Welcome to the SPARC Open Access Newsletter, issue #155
March 2, 2011
by Peter Suber

My announcement for the March 2012 issue of SOAN mistakenly linked to the March 2011 issue. If you're looking for the March 2012 issue, you can find it here. Apologies for the inconvenience.

Read this issue online


SOAN is published and sponsored by the Scholarly Publishing and Academic Resources Coalition (SPARC).


Recent watershed events

OA has the momentum of thousands of forward steps every year, in every academic field and every part of the world.  But some developments are larger than others, and some are large enough to count as watershed events.  I've noticed an upswing in watershed events recently and want to point out half a dozen of them.  Pointing them out doesn't amount to a prediction, any more than tremors predict earthquakes.  But if you were too preoccupied with local noise to notice these tremors, take a moment to notice them.

(1) The Publishers Association (PA) and Association of Learned and Professional Society Publishers (ALPSP) announced a meeting to take place in London at the end of this month:  "PA-ALPSP Journal Publishers' Forum: Open access: the next ten years" (London, March 31, 2011)

Publishers often hold meetings on OA.  But the blurb for this one quickly makes clear how it differs from other publisher-hosted OA meetings:

Open access is here to stay, and has the support of our key partners. Funders see it as the way to maximise access and impact for the research they fund, policy makers are under pressure to make it happen. Publishers know it is much more complicated and threatening to make it work [for publishers] than is apparent to the advocates and the fund holders. But we [publishers] would benefit from having a compelling, coherent and above all positive story to tell about the role we can play in achieving these objectives. So what can the industry do to respond more pro-actively and positively to open access, while keeping an open mind on individual business models? We want to be seen as partners in the process of science, in the discovery, dissemination, show-casing and stewardship of the outputs of science.  Can we learn not just to live with open access, but to love it as well?  Has the time come to turn the threat into an opportunity?  It is time to find a new consensus.  Come along to a debate between industry leaders who hold a range of opinions on this issue....Listen to the options and decide what is right for your business....

I applaud the PA and ALPSP for raising these questions and framing them in this constructive way.

OA is much easier with publisher cooperation than without it.  There's already a good deal of cooperation:  more than 60% of TA publishers and about 90% of TA journals give blanket permission for author-initiated green OA.  A large percentage of predominantly TA publishers are experimenting with gold OA in one form or another.  But there's still too much lobbying against green OA policies, too much misrepresentation of OA, and too little acknowledgement that OA is better than TA for research and researchers, and too little acknowledgement that institutions mission-bound to advance research (universities, libraries, societies, funders, and governments) have mission-related reasons to foster or require it.  I welcome the PA/ALPSP attempt to build a "new consensus".

BTW, the next most constructive publisher-hosted meeting I can recall was also sponsored by ALPSP:  "Repositories - for better or worse?"  (London, October 5, 2007)

From the blurb for the 2007 meeting:

Should publishers be worried [about rising levels of green OA] or can they find ways of coping in a changing world? Perhaps this is an opportunity for publishers to take advantage of their proven skills to shape new ways of providing access to research...."

Publishers Association

Association of Learned and Professional Society Publishers (ALPSP)

(2) The world's largest peer-reviewed journal is now an OA journal, PLoS ONE.

Participants in Daniel Mietchen's online poll voted this the "open science breakthrough of the year" for 2010.

Size isn't quality.  But a reputation for low quality would deter author submissions and function as a limit on size.  When PLoS ONE launched in late 2006 and announced that it would review submissions for methodological soundness and rigor, but not for significance and impact, many OA skeptics and TA publishers predicted that it would become a warehouse for low quality.  But that's not what happened, in part because reviewing for soundness and rigor is a barrier against low quality.  In fact, something else happened instead.  Not only did PLoS ONE attract voluminous submissions, including breakthrough submissions.  It attracted imitators from other publishers.  (More in watershed event #3 below.)

BTW, what's the evidence that PLoS ONE is highly regarded by authors, and not just a back-stop for work rejected elsewhere?  Is it anyone's first-choice destination?  I'm glad you asked.  In the past few years, PLoS has done an annual survey of its submitting authors, whether their work was accepted or rejected.  The most recent results (released last month) unearthed an answer and a trendline:  "In the 2009 survey 23% of authors viewed PLoS ONE as a first choice journal, and in the 2010 data this figure had increased to 37%."

(3) PLoS ONE's success in attracting submissions, revenue, and reputation inspired a raft of imitators from high-quality, high-prestige publishers. 

To count something as a PLoS ONE imitator, I looked for libre OA and a quorum of PLoS ONE's seven other most distinctive (often related) features:  affordable publication fees, multidisciplinary scope, peer review for soundness rather than significance, large size, rapid turnaround on submissions, interactive post-publication commentary, and article-level impact metrics.

Here are six new titles that fit the bill.  All are new in the past seven months and most in the past four months.

* AIP Advances, from the American Institute of Physics (announced November 2010)

* BMJ Open, from BMJ (announced August 2010; launched February 2011)

* G3: Genes, Genomes, Genetics, from the Genetics Society of America (announced January 2011)

* Physical Review X, from the American Physical Society (announced January 2011)

* Sage Open, from Sage (announced November 2010)

* Scientific Reports, from the Nature Publishing Group (launched January 2011)

Here are some thoughtful comments on the significance of these second-generation PLoS ONEs:

* Paul Jump, Nature's open-access offering may sound death knell for subs model, Times Higher Education, January 13, 2011.
--Excerpt:  "Cameron Neylon, an academic editor at PLoS ONE and the author of the Science in the Open blog, agreed, describing the launch of [NPG's] Scientific Reports as a "very, very big deal"...."The dream of a universal database of freely accessible research outputs is now that much closer to our reach," [Neylon] said. "Between them, PLoS ONE and Scientific Reports could mop up the vast majority of published papers in the sciences, leaving a small number of top-tier journals standing for the 'very best' science.  I think this is the death knell for the majority of 'middling' journals and the large number of low-volume, low-profit, low-prestige journals...."

* Dr. Skeptic, Nature Dabbles in Open Access: A Double Edged Sword? Scepticemia, January 12, 2011.
--Excerpt:  "Nature Publications Group, in a Press release announced the launch of a new, open access journal called Scientific Reports. However, it wasn't long ago that the same people had launched a vicious vilification of the open access model, especially that of PloS ONE, saying 'Public Library of Science (PLoS), the poster child of the open-access publishing movement, is following an haute couture model of science publishing --relying on bulk, cheap publishing of lower quality papers to subsidize its handful of high-quality flagship journals.'..."

* Phil Davis, Nature's Foray Into Full Open Access Journals, Scholarly Kitchen, January 13, 2011.
--Excerpt:  "I will...argue that Nature's Scientific Reports represents a huge threat, not only to PLoS but to non-profit publishing in general....PLoS does not consider ability to pay as a determinant of publication and will grant full or discounted waivers without question.  In contrast, [NPG's] Scientific Reports does not offer to waive publication fees....Now, if Scientific Reports is in direct competition with PLoS ONE...for authors...those with access to funds have two publication options, while authors without funds have just one....In sum, PLoS has its hands tied while Nature has entered the ring fighting with both fists.  And if Nature fails to deliver a knockout, BMJ Open is standing right behind them with gloves ready...." 

