Open Access News

News from the open access movement

Friday, June 22, 2007

July issue of Learned Publishing

The July issue of Learned Publishing is now online.  Here are the OA-related articles.  Unless indicated otherwise, only abstracts are free online, at least so far.

  • Sanford G. Thatcher, The challenge of open access for university presses.  Abstract:  University presses were founded in the late 19th century to help alleviate a problem of market failure, namely insufficient demand in the commercial marketplace to sustain a publishing operation on the basis of sales alone. Now, in the face of claims about another type of market failure - insufficient funds to sustain library subscriptions to STM journals - calls have come forth to change the economic model of publishing from sales-based to grants-based, offering the fruits of knowledge free to all users with an Internet connection. This paper examines both the challenges and the opportunities that the variants of 'open access' present to university presses, as they seek to fulfill their traditional mission of disseminating knowledge 'far and wide' while remaining sustainable as businesses.

  • Paul Peters, Going all the way: how Hindawi became an open access publisher.  Full-text OA.  Abstract:  As the Hindawi Publishing Corporation approaches its tenth anniversary, the author looks back at the history of Hindawi and examines a number of challenges that the company has faced over the past decade. These challenges include the rapid expansion of the company's workforce, the establishment of a standard editorial system for its journals, and the conversion of Hindawi's entire operation to an open access publication model. Although some of Hindawi's characteristics may not be common among other publishers, many of the challenges that Hindawi has faced are the result of recent developments within the scholarly publishing market that have implications for the entire industry.

  • Saskia C.J. De Vries, From sailing boat to steamship: the role of the publisher in an open access environment.  Abstract:  The Internet has been a huge success in the academic world, as it makes it possible for academics to share and find research materials; open access has therefore become a fact of life for academic publishing. But what is the role of publishers in this new environment? The key functions of publishing - organizing peer review, editorial support, graphic design, marketing, and distribution of academic information - do not just disappear; publishers still have a role here, but they need to take a more service-minded perspective. Academics still need to find ways to ensure the dissemination of their output; it is important that they realize that this will cost money, whether it is brought in-house or outsourced. The IMISCOE project, on which Amsterdam University Press has recently embarked, offers an entirely new publishing model oriented towards online dissemination of academic research results, as well as in book form.

  • David Goodman, Sarah Dowson, and Jean Yaremchuk, Open access and accuracy: author-archived manuscripts vs. published articles.  Abstract:  Some approaches to open access (OA) use authors' manuscript copies for the OA version, in the form accepted after peer review but prior to full editing. Advocates of such approaches are certain that these versions differ only trivially from the publishers' versions; many of those who oppose them are equally certain that there can be major discrepancies. In a pilot study, we have examined the actual differences in a small number of such article pairs in the social sciences and in biology. Using an operational classification of the extent of error, we have determined that neither pronouncement is likely to be correct. We found numerous small differences that affect readability; we also found a low frequency of potentially confusing errors, but sometimes it was the publisher's and sometimes the manuscript version that was more accurate. In two cases errors introduced by the publisher omit technical details that are necessary to evaluate the validity of the conclusions. However, we found no error that actually affected the validity of the data or results. Interestingly, we did find problems with the stability of the document locations on authors' sites, and, in some cases, with their disappearance from PubMed Central after initial placement there.
         Update. See the self-archived OA edition.

  • Karen Shashok, How might open access become sustainable?  (No abstract.)

  • Peter Suber, Letter to the editor.  Not OA from the journal, but I've posted an OA copy to SOAF.