Archive for the 'Open Access' Category

Scholars and Open Access Trust Ask to Intervene in Authors Guild v. Google

Posted in Copyright, Digital Copyright Wars, E-Books, Google and Other Search Engines, Mass Digitizaton, Open Access, Publishing on April 15th, 2009

A group of scholars and the Open Access Trust have sent a letter to Judge Denny Chin asking for a conference about a motion to intervene in the Author's Guild v .Google suit.

Here's their letter.

“Reality Bites: Periodicals Price Survey 2009”

Posted in Open Access, Publishing, Scholarly Journals, Serials Crisis on April 15th, 2009

Library Journal has published "Reality Bites: Periodicals Price Survey 2009."

Here's an excerpt:

As waves of grim economic news wash over state and federal governments here and abroad, libraries of all types and sizes are bracing for budget cuts the likes of which have not been seen in three generations. Unlike most financial crises, this one is ubiquitous, with all but a handful of states in the red and getting redder. Globally, the meltdown is playing havoc with currencies, and the cost of journals priced in currencies other than the pound, the euro, or the U.S. dollar have skyrocketed. Severe losses in endowment revenue, which in the past insulated materials budgets to a degree, have left even larger and wealthier libraries facing cuts.

A number of librarians expect the budget cuts to be permanent; others say funds will rebound, but the recovery will take years. Even if the recession is less severe than feared, experts say not to expect relief before 2012. In journals parlance, that’s three renewal cycles from now—more than enough to stress publishers without deep reserves. For an industry that is already in the throes of reinventing itself, this recession will hit hard.

Harvard Office for Scholarly Communication and the American Physical Society Agree on Open Access Arrangements

Posted in Author Rights, Copyright, Open Access, Publishing, Self-Archiving on April 13th, 2009

The Harvard Office for Scholarly Communication and the American Physical Society have come to an agreement about how to implement Harvard's open access policies for articles published by Harvard authors.

Here's an excerpt from the press release:

As a result of the new agreement, APS recognizes Harvard's open access license and will not require copyright agreement addenda or waivers, in exchange for Harvard's clarification of its intended use of the license. In general terms, in exercising its license under the open access policies, Harvard will not use a facsimile of the published version without permission of the publisher, will not charge for the display or distribution of those articles, and will provide an online link to the publisher's definitive version of the articles where possible. The agreement does not restrict fair use of the articles in any way.

According to Professor Bertrand I. Halperin, Hollis Professor of Mathematics and Natural Philosophy in the Harvard Physics Department and Chair of the 2008 Publications Oversight Committee of the American Physical Society, "Harvard’s open access legislation was always consistent in spirit with the aims of the APS publication policies, but there were differences in detail that would have required faculty members to request a waiver for every article published in an APS journal. It is a credit both to Harvard and to APS that these differences have been worked out. Since APS journals include, arguably, the most important journals in the field of physics, the fact that faculty will now be able to continue publishing in APS journals without seeking a waiver from Harvard’s policies will strengthen both Harvard and the goal of promoting open access to scholarly publications worldwide."

National Academies Makes Over 9,000 Reports Freely Available on Google Book Search

Posted in E-Books, Google and Other Search Engines, Open Access on April 12th, 2009

The National Academies have made over 9,000 Reports freely available on Google Book Search.

Here's an excerpt from the press release:

The National Academies today announced the completion of the first phase of a partnership with Google to digitize the library's collection of reports from 1863 to 1997, making them available—free, searchable, and in full text—through Google Book Search. The Academies plan to have their entire collection of nearly 11,000 reports digitized by 2011. . . .

Prior to this project, the Academies digitized more than 4,000 books and made them available online through the National Academies Press; most of those can also be found in Google Book Search. However, researchers who needed to gain access to hard copies of older reports, part of a legacy collection in the library, could not always find what they wanted. Many of these reports exist as single copies, and the library feared potential damage or loss of this important collection. These older reports have been digitized and are now accessible through Google. In addition, the "digitizing of these materials will add another dimension to the preservation of our reports," said Harriston. The Academies hope that wider availability of its reports will be of use to scientists in developing countries, who often rely on the Internet to gather information.

“Self-Archiving Journal Articles: A Case Study of Faculty Practice and Missed Opportunity”

Posted in Copyright, E-Prints, Open Access, Self-Archiving on April 12th, 2009

Denise Troll Covey has published "Self-Archiving Journal Articles: A Case Study of Faculty Practice and Missed Opportunity" in the latest issue of portal: Libraries and the Academy (restricted access journal).

Here's the abstract:

Carnegie Mellon faculty Web pages and publisher policies were examined to understand self-archiving practice. The breadth of adoption and depth of commitment are not directly correlated within the disciplines. Determining when self-archiving has become a habit is difficult. The opportunity to self-archive far exceeds the practice, and much of what is self-archived is not aligned with publisher policy. Policy appears to influence neither the decision to self-archive nor the article version that is self-archived. Because of the potential legal ramifications, faculty must be convinced that copyright law and publisher policy are important and persuaded to act on that conviction.

