Archive for the 'Open Access' Category

Springer Will Acquire BioMed Central Group, Major Open Access Publisher

Posted in Open Access, Publishing, Scholarly Journals on October 7th, 2008

Springer Science+Business Media will acquire the BioMed Central Group, a major open access publisher that publishes over 180 journals.

Here's an excerpt from the press release:

BioMed Central was launched in May 2000 as an independent publishing house committed to providing free access to peer-reviewed research in the biological and medical sciences. . . .

BioMed Central’s flagship journals include Journal of Biology, BMC Biology, BMC Medicine, Malaria Journal, BMC Bioinformatics and Genome Biology. BioMed Central has revenues of approximately EUR 15 million per year. The company is based in London, with a second office in Liverpool, and has approximately 150 employees.

Derk Haank, CEO of Springer Science+Business Media said: "This acquisition reinforces the fact that we see open access publishing as a sustainable part of STM publishing, and not an ideological crusade. We have gained considerable positive experience since starting Springer Open Choice in 2004, and BioMed Central’s activities are complementary to what we are doing. Additionally, this acquisition strengthens Springer’s position in the life sciences and biomedicine, and will allow us to offer societies a greater range of publishing options."

Matthew Cockerill, Publisher of BioMed Central said: "We are very excited about this new phase of BioMed Central's growth and development. Springer has been notable among the major STM publishers for its willingness to experiment with open access publishing. BioMed Central has demonstrated that the open access business model can work, and we look forward to continued rapid growth as part of Springer. The support of our authors, journal editors and institutional customers has been vital to BioMed Central's success and we will continue to focus on offering the best possible service to these groups."

Peter Suber has commented on the potential implications of the sale for the open access movement.

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    American Anthropologist and Anthropology News Freely Available after 35-Year Embargo Period

    Posted in Open Access, Publishing, Scholarly Journals on October 6th, 2008

    The Executive Board of the American Anthropological Association has announced that access to American Anthropologist and Anthropology News will be free for "personal, educational and other non-commercial uses after a thirty-five year period."

    Here's an excerpt from the press release:

    Starting in 2009, content published from 1888 to 1973, will be available through AnthroSource, the premier online resource serving the research, teaching, and professional needs of anthropologists. Previously, this information was only available via AAA association membership, subscription or on a so-called "pay per view" basis. . . .

    The initiative, which will be re-evaluated by internal AAA committees in the next year (the Committee on Scientific Publication as advised by the Committee for the Future of Electronic Publishing), may be expanded in the future.

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      LIBER Quarterly Goes Open Access

      Posted in Open Access, Scholarly Journals on October 2nd, 2008

      The Association of European Research Libraries (LIBER) has announced that the LIBER Quarterly will "become an entirely open access publication, freely available online to the worldwide research library community, with paid printing-on-demand services to be offered upon completion of each volume (expected in January 2009 for the 2008 volume)."

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        Open Knowledge Foundation Virtual Meeting on Open Textbooks

        Posted in E-Books, Open Access on October 2nd, 2008

        The Open Knowledge Foundation has held a virtual meeting on open textbooks. Textbook Revolution, a directory of free textbooks organized by subject and copyright statement/open license type, was launched to coincide with the meeting. Future virtual meetings will be held on a monthly basis.

        Read more about it at "After the Open Textbook Virtual Meeting" and "OKFN Virtual Meeting."

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          Academic Publishing Developments: Bloomsbury Academic and AAUP's Tizra Deal

          Posted in Copyright, Open Access, Publishing, Scholarly Books, University Presses on October 2nd, 2008

          In "2 New Digital Models Promise Academic Publishing for Profit," Chronicle of Higher Education reporter Jennifer Howard overviews two interesting developments in academic publishing: (1) the new Bloomsbury Academic imprint, which offers free access to books in PDF form under Creative Commons licenses (as well as print-on-demand versions), and (2) the Association of American University Presses' deal to give its members lower-cost access to Tizra's Publisher, a publishing e-commerce platform.

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            Open Access to and Reuse of Research Data—The State of the Art in Finland

            Posted in Data Curation, Open Data, and Research Data Management, Digital Curation & Digital Preservation, Open Access on September 30th, 2008

            The Finnish Social Science Data Archive has published Open Access to and Reuse of Research Data—The State of the Art in Finland.

            Here's an excerpt:

            In 2006, the Ministry of Education in Finland allocated resources to the Finnish Social Science Data Archive (FSD) to chart national and international practices related to open access to research data. Consequently, the FSD carried out an online survey targeting professors of human sciences, social sciences and behavioural sciences in Finnish universities. Some respondents were senior staff at research institutes. The respondents were asked about the state and use of data collected in their department/institute. Almost half of the respondents considered the preservation and use of digital research data to be relevant to their department. The number of respondents (150) is large enough to warrant statistical analysis even though response rate was low at 28%.

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              National Institutes of Health Director Resigns

              Posted in Open Access, Publishing on September 25th, 2008

              The National Institutes of Health has announced the resignation of its Director, Elias A. Zerhouni, M.D., from that post effective at the end of October 2008. Zerhouni has been a strong open access advocate (Peter Suber has commented on the potential effect of his resignation on the NIH Public Access Policy.)

              For further information, see "Federal Health Official to Step Down," "National Institutes of Health Director Zerhouni Stepping Down," and "NIH Director Departs."

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                American Libraries to Go Open Access

                Posted in ALA, Open Access on September 24th, 2008

                In a comment to Brian Kenney's "An Open and Shut Case: It's Time for ALA to Set Its Journals Free," Leonard Kniffel, Editor-in-Chief of American Libraries, says that the journal will be freely available this fall once the new ALA Website is up. (Thanks to Open Access News.)

                For discussions of ALA and open access that have appeared in DigitalKoans, see: "On ALA, CLA, and Open Access" (6/11/08); "More about ALA, CLA, and Open Access" (6/12/08); "The American Library Association and Open Access" (7/23/06); and "More on ALA and Open Access" (7/25/06).

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                  Former Register of Copyrights Says NIH Public Access Policy Will "Destroy the Commercial Market" for "Scientific, Technical, and Medical Journals"

                  Posted in Copyright, Open Access on September 12th, 2008

                  In testimony yesterday before the Subcommittee on Courts, the Internet, and Intellectual Property of the House of Representatives' Committee on the Judiciary, Ralph Oman, former Register of Copyrights of the United States and Pavel Professorial Lecturer in Intellectual Property Law Fellow at the George Washington University Law School, said that the NIH Public Access Policy will "destroy the commercial market" for "scientific, technical, and medical journals."

                  Here's an excerpt from Oman's testimony:

                  My basic concern about the NIH proposal is that it will, sooner rather than later, destroy the commercial market for these scientific, technical, and medical journals. If this dark prophesy comes to pass, who, I wonder, will handle all of these expensive and sensitive administrative details? Some of my academic colleagues are confident that this change in the mechanics of scientific publishing will have little or no impact on the private sector, and that it will remain as robust as ever, even if the NIH freely publishes all of the NIH peer-reviewed article manuscripts shortly after private publication. Some claim that they have "evidence" that STM publishing will continue to flourish. I have not seen that evidence. To me, it suggests an element of wishful thinking. In my experience, Congress is normally reluctant to hang major legislative change in copyright policy on the thin reed of wishful thinking. With the prospect of free copies available in the near term, who in the face of experience and reality can reasonably expect that subscribers to STM journals, faced with their own budgetary constraints and needs, will not look with real favor on alternative free sources? I can’t. It is belied by common sense. Certainly, many university and industry librarians will cancel their subscriptions to these learned journals, with some estimates of a cancellation rate approaching 50 percent. With plummeting sales, how could the STM publishers stay in business? This is a critical point, and one that this committee has a special sensitivity to. It really goes to the heart of the matter, in terms of public policy.

                  Dr. Martin Frank, Executive Director American Physiological Society, was also critical of the policy.

