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On June 13, Public.Resource.Org announced that it had opened the JURIS database for public use. JURIS is a compilation of 2 million pages of U.S. federal case law, originally compiled by the Air Force (at taxpayer expense) and later took over by the Department of Justice, until it was deleted (in lieu of commercial services West and Lexis-Nexis). The sole surviving copy is held by the University of Pennsylvania and licensed under terms prohibiting redistribution. From PRO's announcement:
We have made the JURIS database available so that you may judge for yourself the importance of these files. ... There is a compelling public policy issue in the fact that the Department of Justice deleted 2 million pages of case law after establishing their for-pay contract with a commercial concern. Why did the government delete such a valuable asset that was created at taxpayer expense? Why would a copy not be kept just in case? Why does the government not have a digital copy of their own work product? These are questions of national concern and the public has a right to examine the evidence.See also the various past OAN stories about PRO's projects with federal case law.
Iryna Kuchma, Open Access Awareness Raising workshop in Georgia, EIFL, June 10, 2008.
See also our previous post on the conference.
Update. Also see Heather Morrison's comments on the STM statement. Excerpt:
The Dutch Universiteitsbibliotheken en de Koninklijke Bibliotheek (UKB) has joined the CERN SCOAP3 project. From yesterday's announcement:
Cornell Librarian Feels Vindicated After Verdict Over Digitized Article, Library Journal Academic Newswire, June 13, 2008. Excerpt:
As Comments Close on NIH Implementation, a Common Plea Emerges: Help Us, Library Journal Academic Newswire, June 13, 2008. Excerpt:
A beta version of the Czech Digital Mathematics Library was released on June 11. See also this story in the Prague Daily Monitor from June 11. From the project's home page:
The EThOSnet Project released an update to its EThOS toolkit on June 6. (Thanks to Charles Bailey.)
See also previous OAN coverage of the earlier version of the toolkit.
Update (7/1/08). Also see JISC's press release encouraging universities to familiarize themselves with the toolkit.
Repository case studies at the Gregynog Colloquium 2008, Repositories Support Project, apparently dated June 9, 2008.
The Journal of Cutaneous and Aesthetic Surgery is a new, peer-reviewed OA journal published by the Association of Cutaneous Surgeons of India and Medknow. There are no article processing charges. The journal replaces the association's previous official journal, the Indian Journal of Dermatosurgery. The journal's contents are available under a license similar to the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial license. The inaugural issue is now online.
The following journals were added to the Directory of Open Access Journals June 2-9, most recent first:
Public Knowledge Project announced on June 11 that Athabasca University Press is partnering with PKP's effort to develop Open Monograph Press, an electronic publishing platform for monographs. Athabasca UP will contribute its experience with scholarly publishing as well as developer time.
PKP is also seeking additional partners to contribute developer time, feedback, funding, or testing. Interested collaborators should join the new OMP section of the PKP Support Forum.
Comment. See our earlier post on OMP.
An alliance of German research organizations agreed on June 11 to launch a digital information initiative, which includes support for green OA, gold OA, and open data. Read its June 12 announcement, Wissenschaftsorganisationen starten Schwerpunktinitiative zur "Digitalen Information" in German or in Google's English. (Thanks to the Informationsplattform Open Access.)
The OA projects within the larger initiative will include new institutional and disciplinary repositories, the development of business models and financing for OA journals, pilot projects to redirect subscription funds toward the costs of OA publication, support for preservation and access to research data, and reform of German copyright law to support OA. The announcement doesn't mention funder or university policies to encourage or require OA archiving.
The alliance calls itself the Allianz der deutschen Wissenschaftsorganisationen, and doesn't seem to have a web site yet. It includes includes Alexander von Humboldt Foundation, the Deutsche Akademische Austauschdienst (DAAD, German Academic Exchange Service), the Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (DFG, German Research Foundation), the Fraunhofer Society, the Helmholtz-Gemeinschaft Deutscher Forschungszentren (Helmholtz Association of German Research Centers), the Hochschulrektorenkonferenz (HRK, German Rectors Conference), the Leibniz Society, the Max Planck Society, and the Wissenschaftsrat (WR, German Council of Science and Humanities).
Today is the last day to comment on the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's Partner Blog for the National Dialogue on Access to Environmental Information, which opened this week. The comments will be summarized for a report on the National Dialogue site. (Thanks to OMB Watch.)
You can also leave comments on the discussion board or via email, supposedly through the end of June. Comment. See our earlier post about the effort.
Christian Zimmermann, RePEc in May 2008, The RePEc blog, June 4, 2008.
Manuela Palafox and Antonio Moreno, Encuesta sobre publicación científica y auto-archivo: Resumen de los resultados de la encuesta de opinión, realizada en la Universidad Complutense de Madrid, working paper, November 14, 2007. (Thanks to Carolina De Volder.) In Spanish. Translated excerpt:
During the months of April and May 2007, the library of the Universidad Complutense de Madrid posted on its Web site a survey directed at the university's instructors and researchers. The purpose of this survey was to learn the experiences and attitudes of instruction and research staff in relation to the OA movement, to learn their habits regarding preservation and diffusion in digital format of their articles and other works, and their preferences for self-archiving in institutional vs. disciplinary repositories. ...Comment. This is a bit old, but better late than never. Any mistakes in translation are mine.
Create Change has released a set of 4 bookmarks promoting OA. Each highlights comments from a researcher in a different field, drawn from full-length interviews published on the Create Change site. The bookmarks can be downloaded for printing in DOC or PDF format. Libraries are invited to modify the bookmarks for their campus before printing.
On June 10, Kevin Smith blogged a sample letter, from a librarian to a publishing faculty member, on how to comply with the NIH policy.
Congratulations on the paper! The first step in complying with the NIH public access policy is to be sure you retained the right to deposit the article when you signed a publication agreement. ...
Encyclopaedia Britannica has announced it will offer limited features to permit some contributions from users.
See also reports from the Citizendium blog, Wired Campus, and Library Journal.
Comment. For background on Britannica's Web strategy, see our posts on its WebShare program to offer free access to bloggers: 1 and 2.
See also the recent Larousse decision to open, slightly, for user contributions.
A repository of university committee papers, JISC Information Environment Team, June 11, 2008.
Nick Gill, Knowledge for all, InfoChange, June 2008.
Updated with Comments:
Gary A. Olson, Certifying Online Research, Chronicle of Higher Education, June 6, 2008.
Comment. The author goes on to discuss the difficulty in assessing new electronic journals and unrefereed scholarly sites, and suggests methods for certifying unrefereed sites. N.B. This discussion is about online scholarship, not necessarily OA scholarship; but since most OA materials are primarily or entirely electronic, and many OA publications are young, they face many of the same challenges.
Update. Also see Cameron Neylon's notes on Andy's talk.
Update. Also see Andy's slides, Web 2.0 and repositories.
Richard Jones, ORE software libraries from Foresite, post to OAI-ORE mailing list, June 9, 2008. (Thanks to Charles Bailey.)
Comment. The clear implication is that the RePEC copies will be free or OA, but the announcement is not explicit on that point. This is the first time to my knowledge that a book publisher will routinely deposit its new publications in an OA repository or decentralized repository network. The announcement says nothing about publications outside economics and nothing about depositing new publications in the Potsdam IR.
Three Sequencing Companies Join 1000 Genomes Project, press release by the National Human Genome Research Institute, June 11, 2008.
Leaders of the 1000 Genomes Project announced today that three firms that have pioneered development of new sequencing technologies have joined the international effort to build the most detailed map to date of human genetic variation as a tool for medical research. The new participants are: 454 Life Sciences, a Roche company, Branford, Conn.; Applied Biosystems, an Applera Corp. business, Foster City, Calif.; and Illumina Inc., San Diego.Comment. The project's home page says that "data from the 1000 Genomes Project will be made swiftly available to the worldwide scientific community through freely accessible public databases". Is there a formal document outlining the project's "open access policies" referenced in the press release?
Charles Bailey, On ALA, CLA, and Open Access, Digital Koans, June 11, 2008. Excerpt:
PS: For background, see Charles' previous report on OA for ALA publications (July 2006). In my comment at the time, I pointed out some of the ALA's public statements in support of OA: "(1) the ALA Washington office has a page on OA, (2) the ALA Council adopted a resolution in support of FRPAA at its June 2006 annual meeting, and (3) the ALA has signed on to several public statements in support of OA, most recently a July 12 letter in support of FRPAA and a May 31 letter in support of the EC report on OA."
Update. Inspired by Charles' detective work, Klaus Graf investigated the five leading library journals in Germany. He found that two are TA and three have moderate embargoes. Read his post in German or Google's English.
Update. Charles has replied to my comment and makes the good point (which I intended myself but failed to make explicit) that the ALA's public statements on OA don't rise to the level of the CLA statement. He goes further:
Update. Also inspired by Charles' investigations, Gavin Baker looked into the state chapters of the ALA. Excerpt:
Sweden's Open Access Information project has created an OAScience channel at YouTube. The channel currently contains 12 short interviews, in Swedish and English, made at the the Fourth Nordic Conference on Scholarly Communication (Lund, April 21-23, 2008). The project is sponsored by OpenAccess.se and six Swedish universities.
Linda Sohlberg of Växjö University is behind the camera, and Helena Stjernberg of Lund University is in front, conducting the interviews.
The videos are part of the project's campaign to build interest in a series of six OA seminars to be held in different parts of the country during 2008-2009.
Richard Poynder, Open Access: Doing the numbers, Open and Shut? June 11, 2008. Excerpt:
Update. Good point by Glyn Moody:
I heartily agree. Because I believe OA publishing costs less than TA publishing, I haven't made the point recently. But here's how I put it in a 2002 article: "If [the] benefits [of OA] were expensive to produce, they would nevertheless be worth paying for...."
Comment. It takes a second to see what's happening here. The book isn't just popular or in demand. It's a best-seller. The TA edition is selling and it's selling well. The OA edition didn't block those sales. By making the book more widely known, it very likely gave the sales a positive boost.
Thanks to Gavin Baker for the alert and for this comment:
Update. Also see this Tasha Robinson's interview with Doctorow for A.V. Club, June 11, 2008. Excerpt:
Last month Heather Morrison gave us a preview of a new OA position statement from the Canadian Library Association (CLA). Now the statement itself is online: Position Statement on Open Access for Canadian Libraries. (Thanks, again, to Heather Morrison.) Here?s the statement in full:
Comment. I'm glad to repeat my comment on the preview from last month. Kudos to the CLA for this enlightened statement. Many organizations have called on their governments to mandate OA for publicly-funded research, but the CLA is first I've seen to regard embargo periods as a temporary compromise, justified only to help publishers adapt during a transition period.
Harvesting usage data? JISC Information Environment Team, June 9, 2008. Excerpt:
Update. Also see Gavin Baker's thoughts on solutions to this problem, in a post on the CC-Community list.
Francis Collins, National Human Genome Research Institute director and leader of the Human Genome Project, announced on May 28 he would resign as director of the institute.
Collins is notable to OA advocates because the Human Genome Project was an early, prominent provider of OA to its data. Collins also defended the National Institutes of Health's OA PubChem database against criticisms from competing TA databases.
He didn't provide a specific reason for his resignation. Collins, 58, has said he'd like to write a book on personalized medicine, and left the door open to future jobs. Bob Grant, blogging at The Scientist, speculates that Collins could be in the consideration for NIH director should the position become available (i.e., if current director Elias Zerhouni resigns or if the U.S.'s new president decides to make a different appointment). Jonathan Eisen blogs,
... [M]y guess is he is being recruited by one of the presidential candidates to be some sort of advisor. ...For more background, see Collins' bio at Wikipedia or the NHGRI. See stories on the resignation from Bloomberg, Scientific American, the Associated Press, or the Washington Post. See also these past OAN stories mentioning Collins:
However, the access page suggests a future qualification:
From John Wilbanks' introductory article, Science Commons (p. 3):
From the JISC announcement:
The Community of Madrid, one of the 17 first-level political divisions of Spain, on May 20 adopted an OA policy. The policy appears to require OA to research at Madrid's universities and research agencies; especially, that research groups will "facilitate" the OA publication of their results in Digital.CSIC. (I haven't seen any English-language information on this policy, so this is based on my own rough translation; see my comment below.) See the posts (in Spanish) at Open Access and by José Carlos Cortizo Pérez for more information and the policy's text. See also this comment (in Spanish) by Pablo de Castro of Digital.CSIC on the response by Madrid's Universidad Rey Juan Carlos.
Comment. I apologize for the vagueness of this post. My Spanish, and my knowledge of the Spanish educational system, is weak. If I've made a mistake, I apologize; please contact me or Peter with any corrections or supplemental information. We'll post follow-ups as more information becomes available.
Update. See the brief (English) update on the policy from DRIVER.
David Wiley, Calculating Your EduCarbon Footprint, iterating toward openness, June 6, 2008.
... I’ll throw out the idea of an “EduCarbon Footprint.” Marie Duncan, a doctoral student of mine, is currently finishing a study of the structure of reuse with the Connexions repository. While reading her discussion of why more people don’t reuse existing, openly-licensed material, it made me think ‘we need a measure, like your carbon footprint, of how much you reuse existing educational materials.’ What would such a measure look like? A ratio of how much you reuse to how much you create? A ratio of the amount of open resources you use to closed resources? Would it be useful to have a measure like this? Surely you can think of a better name? And lastly, someone else has probably already proposed this - who was it?P.S. If you're looking for information on the actual carbon footprint of digital literature, see Adam Hodgkin's rough calculations.
Jochen Johannsen, Open-Access-Konsortien. Konzepte und Erfahrungen, a slide presentation given at Deutscher Bibliothekartag (Mannheim, June 3, 2008). (Thanks to Klaus Graf.) In German but with this English abstract:
The Research Information Network (RIN) has released a new study, To Share or Not to Share: Publication and Quality Assurance of Research Data Outputs, June 2008. The study was commissioned by RIN and executed by Key Perspectives. From the executive summary:
PS: For background, see our post from June 2007 on the launch of this study.
Ian M. Johnson and Susan M. Copeland, OpenAIR: The Development of the Institutional Repository at the Robert Gordon University, Library Hi Tech News, 25, 4 (2008) pp. 1-4. Only this abstract is free online, at least so far:
PS: As I understand it, with Kevin's help, the full-text must be online, but needn't be OA. The abstract and metadata must be OA. (Thanks, Kevin.)
Stevan Harnad, Would Gold OA Publishing Fees Compromise Peer-Reviewed Journal Quality? Open Access Archivangelism, June 8, 2008.
Comment. All true. For more, see my 2004 article, Whether the upfront payment model corrupts peer review at open-access journals, and my 2006 article, Open access and quality.
Charles W. Bailey Jr. has released version 72 of his monumental Scholarly Electronic Publishing Bibliography. The new version cites and organizes over 3,250 print and online articles, books, and other sources on scholarly electronic publishing.
D.K. Sahu, Gaining impact, readers and authors through fee-less-free dissemination: an experiment with open access, in Brainstorming Meet on Open Access, FLOSS and Copyright Law for Scholarly Communication and Literary Work, 26 April 2008, New Delhi, India. Self-archived June 9, 2008.
Unbound, The Economist, June 5, 2008 Excerpt:
Comment. Exactly. How long will we put off that efficiency in order to prop up industry players who are slow to adapt?
Richard Gayle, Some science journals are messed up, A Man With A Ph.D., June 5, 2008.
JISC released two new briefing papers on repositories on April 7, 2008:
Marie Garrett, Newfound Press: Participating in the future of scholarly publishing, C&RL News, June 2008. Excerpt:
PS: For background, see our March 2006 post on the launch of the press.
The Spring issue of the Journal of Electronic Publishing is now online. Here are the OA-related articles:
Stevan Harnad, No Such Thing As "Provostial Publishing": II, Open Access Archivangelism, June 8, 2008.
Stevan Harnad, OA Primer for the Perplexed: II, Open Access Archivangelism, June 8, 2008.
Stevan Harnad, The cost of peer review and electronic distribution of scholarly journals, Open Access Archivangelism, June 8, 2008.
ARL Bimonthly Report, no. 258 (June 2008) is now online. Here are the OA-related articles:
PS: Also see the conference program and the two panels on OA:
Stevan Harnad, Institutional Repositories vs Subject/Central Repositories, Open Access Archivangelism, June 7, 2008. Excerpt:
Jimmy Wales, Free Culture and the Future of Publishing, presented at O'Reilly Tools of Change Conference (June 19, 2007). (Thanks to Garrett Eastman.)
Michael Papio, Reflections on Heliotropia and the Future of E-journal Publishing in the Humanities, StoricaMente, May 15, 2008. (Thanks to Klaus Graf.)
With the help of a small group of scholars dedicated to the open-access dissemination of research on Boccaccio and fourteenth-century Italy, I launched an online journal called Heliotropia at Brown University during the summer of 2003. Though none of us at that time had any thoroughgoing experience with e-journal publishing, each of us had already spent nearly a decade exploring the possibilities inherent in the marriage of hypermedia technologies and the study of Boccaccio. Fortunate to have profited from the assistance of the Scholarly Technology Group at Brown and from an unusually enthusiastic reception on the part of students and teachers in the United States and elsewhere, we were guided by the hypothesis that a free-access e-journal of Boccaccio Studies would be not only an extremely useful resource in a general sense but also a significant boon to the community of Boccaccio scholars at large. What we admittedly did not anticipate was the speed at which Heliotropia would begin to fulfill its goals. In 2004, it was accepted as the official publication of the American Boccaccio Association and in the period since its inception has experienced a fivefold increase in accesses. This success has been as unexpected as it is gratifying. While data on e-journal publishing have been collected by a number of studies over the years, remarkably little critical attention has been given by Italianists to the possibilities inherent in e-publishing. The purpose of the present essay is, in short, to introduce some of the chief concerns related to e-publishing to humanistic scholars who, however well informed they may be in their own fields, have yet to face the often bewildering challenges presented by new media. ...
Klaus Graf, License Status of Open Access Journals, Archivalia, June 5, 2008.
The first journals with the SPARC Europe Open Access Seal were added to the Directory of Open Access Journals: [see screenshot] ...
ORE@JISC, JISC Information Environment Team blog, June 4, 2008.
With the release of the beta OAI-ORE specification this week, I thought it was worth highlighting some of the JISC work in the UK that is contributing to this initiative. Two short projects are looking to experiment with ORE and feed back into its development. The FORESITE project at Liverpool, run by Rob Sanderson, has produced ORE resource map descriptions of the JSTOR collection (1.8 million full text articles), and will also ORE-enable the DSpace repository platform, depositing the JSTOR-ORE collection into DSpace using the SWORD protocol. The Theorem project, based at Cambridge and run by Jim Downing, is looking at etheses, both representing ‘ideal’ born-digital theses as ORE resource maps, and looking at workflows around these. This project is working closely with the Integrated Content Environment (ICE) developed by Peter Sefton at the University of Southern Queensland, Australia, to create an authoring and management environment that produces and handles chemistry theses as born-digital objects, with live links to data, and so on. This work complements an international project led in the UK by Chris Awre, and involving partners from the UK, Netherlands, Germany and Denmark, which is looking to get some international agreement on a complex object format for theses, drawing from the ORE specifications, but building on specifications currently used, such as x-metadiss in Germany. Given the relative simplicity of doctoral theses – they have limited versioning issues for example – and the pressing need in many countries to automate the thesis workflow, it may be that theses become an early ORE adopter.
The Annals of Pediatric Cardiology is a new OA journal published by the Pediatric Cardiac Society of India and Medknow. There are no article processing charges. The contents are available under a license similar to the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial license. The inaugural issue is now available.
Adele van der Merwe, Databases, Institutional repositories (IR) and organizational workflows, an abstract of a presentation at the Ninth Southern African Online Information Meeting (Pretoria, June 3-5, 2008). Excerpt:
PS: Note that this is the South African CSIR, not the Indian CSIR. For background on OA policy at at the South African CSIR, see Eve Gray's October 2006 IPF report (p. 3) or Heila Pienaar and Martie van Deventer's August 2007 presentation (slide 13). I'd be grateful if anyone could point me to the text of the CSIR policy itself.
Celina Ramjoué, Open Access: Den Zugang zu Forschungsergebnissen fördern, UNESCO heute: Zeitschrift der Deutschen UNESCO-Kommission, 1/2008.
PS: Because the file is a PDF, I can't link to a machine translation.