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On February 12, eight library associations (AALL, ALA, AAHSL, ACRL, ARL, GWLA, SPARC, SLA) sent a letter of thanks for the NIH public access policy to Sen. Tom Harkin (D-IA), chairman of the Senate Appropriations subcommittee for health & human services, and Rep. David Obey (D-WI), chairman of the House Appropriations committee. On Feb. 14, the organizations sent the letter with some changes to Health and Human Services Secretary Michael Leavitt. Excerpt from the latter:
Donna Howell, Online Journals Gain Readers, Respect, Investor's Business Daily, February 14, 2008.
Presentations from the VALA (formerly the Victorian Association for Library Automation) 2008 conference (February 5-7, Melbourne, Australia) are now available online. (Thanks to Charles Bailey.) Many are OA-related. Session topics include: Library 2.0, Repositories, Publishing, and Intellectual Property.
A new mailing list is available on commons research. (Thanks to Charles Bailey.) Description:
Discussion among researchers studying the commons, for example the use and impact of peer production methods and communities and open licensing. We welcome researchers studying the commons in a wide range of disciplines, including anthropology, economics, law, media studies, sociology...
Peter Murray-Rust, APSR 2008, A Scientist and the Web, February 14, 2008. Notes from the Open Access Collections workshop by the Australian Partnership for Sustainable Repositories (February 14, Brisbane).
Kenneth J. Hirsh, more on e repositories, Teknoids, February 14, 2008.
Michael Cross, Australia set to give the go-ahead for Creative Commons licensing, The Guardian, February 14, 2008. Excerpt:
(Disclosure: I'm a member of the new council.)
Romania's Horia Hulubei National Institute of Physics and Nuclear Engineering has joined CERN's SCOAP3 project.
Michael Carroll, Open Access - NIH, Carrollogos, February 13, 2008.
The presentations from Open Access Collections: Workshop on the challenges and opportunities of open access publishing for Australian universities (Brisbane, February 14, 2008) are now online. (Thanks to Colin Steele.)
On February 12, Online Computer Library Center announced it had received a $145,000 grant from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation for projects related to data sharing. The funds will be used "to build an information architecture and model behaviors that museums can use to routinely exchange data" using the Open Archives Initiative Protocol for Metadata Harvesting. (Thanks to ResourceShelf.)
Heidi Ledford, Harvard adopts open-access policy, Nature News, February 15, 2008. Here are some new details:
Europeana, a demo of the European digital library, opened to the public on February 11, 2008. From the announcement:
Ireland's Health Research Board has issued a Position Statement in Support of Open and Unrestricted Access to Published Research (Open Access). (Thanks to Robin Adams via David Prosser.) The HTML edition, above, is undated, but the PDF edition includes the date, January 25, 2008. Excerpt:
Comment. The HRB policy puts institutional repositories on a par with PMC, and it asks authors who cannot persuade a publisher to let them comply with the HRB policy to find another publisher. That's good. But there's no blinking away the fact that HRB is merely encouraging OA archiving, despite the fact that the NIH has documented the failure of mere encouragement and the HRB's own models (Wellcome Trust and Medical Research Council) go beyond mere encouragement to explicit mandates. I hope the HRB can strengthen the policy and make it mandatory at the first policy review. If it wants to respect publisher embargoes (#4 above), then it can require "dark" deposit immediately upon acceptance for publication, release OA metadata immediately, and release OA full-text only after the embargo has run --what I call the dual deposit/release strategy and Stevan Harnad calls immediate deposit / optional access.
David Glenn, Some Anthropologists Continue the Slow Push Toward Open Access, Chronicle of Higher Education, February 15, 2008 (accessible only to subscribers). Excerpt:
From an interview last month with founder Tom Smith:
Also see the FAQ.
Here are some more comments on the new Harvard OA mandate.
From Gavin Baker at the Journal of Insignificant Inquiry:
From Alexandre Enkerli at Disparate:
From Adrian Ho at Transforming Scholarly Communication:
From Andis Kaulins at LawPundit:
From Dorothea Salo at Caveat Lector:
Charles Edward Smith, A Few Thoughts on the Google Books Library Project, EDUCAUSE Quarterly, January-March 2008.
Today's issue of Library Journal Academic Newswire has three stories on the new Harvard OA mandate.
2. After Harvard, the Open Access Deluge? Excerpt:
Stevan Harnad, Weaken the Harvard OA Mandate To Strengthen It, Open Access Archivangelism, February 14, 2008. This excerpt is based on an email which slightly updates the blog post:
PS: For my comments on many (but not all) of these issues, see my post from February 12.
Here are some more comments on the new Harvard OA mandate.
From Matthew Cockerill (BMC publisher) at the BMC blog:
From the editorial board of BCHeights, the independent student newspaper of Boston College:
From the editorial board of Washington Square News, a student newspaper for New York University:
From Punya Mishra on Punya Mishra's web:
From T. Scott Plutchak at T. Scott:
From Gregory Qualtheim at inappropriate response:
From Robert VerBruggen at National Review Online:
Happy birthday to the Budapest Open Access Initiative, which is six years old today.
The BOAI "statement of principle,...statement of strategy, and...statement of commitment" was released on February 14, 2002. It wasn't the first initiative in the OA movement, but it was the first to offer a public definition of OA, the first to use the term "open access", the first to call for OA journals and OA archives as complementary strategies, the first to call for OA in all disciplines and countries, and the first to be accompanied by significant funding. I wouldn't say that it launched the OA movement, which was already under way, but that it was one of the first significant steps to catalyze, energize, and unify the OA movement.
(Disclosure: I helped draft the BOAI and I receive support from the Open Society Institute, which funded the BOAI. I hope my high opinion of the BOAI is justified, not biased. But I gladly make this disclosure and invite you to decide for yourselves. If you think I'm biased, please write your own birthday greeting!)
For some quick reviews of the progress of OA since the launch of the BOAI, see Open Access in 2007, Open Access in 2006, Open Access in 2005, Open Access in 2004, and Open Access in 2003. I didn't write an OA review for 2002, but I did review OA archiving activity in the first six months after the BOAI launched. And for the details missing from these reviews, there's always my timeline.
Happy birthday, BOAI, and many happy returns. To all who have worked for OA worldwide, Happy Valentines Day.
Peter wrote earlier about the policy adopted by Harvard's Faculty of Arts and Sciences. Here are some reactions.
Stevan Harnad, Harvard Adopts 38th Green Open Access Self-Archiving Mandate, Open Access Archivangelism blog, February 13, 2008.
Absent any new information (or amendments) to the contrary, Harvard University's Faculty of Arts and Sciences on Tuesday February 12 adopted the world's 38th Green Open Access Self-Archiving Mandate -- the 16th of the institutional or departmental mandates.
Chris Armbruster, Harvard Open Access and the significant move of Copyright Retention, A2k mailing list, February 13, 2008.
Andy Guess, Harvard Opts In to 'Opt Out' Plan, Inside Higher Ed, February 13, 2008. (Thanks to George Porter.)
Gavin Baker, Harvard faculty say yes to OA, Journal of Insignificant Inquiry, February 13, 2008.
David Weinberger, Harvard to vote on open access proposal, Joho the Blog, February 12th, 2008. (Thanks to Mathew Ingram.) Weinberger is a fellow at Harvard Law's Berkman Center (which is not part of the Faculty of Arts and Sciences).
... I like this idea a lot. I only wish it went further. Faculty members will be allowed to opt-out of the requirement pretty much at will (as I understand it), which could vitiate it: If a prestigious journal accepts an article but only if itís not been made openly available, faculty members may well decide itís more important for their careers to be published in the journal. ...
Robert Mitchell, Harvard to collect, disseminate scholarly articles for faculty, Harvard University Gazette, February 13, 2008. (Thanks to George Porter.)
Paola De Castro, et al., Educating authors of biomedical publications to the benefits of Open Access journals, European Association for Health Information & Libraries Workshop 2007, September 12-15, 2007; deposited on February 10, 2008. Abstract:
Bora Zivkovic, Openness is Essential Freedom: Interview with Vedran Vucic, A Blog Around the Clock, February 9, 2008. Vucic is president of the board of GNULinux Centar in Belgrade.
Arunn Narasimhan, Open Access Publishing Podcast, Unruled Notebook blog, February 10, 2008. A 17-minute audio recording of comments on OA publishing, with transcript. Excerpt:
Jim Till, Assessing health services research journals, Be openly accessible or be obscure blog, February 11, 2008. Contains a discussion of journals in the field of health services research, especially from a Canadian perspective, including ranking (by SCImago, Eigenfactor, etc.), cost-effectiveness, self-archiving policy, and processing fees for OA. Excerpt:
Jos van Helvoort, Student publishing as an assessment tool for assignments and research papers, Open Students blog, February 13, 2008.
Sweden's Nordiska Afrikainstitutet or Nordic Africa Institute publishes over 600 books in dual (OA and non-OA) editions on African politics, economics, social issues and modern history. It recently announced six new titles and a new series on Policy Notes. (Thanks to Jan Szczepanski.)
David J. Solomon, Developing Open Access Journals: A Practical Guide, Chandos Publishing, 2008. From the author's note on the web site:
PS: Congratulations, David!
Iryna Kuchma, Open Access, Equity, and Strong Economy in Developing and Transition Countries: Policy Perspective, Serials Review, February 12, 2008. (Thanks to Stevan Harnad.) Only this abstract is free online, at least so far:
PS: For background, see my previous posts on OA policy in Ukraine.
Update. There is now an OA edition of this article.
PS: Comments are due by February 29, 2008, and may be sent by email to <email@example.com>.
Here's the full text of the motion submitted today to the Harvard Faculty of Arts and Sciences. (Thanks to George Porter.) We know it was approved. I assume that it was approved without change, but if I hear of any amendments I'll post them here.
I haven't seen the news from an official Harvard source yet, but the Chronicle of Higher Education confirms that the Harvard Faculty of Arts and Sciences adopted the OA policy defended by University Librarian Robert Darnton earlier today in the Harvard Crimson.
Comment. This is very good news. For my first thoughts, see my comments this morning on Darnton's op-ed.
I'm spending the night in a gate at the Philadelphia airport, too groggy to think and too uncomfortable to doze off. I won't be in a condition to compose second thoughts or digest other responses until I can sleep and catch up (probably Thursday).
Robert Darnton, The Case for Open Access, Harvard Crimson, February 12, 2008. Darnton is the Director of the Harvard University Library. Excerpt:
Update. Also see Patricia Cohen's story on the Harvard policy in today's New York Times.
Update. Also see Stevan Harnad's comments. Stevan argues for an immediate deposit / optional access policy rather than a permission mandate.
Update. Also see the article in Library Journal Academic Newswire.
1.8 Million Pages of U.S. Case Law Available Now for Developers, No Restrictions on Reuse, a press release from Public.Resource.Org and Creative Commons, February 11, 2008. Excerpt:
PS: For examples, see the new Legal Commons editions of the Federal Reporter 2d (vols. 178-999), Federal Reporter 3d (vols. 1-491), and US Reports (vols. 1-546). For background, see the first announcement of the PRO-Fastcase project back on November 14, 2007. Kudos to PRO, CC, and Fastcase for this invaluable service. Developers and users interested in bulk downloads should see the readme file.
In just a minute I'll be on the road for three days with few opportunities for blogging or email. By chance, Gavin will also be unavailable on Sunday and Monday. Except for odd moments here and there, we'll start to catch up on Wednesday.