Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Open Access: the New World of Research Communication

Webcasts of the presentations from Open Access: the New World of Research Communication, co-sponsored by the University of Ottawa and the Canadian Association of Research Libraries, are online. Speakers include CARL's Kathleen Shearer, Michael Geist, Open Medicine's Stephen Choi, and SSHRC's Christian Sylvain.


Monday, October 29, 2007

First Monday: PKP Issue: Table of Contents

Here is a list of the articles in the First Monday special issue on the First International PKP Scholarly Publishing, with direct links to each article:

RePEC Blog

RePEC, Research Papers in Economics, is among the world's oldest and largest open access archives (or non-collection of distributed open access archives, to be more precise). RePEC passed a significant milestone of more than half a million bib records a short while ago, and appears to be well on the paper to over half a million fulltext items.

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


Press Release from the Alliance for Taxpayer Access

For immediate release
October 24, 2007

Jennifer McLennan
jennifer [at] arl [dot] org
(202) 296-2296 ext. 121


Full U.S. Senate Approves Bill Containing Support for Access To
Taxpayer-Funded Research

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
States law.

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
the community.

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

From Open Access News - with apologies for duplication, as Peter Suber says, this is big:

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 From U.S. Citizens

From Open Access News:

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

NIH Open Access Mandate in Danger

From the Scholarly Communications list (Scholcomm):

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
Appropriations bill.


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.


Best Regards,

Charles W. Bailey, Jr.

Digital Scholarship

Open Access Bibliography
Open Access Webliography
Scholarly Electronic Publishing Bibliography
Scholarly Electronic Publishing Resources
Scholarly Electronic Publishing Weblog

Friday, October 19, 2007

Student Scholarship in the Open Access Age: the First Year of Library Student Journal

At the Simmons College Graduate School of Library and Information Science at Boston, Massachussetts, Eli Guinnee and Amy Buckland presented on the first year of Library Student Journal - their presentation is available for download from http://gslis.simmons.edu/podcasts/index.php?id=28.

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.

The Basement Interviews: Peter Suber

Richard Poynder interviews Peter Suber, the de facto leader of the open access movement (or, as I like to express it, the heart of the open access movement).

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

Open Access: the New World of Research Communication

Two of the presentations from the University of Ottawa workshop, Open Access: the New World of Research Communication, are now available in E-LIS:

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

Mana'o: new open access repository for anthropology

Mana'o is a new open access repository for anthropology, sponsored by the Department of Anthropology at the University of Hawai'i. Please tell your anthropology department!

Thanks to Savage Minds and Peter Suber.

Friday, October 05, 2007

More Journals Added to T & F's iOpenAccess Hybird OA Program

Almost one year ago exactly, I posted information on OA Librarian about Taylor & Francis' just-announced hybrid OA program, iOpenAccess (Still More Hybrid Journal Programs: T & F and RSC, October 3, 2006). At that time, the OA option applied to 175 titles in the T & F suite with a submission fee of $3100 US. T & F announced yesterday that a further 31 journals in environmental sciences, agricultural sciences, behavioural sciences, and development studies have been added to iOpenAccess. A few notes:
  • 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 website for the announcement is http://www.informaworld.com/smpp/authors_journals_iopenaccess_about~db=all.

The list of journals participating in iOpenAccess is http://www.informaworld.com/smpp/authors_journals_iopenaccess_journals~db=all

Wednesday, October 03, 2007

Open Access: let's just flip!

The October SPARC Open Access Newsletter features an interview of Mark Rowse, former CEO of Ingenta by Peter Suber on a very interesting topic: a simple, wholesale flip from subscriptions to open access by journals or publishers - or the entire publishing community - involving exactly the same payers, i.e. let's just change the invoice from where it says "subscription renewal" to "open access publication fees". This article contains some very interesting analysis and observations; highly recommended reading!

Open Access Documentary Project

From the BioMedCentral website:

"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
educational institutions."