Friday, March 21, 2014

Proposed open access symbol

I have proposed a new Unicode symbol to denote true open access, for instance applied to scholarly literature, in a similar way in which © and ® denote copyright and registered trademarks respectively. The proposed symbol is an encircled lower case letter a, in particular in a font where the a has a 'tail', as in a font like Arial and Times, for instance, (a), and not as in a font like Century Gothic (without the 'tail' as it were).

My proposal should be on the Unicode discussion list (http://www.unicode.org/consortium/distlist-unicode.html), and I am soliciting support, and input from technically-minded as well as legally-minded open access supporters.

This is the symbol I have in mind:















Jan Velterop

10 comments:

  1. I should add that the intended use would be for 'true' open access, i.e. CC-BY and CC-0.

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  2. I hereby add my support.

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  3. Anonymous5:06 pm

    Reminds me of ⓐ which is already in Unicode as U+24D0.

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    Replies
    1. This is it! No need for a Unicode application! U+24D0

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    2. Anonymous7:07 pm

      1. Please note that U+24D0 doesn’t carry the semantics of an open access symbol but is just a character that has to be represented by a small encircled a. A genuine Unicode open access symbol might be represented by several completely different looking characters or symbols according to historical period, location, culture etc.

      2. Next time you are looking for a Unicode character of a certain shape you might want to perform a search on shapecatcher.com.

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  4. Understood. But is it problematic to give ⓐ the meaning of open access (CC-BY or CC-0) in the scholarly realm?

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    Replies
    1. Anonymous7:45 pm

      I see no problem as long as it is made clear what ⓐ (circled small letter a) means in the texts produced.

      Delete
  5. Like this:

    ⓐ 2014. Open Access. All redistribution and reuse is permitted provided the author(s) is (are) acknowledged.

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  6. CC BY (like all CC licenses) requires acknowledging the license too.

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  7. Would phrasing it as follows solve that?

    ⓐ Open Access 2014. All redistribution and reuse is permitted in accordance with CC-BY [CC-0] licence [license] terms.

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