* Stuart Shieber, A ray of sunshine in the open-access future, Occasional Pamphlet, January 15, 2011.
--Excerpt:  "The mega-journal trend means that strong traditional publishers with name recognition are entering open-access publishing in a big way [and thereby offering the prestige that has kept many authors from submitting to OA journals]. They'll be hard pressed to trot out their hackneyed canards (vanity press, disenfranchisement). And these journals will provide coverage of a huge swathe of academic fields. Between SAGE Open, PLoS ONE, and Scientific Reports, essentially all of the social sciences, humanities, and natural sciences are covered. In addition, the breadth of these journals means that they will be competing for the same pool of articles. Authors will have a choice between submitting papers in genetics, say, to PLoS One or G3, in physics to AIP Advances or Scientific Reports, and so forth. Publishers will have to compete in order to attract authors, either on price or publisher services or both. They'll have to market these journals to authors, using their intellectual capital to convince authors that OA journals (at least their OA journals) are a Good Thing. As authors and promotion committees get used to using the new article-level metrics (as they already increasingly are, with download counts and h-index), journal brand name --whether of these mega-journals or traditional journals-- will become less important, and authors will feel freer to publish in these and other OA journals, again based on publisher services rather than journal brand name...."

* Liz Allen, Welcome, Nature. Seriously, PLoS Blog, February 19, 2011.
--Excerpt:  "Nature's [launch of Scientific Reports] underscores the growing acceptance of OA, as reflected in recent OA journal launches from other traditional publishers such as the BMJ, Sage, AIP (American Institute of Physics) and APS (American Physical Society)....To realize the full power of Open Access, we urge you to permit your content to be re-used without restriction [Scientific Reports will use CC-BY-NC-ND and CC-BY-NC-SA licenses while all PLoS journals use CC-BY] and to extend the Open Access model to all your journals...."

(4) In the same month that the Nature Publishing Group (NPG) launched Scientific Reports, its PLoS ONE rival, it issued an important new statement on OA in general.

Although Nature's green OA policy is an outlier requiring a six month embargo, NPG sees no threat to its subscriptions, no reason to discourage self-archiving, and no reason to stop short of positive encouragement for self-archiving, and no reason to hide its encouragement.  From the new statement:

We encourage self-archiving of the authors' accepted version, with a release date of 6 months post-publication. This is compatible with all major funder access policies and mandates....We have, to date, found author self-archiving compatible with subscription business models, and so we have been actively encouraging self-archiving since 2005...."

The NPG testimonial that "author self-archiving [is] compatible with subscription business models" should make the publishing lobby pause.  Individual publishers may have their reasons not to follow the NPG lead and "actively encourage" self-archiving.  But NPG is speaking from experience, and trade associations and lobbyists who claim that embargoed green OA will kill subscriptions are speaking from fear, and they are not representing the experience of publishers on the ground. 

The NPG statement about green OA is very analogous to Springer CEO Derk Haank's statement about gold OA in October 2008, when Springer bought BioMed Central:  "[O]pen access publishing [is] a sustainable part of STM publishing, and not an ideological crusade."

In fact, Derk Haank is one of many who should take note of NPG's statement.  In the same month that NPG issued its new OA statement, Haank admitted to Richard Poynder in an interview that Springer --the world's largest OA journal publisher-- lobbies against green OA mandates. 

Read in context, however, Haank seems to object to short embargoes more than mandatory deposits.  If so, then it might seem that he would support NPG's embargoed approach to green OA.  However, all the green OA mandates from funding agencies around the world allow embargoes at least as long as NPGs, and the most lobbied-against green OA mandate in the world, at the NIH, allows an embargo twice as long as NPGs.  Hence, if Springer lobbies against green funder OA mandates because of their short embargo periods, then it objects to embargoes that NPG is saying from experience are harmless.  That's what Haank needs to hear.  More importantly, all publishers and publisher trade associations lobbying against green OA mandates with 6+ month embargoes, and all policy-makers and legislators around the world, need to hear NPG's testimony that those embargoes do not harm subscription publishing. 

(5) In October 2010, Ten major institutions founded the UK Open Access Implementation Group to "coordinate evidence, policies, systems, advice and guidance, to make open access an easy choice for authors and one that benefits all universities...." 

At launch, the group consisted of representatives from the University of Edinburgh, the University of Salford, Universities UK, Research Libraries UK, the Society of College, National and University Libraries, JISC, the Research Councils UK, the Wellcome Trust, the Association of Research Managers and Administrators UK, and the Public Library of Science.

This should lead to major steps forward in the UK.  The OAIG will coordinate strategies among like-minded groups and make action and advocacy more effective.  Every country with a significant research output should have a similar group, and should take pains to include research institutions, library organizations, funding agencies, and friendly publishers. 

The US has had a similar Open Access Working Group since 2003.

I'm optimistic about the OAIG, and recommend the same model elsewhere, precisely because of my experience with the US OAWG.  I can mention three reasons why.  First, people pushing for change, even experienced and committed people, benefit from talking to other experienced and committed people pushing for change.  Good strategies rarely emerge full-blown from one person or group.  Second, effecting change is easier with a coalition of coordinated partners than a melange of uncoordinated activists.  Good strategies can rarely be put into practice by a single person or group.  And third, legislators and policy-makers want to hear good arguments and evidence.  But lots of people claim to have good arguments and evidence.  The most honest amplifier of good arguments --hence, ruling out money-- is support from major institutions who understand policy-making and who have authentic histories of working in the public interest.  Effective strategies require persuasion, and persuasion requires credibility.

(6) The three largest commercial publishers now publish full OA journals, not just hybrid OA journals.  I put this one last because I want to say the most about it.

In October 2008, an ALPSP survey showed that the percentage of publishers offering hybrid OA journals had grown from 9% to 30% in the previous three years. 

I haven't seen more recent figures, but I'm sure the hybrid curve has continued to rise.  What's notable here is the rise of a second curve for full-OA or non-hybrid journals.  I haven't seen figures for the spread of this model across journal publishers in general.  But Elsevier, Springer, and Wiley-Blackwell, the three largest journal publishers, now all publish full-OA journals.

Elsevier has had hybrid OA journals since May 2006.  But in September 2010, with no fanfare, it launched its first fee-based full OA journal:  The International Journal of Surgery Case Reports (IJSCR). 

IJSCR is not Elsevier's first full or non-hybrid OA journal.  But it's the first to try the business model of charging author-side publication fees.  Journals needn't charge publication fees to be OA.  (On the contrary, about 70% of OA journals charge no fees.)  But IJSCR is Elsevier's first attempt to make the fee-based business model work beyond hybrid journals.  In addition, IJSCR deposits all its contents in PubMed Central, as PLoS and BMC do.  IJSCR is libre OA, but does not permit commercial use.

Elsevier didn't draw attention to this company "first" in the launch announcement.  I did, however, in the Roundup section of SOAN for October 2010.  I expected that very quickly I'd either be corrected by someone who knew better or soon see news stories on Elsevier's new OA sally.  But when neither happened, I contacted Alicia Wise, Elsevier's Director of Universal Access.  Wise confimed that IJSCR is full OA and not hybrid OA.  It's peer-reviewed and fee-based, and it's Elsevier's first of this kind.  But it publishes case reports, not research articles, and Elsevier doesn't yet have a full OA journal of research articles.

See Elsevier's other full (non-hybrid) OA journals.

Also see Elsevier's one-year experiment with no-fee gold OA, from mid-2005 to mid-2006. 

But unlike the 2005-06 trial, IJSCR is not a time-limited experiment.  As Alicia Wise put it, IJSCR is "a journal launched with a business model we believe to be sustainable, and we're behind IJSCR all the way."

Springer became the largest OA journal publisher when it bought BMC in 2008, and it remains the second-largest journal publisher overall, behind Elsevier.  When it bought BMC, all Springer journals were hybrid OA.  There was a lot of speculation at the time about whether Springer would become more like BMC or BMC more like Springer.  In June 2010, Springer launched SpringerOpen, a new line of full-OA journals.  SpringerOpen suggested that, if anything, Springer was becoming more like BMC.  As I go to press, there are 32 SpringerOpen journals, and all use homegrown licenses "identical" (Spinger's word) to CC-BY licenses.

Wiley had a hybrid OA journal program since August 2006, before its acquisition of Blackwell in November of the same year.

In September 2010, Wiley-Blackwell hired Natasha White, formerly of BMC, to be its first Associate Director of Open Access Marketing.  In the press release announcing her hire, the company revealed that "Together with a number of our society partners, we are experimenting with alternative models."

In Februrary 2011, Wiley launched Wiley Open Access, a new line of full-OA journals, mostly from learned societies.  As I go to press, there are three Wiley OA Journals, and all use CC-BY-NC licenses.

Wiley-Blackwell's first full-OA journal was Archives of Drug Information, launched in March 2007.  But the company didn't have an expandable series of OA journals until the launch of Wiley Open Access last month.

The fourth largest commercial publisher of scholarly journals is Taylor & Francis.  I haven't detected any full-OA journals from T&F yet, but if I'm overlooking something I'd love to be corrected.  If we don't count T&F's hybrid OA journal program launched in September 2006, the closest the company has come was to make one issue of the _New Review of Academic Librarianship_ full OA.  The special issue was devoted to "dissemination models in scholarly communication" and came out during OA Week 2010.  But the journal didn't convert to OA and soon reverted to TA.

I'm calling these Elsevier, Spinger, and Wiley journals "full OA" in the sense that they are not hybrid OA.  They provide OA to all their articles, not just those for which the author has exercised an OA option.  What's notable is the step beyond hybrid OA, nearly in unison, by the world's three largest journal publishers.  Two of these publishers offer expandable series, not isolated titles.  TA titles are not systematically converting to OA at any of these publishers, but all three publishers are supplemmenting their firsthand experience of hybrid gold OA with firsthand experience of full gold OA.

This matters because hybrid OA journals do little or nothing to help researchers, libraries, or publishers.  The recent, very comprehensive Study of Open Access Publishing (SOAP) showed that their average rate of author uptake at hybrid journals is just 2%.

The chief virtue of hybrid OA journals is that they give publishers some firsthand experience with the economics and logistics of OA publishing.  But the economics are artificial, since hybrid OA publishers have no incentive to increase author uptake and make the models succeed.  The publishers always have subscriptions to fall back upon.  Moreover, an overwhelming majority of full-OA journals charge no publication fees, and an overwhelming majority of hybrid-OA journals charge fees.  The hybrid OA landscape hasn't changed much since 2007:

Some hybrid programs are good-faith, even optimistic experiments; some look grudging or cynical.  Some charge low fees and let participating authors retain copyright; some charge high fees and still demand the copyright.  Some provide OA to the full published edition, some only to an enfeebled truncation stripped of active links.  Some reduce subscription prices in proportion to author uptake; some use a frank "double charge" business model.  Some let authors deposit articles in repositories independent of the publisher; some allow free online access only from sites they control.  Some don't try to meddle with author funding contracts; some charge authors who want to comply with prior funding obligations.  Some continue to allow immediate self-archiving for non-participating authors; some impose embargoes or fees on self-archiving.  The positive spin on this wide range of policies is that publishers are fully exploring the hybrid journal space for variations that satisfy their constraints.  I do think that's good even if I also think some current models are cynical or useless.  To make the same point without the spin, some want to encourage author uptake and some don't seem to care as long as they have subscriptions.

In 2006, I put it this way:  "The big question for [hybrid OA] publishers is whether they want author uptake badly enough to make it attractive.  Will the existence of subscription revenue as a safety net kill the incentives to make the OA option succeed?"

The first significance of these new full-OA journals is that three large, experienced publishers are throwing away the safety net, for some of their jounals, and now have a real incentive to make gold OA work.  Unlike smaller OA publishers, these three can afford to fail.  But they have incentives to succeed, and the more success we have on this front the better.  Making full-OA journals succeed means making them attractive to authors.  (TA journals must appeal to authors too, but they can stay afloat when they're attractive to buyers, or even just uncancellable by buyers.)  Among fee-based OA journals, competition for authors will include fee competition.  Competition for authors should mean more added value, such as shortening turnaround times and integrating text and data files.  It should also mean less subtracted value, such as truncating good articles solely for length, locking PDFs, and freezing processable data into unprocessable images.

These journals are not "full OA" in the sense that they are as open as they could be.  Only the SpringerOpen journals use an equivalent of CC-BY, the least restrictive open license and the one recommended by the Open Access Scholarly Publishers Association, the SPARC Europe Seal of Approval program, and SURF.  The Elsevier and Wiley journals restrict commercial use.  When authors are better educated about copyright and the differences among open licenses (sadly, a long slog), then competition for authors will eventually include licensing competition as well, pressuring gratis OA journals to shift to libre OA, and pressuring publishers to loosen or drop usage restrictions beyond attribution. 

The second significance of these three steps is simply the sea change they represent.  The rise and maturation of gold OA does not require the participation of the commercial giants; on the contrary, even if they move further into this space, they'll be playing catch-up for years with leaner, meaner, dedicated-OA publishers.  But these three publishers, Elsevier and Wiley in particular, have come a long way to reach this point.  Elsevier and Wiley were part of the small group, with the American Chemical Society and the Professional/Scholarly Publishing division of the Association of American Publishers, to launch PRISM in August 2007.  PRISM ("Partnership for Research Integrity in Science & Medicine") was the execrable and dishonest PR campaign which described green OA as "censorship" and gold OA as "junk science". 

I'm not criticizing these companies for changing their position.  On the contrary, I'm congratulating them for it.

In October 2003, Sami Kassab at the French financial firm of B.N.P. Paribas predicted that yesterday's giant TA publishers would become tomorrow's giant OA publishers.  OA wouldn't force them out of business, but would force them to convert to OA and accept lower profit margins.  "We believe there is a 50% risk of a change in the model ten years from now.  We see commercial publishers retaining their market share but with less pricing power...."

There are about 2.5 years left on Kassab's prediction, apart from his 50% uncertainty.  I don't expect to see full conversions in the next 2.5 years.  But we're already seeing steps that few people other than Kassab were contemplating in 2003. 

BTW, I'm trying not to voice an opinion on whether fulfillment of Kassab's prediction would be good or bad for OA.  That's another topic for another day.


Open for edits

In the last issue I called for reader help in coming up with a short, sweet term for author-side openness, for example, the openness of wikis to user edits.  If "open access" is openness to readers and other users, human and machine, what's a good analogous term for openness to authors?

Apart from informal criteria like shortness and sweetness, I had two formal criteria.  One was that the term function as a noun and adjective, as "open access" does.  The other was that it refer to author-side openness alone, not the combination of author- and reader-side openness. 

If there was a good term already in use but not widely known, I wanted to know about it.  If there wasn't, I wanted to see what creative coinages SOAN readers could come up with.

The responses confirmed my suspicion that there isn't already good term in use.  There are nouns, but no good noun-adjective amphibians.  There are some noun-adjective amphibians, and we can argue about how good they are; but while some already circulate, none is widely used.

Because it's hard to prove a negative, I reached out to two experts who knew the wiki universe better than I did. 

I put my question to Larry Sanger, co-founder of Wikipedia and founder of Citizendium.  He replied that he's seen "open collaboration", "radical collaboration", and "strong collaboration", and has used all three terms himself.  He pointed out that Wikipedia formerly had articles on all three, which Sanger didn't write, "but has since apparently replaced them with [an article on] 'mass collaboration'...."  He added that "FWIW, of all these, 'open collaboration' gets me the most Google results....[but] 'open collaboration' does not enjoy the sort of popularity as a term that 'open source' and 'open content' have."

On the plus side, all four of these terms already exist and refer solely to author-side openness rather than the combination of author- and reader-side openness.  However, they work better as nouns than adjectives, and they refer less to a text's open editability than to the communal activity that follows upon or takes advantage of open editability.

I also put my question Joseph Reagle, author of the recent book, _Good Faith Collaboration: The Culture of Wikipedia_ (MIT 2010).

Joseph pointed out four terms from the right ballpark:

* "User generated content" (UGC)

* "Open Content Communities" (Reagle)

* "Prosumption" (Wikinomics)

* "Community-curated works" (CCW) (Brianna)

These have the same pros and cons as the four terms that Larry pointed out:  they already circulate and they focus on author-side openness, but they make better nouns than adjectives and they focus on something slightly to the side of open editability itself.

As I wrote this out, I noticed something that you're probably noticing as well.  To describe the sense in which these existing terms miss the target I had in mind, I find myself using a term for the target I had in mind:  "open editability".  So let me be explicit:  I find "open editability" (noun) and "open-editable" (adjective) accurate but inelegant.  I'd like to find an existing term or coinage with the same meaning but less clumsiness.

My thanks to Larry and Joseph for helping me with the vocabulary of open collaboration.  Among other things, they made me appreciate some distinctions I didn't think to spell out in my original piece.  For example, suppose that you've published an article in an OA journal under a CC-BY license.  It's clearly open in one important sense.  Then you create a wikified copy of the published text open to user edits.  That makes it open in a second important sense for which we don't seem to have a good term.  "Open collaboration" is a good term for what your colleagues might do with the article after you added the second kind of openness, but it's not a good term for the second kind of openness itself.  If the wikified copy were significantly revised by a wide group of users, then the new version might well be called "user generated content" or "community curated work", and the people who participated might be called an "open content community".  But I want a term for the openness to new edits that made the revisions and community possible.

My example isn't arbitrary.  In June 2009, the OA journal, _Open Medicine_ experimentally wikified one of its published OA articles and invited the community to modify it.  If "OA" is the term for the reader-side openness the article had from the moment of publication, I want a good term for the new, second, author-side openness the journal added after publication when it created the wikified version.

BTW, until this week, _Open Medicine_ had only wikified one of its published articles.  But just yesterday it wikified its second one.  I'm glad to see the experiment continue.

An email from Lambert Heller helped me realize another distinction I failed to spell out:  legal permission to revise v. technical tools for revising.  All open licenses (except CC-ND and the equivalent) include permission to revise.  Users could always download texts that permit derivative works them, modify them offline, and then upload them again.  But wikis offer both permission to revise in public and the tools for making those public revisions.  I'd like a good term for both aspects open editability.

Here are the reader nominations (alphabetical by nominator):

Mark Cyzyk = "open input"

Ray English = "open authoring"

Gary Hall = "Is it something like 'open content' (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Open_content) or 'free content' (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Free_content) you're looking for?  Or what's meant when it's said that a text is available on a 'read/write' basis?"

Lambert Heller = "open use, open usage, openly adoptable, openly remixable, collaborative works"

Randy Koch = "candid access"

Reme Melero = "openauthoriding"

Daniel Mietchen = "I suppose editable/ editability has been suggested before, so I am throwing in o'pen or o[pen] // o'penness or o[pen]ness, with the 'pen' part hinting at that pre-digital writing tool, and the brackets at the wiki edit 'button'."

Peter Murray-Rust = "I don't have a good term for you.  I'm using a general term of 'Open Scholarship' but that includes much more. I thought of 'Open Authoring' but OA clashes with Open Access....My best so far is 'Open Writing' which doesn't do justice to the non-textual aspects...."

Cameron Neylon = "I'd suggest Openly Writable, Openly Readable, Openly Useable (OW, OR, OU) as they're actually three orthogonal concepts (this is half the problem with the term OA as we know)...."

Naina Pandita = "Open Writing, Open Work, Open Research Publishing, Open Submissions (opposite of access)"

Peter Pennefather = "free reign, open reign"

Heather Piwowar = "open use, open create, open creation"

Eloy Rodrigues = "Open Creation, Open Authorship, Open Conception, Shared Creation, Shared Authorship, Shared Conception, Common Creation, Common Authorship, Common Conception"

Egon Willighagen = "Open Content? or already taken? Open Remix / Open Rewrite?"

Short versions of my call for a new term appeared in different places around the web, and I'm sorry if I missed some suggestions not directly mailed to me.  The only nominations I've deliberately omitted are those posted online and blending author- and reader-side openness, rather than picking out the former alone. 

Several of these nominations hit the target.  I like "open input" (Mark Cyzyk) and "open remix" (Egon Willighagen and others).  I can imagine using either term to fill in the blanks of the two sample sentences I put forward last month:

1.  "A wiki is OA for readers and ____ for authors."  (Calls for an adjective.)

2.  "For some scholarly purposes, OA must be complemented by ____, but for other scholarly purposes it needn't."  (Calls for a noun.) 

"Open writable" (Cameron Neylon), and "open editable" (me, with a wince) also work, at least if we switch to "writability" and "editability" when we need nouns rather than adjectives. 

