Monday, October 09, 2006

October SPARC Open Access Newsletter

The SPARC Open Access Newsletter, released last week, features an in-depth article by Peter Suber on Open Access and Quality.

Here is a thought for a project if someone has time - perhaps a student could do this as an assignment? There are a number of in-depth articles on different topics in the SPARC Open Access Newsletter - I'd love to see a topic index.

Update October 10: Peter Suber maintains a List of Peter Suber's writings on open access, in reverse chronological order. Major newsletter features are included. For more links to Peter's works on topics other than open access (e.g. philosophy, law), see Peter Suber's home page.

Come to think of it, are indexing services beginning to look at, and include, these kinds of works? That might be a topic for a different paper...

Comment from Walt Crawford:

To the best of my knowledge, indexing sources--at least those within the library field--are not doing much with what I think of as the "formal gray literature" such as SPARC Open Access Newsletter and Cites & Insights. I've written about this in Cites & Insights (, most recently in the September 2006 issue, mourning the failure of a group attempt to get more visibility for the formal gray literature.

What's formal gray literature? In this case, electronic publications with ISSNs, established missions, reasonably regular publication, and a track record--but without a price and without being refereed journals. In the view of one indexing-service head, such publications are inherently more ephemeral than publications that cost money or than publications with peer review--and that's even true for a five-year-old "gray" publication as compared to a refereed journal that dies after two issues.

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.

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