Uncategorized Category

0

Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation announce new Open Access policy

In a recent post to its Impatient Optimists Blog, the Gates Foundation states “…we are adopting an Open Access (OA) policy to enable the unrestricted access and reuse of all peer-reviewed published research funded by the foundation, including any underlying data sets. ”

The Foundation went into further detail in an email to SPARC (the Scholarly Publishing and Academic Resources Coalition):

“Our new Open Access Policy  goes into effect on January 1, 2015  We are really excited to make the research we fund more accessible to our grantees and researchers, policy makers, and to governments around the world.  Our new Open Access Policy enables the unrestricted access and reuse of all peer-reviewed, published research, including underlying datasets.  We join many other institutions in the Open Access movement, such as the Research Councils UK, the Wellcome Trust, the National Institutes of Health, and the World Health Organization. We believe this policy will help accelerate identifying solutions to the world’s most pressing problems.”

” As noted, the policy goes into effect on January 1, 2015, but will be fully implemented over a two-year period, at which time all peer-reviewed published research, and underlying data sets resulting from foundation funded research will be immediately available upon publication.  The implications are as follows:

  • For all agreements that are currently signed, there is no change.

  • For all new agreements, signed after January 1, 2015, the Open Access Policy will apply.

  • This policy will be implemented over a transition period over a two year period to allow for new standards around immediate access and data repositories to be adopted and developed.  We will focus on developing a process that minimizes operational impact.

The Gates Foundation has an asset trust endowment of $42.3 billion.  Total 2013 grant payments were $3.6 billion (source: Foundation Facts

Insider Higher Ed has a lengthy analysis of the announcement.

 

0

Reflections from a librarian on the tenure clock

Meredith Farkas has a popular feature in American Libraries magazine in which she often talks about technology and libraries. She is also a faculty librarian at Portland Community College in Oregon. In a post from last year, she highlights that most of her scholarly research is publicly available:

“But, you know what? You can find all of my writing (other than what’s on this blog) in PDXScholar, our institutional repository (IR). Want to read my peer-reviewed articles? My American Libraries columns from the past few years? The book chapters I’ve written since 2008? They’re all in there. My most recently article, co-authored with Lisa Hinchliffe and applying a management model to building a culture of assessment where librarians have faculty status, is in an open access journal.

Throughout her blog post she talks about making the effort to have a copy of her work available to the general public.

I just made a small amount of effort to make my scholarship open to all. I don’t expect anyone to jeopardize tenure to make stuff more open [emphasise mine], but it does disappoint me that people in our profession won’t ask a publisher for permission or even take the time to put something in their IR that could benefit so many. Mostly I just don’t understand why one wouldn’t if they could.

With some effort, one may publicly share work, and have a strong chance at tenure too.

 

 

 

0

Open Access in Geography

Earlier this year, , Liaison/Scholarly Communication Librarian at Brock University, St. Catharines, ON, Canada, lead a presentation called “Shifting Ground: Scholarly Communication in Geography.” It was at the Canadian Association of Geographers meeting in May.  Among the highlights include a discussion on Open Access issues, guidelines for picking journals to publish your work, the problems with metrics to measure scholarly impact, and negotiating your copyright. She her Slides and transcript

0

New Political Science Journal is Open Access

This post from the London School of Economics and Political Science announces the launch of Research & Politics (R&P), a new Open Access Journal.

Here is a snapshot of what the journal intends to do in Political Science

“The recently launched journal Research and Politics (R&P) has been established to aid political scientists in fully utilizing the internet as a platform to accelerate the impact of their research without sacrificing the rigorous reviewing practices of a leading journal. R&P publishes short, accessible articles of 4,000 words (along with research notes of just 2,000 words), which focus on new findings or insights with a clarification of how the author got to these results. Elsewhere, like in the natural and medical sciences, short and focused articles have become the norm. Within political science successful blogs, like the Monkey Cage or the LSE blogs, show that is possible to present research findings in a meaningful and accessible way, often in less than 2,000 words, and that this enhances widespread readership.”

Among their goals is “to add to our repertoire of tools available to political scientists in order to disseminate their findings. R&P’s openness, format and speed to publication will appeal to those wishing to publish cutting edge analyses of current events and debates, predictions about upcoming elections, or evidence-based analyses of new crisis situations. Although accusations of political science being out of touch with the real-world are surely overblown, the time lags in conventional publishing and the limited accessibility of articles can undermine researchers’ attempts to maximise the impact of their work. The internet, in this way, can help to change academic communication and its impact on policy-makers and others.”

0

Monographs are important in the humanities – but consider open access

On Monday, The Guardian’s Higher Education Network posted an item by Melissa Terras “Want to be taken seriously as scholar in the humanities? Publish a monograph“. The entire short post is worth reading, but here are a few excerpts:

We don’t write humanities monographs for riches. We may do so in an attempt to earn academic fame. But the career kickback for me was rapid promotion. In the humanities, the monograph’s the thing.

With digital publishing comes the uncoupling of content from print: why should those six years of work (or more) result in only a physical book that sits on a few shelves? Why can’t the content be made available freely online via open access?

Isn’t this the great ethical stance: making knowledge available to all? Won’t opening up access to the detailed, considered arguments held within humanities monographs do wonders for the reputation and impact of subject areas whose contribution to society is often under-rated?

The humanities’ dependency on the monograph for the shaping and sharing of scholarship means that scholars – and publishers – should be paying attention. How will small print runs of expensive books fare in this new “content should be available for free” marketplace? How will production costs be recouped?

The latest Jisc survey on the attitudes of academics in the humanities and social sciences to open-access monograph publishing makes an interesting contribution to this debate, showing how central single-author monographs remain to the humanities, and how important the physical – rather than digital – copies are. People still like to read, and in many cases buy, them.

The monograph is still the thing: anyone who wants to be taken seriously as a scholar in the humanities should work towards having one. Open-access requirements are on the horizon, so broach them with the publisher. Don’t accept £10,000 costs. Brandish this survey, and say “people still buy books”.

0

Open Access Becomes California Law

On September 29th, Governor Jerry Brown of California signed into law the California Taxpayer Access to Publicly Funded Research Act. The law mandates that the public be given free access to the results of research conducted with funds provided by the California Department of Public Health. Inspiring news, and timely — the University of Iowa Libraries’ “Open Access and the Public Good” panel discussion last week largely focused on the question of who should be the beneficiaries of research conducted with taxpayer dollars.

The office of Assemblyman Brian Nestande (R-Palm Desert) issued a press release announcing the signing of the act into law. Also, have a look at the SPARC blog post about this, which does a good job of emphasizing the importance of this progress while noting that the law is “narrow in the scope of content it covers”: much work remains to be done but the framework for doing it is growing stronger.

2

Screening of “The Internet’s Own Boy” at Filmscene

There will be a free screening of THE INTERNET’S OWN BOY at FILMSCENE on Saturday, September 27th, 2:30 pm, with a Q & A to follow. The film is the story of programming prodigy and information activist Aaron Swartz. After the screening, please join two scholars in the fields of digital scholarship and internet-based creativity, University of Iowa professors Kembrew McLeod (Communications) and Stephen Voyce (English), to talk about open access, copyright, intellectual property, and other issues related to the free access of information. Organized by the University of Iowa Libraries, this event is free and open to the public.

1

Open Access and the Public Good

A panel discussion on the topic “Open Access and the Public Good” will occur Friday, September 26th at   2 pm in the Old Capitol Senate Chamber. Professor Russell Ganim (Division of World Languages, Literatures, and Cultures) will moderate a conversation between the Honorable James Leach (Law), Professor Christina Bohannan (Law), and Professor Bernd Fritzsch (Biology). Among the topics will be how research in the Humanities and Sciences is financed and conducted and who has the right to access its results.

Organized by the University of Iowa Libraries, this event is free and open to the public. We hope you’ll join us to talk about open access and related issues regarding publishing and the free availability of information.

0

Frustration with Scholarly Publishing

Julian Stirling, a post-doctoral researcher from Great Britain, recently published an angry blog post recounting his frustration with scientific publishers, touching on their lack of transparency, their perceived unwillingness to change, and copyright law.  Read it on his personal blog here.

0

Two Articles on Laboratory Fraud and Government-funded Research

First, from the New York Times, an opinion piece titled Crack Down on Scientific Fraudsters that hits particularly close to home: a researcher at Iowa State University faked lab results to make it seem that he had created a new and effective vaccine for the AIDS virus. The topic of federally funding scientific research amid widespread laboratory fraud, as well as the issue of whether and how the government should be reimbursed for grant money used to fake results, is a focus.

And, from BMJ.com, a more wide-ranging look at the same topic, titled Should Research Fraud be a Crime?

Particularly unfortunate events considering the recent acknowledgement by the federal government that free, public, open access to scientific research conducted with government grants is important, as it may be access to an indefinite amount of criminal fantasy.