Open Access News

News from the open access movement

Friday, August 01, 2003

The ACLU has filed a lawsuit in federal court challenging the constitutionality of the USA Patriot Act. The suit argues that Section 215 of the act violates the Fourth Amendment protection against unreasonable searches and seizures and the Fifth Amendment guarantee of due process. Section 215 is the authority (among other things) for searching library records without a warrant or any showing of probable cause. Because the targets of these searches are prohibited from disclosing to the press or anyone else that they were searched, the ACLU is also arguing that the section violates the First Amendment. The plaintiffs in the case are six Islamic organizations from Michigan. News coverage. (PS: Legally this is a slam dunk. Now we'll see whether federal courts have lost their courage after September 11.)

Blake Carver, Creating an Institutional Repository: A Role for Libraries, Ex Libris, June 27, 2003. On the development of Ohio State University's Knowledge Bank. (Thanks to Cites & Insights.)

GMS announces Support to Open Access Journals GMS [German medical Science], a new Internet Journal available in Open Access has announced that it would support publishers interested in making their content Open under the GMS umbrella. The services include HTML templates, Web Based Manuscript tracking and Hosting. Technical support is also available. It is yet to see how many publishers would utilise this golden oppurtunity.

Susan R. Owens, Revolution or evolution? A shift to an open-access model of publishing would clearly benefit science, but who should pay? EMBO Reports, 2003. Excerpt: "The driving force behind most scientists' careers is to achieve the maximum visibility for their research. Since the creation of the first scientific journals in the mid-seventeenth century, scientists have condensed their data and conclusions into a manuscript and happily handed this over to a publisher, who in return has printed it and distributed it to those willing—or whose institutes are willing—to pay a subscription fee. But the triple whammy of rising journal prices, an exploding number of journals and imploding library budgets means that the bulk of this work can now only be accessed by a small fraction of its intended audience. The arrival of the World Wide Web has the potential to change this reality: now that the vast majority of printed articles are also available in an electronic form, which is theoretically accessible by anyone with an interest and an internet connection, shouldn't all articles become free for everyone to read?...Even if the revolution does not materialize, it will no doubt speed up the evolution of the current pay-per-access model; it is therefore worth taking the time now to work out a system that is optimal." (Thanks to Garrett Eastman.)

BioMed Central is maintaining a list of foundations willing the pay the processing fees charged by open-access journals. There are currently 12 foundations on the list. If you know of others, please send BMC a note.

Kluwer will participate in the second phase of HINARI. HINARI provides online STM journals at discounted prices to developing nations.

Magnus Cedergren, Open Content and Value Creation, First Monday, August, 2003. From the abstract: "In this paper, I consider open content as an important development track in the media landscape of tomorrow. I define open content as content possible for others to improve and redistribute and/or content that is produced without any consideration of immediate financial reward — often collectively within a virtual community. The open content phenomenon can to some extent be compared to the phenomenon of open source. Production within a virtual community is one possible source of open content. Another possible source is content in the public domain. This could be sound, pictures, movies or texts that have no copyright, in legal terms. Which are the driving forces for the cooperation between players that work with open content? This knowledge could be essential in order to understand the dynamics of business development, technical design and legal aspects in this field. In this paper I focus on these driving forces and the relationships between these players."

Elizabeth Gadd, Charles Oppenheim and Steve Probets, The RoMEO Project: Protecting metadata in an open access environment, Ariadne, July 2003. Excerpt: "The RoMEO Project (Rights Metadata for Open archiving) was also funded under the FAIR programme. It is investigating all the intellectual property rights (IPR) issues relating to the self-archiving of research papers via institutional repositories. One key issue is how best to protect such research papers, and the metadata describing those papers, in an open access environment. The investigations have taken the form of online surveys of academic authors, journal publishers, Data Providers and Service Providers, as well as an interesting analysis of 80 journal publishers' copyright transfer agreements. There were two principal aims of the data gathered through these surveys. The first was to inform the development of some simple rights metadata by which academics could protect their open access research papers. The second was to inform the creation of a means of protecting all the freely available metadata that will soon be circulating as the OAI-PMH is more widely adopted."

