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Paul Ginsparg, As we may read, Journal of Neuroscience, September 20, 2006. (I thought I blogged this earlier but just discovered that I hadn't.) Excerpt:
Chris Philipp, Reclusive mathematician rejected honors for solving 100-year-old math problem, but he relied on Cornell's arXiv to publish, Cornell Chronicle Online. Excerpt:
PS: For background, see my 8/22/06 post on Perelman and arXiv.
Martin Rundkvist, Greed and Buffoonery in Academic Publishing, Salto Sobrius, September 29, 2006. Excerpt:
Koïchiro Matsuura, Knowledge Sharing: Forever a Future Prospect? Zaman Online, September 30, 2006. Matsuura is the Director-General of UNESCO. Excerpt:
Michel Bauwens of the P2P Foundation asked me what what I thought of the term "author pays" --as applied to OA journals-- and posted my reply to his blog. Excerpt:
Richard Squires, Editorial policy: The right to medical information, Canadian Medical Association Journal, September 12, 2006. (Thanks to SPARC E-News.) Excerpt:
CreateChange has just published an interview with Leslie Pack Kaelbling, founder of the Journal of Machine Learning Research (JMLR) and leader of the declaration of independence at Machine Learning. (Thanks to SPARC E-News.) Excerpt:
M. Baker, Open-access chemistry databases evolving slowly but not surely, Nature Reviews: Drug Discovery, September 2006. Not even an abstract is free online, at least so far.
Iryna Kuchma sends OA news from the Ukraine. Excerpt:
The organizations launching the new open access working group include the Parliamentary Committee on Science and Education, the State Fund for Fundamental Researches, the Scientific and Publishing Council of National Academy of Science of Ukraine, the Ministry of Science and Education of Ukraine, the National Library of Ukraine after V.Vernadsky, the State Department of Intellectual Property, the Kyiv public administration, the Association "Informatio-Consortium", the Institute of social development, and the International Renaissance Foundation (Soros Foundation–Ukraine).
Comment. The Parliamentary resolution of December 2005 recommends an OA mandate for publicly-funded research. It's very good news that the working group now pushing for its implementation represents so many public agencies.
Outsell has issued a press release on its new market report on the STM industry. Excerpt:
Outsell, Inc....today announced publication of its second annual MarketView report, Scientific, Technical & Medical Information: 2006 Market Size, Share, Forecast and Trend Report. In it, Outsell forecasts a compound annual growth rate for the segment of 7.2 percent through 2009, to reach $25.5 billion in revenue....
European Archive Foundation launches free digital library, Associated Press, September 28, 2006. Excerpt:
Peter Moszynski, PLoS launches journal for neglected tropical diseases, BMJ, September 23, 2006. Only the first 150 words are free online and they contain nothing not already blogged here.
Nikhil Swaminathan, Free, For All: How will the open access movement affect global science? Seed Magazine, September 29, 2006. Excerpt:
Comment. A good overview except that it doesn't challenge Martin Frank's groundless claim that FRPAA will make the US government into a publisher. FRPAA only applies to articles already published by independent peer-reviewed journals. The OA copies of the articles that the government will host will differ from the published originals, and be inferior to the originals, unless the publishers themselves consent to let the government host the published editions. And of course the government copies will not be OA until six months after the originals were published. Publishers who worry that OA archiving will undermine subscriptions rarely mention that a study commissioned by their own ALPSP (March 2006) found that high journal prices far surpassed OA archiving as a cause of journal cancellations.
Growth of the CODA Repositories, Caltech Library Services News and Updates, September 15, 2006. (Thanks to STLQ.) Excerpt:
PS: Congratulations to George, who was the most regular of my co-contributors here at OAN before I converted it to a solo blog in May 2006.
Steve Hitchcock, ID/OA not DOA, Eprints Insiders, September 29, 2006. Excerpt:
Comment. This is what I've called the dual deposit/release strategy and I support it under any name.
Alma Swan, Open Access: What is it and why should we have it? A technical report from Key Perspectives, self-archived September 29, 2006.
Abstract: Open Access (OA) means (1) greater visibility and accessibility, hence impact, from scholarly endeavour, (2) more rapid and more efficient progress, (3) better assessment, better monitoring and better management of science and (4) novel information can be created using new computational technologies. The JISC-commissioned Roadmap for UK OA repositories envisages a (I) Data Layer, consisting of the repositories themselves, underpinned by a layer of services at the Ingest Level where data are collected (technical or policy advice for repository managers, hosting services for repositories, or digitisation services for legacy literature). Above the data layer is the (II) Aggregator Layer, where content is harvested and metadata are enhanced, enriched and presented to be exploited by services operating in the top layer: (III) the Output Level. Top-layer services may include preservation services or publishing services such as peer review and adding value in the form of copyediting, formatting for print and online presentation and marking-up (e.g. into XML) to enable optimal exploitation by semantic computer technologies. Other services may harvest content and publish overlay journals, create specialised collections for particular scholarly communities in individual disciplines for teaching and learning or to be added to other types of material to provide high added-value services with revenue-earning potential.
Paul Peters, The Economics of Open Access Publishing, a preprint to be presented at Online Information 2006 (London, November 28-30, 2006). Peters is the Senior Publishing Developer at Hindawi Publishing. Excerpt:
Elsevier has adopted a policy for authors whose research is funded by the Wellcome Trust. The key piece of background, of course, is that Wellcome mandates OA for Wellcome-funded research. Excerpt from Elsevier's new policy:
Comment. I've criticized publishers who charge authors for the right to comply with their own funding contracts. ("Authors shouldn't have to pay their publisher in order to live up to a contract with their funder.") But the circumstances change when the funder is willing to pay the fee charged by the publisher.
As long as funders like Wellcome are willing to do this, and as long as the publisher fees are reasonably tied to the actual costs of an efficient operation, then this can be a win-win-win. Authors and funders get OA to their research; publishers get their expenses covered for providing it; and authors pay nothing out of pocket. There's a fourth party in the wings --subscribers-- who will win too if the publisher reduces subscription prices in proportion to author uptake of its OA option.
There are still ways in which the deal can be improved. Elsevier could make the OA edition the same as the published edition. It could let participating authors retain copyright and use CC licenses (or equivalents) on the OA editions. It could let participating authors deposit their articles in any OA repository, not just their own IR. (For more background, see my June article on Elsevier's hybrid journal program, where I pointed out that the Elsevier terms conflicted with the Wellcome Trust's requirements.)
If we conceive the funder-grantee contract to be independent of the author-publisher contract, then it looks like publisher fees are meddling in contracts to which publishers are not a party. But the Wellcome-Elsevier agreement suggests that these previously separate contracts are merging and that we will have to recognize a new kind of tripartite contract among authors, funders, and publishers. If so, publishers who enter these agreements can't complain when public policies to regulate access to publicly-funded research have the side-effect of regulating publishers, something they have been very touchy about in the past.
Australia's Department of Education, Science and Training (DEST) has published an important report by John Houghton, Colin Steele & Peter Sheehan: Research Communication Costs In Australia: Emerging Opportunities And Benefits, September 2006 (also available in RTF). Excerpt:
Comment. This is a detailed, credible attack on a hard problem: estimating the net economic benefits to a nation in promoting open access to its research output. Every policy-maker should read it. Friends of OA in every country should bring its analysis and conclusions to the attention of their legislators and public funding agencies.
The Open Access to Knowledge Law Project at Queensland University of Technology has published a major report, Creating a legal framework for copyright management of open access within the Australian academic and research sector (dated August 2006 but released today). From the executive summary:
The power of information - closing the knowledge gap. A press release from the UN's Food and Agricultural Organization (FAO), September 27, 2006. (Thanks to P. Kapoor-Vijay.) Excerpt:
Mark Chillingworth, T&F latest to offer Open Access, IWRblog, September 28, 2006. Excerpt:
Taylor & Francis is the latest publisher to adopt a hybrid OA journal program. From today's announcement:
Comment. The T&F program is better than some and worse than others. It gives positive answers to three of my nine questions for hybrid OA journal programs. It uses CC licenses on participating articles. It allows deposit in OA repositories independent of T&F. It adds no new embargo for self-archiving. What are the weaknesses of this program? It doesn't let authors retain copyright; it doesn't waive the fees in case of economic hardship; it promises to "review" (but not to reduce) subscription prices in light of the rate of author uptake. It will apparently charge its iOA fee even for authors who wish to self-archive (a retreat from its previous no-fee green policy); and it will apparently even charge authors for the right to comply with a previous contract with their funding agency to deposit their postprint in an OA repository. Finally, the fee is one of the highest in the industry.
