Archive for the 'Open Access' Category

Under the Hood of PLoS ONE: The Open Source TOPAZ E-Publishing System

Posted in E-Journal Management and Publishing Systems, E-Journals, Fedora, General, Open Access, Open Source Software, Publishing, Scholarly Communication on November 15th, 2006 by Charles W. Bailey, Jr.

PLoS is building its innovative PLoS ONE e-journal, which will incorporate both traditional and open peer review, using the open source TOPAZ software. (For a detailed description of the PLoS ONE peer review process, check out "ONE for All: The Next Step for PLoS.")

What is TOPAZ? It’s Web site doesn’t provide specifics, but "PLoS ONE—Technical Background" by Richard Cave does:

The core of TOPAZ is a digital information repository called Fedora (Flexible Extensible Digital Object Repository Architecture). Fedora is an Open Source content management application that supports the creation and management of digital objects. The digital objects contain metadata to express internal and external relationships in the repository, like articles in a journal or the text, images and video of an article. This relationship metadata can also be search using a semantic web query languages. Fedora is jointly developed by Cornell University’s computer science department and the University of Virginia Libraries.

The metastore Kowari will be used with Fedora to support Resource Description Framework (RDF) http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Resource_Description_Framework metadata within the repository.

The PLoS ONE web interface will be built with AJAX. Client-side APIs will create the community features (e.g. annotations, discussion threads, ratings, etc.) for the website. As more new features are available on the TOPAZ architecture, we will launch them on PLoS ONE.

There was a TOPAZ Wiki at PLoS. It’s gone, but it’s pages are still cached by Google. The Wiki suggests that TOPAZ is likely to support Atom/RSS feeds, full-text search, and OAI-PMH among other possible features.

For information about other open source e-journal publishing systems, see "Open Source Software for Publishing E-Journals."

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Results from the DSpace Community Survey

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

DSpace conducted an informal survey of its open source community in October 2006. Here are some highlights:

  • The vast majority of respondents (77.6%) used or planned to use DSpace for a university IR.
  • The majority of systems were in production (53.4%); pilot testing was second (35.3%).
  • Preservation and interoperability were the highest priority system features (61.2% each), followed by search engine indexing (57.8%) and open access to refereed articles (56.9%). (Percentage of respondents who rated these features "very important.") Only 5.2% thought that OA to refereed articles was unimportant.
  • The most common type of current IR content was refereed scholarly articles and theses/dissertations (55.2% each), followed by other (48.6%) and grey literature (47.4%).
  • The most popular types of content that respondents were planning to add to their IRs were datasets (53.4%), followed by audio and video (46.6% each).
  • The most frequently used type of metadata was customized Dublin Core (80.2%), followed by XML metadata (13.8%).
  • The most common update pattern was to regularly migrate to new versions; however it took a "long time to merge in my customizations/configuration" (44.8%).
  • The most common types of modification were minor cosmetics (34.5%), new features (26.7%), and significant user interface customization (21.6%).
  • Only 30.2% were totally comfortable with editing/customizing DSpace; 56.9% were somewhat comfortable and 12.9% were not comfortable.
  • Plug-in use is light: for example, 11.2% use SRW/U, 8.6% use Manakin, and 5.2% use TAPIR (ETDs).
  • The most desired feature for the next version is a more easily customized user interface (17.5%), closely followed by improved modularity (16.7%).

For information about other recent institutional repository surveys, see "ARL Institutional Repositories SPEC Kit" and "MIRACLE Project’s Institutional Repository Survey."

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QuickTime Videos and PowerPoints from the Transforming Scholarly Communication Symposium

Posted in Announcements, Copyright, Open Access, Publishing, Scholarly Communication on November 10th, 2006 by Charles W. Bailey, Jr.

When I was chairing the Scholarly Communications Public Relations Task Force at the UH Libraries, the task force initiated a series of projects to increase awareness of key issues on the UH campus under the name "Transforming Scholarly Communication": a Website, a Weblog, and a symposium.

I’m pleased to announce that both the PowerPoint presentations and the QuickTime videos of the symposium speeches are now available. Thanks again to our speaker panel for participating in this event.

Ray English, Director of Libraries at Oberlin College and Chair of the SPARC Steering Committee, kicked things off with a talk on "The Crisis in Scholarly Communication" (PowerPoint, QuickTime Video, and "Sites and Cites for the Struggle: A Selective Scholarly Communication Bibliography").

Next, Corynne McSherry, Staff Attorney at the Electronic Frontier Foundation and author of Who Owns Academic Work?: Battling for Control of Intellectual Property, spoke on "Copyright in Cyberspace: Defending Fair Use" (PowerPoint and QuickTime Video).

Finally, Peter Suber, Research Professor of Philosophy at Earlham College, Senior Researcher at the Scholarly Publishing and Academic Resources Coalition (SPARC), and the Open Access Project Director at Public Knowledge, discussed "What Is Open Access?" (PowerPoint and QuickTime Video).

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Code for My OA Google Custom Search Engines

Posted in Announcements, Google and Other Search Engines, Open Access, Scholarly Communication on October 28th, 2006 by Charles W. Bailey, Jr.

For those who might be interested in including one of my Google Custom Search Engines in their Web pages, see "Code for Bailey’s Google Search Engines"

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New OA Google Custom Search Engines

Posted in Announcements, Google and Other Search Engines, Open Access, Scholarly Communication on October 27th, 2006 by Charles W. Bailey, Jr.

I’ve enhanced Open Access Update with four new Google Custom Search Engines:

  1. Open Access Mailing Lists (these are lists that have general discussion of OA topics)
  2. Open Access Serials
  3. Open Access Weblogs
  4. Open Access Wikis

The indexed works contain significant information about open access topics and are freely available.

See Open Access Update for details about the included works.

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Open Access Bibliography Now Searchable

Posted in Bibliographies, Digital Scholarship Publications, Open Access, Scholarly Communication on October 25th, 2006 by Charles W. Bailey, Jr.

The Open Access Bibliography: Liberating Scholarly Literature with E-Prints and Open Access Journals is now searchable using a Google Custom Search Engine. The new search box is just before the table of contents in the bibliography’s home page. Only the bibliography sections of the document are searchable (e.g., the "Key Open Access Concepts" section is excluded).

Keep in mind when you search that you will retrieve bibliography section file titles with a single representative search result shown from that section. To see all hits in a section, click on the cached page, which shows the retrieved search term(s) in the section highlighted in yellow.

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Rice University Press Publishes Its First Open Access Digital Document

Posted in Creative Commons/Open Licenses, Digital Presses, E-Books, Open Access, Publishing, Rice University, Scholarly Communication, Texas Academic Libraries on October 23rd, 2006 by Charles W. Bailey, Jr.

The recently re-established Rice University Press, which was reborn as a digital press, has published its first e-report: Art History and Its Publications in the Electronic Age by Hilary Ballon (Professor and Director of Art Humanities at the Columbia University Department of Art History and Archaeology) and Mariet Westermann (Director and Professor at the Institute of Fine Arts, New York University).

The introduction notes:

Just as we were finishing our report, Rice University Press announced that it would re-launch itself as a fully electronic press with a special commitment to art history. We were delighted to find Rice willing to partner with the Council on Library and Information Resources (CLIR) to publish our report electronically, with the kinds of hyper-linking, response capability, and print-on-demand options we consider vital to the success of scholarly publication on line. At Rice University Press, Chuck Henry, Chuck Bearden, and Kathi Fletcher generously steered us through the technological and legal process. We received enthusiastic support at CLIR from Susan Perry, Michael Ann Holly, Kathlin Smith, and Ann Okerson.

Like all digital works to be published by the press, this one is under a Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 license. At this time, it does not appear that a print-on-demand version of the work is available from Rice University Press.

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OAI’s Object Reuse and Exchange Initiative

Posted in Disciplinary Archives, Emerging Technologies, Institutional Repositories, OAI-ORE, OAI-PMH, Open Access, Scholarly Communication on October 14th, 2006 by Charles W. Bailey, Jr.

The Open Archives Initiative has announced its Object Reuse and Exchange (ORE) initiative:

Object Reuse and Exchange (ORE) will develop specifications that allow distributed repositories to exchange information about their constituent digital objects. These specifications will include approaches for representing digital objects and repository services that facilitate access and ingest of these representations. The specifications will enable a new generation of cross-repository services that leverage the intrinsic value of digital objects beyond the borders of hosting repositories. . . . its real importance lies in the potential for these distributed repositories and their contained objects to act as the foundation of a new digitally-based scholarly communication framework. Such a framework would permit fluid reuse, refactoring, and aggregation of scholarly digital objects and their constituent parts—including text, images, data, and software. This framework would include new forms of citation, allow the creation of virtual collections of objects regardless of their location, and facilitate new workflows that add value to scholarly objects by distributed registration, certification, peer review, and preservation services. Although scholarly communication is the motivating application, we imagine that the specifications developed by ORE may extend to other domains.

OAI-ORE is being funded my the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation for a two-year period.

Presentations from the Augmenting Interoperability across Scholarly Repositories meeting are a good source of further information about the thinking behind the initiative as is the "Pathways: Augmenting Interoperability across Scholarly Repositories" preprint.

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The Ohio State University Press Open Access Initiative

Posted in Digital Presses, E-Books, Open Access, Publishing, Scholarly Communication on September 27th, 2006 by Charles W. Bailey, Jr.

The Ohio State University Press is providing free access to over 30 out-of-print books that it has published as part of its open access initiative. Chapters and other book sections are provided as PDF files. The books remain under traditional copyright statements.

Examples include:

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Digital University/Library Presses, Part 11: Other Digital Presses

Posted in Digital Presses, Open Access, Publishing, Scholarly Communication on September 19th, 2006 by Charles W. Bailey, Jr.

Here are brief descriptions of eleven more digital university/library presses, bringing the total number of presses covered by this series of postings to 21.

  1. Clemson University Digital Press: "The Clemson University Digital Press was established in 2000 to exist within the college of Architecture, Arts, and Humanities at Clemson. . . . The press generally publishes two books per annum, in addition to maintaining its flagship journals, the semiannual South Carolina Review, and the annual Shakespeare journal, The Upstart Crow." (See the publication list.)
  2. EPIC: "The Electronic Publishing Initiative at Columbia (EPIC) is a groundbreaking new initiative in digital publishing at Columbia University that involves Columbia University Press, the Libraries, and Academic Information Systems. Its mission is to create new kinds of scholarly and educational publications through the use of new media technologies in an integrated research and production environment. Working with the producers of intellectual property at Columbia University and other leading academic institutions, it aims to make these digital publications self-sustaining through subscription sales to institutions and individual users."
  3. eScholarship Repository: The eScholarship Repository publishes both journals and peer-reviewed series (see the publication list). eScholarship works in partnership with the University of California Press, which has an active digital publishing program. Notable efforts include eScholarship Editions, the University of California International and Area Studies Digital Collection, and University of California Publications.
  4. Digital Library and Archives, Virginia Tech University Libraries: "The Scholarly Communications Project (SCP) expanded its resources and services and merged with Special Collections to become the university’s Digital Library and Archives in July 2000. SCP began working with members of the university community in 1989 to help them create online resources such as electronic journals, and to use library services such as electronic reserve with its centralized access to online course materials." (See the journal list.)
  5. Praxis (e)Press: "Praxis (e)Press is an open access e-book publishing house located simultaneously at Okanagan University College, Vernon, and the University of Victoria, Victoria, British Columbia, Canada." (See the book list.)
  6. Project Euclid: "Project Euclid’s mission is to advance scholarly communication in the field of theoretical and applied mathematics and statistics. Project Euclid is designed to address the unique needs of low-cost independent and society journals. Through a collaborative partnership arrangement, these publishers join forces and participate in an online presence with advanced functionality, without sacrificing their intellectual or economic independence or commitment to low subscription prices. Full-text searching, reference linking, interoperability through the Open Archives Initiative, and long-term retention of data are all important components of the project." (See the journal list.)
  7. Project MUSE: "MUSE began in 1993 as a pioneering joint project of the Johns Hopkins University Press and the Milton S. Eisenhower Library at JHU. Grants from the Mellon Foundation and the National Endowment for the Humanities allowed MUSE to go live with JHU Press journals in 1995. Journals from other publishers were first incorporated in 2000 . . . .Today, MUSE is still a not-for-profit collaboration between the participating publishers and MSEL, with the goal of disseminating quality scholarship via a sustainable model that meets the needs of both libraries and publishers." (See the journal list.)
  8. Rice University Press: "Using the open-source e-publishing platform Connexions, Rice University Press is returning from a decade-long hiatus to explore models of peer-reviewed scholarship for the 21st century. The technology offers authors a way to use multimedia—audio files, live hyperlinks or moving images—to craft dynamic scholarly arguments, and to publish on-demand original works in fields of study that are increasingly constrained by print publishing."
  9. Scholarly Publishing Office, University of Michigan Library: "The office supports the traditional constructs of journal and monographic publication in an online environment, as well as publishing scholarly work expressly designed for electronic delivery. . . . It is currently developing a set of services in journal, monograph and multimedia publishing in two related, but distinct, ways. It provides cost-effective services to all members of the campus community, as resources and capacity allow. It also actively recruits scholarly journals, monographs and projects of exceptionally high quality. . . . Among these are projects that draw on the significant digital collections already available at the University Library." (See the publications and projects list.)
  10. Sydney University Press: "Sydney University Press was restarted in 2003 as a digital and print ‘on demand’ publisher. . . .SUP draws on the digital library collection of the University of Sydney Library’s Scholarly Text and Image Service (SETIS). . . .SUP provides the ability to purchase a print copy of selected texts to anyone, anywhere. SUP has partnered with the Copyright Agency Ltd (CAL) to bring out-of-print Australian novels back into circulation. . . . SUP publishes new work based on teaching and research from the University of Sydney and other Australian academic institutions." (See the book list.)
  11. The University of Texas Houston Electronic Press: "The U.T. Houston Electronic Press exists to advance knowledge in the health sciences by electronically disseminating the results of scholarly activities for the furtherance of education, research and service. It is an open access digital resource."

Prior postings on this topic:

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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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