Open Access News

News from the open access movement

Friday, October 09, 2009

Open access roundup

Even more activities for OA Week

Here's more of what to expect for the upcoming international Open Access Week (October 19-23, 2009): See also our past posts on OA Week.

Repository success stories: DuraSpace contest winners

Carol Minton Morris, Announcing the DuraSpace/SPARC OA Week Contest Winners, DuraSpace Blog, October 8, 2009.

To celebrate the online development and dissemination of diverse, often hidden digital assets, DuraSpace is pleased to announce three winners of the DuraSpace SPARC Open Access Week Contest. The contest solicited examples of repositories that have made significant resources more available to help shape the global knowledge landscape. The winners and their stories will be featured on a Sun/DuraSpace/SPARC “All About Repositories” Web Seminar on Oct. 14, 2009 (register here).

  • Luise Barnikel, Sales and Marketing Associate, IssueLab, described the “2008 flexAbility Toolkit” designed to help employers with workplace disability issues in her winning entry entitled, “Social Policy Research: How Access Shaped Practice.”
  • Bryan Beecher, Director, Computing & Network Services, Inter-University Consortium for Political and Social Research (ICPSR), University of Michigan, supports the mission of ICPSR which has delivered content using advanced technologies for six decades. He won with his entry, “Cold, Dark, and Lonely: An Archive Moves Online.”
  • The history and culture of Forsythe County, North Carolina is the focus of a collection of over 12000 digital images that Erik Mitchell described in his winning story “Building a Community Digital Library Using Dspace.”

Here are the winning stories: [Note: omitted here.] ...

See also our past post on the contest.

York U. libraries adopt OA policy

John Dupuis, Open Access Policy for York University Librarians and Archivists, Confessions of a Science Librarian, October 8, 2009.

On October 1, 2009 librarians and archivists at York University Libraries voted unanimously to adopt the following policy: ...

Policy Statement: Academic librarians and archivists at York University commit to making the best possible effort to publish in venues providing unrestricted public access to their works. They will endeavour to secure the right to self-archive their published materials, and will deposit these works in YorkSpace [the university's IR].

The York University academic librarian and archivist complement grant York University Libraries the non-exclusive right to make their scholarly publications accessible through self-archiving in the YorkSpace institutional repository subject to copyright restrictions.

Guidelines: This policy applies to all scholarly and professional work produced as a member of York University academic staff produced as of the date of the adoption of this policy. Retrospective deposit is encouraged. Co-authored works should be included with the permission of the other author(s). Examples of works include:

  • Scholarly and professional articles
  • Substantive presentations, including slides and text
  • Books/book chapters
  • Reports
  • Substantive pedagogical materials such as online tutorials
  • Works should be deposited in YorkSpace as soon as is possible, recognizing that some publishers may impose an embargo period.

This policy is effective as of 01/10/2009 and will be assessed a year after implementation. ...


Guide on revenue models for OA journals

SPARC, New SPARC guide reviews income models for supporting open-access journals, press release, October 8, 2009.

“Who pays for Open Access?” is a key question faced by publishers, authors, and libraries as awareness and interest in free, immediate, online access to scholarly research increases. SPARC (the Scholarly Publishing and Academic Resources Coalition) examines the issue of sustainability for current and prospective open-access publishers in a timely new guide, “Income models for Open Access: An overview of current practice,” by Raym Crow.

“Income models for Open Access: An overview of current practice” examines the use of supply-side revenue streams (such as article processing fees, advertising) and demand-side models (including versioning, use-triggered fees). The guide provides an overview of income models currently in use to support open-access journals, including a description of each model along with examples of journals currently employing it. ...

Developing a sound business model is a critical concern for all publishers and the process can be especially challenging for those considering open-access distribution. The guide recognizes that the needs of individual journals differ, and that publishers will apply a variety of income models to support open-access distribution. The right model must take into account not only the publisher’s need to cover expenses, but also the organization’s mission objectives, size, business management resources, and other factors. ...

“Income models for Open Access: An overview of current practice” is available for free to read or download online. The guide is supplemented by an extensive Web resource, which invites community discussion on models described as well as contributions related to new and other models. ...

Thursday, October 08, 2009

Open access roundup

More details on Georgia's statewide IR

GT Library receives IMLS grant to create statewide digital repository, Georgia Tech Library News, October 7, 2009. (Thanks to Charles Bailey.)

The Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS) has awarded $857,005 to the Georgia Institute of Technology Library and Information Center for the project, “The GALILEO Knowledge Repository (GKR): Advancing the Access and Management of Scholarly Digital Content.”

Georgia Tech, in partnership with the University of Georgia, Georgia State University, the Medical College of Georgia, Georgia Southern University, Valdosta State University, Albany State University, North Georgia College and State University, and the College of Coastal Georgia, will build a statewide digital repository to provide access to scholarly works and research information. ...

The GKR program has five activities that it will complete during the grant:

  1. Conduct a survey and focus groups of the USG librarians’ and faculty’s usage and perceptions of digital repositories.
  2. Establish a service to host individual repositories for four participating USG institutions (Medical College of Georgia, Georgia Southern University, Albany State University, College of Coastal Georgia)
  3. Build a central, searchable web site and database from all eight GKR-related digital repositories, featuring the GKR-developed repository collection mapping tool. This will be done by harvesting database records from all eight GKR-related digital repositories (the four hosted repositories mentioned above, plus existing repositories at Georgia Tech, University of Georgia, Georgia State University, and Valdosta State University).
  4. Establish repository-related services for the GKR partners: copyright assistance, digitization, content submission into their repository, and digital preservation
  5. Design and offer to a nationwide audience a symposium and workshop on managing statewide and consortial repositories. ...

By the project’s end, the GKR will become a comprehensive statewide repository program and has as one of its major goals to increase the number of consortially-managed digital repositories in the U.S. through training and instruction. ...

See also our past post on the GALILEO Knowledge Repository.

No contract awarded in bid to digitize U.S. gov. publications

Federal Depository Library Program, GPO & Digitization of Historical Depository Collection, announcement, October 7, 2009. (Thanks to Charles Bailey.)

In 2004, [the U.S. Government Printing Office] proposed digitizing all retrospective Federal publications back to the earliest days of the Federal Government. Following the conduct of a pilot project in 2006 and its evaluation in 2007, we issued an RFP in 2008 for a cooperative relationship with a public or private sector participant or participants where the uncompressed, unaltered files created as a result of the conversion process would be delivered to GPO at no cost to the Government, for ingest into GPO’s Federal Digital System (FDsys). Unfortunately, we were unable to make an award for this RFP in the allocated timeframe.

We are very disappointed in this setback, but are currently developing new digitization alternatives. In addition to our longstanding goal of serving as one of the repositories for electronic files through the submission of material to FDsys, our focus for digitization will be on coordinating projects among institutions, assisting in the establishment and implementation of preservation guidelines, maintaining a registry of digitization projects, and ensuring that there is appropriate bibliographic metadata for the titles in the collection.

See also our past post on the RFP.

No movement on FRPAA in Congress

Bob Grant, Open access bill stalls in Congress, The Scientist, October 8, 2009.

A bill designed to make scientific research funded by the US government's 11 largest funding bodies accessible for free by the general public is hibernating in the US legislature, awaiting some resolution in the heated health care reform debate before it can be seriously discussed by lawmakers.

Congressional staffers in the US Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee, where the Federal Research Public Access Act (FRPAA) of 2009 (S.1373) lingers, have been forced to shift their attentions to health care and away from the bill. "They're definitely swamped," Heather Joseph, executive director of the Scholarly Publishing and Academic Resources Coalition, told The Scientist. Joseph added that movement on FRPAA is not expected "until after health care gets sorted out." ...

Joseph added that a companion FRPAA bill is "under active consideration" in the House of Representatives, another indication that lawmakers are taking the relatively smooth adoption of the NIH open access mandate as a sign that the dire predictions of widespread subscription cancellations may have been unfounded. ...

David Shulenburger, vice president for academic affairs at the Association of Public and Land-grant Universities, told The Scientist that FRPAA's passage is "inevitable." ...

Predictably, though, not everyone is so excited about FRPAA. "My hope is that [FRPAA] doesn't go anywhere," Martin Frank, executive director of the American Physiological Society, told The Scientist. Frank called FRPAA a "problematic piece of legislation," saying that its six month embargo period for submission to an open access repository may lead to scores of librarians cancelling valuable institutional subscriptions to scientific journals. ...

Joseph and Shulenburger both said that there's no empirical support for such claims. "We have no data that shows that any publishers have been hurt by the NIH policy," Joseph said. ...

But Frank cites information that he says indicates there is harm to be done in mandating that manuscripts are made open access six months after publication (and not 12 months after publication as the NIH policy states). "There has been some survey work of librarians that has indicated that they would be more inclined to cancel a subscription if the content were available six months after publication compared to 12 months after publication." Frank could not furnish that reference, however, when requested by The Scientist. ...

New version of OJS released

The Public Knowledge Project has released version 2.3 of its Open Journal Systems publishing software. OJS is free software which powers the Web sites of more than 2,000 journals, and is probably the most widely-used publishing platform for OA journals. The release includes new features for readers, authors, editors, and site administrators, as well as a rewritten core to improve maintainability. For example, the new version adds improved email and RSS notifications, additional language support, and trackbacks from other Web pages that link to an article.

Revised Google Books settlement due Nov. 9

Motoko Rich, Judge Sets Nov. 9 Deadline For Revised Google Book Settlement, New York Times: Media Decoder blog, October 7, 2009.

The federal judge who is responsible for reviewing the Google book settlement that would create a vast digital library has set Nov. 9 as the date by which Google and its partners must submit a revised settlement for the court’s preliminary approval.

The original agreement, which was reached last October between Google and representatives of the Authors Guild and the Association of American Publishers, was derailed by numerous objections from authors, academics, librarians, public interest groups and would-be rivals, as well as the Justice Department, which recommended in a filing last month that the court reject the settlement of the class-action suit as it currently stands. ...

[Michael J. Boni, a lawyer representing the Authors Guild] said the parties “have worked on a daily basis assiduously” to modify the settlement and hoped to submit an amended document to the court in early November, with a target date of late December or early January for a final hearing on the settlement.

Mr. Boni also appealed to the judge to allow Google and its partners to offer a truncated notice period to give all parties affected by the settlement time to review the amendments. He also said Google and its partners had agreed to extend a deadline for authors to claim books already scanned by Google from Jan. 5 to June 5, 2010. ...

Bill Cavanaugh, a deputy assistant attorney general in the antitrust division of the Justice Department, said the government had already had discussions with the parties to the settlement about modifications but had not yet seen a preliminary amended agreement. ...

Paul Aiken, executive director of the Authors Guild, said in an interview that the changes would be minor. “We would not be able to do it by Nov. 9” if they were more substantial, he said. “The core agreement is going to stay the same. We are amending limited portions of the settlement agreement.” ...

James Grimmelmann, GBS: Status Conference Status, The Laboratorium, October 7, 2009.

  • ... The parties plan to renotice, but with an abbreviated period. They expect the supplemental notice will cover only the amendments, and that objections will be confined to the amendments. There will be a fresh opportunity to opt-out or to opt-in. Judge Chin indicated his general approval of this plan. ...
  • Boni indicated that the amended notice would largely explain additional “benefits” to the class. That could be interpreted as his lawyerly spin on the changes, an indication that about their scope, or both. ...

See also our past post on the settlement revision.

Wednesday, October 07, 2009

Open access roundup

Embedding repositories in research management

Rightscom, Embedding repositories in research management systems: final report, report for JISC, posted October 5, 2009.

The original objective of the project was to locate case studies that demonstrate the value of embedding repositories in research management systems. We did not find fully-fledged examples ... It also seems that very few repositories have, in themselves, attracted enough content to be functionally useful in such an embedded system even if it has been achieved technically. ...

We could find no implementations of a research management system with embedded repository; further, where both RMS and IRs do exist within the same [higher education institution] they are not well-integrated. ...

The change in the nature of research assessment is going to change the roles of both repositories and RMS, as is greater understanding of how researchers want to manage their outputs. The nature of the forthcoming [UK Research Excellence Framework] is not yet fully clear, but it would be surprising indeed if its shape did not have a significant impact on both repositories and on RMS, especially as it is very likely that it will include significant bibliometric elements.

The current situation suggests that there are operational efficiencies to be had from linking RMS and repositories, but that in many HEIs these are not being realised at present. ...

See also our past posts on the study or on the Research Assessment Exercise and Research Excellence Framework.

Examining Nature's new hybrid OA journal

Cameron Neylon, Nature Communications: A breakthrough for open access?, Science in the open, October 5, 2009.

A great deal of excitement but relatively little detailed information thus far has followed the announcement by Nature Publishing Group of a new online only journal with an author-pays open access option. NPG have managed and run a number of open access ... and hybrid journals as well as online only journals for a while now. What is different about Nature Communications is that it will be the first clearly Nature-branded journal that falls into either of these categories.

This is significant because it is bringing the Nature brand into the mix. ...

Neylon then discusses the journal's editorial focus, expected time to publication, relationship with the other Nature brand journals, peer review process, pricing, and licensing. For the most part, he finds more questions than answers in the announcement. Neylon concludes:

[I]n summary the outlook is positive. The efforts of the OA movement are having an impact at the highest levels amongst traditional publishers. ... But the devil is in the details. ...

See also our past post on Nature Communications.

AcaWiki launches: OA summaries of academic papers

AcaWiki Increases Impact of Scholarly Research Using Web 2.0, press release, October 7, 2009.

Today, representatives from the new nonprofit project AcaWiki announced the opening of their website to the public. AcaWiki’s semantic-wiki based website allows scholars, students, and bloggers to easily post summaries, and discuss academic papers online. All content posted to the site is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution license.

AcaWiki’s mission is to make academic research more accessible and interactive by creating a "Wikipedia for academic research." ... AcaWiki enables users to easily post and discuss human-readable summaries of academic papers and literature reviews online. ...

AcaWiki’s approach takes advantage of the fact that copyright does not apply to ideas, only to the written expression of those ideas. Scholars can thus post summaries of their or others’ research online as long as they are not copying verbatim beyond what fair-use laws permit. ...

AcaWiki is starting with seed funding from the Hewlett Foundation. Founder Neeru Paharia is in her final year of doctoral studies at the Harvard Business School. Previously, she was executive director of Creative Commons. AcaWiki board members include Mike Linksvayer, vice president of Creative Commons, and John Wilbanks, vice president of Science Commons. ...

Also see comments by Mike Linksvayer.

Disclosure: I was a paid consultant on AcaWiki.

Update: Also see my comments.

Swedish Research Council adopts OA mandate

The Swedish Research Council announced today that it has adopted an OA mandate for its grantees. From a translation of the press release by Ingegerd Rabow:

The Swedish Research Council requires free access to research results

In order to receive research grants the Research council requires now that researchers publish their material freely accessible to all. The general public and other researchers shall have free access to all material financed by public funding. ...

Researchers are required to guarantee that everything published shall be freely available according to to Open Access not later than six months after publication.

The Council's decision regarding Open Access has been taken in close cooperation with SUHF, the Association of Swedish Higher Education. ...

The Open Access-mandate covers so far only refereed journal articles and conference reports, not monographs and book chapters. The mandate will be included in the new grant conditions from 2010.

A page with more information (Google translation) notes that the Research Council signed the Berlin Declaration in 2005.

The Swedish Research Council is an arm of the Swedish Department of Education and Culture which funds research in humanities and social sciences, medicine, and natural sciences and engineering.

See also our past posts on the Swedish Research Council.

Update. An official English translation is now available.


Tuesday, October 06, 2009

Open access roundup

Final report from SWORD2 repository deposit project

Adrian Stevenson, SWORD2 Project Final Report, report to JISC, June 30, 2009. (Thanks to Charles Bailey.) Executive summary:

The Simple Web-service Offering Repository Deposit (SWORD) vision is about 'lowering the barriers to deposit', primarily for depositing content into repositories, and additionally, for depositing into any system which may wish to receive content from remote sources. The SWORD protocol defines a standard mechanism for depositing into repositories and other systems. The project and protocol were developed because there was previously no standardised way of doing this. A standard deposit interface allows repository services to be built that can offer functionality such as deposit from multiple locations, e.g. disparate repositories, desktop drag'n'drop tools, or from within standard office applications. SWORD can also facilitate deposit to multiple repositories, increasingly important for depositors who wish to deposit to funder, institutional or subject repositories. There are many other possibilities, including migration of content between repositories and transfer to preservation services. In addition to refining the existing SWORD application profile, the SWORD2 project has developed a number of tools and services to demonstrate these possibilities. It has also been pro-active in promoting SWORD and encouraging its uptake within other repositories, services and tools, notably with its adoption into the Microsoft Article Authoring Add-in for Word 2007 and with the new Microsoft Zentity repository system.

The core aims of the project were to update the SWORD Protocol, the SWORD repository code libraries in the DSpace, Fedora, EPrints and Intrallect repositories, and the existing reference demonstrators. A Facebook application and validator have also been developed. Advocacy efforts include an e-learning case study, a briefing paper, a new SWORD website and a range of additional dissemination activities, including conference papers, presentations, demonstrations and workshops at a number of national and international conferences and meetings. ...

All of the project work has now been successfully completed. The SWORD2 outputs have been extremely well received by the repository community, and the SWORD profile has been widely accepted as the de-facto standard for deposit by the repository and wider development community. The project and its outputs continue to gain acceptance and adoption within a growing number of real world implementations.

From the report's recommendations:

... In order to continue to capitalise on the success of SWORD, it needs continued general support. In addition, there are a range of options and issues for taking forward the SWORD work into a more fully developed standard. Without further discussion and development, there is a danger that the full potential of SWORD may not be realised.

Renewed and extended advocacy efforts to increase the global uptake of SWORD were seen as a major priority for the second phase of the project. Despite the success of the project, it was generally felt that this goal was not addressed adequately, and should be pursued in any further phase. It should be noted that these activities take significant amounts of time and effort and should not be underestimated in relation to resourcing and funding.

Also, new activities and requirements have emerged in the interim. ... Options for future development, including the possibility of undertaking a process leading to formal standardisation, should be assessed, and recommendations made.

See also our past posts on SWORD and SWORD2.

Yale sitting on digitized books, not sure how to scan others

Carol Hsin, Digitization project derailed, Yale Daily News, September 10, 2009. (Thanks to Charles Bailey.)

Four months after Microsoft abruptly terminated its multi-million dollar book digitization deal with the University, Yale officials said they will have to wait for donations or grants to come in before they start another major book scanning project.

The University still has some plans to continue digitizing materials held in its libraries and museums that are unique to Yale. Whether those materials will end up on the Internet, however, remains unclear. ...

100,000 volumes ... were originally part of the Microsoft deal — which the technology giant called off when it decided to focus its search efforts more narrowly ... Instead, just about 30,000 books from the agreement have been scanned, and Yale does not yet know how it will disseminate those materials online.

Associate University Librarian Ann Okerson said Yale is currently negotiating hosting agreements with Google and the Open Content Alliance, a collection of organizations adding to a public digital archive, but nothing has been finalized yet. Those deals, however, would only put the already-scanned volumes online.

Prochaska said the University would be interested in a “future contract with Google about digitizing material,” but added that Google is not looking to enter into such agreements right now.

Until then, Yale will continue to focus its digitization efforts on materials that only Yale owns and has received funding to scan. ...

See also our past post on Microsoft's pull-out at Yale.

State of OA in Nigeria

Samuel C. Avemaria Utulu and Omolara Bolarinwa, Open access initiatives adoption by Nigerian academics, Library Review, 2009. Abstract:

Purpose – The purpose of this paper is to examine Nigerian academics' adoption of open access initiatives as authors and readers of scholarly resources. The study was necessitated by the growing need to have the number of Nigerian scholarly publications increased on the internet and accessible to scholars around the world through the use of open access initiatives.

Design/methodology/approach – Academics of two first generation Nigerian universities selected using convenient sampling technique were surveyed using the questionnaire to find out the extent of their awareness and use of open access initiatives as authors and readers of scholarly works. Two hundred and fifty questionnaire copies were distributed in the two universities out of which 189 copies were returned, while 180 copies were found to be useable for the study.

Findings – It was revealed that the respondents were aware of the pre-print and open access journal initiatives than the post-print initiative. In terms of the use of open access initiatives, although the study revealed insignificant use among the academics, academics in sciences showed more promise of adopting open access initiative as authors and readers of scholarly resources than their counterparts in the humanities.

Research limitations/implications – Unlike studies that assessed specific subject based and institutional repositories that allowed for the search and extraction of depositors' names and characteristics, this particular study relied on respondents' responses as a source of their actual use of open access repositories.

Originality/value – This paper reveals that academics' perception and publishing culture, and not awareness, determines the extent of their use of open access initiatives in Nigeria.

What went wrong at Maryland

Tim Hackman, What’s the opposite of a pyrrhic victory?: Lessons learned from an open access defeat, C&RL News, October 2009. (Thanks to Charles Bailey.)

A recent failed attempt to pass a resolution in support of open access at the University of Maryland (UM), while disappointing to the librarians involved and to many observers, nevertheless provides some important lessons for working with teaching faculty to address the scholarly communication crisis. ...

The [University Senate Faculty Affairs Committee] committee decided that a resolution, rather than a mandate or a policy, was the best beginning step, a general expression of support for the principle of open access that could be used as a conversation starter among the departments and colleges. ...

The resolution was worded with plenty of wiggle room (“encouraged,” “where appropriate,” “where practical and not detrimental to their careers”)­—a suggestion more than a prescription—and not terribly controversial.

Or so the resolution’s supporters thought. The week of the vote, [repository coordinator Terry] Owen sent out via the Senate e-mail list a short article on the basics of open access he had published in the faculty newsletter. In response, a faculty member from Women’s Studies wrote an unexpected and lengthy e-mail citing an opposing view on open access, including arguments that simultaneously demonstrated her misunderstanding and fear of what open access would mean. ...

On April 23, 2009, the resolution was introduced on the floor of the University Senate and, once again, the Chair of Faculty Affairs offered an eloquent case for open access as a necessary corrective to the crisis in scholarly communication.

Unsurprisingly, when discussion was opened, the author of the initial opposing view e-mail rose to voice her concerns and express her opposition. But the libraries’ senators watched in disbelief as faculty members rose one after another to speak against the resolution, with reasons as varied as they were misguided. ...

When the vote came it was far from a landslide (25 in favor and 37 opposed, with four abstentions), but it was nevertheless a clear defeat. ...

[T]he most important lesson from our experience at UM is that the majority of faculty members may not have a sufficient knowledge base to even begin such a conversation. As librarians, we made a number of assumptions that turned out to be incorrect (and thus fatal to our cause.) We assumed that most faculty members understood the current crisis in scholarly communication and, more importantly, agreed that it was a crisis. We also assumed that most faculty members understood (at least to some extent) the concept and aims of open access. As a result, our efforts to educate the faculty were not as robust as they should have been. ...

One positive outcome of the defeated resolution is that a number of faculty members have since contacted their subject specialist librarians expressing their interest in the issue and offering to work with us on next steps. ...

In the case of my institution, we hope to take the lessons learned from this open access defeat and use them to help us craft a stronger program of education and advocacy that will lead to future successes. ...

See also our past posts on the Maryland resolution (1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6) or Peter's SOAN column on the topic.

Monday, October 05, 2009

Open access roundup

  • The November 2009 issue of Walt Crawford's Cites & Insights is devoted to OA.
  • Philosophy journal Filozofski vestnik International converted to OA with Open Humanities Press.
  • NECOBELAC (Network of Collaboration Between Europe and Latin American-Caribbean Countries) is conducting a survey to inform the project's strategic planning. The survey is soliciting responses from researchers, research funders, publishers, and librarians in the NECOBELAC countries, and will be open for responses until November 30.
  • A usability study of the DSpace repository software presented at the recent European Conference on Digital Libraries (Corfù, Italy, September 27-October 2, 2009) found issues with DSpace's terminology and workflow.
  • Researcher Jocelyn Tomkinson suggests OA as a counter-balance to poor media reporting of science -- but also finds that, in one case where reporting did link to the OA source article, most online commenters didn't bother to read it.
  • A new essay on the Publius Project reviews U.S. policy toward OERs.
  • Amazon, in settling a lawsuit related to remotely deleting texts from its customers' Kindle devices without their permission, agreed to limits on such deletions in the future. Under the agreement, Amazon will only remotely delete customers' downloads without their permission in cases of court order or security concerns, or where the customer asks for a refund or fails to pay for the download.

Wide-ranging interview with BMC publisher

Richard Poynder, Interview with BioMed Central Publisher Matthew Cockerill, Open and Shut?, October 4, 2009.

A wide-ranging interview with Matthew Cockerill of OA publisher BioMed Central. Topics include BMC's marketing practices, journal quality, author-side fees, and the role of publishers in the Internet era.

NSF considering a repository

Johns Hopkins University, Sheridan Libraries Awarded $20 Million Grant, press release, October 2, 2009.

The Johns Hopkins University Sheridan Libraries have been awarded $20 million from the [U.S.] National Science Foundation (NSF) to build a data research infrastructure for the management of the ever-increasing amounts of digital information created for teaching and research. The five-year award, announced this week, was one of two for what is being called “data curation.”

The project, known as the Data Conservancy, involves individuals from several institutions, with Johns Hopkins University serving as the lead and Sayeed Choudhury, Hodson Director of the Digital Research and Curation Center and associate dean of university libraries, as the principal investigator. ... The Hopkins-led project is part of a larger $100 million NSF effort to ensure preservation and curation of engineering and science data.

Beginning with the life, earth, and social sciences, project members will develop a framework to more fully understand data practices currently in use and arrive at a model for curation that allows ease of access both within and across disciplines. ...

In addition to the $20 million grant announced today, the Libraries received a $300,000 grant from NSF to study the feasibility of developing, operating and sustaining an open access repository of articles from NSF-sponsored research. Libraries staff will work with colleagues from the Council on Library and Information Resources (CLIR), and the University of Michigan Libraries to explore the potential for the development of a repository (or set of repositories) similar to PubMedCentral, the open-access repository that features articles from NIH-sponsored research. This grant for the feasibility study will allow Choudhury’s group to evaluate how to integrate activities under the framework of the Data Conservancy and will result in a set of recommendations for NSF regarding an open access repository. ...

Comment. The comparison to PMC is promising. The history of the NIH Public Access policy began with a repository, then a voluntary policy for grantee deposits, then finally an OA mandate. NSF is the main federal funder of non-biomedical research, including STEM fields, social sciences, and STEM education, so this could touch a lot of research.