About Author: Mike Wright

Posts by Mike Wright


Update on the Open Access Fund

As many of you know, in April of 2013 the Libraries and the Provost’s Office launched the Open Access Fund to encourage UI authors to publish in Open Access platforms by covering the author processing charges typically associated with OA journals.   Use of the fund took off at a leisurely pace, but has increased slowly but steadily since.

Here are some statistics that folks may find interesting, from the inception of the fund to date:

  • 54 UI authors have applied for funding
  • 53 of these requests have been approved
  • Authors came from 27 departments, many from the hard sciences and medical campus, but also from Communication Studies and the UI Museum of Natural History
  • The funding requests represented 38 unique journals from 19 publishers
  • Article processing fees were paid for 41 of these applications (some are still to be published)

The Plight of University Presses

Here is a very good article in The Nation outlining some of the challenges faced by university presses:



Altmetrics: Jonesing for Attention?

Here is a link to an interesting post on the Scholarly Kitchen (dated 5/1) by David Crotty.   What really constitutes a “use” of a scholarly work?  Be sure and take a look at the comments.


More on PeerJ

Following is an edited press release from PeerJ which has quite a bit of detail about the journal:

PeerJ (https://peerj.com), a new academic journal publisher, founded on the principles of affordability, innovation, and Open Access, published its first articles today.

PeerJ, launched by Jason Hoyt (formerly at Mendeley and Stanford University) and Peter Binfield (formerly at PLOS ONE), has been shaped from the premise that ‘if society can set a goal to sequence a human genome for just $99 then why shouldn’t academics be given the opportunity to openly publish their research for a similar amount?’. By publishing its first 30 peer-reviewed articles today, PeerJ moves one step closer to realizing that vision.

PeerJ aims to establish a new model for the publication of all well reported, scientifically sound research in the Biological and Medical Sciences. To achieve that, the organization has built an economical and efficient peer review and publication system and assembled an Editorial Board of 800 esteemed academics, including an Advisory Board of 20 (five of whom are Nobel Laureates). A rigorous peer review process is operated, and the journal strives to deliver the highest standards in everything it does.

Uta Francke, an author on one of the launch day articles, PeerJ Advisory Board member; Professor of Genetics and Pediatrics, Emeritus, Stanford University School of Medicine; and Past President of both the ‘American Society of Human Genetics’ and the ‘International Federation of Human Genetics Societies’ said that she was “excited about the launch of PeerJ, which represents much more than just another Open Access publishing venture.

The innovative membership model, including a commitment to review the work of one’s peers, will ensure an interactive relationship of equals – authors, editors and reviewers – all striving for high quality research reports published in a totally transparent fashion after rigorous constructive peer review.”

Tim O’Reilly, the founder of O’Reilly Media and a thought leader in the Open Source movement, sits on the Governing Board of PeerJ Inc. and brings a wealth of knowledge, and passion, for the promotion of open, unfettered communication in academia. Tim had this to say about PeerJ: “It’s easy to forget that technological revolutions also demand business model revolutions. Open access is transformative for science publishing, not only because it spreads knowledge more efficiently, but because it slashes the cost of producing and consuming that knowledge.”

Authors wishing to experience the future of publishing can now submit their articles at: https://peerj.com/

Essential Features of PeerJ:

* PeerJ is a rapid, peer reviewed, ‘Open Access’ scholarly journal, using a Creative Commons license which means that all articles are entirely free to read, distribute, and reuse provided authors are properly attributed.

* Publication decisions are made only on scientific validity (not on perceived impact).

* PeerJ uses a ‘Membership Model’ whereby authors become lifetime members, giving them the ability to freely publish their articles thereafter. As a result, publication costs for authors are significantly lower than similar publications.

* PeerJ has 800 Academic Editors, including 20 Advisory Board members (of which 5 are Nobel Laureates). Full list at:

https://peerj.com/academic-boards/subjects/ and Advisors at:



* * Learn more about PeerJ here: https://peerj.com/about/how-it-works/


Don Share Lecture Highlights Open Access and the Humanities

Open access publishing’s place in the humanities is uncertain at the moment, and knowledge of it will be important going forward in resolving inequitable relationships between presses and authors, journal vendors and libraries, and publishers and readers.

The University of Iowa Libraries has invited Don Share, senior editor of Poetry magazine, to talk about open access publishing platforms and contemporary humanities literature and scholarship. Join us:

 Monday, October 29th at 3pm

Illinois Room of the Iowa Memorial Union
(Share will also be giving a poetry reading at Prairie Lights in the evening, at 7 pm.)

In 2002, Ruth Lilly, heiress to the Lilly pharmaceutical fortune, left Poetry magazine 100 million dollars upon her death, and among the things Poetry has done with the Lilly bequest is go open access. Each month the magazine publishes a print issue, as it has been doing for 100 years, and since 2003 it has simultaneously made each issue’s contents freely available on its website (see http://www.poetryfoundation.org/poetrymagazine). Don Share was one of the principle architects of this initiative, and he is in a unique position to discuss how literature and humanities scholarship function on an open access platform.


Is Open Access a disaster for publishers? Maybe not

In a posting from Scholarly Kitchen, Kent Anderson notes that while the movement to open access could affect Elsevier’s bottom line (and presumably that of some other large commercial publishers) it’s not likely to be the end of them.  Read the full post here.


“Library of the Future” Nets Large NEH Grant

As reported by Jennifer Howard the The Chronicle of Higher Education’s Wired Campus, the proposed Digital Public Library for the Humanities netted a $1-million grant from the National Endowment.  DPLA hopes to become an open-access national digital library.  Read the full story here.


A New World for Libraries and University Presses?

More and more research libraries are using patron-driven acquisitions (PDA), a service where their patrons choose the titles libraries purchase (usually e-books) by actually using them.  PDA can allow a library to only buy books that someone reads, and pass on those that aren’t used.  But university presses — which rely on these libraries for sales — often publish titles that garner very little readership. If the libraries — or their users — aren’t buying, how will the presses cope? Soon-to-be published research by Joe Esposito offers some insights. Click here for the story by Steve Kolowich in Inside Higher Ed.


Injunction Proposed in Georgia State Ruling

Inside Higher Ed reports that the drama over a copyright lawsuit filed by the Association of American Publishers against Georgia State University continues.

Following a ruling largely negative to the AAP, the plaintiffs have proposed an injunction which  “…would prohibit Georgia State professors from making unauthorized copies that are not “narrowly tailored to accomplish the instructor’s educational objectives” and do not “constitute the ‘heart of the work’ ” from which they are excerpted, among other criteria.”

Read the fully story by Steve Kolowich at http://www.insidehighered.com/news/2012/06/04/publishers-seek-injunction-e-reserve-case


Publishers Air Views on Copyright, Open Access

At the recent annual meeting of the Association of  American Publishers, issues related to copyright and open access took center stage, as did the recent deep-sixing of SOPA/PIPA, two bills the AAP supported.  It was clear from the discussion that the publishers were still smarting from that loss.  Librarians also weighed in at the meeting, on e-books and the need for more cooperation.  Here’s a link to the story from The Chronicle online.