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Jan Groenewald
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Be the solution!
Provide a gift in support of empowering Africa’s youth to lead a new revolution in STEM. Harness the potential of young scientists impassioned about discovery and inspired by the promise of a new future for Africa.
Your donation will assist AIMS South Africa with funding for student bursaries which cover travel, accommodation, meals, medical insurance and a monthly stipend.
http://ow.ly/7ayM30f5GWi

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Another journal breaks free! The result of a lot of work by many people.

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Not only Germany is boycotting +Elsevier but also Netherlands, Finland and Taiwan. I hope many other countries and institutions join these boycott efforts.
The world is moving towards #OpenAccess

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Are you an early-career researcher in the UK who feels pressurized by the academic system into doing your research in a suboptimal way? If so, you might like to sign up to Bullied Into Bad Science, a new campaign that aims to improve many aspects of this system, such as our over-reliance on journals as a measure of quality. If you are a more established researcher, you can sign up to declare your support for the campaign.

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Now this is how you should negotiate with a big commercial publisher. (Jisc, I hope you are watching closely.)

Despite appearances, the link below seems to work. It is to a statement put out by German universities and one could summarize it by saying that if Elsevier are going to play hardball, so are they.

From my understanding of the text, the German universities want to move over to a model where journals and their content are owned by the academic community, and publishers are paid for the services they provide. This would create a much less distorted market, because if a publisher charged outrageous fees, the journal could simply switch to another publisher. Elsevier has shown little interest in an arrangement of this kind, but the German universities, to their huge credit, have not just capitulated. In fact, more universities are joining in.

It would be wonderful if this attitude could spread to other countries. At the moment, Elsevier will probably calculate that losing all their revenue from Germany is probably better than risking a new and obviously fairer business model becoming established. But if other countries get involved, then the calculations would change.

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Researchers in Finland, tired of Elsevier's flat refusal to consider a more reasonable deal with Finnish universities and other research institutions, have started a new Elsevier boycott. There's an interesting response to one of the questions in the FAQ, which is often asked, namely why they concentrate on Elsevier. Here's their answer.

Elsevier has consistently proven itself to be the single biggest opponent to open access publishing. For example in Finland, despite tough negotiations, FinELib has been able to strike acceptable deals with Francis & Taylor and Sage and keep negotiations going in a meaningful way with Wiley and the American Chemical Society. This has not been the case with Elsevier.

Meanwhile, the Cost of Knowledge boycott continues to edge up towards 17,000 (though this number is somewhat misleading, as several of the signatories have "lapsed" and have not stuck to their boycott pledges). Do consider joining one of these boycotts if you haven't already.

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Students in AIMS South Africa installing the AIMS Desktop 2017.1 release candidate for the first time. The new AIMS Desktop is based on #Debian 9 and the installer we use for that system is called #Calamares. You can find more information about AIMS Desktop along with the RC images at https://desktop.aims.ac.za - sorry for the blurry pics it seems my phone is busted.
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6/12/17
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