Another great evening of coders meeting publishers has passed. With about 50 people in attendance CMPTO is rolling along. Here’s what was covered…
We heard about how Universities are changing the academic publishing model using open technologies and providing open access. Chris Charles from the University of Guelph talked to us about the University’s Atrium project: an open access repository for scholarly publications coming out of the University community. He touched on many things that he probably could have spent a couple of hours talking about, but like all of the other presenters he only had 15 minutes. So we heard about Dspace, tomcat, java, the Public Knowledge Project, fedora, eprints and most importantly Open Access week which takes place October 24th - 30th. Chris pointed out that open access is increasingly a requirement coming from funding agencies.
Next up was Scott Tolksdorf who spoke to us about an app he and a team of 7 developers at the University of Waterloo developed during their 7 apps in 7 days challenge. Scott was entertaining and engaging. Someone should hire this guy. The app that we were interested in hearing about was the QuickCite app—a citation app that scans a books barcode, goes out to biblio databases and brings back the metadata in a formatted citation.
Last but not least was Sandra Nagy, the Digital Publisher at Pearson Education Canada. Sandra talked to us about Pearson’s new developer portal and “open” API’s. She did make it clear that what open meant to Pearson is not exactly what Chris meant by open access. Open for Pearson means “more open”. Developers can get a key from http://developer.pearson.com/ and are given access to certain libraries of content which they can play with in a sandbox, like this project from Metia. If the content suits their needs then they can license the full content. The rough model for pricing is based on the number of calls that are made to the content.
Pearson has always appealed to me as an innovative publishing house and certainly they need to be in the academic market with challengers coming from every which way. It was fantastic to see the creativity that Pearson is throwing at that very real problem. It would be great to hear more about this project and see more metrics on its uptake. BNC Tech Forum 2012 anyone?