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Brianna Laugher has blogged some notes on Foundations of Open: Technology and Digital Knowledge, Local 2020 Summit (Canberra, April 3, 2008). Excerpt:
Bloggers at Images for the Future have posted notes on several of the speakers and panels at Economies of the Commons: Strategies for Sustainable Access and Creative Reuse of Images and Sounds Online (Amsterdam, April 10-12, 2008). For example:
From the post on Uncommon Business Models:
If you recall, in October 2007 a group of funders and a group of publishers agreed that when the one of the funders pays one of the publishers a fee to make an article OA, then the publisher would remove important permission barriers, not just price barriers.
The funders who struck this deal were the UKPMC Funders Group, a group of eight UK funding agencies, some public and some private, each of which had already adopted an OA mandate. One member of the UKPMC Funders Group is the UK Medical Research Council (MRC).
So it should be no surprise that the MRC finally updated the web page on its OA mandate to include the following paragraph:
Still, it took me by surprise until I connected the revision to last October's agreement. Only the six month lag time is really unexpected. The MRC updated its OA policy page in February 2008, but didn't include this paragraph until the April update.
The MRC OA mandate was announced in June 2006 and took effect in October 2006.
Comment. I praised the agreement at the time and I stand by my assessment: "When a funder pays a publisher to make an article OA, the publisher should remove permission barriers as well as price barriers. But too often publishers have only removed price barriers. This agreement to remove a key set of permission barriers is an important step forward that will help users get their work done (both human and machine users), help funders get full value for their investment, and help all players live up to the full BBB definition of OA." Kudos to the MRC for finally reflecting the terms of the agreement on its own web site.
P. Balaram, Science Journals: Issues of Access, Current Science, April 10, 2008. An editorial. Excerpt:
Comments. Dr. Balaram is entirely right to argue that OA repositories "must be vigorously promoted in India". However, he would strengthen his argument if he would correct two mistaken assumptions.
University of Southampton announces institutional Open Access mandate, a press release from University of Southampton, April 11, 2008. Excerpt:
Comment. The Southampton ECS mandate from 2001 covered just one department, while today's press release announces a university-wide mandate, a much more significant step. Kudos to all involved at Southampton.
Stevan Harnad, On the Perils of Over-Reaching and Over-Defining, Open Access Archivangelism, April 10, 2008. Summary:
Heather Morrison thought up a very creative final assignment for her recently concluded course, Issues in Scholarly Communication and Publishing, at the University of British Columbia. Students not only wrote final papers, but they assembled them into a sample issue of an OA journal, using Open Journal Systems software. The sample journal and its inaugural (and final) issue are now online. Also see Heather's detailed post on the course blog for some background on how the class produced the journal.
PS: Lucky students, useful course, creative teacher!
Samir Chopra, My academic publishing experience: barriers to open access, Open Students, April 10, 2008. Excerpt:
Comment. I've had the pleasure to meet Samir, hear him present on his book, and read the sections most relevant to OA. I recommend it as a careful argument that free and open source software are vital to assure the integrity and reliability of scientific results in the field of computer science. I've also talked with him about the difficulties of arranging OA for monographs. For my comments on the OA issues, and links to the comments of others, see my post from August 2007, the month the book came out.
Dean Giustini is writing a two-part history of the OA movement in Canada. Part I came out today: Early Canadian Involvement to 1999. Excerpt:
Panayiota Polydoratou, Repository Interface for Overlaid Journal Archives: results from an online questionnaire survey, a Research Report from University College London, February 2008. (Thanks to Charles Bailey.)
Theses For All, Harvard Crimson, April 10, 2008. An editorial. Excerpt:
An Overview of Scientific, Technical, and Medical Publishing and the Value it Adds to Research Outputs, a new report from the International Association of Scientific, Technical & Medical Publishers (STM), April 2008.
The PDF is locked to prevent cutting and pasting (why?) and I don't have time to rekey excerpts. See esp. pp. 10-12, STM Publishers and the Goal of Open Access.
Seb Chan, Powerhouse Museum joins the Commons on Flickr - the what, why and how, fresh + new(er), April 8, 2008. (Thanks to Andy Powell.)
See also the posts at Flickr and Creative Commons, and the follow-up by Chan.
Comment. See my take at gavinbaker.com.
Nick Sheppard, Which repository: Learning Objects vs Open Access research, Repository News, April 9, 2008.
David Tebbutt, Two-way web pushes door to information wide open, Information World Review, April 7, 2008.
See also past OAN posts on the Open Library.
Andrew Waller and Heather Morrison, From the CLA Task Force on Open Access, Feliciter, April 2008.
This is a brief update on the work of the CLA Task Force on Open Access (OA) and the activity of the Canadian Library Association regarding Open Access.
Harold Varmus, chairman of the Public Library of Science board and former U.S. National Institutes of Health director, will be the guest on National Public Radio's Science Friday program tomorrow, speaking about the NIH public access policy. Varmus will be on-air at approximately 12:15 pm PT (3:15 pm ET). (Thanks to Liz Allen.)
Brian Owen, The Public Knowledge Project & Synergies, presentation delivered at University of British Columbia School of Library, Archival and Information Studies, March 26, 2008. Abstract:
The Public Knowledge Project (PKP), initiated by Dr. John Willinsky at the University of British Columbia, has developed the open source Open Journal Systems, used by about one thousand journals around the world to publish fully or partially open access journals. The number of journals using OJS is expected to increase to about 1,500 sometime in 2008. PKP is currently a partnership of UBC, Simon Fraser University Library and SFU Centre for Studies in Publishing, and Stanford University. PKP is a vibrant open source community, with a number of centres contributing code. Synergies is a partnership of universities across Canada to coordinate assisting Canadian journals to move to electronic publishing. Most Synergies partners are using OJS software.
UN Statistical Commission recognizes SDMX as preferred standard, Open Data Foundation blog, March 14, 2008.
See also the undated post at SDMX.
The University of Rochester Medical Center has a page of Publishers' Policies on the NIH Public Access Policy, which includes useful excerpts but no links back to the originals. Charles Bailey has just tracked down the links to each of the publisher policies.
Ben Bildstein, Table comparing Yahoo and Google's commons-based advanced search options, The House of Commons, April 8, 2008. Compares the search engine's capabilities to correctly identify CC-licensed content and features for filtering with it.
Recolecta is a new national portal to OA publications from Spain. From the DRIVER announcement, dated March 2008:
Michelle Perry, The old ways fade, Information World Review, April 7, 2008. This opinion piece doesn't mention OA. But how far do its insights carry over? Excerpt:
ULV Law Review is First Primary Law Journal in California to Adopt Open Access Principles, a press release from the University of La Verne College of Law, April 10, 2008. Excerpt:
Dorothea Salo, Reactions to the NIH policy, Caveat Lector, April 7, 2008.
Stian Haklev, Many great free textbooks from India, Random Stuff that Matters, April 6, 2008.
Comment. The Stirling policy is not only the first university-level OA mandate in the UK, but the second worldwide (after Harvard's) to be adopted by faculty rather than administrators. Moreover, it's detailed and strong. I'm especially glad to see that it requires deposit "immediately upon acceptance for publication" even if it permits delayed OA "until the item has been published, and until any publishers' or funders' embargo period has expired." Kudos to all involved.
Update. Historical note: The Stirling policy is the second university-level OA mandate in the UK. The first was from Southampton University, announced less than a week earlier (April 4) at Open Repositories 2008. The Southampton press release hasn't even been posted yet, but Stevan Harnad blogged the news on April 5 and I blogged his report on April 6. There were two earlier departmental OA mandates, one from Southampton's Department of Electronics and Computer Science in January 2003, and one from Brunel University's School of Information Systems Computing and Mathematics in December 2006. But Stirling's is clearly the first in Scotland. I should have remembered the earlier policies, since I blogged them all.
Update (4/10/08). Another historical note: The Stirling policy was adopted by the Stirling Academic Council on March 5, 2008. (Thanks to Michael White.) I'm sure I'll soon learn when the Southampton policy was adopted. But no matter how the priorities turn out, both policies deserve kudos and recognition as trailblazers. The fact they were the first two in the UK, and nearly simultaneous, shows the ripeness of the idea. There should be many more to come.
Update. Also see Olga Wojtas' article in THE for April 17, 2008.
Stevan Harnad, Don't Risk Getting Less By Needlessly Demanding More, Open Access Archivangelism, April 9, 2008.
