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A bipartisan coalition is calling on the Republican and Democratic National Committees to provide OA to the televised debates of the presidential candidates. See the April 25 press release and blog post from Lawrence Lessig, lead organizer of the coalition. Excerpt from the blog post:
PS: Kudos to Lessig for organizing it and to Obama, Edwards, and Dodd for their quick action. We still have to hear from the other candidates and from the parties. Will any say no?
Update. CNN has agreed to make all its broadcasts of the presidential debates available without restriction as soon as they air.
Update. Fox News has decided not to open up its broadcasts of the Republican debates.
Daniel Paul O'Donnell, If I were "You": How Academics Can Stop Worrying and Learn to Love "the Encyclopedia that Anyone Can Edit", The Heroic Age, May 2007. (Thanks to Klaus Graf.) Excerpt:
PS: Here's how I made a similar point in SOAN for July 2005: "If you're an expert on a certain topic, then make sure that Wikipedia includes the fruits of your expertise....You may not have a high opinion of Wikipedia, but there are two reasons not to let that stop you. First, it can become a self-fulfilling prophecy. If experts add or enhance articles to reflect their expertise, then Wikipedia will deserve respect to that extent. Second, Wikipedia is an increasingly common first stop, and probably last stop, for non-academic users looking for information. If you want to be visible to non-academic users, then it's an eyeball destination that you can easily join."
Update. Sage Ross has collected links to a handful of articles on how scholars can use and improve Wikipedia.
I haven't yet found an official statement by the university, but I have found this recommendation to the Faculty Senate by the Senate Library Committee for the May 3 meeting:
Comment. Kudos to all involved at Minnesota. I have the same questions about the plans at Minnesota that I had yesterday about the plans at Illinois. But even without answers, it's clear that the good news keeps getting better. The more universities that adopt an author addendum, the better. If just one university did so, then publishers might refuse to publish articles by its faculty. But if many universities did so, publishers would quickly accommodate them.
A little background: An author addendum is a lawyer-written modification of a publisher's standard copyright transfer agreement, stapled to the original and signed by the author. As a contract modification, publishers may accept or reject it. There are many author addenda in circulation, the most important --in chronological order-- are by SPARC (May 2005), MIT (January 2006), Science Commons (June 2006), OhioLINK (August 2006), SURF-JISC (October 2006), and CIC (February 2007).
The American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) officially concluded its project on Science and Intellectual Property in the Public Interest (SIPPI) at the end of March 2007. The SIPPI site now contains links to the project's publications, activities, and meetings, as well as a complete archive of Science and IP News.
Stevan Harnad, What Are the Costs, Per Article, of Peer-Reviewed Journal Publication? Open Access Archivangelism, May 5, 2007.
Stevan Harnad, Librarians Applauding Embargoes on Open Access to Research Findings? Open Access Archivangelism, May 4, 2007.
Mary Anne Kennan and Karlheinz Kautz, Scholarly Publishing and Open Access: Searching for Understanding of an Emerging IS Phenomenon, in Proceedings ECIS 2007 - The 15th European Conference on Information Systems, St Gallen, Switzerland, 2007.
Günter Hack, Der Preis der freien Wissenschaft, FutureZone, May 2, 2007. (Thanks to Klaus Graf.) An interview with Bruno Bauer, the Director of the Medical Library at the University of Vienna. Bauer is unhappy with the current subscription system, not confident in the financial stability of gold OA, pleased with Austria's OA mandate and the emerging EU policy, but not satisfied with Austria's infrastructure for green OA (just one university IR to date). Read it in German or Google's English.
Teresa Hackett on Digital Libraries in Developing Nations, a 74-minute webcast from Harvard's Berkman Center, May 2, 2007. From the description:
David Secko, Scooped by a blog, TheScientist, 21, 4 (2007) p. 21. How Reed Cartwright blogged a theory in plant genetics and ended up scooping the field and being asked to become co-author of the first peer-reviewed article to propose the same theory. Also on blogs as vehicles for OA research and Jean-Claude Bradley's open notebook chem lab at Drexel University.
Martin Feijen and seven co-authors, Guidelines for content providers: Exposing textual resources with OAI-PMH, DRIVER, Version 0.8, May 2007. Excerpt:
Eric C. Kansa, Publishing Primary Data on the World Wide Web: Opencontext.org and an Open Future for the Past, Society for Historical Archaeology, undated but apparently April 2007. Excerpt:
AZoM, which publishes the OA journal, AZo Journal of Materials Online (AZojomo for short), has been recognized for its online leadership in manufacturing and industry. From the company's announcement:
If you remember, the Committee on Institutional Cooperation (CIC) created an Author Addendum back in February 2007. Now the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, one of 13 CIC member institutions, has adopted the addendum. Here's the announcement in full from the UIUC news bureau, May 3, 2007 (scroll to the bottom):
Comment. Kudos to all involved at UIUC. This can start to change the balance of power between authors and publishers. The short announcement above is all I have so far, but I'm looking for more information. Will UIUC authors be encouraged or required to use the addendum? Either way, are there any exceptions or opt-outs? Will UIUC use the addendum at the roughly 70% of TA journals that already permit postprint archiving? How will the UIUC lend its weight to the faculty side of difficult negotiations between individual faculty and journals? What else is UIUC doing to populate IDEALS, its institutional repository?
A group of colleges in the UK has formed the Colleges' Open Access Learning Group (COLEG) to launch a consortial OA repository. COLEG in turn has launched a blog to help communicate with vendors.
Wikisky is a cross between a virtual telescope, database of astronomical data, digital library of astronomical texts, annotatable wiki, and Google Earth for the sky --all free online from the Sloan Digital Sky Survey (SDSS).
Thanks to Glyn Moody for the alert and for this enticing description:
Stevan Harnad, Asymptotic Costs of Gold Open Access Journal Publication, Open Access Archivangelism, May 3, 2007.
Comment. Martin Osborne is right that his journal's fee is lower than the going rate and he deserves credit for keeping it low. It's a good example for other journals and I hope it will spread. Stevan is right that we shouldn't wait for it to spread, or we should self-archive while we wait. But I suspect that Martin Osborne agrees with that as well. I'd simply like to make explicit, and remember, that the case for OA archiving is compatible with praise and support for OA journals.
The International Journal of Computer Games Technology is a new peer-reviewed OA journal from Hindawi.
WHO adopts Wikipedia approach for key update, CBC News, May 2, 2007. Excerpt:
Update. For background, see the March 2007 WHO report, Production of ICD-11: The overall revision process. (Thanks to Ben Toth.)
Stevan Harnad, An Exchange Regarding Open Access Journals, Open Access Archivangelism, May 3, 2007. Excerpt:
Comment. I agree with all of this except point #1. OA journals are not premature.
France's Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique (CNRS) now allows authors of works in the CNRS Éditions series to deposit OA copies in HAL. (Thanks to the INIST Libre Accès blog.) See yesterday's press release (in French).
PS: Thanks and congratulations to both organizations.
Two more research institutions have adopted OA mandates. (Thanks to Stevan Harnad.)
PS: Kudos to all involved at both institutions.
Noel O’Boyle, Add quotes from PostGenomic and Chemical Blogspace to journal, Noel O'Blog, May 1, 2007.
Thanks to Peter Murray-Rust for the alert and this comment:
PS: This is a wonderful, unexpected example of one trend I tried to describe in the May issue of SOAN: "Once we have OA to literature and data, we can add layers of utility indefinitely."
Kwame van Eijndhoven and Maurits van der Graaf, Inventory study into the present type and level of OAI compliant Digital Repository activities in the EU, SURF Foundation. The document is dated March 2007 but was apparently not released until late April. Excerpt:
Bronwen Sprout, Open Access Projects at UBC Library, a presentation at Beyond Limits: Building Open Access Collections (Vancouver, April 19, 2007).
A consortium of German universities has officially launched the Informationsplattform Open Access, a nationwide platform for information on OA in Germany (online since last September). See today's press release in German or English. Excerpt from the English version:
I just mailed the May issue of the SPARC Open Access Newsletter. This issue reviews a couple of dozen trends in scholarly communication that favor open access. The round-up section briefly notes 64 developments from April.
An editorial in today's NYTimes recommends OA textbooks. Excerpt:
Richard Poynder, Bridging the digital divide: Empowering the people, Open and Shut? May 1, 2007. This interview with Monkombu Sambasivan Swaminathan is focused on his work to help India feed itself. It's not part of Richard's series of Open Access Interviews, but it contains these nuggets on OA:
Peter Murray-Rust, Repositories or Lists of Open Molecules, A Scientist and the Web, April 29, 2007. Excerpt:
Yasar Tonta, Yurdagül Ünal, and Umut Al, The Research Impact of Open Access Journal Articles, in Proceedings ELPUB 2007, the 11th International Conference on Electronic Publishing, focusing on challenges for the digital spectrum, Vienna, 2007. pp. 1-11. Self-archived April 30, 2007.
Update. See Stevan Harnad's comment:
Nina Saklikar, SFU's Institutional Repository, a presentation at Beyond Limits: Building Open Access Collections (Vancouver, April 19, 2007).
Alma Swan, Author compliance with publisher open access embargoes: a study of the journal Nature Physics, Technical Report, School of Electronics & Computer Science, University of Southampton, 2007. Self-archived April 25, 2007. Excerpt:
In addition, the four postprints in arXiv had gathered a total of nine citations and 44 downloads by the time they appeared in the journal.
Mark Chillingworth has an idea: Information professionals who want to steer students toward high-quality, peer-reviewed literature shouldn't forbid them to use Wikipedia but make the case in Wikipedia. Excerpt:
PS: Good idea. I've often made a similar point: "The fact that we want free online access to full texts doesn't mean that we already have it. Limiting searches to free online sources can be wishful thinking that undermines the adequacy of a search. But...I welcome evidence that young researchers look first in free online sources....That's by far the most convenient place to look. Our job is to put more information in that basket, not persuade researchers to start with less convenient sources."
Stevan Harnad, Open Access Is Not Just A Health Matter, Open Access Archivangelism, April 29, 2007. Excerpt:
From the project home page, a wiki:
Comment. Streamlining deposit is one of the most important ways to fill repositories and grow the volume of OA literature. This is one to watch.
Elsevier's hybrid or sponsored-article journals promise to reduce their subscription prices in proportion to author uptake of the OA option. ("We do not plan to charge subscribers for author sponsored content.") But at the same time they raise their subscription prices every year, as usual. How does this net out?
William Walsh has put together a very useful table showing that Elsevier's hybrid OA journals raised their subscription prices by 6.39% last year, even more than the 5.5% increase at Elsevier journals overall. The company did not reveal the rate of author uptake for the hybrid journals.
Comment. Can Elsevier verify that it actually reduced prices in proportion to author uptake? Can it explain why the hybrid journal prices nevertheless rose faster than the company average? Will subscribers press the company to answer these questions before renewing again?