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The day the RCUK announced its new OA policy (June 28), David Prosser of SPARC Europe sent a spreadsheet to a number of discussion lists showing what positions each of the eight Research Councils took on OA. Now David has posted a copy of the spreadsheet at SPARC Europe itself. The new copy can be kept up to date as the Research Councils announce and revise their policies. There may not be much demand for that now that SHERPA has launched JULIET, its databases of funder OA policies, But as David points out, some people will still prefer to compare the policies in the form of a table.
Golnessa Galyani Moghaddam, Price and Value of Electronic Journals: A Survey at the Indian Institute of Science, Libri, June 2006.
Abstract. This article analyzes the most used scholarly electronic journals at a multi-disciplinary research institute in India, the Indian Institute of Science (IISc). Analysis of the top thirty journals at IISc shows that two-thirds of these journals belong to non-profit/society publishers and one-third to for-profit/ commercial publishers. There is a remarkable difference between the prices that for-profit/commercial publishers charge libraries for scholarly journals and the prices that non-profit/ society publishers and university presses charge. This price difference does not appear to reflect a difference in quality as measured by the number of recorded citations to a journal/impact factor and use of journal.
Quick Guide to Open-Access Eprint Archives in Science, Technology & Medicine. A list of the major subject-based OA repositories compiled by the Science Reference Service of the Library of Congress. (Thanks to Environmental News Bits.)
PS: It also lists some lists of repositories, but it omits the two best: the Directory of Open Access Repositories (OpenDOAR) and the Registry of Open Access Repositories (ROAR). For more, see my own list of the better lists.
Back in June, I blogged Virginia Barbour and Mark Patterson's article, Open access: the view of the Public Library of Science, Journal of Thrombosis and Haemostasis, 4 (2006) pp. 1450-1453. But I didn't notice that it was part of a debate. Here's the other half:
Andrew Robinson, Open access: the view of a commercial publisher, Journal of Thrombosis and Haemostasis, 4 (2006) pp. 1450-1453. Robinson is the Director of Medical Publishing at Blackwell Publishing, which publishes JTH. Excerpt:
Believers in open access (OA) argue that the subscription-based journal model is like a clot blocking the free-flow of scientific research to vital research organs and the public, cutting off the supply of ideas and innovations. But believers in traditional journals argue that, with a single cut, there is a real risk that scientific research will leak in an uncontrolled fashion that would be impossible to stem. The end result will be an undifferentiated pool of unreviewed research, which will, because of its lack of structure, not only halt the diffusion of innovation to the same vital research organs, but also challenge the viability of the whole body by affecting other systems, such as peer review and societies like the International Society on Thrombosis and Haemostasis.
Comment. This is one of the longest anti-OA articles I've seen, perhaps because it compiles just about every tired myth and misunderstanding ever circulated about OA: that OA threatens peer review, that researchers have all the access they need, that lay readers don't need access, that funder OA mandates are primarily intended to serve lay readers, that researchers in developing countries are served as well by HINARI as they would be by OA, that OA journals discriminate against indigent authors, that there is no OA impact advantage, that because OA is not very well-known among reseachers it must not be very desirable, and that the serials pricing crisis is really a problem of library budgets.
Open source powers Welsh e-theses project, Ping Wales, July 15, 2006. Excerpt:
Helen Branswell, Medical journal should be free of editorial interference, panel recommends, CBC News, July 14, 2006.
The Canadian Medical Association Journal should be free of editorial interference from its owners, and its editor protected from being fired without cause, a panel of experts set up to draft a new governance structure for the journal recommended in a report released Friday. The Canadian Medical Association...posted the report on its website and immediately announced it would accept the 25 recommendations it contains....
Update. The new journal has a title and web site, Open Medicine, but no content yet. More later.
Rufus Pollock, The Value of the Public Domain, Institute for Public Policy Research, July 2006. Excerpt:
Traditionally, the public domain has been defined as the set of intellectual works that can be copied, used and reused without restriction of any kind. For the purposes of this essay I wish to widen this a little and make the public domain synonymous with ‘open’ knowledge, that is, all ideas and information that can be freely used, redistributed and reused. The word ‘freely’ must be loosely interpreted – for example the requirement of attribution or even that derivative works be re-shared, does not render a work unfree.
Stevan Harnad, Open Access Self-Archiving Mandates to Re-Route Cash Flow Toward Open Access Publishing? Open Access Archivangelism, July 14, 2006.
Summary: Jan Velterep (of Springer Open Choice) argues that the money being spent today on journal subscriptions needs to be "re-routed" to paying for Open Access journal publishing instead. If that is indeed a desirable outcome, then supporting the many actual and proposed Open Access self-archiving mandates worldwide today is the best way to facilitate that outcome. Meanwhile, it will also generate 100% Open Access, a desirable outcome in and of itself.
Alice LaPlante, Spawn Of Wikipedia, InformationWeek, July 14, 2006. Excerpt:
Comment. Larry Sanger is right to use the phrase "anti-elitism" to describe an attitude found among some Wikipedia contributors. But note that he doesn't use the term "elitism" to describe Digital Universe, and the press shouldn't perpetuate the invidious idea that there's something "elitist" about peer review and rigor. To do so is to feed the same "anti-elitist" attitude that Sanger is criticizing. Nor should the press perpetuate an oversimple opposition between expertise and populism when talking about Wikipedia and Digital Universe. Wikis can harness collective expertise, not just collective ignorance, opinion, and dogmatism. Digital Universe gives expertise a central role in quality control, but Wikipedia may have as many expert contributors as non-experts.
SPARC has issued a press release supporting the new RCUK OA policy. Excerpt:
SPARC (the Scholarly Publishing and Academic Resources Coalition) strongly supports the recent commitment by Research Councils UK (RCUK) to ensure access to publicly funded research. The RCUK statement, which says that “ideas and knowledge derived from publicly funded research must be made widely available and accessible for public use, interrogation and scrutiny, as widely, rapidly and effectively as possible,” requires deposit of research articles in open access repositories. Three individual Research Councils have announced policies mandating this to date.
Bipartisan Effort Emerges to Make Federally-Funded Research Publicly Accessible, Science & Intellectual Property in the Public Interest, July 14, 2006. Excerpt:
According to Senator Cornyn, open, public access would accelerate scientific discoveries and progress in medicine, “leverage [the taxpayers’] investment in research, and ensure a greater return on that investment.” Supporters of the bill maintain that taxpayers should have access to the research they fund, and that dissemination of research findings is an inextricable part of the scientific process. The Harris Poll found that “more than 80% of Americans say they agree strongly or somewhat that research should be available for free via the Internet because the research is paid for with U.S. tax dollars.” Patient advocate groups argue that individuals should have access to the latest developments in biomedical research that enable them to make better informed decisions about their health. Researchers also have incentives to make their work accessible because the more widely available their work is, the more it is likely to be cited.
Susan Mayor, Publicly funded research in the UK must be freely accessible, BMJ, July 15, 2006. Only the first 150 words are free for non-subscribers. Excerpt:
Publicly funded research must be made accessible and free of charge to the public, recommended a statement published this week by research councils in the United Kingdom.
Ray, English, Open Access to Federally Funded Research--The Time is Now, Portal, July 2006 (accessible only to subscribers). A guest editorial. I don't have access, so I'll borrow --with thanks-- the excerpt blogged by John Russell:
[I]mplementation of a comprehensive U.S. policy would have enormous implications for access to research both in this country and abroad. In addition to its immediate benefit for researchers, success in changing U.S. national policy would substantially strengthen international efforts to establish public access to government-funded research, and it would give a large boost to the worldwide open-access movement.
SURF, the central public funding agency for Dutch science and scholarship, has released its Strategic Plan 2007/10 (May 2006). Excerpt:
SURF has developed a view of the future of the publication cycle in which the researcher’s workflow takes centre stage. In this manner researchers (and teaching staff) gain easy access to as many sources as possible, not just publications, but also the underpinning collections of data, (visual) models and algorithms through ‘enhanced publications’.
