Archive for the ‘Open Access’ Category

“Europeana’s Huge Dataset Opens for Re-use”

Friday, September 14th, 2012

According to this press-release from Europeana Professional, the massive European Union-funded project has released 20 million records on cultural heritage items under a Creative Commons Zero (Public Domain) license.

The massive dataset is the descriptive information about Europe’s digitised treasures. For the first time, the metadata is released under the Creative Commons CC0 Public Domain Dedication, meaning that anyone can use the data for any purpose – creative, educational, commercial – with no restrictions. This release, which is by far the largest one-time dedication of cultural data to the public domain using CC0 offers a new boost to the digital economy, providing electronic entrepreneurs with opportunities to create innovative apps and games for tablets and smartphones and to create new web services and portals.

Upon registering for access to the Europeana API, developers can build tools or interfaces on this data, download metadata into new platforms for novel purposes, make money off it, perform new research, create artistic works, or anything.

It’s important to note that it’s only the metadata that is being freely released here: I did a search for some Greek inscriptions, and also photographs and transcriptions are available, these are all fiercely copyrighted to the Greek Ministry of Culture: ” As for all monuments of cultural heritage, permission from the Greek Ministry of Culture is required for the reproduction of photographs of the inscriptions.” (According to this same license statement, even the metadata are licensed: “Copyright for all data in the collection belongs to the Institute for Greek and Roman Antiquity of the National Hellenic Research Foundation. These data may be used freely, provided that there is explicit reference to their provenance. ” Which seems slightly at odds with the CC0 claim of the Europeana site; no doubt closer examination of the legal terms would reveal which claim supercedes in this case.)

(It was lovely to be reminded that inscriptions provided by the Pandektis project [like this funerary monument for Neikagoras] have text made available in EpiDoc XML as well as Leiden-formatted edition.)

It would be really good to hear about any implementations, tools or demos built on top of this data, especially if that had a classics component. Any pointers yet? Or do we need to organize a hackfest to get it started….?

OAPEN-UK focus groups, first report

Friday, February 3rd, 2012

The JISC-funded OAPEN-UK (Open Access Publishing in European Networks) project have published a report on the first round of focus groups, held in the British Library late last year. Various groups of stakeholders (in this case academics who author research material) were brought together to discuss issues surrounding open access monograph publication. The conclusions and recommendations are perhaps less radical (or more practical?) than some discussions of open publication in this venue, but the report still raises some valuable issues. (Full disclosure, I participated in this session.)

The report can be found at:

Guide to Evagrius Ponticus

Tuesday, January 17th, 2012

This just in from Joel Kalvesmaki:

I am pleased to announce the appearance of the Guide to Evagrius Ponticus, a digital-only, peer-reviewed reference work about the fourth-century monastic theologian. Updated quarterly, it provides definitive, integrated lists of Evagrius’s works, of editions and translations of those works, and of studies related to his life and thought. The Guide also includes a sourcebook of key ancient testimonies to Evagrius and his reception, in English translation, as well as a checklist of images from the ancient world.

The Guide takes relatively new approaches to open-access academic publishing in the digital humanities [ed: cc-nc-sa], and so is anticipated to develop over the coming years. Future editions will include a manuscript checklist, images of manuscripts, transcriptions of those manuscripts, and open-source critical editions of Evagrius’s writings.

(For a more complete experience, read the Guide on a browser other than Internet Explorer.)

Working with Text in a Digital Age, RFP

Tuesday, January 3rd, 2012

Tufts University invites applications to “Working with Text in a Digital Age”, a three-week NEH Institute for Advanced Technology in the Digital Humanities (July 23-August 10, 2012) that combines traditional topics such as TEI Markup with training in methods from Information Retrieval, Visualization, and Corpus and Computational Linguistics. Faculty, graduate students, and library professionals are encouraged to apply. Applicants should submit proposals by February 15, 2012. Participant proposals must include CVs and statements of purpose (no more than 1,000 words) describing how they will be able to use participation in the Institute to advance their subsequent careers. Participants must be committed to collaborative work and to publication of results from this Institute under a Creative Commons license. Participants should identify source materials with which they propose to work during the Institute and which must be in the public domain or available under a suitable license. In an ideal case, source materials would include both texts for intensive analysis and annotation and one or more larger corpora to be mined and analyzed more broadly. Statements of purpose must describe initial goals for the Institute. For more information or to submit applications, please contact

We particularly encourage participants who are committed to developing research agendas that integrate contributions and research by undergraduates, that expand the global presence of the Humanities, and that, in general, broaden access to and participation in the Humanities. Preference will be given to participants who are best prepared not only to apply new technologies but to do so as a means to transform their teaching and research and the relationship of their work to society beyond academia.

Open Book Publishers: Cicero

Thursday, November 3rd, 2011

The Open Access academic publishing house Open Book Publishers is about to publish, on November 18th, their first Classics title, Ingo Gildenhard’s edition of Cicero, Against Verres, 2.1.53–86. This title, as all OBP books, will soon thereafter be available free to read online in Google Books, and for a reasonable price in PDF or print versions. The press are seeking scholars who would be willing to review this title—either online or for a classical journal.

This is the first I’ve come across this press, but from what I can see it’s a nice example of the academic model—all the peer review etc. carried out by academic volunteers, as usual, but without the traditional publisher sucking cash out of the process of getting the publication back into the hands of the scholarly community who fed the research in the first place.

**Edited November 3 at 16:22 to correct nature of Open Access publication**