The BMJ has just announced that it will start charging for access from 2005

Thursday, July 31, 2003

Anja Lengenfelder, Elektronische Zeitschriften in der Biologie, Erlangen-Nürnberg Buchwissenschaft, 2003. A book-length report on how professors, researchers, and doctoral candidates use the (mostly priced) electronic literature in biology. The report is based on a a 2001-2002 survey conducted at Friedrich-Alexander-University Erlangen-Nürnberg. The full-text (148 pp., in German) is freely available online, as is a summary in English. (Thanks to Klaus Graf.)

Wednesday, July 30, 2003

The July 28 issue of Open Access Now is now online. This issue features an interview with David Lipman, the director of the NCBI (which is responsible for PubMed Central and GenBank), a note distinguishing free access from open access, an update on PLoS, and a short introduction to the Walker-Prosser method for converting a conventional journal to open access.

The presentations from the workshop, Best Practices in Campus Advocacy (SPARC/ARL Forum at the ALA/CLA Annual Conference, Toronto, June 21, 2003) are now online. At this workshop, "campus advocacy" meant advocacy for change in the scholarly communication system.

More on ERIC....The EBSS Ad Hoc Committee on Access to Government Sponsored Education Research has launched ERIC Reauthorization News, a site that subsumes and enlarges the ERIC news site formerly maintained by Kate Corby.

The annual Pirelli Award is now seeking nominations for the 2004 award. Nominations are due by December 31, 2003. Pirelli (yes, the tire company) describes the prize as "the world's first Internet multimedia award aimed at the diffusion of scientific and technological culture worldwide". It even uses the headline, "Toward a Nobel Award for Scientific Communication". This year's prizes will total $100,000 Euros, or about US $115,000.

The University of New Zealand has released a revised version of its Preservation Metadata Schema. This schema supplements the original edition of the standard, released last November, and a shema for resource discovery metadata, released in October 2000.

Tuesday, July 29, 2003

David Pacchioli, Smart Search, Research Penn State, May 2003. A profile of C. Lee Giles, co-creator (with Steve Lawrence) of ResearchIndex and creator of eBizSearch. (Thanks to ResourceShelf.)

Monday, July 28, 2003

When I first blogged it on July 8, the web site for the Information Access Alliance was minimalist. But that was just a preview. As of today's official launch, the site is elegant and includes links to all the IAA's white papers and other supporting documents.

New Articles on Open Access The July issue of Internet Health is online. The Opinions Section has articles relevant to open access: Open Access with 'author pays' model: heading for the next serials crisis?- an article which questions the new economic model and More Thoughts on PubSCIENCE, which reviews the demise of PubScience.

In the July 28 SearchDay, Chris Sherman profiles ISIHighlyCited, the free search engine of highly cited researchers. ISIHighlyCited lets you find highly cited researchers by name, field, institution, and country. When you find a researcher of interest, you can see an ISI-built resume and bibliography of his/her works, but there are no links to full-texts. Sherman compares the service to Google, because ranking by citation is analogous to the Google's method of ranking by incoming links. He also compares it to ResearchIndex, which offers citation analysis of its contents. The difference, of course, is that ResearchIndex also offers open access to the contents themselves.

Eugenio Pelizzari has revised his paper, Harvesting for Disseminating: Open Archives and Role of Academic Libraries, in light of comments he received since posting the preprint last week.

Sunday, July 27, 2003

Heike Andermann and Andreas Degkwitz, Neue Ansätze in der wissenschaftlichen Informationsversorgung, a July 25 document from Germany's e-Publications Project. A lengthy (57 pp.) survey of open-access initiatives and projects. (Thanks to Klaus Graf.)

Excerpt from the conclusion (my rough translation): "New technologies offer the possibility of transforming the process of electronic publication. We currently see four fronts on which change is sought: new business models permitting free access to scientific information, production and distribution of scientific information by universities (the self-organization of knowledge), new forms of cooperation among participants in the value chain, and the lowering of prices for scientific information due to increased competition."