Welcome to the SPARC Open Access Newsletter, issue #141
January 2, 2010
by Peter Suber
Read this issue online
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Open access in 2009
2009 was Open Access Year in the Netherlands, but it might have been Open Access Year worldwide. The growth on every front was extraordinary. In this review of the highlights, I won't cover individual new OA journals, repositories, or databases; and like last year, the volume has forced me to omit most new developments in open education, public-sector information (PSI), and wikis. Last year I had a special section on OA to humanities research, but this year I cut that as well to make room for a section on the recession. As always, apologies to the many projects I had to omit.
If you're in a hurry, jump to Section 10 for some highlights of the highlights.
BTW, if you track these things, March 31 was OA Day in Copenhagen, and October 19-23 was OA Week worldwide.
(1) Open access policies at funding agencies
Five Canadian funding agencies adopted OA mandates in 2009, the most for any country. One was a private funder, the Michael Smith Foundation for Health Research. One was a public-private partnership: The Canadian Breast Cancer Research Alliance, which strengthened its existing OA policy from a request to a requirement. Three were public agencies: the Fonds de la recherche en santé du Québec, the Canadian Health Services Research Foundation , and the Canadian Cancer Society. (The CCS mandate was adopted without fanfare when the Society absorbed the the National Cancer Institute of Canada and adopted the NCIC's OA mandate as its own).
Two public agencies in the US adopted OA mandates: the Institute of Education Sciences (IES), within in the Department of Education, and the National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR), a federally funded lab sponsored by the National Science Foundation.
The UK Engineering & Physical Sciences Research Council was the seventh of the seven Research Councils UK to adopt an OA mandate. New OA mandates were also adopted by the Chinese Academy of Sciences, Hungarian Scientific Research Fund, the Norwegian Research Council, Swedish Research Council, the Spanish principality of Asturias, and the International Crops Research Institute for the Semi-Arid Tropics (ICRISAT). Lithuania adopted a new law requiring that publicly-funded research be "made public" online. That comes to 15 new funder mandates in ten countries.
We could easily add the Science Foundation Ireland to this list, since its OA mandate, adopted in 2008, took effect in 2009. Also in 2009, Ukraine started to implement the national OA mandate it adopted in 2007. The Autonomous Community Government of Madrid extended its 2008 mandate from selected research projects to all Madrid-funded research.
OA mandates are known to be under consideration at the Irish Research Council for Humanities and Social Sciences, the UK Department for International Development (DFID), Denmark's Electronic Research Library (DEFF), Poland's Ministry of Science and Higher Education, the Spanish Ministry of Science and Innovation, the Yemen parliament, and the US Senate (more on latter below).
There are already a few Europe-wide OA mandates, for example from the European Research Council (2007) and the European Commission's FP7 pilot project (2008). In 2009 the EC showed that it wants to continue in the same direction. In a report on e-science infrastructure, it promised "reinforce [its] catalytic investment under FP7 in scientific data infrastructure, to support accessibility...policies." Later in the year it charged a session on OA at an EC-hosted conference (European Research Area Conference 2009, Brussels, October 21-23, 2009) "to come up with recommendations for policies on Open Access that the Commission can take forward."
The European Science Foundation (ESF) and the European Heads of Research Councils (EuroHORCs) plan to issue a joint OA mandate. The ESF represents 80 member organizations in 30 European countries and EuroHORCs represents all the major public funding agencies in 24 European countries. If endorsements of mandatory OA from ESF and EuroHORCs incline even half their members to adopt mandates, that would more than double the number of funder OA mandates in the world. Something to watch.
Similarly, a group of high-profile public and private funders sponsored a study that recommended green libre OA mandates for medical research. The co-sponsors, convened by US Institute of Medicine, included the Gates Foundation, Burroughs Wellcome Fund, Merck Company Foundation, Rockefeller Foundation, and three cabinet-level departments in the US. This doesn't mean that the sponsoring organizations will adopt mandates of their own, but it means that they have heard the argument and have some investment in it.
A diverse group of funding agencies launched OA repositories in 2009, some in response to existing OA mandates and some as likely harbingers of mandates to come. After much anticipation, PubMed Central Canada launched as a joint project of the Canada Institute for Scientific and Technical Information (NRC-CISTI), the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR), and the US National Library of Medicine (NLM). The NLM also launched Rapid Research Notes (RRN), an OA repository to speed up the dissemination of new results. The Christie NHS Foundation Trust launched an IR, the first OA repository within the UK National Health Service. The UK Department for International Development (DFID) launched an institutional repository, R4D (Research for Development), as did France's Office National de l'Eau et des Milieux Aquatiques (ONEMA) and Singapore's Agency for Science, Technology and Research (A*STAR). The Indian Academy of Sciences plans to launch an institutional repository and a adopt a policy to fill it.
If studying the feasibility of an institutional repository is a sign that a funding agency is contemplating an OA policy, then we should expect policies from the Italian National Research Council (Consiglio Nazionale delle Ricerche) and the US National Science Foundation (NSF). In 2009 the NSF gave the Johns Hopkins Libraries a $300,000 grant to study the idea of an OA repository for NSF-funded research. In addition, the NSF Advisory Committee on Cyberinfrastructure adopted the statement that OA for "data, publications, and software" is a "critical component" of the NSF vision of advanced cyberinfrastructure, a statement which Lee Van Orsdel and Kathleen Born interpret as a recommendation for an OA mandate. The NSF tilted a litle further toward OA when the National Center for Atmospheric Research became the first of the NSF's Federally Funded Research and Development Centers to adopt an OA mandate. Why this matters: the NSF is the second-largest public funder of non-classified research in the US, after the NIH, and the publishing lobby routinely cites its lack of a mandate as model for the NIH and other federal agencies to follow.
In 2009 we saw notable calls to mandate OA for publicly-funded research from the Charter for Innovation, Creativity and Access to Knowledge; the Declaration Concept Web Alliance; the latest drafts of the Paris Accord Round II; the latest revision of the Internet Rights Charter; the Japan Association of National University Libraries; the European Commission's Expert Group of 13 academics; the UK Free Our Books and Research Papers project; the Dutch science minister, Ronald Plasterk; and the the Nederlandse Organisatie voor Wetenschappelijk Onderzoek (NWO), the largest Dutch public funding agency. The NWO not only announced a general endorsement of OA, but pledged 5 million Euros to support it.
Three French associations -- the Consortium Universitaire des Publications Numériques (COUPERIN), Association des directeurs et des personnels de direction des bibliothèques universitaires et de la documentation (ADBU), and Association du réseau des établissements utilisateurs de l'ABES (AURA)-- issued a joint call for mandating green OA to publicly-funded research, encouraging gold OA, and starting talks between the government and French publishers on their OA policies. Jesse Brown, Stephane Couture, Michael Geist, and Jonathan Vianou called for OA to publicly-funded research in Canada.
The Academic Library Manifesto (from the Research Libraries Group), Kigali Declaration (from 27 African governments and four intergovernmental organizations), Manchester Manifesto (from members of Manchester's Institute for Science, Ethics and Innovation), Singapore Declaration (from medical journal editors), and an update of the of the 44-year-old Declaration of Helsinki all called for wider and more equitable access to research.
The draft Medical R&D Treaty from 2005, which includes an OA mandate, was removed from the World Health Organization (WHO) global strategy in 2009, with the approval of the pharmaceutical industry and Obama administration. However, the draft treaty was taken up by the WHO Expert Working Group on R&D Financing, and is still alive. (Disclosure: I helped draft the OA provision of the treaty.) While the OA mandate in the treaty is unaffected by the move, the World Health Assembly (WHA) adopted a watered down version of the same recommendation ("strongly encouraging" rather than requiring green OA) for its own global strategy. James Love directly recommended an OA mandate to the World Trade Organization (WTO).
Lars Fischer launched a petition asking Germany's Bundestag to mandate OA for publicly-funded research. The petition was endorsed by the Coalition for Action on Copyright for Education and Research, the German Initiative for Networked Information (DINI), the German Library Association, Wikimedia Germany, and the Working Committee of the Parliament and Government Libraries. It gathered 23,631 signatures before the two-month sign-on period ended last month. It needed 50,000 to guarantee that the Bundestag Petition Committee would open a public discussion, but the committee may still elect to do so. Earlier in the year the German government agreed to re-evaluate an OA proposal by Gerd Hansen it first considered in 2006. The proposal would give authors a statutory right to self-archive their journal articles six months after publication, regardless of the terms in any copyright transfer agreement they might have signed.
Dinesh Abrol called for the open licensing of publicly-funded research in India, and India's Council of Scientific & Industrial Research recommended that each of its 40+ laboratories adopt OA mandates.
In the US, the OA mandate at the NIH was made permanent by a bill passed by both houses of Congress signed by President Obama. After all the new OA mandates around the world in 2009, we end the year in one respect exactly as we ended in 2008: the NIH is still the only funder of medical research with an OA policy allowing an embargo longer than six months. Every other one caps the permissible embargo at six months.
James Leach, the new chairman of the US National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH), publicly supported OA for publicly-funded research. Four years ago his agency adopted a novel form of funder OA policy. Instead of encouraging or requiring OA for the research it funded, it favored funding applications which promised OA. As far as I can tell, no other funders followed its lead until 2009. JISC was the first to do so when it partnered with the NEH to sponsor a series of Transatlantic Digitization Collaboration Grants. The Polish Ministry of Culture and National Heritage was the second. A third is in the offing: the Cancer Prevention and Research Institute of Texas (CPRIT) will "likely favor open access" when evaluating grant applications. The Universidad Carlos III de Madrid adopted a university-variant of the NEH approach. When research groups request university funds to improve their web sites, the institution will give preference to those that promise to provide OA to their research through the institutional repository.
Rep. John Conyers (D-MI) re-introduced the Fair Copyright in Research Works Act, a bill to overturn the NIH policy and prevent all federal agencies from adopting similar policies. But the 2009 bill is not gathering much attention or support. Pushing in the opposite direction, new bills in the House and Senate would mandate libre OA for federally-funded "educational materials" that could be used in textbooks.
Of proposed mandates, the largest by far was the re-introduction of the Federal Research Public Access Act (FRPAA) in the US Senate. First introduced in 2006, the bill would mandate OA at all the major US federal funding agencies. During the year, the new FRPAA was endorsed by 85 presidents and provosts of US universities, 41 Nobel laureates, seven major US library associations, six major US student organizations, Autism Speaks, Electronic Frontier Foundation, Essential Action, IP Justice, IssueLab, the Genetic Alliance, Knowledge Ecology International, OXFAM America, Public Knowledge, and Universities Allied for Essential Medicines. It even received support from business-oriented groups such as NetCoalition --whose members include Amazon, Bloomberg, Google, and Yahoo-- and the Committee for Economic Development --whose major sponsors include General Electric, IBM, Merrill Lynch, Pfizer, and Toyota North America.
But potentially larger even than FRPAA was President Obama's call for public comments on ways to extend OA policies across the federal government. The White House Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP) is collecting comments, so far overwhelmingly in favor of a government-wide green OA mandate with a short embargo period. At the end of the comment period (January 21, 2010), the OSTP will formulate a policy which the President could implement by executive order. The OSTP consultation was preceded by a consultation from the US Office of Management and Budget (OMB) on how to improve OMB Circular A-130, the major US regulation on public access to federal government information and research.
John Houghton and colleagues bolstered the case for national OA mandates by showing that the benefits of OA far outweighed the costs, using data from Denmark, the Netherlands, and the UK (complementing their 2006 study of Australia). In the UK, for example, gold OA could save the higher education sector £80 million/year, green OA could save £115 million/year, and the two together could yield an additional £172 million/year in financial returns to UK businesses from easier access to research. OA in the Netherlands could save the Netherlands €133 million/year.
Ten US and Canadian university presses called for OA to publicly-funded research. Their statement --organized by 2009 SPARC Innovator Mike Rossner, Executive Director of Rockefeller University Press-- was the first in support of OA from a group of mostly-TA publishers and the first from a group of mostly-book publishers. CENDI, the group of science and technology information managers for US federal agencies, continues to recommend OA to federally funded research and look for ways to make to happen. Some agencies are so determined to recover their research output that they are buying copies of published articles from the journals.
New national working groups or web sites to organize OA activity were launched in Cuba, Denmark, Hong Kong, the Netherlands, and Romania,
(2) Open access policies at universities
In October, 26 of Finland's Universities of Applied Sciences adopted a joint OA mandate. That is by far the largest number of institutions adopting a common OA policy in the history of OA. The joint mandate is a sign of serious commitment by the 26 rectors and the Finnish Ministry of Education, which governs the 26 institutions. It's also a dramatic reminder to other national ministries and private consortia that joint mandates make a giant step toward OA and without having to reinvent the wheel at individual institutions.
Outside Finland the number of university OA mandates in 2009 also came to 26: Abertay Dundee University, Boston University, the Université catholique de Louvain, Copenhagen Business School, Dublin Institute of Technology, the University of Edinburgh, two schools within Harvard University (the Graduate School of Education and the John F. Kennedy School of Government), University of Liege, Madurai Kamaraj University, University of Kansas, University of Leicester, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Universitat Politècnica de Catalunya, University of Pretoria, Roehampton University, Universidad del Rosario, two schools within the Russian Academy of Sciences (the Vologda Scientific-Coordination Center of the Central Economics and Mathematics Institute and the Keldysh Institute of Applied Mathematics), University of Salamanca, University of Salford, University of St. Gallen, Ternopil State Ivan Puluj Technical University, University College London, Victoria University, and the University of Westminster.
The 26 non-Finnish mandates were spread among 13 countries: Australia (1), Belgium (2), Colombia (1), Denmark (1), India (1), Ireland (1), Russia (2), Scotland (2), South Africa (1), Spain (2), Switzerland (1), Ukraine (1), UK (5), and US (5).
I'm counting Colombia's Universidad del Rosario and Switzerland's University of St. Gallen here although their policies were adopted in 2008 and not publicized until 2009. I'm also counting the University of Liege, whose mandate was experimental in 2008 and moved out of its experimental phase in 2009. I'm *not* counting one adopted mandate at a university not ready to to make a public announcement. Nor am I counting new mandates limited to theses and dissertations, of which there were at least five in 2009: the University of Central Florida, University of Chicago, Kansas State University, the University of Montreal Faculty of Medicine and Faculty of Management, and Stanford University.
Adding the Finnish and non-Finnish mandates together, we have 52. In addition to these, we saw eight departmental mandates: two units at the Brigham Young University (Library Faculty and Department of Instructional Psychology and Technology), the University of Calgary division of Library and Cultural Resources, the Coventry University Department of Media and Communication, the library faculty at the University of Northern Colorado, the library faculty at Oregon State University, and two units at the University of Oregon (Library Faculty and Department of Romance Languages). For the second year in a row, library faculties lead all other faculties in adopting departmental or "patchwork" OA mandates.
That comes to an even 60 university OA mandates adopted in 2009, compared to 13 in 2008. The 13 in 2008 outnumbered the mandates from all previous years combined. The new mandates in 2009 outnumber those in 2008 by more than a factor of four, and more than double the number from all previous years combined.
A staggering 13 of the new mandates in 2009 were adopted by unanimous faculty votes. We may be starting to forget how surprising they are. It was astonishing when the Harvard Faculty of Arts and Sciences broke the ice with a unanimous vote in February 2008, and then when three more unanimous votes followed in the same year. (Open challenge: Name any another substantive policy topic on which even one faculty vote, let alone 13 in one year, have been unanimous.) But in 2009 the number of unanimous votes grew more than threefold. Not counting the Finnish mandates --for which one procedural act created many policies-- half the mandates adopted in 2009 mandates were adopted by unanimous faculty votes. If you're looking for reasons to tip the scales, you could count the vote at the Harvard Graduate School of Education, for which there were a few abstentions but no dissenting votes. You could also count two unanimous faculty votes for non-mandatory policies (below).
In 2009, as in every year since the first university OA mandate in 2003, more universities adopted strong policies or mandates than weaker policies requesting or encouraging OA without requiring it. In 2009, non-mandatory OA policies were adopted at the University of Bergen, Universidad Carlos III de Madrid, University of Geneva, University of Guelph School of Environmental Sciences, the library faculty at the Gustavus Adolphus College, Venezuela's Universidad de Oriente, University of Tampere, Trinity University, Utrecht University, and the University of Washington. The University of Ottawa adopted a green OA policy but has not yet released the details; it may or may not be a mandate. Two of the non-mandates --at Gustavus Adolphus and Universidad de Oriente-- were adopted by unanimous faculty votes, which I did not count in the tally of unanimous votes for mandates.
Taking the mandatory and non-mandatory policies together, two include the rule that only articles on deposit in the IR will be used for the purposes of promotion and other internal evaluations (Liege, Oregon library faculty) and three provide some degree of libre OA (Liege, Northern Colorado library faculty, Oregon library faculty). While the 26 Finnish mandates don't require libre OA, their repository automatically offers depositing authors the chance to attach a CC license to their work.
In 2009 we saw the first mandates from primarily undergraduate, liberal arts institutions (Gustavus Adolphus, Oberlin, Trinity), and the first from primarily undergraduate applied science institutions (the Finnish 26). The mandate at the Université catholique de Louvain, and the Finnish mandates, were the first to require deposit in consortial repositories. The US saw its first university-wide mandates (Boston University, Kansas University, and MIT) and its first mandate from a public university (Kansas).
Two initiatives new in 2009 will work systematically to increase the number of green OA mandates at universities: the SPARC Campus Open Access Policies project and Enabling Open Scholarship (EOS). They came too late in the year to explain the explosive growth of university policies in 2009, but should certainly accelerate that growth in years to come.
The SPARC project tracks 53 institutions now considering policies, most of them not yet ready to be named in public. But there is public knowledge of policy deliberations, or internal activity to start deliberations, at the University of Cardiff, Concordia University, Duke University, University of Florida, Harvard Medical School, the University of Pennsylvania, University of São Paulo, Texas A&M University, the University of Virginia, the University Wisconsin Milwaukee, and Yale University.
EOS was launched by a group of European university rectors and OA leaders. Rectors were active on other fronts as well. Italy's university rectors (Conferenza dei Rettori delle Università Italiane, or CRUI) began developing national guidelines for providing OA to Italian ETDs. Ten rectors added their names to the 2008 Belgorod Declaration, calling for university OA policies Belarus, Russia, and Ukraine. A group of 26 Ukrainian rectors published the Olvia Declaration, calling on Ukrainian universities to launch repositories and adopt OA policies to fill them. According to my sources, the 26 Finnish mandates should be credited to the 26 rectors even more than to the Ministry of Education. If presidents and provosts are the US equivalent of rectors, this is the place to note that 85 presidents and provosts of US institutions endorsed FRPAA and called for an OA mandate to publicly-funded research in the US.
In addition to EOS and the SPARC projects, JISC helped spread OA policies by assembling an InfoKit on repositories, mandates, and advocacy literature. (It also released a separate toolkit for recruiting staff for repository projects.) Portugal's RCAAP (Repositório Científico de Acesso Aberto de Portuga) created an OA policy kit to help universities formulate and implement OA policies. The Association of College and Research Libraries updated its Scholarly Communication Toolkit. Alma Swan and Leslie Chan launched OASIS (Open Access Scholarly Information Sourcebook), a collection of documents, videos, and other resources on "the concept, principles, advantages, approaches and means to achieving" OA. Its focus on practical details should help any institution draft, adopt, and carry out an OA policy.
The LIBER (Ligue des Bibliothèques Européennes de Recherche) Strategic Plan 2009-2012 includes collaboration with SPARC Europe and DRIVER to promote OA in Europe, especially green OA. Green OA activism is also built into JISC's Research 3.0 campaign, the JISC roadmap for repositories 2009-2013, and the JISC Strategy 2010-2012. The Vice Chancellor at the University of Salford, Martin Hall, blogged his intention to increase OA archiving at the university. The Harvard University Task Force on University Libraries reaffirmed the libraries' efforts to reform the scholarly communications and support the university's role in the OA movement.
In 2009 student activism for university OA policies surpassed that in any previous year. Student groups worked --and are working-- for OA policies at Columbia University, Georgetown, Uppsala, and Yale. Students at the University of New Mexico are trying to persuade professors to adopt OA textbooks. The Student Senate at the University of Tennessee discussed the launch of an OA repository for the university. Student editorials at Stanford and the University of Pennsylvania called on their institutions to launch OA journal funds. David Wiley's students at Brigham Young University not only compared 41 OA policies in the US, but recommended an OA policy for BYU. A coalition of six American student associations issued a joint statement (Student Statement on The Right to Research) calling on universities, research funders, and researchers to mandate OA to research. The coalition has since grown to 19 student organizations representing more than five million students.
Students for Free Culture scaled up its Open University Campaign (launched in 2008), and changed its name to the Open Education Campaign (to prevent confusion with the Open University). The campaign includes a recommendation that universities adopt OA mandates. MIT students, who already have an OA mandate at their school, began lobbying for FRPAA and an OA mandate for the nation.
Elsevier confirmed that it is lobbying UK universities to link to Elsevier articles at the journal sites rather than deposit copies in locally-hosted IRs, though it still gives blanket permission for postprint archiving.
(3) Some growth numbers
In 2009, the Directory of Open Access Journals (DOAJ) added 723 peer-reviewed OA journals, representing 19% growth over the previous year. Last year it grew by 812 journals journals or 27%. In 2008, it added 2.2 titles per day, but in 2009 the rate was closer to 1.99 titles per day. It now lists a total of 4,535 peer-reviewed OA journals.
While the DOAJ grew significantly in 2009, it grew more slowly in 2009 than in 2008. So far we don't know why. There could have been fewer new launches, which the recession makes likely. (But there weren't fewer conversions to OA; on the contrary; see Sections 5 and 9.) Some number of new launches might have gone unnoticed or still be working their way through the DOAJ's indexing backlog.
The number of OA repositories grew by 193 or 20% in Scientific Commons, 318 or 26% in the Registry of Open Access Repositories (ROAR), and 262 or 20% in the Directory of Open Access Repositories (OpenDOAR). Using the ROAR figures, more than six new repositories launched every week during 2009. Scientific Commons now lists 1,158 OA repositories worldwide, ROAR 1,557, and OpenDoar 1,558.
The number of items on deposit in these repositories grew by 7,887,824 items or 33% according to Scientific Commons. That's more than 21,600 items per day.
(Most of the numbers in this section not attributed to others were gathered or computed by Heather Morrison, Project Coordinator for the British Columbia Electronic Library Network. Her end-of-2009 figures were recorded on December 31, 2008.)
(4) Open access archiving
In addition to the OA repositories launched at individual institutions in 2009, more than six per week (Section 3), in 2009 we saw several new, systematic attempts to cover scholars and institutions not previously covered. Wales launched a project to put an institutional repository (IR) in every Welsh university. Mozambique launched a single national repository for all its institutions. The Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft launched a program to fund OA repositories in Germany. New Zealand launched a consortial repository for its Crown Research Institutes and several government departments. The Austrian Library Network and Service (Österreichischen Bibliothekenverbund und Service) is creating a national OA repository for ETDs. The Federated Network of Institutional Repositories of Scientific Documentation in Latin America is spreading IRs through Brazil, Colombia, and Mexico.
Mendeley made rapid progress toward its goal of becoming the world's largest OA research repository. In February it received $2 million in venture capital, and by November had 8 million works on deposit, 100,000 users, and a growth rate of 100% every 10 weeks. Twidox, another universal repository, moved into its public beta.
Depot was formerly a universal repository for scholars in the UK, either redirecting deposits to the author's IR or accepting and disseminating deposits when the author had no IR. In 2009 Depot generalized itself and became international, offering the same service to scholars everywhere. The OA Repository Junction is a JISC-funded project to turn a component of the Depot into a stand-alone service for directing deposits to any appropriate repository. The European Commission previewed its own Depot-like universal repository, OpenAIRE, resting on a CERN repository for authors without their own IR. While Depot might make OpenAIRE unnecessary, OpenAIRE is a welcome sign that the EC is ramping up its commitment to green OA and preparing the needed infrastructure. Sweden is so committed to distributed over central repositories for its national green infrastructure that the Swedish Research Council postponed its adoption of an OA mandate until it was sure that all Swedish institutions had IRs. (The Council announced its OA mandate in October 2009.)
The NIH said that it is "open to closer collaboration with institutional repositories" and will "consider" direct feeds from IRs to PubMed Central. That would allow NIH grantees to deposit in their local IR, which would in turn deposit in PMC, perhaps through the SWORD (Simple Web-service Offering Repository Deposit) protocol. When Harvard Medical School went public with its plans for an OA mandate, it revealed that it was aiming at just such a model in which faculty --likely to be covered to two mandates (NIH and HMS)-- would deposit once, locally, and the IR would automatically take care of the second deposit to PMC. Earlier in the year arXiv announced that was ready to accept SWORD-mediated exports from IRs.
Microsoft released a Word add-in for SWORD-based direct deposits into OA repositories. A new script at the SWORD PHP Library allowed authors to use any email client to deposit articles in any SWORD-enabled repository. A JISC project used SWORD to load-test the major repository packages, and automatically loaded a a DSpace repository with more than 300,000 deposits of 9 MB each (and counting). Another JISC project uses SWORD to transact the direct deposit of teaching materials from Moodle into an IR. SWORD was named the most innovative project by participants at the JISC Repositories and Preservation conference.
DRIVER will add the eIFL.net countries to those whose repository content it harvests and distributes. The Research Councils UK are studying ways to harvest final reporting information from a grantee's IR. A new tool from the Waterford Institute of Technology will harvest content from the OA repositories of Ireland, and a new tool from the National Library of Sweden and the Uppsala University Library will do the same for the OA repositories of Sweden. The Australian Research Online gateway is harvesting the OA repositories of Australia. But unlike other national initiatives, the Australian project departs from the OAI standard and has led at least two repositories to modify their OAI interface to fit the non-standard harvester, threatening the interoperability that the OAI standard was designed to secure.
The international Confederation of Open Access Repositories (COAR) launched during OA Week as an outgrowth of DRIVER. COAR will network more than 1,000 OA repositories worldwide and promote common standards and policies. Its 28 co-founding organizations represent 17 countries in Europe, North America, and Asia. The Council of Australian University Librarians (CAUL) launched the CAUL Australian Institutional Repository Support Service (CAIRSS). A new project from the InterAcademy Panel on International Issues (IAP) will help science academies in developing countries support institutional repositories and OA digitization projects. The Open Grid Forum started a Digital Repositories Research Group. DuraSpace created the DSpace Ambassador Program to help new and potential DSpace users make a good start and get their questions answered.
Perseus is developing a digital library in the field of classics, the Scaife Digital Library, distributed over institutional repositories, a first for a disciplinary collection. (The Scaife Digital Library is named after Ross Scaife, a classicist and OA activist who died in 2008.) PhilPapers, a new OA repository for the field of philosophy, entered its public beta. Erich Weichselgartner described plans to launch an OA European Psychology Publication Platform. The Corporate Governance Network is a new disciplinary repository from SSRN. Alex Golub laid down Mana'o, the OA repository for anthropology, though it might be revived if he can find another individual or organization to take it on.
As we've come to expect, JISC launched a host of repository-improvement projects, including BiblioSight, for integrating citation data into OA repositories; Personal Engagement with Repositories through Social Networking Applications (PERSoNA); Supporting, Harnessing and Advancing Repository Enhancement (SHARE); and PIRUS2, a successor to the 2008 PIRUS project (Publisher and Institutional Repository Usage Statistics). Cornell's arXiv received a $833,000 grant from the US National Science Foundation to add new features for social networking, quickly identifying an article's main concepts, seeing articles in context, and finding related work.
A group of Saarland University researchers ran a survey on how to improve OA repositories; a group from the University of Southampton ran one on how to improve OpenDOAR (Directory of Open Access Repositories) and ROAR (Registry of Open Access Repositories); and SHERPA ran one on how to improve the RoMEO database. A couple of repository-enhancement projects released their final reports: the Cambridge Tetra Repositories Enhancement Project (CTREP) and the Embedding repositories & consortial enhancement (EMBRACE) project.
Even apart from the John Houghton studies (noted in Section 1), a number of important studies in 2009 highlighted the value of OA repositories, our distance from taking good advantage of them, or both. The Association of Research Libraries Digital Repository Issues Task Force recommended ways in which research libraries could support repositories. The University of Strathclyde's Online Catalogue and Repository Interoperability Study (OCRIS) project will recommend ways to connect repository contents with the traditional library OPAC. Research and Markets published a (TA) report on practices at 56 institutional repositories in 11 countries, and the Primary Research Group published a (TA) report on university faculty on the use repositories and attitudes toward OA. Charles Bailey published the first version of his Institutional Repository Bibliography. A study by Sally Morris and the Publishing Research Consortium found that researchers tended to underestimate how often publishers permit green OA for the accepted version of an article and tended to overestimate how often they permit green OA for the published version of an article. A study by the Research Information Network (RIN) found that researchers have trouble accessing all the work they can now discover, and that access barriers slow their research, hinder collaboration, and "may well affect the quality and integrity of work produced...."
Kumiko Vézina found that 83% of faculty at six Canadian universities would self-archive if their funder or employer required it --an even higher percentage than Alma Swan found in her pioneering studies in 2004 and 2005. However, 86% didn't know whether their university had an IR. Doug Ray reported that only 27% of articles published in 20 top LIS journals during 2007 had OA versions on deposit in repositories. (We need more studies like this in every field, and preferably every year.) The PEER (Publishing and the Ecology of European Research) study of the effects of green OA on TA journal subscriptions released its final report on repository deposit procedures, assigned its behavioral and usage research to teams from Loughborough University and University College London, and called for tenders on its economics research.
Australia's draft research assessment system requires deposit in IRs and OA whenever possible. When OA is not possible, research evaluators will have privileged access to dark deposits in the IRs. To make life easier for faculty, and to encourage IR deposits, Queensland University of Technology configured its IR to report suitable publications to Australia's Higher Education Research Data Collection for annual research assessment. Zoe Corbyn reports that Universities UK recommended OA for all papers submitted to the next Research Excellence Framework.
2009 was another mast year for repository tools. The Journal TOCs API will help IR managers discover new articles which ought to be on deposit in their repositories (and help make repository metadata consistent by matching it with the journal's). The PUMA project (Akademisches Publikationsmanagement) from the University of Kassel gooses the incentive to deposit in IRs by using deposit metadata to update author web pages and the institutional research reporting system.
ArXiv launched a system of author feeds to follow new work, and author identifiers to disambiguate searches. Dave Bacon created arXiview, an iPhone app for searching and browsing arXiv (the University of Florida released a similar app for its OA Digital Collections). Philip Gibbs launched viXra, an OA physics repository with no restrictions on what may be deposited, for those who believe that arXiv unfairly excludes some submitted papers.
I launched the Open Access Tracking Project (OATP) to do a number of jobs at once: to crowdsource the job of discovering and broadcasting new OA developments, to ensure that our alert system would scale with the continuing growth of the OA movement, to make a larger volume of news easier to read or skim, and to make up for my need to step back from blogging at Open Access News and give time to my new position at Harvard's Berkman Center. The OATP news feed is available on a blog-like web page as well as by RSS, Twitter, and email. The project is now in Phase 1, and should move into Phase 2 later this year (more later, I promise).
At least two IRs --Southampton and Minho-- now tweet their new deposits. BioMed Central now has a "Post to Twitter" option in the sidebar of each of its OA articles. A tool from Robert Simpson ranks arXiv papers bases on their popularity on Twitter. Stuart even Lewis wrote a script to tweet open data on New Zealand tides. RePEc allows users to integrate their RePEc data into Facebook.
All the major repository software packages upgraded and some new ones entered the ring. ContentDM upgraded to version 5, DSpace to 1.5.2, EPrints to 3.1.3, Fedora to 3.3, MOAI to version 1.08, PURE to 3.15, and VITAL to 4.0. Microsoft released Zentity 1.0, its repository platform, and announced that it would soon open the source code and release an Article Authoring Add-in for Word. The US National Science Digital Library released its OA repository software, EduPak 1.0, and the University of Rochester announced the alpha version of own, IRplus. The National Archive Institute of Portugal opened the source code for its Repositório de Objectos Digitais Autênticos (Repository of Authentic Digital Objects, RODA). The Colegio de San Juan de Letran-Calamba released LSpace, a simplified version of DSpace written in Visual Basic and designed as an OA book repository, and Sun Microsystems launched its open-source Enterprise-Wide Digital Repository and Archive, based on its Open Archive Framework and incorporating open-source components from Drupal and Fedora. The Federal Digital System (FDsys) from the US Government Printing Office (GPO) entered its public beta; FDsys will replace GPOAccess as the OA repository for US federal government information.
The Fedora Commons and DSpace Foundation merged to form DuraSpace, in part to reduce duplicated effort in pursuit of a common mission. The Fedora and DSpace software will not merge, but take advantage of new opportunities for sharing and synergy as they evolve. One of DuraSpace's first projects is DuraCloud, a cloud-based repository service. The Mellon Foundation released a report on DuraCloud, and DuraSpace and the Library of Congress launched a prototype. On the same front, CloudSocial is a new cloud-based repository for open educational resources from the University of Michigan Medical School. DocumentCloud is a forthcoming cloud-based repository, funded by the Knight Foundation, where journalists can provide OA to the documents on which they base their investigations and published articles. The next iteration of EPrints will support cloud-based storage in Amazon's S3/Cloudfront.
The Bielefeld Academic Search Engine (BASE) added some new features, including statistics on each repository it harvests. It also became the world's largest cross-archive search engine, apparently the first to surpass OAIster. The Hathi Trust repository released a sophisticated new full-text search engine which includes faceted search and "similar to" recommendations; unlike the Google search of the same content, the Hathi engine lists every page containing the searchstring.
The NIH launched a demo version of AllPlus Search, a metasearch engine covering the NIH Library, the NIH Library Catalog, PubMed, and MedlinePlus. Bioalma launched novo|seek, a search engine and customized front-end for Medline, PubMed, and PubMed Central. The PubMed Central search engine was upgraded to cover articles on deposit but under embargo, and the PubMed search engine was upgraded to flag OA articles in its search returns. Springer's AuthorMapper, which searches journal articles and plots the location of authors on a map, added a filter for OA articles. Both the Google and Yahoo image search engines added filters for CC licenses. Sprixi is a new search engine dedicated to CC-licensed and public-domain images.
There were new, free Google custom search engines for archaeology (WikiArc), the arts and humanities (JURN), business (FUSE), and economics (Economics Search Engine). There were two new search engines for open educational resources, Ensemble (from Scott Wilson) and DiscoverEd (from ccLearn), and two for law, MetaJuris, covering OA legal databases, and and LexisWeb, a free search service from TA LexisNexis. TechJournalContents is a new search engine OA and TA scholarly technology journals.
Quertle beefed up its biomedical search engine with 60,000 peer-reviewed articles from BioMed Central. The search engines at WorldWideScience and CiteSeerX were upgraded. The Universities of Sheffield and Hertfordshire are creating a search engine of OA resources on modern British history, and Deep Web Tech relaunched its deep-web search engine, ScienceResearch.com. Stephen Wolfram launched Wolfram|Alpha, the free "knowledge engine" that returns direct answers and graphs, not just a list of pages which might contain answers. In short order it opened its API and won a slew of awards, including "Best of What's New" in computing for 2009 from Popular Science.
WIPO launched a research project on tools for increasing access to the public domain, eXtensible Catalog produced an OAI Toolkit for sharing records via OAI-PMH. SciMate (Scientific Material Transfer Exchange) is a new suite of tools from Christopher Dyer for sharing research information and physical specimens. Data Conversion Laboratory (DCL) created four tools to aid in the conversion of documents to NLM XML and support LinkOut from PubMed Central to publisher web sites. CARPET (Community for Academic Reviewing, Publishing and Editorial Technology) officially launched its platform for scientific publishing tools.
The African Copyright & Access to Knowledge Project (ACA2K) urged African countries to "create and populate Open Access Institutional Repositories/Research Archives to showcase African research." The First International Conference on African Digital Libraries and Archives, held in Addis Ababa, "identified, as a key priority area, the need to develop an integrated open access information platform for Africa." It called the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (UNECA) to lead the initiative. Eight universities in seven southern African countries agreed to together on open education and OA research.
(5) Open access journals
Leaving aside the newly launched OA journals (Section 3), in 2009 I counted 48 journals that converted from TA to OA, two of which had charged subscriptions for more than 30 years. All 346 journals from African Journals Online are en route to OA. By contrast and despite the recession, I know only three journals that converted from OA to TA, only two that converted from full OA to OA for just a subset of their content, only one that converted from full OA to hybrid OA, and only one that converted from no-fee OA to fee-based OA. I counted 615 that converted from TA to hybrid OA, and one from hybrid OA to full OA. I counted eight that converted from TA to delayed OA, including one which had charged subscriptions for more than 80 years. Seven databases converted to OA, and 32 journals converted only their backfiles to OA, including five which had been publishing for more than 100 years and six which had been publishing between 25 and 99 years. (All these numbers are based on what I noticed in my daily blogging, and could well be undercounts.)
2009 was not the first year that universities established funds to pay publication fees at fee-based OA journals. In January there were already more than 15 university funds worldwide. (It's hard to be sure because some funds were temporary and it's easier to count launches than expirations.) But the campaign to launch university funds stepped up considerably in 2009, which is remarkable in light of recession-squeezed budgets and the lower cost of green OA. In September, Harvard launched the Compact for Open-Access Publishing Equity (COPE), a commitment to launch a fund and encourage other institutions to do the same. The founding institutions were Cornell, Dartmouth, Harvard, MIT, and the University of California at Berkeley. At the time, only Berkeley had a fund and only Harvard and MIT had green OA mandates. Since then, Columbia, the University of Ottawa, and the Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center have also joined. Apart from COPE, journal funds appeared at Lund University and the Universities of Oregan and Tennessee in 2009, bringing the worldwide total to 22, according to the Open Access Directory list of funds, which itself launched in 2009. The research committee at Norway's University of Agder recommended that the university launch a fund. By contrast, only one fund, at the University of Amsterdam, had to close in 2009 for financial reasons.
In March, Universities UK (UUK) and the Research Information Network (RIN) helped turn the tide by recommending that universities and funders should start to pay publication fees on behalf of faculty and grantees. The Biosciences Federation publicly endorsed the UUK/RIN recommendations. The Wellcome Trust was already paying fees for grantees, and committed 2 million pounds above and beyond its earlier commitment. The Netherlands Organisation for Scientific Research (NWO) committed 5 million Euros. JISC asked UK institutions whether it should create a central fund for the nation. The Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (DFG) took an indirect approach and now funds universities which in turn cover publication fees incurred by their faculty. Austria's Förderung der wissenschaftlichen Forschung (Fund to Promote Scientific Research, FWF) adopted a policy to cover publication fees not just for OA journals but also for OA monographs. The Research Councils UK suggested that they may soon move beyond their green OA mandates to support for gold OA.
The UK National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) entered a "Supporter Membership arrangement" with BMC to discount the fees for NIHR-funded researchers. It's not the first funder to do so, but it's the first public funder. Pfizer began to pay publication fees at BMC journals for its own scientists, and created a fund to cover fees for researchers from low-income countries. It's not the first corporation to cover its own researchers, but it's the first to launch a fund for others. It may be a sign that pharmaceutical companies --and soon perhaps other companies-- recognize their interest in barrier-free access to peer-reviewed research. Springer and the University of California struck a deal allowing UC's subscription payments to cover publication fees for articles by UC authors at Springer's hybrid OA journals. It's not Springer's first such deal, but the first with a US institution.
These funds and subsidies are small potatoes compared to the money spent every year on subscriptions. But they matter because they are a sign that more and more institutions see the growth of peer-reviewed OA journals as an investment in the future of scholarly communication, and even as a way to disarm objections to faster-growing, wider-ranging, and less expensive green OA. (How does do gold OA funds disarm objections to green OA? By providing reassurance that if green OA eventually triggers cancellations of peer-reviewed TA journals, then we'll have viable peer-reviewed OA journals to take their place and financial support for TA journals that choose to convert.) So far this type of financial support for gold OA is limited to fee-based OA journals and doesn't reach the 70% peer-reviewed OA journals which charge no fees at all.
Within the movement to launch university OA funds, there is a mini-movement to withhold funds from hybrid journals using a double-charge business model (i.e. refusing to promise to reduce subscription prices in proportion to author uptake of the OA option). In 2009, the new funds at Cornell, Harvard, Lund, and Oregon all took this position.
EMBO joined the (still small) group of hybrid OA publishers promising to avoid double-charges for its OA articles. The Wellcome Trust called for greater transparency from hybrid publishers on whether they were shunning or embracing the double-charge business model. The Open Access Scholarly Publishers Association (OASPA) called on universities and funding agencies to clarify when they were willing to pay publication fees at fee-based OA journals.
The Open Information Science Journal (TOISCIJ) from Bentham Science accepted a paper of computer-generated nonsense submitted by Philip Davis and Kent Anderson, and sent them a bill for $800. When they exposed the hoax, the editor of TOISCIJ resigned, but claimed that the article had been accepted without his knowledge or approval. A board member of an unrelated Bentham journal also resigned, to dissociate himself from the company. Bentham's director of publications did not resign and defended the journal's action, claiming that "we were aware that the article submitted was a hoax, and we tried to find out the identity of the individual by pretending the article had been accepted for publication when in fact it was not." The hoax should deter this kind of embarrassing behavior, whether it arises from incompetence or dishonesty, and reduce the number of scams giving OA journals a bad name. But there's no doubt that it also feeds hasty generalizations about OA journals and steepens the incline for the honest majority of OA journals.
On the other side of the access watershed, Elsevier published a collection of Merck-funded, Merck-authored articles puffing Merck products, and disguised the collection as a peer-reviewed journal ("Australasian Journal of Bone and Joint Medicine"). When caught it admitted that it had published five other fake journals for other pharma companies. The tally of its fake journals eventually rose to nine. Elsevier was also caught paying users for five-star ratings of its textbooks at Amazon and Barnes & Noble. At the time of both incidents, another arm of the company was lobbying Congress with the argument that OA would undermine peer review.
I counted 14 new OA journal or book publishers established in 2009: Bloomsbury Qatar Foundation Journals, Bookbon, Fountain Publishers, French Creek Press (and its academic division, Kenwood Academic), Impact Journals, iMedPub Journals and Books, MediaCommons Press, Open Academic Press, Open Access Press, Open Access Publications, Open Monograph Press, Page Press, and Sciyo. Mysteriously, one of them, Advanced Research Journals, initially linked from its logo to the Elsevier ScienceDirect home page, though it stopped when the link was publicized.
The University of California relaunched eScholarship (formerly eScholarship Repository) as an OA publishing platform for books and journals. Soon after, it launched University of California Publishing Services (UCPubS) to combine the OA publishing from eScholarship with the print publishing of the University of California Press. Indiana University proposed a cooperative digital publishing infrastructure to serve many journals, university presses, and non-profit societies at make it unnecessary for them to turn to commercial publishers. Co-Action Publishing and two partners launched Open Access Solutions, a suite of services and professional skills to help small OA publishers preserve their independence from large publishers.
A new platform called BestThinking publishes unrefereed OA articles by attributed authors, like Citizendium or Google Knol, and plans to enter the STM journal market. Meantime, Knol added peer-review management features and did enter the STM market, starting with PLoS Currents: Influenza, the first journal in the PLoS Currents series. All the peer-reviewed journals from Internet Medical Publishing will also use Knol. Publiss is a new suite of web-based publishing tools optimized for OA. The Public Knowledge Project released Open Journal Systems version 2.3.1, translated it into Basque, Danish, Romanian, and Welsh. The PLoS journals upgraded to Ambra upgraded to version 0.9.5.
SciELO (Scientific Electronic Library Online) launched a branch in South Africa based on the original in Brazil. All ScieELO journals are OA, and at year's end SciELO South Africa had a portfolio of seven titles.
CERN's project for converting TA journals in particle physics to OA, SCOAP3 project (Sponsoring Consortium for Open Access Publishing in Particle Physics), recruited new members or expressions of interest from institutions in Canada, Finland, Spain, and 62 institutions or campuses in the United States.
The Open Access Scholarly Publishers Association (OASPA) nearly doubled its membership in 2009, and just last month signed up the British Medical Journal and Oxford University Press. It announced its first cohort of elected board members and officers, launched a blog, hosted its first conference on OA publishing (Lund, Sweden, September 14-16, 2009), and plans an annual series of conferences.
In 2009, Thomson Reuters reported that five OA journals had the highest impact factors in their fields for 2008. Four were from PLoS: PLoS Neglected Tropical Diseases (first in Tropical Medicine, out of 15), PLoS Pathogens (first in Parasitology, out of 25), PLoS Computational Biology (first in Mathematical & Computational Biology, out of 28), and PLoS Biology (first in Biology, out of 71). The fifth was the Journal of Medical Internet Research (first in Medical Informatics, out of 20). (The founding editor and publisher of JMIR, Gunther Eysenbach, also won the first Public Knowledge Project Community Contribution Award for editors.) The Journal of Nuclear Medicine, which is OA after a six-month embargo, ranked first in the field of medical imaging.
PLoS ONE began releasing article-level impact data, including page views, citations, usage, social networking links, comments, user ratings, and press coverage. Soon all seven PLoS journals were doing the same. Late in the year they added blog coverage, as measured by ResearchBlogging.org. Mendeley plans to support article-level impact metrics as well. Citemine created a new metric of what is worth reading by integrating a bidding system into OA repositories, when bids represent user judgments of a paper's promise in attracting future citations.
SHERPA introduced a major upgrade to its RoMEO database and the RoMEO API. During 2009 it passed the milestone of cataloguing the copyright and self-archiving policies of 600 publishers. (Currently 62% allow self-archiving in some form.) The University of Stuttgart and the Elektronische Zeitschriftenbibliothek launched a German version of RoMEO, and the Universities of Barcelona and Valencia launched Dulcinea, a RoMEO cousin for Spanish journals. OAKList, the Australian supplement to RoMEO, added a web form allowing users to submit new information on publisher copyright and archiving policies. The CAUL Australian Institutional Repository Support Service launched Open Access Policies Search, which searches journal copyright policies across RoMEO, OAKList and AcqWeb. ccLearn launched a more distant RoMEO cousin, University Copyright Ownership Policies (UCOP), wiki-based database of university policies on who owns what work produced by faculty.
Inderscience Publishers converted its 345 journals to hybrid OA, Brill converted its 135 journals, Walter de Gruyter its 100, and Schattauer Verlag its 20, and Nature Publishing Group an additional 11. Nature launched a new hybrid journal, Nature Communications, its first online-only journal. Hogrefe introduced a hybrid OA option for Psychologischen Rundschau.
A handful of hybrid OA journals liberalized their terms in order to comply with the policies of the Wellcome Trust and the UK Funders Group, which require libre OA when they pay publication fees. The Royal Society modified its hybrid business model to charge by the article, not by the page. Mamiko Matsubayashi and colleagues released a study showing that, in biomemedicine in 2005, TA and hybrid OA journals published nearly twice as many OA articles as full OA journals.
Journals and publishers continued to experiment with new policies and business models. Open Medicine began publishing selected articles in three formats (HTML, PDF, and wiki) and encouraged readers to modify the wiki versions. David Linden argued in an editorial that the Journal of Neurophysiology should drop the the Ingelfinger rule, and asked readers to weigh in on the question. When PLoS articles depend on open-source software, PLoS journals may soon ask authors to submit the software along their manuscripts; if the manuscripts are published, the software would be available from a special repository. DeepDyve will "rent" journal articles for $0.99 each; the fee buys 24 hours of access without any rights to print, download, or screen-capture.
SPARC released a report by Raym Crow detailing the many business models used by OA journals. A study by the National Humanities Alliance concluded that publication fees were "not currently a sustainable option" for eight surveyed journals in the social sciences and humanities. It did not investigate other business models for OA journals or acknowledge that most OA journals don't charge fees. In the wake of the report, the eight societies publishing the journals studied in the report expressed a determination to find viable no-fee models for providing OA.
Stuart Shieber's systematic scan of all journals in the DOAJ found that fewer than 20% charged publication fees. Bill Hooker redid a 2004 Cornell study on what universities would pay if all peer-reviewed journals converted to OA, corrected its false assumptions (among others, that all OA journals charged publication fees), and concluded that universities would pay less in that hypothetical future world than they pay now for TA journals. Heather Morrison calculated that libraries would save "at least 64%" from such a conversion.
PLoS expects to become financially self-sustaining during 2010. Three of its journals --PLoS One, PLoS Genetics, and PLoS Pathogens-- have already broken even.
Sami Kassab at Exane BNP Paribas reported that Elsevier cut the 2010 prices for its nuclear physics journals by 20% while raising prices on its other titles, which he interpreted as an effect of market pressure from OA. At the same time Bernd-Christoph Kaemper noted that submissions at Elsevier's high-energy physics journals declined by 30% to 50% in the last 4 years.
Ted Bergstrom, Paul Courant, and R. Preston McAfee used state open-record laws to force the disclosure of Big Deal contracts between publishers and academic libraries. Elsevier failed to persuade a court to block the release of the Washington State University contract. In France, a journalist forced the disclosure of the book-scanning contract between Google and the City of Lyon.
Nature Publishing Group and Oxford University Press added an OAI-PMH interface for their journals, and Drupal became OAI compliant. OCLC finished the job of incorporating the OAIster database into WorldCat. Contrary to some early doubts, it also promised a separate, OA version of the OAIster records by this month (January 2010). OCLC also released a suite of tools to support OAI-PMH data sharing among museums. The George Mason University Center for History and New Media released Omeka 1.0, new software for publishing OAI-compliant scholarship and cultural heritage exhibits. eXtensible Catalog released its OAI Toolkit for sharing library records through the OAI-PMH.
The DOAJ launched a long-term preservation program for OA journals, in partnership with National Library of the Netherlands, and received the SPARC Europe Award for Outstanding Achievements in Scholarly Communications, 2009. Mir@bel (Mutualisation d'Informations sur les Revues et leurs Accès dans les Bases En Ligne) is a new OA index of online journals, especially Francophone journals in humanities and social sciences.
The Council of Editors of Learned Journals formulated principles for the future of scholarly journals, the second of which calls for the removal of price barriers, at least for "Web 2.0 journals that take their primary responsibility as curatorial." The Association of Research Libraries (ARL) prepared a set of talking points for outreach to scholarly societies, including outreach to convert society journals to OA. When India's Council of Scientific & Industrial Research recommended that its 40+ laboratories adopt OA mandates (noted in Section 1) it also recommended that they convert their TA journals to OA.
I won't even try to suggest the range of the individual projects providing open data in 2009. But I can point out some important peaks in the range. For example, initiatives to provide OA to data and research on the H1N1 flu virus were announced by the American Medical Association, American Society for Microbiology, American Veterinary Medical Association, CABI, the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, EBSCO, DynaMed, Gale, Nature, PLoS, the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, Public Health Agency of Canada, the Society for General Microbiology, and Springer. The genome sequence of the H1N1 virus is OA at the US National Center for Biotechnology Information, but sequences of the Mexican viruses are on deposit in GISAID's EpiFluDB and not OA.
The principle behind the H1N1 initiatives was clearly that the public deserves OA to important research (or as I sometimes put it, "the more knowledge matters, the more OA to that knowledge matters"). But so far the application of the principle has been selective at best. Climate research is one area where sharing knowledge and accelerating research are at least as urgent and where OA initiatives could help at least as much.
The organizing committee for next year's World Climate Conference called for OA to climate data. The Environment Department of the World Bank launched the Climate Change Data Portal, an OA repository. The University of Delaware and Stroud Water Research Center received a $4.3 million grant from the National Science Foundation to develop an OA observatory for signs of climate change in the Christina River Basin. Critical Climate Change is a new OA monograph series from the Open Humanities Press and the University of Michigan. A peer-reviewed OA article became the most-downloaded paper from the American Meteorological Society when bloggers started citing it to correct an error in a George Will column on global warming. When emails stolen from climate researchers at the University of East Anglia's Climatic Research Unit suggested that some researchers might have fudged some data, scientists of many kinds called for open data for all climate studies. Because the scientists calling for open data were joined by some serious politicians concerned to keep climate science credible with the public, and by some opportunistic politicians who don't follow and don't accept climate science, the odds rose that public policy on climate research might shift toward OA.
The Open Data Commons released version 1.0 of the Open Database License (ODbL), making it the chief alternative to the public-domain approach embodied in the Science Commons Protocol for Implementing Open Access Data. OpenFlights was among the first to use the ODbL, for its airline flight data. Peter Murray-Rust, Cameron Neylon, Rufus Pollock, and others formulated the Panton Principles for open data, named after a Cambridge pub, recommending the public domain for open data. The European Molecular Biology Laboratory (EMBL) kept a foot in each camp; when converting part of its SIDER database of medicines to OA, it used CC-Zero for some of the data and CC-BY-NC-SA for the rest.
The CASIMIR meeting in Rome issued the Rome Agenda, recommended immediate OA, and "the least restrictive terms possible", for datasets underlying new publications. The Toronto International Data Release Workshop updated the 1996 Bermuda Principles with the Toronto Statement, urging even earlier, pre-publication data sharing. An International Summit on Proteomics Data recommended "rapid and open" sharing. Participants in a meeting on health research in Bamako, Mali, drafted the Bamako data sharing code of conduct. The Open Knowledge Foundation created two groups on open research data: the Working Group on Open Data in Science and the Linking Open Data Group.
Several projects codified best practices on sharing and preserving data sets: the Open Data Commons, the PARSE.Insight study group, the UK Data Archive, the University of Edinburgh, the US Interagency Working Group on Digital Data, and the US National Academy of Sciences' Committee on Ensuring the Utility and Integrity of Research Data in a Digital Age. The DISC-UK DataShare project released a guide for OA repositories planning to include data files.
Germany's DINI (Deutsche Initiative für Netzwerkinformation) is working out a data-sharing policy and released the first version its position paper. The US National Research Council launched a new, OA-friendly Board on Research Data and Information. Sweden became the first country to pledge funding for the European Life Sciences Infrastructure for Biological Information (ELIXIR), an ambitious project to preserve and provide OA to biological data. The UK adopted the Infrastructure for Spatial Information in Europe (INSPIRE), the EU directive for sharing spatial data, and made its first contribution --the Environment Research Funders' Forum (ERFF) research database-- to WorldWideScience.org. The US National Institutes of Health (NIH) called for public comments on plans to revise its data-sharing policy for genome data.
The pharmaceutical industry endorsed principles for OA to clinical drug trial data, even for negative results. GlaxoSmithKline adopted a voluntary open data policy, along with other progressive measures like a patent pool for all its patents on drugs for neglected diseases. Merck spun off a non-profit subsidiary, Sage, which will develop and distribute open data well beyond clinical drug trials. (John Wilbanks of Science Commons is among the founding board members.) The Biotechnology Industry Organization testified before Congress in support of the open data for clinical trials and the Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America (PhRMA) drafted a set of Principles on Conduct of Clinical Trials and Communication of Clinical Trial Results, which took effect on October 1.
Studies published in PLoS Medicine and Nature showed that, so far, clinical drug trials are only selectively registered in ClinicalTrials.gov, and that properly registered studies are only selectively published in journals. An editorial in BMJ called for OA to raw data from clinical drug trials and argued that voluntary OA policies are not enough. Carol Gorman argued that OA to drug trial data would deter pharma flacks from ghostwriting one-sided articles for peer-reviewed journals.
After widespread criticism for restricting the use of WorldCat biblioigraphic data, OCLC agreed to scrap its policy and write a new one. Among the groups calling for a change were the Association for Research Libraries (ARL) and the International Coalition of Library Consortia (ICOLC). At the same time Talis and LibLime began providing OA to 5,000,000+ bibliographic records on the ‡biblios.net platform under under an Open Data Commons Public Domain Dedication and License.
The infrastructure for open data expanded significantly in 2009. Talis launched Talis Connected Commons, a new service to host open data sets. Eligible data sets must use either the Open Data Commons Public Domain Dedication and License or Creative Commons CC-Zero. The National Research Council Canada Institute for Scientific and Technical Information (NRC-CISTI) created an OA Gateway to Scientific Data. The International Atomic Energy Agency converted its International Nuclear Information System (INIS) database to OA. The Open Knowledge Foundation launched the Open Data Grid and opened it for deposits.
CODATA's Polar Information Commons will host open data arising from the International Polar Year. DataBasin is new open data repository on conservation biology from the Conservation Biology Institute. Barcode of Life Data Systems created an OA repository for DNA barcodes to monitor endangered wildlife. Dryad, an OA data repository for evolutionary biology and ecology, received a $2.8 million grant from the US National Science Foundation. Duke University, North Carolina State University, and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill created a federated data cloud for sharing data among scholars at the three institutions. EDINA launched ShareGeo, an OA repository for geospatial data and the successor to GRADE (Geospatial Repository for Academic Deposit and Extraction). Spain's Montegancedo Astronomical Observatory became the world's first to give users not only OA to its data, but free online access to the equipment controls. Sweden launched a publicly-funded project on open data in the arts and humanities.
The Global Biodiversity Information Facility began empaneling a task force to developing a framework for providing OA to "primary biodiversity data". Ian Donaldson draftred the Biolibrarian Proposal, which would create a network of biology librarians to help researchers deposit and retrieve open data from repositories and databases.
Microsoft Research released Project Trident, a gratis software package for researchers in data-intensive fields such as medicine and astronomy to facilitate data analysis and visualization which, at the researcher's choice, may be private or public. The US government released DataFerrett, a free tool for searching, browsing, combining, and analyzing open data released by the federal government. The OECD launched the Factbook eXplorer, a beautifully interactive front end to the open data in the OECD Factbook 2009. myExperiment is an open-source project combining OA repositories Web 2.0 features in order to create "Research Objects" or "self-contained pieces of reproducible research" merging texts and data. European Open Data Inventory is a new project from Open Knowledge Foundation and EU Transparency to identify open datasets about the EU. A group of British researchers described Scratchpads, a framework for disseminating open biodiversity data. eCAT is a new electronic lab notebook for gathering, managing, and sharing data online.
The International Journal of Robotics Research began publishing what it calls "data papers" --TA articles accompanied by OA datasets. BMJ required every original research article to include a data-sharing statement, explaining "which additional data -if any- are available, to whom, and how." An opinion piece in Nature called for open data to accompany published research articles. Although PLoS Biology or PLoS Medicine already require open data to accompany published papers, a study in PLoS ONE found that only one in 10 of the authors publishing in those journals actually shared their data, despite repeated requests and pointers to the data-sharing policies. The Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences retracted a paper when it discovered that the authors had shared their data too soon, as opposed to too late or not at all.
Editorials called for open data in Scientific American (in paleoanthropology) and AgInfo News (in agriculture). An editorial in The Hindu was the first outside the US to condemn the Conyers bill (which would repeal the OA policy at the NIH).
The parties to the Google book-scanning lawsuit submitted an amended version of their settlement agreement to the US District Court, and Judge Denny Chin gave it his preliminary approval. The final fairness hearing is scheduled for February 18, 2010. The settlement will allow rightsholders to choose gratis and/or libre OA for any Google-scanned books, and allows two institutions at a time to enjoy unrestricted access to the entire digitized corpus, including the copyrighted books, for "non-consumptive research" or text-mining. The settlement doesn't affect Google's scanning of public-domain books, which are already at least gratis OA. If revenue from the sale of orphan works remains unclaimed by rightsholders, some of it may, but need not, be spent on projects that support OA. The settlement covers more academic monographs than non-academic books, but was negotiated by non-academic authors on behalf of all authors. (More on its OA implications in SOAN for December 2009.)
Earlier in the year, the Internet Archive joined with Amazon, Microsoft, Yahoo, and other partners to form the Open Book Alliance (OBA), which quickly became a major voice against the Google book settlement from the side of greater openness. Other important voices from the same side included the Open Access Trust and Germany's Coalition for Action: Copyright for Education and Research (Aktionsbündnis: Urheberrecht für Bildung und Wissenschaft), and many individuals such as Robert Darnton, Peter Eckersley, Pamela Samuelson, and Siva Vaidhyanathan.
Google upgraded its book-scanning contracts with Universities of Michigan, Texas, and Wisconsin. The new contracts widen public access to Google-scanned books from those libraries and allow the libraries to challenge the prices Google sets for institutional subscriptions. The five-year first phase of Google's digitization project at Oxford's Bodleian library came to end with the scanning of the bulk of the university's 19th century books. Google made more than more than a million public-domain books available for the Sony ebook reader, and more than two million for POD editions from On Demand Books. It launched a version of Book Search for mobile phones, with more than 1.5 million public-domain books for US users and more than half a million for users outside the US.
Chinese officials accused Google of infringing the copyrights of more than 20,000 Chinese books scanned from US libraries without permission from the Chinese rightsholders. Google denied infringement and the two sides are talking. France had the same grievance, and a French court found Google guilty of infringement; Google is appealing. Before anyone concludes that the French verdict is what we would have seen in the US lawsuit, if the case had not been settled, we should remember that French law has no equivalent of fair use.
Almost as the verdict was being read, President Nicolas Sarkozy pledged $1.1 billion toward the digitization of French literature, mostly books. The project will be a public-private partnership, and Google may be one of the private partners. Well before the verdict, French resistance had broken down and the Bibliothèque Nationale de France began talking to Google about supplementing BNF's own, smaller digitization program.
The Japanese Diet neatly removed the legal obstacle causing so much trouble in the US, China, and France. It amended Japanese copyright law to allow the National Diet Library to digitize copyrighted books without further permission. The new law distinguishes the right to digitize from the right to display or distribute, and only provides the former. The latter must still be negotiated with rightsholders; consequently, some of the digital editions will be OA and some TA. (At the same time that it amended the law, the Diet allocated ¥12.6 billion to digitize about 920,000 titles.) Imagine a litigation-free, mass-digitization program for copyrighted books, and a legislature concerned to make it possible. Imagine copyright amendments that actually loosen restrictions rather than tighten them.
In Norway, the national copyright management agency, Kopinor, cleared the way for the National Library of Norway to digitize more than 10,000 Norwegian books, some public domain and some under copyright, and provide gratis OA at least to Norwegian IP addresses. Kopinor did the legal mine-clearing in consultation with the National Library and the Ministry of Culture.
During 2010 the European Commission will start reviewing ways to revise European copyright laws in order to support the digitization and online distribution of books. The revisions may include a compulsory license for books under copyright. Part of the purpose, as in Japan and Norway, is to stimulate book scanning independently of Google, to avoid the legal risks which blew up for Google, and to avoid the legal shortcomings of the Google book settlement. Viviane Reding, the EU commissioner for information society and media, hopes that Europe's book-digitization program will be faster, larger, and more clearly lawful to all stakeholders than the Google program.
The European Commission also launched the EU Bookshop, an OA collection of 12 million pages from more than 110,000 EU publications from 1952 to the present, digitized by the EC Publications Office. The EU-wide Europeana now contains 4.6 million digitized books, maps, photographs, film clips and newspapers, more than doubling its size in the year since its launch. It aims to have 10 million items by 2010.
The German government released a preview of Die Deutsche Digitale Bibliothek (German Digital Library), will will launch in 2011 as a part of Europeana. Germany also funded TextGrid's acquisition of the large Zeno.org digital library; TextGrid, Wikimedia Germany,and Creative Commons Germany will soon make it OA under CC-BY licenses.
At the end of 2009, the Hathi Trust consortial OA repository had over 5.1 million digitized books on deposit. The University of California libraries completed its five-year book digitization project with the Internet Archive; the 200,000 public-domain books digitized in the project will be OA through the Hathi Trust.
Yale University is negotiating with Google and the Open Content Alliance to host 30,000 public-domain books scanned by Microsoft out of the Yale library before Microsoft dropped its book digitization program. Harvard University and the National Library of China will digitize and provide OA to all 51,500 volumes of the Harvard-Yenching Library, the largest university collection of rare East Asian literature in the Western world. Columbia University and the National Library of Korea are collaborating on a project to digitize rare books from Columbia's Starr East Asian Library and make the results OA. York University began digitizing its public-domain books with the Internet Archive. Cornell is providing OA through the Internet Archive to about 80,000 books digitized out of the Cornell library, and making about 90,000 available from Amazon in print-on-demand (POD) editions. The Open Knowledge Commons will digitize 30,000 volumes of public-domain medical literature under a grant from the Sloan Foundation.
The University of Pittsburgh Press plans to release nearly 500 of its out-of-print books in gratis OA editions (and eventually in priced, paperback editions as well). Firenze University Press launched a series of 60+ OA books in all fields. The University of Oslo launched a new series of OA books, Oslo Studies in Language. Texas A&M University Press is providing OA to selected titles in collaboration with the university IR and the Texas Digital Library. Parlor Press and the the University of Colorado WAC Clearinghouse began publishing Writing Spaces, a series of OA books on writing. Bloomsbury Academic launched OA book series on the ethics of genetics, co-edited by Nobel laureate John Sulston. Columbia University Press released its first OA book and has plans for more. The Open Humanities Press and the University of Michigan Library's Scholarly Publishing Office are collaborating on five new OA book series.
The Dutch Royal Institute of Southeast Asian and Caribbean Studies launched Aceh Books, an OA collection of more than 600 books about Aceh, Indonesia. The books are digital replacements for 400 years' worth of print books about Aceh destroyed in the Tsunami of December 2004. UNESCO launched Majaliss, an OA collection of digitized books in Arabic, became a publisher of new OA books with an OA book on OERs. The Library of Congress scanned the first 60,000 books in its book-digitization program.
Foundation Publishers is a new publisher of OA books, based in Uganda. French Creek Press is a new book publisher whose academic division, Kenwood Academic, will combine OA with POD. Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht started providing OA to selected monographs on education research published by its imprint, V&R unipress. Spain's Editorial Flamboyant began publishing OA children's books from public-domain editions of the stories and public-domain illustrations.
The Dizionario Biografico degli Italiani from the Istituto della Enciclopedia Italiana converted to gratis OA, as did the Gutenberg-e book series from Columbia University Press.
The Internet Archive now hosts about 1.6 million public-domain OA books, and adds about 1,000 new ones every day. It's now converting all of them from PDF to the EPUB format. EPUB (new in 2007) is a free and open standard using XML to make ebooks readable on a wide range of devices. Google is producing EPUB editions of its public-domain books (in addition to PDF), and has already finished more than one million. Project Gutenberg made most of its public-domain OA books available in the EPUB format, and the New Zealand Electronic Text Centre (NZETC) chose the EPUB format for the 1,150 public-domain OA books it digitized from the Wellington University library. As far as I can tell, Hindawi became the first journal publisher to adopt the EPUB format, and will soon offer all its articles, back to January 2008, in EPUB as well as PDF and HTML.
The World Public Library grew to more than 2,252,000 ebooks. The collection is free for one month each year, and available for unlimited use the rest of the year for an annual fee less than the price of one book ($8.95).
The University of Pennsylvania and Kirtas Technologies are digitizing 200,000+ public-domain books from the Penn libraries. Kirtas will recoup its expenses by selling POD editions; Penn can decide to make the digital editions OA, but for now is choosing TA. The university is also digitizing books from its library, for OA, with the Internet Archive, the Lyrasis Mass Digitization Collaborative, and the Sloan Foundation. The New York Public Library and Kirtas Technologies and McGill also announced book-scanning projects with Kirtas.
The University of Michigan Press was put under the control of the library, and moved to a model in which its monographs will be TA digital and POD (as opposed to OA digital and POD). At Utah State University, the press was also merged with library, but the new institution will focus on OA publishing. The Cornell library, which publishes Islandica, Cornell's 101-year old book series on Iceland, will start publishing new volumes in dual OA/TA editions. The Digithèque des Bibliothèques de l'Université Libre de Bruxelles released 64 OA digitized books from the school's university press, with more to come. Library-press collaborations have become so common that SPARC and the Columbia University Libraries begain maintaining a list of them.
Records for OA books in the Hathi Trust have been added to the catalog of the Prospector Library and OCLC's WorldCat. The Provider-Neutral E-Monograph Record Task Group is developing guidelines on how libraries should catalog books that exist in both digital and print editions (hence including OA and TA editions).
The US National Science Foundation awarded $2.7 million to the University of Massachusetts at Amherst, Tufts University, and the Internet Archive to study text-mining tools for large collections of digitized books. The project testbed will be the 1.6 million+ OA books already online at the Internet Archive. Stanford researchers are planning a text-mining center to study Google-scanned books, Highwire journals, and the university's licensed content. As noted, the Google book settlement will allow a small number of lucky researchers to text-mine its entire digitized corpus, including the books under copyright.
2009 was a breakthrough year for OA textbooks. In the US, Sen. Dick Durbin (D-IL) introduced the Open College Textbook Act (S.1714) in the US Senate mandating that all "educational materials such as curricula and textbooks" funded by any federal agency "be licensed under an open license" and "made available free of charge". Bill Foster (D-IL) introduced a similar bill in the House (Learning Opportunities With Creation of Open Source Textbooks, or LOW COST, HR 1464). California became the first state to approve OA textbooks for use in public high schools. The state received a $100,000 grant from the Department of Education to make the approved OA books handicap-accessible. The state of Florida created an OA textbook task force and OER repository; the University Press of Florida launched an OA imprint, which now publishes OA editions of 89 textbooks and 21 monographs from the press' backlist and uses the state repository as its publishing platform. The Florida program received $300,000 in funds from the federal government to create a "national model" for other states.
Two of President Obama's appointments have track records promoting OA textbooks: Aneesh Chopra, the new Chief Technology Officer and former Secretary of Technology for the state of Virginia, and Martha Kanter, the new Undersecretary of Education and former chancellor of the Foothill-De Anza Community College District in Santa Clara County, California. Under Chopra's leadership, the state of Virginia published its own OA physics textbook, vetted and refined by public feedback. Under Kanter's leadership, the Foothill-De Anza Community College District won the California Community College Board of Governors 2008 Technology Focus Award for organizing a consortium of 85 community colleges to produce OA textbooks and other open content for education. The Hewlett Foundation gave the 85 community colleges (the Community College Collaborative for Open Educational Resources) a $1.5 million grant to support the OA textbook project.
Flat World Knowledge, the OA textbook publisher, started its public beta. Two months later it secured an additional $8 million in venture funding. In one semester (Spring 2009 to Fall 2009) the users of Flat World OA textbooks jumped from 1,000 students on 30 campuses to 40,000 students on 400+ campuses. The Danish publisher, Ventus Publishing, launched Bookboon, an imprint specifically for OA textbooks. Berkeley's Center for Studies in Higher Education released a study of faculty attitudes toward OA textbooks.
Barnes & Noble released the Nook, its ebook reader. Unlike the Amazon Kindle, the Nook allows readers to share and re-sell their ebooks. (As I go to press, a hacker has broken the Kindle DRM and released an app allowing users to translate Kindle books into Mobi format.) Sony released the Daily Edition, an ebook reader capable of displaying OA books, for example, from the Google book-scanning project. Kobo is a new company selling ebooks and an ebook readers; the ebooks are OA and EPUB through its partnership with the Internet Archive. Other hardware ebook readers released in 2009 were the Astak Mentor, Bookeen Cybook Opus, Foxit eSlick, Fujitsu FLEPia, Hanvon Iriver Story, Interead COOL-ER, Samsung Papyrus. Gallica introduced a Flash-based book viewer, and the Open Library upgraded its open-source Book Reader.
Eucalyptus is ebook-reading software written as an iPhone app. Apple originally rejected it on the ground that it could display OA books, some of which "contain inappropriate sexual content" such as the Kama Sutra. After three days of needless controversy, Apple reversed itself and accepted Eucalyptus as an iPhone app. (People who worry about the many digitized books under Google's control should think about how Apple would exercise comparable power.) Google announced plans to launch Google Editions, an ebook store whose books will be accessible from any web-enabled computer or reader, not just from dedicated devices. The Internet Archive launched BookServer, an open platform for discovering, selling, loaning, and giving away ebooks, and indexing them for search.
PaperC is a new online platform for digital books that are OA for reading and TA for printing or annotating. The Public Knowledge Project and Athabasca University Press announced the open-source Open Monograph Press and plan to release the software later this year. O'Reilly Media's Open Feedback Publishing System supports public comment on book manuscripts before publication. To allow feedback, the manuscripts are OA of course.
Brian O'Leary began a research project, sponsored by O'Reilly Media and Random house, on whether or how much OA editions can stimulate sales of TA books. His findings to date suggest that sales for books without OA editions "start higher and peak later" than books with OA editions, but that the latter reach a second peak, higher than the first, after about five months. (I can't tell whether the OA editions he studied appeared to users as unauthorized or whether the publisher was promoting them.) Random House reported that four of its books saw "significant sales increases" soon after the company released OA editions. The ALPSP surveyed 400+ scholarly book publishers on a similar set of questions. More than 60% reported that participating in Amazon's Look-Inside-the-Book program had a positive effect on sales; fewer than 2% reported a negative effect. A JISC study showed that OA editions of textbooks "may not negatively [affect] print sales to students."
In addition to these studies, we had first-person reports from Cory Doctorow, R.J. Keller, David Pogue, and Christopher Kelty on how OA editions of their books boosted net sales. (The Doctorow and Keller books were novels, the Pogue book a technical guide to Microsoft Windows, and the Kelty book a scholarly monograph.) Toni Prug estimated that Douglas May had 26 times more readers of his OA monograph on government than he would have had from a conventional priced, printed edition.
OAPEN (Open Access Publishing in European Networks) released the results of a study of "user needs in relation to open access book publishing" and launched a new survey on the "funding of monographs in the humanities and social sciences".
Austria's Förderung der wissenschaftlichen Forschung (Fund to Promote Scientific Research, FWF) agreed to pay publication costs for OA monographs and anthologies. Walter de Gruyter became the first publisher to extend its hybrid OA policy to book chapters.
The National Book Trust of Uganda (NABOTU) recommended libre OA books as the "best way for boosting educational quality" for Ugandan students, and a major report from the Academy of Science of South Africa (ASSAf) called for OA to books. (ASSAf has supported OA journals since April 2008).
OA journals find it much easier than OA repositories to use open licenses and implement libre OA. Nevertheless, only 15.6% (708 out of 4,535) of the OA journals in the DOAJ currently use CC licenses (as of January 1, 2010). The Open Access Scholarly Publishers Association (OASPA), the SPARC Europe Seal of Approval program, and SURF all recommend the most open of the CC licenses, the CC-BY or Attribution license, but only about 9.9% (449 out of 4,535) of the OA journals in the DOAJ currently use CC-BY. When OA journals don't use CC licenses, or any other open licenses, they operate under all-rights-reserved copyright policies, block all uses beyond fair use (or the local equivalent), and fail to free users to realize the benefits of libre OA.
The percentage of OA journals using open licenses increased by about one point since I pointed out the problem three months ago (Ten challenges for OA journals, SOAN for October 2009). If we continue at this rate --say, one percentage point every three months-- then we'll need more than eight years to reach the cross-over point when a majority of OA journals offer libre OA, and more than 21 years to reach 100%. We really should be able to do better than that.
In 2009, Creative Commons officially launched CC-Zero (CC0), after six years of thinking about how to improve upon its earlier method for assigning content to the public domain. CC also began a project (with Nike, Best Buy, and Yahoo) to develop CC licenses for patent-holders who wish to waive some of the rights they receive under patent law. The Open Data Commons released version 1.0 of the Open Database License (ODbL) after months of public feedback on earlier drafts. Germany's Digital Peer Publishing (DiPP) released an English translation of version 3.0 of the DiPP license.
Cornell lifted restrictions on Cornell-digitized public-domain books, and publicly acknowledged that the digital reproductions are themselves in the public domain. It explained its rationale in a public statement: to support OA, to encourage valuable uses and reuses of the literature, and to avoid copyfraud (false claims of copyright). Its exemplary policy should be widely imitated. Just as OA journals should use open licenses, digitization projects targeting works in the public domain should not impose new restrictions on use or reuse. But not all digitization projects follow this principle. The Seegras Logbook pointed out examples of copyfraud in Google Book Search. The US National Archives and Records Administration, yet again, digitized public-domain records with a private partner and allowed the private partner's TA site to be the exclusive digital distributor, apparently without an expiration date. A public-private partnership digitized the Burney Collection of public-domain 17th and 18th newspapers, but made the results TA rather than OA. The London School of Economics deposited a group of images with "no known copyright restrictions" in Flickr Commons, but attempted to bar commercial use without permission and payment. The city of Schenectady, NY, claimed that its ordinances were under copyright, charged for digital access, and even denied a freedom-of-information request for digital copies, all while planning to provide OA copies later this year. Amazon seems to understand the Cornell logic of lifting restrictions on public-domain works, but decided that restrictions were more important than public-domain content. In September it stopped, at least temporarily, making public-domain books available on the Kindle. Barnes & Noble just seems confused. It explained that it had to add DRM to its public-domain ebooks in order to protect their copyrights.
The Open Knowledge Foundation is compiling a list of the works entering the public domain in 2010.
The English-language Wikipedia migrated from the GNU Free Documentation License to CC-BY-SA, and influenced many other wikis to do the same. It's now much easier for OA works under CC licenses to incorporate Wikipedia content, and vice versa. At the same time, however, the Shuttleworth Foundation migrated from CC-BY-SA to CC-BY as its default license for open educational resources.
Google announced that rightsholders of Google-scanned, copyrighted books may put CC licenses on the digital editions, and persuaded the Authors Guild and and Association of American Publishers to add the same option to their revised settlement agreement (Section 7 above). The Open Book Alliance brief in opposition to the Google Book Settlement argued for compulsory licenses as the part of the solution to the anti-trust problems in the settlement.
In 2009, the University of Liege became the first university to require libre OA, and was soon followed by the department-level libre OA mandates from the University of Northern Colorado library faculty and the University of Oregon library faculty.
Both the OA textbook bills in the US Senate and US House of Representatives (Sections 1 and 5 above) require libre OA. This is notable in part because the older and more widespread funder OA mandates for research articles still limit themselves to gratis OA. The only exception is from the Wellcome Trust and UK Funders Group; they don't require libre OA merely for funding research, but they do require libre OA when they also fund publishing costs. Are the OA textbook bills a sign that legislators want to treat textbooks differently from research articles or that the libre star is rising and we'll start to see more libre mandates for research articles as well?
The Wellcome Trust libre OA mandate for subsidized articles continued to win the accommodation of publishers. Among the publishers agreeing to provide libre OA in exchange for publication fees are the American Chemical Society, the American Psychological Association, the American Society of Hematology, the American Journal of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene, and the Journal of Visualized Experiments (JoVE). While libre green OA mandates are still rare, a group of influential funders convened by the the US Institute of Medicine in May recommended libre green OA mandates for medical research (Sections 1 and 10).
The Nature Publishing Group made a small step toward libre green OA when it granted limited permission for text-mining green OA manuscripts. (But NPG is still an outlier in the other direction for requiring an embargo on self-archived articles.)
The needless difficulties faced by Joseph Lorenzo and Danah Boyd persuaded the University of California at Berkeley to lower the hurdles for future students wishing to put CC licenses on their doctoral dissertations. JISC released a briefing paper to ensure that JISC-funded research projects were aware of their CC options. For researchers who do choose CC licenses, FairShare is a new tool to help track the re-use of their CC-licensed work.
While I don't have time to cover OA initiatives for public sector information (PSI), I can mention that the major ones are not only large, but committed to libre OA. To mention just a few: In the US, the Obama administration launched data.gov, a rapidly growing portal of libre OA datasets which "do not, and should not, include controls over their end use" (to quote from the site's data policy). The Australian government launched data.australia.gov.au, and the UK government is launching data.gov.uk, both inspired by the US initiative. The Australian site uses CC-BY licenses, and the early data sets released by the UK government support use and reuse. Australia and New Zealand both called for public comments on proposals to require CC licenses for PSI. A growing number of city governments committed themselves to libre OA for at least some of their PSI in 2009: Atlanta, Madrid, New York, Portland (Oregon), Toronto, Vancouver, and Washington DC.
Recommendations for libre OA for government data came from the Association for Computing Machinery Public Policy Committee, the participants in a March 2009 Communia Workshop on Accessing, Using, Reusing Public Sector Content and Data, the UK Society of Information Technology Management, and the UK Power of Information Taskforce. Recommendations for libre OA more broadly, encompassing research, came from IssueLab, the National Book Trust of Uganda, the PARSE.Insight study, and a major report from Harvard's Berkman Center on the copyright licensing policies of private foundations.
(9) Effects of the recession
The worldwide recession has had mixed consequences for OA: on the one hand, drying up money to pay for it, and on the other, strengthening the case for it and increasing the demand. Tight library budgets have hurt OA journals and TA journals alike. Virginia Tech cancelled nearly $900,000 worth of subscriptions. About 70% of the Association of Academic and Health Science Libraries faced budget cuts. Budget cuts at the University of California libraries were as high as 20% on some campuses. In the UK, about 40% of university libraries will have to cut back on acquisitions and about 20% will have to cancel "big deals" bundling hundreds of journal titles.
