Once again, I'm making an announcement mainly for my local circle of friends and (gasp!) followers. For those of you over 100Km away from Mexico City, please disregard this message.
Back in July 2015, and after two years of hard work, my university finished the publishing step of my second book. This is a textbook for the subject I teach at Computer Engineering: Operating Systems Fundamentals.
The book is, from its inception, fully available online under a permissive (CC-BY) license. One of the books aimed contributions is to present a text natively written in Spanish. Besides, our goal (I coordinated a team of authors, working with two colleagues from Rosario, Argentina, and one from Cauca, Colombia) was to provide a book students can easily and legally share with no legal issues.
I have got many good reviews so far, and after teaching based on it for four years (while working on it and after its publication), I can attest the material is light enough to fit in a Bachelors level degree, while it's deep enough to make our students sweat healthily ;-)
Anyway: I have been scheduled to present the book at my university's main book show, 38 Feria Internacional del Libro del Palacio de Minería this Saturday, 2017.03.04 16:00; Salón Manuel Tolsá. What's even better: This time, I won't be preparing a speech! The book will be presented by my two very good friends, José María Serralde and Rolando Cedillo. Both of them are clever, witty, fun, and a real honor to work with. Of course, having them present our book is more than a double honor.
So, everybody who can make it: FIL Minería is always great and fun. Come share the love! Come have a book! Or, at least, have a good time and a nice chat with us!
Today I was refered to the publication of an "agreement" signed by my university's Rector: The Agreement that establishes the General Guidelines for the Open Access Policy of Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México.
This is a document we have been waiting and pushing for throughout several years; I got involved in the Network of Digital Collections (Red de Acervos Digitales), RAD-UNAM back in 2011, and am honored to be its current coordinator, but this group has roots back in 2005. And, of course, by then several other people had been working on the topic without formal coordination.
Not only we are happy because the agreement explicitly mentions our group as one of The Venues for Open Access publishing and dissemination in UNAM. In its seventh point, it mentions:
In the matters of Open Access, academic entities and university dependencies have the following obligations:
VII. Promote and support the creation and maintenance of institutional repositories, as well as the deposit of the digital resources produced by its academic community, which should be incorporated into Red de Acervos Digitales de la UNAM
So... We have done a good job. And there will be surely more to follow!
I'm including here a copy of the agreement by itself (without the whole number of the Gaceta UNAM) because I will surely have to refer to it in the future.
I got word via the Electronic Frontier Foundation about an act of injustice happening to a person for doing... Not only what I do day to day, but what I promote and believe to be right: Sharing academic articles.
Diego is a Colombian, working towards his Masters degree on conservation and biodiversity in Costa Rica. He is now facing up to eight years imprisonment for... Sharing a scholarly article he did not author on Scribd.
Many people lack the knowledge and skills to properly set up a venue to share their articles with people they know. Many people will hope for the best and expect academic publishers to be fundamentally good, not to send legal threats just for the simple, noncommercial act of sharing knowledge. Sharing knowledge is fundamental for science to grow, for knowledge to rise. Besides, most scholarly studies are funded by public money, and as the saying goes, they should benefit the public. And the public is everybody, is all of us.
And yes, if this sounds in any way like what drove Aaron Swartz to his sad suicide early this year... It is exactly the same thing. Thankfully (although, sadly, after the sad fact), thousands of people strongly stood on Aaron's side on that demand. Please sign the EFF petition to help Diego, share this, and try to spread the word on the real world needs for Open Access mandates for academics!
Some links with further information:
- Diego's own account on the matter in Compartir no es delito
- Why are we prosecuting students for sharing knowledge? (Timothy Vollmer, on Creative Commons' weblog)
- Science is not a crime (David R. Koepsell, Center for Inquiry)
- Fuller story on the EFF