The Online Guide to Open Access Journals Publishing

Co-Action Publishing and Lund University Libraries have released The Online Guide to Open Access Journals Publishing.

Here's an excerpt from the press release:

The online guide is directed to small independent teams and provides practical information on planning, setting up, launching, publishing and managing an open access scholarly journal. Users can take advantage of additional resources in the form of links to related information, samples of applied practices and downloadable tools that can be adapted. The guide seeks to be interactive, allowing users to share their own best practices, tips and suggestions through a comment field. Although the guide contains some information that is specific to the Nordic region, most of its content can be applied internationally.

Peter Suber on "Ten Challenges for Open-Access Journals"

Peter Suber has published "Ten Challenges for Open-Access Journals" in the latest issue of the SPARC Open Access Newsletter.

Here's an excerpt:

I start with three disparities:  the gap between journal performance and what prevailing metrics say about journal performance (#1); the gap between the vision of OA embodied in the Budapest, Bethesda, and Berlin statements and the access policies at 85% of OA journals (#2); and the gap between a journal's quality and its prestige, even when the quality is high (#3).  Then I move on to seven kinds of doubt:  doubts about quality (#4), preservation (#5), honesty (#6), publication fees (#7), sustainability (#8), redirection (#9), and strategy (#10).

Nature Publishing Group Will Publish New Open Access Journal, Nature Communications

The Nature Publishing Group has announced that it will publish a new open access journal, Nature Communications, starting in April 2010.

Here's an excerpt from the press release:

Nature Communications will publish high-quality peer-reviewed research across the biological, chemical and physical sciences, and will be the first online-only Nature-branded journal.

"As a born-digital publication, Nature Communications will provide readers and authors with the benefits of enhanced web technologies alongside a rapid, yet rigorous, peer-review process." says Sarah Greaves, Publisher of Nature Communications. "Nature Communications will offer authors high visibility for their papers on the nature.com platform, access to a broad readership and efficient peer review with fast publication. For readers, the journal will offer functionality including interactive browsing and enhanced metadata to enable sorting by keywords."

Nature Communications will publish research papers in all areas of the biological, chemical and physical sciences, encouraging papers that provide a multidisciplinary approach. The research will be of the highest quality, without necessarily having the scientific reach of papers published in Nature and the Nature research journals, and as such will represent advances of significant interest to specialists within each field. A team of independent editors, supported by an external editorial advisory panel, will make rapid and fair publication decisions based on peer review, with all the rigour expected of a Nature-branded journal.

To ensure Nature Communications responds to changes in journal publishing, authors will be able to publish their work either via the traditional subscription route, or as open access through payment of an article processing charge (APC).

Authors who choose the open-access option will be able to license their work under a Creative Commons license, including the option to allow derivative works. Authors who do not choose the open-access option will still enjoy all of the benefits of NPG's self-archiving policy and manuscript deposition service.

"Developments in publishing and web technologies, coupled with increasing commitment by research funders to cover the costs of open access, mean the time is right for a journal that offers editorial excellence and real choice for authors." said David Hoole, Head of Content Licensing at NPG.

"The York Digital Journals Project: Strategies for Institutional Open Journal Systems Implementations"

College & Research Libraries has released a preprint of "The York Digital Journals Project: Strategies for Institutional Open Journal Systems Implementations" by Andrea Kosavic.

Here's an excerpt:

Embarking on a university-wide journal hosting initiative can be a resource-intensive undertaking. Providing such a service, however, can be equally rewarding as it positions the library as both partner and colleague in the publishing process. This paper discusses ideas and strategies for institutional journal hosting gleaned over two years by the York Digital Journals Project. Suggestions for startup including policy considerations and service models are discussed. Ideas for advertising and networking are explored as well as the question of project sustainability.

Early Open Access Journal, the PACS Review, Established 20 Years Ago Today

On August 16, 1989, I announced the establishment of The Public-Access Computer Systems Review. If it was published today, this e-journal would be called a "libre" open access journal since it was freely available, allowed authors to retain their copyrights, and had special copyright provisions for noncommercial use.

Here's the announcement:

Thanks to everyone who sent me messages regarding the possibility of starting an electronic journal. There was a very favorable response to this idea, and I am willing to give it a try.

The Public-Access Computer Systems Review will contain short articles (1 to 7 single-spaced pages), columns, and reviews. PACS Review will cover all computer systems that libraries make available to their patrons, including CAI and ICAI programs, CD-ROM databases, expert systems, hypermedia systems, information delivery systems, local databases, online catalogs, and remote end-user search systems. All types of short communications dealing with these subjects are welcome. Articles that present innovative projects in libraries, even those at an early stage of their development, are especially welcome. Proposals for regular (or irregular) columns will be considered on an ongoing basis. There will be a section for reviews of books, journal articles, reports, and software. As a style guide, use Kate L. Turabian's A Manual for Writers (5th edition). If you are in doubt about whether your topic falls in the purview of PACS Review, consult my article: "Public-Access Computer Systems: The Next Generation of Library Automation Systems." Information Technology and Libraries 8 (June 1989): 178-185.

The initial editorial staff of the PACS Review will be as follows:

Editor: Charles W. Bailey, Jr., University of Houston

Editoral Board: Nancy Evans, Carnegie Mellon University
David R. McDonald, University of Michigan
Mike Ridley, McMaster University
R. Bruce Miller, University of California, San Diego

The PACS Review will come out on a regular schedule. I will determine the schedule based on the interest you show in submitting articles. If desired, authors can retain copyright to their works by notifying the editor. The logistics of distribution of the Review will be worked out at the release of the first issue. Either individual articles will be sent as PACS-L messages [PACS-L was a LISTSERV mailing list] or a table of contents will be sent and users will retrieve articles from the file server (at this point we do not have full documentation for the file server aspect of PACS-L). The PACS Review will have a volume and issue enumeration. It will be paginated.

I hope PACS Review will be timely, lively, and thought provoking. I hope that it will complement the PACS-L conference, potentially resulting in a unique interaction between formal and informal electronic communications. I welcome your contributions to this experimental electronic journal. Please send all articles to me at LIB3@UHUPVM1. Your contributions will determine whether this journal gets off the ground or not. Let's see if electronic publishing of library journals has a future!

The first issue of the PACS Review was published in 1990 and the last in 1998, for a total of 42 issues.

The following articles discuss the PACS Review:

  • Bailey, Charles W., Jr. "Electronic (Online) Publishing in Action . . . The Public-Access Computer Systems Review and Other Electronic Serials." ONLINE 15 (January 1991): 28-35. (Preprint)
  • Ensor, Pat, and Thomas Wilson. "Public-Access Computer Systems Review: Testing the Promise." The Journal of Electronic Publishing 3, no. 1 (1997).

Also see my "A Look Back at Twenty Years as an Internet Open Access Publisher."

Scholarly and Research Communication Established

A new open access journal, Scholarly and Research Communication, has been established.

Here's an excerpt from the journal's home page:

Scholarly and Research Communication is a peer-reviewed, interdisciplinary, Open Access, online journal that publishes original contributions to the understanding of production, dissemination, and usage of knowledge. It emphasizes the dynamics of representation and changing organizational elements, including technologically mediated workflows, ownership, and legal structures. Contributions are welcomed in all media and span formal research and analysis; technical reports and demonstration; commentary, and review.

Also see Rowland Lorimer's presentation "Scholarly and Research Communication: A Journal and Some Founding Ideas."

Overlay Journal Infrastructure for Meteorological Sciences (OJIMS): Final Report

JISC has released the Overlay Journal Infrastructure for Meteorological Sciences (OJIMS): Final Report.

Here's an excerpt:

The Overlay Journal Infrastructure for Meteorological Sciences (OJIMS) project developed the mechanisms that could support both a new on-line Journal of Meteorological Data and an Open-Access Repository for documents related to the meteorological sciences. The project had three fundamental aims:

  • Creation of overlay journal mechanics.
  • Creation of an open access subject based repository for Meteorology and atmospheric sciences.
  • Construction and evaluation of business models for potential overlay journals. . . .
  • The proposal for the Journal of Meteorological Data is that it would be an on-line, peer-reviewed data journal. It would extend the scientific discipline of peer review to data, providing recognition for the work of creating data. The rigorous, but manageable, standards for metadata and documentation prescribed will facilitate re-use of the data, encourage appropriate application of the data to scientific problems and enable experiments to be repeated. A review process was proposed which encompasses three elements: a data description document, metadata and the data themselves. All three elements would be reviewed, but citation would be of the text article

    .

University of California Systemwide 2008 Use Statistics for Databases, E-Books, and Journals

The California Digital Library has released University of California systemwide 2008 use statistics for selected databases, e-books, and journals.

Here's an excerpt from the announcement:

One of the observations from reading the 2008 usage reports is that there are wide variations in some reported statistics. Some of the changes may reflect actual usage trends and some may result from anomalies in the data. Below are some possible reasons for the usage changes:

  • New content or backfiles have been added
  • New features or links implemented on the interface associated with full-text access
  • Data mining activities
  • More external entry points for the full-text content, e.g., Google Scholar
  • Greater use of Google Scholar and other search engines instead of A&I databases, resulting in usage declines for those databases
  • Research interest changes on the campuses

In addition, some publishers are now providing and end-users have begun using software that allows users to easily download multiple full-text articles simultaneously.  For example, since September 2008, Elsevier has partnered with Quosa, a document download software company, to allow users to download up to 20 PDF versions of full-text research with only a few clicks.  CDL will be monitoring the effect these new tools may have on UC usage reports.

African Journals Online Migrates to Open Journal Systems Platform

African Journals Online has migrated all of its journals to Open Journal Systems.

Here's an excerpt from the press release:

At 346 journals from 26 countries, AJOL is the world’s largest online collection of African journals, but until now, has included only tables of content, abstracts, and journal information on the website. As of the beginning of May, 60% of the 40,000 plus articles on AJOL will be available for immediate download. By the end of 2009, AJOL aims to have 100% of its growing collection fully full-text online.

The updated site and the new functionality are possible due to a close collaboration between AJOL and the Public Knowledge Project (PKP), developers of Open Journal Systems (OJS)—the open source software which powers the AJOL service. AJOL is also supported by its donor partners, INASP and the Ford Foundation.

AJOL receives an average of 60,000 visits per month, 30% of which are from the African continent and over 15% from other parts of the developing world. The global researcher community and the authors and institutions whose work is published in the portal benefit from this increased access and visibility of African knowledge provided by AJOL. The new portal helps AJOL achieve its greater goal of shifting global flows of scholarly information, so that the importance of research published from the global south is more equitably represented.

AJOL allows for both Subscription-based and Open Access journals to be hosted for free on the site, with article downloads to toll journals being processed by AJOL and income sent on to the originating journals, less AJOL cost-recovery. In the future, AJOL will begin providing access to journal management functions of OJS to its partner Open Access journals, as a way to improve editorial quality and lower production costs.

DigitalKoans

Presentations from UK Serials Group’s 32nd Annual Conference Are Available

Presentations from UK Serials Group 32nd Annual Conference are now available (plenary sessions and breakout sessions).

Here's a quick sample:

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

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."

E-Journals: Their Use, Value and Impact

The Research Information Network has released E-Journals: Their Use, Value and Impact.

Here's an excerpt from the announcement:

The report was undertaken by the Centre for Information Behaviour and the Evaluation of Research (CIBER) at University College London for the RIN to provide a detailed analysis of how academic researchers in the UK have responded to the provision of e-journals, and how this has shaped their information seeking behaviour and their usage of e-journals. The project looked at:

  • investigating researchers behaviour: looking at levels and patterns of use, the content viewed and how they navigate to it
  • finding out how researchers' behaviours may vary by subjects and disciplines, and the type of university they study at
  • gathering and analysing evidence of relationships between researchers' behaviour and institutional spending on e-journals, and
  • gathering and analysing evidence of relations between researchers' behaviour and research productivity, outputs, including number of publications produced, citations attracted and the results of research evaluation.

University of Arizona Libraries Collaborate with Faculty Member to Publish New E-Journal

The University of Arizona Libraries and UA Regents' Professor Richard Wilkinson have collaborated to publish a new quarterly e-journal, the Journal of Ancient Egyptian Interconnections.

Here's an excerpt from the press release:

The Journal of Ancient Egyptian Interconnections, or the JAEI, was created by Wilkinson, a UA classics and Near Eastern studies professor, and will be hosted on the UA Libraries' institutional repository site, also known as UAiR.

The digitially-based, peer-reviewed journal explores the relationship between ancient Egypt and its surrounding regions and helps develop an important new trend in Egyptological scholarship by taking an interdisciplinary approach.

The journal publishes full-length articles, which have been subjected to the same peer-reviewed, blind screening process used by traditional scholarly print journals. The JAEI will also include short research notes, reviews of published works, announcements and reports of relevant conferences and symposia.

The journal also examines the relationship between ancient Egypt and its neighbors through different lenses, ranging from history to technology to art and religion. . . .

The journal counts Oxford and Harvard universities among its initial subscribers and subscriptions have already been received from a number of countries. Interest has also been high among scholars wanting to contribute to the journal.

ARL Report: Current Models of Digital Scholarly Communication

The Association of Research Libraries has released Current Models of Digital Scholarly Communication by Nancy L. Maron and K. Kirby Smith, plus a database of associated examples.

Here's an excerpt from the press release:

In the spring of 2008, ARL engaged Ithaka’s Strategic Services Group to conduct an investigation into the range of online resources valued by scholars, paying special attention to those projects that are pushing beyond the boundaries of traditional formats and are considered innovative by the faculty who use them. The networked digital environment has enabled the creation of many new kinds of works, and many of these resources have become essential tools for scholars conducting research, building scholarly networks, and disseminating their ideas and work, but the decentralized distribution of these new-model works has made it difficult to fully appreciate their scope and number.

Ithaka’s findings are based on a collection of resources identified by a volunteer field team of over 300 librarians at 46 academic institutions in the US and Canada. Field librarians talked with faculty members on their campuses about the digital scholarly resources they find most useful and reported the works they identified. The authors evaluated each resource gathered by the field team and conducted interviews of project leaders of 11 representative resources. Ultimately, 206 unique digital resources spanning eight formats were identified that met the study’s criteria.

The study’s innovative qualitative approach yielded a rich cross-section of today’s state of the art in digital scholarly resources. The report profiles each of the eight genres of resources, including discussion of how and why the faculty members reported using the resources for their work, how content is selected for the site, and what financial sustainability strategies the resources are employing. Each section draws from the in-depth interviews to provide illustrative anecdotes and representative examples.

Highlights from the study’s findings include:

  • While some disciplines seem to lend themselves to certain formats of digital resource more than others, examples of innovative resources can be found across the humanities, social sciences, and scientific/technical/medical subject areas.

  • Of all the resources suggested by faculty, almost every one that contained an original scholarly work operates under some form of peer review or editorial oversight.

  • Some of the resources with greatest impact are those that have been around a long while.

  • While some resources serve very large audiences, many digital publications—capable of running on relatively small budgets—are tailored to small, niche audiences.

  • Innovations relating to multimedia content and Web 2.0 functionality appear in some cases to blur the lines between resource types.

  • Projects of all sizes—especially open-access sites and publications—employ a range of support strategies in the search for financial sustainability.

Digital Will Be Default Format for Astrophysical Journal Letters in 2009

According to a 7/22/08 message by Michael R. Blake on liblicense-l ("American Astronomical Society Subscription Change"), digital distribution will be the default format for the Astrophysical Journal Letters starting in 2009. Customers who want a print version will need to request it. Print will be available at no extra cost in 2009; however, it is anticipated that there will be a charge at some future point.

Code4Lib Journal Adopts Creative Commons Attribution License

Starting with its just released third issue, the Code4Lib Journal is using the Creative Commons Attribution License for its articles, making this freely available journal an open access journal under the strictest definition of that term (sometimes called "full open access").

Here's an excerpt from the editorial that discusses this change:

In order to facilitate the ability of our readers to build upon the ideas presented in the Journal, beginning with Issue 3 all articles are licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution (CC-BY) license. The CC-BY license lets you reuse, share, and build upon the work presented in the article, as long as you credit the author for the original creation. This licensing is required for inclusion in the Directory of Open Access Journals (DOAJ) and to receive a SPARC Europe Seal. Code snippets included in the text are included under the CC-BY license. For other code included with an article, we recommend, but don’t require, an open source license. We are contacting all authors with articles published in previous issues to request they license their previously published Code4Lib Journal articles under the CC-BY license.

2007 Impact Factors for PLoS Journals Released

The Public Library of Science has reported the 2007 impact factors for its journals as calculated by Thomson Reuters:

  • 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.

Digital Preservation of E-Journals in 2008: Urgent Action Revisited Released

Portico and Ithaka have released Digital Preservation of E-Journals in 2008: Urgent Action Revisited.

Here's an excerpt from the announcement:

In September 2005, library directors from 17 universities and colleges met to discuss the current state of electronic journal preservation and endorsed a statement calling for “Urgent Action” to preserve scholarly e-journals. Over two years later in January 2008, in the Portico and Ithaka invited 1,371 library directors of four-year colleges and universities in the United States to respond to a survey examining current perspectives on preservation of e-journals. A strong response has yielded interesting findings that we now share with the community in the hope they will spark useful discussion among library directors, funders, and administrators regarding strategic library priorities.

The survey finds that a large majority of library directors across the spectrum strongly agree or agree that the potential loss of e-journals is unacceptable, and a significant majority believe their own institution has a responsibility to take action to prevent an intolerable loss of the scholarly record. Most larger libraries responding now support one or more e-journal preservation initiatives; however, the majority of respondents from smaller libraries have yet to support any preservation effort and secure permanent access to e-journals for their institutions. The survey shows that this majority is significantly uncertain about their options for e-journal preservation and how urgent is the need to act.

Sustainability and Revenue Models for Online Academic Resources: An Ithaka Report Released

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.

Presentations from the 152nd ARL Membership Meeting

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:

Repository Interface for Overlaid Journal Archives: Results from an Online Questionnaire Survey

The RIOJA project has released Repository Interface for Overlaid Journal Archives: Results from an Online Questionnaire Survey.

Here's an excerpt from the "Introduction":

The Repository Interface for Overlaid Journal Archives (RIOJA) project (http://www.ucl.ac.uk/ls/rioja) is an international partnership of members of academic staff, librarians and technologists from UCL (University College London), the University of Cambridge, the University of Glasgow, Imperial College London and Cornell University. It aims to address some of the issues around the development and implementation of a new publishing model, that of the overlay journal – defined, for the purposes of the project, as a quality-assured journal whose content is deposited to and resides in one or more open access repositories. The project is funded by the Joint Information Systems Committee (JISC, http://www.jisc.ac.uk/) and runs from April 2007 to June 2008.

The RIOJA project will create an interoperability toolkit to enable the overlay of certification onto papers housed in subject repositories. The intention is that the tool will be generic, helping any repository to realise its potential to act as a more complete scholarly resource. The project will also create a demonstrator overlay journal, using the arXiv repository and OJS software, with interaction between the two facilitated by the RIOJA toolkit.

To inform and shape the project, a survey of Astrophysics and Cosmology researchers has been conducted. The findings from that survey form the basis of this report.

The project team will also undertake formal and informal discussion with publishers and with academic and managing members of editorial boards. The survey and supplementary discussions will help to ensure that the RIOJA outputs address the needs and expectations of the research community. Finally, the overall long-term sustainability of a repository-overlay journal will be assessed. The project will examine the costs of adding peer review to arXiv deposits, of implementing and maintaining the functionality which the survey shows to be most valued by researchers, and of providing long-term preservation of content, and will aim to identify and appraise possible cost-recovery business models.

The Texas Digital Library Repository Is Live

Although there appears to have been no formal public announcement about its roll out, the DSpace-based Texas Digital Library Repository is available.

The TDL Repository contains some initial materials (mainly ETDs and Seventeenth-Century News) from three of the four founding TDL members (Texas A&M University at College Station, Texas Tech University at Lubbock, and the University of Texas at Austin; there are no materials from the University of Houston) as well as from the University of Texas at Arlington.

Using Open Journal Systems, TDL also provides access to the Journal of Digital Information, which is supported by the Texas A&M University Libraries.

The Texas Digital Library Shibboleth Federation has made progress in providing Shibboleth access to TDL for three of the four founding members (the status as of August 2007 was: Texas A&M University at College Station: fully deployed, Texas Tech University at Lubbock: agreement reached, and the University of Texas at Austin: fully deployed; there was no activity at the University of Houston). Progress was also being made for Shibboleth access for Baylor University, Texas State University, and the University of North Texas.