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P. R. van Emburg, Rationale for Advanced Generalism in Science, Advanced Generalism in Science, April 2008. A preprint. Excerpt:
I just mailed the May issue of the SPARC Open Access Newsletter. This issue tries to get specific about what we don't know about open access and poses a series of research questions in need of researchers. The round-up section briefly notes 125 OA developments from April.
Joel Thierstein, The Role of University Faculty in the OER World, Terra Incognita, May 1, 2008.
Kaitlin Mara and William New, WHO Members Inch Toward Consensus On IP, Innovation And Public Health, Intellectual Property Watch, May 2, 2008.
Comment. I wish I could offer more clarity on these points, and provide more information about discussions of other OA-related issues which have been included in the IGWG discussions to date. Unfortunately, the article refers to points which don't exist in the document as available from the WHO site, and the link provided in the article doesn't work.
See previous OAN coverage of the IGWG: 1, 2, 3.
Christian Zimmermann, RePEc in April 2008, The RePEc blog, May 2, 2008.
Teaching for a World of Increasing Access to Knowledge, presentation, University of British Columbia Teaching and Learning with Technology series, September 18, 2007 (posted April 30, 2008). Video of a discussion with John Willinsky and Brian Lamb. Also available in audio format (parts 1 and 2).
Second Annual Sparky Video Contest Spotlights Student Views on Information Sharing, press release, April 30, 2008.
Today the Irish Research Council for Science, Engineering and Technology (IRCSET) adopted its long-awaited OA mandate. From the policy:
Also see today's press release:
Comment. This may be the best funder mandate anywhere. All the strengths of the exemplary September 2007 draft policy have been preserved in this final version. Here's what I said about it at the time:
Xavier Bosch, An open challenge. Open access and the challenges for scientific publishing, EMBO Reports, 9, 5 (2008) pp. 404-408. (Thanks to Garrett Eastman.) Bosch is in the Department of Internal Medicine at Hospital Clinic of the University of Barcelona. This is a long article and my short excerpt cannot do justice to it; I encourage you to read the whole thing. However, I believe my comments address all of Bosch's major objections. Excerpt:
Marji McClure, Case Study: Open Access Yields Solid Growth for Hindawi, Information Today, May 1, 2008. Excerpt:
Copyright and Academic Research: Guidelines for Researchers and Publishers in the Humanities and Social Sciences, a joint report from the British Academy and the Publishers Association, April 2008. Excerpt:
Emma Hill and Mike Rossner, You wrote it; you own it! Journal of Cell Biology, April 30, 2008. An editorial. Excerpt:
Comment. What's remarkable about this new policy is that these are non-OA or subscription-based journals. They aren't the first subscription journals to remove price barriers after six months, but I believe they are the first to remove some permission barriers as well. Kudos to all involved in the decision, especially Mike Rossner, Executive Director of Rockefeller University Press.
Update. I said that the three RUP journals weren't the first subscription journals to remove price barriers after six months. But I just learned from the press that they were among the first, having adopted this policy in January 2001.
Charles W. Bailey, Jr., Scholarly Electronic Publishing Bibliography 2007 Annual Edition Published, DigitalKoans, April 29, 2008.
Jonathan Eisen has posted an email dated April 28 from Norka Ruiz Bravo, NIH Deputy Director for Extramural Research:
The Repository Support Project has released new briefing papers, apparently released April 29:
Eve Gray, A major boost for Open Access scholarly publishing in South Africa - the Academy of Science springs into action, Gray Area, April 30, 2008.
