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All Newsletter issues are available here


Report of the Workshop on Alternative Open Access Publishing Models

The workshop was addressed by Jean-Claude Guédon, a professor of comparative literature at the Université de Montréal and an expert in open access publishing, and Roberto Viola, Director-General of DG CONNECT, as well as librarians, academics and publishers who presented their novel publishing models.

The Commission also encouraged discussion beyond the walls of the workshop, by webstreaming the event and encouraging comments there and on Twitter (#AlterOA), and, since the workshop itself, on the Digital4Science platform, which is still open for comments and discussion on alternative open access publishing models.

This report is an analysis of existing trends and issues relating to alternative open access publishing models. Brief summaries of the individual presentations are available in the annex. This report is split into three main sections: the challenges for the European Commission, the pressures on researchers, funders and librarians that are caused by today’s system of academic publishing and the resulting themes emerging from the alternative open access publishing models.

All the presentations given during the workshop are available via this link. Full recording is also available.


COP21: A shaky start to negotiations

World leaders made a grand display of impotence at the opening of the COP21 in Paris on Monday (30 November). The ambitions of the big emitters remain as low as ever. EurActiv France reports.

After a morning orchestrated down to the last second, the organisers of the COP21 had a world of trouble getting a photo of the 150 attending heads of state and government, just before midday.

Asked to bring an entourage to the Paris conference, world leaders overran their allotted time slot for the photo shoot session, some by talking to their advisors, others coming and going with members of their team at crucial moments. France just about managed to place key ministers alongside President François Hollande in the official photograph.

The photo shoot chaos was an apt symbol of the difficulties lying ahead when the 196 countries get their heads down to thrash out a common agreement.

The climate negotiations that opened in Paris yesterday (30 November) "will not be a peaceful path", said Tim Gore from Oxfam. They "could even get violent", he added.

Read more

“Modelling for Policy Formulation: Causal Mapping, Scenario Generation, and Decision Evaluation” paper

Our SENSE4US project partners, Aron Larsson and Osama Ibrahim, wrote the "Modelling for Policy Formulation: Causal Mapping, Scenario Generation, and Decision Evaluation" paper and presented it at the 14th IFIP Electronic Government (EGOV) and 7th Electronic Participation (ePart) Conference 2015 which took place from 30th August to 2nd September 2015 in the University of Macedonia in Thessaloniki, Greece.

In this paper we present a work process with associated operational research modeling and analysis tools for the policy formulation stage of the Lindblom policy cycle process model. The approach exploits the use of causal maps for problem structuring and scenario generation of policy options together with decision analysis for evaluating generated scenarios taking preferences of decision makers and stakeholders into account. The benefits of interest when exploiting this integrated modeling approach is to enable for; (i) problem structuring and facilitating understanding and communication of a complex policy problem, (ii) simulation of policy consequences and identification of a smaller set of policy options from a possible very large set of possible options, and (iii) structured decision evaluation of the generated alternative policy options.

The paper has been published in this Springer volume

Bill Gates announces the "Breakthrough Energy Coalition"

As COP21 opened in Paris on the 30th of November 2015, Bill Gates announced the “Breakthrough energy coalition” uniting the efforts of two dozens of other billionaire philanthropists such as Richard Branson, Mark Zuckerberg, and Jeff Bezos to sponsor energy that doesn’t produce carbon.

Gates will be present in Paris together with US President Barack Obama, the White House reported to be familiar and supportive of the initiative.

Nineteen governments, including the United States, China and India, will join in a “Mission Innovation” initiative that commits governments to a doubling of public investments in basic energy research over the next five years, Obama administration officials quoted by the Washington Post said.

Read the full article

"Policy Making in a Complex World: The Opportunities and Risks Presented by New Technologies": an interesting paper written by SENSE4US team

Timo Wandhöfer, Miriam Fernandez, Somya Joshi, Aron Larsson, Osama Ibrahim, Steve Taylor, and Maxim Bashevoy wrote this paper earlier this year and has been presented at the PACITA conference proceedings on February 2015. The paper has been accepted and the will be published soon.

Within this paper we take a look at the on-going SENSE4US project, which is a Framework 7 European Research Project. The project’s strategy is the implementation of technical components that are frequently being used to discuss ICT challenges, benefits and risks with stakeholders’ within the political sphere. This paper provides insides of how to make sense of Tweets’ sentiment and how to view on policies from different perspectives.