Update (4/9/08). Also see Klaus Graf's comments, supporting the BBB definition and the conclusion that fair use is not enough.
Update (4/10/08). Also see Robert Kiley's message on the AmSci OA Forum, arguing that fair use is not enough. Kiley is the Head of e-Strategy at the Wellcome Trust's Wellcome Library. Also see Stevan Harnad's response to Kiley's message.
Stevan Harnad, Harold Varmus on the NIH Green Open Access Self-Archiving Mandate, Open Access Archivangelism, April 9, 2008.
Comment. I agree with Harold Varmus on all the ways in which the NIH policy could be improved. Pointing them out is not a "miscalculation of practical priorities" unless one wishes to delay the policy until it can be improved. But Varmus never suggested that. On the contrary, he celebrated it as a "landmark event". (See my excerpt from Varmus' editorial.) I also agree with Stevan Harnad's main point, at least if I can paraphrase it this way: we urgently need green OA and should not slow it down with demands that are politically more difficult to realize than green OA. However, these allied positions are compatible.
Also see the agreement guide (March 2008). Excerpt:
Update (4/14/08). Also see the comments of Kevin Smith.
Ivy Anderson, The Audacity of SCOAP3, ARL Bimonthly Report No. 257, April 2008. A preprint. Excerpt:
From the same issue, also see Julia Blixrud, Taking Action on SCOAP3. Excerpt:
Also see the today's press release from the ARL on this issue.
Aditi Balakrishna, Health Institute Begins Open-Access Grant Policy, Harvard Crimson, April 7, 2008. A general intro to the new OA policy at NIH, but with this news:
Reid Cornwell, Perspective on Open-Access Publishing: An Interview with Peter Suber, Innovate, April/May 2000. From the blurb:
Helena Francke, (Re)creations of scholarly journals : document and information architecture in open access journals, a doctoral dissertation for the Swedish School of Library and Information Science (Institutionen Biblioteks- och informationsvetenskap) at Göteborgs universitet, to be defended on April 28, 2008. (Good luck, Helena!)
PS: The text of the dissertation is apparently not yet online. I'm hoping that will come after the successful defense.
Abstract: This dissertation contributes to the research-based understanding of the scholarly journal as an artefact by studying the document structures of open access e-journals published by editors or small, independent publishers. The study focuses on the properties of the documents, taking its point of departure in a sociotechnical document perspective. This perspective is operationalised through a number of aspects from document architecture and information architecture: logical structures, layout structures, content structures, file structures, organization systems, navigation, and labelling. The data collection took the form of a survey of 265 journal web sites, randomly selected, and qualitative readings of four journal web sites. The results of the study are presented based on choice of format and modes of representation; visual design; markup; metadata and paratexts; and document organization and navigation. Two approaches were used to analyse the study findings. To begin with, the remediation strategies of the scholarly journals were discussed; how does this document type, which has a long tradition in the print medium, take possession of the web medium? The ties to the print journal are still strong, and a majority of the journals treat the web medium mainly as a way to distribute journal articles to be printed and read as hard-copies. Many journals do, however, take advantage of such features as hypertext and full-text searching, and some use the flexibility of the web medium to provide their users with alternative views. A small number of e-journals also refashion the print journal by including modes of representation not possible in print, such as audio or video, to illustrate and support the arguments made in their articles. Furthermore, interactive features are used to increase communication between different groups, but this type of communicative situation has not yet become an integral part of the scholarly journal. An electronic document is often viewed as more flexible, but also less constant, than documents on paper. This sometimes means that the e-only journal is seen as a less dependable source for scholarly publishing than print. A second analytical approach showed how the architectures are used to indicate aspects that can enhance a journal’s chances of being regarded as a credible source: a cognitive authority. Four strategies have been identified as used by the journals: they employ architectural features to draw on the cognitive authority of people or organizations associated with the journal, on the cognitive authority of other documents, and on the professional use of the conventions of print journals and web sites respectively. By considering how document properties are used to indicate cognitive authority potential, a better understanding of how texts function as cognitive authorities is achieved.
Heather Piwowar, Non-OA Full-text for text mining, Research Remix, April 7, 2008. Excerpt:
“Digital is not different” say 93% of UK researchers, a press release from the British Library, April 8, 2008. Excerpt:
Kris Ven and three co-authors, Stimulating information sharing, collaboration and learning in operations research with libOR, International Journal on Digital Libraries, April 2008. Only this abstract is free online, at least so far:
Harold Varmus, Progress toward Public Access to Science, PLoS Biology, April 8, 2008. An editorial. Varmus is the President of the Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center, co-founder of the Public Library of Science, former director of the NIH (1993-1999), and the 1989 Nobel laureate for physiology or medicine. Excerpt:
Bita M. Assad, Web Site Provides Theses Online, The Harvard Crimson, April 7, 2008.
As the final round of seniors turn in their theses, a fledgling open-access initiative is encouraging students to make their work accessible to the world.
Jim Till, More baseline data from PubMed, Be openly accessible or be obscure, April 7, 2008.
The new NIH policy about open access will begin to be implemented on April 7, 2008. So, April 6 is a good time to collect baseline data about the portion of the literature that’s a result of NIH-funded research. ...See the full post for additional data.
Luis Zaragoza, Brevard Community College's book deal with Sen. Mike Haridopolos draws criticism, Orlando Sentinel, April 7, 2008.
If you want to read the new book by state Sen. Mike Haridopolos -- the one that Brevard Community College paid him more than $150,000 in public money to write -- don't count on finding it at the nearest Barnes & Noble.Comment. It doesn't strike me as terribly unusual that an author -- even of a book commissioned by a public educational institution -- might be concerned with "illegal copying" of an unpublished manuscript. But it seems unfortunate that neither the institution nor the author -- a public official and a former instructor at the college -- evince any concern with taxpayers' access to the book they paid for.
Declaration to Advance the Right of Access to Public Information Worldwide Released Today, press release, March 26, 2008. (Thanks to Free Government Information.)
Update. See also this comment by the Sunlight Foundation.
Milton Mueller, Info-communism? Ownership and freedom in the digital economy, First Monday, April 7, 2008.
Golnessa Galyani Moghaddam, Preserve Scientific Electronic Journals: A Study of Archiving Initiatives, The Electronic Library, 26, 1 (2008) pp. 83-96.
Comment. The author is aware that OA is a kind of access, not a kind of preservation, and has this to say (from the body of the paper):
I'm not sure I understand. If the claim is that many OA repositories, and to a lesser extent OA journals, deliberately include preservation in their mission, that's true. If the claim is that OA permits widespread duplication, resulting in incidental or inadvertent preservation (on the LOCKSS principle), that's true too. If the claim is that OA facilitates preservation by removing permission barriers that obstruct it (such as barriers blocking the migration of content to new formats and media to keep it readable as technology changes), that's true as well. But none of these is a new area of discussion. I'll add just for completeness that OA is compatible with every kind of digital preservation strategy, and that preservation is vitally important for most of the actual and perceived benefits of OA.
Chris Armbruster, A European Model for the Digital Publishing of Scientific Information? A preprint, self-archived March 18, 2008. Abstract:
This has been a long time coming. I'd say we've been waiting for this day since July 14, 2004, when the House Appropriations Committee adopted report language calling for an OA mandate at the NIH. If NIH had adopted the mandate that summer or fall, it would have been the world's first OA mandate from a public funding agency. By the time it finally issued its mandatory policy in January 2008, it was the 21st. However, it did have the distinction of being the first to be demanded by the national legislature rather than adopted by the agency on its own.
For some of the history, see my timeline of the major developments in SOAN for August 2007, my update in November 2007, my coverage in January 2008 of the bill adopted by Congress and signed by the President, and my coverage in February 2008 of the policy released by the NIH in January.
For investigators and institutions now focused on compliance, see the implementation guidelines and resources I collected last week for the April issue of SOAN.
It has been a long, tiring campaign, but a successful one, opposed every step of the way by an aggressive and well-funded publishing lobby. The policy could be stronger, friends of OA are still trying to improve it, publishers are still lobbying to weaken it and threatening legal action to delay or derail it, and the NIH is still collecting public comments on it.
But we have reached this plateau: implementation day for the world's first mandatory OA policy demanded by the national legislature, at the world's largest funder of scientific research. It's a day worth celebrating.
Antony Williams, An Invitation to Open Access Publishers to Develop a Deposition API with ChemSpider, ChemSpider Blog, April 3, 2008.
Kenneth Buetow, Heading for the BIG Time, The Scientist, April 2008.
... caBIG [Cancer Biomedical Informatics Grid] is a response to a desperate need. From my position as a senior cancer researcher at the [National Cancer Institute], groundbreaking observations and insights in biomedicine are accumulating at a dizzying rate. However, from the perspective of the approximately 1.4 million US patients who will hear their physicians say, "You have cancer," progress is unacceptably slow. Something needed to be done to expedite the transformation of scientific findings into clinical solutions. ... Biomedical researchers struggle to meaningfully integrate their findings. Cancer is an immensely complex disease and in order to get a sense of the big picture, scientists need to combine observations from genomics, proteomics, pathology, imaging, and clinical trials. There was, however, no systematic way to do this. Encouraged by the support of our community and spurred to the challenge by our advisory boards, we set out to put a new set of tools into the hands of scientists - tools that would allow them to manage and understand the tsunami of biomedical data becoming available. The caBIG was conceived in 2003 and born in the spring of 2004. It is indeed a big idea: to develop a state-of-the-art informatics platform that provides researchers all the capabilities they'd need to fight the "war on cancer." A large-scale, global concept for connectivity such as caBIG was unheard of in biomedicine in 2004 and is still foreign in most research domains today. ...See also the accompanying sidebars, A sampling of how you can use caBIG and caBIG in Action (free registration required).
Jean-Claude Bradley, Open Notebook Science: Implications for the Future of Libraries, a slide presentation at the University of British Columbia School of Library, Archival and Information Studies (SLAIS), April 2, 2008.
Claudia Koltzenburg, Digital objects as "transducers" in scientific web publishing. International Journal of Feminist Technoscience, May 9, 2007. A copy was self-archived April 4, 2008.
Robin Rice, Report back from Open Knowledge conference, LSE, 15 March 2008, DataShare Blog, April 2, 2008. Blog notes from Open Knowledge Conference (March 15, 2008, London).
Also see: Jonathan Gray, OKCon 2008 Documentation and Open Knowledge Local Groups!, Open Knowledge Foundation Weblog, April 2, 2008.
Christian Zimmermann, RePEc in March 2008, The RePEc blog, April 1, 2008. Highlights:
Mark Jordan, Increasing access to OA material through metadata aggregation, class presentation, April 2, 2008. Abstract:
Presents an overview of metadata aggregation, using the AlouetteCanada Portal and the Canadian Association of Research Libraries (CARL) Metadata Harvester as examples. Challenges of metadata aggregation are explored.
Tom Chance, Government responds to Green question on Ordnance Survey charges, Tom Chance's website, April 3, 2008.
See also the further questions by Beaumont on April 3, and the Government's response.
Stevan Harnad, Open Repositories 2008 Video and EurOpenScholar Links, Open Access Archivangelism, April 5, 2008. Excerpt:
Nancy Rodnan, Two Important Changes and a Reminder for Authors of ASBMB Publications: JBC, MCP and JLR, Journal of Biological Chemistry, April 11, 2008. An editorial. Excerpt:
Peter Murray-Rust, Can I Data- and Text-mine Pubmed Central?, A Scientist and the Web, April 5, 2008. Excerpt:
Also see his follow-up post, No-One May Data- Or Text-Mine Pubmed Central, April 6, 2008. Excerpt:
The European University Association (EUA) has released the latest set of Recommendations from the EUA Working Group on Open Access. The recommendations were adopted by the EUA Council at a meeting on March 26, 2008, at the University of Barcelona.
From the EUA's announcement and condensed version of the recommendations (April 4, 2008):
From the recommendations themselves:
In honor of new OA mandate at the NIH, which will take effect for most grantees on April 7, some of the Nature Network bloggers are discussing the idea of making next week OA week. (Thanks to Graham Steel.) The idea is simply for participating bloggers to blog about OA or the NIH policy at least once during the week.
I'll be blogging about OA and NIH policy all week (and all year...), so I'm already in. If you have a blog, join in. We can't do enough to educate our colleagues and the public about OA.
BTW, if you take part, please mention at some point that the NIH is collecting public comments on the policy until May 1. It would be a shame to generate a new wave of support for the policy and not have it show up when the NIH is evaluating responses. Publishers who oppose the policy are sure to submit their comments.