Open Access News

News from the open access movement

Saturday, September 20, 2003

Open access to arts data

The U.S. Cultural Policy and the Arts National Data Archive (CPANDA) contains interactive, machine-readable data sets on the arts and cultural policy. (Thanks to the Scout Report.)

Friday, September 19, 2003

Repositories of learning objects

Anon., The Digital Repository Comes of Age, NLII Annual Review: The New Academy, 2003, pp. 21-23. On repositories of learning objects, not research articles. However, the article itself cites OCLC VP Lorcan Dempsey, who argues that some repositories will eventually contain both kinds of content.

More on the DML

Allyn Jackson, The Digital Mathematics Library, Notices of the AMS, 50, 8 (September 2003) pp. 918-923. Much more background and detail than I was able to provide in my posting of September 5. For example, it makes clear that the DML includes journals, not just monographs, and lists the names and URLs of mathematics journals already digitized and put online.

Thursday, September 18, 2003

More on the Digital Library of India

Here's the Digital Library itself. The links in the left sidebar lead to some very interesting material on the background and mission of the library and the Million Book Project. (PS: Thanks to Darius Cuplinskas for the URL.)

Wednesday, September 17, 2003

BMC agreement with Dutch National Library

The National Library of the Netherlands (Koninklijke Bibliotheek or KB) announced today that it would "secure the long-term digital archiving of all research published by BioMed Central". The BMC articles will be available in print to walk-in KB patrons and online at the KB web site. Quoting KB official Wim van Drimmelen: "Long-term preservation is part of the mission of the KB and features among our main strategic goals. Unlike printed publications, digital publications require from the publisher an active part in the archiving. Therefore arrangements with publishers are essential to realise the safe-keeping of the intellectual output of scientists." Quoting BMC publisher Jan Velterop: "Open Access authors want reassurance that their work will be freely available in the future. The KB deal delivers such assurances. This is the first sizeable quantity of fully open access research articles to be archived by the KB, which means that that part of the library's archive can be fully open to anyone who cares to seek access. " (PS: This is a very credible back-up to BMC's own preservation efforts. Other open-access publishers --and other major libraries-- should initiate similar agreements.)

Against net filters in schools

T. A. Callister, Jr. and Nicholas C. Burbules, Just Give It To Me Straight: A Case Against Filtering the Internet, an undated eprint, probably a preprint. (Thanks to LIS News.) Excerpt: "The Internet is now the primary way many teachers and students access information in their educational pursuits. For many young people, if they can't access information in this way, they may not ever be able to discover it. To be honest, we suspect that the deeper issue is that many parents, and a few educators, do not want young people to be making these decisions for themselves, and don't mind if their experiences and knowledge are limited to the bland, the conventional, and the mainstream. They don't want their kids to become Nazi's, but they also don't want them to become vegetarians, atheists, or freethinking humanists. Ultimately, we believe, the filtering debate is not about pornography or bomb-making directions; it is about the reluctance of some adults to allow their children, and other people's children, to have the free access to information that will allow them to come to their own conclusions about the world and their place in it."

Launching the Digital Library of India

On September 8, the Digital Library of India was launched in New Delhi by Indian President Dr. A.P.J. Abdul Kalam. On its opening day the library contained about 27,000 open-access books, many digitized from rare and deteriorating ancient originals. In his remarks in launching the library, President Kalam emphasized that the library "gives equitable access, irrespective of place, caste, creed or colour or economic status". The new library is part of the Universal Digital Library project, which seeks to provide open access to one million ebooks by 2005.

Preserving eprint archives

Stephen Pinfield and Hamish James, The Digital Preservation of e-Prints, D-Lib Magazine, September 2003. Excerpt: "Digital information is lost when it is left unattended while hardware, software and media continue to develop. Without intervention, an e-print may be subject to media degradation within a few years. Even if the e-print is securely backed-up, a few more years will see the e-print's content become inaccessible as software and hardware change. Without a strong institutional commitment, institutional e-print repositories will be unable to preserve their holdings, and they may also struggle to convince faculty to deposit work. At present the apparent assumption among parts of the e-print community is that decisions about preservation can be left until later, but this does not fit well with much advice on digital preservation, which emphasises taking action early in the life-cycle of an electronic resource to make it simpler and less expensive to maintain in the future. Nevertheless, repository managers should not lose sight of the immediate importance of filling the repositories. There is certainly no reason to delay moving forward on this issue."

Copyright and self-archiving

Elizabeth Gadd, Charles Oppenheim, and Steve Probets, The Intellectual Property Rights Issues Facing Self-archiving: Key Findings of the RoMEO Project, D-Lib Magazine, September 2003. Excerpt: "The findings, particularly the Directory of journal publishers' self-archiving policies, should encourage academics that self-archiving is a realistic approach. Nevertheless, the project has also highlighted a number of concerns about publishers' copyright agreements, which—if dealt with—could greatly improve an author's rights under the current journal publishing system. The RoMEO project has shown that academics do not require the level of copy protection currently provided by (UK) copyright law and/or publishers' e-journal licences. Therefore, the provision of an alternative means of protecting academics' works through rights metadata, such as that proposed by the project's development phase, should be a welcome one."

Monday, September 15, 2003

Eprint archive for 25 law schools

The New England Law Library Consortium (NELLCO) and The Berkeley Electronic Press (Bepress) have launched the NELLCO Legal Scholarship Repository, an open-access, OAI-compliant eprint archive for law. The repository will host the scholarship produced by the law faculty of the 25-institution NELLCO consortium. (Thanks to Gary Price.)

PubMed enlarged

PubMed will soon have 1.5 million OLDMEDLINE citations to biomed journals from 1953 to 1965. In OLDMEDLINE, these were print citations of variable quality. To add them to PubMed, NLM is manually coding each one and linking it to a serial record in LOCATORplus. (Thanks to Information Today.)

Venezualan position on WTO breakdown

By all accounts, the WTO meeting in Cancun, Mexico, ended yesterday in failure and deadlock. Here's an excerpt from a statement by Ramon Rosales, the Venezualan Minister of Production & Commerce, at the conclusion of the meeting: "In today's asymmetric relations, the North's advantages reside precisely in the areas of science and technology. The international regime of definition and protection of intellectual property is oriented towards accentuating this asymmetry....The agreements on intellectual property cannot be obstacles to people's right to benefit from scientific progress, from technological advances, and from access to quality foods and medicines."

Sunday, September 14, 2003

Siva discusses information freedom

Siva Vaidhyanathan is responding to questions and comments about information freedom in an openDemocrary discussion forum, P2P: The New Information War?

CARDS links to PubMed

Computer Access to Research on Dietary Supplements (CARDS) is an open-access database of federally funded research projects on dietary supplements. It lists only the research projects, not their results or publications. But starting this month, CARDS links to PubMed. This puts CARDS users just a click away from the results and publications of the projects they're browsing.