Welcome to the SPARC Open Access Newsletter, issue #160
August 2, 2011
by Peter Suber
Read this issue online
SOAN is published and sponsored by the Scholarly Publishing and Academic Resources Coalition (SPARC).
The article section of SOAN is taking a summer break and will resume next month.
Five years ago in SOAN
SOAN for August 2, 2006
* The lead essay in that issue: "Ten lessons from the funding agency open access policies"
Excerpt: "The Wellcome Trust has proved that funder mandates work and the NIH has proved that mere requests, encouragements, and exhortations do not work....Authors are ready: 94% of them would comply with a mandate from their funder or employer (Swan and Brown, May 2005, p. 63). The NIH compliance rate could improve *ten-fold* without reaching *half* that rate....The policy should not require grantees to submit their work to OA journals. There aren't enough OA journals to meet the demand and, even at a future time when there might be enough, this would limit authors' freedom to publish in the journals of their choice....The policy should let authors choose which OA repository to use, provided it meets certain conditions of OA, interoperability, and long-term preservation....The policy should adopt the dual deposit/release strategy....The legal basis of the funder's dissemination of these texts should either be a government license (for public funders) or the funding contract with the grantee (for public or private funders) . The policy should not rely, directly or indirectly, on publisher consent...."
* From the other top stories in that issue:
"The Canadian Breast Cancer Research Alliance (CBCRA) provides OA to the research it funds."
Excerpt: "The CBCRA doesn't mandate OA to its research, although it's thinking about a mandate for the future. It simply tries to provide OA to all the CBCRA-funded research that it can. Instead of doing this by contract, at the time of funding, it does it by painstaking requests for permission sent to grantee-authors and their publishers after they have published research based on CBCRA funding. First it tracks down authors and asks them to sign a license. Then it contacts their publisher and asks for permission to post an OA copy of the article to the CBCRA repository. It doesn't send its queries until at least 12 months after publication, when publishers are more likely to agree. When it gets no replies, it sends out its letters again. Using this arduous method since February of this year, CBCRA has been able to provide OA to about 25% of its research. About 62% of authors and 70% of publishers have agreed to the OA proposition. It's considering a mandate in part to enlarge its OA coverage to 100% and in part to reduce or eliminate the large administrative burden of permission-seeking."
"Two groups launch OA book projects."
Excerpt: "Rice University revived its dormant university press as an all-digital operation focusing on OA books that offer multi-media content and print on demand. The digital books will use Creative Commons licenses and reside in Connexions, Rice's excellent, venerable collection of OA scholarship and free software. The Institute for the Future of the Book announced MediaCommons, a new project for OA books in the humanities that incorporate open and innovative forms of peer review and community interactivity...."
"The Gates Foundation requires data sharing."
Excerpt: "In its new funding program for an HIV/AIDS vaccine, the Gates Foundation is requiring all grantees to share their data. It has the best of reasons: to accelerate research and make available to all who can use it. The foundation doesn't hide its frustration with the current pace of vaccine research and hopes the data-sharing program will make the difference...."
"University provosts support FRPAA."
Excerpt: "The big FRPAA news from July was the open letter of support from 25 university provosts. It shows that the research interests of research universities support OA, which is worth clarifying after the attempts by some publishers to suggest that OA threatens science and scholarship themselves, not just some kinds of publishing....Provost support for OA should lead to strong OA policies at many more universities. It should exert pressure on the Association of American Universities (AAU) to endorse OA or be left behind by its own members. (The AAU is a major voice in Washington on policies affecting research and education.) And finally, of course, it's decisive new support for FRPAA that is bound to be persuasive to members of Congress representing districts where these 25 universities are located."
Ten years ago in SOAN
Ten years ago, SOAN was called FOSN (Free Online Scholarship Newsletter) and came out several times a month. Here are excerpts from four issues 10 years ago this month.
* FOSN for July 24, 2001
Excerpt: "Dmitri Sklyarov broke Adobe's e-book encryption and wrote a new reader for Adobe e-books bypassing its copy protection. His Russian employer, ElcomSoft, started selling the program over the internet in June. On July 15, Sklyarov presented his doctoral research on e-book security at a Las Vegas conference, and was arrested the next morning for violating the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA). He could be punished by up to five years in prison and a $500,000 fine....Sklyarov's program was legal in Russia, where it was written, and would be legal in many other countries. To many observers, then, his only mistake was to travel to the United States to present his work. After Sklyarov's arrest, English programmer Alan Cox started warning European computer scientists working on encryption, security, or copy protection to stop holding their conferences in the U.S."
* FOSN for July 31, 2001
Excerpt: "ebrary has an interesting business plan for putting academic books online. They are free for users to read and search, and only cost money to copy or print....Why doesn't ebrary offer free online access to journals as well as books? ebrary doesn't say, but I suspect the answer is that readers of an online journal article have little or no residual need to buy a print copy of the same text, while readers of an online book might still want a printed copy. If so, then we may see the paradoxical situation of widespread free online access to books, for which publishers pay authors, *before* widespread free online access to journals, for which publishers don't pay authors. If things fall out this way, however, it will not mean that widespread free online access to journals will never come. It only means that it won't come from for-profit publishers who provide it as bait for print purchases."
Excerpt: "Amazon has launched a new service called e-documents...but most of the documents are not free and not close. On the first page of Amazon's offerings of "Computers & Internet" documents, the prices range from $110 to $2,500. On the first page of "Science & Technology" documents, the prices range from $150 to $3,000. Amazon doesn't let you sort by price, so it's difficult to find the upper end to the price range. But with a little surfing I found a 68 page document priced at $4,500....All of...the...Amazon e-docs...have expiration dates. The downloads are valid for only 60 days, like the trial period for software....The 60 day time limit is a pretty good indicator (in case the price wasn't) that these documents have only a tangential relationship to truth-seeking. They are about profit-seeking by their authors and profit-seeking by their readers, even if they only help readers profit because their authors have something acute or accurate to say. If you can make more than $4.5k from a 60 day glimpse at a document, then from one point of view the document is worth the price. If you think there are people poised to make this kind of money from your research, then from one point of view it's worth the risk to price your work at this level. I find this profoundly depressing even if there is a model of rationality according to which it is rational for both buyers and sellers (who used to be called readers and writers). I know there is a lot of useful research locked away in private corporations, where it will profit them before other researchers have a chance to learn it or build on it. But heaven help us if this or Amazon e-docs is the future of research in all fields where good information and true theories are financially lucrative. Will physics articles which might help design a faster computer chip migrate from academic journals to for-profit research firms and Amazon's e-docs, just because they can? Will mathematics articles which might help write a more secure encryption algorithm migrate to e-docs for the same reason? ..."
* FOSN for August 7, 2001
Excerpt: "Research Papers in Economics (RePEc) is the largest decentralized digital library in the world....All of it is available to readers free of charge. It was conceived and launched by Thomas Krichel in 1993, and is now maintained by over 100 volunteers around the world. On Saturday, I interviewed Krichel by telephone. In June of this year Krichel noticed that Ecommunics, a web-based community and archive of economics research, had copied RePEc's papers, and was making them available to its own users without any credit or acknowledgement to RePEc....Ecommunics was not selling the papers. But it was selling other services, and apparently it intended to use the free papers...as a demonstration or advertisement of its technical skills, which would in turn bring in paying customers. Krichel confronted the Ecommunics creators and asked for an acknowledgement that the papers came from RePEc. After some delay, Ecommunics agreed....This wasn't Krichel's first experience with commercial exploitation. In 1995, the Social Science Research Network (SSRN) copied some RePEc papers for its service, which offered free abstracts to all and full-text articles to paying subscribers. Soon after Krichel confronted them, SSRN stopped the practice. After these experiences, RePEc changed its statement of restrictions on the use of its data. The statement now says (inter alia) that users may not charge for the content "or include it in a service or product that is not free of charge." I asked Krichel whether he was satisfied with Ecommunics' current position: acknowledging RePEc, but continuing to copy and use the data, without compensation, to promote a for-profit business. He said yes. As long as Ecommunics doesn't charge for the papers, it should be able to use them to enhance its bottom-line. If it succeeds, this proves the value of RePEc's service....What restrictions should FOS providers put on the use of the scholarship in their collections? ..."
* FOSN for August 16, 2001
Excerpt: "If you're reading this, then you probably know about the Public Library of Science (PLoS), one of the boldest recent FOS initiatives. It all started with a March 23 letter to the editor of _Science Magazine_ signed by Richard Roberts, Harold Varmus, and eight others. The gist of the letter was to call on biomedical journals to put their contents online, free of charge, in public archives, within six months of print publication. The call has since been widened to all scientific and scholarly journals. Roberts, Varmus, et al. also called on scientists to sign a pledge not to "publish in, edit or review for, or personally subscribe to" journals that do not heed the call. The web list of signers now includes more than 26,000 scientists from 170 countries....The deadline for journals to comply and pledgers to act is September 1...."
Excerpt: "In June the American Psychological Association (APA) revised its policy on posting articles to the internet. Authors may post unreviewed preprints to the web provided they label them as unreviewed. The APA warns authors that some journals will regard this as prior publication and will refuse to consider them. It does not condemn or discourage this practice by journals, but at least it has dropped the explicit endorsement contained in previous policy statement....Authors of articles accepted for publication in APA journals may post electronic versions to their personal or institutional websites, but not to third-party repositories, and may do so as soon as the articles are accepted. This is a liberalization of the previous policy, which held that authors could not put reviewed post-prints online until three years after print publication...."
Excerpt: "Our July 3 issue described the precarious fate of PubScience after the Software & Information Industry Association (SIIA), a trade association of for-profit publishers, lobbied Congress to stop government subsidies for free online scholarship. The SIIA even persuaded a House appropriations subcommittee to cut funding for PubScience and adopt the SIIA's rationale as its own. Now, however, the Senate has rejected the House measure and restored PubScience funding in its own recent spending bill. Next month the House and Senate must agree on a final version of the bill."
Here's what happened, or what I noticed, since the last issue of the newsletter, emphasizing action and policy over scholarship and opinion. I put the most important items first, with double asterisks, and otherwise cluster them loosely by topic.
For a more comprehensive picture of recent OA developments, see --and help build-- the project feed of the OA Tracking Project.
** The Dunhill Medical Trust adopted an OA mandate in March 2011. "A copy of the final manuscript of all peer-reviewed papers supported in whole or in part by a DMT grant must be deposited in an open access archive such as PubMed Central (PMC) or UKPMC, to be made freely available within six months of publication....DMT will provide a contribution towards the valid costs of open access fees levied by publishers who support the open access model, but demand payment to allow manuscripts to become available in UKPMC within six months of the publisher's official date of final publication...."
** The Phelan-McDermid Syndrome Foundation (PMSF) launched a research funding program with an OA mandate. "Funded researchers are required to submit or have submitted for them to the National Institutes of Health's PubMed Central database an electronic version of their final, peer-reviewed manuscripts upon acceptance for publication, to be made publicly available no later than 12 months after the official date of publication...."
** NASA launched a new research funding project with an OA mandate. DISCOVER-AQ (Deriving Information on Surface Conditions from Column and Vertically Resolved Observations Relevant to Air Quality) will "study the Earth from space to increase fundamental understanding and to enable the application of satellite data for societal benefit....An equally important goal of this plan is to provide timely public access to the data archive and to promote broader scientific use of the DISCOVER-AQ data in addressing issues related to satellite observations and air quality... To comply with the NASA data policy, the DISCOVER-AQ measurement Co-Is [co-investigators] will be required to archive or reference sufficient documentation for each of the funded measurements at LaRC ASDC...."
** Neelie Kroes, EU Commissioner for the Digital Agenda, announced that the EU's OA mandate will expand to cover 100% of EU-funded research. It is currently a "pilot" mandate covering only 20% of the FP7 research budget. (The announcement comes at 1'38" in the video.) She also announced (at 1'50") plans for OpenAIRE to accept deposits of datasets, not just articles. She made the announcements at the 40th LIBER annual conference (Barcelona, June 29, 2011). In an unrelated release, the EU announced plans to boost funding for scientific research by 45%, or 45 billion Euros, for the period 2014-2020; the new funding will amplify the impact of the new OA mandate, and the new OA mandate will amplify the impact of the new funding.
** Lars Fischer's December 2009 petition to the German Parliament, asking lawmakers to mandate OA for publicly-funded research, has been taken up for further consideration.
** Senator Rodrigo Rollemberg submitted a bill to the Brazilian parliament to create a green OA mandate for publicly-funded research. The mandate would apply not only to journal articles, but also to theses, dissertations, reports, and books.
** Brazil's Universidade Federal do Rio Grande do Sul adopted an OA mandate for theses and dissertations.
** Australia's Bond University adopted a policy encouraging OA for theses and dissertations.
** The Katholieke Universiteit Leuven adopted an OA policy. "Implementation of Open Access at K.U.Leuven The University Management has approved the proposal to implement Open Access at K.U.Leuven. This will occur through K.U.Leuven's own repository LIRIAS, which will be expanded. Open Access entails that researchers make their research results freely available on the internet. This functions as a showcase of the university's research results and may increase the accessibility of the research and K.U.Leuven's profile as a research university. The Research Coordination Office and the University Library will co-operate in the realisation of this project."
** "The Netherlands Organisation for Scientific Research (NWO)...made one million euros available for setting up open access journals or for the conversion of existing journals to an open access model. Providing financial incentives to open access journals is a new initiative within NWO's open access policy. Academic researchers from every discipline can now apply for one-off funding for setting up a new open access journal (maximum 45,000 euros per proposal) or for converting an existing journal into an open access model (maximum 22,500 euros per proposal). The deadline for submitting proposals is 4 October 2011...."
* The Nederlandse Organisatie voor Wetenschappelijk Onderzoek (NWO) posted a page to its website listing the many ways in which it has supported gold OA and put it ahead of green OA.
* The European Commission launched a public consultation "on access to, and preservation of, digital scientific information....European researchers, engineers and entrepreneurs must have easy and fast access to scientific information, to compete on an equal footing with their counterparts across the world. Modern digital infrastructures can play a key role in facilitating access. However, a number of challenges remain, such as high and rising subscription prices to scientific publications, an ever-growing volume of scientific data, and the need to select, curate and preserve research outputs. Open access, defined as free access to scholarly content over the Internet, can help address this. Scientists, research funding organisations, universities, and other interested parties are invited to send their contributions on how to improve access to scientific information. The consultation will run until 9 September 2011. Accessing and re-using knowledge is a key objective of the Digital Agenda for Europe and the Innovation Union...."
* "Among the projects launched under the FP7 2012 call for proposals, the European Commission has opened a call for open access to primary environmental data. The aim of this study is to explore in a comparative manner across environmental science disciplines, the main barriers and opportunities related to open access (free of charge online access) to primary environmental data, notably from EU-funded projects but also taking into account national and local data....According to the ePSI platform, the study should identify and document the difficulties and benefits scientists are facing in sharing, accessing and subsequently using 'open' primary data and it is carried out in association with European environmental research information facilities and networks. The work should be based on experience and results from earlier EU-funded projects relevant to this issue and interact with ongoing projects on or providing experiences with open access under the FP7 Cooperation Specific Programme...."
* A study commissioned by the European Parliament recommended that Parliament reject ACTA (Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement), or at least withhold "unconditional consent" from ACTA "at it stands".
* Rainer Kuhlen called, once again, for an OA mandate to publicly-funded research in Germany, speaking on behalf of Germany's Aktionsbündnis Urheberrecht für Wissenschaft und Bildung (Coalition for Action: Copyright for Education and Research) and Infrastruktur zum Urheberrecht für Wissenschaft und Bildung (Infrastructure for Copyright for Science and Education).
* "Professor Olugbemiro Jegede, Secretary General of the Association of African Universities (AAU)...stated that Africa cannot attain sustainable development without access to knowledge and information sharing....Prof. Jegede was speaking at a two-day workshop on Open Access...."
* The Eighth Report on Peer Review in Scientific Publications, from the UK Houses of Commons Science and Technology Committee, made several recommendations supporting OA. "[Recommendation 3:] We encourage increased recognition that peer-review quality is independent of journal business model, for example, there is a "misconception that open access somehow does not use peer review"....[Recommendation 19:] Access to data is fundamental if researchers are to reproduce, verify and build on results that are reported in the literature. We welcome the Government's recognition of the importance of openness and transparency. The presumption must be that, unless there is a strong reason otherwise, data should be fully disclosed and made publicly available. In line with this principle, where possible, data associated with all publicly funded research should be made widely and freely available....[Recommendation 30:] While pre-publication peer review continues to play an important role, the growth of post-publication peer review and commentary represents an enormous opportunity for experimentation with new media and social networking tools. Online communications allow the widespread sharing of links to articles, ensuring that interesting research is spread across the world, facilitating rapid commentary and review by the global audience...."
* "Organisations representing UK tech start-ups have urged the government to fast-track some of the recommendations in Ian Hargreaves's report on intellectual property reform. In an open letter sent to David Cameron and other senior government figures last week, the Coalition for a Digital Economy (Coadec), the BCS, TechHub and others said all of Hargreaves's recommendations should be taken up, but some...should be taken up faster than others....The recommendations the organisations want fast-tracked include: the adoption of copyright exceptions for format-shifting, parody, non-commercial research and library archiving; the prohibition of copyright exemptions being overridden by contracts; the ability to license orphan works; and giving the Intellectual Property Office (IPO) more powers to clarify and focus the UK's IP system...."
* The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) called for public comments on a proposed new rule for experiments on human subjects. "Is the access to information on individual studies provided by [ClinicalTrials.gov] sufficiently comprehensive and timely for the purposes of informing the public about the overall safety of all research with human participants?"
* The US President's Council of Advisors on Science and Technology (PCAST) called on the federal government to "launch a series of efforts to assess thoroughly the condition of U.S. ecosystems and the social and economic value of the services those ecosystems provide,...[and to] apply modern informatics technologies to the vast stores of biodiversity data already collected by various Federal agencies in order to increase the usefulness of those data for decision- and policy-making....The report...recommends that NSTC [National Science and Technology Council] establish an Ecoinformatics-based Open Resources and Machine Accessibility (EcoINFORMA) initiative. A primary goal of the initiative would be to ensure that Federal datasets relating to environmental health --as well as supporting socioeconomic and geophysical data relevant for ecosystem valuation and decision-making-- are published in machine-readable, interoperable formats to facilitate use by various stakeholders, including academic researchers, community organizations, and public policy officials...."
* The US National Science Foundation "released a proposed set of revised criteria [for merit review] which aim to clarify and simply the criteria and their purpose. Unfortunately, the revised criteria would remove the current criteria's consideration that the project's results should be broadly disseminated. This would be a step backward for the free flow of scientific information unless NSF strongly urges broad dissemination in the accompanying guidance it expects to release...."
* Bournemouth University officially launched its OA journal fund.
* Open Network Biology is a new peer-reviewed OA journal from BMC. "The journal joins the recently-announced GigaScience in providing its authors with a dedicated, open access repository for the data supporting their publications, and complements [other BMC] journals that aim to make supporting data a first class citizen in science publishing."
* Clinical Sarcoma Research is a new peer-reviewed OA journal from BMC.
* Longevity & Healthspan is a new peer-reviewed OA journal from BMC.
* PLoS Currents: Disasters is a new OA publication in the PLoS Currents series. "The aim of PLoS Currents: Disasters is to provide a new channel, particularly for data and analyses that might not otherwise be openly shared or where rapid and timely sharing is especially important."
* Ecology and Evolution is a new peer-reviewed OA journal from Wiley. Articles are published under CC-BY-NC licenses.
* MicrobiologyOpen is a new peer-reviewed OA journal from Wiley. It will charge a publication fee of $2,175, and publish articles under CC-BY-NC licenses.
* ChemistryOpen is a new peer-reviewed OA journal from Wiley-VCH and and ChemPubSoc Europe, an association of 16 chemical societies. "ChemistryOpen [is] the first open access chemical society journal....[and] will publish short summaries of PhD theses with a link to the full version....ChemPubSoc Europe...is an organisation of 16 European chemical societies, founded in the late 1990s as a consequence of the amalgamation of more than a dozen chemical journals owned by national chemical societies into a number of high quality European journals....ChemPubSoc Europe has approximately 72,000 members."
* MycoKeys is a new peer-reviewed OA journal on the biology of fungi and lichens, from Pensoft Publishers. "The journal will provide mandatory registration of all new taxa in MycoBank. All new species will be supplied by the publisher to the Encyclopedia of Life (EOL), Globalnalmes, the Plazi Treatment Repository and the Wiki Species-ID on the day of publication of the article. The content of the article itself will be marked-up at the level of taxonomic descriptions, taxon names, citations and references, identification keys, georeferenced localities, and other taxon information. MycoKeys provides automated cross-linking through the Pensoft Taxon Profile of all taxa names mentioned on its pages with major indexing and aggregation platforms....MycoKeys will provide a strong support and infrastructure for open data publishing, either as supplementary data and/or multimedia files or through internationally recognized indexers (GBIF) and data repositories, such as Genbank, Barcode of Life, Dryad, TreeBASE, Pangaea and others...." http://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2011-07/pp-ppl071911.php
* The International Journal of Environmental Sciences and Research is a new peer-reviewed OA journal from GlobeSkope.
* The Journal of Water, Sanitation and Hygiene for Development is a new peer-reviewed hybrid-OA journal from IWA Publishing.
* The Journal of Pakistan Medical Students is a new peer-reviewed OA journal.
* Computational Culture is a new peer-reviewed OA journal.
* Reviews in Health Care adopted a new policy making all its articles OA for registered users.
* Brill announced that in 2012 it will launch one new OA journal (Fascism) and convert two others (African Diaspora and the Int'l Journal for the Platonic Tradition) from TA to OA. In each case the journals will offer print editions.
* Cell Reports is a forthcoming peer-reviewed OA journal from Cell Press, to launch in January 2012. "Cell Reports, the first open-access online-only journal from Cell Press, will publish high-quality research across the entire life science spectrum. The journal will focus on shorter, single-point articles, entitled Reports, in addition to regular full-length articles. As with all Cell Press journals, the primary criterion for both formats will be new biological insight....Authors will retain full copyright over their articles, and they will be able to choose between two Creative Commons licenses for publication, one of which is the most permissive license that Creative Commons offers...."
* The Journal of Librarianship and Scholarly Communication is a forthcoming peer-reviewed OA journal from the libraries at Pacific University and California Polytechnic State University. The journal is not only OA (under CC-BY licenses) but willing to publish articles about OA.
* "Dove Medical Press...announce[d] the launch of video abstracts in their 100+ open access peer reviewed medical and scientific journals."
* "PLoS released our 2010 Progress Update which...reports that we covered our operating costs with revenue for the first time --adding to the growing body of evidence that high-quality open-access publishing is sustainable. We're also pleased to announce that for the second consecutive year our publication fees will not increase...."
* "[T]he newly formed SCOAP3 steering committee...made progress in preparing the SCOAP3 call for tender. The first step will be a public Market Survey which will engage the SCOAP3 publishing partners, describe in details the implementation of the SCOAP3 model and examine opportunities for price reduction for partner libraries who will re-direct their subscriptions to SCOAP3. SCOAP3 anticipates to issue this public market survey in the coming weeks."
* From Google's English: "The libraries of the University of Hong Kong (HKU) in May 2011 have signed a new agreement with Springer, which allows the HKU researchers to publish their research results using the Open Choice model in Springer journals. After a one-year pilot project that began in March 2010, both parties show respect to the number of submitted articles, the publication of the acceptance model and the use of content by HKU-authors. The agreement will be extended until February 2012 and extended by an Open choice model for single items to a larger open-access publishing partnership for the HKU researchers and authors...."
* "Randy W. Schekman, a distinguished cell biologist and the 14th editor of the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, has been named the first editor of a new [OA] journal that the Howard Hughes Medical Institute, the Max Planck Society, and the Wellcome Trust aim to launch next year...."
* Sukhdev Singh reports that 19 of the top 24 biomedical journals published in India by impact factor are OA.
* According to OpenBiomed.info, half the journals of obstetrics and gynecology in the top 10 by impact factors offer OA options. The same is true of journals in integrative and complementary medicine.
* Bloomsbury Qatar Foundation Journals (BQFJ) joined the Open Access Scholarly Publishers Association (OASPA).
* "The 2010 impact factor for the International Journal of Nanomedicine [from Dove Medical Press] has been released at 4.976 (up from 2.612)...."
* "Altogether, 101 BioMed Central journals now have official impact factors. 21 journals recorded their first impact factors this year. Meanwhile, among the 80 journals which already had impact factors, 52 increased while only 28 declined. The average change in impact factor was an increase of 0.19 points...."
* "New Journal of Physics (NJP) ...[now has] an Impact Factor of 3.849. This represents a 53% increase in citations from 2009. Significantly, NJP now has the highest Impact Factor of all gold open-access journals in physics, and the highest Impact Factor of all general physics journals that publish only non-Letter, original (non-review) research articles...."
* The CLOCKSS Archive announced four new participating publishers: British Institute of Radiology (BIR), European Respiratory Society (ERS), American Academy of Psychiatry and the Law (AAPL), and Inderscience Publishers.
* "As of the April 2011 issue, the American Society for Pharmacology and Experimental Therapeutics (ASPET) has ceased publication of Molecular Interventions....[T]he annual losses from Molecular Interventions since its inception in 2001 could no longer be sustained by ASPET. The Molecular Interventions web site hosted by HighWire Press will be shut down on Monday, August 15, 2011. Shortly after then, Molecular Interventions will be available [OA] through the digital repository CLOCKSS...." http://molinterv.aspetjournals.org/site/misc/Cessation_Announcement.pdf
+ Repositories and databases
* The Australian National University launched Digital Collections, an institutional repository. (ANU launched its first OA repository in September 2001, and adopted an OA mandate in October 2010.)
* University College London officially launched UCL Discovery, its institutional repository. (UCL adopted an OA mandate in October 2008, and announced it in June 2009.)
* The University of Massachusetts Amherst officially launched Credo, "an online repository containing the digital collections of Special Collections and University Archives (SCUA). SCUA presently houses more than 30,000 linear feet of archives and rare books, the vast majority of which are available only to users who are able to visit the Du Bois Library. In an effort to make these unique materials more widely and freely accessible, the Libraries began to develop Credo in 2009, with the goal of making the repository a central hub for exploring SCUA's collections from anywhere at any time...."
* The UN's Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) launched "the FAO Open Archive (FAO OA), a digital, open repository to collect, manage, maintain and disseminate all material published by FAO...." FAO OA merges two earlier FAO repositories.
* WebmedCentral is a new "portal for rapid and free dissemination of biomedical knowledge [under CC-BY licenses] through Post Publication Peer Review." From the About page: "We are an independent group with no links to the existing players in the pharmaceutical, publishing or any other industry....We...would like to introduce a novel method of publication without prior peer review followed by author driven post publication peer review. Our services are currently free for authors as well as for readers." From the FAQ: "We will start charging authors a nominal sum from January 2012."
* "[T]he Institutional Repository Communication Platform (IRCP)...is part of an institutional repository capacity building initiative started in February 2011 by the Royal Tropical Institute (KIT) and the Association of African Universities (AAU)....The primary purpose of the IRCP is to provide a platform for experts and information stakeholders to effectively share knowledge, skills and resources for strengthening capacity in scholarly communication, particularly among academic institutions in Africa....The platform provides guidance on how to establish and manage institutional repositories and the associated workflow, highlighting copyright issues and effective outreach activities....The beneficiaries of the platform are intended to be decision makers and operational staff such as (vice) chancellors, faculty deans, researchers, librarians and ICT staff...."
* The European Molecular Biology Laboratory's European Bioinformatics Institute (EMBL-EBI), the British Library, and the University of Manchester were awarded the contract to maintain and develop UK PubMed Central (UKPMC). UKPMC was sustained by eight funders when it launched in 2007, and is now sustained by 18.
* "The latest enhancement [to UKPMC] is the inclusion of links to databases maintained by the Centre for Reviews and Dissemination (CRD), part of the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR). The CRD provides research-based information about the effects of health and social care interventions via its databases and undertakes systematic reviews evaluating the research evidence on health and public health questions of national and international importance...."
* "DuraSpace...announced that it will develop a hosted, cloud-based data storage and management service aimed at meeting the specific needs of working scientists and researchers. The new service, an expansion of DuraSpace's popular DuraCloud data management and archiving service, is being funded through a grant from the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation....Development will begin by soliciting input directly from scientists, university administrators, and other stakeholders in a workshop scheduled for the fall. Results of the workshop will help inform the first set of requirements for building a platform specific to the needs of researchers. The new service is expected to launch sometime in 2013...."
* NEP (New Economics Papers), a service of RePEC, launched three new OA "field reports" on fields within economics. " NEP-DEM (Demographic Economics), edited by Clarence Nkengne Tsimpo (Université de Montréal and World Bank).... NEP-IUE (Informal and Underground Economics), edited by Catalina Granda Carvajal (Universidad de Antioquia).  NEP-LMA (Labor Markets: Supply, Demand, and Wages), edited by Erik Jonasson (Lunds University)...."
* BioMed Central and BGI launched GigaScience, a forthcoming OA journal with an integrated OA database. While GigaScience won't launch in November 2011, last month it "released [its] first [libre OA] datasets to be given a Digital Object Identifier (DOI). This enables a long-needed way to properly recognize...data producers....This not only promotes very rapid data release, but also provides easy access, reuse, tracking, and most importantly permanency for such datasets....The datasets, created by BGI and its collaborators in Germany and in the Genome10K project, include the sequence and assembly data from the recent deadly outbreak strain E. coli O104, and 7 large vertebrates....A primary goal for creating dataset DOIs is to promote extremely rapid data release and dissemination. And, in keeping with this, the majority of the above datasets are available prior to the publication of their associated scientific journal articles. Given that such publication is currently the only effective means for data producers to obtain credit for their work, this normally creates extensive delays in data availability due to the long writing, reviewing, and editing processes needed for article publication. This can seriously impede the speed at which scientific discoveries are made...."
* BioMed Central added a new section ("Availability of supporting data") to some of its journals. "This section will make it easier for authors to indicate where and how the data supporting the results of a research project can be found openly online....Increasing transparency about the availability of data is a step in the right direction. But to increase much-needed academic credit for data sharing and publication and to enhance the functionality of the online literature by linking publications to data, we should move towards consistent citation and linking of publications to data. Understandably, it is not always possible or appropriate to openly share data in some biomedical fields, so the 'Availability of supporting data' section is not required by all journals. The decision to mandate data deposition as a condition of publication is a decision best made by the scientific community a journal serves. The 'Availability of supporting data' section is a tool for editors, authors and scientific communities to, at the appropriate time, put data deposition policies into practice...."
* "Dryad is pleased to welcome BMJ Open as a new partner journal, reflecting the recently expanded scope of repository to be inclusive of all of basic and applied biosciences, including medicine....BMJ Open authors are now being strongly encouraged to deposit the data underlying their articles in Dryad or a more specialized repository, as appropriate. Authors submitting articles to the journal will benefit from Dryad's journal submission integration, the process by which data deposit is streamlined for authors through behind-the-scenes communication between the journal and the repository...."
* "The [UK] Information Commissioner's Office...ordered the University of East Anglia to release a portion of a weather dataset. The University's Climatic Research Unit had shared the data with Georgia Tech but refused to release it more widely. A leading Oxford physicist, Professor Jonathan Jones, made the successful request....Although CRU shared at least part of the data set with sympathetic academics, it had refused it to Jones and others in 2009, claiming several justifications. One justification that it was already available. Others were that the data wasn't already available but that making it available would breach copyright, harm the suppliers and jeopardise international relations. The ICO rejected all grounds and ordered it to be disclosed to Professor Jones...."
* From the JISC resource discovery taskforce: "Unlocking the descriptive information or metadata about digital content, articles, books and research is the key to making it more useful....If all UK metadata was made openly accessible..., then the resources themselves would be more visible and it would be easier to build innovative new ways for researchers, teachers and students to explore the resources. Twelve national organisations have signed up to a new set of open metadata principles and now JISC is inviting all publicly funded organisations including universities, colleges, libraries, museums and archives to make the same commitment....The organisations that have already signed up are: British Library, BUFVC, Collections Trust, Digital Curation Centre, Edina, JISC, Mimas, National Library of Scotland, National Library of Wales, Owen Stephens Consultancy, RIN, RLUK, Royal Holloway University of London, SCONUL, The National Archives, UKOLN, University College London, and University of Southampton...."
* The JISC funding for the Open Citations Project expired. "[O]ur work is not yet finished. We cherish grand ideas for the liberation of the reference lists from all scholarly journal articles, using the Open Citations Corpus as an exemplar, in collaboration with publishers and organizations such as CrossRef who handle such citation data on behalf of publishers on a daily basis. This work will only be finished when it is longer be up to an individual academic research group to take on the task of citation liberation, but when each publisher publishes the citation data from each of their journal articles as open linked data on their own web sites, marked up using agreed ontological standards that we have proposed, freely available for scholar around the world...to use and explore, independent of their ability to afford subscription access to the journal articles from which the citations are made."
* "UK Discovery and the Developer Community Supporting Innovation (DevCSI) project based at UKOLN are running a global Developer Competition throughout July 2011 to build open source software applications / tools, using at least one of our 10 open data sources collected from libraries, museums and archives...."
* The University of Münster launched LODUM (Linked Open Data University of Münster), a university-wide OA project. "The comprehensive LODUM approach includes an Open Access strategy for publications as well as publishing any non-sensitive data online following the Linked Data principles....Data sources existing across the different sites of the university will remain in place, leaving the control and responsibility in the hands of the original owner and minimizing the acquisition of new hardware....While the current focus is on scientific data and publications, other data, such as class schedules and administrative data, can also be integrated once the LODUM infrastructure is in place...."
* The Invasive Species Compendium is a continually updated, OA encyclopedia of invasive species, "containing: Datasheets on over 1500 invasive species and animal diseases; Basic datasheets on further species, countries, habitats and pathways; Bibliographic database of over 65,000 records (updated weekly); [and] Full text documents (updated weekly)...." ISC is published by the Centre for Agricultural Bioscience International (CABI).
* The Aquaculture Association of Canada launched the publicly-funded OA Salmon Aquaculture Database.
* "Kinexus Bioinformatics Corporation...announced a major expansion in its KiNET DataBank...for the study of cell communication systems with the launch of the KiNET-Antibody Microarray (KiNET-AM) website. This open access, online resource for the scientific community features over 1.5 million measurements of the levels and phosphorylation status of over 400 distinct protein kinases and their targets in over 2000 tissue and cell specimens...."
* "The US Department of Energy's (DOE) Industrial Technologies Program...launched an online searchable database of project profiles on recycled energy projects across the US. The database contains 130 project profiles and counting, all put together by the eight US DOE Regional Clean Energy Application Centers....The free online database allows searching for project profiles by market sector, state, technology type, system capacity, fuel type, thermal energy use, year installed, or any combination...."
* "[T]he National Science Foundation (NSF), through its Advancing Digitization of Biological Collections program, is responding to the need for greater accessibility of biological collections data by awarding four major grants that seek to create a national resource of digital data documenting existing biological collections....One award will establish a central National Resource for Digitization of Biological Collections, and three large collaborative awards will allow for the development of Thematic Collections Networks (TCNs) to digitize data from biological research collections, and make the data available to scientists and the public....Standardized digital photos of specimens will be linked with DNA sequences, pathogens found on the specimens, environmental variables at the collecting localities, and electron micrographs, for example...."
* The developers of SPACE (Surface Payloads and Advanced Concepts for Exploration), a spreadsheet "representing design, development history, applications, requirements, and operating characteristics of potential payloads and advanced concepts to support a broad range of applications" converted it to OA.
* "[T]he National Aeronautics and Space Administration continues to extend its journey into the open government stratosphere with the launch of a redesigned open.nasa.gov. The new site complements nasa.gov/open - but doesn't replace it. (The /open sites that exist on federal .gov websites are a direct result of the Open Goverment Directive issued by the White House Office of Management and Budget in 2009.)..."
+ Books and digitization
* The Open Access Directory (OAD) launched a list of OA book business models. The new list is a companion to the existing list of OA journal business models. OAD is a wiki and welcomes additions and corrections from the OA community.
* Europeana announced a new European Libraries Project. From Google's English: "Until now, Europeana was not really a digital library, but only a portal, which harvest the metadata from institutions contributing content and referred by a link to their site for effective consultation of files (through the OAI-PMH). Here, it seems that issue is Europeana hosts files directly, which significantly changes the game. Digital Collections by Google are among the many sources of documents that would feed into this project (extensive collections from Google Books)...."
* The University of Notre Dame and University of Florida joined the HathiTrust.
* "The National Information Standards Organization (NISO) has been awarded a $48,500 grant from The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation to fund two standards incubation workshops, which it will lead with the Internet Archive, on the topic of E-Book Annotation Sharing and Social Reading....The two workshops will advance the discussions around system requirements for annotation sharing...."
* "The Harvard Law School Library has announced the expansion of the Nuremberg Trials Project....The Nuremberg Trials Project, designed to preserve the contents of trial documents, is an open access digital collection, with all material freely available to scholars, teachers, students, lawyers, judges, and anyone in the general public interested in studying war crimes, crimes against humanity, and the Nuremberg tribunals. Since the project was launched in 2003, it has more than doubled in size to now include more than 32,000 pages of documentation related to the historic trials...."
* "The Brazilian government signed a partnership agreement with IBM on Wednesday, which will enable Brazil to digitalize information on Amazonian biodiversity with the help of the U.S. company....The project, called Wikiflora, aims to allow the research community such as scientists and teachers to share knowledge and findings on biological diversity by the model of "citizen science", similar to Wikipedia...."
* Klaus Graf compiled a list of links to collections of digitized and (mostly) OA Islamic manuscripts.
* In my review of OA in 2010 (January 2011), I criticized the Swiss National Library for using public funds to digitize public-domain books without making them OA. In the next issue (February 2011) I published a correction explaining that the SNB planned to make the books OA. At the time the SNB planned to start making the books available in the Spring of 2011. A recent announcement at the SNB web site says the digital collection is still under construction and "will be launched before the end of 2011". (Thanks to Klaus Graf.)
* The Wellcome Digital Library announced that it will partner with ProQuest "to digitise over fifteen thousand volumes from [Wellcome's] rare book collection. They will be made available through ProQuest's new Early European Books (EEB) database - a sister project to the long-established and successful Early English Books Online....Unlike other parts of our project, which are being fully funded by the Wellcome Library, this partnership will involve a significant investment from ProQuest. In return for access to our collection, ProQuest will make the entire collection freely available to all UK-based users, and to users in the HINARI group of developing countries. Wellcome Library members will of course have free access to the collection from anywhere in the world. In addition, ten percent of the collection - about 1,500 books - will be selected by the Wellcome Library to be made freely available to any user worldwide via the Wellcome Digital Library portal...."
+ Studies and surveys
* David Solomon and Bo-Christer Björk published the results of their survey of "1,038 authors from seven discipline categories who recently published articles in 74 OA journals that charge APCs. Authors were asked about the source of funding for the APC, factors influencing their choice of a journal and past history publishing in OA and subscription journals. Additional information about the journal and the authors' country were obtained from the journal websites....Journals with impact factors charged higher APCs as did journals from disciplines where grant funding is plentiful. Topical fit, quality, and speed of publication [were] the most important factors in the authors' choice of a journal. Open accessibility was less important but a significant factor for many authors in their choice of a journal to publish. These findings are consistent with other research on OA publishing and suggest, that if OA journals meet normal quality standards, authors and their employers and funders are willing to pay reasonable APCs, the acceptable levels of which are dependent on the field of science and the quality of the journal in question."
* Denise Troll Covey published the results of her study of the motivations for self-archiving. "Focus groups conducted at Carnegie Mellon reveal that what motivates many faculty to self-archive on a website or disciplinary repository will not motivate them to deposit their work in the institutional repository. Recruiting a critical mass of content for the institutional repository is contingent on increasing awareness, aligning deposit with existing workflows, and providing value-added services that meet needs not currently being met by other tools. Faculty share concerns about quality and the payoff for time invested in publishing and disseminating their work, but disagree about metrics for assessing quality, the merit of disseminating work prior to peer review, and the importance of complying with publisher policies on open access...."
* The U of Central Florida released the results of its survey of institutional repositories. Among the findings: "Of the fifty four (54) responses 95.9% were from 4 year/Masters and/or PhD granting universities with 92.3% of the IRs falling within the institutions' libraries. The survey revealed that IRs report to a wide variety of units within the libraries including the library administration, digital services or technical services. From these results it shows that IRs' success may be more a function of the people driving the effort than its setting. From the question (#6) concerning which positions are involved with IR operations, the results show that in general there are about 3-4 people working on the IR. And finally, of the twelve (12) institutions reporting actual funding levels for their hardware, software and subscriptions, the range was $1000 to $110,000, with an average of $22,746."
* Heather Piwowar published a study of "who openly shares raw research data, who doesn't, and which initiatives are correlated with high rates of data sharing." Among the findings: "Automated methods identified 11,603 articles published between 2000 and 2009 that describe the creation of gene expression microarray data. Associated datasets in best-practice repositories were found for 25% of these articles, increasing from less than 5% in 2001 to 30%-35% in 2007-2009. Accounting for sensitivity of the automated methods, approximately 45% of recent gene expression studies made their data publicly available....[A]uthors were most likely to share data if they had prior experience sharing or reusing data, if their study was published in an open access journal or a journal with a relatively strong data sharing policy, or if the study was funded by a large number of NIH grants. Authors of studies on cancer and human subjects were least likely to make their datasets available. These results suggest research data sharing levels are still low and increasing only slowly, and data is least available in areas where it could make the biggest impact...."
* Seb Schmoller and colleagues published the results of their survey of UK chemists and economists. Among the findings: "There was unanimity that if a piece of research was regarded as high value or important to one's career then the first thought would be to publish in a conventional journal with a high impact factor. Open Access would only be considered if there were a specific reason....The more junior the researcher, the more vital it is to get a high ranking journal on your CV and typically that does not include Open Access journals. Finding the money to publish even in a relatively cheap OA journal was also an issue....Note that, particularly in Chemistry, there is an implicit and explicit assumption that OA=low impact factor....Most respondents were well aware of the institutional repository and generally approved of it. There was feeling that stuff in an institutional (OA) repository (particularly data) got cited more than if it were in a subscription-based repository. The repository is useful for tracking accesses and citations, it was felt that the existence and use of the repository was slowly bringing about a "sea change" in researcher practice, although the deposition of material in the repository goes in bursts - typically when there is a REF or mock-REF exercise when the researchers run a ound in a frenzy updating their publications....Some of our respondents were aware of institutional and funder mandates but treated them with scepticism. All agreed that there is a mismatch between the high-level policy statements of funders and institutions and the practice on the ground. As far as the institutional mandate to deposit in the repository goes, we know the e is a mandate, but it is for your supervisor or line manager to tell you to operate it..."
* Mohammad Shafi and two co-authors released a study testing the hypothesis that "OA research contributions emanating from developing countries receive equal citations...as those from the developed world". Among their findings: "Statistically significant difference is noted between the research impact of the developed and the developing world for OA research articles. The research articles from the developed countries receive higher number of citations (subsequently resultant research impact) compared to those of the developing world. The study may help and pave way for framing policies and strategies to increase the impact of research in the developing world."
* A new chart from David Lipman, director of the US National Center for Biotechnology Information (NCBI) at the National Institutes of Health (NIH), shows that about one-third of new biomedical papers indexed in PubMed are OA. "The chart shows the proportion of papers indexed on the (largely biomedical) PubMed repository each year that are now freely accessible: in 2009, it's above 28%....Those numbers are even more impressive than a study last year which found that around 20% of research papers published in 2008 were freely available on the internet. The growth is due to various public access mandates by federal government and by funding agencies - as well as the success of open access publishers like the Public Library of Science. "What's interesting is the relatively stable linear slope here for more than 10 years," says David Lipman...."
* Europeana released the 2011 edition of its online visitor survey. Among the findings: "The most important reason given to visit Europeana is for personal research. Almost three-quarters of visitors visit for personal research activities and less than 20% visit for the next most popular reason - work-related research. These percentages were much the same for both the 2009 and 2011 online visitor surveys....Nearly all respondents (97.1%) visited Europeana more than once and 83.5% visited the site 5 times or more: the latter percentage has increased noticeably from 2009 when only 60% of respondents visited the site five times or more....Google and Google Books account for more than three quarters (77.3%) of responses from respondents with a main/favourite site used for the same purpose as Europeana. Europeana's trustworthiness of content, usefulness of content, general look and feel, and presentation of results are rated higher than the main/favourite competitor but ease of access of content, navigation round the site and search functions ratings for Europeana are lower than the main competitor....As in 2009, by far the most popular new function and feature that could be added to Europeana is the ability for the user to download content. In particular, the downloading of images, text, videos and sounds. Over 90% of respondents agree that this would be 'useful' or 'very useful' ..."
* The Open Citations Project released the results of some of its recent work. It has "As of 24 January 2011, there were 204,637 articles [in the the Open Access subset (OASS) of PMC], including a few published before 1980. In almost all of these OASS articles, the reference lists were nicely marked up in NLM-DTD XML, making the task of identifying individual references straightforward. In a few cases, the articles were present as scanned page images, lacking any internal markup - those we were unable to process. From the XML reference lists of these papers, we were able to identify and extract 6,325,178 individual references, which, together with the bibliographic information we had on the OASS articles themselves gave us 6,529,815 independent bibliographic records of both citing and cited entities...."
* Heather Morrison summarized research reported at the Linked Science Workshop: "As of June 30, 2011 there were 3,369,548 documents available as free full text through PubMedCentral, as compared with 3,285,816 on March 31, 2011, an increase of 83,732 free documents this quarter....This means that PMC is adding free documents at a rate of 2/3 of a document per minute, or, rounding up, approximately one document per minute...."
* Daniel Zweidler argued that "the pharmaceutical industry could save itself as much as $7 billion a year if it would share information about failed experiments in the early phases of drug research. 'We waste $7 billion a year on repeating experiments that somebody has already done,' he said...." Zweidler is a former senior vice president at Merck.
* Helio Kuramoto posted the results of his one-question online poll on why most universities have not yet adopted green OA mandates (in Portuguese).
* Germany's Allianz der deutschen Wissenschaftsorganisationen released an FAQ on OA secondary publication rights.
* The VIDaaS Project launched a survey "into researchers' current use of structured data, and the features they would like to see in an online database service such as the one we're in the process of developing...."
* The UK Digital Curation Centre launched "a pilot study of the LIFE tool and model...to assess its suitability in the context of HEI repositories...."
* "The Centre for Internet and Society called for comments on the first draft of its new status report, Open Access to Scholarly Literature in India. "The report surveys the field of scholarly and scientific publication in India and provides a detailed history of the open access movement in India....[The report] recommends that all publicly funded research in India should be made open access and provides suggestions on how this could best be achieved. It points out the need to go beyond open access mandates, to practical aspects like training of repository maintainers and of researchers for self-archiving. In addition, it points out the need for more effective advocacy and for a judicious mixture of both top-down and bottom-up approaches for bringing about the realization of the benefits of open access...."
+ Tools and software
* Europeana released a series of public domain calculators. "The Public Domain Calculators available on this website answer the question of whether a certain work or other subject matter vested with copyright or neighbouring rights (related rights) has fallen into the public domain in a given European country. On this website you can use our calculators, a simple interface between consumers of content and the often complex set of national rules governing the duration of copyright, in order to determine the term of protection of a given work. You can also explore the research behind the Public Domain Calculators or embed the Calculators in your own projects."
* "[A] broad coalition of stakeholders are launching DataCatalogs.org, a new project to keep track of open data initiatives around the world. Governments are beginning to recognise that opening up public information can bring about a wide variety of social and economic benefits - such as increasing transparency and efficiency, creating jobs in the new digital economy, and enabling web and mobile developers to create new useful applications and services for citizens. But it can be difficult to keep up with the pace of developments in this area. Following on from the success of initiatives like the Obama administration's data.gov and the UK government's data.gov.uk, nearly every week there is a new open data initiative from a local, regional or national government somewhere around the world - from Chicago to Torino, Morocco to Moldova. A group of leading open data experts are helping to keep DataCatalogs.org updated, including representatives from international bodies such as the World Bank, independent bodies such as the W3C and the Sunlight Foundation, and numerous national governments...."
* Google launched Google Scholar Citations, "a simple way for you to compute your citation metrics and track them over time. We use a statistical model based on author names, bibliographic data, and article content to group articles likely written by the same author. You can quickly identify your articles using these groups. After you identify your articles, we collect citations to them, graph these citations over time, and compute your citation metrics. Three metrics are available: the widely used h-index, the i-10 index,...and the total number of citations to your articles....These metrics are automatically updated as we find new citations to your articles on the web....You can also create a public profile with your articles and citation metrics...[which] can appear in Google Scholar search results when someone searches for your name....This will make it easier for your colleagues worldwide to follow your work. Google Scholar Citations is currently in limited launch with a small number of users...."
* "Funded through the JISC Information Environment programme 2009-11, the Kultivate project makes available two new toolkits for the UK Higher Education community: an advocacy for arts research toolkit aimed at repository managers; and a decision-making toolkit for artistic researchers. The Kultivate project has arisen out of the Kultur II Group, which consists of researchers and repository staff engaging with arts research deposit in institutional research repositories, and is led by the Visual Arts Data Service (VADS), a Research Centre of the University for the Creative Arts...."
* The Public Library of Science released its Article-Level Metrics API. "This Application Programming Interface (API) gives developers access to the statistics (usage, citations, social bookmarks, comments, notes and ratings) that have been on every PLoS article since March 2009 - allowing the community to measure the impact of research in the digital age...."
* "Mendeley...released Mendeley Desktop v1.0 for Windows, Mac, and Linux....The release....follows two other major milestones for the company: 1 million users have now downloaded the application, and Mendeley's crowd-sourced research database saw its 100 millionth paper uploaded...."
* Version 4.1 of its SirsiDynix Portfolio is OAI-compliant.
* The Public Knowledge Project released Open Journal Systems version 2.3.6.
* Jim Till launched Open Access Chronicle, a compendium of OA-related news based on tweets using the #openaccess and #oa hashtags. (Hence, it does not capture the items in the OATP twitter feed.)
* "After the exciting collaboration between developers and scientists at the Open Science and Social Science Workshop on Wednesday...a new mailing list has been created for people interested in developing apps, tools and datasets around open science, open data in science and citizen cyberscience...."
+ Awards and milestones
* "The 2011 SPARC Europe Award for Outstanding Achievements in Scholarly Communications goes to the EIFL Open Access Program for the awareness, advocacy and capacity building activities the organisation has carried out over the last three years and for its success in developing a large number of both repositories and open access journals run in the EIFL partner countries....The results of this work can be seen in the development of 211 OA repositories and 2,344 OA journals in the EIFL partner countries in Europe and in the adoption of OA mandates by ten institutions in the EIFL partner countries in Europe, as well the implementation and consideration of national OA policies in Lithuania, Poland, and Slovenia...."
* "The Springer API Challenge 1.0 was a competition for original, non-commercial applications using Springer metadata and content APIs. The Challenge's goal was to offer users new ways to find, visualize, and/or manipulate relevant data drawn from Springer's large and growing content database. The first prize was awarded to SpringerQuotes. This application lets the user search and read the open access articles from Springer in a web application. If the user finds an interesting article, he or she can create and share quotes from paragraphs or even individual sentences by highlighting these sections directly in the web browser. KontentLinks received the second prize. This innovative way of exploring scientific content allows researchers to create meaningful connections between various types of content (i.e. articles, book chapters, images, etc.), share, rate and comment on them, and finally explore the emerging content webs...."
* The Fingal Open Data competition announced its winners. "1st - BizFit - a website to enable the user to find the best fit location for their business, the website uses demographic and other open source data to match them with the best available locations....2nd - Just Park - an app that helps you to define cost effective and convenient parking based on your location and needs....3rd - Distil - enabling developers to refine, purify and filter open data. It allows open data applications to work seamlessly across multiple non standardised data sets...."
* "The Research4Life partners...announced two winners in the 'Access to Scientific Research Literature' global case study competition on how HINARI, AGORA, and/or OARE have impacted both work and communities. Dr. Arun Neopane a pediatrician from Nepal and Mr. Mulugeta Bayisa, a physiotherapist from Ethiopia were chosen as joint winners from over 60 entries to the competition held in celebration of the 10 year anniversary of the launch of HINARI and the Research4Life programme...."
* The SURFshare Enhanced Publication of the month for June 2011 was "The Other Josquin: Music Excluded from the New Josquin Edition" by Marnix van Berchum and Theodor Dumitrescu. "The views of musicologists differ as to which compositions attributed to the leading sixteenth-century composer Josquin des Prez (c. 1450-1521) are genuinely from his hand. Compositions that are not definitely by Josquin have been excluded from the New Josquin Edition....The CMME (Computerized Mensural Music Editing) project at Utrecht University is making forty of these compositions available - scores, transcriptions of variants, and scholarly introductions - as an enhanced publication...."
* The UK DevCSI project (Discovery and the Developer Community Supporting Innovation) launched "a global Developer Competition throughout July 2011 to build open source software applications / tools, using at least one of our 10 open data sources collected from libraries, museums and archives...." Submissions were due yesterday (August 1).
* The Public Knowledge Project announced that there are now "over 10,000 OJS [Open Journal Systems] installations...around the world....We're continuing to see strong growth internationally, with OJS being used for traditional journals, but also for reports, learning management systems, courses, monographs, and more."
* "SHERPA Services...announce[d] that the OpenDOAR directory now boasts over 2000 repository entries from across the globe...."
* In June, RePEc "counted 584,655 file downloads and 1,952,229 abstract views. In terms for thresholds passed, we have: 1,000,000 cumulated software downloads...."
* The TU Delft Repository passed the milestone of 25,000 deposits.
* The Wikimedia Foundation announced that "Daniel Mietchen - a biophysicist based in Germany, outspoken open data and open access advocate, and active member of the Wikimedia Research Committee - is the recipient of a fellowship from the Open Knowledge Foundation and will become the first Wikimedian in Residence on Open Science with a focus on Open Access (OA)....Daniel's mission is to facilitate the reuse of materials from Open Access articles in WMF projects, to improve coverage of topics related to Open Access in the English Wikipedia, to support the implementation of the WMF's Open Access policy and to explore the potential for the WMF community to collaborate with Open Access, Open Science and Open Knowledge initiatives in general. In the long run, the project is designed to extend beyond Open Access and into Open Science proper, as well as into other languages and possibly other collaborative projects...."
* "The Medicines Patent Pool and pharmaceutical company Gilead Sciences...announced a breakthrough licence agreement to allow for the production of key HIV medicines at lower cost and in an easier-to-use formulation, making them more accessible to developing countries. The agreement also opens up the use of treatments for Hepatitis B for the first time...."
* "Justia.com is now providing free daily and weekly opinion summaries for the US Supreme Court, all US federal courts of appeal, and state supreme courts. As well, free weekly opinion summaries are available for nearly sixty areas of practice...."
* Berkeley Electronic Press (bepress) announced 4 new OA repositories, 13 new OA journals, 10 new OA image galleries, and 4 new OA book galleries.
* BioMed Central summarized its four new OA initiatives for Africa and the developing world.
* "CERN...launched a new community-centric effort called the Open Hardware Repository (OHR) with the aim of encouraging collaborative electronics design. CERN has also developed a new license, called the Open Hardware License (OHL), to govern the distribution of open hardware designs....The OHL is a share-alike license which grants users the freedom to study, modify, redistribute, and manufacture design documentation but stipulates that derivatives of the documentation must be released under the same terms. This means that anyone who modifies or improves the design will have to share their work with the broader community...."
* "Advocates for the rights of people with disabilities around the globe now have a new way to find the knowledge and information resources they need: the Global Disability Rights Library (GDRL), an innovative technology that delivers digital information anywhere in the world, even to places the Internet does not reach. The WiderNet Project, a service program in the School of Library and Information Science at the University of Iowa, just released the first prototype version of this library, containing over 500,000 resources on disability rights. It is available in both an on-line [OA] and off-line [PS: OA prime] version...."
* "The [Oklahoma] House of Representatives will conduct 80 interim studies this year and for the first time residents may review the findings. Interim study reports will be required to be publicly posted and archived....The studies will cover a wide range of topics, including public safety, education, government operations, health care, child and senior care and natural resources...."
* "The JISC funded SWORD v2 project has been working to extend the original SWORD protocol that facilitates the deposit of materials into repositories....In order to increase the number of SWORD v2 client implementations, the JISC have donated over £5,000 to fund new SWORD v2 clients. The majority of this money is being made available in a contested request for projects. We are seeking developers or development teams to submit ideas for creating new SWORD v2 clients, either by upgrading existing SWORD clients, building SWORD functionality into other scholarly communications tools, or developing entirely new deposit tools. In addition a small amount of the money will be used to provide technical support to the winning developers by the original SWORD v2 team ensuring that the projects have access to all the help and support they need...."
* "The National Endowment for the Humanities...awarded Penn's Rare Book & Manuscript Library a grant of $300,000 to digitize and make...[OA] a collection of approximately 1,000 European and American manuscripts from 1601 to 1800. This two-year project builds on and expands the work of a proposal funded by the NEH in 2009 to digitize Penn's European manuscripts dated before 1601, which has produced the Web site, Penn in Hand: Selected Manuscripts...."
* Google funded a new Institut für Internet und Gesellschaft based at Humboldt University in Berlin. From Google's English: "[I]n addition to the Humboldt University (HU) Berlin University of the Arts (Arts) and the Social Science Research Center Berlin (WZB). Another partner is the Hamburg Hans Bredow Institute. The joint institute will be located at the Law Faculty of the HU and thus reside prominently in the old Royal Library at Bebelplatz when it opens in October with an international symposium....Google will not specify topics can still prevent says WZB President Jutta Allmendinger. Any findings of the Institute are not exclusive to the company are available but are based on the principle of open science to be available freely online...."
* "The Public University of Navarre (UPNA) is to receive a total of 217,000 euros for its participation in two of the six EURIS projects to promote open innovation in Europe.... The aim of the ORP (Open Research Platform) project is to develop a web-based platform for open research and put it into practice. This involves an online platform that will enable the dissemination of the scientific and technological provision of universities and other bodies.... The financed project is known as BMOI (Business Model for Open Innovation), the aim of which is to provide practical knowledge to enterprises and PYMES (small and medium-sized companies) on how to apply business models that will enable them to benefit from open innovation...."
* "ecancerHub, a new, open-access, integrated approach to providing the whole cancer community with high quality and trustworthy information has launched....ecancerHub is the product of the two-year project Eurocancercoms, a European Commission FP7 funded initiative...."
* The US National Archives now supports crowdsourced tagging. "The Online Public Access prototype (OPA) just got an exciting new feature - tagging! As you search the catalog, we now invite you to tag any archival description, as well as person and organization name records, with the keywords or labels that are meaningful to you. Our hope is that crowdsourcing tags will enhance the content of our online catalog and help you find the information you seek more quickly...."
* "After nearly three years of preparation and development, the European Film Gateway - EFG...is now online. The Internet portal to the digital collections of European film archives and cinémathèques offers free access to currently about 400,000 digital videos, photos, film posters and text materials. By September, the number of digital items will increase to 600,000 from 16 film archives...."
* "8,000 rare photographs of Chinese life in the early twentieth century have just launched online through the Visualising China project, a unique virtual archive giving researchers new opportunities to explore and interact with images of China taken between 1850-1950....Funded by JISC, the project is a collaboration between the Web Futures team at the University of Bristol's Institute for Learning and Research Technology (ILRT) and the Historical Photographs of China (HPC) team within the Department of Historical Studies...."
* "Computer Aid International highlighted its innovative ZubaBox at BioMed Central's recent Research Awards....The [solar-powered] ZubaBox was created to allow Internet connectivity in the vast areas of Africa that do not have electricity....This technology is vital to the development of scientific research in these regions as free access to open access research is now available in otherwise unconnected areas. So far Computer Aid International has sent two 'Boxes' to Zambia and one to Kenya...."
* "SSRN recently released [a] Purchase Bound Hard Copy Service. Authors and readers can now order printed copies of select papers in the SSRN eLibrary, which provides another format for users to access research papers. The Free One-Click Download option is not affected by this new service. For $9.99 plus shipping, the reader will receive a black and white printed and 'perfect bound' copy of the PDF document with a glossy color cover...."
* "WorldWideScience.org...released a new mobile version....Scientists and researchers throughout DOE [US Department of Energy] and the entire U.S. now have access to over 80 scientific and technical databases from preeminent libraries and information centers around the world, all via their 'smart phones' or tablets...."
* "The University of Waterloo is the latest Canadian university to announce that it will stop operating under the Access Copyright interim tariff effective August 31, 2011...."
* "The University of Calgary will soon be ending their partnership with Access Copyright...."
* Michael Geist published a list of Canadian universities dropping out of Access Copyright (including "14 of the 25 biggest Canadian universities") and an FAQ on what it means to drop out of Access Copyright.
* Jakob Voss designed a logo or icon for TA: a closed gray packlock
* The Bethesda Statement on Open Access Publishing was translated into Korean.
* Olga M. Arias began translating selected news items from the Roundup section of SPARC Open Access Newsletter into Spanish.
* Christian Hauschke und Ulrich Herb called for comments on a new draft translation of the Open Knowledge Definition into German.
* "The JISC funded Research Communications Strategy (RCS) project, based at the Centre for Research Communications - University of Nottingham has now come to a close. The final outputs of the project are available...."
* A federal grand jury in Massachusetts indicted Aaron Swartz for downloading more than four million articles from JSTOR, without permission, from a wiring closet at MIT. The maximum penalty on all charges is 35 years in prison and a $1 million fine. The indictment triggered a wave of discussion and comment.
* In response to the Aaron Swartz indictment, Greg Maxwell downloaded more than 18,000 articles from the Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society, all apparently in the public domain, and uploaded them to Piratebay.org.
Coming this month
Here are some important OA-related events coming up in August.
* August 5, 2011. Deadline for submissions to the Royal Society's policy study on Science as a Public Enterprise (SAPE).
* OA-related conferences in August 2011.
* Other OA-related conferences
Ever since I laid down Open Access News in April 2010, I've thought about launching a new blog.
I haven't done so yet, but I've started using Google+ as a blog substitute.
It gives me an outlet for occasional comments and cuts the pressure to launch a new blog. For now, most of my posts are about OA, but I may not keep it limited to OA.
This is the SPARC Open Access Newsletter (ISSN 1546-7821), written by Peter Suber and published by SPARC. The views I express in this newsletter are my own and do not necessarily reflect those of SPARC or other sponsors.
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