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I'll be on the road Sunday-Tuesday with few opportunities for blogging or email. But Gavin will be on the job and I'll start to catch up myself on Wednesday.
The University of Zurich has seen slow growth in the rate of deposits to its institutional repository (ZORA, Zurich Open Repository and Archive), despite the OA mandate it adopted in July 2005. But now it's taking steps to boost the rate significantly. From Alexander Borbely's communication to Stevan Harnad:
If you recall, last month the Council of the European Union agreed that the EU "needs to create a 'fifth freedom' - the free movement of knowledge" (beyond the four freedoms guaranteed by the EU Treaty to assure the movement of goods, services, capital, and labor). But in elaborating what the "free movement of knowledge" meant, the ministers did not mention OA, even though the original documents behind the idea tied it explicitly to OA.
Yesterday, Ziga Turk, the Slovenian Minister for Growth, blogged some notes on the Spring European Council (Brussels, March 8-9, 2008). The prime ministers of the 27 EU member states apparently tied the new fifth freedom back to OA, concluding that it entailed:
Update (3/19/08). Also see the EU press release (March 17) on the meeting, containing a slightly different version of the same language:
Update (3/19/08). Also see Ziga Turk's new post on the language of the press release.
On March 13, Google released a new API for its Book Search service. The Google Book Search Book Viewability API facilitates library catalogs connecting to Google Book Search. A post by Bethany Poole at Inside Google Book Search points to some examples of the API in action. As with Book Search itself, books under copyright will display a brief excerpt, while OA full text is available for books in the public domain. (Thanks to Wired Campus.)
Physicists slam publishers over Wikipedia ban, New Scientist, March 16, 2008. (Thanks to Mathias Schindler.) Excerpt:
Update (3/19/08). Thanks to Mathias Schindler for this piece of the puzzle: the physicists in question are interested in posting their work to wikis other than Wikipedia, where there are no rules against original scholarship. For details, see Jonathan Oppenheim's explanation (undated, but last revised March 15).
Update (3/19/08). Also see the short article in Library Journal Academic Newswire.
John Dupuis, Interview with Bora Zivkovic, Crazy Uncle of the Science Blogging Community, Confessions of a Science Librarian, March 13, 2008. Zivkovic is the author of A Blog Around the Clock and Online Community Manager for PLoS ONE.
... When, how and why did you become a believer in Open Access publishing? In discussions of Open Access on science blogs, at meetings, between scientists and publishers, most people talk about Gold, while sometimes we librarians seem to prefer the Green approach to Open Access. Given the recent Harvard announcements about the Green approach, what's your current feeling about the balance between Green and Gold?Comment. This interview is a role-reversal from last month, when Zivkovic interviewed Dupuis.
Matt Blaze, USENIX to make all its conference proceedings freely available, Exhaustive Search, March 13, 2008. (Thanks to Fernando Pereira.) Blaze serves on the board of USENIX. Commenting on the society's move to OA:
USENIX has announced "open public access to all its conference proceedings" (undated). According to Matt Blaze (writing on March 13), this means that
... Effective immediately, all USENIX proceedings and papers will be freely available on the USENIX web site as soon as they are published. (Previously, most of the organization's proceedings required a member login for access for the first year after their publication.) ...The rationale for the decision, from the society's announcement:
... This significant decision will allow universal access to some of the most important technical research in advanced computing. In making this move USENIX is setting the standard for open access to information, an essential part of its mission. ...Certain papers from past conferences are currently available OA from the USENIX site.
Alan Boyle, New brain map on tap, Cosmic Log, March 13, 2008.
See also past OAN posts on the Allen Brain Atlas.
Library and Archives Canada has a notice dated March 12 proposing a collaboration with The Generations Network to digitize Canadian records of genealogical value. According to the proposal, the records (which have not yet been identified) would be provided OA from Library and Archives Canada. (Thanks to ResourceShelf.)
Peter Brantley, Homes for Good (Orphan) Books, Peter Brantley's thoughts and speculations, March 11, 2008. (Thanks to Adam Hodgkin.)
Jan Velterop, Onwards from open access, The Parachute, March 14, 2008. Excerpt:
Jonathan Eisen, The Fake Science News: Eisen Resigns in Disgrace Over Scandal, Tree of Life, March 14, 2008. Excerpt:
Umberto Guidoni (Rapporteur), Draft Report on the European Research Area: New Perspectives, European Parliament Committee on Industry, Research and Energy, October 22, 2007. Excerpt:
Update (3/15/08). The draft motion was revised and adopted on January 31, 2008. I even blogged the adopted text with comments at the time --something I didn't realize yesterday when I was only looking at the original version of the language. Thanks to David Prosser, Director of SPARC Europe, for sending me the revised text.
But instead of just pointing back to my January post, I'll re-post the adopted language in order to contrast it with the original, above. From the new text (p. 47):
Note how the new draft weakens the original: instead of endorsing open access, it endorses experiments and the importance of respecting IPR. The diluting amendment was proposed (p. 18) by Teresa Riera Madurell, Jorgo Chatzimarkakis, and Alejo Vidal-Quadras.
Agôn is a new French-language, peer-reviewed OA journal on the performing arts.
There's a good discussion thread on LibLicense in response to Heather Morrison's suggestion that librarians should take a journal's policy on author rights and OA into account, as one factor among others, when deciding whether to subscribe or renew.
Barbara Casassus, France launches Google books rival, theBookseller.com, March 12, 2008. (Thanks to Charles Bailey.)
Comment. The article doesn't make clear what's different about Gallica 2 vs. Gallica. I can't find an announcement on the Gallica site, and I can't reach the Ministry of Culture site, so I guess we'll find out on Friday.
See also past OAN posts on Gallica.
Update. After reviewing the relevant documents (1, 2, 3), I still can't tell what's new about Gallica 2 or what its relationship is with Gallica.
Update. It appears Gallica 2 is indeed the next version of Gallica, with the intention that the new version will permanently replace the old at the end of 2008. Gallica 2 will add new types of works (such as magazines and newspapers) as well as changes to the interface, including the ability to search full-text inside books. A description in French is here (thanks to Jean-Claude Guedon).
Jan Dawson, two roads to open access science information, 7/8 librarian, March 12, 2008.
... Kumiko Vezina, Electronic Resources Coordinator at Concordia University, was a guest lecturer on Open Access in our Science & Technical Information class this evening. Vezina has been performing research on open access science information in Quebec, which you can read about on page 8 of the Winter 2007 issue of Bibliofile. She administered a survey to science faculty in six educational institutions and was pleased with her response rate of 20% (anything above 13% is good!). Some results: more than half of the faculty surveyed were aware of OA, 27% of the faculty members had published in OA journals, 87% of faculty members didn’t know if there was an institutional repository in Quebec, 86% did not know if their own institution owned a repository, 83% would comply to deposit copies of articles in an oa archive if it was manditory at their institution. Conclusions: faculty are interested, but are lacking information. ...
Humana Press, an imprint of Springer, has announced two new OA journals:
Roger Cullman, Michael Geist on E-publishing and the Law, blogTO, March 12, 2008.
JISC has a podcast on Welsh Journals Online. The podcast, dated March 11, is an interview with project director Arwel Jones.
More information on the project is available from JISC or the National Library of Wales. The two pages disagree on the details, but the project will apparently digitize and provide OA to hundreds of thousands of pages of post-1900 Welsh publications, in Welsh and English.
The March issue of Information Research is now online. At least these articles are related to OA (plus reviews and conference announcements):
Last week I blogged the controversy surrounding the decision by Chemical Abstracts Service not to allow the proprietary CAS Registry Numbers to organize the growing body of chemical information on Wikipedia.
Yesterday CAS changed its mind. (Thanks to Mathias Schindler and Martin Walker.) From the new CAS statement:
From Antony Williams:
From Peter Murray-Rust:
Comment. Kudos to CAS for changing course and kudos to the open chemistry community for raising the issue and pressing for a solution.
Andrea Foster, U. of Iowa Writing Students Revolt Against a Plan They Say Would Give Away Their Work on the Web, Chronicle of Higher Education, March 13, 2008 (accessible only to subscribers).
Also see C. Max Magee, Thorny Technology: Open Access Causes Problems at the Iowa Writers Workshop, The Millions, March 13, 2008. Excerpt:
Update (3/14/08). Today's blogosphere is full of comments on the Iowa policy. Most criticize it. Some criticize it as applied to creative writing theses but support it for non-fiction works of scholarship, and some fail to draw this distinction. Some attribute dark motives to the university. Some repeat the embarrassing "embarrassment" argument. Some stick to the argument that OA may reduce the chances of future publication. As I said yesterday, I'm open to persuasion on the last point, and looking for evidence pro or con. Unfortunately, while many of the new blog posts repeat the dire prediction, none points to evidence.
Update (3/14/08). The University of Central Florida is another school that mandates OA for theses and dissertations. But it may allow a five-year delay before the OA edition is released, in contrast with the two-year delay allowed at Iowa. Melissa Patterson's article in the Central Florida Future (thanks to Gavin Baker) doesn't say whether the new embargo would only apply to creative writing ETDs or to all ETDs.
