Open Access News

News from the open access movement

Saturday, March 29, 2003

The National Cancer Institute has posted a page to its web site announcing that "having an abortion or miscarriage does not increase a woman's subsequent risk of developing breast cancer". The NCI had a similar page on its web site last year, but was pressured to remove it by the Bush administration and conservative members of Congress.

Friday, March 28, 2003

Michael Fraser has written a very useful Quick Guide to Eprints for the Oxford University Computing Services web site. For readers new to the concept, this guide is just the right length. Apart from the clear introduction, Fraser also gives a bit of news: "Over the next few months a pilot eprints repository will be developed in Oxford together with policies and support."

David F. Kohl, Halloween goblins and real goblins (subscription required), The Journal of Academic Librarianship, 29, 2 (February 2003) pp. 69-70. An editorial contrasting Halloween goblins with UCITA, a real goblin. Excerpt: "Like one of the undead which keeps rising out of the coffin to terrorize the villagers, it appears that UCITA, although seemingly mortally wounded in last year's conflict, will come back to life this year. In legislatures across the nation we can expect attempts to foist this ill-considered measure on a largely unsuspecting public....UCITA would establish an environment in which libraries and other purchasers of electronic resources would constantly be operating at a disadvantage....With vigilance and reasonable effort we can put this Halloween creature back into its casket once and for all." (Thanks to Paul Pival.)

Thursday, March 27, 2003

More on scientific self-censorship....The staff of The Why Files has written a balanced and detailed article, Perils of Publication, on the risks of censoring, and not censoring, scientific journal articles in an age of terrorism. The article is based on interviews with Martin Blume, Eugene Garfield, Paul Ginsparg, and Raymond Zilinskas. (Thanks to

In 1995 Bill Clinton issued an executive order ruling that once information was declassified and released to the public, it could not be reclassified later. Two days ago George Bush issued an executive order rescinding the Clinton order and at the same time classifying some previously public information. Which information? Details about U.S. "infrastructures" including the structure of the internet. (Thanks to Declan McCullagh in C|

Wednesday, March 26, 2003

A story in the March 24 Library Journal reports that the Internet Public Library faces an uncertain financial future. The grants that helped launch it in 1995 have run out and it now survives on subsidy from its host, the University of Michigan. Quoting Maurita Holland, associate professor and assistant to the dean and director of academic outreach at UM: "We may need to make the case that IPL is not unlike a chemistry lab, which universities have traditionally expected to fund as part of the courses they offer." The Internet Public Library is a major portal to open-access literature. It also maintains a heavily-used virtual reference desk that answers about 1000 email questions per month and, over the years, has trained over 1000 virtual reference librarians. (Thanks to LIS News.)