Archive for the 'Open Access' Category

Bibliography of Open Access Released

Posted in Bibliographies, Open Access, Scholarly Communication on July 21st, 2008 by Charles W. Bailey, Jr.

The Open Access Directory has released the Bibliography of Open Access.

The Bibliography of Open Access is based on my Open Access Bibliography: Liberating Scholarly Literature with E-Prints and Open Access Journals, which was published in 2005 by the Association of Research Libraries (ARL) under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 2.5 License.

With my permission and the agreement of ARL, most of the Open Access Bibliography has been converted to the MediaWiki format to form the basis of the Bibliography of Open Access. The new bibliography will be authored by registered Open Access Directory users, who can add or edit references. It is under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License.

The initial version of new bibliography has live links; however, they were last updated in August 2004, when the text of the Open Access Bibliography was frozen for print publication preparation. These links can now be updated by registered users.

The Open Access Bibliography, which contains textual sections not found in the Bibliography of Open Access, remains freely available in HTML and PDF formats at Digital Scholarship and as a printed book.

The Editor of the Open Access Directory is Robin Peek, the Associate Editor is David Goodman, and the Assistant Editor is Athanasia Pontika. The OAD editors, Peter Suber, and myself worked as a team on the initial version of the Bibliography of Open Access.


Latest APA Deposit Policy Allows Authors to Self-Archive Articles in Institutional Repositories and on Personal Web Sites

Posted in Open Access, Publishing, Self-Archiving on July 20th, 2008 by Charles W. Bailey, Jr.

The latest revision of the American Psychological Association's "Document Deposit Policy and Procedures for APA Journals" permits authors to self-archive final peer-reviewed copies of NIH-funded articles in institutional repositories and on personal Web sites.

Here's an excerpt from the policy:

Authors of manuscripts to be published in APA journals may post a copy of the final peer-reviewed manuscript, as a word processing, PDF, or other type file, on their personal Web site or on their employer's server after the manuscript is accepted for publication. The following conditions would prevail: The posted article must carry an APA copyright notice and include a link to the APA journal home page, and the posted article must include the following statement: "This article may not exactly replicate the final version published in the APA journal. It is not the copy of record.” APA does not provide electronic copies of the APA published version for this purpose, and authors are not permitted to scan in the APA published version.

The revised policy also indicates that the final published article may be deposited by the APA in PubMed Central if required by a funding agency other than the NIH (for NIH-funded research "the final 'Word' version of the author-generated manuscript with all changes based on peer-review editorial feedback and found acceptable by the editor" will be deposited by the APA without charging the author's institution).

Peter Suber has commented on this revised policy in his "New Interim Policy from the APA" posting.


Proposed Open Access Scholarly Publishers Association Developing By-Laws

Posted in Open Access, Publishing, Scholarly Journals on July 20th, 2008 by Charles W. Bailey, Jr.

A proposed Open Access Scholarly Publishers Association is developing by-laws.

The latest draft is dated 5/27/08. Gunther Eysenbach, publisher of the Journal of Medical Internet Research, has critiqued it in his "Creating an Organization for Open Access Publishers—But Should We Let Big Publishers Dominate?" posting. David Solomon, co-editor of Medical Education Online, has replied to these concerns in an extensive comment to Eysenbach's posting.


SPARC and ARL Refute AAP Assertions about NIH Public Access Policy

Posted in Copyright, Open Access, Self-Archiving on July 17th, 2008 by Charles W. Bailey, Jr.

SPARC and ARL have released a white paper, NIH Public Access Policy Does Not Affect U.S. Copyright Law, that refutes assertions made by the Association of American Publishers about the NIH Public Access Policy.

Here's an excerpt from the Summary:

Contrary to the AAP assertions, the NIH Public Access Policy does not affect U.S. copyright law in any way. NIH has added a condition to pre-existing licensing terms in its grant agreements that affirms it can legally provide public access to publicly funded research. This change in the terms of NIH grant agreements is fully consistent with copyright law. Copyright is an author’s right. Researchers are the authors of the articles they write with NIH support. In exchange for substantial federal funding, these researchers voluntarily agree to grant the federal government a license to provide public access to the results of publicly funded research. NIH receives a non-exclusive license from federally funded researchers, who retain their copyrights and are free to enter into traditional publication agreements with biomedical journals or assign these anywhere they so choose, subject to the license to NIH.

