Wednesday, November 30, 2005


EBSCO has made Library Science & Information Technology Abstracts OA - on an ongoing basis! According to Sam Brooks, Senior Vice President, Sales & Marketing, EBSCO Information Services, on ERIL-L today: Everyone can have access to it. It is an open access database. It is available at If you want it added to the profile that contains your other EBSCOhost databases, please contact our technical support department at Thanks to Buddy Pennington from ERIL-L! - and kudos to EBSCO!

Introducing Charles W. Bailey Jr.

Charles W. Bailey, Jr. is the Assistant Dean for Digital Library Planning and Development at the University of Houston Libraries (Houston). From 1987-2003 he was the Assistant Dean for Systems at Houston. Over this same period Bailey has been a pioneer in the use of electronic media for the dissemination of electronic information.

In 1989, Bailey established PACS-L, an early mailing list about public access computers in libraries. This work led to Bailey's founding and editorship of the Public-Access Computer Systems Review, an open access journal, in 1990.

Bailey served as editor until 1996. At that time he began to produce the Scholarly Electronic Publishing Bibliography, a compendium of "selected English-language articles, books, and other printed and electronic sources that are useful in understanding scholarly electronic publishing efforts on the Internet." Bailey continues to update this bibliograohy every two weeks, and cumulates it periodically.

Within the past year Bailey has published two specialized bibliographies of timely topics. The Open Access Bibliography: Liberating Scholarly Literature with E-Prints and Open Access Journals (2004) defines key concepts of open access and lists over 1,3o0 resources. The bibliography is 129 pages, and is open access. (Printed copies are also available for purchase from the Association of Research Libraries). In 2005, Bailey produced the Open Access Webliography with Adrian K. Ho.

Bailey has also compiled a bibliography about the Google Print (now Google Book Search) controversy, which was current as of October 2005. This bibliography was published in DigitalKoans, Bailey's latest initiative. DigitalKoans is a Weblog that features commentary on scholarly electronic publishing and digital culture.

Thanks to Charles W. Bailey, Jr. for providing many valuable resources for librarians and other students of electronic publishing.

Tuesday, November 29, 2005

Ranganathan & Open Access

Continuing to explore the link between SRR and "open access" I thought I should check and see for myself the context in which he used the term - was it really in the context of open stacks as I believed the LIS forum discussion on this topic to have ended? Alas, I don't have a copy of the book at hand, but here's what I've been able to confirm. The phrase "open access" occurs in the index of S.R. Ranganathan's book Five Laws of Library Science - you can check it yourself courtesy of Amazon.

It looks like SRR discusses open access in the context of four of the five laws - first, third, fourth and fifth. Other references about open access include: (open access and) Reference service, Disservice to, Economics of, In Sweden, Safeguards in. Open stacks doesn't appear in the index although stack architecture and stack-room do. I wonder if somebody who has access to the paper copy of the original edition or the expanded edition can clarify for us?

Google Search Option for Creative Commons Licenses

The Creative Commons allows creators--authors, musicians, moviemakers--to provide more liberal rights to re-use their work than are provided in copyright law. It's a grassroots attempt to expand the public domain. OA Librarian operates under a Creative Commons license. While not every instance of a Creative Commons license provides complete open access, the Commons is a kindred spirit to the open access movement.

Google's advanced search mode allows you to search for content produced under various Creative Commons licenses. For the "Usage Rights" field, four search options correspond to various licenses: "free to use or share"; "free to use or share, even commercially"; "free to use share or modify"; and "free to use, share or modify, even commercially."

Further details about the Creative Commons license options are available here.

Open Access is not new!

Here is Anita Coleman's response to Anita Colemanon OA Librarian - from ACS Online:

I am flattered by Heather Morrison's description of dLIST and my activities in the OALibrarian blog - thank you!

Heather asks me to elaborate on how S.R. Ranganathan fits into the OA movement - she's referrring to the dLIST & dL-Harvest presentation I'd made in Sept. 2005 to the Library Student Organization here at the University of Arizona. In particular, the memorable slide that brings together pictures of J.D. Bernal, Stevan Harnad, and S.R.R. The picture of Ranganthan was included for a couple of different reasons.

One, around that time (Sept. 2005) a question had been posted to the LIS-Forum electronic discussion list about making Ranganathan's Five Laws of Library Science openly available. Not many libraries have copies and they are difficult to buy. The poster who was forwarding the request also wrote SRR "had preached open access and accessibility to information throughout his life" and so his books should be openly available. Subsequent discussions clarified that SRR had been advocating open stacks. Two, I also wanted to raise consciousness that the idea of open access is not new - the OA movement is new and the technologies to spur it and make it possible are new. But access to information has quite fundamentally been about opening access; little by little though it now seems. This is also where J.D. Bernal, controversial figure though he is, comes in. But I'll leave him as a teaser for a super duper reference librarian heroine to elaborate... :).

Does this help? Feel free to leave comments and questions by clicking on comments below and posting or attached to the OALibrarian post - thanks!

Sunday, November 27, 2005

Latest Scholarly Electronic Publishing Weblog

The Nov. 21 edition of the Scholarly Electronic Publishing Weblog is available, along with Charles Bailey's picks, on Digital Koans. Next update: Dec. 5.

OCA, Google Library Project

From Walt Crawford's perspective, the Open Content Alliance and Google Library Projects will NOT replace library catalogues, nor will they weaken libraries...for full details, check out the Dec. 2005 Cites and Insights. Thanks to OA News

Anita Coleman

What better way to join our friends in the U.S. in their Thanksgiving celebrations than by giving thanks for the driving force behind DLIST: Anita Coleman, just one of the very many American open access librarian leaders!

Anita's presentation DLIST and Dl-Harvest: Open Access for LIS: presentation Sept. 2005, outlines the history of DLIST and DL-Harvest, a metadata harvester providing cross-searching for 11 repositories. DLIST was started with a budget of $5000 for a server, and relies entirely on volunteer labor - including the labor of a number of Anita's students, graduate research assistants, and interns over the years. Anita also talks a little bit about the OA movement - some familiar figures - George Soros, Peter Suber, Stevan Harnad - and others, whose connection with the OA movement isn't quite so familiar for me. I'm intrigued that Anita lists S.R. Ranganathan, 1892 - 1972. Anita, care to elaborate?

DLIST has an international advisory board, which includes ALA President Michael Gorman. Did you know that Michael practices self-archiving? There are a couple of his articles in DLIST!

Anita, of course, self-archives her own work as well - a substantial body of it, as she serves as Assistant Professor, School of Information Resources & Library Science, University of Arizona. Recently, Anita released a survey instrument for a work in progress - the DLIST Survey 2005: Self-Archiving and Scholarly Communication Behaviors in LIS. This item was featured in the Nov. 26 Open Access News.

If you are a librarian and debating whether to self-archive - whether in DLIST, E-LIS, or your institutional repository: here is a thought. We librarians experience all the beneifts of self-archiving of every other discipline - enhanced impact, more citations - but, for us, there is another important reason to self-archive. That is, once those mandates come into play, our faculty will be looking for help to archive their own works - and what better way for us to gain experience, than by starting with our own works - or encouraging and helping friends!

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

Pilot Engineering Repository Xsearch

Have a look at this message posted on the Sci Tech Library Question blog.

It's about the PerX project that Roddy MacLeod is involved with that involves "Investigating Resource Discovery Issues in Engineering Digital Repositories."

Saturday, November 26, 2005

ACRLog and Open Access

ACRLog is the official blog of the Association of College & Research Libraries. Authored by a group of academic librarians, ACRLog aims to discuss the issues of the day in the field of academic librarianship. It has a category called "Scholarly Communications," which includes some posts about open access.

Wednesday, November 23, 2005

Metadata Librarian Job

This just in from Open Access News (thanks to Peter Suber).

The Texas A&M University Libraries are looking for a metadata librarian. Excerpt from the job ad:

[E]xperience with one or more of the following standards: Dublin Core, METS/MODS, OpenURL, OAI-PMH, TEI, or others. Experience with creation and/or management of digital objects in various text, image, sound, and/or video formats. Knowledge of institutional repositories and open access publishing....

Web Citation Index

World Information Review posted a news article today on Web Citation Index . Here's the first paragraph:

"Thomson Scientific is releasing a single tool for searching and accessing online open access content. The Web Citation Index (WCI) from the abstracting and indexing (A&I) specialist will become part of its ISI Web of Knowledge platform and connect together pre-print articles, institutional repositories and open access (OA) journals..."

Web Citation Index was first mentioned early last year. Here's a February 2004 press release from ISI announcing their collaboration with NEC Laboratories America on the product and an a news article on Web Citation Index from Information Today from a month later.

Monday, November 21, 2005

Urfist Info: Actualité des Sciences de l'Information

Urfist Info: Actualité des Sciences de l'Information. From Open Access News, Sunday Nov. 20:

Urfist is a network of French library schools dealing specifically with scientific and technical information. They host a good blog, Urfist Info, that frequently covers OA developments. Among the recent guest bloggers are Hélène Bosc (current), Olivier Ertzscheid, Hervé Le Crosnier, and Jean-Michel Salaün. (Thanks to Jean-Claude Guédon.)

Saturday, November 19, 2005

CARL Brief to SSHRC on Open Access

The Canadian Association of Research Libraries (CARL) has posted their brief to Canada's Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council (SSHRC) on Open Access on their news page at:

Antonella de Robbio

There are many, many heroes and leaders in the open access movement, around the world, including many librarians. Indeed, there cannot be too many: for open access to succeed, we all need to share. We need advocates and implementers in every country, every university, every association, every funding agency - and more. With profuse apologies to the many heroes and leaders who have not yet received the recognition deserved, let us make a start by linking to our works, and making a few introductions.

At the recent OAI4 and first E-LIS workshop, it was my great pleasure to meet for the first time the dynamic, hard-working, brilliant - and very kind - Antonella de Robbio.

Antonella is the originator and current site manager of E-LIS, an open access archive for documents in Librarianship, Information Science and Technology, and related areas, based on GNU e-prints technology, and hosted by the AEPIC team on computers belonging to the CILEA group. Formed in 2003, E-LIS is the first international e-print server in this subject area. In two short years, E-LIS has grown to include a completely volunteer editorial team from 41 countries (so far), with at least one editor in each country. E-LIS now includes close to 3,000 documents, and usage is beginning to rise substantially, as reported by Andrew Waller the other day, as awareness of E-LIS begins to grow. Papers and presentations from the first Workshop on e-prints in Library and Information Science, October 22, 2005, are available.

As the Co-ordinating Manager at the Library System of the University of Padova, one of Antonella's roles is as a member of the Italian Open Access Group (remember the Messina Declaration? To quote a message by Antonella on the rclis list: "On November 4th-5th 2004 thirty-two Italian universities (more than 40% of the Italian universities) gathered in Messina, Sicilia (Italy) to sign the "Messina Declaration", and committed to sign the Berlin Declaration".

Antonella also coordinates the Working Group for the Implementation of E-prints archives at the University of Padua, and recently brought forward an Open Access resolution to UNESCO. Naturally, Antonella's writings can be found through an E-LIS search (81 documents as of today, in Italian and English - not bad at all for a '98 grad of the Master in Library Management program at the Università Cattolica del Sacro Cuore, Milan).

Keep up the good work, Antonella! - and, may the rest of us have a fraction of your energy.

Watch for future articles on OA Librarian about other librarian OA leaders, including others on the E-LIS team, as well as DLIST's Anita Coleman. If you know someone whose work deserves to be highlighted, or if you would to see a link to your own work on OA Librarian, please contact one of the blog team members.

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Friday, November 18, 2005

Lehigh Conference on the Future of Scientific Publishing

Links to presentations from the conference, Scientific Publishing: What Does the Future Hold?, held at Lehigh University November 12, 2005.

Presentations by librarians at this conference:

Christine M. Roysden and Brian Simboli, Lehigh University. Whose Electronic Library Is It, Anyway?

Julia Blixrud, SPARC. Advancing Open Access for the Public Good

Wednesday, November 16, 2005

Visits and hits on E-LIS and DLIST

The number of visits and hits on two library and information science open access repositories, E-LIS and DLIST have greatly increased over the past year. E-LIS experienced 135,861 visits and 1,176,937 hits as of Octber 2005, up from 33,864 visits and 287,390 hits a year ago; looking just at hits, this is a 210% increase over what had been accumulated by a year ago. The number of hits on DLIST is 112,728, up from 41,146 in February 2004. Simply, these tools are being used more and more.

Tuesday, November 15, 2005

Introducing Walt Crawford's "Cites & Insights"

In "Cites & Insights: Crawford at Large," a Web-distributed journal of libraries, policy, technology and media, started in December 2000 by Walt Crawford, there is frequently a section called Library Access to Scholarship, which includes: events and articles related to access, including Open Access, alternative publishing models, and institutional archives. There is just such a section in his November 2005, No. 12 issue, which you can read by clicking here.

Okay, but who is Walt Crawford? Walt Crawford is a senior analyst at RLG (The Research Libraries Group) in California, and has been a full-time professional in library automation since 1968, at RLG since 1979. He is currently lead designer for Eureka, RLG's end-user search service and OpenURL analyst (among other things).Crawford was president of the Library and Information Technology Association (LITA), a division of the American Library Association, in 1992/93.

To learn more about Walt Crawford, see his homepage.

IFLA urges governments to promote OA

In the Alexandria Manifesto on Libraries, the Information Society in Action, IFLA "urges national, regional and local governments as well as international organisations to: (among other things) promote open access to information and address structural and other barriers to access...

Just in time for the second phase of the World Summit on the Information Society, which starts tomorrow, in Tunis! If you're a librarian and haven't heard about WSIS - it's an international event very much worth following. The documents from Phase I had many nice things to say about libraries, and librarians!

Thanks to Peter Suber's Open Access News.

Sunday, November 13, 2005

Reading without buying

Further to my post about John Willinsky's new book "The Access Principle", in the introduction of his book, John writes "I have published and circulated earlier versions of most of these chapters in open access journals and as e-prints on my Web site." So, if you want to get a read on the book without actually purchasing it, go the Public Knowledge Project website and scroll down the publications page to see John's articles.

Friday, November 11, 2005

Evidence Based Library and Information Practice: Call for Papers

Evidence Based Library and Information Practice, a new, peer-reviewed, open access journal due to begin publication in Spring 2006, has just issued a first call for papers.

From the Evidence Based Library and Information Practice web site:

Evidence Based Library and Information Practice is a new open-access, peer-reviewed journal due to begin publication in the spring of 2006. The purpose of the journal is to provide a forum for librarians to discover research which can contribute to best-practice decision making. Published quarterly by Learning Services, University of Alberta, this journal will provide original research and feature articles in the area of evidence based library and information practice as well as critically appraised reviews of existing research (evidence summaries).

Call for Papers
Evidence Based Library and Information Practice seeks papers on all areas of this topic including:
EBL application
Qualitative and quantitative research
Management and Administration issues related to EBP
Research Tools (statistics, data collection methods, etc.)
Collaborative and InterProfessional EBP
Research education in library schools
Evidence-Based Practices from other disciplines applicable to EBL
Harnessing evidence to support new innovations
Developing and applying evidence based tools
Future prospects for the evidenced based information profession
Maximizing the value and impact of our information services
The deadline for submissions for the first issue is December 1st, 2005. Subsequent 2006 deadlines are March 1st, June 1st and September 1st. See the Submissions section for further information.

Thanks to the Canadian Library Association's Evidence Based Librarianship Interest Group list for the alert.

DLIST Funding Proposal: The Impact of Open Access on Library and Information Science

Cheryl Knott Malone and Anita Coleman, The Impact of Open Access on Library and Information Science, text of a funding proposal, self-archived November 10, 2005.

This funding proposal is for research to answer the deceptively simple question, to what extent does open access improve the impact of an article?

The abstract notes that usage of usage of DLIST has grown from 41,156 hits in February 2004 to 112,728 hits in January 2005 - a near tripling of usage, in less than a year.

Thanks to Open Access News, Friday, November 11, 2005, for the alert.

Thursday, November 10, 2005

This Book's a Keeper!

I just received a doorstep delivery (yes, I ordered it online from MIT Press) of John Willinsky's brand new book "The Access Principle: The Case for Open Access to Research and Scholarship." Besides the fact that I've already touted on this blog Professor Willinsky's talents as a speaker and his expertise on open access, the back cover of his book includes the following praise from the open access guru himself, Peter Suber:

"John Willinsky understands the way the Internet changes everything for scholarly communication and has written a clear and compelling defense of open access, both in principle and in practice. I recommend it especially for its treatment of copyright issues and the special situation of scholarly societies and developing countries."

I've just started reading this book, and while I suspect I will be sharing it with many people (OA advocates and otherwise), I'm quite sure it's a book I'll want to keep.

Wednesday, November 09, 2005

Announcing...OA Librarian!

OA Librarian is a blog with two purposes.

The blog is designed to gather together major search sources for freely available information in library and information science. See the top right hand corner of the blog, which features links to the DOAJ LIS journal collection - 52 titles as of today, along with links to E-LIS and D-LIST, as well as key advocacy resources particularly relevant to libraries and librarians. The result is a combined pathfinder / news resource blog. The idea is to bookmark the page, for handy reference particularly to the free resources, a tool which will become of greater importance as the OA resources grow.

From my point of view, it is becoming more and more attractive to begin research with international resources such as DOAJ and E-LIS. I find that the results give me a much broader perspective than searching in a package including only articles in english, written by people whose background is very similar to mine. For LIS faculty, here is a thought: what about an assignment that actually requires the use of DOAJ and/or E-LIS, to take advantage of this broad, global perspective?

Postings are on topics relating to open access that are particularly relevant for libraries and librarians: comments on open access activities from our perspectives, thoughts about what librarians will be doing in an open access world, celebrations of OA library accomplishments and stories about OA advocate librarians.

OA Librarian is a team effort. Founding team members are Lesley Perkins, a recent graduate of UBC's SLAIS program, and member of the BCLA Information Policy Committee, Andrew Waller from the University of Calgary, who has done some co-writing and co-publishing on open access with me, and Marcus Banks from NYU, who is on the editorial board at the open access journal, Biomedical Digital Libraries. Marcus' own blog, Marcus' World, includes the journal-within-a-blog Politics With Perspective. Comments are welcome on OA Librarian, and there is room for more on the blog team, so if you would like to join, let one of us know! Or, if you have a single news item or resource to add, send it to one of the team members to blog.

Tuesday, November 08, 2005

E-LIS, an OA Archive for LIS

E-LIS is a free, open access archive for Library and Information Science; a truly international endeavor, with an editorial team encompassing 39 countries, and 22 languages represented - at least so far.

The first E-LIS Workshop was held at CERN in Switzerland, on October 22, 2005. More information about the Workshop, and about E-LIS, can be found at:

Please consider helping to build E-LIS by submitting your own articles, conference proceedings, newspaper and magazine articles, and more practical tools such as tutorials and pathfinders!

UofT's Digital Repository

The Autumn 2005 (Vol. 33, No. 1) issue of the University of Toronto Magazine contains an article called "The Infinite Library", written by Devin Crawley, a librarian and writer in Ottawa. The article's introduction reads: "Researchers are welcoming Google's plan to digitize millions of books, but the implications for libraries are profound." Citing "the growing competition between academic libraries and major technology companies, such as Google, Yahoo and Amazon," Crawley talks about how UTL (U of T Libraries) is attempting to teach researchers that there are limits to searching Google Scholar (although Google's logo is front and centre on the UTL home page), and that UTL's resources are more specialized, in-depth and targeted to specific fields. Crawley reports that "over the long term UTL is thinking about new ways that digitized materials can be stored, packaged and delivered." Here is an excerpt:

"As UTL attempts to secure a role for itself in the Google Age, it's reconsidering its traditional reliance on publishers and vendors and beginning to act a little like a publisher itself. Last year, for example, the library developed T-Space, a university-wide digital repository that holds thousands of documents, including course materials and unpublished scholarship that would previously have fallen outside the library's mandate to collect. Modelled on a similar repository developed by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, T-Space lets students download specialized course materials and allows faculty to post papers and research findings in a public venue without first having to find a publisher."

You can read the article here.