BioMed Central’s Open Repository partners with Oxfam

On Wednesday Oxfam, a global movement of people working with others to overcome poverty and suffering, adopted Open Repository’s enhanced DSpace hosted solution.

Oxfam Policy & Practice is a new resource for the humanitarian and development community. Their website provides an insight into Oxfam’s development and humanitarian policy, practice, and research.

When Oxfam began the project, they realized there was no single, secure deposit location for their digital assets on poverty and suffering worldwide. Hence, they decided to implement a repository that could store their digital assets in multiple formats, have simple search and deposit functions to suit users with no background in repository use, and therefore enable Oxfam to showcase their large and ever evolving output of research, program learning and policy information to a global audience.

By partnering with BioMed Central’s Open Repository, the Oxfam iLibrary now has a repository where they can share their knowledge externally easily and quickly through the website. The publications section allows free access to over 3,000 advocacy, training, and research publications from Oxfam and its partners worldwide.

To learn more about why Oxfam chose a repository and how it was implemented, read their case study.

To see and search the new Oxfam website of resources, visit to the Oxfam Policy and Practice website.

Get Oxfam’s Microsoft Windows Phone app.

BioMed Central’s new website makes access to science easier for all

Open access to the latest research became even easier this week with the launch of BioMed Central’s newly redesigned website ( The company, which pioneered the open access model and now publishes over 220 open access journals, has introduced a streamlined design and new look which makes the high-traffic website site much more straightforward to navigate. The redesigned site also introduces a range of new and enhanced features.

Check it out at : BioMed Central’s new website:

taxpayers demand open access publishing

Patient advocacy groups turn to open-access publishing to advance research quest

Washington, D.C. – Pat Furlong founded Parent Project Muscular Dystrophy (PPMD) in 1995 to link families, like hers, who had been affected by muscular dystrophy with both resources and hope. Now, Furlong has blazed a new trail in the fight to end the disease. She has spearheaded a partnership between PPMD and the Public Library of Science (PLoS) to launch an open-access publication, PLoS Currents: Muscular Dystrophy, this month. The story of the partnership is told in a new article released today by the Alliance for Taxpayer Access.

PLoS Currents: Muscular Dystrophy is a new forum that will promote the rapid exchange of information, hypotheses and experimental results related to the rare disease. Compared to a traditional journal, the PLoS Currents publication process is compressed.

“The idea to make it very streamlined, quick, and hassle-free,” says Mark Patterson, director of publishing for PLoS. “This publication does all the essential jobs of a journal – including peer review and archiving – but it has the potential to do that very fast and, also, much more cheaply.”

For families, the new online journal will give them access to the latest information to help them make the most informed choices in treatment for their children, says Furlong, whose two sons died from Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy as teenagers. The project will also link scientists and, hopefully, lead to new advances. “I think we waste too much time, effort and money not learning from studies that didn’t produce positive results,” says Furlong. “I think this really will help the community and our goal for Duchenne is to accelerate wherever and whenever we can. We felt PLoS offered significant opportunity to accelerate.”

Furlong thinks other patient advocacy groups will likely follow the lead of PPMD and look to online journals to exchange information more quickly.

“Pat was quick to grasp the possibilities that an outlet like PLoS Currents presents to share all kinds of credible research results more quickly than ever,” said Heather Joseph, Executive Director of SPARC and Spokesperson for the Alliance. “The ability to give a targeted community of researchers fast access to the combination of articles, data, and even negative results presents important new opportunities to make new connections and speed the pace of discovery.”

The full article is available online from the Alliance for Taxpayer Access at

Public Attitudes to Science (PAS) 2011

Public Attitudes to Science (PAS) 2011 is the fourth in a series of studies looking at the UK public’s attitudes to science, scientists and science policy, building on previous research in 2000, 2005 and 2008. Ipsos MORI, in association with the British Science Association (BSA), conducted this latest study on behalf of the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS).

The research provides further evidence that the UK public values science and is interested in finding out about it… The research also highlights the challenge of public engagement with science. Fewer people say they feel informed about science, and scientific research and developments (43%) than say they do not (56%). In addition, while many are keen for the public to be involved in decision-making on science issues, most do not want to be personally involved.

Check out Chapter three, Finding out about science. It would seem that there is an “appetite for knowing more about science” that Open Access can hope to feed.

See details (and reports available for download) at:

Re-imagining Research Relationships – Co-creating Knowledge in a Democratic Society

5th Living Knowledge Conference logoThe 5th Living Knowledge conference will be held in Gustav-Stresemann-Institut Bonn 10-12 May 2012

“This conference will provide an opportunity for policy makers, academics and civil society organisations to consider current practice and future opportunities in the field of research partnerships.

The 5th Living Knowledge Conference will set its focus on different themes to get more insight in processes, and develop specific policy recommendations that resonate with public concerns and articulated research needs and built on the experience and know-how of the previous LK conferences in Leuven, Seville, Paris and Belfast. It will be an opportunity to bring together some of the key thinkers and practitioners in the area of community based research, university/community partnerships and Science Shops and aims at providing options and opportunities for collaborations and ensuring that this area of work is prioritised on policy agendas both nationally and internationally.

The conference will also be a platform to exchange and discuss findings and results of the first half of the PERARES project. PERARES (Public Engagement with Research and Research Engagement with Society) is a project which has been awarded financial support by the European Commission as coordination action in the 7th Framework Programme for broarder engagement on science-related questions and structuring public engagement in research.”

I hope to be at this one!