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International Open Access Week (October 19-23, 2009) is almost upon us -- here's a sampling of some activities worldwide:
See also our past posts on OA Week.
Update (10/19/09). The NCAR policy is now online.
Tony Hey, Stewart Tansley, and Kristin Tolle, eds., The Fourth Paradigm: Data-Intensive Scientific Discovery, published by Microsoft Research, October 16, 2009. See especially the section "Scholarly Communication":
Timothy Gowers and Michael Nielsen, Massively collaborative mathematics, Nature, October 14, 2009.
See also our past post on the Polymath project.
Jennifer Howard, Open Access to Research Is Inevitable, Libraries Are Told, The Wired Campus, October 15, 2009.
Nature Publishing Group, Nature Communications now accepting submissions, press release, October 13, 2009.
See also our past posts on Nature Communications.
SPARC, Student coalition for Open Access solidifies, now represents over 5 million students internationally, press release, October 15, 2009.
Also see NAGPS' resources on FRPAA:
See also our past posts on the Right to Research campaign.
Disclosure: I have been a paid consultant on the Right to Research campaign.
In August 2008, the U.S. Government Printing Office issued a request for proposals to digitize its legacy collection of 2.2 million documents, back to founding of the country. Last week, GPO announced it would not award a contract, explaining only that it couldn't make an award "in the allocated timeframe".
There was at least one bid for the contract. The Internet Archive filed a proposal, partnering with the Law Library Microform Consortium and the University of Florida Libraries. The proposal seems to meet the major requirements of the RFP: most importantly, that the digitization would occur at no cost to the government. In addition to providing free digital copies of the files to GPO, the Internet Archive also proposed to host them OA online.
According to Gary Somerset, GPO spokesperson, GPO did make a recommendation for an award, though he didn't say which bid was recommended. (I don't know if there were other bids besides the Internet Archive's.) Here's the catch -- quoting from Somerset via email:
... GPO does not have the statutory authority for this project and would need the approval of [the Joint Committee on Printing, GPO's Congressional oversight committee] to proceed. GPO briefed committee staff and they indicated they were likely to recommend approval for a project of defined scope in order to test the project's process, identify costs, evaluate protections for [personally identifiable information], and monitor progress. Before GPO could submit a formal request to the committee for approval, the bid acceptance period expired before an award could be made. The Public Printer [director of the GPO] requested an extension of the offer but the offerer declined to provide it. Since then, GPO has received expressions of interest in this project from different parties and is in the process of evaluating its next steps.
The response I received from Judith Russell, dean of libraries at UF (and former Superintendent of Documents at GPO) suggests the bid under consideration was the Internet Archive's:
I do not know if GPO had other proposals under active consideration, but the proposal in which I participated was extended multiple times at the request of GPO, with the final extension expiring on September 30, 2009. Internet Archive and LLMC declined to extend beyond that date.
Also of note: a May 4, 2009 letter from the American Library Association and the Association of Research Libraries to the Joint Committee on Printing, asking the committee to "quickly approve this GPO request so that these valuable resources can be made accessible to the public".
I'll post more information when I have it. If you know something, please let me know. (You may request to remain anonymous if you wish.)
OAPEN survey ‘Funding of Monographs in the HSS’, OAPEN Newsletter, October 2009.
Cameron Neylon, Open Research: The personal, the social, and the political, Science in the open, October 10, 2009.
... More open research will be more effective, more efficient, and provide better value for the taxpayer’s money. But more importantly I believe it is the only credible way to negotiate a new concensus [sic] on the public funding of research. We need an honest conversation with government and the wider community about why research is valuable, what the outcomes are, and how the contribute to our society. We can’t do that if the majority cannot even see those outcomes. ...
University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center at Dallas, NIH funds new virus database at UT Southwestern, press release, October 13, 2009.
BioMed Central, National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) funds Supporter Membership of BioMed Central, press release, October 12, 2009.
Harvard, National Library of China Embark on Digitization Project, Harvard College Library News, October 9, 2009.
University of Michigan, New digital access options for U-M Press titles, press release, October 8, 2009.
There are currently about 350 OA titles in the press' HathiTrust collection. At present, only some titles have a link to buy a print copy, but all titles have a link to find a copy in a library. Some titles bear a "Digitized by Google" watermark.
Nancy Sánchez-Tarragó and J. Carlos Fernández-Molina, The open access movement and Cuban health research work: an author survey, Health Information & Libraries Journal, October 11, 2009. Only this abstract is OA, at least so far:
See also our past post on the authors' previous study.
User needs study on Open Access Book, OAPEN Newsletter, October 2009.
International Association of Scientific, Technical, and Medical Publishers, Growth for STM publishers in 2008, press release, October 13, 2009.
Comment. It's only paradoxical if one ignores the context. The debates about access are provoked by new technologies (the opening lines of the Budapest Open Access Initiative make that clear). Independent of the debate, publishers have adopted some of those technologies in ways that improve access. Publishers have also responded to the debate, in part, by improving access. Those actions, in turn, prompt further debate. For instance, the existence of HINARI doesn't merely silence debate about access to health research in developing countries; it also prompts the question, "Is HINARI enough?"
See also our past post on the earlier report.
The Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences announced yesterday that the 2009 Nobel Prize in economics to Elinor Ostrom and Oliver E. Williamson. Ostrom was recognized "for her analysis of economic governance, especially the commons". Ostrom's research has touched on many types of commons, knowledge among them. See, e.g.:
See also our past posts on Ostrom.