Open Access News

News from the open access movement

Saturday, November 06, 2004

Varieties of OA

George Porter, An Open Access Bestiary; or, Looking Upon the Many Faces of Open Access, a PPT presentation at the 24th Annual Charleston Conference (Charleston, November 3-6, 2004). Excerpts:
    So, what is Open Access?
    • Grassroots movement
    • Philosophy
    • Social phenomenon
    • Still in its infancy
    What OA is not
    • A foregone conclusion
    • A passing fad
    • A formula for instant success
    • Effortless

More on Textpresso

Sam Jaffe, Want a Jolt of Literature? Try Textpresso! The Scientist, November 8, 2004. Excerpt: "[A] new open-source tool called Textpresso can find a single fact just by typing in a quick search entry. Paul Sternberg's lab at the California Institute of Technology designed Textpresso to organize papers on Caenorhabditis elegans. Unlike the popular PubMed online search tool, Textpresso does a full text search. And unlike other text-search devices, Textpresso bases its search on ontological relationships, thus increasing its precision." (PS: See our earlier blog posting about Textpresso for the OA connection, if it isn't already clear.)

Open source and open content needed in Africa

Iain Scott, Educationists hail open source, ITWeb, November 5, 2004. Excerpt: "There is a growing belief that the wide-ranging benefits of ICT can be delivered to Africa's tertiary education sector only through the strategic adoption of open standards, free and open source software, and open content. This is according to Bob Day of the University of SA and spokesman for the Unesco-sponsored Expert Group Meeting on Developing the e-Campus Model for Africa, to be held next week. The meeting, to be held from 9 to 11 November, is to be attended by 35 local and international delegates representing the tertiary education sector in eight African countries. Other representatives are from Finland, the World Bank, Nepad and various donor organisations including the Open Society Initiative for Southern Africa and the International Development Research Centre."

More on access to drug trial data

Stephen W. Bernstein and three co-authors, Increasing FDA Oversight Over Clinical Research, Mondaq, November 5, 2004. Very detailed coverage of the background and provisions of the Fair Access to Clinical Trials Act (FACT Act).

Italian university rectors sign Berlin Declaration

The rectors of 32 Italian universities signed the Berlin Declaration on Open Access to Knowledge on Friday. (The signatures will soon appear on the Berlin signature page but are not up yet.) The rectors had gathered for the conference, Gli atenei italiani per l'Open Access: verso l'accesso aperto alla letteratura di ricerca [Italian Universities for Open Access: Towards Open Access to Scholarly Literature] (Messina, November 4-5, 2004). I will have more details on Monday when the conference organizers release a public statement. (PS: Kudos to the Italian universities for committing themselves to OA and to their librarians for the extensive background work in educating their communities about it.)

Editorial in the L.A, Times

Priceless Information, an unsigned editorial in the Los Angeles Times, November 6, 2004, welcoming the launch of PLoS Medicine and endorsing the NIH plan. Excerpt: "[The launch of PLoS Medicine] is important not only to scientists; if the journal succeeds in democratizing the spread of quality research, it could accelerate the discovery of disease cures. (PS: I hate to nitpick a friendly editorial, but in discussing the NIH plan it perpetuates the misunderstanding that the plan mandates publishing in OA journals rather than deposit in the OA archive, PubMed Central.)

Friday, November 05, 2004

More McCabe and Snyder on the economics of OA journals

Mark J. McCabe and Christopher M. Snyder, A Model of Academic Journal Quality with Applications to Open-Access Journals, a preprint. Abstract: "Previous research modeled academic journals as platforms connecting authors with readers in a two-sided market. This research used the same basic framework also used to study telephony, credit cards, video game consoles, etc. In this paper, we focus on a key difference between the market for academic journals and these other markets: journals vary in terms of quality, where a journal's quality determined by the quality of the papers it publishes. We provide a simple model of journal quality. As an illustration of the value of the model, we use it to address issues that have arisen in the recent debate concerning whether, in the Internet age, journals should become \open access" (freely available to readers, financed by author rather than subscriber fees). Among other issues, we examine (a) whether open-access journals would tend to publish more articles than traditional journals, moving further down the quality spectrum in order to boost revenue; (b) whether journal quality affects the profitability of adopting open access; and (c) whether submission fees or acceptance fees are better instruments to extract surplus from authors."

