Open Access News

News from the open access movement

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

May/June D-Lib

The May/June issue of D-Lib Magazine is now online.  Here are the OA-related articles:

  • Arthur Sale, A Challenge for the Library Acquisition Budget. No abstract. Excerpt: The challenge is therefore to rethink how the library 'acquisitions budget' should be expended in the present situation where 10% of journals don't charge subscription fees or in the future, when possibly 100% of journals are not subscription-based. The usual predictions are for an increasing fraction of OA journals, some or many of which want author-side fees. This may be coupled with increasing use of optional-OA (open choice) provisions. While optional-OA provisions may be highly priced at present, I believe that competition and new entrants to the publishing industry should drive the price down....One possible strategy is to do nothing. This is what most institutions are now doing. However, a 10% signal cannot be construed as being a minor issue that should be ignored. The conservative approach amounts to discrimination by the institution in favor of the subscription model and its escalating prices from decreasing subscribers....The second strategy is to...invert a popular slogan: 'Think locally, act globally'. Institutions with this mindset will keep their acquisitions budget for subscriptions, but will lobby for an increasing number of self-archived articles....The problem is evident, but the institution won't do anything itself yet....In the third strategy, the institution takes a transitional response. It recognizes that author-side fees are now a significant requirement, and moves to re-align its 'acquisitions budget' to become a 'research journal budget'. A fraction of the journals budget is reserved for supporting alternative funding models, and the institution commits to monitoring and adapting its expenditure to match the change in the industry and the activity of its authors. ...

  • Steve Hitchcock and three co-authors, Digital Preservation Service Provider Models for Institutional Repositories:  Towards Distributed Services.  Abstract:   Digital preservation can encompass a range of activities, from simple replication and storage to more complex transformation, depending on the assessed value and risk to the target content. These activities require planning and, in most cases, begin with a need to know the technical format of the target content. In this case, the target is the content deposited in institutional repositories (IRs). The Preserv project set out to investigate the use of The National Archives' (TNA) PRONOM-DROID service (PRONOM is the online registry of technical information; DROID is the downloadable file format identification tool) for file format identification on two pilot IRs using EPrints software, and instead produced format profiles (Preserv profiles) of over 200 repositories presented via the Registry of Open Access Repositories (ROAR). Thus a primary element of preservation planning has been shown to be possible based on a standard Web interface (OAI) and no formal arrangement between repository and provider. The implications of this go beyond the numbers towards a reconceptualisation of repository preservation service provider models. Repositories and providers can shape preservation services at different cost levels that could range from comprehensive 'black-box' preservation to pick-and-mix lightweight Web-based services that build on the common starting point, format identification. This article describes the evolution of a series of models that have informed progress towards this conception of flexible and distributed preservation services for IRs.

  • Margaret Henty, Ten Major Issues in Providing a Repository Service in Australian Universities.  No abstract.  From the introduction:  By mid 2006, all Australian universities had established, or were partway to establishing, institutional repository services. The development of institutional repository services can often be related to the open access movement....However, many universities have extended the functionality of their repository services for other purposes....The potential for development seems endless.  At the same time...[t]he importance of what is generally called "eResearch" on the national agenda shows the need for improved data management and sustainability practices to support research over the longer term. This raises questions of the relationship between the repository and eResearch and provides challenges to repository managers to broaden their thinking still further to help meet these needs....The purpose of this article is to identify the major issues that interviewees thought would be most significant for their repository services in the next five to ten years....
         --Update. Henty has posted some extra interview comments that didn't fit into the published article.

  • Ana Alice Baptista and Miguel Ferreira, Tea for Two: Bringing Informal Communication to Repositories.  Abstract:   Although informal communication has always been a part of scholarly communication, its value as an important means for sharing perceptions and knowledge has not always been recognized or properly put to good use. Three add-ons for the DSpace platform have been developed under the "DSpace Dev@University of Minho" project. The next natural step is to further develop and integrate the features of these add-ons into a new cross-repository service that allows knowledge to be transferred across communities in a broader and improved way and to provide better means to access comprehensive information about communication relationships between scholarly entities. Some of the changes that will have to be made to the current features of these add-ons in order to implement such a system have been identified and described in this article. We also present the rationale that supports the vision of a system that accommodates the add-ons developed. Such a system will provide an informal communication layer at the top of the existing network of repositories directly connected to the formal one. In addition, some changes are proposed to the way the Web of Communication is calculated and depicted in order to provide more qualitative information about the communication relationships between scholars.

  • Christopher Leonard, BioMed Central expands with PhysMath Central.  No abstract.  Excerpt:  BioMed Central is expanding the range of open access research it publishes with its new venture, PhysMath Central. The independent publishing platform, based on the successful open access model pioneered by BioMed Central, will publish original peer-reviewed research in physics and mathematics and is now accepting submissions for its first series of journals....In November 2006, French Conseil Européen pour la Recherche Nucléaire (CERN), the world's largest particle physics laboratory, mandated open access for all work carried out using its own funds. Additionally, CERN set up an international consortium to pay for open access fees for research to be published. In keeping with this trend, BioMed Central, aware of a much greater appetite for open access in specialties other than just particle physics, launched PhysMath Central's journals, aiming to satisfy the need for open access in all areas of physics, mathematics and computer science.....PhysMath Central provides a two-way integration with arXiv allowing authors to submit from arXiv but also to deposit their PhysMath Central paper into arXiv as part of a single submission process....Finally, PhysMath Central has issued a call to action for scientists, making available BioMed Central's publishing capabilities and editorial expertise to start and manage their own independent open access journals using PhysMath Central's platform....