Update. Taylor & Francis has posted new details on its the iOpenAccess program. In short, (1) it does let authors retain copyright when T&F owns the journal and the author gives T&F a license to publish; (2) it is willing, in the right cases, to waive the iOA fee for authors who cannot afford it; (3) it is willing to reduce subscription prices in light of author uptake; (4) it has not retreated from its policy to allow no-fee self-archiving after an embargo, but it now also allows no-embargo self-archiving for a fee. Authors who need to comply with a funder's OA mandate may choose either form of self-archiving. On point #3, the new online clarification merely repeats the original position; but in its email correspondence with me T&F made clear that will review uptake data in order to consider reducing subscription prices.
Nathan Grossman, Professor starts tropical disease journal to raise awareness, The GW Hatchet (independent student paper at George Washington University), September 28, 2006 (free registration required). Excerpt:
PS: I hope the paper can correct the last sentence. OA means open or free for access, reading, copying, redistribution, and other uses, not open for anyone's contribution. A peer-reviewed OA journal isn't a wiki and only publishes the research articles that meet its editorial standard.
Ed Zalta, The Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy: A university/library partnership in support of scholarly communication and open access, College & Research Library News, September 2006. Excerpt:
PS: I've often blogged my support for the SEP and its elegant funding model. If your library supports SEP users, and it almost certainly does, please urge it to make a one-time contribution to build SEP's permanent OA endowment.
Last week, David Johnston, President of the University of Waterloo, set for his vision that the Waterloo Region become the "Knowledge Capital of Canada". Today, William Oldfield proposed an OA journal for the region as a key step toward that goal. Excerpt from Oldfield's case:
David Johnston's vision of Waterloo Region as the Knowledge Capital of Canada would make this a great place to live. To assist in the effort, I propose the establishment of a community-based publishing enterprise for the distribution and sharing of the products of the community.
Stevan Harnad, Optimizing OA Self-Archiving Mandates: What? Where? When? Why? How? Open Access Archivangelism, September 27, 2006.
Comment. Any funder or university considering an OA mandate would do well to follow this advice. For my own recommendations, see my August 2006 article, Ten lessons from the funding agency open access policies.
Michael Cross, France maps out the path to liberate its data, The Guardian, September 28, 2006. Excerpt:
Charles W. Bailey, Jr., The Ohio State University Press Open Access Initiative, DigitalKoans, September 27, 2006. Excerpt:
The UK Natural Environment Research Council has moved the web page on its OA policy. It was formerly at this URL,
but is now at this URL,
Note to NERC: If you had to break the link today, three days before your OA mandate takes effect, could you at least create a redirect from the old page to the new one?
The NIH Reauthorization Bill, just passed by the House of Representatives, includes language to monitor the effectiveness of the NIH public access policy. From today's announcement by the Alliance for Taxpayer Access:
PS: The appropriations language that would strengthen the NIH policy from a request to a requirement is still pending. The reauthorization bill today is a separate action, showing that impatience is building in Congress for the NIH policy to meet its original goals.
Neil Blair Christensen, Free article for sale: $11,000 — What is free public access worth? Kidney International, October 2006. An editorial. Not even an abstract is free online, at least so far.
Update (December 11, 2006). There is now an OA edition of this editorial.
From Lawrence Solum at Legal Theory Blog. Excerpt:
The journal links to seven "free sample articles" on its home page but doesn't link to an announcement or explanation. So far, it looks more like a marketing ploy than a new access policy.
John Pickrell, Pool knowledge to find the origins of language, New Scientist, September 26, 2006. Excerpt:
PS: In the Nature Neuroscience article, Marcus and Rabagliati are explicit that the database they envision ought to be OA.
Jonathan Cohen, Publish or perish --is open access the only way forward? International Journal of Infectious Diseases, September 2006. An editorial. Not even an abstract is free online, at least so far.
Walt Crawford, Societies and Open Access, Walt at Random, September 26, 2006. Excerpt:
One week after Yale announced OA lecture videos as part of its open courseware project, the University of California at Berkeley has announced its own series of OA educational videos. (Thanks to ResearchBuzz.) Excerpt:
Comment. Berkeley is smart to let Google Video do the hosting and promotion. This will not only reduce costs but increase the visibility and use of the videos. From an OA perspective, it may be no more free or open than Yale's use of its own Center for Media Initiatives, but it's a huge step up from Berkeley's previous use of iTunes.