Thursday, November 04, 2004

Digital scholarship in Australia

Colin Steele and Bobby Graham, Scholarly publishing: digital dreams or nightmares? Australian Bookseller & Publisher, October 2004. A general survey of the state of digital scholarship in Australia, of which OA is just one part. Excerpt: "In October 2003, the Department of Education Science and Training (DEST) granted AU$12 million to various electronic initiatives, including digital theses promotion and the population of institutional repositories. The funding will allow two consortia, headed by ANU and Monash University, to explore, over the period 2003-2005, the potential of digital publishing technologies linked to global networking and international open access. ANU E-Prints recorded 209,401 downloads of scholarly material out of 661,116 hits in the first half of 2004 from a base of just over 2,000 documents. The global Open Access movement, most notably reflected in the July UK House of Commons report, Scientific Publications: Free for All?, has seen significant progress in a number of countries at policy levels ranging from Germany to Canada. A significant portion of scholarly publishing in the future will no doubt come under the umbrella of 'public funding, public knowledge, public access'. This will benefit citizens of the first as well as the developing world. Evidence from those publishers who provide material free of charge on the web such as MIT, University of California and Columbia University Presses is that free access to books on the web, actually generates more conventional book sales than would otherwise be the case."

Wellcome Trust to mandate OA, build archive with NLM

The Wellcome Trust is in talks with the National Library of Medicine about creating a "European PubMed Central". From today's press release: "The establishment of this database of peer reviewed, biomedical research would mean that research papers from scientists working on a range of diseases, including TB, malaria and HIV, as well as basic research, are accessible at no charge to any researcher, patient group or member of the public anywhere in the world. Dr Mark Walport, Director of the Wellcome Trust, said, 'We are determined to make the results of the research we fund freely available to anyone who wants them. We believe that central archives are the way to achieve this. The outcome of research is new knowledge about disease and health. Maximising the value of research means maximising the distribution of the results.' Dr Walport confirmed that the next step is to hold discussions with the research community on the practicalities of bringing about the vision of an open access publishing model for all Wellcome Trust funded research. He said, 'We would require all the papers reporting the results of the research we fund to be placed in a public access archive within six months of publication. We will cover, through additional funding, the costs involved in this change in publishing practice.' "

Publishers and Google

Jemima Kiss, Online publishers rail against Google, Dot Journalism, October 27, 2004. Excerpt: "Internet search firms are 'parasites' that will eventually kill growth in the online publishing industry, according to Associated New Media managing director Andrew Hart, [s]peaking at the Association of Online Publishers (AOP) conference in London last week....Paul Rossi, publisher of, described Google as a 'brand killer'....One delegate suggested that the commercialisation of search could be the root of these problems for the online publishing industry. He suggested that the BBC could set up and operate a new open source search facility as a public service, but the suggestion was dismissed by Richard Deverell, head of interactive news at the BBC. 'That would require a vast technical resource that the BBC doesn't have - and I'm not sure we should have,' he told the conference."

Comment on the beta spec for conveying rights expressions in OAI metadata

Carl Lagoze, Michael Nelson, Herbert Van de Sompel, and Simeon Warner invite public comment on the beta release of the OAI-PMH specification for conveying rights expressions. Excerpt from the spec explaining what it's all about: "Data providers might want to associate rights expressions with the metadata to indicate how it may be used, shared, and modified after it has been harvested. This specification defines how rights information pertaining to the metadata should be included in responses to OAI-PMH requests. The described technique [1] Is based on delivering rights expressions that apply to metadata included in OAI-PMH responses. It uses the optional containers that have been defined as part of the OAI-PMH specification. As a result, no changes to the protocol are made, and compatibility with all existing OAI-PMH implementations is maintained. [2] Is not tied to any particular rights expression language. Examples throughout this document make use of Creative Commons licenses, but the use of this specific language is for illustrative purposes only." (PS: This is an important development. Users can tell when price barriers have been removed simply by accessing content without having to pay. But they can't tell when permission barriers have been removed unless they are told. There are many ways to tell users which permission barriers have been removed, and which have not. Building the information into harvestable metadata is a very flexible and effective solution that supports automated research tools and data services.)

Wednesday, November 03, 2004

OA edition of the Dictionary of the History of Ideas

The Electronic Text Center at the University of Virginia hosts an open-access edition of the Dictionary of the History of Ideas, edited Philip P. Wiener and originally published by Charles Scribner's Sons in 1973-74. (Thanks to Ross Scaife.)

I'm pleased by this development for two very different reasons. First, the book is out of print but not out of copyright. Scribner's decision to let it become OA was made less painful, but not costless, by a grant from the Journal of the History of Ideas (JHI) to support digitization. (It also helped that Scriber's is planning an updated dictionary to be edited by Maryanne Cline Horowitz.) Kudos to Scribner's and JHI for this very enlightened and generous policy toward OP books. Second, this book was first published the year I started graduate school. I fell for it hard but couldn't afford to buy it. To gain access to it I'd trek across Evanston to the Northwestern University Library (or Great Expectations bookstore). Finding it OA after all these years is like finding that old friend has moved in next door.

Online reading up

Does the average internet user spend more time reading content (news, information, entertainment) or communicating (through email, listservs, or IM)? The answer used to be communication, but in September 2004 it shifted for the first time to content (41.0% content v. 39.8% communication). See the evidence as gathered and presented by the Online Publishers Association (OPA). As Outsell observes in its comment on the development, however, the OPA study is based more on consumer-oriented content than academic content. (PS: But let's assume that the willingness of academic users to read academic content online is also increasing. That would be an encouraging trend, even if not required for the success or benefits of OA.)

Google and Elsevier: allies or rivals?

Google and Reed call ceasefire, This is London, November 2004. An unsigned news story. Excerpt: "Publisher Reed Elsevier, which owns paid-for search engine LexisNexis, has called a truce with free arch-rival Google. The pair are discussing joint ventures. The first provides users of Reed's Kellysearch business information website with Google's links to advertisers. Reed lost customers to Google as subscribers tried to get the same information they found on LexisNexis without paying for it. But chief executive Sir Crispin Davis says the company has won many of them back. 'For the last year or two we have had a lot of discussion over whether Google is an ally or a competitor,' he said. 'But there is a logic to working with Google in one or two areas. Google brings its size and we bring our content.' "

Update. In the November 3 issue of Search Engine Watch, Gary Price offers his thoughts on the same article.

More on the NIH OA plan

Emily Lehr Wallace, Open Access: Open Debate? GeoTimes, November 2004. Excerpt: "The idea of any American being able to access the results of research paid for with tax dollars is a compelling one, especially if the research is biomedical. There are key questions though that have not been answered, such as what problems would open access solve and what is the impact of implementing open access for citizens, scientists, publishers and the peer-review process? In answering these questions at a meeting of stakeholders in July, Dr. Elias Zerhouni, head of NIH, told the group that open access is necessary for NIH’s internal management of grants, is key to patient access and will help scientists who are currently being hindered because they cannot freely access each others' research. Members of Congress and their staff on Capitol Hill pointed to the soaring cost of journals as the problem, quickly followed with a nod to patient access. It is out of character for Congress to act so quickly on any issue." (PS: Publishers like to object that Congress and the NIH are rushing the plan through without adequate study. However, the objection is easily answered by remembering the studies and stake-holder meetings that have already taken place and the public comment period now ongoing.)

Scopus launched

Reed Elsevier officially launched Scopus today. For details, see the web site or press release.

Tuesday, November 02, 2004

LANL and Van de Sompel win major grant from the Library of Congress

The Library of Congress has given the Los Alamos National Laboratory Research Libray a $750,000 grant "to support research and development of tools that will help address complex problems related to collecting, storing and accessing digital materials". Herbert Van de Sompel will be the principal investigator. Quoting Van de Sompel: "Research papers that detail the design of our repository work attracted the interest of the Library of Congress. The modular and fully standards-based design suggested applicability beyond Los Alamos' Research Library. The Library of Congress funding will further focus our research and help us to explore the path of using our approach beyond [the Laboratory]." For more details, see Steve Sandoval's story in the LANL Daily News Bulletin. (Thanks to Joan Lippincott of CNI.)

