Open Access News

News from the open access movement

Wednesday, July 01, 2009


Today I step back from systematic daily blogging in order to free up time for my new position at Harvard's Berkman Center and Office for Scholarly Communication.

The blog itself will continue and Gavin will continue at something like his current pace.  I will continue my daily crawl for OA-related news.  I'll continue to tag what I find for the OA tracking project (OATP).  I'll continue to write the monthly SPARC Open Access Newsletter (SOAN).  I'll continue to work full-time for OA. 

I'll even continue to blog, though only sporadically.  Open Access News (OAN) will be smaller and more selective than in the past.  I cannot assure you that the news it covers will be the most important subset.  (That presupposes that Gavin and I will be on top of all new developments and in a position to pick the most important.)  I'll blog what I notice, what moves me, and what I have time for, with the accent on the third criterion.  It should be a eclectic bunch.  I know that I'll notice a lot of important news, thanks to OATP, and I know that I'll be moved to blog a lot of it.  But because of my new projects, even the most important news will be important news that I only have time to tag, not to blog.

For a comprehensive source of OA news, subscribe to the OATP feed, which is available by RSS, email, and a blog-like web page with the most recent items displayed first.  The OATP feed has been more comprehensive than this blog since April and it grows more comprehensive and useful every day.  To help the cause, please join OATP as a tagger and help select new items for inclusion in the feed.  For more details, see the OATP home page or my SOAN article about it from May 2009

In the same May SOAN, I reflect on the losses and gains from this transition.  I'm acutely aware of them both. 

  • To my fellow bloggers:  When you encounter a new OA development, please tag it for OATP even if you also blog it.  That will alert people who may not read your blog.  If your blog post goes beyond a citation, link, and excerpt (for example, adding a comment or links to related developments), then tag your own post as well.  That will make your blog visible to people who may not be reading it.  OATP is an austere source of news designed to nourish and complement richer sources, not supplant them.  (I'm stepping back from near-full-time blogging not because OATP makes it unnecessary, but because my new position makes it impossible.)  We all need the deeper coverage, commentary, and discussion that you can provide.
  • To my correspondents who send me news:  I'm grateful for your help and still want to know what's going on.  But if you want me to blog the news, I'll have to beg off.  I can tag it rather than blog it.  But I hope that you will consider tagging it yourself.  Tagging new developments for OATP is the best way to alert the OA community, including me.  (I still welcome emails about developments that are offline or confidential, and therefore not yet taggable.)
  • To my readers:  If I've had any influence on the realization of OA, it's because of you, and I've never lost sight  of that.  Thank you for reading and, above all, thank you for taking action.  I have one request and one promise.  The request is not to stop reading OAN.  It will still be here, still posting, even if its volume and role are changing.  The promise is that I'm not going away and I'm not leaving the front lines.  I'm just shifting a chunk of my time from the blog to other projects which I hope will advance the cause from other directions.