Welcome to the SPARC Open Access Newsletter, issue #84
April 2, 2005

Read this issue online

Helping scholars and helping libraries

Scholars and librarians are close allies in the campaign for open access, but they pursue OA for different reasons.  For scholars, the primary benefit of OA is wider and easier access for readers and larger audience and impact for authors.  For librarians, the primary benefit of OA is saving money in their serials budgets.

(I've argued in the past that OA will help libraries solve both the "pricing crisis" and the "permission crisis".  I haven't changed my mind about that, but here I'll focus on the library interest in solving the pricing crisis.)

We like to say that OA is a goal to which there are many means.  But scholars and libraries in effect treat it as a means to their separate but related, professionally-specific goals.  It's not surprising that some OA initiatives help scholars more than they help libraries, or that some OA initiatives help libraries indirectly but don't help them save money in their serials budgets.  Here are four quick examples. 

(1) Self-archiving, at least at its current low levels:  Every new article in an OA repository helps its author and all of its readers.  But it doesn't justify librarians in cancelling journal subscriptions and it doesn't convert subscription journals to OA journals.  As self-archiving spreads, there may be a tipping point after which it helps libraries save money.  Or there may not, if the experience in physics transfers to other disciplines.  But what matters here is that self-archiving helps scholars even before we get to that tipping point. 

Similarly, libraries that host institutional repositories have an important new institutional responsibility and they can benefit from taking on that role.  But self-archiving helps scholars even at universities that don't yet have institutional repositories.

(2) Hybrid journals offering OA at the author's choice (the "Walker-Prosser" model):  When only a fraction of authors take advantage of the OA option, then libraries cannot justify cancelling subscriptions.  But scholars benefit when even a fraction of a journal's content goes OA. 

(3) Non-OA journals offering OA to sufficiently old back issues:  OA to back issues may help libraries save the cost of buying access to the back run, but it doesn't help them save the larger expense of subscribing.  If the embargo is sufficiently long, then libraries will not be able to justify cancellations.  For journals, of course, this is the point.  Finding an embargo period that is short enough to serve research needs in the field without subverting subscriptions (i.e. without helping scholars enough and without helping libraries in the primary way) is an art that many journals are trying to master.

(4) The NIH public-access policy:  I've often argued that there are good reasons to think that it won't undercut journal subscriptions.  That's the flip side of arguing that libraries won't cancel subscriptions on account of this policy, even if they continue to cancel subscriptions for other reasons, such as rising prices.  The best reason to think that the NIH policy will not cause cancellations, and would not have done so even in its earlier and stronger form with only a six-month embargo, is that libraries themselves said so.   In its comment on the NIH policy, the Association of College and Research Libraries (ACRL) wrote: 

We wish to emphasize, above all, that academic libraries will not cancel journal subscriptions as a result of this plan and that it will therefore not produce economic harm to publishers. Since biomedical journals publish research that derives from many sources other than NIH funding, the articles made available in PubMed Central will not substitute for the content of individual journals. Even if libraries wished to consider the availability of NIH-funded articles when making journal cancellation decisions, they would have no reasonable way of determining what articles in specific journals would become openly accessible after the embargo period. The six-month embargo also provides substantial protection of publishers' interests. Because most biomedical research is time sensitive, libraries will make every effort to maintain the subscriptions they already have as a way of providing needed access to the most current research.

Eight reasons to think the NIH public-access policy won't undercut subscriptions

The ACRL comment on the NIH public-access policy, November 16, 2004

We know what kinds of OA initiative will help scholars --namely, every kind.  But what kinds of OA initiative will help libraries save money in their serials budgets? 

I want to approach this question from the side.  It looks as though helping libraries has to hurt publishers.  It looks as though helping libraries save money in their serials budgets means cancelling subscriptions.  That is not quite true.  It's true that cancelling subscriptions is one way to help libraries save money, but it's not the only way.  Libraries also save money when subscription-based journals convert to OA.  Conversions are voluntary and can come about through persuasion, experimentation, or changing market conditions. 

I want us to achieve the kinds of OA that help scholars *and* the kinds of OA that help libraries.  I want to help libraries in part because I'm in a symbiotic relationship with them.  Healthy libraries are necessary to support healthy research and education.  I want to help libraries because they are committed allies in the campaign for OA.  More importantly, I want to help libraries because the best source of funds to pay for the long-term sustenance of OA is the savings from library serials budgets.  If the rise of OA literature lets us spend less on priced literature, then the best way to spend the savings is on the OA alternative that made the savings possible.

Finally, I want to help libraries because we can't take the last steps toward helping scholars without helping libraries as well.  For example, low-volume self-archiving may help scholars without helping libraries, but high-volume self-archiving will help both, at least in fields where the experience in physics does not transfer.  I want high-volume self-archiving.  I want OA to 100% of research literature, through some combination (it doesn't matter what combination) of OA archiving and OA journals.

The inevitable question is whether I, and all others who want to help libraries, want to harm publishers.  The answer is no.  That is not the goal.  The goal is OA to 100% of the research literature.  Achieving that goal is compatible with subscription-based access to some considerable percentage of the same literature.  (These percentages can add up to more than 100% because some literature can be both free and priced, such as an article in a subscription journal deposited by its author in an OA repository.)

Progress toward the goal of OA to 100% of research literature will eventually help libraries reduce their serials expenses.  It may create the quality and quantity of OA literature that justifies them in cancelling some subscription journals.  Or it may persuade some subscription journals to convert, e.g. by answering fears about conversion or by changing market conditions so that conversion becomes a survival strategy.  Or both.

I don't how *how much* this progress will help libraries.  That depends on how much priced access is compatible with 100% OA.  Last month I looked at some of the variables that affect this kind of long-term co-existence and some of the reasons why predictions are difficult.

I'm sorry if all of this is obvious.  During the long campaign for the NIH policy, I argued that this particular policy would not harm publishers.  I made the argument so often that I began to wonder whether it created a false impression about my larger position or at least drew attention away from two equally important parts of it.  First, the NIH policy won't do much to help libraries, and second, other initiatives that I do support will certainly help libraries and could threaten subscriptions. 

I will never support an initiative whose direct purpose is to undermine publishers.  I've argued before that OA does not require publisher setbacks, and that publisher setbacks do not necessarily advance OA.  Hence, to pursue publisher setbacks is to mistake the goal.  It's harmful and wrong.  I haven't changed my mind about that.

But I definitely support initiatives to enlarge the body of OA literature, rapidly and systematically, even if a foreseeable side-effect is that libraries cancel subscriptions.  I want to say this in public.  One reason is to refocus on the needs of libraries, overlooked in the NIH campaign.  Even if libraries benefit indirectly from every OA initiative that benefits scholars, they need more direct forms of relief as well.  Another reason is simply to admit that not all OA initiatives will be as innocuous for publishers as the NIH policy.

For example, I support voluntary self-archiving of journal articles by all authors.  I support policies at every funding agency, public and private, to mandate OA to funded research.  I support policies at all universities to mandate OA to royalty-free research, like journal articles, produced by faculty.  Each of these policies will lead to high-volume OA archiving.  I support OA archiving for full-text articles, not just abstracts.  I support full-text archiving for postprints, not just for preprints.  I support postprint archiving immediately upon publication, not just after some embargo period.  I support postprint archiving in OAI-compliant repositories, not just on personal home pages.  I support these policies for all disciplines, all countries, and all languages.  High-volume, full-text, immediate and interoperable OA postprint archiving will help libraries by leading to some combination (I don't know what combination) of journal conversions to OA and library cancellations of selected journals that do not convert.  To supplement high-volume OA archiving, I support more peer-reviewed OA journals in every field, whether they are new launches or conversions from TA journals.

As we approach 100% OA, through archives and journals, I'm sure that the responses of subscription journals will differ from discipline to discipline.  So I don't know *how much* this progress will undercut subscriptions.  If most disciplines are like physics, or if some TA journals can survive in a high-OA environment, or if TA journals that lose subscribers can survive by converting to OA, then the answer is not much.  But I don't want to be evasive.  Even if the answer is that progress toward 100% will be more rather than less harmful to existing publishers, I still believe that 100% OA is a goal worth pursuing.  Certain services, like peer review and wide and easy distribution, are indispensable for science and society.  But no particular journal or publisher is indispensable. 


Getting to 100%

This isn't a comprehensive strategy for getting to the goal of 100% OA.  It's an attempt to identify some of the continuing obstacles and give a short progress report on where we stand in removing them.

* OA journals

There may be a way for OA journals to thrive in every discipline and nation.  But we don't know that yet.  We find OA journals in every field, but most OA journals are too young for us to know much about their long-term financial health. 

Two large facts seem key to the spread of OA journals.  First, there are many differences among the disciplines relevant to funding OA journals.  Second, there are many different business models for OA journals.  It's hard to know how these two facts interact.  In the array of viable business models, will there be one for every niche?  We just don't know.

Disciplinary differences relevant to funding OA journals

Most of the OA journals in the DOAJ do not charge processing fees.  According to the new Kaufman-Wills study, presented at the London Book Fair last month, only 47% of OA journals do so.  Those that don't charge fees have many different ways to pay their bills.  Unfortunately, these fee-free funding models are not always described at the journal web sites.  To be conservative we can assume that they are uneven in their long-term viability.  If we had a good catalog of the many non-fee business models, then we could encourage experimentation in different disciplinary niches as well as micro-economic study of their viability.  Making that catalog and running those studies are both tasks still waiting to be done.

The Kaufman-Wills study

Here's another.  Author-side fees work, but if journals want to use them in disciplines without as much research funding as biomedicine, then we'll have to get employers (universities, laboratories, governments) to start paying these fees alongside the pioneering foundations and funding agencies. 

Universities might be willing to pay author-side fees for their faculty if it would be less expensive than paying journal subscriptions.  The Cornell study in August 2004 (updated in December 2004) suggests that it is not, at least not for high-output research universities like Cornell.  But the Cornell study incorrectly assumes that all OA journals charge processing fees (when only 47% do so), and that all processing fees would be paid by universities (when some will be paid by funding agencies).  It also assumes that the low-end fee would be $2,500, which is much closer to the high end than the low end.  There are many subtle new costs and new savings in the transition from TA to OA journals.  But if we leave them temporarily to one side, and only work on making these three large assumptions more accurate, then we will almost certainly reverse the conclusion.  Universities would pay less for OA journals than they pay now for TA journals.  However, another task for the future is to get good enough numbers to confirm this conjecture and then to make it widely known among universities.

Report of Cornell University Libraries Task Force on OA Publishing, 8/9/04
December supplement to the August report

* OA archives or repositories

None of the uncertainties facing OA journals stand in the way of OA archiving.  Most journals could continue to charge subscriptions and we could still have 100% OA through archives.  We might never find business models for OA journals in many fields and still have 100% OA through archives.  Universities might never pay OA journal processing fees for their faculty and we might still have 100% OA through archives.

These are reasons to push forward for OA through archives *no matter what we do* about OA journals.  My choice is to support both paths.  But it doesn't matter whether the dual strategy is appealing to others. 

Every university can and should have its own OA institutional repository.  Every discipline could have an OA repository as well, like the exemplary arXiv in physics.  We could get to 100% on either path or on both together.  So even if there are reasons to prefer one path to the other, those reasons are secondary. 

There are two barriers to the spread of OA archiving.  First, the process of depositing articles in OAI-compliant repositories is too time-consuming or intimidating for many authors.  Second, many authors do not have OA repositories in their institutions or disciplines.  Let's look at these one at a time.

(1) The process of OA archiving is not intrinsically time-consuming or intimidating, but even low barriers are too high when authors are desperately short of time.  One piece of good news is that we are making progress on automating the generation of metadata.  This will reduce both the time and the difficulty of self-archiving and one day may automate the entire process after an author clicks "yes".  Another piece of good news is that a new study by Leslie Carr and Stevan Harnad based on "two months of submissions for a mature repository" shows that "the amount of time spent entering metadata would be as little as 40 minutes per year for a highly active researcher."  The problem isn't a real time-sink but a groundless fear of a time-sink.

Jane Greenberg et al., Final Report for the AMeGA (Automatic Metadata Generation Applications) Project, submitted to the Library of Congress, February 17, 2005.

Leslie Carr and Stevan Harnad, Keystroke Economy: A Study of the Time and Effort Involved in Self-Archiving.  A preprint put online March 15, 2005.

(2) Many publishing researchers don't have OA repositories in their institutions or disciplines.  The missing piece of the puzzle is an OAI-compliant "universal repository" that will accept eprints from any scholar in any discipline.  I'm very happy to say in public for the first time that Brewster Kahle of the Internet Archive (IA) has agreed to launch just such a repository.  I'm working with the technical staff of the IA to set it up now.  Not only will it host new content for scholars with no other place to deposit their work, but it will offer to preserve all the other OAI-compliant repositories in the world.  The IA's proven commitment to open access and long-term preservation make this a most exciting prospect.  Moreover, the good people at the Creative Commons are working on a drag-and-drop interface for depositing new eprints in the IA repository.  More details later.

The Internet Archive

Automating or semi-automating the archiving deposit process won't help scholars without deposit rights at an OA, OAI-compliant repository, and a universal repository won't help scholars who believe they are too busy to bother.  That's why it's important that we're seeing progress on both fronts at once.  Each development removes another excuse for not archiving.


Top stories from March 2005

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 March:

* Institutions and countries start to mandate OA.
* Publishers announce new, wider access policies.
* Scholars survey OA in developing countries.
* Journals announce their policies toward NIH-funded authors.
* Google Scholar and Google Print continue to make news.
* Two important studies are released.

* Institutions and countries start to mandate OA.

A few institutions mandated OA before March 1, most notably the Queensland University of Technnology in Australia, the University of Minho in Portugal, and the Wellcome Trust in the UK.  But in March the trickle turned to a flood.  For most of them, the occasion was the Berlin3 conference in Southampton on implementing the Berlin Declaration on Open Access to Knowledge in the Sciences and Humanities.

Participants in the Berlin3 meeting agreed on a recommendation that signatory institutions should (1) "require their researchers to deposit a copy of all their published articles in an open access repository" and (2) "encourage their researchers to publish their research articles in open access journals where a suitable journal exists and provide the support to enable that to happen."

This is an important development for three reasons.  First, it shows that universities and laboratories are joining foundations in recognizing that they have their own interest in providing OA to their research output.  The benefits run to institutions, not just to individual researchers.  Second, it shows that if there was a taboo against going beyond encouragements to mandates, it is breaking down. This is connected to the first reason, since this transition wouldn't be happening if institutions hadn't developed new clarity about their own interests.  And third, it will generate more OA literature than foundation-mandates or university-encouragements.

At the same time, many other institutions are launching OA repositories and adopting policies at least to encourage, if not require, their employees or grantees to deposit their research output.

Berlin 3 Open Access: Progress of Implementation of the Berlin Declaration on Open Access to Knowledge in the Sciences and Humanities, Southampton, February 28 - March 1, 2005.  The presentations and video are now online.

Berlin3 recommendation

Registry for institutions declaring their commitment to implement the Berlin Declaration

Policy details of the signatory institutions

CERN participated in Berlin3, reaffirmed its commitment to OA, and adopted a policy very close to the Berlin3 recommendation.

Short version of the CERN OA policy

Long version of the CERN OA policy

CERN press release on its OA policy

The new OA policy at INRIA, the French National Institute for Research in Computer Sciences and Control, strongly encourages but does not require deposit in the INRIA institutional repository. 

On March 22, four major French public research agencies --INRA, CNRS, INRIA, and Inserm-- issued a joint press release announcing a common policy to launch OA repositories to disseminate their research output and encourage their researchers to deposit their publications as well as their raw data in the new repositories.

Richard Poynder, Time to Walk the Talk? Open and Shut, March 17, 2005.

Stevan Harnad, The Implementation of the Berlin Declaration on Open Access, D-Lib Magazine, March 2005.

Donald MacLeod, Academics thrash out open access details, The Guardian, March 2, 2005.

Independently of the Berlin3 meeting, and prior to it, participants at the Open Access Scholarly Communication Workshop (Kyiv, Ukraine, February 17-19, 2005) recommended that Ukraine mandate OA to publicly-funded research, with a few exceptions.

Stephen Pinfield, A mandate to self archive? The role of open access institutional repositories, Serials, March 2005.  Pinfield explains and defends the conclusion of the UK House of Commons Science and Technology Committee that the government should mandate OA archiving for publications based on publicly-funded research.

Ever since the UK government rejected (November 2004) the OA recommendations of the House of Commons Science and Technology Committee (July 2004), OA proponents have wondered whether the independent Research Councils UK (RCUK) might adopt some of those recommendations on its own authority.  On March 23, the House of Commons Science and Technology Committee has issued a report on The Work of the Research Councils UK, in which it gave the first official sign that the RCUK might do just that.  See especially paragraph 28, p. 16, of the report.

While the Wellcome Trust's decision to mandate OA to Wellcome-funded research was announced in November 2004, it was eloquently reiterated in March and placed in the context of the Trust's history of supporting OA.  See Robert Terry, Funding the Way to Open Access, PLoS Biology, March 2005.

On March 18, the Open Access Scientific Publishing Committee of the Finnish Ministry of Education issued a 38-page report on open access (in Finnish only).  There is an abstract in Finnish, Swedish, and English.  The recommendations encourage but do not require OA archiving by researchers working at Finnish universities or receiving Finnish public funding for their research.

Kimmo Kuusela, Finland adopts official open access, CSC News, March 2005, p. 10.

The Scottish Declaration of Open Access was back in the news.  While it was signed and released on October 11, 2004, it was not made official until March 14, 2005.  Some but not all of the signatory universities will mandate OA archiving by faculty. 

Polly Curtis, Scottish universities sign open access deal, The Guardian, March 14, 2005.

Academics take the initiative in open access debate, CORDIS News, March 16, 2005. An unsigned news story on the Berlin and Scottish Declarations.

Cathrine Harboe-Ree, Transforming scholarly communication: a Monash University perspective, Monash University, March 4, 2005.  Anticipating, rather than demanding, that public funding agencies in Australia mandate OA to publicly-funded research.

The University of Kansas is also encouraging its faculty to deposit their research output in the institutional repository.  See Roger Martin, Research Findings Should be Made Accessible to Public, Kansas City Info Zine, March 6, 2005.

A February report on digital repositories from JISC recommended many new forms of encouragement for OA archiving in the UK but stopped short of calling for a mandate.

* Publishers announce new, wider access policies.

Nature respects preprint servers, Nature, March 17, 2005.  In this editorial, Nature responds to mistaken rumors that Nature does not permit preprint archiving, but does not respond to criticism that it is trying to impose a six month embargo on postprint archiving.

Nature and Science let authors retain copyright.  These policies look progressive, but study the details. For example, normally authors who retain copyright have all the rights they need to self-archive their postprints in any kind of repository without any kind of delay. But while Nature lets authors retain copyright, its license to publish asks for exclusive rights to "publish, reproduce, distribute, display and store" the article "in all forms, formats and media" "for the full term of copyright" and specifically builds in a six-month embargo on self-archiving. The license to publish at Science has essentially the same terms except that Science allows self-archiving without an embargo, though only to personal web sites, not repositories. One nice feature of the Science license, especially if it is new, is that it retroactively extends the author re-use rights to all authors of previously published papers in Science. Let's hope that one day Science retroactively recognizes the right of author self-archiving in interoperable repositories, where it is most useful to them and their readers.

Cathrine Harboe-Ree, Transforming scholarly communication: a Monash University perspective, Monash University, March 4, 2005.  On the Monash University ePress.

Louise Perry, Publish and be scanned, The Australian, March 16, 2005.  More on the new Monash University ePress.

Jerald L. Schnoor, Open access and you, Environmental Science and Technology, March 15, 2005.  Proposing, among other things, that publishers consider *temporary* transfers of rights from authors.

Penn State University is launching an Office of Digital Scholarly publishing, a collaboration of the university press and the university libraries

Sophie Rovner, ACS Broadens Article Access, Chemical and Engineering News, March 7, 2005.  On two new access-widening policies at the American Chemical Society (ACS).

Richard Poynder, What is Open Access? Open and Shut, March 12, 2005. Focusing mostly on the new access-widening policies at the ACS.

On March 9, a Slashdot thread started on the IEEE plans to experiment with OA.

Trudy E. Bell, Information Free-For-All?, The Institute, March 2005.  On the possibility of IEEE experiments with OA.

Euroscience has created a new, permanent Science Publishing Working Group.   One of the working group's specific tasks is to advise the organization on new OA developments.

In early March there was a good discussion thread at the American Scientist Open Access Forum on Blackwell's new Online Open policy.

Andrew Albanese, Blackwell Offers Open Access Plan, Library Journal, April 1, 2005.

James Pringle, Partnering helps institutional repositories thrive, Thomson Customer News, February 2005.  More on the ISI-Citeseer Web Citation Index.

* Scholars survey OA in developing countries.

March saw an unusually large number of articles about OA initiatives in developing countries, as well as a few new initiatives themselves.

Leslie Chan and Sely Costa, Participation in the global knowledge commons: challenges and opportunities for research dissemination in developing countries, New Library World, 106, 3/4 (2005).

John Willinsky and three co-authors, Access to Research in Cameroonian Universities, The Electronic Journal of Information Systems in Developing Countries, April 2005.

Anon., 'Pakistan only country to have digital library', Daily Times, April 1, 2005.

The National Centre for Science Information (NCSI) of the Indian Institute of Science (IISc) has launched an OA repository for electronic theses and dissertations (etd@IISc).

The United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) solicited examples of successful knowledge-sharing experiences in developing countries.

The Spring issue of the INASP Newsletter focuses on initiatives to provide OA to agricultural information in developing countries around the world, including RAIN (Regional Agricultural Information Network), ICM4ARD (Information and Communication Management for Agricultural Research for Development), Anancy, and the AgroWeb Network.

Cory Doctorow, Digital Rights Management: A failure in the developed world, a danger to the developing world, Electronic Frontier Foundation, undated but announced by EFF on March 11, 2005.

The Indian Statistical Institute in Bangalore launched an open-access Digital Library of Mathematics using DSpace.

David Dickson, Open access archiving: an idea whose time has come? SciDev.Net, March 7, 2005.

Subbiah Arunachalam, Open access and the developing world, National Medical Journal of India, November/December, 2004.

Ann Whyte, Landscape Analysis of Donor Trends in International Development, Rockefeller Foundation, 2004.

* Journals announce their policies toward NIH-funded authors.

Journals have started to announce their policies toward NIH-funded authors.  Biochemical Journal (BJ) will let its authors participate in the NIH program and even offers to deposit articles in PubMed Central (PMC) on behalf of authors, though only after six months.  The 30+ journals of the American Chemical Society (ACS) will also let their authors participate and also offer to deposit papers on behalf of authors, though only after 12 months.  BJ offers to deposit the publisher's version of the article while ACS offers to deposit the author's version of the peer-reviewed text. 

On the plus side, these journals will not oppose author participation in the NIH public-access program and are willing to make the deposit in PMC themselves.  On the minus side, they are trying to control the author's decision and will insist on a 6-12 month embargo.  The embargo contradicts the NIH request that authors permit public release "as soon as possible" after publication.  Opposing the NIH request in this way not only opposes the public interest, and the author's interest, in rapid public release of publicly-funded medical research.  It also creates precisely the dilemma we feared in which authors are forced to choose between conflicting requests from their funder and their publisher.

In the press release announcing the NIH policy on February 3, Dr. Elias Zerhouni said, "While this new policy is voluntary, we are strongly encouraging all NIH-supported researchers to release their published manuscripts as soon as possible for the benefit of the public. Scientists have a right to see the results of their work disseminated as quickly and broadly as possible, and NIH is committed to helping our scientists exercise this right. We urge publishers to work closely with authors in implementing this policy."  If publishers oppose the request for immediate public access, then NIH will have to live up to its commitment to help scientists "exercise this right".

My advice to NIH-funded authors publishing in journals that take a position like BJ or ACS:  either (1) accept their offer to deposit your paper in PMC after an embargo, but also help yourself by self-archiving your paper outside PMC immediately after publication, or (2) decline their offer, deposit your article in PMC yourself --it's as easy as sending an email attachment--, and request public release through PMC immediately after publication. You could also avoid the dilemma that these journals are creating for their authors by submitting your work to other journals.

Biochemical Journal policy.

American Chemical Society policy.

NIH press release announcing the public-access policy, February 3, 2005.

Here are some other March news and developments on the NIH public-access policy.

Anon., NIH calls on scientists to speed public release of research publications, Access, March 2005.

Donald Kennedy, Bayh-Dole: Almost 25, Science Magazine, March 4, 2005.  Mostly about the Bayh-Dole Act, but pausing to misunderstand the NIH policy.

Dr. Elias Zerhouni, director of the NIH, testified before the House Subcommittee on Labor-HHS-Education Appropriations yesterday on his budget request for fiscal year 2006.  He briefly addressed the NIH public-access policy.

Richard Dodenhoff, Online Usage Soars, The Pharmacologist, March 2005 (scroll to p. 20).  The position of the American Society for Pharmacology and Experimental Therapeutics (ASPET) on the NIH policy.

SPARC released a Guide to the NIH Public-Access Policy, including helpful pages specifically for researchers (on the benefits of complying with the NIH request and suggestions on the most effective ways to do so) and librarians (on ways to inform and assist researchers).

I updated my FAQ on the NIH public-access policy to reflect the final version of the policy.

On March 2, the Association of American Publishers (AAP) issued a press release on the NIH public-access policy.

Peter Baxter, Interesting times in medical publishing, Developmental Medicine and Child Neurology, February 2005.

* Google Scholar and Google Print continue to make news.

Cheryl LaGuardia, The World in a Database, Library Journal, April 1, 2005.

Mark Liberman, Europe's response to Google to be managed by... Microsoft? Language Log, March 26, 2005.

Klaus Graf, Google Print und Google Library näher betrachtet, Google Print, March 25, 2005.

Marcus Banks, The excitement of Google Scholar, the worry of Google Print, Biomemdical Digital Libraries, March 22, 2005.

Declan Butler, France takes on Google in scanning race, Nature, March 24, 2005.

Andy Carvin, Chirac Declares War on Google Library Project, Digital Divide Network, March 22, 2005.

There's a new Slashdot thread on the first full-text, public-domain books to appear online in the Google library project.

Aisha Labi, France Plans to Digitize Its 'Cultural Patrimony' and Defy Google's 'Domination', Chronicle of Higher Education, March 21, 2005.

The Google library project is hiring a product manager.

Sung Kim has launched Scholar Monitor, an open-source tool for tracking searches on Google Scholar for new content matching stored keywords

French President Jacques Chirac asked the Bibliothèque Nationale de France (BNF) to draw up plans for a digitization program comparable to the Google library project.   This is a direct response to the January editorial in Le Monde by Jean-Noël Jeanneney, President of the BNF, criticizing the Google project for Anglo-American bias.  At the same time, Chirac asked Germany, Spain, and Russia to launch similar projects.  (PS:  This wave of digitization projects could be cooperative instead of competitive, but it's good for research, scholarship, education, digital culture, and OA.)
More coverage

Beau C. Robicheaux, Harvard-Google Project Faces Copyright Woes, Harvard Crimson, March 15, 2005.

Paula Hane, Google's Projects Continue to Generate Shock Waves, InfoToday NewsLink, March 2005.

Mark Herring, Don't Get Goggle-Eyed Over Google's Plan to Digitize, Chronicle of Higher Education, March 11, 2005.

Paul W. Taylor, Real-Time Sunshine, Government Technology, March 2005 .

Peter Suber, Le gigantesque projet de bibliothèque de Google, BiblioAcid, February 2005, pp. 9-11. Marlène Delhaye's French translation of my article, Google's gigantic library project, from SOAN for 1/2/05.

* Two important studies are released.

(1) The first is Charles Bailey's Open Access Bibliography: Liberating Scholarly Literature with E-Prints and Open Access Journals, ARL, 2005.  This is the first large bibliography of open access.  We're lucky to have it and lucky that it was compiled by Charles W. Bailey Jr.  It's comprehensive, well-organized, and useful.  It charts where we've been.  It guides newcomers to our literature, reducing the temptation (that too many have felt) to start from scratch and repeat all the corrected misunderstandings and answered objections that have held us back.  Above all, it should deepen and accelerate research on OA.  OA isn't just a new paradigm for the distribution of scholarship.  For some time now it has also been a topic of scholarship.  Bailey's work will help OA in both its forms. 

You may know Charles W. Bailey Jr. as the man behind the monumental Scholarly Electronic Publishing Bibliography, currently up to Version 57, and the Scholarly Electronic Publishing Weblog.

OA edition of Bailey's Open Access Bibliography

Print edition of Bailey's Open Access Bibliography

Ordering information for print edition

(2) The second is Cara Kaufman's Variations on Open Access, PPT slides presented at the London Book Fair, March 14, 2004.  Until the study she performed with Alma Wills is released in full-text, these slides will be our best glimpse into their in-depth study of the economics of OA journals.

The Kaufman-Wills study looks at 357 journals that responded to an extensive survey.  Of these, 248 were OA.  The survey was sent to DOAJ journals, Highwire Press journals, and journals published by the Association of American Medical Colleges.  The results give us the most wide-ranging and detailed picture we've yet seen of the economics of OA publishing.  The study was sponsored by the American Association for the Advancement of Science, the Association of American Medical Colleges, the Association of Learned and Professional Publishers, and HighWire Press

It should put an end to loose talk about the "author pays" model as if it were the only model for OA journals. (The study found that only 47% of OA journals charge author-side fees.)  It will help measure the true cost, e.g. to universities, of supporting OA journals rather than non-OA journals. And it should help non-OA journals more accurately assess the economics of adopting one of the OA business models.

I've mentioned before that Cara Kaufman is my sister, and I'll mention it again as a disclaimer. But if anyone thinks that my position on OA undermines Cara's neutrality, then they don't know Cara or the groups that commissioned the Kaufman-Wills study.

Lila Guterman, Study Challenges Equation of Open-Access Publishing With an Author-Pays Business Model, Chronicle of Higher Education, March 15, 2005.

The Kaufman-Wills Group


Coming up later this month

* Notable conferences in April --an unusually large crop

Open Access (sponsored by ALPSP)
London, April 1, 2005

The Global Flow of Information (OA is among the topics, esp. in Panel 5 on science)
New Haven, April 1-3, 2005

Social Science Data Archives: creating, depositing and using data (sponsored by ESDS)
Reading, April 4, 2005

Spring 2005 Task Force Meeting (sponsored by CNI) (OA is among the topics)
Washington, D.C., April 4-5, 2005

Workshop on Strategies to Strengthen Agricultural Information in Tanzania (sponsored by RAIN, SUA, INASP, and DRD) (by invitation only)
Morogoro, Tanzania, April 4-7, 2005

MIT's OpenCourseWare: A Progress Report and Outlook (sponsored by the National Academies Forum on Information Technology and Research Universities)
Washington, D.C., April 5, 2005

Ownership and Access in Scholarly Publishing (a live forum that will also be webcast)
Baltimore, April 6, 2005

Beyond Open Access: The Political Economy of Knowledge (a public lecture by Jean-Claude Guédon)
Toronto, April 7, 2005

Currents and Convergence: Navigating the Rivers of Change (ACRL 12th National Conference)
Minneapolis, April 7-10, 2005
--Building a Successful Institutional Repository: An Introduction for Smaller Libraries. A session on Friday, April 8, 2:30 - 6:30 p.m.
--Taxation With Dissemination: Does The Public Have A Right To Open Access To Federally-Funded Research? A session on Saturday, April 9, 10:30 - 11:30 a.m.
--What If Open Access Scholarly Publishing Succeeds? Implications for the Role and Work of the Academic Library. A session on Saturday, April 9, 2:00 - 3:00 p.m.

The Web and after: the future of scholarly e-publishing (sponsored by ALPSP)
London, April 8, 2005

UK Serials Group 28th Annual Conference and Exhibition (OA is among the topics)
Edingurgh, April 11-13, 2005

JISC Conference 2005 (OA is among the topics)
Birmingham, April 12, 2005

Allen Press Emerging Trends Seminar (this year devoted to OA)
Washington, D.C., April 13, 2005

Joint Workshop on Electronic Publishing (sponsored by Delos, SVEP and ScieCom) (OA is among the topics)
Lund, April 14-15, 2005

Grid Technologies for Digital Libraries
Athens, April 16, 2005

Communicating Scientific, Technical and Medical knowledge 2005-2010 (sponsored by the Koninklijke Bibliotheek, ALPSP, EUSIDIC, and IOS Press Scientific Publishing)
Brussels, April 17-19, 2005

EUSIDIC Spring Meeting 2005: Communicating Business Scientific, Technical and Medical Knowledge 2005/2010
Brussels, April 18-19, 2005

Publishing for Impact: Conference for Mission-driven Non-profit Book Publishers (sponsored by the World Bank)
Washington, D.C., April 18-20, 2005

Communicating Scientific, Technical and Medical knowledge 2005-2010 (sponsored by the Belgian Koninklijke Bibliotheek, ALPSP, EUSIDIC, and IOS Press Scientific Publishing)
Brussels, April 19, 2005

From Scrolls to E-Books - the Story Continues (sponsored by British Columbia Library Association) (OA is among the topics)
Burnaby, British Columbia, April 21-23, 2005

Automated Indexing & Abstracting: Current Status and Future Trends (sponsored by NFAIS)
New York, April 22, 2005

Beyond Hope Library Conference 2005: Strengthening Libraries in Northern British Columbia (OA is among the topics)
Prince George, British Columbia, April 25-26, 2005

IS&T Archiving Conference (sponsored by the Society for Imaging Science and Technology)
Washington, D.C., April 26-29, 2005

Alberta Library Conference 2005: Celebrating our Past, Embracing Our Future (OA is among the topics)
Jasper, Alberta, April 28 - May 1, 2005

Digital Libraries, Institutional Repositories, Open Access (DASER-2 Summit)
College Park, Maryland, April 29 - May 1, 2005

DSpace@MIT: An Open Source Institutional Digital Repository (sponsored by NERCOMP)
Waltham, Massachusetts, April 30, 2005

* Other OA-related conferences



* I've added 35 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 put together a bibliography of my writings about open access, or at least those pieces that focus less on news and more on commentary and analysis. I made it for a publisher, but once I had it I decided to put it online and keep it up to date.

* Until last month, my list of what you can do to promote open access was a sub-list on my larger page of OA-related lists.  But it had long since grown too large for that and I finally moved it to page by itself.  (Thanks to Sarah Brown for the nudge.)  At the same time I added some long-overdue updates and revisions.  Bookmark the new URL and pass it around.


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.

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