Archive for the 'Open Access' Category

"Open Access Mandates: From the Front Lines" Presentation

Posted in Open Access on August 12th, 2009

A digital audio recording of a presentation by Neil M. Thakur, Special Assistant to the National Institutes of Health Deputy Director for Extramural Research, and Amy Brand, Program Manager, Harvard University Office for Scholarly Communication, about "Open Access Mandates: From the Front Lines" at the SLA 2009 Annual Conference is now available.

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    ARL Webcast: Reaching Out to Leaders of Scholarly Societies at Research Institutions

    Posted in ARL Libraries, Open Access, Publishing, Scholarly Communication, Scholarly Journals on August 12th, 2009

    The Association of Research Libraries has released its archived "Reaching Out to Leaders of Scholarly Societies at Research Institutions" webcast. Access is free, but registration is required.

    Here's an excerpt from the press release :

    On August 6, 2009, the Association of Research Libraries (ARL) hosted a Web conference on “Reaching Out to Leaders of Scholarly Societies at Research Institutions,” August 6, 2009, from 1:00 p.m. to 2:00 p.m. (EDT) as part of an ongoing initiative to enhance library outreach.

    Complementing the recently released guide on outreach to scholarly society leaders, the 60-minute webcast will introduce the goals and key talking points for campus outreach to leaders, editors, and members of academic scholarly societies. It will support development of faculty outreach programs at ARL member libraries by offering strategy and tactics for increasing engagement with association leaders at the institution.

    Successful campus outreach should encourage and support society leaders to engage in positive change that advances the scholarly communication system, promotes new research modes, and offers a path forward in a time of paradigm shift.

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      "Open Science: Good For Research, Good For Researchers?"

      Posted in Open Access on July 30th, 2009

      The Scholarly Communication Program at the Columbia University Libraries/Information Services has released a digital video of a panel discussion on "Open Science: Good For Research, Good For Researchers?" (Thanks to Digital & Scholarly.)

      Here's an excerpt from the announcement:

      Open science refers to information-sharing among researchers and encompasses a number of initiatives to remove access barriers to data and published papers, and to use digital technology to more efficiently disseminate research results. Advocates for this approach argue that openly sharing information among researchers is fundamental to good science, speeds the progress of research, and increases recognition of researchers. Panelists: Jean-Claude Bradley, Associate Professor of Chemistry and Coordinator of E-Learning for the School of Arts and Sciences at Drexel University; Barry Canton, founder of Gingko BioWorks and the OpenWetWare wiki, an online community of life science researchers committed to open science that has over 5,300 users; Bora Zivkovic, Online Discussion Expert for the Public Library of Science (PLoS) and author of "A Blog Around the Clock."

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        Five Videos on PLoS Medicine

        Posted in Open Access, Publishing, Scholarly Journals on July 29th, 2009

        PLoS Medicine has released five digital videos in which Ginny Barbour, Chief Editor, discusses the journal.

        Here's an excerpt from the post:

        In the first video Ginny talks about the experience of launching PLoS Medicine nearly five years ago. This leads to the discussion in the second video about the decision to focus on the specific diseases and risk factors that cause the greatest burden worldwide. The third video is about the importance of open access to medical information; the fourth and fifth videos discuss PLoS Medicine's plans for the future and the achievements of open access respectively.

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          Presentations from "Rough Waters: Navigating Hard Times in the Scholarly Communication Marketplace"

          Posted in Open Access, Scholarly Communication, Serials Crisis on July 28th, 2009

          SPARC has released presentations from the "Rough Waters: Navigating Hard Times in the Scholarly Communication Marketplace" SPARC-ACRL forum at ALA Annual 2009.

          Here's an excerpt from the announcement:

          The economy and its impact on library and higher education budgets are the most urgent concern for the library community today. While libraries have long been grappling with constrained collection budgets, we face a new urgency in continuing the transformation promised by Open Access and new technologies. This forum took a bird's eye view of the scholarly communication marketplace and suggested tactics for navigating through tough times.

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            Kevin L. Smith on "Open Access and Authors’ Rights Management: A Possibility for Theology?"

            Posted in Author Rights, Copyright, Open Access on July 26th, 2009

            Kevin L. Smith, Scholarly Communications Officer at the Duke University Libraries, has published "Open Access and Authors’ Rights Management: A Possibility for Theology?" in Theological Librarianship: An Online Journal of the American Theological Library Association.

