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Friday, April 20, 2007

More on the evolving OA policy from the APA/AIA

The Task Force on Electronic Publication for the American Philological Association (APA) and the Archaeological Institute of America (AIA) has issued its Final Report.  The report is undated but appears to have been released March 31, 2007.  Also see the separate appendix.  (Thanks to Karla Hahn.)

From the Executive Summary:

The Task Force was charged the analysis of particular issues associated with the burgeoning area of electronic publishing, including peer refereeing, freedom of information, intellectual property protection, storage and retrieval of data and whatever other concerns it may identify. Having prepared a policy statement in summer 2006, the Task Force turned to the final report of the American Council of Learned Societies (ACLS) released in 2006....After discussion...and comments, the Task Force has formulated the following recommendations:

R1. Continue with the efforts, supported by the Capital Campaign and Board of Directors, to plan, design, and sustain a portal to digital content....

R4. Appoint two or three editors and institute a section for postprints (and perhaps other material) in the CDL's eScholarship Repository, or like platform.

R5. Explore a new digitally-distributed series of APA monographs....

R6. Appoint a small group to explore the feasibility of digitizing the APA microfiches to make them freely available in an open-access archive.

R7. Issue a statement encouraging development of a high-quality non-commercial digital library of Latin texts.

From the body of the report:

E.4. open access and open content: humanities scholars believe in the transformative power of human communication and artistic expression, and it is natural that they should want original documents and a great deal of the secondary literature that explains and interprets them to be available to as wide an audience as possible with as little constraint as possible, in continuation of the ideals of the public library. Open-access archives are a valuable alternative to commercialized media and the unfortunate expansion of copyright restrictions brought on by the Digital Millennium Copyright Act. It is appropriate for the societies and their members to encourage and participate in open-access, open-content endeavors. (See Recommendations F.4 and F.6 below.) ...

Open-access digital repositories of postprints are a logical location for scholars to deposit the kind of published work that is being neglected by the standard digitized collections. The California Digital Library operates an open-access eScholarship Repository that hosts some national disciplinary collections on the basis of participation of University of California departments or faculty. The CDL manager has already agreed that if, for instance, the Classics Department at Berkeley sponsored the inclusion of a APA/AIA postprint collection, such a section could be set up, controlled by editors appointed by the APA. The function of editors would be to review submissions for suitability of content and quality of appearance. The eScholarship Repository is already equipped with the mechanisms for submission and editorial review....

RECOMMENDATION 4: appoint two or three editors and institute a section for postprints (and perhaps other material) in the CDLís eScholarship Repository, or like platform....

A growing number of books from major library collections are becoming available through GoogleBook and competing projects. Works of classical scholarship have begun to appear in such collections. This is all to the good, but we do not have assurance of the quality of the available materials (for instance, there are reports of missing pages, and availability of only some volumes of a multi-volume work), nor is the free accessibility of more recent works in any way certain. Therefore, it is fully appropriate for classicists and archaeologists to consider projects to place professionally selected specimens of our historical scholarly resources in open-access collections....

We believe that if [our previously microfiched] works are digitized, then the proper disposition of them would be in an open-access archive, perhaps with the provision that print-on-demand copies could be ordered....

RECOMMENDATION 6: Appoint a small group to explore the feasibility of digitizing the APA microfiches to make them freely available in an open-access archive.

The recommendations in the report have been submitted to the APA and AIA boards but have not yet been adopted.

For background on the APA/AIA deliberations, see my blog post from December 23, 2006.