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Eric Scott Sills and Jonathan D. Baum, Open access, medical research, and the internet economy of scale, Journal of the Royal Society of Medicine, November 2006. Not even an abstract is free online, at least so far.
Update. I just saw the the text. It's a letter to the editor. Excerpt:
Few would gainsay Walport and Kiley’s optimistic forecast regarding academic publishing, given the Wellcome Trust’s move to require its sponsored research be made freely accessible via PubMed Central or its equivalent within six months of publication. With the issue of ‘who will pay’ thus having been largely addressed, the question of ‘how much is owed’ should be explored next.
Mark Herlihy, Informa Ends Buyout Talks, Says Bid 'Undervalues' It, Bloomberg, November 3, 2006. Excerpt:
Eric Kansa, This Morning’s Jaw Dropper: More on FRPAA and the AAA, Digging Digitally, November 3, 2006. Excerpt:
Stewart Brower, An open access call to arms, Professional Notes, November 3, 2006. Excerpt:
Stevan Harnad, Anthropomorphic Tail Wags Anthropological Dog, Open Access Archivangelism, November 3, 2006.
Tom Worthington has proposed that Australia should use Creative Commons licenses for government publications.
CERN has issued a press release on the meeting it convened yesterday in Geneva, Establishing a sponsoring consortium for Open Access publishing in particle physics. Excerpt:
Comment. We're watching a massive transition OA in process. This is not only the first project to convert all the TA journals in a field to OA; it's also succeeding. It's succeeding in pulling together the needed stakeholders and it's succeeding in raising the money. It's also succeeding in showing that the final result will cost the stakeholders less than the current system. Nothing could be more encouraging than the statement from JHEP: "[W]e have managed to prove that the costs can be reduced whilst at the same time ensuring the highest rigour in peer review" --and of course improving access for readers and impact for authors.
OA advocates have always argued that funding OA doesn't require new money, just a redirection of the money now spent on subscriptions. We see small new pressures for redirection every time libraries cancel journals because of high prices or inadequate funds, and we see small actual steps toward redirection every time a TA journal converts to OA. What's most significant about the CERN project is that it's a large-scale, discipline-wide, stakeholder-united redirection project. If it works, it will accomplish in one move what other disciplines are accomplishing, if at all, in halting steps. More, CERN is on track to accomplish this feat with cooperation and comity all around.
Update (November 6, 2006). CERN has now posted the press release to its own web site (nicer format, working URLs).
Stevan Harnad, First Things First: OA Self-Archiving, Then Maybe OA Publishing, Open Access Archivangelism, November 3, 2006. Excerpt:
Summary: In two separate postings plus an article, Chris Armbruster...has suggested that peer review provision should be unbundled from access provision and that authors (of journal articles) should not transfer exclusive copyright to publishers. The trouble is that although both desiderata are indeed desirable (and will no doubt prevail eventually), publishers are not particularly interested in unbundling today, and authors are not particularly interested in putting their accepted articles' publication at risk by haggling over copyright retention. Hence the immediate solution is, and remains, for authors to self-archive their accepted peer-reviewed drafts, and for their institutions and funders to mandate that they do so, for the good of research, researchers, and the public that funds them.
JISC has published version 2 of its Open Access Briefing Paper (dated September 2, 2006, but apparently released this week). The first edition from April 2005 was written by Alma Swan; the second incorporates revisions by Fred Friend. Excerpt:
The World Wide Web has provided the means for researchers to make their research results available to anyone, anywhere, at any time. This applies to journal articles regardless of whether or not their library has a subscription to the journal in which the articles were published as well as to other types of research output such as conference papers, theses or research reports. This is known as Open Access.
Angel A. Hernandez-Borges and five co-authors, Awareness and attitude of Spanish medical authors to open access publishing and the "author pays" model, Journal of the Medical Library Association, October 2006. Excerpt:
Comment. Some of these results of valid and useful, but some of the most central are not. Unfortunately, this is another study in a fairly long series that interviews authors for their attitudes about OA journals without first informing them that a majority of OA journals charge no author-side fees (see one and two) and that, when they do, the fees are often waived or paid by sponsors. It appears that the researchers were themselves unaware of at least the first of these facts.
We already knew that authors don't like the idea of paying fees out of pocket. Now let's find out what they think about OA journals. And let's kill the term "author pays" once and for all. It's false for the majority of OA journals, which charge no fees. It's misleading for the rest for suggesting that authors have to pay out of pocket. It misleads both interviewers and interviewees in studies like this, and it only helps spread FUD.
Comment. Good move. The more CC content there is, the more Google-crawlable content there is.
There's an even more important element here, but to describe it we need a term like "net share" (by analogy to "market share"). The more some-rights-reserved content increases net share, the more all-rights-reserved content loses net share. And the more that happens, the more the net becomes a headache-free zone for crawling, indexing, and sharing.
Ben Vershbow, making MediaCommons, if:book, November 2, 2006. Excerpt:
Steve Hitchcock, Publishers bury the case for exclusivity when opposing open access policy mandates, Eprints Insiders, November 3, 2006. Excerpt:
Steve Hitchcock, OpenDOAR repository policies tool, Eprints Insiders, November 3, 2006. Excerpt:
Rex, So much for open access: AnthroSource Steering Committee liquidated by AAA, Savage Minds, November 2, 2006. Excerpt:
Comment. Wow. I hope the AAA membership understands what just happened to a committee that stood up for the interests of the membership.
BTW, Rex links to my July 2006 coverage of the controversy. For my November coverage (published yesterday), click here.
Mick O'Lear, Google Book Search Has Far to Go, Information Today, November 3, 2006. Excerpt:
Péter Jacsó, Google Book Search, Péter's Digital Reference Shelf, November 2006. Excerpt:
As far as I know, no one is maintaining a list of scientific advances facilitated in some significant way by open access to research literature. That doesn't mean there aren't any, only that they have to be recognized, collected, and organized.
Donat Agosti wants to help collect and organize them and made a start yesterday on his blog. He gives one example from politics and one that is more a technique than an example (text mining). That illustrates the problem: we all know there are examples and can point to the kind of thing we have in mind, but we won't get very far in coming up with specific cases until we tap into a wide network of working researchers. That's where blogs can help.
This is a good time to resurface my own call for anecdotes or case studies illustrating the benefits of OA or the harms caused by the lack of it. If you have any leads, please send them to Donat or SOAF.
Effective today, the University of Tasmania will mandate electronic submission of theses and dissertations. The new policy is simplicity itself: in addition to submitting two bound, printed copies (as before), candidates must submit one electronic copy.
Comment. Kudos to Tasmania and congratulations to Arthur Sale, the mover behind the new policy. This little change can have big consequences because (as I argued in a July 2006 article), for theses and dissertations, achieving mandatory electronic submission is the hardest part of achieving OA:
Colin Steele, Linda Butler, and Danny Kingsley, The publishing imperative: the pervasive influence of publication metrics, Learned Publishing, October 2006 (accessible only to subscribers). See the self-archived, OA copy.
Richard Wallis has blogged some notes on six presentations at the Stellenbosch Ninth Annual Symposium (University of Stellenbosch, South Africa, November 2-3, 2006). Two of the presentations address OA: Tony Hey on E-Science and Scholarly Communication and Hussein Suleman on What is Wrong with Digital Repository Software?
Nate Anderson, UK report: knowledge should be public good first, private right second, Ars Technica, November 2, 2006. Excerpt:
Monika Ermert and Robert W. Smith, IGF: more free content for the Internet, Heise Online, November 2, 2006. Excerpt:
John Blossom, The Intellectual Cost of Copyright: British Academy Assesses Impact of Fair Use Restrictions on Research, ContentBlogger, November 1, 2006. Comments on the British Academy report on Copyright and research in the humanities and social sciences (blogged here September 15, 2006). Excerpt:
Vanessa Lawrence, A move into uncharted territory, London Times, October 31, 2006. Excerpt:
The Public Knowledge Project has launched its Strengthening Scholarly Publishing in Africa project. For background, see the (undated and apparently older) essay by Samuel Smith Esseh and John Willinsky, Strengthening Scholarly Publishing in Africa: Assessing the Potential of Online Systems. Excerpt:
This project will take the work of AJOL [African Journals Online] to the next level, by assisting those journals that wish to move to online management and publishing of their contents, using subscription and/or open access models in print and/or online editions. Online publication will lead to a far greater circulation and contribution of this scholarship (than the 3,000 documents delivered by photocopy by INASP). This project will also build on INASP’s tradition of delivering publishing workshops in Africa each year, which includes an introduction to Open Journal Systems. This project will form the basis of a new initiative, located in Africa and directed by an African researcher, aimed at helping African research libraries support scholarly publishing, with an eye to supplying AJOL with complete journal contents.
Alberto Pepe and Joanne Yeomans, Protocols for Scholarly Communication, a preprint forthcoming in Library and Information Systems in Astronomy V. Self-archived November 1, 2006. (Thanks to pintiniblog.)
Abstract: CERN, the European Organization for Nuclear Research, has operated an institutional preprint repository for more than 10 years. The repository contains over 850,000 records of which more than 450,000 are full-text OA preprints, mostly in the field of particle physics, and it is integrated with the library's holdings of books, conference proceedings, journals and other grey literature. In order to encourage effective propagation and open access to scholarly material, CERN is implementing a range of innovative library services into its document repository: automatic keywording, reference extraction, collaborative management tools and bibliometric tools. Some of these services, such as user reviewing and automatic metadata extraction, could make up an interesting testbed for future publishing solutions and certainly provide an exciting environment for e-science possibilities. The future protocol for scientific communication should naturally guide authors towards OA publication and CERN wants to help reach a full open access publishing environment for the particle physics community and the related sciences in the next few years.
David Bollier, Saving Academia from Market Enclosure, On the Commons, November 1, 2006. Excerpt:
I just mailed the November issue of the SPARC Open Access Newsletter. This issue reviews the eleven (count 'em) open-access mandates adopted or proposed in October and takes an opening reconnaissance into the largely unexplored territory of no-fee OA journals. The Top Stories section takes a brief look at the Citizendium project, the continuing division within the American Anthropological Association over OA and FRPAA, the new NESLi2 model license that allows self-archiving, the new JISC-SURF model license that lets authors retain key rights, and Google Custom Search. I'm continuing the Round-up experiment for another month, briefly recapitulating the OA developments from the past month not covered in the other stories.
Chandan Saha, Issues Involved In Setting Up An Institutional E-Print Repository With Special Reference To The University Of Kalyani, a thesis for an M.L.I.Sc. degree from the Department of Library and information science, University of Kalyani (Kalyani, Nadia, India), 2005. Posted online today.
Michael Greger has released an OA book on avian flu. Greger is an MD and the Director of Public Health and Animal Agriculture at the Humane Society of the United States. A priced, printed edition will be released later this month, but the online edition will remain OA. Proceeds from the print edition will be donated to charity.
PS: OA books are now so common that I no longer blog them individually. I make an exception for this one simply to point out the convergence of high public interest and barrier-free access.
Richard K. Johnson, The Open Access Policy Imperative, a presentation at SARC III, Williamsburg (September 29, 2005), self-archived October 31, 2006.
Jan Velterop, Nephelokykkygia, The Parachute, October 31, 2006. Excerpt:
Comments. Jan and I agree on a number of points, including the fact that Bill Hooker wrote an excellent piece on OA. But we also disagree on a few points.
Stevan Harnad, Promoting open access to research, The Hindu, November 1, 2006. An op-ed. Excerpt:
Update. Stevan has now self-archived a copy of this article.
Chris Armbruster, Cyberscience and the Knowledge-based Economy, Open Access and Trade Publishing: From Contradiction to Compatibility with Nonexclusive Copyright Licensing, a preprint, self-archived October 17, 2006.
Abstract: Open source, open content and open access are set to fundamentally alter the conditions of knowledge production and distribution. Open source, open content and open access are also the most tangible result of the shift towards eScience and digital networking. Yet, this article takes issue with widespread misperceptions about the nature of this shift. The focus is on knowledge distribution and scholarly publishing. It is argued, on the one hand, that for the academy there principally is no digital dilemma surrounding copyright and there is no contradiction between open science and the knowledge-based economy if profits are made from nonexclusive rights. On the other hand, pressure for the 'digital doubling' of research articles in OA repositories is misguided and OA publishing has no future outside biomedicine. Yet, commercial publishers must understand that business models based on the transfer of copyright have no future either. What is required of universities and governments, scholars and publishers, is to clear the way for digital innovations in knowledge distribution and scholarly publishing by enabling the emergence of a competitive market that is based on nonexclusive rights. This requires no change in the law but merely an end to the praxis of copyright transfer. The best way forward is the adoption of standard copyright licenses that reserve some rights, namely Attribution and No Derivative Works, but otherwise will allow for the unlimited reproduction, dissemination and use of the research article, commercial uses included.
The October issue of the High Energy Physics Libraries Webzine is now online. All four articles in this issue are OA-related:
Michele Barbera and Francesca Di Donato, Weaving the Web of Science: HyperJournal and the impact of the Semantic Web on scientific publishing, in Bob Martens and Milena Dobrova (eds.), Proceedings ELPUB : International Conference on Electronic Publishing (10th : 2006 : Bansko), Bansko (Bulgaria), 2006, pp. 341-348. Self-archived October 30, 2006.
Abstract: In this paper we present HyperJournal, an Open Source web application for publishing on-line Open Access scholarly journals. In the first part (sections 1, 2 and 3) we briefly describe the project and the software. In sections 4 and 5, we discuss the weaknesses of the current publishing model and the benefits deriving from the adoption of Semantic Web technologies, outlining how the Semantic Web vision can help to overcome the inefficiencies of the current model. In the last two sections (6 and 7), we present two experimental applications, developed on top of HyperJournal, with the purpose of demonstrating how the technologies can affect the daily work of scholars. The first application is a tool for graphically visualizing the network of citations existing between articles and their authors, and for performing bibliometric measurements alternative to the ISI Impact Factor. The second is a tool for automatically extracting references from non-structured textual documents, which is part of a tool-chain for the extraction of hidden semantics.
Steve Hitchcock, Revamped Google service prompts new wave of repository search, Eprints Insiders, October 30, 2006. Excerpt:
The October issue of Ariadne is now online. Here are the OA-related articles:
The presentations from the ARL's 149th Membership Meeting (San Diego, October 18-19, 2006) are now online. Note especially the two presentations in Session III: Faculty Assessment of New Publishing Models.
The journal Astrobiology has released The Astrobiology Primer: An Outline of General Knowledge (version 1), October 29, 2006. The 78 pp. PDF is open access.
Bill Hooker, The Future of Science is Open, Part 1: Open Access, 3 Quarks Daily, October 30, 2006. Excerpt:
The President of India has launched Sakshat, an OA portal for education. From today's story in the Hindustan Times:
James G. Milles, Redefining Open Access for the Legal Information Market, Law Library Journal, Fall 2006.
Comment. OA would benefit legal practitioners as well as legal scholars, and there are more legal practitioners than legal scholars. Hence, OA initiatives for legal scholarship are addressing one problem rather than another, and may be addressing a smaller problem rather than a larger one. But I see no reason to say that OA for practitioners is "the real problem", when OA for scholars is another real problem. We should be able to recognize plural problems and encourage parallel processing to attack them all. Moreover, there are good reasons to start with legal scholarship, since its authors willingly (even eagerly) publish it without expecting to be paid. The kind of practitioner-oriented publications Milles is concerned about tend to pay royalties, which makes them higher-hanging fruit for the OA movement. I applaud attempts to pluck that fruit. But at the same time I want to give priority to OA for royalty-free rather than royalty-producing literature.
The Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR) issued its draft OA mandate on October 10, and called for comments due on November 24. Yesterday Heather Morrison posted her comment to her blog. Excerpt:
PS: Thanks, Heather. I hope other Canadians will submit comments before the due date and, if possible, post their comments online to help guide other commenters and build momentum.
The presentations from the University of Houston symposium, Transforming Scholarly Communication (Houston, October 4, 2006), are now online. (Thanks to Adrian Ho.)
Germany's Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (German Research Foundation, DFG) is funding a German version of the SHERPA/RoMEO database of publisher policies on self-archiving. The site is maintained by the University of Stuttgart library and the office of Computer and Media Services at Humboldt University Berlin. For more information, see the Stuttgart page on the new database. (Thanks to medinfo.)
Barbara Quint, Citizendium: A Kinder, Truer Wikipedia? Information Today, October 30, 2006. Excerpt:
Charles Bailey has added Google Custom search engines to his Scholarly Electronic Publishing Weblog and his Scholarly Electronic Publishing Bibliography. He's also offering the code for all six of his Google search engines (all covering OA-related content) for those who might want to add search boxes to their own pages.
Communications in Information Literacy is a new peer-reviewed, open-access journal. It has issued a call for papers for its its first issue in Spring 2007. (Thanks to Heather Morrison.) The web site is still under development and I can't tell yet who will publish it or whether it will charge author-side fees.
Larry Sanger has posted two essays articulating his vision for the Citizendium project, which he describes in the second essay below as "an expert-guided version of Wikipedia":