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Elizabeth Gadd, Charles Oppenheim, Steve Probets, RoMEO studies 6: rights metadata for open archiving, Program: Electronic Library and Information Systems, 38, 1 (2004). Only the abstract is accessible to non-subscribers, at least so far. "This is the final study in a series of six emanating from the UK JISC-funded RoMEO Project (rights metadata for open-archiving), which investigated the intellectual property rights issues relating to academic author self-archiving of research papers. It reports the results of a survey of 542 academic authors, showing the level of protection required for their open access research papers. It then describes the selection of an appropriate means of expressing those rights through metadata and the resulting choice of Creative Commons licences. Finally, it outlines proposals for communicating rights metadata via the Open Archives Initiative's Protocol for Metadata Harvesting (OAI-PMH)."
The DSpace Federation is now open to everyone. The federation welcomes new members who can contribute through programming, testing, debugging, writing and reviewing documentation, or participating in any of the new domain-specific Special Interest Groups it is launching. For more detail see MacKenzie Smith's summary of last week's meeting of the DSpace user community.
Andrew Albanese, BioMed Central Changes Tack, Library Journal 3/15/2004. Albanese reports on BMC's proposal to change institutional membership charges from a "flat fee" to a "per article published" model. Further, the article reports that the changes were announced on the LIBLICENSE-L discussion list, which surprised Phil Davis, librarian of Cornell University, who remarked: "I think BMC is trying to figure out their model as they go along," and also expressed doubts that the new model would bring home knowledge of actual publishing costs to scholars and that libraries would pay: "It is potentially a suicidal model in terms of our budget." Lastly, comments of Scott Plutchak, the editor of the Journal of the Medical Library Association, are included, particularly his view that OA is "an 'institutional' issue, not merely a library issue."
Donald Trump has made a lot of money recently saying "You're Fired! on television. Now he wants to copyright the phrase. According to ABC News, Trump is "seeking exclusive rights to use the phrase on items of clothing, as well as 'games and playthings,' and in connection with 'casino services'." (PS: Time for basement T-shirt makers to get into the act.)
Nature has launched Access to the literature: the debate continues, a new collection of OA opinion pieces on the subject of OA. From the site: "The Internet is profoundly changing how scientists work and publish. New business models are being tested by publishers, including open access, in which the author pays and content is free to the user. This ongoing web focus will explore current trends and future possibilities. Each week, the website will publish specially commissioned insights and analysis from leading scientists, librarians, publishers and other stakeholders, as well as key links, and articles from our archive. All content is available free." These contributions are already online:
This is Nature's second OA debate on OA. The first, from 2001, is still online and still recommended.
The U.S. Department of Education has given a five-year contract to Computer Services Corporation to operate the Education Resources Information Center (ERIC). From the press release: "The ERIC database is the world's largest education database. Begun in 1966, it is composed of more than one million bibliographic records. The goal of the new ERIC is to provide more education materials quicker, and more directly, to audiences through the Internet. With the new ERIC, individuals will be able to go to one Web site to search a comprehensive database of journal articles and document abstracts and descriptions and, for the first time, directly access full text. The database will include as much free full text as possible, and links will be provided to commercial sources so that individuals can purchase journal articles and other full text immediately." (Thanks to ResourceShelf.) (PS: This appointment was expected last October and marks one of the last large steps in the federal reorganization of ERIC, which is both one of the largest and one of the oldest OA resources.)
Ronald Larsen and Howard Wactlar, Knowledge Lost in Information, NSF, March 8, 2004. A Report of the NSF Workshop on Research Directions for Digital LIbraries (Chatham, Massachusetts, June 15-17, 2003). Excerpt: "Digital libraries are transforming research, scholarship and education at all levels. Vast quantities of information are being collected and stored online, and organized to be accessible to everyone. Substantial improvements in scholarly productivity are already apparent. Digital resources have demonstrated the potential to advance scholarly productivity, easily doubling research output in many fields within the next decade. These resources can also become primary resources for education, holding the potential for advances in life- long learning that have been sought for many years. But such progress will not be achieved without investment. This report details the nature of the federal investment required to sustain the pace of progress....[T]he next phase of digital library research should focus on...[i]mproving availability, accessibility and, thereby, productivity." (Thanks to Information Community News.)
