Welcome to the SPARC Open Access Newsletter, issue #110
June 2, 2007
by Peter Suber

Read this issue online


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

Additional support is provided by Data Conversion Laboratory (DCL), experts in converting research documents to XML.


Balancing author and publisher rights

In order for authors to provide OA to their own work, they don't need to retain full copyright, and in order for publishers to publish, they don't need to acquire full copyright.  This raises the hope that we might find a balance giving each side all it needs.  But even with good will on both sides, this win-win compromise may be out of reach; each side might give and receive significant concessions and still not have all it needs.

There were two developments in May that could affect the balance between author and publisher rights.  First, a group of universities adopted an "author addendum" to modify standard publisher copyright contracts and a pair of non-profits enhanced their own author addenda.  Second, a group of publishers adopted a position statement on where the balance lies.  Not surprisingly, the two groups strike the balance in different places.  I'll look at them in order.

(1) Author addenda

An "author addendum" is a lawyer-written document that authors sign and staple to a publisher's standard copyright transfer agreement.  It modifies the publisher's contract to allow authors to retain some rights that the default contract would have given to the publisher.  Because it's a proposed contract modification, the publisher may accept or reject it.

The idea is that most authors are unfamiliar with copyright law and intimidated by the prospect of negotiating contract terms with publishers.  More authors are willing to take the first step, and to more likely to make a prudent request, if they can start with a written proposal crafted by a lawyer to promote OA.  Another advantage is that if a specific addendum gains institutional backers, then authors who use it gain bargaining power.

One problem that author addenda won't solve is author fear that merely asking for different contract terms will cause publishers to reject an already-accepted paper.  But I haven't heard of a single case in which this has happened.  The fear is groundless; there's no harm in asking.

Author addenda may not be necessary for the approximately 70% of green subscription journals that already give blanket permission for postprint archiving.  But addenda (or their equivalent in individual requests or negotiations) are necessary for the ungreen 30%.  Addenda can be helpful even when not strictly necessary, for the green 70%, by assuring a continuing legal basis for OA in case the journal later changes its access policy.  They also help when greenish journals aren't green enough, for example, because they prohibit deposit in certain repositories, impose fees or embargoes on self-archiving, or limit re-use rights. 

There are many author addenda in circulation.  The major ones, in chronological order, are from SPARC (May 2005), MIT (January 2006), Science Commons (June 2006), OhioLINK (August 2006), SURF-JISC (October 2006), and the Committee on Institutional Cooperation (February 2007).

The Committee on Institutional Cooperation (CIC) is a OA-friendly consortium of 12 research universities:  Chicago, Illinois at Chicago, Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, Indiana, Iowa, Michigan, Michigan State, Minnesota, Northwestern, Ohio State, Pennsylvania State, and Purdue.  If you're not affiliated with a CIC institution, you may know it best as the group behind the first open letter from university provosts in support of FRPAA (Federal Research Public Access Act) in July 2006.

The CIC letter, eventually signed by 25 provosts, triggered a wave of other letters now totalling 132 signatures. 

Early in 2007 the CIC provosts wrote a statement in support of OA and a draft author addendum, and began circulating them to member institutions.  It released the final version on May 17, 2007. 

The CIC author addendum retains three rights for authors:  (1) a non-exclusive right to make and use derivative works, even for future publication, (2) a non-exclusive right to self-archive the published version six months after publication, in any repository, and (3) a non-exclusive right for the author's institution to use and copy the work for any activity at the institution.

In my view, the only significant omission is a non-exclusive right to provide *immediate* OA to the final version of the author's peer-reviewed manuscript (not the published edition).

Even before the CIC approved the final language of the addendum, CIC member institutions began adopting it:

The University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign adopted it on May 3.

The University of Minnesota adopted it on May 3.

The University of Wisconsin at Madison it on May 7.  (At the same time, Wisconsin strengthened the CIC language by adding a section stating that the publisher agrees to the addendum by publishing the article.)

Other CIC member institutions may soon follow suit, and it's possible that some have already done so without fanfare. 

What's new here is that universities are endorsing an author addendum.  This is a powerful signal that the institutions support OA and want authors to self-archive.  I hope it's also a signal that the same institutions are ready to do even more to support OA archiving.

I don't know of any university that *requires* faculty to use an addendum.  Wisconsin, for example, will merely encourage it.  And it's not clear what form the encouragement will take.  Will it be limited to the abstract encouragement of passing a resolution in the Faculty Senate?  Or will there also be some case-by-case encouragement?  Either way, will the adopting universities recognize any exceptions?  Will they recommend use of the addendum even at the green 70% of non-OA journals that already permit postprint archiving?  In a standoff between a publisher and faculty member, what will universities do to support their faculty member? 

Here's the bigger question:  What else will these universities do to encourage OA archiving?  If they take the step of adopting an author addendum, they should also adopt a policy to require OA archiving.  If permission is not a problem (because publishers already give it or because an addendum worked), what will these institutions do to insure that faculty postprints are actually archived? 

About 30 universities, departments, or labs around the world mandate or strongly encourage OA archiving, and none of them needed the initial step of adopting an author addendum.  That suggests that the permission problem is not the real hurdle, even if it's a real problem in a minority of cases and a perceived problem in many more.  The permission problem is worth solving, but we have to remember that solving it is only a means to the end of OA.  Universities adopting an author addendum are moving in the right direction, but they must keep moving.  Permission for OA isn't yet OA itself.

We don't yet know how the adoptors of the CIC addendum will follow it up.  But so far the news is good.  If just one university adopted an addendum, then publishers might refuse the addendum's terms or even refuse to publish articles by that university's faculty.  But as more universities join the critical mass, more publishers will accommodate them.

Other universities should see the action by Illinois, Minnesota, and Wisconsin as an opportunity to create a critical mass.

But that isn't the end of the story, even for May 2007.  The same day that CIC released the final version of its addendum, SPARC and Science commons (SC) announced that they were consolidating their addenda, strengthening them, and releasing an online tool to produce customized versions of them.

Together SPARC and SC now offer four coordinated addenda, depending on the author's needs.  The online "Addendum Engine" lets authors select the addendum best for them and print a copy with article and publisher information already filled in.

One of the four is the pre-existing MIT addendum from January 2006.  The others are the three published by Science Commons in June 2006 with one of them modified to incorporate elements from the SPARC addendum of March 2005.  All three of the SPARC-SC addenda allow the author to retain the right to make, use, and distribute derivative works.  One uses a Creative Commons (Attribution, Non-Commercial) license to free up users as well as the author.  One allows immediate self-archiving of the published version of the article, and one allows immediate self-archiving of the peer-reviewed manuscript and only delayed self-archiving of the published version.

The Scholar's Copyright Addendum Engine

The new Addendum Engine should make it easier for authors to use an addendum, whether or not their universities stand behind their decision.  But at the same time, they make it easier for universities to endorse an addendum, knowing that online tools (which can be hosted locally) simplify the process for authors. 

I believe that each of these addenda gives publishers all they need, but not all publishers would agree.  The only formal publisher response I've see to any addendum is the joint ALPSP-STM statement in response to the MIT addendum (June 27, 2006), in which the publishers said that "Author posting (of any version of an article) immediately upon publication risks competing with the journal itself."  But even this position, which may take more ground than publishers really need, is compatible with the CIC addendum.

When universities adopt an addendum, they can frame the message for their own faculty in many different ways.  Here's how I'd do it:  "When you publish a research article, the prestige of your journal is not enough.  Its access policy matters at least as much.  We're going to be looking at both.  We still want you to get the imprimatur of a good journal.  Among other things, it shows that you're good.  But we also want your work to be accessible to those who need it and used by those who can use it.  To make this happen, you could publish in good open-access journals or in good conventional or non-OA journals that let you provide OA on your own, for example through our institutional repository.  The least important reason why we have a publish-or-perish requirement is for you to prove that you're good.  The most important reason is to share the knowledge produced at this institution with everyone who can benefit from it."

(2) Publishers describe how they'd balance author/publisher rights

Meantime on May 9, three publisher associations released a position paper titled, "Author and Publisher Rights For Academic Use: An Appropriate Balance."   The three groups were the ALPSP (Association of Learned and Professional Society Publishers), AAP/PSP (Association of American Publishers / Professional/Scholarly Publishing), and STM (International Association of Scientific, Technical & Medical Publishers). 

For convenience I'll call the authors of this document "the publishers".  But everyone should understand that not all publishers share the views set forth in this document, perhaps not even all publishers who belong to the ALPSP, AAP/PSP, or STM.

The heart of the document lies in two assertions, one on author rights and one on publisher rights:

[1] Academic research authors and their institutions should be able to use and post the content that such authors and institutions themselves provide...for internal institutional[,] noncommercial research and education purposes; and

[2] Publishers should be able to determine when and how the official publication record occurs, and to derive the revenue benefit from the publication and open posting of the official record (the final published article), and its further distribution and access in recognition of the value of the services they provide.

* The first statement, on author rights, seems to say that free online access should be limited to the author's own institution. 

But I'm not sure.  Does the adjective "internal" apply only the word immediately following it or to all the words following it to the semi-colon?  If the former, then the statement would allow OA postprints to be used for non-commercial research whether or not it was internal to the author's institution.  That's good; authors need at least that much, and OA archiving provides it.  If the latter, then the statement would restrict the use of archived articles to the author's institution.  That would mean the end of OA archiving, which by design makes content accessible to all users everywhere.  If the publishers meant to limit free access to the author's institutions, then their position is one-sided, insufficient, and a retreat from the permissions most publishers already give to post to an institutional repository. 

The sentence in the press release slightly supports the first reading by inserting a comma after "institutional", while the sentence in the body of the paper slightly supports the second reading by omitting the comma.

Several contributors on several discussion lists interpreted the statement in the second way and publishers on the same lists did not contradict them.  So it appears that publishers did mean to limit free access to the author's institution.

But what does it mean for publishers to have meant that?  The question arises because most of the same publishers permit OA archiving without delay, fee, special requests, or scope restrictions.  The publishers' position paper is at odds with their own copyright transfer agreements. 

In explaining this disparity, one possibility is that publishers permitted self-archiving in the first place without quite understanding what they were getting in for, and are now testing the waters for a retraction.  (That is, they underestimated the power of OAI interoperability and didn't anticipate crawling by Google, Yahoo, Microsoft, and Scirus, let alone archiving mandates from funding agencies and universities.)  They may see the position paper as the first step toward creating a "new normal" in which permission for self-archiving is limited to permission to make a work accessible to the author's own institution.  Or, they may have no plans for a retraction, but feel the need to push back against the rising talk of author rights, for example, represented by the proliferating author addenda.  They may eventually revise their copyright agreements to match the position paper, which would obstruct research, alienate authors, and deter submissions.  Or they may revise the position paper to match their copyright agreements, which they would probably cast as a concession to authors.  But as long as they do neither, it's hard to know their real position.

The publishers don't even acknowledge the disparity between the position paper and the widely-granted permission for unrestricted postprint archiving.  In one section of the position paper, alluding to the permission to self-archive, they write that, "[g]iven the scholar-friendly nature of most academic journal publishers' copyright policies, a further question may be raised as to whether anything more is needed from publishers in order to accommodate the needs of academics and academic institutions."  If publishers do grant permission for unrestricted self-archiving, then indeed authors may not need more.  But if publishers are cutting the heart out of that permission, then authors need a lot more.

What matters for authors is that about 93% of surveyed non-OA journals currently allow preprint archiving without institutional or geographic limits, and about 70% allow equally unrestricted postprint archiving.  Our job is to make sure that authors understand that self-archiving is easy, lawful, beneficial, and an opportunity that only they can seize.

Note that the position paper also limits free access to non-commercial use.  While I've often argued that researchers should permit commercial re-use of their work, publishers needn't permit commercial re-use of theirs.  On the other hand, publishers only need to restrict the commercial distribution of their publications, not the use of their publications by researchers with commercial plans or motivations.

* For the rest of the reason why the publisher position is unbalanced we have to look at the next statement, on publisher rights.  Unfortunately it's even more difficult to parse. 

"Publishers should be able to determine when and how the official publication record occurs...."  If the occurrence of a record is the publication of an article, then determining "how" it occurs is the whole question.  Giving this entirely to publishers is to give up the quest for balance. 

"Publishers should be able to...derive the revenue benefit from the publication...." Is the "revenue benefit" more than just "the revenue"?  Publishers do have the right to sell their publications, of course.  That's non-controversial.  But are publishers also claiming the right to all the revenue that anyone can make from it?  What if I'm offered an honorarium to speak at a conference on the strength of my publication?  What if Google indexes the repository copy and puts ads on the page of search returns?  What if I link to a copy, even the publisher's copy, from a page hosting ads?  What if a team of industrial scientists pays for access but uses the resulting knowledge to make a product which their company sells for a profit?  I'm not saying that the publishers are claiming all this revenue, merely that the statement needs clarification.

"...and open posting of the official record (the final published article)..."  What's the open posting of the official record?  What's the revenue benefit of the open posting of the official record?  If this is about open access to the publication, then what revenue are the publishers talking about?

"... and its further distribution and access in recognition of the value of the services they provide."  I understand that publishers want the revenue from the paper's "further distribution and access".  But is this "further distribution" more than the publication already mentioned?  If so, what does it include?  Self-archiving?  If so, again, what revenue are they talking about?

More importantly, are the publishers saying they deserve the revenue because of the value of the services they provide?  It seems so.  But there are three problems here.  First, authors, referees, and funders provider valuable services that enhance the same final product, competing with the publishers' claim to exclusive rights.  I'll say more about this one below.  Second, a significant fraction of publisher revenue doesn't come from the value they add but from price increases made possible by monopoly power and market dysfunction.  Reducing their prices to the value they add would be a nice change.  And third, in order to keep the revenue stream flowing, publishers take many steps that actually subtract value from the final product, such as password protection, packaging in locked PDFs, cutting good articles solely for length, turning processable data into unprocessable images, and turning gifts into commodities which may not be further shared.

Let's look more closely at the first of these.  The publishers are arguing that because they add value to the publication, they deserve exclusive rights in it, in effect letting them control access beyond the author's own institution.  This is neither balanced nor good for research.  Publishers do add value, primarily the organization of expert volunteers who provide peer review.  But no matter how many other forms of publisher-added value we recognize, and no matter how we estimate their overall benefits, there's no doubt that publishers add *less* value to the final product than authors, who do the research and writing, and funders, who pay for the original research.  When there are funders in the picture at all, their support is usually at a level greater than the cost of publication and sometimes at a level thousands of times greater.  But in current practice authors and funders don't get the right to control access to the final product, and in this document publishers want to perpetuate the arrangement in which the right to control access ends up in their hands, not those of contributors who add greater value. 

There are two main reasons why we find ourselves in the odd situation in which publishers get to control access even though they add less value than authors or funders.  The first is that publishers demand compensation for their services, while authors and funders do not.  The second is that publishers believe the only way to be compensated is to control access and charge for it.  This is their business model from the age of print, when it was physically impossible to make perfect copies for a worldwide audience at zero marginal cost.  Their business model depends on scarcity, which for digital texts in a networked world is always artificial scarcity.

Publishers are not appealing to the principle that adding value carries the right to control access.  If they were, then all contributors who added value would have to share control.  Nor are they appealing to the principle that the right to control access belongs to the contributor who adds the greatest value.  If they were, they'd have to make a serious argument that their contribution is more valuable than the author's or funder's.  They are demanding the right to control access because they need compensation for their services and choose a business model that depends on access barriers and artificial scarcity. 

Even if we don't think this situation is perverse and cries out for change, at least we should notice that their position is not about balance.  It's about what publishers need or want, regardless of what authors need or want. 

Am I saying that publishers should join authors and funders in working without direct monetary compensation?  Not at all.  Publishers deserve to be paid for the value they add.  But it doesn't follow that they deserve to control access or that they deserve a package of exclusive rights that bars author-initiated OA.  These extra demands don't arise from the value they add but from an access-limiting business model that is optional, obstructive, and obsolete.

Instead of starting from the proposition that publishers add value, and deserve whatever they think it takes to compensate them for it, including artificial limits on access to knowledge, I suggest that it's more balanced to start from the proposition that many contributors add value, that they all deserve suitable compensation, and that letting publishers limit access prevents this equitable division of rewards, harms the other contributors, and harms research.

The position paper makes several other, lesser assertions.

* "Exclusive rights also provide a legal basis for publishers to...enforce copyright claims with respect to plagiarism...." 

It's inaccurate and disingenuous to argue that publishers need exclusive rights to prosecute plagiarists.  First, the rights are rarely used this way.  Plagiarism is typically punished by the plagiarist's institution, not by courts --that is, by social norms, not by law.  Second, if it's ever desirable to pursue a plagiarist in court and authors don't give publishers the right to do so on their own, then authors retain that right to use as they see fit.  Third, many authors would rather have a larger audience and impact than give their publisher the seldom-used legal tools to prosecute plagiarists.  Authors should make this decision, not publishers.  Finally, if an author discovers a plagiarist and the publisher really wants to get involved, the author can always delegate the publisher to act as his/her agent.  For this purpose, publishers don't need rights from the time of publication, nor do they need exclusive rights, let alone a policy to limit access to the author's work.

Behind this argument there's a confusion of plagiarism and copyright infringement.  Someone can commit plagiarism without infringing copyright (by copying a fair-use excerpt and claiming it as one's own) and infringe copyright without committing plagiarism (by copying a larger excerpt but with attribution).  One can also commit both together (by copying a large excerpt and claiming it as one's own), but that doesn't collapse the distinction.  One can commit just about any two offenses together.

* Publishers "are concerned about the potential to waste monies with unnecessary duplicate systems" (when public funding agencies mandate OA archiving for publicly-funded research). 

It's also disingenuous for publishers to argue that OA mandates at public funding agencies will lead to wasteful duplication.  Some publishers do provide OA to some content when it's sufficiently old.  But this is a far cry from providing OA to virtually all publicly-funded research within six months of publication.  If ALPSP, AAP/PSP, and STM are saying that the voluntary efforts of their members will approach what FRPAA (for example) would mandate, then the duplication argument starts to make sense.  But in that case they have to stop arguing that OA to publicly-funded research would kill their revenues, kill their journals, and kill peer review.  They can't have it both ways.

* "[F]unding agencies, search engines, and other third parties who wish to use or distribute the publisher versions of journal articles should only do so upon consultation and under an agreement with the publisher...."

It's vast over-reaching to say "use or distribute" here.  Third parties like readers may lawfully "use" publisher versions in countless ways without consultation or permission. 

If we limit the statement to "distribute", it's fair enough but not really responsive to funder mandates for OA archiving.  These funder mandates do not apply to the published version of an article, but only to the final version of the author's peer-reviewed manuscript. 

* Finally, publishers argue that fair use is limited to print:  "there are exceptions and limitations to copyright laws that may in certain limited circumstances permit the copying of journal articles for certain purposes, but...these exceptions are thus far limited to traditional photocopying and do not permit the exploitation of such materials over the Internet."

This is simply untrue.  For example, the US District Court of Nevada ruled that it was fair use for Google to index and cache a copyrighted online news story by Blake Field (Field v. Google, 2 F. Supp. 2d 1106 (D. Nev. 2006)).  The Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that it was fair use for Arriba to display thumbnails of Kelly's copyrighted online photographs even if it might not be fair use to display full-sized copies (Kelly v. Arriba Soft, 280 F.3d 934 (CA9 2002)).

Even if publishers could subtract fair use from the online freedoms of researchers, they would simply have to add even more to the authors' pan of the scale if they really want to achieve a balance.

* I haven't answered the big question whether a win-win balance can be struck that gives both authors and publishers all that they need.  I'm not ready yet.  I know the publishers' position statement is not that balance, and they may say that no author addendum they've yet seen is that balance either.  Universities adopting author addenda are at least trying to approach such a balance by correcting the imbalance that currently favors publishers.  The publisher position statement is trying to tilt it further toward publishers.

If publishers really need the rights this position paper says they need, then no win-win balance is possible.  The closest we could come is a set of mutual concessions that at least one side will find insufficient.  But if some of the positions the publishers are taking here, like limiting free online access to the author's institution, are just trial balloons, then we can still hold out hope of a win-win balance.  Much constructive work remains to be done.  I expect it from individual publishers who grant authors more rights than this position paper would allow and then demonstrate that they can still survive and prosper, perhaps even increasing their submissions.

Committee on Institutional Cooperation (CIC)

The CIC Author Addendum (May 17, 2007)

University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign announcement
--The draft resolution adopting the addendum (apparently the same as the adopted resolution)
--UIUC copy of the addendum

University of Minnesota
--The draft resolution (apparently the same as the resolution as adopted)

University of Wisconsin - Madison
--Resolution as adopted by the Faculty Senate, May 7, 2007
--University press release, May 7, 2007

Science Commons, SPARC announce new tools for scholarly publishing, a press release from Science Commons and SPARC, May 17, 2007.

The Scholar's Copyright Addendum Engine (SCAE)

Instructions for institutions wishing to host a copy of the Scholar's Copyright Addendum Engine

Science commons home page on the Addendum Engine

Science Commons FAQ on author addenda

Author and Publisher Rights For Academic Use: An Appropriate Balance, May 2007.  A joint position paper by ALPSP, AAP/PSP, and STM.
--The ALPSP announcement
--The ALPSP text
--The STM announcement
--The STM text

Les Carr, PSP and ALPSP: j'accuse!  American Scientist Open Access Forum, May 11, 2007. 
--Discussion thread based on Carr's message.

Les Carr, Starting a community response to ALPSP/PSP?  American Scientist Open Access Forum, May 12, 2007. 

Kevin Smith, Publisher position on author rights, Duke Scholarly Communications, May 20, 2007.


Signs of spring

If you haven't noticed, there are now so many OA projects and initiatives, and so many organizations involved in one way or another, that many of them have identical acronyms.  If you did notice but didn't care, then skip this section.  There's nothing serious here, just a few random flowers for those inclined to stop and smell them.

The flexibility of language should make identical acronyms rare, especially in a small domain like ours.  At least the growing number of acronymic twins is a sign of growth. You could take it as a sign of progress if it weren't for the fact that a good number of these projects and organizations are working against OA.

Here's my collection to date:

* AAP -- both the American Association of Pediatrics, which publishes a hybrid OA journal, and the Association of American Publishers, which lobbies against national OA policies

* AAU -- both the Association of African Universities, which sponsored a conference covering OA, and the Association of American Universities, which is a powerful voice in Washington for elite North American research universities but which is slower than its members to endorse OA

* ACS -- both the American Chemical Society, which publishes hybrid OA journals and lobbies against national OA policies, and the Australian Computer Society, which publishes gold OA journals and supports green OA policies throughout Australia

* ADA -- both the American Diabetes Association, which opposes national OA policies (through the DC Principles Coalition) and breaks with the pack of other society publishers by allowing its NIH-funded authors provide unembargoed OA through PubMed Central, and the Australian Digital Alliance, which supports copyright reforms to restore balance

* APA -- triplets:  the American Philological Association, which is considering a strong OA policy, the American Psychological Association, which opposes national OA policies, and the Australian Population Association, which publishes a no-fee OA journal

* APS -- both the American Physical Society, which publishes hybrid OA journals and hosts a mirror of arXiv, and the American Physiological Society, which lobbies against national OA policies

* ARC -- both the Arthritis Research Campaign, which requires OA for ARC-funded research, and the Australian Research Council, which encourages OA for ARC-funded research and requires non-complying grantees to justify their non-compliance

* CARL -- both the Canadian Association of Research Libraries, which runs an Institutional Repository Project and supports OA policies in Canada, and the Colorado Alliance of Research Libraries, which is building a consortial repository for its members

* CIC -- both the Committee on Institutional Cooperation, which wrote an author addendum and organized its provosts to support FRPAA (see lead story above), and the Council of Independent Colleges, which defends the Google Library Project as beneficial to colleges

* CMA -- both the California Medical Association, which endorsed PLoS Medicine, and the Canadian Medical Association, which has editorialized in support of OA and inadvertently provided the editors to the new OA journal, Open Medicine

* DART -- both the Dataset Acquisition, Accessibility and Annotation e-Research Technology project in Australia, which takes a holistic approach to e-research, and the Digital Access to Research Theses project in the UK, which supports OA for electronic theses and dissertations

* DOI -- both the Digital Object Identifier, which supports multiple resolution and persistent identifiers, and the US Department of Interior, which supports many OA projects especially for geospatial data

* GAP -- both German Academic Publishers, which supports OA publishing, and the Global Access Project, which supports worldwide access to medicines

* ISI -- both the Informing Science Institute, which publishes gold OA journals, and Thomson's Institute for Scientific Information, the old name of Thomson Scientific, which computes impact factors for selected TA and OA journals

* LEAP -- both the Linking Electronic Archives and Publications project, which uses OA data to help interpret OA texts in the humanities, and the London E-prints Access Project, which created OA repositories at thirteen University of London institutions

* MLA -- both the Medical Library Association, which is part of the US Open Access Working Group, and the Modern Language Association, which promotes OA-friendly tenure reforms



Here's what happened, or what I noticed, since the last issue, emphasizing action and policy over scholarship and opinion.  I put the most important items first, with double asterisks, and otherwise cluster them loosely by topic.  Most of the time, I link to my blog postings, not to the sources themselves, because I only want to include one link and my blog postings usually bring many relevant links together. 

** The UK Department of Health, the British Heart Foundation, and the Cancer Research UK all adopted or announced OA mandates for the research they fund.  All require grantees to deposit copies in UKPMC within six months of publication.  All eight members of the UKPMC Funders Group have now adopted OA mandates and released their policies.

** The UK Medical Research Council and British Heart Foundation, which both already had OA mandates, joined with a group of (unnamed) pharmaceutical and analytical science companies to set up a £17 million fund for research into biomarkers.  The fund will operate under an OA mandate.

** Central Economics and Mathematics Institute of the Russian Academy of Sciences adopted an OA mandate.

** Turkey's Middle East Technical University adopted an OA mandate.

** Pakistan is creating a portal that will provide OA to all journals published in the country.

** The EU's eContentPlus program issued its 2007 Work Programme, which endorses OA and calls for funding proposals in areas that include OA.

** The Committee of Ministers of the Council of Europe recommended "wide public access to research results to which no copyright restrictions apply" (i.e. data). 

** The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the Department of Energy (DOE) both called for OA to publicly-funded research.

** The University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign adopted the Author Addendum drafted by the Committee on Institutional Cooperation.

** The University of Minnesota also adopted the CIC Author Addendum.

** The University of Wisconsin at Madison also adopted the CIC Author Addendum.

** SPARC and Science Commons announced a consolidation and enhancement of their author addenda.

* The upper house of the German Parliament endorsed the goal of OA but expressed reservations that it might violate copyright, shift costs to authors, and not be a proper subject for state action. 

* The German Parliament's Scientific Services (Wissenschaftliche Dienste) published a two-page document by Daniel Lübbert defining and explaining OA, to support the parliamentary debates on the EU's OA policy.

* A consortium of German universities officially launched the Informationsplattform Open Access, a nationwide platform for information on OA in Germany (online since last September).

* Germany's Informationsplattform Open Access is profiling the OA policies and activities at selected German institutions, and has completed three to date: the Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft, the Helmholtz-Gemeinschaft, and the Max-Planck-Gesellschaft.

* Germany's Informationsplattform Open Access launched the IPOA Forum, an email discussion list.

* Three German organizations representing writers and booksellers issued the Frankfurter Mahnung: Ohne geistiges Eigentum keine Informationsgesellschaft [Frankfurt Reminder:  Without intellectual property no information society], calling for strong copyright protection and no OA mandates for copyrighted work.

* The German non-profit Netzwerk Freies Wissen (NFW) is circulating a sign-on declaration, "For better development and just access to knowledge in all forms".  NFW will collect signatures until some time this fall, when it will present them to the governments of the G8 nations.

* The University of Bremen's Science Plan 2010 (February 23, 2007, p. 35) endorses the goal of providing open access and creating the infrastructure needed for it.

* Scirus is now indexing the institutional repository of Humboldt University Berlin.

* The Norwegian Open Research Archive (NORA) and the Norwegian Digital Library launched OpenAccess.no, a central location for OA information and advocacy in Norway.

* Spain's Ministry of Culture is funding OA repositories throughout the country.

* France's Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique (CNRS) now allows authors of works in the CNRS Éditions series to deposit OA copies in HAL.  (CNRS has encouraged self-archiving by its researchers since June 2006.)

* Sam Pitroda, Chairman of India's National Knowledge Commission (NKC), called for the implementation of the NKC recommendations, one of which is for OA to publicly-funded research.

* Michael Geist used Canada's Access to Information Act to uncover the lack of interest in OA at Canada's National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC) National Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC) and the extent of publisher lobbying against OA at the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR) and Social Science and Humanities Research Council (SSHRC).

* The Association of College and Research Libraries (ACRL) is calling for grassroots support to strengthen the NIH policy from a request to a requirement.

* The Northwest Journal of Linguistics is a new peer-reviewed OA journal.

* The Journal of Information Literacy is a new peer-reviewed OA journal published by the Loughborough University Library and sponsored by the CILIP CSG Information Literacy Group.

* The International Journal of Computer Games Technology is a new peer-reviewed OA journal from Hindawi.

* Global-e is a new peer-reviewed OA journal of global studies jointly sponsored by the global studies programs at the University of North Carolina, the University of Illinois, the University of Wisconsin-Madison, and the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee.

* Applied Economics Research Bulletin is a new peer-reviewed OA journal from the Berkeley Mathemarketics Group.

* The European Journal of Legal Studies is a new peer-reviewed OA journal from the Law Department of the European University Institute (EUI).

* Semen: Revue de sémio-linguistique des textes et discours is a new peer-reviewed OA journal published by the Presses Universitaires de Franche-Comté.

* Métropoles is a new peer-reviewed OA journal of cities and urban life published with support from the French Ministère des Affaires Etrangères, Région Rhône-Alpes, CNRS, Ministère de l’Ecologie, du Développement et de l’Aménagement Durables, Cluster 12 de la Région Rhône-Alpes, and the Ecole Nationale des Travaux Publics de l’Etat.

* The American Society of Papyrologists converted the Bulletin of the American Society of Papyrologists to OA.

* Canadian Creative Arts in Health, Training and Education (CCAHTE) is converting the CCAHTE Journal to OA.

* The American Society of Animal Science (ASAS) converted the Journal of Animal Science (JAS) to a hybrid OA journal.  JAS Editor Larry Reynolds is not happy about it.

* The journal Internet Archeology received JISC funding for two years of free online access within the UK.  During that time it will prepare for full worldwide OA.

* The British Epigraphy Society is digitizing and providing OA to the backfile of BES News.

* The Statistical and Social Inquiry Society of Ireland converted its journal to OA, digitized the entire 160 year backfile, and placed it in the institutional repository of Trinity College Dublin.  Future issues will also be on deposit in the repository.

* The SCOAP3 Working Party at CERN issued its final report on the plan to convert particle physics journal to OA.

* JSTOR is considering OA.  According to Bruce Heterick, JSTOR's Director of Library Relations, "It's not a question of if we should do it but when we can do it and not devolve our preservation goals."

* David Beaver and Kai von Fintel announced plans to launch a new peer-reviewed OA journal, Semantics and Pragmatics.

* A group of researchers launched a blog to plan the launch of a new OA journal for computational linguistics and natural language processing.

* George Siemens proposed an open access, open review journal for emerging trends in educational technology and pedagogy.

* BioOne launched the Free BioOne Society Member Access program, giving free online access to journal content for members of the participating society publishers.

* Starting in August 2007, BIREME will require all journals wishing to be indexed in LILACS or SciELO, and publishing articles on clinical drug trials, to require OA to the trial data.

* The University of Vermont launched an OA repository for rare and fragile works from its special collections.

* The University of Utah launched Eclipse, "a free on-line archive focusing on digital facsimiles of the most radical small-press writing from the last quarter century."

* The Copenhagen University Library announced plans for an e-print archive for Nordic arts and humanities.

* Kosson is a new LIS portal and OA repository for Romania and southeast Europe. 

* The International Association of Aquatic and Marine Science Libraries and Information Centers (IAMSLIC) is planning to launch Aquatic Commons, an OA repository for aquatic and marine science.

* The Centre for International Governance Innovation (CIGI) in Waterloo launched the IGLOO Library, an OA repository on governance.

* A group of colleges in the UK formed the Colleges' Open Access Learning Group (COLEG) and launched a blog to help it set up a consortial OA repository.

* Pronetos ("Professor's Network") is a new academic networking site and repository.  It hasn't quite launched yet, but it's online and its blog is describing its progress toward completeness.

* Alabama has been the only US state not providing OA to its appellate court decisions, but will soon join the rest of the country.

* OpenSourceScience is a new project to manage, record, distribute, and fund science for skeptics of the paranormal.

* HAL transferred a batch of papers to PubMed Central, the first exercise of a transfer option negotiated by Inserm and the National Center for Biotechnology Information (NCBI).

* DRIVER released version 0.8 of its Guidelines for content providers: Exposing textual resources with OAI-PMH.

* SHERPA wrote a briefing paper to help faculty at the U of Nottingham understand the OA policies at UK funding agencies.  It posted a generic version of the paper online so that other institutions can modify it for local use.

* The Australian Open Access to Knowledge (OAK) Law Project released a Copyright Guide for Research Students, introducing OA and Creative Commons licenses for authors of theses and dissertations.

* ANKOS (Anatolian University Libraries Consortium) published a guide to establishing an institutional repository, in Turkish with an English summary.

* SURF published an inventory of OAI compliant repository activities in the EU.  The document is dated March 2007 but was apparently not released until late April.

* Alison Hunter created Institutional Repository Community - ANZ, a new Google Group for repository managers especially from Australia and New Zealand.

* The DSpace Federation launched a Google Co-op search engine which apparently searches all DSpace repositories.

* GlaxoSmithKline's OA Clinical Trial Register was a major source of data for a new study showing that Avandia, GSK's drug for diabetes, increases the risk of heart attack.

* The Paul-Ehrlich-Institut signed the Berlin Declaration on Open Access to Knowledge.

* The Robert Koch-Institut in Berlin signed the Berlin Declaration.

* Germany's Vereinigung für Allgemeine und Angewandte Mikrobiology (VAAM, Association for General and Applied Microbiology) signed the Berlin Declaration.

* The Università degli Studi di Salerno signed the Berlin Declaration.

* The student governments at Trinity University and Oberlin College both adopted resolutions in support of FRPAA.

* Shelley Batts posted a chart from a Wiley article on her blog; Wiley threatened legal action unless she took it down; she replaced it with her own chart using the same data and blogged Wiley's threat; the blogosphere exploded; and Wiley said it was all a misunderstanding.

* Ghent University joined the Google Library Project.

* The University of Lausanne joined the Google Library Project.

* The Open Content Alliance announced a plan to make online annotated bibliographies of its scanned OA books, in order to increase their visibility.

* The European Library launched version 1.5.

* After more than 20 years of collecting Darwin's letters for a series of priced, printed volumes, the Darwin Correspondence Project started releasing them in an OA edition.

* A group of research institutions and two foundations launched the Encyclopedia of Life, an OA, multimedia compendium of biodiversity on planet Earth.

* The Sloan Digital Sky Survey (SDSS) launched Wikisky, a cross between a virtual telescope, database of astronomical data, digital library of astronomical texts, annotatable wiki, and Google Earth for the sky.

* The World Health Organization (WHO) converted the International Classification of Diseases (ICD) from a database to a wiki.

* WHO launched the International Clinical Trials Registry Platform (ICTRP) in order to draw together and disseminate the world's clinical drug trial data.

* The Library of Congress joined the Science.gov alliance.

* Public Resource released a letter it sent to the Smithsonian Institution, protesting its restrictions on a collection of public-domain images, reminding it of the law, and announcing that it had downloaded all 6,288 images and uploaded them to Flickr.

* Wessex Archaeology adopted Creative Commons licenses for its 600+ photos on Flickr.

* The NSF Office of Cyberinfrastructure launched the Community-based Data Interoperability Networks (INTEROP) project and is now soliciting proposals.

* Lawrence Lessig organized a campaign asking TV networks to release their presidential debate broadcasts either to the public domain or under a CC license.  CNN agreed and Fox News did not.  Of the candidates, Barak Obama, John Edwards, and Chris Dodds have so far endorsed the campaign.

* Noel O'Boyle upgraded a Greasemonkey script by Pedro Beltrão for adding links to journal table of contents for each article reviewed on PostGenomic.

* The Public Knowledge Project released Open Conference Systems 2.0.

* ChemSpider and ChemRefer formed a partnership or mashup to offer a single search service for both chemical structures and OA chemical literature.

* Ari Friedman released software to scan an online bibliography, check the OA policies of the represented publishers in ROMEO, and annotate each entry accordingly.  A separate script can email the authors, for example asking that they self-archive their articles or email copies to the user.

* Roberto Meneghini of BIREME called for OA to Brazilian research.

* The President of the World Health Assembly called for improved access to medical knowledge.

* Sean Eddy won the 2007 Benjamin Franklin Award and used the occasion to extol open source and open access.

* An editorial in Nature recommended e-notebook science and data sharing.

* The Gotham Prize is a new annual $1 million award for innovation in cancer research.  It doesn't specifically require OA for research results, but it does specifically try to counteract the data hoarding and secrecy that often accompany promising new ideas, especially in their early stages.

* BMJ published a study showing that public access to surgical mortality data decreases the risk of mortality.

* The Publishing Research Consortium released a literature review casting doubt on the theory that OA increases citation impact.  The five authors are from Elsevier, Thomson Scientific, and Wiley-Blackwell.

* Three major publisher associations --ALPSP, AAP/PSP, and STM-- issued a joint white paper on the best way to balance author and publisher rights in published research articles.  (See the lead story above.)


Coming this month

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

* Sometime in June 2007.  The Depot moves out of beta and starts accepting deposits and redirecting deposits to UK institutional repositories.

* June 30, 2007.  Deadline for applying to Canada's Social Science and Humanities Research Council (SSHRC) for funds to support OA journals.

* Notable conferences this month

Open Innovation – New Perspectives in the Context of Information and Knowledge? (10th International Symposium for Information Science) (OA is among the topics)
Cologne, May 30 - June 1, 2007

Building Scholarly Infrastructure for the Future (2007 Texas Conference on Digital Libraries) (OA is among the topics)
Austin, May 30 - June 1, 2007

Internet & Society 2007 Conference (sponsored by Harvard's Berkman Center for Internet & Society) (OA is among the topics)
Cambridge, Massachusetts, May 31 - June 1, 2007

Publishing for Impact: A conference for mission-driven non-profit book publishers (OA is among the topics)
Washington, D.C., June 4-6, 2007

Federal Access to Government-Sponsored Research (sponsored by Thomson Scientific) (part of the SLA Annual Meeting 2007)
Denver, June 5, 2007

About Digital repositories: Dealing with the digital deluge (sponsored by JISC) (OA is among the topics)
Manchester, June 5-6, 2007

Open Access Publishing: Funding Mechanisms and Institutional Collaboration (sponsored by ARMA)
Cardiff, June 6, 2007

Imagining the Future: Scholarly Communication 2.0 (SSP 2007) (OA is among the topics)
San Francisco, June 6-8, 2007

Open Access Questions & Answers (teleconference Q&A session with Peter Suber) (sponsored by Chemists Without Borders)
June 7, 2007 (a teleconference)

EIFL's Fourteenth International Conference Crimea 2007 (OA is among the topics)
Simferopol, Crimea, June 9-17, 2007

Open Research: Third London Conference on Opening Access to Research Publications (sponsored by SHERPA-LEAP)
London, June 11, 2007

Global Access to Science: Scientific Publishing for the Future (IATUL 2007) (OA is among the topics)
Stockholm, June 11-14, 2007

Open Access and Institutional repository sensitization workshop in Ghana
Accra, Ghana, June 12-13, 2007

i-expo 2007 (OA is among the topics)
Paris, June 13-14, 2007

Openness in Digital Publishing: Awareness, Discovery and Access (ElPub 2007)
Vienna, June 13-15, 2007

ETD 2007: 10th International Symposium on Electronic Theses and Dissertations
Uppsala, June 13-16, 2007

iCommons Summit 2007 (OA is among the topics)
Dubrovnik, June 15-17, 2007

Webcast on author rights (sponsored by ACRL and ARL) (OA is among the topics)
June 18, 2007

Assessing the quality and impact of research: practices and initiatives in STM information (public part of the INIST 2007 General Conference)
[looking for a better URL]
Nancy, France, June 21, 2007

American Library Association Annual Conference (OA is among the topics)
Washington, D.C., June 21-27, 2007
--Access to Association and Society Publications, a session for Friday, June 22, 2007, 1:30 - 3:00, Capitol Hilton (1001 16th Street NW)
--Forum to Explore Progress of Open Access Journal Publishing Models, a session for Saturday, June 23, 2007, 4:00 - 5:30PM, Georgetown Room, Hilton Washington (1919 Connecticut Avenue NW)

Experience of Open Access - looking at the data (sponsored by the ALPSP)
London, June 22, 2007

eResearch Australasia 2007 (OA is among the topics)
Brisbane, June 26-28, 2007

Repositories Support Project, Summer School 2007 (sponsored by JISC) (OA is among the topics)
Totnes, Devon, June 27-29, 2007

Models in Flux: Books and Journals (First Bloomsbury conference on E-Publishing and E-Publications)
London, June 28-29, 2007

* Other OA-related conferences



* I've added 23 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.

* Ever since April 16, 2007 when Google upgraded Open Access News against my will from Old Blogger to New Blogger, I've been unable to search for past postings from within the Blogger editor.  I can pull up recent posts for re-editing, but without the editor search engine I can't pull up arbitrary past postings for re-editing.  Hence I haven't been able to follow my usual practice of correcting errors in past blog posts or adding updates and new links.  Blogger says it's working on the problem.  But it's been saying that since February.  I'm not optimistic about a quick solution and apologize for the poor service.


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

To unsubscribe, send any message to <SPARC-OANews-off@arl.org>.

Please feel free to forward any issue of the newsletter to interested colleagues.  If you are reading a forwarded copy of this issue, see the instructions for subscribing at either of the first two sites below.

SPARC home page for the Open Access Newsletter and Open Access Forum

Peter Suber's page of related information, including the newsletter editorial position

Newsletter, archived back issues

Forum, archived postings

Conferences Related to the Open Access Movement

Timeline of the Open Access Movement

Open Access Overview

Open Access News blog

Peter Suber

SOAN is an open-access publication under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License.

Return to the Newsletter archive