This change in the terms of the Public Access Policy has no relation to United States compliance with international intellectual property treaties. The Berne Convention on Copyright and the TRIPS Agreement concern the substance of copyright law, not the terms of licenses granted to the United States in exchange for federal funding. It is longstanding federal policy that in all federal contracts that pay for the creation of copyrighted works, the funding agency must receive a copyright license in exchange for federal funding. It is well recognized that these licenses given by authors have no effect on the robust set of protections given to authors in the United States Copyright Act and similarly raise no issues with respect to international copyright law.


APA Backs Off $2,500-per-Article PubMed Central Deposit Fee

Posted in Open Access, Publishing, Scholarly Journals, Self-Archiving on July 16th, 2008 by Charles W. Bailey, Jr.

The American Psychological Association is reconsidering its previously announced $2,500-per-article PubMed Central deposit fee. (See the updated Open Access News "APA Will Charge Authors for Green OA" posting.")

Here's an excerpt from the APA's just revised "Document Deposit Policy and Procedures for APA Journals":

A new document deposit policy of the American Psychological Association (APA) requiring a publication fee to deposit manuscripts in PubMed Central based on research funded by the National Institutes of Health (NIH) is currently being re-examined and will not be implemented at this time. . . . APA will soon be releasing more detailed information about the complex issues involved in the implementation of the new NIH Public Access Policy.


Open Access Directory Releases OA Journal Business Models

Posted in Open Access, Publishing, Scholarly Journals on July 16th, 2008 by Charles W. Bailey, Jr.

The Open Access Directory has released a new Wiki page on OA Journal Business Models.

The page currently discusses 11 models, often providing helpful examples:

  1. Added-value products
  2. Advertising
  3. Endowments
  4. Hybrid OA journals
  5. Institutional subsidies
  6. Membership dues
  7. Non-OA publications
  8. Publication fees
  9. Reprints
  10. Submission fees
  11. Volunteer effort

Digitize This Book!: Forthcoming Open Access Book

Posted in Open Access on July 16th, 2008 by Charles W. Bailey, Jr.

The University of Minnesota Press will publish Digitize This Book! The Politics of New Media, or Why We Need Open Access Now by Gary Hall, Professor of Media and Performing Arts at Coventry University and Co-Editor of Culture Machine, this October.


National Research Council Canada Mandate

Posted in Open Access, Self-Archiving on July 15th, 2008 by Charles W. Bailey, Jr.

Richard Akerman has announced on the Science Library Pad that the National Research Council Canada has adopted a policy that, effective January 2009, requires all institute peer-reviewed publications and technical reports to be deposited in its institutional repository.


APA's NIH Deposit Policy: APA Will Bill Author's Institution $2,500-per-Article Fee

Posted in Open Access, Publishing, Scholarly Journals, Self-Archiving on July 14th, 2008 by Charles W. Bailey, Jr.

The American Psychological Association's "Document Deposit Policy and Procedures for APA Journals" outlines its policies and procedures regarding the requirements of the NIH Public Access Policy. It indicates that authors are not to deposit accepted articles in PubMed Central. Rather, the APA will do so, billing the author's institution a $2,500-per-article fee. Upon acceptance, the APA will deposit the author's Word file "with all changes based on peer-review editorial feedback and found acceptable by the editor." The APA will retain the article copyright, and authors are not allowed to deposit the final peer-reviewed manuscript in any other repository. A deposit form must be submitted for each article.

This policy also addresses Wellcome Trust deposit procedures and fees.


Greater Western Library Alliance Joins SCOAP3 for 18 Members

Posted in Open Access, Scholarly Journals, Serials Crisis on July 12th, 2008 by Charles W. Bailey, Jr.

The Greater Western Library Alliance has joined the Sponsoring Consortium for Open Access Publishing in Particle Physics (SCOAP3) for 18 of its member research libraries.

Here's an excerpt from the About SCOAP3 page:

To address this situation for HEP and, as an experiment, Science at large, a new model for OA publishing has emerged: SCOAP3 (Sponsoring Consortium for Open Access Publishing in Particle Physics). In this model, HEP funding agencies and libraries, which today purchase journal subscriptions to implicitly support the peer-review service, federate to explicitly cover its cost, while publishers make the electronic versions of their journals free to read. Authors are not directly charged to publish their articles OA. . . .

Each SCOAP3 partner will finance its contribution by canceling journal subscriptions. Each country will contribute according to its share of HEP publishing. The transition to OA will be facilitated by the fact that the large majority of HEP articles are published in just six peer-reviewed journals. Of course, the SCOAP3 model is open to any, present or future, high-quality HEP journal aiming at a dynamic market with healthy competition and broader choice.


Nature's Article on the Public Library of Science: A "Hatchet-Job"?

Posted in Open Access, Publishing, Scholarly Journals on July 8th, 2008 by Charles W. Bailey, Jr.

On July 2nd, Nature published "PLoS Stays Afloat with Bulk Publishing," which asserts in its first sentence that PLoS is "relying on bulk, cheap publishing of lower quality papers to subsidize its handful of high-quality flagship journals."

Needless to say, there was swift reaction to the article. Bora Zivkovic, PLoS ONE Online Community Manager, called it a "hatchet-job article" and gathered comments about the article from the blogosphere in his "On the Nature of PLoS. . . ." posting. At the article itself (which is restricted access), readers, PLoS editors, and Nature staff have made a number of comments.

The article makes several main points: (1) 2007 expenditures of $6.68 million were significantly greater than the $2.86 million revenue for that year; (2) PLoS has "four lower-cost journals that are run by volunteer academic editorial teams rather than in-house staff" with author fees ($2,100) nearly as high as for PLoS Biology and PLoS Medicine ($2,750); (3) half of PLoS' revenue in 2007 is estimated to have come from PLoS One, which the article says has "a system of 'light' peer-review" because "referees only check for serious methodological flaws, and not the importance of the result"; (4) PLoS One publishes a relatively high volume of papers (1,230 articles in 2007), and it has a relatively low author fee ($1,250; the current fee is $1300); and (5) PLoS has been sustained by $17.3 million in grants since 2002. The article does include several quotes from Peter Jerram, Chief Executive Officer of PLoS, including one in which he says that it is "is on track to be self-sustaining within two years."

In toto, the Nature article seems to suggest that PLoS has intentionally developed an open access journal publishing system that subsidizes a few selective high-quality journals by publishing many more papers in low-quality journals and that relies so heavily on grants it is unclear whether it will collapse without them. Since it contributes so much to the bottom line and publishes so many papers, PLoS One is the poster child for this strategy.

PLoS describes the PLoS One editorial procedures in PLoS ONE Guidelines for Authors. It notes that:

The peer review of each article concentrates on objective and technical concerns to determine whether the research has been sufficiently well conceived, well executed, and well described to justify inclusion in the scientific record. Then, after publication, all papers are opened up for interactive discussions and assessment in which the whole scientific community can be involved.

Unlike many journals which attempt to use the peer review process to determine whether or not an article reaches the level of 'importance' required by a given journal, PLoS ONE uses peer review to determine whether a paper is technically sound and worthy of inclusion in the published scientific record. Once the work is published in PLoS ONE, the broader community is then able to discuss and evaluate the significance of the article.

What the Nature article misses is that the scholarly evaluation of PLoS ONE articles does not end with the initial screening review for compliance with the stated Criteria for Publication. Rather, it begins there. PLoS ONE is using a radically different model of peer review than traditional journals. Whether it is a success or failure is not primarily determined by how many articles it publishes, but by the effectiveness of its post-publication review system in assessing the value of those papers.

If PLoS can reduce costs in what the article terms its "second-tier community journals" by using larger academic editorial staffs, there does not appear to be anything intrinsically wrong with that. To the contrary. The issue is not the editorial strategy, rather it's whether the author fees are unjustifiably high in relation to journal costs and whether the excess profit is being siphoned off to support other publications. Although comparative author fee data is given in the article, there is not enough economic evidence presented in the article to make any informed judgment on the matter.

Regarding grant support, I presume that Jerram understands the issue better than outsiders, and, if he believes that PLos can become self-sustaining in a few years, then there is no reason to doubt it, barring unforeseen circumstances.


Elsevier Says Its 2009 Journal Price Increases Average Six Percent or Less

Posted in Open Access, Publishing, Scholarly Journals, Serials Crisis on July 8th, 2008 by Charles W. Bailey, Jr.