JISC has published an interview with Colin Steele, Director of Scholarly Information Strategies at the Australian National University (March 18, 2004). Excerpts, all quoting Steele:
Katie Mantell, Societies back expanded free access to research, SciDev.Net, March 18, 2004. Excerpt: "A substantial number of the United States' leading medical and scientific societies have declared their support for free access to research under certain circumstances --including access by scientists working in low-income countries."
One of the claims made by traditional publishers is that the peer review process might be harmed if open access business models and practices were adopted. But as this editorial in the BMJ shows, peer review is too important to be left to publishers to manage. Formal training and academic recognition are necessary to improve the quality of peer reviewing. The former is unlikely to be provided by publishers; the latter is something over which they have little influence.
Peter Arzberger et al, An International Framework to Promote Access to Data, Science 303 (5565), 1777-1778 (19 March 2004). (Access restricted to subscribers.) An international group that studied issues involved in data access reports on issues and obstacles they encountered in the process. The group advised the OECD, resulting in that body's Declaration on Access to Research Data From Public Funding (see Peter Suber's earlier posting.) Excerpt: "Open access to publicly funded data provides greater returns from the public investment in research, generates wealth through downstream commercialization of outputs, and provides decision-makers with facts needed to address complex, often transnational, problems." Among other issues, the group asks how to encourage data-sharing, especially making datasets usable in multiple disciplines, how to improve data access in developing countries, and how public-private research partnerships may have conflicts with making data accessible.
Update: See the press release.
Peter Harvey, Medical publishers: a charity worth supporting?, The Lancet 363(9407), 492 (7 February 2004.) A doctor relates an anecdote where he was asked to write a chapter for a "commercial book on clinical negligence, designed for lawyers but written by doctors." Harvey tells how he was told he must surrender copyright and even negotiate rights to and pay for any figures from other works that he may wish to use. When he tried to negotiate compensation for his work, he was denied. "I enquired among my academic friends whether publishing houses normally fleeced the medical profession like this, and was told that this was perfectly normal practice." The writer probably wouldn't care for the author-pays model, either.
HAIT Journal of Science and Engineering. The Holon Academic Institute of Technology has launched a quarterly science journal. While the articles are freely available, no specific statements about open access appear on the website. The first issue features extensive papers on nanophysics and quantum information. The editors state: "The main direction of editorial policy is compilation of thematic issues devoted to hot topics in various branches of physics, technology and physical aspects of life sciences." Conference proceedings will also be included. (Source: arXiv.org)
David Malakoff, "Open" Versus "Free" Journals, ScienceNOW, 16 March 2004. (Access restricted to subscribers.) Malakoff reports on "The Washington DC Principles for Free Access to Science," signed by 48 scientific society publishers affirming their commitment to making articles freely available "depending on each publisher's business and publishing requirements." The article presents these society publishers as negotiating a middle way between open access/author-payment models and for-profit publishers. Rick Johnson, SPARC executive director is quoted: "The DC Principles is consistent with the values of the open access movement, and we support what societies are trying to do ... They make the case that societies aren't part of the problem, but they have more work to do to establish that societies are part of the solution." (Source: Peter Suber)
David Hendricks, MIT's maverick view of intellectual property worth considering, San Antonio Express News, March 18, 2004. An interview with MIT's Hal Abelson, touching on MIT's OpenCourseWare and DSpace projects. Quoting Abelson: "Both sites strengthen the intellectual commons. Universities are meant to pass the torch of civilization....Giving it away helps defuse complex intellectual property issues of ownership and control that can distract the universities from their missions to disseminate knowledge....[It's not all altruism, however.] MIT does this in part to keep a seat at the table in decisions about the disposition of knowledge in the information age."
Making data dreams come true, Nature 428, 239 (18 March 2004). (Access restricted to subscribers.) A Nature editorial ponders the data-sharing possibilities unleashed by the U.S. National Cancer Institute's Cancer Biomedical Informatics Grid (caBig; see Peter Suber's previous posting) and Britain's National Cancer Research Institute. The editorial remarks:
despite the need of researchers to protect not only their patients but also their competitive interests, the leaders of these bioinformatics initiatives have been gratified by the positive attitudes to data sharing encountered so far on both sides of the Atlantic. Next, and sooner rather than later, comes the challenge of extending cancer bioinformatics collaboration across the disparate research and health systems of Europe.
The NCRI also published a "statement of intent" in the same issue of Nature.
Update (3/18/04): Stephen Pincock, Cancer Data Initiative Launched, The Scientist, March 18, 2004, has more on the NCRI project and comments from NCRI and NCI officials.
The Society for Computer Applications in Radiology (SCAR) has converted its SCAR Expert Hotline to open access. Quoting the press release: "This valuable question and answer resource, previously available only to current SCAR members in print format, will now be archived and updated online for access by both members and non-members alike. Searching and viewing the service is free, and provides a wealth of information for professionals who use, or are interested in PACS [Picture Archiving and Communication System] technology and clinical implementation of information systems in imaging." Posting questions will be free for members and cost non-members $125. But reading the Q&A will be free for all.
Robert McMillan, Lessig: Be wary of "IP extremists", ComputerWorld, March 17, 2004. Summarizing Lawrence Lessig's Tuesday talk to the Open Source Business Conference in San Francisco. Excerpt: "Citing a decision last year by the World Intellectual Property Organization to cancel a meeting on the role of open source in world intellectual property law [PS: the meeting would also have covered open access to research literature], Lessig said that the argument over intellectual property law has become unnecessarily polarized because entities such as the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) claim that there are only two choices when it comes to IP: maximum copyright protection or anarchy....Lessig argued that balanced intellectual property laws were essential to innovation, which often flourishes without strict IP encumbrances. 'This debate is not commerce versus anything,' he said. 'This debate is about whether powerful interests can stop new innovations. It is a cultural dilemma.' Without the abdication of at least some intellectual property rights, important 'intellectual commons' such as the Internet, the Human Genome Project, and even the Global Positioning System could never develop, he said."
Pamela Samuelson, Preserving the Positive Functions of the Public Domain in Science, Data Science Journal 2, 192 (24 November 2003). Samuelson discusses the impact of intellectual property laws on the scientific community and how scientists can influence IP legislation to protect use of the public domain, including sharing data and publications in open repositories. (Source: Diglet
John Dudley Miller, IEEE members furious, The Scientist, March 16, 2004. Miller reports on a petition organized by IEEE members and engineers worldwide calling on the society to "cease discrimination against IEEE members from countries that are embargoed by the US Government." The article quotes one IEEE fellow: "This has created just tremendous bad will toward the IEEE."
Nicholas R. Cozzarelli, UPSIDE: Uniform Principle for Sharing Integral Data and Materials Expeditiously, Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 101(11), 3721-3722 (March 16, 2004). (Access restricted to subscribers.) A PNAS editorial states the journal's policy for authors providing open access to data by depositing it in an appropriate disciplinary repository, such as the Protein Data Bank, GenBank or the fMRI data center. Their policy has been in line with principles articulated in a recent National Academies study referred to as the Cech report, "termed 'UPSIDE,' or the 'uniform principle for sharing integral data and materials expeditiously.'"
Further to an item posted to this blog on 30 January 2004, OA to Canadian dissertations: An article, National Library launches portal for master's and PhD theses, in the March 2004 issue of University Affairs, is about the launch of Theses Canada. A (positive) excerpt: "Already the site represents the largest free, full-text database of electronic theses available anywhere in the world, says Sharon Reeves, manager of Theses Canada". Another (negative) excerpt: "...Theses Canada stores the documents in Adobe's longstanding PDF format, which is not easy to read online; more importantly, PDF documents are often missed by popular search engines like Google".
A group of library associations and public-interest advocacy organizations has issued a response to the DC principles. Excerpt:
We applaud the publishers who have signed the D.C. Principles for their commitment to free access to peer-reviewed research literature where they conclude it is feasible. [...]
(PS: Full disclosure. I'm affiliated with two of the groups issuing the response and participated in its drafting.)
This morning in Washington, a group of 48 non-profit publishers released the Washington D.C. Principles for Free Access to Science. The principles assert that non-profit publishers "reinvest all of the revenue from [their] journals in the direct support of science worldwide, including scholarships, scientific meetings, grants, educational outreach, advocacy for research funding, the free dissemination of information for the public, and improvements in scientific publishing." In addition, they support the following forms of free online access:
The signatories assert that "publication fees should not be borne solely by researchers and their funding institutions, because the ability to publish in scientific journals should be available equally to all scientists worldwide, no matter what their economic circumstances....[W]e believe that a free society allows for the co-existence of many publishing models." For more detail, see the page of background information, the press release, or the media advisory.
Lee Zia, The NSF National Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics Education Digital Library (NSDL) Program New Projects in Fiscal Year 2003, D-Lib Magazine, March 2004. A dazzling catalog of new OA digital libraries in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics.
Patrice Lyons, The World Meets the Internet, D-Lib Magazine, March 2004. Reflections on the World Summit on the Information Society. Excerpt: "The importance of information and knowledge development, including culturally diverse and multi-lingual materials, with open access to such knowledge for human progress and well-being, was a consistent theme throughout the Summit, particularly in the programs organized by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO)....While there was an emphasis on open access to information, particularly at the government level, there was also recognition of the importance of intellectual property protection."
The Society of Toxicology will give its 2004 Public Communications Award to Kenneth Olden, Director of the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences and the National Toxicology Program. The award will be given at the SOT's annual meeting on March 21 in Baltimore. Among Olden's other accomplishments is the conversion of Environmental Health Perspectives to open access in January 2004. For more details on the award, see the NIH press release or the NIEHS/NTP press release. For more details on the conversion of EHP to OA, see our previous blog postings on the subject.
Sophie Rovner, Pressures Mount for Journals: Academics resist price increases as politicians probe publishing business, Chemical & Engineering News 82(11), 10 (March 15, 2004). A brief news article notes the UK Parliament's Committee on Science & Technology's inquiry into scientific journal pricing and the viability of open access. A review of universities' efforts to resist Elsevier's "big deal" is also included.
Frederick J. Friend, How can there be open access to journal articles? Serials, March 2004 (accessible only to subscribers, at least for now). Abstract: "The possibility of open access to journal literature has generated considerable discussion in the academic, publishing and library communities. This has largely centred not on the desirability of open access in principle but upon its practicability and its effect upon the traditional journal publication system. This article will examine points made in the public discussion of the two major routes to open access outlined in the Budapest Open Access Initiative (BOAI), author self-archiving in academic repositories and the publication of journals using new toll-free economic models. Issues both for and against open access have been raised by authors, by publishers and by librarians, and a realistic approach to the feasibility of open access is important. The conclusion reached will be that open access to journal literature is feasible through either BOAI strategy but that more investigation is needed of both the positive and the negative messages received from stakeholders with as much experimentation of different models as possible."
In February, the Munk Centre, Berkman Center, and University of Cambridge launched the OpenNet Initiative, whose mission is to monitor, analyze, and expose national regimes of internet censorship, filtering, and surveillance around the world. It doesn't matter whether nations adopted these practices in order to protect intellectual property, national security, or religious orthodoxy. ONI's premise is that they "can seriously erode civil liberties and privacy, and stifle global communications." (Thanks to The Filter.)
Charles Lowe, Copyright, Access and Digital Texts, Across the Disciplines, December 9, 2003. Lowe argues that writing teachers have a special opportunity, and responsibility, to teach students about open access and the unbalanced state of copyright law today. He gives a good deal of the history of how our copyright law became one-sided, and how it has triggered resistance and alternatives, including a section on the rise of the OA movement. Throughout he offers a good set of links for readers who want to read further.
Paula Hane, Elsevier Announces Scopus Service, Information Today, March 15, 2004. Excerpt: "After two years of planning, development, and initial testing by a select group of about 20 university libraries, Elsevier has finally made an official announcement of the first fully functioning version of Scopus, its highly anticipated, full-text linking, abstracting and indexing database. The company is now providing access to another 30 academic libraries for final testing and user trials, will add more libraries over the next 6 months, and expects to have the commercial release available by Q4 2004. Scopus is designed to be an all science, comprehensive access point for a library, with coverage of 13,000 titles from over 4,000 STM publishers, plus coverage of over 100 open access journals by the summer. Scopus also simultaneously searches the scientific Web using Elsevierís science-only Internet search engine, Scirus. The company aimed to make the Scopus service 'as easy to use as Google,' with fewer clicks to the full text than any service available....Scopus draws from all major databases, including EMBASE, Compendex, PsycINFO, MEDLINE, etc, as well as from individual publishers....Scopus will also provide a complete service package that includes local customer support, customer-specific usage reports that will be COUNTER compliant, as well as on- and off-site training. Scopus is OpenURL compliant....Cited reference searching logically raises the question of competing with Thomson ISIís Web of Science. While they will surely be seen as rival services, Elsevier representatives stated that Scopus was not designed to go head-to-head with ISIís products, and pointed out the different functionality and the additional content in Scopusó13,000 titles versus 8,500 titles in Web of Science (which includes social science and humanities titles in the 8,500). However, Web of Science has back files to 1945." (PS: Also see the Elsevier press release and the Scopus site itself. The official launch will take place later this year.)
