Archive for the 'Open Access' Category

BioMed Central Launches Its 200th Open Access Journal

Posted in Open Access, Publishing, Scholarly Journals on September 28th, 2009

BioMed Central has launches its 200th open access journal, the Journal of Angiogenesis Research.

Here's an excerpt from the press release:

This major milestone reflects a growing trend as senior academics and learned societies turn to open access to publish their new journals or to improve the reach and visibility of their existing journals.

The success of any scientific journal, open access or subscription based, depends on it receiving a good number of high-quality papers in its area of interest. But for a subscription-based journal to succeed, it faces the additional hurdle of selling enough subscriptions to pay for its costs. In the current financial environment, libraries are increasingly having to trim their collections and are finding it virtually impossible to purchase new titles. This makes launching new subscription-based journals extremely challenging. Also, learned societies or scientific institutions who publish only a small number of titles are struggling to maintain their subscription numbers in competition with the larger publishers who sell collections of titles under the "big deal." In contrast, more and more institutions and funding bodies are making funds available for scientists to publish their papers in open access journals (see our recent blog posting on the Open Access Compact).

As a result of this situation, BioMed Central has recently seen an increasing number of institutions and societies choosing to take the open access route, either to launch new journals or increasingly to convert their existing journals to open access. Just this year, additions to our portfolio include Genetics, Selection and Evolution, owned and supported by INRA (the French National Institute for Agricultural Research), and Journal of Biomedical Science, which is supported by the National Science Council of Taiwan. These are established journals with impact factors and good rankings in their subject categories in the Journal Citation Report.  Also moving towards a re-launch with BioMed Central is Allergy, Asthma and Clinical Immunology, the official journal of the Canadian Society of Allergy and Clinical Immunology. In addition, several societies have launched new journals with us this year, including Sports Medicine, Arthroscopy, Rehabilitation, Therapy & Technology and Diabetology & Metabolic Syndrome.

Our experience with journals which have transferred to open access shows that they increase their submission levels and impact factors. For instance, the 50 year old Acta Veterinaria Scandanavica has doubled its submissions and nearly trebled its impact factor within three years of moving to BioMed Central. The journal has already risen to an upper mid-table position in the "Veterinary Sciences" category of the Journal Citation Report (57/134 in 2008), from its previous position in the lower reaches of the category.

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    Digital Video Presentations from the 1st Conference on Open Access Scholarly Publishing

    Posted in Open Access on September 27th, 2009

    Digital video presentations from the 1st Conference on Open Access Scholarly Publishing are now available.

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      "SPARC Member Spotlight: Testing the Waters with Open-Access Funds (University of California at Berkeley and the University of Calgary)"

      Posted in ARL Libraries, Open Access on September 24th, 2009

      SPARC has released "SPARC Member Spotlight: Testing the Waters with Open-Access Funds (University of California at Berkeley and the University of Calgary)."

      Here's an excerpt:

      In a move to encourage researchers to make their work open to the public, the University of California at Berkeley and the University of Calgary established funds that faculty and graduate students could use cover publication charges for open-access journals. Berkeley and Calgary are two of several funds established in recent years, including the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, the University of Wisconsin-Madison, the University of Tennessee at Knoxville, the University of Oregon, and other sites in the U.K.

      After a year of implementation in Calgary and Berkeley, librarians at these universities are reviewing their efforts and are pleased to report on the results.

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        Enabling Open Scholarship Launched

        Posted in Open Access on September 23rd, 2009

        A new organization for senior management in universities and research institutions, Enabling Open Scholarship, has been launched.

        Here's an excerpt from the press release:

        The aim of Enabling Open Scholarship (EOS) is to further the opening up of scholarship and research that we are now seeing as a natural part of ‘big science’ and through the growing interest from the research community in open access, open education, open science and open innovation. These, and other, 'open' approaches to scholarship are changing the way research and learning are done and will be performed in the future.

        Enabling Open Scholarship (EOS) provides the higher education and research sectors around the world with information on developments and with advice and guidance on implementing policies and processes that encourage the opening up of scholarship. It also provides a forum for discussion and debate amongst its members and will be taking that discussion into the wider community.

        EOS membership is for senior institutional managers who have an interest in — and wish to help develop thinking on — strategies for promoting open scholarship to the academy as a whole and to society at large.

        The EOS website is a resource open to all. It provides background information, data and guidance material on open scholarship-related issues. In a limited access area, members can find announcements, news and discussions.

        EOS offers an outreach service to universities and research institutes — whether members or not — that need help, advice, guidance or information on open scholarship issues. We do this through our website and also by providing information on an individual basis to institutions that need it.

        The EOS board is composed of people who have personally designed or instigated the kinds of changes in their own institutions that herald the benefits of the open scholarly communication system of the future. Now this expertise is available for others to tap into.

        The current EOS board comprises:

        • Bernard RENTIER (Chairman), Rector of the University of Liege, Belgium
        • Tom COCHRANE, Deputy Vice Chancellor, Queensland University of Technology, Brisbane, Australia
        • William DAR, Director General of the International Crops Research Institute for the Semi-Arid Tropics (ICRISAT), Hyderabad, India
        • Stevan HARNAD, Canada Research Chair, Université du Québec à Montréal (UQAM), Montreal, Quebec
        • Keith JEFFERY, Director of IT and International Strategy at the Science & Technology Facilities Council, Swindon, UK
        • Sijbolt NOORDA, President of VSNU, the Association of Dutch Research Universities
        • Stuart SHIEBER, James O. Welch, Jr. and Virginia B. Welch Professor of Computer Science in the School of Engineering and Applied Sciences at Harvard University and Director of Harvard’s Office of Scholarly Communication
        • Ian SIMPSON, Deputy Principal for Research and Knowledge Transfer, and Professor of Environmental Science, University of Stirling, UK
        • Peter SUBER, Berkman Center for Internet & Society, Harvard University, Cambridge, USA
        • John WILLINSKY, Khosla Family Professor of Education at Stanford University and director of the Public Knowledge Project at the University of British Columbia and Simon Fraser University, USA
        • Alma SWAN (Convenor/Coordinateur), Director of Key Perspectives Ltd, Truro, UK
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          OCLC Provides Further Information about OAIster

          Posted in OCLC, Open Access on September 23rd, 2009

          OCLC has provided further information about its provision of OAIster services, stating that its terms and conditions "only apply to the harvested metadata" and indicating that it was "never our intent to harvest anything other than metadata."

          Read more about it at "Clarification on OCLC/OAIster Transfer."

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            Open Letter from 57 Liberal Arts College Presidents Supporting the Federal Research Public Access Act of 2009

            Posted in Legislation and Government Regulation, Open Access on September 23rd, 2009

            Fifty-seven liberal arts college presidents have issued an open letter expressing "strong support" for the Federal Research Public Access Act of 2009 (S. 1373).

            Here's an excerpt:

            Liberal arts colleges are important components of our nation's scientific and scholarly productivity. Studies have shown that our institutions are highly effective in producing graduates who go on to obtain Ph.D. degrees and become productive researchers. Our faculty actively pursue research, much of it with government funding, and often working in partnership with talented undergraduates. Unfortunately, access to research information paid for with tax dollars is severely limited at our institutions – and indeed at most universities. Academic libraries simply cannot afford ready access to most of the research literature that their faculty and students need. The Federal Research Public Access Act would be a major step forward in ensuring equitable online access to research literature that is paid for by taxpayers. The federal government funds over $60 billion in research annually. Research supported by the National Institutes of Health, which accounts for approximately one-third of federally funded research, produces an estimated 80,000 peer-reviewed journal articles each year. Given the scope of research literature that would become available online, it is clear that adoption of the bill would have significant benefits for the progress of science and the advancement of knowledge.

