Classes and exams have now concluded at the University of Ottawa and students won't be back on campus until September. Rather than taking a full hiatus on lectures, I thought it would be interesting to pull together a weekly virtual conference series using the incredible array of video lectures that have been posted online in recent years. The Friday Forum will be a weekly blog posting on a topic within the broad umbrella of law, technology, and policy. If you were to watch all the videos in their in its entirety, each virtual conference would take about a half-day. I'll also post additional readings and materials for those that want to dig more deeply into the issues. On most issues, there is a wealth of choice, so I'm bound to miss some great lectures that are on point.
This first Friday Forum virtual conference is the first of three on open access. This collection of lectures focuses on the open access movement and latest developments. Next week, I'll touch on some specific issues such as government data, access to law, development issues, and science commons. The final virtual conference will highlight the recent move toward university open access mandates.
The conference begins with an introduction to open access from Melissa Hagemann of the Open Society Institute (note that I serve on the Information Sub-Board of OSI). Melissa's talk on Open Scholarship was delivered at Wikimania in 2008 and provides a good introduction to these issues.
If you are looking for some introductory slides, SPARCs Heather Joseph has posted hers from a 2007 talk on the Growing Call for Open Access. For a history of open access in Canada, see Dean Giustini's wiki.
Next up is John Willinsky, currently a professor at Stanford University and formerly at UBC. Willinsky's book – The Access Principle – is the leading book on Open Access. The book can be downloaded for free under a Creative Commons licence direclty from MIT Press. Willinsky gives many speeches on open access. This recent speech delivered at Kansas University in February 2009 is titled Open Access Policies and Practices for Increasing Scholarly Contributions.
The third speaker will allow us to shift gears slightly for a publisher perspective. Dr. Frances Pinter, publisher at Bloomsbury Academic in the UK, delves into some of the publisher concerns in her talk titled The Transformation of Academic Publishing in the Digital Era. The talk was delivered at the Oxford Internet Institute and is available for either download or Real Video stream.
The fourth and final speaker is Peter Suber, soon to be a fellow at the Berkman Center at Harvard. Professor Suber is the undisputed source of open access news with his remarkable site, Open Access News. Suber's Berkman talk from earlier this year is titled the Future of Open Access.