An Open Digital Global South, May 25-26, 2017

An Open Digital Global South: Risks and Rewards

UC Davis Law School, Room 1001

May 25-26, 2017

Please note that this event has concluded. Conference video is available in our “Past Events” section

Join the conversation on Twitter at #OpenGlobalSouth, and join us live online during the event at

This conference explores the promises and risks of openness in scholarship in relationship to the Global South. Research and scholarship are increasingly adopting ‘open’ models of practice and sharing, as open access publications, open data, and open source software. This openness supports improved research reusability, reproducibility, and visibility. Scholarly ‘openness’ is intended to facilitate the free flow of information, to address barriers to equitable access, and to foster global intellectual conversations. Do attempts at promoting openness in scholarship create new forms of exclusion or hierarchy in various regions of the world? How are Southern scholars and publishers’ experiences with open access and open data taken into account within conversations on developing standards and models for ‘open’ scholarship in the Global North? Are there unanticipated opportunities or risks created through the implementation of models for open data, open software, or open access to research?

Read more about our speakers here.


9:00-9:30 || Registration, Breakfast

9:30-10:00 || Welcoming Remarks by Dean Elizabeth Spiller & MacKenzie Smith

10:00-11:00 || Keynote

Kavita Phillip, UC Irvine, History, ““A dose of rum and a few rupees”: Revisiting the Romance of the Commons”

11:00-12:30 || Situating Open Access in the Global South

Open Access can and has been approached and implemented in many ways to serve its diverse constituencies. Similarly, participation in Open Access scholarship takes many forms, whether in readers’ use, re-use, and engagement, or in authors’ publication and sharing. How are multiple models of OA being considered to reflect the different needs of open access’ participants, particularly in the global south? When and how do open policies and practices improve global participation in both the production and consumption of open scholarship? How, for instance, does the adoption of APC-funded open access affect authors around the globe?

  • Chair: Michael Wolfe (UC Davis, Library)
  • Laura Czerniewicz (University of Cape Town, Centre for Innovation in Learning and Teaching)
  • Arianna Becerril (Redalyc, Autonomous University of the State of Mexico) “A Non-Commercial, Cooperative and Sustainable Open Access Model in Latin America”
  • Conrad Omonhinmin (Covenant University, Biological Sciences) “Situating Open Access in the Global South:  A Nigerian University Perspective”
  • Solange Santos (SciELO/FAPESP) “SciELO Network: Combining internationalization and priorities of nationally published journals”
  • Jingfeng Xia (East Stroudsberg University, Library)

12:30-1:30 || Lunch

1:30-3:00 || What is Predatory Publishing? Questioning the Critique of Open Access Journals

To critics of OA journals whose APC-based business model are seen as evidence of dubious publishing ethics, the Global South provides something of a “perfect storm,” a scenario in which unscrupulous publishers prey on practitioners likely to be enticed by the low APC charged by these OA journals or the lack of rigorous peer review. Casting the Global South as the perfect prey is, we believe, part of a broader trend within the discourse of global OA publishing. As activists, watchdogs, and research integrity experts take the central stage of OA debates, there has been increasing use of predator-prey language, and of moralizing critiques of current publishing scenarios. To some extent, this powerful rhetoric has foreclosed empirical questions about academic and publishing markets, and about past, ongoing, and novel North-South hierarchies that these markets derive from and now sustain. This panel wants to replace moralizing narratives with evidence-based discussions into the realities of so-called “predatory journals,” ask how predatory these journals really are, who exactly are their prey and beneficiaries and, more broadly, what the future of OA publishing in the Global South could and should be.

  • Chair: Mario Biagioli (UC Davis, Law, Science & Technology Studies)
  • Trish Groves (BMJ, Editor-in-Chief) “What authors really need from journals”
  • Kishore Vattikoti (Vattikoti Legal, India & OMICS International) “Open Access Publishing is ‘No-more Predatory’: A Step to Golden Era of Research”
  • Jingfeng Xia (East Stroudsberg University, Library) “‘Predatory’ Journal Publishing in the Global South”
  • Matthew Hodgkinson (Hindawi, Head of Research Integrity) “Integrity in Open Access journal publishing”

3:00-3:15 || Break

3:15-4:45 || Global Researchers on OA Experience

Researchers experience the limitations and possibilities of open research practices on a day-to-day basis. In California, in particular, our research community reflects the global nature of scholarship, with many researchers hailing from the Global South. The diversity of experiences, perspectives, and knowledges enriches the university through expanding possibilities for innovation and research. How have international scholars’ open practices been shaped by working and studying at institutions in the Global North?  This panel will serve as a conversation between local researchers on their experiences with open practices and how these are inflected or informed by their work in both the Global South and North.

  • Chair: Alexandra Lippman (UC Davis, Innovating Communication in Scholarship)
  • Carlos Andrés Barragan (UC Davis, Science & Technology Studies) “Between Global and National Genetics: Thinking about Openness and Ancestry, Representation and Systems of Power”
  • Luis Felipe Murillo (CNAM/LISE, Anthropology) “Openness as a Problem, Object, and Project for an Alternative Digital Politics”
  • Noopur Raval (UC Irvine, Informatics) “Teaching, Critiquing and Participating – Intersectionality in Open Scholarship”
  • Jie Zheng (UC Davis, Medicine)

5:00|| Reception


9:15-9:45 || Breakfast

9:45-10:45 || Keynote

Ruth Okediji (University of Minnesota, Law) “The Genealogy of Knowledge: Constructing the Public Domain for New Intellectual Property Assets”

10:45-11:00 || Break

11:00-12:30 || Risks and Opportunities in Digital Openness Beyond the Journal, Part 1: Open Objects and Digital Things

Technological innovations have made it much easier and cheaper to convert real world entities into digital representations (e.g., 3D scans, genome sequencing, etc). This digitalization, and the ease of sharing that information has revolutionized the study and exploitation of these objects.  One use of this data is that it allows people to synthesize these entities from the data (e.g., 3D printing, synthetic biology). Such synthesis comes with both benefits (e.g., rapid and cheap dissemination) and risks (e.g., biopiracy, inaccurate representation of the original objects). This panel asks about these risks and benefits in relation to the Global South.

  • Chair: Alexandra Lippman (UC Davis, Innovating Communication in Scholarship)
  • Margo Bagley (Emory University School of Law) “De-Materializing Genetic Material:  Synthetic Biology and the ABS Bypass”
  • Aaron Fox (Columbia University, Music) “Ways of Hearing: Decolonizing the Ethnomusicological Archive”
  • Maurizio Forte (Duke University, Classical Studies Art, Art History, and Visual Studies) “Massive 3D Data and Beyond: a Digital Revolution in Cultural Heritage”

12:30-1:30 || Lunch

1:30-3:00 || Risks and Opportunities in Digital Openness Beyond the Journal, Part 2:  Open Digital Information

While open data offers scholars serious benefits such as transparency, sharing and pooling of knowledge, there are some risks involved, some well appreciated, some less so. The best example comes from medical research, where extensive protocols are in place (though not always used) for protecting privacy of data.  Less appreciated are risks in other areas. For example, poachers of animals and plants utilize scientific publications to find and capture newly discovered or rare species. Similarly, archaeological information can be used by looters.  This panel explores issues which blanket policies on openness do not address and considers how policies on openness could learn from fields such as anthropology and medicine which have experience protecting privacy. What role do/should journals play in the “hiding” of such information? How have different disciplines developed tools and practices to deal with issues of privacy, confidentiality, and sharing information? How do the practices for protecting information affect research and knowledge sharing?

  • Chair: MacKenzie Smith (UC Davis, Library)
  • James Leach (CNRS & The University of Western Australia, Anthropology) “Balancing Openness in Cultural Documentation: A Melanesian approach to the value of knowledge”
  • Kim Fortun (Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, Science and Technology Studies), “Data Governance By Design:Challenges in Building Research Infrastructure”
  • Pranesh Prakash (Centre for Internet and Society & Information Society Project at Yale Law School) “The Known Unknowns: What We Don’t Know About Mitigating the Harms of Openness.”