LERU ~ The Academic World Urges Publishers To Enter A Brave New World

librarianToday, 27 January 2016, Prof Alain Beretz and Prof Kurt Deketelaere, Chair and Secretary-General of LERU (League of European Research Universities), presented the signatures to the LERU Statement on Open Access to Commissioner Carlos Moedas and Dutch Secretary of State Sander Dekker. At the end of the meeting of the informal Competitiveness Council in Amsterdam, almost 10,000 signatures* (from individuals and institutions) were handed over, calling upon the policy makers for clear initiatives to guide the development of the Green and Gold routes to Open Access (OA).

Nowadays, European universities pay publishers significant parts of their university budget. Hundreds of millions of euros. Money which is not directly spent on research and education, even though it is largely taxpayers´ money. As Harvard University already denounced in 2012, many large journal publishers have rendered the situation “fiscally unsustainable and academically restrictive”, with some journals costing as much as $40,000 per year (and publishers drawing profits of 35% or more). If one of the wealthiest universities in the world can no longer afford it, who can? It is easy to picture the struggle of European universities with tighter budgets. In addition to subscription costs, academic research funding is also severely affected by “Article Processing Charges” (APC), which come at an additional cost of €2000/article, on average, when making individual articles Gold Open Access. As a result, some publishers even get paid twice for the same content (“double dipping”).

In the era of Open Science, Open Access to publications is one of the cornerstones of the new research paradigm and business models must support this transition. It should be one of the principal objectives of policy makers to ensure that this transition happens. Further developing the EU´s leadership in research and innovation largely depends on it. Therefore, LERU launched on 12 October 2015 a campaign on Open Access, under the title: “Christmas is over”. With the statement “Moving Forwards on Open Access“, LERU called upon all universities, research institutes, research funders and researchers to sign this statement and give a clear signal towards the European Commission and the Dutch Presidency of the Council of the European Union. Carlos Moedas and Sander Dekker immediately reacted in a positive way to this campaign and statement.

Read more: http://www.leru.org/a-brave-new-world/

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Appeltjes van Oranje ~ De popularisering van het nieuwe welzijnswerk

OranjefondsHet Oranje Fonds nomineert elk jaar een aantal aansprekende sociale projecten. Dit jaar zijn dat er elf, waarvan drie kans maken op een prijs van 15.000 euro en een gebeeldhouwd Appeltje van Oranje. Thema is deze keer buurtvoorzieningen in eigen beheer. Wat is de impact van deze Oscars voor sociale vernieuwing die in mei worden uitgereikt?

In 2014 keerde het Oranje Fonds 27,4 miljoen euro uit aan ruim 1.100 sociale projecten. Gemiddeld is dat circa 25.000 euro per aanvraag. Ze zijn daarmee het grootste sociale fonds van Nederland, meldt het fonds op de website. Door de overheidsbezuinigingen in de sociale sector, is het belang van dit fonds in het afgelopen decennium toegenomen. Niet zozeer omdat ze het financiële gat dichten, want de 27,4 miljoen van het fonds steekt schamel af tegen de veel grotere overheidsbezuinigingen in deze sector. De betekenis van het Oranje Fonds zit vooral in de positie die het fonds in het afgelopen decennium heeft verworven. In tweeërlei opzicht. Om te beginnen is dat de bijdrage aan de popularisering van het welzijnswerk. Exponenten hiervan zijn de jaarlijkse uitreiking van de Appeltjes van oranje. Maar ook het succes van de NL-doet dag en de Buren-dag, twee jaarlijkse campagnes die mensen er toe aan wil zetten één dag als vrijwilliger voor een sociaal doel te klussen, dan wel op de ‘burendag’ een gezellige activiteit met de buren te organiseren. Een tweede verdienste is de uitbreiding van de dienstverlening die het Oranje Fonds biedt. Dat gebeurt aan de hand van sociale thema’s geclusterd in meerjarige programma’s. In plaats van de suikeroom die aanvragen al dan niet toekent, staat het fonds de mensen die bij hen aankloppen ook terzijde bij inhoudelijke vragen. Naast financiering helpt het Oranje Fonds initiatiefnemers op weg met de methodische aanpak, organiseert het uitwisseling en laat het onderzoek uitvoeren naar resultaten. Door deze ruimere taakopvatting kan het fonds de aanpak van maatschappelijke thema’s agenderen en nieuwe werkwijzen in bredere kring over het voetlicht brengen.

Troonrede
Behalve in het populariseren van het welzijnswerk is het Oranje Fonds dus ook op de inhoud een belangrijke speler geworden in deze sector. Interessant dus om hier bij stil te staan aan de hand van de Appeltjes van Oranje. Om te beginnen bij de nominaties voor 2016. Dat heeft als thema buurtvoorzieningen die mensen in eigen beheer hebben. Denk daarbij aan voorbeelden als het zelfbeheer van een buurthuis, een dorpswinkel, een buurtmoestuin, een speelruimte of het gezamenlijk geregeld vervoer. `Samen zelf doen. De handen uit de mouwen steken en meedoen, het is hard nodig,` staat in de toelichting vermeld. Deze inleiding eindigt met: `We bekronen het zelfbeheer en de inzet voor elkaar.` Sleutelbegrippen waar de jury naar kijkt bij de selectie van de genomineerde projecten zijn: zelfbeheer, zelfredzaamheid en actief burgerschap. Deze criteria zou je ook kunnen lezen als een populaire versie van de spraakmakende frase uit de Troonrede van 2013, waarin werd aangekondigd dat de klassieke verzorgingsstaat plaats moet maken voor een ‘participatiesamenleving’. Read more

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Sean Coughlan ~ Are Cities The New Countries?

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Photo: thinkstock

Do big cities have more in common with each other than with the rest of their own countries?

Are there meaningful comparisons between cities such as New York, London and Shanghai, rather than between nation states?
That is the suggestion of the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD).
Such mega-conurbations have bigger populations and economies than many individual countries – and the think tank argues that they face many similar challenges, whether it is in transport, housing, security, jobs, migration or education.

In a report on global trends shaping education, the OECD says cities could learn from each other’s experiences, in a way that would be impossible at the level of national politics.

Read more: http://www.bbc.com/news/education

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Bonus Chapter 2016 – 2 ~ Frequently Asked Questions About Distance Workers

becker

Prof.dr. H.A. Becker

Introduction
It may seem slightly absurd, but most questions about distance workers have a history already. These questions have come forward with regard to the pattern of generations, in particular its dynamics and its structure. In bonus-chapter 2016-1, already a number of major developments related to distance workers have been discussed, focusing on their past and future. In this bonus-chapter we will deal with four sets of FAQ’s.

First: are distance workers a new phenomenon or have distance workers a long history already?
Second: what is the impact of major events in society on cohorts, in particular cohorts of distance workers?
Third: which strategies have an impact upon distance workers?
Fourth: what is the impact of the analysis of distance workers on the sociology of generations?

The history of distance workers
Which early examples demand our attention? Instructions by letter have been launched frequently in the past.
Which examples in the recent past are at stake? Each time an innovation in systems of communication has occurred this innovation has changed the roles of distance workers. Take the emergence of internet and video conferencing.
Is an example available? Take the course presented by video conference from Utrecht to South-Africa described in the previous bonus-chapter. This video conference took place twenty years ago.
Distance workers can get engaged in more than one occupation. For instance they can act as a financial expert and combine this occupation with teaching or coaching.

The impact of major events on behavior in cohorts
How does a new generation emerge in society? A new generation in society comes into existence as soon as a major event has taken place. Or a set of interrelated events has occured.
As soon as a new generation has emerged, it moves on in time. Compare this with processes in the body of a Python that has swallowed a rabbit. Slowly the rabbit moves on in the body of the snake. The body of the rabbit slinks. After some time another rabbit will be swallowed.
Which major events have occurred recently that have triggered the emergence of a new generation? For an answer to this question we have to look at cohorts whose members have experienced in their formative period the drastic rise of ICT. We are looking at cohorts that have been born approximately after 1985. New innovations in ICT result in changes in the pattern of generations. In the book ‘Generations of Lucky Devils and Unlucky Dogs’ statistics showing the development of intelligence and memory capacity during the formative period have been presented.

The impact of the pattern of generations on behavior in cohorts.
Which impacts on the stream of economic refugees have to be taken into consideration? In the stream of economic refugees young males dominate. If a developed country wants to admit members of this category, it is free to do so. If a developing country wants to avoid the immigration of a member of this category, the country can refuse admittance and advise the economic refugee to return to the developing country and take the role of a distance worker. Availability of this role provides the country refusing admittance moral arguments for the refusal.

Which impacts on the stream of political refugees have to be taken into consideration? International rules oblige a developing country to admit refugees that come from a discriminating country. However, these rules permit the developed country to send a political refugee to another developed country. For example to Turkey, which country has been promised by the European Union 3 milliard Euro for financing this kind of hospitality. Turkey does not permit political refugees to participate in its labor force. It is to be expected that Turkey will organize its hospitality in a restricted sense. As a consequence, these political refugees will try to return to their home country as soon as possible. Also, other countries like Turkey will come forward to offers political refugees a protected area. In politically discriminating countries, protected urban areas will be organized. Also, protected rural areas will be created, although this is less easy. Organizing protected areas is supported by the availability of surveillance cameras, drones etc.

The Impact of the analysis of distance workers on the sociology of generations.
Why is the sociology of generations interested in the analysis of distance work? In 2016 and in the fifteen years to follow relatively large cohorts of citizens aged 65 years and over will expect a pension and a lot of facilities. These pensions and these facilities will have to be financed by members of generations born after about 1985. This potential crash of generations will trigger strategies to avoid or mitigate conflicts. The sociology of generations will be invited to develop the strategies that are required. For example: how could individuals ages 65 and older be stimulated to remain active in the labour force? How will the role of distance worker contribute to this strategy?

This bonus-chapter has been published on January 16, 2016. Bonus-chapters providing FAQs will be supplemented on a regular basis.

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I Am 20 ~ Films Division, Govt. of India

Young men and women born on Independence Day in 1947 were selected from different parts of India and interviewed to discover their hopes, desires, ambitions and fears. They spoke about love, they spoke about their heroes and they spoke about their frustrations. The result is this unique film shot in 1967.

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10 Questions For Rotterdam ~ From Cape Town / A Capetonian

My first view of Rotterdam stepping out of the station

My first view of Rotterdam stepping out of the station

Ten months have passed since that Sunday afternoon in Autumn when my train pulled into the station and I set foot on Platform No. 9. I remember making my way through the station building with a heavy heart, and an even heavier suitcase, overwhelmed by the newness and all the uncertainties ahead. However, as soon as I stepped out onto your brand new stationsplein and took in my surroundings, my heavy luggage seemed featherweight and my misgivings vanished. For a moment I was blinded by the sunlight glinting off a corner of your silver roof, but the drift of a cloud moved over and your skyline greeted me on all sides.

The emotions rising and bubbling in my mind then quickly gave way to questions about you, which I have been refining and adding to ever since – prompted by your cityscape, your culture and your people. Can you help me – a passionate urbanist from Cape Town – gain some answers?

Read more: http://www.studiorotterdam.co.za/-questions-for-rotterdam

 

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