories page.  From my perspective, this presents a challenge to E-LIS as a subject archive, as libraries working to build and support a local institutional repository may see deposit in a subject repository like E-LIS as extra work at best and as competition at worst. It is my hope that in time LIS professionals, once institutional repositories become the ubiquitous service that I hope and expect they will become, will return to the vision of the “unprecedented public good” of a global, multilingual and multicultural service like E-LIS, and work to cross deposit all LIS articles in BOTH the local institutional repository and E-LIS, and that, in time, E-LIS will not only be a good option for searching for LIS scholarship, but the first, and often the only stop.
Budapest Open Access Initiative (BOAI), 2002. Retrieved Feb. 4, 2014 from
Canadian Association of Research Libraries. N.d. Institutional Repositories Project.
Website. Retrieved Feb. 4, 2014 from
Morrison, H.; Subirats-Coll, I.;  Medeiros, N. and De Robbio, A. (2007). E-LIS: the Open
Archive for Library and information Science. The Charleston Advisor vol. 9, n. 1. Retrieved Feb. 4, 2014 from
Morrison, H. 2005a. Antonella de Robbio. OA Librarian. Retrieved Feb. 4, 2014 from
Morrison, H. 2005b. Imma Subirats Coll. OA Librarian. Retrieved Feb. 4, 2014 from
Suber, P. n.d. Open access overview. Retrieved Feb. 4, 2014 from

Comments and mark: overall, not bad - you appear to know the initiative and open access quite well and this shows some good analysis and interesting ideas. On the other hand it looks like you threw this piece of writing together in about an hour and could have done a much better job with more effort. For example, the text is a bit short – only 4 pages – and a substantial amount of this is direct quotes. There is a lot of self-citation and this work would benefit from a broader literature review. B-  (HM)

Monday, February 3, 2014

Our way forward (reading for Feb. 4)

the link for tomorrow's reading is

The long URL in the syllabus is not working.

Invitation to students to participate in EU copyright consultation

Thanks to Amy-Anne Touzin for this information on how students can easily participate in the European Union copyright consultation (deadline Feb. 5):

To students of the School of Information Studies at University of Ottawa:
The European Commission (EC) has opened public on the copyright reform for the European Union, legislation that will impact copyright policy in Canada.  Now, before February 5, is the time to have your voice heard on this import issue for information professionals. 
As busy students, an easy way to have your say is to visit the website developed by group of workshop participants at a recent Chaos Communication Congress.  All you have to do is visit the website, select a copyright issue that is of interest to you, and fill out the comment box.  A standard response to the question “I feel that copyright duration is excessively long” has been developed for your use.
Should you choose to develop a different message and/or respond to another question, you are encouraged to share this response by posting it to this blog. 
In today’s global economy, decisions made for the European Union on copyright reform set precedents in turn putting pressure other countries to conform.  Balanced copyright legislation is important. If copyright is skewed, negative impacts ensue society: access to information and cultural production is reduced, innovation and growth in the economy is obstructed.  Let us ensure that we have a voice in the debate. 

Standard Response to “I feel that copyright duration excessively long”
As a student of the School of Information Studies at the University of Ottawa, I am concerned that the length of copyright duration in the EU is excessively long. 
If copyright is extended or remains as life of the artist plus 70 years, EU citizens, as well as their culture and scholarship will be placed at a strategic disadvantage. Taking into consideration that few copyrighted works are commercially available, and that orphan works present a challenge to digitization, long copyright terms inhibit access to literature, music, art and scholarship.  As such, copyright obstructs learning, innovation and economic growth. 
To achieve its intended outcome, copyright is meant to benefit all of society, and not solely to protect the interests of corporate bodies.  During this consultation, the public has been asked to consider whether the current copyright terms are appropriate in a digital age.  I would argue that today’s copyright protection policies are too restrictive.  Decentralized production characterizes the knowledge economy.  Content consumers are also content producers and not everyone is motivated to created because of copyright. Evidence of this can be found all over the Internet.  For example, many are choosing to customize copyright for their work through creative commons licenses.  Restrictive copyright laws hinder innovation, knowledge production and sharing. 
Copyright is intended to ensure that incentives and rewards are in place for content producers.  Since profit margins for most works are only high for a short period after publication, there would be no more incentive to artists were copyright periods to be extended.
The Berne convention states that copyright should extend 50 years after the life of an artist.  Countries should not attempt a race to the bottom by extending copyright terms in favour of large corporations, who are the only beneficiaries to such policy.
As the European Commission considers the duration of copyright protection, evidenced-based decisions factoring in broad social and economic growth should be priorities over the economic interests of a few.  Decisions made for the European Union on copyright reform set precedents in turn putting pressure other countries to conform.  Balanced copyright legislation is important. If copyright is skewed, negative impacts ensue society: access to information and cultural production is reduced, innovation and growth in the economy is obstructed.  Let us ensure that the EU is not racing to the bottom.

Sunday, January 26, 2014

Monroe Public Library info policy resources

Monroe Public Library in the U.S. has a great set of resources on information policy topics such as surveillance and the trans pacific partnership. These could be useful for that policy briefing assignment - and this would make a great case study!

