Open Access News

News from the open access movement

Saturday, September 14, 2002

The August issue of the Journal of Digital Information is devoted to Chinese Collections in the Digital Library.

Friday, September 13, 2002

The EERI / IAII Encyclopedia of Housing Construction Types in Seismically-Prone Areas of the World is now free online. The EERI (Earthquake Engineering Research Institute) and IAEE (International Association of Earthquake Engineering) have put their $900 print encyclopedia online at no charge in order to promote safe building practices worldwide. (Thanks to John Whitfield in Nature and Matt Eberle.)

The Greek parliament wanted to ban electronic gambling, but tech-ignorant legislators wrote a bill that banned all electronic games instead, even offline chess in the privacy of your own home. A Greek court has now overturned the ban as unconstitutional. (PS: The U.S. Congress wanted to ban copyright infringement on electronic content, but tech-ignorant legislators wrote a bill that banned all circumvention instead, even circumvention for fair use. What the U.S. needs is a Greek court.)

In the September 20 Chronicle of Higher Education, Andrea Foster reports on the growing library opposition to ejournal bundling deals like Elsevier's ScienceDirect. Starting next Thursday (September 19), the Chronicle will host an online discussion of the issues moderated by Kenneth Frazier, library director at the University of Wisconsin at Madison. (PS: Andrea Foster's article is free for all, but the forum is limited to Chronicle subscribers.)

Thursday, September 12, 2002

Susan Gibbons is laying down the free online Librarian's eBook Newsletter in order create more time for the Electronic Books in Libraries website. The last issue of the newsletter is now online.

Wednesday, September 11, 2002

New York Times: Dirty Laundry, Online for All To See. The clerk's office of Hamilton County, Ohio, has published a web site with a searchable database of court records, including civil and criminal cases, judgements, traffic citations, arrest warrants, bond postings, and more.

"We didn't realize we were walking into a privacy hornet's nest until after we were under way," said Mr. Cissell, who has received e-mail from people threatening to vote against him in the next election.

While the overall story is disturbing, I find it vaguely comforting that the greatest threat people can come up with is "Why, I'll... I'll... I'll vote against you!"

Tuesday, September 10, 2002

On 9 September, 2002, Xiaoming Liu (on behalf of the Digital Library Group in Old Dominion University), announced the availability of Arc through (SourceForge). Arc is a federated search service based on the Open Archives Initiative Protocol for Metadata Harvesting (OAI-PMH). It's released under the NCSA Open Source License. (The same Digital Library Group also created Kepler, which extends the OAI framework to support what this group calls "personal data providers" or "archivelets").

The prestitgious, 70 year old Ivey Business Journal from Western Ontario's Ivey School of Business is converting from priced and printed to open access. This is a perfect example of enlightened conversion. The print journal had a healthy number of subscribers and advertisers. But the school decided that it was more important to reach a larger international audience than to take money from a smaller one. While it's mission is spread knowledge, not to make a profit, the conversion will save the journal $300,000 every year in production costs. (PS: Are the economics of open access publishing sustainable? Ask a business school.)

Sunday, September 08, 2002

In an earlier posting I cited Gerry McKiernan's review of seven software packages for managing peer-reviewed online journals. I gave no link because at the time the review was not freely available online. But now Emerald has created free online access to the full-text of McKiernan's review.

The September 7, 2002 issue of BMJ (an open-access journal) includes a notice about Submitting articles to the BMJ. Authors are invited to try a Manuscript Processing System that uses HighWire Press's BenchPress, where authors can deposit their manuscripts and editors can read them and record their decisions. Reviewers' details are also held on the system, which is protected by passwords.