Open Access News

News from the open access movement

Saturday, October 24, 2009

OA Week announcements, part 2

More news announced as part of Open Access Week:

Indian university plans OA mandate, launches IR

MKU to go for Open Access Mandate, press release, undated but recent.

... At Madurai Kamaraj University, an Open Access Repository using E-prints has been initiated at a School level and will be expanded to the whole University as part of its open access initiatives.

As indicated by the Vice-Chancellor of MKU, the University plans to go for a green open access policy. This will mandate its faculty to deposit their publicly funded research publications including student thesis, dissertations, faculty seminar presentations, journal publications into the open access repository.


Friday, October 23, 2009

Trinity U. adopts an OA policy

Trinity University is First Small, Liberal Arts University to Endorse Open Access for Sharing Scholarly Work, press release, October 23, 2009.

Trinity University’s faculty members today endorsed a measure to allow them to bypass some publication restrictions while sharing their scholarly research with the broader academic community.

Trinity becomes the first small, primarily undergraduate liberal arts institution to pass such a measure, known as Open Access. ...

The new Open Access policy also would enable Trinity professors to post the author’s version of the article in a freely-accessible digital repository. Such a repository already exists as part of the Liberal Arts Scholarly Repository, a collaboration among Trinity and other private liberal arts colleges, including Carleton College, Bucknell University, Grinnell College, University of Richmond, St. Lawrence University, and Whitman College. ...

The vote sends a message from Trinity to other primarily undergraduate institutions to act regarding the future of the publishing world, [economics professor Jorge G. Gonzalez] said. ...

Trinity’s Faculty Senate approved the proposal in late September. The vote by the full faculty on Friday, Oct. 23 was taken at an assembly during International Open Access Week. ...

From the Trinity University Open Access Policy Statement draft dated September 25:

... Each Faculty member grants to the President and Board of Trustees of Trinity University limited use of his or her scholarly articles. An article is defined here as a scholarly work published in a journal or as an independent chapter of a multi-authored book. ... [T]he policy applies only to works for which the author does not retain full copyright. Faculty members are allowed to opt out of this policy for any reason. ...

While faculty members are encouraged to publish their scholarly work in the most prestigious journals, when Open Access journals of equal quality are available, faculty members should give strong consideration to them. Faculty members are also encouraged to explore opportunities to retain copyright of their works regardless of the ultimate publication venue.

Each Faculty member will provide an electronic copy of the final version of the article, through a website established for this purpose, at no charge to the Open Access Faculty Committee. ... Each article will be embargoed until it has appeared either in print or on-line at the publisher’s web site, whichever comes first.

The Open Access Faculty Committee will be a standing university committee, appointed by the President with the assistance of the Faculty Senate. The Open Access Faculty Committee will be responsible for implementing and interpreting this policy, resolving disputes concerning its interpretation and application, and recommending changes to the Faculty from time to time. The policy will be reviewed after three years and a report presented to the Faculty. ...

Pending confirmation of the final text approved, it looks like a mandate.


OA Week announcements, part 1

Some other news announced as part of Open Access Week:

Trinity U. votes on OA policy

Sneha Janardhanan, Faculty consider Open Access to journal articles, Trinitonian, October 23, 2009.

Today, the Trinity [University] faculty will vote on whether or not Trinity should adopt a policy of Open Access to its scholarly articles. ...

Under Trinity's proposed Open Access policy, articles would be published in their non-peer-reviewed state in a repository on the Trinity Web site. Meanwhile, the author would submit the article to a journal for the publishing process, and the peer-reviewed version of the article would appear only in the journal. ...

"Our policy is to have authors split the rights of their articles and have their commercial rights be made available to publishers and their non-commercial rights to stay here at Trinity," said [chemistry department chair Steve] Bachrach. ...

According to Bachrach, there will be an embargo period, preventing the articles from being openly available in the Trinity repository until after they are published in the journals. This allows the peer review process to remain in place.

Faculty will also be allowed to opt-out if they don't want their articles to be available on the Open Access online repository. ...

Comment. I'm surprised if this is an accurate summary of the proposed policy. As far as I know, all existing OA mandates require deposit after a publication has been accepted for publication, i.e. after peer review. The description here sounds more akin to a mandate for working papers.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Draft report on openness in higher ed.

The Committee for Economic Development, a longstanding American business-led think tank, has released a draft of its report, Harnessing Openness to Improve Research, Teaching and Learning in Higher Education. See e.g. the table of contents for chapter 5, "Openness in Higher Education: Changes in Research":
  1. Resistance to Greater Openness
  2. Openness and Open-Access Journals
  3. Digital Repositories
  4. Educating Faculty Members on Their Intellectual Property Rights
  5. Openness and Commercial Support of Research
  6. Access to Government-Funded Research Results
  7. Openness and University Libraries
  8. Openness and Academic Presses
  9. Openness and Technology Transfer
From the conclusion:

In this report we have only begun to plumb the potential for greater openness to improve higher education. As we have made clear in our previous reports we believe that openness is not a paramount value or an unalloyed good. ... Just as new, more open, means of electronic distribution for scholarly work should accelerate the dissemination of new knowledge and hasten the pace of innovation, they pose financial challenges to existing vehicles for scholarly publication that have, and are, providing valuable services. ...

But with all the difficult issues to address, and with all the unforeseen consequences of these new pathways, we are convinced that institutions of higher education should move toward greater openness on their own with support and encouragement from businesses and governments. ... We want to encourage thoughtful experimentation to learn more about the effect of greater openness in practice. ...

Venezuelan university adopts an OA policy

According to an email by Abul Bashirullah (as posted here), library director at the Universidad de Oriente:

The Academic Council of the University unanimously approved the concept of the OA and collecting all intelectual products (Thesis, Dissertations and journals) of the University on Open Access.

In addition, the university has signed the Budapest Open Access Initiative and is establishing an IR, which is hopes to launch within a month.

I haven't been able to find any details of the policy; if you know, please contact me.

Catalan university adopts an OA policy

The Universitat Politècnica de Catalunya recently adopted its Política institucional d’accés obert. The document was approved by the university's Consell de Govern on October 7. Because I don't speak Catalan, I can't tell whether the policy is an exhortation or a mandate (Google translates the relevant phrase as "calls upon") to deposit in the university's IR.

If you know more, please contact me.


U. California's eScholarship IR moves into publishing

New Look, Enhanced Services for eScholarship, press release, October 19, 2009.

eScholarship launches a redesigned website October 19, with a substantial array of digital publishing services for the University of California scholarly community and a dynamic research platform for scholars worldwide.

Previously known as UC’s eScholarship Repository, the new eScholarship offers a robust scholarly publishing platform that enables departments, research units, publishing programs, and individual scholars associated with the University of California to have direct control over the creation and dissemination of the full range of their scholarship.

“Our relaunch of eScholarship reflects the enormous value we see in recasting the institutional repository as an open access publisher,” says Catherine Mitchell, Director of the Publishing Group at the California Digital Library. “There is significant need across the University of California campuses for a sustainable infrastructure to support the publication and dissemination of research. In our efforts to respond to this need, we have watched our institutional repository evolve into a dynamic platform for the original publication of scholarly work.” ...

Books published in eScholarship are now eligible for a combined digital/print publication service, courtesy of UC Publishing Services (UCPubS), a joint program of UC Press and the California Digital Library. In addition, eScholarship now offers conference lifecycle support, including mechanisms for proposal submission, program display, and the ultimate publication of proceedings.

Much of the site redesign has been focused on improving the quality of access to eScholarship publications. The site is optimized for Google searches; PDFs can be viewed in their entirety without download; and research can be shared easily through third party social networking sites and RSS feeds.

Likewise, the ability to locate relevant scholarship within the new site is greatly improved ...

Also see the accompanying video.

Also see Roy Tennant's comments:

... [T]he main story is the repositioning of eScholarship from being a repository with publishing services tacked on to the exact opposite ...

Update. Also see Roy Tennant's additional comments.

Upgrades to RoMEO database of publisher policies

SHERPA, Major RoMEO Upgrade Released, announcement, October 22, 2009.

As part of ongoing improvements to the RoMEO service, the Centre for Research Communications is excited to announce significant upgrades and additions to the SHERPA service RoMEO.

Previous versions of RoMEO have concentrated on highlighting information on the use of the pre-print and post-print. There has been great support from the community for also providing clearly labelled information on the use of the publisher's version/PDF as a separate item. This feature has now been included and sits alongside information on self-archiving rights for Pre-prints and Authors' Post-prints. ...

RoMEO now provides expanded journal coverage, enabling users to draw from both the Directory of Open Access Journals (DOAJ) and the Entrez journal list for the Life Sciences, along with the existing resource of the British Library's Zetoc service.

In addition to searching for journals by Print ISSN, users are now able to search by Electronic ISSN. They can also search for journals using title abbreviations.

