Welcome to the SPARC Open Access Newsletter, issue #143
March 2, 2010
by Peter Suber

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Word contest

English speakers need a verb that means "to provide OA to".  It should be as succinct as "sell" for use in sentences such as, "We sell the print edition but ____ the digital edition."

I use "to provide OA to" for lack of anything obviously better.  But I don't like it.  It's long, dry, and awkward.  Making a digital work OA is a fairly elemental act, and the verb for that act shouldn't take four words.  I'm hoping that someone out there can do better. 

We could say "open up" or "make OA".  These are shorter than four words, but they're still phrases and I'm hoping that creative people can find or invent a single word.  We could say simply "open", but that would be ambiguous, since we already say "open the journal" and "open the book" with another meaning in mind.  "Give away" (or "giveaway") is also ambiguous, since we sometimes give away priced, printed literature.  "Disclose" is a nice fit etymologically but has similar ambiguities.  "Liberate" is a little ambiguous, a little precious, and suggests an overcoming of resistance which is by no means intrinsic to OA. 

We could revive and hijack a rare word like "derestrict" or "debouche" (the way gamers revived and hijacked "avatar"), but could we find one that is less dry and technical-sounding?  We could coin a familiar-sounding new term like "openize" or "accessibilitate", but could we find one that is less nauseating?  We could coin an utterly new word like "fazz" or "jirp", but could we find one that actually suggests the intended meaning?

There's no prize in this contest except glory.  I'll summarize the results in the next issue, and may also post them to the SPARC Open Access Forum for further discussion. 

If the submissions aren't any better than "open", "debouche", "accessibilitate", and "fazz", then I won't pick a favorite or a winner, but I'll still share the results.  If there's an array of plausible contenders, one of them may catch fire with some of you and start to spread, becoming more acceptable as it goes.  But you can already sense some of my personal criteria:  Would the word be ambiguous (bad), pretentious (bad), sound like insider jargon (bad), or make OA itself sound technical and difficult (bad)?  Would it be short (good), sweet (good), and more or less self-explanatory (good)?

If other languages already have elegant solutions to this problem, I'd love to hear about them. 

Send me your ideas (peter dot suber at gmail dot com).  I'll assume that I may name and quote you unless you tell me otherwise. 


Open access, markets, and missions

(Note:  This essay stands on its own but also serves as a sequel to "Knowledge as a public good" which appeared in the November 2009 issue.)

Do we want newspapers, TV newsrooms, and online news bureaus to maximize profits, or do we want them to serve a certain function in the community?  Someone might object that these goals are compatible, and that a TV news station (for example) with the most profit is the one with the most viewers.  Its incentives to maximize viewership are incentives to maximize service to the community.  But we don't really know in advance what behavior will maximize profits; if we did, business and investment would be easy, not hard.  The abstract confidence that maximizing profits will maximize service to the community will prove false if profit seeking leads the station to devote most of its coverage to crime, sports, celebrities, entertainment, and weather.  We can admit that all-celebrities all-the-time meets real demand, serves the community in that particular way, and may be rewarded by revenue and market share.  But it doesn't follow that it serves the function in the community that should be served by journalism.  On the contrary.

We can ask the same question of education.  Do we want schools to maximize profits, or do we want them to serve a certain function in the community?  Again, someone might object that these goals are compatible, and that the school with the most profit, or at least the most voluntary enrollments, is the one best serving the community.  But, again, this will be false if maximizing profit leads the school to teach creationism as science or expand football at the expense of writing.  We can admit that telling students what their parents want them to hear, or promoting sports that the public likes to watch, meets real demand and serves the community in that particular way.  But it doesn't follow that it serves the function in the community that should be served by education.  On the contrary.

For these reasons, let me call journalism and education "mission-oriented" economic sectors, as opposed to "market-oriented" sectors like hat and hardware manufacturing.  These are two ends of a spectrum, not airtight categories.  In fact, I'm more interested in the complicated middle ground between the two poles than in the two poles themselves.  When a newspaper's revenues decline, it may have to scale back on investigative stories about health insurance and scale up on stories about new-fledged ducklings at the zoo.  When a university's endowment tanks, it may have to close some low-enrollment programs in favor of high-enrollment programs.  Hard choices like these are commonplace in every organization.  Tough times can nudge an organization temporarily closer to the market end of the spectrum, and better times can free it to give renewed priority to its mission. 

Do we want scholarly journal publishers to maximize profits, or do we want them to serve a certain function in the community?  Someone might object that these goals are compatible, and that the publisher with the most profit is the one with the most subscribers and hence the one serving the largest audience and providing the widest access.  Its incentives to maximize subscribers are incentives to maximize service to the research community.  But as elsewhere, we don't really know in advance what behavior will maximize profits.  The abstract confidence that maximizing profits will maximize service to the community will prove false if profit seeking leads the publisher to:

1. make its method of cost recovery function as an access barrier,

2. produce fake journals to puff the products of drug companies,

3. lobby the legislature to block public access to publicly-funded research,

4. retain a business model that scales negatively for users (excluding more and more readers as the volume of published knowledge continues its exponential growth), or

5. take advantage of the natural monopolies of individual journals to raise prices out of proportion to journal size, cost, impact, or quality, or to raise them faster than inflation and library budgets (maximizing margins over subscribers). 

We can admit that artificial scarcity will protect a revenue stream for the existing array of conventional publishers, and serve the research community in that particular way.  But it doesn't follow that it serves the function in the community that should be served by scholarly publishing.  On the contrary.

Financial analysts at Credit Suisse First Boston pointed out that second-rate journals with low rejection rates have higher profit margins than first-rate journals with high rejection rates.  Higher rejection rates increase the costs per published paper by requiring journals to perform peer review more times per published paper.  This creates incentives for profit maximizers to lower their rejection rates, even if that means lowering standards.  At the same time, it creates incentives for profit maximizers to bundle journals together and reduce the freedom of libraries to cancel low-quality titles.

Scholarly publishing ought to be a mission-oriented economic sector, just as journalism and education ought to be.  But it has evolved into an market-oriented sector.  It ought to cluster toward the mission-oriented end of the spectrum, but since WWII has drifted toward the market-oriented end of the spectrum. 

Three years ago (February 2007) the American Association of University Presses Statement on Open Access drew a similar conclusion about university presses:

The core mission of university presses has always been to disseminate knowledge to the widest possible audience....For university presses, unlike commercial and society publishers, open access does not necessarily pose a threat to their operation and their pursuit of the mission to "advance knowledge, and to diffuse it...far and wide." ...But presses have increasingly been required by their parent universities to operate in the market economy....

Universities are themselves mission-oriented organizations.  But when they face hard choices, they must find ways to shore up revenue in order to continue to serve their missions.  One way they have done this is to ask their presses to behave more like market-oriented publishers.  This may (or may not) help with institutional mission-goals like funding low-income students or enriching teacher-student ratios, but it subverts the mission-goals of advancing and disseminating research. 

Scholarly societies are like universities in this respect.  They are mission-oriented organizations confronting hard choices about their future.  In the face of these pressures they often decide to shore up the revenues needed for their missions by encouraging their publishing arms to behave more like market-oriented publishers. 

Last year (February 2009) four major organizations --the Association of American Universities, Association of Research Libraries, Coalition for Networked Information, and National Association of State Universities and Land Grant Colleges-- made their own argument that universities should put missions before markets when thinking about how to share the knowledge they generate:

The production of new knowledge through the practices of research and scholarship lies at the heart of the university's mission. Yet, without effective and ongoing dissemination of knowledge, the efforts of researchers and scholars are wasted.  Dissemination is thus a core responsibility of the university....Dissemination strategies that restrict access are fundamentally at odds with the dissemination imperative inherent in the university mission....Dissemination of knowledge is as important to the university mission as its production...[T]here is an inherent difficulty with relying on market forces alone to maximize dissemination....

Profit maximizing limits access to knowledge, by limiting it to paying customers.  If anyone thinks this is just a side-effect of today's market incentives, then we can put the situation differently:  Profit maximizing doesn't always limit access to knowledge, but is always ready to do so if it pays better.  This proposition has a darker corollary:  Profit maximizing doesn't always favor untruth, but is always ready to do so if it would pay better.  It's hard to find another explanation for the fake journals Elsevier made for Merck and the dishonest lobbying campaigns against OA policies.  (Remember "Public access equals government censorship"?  "If the other side is on the defensive, it doesn't matter if they can discredit your statements"?)

I don't exempt OA journals that charge publication fees as if for peer review and then provide little or no peer review.  Readiness to put revenue ahead of mission can lead any publisher, OA or TA, or any business of any kind, to take shortcuts with quality or turn to deception.

What if low-quality and even fake journals really are more profitable than honestly vetted journals, and disinformation campaigns really do protect the revenue stream?  It wouldn't follow that most publishers are dishonest, any more than the existence of temptations means that resistance is rare or futile.  It would only mean that a minimal sort of service to mission or community requires a step back from profit maximizing.  Most publishers take this step, including most subscription or TA journals, and many take more than this step.  Nonprofit society publishers have missions other than profit seeking and generally put their missions ahead of extra revenue.  Those with TA journals set their average subscription prices lower than those at their for-profit counterparts and provide greater quality and impact.  And most of them allow author-initiated green OA.  Neither for-profit status nor aggressive profit seeking prevent most TA publishers from providing honest peer review, even if it increases the costs per published article.  If publishers were never willing to put mission before profit, all but the most profitable --and perhaps even they-- would have shifted long ago from academic publishing to pornography.

But steps back from profit maximizing may still leave a publisher closer to the market-oriented end of the spectrum than the mission-oriented end.  And that is where the industry remains clustered today, after several decades of migration.  Today the mission is suffering far more than the profits.

A market-oriented organization is not a pure type at the far end of the spectrum. It may want to sell fine wine, or fine peer review, even though the margins would be higher if it reduced quality.  The same considerations apply on the other side.  A mission-oriented organization is not a pure type at the other end of the spectrum.  It's not so lucky or wealthy that it is spared hard choices, and not so callow or idealistic that it is oblivious to their stakes.  To be mission-oriented is a matter of degree, measuring an organization's willingness to reduce its take in order to advance its mission, or its determination to decide its hard cases, when it responsibly can, in favor of its mission.

It's wonderful when a company has the resources and resolve to make an expensive hard choice in favor its mission, for example when Google put its Chinese business at risk by deciding to stop censoring its Chinese search engine.  But even companies with the resolve can lack the resources to do the same.  Hence, it's understandable when, financially pinched, they must take a step back from their mission to insure their survival, for example when the Journal of Visualized Experiments converted from full OA to hybrid OA or Haematologica converted from no-fee OA to fee-based OA.

The question is not whether a given publisher is pure, or how it can justify impurity.  The question is whether we should conceive mission pressures as regrettable interference with market decisions or market pressures as regrettable interference with mission decisions.  I don't want to suggest a common priority for all organizations across the economy.  On the contrary, I'm arguing that different economic sectors differ in just this respect, and I want to resist the breezy assumption that all problems are best solved by markets.  Arguments that journalism, education, and scholarly publishing should solve their problems by behaving like "other businesses" misunderstand how they differ from "other businesses".  If their financial viability is sometimes at risk, so is their special service to the community.

The kind of argument I'm criticizing was put most strongly by the Professional & Scholarly Publishing Division of the Association of American Publishers in its press release for the ill-fated PRISM initiative:  "The free market of scholarly publishing is responsive to the needs of scholars and scientists and balances the interests of all stakeholders."

The same theme has been prominent in the rhetoric of the publishing lobby before and after, including several submissions to the recent public consultation from the White House Office for Science and Technology policy.  When the publishing lobby argues that OA policies interfere with the market, it presupposes that scholarly publishing is a market, or that it was a market before OA policies distorted it.  But that position overlooks all the long-standing, mission-oriented modifications to this putative market.  It overlooks all the ways in which scholarly publishing is permeated by state action and gift culture.  It overlooks the fact that most scientific research is funded by taxpayers, the fact that most researcher salaries are paid by taxpayers, and the fact that most journal subscriptions are paid by taxpayers.  It overlooks the fact that authors donate their articles and referees donate their peer-review reports.  It overlooks the fact that copyright is a state-created monopoly. 

Publishers benefit from all these traditional distortions or modifications of the market and only protest new ones that would benefit researchers.  In formulating their objections, they position themselves as champions of the free market, not as beneficiaries of its many distortions and modifications.

Some stakeholders see scholarly publishing as the best of both worlds:  a functional hybrid of public funding to produce research and private profit seeking to vet and distribute it.  Others see it as the worst of both worlds:  a dysfunctional monster in which research funded by taxpayers and donated by authors is funneled to businesses which lock it up and meter it out to paying customers.  But there's no doubt that it's a cross of two worlds.  To call it a market is like calling mule a horse.

The assumption that scholarly publishing is already a market is one kind of mistake.  But the deeper mistake --and my primary concern here-- is to argue or assume that it ought to be a market.  Or since a "market" can be many things, let me be more precise.  The abstract confidence that maximizing profits will maximize service to the community may be warranted in many economic sectors, or even most.  But it's not warranted in journalism, education, and scholarly publishing, just as it's not warranted in law enforcement, disaster relief, or emergency medicine.  In these sectors incentives to maximize profits can function as incentives to reduce quality and access, not to increase them.

A related mistake is to categorize this argument as socialist or to assume that the only solution is state ownership.  Some mission-oriented organizations, like police and fire departments, work best when state-owned and government-run.  But others, like schools, work well both ways and most people want a mix of both kinds.  For others, like newspapers, state ownership would be a disaster.  I don't want the state to control peer review any more than I want it control journalism.  When the publishing lobby protested that the NIH policy would "nationalize science", it didn't go wrong by deploring the prospect of nationalizing science, only by failing to read the policy. 

The solution is much less dramatic.  Researchers, their employers, and their funders, should act more decisively in their own interests.  Publishers should remain free to publish any kind of journal they want and researchers should remain free to submit their work to the journals of their choice.  But when researchers choose to publish in non-OA journals, they should retain the rights needed to authorize OA and they should use those rights to deliver OA.  Their employers and funders should adopt policies to assure this. 

If someone objects that these policies "interfere with the market", we can choose from several responses.  We can concede the point, and even argue that interfering with the market is part of the purpose.  We can argue that there is no market here to interfere with.  Or we can argue that when stakeholders act in their own interests, that is the market at work, or that is a start at restoring balance to a one-sided half-market in which only publishers have been acting decisively in their own interests.  No matter which response we choose, we needn't give up support for markets in other sectors. 

If publishers object that these policies will undermine their revenues, we can give narrow answers focusing on what the evidence shows.  But we can give broader answers as well, rejecting the assumption that the interests of the research community should be subordinated to the business interests of publishers.  We can argue that scholarly publishing should never have been outsourced to market-oriented businesses and should gradually be recovered by mission-oriented institutions. 

Markets do many things well but don't do everything well.  Hard-core capitalists often defend that proposition unprompted, citing mission-oriented organizations like police and fire departments, the armed forces, the courts, and public schools, even apart from charities and nonprofits.  The difficulty is that if we are generally inclined to support market solutions, then we are generally inclined to overlook the exceptions.  In the end, my argument is simply that the stakeholders in scholarly communication --researchers, universities, libraries, societies, publishers, foundations, and governments-- need to step back for perspective, remember the exceptions or at least remember that there *are* exceptions, and pick up the conversation again in light of that perspective.

Instead of hypnotically granting the primacy of markets in all sectors, as if there were no exceptions, we should remember that many organizations compromise profits or relinquish revenues in order to foster their missions, and that we all benefit from their dedication.  Which institutions and sectors ought to do so, and how should we protect and support them to pursue their missions?  Instead of smothering these questions for offending the religion of markets, we should open them for wider discussion.  Should scholarly publishing, with all of its mixed incentives and hard choices, migrate closer to market-oriented end of the spectrum or to the mission-oriented end of the spectrum?  For me the answer depends on a prior question.  Do we want scholarly publishing to serve a certain function in the community?



In the Roundup section of the last issue I said that SURF translated its Licence to Publish from Dutch into Danish, Swedish, Norwegian, Finnish, and Icelandic.  But in fact the translations were done by the Copenhagen University Library and Information Service in cooperation with Stockholm University and Lund University, with funding from Nordbib.  (Thanks to Keith Russell.)



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.

I've decided to make permanent my decision from last month to omit new developments on open educational resources (OER) and public sector information (PSI).  The reason is simply the perpetually growing volume of OA developments.  But while I can't keep including these subtopics here in Roundup, they are still covered thoroughly by the OA tracking project.

+ Policies

** Four European biomedical funding agencies adopted or strengthened existing OA mandates, and will require their grantees to deposit peer-reviewed manuscripts arising from funded research in UK PubMed Central.  The funders are the Health Research Board Ireland, Science Foundation Ireland, Telethon Italy, and the Austrian Science Fund.  (SFI already had a mandate; HRBI and ASF are apparently strengthening their existing policies; and the TI policy is apparently new.)

** The Rollins College Faculty of Arts and Sciences voted unanimously to adopt an OA mandate.

** The Library Faculty at Wake Forest University unanimously adopted an OA mandate.

** The Harvard Business School adopted an OA mandate, two years to the day after the Faculty of Arts and Sciences adopted the university's first.  Five out of Harvard's nine schools now have faculty-approved OA mandates.

** The University of Strathclyde adopted an OA mandate.  

** Brunel University adopted an OA mandate. 

** Royal Holloway, University of London, adopted an OA mandate.

** Poland's Institute of Biochemistry and Biophysics Polish Academy of Sciences adopted an OA mandate.

** Sweden's Chalmers Technical University adopted an OA mandate.  

* VU University Amsterdam announced that it will soon adopt an OA mandate.

* Cathy Davidson released a preview of Duke University's (Harvard-style) draft OA policy.

* India's Inflibnet Centre launched an OA repository for faculty journal articles and student ETDs.  At the same time it announced plans "to talk to institute heads to make [ETD deposits] mandatory for their students...."

* At Oslo University College, where faculty earn a certain number of "points" toward internal research funding every time they publish a journal article, the Board of Directors decided that journal articles not deposited in the IR will earn only half as many points as deposited articles.  There will be no subtraction when the publisher prohibits deposit.

* The Faculty Senate at the University of Virginia voted unanimously to support opt-in green OA by faculty.  An earlier draft contained an opt-out policy (a mandate with a waiver option).

* Four more publishers confirmed their cooperation with the MIT OA policy:  the University of California Press, Hindawi Publishing, Rockefeller University Press, and the Society for Industrial & Applied Mathematics.  Their cooperation means that MIT can harvest published papers by MIT authors from the publishers' web sites, and authors needn't lift a finger.

* Alma Swan released a report on making the business case for OA mandates at universities, and modeling the costs and benefits of adopting an OA mandate.  She calculates that the "annual savings in research and library costs of a university repository model combined with subscription publishing could range from £100,000 to £1,320,000...."

* Simon Fraser University launched an OA journal fund.

* The Netherlands Organisation for Scientific Research (NWO) committed 2.5 million Euros to pay publication fees for NWO grantees who choose to publish in fee-based OA journals.  (NWO is considering a green OA mandate as well.)

* Libre Accès called on French President Nicolas Sarkozy "to respect the rights of people and artists to access and create free culture...."

* A new report from the Conference Board of Canada ("Intellectual Property in the 21st Century") calls on Canada to support OA for publicly-funded research.  The new report takes the place of three Conference Board reports withdrawn last spring because they cut and pasted text and recommendations from the International Intellectual Property Alliance (IIPA), a US lobbying group.

* In a public statement, the German Library Association (Deutsche Bibliotheksverband, DBV) supported OA, called on German academic libraries to do the same, and to recruit more support within their institutions.

* Germany's "Action Coalition: Copyright for Education and Science" released a new petition to supplement Lars Fischer's October 2009 petition to the German Parliament. The new petition, also submitted to Parliament, extends the arguments in the original petition for OA to publicly-funded research in Germany. It is not soliciting public signatures.

* Two political parties in Germany proposed an Enquete Commission to study the effects of the internet on German society.  Among other questions, it would investigate policies to provide OA to publicly-funded research.

* The UK Repositories Support Project is collecting UK university OA policies and registering them in ROARMAP.

+ Journals

* Management of Biological Invasions is a new, no-fee, peer-reviewed OA journal.

* International Journal of Pharmacy and Technology is a new peer-reviewed OA journal.

* Student Pulse is a new multidisciplinary OA journal of student work published by Northeastern University.

* Economics Research International is a new peer-reviewed OA journal from Hindawi, and Hindawi's first OA journal in the social sciences.

* The Journal of Western Archives is a new peer-reviewed OA journal from the Society of California Archivists, the Society of Rocky Mountain Archivists, the Conference of Inter-Mountain Archivists, and the Northwest Archivists.

* Nano Reviews is a new peer-reviewed OA journal from Co-Action Publishing.

* International Journal of Qualitative Studies on Health and Well-being converted to OA and moved from Informa Healthcare to Co-Action Publishing.  

* Zeitschrift für Soziologie converted to delayed OA with a two-year moving wall.

* Fennoscandia Archaeologica digitized and provided OA to its backfile from 1984 to 2007.  (Or did it convert to delayed OA with a three-year moving wall?)

* PLoS launched EzReprint, a POD service for users who want high-quality print editions of PLoS articles.

* Springer struck a deal with the Association of Universities in the Netherlands (VSNU).  "[A]ll articles by Dutch researchers in Springer journals will be made available Open Access, subject to the author agreeing...."

* Springer struck a deal with the University of Hong Kong.  All researchers affiliated with the university may publish in Springer's Open Choice, apparently without having to pay the publication fee.  The deal is an experiment and will run from March 2010 to March 2011.

* Portugal's  Fundação para a Computação Científica Nacional joined SCOAP3.

* Nine more US universities signed expressions of support for SCOAP3:  Allegheny College, Auburn University, Bowdoin College, Southern Illinois University Carbondale, University of Alabama at Birmingham, University of Maryland, University of Nevada - Las Vegas, Vanderbilt University, and Wayne State University.

* One of the published papers of Amy Bishop, accused of killing three colleagues at a department meeting on February 8, was published in the International Journal of General Medicine, an OA journal from Dove Medical Press, and listed three of her minor children as co-authors.

+ Repositories and databases

* OpenAIRE (Open Access Infrastructure for Research in Europe) officially launched.  OpenAIRE will accept deposits from researchers and redirect them to the most appropriate final destination, starting with the author's IR, if any; CERN will host a universal back-up repository for authors without an IR.

* JISC and the the Repository Support Project released a Digital Repository infoKit, containing practical "how to" information and best practices for running an OA repository.

* The two-year DRIVER II project (Digital Repository Infrastructure Vision for European Research) came to an end.  All the project results are freely available at the project web site, including the DRIVER repository guidelines, the D-NET software, and several studies.

+ Data

* Four advocates for open data (Peter Murray-Rust, Cameron Neylon, Rufus Pollock, and John Wilbanks) released the Panton Principles for Open Data in Science.  Supporters can add their signatures.
http://pantonprinciples.org/ http://scienceblogs.com/commonknowledge/2010/02/reaching_agreement_on_the_publ.php

* Is it Open Data? is a new project from the Open Knowledge Foundation, allowing researchers to find out whether given datasets are open (under the Open Knowledge Definition) and to share the answers with the public.

* The Royal Society of Chemistry released ChemSpider SyntheticPages beta, a curated OA database of synthetic procedures. 

* Molly Craxton released an OA collection of synaptotagmin and synaptotagmin-like sequences.

* Environmental Research Letters from the Institute of Physics Publishing now allows (but does not require) authors to make their raw data files OA alongside their published articles.

* JISC released a toolkit to helps librarians share their catalog records. 

* John Graham-Cumming discovered and corrected some errors in temperature data records hosted by the UK Met Office.  He argues that this kind of correction presupposes open data.

* Weather agencies around the world have agreed with a proposal from the UK Met Office to collect more precise temperature data --several times a day-- and provide OA to it for independent scrutiny. 

* The Data Coordinating Center (DCC) of the Cancer Genome Atlas (TCGA) now provides its data in several forms, including OA bulk downloads and OA links.

* The latest plans of the forthcoming Large Synoptic Survey Telescope (LSST) are to provide OA to more than 25.6 gigabytes of digital motion-picture data of the sky every 60 seconds.  

* The US National Archives and Records Administration (NARA) launched a new web site to keep the public up to date on the agency's openness activities.

* The US National Science Foundation launched a new web site on open government, taking suggestions from the public and allowing users to comment and vote on them.  One use for the new site is to help NSF gauge public opinion on "access to large data sets".

* The US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) launched a new web site to serve as a portal for all of NOAA's (OA) climate information, data, products and services.

* Elsevier articles citing open data sets in PANGAEA (Publishing Network for Geoscientific & Environmental Data) will link to the data sets, and vice versa, the data sets will link to corresponding articles in Elsevier journals. 

+ Books

* The US Department of Justice filed several objections to the amended version of the Google book settlement.

* At the fairness hearing on the Google book settlement (February 18, 2010), US District Court Judge Denny Chin announced that he needed more time to digest the many briefs and comments.  He didn't say when he would rule on the case.

* Stanford University expanded its earlier agreement with Google and became a "Fully Participating Library" as defined in the amended Google book settlement agreement.

* Google and the University of Texas at Austin finished digitizing UT's Nettie Lee Benson Latin American Collection.  The 500,000+ volumes are now available from Google Books.

* The British Library announced plans to provide OA to more than 65,000 works of 19th century fiction digitized from its collection.

* The SPIE Digital Library officially launched SPIE eBooks.  Some of the books are entirely OA and some have selected OA chapters.  

* A letter to the editor of the London Times from 21 major organizations, including the British Library, JISC, Research Councils UK, Bodleian Library, Wellcome Trust, and Universities UK defended mass digitization against proposed amendments to the Orphan Works Clause of the Digital Economy Bill.

* The EU Culture and Education Committee unanimously supported new funding for Europeana and called for more content from under-represented member states.  It also urged to speed up digitization, not to restrict digital access to their own borders.  The committee defended the principle that when public-domain works are digitized, the digital copies should also be in the public domain.

* Europeana announced JUDAICA Europeana, a project to digitize millions of pages of Judaica from libraries, archives, and museums around Europe. 

* Flat World Knowledge launched an internship program for its promoting its OA textbooks.

* California launched Phase 2 of its Free Digital Textbook Initiative, soliciting a new cohort of OA textbooks in high school history, social science, and higher-level mathematics.

* Four Scandinavian organizations released The Online Guide to Open Access Journals Publishing, a compendium of practical information and best practices.  The guide was developed by Co-Action Publishing and the Lund University Libraries Head Office, with support from the National Library of Sweden and Nordbib.

* OAPEN (Open Access Publishing in European Networks) released a book-length report on publishing OA monographs in the humanities and social sciences.

* Walt Crawford released an OA book of his articles about OA.  

* The University of Warsaw Interdisciplinary Centre for Mathematical and Computational Modelling published Przewodnik po otwartej nauce, a guide to OA in Polish by Bozena Bednarek-Michalska and four co-authors.

* Ronald Snijder released a study concluding that OA improved the discoverability of books, but had no effect on the sales or citations of books.

+ Studies and surveys

* The American Association of University Presses reported that 25 member presses (42.4% of survey respondents) are publishing full-text OA books.

* India's National Agricultural Research System (NARS) launched a survey on attitudes toward OA.

* Brian Edgar and John Willinsky released a study showing (among other things) that a good number of OJS-using OA journals operate on little or no revenue, changing the picture of the financial base needed to run an OA journal with open-source software.

* A Nature survey of Chinese researchers found that more than three-fourths of them use Google "as the primary search engine for their research".  (Google may be forced to stop doing business in the country because it refuses to censor its index.)  

+ Software and tools

* Sciencegate is a new, free search engine for OA research literature.

* Stuart Lewis gave us a preview of DSpace 1.6.

* Stuart Lewis released EasyDeposit, a tool for creating a customized SWORD deposit interfaces for different sorts of file or literature.  

* The University of Brussels upgraded DI-fusion to version 1.1.  The new version improves search, import from PubMed, and export to Zotero.

* The Open Knowledge Foundation released version 0.11 of the CKAN software, its open-source registry of open data.

* A consortium of Dutch libraries and research teams is developing a Fedora project called ESCAPE (Enhanced Scientific Communication by Aggregated Publications Environments) to allow existing repositories to connect groups of related deposits through OAI-ORE resource maps.

* CAT.INIST, France's largest scientific research catalog, added the Mendeley "import button" to allow users to import articles they are reading to Mendeley with one click.

* Scribd will soon make its 10+ million documents readable on mobile devices.  Most Scribd deposits are OA.

* The Public Knowledge Project reported a bug in OJS 2.2.x and recommended that users download a patch.

+ Awards and milestones

* SURF announced the SURFshare Open Access Awards for 2010.  In the "Practical" category, the winner was Saskia Woutersen-Windhouwer, electronic publishing specialist and repository manager at the University of Amsterdam.  In the "Strategic" category the winner was Eelco Ferweda, a publisher with Amsterdam University Press and coordinator of the OAPEN project (Open Access Publishing in European Networks).

* The British Society for Eighteenth Century Studies Prize was awarded to the Electronic Enlightenment (a.k.a. e-Enlightenment) for its unequaled online collection of 18th century correspondence.  Electronic Enlightenment is a project of a Bodleian Library and Oxford University Press.

* Delft University of Technology held a lottery among faculty depositing work in the IR during 2009.  The winner is Kourosh Khosh Elham, Assistant Professor of Optical and Laser Remote Sensing in the Faculty of Aerospace Engineering, who wins "a sponsorship that will enable him to publish 10 articles written by him and/or his research group for global readership...."

* SPARC announced the three winners of this year's SPARKY Awards for student films on information sharing:  Kazuyuki Ishii (grand prize), Danielle Johnson (runner up), and Lyle Hawthorne (honorable mention).

* Erin Costello won the IssueLab Research Remix video contest with her video, Girls Risk High Morals: Online.

* Science Commons announced the winning design of its T-shirt contest:  a 2D barcode referring back to creativecommons.org.

* RePEc passed several milestones in January:  120,000,000 cumulated working paper abstract views; 850,000 items listed; 400,000 working paper announcements sent through NEP; 333,333 working papers listed; 275,000 working papers online; 120,000 working papers with citations; and 4,000 series and journals listed.

* In February, RePEC passed a couple more milestones:  500,000+ articles indexed (88% linked to an online version), published in 1,000+ journals.

* Queen Margaret University now has more than 1,000 deposits in its IR.

* The IR at Pacific University now has more than 1,100 items on deposit and 10,000 downloads.

* The RoMEO database of publisher copyright and OA archiving policies passed the milestone of 700 publisher policies.  Of these, 63% allow some form of OA archiving.

* The Budapest Open Access Initiative turned eight yeas old on Valentines Day.

* March 31, 2010 will be Document Freedom Day (DFD), "a global day for document liberation" and "grassroots effort[s] to educate the public about the importance of Free Document Formats and Open Standards in general...."

* Open Access Week 2010 will be October 18-24.

+ Other

* OpenThesis is a new OA repository for ETDs and "other academic documents" from any institution or country.

* A committee of India's Inflibnet Centre recommended that the University Grants Commission (UGC) fund universities to digitize their papers for OA, including theses and dissertations.  The UGC "may soon" agree to do so.

* The University of Illinois Graduate College adopted Vireo, a tool developed by the Texas Digital Library for facilitating deposits of ETDs into an institutional repository.  Illinois students are taking to it; 85% (223 of 262) of total ETD deposits have been done through Vireo.

* The Global Knowledge Exchange Network (GKEN) officially launched.  GKEN is a joint project of the Harvard Business School Knowledge and Library Services and the Copenhagen Business School Library.

* Four universities in Castilla and León received grants from the autonomous regional government to support their libraries and OA projects.

* JISC announced that sometime in March it will call for bids on "projects to make content available on the Web working using linked data approaches...."

* Google gave a $2 million grant to the Wikimedia Foundation.

* Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis (IUPUI) launched the first organized project in the US to photograph and document outdoor public sculpture for Wikipedia.  The project has now spread far beyond IUPUI.

* The US Government Printing Office (GPO) and the Cornell Legal Information Institute (at Cornell Law School) launched a project to convert sections of the US Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) into XML, evaluate the process and results, and share the "lessons learned" with the members of the Federal Depository Library Program (FDLP) to help open up other government documents.

* The Stanford Law School launched Lex Machina, a database of information about IP litigation cases in the US.  It will be priced for businesses and law firms, and OA for everyone else.

* The American University in Cairo opened an Access to Knowledge for Development Center.

* Germany's Fachinformationssystem (FIS) released an OA edition of its education index, FIS Bildung Literaturdatenbank.

* Budget cuts and price increases are forcing New Mexico State University at Las Cruces to cut its materials budget next year by $575,000 or 27%.  All the cuts will be made to the serials portion (83%) of the materials budget.


Coming this month

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

* March 31, 2010.  Document Freedom Day (DFD), a day "to educate the public about the importance of Free Document Formats and Open Standards in general...."

* OA-related conferences in March 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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Peter Suber

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