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Following up my previous post:
At the end of his article in Jetzt, Philipp Berens touches on the "pitbull tactics" suggested to the Association of American Publishers by its new PR advisor. He writes that "Not all publishers think such a campaign is a good idea," and follows with a quotation from Jan Velterop, the Open Access Director at Springer and former publisher of BioMed Central. Here's Jan's own English, rather than Berens' German or Google's English:
Jan also commented on the tactics in a January 26 post to the American Scientist OA Forum:
Philipp Berens, Forscher fordern freien Zugang zu wissenschaftlichen Arbeiten, Jetzt, February 4, 2007. On the OA mandate at Germany's DFG [Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft] and the petition calling on the European Commission to adopt a similar policy. Read the original or Google's English.
William Walsh, Who listens to FreeCulture.org and their 'radical' agenda? The AAP/PSP, for starters, Issues in Scholarly Communication, February 9, 2007. Excerpt:
Comment. I commend the AAP/PSP for inviting students to give their perspectives and I commend Laroia for a straight answer to a curve-ball question. The questioner was assuming that all high-prestige journals are TA and always will be. Laroia saw through that, which even many publishing scholars fail to do. I'd only add that publishing in a high-prestige TA journal is almost always compatible with OA archiving. About 70% of TA journals give blanket permission for OA archiving, eliminating any need to worry about trade-offs.
Ben Goldacre, Open access and the price of knowledge, The Guardian, February 10, 2007. Excerpt:
For reader comments on this article, see the author's blog entry on it.
Comment. So far, so good. But remember that OA is also possible through OA repositories, not only through OA journals. Authors who want OA can submit their work to OA journals or deposit their peer-reviewed manuscripts in OA repositories (called self-archiving or OA archiving). To increase the amount of OA for readers and users, support the national OA policies, like FRPAA, which uniformly depend upon OA archiving rather than OA journals. To see such a policy adopted across Europe, sign the petition to the EC to mandate OA to publicly-funded research.
Update. See the STM response to Goldacre's article, February 13, 2007.
On February 3, Germany's dradio Kultur broadcast a 20 minute interview with Eberhard Hilf on OA, its benefits for authors, ways to persuade authors to take advantage of it, and the opportunities for commercial and intelligent add-ons for the corpus of OA literature. The podcast (in German) is available for downloading.
Francis Ouellette has posted an Open Access declaration for the Ouellette Laboratory on his lab's web site. (Thanks to Heather Morrison.) Here it is in its entirety:
Comment. Kudos to Ouellette and his team. More lab directors should take affirmative steps to ensure OA to their research output. I'd only add that OA literature can be downloaded from OA repositories, not only from OA journals at publisher web sites. For the same reason, labs should ask their researchers who don't publish in OA journals to deposit their preprints and postprints in an OA repository --perhaps even the lab's own repository or that of the university housing the lab.
German researchers are criticizing an agreement struck by a German library association (Deutscher Bibliotheksverband) and a trade association of German publishers (Börsenverein des Deutschen Buchhandels), putting to rest some of their long-simmering differences over copyright restrictions on scientific literature. The deal needlessly endorses TA over OA, does not reduce price or permission barriers or acknowledge the access problems they cause, limits simultaneous users of purchased copies, bars libraries from digitizing works when publishers offer digital editions under unspecified "appropriate conditions", limits digital interlibrary loan to DRM-locked image files, and prohibits interlibrary loan of journal articles unless the end-user pays a fee.
Update. Several important German research libraries have signed an open letter protesting the agreement. Thanks to Klaus Graf for the tip, and for pointing out that this is very uncommon.
Mark Chillingworth, The perils of PR pitbulling, Information World Review, February 9, 2007. Excerpt:
PS: I appreciate Chillingworth's offer to use IWR to air both sides of the debate. I've just written to him express my willingness to participate.
The presentations from the Workshop: Open Access und das DINI Zertifikat 2007 (Frankfurt, February 7-8, 2007) are now online.
Rick Weiss, Research-Result Battle Now Pits PR 'Pit Bull' Against Barbie Blenders, Washington Post, February 9, 2007. Excerpt:
Ismael Peña-López, A Reader on Open Access for Development, ICTlogy, February 5, 2007. Excerpt:
Ted Bergstrom and Rosemarie Lavaty, How often do economists self-archive? A preprint, self-archived February 8, 2007.
From the body of the paper:
Michael Cross, Yes, minister, it's time for the data debate, The Guardian, February 8, 2007. Excerpt:
Developing the UK’s e-infrastructure for science and innovation, a report of the e-Infrastructure Working Group of the UK Office of Science and Innovation (OSI), February 8, 2007. (Thanks to Clifford Lynch.) Excerpt:
Comment. It's important that the OSI Working Group report endorses the OA mandate adopted by the RCUK. OSI is a branch of the UK Department of Trade and Industry (DTI), which has opposed an OA mandate for the UK. Of course there's room for slippage between the OSI e-Infrastructure Working Group and OSI itself, and again between OSI and DTI. But at least now there's a home-grown endorsement of the RCUK policy within a DTI office.
BioMed Central announces winners of first open access research awards, a press release from BMC, February 8, 2007. Excerpt:
Congratulations to Dandona and Zolessi. See the whole press release for details on their award-winning research and eight honorable mentions.
Cell-Biology Journal Embraces Open Access and Says It Still Makes Money, Chronicle of Higher Education News blog, February 7, 2007. Excerpt:
Salvatore Mele, Demystifying Open Access, a public lecture yesterday at CERN. The talk itself is apparently not online (text, slides, audio, video), but CERN has posted this abstract:
Kristen Philipkoski, with Randy Dotinga, and Scott Carney, Open-Access Debate: Elsevier's View, Wired News, February 8, 2007.
Comment. Fine. But of course this doesn't respond to any aspect of the controversy triggered by the Nature article, and nobody was challenging peer review or preservation.
Kristen Philipkoski, with Randy Dotinga and Scott Carney, Open-Access Debate: Wiley's View, Wired News, February 8, 2007.
Also see a follow-up conversation with Brian Crawford (same authors, same source, same day).
Keita Mochizuki, OU plans for theses, dissertations to go digital, The Post Online, February 6, 2007. Excerpt:
Comment. Mandating electronic submission of abstracts is the tiniest possible step in the right direction and it looks like even this step is not assured. But kudos to OU's Russ College of Engineering and Technology for mandating electronic submission of the whole text. As I argued in a July 2006 article, for theses and dissertations, achieving mandatory electronic submission is the hardest part of achieving OA:
Update. Here are a few more notable institutional signatories:
Randy Dotinga, Nature Publishing Group Tackles Open Access, Wired News, February 7, 2007. Dotinga interviewed David Hoole, head of brand marketing and content licensing for Nature Publishing Group. Excerpt:
Research Funders' Policies for the management of information outputs, a new report commissioned by the Research Information Network and prepared by Rightscom, January 2007. (Thanks to Steve Hitchcock.) Nearly all of this long and detailed report is relevant to OA. These excerpts from the executive summary hit the main conclusions and points that are not widely known:
The American Society for Cell Biology (ASCB) has released the ASCB Position on Public Access to Scientific Literature, January 31, 2007. (Thanks to the Alliance for Taxpayer Access.) Excerpt:
Comment. This is an exemplary statement. You might think that the ASCB position jeopardizes its journal, Molecular Biology of the Cell (MBC). But in fact, when MBC liberalized its access policy, offering OA after a short two-month embargo, its submissions and subscriptions both increased. See the testimony of Elizabeth Marincola, former Director of ASCB, or Kuan-Teh Jeang's study of the MBC's numbers.
Scott Aaronson has written a review of John Willinsky's The Access Principle for a future issue of SIGACT News. Because he says a lot more about OA itself than Willinsky's book, I'm not distorting his position by excerpting only some of the former:
Mark Chillingworth, Leaked plan to attack open access has science in uproar, Information World Review, February 5, 2007. Excerpt:
Tracey Caldwell, Commons touch on rights, Information World Review, February 5, 2007. Excerpt:
Also see Google's announcement.
Also see the video of the panel discussion.
We need OA to research on global warming. This follows directly from the principle that the more knowledge matters, the more OA to that knowledge matters.
I've been thinking about it for some time and friends have started mentioning it in private emails. Many people (including me) have mentioned global warming as one compelling reason to provide OA to publicly-funded research. But I haven't seen much focused discussion on OA to global warming research itself. Michael Ferrari took this focus in a blog post yesterday:
Comment. I welcome Ferrari's post and this chance to say more on the same subject. I agree with much of what he says but would take a slightly different direction on a few points. I want to see OA for all the relevant sciences as well as OA for what Ferrari calls adaptation and mitigation. I don't care whether the research was originally published in OA journals or self-archived after being published in TA journals. I want honest and rigorous peer review even if it aggravates doubter complaints about bias. This is not a special wishlist for climate research; it's my usual wishlist for every kind of research. If there's something special here, it's the momentous topic and the urgency of making headway on it. A common line in some newspapers is that we know all the relevant science already and only have to act on it. It's true that we already know enough to act and true that action is urgently needed. (So let's get moving.) But that's not a reason to neglect unsettled scientific questions about climate, climate change, and global warming. To facilitate progress on those questions, to inform all the stakeholders of all the results, and to undermine the ideological underminers, we need OA to the basic peer-reviewed research. Sometimes TA journals will make articles of unusual public importance OA, simply to accelerate research (thereby acknowledging that it does accelerate research). I'd like to see more journals do that for climate research, prospectively and retroactively. Sometimes overworked and preoccupied scientists are still unaware of OA, or unaware that OA archiving is compatible with publishing in a non-OA journal. I'd like to see climate scientists use the urgency of their topic as a reason to enlighten their colleagues about OA. Sometimes non-scientists aren't aware of promising research to solve serious problems; but in the case of global warming, non-scientists are increasingly able to see what's at stake and should use their knowledge to demand OA to publicly-funded research.
The Intute social sciences blog reviews some recent OA developments in sociology. Excerpt:
Comment. This is a spectacular display of national support for OA. It's important for Belgium and OA. But its timing also makes it important for Europe: the signing ceremony will take place in Brussels just two days before the EC-hosted conference, also in Brussels, Scientific Publishing in the European Research Area (February 15-16, 2007).
Comment. This may be the largest group of OA journals ever launched by one publisher at one time. Kudos to Hindawi for continuing to expand the OA universe.
Update. Matt Cockerill has reminded me that BioMed Central launched its series of OA journals with 57 titles in May 2000. I gladly post the correction.
The presentations from the conference, Designing Cyberinfrastructure for Collaboration and Innovation (Washington D.C., January 29-30, 2007), are now online. The conference was sponsored by sponsored by the US National Science Foundation, the University of Michigan, the Council on Competitiveness, and Science Commons.
Noam Cohen, Who’s Attacking an Online Marxist Archive? China Is Suspected of Trying to Block Access to Texts, New York Times, February 5, 2007. Excerpt:
Also see the archive's own annotated log of the attacks.
Tracey Caldwell, Emerald OA experiment pays in kind, Information World Review, February 5, 2007. Excerpt:
PS: For my comments on Emerald Asset, see my blog post for January 5, 2007. Quick recap: "I like the way Emerald has traded fees for something else of value: a second submission emphasizing the practical applications of the first. The result is a lower hurdle for authors and more useful content for readers...."
Miriam A. Drake, Scholarly Communication in Turmoil, Information Today, February 4, 2007. Excerpt:
Comment. This is a long, detailed article. I've excerpted only the preface and encourage you to read the rest. Both Morris and Mabe know the publisher perspective on this turmoil very well --which is not to say that I agree with all of their diagnoses. I'm only sorry that Information Today assumed that the only experts on this turmoil were publishers. I'd like to see a follow-up in which we hear from researchers themselves and others (librarians, funders, legislators) who have been working for just those new models of scholarly communication that are causing turmoil for some publishers. The interests of publishers are not the only interests at stake here.
PR Nightmare? Science Publishers' Consultation with PR "Pit Bull" Raises Questions, Library Journal Academic Newswire, February 1, 2007. Excerpt: