Thursday, December 27, 2007
For immediate release
December 26, 2007
jennifer [at] arl [dot] org
(202) 296-2296 ext. 121
PUBLIC ACCESS MANDATE MADE LAW
President Bush signs omnibus appropriations bill,
including National Institutes of Health research access provision
Washington, D.C. – December 26, 2007 – President Bush has signed into law the Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2007 (H.R. 2764), which includes a provision directing the National Institutes of Health (NIH) to provide the public with open online access to findings from its funded research. This is the first time the U.S. government has mandated public access to research funded by a major agency.
The provision directs the NIH to change its existing Public Access Policy, implemented as a voluntary measure in 2005, so that participation is required for agency-funded investigators. Researchers will now be required to deposit electronic copies of their peer-reviewed manuscripts into the National Library of Medicine’s online archive, PubMed Central. Full texts of the articles will be publicly available and searchable online in PubMed Central no later than 12 months after publication in a journal.
"Facilitated access to new knowledge is key to the rapid advancement of science," said Harold Varmus, president of the Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center and Nobel Prize Winner. "The tremendous benefits of broad, unfettered access to information are already clear from the Human Genome Project, which has made its DNA sequences immediately and freely available to all via the Internet. Providing widespread access, even with a one-year delay, to the full text of research articles supported by funds from all institutes at the NIH will increase those benefits dramatically."
"Public access to publicly funded research contributes directly to the mission of higher education,” said David Shulenburger, Vice President for Academic Affairs at NASULGC (the National Association of State Universities and Land-Grant Colleges). “Improved access will enable universities to maximize their own investment in research, and widen the potential for discovery as the results are more readily available for others to build upon.”
“Years of unrelenting commitment and dedication by patient groups and our allies in the research community have at last borne fruit,” said Sharon Terry, President and CEO of Genetic Alliance. “We’re proud of Congress for their unrelenting commitment to ensuring the success of public access to NIH-funded research. As patients, patient advocates, and families, we look forward to having expanded access to the research we need.”
“Congress has just unlocked the taxpayers’ $29 billion investment in NIH,” said Heather Joseph, Executive Director of SPARC (the Scholarly Publishing and Academic Resources Coalition, a founding member of the ATA). “This policy will directly improve the sharing of scientific findings, the pace of medical advances, and the rate of return on benefits to the taxpayer."
Joseph added, “On behalf of the Alliance for Taxpayer Access, I’d like to thank everyone who worked so hard over the past several years to bring about implementation of this much-needed policy.”
For more information, and a timeline detailing the evolution of the NIH Public Access Policy beginning May 2004, visit the ATA Web site at http://www.taxpayeraccess.org.
The Alliance for Taxpayer Access is a coalition of patient, academic, research, and publishing organizations that supports open public access to the results of federally funded research. The Alliance was formed in 2004 to urge that peer-reviewed articles stemming from taxpayer-funded research become fully accessible and available online at no extra cost to the American public. Details on the ATA may be found at http://www.taxpayeraccess.org.
Director of Communications
(the Scholarly Publishing and Academic Resources Coalition)
(202) 296-2296 ext 121
Saturday, December 22, 2007
From the Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility News Release:
Washington, DC — Buried within the omnibus appropriations bill Congress sent this week to President Bush is a Christmas present for the beleaguered library network of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. Congress ordered EPA to restore library services across the country and earmarked $3 million for that purpose, according to Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility (PEER).
Thanks to Fred Stoss on CHMINFO.
Thursday, December 20, 2007
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U niversidad de S alamanca
F acultad de Traducción y D ocumentación
E-LIS: The open archive for Library and Information Science
I nfo D oc Diciembre de 2007
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Los archivos de mensajes de INFODOC se pueden consultar
en la direccio http://listas.bcl.jcyl.es
Thanks to Imma Subirats
Tuesday, December 18, 2007
Wednesday, December 12, 2007
For more information, contact:
Lars Bjornshauge Lars.Bjornshauge@lub.lu.se
Anna-Lena Johansson email@example.com
NOW THERE ARE 3000 JOURNALS IN THE DIRECTORY OF OPEN ACCESS JOURNALS!
Lund, Sweden – As of today the Directory of Open Access Journals (DOAJ, http://www.doaj.org) contains 3000 open access journals, i.e. quality controlled scientific and scholarly electronic journals that are freely available on the web.
We are very pleased to see that the usage of DOAJ is constantly increasing on all parameters. Every month visitors from more than 160 countries are using the service, hundreds of libraries all over the world have included the DOAJ titles in their catalogues and other services, and commercial aggregators are as well benefiting of the service.
The goal of the Directory of Open Access Journals is still to increase the visibility and accessibility of open access scholarly journals, and thereby promote their increased usage and impact. The directory aims to comprehensively cover all open access scholarly journals that use an appropriate quality control system. Journals in all languages and subject areas are welcome. To maintain the quality of the service we also have to remove titles from DOAJ if they no longer live up to the selection criteria. 96 titles have been removed so far during 2007.
DOAJ is sponsored by the National Library of Sweden (http://www.kb.se), Axiell (http://www.axiell.se/), EBSCO (http://www.ebsco.com/), Proquest CSA (http://www.csa.com/), INASP (http://www.inasp.info/), Swedish Library Association (http://www.biblioteksforeningen.org/)), Lund university (http://www.lub.lu.se/).
In order to create a sustainable financial foundation for the continuing operation and development of DOAJ we launched the DOAJ Membership Program in February 2007. We invite individuals, universities, research centres, libraries, library organisations, library consortia, aggregators and other organisations to contribute. For more information: http://www.doaj.org/doaj?func=membership. As of today, DOAJ has got 3 individuals, 51 libraries, 10 library consortia and 1 aggregator as members. Thanks to our members we have been able to employ more staff and thereby maintain a high quality of the service.
We are constantly working on evaluating more journals to be included in the service, therefore we still need support from the community!
Thank you for your interest and support!
Anna-Lena Johansson & The DOAJ-team
Tuesday, December 11, 2007
Scientific publisher Nature Publishing Group (NPG) , UK, has announced that it is introducing a Creative Commons licence for original research articles publishing the primary sequence of an organism's genome for the first time in any ofthe Nature journals.
The Creative Commons Attribution-Non-Commercial-Share Alike 3.0 Unported licence will enable researchers to freely share and adapt the work, provided the original is attributed and not used for commercial purposes, and that any resulting work is distributed under a similar licence. No publication fees will be applicable, and the articles will be available free of charge. Nature Publishing Group has published first reports on many significant publicly-funded genome sequencing and analysis projects, most notablythe human genome, published in Nature in February 2001. Wherever possible, NPG will apply the Creative Commons Attribution-Non-Commercial-Share Alike licence retrospectively to original research articles reporting novel primary genome-wide sequences that have previously been published in Nature journals. Only original research articles publishing the primary sequence of an organism's genome for the first time will be offered to users under the Creative Commons licence.
Molecular Systems Biology, an open access journal published jointly by NPG and the European Molecular Biology Organisation (EMBO), announced in October that it will offer all authors the option of publishing articles under the Creative Commons Attribution -Non-Commercial-Share Alike 3.0 Unported licence. All other articles published by the Nature journals will remain under NPG's existing licensing and copyright agreements. Under these agreements authors of original research articles retain their copyright, giving NPG an exclusive licence-to publish.
Please see NPG's press release dated December 5th, 2007.
Disclosure: I am a member of the Canadian editorial team for E-LIS.
Sunday, December 02, 2007
Wednesday, November 28, 2007
Washington DC A special double issue of the ARL Bimonthly Report, no. 252/253, focuses on the state of university publishing and the evolving role for research libraries in the delivery of publishing services.
The Ithaka report “University Publishing in a Digital Age,” is the focus of three articles in this special issue: a summary of the Ithaka report by its original authors, an assessment by NASULGC's David Shulenburger of the report’s recommendation that research institutions should have “publishing strategies,” and a description of the University of Michigan Library's hosting of social commentary on the Ithaka report using CommentPress.
Three additional articles look at new publishing initiatives involving libraries: the joint project of the California Digital Library and the University of California Press, the publishing services developed at the University of Illinois at Chicago, and the Canadian collaborative project, Synergies a national multi-institutional project to create a publishing infrastructure to support society publishing in the humanities and social sciences as well as other scholarly publishing. An overview of the changing environment of university publishing is provided by ARL's Karla Hahn.
Print copies of the issue have been shipped to ARL member libraries & subscribers. To order additional print copies, contact ARL Publications firstname.lastname@example.org.
This issue is also freely available in PDF format on the Web at http://www.arl.org/resources/pubs/br/br252-253.shtml.
The table of contents is provided below.
Table of Contents
The Changing Environment of University Publishing
by Karla Hahn, Director, ARL Office of Scholarly Communication
University Publishing in a Digital Age: Highlights of the Ithaka Report
by Laura Brown, former President of Oxford University Press USA
Rebecca Griffiths, Director of Strategic Services, Ithaka
Matthew Rascoff, Strategic Services Analyst, Ithaka
Encouraging Public Commentary on the Ithaka Report
by Maria Bonn, Director, Scholarly Publishing Office, University of Michigan Library
University Research Publishing or Distribution Strategies?
by David Shulenburger, Vice President for Academic Affairs National Association of State Universities and Land-Grant Colleges (NASULGC)
The University of California as Publisher
by Catherine H. Candee, Director, eScholarship Publishing Service, California Digital Library, and Lynne Withey, Director, University of California Press
by Mary M. Case, University Librarian, and Nancy R. John, Digital Publishing Librarian, University of Illinois at Chicago Library
Synergies: Building National Infrastructure for Canadian Scholarly Publishing
by Rea Devakos, Coordinator, Scholarly Communication Initiatives, and Karen Turko, Director of Special Projects, University of Toronto Libraries
The Association of Research Libraries (ARL) is a nonprofit organization of 123 research libraries in North America. Its mission is to influence the changing environment of scholarly communication and the public policies that affect research libraries and the diverse communities they serve. ARL pursues this mission by advancing the goals of its member research libraries, providing leadership in public and information policy to the scholarly and higher education communities, fostering the exchange of ideas and expertise, and shaping a future environment that leverages its interests with those of allied organizations. ARL is located on the Web at http://www.arl.org/.
From the SPARC Open Access Forum.
Tuesday, November 20, 2007
SAGE AND HINDAWI ANNOUNCE LANDMARK OPEN ACCESS AGREEMENT
November 20, 2007 - SAGE and the Hindawi Publishing Corporation have
today entered into an agreement to jointly launch and publish a suite of
fully Open Access (OA) journals.
This is a bold strategic partnership that places SAGE as the largest
academic publisher to develop a collection of Gold Open Access journals,
marking the company's continued investment in widening access to
important scholarly research. SAGE is the world's fifth largest journal
publisher, with over 485 journals in the humanities, social sciences,
science, technology, and medicine.
The initiative further strengthens Hindawi's leadership in developing a
strong portfolio of Open Access journals. Hindawi currently publishes
more than 100 Open Access journals covering a wide range of subjects in
science, technology, and medicine.
The partnership will see equal ownership between the two organizations.
SAGE will have sole responsibility for the editorial development,
marketing, and promotion of the new journals while Hindawi will provide
the technology and expertise needed to run the publication process from
the point of submission, through the peer-review process, to the point
of final publication. Under the model, all SAGE-Hindawi journal articles
will be made freely available online via the Hindawi platform, funded by
"SAGE is committed to maintaining innovative publishing models for the
benefit of the academic community, in keeping with our vision to be the
natural home for authors, editors and societies," commented Blaise
Simqu, CEO, SAGE. He continued, "SAGE is in a unique position as a
growing STM publisher, allowing us to explore and actively experiment
without posing a threat to our existing business models.
"Our position as a leading independent publisher enables us to respond
to the changing needs of our authors, editors and societies, helping
them to reach broader communities, and maximise the impact of their
work. Hindawi is an ideal partner for SAGE, being able to offer a highly
effective publishing system that will allow us to focus on our
longstanding reputation for high quality marketing and editorial
expertise, while offering a viable option for disseminating open,
unrestricted access to research."
"We are delighted to be working with SAGE on this joint initiative,"
said Ahmed Hindawi, CEO of Hindawi Publishing Corporation. "Hindawi
currently has a very successful Open Access journal collection, which is
quite solid both academically and financially, and SAGE's strong market
presence and expertise will enable us to further expand our Open Access
offerings to the scientific communities we serve."
Friday, November 02, 2007
Thursday, November 01, 2007
According to the LibriVox website:
LibriVox has become the most prolific audiobook publisher in the world - we are now putting out 60-70 books a month, we have a catalog of 1,000 works, which represents a little over 6 months of *continuous* audio; we have some 1,500 volunteers who have contributed audio to the project; and a catalog that includes Jane Austen’s “Pride and Prejudice,” “Moby Dick,” Darwin’s “Origin of the Species,” “Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland,” Einstein’s “Relativity: The Special and General Theory,” Kant’s “Critique of Pure Reason,” and other less well-known gems such as “Romance of Rubber” edited by John Martin. We have recordings in 21 languages, and about half of our recordings are solo efforts by one reader, while the other half are collaborations among many readers.
Congratulations, LibriVox - and thanks!
Hat tip to Michael Geist.
Tuesday, October 30, 2007
Monday, October 29, 2007
- Preface, by Brian Owen & Kevin Stranack
- Scientific journal publishing in India: Promoting electronic publishing of scholarly journals in India, by Thomas Abraham, & Suvarsha Minj
- publishing initiatives at the International Rice Research Institute: Linking users to public goods via open access, by Albert Borrero, Mila Ramos, Anna Arsenal, Katherine Lopez, Gene Hettel
- Opening up scholarly information at the University of Illinois at Chicago, by Mary M. Case & Nancy R. John
- The impact of the open access movement on medical based scholarly publishing in Nigeria, by Alasia Datonye Dennis
- The Library as a mediator for e-publishing: A case on how a library can become a significant factor in facilitating digital scholarly communication and open access publishing for less Web-savvy journals, by Mikael K. Elbaek & Lars Nondal
- From production to publishing at CJC online: Experiences, insights, and considerations for adoption, by Michael Felczak, Rowland Lorimer, Richard Smith
- Open access to open publish: National Library of Australia, by Slobodanka (Bobby) Graham
- Annotating and linking in the Open Journal Systems Abstract, by Rick Kopak & Chia-Ning Chiang
- Extending OJS into small magazines: The OMMM Project, by John W. Maxwell
- Using a Tetradic Network Technique and a Transaction Cost Economic Analysis to illustrate an economic model for an open access medical journal, by Michael D. Mills, Robert J. Esterhay, Judah Thornewill
- Rethinking collections - Libraries and librarians in an open age: A theoretical view, by Heather Morrison
- Scholarly publishing in sub-Saharan Africa in the twenty-first century: Challenges and opportunities, by Ezra Ondari-Okemwa
- Newfound Press: The digital imprint of the University of Tennessee Libraries, by Linda L. Phillips
- DiPP and eLanguage: Two cooperative models for open access, by Cornelius Puschmann & Peter Reimer
- A critical theory of open access: Libraries and electronic publishing, by Ajit Pyati
Establishing an online editorial and publishing system: One-year experience with the Journal of Research in Medical Sciences, by Mahmoud Saghaei
Transitioning to open access (OA), by Christina Struik, Hilde Coldenbrander, Stephen Warren, Halina de Maurivez, Heather Joseph, Denise Koufougiannakis, Heather Morrison, Kathleen Shearer, Kumiko Vezina, Andrew Waller
- Partners in science: OJS, a collaborative researchers' workbench and an open repository Abstract, by Astrid Van Wesenbeeck & Martin Van Luijt
RePEC now has a blog, the RePEC blog.
Here is the RePEC blog Welcome Message:
The RePEc team is opening today this blog with several goals in mind.
1. Give us the opportunity to explain how RePEc works and what we do.
2. Discuss some of the policy decisions we need to take.
3. Give you the opportunity to comment and give us feedback.
4. Expand to a wider audience some of the discussions we have within the RePEc team.
5. Give you the opportunity to participate in our exciting project in whatever capacity you propose.
6. Make people aware of some of the developments in the profession or in the Open Archive movement that are relevant to RePEc and its community.
7. More generally, discuss the dissemination models for research in Economics and related fields.
It is not our intention to have a new post on a daily basis. We do not want this blog to become a burden as we scratch our heads finding new topics to write about. We want this blog to be useful for all parties. So watch this space on a regular basis and help RePEc improve!
Thanks to Christian Zimmerman. Welcome to the blogosphere!
Wednesday, October 24, 2007
For immediate release
October 24, 2007
jennifer [at] arl [dot] org
(202) 296-2296 ext. 121
MANDATE FOR PUBLIC ACCESS TO NIH-FUNDED RESEARCH
POISED TO BECOME LAW
Full U.S. Senate Approves Bill Containing Support for Access To
Washington, D.C. October 24, 2007 - The U.S. Senate last night approved
the FY2008 Labor, HHS, and Education Appropriations Bill (S.1710), including
a provision that directs the National Institutes of Health (NIH) to
strengthen its Public Access Policy by requiring rather than requesting
participation by researchers. The bill will now be reconciled with the House
Appropriations Bill, which contains a similar provision, in another step
toward support for public access to publicly funded research becoming United
³Last night¹s Senate action is a milestone victory for public access to
taxpayer-funded research,² said Heather Joseph, Executive Director of SPARC
(the Scholarly Publishing and Academic Resources Coalition, a founding
member of the ATA). ³This policy sets the stage for researchers, patients,
and the general public to benefit in new and important ways from our
collective investment in the critical biomedical research conducted by the
Under a mandatory policy, NIH-funded researchers will be required to deposit
copies of eligible manuscripts into the National Library of Medicine¹s
online database, PubMed Central. Articles will be made publicly available no
later than 12 months after publication in a peer-reviewed journal.
The current NIH Public Access Policy, first implemented in 2005, is a
voluntary measure and has resulted in a de deposit rate of less than 5% by
individual investigators. The advance to a mandatory policy is the result of
more than two years of monitoring and evaluation by the NIH, Congress, and
³We thank our Senators for taking action on this important issue,² said Pat
Furlong, Founding President and CEO of Parent Project Muscular Dystrophy.
³This level of access to NIH-funded research will impact the disease process
in novel ways, improving the ability of scientists to advance therapies and
enabling patients and their advocates to participate more effectively. The
advance is timely, much-needed, and we anticipate an indication of
increasingly enhanced access in future.²
³American businesses will benefit tremendously from improved access to NIH
research,² said William Kovacs, U.S. Chamber of Commerce vice president for
environment, technology and regulatory affairs. ³The Chamber encourages the
free and timely dissemination of scientific knowledge produced by the NIH as
it will improve both the public and industry¹s ability to become better
informed on developments that impact them and on opportunities for
innovation.² The Chamber is the world¹s largest business federation,
representing more than three million businesses of every size, sector, and
³We welcome the NIH policy being made mandatory and thank Congress for
backing this important step,² said Gary Ward, Treasurer of the American
Society for Cell Biology (ASCB). ³Free and timely public access to
scientific literature is necessary to ensure that new discoveries are made
as quickly as feasible. It¹s the right thing to do, given that taxpayers
fund this research.² The ASCB represents 11,000 members and publishes the
highly ranked peer-reviewed journal, Molecular Biology of the Cell.
Joseph added, ³On behalf of the taxpayers, patients, researchers, students,
libraries, universities, and businesses that pressed this bill forward with
their support over the past two years, the ATA thanks Congress for throwing
its weight behind the success of taxpayer access to taxpayer-funded
Negotiators from the House and Senate are expected to meet to reconcile
their respective bills this fall. The final, consolidated bill will have to
pass the House and the Senate before being delivered to the President at the
end of the year.
The Alliance for Taxpayer Access is a coalition of patient, academic,
research, and publishing organizations that supports open public access to
the results of federally funded research. The Alliance was formed in 2004 to
urge that peer-reviewed articles stemming from taxpayer-funded research
become fully accessible and available online at no extra cost to the
American public. Details on the ATA may be found at
Tuesday, October 23, 2007
OA mandate at NIH passes the Senate
Tonight the Senate passed the Labor-HHS appropriations bill containing the provision to mandate OA at the NIH. More, the vote was a veto-proof 75-19.
- It appears that neither of the harmful Inhofe amendments was part of the final bill, but I'm still trying to find out.
- Yes, this is big, even if we cleared this hurdle only to face a Bush veto.
- When the same language was adopted by the House (July 19, 2007), it only received 276 votes, when it needed 290 to be veto-proof. Hence, Congress might or might not be able to override a Bush veto, something both sides know very well. However, as we go into post-veto strategies, we're much better off with this language having passed both houses than having passed only one. More later.
Monday, October 22, 2007
Urgent reminder to US citizens
The appropriations bill (S.1710) containing the provision that would mandate OA at the NIH is in trouble, and today is your last chance to ask your Senators to save it.
- What's the problem? Late Friday afternoon, just before the filing deadline, the publisher lobby persuaded Senator James Inhofe (R-OK) to file two amendments to the bill. One would delete the OA provision and one would significantly weaken it. The strategy appears to be to use the first in order to set up the second as a reasonable compromise.
- What can you do? Contact you Senators today. The Alliance for Taxpayer Access recommends contacting them before close of business today, while the American Library Association recommends contacting them before noon today.
- For more background, see the ATA call for action (blogged here on Saturday) or the ALA call for action. The ATA message includes a sample letter you can fax or email to your Senators. The ALA message includes talking points and a web form with an editable, default message for sending to your Senators.
- If you contacted your Senators before the Friday amendments were filed, please contact them again. The new message is to oppose amendments #3416 and #3417. If you haven't contacted your Senators at all yet, please do so now, by phone, fax, or email.
- Please act now and spread the word!
Saturday, October 20, 2007
Peter Suber reports that the NIH open access mandate may be
deleted or weakened by last-minute amendments to the FY 2008
Labor, Health and Human Services and Education
If you are a US citizen and you support the mandate, there
is an urgent need for you to contact your senators by the
end of business on Monday, October 22.
You can easily contact them using the ALA Action
Alert Web form with my cut-and-paste version of the
Alliance for Taxpayer Access' text about the amendments
or you can use the same form to write your own text.
Charles W. Bailey, Jr.
Open Access Bibliography
Open Access Webliography
Scholarly Electronic Publishing Bibliography
Scholarly Electronic Publishing Resources
Scholarly Electronic Publishing Weblog
Friday, October 19, 2007
Highlights: in its first year, the peer-reviewed student journal LIS, using the free, open source, Open Journals Systems software published 40 papers, from many countries, and featured an international editorial board as well. Discusses ongoing issues, such as a naturally high turnover rate, as well as reasons and benefits of library involvement in hosting journals journals using OJS.
Among other things, this interview points out that Peter Suber is indeed the writer behind the beautifully crafted Budapest Open Access Initiative, with phrases such as "an old tradition and a new techology have converged to make possible an unprecedented public good". Peter's vision, logical analysis, writing which is both accurate and inspiring, and inclusive nature have no doubt been one of the most important contributions to open access.
Thanks to Stevan Harnad.
Friday, October 12, 2007
Michael Geist. Unlocking access.
Kathleen Shearer The What's, How's , and Why's of Open Access.
Thanks to workshop organizer Halina de Maurivez.
Sunday, October 07, 2007
Thanks to Savage Minds and Peter Suber.
Friday, October 05, 2007
- The submission fee is still the highest for hybrid programs, I believe (Springer is next highest at $3000 US, I think). I suspect that this is a barrier for some submitters but the final word is not in (iOpenAccess program is a pilot project).
- In early 2008, T & F will be assessing the subscription costs for the first group of journals participating in the program. The result of this assessment will be interesting to see. I'm hoping for some decrease in prices but, even if this is the case, any price drops won't take effect until the 2009 subscription (libraries are paying for the 2008 subscription year right now).
- T & F is looking to increase the number of journals in iOpenAccess and to move into other subject areas.
The list of journals participating in iOpenAccess is http://www.informaworld.com/smpp/authors_journals_iopenaccess_journals~db=all
Wednesday, October 03, 2007
"The Open Society Institute has awarded a grant to support the production
and distribution of the Open Access Documentary Project, a collection of
online videos celebrating the benefits of open access to scientific and
medical research. Intelligent Television and BioMed Central are
co-producers of the Project.
The Open Access Documentary Project will facilitate the ongoing work of
BioMed Central and Intelligent Television in promoting open access to
science and medicine in fields as diverse as malaria research and particle
The producers are now assembling an international editorial board and contacting institutions that hold archival and production resources that
will be vital to the project. Principal production has begun in London,
New York, and at CERN in Geneva, featuring video interviews with
publishers and consumers of scientific and medical information in the
developed and developing world
Intelligent Television ( http://www.intelligenttelevision.com), based in
New York, produces television programs, films, and videos that closely
involve libraries, museums, universities, and archives. Intelligent
Television is currently producing programming in association with the
Library of Congress, Columbia University, MIT, and other cultural and
Saturday, September 29, 2007
Friday, September 28, 2007
Ezra Shiloba Gbaje has been awarded the Dr. James O. Daniel prize for the Most Innovative Library-based ICT project by the Nigerian Library Association (NLA) for his Open Access work. Ezra installed and configured Dspace for his university, Ahmadu Bello University. During the award presentation at the NLA meeting this September, Ezra demonstrated the role of an institutional repository and there was great interest from the 400 participants to learn more. eIFL is working with Ezra to organize an open access workshop in Nigeria next year which will build upon this enthusiasm.
Hat tip to Peter Suber of Open Access News
From the proposal:
The new types of organizations envisioned in this solicitation will integrate library and archival sciences, cyberinfrastructure, computer and information sciences, and domain science expertise to:
* provide reliable digital preservation, access, integration, and analysis capabilities for science and/or engineering data over a decades-long timeline;
* continuously anticipate and adapt to changes in technologies and in user needs and expectations;
* engage at the frontiers of computer and information science and cyberinfrastructure with research and development to drive the leading edge forward; and
* serve as component elements of an interoperable data preservation and access network.
Hat tip to Glen Newton at zzzoot
News Items (for links, see the SPARC E-News page):
Mandatory public access does not violate copyright obligations [PDF], a joint brief from ARL, ALA, and SPARC, is now available.
SPARC letter to members on the PRISM anti-open access effort.
CARL and SPARC release a Canadian Author Addendum, a new tool for authors in Canada to retain key rights to the journal articles they publish.
Join the new SPARC-ADVOCACY list for updates on developments related to public access to publicly funded research. Members and others may now pick and choose the types of e-updates they receive from SPARC.
Plus: Partner News, Industry Roundup, Resources for Authors, Resources for Publishers, Upcoming Events, and more.
Thursday, September 20, 2007
The Canadian Journal of Sociology (CJS) is one of the journals hosted by the UofA Libraries; Online Publishing Services using the Open Journal Systems software. Starting in January 2008, CJS has announced it will drop its print publication / subscription-based program and become a solely online, open access journal.
See Dr. Kevin Haggerty’s Editorial: Change and Continuity at the Canadian Journal of Sociology/Cahiers canadiens de sociologie
Kudos to the University of Alberta Libraries, and U of A OA Librarian heroes Pam Ryan and Denise Koufougiannakis! [my alma mater and former classmates, I am proud to say!]
Dr. Haggerty's editorial is well worth reading. Excerpts can be found on my blog, The Imaginary Journal of Poetic Economics.
Monday, September 17, 2007
For example, see The affordability of publication fees at hybrid OA journals
Thanks to Dorothea Salo and Peter Suber for this useful enhancement to an awesome resource!
Sunday, September 16, 2007
Help to build Public Health capacity in low- to middle-income countries, using open education resources freely available on the Internet
This education will involve partnerships and collaboration across the global and digital divides, and will be both credible and affordable
” A learning resource that is freely available, which makes use of already established material and seeks to modify it appropriately for local use”
The People's Open Access Education Initiative is a grassroots movement which anticipates a decentralized, volunteersourcing approach, building on the open source and open access philosophies and resources to overcome barriers to educational efforts in developing countries, with the aim of eventually developing a People's Open Access University.
Thanks to John Dada, Fantsuam, Nigeria.
This post is part of the Creative Globalization Series of The Imaginary Journal of Poetic Economics
Friday, September 14, 2007
9:30 - 3:30
Location: Simon Fraser University, Burnaby
This session will provide an overview of the Open Journal Systems (OJS) online publication management software (http://pkp.sfu.ca/ojs), including the publishing process, peer review and editorial workflow, web site customization, and tips for increasing journal visibility. Aimed at new journal managers, editors, librarians, and others interested in learning about this open source software that is developed and maintained at the SFU Library and used around the world. This will be a hands-on session conducted in a computer lab.
The presenter will be Kevin Stranack, a librarian with the Public Knowledge Project at the Simon Fraser University Library. He works with editors, publishers, and librarians from around the world on the use of open source software for open access publishing, and is the author of "OJS in an Hour",
"OCS in an Hour", "Getting Found, Staying Found", and other documents published by the Project. Kevin is a frequent presenter at library and information technology conferences, including the Canadian Library Association, the British Columbia Library Association, Access, BCNet, NetSpeed, and others.
Free to SFU faculty, staff and students.
$100 CAD for non-SFU participants, payable by cheque, money order, or credit card.
Pre-registration is required. Spaces are limited. Please email email@example.com to register.
Wednesday, September 12, 2007
Here are the two most recent posts:
Here's another installment of the email version of Open Access News, since I still can't update the blog < http://www.earlham.edu/~peters/fos/fosblog.html >. Feel free to forward this widely, especially to people who might not know that OAN is temporarily frozen.
Items are roughly in the order in which I discovered them, with the most recent at the top the order in which they would have appeared on the blog.
Permission to harvest data from online files
Peter Murray-Rust, Nature: How much content can our robots access? A Scientist and the Web, September 12, 2007. Excerpt:
In this blog (Copyrighted Data: replies , Wiley and eMolecules: unacceptable; an explanation would be welcome - ) , and elsewhere we have been discussing the “copyright” of factual information, or “data”. In  I ask a major publisher whether copyright applies to some or all of the factual scientific record they publish. So far I have had no reply. Here I ask another, Nature, who - at least through Timo Hannay - have been very helpful in discussing aspects of publication (most other publishers have been silent).
The issue arises in “supplemental data” or “supporting information” which is the factual record of the experiment - increasingly required as proof of correctness. Some major publishers (Royal Soc Chemistry, Int. Union of Crystallography, Nature) do not claim copyright over this; others such as American Chemical Society and Angewandte Chemie (Wiley) appear to do so, though I haven’t had a definitive public statement from either.
Our vision for the future is that a large part of published scientific data could be made directly machine-understandable, if the publishers collaborate in this....
So I am going to ask Nature what I can do and what I can’t. What my robots can do and what the can’t. If the answer is not “YES” to a question it is “NO” - there can be no “middle ground” for robots. If you don’t know then the answer is NO. If I have to ask for permission the answer is NO.
PMR elaborates in a follow-up post, showing the kinds of data and images he'd like to be able to harvest and re-use.
OA to 500 scientific memoirs
The US National Academy of Sciences is providing OA to 500 scientific memoirs representing 150 years of scientific history. (Thanks to ResourceShelf.) From yesterday's announcement:
The National Academy of Sciences (NAS) is making 150 years of American scientific history available by publishing its entire collection of Biographical Memoirs on the Internet. Biographical Memoirs are brief biographies of deceased NAS members written by those who knew them or their work.
Since 1877, NAS has published over 1,400 memoirs. Although the memoirs published since 1995 have been freely available on the Academy's Web site, over 900 memoirs were available previously only through archives and libraries. "This is a ‘historic’ event that will have substantial scholarly value and be of general interest to the public.
Among the additional 500 memoirs published online are those of famed naturalist Louis Agassiz; Joseph Henry, the first secretary of the Smithsonian Institution; Thomas Edison; Alexander Graham Bell; noted anthropologist Margaret Mead; and psychologist and philosopher John Dewey. More memoirs will be published regularly until the entire collection is available online.
OA repositories in China
ShuYong Jiang, Open Mind, Open Access, a preprint, self-archived March 24, 2007. (Thanks to Law Librarian Blog.)
Abstract: Open access is a modern notion of resource sharing in the technology era. It began as a bold reaction of the academic community to the rapidly increased cost of scholarly publishing, and it is now an important concept in digitization and digital libraries. It has hanged the way in which scholarly information is disseminated. While the development of electronic resources and digitization in China in recent years provides rich opportunities for scholarly information exchange, open access both as a concept and as a practice, is yet to be accepted. Open access repositories are very limited in number. Open access as a concept was not on the agenda for digital resource development until 2005 and the first open access library and information repository by National Library of China was launched in July 2006. Prior to this, there were very few open access resources available. Most of them were experimental in nature and inoperable with mainstream Internet tools. Not only do these open access resources not carry the same academic value as other scholarly publications, but also they lack support from both information providers and consumers. By looking at the current status of open access resources in China, this paper will examine some of the primary open access resources in China, such as Qiji Wenku (“Miracle Library”). It will raise issues related to open access in China such as scholarly resource sharing; the cooperation among information providers, creators and consumers; the implication of online copyright in a digital environment; and, the promotion of the idea of resource and technology sharing in the global information transition.
18 OA journals from the ABA
John Reidelbach, American Bar Association Online Journals, Criss Library Focus on Online, September 12, 2007. Excerpt:
Who would have thought that the ABA would have any online journals freely available? Well, not me that's for sure. I have completed my review of 44 ABA journals in the American Bar Association Online Journals database in Serials Solutions and found that 18 of those journals allowed open access. These freely accessible journals seem to be primarily what I would consider newsletter types of publications, but hey, I don't turn down anything that gives our users free access. [PS: Omitting the list of 18.]
Time to contact the Senate
An alert from the Alliance for Taxpayer Access:
As the Senate considers Appropriations measures for the 2008 fiscal year this fall, please take a moment to remind your Senators of your strong support for public access to publicly funded research and specifically ensuring the success of the National Institutes of Health (NIH) Public Access Policy by making deposit mandatory for researchers.
Earlier this summer, the House of Representatives passed legislation with language that directs the NIH to make this change. The Senate Appropriations Committee approved a similar measure. Now, as the Appropriations process moves forward, it is critically important that our Senators are reminded of the breadth and depth of support for enhanced public access to the results of NIH-funded research. Please take a moment to weigh in with your Senator now.
Contact information for your Senator is included below. Please fax a letter with your support no later than Friday, September 28, 2007.
Feel free to draw upon the following talking points:
* American taxpayers are entitled to open access on the Internet to the peer-reviewed scientific articles on research funded by the U.S. government. Widespread access to the information contained in these articles is an essential, inseparable component of our nation's investment in science.
* The Fiscal Year 2008 Labor/HHS Appropriations Bill reported out of committee contains language directing the National Institutes of Health (NIH) to change its Public Access Policy so that it requires NIH-funded researchers to deposit copies of agency-funded research articles into the National Library of Medicine's online archive.
* Over the more than two years since its implementation, the NIH's current voluntary policy has failed to achieve any of the agency's stated goals, attaining a deposit rate of less than 5% by individual researchers. A mandate is required to ensure deposit in NIH's online archive of articles describing findings of all research funded by the agency.
* We urge the Senate to support the inclusion of language put forth in the Labor/HHS Appropriations bill directing the NIH to implement a mandatory policy and ensuring free, timely access to all research articles stemming from NIH-funded research without change in any appropriate vehicle.
(We'll be making additional resources for patient advocates including the recording of our August 30 Web cast and specific talking points available shortly as well. Watch the ATA Web site or email me directly for updates.)
Again, please take a moment to express your support for public access to research to your Senator as soon as possible and no later than September 28. As always, we'd appreciate it if you'd let us know of what action you're able to take, or send a copy your letter to the ATA through (202) 872-0884 (fax). Thank you!
* Publisher associations are lobbying hard against this bill. For example, the AAP/PSP launched PRISM, the behemoth Copyright Alliance weighed in, and Elsevier hired another lobbying firm. It's critical that we show the Senate our support for a stronger OA policy at the NIH. If you're a US citizen, please contact your Senators and spread the word to others who could do so.
* I've omitted the list of Senators with their fax numbers, but it's in the ATA message if you need it. For other kinds of contact info for your Senators (DC office, DC phone, local offices, local phones, email), use CongressMerge. Remember to act before September 28!
Senior Researcher, SPARC
Open Access Project Director, Public Knowledge
Research Professor of Philosophy, Earlham College
Author, SPARC Open Access Newsletter
Author, Open Access News blog
OA math, not meth
Martin Smith is the coordinator of a Canadian methadone treatment community called Camp One. Its motto is Math Not Meth. He wrote to me recently to explain that
Camp One is successful because Open Access is successful. We are the largest consumer on the arXiv server, averaging 250 downloads a week.
Here's a little more background from the Math Not Meth blog:
MATH Not METH is based on a premise developed in 1994 to break a cycle of Heroin addiction within an institutional setting. The premise was a simple one – If you can divert the attention of an addict away from the ‘Game of Getting’ and focused on the ‘Game of Knowledge’ the Pleasure associated with the ‘Score’ followed by the inevitable disappointment in the High, is replaced by the quest for Knowledge.
And a little more from one of Smith's emails:
Camp One started in 2003 to answer the need for a sanctuary for people who had made it back from the abyss that is Chrystal Meth addiction. It is a 196 Room Float Camp at the Moya Bay Bulkhead at Hesguait on Nootka Sound near Gold River British Columbia. The facility is fully integrated with a 960 processor Xserve core and 256 PowerBook workstations. There is a resident Mathematica 6 Program as well as Open implementations of several other of the major programs available for grid infrastructures. We also have a 32 Tbyte Raid array which has a growing library of Open Software and educational resources which are growing exponentially as people discover the benefit of Learning for the Joy of it, rather than a means to an end.
Finally, some detail from a recent Smith comment on another blog:
Allow me to share what the profound power of Open Access can achieve –
‘When ‘Dave’ first asked me for help...he had a $250.00/Day Meth habit. I introduced him to the Zome tool and hooked him up to my network. In time he became interested in High Energy Physics and devoured everything available from the folks at SLAC, Fermilab, and CERN. He the discovered arXiv and more recently Eprintweb at Cornell and read every dispatch, sometimes sent running to our data miner to find out more on topics he could not grasp.
‘He discovered he could Email the authors of the reports and started asking questions about things he could not understand. A sort of Adhoc support group formed around the questions he asked because he had asked questions they had not thought of. This relationship as grown to the point that ‘Dave’ has been invited to the first firing of the LHC next Spring at CERN. All this from a young man who I was told by the local Judicial authorities was a dead loss.’
Open Access has a thus affected the people I have contact with and as I have said in a few other venues, anyone who opposes it, can either Lead, Follow or Get out of the way, for change, it comes.
Comment. This is a remarkable story. I'm used to hearing about unexpected benefits of OA, but this one tops my list. Bravo to Martin Smith and all the good people at Camp One.
Siva Vaidhyanathan on Google's book-scanning program
First Monday is distributing a podcast of Siva Vaidhyanathan's 2007 Ted Samore Lecture at the University of Wisconsin at Milwaukee, The Googlization of Everything: Digitization and the Future of Books. It's also distributing a podcast and transcript of an interview with him and a preview edition of his article from next month's issue of First Monday, The State of Copyright Activism. (Thanks to Brock Read.)
From the interview:
.So one of my big fears is that if Google either settles out of court and decided not to digitize all these copyrighted works in such an aggressive fashion, or loses in court, then every other player is going to be coward away from doing this. In other words, it’s going to be that much harder to convince libraries that they should be doing it. It’s going to be that much harder to convince the other open access advocates, like Brewster Kahle, to push forward and digitize copyrighted material.
The fact is this is a massive privatization of a public good. It is a massive privatization of years of collection development, years of choice and investment by the public and by librarians in these collections. And Google is getting all of this stuff essentially for free without any sort of quality control built into the system.
And so what I would like to see? I would like to see all the major public universities, public research universities, in the country gather together and raise the money or persuade Congress to deliver the money to do this sort of thing because it’s in the public interest, not because it’s in Google’s interest. If it really is this important we should be able to mount a public campaign, a set of arguments and convince the people with the purse strings that this should be done right.
Elsevier hires another US lobbying firm
Reed Elsevier Hires Lobbyist, Associated Press, September 10, 2007. Excerpt:
The U.S. unit of Reed Elsevier Group PLC, the Anglo-Dutch publishing and information company, hired Barbour Griffith & Rogers LLC to lobby the federal government, according to a disclosure form.
The firm will provide advice on policy issues important to the publishing industry, according to the form posted online Friday by the Senate's public records office.
Comment. Elsevier's budget for lobbying Congress increased 610% from 1998 to 2006, and this is another escalation. The apparent cause is the bill now before Congress to strengthen the NIH policy from a request to a requirement.
Identifying OA works for link resolvers
The British Columbia Electronic Library Network (BC ELN) has launched an Open Access Collections Group. (Thanks to Heather Morrison.) From today's announcement:
BC ELN and SFU Library invite all CUFTS libraries to participate in an Open Access Collections Group. The purpose of this group is to collaborate on the development and maintenance of open access title lists for CUFTS (for link resolving through GODOT, and inclusion in A to Z journal lists for CJDB users). Lists created to date include the SFU-developed Open Access Journals and Free Government Serials, and the BC ELN-inspired Open Access Magazines.
For more information, please see the draft Terms of Reference, available for download [here].
CFHSS launches a series of OA books
Yesterday the Canadian Federation for the Humanities and Social Sciences (CFHSS) launched a new project, Books in Open Access. (Thanks to Jean-Claude Guédon.) From the site:
The scholarship of academics working with the Federation is designed to add to the body of humanity's knowledge and enrich the social, cultural and intellectual life of Canada and the world. Since 1941, the Aid to Scholarly Publications Program (ASPP) has helped scholars disseminate their research by supporting the publication of nearly 5,000 scholarly books in the humanities and social sciences.
The advent of new communications technology now allows scholars to share their research on a greater scale than ever before imagined. Placing scholarly books online in open access format makes their treasures available to millions of people, allowing users to read entire works online and conduct searches within them. The ASPP seeks to play its own part in this increasingly-important dissemination movement, with a particular view to bringing back into the light the many rich and valuable works it has supported in the past that are now difficult to find.
Since 1989, the ASPP has awarded four annual Scholarly Book Prizes to the finest books it supports each year. We now feature four of our past Scholarly Book Prize winners here in open access format. We hope these will be just the first in a long line of ASPP-supported books to appear in open access through the Federation's site. Click here to see and read these titles-and keep your eyes open for more to come in the near future!
More dissents from PRISM
Jennifer Howard, University-Press Leader Quit Publishers' Panel Over Anti-Open-Access Campaign, Chronicle of Higher Education News Blog, September 11, 2007. Excerpt:
At least one top university-press director spoke out against the Partnership for Research Integrity in Science & Medicine, or Prism, a controversial new anti-open-access campaign sponsored by the Association of American Publishers, before it went public.
In an e-mail message, James D. Jordan, president and director of Columbia University Press, told The Chronicle today that he had tendered his resignation from the Executive Council of the AAP's Professional and Scholarly Publishing division on August 28, five days after Prism was announced. A task force of the Executive Council put the campaign together.
"I resigned from the Executive Council because I did not feel that serving at this time was the best use of my time or Columbia resources," Mr. Jordan wrote, "and because I had vocally opposed the launch of the Prism Web site and did not subscribe to arguments supporting it and opposing the NIH's public-access proposals."
Mr. Jordan said that his press remained "a member of PSP and the AAP, as both associations serve important educational missions for the scholarly-publishing community even though we do not always agree with every majority view of such a diverse community."
Another university-press leader, Stephen Bourne, chief executive officer of Cambridge University Press, has also made clear his displeasure about Prism. In an e-mail message to The Chronicle, he wrote that Cambridge "has in no way been involved in, or consulted on, the Prism initiative." He added that "Prism's message is oversimplistic and ill-judged, with the unwelcome consequence of creating tension between the publishing community and the proponents of open access."
DBpedia 2.0, Open Knowledge Foundation Weblog, September 10, 2007. Excerpt:
DBpedia recently released the new version of their dataset. The project aims to extract structured information from Wikipedia so that this can be queried like a database. On their blog they say:
The renewed DBpedia dataset describes 1,950,000 “things”, including at least 80,000 persons, 70,000 places, 35,000 music albums, 12,000 films. It contains 657,000 links to images, 1,600,000 links to relevant external web pages and 440,000 external links into other RDF datasets. Altogether, the DBpedia dataset now consists of around 103 million RDF triples.
As well as improving the quality of the data, the new release includes coordinates for geographical locations and a new classificatory schema based on Wordnet synonym sets. It is also extensively linked with many other open datasets, including: “Geonames, Musicbrainz, WordNet, World Factbook, EuroStat, Book Mashup, DBLP Bibliography and Project Gutenberg datasets”.
This is probably one of the largest open data projects currently out there - and it looks like they have done an excellent job at integrating structured data from Wikipedia with data from other sources. (For more on this see the W3C SWEO Linking Open Data project - which exists precisely in order to link more or less open datasets together.)
Comment. DBpedia harvests from Wikipedia because Wikipedia is large and free. But something similar could be done with unfree databases. The trick (apart from access) is to extract uncopyrightable facts and paraphrased assertions, not copyrighted expressions. Wikipedia may be the inexpensive way to prove the concept, but the concept is of much wider application. See some examples of DBpedia fact and assertion harvesting, and let your imagination run free.
A teaching moment on campuses
Marc Meola, Use PRISM To Start A Dialogue On Open Access, ACRLog, September 10, 2007. Excerpt:
PRISM, an anti-open access group of the Association of American Publishers, has launched a nasty PR campaign that attempts to demonize open access publishing by using simple slogans to equate open access with lack of peer review, government censorship, and theft of intellectual property. (I know, it’s funny, but they are actually saying this stuff. Good thing librarians know how to evaluate information, right?)
As noted in the SPARC letter to members,
the launch of this initiative provides a timely opportunity for engaging faculty members, researchers, students and administrators in dialogue on important issues in scholarly communications.
Most encouragingly, the Association of Research Libraries has produced an excellent issue brief with talking points that effectively counter the PRISM propaganda. ARL points out: On peer review-
The peer review system, based almost completely on the voluntary free labor of the research community, is independent of a particular mode of publishing or business model.
[I]f you need more ammo or a broader overview of the issue, Open Access and the Progress of Science is a well-written argument for open access to science literature in general and proposes the simple solution that scientists just deposit their papers in repositories as soon as they are peer reviewed.
Peter Suber, of course, is always a good source for debunking anti-open access arguments. One of the anti-open access claims is that open access will result in journal cancellations by libraries and collapse of the whole scholarly publishing system....Suber points out, however, that open access in physics has not led to journal cancellations by libraries.
The question for librarians, higher ed administrators and scholars then, is why hasn’t open access in physics led to journal cancellations? Do we really want to set up two systems, an open access repository system while maintaining the old system with publisher embargoes so that libraries will have to maintain subscriptions? Do we really want to “partner” with the kind of companies that have launched such a deceptive and distorted PR campaign?
US plan to digitize more archived documents for OA
The US National Archives and Records Administration (NARA) is soliciting public comments on its draft Plan for Digitizing Archival Materials for Public Access, 2007-2016. (Thanks to ResourceShelf.)
If you have comments, send them by November 9, 2007, to Vision@nara.gov.
Library group supports new OA policy at CIHR
The British Columbia Library Association (BCLA) has sent a letter of congratulations to the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR) on the new CIHR OA policy. (Thanks to Heather Morrison.) Excerpt:
This is an enlightened policy. As you yourself note in the press release, results of this policy will accelerate the understanding of human health and disease, and leverage the Canadian health research dollar.
The Open Access to Research Outputs policy means expanded access to health research across the country, and around the globe. Physicians, nurses, and other health care professionals outside the major centres will have access to this literature, increasing their ability to provide evidence-based care. Smaller colleges will be better equipped to train new nurses.
This policy will, in many respects, be seen as a model for other funding agencies.
BCLA and its members look forward to ongoing developments as the policy is implemented. Libraries and librarians throughout British Columbia will be working with researchers and readers to raise awareness of this wonderful initiative.
Evaluating OA law projects in Africa
Ivan Mokanov, Are LIIs making lawyers more competent? Slaw.ca, September 10, 2007. Excerpt:
The question is now being asked in Western Africa. The International Development Research Center of Canada (IDRC) has engaged in an assessment of the outcome of free access to law initiatives in four African countries – Burkina Faso, Niger, Senegal and Togo.
The evaluation will be focused more specifically on the impact of free circulation of legal information on the competence of lawyers.
In all those countries, where access to legal information is limited, if any, the local Bar Associations supported by the IDRC are involved in free access to law projects. In two of the countries, free access to law websites are already up and running (JuriBurkina and JuriNiger).
IDRC hopes to deliver an indicator-based framework that will assist Law Societies and other stakeholders involved in the free access to law movement worldwide in measuring the outcome of their efforts.
OA in the Earth sciences
Andrea Bollini and Andrea Marchitelli, Communicating Earth: open access in Earth sciences, a slide presentation at Geoitalia 2007 - W05: I luoghi e i modi dell'informazione sulle scienze della terra: dalla biblioteca al web (Rimini, September 11, 2007). In Italian but with this English-language abstract:
Earth sciences are among the most data-intensive sciences, with a remarkable cooperative work at international level. Data collecting and experiments are often expensive and last long years. So, logistics and system costs are very high. A main reason for publishing data and results is to maximize access and enable potential reuse in many more contexts than with traditional communication means. Fast availability of data and results is a must that cannot attend the traditional publishers’ timeline. Open access is the simplest choice to facilitate fast access to and reuse of scholarly communication and data about Earth sciences: publications and related primary data have to be freely accessible in the broadest and fastest way. A system of OAI-PMH-compliant data and service providers is the most effective way to improve the dissemination and impact of research. CILEA (a non-profit consortium of Italian universities) supports Open Access and is among the first signatories of the Berlin Declaration. Since 2003 CILEA operates the AePIC service, providing innovative solutions for electronic publishing and digital libraries at very competitive costs and timetable, employing open-source and OAI-PMH-compliant software. In the field of Earth sciences, CILEA-AePIC holds a significant role. It provides technical support and hosting to Earth prints http://www.earth-prints.org/, the open archive created and maintained by Istituto Nazionale di Geofisica e Vulcanologia (INGV) with the collaboration of Programma Nazionale Ricerche in Antartide. Earth-prints started in the last quarter of 2004 and grows rapidly and steadily. The goal of this repository is to collect, capture, disseminate and preserve the results of research in the fields of Atmosphere, Cryosphere, Hydrosphere and Solid Earth. In the last months CILEA-AePIC is working on the new archive of National Research Council - Research area of Potenza, called ArchEnviMat, that will allow scientists from Potenza Research Area to post and disseminate on-line, at no cost, their scientific work in electronic format.
Timo Hannay on PRISM and some of the debate about it
Timo Hannay, PRISM: Publishers' and Researchers' Intensifying Sense of Mistrust, Nascent (a Nature blog), September 10, 2007. Excerpt:
For anyone who's interested here is Nature Publishing Group's (NPG's) take on PRISM: Although Nature America is a member of the AAP, we are not involved in PRISM and we have not been consulted about it. NPG has supported self-archiving in various ways (from submitting manuscripts to PubMed Central on behalf of our authors to establishing Nature Precedings), and our policies are already compliant with the proposed NIH mandate.
Those are facts. What follows is just my personal opinion.
PRISM has understandably provoked a great deal of anger among those scientists who care about how the fruits of research are communicated. (In this sense, PRISM has achieved the exact opposite of dog-whistle politics: the only people to sit up and take notice have been those who were outraged by it. Nice work, guys.) My main emotion, however, is closer to bewilderment. Do PRISM's proponents (whoever they are) really think that their approach will do anyone, including themselves, any good? It's tempting to suggest that they are out of touch (e.g., with the ways in which technology is changing science and scientific communication), but it's equally possible that I'm out of touch (e.g., with Beltway politics), so I guess all I can conclude is that they inhabit a different universe to the one I'm in.
The things that I find most ill advised about PRISM are the needless belligerence of the message, the crude them-and-us stance, and the distortion of complex issues into unrecognisable caricatures. I wouldn't mind so much if the issues themselves were inconsequential, but they're not. Questions about how scientific communication should be funded, and what roles government should or should not play, are central to scientific progress.
It therefore troubled me that the initial counterattacks on PRISM were themselves often lacking in nuance and discrimination. Given the high emotion generated, this was understandable, but that's not the same as saying it was correct or helpful. The most general error has been to lump all publishers together in declaring them "evil", "afraid", "money-grabbing", and so on. True, PRISM seems to have come out of the AAP, which is a publishing industry body, but right from the beginning (when I also didn't have a clue what was going on) it was fairly clear to anyone who cared to make the distinction that PRISM was not the same as the AAP.
In reinventing scientific communication for the 21st Century we face genuinely difficult challenges. Many of us, in our own different ways, are trying to find solutions. PRISM certainly doesn't help, but nor do some of the more indiscriminate responses. The best antidote to its crude belligerence is not more of the same, but an open, fair and grown-up debate. These issues are too important to be addressed in any other way.
Senior Researcher, SPARC
Open Access Project Director, Public Knowledge
Research Professor of Philosophy, Earlham College
Author, SPARC Open Access Newsletter
Author, Open Access News blog