Thanks to everyone who sent me suggestions or participated in the online discussions.  If you have new ideas, please post them to the SPARC Open Access Forum. 


Five years ago in SOAN

See SOAN for March 2, 2006

* One essay in that issue:  "Update on the NIH policy"

Excerpt:  "In early February 2006, the NIH sent a progress report to Congress (dated January 2006). Among other things it reported that the rate of compliance with its request for public-access was below 4%..."

* Another essay in that issue:  "Three gathering storms that could cause collateral damage for open access"

Excerpt:  "If we relax the principle of net neutrality, then ISPs could, if they wanted, limit the software and hardware you could connect to the net.  They could charge you more if you send or receive more than a set number of emails.  They could block emails containing certain keywords or emails from people or organizations they disliked, and block traffic to or from competitor web sites.  They could make filtered service the default and force users to pay extra for the wide open internet.  If you tried to shop at a store that hasn't paid them a kickback, they could steer you to a store that has....If companies like AT&T and Verizon have their way, there will be two tiers of internet service:  fast and expensive and slow and cheap (or cheaper).  We unwealthy users --students, scholars, universities, and small publishers-- wouldn't be forced offline, just forced into the slow lane....New services starting in the slow lane wouldn't have a fighting chance against entrenched players in the fast lane.  Think about eBay in 1995, Google in 1999, or Skype in 2002 without the level playing field provided by network neutrality.  Or think about any OA journal or repository today...."



* Here one more correction to my year-end review of OA in 2010, from the January 2011 issue.

I counted the OA policy at Poland's Institute of Biochemistry and Biophysics Polish Academy of Sciences among the funder mandates, but I should have counted it among the research institution mandates.  Thanks to Pawel Szczesny, who also confirms that the Institute's OA mandate is the first in Poland.



Here's what happened, or what I noticed, since the last issue of the newsletter, emphasizing action and policy over scholarship and opinion.  I put the most important items first, with double asterisks, and otherwise cluster them loosely by topic.  I thank Katharine Dunn for her assistance in restating many of these developments for Roundup.

For a more comprehensive picture of recent OA developments, see --and help build-- the project feed of the OA Tracking Project.

+ Policies

** Covenant University in Nigeria adopted a green OA mandate for "all refereed publications in journals, conferences, books" by "faculty and post-graduate students alike".  (As a result, eIFL reported that there are now 22 OA mandates in the developing and transition countries it covers.)

** Strathmore University in Kenya adopted a Harvard-style OA mandate.

** The University of Turin Department of Social Sciences adopted an OA mandate.  Instead of applying to all new work published by department faculty, it applies to all work funded by the department. 

* The faculty at Pacific University College of Health Professions voted unanimously (one abstention, no dissents) for a resolution encouraging green OA through the institutional repository.

* The University of Regensburg adopted a policy encouraging its faculty to make their new research publications green or gold OA.

* The University of Regensburg launched an OA journal fund, with support from the Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (DFG).  It does not pay fees at hybrid OA journals.  (This article seems to have been taken offline; I'm linking to the copy in the Google cache.)

* Norway's University of Tromsø launched an OA journal fund.  It will pay publication fees at full OA (but not hybrid OA) fee-based OA journals.

* Sweden's Malmö University released an English-language version of the OA policy it adopted in November 2010.  The policy mandates OA for theses and dissertations, encourages OA for faculty publications, and took effect yesterday (March 1, 2011).

* Hong Kong Polytechnic University adopted an OA mandate for theses and dissertations, effective in September 2010.

* The Università degli Studi di Verona adopted an OA mandate for doctoral dissertations.

* A Royal Decree in Spain created a national green OA mandate for theses and dissertations.  See Section 14.5.

* The Spanish Ministry of Culture allocated funds for creating "digital resources" and depositing them in OAI-compliant repositories.

* The University of Iceland's policy planning document for 2011-2016 reports that the university "will formulate a policy of open access to research findings and student dissertations." http://www.hi.is/files/afmaeliforsida/policy_2011-2016.pdf

* Kevin Werbach tweeted: "I presented the proposed Penn Open Access Publishing mandate to the Wharton faculty. Hoping it will be adopted this semester." http://friendfeed.com/kwerb/d0a4fedc/i-presented-proposed-penn-open-access

* The BCcampus Strategic Plan 2011-2014 for post-secondary schools in British Columbia mentions OA as a "notable area for focus" in strategic planning.

* Four friends of OA submitted the Ghent Declaration to the European Commission in January as a follow up to the December 2010 launch of OpenAIRE.  The declaration calls for expanding OA policies to include open data, open educational resources, open-source software, and open licensing or libre OA.  In particular it recommends two revisions to the OA policy in the EC's grant agreement for FP7 (Special Clause 39), one to require the use of CC-BY licenses for green OA, and the second to require deposit of metadata when publishers do not permit the deposit of full-text.  The declaration was written by Gregor Hagedorn, Frederick Friend, Jean-Claude Guédon, and John Willinsky.

* Germany's Social Democratic Party (SPD) and Green Parliamentary Group (Bündnis 90/Die Grünen) called on the German parliament to mandate OA for publicly-funded research in Germany.

* According to a report on the Danish conference on Open Access (Copenhagen, December 6, 2010), Denmark's Open Access Committee "recommends that a national [green] Open Access policy be formulated, which includes all institutions that do research and/or disseminate research based on total or partial public funding...."

* The Public Knowledge Project (PKP) and SPARC Europe launched the European PKP Network (PKP EN), an informal group of organizations using PKP software, such as Open Journal Systems, and wanting to discuss common issues, promote the software, share best practices, and explore possibilities for collaboration and joint projects.

* Thirty-eight library associations public-interest advocacy organizations sent an open letter to James Billington, Librarian of Congress, urging him to "appoint a Director of the Congressional Research Service (CRS) who will work with Congress to provide online free public access to the unclassified, non-confidential, taxpayer-funded reports produced by CRS...."

* The US National Science Board, which sets policy for the National Science Foundation, released a Statement of Principles.  The principles include a commitment to open data, and a commitment to consider OA texts and open data "in concert...because there need to be bidirectional pointers between peer-reviewed and other published literature and the available supporting materials...."

* The US National Science Board (NSB) called for public comments on the merit-review criteria used by the US National Science Foundation (NSF) when evaluating grant applications.  One of the current criteria is, "Will the results be disseminated broadly to enhance scientific and technological understanding?"  Comments are due by March 15, 2011.

* The OER mandate in the Trade Adjustment Assistance Community College and Career Training (TAACCCT), highlighted in SOAN for February 2011, formerly required the federally-funded OER to be in the controversial SCORM (Sharable Content Object Reference Model) format.  A February 8 amendment drops the SCORM requirement.

* The same OER mandate in the Trade Adjustment Assistance Community College and Career Training (TAACCCT) was defunded by the budget bill (HR 1) adopted by the House of Representatives last month.  Its fate in the Senate is still unclear.  Meantime, the Department of Labor plans to use funds already allocated for the program, and President Obama's budget for Fiscal Year 2012 requests $500 million for the program (p. 754).

* The Higher Education Funding Council for England (HEFCE) released its 2010 review of JISC, including one paragraph which may signal that publisher associations are lobbying for future constraints:   "JISC's promotion of the open agenda (open access, open resources, open source and open standards) is more controversial. This area alone is addressed by 24 programmes, 119 projects and five services. A number of institutions are enthusiastic about this, but perceive an anti-publisher bias and note the importance of working in partnership with the successful UK publishing industry. Publishers find the JISC stance problematic...."

+ Journals

* Academie voor Arbeidsrecht is a new peer-reviewed OA journal of labor and social security law published by Boom Juridische uitgevers (BJu).  It's the first OA journal from BJu and the first from any Dutch commercial publisher.
http://www.arbac.nl/ http://www.inct.nl/index.php?page=nieuwsartikel&id=2976

* The Journal of Dutch Literature is a new peer-reviewed, English-language OA journal from the University of Amsterdam Press.

* The Journal for Artistic Research is a new peer-reviewed OA journal from the Graduate School of Creative Arts and Media at Ulster University.

* The International Journal of Wellbeing is a new peer-reviewed OA journal from the The Open Polytechnic of New Zealand, with support from the Vic Davis Memorial Trust.
http://www.internationaljournalofwellbeing.org/index.php/ijow http://www.scoop.co.nz/stories/ED1102/S00013/researchers-launch-free-online-journal.htm

* Clinical and Translational Allergy is a forthcoming peer-reviewed OA journal from the European Academy of Allergy and Clinical Immunology and published by BioMed Central. http://www.webwhispering.net/?p=1650

* Neural Systems & Circuits is a new peer-reviewed OA journal from BioMed Central.

* Infection Ecology & Epidemiology is a new peer-reviewed OA journal from Co-Action Publishing.

* The BMJ Group officially launched BMJ Open, its new full-OA (not hybrid OA) medical journal which reviews submissions for methodological soundness rather than "novelty or importance" and deposits published articles in PubMed Central."  (The journal was announced in August 2010, but merely forthcoming until now.)

* Most Physical Review journals from the American Physical Society converted to hybrid OA.  The OA articles will use CC-BY licenses. At the same time (mid-February 2011) Physical Review Special Topics - Accelerators and Beams (PRST-AB) and Physical Review Special Topics - Physics Education Research (PRST-PER) converted to full (non-hybrid) and provided OA to their full backfiles. 

* The American Physical Society (APS) announced plans to offer OA to US high school students and teachers.  The program will apply to "all online APS journals, from the most recent articles back to the first issue in 1893, a collection including over 400,000 scientific research papers."

* Three Chinese journals --Chinese Science Bulletin, Science China Life Sciences, and Photonic Sensors-- are converting to OA and joining SpringerOpen as part of its Chinese Library of Science (CLoS).

* Mitteilungen der Vereinigung Österreichischer Bibliothekarinnen & Bibliothekare (Communications of the Association of Austrian Librarians) converted to OA after 63 years of TA publication.

* The Journal of Hymenoptera Research converted to OA, and at the same time converted from PDF to the NLM Taxpub DTD.  JHR is published by Pensoft for the International Society of Hymenopterists.

* Elon University announced a forthcoming, student-written and student-edited, peer-reviewed OA journal, Perspectives on Undergraduate Research and Mentoring.  The inaugural issue is expected in October 2011.

* The New Journal of Physics (NJP) added OA "video abstracts" to its OA articles, allowing authors to post short videos "to go beyond the constraints of the written article" in presenting the results of their work.

* Disaster Medicine and Public Health Preparedness (DMPHP) published four OA articles on the Haitian earthquake of January 2010 to assist with disaster relief in New Zealand after the earthquake of February 2011.  DMPHP is a TA journal published by the American Medical Association (AMA).
http://www.scoop.co.nz/stories/SC1102/S00083/how-long-to-search-a-review.htm http://www.dmphp.org/

* Water Environment Research (WER), the journal of the Water Environment Federation, began providing OA to one article per issue.

* The Chronicle of Higher Education profiled the OA journal, Herpetological Conservation and Biology (HCB), launched in 2006, and described how it operates on a budget of about $100/year.  In late 2010, HCB was added to Thomson Reuter's Journal Citation Reports.

* The Legal Informatics blog is trying to update its list of OA law journals and calls on readers to help.

* The Open Access Directory (OAD) launched a list of journals that converted from OA to TA, to complement its existing list of journals that converted from TA to OA.  OAD is a wiki and appreciates your help in keeping its lists comprehensive, accurate, and up to date.

+ Repositories and databases

* The Universidade de Santiago de Compostela launched an institutional repository.

* The J-ISIS project will provide open-source software to help Armenian digital repositories move online and convert their pre-UNICODE contents to UNICODE.

* JISC launched the COnnecting REpositories (CORE) project "to facilitate the access and navigation across relevant scientific papers stored in Open Access repositories" using "a new open metadata repository available in the Linked Data format describing the semantic relatedness between resources stored across a selection of UK repositories...."

* The University of Michigan Law School launched the Human Trafficking Law Project, the first OA database of US human trafficking cases, providing details of more than 150 state and federal cases since 1980.

* Jonathan Schooler proposed an OA repository of negative results in order to test explanations of the "decline effect", the phenomenon by which "scientifically discovered effects published in the literature seem to diminish with time."

* The UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) released an OA curricular module ("Digital Libraries, Repositories and Documents") to teach users how to launch an OA repository.  From the description:  "The module covers the processes relevant to the creation and management of digital libraries and repositories, including digital file formats, metadata management, database management and the preservation of digital information. The total curriculum consists of 40 lessons, ranging from approximately 20 to 45 minutes duration, grouped into eight units, for a total of about 24 hours of self-paced instruction...."

* The EC released a report on the first year of OpenAire's operation.

+ Data

* The DOI (Digital Object Identifier) Foundation publicly confirmed that it regards DOIs as public-domain information and encourages their use and reuse.

* JISC announced funding for the AEIOU (Activity data to Enhance and Increase Open-access Usage) Wales project based at Aberystwyth University. The project goal is to find a cost-effective way to aggregate research data from Welsh institutional repositories (IR) using open standards.

* A coalition of research institutions announced plans to enhance DMP (Data Management Plans) Online, a free online tool to help researchers create the data management plans now required by the National Science Foundation (NSF) and the National Institutes of Health (NIH).  Among the coalition members are the University of California Curation Center (UC3) at the California Digital Library, the UCLA Library, the UCSD Libraries, the Smithsonian Institution, the University of Virginia Library, the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, DataONE, and the United Kingdom's Digital Curation Centre (DCC).

* The UK government allocated funds for the European Life-science Infrastructure for Biological Information (ELIXIR) initiative, a European OA portal to a large number of genomics, proteomics, and other biological databases in Europe.  ELIXIR already has funds from Denmark, Finland, Spain and Sweden.

* Alex Ball of the UK Digital Curation Centre, in association with JISC Legal, released a guide to licensing research data.

* A documentary film company called Groundswell teamed up with the chemistry department at Northwestern University to launch the Navajo Nation Water Quality Project, a website using OA data from the US Environmental Protection Agency to show water contamination levels on Navajo reserves.

+ Books and digitization

* EU funding for Open Access Publishing in European Networks (OAPEN) expired in February 2011.  Just as it ended, the Netherlands Organisation for Scientific Research (NWO) made a "one-off investment of 360,000 euros" in OAPEN-NL, the Dutch successor to OAPEN.  OAPEN-NL is a partnership of Amsterdam University Press, University of Amsterdam, Utrecht University, Leiden University, the Royal Netherlands Academy of Arts and Sciences (KNAW) and Koninklijke Bibliotheek (the National library of the Netherlands).  "A foundation will be set up for the project and with the support from NWO and the other partners, OAPEN can be continued in the Netherlands for a period of at least three years...."

* The Triangle Research Libraries Network released its recommendations for digitizing printed works for OA.  It acknowledges that "although there is risk in digitizing materials that may be in copyright, this risk should be balanced with the harm to scholarship and society inherent in not making collections fully accessible."  The recommendations arises from a particular OA project, digitizing North Carolina records on the civil rights movement, but attempt to formulate general principles for other digitization projects.  In the Library Journal summary, "the rights strategy outlines four main tenets: recognizing that many materials-even those post-1922-may already be in the public domain (and thus clear of copyright concerns); requesting large-scale permissions from copyright holders when possible and practical; realizing the strength of fair use arguments; and finally, putting in place a responsive policy to address issues brought by rights holders...."

* Europeana launched the Europeana Libraries project, a two-year initiative in which 19 research libraries will add more than 5 OA million digital objects to Europeana. The digital objects will include photos, films, and manuscripts spanning centuries of European history. By the end of the project, organizers hope to create an automated delivery system that any library can use to send its content to Europeana.

* Google has now digitized one million books and journal volumes from the libraries of the member institutions of the Committee on Institutional Cooperation (the Big Ten universities plus the University of Chicago).  Some are in the public domain and now OA.  Those under copyright are full-text searchable but not full-text readable.  All the digital editions are on deposit in the HathiTrust.  The plan is to digitize 10 million books and journals from CIC libraries.

* Google announced an agreement to digitize up to 200,000 works from the Czech National Library.  All the works were published between the 16th and 18th century and are in the public domain. 

* The HathiTrust will soon offer rightsholders the option to make copyrighted books on deposit in the Hathi repository libre OA under CC licenses.  In preparation, staffers at University of Michigan outlined licensing implementation details and the API for the HathiTrust rights management system. 

* The Harvard University Library joined the HathiTrust.

* The Digital Public Library of America (DPLA) project launched a planning wiki and discussion list.

* The Open Access Scholarly Publishers Association (OASPA) began accepting OA book publishers as members.

* The U.S. Government Printing Office (GPO) and the Library of Congress (LOC) announced two joint digitization projects.  "One project involves the digitization of some of our nation's most important legal and legislative documents and the other involves enhanced public online access to the Constitution of the United States: Analysis and Interpretation (CONAN)." 

* The Oregon state legislature is considering a bill "to create a textbook affordability task force" and "require that the state Joint Boards of Education study ways to reduce textbook costs for Oregon college students through options such as open textbooks...."  Last month, Eric Frank, president and co-founder of Flat World Knowledge, testified before the Oregon House Subcommittee on Higher Education in support of the bill.

* Walt Crawford's book on OA will be out this month and is now available for preorder. 

* The California budget crisis will apparently mean the end of the OA Scripps Institution of Oceanography Library, which launched less than a year ago in May 2010.

+ Studies and surveys

* The SURF Foundation created an English-language overview of the data from Dutch respondents to the SOAP (Study of Open Access Publishing) survey.
http://www.openaccess.nl/images/pdf/soap_nl.pdf http://goo.gl/zg3hQ

* eIFL created a subset of the SOAP (Study of Open Access Publishing) data on the 11 eIFL partner countries: Bulgaria, China, Egypt, Nigeria, Poland, Russia, Serbia, Slovenia, South Africa, Thailand, and Ukraine.  From its analysis:  "About 86% of researchers [in these countries] are convinced that open access publishing is beneficial to their research field directly improving the way scientific community work and providing the benefits outside the scientific community - public good benefits.  About 63% of researchers published open access articles. 51% of researchers published "between one and five open access articles"; about 7% of researchers published "between six and ten open access articles" and almost 5% - "more than ten open access articles".  The respondents listed top five factors when making choices about publishing in a journal: prestige (prestige/perceived quality of the journal), journal impact factor, speed of publication of the journal, importance for career (importance of the journal for academic promotion, tenure or assessment), and relevance of the journal for the community...."

* Lifang Xu and colleagues published the results of their study of citations to Oxford open journals.  Among the findings:  "(1) there is citation advantage for open access articles (OACA) published in Oxford Open journals over the non-OA ones; (2) OACA varies with disciplines; (3) there is some correlation between the impact factors (IFs) of Oxford Open journals and the OACA of their open access articles. This study discovers that: there exists OACA for open access articles, in this case 138.87% higher over non-OA ones; different subjects have different OACAs, and Humanities journals in Oxford Open have even a negative OACA; Oxford Open journals with lower IFs have stronger OACAs than those with higher IFs."

* Using RLG research showing that the composition of the HathiTrust collection "is remarkably representative of research library collections", John Wilkin mined Hathi data on public-domain and orphan works to estimate the numbers of PD and orphan works at large.  Among the findings:  "[1] The percentage of public domain books in the collective collection [of the HathiTrust] --not simply the current 5+ million books, but the collection as it expands-- is unlikely to grow to more than 33% of the total number of books we will put online. Using the numbers assembled here, the percentage of public domain materials, not including government documents, will be 28%. [2] The body of orphan works...is likely to be extremely large, and perhaps the largest body of materials. If the guesses made here are right, 50% of the volumes will be orphan works....[3] The likely size of the corpus of in-copyright publications for which we are able to identify a known rights holder will be roughly the same size as, or slightly smaller than, the body of public domain materials. [T]hey may comprise as little as 22% of the total number of books...."

* Heather Piwowar released some preliminary results from her study on the reuse of open datasets.  "There were 2711 submissions to GEO [NCBI's Gene Expression Omnibus] in 2007. In the three years since these datasets were deposited, the original investigators...have published 851 papers in PubMed Central in which they refer to their dataset accession numbers. Extrapolating that based on the ratios of papers in PMC to PubMed in this domain (2007:23%, 2008:32%, 2009:36%, 2010:25%), I estimate there are at least 3249 papers in PubMed, by the original investigators, that use or reuse 2007 GEO data.  In the same three years, author groups that did not include anyone from the original dataset submission group published 323 papers in PubMed Central referring to GEO data accession numbers from 2007. This extrapolates to 1109 secondary-use papers in all of PubMed that pay attribution to the 2007 GEO datasets through accession numbers.... This implies that within three years, GEO has enabled the science contribution behind its dataset submissions to contribute to one third more scientific publications than would have been possible had the data not been publicly archived. Furthermore, the number of these reuses is still increasing over time, unlike those of the original investigators...."

* Heather Piwowar launched a web site for her study of journal policies on data sharing.

* The Primary Research Group released the (TA) results of its survey of institutional repositories.  Among the findings:  "52.4% of the survey participants housed books written by faculty or staff in their digital repositories.  This was most common in Europe (nearly 77%) and least common in the developing world (12.5%).  Close to 33% of the survey takers have an interface that allows authors and other some other contributors to track their downloads.  A mean of 32.3% of visitors to the repositories are from the repository's own institution; the median figure was 12.75%.  15.79% of repositories have an E-publishing program through which they publish monographs or books in either a print or digital format that might not have been initially published elsewhere."

* The Public Library of Science released the results of its second survey of PLoS authors, those whose work was accepted or rejected in 2009.  Among the results:  "In the 2009 survey 23% of authors viewed PLoS ONE as a first choice journal, and in the 2010 data this figure had increased to 37%."

* Japan's Digital Repository Federation (DRF) released a report, Hita-Hita: Institutional OA Advocacy in Japan, summarizing Japanese green OA progress and best practices.

* A group of media studies students launched a German-language survey of producers of open content.

* The Wikimedia Research Committee launched a survey "to understand why scientists, academics and other experts do (or do not) contribute to an open collaborative project such as Wikipedia...."

* Michelle Pauli launched a call for OA success stories.  "However open access has worked for you, I'd love to hear your story. It's for a project with Knowledge Exchange and the stories will be shared to help communicate the benefits of open access."

* JISC solicited proposal to "conduct a study of the benefits of Open Access (OA) to scholarly research outputs to private sector businesses in the UK."  The deadline for applications is noon on March 14, 2011.

+ Software and tools

* The Public Knowledge Project released Open Journal Systems version 2.3.4.  The new release "includes a plug-in to support authors' compliance with the European open access policies, i.e. the European Commission's Seventh Framework Programme (FP7) Open Access Pilot and the European Research Council (ERC) Scientific Council Guidelines for Open Access. While submitting their articles to an OJS-based journal authors can now easily acknowledge the related project funding."

* An international group of librarians, educators, and programmers released Open Attribute, an add-on for Firefox and Chrome that produces a correctly-formatted attribution for a CC-licensed work.
https://creativecommons.org/weblog/entry/26443 https://arl.org/Lists/SPARC-OAForum/Message/5740.html

* Science.gov, the OA gateway to US government science information and research results, added the THOMAS legislative information database to its site, allowing users to search bills from the last two years of Congress.  Science.gov now offers access to more than 45 databases containing 200 million pages.

* The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) released ScienceCinema, a new tool for searching the spoken words on DOE research videos, using speech-recognition technology from Microsoft Research.  "When users search for specific scientific words and phrases of interest to them, precise snippets of the video where the specific search term was spoken will appear along with a timeline. Users can then select a snippet or a segment along the timeline to begin playing the video at the exact point in the video where the words were spoken. The timeline is synced with transcripts of the targeted portion of video...."

* A group of American health experts launched HealthMap, an OA map tracking outbreaks of infectious diseases around the world based on news and reports from more than 50,000 websites.

* JISC launched SWORD version 2, a new project to update the SWORD (Simple Web-service Offering Repository Deposit) standard with new feature support. 

* Pubget released Pubget Repositories, a federated search engine for OA, TA, and locally-stored content in the life sciences. 

+ Awards and milestones

* Christine Borgman, Professor and Presidential Chair in Information Studies at the University of California, Los Angeles, is the 2011 recipient of the Paul Evan Peters Award from the the Coalition for Networked Information (CNI), the Association of Research Libraries (ARL), and EDUCAUSE.  "The award recognizes notable, lasting achievements in the creation and innovative use of information resources and services that advance scholarship and intellectual productivity through communication networks...."  For Borgman's work on OA, see the second link below.

* Jonathan Eisen gave his latest Open Access Pioneer Award to  George Garrity, the editor in chief of Standards in Genomic Sciences (SIGS), "for creating SIGS, making it an open access journal, for keeping it running and for getting its papers into Pubmed Central and soon Pubmed...."

* Participants in Daniel Mietchen's online poll voted that PLoS ONE's rise to the largest journal in the world was the "open science breakthrough of the year" for 2010.

* Lead411 named Flat World Knowledge one of the "2011 Hottest New York City Companies".  Flat World is the world's largest publisher of OA textbooks.

* The Open Knowledge Foundation launched a contest, with four money prizes, for the best use of open bibliographic data. 

* The digital library of Brazil's Universidade Gama Filho passed the milestone of one million deposits and is now the country's largest OA repository.  The repository is now also OAI-compliant. 

* In January, RePEc added six new archives and passed several milestones: 80,000,000 article abstract views, 1,500,000 book chapter abstract views, and 1,000,000 listed works.

* The Budapest Open Access Initiative turned nine years old on Valentine's Day.

+ Other

* SenSage launched Open Security Intelligence, a community "intent on shaping how open access to security data in SIEM and log management systems may be leveraged to drive enhanced understanding and continuous improvement of information security operations....[and] help organizations everywhere improve the process of mining security data...."

* A scientist in Australia used high-resolution OA satellite images from Google Earth to discover nearly 2,000 potential archaeological sites in Saudi Arabia, where aerial photography is difficult to obtain.

* The US Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) released a collection of 8,000+ OA photographs of Hurricane Katrina and other storms from 1998 to 2008.

* The news channel Al Jazeera began providing OA video footage from recent uprisings in Tunisia and Egypt. The video content in Al Jazeera's Creative Commons repository is under a CC-BY license.

* Google launched Art Project, which is like Google Street View for art museums.  It includes digitized copies of more 1,000 paintings, all or most in the public domain.  Users zoom in for close-ups, but only one image per museum is very high res and supports high-res close-ups.  Google interprets use as assent to the terms of service, even without registering, and the terms of service prohibit copying without permission.

* Adrian Pohl translated the Principles of Open Bibliographic Data into German.


Coming this month

Here are some important OA-related events coming up in March 2011.

* March 1, 2011.  The OA mandate at Columbia University's Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory takes effect.

* March 1, 2011.  Date the OA mandate at Sweden's Malmö University takes effect.

* March 14, 2011.  Deadline for applications for JISC funds to "conduct a study of the benefits of Open Access (OA) to scholarly research outputs to private sector businesses in the UK." 

* March 15, 2011.  Deadline for public comments on the merit-review criteria used by the US National Science Foundation (NSF) when evaluating grant applications.  One of the current criteria is, "Will the results be disseminated broadly to enhance scientific and technological understanding?" 

* OA-related conferences in March 2011

* Other OA-related conferences


This is the SPARC Open Access Newsletter (ISSN 1546-7821), written by Peter Suber and published by SPARC.  The views I express in this newsletter are my own and do not necessarily reflect those of SPARC or other sponsors.

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