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The Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development released a new Recommendation of the Council for Enhanced Access and More Effective Use of Public Sector Information at its recent Ministerial Meeting on the Future of the Internet Economy (Seoul, June 17-18, 2008).
... [The Council] recommends that, in establishing or reviewing their policies regarding access and use of public sector information, Member countries take due account of and implement the following principles ...Comment. This statement piles on previous recommendations by the OECD (e.g. as described here). See also the earlier report from the working group that prepared these recommendations.
Robb Farmer, Open Access to Compiled Federal Legislative Histories: Coming Soon?, Legal Sources Subject to Open, June 27, 2008.
Philip Davis, OA Author’s Fund — 1% Solution, 99% Ideology, Scholar's Kitchen, June 26, 2008. Excerpt:
Michael Jubb, Three Thoughts on Interdisciplinary Research, Michael Jubb's Blog, June 28, 2008. Excerpt:
Comment. I hadn't heard either of these observations before. Very interesting. Here's the converse of the first: not that interdisciplinary research promotes OA, but that OA promotes interdisciplinary research. Once we start searching for relevant new work online, rather than in a familiar corner of a print library, and once we start searching by keywords in multidisciplinary indices, rather than by journals or in disciplinary collections, we open ourselves to the serendipitous discovery of work beyond our own disciplines. We find things we would have excluded from our searches in the past, almost from pride in our professional focus. And when readers can easily find relevant new work outside their fields, authors feel encouraged to write and publish interdisciplinary work, without the fear that it would be invisible to most of the people who might be interested. OA journal literature shares this property with digital, online non-OA journal literature. But OA literature has it to a greater degree, or for more researchers, because it reaches everyone.
Three quick examples from the OAN archives: research crossing the boundaries between physics and economics (stock market patterns), physics and biology (biomicrofludics), law and art (the commodification of music).
Roy Mathew, IPRs policy proposes ‘knowledge commons’, The Hindu, June 28, 2008. Excerpt:
Comment. I see the tensions here. But these are very complex regulations. What's wrong with the simple model embodied by India's Traditional Knowledge Digital Library? The TKDL collects India's traditional knowledge, puts it into words, translates it into modern languages, documents its provenance, makes it freely available online, and affirmatively sends copies to patent offices around the world. One goal is to block new patents and invalidate old patents through the doctrine of prior art. It avoids new regulations on the use of knowledge and goes beyond the passive protection of traditional knowledge to the active gathering and promulgation of it to everyone with an internet connection. For more, see our past posts on the TKDL.
I just introduced the Hot tag for OAN stories. I'll use it to label the most important stories we blog. The idea is to help people who are too busy to read everything we're putting out.
At the moment, I don't plan to tag hot items retroactively. Just don't assume that there were no important stories before June 27, 2008!
Sometime next week I should be able to add the new feeds to the blog sidebar.
Update. The email feed of hot stories works fine in the ways that matter most. But unfortunately the emails suggest that you are subscribed to all of "Open Access News" and not just to the hot category. I gave the feed a special name but Feedburner is disregarding it. I'm working on the problem.
The Repositories Support Project has posted a new set of checklists for repository managers, apparently on June 26:
... The planning checklists have been drafted and organised to match each functional area of the web site:
Peter Murray-Rust, Another reason why Data must be Open, petermr’s blog, June 27, 2008.
Wolfram Horstmann, Impact of Open Access Journal Documenta Mathematica Confirmed, SPARC-OAForum, June 26, 2008.
With its first account of a Journal Impact Factor the open access journal Documenta Mathematica is ranked 13th of over 200 journals in Mathematics. Particularly remarkable is that this journal is not at all managed by a publisher or a learned society but only by mathematicians for mathematicians. ...
John Mark Ockerbloom, Repositories: What they are, and what we use them for, Everybody’s Libraries, June 26, 2008.
Cornelius Puschmann has posted the slides for his presentation, Open Science and Open Research - New Paradigms in Scholarly Communication, delivered to a virtual meeting organized of IBM’s Social Computing Group.
Fernando César Lima Leite, et al., Open Access to scientific knowledge: a methodological model for scientific information and knowledge management at the Brazilian Agricultural Research Corporation (Embrapa), 2nd International Conference on Knowledge Generation, Communication and Management (Orlando, June 29-July 2, 2008). Abstract:
This paper presents a methodological model for the establishment of Open Access to scientific information at Embrapa, as a strategy for scientific information and knowledge management. The model consists of elements that speed up scientific communication processes and allow for the research output management. The aim is to provide the necessary mechanisms to capture, store, organize, preserve and widely disseminate the scientific knowledge produced by Embrapa and by the scientific community involved in agricultural research, through the implementation of the Open Archives Initiative Protocol for Metadata Harvesting (OAI-PMH). It is our contention that effective information management improves institutional scientific communication, which contributes for the betterment of scientific research related processes.Update. See also this blog post on the paper.
The OSTP released its guidelines on May 28, 2008: Core Principles for Communication of the Results of Scientific Research Conducted by Scientists Employed by Federal Civilian Agencies. Excerpt:
Mark Surman, Learning from open access, Commonspace, June 26, 2008. Excerpt:
Comment. This is a good list. I'd elaborate a bit on #5. It's not just that patient and consistent (and clear and calm) explanations helped encourage some large publishers to experiment with OA. They also helped researchers themselves to understand it, try it, support it, and spread the word. For OA, the primary beneficiaries were slow to pick up on the idea, not because they were opposed but because they were overworked, preoccupied, misled by myths and disinformation, and pressured by institutional incentives pulling for business as usual. It may be the same with open ed. I'd recommend: make your primary appeals to the primary beneficiaries and the prime movers (people who can bring about the change unilaterally once they are persuaded). For us, luckily, these are the same groups (researchers). For open ed, they may be different groups.
In addition to its recent recommendations for OA mandates in 23 European countries, EuroHORCs has joined forces with the European Science Foundation to issue a joint Vision on a Globally Competitive European Research Area and Road Map for Actions to Help Build It, June 2008. Excerpt:
Also see the EuroHORCs press release on the new statement (June 25, 2008):
Terrance Tomkow (Philosophy Department, Dalhousie University) has proposed The Free Philosophy Pledge:
Comments. The pledge is still evolving in response to comments, which is a good thing. As a philosopher who supports OA, I'd like to support the pledge. But it still needs some work.
There's a good discussion going on at In the Middle on whether the field of medieval studies needs another journal and, if so, whether it should be OA.
Les Carr, Inspirational Teachers, Repository Man, June 26, 2008. Excerpt:
Karla Hahn, Two new policies widen the path to balanced copyright management: Developments on author rights, C&RL News, July/August 2008.
A light bulb is going off that is casting the issue of author rights management into new relief. On January 11, 2008, the National Institutes of Health (NIH) announced a revision of its Public Access Policy. Effective April 7, 2008, the agency requires investigators to deposit their articles stemming from NIH funding in the NIH online archive, PubMed Central. Librarians have been looking forward to such an announcement, especially since studies found that the voluntary version of the policy was achieving deposit rates of affected articles on the order of a few percentage points ...
I'll post details when I have them.
Update. From Les Carr (June 26), who is live blogging the ElPub conference:
Update. Here's the video of Willinsky making the announcement in Toronto on June 26. (Thanks to Bill Mann.) His talk starts at minute 24:45 and the policy announcement starts at minute 33:25. New detail: the Stanford policy was approved by a unanimous faculty vote, like the Harvard FAS and Law School policies.
Gloria Monday, A campus corner that is for ever medieval, Times Higher Education Supplement, June 19, 2008. (Thanks to Colin Steele.) Excerpt:
Comments. Monday has chosen her slant --for example, the VC's rep was a "henchman". But there's a lot wrong with her story even taking it at face value.
Gabriel Egan has posted a good response to the THES comment section for Monday's article:
PS: Congratulations to Harvard FAS, and especially Stuart Shieber, for this well-earned recognition, and kudos once again for the pioneering OA policy and stunning, unanimous faculty vote.
Stevan Harnad, Waiting for Gold, Open Access Archivangelism, June 25, 2008. Excerpt:
Comments. I agree that these are excellent questions.
David Weinberg, Did lord knows how many books just enter the public domain, thanks to Google and some good-hearted folk? Joho the blog, June 25, 2008. Excerpt:
Comment. It can be incredibly difficult to determine the copyright status of a given work, even when we know the author, year and country of publication. See for example the flowcharts from Cornell, Harvard, and the U of North Carolina, the problem of orphan works, and Denise Troll Covey's important research on Acquiring Copyright Permission to Digitize and Provide Open Access to Books. But as long as the determination depends on published information, it was only a matter of time before the relevant information was digitized and made open to search engines. I love the way we'll now be able to move a large number of books from the domain of unknown status, where institutions feel impelled to err on the side of assuming copyright, to the provable public domain. I also love the way we can now use free information to free information.
Update. For much more detail, see Barbara Quint, 1923–1963: Google Book Search Targeting More Books for Public Domain? Information Today NewsBreaks, June 26, 2008.
Sanford G. Thatcher, "From the University Presses," Against the Grain, June 2008. Not even an abstract is free online. But here's the blurb from the table of contents:
Latha Jishnu, GSK's big bang on open drug discovery, Business Standard, June 25, 2008.
It was unexpected and went almost unnoticed. Last Friday, pharmaceutical giant GlaxoSmithKline (GSK), the world's second largest drug maker, announced in Philadelphia that it was donating an important slice of its research on cancer cells to the cancer research community to boost the collaborative battle against this disease. Only a couple of specialty wire services in the US picked up this news; the mainstream press ignored what appears to be a marked — and dramatic shift — in the approach to drug discovery.See also our earlier post on this story.
Update. See also the comments on the Science Commons blog:
... Why would a major pharmaceutical company give away information that its researchers painstakingly uncovered? Put simply, if the goal is to speed the translation of data into drugs, it helps significantly to have more researchers looking at the data and identifying leads. ...
International Award for Information Technology Goes to Research Institutions in the German Federal State of Bremen for the Data Library PANGAEA, press release, June 25, 2008.
The Alfred Wegener Institute for Polar and Marine Research in the Helmholtz Association (AWI) and the Center for Marine Environmental Sciences (MARUM) received the 21st Century Achievement Award of the Computerworld Honors Program in the category Environment, which is one of the most prestigious awards in information technology.
Ed Felten, Copyright, Technology, and Access to the Law, Freedom to Tinker, June 24, 2008.
Catherine C. Marshall, From writing and analysis to the repository: taking the scholars' perspective on scholarly archiving, 8th ACM/IEEE-CS joint conference on Digital libraries (Pittsburgh, June 15-20, 2008). Abstract:
This paper reports the results of a qualitative field study of the scholarly writing, collaboration, information management, and long-term archiving practices of researchers in five related subdisciplines. The study focuses on the kinds of artifacts the researchers create in the process of writing a paper, how they exchange and store materials over the short term, how they handle references and bibliographic resources, and the strategies they use to guarantee the long term safety of their scholarly materials. The findings reveal: (1) the adoption of a new CIM infrastructure relies crucially on whether it compares favorably to email along six critical dimensions; (2) personal scholarly archives should be maintained as a side-effect of collaboration and the role of ancillary material such as datasets remains to be worked out; and (3) it is vital to consider agency when we talk about depositing new types of scholarly materials into disciplinary repositories.See also the comments by Les Carr:
... [The article] reports on a small scale study of the information management practices of research authors as they go about the task of writing papers, and the implications for repositories. The paper is noteworthy because it highlights the role of email as a personal archiving solution and argues that any repository platform will need to do better than email in a range of criteria to gain user acceptance.
Ernest Abadal and Reme Melero, Las universidades y el apoyo institucional al Open access [Universities and institutional support for open access], ThinkEPI, June 19, 2008. (Thanks to Documenea.)
The article discusses the EUA recommendations, the SPARC/Science Commons white paper on institutional OA policies, and recent actions by the University of Barcelona and the University Rey Juan Carlos I. From the conclusion [roughly translated]:
Why must universities play a role in the free diffusion of knowledge? Traditionally reference is made to the two basic missions of the university: teaching and research. In recent years a third mission has received emphasis, the transfer and diffusion of knowledge, which emphasizes the importance that the creation of knowledge pass beyond the walls of the university so that it may be enjoyed by other organizations and people ...Update. See also this Dutch translation of the article.
