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Using DSpace, Biomed Central Launches Repository Service, Library Journal, September 20, 2004. A short unsigned piece on BMC's Open Repository service (still no URL). Excerpt: "Under its program, for a fee, BMC will 'build, launch, maintain, and populate' repositories for institutions that could not otherwise afford to, or may lack the infrastructure or technical capacity in-house. Institutions can choose to pay a 'one-off set-up fee,' to BMC, which will then build a repository to an institutionís requirements. They can hire BMC to maintain the repository or take over operation and maintenance themselves at any time. The institution remains the owner of the repository."
Larry Jacobs, The Closing of the 'Open Society'? ABC News, September 17, 2004. An interview with Rick Blum of OpenTheGovernment.org (OTG) on increasing government secrecy and decreasing OA to government information. Quoting Blum: "The public is using the Internet and relying upon the Internet to get information they need to make critical decisions to protect their families, to protect their communities. And we're seeing the government remove more information from government Web sites out of concerns, they say, for national security. That really hurts the democratic process and it hurts citizens' ability to make the decisions that they need to protect their families." Also see Blum's report for OTG, Secrecy Report Card: Quantitative Indicators of Secrecy in the Federal Government.
Martin Frank, Margaret Reich and Alice Ra'anan, A Not-For-Profit Publisher's Perspective on Open Access, a preprint forthcoming in Serials Review, 30, 4 (2004). A critique of OA arguing that OA journals cost more than their proponents admit, that OA archiving will harm journals, that the NIH OA plan will harm journals, and that OA to medical research will not help patients. Abstract: "Recent legislative activity in the US House of Representatives and the UK House of Commons has added fuel to a debate over electronic access to the Scientific, Technical and Medical (STM) literature that was initiated in 1999 with the introduction of E-Biomed. On-going efforts to change the landscape of STM publishing involve moving it away from a subscription basis to an author pays model. This article chronicles the swift evolution of electronic access to the scientific literature and asks whether the scholarly community will really be better off with government-mandated open access (OA) publishing."
The Alliance for Taxpayer Access has issued a press release praising the National Academy of Sciences for its endorsement of the NIH open-access plan. Quoting Rick Johnson, coordinator of the ATA: "Science and the public benefit go hand in hand, and this policy affirms that partnership. The National Academy's influence over sound science policy is undisputed. Today, by joining with public interest stakeholders, they give profound weight to the true significance of 'open access.' They acknowledge, as we do, that NIH has taken a reasonable and measured approach that balances the interests and objectives of the scientific community with the legitimate interests of scientific publishing."
On September 13, the Creative Commons launched a Developing Nations license. Quoting the CC press release: "Specifically, the Developing Nations license allows copyright holders to invite a wide range of royalty-free uses of their work in developing nations while retaining their full copyright in the developed world." Quoting the CC blog: "The deed lays it out simply: it's an attribution-only license that applies within developing nations. The legal code defines developing nations as "any nation that is not classified as a 'high-income economy' by the World Bank." which according to the World Bank's site means it does not apply in these countries." (Thanks to Charles W. Bailey, Jr.)
Péter Jacsó, Link-enabled cited references, Online Information Review, 28, 4 (2004) pp. 306-311. Only this abstract is free online: "Cited references form an integral part of scholarly articles. They are included in the digital versions of course, but they do not necessarily provide any extra functionality. The most essential digital feature is to make the cited references hot-linked. This article looks at the implementation of cited references in full-text databases offered directly by the publishers (or their digital facilitators) and some of the largest commercial aggregators."
David Malakoff, Report Upholds Public Access to Genetic Codes, Science 305(5691), 1692, 17 September 2004. (Access restricted to subscribers.) In a brief news piece on the National Research Council report that advocates ongoing open access to germ data, Malakoff provides some historical perspective: "The U.S. government typically requires all federally funded scientists to make their genome data public. Since scientists sequenced the first viral genome in 1975, they have released the genetic codes of more than 1100 viruses and 150 bacteria, including those of the dangerous pathogens that cause smallpox, anthrax, and the plague." Therefore much germ data is already openly available, and there is "little agreement" on the kind of restrictions to implement and what types of data to regulate, the panel contends. Biosecurity experts are quoted as expressing support for the NRC's recommendations.
