Archive for the 'Open Access' Category

Rufus Pollock on Open Data and Licensing

Posted in Creative Commons/Open Licenses, Data Curation, Open Data, and Research Data Management, Open Access, Public Domain on February 2nd, 2009

In "Open Data Openness and Licensing," Rufus Pollock, a Cambridge University economist, tackles the question of whether open research data should be licensed.

Here's an excerpt:

Over the last couple of years there has been substantial discussion about the licensing (or not) of (open) data and what "open" should mean. In this debate there two distinct, but related, strands:

  1. Some people have argued that licensing is inappropriate (or unnecessary) for data.
  2. Disagreement about what "open" should mean. Specifically: does openness allow for attribution and share-alike "requirements" or should "open" data mean "public domain" data?

These points are related because arguments for the inappropriateness of licensing data usually go along the lines: data equates to facts over which no monopoly IP rights can or should be granted; as such all data is automatically in the public domain and hence there is nothing to license (and worse "licensing" amounts to an attempt to "enclose" the public domain).

However, even those who think that open data can/should only be public domain data still agree that it is reasonable and/or necessary to have some set of community "rules" or "norms" governing usage of data. Therefore, the question of what requirements should be allowed for "open" data is a common one, whatever one"s stance on the PD question.

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    Economic Implications of Alternative Scholarly Publishing Models: Exploring the Costs and Benefits

    Posted in Open Access, Publishing, Scholarly Communication, Scholarly Journals on January 27th, 2009

    JISC has released Economic Implications of Alternative Scholarly Publishing Models: Exploring the Costs and Benefits.

    Here's an excerpt from the press release:

    Sharing research information via a more open access publishing model would bring millions of pounds worth of savings to the higher education sector as well as benefiting UK plc. This is one of the key findings from a new research project commissioned by JISC.

    Professor John Houghton from the Centre of Strategic Economic Studies at Melbourne’s Victoria University and Professor Charles Oppenheim at Loughborough University were asked to lead research that would throw light on the economic and social implications of new models for scholarly publishing.

    The research centred on three models which include:

    • Subscription or toll access publishing which involves reader charges and use restrictions;
    • Open access publishing where access is free and publication is funded from the authors’ side; and
    • Open access self-archiving where academic authors post their work in online repositories, making it freely available to all Internet users.

    In their report, Houghton et al. looked beyond the actual costs and savings of different models and examined the additional cost-benefits that might arise from enhanced access to research findings.

    The research and findings reveal that core scholarly publishing system activities cost the UK higher education sector around £5 billion in 2007. Using the different models, the report shows, what the estimated cost would have been:

    • £230 million to publish using the subscription model,
    • £150 million to publish under the open access model and
    • £110 million to publish with the self-archiving with peer review services plus some £20 million in operating costs if using the different models.

    When considering costs per journal article, Houghton et al. believe that the UK higher education sector could have saved around £80 million a year by shifting from toll access to open access publishing. They also claim that £115 million could be saved by moving from toll access to open access self-archiving.

    In addition to that, the financial return to UK plc from greater accessibility to research might result in an additional £172 million per annum worth of benefits from government and higher education sector research alone.

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      Max Planck Institute Releases Best Practices for Access to Images: Recommendations for Scholarly Use and Publishing

      Posted in Copyright, Digital Archives and Special Collections, Digitization, Open Access on January 26th, 2009

      The Max Planck Institute for the History of Science has released Best Practices for Access to Images: Recommendations for Scholarly Use and Publishing.

      Here's an excerpt from the press release:

      The recommendations were prompted by the barriers encountered by those who wish to use and publish images of cultural heritage objects. High licence fees and complicated access regulations make it increasingly difficult for scholars in the humanities to work with digital images. It is true that the digitization of image collections has acted as a catalyst for scholarly research. However, archives, collections and libraries differ greatly with respect to the question of how, where and on what basis images may be used for scholarly purposes. Moreover, their policies in this regard are becoming increasingly restrictive, especially when it comes to new forms of e-publishing.

      The MPIWG drew up its recommendations for facilitating the scholarly use of digital images following consultations with international experts which took place in January 2008. The recommendations call on curators and scholars to develop a mutually binding network of trust. The aim of the initiative is to encourage stakeholders jointly to address the current and future challenges raised by the digital age. The document urges curators to refrain from restricting the public domain arbitrarily and calls on them to accommodate the needs of scholars for reasonably-priced or freely-accessible high-resolution digital images—both for print publications and new Web-based forms of scholarly publishing. It exhorts scholars to recognise museums, libraries and collections as owners and custodians of physical objects of cultural heritage and to acknowledge their efforts in making digital images available. Moreover, it urges them to take their role as guarantors of authenticity and accurate attribution extremely seriously.

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        Clarifications about the Michigan/OCLC OAIster Deal

        Posted in Google and Other Search Engines, OAI-PMH, OCLC, Open Access on January 23rd, 2009

        Dorothea Salo has posted "The Straight Story on OAIster and Its Move" on Caveat Lector in which the University of Michigan Library's Katrina Hagedorn answers questions about the future of OAIster.

        Here's an excerpt:

        Q. Once ceases to exist, there will be no way to search the harvested records for free except through, is that right?

        A. I think those details haven’t been hammered out yet. is one choice, yes. There will be likely be other products and services, and it’s likely you’ll be able to limit to just oaister records (for what that’s worth).

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          University of Michigan and OCLC Form OAIster Partnership

          Posted in Google and Other Search Engines, OAI-PMH, OCLC, Open Access on January 22nd, 2009

          The University of Michigan and OCLC will jointly support the OAIster search engine for open access documents.

          Here's an excerpt from the press release:

          Launched in 2002 with grant support from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, OAIster was developed to test the feasibility of building a portal to open archive collections using the Open Archives Initiative Protocol for Metadata Harvesting (OAI-PMH). OAIster has since grown to become one of the largest aggregations of records pointing to open archive collections in the world with over 19 million records contributed by over 1,000 organizations worldwide.

          Under the partnership, will continue to function as the public interface to OAIster collections, through funding provided by OCLC to the University of Michigan. Later in 2009, metadata harvesting operations will transfer from the University of Michigan to OCLC. . . .

          Starting in late January 2009, while OAIster continues to be freely available at the Web site, OCLC will host a version of OAIster on OCLC's FirstSearch platform and make it available through subscriptions to the FirstSearch Base Package at no additional charge.

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            University of California Affiliated Authors Will Be Able to Publish Using Springer Open Choice as Part of Journals License

            Posted in Licenses, Open Access, Publishing, Scholarly Journals on January 21st, 2009

            Under the terms of the journals license negotiated by the California Digital Library for the University of California Libraries, UC-affiliated authors will be able to publish in Springer journals using the Springer Open Choice option without paying additional publication fees. (Thanks to Open Access News.)

            Here's an excerpt from the press release:

            There will be no separate per-article charges, since costs have been factored into the overall license. Articles will be released under a license compatible with the Creative Commons (by-nc: Attribution, Non-commercial) license. In addition to access via the Springer platform, final published articles will also be deposited in the California Digital Library's eScholarship Repository.

            The University of California-Springer agreement is the first large-scale open access experiment of its type undertaken with a major commercial publisher in North America.

            "UC faculty members have told us that they want open access publishing options in order to increase the impact of their published work and eliminate barriers to educational and research use," said Ivy Anderson, director of collections for the California Digital Library, which licenses content on behalf of the University of California libraries. "Just as importantly, they want these options in the journals in which they routinely publish, without disrupting their normal research activity. The CDL agreement with Springer supports the transformation that our faculty seeks, while continuing the libraries' crucial role in facilitating access to research information. Springer is a leader among commercial publishers in open access experimentation, making it a natural partner for the University of California in this endeavor."

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              EDUCAUSE Review Special Section: The Case of the Textbook: Open or Closed?

              Posted in E-Books, Open Access, Publishing on January 18th, 2009

              The latest issue of EDUCAUSE Review has a special section on "The Case of the Textbook: Open or Closed?."

              Here are the articles:

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                Podcast Interview with John Wilbanks of the Science Commons Project

                Posted in Creative Commons/Open Licenses, Open Access on January 16th, 2009

                Gerry Bayne of EDUCAUSE has released "CNI Podcast: The Science Commons Project—An Interview with John Wilbanks."

                Here's an excerpt from the abstract:

                Science Commons, a project of Creative Commons, has three interlocking initiatives designed to accelerate the research cycle. These include making scientific research “re-useful”, enabling “one-click” access to research materials, and integrating fragmented information sources. Together, these initiatives form the building blocks of a new collaborative infrastructure to make scientific discovery easier by design. Wilbanks discusses the copyright and technical challenges of contemplating a true knowledge browser.

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                  ARL Releases "Establish a Universal, Open Library or Digital Data Commons"

                  Posted in ARL Libraries, Mass Digitizaton, Open Access, Public Domain on January 15th, 2009

                  The Association of Research Libraries has released "Establish a Universal, Open Library or Digital Data Commons."

                  Here's an excerpt:

                  Deepening our understanding of our Nation and its culture and history, advancing scientific discovery, tackling environmental, economic issues and more, all depend on scientists, researchers, students, scholars, and members of the public accessing our Nation's cultural, historical and scientific assets. A large-scale initiative to digitize and preserve the public domain collections of library, governmental, and cultural memory organizations will support research, teaching and learning at all levels, will help stem the current economic crisis by equipping and employing workers in every state with 21st Century skills, and it will lay a foundation for innovation and national competitiveness in the decades ahead. The goal is to establish a universal, open library or a digital data commons.

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                    Updated ACRL Scholarly Communication Toolkit Released

                    Posted in Open Access, Scholarly Communication on January 14th, 2009

                    The Association of College and Research Libraries has released an updated version of its Scholarly Communication Toolkit. It has been released under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 3.0 United States License.

                    Here's an excerpt from the press release:

                    The toolkit continues to provide context and background by summarizing key issues to offer quick, basic information on scholarly communication topics. It also links to examples of specific tools, including handouts, presentations and videos for libraries to adapt and use on their own campuses. . . .

                    “Given the current economic climate, it's natural to ask if scholarly communication activities are a luxury or a distraction,” said Richard Fyffe, librarian of the college for Grinnell College and co-chair of ACRL’s Scholarly Communication Committee. “We define scholarly communications issues as central to the mission of virtually every kind of academic library because they are central to the mission of our institutions. We feel libraries need to maintain a commitment to awareness, understanding, ownership and activism.”

                    The updated toolkit serves as a resource for scholarly communication discussions inside the library, outreach programs to faculty and administrators and library school students seeking to incorporate these issues into their course work. The ACRL Scholarly Communication Committee, as part of its efforts to keep the toolkit current, encourages librarians to contribute tools and case studies on their local scholarly communication campaigns. Simply post a comment describing your tool and provide a link in the appropriate tab.

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                      New Press to Publish Viral Spiral: How the Commoners Built a Digital Republic of Their Own

                      Posted in Copyright, Creative Commons/Open Licenses, Open Access, Open Source Software on December 14th, 2008

                      The New Press will publish David Bollier's Viral Spiral: How the Commoners Built a Digital Republic of Their Own.

                      Here's an excerpt from the announcement:

                      Reporting from the heart of this "free culture" movement, journalist and activist David Bollier provides the first comprehensive history of the attempt by a global brigade of techies, lawyers, artists, musicians, scientists, businesspeople, innovators, and geeks of all stripes to create a digital republic committed to freedom and innovation. Viral Spiral —the term Bollier coins to describe the almost-magical process by which Internet users can come together to build online commons and tools—brilliantly interweaves the disparate strands of this eclectic movement. The story describes major technological developments and pivotal legal struggles, as well as fascinating profiles of hacker Richard Stallman, copyright scholar Lawrence Lessig, and other colorful figures.

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                        Stanford's HighWire Press Hits 5 Million Article Mark

                        Posted in Digital Presses, Open Access, Publishing, Scholarly Journals, University Presses on December 3rd, 2008

                        With the addition of a backfile 1884 article, "Dermatitis Herpetiformis," in JAMA: The Journal of the American Medical Association, HighWire Press, a division of the Stanford University Libraries, hit the five million article mark. Over two million of those articles are freely available.

                        Read more about it at "5 Million Articles Online at HighWire: The Evolution of an e-Publishing Platform."

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