                  Here's an excerpt from Frank's testimony:

                  Because the NIH mandate in effect reduces copyright protection for publications to only one year, it risks undermining the revenue stream derived principally from subscriptions, that enables publishers to add value to research articles and to enhance readers’ ability to discover and use scientists’ work. As the number of full-text articles based upon NIH-funded science in PMC increases, concern grows that current journal subscribers will access the text from that website, rather than from the journal’s own online site. Over time, this is bound to cause subscription cancellations. If publication costs cannot be recovered through subscriptions, journals will try to recover them through author fees or similar mechanisms that would reduce funds available for research by amounts much greater than the cost of subscriptions. We are gravely concerned that the funding base of some journals may become eroded to the point where they can no longer adequately serve their communities and will be forced to implement or increase their authors' fees at a time when funding levels are shrinking. In both cases, researchers are disadvantaged—in one case by having less freedom to choose where to publish, or what community to reach, and in the other, failing to have adequate resources to fund research designed to develop treatments and cures for disease.

                  Here are links to testimony from the "Fair Copyright in Research Works Act" hearing:

                  Read more about it and related news at: "Congressional Committee Moves to Block NIH Public Access Policy," "At Hearing, Witness Says NIH Policy Will 'Destroy' Commercial Scientific Publishing," "More on Attempts to Undo the NIH Policy," "New Bill Would Forbid Copyright Transfer as a Condition for Federal Funding," and "Two Public Statements from the Anti-OA Lobby."

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                    Public Knowledge Warns That Pending Copyright Bills Are a "Perfect Storm"

                    Posted in Copyright, Digital Copyright Wars, Open Access on September 10th, 2008

                    Public Knowledge has posted a summary of three copyright bills (and a rumor of a possible bill) that it says constitutes "a perfect storm of bad copyright legislation."

                    Analyzed in the post are the Enforcement of Intellectual Property Rights Act of 2008, the Fair Copyright in Research Works Act, the International Intellectual Property Protection and Enforcement Act of 2008, and the broadcast flag.

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                      NIH Public Access Policy Alert: Text of the Fair Copyright in Research Works Act Now Available

                      Posted in Copyright, Open Access on September 10th, 2008

                      As reported previously in DigitalKoans ("Is the NIH Public Access Policy in Danger? House Subcommittee to Hold Hearing"), the Subcommittee on Courts, the Internet, and Intellectual Property of the House of Representatives' Committee on the Judiciary will hold a hearing on the "Fair Copyright in Research Works Act" on 9/11/2008. (See the post for contact information for Subcommittee members.)

                      The text of that bill is now available.

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                        Is the NIH Public Access Policy in Danger? House Subcommittee to Hold Hearing

                        Posted in Open Access on September 7th, 2008

                        The Subcommittee on Courts, the Internet, and Intellectual Property of the House of Representatives' Committee on the Judiciary will hold a hearing on "Fair Copyright in Research Works Act" on 9/11/2008.

                        Andrew Albanese has written an article about this upcoming hearing ("NIH Public Access Policy to Face Copyright Challenge in Congress?"), and Peter Suber has made extensive comments about the article and issued a call for action ("Publishers Go to Congress to Undo the NIH Policy").

                        Here's an excerpt from Suber's post:

                        UpdateAlert to US Citizens:  If your representative is a member of the House Judiciary Committee, please contact him/her before the end of business on Tuesday, September 9, and express your support for the NIH policy.  There are committee members from AL, AZ, CA, FL, GA, IA, IL, IN, MA, MI, MN, NC, NY, OH, TN, TX, UT, WI, and VA.  Some members know nothing about the policy but what the publishing lobby has told them.  Explain why the policy matters to you and make it personal.  Send copies of your message to the committee leadership (John Conyers, Chairman, D-MI, and Lamar Smith, Ranking Member, R-TX).  If your representative is not a member of the committee, then you can send a message to the committee leadership alone.  For the contact info on any member, see Congress Merge.  If you can address copyright issues, do.  This committee has jurisdiction over copyright issues, and copyright is the hook publishers used to get the committee's attention.  It's tiring to mobilize all over again, but it's necessary.  Please write and spread the word.  Keep a copy of your message.  You may need it again.

                        Here is a list of members of the Subcommittee on Courts, the Internet, and Intellectual Property, with each name linked to the Representative's contact page:

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