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Celebrating Canada’s open access “tipping point”

Michael Geist

As Canadians welcome World Book and Copyright Day on April 23rd, the three federal research granting institutions – the Canadian Institutes of Health Research, the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada, and the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada – have provided yet another reason to celebrate.

After years of delay and debate, the Tri-Councils unveiled a harmonized open access policy that takes effect for all grants awarded after May 1st.  The key aspect of the policy is that it requires grant recipients to ensure that their peer-reviewed publications are freely available online within 12 months of initial publication.  Researchers can comply with the open access policy by either self-...

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The magic of monographs: reading scholarly books for fun

Nour Aoude, Federation for the Humanities and Social Sciences

Even without the onslaught of a hellish ice front and ear-snapping temperatures of -15 degrees, curling up with a good book can be a great way to spend the winter holidays. This winter, my sage-buds were tingling for a certain approfondissement about the world I lived in. In fact, I wanted to get some facts straight about the history of Islam, particularly the smaller and more mysterious Shi’i branch of the religion. So alongside my usual pilgrimage to Terry Pratchett's endlessly fascinating, but much less spherical, Discworld, I picked up an academic book. Yes, an academic book. Or, perhaps as it is better known in more learnèd circles, a scholarly monograph.

The particular scho-mo in question was Hamid Dabashi’s...

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Good Science Policy Will Require Good Communication and Better Support: A Night Out With CAUT

Matthew McKean, Policy Analyst, Federation for the Humanities and Social Sciences

In what turns out to have been the run up to the unveiling of the federal government’s new Science, Technology, and Innovation Strategy (ST&I), the Canadian Association of University Teachers (CAUT) launched its “Get Science Right” campaign. The goal of the November 27 town hall was to “lay the groundwork for a new direction for science policy” and much of what was discussed was emphatically relevant to the humanities and social sciences community.

Moderated by science journalist Mike De Souza, the evening event took the form of a lively discussion among panelists, including Diane...

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Humanities and social science grads have more stable careers over time

Matthew McKean, Policy Analyst, Federation for the Humanities and Social Sciences

You know your friends in the computer sciences, math, engineering and business—the ones who never quite took your arts degree seriously enough and then boasted about the fabulous salaries they were earning after graduation? Turns out their jobs and their earnings were more volatile than they might have admitted. A new study has found that over the past almost fifteen years, humanities, social science and health grads have been enjoying more stable careers.

The report, co-authored by Professor Ross Finnie, director of the Education Policy Research Initiative at the University of Ottawa, surveyed 82,000 University of...

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Le parcours de carrière des diplômés en sciences humaines plus stable avec le temps

Matthew McKean, Analyste des politiques, Fédération des sciences humaines

Vous savez, ces amis diplômés dans les domaines de l’informatique, des mathématiques, des sciences de l’ingénieur et de l’administration des affaires — ceux-là mêmes qui n’ont jamais pris vraiment au sérieux votre diplôme ès arts et qui se vantaient des salaires mirobolants gagnés à l’issue de leurs études? En réalité, leurs emplois et leurs revenus se sont avérés plus volatils qu’ils n’étaient disposés à l’admettre. Une nouvelle étude a permis de constater qu’au cours des quelque quinze dernières années, les diplômés en lettres, sciences humaines et sciences de la santé ont connu des parcours de carrière plus stables.

Le ...

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RSC report makes compelling case for why libraries and archives are essential, but vulnerable

Matthew McKean, Policy Analyst, Federation for the Humanities and Social Sciences

Last week, the Royal Society of Canada released its report on the status and future of Canada’s libraries and archives, entitled “The Future Now: Canada’s Libraries, Archives, and Public Memory.” The RSC’s defense of libraries and archives and its call for collective action is vital, reflecting the core values of the humanities and social science research community.

The...

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Understanding Video Games: Interview with Professor Sean Gouglas

Nour Aoude, Federation for the Humanities and Social Sciences

The most economically important cultural medium out there today, a cultural touchstone for two generations of Canadians, and a fantastic medium for expression, entertainment and social commentary.

This is how Professor Sean Gouglas described video games in his interview with the Federation.

Gouglas is Director of the Office of Interdisciplinary Studies at the University of Alberta, and...

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AU Press, the first open access university press in North America (Anglais)

Pamela Holway, rédactrice en chef, et Megan Hall, coordinatrice de commercialisation et production, Athabasca University Press

AU Press was founded in 2007 as a fully open access press and we often pause during Open Access Week to reexamine our mission and reflect on our experience as the first open access university press in North America. Our mandate was one response to a crisis that has been developing in scholarly monograph publishing, a crisis with which we are all familiar. As university libraries, facing their own economic crises, purchase fewer and fewer books, sales of printed titles have been steadily dwindling. University presses that were founded on cost...

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AU Press, the first open access university press in North America

Pamela Holway, senior editor, and Megan Hall, marketing and production coordinator, Athabasca University Press

AU Press was founded in 2007 as a fully open access press and we often pause during Open Access Week to reexamine our mission and reflect on our experience as the first open access university press in North America. Our mandate was one response to a crisis that has been developing in scholarly monograph publishing, a crisis with which we are all familiar. As university libraries, facing their own economic crises, purchase fewer and fewer books, sales of printed titles have been steadily dwindling. University presses that were founded on cost recovery models...

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Digital open access collection complements print books

Antoine Del Busso, General Director at Les Presses de l’Université de Montréal

“Rather than attempting to predict the future, we should consider the future we would like to see…”

I appreciate this reflection by Marcello Vitali-Rosati, co-founder with Michael Sinatra of the collection “Parcours numériques” (“Digital trails”) launched at Presses de l’Université de Montréal (PUM) last March. It highlights the urgent need to rethink traditional modes of knowledge dissemination. We know that the world of print publishing is in a period of profound self-questioning. Not only is marketing changing radically, but so are reading habits and, as a result, content creation. Can we, without incalculable risk,...

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