Elsevier has made public a letter to librarians stating that it is targeting "a global average list price increase of not more than six percent" for its journals in 2009. It notes that "the 2008 average list price increase across all STM publishers was 8.70% in Europe and 10.10% in the U.S."

Elsevier is taking author publication fees into account for pricing a subset of its journals: "For individual journals, we are realigning prices to reflect a number of factors, including differences in the number of articles made available, quality, and usage, as well as new factors such as Sponsored Articles." (The Sponsored Articles program allows authors publishing articles in over 40 journals to pay a $3,000 fee to make them open access.)

The letter also states that there were over 386 million articles downloaded from ScienceDirect in 2007, with over 460 million downloaded articles being anticipated in 2008.


SPARC Europe and DRIVER to Collaborate on Promoting Repositories

Posted in Digital Repositories, Institutional Repositories, Open Access on July 7th, 2008 by Charles W. Bailey, Jr.

SPARC Europe and DRIVER have signed a Memorandum of Agreement to collaborate on promoting digital repositories in Europe.

Here's an excerpt from the press release:

SPARC Europe and DRIVER today confirmed a need for cooperation in order to progress and enhance the provision, visibility and application of European research outputs through digital repositories, in systems providing access to texts, data or other types of content. DRIVER is a joint initiative of European stakeholders, co-financed by the European Commission, setting up a technical infrastructure for digital repositories and facilitating the building of an umbrella organisation for digital repositories. DRIVER relies on research libraries for the sustainable operation of repositories and provision of high quality content through digital repositories. SPARC Europe and DRIVER share the vision that research institutions should contribute actively and cooperatively to a common, pan-European data and service infrastructure based on digital repositories. . . .

Collaboration between SPARC Europe and DRIVER is framed by their joint support for an Open Access model for repositories in research institutions. They will present a common lobby at a national and international level to leverage change through the scholarly community within respective institutions and countries. Their reciprocal support will ensure wider access to standards for interoperability between repositories, and the adoption of emerging technical standards to facilitate open archiving. This agreement demonstrates their joint commitment to promote a European network of repositories offering access to research outputs across institutional and national boundaries.

David Prosser, Director of SPARC Europe, said "Europe is well placed to take a leading role internationally in the development of institutional repositories. A combination of institutional interest, progressive polices from funding bodies, and strong support from the European Commission creates the perfect conditions to foster an open research environment. DRIVER is a key component in underpinning the European repository infrastructure and we are very pleased to cement our already close relationship by signing this agreement."


OAK Law Project Publishes Understanding Open Access in the Academic Environment: A Guide for Authors

Posted in Author Rights, Copyright, Open Access, Self-Archiving on July 1st, 2008 by Charles W. Bailey, Jr.

The Open Access to Knowledge Law Project has published Understanding Open Access in the Academic Environment: A Guide for Authors.

Here's an excerpt:

This guide aims to provide practical guidance for academic authors interested in making their work more openly accessible to readers and other researchers.

The guide explains, in detail, the principles and features of the open access movement and outlines the benefits of open access, particularly those relating to dissemination, citation impact and academic reputation. It examines institutional repositories and open access journals as tools for implementing open access, and explains how they operate and how they can be best utilised by academic authors. The guide further considers how moves by funding bodies and academic institutions to mandate the deposit of research output into institutional repositories affects authors in today's publishing environment.

The underlying law of copyright is also explained, with a practical emphasis on how authors can best deal with their legal rights to enable open access to their academic work. The guide outlines authors' options for providing open access to their work, including the use of copyright licences and open content models such as Creative Commons licences. A Copyright Toolkit is provided to further assist authors in managing their copyright.

Importantly, the guide addresses how open access goals can affect an author's relationship with their commercial publisher. It provides guidance on how to negotiate a proper allocation of copyright interests between an author and publisher in order to allow an author to deposit their work into an institutional repository and reuse their work. The guide addresses both legal and non-legal issues related to maintaining a positive relationship with publishers while still ensuring that open access can be obtained.


Critique of the National Archives' The Founders Online Report

Posted in Digital Archives and Special Collections, Digital Presses, Digitization, Open Access on June 30th, 2008 by Charles W. Bailey, Jr.

Peter Hirtle has posted a sharp critique of the National Archives' The Founders Online report on the LibraryLaw Blog that, among other points, questions whether the digitized works that result from the project will be free of copyright and access restrictions.

