September 10, 2009
The International Conference on Academic Libraries & PKP
The International Conference on Academic Libraries meets in Delhi this October with an eye to create a future roadmap for academic libraries. The Conference, idea, and location are all intriguing, but what I want to report on is the conferencing software being used to organize the conference.
Open Conference System is a free conference management and publishing system (using LAMP) made available through the Public Knowledge Project. PKP's mission is to explore how new technologies can be used to improve the value of open scholarship to the generally public by partnering faculty, librarians, and graduate students. Toward that end, they make available two platforms that should be of interest to Law Librarian Blog readers. One is for conferencing and the other for OA journals.
Open Conferencing System
Their open conference software is quite friendly and can be used for organizing a conference and accessing post-conference materials. For example,when organizing a conference PKP allows you to:
- Create a conference Web site
- Compose and send a call for papers
- Electronically accept paper and abstract submissions
- Allow paper submitters to edit their work
- Pay for conference registration via Paypal
Post-cenference materials are browsable and searchable by author, title, abstract and index terms - and are OA using Creative Commons Licensing. A really nice feature is the ability to integrate online discussions with the program materials. Using this type of system involved conference attendees in helping plan and set the agenda and continue doing so up and until the conference begins, and will allow the discussions to continue past the conference meeting.
They are currently looking for beta testers for the latest version of their software, OCS 2.3. You can review other PKP conferences at http://pkp.sfu.ca/ocs-conferences.
Open Journal Systems
There has been a lot of discussion about making our law journals available online, for free, in a stable and open format. PKPs OJS is management and publishing system developed to help fulfill goals like those espoused by the Durham Statement. A sample list of journals using PKP can be viewed at http://pkp.sfu.ca/ojs-journals (this is a sample list as there are more than 2,000 peer reviewed journals using OJS since its inception in 2002).
With OJS, the submission, management, and review process is controlled at the local level. It also provides granular level indexing to complete the workflow process. Its plugin architecture makes it easy to add new features such as those that facilitate indexing in Google Scholar, authentication (if needed), and COUNTER. I also like the ability to integrate mutimedia files into journals, and the ability to collect comments. Finally, OJS is LOCKSS compliant, ensuring ongoing access to journal content.
If you want, you can take it for a test drive on the OJS servers. See http://pkp.sfu.ca/ojs_demo for your logon information.
There are many other tools that we can take advantage of in our efforts to present and conduct our activities in a professional manner and in pursuit of an OA world. I found PKP to be relevant because they are already working with other countries to develop scholarly portals (for example, see African Journals Online at http://ajol.info where I first learned about OJS). If anyone has experience with PKP, I would appreciate your feedback. (VS)