Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Momentum for open access

Article by David Solomon from Inside Higher Ed, July 24, 2007

Last year, a proposal in Congress to require all federally supported research to be placed online, freely available, attracted considerable attention and debate — and ultimately stalled.

This year, a measure that is narrower — it would apply only to research supported by the National Institutes of Health — appears within reach of passage. The proposal is part of the appropriations bill for the Education Department and the NIH, and passed the House of Representative without debate last week. The Senate Appropriations Committee has already approved the measure, which has attracted bipartisan support.

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Impact of BioOne journals

BioOne (www.bioone.org) announced the cumulative increase of journal impact in its BioOne.1, BioOne.2, and Open Access Collections, according to the Thomas Scientific Institute for Scientific Information (ISI) 2006 Journal Citation Report (JCR), published last week.

An innovative full-text aggregator of essential bioscience research journals published by independent not-for-profit societies and institutions, BioOne now boasts 86 ISI ranked titles—a robust 68% of its total collection of 126 journals. This includes five titles that have gained an Impact Factor in the 2006 JCR including:

· Castanea, published by the Southern Appalachian Botanical Society

· URSUS, published by the International Association for Bear Research and Management

· Rangeland Ecology and Management, published by the Society for Range Management

· Haseltonia, published by the Cactus and Succulent Society of America

· Journal of Insect Science, published by the University of Wisconsin

Several other BioOne publications saw marked increases in their Impact Factor from the 2005 to 2006 Journal Citation Reports. BioScience, the journal of the American Institute of Biological Sciences, became BioOne’s most highly ranked participating publication with an Impact Factor of 5.424, up from 4.708 in the 2005 index. BioScience now is ranked 6th of 64 titles in biology.

BioOne also increased its title presence in a number of ISI subject categories, including Ornithology. The Auk, published by the American Ornithologists’ Union, ranks 2nd of 19 titles in Ornithology, with an Impact Factor of 2.056 (up from 1.838 in the 2005 index.) The Condor, published by the Cooper Ornithological Society, ranks 3rd in Ornithology, with an Impact Factor of 1.604 (up from 1.337 in the 2005 index.)

Mindful that the ISI Impact Factor is most useful when combined with other metrics for assessing journal quality, we applaud the BioOne participating titles that have made such impressive strides in the 2006 ISI Journal Citation Report.

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Encouraging faculty to use an author addendum (allows for deposit in institutional repositories)

Yesterday the U of Illinois Provost, Linda Katehi, sent this email letter to U of Illinois faculty:
New opportunities created by electronic publishing and archiving are changing the business of scholarly publication. Because traditional publication agreements transfer copyrights to publishers and restrict electronic distribution by the author and their institution, publishers appear to have captured much of the benefit of these changes.
In November 2006, faculty governance leaders from CIC universities discussed these issues that affect scholarly communication and called for a concrete strategy that would help faculty retain more control over their published intellectual property. Subsequently, the CIC provosts issued a Statement on Publishing Agreements and an Addendum to Publication Agreements for CIC Authors. The Addendum is intended to be used by faculty entering into publication agreements with journal publishers or presses. It supports authors rights to use their own published work in teaching and research, to post a publication on a personal website, or to deposit it in a repository maintained by their institution or a professional association. IDEALS is the University of Illinois institutional repository.
Late this Spring [April 30, 2007], the U of I Senate endorsed the principles expressed in the CIC Provosts Statement and Addendum; encouraged faculty to consider using it as well as other publication agreement addenda that increase their rights in reproducing, distributing, and archiving their own work; and asked the CIC Provosts to provide leadership in negotiating with publishers to develop new publication agreements that provide CIC authors and institutions greater rights for use, distribution and archiving their published scholarly works.
It is our responsibility as scholars to ensure that our work is available as widely as possible to maximize its scholarly impact, accessibility, and educational use. I encourage you to use the Addendum and to deposit your research and scholarship in IDEALS, which provides reliable and persistent access to its holdings.
(Thanks to Katie Newman on the U of I Scholarly Communication blog.)
Comment. The U of I is right to encourage faculty to use the CIC author addendum. But in the June SOAN, I hoped that CIC institutions would go further:
...[I]t's not clear what form the encouragement will take. Will it be limited to the abstract encouragement of passing a resolution in the Faculty Senate? Or will there also be some case-by-case encouragement? ...In a standoff between a publisher and faculty member, what will universities do to support their faculty member?
Here's the bigger question: What else will these universities do to encourage OA archiving? If they take the step of adopting an author addendum, they should also adopt a policy to require OA archiving. If permission is not a problem (because publishers already give it or because an addendum worked), what will these institutions do to insure that faculty postprints are actually archived? ...
The permission problem is worth solving, but we have to remember that solving it is only a means to the end of OA. Universities adopting an author addendum are moving in the right direction, but they must keep moving. Permission for OA isn't yet OA itself....
What's important is not how often U of I faculty use the author addendum, but how often they self-archive. I hope Provost Katehi's office monitors the self-archiving rate and is ready to adopt an effective policy to move it toward 100%.
From Open Access News

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

HHMI becomes first major US funder to require open access
In a significant development for the open access movement, the Howard Hughes Medical Institutes (HHMI) this week became the first large research funder in the USA to require its investigators to make their published results openly accessible. The policy on Public Access to Publications, announced this week, requires HHMI Investigators to ensure that all biomedical articles on which they are a major author are made freely accessible within at most 6 months of publication, and are deposited in PubMed Central .
The policy also proposes a clear mechanism for enforcement, indicating that, in future, only articles published in compliance with the policy will be eligible for consideration when investigators' HHMI appointments are reviewed.
HHMI's President, Tom Cech, discussed the background to the Insitute's open access policy in the May issue of the HHMI Bulletin.
A notable aspect of HHMI's intitiative on open access is that the Insitute has agreed to pay some traditional publishers up to $1500 (on top of subscription revenue) in order to ensure that HHMI retains the right to post a copy of the author's manuscript version (not the final published version) on to PubMed Central after a 6 month embargo period. This emphasizes the importance attached to open access by HHMI, but also makes clear the value for money offered by BioMed Central's article processing charge (APC).
BioMed Central's typical APC, after institutional discount, is less than $1500 and this cost is instead of subscription revenue, not in addition to it. In return for this payment, BioMed Central makes the official final version of published articles freely available on PubMed Central immediately on publication, and also makes the articles freely available for reuse and redistribution.
Many HHMI Investigators have already published in BioMed Central's open access journals. We hope that the Institute's new policy on open access will encourage further HHMI researchers to give our journals a try.
For details of other funders policies on open access, see BioMed Central's funder policy page.