Welcome to the SPARC Open Access Newsletter, issue #106
February 2, 2007
by Peter Suber
Read this issue online
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Mandate momentum in 2007
Last month I called 2006 the year of the OA mandate. The momentum is clearly continuing. In the first month of 2007 we saw four adopted OA mandates, five pledges to adopt OA mandates, and five significant calls for OA mandates. Let me step through them.
The University of Paris Descartes' Labortoire de Psychologie et Neurosciences Cognitives announced a simple, sufficient mandate: "Allocation of funds to research teams is dependent upon members depositing pdf/rtf documents of all work accepted for publication in peer-reviewed journals." This is one of the few university or departmental policies that applies to locally-funded research.
The Executive Body on the UN Convention on Long-range Transboundary Air Pollution (LRTAP) adopted a policy mandating OA to data covered by the convention. The mandate is weakened by several exceptions, but clearly shifts the default to OA.
When the UK version of PubMed Central (UKPMC) launched on January 8, the press release from JISC said that the nine members of the UKPMC Funders Group "now require that articles describing the results of research they support are made available in UKPMC."
One member of the UKPMC Funders Group is the Wellcome Trust and two belong to the Research Councils UK: the Medical Research Council policy and the Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council policy. Their OA mandates are not new and I'm not counting them in the January total. Three are still developing their OA policies: the British Heart Foundation, Cancer Research UK, and the UK Department of Health. I count these three groups as pledging to adopt OA mandates. And two have newly adopted OA mandates: the Arthritis Research Campaign and the Chief Scientist Office of the Scottish Executive Health Department.
The Arthritis Research Campaign is, confusingly, the second funding agency with the initials ARC to adopt an OA mandate; the other is the Australian Research Council. (In this article, ARC refers to the former.) The ARC policy is very similar to the Wellcome Trust policy: a direct mandate with a maximum six month embargo, stipulating deposit in UKPMC. It encourages authors to publish in OA journals, and will pay publication fees if they do; but if they choose to publish in a TA journal, then they must get permission for ARC's OA archiving. If they can't get that permission, then they must publish elsewhere.
The OA policy at the Chief Scientist Office is just one sentence long: "A copy of the final, peer-reviewed version of all papers arising from the funded research and accepted for publication must be deposited in a publicly accessible repository (UK PubMed Central when this is established) and be made freely available within 6 months." I like the way it doesn't shy away from the word "must".
That's only eight members of the UK Funders Group, however. JISC is the ninth. Because JISC wrote the press release saying that members of the group "now require" OA through UKPMC, we should assume that JISC too is formulating a policy. On the other hand, JISC is not included on the UKPMC page of OA policies at members of the Funders Group. I've tentatively classified JISC as pledging to adopt an OA mandate but I'm prepared to retract it.
Beyond the UKPMC circle, the Scientific Council of the European Research Council (ERC) pledged that the ERC would adopt an OA mandate "as soon as pertinent repositories become operational." Unlike many other mandates, this one will also apply to data files. As far as we know today, the ERC mandate will be the first mandate to apply across Europe. The ERC is a new EU-wide funding agency that will disburse about one billion Euros per year for basic research in all disciplines.
That leaves the five calls for mandates.
India's National Knowledge Commission (NKC) has been at work since June 2005 and the NKC Working Group on Libraries issued its first recommendations to the Indian government in December (releasing them to the public in January). The group recommended OA to peer-reviewed research articles arising from publicly-funded research.
The European Research Advisory Board (EURAB) described a stellar OA policy in a December 2006 report, which it released to the public in January. The policy would mandate OA to EU-funded research, cap the permissible embargo at six months, and give authors a choice of repositories for deposit. It fully implements what I call the dual deposit/release strategy or what Stevan Harnad calls the immediate deposit / optional access strategy (except that here, flipping the access switch on deposited articles from closed to open is delayed but mandatory, not optional). The policy makes no needless compromises based on misunderstandings about copyright, and it encourages member states to adopt their own OA policies to buttress the EU-wide policy.
A coalition of major European institutions launched a petition to European Commission on January 14, 2007. The petition draws on three earlier calls for a Europe-wide OA mandate and asks the EC to adopt their recommendations. The three earlier recommendations are (1) a 2006 report commissioned by the EC itself on scientific publishing in Europe, (2) the EURAB recommendation, above, and (3) the ERC OA statement and pledge, above.
NB: The petition is still open. All signatures are welcome, but they are most urgently needed from European researchers and European research institutions. If you haven't signed, please sign ASAP. And spread the word. As I go to press, the petition has 16,329 signatures.
Conservation Commons launched a petition to the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) calling for open access to publicly-funded research on biodiversity and the environment. It too is still open for signatures, which will be presented to the UNEP Governing Council at its upcoming meeting in Nairobi, February 5-9, 2007. Please sign this one too and spread the word.
Finally, the European University Association Working Group on Open Access issued a statement on OA that endorsed the recommendations of the EC report, the ERC statement, and the EURAB proposal, which all recommended an EU-wide OA mandate.
Scholars and conference participants recommend OA mandates every month. These five recommendations are special because they come from organizations that carry special weight with the governments or organizations to which the recommendations are directed. The Indian government appointed the National Knowledge Commission and is bound to listen carefully to its advice. EURAB is an independent agency created by the EU to make recommendations on research policy questions, and the OA recommendation falls squarely into this category. The petition to the EC is sponsored by JISC (Joint Information Systems Committee, UK), SURF (the Netherlands), DFG (Deutsches Forschungsgemeinschaft, Germany), DEFF (Danmarks Elektroniske Fag- og Forskningsbibliotek, Denmark), and SPARC Europe --the first four of which are national agencies in EU nations. And of course the petition urges the EC to adopt the recommendations from a report it commissioned itself. The petition to the UNEP is sponsored by Conservation Commons, an initiative of the effective and respected World Conservation Union (IUCN). And the European University Association is in a unique position to influence member institutions, not only to support EU-wide action but also to adopt effective institution-wide OA policies.
Note the fast-growing momentum for mandates in Europe. All nine of the new and pledged mandates from the UKPMC Funders Group are European. The Neuroscience lab mandate at the University of Paris is European. The ERC's pledged mandate will apply across Europe. And the mandates recommended by EURAB, EUA, and the petition to the EC will also apply across Europe. Right now Europe is the hot spot for OA policy. Watch for the EC's communication on an OA mandate to be released February 15 and watch the EC-hosted conference in Brussels on February 15-16, Scientific Publishing in the European Research Area - Access, Dissemination, and Preservation in the Digital Age.
Here's a recap of a busy month for OA mandates:
* Newly adopted mandates
--Labortoire de Psychologie et Neurosciences Cognitives, University of Paris Descartes
--UN Convention on Long-range Transboundary Air Pollution
--Arthritis Research Campaign (UK)
--Chief Scientist Office of the Scottish Executive Health Department
* Pledged future mandates
--British Heart Foundation
--Cancer Research UK
--UK Department of Health.
--Joint Information Systems Committee (JISC)
--Scientific Council of the European Research Council (ERC)
* Recommended mandates
--India's National Knowledge Commission (NKC)
--European Research Advisory Board (EURAB)
--Petition to the European Commission
--Petition to the United Nations Environment Programme
--European University Association (EUA)
* Here are some links on these mandates, pledges and recommendations:
Labortoire de Psychologie et Neurosciences Cognitives (LPNCog) at the University of Paris Descartes
The LPNCog OA mandate, from ROARMAP
The UN Convention on Long-range Transboundary Air Pollution (LRTAP)
The report of the Executive Body on the LRTAP convention, announcing the new OA mandate, January 17, 2007
UK PubMed Central (UKPMC)
JISC's press release on the launch of UKPMC, January 8, 2007
UKPMC Funders Group
The OA policies of the members of the UKPMC Funders Group
Scientific Council of the European Research Council
ERC Scientific Council Statement on Open Access, December 2006 (not apparently released or noticed until January 2007)
India's National Knowledge Commission
The NKC's December 7, 2006, letter to the Prime Minister, Dr. Manmohan Singh, recommending OA to publicly-funded research (released to the public c. 1/12/07)
European Research Advisory Board (EURAB)
EURAB's report: Scientific Publication: Policy On Open Access (dated December 2006 but released January 10, 2007)
Petition for guaranteed public access to publicly-funded research results (launched January 14, 2007)
Study on the Economic and Technical Evolution of the Scientific Publication Markets in Europe, a report by Françoise Vandooren and Mathias Dewatripont, commissioned by the EC, dated January 2006 and released on March 31, 2006.
Conservation Commons petition to the UNEP calling for OA to publicly funded research on biodiversity and the environment.
European University Association
Statement from the European University Association Working Group on Open Access, January 26, 2007.
Scientific Publishing in the European Research Area - Access, Dissemination, and Preservation in the Digital Age (a conference hosted by the European Commission)
Brussels, February 15-16, 2007
* Here's some mandate-related news and comment from January:
Anon., Zugang strengstens erlaubt, Der Standard, January 2, 2007. On the OA mandate at Austria's FWF.
Michael Geist, Time's choice could prove inspired, Toronto Star, January 8, 2007. Reiterating his call for Canada to mandate OA to publicly-funded research.
Cory Doctorow, The Foundations of Open Access, Free Culture @ NYU, January 9, 2007. Calling on funders to mandate OA for the products of their funding.
Barbara Kirsop, Leslie Chan, Subbiah Arunachalam, Open access essential to improve information exchange, SciDev.Net, January 11, 2007. Calling on UN agencies to go beyond HINARI, AGORA, and OARE-like programs to support OA mandates for publicly-funded research.
Stevan Harnad, EURAB's Proposed OA Mandate: Strongest of the 20 Adopted and 5 Proposed So Far, Open Access Archivangelism, January 15, 2007.
Stevan Harnad, Researchers of the World: Unite to Support European Commission Open Access Policy, Open Access Archivangelism, January 17, 2007.
Stevan Harnad, CIHR's proposal to mandate self-archiving, University Affairs, January 2007. A letter to the editor.
A Slashdot thread on the EC petition started on January 18, 2007.
Tony Hey, Open access - transforming scholarly publishing, Panlibus, Spring 2007. Scroll to p. 20. Hey, the VP for Technical Computing at Microsoft, wrote that "I am convinced that some form of mandatory open access to research papers is only a matter of time."
The Australian Research Council (ARC) and National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC) issued a joint press release on their previously announced OA mandates, January 23, 2007.
Stevan Harnad, Green OA is no threat to grants: Pre-emptive Gold OA, today, might be, Open Access Archivangelism, January 25, 2007.
Peter Suber, Who's signing the European Petition, Open Access News, January 29, 2007.
Richard Wray, Nobel prize winners join calls to open research to all, The Guardian, January 30, 2007.
Anon., European Petition Seeking Open Access to Research Draws 13,000 Names, Chronicle of Higher Education News Blog, January 30, 2007.
Twelve reminders about FRPAA
Two important OA bills will be re-introduced in the new session of Congress. One would convert the NIH policy from a request to a requirement and one will be the 2007 version of the Federal Research Public Access Act (FRPAA). Both were introduced last year, attracted wide support and fierce opposition, and ended the session without a vote.
I was going to wait until the bills were re-introduced before refreshing everyone's memories on the fine points of some of the issues they raise. But the controversy over the new anti-OA campaign from the Association of American Publishers (AAP) has put a media spotlight on some objections and misunderstandings that need correction sooner rather than later.
Here are 12 reminders of what FRPAA actually says. There are more than 12 salient provisions in the bill, but to judge from last year's lobbying and this year's pre-season warm-up, these are the ones most likely to be overlooked or distorted by opponents. Think of this as an inoculation of truth against truthiness, protection for a season of heated rhetoric. (In general, the same 12 points apply to the NIH policy, but I'll cover FRPAA first and explain the differences from the NIH policy later.)
(1) FRPAA mandates deposit in an OA repository, not submission to an OA journal. It focuses on green OA and ignores gold OA.
(2) It does not mandate that subscription-based journals convert to OA. It does not tell any kind of journals what their access policies or business models ought to be. It regulates grantees, not publishers.
(3) It only applies to articles that have already been published in peer-reviewed journals.
This provision has three important consequences. First, it means that FRPAA doesn't apply to unpublished articles or research notes. Therefore, it doesn't force premature disclosure from researchers who make patentable discoveries. The policy kicks in only after researchers voluntarily decide to publish.
Second, the policy does not bypass or alter peer review; it merely widens access to peer-reviewed research.
Third, it's about archiving copies, not manipulating originals. Hence, the possibility of censorship doesn't come up. The originals will be in libraries and independent web sites around the world, wherever the publisher's market reach, distribution system, and preservation back-ups have managed to place them. If some of the published originals are not in fact copied for OA archiving, or if some copies are removed after deposit, that would be regrettable (and violate the policy). But it would not affect the originals at all. It would not delete them from libraries and independent web sites around the world, shrink the range of their distribution, change their access policies, or reduce their visibility. To use the word "censorship" to describe the incomplete copying of literature already published, distributed, stored, curated, and preserved in independent locations is incoherent newspeak. Or (to play along), if occasional non-archiving really is a kind of censorship, then publishers who want to defeat an OA archiving mandate like FRPAA want systematic non-archiving and mass censorship.
(4) Under FRPAA, the government will not decide what gets published or tell journals what to publish. The government will not conduct peer review or tell journals how to conduct peer review. It will not become a publisher (where it wasn't already a publisher). It will not "nationalize science" (whatever that means).
Government funding agencies will continue to decide what research projects they will fund. That's a significant power, but FRPAA didn't create it and defeating FRPAA won't repeal it.
(5) FRPAA mandates deposit in an OA repository, but it does not limit deposits to a single repository.
This is true in two senses. First, FRPAA lets federal funding agencies host their own repositories or point grantees to suitable external repositories. Second, even after agencies make their choice, and authors deposit their work in the designated repository, authors are not limited to that repository and may deposit their work in any other repositories as well. The first point means that the designated repositories won't always be controlled by the government. The second point means that, even when they are, authors may deposit in independent repositories without restraint. The policy opens new access doors without closing any old ones.
(6) FRPAA does not apply to the published edition of an article. It applies only to the final version of the author's peer-reviewed manuscript --basically, the version approved by peer review but not yet copy-edited. This is a concession to publishers to preserve library incentives to subscribe.
(7) FRPAA gives publishers the option to replace the author's manuscript in the designated repository with the final published version. This is a solution for publishers who worry about the circulation of multiple versions.
(8) FRPAA does not mandate OA immediately upon publication, but permits embargoes up to six months.
Hence, for the majority of non-OA publishers who demand transfer of copyright, FRPAA allows time to enjoy the exclusive rights granted by copyright. For the first six months after publication, publishers will have exclusive distribution rights to both the published edition and the final version of the author's peer-reviewed manuscript. After six months, publishers will still have exclusive distribution rights to the published edition, and the only time limit on this exclusivity is the term of copyright itself (the life of the author plus
5070 years). Of course, publishers may voluntarily waive some of these exclusive rights by permitting authors to self-archive their postprints, and today about 70% of surveyed publishers do just that.
(9) FRPAA does not provide funds for publication fees at fee-based OA journals.
There's a healthy ongoing debate about whether funding agencies should offer to pay these fees. Are they an unaffordable diversion of funds from research or a needed investment in peer-reviewed journals and unembargoed OA? (There are publishers and OA proponents on each side of this question.) The debate should continue, but don't let it confuse the issues. Objections to the practice are not objections to FRPAA --or to the analogous OA policy from the Australian Research Council, where this confusion has already arisen.
(10) FRPAA does not depend on publisher consent or cooperation. It relies instead on a special license already passed by Congress authorizing federal funding agencies to disseminate the results of the research they fund.
(11) FRPAA does not amend copyright law. It does not seize or invalidate copyrights held by others, prevent government-funded researchers from holding copyrights on their work, prevent them from transferring their copyrights to publishers, or prevent publishers from holding or using those copyrights.
(12) Finally, FRPAA makes no assumptions about how many members of the lay public are interested in reading peer-reviewed scientific research articles. The purpose of the policy is to widen access for everyone who can make use of the research --researchers and non-researchers alike.
* Each of these FRPAA reminders also applies to the NIH policy except that (a) the NIH policy requests and encourages OA without requiring it, (b) it requires deposit in PubMed Central, and (c) the NIH, in a separate policy, does provide funds to pay publication fees at fee-based OA journals.
* For details on both policies, including the official wording to back up my paraphrases above, see the links below:
Official text of FRPAA 2006
(the final colon is part of the URL)
Alliance for Taxpayer Access page on FRPAA
My SOAN article on FRPAA, May 2, 2006
NIH page on the NIH public access policy
Official text of the NIH policy
My FAQ on the NIH policy
* For a sense of the kind of lobbying rhetoric we may encounter in opposition to FRPAA and a strengthened NIH policy, see the major stories on the AAP from January:
Jim Giles, PR's 'pit bull' takes on open access, Nature, January 24, 2007.
Mark Chillingworth, Nature uncovers PR attack on open access, Information World Review, January 25, 2007.
Susan Brown, Publishers' Group Reportedly Hires P.R. Firm to Counter Push for Free Access to Research Results, Chronicle of Higher Education, January 26, 2007
Andrew Leonard, Science publishers get stupid, Salon, January 25, 2007.
Rick Weiss, Publishing Group Hires 'Pit Bull of PR', Washington Post, January 26, 2007.
David Biello, Open Access to Science Under Attack, Scientific American, January 26, 2007.
Response from Brian Crawford, Chairman of the Association of American Publishers (AAP) Professional/Scholarly Publishing division (PSP), January 26, 2007.
Response from Barbara Meredith, Vice President of the Association of American Publishers (AAP) Professional/Scholarly Publishing division (PSP), January 26, 2007.
A Slashdot thread on the AAP launched on January 25, 2007.
Prue Adler and Karla Hahn of the ARL sent an open letter about the AAP campaign to the Directors of all ARL libraries, January 31, 2007.
* Postscript. I'm conscious that one strategy suggested to the AAP by its new PR advisor is to keep OA proponents on the defensive with baseless objections. (From the Jim Giles article in Nature: "Dezenhall noted that if the other side is on the defensive, it doesn't matter if they can discredit your statements....[He] advised [Elsevier, Wiley, and the ACS] to focus on simple messages, such as 'Public access equals government censorship'.") The AAP's Barbara Meredith says that "reporters picked up on some early proposals that were not adopted" and I do hope the AAP will keep the debate on the merits. But if you encounter baseless objections, don't be thrown on the defensive. One counter-strategy is to respond online --as I'm doing here-- and link to the responses as needed. Don't let absurd claims go unanswered, but don't take the bait and spend a lot of time answering them. If you don't like my answers, use others or write your own. Either way, use links to recycle the answers as often as critics recycle the objections. Be sure to include a link to the strategy to keep OA proponents on the defensive with baseless objections.
* PPS. As long as I'm on the subject, here's some other FRPAA news from January:
The National Society of Consulting Soil Scientists (NSCSS) endorsed FRPAA.
FreeCulture declared February 15 a "National Day of Action" for students to support OA and FRPAA.
David S. Stern, Vice President for Academic and Student Affairs of Hamline University, publicly endorsed FRPAA.
Here's what happened, or what I noticed, since the last issue, emphasizing action and policy over scholarship and opinion. I put the most important items first, with double asterisks, and otherwise cluster them loosely by topic. Most of the time I link to my blog postings, not to the sources themselves, because I only want to include one link and my blog postings usually bring many relevant links together.
** The UK-based Arthritis Research Campaign announced an OA mandate for ARC-funded research.
** The Chief Scientist Office of the Scottish Executive Health Department announced an OA mandate for CSO-funded research.
** The Scientific Council of the European Research Council (ERC) issued a Statement on Open Access (December 2006) in which it pledged to adopt an OA mandate for ERC-funded research "as soon as pertinent repositories become operational".
** UK PubMed Central (UKPMC) officially launched on January 8. At the same time, eight of the nine members of the Funders Group announced that they do, or will, mandate OA for the research they fund and mandate deposit in UKPMC.
** The UN Convention on Long-range Transboundary Air Pollution (LRTAP) now includes a policy mandating OA to data covered by the convention, with some exceptions.
** The European Research Advisory Board (EURAB) recommended an OA mandate for EU-funded research.
** The Working Group on Libraries for India's National Knowledge Commission released its December 7, 2006, letter to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh. The group recommends an OA mandate for publicly-funded research.
** The European University Association's Working Group on Open Access released a Statement on Open Access, endorsing an EU-wide OA mandate.
** When UK universities pay publication fees on behalf of faculty who publish in fee-based OA journals, there are two ways in which they can be reimbursed by the Research Councils UK for at least part of the expense. The Research Information Network published a December 2006 briefing note with details.
** Emerald launched Emerald Asset (Accessible Scholarship Shared in an Electronic Environment), an unusual no-fee hybrid program for its engineering journals. By my count, this is the third no-fee hybrid program.
** Karger Medical and Scientific Publishers adopted a hybrid OA program for eight of its journals.
** The University of Michigan Press launched a new OA imprint, Digital Cultural Books. Books in the series will appear in both OA editions and priced, printed editions.
** The Association of American Publishers (AAP) hired Eric Dezenhall ("the pit bull of public relations") to keep OA proponents "on the defensive" with messages like "public access equals government censorship". Dezenhall reportedly asked for $300,000 - 500,000 for six months of work. The AAP responded that the Nature article breaking the story misrepresented the facts but did not elaborate on which details were incorrect.
** The US Department of Energy (DOE) and the British Library agreed to build an OA portal of world science.
* Canada adopted a policy requiring many online-only publishers to deposit copies of their publications to the Library and Archives Canada and to remove the DRM first. It lets publishers choose between depositing an OA copy or a copy that can only be viewed from terminals within the library, and encourages them to choose the OA deposit.
* The report from a September 2006 conference outlined new data-sharing recommendations for the US National Science Foundation.
* The NIH launched another OA database: the Database of Genotype and Phenotype (dbGaP).
* Sun Microsystems spun off Curriki, "the Wikipedia of curriculum".
* The Indian government launched OA "knowledge portals" on water and energy, the first two in a series.
* The European Commission has launched ERAWATCH, an OA database of research policies throughout Europe.
* British commentators are saying that the new OA Statute Law Database may signal a "sea change" in public policy and trigger OA to other public information.
* The US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) has launched an archive of OA data on surface ocean temperatures.
* ProQuest Dissertations & Theses (PQDT) now includes "Dissertations & Theses @", a feature giving universities OA to all of their own PQ-hosted ETDs.
* The Digital Library Federation (DLF), with help from the National Science Digital Library, maintains a wiki on OAI Best Practices.
* Germany withdrew from Project Quero, the European search engine designed to challenge Google.
* TechXtra expanded its coverage of OA content in engineering, mathematics, and computer science.
* Philipp Lenssen "freed" 100 Google-scanned public-domain books by posting them to his free book site, Authorama, where they could be viewed and downloaded without the restrictions that Google asked users to respect.
* The University of Texas at Austin has joined the Google Library project.
* Five Catalonian libraries, including the National Library of Catalonia, joined the Google Library project.
* Google signed up its first Chinese book publisher to supply digitized books for Google Book Search. Cite Publishing Holding Group was explicit that it expected that Google indexing to increase sales.
* The British Library launched a program to digitize journal backfiles.
* SPARC launched SPARC Japan.
*Anthony Mao translated the Budapest Open Access Initiative and the Berlin Declaration on Open Access into Chinese. Anthony had previously translated the Bethesda Statement into Chinese.
* The Portuguese Conference of University Rectors signed the Berlin Declaration on Open Access to Knowledge.
* Three more German research institutions signed the Berlin Declaration on Open Access to Knowledge.
* Two more Dutch universities signed the Berlin Declaration on Open Access to Knowledge.
* Open Access Research issued a call for papers and became the first peer-reviewed OA journal devoted to OA itself.
* BioMed Central launched BMC Systems Biology.
* The Journal of Men, Masculinities and Spirituality is a new peer-reviewed, OA journal.
* The International Journal of Communication is a new peer-reviewed OA journal published by the USC Annenberg Center for Communication.
* Child Health and Education is a new OA journal from Simon Fraser University.
* Intersticios: Revista sociológica de pensamiento crítico is a new peer-reviewed OA journal distributed on the Scholarly Exchange free journal publishing platform.
* The Journal of Infection in Developing Countries is a new peer-reviewed OA journal.
* Wealth Strategies Journal is a new OA journal on estate planning published by Joshua Tree Enterprises.
* The International Journal of Design is a new peer-reviewed OA journal now assembling its inaugural issue.
* JournalJunkie is a new service providing free online podcasts of the abstracts of articles in selected medical journals.
* EPrints issued Version 3.0, Release Candidate 2.
..and then the final Version 3.0.
* Fedora issued version 2.2.
* OAIster passed the milestone of harvesting its 10 millionth record.
* The Bioinformatics Organization has announced the nominees for the 2007 Benjamin Franklin Award for Open Access in the Life Sciences.
* James Till discovered that the use of the "open access" tag at Connotea increased sevenfold from 2005 to 2006 and that the difference between its growth and the growth for tags like "internet" and "neuroscience" was statistically significant.
* David S. Stern, Vice President for Academic and Student Affairs of Hamline University, publicly endorsed the Federal Research Public Access Act of 2006 (FRPAA). He is the 132nd senior administrator of a US university to do so.
* The Yale Law School Information Society Project and the International Journal of Communications Law and Policy announced a writing competition on access to knowledge in conjunction with the Second Conference on Access to Knowledge (New Haven, April 27-29, 2007).
* A US appellate court ruled against Brewster Kahle's attempt to move orphan works into the public domain prior to the expiration of copyright.
* The American Anthropological Association announced that it would provide free online access to AnthroSource for Historically Black Colleges and Universities, Tribal Colleges, and qualifying institutions from less developed countries.
* Norwegian university libraries rejected the whole package of 778 Blackwell journals because of "unacceptable conditions and price increases".
* Five European library organizations sent an open letter the European Commission's Directorate General for Competition, opposing the Wiley plan to buy Blackwell.
* The Information Access Alliance urged the US Department of Justice and Federal Trade Commission to consider anti-trust remedies for journal bundling.
* JISC announced that it would fund a survey of "different forms of research output".
* The US National Science Digital Library (NSDL) issued a general call to participate in NSDL.
* The National Library of Chile released all its (digital?) content under Creative Commons licenses.
* The US Education Resources Information Center (ERIC) is digitizing 40 million pages of microfiche documents and providing OA to as many as it can.
* The University of Pittsburgh is digitizing is Darlington Library for OA.
* The Sloan Foundation gave the Library of Congress $2 million to digitize thousands of rare and brittle public domain books for OA.
* Instead of offering OA, the UK spent £12 million of public money to digitize public-domain documents, and will turn over at least some of the resulting digital copies to JSTOR for toll access.
* Instead of offering OA, the US National Archives made a non-exclusive deal with Footnote, Inc., under which Footnote will digitize some of the archive's public-domain documents and offer toll access to them. Access will become free in 2012.
* Instead of offering OA, the Smithsonian struck a deal with Corbis letting it sell digital copies some of the museum's public-domain images.
In the January issue I cited the number of records indexed by OAIster as if the articles corresponding to those records were all OA. Most are OA but some are not. See these details on OAIster's collection policy.
To date, none of the lists or directories of OA repositories displays a number representing the number of OA, full-text articles on deposit in the repositories they cover.
Coming later this month
Here are some important OA-related events coming up in February.
* February 14. The Budapest Open Access Initiative will celebrate its fifth anniversary.
* February 15. The European Commission plans to to issue a non-binding communication on its thinking about an EU-wide OA mandate.
* February 15. This is the National Day of Action in support of OA and FRPAA, organized by FreeCulture.org and the Alliance for Taxpayer Access.
* By the end of February, participants in CERN meeting of November 3, 2006, should decide whether to join the Sponsoring Consortium for Open Access Publishing in Particle Physics (SCOAP3).
* Notable conferences this month
Ohio Electronic Thesis and Dissertation Association, 1st Annual Conference
Columbus, Ohio, February 1-2, 2007
Apocalypse Now? The consequences of system collapse (Fifth Annual UK Journal Publishers' Forum) (sponsored by ALPSP, PA, and STM, for publishers only)
London, February 2, 2007
Open Access Symposium: Not one size fits all (sponsored by the University of Winnipeg)
Winnipeg, February 5, 2007
Global Publishing: Emerging Markets, New Models (the AAP/PSP annual conference) (OA is among the topics)
Washington, D.C., February 5-7, 2006
Open Access: How Can We Achieve Quality and Quantity? (sponsored by BioMed Central)
London, February 8, 2007
How to increase your impact with Open Access
Brussels, February 13, 2007
The RQF Explained: Information Management and Repository Needs for the RQF (sponsored by Australia's APSR, ARROW and Department of Education, Science and Training)
Sydney and Melbourne, February 13 and 15, 2007 (two meetings, two cities, two days)
DELOS Conference on Digital Libraries
Pisa, February 13-14, 2007
Taking Action on Open Access (a presentation by Heather Joseph at the PLoS offices)
San Francisco, February 15, 2007
Launching an Open Access Research Journal: The JULS experience
Toronto, February 15, 2007
Scientific Publishing in the European Research Area - Access, Dissemination, and Preservation in the Digital Age
Brussels, February 15-16, 2007
Creating Change: Opportunities For Growth In The Wake Of Disruption (2007 NFAIS Annual Conference)
Philadelphia, February 25-27, 2007
* Other OA-related conferences
* I've added 27 new conferences to my conference page since the last issue. In the next few days I'll delete the second asterisk marking them and the new entries will blend into the rest of the collection.
* I thank Baker's Cafe in Blue Hill, Maine, for letting me occupy a seat for six hours today while I finished and published this issue.
This is the SPARC Open Access Newsletter (ISSN 1546-7821), written by Peter Suber and published by SPARC. The views I express in this newsletter are my own and do not necessarily reflect those of SPARC or other sponsors.
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