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Comment. This is a rare but permissible mix of OAI interoperability and IP access control. CrossRef will harvest metadata that publishers are not making accessible to other harvesters. But then it will hold the metadata in an OAI-compliant repository accessible only to approved participants. Do not expect the CrossRef-collected metadata be harvestable by other OAI service providers like OAIster and ScientificCommons. (Thanks to Klaus Graf for an email that helped me revise my original comment.)
Lack of access to knowledge main obstacle to innovation, finds Portuguese survey, CORDIS News, November 10, 2006. Excerpt:
APC intends Theme 3 to spell out Article 27 (which it cites as Article 26) of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, asserting that "Everyone has the right freely to participate in the cultural life of the community, to enjoy the arts and to share in scientific advancement and its benefits."
Milestones: OAIster Database Approaches 1,000,000 Records, ResourceShelf, November 11, 2006. Excerpt:
Emre Hasan Akbayrak and five co-authors, Institutional Repository Movement in Turkey, in Proceedings Open Scholarship 2006: New Challenges for Open Access Repositories, Glasgow, 2006.
Rex, Please sign the Open Access Anthropology Letter, Savage Minds, November 10, 2006. Excerpt:
Arthur Sale, The Patchwork Mandate, a working paper, self-archived November 11, 2006. Excerpt:
Comment. In the full paper, Arthur not only gives reasons to try it out, but practical implementation advice. I recommend the strategy and can add two reasons to think that it will work: Faculty are more amenable to persuasion from other faculty than from administrators or librarians, and examples are more persuasive than arguments. The best way to make the case for a strong OA archiving policy is the natural, viral appeal of a successful example.
Update. Also see Mike Carroll's supportive comments.
Rosetta: Papers of the Institute of Archaeology and Antiquity is new peer-reviewed, open-access journal published by the University of Birmingham. From Helen Goodchild's editorial in the inaugural issue (Autumn 2006):
Comment. In most countries on Earth the duration of copyrights is the same as in the US. So why isn't it easy for Google to provide access to all of those countries as soon as it decides to provide access to the US?
At least Google admits that these books "may be in the public domain" and that it's temporarily treating them "as if they are not". That is, it hasn't wrongly classified them, but only delayed classifying them. Still, in most cases, it's hard to understand why any delay is necessary.
Update. Klaus Graf, who first drew this problem to my attention, is equally skeptical of Google's explanation.
The presentations from the workshop, Copyright and Marking Government Works: Why Keep the Public Guessing? (Washington, November 2, 2006), are now online.
Stevan Chabot, The DSpace Digital Repository: A Project Analysis, Subject/Object, November 9, 2006. Excerpt:
Luke Rosenberger, Custom Search Engines via Google Co-op, lbr, November 9, 2006. Excerpt:
Stevan Harnad, Proportion Open Access in Biomedical Sciences, Open Access Archivangelism, November 9, 2006. Excerpt:
Google 'aids doctors' diagnoses, BBC News, November 10, 2006. Excerpt:
Comment. Jan Velterop sent me this story with the comment that it could be seen as an argument for OA. He's right. Of course Google won't replace doctors and will help expert users more than inexpert users (qualifications clearly laid out in the BMJ article and this BBC summary). But it's just as clear that removing access barriers to research literature will help practicing physicians in their practice. This study was done with Google, which covers a good deal of research literature and a good deal of crap. Imagine cutting the crap and doing the same study on PubMed Central. Imagine doing the same study in the hypothetical future when 100% of the peer-reviewed medical research literature is OA and we can build search engines to cover all and only that literature.
Chris Beckett and Simon Inger, Self-Archiving and Journal Subscriptions: Co-existence or Competition? An international Survey of Librarians’ Preferences, Publishing Research Consortium, October 26, 2006 (but released November 9, 2006). Excerpt:
Marlon, Domingus, Research Unleashed? A presentation at the CODESRIA-ASC Conference Series 2006: Electronic Publishing and Dissemination (Leiden, September 7, 2006). (Thanks to Stevan Harnad.) Excerpt:
ICRISAT and partners launch initiative on open access information on agricultural research, a press release from ICRISAT, November 8, 2006. Excerpt:
Edwin V. Sperr, Jr., Libraries and the future of scholarly communication, Molecular Cancer, November 7, 2006.
See the full announcement for the list of 15 books and their links.
Comment. Kudos to the APDIP. Whenever possible, out-of-print books should become OA. When they're software primers, or other books that require updating to remain useful, they should become OA and user-modifiable, like Wikibooks. When they're funded by public money, like these, the decision is even easier.
Michael Cross, Survey subsidies wiped off the map, The Guardian, November 9, 2006. Excerpt:
Starting in January 2007, Springer will publish print editions of 10 journals from the Indian Academy of Sciences (IAS), for distribution outside India. For details see the October 2 press release or the November 6 story in IWR.
Comment. As far as I know, all the IAS journals are OA. Hence, Springer must see some revenue possibilities in charging for print editions of OA journals. That's not surprising, but if Springer could confirm it, then it would help answer the most common objection from the publishing lobby against national OA archiving policies --that the policies will undermine subscriptions. Moreover, if Springer sees revenue in this deal, I suppose it will share it with the IAS. If so, then large or small, the additional revenue will be additional support for the IAS OA publishing program. How many other no-print OA journals could strike similar deals for revenue-generating print editions? We won't know until we see many more try.
Dorothea Salo, Rah-rah OAA! Caveat Lector, November 8, 2006. Excerpt:
Dorothea Salo, Feedback, Caveat Lector, November 8, 2006. Excerpt:
Mamiko Matsubayashi and six co-authors, Current Status of Open Access in Biomedical Field-the Comparison of Countries Related to the Impact of National Policies, a presentation at the 2006 Annual Meeting of the American Society for Information Science and Technology (Austin, November 3-8, 2006).
This [slide presentation]...reports the current status of Open Access (OA) in the biomedical field, and compares some countries such as the U.S., the U.K. and Japan in terms of the OA situation. There are controversies about the definition of OA. After examining the requirements about OA, we recognized OA as the situation in which researchers could read the full text of articles in unrestricted way. In order to investigate the current situation of OA, 4,756 articles were sampled randomly from articles published between January and September in 2005 and indexed in PubMed. The main results are as follows: 1) The rate of OA articles was 25%, and 75% of all the articles were available online including electronic subscription journal articles. 2) The means of OA was classified into five types. Among them, the rate of OA articles by “OA and Hybrid OA journals” was overwhelming (more than 70%), and that of PMC was 26.2%. The rates of OA articles by “institutional repositories” and “authors’ personal sites” were considerably low (6.0% and 4.9% respectively). 3) When comparing the rates of OA articles by countries, Belgium ranked the first with 41.7%. The five countries indicated more than 30% in OA articles: Canada and India (38.7%), Brazil (36.4%), Australia (30.8%), and the U.S. (30.7%). Each country was different in the means of OA. 4) We explored the rates of OA for two groups; one group consists of articles published in journals with IF, and the other consists of articles published in journals without IF. The rate of OA for the group of articles in journals with IF is 20.6%, and that of articles in journals without IF is 30.8%
D.K. Sahu, Open access journals in agricultural science: adopting 'fee-less-free' model of Medknow, a presentation at the First Workshop on Open Access in Agricultural Science and Technology: Indian Initiatives (Hyderabad, November 6-7, 2006).
Abstract: Most ‘international’ journals are not international in terms of their content, readership and composition of the editorial boards. Hence, local journals are important to provide local knowledge / local evidence and help in policy making. For a local journal to be successful, it needs quality papers, time of editors and reviewers, finances and readers. Most journals from the developing countries face problems due to lack of time from their part time editors who have more than one job at hand. The journal offices keep changing with the change of editors and loose the contacts with the authors, subscribers and advertisers. In addition, most of these journals have limited visibility outside the print circulation restricted to the members their association. Open access offers help to such journals by increasing the visibility and accessibility as has been shown by Medknow Publications. Medknow now publishing 40 journals has adopted unique ‘fee-less immediate free’ model of publishing. The journals published by Medknow use its manuscript processing system which helps in faster review and resource saving. On acceptance articles are published online without any embargo. The revenue from subscriptions for print edition, advertisements, reprints sale and membership dues helps to take care of the print and online publishing. The increased visibility offered by free access has helped to increase number of articles submitted to these journals which in turn has help to publish more number of articles per issue (e.g. Indian Journal of Urology) and more number of issues per volume (e.g. Indian Journal of Ophthalmology). Not just the submitted manuscripts, but also the citations received by these journals have increased. Interestingly and importantly for the journals from the developing world, by providing free online access none of these journals have lost subscribers to the print edition. Over the last four years, the number of paid subscribers to these journals has been increasing consistently. Hence, it may be apt for the journals from agriculture science in India to adopt a similar ‘free-less-free’ model which helps to improve the quality of the journals.
To protect open access to publicly-funded research, Connecting for Health (part of the UK's National Health Service) has dropped BMJ in favor of Prodigy Knowledge as the distributor of its Clinical Knowledge Summaries. (Thanks to Ben Toth.) From today's announcement:
Comment: Kudos to CfH for enforcing the public's right to OA. I'm trying to learn more about what happened here, since BMJ is a pioneer of OA and certainly able to understand the terms of a contract. Will the CfH take steps to regain the rights to material generated during the five year contract with BMJ? Is there some question about what the contract actually required?
Barry Schwartz, Australia's Proposed Copyright Rules Would Make Search Engines Impossible, Warns Google, Search Engine Watch, November 7, 2006. Excerpt:
Postscript by Danny Sullivan:
Nice idea: instead of a university press office sending out a stream of press releases about cool faculty research projects, how about a blog? See the egghead blog from the University of California at Davis. (Thanks to ResearchBuzz.)
Even better: what if every blog posting about a faculty journal article linked to an OA copy in the institutional repository?
D.K. Sahu, Open access in the developing world: regaining the lost impact, a presentation at the Workshop on Electronic Publishing and Open Access: Developing Country Perspectives (Bangalore, India, Nov 2-3, 2006).
Journals from the developing world usually face problems of poor science, poor visibility and poor recognition. Good science done in the developing countries is usually published in the high impact foreign journals. Open access (OA) can help to improve quality of journals by attracting good science and more authors. OA could also improve citations and impact factor. Medknow Publications, an open access publisher from India, now publishing 39 journals has shown the advantages and impact of OA for the developing world. The OA journals attract more virtual readers [e.g. JPGM’s website attracts over 3000 visitors every day]. With increased visibility most journals have been able to attract more articles and thus publish regularly, more number of articles per issue and more number of issues per year. By providing free access, none of these journals have lost the subscribers to the print version; in fact, the subscriptions for print versions have increased over last 4 years. OA has also shown impact on the citations received by the journals.
Gary Ward, Deconstructing the Arguments Against Improved Public Access, American Society for Cell Biology Newsletter, November 2006. (Thanks to Heather Joseph.) Excerpt:
The rest of the article is hard to excerpt and I recommend that you read it all. Ward raises and answers nine objections that publishers often raise against national OA policies: (1) that they would force publishers to convert non-OA journals to OA; (2) that they would undermine subscriptions and revenue; (3) that a six month embargo is too short; (4) that OA policies threaten peer review; (5) that the costs of implementation would be better spent on new grants; (6) that everyone who needs access already has access; (7) that publishers should be able to charge for the value they add; (8) that OA policies would burden researchers; and (9) that the public doesn't care.
Kelly Edmonds, Off with their heads! Copyright infringement in the Canadian online higher educational environment, Canadian Journal of Learning and Technology, Spring 2006. (Thanks to Stephen Downes.)
From the body of the paper:
The big news in the US this morning is the mid-term election that gave Democrats control of the House of Representatives. It may also have given them the Senate, but we won't know until we've wandered for a while in the desert of recounts and lawyers.
Here are the outcomes of four races that matter for open access.
That's three for four --a good day for OA. I'll add more about other races as I learn more.
As I reported in July, the House Appropriations Bill for fiscal 2007 would compel the NIH to strengthen its public-access policy from a request to a requirement. The fate of this bill will be decided by the current House and Senate, not the new ones. The fiscal year started on October 1, so action is past due and we can expect Congress to get back to business as soon as the dust settles.
Claire Johnson, Journal of Manipulative and Physiological Therapeutics Policies: Indexing, Submissions, Clinical Trial Registries, and Public Access for National Institutes of Health–Funded Studies, Journal of Manipulative and Physiological Therapeutics, October 2006 (accessible only to subscribers).
The International Crops Research Institute for the Semi-Arid Tropics (ICRISAT) has written a report on the First Workshop on Open Access in Agricultural Science and Technology: Indian Initiatives (Hyderabad, November 6-7, 2006). (Thanks to Subbiah Arunachalam.) Excerpt:
Update. Also see Subbiah Arunachalam's comments on the workshop.
The Directory of Open Access Journals has dropped the terms "author fees" and "author pays" from the search filter and journal records within its new "for authors" section. Instead, it now refers to "publication fees".
Comment. Many thanks to the DOAJ. This is just a change of terminology, but it's a very welcome and important one. The new language is neutral, as it should be, on who pays the fees at fee-based OA journals and no longer leaves the false impression that the fees must be paid by authors. In fact, the fees are often waived or paid by the author's employer or funder. I hope the change propagates throughout the academic world.
The DOAJ was always precise enough to use the old terms only for fee-based OA journals, and now its language is even more precise. Many scholars, publishers, and journalists, however, have an even greater correction to make, since they still use the old terms for all OA journals whatsoever and therefore even for no-fee OA journals.
Roddy MacLeod, The 'Long Tail' of technology information, The Innovations Report, November 7, 2006. Excerpt:
Dean Giustini, "Imagine the possibilities" says Larry Sanger of Citizendium, UBC Academic Search blog, November 6, 2006. An interview with Larry Sanger on his Citizendium project.
Rufus Pollock, Open Knowledge Drives Out Closed (in the Long Run), Open Knowledge Foundation Weblog, November 6, 2006. Excerpt:
Jan Velterop, Subsidy or not to be, The Parachute, November 6, 2006. Excerpt:
Frederick Noronha, Good News from India: Open Access Journals Work!, Bytes for All, November 6, 2006. Excerpt:
PS: In most publications, DK Sahoo's name is spelled "Sahu" --in case you want to run searches on his name to learn more about his success at Medknow.
Most of the presentations from Improving Access to Publicly Funded Research: Policy Issues and Practical Strategies (Washington, DC, October 20, 2006) are now online. All are strongly OA-related. Also see SPARC's summary of some of them, blogged here on October 25.
Bobby Pickering, Scholarpedia is a wiki form of open access, Information World Review, November 5, 2006. Excerpt:
PS: For background, see my blog post from last month.
Kimani Chege, Scientists get free access to environment journals, SciDev.Net, November 6, 2006. Excerpt:
Barbara Quint, Linking Up Bibliographies: DOI Harvesting Tool Launched by CrossRef, Information Today NewsBreaks, November 6, 2006. Excerpt:
Peter Murray-Rust, Open Electronic Theses - should be simple, A Scientist and the Web, November 4, 2006. Excerpt:
Comment. This is a great idea for scholarly societies. Sponsor an essay contest for young researchers with the stipulation that winning entries will be posted on the society web site under CC licenses. Encourage research and OA at the same time. Congratulations to ICAZ for the idea and to the winners for their research.
Previously, the same page said only this:
Comment. I applaud the RS for this step, which I recommended for all hybrid OA journal programs back in September. I believe that Springer, Taylor & Francis, and RS are now the only hybrid OA publishers that let participating authors use CC licenses.
P. Kerim Friedman has launched a wiki called Open Access Anthropology. It will document --and coordinate-- progress toward OA in anthropology. It's already a good source on the quarrel between the now-disbanded AnthroSource Steering Committee and the AAA on OA and FRPAA.
Update. The wiki has moved to a new address.
Steve Hitchcock, EPrints v3.0 beta announcement, Eprints Insiders, November 6, 2006. Excerpt:
PS: Although this is a preview of a forthcoming announcement, the beta release is available for downloading now.
Victoria Rae and Fytton Rowland, Is there a viable business model for commercial OA publishing? Serials, November 2006. Accessible only to subscribers, at least so far. (Thanks to William Walsh.)
Abstract: The study reported here investigated the potential viability of open access (OA) models for commercial scholarly journal publishers by means of interviews with knowledgeable professionals in the business. The conclusion was that it is as yet unproven whether or not a viable OA business model exists. There are likely to be widely different approaches between different disciplines in the future, with OA unlikely to find acceptance in the humanities and social sciences. However, if any viable OA models do exist, they are likely to be more sophisticated than those tried hitherto, and some suggestions are made regarding possible variables that might be tested in future experiments. On the particular issue of "free riders", it is suggested that the use of a Creative Commons Deed may enable publishers to continue to receive additional non-subscription revenue from industrial users.
Stevan Harnad, Mandating the Conversion of Subsidised Non-OA Journals to OA? Open Access Archivangelism, November 4, 2006. Excerpt: