Archive for the 'Self-Archiving' Category

University of Minnesota Launches the Digital Conservancy

Posted in ARL Libraries, DSpace, Institutional Repositories, Open Access, Research Libraries, Scholarly Communication, Self-Archiving on August 22nd, 2007

The University of Minnesota has launched its institutional repository, the Digital Conservancy. It utilizes DSpace.

Here's a description from the University Digital Conservancy FAQ page:

The University Digital Conservancy is a program of the University of Minnesota, administered by the University Libraries. The program provides stewardship, reliable long-term open access, and broad dissemination of the digital scholarly and administrative works of University of Minnesota faculty, departments, centers and offices. Materials in the Conservancy are freely available online to the University community and to the public.

Here are selected web pages about the Digital Conservancy:

Institutional Repositories: DOA?

Posted in Institutional Repositories, Open Access, Scholarly Communication, Self-Archiving on August 21st, 2007

Of late, an air of discouragement has begun to permeate discussions about institutional repositories. Of course, this is understandable. E-print deposit rates have been disappointing, deposit mandates hard to come by, and real operational costs have been higher than some imagined.

Are institutional repositories dead on arrival?

The answer is determined by our expectations.

If we expect swift, easy, rapid progress with university administrators and faculty enthusiastically rallying behind institutional repositories, the answer is "yes." The thrill of putting up the repository software and seeing the initial inflow of e-prints is, for many, gone; the experiment has failed; and it's time to cut our losses and move on.

On the other hand, if we expect that the establishment of fully functional institutional repositories will be a complex, lengthy, and expensive venture, we are on target, and remarkable progress has been made worldwide in a short period of time.

I'm in the latter camp. I cannot say this enough: successful institutional repositories are not primarily determined by technical factors, rather they are determined by attitudinal factors. In other words, faculty, especially key faculty such as holders of endowed chairs and journal editors, and university administrators, especially provosts and presidents, must be convinced that institutional repositories are essential infrastructure for the 21st century. For the most part, the argument rests on the scholarly communication crisis theme, with institutional repositories portrayed as part of the remedy. However, institutional prestige, institutional visibility, and improved citation impact factors are important themes as well. The successful, relentless communication of these themes to key constituencies is essential to the successful establishment of institutional repositories.

In my view, the best strategy for a institution without a repository is to start a vigorous scholarly communication outreach program first. The next best strategy is to do so in parallel with putting up an institutional repository. Next is to implement a scholarly communication program after the repository is up. The worst strategy is to put up a repository with no scholarly communication program—this is a recipe for failure.

So, chin up. It will take slow, steady effort to succeed, but it will be worth it in the end.

SPARC Canadian Author Addendum

Posted in Author Rights, Copyright, E-Prints, Open Access, Publishing, Scholarly Journals, Self-Archiving on August 16th, 2007

The Canadian Association of Research Libraries (CARL) and SPARC (the Scholarly Publishing and Academic Resources Coalition) have released the SPARC Canadian Author Addendum.

Here's an excerpt from the press release:

Traditional publishing agreements often require that authors grant exclusive rights to the publisher. The new SPARC Canadian Author Addendum enables authors to secure a more balanced agreement by retaining select rights, such as the rights to reproduce, reuse, and publicly present the articles they publish for non-commercial purposes. It will help Canadian researchers to comply with granting council public access policies, such as the Canadian Institutes of Health Research Policy on Access to Research Outputs. The Canadian Addendum reflects Canadian copyright law and is an adaptation of the original U.S. version of the SPARC Author Addendum. . . .

An explanatory brochure complements the Addendum. Both the brochure and addendum are available in French and English on the CARL and SPARC Web sites and will be widely distributed. SPARC, in conjunction with ARL and ACRL, has also introduced a free Web cast on Understanding Author Rights. See http://www.arl.org/sparc/author for details.

Berkeley Electronic Press Acquires Digital Commons IR Software

Posted in Digital Repositories, Institutional Repositories, Open Access, Scholarly Communication, Self-Archiving on August 12th, 2007

The Berkeley Electronic Press (bepress) has acquired the Digital Commons institutional repository software from ProQuest. bepress was the original creator of the software.

Here's an excerpt from the press release:

ProQuest and The Berkeley Electronic Press ("bepress") today announced that they have reached an agreement for bepress to purchase ownership of Digital Commons, the world's leading hosted institutional repository solution. Bepress will be adding sales and marketing staff and augmenting its existing customer support and services in addition to the hosting and technology services that it has always provided Digital Commons customers.

Bepress Chairman, Aaron Edlin, said "Institutional Repositories are core to the bepress mission of furthering scholarly communication and thus bepress is excited at the opportunity to build a close relationship with Digital Commons customers. Developing successful and vibrant Institutional Repositories will be bepress's central focus."

The Depot Repository Podcast

Posted in Digital Repositories, E-Prints, Open Access, Scholarly Communication, Self-Archiving on August 7th, 2007

JISC has released a podcast of Peter Burnhill of EDINA discussing The Depot repository.

ACRL Recommends Next Steps for Supporting NIH Mandate

Posted in ALA, Open Access, Publishing, Scholarly Communication, Scholarly Journals, Self-Archiving on August 6th, 2007

As reported on DigitalKoans previously, the House passed H. R. 3043, which includes the NIH deposit mandate.

ACRL has some suggestions about follow-up actions that supporters of the mandate can take as the battle moves to the Senate.

Here’s an excerpt from ACRL Legislative Update:

  1. Send a thank you note if your Representative voted yes to pass the House appropriations bill (check the roll call). Your legislators want to hear from you and need to know they did the right thing.
  2. Contact both of your Senators during August. While a phone call, e-mail or fax would work, consider taking advantage of the fact that they are home for the August recess. Make a visit to the local district office or invite your Senators to visit your library. Urge them to maintain the language put forth by the Senate appropriations committee on the NIH public access policy. Find talking points and contact info in the ALA Legislative Action Center.
  3. Ask library advocates in your state to talk to their Senators.
  4. Talk about this issue with leaders on your campus—your government relations office, library advisory committee, faculty senate—to enlist individual and institutional support.

Publisher Author Agreements

Posted in Copyright, Disciplinary Archives, E-Prints, Institutional Repositories, Publishing, Scholarly Communication, Scholarly Journals, Self-Archiving on August 5th, 2007

According to today's SHERPA/RoMEO statistics, 36% of the 308 included publishers are green ("can archive pre-print and post-print"), 24% are blue ("can archive post-print (i.e. final draft post-refereeing)"), 11% are yellow ("can archive pre-print (i.e. pre-refereeing)"), and 28% are white ("archiving not formally supported"). Looked at another way, 72% of the publishers permit some form of self-archiving.

These are certainly encouraging statistics, and publishers who permit any form of self-archiving should be applauded; however, leaving aside Creative Commons licenses and author agreements that have been crafted by SPARC and others to promote rights retention, publishers recently liberalized author agreements still raise issues that librarians and scholars should be aware of.

Looking deeper, there are publisher variations in terms of where e-prints can be self-archived. Typically, this might be some combination of the author's Website, institutional repository or Website, funding agency's server, or disciplinary archive. Some agreements allow deposit on any noncommercial or open access server. Restricting deposit to open access or noncommercial servers is perfectly legitimate in my view; more specific restrictions are, well, too restrictive. The problem arises when the agreement limits the author's deposit options to ones he or she doesn't have, such as only allowing deposit in an institutional repository when the author's institution doesn't have one or only allowing posting on an author's Website when the author doesn't have one.

Another issue is publisher requirements for authors to remove e-prints on publication, to modify e-prints after publication to reflect citation and publisher contact information, to replace e-prints with published versions, or to create their own versions of postprints. Low deposit rates in institutional repositories without institutional mandates suggest that anything that involves extra effort by authors is a deterrent to deposit. The above kinds of publisher requirements are likely to have equally low rates on compliance, resulting in deposited e-prints that do not conform to author agreements. To be effective, such requirements would have to be policed by publishers or digital repositories. Otherwise, they are meaningless and are best deleted from author agreements.

A final issue is retrospective deposit. We can think of the journal literature as an inverted pyramid, with the broad top being currently published articles and the bottom being the first published journal articles. The papers published since the emergence of author agreements that permit self-archiving are a significant resource; however, much of the literature precedes such agreements. The vast majority of these articles are under standard copyright transfer agreements, with publishers holding all rights. Consequently, it is very important that publishers clarify whether their relatively new self-archiving policies can be applied retroactively. Elsevier has done so:

When Elsevier changes its policies to enable greater academic use of journal materials (such as the changes several years ago in our web-posting policies) or to clarify the rights retained by journal authors, Elsevier is prepared to extend those rights retroactively with respect to articles published in journal issues produced prior to the policy change.

Elsevier is pleased to confirm that, unless explicitly noted to the contrary, all policies apply retrospectively to previously published journal content. If, after reviewing the material noted above, you have any questions about such rights, please contact Global Rights.

Unfortunately, many publishers have not clarified this issue. Under these conditions, whether authors can deposit preprints or author-created postprints hinges on whether these works are viewed as being different works from the publisher version, and, hence, owned by the authors. Although some open access advocates believe this to be the case, to my knowledge this has never been decided in a court of law. Michael Carroll, who is a professor at the Villanova University School of Law and a member of the Board of the Creative Commons, has said in an analysis of whether authors can put preprints of articles published using standard author agreements under Creative Commons licenses:

Although technically distinct, the copyrights in the pre-print and the post-print overlap. The important point to understand is that copyright grants the owner the right to control exact duplicates and versions that are "substantially similar" to the copyrighted work. (This is under U.S. law, but most other jurisdictions similarly define the scope of copyright).

A pre-print will normally be substantially similar to the post-print. Therefore, when an author transfers the exclusive rights in the work to a publisher, the author precludes herself from making copies or distributing copies of any substantially similar versions of the work as well.

Much progress has been made in the area of author agreements, but authors must still pay careful attention to the details of agreements, which vary considerably by publisher. The SHERPA/RoMEO—Publisher Copyright Policies & Self-Archiving database is a very useful and important tool and users should actively participate in refining this database; however, authors are well advised not to stop at the summary information presented here and to go to the agreement itself (if available). It would be very helpful if a set of standard author agreements that covered the major variations could be developed and put into use by the publishing industry.

Open Access to Books: The Case of the Open Access Bibliography Updated

Posted in Bibliographies, Creative Commons/Open Licenses, E-Books, EPrints, Open Access, Scholarly Books, Scholarly Communication, Self-Archiving on August 2nd, 2007

Last July, I reported on use of the Open Access Bibliography: Liberating Scholarly Literature with E-Prints and Open Access Journals, which is both a printed book and a freely available e-book. Both versions are under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 2.0 License. You can get a detailed history at the prior posting; the major changes since then have been the conversion of the HTML version to XHTML and the addition of a Google Custom Search Engine.

So, what does cumulative use of the e-book OAB version look like slightly over one year down the road from the last posting? Here's a summary:

  • UH PDF: 29,255 (March through May 2005)
  • All Web files on both Digital Scholarship hosts: 192,849 (33,814 uses of the PDF file; June 2005 through July 2007)
  • dLIST PDF: 655 (March 2005 to present)
  • E-LIS PDF: 556 (November 2005 to present)
  • ARL PDF: Not Available

Combined, OAB Web files have been accessed 223,315 times since March 2005.


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