News from the open access movementJump to navigation
Heather Morrison, Open Access and the Cost of Publishing, Imaginary Journal of Poetic Economics, October 27, 2006. Excerpt:
In preparation for its meeting next week, Establishing a sponsoring consortium for Open Access publishing in particle physics (Geneva, November 3, 2006), CERN has posted some background documents for the participants. (Thanks to Jens Vigen.)
From the briefing document:
The CERN plan is the most ambitious OA initiative taking place in any field today. Nowhere else is any group trying to convert all the journals in a field to OA or to bring the stakeholders together to raise the money to fund a permanent alternative to journal subscriptions. We'll all be watching with interest.
A Year Later, OCA Members Gather in San Francisco To Take Stock, Library Journal Academic Newswire, October 27, 2006. Excerpt:
Tom Worthington, Make Australian Government Publications Open Access by Christmas, Net Traveller, October 27, 2006. Excerpt:
Richard Monastersky, Editorial Board of Elsevier Journal Resigns in Protest Over Pricing, Chronicle of Higher Education, October 27, 2006. Excerpt:
Stevan Harnad, Why is Southampton's G-Factor (web impact metric) so high? Open Access Archivangelism, October 26, 2006. Excerpt:
PS: Stevan and I (and many others) have long argued that when universities provide OA to their research output, they raise their visibility and impact. If you're reading this, then you've certainly heard the argument before. But did you know that University Metrics was measuring this kind of institutional visibility and impact?
Anita Sundaram Coleman and three co-authors, Competing information realities: Digital libraries, repositories and the commons, a forthcoming conference presentation, self-archived October 26, 2006.
Abstract: This is a forthcoming panel at ASIS&T AM 2006, Nov. 6, 2006 (1:30 - 3:30 pm). Presenters: Donald Kraft, Louisiana State University & Editor, JASIST; Edie Rasmussen, University of British Columbia, Samantha Hastings, University of South Carolina & Editor, ASIS&T Monograph Series; and Anita Coleman, University of Arizona and Editor, dLIST. Sponsor: SIG DL. The goal of the panel is to explore the concept of the commons by framing it in the context of scholarly communication while also honing our understandings about digital libraries and repositories as technologies and socio-cultural artifacts. Panel members will uncover the pros and cons of the commons for LIS research and scholarly communication by describing the cognate and competing extant information realities. Edie Rasmussen will discuss the role of digital libraries in the commons. Anita Coleman, dLIST editor, the first open access archive for the information sciences will present her latest research about open access archives and the commons. Donald Kraft, Editor-in-chief of JASIST, will share his experiences editing a peer-reviewed ISI-ranked journal. Samantha Hastings, editor of ASIS&T monographs will share book publishing plans and concerns. This document contains brief overviews of the panel presentations together with the questions of each presenter for the audience/other panelists.
Bill Hubbard at SHERPA has made two more OA-related search engines from Google Custom Search. From his announcement:
Les Carr at Southampton University has created a ROAR Search Engine, which searches the 748 OA repositories registered at ROAR. Like the OpenDOAR search engine, launched yesterday, the new ROAR engine is built from Google Custom Search. Here are Les' comments on the new ROAR engine from a posting this morning to the AmSci OA Forum:
OpenDOAR has created a Google Custom Search engine for the 800+ open-access repositories in its directory. From today's announcement:
Comment. This is a brilliant use of the new Google technology. When searching for research on deposit in OA repositories, it's better than straight Google, by eliminating false positives --though straight Google is better if you want to find OA content outside repositories at publisher or personal websites. It's potentially better than OAIster and other OAI-based search engines, by going beyond metadata to full-text --though not all OA repositories are configured to facilitate full-text Google crawling. If Google isn't crawling your repository, consult OpenDOAR or try these suggestions.
Mike Cross, Ordnance Survey in the dock again, The Guardian, October 26, 2006. Excerpt:
Comment. Google has made it very easy to set up powerful search engines for particular sites or topics. (Yesterday I made one for my blog, newsletter, and writings on OA.) I expect to see specialty search engines --like Dean's-- spread quickly to every conceivable research niche. Of course each one will be optimized for OA content.
Suggestion to Dean: drop Wikipedia and stick to peer-reviewed sources or make a second version that sticks to peer-reviewed sources.
Meredith Farkas has blogged some notes on Roy Tenant's talk on institutional repositories at Internet Librarian 2006 (Monterey, October 23-25, 2006). Excerpt:
Daniel Pulliam, Google seeks better access to government information, GovExec, October 25, 2006. (Thanks to Free Government Information.) Excerpt:
While the focus, at least for now, is on music and video, the campaign will help education and research by fighting for fair use, the public domain, and the right to use new technologies without restrictions designed to protect entrenched businesses and their business models. Joining the campaign is free of charge.
The publisher is dead, iCommons, October 26, 2006. Excerpt:
Information Technologies and International Development (ITID) has converted to open access, becoming the first OA journal from MIT Press. Not only is the current issue (Fall 2006) OA, but all past issues (back to Fall 2003) are now also OA. From the editorial by Michael L Best and Ernest J. Wilson III in the current issue :
From the MIT press release (October 25, 2006):
PS: Congratulations to ITID and MIT Press. It's wonderful to see the MIT journals starting to catch up with MIT's many other pioneering OA initiatives. And thanks to Microsoft for taking this step to support OA. (Microsoft is a member of the Open Content Alliance.)
Heidi Ledford, Funding agencies toughen stance on open access, Nature, October 26, 2006 (accessible only to subscribers). Excerpt:
Comment. The HHMI was the funding agency most responsible for convening the group that eventually issued the Bethesda Statement on Open Access Publishing (June 2003). At the time, HHMI was willing to pay processing fees at fee-based OA journals, but wasn't willing to go further to mandate OA archiving. I commend it for proposing to take this much-needed extra step.
The HHMI hasn't yet adopted a policy. But if we count its mandate proposal in the mandate column, and do the same for the mandate proposal at Canada's CIHR, and if we count the new semi-mandate in Austria as a mandate, then the HHMI proposal is the eighth OA mandate this month. There are the four new mandates from the RCUK, the expansion of the existing mandate at the Wellcome Trust, the Austrian policy, the CIHR draft, and now the HHMI. We've never had a month like this.
Gary Shapiro, A Rebellion Erupts Over Journals Of Academia, New York Sun, October 26, 2006. Excerpt:
PS: Thanks to Gary Shapiro. This is the longest and most detailed article I've seen on a journal declaration of independence in the mainstream press. For background, see my blog post from August 11, 2006. I promise (as I've been saying since August...) to add this rebellion to my list of declarations of independence.
Peter Schirmbacher, Möglichkeiten und Grenzen des elektronischen Publizierens auf der Basis der Open-Access-Prinzipien, in Petra Hauke and Konrad Umlauf (eds.), Vom Wandel der Wissensorganisation im Informationszeitalter: Festschrift für Walther Umstätter zum 65. Geburtstag, Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin, September 2006. (Thanks to Klaus Graf.)
Most of the presentations from the 2006 Northeast Regional Meeting of the American Chemical Society (Binghampton, October 5-7, 2006) are now online. Three are explicitly on OA. (Thanks to George Porter.)
Julie Allinson and Roddy MacLeod, Building an information infrastructure in the UK, Research Information, October/November 2006. Excerpt:
John Murphy, Championing the case of smaller publishers, Research Information, October/November 2006. A profile of Ian Russell, new CEO of the ALPSP. Apologies: my excerpt focuses on the OA-related bits in a more balanced profile:
Mark Chillingworth, Federal Research Public Access Act splits State-side academia down the middle, Information World Review, October 24, 2006. Excerpt:
Comment. The title of this article is incorrect (senior administrators are not "split...down the middle" but overwhelmingly on the side of FRPAA) and the body of the article is misleading for suggesting that there is only one pro-FRPAA letter for senior administrators when there are five. First, 25 provosts signed the pro-FRPAA CIC letter (July 28, 2006). Then, 22 more signed the GWLA letter (August 22, 2006). Then came the Oberlin Group letter (September 5, 2006), signed by 53 presidents. Then six more presidents signed the NECP letter (September 19, 2006). SPARC put all these pro-FRPAA signatures together on one page, added its own statement of pro-FRPAA principles, asked other presidents and provosts to sign, and has elicited had a steady stream of new signatures since August. The total to date in support of FRPAA = 127. The total opposed = 10.
The Law Review's Commitment to Open-Access Publishing, Northwestern University Law Review Colloquy, October 23, 2006. An unsigned (editorial) post. (Thanks to M. Claire Stewart.) Excerpt:
Comment. Kudos to all involved. Everything about this policy is enlightened except the fixation on PDFs (an unnecessary condition for a digitization program and an abominable format). I'm proud of the law review, proud of the law school --and, not least, I'm class of 1982.
Stevan Harnad, How Open Access is related to Free Software and Open Source, P2P Foundation wiki, October 25, 2006. (Thanks to Michel Bauwens.) Excerpt:
Comment. Stevan is right and his analogy is a good one. The principle may be even clearer when applied to "access-side" software, like operating systems and browsers, than when applied to "dissemination-side" software like OAI-compliant repository packages. We'd subtract most of the value of OA literature if we made it readable only on Linux machines.
The same principle applies to literature, not just software. Here's a relevant passage from the BOAI FAQ:
SPARC has posted a summary of some of the presentations at last week's forum, Improving Access to Publicly Funded Research: Policy Issues and Practical Strategies (Washington, DC, October 20, 2006). Excerpt:
Birgit Schmidt, Geschäftsmodelle des Open Access-Publizierens: Welche Perspektiven bieten sich hier für Bibliotheken? A preprint. (Thanks to medinfo.) In German but with this English-language abstract:
Today, libraries serve as places where competences in dealing with the origin and dissemination of information are in demand. Once the document is ready for publication academic authors may opt out of a range of new publishing models. Increasingly, libraries foster Open Access. In this article Open Access business models are reflected on services and interests of libraries. Moreover, some development trends are identified.
Hawk Jia, China unveils plans to boost scientific data sharing, SciDev.Net, October 24, 2006. Excerpt:
Comment. I believe that China is the first nation to mandate OA to data arising from publicly-funded research. Although 34 nations (including China, the UK, and the US) signed OECD's Declaration on Access to Research Data From Public Funding on January 30, 2004, China is the first to implement it. Kudos to all involved. The next step for China: mandate OA to peer-reviewed research articles arising from publicly-funded research. The next step for the rest of the world: follow China's lead on data sharing.
JISC and SURF have drafted a model license to help authors retain the rights they need for OA archiving. From today's announcement:
Here's an excerpt from the English version of the license itself:
Scholarpedia is another attempt to combine the openness of Wikipedia with attribution and peer review. (Thanks to Wolfram Horstmann.) Launched on February 1, 2006, it predates Citizendium, which only launched last week. From the front page:
For a sense of its quality, click for a random page a few times.
The Colorado Alliance of Research Libraries (CARL) has announced a consortial OA repository. From the October 20 announcement:
The International Association for the Study of Commons (IASC) is launching a peer-reviewed, open-access journal, the International Journal of the Commons. It's now accepting submissions and the first issue will appear in 2007. From the journal site:
The International Journal of the Commons is a new journal set-up by the International Association for the Study of Commons [IASC]. The journal publishes peer-reviewed articles and book reviews. The editors will take both separate articles and proposals for special thematic issues into consideration.
ScientificCommons is a new search engine for OA repositories worldwide. From its "about" page:
PS: For a new service, ScientificCommons is very close to OAIster in its coverage. According to an entry posted yesterday to Open access by the numbers (a section within the Wikipedia article on open access), ScientificCommons currently indexes 8,275,984 records harvested from 573 repositories, compared to OAIster's 9,624,092 records from 698 repositories. Repositories not yet covered are invited to sign up for harvesting.
Congratulations to Beat F. Schmid, Thomas Nicolai, and Lars Kirchhoff who run the project from Switzerland's University of St. Gallen.
Pfizer is exploring data sharing with Science Commons. There are no details in this interview with David de Graaf of Pfizer’s Research Technology Center, but it's a promising prospect to watch. Here's the key passage:
Update. Peter Murray-Rust welcomed this news and added a comment on the possibility of data sharing in the pharma industry.
Charles W. Bailey Jr., Rice University Press Publishes Its First Open Access Digital Document, DigitalKoans, October 23, 2006. Excerpt:
Eve Gray, Ensuring access to your scholarly publications - practical steps for authors, Gray Area, October 24, 2006. Excerpt:
Open Access Publishing Information for the University of Alberta Community is a new blog from the University of Alberta libraries. (Thanks to Heather Morrison.) From the inaugural post:
The blog sidebar links to a 10 point introduction to OA. Congratulations to all involved and welcome to the blogosphere.
GEO-LEO is a new OA repository for Earth sciences, mining, geography, and cartography. In addition to taking deposits, it also harvests information on the same topics from other repositories and databases.
GEO-LEO is funded by the German Research Foundation (DFG) and maintained by the Lower Saxony State and University Library Göttingen (SUB) and the University Library "Georgius Agricola" of the Technische Universität Bergakademie Freiberg (UBF).
I'm very happy to announce that I just replaced the old search engine on my blog sidebar with a new and better one from Google Custom Search. The new search engine covers the following material (and nothing more):
My old search engine had the same scope but the new one is faster, more flexible, and supports ordinary Google syntax for boolean and phrase searching.
If you don't want to use it from the blog sidebar, you can also use it from its own home page.
I set up this search engine to cover only what I wanted it to cover. But Google Custom Search also lets you create search engines whose scopes are set collaboratively by users. There's great potential here for search engines on OA in general or special topics like OA journals, OA repositories, funder policies, and so on.
Update. I'd be glad to share the code for my search engine with anyone who'd like to add a search box to their own page. (Thanks to Charles Bailey for the idea.)
Podcasts of the presentations at the University of Texas Symposium on The Research Library in the 21st Century (Austin, September 11-12, 2006) are now online. (Thanks to Cliff Lynch.)
Guy Healy, Internet researchers topple ivory towers, Campus Review Online, October 18, 2006. Excerpt:
Interview: 'Open access key condition for EU research infrastructures', EurActiv, October 20, 2006. Excerpt:
John Wood is the chairman of the European Strategy Forum on Research Infrastructures (ESFRI), launched in 2002 to develop a coherent approach to policymaking on research infrastructures in Europe and, in parallel, to conduct negotiations between the EU member states on concrete initiatives for such structures at European level.
Comment. When Wood says "open access" in this context he means unrestricted eligibility to use a physical facility, like a telescope or ice breaker. ESFRI's commitment to OA in this sense is all to the good. But to help OA in our sense, it would be very beneficial if ESFRI would stipulate that all researchers who make use of ESFRI's infrastructure or facilities must provide OA to any resulting peer-reviewed articles within six months of publication.
OU offers free learning materials, BBC News, October 23, 2006. Excerpt:
Paul Staincliffe, The nonsense of copyright in libraries : digital information and the right to copy, in Proceedings LIANZA Conference 2006, Wellington (New Zealand), 2006. Self-archived October 18, 2006. (Thanks to Charles Bailey.)
Abstract: The notion of copyright is deeply entrenched in the psyche of librarians, who remain one of the few groups who consistently support or uphold it. Given the growth of digital information and consequential change in the behaviour of information creators and users the paper posits that copyright administration in libraries has become a cumbersome burden whose “time has come”. Changes in information provision by libraries towards delivering more digital information have ironically highlighted the paradox libraries face between providing the best possible service and upholding copyright. The notion that there exists in the digital environment a “right to copy” is put forward. Copyright is legally complicated, controversial, subject to a number of misunderstandings and generally not fully understood even by the librarians whose daily tasks include administering it. To better understand the current status of copyright and its impact on libraries the notion of copyright is briefly outlined, along with what exactly copyright is, its historical roots and its suitability in the current environment. In examining the legislation the paper critiques its aims and how it fails in these; compares arguments in favour and against its retention, investigates how it serves to restrict creativity rather than encourage it and in closing suggests why libraries should abandon the struggle to uphold copyright. Examples from New Zealand, Australia, the US and the UK are used to highlight inconsistencies that support the argument that copyright in the digital environment is a nonsense that no longer works.
Key Perspectives and UCL Library Services have just published the results of a new study: Evaluation of Options for a UK Electronic Thesis Service, August 2006. Excerpt:
From Jimmy Wales to the Wikipedia list, October 15, 2006 (thanks to Cory Doctorow):
A unique Indian experiment in online publishing, Indo-Asian News Service, October 23, 2006. Excerpt:
Richard Johnson, The Open Past Initiative: A Discussion Paper, SPARC, a draft from December 30, 2003, self-archived October 20, 2006. Excerpt:
A study by the Frankfurt Group concludes that the European value-added tax (VAT) impedes the transition to electronic publication. From the press release (undated but apparently released today):