Open Access Category

0

This week in Open Access: SHARE

Yesterday, the Scholarly Publishing & Academic Resources Coalition (SPARC) released a letter sent to John Holdren, the Director of the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP), requesting copies of U.S. government agency plans to make the results of federally funded research freely available to the public. This follows up on a February 22nd, 2013, White House OSTP memorandum directing federal agencies that annually provide $100 million in funding for research and development to “develop a plan to support increased public access to the results of research funded by the Federal Government. This includes any results publishing in peer-reviewed scholarly publications.” The deadline for these proposals was August 22nd, 2013, and there has been no official word on the specifics of these plans yet.

To comply with these policy changes (once they take effect), the SHared Access Research Ecosystem (SHARE) has been proposed by the Association of American Universities (AAU), the Association of Public and Land-grat Universities (APLU), and the Association of Research Libraries (ARL). This system will leverage current digital repository infrastructure already in place and in use at large state and publically funded Universities to create a network of publically funded, open access research through a common metadata schema. Here at the University of Iowa, our digital repository system is called Iowa Research Online.

Toward the making SHARE a reality, the AAU, APLU, and the ARL announced yesterday the formations a Joint Steering Group comprised of University Administrators, Librarians, and Technologists was formed to see this project through completion. You can read more about SHARE here.

0

The Real Digital Change Agent: Institutional Open Access Policies

Jason Mittell, an associate professor of film and media culture at Middlebury College, has written an interesting opinion piece on Institutional Open Access Policies (there is a coalition of them called Coapi) that are making the much of the scholarly output at participating institutions freely available online.  He ponders why these OA Policies are not making the news more often, while MOOCs (massive open online courses) are consistently discussed in the media, and viewed as a revolutionary way to extend the reach of scholars.

He writes: “Odds are that you haven’t read much about Coapi as a revolutionary, democratizing force within higher education, especially compared with its high-profile contemporary, MOOCs (massive open online courses). While it’s quite rare to read about open-access policies in the popular news media, celebrations of MOOCs as the Great Revolution About to Overturn Higher Education As We Know It litter newspapers’ opinion pages—for instance, Thomas Friedman’s recent celebratory gloss in The New York Times.”

Read more of his opinion piece in the Chronicle of Higher Education.

0

Launch of the Digital Public Library of America (DPLA)

The DPLA announced on Tuesday that Daniel J. Cohen, a leading digital-humanities scholar, will be the project’s founding executive director.

Cohen sketched out a vision of the DPLA as both a gatherer of information and a gateway to it. It will be “an important nationwide collaboration of state and regional digital libraries who will bring together all the local content and bring it upstream to this giant ocean that will be the DPLA,” he said. “The DPLA, in turn, will redirect the general public and scholars and teachers” to digital collections and cultural resources across the country.

“The idea that we can bring all this content to Americans and people all across the world is tremendously compelling,” Mr. Cohen said.

Read more at the Chronicle of Higher Education.

0

Open Access journal PeerJ publishes first articles

For a very different approach to scholarly publishing, take a look at the inaugural articles in PeerJ: https://peerj.com/

0

NIH to begin enforcing Open Access Policy

NIH to Begin Enforcing Open-Access Policy on Research It Supports, by Paul Basken

Chronicle of Higher Education, Nov. 19, 2012

Excerpt:

The NIH, in a statement issued on Friday, said that beginning in about five months, it would block the renewal of grant awards in cases where journal publications arising from the award do not comply with its open-access rule.

The NIH’s online database, PubMed Central, has some 260,000 papers collected under the policy, or about three-fourths of the eligible publicly financed research, an agency official said.

“While compliance to the policy currently stands at 75 percent and continues to edge upward,” said Neil M. Thakur, program manager for the public-access policy in Ms. Rockey’s office, the “NIH believes that four years has been sufficient time for NIH grantees to adjust to the requirement.”

0

Cornell gets major grant to support arXiv

Cornell University Library has announced a major grant from the Simons Foundation to support the costs of operating arXiv. The grant will provide up to $300,000 per year to match contributions from institutions which have supported arXiv since 2010.  From the announcement:

arXiv, the free repository that has revolutionized the way scientists share information, is adopting a new governance and business model that will allow it to grow and succeed in the future….As an open-access service, [arXiv] allows scientists to share “preprint” research before publication and boasts hundreds of thousands of contributors. In 2011 alone, arXiv saw close to 50 million downloads from all over the world and received more than 76,000 new submissions.

Iowa–through the University Libraries–has committed to providing annual support for arXiv since a call for support went out from Cornell. It is an especially important resource for researchers in physics, mathematics, and computer science, among others. It has been hosted at Cornell since 2001, when its founder, Paul Ginsparg, joined the faculty. See also the article by Jennifer Howard in the Chronicle.

 

0

US News & World Report takes on academic journal publishing

In a long piece online at its web site, Simon Owens of US News and World Report offers an overview of academic (chiefly scientific) journal publishing and the rise of open access. See Is the Academic Publishing Industry on the Verge of Disruption?” Starting with the recent Harvard letter on journal prices (see Transitions for April 23, 2012), the article reports on moves toward open access publishing, and resistance from commercial “closed access” publishers.

0

High Energy Physics Journals Move toward Open Access

Through an international effort known as SCOAP3 (Sponsoring Consrotium for Open Access Publishing in Particle Physics) a number of key journals in high energy/particle physics are moving towards open access. Journals in this group include Physical Review C and D, Physics Letters B, Nuclear Physics B, and several others. CERN, which is overseeing the process, announced on July 17th that the tendering process was complete. The University of Iowa Libraries has supported SCOAP3 since its earliest days.

0

UK announces open access requirement for articles based on gov’t funded research

On July 16th the British government announced that it would require articles published on the basis of publicly funded research to be published in open access form. Portions of the announcement follow. An article in the Guardian describes the plan in more detail and reports some reactions.

“The government has announced that it will make publicly funded scientific research available for anyone to read for free, accepting recommendations in a report on open access by Dame Janet Finch.

This will likely see a major increase in the number of taxpayer-funded research papers freely available to the public.

Science Minister David Willetts said:

“Removing paywalls that surround taxpayer funded research will have real economic and social benefits. It will allow academics and businesses to develop and commercialise their research more easily and herald a new era of academic discovery.”

Among the recommendations that have been accepted by the Government are:

  • Moving to deliver open access through a ‘gold’ model, where article processing-charges are paid upfront to cover the cost of publication.
  • Walk-in rights for the general public, so they can have free access to global research publications owned by members of the UK Publishers’ Association, via public libraries.
  • Extending the licensing of access enjoyed by universities to high technology businesses for a modest charge.”
0

University Presses

Ever since the University of Missouri announced on May 24 that it was closing its Press, university presses have been generating quite a bit of discussion.  In the last few days several items of interest have appeared.

On July 6, The Iowa City Press-Citizen interviewed Jim McCoy, the director of The University of Iowa Press, about the future of the UI Press (“University presses seek out new roles and new markets“). McCoy said “we have an incredibly supportive administration who understands that we fill a necessary function. … We bridge the gap between research and teaching.” He also noted that they are very small in terms of people but publish a far higher number of books per staff member each year than other presses. He emphasized the value of working with the UI Obermann Center for Advanced Studies, Prairie Lights and The UI Libraries.

Inside Higher Ed published an opinion piece on July 9 by Marshall Poe of Iowa’s history department (“What Can University Presses Do?“). Poe would like to see presses move towards open access publishing and new modes of outreach. This item generated quite a few comments from people familiar with university presses and is worth reading for the responses it has generated.

On July 10, The Chronicle of Higher Education included an interview with Patrick Alexander, the head of the Penn state University Press, by Adeline Koh (“Is Open Access a Moral or a Business Issue? A Conversation with The Pennsylvania State University Press“). This is the 3rd piece Koh has written in her series “Digital Challenges to Academic Publishing”. This interview discusses differences between STEM publishing and humanities publishing