Robert Bovenschulte, Open Access: Early Stages of Clinical Trials (powerpoint), ACS 228th National Meeting Philadelphia, PA, Chemical Information Division, August 23, 2004. Robert Bovenschulte of the ACS Publications Division presents on open acces at the recent ACS meeting, speaking in general terms about current trends in OA and comparing OA experiments to "clinical trials." The ACS has "no position" on OA and is taking a "watchful approach." While OA "experiments are to be welcomed," the speaker expresses uncertainty whether it is a solution for all parties, especially scientific society publishers. Bovenschulte remarks that ACS intends to "carefully evaluate what works and doesnít work before trying to change the world." (Source: ACS Livewire)
Susan Morrissey, NIH Unveils Draft Open-Access Plan, Chemical and Engineering News, September 13, 2004. A short overview of the plan.
Tonight the NIH open access plan got a very important new endorsement from the National Academy of Sciences. Excerpt from the NAS public statement (September 16, 2004):
Two more societies have become signatories of the Washington DC Principles for Free Access to Science. The American Dental Education Association, publisher of the Journal of Dental Education is the latest endorser. Earlier this week I had noticed the Infectious Diseases Society of America, publisher of Journal of Infectious Diseases and Clinical Infectious Diseases, had appeared since my previous visit. Journal of Dental Education - Fulltext v65(4)+ (April 2000+). Fulltext free through 1 October 2004; ISSN: 0022-0337. No word yet on free availability beyond the trial period. Journal of Infectious Diseases - Fulltext v175(4)+ (April 1997+) 1 year moving wall; Print ISSN: 0022-1899 | Online ISSN: 1537-6613. Clinical Infectious Diseases - Fulltext v24(6)+ (June 1997+) 1 year moving wall; Print ISSN: 1058-4838 | Online ISSN: 1537-6591.
Ryan Overbey, Ryan's Lair, September 15, 2004. "I look forward to the day when librarians tell their grandchildren about bundled journal packages that cost over $10k a year, straining the already-strained budgets of research libraries, just because academics were too lazy and timid to publish in new fora with new technology. The grandchildren will laugh, and wonder how we could ever have been so stupid."
CLIR has released a report, Survey of the State of Audio Collections in Academic Libraries, by Abby Smith, David Randal Allen, and Karen Allen (August 2004). Among other things, it details the access barriers to audio collections archived around the country. Quoting from Tuesday's press release: "From Franklin D. Roosevelt's Fireside Chats to the stories of the last native Yahi speaker, from whale songs recorded in the North Pacific to Carl Sandburg's reading of 'Fog,' much of the twentieth-century is captured in audio recordings. U.S. libraries and archives house vast and rich collections of such recordings, which are of enormous value for scholarship and are increasingly used in teaching. Yet, many important audio resources go unused because they are not accessible. A new report from the Council on Library and Information Resources explores why this is so....The most frequently cited obstacles to access relate to a lack of bibliographic control. Physical fragility, lack of playback equipment for obsolete formats, access restrictions imposed by donors, and staff concerns about privacy rights were also commonly cited as barriers to access. Copyright emerged as a key concern with implications for both preservation and access."
Paul Ginsparg, Scholarly Information Network, Lecture Notes in Physics 650, 313-336 (2004). Only the abstract is freely available online:
I review the background and some recent trends of a particular scholarly information network, arXiv.org, and discuss some of its implications for new scholarly publication models. If we were to start from scratch today to design a quality-controlled archive and distribution system for scientific and technical information, it could take a very different form from what has evolved in the past decade from pre-existing print infrastructure. Near-term advances in automated classification systems, authoring tools, and document formats will facilitate efficient datamining and long-term archival stability, and I discuss how these could provide not only more efficient means of accessing and navigating the information, but also more cost-effective means of authentication and quality control. Finally, I illustrate the use of machine learning techniques to analyze, structure, maintain, and evolve a large online corpus of academic literature. An emerging field of research can be identified as part of an existing corpus, permitting the implementation of a more coherent community structure for its network of practitioners.
Thanks to Christina Pikas for the (relatively) abbreviated link.
Mark Chillingworth, BioMed Central opens access to institutional repositories, Information World Review, September 15, 2004. Excerpt: "Open Repository provides organisations with a service that will build, launch, maintain and populate an institutional repository. BioMed Central believes organisations are being held back by a lack of infrastructure and technical capacity to build a repository in-house. [BMC's Natasha] Robshaw expects organisations to be interested in the hosting service. 'Hosting is a pain to set up and the on-going costs can be high. We have the servers and the Oracle databases to run repositories on our systems.' BioMed Central will charge a one-off set-up fee to build the repository using DSpace, an open source software application. Customers can add a wide variety of content formats to the repository, including Microsoft Word and PowerPoint files, videos or databases. BioMed Central offers a service that converts articles to PDF and XML formats. All repositories will feature a search engine."
Sarah L. Shreeves and Christine M. Kirkham, Experiences of Educators Using a Portal of Aggregated Metadata, Journal of Digital Information, September 9, 2004. Abstract: "The University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign Open Archives Initiative Metadata Harvesting Project sought to test the viability of a search portal containing aggregated metadata for cultural heritage resources harvested using the Open Archives Initiative Protocol for Metadata Harvesting (OAI-PMH). Metadata was collected from 39 providers, including museums, archives, libraries, historical societies, consortiums, and digital libraries. Some resources existed in digital formats, such as .JPG images. Other resources were analog objects and were represented digitally through the metadata. The paper documents a pilot user test with a small group of K-12 teachers-in-training. The users were asked to use the portal to locate primary source materials for use in the classroom. The results highlight the challenges posed by aggregations of heterogeneous metadata for both users and service providers. Areas for further investigation and approaches for more in-depth studies are suggested."
Flora McMartin, MERLOT: A Model for User Involvement in Digital Library Design and Implementation, Journal of Digital Information, September 9, 2004. A profile of MERLOT, the OA repository of peer-reviewed online learning materials. Abstract: "MERLOT is an international consortium comprised of over 20 institutions and systems of higher education and industry partners who collaborate to produce a premier online community where faculty, staff, and students from around the world share online learning materials and pedagogy. MERLOT's mission is to improve the effectiveness of teaching and learning by expanding the quantity and quality of peer-reviewed online learning materials that can be easily incorporated into faculty-designed courses. Created in 1997 by the California State University, in 1999 MERLOT expanded by inviting other partners to participate in creating and implementing MERLOT as a free, Web-based resource for higher education. MERLOT emphasizes both the quality and review of materials as well as services for the broad community it serves. MERLOT's partners are integral to the functioning of MERLOT and its services, from initial design and testing to deployment and management."
Edward Pentz, Recent developments at CrossRef, Interlending & Document Supply, 32, 3 (2004) pp. 183-185. Only this abstract is online, at least so far: "Provides an update on the latest CrossRef developments. CrossRef is now four years old and has reached critical mass in terms of members, digital object identifiers (DOIs) deposited and use of DOIs in reference links in scholarly journals. CrossRef has changed its fees over the last year and is implementing new services to ensure that DOIs are widely disseminated and used to improve access to content to end-user scientists and researchers." (PS: Among the most exciting recent developments is CrossRef Search, the Google-powered OA-searchable index of CrossRef journals. I can't tell whether Pentz discusses CrossRef Search in the present article, because I don't have access, but he does discuss it here.)
Elsevier Developing Scopus STM Abstracting and Indexing Database, Library Journal, September 15, 2004. An unsigned overview of Scopus by the LJ staff.
The U.S. National Library of Medicine has launched the NLM Catalog, a new, searchable, OA database of bibliographic data on "over 1.2 million journals, books, audiovisuals, computer software, electronic resources, and other materials via the NCBI Entrez retrieval system". For more details, see the NLM Catalog help page.
The October issue of Walt Crawford's Cites & Insights is now online. The OA-related pieces in this issue are (1) a lengthy review of Wikipedia, with special attention to the effectiveness of its communal form of peer review, and (2) a section on Copyright Currents looking at the INDUCE act, the database bill, the DMCRA, the Grokster decision, DRM, and broadcast flags.
The Nature web focus on open access has concluded by releasing six new contributions.
(PS: Thanks to Declan Butler for editing this excellent series.)
Rep. Henry Waxman (D-CA) has released a comprehensive report, Secrecy in the Bush Administration.. The report has three parts, (1) Laws that Provide Public Access to Federal Record, (2) Laws that Restrict Access to Public Records, and (3) Congressional Access to Information. Excerpt: "This review of the nation's open government laws reveals that the Bush Administration has systematically sought to limit disclosure of government records while expanding its authority to operate in secret. Through legislative changes, implementing regulations, and administrative practices, the Administration has undermined the laws that make the federal government more transparent to its citizens, including the Freedom of Information Act, the Presidential Records Act, and the Federal Advisory Committee Act. At the same time, the Administration has expanded the reach of the laws authorizing the Administration to classify documents and to act without public or congressional oversight. Individually, some of the changes implemented by the Bush Administration may have limited impact. Taken together, however, the Administration's actions represent an unparalleled assault on the principle of open and accountable government."
Anil Kumar and V. L. Kalyane, Bibliographics for the 983 eprints in the live archives of E-LIS : trends and status report up to 7th July 2004, based on author-self-archiving metadata, a preprint on deposit at E-LIS. Excerpt: "Focus of present study is on Author-Self-Archiving (A-S-A) Metadata of the 983 Eprints in the Live Archives of the E-LIS (EPrints of Library and Information Science), which were approved till 7th July 2004. The A-S-A Metadata was used for librametric analysis."
E. R. Prakasan, and V. L. Kalyane, Citation analysis of LANL High-Energy Physics E-Prints through Science Citation Index (1991-2002), a preprint on deposit at E-LIS. Excerpt: "This investigation provides evidence that e-prints are an integral component of the scholarly communication of physicists. This was especially shown to be the case for the area of high-energy particle physics. The magnitude of importance is perhaps even greater than reported as the data collected from the Science Citation Index (SCI) are likely to be an underestimation, the reason may be because of the coverage of journals by SCI and the reason for the citations for the e-print archives after publication may be the absence of details in the records of e-print archives. The present study shows only the trends analysis."
R. Pielke, Jr., Public Access to Genome Data and the NAS as Policy Advocate, Prometheus: Health, September 12, 2004. Pielke regards the recent NRC committee recommendations on open genomic data (see posting from from September 9) with considerable skepticism, accusing the panel of having a "built-in bias." He writes:
We should be uncomfortable when NRC committees take on an advocacy position related to science. Specifically, the NAS should not be in the business of pushing for a single policy option, particularly one that best serves the needs of its own community. Instead the NRC should carefully evaluate the pluses and minuses of a range of plausible policy alternatives, and then allow government officials to decide which course of action is in the publicís interest. NRC Committees should allow for sufficient disciplinary and other diversity to allow for such policy evaluations. The NRC has access to expertise on every area of science. But it also has access to those with expertise in policy evaluation, this report (and many others) showed no evidence that they consulted or otherwise incorporated such expertise.
But what bias are they guilty of? Being scientists and therefore needing access to scientific data? (Source: Chris C. Mooney -- The Intersection)
The Chemweb.com page directs would-be visitors of the Chemistry Preprint Server to a new site, the Preprint Archive, which includes Elsevier's mathematics and computer science preprints as well as the CPS. Registration is required. Further down the page, however, one finds this notice:
Despite their wide readership, the Chemistry, Maths and Computer Science research communities did not contribute articles or online comments to the Preprint service in sufficient numbers to justify further development. Consequently on the 24th of May, 2004 the three Elsevier Preprint Servers--Chemistry, Math and Computer Science--stopped accepting new submissions to their sites. The current site is now a freely available and permanent web archive for those research articles already submitted to the Preprint Servers.
