News from the open access movementJump to navigation
If you recall, in February 2007 the Research Information Network (RIN) developed a set of seven principles for public policy on scholarly communications. Because the principles were vague and non-committal on OA, they could be signed by proponents (JISC, the RCUK, and the Wellcome Trust) and opponents (ALPSP, the Publishers Association, and STM) of strong OA policy. See my comments on the principles at the time.
RIN hasn't forgotten them, and is now commissioning a toolkit to help stakeholders put the principles into practice. From its announcement:
Also see Mark Ware's blog post on the new project.
Stevan Harnad, Against Squandering Scarce Research Funds on Pre-Emptive Gold OA Without First Mandating Green OA, Open Access Archivangelism, May 15, 2009. Excerpt:
I just found this post in my blogging queue for May 9. After writing it, I forgot to post it. (Now I wonder how often I've done that.) Apologies for the delay.
I went looking because I wanted to link back to it when citing Michael's new Friday Forum on OA, with presentations by Carl Malamud, Leslie Chan, Subbiah Arunachalam, and John Wilbanks.
The May/June issue of D-Lib Magazine is now online. Here are the OA-related articles.
Alpha is open in several senses. It's free to use. It has an open API. And it draws upon a combination of open and closed data, though in most cases (even for open data) using Wolfram-hosted, curated, and refined copies of the original datasets. BTW, Alpha not only draws upon many data sources, but cites its sources in its answers.
Comment. Alpha is orders of magnitude better than any previous attempt to go from user queries beyond lists of web pages to direct, composed answers. It reminds you why computers are cool. It will be terribly useful in every area it covers, and will steadily enlarge the number of areas it covers. It's very exciting even from a narrow OA perspective because sophisticated Q&A services are among the most effective ways to solve the last-mile problem for knowledge.
Dan Cohen, Idealism and Pragmatism in the Free Culture Movement, Dan Cohen’s Digital Humanities Blog, May 12, 2009. A review of Digitize This Book! The Politics of New Media, or Why We Need Open Access Now by Gary Hall (University of Minnesota Press, 2009).
See also our past posts on Digitize This Book.
Jane Park, Open Education and Open Science in Poland, Creative Commons, May 14, 2009. Notes on Open Science in Poland (Warsaw, May 5, 2009)
Paul Newman and Peter Corke, Data Papers -- Peer Reviewed Publication of High Quality Data Sets, editorial, The International Journal of Robotics Research, May 2009. (Thanks to UKSG Serials-eNews.)
University of Pittsburgh Press, 500 Pitt Press Titles Available Again Online and In Print, press release, April 27, 2009.
Ann Green, et al., Policy-making for Research Data in Repositories: A Guide, report for the DISC-UK DataShare project, May 2009. From the introduction:
Fytton Rowland, Towards a grudging consensus? UKSG Serials eNews, May 17, 2009. Excerpt:
Robert J. Ambrogi, Get Your Free Case Law on the Web, Law.com, May 8, 2009.
Anthropology Reviews: Dissent and Cultural Politics is a recently-announced peer-reviewed OA journal. See this blog post for background.
International Coalition of Library Consortia, Statement on the Proposed OCLC Policy for Use and Transfer of WorldCat Records, May 11, 2009. (Thanks to Jeremy Dibbell.)
See also: Tim Spalding, OCLC Policy, Good night, Thingology (LibraryThing's ideas blog), May 12, 2009.
Richard Cave, PLoS Biology Migration to Ambra/Topaz, Public Library of Science, May 13, 2009.
Yesterday, we migrated PLoS Biology to the Ambra/Topaz platform. ... Now all of the PLoS journals have the same feature set including notes, comments, ratings, article impact metrics, etc. Migrating all of the PLoS journals to a single platform is a major milestone for PLoS and will allow us to finally create cross-journal features such as cross-journal search. ...
See also: All PLoS titles now on the same publishing platform, everyONE, May 13, 2009.
See also our past posts on Topaz.
Update (5/15/09). Also see Stevan Harnad's comment:
Robert Kiley, Society for Neuroscience offer manuscript deposition service, UK PubMed Central Blog, May 14, 2009.
See also our past posts on ChemSpider.
Update. See also coverage in BioInform:
Richard W. Clement, Leveraging Institutional Repositories to Support Your Institution's Strategic Mission, a slide presentation at the ARCL National Conference (Seattle, March 12-15, 2009).
Jean-Gabriel Bankier, Courtney Smith, and Kathleen Cowan, Making the Case for an Institutional Repository to Your Provost, a preprint, May 2009. Excerpt:
Erik Moeller, Scholarly community gives feedback regarding Wikipedia, Wikimedia Blog, April 27, 2009.
See also our past post on the survey.
Lisa Johnston, A Copyright Story, Physics and Astronomy Library News, April 22, 2009.
Brian O'Leary, Impact of P2P and Free Distribution on Book Sales, ebook, May 2009. Only this description is OA:
Book publishers have long used free content as part of their marketing and selling efforts, with the vast majority of free content distributed in printed form. Digital distribution of free material, either intentional or via unauthorized availability through peer-to-peer sites and other Web outlets, offers a fast and expansive connection to consumers, but content can also be copied and disseminated without publishers' control. Some publishers are torn between the efficiencies digital distribution provides and concerns over piracy and print-sale cannibalization. This research report is part of an ongoing effort by O'Reilly Media Inc. and Random House to test assumptions about free distribution, P2P availability and their potential impact on book sales.See also our past post on O'Leary's research.
Philip Davis, Dark Secrets: Open Access and Author Processing Charges, Scholarly Kitchen, May 13, 2009.
Comment. Phil's title and opening sentence are a little melodramatic in light of the results, but he asked two good questions and I'd like to know the answers myself. Or at least I'd like to know how many requests the funds received (for OA journal publication fees rather than something else) and how many they rejected. I don't need to know which authors or articles were subsidized. I'd also like to know the range of fees requested, and how often the fees would pay for libre OA rather than gratis OA. I'd like to know how often the fees would go to hybrid journals with a double-charge business model (i.e. not promising to reduce subscription prices in proportion to author uptake). I'd like to know the fields or departments of the requesting faculty. If the funds have a good reason not to share anonymized data about their use, I'd like to know what it is. (This is not a hostile question; there may be very good reasons which haven't occurred to me.) I should add that I also have lots of questions about the business information at OA and TA journals.
One more question: When a survey has a low response rate, why assume that the surveyed people or institutions are suppressing information?
Update (5/26/09). Also see Bill Hooker's comment.
John Wilbanks, Knowledge ‘Interoperability’, Beyond the Book, May 10, 2009. A 30-minute podcast, recorded at the Council of Science Editors Annual Meeting (Pittsburgh, May 1-5, 2009). From the Science Commons description:
... In Wilbanks’ talk he details the need for an open approach when it comes to knowledge sharing in the digital world, necessary to really see network effects on available information and explosions of innovation. He argues that the ability to create and distribute is now ubiquitous, and that the digital commons presents a different opportunity for sharing, if allowed. ...
Advanced Research Journals is an apparently new OA publisher. I say "apparently" because nothing on the site speaks about OA, although a May 5 listserv call for papers in broken English says that ARJ publishes OA journals ("Advanced Research Journals are an Open Access online journal..."). I've seen no press release announcing the launch, even now that I've gone looking. The web site includes no "about" page and no contact info for the company. The "help" link isn't (yet) activated. Of the 13 journal titles listed in the sidebar, 3 titles are links and 10 titles are unlinked phrases. The links all point to separate journal pages, but none of the journals has any content yet. Each has a page of instructions for authors, but they don't mention OA or any kind of publication fee. I didn't blog ARJ when I first ran across it, last week, because I couldn't tell how old it was and there wasn't much to blog.
But on Sunday, Jim Till noticed something strange and blogworthy: if you click on the ARJ logo on the home page, you are sent to the ScienceDirect home page. He says "it would be of interest to find out whether or not Advanced Research Journals is sponsored by Elsevier."
Yes, it would. If this is another Elsevier deception, would it link to ScienceDirect from the ARJ logo? If it's a candid attempt to test the waters of OA publishing, perhaps to play catch-up with Springer after Springer's acquisition of BMC, then wouldn't it be more candid? If it's under construction, and a full explanation is still to come, why raise questions and suspicions by starting with vaporous journals rather than a clear announcement of the plan?
BTW #1, a search for "advanced research journals" at ScienceDirect draws a blank.
Matthew Law is building a list of open access archaeology journals, conference proceedings and books on WikiArc, the wiki for archaeological research. Even better, he's building a Google custom search engine, WikiArc Open Access Archaeology Search, to crawl all the OA resources on the new wiki list.
Comment. This is a great idea. Here's one more layer of utility to add on top: encourage archaeologists to tag OA sources (including journals, repositories, databases, datasets, articles, comments, presentations, and so on) with "oa.archaeology" in Connotea. If the sources are new, tag them with "oa.new" as well. Then the project could offer an RSS feed of OA archaeology sources, or new OA archaeology developments, or both. For more details, see the OA tracking project.
John Wilbanks, A Truly "Open" Concept Web Definition, Common Knowledge, May 12, 2009. Excerpt:
Alison Flood, New Bloomsbury science series to be available free online, The Guardian, May 12, 2009. Excerpt:
From the DuraSpace FAQ:
Andrew Waller, Open Access at the University of Calgary: Access and Initiatives, presented at University of Calgary Faculty Technology Days (Calgary, May 7, 2009). Abstract:
The Open Access (OA) movement is one of the most important and growing developments in the world of scholarly communication. Libraries and Cultural Resources (LCR) at the University of Calgary is involved in many initiatives relating to Open access. This session discussed how Open Access resources can be found and used by the University of Calgary community members and find out about services that support Open Access on campus, such as the Open Access Authors Fund and the institutional repository (DSpace).
David Weinberger, [berkman] Kenneth Crews on academic copyright, Joho the Blog, May 11, 2009. Notes on Protecting Your Scholarship: Copyrights, Publication Agreements, and Open Access (Cambridge, Mass., May 11, 2009).
Jonathan Gray, European Open Data Summit, Open Knowledge Foundation Blog, May 11, 2009.
OCLC, New Podcast: The Hathi Trust and "The Silence of the Archive", May 6, 2009. (Thanks to Charles Bailey.)
See also our past posts on Hathi Trust.
SWORD Wins Innovation Award at JISC Event, UKOLN, May 11, 2009. (Thanks to Charles Bailey.)
The Simple Web-service Offering Repository Deposit (SWORD) Project, led by UKOLN, was named most innovative project at the recent JISC Repositories and Preservation conference at Aston Business School, as voted for by delegates from across the whole Programme. SWORD, whose partners include developers of the DSpace, EPrints, Fedora and IntraLibrary repository software platforms, plus the University of York and CASIS at the University of Wales, has created a mechanism for repositories to deposit and receive deposits via a standard protocol, thus making it possible for different repositories and other applications to move content around more easily. ...
PS: For background, see our post on CARPET from its initial announcement last November.
Scientific data repository gets $2.18 million boost, a press release from the University of North Carolina School of Library and Information Science, May 8, 2009. (Thanks to Charles Bailey.) Excerpt:
Leticia Barrionuevo-Almuzara, Open Access: la información científica al alcance de la sociedad (Open Access: Scholarly Information at Society's Reach), presented at International Meeting of Experts in Information Theories (León, November 6-7 2008); self-archived May 10, 2009. English abstract:
The concept of scholarly information and the importance of Open Access is analysed along with the importance that initiative is giving in the academic-scientific field and in society. The model of scholarly communication is studied, as well as, the concerns and problems that could arise. Two paths drive to Open Access: gold road, that suggests the publication of research in OA journals, and green road, whereby authors self archive their papers in repositories, which are other choices to traditional model of scientific dissemination.
James Love, Prizes and Grants, Type I, II and III diseases, rich and poor countries, open and closed medicine development, Knowledge Ecology Notes, May 10, 2009.
See also our past post on the "open source dividend".
Oliver Graute asked Herbert Reul, member of the European Parliament, for his views on OA. Reul responded that he thinks OA and TA should compete in the market and that government should not intervene by setting policy. Moreover, he likes browsing print books and journals. (Thanks to Infobib.) Read the exchange in German or Google's English.
Five Yale students have launched a web site on OA at Yale. The site includes a proposed OA mandate modeled on the policies at Harvard, Stanford, and MIT. It also includes the results of 17 faculty interviews about OA. (The results show that many of the usual fears and misconceptions have not yet been answered for these 17.) From the sub-page on Open Access at Yale:
Update (5/12/09). This is the five students' final project for IP in the Digital Age, a course taught by Elizabeth Stark. But the project will continue when the course ends.
Cornell University Library Removes All Restrictions on Use of Public Domain Reproductions, a press release from Cornell (today). Excerpt:
Comment. This is an exemplary policy. The original books are in the public domain and the digitizers do not acquire new copyrights in the digital editions (at least under US law). Hence, these digital editions are also in the public domain. Privately-funded digitization projects, like Cornell's, may still want to be reimbursed for the costs of digitization. But Cornell is right that restricting reuse of the public-domain texts will limit valuable uses, violate the university's background commitment to OA, and (as usually implemented) constitute copyfraud. Nor would it do much to stop determined reusers --who should not be called bad actors when they are exercising their rights to use and reuse works in the public domain.
Update (5/14/09). Also see Josh Hadro's article in Library Journal.
Update (5/31/09). Also see Dawn Lim's article in the Cornell Daily Sun.
Bob Grant, Elsevier published 6 fake journals, The Scientist, May 7, 2009.
Bill Hooker, More on the "Australasian Journal of..." series., Open Reading Frame, May 9, 2009.
On the basis of the evidence below, I believe the entire "Australasian journal of..." series from Excerpta Medica to be either nonexistent or fake, in the same sense of "fake" that Elsevier has already admitted applies to the [above] six titles from that series ...When is peer review not peer view? (hint: when Merck pays Elsevier), Small Gray Matters, May 8, 2009.
... The bitter irony is that Elsevier, along with the other major academic publishers, have spent the last few years ceaselessly lobbying against the open access movement, on the grounds that open access journals can’t be trusted to maintain the high quality of peer review that the commercial publishers provide. Any guesses as to whether Elsevier will rethink that stance following this fiasco? ...Ben Goldacre, The danger of drugs … and data, The Guardian, May 9, 2009.
... Health systems pay for these drugs – state-funded in almost every single developed country – and they largely pay for the journals, too. In a sensible world, countries would band together and pay for comparative research themselves, and the free, open distribution of the results, to prevent all this nonsense. ...Peter Murray-Rust, Trust in scientific publishing, A Scientist and the Web , May 9, 2009.
Jonathan Eisen, Elsevier, fake medical journals, and yet another reason for #openaccess, The Tree of Life, May 8, 2009.
... [W]e can cross of the list of criticisms of Open Access publishing that the costly non open access journals and publishers are protecting the world from bad science. Instead, it seems like they are in fact explicitly and purposefully pushing bad science and medicine in order to make extra money. ...David Prosser, posting on liblicense-l, May 8, 2009.
Irony lovers will enjoy going back to 2004 and re-reading the evidence Crispin Davis, former CEO of Reed Elsevier, gave to the UK House of Commons Committee on Science and Technology. Right in the middle of this interesting practice Sir Crispin was commenting on the quality and objectivity safeguards of the subscription models - safeguards that would be undermined by open access. He also mentioned that 25% of Elsevier revenue came form the commercial sector, including Merck [question 65]. We now know how that came about. ...
Cory Doctorow, Extreme Geek, Locus Online, May 9, 2009.
Philosophy & Theory in Biology is a forthcoming peer-reviewed OA journal. Authors retain copyright.
Comment. This is the third OA mandate for the LIS division of a university, after the Oregon State U policy in March and the U of Oregon policy earlier last week. Or more precisely, it's the third to be announced here on OAN. It was adopted and publicly announced before the U of Oregon policy. Note that the Calgary policy applies to books and datasets (and a few other categories), not just journal articles, and apparently offers no opt-out. It includes encouragement to publish in OA journals and to promote OA elsewhere on campus. Kudos to all at Calgary LCR.
Comment. When a given publisher won't allow OA on Calgary's terms, it would be better to deposit the full-text article and keep it non-OA (a "dark deposit") than to deposit only metadata.
Michael Nielsen, Doing science in the open, PhysicsWorld, May 1, 2009. Excerpt:
Stevan Harnad, Heidelberger Appell Abgepellt, Open Access Archivangelism, May 9, 2009. Excerpt: