Tuesday, June 27, 2006
A few stories came out regarding public access scientific articles over the past week that provide a decent summary of where things stand. The first comes out of the Oxford Journals, a large collection that includes some scientific journals and is managed by the Oxford University Press....In keeping with the spirit of things, they've made the presentations and reports from the conference freely available. Various journals were subjected to analyses based on the access and citation rates before and after open access, and the results were generally mixed. One presentation, however, stood out from the rest for some interesting and definitive conclusions. As a result of opening up Nucleic Acids Research (NAR), search robots visits to the site rapidly peaked. By a year later, access to the site following a link from search engines had passed the PubMed database as the primary means of reaching an NAR article. In less than two years, journal access was up about 145 percent. In the words of the analysis, open access has, "opened the gates to the Google generation."
We've already mentioned how the sophisticated evaluations performed by commercial search engines can often provide better results than some dedicated academic search sites and how at least one commercial publisher is interested in making subscription based content accessible to search engines. Presumably, clear cut results such as these will hasten such efforts in the future. There were a few other interesting tidbits in the report. For example, it seems that most of the additional views appear to be of older articles, suggesting that search engines are more adept at pointing users to content they might otherwise overlook. A lot of the new readers appear to be from central Europe, where funding for paid access to journals can be expected to be limited.
Meanwhile, one of the commercial publishing houses (Nature) takes a look at one of their open access rivals, the Public Library of Science....The article notes that, based on impact factor, the top PLoS journals are doing very well for newcomers in the publishing field. But the financing hasn't followed; income is increasing, but it's still lagging far behind spending, resulting in a net deficit of US$1 million last year. So far, PLoS has made up the difference via grants from foundations, but the fees charged for publishing a paper there are set to rise to make up some of the difference. Currently at $1500, those fees could rise to nearly $2500. For context, many other publishers charge fees, some of which vary by the number of color images in an article. It’s entirely possible to rack up even higher charges for publishing in a commercial journal. Still, it’s a far cry from the hopes that accompanied the formation of PLoS. It seems like the open access movement is still experiencing some growing pains.
From: Open Access News, June 27, 2006
Tuesday, June 20, 2006
"Where a record of a stored eprint tells the user that an open access copy is not available, a form box appears inviting the user to paste in their email address and send a request to the author for a copy of the paper. This request is emailed automatically to the author, offering three choices in return: to email the requested eprint, to reject the request, or to make the eprint open access in the repository." - from the press release
Friday, June 16, 2006
Kim Thomas, Wellcome Trust digitisation hits million page mark, Information World Review, June 16, 2006. Excerpt:
The Wellcome Trust has completed the first million pages of its project to digitise nearly 200 years’ worth of medical journals. The project, which started in 2004, is creating a digital archive that will offer free access to medical journals via PubMed Central, the online medical service from the US National Institutes of Health. The earliest archived journal dates from 1809, but the archive will also encompass current and future journals.
“It’s a living archive,” said Robert Kiley, head of systems strategy at medical research funding charity Wellcome Trust. He added that participating publishers have agreed to make all future content freely available online within 12 months of publication. “Once we’ve digitised a journal, if the publisher wants a copy itself for its own website, it can do that,” he said.
As well as digitising the content, the project, funded jointly by the Wellcome Trust and the Joint Information Systems Committee (JISC), is creating a PDF file for every article in the archive. All the text is also being put through an optical character recognition process, making it possible to carry out free-text searches.
Kiley said that the project had been “subject to heavy and sustained use”. The Biochemical Journal has had more than one million articles downloaded in an eight month period, he said. The next journal to be digitised will be the British Medical Journal, a source of several ground breaking studies.
From Open Access News at http://www.earlham.edu/~peters/fos/fosblog.html
Thursday, June 08, 2006
The inventor of the web, Tim Berners-Lee, has warned of the dangers of introducing a two-tier internet.
See article in BBC News:
"The OpenDOAR service is being developed to support the rapidly emerging movement towards Open Access to research information. This will categorise and list the wide variety of Open Access research archives that have grown up around the world."
"The project is a joint collaboration between the University of Nottingham in the UK and the Lund University in Sweden. Both institutions are active in supporting Open Access development. Lund operates the Directory of Open Access Journals (DOAJ), which is known throughout the world."
Tuesday, June 06, 2006
Fedora is used at OhioLink's Digital Resource Commons.
Thursday, June 01, 2006
Research Information has just published a series of interviews by editor Sian Harris on Open Access: http://www.researchinformation.info/rijunjul06openaccess.html
* 'Open access is much wider than just readers not paying' - Martin Richardson, Oxford Journals
* 'Academics have access anyway' - Michael Mabe, formerly of Elsevier
* 'Text mining of subject archives will enable new facts to be discovered' - Robert Terry, The Wellcome Trust
* 'Self-archiving should be mandatory' - Steven Harnad, U Quebec/Montreal & U Southampton (corrections by author in red at: http://www.ecs.soton.ac.uk/~harnad/Temp/shcorrex.html)
* 'The environmental community will embrace open-access' - Tim Smith, Institute of Physics Publishing
* 'Many areas of research are funded by taxpayers but they do not see the results' - Matthew Cockerill, BioMed Central
* 'The first priority should be awareness-raising' - Alma Swan, Key Perspectives
* 'Our community is used to immediate release of preprints' - Jens Vigen, CERN
* 'Get research authors to change their behaviour' - Leslie Carr, University of Southampton- post adapted from list input by S. Harnad