News from the open access movementJump to navigation
Here are Peter Murray-Rust's final blog posts from the Berlin 5 conference, which ended yesterday:
Yesterday the Alliance for Taxpayer Access released a webcast recorded on August 30, The importance of public access to publicly funded research for patient advocates. From the description:
Eve Gray, Open Sourcing Education, Gray Area, September 20, 2007. Excerpt:
Alexis Madrigal, Traditional Journal Publishers' Anti-Open-Access PR Plan Revealed, Wired Science, September 21, 2007. Excerpt:
Glyn Moody, Defending Openness, Linux Journal, September 21, 2007. Excerpt:
The Journal of Religion, Conflict, and Peace is a new peer-reviewed OA journal published by the Plowshares Project, "a peace studies collaborative of Earlham, Goshen, and Manchester Colleges." For more detail, see Joseph Leichty's editorial in the inaugural issue, The Genesis of Journal of Religion, Conflict, and Peace.
Comment. I'm proud of the part played in this project by Earlham College, where I taught for 21 years, and pleased that I was able to help the journal think through the decision to become OA. I wish it well.
Peter Sefton, Open Notebook Science and Not-so-open Notebook Science, PT's outing, September 20, 2007. Excerpt:
Stevan Harnad, Tripping on Tipping Points: Jubilatio Praecox, Open Access Archivangelism, September 21, 2007. Excerpt:
Comment. Well-put. I made some of the same points in the September SOAN. There's no evidence yet for a tipping point (or slippery slope), although there might be later. And there's no evidence that a future tipping point would hurt peer review even if it did hurt revenues at some existing publishers. On the contrary, there's strong evidence, so far, that OA and TA will coexist for some time, and strong reason to think that, even if OA grows at the expense of TA, research productivity and quality control would both improve.
More blog posts from Peter Murray-Rust at the Berlin 5 conference:
Richard Cave, Topaz Release Candidate 0.8, PLoS blog, September 20, 2007. Excerpt:
The Canadian Journal of Sociology will convert to OA, starting in January 2008. Editor Kevin D. Haggerty lays out the details in a candid editorial, Change and Continuity at the Canadian Journal of Sociology, in the Summer 2007 issue. (Thanks to Heather Morrison.) After listing 10 changes he plans to implement at CJS, Haggerty mentions this one:
The front page of the AAP's Professional/Scholarly Publishing division used to feature a link to the PRISM web site and a paragraph on its launch and goals. But today the paragraph has disappeared and the page no longer mentions PRISM at all. It was the AAP/PSP Executive Council that launched PRISM last month.
Alma Swan's calendars of OA quotations and original artwork and calligraphy are becoming an annual tradition. Her 2008 Open Access Calendar is now online. This year's calendar also features notable dates from the history of the OA movement. From the description at Key Perspectives:
John Hawks, Openness, casts, and CT scans, john hawks weblog, September 20, 2007.
Background: Paleoanthropologists need to compare fossils, but this is hard because fossils are usually stored in different places and rarely travel. Plaster or plastic casts ease this problem, but they introduce some distortions and are still hard to produce or ship around to all who need them. CT scans are more accurate than casts and should be easy to share. Excerpt:
The American Philosophical Association announced the PRN in August. (Thanks to Vincent C. Müller for the pointer.) From the APA front page:
Comment. On the one hand, I'm glad that my field, philosophy, will finally have a discipline-wide repository. On the other, SSRN imposes restrictions unheard of at other OA repositories. For example, it adds an SSRN watermark to the pages of some deposited articles and only allows links to SSRN papers in abstracts. As Vincent Müller pointed out to me, it doesn't support data harvesting by ROAR. And I don't like the PDF-only limitation. I plan to monitor the site to see whether SSRN lifts these restrictions.
Jim Giles broke the story of the AAP hiring of Eric Dezenhall in Nature for January 24, 2007. Now Giles is telling more of the story.
In a post today at NewScientist's Short Sharp Science blog, Giles writes:
His story in NewScientist is TA and only the first two paragraphs are free online:
The leaked two-page Dezenhall proposal to the AAP is apparently unabridged. But it's a scanned image and I don't have time rekey it. However I recommend it for showing more than we've seen to date on (1) the strengths of the OA movement that worry the publishing lobby (called "the coalition" here, perhaps in anticipation of PRISM) and (2) the coalition strategies and tactics for persuading policy-makers to defeat OA initiatives.
Update. I just gained access to the full text of Jim Giles story in NewScientist. Here are some more excerpts:
Peter Murray-Rust, The laws of robotics; request for drafting, A Scientist and the Web, September 20, 2007. Excerpt:
When I first blogged the news that AnthroSource, the publishing arm of the American Anthropological Association, was moving from the University of California Press to Wiley-Blackwell, it was just a plan. Now it's official. From the Wiley-Blackwell announcement (September 19, 2007):
Comment. In June 2006, the AAA signed a public letter opposing FRPAA without consulting its members and triggered a wave of member protests. When the AnthroSource Steering Committee expressed its support for FRPAA, the AAA disbanded the committee. Nevertheless, many anthropologists hoped that the AAA would convert AnthroSource to OA. Now AAA lays those hopes to rest and will have to explain to members how this move advances anthropology more than OA and why the views of the membership, and even the AnthroSource Steering Committee, were systematically disregarded.
Update. Also see the September 19 statement by William Davis and Alan Goodman (respectively, Executive Director and President of the AAA) and Jennifer Howard's story on the Chronicle of Higher Education News blog. Excerpt from Howard:
No indication that the AAA is concerned about the pricing of its journals, which I am prepared to bet will raise at at least 10% per year over the life of the contract. Letís be clear about what is going on here the AAA is using a private publisher to extract income from universities through their libraries. The bad news though is that university libraries will not be able to afford these increases. In the end fewer subscriptions will be sold and fewer people will have access to this scholarship. If the AAA really cared about scholarship in anthropology they would be pursuing an open access strategy.
The Serials Librarian, vol. 52, no. 1/2, is not the most recent issue but I overlooked it at the time it came out, c. August 2007. (Thanks to Charles Bailey's Scholarly Electronic Publishing Weblog.) Here are the OA-related articles. Only abstracts are free online, at least so far.
And here's one from vol. 52, no. 3/4:
On Monday, University College Dublin and partners launched the Irish Virtual Research Library and Archive Repository (IVRLA). (Thanks to Charles Bailey.) From the announcement:
The Berlin 5 conference --Open Access: From Practice to Impact: Consequences of Knowledge Dissemination-- started yesterday in Padua and ends tomorrow. Abstracts of the presentations are already online.
Greetings to all my friends who are gathered there. I'm sorry I couldn't attend myself.
Cory Doctorow, Free data sharing is here to stay, The Guardian, September 18, 2007. Excerpt:
Rufus Pollock, Talk at Law 2.0: Openness, Web 2.0 and the Ethic of Sharing, Open Knowledge Foundation Weblog, September 18, 2007. Excerpt:
David R. Gerhan, Wanted: One Principal Search Engine for Digital Images, College & Undergraduate Libraries, 14, 2 (2007). Full-text not yet available.
National e-books project makes taught course texts freely available, a press release from JISC, September 20, 2007. Excerpt:
Andrew Clark, Murdoch hints that all online Journal content will be free, The Guardian, September 19, 2007. (Thanks to Ben Toth.) Excerpt:
Comment. If this becomes a trend, it won't directly spill over to scholarly journals, which can raise much less money from advertising than newspapers. On the other hand, their expenses are much lower and there may be some indirect spillover, for example, through new user expectations and better data on the connection between free online access and heightened impact. See my February 2006 article on advertising as a supplementary (not necessarily sufficient) source of revenue for OA journals, and on Google AdSense ads as a way to avoid both the real and the perceived problems of editorial corruption.
Matthew Cockerill, Webcite links provide access to archived copy of linked web pages, BioMed Central blog, September 17, 2007. Excerpt:
The Biosciences Federation has issued a Position statement on Open Access, September 19, 2007. The BF represents over 50 scientific societies and other bioscience organizations in the UK. I haven't checked but I imagine that most of the societies publish journals. Here's the executive summary from the position statement:
Also see the BF press release.
Update (9/21/07). Also see Stevan Harnad's comments.
At its June 2007 meeting, the Hong Kong Research Grants Council (RGC) decided not to mandate OA for RGC-funded research. However, it did encourage publicly-funded Hong Kong universities to encourage OA.
Here's the relevant part of the minutes of its June 2007 meeting, which were sent to all Hong Kong university vice-chancellors and presidents on August 6, 2007. The "UGC institutions" are the eight universities supported with public funds by the University Grants Committee. I thank the RGC for permission to reproduce this paragraph:
Update. See Stevan Harnad's comment:
Molly Knapp, Bells, Whistles & Bandwagon 2.0, Task Force on Social Networking Software (of the Medical Library Association), September 18, 2007. Excerpt:
The October issue of Walt Crawford's Cites & Insights is now online. This issue contains a lengthy section on Library Access to Scholarship, entirely devoted to PRISM and titled, "PRISM: Enough Rope?" He starts with verbatim quotations from the PRISM press release and my same-day blog comments, and then follows with a look at the PRISM principles and a wide-ranging set of comments from scholars, librarians, and publishers. Excerpt from his own comments:
PS: For background on the changes at the PRISM web site, see my post from yesterday.
John Hoey, An editorial dissection, Open Medicine, September 18, 2007. A book review of Richard Smith's The Trouble with Medical Journals, Royal Society of Medicine Press, 2006. Excerpt:
Katherine Kott, What does sharing publicly accessible material mean? Aquifer, September 14, 2007. Excerpt:
Tim O'Reilly, Carl Malamud Tackles the Copyright Office, O'Reilly Radar, September 17, 2007. Excerpt:
Comment. I'm delighted to see Carl Malamud strike again, and delighted to see his latest campaign gather so many weighty allies. He and his organization, Public Resource, have a knack for finding public information locked down under erroneous copyright claims and a knack for prying it loose.
Update. The Copyright Office responded in a blog post on September 26, 2007. In short, the answer is no. The Copyright Office provides access to the database on a cost-recovery basis, without responding to the argument that it should provide OA instead. Nor does it respond to the argument that the database is in the public domain.
India's National Knowledge Commission (NKC) has released the Report of the Working Group on Open Access and Open Educational Resources, undated. There's internal evidence that it came out before 2007 (it refers to OARE as "scheduled to be launched in January 2007"). But the Development Gateway Foundation blogged it yesterday as "recently published". Excerpt:
The Irish Research Council for Science, Engineering & Technology (IRCSET) is calling for public comments on an IRCSET policy on open access to published research papers. (Thanks to OpenAccess@UCD.) From the site:
Update. Also see Stevan Harnad's comments. Excerpt:
Comment. When I wrote about TimesSelect two years ago, two months after it launched, it was already profitable and I suspect that it was profitable right up to the decision to shut it down. However, the Times believes that it will gain more in advertising revenue than it will lose in access fees. It will also gain in impact. From my blog post two years ago:
Dean Giustini interviews Robin Featherstone, UBC Academic Search - Google Scholar Blog, September 17, 2007. Featherstone is an Associate Librarian at the US National Library of Medicine currently working at Yale's Cushing/Whitney Medical Library. Excerpt:
The September/October issue of D-Lib Magazine is now online. Here are the OA-related articles:
Ricardo Alonso-Zaldivar, Opening up the findings of drug trials, Los Angeles Times, September 17, 2007. (Thanks to Garrett Eastman.) Excerpt:
The American Library Association has created an action alert to simplify the process of asking your Senators to support the strengthening of the NIH policy. However, it doesn't contain a default message and requires users to compose their own or paste one in.
No more excuses. If you're a US citizen, please contact your Senators before September 28, and please spread the word to others. (Thanks, Charles!)
Update. If you start with Charles' prepared message, please modify and personalize it. That will greatly enhance its credibility. Here's some good advice from Kara Malenfant of the ALA:
Update. Another possibility is to use the new (September 20) letter at ProgressiveSecretary. (Thanks to Dorothea Salo.) However, users don't have an opportunity to modify or personalize the text. In light of Kara's advice, above, it may be better to write your own or modify the Bailey text, and then use the ALA form to deliver it.
Mark Surman, Cape Town Declaration, coming soon to an inbox near you, CommonSpace, September 17, 2007. Surman is Director of telecentre.org and a Fellow of the Shuttleworth Foundation. Excerpt:
PRISM has made several changes to its web site since yesterday. Here are the major ones.
On the home page, it added these paragraphs:
And deleted these:
The about page added these paragraphs:
And deleted this sentence:
Update. Also see Jennifer Howard, Publishers' Group Tones Down Language in Anti-Open-Access Lobbying Campaign, Chronicle of Higher Education, September 18, 2007.
Update. Also see Tom Wilson's comments on these changes.
Paul Guinnessy, Stakeholders Weigh Costs of Open-Access Publishing, Physics Today, August 2007. Only the first two sentences are free online, at least so far:
Update (2/5/08). Also see the letters to the editor in response to this article. The letters are full-text OA.
Margaret Pickton and Cliff McKnight, Is there a role for research students in an institutional repository? Some repository managers' views, Journal of Librarianship and Information Science, 39, 3 (2007) pp. 153-161. Only this abstract is free online, at least so far:
Heather Morrison, 60% OA Track Record for Successful Grantees, Imaginary Journal of Poetic Economics, September 16, 2007. Excerpt:
Reflexions is a new OA journal published by the University of Liege. (Thanks to Bernard Rentier.) Reflexions does not appear to be peer reviewed. Instead, its purpose is to showcase the research of UL researchers and share it with the world, which it does in three ways: by describing it in lay terms, by publishing in French and English, and by providing OA.
UL adopted an OA mandate in March 2007 and this journal is a natural extension of that commitment. UL wants to disseminate the research of its faculty, and Reflexions is an affirmative step to make that research accessible and intelligible to a larger audience.