Welcome to the SPARC Open Access Newsletter, issue #94
February 2, 2006

Read this issue online

Six things that researchers need to know about open access

When I was a graduate student, my elders never took me aside to pass on the secrets of academic publishing.  I hope this failure isn't widespread and simply reflects on my discipline, my school, my decade, or perhaps even my elders.  Today's graduate students deserve a more effective rite of passage.  But even if they're told all they need to know about in-journals and out-journals (at least by the standards of their elders), publishing contracts, submissions etiquette, turn-around time, referee behavior, citation politics, impact factors, and perishing, I know they're not told all they need to know about open access.  Here's a brief attempt to remedy that --six things that publishing researchers need to know about OA.

Readers of this newsletter shouldn't find anything new here.  But if you want a short list of what your colleagues (junior and senior) need to know, I hope this will fit the bill.  We'll know we're making progress if we can shorten this list every year until it disappears.

(1) What OA journals exist in your field?

When "presented with a list of reasons why they have not chosen to publish in an OA journal and asked to say which were important...[t]he reason that scored highest (70%) was that authors were not familiar enough with OA journals in their field."  Alma Swan and Sheridan Brown, "Authors and Open Access Publishing," Learned Publishing, July 2004, p. 220.

There's no excuse not to know the OA journals in your field.  Go to the DOAJ and browse by discipline. 

Some of the journals you find may not meet your standards for prestige or impact.  But others might.  According to the ISI's own studies, nearly every scientific discipline has an OA journal in the top cohort of impact factors.
http://www.isinet.com/media/presentrep/acropdf/impact-oa-journals.pdf  (April 2004)
http://www.isinet.com/media/presentrep/essayspdf/openaccesscitations2.pdf  (October 2004)

If you learn what OA journals exist in your field and decide against each of them, all right.  At least you made an informed decision.  But check the DOAJ again when you've written your next paper.  Things are changing fast.  Established OA journals are growing in prestige; some are getting impact factors; new OA journals are being launched; non-OA journals are converting to full OA or OA hybrid models; and non-OA journals are experimenting with different forms of OA.

If you don't publish in an OA journal, you can publish in a non-OA journal and self-archive the peer-reviewed version of your manuscript in an OA repository.  About 70% of existing non-OA journals already permit this.  More in #4 below.

(2) OA journals are not the whole story of OA.  There are also OA archives or repositories.

When people hear about OA for the first time, they tend to take away that OA journals are the way to deliver it.  Even when they hear a two-sided presentation that gives equal attention to OA journals and OA repositories, they tend to remember the part about OA journals and forget the part about OA repositories.  Sometimes a policy proposal may be about nothing but OA repositories and some readers will still think it's about OA journals.  Sometimes this happens even when the readers have with Ph.D.s. 

This is puzzling and harmful.  Part of the explanation is that we assimilate new ideas to older and more familiar ideas, and we already understand what journals are.  But try to shake yourself loose from this assimilation --or shake your colleagues loose from it.  There are two primary vehicles of OA, not just one.  OA repositories don't perform peer review; they merely make their contents freely available to the world.  But they can contain peer-reviewed postprints as easily unrefereed preprints.  You can deposit a preprint at the time you submit it to a journal and then deposit the postprint after it's published.  You can deposit your postprint in an OA repository even if you also publish it in a conventional or non-OA journal.  Don't let the novelty of OA repositories make them invisible.  Don't believe that if the concept is too good to be true then it can't be true. 

The best places to look for OA repositories are the Registry of Open Access Repositories (ROAR) and OpenDOAR (Directory of Open Access Repositories).

Here's more detail on the distinction between OA journals and OA archives or repositories.

(3) OA archiving only takes a few minutes.

"Authors have frequently expressed reluctance to self-archive because of the perceived time required and possible technical difficulties in carrying out this activity, yet findings here show that only 20% of authors found some degree of difficulty with the first act of depositing an article in a repository, and that this dropped to 9% for subsequent deposits."  Alma Swan and Sheridan Brown, Open access self-archiving: An author study, JISC, May 2005.