French intro to OA

Danielle Dennie, Le mouvement de Libre Accès à la Recherche, BiblioCliQ, Fall 2004. A general overview of the the OA movement, in French. (Thanks to Heather Morrison.)

Who reads this blog?

Did you ever wonder where on Earth the readers of this blog are coming from? Look at the map at the bottom of the sidebar. This cool technology from HitMaps shows where the blog visitors are located. The size of the red dots is proportional to the number of visitors from that part of the world. The map tracks visitors starting yesterday (November 1), and only registers traffic to the master edition of the blog at the Earlham server. (It doesn't know about visitors to the blog mirrors or those who read the RSS feeds.) Click on the map, or click here, for an enlargement. (Thanks to Pharyngula for the idea.)

New issue of Liber Quarterly

The new issue of Liber Quarterly (vol. 14, no. 3/4) is now online. Only the TOC and some abstracts are free online, at least so far. Here are the OA-related articles.

NLM tracks additions to PubMed Central

An easy way for librarians and researchers to stay abreast of the continually expanding bounty of journals hosted by PubMed Central is to read the bimonthly issues of the NLM Technical Bulletin. The latest issue, September-October 2004, includes six independent Open Access journals hosted by BioMed Central and the initial two years of backfiles (2001-2002) from Journal of Insect Science. NLM Technical Bulletin - Fulltext no.272+ (May-June 1993+); ISSN: 0146-3055. Thanks to Daniel Taylor, Caltech, for this contribution.

Free online journals in natural medicine

Making course packs and OA journals with Furl

Michael Feldstein, Open Access, Furl, and Course Packs, e-Literate, October 29, 2004. Excerpt: "I just took a quick look at The Learner's Library. As far as I can tell, the service breaks down as follows: [1] LL contains a collection of academic journal articles that have been pre-cleared for copyright. [2] There’s a search interface to that collection that includes what appears at first glance to be pretty decent natural language search. [3] Searches return results including an appropriate excerpt, a full, formatted citation, and a link to the full text of the article. [4] Professors can assemble 'course packs' of articles, essentially Furling the collection for one-click access by students. I bet we could assemble equivalent service for open access journals using free, loosely-coupled pieces." (Thanks to the Jill O'Neill on the NFAIS Information Community News.)

November Open Access Now

The November issue of Open Access Now is now online. This issue features an interview with Fytton Rowland on last month's important study from EPIC and Key Perspectives, a news story on the launch of PLoS Medicine, a news story on the Scottish Declaration on Open Access, and a profile of the Dublin Core Metadata Initiative.

Impressions from the CONSER Summit

In the Fall issue of CONSER Line, some participants in the CONSER Summit (Alexandria, Virginia, March 18-29, 2004) share their impressions. Quoting Roxanne Sellberg, Assistant University Librarian for Technical Services, Northwestern University Library: "I really started to understand how the information repository concept might evolve in a partly commercial, partly open access environment. Over the two days I became pretty well convinced that the scholarly journal as we currently know it does not have a long life ahead of it. However, there will be life after --for publishers and vendors and libraries."

Access to government info under the Bush administration

Mary Alice Baish, Access to Information in Today's Political Climate, PPT slides presented at the annual conference of the South Carolina Library Association, October 29, 2004.

Another Thomson study of OA journal impact factors

Thomson Scientific has released a new white paper on OA journal impact factors. Free registration is required to view it. Unfortunately, even though I've registered, the PDF will not load, at least for me today. (The problem is undoubtedly temporary and I'll keep trying.) Meantime, here's an excerpt from the Thomson press release: "Thomson Scientific...released a new White Paper entitled: 'Open Access Journals in the ISI Citation Databases: Analysis of Impact Factors and Citation Patterns.' The findings indicate that journals published under the Open Access model continue to gain impact in the world of scholarly research. Despite ranking lower as a group than those published under traditional models, the growth in the number of OA journals is impressive, and some OA journals rank near the top of their respective fields. Rankings are based on the Journal Impact Factor...." Thomson's first white paper on this subject was released in April 2004.