Peter Murray-Rust describes some of the many meanings of "open" in preparation for starting a Wikipedia article on open data.
I like this (perhaps inadvertent) echo of Stallman's free beer:
Heather Morrison, OA Librarians and Societies: Two Perspectives, OA Librarian, September 25, 2006. Excerpt:
T. Scott Plutchak thinks we OA advocates are too hard on societies; you can read his blogpost It Gets Lonely Out Here. My sympathies to T. Scott, who reports to one of the very few provosts who signed the letter opposing FRPAA....
From Lawrence Lessig's blog:
The Free Software Foundation has launched a public discussion on proposed changes to the Free Document License, a license designed “can be used for any textual work” but which, in the world enriched by Wikipedia, now attempts to license all creative work. I’ll be studying the changes carefully, and will post my own comments, both here and there, but I really would encourage people to do the same. Please spread the word broadly.
Comment. Most research articles that use OA-friendly licenses use Creative Commons licenses, even though there are many other kinds, including the GNU Free Documentation License. But I haven't seen a good discussion of why this is so or whether it should be. I can give a quick handful of reasons why CC licenses are beneficial, but if anyone has done a systematic comparison with other licenses, focusing on the purposes of research and scholarship (rather than, say, fiction, software, music, or photography), I'd appreciate any leads or links.
Steve Hitchcock, Publisher 'open choice' is here to stay, should not faze repositories, Eprints Insiders, September 26, 2006. Excerpt:
Liz Lyon, Adding Value to Data and Information: Moving towards a Science Commons, a slide presentation at the CODATA workshop on Developing Information Commons for Science in Europe (Brussels, September 2006).
Helen Branswell, Experts urge WHO to get countries on side for routine H5N1 virus sharing, CBC News, September 26, 2006. Excerpt:
Karin Fischer, Historians and Humanities Endowment Clash Over Changes in Review Process for Grants, Chronicle of Higher Education, September 26, 2006. Excerpt:
PS: For background, see my two previous blog postings on the NEH policy (1, 2) --and remember that this is the NEH (National Endowment for the Humanities), not the NIH (National Institutes of Health).
Jeff Kosseff, Q&A with Paul Allen, The Oregonian, September 27, 2006. Excerpt:
Jeffrey Goldfarb, Spanish university joins Google book scan plan, Reuters, September 26, 2006. Excerpt:
Update. A short article in the September 27 Chronicle of Higher Education makes clear (as the Reuters articles did not) that Complutense will only allow Google to scan public-domain books from its library.
Update. Also see Google's press release (September 26, 2006). Excerpt:
The library of the Complutense University of Madrid is the largest university library in Spain. "Out of copyright books previously only available to people with access to Madrid's Complutense University Library, or the money to travel, will now be accessible to everyone with an Internet connection, wherever they live," said Carlos Berzosa, Chancellor of the Complutense University of Madrid. "We are quite literally opening our library to the world. The opportunities for education are phenomenal and we are delighted to be working with Google on this project."
Scott Shepard, The biotech debate: Share or hoard your findings? Boston Business Journal, September 22, 2006. Excerpt:
Eve Gray, An African citation index? The AFC-Codesria conference on digital publishing, Gray Area, September 25, 2006. Excerpt:
Xeni Jardin, Paul Allen's Digital Brain, Wired News, September 26, 2006. Excerpt:
PS: For background, see my earlier posts on this project.
Stevan Harnad, 125 Provosts For, 10 Against FRPAA Self-Archiving Mandate, Open Access Archivangelism, September 25, 2006. Excerpt:
Ammar W. Mango, A million books online for free, Middle East North Africa Financial Network News, September 26, 2006. Excerpt:
Rosemary Bechler, Unbounded Freedom: A Guide to Creative Commons Thinking for Cultural Organizations, The British Council. Undated but apparently released this month. Bechler gives three pages to a detailed case study of Eve Gray's OA recommendations to South Africa's Human Sciences Research Council (blogged here in May 2005).PS: Thanks to Glyn Moody, who gave Bechler's report a strong recommendation: "It is probably the single best short introduction to intellectual monopoly issues I have ever read. It is well written, accessible, packed with good examples and surprisingly comprehensive."
