Welcome to the SPARC Open Access Newsletter, issue #98
June 2, 2006
Read this issue online
Good facts, bad predictions
Last year, the Kaufman-Wills Group sent a detailed questionnaire to a large number of journals, and received 248 responses from OA journals listed in the DOAJ, the largest number of OA journals ever surveyed. The responses turned up details on the business models of OA journals that are not visible from their web sites.
Among the Kaufman-Wills discoveries were two that I found especially striking:
(1) The majority of OA journals charge no author-side fees at all.
(2) The majority of non-OA journals do charge author-side fees (in addition to reader-side subscription fees).
Table 30 of the Kaufman-Wills report shows that 52.8% of DOAJ journals charge no author-side fees at all. The percentage for subscription journals was much lower: ALPSP journals overall (23.4), ALPSP for-profit journals (44.9), ALPSP non-profit journals (10.1), AAMC journals (14.7), Highwire subset (17.6). The Highwire subset consists (p. 3) of "those making their original articles freely available at some point after publication; that is Delayed Open Access journals."
As Sally Morris put it in her introduction to the report (p. 1), "On the financial side, we were very surprised to find just how few of the Open Access journals raise any author-side charges at all; in fact, author charges are considerably more common (in the form of page charges, colour charges, reprint charges, etc) among subscription journals." As Kaufman and Wills put it in the body of the report (p. 44), "Contrary to general belief, more than half of DOAJ journals did not charge author-side fees of any type, whereas more than 75% of ALPSP, AAMC, and HW subset journals did charge author-side fees."
See Cara Kaufman and Alma Wills, The Facts About Open Access, October 11, 2005. Their study was sponsored by the Association of Learned and Professional Society Publishers (ALPSP), the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS), and HighWire Press (HW), with additional data from the Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC).
For convenience, let me call these the "two facts" or "two discoveries".
The two discoveries were not only unexpected, but strikingly favorable to OA. They should recast much of the debate about OA journals. (Kaufman and Wills made other discoveries that are more critical of OA journals.)
The report came out in October 2005, and in the next three months I saw no signs of the debate-recasting that I expected. Nevertheless in January 2006 I made this prediction:
"It will start to sink in that fewer than half of OA journals charge author-side fees and that many more subscription-based journals do so than OA journals....What will this mean in practice? People will stop talking about "the OA business model" for journals as if there were just one. People will talk less about how OA journals might exclude indigent authors and compromise on peer review and talk more about how toll-access journals do so. We'll start to document the range of models actually in use for OA journals and learn as much about them as we now know about the model that charges author-side processing fees. We'll get more creative in finding models that suit the range of niches, which differ significantly by discipline and by nation. We'll see OA journals use multiple sources of revenue or subsidies, allowing even those that charge author-side fees to lower their fees."
This is the worst prediction I've ever made. The Kaufman-Wills figures have not been questioned, but their significance is not sinking in.
* Significant for five reasons
The two facts should have implications for at least five aspects of the debate about OA journals.
(1) They should put an end to the false but widespread assumption that there is just one business model for OA journals (the one misnamed the "author pays" model). Some OA journals charge author-side fees and some don't --in fact, most don't. That's at least two models. There are undoubtedly many different models among the no-fee journals, but we'll have to do a lot more digging to find out what they are. Opponents of OA like to say that "one size doesn't fit all" but in fact OA journals have embodied this truth from the beginning.
(2) The two facts should put an end to publisher objections that OA journals are more likely than non-OA journals to exclude indigent authors. The only basis for this charge was the hasty generalization that OA journals charged author-side fees and the ignorance that non-OA journals did so more often. Now we know that insofar as charging fees excludes indigent authors, many more subscription journals are guilty than OA journals. We know this even before we take into account that, when OA journals do charge fees, funding agencies are often willing to pay them and journals often waive them in cases of economic hardship.
(3) The two facts should put an end to publisher objections that OA journals are more likely than non-OA journals to compromise on peer review. This charge is based on the hasty generalization that OA journals charge a fee for every accepted paper, and the presumption that charging such a fee creates a financial incentive to lower standards. Now we know that insofar as charging fees for accepted papers is an incentive to lower standards, many more subscription journals are guilty than OA journals. We know this even before we take into account that OA journals with many excellent submissions can often accept more papers without lowering standards (because they have no size limits) and OA journals with a dearth of excellent submissions can accept fewer papers without shortchanging subscribers (because they have no subscribers). We know it before we take into account that OA journal fees are much closer to "subsistence-level" compensation than typical subscription fees. We know it before we take into account that subscription journals justify price increases by pointing to the growing volume of published articles. We know it before we take into account that fee-charging OA journals have firewalls between their financial and editorial sides. We know it before we take into account that subscription journals with lower standards and lower rejection rates have higher profit margins (because they perform peer review fewer times per published paper).
(4) The two facts should put an end to studies of author attitudes toward OA journals that misinform the interview subjects before interviewing them. I've been a referee for two studies that told authors that OA journals (per se, without qualification) charged "author fees" and then asked authors about their willingness to pay. The results were described as author attitudes toward OA journals (per se, without qualification) rather than author attitudes toward fee-charging OA journals.
(5) Finally, the two facts should put an end to the myth that if all journals converted to OA, then universities would pay more in author-side fees than they pay now in subscriptions. I want to say a lot more about this one, so let me start a new section.
* Would universities pay more?
Last month, two new calculations appeared purporting to show that high-output research universities would pay more in author-side fees for OA journals than they pay now in subscriptions for non-OA journals:
William Walters, Institutional Journal Costs in an Open Access Environment, a preprint forthcoming from the Journal of the American Society for Information Science and Technology. (The preprint was released c. April 24, 2006.)
Magaly Báscones Dominguez, Economics of open access publishing, Serials, March 2006.
http://serials.uksg.org/ (no deep link)
Before these two studies, Phil Davis and his colleagues did a similar calculation for Cornell University, August 2004.
When the Walters study came out, Phil Davis started a discussion thread on it at LibLicense, April 24, 2006.
All three studies calculate the difference between present university costs for subscriptions and the costs for author-side fees in a hypothetical world in which all journals converted to OA. In doing the calculation, all three assume that 100% of OA journals charge author-side fees. That is, none takes into account the Kaufman-Wills finding that only a minority of OA journals do so. (The Davis study came out in August 2004 and could not have taken this into account.)
Moreover, all three assume that 100% of the fees would be paid by universities, none by funding agencies. Yet today, I don't know of a single university that has started to pay these fees, but I know more than a dozen funding agencies willing to do so (some overtly, some quietly). The assumption in the calculation not only reverses the current reality, and has universities pay more fees than funding agencies, it utterly zeroes out the contribution from funding agencies.
It's not surprising that under these unrealistic assumptions, high-output research universities would pay more in author-side fees than in subscriptions. But there are two ways to regard that conclusion. We can take it as a glimpse of our likely future under OA journals, or we can take it merely as the unfolding of the consequences of certain assumptions, likely or not. The first picture aims to be true to the world, while the second only aims to be true to the premises. But this means that it's either false or useless. As a picture of our likely future, it depends on the truth or likelihood of its assumptions, and so fails. But I assume that it is a true picture of its premises even if it's a false picture of the world. That is, I assume that the authors did the math accurately. So now we know what would happen if a couple of very unlikely things happened. Does this help us? Only to the extent that the scenario it describes is plausible, realistic, or likely.
The authors of these studies don't say that their assumptions are true so much as convenient. But OA opponents have seized upon their calculations as if they depicted our likely future under OA journals. This is a mistake. Anyone who wants to use the calculations as credible pointers to a likely future must go beyond what the three authors have done and argue that the assumptions are true or likely to become true. So far nobody has done that (with the two key assumptions on which I'm focusing here) and I don't see that anybody can.
It's not regrettable that the authors undertook to the show the consequences of an unrealistic what-if scenario. What's regrettable is the way the conclusion is easily misinterpreted --and widely taken-- as a picture of our future. It's equally regrettable that we don't yet have an equally careful picture of the consequences of more realistic what-if scenarios.
Let's continue to explore the hypothetical world in which all journals convert to OA. But instead of the very unlikely scenario in which 100% of OA journals charge fees, let's explore the scenario in which about half do and half don't --the scenario closest to a clean extrapolation from present patterns. Since present patterns may not hold, let's also explore the scenarios in which 0%, 10%, 20% ... 100% of OA journals charge fees. Let's use a wider range of assumptions, including some that are true today, and debate later about which are more likely or realistic for our future.
Let's also explore the scenario in which some considerable percentage of fees is paid by funding agencies. I've never seen a good estimate of what that percentage is today, so we can't extrapolate from the present. To be fair to all possibilities, then, let's explore the scenarios in which 0%, 10%, 20% ... 100% of author-side fees are paid by funders. Again, let's use a range of assumptions and debate later about which are more likely.
The results could be reported in a matrix showing when universities would pay more than they do now and when they wouldn't, and (for example) whether they'd pay more if 60% of OA journals charged fees and 30% of those fees were paid by funders.
Seeing the range of assumptions and their outcomes will not only help us discuss intelligently which scenarios are most likely, but also which are most desirable. We'll draw a map of hypothetical futures enabling us to steer toward the future we want.
It's somewhere between absurd and dishonest to assume that the one scenario already studied is the most likely, especially when it's so far from the present reality and when nobody is arguing that it's a likely evolution from the present reality. Let's stop citing the result as a picture of our future and start citing it as a picture of convenient but implausible assumptions that ought be refined and replaced by more accurate assumptions in follow-on calculations.
When we re-do the calculations with refined assumptions closer to today's reality, I'm convinced they will show that universities will pay *less* for OA journals than they pay today for subscription journals, even the universities with the highest research output. I'll bet a public apology on it.
Refining the calculations and publicizing the results is important and not just to set the record straight. Let me quickly put it in context. No serious OA advocate has ever said that OA literature is free to produce or publish. It can only be made free of charge for readers if people other than readers pay the bills. Producing broadcast television is not free of cost either; in fact, it's very expensive. But it's distributed to viewers without charge because others have agreed to pay the bills --for commercial TV, advertisers, and for public TV, donors of good will. That's the general model that will pay for OA journals, though the money can come from many sources other than advertisers and donors. So far, a good number of private foundations and public funding agencies have agreed to pay the bills (article processing fees) on behalf of their grantees. This helps researchers with grant funds, but unfortunately most researchers in most fields are not funded. We can close the funding gap for all academic researchers by persuading universities to start paying the fees on behalf of their faculty --or the subset of the fees not already covered by funding agencies. This will happen sooner rather than later if universities realize that paying these fees for OA journals will *cost them less* (and benefit everyone more) than paying subscription fees for toll-access journals.
* Strengths of the three studies
I've criticized the two false assumptions used in all three studies, but I don't want to give the impression that the studies are not valuable in other ways. Nor do I want to give the impression that they are all the same.
Davis is very good at sketching some of the turf battles and political difficulties that are likely to arise once universities start to pay OA journal processing fees. These problems, though very ugly, aren't enough to make me stop calling on universities to start paying these fees --today as an investment in a superior scholarly communication system, tomorrow from the savings on cancelled subscriptions--, but they are good reasons to start thinking about these problems now, before they arise.
Davis has helpfully made his data OA in an online spreadsheet. I'd have re-done his calculation myself but his spreadsheet isn't set up to make altering the two key assumptions easy. I haven't had time to figure out how to alter these two assumptions without an extensive rewrite of the sheet's structure and formulas. (Maybe a SOAN reader can with this.)
Walters treats two scenarios separately. Under the first, OA journals charge the same author-side fee that PLoS journals charge ($1,500). Under the second, they charge whatever fee they need to generate the same revenue (including profit or surplus) that they receive today from subscriptions. Under the first scenario, all universities, even those with the greatest research output, would pay less for OA journals than they pay now for subscriptions. In fact, the savings would be significant. Top tier research universities, like the University of Michigan, would save about half their current serials budgets and low-output universities would save up to 97%. Only under the second scenario would the top tier research universities pay more. This distinction mitigates the harm of the two large false assumptions still present on his second scenario (that 100% of OA journals charge fees and that 100% of the fees are paid by universities), especially if we agree that subscription journals converting to OA will not maintain revenues at their old levels and will not need to.
BTW, Ray English shows in a LibLicense posting (April 27, 2006) that if the average fee per article was $3,363 or less, then even under Walters' second scenario all institutions would benefit from the conversion of subscription journals to fee-charging OA journals, *even if* we continued to assume that 100% of OA journals charge fees and that 100% of the fees are paid by universities. Walters showed what fee would be needed to preserve journal revenues at current levels, which came to over $6k/article, but not the fee needed to trigger savings for all universities, including those with the largest research output, which is what English computed.
Dominguez recognizes that some OA journals charge no author-side fees, but oddly, in her calculation, focuses on those that do charge fees, in effect assuming that all OA journals, or all the ones that matter, charge fees. She also understands that a good percentage of these fees is paid by funding agencies, though again, in her calculation she assumes that the research institution on which she focuses (CERN) would pay all of the fees incurred by its researchers.
* A few qualifications
(1) There are two senses in which "universities will pay more" in a hypothetical future in which all journals are OA. First, high-output research universities may pay more *than low-output universities* to support OA journals. Second, high-output research universities may pay more for OA journals *than they pay now* for subscription journals. (The same distinction applies to the senses in which high-output *nations* will pay more.) The first is almost certainly true and I've never contested it. Nor do I think that it's a reason to resist OA journals --it's the flip side of the unobjectionable fact that high-output research universities pay more than low-output universities for journal *subscriptions* and would *save* more when these journals convert to OA. But that's a subject for another day.
(2) I'm not saying that present patterns will hold in the future. Today most OA journals charge no author-side fees. Today there are far more non-OA journals than OA journals, both in percentages and absolute numbers, that charge author-side fees. Today universities pay virtually no OA journal fees and foundations pay a hefty percentage (though we don't know the percentage). All three patterns are in flux. My argument is that we should look at a range of likely futures, not just the one very unlikely future.
(3) I have no idea whether the fee-based OA journals are higher in quality, lower in quality, or on average equal in quality to the no-fee OA journals. As far as I know, no one has studied this question. It only comes up here because someone might reply to my argument as follows: "Yes, most OA journals don't charge fees today. But most of the OA journals in which elite researchers are most likely to publish do or will charge fees." This is plausible, but the opposite guess is also plausible. Until we know more than we know now about the range of OA business models, their stability, and their relationship to editorial quality, let's enlarge our calculation to include different scenarios.
In the meantime, we shouldn't treat guesswork about quality as evidence of quality, and shouldn't make assumptions about quality unless we make plural assumptions in order to investigate this space without bias. Studies that limit themselves to fee-based journals on the assumption that they the only ones that matter must not draw sweeping conclusions about "OA journals" as such, but speak carefully about "OA journals that we assume are high in quality" --just as the studies to date should have spoken carefully about "OA journals that charge fees".
If you want a few quick examples of high-quality no-fee OA journals, then I can point to BMC's Beilstein Journal of Organic Chemistry and the Max Planck Institute's three Living Reviews on solar physics, relativity, and European governance. Like the Beilstein Journal, many other high-quality, high-prestige, and high-impact journals may prefer to arrange institutional subsidies than to charge author-side fees.
* A few calls to action
I'd like to revise my prediction, but it's safer to make the future than to predict it. So let me issue a few calls to action instead.
(1) Spread the word about the two facts unearthed by the Kaufman-Wills study. When you see someone assume that there's only one business model for OA journals (namely, author-side fees), or that OA journals are more likely than non-OA journals to exclude indigent authors, or that OA journals are more susceptible than non-OA journals to lowering their standards in order to generate revenue, then correct them. We know they're wrong. When you see someone assume that universities will pay more in author-side fees than they now pay in subscriptions, correct them. We know they're not relying on a fact but on a what-if scenario with false assumptions. If enough people cite the two facts, maybe in a year or so, they really will start to sink in.
(2) Over time, especially as high prices and OA competition cause more cancellations of subscription journals, universities will enter the game of paying processing fees at the subset of OA journals that charge fees. When that happens, not only will we have to face and work out the ugly political scenarios sketched by Phil Davis, but we will have to investigate the many no-fee business models and their relationship to journal quality. We need to know how many different ways there are to pay the bills of a peer-reviewed journal and how well they work in different niches. Let's start now.
(3) As more institutions become willing to pay the processing fees charged by the subset of OA journals that charge fees (public funding agencies, private foundations, universities, sponsors), the terms "author fees" and "author pays" will be even more deceptive than they are today. Let's kill them once and for all. They're false when applied to the majority of OA journals that charge no fees. They're misleading when applied to journals whose fees are frequently waived or paid by sponsors on the author's behalf. And they're harmful for raising groundless or exaggerated fears among authors. They're much better for anti-OA FUD than accurate communication.
Elsevier offers hybrid journals
Elsevier is making six of its physics journals into hybrid open access journals, and will do the same for 30 more journals, in different fields, in the next two months.
It doesn't use the term "hybrid open access" or even the term "open access", but using these terms is the quickest way to introduce the news. I'll pick different terms below.
First, the key part of the announcement:
The author charge for article sponsorship is $3,000. The fee excludes taxes and other potential author fees such as color charges which are additional. Information about selecting this option is now available on the journal homepages at www.elsevier.com as well as Elsevier's author gateway site, authors.elsevier.com. The availability of this option will be offered to authors of the above-mentioned journals only after receiving notification that their article has been accepted for publication. This prevents a potential conflict of interest where a journal would have a financial incentive to accept an article.
(1) This is a large, welcome step. Hybrid journals provide genuine OA for authors who select the OA option --or they can, depending on the fine print. The step is welcome for providing more free online access and welcome for putting Elsevier's weight behind it. Just as Elsevier's decision to permit postprint archiving in June 2004 broke the ice for many publishers who were not already green, this decision may also break the ice for those that are not already offering a hybrid option. (Note that Springer, Oxford, Blackwell and others already offer a hybrid option and broke the ice for Elsevier.)
(2) The step is welcome even though the program is flawed. It has essentially the same defects that the Springer Open Choice program had when it was first announced. Elsevier's processing fee is very high (the same as Springer's), and may generate a low uptake by authors, especially since traditional page charges will be laid on top of it (same as at Springer). A low uptake will not indicate low interest in OA. Nothing in the announcement or at the journal sites suggests that Elsevier will waive the fee in cases of economic hardship. Nothing suggests that it will deposit copies of its articles in an OA repository to guarantee their long-term OA availability. Further, Elsevier appears to demand transfer of copyright even for authors who select the new option (more below).
(3) Like other publishers who have decided to accept author-side fees, Elsevier will have to stop arguing that these fees corrupt peer review. Elsevier must follow PLoS, BMC, Hindawi, and others, in erecting a firewall between the editorial and financial sides of the enterprise so that peer-review judgments are not affected by the financial incentives. It has done so, but unfortunately the original announcement makes it seem porous and paradoxical: don't tell authors that the fee-based OA option even exists until the paper is accepted --but at the same time, tell them (through this announcement and the journal web sites) that the option exists. The explanation at the web site for Nuclear Physics A is much clearer: Elsevier won't ask authors for their access decision until it notifies them that their paper has been accepted. This makes sense.
(4) The page at Nuclear Physics A adds a detail missing from the original announcement: "When calculating subscription prices we plan to only take into account content published under the subscription model. We do not plan to charge subscribers for author sponsored content." This policy, pioneered by Springer, is becoming customary for hybrid OA journals.
(5) It appears that authors who select the OA option must still sign Elsevier's standard copyright transfer agreement. At least the order form for requesting the OA option makes no reference to an alternative.
Springer required copyright transfer even for its "Open Choice" authors until October 2005 when it let authors retain copyright and adopted a home-grown equivalent to the Creative Commons Attribution-NoCommercial license. I hope Elsevier will follow Springer's lead here.
(6) Currently, Elsevier only provides the free online access through ScienceDirect. It will be interesting to see how this aspect of the policy interacts with Elsevier's standing permission for postprint archiving (for the final version of the author's manuscript, not the published version). When authors choose the OA option, will Elsevier provide OA to the published edition in ScienceDirect and allow authors to provide OA to the final version of the manuscript through another repository? If so, very good. If not, then Elsevier would be retreating from its green policy and not offering OA in an independent venue --leaving authors and readers to wonder whether it will one day turn the OA articles on ScienceDirect back to TA (toll access). PLoS and BMC reassure their readers that their OA articles will remain OA by depositing in an independent OA repository --in their cases, PubMed Central. Elsevier seems to have no such plans.
Note that the Wellcome Trust has a strong requirement that articles arising from Wellcome-funded research must be OA through PMC or UKPMC, in part because these repositories are publisher-independent. OA through ScienceDirect will not suffice. Unless Elsevier (or Wellcome) permits OA through other venues, Wellcome-funded authors will have good reason not elect the new Elsevier option.
BTW, I suspect that Elsevier's main reason for limiting the free access option to ScienceDirect is to help it measure download traffic more accurately. When copies exist in multiple repositories, some beyond your control, accurate download measurements are virtually impossible. I hope Elsevier will support OA through independent repositories, but I sympathize with its desire for good traffic data. This is an experiment after all. If the experiment supports OA, I want it to have the data it needs to know that it supports OA. More on this in point 10 below.
(7) The chief strength and the chief weakness of hybrid OA journals are the same: because only some authors in a given issue will select the OA option, libraries cannot justify cancelling their subscriptions. This postpones the day that libraries and universities will save money from OA journals, but for the same reason it reduces the risk for publishers and encourages them to try the experiment. Every celebration that another publisher is trying the experiment must be tempered with the realization that libraries and universities are still hurting --and vice versa, every lamentation that libraries and universities are still hurting must be tempered with the realization that the body of free online scholarship is growing.
(8) Elsevier doesn't yet have a name for its new program, like Springer's Open Choice, Blackwell's Online Open, or OUP's Oxford Open. But in its announcement it refers to "sponsored articles", a "sponsorship fee", and a charge for "author sponsorship". So for now we can call this a sponsorship or author-sponsorship option, especially if we don't want to call it an OA option.
Will users be free to download and redistribute the sponsored copies from ScienceDirect or re-deposit them in independent OA repositories? We don't know yet but I suspect the answer will be no. From one point of view, this doesn't matter. Since Elsevier isn't calling the program "open access", it needn't live up to the definition. But in another sense it does matter: will users pay $3,000 plus page charges, and give up copyright, if they don't get full OA (and long-term reassurance of OA) in return?
(9) When Elsevier went green and permitted postprint archiving, I noted that it was perfectly consistent for the company to be friendly to OA archiving but unfriendly to OA journals.
But what is it now? It might still oppose full OA journals, at least in its own case, but will it still argue that OA journals are unsustainable, second-rate, a threat to peer review and the publishing industry? Will it still lobby against OA archiving initiatives on the ground that they increase the pressure on journals to accept author-side fees? In June 2004, "writing in [Elsevier's] in-house Review newsletter, Sir Crispin Davis warned that asking researchers to pay for their work to be published but then making it freely available on the internet 'could jeopardise the stable, scalable and affordable system of publishing that currently exists.' "
Will we see arguments like that fade away? Let's hope. Will we see a retraction? Probably not.
(10) This is not Elsevier's first experiment with free online journal access. It's currently running a year-long experiment, started last August, to offer free online access to _Information & Computation_ (I&C) and 10 years' worth of its back issues. During the experiment, the journal will not charge author-side fees, but live off pre-paid subscriptions bundled into ScienceDirect. Subscribers will notice no change, not even any savings; only non-subscribers will notice a change --free online access. The purpose, therefore, isn't to see whether author-side fees could suffice to pay I&C's bills, or how large such fees would have to be. Instead, the purpose is to monitor journal traffic and see whether the price barrier has denied access to readers who would like access.
Elsevier hasn't announced the results of the I&C experiment yet and it may never do so in public. But it will undoubtedly use what it learns when analyzing the results of its new sponsorship experiment. What if it finds that free articles are downloaded significantly more often than priced articles from the same journal? What if it finds (as Harnad, Eysenbach, and others have found, see the top stories section below) that free articles are *cited* significantly more often than priced articles from the same journal? That might lead it to spread its sponsorship option to more journals. But what if it also finds that its sponsorship option generates a low uptake among authors? Will it lower the fee? Encourage rather than merely permit OA archiving? This isn't a fanciful dilemma. I suspect that this is exactly what it will face. Whatever its response, it will be acting on first-hand information generated in-house, putting it well ahead of many other publishers who are still watching from the sidelines.
In October 2003 the French financial analysis firm, BNP Paribas, said there was a 50% chance that in 10 years the major commercial publishers would convert to OA and continue to dominate scholarly publishing as they do today, "retaining their market share but with less pricing power." We're not seeing that yet, but we may be seeing intelligent probes by one such company to learn where the paths are in this still largely unmapped landscape.
* Postscript. As I go to press, Elsevier's new experiment is 10 days old and I still haven't seen *any* coverage of it outside blogs and listservs.
Follow-up on the Federal Research Public Access Act
The Federal Research Public Access Act of 2006 (a.k.a. FRPAA or the Cornyn-Lieberman bill) was introduced in the U.S. Senate last month and has already started a vigorous public debate. Supporters have gone public with their support and critics have gone public with their criticism.
I described the bill at length in last month's issue. But since that issue came out on the same day the bill was introduced (actually, a few minutes after the bill was introduced), I couldn't include any of the press coverage. I'm glad to catch up in this issue.
After Senators Cornyn and Lieberman introduced the bill on May 2, it was referred to the Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs, chaired by Sen. Susan Colllins (R-ME), where it is still under consideration. On May 8, Sen. Jeff Sessions (R-AL) joined Cornyn and Lieberman as a co-sponsor of the bill.
Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs
Sen. Jeff Sessions, web site
Legislatively, it's still very early and there's no more to report yet.
* But on May 31, the bill's prospects shot up when a Harris poll showed that an overwhelming majority of Americans wanted OA for publicly-funded research. 83% wanted it for their doctors and 82% wanted it for everyone. 81% said it would help medical patients and their families cope with chronic illness and disability. 62% said it would speed up the discovery of new cures.
For each poll question, a fairly large percentage of respondents checked "neither agree nor disagree" (between 13% and 30%), with the result that only tiny minorities actually disagreed with the OA propositions. Only 3% didn't want OA for their doctors, 4% didn't want it for themselves, 5% didn't think it would help patients or their families, and 10% didn't think it would accelerate research.
The poll numbers are a shot in the arm for the CURES Act and FRPAA, the two bills now before Congress that would mandate OA to publicly-funded research. Scientists and scholars may not carry much weight in Washington these days, but strong poll numbers from a respected pollster do. This poll shows that OA is as American as apple pie. Toll access is so unpopular that George Bush's numbers are 10 times higher.
Large Majorities of U.S. Adults Support Easy – and Free – Online Access to Federally-Funded Research Findings on Health Issues and Other Topics, Harris Interactive, May 31, 2006.
Harris Poll, Most Americans Back Online Access To Federally Funded Research, Wall Street Journal, May 31, 2006.
The Alliance for Taxpayer Access issued a press release on the Harris Poll, May 31, 2006.
* Monitoring the press coverage of the FRPAA, I've been struck by something I also noticed during the debate on the NIH policy. Some mainstream news media covering the proposal give much more space and detail to publisher objections than to the proposal's own rationale or to the supporting arguments from researchers, universities, libraries, public-interest advocacy groups, and the decision-makers who drafted the policy. It's as if these media companies were dedicated to business news rather than general news. With the FRPAA last month, we saw this syndrome in the stories from the New York Times, Reuters, and The Guardian. Worse, we saw it in Science Magazine.
Don't get me wrong: the publisher objections should be reported in full, and I'm never surprised or disappointed when the business press focuses more on the consequences for business than the consequences for scientists, citizens, or public policy. Nor am I surprised when the business press gives more attention to publisher complaints than it gives to the OA policies that triggered them or to the answers from the policy's sponsors and supporters. I'm only surprised and disappointed when the general press follows the business press in this practice.
When Congress considers a controversial bill on the environment, opposed by business, some media assume that the protesting businesses must be right. But most assume that there are important values on both sides and cover the story as an honest disagreement. Why is science policy different? Do news media have any reason to think that friends of science are more likely to be wrong than friends of business? Than friends of the environment?
No doubt, the world of science is much smaller than the world of business, and far fewer readers of general news media care about it. But if *that's* the explanation here, then the principle seems to be to count noses before covering the facts. In any conflict between science policy and business, business is always right --which we know because the proper criterion is the interest of business --which we know because, well, we know who our readers are. Forget journalism and cheerlead for the economic sector representing the largest share of readers and advertisers.
* Members of Congress are being lobbied hard by publishers opposed to the bill. So far, the lobbying is hotter in the Senate than the House, though it will spread to the House as soon as FRPAA has a House sponsor (watch this space).
If you're a US citizen, ask your Senators to support FRPAA.
Whether you're a US citizen or not, you can also phone, fax, or email Senators Cornyn and Lieberman to thank them for introducing this bill.
Sen. Cornyn's Senate home page
Sen. Lieberman's Senate home page
If your organization supports OA, then issue a public statement endorsing FRPAA and send copies to your members and the media. (Also send me a copy and I'll publicize it through the blog and forum.)
If your organization is US-based and non-profit, then join the Alliance for Taxpayer Access (no charge). The ATA lobbies effectively for OA to publicly-funded research, and when it speaks to policy-makers, it's message carries the weight of the ATA member organizations.
The ATA has some draft letters of thanks that you can customize and send to Senators Cornyn and Lieberman.
* Here are some official links on the FRPAA.
The Federal Research Public Access Act of 2006 (FRPPA) now has a bill number (S.2695) and an entry in THOMAS.
(The final colon is part of the URL.)
Full text of the bill
Sen. Cornyn's floor speech introducing the bill
Sen. Cornyn's one-page summary of the bill
Sen. Cornyn's FAQ on the bill
The short version of Sen. Cornyn's press release
The long version of Sen. Cornyn's press release
Sen. Lieberman's press release on the bill
* Here's the coverage in news media, blogs, and press releases.
Paul Hutchings, Giving NIH authors a voice, Kindle Research, May 30, 2006.
Stevan Harnad, Plugging the Loopholes in the Proposed FRPAA, RCUK and EU Self-Archiving Mandates, Open Access Archivangelism, May 27, 2006.
Anon., Articles of contention, Indiana Daily Student, May 25, 2006. An editorial.
Anon., Academic publishers oppose federal open access bill, Research Research, May 25, 2006.
Manon Ress, Sign on for Support of Access to Science Bill, Offzroad, May 25, 2006.
The Association of American Publishers publicly released its May 23 letter to Sen. Susan Collins, Chair of the Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs, the Senate committee considering the FRPAA.
Heather Morrison, FRPAA: some benefits and cost savings for the U.S. taxpayer, Imaginary Journal of Poetic Economics, May 21, 2006.
Britt Peterson, Taking aim at scientific journals, Seed, May 19, 2006.
Jan Velterop, On the bill, The Parachute, May 16, 2006.
John Blossom, The Circle of Politics Draws Tighter on Scholarly Publishers, Shore Communications ContentBlogger, May 16, 2006.
Anon., US bill proposes greater public access to scientific research, CORDIS News, May 15, 2006.
Aliya Sternstein, Bill demands free public access to science reports, Federal Computer Week, May 15, 2006.
Anon., Publishing and Open Access, Blog on Globalisation, May 15, 2006.
Jocelyn Kaiser, Bill Would Require Free Public Access to Research Papers, Science Magazine, May 12, 2006.
Ted Agres, Publishers, societies oppose 'public access' bill, The Scientist, May 11, 2006.
Lila Guterman, NIH Has Little to Celebrate on 1st Anniversary of Its Open-Access Policy, but Changes May Be on Way, Chronicle of Higher Education, May 11, 2006.
Richard Wray, US senators propose to make scientific research freely available, The Guardian, May 11, 2006.
Ian Brown, US research wants to be free, Blogzilla, May 11, 2006.
Nate Anderson, Should government-funded research be free? Ars Technica, May 10, 2006.
Luke Rosenberger, Federal Research Public Access Act of 2006, lbr, May 10, 2006.
Anon., US Bill on free online access evokes mixed reactions, KnowledgeSpeak, May 9, 2006.
Mark Chillingworth, US legislators table tough OA bill, Information World Review, May 9, 2006.
Tracey Caldwell, EC report calls for more OA content, Information World Review, May 9, 2006.
Anon., Bill Would Mandate Access to More Federally Funded Research, Library Journal, May 9, 2006.
Jeffrey Goldfarb, Publishers mobilize against US research proposal, Reuters, May 9, 2006.
On May 9, the Association of American Publishers issued a press release opposing FRPAA. My blog comment is a 10-point rebuttal.
Stevan Harnad, Strengthening the US Federal Research Public Access Act (FRPAA), Open Access Archivangelism, May 8, 2006.
--Also see his follow-up response to my blog comments.
Andy Carvin, Scientific Publishers Leery of Cornyn-Lieberman Open Access Legislation, Digital Divide Network, May 8, 2006.
Anon., Content -- TV & Scholarly Articles, CogSci Librarian, May 8, 2006.
Anon., Scholarly journal bill draws criticism, United Press International, May 8, 2006. Based on the NY Times story.
Betsy McKenzie, Open Access Science? S 2695, Out of the Jungle, May 8, 2006.
Robin Peek, The Federal Research Public Access Act of 2006, Information Today Newsbreaks, May 8, 2006.
Sara Ivry, Some Publishers of Scholarly Journals Dislike Bill to Require Online Access to Articles, New York Times, May 8, 2006.
On May 6, SPARC launched a FRPAA FAQ aimed especially at university administrators and faculty.
Andre Brown, Open Access Update, BioCurious, May 5, 2006.
Nick Anthis, Open Access and the Democratization of Science, The Scientific Activist, May 4, 2006.
Richard Seitmann, Open Access: US-Gesetzesinitiative für freien Zugang zu Forschungsergebnissen, Heise Online, May 4, 2006.
Aliya Sternstein, Bill to expand online access to research, Federal Computer Week, May 3, 2006.
Senate Bill Would Require Online Posting of Federal Research, News blog of the Chronicle of Higher Education, May 3, 2006.
On May 2, six major US library organizations issued a joint press release endorsing the FRPAA. The six are the American Association of Law Libraries (AALL), American Library Association (ALA), Association of College & Research Libraries (ACRL), Association of Research Libraries (ARL), Medical Library Association (MLA), and the Special Libraries Association (SLA).
Anon., Bill would open scientific research access, United Press International, May 2, 2006.
Rick Weiss, Bill Seeks Access to Tax-Funded Research, Washington Post, May 3, 2006.
BioMed Central, US Bill calls for free access to tax-funded research, a press welcoming the bill, n.d.
The Association of College and Research Libraries issued a press release supporting the bill, May 2, 2006.
Public Knowledge issued a press release supporting the bill, May 2, 2006.
The Alliance for Taxpayer Access issued a press release supporting the bill, May 2, 2006.
--Also see the ATA page on the bill.
Peter Suber, Another OA mandate: The Federal Research Public Access Act of 2006, SPARC Open Access Newsletter, May 2, 2006.
Top stories from May 2006
This is my selection of the most important OA developments since the last issue of the newsletter, not counting any developments covered in the lead essays above. When items have two URLs, the first is usually for the item itself and the second for my blog posting about it on Open Access News. For other developments that didn't make the cut, see Open Access news, which I update daily, and which has a browseable and searchable archive.
Here are the top stories from May:
* German Parliament considers an OA bill.
* National OA policies emerging in four other countries.
* Institutional OA policies adopted in two countries.
* OA repositories pop up at institutions in three countries.
* Gunther Eysenbach confirms the OA impact advantage.
* German Parliament considers an OA bill.
The Upper House of Germany's Parliament (Bundesrat) is considering a bill to permit author self-archiving of journal articles six months after publication regardless of the terms in a copyright transfer agreement the author might have signed.
Here's an English-language summary of the bill by Gerd Hansen, an OA advocate, doctoral candidate at the Max-Planck-Institute for Intellectual Property Law in Munich, and the author or at least the inspiration for the new bill. From his email:
The provision that is currently being discussed is based on the wording I have proposed in an article on “Access to scientific information” published in GRUR Int. 2005, 378, p. 17 (until this very moment only in German). The Bundesrat now asked for a provision (p. 7) that would support OA in particular by giving authors the right to make their articles available online, even if they have granted exclusive rights to the publisher, if the following requirements are met:
--only after expiration of 6-months since first publication
--research predominantly based on public (tax payer) money
--only publications in periodicals
--non-commercial purpose of post-print-publication
--author is obliged to use his final version of the article
The bill permits author-initiated OA to publicly-funded research in Germany, though without mandating it. A mandate would be stronger, of course. But even many mandates (proposed or adopted) make vague or counterproductive exceptions for cases in which authors transfer copyright to publishers and publishers dislike the funder's OA policy. The German bill elegantly resolves doubts about permission and makes publisher dissent irrelevant. Moreover, Germany already has something of a mandate. The OA policy of Germany's DFG (Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft), the country's primary public funding agency, tells grantees that they should deposit their DFG-funded research in OA repositories.
The German OA bill is unusual for seeking to facilitate OA by amending copyright law, a strategy tried in the US with the Sabo Bill (June 2003) and since abandoned. In a country more likely to amend copyright law in the wrong direction than the right direction, like the US, this is a very difficult and uncertain strategy. But where it can succeed, it can be direct, effective, and durable. Is Germany such a country? We'll soon see.
The bill: Entwurf eines Zweiten Gesetzes zur Regelung des Urheberrechts in der Informationsgesellschaft
--Recommendation of the Committees
--Statement of the Upper House of Parliament (Bundesrat)
Gerd Hansen's underlying article: Zugang zu wissenschaftlicher Information –
alternative urheberrechtliche Ansätze, GRUR Int., 2005, 378.
The DFG's OA policy
Stefan Krempl, Wissenschaftler und Verleger liegen bei der Urheberrechtsnovelle über Kreuz, Heise online, May 22, 2006.
Klaus Graf points out that an existing provision of German copyright law (§ 38 Urheberrechtsgesetz) gives authors the right to self-archive without any embargo unless they waive this right in a contract with the publisher. Hence, he argues that the Hansen bill is unnecessary except to prevent contracts from nullifying the right to self-archive.
§ 38 Urheberrechtsgesetz (German copyright law)
The same section in English
In a related development, the Education Ministers of Canada are seeking to amend Canandian copyright law in order to improve access to online educational content in Canada.
* National OA policies emerging in four other countries.
Four other countries either adopted or began considering national OA policies --all in May. Together with the German OA bill these are signs of growing momentum not only toward OA, but toward national commitments to OA.
The Australian Research Council is considering a national OA policy. In his May 26 submission, Arthur Sale recommended that the ARC mandate OA for ARC-funded research. His proposal would mandate deposit of a postprint immediately upon acceptance for publication and immediate OA for the metadata. For the full-text article he recommends "delayed access, restricted access or closed access...depending on [the author's] agreement with the relevant journal."
On May 23, the Finnish Council of University Rectors launched a national OA initiative "(1) to give aid to universities and research institutes in setting up institutional repositories; (2) to inform researchers about how open access is a part of the research process; and (3) to provide an easy-to-use platform for the open access journals of Finnish learned societies." At the same time, the Council decided to sign the Berlin Declaration on Open Access to Knowledge.
On May 11, Sweden has launched a national OA initiative "to promote maximum accessibility and visibility of works produced by researchers, teachers and students at Swedish universities and university colleges." The new initiative will promote both OA repositories and OA journals in Sweden.
The Academy of Science of South Africa wrote a report in March (apparently not released until May) recommending both green and gold OA. See especially Recommendation 6, which would use public funds to pay processing fees at OA journals, launch a network of OA repositories, and harvest the repositories --everything essential except mandated deposits in the repositories.
So far, I've only seen news coverage of the South African initiative:
Christina Scott, Scientists assail South Africa's 'vanity' publications, Nature, June 1, 2006. Focusing more on the report's diagnosis of the current problem rather than its OA recommendations.
Sophie Hebden and Christina Scott, Scientific papers on internet making impact: study, South African Broadcasting Corp., May 19, 2006.
South African journals told to increase international profile, Research Research, May 11, 2006.
Christina Scott, Publish online, South African journals told, SciDev.Net, May 9, 2006.
* Institutional OA policies adopted in two countries.
On May 15, India's National Institute of Technology (NIT) in Rourkela adopted an OA mandate. According to the policy summary in ROARMAP, "All research papers by faculty and students, MTech (Research) and Ph. D. thesis is to be self-archived in Dspace@nitr or it should be submitted to the librarian for archiving, so that others interested may benefit by referring to these documents. The Administration may use this archive for assessment of faculty performance when needed." NIT's is the sixth worldwide university-level OA mandate and the first from India. For the other five, see the institutions with asterisks by their names in ROARMAP.
India's National Institute of Technology
On May 9, Humbolt University Berlin adopted an Open Access Declaration. The original is in German, of course, but here's an excerpt from the shorter, English summary on ROARMAP: "Humboldt-University recommends its scientists and researchers to publish their articles in Open Access Journals and to publish their monographs on Open Access platform. Postprint versions of already published articles should be deposited on the Document and Publication Repository of Humboldt-University. The edoc server will also host preprint versions.... Humboldt-University encourages emphatically all scientists to insist on keeping the copyrights during the conclusion of author contracts."
Humboldt's Open Access Declaration (in German)
Also see Richard Seitmann, Open Access: Mit Hochschul-Publikations-Servern aus der Zeitschriftenkrise, Heise Online, May 16, 2006.
Konstanz University is also thinking about strategies for moving toward OA. See Karlheinz Pappenberger, Strategien zur Umsetzung von Open Access an der UB Konstanz, a presentation at German Librarian Day in Dresden, March 22, 2006. Self-archived May 25, 2006.
* OA repositories pop up at institutions in three countries.
India's National Institute of Oceanography launched an OA institutional repository and is working to build up its contents.
The University of Michigan officially launched Deep Blue, its institutional repository.
--A few weeks earlier it issued a special press release encouraging faculty to deposit their work in it.
The University of Connecticut officially launched its year-old institutional repository, DigitalCommons@UConn, which will hold just about every kind of scholarly output from the institution except ETDs.
Culture Machine, an OA journal and archive in the humanities, is trying to build up deposits in its archive.
Sudan officially launched the Sudan Open Archive on May 30 and is actively digitizing documents to fill it. At least for now, the focus will be less on new science and scholarship and more on the history of humanitarian and relief work in the country.
* Gunther Eysenbach confirms the OA impact advantage.
In a careful study, Gunther Eysenbach has confirmed earlier studies showing that OA publication triggers a larger and faster citation impact than non-OA publication. He compared the citation tallies for OA and non-OA articles from the same journal (PNAS) and disentangled the effects of many "confounders" from the effects of OA itself. In his words, "To my knowledge, this is the first longitudinal study of a cohort of OA and non-OA articles providing direct and strong evidence for preferential or earlier citation of articles published originally as OA. It is also the first study showing an advantage of publishing an article as OA on the journal site over self-archiving (i.e., making the article otherwise online accessible). The strength of the OA effect is particularly surprising because PNAS is a widely available journal that is accessible for most researchers through their library. In addition, articles are made freely available to nonsubscribers 6 mo after publication. The effect of OA publishing may be even higher in fields where journals are not widely available and where articles from the control group remain 'toll-access.' "
There's some controversy about whether some earlier results, especially by Tim Brody, Chawki Hajjem, and Stevan Harnad, are the same or only similar to some of Eysenbach's results. But no one doubts that Eysenbach has new and valid results, or that he has persuasively advanced the case that OA helps authors and journals build their citation impact.
While there have been many previous studies of the OA impact advantage, none has made the splash that Eysenbach's has. This is an important result in its own right, both for spreading the news far and wide and for showing what an effective dissemination and impact machine PLoS Biology has become.
Gunther Eysenbach, Citation advantage of open access articles, PLoS Biology, May 2006.
Catriona J. MacCallum and Hemai Parthasarathy, Open access increases citation rate, PLoS Biology, May 2006. An editorial to accompany Eysenbach's article.
Gunther Eysenbach, The Open Access Advantage, Journal of Medical Internet Research, 8, 2 (2006). Eysenbach's editorial in his own journal, to accompany his article in PLoS Biology.
For earlier studies of the OA impact advantage, see Steve Hitchcock's excellent annotated bibliography.
Here's some of the news and comment inspired by the Eysenbach study.
Anon., Study provides evidence that open access articles have more impact than non-open access publications, BioMedCentral Update, May 31, 2006.
Frank McCown, OA debate - Eysenbach and Harnad, Questio Verum, May 30, 2006.
Stevan Harnad, The Epidemiology of OA, Open Access Archivangelism, May 26, 2006.
Gunther Eysenbach, The OA debate between an “archivangelist” and an OA researcher, WebCite ID 5G8O63tlv, cached May 24, 2006.
Stevan Harnad, End of PLoS Exchange, Open Access Archivangelism, May 24, 2006.
--Long version, Confirming the Within-Journal OA Impact Advantage, May 18.
Anon., Points for Open Access, Science Magazine, May 19, 2006.
Barbara Kirsop and four co-authors, Open access: more signs of its impact on citations, SciDev.Net, May 19, 2006.
Sophie Hebden, Open-access research makes a bigger splash, SciDev.Net, May 17, 2006.
Anon., Citation Advantage of Open Access Articles, Slashhome, May 17, 2006.
Gunther Eysenbach, Authors' Response, PLoS Biology, May 17, 2006. A response to Stevan Harnad's May 16 letter to PLoS Biology.
Dorothea Salo, That's the stuff, Caveat Lector, May 16, 2006.
Jeffrey M. Perkel, Open access brings more citations, TheScientist, May 16, 2006.
Henk Ellermann, OA increases impact for high quality journal publications, In Between, May 16, 2006.
Rod Ward, The Open Access Advantage, Informaticopia, May 16, 2006.
Gunther Eysenbach, Open access debate rages: It's now "gold vs. green"? eHealth Innovation, May 16, 2006.
Stevan Harnad, PLoS, Pipe-Dreams and Peccadillos, PLoS Biology, May 16, 2006. A letter to the editor.
--Abridged version in PLoS
--Unabridged version from Stevan's blog
Coming up later this month
Here are the notable conferences coming up in June.
* Annual Meeting of the Canadian Assciation of Learned Journals (OA is among the topics)
Toronto, June 1-2, 2006
* Oxford Open Access Workshop
London, June 5, 2006
* Culture, Commerce, and Public Media (OA is among the topics)
New York, June 5-6, 2006
* Asian Conference on the Digital Commons
Bangkok, June 6-8, 2006 (Rescheduled from April 18-21, 2006.)
* Partnering In Science Information: Necessities Of Change (IRs are among the topics)
Bethesda, June 7-8, 2006
* Society for Scholarly Publishing 28th Annual Meeting (OA is among the topics)
Arlington, Virginia, June 7-9, 2006
* Unlocking Scholarly Access: ETDs, Institutional Repositories and Creators (The 9th International Symposium on Electronic Theses and Dissertations)
Quebec City, June 7-10, 2006
* European Infrastructure for Repositories of Scientific Information
Brussels, June 8-9, 2006
* The Second International Conference on Open Source Systems (OA is among the topics)
Como, Italy, June 8-10, 2006
* Preserving Quality in an Open Environment: towards new contexts for sharing scholarly production and open content educational materials (sponsored by the Open Culture Promoter Group) (OA is among the topics)
Como, Italy, June 9, 2006
* Opening Information Horizons (JCDL 2006)
Chapel Hill, June 11-15, 2006
* Open Access Scholarly Communication and IR's (sponsored by the Western Cape Higher Education Libraries Interest Group of the Library and Information Association of South Africa)
Bellville, South Africa, June 12, 2006
* Copyright at a Crossroads: The Impact of Mass Digitization on Copyright and Higher Education (sponsored by the The Center for Intellectual Property at University of Maryland University College)
Adelphi, Maryland, June 14-16, 2006
* Institutional Web Management Workshop 2006: Quality Matters (OA and IRs are among the topics)
Bath, June 14-16, 2006
*ELPUB 2006: Digital Spectrum: Integrating Technology and Culture: 10th International Conference on Electronic Publishing (OA is among the topics)
Bansko, Bulgaria, June 14-16, 2006
* First PDR Corporate Library/Scholarly Publisher Forum (sponsored by the Society for Scholarly Publishing)
Baltimore, June 15, 2006
* Library and Information Services in Astronomy V (OA is among the topics)
Cambridge, Massachusetts, June 18-21, 2006
* Engineering Libraries Division (ELD) SIG session of the American Society for Engineering Education (ASEE) Annual Conference (OA is among the topics)
Chicago, June 18-21, 2006
* Two roads to open access (sponsored by EASE and OSI)
Krakow, June 19, 2006
* Fedora Users Conference
Charlottesville, June 19-20, 2006
* Towards a global digital commons (the iCommons iSummit for 2006) (OA is among the topics)
Rio de Janeiro, June 20-23, 2006
* International Conference on the Digitisation of Cultural Heritage
Salzburg, June 21-22, 2006
* American Library Association Annual Conference 2006 (OA is among the topics)
New Orleans, June 24-27, 2006
--Digital Rights Management and Institutional Repositories: Achieving Balance in a Complex Environment, a session sponsored by ALCTS, June 24, 1:30 - 5:30 pm. http://www.ala.org/ala/alcts/alctsconted/alctsceevents/alctsannual/digitalrights.htm
--Forum on Open Data, a session sponsored by SPARC and ARL, June 24, 4:00 - 5:30 pm in the Morial Convention Center, Room 356 – 357.
* Second International Conference on e-Social Science
Manchester, June 28-30, 2006
* Learned Societies and Access to Research Outputs: An RCUK Workshop
London, June 29, 2006
* The Successful Repository (sponsored by APSR in collaboration with QULOC and RUBRIC)
Brisbane, June 29, 2006
* Other OA-related conferences
* I've added 30 new conferences to my 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.
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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