Les Carr and Stevan Harnad studied two months of log activity at a much-used repository and found that the time required for deposit averaged 10 minutes per paper.  Taking into account the rate at which authors had their work archived for them by others (co-authors, librarians, students, or assistants), authors who published one paper per month would spend less than 40 minutes per year on their deposits.

If you haven't deposited papers in a repository yourself and worry about adding one more task to your schedule, at least trust the Carr-Harnad evidence more than any anecdotes you might have heard from colleagues.  If you've deposited once but not twice, trust the Swan-Brown evidence that the time requirement plummets.  (Compare the first time you used endnotes in a word processor with the second time.)  If you're worrying about adding a new task regardless of the time required, then think about the many more time-consuming jobs you already do to make your work known to the world, such as keeping your c.v. up to date, mailing offprints, and sending your bibliography to deans and department chairs.  Self-archiving takes less time and has more impact than any of these.

(4) Most non-OA journals allow authors to deposit their postprints in an OA repository.

The best current estimate is that 70% of non-OA journals consent in advance to postprint archiving.

When you publish in one of these journals, you don't need further permission for self-archiving, even if you've transferred the copyright to the journal.  These journals have already given permission.  For this significant majority of peer-reviewed journals, the obstacle to OA is author failure, not copyright complexity or publisher opposition.  Journals have opened the door and authors have to walk through.

SHERPA and Eprints both maintain online databases where you can look up a journal and finds its policy on self-archiving.

Three notes on the 70% figure.  First, it represents surveyed journals.  Among unsurveyed journals, there are likely to be journals that do, and journals that don't, permit postprint archiving.  We don't know their proportions yet.  Second, the number represents journals that consent in advance to postprint archiving without requiring case-by-case requests.  Many that do not consent in advance will still consent if asked individually, however.  Elsevier routinely granted individual requests until mid-2004 when it decided to offer blanket permission instead.  Third, it represents the journals that consent to postprint archiving, not preprint archiving.  If we count the journals that consent to preprint or postprint archiving (or both), the figure rises to 93%.

Note the all-important consequence of this kind of blanket permission.  OA archiving is compatible with publishing in most conventional, subscription-based journals.  If the top journals in your field (by impact or prestige) are not OA, you can go for impact or prestige and still have OA.  It's rarely a trade-off. 

(5) Journals using the Ingelfinger Rule are a shrinking minority.

Some authors are afraid that depositing a preprint in an OA repository will disqualify it for subsequent publication.  It's true that some journals refuse to publish papers that have previously circulated as preprints or whose results have been publicized.  This is called the Ingelfinger Rule, named after a former editor at the New England Journal of Medicine.  The rule is rare outside the field of medicine and in decline. 

There are some very rare journals, like the California Law Review, that allow postprint archiving but not preprint archiving.   But essentially all the journals that don't allow preprint archiving (i.e. that follow the Ingelfinger Rule) also bar postprint archiving.  Only 7% of surveyed journals fall into this category.  Don't let groundless fears deter you from preprint archiving.  If you worry about the Ingelfinger Rule, check out the policies of the journals where you intend to submit your work. 

(6) OA enlarges your audience and citation impact.

This is the chief reason for authors to provide OA to their own work.  OA increases the audience for a work far beyond the audience of any priced journal, even the most prestigious or popular journal.  Studies in many fields show a correlation between OA and citation-count increases from 50% to 250%.

There is almost certainly causation here as well as correlation, though this hasn't been nailed down yet.  There are many hypotheses to explain the correlation.  Some of it seems to arise from the fact that self-archived articles circulate sooner than journal-published articles (and have a head-start toward citations) and the fact that authors self-archive their best work (biasing the OA sample toward quality).  But it's very likely that ongoing studies will show that much of the correlation is simply due to the larger audience and heightened visibility for the work among researchers who find the work useful, relevant, and worth citing in their own work.

These studies bring a welcome note of self-interest to the case for OA.  Providing OA to your own work is not an act of charity that only benefits others, or a sacrifice justified only by the greater good.  It's not a sacrifice at all.  It increases your visibility, retrievability, audience, usage, and citations.  It's about career-building.  For publishing scholars, it would be a bargain even if it were costly, difficult, and time-consuming. 


Google AdSense ads for open-access journals

OA journals need some source of revenue or subsidy to have a chance at viability.  Those with two or more sources have a greater chance.  Plural revenue streams not only bring in more money, but insulate journals against fluctuations in one of their revenue streams.  If OA journals charge author-side fees (and fewer than half do), then plural revenue sources let them lower their fees and increase the number of fee-waivers they grant, and thereby increase the number of submissions and the quality of accepted articles.

Here's a quick argument for Google AdSense ads.  They may not suffice to pay the bills, but every little bit helps and this is another little bit.  For journals that already have a source of revenue or subsidy, AdSense ads can provide a critical back-up.

* Journals pay nothing for them.  There is a trivial cost in placing them on the page, but it only takes some standard HTML, which could easily become part of a journal's template.  They take a few minutes of time, once, not an advertising staff or marketing department.

The amount of money they generate is a function of how many readers click on them, which depends on how many view them, which obviously varies hugely across journals and even across articles within the same journal.  But some is better than none, and even a trickle is all gain when AdSense ads are essentially costless to use.

* The journal doesn't know in advance what ads Google will select for a given page, only that the ads will be keyword-relevant to that page.  Google's algorithm decides what ads to put on a given page based on the keywords that Google's crawler detects on the page and the Google AdSense customers that have signed up to be associated with those keywords.  The ads picked for a given page might change from day to day. 

Journals cannot warp their objectivity in order to ingratiate advertisers if they don't know, at the time their editorial decisions are made, whom to ingratiate.  Journals that really want to sell their souls to advertisers would not know how, at least not without shifting back from Google ads to traditional ads. 

AdSense ads won't compromise editorial decisions or peer review, and for readers who understand how they work, they won't even present the appearance of a conflict of interest.  Of course, not all readers will understand how they work and some will object that the ads threaten the journal's objectivity.  But if these objections arise, they are much easier to answer than similar objections to conventional ads.

If journals won't feel beholden to advertisers, will they feel beholden to Google itself?  I suppose this is a possibility.  But I've seen very few scholarly journals publish articles critical of Google (though there may be more in the future).  By contrast, I've seen many blogs and newspapers criticize Google, and never heard any of them complain that their AdSense accounts were jeopardized by Google bashing.  Google can't afford to imperil its primary source of revenue, and its fate-tempting, puncture-inviting commitment to do no evil means that any hint of retaliation against AdSense account holders would be widely reported.  Witness the ongoing press coverage of Google's acquiescence to Chinese censors.  But if you like, draw the conclusion that AdSense ads minimize the advertising threat to journal integrity even if they don't cut it to zero.  Certainly, AdSense ads are immeasurably less compromising than conventional ads from known companies solicited, cultivated, or negotiated by journal staffers.

While journals don't pick advertisers or ads, Google does give them the option to block ads of certain kinds, e.g. if pornographers see money in some keywords from your research niche.  (It happens.  I run searches for "open access" every day and find that one out of every thousand hits, give or take, is pornographic.) 

* Google ads are much more likely to fit the interests of the readers of a given page than conventional ads.  Because they are selected for their keyword relevance, they are narrowcast to readers of a given page, not broadcast to readers of varying interests.  The better the fit between ad and reader, the less readers will complain about the presence of the ads and the more they will click-through, increasing the revenue for the journal.

Google's ad-selecting algorithm will have plenty to work with if ads are placed on general pages, like the front page and TOC pages.  But it will do a better job of customizing ads for readers on article pages.  The same considerations that lead readers from general to specific pages will lead Google to pick specific ads that might appeal to those readers.

In principle OA repositories could use AdSense ads as readily as journals, though repositories could probably only place ads on general pages, not on author-deposited article pages.

Of course readers might be offended by seeing too many ads on a page.  All AdSense ads are unblinking texts with no images; so if there's a problem, it's more likely to be their numbers than their distracting flash.   But journals can control how many ads they put on any given page.  If they put on too many, the fault is theirs, not Google's, and it's aesthetic, not editorial.

* Readers can help the journals they read without making donations, simply by clicking through on some of its ads.  When I see Google ads at a site I've already decided is worth my time and attention, it's easier for me to click through on a Google ad than to credit a regular ad.  Instead of feeling targeted, manipulated, and "sold to", I feel that I can help a good cause (the journal) and explore a topic of possible interest (the ad) at the same time.

* In short, Google's clever move was to take ad selection out of the journal's control and turn it over to algorithms harnessed to Google's content crawler.   Removing ad selection from the journal (1) frees journals from the suspicion of compromise or conflict, (2) saves the journal time and money, (3) and improves the fit between ad and content, which reduces reader alienation and increases revenue.

With conventional advertising, journals face a kind of dilemma.  If the money is big enough to make a difference to the journal, then it's big enough to create a worry about its effect on the journal's editorial integrity.  But the dilemma disappears when the journal doesn't know whom to please.

On the whole, the benefits for OA journals are the same as for non-OA journals.  While OA journals are usually in greater need of an additional source of revenue, non-OA journals that add revenue through AdSense ads could cut prices or increase their OA experiments.

Google AdSense

Here are three scholarly journals where I've seen Google AdSense ads.  There are undoubtedly many more, both OA and non-OA.

(ads on article pages but not the front page)

Journal of Clinical Investigation
(ads on article pages but not the front page)

Journal of Medical Internet Research
(ads on the front page as well as on article pages)

* Postscript.

(1) In September 2004 Elsevier and Google talked about a plan to give Elsevier a small payment for every user that Google directed to Elsevier.  The only accounts I've seen are vague on the kinds of links that would trigger payments to Elsevier and vague on why Google would pay Elsevier, rather than Elsevier pay Google, for click-throughs to Elsevier pages.  Moreover, I don't know whether it was ever implemented. 

A discussion of the plan on the inetbib list (in German).

The best conjecture I've seen so far is from PaidContent.org.  AdSense on your own web pages will bring in some income.  But you can earn even more if you have non-OA content, let Google index it for the Google Publisher program (as Elsevier is apparently doing), and put AdSense ads on the Google-hosted copies of your pages.  If this hypothesis doesn't quite hit it, I'd like to hear from anyone who knows more about it.

(2) Google's AdSense program is not the same as its AdWords program.  One difference is that AdSense ads appear on pages you make yourself (your journal, your blog, your home page), while AdWords ads appear on the Google search returns page.  In both cases, the advertiser pays for click-throughs, but with AdSense ads, this means the journal gets paid and with AdWords ads (at least ads for the journal itself) the journal pays.  The business strategies for using the two kinds are not the same, but OA journals might benefit from both.

Google AdWords

(3) I've thought of placing Google AdSense ads on my blog, newsletter, and other OA-related pages.  One reason I've held back is that I often write about Google and often praise or defend it.  But I'm not going to get very righteous about it since I may start using ads one day.  If I do, I'll make sure they are algorithm-selected ads that don't create conflicts or the appearance of conflicts.

(4) I don't work for Google.  I was lucky enough to buy seven shares of its stock at the IPO, but that's it.  If you think I'm making this argument to boost the stock, fire away.

(5) Today as I go to press, Scholarly Exchange has announced its free platform for OA journals, to be financed in part through Google ads.  The first $1500/year of ad revenue will repay SE's costs and the rest will be shared with the journal.  Journals not wanting to host ads can prepay SE's $1500/year fee and use the platform like any other journal.

Scholarly Exchange

Two weeks ago, I first heard about Freeload Press, which publishes OA textbooks subsidized by ads.


Top stories from January 2006

This is a selection of open-access developments since the last issue of the newsletter, taken from the Open Access News blog, which I write with other contributors and update daily.  I give both the item URL and blog posting URL so that you can read the original story as well as what I or another blog contributor had to say about it.  For other developments, the blog archive is browseable and searchable.

Here are the top stories from January:

     * New OA policy proposals from three continents.
     * New repositories and repository-developments in January.
     * News on OA hybrid journals.
     * New books on OA.
     * A little more news on the CURES Act.
     * More reviews of 2005 and predictions for 2006.

* New OA policy proposals from three continents.

The first major OA position statement of 2006 was from the European Research Consortium for Informatics and Mathematics (ERCIM).  The ERCIM statement, published in the January issue of the group's newsletter, calls for OA to all funded research, whether the funding agency is public or private.

The session on open access at the 93rd Indian Science Congress (Hyderabad, January 3-7, 2006) produced a recommendation for an Optimal National Open Access Policy, which includes a call for all publicly-funded research in India to be deposited in OA repositories.

California's Foundation for Taxpayer and Consumer Rights published a report by John M. Simpson calling for many kinds of public access to the results of state-funded stem cell research.  For example, it would discourage patents; but when grantees did patent their discoveries, they would have to allow royalty-free use by other California researchers and pay the state 25% of the net royalties beyond $100,000.  However, the report does not call for OA.

The University of California released five white papers and a draft policy on OA-related issues.  These were drafted in December but apparently not posted online until January.   One recommendation is that faculty give publishers only a non-exclusive right to publish and retain the right to post their work in an OA repository.  Another would give the university a non-exclusive right to archive the work of its faculty, though faculty would have the right to opt-out or add embargoes.  Another calls on journals to demand fewer rights from authors and to rest their business models on added value rather than ownership.  The white papers are the work of a special committee of the 10-campus UC system, not just a committee of a single campus.

Also see the following discussion of the California white papers.

Richard Poynder, Changing the paradigm, Open and Shut, January 18, 2006. An interview with Catherine Candee, director of publishing and strategic initiatives in the Office of Scholarly Communication at the University of California (UC), on the white papers among other topics.

Stevan Harnad, Publishing Reform, University Self-Publishing and Open Access, Open Access Archivangelism, January 19, 2006.  Harnad's response to Catherine Candee and the U of California IR projects.

* New repositories and repository-developments in January.

It's extraordinary how many repository-related developments took place last month.

OpenDOAR (the Directory of Open Repositories) officially launched its list of OA archives and repositories on January 27, 2006.

Also see the JISC press release on OpenDOAR.

Tim Brody's Institutional Archives Registry has changed its name to the Registry of Open Access Repositories (ROAR).  To mark the occasion, Stevan Harnad wrote a reminder of ROAR's strengths.

Also see Harnad's comparison of ROAR and OpenDOAR, and the AmSci OA Forum thread triggered by his comparison.

Philip Hunter, OAI and OAI-PMH for absolute beginners: a non-technical introduction, a PPT presentation at the CERN workshop on Innovations in Scholarly Communication (OAI4) (Geneva, October 20-22, 2005). Self-archived January 30, 2006.

Anon., Sudan archiving project turns dry-as-dust documents into bits for easy access, Balancing Act News Update, Issue no. 290.  On the planned Sudan Archive Project, which will provide OA to documents on humanitarian relief in the Sudan.

The Institutional Repository and Research Assessment (IRRA) issued the bronze release of its EPrints and DSpace RAE Software.

Banque de Données Santé Publique is an online database on public health, focusing on issues such as alcoholism, epidemiology, and ethics. Launched in 1993, it converted to OA on December 23, 2005.

Thomson Scientific's Web Citation Index (still with no web site of its own) will crawl the OA repositories built with ProQuest's Digital Commons archiving software.

Web Citation Index will also crawl PsyDok (the OA repository for psychology research  hosted by Saarland University) and SciDok (Saarland's IR).  The two will also be included in Current Web Contents.

Also see Ulrich Herb's presentation on PsyDok at the conference on Open Access to Grey Resources (Nancy, December 5-6, 2005).  Self-archived in January.

The Minority Health Archive (MHA) is a new OA repository for research on health and healthcare for racial minorities in the U.S.

The JISC Digital Repositories Programme launched a wiki.

Stevan Harnad, Institutional Repositories and Research Priorities, Open Access Archivangelism, January 19, 2006.  An argument for putting OA ahead of preservation on our priority list.

The DSpace Federation appointed a DSpace Federation Governance Advisory Board.

The JISC-funded Rights and Rewards Project released the results of a survey of UK teachers and scholars who might deposit work in OA repositories. The survey asked what rights depositors would like to see protected and what rewards would encourage them to deposit. The questions focus more on teaching-related deposits than research-related deposits.

The Dutch DARE project launched NARCIS (National Academic Research and Collaborations Information System), a gateway to Dutch scientific research.

DARE also launched DARLIN (Dutch ARchive for Library and INformation sciences), a new OA repository for Dutch publications in library and information science.

Canada's International Development Research Centre (IDRC) launched an OA repository.  This is the first OA repository hosted by a Canadian funding agency.

Also see Neil Sutton, Canadian database to archive global research work, IT Business, January 19, 2006.  On the IDRC repository.

The American Museum of Natural History launched an institutional repository through which it's providing OA for its past and present scientific publications.  This may be the first OA repository hosted by a museum.

Péter Jacsó reviewed EconPapers in the January issue of Gale's Reference Reviews.

Five Australian universities launched OA repositories, all using the ProQuest/Bepress DigitalCommons service.

Kathleen Shearer of the Canadian Association of Research Libraries (CARL) began collecting strategies for populating institutional repositories.

A. Amudhavalli, Building archives for the digital era, The Hindu, January 9, 2006.  A report on the Madras workshop, Open Access and IR.

S.B. Montgomery and eight co-authors, ORegAnno: an open access database and curation system for literature-derived promoters, transcription factor binding sites and regulatory variation, Bioinformatics, January 5, 2006.

Andy Powell, Notes about possible technical criteria for evaluating institutional repository (IR) software, UKOLN, December 2005.

* News on OA hybrid journals.

Ali H. Sayed, Message from the Editor-in-Chief, EURASIP Journal on Applied Signal Processing, January 5, 2006.  The new editor of a journal with an author-choice hybrid model, and an uptake rate of 20%, vows to keep the model and increase the uptake rate.

Endocrine-Related Cancer (ERC) adopted a free access option for authors.

Blackwell announced the first OA articles under its Online Open program, which it launched in February 2005. The announcement lists five OA articles from four journals, as well as the 79 Blackwell journals participating in Online Open.

Oxford University Press added 21 journals to its Oxford Open program, exactly doubling the number of participating journals.

* New books on OA.

In my review of OA for 2005, last month, I pointed out that 2005 was the first big year for books about OA and tried to list all that I could. 

But I overlooked this one, for which I apologize:  Christine Aubry and Joanna Janik (eds.), Les Archives Ouvertes : enjeux et pratiques. Guide à l’usage des professionnels de l’information, Ouvrages ADBS, 2005.  Some of the contributors have self-archived their contributions; see the blog posting for links.

Here's a new book in 2006:  Richard Jones, Theo Andrew, and John MacColl, The Institutional Repository, Chandos Publishing, 2006.  Chapters 1 and 7 have been self-archived for OA; see the blog posting for links.

Also see the JISC press release on the book, January 18, 2006.

Here's a volume of conference proceedings on OA that really ought to be OA:  D.J. Farace and J. Frantzen (eds.), GL7 Conference Proceedings:  Seventh International Conference on Grey Literature: Open Access to Grey Resources, Amsterdam: TextRelease, January 2006.

Here's a book, newly announced in 2006, that will have at least one contribution on OA:  Mark Jacobs (ed.), Electronic Resources Librarians: The Human Element of the Digital Information Age, Haworth Press, 2006.  The OA contribution is
Charles W. Bailey, Jr., Open Access and Libraries, which is already OA.

Finally, here's the first review I've seen of John Willinsky's The Access Principle (MIT Press, 2005):  Alec Magnet, Libraries vs. The Internet, The New York Sun, January 19, 2006.

* A little more news on the CURES Act.

The CURES Act was introduced in the US Senate in December 2005 and made remarkably little news.  In January it also made remarkably little news.  The CURES Act would mandate OA to essentially all medical research funded by the US government.

The Winter 2006 issue of ARL's Federal Relations and Information Policy devotes Section V.B is to the NIH public-access policy and V.C to the CURES Act.

The February 1 issue of Library Journal has a story called Open Access May Heat Up in 2006, apparently about the CURES Act.  Not even an abstract is free for non-subscribers.

Anon., CURES Act Would Push NIH, Library Journal, January 11, 2006.

Anon., Battle for free access to government-funded research introduced, again, LANL Research Library News, January 9, 2006.

* More reviews of 2005 and predictions for 2006.

Here are few more overviews published (or noticed) since my last issue, and limited to those with some overlap with OA issues.

Philipp Lenssen, 15 Search Predictions for 2006, WebMarketing, January 7, 2005.

Ed Felten, Predictions for 2006, Freedom to Tinker, January 6, 2006.

Top Research Policy Alert Stories of 2005, Research Policy Alert, January 5, 2006.  (Accessible only to subscribers.)

Top 10 ed-tech stories of 2005, eSchool News, January 4-5, 2006.
http://www.eschoolnews.com/news/showStoryts.cfm?ArticleID=6054  (Part 1)
http://www.eschoolnews.com/news/showStoryts.cfm?ArticleID=6055  (Part 2)

Linda Nordling, In with the new, The Guardian, January 3, 2006.

Outsell, FutureFacts: Information Industry Outlook 2006.

Paula Hane, Wrapping Up 2005; Looking Forward, Information Today, January 3, 2006.

John Blossom, Investing in Users: 2006 Forecast Preview, Shore Communications Commentary, December 26, 2005.

Greg Linden, My 2006 predictions, Geeking with Greg, December 23, 2005.

Ken Yarmosh, Corante Network Thinks about 2006, Corante, December 23, 2005.

John Batelle, Predictions 2006, Searchblog, December 21, 2005.


Coming up later this month

Here are some important OA-related events coming up in February.

* February 1.  The deadline imposed by Congress for the NIH to send a "progress report" to the appropriations committees documenting "(1) the total number of peer-reviewed articles deposited in PubMed Central since the May 2, 2005 implementation date and the distribution of chosen delay periods; (2) an assessment of the extent to which the implemented policy has led to improved public access; (3) an assessment of the impact of the policy on the peer review system; and (4) the cost of operating the database." 

* February 3.  The new deadline for comments on the DLF Aquifer guidelines for a Metadata Object Description Schema for cultural heritage materials.

* February 10.  Nomination deadline for the SPARC Europe Award for Outstanding Achievements in Scholarly Communications.

* Notable conferences this month

Open Repositories 2006 (Sponsored by Australia's APSR, the ARROW project, MAMS, Macquarie University, and the University of Technology Sydney)
Sydney, January 31 - February 3, 2006

Information and Data in e-Science: Making Seamless Access a Reality (ICSTI annual technical meeting)
Paris, February 3, 2006

Academic Library and Information Services - New Paradigms for the Digital Age (8th International Bielefeld Conference) (OA is among the topics)
Bielefeld, February 7-9, 2006

Open Access: Freier Zugang zu wissenschaftlichem Wissen (a public lecture by Klaus Graf)
Stuttgart, February 9, 2006

Establishing a Digital Repository Service
Perth, February 13, 2006

Hochschulstrategien zu Open Access
Bonn, February 13, 2006

Dopo Berlin 3: Politiche di Accesso Aperto alla Letteratura di Ricerca
Pisa, February 16,2006

KnowRight 2006: Knowledge Rights - Legal, Societal and Related Technological Aspects
Vienna, February 16-17, 2006

Scientific Research, Traditional Knowledge, and the Research Commons (AAAS-SIPPI Annual Meeting Symposium) (OA is among the topics)
St. Louis, February 19, 2006

Open Content Forum (sponsored by the Open Knowledge Foundation)
London, February 22, 2006

Open Access, Open Source, Open CourseWare - Sharing as a Solution to the Digital Divide
Columbia, Missouri, February 22, 2006

ECURE 2006: Preservation and Access for Digital College and University Resources
Tempe, Arizona, February 27 - March 1, 2006

* Other OA-related conferences



In last month's issue I wrote that Lord Martin Rees, President of the Royal Society, "bizarrely suggest[ed] that OA advocates have a financial interest in OA and that dissenting Fellows [of the Royal Society] are under the control of OA advocates."

The bizarre suggestion came from Bob Ward, Senior Manager for Policy Communication at the Royal Society.  My apologies to Martin Rees.



* I've added 26 new conferences to the conference page since the last issue.  In the next few days I'll delete the second asterisk marking them and the new entries will blend into the rest of the collection.

* I posted this request last month and got no replies.  I'll try once more.  PubSub times out when reading my RSS and Atom feeds, with the consequence that the blog postings from Open Access News are not available to the large number of PubSub readers.  Do any of you RSS experts have tips on how to tweak my feeds to make them load faster? 



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Peter Suber

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