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Charting a Course for the 21st Century: NLM's Long-Range Plan 2006-2016, National Library of Medicine Board of Regents, September 21, 2006. (Thanks to Clifford Lynch.) Excerpt:
Michael Schiltz, Frederik Truyen, and Hans Coppens, Cutting the Trees of Knowledge: Social Software, Information Architecture, and Their Epistemic Consequences, a preprint forthcoming from Thesis Eleven 2007, issue 89.
From the body of the paper:
Mark Chillingworth, BL demands overhaul of intellectual property law, Information World Review, October 6, 2006. Excerpt:
Stevan Harnad, Responses to EC Self-Archiving Mandate Recommendation, Open Access Archivangelism, October 6, 2006.
Eric Kansa, Important Development with Anthropology and FRPAA, Digging Digitally, October 6, 2006. Excerpt:
Jeffrey Goldfarb, Book sales get a lift from Google scan plan, Reuters, October 6, 2006. Excerpt:
Update. There's now a Slashdot discussion of Goldfarb's article.
Emerald Group Publishing will share its published articles with a plagiarism detection service. From its October 5 announcement:
Comment. Emerald will make its published articles available to Turnitin. (It's unclear whether Turnitin will pay anything for them.) If other publishers follow suit, then Turnitin will slowly develop an alternative copy of the research corpus. It won't be accessible to the public, but it will be available for processing by Turnitin and its customers. Note that this is just what Google, Yahoo, Microsoft and other search engines are seeking. I have no beef with publishers who strike deals with Turnitin, even if they don't have author consent. (Published articles, OA or non-OA, have always been susceptible to various forms of plagiarism detection.) But any publisher willing to make its corpus available for Turnitin indexing should certainly make it available for search indexing as well. Otherwise the signal is: we're willing to take an extra step to punish the misuse of our literature but not to promote the use of it.
The AnthroSource Steering Committee (ASSC) has publicly released its August 9 letter in support of FRPAA, dissenting from the position taken by its parent organization, the American Anthropological Association (AAA). (Thanks to Leslie Chan.) Excerpt:
Comment. For background, see my July 2006 article on the decision by AAA leaders to oppose FRPAA without consulting the AAA membership or even the steering committee of AnthroSource, the association's online resource for disseminating scholarship.
Kudos to the ASSC for speaking out. Its defense of FRPAA, its reminder that the association should serve its members, and its recommendations for moving forward are judicious and much needed. I hope it inspires similar actions at the many other societies whose leaders have signed one or another letter opposing FRPAA without consulting their members.
If you remember the important EC Study on the Economic and Technical Evolution of the Scientific Publication Markets in Europe (dated January 2006 but released in late March), it was followed by a period of public comments on the report's recommendations (March 31 - June 15, 2006). The EC has now released a summary of the comments received as well as all the individual comments themselves. Excerpt from the summary:
Mariona Vivar Mompel, Google print outshines the European Digital Library, Cafe Babel, October 4, 2006. Excerpt:
Elise Ackerman, Google seeks rivals' data for lawsuit over libraries, Mercury News, October 5, 2006 . Excerpt:
Comment. This is interesting for several reasons. First, it suggests that settlement talks have broken down. Second, it suggests that Google thinks there might be some advantage in showing that the permission-seekers at the OCA don't always have the permissions they claim. Of course the virtues or vices of a third party wouldn't normally be relevant. But Google's strategy might be to show that the plaintiff publishers are voluntarily cooperating with practices substantially similar to its own. Third, even if Google can show lapses at OCA, with publisher acquiescence, I doubt that that will suffice; or if it suffices for these plaintiffs, it won't for the next ones. The publishers may need clean hands, but Google will eventually have to show fair use --and BTW I think it can. However, if it can prove fair use, then it can leave the OCA out of it. Fourth, the OCA has invited Google to join the organization, and as far as I know Google still hasn't made up its mind. These subpoenas, and the implicit intent to smear the OCA for a small tactical advantage, may fracture whatever cordiality there was in their relationship and make future Google membership even less likely.
I'd like to see Google avoid two kinds of mud here. First, the OCA is a first-rate organization that shouldn't be muddied by someone else's fight. Second, Google has a strong case and I want to see it prove fair use, cleanly and decisively, without muddying the issue.
Michael Cross, Why Sir Humphrey won't give us his phone number, The Guardian, October 5, 2006. Excerpt:
Interview with Jean-Claude Bradley, Drexel CoAS E-Learning Transcripts, October 6, 2006. Excerpt:
What was your motivation behind making this project like open source science and what was your thinking behind doing it that way?
Well if you work in a lab for a couple of years one thing you realize is almost everything that you do doesn't get published because the experiments are either failed or they're sub optimal in some way and they have to be repeated. And they also have to make a story. So even though you may have done a reaction and we do organic chemistry so it's all reactions that actually worked if it doesn't fit into a bigger story that you can write up you really can't publish it. So what we're doing is we're not avoiding publishing normal articles it's just that we're basically putting our lab book on the wiki directly so that people can benefit immediately on a day to day basis.
Why do you think that open source science is going to be helpful in the future as compared to today's science broadcasting terms.
Rufus Pollock, Accessing open access repositories using the python oaipmh package, miscellaneous factZ, October 6, 2006. Excerpt:
Stevan Harnad, Preprints, Postprints, Peer Review, and Institutional vs. Central Self-Archiving, Open Access Archivangelism, October 6, 2006. A response to Paul Ginsparg's As We May Read. Excerpt:
Jan Velterop, Perelmanian Probity, The Parachute, October 2, 2006. Excerpt:
If your institution is hiring someone to manage (and champion) the institutional repository, Dorothea Salo has some advice.
Matthew J. Cockerill and Vitek Tracz, Open Access and the Future of the Scientific Research Article, Journal of Neuroscience, October 4, 2006. Excerpt:
Anthea Lipsett, Journals spending soars to £100m, squeezing book budgets, Times Higher Education Supplement, October 6, 2006 (accessible only to subscribers). (Thanks to Colin Steele.) Excerpt:
Ehsan Masood, The cost of freedom in the digital age, openDemocracy, October 3, 2006. Excerpt:
Martin Schneider, “We don’t want to stand in the way of the digital era”, Cafe Babel, October 4, 2006. An interview with German publisher, Georg Siebeck. Excerpt:
Anne R. Kenney and four co-authors, E-Journal Archiving Metes and Bounds: A Survey of the Landscape, CLIR, September 2006. A major (120 pp.) new report on the long-term preservation of e-journals. Among its conclusions: (1) current publisher licenses block efforts at long-term preservation, (2) OA can facilitate preservation by removing the permission barriers that now obstruct it, and (3) OA repositories can play a role but shouldn't be the only solution.
I have no problem with arguments for traditional peer review, just as I have no problem with arguments for innovative new forms of peer review. It's a healthy debate on which I don't take sides because open access is compatible with both.
But this editorial fails two counts. First, it confuses open review with non-review. Second, it assumes that all online-only journals (open access and subscription-based) use open review --i.e. that traditional peer review requires print.
Note to the editors: do your homework, or try peer review, especially if you're going to lard your argument with self-congratulations ("Getting into Harvard is hard, very hard....But getting a scientific paper published in Science or Nature, today's pre-eminent scientific journals, is oftentimes harder....Science has its own admissions committees....")
Update. Mike Eisen, Harvard grad and PLoS co-founder, skewers the editorial in a letter to the editor, October 13, 2006.
