Open Access News

News from the open access movement

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Indian newspaper on OA Day

Sane Bhagyashree and Gole Bhakti, Mahitichi mukta upalabdhata, Sakaal, October 14, 2008; self-archived November 13, 2008. (In Marathi.) English abstract:
14th October is celebrated as first "Open Access Day". The article explains what is open access and how it affects users and libraries.
See also our past posts on Open Access Day.

Scientific Commons adds graphs of repository deposits

Scientific Commons has added timeplots of deposit activity for the repositories it indexes. See, for example, the graphs for E-LIS or PubMed Central. See the blog post by Lars Kirchhoff for details.

See also the similar graphs provided by the Registry of Open Access Repositories.

Genome sequencing company shares data sets

Helicos Launches Open Access Web Site With Microbial Genome Data, press release, November 14, 2008. (Thanks to MarketWatch.)

Helicos BioSciences Corporation today announced the launch of the HeliSphere Technology Center, an open access Web site for sharing Helicos data sets and bioinformatics software tools.

... [The] site showcases single molecule sequence reads from whole genome resequencing and digital gene expression runs using the Helicos Genetic Analysis System.

The first sample datasets released include whole genome sequences of the microbes Escherichia coli, Staphylococcus aureus, and Rhodobacter sphaeroides, sequenced with consensus accuracies greater than 99.995%. Each sample dataset, containing between six and 12 million aligned reads, was generated from one channel of a 50-channel run on the HeliScope Single Molecule Sequencer. ...

Data from a number of exciting sequencing projects currently underway will be posted on the HeliSphere Technology Center Web site on a regular basis. ...

Recommend OA to Obama's new Chief Technology Officer

ObamaCTO is a new site for recommending ideas to Obama's CTO and voting on the ideas submitted by others.  (It's independent of the Obama transition team.)

I just submitted this idea: 

Require open access for publicly-funded research

Require open access to the results of non-classified research funded by taxpayers. Extend the exemplary policy now in place at the NIH to all federal agencies.

Unfortunately I can't give you a deep link.  But if you search for "open access" you'll find it.  Because it was added fairly late in the game, it doesn't have nearly as many votes as the other ideas.  But with your help, we can change that.

Update.  I'm happy to say that I was wrong.  Here's the deep link to my submission.  (Thanks to Joe Dunckley.)  Now go vote!

Update.  Friends abroad tell me that the site seems to accept votes from any internet user.  If you were holding back because you aren't a US citizen, don't hold back!  Spread the word.

Friday, November 14, 2008

Libraries and OER

Nan L. Singh, The Librarian As Essential Key to Connecting Open Educational Resources and Information Literacy in the Academic World, essay for a class at San Jose State University, self-archived November 12, 2008. Abstract:
The librarian today, caught up in the growing sea of information, is challenged to rise up and give meaningful direction to the information seeker. The digital divide question goes deeper than the simple description of the problem that pits those who have access to technology against those who don’t. The parameters of the divide must be explored in depth in order to begin to close the divide. The librarian holds key possibilities for helping to close this divide and bridge the gap. This paper will focus on the contributions that Open Educational Resources movement can make towards the development of information literacy from yet another angle, the contribution of the librarian. New opportunities for more effective collaboration between librarians, students and instructors can promote greater engagement of the student, resulting in mastery of the literacy challenges presented by the changing world of technology. The educational climate is experiencing a paradigm shift that is familiar territory to the librarian. The librarian as a key initiator in connecting patrons with resources is in a unique position to give leadership to the Open movement, which includes Open Educational Resources, Open Access and Open Source. This paper will explore the contribution the librarian brings to OER and the Open movement.

Essay on open content and libraries

Greer L. Hauptman, The Library and the Bazaar: Open Content and Libraries, essay for a class at San Jose State University, self-archived November 12, 2008.
This essay will consider new copyright models in libraries, and how libraries can and should modify their own systems to promote and provide access to open content. It focuses on the reasoning behind supporting new models and methods of distribution, especially with regards to open licenses like Creative Commons, and the resources and systems libraries have developed to provide access to open licensed work. The paper examines the current roles libraries take in promoting Creative Commons and Open Access, and possible future roles, as well as how libraries organize and share open access works and develop relationships with others producing or developing content.

UK Ordnance Survey pushes back against PSI re-use

The Free Our Data blog reported on November 12 that the Ordnance Survey, the UK's mapping agency, has been contacting local agencies instructing them not to re-use any data derived from the Ordnance Survey (for instance, no Google Maps mashups). (Thanks to Glyn Moody.)

The news comes on the heels of the Show Us A Better Way competition, which asked Britons for their ideas on how to re-use public sector information.

See also our past posts on the Ordnance Survey or the Free Our Data campaign.

Update. See also this BBC story. The Free Our Data blog points out another illicit use of the Ordnance Survey data.

Portal for repository news

Les Carr has launched a new site, Repositories Worldwide, to aggregate news about repositories. See also the announcement email.


List of OA writings in film studies

Catherine Grant, on the Film Studies For Free blog, has posted a list of OA writings in film studies; see also the accompanying explanation.

More recommendations on openness for the new U.S. administration

Moving Toward a 21st Century Right-to-Know Agenda: Recommendations to President-elect Obama and Congress, report, November 2008. The report is endorsed by a number of groups and individuals, who were convened by OMB Watch and

The [Chief Technology Officer] should ensure that agencies create websites that use open source software and distribute data in open formats that are accessible to all search engines. [The Office of Management and Budget] should direct agencies to actively make all their online resources searchable by major public search engines and available in open formats. ...

The president should direct agencies to minimize the use of copyright claims on government-sponsored materials and include a statement on websites establishing that in the absence of expressed copyright agency-produced materials are copyright free. While there is no legal obligation for a government agency to provide a notice that no legal copyright exists on its materials, such a statement would help clarify the ability of the public to freely share and reuse government provided information. ...

Contractors, grantees, and other government consultants are not considered government employees for purposes of copyright. ... When a copyrighted work is transferred to the U.S. government, the government becomes the copyright owner, and the work retains its copyright protection. The government should minimize the copyright claims it allows for materials produced under contract with federal agencies. ...

The next administration should create incentives to convert government documents to no-fee, electronic, publicly available documents. Currently, private companies enter into non-competed agreements with agencies – often Memoranda of Understanding that are not public – and create subscription/charge-based access to public records that they have digitized at “no cost” to the government. There is little ability for alternative models, such as consortia of government entities, libraries, and others, to present themselves as options to maintain no-fee electronic public access in the face of such non-competed agreements. ...

Government should have an affirmative legal obligation to disclose information to the public in a timely manner, thereby expanding the presumption of openness. ...

Congress should pass a law that would require agencies to disclose newly collected electronic information holdings in a timely manner and justify in writing reasons for withholding information. Reasons for nondisclosure should be no more numerous than the current [Freedom of Information Act] exemptions or responsibilities for national security classification ...

[I]t is increasingly easy to make electronic information – in all its formats – publicly accessible. Moreover, as discussed throughout this report, a functioning democracy requires an informed and active citizenry, which can be accelerated through affirmative dissemination of government information. Thus, this law would cover all information holdings – from spending information to regulatory actions to enforcement actions to directories of federal employees to e-mails to audio and video collections. ...

Thursday, November 13, 2008


I'll be on the road Friday - Sunday, with few opportunities for blogging or email. But Gavin will be on the job and I'll start to catch up myself on Monday.

Another TA editorial on OA

M. Castillo, A New Open Access Option from the American Journal of Neuroradiology, American Journal of Neuroradiology, November/December 2008An editorial.  Not even an abstract is free online, at least so far.

Notes on the Workshop on Open Scientific Resources

Jonathan Gray, After the Workshop on Open Scientific Resources, Open Knowledge Foundation Weblog, November 12, 2008. Blog notes on the Workshop on Finding and Re-using Open Scientific Resources (London, November 8, 2008). See also the wiki notes, especially "Planned Actions".
... [D]iscussion turned to guidelines for making knowledge open, and to advocacy for open science. We came up with a ‘recipe’ for opening up content and data - and talked about a possible ‘unlocking service’ to request material be made open, or at least for licensing status to be clarified. ...

Another recommendation for OA to gov. data

Tim Jones, A Transparency Agenda for the New Administration, Electronic Frontier Foundation, November 12, 2008.
... [The new U.S. Congress and administration should:]
  1. Leverage new technology to provide authoritative government data. It's notoriously difficult or impossible to find and manage data on legislation (both passed and proposed), on election day polling locations, on the boundaries of Congressional districts, and on government spending. All of these should be made available online for the federal and state levels, in open formats, with no intellectual property restrictions on their use, distribution or ownership. ...

Report on 3 years of Archimer

Fred Merceur, Fonctionnements et usages d’une Archive Institutionnelle, report, October 2008. An Ifremer report on the first 3 years of Archimer, its IR. (Thanks to INIST.)

See also our past posts on Archimer.

Seed says openness is a "game changer"

Seed Magazine, as part of its Revolutionary Minds series, has named a group of Game Changers. (Thanks to Science Commons.) Seed's Emily Anthes describes them this way:
... They are prizing openness over secrecy, access over scarcity, and they are creating a future that will help science fulfill its potential to make all our lives better.
Among the honorees: See also our past posts on John Wilbanks and Science Commons, Carl Bergstrom and Eigenfactor, or Ilaria Capua and GISAID.

Job with CERN study of OA

CERN is looking to fill a fellowship on its SOAP (Study of Open Access Publishing) project.  (Thanks to Charles Bailey.)  From the ad:

SOAP (Study of Open Access Publishing) is a project being negotiated for financing by the European Commission under the Seventh Framework Program. Partners of the SOAP consortium are CERN, the coordinator, the Max Plank Society, the UK Science and Technology Facilities Council and the publishing companies BioMed Central, Sage, and Springer. The project is expected to have a duration of two years, starting in March 2009. Its objective is the study of Open Access business models and a comprehensive survey of the attitudes towards Open Access of researchers across all disciplines. SOAP will deliver evidence on the potential of sustainable forms of Open Access Publishing....

Autism Speaks adopts an OA mandate

Autism Speaks (AS) has adopted an OA mandate for AS-funded research.  From today’s announcement:

Autism Speaks, the nation's largest autism advocacy organization, today announced that effective December 3, 2008, all researchers who receive an Autism Speaks grant will be required to deposit any resulting peer-reviewed research papers in the PubMed Central online archive, which will make the articles available to the public within 12 months of journal publication. This new policy will make the results of Autism Speaks-funded research easily accessible - at no charge - to individuals with autism, families and other advocates, as well as interested researchers. Autism Speaks is the first U.S.-based non-profit advocacy organization to institute this public access requirement.

Posting articles on PubMed Central not only makes the results of research more accessible, it also integrates them with other research and data, making it easier for scientists worldwide to pursue autism research and make discoveries....

"Families with autism are, by nature, motivated advocates constantly seeking new and reliable information to educate themselves," said Sophia Colamarino, Ph.D., Autism Speaks Vice President of Research. "They are also particularly sophisticated in their ability to read and interpret scientific literature pertaining to autism. This is an effort to give those families and their physicians access to important information about the latest developments in autism research."

"With each additional paper added to PubMed Central, the archive's value grows, and the peer-reviewed scientific literature becomes more open and better integrated with other data resources," said David J. Lipman, M.D., director of the National Center for Biotechnology Information, the National Library of Medicine division that maintains the archive. "I'm pleased that Autism Speaks approached us - I know their public access program will be good for research, and for patients and their families."

[Quoting] Heather Joseph, executive director of SPARC (Scholarly Publishing and Academic Resources Coalition)...: "By taking advantage of the opportunity for open information sharing on the Internet, they will both accelerate the pace of research and address the public's need to better understand autism. We hope other research funders will emulate this powerful example." ...

Comment.  Kudos to AS.  This is not just another funder mandate.  AS is primarily a non-profit advocacy organization, not a foundation, but it uses some of the money it raises to fund research on autism.  While 29 funding agencies have adopted OA mandates, AS is at the leading edge of a new breed of OA-mandating organizations.  As it points out, it's the first U.S.-based non-profit advocacy organization to adopt an OA mandate.  If we look beyond the US, it's hard to to know who was the very first in this category, but it might be the Arthritis Research Campaign, a UK non-profit with no public funds which adopted an OA mandate in January 2007.  If you know other examples, please drop me a line.

Update (11/13/08).  Also see Andrew Albanese's story in Library Journal.  Excerpt:

The move constitutes significant —and very public— support of the NIH public access policy. In 2007, Autism Speaks committed an unprecedented $30 million in new research funding to autism research. It has also generated significant attention to its cause via outreach efforts and resources for families. And, the group clearly has friends in Congress. Last year, Congress approved full funding of the Combating Autism Act, providing $162 million for programs at the NIH, Centers for Disease Control (CDC), and Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA).

The new policy comes at a crucial time for public access advocates. In September 2008, the NIH policy came under attack from the publishing community, whose support yielded the Fair Copyright in Research Act, which would prohibit the government from instituting public access policies like the one at NIH. In addition, Elias Zerhouni, the NIH executive director who spearheaded the public access policy and strongly defended it in hearings this year, announced in October that he will step down.
Adding a major new proponent to the public access cause is a welcome development for advocates, as indications are that the Fair Copyright in Research Act, shelved for now, will likely be revived in the next Congress. Heather Joseph, executive director of SPARC (Scholarly Publishing and Academic Resources Coalition), told the LJ Academic Newswire the Autism Speaks mandate was a “terrific affirmation of the power of public access, as well as the NIH policy,” specifically —and concurred that such support can only help in Congress. “Autism Speaks is demonstrating great vision and leadership,” Joseph said. “We hope other research funders will emulate this powerful example.” ...

Update (11/13/08).  For the variety of research grants awarded by Autism Speaks, and their budget lines, see the Annual Report for 2007, p. 10.

Update (12/7/08). Also see John Wilbanks' comments.


Mike Carroll at Bowling Green State U

The Center For Teaching And Learning at Bowling Green State University has posted a video and blog notes on Michael Carroll's public talk from October 31, Copyright and Your Right to Use and Share Your Scholarly Materials.  From the blog notes:

...Copyright laws are the crux of the issue behind the scholarly communication movement and the pressing need for change. The first laws, enacted in the early 18th century, were intended to protect those who wanted to make money from their written works rather than those who wrote for impact, as researchers and scholars do. Currently, when an author signs over their copyright to the publisher, they become limited in their own access to the work as well as limit many others due to what Dr. Carroll calls “the pay wall.”

Carroll asks that researchers and authors make responsible decisions regarding the publication of their works – to consider the effects of simply signing the first or “opening offer” a publisher extends....

Carroll listed several ways that OA is good for authors/researchers:

  • increases impact (# of citations) due to easier access by researchers
  • serendipitous researchers come across works more often, making previously unforeseen connections
  • researchers need broader access to a myriad of sources/literature
  • helps international and poorly financed researchers – access/cost
  • medical researchers – providing out of date treatments due to lack of access to most recent findings
  • current pay-for journals are not searchable because they are not linked (lots of information could be added to the general pool of accessible resources)....

So, what can faculty authors do?

  • Check current authors’ rights with publishers (these can sometimes be altered after the fact)
  • Negotiate with the publisher – they are getting used to this process and providing options for authors (it’s your call – they want to keep a good relationship with you too)
  • Many publishers already allow some form of open access, but most authors still are not asking/requesting; it’s a usually a workflow issue, habit, or simply non-awareness (most faculty are simply not aware of their options nor the benefits of OA)
As Dr. Carroll opined, “we’re reaching the tipping point… (and we) need help to push this forward.” Spread the word and become a part of the soon-to-be-in-crowd of Open Access authors!

Wanted: OA papers to test a chemical mark-up language

From Antony Williams:

...This is a request to the community to help provide access to "chemistry documents" in Microsoft Word format. We are looking specifically for Open Access Chemistry publications detailing syntheses, organic chemistry and analytical chemistry. When we receive these articles we will use our markup technology [ChemMantis] to markup the documents as examples. We will make them available via our website as examples of how document markup and connection to ChemSpider can open up a world of integration across other chemistry resources....

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Interview with a PLoS ONE Academic Editor

Peter Binfield, Interview with PLoS ONE academic editor, Public Library of Science blog, November 6, 2008. An interview with Ivan Baxter, PLoS ONE Section Editor for plant biology.

... [Q:] What is the standard of peer-review on PLoS ONE?

[A:] The standards that we apply to papers are the same as I apply as a reviewer at other plant journals, with one major exception. We look for papers that present primary research that has been conducted to a high technical standard where the conclusions are supported by the experiments. We also, of course, insist that the experiments are conducted in an ethical manner, that the underlying data has been deposited in the appropriate repository, and that the writing is intelligible. What we don't do is apply an arbitrary significance standard (i.e. this paper is in the top 27.465% of those in its field), which is a highly subjective judgment. As a result of our strict standards, most papers are either rejected or returned to the authors for revisions. ...

Demo OA repository for ETDs

Les Carr, Someone Stop Me!, RepositoryMan, November 11, 2008.
I had a meeting with some representatives from other Schools last week - they wanted to deposit some Masters theses in a repository but they were hindered from doing so by the policies of the respective services. The long and short of it was that I volunteered to set up a demo repository to allow them to get their documents housed somewhere safe, but also because I know that we need somewhere to store four years of our school's masters and undergraduate dissertations. We'll use the demo to make a business case to the university to extend the "institutional repository umbrella" while we're getting some experience with the issues. ...

Blog notes OA and Greek cultural heritage

A few bloggers have posted comments on Digital Heritage in the New Knowledge Environment: Shared Spaces & Open Paths to Cultural Content (Athens, October 30-November 2, 2008):

Eric Kansa, Digital Challenges: Notes from the Hellenic Ministry of Culture’s Recent Conference, Digging Digitally, November 11, 2008.

... The whole “copyrighting the past” argument is interesting. Though I have no formal legal training, I’ve picked up some expectations from living within the Anglo-American legal tradition. At least traditionally, we’ve got a very economic / practical view of copyright, and typically regard copyright as a convenient legal fiction to incentivize creative production. “Copyrighting” a work that is 2500 years-old obviously flies in the face of this tradition. However, parts of Continental Europe have different legal traditions. Copyright over the works of Classical Antiquity seem to be somehow in line with “moral rights” types of perspectives, where the goal of copyright is not only to protect commercial incentives, but it is also to protect, in perpetuity, the dignity and honor of the creator of works. That seemed to be some of the argument given in comments made at this conference. ...

Leif Isaksen, Strictly Platonic, Archaetech, November 11, 2008.

... As a mixture of Greek cultural heritage professionals and a more international group of invited digital specialists, the division between open and closed world views was starkly drawn. Inspired by the location to draw a gratuitous athenian analogy, I dubbed the competing factions the ‘new platonists’ and the ‘new socratics’. The platonists hold the view that there is some kind of objective value in culture that needs to be identified, nurtured and above all protected from the more philistine elements of globalistion. This can only be done by an elite professional class of curators (priests?) and academics (philosophers?). Meanwhile, the socratics see our role as entirely different - it is not our duty to protect, but rather to provoke, undermine and play with the narratives and interpretations we all normally take for granted. ...

Introducing the IR at Leeds Met. U.

Nick Sheppard, Repository Day, Repository News, November 11, 2008. Blog notes on workshops introducing the IR for Leeds Metropolitan University.

Archive of documents by and about the U.S. Office of Technology Assessment

The Office of Technology Assessment Archive, launched in June 2008 by the Federation of American Scientists, contains all the formally issued reports of the U.S. Office of Technology Assessment, as well as many background papers and contractor papers. The reports cover various scientific and technical policy issues considered by the U.S. Congress from 1972 to 1995. (Thanks to the Sunlight Foundation.)

The archive builds on an earlier site hosted by Princeton University:

We have recently received hundreds of additional documents not previously available to the public ... The new website also includes a search engine that allows users to quickly and easily find specific content in OTA reports. ...

Market research on digitization projects

Primary Research Group, The International Survey of Library & Museum Digitization Projects, report, August 2008. A single-user PDF is available for €91. Summary:
The International Survey of Library & Museum Digitization Projects presents detailed data about the management and development of a broad range of library special collection and museum digitization projects. Data is broken out by type of digitization project (ie text, photograph, film, audio, etc) size and type of institution, annual spending on digitization and other variables. The report presents data and narrative on staffing, training, funding, technology selection, outsourcing, permissions and copyright clearance, cataloging, digital asset management, software and applications selection, marketing and many other issues of interest to libraries and museums that are digitizing aspects of their collections.

Overview of OA and schol. comm.

Jennifer Crow, Open Access and Scholarly Communication, apparently a pre-print, deposited November 12, 2008. Abstract:
The open access movement is increasingly guiding the publishing practices of scholarly research. This paper will look at developments in the open access movement, how open access affects scholarly communication, and what eventual role librarians will play in its progress.

New OA journal of genomic medicine

Genome Medicine is a new peer-reviewed OA journal published by BioMed Central. See the November 12 announcement. The article-processing charge is £1350 (€1660, $2105), subject to discounts and waivers. Authors retain copyright and articles are published under the Creative Commons Attribution License. Abstracts for some articles to be published in the first issue are now available.

Data sharing for public health

Kaitlin Thaney, Data sharing in Epidemiology, sniffing the beaker, October 10, 2008.

This past Monday, I was invited to speak on technical issues surrounding data sharing at the Wellcome Trust, in coordination with the [World Health Organization]'s Health Metrics network. The meeting - "Code of Conduct for the Collection, Analysis and Sharing of Health Related Research Data in Developing Countries" - brought together public health researchers from the developed and developing world, social scientists, demographers, representatives from the Trust, members of the Health 8 (H8), and other experts (me being one?). As the title suggests, the Trust is looking to craft a draft code of conduct for data sharing in developing countries, to hopefully be presented at their next meeting in Bamako, Mali this November [Global Ministerial Forum on Research for Health, November 17-19, 2008].

Data sharing is an issue near and dear to my heart, and a key focal point of our work at Science Commons. With that said, the majority of the conversations we engage in with the community on this topic don't traditionally to date include social scientists, or at least, not as much as those in the life sciences. ...

Out of the entire day, there were a few main points of agreement that emerged: ...

2. the agreement that in terms of ethics - it is unethical to not share data if doing so can help a community or assist public health research. (a very powerful statement for an audience that many self-ascribed as "dinosaurs" when it came to data sharing policy and practice). ...

6. we are a long way off from fully accepting this paradigm shift and there is a significant cultural barrier to sharing data / putting data in the public domain. that reality can't be glossed over, and needs to be recognized.

Another part of Monday's conversation revolved around "access" - as was expected. :) With such a variety of stakeholders, the discussion kept coming back to a hierarchy of access, along a spectrum from an embargoed access, to closed access, to fully "open access" data ...

All in all, the proposed code of conduct draft needs some work, and this is an iterative process, still gathering feedback from policy makers, think tanks, scientists and public health officials. ...

Notes on the Bulgarian OA conference

Claudia S. has blogged some notes (in Romanian) on the Open Access Pre-Conference to the Globalization and Management of Information Resources conference (Sofia, November 11, 2008).  Read her notes in the original or in Google's English.

Improving the consistency of UK repository practices

Andrew Charlesworth and five co-authors, Feasibility study into approaches to improve the consistency with which repositories share material, JISC, November 7, 2008.  Excerpt:

The focus of this report is consistency of practice between repositories in the ways they support the sharing (and, by implication, the reuse of) material....

This report is based on consultation and interviews with those involved in the development of repositories and their infrastructure in the UK and elsewhere....

In the UK, a large number of Institutional Repositories have been set up very recently. Often, it seems, they lack sufficient clarity of policy and purpose. In interviews with depositors and after conducting a case study of an Institutional Repository, we find different perceptions of the role of the repository, some seeing it mainly as an administrative tool for collecting and collating research at the institution and others believing it is a tool for sharing research and creating open access to the results of that research. If such perceptions are combined with weakly defined policies and/or unclear implementation procedures, then it would be unsurprising to find inconsistencies both within and between repositories. In fact, our respondents tell us that such inconsistency is widespread and are pessimistic that this will change, except where sufficient resources, shared objectives and strong relationships are in place.

In the wider environment in which JISC operates, it would be unwise to attempt to mandate specific technical or organisational approaches. This report instead makes more generic recommendations, although it does include some quite specific suggestions on policy and technical directions.

We strongly recommend that repositories, with the help of their target community, clearly define their purpose and share that definition widely so that there is a common view among that community of what the repository is there for and why it is a good thing. A repository’s policies on rights, legal issues and licensing, deposit, preservation and collection scope should similarly be clearly defined, stated and shared....In view of resource constraints which were often mentioned by our respondents, priority should be given to:

  • populating the repository with sufficient high quality material that your target audience will consider it a ‘critical mass’;
  • creating and exposing robust policies;
  • creating and maintaining machine interfaces to metadata, indexes and the full text of items held in repositories, particularly scholarly works;
  • creating minimal metadata for all items, with richer metadata for those items which cannot be efficiently crawled and indexed; automation should be used wherever possible to aid and supplement human intervention....

We make nine detailed recommendations (section 10) which are summarised here: ...

2. Clarify goals and purpose and realistically assess future role and likely costs....

4. Expose all repository content that it would be desirable to share, including material needing subscription or membership, to search engines and web crawlers as one route to discovery....

5. Produce human readable guidelines for those who will wish to build innovative services from your repository data....

Video interview on OA in atomic physics

Michael Brunger on OA in atomic physics, a 5 minute YouTube video.  (Thanks to Chris Leonard.)

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

More on OA as a response to the Georgia State lawsuit

Kevin Donovan, Publishers Seek to Limit Universities’ Fair Use, Students for Free Culture blog, November 11, 2008. Discusses the publisher lawsuit against Georgia State and describes OA as among the possible responses.

Realities of information sharing

Scott Leslie, Planning to Share versus Just Sharing, EdTechPost, November 8, 2008. (Thanks to Dorothea Salo and David Wiley; see also their comments.)
... If you only want the highlights, here they are: grow your network by sharing, not planning to share or deciding who to share with; the tech doesn’t determine the sharing - if you want to share, you will; weave your network by sharing what you can, and they will share what they can - people won’t share (without a lot of added incentives) stuff that’s not easy or compelling for them to share. Create virtuous cycles that amplify network effects. Given the right ’set,’ simple tech is all they need to get started. ...

More on OAI-ORE

Carl Lagoze, et al., A Web-Based Resource Model for eScience: Object Reuse & Exchange, preprint of a paper for the 2008 Microsoft eScience Workshop (Indianapolis, December 7-9, 2008), deposited on November 4, 2008. (Thanks to Fabrizio Tinti.) Abstract:
Work in the Open Archives Initiative - Object Reuse and Exchange (OAI-ORE) focuses on an important aspect of infrastructure for eScience: the specification of the data model and a suite of implementation standards to identify and describe compound objects. These are objects that aggregate multiple sources of content including text, images, data, visualization tools, and the like. These aggregations are an essential product of eScience, and will become increasingly common in the age of data-driven scholarship. The OAI-ORE specifications conform to the core concepts of the Web architecture and the semantic Web, ensuring that applications that use them will integrate well into the general Web environment.

Update on OA activities at CLA

Andrew Waller and Heather Morrison, A Leading-Edge Position Statement on Open Access + Ongoing Interest in OA at CLA, Feliciter 54(5), deposited on November 11, 2008. Abstract:
The Canadian Library Association Task Force on Open Access operated from 2006 until mid-2008. This article summarizes the actions of the group which included developing an Open Access for CLA's publications and producing a Position Statement on Open Access for Canadian libraries. Though the Task Force will be disbanding, plans are in place for the creation of an Open Access Interest Group within CLA.

Overview of the literature on IRs

Nicole Carpenter, Tune It Up: Creating and Maintaining the Institutional Repository Revolution, deposited November 11, 2008. Student paper for a class at the School of Library and Information Science, San Jose State University. Abstract:
The explosion of recent open access repositories and the future desire for global open access to scholarly communication has prompted the need to have more credible resources for new authors. This article highlights some of the areas in which creators need to be informed concerning repositories, including software information, peer-review advocacy, and the need for more literature on mature repositories and how they interact with scholarly communication.

OA digital collections on WWI launch

JISC, Armistice Day anniversary marked by launch of Great War Archive, press release, November 11, 2008.

Oxford University is marking the 90th anniversary of Armistice Day by launching two new, free to access websites, thanks to funding from the JISC Digitisation Programme. These resources will allow educators, scholars and the public to view previously unseen memorabilia and poetry from World War I.

The Great War Archive and the First World War Poetry Archive bring together 13,500 digital images of items mainly of rare primary source material. Many items submitted by members of the public are treasured family heirlooms which have never been on public display. ...

The Great War Archive complements Oxford University's First World War Poetry digital archive which will enable online users to view previously unseen materials such as poetry manuscripts and original diary entries from some of the conflict's most important poets. It builds on Oxford University's extensive Wilfred Owen Archive. ...

Market research on journal acquisitions, including OA

Research and Markets, The Survey of Academic & Research Library Journal Purchasing Practices, report, November 2008. (Thanks to Business Wire.) The report is available for purchase (a single-user PDF is €106). Abstract:

This report looks closely at the acquisition practices for scientific, technical and academic journals of academic and research libraries. Some of the many issues covered: attitudes towards the pricing and digital access policies of select major journals publishers, preferences for print, print/electronic access combinations, and elelctronic access alone arrangements. Covers spending plans, preferences for use of consortiums, and use of, and evaluation of subscription agents. Charts attitudes towards CLOCKSS, open access, use of URL resolvers and other pressing issues of interest to major purchasers of academic and technical journals.

The study presents data about the journals acquisitions and management practices of an international sample of academic and research libraries. The study reports on a broad range of issues including: spending trends, use of print vs. electronic access, purchases in 'bundles', purchases through consortia, the role of subscription agents, use and plans for use of open access, attitudes towards the pricing practices of a range of major journal publishers, sources of funding for journal purchases and relations with academic and administrative departments of library parent organizations, and the practical management of the journal acquisition process, among other issues.

See especially these findings:
  • ... About a quarter of the libraries in the sample believe that open access has already slowed the increase in journal prices.
  • 15.56% of the libraries in the sample have paid a publication fee on behalf of an author from their institution. ...

New anthropology magazine appears to be OA

Anthropology Now is a new magazine for lay readers.   (Thanks to  From the editorial in the inaugural issue:

...Anthropology Now will build on a growing commitment among anthropologists to make our research findings open and accessible to the world outside of the confines of the academy....

Comment.  I'm guessing that this is OA, but I wish I could be sure.  At the moment, all the articles are at least gratis OA.  (I couldn't find any licensing information.)  The excerpt from the editorial suggests a commitment to OA.  But the magazine doesn't call itself OA or free.  It also has a subscription page, but it doesn't mention prices.

Update (12/2/08). Never mind. The publisher's version of the subscription page does mention prices. (Thanks to John Reidelbach.)

Update (12/7/08). Read Emily Martin's account of the creation of Anthropology Now, and some comments by anthropologists.

OA films from the history of medicine

The Wellcome Trust has released the first batch of 60+ OA films from the Wellcome Film Digitisation project.  Each film has an CC-BY-NC licence.  (Thanks to the new Wellcome Library Blog and Robert Kiley.)

Calling for OA to the McGill Guide

Gary Rodrigues is calling for OA to the McGill Guide (a.k.a. Canadian Guide to Uniform Legal Citation).  Excerpt:

The Canadian Guide to Uniform Legal Citation was created by the editors of the McGill Law Journal and published by Carswell Thomson....Originally published in 1986 and now in its sixth edition, the Guide continues to be available only in print and for a price. This is in stark contrast to the open access policy that the McGill Law Journal recently announced with respect to all of the back issues of the Journal which are now being made available online in pdf format, free of charge....

The copyright in the Canadian Guide to Legal Citation is held by the Trustees of the McGill Law Journal. Carswell Thomson has [only] the print publication rights....

Providing open access to the McGill Guide is inevitable because it is in the public interest. Until that happens, the decision makers at McGill need to be encouraged to apply the same principle of open access to the Canadian Guide to Uniform Legal Citation that it now does with the McGill Law Journal itself.

German law and OA

The Euroscience Open Access Group has been discussing how the laws of different European countries accommodate OA.  Here's Eberhard Hilf speaking about Germany:

1. Are there special rights for authors in science and education in your copyright regulation?

There are no rights for the authors, but rights to exploit commercially for the publishers, called ‘copyright for authors’. In Germany the ‘Urheberrechtsgesetz’ has already been amended twice (Korb 1 and Korb 2 zur Anpassung des Gesetzes). The few ‘exceptions’ which e.g. allow users at Universities to use small parts of published material in a closed circle group of persons (e.g. a seminar) have not been withdrawn for now. The German Coalition Coalition for Action “Copyright for Education and Research” is calling for a third amendment to address specifically the needs of science and scientists. The coalition comprises all major Science Organisations in Germany, 359 scientific institutions, learned societies and federations, as well as 6.990 individual personalities of Science....

4. To what extent are technical protection means (digital rights management) protected in your copyright regulation and which consequences do these technical protection means have for science and education?

Some libraries start to use DRM and send the measurements of usage to the publishers. Consequence: this is catastrophic for free, easy, effective usage of knowledge and thus hampers the competition in science. And it counteracts the right of privacy and independence of individual research actions.

5. Are there any norms in your copyright regulation or any suggestions or plans in your parliament or government which will support open access publishing in science and education?

The government and the Parliament (with the exception of the Green Party) are predominantly against OA, their strategy is to support the toll-access publishing with the argument to secure the presently employed workforce and thus the past toll-access business model.

Instead, the long term securing of jobs is most effectively done by supporting business models that fit the needs of researchers, thus OA. Instead of supporting science, the government is presently subsidizing a crippled industry based on the toll access business model, which was adapted to the needs of the past paper age.

Switzerland joins SCOAP3

The Swiss Institute of Particle Physics (CHIPP) has joined the CERN SCOAP3 project.  From yesterday's announcement:

...[CHIPP represents] 9 universities and federal institutes of technology in Switzerland active in the field of High Energy Physics....

The CHIPP Executive Board declared that: "CHIPP welcomes the SCOAP3 initiative, which paves the way towards open access publishing, keeping the essential peer review process intact....We believe that once the SCOAP3 process has been put in place, it will point the way towards an open access publishing approach for science in general."

With Switzerland, the SCOAP3 membership now consists of 17 countries in Europe, Australasia and the Middle East and a growing number of U.S. libraries and library consortia who have collectively pledged 4.8 million Euros towards the SCOAP3 initiative, corresponding to 48% of the projected SCOAP3 budget envelope, with another 8% about to be pledged in the near future.

Monday, November 10, 2008

Upcoming funding opportunities from JISC

Grant Funding Opportunities, JISC Information Environment Team, November 10, 2008.

This month, November 2008, we will be releasing a Call for projects for grant funding. Outline details are on the Grant Funding Roadmap. UK [further education/higher education] institutions are eligible to bid, with some types of projects restricted to [Higher Education Funding Council for England]- and [Higher Education Funding Council for Wales]- funded institutions ...

We’re finalising the Call at the moment, but you won’t go far wrong if you start thinking about what you want to do in:

  • implementing automated metadata and textmining
  • starting up repositories for research data, research papers, learning materials
  • networking and enhancing repositories
  • preservation in relation to repositories
  • short technical projects to improve repository services
  • connections between services to support particular disciplines

Bidders will have until January to prepare proposals, and succesful projects will be expected to start by 1st April 2009.

For those of you most interested in supporting research, please note there will also be a Call for projects related to Virtual Research Environments.

If learning and teaching resources are of particular interest, in December there will also be a Call for the forthcoming HEA/JISC Open Educational Content programme.

Date for your diary: Monday 15th December will be a Briefing Day for anyone who would like to come and hear about the funding opportunities ...

If you’re not based in UK FE/HE, you may be interested in the Funding Roadmap for Invitations to Tender. These are open to anyone ...

Project to develop comprehensive OERs for South Africa

Rice-African partnership is open-education blockbuster, press release, November 10, 2008. (Thanks to

Houston-based Rice University and Cape Town, South Africa-based Shuttleworth Foundation today announced plans to jointly develop one of the world's largest, most comprehensive sets of free online teaching materials for primary and secondary school children. Using their open-education projects -- Rice's Connexions and the Shuttleworth's Siyavula -- the organizations will work to transform South African primary and secondary education with a bold initiative based on open-source software, online educator communities and open copyright licenses.

Ultimately, the group hopes to offer a complete suite of the highest caliber K12 materials online for free. This comprehensive repository of educational resources includes everything from online textbooks to classroom activities, experiments and training materials. Connexions and Siyavula will work together to create the repository, and Siyavula will create an online community of educators in South Africa that will expand, update and use the lessons. The newly created content will reside in the Connexions repository, one of the largest open-education resources (OER) repositories. ...

Siyavula Project Manager Mark Horner said the Rice-Shuttleworth team will create the software that South African educators need to develop and maintain a comprehensive set of educational resources that cover the entire South African school curriculum. ...

See also our past post on Siyavula or our past posts on Connexions.

Report on Indian OA conference

‘No Action, But Rhetoric’, The Morung Express, November 8, 2008.

Nagaland University in association with the Information and Library Networking Centre of Ahmedabad, held two-day convention on November 6 and the 7th in Dimapur. The convention, inaugurated by Nagaland University Vice Chancellor Prof. K Kannan, was attended by more than 160 participants from different parts of India. The convention, named ‘PLANNER-2008’ (Promotion of Library Automation and Networking in North East Region) was held at the School of Engineering Technology and School of Management, Dimapur campus, under the theme "open access, open source and open libraries”. ...

In the first technical session, a paper was presented by Dr Jagdish Arora, director of INFLIBNET Centre, Ahmedabad. The paper emphasized on the different models of scholarly publishing. The graphical representation showing the trend of books and journal expenses and journals added an extra impact on his presentation and threw light on the economics of E-Publishing, expenditure, advantage and disadvantages of OAP. ...

Another paper "Building an institutional repository with Dspace" by Juli Thakuria dealt with the salient features of Dspace Pen Source Software which is one of the best softwares in institutional repositories. The author also highlighted the planning and implementation of IR.

A paper on “Open Courseware: A unique opportunity for India” by Dr.Swapan Deoghuria, Satyabrata Roy mainly threw light on open courseware initiatives which benefit students, teachers and other users more.

“Open Access Journals: A Study”, authored by four different professionals R Pandian, M Arul Dhanakar, Dr K Nithyanadam and V Rajasekar was also presented. The papers highlighted open access journals and their benefits, advantages, identification of links, steps in publishing an OAJ and its coverage areas. It also listed the important OAJ published all over the world.

Another paper “Open Access Journals and open initiatives in India” by Dr KI Sangeeta Devi, and Subam Sophia was presented. This paper discoursed on open-access journals and major initiatives taken in India. It also highlighted OA declarations. ...

More blog notes on OCA workshop

Stian Haklev, What’s happening with OpenLibrary and OCA, Random Stuff that Matters, November 9, 2008. Blog notes on the Internet Archive / Open Content Alliance workshop (San Francisco, October 27-28, 2008).

... Two of the outcomes reported were initiatives to provde print-on-demand for some of the public domain books (through Hewlett Packard) and scan-on-demand for books at Boston Public Library (and perhaps more to come).

Very little was reported on how the general growth of the [Open Library] collection was proceeding, but when I visited their website again, I was surprised to see that the number of full text books had increased from what I remember to be around 400,000 books, to 1,064,822! ...

While this is great, there seem to be some quality issues. ...

Color me confused. I think this effort to make books available online is wonderful, but I fail to understand why they are not more participatory about it. On the OpenLibrary website, I cannot even flag a scan as faulty. ...

See also our earlier post of blog notes from this workshop.

Blog notes on Open Everything London

Laura Dewis, Open Everything, Open Air, November 7, 2008. (Thanks to Open Education News.)

I went to Open Everything in London yesterday (London, November 6, 2008), an event to discuss everything about openness, participation and self-organisation from open technology, media, education, workplace design, philanthropy, public policy and politics.

Glyn Moody’s talk was called ‘Openness: An Idea whose time has come?’ He put forth the case that the world started open, became enclosed (land, intellectual property etc) and is now perhaps shifting back towards an open state where we understand that true growth and innovation comes from being able to build things collaboratively and openly based on what has gone before. ...

Rufus Pollock of the Open Knowledge Foundation gave a talk on the Value of Openness which gave some great economic examples. ...

Charles Leadbeater talked about the comments on his YouTube video promoting his new book We Think. ... Even though something is open, it doesn’t mean everyone can use it - they may be constrained by lack of prior knowledge for example. But perhaps we should aim for open knowledge, access, communication and decision making.

... Do we know why people want knowledge? What do they do with it that changes their lives and society? Sometimes openness might prevent things of value happening, so new processes and possibly a new social capitalism needs to be developed if we are to understand how to get the best from open approaches. We also need to accept the limitations - an open approach doesn’t mean that barriers like time, energy and attention disappear even if technology does enable people to do many things quicker and better. ...

... When the web is useful it is easier to see social/academic/financial credit as a bonus of action, not the purpose. ...

See also our past post on the Open Everything events.

Case studies in image sharing

Sharing images, JISC Information Environment Team, November 9, 2008.
How can we share images more effectively for use in teaching and learning? The [Community-Led Image Collections] report looked at this question a couple of years ago and, more recently JISC and the Higher Education Academy co-funded some case studies building on that report. ... In short, we need to work both with the gravitational centres on the web (eg Flickr) and institutional facilities, and ask how these best support individuals and academic communities; we need to find ways of alleviating copyright worries without ignoring the issue; we need to come up with solutions that will work for small-scale community collections with little technical support; and we need to do all this bearing in mind that open sharing of images may not always have a business case. ... [T]he fuller summary and full reports show how these questions are worked through in visual arts, engineering, archaeology and geosciences.

Winners of UK contest for re-using OA PSI

Charles Arthur, Plenty of ideas for freeing government data ... and finding a loo, The Guardian, November 6, 2008. See also the related post on the Free Our Data blog.

In a strange town and need to find a public toilet? Or a postbox? Want to know whether that house you're thinking of buying is in that excellent school's catchment area? Or need to plan a cycling route? Or, perhaps, wondering if your local council recycles plastic with a "5" symbol on it?

In a few months you might be able to access a website that will do any - or each - of those. They were selected as the final five entries from the government's Show Us A Better Way competition, and will each receive part of the £80,000 prize funding from the Ministry of Justice, Department of Communities and Local Government, and Cabinet Office. The overall winner will be announced on the BBC's iPM news programme on Radio 4 on Saturday evening. ...

See also our earlier post on the contest, or all past posts on the Free Our Data campaign.

Comparison of IR software

Neil Godfrey, INFORMAL comparison of some institutional repository solutions, Metalogger, October 19, 2008. (Thanks to Roy Tennant.)

Over the last few years I have worked closely with a number of different institutional repository solutions, both open-source and enterprise products. There are several I have not had personal experience with, but I have taken opportunities to speak with a wide number of users of these products, too, as well as with representatives and producers of those solutions. ...

The purpose of this comparison is to give an intro level guideline for institutions interested in “what (else) is out there”. ...

OA to eye disease data

NEI Releases Complete Data from Age-Related Eye Disease Study, press release, November 10, 2008.

The National Eye Institute (NEI), part of the [U.S.] National Institutes of Health (NIH), announces the release of more than 10 years of data collected during the Age-Related Eye Disease Study (AREDS), which looked at the progression of age-related macular degeneration and age-related cataract in 4,757 adults aged 55 to 80. ...

The AREDS data are accessible through the online database of Genotypes and Phenotypes, known as dbGaP, which archives and distributes data from studies that explore the relationships between genetic variations (genotypes) and observable traits (phenotypes).

The NEI-supported AREDS was one of two studies included in the December 2006 launch of dbGaP. ... Study descriptions and documents such as protocols can be found in the public, open-access section. In the controlled-access section, approved researchers can view genotype and phenotype data from individual AREDS participants, though the information is coded to protect patients’ identities.

The first version of controlled-access AREDS data became available through dbGaP in June 2007. It included selected phenotypic data and information gathered from a genome-wide scan of DNA samples collected from 600 AREDS participants.

The updated version now incorporates the complete information obtained from all 4,757 AREDS participants during trial enrollment and follow-up visits, including data from photographs of the patients’ eyes and information regarding their nutritional intake, quality of life, and rates of illness and death. ...

The public, open-access AREDS data can be viewed on the dbGaP website at [here]. Researchers can find a link to the application for controlled access to individual-level data on the same site.

More information about AREDS (NCT00000145) can be found at [here].

See also our past posts on dbGaP.

Presentation on Open Medicine

Anita Palepu, Open Medicine: a peer-reviewed, independent, open-access general medical journal, presentation at the University of British Columbia, October 14, 2008. Slides and an audio recording. (Thanks to the Open Medicine Blog.) Abstract:
This presentation [about Open Medicine] was one of several presentations delivered at the First International Open Access Day event held on October 14, 2008 at UBC. In support of the open access movement, the UBC Library joined with SPARC, PLoS (Public Library of Science), and Students for Free Culture along with 65 other institutions in celebration of this worldwide event.
See also our past posts about Open Medicine and about Open Access Day.

New Open Content Alliance contributors

The Open Content Alliance posted a list on November 9, 2008 of the 51 institutions which recently joined as contributors. Thirty-six of the new institutions are members through the PALINET or CARLI consortia.

See also our past post on PALINET's digitization initiative or all past posts on the Open Content Alliance.

Overview of the free culture movement

David W. Moody, Free Culture and the Factors that Led to its Move to Regain the Commons, self-archived on November 9, 2008. A preprint. Abstract:
A brief explanation of what the free culture movement is and the various factors that led to its fighting to preserve the commons, including corporations and special interests trying to restrict the commons to protect their interests, the development of the open source community, technological developments, such as the Internet and digital copying of media, the development of web 2.0 and its philosophies, current state of copyright law and youth culture.

A wireless platform with its own OA repository

Rice University has created a Wireless Open-Access Research Platform (WARP).  This is a wireless platform, OA in the sense that it's extensible and programmable.  It's a "research platform" in the sense (apparently) that it's an experiment for teaching and learning, although it's actually in use at more than two dozen universities and companies around the world.  All its hardware and software documents are OA in our sense.  To trigger further development of the platform, and research on wireless architecture, Rice has launched an accompanying open-access WARP repository to contain the working documents and discussion, as they evolve.

Version 3.0 of the DiPP licenses

Germany's Digital Peer Publishing (DiPP) program has launched version 3.0 of its Digital Peer Publishing license.  From today's announcement:

...All three licenses types – Basic DPPL, free DPPL and modular DPPL – have been updated and are now legally adapted to the German Copyright Act. Especially the new modes of exploitation (according to sections 31a and 32a of the German Copyright Act) have been modified. The licenses also allow the combination with other kinds of licenses such as the Creative Commons (CC) license. Thereby there are no legal barriers to people being able to remix there license works with the CC. Single regulations arrange the compatibility between the DPPL and the CC as well as the GNU Free Documentation License. Contempts against the DPPL are now subject to international law. Furthermore, the new licenses grant renumeration towards collecting societies. By this means the licenses consider an alteration of the CC.

English translations and an update of the FAQs of the licenses will be announced soon.

Former Indian President will launch OA thesis library

Twenty-five years' worth of theses from Mahatma Gandhi University will become OA tomorrow.  From the university's press release:

Mahatma Gandhi University has developed an Online Theses Digital Library, which will be launched in November 2008 by H.E. Dr. APJ Abdul Kalam, former President of India.  It will be the first Online Digital Theses Library covering more than 1000 theses in Sanskrit, Malayalam, Hindi and English with multilingual search facility. It is digitization project commemorating 25 years of achievement of the university towards contribution to knowledge generation.

On the Same day H.E. Dr. APJ Abdul Kalam will be releasing Book on Doctoral Research conducted by MG University from 1983-2008 with a detailed bibliometrical analysis of the works. [PS:  The book's Introduction is already OA.] ...

This publication along with the Mahatma Gandhi University Online Theses Digital Library accessible through Intranet and Internet can promote the application of research results for the benefit of the society. This becomes relevant in the context of Open Access Initiatives(OAI) worldwide that uses ICT and Internet to throw open the knowledge generated by public funded research kept in the locked archives and libraries....

73 monographs on Africa made OA by Caltech

Munger Africana Library Notes (MALN) is a new OA collection within Caltech's Collection of Open Digital Archives (CODA).  From George Porter's description:

Professor Edwin S. Munger, Professor of Political Geography, edited a unique series of monographs during the 1970's and 1980's, the Munger Africana Library Notes (MALN). Published by the California Institute of Technology, these 73 monographs span a wide range of subjects, including politics, history, literature, and the arts....

What digital resources do faculty find most useful?

Nancy L. Maron and K. Kirby Smith, Current Models of Digital Scholarly Communication, ARL, November 2008.  Excerpt:

...Faculty frequently told librarians that speedy access to new work, the open access model, and the benefits of being part of a network or online community of scholars made the e-only journals they suggested innovative....

Concerns persist in the academy that publication in e-only journals will be perceived as less prestigious than publishing in print. Will the work be cited in the best journals? Will it be considered a legitimate publication by a tenure review board? Misperceptions about the level of peer review of open access publications have contributed to these concerns, although leaders of the open access movement have continued to argue that quality and cost are not synonymous, and that notions of access and prestige can be separated....

Most of the e-only journals that emerged through our study use an open access model. In fact, the few examples of subscription-based support were for e-only journals published by commercial publishers or scholarly societies; the independent titles tended to be open access....

Achieving sustainability – especially for those resources with an open access mandate – is a universal challenge.  Small, low-cost options like blogs aside, the challenge for digital scholarly resources – open access or not – is how to generate the funds needed to support themselves over the long term. For the open access publications that comprise the majority of the resources we studied here, traditional subscription- based support is not an option, so finding an economic model to support their work requires experimentation. While resources in our sample employ a wide range of revenue models, including advertising, author fees, and corporate sponsorship, most appear to enjoy some degree of support from their host institution, including in-kind contributions of server space and/or technical support. The contributions of volunteers are also important to many of the examples we saw. The speed of digital communication has made it possible to harness the power of volunteer scholarly contributors from around the world....

Also see the ARL's searchable, OA collection of the examples gathered during the study. 

The ARL released two announcements, both dated today (1, 2).  From the first of these:

In the spring of 2008, ARL engaged Ithaka's Strategic Services Group to conduct an investigation into the range of online resources valued by scholars, paying special attention to those projects that are pushing beyond the boundaries of traditional formats and are considered innovative by the faculty who use them. The networked digital environment has enabled the creation of many new kinds of works, and many of these resources have become essential tools for scholars conducting research, building scholarly networks, and disseminating their ideas and work, but the decentralized distribution of these new-model works has made it difficult to fully appreciate their scope and number.

Ithaka's findings are based on a collection of resources identified by a volunteer field team of over 300 librarians at 46 academic institutions in the US and Canada. Field librarians talked with faculty members on their campuses about the digital scholarly resources they find most useful and reported the works they identified. The authors evaluated each resource gathered by the field team and conducted interviews of project leaders of 11 representative resources. Ultimately, 206 unique digital resources spanning eight formats were identified that met the study's criteria....