David J. Solomon has made a 19-page abridged version of his book Developing Open Access Journals: A Practical Guide freely available.
Archive for the 'Open Access' Category
The Association of College and Research Libraries has sent a letter of support to SCOAP3.
Here's an excerpt:
On behalf of the Association of College and Research Libraries (ACRL), a division of the American Library Association (ALA) representing over 13,000 academic and research librarians and interested individuals, I am writing to express interest and support for SCOAP3, the Sponsoring Consortium for Open Access Publishing in Particle Physics’ effort to facilitate open access publishing in High Energy Physics (HEP). . . .
ACRL believes that SCOAP3 is a valuable addition to the heterogeneous mix of strategies being undertaken by scholars, publishers, libraries, and others to ensure the future of high-quality journals. SCOAP3 is unique in its explicit goals to unite researchers and libraries and to partner with publishers so that aggregated financial contributions will support HEP publishing, make the results available at no cost to any reader any where, and serve as a potential model to other disciplines.
Therefore ACRL encourages its members to consider joining the SCOAP3 effort when appropriate, e.g. through an institutional or consortial "expression of interest" (as outlined at http://www.scoap3.org/), providing education and outreach about SCOAP3 to their faculty, library staff and administrators, and finding other ways to analyze and support SCOAP3 where possible.
- PLoS Biology: 13.5
- PLoS Medicine: 12.6
- PLoS Computational Biology: 6.2
- PLoS Genetics: 8.7
- PLoS Pathogens: 9.3
Here's an excerpt from the press release:
As we and others have frequently pointed out, impact factors should be interpreted with caution and only as one of a number of measures which provide insight into a journal’s, or rather its articles’, impact. Nevertheless, the 2007 figures for PLoS Biology and PLoS Medicine are consistent with the many other indicators (e.g. submission volume, web statistics, reader and community feedback) that these journals are firmly established as top-flight open-access general interest journals in the life and health sciences respectively.
The increases in the impact factors for the discipline-based, community-run PLoS journals also tally with indicators that these journals are going from strength to strength. For example, submissions to PLoS Computational Biology, PLoS Genetics and PLoS Pathogens have almost doubled over the past year—each journal now routinely receives 80-120 submissions per month of which around 20-25 are published. . . .
Although Thomson is yet to index our two youngest journals, other indexing databases are. The subscription-only Scopus citation index (owned by Elsevier and, incidentally, including many more journals than Thomson’s offering) is already covering PLoS ONE (though so far, only as far back as June 2007). But authors don’t need to rely on subscription-only indexes such as those owned by Thomson and Elsevier, and can instead use the freely-available Google Scholar. Using Google Scholar, for example, one can find that the article by Neal Fahlgren and coauthors, about the cataloguing of an important class of RNA in plants and one of the most highly cited PLoS ONE articles so far has been cited 42 times—strong evidence that good research, even if published in a new journal, will rapidly find its place in the scientific record when it’s made freely available to all.
PS: For background, see Charles' previous report on OA for ALA publications (July 2006). In my comment at the time, I pointed out some of the ALA's public statements in support of OA: "(1) the ALA Washington office has a page on OA, (2) the ALA Council adopted a resolution in support of FRPAA at its June 2006 annual meeting, and (3) the ALA has signed on to several public statements in support of OA, most recently a July 12 letter in support of FRPAA and a May 31 letter in support of the EC report on OA."
Of course, I had reviewed Peter's prior comment before writing the new post. Here's a further analysis:
- The Washington Office open access page has not been updated since November 7, 2006. Given the rapid development of the open access field, this page appears to be moribund.
- The FRPAA resolution is a single-issue, focused statement. It is not a broad statement of principle, such as the CDA and IFLA statements. Moreover, FRPAA would have a minor effect on ALA's journal publishing operations if passed because it is: "A bill to provide for Federal agencies to develop public access policies relating to research conducted by employees of that agency or from funds administered by that agency." The ALA journals in question do not heavily publish such federally funded research.
- The "Letter Encouraging Hearings on the Federal Research Public Access Act of 2006" is a joint statement with other library associations, not a sole statement by ALA itself. My comments excluded "statements by ALA divisions or joint statements."
- The "Comments on the European Commission's 'Study on the Economic and Technical Evolution of the Scientific Publication Markets in Europe'" letter is by the Information Access Alliance, and, therefore is a joint letter, not a sole statement by ALA itself.
A good summary of other ALA joint statements, along with those of ACRL, can be found at "ACRL Taking Action."
Here's more information on ALA's "green" and "gold" policies.
Let's assume that both ALA copyright agreements are in effect for all journals. The Copyright Assignment Agreement explicitly supports limited self-archiving ("The right to use and distribute the Work on the Author’s Web site"). The Copyright Assignment Agreement further says that the author has: "The right to use and distribute the Work internally at the Author’s place of employment, and for promotional and any other non-commercial purposes." While "any other non-commercial purposes" seems to permit broad self-archiving, the specification of the "distribute the Work internally at the Author's place of employment" right seems to imply that the right to distribute the work outside of the author's place of employment is in question, which would mean that self-archiving in digital repositories could be done only in the author's institutional repository and only if access to the work was limited to institutional users. Moreover, if broad self-archiving is permitted, why single out the right to self-archive on the author's Web site? I find the wording ambiguous, and I would not recommend that anyone who wants to self-archive use this license. If its intent is to allow broad self-archiving, this should be spelled out. The Copyright License Agreement supports all types of self archiving ("Copyright of the Work remains in Author’s name, and the Author reserves all other rights"). Consequently, we can say that ALA supports "green" self-archiving, but this may be very weak under the Copyright Assignment Agreement.
Without further information, it is not possible to say that any of ALA's major journals are "gold," although Public Libraries and School Library Media Research might be. If this were true, ALA's Public Library Association and its American Association of School Librarians divisions would be ALA's gold journal publishers, with the Association of College & Research Libraries division nearly being one.
The Canadian Library Association recently issued a new, strongly worded open access statement ("Position Statement on Open Access for Canadian Libraries"). Peter Suber commented on this statement, saying "Many organizations have called on their governments to mandate OA for publicly-funded research, but the CLA is first I've seen to regard embargo periods as a temporary compromise, justified only to help publishers adapt during a transition period."
The American Library Association is a member of the Alliance for Taxpayer Access and the Open Access Working Group, and. as such, has signed a variety of targeted statements about free access to government-funded research. The most active ALA Division in terms of open access support is the Association of College and Research Libraries, which has a number of activities geared towards promoting it.
Such statements and activities are praiseworthy, but the question remains: What kind of open access to these associations provide to their own journals?
Since it publishes more journals, the situation for ALA is more complex, and it is summarized below in a discussion of its major journals.
|ALA Journal||Free Access?|
|Children and Libraries: The Journal of the Association for Library Service to Children||No|
|College & Research Libraries||Embargo (current volume?), with e-prints that are removed on issue publication leaving a free access gap|
|Information Technology and Libraries||Six month embargo|
|Library Administration and Management||No|
|Library Resources & Technical Services||Embargo? (last complete issue listed on site is from 2006 and last free volume is from 2006)|
|Public Libraries||Embargo? (last listed issue on site is from 2007)|
|RBM: A Journal of Rare Books, Manuscripts, and Cultural Heritage||Embargo? (last listed issue on site is from 2006)|
|School Library Media Research||Embargo? (last listed issue on site is from 2007)|
|Reference & User Services Quarterly||No (there are no issues listed on site)|
|Young Adult Library Services||No|
Given that several journals are far behind in listing back issues, some have no listed 2008 issues, and one has no back issues whatsoever, it is difficult to make definitive statements about their open access policies. It is possible that this confusion arises from difficulties in the timely maintenance of ALA journal Websites. What can be said is that, as of today, those missing digital issues are not accessible to anyone from the ALA site.
One thing is clear: it would be very helpful if ALA journals would clearly and prominently state their open access policies. Although it will not be discussed here in any detail, several journals have conflicting or unclear copyright agreement policies. It is assumed that ALA offers its two copyright agreements (Copyright Assignment Agreement and Copyright License Agreement.) for all journals, but this cannot be verified from all journal Websites.
While it is not uniform, ALA is making progress towards providing more free journal content; however, it cannot be said that ALA fully supports free access to all of its major journals. Moreover, to my knowledge, ALA itself has never made an open access position statement that is similar to CLA's and those of other library organizations, such as IFLA's (this excludes any statements by ALA divisions or joint statements). As the open access movement nears the decade point, it would seem desirable for it to unambiguously do so.
ALA is a major voice in the library community, and, if its open access efforts are to be taken seriously by publishers and scholars, it should state whether it supports green access (self-archiving), gold access (open access journals), or both. If it wants to support gold access, it should first reform its own journal publishing business model. If not, it would be helpful for it to clarify and make consistent the terms of its embargo access at an organizational vs. a divisional level.
JISC has become a SCOAP3 partner, pledging to redirect funds from member UK institutions now used for high-energy physics journals to the project.
Here's an excerpt from the announcement:
With JISC, SCOAP3 now counts partners from 14 countries in Europe and Oceania, as well as an international organisation and a number of institutes in the United States. In total, these partners have pledged 37.4% of the SCOAP3 budget envelope, corresponding to 3.7 million Euros (5.8 million $).
Microsoft has released a beta version of its Article Authoring Add-in for Microsoft Office Word 2007.
Here's an excerpt from the product's home page:
Beta 1 of Word add-in to enhance the authoring of scientific and technical articles, including support for the National Library of Medicine XML format This Beta 1 release enables reading and writing of XML-based documents in the format used by the National Library of Medicine for archiving scientific articles.
The Strategic Content Alliance has released Sustainability and Revenue Models for Online Academic Resources: An Ithaka Report.
Here's an excerpt from the announcement:
This paper was commissioned by the Joint Information Systems Committee (JISC) is the first step in a three-stage process aimed at gaining a more systematic understanding of the mechanisms for pursuing sustainability in not-for-profit projects. It focuses on what we call 'online academic resources' (OARs), which are projects whose primary aim is to make content and scholarly discourse available on the web for research, collaboration, and teaching. This includes scholarly journals and monographs as well as a vast array of new formats that are emerging to disseminate scholarship, such as preprint servers and wikis. It also includes digital collections of primary source materials, datasets, and audio-visual materials that universities, libraries, museums, archives and other cultural and educational institutions are putting online.
This work is being done as part of the planning work for the Strategic Content Alliance (SCA), so it emphasises the development and maintenance of digital content useful in the networked world. In this first stage, we have conducted an initial assessment of the relevant literature focused on not-for-profit sustainability, and have compared the processes pursued in the not-for-profit and education sectors with those pursued by commercial organisations, specifically in the newspaper industry. The primary goal of this initial report is to determine to what extent it would make sense to conduct a more in-depth study of the issues surrounding sustainability.
ARL has released presentations from its 152nd membership meeting, which was titled "Institutional Strategies Supporting E-Scholarship & Multidisciplinary Research."
Here's a selection of the presentations:
Key Services [ Paper ]
This briefing paper gives an overview of some of the
key services currently available to repository managers and provides further details on how to access and use them.
Metadata [ Paper ]
This paper explores the topic of metadata in the repository and includes advice and information on metadata schemas and application profiles.
Making Effective Use of Your Repository [ Paper ]
Repositories are both part of an institution’s local information provision and part of the developing global open access information environment. This briefing paper discusses these contexts, helping the repository to serve the institution’s business needs effectively.
Repository Policy Framework – Updated [Paper]
Updated information about giving structure to your repository planning through the implementation of a policy framework.
The Open Access Webliography has been updated with current links, Internet Archive links (for works no longer available except there), or notes that the work is completely unavailable. The textual content of the document has not been updated.
The Open Access Directory, a Wiki for factual information (vs. narrative descriptions) about the open access movement has been launched.
Here's the press release:
Peter Suber and Robin Peek have launched the Open Access Directory (OAD), a wiki where the open access community can create and maintain simple factual lists about open access to science and scholarship. Suber, a Research Professor of Philosophy at Earlham College, and Peek, an Associate Professor of Library and Information Science at Simmons College, conceived the project in order to collect OA-related lists for one-stop reference and searching.
The wiki will start operating with about half a dozen lists—for example, conferences devoted to open access, discussion forums devoted to open access, and journal "declarations of independence"—and add more over time.
The goal is to harness the knowledge and energy of the open access community itself to enlarge and correct the lists. A list on a wiki, revised continuously by its users, can be more comprehensive and up to date than the same list maintained by an individual. By bringing many OA-related lists together in one place, OAD will make it easier for users, especially newcomers, to discover them and use them for reference. The easier they are to maintain and discover, the more effectively they can spread useful, accurate information about open access.
The URL for the Open Access Directory is oad.simmons.edu.
The wiki is represented by an editorial board consisting of prominent figures in the open access movement. The Graduate School of Library and Information Science (GSLIS) at Simmons College hosts and provides technical support to the OAD.
Editors and administrators
- Robin Peek. Editor, Associate Professor, Graduate School of Library and Information Science, Simmons College
- Athanasia Pontika. Assistant Editor, Doctoral Student, Graduate School of Library and Information Science, Simmons College
- Terry Plum. Technical Coordinator, Assistant Dean for Technology and Director, Simmons College
Editorial board members
- Charles Bailey. Publisher, Digital Scholarship
- Leslie Chan. Program Supervisor for New Media Studies, University of Toronto Scarborough
- Heather Joseph. Executive Director, Scholarly Publishing and Academic Resources Coalition (SPARC)
- Melissa Hagemann. Open Society Institute
- Peter Suber. Research Professor of Philosophy at Earlham College, Visiting Fellow at Yale Law School, and Senior Researcher at SPARC
- Alma Swan. Key Perspectives Ltd
- John Wilbanks. Vice President, Creative Commons
Read more about it at "Launch of the Open Access Directory."