At least five OA journals folded up: Innovate (from the Fischler School of Education and Human Services at Nova Southeastern University), the Medscape Journal of Medicine (from Medscape and WebMD), and the four journals formerly published by Icthes World Care. At least three converted from OA to TA: the Journal of Clinical Investigation (from the American Society for Clinical Investigation), the Nagoya Mathematical Journal (from Duke University Press), and the Royal Historical Society bibliography of British and Irish history (from the Royal Historical Society). The Journal of Visualized Experiments converted from full OA to hybrid OA. Haematologica converted from no-fee OA to fee-based OA. The Canadian Medical Association Journal, formerly full OA, continues to provide OA to new research articles, but started to charge for access to some of its other content. At eMJA, the online edition of the TA Medical Journal of Australia, research articles will be OA for two weeks after publication and then move behind a pay wall for a year; other content will not be OA at all. When the budget of the Canada Institute for Scientific and Technical Information (CISTI) was cut by 70%, the Institute decided to privatize the 17 OA journals from the National Research Council of Canada, which will probably mean that they will convert to TA.
Tight budgets forced Utah State University to lay down its OpenCourseWare program, the second-largest in the United States after MIT's. The University of Amsterdam cited "a precarious financial situation" as the reason it had to lay down its OA journal fund.
The US National Science Foundation (NSF) stopped funding the OA botanical database, Arabidopsis Information Resource (TAIR). If TAIR began charging subscriptions, two-thirds of surveyed researchers said they would be reluctant to submit their data to it. Arxiv, Bioline, Depot, H-Net, and probably many other projects without publicity, faced funding difficulties and had to find new arrangements to survive. ArXiv is asking institutions that log the most usage to make voluntary contributions
While libraries were cutting their budgets, Elsevier, for one, did well. In 2008, its profits were up 11% over the previous year. In the first half of 2009, overall profits were down, but profits in the STM division were up 29%.
As noted in Section 5, many more journals converted from TA to OA than the other way around (roughly 100 to 1) and many more converted from TA to hybrid than from OA to hybrid (more than 600 to 1).
Demand is up as well. The hard news for universities and libraries, and the loss of access to TA literature due to budget cuts and cancellations, made the logic of OA even more compelling to decision-makers at every level. California's adoption of OA textbooks was only partly a response to the opportunities of the new medium; it was also a response to the rising prices of printed textbooks and the state budget crisis. When directors of major US law libraries released the Durham Statement on Open Access to Legal Scholarship, they made the case for OA; but at the same time, they argued that the shift was especially necessary and attractive "in light of the financial challenges currently facing many law schools...."
In France, not only did President Nicolas Sarkozy find $1.1 billion for digitizing French literature, but he acknowledged that only part of the rationale was to foster French culture and compete with Google. The rest of the rationale was economic stimulus. Ironically, in a time of greater prosperity, the money for this project would have been harder to find.
In the US, Canada, and UK, there were a series of calls to support OA as economic stimulus, as a way to close access gaps caused by budget cuts, or both. I made such an argument in November 2008 (in an open letter to the next President of the US), Michael Geist made another in January 2009, as did Prue Adler and Charles Lowry of the Association of Research Libraries, and James Boyle made one in his Financial Times column in April. Carl Malamud made another just last week, citing the French $1.1 billion as an example to be followed in the US.
Major library organizations and research institutions published position papers on the recession, making recommendations to publishers (to hold or reverse price increases) and the scholarly community (to move forward with OA). There were notable examples from the International Coalition of Library Consortia (January), the Association for Research LIbraries (February), Research Information Network (March), NorthEast Research Libraries (April), the University of California Libraries (May), and the Medical Library Association and the Association of Academic Health Science Libraries (May).
The Medical Library Association's Ad Hoc Committee for Advocating Scholarly Communications compiled a list of publishers who froze 2010 subscription prices at 2009 levels. When last updated in September, it listed 45 publishers. None of the titans --Elsevier, Springer, Wiley-Blackwell, Taylor & Francis-- was on the list.
Jonathan Eisen brought the case down to individual authors: if you don't provide gold or green OA to your work, "it is likely fewer and fewer colleagues will be able to get your paper as libraries are hurting big time and will be canceling a lot of subscriptions."
(10) Some highlights of the highlights
The worst of 2009:
10. The American Anthropological Association. For using a toll-access article to invite discussion on the access policies of the association's publications. (Last year the AAA made this list for adopting a 35 year embargo on the OA backfiles of its two leading journals.)
9. The 84+% of OA journals that do not use open licenses or provide libre OA. For missing an opportunity to better serve research and researchers, though fortunately an opportunity it's not too late to seize. Green OA has the excuse that permissions depend on publishers; gold OA doesn't have any excuses.
8. The University of Maryland's negative vote on an OA policy (so far the only negative vote on any campus). Mixing green and gold OA to the confusion of the faculty, not offering a waiver option, and calling for a vote before finishing the job of faculty education. A wake-up call to other institutions developing policies.
7. John Kroger, Attorney General for the State of Oregon. For demanding permission and payment to reproduce the state's guide to compliance with public-records laws. (Kudos to University of Oregon Economics Professor Bill Harbaugh for scanning a copy, posting it online, and challenging Kroger to issue a take-down notice. Kudos to Carl Malamud and Public.Resource.Org for weighing in Harbaugh's behalf.) (Last year the State of Oregon made this list for claiming copyright in its statutes, a claim it relinquished when challenged.)
6. Advanced Biological Laboratories. First for seeking (and thanks to the US Patent Office, obtaining) a patent on the use of databases to help doctors make decisions to diagnose and treat diseases. Second for demanding a royalty payment that threatens to shut down the (OA) HIV Drug Resistance Database.
5. South Africa's Department of Science and Technology. For its regulations implementing the 2008 Intellectual Property Rights from Publicly Funded Research and Development Act, regulations which minimize access to publicly-funded research in order to maximize copyright protection and commercial exploitation, and which require special permission from the government to make any publicly-funded software open-source or any publicly-funded research OA.
4. The secret negotiations on the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement (ACTA) which, despite the name, is largely concerned with new levels of copyright enforcement. For excluding the public and the press, while inviting in corporate lobbyists. Every democratic nation participating should be ashamed, including the Obama administration which put aside its transparency principles and cited national security as a reason to keep the drafts and negotiations cloaked.
3. The reintroduction of the Fair Copyright in Research Works Act (a.k.a. Conyers bill), for the second year in a row. Last year's caption still applies: "Amending copyright law to block an OA policy consistent with current law, while pretending to be motivated by the policy's copyright violations. Harmful bill + misleading title + deceptive rhetoric, brought to you by lobbyists paid with your subscription dollars."
2. The Bentham behavior in the Davis-Anderson hoax. First for accepting a piece of computer-generated nonsense in a supposedly peer-reviewed journal. Second for claiming to have done it on purpose to discover the real names of the authors. Third for feeding antecedent ignorance and prejudice to give OA journals a bad name.
1. The Heidelberg Appeal rant against OA. Rabble-rousing by scholars who should know better. Raising up a straw man and soliciting signatures to tear it down. If the authors and signatories were as sloppy and confused in their professional work, they'd be unemployed.
The best of 2009:
10. The Compact for Open-Access Publishing Equity (COPE) and other new ways to pay publication fees at fee-based OA journals (Section 5 above). Some institutions launch funds to support gold OA without having policies to support green OA, which is backwards, and most funds to support gold OA don't extend to no-fee OA journals, which is one-sided. But the funds themselves deserve a place on this list for taking a needed step toward the support of gold OA, and the first organized step to spread the costs beyond authors and funders. All during a recession.
9. The morphing of Depot from a UK service to an international service and the launch of OpenAIRE. Two universal OA repositories that will direct deposits to local institutional repositories, when they exist, and otherwise use their own resources to disseminate them. For making it easier for funding agencies to require deposit in IRs and harder for scholars without IRs to put off self-archiving.
8. Signs of an avalanche of future OA mandates from funding agencies. Two signs in particular: First, the announcement in Section 9.2 of their 2009 roadmap that the European Science Foundation (ESF) and the European Heads of Research Councils (EuroHORCs) will issue a joint OA mandate. This would be smaller news if the ESF didn't represent 80 member organizations in 30 European countries and if EuroHORCs didn't represent all the major public funding agencies in 24 European countries. Second, the recommendation of libre green OA mandates for medical research in a report co-sponsored by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, Burroughs Wellcome Fund, Google Foundation, Merck Company Foundation, Rockefeller Foundation, US Department of Health and Human Services, US Department of Homeland Security, and US Department of State.
7. Cornell's policy to lift restrictions from its digitized copies of public-domain works. For realizing that the previous restrictions were unnecessary for the institution, harmful for researchers, and skating close to copyfraud. For jolting other institutions --universities, libraries, museums, government agencies, and non-profits-- to remember that ordinary digitization does not introduce new a copyright to a public-domain work, to remember the institutional mission, and to remember the user.
6. The UK Engineering & Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC), the seventh of the seven Research Councils UK to adopt a green OA mandate. For completing the UK royal flush.
5. The SPARC Campus Open Access Policies project (COAP) and Enabling Open Scholarship (EOS). For sharing information, strategic advice, case histories, and best practices in order to to spread OA policies to more universities.
4. The Rectors' Conference of Finnish Universities of Applied Sciences. First for creating a consortial OA repository for 26 of Finland's Universities of Applied Sciences. Second for adopting a joint OA mandate for the same 26 institutions, the most encompassing institutional OA mandate to date. Third for inspiring other consortia to think big.
3. The reintroduction of the Federal Research Public Access Act (FRPAA). For promising to strengthen the NIH policy and extend it across the federal government. For winning support from a wide range of academic, non-profit, and commercial institutions. For earning bipartisan support in a degenerate age when nothing has bipartisan support.
2. The Obama administration's call for comments on how to extend the NIH policy across the federal government. The result may be more wide-ranging than FRPAA, or less; we'll have to wait and see. But it can be adopted sooner and tweaked ad lib. For bringing a second wind from the executive branch (while the legislative branch continues to consider FRPAA), and the first sign of Obama's position on OA. For its potentially to be as strong and far-reaching as any OA policy anywhere.
1. Fifteen green OA funder mandates in 10 countries (Section 1) and 60 green OA university mandates in 14 countries (Section 2), including 13 by unanimous faculty votes. For giving us a year in which we averaged five university mandates and more than one funder mandate every month. For breathtaking momentum in the right direction.
* Postscript. For links to all the developments and organizations mentioned here, see the searchable archive of Open Access News and the "oa.new" tag library from the Open Access Tracking Project.
Also see my annual reviews from previous years:
Open access in 2008
Open access in 2007
Open access in 2006
Open access in 2005
Open access in 2004
Open access in 2003
Here are some other, related reviews of 2009:
Esther Wojcicki, Creative Commons In 2009: The Accomplishments In Promoting Worldwide Sharing, Huffington Post, November 21, 2009.
Daniel Mietchen's poll on the breakthroughs of the year in open science, December 1, 2009.
Amelia Hassani, The Year in Gov 188.8.131.52, OhMyGov, December 15, 2009.
Richard Poynder, Open Access in 2009: The Good, the Bad and the Ugly. December 16, 2009
Ten Stories That Shaped 2009, LIS News, December 18, 2009.
Jeremy Adam Smith, The 12 Best Shareable Books of 2009, Shareable, December 21, 2009.
Mike Carroll's list of seven major CC events in 2009,
I'm grateful to many friends who answered last-minute queries to supply missing facts or nail down uncertain details. Thanks to Subbiah Arunachalam, Gavin Baker, Matt Cockerill, Heather Joseph, Mark Shelton, Stuart Shieber, and Alma Swan.
In last issue I said that currently, before the Google settlement is approved, the options to price Google-scanned books at zero, and put them under a CC license, were only available to Google Partners.
I was wrong about that. The options are available to anyone holding the rights to a book scanned under the Google Library Project. The zero-price option is available today on the "Manage book" web form, and the CC option may appear on that form at any time, even before the settlement is approved. Neither option, however, will have any effect until or unless the settlement is approved. Thanks to the Google settlement email help line for this clarification.
To find the form and exercise these options now available, go to the Google settlement home page, sign in (creating an account first if necessary), see the Google list of your books in the system, click on one, scroll down to "Manage book", and select the options you like.
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.
** Twenty-six of Finland's Universities of Applied Sciences adopted a joint OA mandate (October 2009), which took effect yesterday, January 1, 2010.
** The faculty of the University of Northern Colorado Libraries unanimously adopted an OA policy.
** The University of Abertay Dundee adopted an OA mandate.
** The Dublin Institute of Technology adopted an OA mandate.
** The University of Ottawa adopted a green OA policy (details not yet available), launched an OA journal fund, joined the Compact for Open-Access Publishing Equity (COPE), launched a fund for creating OERs, agreed to support the publication of OA books from the University of Ottawa Press, and funded a research grant to support research on the OA movement.
** The White House Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP) called for public comments on "enhancing public access to archived publications resulting from research funded by Federal science and technology agencies." Comments are due January 21, 2010. Basically, should President Obama extend some version of the NIH policy across the federal government?
* This research access initiative is part of the Obama administration's new Open Government Directive, which includes a raft of new OA data sets.
* For example, the US Department of Energy launched Open Energy Info (OpenEI), a wiki-based platform to provide OA to the department's digital tools and data. OpenEI is part of the Obama administration's new Open Government Directive.
* The UK government announced plans to release a large number of libre OA public data files.
* The Australian government released a Declaration of Open Government, including a commitment to OA for PSI.
* Columbia University joined the Compact for Open-Access Publishing Equity (COPE) and announced plans to launch a fund to pay publication fees at fee-based OA journals.
* The Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center also joined the Compact for Open-Access Publishing Equity (COPE).
* The Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS) took out a membership with BioMed Central and will pay publication fees for its researchers who publish in BMC journals. (CAS adopted a green OA mandate in February 2009.)
* The petition calling for OA to publicly-funded research in Germany was endorsed by the Working Committee of the Parliament and Government Libraries.
* The OA Working Group of the Groupement Français de l'Industrie de l'Information (French Association of Electronic Information Industry, GFII) issued its OA recommendations. Among them: the humanities will need different solutions from the STM fields, and institutions should not adopt OA mandates without embargoes.
* Oxford's Global Economic Governance Programme created an independent Expert Taskforce on Global Knowledge Governance to recommend principles for the future of global knowledge governance.
* The Euopean Commission called for public comments on the EU 2020 strategy. The strategy doesn't mention OA, but does highlight the role of knowledge is creating a healthier, smarter, and greener economy. Comments in support of OA will be relevant.
* JISC released its Strategy 2010-2012, reaffirming its "commitments to the open agenda, including open source, Open Access, open educational resources, and supporting open research and open innovation."
* At the Université Libre de Bruxelles, a faculty group opposing OA won two seats out of 17 on the administrative council.
* Alma Swan updated her graph showing the fast-growing number of institutional and funder OA mandates over the past few years.
* Bloomsbury Publishing and the QATAR Foundation created Bloomsbury Qatar Foundation Journals (BQFJ), a new OA journal publisher in Doha, Quatar.
* Sciyo is the new name of OA journal publisher formerly known as I-Tech (Austria 2004) and In-Tech (Croatia 2008). In 2010 it will pay author royalties based on the number of times their articles are downloaded.
* Teaching Classical Languages is a new peer-reviewed OA journal, sponsored by the Classical Association of the Middle West and South (CAMWS). TCL is the successor to CPL (Committee for the Promotion of Latin) Online.
* In Education, launched in 1993, converted to OA.
* The Anthropology of East Europe Review converted to OA after 27 years of publication.
* tic&société, launched in 2007, converted to OA and moved to Revues.org.
* Économie rurale converted to delayed OA, with a moving wall of two years, and moved to Revues.org.
* Préhistoires Méditerranéennes (successor to a journal established in 1982) converted to OA and moved to Revues.org.
* ALT-J, the Journal of the Association for Learning Technology, converted to dalayed OA with an 18 month moving wall.
* Medical Education Online, an OA journal launched in 1996, moved to Co-Action Publishing.
* The American Anthropological Association is making 85 year's worth of research publications OA, 1888-1974. (Why stop at 1974? Last November the AAA adopted a policy to provide delayed after a 35 year moving wall.)
* A collection of journal backfiles, reports, and monographs from The Fund for Folk Culture is now OA through the institutional repository of Indiana University.
* The new Open Law Journals Group published its draft principles.
* The Thomson Reuters Web of Science includes 494 peer-reviewed OA journals, 4.5% of the 11,000 in the full collection. The Transforming Scholarly Communication blog posted a list of the 494.
* PLoS added blog coverage, as measured by ResearchBlogging.org, to it article-level metrics for its journal articles.
* Jim Till gathered details on which OA journal funds will pay fees at hybrid journals and which will not.
* Five more universities joined SCOAP3: Carnegie Mellon, Creighton, Macalester College, Northeastern, and the University of Kentucky.
* NITLE launched a prediction market on when the number of journals in the DOAJ will reach 4,700.
+ Repositories and databases
* The Association for Learning Technology officially launched its institutional repository.
* Kenji Takeda released EP2DC, a service connecting an EPrints text repository with a remote data repository.
* The University of Hong Kong added HKU ResearcherPages to its IR for each its affiliated authors. The new pages will include author-centric bibliometrics, article-level metrics, authority control, and topics on which the author could speak to the media. The code will become part of DSpace version 1.6.
* In November 51 new DSpace repositories (in 8 countries) registered with DuraSpace, a record.
* An editorial in BMJ called for OA to raw data from clinical drug trials.
* Freetable is a new data repository, in a pre-launch phase and seeking public comments. Apparently it plans to offer a uniform mechanism for accessing and modifying datasets on deposit.
* Microsoft and the European Environment Agency launched Eye on Earth, a joint project superimposing EEA data on Bing maps to show real-time on air and water quality in 32 countries.
* The European Space Agency agreed that data from the upcoming Sentinel satellite missions will be open.
* All the data from the NASA/ESA ExoMars Trace Gas Mission Orbiter will be OA through Planetary Data System.
* Australia's Government 2.0 Task Force draft report recommended that by PSI be libre OA under CC-BY licenses. The public comment period ended on December 16, 2009.
* Geoscience Australia adopted CC-BY as as the default licence for its website.
* DataCite is a new project to assign DOIs to datasets in order to support attribution, citation, and linking. It's a joint project of libraries and research institutions in Australia, Canada, Denmark, France, Germany, the Netherlands, Switzerland, the UK, and the US.
* The Sunlight Foundation launched an OA database of the expenditures of the members of the US House of Representatives.
* The Open Knowledge Foundation launched a prototype of the OA database, Where Does My Money Go?
* The US House of Representatives adopted a bill that would require Grants.gov, the government grants database, to make all its data OA and searchable. The Senate has already adopted a similar bill.
* The UK government is soliciting public comments on its proposal to provide OA to gegraphical data from the Ordnance Survey.
* The "climategate" affair, in which stolen emails (on one interpretation) suggested that some researchers might have falsified some data, elicited many calls for open data.
* A French court found Google guilty of copyright infringement for digitizing copyrighted books from a French publisher (La Martinière) in US libraries, without permission. Google will appeal. This would be the same case that went to settlement in the US except that French law has no equivalent of fair use.
* The city of Lyon released its Google book-scanning contract, after previously arguing that it was confidential. A journalist had sued to force its disclosure.
* The Gutenberg-e book series is now gratis OA. The books are published by Columbia University Press in collaboration with the American Historical Association and the American Council of Learned Societies.
* The Columbia University Libraries joined the HathiTrust.
* Cornell University is making nearly 80,000 public-domain books digitized from the Cornell library OA through the Internet Archive.
* The first systematic book-scanning program at the Library of Congress has now digitized 60,000 public-domain books.
* French President Nicolas Sarkozy committed 2% of a $51 billion economic stimulus package ($1.1 billion) to the digitization of French books and historical documents.
* The German government published a preview of Die Deutsche Digitale Bibliothek (German Digital Library), approved by cabinet in December to launch in 2011 as a part of Europeana.
* The Open Knowledge Commons received $1.5 million from the Sloan Foundation to digitize 30,000 volumes of public domain medical literature.
* The Wellcome Library, Bibliotheca Alexandrina, and King's College London are creating an OA library of 500 Islamic manuscripts.
* With German public funding, TextGrid acquired the Zeno.org digital library and with partners (Wikimedia Germany and Creative Commons Germany) plans to make it OA under CC-BY licenses.
* The Université des Antilles et de la Guyane launched Manioc, an OA digital library on the Caribbean, Guiana Shield and Amazonia.
* A hacker released an app called Unswindle that breaks the DRM on Amazon's Kindle translates its contents into Mobi format.
* Kobo is a new company selling ebooks and ebook readers. The books are in the open EPUB format and readable on any device. Through its partnership with the Internet Archive, the Kobo catalog contains over two million books, of which 1.8 million are in the public domain and OA.
* With his publisher's permission, David Pogue created an OA edition to one his technical books on Microsoft Windows. The year after setting it loose, the book's print edition sold more copies than the year before.
* DFWCatholic.org launched Wikatechesis, an OA wiki-based catechism.
* The Open Library reported on its recent growth and future plans.
* Klaus Graf compiled a list of Large Digital Libraries of Pre-1800 Printed Books in Western Languages, organized by nation.
* Charles Bailey released version 77 of the Scholarly Electronic Publishing Bibliography.
+ Studies and surveys
* Hellenic Academic Libraries Link published a report on the state of OA in Greece.
* Information Research published a report on OA institutional repositories in Spain.
* The Research Information Network (RIN) released a report showing that researchers can discover new work more easily than they can access or retrieve it, and that access barriers slow their research, hinder collaboration, and "may well affect the quality and integrity of work produced...."
* PARSE.Insight released the results of its survey of TA and OA journal publishers on their preservation strategies. The report includes publisher views on the future of various business models, including OA models.
* PLoS released the results of its surveys of authors who submitted work to PLoS journals in 2008.
* The Nordbib programme published a report by Ingegerd Rabow on the history and practice of institutional repositories and current research information systems (CRIS).
* The JISC Repositories and Preservation Programme released its final report.
+ Software and tools
* Geozon Science Media is developing Publiss, web-based publishing tools optimized for OA.
* The PLoS journals are upgrading to Ambra version 0.9.5.
* The Public Knowledge Project released Open Journal Systems version 2.3.1.
* The University of Rochester released version 1.0 of its open-source institutional repository software, IR+.
* The US Environmental Protection Agency released a web tool and interactive map to show the locations EPA enforcement actions.
* Sprixi is a new search engine dedicated images in the public domain or under CC licenses. It harnesses user responses to improve the match between keywods and images.
* The University of Stellenbosch launched a wiki for documenting its IR and ETD program.
* Sugar is an open-source learning platform allowing uses to share their work with classmates or the public.
* IRtalk is a new forum "to discuss, communicate, share information on all open access and institutional repositories related issues in Africa and South Africa."
* The CARPET project (Community for Academic Reviewing, Publishing and Editorial Technology) launched a discussion forum.
+ Awards and milestones
* The German language edition of Wikipedia passed the milestone of one million articles.
* The Universidad de Los Andes institutional repository contains about 19,000 deposits.
* RePEc passed several milestones in November: 450,000 listed abstracts, 150,000 cited articles, and 22,000 registered authors.
* SURFshare is soliciting nominations for its annual Open Access Awards for promoting OA in the Netherlands.
* The government of Australia announced the two winners of MashupAustralia, a competition for the best mashups of open PSI.
* URISA Journal turned 10 years old. (URISA = Urban and Regional Information Systems Association.)
* Creative Commons turned seven years old.
* UC Publishing Services (UCPubS) is a publishing platform combining the OA expertise of the University of California's eScholarship program with the print expertise of the University of California Press.
* PRISM (Partnership for Research Integrity in Science & Medicine), the aggressive, deceptive, anti-OA lobbying arm of the AAP/PSP launched in August 2007, allowed its domain name (prismcoalition.org) to lapse.
* Springer, the world's largest OA publisher since acquiring BMC in 2008, was sold by one private equity firm (Cinven and Candover, from Britain) to two other private equity firms (EQT and GIC, from Sweden and Singapore).
* The first results from Large Hadron Collider's ALICE Collaboration were published in Springer's European Physical Journal C where they were OA under a CC-BY-NC license. Another 23 papers from the CMS collaboration, are now OA through arXiv and will soon be published in the OA Journal of Instrumentation.
* The Research Information Network (RIN) is holding a series of workshops to show how Freedom of Information (FOI) legislation can help researchers.
* InWeave (Intellectual Wealth and Value) is an open-science project "investigat[ing] mechanisms provide society with Intellectual Wealth of the greatest value...."
* The US National Archives and Records Administration (NARA) allowed CustomFlix to digitize some publicly-funded, public-domain films and sell them on its web site. NARA can post OA copies to its web site only if it buys them from CustomFlix and CustomFlix has already amortized its costs through sales of TA copies. Carl Malamud has a strategy to open up access to the films.
* PubMed Central introduced a shorter and more flexible URL format.
* The British Medical Association awarded a £10,000 grant to Healthcare Information for All by 2015 (HIFA2015).
* David Prosser shifted from Executive Director of SPARC Europe to Executive Director of Research Libraries UK.
* LexPublica is a new source basic legal documents such as common business contract templates under CC licenses.
* The Executive Policy Brief for Egypt from the African Copyright and Access to Knowledge (ACA2K) Project recommended OA for teaching and learning materials.
* The Open University Campaign renamed itself the Open Education Campaign in order to avoid any confusion with the Open University.
* Thanks to lobbying by David Wiley, the State of Utah adopted a rule allowing teachers to share their teaching materials under CC licenses. Before this, it was unclear who owned the copyright on those materials and hence unclear who could authorize sharing under open licenses.
* Vital Signs, a field-based student research program at the Gulf of Maine Research Institute, adopted the CC-BY license for its research.
* Students at Wake Forest University are collecting waste oils for a biodiesel project and hope to make it a model for OA green energy projects at other universities.
* The Palo Alto High School student newspaper began using CC licenses.
* An Argentinean court dropped criminal infringement charges against Professor Horacio Potel for distributing unauthorized OA Spanish editions of copyrighted works by Derrida and Heidegger.
* Francis Muguet, chemist, lawyer, and OA activist, died in October at age 54. He was the chairman of the Civil Society Scientific Information Working Group of the the World Summit on the Information Society (disclosure: and recruited me to serve on the group with him) and a master at negotiating the bureaucracy of the United Nations to advance the cause of OA.
Coming this month
Here are some important OA-related events coming up in January.
* January 1, 2010. The BMJ "pico" policy takes effect.
* January 1, 2010. The OA mandate at the University of Salford takes effect.
* January 1, 2010. The OA mandate at the Swedish Research Council takes effect.
* January 1, 2010. Co-Action Publishing and the Lund University Library should finish the final version of their guide to best practices for OA journals.
* January 1, 2010. The OA mandate at the University of Helsinki takes effect. The policy was announced in June 2008.
* January 1, 2010. The OA policy at the University of Bergen takes effect. The policy was announced in June 2009.
* January 1, 2010. The OA mandates at 26 Finland Universities of Applied Sciences take effect. The policy was adopted in October 2009.
* January 28, 2010. Deadline for objections to the amended Google Books Settlement to be filed with the court. Judge Denny Chin of the Southern District of New York gave preliminary approval to the amended settlement on November 19, 2009.
* OA-related conferences in January 2010.
* Other OA-related conferences
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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