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Cambridge University Press has launched Cambridge Open, an OA hybrid journal program. The program has no web site yet, but see yesterday's announcement (not posted to SOAF until today):
John Willinsky, GL, Open Access, and Scholarly Publishing, Slaw, August 11, 2006. John is the guest-blogger at Slaw nowadays. Excerpt:
Surabhi S. Liyanage and C. Raina MacIntyre, Do financial factors such as author page charges and industry funding impact on the nature of published research in infectious diseases? Health Information and Libraries Journal, September 2006. Only this abstract is free online, at least so far:
Objectives: The question of who pays for research to be conducted and published is an important one as it may result in publication bias. The traditional model of medical publishing has relied on subscriptions for funding. There has been increasing interest in making the results of scientific research freely available. One proposed mechanism is an author-pays system, which shifts cost from subscribers to authors. We investigated the impact of author page charges on the nature and type of published research, and the association of industry funding with types of published research.
Comments. I don't have access to the full article and base these comments only on the abstract.
Steven William Glover, Anne Webb, and Colette Gleghorn, Open access publishing in the biomedical sciences: could funding agencies accelerate the inevitable changes? Health Information and Libraries Journal, September 2006. (Thanks to Trish Chatterley.) Only this abstract is free online, at least so far:
Background: Open access is making a noticeable impact on access to information. In 2005, many major research funders, including the Wellcome Trust, National Institutes for Health (NIH), and the Research Councils UK (RCUK), set out their position in a number of statements. Of particular note was the stipulation that authors receiving grants must deposit their final manuscript in an open access forum within 6–12 months of publication.
PS: The funder contribution to OA progress is large and undeniable. For my review of the major policies and the lessons to be learned from them, see my article from this month's SOAN.
Klaus Graf, Wissenschaftliches Publizieren mit "Open Access" - Initiativen und Widerstände, in Gudrun Gersmann and Katja Mruck (eds.), Historical Social Research, Vol. 29, No. 1, 2004, pp. 64-75. Self-archived August 9, 2006. In German but with this English-language abstract:
In the sense of an "Open Access" movement this article is an appeal for making scientific publications accessible in Internet free-of-charge and worldwide without any restrictive "permission barriers." It presents projects and initiatives in both the United States and Germany and advocates a stronger reception of American approaches here in Germany. According to this article, "Open Access" is the answer to the crisis scientific literature is facing, which is not only reflected in the professional journal prices, but also means that an anthology is maybe subsidized four times by local authorities, and the state then has to buy back its own research findings from commercial publishing houses. There are also thoughts about providing "Open Access" not only for books and articles. The article closes by dealing with the resistance and barriers to this idea and deliberating possible solutions, with an emphasis on the legal framework.
Stevan Harnad, Optimal OA IR Preprint and Postprint Deposit and Withdrawal Policy, Open Access Archivangelism, August 11, 2006.
Summary: At a time when the immediate problem for Open Access (OA) Institutional Repositories (IRs) is not removal but deposit (IRs are still mostly empty), there is no need for an institutional or departmental mediator/moderator/approver phase in the self-archiving process. Authorised institutional authors should all be able to deposit/approve and delete/approve their own papers, instantaneously. If it is felt that there is a need for vetting deposits, let the deposits be monitored only after they have been successfully deposited and are visible in the IR. A distinction also needs to be made between (i) unrefereed preprints and (ii) refereed postprints of published articles. (i) If you want authors to be willing to deposit their unrefereed preprints at all, you must allow them to remove them at will, instantaneously. (ii) For refereed postprints, 99% of the time authors will never want to remove them. They are published. The postprint is merely a supplement to the published version, for those would-be users who cannot afford access to the published version. The published version (at the publisher's website) cannot be withdrawn; so withdrawing the access-supplement in the author's own IR is in general pointless.
Stevan Harnad, Publishing vs. Access-Provision; Unrefereed Preprints vs. Refereed Postprints; IRs vs. CRs vs. VRs, Open Access Archivangelism. August 11, 2006. Summary:
(i) An Institutional Repository (IR) is not the same thing as a Central (uni-disciplinary or multidisciplinary) Repository (CR) like arXiv or PubMed Central.
Another journal declaration of independence is in progress. Yesterday the entire editorial board of Topology resigned to protest Elsevier's refusal to lower the subscription price. The editors' letter was posted to PAMnet this morning. (Thanks to George Porter.) Excerpt from the letter:
Dear Mr [Robert] Ross [of Elsevier Science],
Charles W. Bailey, Jr. has started a series on his blog about digital university presses. He kicked off the series last week with a profile of the Australian National University's ANU E Press. Yesterday he posted number two in the series, a profile of the Linköping University Electronic Press, which "publishes freely available digital conference proceedings, databases, journals, series, reports, and theses."
David Spurgeon, Canadian medical journal faces threat from new online rival, BMJ, August 12, 2006. Only the first 150 words are accessible to non-subscribers. Excerpt:
Subbiah Arunachalam (Arun), Need for an Alliance for taxpayer Access in India, a posting to bytesforall, August 9, 2006. Excerpt:
Much of research in India in the fields of science, technology, agriculture, medicine, social sciences, economics, etc. is funded out of taxpayers' money. A few years ago, a DST report quoted a figure of about 75% for the share of publicly funded scientific research. However the findings of these research programmes, usually in the form of research papers published in refereed journals, is not easily accessible even to Indian scientists at large let alone the public, for the simple reason scientists publish their research papers in a wide variety of journals published from many countries and no library in India or for that matter anywhere in the world can afford to subscribe to all these journals. Also, some journal publishers fix their subscription prices at astronomical levels....
PS: Arun is exactly right. The ATA has been very effective in the US. Every country should have an equivalent.
William W. Fisher et al., The Digital Learning Challenge: Obstacles to Educational Uses of Copyrighted Material in the Digital Age, Berkman Center for Internet and Society, undated but apparently released on August 10, 2006. Excerpt:
This foundational white paper reports on a year-long study by the Berkman Center for Internet and Society, funded by a grant from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, examining the relationship between copyright law and education. In particular, we wanted to explore whether innovative educational uses of digital technology were hampered by the restrictions of copyright. We found that provisions of copyright law concerning the educational use of copyrighted material, as well as the business and institutional structures shaped by that law, are among the most important obstacles to realizing the potential of digital technology in education....
The August issue of the INASP Newsletter is now online. See especially these six articles:
Helen Branswell, Release of Indonesian avian, human H5N1 viruses may offer insights on spread, CBC News, August 10, 2006. Excerpt:
Timothy Lewy, A Consistent Reference Service for the Interoperation of EPrint Repositories, a project report submitted for the award of Computer Science (MEng) at the University of Southampton School of Electronics and Computer Science, Faculty of Engineering, Sciences and Mathematics, May 9, 2006. Self-archived August 10, 2006.
Abstract: Current Institutional Repository packages do a poor job of maintaining the article’s metadata in a consistent fashion. Documents and other entities are unreliably identified and there exists no mechanism for correlating related data between multiple repositories. A consistent reference service (CRS) mediates and maps between different identifiers, from multiple sources. It overcomes the shortcomings of packages such as EPrints and allows the construction of useful applications and services, such as automatic CV generation or citation impact profiling. This project has developed a highly efficient and scalable CRS, capable of tracking many thousand identifiers. It utilises semantic web technologies to remain open and responsive, providing intuitive and flexible services for searching and retrieving information. A sophisticated plug-in for the EPrints software has been developed, which utilises the CRS to improve the inherent consistency of the metadata; reinforce the use of local naming schemes and significantly enhance the repository’s user interface. A CRS deployment is already in active use by researchers of the ReSIST Project.
Michael Cross, Canada proves itself to be genuine land of the free, The Guardian, August 10, 2006. Excerpt:
E. Henneken, M.J. Kurz and six co-authors, myADS-arXiv - a Tailor-Made, Open Access, Virtual Journal, a preprint self-archived August 4, 2006.
Abstract: The myADS-arXiv service provides the scientific community with a one stop shop for staying up-to-date with a researcher’s field of interest. The service provides a powerful and unique filter on the enormous amount of bibliographic information added to the ADS on a daily basis. It also provides a complete view with the most relevant papers available in the subscriber’s field of interest. With this service, the subscriber will get to know the lastest developments, popular trends and the most important papers. This makes the service not only unique from a technical point of view, but also from a content point of view. On this poster we will argue why myADS-arXiv is a tailor-made, open access, virtual journal and we will illustrate its unique character.
John Blossom, U.S. Court Rejects IP Claims to Baseball Stats: Is the EU Ready for the Challenge? ContentBlogger, August 9, 2006. Don't skip over this story thinking it's only about baseball. It's about the free circulation of facts. Excerpt:
While U.S. copyright law has always been more liberal than the European Union towards the right of publishers to copy facts for other uses the advent of the Web has raised a flurry of U.S. lawsuits in recent years to claim more intellectual property rights to factual data. But USA Today notes that a recent decision in a closely watched case has tipped the scales in favor of facts-seekers. The ruling against Major League Baseball Players Association by a content licensee that was denied a license renewal for baseball players' names and statistics notes clearly:"The undisputed facts establish that the names and playing records of (MLB) players as used in CBC’s fantasy games are not copyrightable and, therefore, federal copyright law does not pre-empt the players’ claimed right of publicity...the First Amendment takes precedence over a [right to publicity]."This will be a boon for data miners that have been fighting a myriad of conflicting laws, regulations and Web site terms and conditions - and a shot across the bow to EU publishers that continue to fight off claims to legacy database products.
Stevan Harnad, Maximising the Return on Resource Investment in Research, August 10, 2006. Excerpt:
In a recent preprint, Houghton & Sheehan (2006), using estimates from economic modeling, have confirmed the substantial potential enhancement of the return on resource investment in research if the resulting articles are made Open Access:...Excerpts:These estimates agree substantially with prior estimates that have been made (e.g., for the UK, Canada and Australia, see below).
The University of Tasmania School of Computing has its own OA repository and a policy mandating
that all refereed publications in conferences, journals and books, be deposited in the School/University repository. This applies to faculty, and to PhD candidates and other students, without exception.
Thanks to ROARMAP (Registry of Open Access Repository Material Archiving Policies).
The August issue of First Monday is now online. Here are the OA-related articles.
Update. FM just added another article to this issue: Sandra Braman, Tactical Memory: The Politics of Openness in the Construction of Memory.
John Houghton and Peter Sheehan, The Economic Impact of Enhanced Access to Research Findings, Centre for Strategic Economic Studies, Victoria University, July 2006.
Abstract: The environment in which research is being conducted and disseminated is undergoing profound change, with new technologies offering new opportunities, changing research practices demanding new capabilities, and increased focus on research performance. A key question facing us today is, are there new opportunities and new models for scholarly communication that could enhance the dissemination of research findings and, thereby, increase the returns to investment in R&D?
From the body of the paper itself:
There are two main conclusions to this paper. One is that, while there are many limitations to the approach outlined, these simple estimates provide some sense of the possible scale of the potential impacts of enhanced access on returns to R&D. The second is that the returns to R&D approach, with accessibility and efficiency parameters, offers the foundation for one method for measuring these impacts in a more rigorous manner.
Advances in Disease Surveillance is a new peer-reviewed, OA journal from Scholarly Exchange. From yesterday's announcement:
Scholarly Exchange has launched a new open access journal, Advances in Disease Surveillance, on its free and fully supported e-publishing platform. The journal is devoted to publishing public health, epidemiologic, biostatistical, and bioinformatics work relevant to detecting emerging diseases and disease patterns around the world. ADS is the official journal of The International Society for Disease Surveillance.
Susan R. Morrissey, Public-Access Support Grows, Chemical & Engineering News, August 8, 2006. Excerpt:
Jeffrey Young, U. of California System's 100 Libraries Join Google's Controversial Book-Scanning Project, Chronicle of Higher Education, August 9, 2006. Excerpt:
Jennifer Howard, Picture Imperfect, Chronicle of Higher Education, August 4, 2006 (accessible only to subscribers). Excerpt:
Gary Price, Books from University of California Libraries Will Now Be Scanned by Google and Microsoft, ResourceShelf, August 9, 2006. Excerpt:
Elinor Mills, Google and U.C. sign contract to digitize books, ZDNet, August 8, 2006. Excerpt:
PS: For my take on how the Open Content Alliance is more open than the Google Library project, see my November 2005 article in SOAN.
David Böcking, Raus aus dem Elfenbeinturm, Spiegel Online, August 9, 2006. An intro to recent OA developments in Germany, England, and the US.
Michael W. Carroll, The Movement for Open Access Law, Lewis & Clark Law Review, vol. 10 (2006). Self-archived July 20, 2006. (Thanks to Media Law Prof Blog.)
Abstract: My claim in this contribution to this important symposium is that the law and legal scholarship should be freely available on the Internet, and copyright law and licensing should facilitate achievement of this goal. This claim reflects the combined aims of those who support the movement for open access law. This nascent movement is a natural extension of the well-developed movement for free access to primary legal materials and the equally well-developed open access movement, which seeks to make all scholarly journal articles freely available on the Internet. Legal scholars have only general familiarity with the first movement and very little familiarity with the second. In this contribution, I demonstrate the linkages between these movements and briefly outline the argument for open access law.
Most of the presentations from the DASER-2 Summit, Digital Libraries, Institutional Repositories, Open Access (College Park, Maryland, December 2-4, 2005) are now online. (Thanks to Scholarly Communication in Engineering.) Nearly all of them are about OA.
Wiley has launched a hybrid journal program. From yesterday's press release:
UK PubMed Central To Launch in January, Library Journal, August 9, 2006. Excerpt:
The desire to make government funded research freely available to the public got another boost with the announced launch of UK PubMed Central (UKPMC), a repository based on the PubMed Central in the United States, operated by the National Institutes of Health (NIH). Like its American counterpart, UKPMC will provide free access to an online digital archive of peer-reviewed research papers in the medical and life sciences. Officials at the Wellcome Trust, strong advocates of open access, said the contract to run UKPMC was awarded to a partnership between the British Library, the University of Manchester and the European Bioinformatics Institute (EBI). Launch of the service is scheduled for January 2007....
Ned Lamont defeated Joe Lieberman tonight in the Democratic primary election in Connecticut. Lieberman sponsored the CURES Act and co-sponsored FRPAA, the two strongest OA bills ever introduced in Congress. Lieberman won't be the Democratic Party's nominee in November but he may run as an independent.
Update. Lieberman has decided to run as an independent. More coverage.
For readers outside the US I can say that Lieberman lost this election because of his support for George Bush and the war in Iraq, not because of his views on OA. By running as an independent, he may be re-elected to the Senate, but it's more likely that he'll split the Democratic vote and give the seat to a Republican.
I'm not a one-issue voter and I don't expect others to be. However, this is a one-issue blog. Lieberman's defeat will be a loss for OA and I'll try to uncover and blog the consequences for OA. But I won't comment, here, on whether his defeat will be a net loss for the country.
Heather Morrison, Transitioning to open access, Imaginary Journal of Poetic Economics, August 7, 2006. Excerpt:
Prediction (hypothesis): Journals with strong support for open access, high quality and no or reasonable processing fees will see increasing article submissions. Strong support for open access could mean either open access publishing, or very friendly, easy to find, understand and follow self-archiving policies.
Comment. I have no doubt that author preference for OA will grow in proportion to author understanding of OA, and that this will show up both in self-archiving and submissions to OA journals. If we focus on submissions to OA journals, however, then prestige must enter as another key variable. OA alone will not change submission rates much unless supported by prestige. Because most OA journals are new, they don't yet have prestige in proportion to their quality. But this will change. As the prestige of high-quality OA journals grows, then the combination of that prestige and the intrinsic advantages of OA will surpass the advantages of prestigious non-OA journals and this will be reflected in submission rates. For more on these lines, see SOAN for March 2005:
For authors, the only reason to submit work to a TA [toll access] journal is its prestige. In every other way, TA journals are inferior to OA journals because they limit an author's audience and impact. OA journals will start to draw submissions away from top TA journals as soon as they approach them in prestige. And by the time they equal them in prestige, the best TA journals will have lost their one remaining competitive advantage.
There's already some evidence that converting to OA or shortening embargoes increases submissions (at BMJ, JPGM, JMLA, MBC, and Medknow journals generally). I'll say more about this in an upcoming issue of SOAN and in the meantime would appreciate pointers to any additional anecdotes or evidence.
The presentations from Open Publish 2006 (Sydney, July 26-28, 2006) are now online. (Thanks to ResourceShelf.)
See especially Bobby Graham, Open Access Journals.
Abstract: Academic and scholarly journals are in trouble: small print runs, part-time editors, and dwindling funds are conspiring to crush them. But help is at hand: new trends in open access publishing support free, digital and open access to research literature, bringing writing and discourse to new and wider audiences. The National Library of Australia is trialling the Open Journal Systems (OJS) digital publishing software to advance their understanding of managing an online open access journal publishing service.
Rufus Pollock, Dead knowledge: why being explicit about openness matters, Open Knowledge Foundation Weblog, August 8, 2006. Excerpt:
PS: I agree and made a similar argument in SOAN for August 2003:
Readers should be told when a work is free of price and permission barriers. They might be reading a copy forwarded from a friend and not know whether the publisher would like to charge for access. They might want to forward a copy to a friend and not know whether this kind of redistribution is permitted. When an article has no label, then conscientious users will seek permission for any copying that exceeds fair use. But this kind of delay and detour, with non-use as the consequence of a non-answer, are just the kinds of obstacles that open access seeks to eliminate. A good label [or license] will save users time and grief, prevent conscientious users from erring on the side of non-use, and eliminate a frustration that might nudge conscientious users into becoming less conscientious.
Eric Kansa, PLoS One is Up, Digging Digitally, August 8, 2006. Excerpt:
Kevin Davies, Science Publishing and the Web, BioIT World, July-August 2006. Excerpt:
SPARC has launched Author Rights, a new initiative to help scholars understand and use the SPARC Author Addendum. From yesterday's announcement:
In his ZDNet column yesterday, Dana Gardner argued that businesses moving toward free online ad-supported content need faster and more powerful back-end systems. Why?
Because, increasingly, companies like AOL and Shopzilla are creating their incomes from the ads generated by page-views and communications services access. Same for carriers serving up content to cell phones. Same for transaction-based services. Same for applications as services.
Comment. I don't see these pressures on academic sites providing scholarly OA. Is it because ad revenue is never a large part of their business model? Is it because users visiting a site for research purposes are more likely to wait for the content than click on ads and forget why they came?
Richard Charkin, CEO of Macmillan (parent company of Nature), has a note on his blog today urging his readers to follow the OA debate, especially through the comments on Declan Butler's June article on PLoS.
PS: This is a closer to a neutral recommendation than his post in June about the same Nature article in which he misinterpreted the article's conclusions and seriously suggested that OA journals more than non-OA journals lead to "protection of the status quo."
Mangala Hirwade and Kartika Mahajan, E-LIS : a step towards redefining Open Access, apparently a preprint. Self-archived August 1, 2006.
Abstract: The past few years have seen tremendous developments in information production, acquisition, and dissemination. Providing access to information free of charge in electronic formats is a concept that is gaining momentum. Open Access is one step ahead of Free Access. Open Access holds promise to remove both price and permission barriers to the scientific communication by using Internet. Creation of open access archives is a step towards redefining open access. E-LIS is a famous international disciplinary archive in Library and Information Science. The present paper describes creation and maintenance of E-LIS. It also includes content analysis of this archive.
Mangala Hirwade and D. Rajyalakshmi, Open Access : India is moving towards Third world Superpower, in Murthy Tav (ed.), Proceedings CALIBER 2006, Gulberga (India), 2006. Self-archived August 1, 2006.
Abstract: The past few years have seen tremendous developments in information production, acquisition, and dissemination. Budgetary restrictions in research libraries have led to a period known as the serial cutting era. The new millennium has also ushered in the concept of the virtual library with seamless access to an integrated collection of print, electronic, and multimedia resources regardless of their physical location or ownership. Research scientists, policy makers, and reference librarians the world over are coming together to introduce reforms to make scientific knowledge affordable. Providing access to information free of charge in electronic formats is a concept that is gaining momentum. Open Access is one step ahead of Free Access. Open Access holds promise to remove both price and permission barriers to the scientific communication by using Internet. The present paper outlines the features of open access and the two vehicles viz. open access journals and open access archives. A few current open access initiatives in India are described in detail. In India, there is a large opportunity for open access publishing but still the number of registered archives is very less. Indian scientific communities and organizations like Indian Academy of Sciences, Indian Institute of Science, Indian National Science Academy, NISCAIR, INFLIBNET, etc are now actively taking initiatives towards creation of institutional repositories and providing open access to their publications.
On August 1, the Free Words project launched Free Press. From the site:
Google has been using its huge index for internal research, but has decided to release a version of it to benefit the research of others. It won't be online for downloading because nobody could download a one trillion word dataset. But it will be available on DVDs, apparently at cost. From Thursday's announcement:
Here at Google Research we have been using word n-gram models for a variety of R&D projects, such as statistical machine translation, speech recognition, spelling correction, entity detection, information extraction, and others....We found that there's no data like more data, and scaled up the size of our data by one order of magnitude, and then another, and then one more - resulting in a training corpus of one trillion words from public Web pages.