Update (3/19/08). I've been traveling and therefore am late to blog this important update. Iowa's interim provost, Lola Lopes, released a statement (March 17) explaining that UI has not adopted the controversial policy. Excerpt:
Also see Andrea Foster, U. of Iowa Reverses New Policy That Would Have Made Nearly All Theses Freely Available Online, Chronicle of Higher Education, March 18, 2008 (accessible only to subscribers). Excerpt:
Update (3/19/08). Just before I hit the road over the weekend, I had a very helpful email correspondence with Amy Charles, a 1995 graduate of the Workshop. Among other things she shed new light on what I called the "embarrassment argument". While some workshop participants don't want to distribute their theses because they are not proud of them, some have other reasons. From Amy's email (with her permission):
Update (4/11/08). Also see the advice of Karen Schneider, librarian and creative writer, written in May 2007, well before the Iowa controversy erupted.
On March 11, Scopus released TopCited, a free service which lists the most-cited recent articles in various disciplines, using the Scopus API. Users can view the top 20 articles from the past 3, 4, or 5 years in one of 26 subject areas, and view the authors' institutions on a Google Map. (Thanks to ResourceShelf.)
Update. Per Klaus Graf, all of the current top 20 papers (across all subjects, from the past 5 years) have OA versions online. Coincidence?
Oxford University has released its project plan for Scoping Digital Repository Services for Research Data Management, "to scope the requirements, including for the underlying infrastructure and interoperability, for digital repositories services to store, curate, disseminate and preserve research data generated at Oxford." The plan was last modified February 27. (Thanks to Charles Bailey.)
Comment. We previously posted about the project's blog.
MIT has released a 76 minute video of Hal Abelson, John Wilbanks, and Anna Gold speaking on Open Science and Scientific Publishing (November 13, 2007). (Thanks to Garrett Eastman.) From the blurb:
Rollins College is at least thinking about an OA mandate. After the Harvard Faculty of Arts and Sciences adopted its OA mandate, the Executive Committee of the Rollins Arts and Sciences Faculty asked Jonathan Miller, Director of the Library, to write a memo on the issues raised by the decision. Miller has posted the memo to his blog.
Comment. Kudos to Rollins for asking and kudos to Miller for posting. I imagine that many colleges and universities took a similar step after the Harvard vote (one month ago today), and I'd be glad to publicize all those that are willing to go public.
Signs that social scholarship is catching on in the humanities, Digital Scholarship in the Humanities, March 11, 2008. Excerpt:
The World Intellectual Property Organization's Standing Committee on Copyright and Related Rights is meeting in Geneva on March 10-12. Included on the agenda was a discussion of exemptions and limitations to copyright.
The basis for discussions on the item was a proposal by Brazil, Chile, Nicaragua and Uruguay. According to the latest notes by Knowledge Ecology International, some aspects of the proposal were approved:
See also coverage at Intellectual Property Watch (1 and 2), blog notes by Sherwin Siy of Public Knowledge (1 and 2) and Manon Ress of KEI, and observer statements by KEI, European Digital Rights, Electronic Information for Libraries, Electronic Frontier Foundation, Public Knowledge, and Library Copyright Alliance. See especially the EFF and LCA statements for a discussion of potential impacts for access to knowledge.
KEI's James Love reports that a group of WIPO members, led by the EU countries, seeks to load up the agenda at future Copyright Committee meetings, in an apparent effort to distract focus from progress on limitations & exemptions.
For background on the context of limitations & exemptions and their relationship with access to knowledge, see my OAN post from March 8.
Update. A group of developed countries, led by the United States, has announced its opposition to any norm-setting activities for limitations & exemptions, according to James Love and Manon Ress of KEI.
Update. See also the statement by Consumers International and a final update by James Love.
Update. See also the closing summary from Intellectual Property Watch.
Update. See also the statement by the International Federation of Library Associations.
Update. See also the coverage by SUNS (1 and 2).
Update. See also the coverage by Robin Gross of IP Justice. Update. See also the official conclusions of the session and the background on the issue by Thiru Balasubramaniam of KEI.
On March 11, Create Change posted an interview with Carolyn Kenny in its Cases in Point section. Kenny is a professor of human development and indigenous studies at Antioch University and co-editor-in-chief of the OA journal Voices: A World Forum for Music Therapy.
Rebecca Kahn, World Book Day and The Commons, iCommons.org, March 10, 2008.
In celebration of World Book Day, on April 23 2008, iCommons asked members of the community to list some of their favourite Open Literacy projects. From computers that talk back, to teaching materials, the following projects are an excellent example of the useful, tangible, and exciting projects that are making the magic of reading accessible to people all over the world. ...
Susan D'Antoni, Open Educational Resources: The Way Forward, released March 7, 2008. The report is the result of online discussions facilitated by UNESCO's International Institute of Educational Planning to identify priorities for the OER community.
... The academic community has always shared knowledge, and the scientific method and peer review processes are based upon this approach. However, the availability of content in digital format facilitates significantly its sharing and the ease of adaptation, localization and translation, should it have an open license. It means that educational materials can be made widely available. ...
Carol Parker, Institutional Repositories and the Principle of Open Access: Changing the Way We Think About Legal Scholarship, New Mexico Law Review, Summer 2007.
Update. Also see Stevan Harnad's comment:
The NIH is hosting an Open meeting on public access (Bethesda, March 20, 2008). The purpose of the meeting is to air public comments on the new NIH OA policy. The agency is soliciting public comments in advance of the meeting, and about 50 commenters will be given five minutes each to present their comments to the meeting (total: four hours).
Comment. This meeting is one NIH response to publisher complaints that the new policy is based on insufficient public consultation. (See my latest response to that complaint.) Publishers are sure to send in their comments, and it's important for friends of OA to do the same. In case it helps compose your comment, see my February newsletter article on the new policy. NB: the deadline for comments is March 17, 2008, at 5:00 pm EST. Spread the word.
STM/PSP/ALPSP Statement on journal publishing agreements and copyright agreement “addenda”, a new statement from STM, PSP, and ALPSP, March 2008. Excerpt:
Steven Harnad, Open Access Koans, Mantras and Mandates, Open Access Archivangelism, March 9, 2008.
Harnad frequently makes the claim that institutional repositories are the optimal point of deposit for self-archiving. Here, he defends this claim in response to criticism by Andy Powell.
... AP: most [IRs] remain largely unfilled and our only response is to say that funding bodies and institutions need to force researchers to deposit when they clearly don't want to of their own free will. We haven't (yet) succeeded in building services that researchers find compelling to use.We haven't (yet) succeeded in persuading researchers to publish of their own free will: So instead of waiting for researchers to wait to find compelling reasons to publish of their own free will, we audit and reward their research performance according to whether and what they publish ("publish or perish").
Christopher Kelty, “Now you have two problems…”: On mandating Open Access, Open Access Anthropology, March 9, 2008.
An archived version of the March 7 Webcast on Institutional Compliance with the NIH Public Access Policy: Ensuring Deposit Rights, by the Association of Research Libraries and the National Association of State Universities and Land-Grant Colleges, was made available today.
Richard Poynder, Open University studies open access to research, ComputerWeekly, March 10, 2008. Excerpt:
Thought Leader Meeting on Institutional Repositories Proposes Common Deposit Mechanism Tool, NISO Newsline, March 2008. Excerpt:
MIT, Elsevier Offer Free Content From More Than 2,000 Journals, a press release from MIT, March 7, 2008. Excerpt:
Update. Also see Jeffrey Young's story in the Chronicle of Higher Education, March 10, 2008. Excerpt:
Update. I can now clarify one point raised in my original comment above. The MIT-Elsevier contract does not waive or limit the fair-use rights of MIT faculty. According to Steve Carson, External Relations Director for MIT's Open Courseware project (quoted with permission),
Ellen Finnie Duranceau, Following Removal of DRM, MIT Resubscribes to SAE Database, MIT Libraries News, March 4, 2008.
See also the comments at Boing Boing, and past OAN posts on this topic.
Update. See also the story from Library Journal Academic Newswire.
Chris Rusbridge, Data, repositories and Google, Digital Curation Blog, March 7, 2008.
... So: in the first place, Google et al are unlikely to index data, particularly unusual data types. And in the second place, repositories encourage metadata, which does get indexed. So from this point of view at least, a repository may provide better exposure for your data (and hence more data re-use) than simply making the files web-accessible.
Heather Morrison, American Society of Civil Engineers and Open Access, The Imaginary Journal of Poetic Economics, March 8, 2008. Abstract:
This post explores the publishing policies of the American Society of Civil Engineers as one example of a society publisher that is obviously making some progress in the transition to open access. A strong feature of ASCE is clear information for Authors, including permission to post the author's open postprint within 90 days after publication. Weaknesses include the 90-day embargo and the requirement for authors to transfer copyright. Like many societies, ASCE has reasonable subscription fees; for example, Cold Regions Engineering is less than 10% of the average subscription price for an engineering journal. This suggests that ASCE, like many society publishers, would likely be very competitive in an open access environment