Preplanning 2017, thing which I wanna achieve: My 12…

Always be prepared, always try your best to pre-plan, that’s how you increase your chance of touching success. Since its almost the end of the year 2016, a year with lots of ups and downs. Here I am ready to welcome 2017 with my pre-planned list. Things which I plan to do, things which I want to conquer. 12 things which I wanna achieve in 2017, Here it goes:

1) Visit 7 different district/places of Nepal.

2) Sign partnership MOU with 10 different organization (National and International).

3) Buy new One Plus 3T.

4) Publish a minimum 7 article in National and International news portal.

5) Read 12 Novel of different writers (Nepali, Hindi, and English combined)

6) Learn how to drive a motorbike and apply for licenses.

7) Organize a minimum 2 international events in Nepal.

8) Clear pass 3rd and 1st Sem of Bachelor Degree at Acme.

9) Write and publish minimum 2 guidebook or whitepaper on any topics.

10) Launch 4 project or product, which clearly supports Open Data, Transparency, and Accountability.

11) Find a new coffee and movie Date (Obviously a girl).

12) And definitely, earn some money to support my education and above goals.

Welcome 2017!!


Amateur Nikesh, Amateur Journey: Looking Back 2016

Reflection is something that makes you emotional, at some point, you enjoy the taste of success and at some point, you almost cry remembering the journey you travel. Memories of old new friends make you feel sad and the enthusiasm of making your future bright push you harder to move forward. The year 2016 was one of the confused years for me, where I struggle to make a big decision, in the beginning, lost my Grandfather, planned something and did something else!! Here are some Ups and Downs of my journey of the year 2016, Where enthusiasm of junior was stronger than the pressure of senior, where people criticize me for my childish behaviors and at the same time some people support my never giving up attitude.

1) Joining Acme once again

A confused year and a totally confused decision made in 2015 and realized in 2016. Gaps, Bachelor Degree, Future, Friends and much more. Was Engineering my right decision, I doubt so but I am still confused. Let’s see how long I can go!!

2) Launching Nepal Open Data Index

The work of 2015 but was launched in January 2016, the result of crowdsourced open data survey done in 10 different districts of Nepal, which helps us to understand the condition of open data and technology in the local cities of Nepal.

3) Organizing International Open Data Day 2016

Officially the first event of the year, Yes once again we organize International Open Data Day in Kathmandu. This year we organize Datathon, where we collect the information of different Public Bodies of Nepal. Thanks go to awesome teams, supporters and well-wishers, with limited resources and time, we did something great that day.

4) Loosing Grandfather started drinking alcohol

One of the moments of 2016, which I never wanted to remember, yes never. Maybe that’s the reason why I started drinking alcohol, to forget that pain and memories. The pain of losing grandfather, the pain of being alone.

5) FOSS Nepal PoC and celebrating Software Freedom Day 2016

Working to shape the FOSS Nepal Community structure was another thing where I worked hard by bringing the concept of FOSS Nepal Person of Contact (PoC) but was unsuccessful at the end. Yes or Maybe, I don’t know but the Software Freedom Day 2016 celebration was a huge success. The preparation was good and execution was perfect, Kudos to the team, those new faces, and their enthusiasm. Ohh Gosh, I love them and miss them, they were awesome.

6) Working on Open Data Handbook Nepali Version

One of the 75% completed core project of Open Knowledge Nepal, where we work hard for translation, which isn’t really that much good but we did it. I personally work lots in writing so that we can do fundraising for that project, let’s see, we plan to launch that project in 2017 since the review of the handbook is still left.

7) Virtually marking Open Access Week 2016

For the third time in a row, I decided to mark the Nepal presence in Open Access Week. Since Open Access Week falls in festival season, it’s always challenging to celebrate it through physical events, my previous experience of organizing it says. But this year the plan was something different, We did QA with some know and active Open Access Activist of Nepal so we can gather the info about is the current situation and share it with others.

8) Joining Code for Nepal as AskNepal Initiative lead

I was always the secret well-wishers of Code for Nepal, the things which they are doing or trying to do is really awesome. In October 2016, I decided to join them as an AskNepal Lead. A project which I think is very impactful in the context of Nepal.

9) Receiving Shuttleworth Flash Grant

The highlight of the 2016 end, being nominated by the Founder of Open Knowledge Internation for Shuttleworth Flash Grant to recognize my contribution in the field of Open Knowledge and Data in Nepal. I was one of the grantees of Flash Grant.

10) Structuring Open Knowledge Nepal

Last planning of 2016 and first work in To-Do list of 2017, giving right structure to the work and projects of Open Knowledge Nepal. Lots of works are already done, planning is in the right stage, let’s see how well we can execute it in the year 2017.

2017 I am ready for you, Come on!!


Journey Continues, keep making mistakes

Not my piece of shit, just a thinking!!

I was frustrated, I was disappointed and more importantly, I was angry. Angry with myself, Angry with the people of my surrounding because I know it wasn’t working well, I started to feel alone and lonely. Yes, I know my expectation is higher and huge but I also know that I tried my best to achieve it. At one stage of the journey, I decided to give up because I wanted to start new, Give Up so that I can grab another piece of cake.

Yes, I Give Up all because of You, I blame you for my failure, I blame you for not matching my expectation. What about me? Am I not responsible for my own failure?
Absolutely No, cuz I have this fucking EGO problem bitches and don’t even dare to question me again like that, cuz I have another monster side which can be harmful to you and your health.

You will never succeed in life with this kind of EGO.


haha, loneliness with frustration in mind is too harmful especially when you are in the Age of taking the important decision of your life, where every decision made by you will directly relate to your family future. Is the decision made by you is right? I don’t know but I already made the decision to move forward, I can’t look back. My mind is fresh with complete control on my anger and bad habits. I don’t want to taste the sweetness of the Failure again :p and I also don’t want to be slow. Surrounding yourself with different pieces of knowledge plus minds and never stops learning are some of the lesson learned. Sometimes you make mistake decision all because of your anger and ego but the only way to repay the mistake which you had done is to keep going and slowly the doors of collaboration will be open for you by default.

Mistakes, failures, and loneliness, doesn’t mean the end, sometimes they are the start point. Don’t regret giving up, some mistakes are worth sharing if the journey continues. So, the trying, changing and learning are the small parts of life, never push hard and never pressurize your brain in small things.

Stay Updated, Stay Tuned!!


Today’s Tea discussion: Stable Government and Strong Bureaucracy for…

The process of a constitutional amendment for the second time without being implemented is one the way and the power fight between the political parties are growing day by day. Some had already planned strikes and some had decided to vote against the amendment. The citizens of the Eastern region looks completely out of the amendment and had started to show their anger through strikes and Andolan. Citizens of Terai region are still saying that the second amendment still doesn’t solve the citizenship problem.

So, who is wrong, why this amendment. Because we all know everyone can’t be right, some had to be wrong or some are doing it in a wrong way. Currently, everyone is blaming Prime Minister and Indian Government. Question is? Are they the one who are creating confusion. Peoples are discussion lots about it and most of the time this kind of discussion can be found in morning Tea shop, where people gathers after exercise and morning walks.

Today by chance I was also involved in one Tea discussion with retired school professor and lawyer. We discuss different kinds of hot topics and most of them were about the current political situation of Nepal. Both of them blame normal citizens for supporting political parties for all kinds of bad and unwanted activities. They mostly highlighted that the bureaucracy of Nepal need improvement cuz according to their view bureaucracy is playing the main role behind.

The conclusion of discussion is, we need to act and try every possible solution. Let’s hope for something good!!


Mapping my HomeTown

Unplanned outputs are awesome and I love it especially when someone close to my heart admires it. Yes, someone close to me and my heart. One of the role models of my life, My father was pretty much happy with me yesterday and was admiring my work, when I completed one of the simple tasks given by him. A task of creating a digital map of our HomeTown.

Sounds easy especially for me who know how to play with technology and also pretty much well familiar with OpenStreet Map, but the journey wasn’t really that much easy for me. Cutting all those journeys parts and coming directly in output. Here is how I made progress and created a digital map of my Hometown.

First Step: Using my old sketch for some basic start.

A map which I created while taking part in OpenStreet Map workshop last month organized by Kathmandu Living Labs.

Second Step: Using the paper map created by our Community Club president for details.

A map which I collected from the president of our Community Club "Ekta Yuwa Club".
A map which I collected from the president of our Community Club “Ekta Yuwa Club”.

Third Step: Using OpenStreep Map for creating a digital map of my HomeTown.

A digital map which I created using OpenStreet Map.
A digital map which I created using OpenStreet Map.

We also printed that map and hang it on the wall of our Community Club so, that every new people coming to our town can know about the beautiful road network and respective names of those pathways.

Printed OpenStreet Map
Printed OpenStreet Map

Thanks Shuttleworth Foundation for Shuttleworth Flash Grant

Good news never knocks the door, they just come in and surprise you. October 2016 was one of the awesome months for me, where good news keeps entering my room. October – a month full of festivals and holidays for most of the Nepalese, but for me, it was a month full of scheduled works and meetings. Where I make some important decision like applying for Accountability Lab Incubator and leading Code for Nepal project AskNepal initiative. But more importantly getting chosen as an South Asia coordinator for Global Open Data Index 2016 and being nominated for Shuttleworth Flash Grant 2016, was an highlighted news of an month which will be written in Bold letter but it shadowed some of my other achievement like receiving Statement of Accomplishment from Stanford Online and Open University, OpenLearn for completing MOOC. The updates of Open Access Week 2016 and Nepal Open Data Index 2016 also nearly got shadowed in front of that big news.

One of the news which was unplanned and amazed me was being nominated for Shuttleworth Flash Grant. I would like to thank all the team of Shuttleworth Foundation, special thanks to Rufus Pollock for nominating me and Prakash Neupane for mentoring plus helping me to move forward in this Open Knowledge Field. This fund will definitely play a huge role in my and Open Knowledge Nepal future.

I will be utilizing this fund to carve the future of Open Knowledge in Nepal. Most of the percent of this fund will be utilized for the development and deployment of Open Knowledge Nepal important project MyLocalBudgets and Open Data Handbook Nepali version.

MyLocalBudgets is a portal run by the team of Open Knowledge Nepal which tracks down Nepal Government data related to the financial transaction like budgets, spending, balance sheets, procurement etc and publish them in an interactively visualized way, which are easily understandable, customizable and usable from anywhere without any kinds of restriction.

Open Data Handbook Nepali version is the localization of Global Open Data Handbook. The Nepali version of this handbook will include content from Global Open Data Handbook, including Licensing terms from Open Definition. We believe this Open Data Handbook Nepali Version will help Government policy makers, leaders, and common citizens to understand about Data in their Native language easily and CSO can take their awareness program in next level by using the resources.




I am pretty sure this project will help us to improve the condition and understanding of Open Data and Open Budgets in Nepal. But, we still have a long way to travel and the plan is to keep traveling. At the end, I would like to thanks, everyone who was part of this journey directly and indirectly.


Rebooting AskNepal initiative

October 17th, 2016 – A day when I messaged Mr. Ravi Kumar Nepal, Co-founder of Code For Nepal showing my interest in leading and contributing AskNepal initiative and within a day my meeting was fixed with him for October 22nd, 2016 where we discuss the different possible ways of my engagement. Today right after one week of that meeting, here I am writing this post with the possible Project Plan, Admin Access, Project Lead tag. Unbelievable, Isn’t it a super fast way of joining a community. Yes, it is and thanks to Ravi and team for accepting me as a C4N family.

So, What are the possible next steps and how we are doing it?

Like every others project, AskNepal initiative also needs multi-stakeholders, supporters, collaborators to make a greater impact and easy outreach. So, our next step is to search for possible organizations and civil society organization (CSO) who can help us. Our initial discussion with some RTI Activist of Nepal had found that there is more than 10 organization working all around Nepal for the betterment of Right to Information Act with greater implementation and impact. At first stage, we will be starting this discussion with two organization of Nepal, Citizens’ Campaign for Right to Information (CCRI) and Freedom Forum because this organization has great experience of working in RTI field and human resources who believes in technological solution. We will keep searching others possible organization. We want these kinds of CSO, who understand technology to be our collaborators because AskNepal initiative is all about increasing citizen’s reach of Access to Information through the use of technology.

We will be taking feedback and suggestion from this two organization (CCRI Nepal and Freedom Forum) regarding site customization so, that we can make it more user-friendly because the current version of the site is the replicate of the global initiative Where you choose the public authority that you would like information from, then write a brief note describing what you want to know. Then we will play the intermediary role where we will send your request to the respective public authority or officer. Any response received is automatically published on the website for you and anyone else to find and read.

But we plan to localize the site according to the local context and needs to increase our chances of reaching local citizens from all around the country. We will implement and try all kinds of suggestion regarding site customization because, at the end of the day, all we want is to make the site user-friendly.

After making site perfect, our next step is to discuss initiative with a government organization in search of help. For this, we will follow Top-Down approach and will directly start from National Information Commission (NIC) because when it comes to working with government, Bottom-Up approach never works and I personally have a good experience about this. We also believe our chances of getting positive responses from government officials is high and after getting linked with government and CSO, the project outreach is just a matter of time.

Last but not the least, the site is still empty, what about data, where are the list of public authorities?

The answers are clear and simple, we will search and crowdsourced it. National Information Technology Center (NITC) already have this data because all the ( domain are control and maintained by them. We will ask those data with them by using RTI Act and the ongoing project of Open Knowledge Nepal, PublicBodies Nepal can be another possible source of data.

The outreach and frequent maintenance of site will be done by the team of Code for Nepal and Open Knowledge Nepal. More importantly, If the initiative got selected for Accountability Lab Incubator, all the implementation of this plan is going to be easier.

Want to join or support AskNepal initiative, contact project lead Nikesh Balami (

Open Access

QA with Open Access Activist of Nepal

Open Access Week, a global event now entering its eighth year, is an opportunity for the academic and research community to continue to learn about the potential benefits of Open Access, to share what they’ve learned with colleagues, and to help inspire wider participation in helping to make Open Access a new norm in scholarship and research.

It’s one of our favorite global event, We the team of Open Knowledge Nepal always love celebrating and organizing it because we believe Open Access and Open Research field need more advocacy and awareness in Nepal. We joined this momentum in 2014 with the help of Open Access Nepal and lead that momentum in 2015. This year to mark this global celebration, We did QA with some Open Access Activist of Nepal. The aim of doing this QA was to generate resources regarding Open Access and Open Research so, that newcomer entering this field can find and know about the momentum running in Nepal easily.


We ask three Open Access Activist regarding their work, organization, and vision. Thanks to all three of them for giving us their valuable time and replying our question.

nepal-countryMr. Jagadish Aryal

Country Coordinator | EIFL and Secretary | NeLIC

1) Brief about Nepal Library and Information Consortium (NeLIC)?

The Nepal Library and Information Consortium (NeLIC) was established by a group of institutions with the idea of facilitating access to electronic resources to Nepali educational institutions. Its core area of activities is Open Access, Free and Open Source Software, Intellectual Property Rights, & Sharing of the available e-resources. More information can be found at

2) How is NeLIC using and promoting Information and Communications Technology (ICT) and Free and Open Source Software (FOSS)?

NeLIC is promoting the use of ICT in libraries for better service and modernizing the library according to global trends. For that we recommend FOSS. Presently Koha, PMB, DSpace, GSDL, etc. are the FOSS being used in Nepalese library.

3) Brief about NeLIC Open Access Repository?

Central OA Repository is a web archive run by Nepal Library and Information Consortium (NeLIC) for the collection, preservation, and dissemination of intellectual outputs of an institution or an individual. Outputs may be journaled articles, research reports, and conference papers in a digital form. Researchers and students will have access to these materials through a single-point open access system.

4) How can libraries be used by businesses to provide professional development opportunities?

Libraries can be used by any professionals to enrich their professional knowledge and sharpen them by getting exhaustive and up to date information in the particular field.

5) How many institutes are currently the member of NeLIC and is the number increasing?

Currently, there are 56 members in NeLIC. The number of members is open to all Nepalese institutions which have a library and /or which are involved in learning, teaching and research activities. So it is growing continuously.

9ugrps-rMr. Kshitiz Khanal

Open Science & Research Team Lead | Open Knowledge Nepal

1) Brief about Open Knowledge Nepal?

A working group of Open Knowledge in Nepal. An open network of mostly young people working towards increasing openness in data, education, science, and other and increasing opportunities for many people.

2) Brief about Open Science & Open Research working group and their interconnection?

Science is advanced by research. Research is a methodology with which all science progresses. These two are always interconnected.

3) When does a researcher satisfy the requirement for Open Access?

Most important thing, at first, is a commitment by researcher themselves. But that can only the cause of open access so far. The researcher can study more about types of open access, find open access journals in their domain, talk about open access with their colleagues.

4) How do you see the current open science practice of Nepal?

At least all journals in Nepal are Open access. However, there is no culture of sharing research data among Nepali researchers. Practice is influenced by culture, and culture by practice. We need to sensitize researchers and academics about open access and open science in Nepal. If all government funded research in Nepal mandates publication as open access and sharing of raw data in an open license, it will increase open science practice. Movements take time and we have only just begun. There’s a lot to do.

5) What are the expected challenges?

  • Researchers want to publish data in the most reputed journal that they can publish, and most such journals are not open by default.
  • Publishing in Nepali open access journals is frowned upon. The quality of paper matters more than the ranking of journals.
  • We should push for raising the standard of Nepali journals. More rigorous peer review.
  • Very few researchers of Nepal publish papers and conduct academic research. The potential of students and academics is wasted in Nepal.

dr_karnDr. Roshan Kumar Karn

Director | Open Access Nepal

1) Brief about Open Access Nepal?

Open Access Nepal is a non-profit and non-governmental organization and was established in March 2014. OANepal is the affiliate chapter of U.S. based organization “Right to Research Coalition (R2RC)”. The main objective of Open Access Nepal is to advocate and promote the policies and principles of Open Access, Open Education, Open Data and Open Repository in Nepal. It aims to nurture potential researchers with unrestricted access to scholarly articles. The activities of OANepal are supported by EIFL, INASP, R2RC and OCSD NET.

2) Brief about Open Access Button and Open Access Journals?

Open Access Button: OA Button is a browser bookmarklet which registers when people hit a paywall to a scholarly article and supports these researchers in 3 ways:

  • Finding available research: OA Button searches thousands of sources with millions of articles to find legal access to research articles for the researchers.
  • Requesting Research: OA Button was designed as a transparent and effective request system to help make more research accessible. If you are unable to get access, you can quickly create a request with the OA Button.
  • Making Research available: Request for articles are sent to the author and other Button users can support your request. Together we strive for more accessibility to research.

The motto of OA Button is: Push Button. Get Research. Make Progress.

Open Access Journals: Open Access journals are the scholarly journals and publications that are available to the readers online without any financial, legal or technical barriers. OA journals are freely accessible to the readers. It essentially removes the price (licensing fees, subscription) and permission (copyright issues) barriers to a scholarly publication. Some OA journals are subsidized and are financed by an academic institution, foundation, or government itself while others are operated by the article processing charges (APC’s) obtained from submitting authors which are usually provided by their respective institutes.

3) What are the main factors that have led to the steady growth of OA publishing in Nepal?

Nikesh, I think rather than taking about the steady growth of OA publishing which is not true anymore. If you see the recent entries in DOAJ, there has been a dramatic increase in open publications in the last couple of years. Therefore, here I have discussed why OA publishing is important to different groups. But I have also answered your exact question at the end.

Open publishing seeks to return scholarly publishing to its original and core purpose viz to spread knowledge and allow that knowledge to resonate and be built upon. There are several factors in play that has led to the growth of OA publication in the past few years.

For Students:

  • Open Publications provides a complete education to students by providing them access to the latest research.
  • With science advancing at an ever increasing pace it is crucial that professors have access to cutting edge research so students’ education is not outdated before they even finish a course. OA publishing has given the professors access to these cutting-edge researches and advancements.
  • It provides research for your papers.
  • OA gives the opportunity to the students to be innovative and conduct researches beyond their degree.

For Researchers:

  • Better visibility and higher impact for the scholarship.
  • No researcher wants to waste time and money conducting a study that has already been done. Open publication helps researchers to avoid duplication.

For Doctors:

  • Opening access to research will allow doctors access to all relevant information, enabling them to make better decisions – decisions based on the most up-to-date medical knowledge, leading to more effective treatment and better outcomes.

For Patients:

  • Open publishing provides patients and their advocates the access to the corpus of medical research.

For Entrepreneurs and Small Businesses:

  • Access to the latest research speeds innovation.

For the public:

  • Return on public’s investment as most research are funded by the taxpayers’ money.
  • Exercising the right to research: as taxpayers who pay for much of the research published in journals, the public has a collective right to access the information resulting from their investment.

For Publishers:

  • Demonstrated benefits: numerous publishers, both non-profit and for-profit, voluntarily make their articles openly available at the time of publication or within 6-12 months. Many have switched from a closed, subscription model to an open one as a strategic business decision to increase their journal’s exposure and impact, and have done so with great success

The reasons for steady growth in OA publishing could be:

  • Lack of awareness, advocacy, knowledge and benefits of OA publishing amongst the researchers.
  • Issues related to impact factor of the open journals.
  • The reluctance of PI to opt in for the open model of publishing.
  • The poor government policy of making public funded researchers available publicly.
  • Lack of repositories.
  • Lack of funding.
  • Inadequate development of the R&D sector of Nepal.
  • Overindulgence and extremely powerful lobbyists for the traditional model of publishing.
  • Lack of adequate investment from the government in the development of research and laboratory facilities.
  • Researchers are not yet totally convinced that open publication will be advantageous for their careers the same as subscription journals.
  • Fear of loss of credibility among the peers.

4) How do you think this trend will develop over the next decade, and explain why?

The gradual trend of OA publishing has been increasing over the years now and I am confident that we will witness a significant rise in OA publication over the next decade for the reasons mentioned above (People will eventually understand the benefits of Open publishing and how OA will help each group of people like students, researchers, entrepreneurs, doctors, patients and public).

However, the recent statistics also reveal a dramatic growth of Open Access. Globally the collections of open access archives are now collectively an order of magnitude larger than the 10 million articles and this is just from Bielefeld Academic Search Engine (BASE). DOAJ showed an amazing 11% growth in the past in articles searchable at the article level – about half a million more articles today than a year ago. This past quarter DOAJ showed a healthy growth rate of 135 titles or added 1.5 titles per day. The internet archive now has more than 3 million open audio recordings. The Directory of Open Access Books added over 2 thousand titles in the past year for a current total of over 5,000 titles (60% annual growth rate) from 161 publishers (41% annual growth rate in publishers).

The number of journals actively contributing to PubMed Central continues to show strong growth in every measure: there are 212 more journal active participants in PMC today than a year ago, a 10% growth rate; 170 more journals provide immediate free access, an 11% growth rate; 113 more journals provide all articles as open access, a 9% growth rate; and the number of journals with some articles open access increased by 123, a 31% growth rate.

These statistics reveal that researchers and the general public are gradually being aware of the impossible subscription fees and the nobility Open Access brings into the lives of individual, family, society and a nation. People gradually understand that the fundamental aspect of education is sharing and locking knowledge and education will only harm. Researchers now realize that their work will be more recognized only if they prefer OA journals, they now realize that catastrophes like Ebola and Zika could be prevented with open access to research. The steep growth in the statistics is just the beginning and I am sure that we will see some serious hikes in a decade from now.

5) What will happen if a researcher does not make his work immediately Open Access accessible?

  • Decreased visibility, usage and impact of their work.
  • Open access increases the impact of research in which public money is invested and therefore publishing in a closed model is a bad return on taxpayers’ investment.
  • Society as a whole will be barred from the benefits of their research as open research is more efficient and more effective, delivering better and faster outcomes.
  • Obstruction in the nation’s’ technological advancement and economic growth.
  • Students and researchers from a developing country like Nepal will never be able to read and use world class literature because of the high subscription fees if researchers don’t make it openly available.

6) Where will the funding for OA publishing come from?

Obtaining research grants from funding agencies is crucial for researchers to continue their work, supervise students and career advancement. Obtaining grants is directly linked to the researcher’s performance, mainly publications. Besides public funding, institutional and private foundations, opportunities dedicated specifically to fund – and reward – open research, open data and open software have emerged, especially in recent years. They are traditional funders, such as Wellcome Trust, NIH, and SPARC, which are allocating funds to open research, or new initiatives especially created with this view, as the Shuttleworth Foundation (established in 2007) and Mozilla Science Lab (2013), among others.

The notion that research funded with public resources should be made openly available to society has been consolidating in recent years and, consequently, public funding agencies are not only preferring but mandating the results to be published in open access. The National Institutes of Health (NIH) have pioneered in 2008 to implement the open access policy, followed by Harvard University in the same year, the National Academy of Sciences of China (2009), and the National Science Foundation (2011). Next, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the US Defense Department and the space agency NASA, implemented in 2015 open access mandates. That same year, France launched the bill “For a Digital Republic”, and submitted it to public consultation. Funding agencies such as Wellcome Trust, CERN, UNESCO, Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, and many others have established similar mandates. Many of them still determine that the contents published in OA shall be governed by the Creative Commons attribution license CC-BY, the least restrictive of all. Despite these international agencies, the Nepal government should also play a pro-active role in the open movement, invest more in R&D, nurture young researchers, develop a culture of research among the students and provide funding to new ideas and researchers leading to new innovations.


Why remix an OER, What are the barriers?

This blog is reblogged from the post of Open Learning Network, which is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 UK: England & Wales. I had compiled their two posts Why remix an Open Educational Resource? and What are the barriers to reusing/remixing OERs? in this blog because I found it very useful and helpful for myself.

Why remix an OER:
The list is in no particular order, and by its very nature isn’t an extensive exploration of the reasons to remix an OER.

1) Save yourself time and work by mixing in OERs with your own material to make something richer.
2) Adapt the material to make it more accessible for people with different disabilities.
3) Insert some cultural specific references to make a concept easier to understand.
4) Translate it into another language.
5) Correct any errors or inaccuracies.
6) Keep the OER up to date by adding the latest discoveries or theories.
7) Insert more media or links to other resources.
8) Chop the OER up into smaller chunks that might be easier to learn from, or could be reused elsewhere.
9) Adapt it for a different audience.
10) Use the OER as the basis for a face to face lesson.
11) Change the target educational level.
12) Add input and participation from the people who are going to be using your remixed OER.
13) Use the OER for a wider purpose by adding in other information.
14) Changing the format of the OER to make it work in different computer-based learning environments.
15) To improve understanding of what an OER is by thinking about reasons to remix it.
16) Insert a different point of view to that originally given in the material.
17) Adapt it for different teaching situations.
18) A way to experiment with new skills you have gained (could be technical skills, media skills etc).
19) To improve it.
20) Because you can!

What are the barriers:

1) Internationalization, OERs may be available but in a different language;
2) Cognitive overload: it is difficult to separate the ‘content’ from the ‘context’ in an OER, thus it is difficult to decontextualize an OER and re-contextualize it to a different learning context/purpose;
3) Cognitive overload: in terms of trying to elicit the implicit design of an OER and then needing to create a new design;
4) Cognitive overload due to lack of good examples/ best practice:  “remixing” an OER is a difficult concept to grasp, especially as examples of remixing might be difficult to find or something you wouldn’t tend to stumble across;
5) Digital divide: lack of access to digital network implies no access to digital resources;
6) Digital divide: lack of digital literacy;
7) Lack of teacher’s preparation and training in how to reuse OERs;
8) Distance from mainstream teaching and learning practices and policy;
9) Curriculum alignment: OER may not fit specific curriculum, and vice-versa curriculums may not be designed around an OER reuse/remix culture;
10) Plagiarism: to which extent reusing and remixing an OER can be perceived as a form of plagiarism?;
11) Lack of technical support for teachers; institutionalized support i.e. a dedicated educational technologist team is considered important for promoting re-use within different educational institutions/contexts (relates to digital and socio-economic divides)
12) Copyright issues and different copyright jurisdictions: this is mostly about publishing original OERs, but it also relates to the ways in which an OER is ‘translated’ to different contexts/locations. It also hinders what other items, media objects can be added that are more relevant to a national culture / pedagogical context;
13) Lack of confidence: many teachers/tutors feel reluctant to reuse and publish their reused materials. One possible reason for that is that they feel that they tamper with something that was designed/published for a specific purpose/context; this relates to the conceptual overload mentioned at point 2);
14) Lack of confidence: many teachers/tutors feel reluctant to “mess up” with someone else “good” design;
15) Lack of explicit learning design supporting the representation of resources and dialogue around their use in a particular context; if context/purpose and targetted audience alongside learning outcomes are not very explicit this makes more difficult to repurpose in a different context;
16) Lack of policy embeddedness and accepted institutional practices: OER use and re-use in mainstream educational institutions need’s be legitimized by accepted national policies on education;
17) Issues of quality/legitimacy: some OERs are not considered worthy of using/remixing. Some advocates insist on putting ratings / quality and context indicators. That will enable tracking of use and perhaps stimulate re-use;
18) Lack of time: too much effort to put in reusing makes easier and faster to do it yourself from scratch;
19) Lack of tools to help deconstruct and reconstruct;
20) Lack of motivation – why should I, what’s in it for me?


Public Access to Publicly Funded Materials

This article is Reblogged for Creative Commons blog, Licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International license.

Cycles for Research Articles

The existing system for producing and distributing publicly funded research articles is expensive and doesn’t take advantage of the possibilities of innovations like open licensing. Without a free-flowing system, access to the results of scientific research is limited to institutions that are able to commit to hefty journal subscriptions — paid for year after year — which don’t allow for broad redistribution, or repurposing for activities such as text and data mining without additional permissions from the rightsholder. This closed system limits the impact on the scientific and scholarly community and progress is slowed significantly.

A Closed Research Model

closed funding cycle for research
When funding cycles for research include open license requirements for publications, increased access and opportunities for reuse extends the value of research funding. As an example, the US National Institutes of Health (NIH) Public Access Policy requires the published results of all NIH-funded research to be deposited in PubMed Central’s repository, the peer-reviewed manuscript immediately, and the final journal article within twelve months of publication. Similarly, the recent directive issued by the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy mandates that federal agencies with more than $100 million in research expenditures must make the results of their research publicly available within one year of publication, and better manage the resultant data supporting their results. These policies utilize aspects of the optimized cycle below, and are a step in the right direction for making better use of public funding for research articles.

An Open Research Model

optimised funding cycle for research
Cycles for Educational Resources

The incumbent system for developing and sharing publicly funded educational resources doesn’t guarantee materials are accessible and reusable by the public that paid for their creation.

A Closed Education Model

closed funding cycle for educational resources
If policies are put in place that mandate open licenses on publicly funded educational resources, knowledge can flow more freely because the public is clear about how they may reuse educational content, and the funders can realize a more impactful return on their investments. An example of better use of public funding for the production of educational resources, the US DOL TAACCCT Program mandates that all content created or modified using grant funds are openly-licensed (CC BY) and deposited in a public repository upon completion of the project. Being conducted in four waves, the TAACCCT program is making better use of a large (US$2 billion) investment of US taxpayer money by ensuring the public will have access the educational resources created during the four-year term, and is able to reuse and adapt them beyond what automatic copyright allows. The following graphic demonstrates an open funding model, with licensing and access recommendations to remove barriers to sharing and help speed access and reuse of publicly funded educational content.

An Open Education Model

optimised funding cycle for educational resources

Open policy — specifically, the idea that publicly funded materials should be openly licensed materials — is a sensible solution that ensures the public’s right to reuse the materials it paid for, and improves the efficiency of government grant funding. Open licensing is a sensible requirement for publicly funded grant programs.