Saturday, May 27, 2006

Free College English and Organic Chemistry Resources

Free College English Resources are available, thanks to Beth Ritter-Guth at Lehigh Carbon Community College.

Why? Beth says: "I teach English at a community college in Eastern Pennsylvania, USA. I am opening the doors of all of my English courses in hopes that people from developing countries can use the materials to teach English". Thanks, Beth!

Beth's group participates as a Writing Partner in Useful Chemistry, an open-source approach to science developed by Jean-Claude Bradley of Drexel University. This open -source approach involves sharing not only information, but opportunities to participate in research through blogging experiments and the use of wikis. The writing partners help to make science information more accessible by writing science information in a way that can be understood by those without research-level expertise.

Jean-Claude Bradley's group makes available free Organic Chemistry Resources. There are links to other free chemistry resources too - at the University of Alberta, MIT, and CU Boulder.

This open source approach to science is one of the interest areas of Chemists Without Borders. When your aim is education and development around the world - open access, and open source, just makes sense!

Friday, May 26, 2006

PPT for OA presentation at BCLA

How's that for an acronyn-filled (or is it an initialism-filled) title? Anyway, the powerpoint for the presentation I gave with Brian Owen and Lesley Perkins at the British Columbia Library Association (BCLA) conference last month, "Open Access: Three Perspectives", has been deposited into E-LIS. It can be found at, available to all.

Seeing is Believing

While OA disbelievers are right about the existence of profitable publishers and their grip on profits, what must be remembered is that OA does not require their cooperation. Here's another Peter Suber article explaining the wonders of OA to authors who have trouble seeing past the profit barrier. Excerpt:

"A surprising number of OA converts - I am one - did not go beyond understanding to enthusiasm until they provided OA to their own writings and saw for themselves, sometimes suddenly, the signs of rising impact. There is a discernible increase in e-mail from serious readers, inclusions in course syllabi, links from on-line indices, invitations to important conferences and citations in other publications. When you experience this in your own case, although anecdotal it is compelling. When you hear it from a trusted colleague, it is persuasive. OA is about barrier-free sharing of research results with colleagues worldwide. This enlarges our audience and increases our impact. This is the message that our busy colleagues must understand. "

Thursday, May 25, 2006

It's Not Just About the Money

Recently a faculty member (male, 50s, not tenured) told me and a friend (both of us female, 40s, librarians, passionate OA advocates) that he "doesn't believe in open access." Says it will never happen, there are too many capitalists out there, too many people making a lot of money, and there's no way they're going to stop publishing scholarly articles for profit. And he's in the LIS field, too (oh, the shame!). Which doesn't necessarily mean he understands open access. Research has indicated that many academic researchers don't have a good handle, for various reasons, on the OA concept. What to say to these academic disbelievers, poo-pooing OA, confused about the money? I'm sure you have some ideas. There's an answer to the profit argument (and several others) in this Peter Suber 2002 article Open Access to the Scientific Journal Literature. Give it your own style, of course.

"Sponsored Articles" in Elsevier Journals

First thing this morning (Thursday, May 25, 2006) I came across a posting to the liblicense-l list from Tony McSean and Daviess Menefee from Elsevier with the subject "Sponsored Articles In Elsevier Journals". The gist of this post is that, starting this month, Elsevier will allow authors of articles that have been accepted to six physics journals to make their articles accessible to non-subscribers for a "sponsorship" fee of $3,000. The journals involved are:

Nuclear Physics A
Nuclear Physics B
Nuclear Physics B Proceedings Supplements
Nuclear Instruments and Methods A
Physics Letters B
Astroparticle Physics

Over the next two months, 30 more Elsevier journals from other subject areas will also start to offer this option.

The fee does not include other possible charges such as colour costs and taxes.

I figured that something would be coming from Elsevier sooner or later. It's very interesting that the terms "open access" and "OA" are never mentioned in the posting. Thoughts on this anyone?

There is more information about the sponsored articles option on the journal homepages which can be accessed via; a search using the term "sponsored articles" will pull these up. Supposedly, there is also information on the Elsevier author gateway site but I couldn't find anything there (yet); I suspect that it will appear soon.

Wednesday, May 24, 2006

Time Flies When You're Fighting the Good Fight

This article by Peter Suber - "Removing the Barriers to Research: An Introduction to Open Access for Librarians" - is already over three years old (where does the time go??), but certainly well worth reading (or re-reading, if you saw it back in 2003) by librarians and non-librarians everywhere.

Solar-powered donkey libraries

Perhaps slightly off-topic, but literacy, computers and internet access are essential for everyone to take advantage of open access, after all:

Solar-powered donkey libraries, an extension of the new Prince Rupert Library, are bringing books, literacy - and electronic gadgets, including computers and internet access - to children throughout Zimbabwe.

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

Sunday, May 21, 2006

Toward the Creation of a New Scholarly Press

Kathleen Fitzpatrick wants "nothing less than to revolutionize scholarship, both what it looks like and how it gets done"... As an outcome of the April 24, 2006 meeting of the Institute for the Future of the Book, in Toward the Creation of a New Scholarly Press, Kathleen talks about a process of creation of electronic manuscripts involving open access deposit of preprints and a post-print, open peer review process. Highly recommended reading!

Thanks to Alvin Schrader.

Wednesday, May 17, 2006

Open Access Brochure in Turkish

ANKOS OA&IR Working Group prepared Open Access (OA) Brochure in Turkish to guide researchers, academics, and librarians on what is open access; what is not open access; how to create open access: green and gold ways; open access and copyright; impact of open access and royalty free publication; why and how to support open access; open access in international context; towards to national open access movement and open access activities in Turkey. It is similar in format to the SPARC OA Brochure. The ANKOS OA Brochure will be distributed to the university administations, libraries, and research centers in Turkey to create awareness on the subject.

Tuesday, May 16, 2006

IFLA: Promoting the Implementation of Open Access

Some of the presentations from the upcoming IFLA conference in Seoul this August are already online! Links can be found at Gary Price's Resource Shelf. Gary says he will continue posting the IFLA OA papers as they are posted. Thanks to Peter Suber on OA News.

Thursday, May 11, 2006

Morrison & Waller Talk Open Access - CHLA/ABSC

The Canadian Health Libraries Association (CHLA/ABSC) is hosting its annual conference in Vancouver, B.C. from May 12-16th. OA Librarians Heather Morrison and Andrew Waller are presenting their talk Open access for the medical librarian on Sunday May 14th. As program chair, I am happy to welcome my open access colleagues to our annual conference.

Article on NIH OA Policy in Chronicle of Higher Education

The Chronicle of Higher Education for May 11, 2006 has an article on the state of the National Institute of Health (NIH) open-access policy after one year ("NIH Has Little to Celebrate on 1st Anniversary of Its Open-Access Policy, but Changes May Be on Way"). There's not much in the article that is new to readers of OA Librarian but it is a nice summary of the situation. Here are a few things that are mentioned:
  • The NIH policy requesting that authors deposit articles borne from NIH-funded research in an OA repository no later than 12 months after publication has generally failed, with less than 4% compliance.
  • In November, an NIH working group recommended that the deposition be made mandatory and that the window for deposit be shortened to six months. A deputy director of NIH says that the organization is looking at changes to the policy but is not ready to implement anything yet.
  • Some publishers want to keep the policy as is and are concerned about the effects possible changes may have on subscriptions. There is a brief section in the article dealing with whether or not access to articles in OA repositories actually has an impact on subscriptions.
  • There is a short mention of the proposed Federal Research Public Access Act, which would mandate deposition of articles based on research funded by 11 US federal government agencies within a six month period.
The Chronicle article can be found at but, unfortunately, it's not OA; it's limited to subscribers.

Wednesday, May 10, 2006

Blogger comments on Google Scholar Rival

Dean Giustini, OA Librarian blog team member, Google Scholar blogger (and by day a librarian at the University of British Columbia's Biomedical Branch), is quoted in the April 2006 issue of The Scientist Magazine, in an article called Librarians Start Your Search Engines, about Microsoft's new free product, Windows Live Academic Search. Giustini says he likes Microsoft’s Academic Search’s “bells and whistles,” such as self-sort and importing results, which “are the kinds of features we normally pay for in our fee-based tools.”

(Where I found this article: May 2006 issue of UBC's e-Strategy Update).

Tuesday, May 09, 2006

SA Research Publishing Report Includes OA Recommendation

A report issued in March by the Academy of Science of South Africa ( entitled Report on a Strategic Approach to Research Publishing in South Africa, which looks at ways to improve the quality and visibility of South African journals, includes a recommendation (#6) dealing with Open Access. This recommendation reads:

"that the Department of Science and Technology takes responsibility for ensuring that Open Access initiatives are promoted to enhance the visibility of all South African research articles and to make them accessible to the entire international research community. Specifically:

■ online, open access (“Gold route”) versions of South African research journals should
be funded in significant part through a per-article charge system (linked in the case of
higher education institutions to an agreed fraction of output publication subsidies, and
in the case of other research- producing institutions to adapted budgeting practice),
but publishers should still sell subscriptions to print copies and should maximise
other sources of income to lower the article-charge burden;
■ a federation of institutional Open Access repositories, adhering to common standards,
should be established (“Green route”), with resources made available to help institutions
in the preliminary stage, this virtual repository to be augmented by a central repository
for those institutions which are unable to run a sustainable repository;
■ national harvesting of South African Open Access repositories should be undertaken as
a matter of urgency, preferably by the NRF; and the importance of affordable bandwidth
for research communications for this purpose be drawn to the attention of DST officials
negotiating for better rates."

The complete report can be found at

There's also an article on the report at

Monday, May 08, 2006

SSHRC Decision on OA

It's easy for us OA advocates to feel disappointed by the recent SSHRC decision not to impose mandatory requirements on researchers to publish via open access. Instead, SSHRC has opted to focus on creating awareness and pursuing discussions with major stakeholders, and to gradually incorporate open access provisions in research support programs.

Michael Geist makes a few points worth noting about the decision.

Friday, May 05, 2006

60th LIS Journal in DOAJ!

There are now 60 LIS Journals in DOAJ!. Welcome to new DOAJ journal, the Chinese / English
Journal of Educational Media & Library Sciences. This is getting to be an impressive list of journals - to read, or to publish in!

Thursday, May 04, 2006

Bibliography Update

From Charles W. Bailey Jr.: Version 62 of the Scholarly Electronic Publishing Bibliography is now available. It contains over 2,600 articles, books and other print and electronic sources. Very helpful for understanding scholarly electronic publishing efforts on the Internet.

See also (by the same author) the following "liographies" (both listed under Resources to the right: The Open Access Bibliography: Liberating Scholarly Literature with E-Prints and Open Access Journals. Provides more indepth coverage of the OA movement and related topics. And The Open Access Webliography, which provides access to a number of websites related to OA topics.

Tuesday, May 02, 2006

SPARC Open Access Newsletter

The May issue of the SPARC Open Access Newsletter is online. Peter Suber highlights the Federal Research Public Access Act of 2006, introduced by Senators John Cornyn and Joe Lieberman in the U.S. senate this morning.

Monday, May 01, 2006

Access Begins with "A" - Librarians Start There

One of the most innovative health sciences libraries in the United States is the Spencer S. Eccles Health Sciences Library at the University of Utah. Last week, UofU (hey, that has a ring, doesn't it?) did some live-streaming of their "Access Horizon Conference, 2006" keynotes, including a few heavyweights from the medical library community.

I encourage all librarians interested in access - isn't open access, for us, a tautology? - to listen to & watch the U.S. National Librarian of Medicine, Donald Lindberg's talk on access to truthful and relevant scientific information.

Open access, if you must, is covered in "A Call to Change: Open Access Initiatives and the Movement to Transform Scholarly Communication" by Joyce L. Ogburn, Director, J. Willard Marriott Library Valeri Craigle, Digital Initiatives, Spencer S. Eccles Health Sciences Library (slides), RealMedia video of session.