Wednesday, June 28, 2006

Reearch Councils U.K. Open Access Position Announcement

Very important - and very, very good news for open access today, from the U.K.!

The Research Councils U.K. today released their Open Access Position Announcement. In brief, each Council is developing its own policy, reflecting disciplinary differences.

The Medical Research Council has announced a very strong OA mandate policy (required deposit in PubMedCentral / PMC-UK when available) - preferably immediately, but no more than 6 months after publication.

The Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council "will require a copy of any resulting published journal article or conference proceedings to be deposited, at the earliest opportunity, in an appropriate e-print repository". This policy refers to respecting publishers' copyright and embargo policies - which some might see as a weakness, but might actually refer to authors who have agreements with publishers predating this policy announcement, a sensitivity reflected elsewhere in the RCUK announcement.

The Economic & Social Reearch Council policy says: "For awards from grant applications submitted from 1 October 2006, it will be mandatory, at the earliest opportunity, to:

* Personally deposit, or otherwise ensure the deposit of, a copy of any resultant articles published in journals or conference proceedings, in the ESRC awards and outputs repository.
* Wherever possible, personally deposit, or otherwise ensure the deposit of, the bibliographical metadata relating to such articles, including a link to the publisher's website, at or around the time of publication, in the ESRC awards and outputs repository.

One other council is "strongly encouraging" open access, while the rest are still developing their policies.

For more comments, see:

JISC Welcomes RCUK's statement on access to research outputs

Peter Suber's notes and comments on Open Access News (and continue to watch OA News for further comments, of course).

Thanks to Stevan Harnad on the American Scientist Open Access Forum for sharing the news.

Tuesday, June 27, 2006

The Open Access Movement and Information for Development

Papers and summary reports from the Open Access Movement and Information for Development online discussion forum coordinated by Sue Adams of the Coady International Institute are now available online and open access.


Heather Morrison, Canada. Open Access for Librarians in Developing Countries.

Lydia Anjiah, East Africa. Open Access: Is it a Futile Option for Developing Countries?

Olutoyin Meijiuni, Nigeria. Open Access, Adult Education and Development in Nigeria.

Batchuluun Yembu, Mongolia. Open and Distance Education in Mongolia: Possible Relevance of Open Access.

Arlene Whetter, Vietnam. Open Access and Information for Development in Vietnam.

DidiBahini Youth Forum, Nepal. The "Open Access" (OA) Movement and Information for Development.

Sabina Iseli-Otto, Canada. Open Access and Information for Development: Summary of Online Discussion Messages.

Translations into local languages are welcome.

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.

Monday, June 26, 2006

Microsoft Creative Commons Add-Ins

A nifty tool for self-archivers! Those who use Microsoft Office now have a means of easily adding their Creative Commons licenses directly to Word, Excel, or Powerpoint!

Thanks, Microsoft, and thanks to Chris Burns from Kwantlen University College for the tip.

Friday, June 23, 2006

Dean Giustini joins Biomedical Digital Libraries Advisory Board!

OA Librarian blogger Dean Giustini has joined the Biomedical Digital Libraries Advisory Board!

Congratulations, Dean, and thanks!

In other news, Biomedical Digital Libraries is also moving to an open peer review process, as Marcus Banks explains in a recent editorial on The Future of Biomedical Digital Libraries.

Monday, June 19, 2006

Open Access Presentation at the Canadian Library Association

Newly self-archived in E-LIS!

Morrison, Heather and Waller, Andrew and Vézina, Kumiko (2006) Open Access: Policy, Academic, and University Perspectives. Delivered at Canadian Library Association Conference 2006, Ottawa, Ontario (Canada).

It was my very great pleasure to be a part of this panel of passionate librarian open access advocates at the Canadian Library Association last week!

I presented an update on open access policy developments and talked about why it is funding agencies are so fond of open access; Andrew Waller talked about university libraries' questions and thoughts about the economics of switching to open access; and Kumiko Vézina presented some data from her recently-completed research with faculty members at 6 major Québec Universities. A couple of highlights: Kumiko's findings on the % of faculty who are willing to self-archive are almost the same as those reported by Swan and Brown. It came as a bit of a surprise that 27% of faculty reported that they have already published in an open access journal - more than any of us had thought, but less than any of us would like to see, of course!

The very best part came at the end of the session - the questions, both at the presentation and afterwards - about how to find open access resources, where to publish open access, how to become an open access advocate.

Open Access presenters, here is a tip: be sure to keep up with Peter Suber's Open Access News, right up to presentation time! There were no less than 3 items that morning that we needed to fit in....

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, June 11, 2006

Self-archiving for librarians: the options are multiplying!


Not very long ago at all, librarians had few or no options for self-archiving. This is changing dramatically. In the near future, for example, a university librarian in British Columbia may have six or more open access respositories to choose from: a university IR, the COPPUL ANTS repository, BCcampus SOL*R, E-LIS, DLIST, and other LIS repositories, as well as conference options for conference papers. There are advantages to having all these options. A little friendly rivalry can only help to sharpen the repository software. Some repositories can accomodate formats, such as audiovisual, that others cannot. The challenge for all of us involved in open access repositories will be to figure out how to work together, so that we are all promoting self-archiving first, as well as our own options. We also need to keep the user in mind, and find search options that make it easy for the user to find what they are looking for, regardless of which archive houses the item.


One of my favorite themes to write about is the Dramatic Growth of Open Access.

One sign of this growth for librarians is what I am seeing as a dramatic expansion in opportunities for self-archiving for librarians.

A couple of years ago, when I first started thinking about self-archiving, I wasn't sure what archives were available. LIS Archives are still pretty new - E-LIS was just established in 2003.

Now, many a librarian in BC has a number of options for self-archiving already, and the options are expanding. The Canadian Association of Research Libraries has an institutional repository program, so every university librarian either has an institutional repository handy, or will within the next few years.

Building on one of these repositories, D-Space at the University of Calgary, the Council of Prairie and Pacific University Libraries (COPPUL) have a new repository, still in pilot stage, called ANTS (Animated Tutorials Sharing Project), which is capturing imaginations throughout western Canada.

For BC librarians, there is also a provincial repository originally designed for learning objects, the SOL*R repository of BCcampus. BC academic librarians are very excited about the potential of participating in this repository for sharing of learning materials such as tutorials. The Academic Librarians in Public Service (ALPS) group of BCLA has formed a new subcommittee, the BCcampus Shareable Online Resources Team, to develop a space for sharing within the BCcampus repository. [Disclosure: I am the current Chair of ALPS].

Then, of course, there is our very own subject repositories - E-LIS, DLIST, and others, which many of us at OA Librarian are very much involved with.

For conference presentations, there is often an option to post presentations on the conference website as well.

This is all fabulous, of course! This means choice for the author, and a little friendly rivalry won't hurt to encourage development of the repositories. At the moment, there are real advantages to having many repositories. Some of the repositories can accomodate multimedia, for example, while others cannot.

The challenge for all of us involved in LIS self-archiving will be to figure out how to work together. Encouraging self-archiving, and making it easy for the user to find materials regardless of which archive houses them, is more important than who deposits in which archive.

If anyone knows of yet more repository options for librarians, I'd love to hear about them - please post a comment!

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.

Friday, June 09, 2006

Now OA! 7th International Conference on Webometrics...

The 52 papers from the International Workshop on Webometrics, Scientometrics & Seventh COLLNET meeting are now available in E-LIS.

This is truly an international event and effort in more than one sense! One of the topics covered by many of the presenters is international cooperation in science. The presenters themselves are from all over the world - from the U.S. to Iran, Brazil to China to Germany & France, and more.

E-LIS, the Open Archive for Library and Information Studies, is truly an international effort, too. We are volunteers from more than 50 countries, all working together to build this open archive that supports 22 languages.

Researchers - many thanks for sharing your work!

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.

Evidence Based Librarianship and Open Access

Issue 1:2 of the open access journal, Evidence Based Library and Information Practice, has just been released.

This issue includes my commentary, Evidence Based Librarianship and Open Access.


Evidence based practice, whether in librarianship or any other profession, depends on access to the evidence, and access to opportunities to share one’s own evidence. Open access (OA) is the perfect complement to evidence based librarianship. OA provides the optimum access to the evidence for librarians everwhere, and the optimum means of dissemination. This article compares examines access to the LIS literature in the print and electronic media, and the impact of open access.

About the journal:

Evidence Based Library and Information Practice is an international journal developed by the Canadian Library Association's Evidence Based Librarianship Interest Group (EBLIG). EBLIG recently announced a new membership offer for international librarians interested in joining the EBLIG only (not CLA). Evidence Based Library and Information Practice is hosted by the University of Alberta Libraries, and uses the free, open source Open Journal Systems software.

Thursday, June 08, 2006

dLIST Information Sciences Digital Archive Announces New Editors

We are pleased to announce the dynamic new team of editors for dLIST, the Digital Library of Information Science & Technology. These Information/Library & Information Science faculty and librarians will be responsible for specific subjects.

* Charles W. Bailey, Jr., Asst. Dean for Digital Library Planning and Development, University of Houston Libraries, Houston

* Anita Coleman, Asst. Prof., University of Arizona, Tucson

* Marija Dalbello, Assoc. Prof., Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey, New Brunswick

* Fernando Elichirigoity, Asst. Prof., University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

* Kristin R. Eschenfelder, Assoc. Prof., University of Wisconsin at Madison

* Cheryl Knott Malone, Assoc. Prof., University of Arizona, Tucson

* Paul Marty, Asst. Prof., Florida State University, Tallahassee

* Michael May, Adult Services Librarian, Carnegie-Stout Public Library, Dubuque

* Soo Young Rieh, Asst. Professor, University of Michigan

dLIST is a cross-institutional, subject-based, open access digital archive for the Information Sciences, including Archives and Records Management, Library and Information Science, Information Systems, Museum Informatics, and other critical information infrastructures. The dLIST vision is to serve as a trusted archive and source for scholarly communication in the Information Sciences, broadly understood. dLIST seeks to positively impact and shape scholarly communication in our closely related fields. Editors represent diverse sub-disciplinary communities and work closely with scholars in different fields such as Digital Humanities and Digital Libraries (Marija Dalbello), Government Information and Social Informatics (Kristin Eschenfelder), Information Behaviors (Soo Young Rieh), Museum Informatics (Paul Marty), Scholarly Communication (Charles Bailey), Science Technology Studies (Fernando Elichirigoity), and Classics (Michael May). More information about each of the dLIST editors is available at

The new team invites you to self-register, self-archive and explore the many unique features of dLIST.

Some dLIST features are:

* DL-Harvest,, an open access aggregator, which brings together materials from 14 global and open access archives in the Information Sciences for meta-searching and access to the full-text

* Detailed Usage Statistics,;range=4w provide usage statistics of each item in dLIST

* RSS feeds and subscription alerts for items deposited in dLIST are available both by individual subjects (example: Academic Libraries) as well as the entire archive and anybody can be alerted automatically and quickly about new dLIST works,

* A streamlined new web-based submission interface that lets authors upload and deposit their works easily

* Software patches and modifications (useful to Eprints archive maintainers) by Joseph Roback,

* dLIST Classics is a new project that will be making fundamental and leading Library and Information Science texts openly accessible in dLIST.

For more information about dLIST and to self-register please visit or email dlist at u dot arizona dot edu.

dLIST, Digital Library of Information Science & Technology
Email: dlist at u dot arizona dot edu
Contact: Garry Forger, Learning Technologies at the University of Arizona

Tuesday, June 06, 2006

Scholar's Copyright

The Scholar's Copyright initiative of Science Commons provides an easy means for researchers to ensure they keep all the rights they need for open access, through an addendum (three different forms) to add to their copyright transfer agreement. Thanks to Peter Suber on Open Access News for the alert.

Monday, June 05, 2006

Institutional Support Key Variable in Success of Open Access Publishing

Thanks to Peter Suber for alerting us to a new study by McCabe and Snyder, Academic Journal Prices in a Digital Age: A Two Sided Market Model. One of the conclusions of the study is that author's fees for open access journals--which can be a stumbling block to support of open access among academics--can be reduced to nothing, given strong institutional support of open access publishing.

Saturday, June 03, 2006

June 2006 SPARC Open Access Newsletter

Peter Suber's June 2006 SPARC Open Access Newsletter is available. Highlights include analysis of the Kaufman-Wills study, the Elsevier hybrid journals, and an update on the Federal Research Public Access Act of 2006.

Thursday, June 01, 2006

Canadian Parliamentary Library - Beacon of Access

An enduring symbol of Canada's heritage, and history, is our Parliamentary Library. The library was originally completed in 1876, less than a decade after Confederation, and a century after the United States Declaration of Independence.

The octagonal jewelbox of a library is the only part of Canada's original Houses of Parliament to have survived the 1916 fire. A quick-thinking librarian by the name of Alpheus Todd and library clerk Connie MacCormac closed the iron doors to the library just as the fires raged through Centre Block, saving it and all the book from almost certain destruction.

A recent $136 million dollar renovation is a reminder to all open access advocates: long before digital, virtual libraries, the pillar of access was physical libraries. Canada's Parliamentary Library is a case in point, and worth every penny of the hefty sum to preserve access to its treasures for future generations of Canadians, and researchers.