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JournalJunkie provides free online podcasts of the abstracts of articles in a growing number of medical journals. You can listen to them online or download them to your MP3 player. You can also "subscribe" for automatic downloads. When the journals provide their own podcasts (as Lancet, BMJ, NEJM, and JAMA do, for example), JournalJunkie simply adds links and the layer of subscription management. For journals that don't already provide podcasts, JournalJunkie makes its own. All the voices on its podcasts are human --and it has a standing call for more human readers.
OA Librarian has announced two peer-reviewed OA journals published by Simon Fraser University:
Stevan Harnad, Cliff Lynch on Open Access, Open Access Archivangelism, January 12, 2007. Excerpt:
U. of Michigan Press, Library, Scholarly Publishing Office Launch Digital Studies Imprint, Web Site, Library Journal Academic Newswire, January 11, 2007. Excerpt:
Government looks at data shake-up, BBC News, January 12, 2007. Excerpt:
PS: For background on OA to the Statute Law Database, see my blog post from December 21, 2006. For background on the Office of Fair Trading report supporting the case for OA to public information, see my post from December 8, 2006.
The Working Group on Libraries for India's National Knowledge Commission has released its December 7, 2006, letter to the Prime Minister, Dr. Manmohan Singh. (Thanks to Subbiah Arunachalam, a member of the Working Group.) The group recommends OA in Section 8:
In a separate December 21 letter to the Prime Minister, the NKC recommends a National Knowledge Network for India. This would essentially bridge the digital divide for the country's research institutions and make any OA policy more effective.
Comment. Kudos to Subbiah Arunachalam and the rest of the Working Group on Libraries and NKC. I hope that Prime Minister Singh will quickly approve these practical and much-needed recommendations.
The International Journal of Communication is a new peer-reviewed OA journal published by the USC Annenberg Center for Communication. (Thanks to Adrian Ho.) The inaugural issue is now online. From its open access policy:
Richard Poynder, Open Radio, Open and Shut, January 11, 2007. Excerpt:
Andrea Marchitelli, Open access weblog, Biblioteche oggi, 24, 10 (2006) pp. 54-55. In Italian but with this English-language abstract:
The mission of the Library of Catalonia is to collect, preserve, and spread Catalonian bibliographic production and that related to the Catalonian linguistic area, to look after its conservation, and to spread its bibliographic heritage while maintaining the status of a universal center for research and consultation.
PS: Google is expanding its coverage of libraries outside the English-speaking world, begun in September 2006 when Complutense University of Madrid joined the project. And the National Library of Catalonia is expanding its commitment to free online content, begun in April 2006 when it signed the Berlin Declaration on Open Access.
Peter Brantley, Print on Demand and Digitization, Peter Brantley's Thoughts and Speculations, January 11, 2007. Excerpt:
Rich Cave and Barbara Cohen, The Public Library of Science: Open-Access Publishing and Advocacy, a slide presentation at Net Tuesday San Francisco, January 9, 2006. The podcast will soon be available here. (Thanks to NetSquared.)
Barbara Kirsop, Leslie Chan, Subbiah Arunachalam, Open access essential to improve information exchange, SciDev.Net, January 11, 2007. A letter to the editor. Excerpt:
Stevan Harnad, The Green Road to Open Access: A Leveraged Transition, a Technical Report for the Department of Electronics and Computer Science, Southampton University, self-archived January 10, 2007.
Abstract: What the research community needs, urgently, is free online access (Open Access, OA) to its own peer-reviewed research output. Researchers can provide that in two ways: by publishing their articles in OA journals (Gold OA) or by continuing to publish in non-OA journals and self-archiving their final peer-reviewed drafts in their own OA Institutional Repositories (Green OA). OA self-archiving, once it is mandated by research institutions and funders, can reliably generate 100% Green OA. Gold OA requires journals to convert to OA publishing (which is not in the hands of the research community) and it also requires the funds to cover the Gold OA publication costs. With 100% Green OA, the research community's access and impact problems are already solved. If and when 100% Green OA should cause significant cancellation pressure (no one knows whether or when that will happen, because OA Green grows anarchically, article by article, not journal by journal) then the cancellation pressure will cause cost-cutting, downsizing and eventually a leveraged transition to OA (Gold) publishing on the part of journals. As subscription revenues shrink, institutional windfall savings from cancellations grow. If and when journal subscriptions become unsustainable, per-article publishing costs will be low enough, and institutional savings will be high enough to cover them, because publishing will have downsized to just peer-review service provision alone, offloading text-generation onto authors and access-provision and archiving onto the global network of OA Institutional Repositories. Green OA will have leveraged a transition to Gold OA.