The International Code of Zoological Nomenclature has issued a Statement on Validity & Electronic Publication, clarifying earlier confusion over whether online publications are taxonomic naming purposes. Excerpt:
... [T]he Commission recognises that peer-reviewed, high-quality scientific journals with electronic-only versions and digital archiving are becoming increasingly common and desirable places to publish. We are currently working on Code amendments to enable the validity of nomenclatural acts published in such journals. We anticipate resolution of this issue within the next year (March 2009). ...See also Matthew Cockerill, ICZN takes first step towards bringing zoological species nomenclature into the electronic age, BioMed Central Blog, June 24, 2008:
... The difficulties involved in publishing species descriptions in online open access journals are ironic, given that the closed-access traditional publishing model causes even more problems for taxonomists than for other researchers. Because species are defined by the articles which first describe them, taxonomic work often depends crucially on access to previously published articles, and copyright restrictions on use present a major problem for taxonomic databases, to which open access publication is the natural solution. ...
Update. Correction: Online publications are not yet valid for zoological nomenclature but may soon become valid. Thanks to Donat Agosti for the correction.
The Association of College and Research Libraries has posted a new Publications Agreements FAQ for authors in its serials and monographs. (Thanks to Charles Bailey.) From the FAQ:
What about Creative Commons?Comment. This doesn't look like a new policy: the FAQ also states that authors only relinquish right of first publication and various non-exclusive rights, and retain copyright. That means authors are still able to license and sub-license (e.g. with a Creative Commons license) their work to others. This new statement just makes that right explicit.
Roy Tennant, Growing Collection of Open Access Books, Tennant: Digital Libraries, June 24, 2008.
When the University of Michigan announced that it was providing a set of records for harvest via the Open Archives Initiative Protocol for Metadata Harvesting (OAI-PMH) of all the public domain books digitized by Google, I promptly grabbed them and put up a prototype search service. At the time (December 2007) there were nearly 110,000 records.
Improving Access to Scientific Information for Developing Countries: UK Learned Societies and Journal Access Programmes, a new report from the Improving Access to Scientific Information Working Group of the UK National Commission for UNESCO, May 2008. Excerpt:
Also see Naomi Antony, Journal access programmes 'need wider input', SciDev.Net, June 25, 2008. Excerpt:
ElPub 2008: Open Scholarship: Authority, Community and Sustainability in the Age of Web 2.0 (Toronto, June 25-27, 2008) starts today, but the presentations are already online.
Thanks to EPT, which links to some of the presentations most relevant to OA in developing countries.
Study Finds Men More Than Women Share Creative Work Online, a press release from Northwestern University, June 23, 2008. (Thanks to Wired Campus.) Excerpt:
Update. See our earlier post on RePEC data on the balance of male and female self-archiving in economics. Women represent 19% of economics faculty in the US but 14.5% of RePEc authors. On the 1000 top-cited economists on Tom Coupé’s list, 32.4% of the men are not represented in RePEc, but 44.4% of the women are not represented in RePEc.
Iveta Simera and four co-authors, Guidelines for Reporting Health Research: The EQUATOR Network's Survey of Guideline Authors, PLoS Medicine, June 24, 2008. Excerpt:
Also see the PLoS press release on this article.
Comment. The article surveys 37 different sets of guidelines for reporting the results of medical research. But it doesn't indicate whether any of them recommend OA as a way to advance the goals of the guidelines: critical appraisal of the work and uptake for further research and patient care.
Peter Murray-Rust, Data-driven science and repositories: consideration of errors, petermr’s blog, June 24, 2008.
... As we have blogged earlier (CrystalEye - an example of a data repository) CrystalEye was developed by Nick Day as part of his PhD work. The primary aim is to see if large amounts of data - larger than a human can inspect - can be reliably used for scientific work. Before describing this I shall briefly review “errors” and indicate the implications for data repositories.
Sely M. S. Costa and Fernando C. L. Leite, Brazilian open access initiatives: key strategies and challenges, ELPUB2008: 12th International Conference on Electronic Publishing (Toronto, June 25-27, 2008). Abstract:
This overview of key Open Access (OA) strategies in Brazil over the last three years describes the guidelines, tools and methodologies needed for Brazil to become an effective actor in the worldwide open access movement. We review general trends and awareness of OA, as well as ongoing developments and policies, opportunities and challenges, both national and international. The institutionalization of Brazilian scientific research is described, along with advances in open access journals and repositories, as well as institutional and governmental policies and the problems that have slowed their progress. Among the major actions targeted recently are plans and actions specific to Portuguese-speaking countries, as well as international collaboration. We conclude with challenges and opportunities ahead.
The Code4Lib Journal announced on June 23 that it had adopted the Creative Commons Attribution license for its articles. (Thanks to Charles Bailey.) From the editorial:
... In order to facilitate the ability of our readers to build upon the ideas presented in the Journal, beginning with Issue 3 all articles are licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution (CC-BY) license. The CC-BY license lets you reuse, share, and build upon the work presented in the article, as long as you credit the author for the original creation. This licensing is required for inclusion in the Directory of Open Access Journals (DOAJ) and to receive a SPARC Europe Seal. Code snippets included in the text are included under the CC-BY license. For other code included with an article, we recommend, but don’t require, an open source license. We are contacting all authors with articles published in previous issues to request they license their previously published Code4Lib Journal articles under the CC-BY license. ...Comment. The editorial is correct that the CC BY license is required to receive the SPARC Europe Seal for Open Access Journals. But it's not correct that the license is required for inclusion in the DOAJ: open licensing is not part of the DOAJ selection criteria.
Les Carr thinking out loud:
SCOAP3 and the pre-emptive "flip" model for Gold OA conversion, Open Access Archivangelism, June 23, 2008.
Stuart Macdonald, Anonymity and consent, DataShare Blog, June 19, 2008.
On Tuesday 17th June I attended a RELU / UK Data Archive workshop at the University of Edinburgh [Managing and sharing research data (Edinburgh, June 17, 2008)] on managing and sharing research data. The workshop addressed issues surrounding confidential research information and personal data; developing consent agreements; anonymisation techniques and access regulations to enable use and sharing of research data. It was apparent that there were no real broadbrush solutions to anonymisation, consent, sharing issues in the social sciences and that each data set, each audience, each set of participants have to be looked at in turn to determine optimal effectiveness.
Hilary Spencer, Nature Precedings: One Year Later..., Nascent, June 19, 2008.
Nature Precedings launched back in June 2007 with the support of several partner organizations, including the British Library, the [European Bioinformatics Institute], Science Commons, and the Wellcome Trust. Since then it's been an exhilarating year. Wired described Nature Precedings as an island of innovation and several editorials in Nature journals throughout the past year have discussed how Nature Precedings can enhance scientific communication ...
GlaxoSmithKline announced on June 20 that it had released
... genomic profiling data for over 300 cancer cell lines via the National Cancer Institute’s cancer Bioinformatics Grid (caBIG) ...(Thanks to Wired.)
The presentations from the Coalition for Networked Information Spring 2008 Task Force Meeting (Minneapolis, April 7-8, 2008) are now online. Several are OA-related. (Thanks to Charles Bailey.)
I'm not covering in detail the Associated Press' unilateral attempt to limit fair use. But the AP's latest move, charging fees for quotations, has a strong OA connection. Cory Doctorow and Patrick Nielsen Hayden put it well:
Michael Cross, Austrian mountains: now 93% cheaper, The Guardian, June 19, 2008. Excerpt:
Recommendations and Supporting Evidence to the EC's 2008 Review of the PSI Re-use Directive. A draft report from the EC's ePSIplus program. (Thanks to Michael Cross.) Excerpt:
An anonymous blogger at SciBlog has interviewed Carl Zimmer. Excerpt:
Liveblogging the CALI Conference 2008: Open Access to the Law, Law School Innovation, June 21, 2008. Blog notes from the Conference for Law School Computing (Baltimore, June 19-21, 2008).
Carol Minton Morris, The Petabyte Problem: Scrubbing, Curating and Publishing Big Data, HatCheck, June 16, 2008.
Cecily Marcus, University of Minnesota's EthicShare Pilots a New Approach to Online Scholarly Research, CLIR Issues, May/June 2008.
Peter Murray-Rust, CrystalEye - an example of a data repository, petermr’s blog, June 22, 2008.
I shall be writing a number of posts about (chemical) crystallography - which may be of wider interest to those interested in data quality assessment, robotic harvesting, robotic calculation, hyperlinking, repositories and the free access to scientific data. I’ll start by talking abour CrystalEye - what it is and where it may be going.