Archive for the 'Open Access' Category

Bibliography of Open Access Released

Posted in Bibliographies, Open Access, Scholarly Communication on July 21st, 2008

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.

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    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

    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.

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      Proposed Open Access Scholarly Publishers Association Developing By-Laws

      Posted in Open Access, Publishing, Scholarly Journals on July 20th, 2008

      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.

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        SPARC and ARL Refute AAP Assertions about NIH Public Access Policy

        Posted in Copyright, Open Access, Self-Archiving on July 17th, 2008

        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.

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

          Posted in Open Access, Publishing, Scholarly Journals, Self-Archiving on July 16th, 2008

          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.

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            Open Access Directory Releases OA Journal Business Models

            Posted in Open Access, Publishing, Scholarly Journals on July 16th, 2008

            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
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              Digitize This Book!: Forthcoming Open Access Book

              Posted in Open Access on July 16th, 2008

              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.

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                National Research Council Canada Mandate

                Posted in Open Access, Self-Archiving on July 15th, 2008

                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.

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                  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

                  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.

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                    Greater Western Library Alliance Joins SCOAP3 for 18 Members

                    Posted in Open Access, Scholarly Journals, Serials Crisis on July 12th, 2008

                    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.

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

                      Posted in Open Access, Publishing, Scholarly Journals on July 8th, 2008

                      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.

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                        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

                        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.

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