News from the open access movementJump to navigation
James Boyle, Obama’s team must fight ‘cultural agoraphobia’, Financial Times, December 17, 2008. (Access to the full text requires free registration.)
Boyle asks you to think back 17 years and imagine that you knew nothing of the World Wide Web or its many applications and services. If you saw the major arguments pro and con, would you have green-lighted the open web, open source software, or Wikipedia?
Comment. This is a real phenomenon and "cultural agoraphobia" is a good term for it. I run across this systematic cognitive bias every day, in myself and others, even after 17 years of experience with the open web. Of course not every objection to openness is an example of cognitive bias. So the term will be more useful for anthropologists studying our culture, or historians looking back, than for advocates and activists. We still have to answer objections, not just explain them. But Boyle points out an important use for advocates and activists. If we understand cultural agoraphobia, we can warn policy-makers, the citizens who watch them, and ourselves, against its effects.
In an earlier post, David Robinson gave a good example of the potential benefits:
Update (2/10/09). More from the ACM: Make Recovery.Gov Web 2.0 Friendly.
Videos from the SPARC Digital Repositories Meeting (Baltimore, November 17-18, 2008) are now online:
Gavin Baker, Authors: I don’t care where you deposit, just do it, A Journal of Insignificant Inquiry, February 5, 2009.
Update (2/6/09). [Peter Suber:] For my views, see points #3 and #13 in my article from last week on OA policy options.
Update (2/7/09). Also see Stevan Harnad's comments:
Update (2/8/09). Also see Heather Morrison's comments:
Update. (2/10/09) [Gavin Baker:] See also my response to the responses.
From Andrew Albanese in Library Journal:
From Mike Carroll at Carrollogos:
From Gigi Sohn at Public Knowledge:
From John Timmer at Ars Technica:
Yesterday Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht started providing OA to selected monographs on education research published by its imprint, V&R unipress. The monographs are from the series, Studien des Georg-Eckert-Instituts zur Internationalen Bildungsmedienforschung, and on deposit in the Fachportal Pädagogik (or pedocs) document server hosted by the Deutschen Institut für Internationale Pädagogische Forschung (DIPF). (Thanks to BuckMarkt and Open Access Informationsplattform.)
The PARSE.insight project is conducting a survey of researcher practices and views regarding data re-use and preservation.
See also our past post on the PARSE.insight project.
José Manuel Nieves, Un Consejo de Política Científica controlará la investigación en España, ABC.es, February 5, 2009. Read it in the original Spanish or Google's English.
Next Wednesday, [Spain's] Minister of Science and Innovation, Cristina Garmendia, will formally present the draft of the new and awaited Law of Science and Technology ... Regarding the dissemination of results, Chapter III establishes the obligation to publish in open access texts that have been accepted for publication in scientific journals where these have been financed with public funds from the General Administration of State. ...
The Spanish principality of Asturias has adopted an OA mandate for its funded research. See this February 4 post from the AccessoAbierto blog (in the original Spanish, or in Google's English):
The Principality of Asturias has been resolved by agreement of the Governing Council of the Commonwealth a clear policy regarding the scientific output resulting from the Principality funded projects:... Bases in aid and grants financed by public funds provided or managed by the Administration of the Principality of Asturias, whose purpose is to promote research, include a clause under which the beneficiary must self-archive its research results in the Institutional Repository of the Principality of Asturias (RIA), to enable the dissemination of the work in the scientific community for study and research. Where the work being published, the Government of the Principality of Asturias followed, whenever necessary, however a period not to exceed 6 months prior to its disclosure by the Institutional Repository of the Principality of Asturias ( RIA ) ...
Two publisher groups which supported the Conyers bill the last time around are supporting it again. No surprises here.
Andrew Brown, Digital Britain needs access to science journals, not YouTube, The Guardian, February 5, 2009. Excerpt:
Comment. Brown is right that OA is a solution to this problem. Unfortunately, he seems to think that OA can only be delivered by OA journals. Both of his objections to OA are answered by green OA, or the practice of depositing peer-reviewed postprints in OA repositories. The best-kept secret of OA is that it's compatible with publishing in a non-OA journal. (If this is news to you, see #2 and #4 in my list of Six things that researchers need to know about open access.)
Update (2/6/09). Also see Stevan Harnad's comments:
The Norwegian Research Council has adopted an OA mandate. (Thanks to Jan Erik Frantsvåg.) The full text of the policy has not yet been released, but OpenAccess.no has a two-sentence summary. Here's the summary in Google's English:
Update (2/6/09). The Norwegian Research Council has released an announcement and the text of the policy. (Thanks to Jan Erik Frantsvåg.) Both are in Norwegian. Because the policy is a PDF, I can't link to a machine translation. The announcement is in HTML, but for some reason Google Translate chokes on it at the moment. Here's the link to Google's English in case the problem is merely temporary.
Update (2/18/09). Stian Håklev has translated the key parts of the new policy.
John Gill, Analysis backs open-access path for scholarly publishing, Times Higher Education Supplement, February 5, 2009. Excerpt:
Kevin Davies, Bioalma Launches Novoseek PubMed Search Tool, Bio-IT World, February 3, 2009. (Thanks to ResourceShelf.)
The Bielefeld University Library has updated BASE (Bielefeld Academic Search Engine). From the February 3 announcement:
See also our past posts on BASE.
ARL Digital Repositories Task Force Releases Final Report, press release, February 3, 2009.
Christian Zimmermann, RePEc in January 2009, The RePEc Blog, February 3, 2009.
Harold Varmus, chairman of the Public Library of Science board and and co-chair of Barack Obama's President's Council of Advisors on Science and Technology, has published his memoir, The Art and Politics of Science. From the book blurb:
A Nobel Prize-winning cancer biologist, leader of major scientific institutions, and veteran of science policy wars reflects on his remarkable career. An English major with a year of graduate studies in literature at Harvard University, Harold Varmus discovered he was drawn instead to medicine and eventually found himself at the forefront of cancer research at the University of California, San Francisco. In this warm, engaging memoir, Varmus considers a life's work that thus far includes not only the groundbreaking research that won him a Nobel Prize but also tenure as the director of the National Institutes of Health and his current position as president of Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center. Varmus also shares his perspective from the trenches of politicized battlegrounds ranging from budget fights to stem-cell research, global health to science publishing. Beyond evidence of Varmus's penetrating intellect, self-deprecating humor, and the deep joy he takes in science, The Art and Politics of Science offers a stimulating reminder to people in all walks of life about the fascinating--and central--role of science in our world.
Sparky Award Winners Announced, press release, February 3, 2009.
Joseph Storch, Needed: A Single Electronic Source for Textbooks, Chronicle of Higher Education, February 6, 2009 (accessible only to subscribers). Excerpt:
Most of the article focuses on textbooks, which students now buy directly from publishers. But in a few places Storch implies that he'd like to see the same solution for journals, which students do not buy directly from publishers:
PS: Storch doesn't mention OA.
Charles Lowry, Let's Spur Recovery by Investing in Information, Chronicle of Higher Education, February 6, 2009 (accessible only to subscribers). Lowry is executive director of the Association of Research Libraries. Excerpt:
PS: This article is adapted from a piece Lowry co-wrote last month with Prue Adler, Establish a Universal, Open Library or Digital Data Commons. For similar arguments that OA projects should be part of an economic stimulus, and could themselves trigger further economic recovery, see Michael Geist's article from January 2009, the Open Access Working Group proposal from January 2009, and my open letter to the next US president from October 2008.
The US National Association of Government Archives and Records Administrators (NAGARA) has launched NAGARA Resources, an OA repository for documents about archives. (Thanks to Klaus Graf.) From today's announcement:
Yesterday Rep. John Conyers (D-MI) re-introduced the Fair Copyright in Research Works Act. This year it's H.R. 801 (last year it was H.R. 6845), and co-sponsored by Steve Cohen (D-TN), Trent Franks (R-AZ), Darrell Issa (R-CA), and Robert Wexler (D-FL). The language has not changed.
The Fair Copyright Act is to fair copyright what the Patriot Act was to patriotism. It would repeal the OA policy at the NIH and prevent similar OA policies at any federal agency. The bill has been referred to the House Judiciary Committee, where Conyers is Chairman, and where he has consolidated his power since last year by abolishing the Subcommittee on Courts, the Internet, and Intellectual Property. The Judiciary Committee does not specialize in science, science policy, or science funding, but copyright.
The premise of the bill, urged by the publishing lobby, is that the NIH policy somehow violates copyright law. The premise is false and cynical. If the NIH policy violated copyrights, or permitted the violation of copyrights, publishers wouldn't have to back this bill to amend US copyright law. Instead, they'd be in court where they'd already have a remedy. For a detailed analysis of the bill and point by point rebuttal to the publishing lobby's rhetoric, see my article from October 2008.
I'll have more soon on ways to mobilize in opposition to the bill and support the NIH and the principle of public access to publicly-funded research. Meantime, if you're a US citizen and your representative is a member of the Judiciary Committee, it's not to early to fire off an email/fax/letter/phone call to your representative opposing the bill and defending the NIH policy. You can find ammo here:
Paula J. Hane, Open Solutions for Libraries Gain Momentum, Information Today, February 2, 2009.
Jack M. Balkin, The Future of Free Expression in a Digital Age, Pepperdine Law Review, Vol. 36, 2008. From the abstract:
Jonathan Miller, Blogging from Midwinter -- 2, The Director's Blog, January 24, 2009. Notes from the American Library Association Midwinter Meeting (Denver, January 23-28, 2009) on SCOAP3 and OERs.
Tom Daschle has withdrawn his name from consideration as Barack Obama's Secretary of Health and Human Services. He was expected to be confirmed by the Senate, but damaged by his failure to pay $140,000 in personal income tax until after Obama nominated him. More coverage.
Daschle is a former Senator from South Dakota (1987-2005), former Senate majority leader (2001-2003), and co-author of a book on reforming the US health care system. As far as I can tell, he had no public track record on OA issues.
The OA connection: The National Institutes of Health (NIH) belongs to the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), giving the next HHS Secretary significant control over the future of OA in the US federal government. The position of NIH Director is also vacant and will probably remain vacant until we have a new HHS Secretary. Stay tuned.
FLOSS+Art is an OA book released in late 2008; the OA edition can be downloaded from The Pirate Bay.
FLOSS+Art critically reflects on the growing relationship between Free Software ideology, open content and digital art. It provides a view onto the social, political and economic myths and realities linked to this phenomenon.
Jo Cook, On being open and what that means, Computing, GIS and Archaeology in the UK, January 29, 2009.
Alexandria Archive Institute, AAI announces winners of the 2008 ASOR Open Archaeology Prize, press release, January 30, 2009.
Two publications have recently gone OA with Revues.org:
Economists Online has launched. See the announcement from Nereus:
See also our past posts on Nereus.
Does your field of study depend on public-domain records which are not yet digitized or OA? A lot of us have a lot to learn from the genealogists.
See Volunteers rally to put Norwegian records online, Mormon Times, February 2, 2009. Excerpt:
PS: Also see our past posts on OA to genealogical information.
Stewardship of Research Data in Canada: A Gap Analysis, a report from Canada's Research Data Strategy Working Group, October 2008. Also see the press release, January 12, 2009. (Thanks to Stéphane Goldstein.) From the report itself, Section IX on Access:
Comment. The Working Group turned off cutting and pasting in the PDF report. (Why?) Normally under these circumstances I'd point you to the relevant pages and not bother to rekey an excerpt. But the Working Group didn't paginate the report either. (Why?) This not a good sign of how well the Working Group understands the gap between the current state and the ideal state of information sharing.
Update (2/4/09). Kathleen Shearer, the lead author of the report, has unlocked the PDF and added page numbers. Thanks, Kathleen!
Adam Hodgkin, Google Book Search and the Tragedy of the Anti-Commons, ExactEditions, February 1, 2009. Excerpt:
The Yemen parliament is considering a bill to enhance citizen access to information. Most of it concerns public sector information and government sunshine practices. But it also touches on access to research.
See Faisal Darem, Information law: guarantees access to information, calls for more transparency and privacy protection, Yemen Observer, February 3, 2009. Excerpt:
Comment. Unfortunately, the key paragraph is obscure. What does it mean to "put down copies of research"? Deposit them in repositories? Pull them off the internet? The general context suggests that access to research must be wider and easier, if not open. But the immediate context ("To ensure intellectual property rights...") suggests the opposite. Can any OAN readers help sort this out? If so, please drop me a line or post your findings or translations to SOAF.
Sarah Currier, SWORD: Cutting Through the Red Tape to Populate Learning Materials Repositories, JISC e-Learning Focus, February 2, 2009. Excerpt:
Georgia Harper, OA, IRs and IP: Open Access, Digital Copyright and Marketplace Competition, text of a presentation at the ALA Midwinter meeting (Denver, January 23-28, 2009). Also see the slides. (Thanks to Robert Richards.)
Bernard Rentier, Dépôts institutionnels, thématiques ou centralisés ?, Bernard Rentier, Recteur, February 1, 2009. Read it in the original French or Google's English. Also includes this note:
Our institutional repository ORBi keeps its promises: it has this week surpassed 4,000 deposits and more importantly, 79% are accompanied by a full text and it is thus ahead of schedule. ...
Update. See especially this graph showing deposits (all deposits in red, full-text deposits in blue) before and after the repository went into general production, with its accompanying mandate.
Rufus Pollock, Open Data Openness and Licensing, Open Knowledge Foundation Blog, February 2, 2009.
See also our recent post on licensing and open science.
The Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México's humanities school (Facultad de Filosofía y Letras) has launched a new IR, RU-FFYL, as part of UNAM's 3R project. See the January 31 announcement by Juan Manuel Zurita Sánchez in the original Spanish or Google's English.
See also our past posts on the 3R project.
Joshua Ferraro, Beyond Open Source : Other Types of Open, Open Sesame, January 29, 2009.
John Mark Ockerbloom, Open catalog APIs and data: ALA presentation notes posted, Everybody’s Libraries, January 28, 2009.
Talis and LibLime Open Data on ‡biblios.net, press release, January 30, 2009.
Yakov Shafranovich, Change in Google Book Search Guidelines for Public Domain Books, Personal Website of Yakov Shafranovich, January 30, 2009.
See also the comments by James Grimmelmann and others.
See also our past post on the Google Book Search guidelines.
Jeffrey Tucker, Religion and Royalties on Ritual Texts, New Liturgical Movement, February 2, 2009. (Thanks to Gino D'Oca.) Excerpt:
PS: See our past posts on toll access for Catholic liturgical texts.
Kathleen Smith and Michael Gavin, Q&A with Brett Bobley, Director of the NEH's Office of Digital Humanities (ODH), HASTAC, February 1, 2009. Bobley is the the Chief Information Officer for the US National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) and the Director of its Office of Digital Humanities (ODH). Excerpt:
Guy Pessach, Reciprocal Share-Alike Exemptions in Copyright Law, Cardozo Law Review, Vol. 30, No. 3, 2008. (Thanks to Charles Bailey.)
On January 26, Manuel Medina Ortega, a Member of the European Parliament from Spain, introduced the Commission's report on the application of Directive 2001/29/EC on the harmonisation of certain aspects of copyright and related rights in the information society. The report is "non-legislative" but makes recommendations. An unofficial text of the report is available here (changes from the previous draft are in bold text). The European Parliament's Legislative Observatory forecasts it could be taken up in the parliament's next plenary sitting, scheduled for March 2009. Quoting:
Bernard Lang calls attention to the report, with alarm. Fred Friend also comments:
I just mailed the February issue of the SPARC Open Access Newsletter. This issue takes a close look at 18 choice-points facing funding agencies and universities when they draft a new OA policy, review an existing policy, or think about policies elsewhere. The round-up section briefly notes 159 OA developments from January.