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Jason Felch, DNA databases blocked from the public, Los Angeles Times, August 29, 2008. Excerpt:
Update. Also see the article by Elias Zerhouni and Elizabeth G. Nabel on the take-down, Science Magazine, September 4, 2008 (accessible only to subscribers). Zerhouni is the Director of the NIH and Nabel is Co-Chair of the Senior Oversight Committee, NIH Policy for Sharing GWAS Data, and Director of the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute.
Update (9/11/08). Kay Chapman asked me by email for my thoughts on this development, and then for permission for post them on her blog. As long as she's posting them, I suppose I should post them as well. (Thanks for the nudge, Kay.)
The JISC Scholarly Communications Group revised the description of its mission today, including the way it described its plans for OA.
From the previous edition:
From the new edition:
Antony Williams, Chemistry Document Markup and Free Access Structure-Based Searching of Publications, ChemSpider Blog, August 29, 2008.
Iryna Kuchma, "Open Access and Web 2.0: Improving the scientific communications" workshop, eIFL, August 28, 2008.
Indiana U researchers launch social networking and research management tool for scientists, press release, August 27, 2008. (Thanks to ResourceShelf.)
Indiana University researchers have introduced Laboratree, a web-based solution to the complex problems of scientific collaboration. ...Update. See also this story from iTnews Australia.
Bora Zivkovic, ResearchBlogging.org, v.2.0, A Blog Around the Clock, August 29, 2008.
... [W]e took a little look [at the new release of ResearchBlogging.org] at the PLoS HQ and noticed that out of 87 pages of 'all results' there are 8 pages of 'PLoS' results - implying that about 10% of all the [ResearchBlogging.org] posts are on PLoS papers from all seven journals - and of those, 4 pages are just on PLOS ONE papers - which is about 5%. All I can say is w00t! for Open Access - when bloggers can read, bloggers will write.
Meredith Ayers, DOE Data Explorer, Issues in Science and Technology Librarianship, Summer 2008. Overview:
See also our past posts on Data Explorer.
Charles Ellwood Jones has posted a list of some OA backfiles of ancient studies journals, posted August 28.
Two new modules on the Connexions site were recently added by Ukraine-based Nauka Publishers and the Center for American Literary Studies in Ukraine at the Taras Shevchenko Institute of Literature of the National Academy of Sciences of Ukraine. (Thanks to EIFL.) The courses:
Publisher version/PDF use in Institutional Repositories, press release, August 27, 2008.
Update. See also Jason Baird Jackson's comments on the American Anthropological Association's policies.
Jenny Delasalle has posted a summary of responses to her question on how repositories handle publisher requirements to include set statements with articles.
... The basic issue I asked about is what to do with copyright statements, whether to include them in cover sheets and/or metadata records for items. Should copyright statements be exactly as laid out by publishers and how [do] we make sure that we are aware of publishers’ precise wishes? ...
Charles Bailey has compiled a list of institutional repositories from Texas university and health science academic libraries, posted August 27.
Stevan Harnad, On Eggs and Citations, Open Access Archivangelism, August 19, 2008. Excerpt:
Heather Morrison, DOAJ growth rate nearly doubles in the past year, Imaginary Journal of Poetic Economics, August 29, 2008. Excerpt:
Update (9/3/08). See Heather's follow-up post:
The UK Ordnance Survey, or government mapping agency, is using public funds to pay a lobbying firm to push back against mounting public pressure to make its publicly-funded data OA.
For details, see two articles by Michael Cross in The Guardian (August 21 and August 28) and two blog posts by the Free Our Data campaign, in which Cross is a leader (one and two, both from August 28).
For background, see our (many) past posts on the Free Our Data campaign to free up the data gathered by the Ordnance Survey.
