Open Access News

News from the open access movement

Saturday, May 14, 2005

Distinguishing journal access policies

Charles W. Bailey, Jr., The Spectrum of E-Journal Access Policies: Open to Restricted Access, DigitalKoans, May 13, 2005. Charles distinguishes five kinds of journals by their access policies. Excerpt: '[1] Open Access journals (OA journals, color code: green): These journals provide free access to all articles and utilize a form of licensing that puts minimal restrictions on the use of articles, such as the Creative Commons Attribution License. Example: Biomedical Digital Libraries. [2] Free Access journals (FA journals, color code: cyan): These journals provide free access to all articles and utilize a variety of copyright statements (e.g., the journal copyright statement may grant liberal educational copying provisions), but they do not use a Creative Commons Attribution License or similar license. Example: The Public-Access Computer Systems Review. [3] Embargoed Access journals (EA journals, color code: yellow): These journals provide free access to all articles after a specified embargo period and typically utilize conventional copyright statements. Example: Learned Publishing. [4] Partial Access journals (PA journals, color code: orange): These journals provide free access to selected articles and typically utilize conventional copyright statements. Example: College & Research Libraries. [5] Restricted Access journals (RA journals, color code: red): These journals provide no free access to articles and typically utilize conventional copyright statements. Example: Library Administration and Management. (Available in electronic form from Library Literature & Information Science Full Text and other databases.)'

Update. See Stevan Harnad's lengthy comment and Charles' equally lengthy reply.

IUPUI resolution on open access

On February 25, 2005, Indiana University - Purdue University at Indianapolis (IUPUI) adopted a Resolution on Journals, Databases, and Threats to Scholarly Publication. Excerpt: '[1] The IUPUI libraries and administration will re-commit themselves to educating the university community on the significance of open access to knowledge to the mission of the university....[5] An individual may, after consulting with relevant individuals in the department and school, choose not to submit his or her work to a journal whose business practices are considered detrimental to the overall well-being of their field of study. This philosophy must be adopted on a long-term basis and, if so, the individual will not be penalized with regard to tenure, promotion, or salary increases, as long as the quality of the work can be established through peer review. [6] For decisions regarding tenure, promotion, or salary increases, and following IUPUI tenure and promotion guidelines, appropriate weight will be given to the active promotion of open access by a faculty or staff member through the creation of an on-line journal or any other portal designed to collect knowledge from others and then disseminate that knowledge to a wider audience in their field. [7] The university libraries will promote the development of open access by IUPUI employees by actively assisting any individual who wishes to develop a conduit as described in point 6.'

Cornell faculty senate resolution on open access

On May 11, the Cornell University Faculty Senate adopted a Resolution Concerning Scholarly Publishing. Excerpt: 'The Senate strongly urges tenured faculty to cease supporting publishers who engage in exorbitant pricing, by not submitting papers to, or refereeing for, the journals sold by those publishers, and by resigning from their editorial boards if more reasonable pricing policies are not forthcoming....The Senate strongly encourages all faculty, and especially tenured faculty, to consider publishing in open access, rather than restricted access, journals or in reasonably priced journals that make their contents openly accessible shortly after publication. The Senate strongly urges all faculty to negotiate with the journals in which they publish either to retain copyright rights and transfer only the right of first print and electronic publication, or to retain at a minimum the right of postprint archiving. The Senate strongly urges all faculty to deposit preprint or postprint copies of articles in an open access repository such as the Cornell University DSpace Repository or discipline-specific repositories such as' (PS: Kudos to Cornell! Also see Cornell's resolution from December 17, 2003.)

American medical students endorse OA

The American Medical Student Association (AMSA) adopted wide-ranging policy statement on Wednesday. Here's the very brief section on OA: 'Open Access Publishing: AMSA supports the creation of a centralized and comprehensive national registry of all publicly and privately funded clinical trials involving drugs, biological products or devices regardless of the outcome of the trial. AMSA supports the Public Library of Science as a model of open access publishing.'

Friday, May 13, 2005

Google library project may expand to Europe

Verne Kopytoff, Google shareholders meet for first time, San Francisco Chronicle, May 13, 2005. Excerpt: '[Google executives] are also hoping to expand a high-profile project to digitize books in libraries. Adding more overseas libraries may put to rest the concerns of some Europeans -- particularly the French -- that Google's database might bypass literature that is not in English. Larry Page, Google's co-founder, stressed that the libraries already in Google's print project -- four in the United States and one in England -- have large collections of non-English books.'

More on Wren's study of OA copies of non-OA articles

Peter Suber, Open access, impact, and demand: Why some authors self archive their articles, BMJ, May 14, 2005. An editorial commenting on Jonathan Wren's April 12 article, Open access and openly accessible. Excerpt: 'One way that Wren summarises his conclusion needs some elaboration. He says, "Decentralised sharing of scientific reprints through the internet creates a degree of de facto open access that, though highly incomplete in its coverage, is none the less biased towards publications of higher popular demand." This is accurate but may leave the impression that most high demand articles are open access somewhere, when all we know so far is that most open access articles in the set he studied were high demand. It's possible that the vast majority of high demand articles are not yet open access, and indeed this seems likely. Most publishing scientists do not yet self archive their work and their reasons seem entirely unrelated to the demand, impact, or quality of their work --that is, they know too little about self archiving or believe they are too busy. This is important because we ought to use Wren's results to understand why authors self archive and how to appeal to authors who don't. One lesson is that existing open access is demand driven to some degree. But this doesn't mean there is little or no unmet demand. On the contrary, unmet demand may be the norm, just as the sale of food is demand driven while the unmet demand exists in catastrophic proportions.'

More on the launch of DARE's Cream of Science

The Dutch DARE program launched its Cream of Science project on Wednesday. Here's an excerpt from Henk Ellermann's description of it: 'Initiated and managed by DARE each Dutch university and a small number of other organizations selected at least ten prominent researchers. For each author a list of publications was compiled and put online. A relative large number of freely available full texts were collected too and can be downloaded from the cream of science website. The publications are stored in the individual repositories of the dutch universities and, following the OAI model, are harvested for display on this central, and national, website. The website is of course a service to the scientists and scholars themselves but is also very important for "selling" the repositories. First of all it has almost doubled the number of publications available from Dutch repositories. Secondly, the publications available are of relatively high quality in terms of their scientific and scholarly content. The latter is important because many still think that repositories are filled with second rate material, an incorrect prejudice in fact, but a persistent one. The opening was such a success that the cream of science server was not able to handle all visitors. More than 500 000 requests within ten hours were too much for the webserver.'

Another TA editorial on OA

Damon Brown, National institutes of health ushers in new age of open-access publishing, Journal of the American Dietetic Association, May 2005. Not even an abstract is free online for non-subscribers, at least so far.

Thursday, May 12, 2005

More on the UK PubMed Central

Stephen Pincock, UK PubMed Central proposed, The Scientist, May 12, 2005. Excerpt: 'A group of British science bodies said today (May 12) they were seeking proposals from organizations interested in running a new free-access archive of papers arising from research they have funded...."We want to make this happen, and it's a matter of thinking how we make it happen in practical terms," a spokesman for the Wellcome Trust told The Scientist. A briefing document outlining the requirements for interested parties is available on the Wellcome Trust's Web site. Tony Peatfield, head of policy at the MRC [Medical Research Council], said that while the MRC was very supportive of the project, the cost of the exercise may be of concern. "At present we don't know what the costs would be or how they would be met," he told The Scientist....Research Councils UK, an umbrella group for Britain's eight science and technology funding councils, is currently formulating its own policy on open access. A spokesman said the plan was currently being consulted on by universities and would be made public "in weeks rather than days, but not months." A person familiar with the content of the policy as it currently stands told The Scientist that it requires investigators to archive their papers in repositories where they exist, but not the creation of repositories.'

A proposal for German copyright reform to favor OA

Richard Sietmann, Wissenschaftler fordert: Open Access gehört ins Urheberrecht, Heise Online, May 12, 2005. On a proposal by Gerd Hansen of the Max Planck Institute that researchers with publicly-funded research grants should retain the right to self-archive any resulting journal articles within six months of publication.

Rebalancing copyright for libraries

The presentations from the conference, Correcting Course: Rebalancing Copyright for Libraries in the National and International Arenas (New York, May 5-7, 2005), are now online. (Thanks to LibraryLaw.)

Wednesday, May 11, 2005

A unique way to drum up submissions

International Archives of Bioscience is a peer-reviewed, open-access journal with a unique method of drumming up submissions. It's offering two $10,000 prizes, one for the article with the largest number of citations and one for the article picked in a random drawing. Only articles accepted for publication in IABS count as entries. For more details, see the prize rules.

New draft of the a2k treaty

The May 9 draft of the Access to Knowledge Treaty is now online. This is a wide-ranging treaty covering many topics. All of it is worth a close read, but see especially sections 5-1 and 5-2 on OA. The key provision is 5-2(b): "Members agree that works resulting from government-funded research shall be publicly available at no charge within a reasonable time frame, subject to reasonable exceptions, for example, for classified military research, for patentable discoveries, and for works that generate revenue for the author such as books." (Disclosure: I am participating in the drafting of the treaty.)

More on open-source biology

From a press release (May 11, 2005): Covalys Biosciences and Open Biosystems today announced that they have entered into an agreement under which Open Biosystems will be Covalys' exclusive distributor for the United States, Canada and Mexico. By adding Covalys' intracellular and in vitro protein labeling kits to their offering, the agreement strengthens Open Biosystem's program to expand access to innovative genomic and proteomic solutions. Covalys' products allow rapid specific labeling of proteins inside live cells and in complex mixtures. These products are based on the proprietary self-labeling SNAP-tag technology and are provided under an open access license allowing for commercial use of the kits, including fee-for-service applications. The SNAP-tag technology is therefore an attractive alternative to fluorescent proteins for cell imaging studies, and will expand the tools available to biologists to study protein function and interactions. "We are extremely happy to have Open Biosystems as a partner in North America," said Christoph Bieri, Covalys' CEO. "Open Biosystems has a strong reputation for high-level customer support and a deep understanding of the scientist's need. The two companies' product portfolios are nicely complementary. Most importantly, we both share the vision of open access to proprietary technology, in an effort to reduce the burden of onerous licenses for life science researchers."'

More on DAREnet

Jan Libbenga, Dutch academics declare research free-for-all, The Register, May 11, 2005. Excerpt: 'Scientists from all major Dutch universities officially launched a website on Tuesday where all their research material can be accessed for free. Interested parties can get hold of a total of 47,000 digital documents from 16 institutions the Digital Academic Repositories. No other nation in the world offers such easy access to its complete academic research output in digital form, the researchers claim. Obviously, commercial publishers are not amused. DAREnet was already launched about a year ago, but for demonstration purposes only. The €2m DARE programme - a joint initiative by all the Dutch universities, the National Library of the Netherlands, the Royal Netherlands Academy of Arts and Sciences (KNAW) and the Netherlands Organisation for Scientific Research (NWO) - harvests all digital available material from local repositories, making it fully searchable. Aside from bibliographical information, the content can be full text, or even audio and video files.'

Update. This article has triggered a Slashdot discussion.

Decline in use of open web by knowledge workers

Outsell, Inc. Survey Shows Knowledge Workers Turning Away from the Open Web, a press release from Outsell (undated but apparently released yesterday). Excerpt: 'According to the new survey, 67 percent of professionals now go to the open Web for information, versus 79 percent in 2001. Fifteen percent rely on their corporate intranets (up from 5 percent), and nine percent consult their colleagues (up from 5 percent). In addition when seeking information fewer now prefer to get it themselves (51% down from 68%) preferring to rely on regularly scheduled updates, members of their team, or their library....Both the time spent finding and analyzing/applying information are moving in the wrong direction. Knowledge workers now spend 11 hours per week searching for information, versus 8 in 2001. In addition, the time they spend analyzing versus gathering information has flipped. Today's professionals spend most of their time (53 percent) seeking out information. Four years ago, knowledge workers were able to spend 58 percent of their time analyzing and applying what they had found. Collectively, the time spent gathering and looking for information translates to an estimated. 5.4 billion lost hours per year for US corporations.'

(PS: Outsell doesn't explain who counts as a knowledge worker. But I suspect that academic use of the open web has increased during the same period.)

Monopoly practices in scholarly publishing

Lee C. Van Orsdel, Antitrust issues in scholarly and legal publishing, C&RL News, May 2005. Summary of the symposium, Antitrust Issues in Scholarly and Legal Publishing (Washington, D.C., February 11, 2005). Excerpt: 'Ted Bergstrom is professor of Economics at the University of California-Santa Barbara....His data supported his theme --that nonprofit publishers produce most of the citations, while the for-profit publishers collect most of the money. Bergstrom identified three pricing strategies that resulted from the emergence of electronic journals: price discrimination by the size of the university, bundling of content with all-or-nothing pricing, and consortium pricing. He believes that the author-pays open-access model is more competitive than the consumer-pays model because he believes that authors will shop around for the best price...Central to the day's discussions was the contribution of publisher mergers to industry dysfunction. Mary Case, university librarian at the University of Illinois-Chicago, charted recent publisher mergers....Too often the divestiture drives titles right into the stables of other high-priced publishers, exacerbating the problem rather than mitigating it. Case presented data that ties mergers to accelerated journal price increases --a cause and effect relationship that is crystal clear to librarians....James Neal, vice president for information services and university librarian at Columbia University, spoke to the economic behavior of libraries, strained on all fronts by the shift from print to electronic, from set prices to negotiated prices, from purchasing content to purchasing both content and database management software, from local collection development to collection development by consortia or by publisher-defined bundles. He observed that librarians have a hard time walking away from the negotiating table even when the deals aren't reasonable....Mark McCabe, professor at Georgia Institute of Technology and former DOJ economist, has done substantial research on the buying patterns of libraries....He finds a clear correlation between mergers and journal price increases in excess of already high rates of inflation....Rick Johnson, director of SPARC (the Scholarly Publishing and Academic Resources Coalition), discussed the role of open-access publishing as a legitimate market remedy that promises to reduce the pricing power of publishers, remove unnecessary barriers to access, and introduce efficiencies by unbundling the functions associated with scholarly publishing.'

Profile of DLF Aquifer

Katherine Kott, DLF Aquifer: Tapping New Sources for Scholarship, CLIR Issues, May/June 2005. Excerpt: 'What will allow libraries to meet users' growing demand for digital content from the libraries' own collections and beyond? What will enable libraries to provide tools and services to help scholars tap digital content in ways that support teaching, learning, and research? DLF Aquifer will do both. Enabling vast pools of distributed digital content to be used as a single resource, DLF Aquifer will also provide the means for libraries to channel the content in helpful ways....[T]he Digital Library Federation initiated, sponsored, and participated in a variety of activities and thereby laid the foundation for a distributed, open digital library (DODL). Among these efforts are the Open Archives Initiative for metadata harvesting, the DLF Scholars' Panel for advice on scholars' needs, and the OCKHAM initiative for the development of technical and architectural models....By the time that the 2004 DLF Spring Forum was convened, the temporary acronym DODL had been replaced by the new name, "Aquifer."...DLF Aquifer will enable a variety of digital library components to interoperate smoothly by [1] providing access, in context, to objects in repositories that preserve; [2] knowing about the data in a variety of content-management and e-learning systems; [3] interacting with repositories and personal content-management systems that store modified digital objects; and [4] making sense of the output from mass-digitization projects such as Google’s recently announced partnership with libraries. A testbed suite of tools and services, the DLF Aquifer will be contained within a flexible framework that can be integrated easily into a variety of library environments....DLF Aquifer is entering the first of three implementation phases. In phase one, DLF Aquifer will expose existing digital collections through currently available tools and services. Phase two will focus on enhancing services by adding such functions as metadata enhancement, result-set visualization, and systems-interoperability support. In phase three, DLF Aquifer will enable "deep sharing," or the ability to capture digital objects from other systems such as repositories, modify the objects, and redeposit them in e-learning spaces or personal collections, for example.'

