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Open Access News
October 26, 2009
From Gavin Baker, "The Committee for Economic Development, a longstanding American business-led think tank, has released a draft of its report, Harnessing Openness to Improve Research, Teaching and Learning in Higher Education." He cites from the conclusion, "we are convinced that institutions of higher education should move toward greater openness on their own with support and encouragement from businesses and governments. ... We want to encourage thoughtful experimentation to learn more about the effect of greater openness in practice."
[Comment] [Direct Link] [Tags: United States]
October 14, 2009
I'm loving the recent selection in the Nobel prizes. No, not that one, this one: the Nobel Prize for Economics, for research into the in formation commons. How good is it? It's an explicit recognition that "Information that used to be 'free' is now increasingly being privatized, monitored, encrypted, and restricted... Multiple forces are vying for capture and restriction of traditionally available knowledge." And it looks at the governance of this resource as a commons. The dominant "tragedy of the commons" is a special case, they argue, and a wider understanding of the commons reveals different types of goods, which are best managed differently. This sort of management is exemplified by projects such as the Open Archives Initiative (OAI). "Their multiple goals include not only sustaining the resource (the intellectual public domain) but building equity of information access and provision, and creating more efficient methods of dissemination through informal, shared protocols, standards, and rules among the local and global scholarly community."
[Comment] [Direct Link] [Tags: Content Syndication, Project Based Learning, Research, Information, Patents]
September 4, 2009
Peter Suber takes TechDirt's Mike Masnick to task for saying "I don't use any of their licenses, because I don't necessarily see the point. We've declared in the past that the content here is free for anyone to do what they want with it, and thus I feel no need for a Creative Commons license." Suber responds, "The need arises from the reality that sharing without standardized legal tools doesn't scale." Um, OK, but look what standardized licenses buy me: everyone (and not just regular readers) now they can reuse my stuff; software engines know they can reuse my stuff; and communities or institutions that require legal certainty know they can use my stuff. You know, this argument makes me rethink the value of standardized licenses at all, because the only people who seem to actually benefit are the mechanized reblog spammers. The "it doesn't scale" argument doesn't work for the 99.9 percent of us who are only writing to a smallish community or family. It works for the industrialists and the broadcasters and the propagandists. People who deal in mass messaging. Related: the contrary view, Scale is the oxygen that feeds collaboration.
[Comment] [Direct Link] [Tags: Spam]
June 12, 2009
Some editors at journals published by Bentham have resigned in the wake of revelations that nonsense papers were accepted for publication, including Bambang Parmento, editor of the journal in question. "I didn't like what happened," Parmanto told The Scientist. "If this is true, I don't have full control of the content that is accepted to this journal." Meanwhile, in response to the incident, the Open Access Scholarly Publishers Association (OASPA) has launched a blog, saying "there is a particular need to ensure that authors and readers can have confidence in the editorial standards enforced by these new [open access] journals and publishers."
[Comment] [Direct Link] [Tags: Books, Web Logs, Open Access]
You never like to see this. A nonsense paper was submitted to The Open Information Science Journal (TOISCIJ), an Open Access journal that charges author fees. The paper was accepted and the authors asked to send in their money. The experiment casts Bentham Science Publishers in a poor light, as it appears that at the very least their peer review process is inconsistent, if not nonexistent. And, as the author points out, it raises the wider question of why authors are being charged and how the fees are being used. And, indeed, whether the it is the money itself that corrupts the system, whether or not the journal is open access.
[Comment] [Direct Link] [Tags: Information, Open Access]
June 8, 2009
Every time I look at this story, the number has increased. "Like AJBJM, the other journals in this series -- the company added three more titles to those it listed in May -- contain no original, peer-reviewed research and consist largely of reprinted articles, and summaries of previously published research papers." I also wonder, if we looked into it more closely, what we would see about editorial and publication priorities in its other journals.
[Comment] [Direct Link] [Tags: Books, Research]
April 23, 2009
The World Digital Library was officially launched on April 21. The project was announced with fanfare a few years ago. Still. Not counting whatever UNESCO and the Library of Congress have spent, more than ten million dollars has been contributed. To produce (and metatag, of course) 1170 photographs. I would have expected, well, more. Compare, say, to Shorpy, which spends, well, much less.
[Comment] [Direct Link] [Tags: Project Based Learning, Portals, UNESCO]
March 10, 2009
Peter Suber passes on a report about changes here at NRC. Andre Vellino: "One consequence of the privatization of the NRC Research Press and its separation from CISTI (Canada Institute for Scientific and Technical Information) is the risk that Canada's largest academic science publisher will no longer be able to sustain its Open Access publishing policy." CARL and SPARC, meanwhile, are urging Canadian authors to self-archive. Which, of course, is what I have been doing.
[Comment] [Direct Link] [Tags: Books, Information, Canada, Academia]
March 5, 2009
February 3, 2009
Peter Suber links to a government report on the state of open access in Canada, mysteriously unpaginated and protected to prevent cut and paste, making it almost impossible to cite. The state of the state is not pretty: "Much of the research data being produced today is hard to access by other Canadian research communities, and is often not ideally structured to be as useful or as open as possible." And, "Researchers are reluctant to share data because they feel it is their intellectual property." Wait a second - is that true? This is not the researchers - this is the government organizations, like Statistics Canada and Natural Resources Canada, treating data like IP and charging for access.
[Comment] [Direct Link] [Tags: Research, Patents, Copyrights, Canada, Open Access]
February 3, 2009
See how commercializing open access can result in access being blocked? "Books which are public domain and wholly visible and readable in the US are not visible or readable elsewhere. And this copyright caution about territorial rights is unlikely to change..." Um, huh? More on this. Here we see Google asserting usage restrictions over public domain material.
[Comment] [Direct Link] [Tags: Google, Copyrights, Open Access]
November 18, 2008
"Open Access @ OISE is a discussion list for students, faculty, and staff at Ontario Institute for Studies in Education of the University of Toronto." Which is good, but it would be better to be able to view posts without having to be a member, so I can follow it and maybe link to the more insightful items. Related: Open Access at Ontario Institute for Studies in Education blog post.
[Comment] [Direct Link] [Tags: Schools, Web Logs, Discussion Lists]
October 17, 2008
Pretty basic, but my money's still on publishers making exactly the same mistakes the music industry made. So - still knowing they will ignore it - here's the advice for publishers, from Peter Suber:
1. An iPod for Books Will Change Everything....
2. Think Beyond DRM....
3. If You Help Us, We Will Buy
4. Don't Be Afraid of Free
5. Find Out What Your Customers Want
[Comment] [Direct Link] [Tags: Books, Apple Inc., File Sharing, Digital Rights Management (DRM)]
September 8, 2008
So I think the floodgates are opening now for books, with open access books about to become the norm. "...All books will be made available free of charge online, with free downloads, for non-commercial purposes immediately upon publication, using Creative Commons licences. The works will also be sold as books, using the latest short-run technologies or Print on Demand (POD)." This is something we could have started doing ten years ago, should have started doing ten years ago.
[Comment] [Direct Link] [Tags: Open Access]
April 25, 2008
This report seems to make sense to me. "Availability does not equal accessibility." Even where resources are available for free, people need to know how and where to access them. Also, e-journals are extremely popular - or would be extremely popular, if people could access them without having to mortgage the house. And there's more from Alma Swan's Key Concerns Within the Scholarly Communication Process, Key Perspectives, dated March 2008 but just released this week.
[Comment] [Direct Link] [Tags: Accessibility, Joint Information Systems Committee (JISC)]
February 29, 2008
February 25, 2008
I've tried to be politie about this in the past, but it really seems to me - as it does this author - that people writing in closed academic journals are deliberately trying to keep their work obscure. Why? Well, that is to speculate...
[Comment] [Direct Link] [Tags: Academic Journals, Academia, Academic Publications]
December 28, 2007
I don't see this as the huge advance many writers do, but it is nonetheless a step forward. According to a bill signed into law this week, peer-reviewed manuscripts of U.S. government funded health research have to be posted and publicly available at PubMed Central no later than 12 months after publication. This post links to numerous reactions.
[Comment] [Direct Link] [Tags: Research]
December 19, 2007
Creative Commons is reloeasing two new types of license, CC+ ("a protocol to enable a simple way for users to get rights beyond the rights granted by a CC license" such as commercial licensing), and CC0 (a more robust waiving of rights a way to place your work unambiguously into the public domain). Both remain sort of under development. Meanwhile, an organization called Talis is cooperating with Creative Commons to create the Open Data Commons Public Domain Dedication and Licence, which will address the legalities of sharing data.
[Comment] [Direct Link] [Tags: none]
October 27, 2006
Peter Suber adds up the numbers. "The HHMI hasn't yet adopted a policy. But if we count its mandate proposal in the mandate column, and do the same for the mandate proposal at Canada's CIHR, and if we count the new semi-mandate in Austria as a mandate, then the HHMI proposal is the eighth OA mandate this month. There are the four new mandates from the RCUK, the expansion of the existing mandate at the Wellcome Trust, the Austrian policy, the CIHR draft, and now the HHMI. We've never had a month like this." The tide is turning and the web with it.
[Comment] [Direct Link] [Tags: Great Britain, Canada]
October 12, 2006
The Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR) in their draft policy on open access "requires grant and award holders to make every effort to ensure that their peer-reviewed journal publications are freely available" and (even better) "will consider a researcher's track record of providing access to research outputs when considering applications for funding." Outstanding work, and my hat's off to CIHR.
[Comment] [Direct Link] [Tags: Research, Canada, Open Access]
November 28, 2003
Peter Suber summarizes this nicely: "While there are many opportunities for African universities to receive free or discounted electronic subscriptions to scientific journals, many universities are unaware of them or prevented from taking full advantage of them. That's the result of an INASP survey conducted by Sara Gwynn and revealed at a November 8 seminar of librarians at a meeting of the West African branch of the Standing Conference of African Universities in Accra, Ghana."
[Comment] [Direct Link] [Tags: Subscription Services, Africa]
November 12, 2003
Cornell's website is not responding as I write, but this summary captures the gist: "The Cornell University Library is cancelling "several hundred" Elsevier journals and has explained the reasons why in a public letter. Excerpt: 'We can no longer subscribe to so many Elsevier journals (including duplicates) that we no longer need.'" What's interesting is this: "We have tried in these discussions to broker an arrangement that would allow us to cancel some Elsevier titles without such a large price increase to the titles remaining --but Elsevier has been unwilling to accept any of our proposals." Personally, I don't see why they bother subscribing to any Elsevier titles - they could take the money saved and set up an institutional archive to publish their own professor's works. In the end, as other institutions do the same, they will have access to the same material, but at a much lower cost.
[Comment] [Direct Link] [Tags: Books]