Jean-Claude Bradley, Happy Accidents: A Must-Read for Open Scientists, Useful Chemistry, August 26, 2008. Excerpt:
Imma Subirats and five co-authors, Towards an architecture for open archive networks in agricultural sciences and technology, Online Information Review, 32, 4 (2008) pp. 478-487. Only this abstract is free online, at least so far:
Zuraidah Abd Manaf, Establishing the national digital cultural heritage repository in Malaysia, Library Review, 57, 7 (2008) pp. 537 - 548. Only this abstract is free online, at least so far:
David Flaxbart, On Impact of OA, the Jury is Still Out, Issues in Science and Technology Librarianship, Summer 2008. Excerpt:
Comment. With one exception, good points all. The exception is this sentence: "We desperately need objective, quantifiable evidence that OA does what it claims to do, rather than taking these things as a matter of near-religious faith." This leaves the impression that previous claims that OA boosts citation impact are taken on faith, not grounded in evidence. Flaxbart seems unaware of the dozens of evidence-based studies concluding that OA does indeed boost citation impact. He doesn't mention them in his piece and or cite them in his reference list. But he does note, correctly, that "[s]tudying the effect of OA in the scholarly communication environment is devilishly tricky." We're seeing multiple evidence-based investigations taking on that devilish complexity. As in any other domain, the investigators quarrel a bit about their methods and interpretations of the data. But the debate is definitely evidence v. evidence, not evidence v. faith.
Heather Morrison and Andrew Waller, Open access and evolving scholarly communication: An overview of library advocacy and commitment, institutional repositories, and publishing in Canada, College and Research Libraries News, September 2008.
Jonathan Gray, A Map of Openness? Open Knowledge Foundation Weblog, August 28, 2008. Excerpt:
Comment. This is a great idea. If I can speak for the Open Access Directory, we've been considering something similar (and narrower): at least a list of university-based initiatives and at least those initiatives focused on OA to research literature and data. We have a draft list under development, but it's on hold while we try to figure out how make the best use of the limited database functionality of the Mediawiki software, e.g. so that we can tag each initiative by type, discipline, nation, and so on. But no matter who does it, and no matter how many similar projects overlap, it's still a great idea.
Molecules@gnu-darwin.org is an OA database of "more than 4 million small molecule structure files in pdb format, and molecular graphics representations. About 50 million molecules are still in the pipe ...". (Thanks to Antony Williams.)
See also Williams' comments on the database:
The statement that there are 50 million molecules in total coming suggests that the database is a republication of PubChem and the SDF archives seem to suggest so too ...
Chem4Word is a project by Microsoft to "investigat[e] the introduction of chemistry-related features in Microsoft Office Word, including authoring and semantic annotations". (Thanks to Antony Williams.) One of the project's goals is to
Store and expose chemical information in a semantically rich manner to support publishing and mining scenarios, for authors, readers, publishers, and other vendors across the broad chemical information community ...
Maura Marx Named First Executive Director of the Open Content Alliance, press release, August 26, 2008.
The Internet Archive and the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation announced today the appointment of Maura Marx as the first Executive Director of the Open Content Alliance (OCA). A search committee representing OCA member institutions made the appointment after an intensive search process. Ms. Marx will move to the OCA from the Boston Public Library, where she most recently founded the Digital Library Program and was instrumental in evolving the Library’s philosophy toward Open Content principles.
Antony Williams, Can a free access structure-centric community for chemists benefit drug discovery?, American Chemical Society National Meeting (Philadelphia, August 17-21, 2008). Abstract:
ChemSpider is an online database of over 20 million chemical structures assembled from well over a hundred data sources including chemical and screening library vendors, publicly accessible databases and resources, commercial databases and Open Access literature articles. Such a public resource provides a rich source of ligands for the purpose of virtual screening experiments. These can take many forms. This work will present results from two specific types of studies: 1) Quantitative Structure Activity Relationship (QSAR) based analyses and 2) In-silico docking into protein receptor sites. We will review results from the application of both approaches to a number of specific examples. QSAR analyses utilizing the ChemModLab environment for assessing quantitative structure-activity relationships will and screening using a molecular surface descriptor model.
The Student PIRGs's Make Textbooks Affordable campaign has released a report, Course Correction: How Digital Textbooks are Off Track and How to Set Them Straight, dated August 2008, recommending OA for digital textbooks. (Thanks to Creative Commons.) From the executive summary:
Update. See also the coverage from Ars Technica.
Antony Williams has posted his presentation on ChemSpider at Drexel University from August 21, 2008. The presentation is a screencast (slides + audio) and is about 80 minutes long.
On August 15, the Democratic National Committee released the party's national platform for 2008. The platform has this to say about public sector information:
... We will lift the veil of secret deals in Washington by publishing searchable, online information about federal grants, contracts, earmarks, loans, and lobbyist contacts with government officials. We will make government data available online and will have an online video archive of significant agency meetings. ...
PS: For background, see our past posts on the February 15, 2007, National Day of Action.
Update. I hope you participate. Take the message directly to the faculty, students, librarians, and administrators at your institution. Set up a campus meeting. Point to the existing university OA mandates, explain them, and set up a local committee to help launch one on your own campus.
Claire Bird, Keith Fox, and Rich Roberts, Publication Charges, Nucleic Acids Research, August 12, 2008. An editorial. NAR is the first full OA (not hybrid OA) journal from Oxford University Press. Excerpt:
When the European Commission announced its OA pilot project and experimental OA mandate last week, the project home page was largely empty. But it has now been filled with the basic information already promulgated through last week's press release and associated documents.
One document is new, however: Open Access Pilot in FP7: information for researchers, a short brochure highlighting the main points of the policy.
The EC says we can expect more information on September 1. Stay tuned.
Update (8/29/08). There's a short article on the Macquarie policy in today's issue of The Australian. It's notable mainly for describing the policy as a mandate. "Macquarie University has joined the small club of Australian institutions that require academics to make their research papers freely available over the Internet."
Update (8/29/08). It's a mandate. Thanks to Steven Schwartz, here is the language adopted by the University Senate and Council:
Schwartz adds that "there is no opt out. Deposit is mandatory and access can only be restricted during embargo periods and not beyond."
The September issue of Walt Crawford's Cites & Insights is now online. This issue contains a length section, Updating the Book Discovery Projects, on recent developments with Microsoft Live Search Books, Google Book Search, the Open Content Alliance, and the Open Library.
Gale Holland, Free digital texts begin to challenge costly college textbooks in California, Los Angeles Times, August 18, 2008. See also the comments by Jonathan Eisen. Here's the money quote from Preston McAfee:
... "What makes us rich as a society is what we know and what we can do," [McAfee] said. "Anything that stands in the way of the dissemination of knowledge is a real problem." ...See also our past posts on McAfee.
Sports Medicine, Arthroscopy, Rehabilitation Therapy & Technology is an OA, peer-reviewed journal soon to be launched by BioMed Central. It will be the official journal of the Asia Pacific Orthopaedic Society for Sports Medicine. The journal is now accepting submissions.
A new version of DSpace, 1.5.1, was released on August 15, 2008. The software is available for download here. See also the release notes.
This release contains numerous bug fixes from the 1.5.0 release ...Update. Dorothea Salo points out via email that this is a beta release.
Update. The final (non-beta) release of 1.5.1 is now available.
The complete scientific documentation on the Large Hadron Collider is now available, having been published on August 14, 2008 in a special issue of the Journal of Instrumentation. See the press release from CERN. (Thanks to Glennda Chui.)
See also Chui's comments:
Best Practices for Access to Images: Recommendations for Scholarly Use and Publishing, a draft version of the recommendations from Scholarly Publishing and the Issues of Cultural Heritage, Fair Use, reproduction fees and Copyrights (Berlin, January 11, 2008). Posted by André Gunthert on August 22, 2008 on Actualités de la Recherche en histoire visuelle.
Robert Hoffmann, A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters, Nature Genetics, August 27, 2008.
The August issue of Open Source Business Resource (OSBR) is devoted to education. (Thanks to Kevin Goheen.) Here are some of the OA-related articles:
The same SciFoo page also links to all known blog reports on the event.
SciFoo is co-sponsored by Google, the Nature Publishing Group, and O'Reilly Media.
Primary Research Group is conducting a survey of "academic and research library purchasing practices for scholarly and professional journals." Some of the questions address journal prices and OA. (Thanks to medinfo.) For example:
Fernanda Peset, Scientific publishing in the European research area, El profesional de la información, February 2008 (one page). Self-archived August 25, 2008.
PS: Because the article is a PDF, I can't link to a machine translation. The article is also available in open document text (ODT) format, and there must be a way to link to a machine translation of that edition. But I haven't figured it out yet. (If you can help, please let me know.) Also see our past posts on Kuhlen's work for OA.
The Professional/Scholarly Publishing (PSP) Division of the Association of American Publishers (AAP) has posted four of its letters to the NIH, objecting to various aspects of the NIH policy, and two responses from the NIH, responding to the objections. The letters range from March to July, 2008.
From the AAP/PSP to the NIH:
From the NIH to the AAP/PSP:
Ethan Bronner, Israel to Display the Dead Sea Scrolls on the Internet, New York Times, August 26, 2008. Excerpt:
Rusell McOrmond, Open Access textbooks, provincial ministers of education and Access Copyright, Enterprise Insights, August 19th, 2008.
Jenny Brace, Versioning in Repositories: Implementing Best Practice, Ariadne, July 2008.
... In the survey that [the Version Identification Framework Project] carried out in autumn of 2007, only 5% of academics and 6.5% of information professionals surveyed found it easy to identify versions of digital objects within institutional repositories. Across multiple repositories the figures were only 1.8% of academics and 1.1% of information professionals. Moreover, a third of information professionals who work with repositories stated that they either have no system currently in place or ‘don’t know’ how they deal with versioning at present. ...
eGyanKosh is a repository, launched on June 9, 2008, for OERs from India's open and distance-learning institutions. (Thanks to Subbiah Arunachalam.)
Bindee Kuriya, et al., Quality of Pharmaceutical Industry Press Releases Based on Original Research, PLoS ONE, July 30, 2008. From the abstract:
Background: Press releases are a popular vehicle to disseminate health information to the lay media. ... [W]e sought to systematically examine pharmaceutical company press releases about original research for measures of quality.Comment. One such method should be to ensure that journalists (and the public) have access to the unfiltered, original research.
Ross Housewright and Roger Schonfeld, Ithaka’s 2006 Studies of Key Stakeholders inthe Digital Transformation in Higher Education, Ithaka, August 18, 2008. Excerpt:
See Table 15 (p. 21), which shows how faculty rank six journal features or policies. Gold OA ranks sixth out of six, and wide circulation among scholars in one's field ranks first. The survey did not apparently ask about green OA. For background, see my June 2007 blog comments on an earlier presentation of the same result.This report is based on 2006 surveys which generated 4,100 responses from faculty and 350 from librarians.
Hence, it's welcome and important that Ithaka has opened the data files. From the August 22 announcement:
Gavin Baker, Benchmarking institutonal participation in open access, A Journal of Insignificant Inquiry, August 25, 2008. Excerpt:
Robin Peek, Microsoft Research Offers New Software Tools That Support Open Access, Information Today, August 25, 2008. Excerpt:
PS: For background, see our post on the new Microsoft OA tools.
Create Change has released a new interview with Daniel Ferreras, associate professor of foreign languages at West Virginia University.
Carolyn Y. Johnson, Out in the open: Some scientists sharing results, The Boston Globe, August 21, 2008.
Barry Canton, a 28-year-old biological engineer at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, has posted raw scientific data, his thesis proposal, and original research ideas on an online website for all to see.
Several responses to Kelty, et al.'s Anthropology of/in Circulation: The Future of Open Access and Scholarly Societies (which we blogged on August 14):
Update. See also this post by Alex Golub.br />
Update. See also this post by Maximilian Forte.
Newfound Press, the University of Tennessee Libraries' digital imprint, released its Business Plan, 2008-2011 on July 1. (Thanks to Charles Bailey.) Excerpt:
... Resource needs for personnel, technology, and operating expenses will be met from a combination of existing library infrastructure, the allocation of state or endowed funds, partnerships, and grants. Because an endowment designated for Newfound Press would support long-term sustainability, a program statement will be prepared for the current university development campaign. ...See also our past posts on Newfound Press.
Tom Hill, An interview with DOAJ, Libertas Academica blog, August 21, 2008.
... [Q:] What developments can we expect to see in the future?
Vedran Vucic has created an RSS Feed aggregator about Open Access, apparently released earlier this month. As the name suggests, it aggregates (puts together on one page) the RSS feeds of blogs about OA. I can't find a list of the feeds included.
Comment. See also Charles Bailey's Open Access Update, an OA-related RSS feed aggregator running since September 2006.
MPS and PLoS agree upon central funding of publication fees, press release, August 21, 2008.
In accordance with its commitment to ensure public availability of its research output, the Max Planck Society (MPS) has reached an agreement with the Public Library of Science (PLoS) for the central funding of publication fees of MPS scientists without burdening the budget of single Max Planck Institutes.See also the PLoS blog post.
Update. Also see Stevan Harnad's comment:
Philip M. Davis, Author-choice open access publishing in the biological and medical literature: a citation analysis, forthcoming in the Journal of the American Society for Information Science & Technology. Self-archived August 18, 2008.
Also see Davis' blog post about this article.
Update. See Stevan Harnad's comments:
Update (9/18/08). Davis has self-archived a revised version of this paper.
Update (12/15/08). The published version of this article is now online.
Sarah Stewart, Working with an open access intellectual policy, Sarah's Musings, August 25, 2008. Excerpt:
Comment. For background, see our March 2008 post on Otago's progressive IP policy. Note that the libre OA policy only applies to IP owned by the university, and that the university does not claim ownership of faculty research publications.
John Houghton, Uncovering the social and economic benefits of open access, a 27 minute podcast from JISC, August 25, 2008. From the blurb:
PS: For background, see our past posts on Houghton's research.
The new issue (vol. 24, no. 3, 2008) of OCLC Systems & Services is devoted to OA. Apparently it's a two-part issue; this is Part 1, and Part 2 is still to come. Only abstracts free online, at least so far.
Update (9/25/08). An OA edition of Norm Medeiros' article is now online.
Jeffrey Tucker, Kinsella Vindicated, Ludwig von Mises Institute Blog, August 22, 2008. (Thanks to Kimmo Kuusela.) Excerpt:
Tara Brabazon, It’s time for academic access all areas, Times Higher Education Supplement, August 14, 2008. (Thanks to Colin Steele.) Excerpt:
Comment. OA journals are part of the solution, for the reasons Brabazon outlines. But Brabazon doesn't mention OA archiving, which is another, complementary part of the solution.
Suvarsha Minj, The dynamics of open access publishing, Current Science, August 10, 2008. Excerpt:
John Willinsky will teach a mini-course on OA at the Stanford Reunion Homecoming, October 9, 2008. (Thanks to Terry Foreman.)
Heather Morrison, IEEE and Engineering in Medicine and Biology Society OA Panel, Imaginary Journal of Poetic Economics, August 23, 2008. Excerpt:
The European Commission has launched an experimental OA mandate for 20% of its 2007-2013 research budget. From the EC press release (August 20, 2008):
Also see the pilot project FAQ. Excerpt:
The new OA clause in grant agreement makes clear that the embargo period
Update. I was wrong in my second bullet point above. The EC has expressed a preference for institutional repositories. From the FAQ:
I've been out of the country for a week, and Gavin has had connectivity troubles from a recent move and Hurricane Fay. We're starting to catch up now. Some items of recent news have already been well-reported elsewhere, but we'll blog them anyway if only to keep the OAN archive useful for later searching. Please bear with us as we work through our backlog.