Live-blogging the 2009 Vancouver PKP Conference and the Public Knowledge Project: Propositions to Collaborate (remote session): The Session Blog

Presenter: Marin Dacos

July 9, 2009 at 10:00 a.m. SFU Harbour Centre. Rm. 7000*

*Important Note: As this was a remote session, the presenter’s voice was inaudible most of the time due to technical difficulties and constant breaks in the live audio streaming. Therefore, it was difficult to capture parts of the presentation.

Marin DacosMarian Dacos (Source)


Mr. Marin Dacos is a digital humanities specialist who is currently the director of the Centre of Open Electronic Publishing (Cleo) as well as an information systems manager for National Centre for Scientific Research (CNRS) located in France. Furthermore, he is the founder of several initiatives such as, Lodel, Calenda, and Hypotheses which will be discussed in the session overview. Mr. Dacos investigates how and PKP can be used to improve manuscript management tools and document conversion.

Session Overview

Mr. Martin Dacos initiated the session by providing a background summary on He indicated there are currently 187 members, with 42000 online humanities and social sciences full-text, open-access documents (Session Abstract). He mentioned that approximately ten years ago, systems were centralized and focused on sciences. And since the beginning of,  only PDF documents were processed for publishing by converting to extensible markup language (XML).  Later, Lodel (electronic publishing software)  was developed as a central management system (CMS) where the web service could convert word documents to XML. This is around the time when the Public Knowledge Project (PKP)  started up and its focus was to decentralize and provide a more international access point for the publishing of journals and management of conferences through the Open Journal System (OJS). During this time, the two projects, Lodel and PKP, started to converge with two distinct parts and four kinds of services.

(1) The Project Details

The first part of the project, as Mr. Dacos described it consists of using PKP  to develop a manuscript management tool to monitor the workflow through OJS. There is a need to create a new interface for users and make it more human-friendly for interaction in order to allow for the dissemination of documents. This portion of the project also investigates the possibility of connecting Lodel and OJS so both systems can use the system jointly. Next, Mr. Dacos explained the second part of the project which deals with document conversion called OTX – which will convert for example RTF to XML. This parallels PKPs development and there is the possibility of sharing information on this creation.

(2) Services offers various kinds of services to allow for the dissemination and communication of scholarly material and other information such as upcoming events. One of the services presented by Revues is Calenda which is claimed to be the largest French calendar system for the social sciences and humanities. This calender service is important because it disseminates information such as upcoming scientific events to the rest of it’s audience. This communication tool is crucial in bringing members of various online communities together to participate in ‘study days,’ lectures, workshops, seminars, symposiums, and share their papers. Another valuable service offered by is Hypotheses which is a platform for research documents. This is a free service which allows researchers, scientists, engineers and other professionals to post their experiences on a particular topic or phenomenon for sharing with a wider audience. One can upload a blog, field notes, newsletters, diary inserts, reviews on certain topics, or even a book for publishing. A third service offered by is a monthly newsletter called La Lettre de This newsletter connects the community together by showcasing various pieces of information. For instance, new members who have recently joined are profiled and new online documents are highlighted for it’s subscribers to read.

The remainder of Mr. Marin Dacos’ talk focused on Lemon8 and OTX which was difficult to interpret due to technical issues.

Questions from the audience asked at Mr. Dacos’ session:

It was difficult to get an audio connection with Mr. Dacos due to technical difficulties, therefore questions were not asked.

Related Links


Dacos, M. (2009). and the public knowledge project: propositions to collaborate. PKP Scholarly Publishing Conference 2009. Retrieved 2009-07-09, from

July 10, 2009   Comments Off on and the Public Knowledge Project: Propositions to Collaborate (remote session): The Session Blog

New Forms and Forums: How Press Cooperatives are Launched and Why it’s a Good Thing: The Session Blog


Freire Project



  • Dr. Shirley Steinberg – McGill University. Director, The Paulo and Nita Freire International Project for Critical Pedagogy. Bio
  • David Smith  – Technical Manager, The Paulo and Nita Freire International Project for Critical Pedagogy. Bio

July 9, 2009, 4:00-pm-4:30 pm. SFU Harbour Centre. Rm 7000

Session Overview

Through McGIll University’s Paulo and Nita Freire International Project for Critical Pedagogy, Dr. Steinberg and Mr. Smith have worked to help other centres with similar interests publish  open access scholarly work as well as create communication networks to take advantage of social networking and other less formal publishing opportunities.

Dr. Steinberg spoke about the creative aspects of going from a journal in one’s mind to actually creating an open access journal. She noted that when working with associations, if they already had a print journal then it was a relatively easy transition to an open access online journal. However,  the challenge is much greater for groups that don’t have previous experience creating a journal.

Dr. Steinberg illustrated her talk with the example helping Australian educators with the creation of a new journal: antipodes: a journal of critical southern education. Similar to Canada, the Australian educators face considerable challenges based on the difficulty in physically getting people together to communicate. Additionally, their government insists on a strict hierarchically tiered referred journal system. In this case, Dr. Steinberg noted that they focused first on creating a network of critical educators before they  concentrated on creating the journal. As a result of , in addition to the community having a focus on critical pedagogy, they also had the common goal of discussing new models for peer refereed journals.

Mr. Smith continued the talk with some of the more technical as well as social networking aspects of their project. He started by commenting on a number of inspiring aspect from John Willinsky’s keynote address. Mr Smith noted that the International Journal of Critical Pedagogy (IJCP)  uses the Open Journal System (OJS).  But he pointed out that the journal is difficult to find from the Centre’s website since they are struggling with the best way to present the link (conceptually) between them.

Furthermore, Mr. Smith commented that the centre’s site is still being developed and they are trying to make it a better tool to connect people. Mr. Smith commented that they would like the site to be more than just a repository for formal scholarly work (e.g. referred journal) and that they are interested in promoting less formal  but still very valuable modes of communication as well (e.g. blogs, wikis, forums). As an example of the benefit of these social networking possibilities, Mr. Smith provided an anecdote about an educator from St. Lucia whom he has become familiar with through the Centre’s website.

Discussion and audience questions

  • Dr. Steinberg responded to an audience question saying that if the local scholars were not already grounded in possible economic models for open access journals that she would help them work through various options.
  • One audience member asked about the possibility of integrating Drupal with the OJS, and Mr. Smith answered that he is very enthusiastic about the possibilities of connecting the two.
  • Dr. John Willinsky commented that these presentations reminded him that the importance is far greater than the journals only being free. He sees these examples as highlighting  the importance of the networking and criticism opportunities that help to contribute to to creating a critical culture.
  • Another audience member commented that that there appears to be a relationship between more people submitting to the open access journals and more them doing more reviewing. That is, they are reviewing more work than they were before.

Related Links

July 9, 2009   Comments Off on New Forms and Forums: How Press Cooperatives are Launched and Why it’s a Good Thing: The Session Blog

Visibility, Quality and Empowerment: the Journals Online Project at INASP: The Session Blog

Presenter: Sioux Cumming, Session Abstract

July 9, 2009 at 4:00 p.m.


Sioux Cumming, originally from Zimbabwe, works with the International Network for the Availability of Scientific Publications (INASP). Sioux works on the INASP Journals Online project (JOLs) where there are now five JOLs (BanglaJOL in Bangladesh, NepJOL in Nepal, PhilJOL in Philippine, SLJOL in Sri Lanka and VJOL in Vietnam). Sioux identifies new journals to be included, works with the editors of the journals to load new issues and keeps the websites up to date. She records the statistics relating to the usage of the sites and produces newsletters for each of them. Sioux is also involved in training editors in the publishing workshops and she assists in the AuthorAID project.

Session Overview

INASP isn’t well known in the Western world. INASP’s mission is to increase worldwide access to academic information. PERii is INASP’s main programme. INASP negotiates deeply discounted licenses with journal publishers for developing countries. Less well known is INASP’s work to make local research well known to the rest of the world. So INASP is both trying to make western journals accessible to developing countries and getting developing countries journals accessible to the whole world. INASP is funded by Department for International Development (UK) and Swedish Cedar.

Africa Journals Online (AJOL) was established in 1998 and the experiences with that have led to improvements and led to the subsequent migration to Open Journal Systems (OJS). AJOL has now been transferred to a local host and managed by them, as INASP’s mandate is to always to pass on to local resources.

AJOL was a continent wide site with 26 countries represented (now with 350 journals), but in Asia, each country wanted its own site, so Nepal and Vietnam JOLs were followed by Bangladesh JOL and PhilJol and lastly SLJOL in 2008. So 5 country based JOLs have been created in the last couple years, to finally be followed by a continent wide journal – AsiaJOL.

Workshops are the primary tool for launching a journal online (JOL). Online tutorials, CDs or remote training are just not effective. Many of these editors have little prior experience with a website, so a series of 3-4 day workshops are needed. So first they bring editors together and discuss online issues (open access movement, being online, the need for a strategic plan), then another after we’ve established a JOL (more strategic issues, improving quality of the JOL, increasing visibility of the JOL and how to load content) and then a 3rd workshop is editorial (working with editors, working with reviews, how roles related and how to use peer review system online).