Antonella De Robbio, Non solo copyright: le vie dell'Open Access, presentation at the Università di Padova, January 24, 2008 (self-archived March 5, 2008). In Italian. Abstract in English:
This presentation deals with the issues of copyright and open access in the context of scholarly communication. Scholarly communication is the process of dissemination of the outcomes coming from research in universities, private organizations or institutions or research centres. These results are presented in the form of intellectual outputs. Each barrier to the dissemination of scientific research is a barrier to the access to knowledge. There is a clash between the aim of research and the access to its outcomes in journals where you are allowed to information only through the payment of subscription fees. Nowadays 11 publishers hold and manage the 75% of the publishing market and the 90% of the published articles can be accessed only through the payment of fees. As far as copyright is concerned, authors have to gain awareness that they don’t have to release copyright to the publisher because they could need it back again in case of publishing their works in an open access archive or using them for educational purpose. So, the issue of copyright is not an obstacle to open access, but authors should be aware of the importance to keep their rights preventing them to release copyright to publishers. This presentation offers an overview on the history and development of the Open Access movement at the national and European level (European Research Council’ Guidelines on Open Access). With regard to the Open Access Initiative, the paper gives a brief introduction to Padua@research, the University of Padua’s institutional open repository for the deposit of the intellectual research outputs where PhD thesis, as intellectual production, are deposited as well. At the national and international level, it is fundamental that authors knows how it is important to keep copyright for their own purposes and both the universities and the governments should create policies in order to protect and guarantee scientific copyright and the world of research.
JISC & SCONUL Library Management Systems Study: An Evaluation and horizon scan of the current library management systems and related systems landscape for UK higher education, March 2008. A new report from JISC and SCONUL. Excerpt:
Cheaper schoolbooks, editorial, The Jakarta Post, April 23, 2008.
See also previous coverage of the Indonesian plan.
Julio Santillán Aldana, Cinco años haciendo visible la Ciencia Iberoamericana, Biblios 30, January-March 2008. In Spanish. An interview with Eduardo Aguado and Rosario Rogel of the REDALYC (Red de Revistas Científicas de América Latina, el Caribe, España y Portugal) project. Read the abstract in Google's English.
The Winter 2007 issue of SCONUL Focus is now online. Here are the OA-related articles:
Isabel Bernal Martinez, La red global de eIFL.net: acceso al conocimiento a través de consorcios de bibliotecas sostenibles, Biblios 30, January-March 2008. In Spanish. English abstract:
eIFL.net (Electronic Information for Libraries, www.eifl.net) is a not for profit organisation that supports and advocates for the wide availability of electronic resources by library users in transitional and developing countries. In its 8 years of existence, eIFL.net has managed to build up a dynamic and sustainable network of more than 2000 libraries in 50 countries, has developed a varied agenda in favour of a wider availability of educational e-resources and enhanced skills base of eIFL.net library consortia. Its core activities are negotiating affordable subscriptions on a multi- country consortial basis, supporting national library consortia and maintaining a global knowledge sharing and capacity building network in related areas, such as open access publishing, intellectual property rights, open source software for libraries and the creation of institutional repositories of local content.
Antonella De Robbio and Imma Subirats Coll, Berlin5 Open Access: Desde la práctica al impacto. Consecuencias de la diseminación del conocimiento, Biblios 30, January-March 2008. A report from Berlin 5 (September 19-21, 2007, Padua, Italy). In Spanish.
Comment. This appears to be a Spanish translation of De Robbio's Italian-language article from Digitalia in December 2007. However, I don't read Italian so I can't say with certainty.
Comment. And now a few personal notes, even longer than the official announcement.
Comment. I applaud this project and called for something similar in a 2004 article. Excerpt:
Stevan Harnad, Optimal Institutional Open Access Mandate: SPARC/SCIENCE-COMMONS White Paper, Open Access Archivangelism, April 28, 2008.
From the body of the post:
Stevan Harnad, Optimizing the European Commission's Open Access Mandate, Open Access Archivangelism, April 28, 2008.
Jean-Claude Guedon, Accès libre, archives ouvertes et États-nations : les stratégies du possible, Ametist, Number 2, 2008. Read it in French or in Google's English.
Anne Eisenberg, Lawyers Open Their File Cabinets for a Web Resource, New York Times, April 27, 2008.
Elia Powers, Online Texts for Community College Students, Inside Higher Ed, April 29, 2008.
On April 27, RePEc (Research Papers in Economics) opened its RePEc Input Service:
This service provides the opportunity for institutions to participate in RePEc even if they are unable to provide metadata in the standard way, that is by opening a RePEc archive. This service is meant to be a last resort. It is limited to working paper series. This service only hosts the metadata about these working papers, not the full texts. Individuals should use MPRA.
Alex Golub, American Ethnography, the AAA, and the Public Domain, Open Access Anthropology, April 29, 2008.
Mark Cyzyk and Sayeed Choudhury, A Survey and Evaluation of Open-Source Electronic Publishing Systems, report commissioned by the Open Society Institute, April 28, 2008. View the wiki or PDF version. (Thanks to Public Knowledge Project.)
... [W]e chose four systems for further, detailed investigation. These four systems were:
The term "open access" is now widely used in at least two senses. For some, "OA" literature is digital, online, and free of charge. It removes price barriers but not permission barriers. For others, "OA" literature is digital, online, free of charge, and free of unnecessary copyright and licensing restrictions. It removes both price barriers and permission barriers. It allows reuse rights which exceed fair use.
There are two good reasons why our central term became ambiguous. Most of our success stories deliver OA in the first sense, while the major public statements from Budapest, Bethesda, and Berlin (together, the BBB definition of OA) describe OA in the second sense.
As you know, Stevan Harnad and I have differed about which sense of the term to prefer --he favoring the first and I the second. What you may not know is that he and I agree on nearly all questions of substance and strategy, and that these differences were mostly about the label. While it may seem that we were at an impasse about the label, we have in fact agreed on a solution which may please everyone. At least it pleases us.
We have agreed to use the term "weak OA" for the removal of price barriers alone and "strong OA" for the removal of both price and permission barriers. To me, the new terms are a distinct improvement upon the previous state of ambiguity because they label one of those species weak and the other strong. To Stevan, the new terms are an improvement because they make clear that weak OA is still a kind of OA.
On this new terminology, the BBB definition describes one kind of strong OA. A typical funder or university mandate provides weak OA. Many OA journals provide strong OA, but many others provide weak OA.
Stevan and I agree that weak OA is a necessary but not sufficient condition of strong OA. We agree that weak OA is often attainable in circumstances when strong OA is not attainable. We agree that weak OA should not be delayed until we can achieve strong OA. We agree that strong OA is a desirable goal above and beyond weak OA. We agree that the desirability of strong OA is a reason to keep working after attaining weak OA, but not a reason to disparage the difficulties or the significance of weak OA. We agree that the BBB definition of OA does not need to be revised.
We agree that there is more than one kind of permission barrier to remove, and therefore that there is more than one kind or degree of strong OA.
We agree that the green/gold distinction refers to venues (repositories and journals), not rights. Green OA can be strong or weak, but is usually weak. Gold OA can be strong or weak, but is also usually weak.
I've often wanted short, clear terms for what I'm now going to call weak and strong OA. But I also wanted a third term. In my blog and newsletter I often need a term which means "weak or strong OA, we don't know which yet". For example, a press release may announce a new free online journal, digital library, or database, without making clear what kind of reuse rights it allows. Or a new journal will launch which makes its articles freely available but says nothing at all about its access policy. I will simply call them "OA". I'll specify that they are strong or weak OA only after I learn enough to do so.
Stevan and I agree in regretting the current, confusing ambiguity of the term, and we agree that the weak/strong terminology turns this ambiguity to advantage by attaching labels to the two most common uses in circulation. I find the new terms an especially promising solution because they dispel confusion without requiring us to buck the tide of usage, which would be futile, or revise the BBB definition, which would be undesirable.
Postscript. Stevan and I were going to write up separate accounts of this agreement and blog them simultaneously. But when he saw my draft, he decided to blog it verbatim without writing his own. That's agreement!
Update. Stevan's version is now online.
Update. Some questions and comments prompt me to add this point of clarification. As I said in the original post, "there is more than one kind of permission barrier to remove, and therefore...there is more than one kind or degree of strong OA." BBB OA is definitely strong OA, but not all strong OA is BBB OA.
As soon as we move beyond the removal of price barriers to the removal of permission barriers, we enter the range of strong OA. Hence, an article with a CC-NC license is strong OA because it allows some copying and redistribution beyond fair use (even if it doesn't allow all copying and redistribution). My own preference is still for the CC-BY license, but we shouldn't speak as if CC-NC were not strong OA or as if there were just one kind of strong OA.
Update. Stevan and I now agree on one further point: we picked infelicitous terms ("weak" and "strong" OA) for describing this fundamental and widely-recognized distinction. We're not using them while we look for better ones.
Update (8/2/08). I've now made a personal and provisional decision to use "gratis/libre" in place of "weak/strong". For more detail, see my article in the August 2008 SOAN.
Antony Williams, Public Chemical Compound Databases, Current Opinion in Drug Discovery & Development, 11, 3 (2008) pp. 393-404. Not even an abstract is free online at the journal web site. However, Williams has posted the abstract on his blog:
Voluminous is an application for reading, organizing, and downloading public domain e-books. It offers federated searching for e-books, browsing by topic, customizable markup style of plain text, bookmarks where you stop reading, etc. Version 1.0 was released on April 18. (Thanks to Boing Boing.)
Voluminous is only available for Mac OS X and is not free/open source; however, see the comments at Boing Boing for similar applications on other platforms.
Comment. I sometimes find it challenging to explain topics in OA, since the goal is often to create opportunities for applications which don't yet exist. This is a good example of how openness enables unforeseen, build-upon innovation by third parties.
Virginia Commonwealth University Libraries have posted digitized editions Will Eisner's work on PS Magazine, the Preventive Maintenance Monthly. See the April 10 announcement by VCU. (Thanks to Boing Boing and Laurie Taylor.)
PS is a U.S. Army publication on preventive maintenance of military equipment. Eisner, a renowned comic artist, was artistic editor for PS Magazine from its inception in 1951 until 1972.
See also this commentary by Laurie Taylor:
... [The collection] lays an even stronger foundation for other [digitization] projects involving comics. PS is especially important because these early issues were well read, well loved, and well used. They’re excellent sources for any study of visual rhetoric, technical writing, literature, media studies, the military, American culture, and more. Will Eisner is the father of the modern graphic novel, popularizing the term and showing what it could be, and his work in all fields is so relevant and so important that it’s essential to have access to materials like PS. ...
The current issue of Foreign Policy contains a list of The Top 100 Public Intellectuals as chosen by the magazine. (Thanks to Open Left.)
Included in the list is Harold Varmus, who serves as chairman of the board of the OA journal publisher Public Library of Science.
The magazine is collecting votes from readers for a Top 20 list, selected from among the Top 100 and write-ins. Voting closes May 15.
Comment. I didn't immediately notice any other OA connections among the Top 100 list (other than Jeffrey Sachs, who recently helped launch an OA student journal). But there may have been others whose names I didn't recognize.
That Book Costs How Much?, editorial, New York Times, April 25, 2008. (Thanks to Nicole Allen.)
Jonathan Gray, Open Scholarly Communities on the Web, Open Knowledge Foundation Weblog, April 24, 2008. Blog notes from Open Scholarly Communities on the Web: Legal, Social and Economic Framework (April 21-22, 2008, Oxford, UK).
Michael Arrington, Encyclopedia Britannica Now Free For Bloggers, TechCrunch, April 18, 2008.
Desmond Elliott, et al., A Recommender System for the DSpace Open Repository Platform, HP technical report, April 8, 2008. Abstract:
We present Quambo, a recommender system add-on for the DSpace open source repository platform. We explain how Quambo generates content recommendations based upon a user selected set of examples, our approach to presenting content recommendations to the user, and our experiences applying the system to a repository of technical reports. We consider how Quambo could be combined with the peer-federated DSpace add-on to extend the item-space from which recommendations can be generated; a larger item-space could improve the diversity of the set from which to make recommendations. We also consider how Quambo could be extended to add collaboration opportunities to DSpace. Publication Info: Submitted to Open Repositories 2008, Southampton, UK, April 1-4, 2008
Elena Giglia and Marialaura Vignocchi, Open Access: Trends and Strategies after Berlin5, Library Hi Tech News 24(9/10), 2007. Abstract:
Purpose – The purpose of this paper is to review the papers presented at the international conference “Berlin5: from practice to impact. Consequences of knowledge dissemination”, 19-21 September 2007, Padua, Italy.
Martin Whitaker, You pay... and now they display, The Guardian, April 22, 2008.
... Nottingham was the first UK university to set up an institutional open-access repository, making its research available online. That was seven years ago, but since then open access has grown significantly in higher education. Nottingham's Sherpa Project has helped create academic repositories in a host of research-led universities and today there are 118.
SPARC and Science Commons have released a white paper, Open doors and open minds: What faculty authors can do to ensure open access to their work, April 2008. From the paper's overview:
From the summary in today's announcement:
Laura Dewis, Money makes the world go... open?, OpenCourseWare blog, April 23, 2008.
John Mueller, Retiring support for OAI-PMH in Sitemaps, Google Webmaster Central Blog, April 23, 2008. (Thanks to Paul Walk.)
When we originally launched Sitemaps, we included support for the Open Archives Initiative Protocol for Metadata Harvesting (OAI-PMH) 2.0 protocol, an interoperability framework based on metadata harvesting. In the meantime, however, we've found that the information we gain from our support of OAI-PMH is disproportional to the amount of resources required to support it. Fewer than 200 sites are using OAI-PMH for Google Sitemaps at the moment.See also the analysis and discussion at Paul Walk's blog:
Laura Smith, Developing nations get free journal access from Nature, Information World Review, April 23, 2008.
See also the press release from INASP and this page, which contains eligibility requirements, journals included, etc.
David J. Hardisty and David A. F. Haaga, Diffusion of Treatment Research: Does Open Access Matter?, preprint, Journal of Clinical Psychology 64(7), 2008. Abstract:
Advocates of the Open Access movement claim that removing access barriers will substantially increase the diffusion of academic research. If successful, this movement could play a role in efforts to increase utilization of psychotherapy research by mental health practitioners. In a pair of studies, mental health professionals were given either no citation, a normal citation, a linked citation, or a free access citation and were asked to find and read the cited article. After one week, participants read a vignette on the same topic as the article and gave recommendations for an intervention. In both studies, those given the free access citation were more likely to read the article, yet only in one study did free access increase the likelihood of making intervention recommendations consistent with the article.
Heather Morrison and Andrew Waller, Open Access for the Australian Medical Librarian, Health Inform (Spring 2008?). Abstract:
"An old tradition and a new technology have converged to make possible an unprecedented public good". Recent events are transforming the possibility of this unprecedented public good into a reality, with medical literature leading the way. The Directory of Open Access Journals lists close to 3,200 fully open access, peer-reviewed scholarly journals as of February 2008. More than 400 of the journals in DOAJ are in the health sciences. DOAJ is growing rapidly, adding more than 1.5 titles per calendar day. PubMedCentral (PMC) is the world’s largest open access archive, with well over a million items. An international network, PMC International, is envisioned, with copies of the whole archive around the world for preservation and security, as well as a local option for deposit. Watch for rapid growth of PMC as medical research funders, including the U.S. National Institutes of Health, Wellcome Trust, the U.K. Medical Research Council, and the Canadian Institutes of Health Research, among others, are requiring public or open access to the research they fund. There are implications, and leadership opportunities, for librarians in the open access environment.
M. Mitchell Waldrop, Science 2.0 -- Is Open Access Science the Future?, Scientific American, April 2008. An in-depth profile. Key concepts:
See also the pre-print of this article which Peter blogged in January.
The following journals were added to the Directory of Open Access Journals since April 22, most recent first:
Breitband released two podcasts on OA, both in German and both on April 25, 2008:
Comment. Kudos to MDPI. I'm pleased in part because CC-BY is the most open license short of assignment to the public domain, and in part because this move is independent of last week's launch of the SPARC Europe seal program, which encourages OA journals to adopt CC-BY licenses. The MDPI action arose from its own history of OA and a recent professional discussion of OA in chemistry. The two moves together suggest some convergent momentum for CC-BY licenses at OA journals.
Update. The MDPI editorial announcing the new policy, Changes Coming to MDPI Journals: Digital Object Identifier (DOI) and Creative Commons Attribution License (May 2, 2008), is now online.
Copyright & Education in Africa: Launch of the ACA2K Network, a press release from the ACA2K Network, April 25, 2008. Excerpt:
Maria H. Andersen at Muskegon Community College writes:
John Wilbanks, The Control Fallacy: Why OA Out-Innovates the Alternative, Nature Precedings, a preprint deposited April 25, 2008.
From the body of the paper: