Status of Open Access in Taiwan 2017

(Extended version of my lightening talk at #FORCE2017, Berlin)

I am Chen-Yi Tu, PhD candidate from Institute of Oceanography, National Taiwan University. As an fisheries oceanographer, I study the climate impact to fish distribution. My research would not be possible if the climate and stock assessment dataset were not available. One of my published articles is about fisheries in Sea of Japan. The institutional repositories in Japan provided access to several crucial articles that none of the library in Taiwan subscribes those journals. I always feel indebted to these services. So the experiences lead me to the open movement, particularly on open data, open access and open science.

Before start talking about the open access, perhaps we should take a look of this map. There are more people living inside the circle than outside of it- that’s why it is necessary to discuss open access from Asia perspectives. Also, the high population density and increasing level of educations imply that open access in Asia can potentially reach out to more people. But before that, we need to get to know the status quo.

In Taiwan, the statistics show we have around 180000 researchers in 2013. From 2009 to 2013, these researchers published about 131300 papers on scientific journals. That is, most of the researcher published at least one paper during this interval. But this governmental report does not provide information on how many of these papers are open access.

Lack of information may actually implies a lack of policy and strategy. This is not just found in Taiwan. This year I contributed to Asia Open Access Regional Survey by Asia OA, which is a special forum hosted by Coalition of Open Access Repositories (COAR). This survey is aiming at providing account of open access in 16 regions of Asia. The report can be found at COAR website. Generally speaking, the regions that responded to survey are active in terms of open access. But many of them do not yet have a cohesive strategy. Also, lack of funding hinders the development of infrastructure to support open access. Hence, the open access activities in these regions are often very distributed and uncoordinated.

In Taiwan, the main funding agency (Ministry of Science and Technology) has no open access policy at all. But we do have open-access institutional repositories- 127 out of 159 universities (including public and private) have institutional repository. All the information can be found at “Taiwan Academic Institutional Repository” portal.

For local open access journals, Directory of Open Access Journal (DOAJ)provides an overview. There are 31 open access journals in Taiwan. Most of these open access journals adopt CC BY-NC-ND licenses (22), with few exceptions for CC BY (4).

The future looks dim, but there is still hope. I would explain in the following two stories.

  • Collective negotiation with Elsevier over ScienceDirect

Last year, Nature broke a news with title “Scientists in Germany, Peru and Taiwan to lose access to Elsevier Journals.” There are many discussion on how Germany managed to negotiate a deal with Dutch publishing giant Elsevier and promoted open access at many levels, but what happens in details and afterward receives less attention. Basically, Taiwan’s universities collectively started negotiation of the subscription deal with Elsevier over ScienceDirect at April last year. Because of the raising subscription fee almost consumed the whole budget for database subscription for many universities, the negotiation unsurprisingly broke in December.

Elsevier started to negotiate with each university individually. But National Taiwan University library said no, other universities also followed. I remembered receiving an email from the university library to all the students and faculties, explaining this situation and providing alternative- free article delivery among libraries before they can make a deal with Elsevier. Fortunately, the negotiation resumed this January and finally reached an agreement and the primary target. The subscription resumed in June.

Most of the students and faculties I know are supportive to the library’s action. Although they may not immediately shift to open access, it shows that people are aware of the issue of paywall and high subscription fee at least in NTU.

  • Open access journal “Zoological Studies” by Biodiversity Research Center, Academia Sinica

Zoological Studies” is an open access international journal that publishes peer-reviewed articles. It is supported by Biodiversity Research Center of Academia Sinica. It seems to be a stand-alone journal without collaborating with large publisher, but it actually was published by Springer from 2013 to 2015.

Back then, I was worried about the issue of “mixed” open access journals and felt that “Zoological Studies” would one day becomes victim of it. Surprisingly, “Zoological Studies” ceased to publish with SpringerOpen at the end of 2015. I asked one of the editors about how the decision was made, he said: “It is actually much more cheaper to publish all by ourselves! Besides, the amount of work for the editors was almost the same after publish with Springer- even increases because of the communication cost.”

It is also worth-noting that the impact factor for “Zoological Studies” jumps back to 1.008 this year, higher than the end of 2015 (0.885). It suggests that big publisher does not guarantee an increase of impact factor- just contrary to a common belief.

To sum up, I would describe the status of open access in Taiwan as a “bottom up process.” Though no official policy for open access, there are many individual/ organizational efforts to keep the academic work open to the public: providing the dataset and scripts along with articles, offering preprints of one’s own papers and maintaining an open access journal. These accumulating efforts may, one day, cause a “paradigm shift” to the scholarly communication in Taiwan.

Inverted polygon

接續昨天的SOSI,在公眾領域的地理圖資裡面,很常被提到的應該就屬Natural Earth。這是一項由北美製圖資訊學會支持的計畫,有向量圖也有點陣圖,應有盡有,非常好用

不過,在Quickstart的範例裡面,海洋和陸地是分成兩個圖層,如果另外把海洋圖層單獨拉進一個新的地圖專案,自動填滿會是陸地,而不是海洋,這時需要在樣式 (style) 部分選 Inverted polygon,就可以填滿陸地以外的區域。


SOSI: Samordnet Opplegg for Stedfestet Informasjon


ESRI在全世界攻城掠地,shapefile幾乎已經成為某種業界標準的今日,挪威還是發展出自己的一套地理圖資格式,叫做SOSI,這個格式是開放標準 (open standard),由挪威地圖局負責維護。文件相當齊全,對於檔案格式以及各版本異同有非常詳盡的說明—只要你看得懂挪威語。

在地圖局資料庫的網站上 ,有各式各樣的圖資檔案,但幾乎都是SOSI格式。若要輸入GIS軟體如ArcGIS和QGIS作進一步製圖,有兩種作法:

  1. GDAL

GDAL是一個以python寫成的地理圖資資料格式函式庫,目前支援SOSI的讀取,而SOSICON則是將SOSI檔案轉換為shapefile或PostGIS可以讀取的格式。GDAL和QGIS Palma似乎有衝突,先轉換為shapefile則可以避免。




上週三開放知識基金會創辦人Rufus Pollock來台的公開活動,感謝Rocket.cafe的邀請,以及科技部、電信所提供的協助。演講以及簡報週一也都放上網了


這點滔滔夥伴在會前就討論過了,我們的答案是:不會。除了現實上的考量外,也是因為由擁有領域知識 (domain knowlege) 優勢的我們參賽,雖然可能會增加得名的機會,但讓對漁業陌生的參賽者有機會接觸這些議題,才能夠使魚客松這個活動發揮最大的價值。如果最終目標是永續發展,光是我們懂不夠,我們希望大家都懂。



1952年 日本海上保安廳成立,民間船廠開始承造海保船艦,設計由船舶設計協會負責(常務理事為原海軍艦政本部第四部設計主任牧野茂)。川崎、三菱兩船廠中有建造潛艦經驗的民間技術人員組成「潛水艦懇談會」,討論國造潛艦的可能性。

1954年 海上自衛隊成立,正式討論可行的潛艦計畫,船舶設計協會提出250噸、500噸與1000噸三種設計方案,最後確定採用1000噸型。同年組成調查團赴美考察,欲取得美軍首艘採用淚滴型艦身設計的試驗潛艦USS Albacore*相關資料,未果。

1956年 海上自衛隊年度預算編列潛艦建造費用(當時為二十七億兩千萬日圓)


1959年 初代親潮號下水,並於隔年成軍

1960年 防衛省研究技術本部(相當於美國的DARPA)持續對淚滴型艦身進行研究與水槽試驗

1967年 由於淚滴型艦身試驗已取得初步成果,第三次防衛力整備計畫中,將建造五艘單軸推進淚滴型艦身的潛艦列為其中一項目標

1969年 渦潮級初艦渦潮、次艦湧潮下水,隸屬位於吳基地的第一潛水隊群


* Albacore中文叫做「長鰭鮪」,通常拿來做罐頭,也就是俗稱的「海底雞」,大概就是因為這樣被誤譯成青花魚 (mackerel) 的,不過真正的青花魚級 (Mackerel class) 是二戰前的試驗潛艦!






從空軍個人定位發報機 (PLB) 採購談起

上週六補班,監察院公開一份調查報告,針對去年9/22空軍AT-3教練機失事,而為何個人定位發報機 (PLB) 遲遲未從PRC-90換裝至SARBE6-406G一事進行調查。由於其中披露原先預備替換PRC-90的AN/URT-44,因失誤率過高而向美方求償,所以也被寫成一則新聞。


這項採購並非監察委員在報告中點出的疏失。 Continue reading 從空軍個人定位發報機 (PLB) 採購談起


The "Benjamin Franklin"

CMA CGM “Benjamin Franklin” dock at the Port of Los Angeles (Photo by Eric Garcetti via Flickr, CC-BY-2.0)

上週末,CMA CGM Benjamin Franklin順利進港,新聞都有報,但看著這第一艘投入美西線的巨型貨櫃輪,腦袋裡一直想著的是噸數略大、二月在易北河擱淺的CSCL Indian Ocean。

Continue reading 大船進港,然後呢?



聽說荷蘭恩荷芬 (Eindhoven) 市長 Rob van Gijzel 這幾天在台灣。


During the meeting, the two mayors exchanged views on development – especially those regarding the projects with Shezi Island (社子島) and Guandu Plains(關渡平原).

Ko recalled the famous saying: “God created the sea, but the Dutch created the Land.” Noting how the city is able to learn from the experience of the European nation, he promised to contact them if Taipei needs assistance with technical knowledge in the future.