Open Access News

News from the open access movement

Friday, November 06, 2009

Open access roundup

PMC Canada launches

As previously announced, PubMed Central Canada launched during Open Access Week. The manuscript submission system will launch later this year.

See also our past posts on PMC Canada.

ARL strategic plan focuses on OA

The Association of Research Libraries has released its strategic plan for 2010-2012. Each of the plan's three strategic directions touches on OA, directly or indirectly.

From the strategic direction Influencing Public Policies:

... Expand ARL’s capacity for advancing open access/open science and access to data through increased advocacy and collaboration with other allied and partner organizations such as the Scholarly Publishing and Academic Resources Coalition (SPARC). ...

From the strategic direction Reshaping Scholarly Communication:

... Sponsor, conduct, and promote research that will inform the development and assessments of models of scholarly communication. ...

PLoS and DeepDyve

Liz Allen, Responding to community feedback - DeepDyve and PLoS - Q & A, Public Library of Science, November 4, 2009.

Over the past few days, a company called DeepDyve, who run a search engine that we use on the website, announced a rental service for research articles. DeepDyve offers two types of content on its site - restricted-access content (from traditional publishers such as OUP, Wiley-Blackwell, Sage and others) which can be "rented" for $0.99 on a "pay-as-you-go" model and open-access content, which is always free.

The open-access and library community have been asking some pertinent questions about this new launch and our involvement with it which we'd like to address in this blog post.

Q: Is PLoS charging a fee for access to articles that appear in DeepDyve?

A: There is no financial gain to PLoS - all our content is freely available online to everyone, including commercial organizations, under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License that we use.

Q: Why has PLoS agreed to provide its content to DeepDyve?

A. The Creative Commons License means that no permission is required to reuse PLoS content - in fact, creative reuse for commercial as well as non-commercial purposes is encouraged. Readers might like to know that almost every organization that wants to use PLoS content in bulk checks in with us first out of courtesy and this was the case with Deep Dyve. ...

Q. Is PLoS doing this to gain eyeballs on its content?

A. PLoS content is freely available to everyone who wants to reuse it. We want as many people as possible to take advantage of this content because research information is most powerful when more people can discover and use it and naturally, we're in favor of maximum exposure for the work of PLoS authors. ...

Finally, when we raised some of the concerns of the community, listed above, with DeepDyve they were responsive and immediately made the status of open-access content clearer on their website.

See also our past post on DeepDyve.

Wednesday, November 04, 2009


I'll be out tomorrow for a personal day. But check the Open Access Tracking Project for the latest updates, and I'll be back Friday.

Open access roundup

Brill launches hybrid option for 135 journals, will adjust subscription prices

Brill introduces Journal Open Access Service: Brill Open, press release, November 4, 2009.

Brill, a prominent scholarly publisher in the Humanities and International Law, is pleased to announce the launch of Brill Open. This new author service offers the option of making articles freely available upon publication. Brill Open enables authors to comply with research funding bodies and institutions which require open access.

The Brill Open option will be available for all 135 journals published under the imprints Brill, Martinus Nijhoff and VSP. Articles will be put in online open access in exchange for an article publishing fee to be arranged by the author.

Sam Bruinsma, Brill’s Business Development Director, explains: ‘We are launching this new service in answer to a growing number of research funding bodies and universities announcing their compliance with the open access model. With Brill Open our journals are ready to meet the expected increase in contributions under this model.’

In order to ensure that authors' funder requirements have no influence on the editorial peer review and decision-making, Brill Open will be made available to authors only upon acceptance of their paper for publication. Those authors who do not wish to use this service will be under no pressure to do so, and their accepted article will be published in the usual manner.

Brill’s strategic intent is to adjust the future subscription price of a journal to reflect an increase in Brill Open fees. Sam Bruinsma comments: ‘Our view on open access developments is positive. We accept that over time an increasing part of our revenues will come through this new model. This will have an impact on the revenues from our library subscription service. The combination of these two business models will continue to support a healthy and sustainable journal program attractive to the best authors in the field.’

Toward a culture of academic sharing

Larry Johnson, NMC and UOC Release Call to Action for Open Education, New Media Consortium, November 1, 2009.

Forty internationally known leaders in open education and technology met in Barcelona on October 19-20, 2009, at the NMC's first official European event, the Open EdTech Summit, cosponsored by the Open University of Catalunya and the New Media Consortium. ...

Summit attendees generated fifty action items necessary to realize the goal of creating an institution that can meet the needs of students today and into the foreseeable future, and then ranked them. Those which ranked highest are captured here, and framed as a Call to Action - five major tasks that are perceived as critical to achieving the promise of open education: ...

4. We must enable a culture of sharing. Recognizing that the sharing and reuse of scholarly work is a key component of the university of the future, we advocate building a culture of sharing in which concerns about intellectual property, copyright, and student-to-student collaboration are alleviated and the model of proprietary work dissolves in favor of a more open one. To this end, we must establish reward structures that support the sharing of work in progress, ongoing research, highly collaborative projects, and scholarly publications of all kinds, including reputation systems, peer review processes, and new models for citation of such content. ...

Utah State UP joins library, will focus on OA

Patrick Williams, Utah State University Press Merges With Merrill-Cazier Library, Utah State Today, November 2, 2009.

Joining a growing national trend, Utah State University Press will merge with the administrative structure of Merrill-Cazier Library at Utah State University. The transition has begun, with the arrangement officially taking effect at the start of fiscal year 2010-11.

The move was recently approved by USU’s Executive Vice President and Provost Raymond T. Coward, following a proposal from Richard Clement, dean of USU Libraries, and Michael Spooner, director of USU Press.

The merger of a scholarly press with a university library has been used at other institutions to innovatively address a number of trends in scholarly publication, Clement and Spooner said.

Digital publishing, for example, will play an important part in the future of scholarly publication, and university libraries and presses are both deeply interested in its potential for transforming the way research is distributed.

“Many university presses are moving toward open access, often under the administration of the library,” Clement said. “The most conspicuous example in the recent past is the University of Michigan Press which moved into the library and is now focusing on OA and other forms of digital publication. We propose to move the USU Press along the same path.” ...

“Among universities with presses, there is an emerging trend in this direction, and Utah State University Press now joins the first dozen or so university presses to pursue this relationship,” Spooner said.

While the decision to move USU Press to Merrill-Cazier Library was not completely budget-driven, it will result in significant savings, Clement said. With a larger staff in place, the library will assume a number of support activities for the press, including accounting, IT support, graphic design and public relations. ...

USU Press will adopt a new publication model, with open access as a central component and will move toward increased digital delivery of books. ...

“This move directly serves the needs of the university,” Clement said. “Open access allows us to go back to where university presses began — to publish work by all faculty in every discipline.”

At the same time, USU Press remains a refereed scholarly press, with the standards of rigorous peer review appropriate to a university publisher. ...

Also see coverage by Inside Higher Ed:

For the last nine months, the survival of the Utah State University Press has been in doubt, with fears that deep cuts being made to public higher education in Utah would end up killing off the publishing outlet.

This week comes news that the press will survive -- in part by embracing a new model of organization (becoming part of the university library) and a new business model (embracing open access, in which most publications would be available online and free). ...

Update. Also see coverage by Library Journal.

What's next from OASPA

Caroline Sutton, OASPA one year on: Core values, best practices and future plans, OASPA News and Commentary, November 4, 2009.

... [The Open Access Scholarly Publishers Association] has established a sub-group for mixed model publishers headed by David Ross from SAGE Publications. A sub-group for scholar publishers is also being established, building upon the energy and dialogue established amongst this group at [the Conference on Open Access Scholarly Publishing (Lund, September 14-16, 2009)]. The need to address open access books publishing was also clearly expressed and OASPA will support the establishment of a sub-group within the organization. We expect proposals for other sub-groups over the next year.

Because an exchange of information should also extend beyond our own membership, OASPA has also established groups in LinkedIn and on Facebook. ...

The OASPA blog will also be an important forum for exchanging information. ... Paul Peters of Hindawi Publishing Corporation will edit and coordinate the blog. ...

During the next month the OASPA board will hold a special board meeting to discuss the establishment of a sub-committee focused on the financing of open access publishing. In a breakout session at COASP librarians and administrators called upon publishers to aggregate their pre-payment and membership programs, and to possibly work through library consortia to negotiate centralized Open Access funding sources. Professional publishing organizations arrived at a similar suggestion during their session, and this common view of the situation by these two stakeholder groups lends hope to the possibility of creating sustainable funding sources to centrally support Open Access publishing at an institutional, consortial, or possibly even national level.

OASPA members can also expect to see new membership benefits added. A contract has been negotiated with CrossRef to provide scholar publisher members with DOIs through OASPA. ... Knowledge Exchange has also offered a discounted rate for OASPA members, and we look to establishing additional arrangements with other organizations supporting OA publishing. ...

Pressure to commercialize vs. data sharing

Timothy Caulfield, Do Gene Patents Hurt Research?, Science Progress, October 29, 2009.

... There is solid evidence that commercialization pressure and the involvement of industry can:

  • adversely affect the collaborative nature of research
  • increase data withholding behavior (that is, stop researchers from sharing information)
  • lead to the premature implementation of technologies
  • distort research results and corrode public trust.

For example, a 2009 study by Hong and Walsh concluded that “commercial linkages and increased pressures from scientific competition” was a predictor of increased data withholding. This study also found that, in the realm of biology, data withholding was not correlated with patenting. Commercialization pressure, not patenting, is the problem. ...

Monday, November 02, 2009


I'll be out tomorrow as I'm an election official here in Virginia. But the Open Access Tracking Project keeps rolling, and I'll be back Wednesday.


Open access roundup

Publishers accommodating MIT, Wellcome OA policies

OAIster will continue as a separate OA resource

OCLC makes OAIster records available through to ensure long-term public access to digital resources, press release, October 30, 2009.

The University of Michigan and OCLC today announced that they have successfully transitioned the OAIster database to OCLC to ensure continued public access to open-archive collections, and to expand the visibility of these collections to millions of information seekers through OCLC services.

OAIster records are now fully accessible through, and will be included in search results along with records from thousands of libraries worldwide that add their holdings to WorldCat. OCLC plans to release a freely accessible, discrete view of the OAIster records in January 2010 through a URL specific to OAIster. OAIster records will also continue to be available on the OCLC FirstSearch service to Base Package subscribers ...

OCLC plans to release a freely accessible, discrete view of the OAIster database in 2010 that will be updated regularly. This will allow searchers to view only items harvested through OAIster.

"OCLC has been very responsive to issues and needs brought up by the OAI community," said [Kat Hagedorn, OAIster/Metadata Harvesting Librarian at the University of Michigan]. "The creation of a free, separately accessible view of OAIster within OCLC is an example of their recognition of the value of OAIster in the world of metadata management."

Now that all OAIster records are accessible through, the Web site has been redirected to a new OAIster Web site at OCLC. ...

This reverses OCLC's previously announced plan (reported here) to end free access to OAIster as a separate database after its transfer from the University of Michigan.

New OA journals

OA journal announcements, launches, and conversions spotted in the past week or so:

November SOAN

I just mailed the November issue of the SPARC Open Access Newsletter.  This issue takes a close look at a few threads in the argument that knowledge is and ought to be a public good.  The roundup section briefly notes 223 OA developments from October.