Welcome to the SPARC Open Access Newsletter, issue #153
January 2, 2011
by Peter Suber
Read this issue online
SOAN is published and sponsored by the Scholarly Publishing and Academic Resources Coalition (SPARC).
Open access in 2010
The growth of OA over the past year was deep, wide, and steady. While this has been true every year since my first year-end review in 2003, the difficulty of documenting that growth with useful detail has become nearly unmangeable. In fact, this has also been true for several years. At some point --roughly now-- we'll have to accept that OA movement is so large that annual reviews must either be sketchy or come out six months late. To cover the territory in a manageable time, I've long since dropped most new developments in open education, public-sector information, and wikis. I don't even try to list all new individual OA journals, OA repositories, or all new open-data or open-digitization projects. I'm keeping the section I added last year on the recession, since the recession continues to permeate action and policy nearly everywhere.
But with these caveats, here's a feast of the OA highlights from 2010. As always, apologies to the many projects I had to omit.
If you're in a hurry, jump to Section 10 for some highlights of the highlights.
(1) Open access policies at funding agencies
In October, the EUR-OCEANS Council voted overwhelmingly to adopt an OA mandate. The EUR-OCEANS Consortium represents 29 organizations in 15 countries working to coordinate research on ocean ecosystems. Its OA mandate applies to all research funded by EUR-OCEANS and all its member institutions. Until the EUR-OCEANS vote, the largest consortial OA mandate was adopted by 26 Finnish Universities of Applied Sciences in October 2009. Consortial mandates mean that clusters of like-minded institutions don't have to re-invent the wheel at each institution, re-arguing the merits, re-correcting the misunderstandings, or re-drafting the language. The consortial mandates from EUR-OCEANS and Finland's Universities of Applied Sciences now give us stunning precedents both for funding agencies and universities. Consortia everywhere should take note.
In a near-consortial mandate, four public funders in Europe made a coordinated announcement that they were adopting OA mandates or strengthening older OA policies: Health Research Board Ireland, Science Foundation Ireland, Telethon Italy, and the Austrian Science Fund.
Among funding agencies acting alone, I count seven new OA mandates in 2010: the Agricultural Research Service of the US Department of Agriculture (at least for intramural research), France's Institut National de la Recherche Agronomique (INRA), France's Institut français de recherche pour l'exploitation de la mer (Ifremer), Poland's Institute of Biochemistry and Biophysics Polish Academy of Sciences, the Heart and Stroke Foundation of Canada, Sweden's Royal Library (Kungliga biblioteket), and Sweden's Riksbank Tercentenary Foundation (Riksbankens Jubileumsfond).
The Gates Foundation not only adopted a green OA mandate for one of its new funding programs, the Next Generation Learning Challenges, but mandated libre OA under CC-BY licenses.
Counting the Gates Foundation, although its mandate only applies to one program, brings the 2010 total to 38 new funder OA mandates in 17 countries: Canada, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany Greece, Italy, Latvia, Morocco, Norway, Poland, South Africa, Spain, Sweden, the UK, and the US. In 2009 by contrast, there were 15 new funder mandates in 10 countries.
At least two funders announced in 2010 that they are considering or developing OA policies: the Indian Council of Agricultural Research (ICAR) and India's National Metallurgical Laboratory (NML). (There are still nearly a dozen left over from previous years.) The NML is one of the 40+ labs of India's Council of Scientific & Industrial Research (CSIR), which called on all its labs in February 2009 to adopt OA mandates --and by the way to convert all their toll-access (TA) journals to OA. Some of the CSIR labs have already adopted mandates, such as the National Institute of Oceanography, and it's unlikely that the NML is the only other one of the rest making plans.
The Alhambra Declaration called on funders as well as universities to adopt OA mandates. Denmark's Open Access Committee had the same dual focus, directing its recommendation to Danish funding agencies and Danish universities. The call for Danish funder mandates was seconded by Charlotte Sahl-Madsen, Denmark's Minister of Science, Technology and Innovation. Iceland's Science and Technology Council recommended a green OA mandate for Rannís, the country's largest research funding agency. LI Jinghai, Vice President the OA-mandating Chinese Academy of Sciences, argued at the Berlin8 conference in Beijing that public funding agencies have "an ethical responsibility to make the information produced by its researchers available to the public, which is paying for the research."
The Brazilian Project on Open Educational Resources called for OA to publicly-funded educational materials in Brazil. Matseliso Moshoeshoe-Chadzingwa called on African libraries to advocate OA to "researchers and political leaders", and to press the African Union to make OA part of its evaluation of national performance under the African Peer Review Mechanisms. A regional Open Access Working Group began working on OA mandates throughout Southern Africa. South Africa's Minister of Science and Technology, Grace Naledi Mandisa Pandor, described a progressive OA policy: "The government will ensure all government content, and content developed using government resources, is made Open Content, unless analysis on specific content shows that proprietary licensing or confidentiality is substantially beneficial...." (It's possible that Pandor was announcing a new policy, but I'm erring on the side of a conservative tally by classifying her statement as a proposal.)
After a hearing on OA at Germany's Ministry of Justice, Michael Kretschmer and Tancred Schipanski, two members of Parliament, called for OA to publicly-funded research in Germany. Both are members of the CDU/CSU party, the unification of the former Christian Democratic Union of Germany and the Christian Social Union of Bavaria. Kretschmer is an influential member of the Parliament's Committee on Education, Research and Technology Assessment, and the Committee on Culture and Media. The CDU/CSU itself proposed an Enquete Commission to study the effects of the internet on German society. Among other questions, it would investigate policies to provide OA to publicly-funded research. Germany's Action Coalition on Copyright for Education and Science released a new petition to supplement Lars Fischer's October 2009 petition to the German Parliament. The new petition, also submitted to Parliament, extends the arguments in the original petition for OA to publicly-funded research in Germany.
Germany's Pirate Party updated its policy statement and manifesto on OA for publicly-funded content. Julian Hoffmann ran as a German Pirate Party candidate for the Landtag or State Parliament from Paderborn, on a platform that includes OA for publicly-funded research. Pfister Theophil, a conservative representing the canton of St. Gallen, introduced a motion in the Swiss parliament calling for OA to publicly-funded research.
UNESCO issued a public statement explicitly endorsing OA, especially for publicly-funded research. Máire Geoghegan-Quinn, the EC Commissioner for Research, Innovation and Science, and Antonio Tajani, EC Vice-President, submitted a report to the European Commission arguing that one of the "ten key elements" for making the EU an "Innovation Union" is "maximising open access to results of publicly-funded research...." In a series of forceful public statements, Neelie Kroes, Vice President of the European Commission for the Digital Agenda, asserted that "publicly funded research should be widely disseminated through Open Access publication of scientific data and papers", called for "expanding" Europe's OA policies, called for FP8 funding programs to require open data, and argued that "the beauty of open access is that it is not against anybody. It is for the free movement of knowledge...."
The Swedish Library Association campaigned for a national OA policy for publicly-funded research. The International Council for Science Committee on Freedom and Responsibility in the conduct of Science released an Advisory Note on Science Communication. Guideline #9 holds that science communications "should, as far as possible, be publicly accessible...." A satellite meeting of the International Federation of Library Associations and Institutions (IFLA) drafted a resolution for the IFLA General Assembly calling on the organization to "take an explicit and clear stand on Open Access and develop a strategy for action."
Participants in the Paris THATCamp called for OA to data, metadata, methods, code, formats and research findings. Subbiah Arunachalam wrote a group letter recommending a green OA mandate for the Consultative Group on International Agricultural Research. In a high-profile article, Fay Bound Alberti called for OA to publicly-funded research in the UK.
A meeting at the University of Toronto adopted a consensus statement calling on Canadian federal funding agencies to adopt OA mandates. The Canadian government collected comments on a Digital Economy Consultation containing a recommendation for OA to publicly-funded research.
In the US, the Federal Research Public Access Act (FRPAA) went further in 2010 than the first time around in 2006, but ended the 111th Congress without coming to a vote. FRPAA would generalize the OA mandate at the NIH, extend it to the 11 largest funding agencies in the federal government, and shorten the permissible embargo to six months. It was re-introduced in the Senate June 2009, and introduced in the House in April 2010, making it a live option in both chambers for the first time. At the end of 2010, it had two bipartisan co-sponsors in the Senate and 17 bipartisan co-sponsors in the House. (For more on its prospects in the 112th Congress, see my article in the December 2010 SOAN.)
FRPAA had been endorsed by 120 US university presidents or provosts and 41 Nobel laureates. The business-oriented Chamber of Commerce supported the idea of a federal OA mandate in 2004, and even sent letters to Congress on its behalf. However it changed its tune in 2005 or 2006 after Elsevier joined the organization. However, before the Chamber could oppose FRPAA in 2010, which it did in April, FRPAA had already been endorsed by the business-oriented Committee for Economic Development (whose members include General Electric, IBM, Merrill Lynch, Pfizer, and Toyota North America) and NetCoalition (whose members include Amazon, Bloomberg, eBay, Google, Yahoo, and a raft of ISPs).
A SPARC-sponsored study by John Houghton on the economic impact of OA policies concluded that over the next 30 years, "the potential incremental benefits of the proposed FRPAA archiving mandate might be worth around 8 times the costs...." FRPAA was even endorsed by an editorial in Nature, provided the bill could accommodate variable embargo periods.
Todd Tiahrt (R-KS) introduced the full text of FRPAA as an amendment to an appropriations bill, and received bipartisan support from the House Appropriations Subcommittee on Labor, Health and Human Services, and Education. However, the subcommittee chairman asked him to trim the amendment's scope to cover only the agencies within the US Department of Health and Human Services, the limit of the subcommittee's jurisdiction, and to extend the permissible embargo period from 6 to 12 months. The subcommittee then approved the result --wider than the NIH policy and narrower than FRPAA-- without fanfare. As the appropriations process bogged down in the fall, Congress bundled many separate appropriations bills into an Omnibus bill, which included an abridged version of the Tiahrt amendment. However, during the lame-duck session in December, the Democratic leadership set aside the entire Omnibus bill in the face of a threatened Republican filibuster. (The threatened filibuster was about funding levels and entirely unrelated to Tiahrt's OA amendment.) For the time being, then, Congress will fund the government with yet another continuing resolution. The fate of Tiahrt's OA language in the 112th Congress is unknown, though Tiahrt himself retired before the election and will not be coming back.
Also during the lame-duck session, both houses of Congress passed the America COMPETES (America Creating Opportunities to Meaningfully Promote Excellence in Technology, Education, and Science Act) Reauthorization Act. The unambiguous good news is that the bill brings new funding to the National Science Foundation (NSF), the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST), and the Department of Energy's Office of Science. In SOAN last month, I predicted that the funding provisions in COMPETES made it unlikely to move in the budget-cutting new Congress. I'm happy to be proved wrong. On the OA front, the COMPETES Act creates an Interagency Public Access Committee, which could be good news or bad. As I summarized the situation last month, "Friends and foes of OA worry that the committee might settle the unsettled details of federal OA policy in unpredictable ways. Each side wonders whether it might take the wind out of the sails of a stronger policy like FRPAA."
From December 2009 to January 2010, the Obama White House collected public comments on a FRPAA-like plan to extend the NIH policy across the federal government. The Obama administration is still digesting the comments and developing a policy response. An Obama executivie order could bind agencies until legislation could make the order permanent, or it could supplement legislation and send a political message to legislators. In any case, however, the news from 2010 is that the White House had supportive public comments on the idea for nearly the whole year and did not act. Now if it acts at all, it will have to be in the altered landscape of the new Congress. For more on the politics of this, see last month's SOAN.
The White House also released its long-awaited Memorandum on Scientific Integrity, designed less to provide OA than to protect government scientists from political pressure. The two purposes overlap, however, as shown by one of the memo's directives: "Consistent with the Administration's Open Government Initiative, agencies should expand and promote access to scientific and technological information by making it available online in open formats...."
In January 2010, a Scholarly Publishing Roundtable set up by the House Committee on Science and Technology recommended that US federal agencies provide libre OA with minimal embargo periods for federally-funded research. It didn't argue for or against OA mandates.
In July the US House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform Subcommittee on Information Policy, the Census and National Archives held a hearing on OA for federally funded research (not on FRPAA specifically). Like a similar hearing before the House Judiciary Committee in 2008, this one gave members of Congress information that they hadn't heard from the publishing lobby, for example that journals don't pay authors for their articles, that many other countries have OA mandates, and that, when directly asked, publishers cannot point to any harm caused by the OA mandate at the NIH.
During the hearing, Steven Breckler, executive director for science at the American Psychological Association came up with a new, Obama-era argument against FRPAA and other policies to ensure public access for publicly-funded research: they would violate President Obama's December 2009 memo on government transparency. Obama's memo required exceptions for national security, privacy, and "other genuinely compelling interests" and Breckler thought that protecting private-sector publishers at the public expense was a genuinely compelling interest.
Among expressions of support, the National Association of Graduate-Professional Students issued a public statement supporting OA for publicly-funded research and supporting the July hearing. The Association of Health Care Journalists released an open letter to Congress in support of OA for publicly-funded research in the US. Mike Rossner, Executive Director of Rockefeller University Press, sent an letter to the House Committee on Science and Technology, rebutting objections from the publishing lobby.
Two bills proposed OA mandates outside the sphere of research articles. Rep. Steve Driehaus (D-OH) introduced the Access to Congressionally Mandated Reports Act (HR 6026), mandating OA to Congressionally-commissioned reports, and Rep. Steve Israel (D-NY) introduced the Public Online Information Act (HR 4858), mandating OA for all government information currently required to be public but currently available only in print. (For other OA mandate bills in the US, see Section 6 below, on data, and Section 7, on books.)
The latest audit showed that 58% of peer-reviewed articles published in 2009 based on Wellcome-funded research are in full compliance with Wellcome's three criteria for "full" OA: immediate OA through PMC or UKPMC (no embargo) of the published edition (not the author's manuscript), with an article-level open license (not just gratis OA). (The Wellcome compliance rate has more than doubled since May 2007.) The NIH developed a tool to help grantees monitor when they are in or out of compliance with the NIH OA policy.
At the end of 2010 the NIH is still the only medical research funder in the world with an OA mandate and a permissible embargo longer than six months. All 20 of the other OA-mandating medical research funding agencies cap the permissible embargo at six months.
JISC and the Research Information Nework (RIN) funded two research projects on OA: one on the dynamics of the transition to improved access for research papers and one on location of access gaps. JISC launched a separate funding program for projects taking "the open approach". The European Commission's Competitiveness and Innovation program solicited funding applications from OA projects. The International Network for the Availability of Scientific Publications launched a competition in which it would give 10 projects £300 each to promote OA. Wikimedia Germany offered to pay between € 500 - 5,000 for "bold ideas" to promote OA.
During 2010, national OA web sites for information and advocacy were established in France, Iceland, and Ireland. Sweden took its national site into Phase Two, and the German site expanded to cover Austria and Switzerland.
For comparison, see my review of OA policies at funding agencies:
(2) Open access policies at universities
Thirty research institutions adopted green OA mandates for faculty research articles in 2010: Australian National University, Birkbeck College at the University of London, Brunel University, Chalmers Technical University, Concordia University, Duke University, Edith Cowan University, Erasmus University Rotterdam, Ghent University, Harvard Business School, Harvard Divinity School, Instituto Politécnico de Bragança, Instituto Universitário de Lisboa, University of Hawaii-Manoa, University of Hong Kong, Indiana University - Purdue University Indianapolis, V.N. Karazin Kharkiv National University, University of Lincoln University, University of Lisbon, India's National Institute of Oceanography, Open University of Catalonia, University of Puerto Rico School of Law, University of Reading, Rollins College Faculty of Arts and Sciences, Royal Holloway at the University of London, University of Strathclyde, Sweden's Royal Library (policy for employee publications), Trinity College Dublin, Teesside University, and the University of Tromsø.
They were spread among 15 countries: Australia (2), Belgium (1), Canada (1), China, including Hong Kong (1), India (1), Ireland (1), Netherlands (1), Norway (1) Portugal (3), Scotland (1), Spain (2), Sweden (2), Ukraine (1), the UK (6), USA, including Puerto Rico (6).
There was one departmental mandate in 2010, from the library faculty at Wake Forest University
Two institutions strengthened previous OA policies. Malmö University made its 2003 policy into a clear mandate. The University of Kansas strengthened its 2009 OA policy to make clear that it required deposit as well as permission, both subject to waiver.
Among these OA mandates is the first for Ireland (Trinity College Dublin), the first institution-wide mandate for Canada (Concordia), the first Divinity School mandate (Harvard), and the first non-loophole mandate for Sweden (Chalmers). The Kansas policy was the first university-wide OA policy at a public university in the US in 2009, and the strengthened version is the first unambiguous OA mandate at a public university in the US.
The Polytechnic University of Madrid adopted a different kind of green OA mandate: not for all research articles published by faculty, but for all faculty articles arising from university-funded research. This type of policy was pioneered by two other Spanish universities in 2009 --the University of Salamanca and the Universidad Carlos III de Madrid. In 2010, the first policy of this kind was adopted outside Spain by the Washington State Board for Community and Technical Colleges (SBCTC). The Washington policy applies to all SBCTC-funded research at all 34 colleges in the consortium.
Three OA mandates were adopted before 2010 but apparently announced for the first time in 2010: Sweden's Blekinge Institute of Technology, the University of Nottingham, and the Institute for Research in Construction, a unit within Canada's National Research Council. As Ian Henderson described the Canadian policy, the Institute doesn't directly mandate deposit in the institutional repository but simply stipulates that the promotion committee will only consider articles on deposit in the repository. These "promotion and tenure" incentives were pioneered by the University of Liege and Edinburgh Napier University, both in 2008, and are among the most powerful and natural incentives for green OA. I believe this is is the first example of it in Canada. At Liege, Rector Bernard Rentier attributed the rapid growth in 2010 deposits --jumping from 10k to 40k in one year-- to the institution's mandatory policy and trailblazing promotion and tenure incentives.
If we count the departmental OA mandates, the "school as funder" mandates (conservatively counting the 34 Washington SBCTC institutional mandates as one), the previously adopted policies strengthened into mandates, and the previously adopted policies first announced in 2010, then the total rises to 72 mandates in 15 countries. By comparison, in 2009 there were 52 whole-school OA mandates and 8 departmental mandates for total of 60 mandates in 14 countries. This represents 20% growth over 2009. (If we count the 34 Washington SBCTC institutional mandates as 34, rather than just one, then the total rises to 105, and the growth rate in 2010 rises to 75%.)
Seven of the green OA policies provided some degree of libre OA: Library Faculty at Arizona State University, Australian National University, Harvard Business School, Harvard Divinity School, University of Sassari, Sweden's Royal Library, the Washington State Board for Community and Technical Colleges (SBCTC) on behalf of 34 institutions. Whether you say these are five policies (the number of policy decisions) or 38 (the number of institutions covered), it significantly surpasses the three libre green policies we saw in 2009. I've often argued that libre green mandates could harm authors if tried too soon, but would be wise and justified if adopted when other OA policies and OA momentum make it difficult for publishers to refuse to publish the work of authors subject to these policies. I've urged institutions to watch for the shifting balance of power and seize opportunities to strengthen their policies when the moment is right. I've also argued that the right moment will not be spotlit by objective evidence and may depend on some self-fulfilling leadership. The growing number of libre green policies suggests that this critical mass is starting to build.
In addition to these libre green policies, a 2010 eIFL study of open licenses in developing and transition countries found that repositories in China, Poland, and South Africa already provided libre green OA under CC licenses, and three others in Botswana, Poland and South Africa recommend it. The same study found that 66% of the surveyed institutions in 20 countries have institutional repositories and 13% have green OA mandates. As noted in Section 1, the US Scholarly Publishing Roundtable recommended libre green OA for federally-funded research.
Fifteen individual institutions adopted policies or resolutions encouraging OA without requiring it: Library Faculty at Arizona State University, Forschungszentrum Dresden-Rossendorf, the University of Freiburg, Karlsruhe Institute of Technology, the College of Mount Saint Vincent, the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, the University of Northern Colorado, the Oregon State University's College of Oceanic and Atmospheric Sciences, Library Faculty at Queen's University, San Jose State University, the University of Sassari, Stellenbosch University, the UK Institute of Cancer Research, the University of Virginia, and Virginia Commonwealth University.
In 2009, there were only 10 encouragement-only policies. (Whether the growth in this number is a net plus or minus for OA I leave as an exercise for the reader.) Nevertheless, for the eighth year in a row, more research institutions adopted OA mandates than weaker policies requesting or encouraging OA without requiring it. In 2010 there were nearly five times as many mandates as encouragement policies.
The Manifesto on OA to agricultural research from CIARD (Coherence in Information for Agricultural Research for Development) is a major step forward that's hard to classify for counting. It's at least an agreement by the 36 CIARD institutional partners to adopt OA policies in accordance with the principles articulated in the manifesto ("...the partners in the CIARD initiative have agreed to make research outputs truly accessible, based on a common set of Values..."). Until the CIARD partners adopt their own policies, however, we won't know whether they've created 36 new OA mandates, 36 new OA encouragement policies, or some mix of mandates and encouragement ("...This Manifesto will be adopted [by the partners] in accordance with our specific institutional needs..."). Moreover, while some institutional partners are research institutions, some might be classified as funding agencies. To avoid overcounting in any particular column, I've haven't added these 36 policy commitments to the funder or university mandate tallies, but note them separately as sui generis.
The International Alliance of Research Universities (IARU) asked its 10 member institutions to "invite" or encourage green OA. IARU didn't take a stronger position because its member institutions --including Oxford, Cambridge, Berkeley, and Yale-- are so differently situated. As far as I know none of the IARU members has yet adopted a policy in response to the consortial recommendation.
The six institutional partners in Project NECOBELAC (Network of Collaboration Between Europe & Latin American-Caribbean countries), representing six countries in Europe and Latin America, issued the Bogotà Declaration, committing themselves to "Promote Open Access to Scientific Output in their Nations...." Of the six institutional partners, at least three are funding agencies and two are universities, and four already had green OA policies (Italy's Instituto Superiore di Sanità, Portugal's Universidade do Minho, Spain's Consejo Superior de Investigaciones Científicas, the UK's University of Nottingham). This may mean that the other two are now developing green OA policies (Brazil's BIREME and Columbia's Instituto de Salud Publica).
Twelve universities adopted OA mandates for theses and dissertations, or announced previously adopted OA mandates: Adam Mickiewicz University, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, University of Lisbon, Loughborough University, University of Nottingham, San Jose State University, Virginia Tech, University of Sassari, University of Texas Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences at Houston, University of Turin, Wageningen University & Research Centre, and the University of Westminster.
Nine of the university OA policies in 2010 were adopted by unanimous votes: Duke University, University of Northern Colorado, the College of Oceanic and Atmospheric Sciences at Oregon State University, University of Puerto Rico School of Law, Rollins College, San Jose State University, Trinity College Dublin, the Library Faculty at Wake Forest University, and the University of Virginia. By contrast, there were 12 unanimous votes in 2009, and only 5 in 2008.
At the end of 2010, the SPARC Campus Open Access Policies (COAP) project knew of 77 schools considering or drafting OA policies. At the end of 2009, the number was 53.
Most of the schools considering policies are not ready to be named. But several gave public signs of their deliberations: the University of Costa Rica, Hokkaido University (strengthening an existing policy into a mandate), India's Inflibnet Centre, the Library Association of Alberta, the Bachelor of Writing and Publishing program at the Northern Melbourne Institute of Tertiary and Vocational Education and Training, the University Pennsylvania, the University of North Texas, the University of Twente, and VU University Amsterdam. (Here I'm omitting schools whose first public signs of deliberation occurred before 2010.)
Some policy deliberations may be inferred from public signs. For example, the University of Costa Rica said that Kérwá, its new institutional repository, would "start as a voluntary deposit" repository, suggesting that a mandate may be in the works. Mahatma Gandhi University already has an ETD mandate, but its Vice-Chancellor, Rajan Gurukkal, opened a conference with a call for worldwide OA, suggesting that the institution's own policy may soon move beyond ETDs.
The Austrian Universities Conference (Österreichische Universitätenkonferenz) recommended that member institutions provide green OA to their research as soon as they are legally allowed to do so. The German Library Association (Deutsche Bibliotheksverband) issued a public statement endorsing OA and calling on German academic libraries to endorse it and recruit support for it from within their institutions. Universities UK called for OA to all the papers submitted to the new Research Excellence Framework. As noted in Section 1, the Alhambra Declaration called for green OA mandates at both universities and funding agencies, as did Denmark's Open Access Committee and a new OA Working Group from the Southern African Development Community.
Ten major institutions --nine British and one US-- formed the UK Open Access Implementation Group to "coordinate evidence, policies, systems, advice and guidance, to make open access an easy choice for authors and one that benefits all universities...." The group currently consists of representatives from the University of Edinburgh, the University of Salford, Universities UK, Research Libraries UK, the Society of College, National and University Libraries, JISC, the Research Councils UK, the Wellcome Trust, the Association of Research Managers and Administrators UK, and the Public Library of Science.
SPARC and Science Commons released released a white paper by two attorneys at Covington and Burling --Simon Frankel and Shannon Nestor-- on how university OA policies could avoid legal pitfalls. It used the Harvard and MIT policies as models. Alma Swan wrote a major report for JISC on making the business case for OA mandates at universities, and modeling the costs and benefits of adopting an OA mandate. She calculated that the "annual savings in research and library costs of a university repository model combined with subscription publishing could range from £100,000 to £1,320,000...."
The EPrints team at the University of Southampton launched an Open Access Mandate Adoption Challenge for OA Week, and Alma Swan charted the results: during that week alone we saw seven adopted institutional mandates, one adopted departmental mandate, three adopted thesis mandates, and three proposed departmental mandates. By my count, October 2010 overall (not just OA Week) was the most prolific month for OA policies in our history, yielding OA mandates at two funders, adopted OA mandates at six research institutions, one adopted OA mandate at a multi-institutional consortium representing 29 institutions, one adopted departmental OA mandate, three adopted OA resolutions or pledges, one adopted OA thesis mandate, three OA thesis mandates adopted earlier but announced in October, two forthcoming mandates announced, one OA mandate in preparation, and one proposed departmental OA mandate --altogether 20 actions at 38 institutions in 20 countries. (Here I'm enlarging the list I published in the November SOAN with an item I overlooked at the time.)
Harvard's Office for Scholarly Communication released version 1.7 of its annotated model university OA policy. JISC published a Scholarly Communications Action Handbook suggesting 90 actions to improve scholarly communication, many of them on OA, and 16 of them on green OA through institutional repositories. During OA Week, JISC's Research Communications Strategy project launched a page of OA Answers, a kind of FAQ with links to evidence in support of its answers. The University of Warsaw Interdisciplinary Centre for Mathematical and Computational Modelling published a guide to OA in Polish (Przewodnik po otwartej nauce). Reme Melero and her colleagues at Spain's Instituto de Agroquímica y Tecnología de Alimentos (IATA) within the Consejo Superior de Investigaciones Científicas (CSIC) launched MELIBEA, a list of university and funder OA policies, breaking each one into its separate provisions and giving each provision a score.
Students at the University of Saskatchewan are pushing for an OA policy. The Student Academic Assembly at the University of Calgary called on Calgary faculty and researchers to support OA. (Calgary's Division of Library and Cultural Resources adopted an OA mandate the previous year, but the rest of the institution has yet to do so.) The Right to Research Coalition, the student-based OA advocacy group, named its inaugural Steering Committee, launched an advocacy blog, and relaunched its web site with new features to help students learn about OA and take action to support it. Individual students may now sign the Student Statement on the Right to Research, not just student organizations. At the end of 2010, the Coalition embraced 28 student groups representing more than 5.5 million students.
For comparison, see my review of OA policies at universities:
(3) Some growth numbers
At the end of 2010, the Directory of Open Access Journals (DOAJ) listed 5,936 peer-reviewed journals, compared to 4,535 at the end of 2009. It added 1,401 titles over the year, nearly twice the number (723) added in 2009. In 2009, it added almost two titles per day, but in 2010 it added four titles per day. In 2009, the tally grew by 19%, but in 2010 it grew by 31%.
The number of OA repositories grew by 111 or 10% at Scientific Commons, by 259 or 17% at OpenDOAR, and by 533 or 34% at ROAR. Using the ROAR figures, more than 10 new repositories were launched every week in 2010. Scientific Commons now lists 1,269 repositories worldwide, OpenDOAR 1,817, and ROAR 2,090.
The number of items on deposit in these repositories grew by 5,980,186 or 19% in 2010, according to Scientific Commons, or by more than 16,000 items per day. (This is a severe undercount, since SC didn't update its figures in the last quarter of 2010.)
Most of the numbers in this section not attributed to others were gathered or computed by Heather Morrison, Project Coordinator for the British Columbia Electronic Library Network.
For comparison, see the growth numbers:
(4) Open access archiving (green OA)
In the previous section we saw that in an average week in 2010, OA supporters worldwide launched more than 10 new OA repositories and deposited more than 115,000 new items in the global network of OA repositories. Apart from that, what else happened in the domain of green OA?
Surveys showed that 85% of Australian universities had institutional repositories, 66% of institutions in developing and transition countries had repositories, and 63 institutes of the Chinese Academy of Sciences now host OA repositories.
The Washington-based Banco InterAmericano de Desarrollo funded a project to foster institutional repositories throughout Latin America (Estrategia Regional y Marco de Interoperabilidad y Gestión para una Red Federada Latinoamericana de Repositorios Institucionales de Documentación Científica). Argentina's National Agency for Promotion of Science and Technology and Inter-University National Council launched a funding program for OA repositories. The Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (DFG) created a funding program to support OA repositories. Ireland launched a national portal to the country's network of OA repositories, and DuraSpace launched a Registered Service Provider Program to recruit partners and support for institutions using DSpace or Fedora. JISC launched a double program, one focusing on methods to "enable and encourage author deposit...by embedding deposit into research or related practice" and the other focusing on making deposits more visible and useful through linked data. Cornell University secured more than $300,000 from 85 institutions to fund the ongoing costs of arXiv.
Among the notable individual launches was the beta version of INSPIRE, from the high-energy physics labs CERN, DESY, Fermilab, and SLAC. INSPIRE will offer a unified interface and improved searching for the leading green and gold OA resources in the field. The International Census of Marine Life project capped 10 years of research by launching an OA repository, the Ocean Biogeographic Information System (OBIS), to hold it all. The consortial Texas Digital Library (TDL) launched the OA Texas Water Digital Library (TWDL), using OAI-ORE to harvest water research from databases and websites across the state. The University of Hawai'i revived and hosted Mana'o, the OA repository for the field of anthropology launched by Alex Golub in October 2007 and laid down in October 2009.
PubMed Central Canada officially launched as a joint project of the National Research Council's Canada Institute for Scientific and Technical Information, the Canadian Institutes of Health Research, and the US National Library of Medicine. Spain's Ministry of Science and Innovation (Ministerio de Ciencia e Innovación) and Macedonia's Metamorphosis Foundation joined the small number of funding agencies to launch their own institutional repositories, suggesting that policies to fill them may soon follow.
Canada's National Research Council announced the first steps toward a Canadian Virtual Health Library (CVHL), a joint project of the Canadian Health Libraries Association (CHLA) and the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR). The American Medical Informatics Association (AMIA) launched the Global Health Informatics Partnership (GHIP), a non-profit subsidiary to spread OA health information in the global south.
The Scientific Library of the Academy of Economic Studies of Moldova will soon launch the country's first disciplinary OA repository, in economics. Germany's largest bookmarking service, Mister Wong, added repository features allowing users to upload their documents in nearly any file format and distribute them with or without CC licenses.
The US Civilian Research and Development Foundation launched a regional OA digital library for North Africa (Algeria, Morocco, and Tunisia). In 2006 it built a similar digital library for Iraq, and in 2010 turned it over to the Iraqi government. The National libraries of South Korea, China and Japan launched the China-Japan-Korea Digital Library Initiative.
The Council of Australian University Librarians (CAUL) updated its Statement on Open Scholarship and called on its members to educate stakeholders about OA, help researchers make their own work OA, launch institutional repositories, and work with the Australian government to maximize OA to publicly-funded research and data. The University of New Mexico's Office for eScholarship proposed a wide-ranging "eScholar Innovation Center" (eSIC) to support OA, data sharing, and consultations with faculty on copyrights. SPARC issued a statement in support of the Confederation of Open Access Repositories.
All this growth and support occurred alongside continuing high levels of ignorance and misunderstanding about OA, especially green OA. A survey of members of UK learned societies by the Association of Learned and Professional Society Publishers (ALPSP) found that most said they knew what OA was and supported the idea of OA journals, while few knew what they were talking about. "[A]lthough 60% said that they read OA journals and 25% that they published in them, in both cases around one-third of the journals named were not OA." In addition "less than half knew what self-archiving was; 36% thought it was a good idea and 50% were unsure. Just under half said they used repositories of self-archived articles, but 13% of references were not in fact to self-archiving repositories. 29% said they self-archived their own articles, but 10% of references were not to publicly accessible sites of any kind." Tania Bardyn's survey of UCLA researchers showed that half didn't know know the stated intention of the NIH policy, and 95.4% had never tried to retain their copyright when publishing in a journal.
A survey by Rowena Cullen and Brenda Chawner found that New Zealand "academics have been slow to embrace the concept of institutional repositories, and show little interest in using repositories for increasing the accessibility of their own work, or to access the work of others. The number of deposits remains low...." A survey at the University of East Anglia showed, one more time, "that awareness levels of [copyright] issues need raising among academics/researchers...." In a survey of Nordic journals using Open Journal Systems (OJS), Karolina Lindh and Mikael Graffner found that two of the journals didn't allow self-archiving and four had unclear policies on self-archiving. Muluken Wubayehu Alemayehu's survey of Norwegian authors found that they had "a low level awareness of the Institutional repository but were interested in contributing their research work to the university institutional repository" even though they had "a positive attitude towards providing free access to scholarly research results...." A British Library study of Generation Y doctoral students (born between 1982 and 1994) found that, while they generally supported OA, most did "not have a clear understanding of what open access means and this negatively impacts their use of open access resources...."
Hideki Uchijima reported that only 11.1% of Japan's annual crop of peer-reviewed scholarly journal articles are green OA through the country's 158 institutional repositories. Elisa Mason found that only one article out of 119 published in Journal of Refugee Studies was on deposit in an OA repository. Klaus Graf found that only one of the 24 articles published in 2008 by the Zeitschrift für Bibliothekswesen und Bibliographie, Germany's leading LIS journal, was free online in 2010. None of the six winners of the Jorum Learning and Teaching competition was on deposit in the Jorum repository at the time of the competition.
When the Research Information Network (RIN) and OCLC Research recommended that universities provide web-based tools for "the sharing of documents and data across institutional boundaries", they couldn't bring themselves to use the term "open access". A UNESCO report worried about the effect of publication fees on authors from developing countries, but didn't seem to be aware that most OA journals charge no fees or that green OA was a no-fee alternative to gold OA. Even Graham Stone, Chairman of the UK Council of Research Repositories (UKCoRR), said in a public statement that "I must admit that I am starting to agree with the gold only route, although I'm not sure I should...."
On the brighter side, Yassine Gargouri and Stevan Harnad found that more OA articles were green than gold, even after excluding from the green category articles that were both green and gold. Likewise, a survey by Joseph Hardin and Aristóteles Cañero found that 26% of faculty at Universidad Politecnica de Valencia and the University of Michigan had self-archived postprints, a low figure but well ahead of the 17% who had published in OA journals. However, a survey at the University of Kashmir found essentially the reverse, with three times more scholars choosing gold OA than green OA. In a survey limited to biomedical publications in 2009, Keiko Kurata and colleagues found that the OA portion was up over previous years, but that most of the growth came from gold OA or from journals that made articles gold first and green second (for example by depositing journal articles in PubMed Central). They write: "The percentage of OA articles accessible via institutional repositories (IR) and authors' websites...has consistently remained low." An Ithaka survey found that fewer than a third of researchers have made their work green OA, but that half of those who haven't plan to do so.
Bo-Christer Björk and colleagues published the most complete study to date of the volume of OA, based on articles published in 2008. They found that about one in every five research articles published in 2008 is free online in some version somewhere. Of the OA articles, about 58% were green OA and about 42% were gold OA. The OA rate was highest in the Earth sciences and lowest in chemistry. In medicine, biochemistry, and chemistry, gold OA was more common than green OA, with the reverse in every other field. A survey by Germany's Netzwerk von Open-Access-Repositorien on the deposits in DINI-certified German repositories found that medicine surpassed all other fields with 11.7% of deposits. Holly Mercer reported that nearly half (49%) of scholarly articles by academic librarians were OA in some form or another, a higher figure than reported by earlier studies. David Lipman reported that in 2009, 98% of the articles on deposit in PubMed Central were accessed at least once, and 69% were accessed at least 10 times.
When Graham Currie surveyed users of SORT (Social Research in Transport), an OA repository for research in the field of transportation, he found that "[o]verall 56% of all users...[and] 65% of professional/practitioners...considered SORT essential/very essential to their work...." Claire Creaser and colleagues found that among European researchers "there was a good understanding and appreciation of the ethos of open access in general...." Separate studies by RAND Europe and Farhana Sarker found that institutional repositories can benefit higher educational institutions beyond their benefits for individual authors and readers.
When Les Carr compared Mendeley deposits in computer science with those at his own departmental repository at Southampton, he found that Mendeley had more repository records but Southampton had more full-text articles. Score one for institutional repositories. However, the news was mixed for 53 Cambridge faculty members with memberships at Mendeley. Only two faculty members had deposited work in the Cambridge IR. That suggested that Mendeley could attract faculty not taking advantage of their IRs. But unfortunately only nine of the 53 had actually deposited texts at Mendeley. Meantime, Mendeley opened its API and enhanced its search engine to filter for OA articles. In July, the Guardian named Mendeley the project "most likely to change the world for the better". At the end of 2010, Mendeley had records on more than 56.6 million research articles, of which about 297,000 were at least gratis OA.
Jason Priem and Kaitlin Light Costello found that academic tweets sometimes link to blog posts or other secondary sources about articles rather than to the articles themselves, and that one function for these "second order tweets" is to help them "get around paywalls" to articles.
Research continued on the OA citation advantage, trying to sort out the variables and settle whether the increased citation impact for OA articles is an effect of OA itself or an effect of author decisions to deposit their best work in OA repositories. Tending to deny the OA citation advantage, a new study by Philip Davis ruled out self-selection bias by randomly making some articles published in APS journals OA and others TA; he found that the OA articles were not cited more often than the TA articles, although they were downloaded more often. Tending to confirm the OA citation advantage, a new study by Yassine Gargouri, Stevan Harnad and colleagues ruled out self-selection bias by showing that the OA citation advantage was just as high for mandated OA archiving as it was for voluntary OA archiving. Similarly, a new study by Kayvan Kousha and Mahshid Abdoli limited to agricultural research used random samples of OA and non-OA publications to confirm the OA citation advantage. Steve Hitchcock continued to update his large bibliography of studies on this question, and Ben Wagner and Alma Swan published analyses of the literature to date.
UK PubMed Central added a feature allowing users to click through to see Web of Science citation data for any article on deposit. RePEc added RSS feeds for new citations, articles, papers, series, and journals; it also upgraded its usage metrics to rule out even more mischievous and misleading hits. For deposits with a Digital Object Identifier (DOI), BioMed Central's Open Repository added citation counts from Scopus. Spain's OA repository, Digital.CSIC, developed a new statistics package to measure the impact of the repository and help assess its costs and benefits. Maria Cassella proposed a set of metrics to measure the success of institutional repositories, and the Mellon Foundation awarded Indiana University a grant to enhance MESUR (MEtrics from Scholarly Usage of Resources).
Arthur Sale wrote up the lessons from his experience in persuading authors to deposit their work in institutional repositories. The Welsh Repository Network compiled a list of suggestions or best practices for responding to faculty objections or misunderstandings about OA archiving.
JISC had a handful of projects to boost repository deposits. With the Association for Research Managers and Administrators, JISC ran a survey on pitfalls to avoid in running a repository. It launched a new funding program to help repositories take up the lessons and best practices learned elsewhere. Its new RePosit Project aims to spread the use of the Symplectic publications management system as a repository deposit interface. Its CTREP (Cambridge TETRA Repositories Enhancement Project) issued its final report covering, among other topics, methods to increase deposits to the targeted repositories and increase user satisfaction with the process. Its Scholarly Communications Action Handbook and its Digital Repository infoKit both contained practical recommendations and best practices for running an OA repository. Its Repositories Support Project (RSP) launched a buddy system for UK repositories to help share the expertise of experienced repository managers with the less experienced.
Delft University of Technology thought creatively about methods to increase repository deposits. Early in the year it tried gold OA as an incentive for green OA, holding a lottery among depositing faculty and paying publication fees for the winner to publish 10 articles in fee-based OA journals. Later in the year it broke new ground in deposit incentives by announcing that for every 1,000 publications deposited in its institutional repository it would donate a goat to a family in Bangladesh.
The latest version of the repository software developed by the University of Rochester (IR-Plus or IR+) encourages deposits by connecting them with the process of writing. Stuart Lewis released EasyDeposit, a tool for creating customized SWORD deposit interfaces for different sorts of file or literature, and for depositing to multiple repositories at once. MIT started using SWORD and SWAP to allow publishers to deposit articles directly into the IR. Open-Access-Fachrepositorien is a new tool funded by the DFG to stream metadata from institutional repositories to appropriate disciplinary or subject repositories. The University of Bielefeld released updates on its two projects to use personal publication lists as the source for automated repository deposits. ESCAPE (Enhanced Scientific Communication by Aggregated Publications Environments) is a new Fedora project allowing repositories to connect groups of related deposits through OAI-ORE resource maps. The Registry of Open Access Repositories (ROAR) created an animated map displaying repository deposits around the world in real time, and BibApp released version 1.0 of its tool for discovering and depositing new publications eligible for deposit in an institutional repository.
Texas A&M University Libraries created a tool for harvesting electronic theses and dissertations for its IR, and used it to deposit more than 2,300 ETDs. The University of Illinois Graduate College used a similar tool from the Texas Digital Library to capture 85% (223 of 262) of the repository's total ETD deposits. OpenThesis is a new OA repository for ETDs and "other academic documents" from any institution or country.
The UK Repositories Support Project released the results of its 2010 survey of repository software. Siddharth Singh, Michael Witt, and Dorothea Salo began writing their own comparison of the major packages. The University of Rochester opened the source code of IR+, its repository software, and launched version 2.0. DuraSpace released DSpace version 1.7.0 and Fedora version 3.4.1. OPUS released version 4. EPrints, the first OA repository software, released version 3.2.4 and turned 10 years old. DuraSpace opened the source code to DuraCloud and released version 0.7. Kindura is a new JISC-funded, cloud-based repository build on DuraCloud and Fedora. The Center for History and New Media and the Corporation for Digital Scholarship released a cloud-based version of Omeka, their open-source repository and platform for digital museum exhibits. TierraCloud Technologies launched HC2, an open-source platform for private cloud storage; among other things, it will support Duraspace Fedora Commons and EPrints repositories. The Public Knowledge Project released version 2.3.1 of the Open Harvesting System.
The OpenAIRE project release version 1.0 of its Guidelines for participating European repositories. Some repositories will have to add functionality in order to live up to the guidelines andparticipate in the project. The Portuguese RCAAP project released the OAI Extended Addon, a DSpace patch to enhance OAI-PMH functionality and help European repositories become OpenAIRE-compliant.
The California Digital Library (CDL) launched the eXtensible Text Framework (XTF), a web site offering the source code and support for CDL's green and gold OA (repository and publishing) platform. LSpace is a simpler version of DSpace, written in Visual Basic, to serve as an OA book repository for the Institute for Computer Studies and Technology at the Colegio de San Juan de Letran-Calamba. The University of Hong Kong repository added ResearcherPages for each its affiliated authors to display article-level metrics, author-centric bibliometrics, and topics on which the author could speak to the media. Villanova University's launched version 1.0 of VuFind, its tool to let library users to search the institutional repository and the OPAC at the same time. Open Access Plagiarism Search is a new service from the German Research Foundation to detect plagiarism of publications on deposit in OA repositories.
Europe's two-year DRIVER II project (Digital Repository Infrastructure Vision for European Research) came to an end. All the project results are freely available at the project web site, including the DRIVER repository guidelines, the D-NET software, and several studies.
For comparison, see my review of OA archiving or green OA:
(5) Open access journals (gold OA)
In Section 3 we saw that on average four new peer-reviewed journals were added every day to the Directory of Open Access Journals.
Apart from those new launches, I counted 30 journals that converted from TA to OA, including one that has the top impact factor in its field, eight that have been published for more than 20 years, six for more than 50 years, and five for more than 80 years. I counted 23 that converted from TA to hybrid OA, seven that converted from TA to delayed OA (one of which did so as one step toward a gradual transition to full OA), one that converted from hybrid OA to full OA, and one that converted from gratis OA to libre OA. On the other side I counted only one that converted from immediate OA to delayed OA, and none that converted from OA to TA. (All these numbers are based on what I noticed in my daily crawl and are very likely undercounts.)
When Canada's National Research Council Research Press moved to the private sector under the new name of Canadian Science Publishing, many worried that its 17 OA journals would convert to TA. But the organization soon announced that it would maintain and even expand its commitment to OA.
Polar Research, the journal of The Norwegian Polar Institute, took a novel approach to conversion. It called on OA publishers to submit tenders for converting the journal to OA and publishing it for 36 months, with an option to renew. In the end, it decided to move from Wiley-Blackwell to Co-Action Publishing, publish under a CC-BY-NC license, and charge no publication fees.
Ahmed Hindawi, co-founder and CEO of Hindawi Publishing, said that the company's conversion to OA, completed in 2007, "was the best management decision we have taken." In 2010 Hindawi reported that submissions more than doubled from 7,600 in 2008 to more than 16,500 in 2009. In August 2010 alone, it received more than 2,000 submissions, only 18 months after passing the milestone of 1,000 in a month. Andrew Richardson, VP for Business Development at Wolters Kluwer Health Medical Research, said in an interview that "I think we went through a period as an industry and probably as a company as well, where we saw open access...as a threat. I think we see it much more, as an industry, we see it as an opportunity now...."
In addition to calling for a green OA mandate in Denmark, the country's Open Access Committee also called on Danish journal publishers to "prepare suggestions as to how Danish periodicals and Danish monographs can be converted to Open Access...." I believe this was the first call for journal publishers to involve themselves in a national conversion to OA. (It was not a call for a gold OA mandate.) Sweden's Malmö University not only adopted a green OA mandate, but called for the university's own publications to convert to OA, another first. The Alhambra Declaration not only called for green OA mandates, but also for a transition to gold OA. The new Open Access Journal Publishing Service jointly supported by the University of Oregon Libraries and Oregon State University Libraries will not only publish new OA journals but help convert TA journals to OA. An anonymous blogger called on the American Economic Association convert its TA journals to OA rather than reduce its membership dues.
Nature editorialized that many of the problems besetting Chinese journal publishers could be solved by converting to OA. Similarly, the final report from The Lancet's Global Independent Commission on Education of Health Professionals for the 21st Century pointed to OA journals as one of many ways to strengthen medical education in developing and transition countries.
Cambridge Economic Policy Associates and Mark Ware Consulting began studying "the costs, benefits, risks, and opportunities of making the transition" to four different forms of enhanced access to research, including green and gold OA. The study is jointly sponsored by a wide range of UK stakeholders, including the British Library, the Association of Learned and Professional Society Publishers, Joint Information Systems Committee, the Publishers Association, Research Information Network, the Research Councils UK, Research Libraries UK, the Society of College, National and University Libraries, SPARC Europe, Universities UK, and the Wellcome Trust.
Donald King showed that if all TA journals converted to fee-based OA, with an average fee of $1,500, then the one-year cost of paying the fees for US authors would be $427.5 million, or about 0.76% of the US R&D budget. If the average fee was $2,500, the cost would be $712.5 million, or 1.27% of the US R&D budget. Heather Morrison used King's data to calculate that the conversion could result in $3.4 billion in savings in the US alone. Morrison made two similar calculations. "[I]f the 541 articles published in [the International Communication Association's] 5 journals in 2009 had all been published as OA using the average PLoS article processing fee of $1,600, the total expenditure would have been about $132,000" --or less than one-quarter of the ICA's 2007 surplus of $500,000 - 600,000. In addition, if "the world's estimated 1.5 million scholarly peer-reviewed journal articles produced every year" converted to fee-based OA, using the PLoS average fee of $1,649 or the BMC average fee of $1,560, then libraries could fund them all with less than 40% of what they pay now in current journal expenditures. In a separate survey, Morrison and four colleagues found "that any model for OA transition would received some level of support from a majority of [Canadian] libraries...."
Martin Weller calculated that researchers donate £1.9 billion/year in time spent on performing peer review for journals. He concluded that in exchange for this donated labor, researchers should demand OA, pledged to perform peer review only for OA journals, and inspired a number of other researchers to take the same pledge. (The Weller pledge echoes a vow Ted Bergstrom made and publicized in 2001.)
The Compact for Open Access Publishing Equity (COPE) nearly doubled its membership in 2010, adding the University of Barcelona, the University of Calgary, CERN, Duke University, the University of Michigan, and Simon Fraser University. COPE also launched a program of Individual and Institutional Supporters who endorse the project. Among the individual supporters are more a dozen Nobel laureates, and among the institutional supporters are BioMed Central, Creative Commons, the Open Access Scholarly Publishers Association (OASPA), the Scholarly Publishing and Academic Resources Coalition (SPARC), SPARC Europe, and the Wellcome Trust. COPE institutions maintain OA journal funds and encourage other institutions to do the same
Several other institutions launched OA journal funds without joining COPE, for example, the Universities of Florida and Washington and Germany's University of Hohenheim. The Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (DFG) launched a program to support German universities in paying publication fees for faculty at fee-based OA journals. Under the program, the universities must pay at least 25%, and funds may not go to hybrid OA journals. The Ontario Genomics Institute (OGI) launched a fund which only covers fees at high-impact OA journals (impact factor of 8 or above, or named on a special OGI list) and requires authors to make their work green OA as well as gold OA.
The Netherlands Organization for Scientific Research (Nederlandse Organisatie voor Wetenschappelijk Onderzoek, or NWO) renewed its 2009 program to pay publication fees at fee-based OA journals, and launched a new one-million Euro program to launch new OA journals. A separate NWO program funds OA humanities journals in the humanities, some born OA and some converting from TA. In addition to these gold-OA initiatives, NWO now support conferences with sessions devoted to OA and is considering a green OA mandate.
The Helmholtz Association struck deals with Springer and BioMed Central, agreeing to pay the publishing fees when Helmholtz authors publish in SpringerOpen or BMC journals. Four Norwegian universities --Bergen, Oslo, Trondheim and Tromsø-- struck a similar deal with Springer, as did the University of Hong Kong, Poland's Ministry of Science and Higher Education on behalf of all Polish academic institutions, and the Association of Universities in the Netherlands on behalf of all Dutch researchers. Springer's similar 2008 agreement with the Max Planck Society expired in 2010, but the two organizations are discussing a new one. Italy's Project NECOBELAC (Network of Collaboration Between Europe and Latin American-Caribbean Countries) launched a program to pay the publication fees at fee-based OA journals on behalf of European and Latin American co-authors.
Commenting on the new Knowledge Exchange report on submission fees, the Wellcome Trust made clear that when a journal meets its criteria, Wellcome is willing to pay both submission and publication fees on behalf of grantees.
BioMed Central launched Shared Support, a new variation on the theme of institutional memberships. "This Membership is based on a deposit of funds that cover fifty percent of the article processing charges for articles submitted and accepted from your researchers. The other fifty percent is covered by the authors and their grants...."
Alberto Cerda and colleagues won a Catalyst Grant from Creative Commons to provide technical and legal support for OA journals in Latin America. The Redalyc project announced a new set of services to promote OA journals in Latin America, the Caribbean, Spain, and Portugal. The University of Pittsburgh Library System launched an E-journal Publishing Program, using Open Journal Systems (OJS) to help faculty launch OA journals. The Florida Center for Library Automation also launched a program using OJS to host OA journals published by any Florida public university, with automatic archiving to the Florida Digital Archive. And as noted, two academic libraries in Oregon jointly launched an Open Access Journal Publishing Service for new and converted OA journals. Amsterdam University Press put together a consortium of nine institutions to support the costs of publishing the OA Journal of Archaeology in the Low Countries.
As SCOAP3 (Sponsoring Consortium for Open Access Publishing in Particle Physics) neared the end of its budget-building phase, it recruited its first members or expressions of interest from China, Japan, and Russia. Nevertheless, time is running out and the consortium still needs pledges for about one-quarter of its budget if it is to continue to the next phase. (I described the situation more fully in last month's SOAN.) CERN won SPARC Europe's 2010 Award for Outstanding Achievements in Scholarly Communications "for its comprehensive approach to Open Access, especially in respect of the SCOAP3 project...."
Elsevier launched its first full (non-hybrid) OA journal, the International Journal of Surgery Case Reports, but did not draw attention to this fact in its press release. Sage Open is a forthcoming peer-reviewed, multi-disciplinary OA journal for the social sciences and the humanities, from Sage Publications. Like a PLoS ONE for the SSH fields, it "will not limit content due to...thematic significance...[and] will accept articles solely on the basis of the quality of the research....SAGE Open will also include several enhanced features to give readers greater power to determine the significance of articles published, with usage metrics, commenting features, subject categories, article ranking and recommendations...."
Springer launched SpringerOpen, a new series of full OA (not hybrid OA) journals under CC licenses. Among other features, SpringerOpen will use SWORD to deposit articles automatically in participating institutional repositories, and BMC memberships will be extended to cover the new journals. If you wondered whether the 2008 Springer acquisition of BMC would make Springer more like BMC or BMC more like Springer, this looks like evidence for the former.
Salvatore Mele released the first results of the SOAP (Study of Open Access Publishing) Project, by far the broadest and deepest study of gold OA to date. Among the findings: 89% of the 40,000 surveyed researchers said that OA journals would be beneficial to their field. The same study reported that the average hybrid journal publisher uptake rate was 2%. Author uptake of Oxford's hybrid OA option fell from 6.7% in 2008 to 5.9% in 2009. If we only count hybrid OA journals more than one year old, then the rate only fell from 6.8% to 6.7%. (In the first version of its announcement, Oxford concluded that author interest in OA per se was declining, as if interest in priced gold OA were the same as interest in OA as such, including green OA; it eventually clarified its press release.)
The Nature Publishing Group finished converting all its academic journals to hybrid OA. Karger Publishers launched a hybrid OA option using CC-BY-NC licenses. Maney Publishing adopted a hybrid OA option for its 35 STM journals and will eventually extend it to its humanities journals as well. Methods of Information in Medicine adopted a hybrid OA option and converted its nine-year backfile to OA.
The three hybrid OA journals from the Company of Biologists (Development, Journal of Cell Science, and Journal of Experimental Biology) revised their terms to meet the libre OA standards of the UKPMC Funders' Group. A fourth COB journal, Disease Models & Mechanisms, converted from hybrid OA to full OA.
Springer will reduce the 2011 prices of some of its hybrid OA journals to reflect the 2009 rate of author uptake of the OA option. The Royal Society will do the same in 2012, and in 2010 lifted its mandatory embargo on green OA. The Nature Publishing Group launched Nature Communications, its first online-only hybrid OA journal, and promised "to keep subscription rates of hybrid journals under review to reflect the volume of content that is behind the subscription firewall."
BMJ shifted its business model and now charges publication fees "only when funders have pledged to pick up the bill." All BMJ research articles will be OA, regardless of the payment or non-payment of fees, but BMJ will continue to charge subscriptions for its "editorials, education, comment, features, and news" and will not reduce its subscription prices in proportion to the revenue from the OA publication fees.
The American Physical Society made its complete 117-year backfile OA to US public libraries and their users. I believe this is a first.
The Society for Endocrinology provided temporary (three months), retroactive, gratis OA to articles in its journal by this year's Nobel laureate in medicine, Robert Edwards. The Institute of Physics provided less than three months' worth of temporary, retroactive, gratis OA to articles this year's Nobel laureates in physics, Andre Geim and Konstantin Novoselov. Geim and Novoselov have a total of 25 permanently OA papers in arXiv.
While we've long known that more than 70% of OA journals charge no publication fees, William Walters and Anne Linvill showed that the minority of fee-based OA journals account for about half the articles published by OA journals. This was part of a larger study showing that in OA journal publishing, a small number of large and influential publishers coexist with a long tail of small publishers, roughly as in TA journal publishing. Jan Erik Frantsvåg argued that the large number of small OA publishers limits the efficiency of OA publishing and reduces the opportunities for economies of scale.
Brian Edgar and John Willinsky released a study of OJS-based journals showing that many operate at dramatically low revenue and expenses, changing the picture of the money needed to run an OA journal with open-source software. Edgar and Willinsky found that 29% of the surveyed journals claimed zero expenses, 20% claimed expenses between $1-$1,000, and 31% claimed expenses between $1,001-$10k. 44% operated on zero revenue, 16% on revenue between $1-$1,000, and 24% on revenue between $1,001-$10k.
Michèle Dassa and colleagues showed that 78% of the social science and humanities journals listed in the DOAJ are not indexed in any of five major SSH journal indices: the Arts and Humanities Citation Index, Social Science Citation Index, Scopus, European Reference Index for Humanities, and Agence pour l'Evaluation de la Recherche et de l'Enseignement Supérieur. It's not yet clear whether the cause lies in the indices (slow, conservative), the journals (weak, new), both, or neither. Olaf Zawacki-Richter and colleagues found that in the field of distance education, at least, OA and TA journals were comparable in prestige.
The Library of Congress' Cooperative Online Serials (CONSER) launched a project to create CONSER records for every journal listed in the Directory of Open Access Journals. A survey by Sigi Jottkandt found that "the majority (54%) of WorldCat-affiliated US academic libraries have at least one record for a DOAJ journal in their holdings."
Ithaka released the results of its 2009 faculty survey. Among the findings: gold OA is a comparatively low priority for authors when deciding where to submit their work. (The authors' highest priority is that a journal be well-read among their peers, a property that OA can certainly enhance.) In a study of readers rather than authors, Carol Tenopir, Donald King, and six colleagues found that the single most important attribute of a research paper, after relevance, is that it be "accessible online at no personal cost". Meta-analysis by OCLC Research found several studies converging on the conclusion that access is now a larger problem than discovery.
Four Scandinavian organizations released The Online Guide to Open Access Journals Publishing, a compendium of practical information and best practices. The guide was developed by Co-Action Publishing and the Lund University Libraries Head Office, with support from the National Library of Sweden and Nordbib.
The Chinese Academy of Sciences launched CAS-OAJ, its portal of OA journals. The Qatar Foundation launched QScience, its own new portal of OA journals. The African Journal Archive is a new OA portal of African research and cultural heritage, funded by the Carnegie Corporation and managed by Sabinet. Versita launched Versita Open, a digital publishing platform for OA journals. BioMed Central launched an OA Japan Gateway, a portal not just to OA journals but to OA and research from the region. Oxford migrated all its journal content to the Highwire 2.0 platform. India's Inflibnet Centre (Information and Library Network) now provides Indian universities with subsidized access to 4,000 TA journals in the same channel as 1,000 OA journals.
Sherpa RoMEO launched a prototype of its new journal database. Portugal's Project Blimunda began feeding data on Portuguese OA journal publishers to Sherpa RoMEO, and Norway's NORA project (Norwegian Open Research Archive) began doing the same for Norwegian OA journal publishers. In addition to harvesting book metadata, John Mark Ockerbloom's Online Books Page plans to harvest metadata on digitized, public-domain journal backfiles and point users to the OA full texts. Elsevier opened the content APIs for ScienceDirect, Scopus, and SciVerse Hub. "[E]ven nonsubscribers will be granted access to protected content if they are building applications for it...."
The Open Access Scholarly Publishers Association (OASPA) adopted a new rule requiring members to disclose the real-world addresses where they are registered, and a new procedure for handling reports of misconduct by member-publishers. It also struck a deal with CrossRef under which OASPA members can register up to 50 DOIs a year, free of charge.
The Public Knowledge Project released Open Journal Systems version 2.3.3, and reported that OJS now has more than 7,000 installations worldwide. A team at Manchester University team launched Utopia Documents, new publishing software which overlays semantic data over existing texts.
Ken Masters found an online forum in which users illicitly shared 491 access codes for TA journal databases from 248 institutions in 40 countries. Charlie Rapple discovered a new problem with hybrid OA journals: link resolvers often treat the OA articles as TA.
The American Chemical Society (ACS) boasted that its new publishing contract "expands author rights", though it remains one of the least author-friendly and least OA-friendly contracts in the industry. David Rosenthal reported that TA journals may now be indexed in PubMed and Medline by depositing copies in Portico, a dark archive, whereas previously they had to deposit in PMC, an open repository. The new option therefore reduces the volume of federally incentivized OA.
For comparison, see my review of OA journals or gold OA:
The US National Science Foundation (NSF) announced its long-awaited policy requiring grantees to submit data-sharing plans, and the Association of Research Libraries (ARL) quickly followed up with a guide to the new NSF policy. The US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) adopted an OA policy for physical climate data, and launched a new portal for its open data. The US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) launched an OA portal of hazardous pollutant data, and proposed new rules for making similar data OA. The Great Lakes Protection Grant Program adopted an OA mandate for at least some grantee project data.
The Obama White House asked all heads of executive departments and agencies to provide open data on their funding programs and "update their data sharing policies for research performers and create incentives for sharing data publicly in interoperable formats to ensure maximum value, consistent with privacy, national security, and confidentiality concerns...." This is not quite a mandate, but agencies must comply if they want cooperation from the White House Office of Management and Budget (OMB) and Office for Science and Technology Policy (OSTP). The White House also reminded agencies to comply with the 2009 recommendations of the Interagency Working Group on Scientific Collections (IWGSC), the third of which asked agencies to "work together to document their holdings and make as much information as possible available on-line where it can be useful to the public and the research community. This should be implemented within 36 months of this policy issuance." President Obama appointed Josh Knauer to a subcommittee of President Obama's Council of Advisors on Science and Technology (PCAST). Knauer is a "pioneer of open data initiatives for non-profit and government clients" and in his new role he'll head up a project to "standardiz[e] how open data can be defined, collected and published by federal agencies...."
The UK Natural Environment Research Council strengthened its open-data policy to an open-data mandate. A JISC funding program required grantees to release their data under the Open Data Commons Public Domain Dedication & Licence.
The European Parliament's Committee on Industry, Research and Energy unanimously approved a proposal to open up "all satellite data, except security sensitive data...." The European Commission announced that it wanted to to encourage or require open data from projects funded by the forthcoming FP8 research program.
Christian Bizer made an interactive digital map of open data projects. CODATA launched a list of the open-data policies of two dozen organizations in the environmental sciences. The US National Archives and Records Administration (NARA) launched a new web site to keep the public up to date on the agency's openness activities.
The Panton Principles for Open Data in Science, drafted in 2009, were officially released in February 2010 and began collecting signatures. (The principles are named after a pub in Cambridge, England.) The principles would assign data to the public domain, rather than put them under open licenses, and are compatible with the Science Commons Protocol for Implementing Open Access Data, and with both the Open Knowledge and Open Data Definitions of the Open Knowledge Foundation. SPARC honored the authors of the 2009 Panton Principles for Open Data in Science --Peter Murray-Rust, Cameron Neylon, Rufus Pollock, and John Wilbanks-- as the SPARC Innovators for mid-2010. The Open Source Initiative is considering the Open Knowledge Definition (from the Open Knowledge Foundation) as its official definition of open data.
Pulling in a different direction, the Open Data Commons (ODC) released the ODC Attribution or ODC-BY license, the data and database counterpart to the CC-BY license for texts.
The Alliance of German Science Organisations (Allianz der deutschen Wissenschaftsorganisationen) adopted a set of Principles for the Handling of Research Data, which are silent on copyright and licensing issues. At the same time, the Alliance called for OA to data arising from publicly-funded research.
BioMed Central released a draft statement on open data and licensing for wider discussion. The statement endorses the Panton Principles and seeks advice on how BMC could put them into practice through an open-data licensing policy. BMC's Research Notes launched a project to identify standards and best practices for journals wishing to provide open and reusable data to accompany published articles. BMC also launched a data-sharing award for BMC authors.
A report from the Digital Curation Centre and Key Perspectives called upon funding agencies to adopt open-data mandates and called upon publishers provide OA to supplementary data. The Technical Advisory Group for the International Aid Transparency Initiative (IATI) called for public comments on a plan to open data on international development. The Europe-based High-Level Group on Scientific Data released a report calling for "a scientific e-infrastructure that supports seamless access, use, re-use, and trust of data." Heather Piwowar described a potential research project on how libre OA datasets, which allow reuse, are actually reused --and won the 2010 best proposal award from ASIS&T's Special Interest Group on Information Needs Seeking and Use.
The newly-created ProteomExchange called for funders to mandate open data, and formalized the data sharing of its own member repositories by creating universal accession numbers for data items. An online petition called on cryoEM particle reconstruction researchers to make their data open through the Electron Microscopy Data Bank. Participants at a November 2009 meeting at Yale Law School issued a set of recommendations for open data, open code, and OA texts, as part of a larger program to facilitate reproducible research.
A committee of the Linguistic Society of America (LSA) adopted a resolution urging members and other linguists to open their data, and the World Oral Literature Project at the University of Cambridge launched an OA database of endangered languages.
A group of major journals in evolution and ecology --including the American Naturalist, Evolution, the Journal of Evolutionary Biology, Molecular Ecology, and Heredity-- adopted a joint policy requiring OA for the data underlying published articles. Molecular & Cellular Proteomics, published by the American Chemical Society, announced that it will require authors to deposit raw mass spectrometer data in an OA repository at the time of publication. BMJ's new journal, BMJ Open, will require OA to raw data "wherever possible". The Nature Publishing Group (NPG) launched an experiment to encourage prepublication data sharing in Nature Precedings, an OA repository. Nature replied to an "IsItOpenData" query from Heather Piwowar and Peter Murray-Rust: "YES - Supplementary Information is published under a non-exclusive license across all Nature-branded journals...."
Environmental Research Letters, from the Institute of Physics Publishing, began to allow (but not require) authors to make their raw data files OA alongside their published articles. Moving the other way, the Journal of Neuroscience, from the Society for Neuroscience, stopped allowing authors to make their data files OA at the journal site, and will no longer peer-review data files when peer-reviewing articles. BioMed Central used the Neuroscience announcement as an occasion to reiterate its many forms of support for open data.
Journals have leverage to open up research datasets because they can make publication depend on it. GnuBio is doing something similar with lab hardware. It developed a gene sequencing machine significantly less expensive than others now available. The catch is that users must deposit the resulting sequence data in the GnuBio open-data repository.
The seven year old Alzheimer's Disease Neuroimaging Initiative reported significant progress in identifying biological markers that slow the development of the disease. It attributed the new successes to its policy to provide immediate OA to all project data and prohibit patents on project discoveries.
Peter Murray-Rust launched the Green Chain Reaction, a project to determine whether chemical reactions reported in the literature are getting greener, and not incidentally, asking publishers for permission to data-mine their journals. Heather Piwowar created a Mendeley bibliography of articles about journal policies on supplementary material. The Open Access Directory started building a list of journal open-data policies, led by Piwowar and Nic Weber. The list is still under development and should officially launch in 2011.
Jelte Wicherts and Marjan Bakker found that 73% of researchers who published in journals of the American Psychological Association (APA) did not comply with the APA rule --in both its code of ethics and publication manual-- to share their data. Instead of helping to solve the problem, the latest edition of the APA publication manual requires written agreements between those who generate data and those who'd like to share them, making compliance even less likely.
The Open Knowledge Foundation called for comments on its plan to launch a series of gamelike "Data Hunt" events to identify open datasets around the world. It also launched "Is it Open Data?", a project to crowdsource the job of finding out whether or how far given datasets were open and to share the answers with the public. Among the first two publishers to reply to project queries were BioMed Central and the Public Library of Science. Both publishers said that that the CC-BY licenses they used for published articles also applied to supplementary information. However, both also said that they supported the Panton Principles, which requires the public domain, not CC-BY.
Florence Bourgeois and colleagues reported that drug trials funded by industry "were less likely to be published within 2 years of study completion and were more likely to report positive outcomes than were trials funded by other sources" --strengthening the case for OA to clinical drug trial data. The European Medicines Agency (EMA) promised "greater openness and transparency" for its data from clinical trials and other business documents; currently the EMA shares data only in response to written requests, but plans to launch an OA data repository in the next five years. A new bill before the German Parliament would require public sharing of clinical drug trial data. An editorial in the Journal of the American Medical Association argued for open data to all clinical drug-trial data, and argued that medical journal editors should require it for the articles they publish. Akaza Research launched the OpenClinica Case Report Form Library, a free web service allowing users of the open-source OpenClinica to share and reuse clinical trial case report forms. The BioMed Central journal, Trials, launched a new series on sharing clinical research data.
Sage Bionetworks, the Merck spin-off, added Pfizer to its growing OA Commons of pharmaceutical data and research. GlaxoSmithKline began opening up its data on 13,500 chemical compounds with the potential to cure or treat malaria, using CC0 to assign the data to the public domain. MIT became the first academic institution to join GlaxoSmithKline and Alnylam Pharmaceuticals in donating patents to the Pool for Open Innovation against Neglected Tropical Diseases. The Norwegian Knowledge Center for Health Services announced plans to create an open-source drug discovery project.
The European Molecular Biology Laboratory's European Bioinformatics Institute (EMBL-EBI) launched ChEMBLdb, an OA database on drugs and drug-like small molecules. In 2008, the biotech firm Galapagos NV assigned the data to the public domain, and the Wellcome Trust awarded EMBL-EBI a grant to host and manage it. SciClips launched an OA database of therapeutic drug targets gleaned from US patents, patent applications, and research articles. Cyprotex launched an OA database on the absorption, distribution, metabolism and excretion of commercial drugs. Drugs.com launched an edition of its OA database for mobile devices.
The Decision and Policy Analysis Program of the International Centre for Tropical Agriculture announced it will launch an OA portal for data from agricultural trials, and do what it can to make data-sharing a standard practice in the field.
Climate scientists at the University of East Anglia were cleared of misconduct by an official UK inquiry. However, the inquiry report pointedly called for more openness in climate research. In response, JISC funded a project at the University of East Anglia's Climatic Research Unit to implement the open-data recommendations of the House of Commons Science and Technology Select Committee. At the same time, JISC and the UK Met Office, or National Weather Service, used the Climategate report as an occasion to reiterate their own commitment to open data. Weather agencies around the world supported a proposal from the UK Met Office not only to collect more precise temperature data, but to make it OA for independent scrutiny. John Graham-Cumming corrected some errors in temperature data records hosted by the UK Met Office, and argued that this kind of correction presupposes open data.
US Senators David Vitter (R-LA) and John Barrasso (R-WY) introduced the Public Access to Historical Records Act (S. 4015), which would provide retroactive OA to historical climate data from NASA and the National Climatic Data Center. The US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) and climate.gov launched a "climate dashboard" to summarize open data on climate change for citizens and policy-makers. The US Department of Energy launched DOE Green Energy, an OA portal of research on green energy. The US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) released the Health and Environmental Research Online (HERO) database, an OA collection of 300,000+ research articles underlying EPA's regulatory decisions.
NASA released an OA collection of satellite data on evapotranspiration, and the Russian Federal Space Agency (Roscosmos) began providing OA to its Earth-imaging satellite data. The World Meteorological Organization began deliberations about launching an OA database of global temperature data. A group of climate researchers launched the Climate Code Foundation to support open data and open-source software in climate research. The InterAcademy Council is evaluating the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) at the request of the UN, and called for public comments on the IPCC's processes and procedures; Clear Climate Code submitted a comment with 55 signatures calling for libre OA to all IPCC data. (Disclosure: I was one of the signatories.) Another climate data fiasco, this time at New Zealand's National Institute of Water and Atmospheric Research, triggered a new round of calls for open data.
After drug trial data and climate data, one of the most active fronts for open data in 2010 was the domain of library catalog records and bibliographic data. OCLC invited public comments on its new draft policy on the use of WorldCat records, which would open the data more than in the past but stop short of putting them into the public domain. Library Thing launched OverCat, an OA index of bibliographic data with some usage restrictions, second in size only to WorldCat. Meantime, libraries around the world began lifting restrictions and putting their bibliographic data into the public domain, usually under CC0. The movement seems to have started in Germany, with six libraries in Cologne plus the Hochschulbibliothekszentrum des Landes Nordrhein-Westfalen, and followed soon after by the University of Konstanz, Rheinisch-Westfälische Technische Hochschule Aachen, and the University of Tübingen. Outside Germany, similar steps were taken by Cambridge University and CERN. Late in the year, the British Library made three million bibliographic records, or about 20% of its catalogue, OA under CC0 and announced plans to release more, after which the JISC Open Bibliography immediately released tools and services to make the British Library data more useful. JISC asked EDINA to investigate whether OpenURL router data can (my guess: legally can, not technically can) be opened up for reuse.
JISC released a toolkit to help librarians share their catalog records, and followed it up with an Open Bibliographic Data Guide for institutions providing OA to library catalogue records. The Open Knowledge Foundation launched a Working Group on Open Bibliographic Data, which soon released a draft version of Principles on Open Bibliographic Data for public comment. OKF also released a preview of Bibliographica, its new open-source tool to gather and share semantically rich bibliographic information.
In 2010, open data was conspicuously useful, even heroic, in emergency humanitarian relief. After the Haitian earthquake in January 2010, Marc Fest, a VP at the Knight Foundation, persuaded news organizations to contribute information to PersonFinder, an open-source Google app which released its data under a CC-BY license. Architecture for Humanity built on its experience after Hurricane Katrina by proposing a series of relief centers throughout Haiti to provide OA to the relief data. OpenStreetMap not only provided to OA data and tools to assist rescue workers in Haiti, but provided what some consider the best maps of Haiti ever made. Google released its Haitian MapMaker data. DigitalGlobe and GeoEye released open versions their satellite photographs of Haiti. TrailBehind released a free iPhone app, Gaia GPS, combining various open geographical data, including OpenStreetMap, DigitalGlobe, GeoEye, for rescue workers using mobile devices. The US National Library of Medicine (NLM) and the Association of American Publishers division of Professional & Scholarly Publishing --note the strange bedfellows-- provided free online access to articles from 200+ biomedical journals and 30+ reference books to libraries and hospitals in Haiti.
After the Chilean earthquake in February 2010, Chilean seismologists opened up their data on the event. The UK Geological Society released a collection of OA research on Chilean tectonics, and students at Columbia University's School of Public Administration organized crisis information gathered from text messages, emails, and Twitter feeds, to facilitate humanitarian aid to victims.
After a drill rig explosion started an underwater gusher of oil in the Gulf of Mexico in April 2010, the US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration launched a website of OA, near-real-time information on the response to the spill, pulling together data from all US federal agencies working on the disaster. The US Environmental Law Institute launched the Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill Litigation Database to track ongoing cases related to the spill. The US National Library of Medicine added data on crude oil and dispersants to its OA Hazardous Substances Data Bank. The Cornell Ornithology Lab provided OA information on 22 bird species at risk from the spilled oil.
BP hired scientists from the US gulf coast to research the oil spill. However, it prohibited them from "publishing their research, sharing it with other scientists or speaking about the data that they collect for at least the next three years", required them "to withhold data even in the face of a court order if BP decides to fight such an order," and stipulated that "scientists will be paid only for research approved in writing by BP...." In response, thirteen scientific societies wrote a joint plea to the US Senate calling for public funding of research on the oil spill, arguing that BP's private funds came with unacceptable restrictions on public access to the research.
Some open-data developments were much less urgent, such as GameSpy Open, the initiative from GameSpy Technology "to empower all games to become more social through open data access." The less-urgent projects only highlight the many gaps where we have yet to live up to the principle that the more knowledge matters, the more OA to that knowledge matters.
Some notable datasets converted to OA in 2010, including some that fall under the emergency or humanitarian relief principle. The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) switched to OA for its BioSense database, which supports real-time monitoring for "bioterrorism and epidemic outbreaks" and helps coordinate federal, state, and local responses. The UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) converted FAOSTAT, the world's largest database of food, hunger and agricultural information, to OA. The World Bank converted its datasets on development to OA. Formerly, the datasets were not only TA but English-only. In addition to making them OA, the World Bank is making them available in Arabic, French, and Spanish. Ebrary converted its collection of ebooks on cyberbullying to OA. ChemSpider now provides OA to Infotherm data, which was formerly free only to paid-up members of the Royal Society of Chemistry. The German SOLIS portal (Social Science Literature Information System) converted to OA.
While many kinds of institutions are coming to agree on the principles of open data, there is still disagreement about the timing of release. The new NERC open-data policy gives grantees a two-year "right of first use" for data collected in NERC-funded projects. For new policies in 2010, that's about the outer limit of permissible delay. NASA, which normally allows a one-year right of first use, triggered controversy by delaying the release of some new data collected by the Kepler spacecraft by a few extra months in order to give the Kepler astronomers more time to study the data on their own. Journals requiring OA for the data underlying published articles generally require deposit and OA by the time of publication; that was the policy adopted this year, for example, by Molecular & Cellular Proteomics. As noted, the Nature Publishing group is trying to encourage prepublication data sharing in Nature Precedings. Martin Fenner proposed an open data mandate for clinical trial data to apply when the when the results are first submitted to a journal or presented at a conference. The UK Information Commissioner ruled that the country's Freedom of Information Act compelled the sharing of research data collected by more than 30 years ago, some of which had not yet been published by the scientist who collected it. (The Panton Principles are silent on timing issues.)
The most exciting new open-data platform in 2010 was BioTorrents from Morgan Langille and Jonathan Eisen, a P2P data-sharing service for biology using BitTorrent. Something like this will be needed in every field where researchers need to share not just megabytes or gigabytes, but terabytes and petabytes.
Google bought Metaweb and its OA database, Freebase, and Google Labs launched Google Fusion Tables, a new platform for uploading, sharing, and visualizing data tables, with an open API and built-in tools for graphing quantitative data and mapping geographic data. PLoS lost no time in uploading its Article Level Metrics data to Google Fusion Tables. Google also added data-visualization tools to its public-data search engine. The British Library upgraded its catalog search engine to search for research datasets. Elysium Open Access is a new platform for data sharing through health information exchanges.
Spanish researchers launched PubDNA Finder, a new tool for integrating OA texts and open data, linking documents in PubMed Central to the nucleic acid sequences they describe or analyze. Elsevier began linking from articles to relevant parts of the OA database, PANGAEA (Publishing Network for Geoscientific & Environmental Data), and PANGAEA linked back. A few months later they took their text-data integration one step further. Elsevier now has "a map to every ScienceDirect article that has associated research data at PANGAEA; it displays all geographical locations for which such data is available. A single click then brings the user from the ScienceDirect article to the research data set at PANGAEA...."
The Open Knowledge Foundation released CKAN version 1.2. Science 3.0 launched a free RDF data-hosting service for public-domain datasets, and the Norwegian Social Science Data Services converted its Nesstar data publishing software to freeware and released version 4.0. Kitware opened the source code on key parts of MIDAS, its data publishing system, and Georgi Kobilarov launched Uberblic.org, a project to integrate different OA datasets.
The researchers who sequenced the genome of the cocoa tree claimed to make the data "full open access" and even "public domain", but in the fine print limited commercial use and prohibited redistributing the data without written permission.
For comparison, see my review of open data:
(7) Books and digitization
The long-simmering Google Book Settlement, amended in late 2009, finally had its fairness hearing in February 2010. But US District Court Judge Denny Chin explained that he needed more time to digest the many briefs and comments, including new objections from the US Department of Justice. He didn't issue a ruling and didn't say when he would be able to do so. In October Google announced that it had digitized 15 million books to date.
Meantime, three more French book publishers, including Gallimard, sued Google for digitizing their books without permission. France's Bibliotheque Nationale, one of the strongest early opponents of the Google book-scanning, began talking to Google about a joint digitization project. Toward year's end, Hachette Livre became the first French publisher to strike a book-scanning deal with Google. Google also began book-scanning operations with (among others) the Austrian National Library, the National Library of the Netherlands, the Consultative Group on International Agricultural Research, the Scripps Institution of Oceanography Library, and the Israel Antiquities Authority (for the Dead Sea Scrolls). Two existing Google partners, Stanford University and the University of Virginia, expanded their Google book-scanning operations. Several groups of photographers and artists sued Google for digitizing their work without permission, although Google is not displaying their work in searches or online editions.
Google responded to critics of its production quality by funding librarians to improve the metadata for the 10+ million books Google has already digitized. Responding to other criticism, it reversed course and decided not to enforce the exclusivity clauses in its book-scanning contracts with libraries, opening the door for other search engines to index Google-scanned digital texts. It called on the public to help identify books in the public domain that it should make available in "full view" (full-text OA with permission to download, save, and print). Not waiting for a Google solution to a continuing problem, Klaus Graf created a screencast to teach users outside the US how to use a US proxy to read Google Books.
In the spring, Google started funding scholars in the humanities to text-mine the Google Books corpus, including the copyrighted books in the corpus. Google allowed users to upload image-scans of documents into Google Docs, where Google will OCR them and make them into searchable texts exportable to other applications. Less than two weeks ago, Google launched the Google Books Ngram Viewer, a free tool for simple text-mining queries over 5.2 million Google-digitized books, or about 4% of all the books ever published. Scholars at Harvard, who co-authored the first research paper using the tool, called it the "largest data release in the history of the humanities."
During 2010, the HathiTrust significantly expanded beyond its original set of founding members and beyond its original corpus of Google-scanned books. At the end of 2010, the HathiTrust had three consortial partners and 52 individual institutional partners, roughly four times the membership it had at launch in 2008. In 2010, it admitted its first consortial partner beyond the founding partners (Triangle Research Libraries Network) and its first partner from outside the US (Universidad Complutense de Madrid). The repository now hosts 7.7 million digitized books and 193.6k digitized journal titles, some scanned by Google, some by the Internet Archive, and some by institutional partners.
About 24% of the HathiTrust collection is in the public domain. The last figure represents a significant investment. The Trust has about 20 staffers on its Copyright Review Project, carefully checking the copyright status of the digitized books in its collection. When books are PD, the Trust makes them OA without restriction. In addition to benefiting readers, this practice benefits databases, such as the H.W. Wilson Essay & General Literature Retrospective, Short Story Index Retrospective, and Book Review Digest Retrospective databases, which now link from their content to full-text, public-domain books in the HathiTrust. For the copyrighted books in its collection, the Trust now offers a web form in which authors can request that their works be made OA.
Several major players in the US received a Sloan Foundation grant to plan a Digital Public Library of America, sometimes called a US National Digital Library. Participants include Harvard University, Stanford University, the Universities of Michigan and Virginia, the Mellon and Sloan Foundations, the Council on Library and Information Resources, the Internet Archive, the Library of Congress, and Public.Resources.Org.
Carl Malamud called on the US government to spend "a minimum of $250 million per year for a decade" on digitizing government information, including the primary sources of US law, and making it all OA. Malamud also launched Yes We Scan, a project for digitizing US law funded by a major grant from Google's Project 10^100, and the International Amateur Scanning League, an "experiment in crowd-sourced digitization" which will digitize and open up 3,000 DVDs from the US National Archives.
The Open Library now supports scan-on-demand, allowing users to request the scanning of any public-domain book not already in the Open Library catalog. The Internet Archive launched a book drive to enlarge its OA collection. If you mail IA a print PD book, it will scan it and add it to the collection. Nick Hodson launched his Grassroots Book-Scanning project to let web users post OA copies of public-domain books to the Internet Archive.
Michael Hart of Project Gutenberg described his ambition to offer OA to one billion books: 10 million PD books translated into 100 languages each. John Mark Ockerbloom's Online Books Page harvested book metadata from the Hathi Trust, Google, Microsoft, the Internet Archive, and other sources, thereby enlarging the collection's "repertoire of titles" twentyfold. Ockerbloom also plans to harvest metadata on digitized, public-domain journal backfiles and point users to the OA full texts.
The US National Library of Medicine launched Digital Collections, an OA repository of monographs and films from the NLM History of Medicine Division. The SPIE Digital Library officially launched SPIE eBooks. Some of the books are entirely OA and some have selected OA chapters. The American Folklore Society and the Indiana University Bloomington Libraries officially launched the Open Folklore Portal, a website providing OA to 57,000 books and journals from IU's folklore collection ("the most significant collection of its kind in the world") as well as to other OA books.
The EU Culture and Education Committee unanimously supported new funding for Europeana and called for more content from under-represented member states. It also urged member states to speed up digitization, and not to restrict digital access to their own borders. The EU and IBM launched a joint digitization project, Improving Access to Text (IMPACT), making "new tools and best practices" available to institutions across Europe. As noted above in Section 5, Denmark's Open Access Committee recommended that Danish academic publishers "prepare suggestions as to how Danish periodicals and Danish monographs can be converted to Open Access...." As far as I know, it's not only the first call for journal publishers to involve themselves in a national conversion to OA, but the first call for monograph publishers to do the same.
A report from the European Commission estimated that 13% of European books still under copyright are orphan works. An open letter from 21 major organizations, including the British Library, JISC, Research Councils UK, Bodleian Library, Wellcome Trust, and Universities UK defended mass digitization against proposed amendments to the Orphan Works Clause of the UK Digital Economy Bill.
Europeana now offers OA to more than 14 million digitized books and other objects, well ahead of its 2010 target of 10 million objects. Mexico and South Africa joined the World Digital Library project, and the OA repository of Ireland's Health Service Executive joined the OA WorldWideScience Alliance.
Makerere University in Kampala, the South African Institute of International Affairs in Johannesburg, and Canada's Centre for International Governance Innovation, launched the Africa Portal, which will provide OA to books, journals, and other texts. Some of the contents were already digital but others were digitized especially for the portal. A grant from the World Digital Library (WDL) enabled the National Library of Uganda to launch a Digital Conversion Center and digitize Ugandan historical and cultural documents for deposit in WDL. A committee of India's Inflibnet Centre recommended that the University Grants Commission fund universities to digitize their papers for OA, including theses and dissertations.
Two filmmakers and a member of the Dutch parliament launched the Great Book Robbery Project, to crowdsource the job of providing OA to a digital library of more than 60,000 books owned by Palestinians and seized by the Israeli army during the 1948 Arab-Israeli war. The project also hopes to find the books' legal heirs (copyright owners? original possessors?) and to produce a documentary film on the subject.
While OAPEN (Open Access Publishing in European Networks) was formed and funded in 2008 and published its first book in 2009, it officially launched until 2010. The EU-funded OAPEN is now one of the highest-profile publishers of peer-reviewed OA books in the humanities and social sciences. In 2010 but before its official launch, OAPEN published a major report on business models for OA book publishing in the humanities and social sciences. OAPEN's coordinator, Eelco Ferweda of Amsterdam University Press, won the SURFshare Open Access Awards for 2010 in the "Strategic" category.
The National Library of Norway provided OA to "large parts" of its digitized collection, including both public domain and copyrighted works. The copyrighted work was made available through a deal with Kopinor, a company representing publisher and author associations.
The University of Ottawa Press launched a collection 36 OA books in the arts, humanities, and social sciences, and the University of Calgary Press released its first OA book during OA Week. The libraries at the University of Nebraska - Lincoln created an OA imprint for publishing original scholarly monographs. Using data from late 2009, American Association of University Presses reported that 25 member presses (42.4% of survey respondents) now publish full-text OA books.
The Society for Biblical Literature launched an OA series of Ancient Near East Monographs. Six Swiss libraries launched the the e-rara project, which digitizes and opens books from the 16th to the 19th centuries. NASA, the Center for Digital Discourse and Culture at Virginia Tech, the OA journal publisher, InTech, and the TA journal, Academic Medicine, all published their first OA books in 2010.
The Shuttleworth Foundation launched Yoza, a library of OA "m-novels" or cellphone stories users in Africa. The Tunisian National Library started making digitized books in French and Arabic downloadable to mobile devices. Berlin Academic would have been a new German-English publisher of OA books in 2010, but postponed its launch to 2011.
In the US House of Representatives, Rep. David (D-OR) introduced the Open College Textbook Act of 2010 (H.R. 4575), a new bill "to authorize grants for the creation, update, or adaption [sic] of open textbooks...." California launched Phase 2 of its Free Digital Textbook Initiative, soliciting a new cohort of OA textbooks in high school history, social science, and higher-level mathematics. The state found that 8 of 10 reviewed, CC-licensed OA textbooks met 100% of the state's standards for use in public schools, and has now approved 30 OA textbooks for use in California schools.
The US Student Public Interest Research Groups (PIRGs) released a study on college textbooks and student preferences, recommending that publishers, colleges, and governments invest more in open textbooks and other affordable alternatives. The Hewlett Foundation gave Brigham Young University a grant to compare the pedagogical effectiveness of OA and TA textbooks. The US Fund for the Improvement of Postsecondary Education gave the University of Illinois a grant to create an OA textbook (topic TBA), and gave the Florida Distance Learning Consortium a grant to study the barriers to the adoption of OA textbooks. The Florida state legislature created a working group to investigate affordable alternatives to expensive textbooks, including OA textbooks.
OA textbook publisher Flat World Knowledge struck a deal with Barnes & Noble College Booksellers and NACS Media Solutions. When professors revise and remix a Flat World textbook to suit their needs, an affiliated college bookstore will create an inexpensive POD edition for students who want print editions. Flat World also launched a new adoption process for schools which meets the textbook-adoption regulations in the 2008 Higher Education Opportunity Act (HEOA), and an internship program for its promoting its OA textbooks.
LibriVox, the oldest and largest producer of OA audiobooks, launched a fund-raising campaign and released a tool, Librophile, for searching and browsing OA books and OA audio books. BooksShouldBeFree entered the field as a new source for OA audio books. The North Carolina libraries added 500 downloadable, OA audio books to its collection, bring its total to more than 1,300.
Ronald Snijder released a study concluding that OA improved the discoverability of books, but had no effect on the sales or citations of books. On the other side, John Hilton III's doctoral dissertation at Brigham Young University provided new evidence that full-text OA books stimulate the sales of print editions. In a separate study, Hilton and David Wiley interviewed ten book authors who consented to allow OA editions of their books (one novelist and nine scholars in the sciences, law, and humanities), delving into their motives, their sales, and the impact of their work. JISC Collections invited monograph publishers in the humanities and social sciences to participate in a project (OAPEN-UK) to test the feasibility and impact of OA book publishing. Publishers will submit "matched pairs" of scholarly monographs, and the project will randomly make one digital-OA and make the other digital-TA. The project will pay publishers to participate in the experiment, which will run from May 2011 to April 2014. The real news here is that we're moving beyond the stage of anecdote into empirical research on the question whether full-text OA books provide a net increase or decrease to the sales of print editions.
Randy Cohen, the ethics columnist for the New York Times, argued that it is illegal but not unethical to download an unauthorized digital copy of a book for which one has already purchased a print edition. (In February 2008, Cohen made a similar argument that it is illegal but not unethical to copy books that are out-of-print but still under copyright.)
Oldenbourg Wissenschaftsverlag and Akademie Verlag adopted what may be the first hybrid OA policy for book chapters. Under the model, authors may pay publication fees to open up journal articles or book chapters in anthologies.
The Swiss e-rara project (noted above) initially disseminated the digitized copies of its public-domain books under CC BY-NC-SA licenses. When Digital Allmendring objected that PD works couldn't have CC licenses, e-rara agreed to remove the licenses and acknowledge that the digital copies were themselves PD. Sweden's Royal Library promised to provide OA under CC licenses to the digitized reproductions of PD works, but as far as I know has not encountered the same objection. The Swedish museum, Historiska Museet, adopted CC-BY-NC-ND and CC-BY-NC-SA licenses for its digital copies of PD works, but plans to whittle away the restrictions over time. The plan to remove restrictions over time is better than the absence of such a plan; but if the works are PD, then the steps along the way constitute both needless delay and copyfraud. The Swiss National Library used public funds to digitize PD books from its collection but did not make them OA or even put them online; it sold the texts on CDs or PDFs at prices starting at 15 francs.
A few important institutions got it right. The 2010 Europeana Public Domain Charter included the principle that digitizing PD works does not create new rights, and that the digital copies are themselves PD. The EU Culture and Education Committee unanimously endorsed the same principle, as did the Open Access Principles for Australian Collecting Institutions. The ARL's 2010 Principles to Guide Vendor/Publisher Relations in Large-Scale Digitization Projects of Special Collections Materials largely agree, but are less explicit.
The University of Ottawa Press said that it was providing "unrestricted access" to its new series of OA monographs, and yet used an "all rights reserved" copyright statement on the books. In an interview with Richard Poynder, press eBook Coordinator Rebecca Ross clarified that, so far, the books are gratis and not libre OA.
The Librarian of Congress created six new exceptions to the anti-circumvention language of the US Digital Millennium Copyright Act. Among other things, the exceptions allow hacking ebooks to support alternative formats and read-aloud functions. Cambridge University Press and Bookshare began converting selected books and journals into formats accessible to the blind that will be gratis OA for students in the US. The Internet Archive began converting more than one million digitized books to the DAISY talking book format, in order to serve blind, dyslexic, and print-impaired readers. Readers who register with the Library of Congress's National Library Service for the Blind and Physically Handicapped will have gratis OA to the books, including books under copyright.
The Apple iPad took off as a book reader. Some users prefer the Kindle's freedom from distraction, enforced by lack of an internet connection and lack of general software support, but many others prefer a book reader with internet connectivity, color, and support for other kinds of software. Toward year's end, the Google ebookstore offered untethered ebooks, readable on nearly any device with an internet connection (hence excluding the Kindle). Inkstone Software launched MegaReader, an ebook reader for the smaller iPhone. Ray Kurzweil introduced the Blio, his software-based ebook reader. The new Alex Reader supports e-ink and color on two different screens. The Internet Archive upgraded its open-source BookReader, which now integrates with Open Library and offers new sharing options, such as embedding a book on a web page or sharing links to individual pages. Under the direction of Jonathan Zittrain, developers at Harvard's Berkman Center built an application on the open-source H20 platform making it easy for law professors to build OA casebooks for law school courses.
The Internet Archive and Amazon worked out a way for users to send PD titles from the Open Library to a Kindle. The IA also launched a service allowing users who subscribe to Overdrive.com's Digital Library Reserve to "borrow" ebooks from the Open Library. The books are not limited to PD titles, and automatically expire after two weeks. In addition, the IA released the first component of its BookServer project: the Open Publishing Distribution System (OPDS) Catalog format, an open standard "to enable the discovery of digital content from any location, on any device, and for any application...." The upgraded Open Library includes subject pages listing the books written on that subject and graphing their publication history.
Stian Håklev began investigating what happened to the Universal Library, whose web site hasn't been updated since 2007. The presses at the University of Scranton and Rice University both closed during 2010. This was the second death for Rice University press, which closed in 1996 and revived in 2006 with a focus on OA.
For comparison, see my review of OA books:
(8) Copyright and licensing
Creative Commons launched its Public Domain Mark, enabling users to tag items in the public domain and allowing search engines to search for the tagged items. This may not reduce the time-consuming job of discovering whether a work is in the PD, but it should reduce the needless repetition of the work whenever someone else needs to know. It should also open up the PD for filtered searching, allowing users to find relevance and reuse rights together and not just relevance alone. In addition, CC released a draft version of its first patent tool, the Research Non-Assertion Pledge and the Public Patent License.
As before, I'm omitting the many open-licensing initiatives for public-sector information. But I can at least mention that in 2010 they extended well beyond North America, Europe, and Australia, where they were clustered in 2009. Qatar's Supreme Council of Information and Communication Technology, ictQATAR, announced plans to create a "digitally open society" in the country and promote the use of CC licenses and open-source software. Participants in an APIN (Asia-Pacific Information Network) conference recommended that several new information policies for the Philippines, including greater use of the public domain and CC licenses.
UK Prime Minister David Cameron announced plans make British copyright laws "fit for the internet age" by reducing the cost of obtaining permission from rightsholders and adding a US-style provision on fair use. The UK review panel showed its good faith by naming James Boyle as a member. Boyle is a Brit, co-founder of Creative Commons, co-founder of Duke Law School's Center for the Study of the Public Domain, and one of the 2010 Pioneer Award winners from the Electronic Frontier Foundation.
A new bill in the UK Parliament would effectively legalize search engines by holding that the website rightsholders "shall be presumed to give a standing and non-exclusive license to providers of search engine services to make a copy of some or all of the content of that website, for the purpose only of providing said search engine services...."
In a major report on the state of OA in the UK, the Centre for Research Communications recommended that that UK funding agencies "take a robust attitude to copyright and reserve copyright for OA archiving prior to any downstream agreement with publishers", just as the Wellcome Trust and NIH have done for years. The British Library released a collection of essays on how UK copyright law helps or hinders research. While not designed to reflect just one point of view, the essays reflect "a consensus that the laws on copyright...must be redefined in the context of a modernising world and developing research techniques...." The UK Liberal Democrat Manifesto for 2010 included a commitment to "Ensure that all state-funded research, including clinical trials, is publicly accessible and that the results are published and subject to peer review...." Both the Labour manifesto and the Conservative manifesto called for OA for public sector information.
A copyright reform bill in Germany that would give authors a right of self-archiving triggered sharp debate between publishers and researchers. Among other groups supporting the bill are Germany's Coalition for Action: Copyright for Education and Research (Aktionsbündnis: Urheberrecht für Bildung und Wissenschaft) and the newly launched European Network for Copyright in Support of Education and Science (ENCES), both focused on OA-friendly copyright reforms. The Coalition also recommended a copyright amendment to strengthen the existing exceptions for research and education. With ENCES, it plans to propose the same amendment in other European countries. The Coalition also released a new petition to supplement Lars Fischer's October 2009 petition to the German Parliament, extending the arguments in the original petition for OA to publicly-funded research in Germany. German lawyer Till Kreutzer launched a campaign against a new quasi-copyright protection allowing publishers to control uncopyrightable snippets. Not quite on the same page as these initiatiaves, the German Association of Higher Education (Deutscher Hochschulverband) called for an "education- and science-friendly" copyright policy (bildungs- und wissenschaftsfreundlicheres Urheberrecht), by which they meant one that would rule out OA mandates.
Sixteen mostly-European nonprofits led by COMMUNIA released the Public Domain Manifesto, and called for signatures from individuals and organizations. Among other provisions, the manifesto points out that the public domain is the rule and copyright the exception. On its heels, another coalition of European non-profits and technology companies released Copyright for Creativity, "a declaration calling for a European copyright law truly adapted to the Internet age" and for copyright reforms to help citizens "develop and share educational and research materials...." Europeana's new Public Domain Charter made admirably clear that "[d]igitisation of Public Domain content does not create new rights over it" and that "[w]hile Public-Private Partnerships are an important means of getting content digitised, the Charter recommends that deals are non-exclusive, for very limited time periods, and don't take material out of the Public Domain."
The European Commission appointed a Reflection Group (Comité des Sages) to recommend ways to overcome the technical, legal, and financial barriers to the mass digitization and OA of European cultural heritage. The group solicited public comments in 2010 and should issue its report in 2011. Neelie Kroes, Vice President of the European Commission for the Digital Agenda, argued that copyright law must stop putting intermediaries ahead of artists and must not be allowed to prevent Europeana from providing OA to Europe's cultural heritage. She also announced that the European Commission would "soon make legislative proposals" to remove or reduce these copyright barriers.
In the US, the 20 members of the Copyright Principles Project --law professors and industry representatives e.g. from Disney and Warner Brothers-- released a draft report on seven principles and 25 recommendations for re-balancing copyright law between the interests of rightsholders and the interests of the public. I counted eight OA-friendly recommendations, including one making open licenses enforceable, and another requiring that once works enter the PD, they must remain in the PD. The Association of Research Libraries (ARL) released its Statement of Principles on the Federal Depository Library Program, affirming the need for "broad public access" to a "comprehensive digital collection in the public domain...." It also released its Principles to Guide Vendor/Publisher Relations in Large-Scale Digitization Projects, which called for "the broadest possible user access" and "no access fees or royalty demands for non-commercial use of public-domain content...." The Opening Australia's Archives project released version 1.0 of its Open Access Principles for Australian Collecting Institutions, which include seven guidelines on making digitized collections OA.
On behalf of the Ad Hoc Working Group on Author-Rights Language in Library Content Licenses, Ivy Anderson presented version 0.8 (April 2010) of the Author Rights Model Licensing Language. Duke University released a set of model letters, release forms and licenses for OA distribution.
US law requires libraries to post notices on copying machines to warn users that copyright law prohibits infringement. There is no requirement to tell users that copyright allows fair use, but the University of Michigan decided the add the second clause on its own.
The University of Michigan Library also became the first major research library to use CC-BY licenses for its web site content. Even Microsoft saw that libre OA could serve some of its interests, and released its Security Development Lifecycle (SDL) documents under a CC-BY-NC-SA license, to make it as easy as possible for developers to build secure applications for Windows. Similarly, the Corporation for National Research Initiatives (CNRI), which put its Handle System technology under an open license; among the important users of the Handle System technology are the DOI system and DSpace.
While one US federal circuit court ruled (in MGE UPS Systems Inc. v. General Electric) that breaking DRM for purposes of fair use doesn't always violate the anti-circumvention of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act, another upheld the Uruguay Round Agreements, ruling (in Golan v. Holder) that retroactively putting public-domain works under copyright --i.e. piracy from the public domain-- does not violate the copyright clause of the US constitution. The latter decision came in the same month that a WIPO report opposed the retroactive extension of copyright to works in the public domain.
The same WIPO report (Scoping Study on Copyright and Related Rights and the Public Domain) opposing retroactive copyrights described OA as an "ideology" wanting to "subvert the intellectual property regime from within" and "socialize intellectual property, counter to the very meaning of the exclusivity that characterizes it" --as if copyright law one-sidedly created rights for authors and publishers, without time limits or exceptions to these rights, and without giving authors and publishers the right to waive their rights. The report was commissioned by the relatively OA-friendly WIPO Development Agenda.
A copyright reform bill in Brazil would allow DRM circumvention for the purpose of fair use. It would also punish attempts to hinder or prevent users from exercising their fair-use rights. Another provision --supported by an open letter from Richard Stallman-- would legalize non-commercial file-sharing in exchange for a small fee from internet subscribers.
A workshop on South Africa's Intellectual Property Rights strongly criticized the 2008 Publicly Financed Research and Development Act, which would move the country in exactly the wrong direction by requiring commercialization rather than OA for publicly-funded research. A new book on Access to Knowledge in Africa, from the African Copyright and Access to Knowledge (ACA2K) project recommended strategies for creating "access-friendly copyright environments" and concluded that South African copyright law impedes "access to learning materials via digital portals...."
In a close vote, a coalition of 17 African nations voted to sign a protocol protecting traditional knowledge and folklore. WIPO applauded the move, even though a UN report in January warned against applying western concepts of copyright to "collectively owned knowledge in traditional communities." Ghana announced that it will enforce a 2005 copyright reform requiring payment and government permission to use Ghanian folklore.
A bill before the Czech parliament would put bureaucratic hurdles in the way of anyone wanting to use open licenses. English Heritage sent form letters to UK image libraries selling photos of Stonehenge, claimed to own the copyright on Stonehenge, and demanded a cut of their profits. When Monica Gaudio noticed that the online Magazine, Cooks Source, copied one of her articles from her website and published it without her permission, she asked for an apology and a $130 donation to the Columbia School of Journalism. The magazine editor, Judith Griggs, explained that "the web is considered 'public domain' and you should be happy we just didn't 'lift' your whole article and put someone else's name on it!"
A report from the Conference Board of Canada called on Canada to support OA for publicly-funded research. In the welter of calls for OA, this one is notable because it replaces three Conference Board reports withdrawn in 2009 for cutting and pasting text and recommendations from the International Intellectual Property Alliance (IIPA), a US lobbying group. In 2010, the IIPA was vindicated, in a way, by its victorious US lobbying campaign to permit retroactive copyrights on works in the public domain.
At year's end, only 19% of the journals listed in the Directory of Open Access Journals (DOAJ) use CC licenses. Fewer than 11% of the DOAJ journals have the SPARC Europe Seal of Approval, which requires CC-BY, the license also recommended by SURF and the Open Access Scholarly Publishers Association (OASPA). The Lindh/Graffner survey mentioned in Section 4 found that fewer than half the Nordic journals using Open Journal Systems (OJS) used CC licenses, and none of them used CC-BY. Some of the OA journals not using CC licenses undoubtedly use other open licenses, and we don't have a good count for them. The percentage using CC licenses is up from last year (19% v. 15.6%) and the percentage with the SPARC Seal of Approval is also up (10.9% v. 9.9%). But the number using open licenses to provide libre OA beyond gratis OA remains lamentably low. It also remains the case that OA repositories are rarely able to obtain the permissions needed for libre OA, while OA journals have no excuses.
The 2010 preview of the results from SOAP (Study of Open Access Publishing) sheds light on the state of open licensing for research publications. Half of the 14 "large" OA publishers use CC licenses, most of them (82%) using CC-BY licenses and the rest (18%) using CC-BY-NC. Of the smaller OA publishers, only about one-fifth use CC licenses. The seven "large" CC-using OA publishers account for 72% of the journals and 71% of the articles SOAP investigated. Outside this select circle, more than one-quarter of the publishers didn't even provide copyright information. These tends to confirm the view that much of the problem is limited to the long tail of small OA publishers who have given little or no thought to copyright issues or libre OA beyond gratis OA.
A survey of scholars in the field of communications found that a third avoided topics raising copyright issues, a fifth faced publisher resistance to scholarly use of copyrighted work, and a fifth abandoned research in progress because of copyright problems. Many are told they must seek permission to discuss or criticize copyrighted works.
Rufus Pollock released two new studies, one on the size of the European public domain (about nine million books) and one on its economic value (in the UK, PD books "are cheaper relative to in-copyright ones by around 5-15%"). A report from the Computer & Communications Industry Association found that "[i]n 2007, fair use industries generated revenue of $4.7 trillion, a 36 percent increase over 2002 revenue of $3.4 trillion....Employment in industries benefiting from fair use increased from 16.9 million in 2002 to 17.5 million in 2007. About one out of every eight workers in the United States is employed in an industry that benefits from the protection afforded by fair use...."
The International Federation of Library Associations and Institutions reported that "the vast majority of library associations" around the world support OA. This was true in all regions and exceptionless in Europe and North America. The Berkman Center for Internet & Society and eIFL.net released Copyright for Librarians, an OA curriculum for librarians in developing countries.
The OA Working Group of the Alliance of German Science Organisations (Allianz der deutschen Wissenschaftsorganisationen) released a Legal Guide for Online Delivery of Older Publications, and the Interuniversity Council of the French Community (Conseil interuniversitaire de la Communauté française) published a book-length guide to the legal aspects of scientific publishing, including OA. As noted in Section 2, a white paper from SPARC and Science Commons written by two lawyers recommended that universities follow the Harvard and MIT models to avoid copyright problems in their OA policies. By contrast, the 16th edition of the Chicago Manual of Style included advice on avoiding or delaying OA, at least for publishers who want to maximize profits. (Does your style manual detour from style guidelines in order to push publisher interests ahead of author interests?)
Google Code became a general open-source repository for programming projects using any open license. From its birth five years ago, it tried to limit the proliferation of software licenses by requiring accepted projects to use licenses within a certain, narrow range. The Yolink browser plug-in added support for CC licenses, allowing users to find online content and share it through a Google Doc with a CC license. Akila Wajirasena updated the Creative Commons Open Office plugin with tools for using CC0 and assigning work to the public domain.
Sixty out of 113 new Stanford PhDs took advantage of the university's new option to submit their dissertations digitally for OA through the university IR. 52 of those 60 chose CC-BY licenses for their ETDs (and 36 chose to release the full-text with no embargo). The CC-licensed photos at Flickr increased from 10 million to 135 million over four years. Among CC licenses, restrictive licenses are more common than CC-BY, but the frequency of restrictive CC licenses is decreasing and that of CC-BY is increasing.
Andrew Rens released a partial list of works that entered the public domain in 2010 under South African law. The Center for the Study of the Public Domain released a partial list of what would have entered the public domain in 2010, if the term of copyright had not been extended in 1976 (taking effect in 1978). The Open Knowledge Foundation gave a preview of works that will enter the public domain in 2011. OKF Director Rufus Pollock calculated that if the term of copyright had never been extended beyond the original term of 14 years, with one 14 year renewal, then "52% of the books available today would in the public domain compared to an actual level of 19%...."
Peter Hirtle released a 2010 update to his chart (now under a CC-BY license) on Copyright Term and the Public Domain in the United States. Tulane University Law School launched the Durationator, a tool to ascertain the copyright status of any work under any country's laws.
As usual, January 1 was Public Domain Day, because it marks the start of a new year when the copyrights expire on another cohort of books and other work. Public Knowledge celebrated January 12 as Fair Use Day. International Day Against Digital Restrictions Management (DRM) was May 4, 2010. March 31, 2010 was Document Freedom Day (DFD), "a global day for document liberation" and "grassroots effort[s] to educate the public about the importance of Free Document Formats and Open Standards in general...." And of course October 18-24 was Open Access Week .
For comparison, see my review of open licenses for research:
(9) Effects of the recession
As in the past, the continuing recession reduced the money needed to pay for OA, and strengthened the case for it.
However, there were fewer examples of the former than in 2009. Yale University dropped its institutional membership in the Public Library of Science, explaining that the decision was budgetary. At the same time, however, Case Western Reserve University reinstated its Supporter Membership with BioMed Central, which it had let lapse, and the University of North Carolina at Greensboro signed on for a new one.
Princeton University cited financial reasons for pulling the plug on its University Channel, but said it would will look for other ways to provide OA to many of the same lectures and conferences. And (as noted in Section 5 on journals), I found no journals that converted from OA to TA in 2010, and only one that converted from immediate OA to delayed OA.
Because most research access is still toll access, slashed library budgets entailed slashed access to research for scholars. Megan Scudellari reported that "[a] 2009 global survey of 835 libraries in 61 countries found that nearly one-third of academic libraries saw their budgets reduced by 10 percent or more that year." The New Mexico State University at Las Cruces cut its materials budget by 27%, and all the cuts will appear in the serials portion (83%) of the materials budget. Colorado State University cut its library budget by $600,000. The University of Washington cancelled 1,600 titles (journals and databases), the University of Virginia library 1,169 titles, New Mexico State University more than 700. Wellesley College Library conducted its first systematic journal cancellation review since 2003, to prepare for a $200,000 (8-9%) budget cut.
In June, the University of California libraries told UC faculty that the Nature Publishing Group wanted to raise the price of its site license by 400%. If NPG didn't relent, the libraries planned to cancel their NPG titles and organize an author/editor/referee boycott of NPG. (I wrote about the UC/NPG conflict in depth for the July 2010 issue of SOAN.) Southern Illinois University announced that it shared UC's frustration with NPG and might have to take similar steps. Purdue University revealed that the entire Committee on Institutional Cooperation (CIC) shared UC's grievance, might have to take similar steps next year, and might not limit its actions to NPG. In August the UC and NPG had a constructive meeting in which they agreed to continue talking to work out their differences. So far the result of the talks has not been made public.
The University of Prince Edward Island canceled its subscription to ISI's Web of Science and sent an open letter to faculty explaining why. Mark Leggott, the university's proposed an OA, wiki-based index of literature called "Knowledge for All", to be built by cooperating libraries.
Thirty-two Chinese research libraries released a joint open letter to international STM publishers protesting journal price increases as monopolistic, hyperinflationary, "totally unreasonable, and categorically unacceptable". The US Department of Energy revealed that, "[b]ecause of cost considerations, even at DOE Headquarters, only 5% of the employees have access to [subscription] journals...." The UK's University and College Union reported that "more than one-third of universities in England are 'at risk' of being closed as a result of cuts in government financing". Among the survivors, severe budget cuts are bound to carry severe access cuts.
The Research Libraries UK (RLUK) announced that "it would not support future journal big deals unless they showed real price reductions." Without price reductions, UK libraries will be "forced to cancel significant numbers of subscriptions" and "forced to provide information resources to their researchers and students in other ways", which presumably include OA. The International Coalition of Library Consortia (ICOLC) re-issued and updated its Statement on the Global Economic Crisis and Its Impact on Consortial Licenses (originally issued in January 2009), and called for "real price reductions" and "creative solutions that...[don't require] major content or access reductions...." Athabasca University chose not to renew its licence with Access Copyright, rather than pay a ten-fold increase in copyright fees. Instead, it will rely more open educational resources, direct negotiations with copyright holders, an encourage other institutions to follow suit.
The Medical Library Association's Ad Hoc Committee for Advocating Scholarly Communications started compiling a list of journal publishers who agreed to freeze their 2011 prices at 2010 levels "in recognition of continued economic constraints". It made a similar list last year and is calling for public help to compile the new one. As I go to press, the list has 32 publishers --mostly non-profits, university presses, and societies, with not one of the commercial giants (though it hasn't been updated since August).
Simba Information forecast rocky times for journal publishers: "If library budget constraints and shrinking advertising expenditures" persist, and "libraries start cancelling big contracts", then "publishers will be under the gun to find alternative strategies...." Nevertheless, Elsevier's profit rate in 2009 was 35%, and Reed Elsevier's was 26%. Using Bo-Christer Björk's estimate of 1.5 million new articles/year, Heather Morrison calculated that Elsevier's $2 billion profit in 2009 could have paid for OA for every article published in 2009 at a fee of $1,383 per article.
Despite the slashed budgets, 10 institutions launched new programs to pay publication fees at fee-based OA journals. Six of them joined the Compact for Open Access Publishing Equity (COPE). (More details in Section 5.) If we put this together with the rise in university-based green OA mandates --at least 72 this year, up from 60 in 2009, and almost five times more numerous than encouragement-only policies-- we see universities positioning themselves to improve access to research, even if that requires an investment in hard financial times.
Meantime, research continued to show the wisdom of that investment, by showing that the economic benefits of OA far exceed its costs. As noted in Section 1, the latest research by John Houghton and colleagues on the economic impact of OA policies, this time for the US, calculated that "over a transitional period of 30 years from implementation, the potential incremental benefits of the proposed FRPAA archiving mandate might be worth around 8 times the costs. Perhaps two-thirds of these benefits would accrue within the US, with the remainder spilling over to other countries. Hence, the US national benefits arising from the proposed FRPAA archiving mandate might be of the order of 5 times the costs...."
As noted in Section 2, Alma Swan wrote a report making the business case for OA mandates at universities, using Houghton's analysis to model the costs and benefits of adopting an OA mandate. She calculated that the "annual savings in research and library costs of a university repository model combined with subscription publishing could range from £100,000 to £1,320,000...." Cambridge Economic Policy Associates and Mark Ware Consulting are working out an alternative to the Houghton model for estimating the economic impact of OA policies.
S. Gutam and four co-authors called for OA to publicly-funded research in India, partly on the ground that it would spur economic development. Adam Keith argued that open data from the Landsat satellite and the Sentinel missions will stimulate the development of downstream businesses. A new analysis by Frederick Friend and the Knowledge Exchange concluded that "the economic value of open access ["outside the walls of research-led European universities"] may be even greater than the academic value within universities."
But never understimate the power of inertia. A survey of 1,000 UK businesses by Informatic Corporation showed that corporations applaud new open data initiatives for government data, but are reluctant to follow suit even when they recognize that sharing their own data "could bring commercial benefits". 83% of the businesses said they would use open data provided by others to identify new commercial opportunities, and 78% said it would improve their own investment decisions.
For comparison, see my review of the effects of the recession on OA in 2009.
(10) Some highlights of the highlights
The worst of 2010:
10. James Murdoch, heir to the Rupert Murdoch news empire. For objecting to the British Library plan to provide OA to its archive of historical newspapers on the ground that it would be bad for business.
9. English Heritage. For claiming to own the copyright on Stonehenge and demanding a cut of the profits from image libraries selling photos of the monument.
8. Todd Platts, Republican representative from Pennsylvania. For the bill (HR 5704) he introduced in the US House of Representatives, in 2005 and again in 2010, giving faculty at the US military academies copyrights in their scholarly writings ("in order to submit such works for publication"), and requiring them to transfer those copyrights to publishers.
7. A copyright reform bill before the Czech parliament drafted by the Ministry of Culture and the national collecting societies without input from other stakeholders. For giving effect to the author's open license only after the author notifies the collecting societies, and for placing the burden of proof for that notification on authors. For erecting new and needless bureaucratic hurdles in the way of anyone wanting to use open licenses.
6. The Swiss National Library. For using public funds to digitize public-domain books, and then selling the digital copies rather than making them OA.
5. "Misinformation and gatekeeper conservativism" in the field of communications (in the apt words of Bill Herman and the Ad Hoc Committee on Fair Use and Academic Freedom of the International Communication Association). For leading a fifth of surveyed researchers in the field to abandon research in progress because of copyright problems, leading a third to avoid research topics raising copyright issues, and forcing others to seek permission before discussing or criticizing copyrighted works.
4. The majority of OA journals that don't use open licenses, such as the 81% of journals in the Directory of Open Access Journals that don't use CC licenses. For failing to realize one of their potential advantages over most collections of green OA. For missing a golden opportunity to provide libre OA, make their articles more useful, and serve research and researchers.
3. The German Association of Higher Education (Deutscher Hochschulverband). For demanding an "education- and science-friendly" copyright policy that would put copyright protection ahead of education and science, and rule out OA mandates. For taking a public position without doing elementary research first. (Like last year's Heidelberg Appeal, the DHV confuses green OA mandates with gold OA mandates, and doesn't realize that green OA policies are compatible with the freedom to submit work to the journals of one's choice.)
2. BP. For hiring scientists to research the gulf oil spill under a contract that prohibits them from "publishing their research, sharing it with other scientists or speaking about the data that they collect for at least the next three years....[that requires them] to withhold data even in the face of a court order if BP decides to fight such an order...[and that] stipulates that scientists will be paid only for research approved in writing by BP...." For undermining both the integrity and the availability of research.
1. The American Psychological Association. For claiming in a Congressional hearing that requiring public access for publicly-funded research would violate President Obama's December 2009 memo on government transparency --not the transparency part of the memo, but the exceptions for national security, privacy, and "other genuinely compelling interests". For asserting that there is a genuinely compelling interest in putting the financial interests of private-sector publishers ahead of the research interests of researchers, even at government agencies whose mission is to advance research and put the public interest first.
Robert Heinlein responded to the APA position more than 70 years ago (Life-Line, 1939): "There has grown up in the minds of certain groups in this country the notion that because a man or corporation has made a profit out of the public for a number of years, the government and the courts are charged with the duty of guaranteeing such profit in the future, even in the face of changing circumstances and contrary to public interest. This strange doctrine is not supported by statute or common law. Neither individuals nor corporations have any right to come into court and ask that the clock of history be stopped, or turned back."
The best of 2010:
10. Neelie Kroes, Vice President of the European Commission for the Digital Agenda. For her much-needed combination of insight and influence. For her forceful and articulate public statements in support of OA and open data, from a position where she can affect policy and change minds.
9. The Obama White House. For pushing executive departments and agencies to strengthen their data-sharing policies, and for collecting public comments on a plan to extend the NIH policy across the federal government. True, it could have acted on that consultation in 2010, and didn't. (And true, it allowed the ACTA negotations to exclude the press and public-interest NGOs, while including corporate lobbyists.) But in its OA consultation, it asked the right questions, collected a mountain of supportive comments, and positioned itself to set policy in 2011.
8. BioTorrents, from Morgan Langille and Jonathan Eisen. For a data-sharing platform optimized for openness and high volume. For opening the door to open data in the age of big science.
7. The Washington State Board for Community and Technical Colleges (SBCTC). For its libre green OA mandate covering SBCTC-funded research at the 34 institutions in the consortium.
6. Seven libre green OA policies covering 38 institutions. For seeing the value of libre OA beyond gratis OA. For testing the waters to see where and how far libre green policies can succeed. (Libre green OA policies are far less tested or widespread than gratis green or libre gold policies.) For exerting leadership to help the idea spread.
5. The Conference Board of Canada. For turning around and doing the right thing. In 2009, the CBC issued three reports with copyright recommendations cut and pasted from the International Intellectual Property Alliance, a US lobbying group. When the charade was exposed, the CBC returned to the drawing board and in 2010 issued a report calling on Canada to support OA for publicly-funded research. This was a beautiful double win, for autonomy over ventriloquism and the public interest over private interests.
4. The re-introduction of FRPAA in the 111th Congress, even though it died without a vote. For surpassing its first introduction in 2006 by gathering more bipartisan co-sponsors and gaining entry to both chambers (the Senate in 2009 and the House in 2010). For making headway in establishing the right principles and a practical policy that would have liberated more peer-reviewed research literature than any other policy proposal anywhere. From my kudos last year: "For earning bipartisan support in a degenerate age when nothing has bipartisan support."
3. The University of California. For standing up to an unaffordable 400% price increase on its site license from the Nature Publishing Group. For using its unrivaled bargaining power, especially against a publisher with its own unrivaled bargaining power. For pushing back with an effect that smaller institutions simply could not hope to have. (Today, however, the actual effect is still unknown.) For acting decisively in the interests of research, researchers, and research institutions, and not leaving publishers to be the only players in this game who act decisively in their own interests. For inspiring other institutions to voice a common grievance and take concerted action.
2. The EUR-OCEANS Consortium. For adopting the largest consortial OA mandate ever (covering 29 organizations in 15 countries) and the first consortial OA mandate for organizations other than universities. For a giant step that should inspire other giant steps.
1. The 38 new funder OA mandates in 17 countries (Section 1) and --depending on how you count-- the 72-105 green OA university mandates in 15 countries (Section 2). For giving us a year in which we averaged more than three funder mandates and 6-9 university mandates every month. For preserving and extending the momentum. For bring us closer to the new normal in which research institutions routinely put the interests of knowledge-sharing ahead of the interests of knowledge-enclosure.
For comparison, see my OA highlights:
* Postscript. The only way I can write these year-end reviews is to drop my normal practice of documenting claims with links. For links to all the developments and organizations mentioned here, see the searchable archive for my blog and newsletter, and the "oa.new" tag library from the Open Access Tracking Project. If you search for a link and can't find it, just drop me a line.
I'm responsible for all errors in this review. But for help with last-minute fact-checking I want to thank Heather Joseph, Heather Morrison, and Heinz Pampel.
Also see my annual reviews from previous years:
Open access in 2009
Open access in 2008
Open access in 2007
Open access in 2006
Open access in 2005
Open access in 2004
Open access in 2003
* Postscript 2. For me personally, 2010 was the year that I laid down Open Access News (OAN), even though I had largely stopped blogging the year before. The decision was forced in at least three ways: by the need to find time for my new position at the Berkman Center, by the inability of a one- or two-person news blog to scale with the growing size of the OA movement, and by Google's decision to drop FTP support for Blogger blogs. I've continued to broadcast new OA developments through the Open Access Tracking Project (OATP), which I launched in April 2009. But OATP was never designed to do what the blog did. Although the three causes forcing my hand keep me from regretting my decision, I do regret that OAN is history --searchable, OA history, but unavailable for continuing news alerts and comments on the steadily unfolding progress of OA.
Here's what happened, or what I noticed, since the last issue of the newsletter, emphasizing action and policy over scholarship and opinion. I put the most important items first, with double asterisks, and otherwise cluster them loosely by topic. I thank Katharine Dunn for her assistance in restating many of these developments in the brief Roundup format.
For a more comprehensive picture of recent OA developments, see --and help build-- the project feed of the OA Tracking Project.
** Portugal's Instituto Universitário de Lisboa (Lisbon University Institute) adopted an OA mandate.
** The University of Hawaii-Manoa Faculty Senate adopted a Harvard-style OA mandate with a waiver option.
** Australia's Edith Cowan University adopted an OA mandate. (PS: According to the policy metadata, the policy was last revised "01/09/2012". Does anyone know the actual date?)
** India's National Institute of Oceanography (NIO) adopted an OA mandate and posted it to ROARMAP. (PS: I can't tell when NIO adopted the policy; the language posted to ROARMAP doesn't appear in a search of the NIO site.)
** The Virginia Commonwealth University Faculty Senate adopted a resolution urging its Promotion and Tenure Committees to "recognize that publication and editorial effort in open access, peer-reviewed journals or republication of peer-reviewed articles in an open access repository offers added value and greater public good than scholarship made only available in expensive journal publications."
** Stellenbosch University signed the Berlin Declaration on Open Access to Knowledge in the Sciences and Humanities and committed itself to "implementing a policy that encourages their researchers" to make their research articles green or gold OA.
* The University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign adopted an OA mandate for theses and dissertations.
* The University of Turin adopted an OA mandate for theses and dissertations.
* The University of Texas Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences at Houston adopted an OA mandate for theses and dissertations.
* OpenAIRE (Open Access Infrastructure for Research in Europe) previewed in December 2009 and pre-launched in March 2010. But it officially launched on December 2, 2010. OpenAIRE is a green OA infrastructure for every European researcher funded by the Seventh Framework programme (FP7) or European Research Council (ERC). When researchers deposit their work in OpenAIRE, it will be redirected to their institutional repository, if there is one, or disseminated by a CERN-hosted repository for authors without IRs.
* Neelie Kroes, Vice-President of the European Commission responsible for the Digital Agenda, made a public statement on the launch of OpenAIRE: "[OA] means much more than just downloading articles in PDF. It also means new ways of indexing, annotating, ordering and linking research results - and new methods to automate all this....But above all, open access to scientific information is important because it helps citizens to their right to have access to knowledge produced using public funds....[T]he beauty of open access is that it is not against anybody. It is for the free movement of knowledge...."
* The US House and Senate have passed the America COMPETES Reauthorization Act and sent it President Obama for his signature. The bill provides new research funds for some agencies, and creates an Interagency Public Access Committee. The new committee could push for good policies or could be subject to publisher lobbying and take the wind out of the sails of FRPAA. One to watch.
* Senators David Vitter (R-LA) and John Barrasso (R-WY) introduced the Public Access to Historical Records Act (S. 4015), which would provide retroactive OA to historical climate data from NASA and the National Climatic Data Center.
* The White House Office of Science & Technology Policy released long-awaited Memorandum on Scientific Integrity, designed to protect government scientists from political pressure. One directive: "Consistent with the Administration's Open Government Initiative, agencies should expand and promote access to scientific and technological information by making it available online in open formats...."
* The Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (DFG) launched a new program to support universities in paying publication fees at fee-based OA journals.
* Germany's University of Hohenheim launched an OA journal fund, with funding from the DFG.
* German lawyer Till Kreutzer launched the Initiative against a Related Right (Initiative gegen ein Leistungsschutzrecht, IGEL) to oppose a new quasi-copyright protection allowing publishers to control uncopyrightable snippets.
* The Opening Australia's Archives project released version 1.0 of its Open Access Principles for Australian Collecting Institutions.
* The International Society for Computational Biology adopted an OA policy "strongly advocat[ing] free, open, public, online: (i) access by person or machine to the publicly-funded archival scientific and technical research literature; and (ii) computational reuse, integration, and distillation of that literature into higher-order knowledge elements...."
* ICSU Committee on Freedom and Responsibility in the conduct of Science (CFRS) released an Advisory Note on Science Communication. Guideline #9 holds that science communications "should, as far as possible, be publicly accessible...."
* James Boyle, co-founder of Creative Commons and co-founder of Duke Law School's Center for the Study of the Public Domain, was named to the commission reviewing the UK copyright laws.
* The Netherlands Organization for Scientific Research (Nederlandse Organisatie voor Wetenschappelijk Onderzoek, NWO) launched a new funding program offering up to 2,500 Euro to scientific conferences that include a session on the importance of OA.
* Jos Engelen, chairman of the Netherlands Organization for Scientific Research (Nederlandse Organisatie voor Wetenschappelijk Onderzoek, NWO) published an open letter urging researchers to publish in OA journals. He was prompted to write the letter after running into a paywall when trying to read a Science Magazine article on bacteria that replace phosphorus with arsenic.
* Richard Stallman released an open letter in support of a "momentous improvement" in Brazilian copyright law that would allow "freedom to share published works, in exchange for a levy collected from Internet users over time."
* Open Research Computation is a new peer-reviewed OA journal from BioMed Central.
* Herpesviridae is a new peer-reviewed OA journal from BioMed Central.
* Vulnerable Groups & Inclusion is a new peer-reviewed OA journal from Co-Action Publishing.
* The European Journal of Psychotraumatology is a new peer-reviewed OA journal from the European Society for Traumatic Stress Studies and Co-Action Publishing.
* The Journal of Pharmaceutical Negative Results is a new peer-reviewed OA journal from MedKnow Publications.
* Early Modern Culture Online is a new peer-reviewed OA journal from the Department of Modern Languages and Translation at Norway's University of Agder. http://emco.project.uia.no/index.php/EMCO
* Veterinary Research converted to OA ("relaunched" as an OA journal) and will be published by BioMed Central on behalf of the French National Institute for Agricultural Research (INRA). VR has the highest impact factor in the field of veterinary science.
* Information Standards Quarterly, published by the National Information Standards Organization (NISO), converted to OA.
* Revue belge de Philologie et d'Histoire (Belgian Journal of Philology and History) converted to OA and provided OA to its backfile to the first issue in 1922. http://www.persee.fr/web/revues/home/prescript/revue/rbph
* The Royal Netherlands Institute of Southeast Asian and Caribbean Studies converted two of their TA journals to OA, along with their complete backfiles: The Journal of the Humanities and Social Sciences of Southeast Asia and Oceania (Bijdragen tot de Taal-, Land- en Volkenkunde, published since 1853) and the New West Indian Guide (Nieuwe West-Indische Gids, published since 1919). The two journals have existed since 1853 and 1919, respectively.
* Editor & Publisher Magazine converted to OA.
* Nature Publishing Group announced hybrid OA options at 15 more NPG journals.
* UK PubMed Central and PubMed Central opened up the complete backfile of the Eugenics Review, which ran from 1909 to 1968 and published papers by prominent eugenicists including Francis Galton and Leonard Darwin.
* The Wenner-Gren Foundation for Anthropological Research announced it will provide OA to its biannual symposium proceedings in the journal Current Anthropology.
* The Open Access Scholarly Publishers Association (OASPA) struck a deal with CrossRef under which OASPA members can register up to 50 DOIs a year, free of charge.
* The Qatar Foundation and Bloomsbury Publishing launched QScience.com, a new platform for OA journals. It currently hosts six OA journals, five of which use CC-BY licenses and one CC-BY-NC.
* The Moroccan Centre National Pour la Recherche Scientifique et Technique (National Center for Scientific and Technological Research) became the first research institution in Africa to join SCOAP3.
* SPARC Europe joined the institutional supporters of the Compact for Open-Access Publishing Equity (COPE).
+ Repositories and databases
* Spain's Ministry of Science and Innovation (Ministerio de Ciencia e Innovación, MICINN) launched an OAI-compliant OA repository for the publications of the government's public research organizations (Organismos Públicos de Investigación). It currently hosts more than 40 journals and books, and will soon host more. (I can't tell what the deposit policy is and would appreciate help with this.)
* The Central Marine Fisheries Research Institute in Kochi, India, launched an institutional repository, starting with 7,000 papers by staff members published since 1953.
* The US Government Printing Office (GPO) officially adopted its Federal Digital System (FDsys) repository and will begin phasing out its predecessor, GPO Access.
* The US National Archives demonstrated a prototype of Online Public Access (OPA), the "flagship initiative" of its Open Government Plan. The OPA is a portal public that offers OA to digitized government records and photos, and descriptions of offline holdings.
* Faculty of 1000 launched F1000 Posters, an OA repository of conference posters from the life sciences and medicine.
* The Legal Information Institute of India (LII of India) is now online and OA, though still in a pre-launch beta.
* At the Wiley journal, Evolution, and at a group of related journals on evolution, the open data archiving policy adopted in the spring of 2010 became mandatory yesterday (January 1, 2011).
* Nature replied to the IsItOpenData query from Heather Piwowar and Peter Murray-Rust. In short, "YES - Supplementary Information is published under a non-exclusive license across all Nature-branded journals...."
* BioMed Central reiterated its support for open data for articles published in BMC journals.
* Science 3.0 launched a free RDF data-hosting service for datasets in the public domain (CC0). After a critical mass of RDF datasets are uploaded, "we can start to look at linking the data...[in order to] map incoming requests to SPARQL queries...."
* JISC commissioned EDINA to investigate whether OpenURL router data can be opened up for reuse.
* The Internet Archive released the first OA edition of the complete 1930 United States Census.
* The US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) launched the OA Discharge Monitoring Report Pollutant Loading Tool, showing who is discharging which pollutants where. The website can rank industries, polluters, and watersheds based on pollutant mass and toxicity.
* The US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) launched the Reg Stat website, which offers access to documents and rules published by the government agency between 2005 and 2009. The EPA publishes about 1,800 documents a year.
* The US Environmental Law Institute launched the Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill Litigation Database that tracks ongoing cases related to last spring's oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico. http://www.eli.org/Program_Areas/deepwater_horizon_oil_spill_litigation_database.cfm
* Chris Taggart and Rob McKinnon launched the alpha version of OpenCorporates, an OA database (under the share-alike Open Data License) of corporations around the world. http://opencorporates.com/
* The Russian Federal Space Agency (Roscosmos) began providing OA to its satellite images of the Earth's surface.
* Kevin Folta and colleagues sequenced the genome of the diploid strawberry and made the results OA.
* Researchers from 18 Cuban institutions agreed to add the country's biodiversity data to the OA Global Biodiversity Information Facility.
* The European Medicines Agency (EMA) announced a policy "promising greater openness and transparency" for its data from clinical trials and other business documents. For now, the EMA will only disclose data in response to written requests, but it plans to launch an OA electronic register in the next five years.
* Researchers at the World Oral Literature Project at the University of Cambridge launched an OA database of endangered languages. The website includes records for 3,524 world languages, and users can search by number of speakers, level of endangerment, or region.
* Japan's National Diet Library added 4 million records to WorldCat, increasing the number of Chinese-Japanese-Korean script records in WorldCat by nearly 33 percent. http://www.oclc.org/news/releases/2010/201061.htm
+ Books and digitization
* Google released the Google Books Ngram Viewer, a free tool for simple text-mining queries over 5.2 million Google-digitized books, which comes to about 500 billion words or about 4% of all the books ever published. Scholars at Harvard, who co-authored the first research paper using the tool, called it the "largest data release in the history of the humanities." About three-fourths of the text is in English.
* Google finally launched its bookstore for priced ebooks. The books are untethered and may be read on any device with an internet connection. The public-domain books are OA, but with cut/paste disabled, and the search engine supports a filter for OA books. The copyrighted books have different DRM and usage restrictions, depending on what their publishers have demanded.
* Google reversed course and decided not to enforce the exclusivity clauses in its book-scanning contracts with libraries, opening the door for other search engines to index Google-scanned digital texts.
* The Berkman Center for Internet and Society received a grant from the Sloan Foundation to define the scope, architecture, costs, and administration for a Digital Public Library of America. The Steering Committee includes representatives from Harvard University, Stanford University, the Universities of Michigan and Virginia, the Mellon and Sloan Foundations, Council on Library and Information Resources (CLIR), the Internet Archive, the Library of Congress, and Public.Resources.Org.
* Robert Darnton restated the case for his vision for a Digital Public Library of America.
* University of Pennsylvania Libraries joined the HathiTrust.
* The German National Library, Oxford University, and Europeana signed an agreement to digitize family papers and memorabilia from the First World War. German letters, photos, and keepsakes will join those from British soldiers and families that already appear in the Great War Archive.
* Providence College began digitizing research on Latin American and Spanish Peninsular letters, and making it available through its institutional repository. http://www.thecowl.com/news/newest-faculty-member-aids-in-online-publishing-1.1827027
* The Internet Archive released its upgraded, open-source BookReader. The new version integrates with Open Library and offers new sharing options, such as embedding a book on a web page or sharing links to individual pages.
* The Perseus Digital Library published TEI XML editions for Plutarch, Athenaeus, the Greek Anthology, and Lucian, adding more than 1.6 million Greek words to its OA corpus.
* Dan Gillmor published his new book, Mediactive, under a CC BY-NC-SA license, turning down a contract from a major NY publisher that wouldn't have allowed him to release an OA edition.
* Grey Literature Repositories is a new book published by Radim Bacuvcík (Prague, 2010).
* The Open Knowledge Foundation launched the Public Domain Review, a new blog to review works on which copyright have recently expired.
+ Studies and surveys
* Lluís Anglada and Ernest Abadal released a major report on OA Southern Europe, with separate chapters on France, Greece, Italy, Portugal, Spain, and Turkey.
* Jelte Wicherts and Marjan Bakker found that 73% of researchers who published in journals of the American Psychological Association (APA) did not comply with the APA rule (in both its code of ethics and publication manual) to share their data. Instead of helping to solve the problem, the latest edition of the APA publication manual makes compliance even more difficult and less likely.
* Knowledge Exchange released a study by Mark Ware on how OA journals could use submission fees to support their business models.
* Commenting on the new Knowledge Exchange report on submission fees, the Wellcome Trust said that "When a publisher offers a Wellcome-compliant open access model (i.e. deposition of the final paper in PMC/UKPMC at the time of publication, and a licence which allows the work to be re-used), then publisher submission fees are an allowable expense."
* William Walters and Anne Linvill published a study of the relative sizes of OA journals. "There is great variation in the size of OA journals; the largest publishes more than 2,700 articles per year, but half publish 25 or fewer. While just 29 percent of OA journals charge publication fees, those journals represent 50 percent of the articles in our study. OA journals in the fields of biology and medicine are larger than the others, more likely to charge fees, and more likely to have a high citation impact. Overall, the OA journal landscape is greatly influenced by a few key publishers and journals."
* The Publishing Research Consortium released a new report comparing the importance of different kinds of information with ease of access to those kinds of information. One finding: "All disciplines rated journal articles as the most important. While 93% found access to them either 'very easy' or 'fairly easy', there were other important types of information, such as data sets, to which access was difficult...."
* Jason Priem and Kaitlin Light Costello found that academic tweets sometimes link to blog posts or other secondary sources about articles rather than to the articles themselves, and that one function for these "second order tweets" is to help them "get around paywalls" to articles.
* The Intellectual Property Rights For Educational Environments (IPR4EE) project of the University College Falmouth launched a survey on the understanding of copyright for teaching materials, especially those intended to be OA. Responses are due by January 31, 2011.
+ Software and tools
* Springer launched Realtime.springer.com, a free tool to aggregate download data on Springer journal articles and book chapters and display them in a many different forms.
* Australia's Mukurtu project, an open-source repository and content management platform for indigenous libraries, archives, and museums, launched a website, blog, and wiki. The official launch of the repository and platform is planned for next summer.
* DuraSpace put a call out for people and institutions interested in the DSpace-Fedora integration effort to collaborate on developing code, testing prototypes, and determining requirements.
* DuraSpace finished migrating the Fedora Commons Repository source code to GitHub, where it's available for collaborative development.
* DuraSpace released DSpace version 1.7.0.
* DuraSpace released DuraCloud version 0.7.
* The Open Library launched a "Lists" tool that allows users to create and share lists based on author, title, edition, or subject. Lists can also be exported in JSON, HTML, and BibTex. http://blog.openlibrary.org/2010/12/15/lists-are-here/
* UKPMC became "Zotero enabled", allowing users to store UKPMC article metadata in Zotero where it can be tagged, searched, and exported as formatted references.
* The data repository ShareGeo launched a plug-in to make uploading spatial data easier.
* The Public Knowledge Project (PKP) launched the PKP European Network (PKPEN), a group of institutions "interested in using and advancing the software applications of the Public Knowledge Project."
* The Norwegian Social Science Data Services (NSD) converted its Nesstar data publishing and analysis software to freeware and released version 4.0.
+ Awards and milestones
* The US University Corporation for Atmospheric Research (UCAR) gave its 2010 Distinguished Achievement Award to the team that built OpenSky, the institutional repository for UCAR, the US National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR), and the UCAR Community Programs (UCP). (PS: NCAR adopted an OA mandate in October 2009.) http://www2.ucar.edu/staffnotes/news/3428/2010-ucar-awards-ceremony-and-holiday-party
* EContent magazine named Flat World Knowledge, the OA textbook publisher, "one of the top 100 companies in 2010 that matter most in the digital content industry...."
* The Qatar Foundation named the MIT OpenCourseWare project one of six winners of the 2010 World Innovation Summit for Education (WISE) Award.
* Creative Commons turned eight years old.
* The deputy director of China's National Library announced the country's national digital library now includes 460 terabytes of records, of which about three-quarters are OA.
* In November RePEc (Research Papers in Economics) added 12 new archives and passed several milestones, including 10 million downloads, 40 million abstract views in EconPapers, and 6 million references extracted by CitEc.
* Carl Malamud, the founder of Public.Resource.Org and Law.gov was appointed to Administrative Conference of the United States (ACUS), an independent "federal agency providing authoritative, nonpartisan legal advice and expertise on administrative law and federal regulatory procedures."
* Public.Resource.Org and Fastcase announced a joint project to create a weekly OA feed of US state and federal judicial opinions. The same opinions will be available for bulk download under CC0 public-domain assignment. The new service is part of Law.gov.
* Rice University's Connexions and the IEEE Signal Processing Society announced a joint project to collect peer-reviewed open educational resources useful to practicing engineers.
* Athabasca University decided against renewing its licence with Access Copyright, rather than pay a ten-fold increase in copyright fees. Instead, the university will rely more open educational resources and direct negotiations with copyright holders.
* Knowledge for All, a Canadian OA citation database of scholarly journal literature, released its 2011 work plan, which includes technology and community development and fundraising.
* Library and Archives Canada announced plans to provide more OA to its content and services, and become a "fully engaged digital organization" by 2017, in time for Canada's 150th birthday.
* The Hungarian Justice Ministry is drafting a law to declassify and provide OA to "most" classified data on 50,000 state-security agents and informers from the communist era. Without such a law, the data will remain under seal until 2060.
* Russia's Federal Agency for Technical Regulation and Metrology adopted the Open Document Format (ODF) as its internal standard.
* The University of Glasgow launched Easy Access IP, a website giving companies OA to university researchers' innovations and patented work. The university says it is the first in the UK to license technology in this way.
* Almost 700 theses and dissertations in the Leicester Research Archive are now also indexed and available from the British Library's EThOS and DART-Europe.
* The 16th edition of the Chicago Manual of Style advises users to avoid or delay OA, on the assumption that users are profit-maximizing publishers.
Coming this month
Here are some important OA-related events coming up in January.
* January 18, 2011. The US National Science Foundation data sharing policy takes effect. Applicants for NSF grants must include a data management plan detailing how they will share research results.
* Sometime in January 2011. The new and stronger open-data policy takes effect at the UK Natural Environment Research Council (NERC).
* OA-related conferences in January 2011
* Other OA-related conferences
In response to a few recent emails, I'm reprinting this mini-FAQ from the April 15, 2002, issue of the newsletter.
Q: Doesn't Suber know how to use quotation marks?
A: I follow the practice of exact quotation, like most writers in my field (philosophy). Exact quotation means we don't put commas or periods at the ends of quoted fragments, inside the quotation marks, unless they are part of the quoted source. We know that grammar books require punctuation within the quotation marks in many cases where we omit it, but we regard these rules as irrational. Quotation marks should mean that one is quoting!
This is the SPARC Open Access Newsletter (ISSN 1546-7821), written by Peter Suber and published by SPARC. The views I express in this newsletter are my own and do not necessarily reflect those of SPARC or other sponsors.
To unsubscribe, send any message from the subscribed address to <SPARC-OANewsemail@example.com>.
Please feel free to forward any issue of the newsletter to interested colleagues. If you're reading a forwarded copy, you can subscribe by sending any message to <SPARC-OANewsfirstname.lastname@example.org>.
SPARC home page for the Open Access Newsletter and Open Access Forum
SPARC Open Access Newsletter, archived back issues
Open Access Overview
Open Access Tracking Project
Open Access News blog
SOAN is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 United States License.
Return to the Newsletter archive