Welcome to the SPARC Open Access Newsletter, issue #158
June 2, 2011
by Peter Suber

Read this issue online


SOAN is published and sponsored by the Scholarly Publishing and Academic Resources Coalition (SPARC).


Seeking custody

If we want to make a digital file OA, and we already have an OA repository, then we face just two hurdles.  We need a copy of the file and we need permission.  We can call these the custody and copyright conditions.  "Custody" here doesn't mean ownership of the rights, just possession of a copy.  If we have possession and permission, then we don't need ownership.

The OA movement has given far more attention to the copyright or permission problem than to the custody or possession problem.  This may have the effect of sweeping a difficult problem under the rug.  We often have permission when we lack custody, and often find that solving the permission problem is easier than solving the custody problem.  Here are some examples of what could be called permission success and custody failure.

(1) You've published an article in a TA journal which allows green OA or self-archiving.  But the journal only allows deposit of the final version of the author's peer-reviewed manuscript, not the published version.  You're fine with that and eager to make the manuscript OA.  But you can't put your hands on the version you're allowed to deposit.  You think it's on your hard drive somewhere, or in your email archive.  But you're not sure.  You haven't had time to look, or you've looked and found six versions.  You don't have time to figure out which one, if any, is the deposit-eligible, peer-reviewed manuscript, or you've taken the time and you're still unsure.  Or you have the version you submitted to the journal, and all the correspondence with the editor, but you don't have time to reconstruct the version approved by peer review.  Or you might have deleted the relevant version in a fit of spring cleaning, as a superseded version not worth saving, or you might have failed to copy it over from your last computer when you upgraded.  With enough detective work you could find out, but you don't know how much time it would take and you're pretty sure it would take more than you have.

Once this problem arises, there are no solutions except to do the necessary detective work.  The best solution is prevention.  Authors aiming at green OA should understand that permission for deposit is often limited to the final version of their peer-reviewed manuscript.  Institutions aiming at green OA should help authors understand this.  The message is:  you can simplify your life and foster OA at the same time by depositing your peer-reviewed manuscripts as soon as they're accepted for publication.  That gets the manuscripts out of your hair and into the repository before they're lost, deleted, forgotten, modified, or superseded.  You may need version control, bookkeeping, and detective work for other jobs, but not for this job.

(2) You've been funded by the Wellcome Trust, NIH, or one of the other funders requiring grantees to retain the right to authorize OA.  Or you're employed by Harvard, MIT, or one of the universities where faculty grant the institution standing permission to make their future articles OA.  In the former case, you're happy to fulfill your funding agreement.  In the latter case, you have a right to opt out but you're happy with the OA default.  So far, so good.  That solves the permission problem.  But these OA policies also require deposit at the time of acceptance, which should solve the possession or custody problem.  Now it's time to deliver.  If you can't put your hands on the version you're allowed to deposit, then this reduces to case #1.  But perhaps you have a good idea where the file can be found.  You plan to deposit it "real soon now".  However, you're preoccupied with a new article, and don't want to slow down new work to tie up loose ends on old work.  In case #1, you want to find the relevant version but can't.  In case #2, your funder or employer wants you to find the relevant version, and you're hoping it will leave you alone, if only for a couple of weeks while you clear your desk of urgent business.  Or a couple of months.  Come to think of it, you can't remember a time when your desk was cleared of urgent business. 

Many universities solve this problem by paying librarians or student workers to make deposits on behalf of faculty.  When libraries can afford this, I recommend it.  I've long argued that successful OA mandates are implemented through expectations, education, incentives, and assistance, not coercion.  Proxy deposit is the critical kind of assistance. 

Perhaps proxy deposit shouldn't be necessary.  But if it solves the custody problem, when lack of assistance leaves it unsolved, then the benefits are significant and the only question is about cost.  My experience is that trained student workers can do this job well, and we can save librarians to do what non-librarians can't.

Note that assistance helps more with #2 problems than #1 problems.  If you can't find the relevant file, then you won't be able to pass it your student assistant.  Hence, even with assistance we'll still need to educate authors about depositing peer-reviewed manuscripts, or passing them to assistants, as soon as they're accepted for publication. 

To solve #1 and #2 problems, many funders with green OA mandates work with publishers to deposit articles on behalf of authors.  When the NIH started doing this in 2006, I had mixed feelings.  It ensured deposit, but it let publishers choose the length of the embargo period when that was supposed to be the author's decision. 

But now my feelings are less mixed.  I support the idea.  The custody problem is serious.  It's probably the major obstacle to faster growth in the compliance rates for OA mandates.  It's a problem worth solving, and publisher deposit is one solution.  (In any case, if authors made their own deposits and decided the length of the embargo, publishers could use other means at their disposal to pressure them to choose the maximum permissible period.)

The next frontier is for publishers to deposit into institutional repositories, not just funder repositories like PubMed Central.  BioMed Central is one publisher aready doing this.  The service is free of charge for many institutions (members of BMC and those using the enhanced version of BMC's Open Repository service), but not for all.

Back in 2008, Nature said it might be willing to deposit into institutional repositories as well.  

Last month I asked NPG whether it had started IR deposits, and received this reply from Grace Baynes, head of Corporate Public Relations for NPG (quoted with permission):  "Depositing in institutional repositories in an efficient way proved more challenging than NPG anticipated at first.  Through our experiences of the PEER project we learnt that in many cases we would need an intermediary to pass files and metadata to repositories.  We are now in active discussions about a pilot project to deposit into institutional repositories, and hope to be able to announce more detail soon." 

I look forward to the results of NPG's pilot project.  It could boost the volume of green OA in institutional repositories as well as the OA-archiving culture at those institutions.  And of course it could lead other publishers to follow suit.

Approaching the custody problem in new ways, developers have created a range of tools to automate or semi-automate repository deposits.  For example:

JISC's RePosit Project uses the Symplectic publications management system as a repository deposit interface.

BibApp will discover new publications eligible for deposit in an institutional repository and deposit them directly into the repository.

The same folks who brought you SWORD (Simple Web-service Offering Repository Deposit) offer an accompanying EasyDeposit tool, and support third-party tools using SWORD to facilitate deposit.

The University of Rochester's IR-Plus repository software allows deposit directly from the tools authors may use for writing.

In Germany, the University of Bielefeld and University of Kassel are both developing tools to facilitate deposits directly from the author's personal publication list.

I'm sure I'm overlooking some existing tools, just as I'm sure we'll see many more tools in the future.

Finally, when publishers are willing, they can help institutions solve the custody problem by allowing deposit of the published edition, not just the final version of the author's peer-reviewed manuscript.  This counts as a solution because authors or repository managers can usually grab a copy of the published edition more easily than any particular earlier version.  But while it would solve the custody problem for green OA, and benefit authors and readers for other reasons as well, many publishers think it would harm them.  So don't expect to grow soon.  I say "grow" rather than "arise" or "appear" because many publishers already allow deposit of the published editions of their articles. 

See the SHERPA list of 181 publishers (not journals) allowing green OA for the published editions of their articles with no embargo.  The SHERPA list also includes one publisher allowing deposit after three months, 20 after six months, 14 after 12 months, 2 after 18 months, and 11 with longer embargo periods.

Some publishers not only allow deposit of the published editions, but will make the deposits themselves.  See the NIH list of more than than 1,100 journals (not publishers) depositing the published editions of all their articles based on NIH-funded research....
...and the NIH list of hybrid publishers depositing the published editions of selected articles based on NIH-funded research. 

Some of the journals and publishers on these lists are OA and some are not.  Permission from the OA publishers to allow green OA for the published edition is welcome but not surprising.  But permission from the non-OA publishers is welcome and notable.  If TA publishers thought this voluntary action triggered cancellations, they'd stop.  How many TA publishers not on these lists realize that a natural experiment is showing that the practice is harmless?  How many publishers lobbying Congress to weaken or repeal the NIH policy mention the TA publishers who voluntarily do more than NIH-funded authors ask them to do?

Cases #1 and #2 show how the custody problem can slow down green OA, even mandated green OA.  Here are two families of examples showing how it can slow down OA for digitization projects.

(3) In your library's special collections room, you find an unpublished letter from Ben Franklin to Thomas Jefferson calling for open access to publicly-funded research.  (Hunch:  Ben Franklin would only need an hour to understand digital text, half an hour to understand the internet, and fifteen minutes to call for OA.) 

The letter is in the public domain (PD) but hasn't been digitized.  You want to make it OA.  This one is fairly easy.  Its PD status solves the permission problem.  You have custody of the analog original but not of a digital copy.  All you have to do is digitize the letter and deposit the digital copy in your institutional repository. 

However, many variations on this theme are more difficult.  Suppose the original letter is not in your library, but in a library across the globe.  You could probably digitize it with everyone's consent and cooperation if you showed up in person with the right equipment.  But you're time-strapped and cash-strapped.  So is the other library.

Or the original is in a private collection behind lock and key.  Whether the owner is jealous or generous is a crap shoot, and you may be unlucky.  The fact that the work is PD only solves the permission problem for reproduction, not the permission problem for standing in front of the original with a camera.  You still need permission to pass through the locked door, and the obstacles to that may be harder to surmount than mere resistance to reproduction.

Or the original is in a museum which makes money selling print copies.  The museum acknowledges that the letter is PD, but is not interested in helping anyone make an OA copy that would undermine its sales.  This lock-and-key problem may be created by a publicly-funded institution, not a private collector.  But it's still a lock-and-key problem.

Or the original is held by a government agency which is required by law to sell copies, for cost-recovery, rather than give copies away.  (Mandated cost-recovery policies at public agencies are in decline as governments commit to transparency, open data, and OA.  But they're still far from rare.)  Or the the document is not a letter from Ben Franklin but a government report.  It may sit behind a low custody barrier, like an FOI request, or a high custody barrier, like a top-secret classification.

Or the original is not a single letter, but 5,000 fragile, disintegrating manuscripts.  You may have custody of the analog originals, permission (because they're PD), and even the digitization equipment.  But you don't have custody of digital copies of the analog originals.  With time and care you could get custody of digital copies.  But the mountain of demanding, time-consuming effort is a serious custody barrier.  If it weren't, all PD literature, art, and music would already be OA.

Or the work is in a private collection and the owner has already digitized it.  But you don't have a copy of the digital file and the owner won't give you one.  Or the owner has publicly released a thumbnail or low-res copy but not a high-res copy. 

Or the originals are already gratis OA, and you want to download them to your hard drive for text mining.  When PubMed Central has permission from the copyright holders, it makes articles libre OA and allows bulk downloading.  It calls this the Open Access Subset of PMC. 

But only 10% of PMC belongs in the libre OA subset.  The other 90% is gratis OA, not libre, and PMC is obliged by the rights-holders to block bulk downloading.  (Thanks to PMC's Ed Sequeira for these details.)

Because BioMed Central offers libre OA to its whole corpus, it can offer its whole corpus for bulk downloading. 

In this sense, libre OA removes custody barriers that gratis OA may leave in place.  The difference between gratis and libre OA isn't limited to permission barriers; permission barriers can create downstream possession and custody barriers.

Note that when want to go beyond gratis OA to libre, and beyond online digital copies to bulk downloading for purposes like text mining, we've shifted from cases in which we want custody in order to provide access to cases in which we want access in order to have custody.

(4) Here's a variation on the previous theme that deserves a section to itself.  In May 2009 the Cornell University Library lifted restrictions on Cornell-digitized PD books.  Previously it made the digital copies gratis OA and required permission for redistributing copies.  When it lifted these restrictions, it issued an exemplary public statement explaining its new policy:

In a dramatic change of practice, Cornell University Library...will no longer require its users to seek permission to publish public domain items duplicated from its collections....The Library, as the producer of digital reproductions made from its collections, has in the past licensed the use of those reproductions. Individuals and corporations that failed to secure permission to repurpose these reproductions violated their agreement with the Library. "The threat of legal action, however," noted Anne R. Kenney, Carl A. Kroch University Librarian, "does little to stop bad actors while at the same time limits the good uses that can be made of digital surrogates. We decided it was more important to encourage the use of the public domain materials in our holdings than to impose roadblocks." ...Institutional restrictions on the use of public domain work, sometimes labeled "copyfraud," have been the subject of much scholarly criticism. The Cornell initiative goes further than many other recent attempts to open access to public domain material by removing restrictions on both commercial and non-commercial use....

Part of the background here is that ordinary digitization lacks the creativity needed for copyright.  Hence, digitizing an analog PD work creates a digital PD work, not a digital copyrighted work.  (In Europe but not the US there is a "database right" beyond copyright for protecting digitized collections that required substantial investment, even if the digital files are all PD.)  Another part of the background is that custodians of PD works may, if they wish, take advantage of lock-and-key barriers.  They needn't release their holdings at all, or they may release them on certain conditions when the conditions are based on contract, not copyright.  Cornell knew that its digital copies of PD originals were themselves PD.  It couldn't ground its restrictions in copyright without copyfraud (false claim of copyright) and it no longer wanted to take advantage of lock-and-key or contract barriers.  On the contrary, it decided not to "impose roadblocks" or limit "good uses". 

Since Cornell took this step, the underlying principle has been widely endorsed:

* In February 2010, the EU Culture and Education Committee unanimously supported the principle that when PD works are digitized, the digital copies should be considered PD as well.

* In May 2010, the Europeana Public Domain Charter asserted that "[d]igitisation of Public Domain content does not create new rights over it...." 

* In December 2010, version 1.0 of the Open Access Principles for Australian Collecting Institutions asserted that "as a matter of open access best practice copyright should not normally be asserted over verbatim copies of public domain resources which do not have independent originality."

* In January 2011 the EU's Reflection Group or Comité des Sages concluded that "mere digitisation process should not generate any new rights."

Just last month, Yale became the latest and largest university to take the Cornell step.  "The goal of the new policy is to make high quality digital images of Yale's vast cultural heritage collections in the public domain openly and freely available.  As works in these collections become digitized, the museums and libraries will make those images that are in the public domain freely accessible.  In a departure from established convention, no license will be required for the transmission of the images and no limitations will be imposed on their use...."

To solve the custody problem for PD works, we need the good will of the custodians, like Cornell and Yale.  Only the custodians can eliminate lock-and-key restrictions through digitization and online hosting.  (They can digitize and host on their own or allow others to do so.)  And while no one can assert copyright restrictions on PD works, only the custodians are in a position to lift or prevent contract restrictions.

Note that when the custodians of PD works use clickwrap licenses or other contracts to limit the use of PD digital copies, the restrictions only apply to users who enter the contract.  A clickthrough user who leaks a PD digital copy to the wide-open internet may be liable for contract infringement.  But all the other internet users around the world are as free to use the PD digital copy as they are to use any other PD work.

* Postscript.  For further discussion of #3 and #4 problems, see "OA for digitization projects", originally published in the July 2009 SOAN, and slightly revised in Karl Grandin (ed.), _Going Digital: Evolutionary and Revolutionary Aspects of Digitization_, Nobel Foundation, Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences, April 2011.



I included the following item in the Roundup section of the May 2011 issue of SOAN:

* David Solomon found that Elsevier's Operative Techniques in Otolaryngology - Head and Neck Surgery charges for access to its masthead and instructions for authors.  From Solomon:  "Elsevier, Inc is charging 31.50 (USD) each for access not only to the articles, but the masthead, the listing of the editorial board, table of contents, and even the instructions for authors.  Thinking this had to be an oversight, I sent the following query to their support page....'I would appreciate knowing if this is an error or you really intend to charge potential authors $31.50 to get a copy of the instructions for authors.'  This is what they wrote back: '...Thank you for contacting Elsevier's e-Helpdesk Support. I apologize for any inconvenience this may have caused. ScienceDirect is an online database for institutions, we do not have a way to give complimentary access to users....' "

I received a response from Alicia Wise, Elsevier's Director of Universal Access, and have her permission to quote from it. 

I read the May edition of SOAN, and was surprised to learn about David Solomon's experience.  Elsevier does not in fact charge for access to things like our instructions for authors, editorial board listings, table of contents, and masthead.  Unfortunately our customer service department did not interpret his query correctly and so did not communicate effectively on this occasion. In this case the article has been incorrectly marked-up so our systems could not correctly distinguish different elements of the content.  To compound the situation we have discovered that our pay-per-view system does not always correctly distinguish different sections of a text, even when they are properly marked-up.  We are now in the process of correcting the mark-up, scanning for other articles that may be similarly miscoded, tweaking the pay-per-view system, and using this as an example in our customer service training. Thank you very much for drawing this to our attention, and for any help you can provide to disseminate our response.

For the full text of Alicia Wise's response, see the 5/20/11 post to SOAF.

Five years ago in SOAN

See SOAN for June 2, 2006

* One essay in that issue:  "Good facts, bad predictions"

Excerpt:  "Among the Kaufman-Wills discoveries were two that I found especially striking:...[First,] the majority of OA journals charge no author-side fees at all....[Second,] the majority of non-OA journals do charge author-side fees (in addition to reader-side subscription fees)....The two facts should have implications for at least five aspects of the debate about OA journals.  (1) They should put an end to the false but widespread assumption that there is just one business model for OA journals (the one misnamed the "author pays" model).  Some OA journals charge author-side fees and some don't --in fact, most don't.  That's at least two models....(2) The two facts should put an end to publisher objections that OA journals are more likely than non-OA journals to exclude indigent authors.  The only basis for this charge was the hasty generalization that OA journals charged author-side fees and the ignorance that non-OA journals did so more often.  Now we know that insofar as charging fees excludes indigent authors, many more subscription journals are guilty than OA journals....(3) The two facts should put an end to publisher objections that OA journals are more likely than non-OA journals to compromise on peer review.  This charge is based on the hasty generalization that OA journals charge a fee for every accepted paper, and the presumption that charging such a fee creates a financial incentive to lower standards.  Now we know that insofar as charging fees for accepted papers is an incentive to lower standards, many more subscription journals are guilty than OA journals....(4) The two facts should put an end to studies of author attitudes toward OA journals that misinform the interview subjects before interviewing them.  I've been a referee for two studies that told authors that OA journals (per se, without qualification) charged "author fees" and then asked authors about their willingness to pay.  The results were described as author attitudes toward OA journals (per se, without qualification) rather than author attitudes toward fee-charging OA journals.  (5) Finally, the two facts should put an end to the myth that if all journals converted to OA, then universities would pay more in author-side fees than they pay now in subscriptions.  I want to say a lot more about this one, so let me start a new section...."

* Another essay in that issue:  "Elsevier offers hybrid journals"

Excerpt:  "Elsevier is making six of its physics journals into hybrid open access journals, and will do the same for 30 more journals, in different fields, in the next two months....The step is welcome even though the program is flawed. It has essentially the same defects that the Springer Open Choice program had when it was first announced. Elsevier's processing fee is very high (the same as Springer's), and may generate a low uptake by authors, especially since traditional page charges will be laid on top of it (same as at Springer). A low uptake will not indicate low interest in OA....Elsevier appears to demand transfer of copyright even for authors who select the new option....Springer required copyright transfer even for its "Open Choice" authors until October 2005 when it let authors retain copyright and adopted a home-grown equivalent to the Creative Commons Attribution-NoCommercial license. I hope Elsevier will follow Springer's lead here....Will users be free to download and redistribute the sponsored copies from ScienceDirect or re-deposit them in independent OA repositories?  We don't know yet but I suspect the answer will be no.  From one point of view, this doesn't matter.  Since Elsevier isn't calling the program "open access", it needn't live up to the definition.  But in another sense it does matter:  will users pay $3,000 plus page charges, and give up copyright, if they don't get full OA (and long-term reassurance of OA) in return? ...It might still oppose full OA journals, at least in its own case, but will it still argue that OA journals are unsustainable, second-rate, a threat to peer review and the publishing industry?  Will it still lobby against OA archiving initiatives on the ground that they increase the pressure on journals to accept author-side fees?  In June 2004, "writing in [Elsevier's] in-house Review newsletter, Sir Crispin Davis warned that asking researchers to pay for their work to be published but then making it freely available on the internet 'could jeopardise the stable, scalable and affordable system of publishing that currently exists.' " ...Will we see arguments like that fade away?  Let's hope.  Will we see a retraction?  Probably not...."

* Another essay in that issue:  "Follow-up on the Federal Research Public Access Act"

Excerpt:  "The Federal Research Public Access Act of 2006 (a.k.a. FRPAA or the Cornyn-Lieberman bill) was introduced in the U.S. Senate last month and has already started a vigorous public debate....[O]n May 31, the bill's prospects shot up when a Harris poll showed that an overwhelming majority of Americans wanted OA for publicly-funded research.  83% wanted it for their doctors and 82% wanted it for everyone.  81% said it would help medical patients and their families cope with chronic illness and disability.  62% said it would speed up the discovery of new cures.  For each poll question, a fairly large percentage of respondents checked "neither agree nor disagree" (between 13% and 30%), with the result that only tiny minorities actually disagreed with the OA propositions.  Only 3% didn't want OA for their doctors, 4% didn't want it for themselves, 5% didn't think it would help patients or their families, and 10% didn't think it would accelerate research....This poll shows that OA is as American as apple pie.  Toll access is so unpopular that George Bush's numbers are 10 times higher....Monitoring the press coverage of the FRPAA, I've been struck by something I also noticed during the debate on the NIH policy.  Some mainstream news media covering the proposal give much more space and detail to publisher objections than to the proposal's own rationale or to the supporting arguments from researchers, universities, libraries, public-interest advocacy groups, and the decision-makers who drafted the policy....Don't get me wrong:  the publisher objections should be reported in full, and I'm never surprised or disappointed when the business press focuses more on the consequences for business than the consequences for scientists, citizens, or public policy.  Nor am I surprised when the business press gives more attention to publisher complaints than it gives to the OA policies that triggered them or to the answers from the policy's sponsors and supporters.  I'm only surprised and disappointed when the general press follows the business press in this practice.  When Congress considers a controversial bill on the environment, opposed by business, some media assume that the protesting businesses must be right.  But most assume that there are important values on both sides and cover the story as an honest disagreement.  Why is science policy different?  Do news media have any reason to think that friends of science are more likely to be wrong than friends of business? ...No doubt, the world of science is much smaller than the world of business, and far fewer readers of general news media care about it.  But if *that's* the explanation here, then the principle seems to be to count noses before covering the facts....Forget journalism and cheerlead for the economic sector representing the largest share of readers and advertisers...."
* From the other top stories in that issue:

"German Parliament considers an OA bill."

Excerpt:  "The Upper House of Germany's Parliament (Bundesrat) is considering a bill to permit author self-archiving of journal articles six months after publication regardless of the terms in a copyright transfer agreement the author might have signed...."

"National OA policies emerging in four other countries."

Excerpt:  "Four other countries [Australia, Finland, South Africa, and Sweden] either adopted or began considering national OA policies --all in May.  Together with the German OA bill these are signs of growing momentum not only toward OA, but toward national commitments to OA...."

"Institutional OA policies adopted in two countries."

Excerpt:  "On May 15, India's National Institute of Technology (NIT) in Rourkela adopted an OA mandate....n May 9, Humbolt University Berlin adopted an Open Access Declaration...."

"Gunther Eysenbach confirms the OA impact advantage."

Excerpt:  "In a careful study, Gunther Eysenbach has confirmed earlier studies showing that OA publication triggers a larger and faster citation impact than non-OA publication.  He compared the citation tallies for OA and non-OA articles from the same journal (PNAS) and disentangled the effects of many "confounders" from the effects of OA itself.  In his words, "To my knowledge, this is the first longitudinal study of a cohort of OA and non-OA articles providing direct and strong evidence for preferential or earlier citation of articles published originally as OA. It is also the first study showing an advantage of publishing an article as OA on the journal site over self-archiving (i.e., making the article otherwise online accessible).  The strength of the OA effect is particularly surprising because PNAS is a widely available journal that is accessible for most researchers through their library. In addition, articles are made freely available to nonsubscribers 6 mo after publication. The effect of OA publishing may be even higher in fields where journals are not widely available and where articles from the control group remain 'toll-access.' "  There's some controversy about whether some earlier results, especially by Tim Brody, Chawki Hajjem, and Stevan Harnad, are the same or only similar to some of Eysenbach's results.  But no one doubts that Eysenbach has new and valid results, or that he has persuasively advanced the case that OA helps authors and journals build their citation impact.  While there have been many previous studies of the OA impact advantage, none has made the splash that Eysenbach's has.  This is an important result in its own right..."


Ten years ago in SOAN

Ten years ago, SOAN was called FOSN (Free Online Scholarship Newsletter) and came out several times a month.  Here are excerpts from four issues 10 years ago this month.

* See FOSN for May 18, 2001

Excerpt:  "The United States has made $17 billion since 1993 auctioning off bands of the radio spectrum to the highest bidder, and is expected to make another $18 billion before 2010.  What should we do with this money?  Last month the Digital Promise Project called on the government to invest $18 billion of this revenue and use the interest to fund non-profit digital initiatives to enhance American education.  The interest on such an endowment could easily be $1 billion per year.  The endowment would fund educational technologies, teacher training, and free online content of many kinds.  The money would be distributed by a new non-profit, non-government agency called the Digital Opportunity Investment Trust (DO IT), which would do for education what NIH does for health and the NSF does for science.  The Digital Promise Project draws a very interesting analogy between its proposal to sell public radio spectrum in order to create digital content for education and the 19th century sale of public lands in order to create land-grant colleges and universities.  Two phrases used at the project web site suggest that FOS could benefit directly. First, DO IT would be charged to "digitize America's collected memory stored in our nation's universities, libraries, and museums to make these materials available for use at home, school, and work."  Second, it would use "new technologies to disseminate the best of our arts and culture locally, regionally, nationally, and even globally."  Am I reading too much into these phrases? ..."

Excerpt:  "Which metaphor --divorce or revolution-- do you like better for the act of a journal breaking from its for-profit publisher and becoming free?  I used divorce in the last issue, but here is a call to revolution.  Earlier this year SPARC and the Triangle Research Libraries Network launched a campaign to help journals declare independence from their existing publishers and find new forms of publication which will serve their true academic mission.  The campaign consists of a web site and a 17-page handbook for journal editors, subtitled "A Guide to Creating Community-Controlled Science Journals."  The handbook helps editors understand the wide range of their publishing options.  It contains a checklist of questions about the economic state of a journal, and tips on evaluating how various alternatives will meet the needs of the scientific community served by a journal....SPARC and a few partners have created web site ("Create Change") to follow-through on the handbook.  The web site offers tools for faculty and librarians to help the cause.  For example, among the tools for faculty are sample letters refusing to referee papers, resigning from an editorial board, or protesting a journal's subscription price...."

Excerpt:  "Benjamin Ray is teaching the Salem Witch trials at the University of Virginia.  A couple of years ago he rounded up rare and important documents on the trials and digitized them through his university's Electronic Text Center.  Now he has downloaded the documents in Microsoft Reader format to a bunch of Hewlett-Packard Journadas.  (The $450 handheld Journadas used as e-book readers were on loan from Microsoft for this experiment.)  Ray's students come to class with all the documents instantly accessible and searchable in the palms of their hands. When an historical claim comes up in class, they can consult the documents in real time to assess the historian's reading of the sources.  Ray has put the same documents on the web free of charge.  But until we have fast and wireless web access, texts are more useful for teaching when they are not only free and online, but also portable.  A Journada's memory will hold about 90 average sized books.  Read about Ray's classroom experience in the current _Chronicle of Higher Education_.  You can guess the pedagogical gain from this technology.  But before you read the article, can you guess the loss? ..."

* See FOSN for May 25, 2001

Excerpt:  "Scirus is a search engine specializing in scientific literature, officially launched just last month.  The content comes from pay and no-pay scientific sites all over the web.  Above all, it comes from the full corpus of Elsevier science journals....There are two welcome innovations here.  First, texts which are not freely available are at least freely searchable.  Even users who have paid nothing get bibliographic citations and URLs for articles relevant to their search requests.  I remember a service in my field called Brain-Wave Philosophy, which searched the commercial database called Philosophers Index.  Brain-Wave charged $0.50 per search and $2.00 per citation.  I'm glad to report that its business model failed miserably and quickly.  Second, Scirus automatically searches large chunks of what is called the deep internet, the online databases whose content is invisible to ordinary users because it is not indexed by regular search engines.  By some estimates the deep internet has 500 times the content of the visible internet...."

Excerpt:  "What we need is an open directory of free online scholarship....It should be organized by academic field, and indicate for each journal or archive when it began its online existence, whether it is peer-reviewed, whether it takes advertising, whether it publishes the full-text of any articles, whether it publishes full-text for all or only selected articles, whether it supports any of the standards for scholarly metatags, whether it supports current awareness..., whether it supports online discussion, whether it offers all or only some of its services free of charge, whether it has a print edition, whether it accepts articles previously posted to the author's web site or to a preprint archive, how it archives back issues, and whether the archive is searchable.  You get the idea....The whole directory should be organized in a database so that users may browse it or run search and sort queries across its contents.  I don't have the time to launch such a directory, though I'd be tireless in publicizing and supporting it if someone else launches it...."

* See FOSN for June 1, 2001

Excerpt:  "One of the promises of online scholarship is interlinking between citations and sources.  In print, footnotes and bibliographic citations are inert pointers to literature.  In an electronic medium, we can finally make them deliver the goods.  Is this promise threatened by recent legal decisions holding that some hyperlinks are unlawful? ...If any [scholarly linking] could be construed as defamatory or fradulent, it might be challenged in court.   What would a court say about "click here for an article drawing invalid conclusions from falsified data"?  Or "click here for the ranting of a third-rate scholar under the delusion of being a second-rate scholar"?  The Washington Post gives permission for incoming links which do not use its logo or bring up its stories inside a frame.  But it reserves the right to "revoke permission" for any kind of link at any time.  The Post is assuming here that all links must be consensual.  This allows it to pass as generous for granting permission in advance to most kinds of incoming link.  This is a dangerous model....If you've ever tried to get a publisher's permission to photocopy an article for students, and waited more than six months for a reply, then you can imagine how quickly scholarship would grind to a halt if scholars had to get permission for citation links, even if there was no charge.  The only good news here is that the Post position has apparently never been tested, let alone upheld, in court....The hacker magazine, 2600, was  convicted last August of violating the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) for publishing the DeCSS source code on its web site and for linking to other sites which published the code....How far does this precedent go?  If linking to a page which violates a statute is enough to create liability for the linker, then scholars are in trouble....The DeCSS appeal was only argued last month (May 1) and has not yet been decided.  I'll report the outcome here...."

Excerpt:  "Even free online scholarship is not free to produce.  Print journals cost more to produce than online journals, but even online journals use up resources, not the least of which is labor.  If online scholarship is to be free, then the costs must be made so low that institutions like universities, libraries, foundations, and professional associations can subsidize them without pain.  A new software suite called BlueSky promises to take a big step in this direction...."

* See FOSN for June 8, 2001

Excerpt:  "Ted Bergstrom is an economist at the University of California at Santa Barbara.  He thinks it's bad economics to donate his labor as a referee to journals that turn around and gouge his university with exorbitant subscription prices.  He's taken a vow not to referee articles for any journal charging more than $1000/year, and to favor those charging less than $300.  His arguments and an array of supporting data are available at his home page.  Later this year Bergstrom will publish a version of his argument in the _Journal of Economic Perspectives_.  Here are a few gems from his supporting data.  In 1999, there were 15 economics journals charging more than $1000/year, 11 of them from Elsevier.  You might think that the more expensive journals published more pages per year than the others, or were more frequently cited.  Not necessarily.  When economics journals are sorted by price per page, the highest ranked journal priced over $1000/year showed up in 82nd place.  When sorted by citations per page, the best showed up in 51st place.  Bergstrom knows that telemarketers and televangelists would pay good money for a list of gullible people, but he is giving away what he calls his "P.T. Barnum" list of gullible university libraries that subscribe to the most expensive and least cited journals.  The two most expensive economics journals each charge libraries more than $7500/year.  They are rarely cited and most economists have never heard of them.  By contrast, the six most cited economics journals average $180/year.  If your university is on Bergstrom's P.T. Barnum list, tell your head librarian immediately and ask your president for a bounty on the saved money."

Excerpt:  "Classicists specializing in ancient Greece are lucky:  all their primary texts have been written, all are in the public domain, and all have been digitized.  In 1972, the Thesaurus Linguae Graecae (TLG) began digitizing Greek literature, starting with Homer and moving forwards.  Today the project has digitized the 1,400 years' worth of literature since Homer, bringing the collection up to about year 600 of the common era.  The collection includes all extant Greek texts, including those in science and mathematics, poetry and drama, philosophy and religion....The TLG database was originally distributed on specialized Ibycus hardware.  In 1985 it became available on CD-ROMs.  But starting this spring, institutions may buy a license to read and search the entire corpus over the web....[T]he completeness of the TLG is the advantage that justifies the subscription price.  To scholars who can accept a degree of incompleteness, the TLG has a serious rival in the Perseus Digital Library.  Perseus contains the full-texts of the most-studied works of Greek antiquity, but not literally every single one.  To compensate, Perseus goes beyond Greek to Latin literature and to other special collections (such as the English Renaissance and Californian history), includes English translations along with the original languages, contains a museum's worth of images of ancient art and artifacts, and offers all its content online free of charge...."

Excerpt:  "Kepler is the first software since eprints for creating OAI-compliant archives.  Its main difference from eprints is that it runs on the scholar's own computer under Windows, not on an institutional server under UNIX.  It is meant for one person's online scholarship, not one institution's.  Consequently, say Kepler's developers, it doesn't create archives but archivelets...."

Excerpt:  "Librarians are protesting the Reed Elsevier's imminent acquisition of Harcourt General.  The merger will give Elsevier control over 1500 scholarly journals, including 125 of the 500 most cited journals.  Librarians fear that the merger will reduce price competition and aggravate the crisis of skyrocketing journal prices.  While the U.S. Justice Department does not oppose the acquisition, UK authorities must still approve it...."



Here's what happened, or what I noticed, since the last issue of the newsletter, 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. 

For a more comprehensive picture of recent OA developments, see --and help build-- the project feed of the OA Tracking Project.

+ Policies

** The Harvard Graduate School of Design became the 7th of Harvard's nine schools to adopt an OA mandate.  I believe this is the first arts or design school to adopt its own OA mandate.

** The Columbia University Libraries adopted a departmental OA mandate under which department members "hereby commit" to make their future journals green OA through an OA repository and "hereby grant" to the university the non-exclusive rights to make the work OA.  The policy includes a waiver option.  This is the second Harvard-style departmental OA mandate at Columbia; the first was adopted by the Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory in January 2011.

** Portugal's Polytechnic Institute of Leiria adopted an OA mandate.  (The file is an image-scan in Portuguese, and I can't pass it to a machine translator; I'd appreciate any help understanding the terms of the new mandate.)

** Spain's Universidad Politécnica de Cartagena updated its OA policy.  From Google's English:  "UPCT agrees: - Promote open access internet addresses scientific, educational and cultural produced by teachers and researchers. - Recommend to teachers and researchers to publish the results of scientific activity educational and cultural open access journals or in enabling them to deposit a open repositories copy information recognized in the scientific community. - Promote and recommend to their teachers and researchers to deposit their scientific, education and culture in the Digital Repository UPCT. - Increase the visibility and interoperability of publications deposited in the Repository Digital UPCT by international standard Dublin Core metadata, the OAI- PMH (Open Archives Initiative - Protocol for Metadata Harvesting), the ID and URL Handle open access license Creative Commons. - Ensuring copyright and intellectual property of the publications deposited in the Digital Repository UPCT...."

** The University of Pennsylvania Faculty Senate Executive Committee "unanimously approved the revised Open Access Statement of Principles, which will be published in a subsequent issue of [the U of Penn] Almanac...."

** The UK Engineering & Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) adopted seven principles on open data "which align with the core RCUK principles on data sharing...." The principles allow "a range of institutional policies and practices [to] satisfy these expectations....Two of the principles are of particular importance: firstly, that publicly funded research data should generally be made as widely and freely available as possible in a timely and responsible manner; and, secondly, that the research process should not be damaged by the inappropriate release of such data...."

** The Spanish parliament voted overwhelmingly (289 to 3) to adopt a new Law for Science, Technology and Innovation containing a green OA mandate.  From Google's English, Chapter II, Article 37:  "Open access dissemination.  1. The public agents of the Spanish System of Science, Technology and Innovation will drive the development of repositories, own or shared, to open access  publications from its research staff, and establish systems to connect them with similar initiatives at national and international level. 2. The Faculty/ research staff whose projects have been  funded primarily with public funds  will make publicly available  a copy of the final accepted version of scientific publications as soon as possible  and not later than  twelve months after the official date of publication.  3. The electronic version will be published in open access repositories recognized in the field of knowledge which has developed the research, or in open access institutional repositories.  4. The public electronic version may be used by public administrations in their evaluation processes.  5. The Ministry of Science and Innovation will provide centralized access to repositories, and its connection with similar national and international initiatives. 6. All this  without prejudice to the agreements under which authors have agreed or transferred rights to third parties, and do not apply when the results of the research activity, are susceptible to be protected under industrial property rules...."

* The International Association of Scientific, Technical & Medical Publishers (STM) issued a public statement on the "balanced legislation in the new Spanish Science Law.  STM applauds the efforts of Spanish government to improve Spanish science with this new law, and in particular the respect for intellectual property rights articulated in Article 37....[T]he bill requires third party agreements such as copyright transfer to be respected....While the bill was being debated, STM asked the Spanish Government, Ministry for Science and Innovation to consider more flexibility in terms of embargo periods for public access....STM calls on the Spanish government to make funds available to government-funded researchers for open access publication...."

* On May 9, the Faculty Senate at Washington University voted on an OA resolution encouraging green and gold OA.  (I believe it passed but I'm trying to confirm.)

* The European Commission posted the written comments it received on its February 2011 green paper on Research and Innovation in Europe.  One question in the associated questionnaire asked about OA.  (See Question 20:  "How should intellectual property rules governing EU funding strike the right balance between competitiveness aspects and the need for access to and dissemination of scientific results?")  The contribution deadline was May 20, 2011.  Also see the responses submitted by EOS, KE, LIBER, and SPARC Europe.

* The RCUK (Research Councils UK) and HEFCE (Higher Education Funding Council for England) announced a joint commitment to OA.  From RCUK and HEFCE themselves:  "[We] have a shared commitment to maintaining and improving the capacity of the UK research base to undertake research activity of world leading quality, and to ensuring that significant outputs from this activity are made available as widely as possible both within and beyond the research community. Open access to published research supports this commitment and, if widely implemented, can benefit the research base, higher education, and the UK economy and society more broadly. To achieve this, open access needs to be implemented with clear licensing agreements, sustainable business models, and working with the grain of established research cultures and practices.  HEFCE and the Research Councils will work together and with other interested bodies to support a managed transition to open access over the medium term, and welcome the work of the UK Open Access Implementation Group in support of this aim."  From David Willetts, the UK Minister for Universities and Science:  "Transparency is at the heart of the Government's agenda, and this also applies to published research. In a recent discussion with members of the research community and publishers I stressed the importance of open access to this information for everyone, and I'm delighted that the Research Councils and HEFCE have committed to taking this forward." 

* A new bill before the National Congress of Argentina, Chamber of Deputies, contains an OA mandate.  From Google's English:  "Article 1.  The agencies and public institutions that make up the National System of Science, Technology and Innovation (SNCTI) and receive funding from the Federal Government should develop institutional digital repositories of open access, own or shared, in which deposited the scientific and technological production resulting from the work, training and / or projects funded with public funds, researchers, technologists, professors, postdoctoral fellows and graduate students and doctoral students. The scientific and technological production include the collection of documents (journal articles, technical and scientific papers, academic theses, etc.) that are the result of research activities and passing through a quality assessment process, whether they were published or no.  Article 2.  The agencies and public institutions that make up the National System of Science, Technology and Innovation (SNCTI) and receive funding from the Federal Government should establish policies for public access to primary research data through institutional digital repositories open access systems or portals Grand National Instruments and Databases....Article 5. The researchers, technologists, professors, postdoctoral fellows and masters and doctoral students whose research activity is financed with public funds, shall deposit or expressly authorize the submission of a copy of the final version of its scientific-technological published or accepted for publication and / or has gone through an approval process by a competent authority or jurisdiction over the matter, in the open access digital repositories of their institutions, within a period not exceeding six months from the date of official publication or approval. Primary research data must, in turn, deposited in institutional repositories or digital files and shared their own or be publicly available within a period not exceeding five years from the time of collection, according to the policies established by the institutions, as Article 2, being able to exclude the diffusion of those raw data in cases that they be kept confidential with appropriate institutional justification of the reasons that prevent their dissemination....Article 8. The violation of the provisions of this law by the institutions and bodies referred to in Articles 1 and 2, and by the persons listed in Article 5 makes them ineligible for public financial assistance to support of their research...."

* The Open Access Group for the Conference of Italian University Rectors (CRUI) released its recommended OA policy language for Italian Universities.  From Google's English:  "[1] The University adopts the principles of full and open access to scientific literature and promotes the free dissemination of research results in network produced in university, to ensure the widest possible dissemination.  [2] The university, with a special regulation [to be issued within 180 days of the adoption of this policy], raises the discipline aimed to implement fully and openly with the principles of access to data and products of scientific research, encouraging the deposit institutional archive and communication to the public, in compliance with laws relating to intellectual property, confidentiality and protection of personal data and protection, access and exploitation of cultural heritage...."

* Participants in a meeting on OA in Addis Ababa recommended that member states of the Economic Commission for Africa (ECA) "should adopt appropriate Open Access (OA) policies and that the ECA should take the leadership in these activities...."

* The national science academies of the G8 countries prepared a statement on science education for the G8 Summit in late May.  One of their five recommendations:  "Support international collaboration to set up quality e-learning facilities, accessible to all, including students worldwide, and promote open access to scientific literature and databases."

* The association of the 13 Dutch university libraries and the Royal Library (Universiteitsbibliotheken en de Koninklijke Bibliotheek, UKB) released a public statement condemning the clause in Elsevier's new publishing agreement attempting to limit the effect of university OA mandates.  (PS:  Authors at institutions with green OA mandates no longer have blanket permission to self-archive unless the institution makes a separate new agreement with Elsevier. I believe the UKB statement is the first institutional response to Elsevier's new policy.)  From Google's English:  "[The UKB] is deeply concerned by the fact that Elsevier has recently updated its Open Access policy at the expense of increasing the digital availability of the Dutch academic output....UKB believes that the principle is that an author has the right to deposit his own article, preferably the publisher's version but at least the author's final version, a right which should not depend on (future) agreements with publishers. UKB regrets in particular that publishers by this policy agreements between authors and the funders of their research overruled.  UKB intends...[to] express its concern [directly to] Elsevier, possibly jointly with the organizations participating in the Knowledge Exchange and VSNU [Vereniging van Universiteiten, Association of Universities in the Netherlands]...[and to] contact with institutions of such a fund Open Access (NWO, KNAW and a number of universities), about possible exclusion from Elsevier of Open Access funds."

* The same association of Dutch university libraries and the Royal Library (UKB) released a table of the OA activities and policies at the 13 Dutch universities and the Royal Netherlands Academy of Arts and Sciences (Koninklijke Nederlandse Akademie van Wetenschappen, KNAW).  It covers the activities of 14 institutions under seven major headings (some of which have sub-headings).  From Google's English:  The working group asked for information on the following topics: - green OA: does the institution have a mandate and what does the mandate imply? - gold OA: does the institution have an OA publication fund; does the institution participate in OA membership programs; does the institution publish OA journals? - does the institution have OA policies concerning digitized cultural heritage (special collections) and research data? The overview shows that 4 institutions (EUR, TU/e, UvA and KNAW) have a mandate, but that only the mandate at the EUR and the KNAW includes “making accessible” (after an embargo period) 2 institutions have an OA publication fund, 8 institutions support the publishing of OA journals in a certain way. Not many institutions have policies concerning research data and digitized cultural heritage, but projects on these topics are on everywhere...."

* The Royal Netherlands Academy of Arts and Sciences (Koninklijke Nederlandse Akademie van Wetenschappen, KNAW) released its policy on "OA and digital preservation for KNAW researchers" (in English).  The OA part of the policy is not new; KNAW announced its OA mandate in February 2011.

* Dutch liberal MEP Marietje Schaake "drafted a European Parliament report on the cultural dimensions of the EU's external actions.  The House's culture committee unanimously adopted her report in March...."  In an interview, Schaake said, "The European Union should make its diverse cultural content more accessible to people around the world via increased investment in cultural and, in particular, digital diplomacy....The EU is among the richest and most culturally diverse areas in the world, but is doing too little to take a leadership position using this advantage." 

* "Research Councils UK [RCUK] and the Higher Education Funding Council for England [HEFCE] have agreed to work together to advance the transition to open-access publishing of research. The two bodies have pledged to work with other research funders, learned societies and publishers to “support a managed transition to open access over the medium term”. Astrid Wissenburg, director of partnerships and communications at the Economic and Social Research Council [ESRC] and a member of the RCUK Impact Group, said the move had been instigated by the government's transparency agenda. In support of that aim, David Willetts, the universities and science minister, chaired a recent round-table discussion on promoting greater open access to research. Dr Wissenburg said the research councils had for several years had an open-access mandate that required authors to deposit their papers in open-access repositories as soon as was practicable. The councils also consider author charges for “gold” open access to be an allowable indirect cost. However, she said, compliance with the mandate was “not high” and the processes needed to be simplified for researchers....An impending internal research councils' review might result in them “pushing the gold route a bit more”, Dr Wissenburg said....Michael Jubb, director of the Research Information Network, said cooperation between the funding and research councils was essential to supporting any major move towards open access, in particular the gold version - because the demise of the subscription model would transfer the burden of paying for journals from library budgets, which are provided by the funding councils, to individual researchers, who are funded by the research councils...."

* The University of Edinburgh adopted a policy on Research Data Management. "[T]his is an aspirational policy, and...implementation will take some years....[3] All new research proposals [from date of adoption] must include research data management plans or protocols that explicitly address data capture, management, integrity, confidentiality, retention, sharing and publication....[5] The University will provide mechanisms and services for storage, backup, registration, deposit and retention of research data assets in support of current and future access, during and after completion of research projects....[7] Research data management plans must ensure that research data are available for access and re-use where appropriate and under appropriate safeguards....[10] Exclusive rights to reuse or publish research data should not be handed over to commercial publishers or agents without retaining the rights to make the data openly available for re-use, unless this is a condition of funding...."

* JISC commissioned the University of Glasgow to create an Open Access Repositories Resource Pack (OARRPack) for the UK Open Access Implementation Group (OAIG).  "This is aimed at encouraging UK universities to adopt Open Access....The aim of this project is to survey the guidance currently available to HEIs in the UK and further afield on why and how they can practically implement a more open approach to the release of their research outputs. By analysing what is currently available, synthesising this, talking to key stakeholders and establishing what new content might need to be produced the project team will then develop an OA resource pack. The pack will be aimed at both university senior managers and at repository managers and other staff charged with implementing open access policies. It will provide a mix of the high level information necessary to enact institution-wide policy changes and the practical details needed in order to implement these policy changes....."  Glasgow welcomes suggestions for resources and experts it should consult.

* JISC hosted a roundtable discussion among publishers, researchers and librarians "to debate the global and UK position for scholarly communications including the transition from traditional journal publishing models to open access for academic research.  "The debate looked at the possible paths to transition from the traditional journal model through to gold oa as well as talking through whether a hybrid model was also the way to go. There was agreement that peer review must remain a cornerstone of scientific publication...."

* Ian Hargreaves released his report on copyright reform in the UK, commissioned by Prime Minister David Cameron.  "Could it be true that laws designed more than three centuries ago with the express purpose of creating economic incentives for innovation by protecting creators’ rights are today obstructing innovation and economic growth?  The short answer is: yes....[C]opyright law has started to act as a regulatory barrier to the creation of certain kinds of new, internet based businesses....The Prime Minister asked the Review to consider whether our IP framework needs to adapt in the interests of encouraging innovation and growth.  The Review's conclusion is that such adaptation is required....Government should take long overdue action to update copyright law in ways designed to increase consumer confidence in the way the law works.  It should begin by legislating to release for use the vast treasure trove of copyright works which are effectively unavailable - “orphan works” - to which access is in practice barred because the copyright holder cannot be traced.  This is a move with no economic downside....Copying should be lawful where it is for private purposes, or does not damage the underlying aims of copyright....The UK has chosen not to exercise all of its rights under EU law....Nor does the UK allow its great libraries to archive all digital copyright material, with the result that much of it is rotting away.  Taking advantage of these EU sanctioned exceptions will bring important cultural as well as economic benefits to the UK....In addition, there should be a change in rules to enable scientific and other researchers to use modern text and data mining techniques, which copyright prohibits....[N]othing [should be] unusable [just] because the rights owner cannot be found....A work should only be treated as an orphan if it cannot be found by search of the databases involved in the proposed Digital Copyright Exchange....The UK should also promote at EU level an exception to support text and data analytics....The Government should also legislate to ensure that these and other copyright exceptions are protected from override by contract...."

* The Library Planning Task Force of the University of California's Systemwide Library and Scholarly Information Advisory Committee (SLASIAC) released its interim report for public comment.  "[T]he [UC] libraries may experience budget reductions of as much as $52 million, or 21 percent of their current budget base, over the next six years....[T]his cut is greater than the total library budget of any single UC campus, and roughly equivalent to the budgets of three of our mid-sized campuses....As a result of ongoing increases in the prices charged by publishers for scholarly material in both print and digital formats, the libraries will likely lose the equivalent of $17 million in buying power over the same period.  This is equivalent to the current library materials budgets of two mid-sized campuses, and means a reduction in the systemwide acquisition rate of about 200,000 items per year....The adverse effects of the anticipated budget cuts cannot be entirely avoided....However, the effects of the cuts can be mitigated through collaboration....[Recommendation 2 of 4:] Support faculty efforts to change the system of scholarly communication....To foster successful change in scholarly publishing and communication, UC faculty must be prepared to:  [1] Retain and manage their copyrights in the works they produce, [2] Participate actively in new publishing models and innovations in scholarly communication that more effectively serve the interests of the scholarly community, [3] Decline to publish in, edit or review for journals that persist in unacceptable pricing or copyright practices, [4] Encourage their academic colleagues and scholarly societies to take similar actions....Among the institutional strategies that UC might adopt or continue in support of the faculty are:  [1] Assisting and supporting the faculty as they seek to explore and use alternatives to traditional methods of scholarly publishing and develop and adopt new modes of scholarly communication that are aligned with emerging changes in methods of research and teaching.  [2] Supporting the faculty by conveying to them information about the actual costs of publications and the expenses incurred by their libraries in providing access to scholarly information.  [3] Continuing and fortifying its strong negotiating positions with publishers.  As the negotiations with Elsevier and the NPG have demonstrated, a reasonable negotiating position backed by the full force of faculty support and UC's economic clout can make a difference both to the University and to the larger community of higher education institutions.  [4] Encouraging and supporting the adoption of open-access publishing.  The many varieties of open-access scholarly communication promise both significant academic benefits, by making peer-reviewed research results available to all without subscription charges to readers or their institutions, and significant financial benefits, by reducing and permitting reallocation of the costs of scholarly publishing.  The University has already taken affirmative steps in this direction by supporting new open-access journals, helping to cover the costs for UC faculty publishing in “author-pays” open-access journals, and providing support for author compliance with the NIH open-access deposit policy.  [5] Redirecting a portion of the funding currently used for purchase of traditional print and digital publications to the support of alternative publishing models that advance the interests and values of the academic community...." Comments are welcome until September 2, 2011.

* The US Department of Energy (DOE) Office of Scientific and Technical Information (OSTI) recently invited review by a Committee of Visitors (COV).  The result:  "OSTI needs to grapple with and resolve the balance between its mission to provide ready access to DOE R&D results and its more entrepreneurial mission of making all science information available to the world, both founded on the (as far as I know) noncontroversial notion that discovery is accelerated through the dispersal of knowledge...."

* The US National Research Council's Board on Science, Technology, and Economic Policy created the Committee on the Impact of Copyright Policy on Innovation in the Digital Era.  The committee's mission is "to evaluate and propose how to expand and improve research on the impacts of copyright policy, particularly on innovation in the digital environment" and it welcomes public comments on its blog.

* ROARMAP, the database tracking institutional and funder OA mandates, passed the milestone of logging 200 mandates.  Here's the breakdown:  "Institutional Mandates (122), Proposed Institutional Mandates (5), Sub-Institutional Mandates (32), Proposed Sub-Institutional Mandates (3), Multi-Institutional Mandates (1), Proposed Multi-Institutional Mandates (5), Funder Mandates (48), Proposed Funder Mandates (8), Thesis Mandates (76)."

+ Journals

* "SPARC (the Scholarly Publishing and Academic Resources Coalition)...released a free online Open Access Journal Publishing Resource Index with information and documents to support the launch and operation of an open-access journal. Materials in the index will help libraries, presses, and other academic units on campuses as they work together to make the work of their researchers more widely available....Relevant sections of existing open-access publishing guides...are indicated under each topic area.  By highlighting samples and best practices, the index will help give campuses the tools they need to develop and maintain long-term, successful open-access publishing ventures....The editorial board invites contributions from other campuses to help build this resource and expand the bibliography - especially with primary research papers on collaboration issues...."

* Mobile Genetic Elements is a new peer-reviewed OA journal from Landes Bioscience.

* Open Biology is a new peer-reviewed OA journal from the Royal Society.  "It is the Society's first wholly open access and online-only journal....Open Biology will be published online on a continuous publication model where articles are immediately citable.  Article-level usage data and online archiving will be available.  Articles will be published under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution Licence...."

* Translational Biomedicine is a new peer-reviewed OA journal from Research and Markets.  "The aim of the Translational Biomedicine is "to improve the health of people in the developing world...."

* Flavour is a new peer-reviewed OA journal from BioMed Central.

* The International Journal of Emerging Sciences is a new peer-reviewed OA journal.

* Anthropology of this Century is a new peer-reviewed OA journal.

* HAU: Journal of Ethnographic Theory is a new peer-reviewed OA journal.

* feminists@law is a new peer-reviewed OA journal of law published by the University of Kent.

* The Journal of Cloud Computing is a new peer-reviewed OA journal from Springer.

* Pastoralism: Research, Policy and Practice is a new peer-reviewed OA journal from Springer on livestock production.

* Cell Reports is a forthcoming, peer-reviewed OA journal from Elsevier.

* Narrative Works: Issues, Investigations and Interventions is a forthcoming, peer-reviewed OA journal published by St. Thomas University. http://dailygleaner.canadaeast.com/cityregion/article/1410116

* Human-centric Computing and Information Sciences is a forthcoming peer-reviewed OA journal from SpringerOpen and the Korea-based Future Technology Research Association International.

* Natural Products and Bioprospecting is a new peer-reviewed OA journal from the Kunming Institute of Botany (a division of the Chinese Academy of Sciences) and SpringerOpen.

* The Journal of Community Hospital Internal Medicine Perspectives is a new peer-reviewed OA journal published by Co-Action Publishing for Union Memorial Hospital Department of Medicine in Baltimore.

* University of Western Ontario Journal of Legal Studies is a new OA journal from students at the U of Western Ontario Faculty of Law.

* Historical Studies in Education converted to OA in January 2011 and just published its first OA issue.  It also provided OA to its full backfile from 1989.

* Bible and Critical Theory converted to OA.  It also made its full seven-year backfile OA.

* The University of Chile launched a portal of OA journals published by the university.  Currently it hosts 104 journals.

* Doug Rocks-Macqueen complied a list of OA journals of archaeology, some peer-reviewed and some not.

* The Biotechnology blog compiled a list of the peer-reviewed OA journals in agricultural biotechnology.

* The Bloomsbury Qatar Foundation Journals (BQFJ) announced that it uses CLOCKSS to preserve its journals.  "By archiving with CLOCKSS, Bloomsbury Qatar Foundation Journals ensures that its open access articles remain open access forever.  If necessary, CLOCKSS will make this content available, under a Creative Commons license, at no cost to all scholars around the world...."

+ Repositories and databases

* The Economic Commission for Africa (ECA) launched an institutional repository "during a workshop on Open Access Publishing at its headquarters in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia...."

* Charles Bailey found that over 80% (51 of 62) members of the Association of American Universities now have institutional repositories.

* Conference papers from the Wessex Institute of Technology from 1993 through 2009 , formerly available in TA books from WIT Press, are now also OA through the WIT institutional repository.

* DuraSpace "launched its 2011 Sponsorship Program to engage leaders from university and library communities in supporting the common goal of ensuring that our scholarly record of digital content and data is saved and accessible for future generations.  Community sponsors contribute at three levels of giving...as an investment in community-driven approaches to preserving our digital heritage. DuraSpace...is the home of the DSpace..., Fedora...open source software for digital repositories and DuraCloud..., a hosted service for managing your content in the cloud...."

* The American Association of Immunologists will now deposit peer-reviewed manuscripts in PubMed Central on behalf of willing NIH-funded authors.  AAI publishes the Journal of Immunology

+ Data

* The Integrated Publishing Toolkit (IPT 2.0.2) from Global Biodiversity Information Facility (GBIF) "creates...'Data Papers' from descriptions of datasets (metadata) involving species observations, specimen collections and other biodiversity data....The manuscript can then be submitted to a scientific journal for peer review and possible publication....In the initial phase of the project, custodians and developers of biodiversity data are invited to submit Data Papers to one of four Pensoft [OA] journals: PhytoKeys, ZooKeys, BioRisk and NeoBiota. Two new publications, Biodiversity Data Journal and Nature Conservation, will also shortly be accepting Data Paper manuscripts...."

* The UK Discovery project ("the metadata ecology for UK education and research") released a set of eight Open Metadata Principles.  "[T]he Resource Discovery Task Force [RDTF] partners are inviting stakeholders across the UK libraries, archives and museums (LAM) community to join them in adopting [the] principles to enhance the impact of our knowledge resources for the furtherance of scholarship and innovation. The RDTF partners will launch a 'call to arms' in London on 26th May based on three core statements: [1] We recognise the importance of promoting a clear endorsement of open metadata with practical guidance about licensing. [2] We recommend that institutions and agencies should proceed on the presumption that their metadata is by default made freely available for use and reuse, unless explicitly precluded by third party rights or licences. [3] We strongly advocate that all metadata releases require licensing, for which institutions and agencies should adopt a standard open licensing framework that is suited to their purposes....Over the coming months, it is hoped that other institutions, large and small, will sign up to the statement...."

* The Cambridge Open METadata (COMET) project announced plans "to release over 2.2 million catalogue records under a Public Domain Dedication License....COMET will publish the records as Linked Data enabling the library records to be linked to other data sources on the Web...."

* "CrossRef and the International DOI Foundation (IDF)...announced that all 46 million CrossRef Digital Object Identifiers (DOIs) are now enabled for use in linked data applications, effective immediately...."

* "WorldCat Local...added more databases and collections from leading publishers and other information providers....WorldCat Local offers access to books, journals and databases from a variety of international publishers and information providers; the digital collections of groups like HathiTrust, OAIster and Google Books; open access materials; and the collective resources of libraries worldwide through WorldCat.  With these latest additions, libraries using WorldCat Local can now offer users access to 1,400 databases and collections, and more than 500 million articles...."

* Researchers at Cornell University used a 3D printer to create true-size and true-color replicas of ancient Egyptian cuneiform tablets.  They also released OA versions of the printer files in two different formats. 

* The Open PHACTS (Open Pharmacological Concepts Triple Store) consortium announced plans to create an Open Pharmacological Space.  "Scientific text, difficult to analyse by computer, will have factual assertions extracted as semantic triples, allowing...the...querying [of] textual and database data together to give answers needed to identify new drug targets and pharmacological interactions...."  Open PHACTS is funded by the Innovative Medicines Initiative (IMI).

* The NIH's National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine (NCCAM) launched an OA database of evidence-based Resources for Health Care Providers.

* Cytobank announced the OA Cytobank Reports, "a new feature on Cytobank that will soon enable users to 'publish' their data and findings....With its sharing features, Cytobank helped to fill a key NIH mandate for making published data and results available to the scientific community. Cytobank Reports builds on this by providing a public interface from which to view analyzed data and to access the raw data. Cytobank Reports will work together with existing flow cytometry data standards...."

* Australia's "Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO) in collaboration with AuScope...developed an open-access network of geospatial data and supporting infrastructure -- the Spatial Information Services Stack (SISS) -- for the exploration of Australia's geology...."

* The EU-funded PANGEO project announced the launch of an OA Geohazard Data Layer, which "will work towards the pooling of European geological data to form an information portal for public policymakers....[It] will see contributions from and cooperation between 37 partners across the entire European Union...."

* Simple Geo assigned geographical data in its Places database to the public domain, using CC-Zero.  "It is our belief that facts should be free, as in freedom. We wanted to see the proliferation of places data that developers could easily use, reuse, or basically do whatever they wanted with, so we took matters into our own hands and began building our own database of places that were free of the existing restrictions in the market...."

* Esri (Environmental Systems Research Institute) launched Landsat imagery services, providing OA to 8 TB and 30 years of Landsat imagery.  "In addition, Esri has created web maps and an interactive web application that leverage these image services, providing even greater access."

* "ChemSpider...added RDF functionality to its interface, in collaboration with the University of Southampton's School of Chemistry. The availability of RDF allows the database records to be found and understood by semantic web tools, another step in ChemSpider's mission to create a public chemical information infrastructure...."

* Egon Willighagen released the ChEMBL 09 database and RDF under a CC-SA-BY license. 

* A international coalition of archives launched the International Research Portal, a collection of OA "records that pertain to Nazi-Era cultural property....The portal will enable families to research their losses, provenance researchers to locate important documentation, and historians to study newly accessible materials on the history of this period. This collaborative project was established to fulfill the 1998 Washington Conference Principles on Nazi-Confiscated Art, the 2000 Vilnius Forum Declaration and the 2009 Terezin Declaration, in particular on the importance of making all such records publicly accessible. The portal links researchers to archival materials consisting of descriptions of records and, in many cases, digital images of the records that relate to cultural property that was stolen, looted, seized, forcibly sold, or otherwise lost during the Nazi-era...."

* The American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee (JDC) released an OA collection of its records and photographs from the Holocaust period.  "The website...enables the public, especially Holocaust survivors and their families, to perform searches for themselves or others they know on a database of more than 500,000 names and to view and identify photos from 14 countries where JDC operated during and after the war...."

* Data.gov.uk began collecting stories of "open government data...being put to good use."

* "IP Australia has upgraded its AusPat search engine with a tool called eDossier to give people free access to a wide range of patent documents....Previously, inventors applying for document access would pay a fee, wait seven days and then receive a paper copy of the information...."

* HRD Antwerp and Verichannel "launched a direct feed of [open] diamond-grading data from the HRD lab's computers to Verichannel's online trading platform....[D]iamond-grading data is available on Verichannel.com within minutes of when the stones have been graded and results made available...."

* The UK Data Archive released the third edition of Managing and Sharing Data: Best Practice for Researchers.

+ Books and digitization

* Yale University announced a new OA policy for its museums, archives, and libraries.  Under the new policy, "scholars, artists and other individuals around the world will enjoy free access to online images of millions of objects housed in Yale's museums, archives...Yale is the first Ivy League university to make its collections accessible in this fashion, and already more than 250,000 images are available through a newly developed collective catalog....The goal of the new policy is to make high quality digital images of Yale's vast cultural heritage collections in the public domain openly and freely available. As works in these collections become digitized, the museums and libraries will make those images that are in the public domain freely accessible. In a departure from established convention, no license will be required for the transmission of the images and no limitations will be imposed on their use....The massive University-wide digitization effort will take many years to complete, but advantages will be immediate....While several art museums and institutional collections have formally stopped asserting proprietary rights on images of public domain works, Yale's policy is pioneering for its breadth, embracing all of the cultural institutions within the University and asserting a university position on open access to its collections...."

* The Steering Committee of the Digital Public Library of America (DPLA) announced a "Beta Sprint" to "encourage the development of demonstrations of what such a service might look like....We are looking for ideas, put into the form of code and content, that express what a DPLA could be.  Initial versions of these beta systems are due to the Steering Committee on September 1, 2011...." "The Beta Sprint seeks, ideas, models, prototypes, technical tools, user interfaces, etc. - put forth as a written statement, a visual display, code, or a combination of forms - that demonstrate how the DPLA might index and provide access to a wide range of broadly distributed content. The Beta Sprint also encourages development of submissions that suggest alternative designs or that focus on particular parts of the system, rather than on the DPLA as a whole...."

* The American Association of University Presses (AAUP) released the 2011 issue of its member survey.  Among the findings:  17 (24%) of the presses publish full-text OA books.

* The Royal Library of the Netherlands and the libraries of the University of Amsterdam and Leiden University launched Early Dutch Books Online. "About 10,000 books published in the Netherlands with more than two million pages from the period 1780-1800 are captured digitally....Early Dutch Books Online is the first step towards a comprehensive digital research laboratory for the Humanities, which among others, all released in the Netherlands printed and written sources are included...."

* The funding for OAPEN (Open Access Publishing in European Networks) expired at the end of February 2011 and the organization has released its final report.  Excerpt:  "For the next three years [2011-2013], OAPEN was looking for support from academic stakeholders that are active in the effort to achieve Open access for academic publications, in particular so called ‘Gold’ OA. We preferred to interest stakeholders already involved in OAPEN, and in a position to interest other partner organizations to  broaden support and help achieve a structural solution.  With this in mind, Amsterdam University Press approached academic institutes within the Netherlands to provide financial support for  a limited period, with the explicit expectation that funding will be expanded to other (European) countries as soon as possible. The following Dutch institutes were prepared to provide financial support for the period 2011-2013: the Universities of Amsterdam, Leiden and Utrecht, the Royal Netherlands Academy of Arts and Sciences, the National Library of the Netherlands and Amsterdam University Press. These institutions successfully approached the Netherlands Organization for Scientific Research (NWO) to take part in financial support during this period....OAPEN will be established as an independent foundation governed by representatives of participating institutes...." http://project.oapen.org/images/documents/oapen_final_public_report.pdf

* "The University of Michigan Library's Copyright Office [launched] the first serious effort to identify orphan works among the in-copyright holdings of the HathiTrust Digital Library, which is funding the project.  The vast majority of HathiTrust's holdings are in-copyright (73%). An unknown percentage of these are so-called 'orphans', that is, in-copyright works whose owners cannot be identified or located. The lack of hard data on the number of orphans in the corpus is a significant impediment to the creation of a legal or policy-based framework that would allow scholars and researchers to access these works...."

* "The Open Library collection of (and free to access) book info including many free full-text eBooks...just added the OCLC number and a direct link to the WorldCat bibliographic record for more than four million editions in their collection."

* The US National Library of Medicine (NLM) launched Medicine in the Americas, an OA collection "encompassing over 300 early American printed books...demonstrating the evolution of American medicine from colonial frontier outposts of the 17th century to research hospitals of the 20th century...."
http://www.nlm.nih.gov/pubs/techbull/mj11/mj11_reprint_digitized_books.html http://www.nlm.nih.gov/news/medicine_in_americas.html

* The US National Library of Medicine (NLM) released the third batch of OA court case summaries "published as the Food and Drugs Act Notices of Judgment (NJs)...These NJs complete the collection of judgments involving adulterated and misbranded foods and drugs published together from 1908 to 1943, totaling 31,162 cases. Currently in process are NJs published between 1940 and1966....The NJs are resources in themselves, but also lead users to the over 2,000 linear foot collection of the evidence files used to prosecute each case. These files include materials such as correspondence, lab results, photographs, and product samples and labeling...."

* Adam Mansbach's new children's book, "Go the F**k to Sleep", is the latest to show that full-text OA can stimulate sales of the print edition.  "A small number of booksellers were sent a PDF version of the book as an early promotion. This PDF has now 'gone viral' and been emailed countless times. The traditional publishing ideas about piracy would likely see this as a disaster-the entire contents of a book widely distributed before the book is available through legitimate channels would raise fears that sales would be squelched. But the opposite has happened here...."

* "Sibley Music Library of the Eastman School of Music...received a National Endowment for the Humanities Preservation and Access Award of $300,000 to support its continuing efforts to digitize music scores in the public domain. This is the second NEH grant that the Library has received for the project, which provides free online access to rare and unique scores that are no longer protected by copyright, are not widely held by other libraries, and are not digitized elsewhere...."

* Google announced that it is releasing a growing number of full-color scans of 16th and 17th century books.  "In digitizing books from any century, we try to create clean images with black text and color illustrations on white backgrounds. This helps enhance readability, save storage spaces and serve illustrated pages faster to readers. However, partners, researchers and other readers have frequently asked us to show the older books as they actually appear, for a couple of reasons:  First, these books are interesting artifacts. They have changed their appearance over the centuries, and there is a cultural value in viewing them.  Second, because of aging and bleed-through, it can be very difficult to display the images as clean text over a white background; in many cases it's actually easier to read the text from the original (what we call "full-color") images...."

* "Amazon.com announced that owners of its e-book reader, the Kindle, will be able to download [free] e-books from 11,000 libraries across the country starting this fall...."

* UCLA announced that it is creating an OA archive of the "letters, research files, photos and publications" of environmental activist, Ellen Stern Harris.

* The Technical Reports and Archive Image Library (TRAIL) "digitized over 20,000 U.S. federal technical reports, including documents produced by the U.S. Atomic Energy Commission (AEC), which was responsible for the peacetime use of atomic science and technology from 1946 until 1974. Much of this information is extremely valuable today in light of the recent nuclear disaster in Japan."

* "Google...stopped digitizing old newspapers as publishers sought to make money off story archives instead of having them hosted free online.  People will still be able to find newspapers already converted to digital format in the Google News Archives...but the collection won't grow...."
http://goo.gl/HcJyP http://news.google.com/archivesearch

* The Biographisch-bibliographisches Kirchenlexikon (BBKL) converted from OA to TA.

+ Studies and surveys

* John Houghton, Alma Swan, and Sheridan Brown released a study on the use of research information by small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in Denmark.  Among the findings:  "Forty-eight per cent rated research articles as very or extremely important, and among those in research roles a higher 64% did so....More than two-thirds reported having difficulties accessing market survey research and reports and Doctoral or Masters theses, 62% reported difficulties accessing technical reports from government agencies and 55% reported difficulties accessing research articles. Comparing responses on importance and ease of access, suggests that research articles and market survey research and reports are seen to be both important and difficult to access....Use of Open Access materials is widespread. More than 50% used free institutional or subject repositories and Open Access journals monthly or more regularly, and among researchers 72% reported using free institutional or subject repositories and 56% Open Access journals monthly or more regularly....Access barriers and delays involve costs. It would have taken an average of 2.2 years longer to develop or introduce the new products or processes in the absence of contributing academic research. For new products, a 2.2 years delay would cost around DKK 36 million (EUR 4.8 million) per firm in lost sales, and for new processes it would cost around DKK 211 000 per firm...."

* In a letter to Nature, Heather Piwowar and two colleagues summarized their recent study showing "that ongoing investment in data archiving infrastructure provides a high scientific return on financial investment.   First, how much do archives cost?  As an example, we use Dryad..., [an open] data repository for the biosciences....For Dryad...we estimate that data from over 10,000 publications can be curated and preserved each year for approximately $400,000. Next, how much research is typically published per grant dollar? NSF core grants in Population and Community Ecology averaged about 3-4 papers per $100,000 from 2000-2005....Thus $400,000 in original research funding results in about 16 papers. Finally, how productive are data archives in facilitating original research publications?  It is too early to say for Dryad, but we can look to NCBI's Gene Expression Omnibus (GEO) database for insight. To derive an estimate of data reuse, we searched the full-text of articles in PubMed Central (PMC) for mention of any of the 2,711 datasets deposited in GEO in 2007.  We excluded articles whose author names overlapped those who had deposited the dataset.  Extrapolating the 338 hits in PMC to all of PubMed, we estimate the GEO datasets from 2007 have made substantive third-party contributions to more than 1150 published articles in 2007-2010 alone, and reuses continue to accumulate rapidly....Assuming that Dryad has a comparable rate of reuse and collects even 2,500 datasets per year, a $400,000 investment would contribute to more than 1,000 papers within 4 years, far greater than the accepted value of a research dollar...."

* The JISC-funded Discovery project published Licensing Open Data: A Practical Guide.  "This Guide has been developed for organisations who are considering the issues associated with licensing open data and/or want to understand the terms under which they can use data which has been licensed by third parties. It provides a practical overview of the various legal issues which might arise in the context of licensing open data, as well as the different types of licences which are available...."

* William Walters and Anne Linvill published a studying showing "the extent to which open-access (OA) journals and articles in biology, computer science, economics, history, medicine, and psychology are indexed in each of 11 bibliographic databases."  Among the findings:  "Two databases, Biological Abstracts and PubMed, provide very good coverage of the OA journal literature, indexing 60 to 63% of all OA articles in their disciplines. Five databases provide moderately good coverage (22-41%), and four provide relatively poor coverage (0-12%). OA articles in biology journals, English-only journals, high-impact journals, and journals that charge publication fees of $1,000 or more are especially likely to be indexed. Conversely, articles from OA publishers in Africa, Asia, or Central/South America are especially unlikely to be indexed. Four of the 11 databases index commercially published articles at a substantially higher rate than articles published by universities, scholarly societies, nonprofit publishers, or governments. Finally, three databases --EBSCO Academic Search Complete, ProQuest Research Library, and Wilson OmniFile-- provide less comprehensive coverage of OA articles than of articles in comparable subscription journals.

* M.O. Okoye and A.N. Ejikeme published the results of a survey of academic librarians at four Nigerian universities.  Among the findings:  A majority acknowledged all listed obstacles to OA and endorsed all listed strategies for OA (green and gold).  "It is surprising to note that while 88.89% of respondents were aware of open access journals and their advantages only 13.33% have published articles on open access journals. From the responses, librarians appreciated the roles of librarians in institutional repositories. However, 5 (11.11%) respondents did not agree that librarians are familiar with vendor licensing and copyright laws...."

* The Canadian Association of Learned Journals (CALJ) released the annual report of Scholarly Journal Publishing in Canada for 2010-2011.  Among the findings:  "Although only 25 per cent of journals are fully open access, an additional 39 per cent of journals have a moving wall for open access."

* David Lewis published a study concluding that "between 2018 and 2019 open access journals are likely to comprise 50% of all academic journals and should be approaching 90% of all academic journals by 2022."

* The ZWB Leibniz-Informationszentrum Wirtschaft released the results of its survey of young researchers and students of economics.  Among the findings:  Most researchers knew the diversity of their OA options and most had a low opinion of the quality of OA journals.  Only 16% took advantage of OA journals to increase their visibility or citations.  

* JISC's Information Environment Programme 2009-11 ends next month (July 2011).  "To help people find things from the programme that are of use to them we have put together a list of questions that the programme has addressed....[8] How can I keep abreast of developments in scholarly communications and open access publishing? [9] How can I encourage a change in the scholarly communications process within my institution? [10] How can I examine the costs to my institution of adopting different open access publishing options? [11] How can people within my institution get access to full text UK theses? ..."

* The Research Communications Strategy released its 4th Report to JISC.  Section 1, about half the whole report, is devoted to researcher attitudes toward OA.  That section makes three recommendation:  "that HEFCE be encouraged to make it clear that peer-reviewed OA journals will be considered the equal of any traditional journals for the purposes of the REF...; that an advocacy message from JISC be that: dissemination is an expense, OA is an alternate not an additional expense, in the context of grants the cost of OA publishing is tiny, money is available to support OA publication... [and] that consideration be given to employing high-profile figures with appeal both to the academic community and the wider public to publicise and endorse OA...."

* Intech surveyed authors who published its OA journals on their attitudes toward OA.  It received 8,000 responses.  "75% of participants said they think [OA] is ‘very important’ or ‘important’ to be able to offer their work free online to a global audience even if that means the author pays....Overall, only 2.4% participants thought the Open Access model was unimportant or not important at all...."  (PS:  The first paragraph of the report leaves the false impression that all OA is gold OA and that all or most OA journals charge author-side fees.)

* Primary Research Group published the TA results of a survey of medical school faculty in Canada, Australia, and the UK.  Among the findings (from the brief OA preview):  "16.67% of those sampled say that they have contributed publications to their library's digital repository...."

* Digital Commons released an ETD Toolkit, which includes information and recommendations on making ETDs OA.

* Digital Commons released a Journals Toolkit, which includes information and recommendations on making journals OA through a Digital Commons repository.

* The Repositories Support Project launched a survey "to capture a snapshot of the UK research repository scene....The closing date for entry into the draw [for an iPod Shuffle] is 31st July 2011 but the survey will remain open after this date...."
http://www.surveymonkey.com/s/9RV6CYL http://rspproject.wordpress.com/2011/05/13/state-of-the-nation/

* The University of Northampton launched a survey of UK faculty and students on attitudes toward OA, copyright, their institutional repository, and related issues.  The survey is sponsored by UK Council of Research Repositories (UKCoRR).

* The ORIOLE (Open Resources: Influence on Learners and Educators) project launched a survey on the sharing and use of open resources.  The survey was open May 5-26, 2011.

* The Bodleian Libraries launched a survey "to find out what Oxford researchers think about open access and how they use ORA (Oxford University Research Archive). The Bodleian Libraries will use the results to inform discussions about open access. The survey is being run at a number of universities across the UK. Oxford's results will be collated with results from other institutions to provide a broader picture of attitudes to open access across the country....The survey will be open for responses until Friday 3rd June...."

* The institutional repository at Oxford Brookes University launched a survey of attitudes toward OA and use of the repository.  (I don't have permission to take it, so I suspect it's limited to Oxford Brooks faculty.)

* The Royal Society launched a major policy study on Science as a Public Enterprise (SAPE).  "We welcome submissions as soon as possible, and before the 5 August 2011....The immediate focus of this study will be the exchange of information among scientists and other scientifically literate audiences....The secondary focus of the study will be public engagement with scientific information, which may be mediated by journalists or interest groups and individuals. As former habits of deference decline in democratic societies, calls for greater openness and transparency are ubiquitous. Public expectations of openness grow as access to information improves. However, open access to scientific information by itself rarely elicits the knowledge or understanding that is sought. Raw data is rarely useful to others if it is made available without the metadata and other context that is needed to make it understandable.  A presumption in favour of data sharing should enable efficient research. A case for open access to research data is most obvious where the research has been done at public expense, or where the research has involved experimentation on human beings who have consented to be subjected to risks for the benefit of the public (as in the case of medical research). But it is also arguably necessary where private companies undertake activities that pose risks to public health. Public interest in openness and disclosure must however be balanced against possible concerns of security, confidentiality, privacy and intellectual property protection...."

+ Software and tools

* Microsoft released the source code for Zentity 2.0, its repository software.  (It did this February 18, 2011; sorry for missing it until now.)  This fulfills Microsoft's hope at launch (May 15, 2009) that the program would eventually become open source.

* Google is shutting down many of its formerly open APIs, including those for Blog Search, Books Data, Image Search, News Search, Patent Search, Translate, and Video Search.  Developers are especially unhappy about the loss of the Translate API.

* Google updated the Google Books API.  "The new Books API will help you write applications to query for the more than 15 million books that are searchable on books.google.com including book metadata, pricing and more. This API replaces the Google Book Search Data and Javascript APIs.  The previous GData API and Javascript API will still be available, but ongoing development work will be focused on the new Google Books API so we encourage you to make the transition to take advantage of new features....

* Jayan Kuria and co-authors described "IR2gT, a [FLOSS] report generation tool for Institutional repositories...."

* Andrew Cullison announced "that Sympoze is transforming into an even better service for philosophers.  We're going to use it to crowd-source academic peer-review and create a high-quality open-access philosophy journal and high-quality open-access philosophy text books. I started Sympoze a couple of years ago as a social bookmarking site for philosophers (something like Digg or Reddit for academia). After consultation with several philosophy/academic friends, it became clear that a better use for the social-bookmarking tools I was using would be to turn it into a peer-review service for scholarly publications. The basic idea is to crowd-source the peer-review process. Crowd-sourcing the peer review process does a number of things to solve problems with the current model...."

* The University of Bielefeld upgraded BASE (Bielefeld Academic Search Engine) "with a Lucene/Solr index and a VuFind interface....You have now access to more than 28 million documents from 1.788 sources and we can now refresh the index on a regular basis again....There is also a  new iPhone-App for BASE available from our website, or at directly at iTunes...."

* The Institutional Repository Search (IRS) tool from Mimas "has completed the inclusion of GreyNet's entire collection of conference papers on grey literature (from 1993)...."

* The US National Library of Medicine (NLM) released Embryo, a mobile app drawing upon "the National Museum of Health and Medicine's [OA] Carnegie Embryo Collection....This archival collection was developed between approximately 1887 to 1956 and focuses on normal development in the first eight weeks. The Virtual Human Embryo database was created to provide digital serial sections of human embryos from the collection....Features [of the app] include human fertilization videos, photo micrographs of early-stage embryo development, 2D and 3D digital images using visual stack dissections, and a pregnancy calculator...."

* The New York Public Library launched Biblion, a mobile app that "essentially opens up the boxes in the library's esteemed research collections and places curated items at anyone's fingertips, literally...."

* DuraSpace launched a web site for DuraCloud.

* Intute will shut down when its JISC funding expires in July 2011.  "However, we are working to ensure that the legacy of Intute lives on, and we are working with other organisations in the sector to find a new home for Intute content...."

+ Awards and milestones

* BioMed Central announced the winners of its 5th Annual Research Awards.  "The winners were selected from 214 BioMed Central journals which published more than 17,000 peer-reviewed open access articles over the last 12 months...." Among the winners:  for biology, Roberto Danovaro; for medicine, Christina Jones; for open data, Tommi Nyman; cor case report of the year, Michael J Keogh; for editor of the year, Jean Louis Vincent; and for open access advocate of the year, Andrew Waller.

* In February 2011, SURFfoundation began "awarding a monthly prize for the Enhanced Publication (EP) of the Month. Enhanced publications are a new type of scientific/scholarly communication whereby researchers make publications available online in combination with other material....The Enhanced Publication of the Month for April 2011 is an archaeological study entitled Mesolithic and Neolithic human remains in the Netherlands: physical anthropological and stable isotope investigations...." http://www.surffoundation.nl/en/actueel/Pages/Enhancingexcavationsforarchaeologists.aspx

* "The International Anesthesia Research Society (IARS) announces that its website, OpenAnesthesia...has seen a total of one million hits since its launch in 2009....Today, less than two years after the launch of OpenAnesthesia.org, the website is an established educational platform with over 50,000 visitors a month. The site boasts more than 1,800 registered users, who are allowed to edit the wiki portion of the site...."

* The University of Michigan Open.Michigan project turned three years old.

* DevCSI (Developer Community Supporting Innovation) announced that it will again organize the Developer Challenge at Open Repositories (Austin, Texas, June 6-11, 2011).  This year the challenge is the same as in 2009:  "Show Us the Future of Repositories".  "However, we are also going to be offering two special additional prizes....Firstly,...we’ll be offering a special additional prize for the most innovative use of SWORD in an open-repositories context....Secondly, as this year’s challenge is kindly being supported by Microsoft Research, they are going to award an additional prize to any  developers who submit an entry to the challenge that makes an innovative use of Microsoft technologies...."

* RePEc passed the milestones of 80,000 articles with references, 10,000 books listed, and 600 weekly NEP-ALL (New Economics Papers) reports sent.

* PLoS ONE published its 20,000th article. 

* "Nature Communications recently celebrated its first successful year, publishing its 300th research paper in the natural sciences. Launched in April 2010, nearly half of the papers published in Nature Communications to date are open access...."

+ Other

* Berkeley Electronic Press announced 2 new OA repositories, 9 new OA journals, 15 new OA image galleries, and 6 OA book galleries.

* Rod Page reported that only two of the top 10 species of 2010, as determined by the International Institute for Species Exploration (IISE), were described in OA journals.  http://iphylo.blogspot.com/2011/05/top-ten-new-species-described-in-2010.html

* In the US, "the federal judiciary and the Government Printing Office are partnering to provide free public access to court opinions through the GPO's FDSys system....When fully implemented later this year, the pilot will include two courts of appeals, seven district courts, and three bankruptcy courts. In March, the Judicial Conference approved expansion of the pilot to include up to 30 additional courts...."

* The Canadian Legal Information Institute (CanLII) applied to intervene in SOCAN v. Bell, a Canadian case on the scope of fair dealing.  If allowed, CanLII will argue that "CanLII's distinct role as a provider of free legal information to the public relies upon the interpretation and application of the principle of fair-dealing. Therefore any narrowing of the scope and practically of the fair-dealing principle set out in CCH may affect the digitally based services of CanLII that make legal materials freely and widely available...."

* The Illinois Supreme Court decided that litigants may cite the OA editions of Illinois legal cases.  Until now, the official citations pointed to print editions published by private-sector, for-profit TA publishers.  "This new method will eliminate the need to contractually publish and purchase the official opinions in bound volumes. It will save Illinois taxpayers hundreds of thousands of dollars a year....In Illinois, Supreme Court and Appellate Court opinions have been available [OA] on the judiciary’s web site since 1996, but the requirement that official citation be made to [TA] printed reporters has prevented the direct citation of those opinions....The public domain citation system was first recommended by the American Association of Law Librarians in 1994 and was endorsed by the American Bar Association in 1995. Since then, about a dozen states have adopted it...."

* The Panton Principles for Open Data in Science were translated into Spanish and Italian

* The Library of Congress launched the National Jukebox, for "streaming some of its vast collection of sound recordings of popular music, speeches and comedy online for free."

* The Open Knowledge Foundation is "looking for more people to help map copyright law in countries around the world - so we can make it easier for people to find and reuse works which have entered the public domain...."

* "An organization called Biofab, funded by the NSF and run through teams at Stanford and Berkeley, is applying open development approaches to creating building blocks (BioBricks from BioBricks Foundation) for the bio products of the future. Now, the first of those building blocks (based on E. coli) are just rolling off the production line....This goal is behind Biofab, to create biological building blocks that can be assembled into an unimaginable plethora of applications. Somewhat in contrast to the philosophical grassroots motivations that have gotten software development to this point, it's being driven by economic motivations, and there's some real money behind the project from the outset. It can cost tens of millions of dollars to create a single microbe that can do useful work because the current process is like creating a software application using machine language.  The geniuses behind Biofab are clearly modeling much of what they do on the FOSS model...."

* "NYU Press (NYUP) has been awarded a grant of $50,000 from The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation to develop and test a method of conducting open, public online peer-to-peer (P2P) review of scholarly monographs and journal articles.  NYUP, which is part of the NYU Division of Libraries, will collaborate on the project with MediaCommons, a digital scholarly network affiliated with both NYU Libraries and the Institute for the Future of the Book....The outcome of the yearlong, Mellon-funded project will be a published white paper that will...be made available for open peer review as part of its publication process...."

* The Right to Research Coalition launched a new "Open Access flyer - a new, versatile resource to help engage more students on your campus on the important issue of access to research.  Ready to be posted around campus or used as a leave-behind, this short handout was designed to be a flexible tool in getting students' attention and raising awareness of Open Access...."
http://www.righttoresearch.org/blog/the-newest-addition-to-your-open-access-toolkit.shtml http://www.righttoresearch.org/bm~doc/open-access-flyer.pdf

* The Republic of the Maldives joined EIFL as as Partner Country.

* The Socialist Party of Portugal promised to present a proposal to the next government making "equitable compensation of authors, artists, interpreters or executives...inalienable and non-renunciable" and with the side-effect (deliberate or inadvertent) of making open licenses illegal.


Coming this month

Here are some important OA-related events coming up in June.

* OA-related conferences in June 2011

* Other OA-related conferences



A couple of times over the years I've explained, in response to reader questions, that I follow the practice of exact quotation.  I don't put punctuation marks inside quotation marks unless they are part of the quoted source. 

This practice is standard in British English and nearly standard among American philosophers.  But it is undeniably non-standard for most other users of American English.  Now Ben Yagoda reports in Slate that the practice is on the rise in the US, under the name "logical punctuation".  Among the new converts is the Linguistic Society of America.

Kudos to the Linguistic Society of America, for coming around to logic and giving cover to logical American writers.  At least linguists should be able to say that quotation means quotation.  In fact, it's hard to believe that linguists ever said anything else.  Now if linguists have have come around, how long will it take for others to come around?

Forgive me if I see the OA debate writ small here, or even writ large.  There's ground for optimimism in seeing irrational customs reversed by the vote of groups whose expertise ought to make them influential.  There's ground for pessimism in realizing that those groups are swimming against a tide of entrenched practices, that their influence is not proportional to their expertise, and that the reversibility of a custom is not proportional to its irrationality.


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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Peter Suber

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