Covey previously self-archived "Faculty Self-Archiving Practices: A Case Study" in Carnegie Mellon's Research Showcase.

Here's the abstract:

Faculty web pages were examined to learn about self-archiving practice at Carnegie Mellon. More faculty are self-archiving their work and more work is being self-archived than expected. However, the distribution of self-archiving activity across the disciplines is not as expected. More faculty self-archive journal articles than other publications, but more conference papers are self-archived than journal articles. Many faculty who self-archive have self-archived fewer than ten publications. A small number of faculty has self-archived most of the work that is available open access from faculty web pages. Significant differences in faculty behavior within departments cannot be explained by disciplinary culture.

Columbia’s Center for Digital Research and Scholarship Launches Harm Reduction Journal Companion Site for Supplemental Materials

Posted in E-Journals, Open Access, Publishing, Scholarly Journals on April 8th, 2009

The Center for Digital Research and Scholarship at Columbia University Libraries/Information Services has launched a companion site for the Harm Reduction Journal, an open access published by BioMed Central.

Here's an excerpt from the press release:

Professor Drucker partnered with CDRS to build a site that would allow HRJ authors, editors, and readers to share supplemental materials—such as datasets, commentaries, and translations—and respond to newer articles published on the journal's dot com home. The new dot org site accomplishes this by transforming every article published on HRJ dot com into its own blog. HRJ dot org also provides a forum for announcements, links, and discussion on harm reduction trends and efforts. "This approach enables HRJ to take full advantage of the rapid publication, secure and authoritative archiving, and the powerful dissemination and reach inherent in the medium of open access publishing, while simultaneously creating an open space for 'the long tail' of post-publication possibilities that make internet publications living documents," explained Professor Drucker.

BioMed Central's Director of Journal Publishing, Sarah Cooney, elaborated, "The open-access platform ensures the swift and unrestricted communication of scientific information to researchers. This new companion site will prove hugely significant for encouraging future advances and lead to an increased level of data sharing within the scientific community." CDRS Director Rebecca Kennison noted, "This new site demonstrates in very practical terms the possibilities inherent in open-access publications, which in addition to free access also allow for creative reuse of articles, such as we actively encourage on this companion site."

Carl Malamud Wants to Run the U.S. Government Printing Office, Techné Interviews Him

Posted in Open Access, Public Domain on April 6th, 2009

Open access activist Carl Malamud wants to be the Public Printer of the United States, and he has launched Yes We Scan! to support this effort. Techné recently interviewed him about his goal.

Here's an excerpt from the post:

Malamud: I think all my proposals [link added] would be a distinct change in direction or velocity. For example, reliance on bulk data/APIs and then a web site for Official Journals, moving the GPO towards the high-end of publishing with the Library of the USA, and creation of the Academy would all be big changes. And, you can bet their computer systems would get a scrubbing.

Peter Suber: “A Field Guide to Misunderstandings about Open Access”

Posted in Open Access on April 3rd, 2009

Peter Suber has published "A Field Guide to Misunderstandings about Open Access" in the latest issue of the SPARC Open Access Newsletter.

Here's an excerpt:

"OA is about punishing greedy or obstructive publishers."

You can't throw a brick out a university window without hitting a researcher, librarian, or administrator frustrated and furious with a set of TA journal publishers.  For many of them, the problems for which OA is the solution are defined by these frustrating and infuriating experiences.  But it doesn't follow that OA must function as punishment, for anyone.  To pursue it as a punishment is to mistake the goal.

As I put it in my OA Overview:  "The purpose of the campaign for OA is the constructive one of providing OA to a larger and larger body of literature, not the destructive one of putting non-OA journals or publishers out of business. The consequences may or may not overlap (this is contingent) but the purposes do not overlap."

The rise of personal computers in the 1980's may have hurt the typewriter industry, but it doesn't follow that the purpose was to hurt the typewriter industry.  But when you've suffered at the hands of Royal and Olivetti, it's easy to become distracted and take your eyes off the prize.

This misunderstanding has a surprisingly diverse habitat.  You'll find it among some caffeinated academics who are avid for OA.  But you'll also find it among besieged TA publishers who would rather believe that OA is an ideological attack on what they are doing than a serious and sophisticated alternative or supplement to what they are doing.  The lesson for both is that OA would still be an urgently good idea if TA journal prices were low and licensing terms reasonable.  For more along these lines, see my reflections on OA as solving problems and OA as seizing opportunities.

Services for Small OA Publishers: Launched

Posted in Open Access, Publishing on April 3rd, 2009

Co-Action Publishing, Datapage and T Marketing have launched, a publishing support service for small open access publishers.