The new Tabular Browse View enables users to display comparative charts of publishers, to quickly determine and compare what different Publishers allow them to deposit, and if the Publisher has a Paid OA Option.

If you or your authors receive funding from any of the 50 plus agencies listed in JULIET, you will now be able to restrict your search results to display Publishers' compliance with any of the funding agencies' policies listed in JULIET. ...

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Open access roundup

P.S. There's more news than usual this week, due in not insignificant part to Open Access Week. As a result, it's taking longer than usual to post news, both due to my limited time and out of a desire to keep the number of posts per day to a reasonable level.

More on the hybrid journal double-charge

Daniel Cressey, Open access: are publishers ‘double dipping’?, The Great Beyond, October 20, 2009

... “We would like to see a commitment from publishers to show the uptake of their open access option and to adjust their subscription rates to reflect increases in income from open access fees,” says Mark Walport, Director of the Wellcome Trust. ...

So how big a problem is this ‘double dipping’? Is it even a problem?

No one actually knows. Robert Kiley, head of digital services at the Wellcome, says there is hardly any information in the public domain and it is hard to even work out how many paper are being published under an ‘author pays’ route. There is no evidence at the moment publishers are dual charging, he says, but there is a perception in the academic community that it may be happening. ...

David Hoole, Head of Content Licensing and Brand Marketing at Nature Publishing Group, says the Wellcome press release is timely.

“I don’t think any publishers are deliberately charging twice, but we have certainly reached a point where subscribers are expecting to see reductions in some prices,” he says. “In fact, most publishers are seeing hybrid uptakes of less than 10%, and it is hard to be confident of the trends. We are seeing some journals publish less open access content this year than last. Another complication is that the APC (article processing charge) may not be set at a high enough rate to cover costs.”

He adds, “The important thing will be to show significant price cuts when subscription content is falling, and to embrace a 100% OA model if and when that is what authors choose.”

Exploring an IR for the Italian National Research Council

Rosa Di Cesare, et al., Towards an Institutional Repository of the Italian National Research Council: A survey on Open Access Experiences, working paper, May 2009. In Italian with an English abstract:
The paper presents the results of a survey aiming at identifying documentation, organization as well as technological resources that could be the basis for a future development of a CNR [Consiglio Nazionale delle Ricerche, National Research Council] IR. The survey makes use of a semi-structured questionnaire submitted to all CNR research units. Results show that, despite a limited number of OAI complaint repository developed under the autonomous initiative of some CNR research units, there is a mature environment for the development of an IR.

UK DFID developing an OA policy

UK Department for International Development, This is Open Access Week, press release, October 19, 2009.

... DFID-funded research is publicly funded and essentially constitutes a global public good. DFID supports Open Access as a core component of its research commitment to ensure that research knowledge can be accessed, built upon and used in support of the objectives of the DFID Research Strategy. Research for Development (R4D) is an Open Access digital portal for DFID-funded research and DFID expects the research programmes it funds to make full use of the R4D repository. For more information, see the Research Programme Consortia: Guidance Note on Open Access.

A recent scoping study has looked at how DFID Research can develop an open access policy that will lead to greater public access to the research outputs it finances. Read the report 'Towards a DFID Research Policy on Open Access' and see the presentation based upon this report.

From the Guidance Note on Open Access, dated June 2009:

... DFID recognises the immense benefits that scientific and social science knowledge can have in addressing poverty, and expects the research it funds to benefit researchers, policy makers and others globally, but in particular in developing countries. DFID recognises that Southern researchers, governments and civil society need better access to global public goods research to enable them to build upon and use this knowledge. ...

DFID will develop an Open Access policy with which DFID funded research programmes will be expected to comply in due course. ...

Ideally, all DFID funded research outputs should be Open Access, meaning that that the full text of any articles and technical reports resulting from DFID funding that are published in journals, conference proceedings or as working papers, whether during or after the funding period, should be deposited, at the earliest opportunity, in an appropriate Open Access repository, and also with DFID’s R4D, subject to compliance with publisher's copyright and licensing policies. Wherever possible, the article deposited should be the published version.

DFID will also encourage its research programmes to archive quantitative and qualitative primary data sets, resulting from the research it funds, with appropriate data archiving repositories. ...

The DFID Research Strategy Monitoring and Evaluation Framework includes indicators and scoring criteria against type of publications, which will include scores for Open Access publishing. ...

Peter Ballantyne, Towards a DFID Research Policy on Open Access, report, September 2009. Summary of recommendations:

  1. Take a broad ‘open knowledge’ perspective. It is about more than journal articles.
  2. In general:
    • Require systematic deposit of outputs and metadata in open archiving systems and repositories, including in a ‘UKPubDev Central.’ ...
    • Encourage use of ‘open licenses’ that recognize authorship and enable reuse. ...
  3. For different categories of outputs:
    • Encourage publication in open access journals (or hybrid journals).
    • Provide funds for any open access charges. ...
    • Require that projects develop a data curation and accessibility plan. ...
  4. In addition:
    • Adapt DFID research contracts to mandate these provisions.
    • Require each funding proposal to present an ‘accessibility plan’ or framework.
    • Include funds for open access in proposed budgets. ...
    • Support preferential access initiatives for developing countries.
    • Support open access journal publishing initiatives in developing countries.
    • Contribute to awareness raising efforts that explain open access and how it helps DFID and its partners achieve their scientific and developmental goals.
    • Engage other research funders. ...

Also see OpenR4DFID, a wiki with more information on the study.

See also our past post on R4D and DFID.


Hindawi on the future of scholarly publishing

Ahmed Hindawi, 2020: A Publishing Odyssey, Serials, July 2009; self-archived September 8, 2009.

... The biggest three changes that I believe will shape the future of journal publishing are: ?rst, the success of the open access versus toll access business models; second, the survival or downfall of the journal brand on the author side; and third, the survival or downfall of the journal brand on the librarian side. ...

What are the drivers behind a shift from the current toll access business models to open access business models? First, there is the recognition by scholars, and more importantly by research funders and policy makers, of the merits of open access, the promise of giving every researcher on the planet free online access to the whole journal literature. Second, the serials crisis and the pressure on the library budget make it very difficult for toll access publishers to expand their toll access journals or launch new journals under the toll access model. This was one of the principal reasons OUP converted their ?agship journal Nucleic Acids Research to open access and was the principal motivation for Hindawi to switch its full journal collection to open access a couple of years ago. Finally, green open access is going to push publishers towards gold open access as a more ?nancially viable and secure business model. ...

Now, I would like to move to look at the future of journal publishing based on these changes. ... I would like to present the extreme cases, the possible futures in which one or more of these changes have completely been realized. ...

The ?rst possibility is a world in which none of the three changes actually took place. This is not actually a future, but the near past of the scholarly journal market. ...

The second possible future is one in which journals are still under the toll access model, journals are keeping their strong brand on the author side, but in which big deals have completely taken over most of the library acquisition budget. ...

The third possible future is a future in which journals are still under the toll access model but in which authors stopped caring about the journal as a brand. ...

The fourth possible future is one in which journals are open access but still represent strong brands on the author side. ... In this future, publishers of high-impact journals can demand higher article processing charges. However, there will be a significant level of competition between publishers, because although journals lack any interchangeability on the reader side, they are much more interchangeable on the author side. ... This market competition will lower the total cost of the scholarly journal system and will ensure significantly higher levels of economic efficiency.

The last possible future is one in which journals are both open access and have lost their brands on the author side. You may call this future “Commoditization 2.0.” ...

This is a future in which every journal is a PLoS ONE-like journal, publishing all submitted manuscripts that are rigorous, regardless of their potential impact. Cross-publisher databases and services will help the scholars and the science administrators to navigate and evaluate individual articles and authors. ...

NIH considering genomic data sharing policy

National Human Genome Research Institute, Notice on Development of Data Sharing Policy for Sequence and Related Genomic Data, October 19, 2009.

... NIH is currently considering several issues relating to the deposition and release of sequence and related [genomic] data through central database resources, including:

  1. The characteristics and rationales for determining whether a project might be subject to any new sequence and other genomic data-release policy ...
  2. The specific types of primary and processed data that should be released; the types of accompanying metadata and other annotation (e.g., phenotype, epigenetic mark) that may be critical for data interpretation; and the technical capabilities and requirements for broad sequence data sharing, including standard data formats.
  3. Timing of broad data release, including the potential for pre-publication data release.
  4. Mechanisms and policies for making data available to third parties, and terms of access including the possibility of a period of exclusivity for publication by the Principal Investigator and collaborators, and consideration of any limitations on future data use within the informed consent agreement.
  5. Costs of implementing policies to investigators, institutions, and NIH. ...

The NIH anticipates that this policy development process will occur over the next several months. At an appropriate time before the policy is implemented, the NIH will publish additional details on the policy plans. ...

