Open Access News

News from the open access movement

Saturday, November 09, 2002

More on the Boucher bill....If you're a member of EFF, then you can send a message to your representative in the House urging him or her to co-sponsor the Digital Media Consumers' Rights Act (DMCRA), which will restore the fair-use rights repealed by the DMCA. If you're not a member of EFF, this is a reason to join (free of charge).

Klaus Graf is running an online poll on print versus electronic publication. Currently, those registering preferences favor electronic publishing over print (11% to 7%), and both over either (82%). (The poll is in German.)

More on the launch of DSpace....Here are some news stories about it: The Associated Press, the Boston Daily News Tribune, the Boston Globe, C|Net's, MIT's press release, MIT's Tech Talk, and the Seattle Post-Intelligencer.

Chokehold on Knowledge, an editorial in yesterday's LA times. "The Bush administration's plan to strip the Government Printing Office's authority is a threat to democracy....Currently, a federal agency such as the Pentagon can't delete an embarrassing passage from a historical document without first going through the hassle of asking each reading room to obscure the passage with a black marker. If [OMB Director] Daniels gets his way, all an agency will have to do is call up the document in Microsoft Word and quietly hit Control X to delete the passage for eternity." (Thanks to C-FIT.)

Friday, November 08, 2002

The National Academy of Sciences has released a report, Preparing for the Revolution: Information Technology and the Future of the Research University. The conclusions on preserving and communicating knowledge start on page 33. Also see Vincent Kiernan's review of the report in today's Chronicle of Higher Education.

Thursday, November 07, 2002

Some "follow-up and reports" have been added to the page for the CERN Workshop on the Open Archives Initiative, Gaining independence with e-prints archives and OAI.

"Will 2002 be seen as the watershed year when the Open Archives Initiative (OAI) really took off and began to have an impact on global scholarly communication? ... Coupled with the expansion of the internet, there is now the ability to distribute information rapidly from author to consumer and thus impact upon traditional forms of publishing via the new collective repositories of research material." From Colin Steele's recent article in Incite, E-prints: the future of scholarly communication?

More than one hundred eprint archives are listed at Aadvark. Thanks to Clive Wing for this information.

Brewster Kahle, Public Access to Digital Materials. Public talk at the Library of Congress, November 20, 10:30 am - 12:00 pm.

The Pirelli Corp. has announced its seventh annual International Internet Multimedia Award for the "diffusion of scientific and technological culture entirely carried out on the Internet". The top prize is 20,000 Euros (about $20,000 US). Nominations are due by December 31.

The Rockefeller Foundation has launched a three-year initiative to support the emergence of IP policies fairer to poor people and developing countries.

Yesterday I worried the anti-FOS lobby would make gains in the new Republican Congress. I still worry about that, because the federal government is one of the leading suppliers of FOS in the U.S. and publishers resent it. But not all the news is bad. Declan McCullagh assesses the implications of the Republican victory for tech issues in For example, Fritz Hollings has been kicked out of the chairman's seat at the Senate Commerce Committee, to be replaced by John McCain. This may be the end of the CBDTPA. McCullagh also cites an industry scorecard showing that Republicans voted with the tech industry (which generally opposes the content industry) 84% of the time, while the Democrats did so only 65% of the time.

If you thought that strict free-market capitalists were not among those calling for enforceable fair-use rights and limited copyright terms, then read James Plummer's Consumers, Digital Technology, and Copyrights. (Thanks to Politech.)

JISC's Project RoMEO (Rights MEtadata for Open archiving) is conducting two online surveys on the intellectual property rights issues faced by users. One survey is for data providers and one is for service providers.

In today's Chronicle of Higher Education Scott Carlson reports on a PR campaign by scholarly publishers designed "in part, to quash a newfound enthusiasm among some librarians for self-publishing research results online, a practice that lets scholars bypass slow, costly academic journals."

According to Marc Brodsky, CEO of the American Institute of Physics, the campaign will focus on the advantages of publishing in traditional priced journals: "money for marketing, the prestige of a well-known journal, the expertise and mediation of an editor, and the management of peer review." (PS: As if open-access journals are not peer-reviewed, lack editors, need marketing, or cannot be prestigious. Is this the best argument priced journals have? Stay tuned for details on the campaign itself and other signs that the FOS movement is succeeding.)

This Case Study Gallery presents a number of innovative approaches in the use of Electronic Tools to implement the Aarhus convention.

Wednesday, November 06, 2002

More on PubSCIENCE....It was killed on November 4. (PS: Now that Republicans control both houses of Congress, expect more lobbying from publishers of priced literature and less government-subsidized FOS.)

The Canadian has launched a debate ("rabble rumble") on this proposition, "With advances in information and communications technology such as the internet, copyright protection is no longer relevant or necessary." Russell McOrmond takes the pro position, Susan Crean the con. (PS: This is a very bad way to frame the question, which implies that the internet has nullified, rather than transformed, the interests underlying copyright law. A better question is what sort of copyright law is compatible with taking full advantage of the internet.)

Tuesday, November 05, 2002

More on the launch of DSpace....MIT's DSpace launched yesterday, on schedule. Its source code is ready for downloading.

Monday, November 04, 2002

OCLC Systems and Services invites articles on XML and electronic journals for an upcoming issue. If you want to submit an article, send it by May 1, 2003, in MS Word or RTF format to Dr. Judith Wusteman at judith.wusteman [at] or Sheau-Hwang Chang at schang [at]

The JISC Higher Education Digitisation Service has released the results of its Mellon-funded study, Exploring Charging Models for Digital Cultural Heritage.

Elsevier's Chemistry Preprint Server (free registration required) contained, as of November 1, 2002, a total of 550 preprints (plus 67 articles in conference proceedings). The largest number of preprints (246/550 =45%) continue to be in Physical Chemistry.

Sunday, November 03, 2002

The presentations from the European Conference on Digital Libraries (Rome, September 16-18) are now online. (Thanks to euroCRIS News.)

Steve Lawrence of ResearchIndex will give the keynote address, Improving Access to Scientific Literature, at the International Workshop on Web Information and Data Management (McLean, Virginia, November 8).

The presentations from the CRIS2002 conference, Gaining Insight from Research Information (Kassel, August 29-31) are now online.