Here's an excerpt from the press release: addresses the needs of a growing segment within Open Access scholarly publishing. The Open Access journals market is growing quickly, and currently represents approximately 9% of the refereed journals listed in Ulrich's Periodical Directory. A number of these journals are operated by single editorial teams, societies or university presses. allows these publishers to combine independence with behind-the-scenes professional support on virtually any aspect of journal development and the publishing process.

"We recognize that many scholars and societies wish to remain independent of a publishing house as they transition a current subscription journal to Open Access or launch a new journal," stated Caroline Sutton from Co-Action Publishing, adding "By teaming up with Datapage and T Marketing, we are able to offer these publishers access to the same professional skill and know-how that large publishers take advantage of everyday in a format that is scalable to their needs."

Nisha Rahul, Operations Manager for Datapage, further commented, "Datapage has been providing typesetting and pre-press services to publishers worldwide since 1987. Our ultimate aim is to make ourselves "easier to do business with". Through we make publishing easier for small publishers by providing seamless solutions from several vendors, allowing each publisher to create an optimal service package.

T Marketing Founder Natasha White shared her thoughts on the launch, stating, "After having worked at some of the world's largest publishers, I am now working daily with smaller businesses. Like Datapage and Co-Action Publishing, T Marketing welcomes the opportunity to work together with small-scale scholarly publishers to augment the skills and competencies of their in-house teams."

DOAJ and e-Depot to Preserve Open Access Journals

Posted in Digital Curation & Digital Preservation, Open Access, Publishing, Scholarly Journals on April 2nd, 2009

With support from the Swedish Library Association, the Directory of Open Access Journals and the e-Depot of the National Library of the Netherlands will preserve open access journals.

Here's an excerpt from the press release:

Long-term preservation of scholarly publications is of major importance for the research community. New formats of scholarly publications, new business models and new ways of dissemination are constantly being developed. To secure permanent access to scientific output for the future, focussed on the preservation of articles published in open access journals, a cooperation between Directory of Open Access Journals (DOAJ—, developed and operated by Lund University Libraries and the e-Depot of the National Library of the Netherlands ( has been initiated.

The composition of the DOAJ collection (currently 4000 journals) is characterized by a very large number of publishers (2.000+), each publishing a very small number of journals on different platforms, in different formats and in more than 50 different languages. Many of these publishers are—with a number of exceptions—fragile when it comes to financial, technical and administrative sustainability.

At present DOAJ and KB carry out a pilot project aimed at setting up a workflow for processing open access journals listed with DOAJ. In the pilot a limited number of open access journals will be subject to long term preservation. These activities will be scaled up shortly and long term archiving of the journals listed in the DOAJ at KB’s e-Depot will become an integral part of the service provided by the DOAJ.

Wikimedia Commons Gets 250,000 Creative Commons Licensed Images from Saxony-State and University Library Dresden

Posted in Creative Commons/Open Licenses, Open Access, Research Libraries on April 2nd, 2009

The Land Library of Saxony-State and University Library Dresden has agreed to make 250,000 image files available on the Wikimedia Commons under a Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike license.

Here's an excerpt from the announcement:

As the first German library, the Land Library of Saxony-State and University Library Dresden (SLUB) has concluded a cooperation agreement with Wikimedia Germany e.V. In a first step, the German Photo Collection of the SLUB makes available ca. 250,000 image files from its repository for free use to Wikimedia Commons, a sister project of Wikipedia.

The photos, the corresponding captions and further meta data will be uploaded to Commons during the coming months by voluntary helpers of Wikimedia, then connected step-by-step with personal identification data and the relevant Wikipedia articles. Apart from that, the metadata supplied by the German Photo Collection can be enriched, commented on and supplied with geographical detail by Wikipedia users. All results of this work are flowing back to the database of the German Photo Collection. In this way, the SLUB too directly profits from the new collaboration.

No rights of third parties concerning the image material supplied are standing in the way of using it under the free license "Creative Commons BY-SA 3.0". The cooperation will, in the words of Dr Jens Bove, the director of the German Photo Collection, "enhance the publicity and reach of the photographic treasures of the German Photo Collection". At the same time, the SLUB is a clear testament to the support of the international Open Access Initiative, which seeks open access to scientific information.

Paying for Open Access Publication Charges: Guidance for Higher Education and Research Institutions, Publishers and Authors

Posted in Open Access, Publishing, Scholarly Journals on March 31st, 2009

The Research Information Network has released Paying for Open Access Publication Charges: Guidance for Higher Education and Research Institutions, Publishers and Authors

Here's an excerpt:

This document provides advice and guidance on the arrangements for paying open access publication fees: that is, fees levied by some journals for the publication of scholarly articles so that they can be made available free of charge to readers, immediately upon publication. The guidance is directed to UK HEIs and other research institutions, to research funders, to publishers, and to authors. It is the practical outcome from a working group established by UUK and the RIN. It presents the advice from representatives of the library, publishing and research administrator communities on the practical issues to be addressed in establishing coordinated and strategic approaches to the payment of publication fees.

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