OA in draft Paris Accord

The Paris Accord is a project of TransAtlantic Consumer Dialogue to draft a statement on behalf of creative and consumer groups as to challenges facing both. A 2006 draft included a brief section on scholarly publishing. Delegates will meet this weekend in Paris to work on a next draft; the current draft text includes a significantly expanded section on scholarly publishing.

Friends of OA attending the meeting include representatives of SPARC, Knowledge Ecology International, Public Knowledge, the Open Society Institute, and the Student PIRGs. From the draft:

... In licensing the rights to works for publication, authors should retain sufficient rights to use works in a variety of ways, including to provide access to scholarly works from their own personal web page, or in digital repositories, ...the right to authorize others to make certain uses of the Article ... and the right to republish the work when a work is out of print. ...

The public interest will be served by shorter terms of exclusive rights for scholarly works. ...

[C]opyright laws should allow authors to authorize the republishing of works that are out of print, or the republishing of works where copyright owners cannot be located. ...

Authors and readers agree to oppose mergers that lead to excessive concentration in the area of publishing, and agree that governments and institutions that buy scholarly works should undertake measures to curb excessive pricing of scholarly works. ...

The benefits of free access to scholarly works are well documented, appreciated and frequently experienced. ...

It is essential that authors, readers, governments, universities, libraries, funders and other institutions build strong collaborative mechanisms to support open access publishing and archiving for scholarly works.

Governments, philanthropic donors, and other entities that fund research should require authors to publish in open access platforms, or place works in open archives soon after the date of initial publication.

Public libraries and universities should be resourced by governments to spend a fraction of their budgets to support open access scholarly publishing. ...

Trade agreements should include chapters on the global supply of public goods, including agreements to provide financial support for open access publishing, and to require open access to government funded research. ...

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

State of OA in Canada

Michael Geist, Canadian Universities Too Closed Minded on Open Access, Michael Geist, October 19, 2009.

... In recent years, many countries have implemented legislative mandates that require researchers who accept public grants to make their published research results freely available online within a reasonable time period. While Canada has lagged, a growing number of funding agencies, including the Canadian Institutes of Health Research, the Canadian Cancer Society, and Genome Canada have adopted open access policies. ...

Notwithstanding the success stories, my weekly technology law column (Toronto Star version, homepage version) argues that two major barriers remain.

The first is the need for broader campus support for open access. In recent months, many of the world’s top universities - including Harvard, Stanford, MIT, and Cornell - have adopted open access strategies that feature mandatory open access policies within some faculties as well as financial support to absorb costs faced by researchers who wish to publish in open access journals.

Canadian universities may benefit from far more public funding than their U.S. counterparts, but they have been much more reluctant to adopt open access mandates. While there are some exceptions - Athabasca University along with the library departments at York University and the University of Calgary have adopted open access policies - most have been strangely silent on the issue.

Second, Canadian university publishers have been generally hostile toward open access. Leading university presses such as Oxford University Press and Yale University Press have experimented with open licences, but most Canadian presses have not.

This is particularly troubling given the public dollars that support university publishers. ...

Yale students call for OA

Adi Kamdar, Open up, Yale, Yale Daily News, October 19, 2009.

... Yale should join in the [OA] movement; it should push its faculty to make their articles available online by creating a free, open, University-supported repository of scholarly knowledge. ...

The issue is thus one of social justice and responsibility. It is an opportunity for Yale to fulfill its own mission. ...

Harvard University has already established an open-access policy. So has the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Stanford School of Education, and the universities of Kansas and Oregon. Now Dartmouth University, Cornell University and the University of California, Berkeley, have signed onto the Compact for Open-Access Publishing Equity, committing their schools to help underwrite the charges required to republish articles in open-access journals.

Yale is notably absent from this list. ...

Harvard’s policy came about through faculty leadership, and often movements for open access begin below the university administration. We must therefore help those around us to realize the benefits, the importance and the inevitability of open-access publishing. We must fight for the ideals behind our commitment to global education. We need to make our university aware that we believe in these values. ...

Paul Ramirez, Yale lags behind peers in open access policies, The Yale Herald, October 16, 2009.

On Tues., Feb. 12, 2008, Harvard astonished the academic world when its Faculty of Arts and Sciences unanimously voted for a mandate that would require all faculty members to make their scholarly articles available for free online. Then in September 2009, a consortium of five elite universities, including Cornell, Dartmouth, Harvard, MIT, and Berkeley, declared that they would commit significant resources to open-access publishing. But one name is conspicuously missing from this list: Yale.

As universities and other institutions across the world celebrate Open Access Week (beginning Mon., Oct. 19), it is an important time to reconsider Yale’s mission regarding the creation, dissemination, and preservation of knowledge in an emerging digital landscape. Despite recent efforts, Yale lags behind its peers in the adoption of open-access models that would make scholarly work available to the world. ...

Harvard and other universities have already led the way by joining the five-member Compact for Open-Access Publishing Equity. It’s high time for us to join this effort with equal resolve. Yale has taken some steps toward disseminating information online, such as its open courseware initiative and the creation of an Office of Digital Assets and Infrastructure, alongside smaller projects like the Law School’s digital commons repository. But we must expand these efforts; Yale must stand with its peers and take action by adopting a campus-wide open access policy. ...

Upgrades coming to UKPMC

Wellcome Trust calls for greater transparency from journals on open access publishing costs, press release, October 19, 2009.

... Through a development programme, managed by the British Library in consultation with the UKPMC funding organisations and the academic community, [UK PubMed Central] is currently being developed with the aim that it becomes the information resource of choice for the UK biomedical and health research communities.

Key developments include providing the functionality - through text and data mining technologies - to integrate research articles with a range of other online sources, such as gene, protein and chemical compound databases, and to integrate a range of bibliographic databases - including Medline, Patents and Agricola - into a single, seamless discovery tool. The new UKPMC site will go live early in 2010.

Bibliography on IRs

Charles Bailey, Institutional Repository Bibliography, Version 1, DigitalKoans, October 18, 2009.

To celebrate Open Access Week, Digital Scholarship is releasing version one of the Institutional Repository Bibliography. This bibliography presents over 620 selected English-language articles, books, and other scholarly textual sources that are useful in understanding institutional repositories. Although institutional repositories intersect with a number of open access and scholarly communication topics, this bibliography only includes works that are primarily about institutional repositories.

Most sources have been published between 2000 and the present; however, a limited number of key sources published prior to 2000 are also included. Where possible, links are provided to e-prints in disciplinary archives and institutional repositories.

Table of Contents

  1. General
  2. Country and Regional Institutional Repository Surveys
  3. Multiple-Institution Repositories
  4. Specific Institutional Repositories
  5. Institutional Repository Digital Preservation Issues
  6. Institutional Repository Library Issues
  7. Institutional Repository Metadata Issues
  8. Institutional Repository Open Access Policies
  9. Institutional Repository R&D Projects
  10. Institutional Repository Research Studies
  11. Institutional Repository Software ...

OA to yeast genome data

Diethard Mattanovich, et al., Open access to sequence: Browsing the Pichia pastoris genome, Microbial Cell Factories, October 16, 2009. Abstract:
The first genome sequences of the important yeast protein production host Pichia pastoris have been released into the public domain this spring. In order to provide the scientific community easy and versatile access to the sequence, two web-sites have been installed as a resource for genomic sequence, gene and protein information for P. pastoris: A GBrowse based genome browser was set up at [link] and a genome portal with gene annotation and browsing functionality at [link]. Both websites are offering information on gene annotation and function, regulation and structure. In addition, a WiKi based platform allows all users to create additional information on genes, proteins, physiology and other items of P. pastoris research, so that the Pichia community can benefit from exchange of knowledge, data and materials.

OA journals in India

Sarika Sawant, The current scenario of open access journal initiatives in India, Collection Building, 2009. Only this abstract is OA, at least so far:

Purpose – The overall aim of the research was to gather the data related to open access journal initiatives in India with respect to its type, funding agency/host organization, full text availability, article charges etc.

Design/methodology/approach – Various sources of information were consulted such as literature, search engines, directories etc.

Findings – Results shows that all 178 open access journals were peer reviewed, indexed and abstracted in various indexing and abstracting services, listed with DOAR and O-Jgate.

Research limitations/implications – Open access journals that were available on internet were included but not those which were available on intranet.

Originality/value – In the earlier literature it was mentioned that there were about 100 to 110 open access journals and no author paid journals. But the present study discovered the existence of 178 open access journals with three author paid journals.

U.S. National Archives' digitization agreement

Kate Theimer, NARA’s Digital Partnership Agreements: The Good, the Bad, and let’s hope, not the Ugly, ArchivesNext, October 16, 2009.

The issue of the terms of [the U.S. National Archives and Records Administration]’s agreements with their “digitization partners” has come up again lately, inspired by the recent news that, a NARA partner, has digitized and will make available on its site many NARA records relating to the Holocaust. Footnote is generously making those records available to the public during the month of October, but after that people will need to pay to have access to them on the Footnote site. ...

At the present time, NARA doesn’t have the resources to do large-scale scanning and hosting of its holdings. In making these agreements, they are making a trade. They grant the partners the right to profit from having the digitized records available on their sites and in exchange NARA receives copies of the images (and metadata) which NARA can do with as it chooses. ...

Acting on our behalf, as custodians of our public records, NARA trades a short term “bad” (access to these public documents only via fee-based sites) for a long-term “good”–copies of the digital images and metadata.

This long-term “good” that NARA has traded for is only realized when we get free public access to the documents online. ... What is NARA planning to do when it does get those copies and is legally able to make them available? Rather than speculate, I asked NARA for an official statement about whether or not there were plans to ingest the digital copies into ERA, NARA’s future Web interface for all its archival materials. Here is the pertinent part of their response:

You ask whether ingesting all or part of those digital files is explicitly part of the ERA schedule and supported in the projected ERA budget. The task of adding them to ERA is not part of the current ERA schedule or budget. We have just begun doing analysis relating to cost and other aspects of making these digital surrogates available. As the analysis proceeds, it is quite possible that other viable alternatives besides ERA may emerge. We do regard it as our responsibility to get the best deal we can for the public in terms of both access and cost, and will at the appropriate point reach out to stakeholders and the public for feedback on the various options.

I find this a somewhat curious answer ... What I don’t see in that answer is a firm commitment by NARA to making the copies freely available online. ...

Monday, October 19, 2009

COPE fund at Dartmouth

In September, five American universities signed the Compact for Open-Access Publication Equity, pledging to support OA journals by paying author-side fees on behalf of their researchers. Of the signatories, Berkeley previously had an OA author fund; Harvard and Cornell announced new funds, leaving Dartmouth and MIT. Although we didn't cover it (and although the COPE site doesn't list it), it seems Dartmouth also announced an OA author fund at the same time; see this September 14 announcement:

... We have encouraged faculty to consider open access publishing. Now, the Provost’s Office and the Library have designated funds to support participation, on an exploratory basis. ...

A description of qualifying works and how to take advantage of this support will be forthcoming.

Another (undated) page provides information on Dartmouth's fund. The details are mostly the same as the Cornell and Harvard funds (the Dartmouth fund is slightly more restrictive in who is eligible for funding: only faculty and graduate students). Up to $3,000 per year is available per researcher, on a first-come first-served basis. A separate fact sheet indicates that the funding is provided by the Provost's Office and the Library, with initial funding of $20,000.


Open access roundup

EU meeting to draft recommendations on OA

Open Access Week 2009, Enabling Open Scholarship, October 18, 2009.
... Four members of the EOS Board will be attending the invitation-only conference hosted by the European Commission this week in Brussels. The conference is called 'Working Together to Strengthen Research in Europe'. There is a morning session on Open Access on Thursday 22 October. Its remit is to come up with recommendations for policies on Open Access that the Commission can take forward. With Sijbolt Noorda as one of the panel speakers and Bernard Rentier and Keith Jeffery invited participants, some good outputs are assured. Alma Swan is in the chair. ...

$5,000+: avg. revenue per STM article

Heather Morrison, Research Brief: Library savings from full flip to open access via article processing fees: about two-thirds savings, The Imaginary Journal of Poetic Economics, October 18, 2009.

Based on data supplied by Mark Ware in the recently released report for the Scientific, Technical and Medical Publishers Association (STM) An overview of scientific and scholarly journals publishing, I calculate that library savings from a full flip from subscriptions to [open] access via article processing fees, at the PLoS One rate of $1,350 would be at least 64%. For the avoidance of doubt, that's about a two-thirds discount. This is presented as an illustration that open access is a wise choice economically, and not just from an access perspective; it is not meant as an endorsement of PLoS One or the article processing fee approach. The majority of OA journals do not charge article processing fees.

In brief, Ware estimates annual STM revenue at $8 billion per year, and quotes Bjork et al on an estimated total peer-reviewed journal article production of 1.5 million articles per year. This is an average of $5,333 revenue for STM for each scholarly article produced in a year. Compare this with the PLoS One article processing fee of $1,350 per article. Factoring in about 70% of STM revenues coming from library sources, the resulting global savings for libraries are 64%. See here for figures.

Other ways of expressing this: PLoS One costs about a fourth of the average revenue per article for STM, or PLoS One is four times as efficient as the average traditional STM journal.

There are many limitations to this brief study. Most of these limitations are reasons why library savings would be greater than 64%. Examples of variables not taken into account:

STM revenue does not take into account non-STM revenue, for journals in the humanities and social sciences and smaller publishers that are not part of STM. The article count, however, is for all disciplines. A higher total revenue would result in a higher average per-article revenue with the current subscription system, which in turn would mean higher library savings with a flip to open access via article processing fees.

This scenario does not take into account non-library revenue for article processing fees, such as authors who can tap into research grant funds for this purpose. ...

Opportunities from OA patent info

Robinson Esalimba and William New, Spurring Local Innovation In Africa By Improving Access To Information, Intellectual Property Watch, October 19, 2009.

Greater awareness of the existence of open access information resources for innovation and making the information easily accessible and relevant to developing country users could help spur innovation in these countries, according to top technical assistance providers and local innovators. ...

Researchers and innovators in developed countries seeking authoritative information on how to solve a particular technical problem or develop a new product generally turn either to scientific journals or patent information. ...

Gakuru Muchemi, a senior lecturer at the Department of Electrical and Information Engineering of the University of Nairobi School of Engineering, noted in an interview that “the use of patent disclosure information either as a research tool or teaching aid in our institutions of learning and research still remains unused or underutilised.”

Muchemi, who has developed a Swahili text-to-speech system, attributed this to general unawareness that certain patent databases can be accessed online free of charge. “Where there is awareness of the potential of patent information, there is a general misconception that they are all provided on a commercial basis which discourages researchers and students from seeking them out,” he added. ...

All of the young innovators interviewed by Intellectual Property Watch were not aware of the existence of open access patent databases that could be used to draw information to either develop new products or improve on their innovations.

Both the IOI and WIPO indicated very modest use of their patent information from Africa by reviewing African internet protocol addresses accessing the databases.

Muchemi, the professor from University of Nairobi, said awareness may increase usage. [The Initiative for Open Innovation] has carried out a number of outreach programmes in Africa and also hopes to forge partnerships with African research think-tanks drawn from various African countries ...

According to [the World Intellectual Property Organization's William] Meredith, the WIPO Patentscope [an OA patent database] team’s publicity efforts are largely centred on “increasing its internet presence” and more participation in workshops, conferences and exhibitions. They have an initiative specifically targeting universities, he said. ...

£2 million more for Wellcome Trust author fund

Wellcome Trust calls for greater transparency from journals on open access publishing costs, press release, October 19, 2009.

As Open Access Week 2009 gets underway, the Wellcome Trust has called for greater transparency among publishers to counter the argument that access fees are being paid twice - once through subscriptions and again through publication fees.

The call comes as the Trust announces a further £2 million to fund open access publication fees for its researchers over the next 12 months. The funds are part of the ongoing commitment to ensuring that the results of all Trust-funded research are made freely available online. ...

In recent months, however, concern has been expressed by the research community that publishers are using open access fees as an additional revenue stream without making a concerted effort to adapt their business models. In other words, access fees are being paid twice, through subscriptions and through publication fees.

"We would like to see a commitment from publishers to show the uptake of their open access option and to adjust their subscription rates to reflect increases in income from open access fees," says Sir Mark [Walport, Director of the Wellcome Trust]. "Some publishers, for example Oxford University Press, have already done this and we would like to see all publishers behave the same way." ...

OA mandate at U. Salford

University of Salford, University formally announces intention to be Open Access for research, press release, October 19, 2009.

The University has become the 100th university in the world to issue an Open Access mandate - to coincide with the first international Open Access Week.

Salford has now formally announced its intention to implement plans that will make free, easily accessible research knowledge available to a worldwide audience via the University of Salford Institutional Repository (USIR) portal. ...

For the last two years the University has been implementing systems to enable its research active staff to deposit their findings and research into the repository.

The University of Salford is pleased to now declare that from the 1 January 2010, it will be implementing a mandatory policy for all research active staff to deposit research information into the repository. This means that as of January 2010, the University of Salford will officially be an Open Access University.


German Research Foundation funding for university author funds

The Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (DFG, German Research Foundation) announced (Google translation) on October 13 that it would offer funding to universities to support OA author funds. Johannes Fournier of the foundation tells me by email:

The main idea behind the funding programme is that universities can apply for DFG-funding which the university then can spend in order to finance publications in true open access journals by researchers of the university. The reason that only the university as an institution (and not the individual researchers) can apply is that only institutions will be able to create sustainable structures for covering article processing charges. It will be important, though, that the structures universities are going to establish are a proper service to their researchers.

Of course, individual researchers will - as already is and was the case - still be able to use the publication lump-sums from their DFG-grants to cover publication charges.