Tuesday, March 27, 2007

American Scientist Open Access Forum

A recent post by Steven Harnad on the American Scientist Open Access Forum is a comprehensive critique of:

Institutional Repositories: Evaluating the Reasons for Non-use of Cornell University's Installation of DSpace. PM Davis & MJL Connolly. D-Lib Magazine 13(3/4) March/April 2007 http://www.dlib.org/dlib/march07/davis/03davis.html

Thursday, March 22, 2007

Nature: Agencies join forces to share data

From the March 22 issue of Nature.

The US government is considering a massive plan to store almost all scientific data generated by federal agencies in publicly accessible digital repositories. The aim is for the kind of data access and sharing currently enjoyed by genome researchers via GenBank, or astronomers via the National Virtual Observatory, but for the whole of US science.

Scientists would then be able to access data from any federal agency and integrate it into their studies. For example, a researcher browsing an online journal article on the spread of a disease could not only pull up the underlying data, but mesh them with information from databases on agricultural land use, weather and genetic sequences.

Friday, March 16, 2007

How national OA policies will affect libraries

The presentations from the SPARC-ACRL forum at the ALA midwinter meeting, Public Access: Federal Research Access Policies and How They'll Change Your Library (Seattle, January 20, 2007), are now online. (Thanks to Adrian Ho.)
From a post in Open Access News, by Peter Suber.

Thursday, March 15, 2007

Comments on the Brussels Declaration

A post today on DigitalKoans by Chs W. Bailey discussing the publishers response to scholars' interest in open access.

The recent "Brussels Declaration on STM Publishing" by major scholarly publishers, such as Elsevier and Wiley, can be boiled down to: the scholarly publishing system ain’t broke, so don’t try to fix it. It provides an interesting contrast to the 2004 "Washington DC Principles for Free Access to Science" by not-for-profit publishers, which outlined a variety of strategies for making content freely available.

It might also be interesting to read about an ongoing study of new scholars' attitudes and concerns led by Cathy Trower of Harvard. She recently spoke at Auraria and here is some text from the promo.

Trower leads Harvard’s Collaborative on Academic Careers in Higher Education (COACHE). The COACHE survey of 4,500 tenure-track faculty at 51 colleges and universities has revealed that, overall, climate, culture, and collegiality are more important to the success and satisfaction of early career faculty than compensation, tenure clarity, workload, and policy effectiveness.

COACHE discovered that the some of the key climate variables for junior faculty include: interest senior faculty take in their work, fairness with which they are evaluated, opportunities to collaborate with senior faculty, how well they seem to fit in their departments, sufficient professional and personal interaction with colleagues, and a sense of community in the department.

Tuesday, March 13, 2007

Support for open access publishing, a suggestion from BioMed Central

Some ideas from BioMed Central. Auraria Library is a member of BioMed Central and thus supports Auraria faculty publishing.

BioMed Central, which publishes over 170 peer-reviewed journals in biology, medicine and chemistry, has been a pioneer of the open access publishing model for academic research. Under the open access model, published articles are made universally available online with the cost being covered not by subscriptions but by article processing charges, payable on publication. Open access publishing has proven very popular with authors, and has grown dramatically since BioMed Central's launch in 2000. In order for that growth to continue, however, it is vital that sufficient funds are available to cover the cost of open access publication in a sustainable way.

There has been much discussion within the academic community about how best to pay the costs of open access publication, given that library budgets are already stretched. The Wellcome Trust examined this issue, and concluded that open access publication costs are best seen as part of the cost of doing research. Research institutions and funders recognize that research involves not only direct costs, but also indirect costs (for necessary infrastructure such as buildings/ laboratories/ maintenance/ library services etc.). We feel that it is very important that open access publishing costs should be recognized as such an infrastructure cost and budgeted for appropriately.

We would like to encourage all research institutions around the world to define an open access publishing budget for their institution, just as they currently have a library budget. A central 'open access publishing fund' could receive contributions from each of the funding organization that supports research at the institution. For example the National Institutes of Health and California Institute for Regulative Medicine both have open access policies, which enable researchers to apply for publication costs funding. For further information on all the funding agencies who have policies, please visit our website.

Having such a central fund for authors at your institution would reduce the barriers for those authors wishing to publish in an open access journal, and would thus deliver a more level playing field for open access journals to compete with traditional journals, which already receive extensive institutional support through library subscriptions.

If you would like help or ideas on how to set up a central fund or would like to discuss this further, please contact us at: institutions@biomedcentral.com.

We shall also be holding an open access consultation at the forthcoming Medical Library Association conference, on Monday, May 21st, 2007 from 7.00 - 9.00am, where we shall be discussing the issues of payment for open access publications, please do let us know if you would like to attend the event.