Here's an excerpt:

5. Perhaps the most problematic issues in the report surround its use of the term "open access." For some, open access means "digital, online, and free of charge." The report, while saying it wants to provide open access to the material, appears to recommend that all material be given to UVA's Rotunda system for delivery. Rotunda follows a subscription model—not open access—that is remarkably expensive considering that citizens have already paid for all of the editorial work on these volumes. How could this be open access? Apparently Rotunda might be willing to give up its subscription approach if a foundation were willing to pay for all of its costs. Unless such a commitment is in place, I find it disingenuous to describe a Rotunda delivery option as "open access." There is no discussion of other, free, delivery options, such as the willingness expressed by Deanna Marcum of the Library of Congress at the Senate Hearing to make all of the Founding Fathers papers accessible through LC (which already has a good site pointing to currently accessible papers).

6. Others argue that for true open access, information must be accessible outside of specific delivery systems (such as Rotunda) and made available in bulk. Open data and open interfaces allow for all sorts of interesting uses of material. For example, someone might want to mashup George Washington's papers to Google Maps in order to be able to easily visual geographically the spread of information. Others might want to mesh manuscript material with published secondary literature. Rather than anticipating the widespread dispersal and re-use of the Founding Fathers papers, however, and hence the need for harvestable data, open APIs, distributed access, etc., the report calls instead for "a single, unified, and sustainable Web site"—apparently the locked-down Rotunda system.


Stanford University School of Education's Open Access Mandate—Harvard Medical School Next?

Posted in Open Access, Scholarly Communication, Self-Archiving on June 29th, 2008 by Charles W. Bailey, Jr.

On June 26, Stevan Harnad and Leslie Carr broke the story that John Willinsky had announced an open access mandate for Stanford University's School of Education in a speech at ELPub 2008. Peter Suber then posted a link to the video of the speech.

Today, Willinsky posted the Stanford University School of Education Open Access Motion on the SPARC-OAForum, noting that it "was passed unanimously by the faculty of the School of Education, Stanford University on June 10, 2008, and was cleared by the Provost's Office and Stanford University's legal counsel on June 25th, 2008."

Here's the text of the motion:

In recognition of its responsibility to make its research and scholarship as widely and publicly available as possible, the faculty of the Stanford University School of Education is determined to take advantage of new technologies to increase access to its work among scholars worldwide, educators, policymakers, and the public. In support of greater openness in scholarly and educational endeavors, the faculty of the School of Education agree to the following policy:

Faculty members grant to the Stanford University permission to make publicly available their scholarly articles and to exercise the copyright in those articles. They grant to Stanford University a nonexclusive, irrevocable, worldwide license to exercise any and all rights under copyright relating to their scholarly articles, in any medium, and to authorize others to do the same, provided that the articles are properly attributed to the authors not sold for a profit.

The policy will apply to all scholarly articles authored or co-authored while a faculty member of the School of Education, beginning with articles for which the publisher's copyright agreement has yet to be signed. The Dean or the Dean's designate will waive application of the policy upon written request from faculty who wish to publish an article with a publisher who will not agree to the terms of this policy (which will be presented to the publishers in the form of an addendum to the copyright agreement).

No later than the date of publication, faculty members will provide an electronic copy of the final version of the article at no charge to the appropriate representative of the Dean of Education's Office, who will make the article available to the public in an open-access repository operated by Stanford University.

The Office of the Dean will be responsible for interpreting this policy, resolving disputes concerning its interpretation and application, and recommending policy changes to the School of Education from time to time. The policy will be reviewed after three years and a report presented on the policy to the School of Education.

Willinsky also posted on the list "Questions and Answers on Harvard’s Open Access Motion," which is "a series of questions and responses that arose as part of a discussions of passing such a motion at the Stanford University School of Education (SUSE) by Claude Goldenberg, Roy Pea, Sean Reardon, and John Willinsky."

Peter Suber has commented on these Stanford documents in his "Details on the Stanford OA Mandate" posting.

In a Library Journal article ("At SPARC Forum, News of the University of California’s Open Access Near Miss") published today, a "representative of Harvard Medical School" is quoted as saying: "I think we’re going to be the next school to go for OA." (This article provides some brief additional information about the Harvard Faculty of Arts & Sciences and Law School mandates and discusses as yet unsuccessful efforts at the University of California to pass a mandate.)


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