Monday, January 28, 2008

SPARC Announces Campaign for Student Engagement

SPARC has just announced a Campaign for Student Engagement.

Let your students know!

Sunday, January 27, 2008

Unanimous OA Recommendations from the European University Association

The 791 universities from 46 countries of the European University Association have unanimously endorsed some very strong OA recommendations, which Peter Suber has summarized as follows:

* Here's a digest of the most important of the recommendations. European universities should...

1. launch OAI-compliant institutional repositories (A2)
2. adopt OA mandates for their research output (A3)
3. educate faculty about copyright and encourage the removal of permission barriers at least for users in the author's institution (A4)
4. consider paying publication fees for faculty who publish in fee-based OA journals (A5)
5. work with public funding agencies with OA mandates to encourage deposit in institutional repositories (B1)
6. educate university rectors about the importance of OA (B2)
7. support OA mandates for publicly-funded research in the EU (C1)

Kudos especially to Lesley Wilson, Secretary General of the EUA, and Sijbolt Noorda, chair of the Working Group on Open Access. Thanks to Stevan Harnad for breaking the news, and to Peter Suber for comments and summary.

My comments: this is huge; it sets the direction for European universities. It will take some time, of course, for each university to set its own policies and procedures, and a bit longer for these policies and procedures to take effect. Other jurisdictions are likely to follow the European example, each in its own time. Even if the impact is not felt immediately, the importance of this endorsement should not be underestimated.

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Berkeley pilot to subsidize open access fees

Congratulations to Berkeley on announcing a pilot program to pay OA fees on behalf of Berkeley authors!. The program is funded by the discretionary accounts of Thomas Leonard, University Librarian, and Beth Burnside, Vice Chancellor for Research.

Thanks to Peter Suber.

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Kudos to Nature for enlightened License for Publish

Nature Publishing Group has posted some very enlightened instructions for authors in their License to Publish. Authors retain copyright, AND NPG has included this language actively encouraging self-archiving:

When a manuscript is accepted for publication in an NPG journal, authors are encouraged to submit the author's version of the accepted paper (the unedited manuscript) to PubMedCentral or other appropriate funding body's archive, for public release six months after publication. In addition, authors are encouraged to archive this version of the manuscript in their institution's repositories and, if they wish, on their personal websites, also six months after the original publication. In all these cases, authors should cite the publication reference and DOI number on any deposited version, and provide a link from it to the URL of the published article on the journal's website (see publications A-Z index).

Kudos to Nature, and thanks to Peter Suber for the alert.

Saturday, January 12, 2008

NIH and European Research Council OA Mandates

Some major events in open access this week:

The final text of the NIH policy has been posted:
and a very interesting FAQ

The European Research Council has announced an exemplary Open Access Policy - open access to funded research within 6 months, no loopholes, and an indication that the 6-month maximum will be shortened! For links and a summary, see Peter Suber's Open Access News.

As always, the best way to keep with the latest developments is to tune into Peter Suber's Open Access News.

Sunday, January 06, 2008

NIH Mandate: rebuttal of more publisher opposition

Predictably, STM has come out against the NIH mandate - for details and rebuttal, see Peter Suber's Open Access News. Of interest: STM is claiming that NIH is an "unfunded mandate", ignoring the $30 million per year in funding they are currently receiving in page charges!

See Open Access News for the American Chemical Society reaction, too.

Friday, January 04, 2008

NIH Mandate: publisher opposition

The Association of American Publishers has issued a press release clearly indicating plans to continue fighting the NIH public access mandate. For the full press release and a very thorough rebuttal, see Peter Suber's Open Access News.

One of the points raised is a call for further public consultation and comments. Hmmm...there hasn't been enough debate about the merits of OA yet? Really?

Not a problem! I wouldn't mind seeing more discussion about debate about OA policy, not at all. Let's open up discussion about the allowance for a 12-month embargo, for example. This is more than generous to the diminishing portion of the publishing community which prefers not to adapt to an open access environment. If it's not appreciated, why not eliminate provision for the embargo? There are many gold and green publishers who can provide the needed coordination of peer review, without the embargo. The AAP might wish to argue that this limits the intellectual freedom of researchers, but this is argument is not correct. Researchers who do not wish to comply with any of the requirements of funding agencies (they have many, not just OA dissemination of results), need not seek funding. Or, they can accept funding, and work with colleagues to start up their own journals!

Come to think of it - the start-up time for a new journal might correlate fairly well with the time it takes to receive a grant, conduct the research and write up the results for publication - especially if there are a number of researchers in your field in the same situation with the same incentive to create change.

Wednesday, January 02, 2008

January 2008 SPARC Open Access Newsletter

Peter Suber has just released the January 2008 SPARC Open Access Newsletter.

Highlights include an in-depth analysis and history of the coming NIH public access mandate - did you know that the $29 billion annual budget of the NIH is more than the Gross Domestic Product of 142 countries, for example, and an article outlining a few of the key open access related events and milestones of 2007.