A lot of monitoring of JOLs is done. In summary, across the 5 Asian JOLs there are 133 journals of which 76% of the articles are full text (open access full text). This is different from AJOL, there is more buy-in to open access in these Asian countries. There are 6500 articles all together and there have been 1.3 million views of all these articles and 800000 visits since these 5 Asian JOLs started. These figures are small, but these are journals, which had not previously had wide circulation. More encouraging is that data is showing that people are coming from the US and UK to look at these JOLs, from 200 countries in total to view these journals.

INASP encourages editors to monitor their own views i.e. which articles are viewed most, which least and then to determine what course of action to take with this data. Testimonials are also collected and are important to funders.

INASP has provided a web presence to journals which had none before or were buried deep in university web sites. Now if you search for any of these journals on Google Scholar, they come up. This is a cheap and simple program for getting journals accessible. INASP pays the hosting charges. All journals become part of a community as editors and teams meet other from other disciplines in workshops. This develops a network of production teams. The workshops have been very successful, face to face contact is important. JOL newsletters are produced every 6 months and subscribing to them is an easy way to understand what is happening with a JOL.

Session Questions

Question: We need to collect research about the work of these journals, to see how increase in submissions is related to viewing and how this relates to numbers of reviewers. All this builds a research culture and community. We need to start showing the growth of this community.  How big is the submission plus review community, when you start to add these together we start to measure a research network, a research network enabled by this open access journal.
Answer: Yes, I agree. We do need to do this.

Question: Where did additional submissions come from?
Answer: Some journals are not yet accepting online submissions. For those that are, they are getting a lot from Nigeria, Turkey, Iran and India. Bangladesh journal of Botany has a lot of submissions from Turkey. So a lot of south – south communication is occurring.

References and Related Links



International Network for the Availability of Scientific Publications (INASP)

Journals OnLine (JOL) Projects (INASP)

Bangladesh Journals Online (BanglaJOL)

Nepal Journals Online (NepJOL)


Philippine Journals Online (PhilJOL)

Sri Lanka Journals Online (SLJOL)

Vietnam Journals Online (VJOL)

July 9, 2009   Comments Off on Visibility, Quality and Empowerment: the Journals Online Project at INASP: The Session Blog

Website for CONICET´s Academic Publications: the Session Blog

Presenter: Alberto Apollaro

July 9, 2009 at 4:00 pm

Session Abstract


Alberto Apollaro is a member of the Scientific Electronic Library Online (SciELO) Argentina group and is a specialist in webspace development and applications.  Mr. Apollaro joined CAICYT-CONICET in 1998 as a systems website administrator, including serving as the webmaster for CONICET’s specific website for academic publication.

Session Overview

The SciELO project’s directive is based on “the development of a model methodology for the preparation, storage, sharing and evaluation of scientific publications as an electronic support.”(1)  As an alternative to print, the library facilitates international distribution of Latin American scholarship with regional impact in an organized, accessible format.  This regional project stems from National Council for Scientific and Technical Research (CONICET) policy, which in turn is administered by the independent, Argentinian Centre for Scientific and Technological Information (CAICyT).

Comisión Asesora de Investigación Científica y Técnica	/ Consejo Nacional de Investigaciones Científicas Y Técnicas

Comisión Asesora de Investigación Científica y Técnica / Consejo Nacional de Investigaciones Científicas Y Técnicas

The CAICyT has charged the production a website which will allow Argentina systematically catalogue digitalized data that is editorialized and peer-reviewed as per the academic standards previously described by CONICET.  Also, in part of CAICyt’s directive to push Argentinean scholarly publication into the open-access era, CONICET draws upon 15 university repositories to fuel 32 open-access e-journals.  This initiative is facilitated by the use of the open-source Open Journal System (OJS) Software which allows online management of the process from submission through to publication.

The process began with journal selection from the Latindex, which contains over 2,800 titles.  Editors were then invited as the website was constructed.  CAICyT would provide the editors’ platform for discussion and consultation, while also providing publishers with guidelines for quality improvement .  OJS allows the website to self-archive authors’ submissions and facilitate peer-reviewing and copy-editing quickly and efficiently.

The expectation is that the CONICET website will provide a repository and portal for local Argentinean scholarship, and allow publication not just limited to text but multimedia also.  The streamlined editorial model allowed by OJS will hopefully encourage submission of regional scholarship and see it through to immediate publication, while operating under a more economically attractive model in comparison to traditional publication.

During the following discussion, Mr. Apollaro described the OJS is a very attractive mechanism to facilitate publication in Latin America (for the aforementioned reasons), but the problem lies in the current unfamiliarity shared amongst Argentinean scholars with OJS.  This is essentially holding back the website’s growth, and progress of the Latin American open-access movement in general.  Certainly, one of CONICET’s future efforts should be focusing on increasing open-access awareness in the Latin American scholarly community.



July 7, 2009   Comments Off on Website for CONICET´s Academic Publications: the Session Blog