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Michael Rogawski and Peter Suber, Support for the NIH Public Access Policy, Science Magazine, September 15, 2006. A letter to the editor. Since the Science version is only accessible to subscribers, I've posted an OA copy here (and a correction here). Excerpt:
Suzanne P. Lewis, Open Access Articles Have a Greater Research Impact Than Articles Not Freely Available, Evidence Based Library and Information Practice, 1, 3 (2006). A review of Kristin Antelman, Do Open-Access Articles Have a Greater Research Impact? College & Research Libraries, 65, 5 (Sep. 2004) pp. 372-82. From the abstract:
Heather Morrison, Publishing Cooperatives: Another Seminal Work by Raym Crow, Imaginary Journal of Poetic Economics, September 15, 2006. Comments on Crow's case for publishing cooperatives (longer February 2006 version or shorter September 2006 version). Excerpt:
Anita Sundaram Coleman, Commons-based digital libraries, a preprint self-archived on September 15, 2006.
Abstract: This is a submission to the "Interrogating the social realities of information and communications systems pre-conference workshop, ASIST AM 2006." Commons-based digital libraries (CBDL) are an emerging phenomenon – they are digital libraries based on notions of common pool resource management. Developing a CBDL framework will provide a sustainable and equitable vision for digital information management and use. The common-based digital library is first defined followed by the essential aspects of the framework. The metaphorical meanings and theories of libraries, repositories, and the commons are not included. Interested researchers are encouraged to contact the author. Acknowledgments: Thanks to Blaise Cronin for very helpful comments on a very early draft. Thanks to the faculty at Indiana University - they helped me develop some of these ideas by asking lots of hard questions. Thanks also to Heather Morrison for helping me refine the definition.
The NIH has agreed that when publishers deposit articles on behalf of authors, under the NIH's public access policy, then it will consider the authors to be in compliance with the policy. The agreement was worked out with the American Society of Hematology (ASH) but will extend to other publishers who wish to take advantage of the option. From yesterday's announcement:
The Journal of Labor Economics is providing retroactive OA to an award-winning paper originally published in January 2004:
Pascal Courty and Gerald Marschke, An Empirical Investigation of Gaming Responses to Explicit Performance Incentives.
From the journal's announcement:
The Journal of Labor Economics awarded Pascal Courty (European University Institute) and Gerald Marschke (SUNY Albany) the H. Gregg Lewis Prize for their article....Awarded biennially in even-numbered years, the Lewis Prize honors the best paper published in the Journal in the last two years....In honor of Courty and Marschke’s award-winning work, the University of Chicago Press has temporarily lifted all access restrictions to the article....
Comment. It's an excellent idea to provide retroactive OA to articles when they, or their authors, win subsequent awards or recognition. But why not make it permanent OA? Does the press really think it will gain more from toll access to an old but respected article than it will gain from OA that draws new readers, impact, and citations? In a forthcoming article, I argue for systematically providing permanent OA to past research articles, starting with the most important.
G. Sayeed Choudhury, A Technology Analysis of Repositories and Services, D-Lib Magazine, September 2006. Excerpt:
PS: For another collection of funder OA policies, see JULIET.
Yanjun Zhang, The Effect of Open Access on Citation Impact: A Comparison Study Based on Web Citation Analysis, Libri, September 2006. Only this abstract is free online, at least so far. Excerpt:
Linda Hutcheon, What Open Access Could Mean for the Humanities, University of Toronto Project Open Source | Open Access, September 13, 2006. Excerpt:
PS: For my take on why OA is moving more slowly in the humanities than in the sciences, see Promoting Open Access in the Humanities.
Karen Markey and five co-authors, Nationwide Census of Institutional Repositories: Preliminary Findings, a presentation at JCDL 2006 (Chapel Hill, June 11-15, 2006). (Thanks to DigitalKoans.)
One table in the paper ranks the top and bottom three benefits of IRs. The top three were "Capturing the intellectual capital
When institutions without IRs were asked why they didn't have one yet, the top two reasons given were "Other priorities, issues, activities, etc., are more pressing than an IR" and "We have no available resources to support planning". The bottom three reasons were "We do not understand or believe in the value or effectiveness of an IR", "We have no support from our library’s administration", and "We do not need an IR
Richard K. Johnson, Will Research Sharing Keep Pace with the Internet? The Journal of Neuroscience, September 14, 2006. Excerpt:
KnowledgeSpeak has interviewed Chris Forbes, the CEO of Knovel, September 15, 2006. Excerpt:
ALPSP Award for Publishing Innovation
Congress has passed the Federal Funding Accountability and Transparency Act, which creates an OA database of government grants and contracts. The bill was nearly derailed by Senators who didn't want their favorite pork-barrel spending projects exposed to the light of day. The database should launch in 2008.
Here's an academic take on the legislation from today's Chronicle of Higher Education:
Congress has approved a bill establishing a Web-based, Google-like search engine to provide a single, public source of information about federal contracts and grants, including projects financed through academic earmarks.
OpenDOAR, the Directory of Open Access Repositories, has announced some enhancements to its service. Excerpt:
The EU is willing to fund a study of its digitization needs, process, and policies. From its call for tenders:
Ulrich Herb, Journale, Impact Factor, radikale Monopole und Karrieren, Telepolis, September 15, 2006. Part 2 of Herb's lengthy survey of OA issues. (Part 1 appeared yesterday.) Read it in German or in Google's English.
The British Academy has previewed a report to be released on Monday that will show how UK copyright law hinders scholarship in the humanities and social sciences. Excerpt:
Comment. The US suffers from all the same problems except the EU Database Directive. I wish the US National Academies, perhaps joined by the AAU, would say so and recommend the same remedies. In both countries, the set of remedies could be expanded to include the first-sale doctrine for digital content, Lawrence Lessig's Public Domain Enhancement Act, a reduction in the term of copyright (at least prospectively), and clarification that search indexing is fair use.
Update. The full report is now online (September 18, 2006).
The Royal Society has finished digitizing all the back issues of all its journals back to 1665. To celebrate, it's offering free online access to the lot until December. See the RS announcement or The Register's news story. (Thanks to Matt Cockerill.)
Normally I don't blog trial offers of free online access but I'm making an exception for this one. This window onto the history of science is extraordinary.
Update. Here's a comment from Tom Wilson on the Information Research Weblog:
Michael Cross, National Archives squares the data circle, The Guardian, September 14, 2006. Excerpt:
Ulrich Herb, Schöne neue Welt des Open Access, Telepolis, September 14, 2006. (Thanks to Der Schockwellenreiter.) Part 1 of a multi-part story, this part focusing on price barriers to scientific research --either in the form of reader-side subscription fees or author-side publication fees. FWIW, here's Google's English.
PS: I can't tell whether Herb acknowledges two important qualifiers: (1) that most OA journals charge charge no author-side fees and (2) that more TA journals charge such fees than OA journals. He does acknowledge that OA archiving charges no user fees.
Philica is a new OA journal covering every academic field, charging no author-side fees, providing immediate OA to the submission, and using a form of open review with anonymous, recursively weighted reviewers. Articles in different fields are collected into sections called PsychoPhilica, EduPhilica, JurisPhilica, and so on. (Thanks to inn0vate.) From the site:
For more information, see the FAQ.
Heather Morrison and Andrew Waller, Open access for the medical librarian, Journal of the Canadian Health Libraries Association, Summer 2006. (Self-archived copies here, here, and here.)
Abstract: In this article open access is defined, and the resources and issues of greatest relevance to the medical librarian are discussed. The economics of open access publishing is examined from the point of view of the university library. Open access resources, both journals and articles in repositories, are already significant and growing rapidly. There are close to 2300 fully open-access peer review journals listed in the Directory of Open Access Journals (DOAJ) (320 health sciences titles are included). DOAJ is adding titles at a rate of 1.5 per day. An OAIster search of resources in repositories includes more than 7.6 million items (a rough estimate of the number of articles in repositories, although not all items are full text), and this number will exceed one billion items before the end of 2007. Medical research funders, including the US National Institutes of Health, the Wellcome Trust, the UK Medical Research Council, and the Canadian Institutes of Health Research, either have implemented or are considering open access policies. This will drive greater growth in open access resources, particularly in the area of medicine. There are implications and leadership opportunities for librarians in the open access environment.
Joe Hodnicki at Law Librarian Blog excoriates the Chapman statement:
Comment. Note for non-lawyers: SSRN is the OA repository of choice for legal scholarship in the US.
Hodnicki is right that Chapman doesn't rank high on the standard criteria for evaluating law schools and he's right that Chapman's recent SSRN posts don't show recent productivity. But since Chapman made neither claim, his arguments are beside the point except to put Chapman's real claim in a wider context. Chapman claimed that it was doing better than other law schools at providing open access to its research output --which is true and commendable.
There are many criteria for judging the worth of a law school. (Disclosure: I graduated from Northwestern Law School in 1982.) Willingness to provide open access to its research output is new, and Chapman is right to say that it's "increasingly important". It may not be in the US News set of criteria, but it's a valid measure of a school's commitment to live up to its mission to share the knowledge it generates.
I do hope that the Chapman's law librarians spent the summer tracking down hardcopies for scanning. I also hope they spend regular time helping faculty (or those who need help) post OA copies of their born-digital research. I hope they work just as hard next year as they did last year and I hope that other law school librarians will try to catch up with them.
And by the way, I also hope that US News will soon add, as one criterion among many others, the percentage of a school's annual research output on deposit in OA repositories. I hope all similar guides do the same, whether they are evaluating law schools, medical schools, graduate schools, or any other kind of research institution.
Four more top administrators have added their signatures to the SPARC list of U.S. university presidents and provosts endorsing open access to publicly-funded research and the Federal Research Public Access Act of 2006 (FRPAA).
The tally is now 120 and counting.
The Dutch DARE project has launched Promise of Science, an OA repository for electronic theses and dissertations (ETDs) in the Netherlands. Promise of Science covers all Dutch universities and on launch day (yesterday) already contained 10,000 Dutch ETDs. The site supports searching by keyword, author, institution, or year. For more details see the announcement.
The EU i2010 strategy has launched a new web site on the Digital Libraries Initiative, including a new FAQ. The project is European-wide and multi-lingual, covering both the sciences and cultural heritage, and includes a commitment to massive digitization, long-term preservation, and open access for works in the public domain and those copyrighted works for which the project can obtain permission.
PS: I'd say more about this important initiative here but I've often blogged it in the past. I hope the new web site lets the i2010 team streamline or simplify its confusing proliferation of sites.
The Gates Foundation has given the Public Library of Science a $1.1 million grant to launch a new OA journal on neglected diseases. The grant is part of a larger Gates initiative to find cures for neglected tropical diseases. From today's announcement:
Comment. The Gates Foundation has come close to supporting OA in the past, particularly through its annual Access to Learning Award and its recent decision to mandate data sharing for Gates-funded AIDS research. But I believe the PLoS grant is its first direct support for OA literature. This could mark the beginning of a significant new source of funding for OA to medical research.
Update. Here's the PLoS press release on the new journal. Excerpt:
EU project to widen access to European research information, September 13, 2006. The CORDIS announcement of the DRIVER project. (See DRIVER's own announcement on Monday.) Excerpt:
Rolf Kleef, Open Access To Knowledge, Corante, September 13, 2006. Excerpt:
David Lau, Bloom signs letter supporting open access to research, The Phoenix, September 14, 2006. Excerpt:
Kim Thomas, APS extends open access to all its journals, Information World Review, September 12, 2006. Excerpt:
Comment. For my evaluation of the APS implementation of the hybrid model, see my article in the September SOAN.
Can Open Access offer science where no one is left behind? APC.org, September 1, 2006. Excerpt:
Peter Murray-Rust, Do you read journals, or “use a database”? A Scientist and the Web, September 11, 2006. Excerpt:
Peter Murray-Rust, Open Data - the time has come, A Scientist and the Web, September 12, 2006. Excerpt:
Mike Carroll, The Broadcast Treaty and Open Access, Carrollogos, September 11, 2006. Excerpt:
PS: For more background, I discuss other OA implications of the WIPO broadcast treaty in Three gathering storms that could cause collateral damage for open access (March 2006).
Susan Herbst, Provost and Executive Vice President for Academic Affairs at the State University of New York at Albany has added her signature to the SPARC list of U.S. university presidents and provosts endorsing open access to publicly-funded research and the Federal Research Public Access Act of 2006 (FRPAA).
From today's press release announcing the official launch of Chemistry Central Journal:
Comment. Congratulations to all at Chemistry Central. This is a long-need breakthrough for the field of chemistry.
I have a minor problem that I hesitate it to bring it up on the same occasion as this major announcement. Today's press release doesn't name of the publisher this journal --and therefore doesn't give guidance to people like me who want to write complete sentences in the active voice that attribute actions to actors. I know that Chemistry Central is produced by the same team that brought us BioMed Central, that the team is called the Science Navigation Group, and the CC-SNG connection was openly announced last month. The problem isn't secrecy but diction. It may be inaccurate to call SNG the "publisher" of CCJ. But it may be more inaccurate to say that the publisher is BioMed Central or Open Access Central, the new umbrella organization to coordinate Chemistry Central, BioMed Central, and other sibling initiatives still to come. Is Chemistry Central the publisher of Chemistry Central Journal? (If so, then is SNG launching multiple publishers, not just multiple publishing projects?) I'm not trying to get to the bottom of a mystery so much as avoid the passive voice. SNG-BMC-OAC-CC: Help me say "x launched y" rather than "y was launched [by launcher unknown]".
The DRIVER Consortium consists of the University of Athens (Greece), Bielefeld University (Germany), Consiglio Nazionale Delle Ricerche (Italy), Stichting SURF (Netherlands), University of Nottingham (UK), Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique DIS (France), University of Bath (UK), Uniwesytet Warszawski (Poland), Universiteit Gent (Belgium), and Goettingen University (Germany).
Comment. This is big. It should greatly increase the number of OA institutional repositories at European universities, tilting the balance so that universities without them will feel the need to catch up. Its test bed will demonstrate powerful new services on top of interoperable OA archiving, enticing universities to make their research output available to these services through local incentives to deposit. And it should make it much easier for public funding agencies in European countries, and the now-emerging European Research Council, to mandate OA archiving for all the research they fund.
The September issue of First Monday is now online. Here are the OA-related articles.
Philippe Aigrain, Towards a positive recognition of commons-based research and innovation in international norms, an extended extended version of a talk at the Access to Knowledge conference (Alexandria, September 7-8, 2006). Excerpt:
Stefan Krempl, Deutsche Piratenpartei kämpft für die freie Wissensgesellschaft, Heise online, September 10, 2006. A news story (in German) on the Piratenpartei Deutschland (German Pirate Party or PPD), whose platform includes open access to publicly-funded research.
Comment. Good platform, bad name. OA to research has nothing to do with copyright infringement, let alone piracy. Even taking the Pirate name as a subversive gesture of pride hurts the cause by confusing people about this often-confused point. OA is already lawful. The largest obstacle to OA is ignorance and misunderstanding, and any association with piracy is part of the problem, not part of the solution. We have to demystify OA, not decriminalize it. OA is lawful because it rests on copyright-holder consent or the public domain (the expiration of copyright), not on infringement or expropriation. For the narrow purpose of achieving OA, we don't even need copyright reform, although many reforms would help. I cannot endorse any description of OA that classifies it as a kind of piracy.
I've seen several arguments over the years that citing OA articles makes it easy for readers to verify that authors are accurately representing their sources, while citing TA articles makes this difficult and protects authors who want to blow smoke. The most detailed case I've seen for this conclusion is also the most recent: Mark Liberman, Open-access sex stereotypes, Language Log, September 10, 2006.
Heather Morrison, Pre-submission peer-review (transitioning to open access), Imaginary Journal of Poetic Economics, September 9, 2006. Excerpt:
Aliya Sternstein, ‘Ransom’ demand pays for free maps, Federal Computer Week, September 11, 2006. Excerpt:
PS: For more background, see my blog posting for August 29, 2006.
France's Institut français de recherche pour l'exploitation de la mer (Ifremer) has launched Archimer, an OA institutional repository. (Thanks to the INIST Libre Accès blog.) From the English-language version of the repository front page:
Update. I've just heard from Frederic Merceur, director of Archimer. He informs me that Archimer was launched a year ago but is in the news now because it has recently released a report (in French) showing that more than 70% of Ifremer articles published in the past year are now OA through Archimer. (Kudos to Merceur and Archimer for that unusually high deposit rate.) OAN readers will also be interested in Avano, an OAI Harvester for the marine and aquatic sciences that Ifremer launched two weeks ago.
Cory Doctorow, USC Copyright rules are flawed, Daily Trojan, September 11, 2006. Excerpt:
Comment. Cory is right and the problem extends far beyond USC. Universities routinely accept propaganda from the copyright industry as an accurate statement of copyright law. This causes two kinds of harm. First, universities needlessly shrink the scope of fair use and retreat from permissible (i.e. licensed) copying and redistribution, both for entertainment and for scholarship. Second, they abdicate their responsibility to understand the actual rules and teach them to students.
Charles Bailey has enlarged and improved his compendium of sources for OA-related news: