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A growing number of funding agencies require OA to the research they fund. But here's a first: a funder (the Packard Foundation) using an open-access, open-contribution wiki to gather opinion on whether it should launch a certain funding program in the first place (on nitrogen pollution and agriculture). The foundation explains:
(Thanks to Jim Till.)
Stevan Harnad, Depot: Central Round-Up, Back-Up and Stop-Gap for UK's Open Access Institutional Repositories, Open Access Archivangelism, April 14, 2007. Excerpt:
Eric Morath, Google's scan of U-M library progresses ... quietly, Detroit News, April 13, 2007. Excerpt:
Put research publications 'in the Depot', a press release from JISC, April 13, 2007. Excerpt:
Also see the Depot FAQ.
Comment. This is important. UK funding agencies inclined to mandate OA to the research they fund may now mandate deposit in the author's institutional repository. UK authors without local repositories now have deposit rights at the Depot. Moreover, UK researchers who have not been self-archiving now have one less excuse.
Peter Murray-Rust, Copyrighted data, A scientist and the web, April 12, 2007. Excerpt:
Catherine Ebenezer has put together a list of OA journals "related to midwifery and maternity services".
At the same time, BMC announced the editor-in-chief for PMC Physics A:
Researchers' use of academic libraries and their services, a new report commissioned by Research Information Network and undertaken by Key Perspectives, April 2007. For our purposes, see esp. Section 9.4 on Open Access (pp. 58-65). Excerpt:
Comment. Section 9.4 thoroughly documents the still-widespread faculty ignorance of OA, OA repositories, and OA journals. This finding is two-edged. On the one hand, it's very discouraging, especially after all this time. On the other hand, it supports our claim that the problem is ignorance, not opposition. My experience is that it only takes a couple of minutes to excite faculty about OA, once you get their attention. The hard part is --still-- getting their attention.
Chris Armbruster's paper, Cyberscience and the Knowledge-based Economy, Open Access and Trade Publishing: From Contradiction to Compatibility with Nonexclusive Copyright Licensing (blogged here October 31, 2007), was just named the winner of this year's Access to Knowledge (A2K) writing competition sponsored by the Yale Law School Information Society Project (ISP) and the International Journal of Communications Law and Policy (IJCLP). Congratulations, Chris!
The April issue of First Monday is now online. This issue has three articles on Wikipedia plus the following:
Tracey Caldwell, US petition adds weight to OA campaign, Information World Review, April 10, 2007. Excerpt:
PS: If you support OA, please sign the US petition as an individual and ask your institution to sign as an institution. Then spread the word by linking to it from your blog or home page. We need all the public support we can get as we talk to Congress about mandating OA to publicly-funded research, through FRPAA and a strengthened version of the NIH policy.
If you recall, Napoleon Miradon pointed out last month that the draft FP7 Grant Agreement requires grantees to submit electronic copies of their journal articles to the EC and permits the EC to redistribute them online.
Comment. Last month I said it would be a breakthrough if the EC adopted the draft guidelines, and now it has. "The EC is deliberating about when, whether, or how far to adopt the OA mandate (recommendation A1) from last year's EC-sponsored report. But the heart of that recommendation is already contained in the draft FP7 guidelines. This could change the question for the EC. Instead of deciding, from scratch, what policy to adopt or what to accept and what to reject from its own report, it would only have to decide what refinements to make in the existing policy or draft." I suggested a couple of refinements in my comment last month. But here I simply want to draw attention to what has been done. The EC has mandated submission of the author's peer-reviewed postprint (either of two versions) and declared that the EC has the authority to disseminate it in any way that it likes. That's the heart of an OA mandate.
Jeff Ruch, Writers on the Range: Why would a federal agency trash its libraries? Summit Daily News, April 10, 2007. Ruch is the Executive Director of the Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility (PEER), which has led the fight to save the libraries. Excerpt:
Dave, Digital History: An Introduction to History 2.0, Patahistory, April 11, 2007. Excerpt:
PS: Apart from the way this new service supplements the standard library OPAC, I like the way it ranks items with the most accessible first. This is a big help to readers and one more incentive to authors and publishers to reduce access barriers to their work.
OCLC has evidently solved the problem of classifying resources by their access status. Hence, even when users select a different ranking method, OCLC should be able to flag the OA items as OA, though I can't tell whether it plans to do so.
Bill Hooker wrote a very interesting blog post last week on real-time open blogging of lab science --hypotheses, data, finished papers, the works. After linking to some colleagues who are already doing this, he adds:
Also see the growing number of comments on the post.
Justin Appel, Wanted: Single standard for open-content licenses, eSchool News, April 10, 2007.
Revere, More trouble at NIEHS, Effect Measure, April 12, 2007. Excerpt:
Update. Cheryl Hogue has more in Chemical & Engineering News (April 11, 2007):
Update. For more detail, see J. Lowe in the Daily Kos, The Republican War on Science and Environmental Health Perspectives.
Charles W. Bailey Jr. has released version 67 of his monumental Scholarly Electronic Publishing Bibliography. The new version cites and organizes over 2,960 print and online articles, books, and other sources on scholarly electronic publishing.
ALS/MND stands for Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis / Motor Neurone Disease.
PS: This is a most welcome decision that will benefit patients, families, physicians, and researchers. Kudos to all who took part in the deliberations.
MIT has released a 101 minute webcast of a January 2007 panel discussion, Managing Copyright to Advance Research and Teaching. (Thanks to Gary Price.) From the description:
Dieter Imboden, Publishers divide and rule on open access, Research Research, March 29, 2007. Imboden is a professor of environmental physics at ETH Zurich, the president of the Research Council of the Swiss National Science Foundation (Switzerland's chief public funding agency), and vice president of EuroHORCs, the European Heads of Research Councils association. Not even an abstract is free online, at least so far.
Ellen Finnie Duranceau interviewed Eric Von Hippel for the MIT Libraries News on his decision to provide OA to two of his books (April 9, 2007). Excerpt:
Gary Bader, Open Access and Open Source Speed Computational Network Biology Research, University of Toronto Project Open Source | Open Access, April 9, 2007. Excerpt:
The Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR) Access to Research Outputs Policy Advisory Committee (AROPAC) has released the minutes of its January 24 meeting. (Thanks to Heather Joseph.) The discussion centered on the CIHR's draft OA policy, which would mandate OA for CIHR funded research. Excerpt:
PS: Kudos to the CIHR for refusing to lengthen the embargo beyond six months and for recognizing the strengths of the EURAB recommendations. The CIHR draft policy was already very strong, but will only improve by following the lines laid down by EURAB.
David Morrison, Thoughts on digital scholarship in mathematics, a new interview in the Scholars Speak section of Create Change. Morrison is a professor of mathematics and physics at the University of California, Santa Barbara and sits on the editorial boards of Advances in Theoretical and Mathematical Physics and the New York Journal of Mathematics. He has also served on the editorial board of Communications in Mathematical Physics. Excerpt:
Michael Cross, New study casts doubt on Ordnance Survey's copyright control, The Guardian, April 5, 2007. Excerpt:
Also see Michael Cross' blog post on the subject and the follow-up comments.
Comment. When a strong principle (facts are uncopyrightable) collides with a well-entrenched government practice (claiming copyright in factual information gathered at public expense, such as the geospatial information underlying Ordnance Survey maps), which will give first? We'll soon find out for the UK. Meantime, the question should be put to the test in other countries. Where there's a database right, as in the EU, governments can fall back on it. That's far short of OA but still progress, since the database right is weaker than copyright. Where there's no database right, as in the US, there's no stopping short of the public domain.
The Journal of Social, Evolutionary & Cultural Psychology is a new peer-reviewed OA journal whose inaugural issue was published in January. (Thanks to Like a Lake.) From the editorial in that issue by Rosemarie I. Soko and Sarah L. Strout: