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George S. Porter, Let's Get it Started! Issues in Science and Technology Librarianship, Summer 2006. Excerpt:
Jon Udell and I had a wide-ranging conversation on open access last week that is now available as his weekly podcast interview (41 minutes) for Info World. From his introduction:
Heidi Gautschi, Google: On en Parlera: French Publisher Sues Google Book Search, August 18, 2006. Excerpt:
Comment. I don't know French or EU copyright law. But I'd be very surprised if displaying a short snippet, in a book review or search engine, counted as unlawful "misrepresentation" of a book. I'd also be surprised if "putting a business strategy in danger" were prohibited by copyright law. Shifting from law to fact, I'd be just as surprised if participation in the Google Library project harmed, rather than helped, La Martinière's sales.
Heather Brooke, Access denied to the laws that govern us, The Guardian, August 17, 2006.Excerpt:
Francesca Grifo, Leave The Science To Scientists At FDA, Newton Bee, undated but apparently today. Grifo is senior scientist and director of the Scientific Integrity Program at the Union of Concerned Scientists. Excerpt:
The University of Chicago Press will cease publication of the Journal of Business in November 2006 and in the Spring of 2007 offer OA to the entire 79-year back run. For more details, see today's announcement.
Comment. I'm sorry to see the demise of this venerable journal. But kudos to Chicago for this way of recognizing its value to researchers.
Textbooks For the 21st Century: A Guide To Free And Low Cost Textbooks, a new report from the Make Textbooks Affordable project of the Student Public Interest Research Groups, August 2006. (Thanks to Rob Capriccioso.) Excerpt:
Copying Book is a Right! An anonymous blog posting on A2KBrasil, July 21, 2006. Excerpt:
C. Judson King and five co-authors, Scholarly Communication: Academic Values and Sustainable Models, Center for Studies in Higher Education, July 27, 2006. (Thanks to CAUL.)
Abstract: This study reports on five interdisciplinary case studies that explore academic value systems as they influence publishing behavior and attitudes of University of California, Berkeley faculty. The case studies are based on direct interviews with relevant stakeholders --faculty, advancement reviewers, librarians, and editors-- in five fields: chemical engineering, anthropology, law and economics, English-language literature, and biostatistics. The results of the study strongly confirm the vital role of peer review in faculty attitudes and actual publishing behavior. There is much more experimentation, however, with regard to means of in-progress communication, where single means of publication and communication are not fixed so deeply in values and tradition as they are for final, archival publication. We conclude that approaches that try to “move” faculty and deeply embedded value systems directly toward new forms of archival, “final” publication are destined largely to failure in the short-term. From our perspective, a more promising route is to (1) examine the needs of scholarly researchers for both final and in-progress communications, and (2) determine how those needs are likely to influence future scenarios in a range of disciplinary areas.
From the body of the paper:
These scholars had minimal, if any, understanding of open access models, although they were somewhat familiar with the “open” concept. We found that scholars are generally receptive to the ideal of making knowledge available for the “public good.”...
Update. The Center for Studies in Higher Education has released a new version of this paper. It has a new title ("The Influence of Academic Values on Scholarly Publication and Communication Practices") and new date (September 2006), but the same abstract. It also lists the same five co-authors, though in a different order (with Diane Harley listed first). I haven't checked to see what changes, if any, occur in the body of the text.
Update. The UC Berkeley News Center has issued a press release on the report, October 4, 2006.
The American Physical Society has launched a hybrid OA journal program. From today's announcement:
Update. I just got answers to some of my questions from Bob Kelly, Director of Journal Information Systems at APS. Yes, the program applies prospectively as well as retroactively. No, authors may not retain copyright. And yes, non-participating authors may still self-archive without an embargo or fee. (Thanks, Bob.)
Jonathan Eisen, SciFoo Camp Impressions Day2, Tree of Life, August 15, 2006. Excerpt:
Not much was disappointing [at this year's Sci Foo Camp], although I was still somewhat dismayed to see how scientists support open source software, and open access to data, but then do not always support open access to publications. When asked why, they give the lamest explanations, like, "well, that is just the way it is done." Perhaps most tellingly, the technology and engineering and physical sciences folks seem to get the Open Access to publications movement more so than the biologists and other life science folks. Maybe that is due to the existence of the physics archives and things like that. Or maybe biologists do not like to speak up when there were multiple folks from Nature there, and they did not want to jeopardize their chances of getting a Nature paper. I think the real explanation is that many of them are, how should I put this politely, afraid of change (note I wanted to say chicken shit there but then decided to be polite).
Justin Pope, Ads coming to texbooks, Associated Press, August 15, 2006. Excerpt:
Marian Burright reviews John Willinsky's book (The Access Principle, MIT Press, 2005, print edition, OA edition) in the summer issue of Issues in Science and Technology Librarianship. (Thanks to Kumiko Vezina.) Excerpt:
The UK Natural Environment Research Council (NERC) has adopted an OA mandate. From its access policy page:
Jeff Ubois, Google “Showtimes” the UC Library System, Television Archiving, August 13, 2006. (Thanks to Tien Teng.) Excerpt:
Today iCommons launched the Rio Framework for Open Science, moderated by Heather Ford and John Wilbanks. From the site wiki:
The goal of this Framework is to provide a seedbed of resources for those interested in Open Science, from the background information to examples of institutional policy, from arguments and evidence to the tools needed to implement various elements of Open Science.
The August/September issue of Research Information is now online. Here are the OA-related articles:
David Mehegan, Giveaway shows demand for e-books is strong, Boston Globe, August 15, 2006. Excerpt:
More than 30 million [open access] books were downloaded in the past month as part of the World eBook Fair, a giveaway of books in electronic form. Originally intended to run July 4 to Aug. 4, the project was extended for a week because unexpected demand at the start temporarily overwhelmed computer servers.
Jonathan Eisen, Open Access Rant: How Does Your Doctor Learn About the Newest Medical Findings?? The Tree of Life, August 13, 2006. Excerpt:
Charles W. Bailey, Jr., Overcoming Obstacles to Launching and Sustaining Non-Traditional-Publisher Open Access Journals, DigitalKoans, August 15, 2006. Excerpt:
PLoS has created an OA collection of articles on HIV Infection and AIDS previously published in PLoS Medicine.
Comment. I like this idea but perhaps not for the same reason that Lindenbaum likes it. To me, it's less useful as a way to gain access to someone's article than as a way to prod the author to self-archive the article and make it accessible to everyone. Authors should only need to get one of these queries before they see the efficiency of self-archiving, which takes about as much time as sending a single copy to a single colleague but makes the work available to every researcher and search engine on the planet.
David Dickson, Comments sought on African science funding body, SciDev.Net, August 14, 2006. Excerpt:
Comment. This is a rare and important opportunity to help shape the policy of a major funding agency. Please send in your comments, especially if you are African. One of the greatest services the new funding agency could perform for African science and development is to put an OA condition on its research grants. There are many good models it could follow, including the Wellcome Trust, the Biotechnology & Biological Sciences Research Council, the Economic & Social Research Council, the Medical Research Council, or FRPAA. In this month's SOAN, I make 10 specific suggestions for any funder OA policy.
Bob Thompson, Search Me? Washington Post, August 13, 2006. One of the longest and most detailed accounts I've seen on the background of the Google Library project and the copyright controversy it has spawned.
Klaus Graf has posted an detailed critique of the way German libraries thwart open access. His post is in German, but he sent me this short English-language summary:
German libaries are working against OA. Reasons: