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Scitopia is a federated search engine for the journals of 15 society publishers. The search engine is free to use, but the articles it finds are no more free to read than they were before. I stand by my comments when Scitopia was first announced in April 2007.
Eli Guinnee and Amy Buckland, Student Scholarship in the Open Access Age, a slide presentation, and audio, from the second annual GSLIS Skill Share at Simmons College (Boston, September 22, 2007), on the first year of operation for the OA Library Student Journal. Guinee is the journal's founding editor and Buckland is the incoming editor-in-chief. (Thanks to Heather Morrison.)
Heather Morrison, Opposition to open access continues, while anti-OA coalition attempt implodes, Imaginary Journal of Poetic Economics, October 19, 2007.
Comment. I agree that PRISM has failed, and even backfired. But the publisher anti-OA lobby is well-funded and effective. PRISM is only the public face of a lobbying campaign that continues unabated behind the scenes. For recent signs of its work, see its success in reaching out to the White House and its success in persuading Senator Inhofe to add two harmful, last-minute amendments to the appropriations bill containing the provision that would mandate OA at the NIH.
Australia's RUBRIC project (Regional Universities building research infrastructure collaboratively) has released the RUBRIC Toolkit: Institutional Repository Solutions. (Thanks to Charles Bailey.) From the Toolkit's about page:
PS: SPIE was originally (in 1955) the Society of Photographic Instrumentation Engineers. But after several name-changes it decided this year to call itself simply SPIE.
In Belgium last week, 14 European university rectors met at the University of Liege to launch a European campaign to persuade research institutions to adopt strong, local OA policies. (Thanks to Alma Swan.) From today's announcement:
Update. Also see Stevan Harnad's 23 minute video, which was shown at the meeting. Stevan writes: "Please feel free to use it to promote Open Access Mandates and Metrics at your own institution. (The very brief intro is in French; the rest is in English.)"
The provision to mandate OA at the NIH is in trouble. Late Friday, just before the filing deadline, a Senator acting on behalf of the publishing lobby filed two harmful amendments, one to delete the provision and one to weaken it significantly. We thought we'd done everything and only had to wait for the Senate vote. But now we have to mobilize once more, and fast, to squash these amendments. Here an announcement from the Alliance for Taxpayer Access:
Comment. The ATA is not exaggerating. This is urgent. If you're a US citizen, please contact your Senators and spread the word. Note the short deadline. Your Senators must hear from you before the end of business on Monday, October 22: two days from now.
Free Access to Literature Data on Chagas' Disease Offered Online, a press release from Collaborative Drug Discovery, October 17, 2007. Excerpt:
Comment. This is exciting. I don't know whether CDD can harvest these data without publisher permission, on the ground that the data elements themselves are uncopyrightable facts, or whether publishers have granted permission, on the ground that access to the data advances research without undercutting subscriptions. Either way it's good news.
Ryan announces free online access to Departmental spatial data, eGov monitor, October 18, 2007. Excerpt:
The International Journal of the Commons is a new peer-reviewed, OA journal published by the International Association for the Study of the Commons. The inaugural issue is now online. For more detail, see the editorial in the inaugural issue or today's press release.
Athabasca University has published an OA book, Energy Management and the Environment: Challenges and the Future, edited by Anshuman Khare and Joel R. Nodelman, both from Athabasca's Centre for Innovative Management. For more details, see the press release.
Update. The book is available here. (Thanks to Heather Morrison.)
The new issue of the Zeitschrift für Bibliothekswesen und Bibliographie (Heft 4-5, 2007) is dedicated to open access. All 22 articles are relevant --and toll-access, at least so far. Two of the articles are in English, the rest in German. (Thanks to Klaus Graf.)
Update. Here's another.
Update. Here's another.
Update. Klaus Graf has started a list on his blog of the OA editions of the articles in this special issue.
According to a reliable source, the Senate will probably not act on the appropriations bill that would mandate OA at the NIH until next Monday or Tuesday.
Apart from this, the latest news is in my update from yesterday.
Comment. I like this idea. It echoes the recent decisions by the American Physical Society and the American Institute of Physics to provide free online access to the pathbreaking articles by this year's Nobel prize winners in physics. When previously published work is recognized as important, then publishers who provide OA editions help spread important work and help secure their own reputations as publishers of important work. In the case of science journal articles, there's very little revenue from old articles to undermine. (I argue for this model at greater length in a 2004 article.) And in the case of novels, it acknowledges the growing evidence that OA editions of full-text books can increase the net sales of print editions.
Ellen Duranceau, Harvard Faculty of Arts & Sciences Considering Open Access For Their Work, MIT Libraries News, October 18, 2007. Excerpt:
To Maintain National Security, U.S. Policies Should Continue to Promote Open Exchange of Research, a press release from the US National Academies. (Thanks to Heather Joseph.) Excerpt:
Comment. The new report doesn't specifically recommend OA. But it's of a piece with earlier reports from the National Academies recommending OA even for sensitive research, on the ground that the risk to security is outweighed by the many benefits, including the benefits for security. For example, a September 2004 report recommended OA to the genome data on pathogens such as smallpox, anthrax, and Ebola hemorrhagic fever. For more detail, and some reflections on the balance of openness and security, see my article in SOAN for September 2005.
Richard Sietmann, Max Planck Society terminates licensing contract with Springer publishing house, Heise Online, October 19, 2007.
Comment. As far as I can tell, this is strictly about the reader-side subscription fees for Springer's subscription journals, not the author-side publication fees for Springer's hybrid Open Choice journals (which, importantly, are the same journals). Hence, it's only relevant to OA in the way in which high subscription prices and mass cancellations are relevant to OA. But it's one of the largest mass cancellations I've seen. It's one more unmistakable sign that even affluent research institutions have breaking points, cannot continue to pay journal price increases, and suffer from significant access gaps. It's one more sign that toll-access journals do not scale with the growth in published knowledge, especially when their prices rise faster than library budgets and faster than inflation.
Update. Also see the Max Planck press release, October 18, 2007.
Richard Poynder, The Basement Interviews: Peter Suber, Open and Shut? October 19, 2007. I'm grateful for Richard's good questions, his equal interest in depth and breadth, and the many opportunities he gave me for detail and reflection. I've appreciated all his past interviews and am honored to part of his series.
Now see this news from Kelly Field in the Chronicle of Higher Education News blog:
Comment. In yesterday's SAP, the White House outlined several grounds for the President's "strong opposition" to the bill. The stem-cell provision was one of those --and the provision on the NIH was not. If the Senate passes the bill in its new form, it's certainly possible that the President will still veto it. But the very interesting possibility that he would not veto it has just become a couple of degrees more likely. We'll see.
Stevan Harnad, Time to Update the BBB Definition of Open Access, Open Access Archivangelism, October 18, 2007.
PS: There's much that I agree with here, mostly in the last three paragraphs, even though I believe the BBB definition of OA is right to call for the removal of permission barriers in addition to price barriers. But I can't say more without saying much more, and I need time and space for that. So for now I'll run Stevan's post without (additional) comment. Note, BTW, that I've only run his summary and the full post is considerably longer. For the full picture, please read his full post.
From the abstract of a conference presentation by Kristine K. Fallon, co-developer of DAArch (scroll down about 1/3 of the page):
Christian Sylvain, Open Access and SSHRC, a presentation at Open Access: the New World of Research Communication (Ottawa, October 12, 2007).
Olyerickson, Collective Intelligence in the Institutional Repository: Making DSpace Personal, PF-DSpace, October 17, 2007. Excerpt:
UNESCO and Library of Congress sign agreement for World Digital Library, an announcement from UNESCO, October 17, 2007. Excerpt:
I'm taking part in the Symposium on The Future of Scholarly Communication sponsored by Princeton's Center for Information Technology Policy. It just occurred to me that I should cross-blog my contributions here on OAN.
Since Ed Felten opened the symposium with a look at the Ithaka report on University Publishing in a Digital Age, my first post was a revised version of my OAN post on the report's weak understanding of OA.
Yesterday Ed asked the panel for their thoughts on the Old System in which access was delayed until peer review and publication and a New System in which access to preprints is immediate and peer review and publication take place after an initial wave of online discussion. (Read his full post for details.) Here's my response:
Bora Zivkovic, Open Access for the Classroom, A blog around the clock, October 16, 2007. Excerpt:
Promoting open access - how JISC is supporting the development of repositories, a podcast by Andy McGregor, released October 17, 2007. From the JISC description:
Lorcan Dempsey, Processes and repositories, Lorcan Dempsey's weblog, October 16, 2007. Excerpt:
This morning the White House issued a Statement of Administration Policy (SAP) on the Senate appropriations bill containing the provision to mandate OA at the NIH. Excerpt:
Johannah S. Cornblatt and Samuel P. Jacobs, Faculty Meetings Stay Off the Air, Harvard Crimson, October 17, 2007. This article covers several topics aired at a recent Harvard faculty meeting. This excerpt is all that it has to say about the proposed OA policy:
Stevan Harnad, How Green Open Access Supports Text- and Data-Mining, Open Access Archivangelism, October 16, 2007. This is a response to Peter Murray-Rust's post from earlier the same day, Why Green Open Access does not support text- and data-mining, which you should read first. (I blogged PMR's post yesterday but without an excerpt.) Excerpt:
Paul G. Haschak, The 'platinum route' to open access: a case study of E-JASL: The Electronic Journal of Academic and Special Librarianship, Information Research, October 2007. Abstract:
Stevan Harnad, Green OA Moots Permission Barriers By Bypassing Price Barriers, Open Access Archivangelism, October 16, 2007.