Free and priced science sites for teaching and learning

Robert J. Lackie and Robert J. Congleton, Free and Fee-Based Online Science Resources for the K-12 Community, Information Today, November/December 2004. Excerpt: "Numerous, free quality Web sites exist covering many K-12 subject areas and offering suggestions for teaching and learning. One subject area well covered on the free Web is science, with many sites offering information and resources for general as well as specific branches of science. Students and teachers could use general-purpose Web search engines, such as Google, MSN, or Yahoo! Search, to find some of these free quality science sites—if they are willing to wade through the thousands of hits that result from a keyword search. But, honestly, no one really has the time or patience to do so."

Highlights of the ASIDIC meeting on OA

Tom Hogan Sr., The Fall 2004 ASIDIC Meeting, Information Today, November 2004. Hogan summarizes the remarks of three speakers, David Worlock, Henry Hagedorn, and John Regazzi, from the ASIDIC fall meeting, Open Access: Removing the Barriers (Phoenix, September 19-21). Quoting Hagedorn: "The commercial publisher has entangled the editor in a Faustian bargain where the editor induces the author to sell her soul (copyright) to the publisher in exchange for tenure...We believe it is time to consider the cost of publication to be part of the cost of sponsoring research by both the academic institution and the granting agencies." (Thanks to Jim Campbell.)

November issue of SOAN

I just mailed the November issue of the SPARC Open Access Newsletter. In addition to the usual round-up of news from the past month, it gives a brief update on the NIH open-access plan, makes the case that journals should post their access policies to their web sites, summarizes the Citicorp report on Elsevier and open access, and reflects on who should control access to publicly-funded research.

Monday, November 01, 2004

OA presentations

A video of the presentations at the Carnegie Mellon Open Access Forum (Pittsburgh, October 25, 2004), is now online. (Thanks to Debra Lappin.)

ARL comment on the NIH plan

The Association of Research Libraries (ARL) has publicly released its comment on the NIH OA plan. The comment, written by Prue Adler, endorses the plan for six reasons. It "[1] reflects the way scientists conduct research and discovery; [2] allows some libraries to provide additional resources to their users; [3] creates an archival resource for biomedical literature funded by NIH; [4] provides significant protections to commercial and not-for-profit publishers; [5] follows congressional and administration policy; and [6] expands and improves public access to biomedical information....ARL commends the NIH for crafting a measured and incremental step within long-standing NIH policy that does not impinge on grantees' or publishers' copyright and intellectual property nor interfere with the private, commercial marketplace. The proposal is designed to accelerate the pace of discovery, provide additional capabilities to NIH to manage its research portfolio, and enhance public access to biomedical literature."

OA anthropology

AntroMag, an OA weblog and nettmagasin of anthropology in Norwegian, has just launched an offshoot on Open Access Anthropology. The postings link to articles in English, German, and Norwegian. (PS: This is a good way to track OA developments in a particular discipline. Congratulations and long life to AntroMag.)

More on OA to genomic data

Thomas Weaver, Johannes Maurer & Yoshihide Hayashizaki,Sharing Genomes: an Integrated Approach to Funding, Managing and Distributing Genomic Clone Resources, Nature Reviews Genetics 5, 861-866 (2004). Only the abstract is freely available online: "National biological resource centres have a vital role in archiving and distributing biological reagents that result from large-scale genome programmes. These reagents are invaluable to the research community as they enable independent validation of results disclosed in peer review and provide tools that facilitate the next steps in discovery science. Here we address the crucial issues of open access, quality of materials, integration with public databases and sustainability of resources."

Worlock on OA

David Worlock, Open Access: Free for All – Or more expensive for everyone, his keynote presentation from the ASIDIC fall meeting, Open Access: Removing the Barriers (Phoenix, September 19-21, 2004), from the meeting web site. Worlock's slides are also online. Excerpt: "Data mining within articles and the visualisation of the relationships between retrieved references is becoming important. Above all, productivity may ultimately rest in knowing what not to read. The exciting and rapidly developing competitive framework around A and I services, point to the fact that the argument is moving on from 'access' and 'who pays' to certainty and authenticity. If we really are going to a mixed economy of pay per view and free access, someone must know what is where and in what version. Elsevier's huge investment in Scopus and Scirus alongside Thomson in ISI's Web of Knowledge, and the industry CrossRef/CrossRef Search environment with added Google, look to an outsider like symptoms of a healthy and competitive market, not the reverse. As these services move into their second generation, a great deal of publishing activity may not surround original primary article publishing, but secondary services for tracking and relating pre-prints and post-prints vicariously, and sometimes carelessly, filed in local and institutional repositories. And then move this vision forward to the semantic web. Within a decade we confidently expect to be searching on meaning, not just through word matching. Our best knowledge scientists we are already creating domain ontologies and peopling them with inference rules and refined taxonomic structures. Publishers invested in XML – a vital step towards this goal – and will be expected to apply RDF widely to make the semantic vision come true. If public institutions are not prepared to re-invest their own repositories, then it will become progressively harder for them to play in advanced information service marketplaces."

Another straw man argument

AAP studies pros, cons of NIH-proposed 'open archive' to research, AAP News, November 2004. An unsigned opinion piece disguised as a news story. AAP News is from the American Academy of Pediatrics, not the Association of American Publishers, although you might not be able to tell the difference. This is another critique of the NIH OA plan built entirely on misunderstandings and misdirection, e.g. that NIH plan will force the conversion of non-OA journals to OA journals (unargued), that "author pays" journals are not economically sustainable (not at issue), and that "[p]ublishing the research output of NIH in an author-pays system could run into hundreds of millions of dollars annually" (not at issue).

(PS: The editorial encourages readers to submit their comments to the NIH before November 16, as do I. However, if readers submit this editorial's misunderstandings to the NIH, which knows better, then they will effectively discard their ballots and waste their time. As The Lancet put it in an October 16 editorial in reference to the other AAP: "In a statement about an earlier version of this policy, released by a US House of Representatives Appropriations Subcommittee, [Patricia Schroeder of the AAP] claims that if the idea were to be implemented unchanged, it 'would threaten the continued survival of many scientific, scholarly, and medical publications and professional societies'....But, as editors of a journal that publishes research funded by the NIH, we disagree with Schroeder's central claim. Widening access to research is unlikely to bring the edifice of scientific publishing crashing down. Schroeder provides no evidence that it would do so; she merely asserts the threat. This style of rebuttal will not do.")

OA policy under consideration at U of Namibia

The University of Namibia Senate is considering a very progressive OA policy written by the University Library. The policy proposal calls on the university to launch an open-access, OAI-compliant institutional repository; sign the Declaration of Institutional Commitment to OA; encourage its faculty to provide OA to their research articles through OA journals, the new institutional repository, or both; base performance reviews for faculty on work deposited in the institutional repository; hold 1-2 day seminar to teach faculty how to use the repository and why it is important; and ask librarians to teach faculty about benefits of OA to themselves and to the university. Kudos to the UNam Library for drafting the policy. (Thanks to Barbara Kirsop.)

Role for librarians in the OA revolution

Barbara Quint, Only Libraries, Only Librarians, Searcher, November 1, 2004. Excerpt: "The billions of dollars poured into federal research alone — not to mention all the other value factors involved in research and development efforts, both federal and nonfederal — must mandate that insuring the archiving and accessing of that research is a task requiring information professionals....If institutional repositories become a major source of full-text scientific reportage, then those repositories must be run by librarians as part of library networks. Our job as information professionals now is to step up to this task, to demand its performance as our right and our duty, to show the world that, though we may have missed building Google (AHEM), we will not miss providing the key services to guarantee the archiving and accessing of library-quality data on the Web....Library budgets are large enough now to absorb the cost of the switch to a significantly cheaper delivery system. The transition will cost more, but the outcome will cost a lot less. We need to resolve today to make the moves that get us into position, to study the problems arising from new open access routes, to grapple with those problems without waiting for vendors to handle them for us....If STM publishers actually do start to close down less-revenue-producing publications, the independent quality control provided by editors and peer reviewers from those discontinued publications will have to be replaced. We should start looking at alternative models for independent peer review. Fortunately, this should not cost too much either, since STM publishers have never paid more than chump change for the services that insure the quality of their publications....Storing the work of the human mind so it can be found forever by other human minds is our job as information professionals. Let's get to work. NOW!"

More on the Open WorldCat Pilot

Nancy O'Neill, Open WorldCat Pilot:A User's Perspective, Information Today, November 1, 2004. Excerpt: "OCLC's Open WorldCat Pilot 'is an initiative that integrates library records into popular Internet search sites and tests the effectiveness of the Web in guiding users to library-owned materials. The goal of the pilot: to make libraries more visible to Web users and more accessible from the sites where many people begin to look for information.' The project aims to 'open' WorldCat records to present and potential library users through the familiar Web search engines Google and Yahoo! Search....Grumble as we may, OCLC's Open WorldCat Pilot has the potential to achieve its goals and more. It may not yet have earned a standing ovation for its performance, but let's give a rousing cheer for the initiative — a special 'hats off' to Google and Yahoo! as our new library partners — and encourage OCLC to move from pilot to permanent."

How OA archiving will affect journals and libraries

Richard Poynder, No Gain Without Pain, Information Today, November 1, 2004. A good review of the recent history of OA, on the rise of the big deal as an attempt to "outflank" the nascent OA movement, Elsevier's decision to allow postprint archiving, the Springer Open Choice model, the DC principles, and the NIH plan. It closes with an extensive discussion of whether widespread OA archiving (mandated by governments or not) will help or harm subscription-based journals and what forms of OA will bring relief to library budgets.

Review of Lessig's Free Culture

David G. Post, Free Culture vs. Big Media: Lawrence Lessig leads the charge to retake the public domain, Reason Online, November 2004. A review of Lessig's book, Free Culture. Excerpt: "[In the past eight years] the questions [raised by copyright in the digital age] have only become more difficult and more important, what with Napster, the recording industry's campaign against file sharing, the Digital Millennium Copyright Act, e-books, open-source software, open-access journals, TiVo, the Grey Album, and so on. Copyright law and copyright problems have gone mainstream; now everyone is thinking about copyright....In Free Culture, his third and best book, Lessig shows his hand. He has a cause, and he wants us to rally to it. The cause is the protection of that imaginary piece of real estate known as 'the public domain' and the 'free culture' that has always, Lessig argues, been built upon and interleaved with it -- the culture of transformative art, of sharing and borrowing and reborrowing and retransforming, of collages, cover versions, dramatizations, fictionalizations, and adaptations -- the whole universe of ways new art builds upon and emerges from old."

Sunday, October 31, 2004

Profile of the DARE project

Annemiek van der Kuil and Martin Feijen, The Dawning of the Dutch Network of Digital Academic REpositories (DARE): A Shared Experience, Ariadne, October 2004. Excerpt: "The SURF Programme Digital Academic Repositories (DARE) is a joint initiative of Dutch universities to make their academic output digitally accessible. The KB (National Library of the Netherlands), the KNAW (Royal Netherlands Academy of Arts and Sciences) and the NWO (Netherlands Organisation for Scientific Research) also cooperate in this unique programme. DARE is being coordinated by the SURF Foundation. The programme will run from January 2003 until December 2006. DARE has several goals: [1] Implementing the basic infrastructure by setting up and linking the repositories; [2] Stimulating the development of services based on the research information made available through the infrastructure; and [3] Initiating and promoting the submission to and use of scientific content from the repositories."

E-Theses plugin for DSpace

Richard Jones, The Tapir: Adding E-Theses Functionality to DSpace, Ariadne, October 2004. Excerpt: "The Theses Alive Plugin for Institutional Repositories (Tapir) has been developed at Edinburgh University Library to help provide an E-Thesis service within an institution using DSpace. It has been developed as part of the Theses Alive! Project under funding from the Joint Information Systems Committee (JISC), as part of the Focus on Access to Institutional Resources (FAIR) Programme. This article looks at DSpace, the repository system initially developed by Hewlett-Packard and MIT and subsequently made available as a community-owned package. We discuss how this community driven open-source development method can work when third-party tools such as the Tapir are also involved, and what issues arise. One of the primary objectives is to introduce the Tapir in detail, explaining what has been developed and what relevance this has to E-Theses. There is also a very brief introduction to the UK-recommended E-Theses Metadata set."