More on how OA will affect libraries

Kathlin Smith, Preparing for Universal Access, CLIR Issues, May/June 2005. Summarizing the presentations from the CLIR symposium, Transforming Libraries (Washington, D.C., April 18, 2005). Excerpt: 'The Google announcement was much like a Rorschach test for the library community," observed CLIR Program Director Abby Smith as she introduced the day's first panel....The [Google] project deals head-on with the grand challenge to digital access—copyright—by including many works not in the public domain. "The questions [about digitizing copyrighted material] have changed from whether to when, and from how to what effect," [University of Michigan provost Paul Courant] said. This is an important development. "The current IP [intellectual property] framework is inimical to scholarship. Many people have become more concerned with protecting IP than conveying what they know. Access will drive progress on IP and the orphaned-work problem. We must create general demand to make change," he emphasized...."In the future, information will all be available in digital form --it will not cost too much, will be used by more people, and will be enriched through better display, context, and integration," said Stephen Rhind-Tutt, chief executive officer of Alexander Street Press. The Google deal, he said, promises to deliver to end users 30 times the content currently delivered by EEBO [Early English Books Online], ECO [Eighteenth Century Online], Evans, Shaw-Shoemaker, and similar initiatives, and it will do so at no charge. The question is not whether "a colossal amount of information will become available...but how we are going to react."...Meeting the growing demand for digital content --in particular, data sets and serials-- is expensive and has caused budgets for information resources to increase more rapidly than overall university budgets have, said David Shulenburger, provost and executive vice chancellor at the University of Kansas. This situation, he said, is unsustainable. Meanwhile, storing digital scholarship that faculty produce will require that institutions invest in digital repositories (a cost that can be reduced by collaborating with other institutions). Such archives may include work never intended for publication or early drafts of published work. Shulenburger predicts that authors will increasingly cite from the archived source, rather than the primary source, because archived material is free and easily available. Thus, published work will cite more material that has less-than-full authority behind it. "To alter the forces that lead to this vision of the future, we must accept two notions --first, that scholarship is a public good; second, that refereeing must be preserved," Shulenburger said.'

More on CC licenses for UK public-sector organizations

Last February, the UK Common Information Environment solicited proposals "for a study into the applicability of Creative Commons licences to public sector organisations in the United Kingdom." Today it announced the results: 'Following an open tendering process, the Common Information Environment (CIE) group has awarded the contract for a study into the applicability of Creative Commons licences to public sector organisations in the United Kingdom. The work is being undertaken by Intrallect and the AHRC Research Centre for Studies in Intellectual Property and Technology Law at the University of Edinburgh, and their final report is due by the end of August. This work is being funded by Becta, the British Library, DfES, JISC and MLA on behalf of the CIE.'

More on context-sensitive links from Google Scholar

Jeffrey Young, More Than 100 Colleges Work With Google to Speed Campus Users to Library Resources, Chronicle of Higher Education, May 11, 2005 (accessible only to subscribers). Excerpt: 'More than 100 colleges and universities have made arrangements with Google that will give people using the Google Scholar search engine on their campuses more direct access to library materials there. The arrangements essentially let Google know which online databases the colleges subscribe to, as well as what's in their library catalogs, so that Google Scholar can point users to those campus resources. This means that, at participating colleges, a Google Scholar search result now includes direct links to online copies of works if the institution has purchased online access to them. The results also include data on printed works in a library's collection. When a user searches for a journal article and the library has an online subscription to the journal, for instance, a link leads to the online article. If the institution does not have an online subscription but holds a copy on the shelf, Google Scholar points users to the item's location in the library. Users who are not on participating campuses usually see a link to a journal publisher's Web site rather than to an article's full text. "This is one of the things that libraries have wanted all along," Anurag Acharya, an engineer at Google, said in an interview. "The advantage is fairly substantial." Mr. Acharya stressed that the company is offering the service free and that it hopes to work with more colleges. Details about the effort are available on Google's Web site. "Our goal is to make it really easy for all libraries to participate," he added. What does Google get in return? "More happy users, which is what we look for almost always," Mr. Acharya said. "Usage is what drives everything else around here." '

Update. Gary Price has abundant additional detail on ResourceShelf.

