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Better geographical data: conciliation agreement on INSPIRE, a press release from the European Parliament, November 22, 2006. (Thanks to Klaus Graf.) Excerpt:
Laura Eggertson, Geist calls for 'open access' government research, IT Business, November 24, 2006. Excerpt:
Chen Chi Chang, Business models for open access journals publishing, Online Information Review, 30, 6 (2006). Only this abstract is free online, at least so far.
Eric Schmidt, Don’t bet against the internet, The Economist: The World in 2007, November 24, 2006. (Thanks to LibLog.) Schmidt is the CEO of Google. In this piece he isn't talking about scholarly communication, but how far do his remarks carry over? Excerpt:
Franck Laloë, Les archives ouvertes (AO) et la communication scientifique directe (CSD), a presentation at the CNRS meeting Réunion sur les archives ouvertes (Paris, November 16, 2006). (Thanks to the INIST Libre Accès blog.)
Michael Cross, Britain poised for victory in Brussels, The Guardian, November 24, 2006. Excerpt:
Inspire decision, Free Our Data: the blog, November 22, 2006. Excerpt:
Alma Swan, Open Access: Why should we have it? A preprint forthcoming in Cahiers de la Documentation: Bladen voor Documentatie. Excerpt:
Bette Brunelle, Hot Topic: Publishers Speak Up On Open Access: Big Promise, Small Uptake, Outsell, November 17, 2006. A $495 report by Outsell's Vice President & Lead Analyst, apparently focusing on hybrid OA journals. Here's the free summary:
Here's the Table of Contents:
Liz Lyon, Reflections on open scholarship: process, product and people, keynote presentation at the 2nd International Digital Curation Conference (Glasgow, 21-22 November 2006).
Stevan Harnad, Research Journals Are Already Just Quality Controllers and Certifiers: So What Are "Overlay Journals"? Open Access Archivangelism, November 23, 2006.
Comment. These confusions may occur now and then, but the concept of an overlay journal doesn't depend on them. Hence, we should be careful to clarify rather than dismiss the concept of overlay journals. They remain important ways to decouple peer review from dissemination and minimize the costs of a peer-reviewed journal.
The anonymous author of the peanutbutter blog has posted some notes on the 2nd International Digital Curation Conference Digital Data Curation in Practice (Glasgow, November 21-22, 2006). Excerpt:
The open panel session on day two, engaged some interesting discussion and I heard a term which I had never heard before, Open Data, put forward by Peter Murray-Rust (University of Cambridge). We have all heard of Open Access publishing, (and should not be publishing any other way), but to date this means open access to the journal publication and not the the data that the publication refers to. In something as simple as a graph in a journal publication, generally the access to the numbers/values, has to be re-calculated via a print-out and a ruler. It would be so much easier (and logical) for re-use, analysis or even review, if the presented image was accompanied by the data (even if this was in an excel spreadsheet).
Tracey Caldwell, EPS report gets mixed reviews, Information World Review, November 23, 2006. Excerpt:
PS: It's an obvious fallacy to claim that a position must be objective just because it has been criticized by both sides. Beyond that, see my original comment when the report came out in October.
Colleen Cuddy, Delivery of Electronic Journal Content to Personal Digital Assistants (PDAs): Seven Free Options for Health Care Professionals, Journal of Electronic Resources in Medical Libraries, 3, 4 (2006) pp. 77-85. Only this abstract is free online, at least so far.
Elizabeth Connor, Interview with Matthew Cockerill of BioMed Central, Journal of Electronic Resources in Medical Libraries, 3, 4 (2006) pp. 51-58. Only this abstract is free online, at least so far.
This interview with Matthew Cockerill, publisher of BioMed Central, describes universal access to peer-reviewed scientific content available through BioMed Central, and discusses the use of resource description framework (RDF) to describe scientific content, typical article processing costs, article corrections and retractions, and future directions such as the mining of scientific datasets.
Jonathan Eisen, A call for Open Access supporters to favor grant proposals from researchers promising Open Access publishing, Tree of Life, November 21, 2006. Excerpt:
Comment. While many funding agencies encourage or require open access to the results of the research they fund, I only know of one that explicitly favors applications that promise open access over applications that don't: the US National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH). For details, see my short article on it from October 2006. It's a great idea, and Jonathan is right that individual friends of OA can implement a bottom-up version of the same policy whenever they serve on a panel reviewing grant proposals. Spread the word.
[This post takes the place of a misleading post from November 20. --Peter.]
In September, Germany's DFG [Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft] launched the Informationsplattform Open Access, a nation-wide platform for OA German research. On Monday, the University of Bielefeld issued a press release (in German) to say more about the project. Today UB released an English translation. Excerpt:
PS: When I posted the German and English versions of the press release to SOAF, I mistakenly attributed both to DFG, not to the University of Bielefeld. My apologies for any confusion this may have caused.
I just saw an extraordinary 20 minute video of Hans Rosling (Professor of International Health at Sweden's Karolinska Institutet) demonstrating how 30 years of historic changes have exploded conventional wisdom about the developing world. I recommend it for three reasons:
PS: Rosling had a hand in developing the free animated graphics software he used in the presentation. For the software, and for online interactive versions of some of his graphs, see Gapminder.
Frances Maloy, Scholarly Communication —It Is Our Problem! ARL BiMonthly Report 248, October 2006. Excerpt:
European Parliament and Council reach agreement on spatial information directive, a press release issued today by the office of Finland's EU Presidency. Excerpt:
PS: In parts that I've omitted, Laura focuses on wikis. But note that keeping online documents open to continual revision and updating needn't be the same as keeping them open to editing by any comer.
The ACS is also launching a third journal, Australasian Journal of Information Systems, which might also be included in the ACS Digital Library.
Stevan Harnad, Solving the Article Accessibility Problem Moots the Journal Affordability Problem, Open Access Archivangelism, November 21, 2006. Excerpt:
Comment. This model policy is important for two reasons. First, it's exemplary in its provisions. It calls for the right things in the right ways, and calls for nothing inessential. Second, it has the backing of important researchers and officials from India, China, Brazil, and South Africa, the largest of the developing and transition countries. It could, and certainly should, have a wide and deep impact.
Achim Oßwald, Bangalore Commitment: Workshop on Electronic Publishing and Open Access: Developing Country Perspective, a preprint forthcoming in Information - Wissenschaft und Praxis. A report on the workshop of the same name (Bangalore, November 2-3, 2006). In German.
From an unsigned post on Evolgen yesterday:
Tom Roper has blogged three sets of notes (one, two, three) on the RIN/DTI/RCUK Workshop on the Evidence-based Analysis of Data on Scholarly Journal Publishing (London, November 14, 2006). There was clearly a fascinating discussion of the RCUK policy, the justification of mandates, the existing evidence on relevant questions and the need for new studies.
The Pew Internet & American Life Project has released its report on The Internet as a Resource for News and Information about Science, November 20, 2006. (Thanks to Search Engine Watch.) Excerpt:
PS: The report doesn't mention open access or appear to discuss any issues related to free online access.
Jeffrey Brainard, Senate Republicans Defer Completion of 2007 Spending Bills, Chronicle of Higher Education, November 21, 2006 (accessible only to subscribers). (Thanks to Jennifer McLennan.) Excerpt:
Comment. What's the OA connection? One of the 12 appropriations bills pending action in January is the one funding the National Institutes of Health (NIH). That bill includes language, approved by the House Appropriations Committee, instructing the NIH to strengthen its public access policy by converting it from a request to a requirement. The postponement doesn't clearly help or clearly hurt this proposal.
Where can you find information about open access in German? Klaus Graf has usefully collected (and annotated) some of the most essential links.
PS: All the chapters in this book are OA. Thanks, MIT.
There are two OA-related winners in this year's Scientific American 50:
(Apologies in advance if I overlooked any. As I find time to read the 50 descriptions more carefully, I'll add any others I missed the first time through.)
Martha Lagace, Open Source Science: A New Model for Innovation, Working Knowledge, November 20, 2006. An interview with Karim Lakhani, an assistant professor at the Harvard Business School. (Thanks to John Russell.) Excerpt:
In a perfect world, scientists share problems and work together on solutions for the good of society. In the real world, however, that's usually not the case. The main obstacles: competition for publication and intellectual property protection.
Klaus Graf, Open Access Journals, Archivalia, November 21, 2006. Comparing the DOAJ to other, sometimes larger lists of OA journals.
PS: Note that some of the larger lists are not limited to peer-reviewed journals, as the DOAJ is. There are other lists that Graf doesn't include in his review; see the links collected under Directories and Links in the Wikipedia article on OA. And conversely, Graf discusses some sources not yet included in the Wikipedia list.
Earlier this morning I discovered an anonymous French-language blog on OA, L'Open Access et les Revues électroniques, that launched in October.
Welcome to them both!
The International Association of Scientific, Technical & Medical Publishers (STM) has released its November 20 letter commenting on the draft open access policy from the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR). Excerpt:
Bo-Christer Björk, A model of scientific communication as a global distributed information system, a preprint submitted to Information Research.
Update (1/19/07). The published edition of this article is now online.
Update (1/22/07). Also see Bo-Christer's site on The Scientific Communication Life-Cycle model. It not only contains his diagrams on this model in reusable PowerPoint form (under CC licenses), but also serves as a central point of reference for new developments and research on the model.
Pamela Samuelson and Mitchell Kapor are teaching a course at Berkeley on Open Source Development and Distribution of Digital Information. The lectures are all online as OA webcasts, and of course the syllabus is a wiki. (Thanks to elearnspace.)