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Week 2 (January 14) exercises instructions

Following are two interlinked exercises drawing on the readings for this week (World Economic Forum Global Agenda Outlook and the Mansell and Tremblay report for the UNESCO vision of the knowledge society) in order to design an inclusive participatory consultation process to address what members of the class decide are important challenges or opportunities for information professionals. This kind of engagement is one of the key areas for open government. 

World Economic Forum – Global Agenda Outlook 2014
Top global trends, challenges and opportunities for information professionals
Group discussion

Overview: the purpose of this exercise is critical reflection on the trends and practice in strategic analysis from the perspective of an information professional. The outcomes of the group discussion will lead to the development of a list of topics to inform the evening’s second group exercise.

Step one: individual reflection (10 minutes)
Take some time to read through the following list of top 10 trends for 2014 according to the World Economic Forum report. Is it clear what is meant by each trend? If not, why not? Do you agree that these are the most important trends for 2014? Why or why not? Is there a different way of talking about each of these trends? 
1. Rising societal tensions in the Middle East and North Africa
2. Widening income disparities
3. Persistent structural unemployment
4. Intensifying cyber threats
5. Inaction on climate change
6. The diminishing confidence in economic policies
7. A lack of values in leadership
8. The expanding middle class in Asia
9. The growing importance of megacities
10. The rapid spread of misinformation online

Step two: small group discussion (30 minutes)

Form a small group, perhaps with the people seated closest to you. Start by introducing yourselves unless everyone already knows each other. Then decide who will be responsible for reporting back to the class. Everyone should get practice doing this, so if you were the reporter last week please encourage others to take this on.

Questions for the group:
1.     Does everyone understand the top 10 trends? If not, see if the group together can clarify or if there is consensus that a trend is not clear.
2.     Does everyone agree that these are important social trends for 2014? Are there other important trends that are missing? Does everyone agree with the way the trends are stated or would you suggest changes? 
3.     Identify major social trends (whether on this list or others your group identifies) that present important challenges or opportunities for information professionals. Start by making a list, then prioritize according to which trends offer the greatest challenges or opportunities, then identify the challenges or opportunities and the actions that information professionals can take.
4.     Review your list and prepare to report.

Step three: reporting to the whole class (10-15 minutes). 


Participatory Public Consultation Process Planning Group Exercise
Overview: the purpose of this exercise is to practice planning the kind of participatory decision-making described in Mansell-Tremblay report as essential to development of the knowledge society..
Step one: self-selecting groups (5 – 10 minutes)
Select the social trend (from the World Economic Forum exercise) that you’d most like to work on for this exercise. Form groups. Each group should decide how they would like to work, keeping in mind that it can be very helpful to identify a facilitator or chair and a recorder for the group. The purpose of this exercise is to learn how to develop inclusive participatory exercises. Let’s practice what we’re planning – everyone in the group should consider what each of us can do to encourage everyone in the group to actively participate.
Step two:  plan an inclusive public consultation process to address the selected trend (high-level overview draft; brief sketch) (30 mins.)
It may help to:
·      Picture the people you’d like to engage in the conversation, perhaps starting with a few individuals and considering one or more groups that could easily be marginalized. Why should they participate (from your perspective, and theirs)?
·      Consider timelines. Hint: if someone asks you your opinion about a complex topic with a short deadline just when you’re about to head out the door for a well-deserved vacation, how do you react?
·      How will people find out about the consultation?
·      How will you conduct the consultation process? Online? Using what tools?
·      What would meaningful engagement look like?
Step three: reflect on your plan and decide how and what you’ll report back to the whole group. (5 mins.)
Step four: report back (10 – 15 mins.)

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Information policy briefing instructions and examples

ISI 5162 Policy Briefing Statement – examples and current issues winter 2014

Update Jan. 8: the EU has a "public consultation on the review of the EU copyright rules" with a deadline of February 5, 2014. EU laws affect people everywhere, so you don't have to live in the EU to participate. Participation in this consultation process (with a copy of your response handed in) would be appropriate for the policy briefing assignment. I recommend Maira Sutton's post on the Electronic Frontier Foundation blog as a starting point.  

Update Jan. 14: Industry Canada has a Science and Technology Consultation, comments due Feb. 7th. Possibly of interest under the Evidence for Democracy / Canadian War on Science policy topic. 

Due: Jan. 28 midnight. 2-3 pages (maximum). Single spaced.

In preparing your policy briefing statement it may be helpful to identify a target audience, or two audiences (see the examples below, library associations writing or signing letters to another body). The actor audience could be a library association or another information professional association such as ARMA or the Association of Canadian Archivists. To prepare your policy briefing statement you should investigate the policy issue and the background of your target audience(s). A good policy briefing will address the questions: why suggest change, and why listen to the suggestions.  Following are the suggested issues for 2014. If you would like to work on another issue, please check with the professor first.


·      Trans Pacific Partnership – intellectual property chapter
·      Evidence for democracy / Canadian war on science (the Fifth Estate Silence of the Labs may be of interest) - see also videos from recent Canadian Science Policy conference
·      Surveillance / privacy (Geist on Obama's statement on surveillance and Canada's silence may be of interest). Free webinar Friday Jan. 24: Big Data calls for Big Privacy


Canadian Library Association (2013). CLA Statement on Social Media Monitoring of Canadians. Retrieved Jan. 8, 2014 from:

Internet Society (2012). To the negotiating nations of the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) agreement.  Retrieved Jan. 8, 2014 from: Signed by the International Federation of Library Associations.