Soliciting bids to run the UK PubMed Central

The Wellcome Trust and other UK science funders are soliciting expressions of interest to establish and run the UK PubMed Central. Submissions are due by June 10, 2005. For more details, see the announcement, the solicitation, or the FAQ.

More on the UK PubMed Central

Richard Wray, Medical researchers bankroll innovative online database, The Guardian, May 11, 2005. Excerpt: 'Some of Britain's leading medical research funders have banded together to finance the country's most comprehensive online repository of medical knowledge. The multimillion-pound UK PubMed Central project is a big boost to proponents of open access to scientific research. It will enable academic researchers to post papers published either online or in subscription-based scientific journals, on a single searchable database which anybody can access free. The project is being bankrolled by a group of medical funders including the Wellcome Trust, the British Heart Foundation and the Arthritis Research Campaign with the support of the Joint Information Systems Committee, an expert advisory body indirectly funded by government. The group yesterday called for organisations interested in running the database to submit tenders for the project by June 10. They plan to create a permanent, freely accessible digital archive of peer-reviewed papers as a result of research they have funded....UK PubMed Central will use the same software as its US counterpart and include a fully searchable archive of articles from both sites. It will also provide links to other online resources, such as gene databases, which will allow academics and physicians to read recent research papers and view the data on which they are based. "We are committed to achieving the maximum impact from the research we fund, making the findings accessible to those who most want to see them," said Dr Mark Walport, director of the Wellcome Trust. Professor Jeremy Pearson, associate medical director at the British Heart Foundation, added: "The BHF supports the principle of free public access to the published research it has funded." '

Tuesday, May 10, 2005

OA to 400 years of Hamlet commentaries

Jeffrey Young, Online Database Will Hold the Mirror Up to 'Hamlet,' Gathering Every Commentary on the Play, Chronicle of Higher Education, May 10, 2005 (accessible only to subscribers). Excerpt: 'More has been written about Hamlet than about any other Shakespeare play, and attitudes toward the work's main character have shifted over time, says Eric C. Rasmussen, a professor of English at the University of Nevada at Reno....Mr. Rasmussen should know. He has spent the past 10 years working with a team of scholars to compile every piece of scholarship and criticism about the play, and then to link it, line by line, to the text in an online [open-access] database. The mammoth project, supported by some $1-million in grants from the National Endowment for the Humanities, is nearing completion -- although editors plan to add to it as they find more material. "If you are interested in a particular line of the play, to be able to see 400 years' worth of commentary on that line is pretty remarkable," he says. About half of the group's work is available on a free Web site.'

PNAS backfile completed at PubMed Central

Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America (PNAS) is a long running (1915+), highly regarded journal [ISI Impact Factor 10.260-10.896 (1999-2003]. PNAS was one of the early collaborators with the National Library of Medicine in the creation of PubMed Central. Backfile digitization has been completed at PubMed Central for PNAS; previously the first 40 or so years of the journal were only available online by subscription through JSTOR.

Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America (PNAS) - PubMed Central Fulltext v1+ (1915+) 6 month moving wall; Open Access articles (239, as of 10 May 2005) | HighWire Fulltext v59+ (1968+) 6 month moving wall | Fulltext v1-99 (1915-2002) 2 year moving wall; updated annually [subscription required]; Print ISSN: 0027-8424 | Online ISSN: 1091-6490.

[Thanks to Carol Myers, PubMed Central Digitization Project, via the PMC-News mailing list.]

More on open-source biology

The W3C has just released the BioDASH Demonstration, a prototype of the semantic web for drug development. Excerpt: 'Common biological knowledge is attached to Gene entities, while knowledge specific to target identification, validation, therapeutic mechanisms, compound interactions, and toxic side-effects are associated with a Target. Both Compounds and Chemical Entities can "target" a Gene Target. This allows the aggregation and viewing of putative drug relations between a target and any set of compounds, merged from in-house drug development projects, academic research, or competitors. The basic model provided here offers enough of an initial scaffold to connect information of compounds and chemical libraries with biological entities such as genes, proteins, and pathways, in the context of a drug development project associated with one or more therapeutic areas (primary and alternative). As a real-world project progresses, its information, as well as hypotheses for this topic, can expand or be amended to this topic model. Since the data for this topic view can reside in multiple locations in different data models, the system described can be configured to work with any basic set of drug discovery data systems, aggregating select data through the intranet to offer a dashboard view of drug development with scalable degrees of granularity.' (Thanks to John Wilbanks.)

EBLIDA statement on open access

The European Bureau of Library, Information and Documentation Associations (EBLIDA) has released a Statement Towards an Effective Scientific Publishing System for European Research (dated April 2005). Excerpt: 'EBLIDA promotes access to information and culture in the digital environment for the purposes of education, research and private study. EBLIDA supports the vision of open access to research material, which has been defined as 'free availability on the public Internet, permitting users to read, download, copy, distribute, print, search, or link to the full texts of these articles, crawl them for indexing, pass them as data to software, or use them for any other lawful purpose, without financial legal or technical barriers other than those inseparable from gaining access to the Internet itself' [PS: quoting the BOAI]. There are two main routes to achieving open access, and we wish to register our support for both. The first one is open access journals....The second route is self-archiving....A growing number of publishers expressly permit self-archiving of the final version of the research output. This is encouraging; however the majority of those publishers do only allow limited use of such self-archived copy....EBLIDA believes that open access to European research is a win-win strategy that has tremendous potential reconciling the ownership of intellectual property rights in research findings and the economic interests of the publishers of such findings....Open Access would be easier to achieve if commercial publishers do not require the assignment of intellectual property rights....In a fair and balanced environment [licensing] terms should allow for the depositing of a copy of the peer reviewed article in an open access local repository or a subject repository and which can be used for private study, research, education and teaching purposes....The current system where outputs of research funded from the public purse have to be bought at a high price from external commercial bodies in order to gain restricted access to the same research outputs needs to be brought to an end as soon as possible.'

Monday, May 09, 2005

OA that helps scholars, OA that helps libraries

Peter Suber, Aider chercheurs et bibliothèques, BiblioAcid, May 2005, pp. 17-20. Marlène Delhaye's French translation of my article, Helping scholars and helping libraries, from SOAN for 4/2/05. (Thanks, Marlène.)

More on the Wellcome Trust OA policy

Tony Delamothe, Initiative could give free access to UK medical research, BMJ, May 7, 2005. Excerpt: 'Most of the United Kingdom's new biomedical research could be freely available this time next year if a consortium led by the Wellcome Trust gets its way. Next week the consortium will advertise for a technical partner to set up a UK "mirror" of PubMed Central, the free online archive of life science literature administered by the US National Library of Medicine. As well as making available the data held in PubMed Central, the UK archive would allow the ingestion of local peer reviewed articles arising from research funded by the consortium partners. Potential partners include the Medical Research Council, the Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council, the Department of Health, Cancer Research UK, and the British Heart Foundation, who together fund most biomedical research in the United Kingdom. The Wellcome Trust has already announced that it is making deposition of the author's final accepted (peer reviewed) manuscript in an open access archive a condition of funding, and the Research Councils UK looks set to follow their lead ( BMJ 2005;330: 923[Free Full Text], 23 Apr). A study commissioned by a committee of the UK's further and higher education funding bodies found that only 3% of authors would not comply with such a request from their funders. By making deposition of the final manuscript a condition of funding, UK funders are going beyond the situation in the United States. In a climbdown from its initial proposals, the US National Institutes of Health is requesting, rather than mandating, its grantees to make the final version of their papers available for public display in PubMed Central within a year of publication....In a list of frequently asked questions, the Wellcome Trust confronts head on the possibility of publishers refusing to accept the condition of authors depositing an electronic copy of their paper in PubMed Central or its UK equivalent. Its answer is that its researchers "will have to reconsider where they first submit their work for publication." '

PubMed will offer RSS feeds

From the May 6 issue of NLM Technical Bulletin: 'PubMed will soon offer RSS 2.0 (Really Simple Syndication) feeds. RSS is a Web standard for the delivery of news and other frequently updated content provided by Web sites....You can set up multiple PubMed searches for RSS feeds. PubMed RSS feeds will include citations retrieved by your PubMed searches since the last time you were connected to your RSS reader.'

Download tallies on OA articles

The Electronic Journal of Information Systems in Developing Countries is an OA journal doing something interesting with its table of contents. Every article in the TOC displays its running download tally. Raw downloads are difficult to interpret, even if they correlate with later citations. But EJISDC is the first journal I know to make them this easy to track.

OA archive for rare and fragile UK materials

The UK Web Archive has been launched by the UK Web Archive Conrsortium, a distinguished group of UK institutions including the British Library, JISC, the National Archives, the National Library of Wales, the National Library of Scotland and the Wellcome Trust. Excerpt from JISC's press release this morning: 'The first phase of the searchable archive of Web sites – selected for their scholarly, cultural and scientific value – is now available. Developed by the UK Web Archiving Consortium (UKWAC), it is aimed at the broad research community and marks the first systematic attempt to create an archive of social, historic and culturally significant web-based material from the UK domain. Archiving web-based material is important, as much of this material is fragile, ephemeral and prone to sudden disappearance. Indeed, historically important information is often replaced as new knowledge becomes available or is simply removed altogether....The project has been archiving material for six months and the archive contains 299 titles and 1090 individual web sites. 84 GB of data has been collected, all of which can be searched and viewed through the online archive. Each Consortium member selects and archives sites relevant to their subject interests. For example, the Wellcome is focusing its efforts on preserving the record of medicine on the web.'

Sunday, May 08, 2005

OA in political science

Christopher May, The academy's new electronic order? open source journals and publishing political science, European Political Science, March 2005. Abstract: 'For many years, the dissemination of academic research has been controlled by commercial publishers. However, in light of the continuing inflation of subscription prices for scholarly journals, many academics are investigating open access publishing over the Internet. Although most advanced in the natural sciences, given its essentially political character, open access publishing should also be carefully considered by political scientists (and associated disciplines). This article explores open access publishing and suggests the reputational pay-off of 'normal' publishing can easily be maintained in the open access realm.'

Wikipedia and scholarship

Contentology has an interview with Jimmy Wales, founder of Wikipedia (May 7, 2005). Excerpt:

[Q] There's an "open access" movement in academia to promote unfettered access online to sources of academic knowledge. Will Wikipedia ever be extended into academia for this purpose, and are there other communities on the Net that could use their own kind of Wikipedia or Wikinews, too?

[A] Yes, Wikipedia will play an important role in the open access movement. There are many, many communities that can learn from the success of Wikipedia to generate high quality work from collaborative efforts. I think there could be a similar model for that sort of thing, but it would have to be different from Wikipedia. As an example: one of the firm rules of Wikipedia is "no original research" — we simply aren't qualified to evaluate it. That's what academic journals are for. So, why are academic journals written in such an old-fashioned way? Can't there be some dramatic improvements in that process now that we have collaborative authoring technologies? I think so! But exactly how to do that? Hmm, it's an interesting problem.

New issue of the Journal of Library Administration

The new issue of the Journal of Library Administration (vol. 42, No. 2) is now online. This issue publishes the proceedings of the conference, The New Challenge for Research Libraries: Collection Management and Strategic Access to Digital Resources (Oklahoma City, March 4-5, 2004). Here are the most OA-related articles. Only abstracts are free online, at least so far. (Thanks to Charles W. Bailey, Jr.)
  • Fred M. Heath and Jocelyn Duffy, Collections of Record and Scholarly Communications: The Responsibilities of the Research Library in a Rapidly Evolving Digital World
  • Paul Gherman, Collecting at the Edge - Transforming Scholarship
  • Karen Hunter, Access Management: Challenging Orthodoxies
  • Kevin M. Guthrie, Ithaka and Its Incubation Function: An Introduction
  • Mary M. Case, A Snapshot in Time: ARL Libraries and Electronic Journal Resources
  • Richard K. Johnson, Open Access: Unlocking the Value of Scientific Research
  • Frank Menchaca, Building Bridges, Fillings Valleys: The Impact of Digital Resources on Libraries, Research and Learning in History and Science