David Suzuki, founder of the foundation named after him, made it clear in a blog posting last Friday that his work is open access. (Thanks to Glyn Moody and the Beached Librarian.) Excerpt:
Stevan Harnad, France's HAL, OAI interoperability, and Central vs Institutional Repositories, Open Access Archivangelism, October 4, 2006. Excerpt:
Summary: France's HAL is a large national repository for research output with enriched metadata. Like all other countries, France clearly needs self-archiving mandates from its research institutions and funders. The question is whether the mandates should be to deposit directly in HAL, or in each researcher's own Institutional Repository (from which HAL could then harvest the contents). Franck Laloë of CCSD replies to some questions about HAL.
Mello and Andrew Fire won the 2006 Nobel Prize for Physiology or Medicine, and Mello published one of his relevant papers in PLoS Biology. (Thanks to Chris Surridge.) Congratulations to Mello, Fire, and PLoS.
The EC i2010 project has published a brochure on its Digital Library Initiative. If you've been confused (like me) about this project's many parts, and its relations to many kindred projects, you'll find the brochure very helpful. It includes a page (p. 12) on OA repositories for scientific research.
SURF has issued a press release on the DRIVER project, October 3, 2006. Excerpt:
J. Robert Cooke and Kenneth M. King, Creating an Open Access Paradigm for Scholarly Publishing, the final report on Cornell's Internet First University Press, for its funding agency, August 15, 2006.
Abstract: This is the final report for the Atlantic Philanthropies funded study, "Creating an Open Access Paradigm for Scholarly Publishing" (October 2002 thru June 2006). The DSpace digital repository, created at the MIT library, was implemented at Cornell University as one of the initial DSpace sites. We explored its usage as a repository and as a publishing distribution platform for low-cost (royalty-free) open access publishing that encompasses all disciplines and is openly accessible worldwide. We were especially interested in exploring how the Internet might be used to fundamentally improve communication among universities and with the rest of society. We commissioned some financial studies and held some workshops. We describe some models for lowering costs for university presses, libraries, and the universities that exploit attributes of online publishing that were not feasible with a paper-based model. In particular, we urge a fresh look at the system, not individual campus, level for potential savings. We explored ways to encourage a shift in the faculty's willingness to effectively utilize this digital repository -- including a shift in emphasis from archiving to include online publishing. We published traditional materials, but also gave strong emphasis to multimedia materials as an alternative to print volumes that are expensive for publishing limited audience content. Video, until quite recently, has been very expensive, but that barrier can now be easily overcome. To encourage faculty participation we provided print-on-demand perfect binding and DVDs as a higher resolution (but more expensive and requiring a user fee) service. Eventually, we think, there will be a growing acceptance by faculty for online searching and browsing, with a need only for paying a user fee only for intensively used materials or otherwise for higher resolution presentations. Our content can be found [here, here, and here].
Phil Cadigan has posted the results of a survey he announced on the American Scientist Open Access Forum and LibLicense. Excerpt:
Laura Ascione, Open-access bill divides schools, publishers, eSchool News, October 2, 2006. Excerpt:
I'll be on the road for the next three days with intermittent opportunities to blog. I'll start to catch up on Friday.
Stevan Harnad, The Wellcome Trust Open Access Self-Archiving Mandate at Age One, Open Access Archivangelism, October 3, 2006. Excerpt:
(1) it should instead require the depositing to be done in the author's own Institutional Repository (IR) (thereafter harvestable to PubMed Central therefrom) rather than requiring direct central deposit; andBut it's a damn good mandate just the same, and an inspiration and encouragement to research funders and research institutions the world over (as long as it's upgraded to include (1) and (2))!
October 1st 2006: a big day for open access, a press release from BioMed Central, October 1, 2006. Excerpt:
UK scholarly journals: 2006 baseline report An evidence evidence-based analysis of data concerning scholarly journal publishing, a new report prepared by Electronic Publishing Services (EPS), in association with Charles Oppenheim, and published by the Research Information Network (RIN), October 3, 2006. The body of the report (3.79 MB) is separate from the appendix (2.88 MB). Excerpt:
Comment. The report takes at face value the 2004 Cornell calculation that high-output research universities will pay more for OA journals (in author-side fees for their faculty) than they pay now in subscriptions. That is, the report does not acknowledge or correct the known flaws in the calculation, the two largest of which are (1) the assumption that 100% of OA journals would charge author-side fees (when only a minority do so today) and (2) the assumption that 100% fees would be paid by universities (when universities pay almost none today and a growing number of funding agencies have expressed their willingness to pay them).
Update. EPS has posted a set of PPT slides summarizing the report.
Elspeth Hyams, Moving beyond e-journals, Library and Information Update, October 2006. An interview with Paul Ayris, Director of Library Services at University College London. (Thanks to Martin Moyle.) Excerpt:
The Royal Society of Chemistry has launched its own hybrid journal program. From today's press release:
The RSC posting today on CHMINF has more detail:
There are still more details on the RSC Open Science FAQ:
I just mailed the October issue of the SPARC Open Access Newsletter. This issue summarizes the state of OA legislation in the just-ended session of Congress and takes a close look at the indirect ways in which access might affect quality. The Top Stories section takes a brief look at the university administrators supporting and opposing FRPAA, the continued expansion of the hybrid journal model, an NIH-publisher agreement that hurts researchers, a new policy at the NEH (not NIH) to favor OA projects, and a statement by a Vice President of the Association of American Publishers that it's in the national interest to limit access to publicly-funded research to those who can afford to pay.
Ruth Rikowski reviews the Neil Jacobs anthology on OA (Chandos 2006) in the spring/summer 2006 issue of Information for Social Change.
Jan Velterop, Research is research, The Parachute, October 2, 2006. Excerpt:
Comment. True and important. Equally true and important is that OA through self-archiving is just as feasible and desirable in the social sciences and humanities as it is in the sciences.
Lawrence Liang has written a 65 pp. draft primer on open content and invites reader feedback before October 14. He focuses on content that users may freely modify, knowing that free online content without that feature is adequately covered by the literature on open access.
Interesting: The primer is copyrighted by the United Nations Development Programme, distributed under a Creative Commons Attribution license, and published by Elsevier.
Today was a big day for a handful of OA policies.
Alicia Chang, Online journals challenge scientific peer review, Mercury News, October 1, 2006. A glimpse at PLoS ONE and Philica, focusing more on their methods of peer review than on their access policies.
Update. The Desert Sun (Palm Springs, California) has reprinted Chang's article but with a new headline and subtitle: Online journals threaten scientific review system: Internet sites publishing studies with little or no scrutiny by peers. The Gainesville Sun (Gainesville, Florida) goes further: Online publishing a threat to peer review. The Monterey Herald (Monterey, California) takes another step: Academic journals bypass peers, go to Web.
Of course, this isn't the first time that editors didn't read or didn't understand the articles they were supposed to capture with a headline. Chang's article is mostly devoted to peer-reviewed OA journals (though with a new form of peer peer review), not OA repositories (though she does give a paragraph to Grigory Perelman and arXiv). Is this routine editorial carelessness or spreading paranoia?
Update. Here's one more in the depressing series: Philadelphia's NBC10 reprinted the article under the title, Science Journals Challenge Peer-Reviewed Counterparts.
Open-Of-Course is a new portal for open courses. Since its launch in July 2006, it has posted 18 courses, some of them in more than one language. From the site:
Here you will find a growing amount of free online courses and tutorials. By "free" we not only mean free as in "free beer" but also published as open content. Our focus is at the start mainly on open source software courses but as we grow more will be added.
David Bollier, CopyCan.org - A New Experiment in "Ransom Publishing", On the Commons, September 29, 2006. Excerpt:
PS: For background, see my January 2002 article on the street performer protocol.
Heather Morrison, Dramatic Growth September 2006, Imaginary Journal of Poetic Economics, September 30, 2006. Excerpt: