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Stevan Harnad, Rep. John Conyers Explains his Bill H.R. 801 in the Huffington Post, Open Access Archivangelism, March 7, 2009. Excerpt:
PS: Also see my own response to Conyers' defense of his bill.
The Harvard Office for Scholarly Communication has updated two of the FAQs on the university's OA mandates. I'm not posting all the new language, just the new answers to two existing questions:
From the Policy FAQ:
From the Procedural FAQ:
Comment. The new language makes clear that the Harvard policies expect deposit even when faculty members obtain waivers and do not or cannot authorize OA. This is an excellent policy and welcome clarification.
Walt Warnick, Science Depends on the Diffusion of Knowledge, OSTI blog, March 5, 2009. Warnick is the Director of the Office of Scientific & Technical Information (OSTI) of the US Department of Energy. Excerpt:
PS: Also see our past posts on OSTI's research on knowledge diffusion.
Sally Whittle, Access all areas: the economic benefits of Open Access, JISC Inform 24, March 2, 2009. Excerpt:
Roberto Caso, L’Open Access alle pubblicazioni scientifiche: una nuova speranza, apparently a preprint, self-archived February 3, 2009. In Italian without an English abstract. Here are the title and abstract in Google's English:
Rep. John Conyers, A Reply to Larry Lessig, Huffington Post, March 6, 2009. Excerpt:
Comment. I posted a response at the Huffington Post. But it's limited to 250 words and does not support links. Here's the unabridged version with live links.
The presentations from RSP Winter School 2009 (Lanark, Scotland, February 25-27, 2009) are now online.
Elie Dolgin, Upping access to open access, The Scientist, March 5, 2009. (Free registration required.) Discusses recent actions at the University of California, Harvard University, Boston University, Griffith University, Nottingham University, and University of Calgary, among others, including OA policies and OA journals funds.
Carol Cruzan Morton, New Open-access Policy Under Discussion, Focus Online (News from the Harvard Medical, Dental, and Public Health Schools), March 6, 2009. Excerpt:
Comment. We already knew that Harvard Medical School was developing an OA mandate. But a couple of the details here are new and important. I believe that HMS would be the first institution to blend a local OA mandate with an external funder mandate in order to minimize the burden on faculty obliged to comply with both. I also believe it would be the first to arrange for local IR deposits to be redirected to PubMed Central and thereby satisfy the NIH policy. Kudos to the Countway team for creative thinking, especially when it would have been easy to copy the first-rate policies already in effect at Harvard Law School and the Harvard Faculty of Arts and Sciences.
The University of Edinburgh has adopted an OA mandate. Here's an excerpt from the Open Access Publications Policy (January 27 - February 4, 2009), the proposal which the university's Electronic Senate approved on February 18, 2009:
Since this initiative requires changed patterns of work from researchers, there will be many questions some of which are addressed in this section....
The comments offering objections or suggestions to the draft policy are apparently accessible only to UE faculty.
Stevan Harnad, More OA Somnambulism: Conflating the Journal Affordability and Research Accessibility Problems, Again, Open Access Archivangelism, March 5, 2009.
Update (3/9/09). Also see Stevan's March 9 follow-up.
Mike Linksvayer interviewed David Bollier at the Creative Commons blog, March 5, 2009. Excerpt:
Thank goodness the buzz in support of the NIH policy and opposing the Conyers bill is on the rise. Most of the buzz I've seen is based on good understanding. However, two objections to the bill miss the target:
I point these out because we don't make justified headway against a bad idea by shooting at different bad ideas. Let's not make it easy for the bill's supporters to say that the critics simply don't understand.
It's still possible to use some shorthand for convenience. The Conyers bill would repeal the OA mandate at the NIH (not OA itself, and not OA journals), and block similar mandates at other federal agencies. Or, the bill would repeal the NIH policy to require deposit in an OA repository.
For more detail on the bill, including the NIH method for providing OA without copyright infringement, see my article from October 2008, when Conyers first introduced the bill. For details on how the political circumstances have changed since then, see my article from last week.
Update (3/7/09). Also see Stevan Harnad's similar corrective, Conyers Bill H.R. 801 Has Nothing to Do With Open-Access Journals, and his March 8 follow-up.
Update (3/8/09). Also see Jan Velterop's comment on my post.
Here are some more comments from the press and blogosphere on the re-introduction of the Conyers bill (a.k.a. Fair Copyright in Research Works Act, HR 801), which would overturn the OA policy at the NIH. Also see our past collections (1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6).
From Ed Brayton in The Michigan Messenger (from Conyers' own state):
From Tom Davidson, in an open letter to Senator Michael Enzi:
From Hal Plotkin at What I Really Want to Say:
From Brandon Q at Super Spade:
From Megha Satyanarayana in the Detroit Free Press (from Conyers' own state):
From Jan Velterop at The Parachute:
From David Wiley, in an open letter to Rep. John Conyers:
Bradford Scholars is new IR for the University of Bradford. From the announcement:
The March 2009 issue of Serials is now available. Only abstracts are OA, at least so far. See especially:
Hamid R. Jamali, What is not available online is not worth reading?, Webology, December 2008. Abstract:
This short article discusses an emerging trend in the information-seeking behaviour of scientists, i.e. mere reliance on online information. Based on a study of physicists and astronomers, this article shows that more scientists now assume that if articles are of enough quality and significance, they must be available online and vice versa. Though still in a low minority, a number of scientists believe that what is not available online is not worth the effort to obtain it.Update. See also Dorothea Salo's comments:
... I wonder how hard it is to extend that idea to “if it ain’t OA, how important can it be?” In the continuing wrangling about impact factors and the effect of OA on article-citation rates, one of the hypotheses advanced is that people make their good stuff OA, which accounts for the extra citations. Academics are imitative folk; if we can make this meme stick, it could help us.
SPARC, Open Access Week declared for 2009, press release, March 5, 2009.
See also our past posts on:
The latest episode (March 3, 2009) of Radio Berkman is an interview by David Weinberger with Peter Suber on OA. (Thanks to Open Education News.)
SPARC and their allies promote an alternative to the high expense and limited reach of the traditional research and publishing treadmill – which they call “Open Access”. Under Open Access, a scholar’s work is published free of copyright and free of charge online. Supporters say that removing these barriers will “accelerate research, enrich education, share the learning of the rich with the poor and the poor with the rich.” But this model faces stiff opposition, and we may just be at a turning point. ...
Heather West, Sen. Lieberman to Congress: Free the CRS Reports, PolicyBeta, March 4, 2009.
See also our past pasts on CRS or Joe Lieberman.
On February 27, in conjunction with signing the Berlin Declaration, the University of Salamanca adopted a new OA policy. The policy mandates OA through the university's IR (to be launched soon) for doctoral dissertations, master's theses, and publications resulting from research funded by the university.
If you know more, please contact me.
Ian Davis, Why Open Data Is More Important than Open Source, Internet Alchemy, March 4, 2009.
JISC, 20,000 photos from 150 years of polar exploration available online, press release, March 4, 2009. (Thanks to Jonathan Gray.)
The Biolibrarian Proposal to create "new positions at university libraries around the world" to "act as a liason between researchers and [biological] databases to facilitate retrieval of information and entry of curated information by local researchers", starting with the University of Oslo. (Thanks to Francis Ouellette.) Here's the OA angle:
... Data will be made freely available ... under a Creative Commons License. ...A survey on the proposal is also available.
Bryn Nelson, Something wiki this way comes, Nature, March 4, 2009. (Thanks to Garrett Eastman.)
See also our past post on Sage.
The University of Rochester has released an alpha version of its new repository software, irplus. From the announcement:
See also our past posts on the study that led to the development of this software.
Interagency Working Group on Digital Data, Harnessing the Power of Digital Data for Science and Society, report to the National Science and Technology Council, January 2009. See also the full report. (Thanks to Clifford Lynch.)
... The report includes three key recommendations to pursue this vision. The first is to create an Interagency Subcommittee under NSTC that will focus on goals that are best addressed through continuing broad cooperation and coordination across agencies. The second key element of the strategic framework is for departments and agencies to lay the foundations for agency digital scientific data policy and make the policy publicly available. In laying these foundations, agencies should consider all components of a comprehensive policy to address the full data management life cycle. The third key element is for all agencies to promote a data management planning process for projects that generate scientific data for preservation. ...See also our past post on the IWGDD. The recommendations were also discussed at the National Academies' Board on Research Data and Information meeting, which we blogged about previously.
Update (Peter, 3/7/09). An excerpt from the report:
Jon Marcus, Publishers struggle to cope with open-access tide, Times Higher Education, March 5, 2009.
The Polar Information Commons: A Framework for Long-term Stewardship of Polar Data and Information, press release, February 23, 2009.
See also our past posts on CODATA.
Update. See also this interview on the International Polar Year:
Jennifer Howard, Switch-Tasking and Twittering Into the Future at Library and Museum Meeting, Wired Campus, March 2, 2009. Notes on the WebWise Conference on Libraries and Museums in the Digital Age (Washington, D.C., February 26-27, 2009).
See also our past posts on Flickr Commons.
Brewster Kahle, It’s All About the Orphans, Open Content Alliance, February 23, 2009.
See also our past posts on:
Christian Zimmermann, RePEc in February 2009, The RePEc Blog, March 3, 2009.
See also our past posts on RePEc.
Hindawi's Monthly Submissions Exceed 1,000, press release, March 2, 2009.
See also our past posts on Hindawi.
Munyaradzi Makoni and Christina Scott, Top South African journals to go open access, SciDev.Net, March 2, 2009.
See also our past posts on the Academy of Science of South Africa or on SciELO.
I'll be on the road for the next three days, with few opportunities for blogging or email. But Gavin will be on the job and I'll start to catch up on Friday.
Lawrence Lessig and Michael Eisen, Is John Conyers Shilling for Special Interests? Huffington Post, March 2, 2009. Excerpt:
The MAPLight report on the Conyers bill shows how much money each member of the House Judiciary Committee received from "periodical publishing interests" during the 2008 election cycle (January 2007 - December 2008). The co-sponsors of the Conyers bill received an average of $5,150 each, and the non-sponsors of the bill received an average of $2,506 each.
Jennifer Howard, A New Push to Unlock University-Based Research, Chronicle of Higher Education, March 6, 2009 (accessible only to subscribers). Excerpt:
PS: All good news. But for the record, nobody's arm is being twisted at Harvard. Nor is Harvard even trying to ram things down publisher's throats.
Update. Here's an OA version of the same article.
Raivo Ruusalepp, A Comparative Study of International Approaches to Enabling the Sharing of Research Data, report for the Digital Curation Centre and JISC, November 30, 2008.
NOAA Offers New Online Media Library Featuring Ocean-Related Photos and Videos, press release, February 11, 2009. (Thanks to ResearchBuzz.)
See also our past posts on NOAA.
The January 2009 issue of Ariadne is now available. See especially:
Guidelines for the JISC/NEH Transatlantic Digitization Collaboration Grants were posted on January 12, 2009. The grants provide up to $300,000 for digitization projects involving collaboration between U.S. and English/Welsh institutions. Proposals are due March 26. See especially:
Paula J. Hane, Open Educational Resources (OER) and Libraries, Information Today, March 2, 2009. Excerpt:
PS: Also see our past posts on CRKN.
I just mailed the March issue of the SPARC Open Access Newsletter. This issue takes a close look at the re-introduction of the Fair Copyright in Research Works Act (a.k.a. the Conyers bill, HR 801), which would repeal the OA policy at the NIH and block similar policies at all other federal agencies. The round-up section briefly notes 129 OA developments from February.
Andrew Albanese, Institutional Repositories: Thinking Beyond the Box, Library Journal, March 1, 2009. Excerpt:
For more details, see Christopher Blackwell and Gregory Crane, Cyberinfrastructure, the Scaife Digital Library and Classics in a Digital age, Digital Humanities Quarterly, Winter 2009.
The Association of American Universities (AAU) and the National Association of State Universities and Land-Grant Colleges (NASULGC) have released their February 19 letter to the House Judiciary Committee, supporting the NIH policy and opposing the Conyers bill.
The online letter is an image scan and I only have time to rekey a short excerpt:
Comment. This is important. It's the first time that the AAU has weighed in on behalf of the NIH policy, or the principle of OA for publicly-funded research. The AAU has great weight in Congress on copyright issues affecting research and higher education, and great weight with its member institutions. NASULGC is an equally significant voice, but this is not its first public endorsement of the NIH policy. Kudos to John Vaughn (at AAU) and David Shulenburger (at NASULGC) for taking this step.
Another perspective: With this letter, the major university associations in the US are joining the major library associations in supporting the NIH policy.
The Winter 2009 issue of the Journal of Electronic Publishing is now online. All five articles in the issue are OA-related:
PS: My piece is a slightly revised version of an article in SOAN for January 2, 2009.