Friday, May 30, 2008

NIH policy: please express support!

OA Librarian colleagues - especially in the U.S. - please submit a comment in support of the NIH policy! Comments are due tomorrow, Saturday, May 31, at 5:00 p.m. Eastern Time. If you're not sure about the details of the policy implementation, no problem - at least comment on question number 4, expressing thanks and support for the policy.

Details from Peter Suber on Open Access News:

Time is short to comment on the NIH policy

Public comments on the OA mandate at the NIH are due by 5:00 pm (Eastern Standard Time), Saturday, May 31, 2008, less than two days from now

Submit your comments through the NIH web form.  But before you do, see some of the comments already submitted.  The pro-OA comments will give you ideas, and the anti-OA comments will show you what objections to answer and what perspective might predominate if you don't send in your own.

This time the NIH wants separate answers to four separate questions.  The web form has four separate spaces for them:

  1. Do you have recommendations for alternative implementation approaches to those already reflected in the NIH Public Access Policy?
  2. In light of the change in law that makes NIH’s public access policy mandatory, do you have recommendations for monitoring and ensuring compliance with the NIH Public Access Policy?
  3. In addition to the information already posted [here], what additional information, training or communications related to the NIH Public Access Policy would be helpful to you?
  4. Do you have other comments related to the NIH Public Access Policy?

If you're thinking that the NIH just concluded a round of public comments for its March 20 meeting, you're right.  See the comments generated by that round (and my blog post on them).  One persistent publisher objection is that the policy has not been sufficiently vetted and one purpose of the new round no doubt is to give the stakeholders one more chance to speak.  We must use it.  Publishers will.

Please submit a comment and spread the word.  Even if you have no suggestions to improve the policy, it's important to express your support.

Thanks to Peter Suber on
"">Open Access News

Sunday, May 25, 2008

Health Commons video

Science Commons' John Wilbanks has produced a 6-minute video on the Health Commons which explains succinctly what is broken about the current approach to health discovery, and how a health commons could make a difference.

The current approach emphasizes profit; this makes the weight problems of the wealthy a higher priority than river blindness, a serious affliction for millions of people around the world.

The world wide web makes it possible to create new approaches to science discovery, based on open sharing of knowledge and collaboration.

Thanks to Peter Suber on Open Access News.

Friday, May 23, 2008

Olympics archive is OA

I found this while doing something else. It appears to be masses of Olympic information in the LA84 Foundation archives. And considering what will descend on us in 2010, the topic is getting bigger.

From the entry page:

Digital Archive

The LA84 Foundation has undertaken an ambitious project to convert portions of its traditional library collection to digital format. The growing digital collection now contains more than 300,000 pages, stored in over 45,000 PDF files.

Digital resources include academic journals, scholarly books, popular sports magazines of the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, and an extensive offering of Olympic publications. The Olympic titles include a complete run of back issues of Olympic Review, the official publication of the International Olympic Committee, and two dozen Olympic Games official reports.

All of the digital publications are available at no cost to website visitors. The LA84 Foundation Search page provides full-text access to all digital documents and shows a complete list of titles.

Medicins sans Frontiers website now OA

From the Website:
MSF is well known for its humanitarian medical work, but it has also produced important research based on its field experience with vulnerable populations. Its studies have been published in over 90 peer-reviewed journals and have often changed clinical practice and been used for humanitarian advocacy.
This website archives MSF's scientific articles and makes them available free, with full text, and in an easily searchable format. No login required.

Sunday, May 18, 2008

The Audacity of SCOAP3

This brief page-and-a-half on SCOAP3 is an interesting an engaging way to learn about this exciting intiative to convert high energy physics publishing from subscription to OA:

The Audacity of SCOAP3
by Ivy Anderson, Director of Collections, California Digital Library


Taking Action on SCOAP3
by Julia Blixrud, Assistant Executive Director, External Relations, ARL, and Assistant Director, Public Programs, SPARC

downloadable from:

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Open Access Directory

The Open Access Directory is now open for viewing - please join us in building and refining this wiki!

OA Librarian is on the list of blogs about OA, naturally.

Monday, May 12, 2008

LION TV announcement

Announcing the Library Information literacy Online Network or LION TV

The ANimated Tutorial Sharing Project (ANTS) would like to announce the introduction of their new site: the Library Information literacy Online Network or LION TV.


LION TV is an Educational Network whose Information Literacy Broadcasts are directed at Teachers, Professors, Students or members of the General Public. As such, the site provides librarians with a Brand site on the Internet where people can go to for Information about Information; much like one would go to YouTube for Videos or Flickr for Pictures.

A review of the site indicates that:

  • Unlike YouTube, the broadcasts at this site are so clear that you can view the text typed into a search box.
  • Individual Episodes can be easily located and displayed.
  • It has excellent Sharing, Embedding, Linking, and E-mailing capabilities.
  • Viewers can opt to easily Syndicate all LION TV episodes at their own sites.
  • Anyone Embedding Episodes or Syndicating the Show, can select the size of screen they wish to see displayed at their site, so they are not restricted to small screens.
  • Identifying Files, Metadata and Creative Commons Rights for each Episode is very easy.
  • Viewers can subscribe to LION TV’s broadcasts using RSS, Miro, Pando or iTunes.
  • Viewers can provide Feedback to each episode.
  • The home page for LION TV provides viewers with a lot of information about Information Literacy and Libraries.

Less visibly:

  • The site makes use of excellent Push Technology to send broadcasts out to popular Brand sites on the Internet like Facebook, Blinkx, iTunes, Flickr, AOL Video, Yahoo Video, MySpace, MeFeedia, Meebo, MeeVee, Lycos Mix, del.ic.ious and Internet Archive - so even though the broadcasts are not on YouTube, they are ubiquitous.
  • The site has excellent statistics which enables us to keep track of viewing numbers for each episode.

While not all distribution sites have been officially posted to, we are working at getting the content out to as many sites as possible. In the interim you can:

Librarians wishing to add to the LION TV’s broadcasts can do so by adding a tutorial or video broadcast to the ANTS repository at DSpace.[1] Topics might include Facebook and Privacy; Copyright; The Open Web vs the Invisible Web; The Information Cycle; Media Literacy, Database Searching, (etc). We will take the content, do the file conversions, and upload it to LION TV. So all you need do is create and upload. We will handle the rest.

We at ANTS and LION TV are very excited about this new site as we recognize that Librarians and Educators today face an enormous challenge in attempting to be seen and heard amidst all of the noise on the Internet - and we believe that LION TV can help. LION TV places Librarian created content onto popular brand sites and this content then directs people back to a new Library Brand site: LION TV. Once there, people will discover an Online Network with professional insight into the complex World of Information. In short, LION TV’s approach to broadcasting and brand name promotion – combined with the rich array of content coming from contributors to ANTS – will work to ensure that libraries and librarians are once again visible where many people spend their time online.

Presently, LION TV contains 44 broadcasts and with the help of our fellow librarians in institutions everywhere, will continue to add to our list of educational broadcasts. If you would like to assist with this initiative, we would encourage you to (1) become a contributing member of ANTS (see: ) and (2) ensure that students, teachers, faculty or members of the general public know about this site by promoting it to your users.

Join us by developing professional content and sharing it with the world. When you do so, everyone wins.


The ANTS Team

[1] Note: While content is welcome, please keep in mind that it should be content that is relevant beyond your home institution or home library. Please do not include shots of your library or your library’s home page. Instead keep content generic enough to be relevant to all viewers.

If you are creating a tutorial for a specific e-product, we have important Guidelines for Developing ANimated Tutorials that provide people with a good overview of what to include and exclude. These guidelines are very good and many have commented that they are useful even when they are not contributing content to ANTS. They can be found at:

Monday, May 05, 2008

Launch of Open Access Directory

From SCHOLCOMM - congratulations and thanks to Peter Suber, Robin Peek, and the rest of the Open Access Directory group for this initiative:

Open Access Directory: A wiki to organize information about the open access movement

Boston, April 30, 2008. Peter Suber and Robin Peek have launched the Open Access Directory (OAD), a wiki where the open access community can create and maintain simple factual lists about open access to science and scholarship. Suber, a Research Professor of Philosophy at Earlham College, and Peek, an Associate Professor of Library and Information Science at Simmons College, conceived the project in order to collect OA-related lists for one-stop reference and searching.

The wiki will start operating with about half a dozen lists - for example, conferences devoted to open access, discussion forums devoted to open access, and journal "declarations of independence"- and add more over time.

The goal is to harness the knowledge and energy of the open access community itself to enlarge and correct the lists. A list on a wiki, revised continuously by its users, can be more comprehensive and up to date than the same list maintained by an individual. By bringing many OA-related lists together in one place, OAD will make it easier for users, especially newcomers, to discover them and use them for reference. The easier they are to maintain and discover, the more effectively they can spread useful, accurate information about open access.

The URL for the Open Access Directory is

To contact us, email Athanasia Pontika, the Assistant Editor, or the Editorial Board.

The wiki is represented by an editorial board consisting of prominent figures in the open access movement. The Graduate School of Library and Information Science (GSLIS) at Simmons College hosts and provides technical support to the OAD.

Editors and administrators
Robin Peek. Editor, Associate Professor, Graduate School of Library and Information Science, Simmons College
Athanasia Pontika. Assistant Editor, Doctoral Student, Graduate School of Library and Information Science, Simmons College
Terry Plum. Technical Coordinator, Assistant Dean for Technology and Director, Simmons GSLIS at Mount Holyoke College
Editorial board members
Charles Bailey. Publisher, Digital Scholarship
Leslie Chan. Program Supervisor for New Media Studies, University of Toronto Scarborough
Heather Joseph. Executive Director, Scholarly Publishing and Academic Resources Coalition (SPARC)
Melissa Hagemann. Open Society Institute
Peter Suber. Research Professor of Philosophy at Earlham College, Visiting Fellow at Yale Law School, and Senior Researcher at SPARC
Alma Swan. Key Perspectives Ltd
John Wilbanks. Vice President, Creative Commons

This post is both a copy, and a derivative of the SCHOLCOMM listserv message. Minor changes have been made, for technical reasons (e.g., to add links and enhance blogger formatting). This illustrates one of the benefits of the PERMISSIONS aspect of open access. A message that permits such changes is more useful to the sender than one that does not; in this case, more publicity for the Open Access Directory!

Friday, May 02, 2008

Amazing OA Progress in April 2008

Peter Suber just released the May 2008 SPARC Open Access Newsletter. Peter's feature article this month is "What we don't know about open access: research questions in need of researchers".

Also worth highlighting: the absolutely amazing progress towards open access reflected in Peter's Roundup Section. There are 10 items reporting open access mandate news, all very good news and including 5 new university open access policies, by the Irish Research Council for Science, Engineering and Technology (IRCSET), Stirling University, Southampton University, Queen Margaret University, Sweden's University College of Borås, with more in the works. Wow!


The Irish Research Council for Science, Engineering and Technology (IRCSET) adopted its long-awaited OA mandate.

The new OA mandate at the NIH took effect for the majority of NIH grantees.

The UK Medical Research Council revised its OA mandate. When the MRC pays for a gold OA article, then it will demand the removal of key permission barriers, not merely the removal of price barriers.

The European Commission recommended OA for publicly-funded research in its April 10 report on tech transfer.

Stirling University adopted an OA mandate (on March 5, announced April 9), the first university-wide mandate in the UK the second (after Harvard's) to be adopted by faculty rather than administrators.

The University of Southampton adopted a university-wide OA mandate (announced April 4). Its School of Electronics and Computer Science has had a departmental mandate since 2001.

Scotland's Queen Margaret University adopted an OA mandate (on February 19).

Sweden's University College of Borås adopted an OA policy encouraging faculty to deposit their journal articles in the institutional repository.

The European University Association (EUA) released an updated version of its OA recommendations. The EUA calls on universities to mandate OA to their research output and to support OA mandates for publicly-funded research. The EUA has 791 institutional members in 46 countries.

The Open University is considering an "immediate deposit / optional access" OA mandate.