Film-maker Mickey Grant has decided to provide OA to his 82-minute 2003 documentary on the doctor and five nurses (the Tripoli Six) who have been imprisoned and tortured by Libyan government since 1999 and now may face execution on fraudulent charges of deliberately infecting 400 Libyan children with HIV.
PS: Declan Butler of Nature has been doing heroic work to mobilize bloggers to create international pressure to free the Tripoli Six. I'm glad to have this OA hook to join the campaign. Read the documents to which Declan links and spread the word.
Update. SciDev.Net for September 27, 2006, has a good article on the case, showing the evidence for the medics' innocence and the political sensitivities that may nevertheless lead to their conviction and execution.
Mathias Klang has written the first doctoral dissertation in Sweden to be licensed and distributed under a Creative Commons license. He'll defend it on October 2. Klang is the Project Lead for Creative Commons Sweden. (Thanks to the CC blog.)
PS: For historians, I believe the first doctoral dissertation anywhere to use a CC license was by Oleg Evnin at Caltech (successfully defended May 26, 2006).
Update. Theo Andrew writes that there are a number of CC-licensed ETDs at the U of Edinburgh and that the earliest seems to be by Magnus Hagdorn, submitted on March 4, 2004. I'm glad to be corrected and welcome pointers to any earlier examples.
Dorothea Salo, Unyielding opposition? Caveat Lector, September 25, 2006. Excerpt:
Oxford University Press has introduced Creative Commons licenses for most Oxford Open hybrid journals. From today's announcement:
Comment. I believe that Springer and Oxford are the only publishers of hybrid OA journals to use CC licenses for participating articles. I hope that other hybrid journal publishers will follow suit.
Hindawi has launched one new OA journal and converted two more TA journals to OA. From today's announcement:
Comment. Hindawi is the second largest publisher of OA journals, after BioMed Central, and the world leader in converting TA journals to OA. It's a joy to watch it grow.
The British Library has issued The British Library Manifesto: Intellectual Property: A Balance, September 25, 2006. From today's announcement:
From the body of the manifesto:
Scott Jaschik, NEH vs. Historians, Inside Higher Ed, September 25, 2006. Excerpt:
T. Scott Plutchak, It Gets Lonely Out Here, T. Scott, September 24, 2006. Excerpt:
Open Access: Time to Catch the Wave, California Stem Cell Report, September 24, 2006. Excerpt:
Peter Hirtle, Digital Access to Archival Works: Could 108(b) Be the Solution? Copyright and Fair Use, September 24, 2006. (Thanks to Mary Minow.)
Abstract: Section 108(b) of the Copyright Law, which deals with unpublished works, is often described primarily has a “preservation” clause, with its primary purpose being to ensure that our manuscript heritage is not lost. A closer look at the legislative history of the section, however, reveals that Congress was primarily concerned with increasing scholarly access to unpublished materials. Limited distribution to other libraries and archives to enhance research access to the original materials, it concluded, does not compete with the copyright owner’s right to commercially exploit the work. Under the original section 108(b), there were no limits on the number of copies that could be made for deposit in other repositories. Today digital technologies could provide a means of providing access to research materials without having to distribute physical copies to other repositories (though distribution of copies for preservation purposes would still be desirable).
Klaus Graf has blogged a preview (in German) of a talk he'll give next week at a panel on Open access: Freier Zugang zu Kulturgut in Archiv, Bibliothek und Museum.
RegisteredCommons is a new organization launched on September 19 at the Wizards of OS 4 conference in Berlin. The best short description is that it's an Austrian-based cousin to Creative Commons. Like CC, RC offers licenses for creators who want to share their creations. Unlike CC, RC offers both some-rights-reserved licenses and traditional all-rights-reserved licenses. In the same spirit it also offers expiring licenses for those who want to share their content only for a limited time. Finally, it allows authors to register their authorship, without creating a license, in order to facilitate subsequent proof. For more information, see the press release from the launch or the FAQ, which uses a CC (not RC) license.
Here are some OA events that will take place on October 1, one week from today.
I'll mention these again in the "this month" section of my October newsletter. But since it won't come out until October 2, it will be too late for those who wanted advanced notice.