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Sunday, January 27, 2008

Unanimous OA Recommendations from the European University Association

The 791 universities from 46 countries of the European University Association have unanimously endorsed some very strong OA recommendations, which Peter Suber has summarized as follows:

* Here's a digest of the most important of the recommendations. European universities should...

1. launch OAI-compliant institutional repositories (A2)
2. adopt OA mandates for their research output (A3)
3. educate faculty about copyright and encourage the removal of permission barriers at least for users in the author's institution (A4)
4. consider paying publication fees for faculty who publish in fee-based OA journals (A5)
5. work with public funding agencies with OA mandates to encourage deposit in institutional repositories (B1)
6. educate university rectors about the importance of OA (B2)
7. support OA mandates for publicly-funded research in the EU (C1)

Kudos especially to Lesley Wilson, Secretary General of the EUA, and Sijbolt Noorda, chair of the Working Group on Open Access. Thanks to Stevan Harnad for breaking the news, and to Peter Suber for comments and summary.

My comments: this is huge; it sets the direction for European universities. It will take some time, of course, for each university to set its own policies and procedures, and a bit longer for these policies and procedures to take effect. Other jurisdictions are likely to follow the European example, each in its own time. Even if the impact is not felt immediately, the importance of this endorsement should not be underestimated.

Saturday, January 12, 2008

Two major open access announcements this week

Some major events in open access this week:

The final text of the NIH policy has been posted:
http://grants.nih.gov/grants/guide/notice-files/NOT-OD-08-033.html
and a very interesting FAQ

The European Research Council has announced an exemplary Open Access Policy - open access to funded research within 6 months, no loopholes, and an indication that the 6-month maximum will be shortened! For links and a summary, see Peter Suber's Open Access News.

As always, the best way to keep with the latest developments is to tune into Peter Suber's Open Access News.

Friday, January 11, 2008

Social Innovation Conversations: Heather McLeod Grant

What makes nonprofits great? Listen to this excellent podcast of Ms Grant summarizing her and Leslie Crutchfield's new book, Forces for Good: The Six Practices of High-Impact Nonprofits. They also offer a course at Stanford University: Stanford Continuing Studies Course: BUS 92.

Cover Image

Thanks to Bob Rehner for the referral.

Bangladesh on "energy for a developing world" episode 2 (PBS)

Excellent program on the impact of a few dollars' investment on quality of life, environment and economics in Bangladesh. Don't miss it. See this preview.

Nobelist Muhammad Yunus on Charlie Rose

Watch this January 10, 2008 video of A conversation with Nobel Peace Prize Winner Muhammed Yunus on Charlie Rose. Excellent discussion of principles and social business (or entrepreneurship). One of our opportunities is to contribute to the goals he discusses. His new book ($18 at www.bn.com) is Creating a World Without Poverty : Social Business and the Future of Capitalism by Muhammad Yunus, Karl Weber.
Creating a World Without Poverty: Social Business and the Future of Capitalism


Tuesday, January 01, 2008

Happy New Year! Thank you to our generous donors


Happy New Year and Peace on Earth!
I want to take this opportunity and thank our donors. You are too many to all be listed individually but a few I will introduce to you all and explain the purposes that are attached to the donations.
Thank you to our 200+ donors during the year 2007 who have given big and small to our main cause: supporting people in Africa to produce drugs. We are pushing hard on this and before I come home Diamond Pharmaceutical will be producing a diagnostic reagent that the Hospitals and AIDS testing centers need to make sure patients are on the right combination of AIDS drugs. Most recently my hiking buddy Susan has contributed $500.
Gary Ostrow, Dr. DO PC donated $1800 towards the $6000 we need to give a micro loan so a very successful new school can move onto their own land and continue to grow in peace. He also donated $800 to buy mosquito nets. Pictures on that to follow soon.
Phyllis Pawlovsky and Ann Higgins are our sponsors. That means they contribute continuously on a monthly base.
Jeff Hurst from Herschey Pensilvania donated an analytical balance
Elliott Bay donated some of the chemicals we need to produce the diagnostic solution. He also donated an electrode to measure the pH of a solution, that is to measure how acidic or basic an aqueous solution is.
Susan from Rockland County was so kind to give us her mothers sewing supplies. See pictures below from Weh.
My dentist Lenore Schwartz, White Plains, NY donated toothbrushes and tooth paste for children living in a poor neighborhood in Bamenda.
This trip is sponsored in part by Tibotec, a company based in Belgium. They produce a very efficient and userfriendly antifungal drug and are making the drug available on a non-profit base in countries in Africa. Tibotec gave us a grant to find out what it takes so that this drug can be distribued and sold in Cameroon. We also want to find out if the doctors as well as the patients like the drug - as of today this question can be answered with a resounding YES. Fungus infections are very comon in Africa. Children have it in form of ring worms. That is a white flaky, itchy coloring on the head. Women know it as yeast infections and AIDS patients have it in the mouth and esaphokes and it is called thrush. It is one of the opportunistic infections of HIV/AIDS. Although thrush does not kill directly, the patient have difficulty eating and swallowing. Thus they stop taking in enough food. Unfortunately AIDS drugs require a patient to eat sufficiently. We are very hopeful that the drug will be allowed to be distributed through the already existing Cameroon Drug Procurement and Distribution Agencies.

I am looking forward to 2008 as the year in which we raise 1/2 a million US dollar. We have almost everything in place. What is now holding us back is lack of funding. I urge you to continue to be generous. Our web site www.AIDSfreeAFRICA.org offers the convinient PAYPAL credit card option. Your checks are always welcome.

With heaps of love and peace
Dr. Rolande