            Here's an excerpt:

            Several academic disciplines have begun to understand the benefits of open access to scholarship, both for scholars and for the general public. Scientific disciplines have led the way, partially due to the nature of scholarship in those areas and partially because they have felt the crisis in serials pricing more acutely than others. Theological studies, however, have largely been insulated from the push for open access; considering the reasons for that is the first task of this article. It is also the case, however, that the missionary impulse that stands behind much theological scholarship is a strong incentive to embrace the opportunities afforded by digital, online dissemination of research and writing. After discussing this imperative for global distribution, the bulk of the article focuses on how theological institutions, and especially their libraries, can encourage and support scholars in making their work freely accessible. Copyright issues, including the elements of a successful copyright management program, are discussed, as are some of the technological elements necessary for an efficient and discoverable open access repository. Options for licensing, both at ingestion of content and at dissemination to users are also considered. Finally, it is argued that the role of consortia and professional organizations in supporting these initiatives is especially important because of the relatively small size of so many theological institutions.

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              "Should Copyright of Academic Works Be Abolished?"

              Posted in Copyright, Open Access, Publishing, Scholarly Communication on July 20th, 2009

              Steven Shavell, Samuel R. Rosenthal Professor of Law and Economics at the Harvard Law School, has self-archived "Should Copyright of Academic Works Be Abolished?"

              Here's an excerpt:

              The conventional rationale for copyright of written works, that copyright is needed to foster their creation, is seemingly of limited applicability to the academic domain. For in a world without copyright of academic writing, academics would still benefit from publishing in the major way that they do now, namely, from gaining scholarly esteem. Yet publishers would presumably have to impose fees on authors, because publishers would not be able to profit from reader charges. If these publication fees would be borne by academics, their incentives to publish would be reduced. But if the publication fees would usually be paid by universities or grantors, the motive of academics to publish would be unlikely to decrease (and could actually increase)—suggesting that ending academic copyright would be socially desirable in view of the broad benefits of a copyright-free world. If so, the demise of academic copyright should be achieved by a change in law, for the 'open access' movement that effectively seeks this objective without modification of the law faces fundamental difficulties.

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                "The Dissemination of Scholarly Information: Old Approaches and New Possibilities"

                Posted in Open Access, Publishing, Scholarly Communication, Scholarly Journals on July 20th, 2009

                Economists Omar Al-Ubaydli (George Mason University) and Rufus Pollock (Cambridge University) have self-archived "The Dissemination of Scholarly Information: Old Approaches and New Possibilities."

                Here's an excerpt:

                In this paper we began by setting out the basic goals of the scholarly communication system. We compared the current, journal dominated system, against those goals and found it wanting, and explored in detail alternative options in which distribution and filtering are separated and centralized filtering is replaced by a distributed, decentralized approach.

                Using a simple model we explored the factors underlying the development of the current journal paradigm. There were two main factors: a) the high costs of information transmission in the pre-digital era (and, associatedly, fixed costs and economies of scale in transmission which make journals an effective club good) b) the natural complementarity of filtering to distribution which leads journals to act as filtering as well as distributional mechanisms.

                With the collapse of transmission costs in the era of the Internet these original rationales for journals have disappeared. It is now possible for distribution and filtering to be separate and for the development of richer, and more complex filtering models based on decentralized, distributed mechanisms—with this latter process dependent on the first (if distribution and filtering are tied—as in the traditional journal model—distributed mechanisms make little sense).

                We explored the various benefits of such alternative distributed mechanisms—and also provide a detailed description of how such a mechanism would function in appendix A. One of the main implications of our work discussion is that a crucial benefit of the open-access approach, in addition to the obvious one of reducing the deadweight loss to access, is that it permits the development of radically new matching mechanisms based on a richer set of information which offer major efficiency (and other) advantages. This second benefit, though often overlooked, is a major one, and is, in the long run we believe, likely to be the most significant.

                Unfortunately, it is hard for new approaches to take hold because of the lock-in to the traditional 'closed' journal model engendered by the mutual expectations of authors and readers. Given the potential benefits afforded by innovation in this area, it is crucial that the potential of new approaches be thoroughly considered so that the scholarly community can adequately assess the options and, if necessary, take collective action to achieve mutually beneficial change.

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