Jason Miller, Feds set plan to make data easier to find, Government Computer News, September 14, 2004. Excerpt: "Agencies have long set their own practices for presenting information to the public, but now the Office of Management and Budget wants everyone to get on the same page. The OMB-led Interagency Committee on Government Information is developing guidelines on how to organize, classify and present data to the public, either on the Web or through other electronic libraries....The E-Government Act of 2002 mandated that OMB draft a policy to help agencies do a better job of managing government information, from consolidating Web sites to improving records management. With that mandate in mind, OMB created the Interagency Committee on Government Information to implement Section 207 of the E-Government Act, which calls for standards to electronically categorize, publish and archive government information in a consistent format. The Categorization of Government Information Working Group is one of three committee groups developing guidelines related to E-Gov Act requirements." The public comment period on the Recommendation for Search Interoperability runs for about three more weeks. For details, see the OAN blog posting from 8/25/04.
Catherine A. Ball and 18 co-authors, Submission of Microarray Data to Public Repositories, PLoS Biology, September 2004. Excerpt: "A fundamental principle guiding the publication of scientific results is that the data supporting any scholarly work must be made fully available to the research community, in a form that allows the basic conclusions to be evaluated independently....[W]e, members of the Microarray Gene Expression Data Society (MGED), believe that all scholarly scientific journals should now require the submission of microarray data to public repositories as part of the process of publication."
Merrill Goozner, Registering Clinical Trials Doesn't Go Far Enough, GoozNews, September 12, 2004. Excerpt:
As long as the drug industry is sponsoring and conducting clinical trials, it's not likely that the public will ever get straight information about the usefulness of drugs. Before the 1980s, independent academic investigators conducted most clinical trials. Today, industry funds nearly two-thirds of all trials. The physicians who enroll patients in these trials not only get financial support for the tests, but often wind up landing lucrative consulting and speaking gigs with the firms when the trials turn out positive.
Goozner calls for independent investigators in drug trials as a remedy to this situation. (Source: Chris C. Mooney -- The Intersection)
Terrence A. Maxwell, Is copyright necessary? First Monday, September 2004. Abstract: "Copyright is a legal mechanism for promotion of useful knowledge. However, it is not the only means society could use to encourage information dissemination, and several alternative models have been suggested over the last 200 years. This article provides the results of a dynamic simulation of the publishing industry in the United States from 1800 to 2100, and tests the impact of different protection schemes on the development of authorship, the publishing industry, and reader access. It closes with a discussion of intellectual property information policy decisions that can be currently made, and their likely impacts on domestic and international copyright protection."
Andrea Ciffolilli, The economics of open source hijacking and the declining quality of digital information resources: A case for copyleft, First Monday, September 2004. Abstract: "The economics of information goods suggest the need for institutional intervention to address the problem of revenue extraction from investments in those resources characterized by high fixed costs of production and low marginal costs of reproduction and distribution. Solutions to the appropriation issue, such as copyright, are supposed to guarantee an incentive for innovative activities at the price of few vices marring their rationale. In the case of digital information resources, apart from conventional inefficiencies, copyright shows an extra vice since it might be used perversely as a tool to 'hijack' and privatise collectively provided open source and open content knowledge assemblages, even in the case in which the original information was not otherwise copyrightable. Whilst the impact of hijacking on open source software development may be uncertain or uneven, some risks are clear in the case of open content works. The paper presents some evidence of malicious effects of hijacking in the Internet search market by discussing the case of The Open Directory Project. Furthermore, it calls for a wider use of novel institutional remedies such as copyleft and Creative Commons licensing, built upon the paradigm of copyright customisation."
Martin Feijen and Annemiek van der Kuil, The dawning of the Dutch network of Digital Academic REpositories (DARE): a sharing experience, The SURF Foundation, June 30, 2004. Excerpt: "The SURF-based programme DARE (Digital Academic REpositories) has brought together all (thirteen) Dutch Universities and three major academic institutions to create a network of digital repositories of Dutch academic output. The first year of DARE focused on implementing the basic infrastructure by setting up and linking the repositories. In the spirit of the open access movement, this article will focus on sharing DARE best practices and lessons learned in the community-driven process. This resulted in creating a Dutch network of OAI (Open Archives Initiative) data providers. A demonstrator portal called DAREnet has been set up to access this national networkís academic output."
Highwire journals are now available in China through a locally-hosted broadband connection authorized by the Chinese government. The local host means that Chinese users now avoid charges for visiting foreign web sites. The same Highwire content that is free to users outside China is free to users inside China. For more details, see last month's press release.
Robert Stern, Open Access Articles From The NIH, SternViews, September 13, 2004. Summarizes recent news about NIH plan and makes the following comments:
This is a dicey issue for the same reason that drug and clinical trial access is a hot potato.
Cory Doctorow, Written testimony to Select Committee on Culture, Media and Sport, EFF, September 11, 2004. Representing the Electronic Frontier Foundation, Doctorow argues in support of the BBC's proposed Creative Archive, a digital library "of the whole of the BBC's extant archive of radio and television programming, placed online under a license that permits and encourages noncommercial redistribution and reuse of this material." Excerpt: "The world's media companies are running away from remix culture, locking up their media in increasingly baroque copy-restriction schemes that aim to block playful, sticky-fingered artists from appropriating an image, a beat, a phrase. The works of the commercial entertainment world grow ever less-available to remixers. But not the BBC -- while the private sector strives to keep its material away from remixers, the BBC proposes to do the opposite. The Creative Archive project will take the very essence of British popular culture -- the material that the United Kingdom spent billions of pounds on in order to entertain, educate and inform itself -- and give it to Britons to extend, to make their own, to interweave with the stories they tell and hear....The Creative Archive is a watershed moment in the history of the BBC and of the world. It has the power to lend cultural identity to the coming generation of Britons, to benefit UK cultural institutions, artists and commercial broadcasters, and to push the whole world towards a new height of freedom and cooperation. The BBC has asked its Governors to grant it a Charter provision allowing it to make the Archive, and the Governors, in turn, have asked the DCMS for this. It is EFF's hope that the DCMS will see fit to give the Governors what they seek."
Funkcialaj Ekvacioj (International Series) is published under the auspices of the Division of Functional Equations of the Mathematical Society of Japan. The online version of the journal is hosted by the math department at Kobe University. Free access is provided to fulltext from volumes 1-34. Although a current subscription is required for more recent years of fulltext, reviews from MathSciNet are provided in both HTML and PDF. Funkcialaj Ekvacioj (International Series) - Fulltext v1-34 (1958-1996); ISSN: 0532-8721.
The Open Society Institute has released the third edition of its Guide to Institutional Repository Software. Like previous editions, the updated version of the guide is written by Raym Crow and covers open-source packages for creating and maintaining OAI-compliant institutional repositories. This edition covers nine packages: Archimede, ARNO, CDSware, DSpace, Eprints, Fedors, i-Tor, MyCoRe, and OPUS (Archimede and OPUS are new since the last edition). The guide is available in both HTML and PDF formats.
Barbara Quint, DOE's OSTI Service Expands Federal Government Coverage, Information Today, September 13, 2004. Excerpt: "Look behind the screen at many major federal government portals --Science.gov, FirstGov.gov, even GPO Access-- and you will often find the Department of Energy's Office of Scientific and Technical Information playing a leading role. Recently it expanded its collection of government contract databases with some half-a-million summaries of R&D projects to those supplied by the DOE itself and five other federal agencies....OSTI uses a metasearch technology developed by tiny Deep Web Technologies to perform searches across databases located on different agency host sites without requiring the searcher to enter multiple queries....Currently the public can also access this research tool through GPO Access. In conversation with Walter Warnick, OSTI's director, it became clear that partnering and facilitating cross-agency data service was basic to OSTI's concept of service to citizens....Whatever works to get data to the public seems to fit with Warnick and OSTIís view of its service mission. 'We want to bridge from Open Web-type searching to sophisticated database searching. We will expose our data through Google and Yahoo! as well as through metasearching of bigger and bigger aggregations, so patrons donít have to identify and use sources one at a time.' Once Warnick gets the links of the expanded R&D summaries on Science.gov, can FirstGov.gov be far behind?"
Jennifer Couzin, Momentum Builds for Clinical Trial Registration, ScienceNOW, September 10, 2004. (Access restricted to subscribers.) Couzin reports on a Sept. 9 congressional hearing with FDA official Janet Woodcock, who "suggested that FDA's hands were tied when it came to releasing negative data about a company's trials." Evidently, bills which would require "registry of clinical trials at their inception" are pending in both the House and Senate. "Pharmaceutical companies, however, are pressing for voluntary registration."
Barbara Quint, NIH Requires Open Access for Its Funded Medical Research, Information Today, September 13, 2004. Excerpt: "After months --if not years, seen from a historical perspective-- of dispute, the National Institutes of Health has established a policy mandating open access to the full text of research results from projects it funds. Conservative estimates have placed at least a quarter of the quality medical research done in the world as funded by NIH grants and contracts. Current estimates place the number of documents affected by the new policy as around 60,000 items each year. Before coming to this decision, the NIH heard from all the many stakeholders --publishers, abstracting and indexing services, authors, disease-specific advocacy groups, librarians, etc. The final push came from the prodding of the subcommittee of the House Committee on Appropriations that controls NIH's budget. With the posting of the notice on Sept. 3, a 60-day period began for public comment. Revisions may ensue at the end of that period, but the policy should go into effect before the end of the year. All the material will end up deposited at PubMed Central....With the NIH's decision, the fast-paced open access movement has picked up even more momentum. Already, other federal information professionals are speaking about pressing for open access in the physical sciences as well as the life sciences. One interesting aspect of the NIH development, though Congress pressed for the move --the NIH did not require statutory action to implement the policy, just a change in the boilerplate conditions of grants and contracts. This means other major federal research and development funding agencies could also establish open access policies without bothering Congress. They might even want to move before Congress starts bothering them. "
BioMed Central today launched Open Repository, an open-access repository service for universities and research institutions. From the press release: "The Open Repository service makes it possible for institutions that could not otherwise afford to, or lack the infrastructure or technical capacity in-house, to set up repositories....Open Repository offers a number of different levels of service, to fit with a university or institution's requirements. For a one-off set-up fee, BioMed Central will build the repository with open source software DSpace, with complete customization to the customer's requirements. Repositories built under the scheme will be able to accept a wide variety of publication types. It is then up to the institution whether they wish BioMed Central to host and run the repository or to transfer operation and maintenance to themselves. The institution remains the owner of the repository. For an annual fee, BioMed Central offers to maintain the repository and guarantee ongoing customer support. BioMed Central's Open Repository service will include converting articles to PDF and XML. Advanced search functionality will be a part of the service, as will links to and from databases, for example PubMed, and via CrossRef to the body of scientific literature."
Non-EU scientists offer their opinions on the future of the European science policy, CORDIS News, August 31, 2004 (unsigned). Excerpt: "The EU must identify obstacles to global collaboration and address them, urged non-European scientists at ESOF 2004....Presenting the view of the developing world, Khotso Mokhele from South Africa explained that the reality in developing countries is political indifference or at best ambiguity towards science. 'We are counting a lot on the EU to change this state of affairs,' said Dr Mokhele....He therefore called on governments in developing countries to stop their political indifference towards science in developing countries if they really want the self-imposed marginalisation to end. The Sixth Framework Programme (FP6) and future framework programmes could be a lever for endogenous investment in science and technology by developing countries, he said. Responding to Dr Mokhele's address, an EU official in the audience explained that 32 million euro in the FP6 budget had been set aside for developing countries. Only 17 million euro has so far been used, mainly because the projects presented by these countries are often not up to the required standards. 'We have recognised that infrastructure is the main issue in those countries and we will address this issue in FP7,' he promised." (Thanks to SciDev.Net.)
(PS: OA infrastructure is very inexpensive and very effective. A small part of the FP7 budget for developing countries spent on institutional repositories, if accompanied by national or institutional policies to encourage working researchers to fill them, could be a big part of the solution to this problem.)