This is Stevan's lengthy response to my response to his post of October 14. Sorry for presupposing the earlier stages of this thread. I'm posting only the most relevant parts of his new post, along with my new response. But to be fair to his full argument, read his full post. My new response is at the end.
PS: ..."Stevan isn't saying that OA doesn't or shouldn't remove permission barriers. He's saying that removing price barriers (making work accessible online free of charge) already does most or all of the work of removing permission barriers and therefore that no extra steps are needed."So far this is exactly correct -- except I would definitely say that Green OA self-archiving removes not just "most" but all the "permission barriers" pertinent to research use, which is what OA is all about....PS: "The chief problem with this view is the law. If a work is online without a special license or permission statement, then either it stands or appears to stand under an all-rights-reserved copyright. The only assured rights for users are those collected under fair use or fair dealing. These rights are far fewer and less adequate than OA contemplates, and in any case the boundaries of fair use and fair dealing are vague and contestable."
The University of Stuttgart Open Access Policies Project has released the alpha version of oaPAPI (Open Access Policies API), open-source software to create a single XML stream from the OA policies of multiple online resources. From the site:
K.N. Fragoulis and three co-authors, Open access World Wide Web resources on upper and lower respiratory tract infections, The International Journal of Tuberculosis and Lung Disease, November 2007. Abstract:
Catriona J. MacCallum, When Is Open Access Not Open Access? PLoS Biology, October 16, 2007. Excerpt:
Charlotte Webber, Open access and the developing world - read the latest, BioMed Central blog, October 15, 2007. A useful compendium of recent blog posts from around the net.
Attilio Baghino, The Amedeo Challenge: Promoting Free Medical Textbooks, Flying Publisher, 2007. A new 66 pp. book available in both an OA edition and a priced/print edition. Excerpt:
Andrew Waller, Technical Services and Open Access : A Few Challenges, Feliciter, 53, 5, pp. 241-243.
The Fall issue of the Journal of Electronic Publishing is now online. Here are the OA-related articles:
Starting in January 2008, the Scandinavian Journal of Food & Nutrition will convert to OA, move from Taylor & Francis to Co-Action Publishing, and change its name to Food & Nutrition Research. The journal is owned by the Swedish Nutrition Foundation. From the October 12 announcement:
Update. Also see Alex McNally's article on the launch in Food Navigator for October 23, 2007.
The October issue of the International Journal on Digital Libraries is devoted to Connecting digital libraries to eScience. (Thanks to Glen Newton.) Not even abstracts are free online, at least so far. Judging only from their titles, here are the OA-related articles:
This will be useful for historians tracking the early discussion of funder OA policies. Maximilian Forte has found two statements from 2004 on the possibility of an OA policy at Canada's Social Science and Humanities Research Council (SSHRC), and posted them to his blog for archival purposes.
Comment. In January 2004, the SSHRC called for public comments on an organizational "transformation", but didn't specifically propose an OA policy. (Details formerly here, but the link is now dead.) It didn't call for public comments on OA until August 2005. (Details formerly here, but the link is now dead.) It issued its first statement on OA in October 2004, and then a second statement, retreating from the first, in April 2006, and launched a funding program for OA journals in April 2007. Forte's documents are helpful for two reasons: anything from 2004 is early enough in the process to be notable, and the SSHRC has broken links to its some of its own historical documents.
The Open Access to Knowledge (OAK) Law project (OAK Law) at Queensland University of Technology has updated its Guide to Developing Open Access Through Your Digital Repository.
Also see Arthur Sale's brief review of the new edition.
Stevan Harnad, Re-Use Rights Already Come With the (Green) OA Territory: Judicet Lector, Open Access Archivangelism, October 14, 2007.
Update. I've often pointed out that the BBB definition of OA requires the removal of permission barriers, not just the removal of price barriers, and I stand by that. Klaus Graf has just collected some of my past statements to this effect along with some of his own. (Thanks, Klaus.)
The Center for Information Technology Policy at Princeton is hosting a blog-based Symposium on the Future of Scholarly Communication. From Ed Felten's introduction: