February 19, 2013

Fair Access to Science and Technology Research Act (FASTR)

From the SPARC Advocacy News section, posted Feb 14, 2013:

The bipartisan Fair Access to Science and Technology Research Act (FASTR) was introduced in Congress on February 14, 2013. Co-sponsored in the Senate by Sens. John Cornyn (R-TX) and Ron Wyden (D-OR) and in the House of Representatives by Reps. Mike Doyle (D-PA), Kevin Yoder (R-KS), and Zoe Lofgren (D-CA), FASTR will accelerate scientific discovery and fuel innovation by making articles reporting on publicly funded scientific research freely accessible online for anyone to read and build upon.

About the bill: The Fair Access to Science and Technology Research Act would require that US Government agencies with annual extramural research expenditures over $100 million make electronic manuscripts of peer-reviewed journal articles that stem from their research freely available on the Internet and would enable their productive reuse. For details, see SPARC's FAQ on the bill.

Why is it important to academe? This legislation will mean enhanced access to federally funded research articles for researchers and students at your institution, as well as expanded utility of those articles. Availability of federally funded research in open online archives also will expand the worldwide visibility of the research conducted at your institution, increase the impact of your investment in this research, and aid you in examining related work at other institutions that compete for Government grants and contracts.

It will also enable researchers on your campus to begin to use these digital articles in new and innovative ways, including applying new computational analysis, text mining and data mining tools and techniques that have the potential to revolutionize scientific research.

How you can support the bill. Take action today to let Congress know that you support the Fair Access to Science and Technology Research Act. Find out how by visiting our Legislative Action Center on the Alliance for Taxpayer Access website.

Campus actions. You can also take action on your campus to raise awareness of the legislation, and help generate additional support. Consider:

*Sharing the text of proposed legislation with your colleagues
*Alerting your institution's Federal Relations Officer to the proposed legislation, and encouraging your institution to endorse the bill.
*Contact your campus newspaper; consider writing an article, editorial or OpEd supporting the proposed legislation.

Posted by scholcom at 1:35 PM | Comments (0)

Start Dates for NIH Public Access Policy Compliance

Changes to Public Access Policy Compliance Efforts Apply to All Awards with Anticipated Start Dates on or after July 1, 2013

Notice Number: NOT-OD-13-042

Key Dates
Release Date: February 14, 2013

Related Notices

NOT-OD-13-035 NIH Requires Use of RPPR for All SNAP and Fellowship Progress Reports, and Expands RPPR Functionality

NOT-OD-12-160 Upcoming Changes to Public Access Policy Reporting Requirements and Related NIH Efforts to Enhance Compliance

Issued by
National Institutes of Health (NIH)


For non-competing continuation grant awards with a start date of July 1, 2013 or beyond:

1) NIH will delay processing of an award if publications arising from it are not in compliance with the NIH public access policy.

2) Investigators will need to use My NCBI to enter papers onto progress reports. Papers can be associated electronically using the RPPR, or included in the PHS 2590 using the My NCBI generated PDF report.

Please see NOT-OD-12-160 for more details.

Please direct all inquiries to:

Office of Extramural Research
National Institutes of Health
1 Center Drive, Room 144
Bethesda, MD 20892-0152
Email: PublicAccess@nih.gov
Website: http://publicaccess.nih.gov

Posted by chewx002 at 8:23 AM | Comments (0)

February 1, 2013

Max Planck Society and De Gruyter Sign Agreement for Open Access Publishing

From De Gruyter's January 24 press release:

The Max Planck Society and the academic publishing house De Gruyter have signed a groundbreaking agreement to cooperate in the publication of Open Access books. The agreement covers texts intended for publication by scholars at the more than 80 individual Max Planck institutes working around the world today. It encompass the full range of disciplines in which the Max Planck Society is active, including the natural sciences, social sciences, and humanities, and applies to both monographs and anthologies.

"Our collaboration with De Gruyter will enable us to offer our scholars a unified platform - both from a legal and an organizational perspective - for publishing books in Open Access," explains Ralf Schimmer, Director of the Department of Scientific Information Provision at the Max Planck Digital Library. "In this way, we're responding to an increasing number of requests from the Max Planck institutes, and are extending the support we give for Open Access publishing from journal articles to the arena of books."

Posted by stemp003 at 2:09 PM | Comments (5)

January 25, 2013

Mathematicians launch series of community-run, open-access journals

From an article by Richard Van Noorden in the January 17 issue of Nature weekly:

Mathematicians plan to launch a series of free open-access journals that will host their peer-reviewed articles on the preprint server arXiv. The project was publicly revealed yesterday in a blog post by Tim Gowers, a Fields Medal winner and mathematician at the University of Cambridge, UK.

The initiative, called the Episciences Project, hopes to show that researchers can organize the peer review and publication of their work at minimal cost, without involving commercial publishers.

"It's a global vision of how the research community should work: we want to offer an alternative to traditional mathematics journals," says Jean-Pierre Demailly, a mathematician at the University of Grenoble, France, who is a leader in the effort. Backed by funding from the French government, the initiative may launch as early as April, he says.


For the Episciences Project, the CCSD plans to create a publishing platform that will support online peer-reviewed journals. Each journal, or 'epijournal', would have its own editor and editorial board, and authors could submit their arXiv-posted papers to their journal of choice. The journal would then organize peer review, perhaps using workflow software provided by the CCSD. Peer-reviewed papers would be posted on arXiv alongside their un-reviewed versions. A central committee (led by Demailly) would manage new journal candidates and make recommendations on paper formatting, but each journal would be free to set its own policies (including whether to charge for publication).


Demailly says that he expects to adjust the concept with feedback from the mathematics community. "If people want larger reviews linked to papers, or the possibility of online comments and blogs, we can offer this with only minor changes to the platform," he says. At the moment, the model's success or failure hinges on buy-in from mathematicians -- but the involvement of Gowers and other prominent mathematicians, such as Terence Tao of the University of California, Los Angeles, may help to build support.

Posted by stemp003 at 12:26 PM | Comments (0)

January 18, 2013

Canadian Institutes of Health Research Strengthens Open Access Policy

From the CIHR Open Access Policy:


Amendments were made to the CIHR Open Access Policy, formerly known as the Policy on Access to Research Outputs. As of January 1, 2013, CIHR-funded researchers will be required to make their peer-reviewed publications accessible at no cost within 12 months of publication - at the latest. While the revised Policy provides researchers with clear guidance on CIHR's minimum expectation, in the spirit of public benefits of research, CIHR continues to encourage researchers to make their publications accessible for free as soon as possible after publication. Compliance with the Open Access Policy will continue to be monitored through end of grant reporting.

Posted by stemp003 at 2:42 PM | Comments (0)

January 4, 2013

2012 Growth in Open Access

From Heather Morrison at Simon Fraser University's School of Communication:

2012 was yet another awesome year for open access growth. To illustrate just how far we've come: a BASE search of over 2,400 repositories now searches over 40 million documents. The DOAJ article search is inching up to the 1 million article mark, demonstrating that the growth in gold OA is not just in OA journals, but more importantly, in articles published in open access journals.

The numbers:

Directory of Open Access Journals
8,519 journals
2012 growth: 1,147 journals (3 journals / day)
# articles searchable at article level: 955,720
2012 growth in searchable articles: 234,449 (642 articles / day)

Directory of Open Access Books
1,259 academic peer-reviewed books from 35 publishers
new in 2012

Electronic Journals Library
37,805 journals that can be read free of charge
2012 growth: 5,421 journals (15 journals / day)

Highwire Press Free Online Articles
2,151,420 free articles
2012 growth: 41,640 articles (114 articles / day)

2,253 repositories
2012 growth: 89 repositories (7 repositories / month)

Registry of Open Access Repositories (ROAR)
3,340 repositories
2012 growth: 730 repositories (2 repositories / day)

Bielefeld Academic Search Engine (BASE)
40,506,905 documents
2012 growth: 6,908,293 documents (18,926 documents / day)

2,600,000 articles (from PMC site)
2012 growth: 300,000 articles (from PMC site - update schedule not
known so not sure about accuracy)
1,199 journals deposit all articles in PMC
2012 growth: 220 journals (.6 journals / day

809,849 e-prints
2012 growth: 83,886 e-prints (230 e-prints / day)

14,242 documents as of Dec. 11 - cannot find # of documents on new
site (E-LIS migrated to a new e-prints server in the past few days -
looks great!)

Social Sciences Research Network
372,772 full-text papers
2012 growth: 65,715 full-text papers (180 / day)

Open Access Mandate Policies (from Registry of Open Access Material
Archiving Policies)
353 open access policies (total)
2012 growth rate: 44 policies (4 policies / month)

Internet Archive
1,110,878 movies
110,448 concerts
1,474,756 recordings
3,781,142 texts
(new in 2012)

For more information, see: http://poeticeconomics.blogspot.ca/2012/12/december-31-2012-dramatic-growth-of.html

Posted by stemp003 at 4:36 PM | Comments (7)

December 14, 2012

Chronicle: "Putting Dissertation Online Isn't an Obstacle to Print Publication"

From the Chronicle of Higher Education, December 12 issue:

Are you a science graduate student worried that making your thesis or dissertation available online will hurt your chances of getting it published? Gail McMillan, director of the digital library and archives at Virginia Tech, has good news for you. In a recent survey of science-journal editors, 87 percent indicated they would consider articles drawn from openly accessible electronic theses and dissertations, or ETD's.

Ms. McMillan helped run the survey under the auspices of the Networked Digital Library of Theses and Dissertations, a group that promotes the use and preservation of ETD's. She presented the survey results here this week at the fall meeting of the Coalition for Networked Information.

The 2012 survey is a companion to one last year that polled journal editors in the social sciences, arts, and humanities. According to the 2011 results, more than 82 percent of the journal editors would consider manuscripts revised from openly accessible ETD's.


Many students and their faculty advisers, however, cling to the idea that publishers will balk at publishing work if it's already freely available online. Ms. McMillan has found that those fears cut across disciplinary lines. Decisions about whether to restrict access to electronic work tend to be driven by anecdote, she said, and faculty members tend to play it safe when dispensing career advice.

"I think faculty want to err on the side of caution," she said. "I wish they would look at the data."

Posted by stemp003 at 4:03 PM | Comments (316)

November 30, 2012

NIH to step up enforcement of OA policy

From the National Institutes of Health's Office of Extramural Research, November 16 posting:

When we put the [open access] policy into place in 2008 it was an adjustment for all of us. Since that time, NIH has focused much of our attention on outreach. We've helped you understand your obligations and provided reminders when we found papers that were out of compliance. This strategy, along with the research community's shared commitment to making the results of NIH-supported research public, has resulted in a high level of compliance with the policy. But our work is not done as there are still publications -- and as a consequence, NIH awards -- that are not in compliance. Thus, as of spring 2013 at the earliest, we will begin to hold processing of non-competing continuation awards if publications arising from grant awards are not in compliance with the public access policy. Once publications are in compliance, awards will go forward. For more details, see NIH Guide notice NOT-OD-12-160.


We are giving funded organizations at least five months to prepare for our new process, and we hope you use this time to assure that publications are in compliance with the policy long before this change in process begins.

The challenge is that publication occurs throughout the year, and progress reporting occurs once a year. So I encourage principal investigators to start thinking about public access compliance when papers are planned. Discuss with your co-authors how the paper will be submitted to PubMed Central, and who will do so, along with all the other tasks of paper writing. The easiest thing to do, perhaps even today, is to take a couple of minutes to enter the NIH-supported papers you have published in the last year into My NCBI to ensure you meet the requirements of the policy regardless of when your non-competing continuation is due. This will help you avoid a last minute scramble that could delay your funding.

Posted by stemp003 at 2:15 PM | Comments (0)

November 2, 2012

Report on JSTOR Enabled Data Mining Project

From JSTOR's October 22 press release:

A team of researchers led by Jevin West and Carl Bergstrom of the University of Washington released today the results of an 18-month long study of gender inequality among authors of academic papers. The study is based on an analysis of the authors of more than 1.8 million published research articles available through the not-for-profit digital library, JSTOR.


Fast forward to 2008 when JSTOR launched its self-service Data for Research website enabling anyone in the world to explore its holdings and to freely create datasets for use in their research. Today the site sees about 700 datasets created and downloaded annually. Larger scale projects like the one undertaken by West, Bergstrom and their co-authors: Jennifer Jacquet, Molly King, Shelley Correll, and Theodore Bergstrom are handled upon request and in close collaboration with JSTOR's Advanced Technologies Research team.


While the research itself is ground-breaking, the benefits of projects like the one just released by the West-Bergstrom team can reach beyond the findings themselves. The West-Bergstrom team also created an interactive tool that allows others to explore the underlying content based on the work they have done. This demonstrates how sharing large corpora of data can also lead to the creation of new ways of exploring and discovery scholarship - effectively giving researchers another lens through which to view the published literature.

The report was also the subject of an article in the Chronicle of Higher Education.

Posted by stemp003 at 1:56 PM | Comments (0)

October 3, 2012

The Chronicle investigates fake peer reviews

From Josh Fischman's Sept. 30 article in The Chronicle of Higher Education:

In incidents involving four scientists--the latest case coming to light two weeks ago--journal editors say authors got to critique their own papers by suggesting reviewers with contact e-mails that actually went to themselves.

The glowing endorsements got the work into Experimental Parasitology, Pharmaceutical Biology, and several other journals. Fake reviews even got a pair of mathematics articles into journals published by Elsevier, the academic publishing giant, which has a system in place intended to thwart such misconduct. The frauds have produced retractions of about 30 papers to date.


Anyone can open a Gmail or similar account under a name that isn't his or her own, as long as that name hasn't been taken by another user. For instance, Haroldvarmus@gmail.com was available last week, but e-mail sent there will not reach Mr. Varmus, the Nobel Prize-winning virologist and director of the National Cancer Institute.


The medicinal-chemistry journal has now changed its policy to require that every paper have two reviewers not suggested by an author.


On the journal side, editors are handling more submissions than ever--Mr. Supuran said he and three other editors work on 500 to 600 papers each year, about 20 percent more than when he started--and due diligence can be a casualty. When swamped, said Lance W. Small, a member of the ethics committee and a professor emeritus of mathematics at the University of California at San Diego, "editors may cut corners."

Posted by stemp003 at 10:08 AM | Comments (1)

September 21, 2012

PLOS releases Progress Update 2011-2012

Many U-MN faculty publish in Public Library of Science journals. The annual report from PLoS is available. Some highlights:

  • In 2011, PLoS provided $2.5 million in waiver funding for authors unable to pay all or part of their publication fees.
  • They have 130 institutional members.
  • They have 1.5 million article views a month.

More info on particular PLoS journals is also available.

Posted by stemp003 at 2:05 PM | Comments (0)

September 14, 2012

SUNY Potsdam: "Walking away from the American Chemical Society"

From Jenica Rogers, Director of Libraries at the State University of New York at Potsdam, on Sept. 12:

SUNY Potsdam will not be subscribing to an American Chemical Society online journal package for 2013. We will instead be using a combination of the Royal Society of Chemistry content, ACS single title subscriptions, the ACS backfile, and ScienceDirect from Elsevier** to meet our chemical information needs. We're doing this because the ACS pricing model is unsustainable for our institution and we were unable to find common ground with the sales team from the ACS. Instead, we explored other options and exercised them.


In May 2012, after much internal discussion and debate, three SUNY library directors from the comprehensive colleges (myself included) and the university centers, along with two SUNY Office of LIbrary and Information Services staff met with three representatives from the ACS at SUNY Plaza in Albany, NY, and discussed their pricing model. The ACS folks were very clear: they are dedicated to moving all customers to a consistent pricing model, the pricing steps in that model are based on a tiered system, and there is a base price underneath all of that. In principle, I absolutely support this kind of move: too many libraryland vendors obscure their pricing models, negotiate great deals with one institution while charging double to someone else, or "have to ask the manager" to approve any offer. In our discussions, the librarian stakeholders noted our support for this approach, but argued that while their tiers are reasonable and based on arguably sound criteria, the base price underlying those steps is unsustainable and inappropriate. (In the case of SUNY Potsdam, the ACS package would have consumed more than 10% of my total acquisitions budget, just for journals for this one department.) We also learned that their base price and pricing model, when applied to much larger institutions, did not produce the same unsustainable pricing.


Based on our discussion, I think that some of our faculty were surprised, some seemed resigned, some were horrified, and they were all frustrated by what seemed to be a plate full of bad options. However, after two meetings and much discussion of how to reconfigure our ACS subscriptions to meet our budgetary constraints, I believe that we all agreed that this goes beyond having a tight campus or library budget: this is simply not appropriate pricing for an institution like ours. The result of our first meeting was that the chemistry faculty agreed to take their concerns to the ACS based on their individual professional involvements with the organization, talking with sales and the Chemical Information Division about their concerns, and we agreed that we'd look into other library solutions to their chemical information needs.


Librarians and faculty raised the valid concern that we might not be able to meet ACS approval of undergraduate programs without our ACS package. The ACS is in the unique position of both approving programs and selling the content necessary for approval, which I will leave to someone else to debate the ethics of. Throughout our discussions we agreed that any library solution we proposed would have the ability to meet the approval requirements in concert with our subscription to ScienceDirect. It can be done.


Librarians are often disinclined to be first to try something - we'd often rather be second, after someone else has found the hidden pitfalls. So here I am, saying that we were willing to be the first to be loud, and to provide you with a public example of what is possible. Our chemistry faculty were willing to follow that lead, and I'm grateful to them for it.

Posted by stemp003 at 12:09 PM | Comments (0)

September 7, 2012

Royal Society of Chemistry announces £1 million initiative to support British transition to Open Access

From the RSC's July 12 press release:

'Gold for Gold' is an innovative experiment to support the funder led evolution to Gold OA, by recognising institutes that subscribe to RSC Gold, a premium collection of 37 international journals, databases and magazines offering online access to all published material.

UK institutes who are RSC Gold customers will shortly receive credit equal to the subscription paid, enabling their researchers, who are being asked to publish Open Access but often do not yet have funding to pay for it directly, to make their paper available via Open Science, the RSC's Gold OA option.


Earlier this week the Government confirmed its support for migrating towards Gold Open Access by making publicly funded scientific research available for anyone to read for free, accepting recommendations in a report on OA by Dame Janet Finch.

The Research Councils UK (RCUK) also published their revised policy on Open Access, requiring researchers to publish in OA compliant journals. 'Gold for Gold' seeks to support researchers until the block grants from RCUK are distributed next April, which, once established are intended to fund Gold OA.

Posted by stemp003 at 1:43 PM | Comments (0)

August 31, 2012

arXiv gets five years of matching funds

From Cornell University Library's August 28 press release:

arXiv, the free repository that has revolutionized the way scientists share information, is adopting a new governance and business model that will allow it to grow and succeed in the future.

Thanks to an operating grant from the Simons Foundation, Cornell University Library has helped arXiv take a major step toward sustainability. Beginning in January and running through 2017, the Simons Foundation will provide up to $300,000 per year as a matching gift for the funds generated through arXiv's membership fees. The grant also provides $50,000 per year as an "unconditional gift" that recognizes the Library's stewardship of arXiv.


Annual membership fees, paid by voluntary contribution from these institutions, help cover arXiv's costs -- and, now, will provide a sum for the Simons Foundation to match.

The newly established model has garnered partners all over the globe. To date, more than 120 member institutions in over a dozen countries have pledged their support, totaling $285,000. Among the 100 institutions that use arXiv most heavily, nearly three-quarters committed to five-year pledges.


As an open-access service, it allows scientists to share "preprint" research before publication and boasts hundreds of thousands of contributors. In 2011 alone, arXiv saw close to 50 million downloads from all over the world and received more than 76,000 new submissions.

Posted by scholcom at 11:57 AM | Comments (0)

August 17, 2012

Judge denies Cambridge/Oxford/Sage request for relief in Georgia State e-reserves case

From the Chronicle of Higher Education, August 10 issue:

There was more good news for Georgia State University and more bad news for the publisher plaintiffs on Friday in a closely watched lawsuit over the use of copyrighted material in e-reserves. In May, Judge Orinda Evans of the U.S. District Court in Atlanta handed down a ruling that dismissed all but five of the copyright-infringement claims brought by Cambridge University Press, Oxford University Press, and SAGE Publishers against the university. On Friday afternoon, Judge Evans issued an order denying the plaintiffs' request for injunctive and declaratory relief for those five infringements. She ordered the defendants to make sure that the university's copyright policies are "not inconsistent" with her May ruling. She also awarded Georgia State "reasonable attorney's fees," as well as other costs to be determined.

The court is "convinced that defendants did try to comply with the copyright laws," Judge Evans wrote on Friday. "On balance, the court finds that defendants are the prevailing party in this case." [...]

Posted by stemp003 at 10:37 AM | Comments (0)

August 10, 2012

The Scientist sponsors discussion about scientific publishing

In its August cover story, Whither Science Publishing?, the Scientist sponsored a discussion between researchers, editors/publishers of scientific journals, and librarians. A telling excerpt:

QUESTION 4: Is there an as-yet-untried alternative to subscription-based or open-access publishing?

Michael Eisen, Howard Hughes Investigator and Associate Professor of Genetics, Genomics, and Development, University of California, Berkeley: Yes. Several: direct subsidies to publishers (à la eLife) and doing away with publishers entirely and using a system based completely on something like arXiv.org [a seminal open-access archive used to share research in the fields of mathematics, physics, and computer science].

Susan King, Senior Vice President, American Chemical Society Journals Publishing Group: No. The value-add that publishers provide through services like supporting peer review; enhancing the global accessibility of scholarly communication in standardized formats; enabling the discovery of knowledge through innovative web-based platforms, tools, and interlinked content; protecting the integrity and reliability of the scholarly record; and preserving the scholarly record for future generations have costs that must be paid for in some way. Both subscription and open-access publishing seek to recover the costs of this ongoing investment from those who benefit from it. It has been argued that even projects such as eLife, which do not plan to charge initially, constitute a form of prepaid gold open access, with its sponsors prepaying the fees that the project eventually expects to incur.

Posted by stemp003 at 12:38 PM | Comments (0)

July 13, 2012

University of California Update on Discussions with Nature Publishing Group

From a February 13 letter issued by the U-CA Office of the President:

In 2010, a dispute arose between the University of California (UC) and the Nature Publishing Group (NPG) over a proposed increase in the fees that UC pays to license NPG journals. When this disagreement became public, each organization aired statements explaining its position. Following a face‐to‐face meeting in August of that year, UC and NPG subsequently issued a joint statement describing our intention to work together to address current licensing challenges and to explore new approaches for sustaining scholarly publishing.

Since that date, UC and NPG have held regular meetings, which have included representatives of NPG, the California Digital Library, the UC University Librarians, and UC Faculty from the Academic Senate and Administration. This document is intended to update UC Faculty and Librarians as well as the wider stakeholder community about the status of these discussions and to share our perspective on the current challenges facing libraries, authors, and publishers alike. It does not necessarily represent NPG's current or future positions, beyond a willingness to continue in good faith discussion of these issues through 2012.

The letter goes on to share points of agreement between UC and Nature, questions still under discussion, and the goals UC continues to pursue. It ends thus:

We recognize that scholarly communication is a complex system that cannot be transformed overnight. While our negotiations with NPG have not yet resulted in any specific proposals for change, they have been positive and productive. Although we have not yet reached agreement on a model that would allow us to add new NPG journal titles, UC and NPG have agreed to maintain their existing license while discussions continue. We look forward to exploring with all publishers, societies, funders and universities new models that we believe are vital to assure the future of scholarly communication.

It is signed by 4 library staff members and 3 faculty members.

Posted by stemp003 at 11:34 AM | Comments (0)

June 15, 2012

White House petition for public access to research reaches goal of 25,000 signatures

From the June 4 press release by SPARC:

The movement to make taxpayer-funded research freely available online hit a new milestone on Sunday when advocates hit their goal of 25,000 signatures to a "We the People" petition to the Obama administration. The petition, created by Access2Research (a group of Open Access advocates, including SPARC's Executive Director, Heather Joseph), requests that President Obama make taxpayer-funded research freely available.

According to the petition site's rules, any petition securing 25,000 signatures within 30 days will be sent to the White House Chief of Staff, and will receive an official response. The Open Access petition hit the 25,000 mark in half the allotted time.


The petition says: "We believe in the power of the Internet to foster innovation, research, and education. Requiring the published results of taxpayer-funded research to be posted on the Internet in human and machine readable form would provide access to patients and caregivers, students and their teachers, researchers, entrepreneurs, and other taxpayers who paid for the research."

The Open Access mandate builds on the National Institutes of Health's policy, noting that that agency's experience "proves that this can be done without disrupting the research process," urging the president "to act now to implement open access policies for all federal agencies that fund scientific research."

Posted by stemp003 at 12:24 PM | Comments (0)

June 8, 2012

Chronicle interview with author of List of Predatory, Open-Access Publishers

In its June 5 issue, the Chronicle of Higher Education has a Q&A With Jeffrey Beall, the author of the web List of Predatory, Open-Access Publishers. Beall is an academic librarian at the University of Colorado at Denver. Some excerpts:

So what exactly is "predatory open-access publishing?"

Predatory open-access publishers are those that unprofessionally exploit the gold open-access model for their own profit. That is to say, they operate as scholarly vanity presses and publish articles in exchange for the author fee. They are characterized by various level of deception and lack of transparency in their operations. For example, some publishers may misrepresent their location, stating New York instead of Nigeria, or they may claim a stringent peer-review where none really exists.


There seem to be a lot of publishers that originate in Nigeria and Pakistan. But I also found one in St. Cloud, Minnesota, just up the road, called Scientific Journals International. Do you know anything about it?

Yes, I am very familiar with Scientific Journals International. I included this publisher in a comparative review I had published in the Charleston Advisor in April, 2010. The publisher is basically a one-man operation, and I heard late last year that he has the operation up for sale. The owner uses a single ISSN for the whole site, a non-standard practice. (ISSN's are normally applied at the journal title level, not at the publisher level. Every journal is supposed to have a unique ISSN.) He also uses one giant editorial board for all his journals.

Does any particular discipline seem over-represented in predatory open access publishing?

Predatory open-access publishers prey mostly on researchers in the STM fields because that's where the grant money is.


On the other side of the equation, of course, there are the academics that sign on with the journals, or even publish their articles there. It seems as if part of the problem is the university status system. There is no real downside to publishing articles in crappy journals. At least not in medicine, where the main aim seems to be to build a massive CV (and to generate lots of grant money, of course.)

Yes, some academics are abusing the system. They submit weak papers to predatory publishers and then take credit for them when they apply for promotion or tenure. However, many of those publishing in predatory journals are graduate students and junior faculty who lack the experience to recognize the predators. The publishers have learned to exploit this naivete.

Tenure and promotion committees need to change (and many are changing). They need to be able to identify scholarly vanity presses and to properly assess articles published in them. Mentors should steer junior faculty away from scam publishers and direct them to top-tier journals.

Posted by stemp003 at 11:03 AM | Comments (0)

May 25, 2012

University of California, San Francisco adopts open access policy

From the University of California, San Francisco press release of May 23, 2012:

The UCSF Academic Senate has voted to make electronic versions of current and future scientific articles freely available to the public, helping to reverse decades of practice on the part of medical and scientific journal publishers to restrict access to research results.

The unanimous vote of the faculty senate makes UCSF the largest scientific institution in the nation to adopt an open-access policy and among the first public universities to do so.

"Our primary motivation is to make our research available to anyone who is interested in it, whether they are members of the general public or scientists without costly subscriptions to journals," said Richard A. Schneider, PhD, chair of the UCSF Academic Senate Committee on Library and Scholarly Communication, who spearheaded the initiative at UCSF. "The decision is a huge step forward in eliminating barriers to scientific research," he said. "By opening the currently closed system, this policy will fuel innovation and discovery, and give the taxpaying public free access to oversee their investments in research."

UCSF is the nation's largest public recipient of funding from the National Institutes of Health (NIH), receiving 1,056 grants last year, valued at $532.8 million. Research from those and other grants leads to more than 4,500 scientific papers each year in highly regarded, peer-reviewed scientific journals, but the majority of those papers are only available to subscribers who pay ever-increasing fees to the journals. The 10-campus University of California (UC) system spends close to $40 million each year to buy access to journals.

Such restrictions and costs have been cited among the obstacles in translating scientific advances from laboratory research into improved clinical care.

The policy, an FAQ, and letters of support from campus schools and committees, are available at:


Posted by stemp003 at 1:51 PM | Comments (0)

May 18, 2012

Federal judge rules on fair use lawsuit brought by publishers against Georgia State University

From the Chronicle of Higher Education, May 13 edition:

A federal judge in Atlanta has handed down a long-awaited ruling in a lawsuit brought by three scholarly publishers against Georgia State University over its use of copyrighted material in electronic reserves. The ruling, delivered on Friday, looks mostly like a victory for the university, finding that only five of 99 alleged copyright infringements did in fact violate the plaintiffs' copyrights.

"My initial reaction is, honestly, what a crushing defeat for the publishers," said Brandon C. Butler, the director of public-policy initiatives for the Association of Research Libraries. Given how few claims the publishers won, "there's a 95 percent success rate for the GSU fair-use policy." The ruling suggests that Georgia State is "getting it almost entirely right" with its current copyright policy, he said.


Judge Evans rejected many of the individual claims brought by the three plaintiffs--Cambridge University Press, Oxford University Press, and SAGE Publications--concluding that the publishers had not adequately proved their copyright stake in the material. She dismissed the plaintiffs' argument that Georgia State had exceeded the guidelines for classroom copying set out by Congress in 1976, long before e-reserves. And she examined publishers' balance sheets and concluded that they had not lost significant amounts of revenue because of the alleged infringements.


[Nancy Sims, copyright program librarian at the University of Minnesota] said that the judge took the educational purpose of each use seriously and did not focus just on market considerations. "That was one of the contentions here--that if you can pay for it, you should be," she said. "And that's clearly not what the court is saying."

One part of the ruling could be problematic for librarians and others trying to work out fair-use policies in academe. Judge Evans proposed a 10-percent rule to guide decisions about what constitutes fair use in an educational setting. For books without chapters or with fewer than 10 chapters, "unpaid copying of no more than 10 percent of the pages in the book is permissible under factor three," she wrote in her ruling. For books with 10 or more chapters, "permissible fair use" would be copying up to one chapter or its equivalent.

The publishers may well appeal the decision.

Further commentary is available from the Association of College & Research Libraries at:


Posted by stemp003 at 11:38 AM | Comments (0)

May 4, 2012

College of Education and Human Development launches open online textbook catalog

From the April 30 Minnesota Daily:

The University of Minnesota's College of Education and Human Development released an open online textbook catalog, allowing faculty from around the world to discuss and showcase online textbooks to help manage textbook costs for students.


The catalog launched a week ago and already has 84 texts available. Dave Ernst, who started the catalog, has been receiving emails from around the world about open textbooks that are available.

An open textbook allows free digital access and low-cost print options, as well as the ability for instructors to customize content. These are quality textbooks with an "open" copyright license, allowing anyone to freely access the text.

The catalog is intended to help faculty members find open textbooks and adapt them to their classroom, said Ernst, the director of Academic Technology Services in CEHD.


Each text accepted into the catalog has to meet four criteria: It must be under an open copyright clause allowing faculty to reuse and rework content, the textbook needs to be complete, it must be available for use outside of the University and it needs to be offered in print.

The catalog was also featured in a University news release. An excerpt:

"The University of Minnesota should be a leader in enabling faculty and students to benefit from open content and electronic textbook options," said Provost Karen Hanson. "This CEHD initiative is one of a number of our initiatives in e-learning that will help students obtain a high-quality education that is also affordable."


CEHD will support faculty who choose to review and adopt open textbooks with $500-$1,000 stipends.

"Faculty share student concerns about high textbook costs and are willing to consider high-quality, affordable alternatives like open textbooks," said CEHD associate professor Irene Duranczyk. "The Open Academics textbook catalog makes it easier by collecting the best peer-reviewed open textbooks in one place."

Nine CEHD faculty members are already exploring open textbooks through the catalog. Replacing their current course materials with open textbooks will potentially save over $100,000 in textbook costs next year.

Posted by stemp003 at 10:29 AM | Comments (0)

April 27, 2012

Harvard Faculty Advisory Council issues letter warning that costly subscriptions 'cannot be sustained'

On April 17, Harvard's Faculty Advisory Council issued a Memorandum on Journal Pricing to faculty members in all schools, faculties, and units. It warns of an "untenable situation facing the Harvard Library," citing a publishing environment where:

  • "Some journals cost as much as $40,000 per year, others in the tens of thousands"
  • "Prices for online content from two providers have increased by about 145% over the past six years, which far exceeds not only the consumer price index, but also the higher education and the library price indices"
  • The same publishers enjoy "profit margins of 35% and more"

The faculty council concludes that continuing to subscribe to journals under current pricing models "would seriously erode collection efforts in many other areas, already compromised." It offers these recommendations to Harvard faculty colleagues:

  1. Make sure that all of your own papers are accessible by submitting them to DASH in accordance with the faculty-initiated open-access policies.
  2. Consider submitting articles to open-access journals, or to ones that have reasonable, sustainable subscription costs; move prestige to open access.
  3. If on the editorial board of a journal involved, determine if it can be published as open access material, or independently from publishers that practice pricing described above. If not, consider resigning.
  4. Contact professional organizations to raise these issues.
  5. Encourage professional associations to take control of scholarly literature in their field or shift the management of their e-journals to library-friendly organizations.
  6. Encourage colleagues to consider and to discuss these or other options.
The letter has been covered by the Chronicle of Higher Education, Inside Higher Education, and the Atlantic.
Posted by stemp003 at 11:50 AM | Comments (0)

April 16, 2012

Mathematicians take a stand

Douglas Arnold, McKnight Presidential Professor of Mathematics at the University of Minnesota, and Henry Cohn, Principal Researcher at Microsoft Research New England and Adjunct Professor of Mathematics at MIT, have co-authored an article entitled "Mathematicians Take a Stand." It discusses the philosophy behind the Elsevier boycott. It is now available on arXiv and will appear
in the June issue of Notices of the American Mathematical Society, alongside an article by David Clark and Laura Hassink of Elsevier.

Posted by stemp003 at 10:05 AM | Comments (0)

March 30, 2012

24 new co-sponsors sign on to Federal Research Public Access Act

According to the March 28 issue of Library Journal:

On March 20 some 24 new co-sponsors signed on to H.R. 4004, The Federal Research Public Access Act. Joining the bill's original sponsors, Rep. Mike Doyle (D-PA), Rep. Lacy Clay (D-MO) and Rep. Kevin Yoder (R-KS) are 14 Democrats and ten Republicans from 18 states and the District of Columbia.


The bill is backed by the American Association of Law Libraries, American Library Association, Association of Academic Health Sciences Libraries, Association of College & Research Libraries, Association of Research Libraries, Creative Commons, Greater Western Library Alliance, Public Knowledge, Public Library of Science and the Scholarly Publishing & Academic Resources Coalition (SPARC), as well as leaders of many research universities.

It has been opposed by the Association of American Publishers' Professional and Scholarly Publishing Division (AAP/PSP) and the DC Principles Coalition in letters signed by 81 U.S. scholarly journal publishers, including Elsevier, John Wiley & Sons, The McGraw-Hill Companies, Springer Publishing Company, Taylor & Francis, and Wolters Kluwer, as well as a large number of professional societies.

Posted by stemp003 at 1:13 PM | Comments (0)

March 2, 2012

Research Works Act is dead in U.S. House

The sponsors of the Research Works Act, Reps. Darrell Issa (R-CA) and Carolyn Maloney (D-NY) issued a joint statement declaring that bill was dead in Congress:

The introduction of HR 3699 has spurred a robust, expansive debate on the topics of scientific and scholarly publishing, intellectual property protection, and public access to federally funded research. Since its introduction, we have heard from numerous stakeholders and interested parties on both sides of this important issue.

As the costs of publishing continue to be driven down by new technology, we will continue to see a growth in open access publishers. This new and innovative model appears to be the wave of the future. The transition must be collaborative, and must respect copyright law and the principles of open access. The American people deserve to have access to research for which they have paid. This conversation needs to continue and we have come to the conclusion that the Research Works Act has exhausted the useful role it can play in the debate. As such, we want Americans concerned about access to research and other participants in this debate to know we will not be taking legislative action on HR 3699, the Research Works Act. We do intend to remain involved in efforts to examine and study the protection of intellectual property rights and open access to publicly funded research.

Right before this statement, Elsevier withdrew its support of the bill. That led Peter Suber to declare:

This is a victory for what The Economist called Academic Spring. It shows that academic discontent -- expressed in blogs, social media, conventional media, boycotts, and open letters to Congress -- can defeat legislation supported by a determined and well-funded lobby. Let's remember that, and let's prove that this political force can go beyond defeating bad legislation, like #RWA , to enacting good legislation, like #FRPAA.
Posted by stemp003 at 10:50 AM | Comments (0)

February 3, 2012

University responses to White House request for information on open access

From the White House web site:

On November 3, 2011, OSTP released a Request for Information (RFI) soliciting public input on long-term preservation of, and public access to, the results of federally funded research, including peer-reviewed scholarly publications as required in the America COMPETES Reauthorization Act of 2010. Below are the public comments received by OSTP during the comment period. You can read the RFI on public access to scholarly publications here. Comments on the questions in the RFI were accepted through January 12, 2012.

Public Access to Scholarly Publications: Public Comment
Public Access to Digital Data: Public Comment

Among many responses from academia, the University Libraries' responses are included:

Scholarly Publishing -- #314
Digital Data -- #82

Posted by stemp003 at 12:23 PM | Comments (16)

January 13, 2012

AAP members like MIT Press start to disavow proposed Research Works Act

Peter Suber reports that Ellen Faran, the director of MIT Press, released an email stating:

"The AAP's press release on the Research Works Act does not reflect the position of the MIT Press; nor, I imagine, the position of many other scholarly presses whose mission is centrally focused on broad dissemination. We will not, however, withdraw from the AAP on this issue as we value the Association's work overall and the opportunity to participate as a member of the larger and diverse publishing community."

Soon afterward, according to journalist Richard Poynder, ITHAKA, provider of the Portico e-journal/e-book archiving service, issued its own email of disavowal.

Posted by stemp003 at 10:22 AM | Comments (0)

January 6, 2012

New House bill aims to block public access to publicly funded research

From SPARC, the Scholarly Publishing and Academic Resources Coalition:

A new bill, The Research Works Act (H.R.3699), designed to roll back the NIH Public Access Policy and block the development of similar policies at other federal agencies has been introduced into the U.S. House of Representatives. Co-sponsored by Darrell Issa (R-CA) and Carolyn Maloney (D-NY), it was introduced on December 16, 2011, and referred to the Committee on Oversight and Government Reform.

Essentially, the bill seeks to prohibit federal agencies from conditioning their grants to require that articles reporting on publicly funded research be made accessible to the public online.

The bill text is short and to the point. The main point reads:

"No Federal agency may adopt, implement, maintain, continue, or otherwise engage in any policy, program, or other activity that -- (1) causes, permits, or authorizes network dissemination of any private-sector research work without the prior consent of the publisher of such work; or (2) requires that any actual or prospective author, or the employer of such an actual or prospective author, assent to network dissemination of a private-sector research work."

Supporters of public access to the results of publicly funded research need to speak out against this proposed legislation. Contact Congress to express your opposition today, or as soon as possible.

For contact information and details on how to act, see the Alliance for Taxpayer Access Action Center at: http://www.taxpayeraccess.org/action.

Posted by stemp003 at 1:00 PM | Comments (3)

December 2, 2011

Four-month stand-off between Research Libraries UK and Elsevier ends

Excerpted from the Dec. 2 edition of Times Higher Education:

Earlier this year, Research Libraries UK said that it would not renew the "big deals" to secure access to the entire journal portfolios of Elsevier and fellow publishing company Wiley-Blackwell if they did not make "significant real-terms price reductions".

Wiley-Blackwell announced in late October that a three-year deal had been reached with Jisc Collections, the negotiating body for libraries, on "mutually beneficial terms".

Announcing yesterday that it had now also struck a five-year deal with Elsevier, RLUK estimated that the deal with the two publishers will save the sector around £20 million over the course of the deals.

The organisation said that this was money "that institutions would otherwise have had to find from cancelled journal subscriptions, fewer book purchases and reduced services for students and researchers."

Posted by stemp003 at 2:51 PM | Comments (0)

November 18, 2011

Congressional supercommittee may cut science funding by 8% in 2013

From Annalee Newitz's November 4 article in the Washington Post:

With the congressional supercommittee's debt-reduction deadline approaching, federal funding of basic scientific research -- from the Energy Department, the National Science Foundation, the National Institute of Standards and Technology, and many others -- could be on the chopping block. If the supercommittee can't reach an agreement, an across-the-board, $1.2 trillion cut will automatically kick in, and it could slash science funding by 8 percent in 2013, according to a recent estimate by Michael Lubell of the American Physical Society.
Posted by stemp003 at 10:38 AM | Comments (1)

November 11, 2011

OSTP call for comment on access to data and publications from govt.-funded research

From Clifford Lynch, Director of the Coalition for Networked Information, on the CNI-ANNOUNCE listserv:

The U.S. Office of Science and Technology Policy has issued two calls for public comment. One deals with policies for access to journal articles reporting on federally funded research. This is somewhat similar to a call that was issued last year. The second covers policies related preservation, access and reuse of data created as part of federally funded research programs. I believe that one or both of these topics are of interest to many institutions and individuals within the CNI community, and that our community has a great deal of good advice and insight to offer OSTP.

These calls can be found at

http://federalregister.gov/a/2011-28621 (data)


http://federalregister.gov/a/2011-28623 (publications)

The Response Date for the former is January 12, 2012, and the Response Date for the latter is January 2, 2012.

Posted by stemp003 at 9:26 AM | Comments (0)

November 4, 2011

ArXiv gets planning grant

From Cornell University's Oct. 25 press release:

Thanks to a generous award from the Simons Foundation, Cornell University Library will take a major step toward building a permanent governance model for arXiv, the free scientific repository that has revolutionized the way scientists share information.

The Simons Foundation, which is based in New York City, has provided a $60,000 planning grant to support the development of a governance model that will guide the online repository's transition from interim to long-term governance.


The work proposed in the planning grant has already begun, and it will continue through April 2012. The grant supports multiple goals:

* Developing a set of arXiv operating principles and seeking input from key stakeholders;
* Refining the institutional fee model and revenue projection;
* Delineating a governance model and bylaws that clearly define roles and responsibilities for the Library and its partners; and
* Establishing an initial governing board that reflects the financial contribution levels of major stakeholders and the scientific community.

The University of Minnesota is an institutional supporter of arxiv.

Posted by stemp003 at 10:47 AM | Comments (0)

October 28, 2011

British government announces working group on research transparency

From the Sept. 15 edition of PharmaTimes:

[T]he UK government is setting up an independent working group to look at how UK-funded research findings can be made more widely available.


The working group, to be chaired by Dame Janet Finch, professor of sociology at Manchester University and independent co-chair of the Council for Science and Technology, will examine how access to research findings can be made more transparent and accessible, taking into account a range of considerations including parallel work on research data and other outputs being conducted by the Royal Society.

The focus will be on academic publications, specifically journal articles, conference proceedings and monographs. The group's work will be supported by the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills, the Higher Education Funding Council for England, the Publishers Association and Research Councils UK. The Research Information Network will provide the group's secretariat.

The new working group will hold its first meeting in mid-October and aims to come up with recommendations to government in the spring of 2012. Other than Dame Janet, the membership will include representatives from the higher education sector, research investors, the research community, scholarly publishers and libraries.


Technological developments and a desire for greater transparency are creating new demands in a rapidly changing research publications environment, [Science Minister David Willetts] noted, commenting: "Research stimulates and fuels innovation and economic growth. So, to maximise UK innovation we need to maximise access to and the use of research findings."

Posted by stemp003 at 11:07 AM | Comments (2)

October 14, 2011

October 24-30: Open Access Week focuses on graduate students

In 2011, the University Libraries are recognizing Open Access Week by celebrating the scholarship of graduate students. We are hosting several activities to raise awareness and knowledge on campus around issues of access to information.

Please join us for any or all!

Posted by stemp003 at 1:23 PM | Comments (0)

September 30, 2011

Princeton faculty committee votes to approve open access policy

Princeton has now joined institutions like Harvard, MIT, and the University of Kansas in approving a policy whereby Princeton is authorized to place a copy of a faculty member's scholarly article in the institution's online repository. As with the other schools, faculty members can opt out of the policy if they obtain a waiver.

From the Chronicle of Higher Education's Sept. 29 article on the policy:

"Both the library and members of the faculty, principally in the sciences, have been thinking for some time that we would like to take a concrete step toward making the publications of our extraordinary faculty freely available to a much larger audience and not restricted to those who can afford to pay journal subscription fees," said Karin Trainer, Princeton's university librarian. She said they had encountered "no resistance at all" to the idea among faculty members.

The new mandate permits professors to post copies of articles online in "not-for-a-fee venues," including personal and university Web sites. The faculty advisory committee that recommended the policy said that it will keep faculty members "from giving away all their rights when they publish in a journal."


Career pressure on junior scholars as well as differences in publishing practices among disciplines"mean that some faculty are not in fact going to be in a position to comply with the new policy without asking for a waiver," Ms. Trainer said. "And we know that." She added that even faculty members likely to ask for waivers "understood that it was in the overall university's best interests to have such a policy in place."

Posted by stemp003 at 11:10 AM | Comments (0)

September 23, 2011

Tendering process started for peer-reviewed open access journals in High-Energy Physics

From SCOAP3's Sept. 22 press release:

An international team of experts from institutions participating in SCOAP3 has prepared a detailed description of the peer-review and open access services that the consortium intends to purchase through high-quality peer-reviewed journals, the conditions for the provision of these services and the implications on existing licensing agreements

CERN has now issued a Market Survey for the benefit of SCOAP3. It is publicly available at: http://cdsweb.cern.ch/record/1384149

Publishers of high-quality peer-reviewed journals carrying content in the field of High-Energy Physics are invited to answer to this Market Survey, whose purpose is to identify potential bidders for the provision of peer-review and open access services to SCOAP3. The following phase of the process will be an invitation to tender to qualified providers by the end of 2011, for contracts to be placed during 2012 with services commencing 1 January 2013.

Posted by stemp003 at 9:22 AM | Comments (0)

September 16, 2011

Invitation to provide feedback on Research Support Services for Scholars

From the September 13 press release by Ithaka:

Ithaka S+R is pleased to announce Research Support Services for Scholars (RSS4S). This series of discipline-specific projects aims to provide critically needed research about the evolving behavior of scholars to the information support service providers who work with them. Through this work, Ithaka S+R will provide a scholar-centric foundation of understanding about scholarly practices intended to facilitate the development of new support services, policies, infrastructures and institutions which will facilitate innovative, effective, and efficient research practices.

We are launching with projects in the disciplines of history and chemistry. We are looking for feedback throughout this research process from scholars in the fields we are studying as well as the information service providers -- librarians, scholarly societies, computing support centers, and publishers-who support those fields.

Posted by stemp003 at 3:15 PM | Comments (0)

September 9, 2011

JSTOR makes pre-1923 content open access

From JSTOR's September 7 press release:

[T]oday, we are making journal content on JSTOR published prior to 1923 in the United States and prior to 1870 elsewhere, freely available to the public for reading and downloading. This includes nearly 500,000 articles from more than 200 journals, representing approximately 6% of the total content on JSTOR.

And their rationales from their FAQ:

Our mission involves expanding access to scholarly content as broadly as possible, in ways that are sustainable and consistent with the interests of our publishers who own the rights to the content. We believe that making Early Journal Content freely available is another step in this process of providing access to knowledge to more people; that we are in a position both to continue preserving this content and making it available to the general public; and this is a set of content for which we are able to make this decision.


Copyright term outside the United States is set at the life of the author plus 70 years. We believe that 1870 is a reasonable date to assume that all copyright is expired.


We do not believe that just because something is in the public domain, it can always be provided for free. There are costs associated with selection, digitization, access provision, preservation, and a wide variety of services that are necessary for content to reach those who need it. We have determined that we can sustain free access and meet our preservation obligations for this particular set of content for individuals as part of our overall activities undertaken in pursuit of our mission.

Posted by stemp003 at 11:22 AM | Comments (0)

August 19, 2011

Open Access Coalition formed by 22 academic institutions

From the University of Kansas Aug. 3, 2011 news release:

The university has now taken the lead in forming a coalition with 21 other universities and colleges with established faculty open access policies in North America -- such as Harvard University, Stanford University, Duke University and Concordia University in Montreal -- to establish the new Coalition of Open Access Policy Institutions.

Known as COAPI, the group will collaborate and share implementation strategies and advocate on a national level for institutions with open access policies.


Their next steps will include a pre-conference meeting at the Berlin 9 Open Access Conference in November in Washington, D.C.


Marc L. Greenberg, professor and chair of the Slavic Languages and Literatures department, also participated in the teleconference.

"I always keep the idea of 'knowledge as a public good' in mind in doing work for open access," Greenberg said, "and I view what we do as part of renegotiating the social contract between universities and society. Universities belong to the public."


Great interest was expressed to form COAPI during a conference call with representatives from these institutions with faculty open access policies:

• Arizona State University
• Brigham Young University
• Columbia University
• Concordia University
• Duke University
• Emory University
• Gustavus Adolphus College
• Harvard University
• Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis (IUPUI)
• Lafayette College
• Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT)
• Oberlin College
• Oregon State University
• Rollins College
• Stanford University
• Trinity University
• University of Hawaii-Manoa
• University of Kansas
• University of North Texas
• University of Northern Colorado
• University of Oregon
• Wake Forest University

Posted by stemp003 at 3:59 PM | Comments (0)

July 29, 2011

UK Parliament's Science and Technology Committee issues report on peer review

Excerpted from Fred Friend's July 29 posting to the American Library Association online discussion forum Scholcomm:

The UK Parliament's Science and Technology Committee has produced a Report on "Peer review in scientific publications" which, if the Committee's recommendations are implemented, will initiate several positive developments for scholarly communication. The Report - available at http://www.publications.parliament.uk/pa/cm201012/cmselect/cmsctech/856/85602.htm - examines the current peer review system thoroughly from different angles. Picking up on the importance of reproducibility of research results, the Committee recommend that "data associated with publicly funded research should, where possible, be made widely and freely available". Also significant for scholarly communication in general, are the Committee's "concerns about the use of journal Impact Factor as a proxy measure for the quality of individual articles". Although recognising the value of peer review, the Committee expresses concerns about the way the peer review system currently operates and encourages the "prudent use of online tools for post-publication review and commentary as a means of supplementing pre-publication review". The Committee sees pre-publication review as being effective for technical assessment but needing post-publication review for impact assessment, impact now being of high importance for research funders.


The UK Parliament's Committees are very effective in investigating a wide range of issues of importance (witness their recent questioning of News Corporation executives). [...] For those of you who are unfamiliar with the UK system, there is no obligation upon the UK Government to accept the Committee's recommendations (as we found in the Committee's Report on OA in 2004) but clearly the Committee's views do carry weight.

Posted by stemp003 at 11:57 AM | Comments (1)

July 8, 2011

More than 100 BioMed Central journals now have impact factors

From BMC's July 3 press release, more evidence that open access does not equate with lack of quality or vanity publishing:

The 2010 edition of Thomson Reuters' Journal Citation Reports, released on June 28th 2011, provides further evidence that open access journals are delivering not only high visibility but also high rates of citation and impact.

Altogether, 101 BioMed Central journals now have official impact factors. 21 journals recorded their first impact factors this year. Meanwhile, among the 80 journals which already had impact factors, 52 increased while only 28 declined. The average change in impact factor was an increase of 0.19 points.

Some highlights:

  • BMC Medicine (IF 5.75) saw a huge jump in its impact factor and is now in the top 10% of journals in the General Medicine category
  • Retrovirology (IF 5.24), is now 4th of 32 in the Virology category, overtaking Journal of Virology
  • Malaria Journal (IF 3.49) recorded its third successive increase and remains the 2nd most highly ranked journal in the Tropical Medicine category
  • Journal of Cardiovascular Magnetic Resonance (IF 4.33), official journal of the Society for Cardiovascular Magnetic Resonance, almost doubled its previous impact factor of 2.28
  • BMC Plant Biology (IF 4.09) increased from 3.77 to confirm its ranking in the top 10% of the Plant Science category
  • BMC Veterinary Research (IF 2.37) makes an exceptionally strong start, ranking 8th of 145 in the Veterinary Sciences category
  • Frontiers of Zoology (IF 2.42) debuts in the JCR in the top 10% of the Zoology category
  • Particle and Fibre Toxicology (IF 4.91) ranks 4th of 83 in the Toxicology category
  • Cell Division (IF 4.09) and Epigenetics & Chromatin (IF 4.73) also both make strong starts
Posted by stemp003 at 11:28 AM | Comments (0)

June 10, 2011

American Chemical Society introduces new open access journals

From the June 6 issue of Chemical & Engineering News:

The American Chemical Society plans to introduce two new online-only, peer-reviewed journals that will publish research related to biological systems and synthetic biology, and to polymer science. The journals will publish their first full issues in January 2012.

ACS Synthetic Biology will cover approaches to understanding how cells, tissues, and organisms are organized and function in natural and artificial systems, and the application of synthetic biology in engineering these systems.


The society's other new journal, ACS Macro Letters, will report major advances in areas of soft-matter science in which polymers play a significant role, including nanotechnology, self-assembly, supramolecular chemistry, biomaterials, energy, and renewable/sustainable materials.


"Whether it is in sustainable plastics, biomedical materials, renewable energy, or abundant clean water, polymers have a key role to play," notes Timothy P. Lodge, editor-in-chief of Macromolecules and ACS Macro Letters. "The time is ripe" for the new journal, which will publish findings within four to six weeks of submission.

Lodge is a professor in the departments of chemistry and of chemical engineering and materials science at the University of Minnesota. He studies polymer systems that self-assemble to form nanostructures.

Posted by stemp003 at 3:01 PM | Comments (1)

June 3, 2011

Australian government abandons journal-ranking system

From the Chronicle of Higher Education's May 31 issue:

The Australian government abandoned its journal-ranking system yesterday, amid complaints that haphazard ranks [...] were affecting research financing and the careers of academics. The system was part of an overall initiative called Excellence in Research for Australia, which helps the government decide how much money goes to a given research unit at a university. Aspects of the journal rankings had been considered for possible adoption in the United States and Europe.

The Australian reported in its May 30 issue that the chief executive of the Australian Research Council, Professor Margaret Sheil, commented:

"These reforms will strengthen the role of the ERA Research Evaluation Committee members in using their own, discipline-specific expertise to make judgments about the journal publication patterns for each unit of evaluation [...] [The change empowered] committee members to use their expert judgement to take account of nuances in publishing behaviour' [...] This approach will allow experts to make judgements about the quality of journals in the context of each discipline.''
Posted by stemp003 at 11:05 AM | Comments (0)

May 13, 2011

Online Peer Review to be Developed, Tested at NYU

From New York University's April 11 press release:

NYU Press (NYUP) has been awarded a grant of $50,000 from The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation to develop and test a method of conducting open, public online peer-to-peer (P2P) review of scholarly monographs and journal articles. NYUP, which is part of the NYU Division of Libraries, will collaborate on the project with MediaCommons, a digital scholarly network affiliated with both NYU Libraries and the Institute for the Future of the Book.


The outcome of the yearlong, Mellon-funded project will be a published white paper that will 1) assess the value and shortcomings of P2P review for the evaluation of scholarship, 2) serve as a roadmap for scholars and publishers, articulating criteria and protocols for conducting P2P review that are both rigorous and flexible enough to apply across disciplines; 3) identify the technical functionalities necessary to support these protocols; and 4) assess tools and platforms currently available for online peer review, and consider whether their functionalities will support our proposed protocols. The white paper will be made available for open peer review as part of its publication process.

Posted by stemp003 at 3:33 PM | Comments (0)

April 14, 2011

University of North Texas Faculty Senate approves open access policy

On March 9, 2011, the UNT Faculty Senate voted overwhelmingly to support the UNT Policy on Open Access to Scholarly Works.Work on the policy began in 2010 with the establishment of an Open Access Policy Committee. The Committee developed drafts of the policy document, revised with input from faculty members, Faculty Senators, external reviewers, and others. Faculty Senate approval is a major milestone in the process of adopting and approving this policy as an official UNT policy.


Some key aspects of the policy:

  • Each UNT Community Member deposits in the UNT Libraries scholarly works repository a final version of his/her scholarly works to which he or she made intellectual contributions. The determination of what comprises a final version is made by the community member.
  • The policy does not require transfer of copyright to UNT nor does it prescribe or encourage any particular venue for scholarly publication.
  • A UNT Community Member can request a waiver from granting UNT a license for dissemination and preservation of a peer-reviewed, accepted-for-publication journal article. The specific procedure for requesting a waiver will be developed as part of the implementation of the policy, but the intent is to minimize the effort by the UNT Community Member to initiate the request. Most likely it will be done electronically through the submission system, which will be specified as part of the implementation.
Posted by stemp003 at 12:00 PM | Comments (0)

SCOAP3 (Sponsoring Consortium for Open Access in Particle Physics Publishing) to begin implementation

"The SCOAP3 proposal is a valuable opportunity to create a viable alternative to the status quo in scholarly publishing for one entire discipline. It aims to reach consensus among all stakeholders on a new model for publishing in high-energy physics, and establish market equilibrium. The proposal is currently supported by ~100 U.S. libraries, either directly or through consortia, and by the Canadian Research Knowledge Network, on behalf of all Canadian libraries, as well as libraries, consortia and funding agencies in 18 other countries in Europe, the Middle East and Australasia."

From SCOAP3's April 12 news entry:

On April 6th 2011 representatives from institutions in the global SCOAP3 partnership convened to assess the progress of this Open Access initiative.

Large publishers in the field, APS, Elsevier, IOPp, SISSA and Springer, shared their opinions on the SCOAP3 model and their intention to participate in a SCOAP3 tender aiming to convert to Open Access the high-quality peer-reviewed literature in the field, conditional on reassurances concerning the long-term sustainability of SCOAP3. SCOAP3 partners reaffirmed the importance of a mutual understanding with the publishing industry on price reduction of large subscription packages for partner libraries in countries that are part of the initiative. All presentations, transcripts and videos are available on the SCOAP3 web site.

Posted by stemp003 at 11:47 AM | Comments (0)

March 11, 2011

Project MUSE and University Press e-book Consortium Announce Merger

From Project Muse's March 10, 2011 press release:

Two major university press e-book initiatives -- Project MUSE Editions (PME) and the University Press e-book Consortium (UPeC) -- have joined forces. The result of this merger --the University Press Content Consortium (UPCC) -- will launch January 1, 2012.


The partnership allows e-books from an anticipated 60-70 university presses and non-profit scholarly presses -- representing as many as 30,000 frontlist and backlist titles -- to be discovered and searched in an integrated environment with content from nearly 500 journals currently on MUSE.


Representatives of UPeC and PME worked closely with librarians over the past two years to develop a scholarly e-book model that benefits both libraries and presses. Incorporating extensive research and feasibility analysis from both groups, the UPCC Collections will be sold by MUSE in comprehensive and subject-based collections, with minimal digital rights management.


The University Press e-book Consortium (UPeC) emerged in 2009 to explore the feasibility of a university press-based e-book initiative. Five press directors serve as UPeC principals: Steve Maikowski, New York University Press; Alex Holzman, Temple University Press; Marlie Wasserman, Rutgers University Press; Eric Halpern, University of Pennsylvania Press; and Donna Shear, University of Nebraska Press. UPeC planning and development was supported by two grants from The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.

Posted by stemp003 at 9:52 AM | Comments (0)

February 18, 2011

PLoS ONE: the world's largest journal?

Heather Morrison, a doctoral candidate at Simon Fraser University's School of Communication, obtained information from Peter Binfield, publisher of PLoS ONE and the Community Journals

[I]n 2010 PLoS One published 6,749 articles. Based on listserv discussions in 2008, the world's largest journals at that date were PHYS REV B (5782 articles) and APPL PHYS LETT (5449 articles). As of today, a search for 2010 articles at the APS website yields 6,206 articles. A search for 2010 articles for APPL PHYS LETT in IEEE's xPLore service yields 4,381 articles.

So it is timely to raise the question: is the world's largest scholarly journal now an open access journal, PLoS One?

See the full post on this topic:


Posted by stemp003 at 2:19 PM | Comments (0)

January 21, 2011

An alternative to Elsevier's Copyright Transfer Agreement

In her January 11, 2011, post to the American Scientist Open Access Forum, former Zoology professor and current publishing consultant Alma Swan said:

Elsevier has a Licence To Publish which it will provide if an author declines to click through its Copyright Transfer Agreement online.

I offered Elsevier the SPARC/Science Commons Author Addendum instead of signing the CTA and in response was sent the LTP. It allows the author to keep all the rights needed for personal dissemination, re-use, etc while obtaining, for Elsevier, sole rights to publish it in a journal. Since most articles are not ever destined to be published in more than one journal, this seems a very satisfactory solution for the majority of cases.

This is a useful alternative that a librarian at the University of Minnesota was also able to obtain.

Posted by stemp003 at 3:44 PM | Comments (0)

September 24, 2010

University of Michigan joins Compact for Open-Access Publishing Equity

Excerpted from our CIC peer's September, 2010 press release:

The University of Michigan announces its participation in the Compact for Open-Access Publishing Equity (COPE).

COPE is a consortium of universities that support open-access publishing by subsidizing publication fees for open-access journals. Many leading universities and research centers are members of the compact, including Cornell University, Dartmouth College, Harvard University, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, University of California at Berkeley, University of Ottawa, Columbia University, and the Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center. At the University of Michigan, the program will be administered and funded by the University Library.

"The University of Michigan recognizes the value of open access to scholarly works, and we are proud to join other leading universities in this innovative approach to supporting open-access publication," said U-M's Provost and Executive Vice President for Academic Affairs, Philip J. Hanlon. "Ultimately, it can both reduce our own costs for journal acquisition and can help ensure that the work of our faculty is disseminated as broadly as possible."


The effectiveness of the program will be evaluated after a two-year trial period.

Peer-reviewed, scholarly articles accepted for publication in open-access journals are eligible for funding.

The Library has developed a set of principles to guide funding decisions for the immediate future listed at http://www.lib.umich.edu/cope.

The University is particularly interested in funding articles for which the author retains copyright and that will appear in fully open journals accessible immediately upon publication. The goal is to support as many U-M authors in as many disciplines as possible.

Posted by stemp003 at 4:32 PM | Comments (0)

August 17, 2010

July 29 Congressional hearing on Public Access to Federally-Funded Research

On Thursday, July 29, the U.S. House of Representative's Information Policy, Census, and National Archives Subcommittee held a hearing entitled, "Public Access to Federally-Funded Research." The hearing reviewed the current state of public access to federally-funded research in science, technology and medicine. The hearing provided an opportunity to assess the issues surrounding public access policies, including the impact of increasing public access on scientists, physicians, and researchers.

The hearing site has the text of remarks by the panelists below. Also, the Alliance for Taxpayer Access has a short and excellent summary of each panelist's remarks.

Allan Adler
Vice President, Government Affairs
Association of American Publishers

Dr. Steven Breckler
Executive Director for Science
American Psychological Association

Professor Ralph Oman
Pravel Professorial Lecturer in Intellectual Property Law Fellow
Creative and Innovative Economy Center
The George Washington University Law School

Dr. Richard Roberts
Chief Scientific Officer
New England Biolabs

Sharon Terry
Genetic Alliance

Elliott Maxwell
Project Director, Digital Connections Council
Committee for Economic Development

Dr. Sophia Colamarino
Vice President, Research
Autism Speaks

Dr. David Shulenburger
Vice President, Academic Affairs
Association of Public and Land-Grant Universities

Catherine Nancarrow
Managing Editor
Public Library of Science Community Journals

Dr. David Lipman
Director, NCBI, NLM
National Institutes of Health

Posted by stemp003 at 10:27 AM | Comments (0)

July 30, 2010

Open Folklore project announced

Indiana University Professor Jason Baird Jackson, who spoke here at our May forum on Scholarly Publishing and Scholarly Values, passed along this announcement from his professional society and his university's library:


An excerpt:

The American Folklore Society (AFS) and the Indiana University Bloomington Libraries are creating a prototype of a new scholarly resource called Open Folklore. The vision for this open-access online portal for folklore studies is to make a greater number and variety of useful resources, both published and unpublished, available for the field of folklore studies and the communities with which folklore scholars partner. In its full form, we intend for Open Folklore to be a multi-faceted project that combines digitization and digital preservation of data, publications, educational materials, and scholarship in folklore; promotes open access to these materials; and provides an online search tool to enhance discoverability of relevant, reliable resources for folklore studies. In its initial phase, the partners will construct a prototype to gather feedback from the folklore community to shape its future growth and development.


Open Folklore is intended to build on the new developments in digital circulation of folklore materials to respond to these troubling access and preservation problems. While the final shape of this project is still in development, our general plans are as follows:

* We plan to work with rights holders to make books and journals that have already been digitized fully and openly available online. For example, during the preliminary phase of the Open Folklore project, the Jewish Folklore and Ethnology Review, published from 1977-2000 by the AFS Jewish Folklore and Ethnology Section, and the Folklore Historian, published by the AFS History and Folklore Section, have already been made available for full and open use in the HathiTrust Digital Library.
* We plan to support the publication of new and existing journals in folklore with an open access publishing platform. For example, Museum Anthropology Review and New Directions in Folklore, two folklore studies titles already published in partnership with the IU Bloomington Libraries, will be included in Open Folklore.
* We plan to digitize educational material and gray literature in folklore, and to provide digital preservation for other "born digital" resources and publications. For example, the IU Bloomington Libraries have already digitized and made freely available all of the white papers and other public policy documents created by the Fund for Folk Culture.
* We plan to select and digitally archive websites of public and academic folklore programs (with their permission). This effort will guarantee access to historic Internet documents of scholarly and disciplinary relevance for the future. We have tested this idea using the AFS web site (www.afsnet.org).
* We plan to provide an online tool that will offer full-text searching of all of the above classes of material while filtering out unreliable sources.

We congratulate Professor Jackson and his colleagues on this exciting news!

Posted by stemp003 at 11:30 AM | Comments (0)

July 23, 2010

House committee to hold hearing on public access to publicly funded research

Excerpted from the July 20, 2010 press release from the Alliance for Taxpayer Access:

The U.S. House of Representatives Committee on Oversight and Government Reform Subcommittee on Information Policy, the Census and National Archives announced it will hold a hearing on the issue of public access to federally funded research on Thursday, July 29. The hearing will provide an opportunity for the Committee to hear the perspectives of a broad range of stakeholders on the potential impact of opening up access to the results of the United States' more than $60 billion annual investment in scientific research.


Additionally, H.R. 5037, the Federal Research Public Access Act (FRPAA), which was introduced into the House on April 15 by Rep. Mike Doyle (R-PA) and is supported by a growing bi-partisan host of cosponsors, was referred to the Committee. The bill, and its identical Senate counterpart (introduced by Sens. Joe Lieberman (I-CT) and John Cornyn (R-TX)), proposes to require those eleven federal agencies with extramural research budgets of $100 million or more to implement policies that deliver timely, free, online public access to the published results of the research they fund.

According to the notice:

"The hearing will examine the state of public access to federally-funded research in science, technology, and medicine. The hearing will assess and delineate the complex issues surrounding public access policies. The hearing will afford an opportunity for representatives from the areas of publishing, science and research, education and patient care to provide perspective on challenges, potential impact and opportunities regarding increased access."

Posted by stemp003 at 2:15 PM | Comments (4)

July 16, 2010

Scientists for open data named SPARC Innovators

Excerpted from SPARC's June 22, 2010 press release:

[F]our leaders [...] have put forth a groundbreaking set of recommendations for scientists to more easily share their data - The Panton Principles - and [...] have been named the latest SPARC Innovators for their work.

The authors of The Panton Principles are:

• Peter Murray-Rust, chemist at the University of Cambridge;
• Cameron Neylon, biochemist at the Rutherford Appleton Laboratory in Didcot, England;
• Rufus Pollock, co-founder of the Open Knowledge Foundation and Mead Fellow in Economics, Emmanuel College, University of Cambridge;
• John Wilbanks, vice president for Science, Creative Commons, San Francisco.

The authors advocate making data freely available on the Internet for anyone to download, copy, analyze, reprocess, pass to software or use for any purpose without financial, legal or technical barriers. Through the Principles, the group aimed to develop clear language that explicitly defines how a scientist's rights to his own data could be structured so others can freely reuse or build on it. The goal was to craft language simple enough that a scientist could easily follow it, and then focus on doing science rather than law.

The Panton Principles were publicly launched in February of 2010, with a Web site at www.pantonprinciples.org to spread the word and an invitation to endorse. About 100 individuals and organizations have endorsed the Principles so far.


According to Pollock, "It's commonplace that we advance by building on the work of colleagues and predecessors - standing on the shoulders of giants. In a digital age, to build on the work of others we need something very concrete: access to the data of others and the freedom to use and reuse it. That's what the Panton Principles are about."

Posted by stemp003 at 3:30 PM | Comments (0)

July 2, 2010

University of California balks at 400% price increase from Nature

The chair of the University of California - San Francisco's Committee on Library and Scholarly Communication, and two UC librarians, sent a letter to UC faculty in early June. It opens:

UC Libraries are confronting an impending crisis in providing access to journals from the Nature Publishing Group (NPG). NPG has insisted on increasing the price of our license for Nature and its affiliated journals by 400 percent beginning in 2011, which would raise our cost for their 67 journals by well over $1 million dollars per year.

While Nature and other NPG publications are among the most prestigious of academic journals, such a price increase is of unprecedented magnitude. NPG has made their ultimatum with full knowledge that our libraries are under economic distress--a fact widely publicized in an Open Letter to Licensed Content Providers and distributed by the California Digital Library (CDL) in May 2009. In fact, CDL has worked successfully with many other publishers and content providers over the past year to address the University's current economic challenges in a spirit of mutual problem solving, with positive results including lowering our overall costs for electronic journals by $1 million dollars per year.

NPG by contrast has been singularly unresponsive to the plight of libraries and has employed a 'divide and conquer' strategy that directs major price increases to various institutions in different years. Their proposed new license fee is especially difficult to accept in a time of shrinking UC library budgets and with the many sacrifices we all continue to make Systemwide. Capitulating to NPG now would wipe out all of the recent cost-saving measures taken by CDL and our campus libraries to reduce expenditures for electronic journals.

The Chronicle of Higher Education reported on the story on June 8. Nature defended itself in the Chronicle the following day, claiming that California Digital Library was "paying an unfair rate" and violating confidentiality by negotiating in public.

The following day, CDL rebutted each point raised by Nature, noting that "[o]ur Faculty library committees have explicitly requested that they be consulted on major negotiations and journal cancellations" and also using historical data to counter Nature's claims that its pricing is fair:

[A]n increase of 7% per year translates to an increase of 40% over five years. Few, if any, library budgets have gone up at even a fraction of that amount over a comparable period (the materials budget of the UC Libraries increased by 7.46% between 2005 and 2009 and is now slated to decrease during the next few years). In other words, 7% increases compounded annually are budget busting (also note that 7% is more than three times the average US rate of inflation for the past few years). [...] Between 2005 and 2009, NPG increased their licensing fees to the University by 137% (granted this included some new titles, but truthfully not enough to warrant such a dramatic price increase). Even when our license was placed on a new and, we believed, more stable footing in 2008, our fees still increased by 5%. But now, NPG claims that their proposed 400% increase is to make up for "an unsustainable discount" that they have provided UC all along. We find this to be an implausible explanation given the remarkably large sums of money others and we already pay to NPG every year. The notion that other institutions are subsidizing "our discount" is nonsensical. If anything, other institutions are simply paying too much."

No updates have been issued since June 10.

P.S. -- The comments on the UC/Nature negotiations by our Faculty Forum speaker, Professor Jason Baird Jackson of Indiana University, are available here.

Posted by stemp003 at 4:31 PM | Comments (0)

June 18, 2010

Portico archive reaches preservation milestone

From Portico's June 15 press release:

110 publishers, representing more than 2,000 professional and scholarly societies, are now participating in the Portico archive. Furthermore, nearly 15 million articles are now safely preserved in the Portico archive.


The 110 publishers who have entrusted their content to the Portico archive and signed formal agreements with Portico represent e-books, e-journals, and d-collections.


Since 2005, the number of titles and types of content preserved in Portico has grown significantly. To date, over 11,000 e-journals and 33,000 e-books have been entrusted to the Portico archive. For a complete list of Portico-related facts and figures, please visit Portico's Archive Facts & Figures. The complete list of titles and participating publishers is available at www.portico.org/digital-preservation/who-participates-in-portico/

The University Libraries subscribes to Portico to ensure long-term access to our licensed electronic content.

Posted by stemp003 at 2:46 PM | Comments (0)

June 4, 2010

U.S. House votes to create Interagency Public Access Committee

In the June edition of his Open Access Newsletter, Peter Suber takes note of recent legislation passed by the U.S. House of Representatives:

The American COMPETES Act (HR 5116), passed in the House of Representatives on May 28, 2010. Section 123 creates an Interagency Public Access Committee "to coordinate Federal science agency research and policies related to the dissemination...of the results of unclassified research, including digital data and peer-reviewed scholarly publications, supported wholly, or in part, by funding from the Federal science agencies...."

The purpose of the bill, from the Library of Congress' Thomas web site:

America COMPETES Reauthorization Act of 2010 - Establishes, revises, and extends specified science, technology, education, and mathematics (STEM) programs, as well as engineering, research, and training programs.

Authorizes appropriations for FY2011-FY2015 for: (1) the National Science Foundation (NSF); (2) the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST); and (3) the Department of Energy (DOE) for activities of the Office of Science.

The full text of the bill is here (section 123 starts on page 59):


Suber further notes:

The report from the House Science and Technology Committee on the COMPETES Act (above) elaborates on the new Interagency Public Access Committee at pp. 93 and 108-09.


Posted by stemp003 at 4:21 PM | Comments (0)

April 23, 2010

National Science Foundation Releases Open Government Plan

From NSF's April 7, 2010 press release:

On February 6, 2010, NSF, along with agencies across the government, launched a new Web page (www.nsf.gov/open) designed to inform citizens about the agency's activities to encourage participation and collaboration between the agency and the citizens it serves. Members of the public were asked to submit ideas and comments through a dialog page at http://opennsf.ideascale.com. The comment period ran through March 19.

Over that period, the OpenNSF site received 59 ideas, 85 comments and 529 votes. Ideas submitted included: making taxpayer-funded research freely available, requiring that data from publicly funded projects be shared on an open source basis, and producing live webcasts of all meetings. The ideas, along with comments and discussion, can be viewed on the OpenNSF dialog site. In addition, NSF will be using the dialog site to ask for public comments on the agency's Open Government Directive Plan.

The plan being released today reflects public input as well as ongoing discussions about making more data available in open formats, and expansion of public participation and other collaboration activities.

The key principle that will be applied in executing the elements of the NSF Open Government Directive Plan is to maximize data that will be made available within the constraints of confidentiality and privacy concerns.

"Unless proven otherwise, the default position will be to make data and information available in an open format," said José Munoz, acting director of NSF's Office of Cyberinfrastructure, who is NSF's senior accountable official for the Open Government Directive.

Posted by stemp003 at 2:29 PM | Comments (0)

April 16, 2010

Federal Research Public Access Act introduced in House of Representatives

Here is a bill to watch! The Federal Research Public Access Act (FRPAA) can build not just on the government's success with the NIH public access policy, but also on the success of institutions like Harvard, MIT, and the University of Kansas in introducing public access policies for scholarship produced by their faculty members.

From the April 15, 2010 press release by the Alliance for Taxpayer Access:

Fueling the growing momentum toward openness, transparency, and accessibility to publicly funded information, the Federal Research Public Access Act of 2010 (FRPAA) has been introduced today in the U.S. House of Representatives by Rep. Mike Doyle (D-PA) and a bi-partisan host of co-sponsors. The proposed bill would build on the success of the first U.S. mandate for public access to the published results of publicly funded research at the National Institutes of Health (NIH), and require federal agencies with annual extramural research budgets of $100 million or more to provide the public with online access to research manuscripts stemming from funded research no later than six months after publication in a peer-reviewed journal.

"Free and open access to scientific literature and data are the underpinnings of discovery in the digital age," said Stephen Friend MD PhD, President and Co-Founder of Sage Bionetworks. "Full collaboration among researchers is essential, and we have the power now to communicate, collaborate, and innovate in ways that were previously unimaginable. I applaud the sponsors of the Federal Research Public Access Act for their commitment to ensuring the kind of access scientists need to make progress on improved disease treatments and diagnostics in the digital world."

Like the Senate bill introduced in 2009 by Senators Lieberman (I-CT) and Cornyn (R-TX), H.R. 5037 would unlock unclassified research funded by agencies including: Department of Agriculture, Department of Commerce, Department of Defense, Department of Education, Department of Energy, Department of Health and Human Services, Department of Homeland Security, Department of Transportation, Environmental Protection Agency, National Aeronautics and Space Administration, and the National Science Foundation.

Posted by stemp003 at 11:28 AM | Comments (0)

January 22, 2010

SPARC honors Optical Society of America as a pioneer in scholarly publishing innovation

Excerpted from SPARC's January 14 press release:

With the launch of Optics Express in 1997, the Optical Society of America (OSA) created an open-access journal that has stood the test of time to become a both a scientific and financial success. The journal, now entering its second decade of publication, is consistently ranked among the top titles in its field. And, it has proved to be such a successful financial venture that the Society is this year rolling out three more publications that follow the same open-access business model.

For being a shining example of community-driven creativity and innovation in scholarly communications, the Optical Society of America has been named the first SPARC Innovator of 2010.


Optics Express publishes original, peer-reviewed articles in all fields of optical science and technology twice a month - within an average of 47 days after article acceptance. The quick turnaround, along with creative ways to highlight content - such as electronic cover images for every issue and Focus issues - have made Optics Express a sought-after publishing destination for authors and a top journal in the field. OSA is introducing three new journals under the Optics Express brand and publishing model over the next year: Biomedical Optic Express, Optical Material Express and Energy Express.

"Through the efforts of many people, we built something very unique that came together," said Childs. "We use Optic Express as a harbinger, a model for what I think is probably going to come to pass."


So, is Childs an open-access advocate? "I'm an open-access pragmatist. I really look at what will work," says Childs. "I'm fairly certain that the old models of publishing won't exist in 10 years." Childs says a new approach might be to reduce authors' fees and share the financial load with other stakeholders, such as universities and foundations. Indeed, the open-access model used today may be modified beyond what we can imagine, he says.

Posted by stemp003 at 11:41 AM | Comments (1)

December 14, 2009

U-MN faculty publish in Public Library of Science

From January to November 2009, U-MN faculty published 30 articles in Public Library of Science journals. This represents a 57% increase over 2008. PLoS maintains rigorous standards of peer review; less than half of the articles submitted by UMN faculty were accepted for publication.

Two thirds of the accepted articles were published in PLoS One, PLoS' vehicle "for the swift publication of original research in all areas of science and medicine, with innovative user tools for post-publication commenting, rating, and discussion."

Faculty from these UMN departments published in PLoS in 2009:

  • Biochemistry, Molecular Biology & Biophysics

  • Chemical Engineering and Materials Science

  • Computer Science and Engineering

  • Ecology, Evolution & Behavior (2)

  • Experimental and Clinical Pharmacology

  • Genetics, Cell Biology and Development (3)

  • Integrative Biology and Physiology

  • Medicine (2)

  • Natural Resources, Science, and Management

  • Neuroscience

  • Parasitology and Mycology

  • Pediatrics

  • Pharmacology (2)

  • Plant Biology (3)

  • Veterinary and Biomedical Sciences

  • Veterinary Clinical Sciences

  • Veterinary Population Medicine

Posted by stemp003 at 5:58 PM | Comments (0)

December 4, 2009

MIT's Graduate Student Council lobbies for open access

Excerpted from MIT's newspaper, The Tech, November 17, 2009:

MIT's Graduate Student Council (GSC) recently added national policy to its otherwise campus-based advocacy agenda, pushing for tax exemption of graduate student stipends, open access to federally funded published research, and higher caps on H1-B visas for advanced-degree holders to members of Congress earlier this fall.


The GSC also felt that the pending Federal Research Public Access Act of 2009 (S. 1373) was worth lobbying for. By making federally funded research over $100 million dollars open access, it would "enhance advanced research access and ensure that taxpayer-funded research is available to those who paid for it."


McComber also pointed out that "one of the big expenses [for MIT libraries] is journal subscriptions," making federally funded research open access appealing to MIT grad students and taxpayers alike.

"Publishers are commanding a very unhealthy sum in this area," said Chan.

Solidifying their platform on these lobbying issues, the GSC signed "The Student Statement on the Right to Research" on the Federal Research Public Access Act and plans to continue lobbying efforts in the spring.

Posted by stemp003 at 12:41 PM | Comments (2)

October 26, 2009

Minnesota Daily: U Supportive of Open Access Movement

From the October 26 issue of the Minnesota Daily:

Gabriel Weisberg , a reviews editor at an open-access journal called "Nineteenth-Century Art Worldwide," said open access journals are becoming a necessity.

Weisberg, who is also a professor of art history at the University, said textbooks, especially art books, are becoming prohibitively expensive. It has also become more difficult for researchers to publish their material, he said.

Weisberg said his journal, which was launched in 2001, is now collecting about 500,000 hits per month.

Find the complete article at:


Posted by stemp003 at 1:45 PM | Comments (0)

October 23, 2009

Enhancements to Author's Rights tool RoMEO

Excerpted from Jane H Smith's 22 Oct 2009 posting to the SPARC Author's Rights Forum discussion list:

A major upgrade to RoMEO has been released today, giving:
* Extra Category for the self-archiving of the Publisher's Version/ PDF
* Expanded Journal Coverage
* Extra Search Options for Journal Abbreviations and Electronic ISSNs
* New Tabular Browse View for Publishers
* Selective Display of Publishers' Compliance with Funding Agencys' Mandates

What's New?
As part of ongoing improvements to the RoMEO service, the Centre for Research Communications is excited to announce significant upgrades and additions to the SHERPA service RoMEO.

Previous versions of RoMEO have concentrated on highlighting information on the use of the pre-print and post-print. There has been great support from the community for also providing clearly labelled information on the use of the publisher's version/PDF as a separate item. This feature has now been included and sits alongside information on self-archiving rights for Pre-prints and Authors' Post-prints. The information is available in both individual publisher entries and in the new Tabular Browse View.

RoMEO now provides expanded journal coverage, enabling users to draw from both the Directory of Open Access Journals (DOAJ) and the Entrez journal list for the Life Sciences, along with the existing resource of the British Library's Zetoc service.

In addition to searching for journals by Print ISSN, users are now able to search by Electronic ISSN. They can also search for journals using title abbreviations.

The new Tabular Browse View enables users to display comparative charts of publishers, to quickly determine and compare what different Publishers allow them to deposit, and if the Publisher has a Paid OA Option.

If you or your authors receive funding from any of the 50 plus agencies listed in JULIET, you will now be able to restrict your search results to display Publishers' compliance with any of the funding agencies' policies listed in JULIET.

Why is RoMEO important?
If an academic author wants to put their research articles on-line, they are faced with an increasingly complex situation. Evidence shows that citations to articles made openly accessible in this way are taken up and cited more often than research that is simply published in journals. Also some Funding Agencies require open access archiving for their research, to increase the use of the information generated.

However, some publishers prohibit authors from using their own articles in this way. Others allow it, but only under certain conditions, while others are quite happy for authors to show their work in this way.

Authors can be left confused: RoMEO helps to clarify the situation.

Posted by stemp003 at 11:12 AM | Comments (0)

October 16, 2009

Access the University of Michigan Press Collection at HathiTrust

From the University of Michigan News Service's October 8, 2009 press release:

The University of Michigan Press is joining with HathiTrust Digital Library to open electronic content for free online access. U-M Press plans to have 1,000 or more titles available for full viewing by the end of this year.

Launched in 2008, HathiTrust is a digital preservation repository and research management tool for the world's great research libraries, focused on providing scholars in the digital age with the largest collection of electronic research material this side of Google Book Search and large-scale, full-text searching and archiving tools to manage it.

"Presses have had online previews and PDFs of sample chapters, tables of contents, and sometimes entire books on their Web sites for years," said Phil Pochoda, director of the U-M Press. "The HathiTrust partnership is something entirely new that takes into account the actual pursuit of broad dissemination of scholarly information.

"Security restrictions are in place to protect the integrity of the product, but with HathiTrust, a full view of the material is there. It's searchable and it's available to anyone with access. If you want to either search for or happen to come across Michigan Press books, you can look through them onscreen anywhere, anytime."

Posted by stemp003 at 11:27 AM | Comments (0)

September 18, 2009

5 leading universities announce Compact for Open Access Publishing Equity

In the Sept. 15 edition of Inside Higher Ed, Scott Jaschik reports on a commitment by Cornell, Dartmouth, Harvard, MIT, and the University of California at Berkeley to "the timely establishment of durable mechanisms for underwriting reasonable publication charges for articles written by its faculty and published in fee-based open-access journals and for which other institutions would not be expected to provide funds."

The group's web site is here:


And an article by Harvard's Stuart Shieber in PLOS Biology explains the group's thinking in more depth:


Posted by stemp003 at 10:05 AM | Comments (3)

September 11, 2009

RePEc economics archive passes 400,000 articles milestone

RePEc (Research Papers in Economics), a publicly available online archive of working papers, journal articles and software, now has over 462,000 online journal articles.

From The RePEc Blog:

The month of July is generally calm. Regular classes are not in session on campuses, researchers are on vacation or at conferences, thus it is to be expected that RePEc sees little new material or traffic. [...]

We still managed to pass a few thresholds:

400000 online articles
12500 listed book chapters

Posted by stemp003 at 5:29 PM | Comments (0)

September 4, 2009

Harvard launches beta test of its open access repository

From the Sept. 1 press release of the Harvard Office for Scholarly Communication:

The Harvard Office for Scholarly Communication (OSC) today unveiled the beta‐test site for its open access repository, http://dash.harvard.edu, to the public. DASH, for Digital Access to Scholarship at Harvard, is intended to serve as a university‐wide institutional repository.


Hundreds of scholarly works have been added to DASH in recent months, mainly by Faculty of Arts and Sciences (FAS) and Harvard Law School (HLS) professors, with the assistance of student Open Access Fellows as well as HLS and other library staff. To date, over 350 Harvard authors have contributed to the repository, including roughly a third of FAS's 718 faculty members. Of the 1,500+ items in DASH today, the vast majority are peer‐reviewed journal article manuscripts.


Contributors include Harvard President Drew Faust and University professors Robert Darnton, Peter Galison, Stanley Hoffman, Barry Mazur, Stephen Owen, Amartya Sen, Irwin Shapiro, Helen Vendler, and George Whitesides. Harvard's science and engineering departments have contributed the largest proportion of items in the repository, but humanities and social science departments including economics, anthropology and philosophy are also represented by dozens of submissions.

Posted by stemp003 at 2:01 PM | Comments (0)

August 7, 2009

Harvard's listing of publishers who are "easiest to publish with"

From Harvard University Library's Office for Scholarly Communication:


The following journal publishers have formally indicated cooperation with Harvard's open access policies and have agreed that Harvard faculty who publish in their journals may deposit those articles in Harvard's DASH repository under the open access policy without modification of their publication agreements, attachment of addenda, or waiver of Harvard's prior license. We are grateful to these publishers for their full support of access to Harvard faculty's writings.

We expect to add additional publishers and journals to this list in the near future. Publishers interested in being listed here should contact us for further information.

Publisher/Journal Confirmed as of
American Economic Association June 5, 2009
American Mathematical Society June 11, 2009
American Physical Society April 9, 2009
Berkeley Electronic Press June 10, 2009
BioMed Central June 5, 2009
Duke University Press June 29, 2009
Hindawi Publishing Corporation June 8, 2009
Public Library of Science June 8, 2009
Rockefeller University Press June 29, 2009
University of California Press June 29, 2009

Posted by stemp003 at 5:31 PM | Comments (1)

July 13, 2009

The Federal Research Public Access Act needs your help

The Libraries' Scholarly Communication Collaborative encourages you to contact our Senators and ask them to support the Federal Research Public Access Act. Below is their contact information; farther below is an excerpt from the call to action issued by SPARC (The Scholarly Publishing & Academic Resources Coalition).

Thank you for your help!


Senator Al Franken (D)

Senator Amy Klobuchar (D)



Yesterday, Senators Lieberman (I-CT) and Cornyn (R-TX) introduced the Federal Research Public Access Act (S.1373), a bill that would ensure free, timely, online access to the published results of research funded by eleven U.S. federal agencies. S.1373 would require those agencies with annual extramural research budgets of $100 million or more to provide the public with online access to research manuscripts stemming from such funding no later than six months after publication in a peer-reviewed journal. The bill gives individual agencies flexibility in choosing the location of the digital repository to house this content, as long as the repositories meet conditions for interoperability and public accessibility, and have provisions for long-term archiving.

The bill specifically covers unclassified research funded by agencies including: Department of Agriculture, Department of Commerce, Department of Defense, Department of Education, Department of Energy, Department of Health and Human Services, Department of Homeland Security, Department of Transportation, Environmental Protection Agency, National Aeronautics and Space Administration, and the National Science Foundation.

S. 1373 reflects the growing trend among funding agencies - and college and university campuses - to leverage their investment in the conduct of research by maximizing the dissemination of results. It follows the successful path forged by the NIH's Public Access Policy, as well as by private funders like the Wellcome Trust, and universities such as Harvard and MIT.

Detailed information about the Federal Research Public Access Act is available at http://www.taxpayeraccess.org/frpaa.

All supporters of public access - universities and colleges, researchers, libraries, campus administrators, patient advocates, publishers, consumers, individuals, and others - are asked to ACT NOW to support this bill.

Posted by stemp003 at 12:29 PM | Comments (14)

May 15, 2009

Journals forecast to cost 7-9% more in 2010

Library Journal, in its annual Periodical Price Survey, says that the current state of the dollar means that journal prices will likely average 7-9% more in cost next year. Given the state budget deficit and the effect that will undoubtedly have on funding for higher education, LJ's forecast raises concern about the Libraries' ability to hold off journal cancellations.

Contrary to perceptions that access issues only affect scientists, LJ projects that journals in the social sciences will actually have a higher price increase than science journals (8.3% for the former, 7.5% for the latter).

An excerpt:

Amidst the national and international financial crises, the journals marketplace is navigating new waters. Many libraries, including some of our largest research institutions, say massive cancellations are already in the works. It seems certain that most libraries will have less money to spend than they had in 2009. Publishers have been asked to roll back prices so libraries can keep valued content. Based on past records, some will remain intractable, absorb cancellations without making price concessions or renegotiating licenses, and wait for a better day. Others will deal in the hopes of keeping content in front of users until library budgets recover and prices return to prerecession levels. In recent years, price increases for journals have averaged 7–9%. Despite pleas for pricing mercies, we don’t have any information at this point that suggests those averages won’t hold for 2010. The conservative budget manager will plan on increases in that range in the coming year.
Posted by stemp003 at 3:05 PM | Comments (0)

May 8, 2009

American Medical Association provides OA to "all [its] pandemic influenza related articles"

From "A National Response to an International Outbreak" by Nancy Nielsen, M.D., President, American Medical Association:

The AMA’s strategies on disaster medicine and public health preparedness education are implemented through its National Disaster Life Support (NDLS) Program and peer-reviewed publication, Disaster Medicine and Public Health Preparedness. Through the Disaster Medicine and Public Health Preparedness journal, the AMA will release all pandemic influenza related articles for open access, to provide resources for medical and public health responders. Relevant articles in the journal pipeline also will be published ahead of print to ensure timely dissemination.
Posted by stemp003 at 5:37 PM | Comments (0)

May 1, 2009

NPR does story on public access movement

On April 28, American Public Media's Marketplace program did a story on "Publicly funded research for a price."

The opening anecdote puts a human face on the issue of public access to publicly funded research:

People who grew up with the Internet expect information to be free. That's what 21-year-old Josh Sommer thought.

In 2006 he was a typical college freshman. Studying environmental engineering, hanging out, making new friends. Suddenly, he started to get severe headaches. He had a series of routine tests.

Josh Sommer: End up having an MRI and being told that I have a mass right in the very center of my head, entwined with critical arteries, in one of the most difficult locations to operate on.

The cancer Josh has is called Chordoma. It's a rare disease with a low survival rate. Even doctors don't know much about it. So Josh threw himself into Chordoma research. He Googled the disease to find out all he could about it, but kept hitting roadblocks.

Sommer: I'd find an abstract, and I'd click on it. And oh, you have to pay $60 to read this article. Oh, you have to pay $40 to read this article. I mean, I have this disease, I want to know about it.

Journal subscriptions -- like the Journal of the American Medical Association -- can cost thousands of dollars each year. With universities and libraries trimming budgets, they can't afford all of them either.

And Duke University law professor James Boyle gives a colorful take on the issue as well:

The Web works great for porn or for shoes, or for flirting on social networks. But it doesn't work really well for science. We haven't done for science what we did on the rest of the Web, which is basically to have this open Web with everything linked together.

Many reader comments on the piece are intriguing as well.

Read or listen to the story here:


Posted by stemp003 at 12:10 PM | Comments (6)

April 24, 2009

Sci-Eng librarian succeeds in altering publishing agreement

Lisa Johnston, Physics, Astronomy and Geology Librarian at the U-MN Science & Engineering Library, successfully negotiated changes to the Taylor and Francis publishing agreement. Read her recounting of her experience in her blog entry "A Copyright Story." Congratulations, Lisa!


Posted by stemp003 at 2:54 PM | Comments (0)

April 10, 2009

Scholarly publishers consider price freezes

In her article in the Chronicle of Higher Education's April 10 issue, "University Press Hears Libraries' Pleas and Freezes Journal Prices," Jennifer Howard tells how publishers like Annual Reviews and Rockefeller University Press have decided not to raise their prices in 2010. This comes in response to formal requests from organizations like the Association of Research Libraries and the International Coalition of Library Consortia.

Some compelling statements from publishers in the article:

"We understand the pressure that librarians are under because of budget cuts in the current economic climate, and we realized that even if we kept our prices the same, we could continue, we hope, to bring in enough revenue to operate. We still need income to publish journals, [he said, but as a nonprofit] we don't have to provide a dividend to shareholders."
-- Mike Rossner, executive director, Rockefeller University Press

"We don't have the margin that a lot of companies, particularly commercial companies, have [... This year the press will stick to what she called] the most moderate price increase we can possibly pass along, [perhaps as low as 3 percent for digital-only journals]. We're still running the numbers and seeing what we can tolerate. We're trying really hard. [The California press] paid very close attention to the statements [from the library groups]. We know it's a tough budget environment for them. It's a tough climate for all of us."

-- Rebecca Simon, associate director and director of journals and digital publishing, University of California Press

"[Presses and libraries] live and die together, really. We understand the pressures that are on them and don't want to do anything to damage that relationship."
-- William M. Breichner, journals publisher, Johns Hopkins University Press

Posted by stemp003 at 11:16 AM | Comments (0)

April 2, 2009

Directory of Open Access Journals reaches 4000 title threshold

DOAJ now offers 4000 peer reviewed journals:


The University Libraries support this initiative through an institutional membership.

Posted by stemp003 at 1:40 PM | Comments (1)

March 13, 2009

NIH Public Access Policy mandate becomes permanent

From the March 12, 2009 press release from the Alliance for Taxpayer Access coalition:

President Obama yesterday signed into law the 2009 Consolidated Appropriations Act, which includes a provision making the National Institutes’ of Health (NIH) Public Access Policy permanent. The NIH Revised Policy on Enhancing Public Access requires eligible NIH-funded researchers to deposit electronic copies of their peer reviewed manuscripts into the National Library of Medicine’s online archive, PubMed Central (PMC). Full texts of the articles are made publicly available and searchable online in PMC no later than 12 months after publication in a journal.

The NIH policy was previously implemented with a provision that was subject to annual renewal. Since the implementation of the revised policy the percentage of eligible manuscripts deposited into PMC has increased significantly, with over 3,000 new manuscripts being deposited each month. The PubMed Central database is a part of a valuable set of public database resources at the NIH, which are accessed by more than 2 million users each day.

Posted by stemp003 at 1:11 PM | Comments (0)

January 16, 2009

Public access to U dissertations

After many months of planning between the University Libraries and the Graduate School, current doctoral students can now provide broad public access to their dissertations through the University Digital Conservancy. The University Digital Conservancy is an open access institutional digital repository serving the University of Minnesota community. Early data indicates that graduate students have embraced the option, with 83% participation in December 2008. Discussions are underway now about broadening the option to include Master's Plan A students. For more information:



Posted by stemp003 at 3:30 PM | Comments (0)

January 9, 2009

Chicago Collaborative aims to help academic health center personnel

From a January 6 press release by the Society for Scholarly Publishing:

The Society for Scholarly Publishing (SSP), along with other important players in the STM world, is participating in the Chicago Collaborative (CC). The CC, established in May 2008, is a Working Group of representatives from key science, technology, and medicine (STM) publisher organizations, editorial associations, and an academic health sciences library organization. The name reflects the founding meeting location and emphasizes the spirit of the initial meeting: the importance of collaboration in addressing the major challenges and opportunities associated with scholarly scientific communication. The CC’s constituency includes academic health center personnel (administrators, faculty, researchers, clinicians, and students).

The CC believes that collaboration is essential to successful scholarly scientific communication. Goals include:

1. Develop a shared understanding of scholarly scientific communication issues;

2. Create effective strategies to address common understandings; and,

3. Enhance trust and dialog among CC members.


Expected outcomes include a sustainable mechanism for ongoing conversations and actions among publisher, editor, and librarian communities which does not follow the traditional buyer/seller model found in other forums and a trusted venue to discuss broad scholarly scientific communication opportunities and challenges.

More information is available in the full press release.

Posted by stemp003 at 3:46 PM | Comments (0)

November 14, 2008

Open Access Scholarly Publishers Association launches

From the Oct. 14 OASPA press release:

The Open Access Scholarly Publishers Association, OASPA, announces its official launch today in conjunction with an OA Day celebration hosted by the Wellcome Trust in London. The mission of OASPA is to support and represent the interests of Open Access (OA) journals publishers globally in all scientific, technical, and scholarly disciplines through an exchange of information, setting of industry standards, advancing business and publishing models, advocating for gold OA journals publishing, education and the promotion of innovation.

From having first emerged as a new publishing model over a decade ago, OA publishing has become an embedded feature of the scholarly publishing landscape: The Directory of Open Access Journals (DOAJ) lists over 3500 peer-reviewed journals; a growing number of professional organizations offer OA publications; university libraries increasingly support OA publishing services; funding organizations support and encourage OA publishing; and a long tail of independent editorial teams and societies now publish their titles OA. Professional OA publishers such as BioMed Central and the Public Library of Science (PLoS) have been in business for over five years, while some scientist/scholar publishers (editorial teams operating independently of a professional publisher) have published their OA journals for a decade or more. Moreover, a number of traditional publishing houses are now engaging in Open Access activities, the recent acquisition of BioMed Central by Springer and the SAGE-Hindawi partnership being two cases in point. By bringing together those who share an interest in developing appropriate business models, tools and standards to support OA journals publishing, it is hoped that success in these areas can be achieved more quickly to the benefit of not only OASPA members, but more importantly, for the scholarly community that OA publishers serve.

Membership in OASPA is open to both scholar publishers and professional publishing organizations, including university presses and for profit and non-profit organizations. Members are expected to demonstrate a genuine interest in OA journals publishing by having signed either the Berlin or Budapest Declarations and must publish at least one full OA journal. Other individuals and organizations who support OA journals publishing or who are interested in exploring opportunities are also welcome.

Membership criteria and an application form can be found on the OASPA website, www.oaspa.org. The founding members of OASPA represent a broad spectrum of OA publishers and include: BioMed Central, Co-Action Publishing, Copernicus, Hindawi Publishing Corporation, Journal of Medical Internet Research (Gunther Eysenbach), Medical Education Online (David Solomon), the Public Library of Science (PLoS), SAGE, SPARC Europe and Utrecht University Library (Igitur). Representatives from each of these publishers will form an interim board until a first General Meeting is held during 2009.

Posted by stemp003 at 11:26 AM | Comments (0)

October 17, 2008

U-MN professor wins Open Access blogging competition

Greg Laden, adviser with the Program for Individualized Learning, is one of the winners of the SPARC Open Access Day's Synchroblogging competition. The contest called for all entrants to post a blog on October 14th, 2008 (OA Day) on "Why does Open Access matter to you?"

The site below gives Greg's poem and rationale. Take a look!


Posted by stemp003 at 5:15 PM | Comments (0)

October 10, 2008

Tuesday Oct. 14 is Open Access Day

Open Access is a growing international movement that encourages the unrestricted sharing of research results with everyone, everywhere, for the advancement and enjoyment of science and society. Open-access journals and archives make research freely accessible online, without the traditional expensive subscription barriers that limit the reach of research.

The goal of Open Access Day is to broaden awareness and understanding of Open Access within the international higher education community and the general public. The founding partners are SPARC (the Scholarly Publishing and Academic Resources Coalition), Students for FreeCulture, and the Public Library of Science.

At the Libraries' Open Access Day site, you can find out:

* How many University of Minnesota researchers have published their research in open-access journals since 2003.
* The discount U researchers can get when publishing in open-access journals from Public Library of Science (PLoS), BioMed Central, and Nucleic Acids Research.
* How other universities are celebrating this day.

Posted by stemp003 at 10:00 AM | Comments (0)

October 3, 2008

New title from University of Minnesota Press: Digitize This Book!

From the U Press announcement of their new work, Digitize This Book! The Politics of New Media, or Why We Need Open Access Now:

In the sciences, the merits and ramifications of open access—the electronic publishing model that gives readers free, irrevocable, worldwide, and perpetual access to research—have been vigorously debated. Open access is now increasingly proposed as a valid means of both disseminating knowledge and career advancement. In Digitize This Book! Gary Hall presents a timely and ambitious polemic on the potential that open access publishing has to transform both “papercentric? humanities scholarship and the institution of the university itself.

Hall, a pioneer in open access publishing in the humanities, explores the new possibilities that digital media have for creatively and productively blurring the boundaries that separate not just disciplinary fields but also authors from readers. Hall focuses specifically on how open access publishing and archiving can revitalize the field of cultural studies by making it easier to rethink academia and its institutions. At the same time, by unsettling the processes and categories of scholarship, open access raises broader questions about the role of the university as a whole, forcefully challenging both its established identity as an elite ivory tower and its more recent reinvention under the tenets of neoliberalism as knowledge factory and profit center.

Rigorously interrogating the intellectual, political, and ethical implications of open access, Digitize This Book! is a radical call for democratizing access to knowledge and transforming the structures of academic and institutional authority and legitimacy.

Gary Hall is professor of media and performing arts at Coventry University. He is the author of Culture in Bits: The Monstrous Future of Theory, founding coeditor of the peer-reviewed online journal Culture Machine, director of the open access Cultural Studies e-Archive, CSeARCH, and cofounder of the Open Humanities Press.

Posted by stemp003 at 11:05 AM | Comments (1)

September 19, 2008

NIH UPDATE: Congressional hearing on legislation to overturn the NIH Public Access Policy

From the September 2008 SPARC News:

On September 9, Representative John Conyers (D-MI), Chairman of the House Committee on Judiciary, introduced legislation that would amend U.S. copyright law, overturn the NIH Public Access Policy, and effectively make it illegal for other U.S. federal agencies to enact similar policies. The proposed legislation is the Fair Copyright in Research Works Act (HR6845).

On September 11, 2008, the House Subcommittee on the Courts, Intellectual Property and the Internet held a hearing to discuss the proposed legislation. Heather Joseph, Executive Director of SPARC and convener of the Alliance for Taxpayer Access, spoke on behalf of the libraries, research institutions, consumer groups, publishing organizations, and patients who support public access and the NIH Policy. Dr. Elias Zerhouni, Director of the NIH, also testified to the tremendous advances in science that have already taken place due to public access to NIH-funded research. Transcripts of both Dr. Zerhouni's [PDF] and Ms. Joseph's [PDF] testimony are available online as is as the video [SMI] of the hearing.

The supportive testimony was the culmination of weeks' worth of active engagement by members of the wide coalition that supports public access. Letters that were submitted to Congress to express support for the policy and oppose HR6845 include: Nine national and regional library, publishing, and advocacy organizations [PDF]; and 33 Nobel prize-winners [PDF].

Supporters are encouraged to contact their Senators and Representatives to affirm their support for free and open access to publicly funded research and ask that they oppose HR6845. A specific call to action will be issued shortly. Please visit the ATA Web site for updates.

Posted by stemp003 at 9:46 AM | Comments (1)

August 29, 2008

Europe begins Open Access pilot for EU-financed research

In a move that echoes the NIH open access mandate, the European Union recently declared that researchers who received its funding must deposit their results in the institutes’ online archive within 12 months of publication. The pilot will run until the end of 2008.

The EU’s August 20 press release gives details and offers several compelling rationales for the move. Some excerpts:

"Easy and free access to the latest knowledge in strategic areas is crucial for EU research competitiveness. This open access pilot is an important step towards achieving the 'fifth freedom', the free movement of knowledge amongst Member States, researchers, industry and the public at large," said EU Commissioner for Science and Research Janez Poto?nik. "Beyond, it is a fair return to the public of research that is funded by EU money."


This embargo period will allow scientific publishers to get a return on their investment.

Open access to research articles, previously accessible through journal subscriptions, can help to increase the impact of the EU's € 50 billion investment in research and development and avoid wasting time and valuable resources on duplicative research. With access to a wider selection of literature, researchers can build upon this knowledge to further their own work. Small and medium sized businesses and entrepreneurs can also benefit from improved access to the latest research developments to speed up commercialization and innovation.

Posted by stemp003 at 1:05 PM | Comments (0)

August 15, 2008

Student video contest promotes the value of information sharing

SPARC (Scholarly Publishing and Academic Resources Coalition) is offering a $1000 award, and two $500 runner-up awards, to the student videos "that imaginatively portray the benefits of the open, legal exchange of information on the Internet."

Instructors may wish to consider this as a class assignment. In its August 12 press release, SPARC suggests that:

The contest will be especially relevant to classes in subjects including: film and video production; literature, media, and cinema studies; digital arts; communication; library and information science; computer science and information technology; education; science, technology, and society; and history of science, or for any course for which new fluencies like film-making may be an appropriate expression of class assignments and deliverables.

The application deadline is November 30, 2008.

Resources and more information is available at:


Posted by stemp003 at 4:35 PM | Comments (1)

July 25, 2008

NIH policy leads to jump in PubMed Central deposits

Library Journal Academic Newswire for July 24, 2008 reports:

[S]ubmissions to PMC began steadily rising in December 2007, soon after it became clear a mandatory policy would be adopted in 2008. By the first month following passage of the new policy, January 2008, monthly submissions to PMC hit an all-time high of 1255, and have continued to increase significantly every month so far this year. In April 2008, when the policy officially took effect, submissions spiked even more sharply, rising from 1852 total submissions in March, to 2,765 in April and 2,593 in May. The April/May 2008 figures represent well over double the number of submissions for the same months in 2007 (1,198 PMC submissions in April ’07; 948 in May ’07). Although official figures for June have not yet been posted, the NIH’s Dr. David Lipman told the LJ Academic Newswire the submission totals were higher than May.

The NIH statistics are available here. The graph makes a compelling visual.


Posted by stemp003 at 11:42 AM | Comments (0)

July 18, 2008

"Open Students: Students for open access to research" site premieres

Open Students, a site devoted to issues of interest to emerging scholars, premiered earlier this year. It is produced by SPARC, the Scholarly Publishing and Academic Resources Coalition, and led by Gavin Baker, a 2007 graduate of the University of Florida. The site discusses fair use of academic works in dissertations, the cost of subscription and pay per view access to scholarly literature, the potential of open access and self-archiving, and what students can do to improve the scholarly publishing system.

Open Students welcomes submissions from guest bloggers.

Posted by stemp003 at 4:05 PM | Comments (1)

July 2, 2008

Stanford School of Education adopts Open Access mandate

From Peter Suber's SPARC Open Access Newsletter, issue #123, July 2, 2008:

The Stanford School of Education adopted an OA mandate, by a unanimous faculty vote. The Stanford policy is modeled closely on the two OA mandates at Harvard.

Posted by stemp003 at 4:04 PM | Comments (2)

June 2, 2008

U of Oregon senate encourages use of an author addendum

From Peter Suber's Open Access News blog, Thursday, May 15, 2008:

Yesterday the University of Oregon Faculty Senate adopted a resolution encouraging faculty to use an author addendum:

Moved, that the University Senate

1. Endorse the report of the task force on academic freedom and scholarly communication; and ask appropriate university units to implement the specific recommendations contained in the report, and
2. Strongly recommend that all UO faculty members attach an author's addendum to any copyright transfer they sign for their scholarly work.

Thanks to JQ Johnson (Director of Scholarly Communications and Instructional Support for the University of Oregon Libraries) for the alert and for this summary of the task force report endorsed by the Senate:

The implementation report contains a number of specific recommendations, including an expectation that the detailed rights faculty members need will vary by discipline but will typically include adequate rights to self-archive in the UO's institutional repository. The report also suggests that authors begin the process of negotiating with their publishers by using the Science Commons "delayed access" addendum.

Posted by stemp003 at 3:35 PM | Comments (1)

May 23, 2008

Author's Choice revenues responsible for American Physiological Society's small increase

The American Physiological Society (APS) announced its 2009 Subscription Prices. The 2.5% increase represents a 50% reduction from last year. From APS' press release:

The less-than-expected increase is due in part to revenues generated by the Society’s new program, Author’s Choice. The program, introduced nine months ago, allows authors who publish with the APS and want to provide the public with immediate access to the results the ability to do so, for a fee. Author response to the new program has been positive.

According to [Margaret Reich, Executive Editor], “The APS is a nonprofit organization working with a largely nonprofit subscriber base. We have chosen to use a portion of our new revenues to help offset the cost of subscriptions.?

Posted by stemp003 at 2:44 PM | Comments (0)

May 16, 2008

Berkeley helps pay authors' open-access charges

"It’s one thing to say you support open-access publishing. It’s another to provide authors with a pot of money to actually pay for it." So notes SPARC e News in a story about the University of California Berkeley new pilot program that provides up to $3000 to faculty, post-doc, and graduate students to cover publication charges for open-access journals. UC-Berkeley joins the University of North Caroline-Chapel Hill and the University of Wisconsin-Madison in covering fee charges to encourage faculty to publish in open access venues, increasing access to and impact of their research.

Posted by stemp003 at 1:03 PM | Comments (0)

May 9, 2008

Open Humanities Press premieres

Open Humanities Press, devoted to publishing open access journals in the humanities, debuted this week with seven titles:

Cosmos and History
Culture Machine
International Journal of Zizek Studies

The Chronicle devoted a story in its May 7 issue to the new press, quoting Stephen Greenblatt, professor of humanities at Harvard and former president of the Modern Language Association:

Humanists "need to ask ourselves where things are going in the future. [. . . ] This is a responsible and serious way of thinking that through."

Posted by stemp003 at 10:38 AM | Comments (0)

Harvard Law faculty votes for open access to scholarly articles

The Harvard Law School has voted for an open access policy requirement similar to the one passed earlier this spring by Harvard's Faculty of Arts and Sciences. From its May 7 press release:

In a move that will disseminate faculty research and scholarship as broadly as possible, the Harvard Law School faculty unanimously voted last week to make each faculty member’s scholarly articles available online for free, making HLS the first law school to commit to a mandatory open access policy.

"The Harvard Law School faculty produces some of the most exciting, groundbreaking scholarship in the world," said Dean Elena Kagan '86. "Our decision to embrace 'open access' means that people everywhere can benefit from the ideas generated here at the Law School."

Under the new policy, HLS will make articles authored by faculty members available in an online repository, whose contents would be searchable and available to other services such as Google Scholar. Authors can also legally distribute the articles on their own websites, and educators here and elsewhere can freely provide the articles to students, so long as the materials are not used for profit.


The vote came after an open access proposal was made by a university-wide committee aimed at encouraging wider dissemination of scholarly work.

As with the earlier policy, there is an opt-out clause. The policy will be reviewed after 3 years.

Coverage of this development in the Chronicle, and reaction from fellow academics and Harvard alumni, is available at:

Posted by stemp003 at 10:12 AM | Comments (0)

May 2, 2008

You wrote it; you own it!

Rockefeller University Press now allows its journal authors to retain copyright. Authors can re-use their own work as they see fit, as long as they give proper attribution to RUP.

6 months after publication, journal readers can use the work as well, under a Creative Commons license -- again, with attribution and only for noncommercial purposes.

As Emma Hill and Mike Rossner put it in their editorial, "We are pleased to finally comply with the original spirit of copyright in our continuing effort to promote public access to the published biomedical literature."


Posted by stemp003 at 2:58 PM | Comments (0)

April 25, 2008

Journals forecast to cost 10% more in 2009

Library Journal, in its annual Periodical Price Survey, says that the current state of the dollar means that journal prices will likely average 10% more in cost next year. Given the state budget deficit and the effect that will undoubtedly have on funding for higher education, LJ's forecast raises concern about the Libraries' ability to hold off journal cancellations.

An excerpt:

The marked changes brought on by the advance of open access has so far had little effect on the price of subscribed journals, the notable exception being some 3300 peer-reviewed journals listed in the Directory of Open Access Journals (DOAJ), all of which are free. Prices of subscription-based journals increased nine to ten percent in 2008, driven by an extremely weak dollar. Non-U.S. titles in the humanities and social sciences increased even more (11 percent), because publishers in these disciplines tend to price in native currencies, driving U.S. prices up when those currencies are converted to dollars. The sciences, on the other hand, are dominated by large European publishers that price in U.S. dollars, reducing the volatility of prices and keeping price increases in foreign scientific journals under nine percent. Given the continuing slide of the dollar, expect increases in 2009 to approach ten percent overall.

Posted by stemp003 at 3:07 PM | Comments (0)

April 17, 2008

Focus on the humanities

Finding quality, peer-reviewed, open access journals in the humanities is still something of a challenge. However, Nineteenth-Century Art Worldwide , which has appeared twice a year since 2002, is a shining example of the possibilities of the online medium.
The journal describes itself as "the world's first scholarly, refereed e-journal devoted to the study of nineteenth-century painting, sculpture, graphic arts, photography, architecture, and decorative arts across the globe. Open to various historical and theoretical approaches, the editors welcome contributions that reach across national boundaries and illuminate intercultural contact zones."
It should be noted that the University of Minnesota's Gabriel P. Weisberg is part of the editorial board, serving as the reviews editor.
Check this journal out for stimulating discussions of visual culture in the long 19th century!

Posted by brook392 at 9:43 AM | Comments (2)

April 3, 2008

Monday, April 7: NIH deposit mandate takes effect

Any journal articles accepted for publication on or after April 7th, which are funded by NIH grants active in fiscal year 2008, will need to be submitted to PubMed Central upon acceptance for publication

The University Libraries and Sponsored Projects Administration (SPA) are prepared to help authors comply with this requirement. Questions about the policy can be sent to nihpublicaccess@umn.edu. We can help you ensure that you have the necessary rights, guide you through the submission process, and help you understand how to cite your articles in future applications and progress reports.

For more information, see our NIH compliance guide:

Posted by stemp003 at 10:45 AM | Comments (0)

March 20, 2008

Comments on NIH policy now online

As reported by Peter Suber in a March 18 entry on his blog Open Access News:

The U.S. National Institutes of Health is holding a public meeting on the implementation of its recently-adopted OA mandate, on March 20 at the NIH offices outside Washington, D.C. The agency had solicited online comments in advance of the meeting for those unable to attend; that comment period closed yesterday. The comments received are now available online.

Posted by stemp003 at 5:03 PM | Comments (0)

February 22, 2008

Reactions from academe to Harvard's OA mandate

In an article in the February 21, 2008 edition of the Chronicle of Higher Education, Lila Guterman explains how various institutions have reacted so far to the mandate from Harvard's Arts and Sciences faculty for open access to their journal articles:

- The University of California, which has been considering a similar policy in the last few years, is encouraged.

- Editorials in student newspapers at Boston College, New York University, and Swarthmore College called on their faculty members to follow Harvard's lead.

- Humanities and social sciences publishers expressed concern:

Sanford G. Thatcher, director of Penn State University Press and president of the Association of American University Presses, calls Harvard's policy "shortsighted" because it might result in the loss of subscription and reprint income to humanities and social-science journals. His own press receives two-thirds of its journal income through royalties from Project Muse, an online collection of journals. "If that were to collapse," he says, "so too would our journals disappear from the face of the earth."

[Michael W. Carroll, a professor at the Villanova University School of Law] finds that prospect unlikely. "I fear that people are unwilling to do anything innovative like Harvard's done," he says, "because of these highly speculative fears."

Besides, Harvard has an interest in maintaining the livelihood of scholarly journals, he argues. If its repository begins to hurt them, the university could take steps to reduce the impact on publishers, such as allowing a delay before posting articles online.

See the full article at: http://ej.lib.umn.edu/?url=http://chronicle.com/daily/2008/02/1738n.htm

Posted by stemp003 at 4:51 PM | Comments (0)

January 22, 2008

Brief tutorial on author rights now available!

The University Libraries have created a short (6 minutes) self-playing PowerPoint presentation on author rights in scholarly publishing. Take a look and listen!


Some things to note:
1) The self-play can be paused at any time. You may want to pause the play to take advantage of the URLs that are found in the self-play. When the URLs are clicked, a new window opens up, so with the closing of the window, the viewer can return to where they had left off and resume the presentation.
2) The viewer can also decide to switch to "notes" as opposed to "outline" view on the right-hand side. The notes section is the script for each slide, if the viewer wants to read along.
3) Besides the volume control on the monitor, the presentation itself has a volume control. The viewer will need to check both if there is a volume issue.

Comments and questions are welcome and can be sent to scholcom@umn.edu.

Posted by stemp003 at 4:34 PM | Comments (22)

January 3, 2008

Public access to NIH-funded articles now mandatory

The Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2007 (H.R. 2764), which directs the National Institutes of Health (NIH) to provide the public with open online access to findings from its funded research, was passed by both houses of Congress and signed into law at the end of December.

The University Libraries is ready to support U of MN researchers who would like assistance in depositing their NIH-funded publications with PubMed Central. Watch our Transforming Scholarly Communication site for details coming soon!

An excerpt from the December 26, 2007 press release from the Alliance for Taxpayer Access:

This is the first time the U.S. government has mandated public access to research funded by a major agency.

The provision directs the NIH to change its existing Public Access Policy, implemented as a voluntary measure in 2005, so that participation is required for agency-funded investigators. Researchers will now be required to deposit electronic copies of their peer-reviewed manuscripts into the National Library of Medicine’s online archive, PubMed Central. Full texts of the articles will be publicly available and searchable online in PubMed Central no later than 12 months after publication in a journal.

"Facilitated access to new knowledge is key to the rapid advancement of science," said Harold Varmus, president of the Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center and Nobel Prize Winner. "The tremendous benefits of broad, unfettered access to information are already clear from the Human Genome Project, which has made its DNA sequences immediately and freely available to all via the Internet. Providing widespread access, even with a one-year delay, to the full text of research articles supported by funds from all institutes at the NIH will increase those benefits dramatically."

"Public access to publicly funded research contributes directly to the mission of higher education,? said David Shulenburger, Vice President for Academic Affairs at NASULGC (the National Association of State Universities and Land-Grant Colleges). “Improved access will enable universities to maximize their own investment in research, and widen the potential for discovery as the results are more readily available for others to build upon.?

Posted by stemp003 at 9:21 AM | Comments (1)

December 6, 2007

U of Pittsburgh Press Makes Its Older Books Openly Accessible

Excerpted from a press release from the University of Pittsburgh, November 29, 2007 (with thanks to Peter Suber's Open Access News):

Pitt’s Libraries and University Press Collaborate on Open Access to Press Titles

The University of Pittsburgh’s University Library System (ULS) and University Press have formed a partnership to provide digital editions of press titles as part of the library system’s D-Scribe Digital Publishing Program. Thirty-nine books from the Pitt Latin American Series published by the University of Pittsburgh Press are now available online, freely accessible to scholars and students worldwide. Ultimately, most of the Press’ titles older than 2 years will be provided through this open access platform.

For the past decade, the University Library System has been building digital collections on the Web under its D-Scribe Digital Publishing Program....

More titles will be added to the University of Pittsburgh Press Digital Editions each month until most of the current scholarly books published by the Press are available both in print and as digital editions....

The University of Pittsburgh Press Digital Editions may be viewed at http://digital.library.pitt.edu/p/pittpress/
and through direct links from the Press website, http://www.upress.pitt.edu/.

Posted by stemp003 at 3:54 PM | Comments (1)

November 30, 2007

PhysMath Central launches its first journal

Excerpted from SPARC's October 2 press release:

PhysMath Central, BioMed Central's open access publishing platform for the fields of physics, mathematics and computer science, today announced that PMC Physics A, the first PhysMath Central journal, has published its first research articles. The articles included a groundbreaking study that could change the way physicists understand dark matter.

One of the first articles published in PMC Physics A shares the results of a study conducted by Nikolaos Mavromatos of King's College London and his colleagues Athanasios Lahanas and Dimitri Nanopoulos, which found that the amount of dark matter left over from the early universe may be less than previously believed. The full research paper, along with others, can be read at www.physmathcentral.com/pmcphysa.

PhysMath Central also announces that its second journal, PMC Physics B will be edited jointly by Prof. Peter Hatton, Professor of Physics, Durham University, and Prof. Steve Buckman of Australian National University. The new journal will focus on condensed matter and atomic, molecular and optical (AMO) physics.

Posted by stemp003 at 5:07 PM | Comments (0)

November 14, 2007

Why would a U.S. Senator want to deny public access to publicly funded research?

Most research funded by large federal agencies like the NIH is currently published in very expensive commercial journals. Reed Elsevier, the world's largest commercial science publisher, has for years been proud to earn profits in the 30-40 percent range for their investors - a profit funded by extremely inflated pricing practices, with libraries sometimes paying tens of thousands of dollars per year for one journal title. Open access advocates maintain that this research is funded by taxpayers and the results should be freely available in open access venues like PubMed.

Recently, the U.S. Senate passed a 2008 Department of Health and Human Services appropriations bill including a provision mandating that NIH research, which is funded by taxpayers, be made freely available to those taxpayers within 12 months of publication. Senator James M. Inhofe (R-OK) attempted to insert an amendment to delete this provision. Why would Senator Inhofe wish to deny public access to scientific research funded by taxpayer dollars?

It could be related to the fact that Reed Elsevier is one of the top donors to Senator Inhofe (according to data from the Center for Responsive Politics). It could also be related to the Senator's strident stance that global climate change is a hoax perpetrated by the media and the scientific establishment. After all, if the public does not have access to the enormous amount of scientific evidence demonstrating the reality of climate change, they will more readily accept his claim that global warming is "the most media-hyped environmental issue of all time", perpetuated by "climate alarmists".

For more information about the 2008 Department of Health and Human Services appropriations bill (subsequently vetoed by President Bush), read Peter Suber's Nov. 1 issue of OA News.

Posted by stemp003 at 11:08 AM | Comments (0)

November 2, 2007

ACS accused of conflict of interest in lobbying against Open Access

Professor Paul Myers, a biologist and associate professor at the University of Minnesota - Morris, has an interesting blog entry where he summarizes a recent "flap" at the American Chemical Society. Two individuals, one anonymous and one named, assert that ACS executives earn bonuses based on the profits from society publications and draw a connection between those bonuses and the fact that ACS lobbies against proposed legislation mandating Open Access to federally funded research. As Professor Myers puts it so eloquently, "Have fun plumbing the practical sociology of science!"

ACS felt compelled to respond to these assertions in the October 24, 2007 issue of the Chronicle of Higher Education (Chemical Society Rebuts Anonymous Accusations of Self-Interest in Opposing Open Access). Peter Suber of Open Access News has this take on the rebuttal:

The ACS responds to the first memo from "ACS Insider" but not the second memo. By the way, while the "ACS Insider" allegation is anonymous, the same allegation was made earlier, for attribution, by Paul Thacker in an article in the Summer 2007 issue of SEJournal from the Society of Environmental Journalists.

The Chronicle article contains one new disclosure from Madeleine Jacobs, executive director of the ACS:

Ms. Jacobs did confirm that senior executives and some managers in the publishing division have a "small portion" of their overall incentive compensation "based on meeting certain financial targets." She did not agree that such incentive pay, however small, represented a conflict of interest in the group's opposition to open-access legislation, and called that argument "spurious."

Posted by stemp003 at 4:31 PM | Comments (3)

October 26, 2007

U.S. Senate mandates public access to NIH-funded research

Excerpts from the Oct. 24 Alliance for Taxpayer Access press release:

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.


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.


"We welcome the NIH policy being made mandatory and thank Congress for backing this important step," said Gary Ward, Treasurer of the American Society for Cell Biology (ASCB). "Free and timely public access to scientific literature is necessary to ensure that new discoveries are made as quickly as feasible. It's the right thing to do, given that taxpayers fund this research." The ASCB represents 11,000 members and publishes the highly ranked peer-reviewed journal, Molecular Biology of the Cell.

However, some hurdles remain before the policy becomes law. Library Lournal states:

The bill must now be reconciled with the House Appropriations Bill, which contains a similar public access provision. Negotiators from the House and Senate are expected to meet this fall. The final, consolidated bill will then have to pass the House and the Senate before being delivered to the President, where it is expected to be vetoed. Although the public access provision enjoys broad support, and the LHHS appropriations bill passed with hefty margins, the House bill passed with 279 votes, 11 short of the number needed to override a presidential veto.

Posted by stemp003 at 2:45 PM | Comments (0)

October 19, 2007

Max Planck Society terminates licensing contract with Springer

The Max Planck Society for the Advancement of Science, "an independent, non-profit research organization that primarily promotes and supports research at its own institutes," issued a press release on October 19, from which the following is excerpted:

Following several fruitless rounds of talks the Max Planck Society (MPG) has, effective January 1, 2008, terminated the online contract with the Springer publishing house which for eight years now has given all institutes electronic access to some 1,200 scientific journals. The analysis of user statistics and comparisons with other important publishing houses had shown that Springer was charging twice the amount the MPG still considered justifiable for access to the journals, the Society declared. "And that 'justifiable' rate is still higher than comparable offers of other major publishing houses," a spokesman of the Max Planck Digital Library told heise online.

The failure of the talks means that the various institutes will soon no longer be able to access the common pool of scientific literature via the research surface by the name of SpringerLink that the publishing house provides. The Society will now with the institutes most affected attempt to work out a strategy whereby the supply of indispensable scientific content can be ensure in a cost-effective way [...].

When publishing houses have the market power to charge excessive prices and the legislator is unwilling to subject such inappropriate behavior to any form of legal control the only course that remains is for the scientific community to take matters into its own hands, the MPG stated [...].

Posted by stemp003 at 4:35 PM | Comments (0)

October 12, 2007

University of California releases faculty survey on scholarly communication

The UC Office of Scholarly Communication has released the report "Faculty Attitudes and Behaviors Regarding Scholarly Communication: Survey Findings from the University Of California." The report analyzes over 1,100 survey responses covering all ten UC campuses and all UC disciplines and tenure-track faculty ranks. As noted in the press release: "The survey reveals deep concern about the health of scholarly communication, especially in its relationship to promotion and tenure."

Selected findings from the Executive Summary:
• The current tenure and promotion system impedes changes in faculty behavior.
• Faculty tend to see scholarly communication problems as affecting others, but not themselves.
• The disconnect between attitude and behavior is acute with regard to copyright.
• The Arts and Humanities disciplines may be the most fertile disciplines for University-sponsored initiatives in scholarly communication.
• Senior faculty may be the most fertile targets for innovation in scholarly communication.

The complete summary and report is available at:

Posted by stemp003 at 3:04 PM | Comments (0)

September 26, 2007

AAP misinformation campaign on public access: the library community's rebuttal

The Association of American Publishers (AAP) has released a web site that willfully promotes myths about legislation requiring public access to federally funded research. It is called PRISM (Partnership for Research Integrity in Science & Medicine).

In response, the Association of Research Libraries (ARL) has released an issue brief that corrects the record. Among its key points:

  • Peer review is already built into open access journals and to policies concerning access to federally funded research, thus showing the fallacy of the predicted demise of peer review.
  • Public access to federally funded research policies proposed to date have all incorporated embargo periods to protect publishers from any rapid shifts in subscription revenues. Furthermore, no existing or proposed policy has extended beyond authors’ works that are directly funded in some way with government dollars.
  • Researchers themselves write and peer review the articles without receiving any payment from publishers. [...] Existing and proposed policies concerning public access to federally funded research attempt to create balance between the contributions made and benefits received by publishers and allow them to continue to profit tremendously from the pool of content this funded research generates.
  • Deposit of articles into an archive does not equate with government censorship. Quite the contrary -- Two key drivers of the [current] NIH policy are to make these federally funded research results widely available and to hold government accountable.

In fact, several AAP members have broken ranks with the association to voice their displeasure with the scare tactic. They include Cambridge University Press, Columbia University Press, University of Chicago Press, and Nature Publishing Group. See Jennifer Howard’s 9-21-07 article in the Chronicle of Higher Education, "Publishers' PR Tactic Angers University Presses and Open-Access Advocates."

Posted by stemp003 at 3:26 PM | Comments (0)

September 10, 2007

$1000 award offered for short video on the value of information sharing

SPARC (Scholarly Publishing and Academic Resources Coalition) is sponsoring a contest to promote the free sharing of information. Students who submit a 2 minute video on the subject can win a $1000 prize! Educators may wish to consider this contest as an assignment for their fall curriculum.

Deadline: December 2, 2007.

Details on submission requirements are available on SPARC's site at:

Posted by stemp003 at 2:04 PM | Comments (0)

August 21, 2007

The University Digital Conservancy premieres

On August 23 the University Libraries is launching the University Digital Conservancy. The Conservancy will provide a venue for faculty to deposit copies of their works for long-term preservation and open access. In addition, the Conservancy will provide centralized, searchable access to institutional digital resources that would have traditionally gone to the University Archives.

Posted by stemp003 at 11:52 AM | Comments (0)

July 31, 2007

U.S. House of Representatives mandates public access to NIH-funded research

Excerpts from the July 20 Alliance for Taxpayer Access press release:

In what advocates hailed as a major advance for scientific communication, the U.S. House of Representatives yesterday approved a measure directing the National Institutes of Health (NIH) to provide free public online access to agency-funded research findings within 12 months of their publication in a peer-reviewed journal. With broad bipartisan support, the House passed the provision as part of the FY2008 Labor, HHS, and Education Appropriations Bill.


A similar measure has been approved by the Senate Appropriations Committee and will be considered by the full Senate later this summer.

The Los Angeles Times published an editorial on July 27 in support of the legislation.

Posted by stemp003 at 5:24 PM | Comments (0)

June 29, 2007

Wiley threatens grad student for posting figures

On April 23, University of Michigan neuroscience PhD candidate Shelley Batts was told by the publisher John Wiley & Sons to remove two copyrighted figures from her blog. A good summary of the response -- from the student, from fellow academics, and the subsequent permission from the publisher -- is available at The Scientist.

Posted by stemp003 at 1:01 PM | Comments (52)

May 4, 2007

University of Minnesota Senate endorses CIC Author's Addendum

At its May 3 meeting, the University Senate unanimously endorsed the CIC Author's Addendum and its accompanying statement on publishing agreements. By signing the addendum and submitting it with the publisher's standard agreement, U of MN authors can retain their rights:

* to use their own articles in their teaching and other professional activities
* to post their articles on their own web sites or on sites maintained by the U of MN / scholarly societies / funding agencies (6 months after the date of publication)
* to grant the U of MN the right to distribute their articles for teaching and research purposes

Posted by stemp003 at 2:25 PM | Comments (1326)

April 27, 2007

SAE Publications Board to Review Digital Rights Management Controls for Students, Faculty

From the Society of Automotive Engineers' April 19, 2007 press release:

SAE International’s Publications Board temporarily will suspend full activation of Digital Rights Management (DRM) controls as applied on the Society’s Digital Library of technical papers for licensees at colleges, universities and other academic institutions.

Through 2007, DRM controls will be relaxed to allow students and faculty more freedom in printing and sharing SAE technical papers.

“SAE International will convene a special taskforce -- composed of university professors, staff publishing professionals, Publications Board members and librarians -- to make recommendations regarding DRM policies,? John Kinstler, out-going chair of the SAE Publications Board, said.

Posted by stemp003 at 3:20 PM | Comments (0)

March 23, 2007

MIT Libraries cancel SAE subscription due to DRM restrictions

Excerpted from the MIT Libraries' announcement of March 16, 2007:

... SAE’s DRM technology severely limits use of SAE papers and imposes unnecessary burdens on readers. With this technology, users must download a DRM plugin, FileOpen Systems’ third-party plug-in for Adobe Reader called “FileOpen,? in order to read SAE papers. This plugin limits use to on-screen viewing and making a single printed copy, and does not work on Linux or Unix platforms.

MIT faculty respond

“It’s a step backwards,? says Professor Wai Cheng, SAE fellow and Professor of Mechanical Engineering at MIT, who feels strongly enough about the implications of DRM that he has asked to be added to the agenda of the upcoming SAE Publication Board meeting in April, when he will address this topic.

In addition to Professor Cheng, the MIT Libraries consulted with other faculty members who publish or use SAE content. The responses were uniformly against accepting DRM, even if it meant losing ready access to SAE papers. When informed that the SAE feels the need to impose DRM to protect their intellectual property, Professor John Heywood, the Director of MIT’s Sloan Automotive Lab, who publishes his own work with the SAE, responded with a question: “Their intellectual property?? He commented that increasingly strict and limiting restrictions on use of papers that are offered to publishers for free is causing faculty to become less willing to “give it all away? when they publish...

Posted by stemp003 at 2:19 PM | Comments (3)

February 23, 2007

From the Chronicle: Renegade Editors Seek to Topple Top Topology Journal by Starting Up a Cheaper Rival

The renegade editorial board of the journal Topology, which resigned en masse last summer, has started up a rival -- and cheaper -- journal to challenge the venerable title, which is put out by the publishing giant Elsevier.

For the full article by Richard Monastersky, from the 2-2-07 Chronicle of Higher Education, see http://ej.lib.umn.edu/?url=http://chronicle.com/daily/2007/02/2007020206n.htm?rss

Posted by stemp003 at 4:30 PM | Comments (0)

January 31, 2007

From Nature: "PR's 'pit bull' takes on open access"

The January 25, 2007 issue of Nature tells how the Association of American Publishers (AAP) has hired the PR firm Dezenhall Resources to respond to what they perceive as the threat of growing support for open access to publicly-funded research.

Some excerpts:

"Besides writing the odd novel, Eric Dezenhall has made a name for himself helping companies and celebrities protect their reputations, working for example with Jeffrey Skilling, the former Enron chief now serving a 24-year jail term for fraud."

"From e-mails passed to Nature, it seems Dezenhall spoke to employees from Elsevier, Wiley and the American Chemical Society at a meeting arranged last July by the Association of American Publishers (AAP). A follow-up message in which Dezenhall suggests a strategy for the publishers provides some insight into the approach they are considering taking."

For the complete article, see:

Jim Giles. "PR's 'pit bull' takes on open access." Nature 445, 347 (25 January 2007) | doi:10.1038/445347a; Published online 24 January 2007.

Posted by stemp003 at 3:35 PM | Comments (0)

August 25, 2006

Consumer Groups Support Public Access Act

Excerpted from the July 31, 2006 press release by the Alliance for Taxpayer Access:

... Eight consumer groups have announced their support for the Federal Research Public Access Act of 2006 (S.2695). The Act was introduced on May 2, 2006 by Senators John Cornyn (R-TX) and Joseph Lieberman (D-CT) and requires federal agencies that fund over $100 million in annual external research to make electronic manuscripts of peer-reviewed journal articles that stem from that research publicly available via the Internet. Consumer groups add their voices to those of universities, libraries, researchers, publishers, and patients – together representing thousands of individuals and institutions – that support the bill...

The Consumers Union, the non-profit publisher of Consumer Reports, and Consumer Project on Technology (CPTech), are joined by the Electronic Frontier Foundation, Essential Action, IP Justice, Public Knowledge, U.S. Public Interest Research Group, and Union for the Public Domain in pledging their support and applauding the Federal Research Public Access Act of 2006...

The complete press release is available at:

Posted by stemp003 at 12:06 PM | Comments (1)

July 7, 2006

Open access mandates coming to the RCUK

From the July issue of SPARC Open Access Newsletter, Peter Suber's excellent summary of the benefits of the long-awaited open-access policy from the Research Councils UK (RCUK):


Before the new RCUK policy, there were OA mandates from private research funders (Wellcome Trust), near-mandates from public research funders (Germany), OA requests, exhortations, or non-mandates from public research funders (US, Finland), and proposed mandates for public research funders (Australia, Canada, South Africa, Ukraine, US, and the European Union). But the RCUK mandates will be the world's first OA mandates from public research funders. The BBSRC, ESRC, MRC are the first public funding agencies anywhere to take this important stance. This is a huge step forward.


For more, see the complete post.

Posted by stemp003 at 4:49 PM | Comments (212)

June 30, 2006

Retooled "Create Change" Site

Adapted from the June 22, 2006 press release:

SPARC (Scholarly Publishing and Academic Resources Coalition) and ARL (Association of Research Libraries), with support from ACRL (Association of College and Research Libraries), today announced the re-launch of the Create Change Web site, a popular resource on scholarly communication issues. The site has been updated to provide faculty with current information, perspectives, and tools that will enable them to play an active role in advancing scholarly information exchange in the networked environment.

The new Create Change Web site (http://www.createchange.org) is based around the idea that the ways faculty share and use academic research results are changing rapidly and irreversibly. By posing the question, “Shouldn’t the way we share research be as advanced as the Internet?? the site outlines how faster and wider sharing of journal articles, research data, simulations, syntheses, analyses, and other findings fuels the advance of knowledge. It also offers practical ways faculty can look out for their own interests as researchers.


The Create Change Web site includes sections on digital scholarship and new modes of communication; examples of change in diverse fields; and ways to stay informed on new developments. It offers tailored guidance for researchers who play many roles in their professional lives – as researcher, author, reviewer, editor, editorial board member, society member, faculty member, or teacher. The site features selected news items; an ongoing series of interviews with scholars from different disciplines; and scores of links to other Web sites and resources.

Posted by stemp003 at 4:49 PM | Comments (316)

June 14, 2006

Nature focuses on peer review

From a press release by Nature Publishing Group, June 12, 2006:

Nature is hosting a web debate on peer review at www.nature.com/nature/peerreview. At the same time, authors submitting papers to Nature can take part in a limited trial of open peer review.

The peer review process requires constant scrutiny by those who administer it. Even publishers with new business models have been reluctant to change the traditional model, which functions well. Nature however, believes the shift to online publishing makes new approaches possible and the online debate and trial reflect this thinking.

The web debate will bring together overviews and opinions on peer review: its quality, value, ethics and alternatives. Join the debate...

The trial will allow open comments on those submitted manuscripts selected for peer review. Authors can opt for their manuscript to be posted publicly. Anyone in the field may post comments, provided they are prepared to identify themselves. The trial will allow Nature's editors to assess the value of including these open comments in their decision-making. The trial runs alongside the usual, confidential peer review process.

Posted by stemp003 at 4:53 PM | Comments (2094)

May 17, 2006

Federal Research Public Access Act of 2006

Excerpted from Peter Suber's SPARC Open Access Newsletter, issue #97, May 2, 2006:

Earlier today, Senators John Cornyn (R-TX) and Joe Lieberman (D-CT) introduced the Federal Research Public Access Act of 2006 (FRPAA) in the US Senate. This is giant step forward for OA, even bigger than the CURES Act that Senator Lieberman introduced in December 2005.

Like CURES, FRPAA will mandate OA and limit embargoes to six months. Unlike CURES, it will not be limited to medical research and will not mandate deposit in a central repository. It will apply to all federal funding agencies above a certain size. It instructs each agency to develop its own policy, under certain guidelines laid down in the bill. Some of those agencies might choose to launch central repositories but others might choose to mandate deposit (for example) in the author's institutional repository. Finally, while CURES was mostly about translating fundamental medical research into therapies, with a small but important provision on OA, FRPAA is all about OA...

What are the chances that FRPAA will pass? It's hard to say, but here are three signs in its favor. (1) Cornyn and Lieberman demonstrate that there is bipartisan support for the idea. Cornyn is a conservative Republican and Lieberman a moderate Democrat. (2) The boldest ideas in the bill, the access mandate and six month deadline, were approved by both Houses of Congress in the June 2004 instructions to the NIH and reaffirmed by every review panel since. (3) Since the NIH policy was adopted in its weakened form, Congress has seen no evidence of harm to journals and abundant evidence of low participation by researchers. The case for a mandate has only grown stronger since Congress asked for a mandate in June 2004.

For the full post, including a link to the text of the proposed bill, see:

Posted by stemp003 at 4:08 PM | Comments (0)

March 28, 2006

Update on the NIH policy

From the SPARC Open Access Newsletter, issue #95, 3-2-06:

Strengthening the NIH policy is an ongoing story. Several important developments took place last month.

* On November 15, 2005, the Public Access Working Group (PAWG), appointed by the agency to advise it on implementing and improving the policy, recommended that the request for public access be upgraded to a requirement and that the permissible delay be shortened from 12 months to 6 months. PAWG was responding to NIH data showing that fewer than 5% of NIH grantees were complying with the request for public access.

While this is old news, the PAWG minutes were only put online in mid-February.

I first covered the PAWG recommendations in SOAN for December 2, 2005.

* In early February 2006, the NIH sent a progress report to Congress (dated January 2006). Among other things it reported that the rate of compliance with its request for public-access was below 4%, that handling existing submissions under the policy cost the agency $1 million/year, and that handling submissions under a 100% compliance rate would cost the agency $3.5 million/year.

The NIH progress report to Congress, January 2006

Dorothea Salo, Spaghetti that didn't stick, Caveat Lector, February 16, 2006. A blog posting on the NIH progress report to Congress, focusing on the low compliance rate.

* On February 8, 2006, the NLM Board of Regents endorsed the November 2005 PAWG recommendations in a letter to NIH Director Elias Zerhouni.

The letter is not yet online but I blogged an excerpt on February 16, 2006.

NLM Board of Regents

What's important here is the momentum. Congress asked for a strong policy and NIH delivered a weak one. As evidence mounted that the NIH policy was not meeting its goals, one authoritative body after another asked NIH to strengthen the policy and live up to the original request from Congress. First the Public Access Working Group recommended a stronger policy. Then the NIH acknowledged the miserable compliance rate in a report to Congress. Then the NLM Board of Regents recommended a stronger policy. If the NIH is waiting for Congress to weigh in, then it's forgetting that Congress has already weighed in. Moreover, Congress is now considering Joe Lieberman's CURES bill, which would give the NIH an OA mandate, shorten the access embargo to six months, and extend this strong policy to other funding agencies within the Department of Health and Human Services.

Posted by stemp003 at 10:43 AM | Comments (0)

February 7, 2006

HarperCollins Launches Ad-supported Online Text

Another entry in the "advertiser-supported 'open access'" publishing model:

Associated Press, 6 February 2006: HarperCollins has announced a new program that will make book content available free online, supported by advertiser links that share the page with the text. Officials from the publisher said the Harper program will focus on nonfiction and reference books, noting that advertisers are likely not as interested in paying to support literary fiction. The first book offered in the program, "Go It Alone! The Secret to Building a Successful Business on Your Own" by Bruce Judson, was published in 2004 and later released in paperback. One test of the program will be whether ad sales offset lost sales, according to Murray, group president of HarperCollins. Despite the ongoing squabbles over online access to books, supporters of the idea still believe it has potential. Author M.J. Rose said that no one wants to read an entire book online but that if they have easy access to a text on the Web and they like it, they will be encouraged to buy a copy.

Posted by messn006 at 11:58 AM | Comments (0)

January 27, 2006

ROAR: Registry of Open Access Repositories

For researchers or OA advocates (or detractors!) who are interested in the current state, growth rate and distribution of Open Access Repositories (or Archives) worldwide, ROAR (http://archives.eprints.org/), the Registry of Open Access Repositories (created by Southampton doctoral student Tim Brody as part of his thesis, and for the Eprints and jOpCit projects) allows anyone to generate growth charts by archive type, or by individual archive. It can also rank-order archives by the number of OAI records they currently contain (i.e., their size).

ROAR is a gold-mine of current, cumulating data, ripe for anyone enterprising enough to want to report an up-to-date quantitative analysis of how OA IRs are progressing today, and where.

I also take this opportunity to remind all OA Archives and OA IRs to please *register* with ROAR so you too can be counted, and your content growth tracked.


The size and growth data are classified by the type of Archive:

(i) Distributed Institutional/Departmental Pre-/Postprint Archives (275),
(ii) Central Cross-Research Archives (69)
(iii) Dissertation Archives (e-theses) (62)

as well as

(iv) database Archives (e.g. research data) (10)
(v) e-journal/e-publishing Archives (53)
(vi) demonstration Archives (not yet operational) (24)
(vii) "other" Archives (non-OA content of various kinds) (79)

The archives can also be classified by country, and by the software they use.

One caveat: The number of OAI records does not necessarily correspond to the actual number of full-text articles or dissertations in the IR! For many archives the records are still only the metadata (author, title, etc.), not the full-texts themselves. ROAR will soon have a way of counting only full-texts, separately. Meanwhile, contents will have to be sampled to estimate what percentage of the records are just metadata and what percentage are full-texts. (Some of the central archives are full-text only, and many of the advanced institutional archives, especially the ones with self-archiving mandates, are also mostly full-text.)

Even among full-texts, not all may be OA's target contents (journal article postprints and preprints plus dissertations). They may be documents of other kinds (teaching materials, multimedia, "gray literature," even administrative records). ROAR does not register archives that *only* contain metadata; among archive types (i)-(iii), ROAR also does not register archives that do not target OA content -- preprints, postprints, theses -- at all.

Stevan Harnad (U Southampton)

Posted by messn006 at 11:47 AM | Comments (0)

January 17, 2006


Lund, Sweden: ­ As of today the Directory of Open Access Journals (DOAJ, http://www.doaj.org) contains 2000 open access journals, i.e. quality controlled scientific and scholarly electronic journals that are freely available on the web.

The goal of the Directory of Open Access Journals is still to increase the visibility and accessibility of open access scholarly journals, and thereby promote their increased usage and impact. The directory aims to comprehensively cover all open access scholarly journals that use an appropriate quality control system. Journals in all languages and subject areas will be included in the DOAJ. The selection criteria have been updated based on feedback from users to be more understandable ( http://www.doaj.org/articles/about#criteria).

The database records are freely available for reuse in library catalogues and other services and can be harvested by using the OAI-PMH ( http://www.openarchives.org/), and thereby increase the visibility of the open access journals.

We are very happy to see that the usage of the DOAJ is constantly increasing on all parameters. Every month visitors from more than 150 countries are using the service, hundreds of libraries all over the world have included the DOAJ titles in their catalogues and other services, and commercial aggregators are as well benefiting of the service.

New titles are added frequently and to ensure that the holding information is correct you have to update your records regularly. We also have to remove titles from DOAJ if they no longer lives up to the selection criteria e.g. during the last 6 months of 2005 50 titles where removed.

We are working with publishers of hybrid journals (subscription based journals where authors /institutions for a publication charge can publish articles in open access) in order to include even these articles in the DOAJ. It is our intention to be able to inform about this in the near future.

Feedback form the community tells us that the DOAJ is an important service. In order to be able to maintain and further develop the service we have decided to launch a Donation Programme that makes it possible for all users/institutions to contribute to the continued maintenance and development of DOAJ. If you/your institution would consider contributing please go to http://www.doaj.org/articles/donation for further information.

DOAJ is or has been supported by the Information Program of the Open Society Institute ( http://www.osi.hu/infoprogram/), along with SPARC (The Scholarly Publishing and Academic Resources Coalition), ( http://www.arl.org/sparc) SPARC Europe, ( http://www.sparceurope.org/), BIBSAM, the Royal Library of Sweden (http://www.kb.se) and Axiell ( http://www.axiell.se/)

If you know of a journal that should be included in the directory, use this form to report it to the directory: http://www.doaj.org/suggest.
Information about how to obtain DOAJ records for use in a library catalogue or other service you will find at: http://www.doaj.org/articles/questions#metadata.

Thank you for your interest and support!

Lotte Jorgensen
Lars Björnshauge


Lotte Jorgensen
Lund University Libraries, Head Office
P.O.Box 134, SE-221 00 LUND, Sweden
Visiting address Tornavägen 9B, Lund
Tel: 046-222 34 31
Fax: 046-222 36 82
E-mail: lotte.jorgensen@lub.lu.se

Posted by messn006 at 10:59 AM | Comments (0)

November 11, 2005

An Open Letter to All University Presidents and Provosts...

... Concerning Increasingly Expensive Journals
by Theodore Bergstrom and R. Preston McAfee, two California economists.

http://www.hss.caltech.edu/~mcafee/Journal/OpenLetter.pdf [PDF]

Posted by stemp003 at 4:35 PM | Comments (0)

ALPSP releases "The Facts about Open Access" report

12th October 2005

[The full report from the Association of Learned and Professional Society Publishers is available at http://www.alpsp.org/publications/pub11.htm; below is the introduction from Chief Executive Sally Morris]

Discussion of Open Access tends to be strong on rhetoric but short on facts. When ALPSP originally conceived of this study, it was our aim to try to correct this balance by analyzing the effects, both financial and non-financial, of adopting an Open Access publication model. The more we looked into it, the more substantial the undertaking became; we were therefore delighted when both HighWire Press and the American Association for the Advancement of Science agreed to co-sponsor the study, and we later welcomed the opportunity to include data from the members of the Association of American Medical Colleges.

There are now a significant number of journals being published under various variants of the Open Access publishing model, both by new players and by traditional publishers, and the study covered a good proportion of these; the extent to which traditional publishers are experimenting is particularly noteworthy. Our original intentions have thus been amply fulfilled; we now have, for the first time, a substantial body of data about different forms of Open Access publishing, and a baseline of comparison with traditional subscription publishing.

Some of the findings confirmed what we thought we knew. For example, we were aware that by and large, Open Access journals were younger than subscription journals - though we had not realized how long-established some of them actually were. And, by virtue of their youth, it is to be expected that they have not yet achieved the same level of impact as more established journals. The study clarifies, however, just how much less is published in the average Open Access journal, and how much lower the rejection rate is. We were able to dispel the notion that Open Access journals do not carry out peer review or copy-editing; however, many more of them only conduct peer review in-house, which is not what would generally be understood as classical peer review, and fewer of them do any copy-editing for style and grammar.

On the financial side, we were very surprised to find just how few of the Open Access journals raise any author-side charges at all; in fact, author charges are considerably more common (in the form of page charges, colour charges, reprint charges, etc) among subscription journals. Open Access journals seem in general to be far more dependent on other sources of income, such as advertising and, particularly, sponsorship - whether in kind (e.g. provision by their institution of equipment, computing resources, accommodation, and staff time) or financial (e.g. from industry or from foundations). Over 40% of the Open Access journals are not yet covering their costs and, unlike subscription journals, there is no reason why the passage of time - evidenced in increasing submissions, quality or impact - should actually change that; their financial future therefore seems somewhat uncertain. Indeed, a surprising number of the Open Access publishers made comments which suggested that financial sustainability was not high on their list of priorities.

Is Open Access publishing a financially viable model? It is impossible to draw any firm conclusions, of course. However, from the evidence we have collected this seems by no means certain. What does appear clear, however, is that there is a general recognition that we all need to find a better model (or models) to provide wide and speedy access to research findings in the interests of science, and that a considerable amount of experimentation with various alternative models is taking place.

We hope that this report will aid further discussion of alternative publishing models by adding to the body of evidence-based research; of course, there may be alternative interpretations of the data and both the sponsors and the researchers would be happy to discuss these. We believe that it will be important to repeat the study every few years to identify any trends, as well as identifying new developments and their effects.

Sally Morris

Chief Executive

Association of Learned and Professional Society Publishers

Posted by stemp003 at 4:07 PM | Comments (0)

November 4, 2005

Bioline letter to Lord Sainsbury

Date: Thu, 03 Nov 2005 15:09:42 -0500
From: Ray English
Subject: Bioline letter to Lord Sainsbury
To: ACRL Scholarly Communication T.F.

Lord Sainsbury of Turville
Science Minister
House of Lords

October 30th, 2005

Dear Lord Sainsbury,

I have read the comments you made in the UNCORRECTED TRANSCRIPT OF ORAL EVIDENCE to be published as HC 490-I, House of Commons, before the Science and Technology Committee , October 19th, 2005, and wish to make a few points relating to Open Access Archiving (Institutional Repositories).

You will know that the ground-breaking proposals of the Budapest Open Access Initiative proposed two routes towards achieving universal access to the worlds publicly funded research findings: open access publishing and open access archiving. I note that the BioMedCentral team have responded with corrections regarding the progress and quality of OA publishing, based on evidence that shows daily increases in the number of OA journals now operating. With these statements I concur, since the Directory of Open Access Journals (see below) provides ample evidence of progress in this direction.

Regarding Open Access Archiving, I think you may not be fully informed that this relates to the archiving in interoperable archives of already published papers (as well as other institutional material of value to the international scientific community such as pre-prints, theses, teaching material etc). Some 93% of publishers questioned have agreed to OA archiving of their published material (see the ROMEO database, below), with varying degrees of time-embargoes. Their decision is clearly based on the evidence from the physics discipline where the major physics journals have existed in partnership with the arXive archive for over 10 years and have reported no decline in subscriptions, and in one case are assisting in the mirroring of the archive. Recently, as you will be aware, the RCUK group have unanimously proposed OA archiving, as have the Wellcome Trust, the House of Commons S&T Committee and a growing number of independent universities and countries. The list below shows some of the major statements already publicised and you will see that there is a truly international concensus on the value of this development.

Publishers (both commercial and non-profit) are arguing that their profitability will be impaired if OA Archiving continues, but their worries are not based on evidence (which shows the contrary) but on speculation. I am of the generation that can well recall the doom-laden predictions for the music industry when discos began playing recorded music (the music industry has flourished and benefited), when email began (the postal services still operate successfully), or when television first began to develop (theatres and the film industry continue unabated), so it seems that the S&T publishing industry will continue to play a valuable role as in the past, and the more enlightened will adapt and flourish in partnership with the academic community.

If the RCUK proposals are adopted this will put the UK at the forefront of international communication, using the unprecedented power of the Internet to share research findings as widely as possible. I must declare an interest in the success of these proposals since I work with colleagues around the world to support access to and inclusion in the open access movement for the benefit of all scientists from developing countries who have greatly restricted access to essential research information. The development of OA archives provides an unprecedented opportunity to support research globally (which in turn leads to the steady alleviation of poverty and the growing independence of poorer countries). This becomes increasingly urgent in view of the current problems that have a global dimension AIDS, avian influenza, climate change, environmental disasters where local knowledge and its progress are important for all humanity. All that matters is that research findings are shared as widely as possible, making the greatest impact on scientific progress. The development of open access institutional archives is a low cost, practical tool to bring this about, in parallel with open access journals. The RCUK proposals are indeed enlightened and I and colleagues around the world much hope that they will be agreed and implemented, putting British research in a highly visible and influential position in international research and supporting research in less advantaged regions.

Yours sincerely,

Barbara Kirsop, Electronic Publishing Trust for Development/Bioline International
http://www.epublishingtrust.org and http://www.bioline.org.br

Cc Philip Willis, Chair House of Commons S&T Committee

Open Access Policy statements

Budapest Open Archives Initiative (Soros Foundation), two recommended strategies to achieve open access to scholarly journal literature, February 14th 2002:

Wellcome Trust Statement in support of Open Access: Published in October 2003: http://www.wellcome.ac.uk/doc_WTD002766.html, operating from October 2005

Berlin Declaration on the Open Access to knowledge in science and the humanities: October 2003, a Declaration signed by over 50 major institutions, universities, funding organisations and other interested bodies committed to open access to scholarly publications. February 2005:

CERN confirms its commitment to Open Access, March 2005:

WSIS Declaration of Principles:

The Case for Institutional Repositories: A SPARC Position Paper, July 2002 - prepared by Raym Crow:

Bethesda Statement on Open Access Publishing: the outcome of a meeting of research organisations to agree on steps to be taken to support the transition to open access publishing:

Scotland declaration in support of Open Access: 20 institutions in Scotland have already signed the October 2004 Declaration:

Finland has made a nation-wide commitment to Open Access by partnership with BioMedCentral:

Public Library of Science, Statement signed by just under 30,000 individuals from 175 countries who support the concept of open access:

U K Government Science & Technology Committee recommendations on science publishing:

Salvador Declaration on Open Access

University of Southampton to make all its academic and scientific research output freely available

Universities of Netherlands set up repositories

Cornell University endorses and adopts resolution on Open Access

Case Western University draft resolution on open access
http://www.case.edu/president/facsen/frames/committees/library/ LibraryComReport.pdf

University of Namibia sets up Institutional Archive and defines Open Access policy:

Bioline International eprints server: makes available all papers on an OA basis from over 40 journals published in developing countries

Registries of OA developments

OpenDOAR: University of Nottingham, UK and University of Lund, Sweden: A service to list Open Access research archives. Such repositories have mushroomed over the last 2 years in response to calls by scholars and researchers worldwide to provide open access to research information.

Register of Open Access Archives: shows numbers and kinds of records in nearly 500 registered archives http://archives.eprints.org/

Directory of Open Access Journals: lists 1718 OA journals; 76,565 articles.

Publisher Copyright Policies and Self-Archiving

Posted by stemp003 at 9:43 AM | Comments (5)

October 6, 2005

U.S. Senate Supports NIH Public Access Policy; Requests Report

One month after the U.S. House of Representatives endorsed the National Institutes of Health (NIH) Public Access policy and called for measures to judge its effectiveness, the U.S. Senate Appropriations Committee followed suit, requesting a prompt and thorough report evaluating the success of the policy. The Senate report accompanying the Fiscal Year 2006 Labor, Health and Human Services, and Education Appropriations bill requests a report from NIH by February 2006 that will include data on the total number of applicable works submitted since the May 2 implementation date, as well as the embargo period selected by each submitting author.

Heather Joseph, Executive Director of SPARC, the founding organizational member of the Alliance for Taxpayer Access (ATA), noted that ATA members are committed to continuing to work to ensure the implementation of a meaningful public access policy at NIH, and are encouraged by this strong signal of support from Congress.

ATA believes that the NIH policy's success will be measured by the number of articles deposited in PubMed Central and made accessible to the public soon after publication, and has consistently asked that the NIH publicly post such statistics to help gauge the policys effectiveness. Last month, NIH Director Elias Zerhouni issued a positive response to ATAs request to post these critical submission data on the NIH public access website. (To view this document, go to http://www.taxpayeraccess.org/docs/NIH_Postings_Response.pdf)

Data released by the NIH at a recent meeting of the NIH Public Access Working Group indicate that the number of submissions since the policy's implementation is very low. Based on annual data, NIH funding is responsible for about 65,000 scholarly articles per year. Therefore, NIH grantees could have chosen to place approximately 11,000 articles on PubMed Centralmaking this taxpayer-funded research available free to the public. However, statistics provided by NIH show that only three percent of this number, or 340 articles accepted for publication, have been submitted by NIH grantees.

-- *SPARC e-news*, June-July 2005

Posted by stemp003 at 10:23 AM | Comments (0)

The German Research Foundation studied author attitudes toward OA

The Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (German Research Foundation) released a major new study of author attitudes toward OA. It's based on the responses of over 1,000 German scientists to questions about their experiences with OA journals, OA preprint archiving, and OA postprint archiving.

From Jutta Haider's translation of the executive summary: 'Until now, throughout all disciplines, very few researchers actively publish in Open Access. Of all those questioned only about every tenth had published in an Open Access journal. According to those questioned the distribution of freely accessible preprints on the Internet - common practice only in some subjects - is also done infrequently. Somewhat more frequently papers that had already been published elsewhere are secondarily distributed for free online....In contrast to the low Open Access publication activity a majority of those questioned throughout all disciplines approve of an increased advancement of Open Access by the German Research Foundation. Whereas those at earlier stages of their careers in the natural, life, and engineering sciences support the advancement of Open Access somewhat more strongly than their already more established colleagues....The preparedness of scientists to use part of their funding to finance the free availability of their publications is proportionate to the expenditure scientists already have to provide to publish conventionally. Therefore life scientists are most prepared to pay author fees for open access publications, while humanities scholars and social scientists are least prepared....Proposals of the researchers with regards to the question how the German Research Foundation could advance Open Access essentially aim at the following: measures to intensify the debate surrounding freely accessible publications, measures to assure the quality of Open Access journals, and the technical, legal, organizational support of secondary Open Access publication of material that was previously published in a conventional way.'

-- [adapted from] Peter Suber, SPARC Open Access Newsletter, August 2, 2005

Posted by stemp003 at 10:19 AM | Comments (0)

Science Commons launches the OA Law Program

On June 8, Science Commons launched the Open Access Law Program, led by Dan Hunter of the Wharton School and Mike Carroll of the Villanova Law School and the Creative Commons.

The program includes:
* OA Law Journal Principles
* A list of journals complying with the principles
* An OA Author Pledge
* A list of authors taking the pledge
* An OA Model Publishing Agreement

The program is well-designed and badly needed. When it launched, I said in OAN that every discipline should have a similar initiative. Now I can announce that Science Commons plans to provide just that. The overall project will be called Science Commons - Open Access Scholarship Project. The separate projects will be called the Open Access Philosophy Program, Open Access Mathematics Program, and so on across the disciplines. The discipline-specific projects will be uniquely able to respond to discipline-specific opportunities and obstacles to OA. If you're interested in participating in the Science Commons OA program for your field, contact Dan Hunter, .

Lawrence Lessig, Open Access Law: Launched, June 8, 2005.

Science Commons press release, June 6, 2005.

Duke University Law School issued a press release (June 22, 2005) to publicize its admirable OA initiatives, including the fact that its seven law journals were prominently featured in the OA Law Program.

-- [adapted from] Peter Suber, SPARC Open Access Newsletter, July 2, 2005

Posted by stemp003 at 10:09 AM | Comments (0)

The first impact factor for PLoS Biology

From: "Rebecca Kennison"
Subject: The first impact factor for PLoS Biology - 13.9.
Date: Thu, 23 Jun 2005 15:15:15 -0400
To: SPARC-OAForum@arl.org

The open-access journal PLoS Biology has been assessed by Thomson ISI to have an impact factor of 13.9*, which places PLoS Biology among the most highly cited journals in the life sciences. This is an outstanding statistic for a journal less than two years old, from a new publisher promoting a new business model to support open access to the scientific and medical literature.

An impact factor of 13.9 places PLoS Biology above such established journals as EMBO Journal, Current Biology, and the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. In fact, in ISI's category of general biology journals, PLoS Biology is ranked number 1.

PLoS Biology was launched in October 2003, as an open-access home to the very best in biological research. By any measure, the impact of this launch was impressive. The on-line publication of the first issue was accompanied by strong and favorable media coverage, and subsequent issues continue to receive regular attention. Content from PLoS Biology has been read, copied, redistributed, and reused, without restriction (aside from proper citation of the authors), and now we know that the journal has also been cited time and time again.

PLoS Biology was launched to provide biologists who support open access a high profile journal for their best research papers and to demonstrate that open-access publishing works for a selective journal that only publishes outstanding science. Thanks to support from funding agencies, librarians, open-access advocates, and the scientific community - in particular, the editorial board members of PLoS Biology, the reviewers, and most of all the authors who have submitted excellent work to a fledgling journal - a substantial step has been taken toward these goals.

But there is still a long way to go before the mission of the Public Library of Science - to make the world's treasury of scientific and medical literature a public resource - is fulfilled. We hope that PLoS Biology's first impact factor will inspire even greater support for PLoS journals and for open access.

* Thompson ISI [via its Journal Citation Reports database] calculated the impact factors that it announced this year by counting all the citations in 2004 to content that appeared in 2002 and 2003 and then dividing that number by the number of articles published in 2002 and 2003. For a long-standing journal, therefore, this number reflects the mean (average) number of citations over the course of a year to articles published over the two prior years. For PLoS Biology, this number refers only to articles published in its first three issues in the fall of 2003, which is why the initial impact factor is considered preliminary.

Posted by stemp003 at 9:56 AM | Comments (4)

Open Access journals get impressive impact factors

23 June 2005

Journals published by BioMed Central get new impact factors from ISI

Impressive impact factors prove that BioMed Central's Open Access journals are high quality and widely read and cited. Journals published by BioMed Central have again received impact factors that compare well with equivalent subscription titles, it was announced today, with five titles in the top five of their specialty. The high impact factors for these journals affirm that they are respected by researchers, and are fast becoming the place for authors to submit important research findings.

Five journals published by BioMed Central received their first impact factors this year. BMC Bioinformatics, with an impact factor of 5.42, has reinforced its reputation as one of the top journals in its field. Launched in 2000, it is the second highest ranked bioinformatics journal, and already has an impact factor comparable to that of Bioinformatics (5.74), the most established journal in the field, which has been publishing for more than two decades and is supported by a major society.

BMC Genomics enters the Journal Citation Reports with a respectable 3.25. This puts it in the top third of the genetics titles, and the top 20% of biotechnology journals. BMC Molecular Biology has an impact factor of 3.12, and BMC Musculoskeletal Disorders an impact factor of 1.00, putting it in the top half of the orthopaedics listing. BMC Genetics has an impact factor of 0.92.

Critical Care's impact factor jumped from 1.9 to 3.21, and the journal is now third in the Critical Care medicine field having leap-frogged the competitor title Intensive Care Medicine, the official journal of the major European society. Breast Cancer Research also increased it's impact factor from 2.93 to 2.98 and remains the second highest ranking breast cancer journal. Arthritis Research & Therapy maintains its rank of second in the rheumatology field with an impact factor of 4.55.

A number of other journal published by BioMed Central also saw their impact factors and rankings improve. BMC Infectious Diseases jumped from 1.25 to 2.07. BMC Cell Biology, with an impact factor of 2.62, is now in the top half of the cell biology listing. The impact factor for BMC Health Services Research almost doubled, from 0.68 to 1.23. BMC Cancer went up from 1.70 to 2.29 and BMC Public Health now has an impact factor of 1.55. With an impact factor of 4.03, Respiratory Research is the fifth most cited journal in the highly competitive respirology field.

The impact factors, which are calculated by ISI, look at citations in 2004 of articles published in the journals in the period 2002-2003.

According to Dr Matthew Cockerill, Director of Operations at BioMed Central, "These latest impact factors show that BioMed Central's Open Access journals have joined the mainstream of science publishing, and can compete with traditional journals on their own terms. The impact factors also demonstrate one of the key benefits that Open Access offers authors: high visibility and, as a result, a high rate of citation."

Posted by stemp003 at 9:49 AM | Comments (0)

SPARC and University of Michigan Launch Publisher Assistance Program

May 18, 2005

Partnership Provides Business Planning and Digital Publishing Services for Open-Access Journals

Washington, DC SPARC (the Scholarly Publishing and Academic Resources Coalition) and the University of Michigan Librarys Scholarly Publishing Office (SPO) have teamed up to launch the Publisher Assistance Program, which provides business planning and digital publishing services to facilitate open-access publishing in the social sciences and humanities. The Publisher Assistance Program, which integrates the complementary expertise of SPARC and SPO, provides a comprehensive solution for scholarly communities in search of a cost-effective way to reach potential readers.

The Publisher Assistance Program offers existing and prospective publishers a variety of benefits based on SPARCs and SPOs in-depth experience in the field. Integrating this experience into the Publisher Assistance Program, SPARC and SPO together provide a business planning process to ensure the sustainability of the journal under an open-access or cost-recovery model, including the transition from a print, subscription-based model to an online open-access model. The Publisher Assistance Program will also offer a package of options for journal development, production, hosting, and maintenance. These packages will include free online hosting for open-access journals and a variety of digital publishing options that SPO will offer on a cost-recovery basis.

Many editors and publishers of journals in the social sciences and humanities are looking for a way to do well while doing good, said SPARC Executive Director Rick Johnson. They frequently approach both SPO and SPARC seeking guidance on how to move their publications to an online environment, and they require both business planning advice and digital publishing technical expertise in order to achieve their goals. The Publisher Assistance Program can serve these needs and send them into the marketplace with sound business options and a superior open-access journal offering.

"Michigan believes that the synergy between SPARC's strong advocacy role and SPO's hands-on experience in open access publishing is extraordinarily powerful," added James Hilton, Interim University Librarian at the University of Michigan.

The new Publisher Assistance Program will serve nonprofit publishers of either new or existing peer-reviewed journals that wish to operate under an open-access model. SPARC and SPO have separately provided business planning services or technical assistance to dozens of print, online, and open-access journals.

For information on how to participate in the Publisher Assistance Program, please contact Raym Crow, SPARC Business Development Consultant, at raym@arl.org.

For more information, contact: Alison Buckholtz, SPARC, alison@arl.org

Posted by stemp003 at 9:34 AM | Comments (0)

May 2, 2005

TAXPAYERS COMMEND PRECEDENT SET BY NIH PUBLIC ACCESS POLICY: Access Advocates Call for Policy Changes If Voluntary Participation Is Low

WASHINGTON, DC, May 2 -- The Alliance for Taxpayer Access (ATA), a coalition that supports making taxpayer funded research accessible to the public, called today's rollout of the National Institutes of Health (NIH) "Public Access Policy" a positive step but voiced concern that the voluntary nature and discretionary timeframe of the policy may work against achieving the ends sought by NIH and Congress.

"The NIH policy establishes an important precedent," said Sharon Terry, CEO of the Genetic Alliance and an ATA spokesperson. "Not only does it recognize the taxpayers' right of access to publicly funded research, it also acknowledges that if research is readily available it will be used by millions to solve problems. That means an enhanced return on our investment in NIH."

Announced on Feb. 2 following a public comment period, the NIH Public Access policy <http://www.nih.gov/about/publicaccess/> asks NIH-funded researchers to voluntarily deposit their peer-reviewed research articles in PubMed Central, the NIH National Library of Medicine's publicly accessible online archive. Authors who choose to deposit their work are given a choice of when it will be available to the public -- anywhere from immediately to after a 12-month embargo.

On Friday (April 29) NIH issued a notice containing details on implementation of the policy <http://grants.nih.gov/grants/guide/notice-files/NOT-OD-05-045.html>. It restates NIH's expectation that "only in limited cases will authors deem it necessary to select the longest delay period."

In anticipation of the NIH policy, several journal publishers have announced policy changes that some observers believe thwart NIH's objectives. "It's disappointing to see journals announce their policies for NIH-funded authors," said Peter Suber, who is open-access project director for Public Knowledge and writes the SPARC Open Access Newsletter. "In each such case so far, journals are resisting the NIH request for public access 'as soon as possible' after publication and demanding embargoes of six or 12 months. This will slow down medical research and violate the NIH's own criteria for the policy."

"I hope researchers will do the right thing by depositing their research and specifying timely access," said Pat Furlong, president of Parent Project Muscular Dystrophy. "If researchers choose to deposit their papers in PubMed Central, we'll see them being used to speed the translation of medical advances into health care, to enhance health education, and to inform and empower patients in their health care decisions."

NIH specified three goals in developing the policy: to establish a stable archive of peer-reviewed research publications resulting from NIH-funded research, to better manage the NIH research portfolio, and to make published results of NIH-funded research more readily accessible to the public, health care providers, educators, and scientists.

"Although we believe NIH should and could have been more vigorous in advancing these laudable goals," said Rick Johnson, executive director of SPARC (Scholarly Publishing and Academic Resources Coalition) and a founder of the ATA, "we will be the first to offer our congratulations if the vast majority of NIH-funded research becomes available to all potential users in PubMed Central soon after publication. But if participation is weak or access is delayed too long, as will soon be evident, NIH must act to strengthen the policy and achieve its goals."

Robert Reinhard, board member of the AIDS Vaccine Advocacy Coalition (AVAC) said, "The policy's effectiveness will be measured not only in the quantity of deposited articles but also in their substance and importance to respective fields of study." Reinhard emphasized that, "Under the current plan, one might be concerned about NIH's commitment to promptly disseminating government-funded research results to those the studies would benefit -- patients and clinical trial participants, for example. The task at hand is to promote real public understanding of medical and scientific work."

In a Feb. 3 letter <http://www.taxpayeraccess.org/docs/ATA_to_HHS.pdf> to U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) Secretary Michael Leavitt, to whom NIH reports, ATA called on NIH to report to Congress and the public on progress toward full taxpayer access using two metrics: the proportion of eligible research articles that have been deposited in PubMed Central and the lag time between an article's publication in a journal and its availability in PubMed Central. In an April 5 response to ATA, NIH Director Elias Zerhouni said, "Issuance of the NIH Public Access Policy is the beginning of a process that will include refinement as experience develops, outcomes are evaluated, and public dialogue among all stakeholders is continued."

To help ensure the success of the policy, several academic library organizations -- including the Association of Academic Health Sciences Libraries, the Association of College and Research Libraries, the Association of Research Libraries, and SPARC -- have encouraged their members to inform NIH-supported researchers on their campuses about the NIH policy.

- - -

The Alliance for Taxpayer Access is an informal coalition of stakeholders who support reforms that will make publicly funded biomedical research accessible to the public. The Alliance was formed in 2004 specifically to urge that peer-reviewed articles on taxpayer-funded research at NIH become fully accessible and available online and at no extra cost to the American public. Details on the Alliance may be found at <http://www.taxpayeraccess.org>.

Posted by messn006 at 1:14 PM | Comments (3)

April 29, 2005

Editorial from NEJM on NIH open access

Article in this week's NEJM on the upcoming implementation of NIH's open access policy: Public Access to NIH-Funded Research. New England Journal of Medicine [0028-4793] Steinbrook, R. 2005 352(17) 1739 http://tc.liblink.umn.edu/sfx_local?sid=Entrez:PubMed&id=pmid:15858180

Discusses some of the possible short-term implications for authors and for PubMed Central.

Posted by messn006 at 12:37 PM | Comments (0)

April 26, 2005

Whose Molecules Are These?

Business Week 4/25/2005 issue

Whose Molecules Are These?

The National Institutes of Health thought it had a great idea for advancing science -- but its concept is threatening the world's largest scientific society. The plan: put information about a vast number of molecules, which could be used to probe genes and biological functions, into a public database, dubbed PubChem. Scientists then could use the data to uncover new knowledge or new drugs. The information would come from other public databases, scientific papers, and publicly funded research.

But the project has run into fierce opposition from the 158,000-member American Chemical Society (ACS). The nonprofit group has its own database of 22 million molecules, the Chemical Abstracts Service, that typically costs thousands of dollars to access and accounts for more than half of the society's $421 million annual budget.

The two databases are complementary, argues NIH's Dr. Francis Collins: "We have no intention of duplicating information." But ACS complains that PubChem, which already contains data on 850,000 molecules, looks virtually identical to its offering. "Do taxpayers want their money to be used for something that's already done well in the private sector?" asks ACS Executive Director Madeleine Jacobs.

The warring factions have agreed to try to work out a solution. "I hope we can resolve this in a way that does not put us out of business," says Jacobs.

By John Carey

Posted by messn006 at 9:15 AM | Comments (0)

April 1, 2005

ACRL provides Scholarly Communications toolkit to support advocacy efforts for academic and research libraries

CHICAGO-- The Association of College and Research Libraries (ACRL) offers members a Web-based Scholarly Communications toolkit as a resource designed to support advocacy efforts that work toward changing the scholarly communication system and to provide information on scholarly communication issues for librarians, faculty, academic administrators and other campus stakeholders.

The toolkit aims to meet the needs of the full range of academic institutions represented in the ACRL membership base. A primary goal of the toolkit is to summarize key issues and content in order to give readers quick, basic information on scholarly communication topics.

"I'm delighted that the ACRL Scholarly Communications Toolkit is now available to support learning and advocacy related to scholarly communications issues," said Ray English, chair of ACRL's Scholarly Communications Committee. "ACRL owes special thanks to Karen Williams, now Associate University Librarian for Academic Programs, University of Minnesota, who created the toolkit during a recent sabbatical leave from the University of Arizona."

The toolkit, which is available on the ACRL Scholarly Communication Web page, www.ala.org/ala/acrl/acrlissues/scholarlycomm/scholarlycommunication.htm, is designed with three pathways: one for academic administrators, one for faculty and one for librarians. Key issues chosen for inclusion are the effects of inflationary price increases and relatively stable information access budgets; new alternatives for disseminating scholarly information; aggregated or bundled electronic content; author control of intellectual property; and publisher mergers and acquisitions.

In addition to a basic introduction of each topic, other tools featured in the site include a bibliography that selects and annotates a few key items from among the wealth of information available and a selective Webliography providing annotated links to such items as online exhibits, sample publishing agreements, directories, price data and a list of other associations working in this arena. The three Act Now! lists suggest ways in which, working together, we can effect change.

The toolkit was created as a living site with the intention of revising content and adding tools as the issues change. The site will debut with tools contributed largely by members of the ACRL Scholarly Communications Committee. ACRL members are encouraged to submit other tools and suggestions in order to make the toolkit a vibrant and useful asset. For example, PowerPoint presentations and brochures created by librarians for use on their respective campuses can often be adapted for local use by others. Instructions for submitting ideas and materials are be available on the toolkit site.

The purpose of the ACRL Scholarly Communications Initiative is to work in partnership with other library and higher education organizations to encourage reform in the system of scholarly communication. Educating librarians to serve as advocates and change agents is an important strategy in the success of this initiative.

ACRL, a division of the American Library Association (ALA), represents more than 12,800 academic and research librarians and interested individuals. ACRL is the only individual membership organization in North America that develops programs, products and services to meet the unique needs of academic and research librarians. Its initiatives enable the higher education community to understand the role that academic libraries play in the teaching, learning and research environments.

Contact: Mary Ellen Davis
ACRL Executive Director

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February 4, 2005

NIH Grant Recipients Are 'Asked' to Post Data: New Policy on 'Public Access' Draws Criticism

Washington Post
Friday, February 4, 2005; Page A15

By Rick Weiss
Washington Post Staff Writer

Researchers who receive grant money from the National Institutes of Health will be "asked" to submit their results to a public Web site within a year after they are published in a scientific journal, under a new and controversial NIH policy announced yesterday.

The highly anticipated "public access" policy -- which aims to make it easier for Americans to see the results of research they paid for with their tax dollars -- represents a compromise between competing forces that had lobbied the agency intensely during the past year.

On one side were the publishers of highly profitable scientific journals who feared that free access -- even months after paper publication -- would undermine their subscription base. They were joined by some not-for-profit scientific societies that count on revenue from their print journals to support their research and training programs.

On the other side were patient advocacy groups and others who argued that taxpayers should not have to pay subscription or per-article fees to see the results of federally supported medical research.

They argue that journals would not be significantly harmed because the policy applies to only the 10 percent or so of published biomedical articles that result from NIH-funded research. Individuals and libraries would still subscribe, they say, to read the other 90 percent of the contents.

Both sides expressed irritation with the decision, which NIH Director Elias A. Zerhouni said at a news briefing yesterday would take effect May 2.

Proponents of quick access complained that the policy marks a retreat from an earlier version, floated by NIH in September, which had called for public access within six months. Even the 12-month deadline is voluntary, they noted.

The policy "falls short of the bright light of transparency that Dr. Zerhouni promised," said Rick Johnson, director of the Scholarly Publishing and Academic Resources Coalition and a member of the Alliance for Taxpayer Access, a coalition of groups that support changes in scientific publishing.

Former NIH director Harold Varmus, now president of Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center in New York and a longtime proponent of public access, called the new policy "a significant move" but echoed others' disappointment that it does not use stronger language. Instead of requesting that scientists submit their results, the policy could have said scientists are "expected" to do so, he said.

But the publishing industry's campaign to oppose NIH's efforts -- spearheaded by former House member Patricia Schroeder (D-Colo.), who is now president of the Association of American Publishers -- also fell short of its goals. The AAP yesterday said it is "concerned" about the outcome. Not-for-profits also complained.

"It's wasteful and duplicative of what we're already doing," said Martin Frank, chairman of the DC Principles Coalition for Free Access to Science and executive director of the American Physiological Society, one of several not-for-profit science organizations that Frank said already make their articles available to the public relatively quickly after publication. "The $2.5 million to $4 million that the NIH is going to spend on this could be better spent on biomedical research," he said.

Zerhouni has said there are advantages to having the articles all in one federally managed database, including easier cross-comparisons of data among different articles.

Both sides had at least one complaint in common: The policy leaves it up to scientists to decide when to make their articles public. That puts scientists in an awkward position of wanting to release them quickly to please the NIH -- their funding source -- and slowly to please their paper publishers -- upon whom they are equally dependent for professional prestige.

"For many authors, the dilemma will be painful and career-jeopardizing," said Johnson, noting that life would have been much easier for scientists had the NIH simply demanded public access as a condition of receiving grant money.

Details of the new policy can be seen at: www.nih.gov/about/public access/publicaccess_imp.pdf

Posted by scholcom at 11:34 AM | Comments (0)

February 2, 2005

Open access moves a step closer

The Guardian
Wednesday, February 2, 2005
http://politics.guardian.co.uk/publicservices/story/ 0,11032,1403756,00.html

Richard Wray

Proponents of free, unfettered access to scientific research were given a boost yesterday when the government said it did not oppose so-called open access publishing, although it "does not want to force a premature transition to a different system".

In its second response to a report from a committee of MPs last summer, the government also backed moves to allow academics to archive articles published by traditional houses such as Reed Elsevier on the web. "The government recognises the potential benefits of institutional repositories and sees them as a significant development worthy of encouragement," the government said. It stopped short, however, of agreeing to MPs' demands that money be made available to help universities set up online archives.

Separately, while a call from the Commons science and technology committee for the Office of Fair Trading to make a biennial assessment of the scientific publishing market fell on deaf ears, the OFT made it clear that it is concerned about the market.

The OFT is waiting for the findings of a continuing investigation by the European commission into the world of academic publishing.

In launching its year-long investigation last summer, the commission pointed out that the price of academic journals has increased 10% each year over the last decade, well above inflation.

In its first response to the select committee report, the OFT said it refused to commit itself to biennial reporting on the market "not because of a lack of concern" but because until the commission reports it is unclear what steps should be taken. Last summer the select committee also recommended that research councils and other government funders make it a condition of funding an academic that copies of their published research should be placed on the internet. The committee also called for further experimentation with open access publishing, where authors pay for publication but the resulting article is available free on the web.

Both these recommendations were rejected by the government in its initial response, leading to an attack from the committee's chairman, Dr Ian Gibson, Labour MP for Norwich North, who said the government was "obstructive".

Guardian Unlimited Guardian Newspapers Limited 2005

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