Christine Gorman, Name That Life Saver! Time Magazine, January 8, 2007. Excerpt:
PS: Is this first prize as a life saver or first prize as an example of Web 2.0? Both?
Note to Gorman: While there were OA journals before PLoS, it's more true to say that PLoS helped create the bandwagon than jumped on it.
Philipp Lenssen, Freeing Google Books, Google Blogoscoped, January 10, 2007.
Thanks to Charles Bailey at DigitalKoans for alerting me to this post. Charles adds these comments:
Comment. There's no doubt that Google puts some restrictions on its scanned public-domain books, and I've complained about these in the past. OCA puts fewer restrictions on its scanned public-domain books, and I've always preferred its access policy to Google's. Charles is right that Google isn't very clear on whether its requested restrictions are binding or even supposed to be binding. I suspect that in US copyright law there's an arguable but still-murky distinction between the status of a public-domain text and the status of a newly-made digital file of a public-domain text, just as there is between a public-domain painting and a new photograph of that painting. If so, then there might be three reasons why Google used the language of "request" rather than stronger language to describe the restrictions it wanted to impose: (1) it didn't want to use stronger language; (2) the law clearly doesn't allow it to use stronger language; or (3) the law is unclear. We may find out soon.
Update. Danny Sullivan has commented on Lenssen's project and added some new information from Google:
The December 2006 issue of Access is now online. This issue has articles on OARE, OpenDOAR, Google Scholar, the Asean Library, the British Academy report on copyright barriers to social science and humanities research, and the Publishing Research Consortium study on journal cancellations.
David L. Schriger, Sripha Ouk, and Douglas G. Altman, The Use of the World Wide Web by Medical Journals in 2003 and 2005: An Observational Study, Pediatrics, January 2007. (Thanks to ResourceShelf.) Abstract:
From the body of the paper:
Katie Newman, Open Access: the View from a Scholarly Society's Journal Editor, Biotechnology Information Center News, January 9, 2007.
Cory Doctorow, The Foundations of Open Access, Free Culture @ NYU, January 9, 2007. Excerpt:
The Machine-Assisted Reference Section (MARS) of the Reference and User Services Association (RUSA) of American Library Association (ALA) has assembled a list of the best free online reference sites of the past 10 years.
There's no point singling out the OA winners --they're all OA. But you'll notice some familiar sites, like the DOAJ (a winner in 2005), and some unfamiliar ones, like the Big Cartoon Database (a winner in 2006).
MARS picks winners every year and this web site is a compilation of all the winners for the past 10 years. That explains why some are out of date. For example, it includes my Guide to Philosophy on the Internet, because it was a winner in 2002, even though I officially (publicly, emphatically) stopped updating it in February 2003. For just the newest winners, see the list for 2006.
David S. Stern, Vice President for Academic and Student Affairs of Hamline University, has added his signature to the SPARC list of U.S. university presidents and provosts endorsing open access to publicly-funded research and the Federal Research Public Access Act of 2006 (FRPAA). The tally is now up to 132.
eIFL.net has released its Handbook on Copyright and Related Issues for Libraries under a CC license. One section is on Open Access to Scholarly Communications.
E-teaching.org has published the transcript of a live chat interview with Wolfgang Coy (in German) on new publishing with open access and open content. Coy is a professor computer science at Humboldt University Berlin. The interview questions came from a large number of logged-in users. Read the German original or Google's English.
James Till, Tags Indicate That Open Access Is Flourishing, Philica, January 8, 2007. Excerpt:
Open Access Research is a new peer-reviewed OA journal sponsored by the Georgia State University Library. It's the first peer-reviewed journal devoted to OA itself. (Disclosure: I'm on the editorial board.) From the call for papers:
Four Norwegian university libraries issued a joint statement on January 2:
The statement is signed by the library directors of the University of Trondheim, University of Tromsø, University of Oslo, and University of Bergen.
Michael Geist, Time's choice could prove inspired, Toronto Star, January 8, 2007. Excerpt: