Tuesday, January 31, 2006

User Privacy

I have long suspected that users are more into privacy than access but this was just based on instincts not empirical data. Although the popularity of sites such as Bugmenot: Bypass Compulsory Registration constitutes some sort of empirical data, I guess. It was most interesting to read the following extract from the ACRLog that appears to confirm this: "A 2005 study by Steven Johns and Karen Lawson provides some hard numbers to gauge student attitudes about privacy and the library. In the debate between personalization and privacy only 23% of students at Iowa State University felt that “developing student profiles for the purpose of enhancing the Library’s collection and services constituted justifiable use.” So before you go bibliomining your circ database or developing a user community around archived email reference questions, you may want to check out “University undergraduate students and library-related privacy issues” in Library & Information Science Research, 27 (Sept 2005) 485-495. Source: http://acrlblog.org/2006/01/11. Unfortunately, this research isn't openly available :(.

Sunday, January 29, 2006

Open Access to the DIgital Medical Athenum

Open access to the digital medical atheneum - work in progress: from UBC Google Scholar Blog, by Dean Guistini:

Open access to high-quality, digitized versions of the most influential medical books in history is improving, all the time. The National Library of Medicine's History of Medicine Division and the British Library have notable digitization projects worth exploring. NLM's amazing historical collections examine various facets of medical history, and include Islamic manuscripts, searchable images and even the Vesalius
De humani corporis fabrica
. The NLM version of the anatomy classic includes audio commentary, and online magnifying and "page turning" technology.

Google's Book Search is typical of current digitization efforts - it's very much a work in progress. The great medical texts of history - such as Harvey's Circulation of the Blood - are not yet digitized but others mention Harvey's landmark book or are translations. Text versions are available on Bartleby's as are writings by Lister and even Pasteur. Try an advanced search on the Web for specific digital versions.

Googling for medical texts in the digital atheneum is getting easier. But first, if you can, browse specific portals such as MLA's and the AAHM. Two of Canada's best collections in the history of medicine are located at the UBC Woodward Library and McGill's Osler Library of the History of Medicine. Sir William Osler was a bibliofile and gave a collection of 8,000 medical books to McGill.

It will take time to view Osler's complete collection online. Digitization is hard on books, and some texts will likely never be digitized. At present, however, search for static images using Google's Image search, view progress at the Gutenberg project and the Internet Archive. For a good starting point, browse sites selected by McGill's librarians and search for history papers on PubMed, the IndexCat or Google scholar.

Thanks to Peter Suber on Open Access News

Friday, January 27, 2006

Ingegerd Rabow: OA Librarian receives honorary doctorate!

From Open Access News:

Honorary doctorate to Ingegerd Rabow for her OA work
Lund University has awarded an honorary doctorate to Ingegerd Rabow for her work on scholarly communication and open access. From today's announcement:

I have the pleasure to announce that the Faculty of Humanities at Lund University has decided to award to Ingegerd Rabow, [senior librarian in Lund's] Library Head Office...a honorary doctorate for her work in Scholarly Communication and Open-Access. As project manager for the ScieCom - Swedish Resource Centre for Scientific Communication (www.sciecom.org), one of the driving forces behind the Nordic Conferences on Scholarly Communication (www.lub.lu.se/ncsc2006) and her work as an Open Access advocate within Sweden, the Nordic countries and elsewhere Ingegerd has contributed significantly to the movement for open access to research results. The Lund University OA-policy, the signatures to the Berlin Declaration by the Swedish Association of Higher Education and the Swedish Research Council has a lot to do with Ingegerd's work.

Comment (by Peter Suber). I believe this the first honorary doctorate in any country for work to advance OA. All who have attended the Nordic conferences on scholarly communication or tried to get a university, professional association, or government agency to commit to OA will acknowledge Ingegerd's ability to bring people together to bring about institutional change. We need more effective advocates like her and in more countries. Congratulations to Ingegerd and kudos to Lund University for recognizing and supporting her contributions.

Congratulations, Ingegerd!

Announcement by: Lars Björnshauge, Comment by: Peter Suber.

Thursday, January 26, 2006

Directory of Open Access Journals Hits 2000

As of January 13, 2006, the Directory of Open Access Journals (DOAJ) (http://www.doaj.org/) reached a notable milestone, containing 2000 OA journals ("quality controlled scientific and scholarly electronic journals that are freely available on the web"). The growth continues; as of today (January 26, 2006), the DOAJ contains 2009 OA journals, an addition of 9 titles in 13 days.

Congratulations to the DOAJ!

Sunday, January 22, 2006

The author, the repository and the signature: OA promotional tip

Paula Callan, Queensland University of Technology E-Prints Coordinator, said on the Am. Sci. Forum this week: "I always suggest that they embed the URL for their "personal eprint page" into their email signature as this will quietly promote their publications with every email they send." What a good idea! I love being able to quickly point people to collections of my publications and presentations, such as Heather's E-LIS, or Heather's SFU D-Space. This is useful not only for one's e-mail signature, but also as a link in one's scholarly blog or website, such as my own Imaginary Journal of Poetic Economics.

This is one of several very helpful messages on promoting IRs this week on the American Scientist Open Access Forum - all by librarians, naturally - QUT's Paula Callan and CERN's Joanne Yeomans. Look for the thread: Learning from the Successful OA IRs in the Am. Sci. archives.

This post reflects my personal opinion only and does not represent the opinions or policy of the BC Electronic Library Network or the Simon Fraser University Library.

Friday, January 20, 2006

A little more about the IDRC open archive

There is an article dated January 19, 2005 in www.itbusiness.ca dealing with the IDRC plans. There is also some mention of libraries' roles in repositories; U of T and their institutional repository, T-Space, are noted specifically. The article can be found at http://www.itbusiness.ca/it/client/en/home/News.asp?id=38077

Tuesday, January 17, 2006

Open Archive: "Intellectual Platform for Developing Countries"

The International Development Research Centre (IDRC), an arms-length organization of the Canadian government (a crown corporation), has announced make their research materials freely accessible. Some highlights from the IDRC website (http://www.idrc.ca/en/ev-92447-201-1-DO_TOPIC.html):

"The Open Archive will provide full access over the Internet to IDRC’s rich research archive. In addition to making information more freely available, this initiative will provide IDRC-funded researchers with a much-needed outlet to publish and showcase their work.

The world of scholarly communications is rapidly changing. The emerging culture of protecting intellectual property, soaring costs of accessing research literature, and difficulties in having research published in traditional journals are restricting the development of research capacity in the South.

The Open Archive will help Southern researchers to engage in the international dialogue on important development issues and increase the impact of their research.

Throughout its 35-year history, IDRC has believed that to bring about positive change in people's lives, knowledge should be shared. Research results and documents generated by IDRC-supported projects, IDRC recipients, and IDRC staff represent a tangible intellectual output of the Centre’s mandate.

The Open Archive will streamline and centralize the capture of IDRC project outputs and research documents. It will raise the visibility and facilitate the retrieval of the vast array of IDRC materials by consolidating them in a well-managed, indexed, secure, and permanent location.

As a first step, IDRC will build a demonstration model in early 2006.

By creating an Open Archive, IDRC promotes transparency of its results-based research and participates in the global movement to remove barriers — economic, social, and geographic — to the sharing of knowledge. "

Sunday, January 15, 2006

George Porter, and the OA Slam Dunk

Caltech Library System's George Porter is well-known to many of us through his work as one of the Open Access News blog team, since May 2004. George also frequently posts news about new OA journals to ERIL-L and the SPARC Open Access Forum. I'm very glad he does, too - it was partly because of these announcements that I realized just how much growth there has been in open access. I enjoy George's announcements so much, I've never minded the duplication - in fact, after I see one of his messages, I always look forward to receiving my second copy!

As an OA advocate, naturally George self-archives his work in Caltech Library System's institutional repository. One interesting recent piece of work is George's PNAS, Open Access & Levels of Interest. George's data suggest a correlation between willingness to pay processing fee charges and the author's perception of the importance of the work - for example, authors of cover stories seem more inclined to be willing to pay processing fees.

In November 2004, I had the pleasure of attending George's presentation An Open Access Bestiary - a wonderful introduction to open access, which explains the many flavors - so much more than just green and gold! of open access, in a very delightful manner.

Speaking of George's delightful manner, this is something that comes across in some of his otherwise very informative postings, too. Following is one of my favorites - a message to the SPARC Open Access Forum, among others lists, Tracking down dissertations:

A student came by the reference desk this morning. He was inquiring about the procedure for getting a dissertation from another institution. I showed him the online ILL thesis request form, but then probed a bit further.

He needed a fairly recent dissertation from Georgia Tech. My first impulse was to go to the Georgia Tech library website, using Libweb http://sunsite.berkeley.edu/Libweb/. Fortunately (not at all obvious from the GT Library main page that they have ETDs), my desire to show off our local electronic dissertation (ETD) commitment led me to try that route. [Yes, a simple author name search in the catalog search box at Georgia Tech pulls up the dissertation.]

I used the NDLTD link from the Caltech's ETD website to delve into participating institutions, which quickly led to Georgia Tech's site

Slam dunk. The dissertation popped up in an instant. Downloaded the PDF to his USB thumb drive. Happy student. No $ spent and the library saved him a ton of time! Ah, the virtues of Open Access resources.

Heather again: George's slam dunk did more than help the one student. It was George's open sharing of his experience that helped me to see that open access is already more than just a philosophical ideal; it is a substantial, and rapidly growing, set of resources that we librarians need to learn about, in order to provide our patrons with the best services we can.

This just goes to show how much more we can accomplish when we work together. Not only did George help the one student - by openly sharing the experience, he helped me to be a more effective open access advocate, too. If you have a slam dunk story of your own, the SPARC Open Access Forum is a great place to share it!

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial 3.0 United States License.

Saturday, January 14, 2006

Open Access Primer Available from Medical Library Association

Mark Funk, Head of Collection Development at the Weill Cornell Medical Library, has published an Open Access Primer (PDF). Mr. Funk is the President-Elect of the Medical Library Association, and has a longstanding commitment to open access publishing. His primer is a beginner's guide; after mastering its contents people could move on to the more extensive Open Access and Libraries preprint developed by Charles Bailey.

Research Publishing Ethics

Most researchers are aware of least publishable units and so-called salami publications as unethical practices. The norms appear to be universal and clear about reporting research ethically and completely, citing sources carefully, and no duplication. Are they? In some interdisciplinary venues I've heard arguments for duplication, albeit selective, of research reporting. How else, the researcher asked, can you get the word out about your research unless you publish (the similar results) in the different disciplines' journals? Interestingly, the Cornell University Library Repository has a number of articles by Phil Davis exploring the subtle nuances of this complex issue, in our own LIS disciplines:

The Ethics of Republishing: A Case Study of Emerald/MCB University Press Journals, LRTS 49 (2) 2005; Article duplication in Emerald/MCB journals is more extensive than first reported: Possible conflicts of financial and functional interests are uncovered, LRTS 49 (3) 2005; and an editorial in Portal 5 (2) 2005, Who's to Blame for Article Duplication?

Wednesday, January 11, 2006

Help needed: content recruitment strategies for IRs

Kathleen Shearer of The Canadian Association of Research Libraries is gathering information on content recruitment strategies for IRs. Details can be found at the SPARC Open Access Forum.

Open Access and Libraries Preprint

Open Access and Libraries Preprint by Charles Bailey

This book-chapter preprint takes an in-depth look at the open access movement with special attention to the perceived meaning of the term "open access" within it, the use of Creative Commons Licenses, and real-world access distinctions between different types of open access materials. After a brief consideration of some major
general benefits of open access, it examines OA's benefits for libraries and discusses a number of ways that libraries can potentially support the movement, with a consideration of funding issues. (The preprint does not reflect any editorial changes that may be made.)

It will appear in: Jacobs, Mark, ed. Electronic Resources Librarians: The Human Element of the Digital Information Age. Binghamton, NY: Haworth Press, 2006.

Thanks to Charles Bailey on the ACRL's SCHOLCOMM discussion list.

Engineering Scholarly Communication Blog

The Engineering Libraries Division (ELD) of the American Society for Engineering Education (ASEE) recently formed a Scholarly Communication Committee. One of the first fruits of the new committee's work is the ELD Scholarly Communication in Engineering blog.

For details, see Mel DeSart's comments on the SPARC Open Access Forum.

Thanks to George Porter on Open Access News.

Tuesday, January 10, 2006

Hélène Bosc

According to Stevan Harnad, dramatic Open Access Progress in France owes a great deal to its earliest and most dedicated hexagonal [French] champion, the indefatigable librarian Hélène Bosc. A recent review of a book on open access recommends that if one could only read one article, it should be that written by Hélène - a veritable Survival Manual for librarians wishing to get involved or get informed. For all that you do, Hélène, merci! And, many thanks to Stevan Harnad for alerting us to our hexagonal OA librarian colleague.

This is from Stevan's June 21, 2006 American Scientist Open Access Forum message, which also points to some of Helene's work:

Below is a list of some of HB'S pertinent work. See especially her recent chapter in Aubry & Janik (2005) [see below for review] and her website http://www.tours.inra.fr/prc/internet/documentation/communication_scientifique/comsci.htm

Bosc, H. and Harnad, S. (2005) In a paperless world a new role for academic libraries: Providing Open Access. Learned Publishing.

Bosc, H. (2004) Pour une plus grande visibilité des travaux des chercheurs : l'exemple de l'archive ouverte PhysiologieAnimale

Bosc, H. (2003) La Budapest Open Access Initiative (BOAI) pour un libre accès aux résultats de la recherche. Terminal.

Bosc, H. (2003) Le droit des auteurs à mettre en accès libre leurs propres résultats de recherche [Authors' right to provide open access to their own research results.].

Bosc, H (2002) Mise en service d'une archive numérique. Launching an archive.

Bosc, H. (2001) Partager et utiliser des connaissances scientifiques: de la responsabilité individuelle à la responsabilité collective. INRA mensuel.

The following is from the American Scientist Open Access Forum, Jan. 9, 2006:
A review of :
Aubry & Janik (eds) (2005) Les Archives Ouvertes: enjeux et pratiques http://www.adbs.fr/site/publications/ouvrages/98.php has been published by Yves Desrichard in
Bulletin des Bibliothèques de France.

Excerpt (translation follows):

"Le principal mérite de l'ouvrage est de scander les principes fondamentaux de cet « accès ouvert » dont les « archives ouvertes » ne sont qu'une des composantes. À cet égard, ce n'est pas faire injure aux autres contributeurs que d'indiquer que, s'il ne fallait lire qu'un seul article, ce serait celui d'Hélène Bosc, de l'Institut national de recherche agronomique de Tours. Avec «Archives ouvertes : quinze ans d'histoire », elle propose, plutôt qu'une simple chronologie un peu fastidieuse, un « vade-mecum de survie » au bibliothécaire ou au documentaliste souhaitant s'impliquer dans des projets basés sur ces concepts ou, tout simplement, s'en tenir informé".


"The chief merit of this work is its survey of the basic principles of this "Open Access" of which "open archives" are but one
component. In this regard it is not to slight the other contributors to note that, if one could read but one single article, it would have to be that of Helen Bosc, of the National Institute of Research in Agronomy in Tours. With her "Open Archives: A Fifteen-Year History", she provides, not of a mere a constipated chronology, but a veritable "Survival Manual" for the librarian or documentalist wishing either to get involved in projects based on these concepts or merely to keep informed."

Eprint of Bosc chapter:

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial 3.0 United States License.

Saturday, January 07, 2006


LIS research has both gained and contributed a new term to the universe of knowledge - bibliomining - coined by Scott Nicholson, an assistant professor at Syracuse University's School of Information Studies. Bibliomining is fully described in Scott's signature piece on the topic, published in Information Processing & Management, and self-archived preprint "The basis for bibliomining: Frameworks for bringing together usage-based data mining and bibliometrics through data warehousing in digital library services". Scott wants to help librarians take advantage of data that exists in their systems and he does this through the bibliomining process, which combines concepts from data warehouse, data mining and bibliometrics to power evidence-based decision making. I asked Scott, who incidentally, is a member of the dLIST Advisory Board about his bibliomining research and here's what he wrote me: "One challenge is creating methods that protect the privacy of users while still maintaining the historical data needed for effective library administration and management. I am currently working on the development of a stronger theoretical base through concepts from information seeking in context and understanding the impact of different methods of protecting patron privacy on the types of patterns available through the bibliomining process." An active OA supporter, Scott self-archives regularly and you can find all his research preprints, besides those on bibliomining, in dLIST.

Friday, January 06, 2006

Funding our Digitial Future

Binghamton University Libraries' presents Funding Our Digital Future: Budgeting for Libraries & Scholarly Communication on March 20-21, 2006 at Binghamton University's campus.

The purpose of the symposium will be:

To explore the challenges of library resource allocation in the digital age. To create a flexible resource allocation process to respond to changing research and curricular needs of faculty and students, to address the increasing interdisciplinary nature of teaching and research, and to involve the university community in an ongoing dialogue with the University Libraries in this process. To address the broad issues of the changing nature of scholarship in the digital age; both the production of scholarly information and the communication of scholarship within the academic community (e.g. the open-access initiative and its funding model implications for libraries and universities) and how these impact the challenges facing libraries in collection resource management and the strategies used to address these challenges.
There is no registration fee.

Thanks to Kathryn Kowalczik of Bingham University on ERIL-L

Thursday, January 05, 2006

New OA Journal / Library as Publisher

One of the new journals added to the Directory of Open Access Journals this month: Utrecht Law Review. One interesting point about this brand new, high quality peer reviewed open access journal (Vol. 1, issue 2 just published in December) is its publisher.

Igitur: Utrecht Publishing & Archiving Services is part of the Utrecht University Library. While Utrecht is only one of a number of university libraries to embark on this new role of publisher. Utrecht University Library began this initiative a few years ago, starting with development of their own journal publishing software. About a dozen or so journals are now produced by the library. Decisions about the business model are decided by the editorial board, of course, although open access is encouraged. One feature of the library involvement in this project that is of particular interest is that the role of the library, in some cases, goes beyond hosting and support; if desired by the journal, the library is involved in hiring editorial staff as well.

This post reflects my personal opinion only and does not represent the opinions or policy of the BC Electronic Library Network or the Simon Fraser University Library.

Monday, January 02, 2006

January SPARC Open Access Newsletter

The January 2, 2006 SPARC Open Access Newsletter is now available. For anyone who does not have time to keep up with everything that is happening in open access, Peter Suber's monthly newsletter is the best way to keep up with the major trends and events.

Contents include:
* The U.S. CURES Act would mandate OA
* Open Access in 2005
* Predictions for 2006
* Top stories from December 2005
and more!

Sunday, January 01, 2006

Top Five 2005 Search Trends in Medicine

Dean Giustini has published his Top Five 2005 Search Trends in Medicine:

1. Blogging in medicine - online journaling (1), blogsearch, user-generated content
2. Open access - institutional repository search, Google Scholar, Scirus, wiki-med
3. Daily alerting - "pushed" content, RSS feeds, podcasts, del.icio.us
4. Multimedia on web - audio, podcasting, videocasting
5. Medical education - online, "on the go", handhelds, telehealth

Please see Dean's original posting on UBC Google Scholar Blog, through the link above, for some very interesting links.

Thanks to Dean Giustini, and Peter Suber on Open Access News