Open Access News

News from the open access movement

Friday, December 28, 2007

More on the NIH victory

Here are a few more notes from the celebrations around the web.  (Thanks to Bora Zivkovic for several of these.)

From Georgia Harper at the Texas Digital Library:

Those of us who are proponents of open access (OA) are celebrating the passage of the bill that makes the NIH mandate the law of the land....[I]t’s time to start thinking about how to take advantage of this opportunity to offer services to our library patrons who have NIH-funded research to post. Here at the UT Libraries, we’ve been working on a little initiative to enable our School of Nursing faculty to get their research papers posted, in anticipation of the mandate. So far we have an outline of a training module...and the School of Nursing is willing to work with us to test out this module and institute a service for the faculty. We want it to be as easy for the faculty as possible....Here’s our training module, as it exists in its rough form....

From Brandon Keim at Wired News:

...[The OA mandate is] bad news for the science publishing industry, who've used some dubious tactics to preserve the right of journal publishers to charge exorbitant fees for access to federally-funded findings.

But for cash-strapped scientists, academics and other interested citizens -- and for anyone who believes, as a matter of principle, that knowledge bought by the public belongs to the public -- it's good news indeed....

From Marshall Kirkpatrick at ReadWriteWeb:

...This should open up a whole world of new opportunities for online research....Researchers, academics and others have loudly criticized the soaring prices of academic journals - which make access to publicly funded research cost-prohibitive to all but the largest institutions and double-charges institutions that paid for researcher salaries already.

From Barbara Kirsop at the Electronic Publishing Trust for Development:

...The NIH now joins 6 of the 7 UK Research Councils, the Wellcome Trust and many other prestigious providers of research funding in acknowledging the immense value of open access to research publications and scientific progress....

From Mark Patterson at the PLoS blog:

...One of the most effective ways to comply with this new requirement is for researchers to publish their work in fully open access journals such as those of PLoS. As part of the service we provide to authors, we deposit every article in PubMed Central so that it can be a part of this evolving and important online archive. And this happens as soon as the article is published – so that anyone with an interest in the work can immediately read it and build on it....

From Fernando Pereira at Earning My Turns:

A very important value of this opening will be to allow full indexing and analysis of the past literature. Sometimes we have the illusion that the latest publication is the one that matters, but in many cases, discovery is bumpy and long-drawn, so the ability to find and synthesize the whole history of a topic is very important in assessing the current state of knowledge. The potential of automated biomedical literature mining has just become that much greater.

From Rich at The New Freedom:

...I find it incredibly frustrating when I want to read an article, but can only read the abstract because I don’t have access to the publishing journal. While this law doesn’t mean that I’ll be able to read all of the journals I want to, it does mean I’ll be able to read a significantly larger portion of them. It makes sense, of course, that we the tax payers funding the research should be able to benefit from it. I’m sure companies like ACS Publications are unhappy about this, but I think that’s great, because those companies are really an affront to science.

We should be thankful to the Alliance for Taxpayer Access for their hard working in campaigning for this law. Their work isn’t finished yet, but this is a massive step in the right direction. Their cause is logical and noble....

From Kevin Smith at Scholarly Communications @ Duke:

...How can we [librarians] help faculty researchers understand the new mandate?  What publishers can we recommend, and can we help faculty review their publication contracts to be sure compliance (or even earlier public access to the article) is allowed?  Some publishers, like Elsevier, already promise to deposit copies of articles they publish for researchers.  Publishing with such a publisher is an easy way to comply with the mandate, but it will almost certainly result in the full 1 year delay before open access.  For many researchers, there will still be significant advantage in accomplishing open access much sooner than this.  So the task of assisting faculty with understanding their alternatives, negotiating their publication contracts and navigating the mechanics of open access deposit are even more urgent services that academic libraries can and should provide.

From Blake Stacey at Science After Sunclipse:

...This is what happens when those slinky, no good Reds are "both elusive and in possession of a better message".

Also see the shorter comments by Richard Akerman, BTurtle, Jason Buberel, Martin Fenner, Barbara Fister, Robert Gehring, Greg Laden, Mark Leggott, Heather Morrison, Lorena O'English, Open Helix, Neel Smith, Andrew Staroscik, and David Weinberger.