The March 15 issue of Open Access Now is now online. This issue features an editorial by Jonathan Weitzman on the OECD Declaration, a news story on the launch of Cornell's Internet-First University Press, and a profile of LOCKSS. It also contains a slightly revised version of my essay, The many-copy problem and the many-copy solution, which originally appeared in SOAN for 1/2/04.
The Ludwig von Mises Institute publishes priced, printed books, and for many of them provides free online full-text. Jeffrey Tucker, the Institute's Editorial Vice President, wrote a March 12 note for the Institute blog to explain, Why We Put Books Online. Excerpt: "As a non-profit dedicated to getting the word out about Austrian economics, and serving as many people in the world who are interested in learning, it only makes sense that we pursue every viable means of doing so. To have the means of providing something as powerful as [these books] for free and not doing so would amount to deliberately withholding the product pending payment from people who may or may not have the means of providing it. That prospect has to make every nonprofit that cares about its mission somewhat squeamish. So we gladly offer these texts at no charge simply because we believe that this is part of our core mission. If that sounds implausibly high-minded, there are other considerations at work. There was much confusion in the early days of the web about whether online viewing would displace books. It didn't happen. In fact, the broad development of the web as a vehicle for commercial search and delivery has actually led to a boom in books sales, both new and used. Also, experience suggests that online and offline books are different goods that serve different purposes (quick reference versus deep reading; quote checking versus extended study; etc.)....All of this means that one does not (necessarily) cut into ones sales by offering the book online for free. In fact, by showing people what is inside the book, it is possible to increase sales of the offline book." (Thanks to Kimmo Kuusela.)
Fifty-one liberal arts college libraries, known as the Oberlin Group, have become institutional members of the Public Library of Science. Today's press release quotes Larry Frye, Head Librarian at Wabash College: "My colleagues and I welcome the opportunity to support efforts such as PLoS that offer our science faculties a new way to share their research widely as a public resource available to other scholars around the world. We hope that our commitment will encourage other academic libraries to join PLoS." (PS: I'm very proud to say that Earlham College, where I taught for 21 years, and where I retain a research affiliation, is a member of this group.)
Last week when I blogged JISC's new funding program for OA publishers, I forgot to blog the results of the JISC/OAI survey on author attitudes toward OA. The funding program and survey results were announced in the same press release. Excerpt from the survey report: "Awareness of the concept of open access amongst those who had not taken this publishing route was quite high: almost two-thirds of respondents were familiar with the open access concept. Only around a quarter of authors in this group had been made aware of open access initiatives by their institution. The proportion of open access author respondents whose institution had drawn their attention to such outlets was higher, at 42%....The primary reason for choosing an open access outlet in which to publish is a belief in the principle of free access to research information. Over 90% of open access authors said this is important. These authors also perceive open access journals as being faster than traditional journals, having a larger readership and thus resulting in higher numbers of citations to their work....Authors feel that any publication fees required should come from research grants first and foremost and, failing that, from their institution or its library....Almost all the authors in both groups said that if publishing their work in an open access outlet were a condition of a grant-awarding body they would comply; fewer than ten percent said this condition would make them look elsewhere for funding....Respondents from both groups are poorly informed [about eprint archiving] and only small minorities have ever self-archived their articles in an institutional or subject-specific repository. The highest level of activity of this type is posting a copy of published articles on their own website, something less than a quarter of our authors have done. Once again, authors express their willingness to use such archives if they are available...."
Here's an excerpt from Simon Caulkin's excellent article in this morning's Observer (just posted by Ben Toth). "How's this for a winning publishing formula? A university funds scientific research; the research is turned into a paper by an author, who pays a colour illustration and reprint charge - say, £1,000 - and surrenders the copyright for the privilege of publishing his findings in a specialised journal. Peers review the work for free, then the publisher prints the article - and sells it back for a hefty fee to the institution where the work was carried out in the first place. Welcome to scientific publishing....It may not stay that way for much longer....[T]he scientific publishing shake-up is due to a combination of unsustainable monopoly and online technology that undermines the cost basis of traditional publishing....But even in the short term, there will undoubtedly be a richer, more competitive publishing ecology. And you don't need a scientific journal to tell you that richer competition equals greater benefits for science - and poorer profits for the likes of Reed Elsevier."
In the wake of the UK House of Commons enquiry, the influential UK newspaper The Observer publishes a article on Open Access in its business section, entitled The web is ending scientific publishing's stranglehold.