Open Access News

News from the open access movement

Wednesday, June 04, 2008

More on the SPARC Europe Seal program

Tracey Caldwell, SPARC gives Seal of approval to DOAJ content reuse terms, Information World Review, June 4, 2008.  Excerpt:

...SPARC (Scholarly Publishing and Academic Resources Coalition) believes that confusion around the use and reuse of material in OA journals prevents researchers from getting the maximum benefit from them.

To qualify for Seal, a journal must use the Creative Commons BY licence and provide metadata for all articles to the DOAJ, which will then make the metadata OAI-compliant.

SPARC Europe director David Prosser said: “Those journals that do not meet the Seal criteria will still be listed in the DOAJ. We are not redefining OA or trying to be hard-line. We are attempting to make the OA journals more useful by reducing ambiguities, clarifying rights and ensuring that papers are widely seen by stipulating metadata standards.”

Prosser dismissed concerns that that the initiative was unworkable retrospectively and that the BY licence was not suitable for all disciplines.

“It is true that it would be very difficult to apply a licence retrospectively, and we are not asking journals to do that,” he said. “We do want retrospective metadata for all published articles and that is technically possible.

“It is because we do not want to get to the stage where users and reusers of articles in journals have to contact all authors individually that we want there to be clarity in the licensing. For the journals of something like two-thirds of the publishers listed in the DOAJ there are no obvious licensing terms available. It is this lack of clarity that we are trying to address.”

SPARC has already awarded Seal to some DOAJ journals.

“Some will immediately be eligible, some will not want to change to make themselves eligible, and with others we will work with them to help them meet the criteria,” said Prosser. “In the next few months we should have an idea of how many meet the criteria. In the meantime, you will see the number of journals in the DOAJ with the Seal grow on a weekly basis.”

PS:  For background, see my post and supportive comments on the launch of the program in April 2008.