            S. 1373 would build on a number of established public access policies that have been adopted by government agencies in both the U.S. and abroad. The National Institutes of Health has implemented a very successful comprehensive public access policy, as required by the Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2007. All seven of the Research Councils in the United Kingdom have public access policies as do the Canadian Institutes of Health Research. The bill is also consistent with the growing number of institutional open access policies that have been adopted at universities such as Harvard, MIT, and the University of Kansas.

            We are supportive of the Federal Research Public Access Act because it has been crafted in a way that provides ample protection for the system of peer review. It allows for a window of up to six months before final peer-reviewed manuscripts resulting from publicly funded research are made openly accessible on the Internet. In addition, it leaves control of the final published version of articles, which is generally used for citation purposes, in the hands of publishers.

            Adoption of the Federal Research Public Access Act will democratize access to research information funded by tax dollars. It will benefit education, research, and the general public. We urge the higher education community, American taxpayers, and members of Congress to support its passage into law.

            Read more about it at "Open Letter on Open Access."

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              OCLC Answers Questions about the Future of OAIster

              Posted in Open Access on September 22nd, 2009

              In "The Straight Dope on OAIster," OCLC answers questions about the future of OAIster.

              Here's an excerpt:

              • Starting in October, the records will be freely discoverable along with all the other content in WorldCat.org. However, it will not be possible to limit a search to OAIster records alone.
              • In FirstSearch, OAIster records can either be searched along with other FirstSearch databases, or selected to search alone. OAIster records have been searchable in FirstSearch since January 2009.
              • Contributors of OAIster records can receive free access to the OAIster aggregation in FirstSearch by request. Contributors were recently contacted to offer them such access and many have already responded that they would like to have such access.
              • Only data providers that request that we not harvest their records will be removed from the aggregation. We feel strongly that one of the main benefits of OAIster has been the aggregation of records from the vast majority of repositories worldwide. Therefore, unless a repository denies us permission to harvest their records, we will seek to include them.
              • No money was exchanged in this transfer and OCLC is not making any money on the OAIster aggregation. OAIster records were added to FirstSearch at no extra charge to FirstSearch subscribers, and of course there is no charge for searching WorldCat.org, where they are also exposed. Rather than boosting revenue, in fact, OCLC is committed to making an investment in the kind of large-scale harvesting operation that OAIster represents. . . .
              • We are exploring options for machine access. Z39.50 access to OAIster is available to FirstSearch subscribers now, and we are considering whether additional options should be supported. The University of Michigan did not offer an OAI-PMH or Web Services interface, although they did offer an rsync option. Learning the needs of the community will help inform what we do in this area. . . .
              • We are forming an advisory board to provide us with essential advice. We know that this is an ongoing service that will require further development and support, and so we seek the advice of those knowledgeable and experienced within the community to make sure we get it as right as we can on behalf of our member institutions and the broader community of users.
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                "Empirical Study of Data Sharing by Authors Publishing in PLoS Journals"

                Posted in Data Curation, Open Data, and Research Data Management, Open Access, Publishing, Scholarly Journals on September 22nd, 2009

                Caroline J. Savage and Andrew J. Vickershave have published "Empirical Study of Data Sharing by Authors Publishing in PLoS Journals" in PLoS One.

                Here's an excerpt:

                We requested data from ten investigators who had published in either PLoS Medicine or PLoS Clinical Trials. All responses were carefully documented. In the event that we were refused data, we reminded authors of the journal's data sharing guidelines. If we did not receive a response to our initial request, a second request was made. Following the ten requests for raw data, three investigators did not respond, four authors responded and refused to share their data, two email addresses were no longer valid, and one author requested further details. A reminder of PLoS's explicit requirement that authors share data did not change the reply from the four authors who initially refused. Only one author sent an original data set. . . .

                We received only one of ten raw data sets requested. This suggests that journal policies requiring data sharing do not lead to authors making their data sets available to independent investigators.

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