The October 30 lecture was by a guest, Daniel Greenstein, on Open Access Journals and Publications. Greenstein is the Director of the California Digital Library. The November 6 lecture was on Open Source Biology.
PS: I tried to watch the Greenstein lecture but couldn't get the webcast to play for more than five minutes without timing out. I hope you have better luck.
The Journal of Visualized Experiments (JoVE) is a new peer-reviewed, open-access journal specializing in videos of biological experiments. In addition to browsing the table of contents, you can search for videos by tags --though I saw no way for users to add their own tags. The videos are subject to peer review. (Thanks to Jean-Claude Bradley.) From the site:
PS: This is a fascinating step forward in taking advantage of the internet as a medium for scientific communication. This journal is limited to biology, but I imagine there is a very similar need in many other fields. I also imagine there's a need for video journals that go beyond experimental protocols to observations of unusual phenomena and observations made with rare and expensive instruments.
Stevan Harnad, Two Happy Accidents Demonstrate Power of "Eprint Request" Button, Open Access Archivangelism, November 20, 2006
Comment. I share Stevan's excitement about this evidence. Where the button is implemented, its use shows levels of unmet demand for access --in these cases, high levels of unmet demand. The author who receives a request for an email eprint can meet that demand, one click at a time, but will soon see the case for consenting once and for all to make the non-OA eprint OA. Long-term, it builds the OA corpus and, short-term, makes up for the lack of OA and mitigates the harm of embargoes.
Stevan Harnad, The Self-Archiving Impact Advantage: Quality Advantage or Quality Bias? Open Access Archivangelism, November 20, 2006.
Summary: In astrophysics, Kurtz found that articles that were self-archived by their authors in Arxiv were downloaded and cited twice as much as those that were not. He traced this enhanced citation impact to two factors: (1) Early Access (EA): The self-archived preprint was accessible earlier than the publisher's version (which is accessible to all research-active astrophysicists as soon as it is published, thanks to Kurtz's ADS system). (Hajjem, however, found that in other fields, which self-archive only published postprints and do have accessibility/affordability problems with the publisher's version, self-archived articles still have enhanced citation impact.) Kurtz's second factor was: (2) Quality Bias (QB), a selective tendency for higher quality articles to be preferentially self-archived by their authors, as inferred from the fact that the proportion of self-archived articles turns out to be higher among the more highly cited articles. (The very same finding is of course equally interpretable as (3) Quality Advantage (QA), a tendency for higher quality articles to benefit more than lower quality articles from being self-archived.) In condensed-matter physics, Moed has confirmed that the impact advantage occurs early (within 1-3 years of publication). After article-age is adjusted to reflect the date of deposit rather than the date of publication, the enhanced impact of self-archived articles is again interpretable as QB, with articles by more highly cited authors (based only on their non-archived articles) tending to be self-archived more. (But since the citation counts for authors and for their articles are correlated, one would expect much the same outcome from QA too.) The only way to test QA vs. QB is to compare the impact of self-selected self-archiving with mandated self-archiving (and no self-archiving). (The outcome is likely to be that both QA and QB contribute, along with EA, to the impact advantage.)
Richard Poynder, Open Access: Beyond Selfish Interests, Open and Shut? November 20, 2006. Excerpt:
This is just Poynder's introduction to his own, much longer reflections on the state of OA. His take is too long to excerpt and I'll want more time before I feel confident in offering a summary. But if you want my unconfident, very brief summary today, I'd say his thesis is that the stakeholders, by following their narrow or short-term self-interests, have created a dysfunctional journal publishing system and a self-limiting OA movement. I see more grounds for hope than he does, perhaps many more. But if I were convening a meeting on long-term strategy, I'd assign this article in its entirety as background reading. I encourage you to read it for the same reason.
Klaus Graf raises and answers a series of legal questions about open access (in German.)
Matthew Bowers, Textbook education: ODU class to write its own, Hampton-Roads, November 20, 2006. Excerpt:
OpenArchives.eu is a new portal of OAI-compliant repositories around the world. From the site:
Comment. It's hard to judge the comprehensiveness of OpenArchives.edu compared to OpenDOAR and ROAR, which already occupy this space. OpenArchives.eu doesn't (yet) list the repositories it indexes or even give a tally of how many it indexes. While it may develop competitive features over time, all in all I must repeat what I said in August: "We don't need another directory. We need to merge the best ones..., avoid the present duplication of labor and resources, persuade existing repositories to list themselves, and support the merged result."
Update. I was wrong to say that OpenArchives provides no list or tally of the repositories it indexes. Click the "OK" button on the search form --basically, run an empty search-- and you'll get a complete list and tally. Today the tally is 1,082. (Thanks to Giulio Blasi.)
Update. Also see Giulio Blasi's full account of why a new directory of OAI-compliant repositories is needed, posted today to SOAF.
B.V. Mahalakshmi, E-tech invasion of farmlands, Financial Express, November 20, 2006. Excerpt: