Archive for the 'Open Access' Category

Digital University/Library Presses, Part 10: Parallel Press

Posted in Digital Presses, Open Access, Publishing, Scholarly Communication on September 18th, 2006 by Charles W. Bailey, Jr.

The University of Wisconsin-Madison Libraries’ Parallel Press publishes "print-on-demand books that parallel online publications, as well as chapbooks featuring the work of regional poets and UW historians." Many of the books are reprints of out-of-print works. It appears that the Parallel Press was established in 1998.

The relationship between the press and the University of Wisconsin-Madison Libraries’ digital collections is described as follows:

While managed independently of the Parallel Press, the UW-Madison Libraries’ digital collections are inexorably linked with the press’ print-on-demand publishing operations as the original source of all reprinted material. If enough interest is shown, nearly any of these online resources could be the basis of a future Parallel Press print publication.

While the chapbooks are only available in low-cost print editions, the books have a freely available digital version. Examples of books include (links are to the digital versions):

Prior postings on this topic:

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MIRACLE Project’s Institutional Repository Survey

Posted in DSpace, E-Prints, EPrints, Fedora, Institutional Repositories, Open Access, Scholarly Communication on September 14th, 2006 by Charles W. Bailey, Jr.

The MIRACLE (Making Institutional Repositories A Collaborative Learning Environment) project at the University of Michigan’s School of Information presented a paper at JCDL 2006 titled "Nationwide Census of Institutional Repositories: Preliminary Findings."

MIRACLE’s sample population was 2,147 library directors at four-year US colleges and universities. The paper presents preliminary findings from 273 respondents.

Respondents characterized their IR activities as: "(1) implementation of an IR (IMP), (2) planning & pilot testing an IR software package (PPT), (3) planning only (PO), or (4) no planning to date (NP)."

Of the 273 respondents, "28 (10%) have characterized their IR involvement as IMP, 42 (15%) as PPT, 65 (24%) as PO, and 138 (51%) as NP."

The top-ranked benefits of having an IR were: "capturing the intellectual capital of your institution," "better service to contributors," and "longtime preservation of your institution’s digital output." The bottom-ranked benefits were "reducing user dependence on your library’s print collection," "providing maximal access to the results of publicly funded research," and "an increase in citation counts to your institution’s intellectual output."

On the question of IR staffing, the survey found:

Generally, PPT and PO decision-makers envision the library sharing operational responsibility for an IR. Decision-makers from institutions with full-fledged operational IRs choose responses that show library staff bearing the burden of responsibility for the IR.

Of those with operational IRs who identified their IR software, the survey found that they were using: "(1) 9 for Dspace, (2) 5 for bePress, (3) 4 for ProQuest’s Digital Commons, (4) 2 for local solutions, and (5) 1 each for Ex Libris’ DigiTools and Virginia Tech’s ETD." Of those who were pilot testing software: "(1) 17 for DSpace, (2) 9 for OCLC’s ContentDM, (3) 5 for Fedora, (4) 3 each for bePress, DigiTool, ePrints, and Greenstone, (5) 2 each for Innovative Interfaces, Luna, and ETD, and (6) 1 each for Digital Commons, Encompass, a local solution, and Opus."

In terms of number of documents in the IRs, by far the largest percentages were for less than 501 documents (IMP, 41%; and PPT, 67%).

The preliminary results also cover other topics, such as content recruitment, investigative decision-making activities, IR costs, and IR system features.

It is interesting to see how these preliminary results compare to those of the ARL Institutional Repositories SPEC Kit. For example, when asked "What are the top three benefits you feel your IR provides?," the ARL survey respondents said:

  1. Enhance visibility and increase dissemination of institution’s scholarship: 68%
  2. Free, open, timely access to scholarship: 46%
  3. Preservation of and long-term access to institution’s scholarship: 36%
  4. Preservation and stewardship of digital content: 36%
  5. Collecting, organizing assets in a central location: 24%
  6. Educate faculty about copyright, open access, scholarly communication: 8%
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Open Access Update Web Page: New Aggregate Feed

Posted in Announcements, Open Access, Publishing, Scholarly Communication on September 9th, 2006 by Charles W. Bailey, Jr.

The Blogdigger feed was not updating properly, and it has been deleted.

I’ve created a MySyndicaat Feedbot feed to replace it. The aggregate feed provides recent postings for the current week for selected Weblogs and other sources (currently 14 sources). The Open Access Update page’s feed has been switched to the MySyndicaat feed and the number of possible postings increased to 50. The MySyndicaat Feedbot Web page is now available as well.

Although the MySyndicaat Feedbot is set to the shortest update cycle, keep in mind that there are bound to be some feed update delays.

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Open Access Update Web Page

Posted in Announcements, Open Access, Scholarly Communication on September 4th, 2006 by Charles W. Bailey, Jr.

Building on an earlier effort by Lesley Perkins, I’ve created a new Blogdigger aggregate feed for open access Weblogs that includes a wider selection of Weblogs. I’ve also created an Open Access Update Web page that presents the latest 30 headlines from the aggregate feed and provides links to OA-related mailing list archives, Peter Suber’s OA overview, OA-related journals, and OA-related Wikis.

Postscript: There were technical problems with updating the Blogdigger feed, and it has been deleted. See: "Open Access Update Web Page: New Aggregate Feed."

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Digital University/Library Presses, Part 6: UTSePress

Posted in Digital Presses, Open Access, Publishing, Scholarly Communication on August 24th, 2006 by Charles W. Bailey, Jr.

Established in January 2004, the University of Technology, Sydney’s UTSePress publishes e-journals and conference proceedings. The university’s DSpace institutional repository is also under the UTSePress.

There is a Steering Group whose role is to:

  1. Establish the scope of UTSePress, making recommendations on organisational structure including the terms of reference and composition of the UTSePress Board.
  2. Take steps to protect the name UTSePress, relevant Internet domains and any associated intellectual property.
  3. Develop the initial guidelines for the operation of UTSePress including the criteria for approval of imprints and publications.
  4. Identify the initial imprints and publications of UTSePress.
  5. Guide the first phase of the development of the infrastructure for UTSePress including the establishment of the Technical Committee.
  6. Make any other necessary recommendations for the future operation and development of UTSePress.

The UTSePress uses Open Journal Systems to publish five e-journals:

  • African Journal of Information & Communication Technology, which is "an international journal providing a publication vehicle for coverage of topics of interest to those involved in computing, communication networks, electronic communications, information technology systems and Bioinformatics." It is peer reviewed.
  • Portal Journal of Multidisciplinary International Studies, which is "a fully peer-reviewed journal dedicated to the publishing of scholarly articles from practitioners of international, regional, area, migration and ethnic studies, and it is also dedicated to providing a space for the work of cultural producers interested in the internationalization of cultures."
  • Public History Review, which "is concerned with nature and forms of public history: with ideas as to what constitutes the ‘public’ in history making, with the means by which history is communicated to a range of audiences and with the ways in which the past operates in the present." It is peer reviewed.
  • Transforming Cultures eJournal, which is "a journal for the study of cultural and social transformations." It is peer reviewed.
  • Unscrunched, which "publishes writing from students in the Writing and Cultural Studies Area of the Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences at the University of Technology, Sydney."

The copyright statements for these e-journals vary. The most common one says:

Authors submitting a paper to UTSePress publications agree to assign a limited license to UTSePress if and when the manuscript is accepted for publication. This license allows UTSePress to publish a manuscript in a given issue.

Articles published by UTSePress are protected by copyright which is retained by the authors who assert their moral rights. Authors control translation and reproduction rights to their works published by UTSePress.

UTSePress publications are copyright and all rights are reserved worldwide. Downloads of specific portions of them are permitted for personal use only, not for commercial use or resale. Permissions to reprint or use any materials should be directed to UTSePress.

The UTSePress has published one conference proceeding: International Conference on Wireless Broadband and Ultra Wideband Communications. It appears that Open Conference Systems is being used to support this function.

These documents provide further information about the UTSePress: (1) "UTSePress Breaks Boundaries in Online Publishing" (press release) and (2) "UTSePress: UTS Advancing Scholarly Publication."

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Digital University/Library Presses, Part 5: Internet-First University Press

Posted in Digital Presses, DSpace, Open Access, Publishing, Scholarly Communication on August 23rd, 2006 by Charles W. Bailey, Jr.

Established in January 2004, Cornell University’s Internet-First University Press is described as follows:

These materials are being published as part of a new approach to scholarly publishing. The manuscripts and videos are freely available from this Internet-First University Press repository within DSpace at Cornell University.

These online materials are available on an open access basis, without fees or restrictions on personal use. All mass reproduction, even for educational or not-for-profit use, requires permission and license.

There are Internet-First University Press DSpace collections for books and articles, multimedia and videos, and undergraduate scholarly publications. There is a print-on-demand option for books and articles.

There are DSpace sub-communities for journals and symposia, workshops, and conferences. One e-journal is published by Internet-First University Press, the CIGR E-Journal (most current volume dated 2005). A print journal, Engineering Quarterly, has been digitized and made available.

There appears to be no further information about the Internet-First University Press at its DSpace site; however, the "Internet-First Publishing Project at Cornell Offers New and Old Books Free Online or to Be Printed on Demand" press release provides further background information.

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ARL Institutional Repositories SPEC Kit

Posted in Announcements, ARL Libraries, DSpace, E-Prints, Institutional Repositories, Open Access, Scholarly Communication on August 21st, 2006 by Charles W. Bailey, Jr.

The Institutional Repositories SPEC Kit is now available from the Association of Research Libraries (ARL). This document presents the results of a thirty-eight-question survey of 123 ARL members in early 2006 about their institutional repositories practices and plans. The survey response rate was 71% (87 out of 123 ARL members responded). The front matter and nine-page Executive Summary are freely available. The document also presents detailed question-by-question results, a list of respondent institutions, representative documents from institutions, and a bibliography. It is 176 pages long.

Here is the bibliographic information: University of Houston Libraries Institutional Repository Task Force. Institutional Repositories. SPEC Kit 292. Washington, DC: Association of Research Libraries, 2006. ISBN: 1-59407-708-8.

The members of the University of Houston Libraries Institutional Repository Task Force who authored the document were Charles W. Bailey, Jr. (Chair); Karen Coombs; Jill Emery (now at UT Austin); Anne Mitchell; Chris Morris; Spencer Simons; and Robert Wright.

The creation of a SPEC Kit is a highly collaborative process. SPEC Kit Editor Lee Anne George and other ARL staff worked with the authors to refine the survey questions, mounted the Web survey, analyzed the data in SPSS, created a preliminary summary of survey question responses, and edited and formatted the final document. Given the amount of data that the survey generated, this was no small task. The authors would like to thank the ARL team for their hard work on the SPEC Kit.

Although the Executive Summary is much longer than the typical one (over 5,100 words vs. about 1,500 words), it should not be mistaken for a highly analytic research article. Its goal was to try to describe the survey’s main findings, which was quite challenging given the amount of survey data available. The full data is available in the "Survey Questions and Responses" section of the SPEC Kit.

Here are some quick survey results:

  • Thirty-seven ARL institutions (43% of respondents) had an operational IR (we called these respondents implementers), 31 (35%) were planning one by 2007, and 19 (22%) had no IR plans.
  • Looked at from the perspective of all 123 ARL members, 30% had an operational IR and, by 2007, that figure may reach 55%.
  • The mean cost of IR implementation was $182,550.
  • The mean annual IR operation cost was $113,543.
  • Most implementers did not have a dedicated budget for either start-up costs (56%) or ongoing operations (52%).
  • The vast majority of implementers identified first-level IR support units that had a library reporting line vs. one that had a campus IT or other campus unit reporting line.
  • DSpace was by far the most commonly used system: 20 implementers used it exclusively and 3 used it in combination with other systems.
  • Proquest DigitalCommons (or the Bepress software it is based on) was the second choice of implementers: 7 implementers used this system.
  • While 28% of implementers have made no IR software modifications to enhance its functionality, 22% have made frequent changes to do so and 17% have made major modifications to the software.
  • Only 41% of implementers had no review of deposited documents. While review by designated departmental or unit officials was the most common method (35%), IR staff reviewed documents 21% of the time.
  • In a check all that apply question, 60% of implementers said that IR staff entered simple metadata for authorized users and 57% said that they enhanced such data. Thirty-one percent said that they cataloged IR materials completely using local standards.
  • In another check all that apply question, implementers clearly indicated that IR and library staff use a variety of strategies to recruit content: 83% made presentations to faculty and others, 78% identified and encouraged likely depositors, 78% had library subject specialists act as advocates, 64% offered to deposit materials for authors, and 50% offered to digitize materials and deposit them.
  • The most common digital preservation arrangement for implementers (47%) was to accept any file type, but only preserve specified file types using data migration and other techniques. The next most common arrangement (26%) was to accept and preserve any file type.
  • The mean number of digital objects in implementers’ IRs was 3,844.
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Digital University/Library Presses, Part 4: Singapore E-Press

Posted in Digital Presses, Open Access, Publishing, Scholarly Communication on August 17th, 2006 by Charles W. Bailey, Jr.

Launched in September 2004, the Singapore E-Press is part of National University of Singapore Publishing. It "aims to provide a platform for online, open-access publications from Singapore-based research teams."

Using Open Journal Systems for many of its publications, the Singapore E-Press publishes electronic journals, supplemental material to books, and reference material.

The current publications of the press are:

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Digital University/Library Presses, Part 3: Newfound Press

Posted in Digital Presses, Open Access, Publishing, Scholarly Communication on August 16th, 2006 by Charles W. Bailey, Jr.

The editorial policy of the Newfound Press states that:

Newfound Press is a digital imprint of the University of Tennessee Libraries. The purpose of Newfound Press is to advance the frontiers of learning by providing peer-reviewed, open access to theoretical, intellectual, practical, and scholarly works in all disciplines, encompassing scientific research, humanistic scholarship, and artistic creation. Newfound Press invests in authors the responsibility for appearance and format of the content. The audience for Newfound Press publications includes researchers, practitioners, students, and other scholars in virtually any subject.

The Newfound Press publishes books, journals, and multimedia. It provides authors with submission guidelines for various types of works as well as an FAQ. It has an Advisory Board.

The Newfound Press Web site doesn’t indicate when it was established, but appears from an Open Access News posting that it was launched in March 2006. So far, it has published a digital book.

Copyright statements for works are mandatory, and they "should include a statement of ownership, an invitation to reproduce content under certain conditions, and a warning about possible infringements." The Newfound Press provides potential authors with sample license language and a link to the Creative Commons Web site.

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Overcoming Obstacles to Launching and Sustaining Non-Traditional-Publisher Open Access Journals

Posted in E-Journals, Open Access, Scholarly Communication on August 14th, 2006 by Charles W. Bailey, Jr.

As I noted in "What Is Open Access?," there is a fairly long history of non-traditional publishers producing free electronic journals:

During the late 1980s and early 1990s, the Internet had developed to the point that scholars began to publish free digital journals utilizing existing institutional infrastructure and volunteer labor (e.g., EJournal, PostModern Culture, and The Public-Access Computer Systems Review. These journals were not intended to generate income; they were "no-profit" journals. Although many of these journals allowed authors to retain their copyrights and they had liberal copyright statements regarding noncommercial use, they preceded by a decade or more the Creative Commons, and, consequently, did not embody that kind of copyright stance. While some of these journals ceased publication and others were transformed into non-profit ventures, they provided a model that others followed, especially after the popularization of the Internet began in the mid-1990s, which followed the earlier introduction of Web browsers. In recent years, the availability of free open source journal management and publishing systems, such as the Open Journal Systems, further simplified and streamlined digital journal publishing, fueling additional growth in this area. Now, a wide variety of academic departments or schools, institutes and research centers, libraries, professional associations, scholars, and others publish digital journals, a subset of which comply with the strictest definition of an open access journal and a larger subset which comply with the looser definition of an open access journal as a free journal. Since these diverse "publishers" would have been unlikely to be engaged in this activity without facilitating digital technologies and tools, I refer to them as "non-traditional publishers." Many of them are also "no-profit" publishers as well.

Given open source digital journal publishing systems, the idea of starting an OA journal has become more attractive than it was in the days when digital journals required a fair amount of specialized, labor-intensive technical support. However, the obstacles that non-traditional-publisher OA journals (hereafter called NTP OA journals) face are not primarily technical.

Here are some issues that NTP OA journals can face:

  • NTP OA journals are new journals. New journals have much more difficulty attracting authors, especially high-visibility authors, than established journals. Therefore, they also have more difficulty attracting readers, especially scholars who will cite their articles. This is a vicious circle. There are three key strategies for overcoming this problem: (1) focus your journal on a specialized, emerging topic of great interest that is not covered or not well covered by existing journals; (2) establish a high visibility editorial team and editorial board; and (3) actively recruit articles from authors.
  • NTP OA journals are digital-only journals. Certainly there is less prejudice against digital-only journals today than in the late 1980s; however, there may still be residual feelings by some scholars that digital journals are not "real" journals, and many scholars may have legitimate concerns about whether these journals will be available 10, 20, 30 or more years into the future. Regarding the latter point, it is highly desirable to have a convincing digital preservation strategy in mind, such as LOCKSS (a growing number of academic libraries are using this system to preserve digital journals). Authors who must face the prejudices of tenure committees against digital journals may be reluctant to publish in them or wish that they hadn’t when facing a promotion review. Provosts, department chairs, and others need to tackle the difficult issue of separating the digital wheat from the chaff so that junior faculty can be comfortable publishing in sanctioned NTP OA journals in their disciplines.
  • NTP OA journals often lack strong "branding." Conventional journal publishers typically have well-established reputations and they invest significant resources in promoting their journals, especially new journals.
  • NTP OA journals typically publish fewer articles than their conventional counterparts. In my view, this is not an intrinsic problem, but it can lead to negative perceptions of these journals.
  • NTP OA journals may not be indexed in traditional disciplinary indexing and abstracting services, they may lack standard identifiers (ISSN numbers), and they may not be cataloged by libraries in systems such as the OCLC Online Union Catalog (now publicly available as WorldCat). Fortunately, the latter two issues can be fairly easily addressed by NTP OA journal editors working with the National Serials Data Program at the Library of Congress and their local libraries; getting in I&A systems may require both time (to demonstrate that the journal warrants indexing) and persistent effort. The existence of directories of freely available digital journals, such the Directory of Open Access Journals, ameliorates the I&A problem somewhat, and NTP OA journal editors should make every effort to get their journals in such directories.
  • For the reasons noted above, NTP OA journals may lack citation impact; however, if they do have impact this may not be known because they are not included in prominent ISI publications that are widely used to measure such impact. However, with the advent of Google Scholar and similar systems that provide alternative ways of measuring citation impact, there is a glimmer of hope on the horizon, but these new methods of determining impact need to be widely recognized as being legitimate for them to be effective. One favorable impact factor is that, since NTP OA journals’ contents can be freely indexed by commonly used search engines (e.g., MSN Search), scholars are more likely to find their articles and cite them.
  • NTP OA journals require copy editing. This seems like an obvious point; however, novice editors can easily underestimate how much copy editing is required to produce a high-quality journal and how demanding this can be.
  • NTP OA journals survival may depend on the continued interest of their founders. Founders can lose interest in their journals, they can move to new jobs (leading to issues of their continued affiliation with the journal or the transfer of the journal to a new organization), they can retire, and they can die (see Walt Crawford’s "Free Electronic Refereed Journals: Getting Past the Arc of Enthusiasm").

For the reasons outlined above, NTP OA journals have a higher probability of success and survival if they are produced by a formal digital publishing program that has the firm backing of a nonprofit organization (or a unit of such an organization) than they do if they are published by a loose confederation of individuals. This digital publishing program does not need to invest anywhere near the level of resources that conventional publishers do, but it needs to have a parent organization that is committed to the continued operation and preservation of its journals, a distinct brand identity, a small core of subsidized part- or full-time editorial staff supported by a much larger number of editorial volunteers, a minimal level of supported technical infrastructure that relies on open source software, an active vs. passive content recruitment orientation, and a vigorous targeted promotion effort that integrates its journals into conventional finding tools and uses disciplinary and dedicated mailing lists, RSS feeds, Weblogs, and other free or low-cost communication tools to publicize them.

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Digital University/Library Presses, Part 2: Linköping University Electronic Press

Posted in Digital Presses, Open Access, Publishing, Scholarly Communication on August 10th, 2006 by Charles W. Bailey, Jr.

The Linköping University Electronic Press publishes freely available digital conference proceedings, databases, journals, series, reports, and theses. It was established in 1996. As of April 2004, the E-Press became "an independent department within Linköping University Library." The E-Press has five staff members. There is an E-Press Governing Board.

Conference proceedings, journals, series, and reports have editors. The journals are peer reviewed. Two out of four journals appear to have ceased publication. A "news journal" that was related to one of the peer-reviewed journals also appears to be inactive. The other digital publishing programs (e.g., conference proceedings and series) are active. The E-Press ensures the Internet availability of works for at least 25 years after publication. Instructions for how to publish works in the E-Press are available, including how to start new conference proceedings, journals, and series. Site-wide use statistics are available.

Authors sign publishing agreements and retain their copyrights. In accordance with its copyright polices, the E-Press permits specified uses of its works:

  • To read and/or download LiU E-Press papers on-line, without restrictions.
  • To make single printouts of LiU E-Press papers for your own use in research, teaching, or otherwise.
  • To hand over a single printout of an LiU E-Press paper to a colleague in the course of work.
  • To quote short passages in an LiU E-Press paper, as well as the abstract, in order to describe, summarise, or argue against what is said there.
  • To download images, diagrams or cartoons on-line for personal use (i.e. not to spread it to other persons or on homepages).

It’s worth noting that Electronic Transactions on Artificial Intelligence, which appears to have ceased publication, used an innovative peer-review procedure:

  • Open reviewing during three months, where the article is advertised to the community of researchers in its specialized area, and a public, on-line discussion is organized about its contents.
  • Confidential refereeing after the open reviewing period has concluded. Here, leading researchers in the specialized area of the article weigh the article as well as the review discussion and decide whether or not to accept the article.

For more information on the Linköping University Electronic Press, see the FAQ.

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Digital University/Library Presses, Part 1: ANU E Press

Posted in Digital Presses, E-Books, Open Access, Publishing, Scholarly Communication on August 9th, 2006 by Charles W. Bailey, Jr.

Established in May 2004, the ANU E Press at the Australian National University fosters new scholarly publishing models, such as:

  • the production of electronic editions of academic monographs of interest to both scholarly and general-interest readers
  • web-based dissemination of digitally reformatted publications
  • support for presentation and dissemination of interactive publications and teaching materials
  • the development of technologies that enhance peer review while accelerating dissemination of scholarly publication

The ANU E Press has the following features:

  • open e-publication
  • institution-based repositories with appropriate listings and metadata/discovery mechanisms
  • a centralised repository
  • a low-cost, common-good funding model
  • moderation/peer review
  • copyright preserved by creators
  • facilities for access to and transfer of electronic information, for example, a print-on-demand facility

A representative ANU E Press title is Negotiating the Sacred: Blasphemy and Sacrilege in a Multicultural Society, which is freely available in HTML, PDF, and mobile device formats and can be ordered as a print-on-demand book.

A complete list of titles is available.

For more information, see the Frequently Asked Questions Web page.

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