EPS Forecasts STM Information Market to Reach Nearly $11 Billion By 2008, EContent, July 14, 2006. A summary of EPS's (priced) Scientific, Technical and Medical (STM) Market Monitor. Excerpt:
Findings of the 59-page report include:
Comment. I don't point out the 25% profit margins at commercial publishers of scholarly journals in order to argue gouging or monopoly, although there is clearly a case to be made there. I point it out to argue that an OA journal system will cost much less than what we pay now for the current system.
Kim Thomas, Royal Society set per page charge, Information World Review, July 14, 2006. Excerpt:
The Royal Society is to charge authors £ 300 per page to use its new open access journal service. EXiS Open Choice will offer authors whose work is accepted by Royal Society journals the opportunity to make their articles immediately available online....
PS: For my take on the Royal Society's turn, see my comments in the July issue of SOAN.
Rice University is re-launching its university press as an all-digital operation focusing on OA books. From yesterday's press release:
As money-strapped university presses shut down nationwide, Rice University is turning to technology to bring its press back to life as the first fully digital university press in the United States.
Comment. Kudos to Rice. Connexions is a pioneer at collecting high-quality scholarship for OA distribution and will make the perfect backbone for an all-digital university press. I believe that more and more university presses will turn to the model in which textbooks and monographs are digital first, OA by default, and print on demand.
Just de Leeuwe and Mirella van der Velde, From repository to eternity: from Delft repository to DARE - the developments of OAI in The Netherlands, Serials, July 2006. Only this abstract is free online:
To meet the growing demand for accessibility of scientific output, a national-level co-operation has been established in The Netherlands to implement local repositories, known as Digital Academic REpositories (DARE). The repository content will be included in the e-Depot of the National Library of The Netherlands (KB) and therefore in their digital preservation strategies, guaranteeing the accessibility for future generations. This article presents the perspectives of both the Library of the Technical University (TU) of Delft repository and the KB on technical issues concerning harvesting metadata and establishing the infrastructure for a national digital preservation programme supported at the local level.
Robert Kiley, The medical journals back-files digitization project and open access, Serials, July 2006. Only this abstract is free online, at least so far:
This article discusses the medical journals back-files digitization project - an initiative to create a critical mass of digital content based on the back-files of a number of historically significant medical journals. All content is made freely available through the NIH life sciences repository, PubMed Central (PMC).
Rick Anderson, What will become of us? Looking into the crystal ball of serials work, Serials, July 2006. Only this abstract is free online:
Is it possible to predict the future of serials work? Not with perfect accuracy, of course - but to do so imperfectly is both possible and imperative. We need to be looking ahead and asking questions like these: What are the implications of the open access movement for serials staff? Will the information economy of the future be driven by problems of scarcity or problems of abundance, and what does each scenario mean for the library? The areas in which we work are especially volatile, and both we and those we serve will benefit greatly if we learn how to anticipate and prepare for change, rather than simply reacting to it after it happens.
The presentations from the JISC/CNI meeting, Envisioning future challenges in networked information (York, July 6-7, 2006), are now online. Several are on OA.
Last month the University of California launched Calisphere, a collection of OA "photographs, documents, newspaper pages, political cartoons, works of art, diaries, transcribed oral histories, advertising, and other unique cultural artifacts" on California history. Calisphere is a "public service project" of the California Digital Library. (Thanks to Donna Wentworth.)
Comment. Kudos to the U of California. I've long argued that universities, especially public universities, should use their OA repositories to serve the non-academic community surrounding and supporting the university, not just the academics within it. This project gives back to California taxpayers and educates them about the benefits of OA at the same time.
Today JISC announced the launch of Intute. From the press release:
Intute - the new face of the Resource Discovery Network (RDN) - is launched at an event today at the Wellcome Trust in London. Intute is a free national service enabling lecturers, researchers and students to discover and access quality Internet resources. Intute supports education and research by promoting the most intelligent use of the Internet.
Jan Velterop, Open access, quo vadis? The Parachute, July 12, 2006. Excerpt:
Comment. I welcome Jan's argument for OA journals, but I don't accept his premise that OA archiving is unattractive to researchers. The evidence shows that most researchers are not familiar with it. According to Swan and Brown 2005: "Of the authors who have not yet self-archived any articles, 71% remain unaware of the option." When authors are aware of it, they show overwhelming support. According to Swan and Brown 2004: "Over 90% of open access authors said [free access to research information] is important." The case for OA journals, and for redirecting subscription funds to pay for them, can sit on its own bottom and needn't disparage the benefits of OA archiving.
The Austrian Academy of Sciences (Österreichische Akademie der Wissenschaften) has launched a new publication server.
A short article about it in Der Standard says that current research results will be publicly accessible ("öffentlich zugänglich") but a netbib post objects that only tables of contents and excerpts will be OA.
Richard W. Boss, Institutional Repositories, Tech Notes from the Public Library Association, July 10, 2006. (Thanks to ResourceShelf.) Excerpt:
In January of 2006, the Technology Committee of the Public Library Association, the sponsor of TechNotes, decided that public libraries might have a role to play in creating and maintaining institutional repositories for the intellectual output of their communities. This TechNote investigates that question.
Germany's DFG has issued a new position paper, Wissenschaftliche Literaturversorgungs- und Informationssysteme: Schwerpunkte der Förderung bis 2015, June 2006. My German isn't strong enough to plow through it, but I've learned from medinfo that the DFG plans to participate in LOCKSS and launch a project like the Dutch Cream of Science to accelerate the pace of OA archiving.
PS: For background on DFG's OA policy, see my article in SOAN for April 2006.
Emma Morris, PS I want all the rights, Nature, July 13, 2006 (accessible only to subscribers). Excerpt:
...[O]pen-access advocates have set their sights on...encouraging researchers to demand the right to distribute the published versions freely and immediately. Ann Wolpert, director of libraries at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) in Cambridge, Massachusetts, has launched an initiative that she says will clearly assign rights to the author in a way that would satisfy funders. Wolpert has drawn up a document that researchers can add on to the rights agreement the publisher gives them to sign. Similar agreements have been drafted by the Scholarly Publishing and Academic Resources Coalition and the MIT-affiliated Science Commons. “I look at it as responding to a request by faculty members to simplify their lives,” says Wolpert. “They say ‘it is crazy that we are supposed to read and understand these publishers’ agreements. Give me something that I can just staple to any agreement, so I can comply with NIH or Wellcome Trust policy’.”
Comments. I support the effort to get OA for the finished, published version. But here are a few comments on the effort to get OA for the prior version, sometimes called the "final version of the author's manuscript", which has undergone peer review but not yet copy editing.
Nature ran another article yesterday on the need to share avian flu data. I don't have access, but here's a summary from SciDev.net:
The strain of bird flu that killed seven Indonesian family members in May was mutating as it spread from person to person, according to confidential data presented at a closed meeting of experts last month. The news, revealed today (12 July) by Nature, has prompted fresh calls for genetic data on bird flu viruses to be made more readily available....
PS: I repeat my question to Nature: "Given the topic and urgency, wouldn't it make more sense to provide OA to this [article] than to charge $30 for pay-per-view?"
For background, see my April article on OA to avian flu data.
Update. Declan Butler, who wrote the Nature article, has posted some excerpts to his blog.
Paul Gully, who recently joined WHO as senior adviser to Margaret Chan, head of the WHO’s pandemic-flu efforts, defends the agency’s position. He points out that the WHO’s priority is investigating outbreaks, not academic research. And he adds that although calls for more complete genome data and wider sharing of samples are “a valid point”, labs are stretched during outbreaks, and don’t have the time or resources to do high-quality sequencing.
Glyn Moody, This time, it'll be a Wikipedia written by experts, The Guardian, July 13, 2006. Excerpt:
Larry Sanger seems to have a thing about free online encyclopedias. Although his main claim to fame is as the co-founder, along with Jimmy Wales, of Wikipedia, that is just one of several projects to produce large-scale, systematic stores of human knowledge he has been involved in....
PS: Disclosure: I'm on the advisory committee for Textop.
Majied Robinson, RCUK Statement On Open Access - Cheers Or Jeers? EPS Insights, July 12, 2006 (accessible only to subscribers). Excerpt:
"Bravo UK!" was open access evangelist's Stevan Harnad's response to the news in a blog entry of June 28. While the immediate response to the updated position may have been to assume that the publishing lobby had 'got' to the RCUK, the University of Southampton professor explained to EPS that the fact that three of the councils had decided to mandate self-archiving - and a fourth seems very close to mandating - as a condition of funding meant the UK led the world when it came to OA.
Comment. All the talk about "untested business models" for OA journals is beside the point, since the RCUK policy is entirely about OA archiving, not OA journals.
From today's press release:
The Milton Keynes Open University in UK today announced a GBP £5.65 million (US $9.9 million) project to make a selection of its learning materials available free of charge to educators and learners around the world. Supported by a grant of US $4.45 million from The William and Flora Hewlett Foundation the University will launch the website in October 2006.
Mark Chillingworth, RCUK fails to time stamp open access, Information World Review, July 13, 2006. Excerpt:
A long-awaited position paper from the Research Councils UK (RCUK) has failed to clarify its position on free access to research information funded by British tax payers....[T]he paper makes no judgement on which publishing method authors should use and also fails to provide a clear time limit for when Research Council funded research should be made publicly available. “Publicly funded research must be made available and accessible for public examination as rapidly as practical,” it states.
Christine Hamilton-Pennell, On the Verge of Revolution - Open-access Publishing, Free Pint, July 13, 2006. (Thanks to Garrett Eastman.) Excerpt:
Online scholarly publishing is definitely in flux, and it's not yet clear which digital models will survive the shake-out. But one online development arguably holds the greatest potential for revolutionising scholarly publishing: the push for free and open access to scholarship and research.
Eliot Marshall, A Mixed Bag of U.K. Open-Access Plans, Science, July 7, 2006 (accessible only to subscribers). Excerpt:
The open-access movement chalked up a victory in Britain last week, but it did not get the universal mandate for free release of research papers that some advocates want. In a long-delayed policy statement on 28 June, the executive board of Research Councils U.K. (RCUK), an umbrella organization for government funding bodies, said that all peerreviewed journal papers produced by publicly funded research must be made available for free soon after they’re completed. Exactly what that means was not specified, and RCUK left each research council to set its own rules. In coordinated announcements, some set out hard-edged policies whereas others said they were still debating what to do....
Blackwell is providing free online access to every article in the inaugural issue of its new journal, Integrative Zoology. (Thanks to GrrlScientist.) But nothing in the issue's editorial or at the journal web site suggests that the journal is OA, and it's not likely that a Blackwell Online Open hybrid journal would get 100% uptake, especially for its first issue. I'd think this was just a way to market the first issue of a new journal, but I haven't seen any publicity to build on it. Does anyone know what's going on?
Brian Surratt, Where are the open access library journals? Texadata, July 11, 2006. Excerpt:
Forschungszentrum Jülich (Research Center Jülich) has launched an OA repository called JUWEL (Jülicher Wissenschaftliche Elektronische Literatur). (Thanks to Glyn Moody.)
From a Robert Smith news story in today's Heise Online :
Ever since yesterday all Internet users are in a position to consult online scientific publications of the Research Center Jülich (FZJ). Europe's largest multidisciplinary research institution has made its database JUWEL (Juelicher Wissenschaftliche Elektronische Literatur [Juelich Scientific Literature in Electronic Form; the acronym also spells the German word "jewel"]) available to the online public at large. The latter database contains articles from scientific journals, written scientific contributions made to conferences, doctoral theses and items published by the FZJ's own publishing house. Kicking off with a total of 400 items the database will be expanded at regular intervals. According to its own statements the research center generates 1,800 publications -- theses, contributions, articles and the like -- annually. "The results of the scientific research undertaken at the center in Jülich are to be made available to the public at large -- in a transparent fashion," the research center's CEO Joachim Treusch said. JUWEL thus implements the requirements set out in the "Berlin Declaration" issued in 2003 and signed by leading scientific research institutions according to which items of scientific knowledge are to be made available globally in line with the open-access publication paradigm.
Peter Suber, Open Access in the United States, a chapter in Neil Jacobs (ed.), Open Access: Key strategic, technical and economic aspects, Chandos Publishing, 2006. Self-archived July 12, 2006.
The Algorithmic Engineering group at the University of Rome is building the first OA collection of human-filtered spam. The purpose is to provide a useful dataset for spam researchers and tool developers. (Thanks to ResourceShelf.)
PS: Of course spam is already OA. This collection will be "value-added" spam by virtue of the human filtering. Sound familiar?
Eight major North American library associations have publicly released their May 31 letter supporting the OA recommendations in the EC report on STM publishing and OA in Europe. Excerpt:
Collectively, we wish to convey our enthusiastic support for the actions proposed in Recommendation A1 to “guarantee public access to publicly funded research results shortly after publication.” The issues around public access are of great concern to the members of our associations. We have been leaders in supporting and encouraging similar actions in the United States and Canada....
The organizations signing the letter are the American Association of Law Libraries (AALL), American Library Association (ALA), Association of Academic Health Sciences Libraries (AAHSL), Association of College & Research Libraries (ACRL), Association of Research Libraries (ARL), Greater Western Library Alliance (GWLA), Medical Library Association (MLA), and the Scholarly Publishing and Academic Resources Coalition (SPARC).
SPARC Europe has issued a press release in support of the new RCUK OA policy. Excerpt:
SPARC Europe welcomes the publication of the position statement on access to research outputs by Research Councils UK (RCUK) and the related policies adopted by individual Research Councils....Following a year of extensive consultation on their draft policy, RCUK has reiterated their commitment to ensuring that “ideas and knowledge derived from publicly-funded research must be made widely available and accessible for public use, interrogation and scrutiny, as widely, rapidly and effectively as possible.” To this end, a number of Research Councils have announced policies that will require deposit of research articles in open access repositories.
Mohamed A. F. Noor and three co-authors, Data Sharing: How Much Doesn't Get Submitted to GenBank? PLoS Biology, July 11, 2006. A letter to the editor. Excerpt:
Scientists recognize that free access to data is synergistic for fostering major advances. Concerns about standards of sharing are particularly acute with respect to large-scale DNA sequence and microarray data. Although some types of data have shallow histories or unclear protocols for how one would share them, DNA sequences have been deposited to the joint databases of GenBank, EMBL, and the DNA Databank of Japan for over a decade, and many journals have policies requiring such submission before a paper can be accepted. For simplicity, we refer to these databases jointly as “GenBank.”...
Hemai Parthasarathy, Bipartisan Bill for Public Access to Research—Time for Action, PLoS Biology, July 11, 2006. An editorial. Excerpt:
The “red” versus “blue” state divide, most graphically captured in mapped results of the infamous United States presidential election battle between George Bush and Al Gore in 2000, has come to symbolize the political polarization of America. It may be surprising, therefore, to find a Republican from President Bush's decidedly red state of Texas and Gore's running mate, a Democrat from the blue state of Connecticut, agreeing on anything. Yet just such a pair has recently recognized that one issue, at least, rises above partisan forces: open access to publicly funded research. Senators John Cornyn (Texas) and Joseph Lieberman (Connecticut) have introduced a bill [FRPAA] whereby federal agencies with research expenditure over US$100 million per year must ensure that research articles produced from their grants are deposited in an Internet-accessible public archive within six months of acceptance by a peer-reviewed journal....
In the ongoing debate between digital Maoism (Jaron Lanier) and the wisdom of crowds (James Surowiecki), Frank Pasquale has added an OA connection. Excerpt:
The July issue of Blackwell Publishing Journal News is now online. (Thanks to Donat Agosti.) There are four short articles on OA:
Comment. To me, the most interesting of these is the second, on the RCUK. Campbell's spin is that the RCUK's draft OA policy emphasized the need for more study, and that the Medical Research Council has gone beyond the draft policy by mandating OA. The opposite is the case. The RCUK draft policy mandated OA across the board, for all eight of the Research Councils, even if it also recommended further study. The Medical Research Council is right in line with the draft, and the Research Councils not mandating OA, like the Council for the Central Laboratory of the Research Councils, are retreating from the draft. Don't take my word for it; read the draft yourself. Quoting Section 13: "RCUK believes that in order for Research Councils to demonstrate their commitment to enhancing access to published research outputs through the medium of e-print repositories, it should...introduce a requirement that Research Council-funded researchers should deposit their published outputs in appropriate e-print repositories." The details of the requirement are spelled out in Section 14.b.
Michael Stebbins and three co-authors, Public Access Failure at PubMed, Science Magazine, July 7, 2006 (accessible only to subscribers). A letter to the editor. (Thanks to Jim Till.) Excerpt:
Comment. Two quick responses.
Robin Peek, RCUK Releases Long-Awaited OA Policy, Information Today Newsbreak, July 10, 2006. Excerpt:
In June 2005 the research Councils UK (RCUK) issued its draft policy for public comment on Open Access (OA) for publicly funded research. At the time the RCUK seemed poised to mandate OA across its eight research councils. On June 28th, a year later, the RCUK released its updated position paper which now only strongly encourages that a substantial portion of its funded research must be OA....
Mark Chillingworth, Open access open to debate, Information World Review, July 10, 2006. Excerpt:
....The industry must be thankful, then, that Oxford University Press (OUP) has, like all publishers, studied the effects of OA, but unlike many others it’s chosen to share them. Reading the results of the OUP study and discussing the recent changes in policy at Elsevier, it looks like OA suits certain titles and not others....
Alun Salt, Why Open Access is important, Archaeoastronomy, July 9, 2006. Excerpt:
Stevan Harnad, Against Needless Pruning of Research's Growth Tip, Open Access Archivangelism, July 9, 2006.
Summary: Contrary to the recent suggestion of NIH Director Elias Zerhouni, the primary and urgent purpose of open access to NIH research is definitely not so that "scientists have access to [NIH's] portfolio of research so they can see what [NIH] has funded." It is so that scientists can use and apply the research findings, immediately, for the benefit of the public that funded it for that very purpose ("CURES"). Dr. Zerhouni is right that it "is also important that at some point the public, which pays for 99.5% of this research, is not prevented from having access to it" -- but the primary purpose of open access is immediate scientific usage and applications, for the benefit of the public. NIH can have its portfolio by requiring immediate deposit without even necessarily requiring that the articles be made publicly accessible immediately. Individual scientists who need to know and use the deposited findings immediately could have immediate access through the simple expedient of the EMAIL-EPRINT-REQUEST button that is now being implemented in researchers' own institutional repositories -- if, that is, the immediate deposit of the full text is systematically mandated. (Otherwise email eprint requests are a hopelessly time-consuming, uncertain and low-yield strategy.) Hence the "happy medium" is to require immediate deposit in the researchers' own institutional repositories and to harvest the deposits into PubMed Central after whatever embargo period NIH judges necessary (a priori) to insure that this is not "done at the expense [of the] of peer-reviewed scientific publishing."
Stevan Harnad, Are Researchers, their Institutions and Funders, Being Strong-Armed Into OA? Open Access Archivangelism, July 9, 2006.
Summary: Lisa Dittrich, Managing Editor, Academic Medicine, seems to imagine that researchers, their institutions and their funders are being "strong-armed" into taking steps to maximize the usage and impact of their research output by OA zealots. It is more likely that for researchers, their institutions and their funders (the tax-paying public), maximizing research usage and impact is a natural end in itself, optimal and inevitable (though grotesquely slow in coming!) in the online era, that it is merely being hastened toward its natural outcome by the OA movement, and that those who imagine otherwise, perhaps because of interests vested in another outcome, are engaging in wishful thinking. Stay tuned.
Starting July 1, 2006, access to JSTOR is free for all academic and non-profit institutions in Africa. (Thanks to medinfo.)
Charles W. Bailey, Jr., Open Access to Books: The Case of the Open Access Bibliography, DigitalKoans, July 9, 2006. Excerpt:
Peter Drahos, A Defence of the Intellectual Commons, Consumer Policy Review, May/June 2006. Excerpt: