- Action Alert to Support NIH's PubChem
- Leadership Transition at SPARC
- Partner News
- Industry Roundup
- Open Access News
- The new Journal of Maps
- Upcoming Workshops
- Latest Articles of Interest
SPARC last week issued an action alert encouraging members to support the National Institutes of Health (NIH) in its effort to develop the PubChem online database. PubChem is under assault by the American Chemical Society (ACS), who is calling on Congress to restrict the freely accessible database. PubChem connects chemical information with facts in numerous public databases and is a critical component of NIH's Molecular Libraries Initiative, which in turn is a key element of the NIH strategic “roadmap” to speed new medical treatments and improve healthcare.
ACS claims that PubChem competes with its Chemical Abstracts Service (CAS). In reality, PubChem and the Chemical Abstracts Service databases are complementary, not duplicative. If ACS succeeds in eliminating PubMed, it will hamper scientific progress. The University of California Office of Scholarly Communication lays out the facts of this issue in The American Chemical Society and NIH's PubChem. This page collects the position statements, the major documents, and a list of actions that researchers can take to support PubChem.
Among the supportive statements linked from the UC resourse page is an open letter from Professor Peter Murray-Rust of the University of Cambridge's Chemistry Department and Henry Rzepa, Professor of Chemistry at Imperial College in London. The letter states:
In our laboratories we are using PubChem for systematic research and are enhancing its value by publishing the results to the world….By sharing resources freely we detect and correct errors, and encourage innovation in the way we access information. Many developments in bioscience and healthcare come not from the wet laboratory, but through computational knowledge-driven methods. PubChem represents the start of such a process in chemical bioscience.
The Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC) has also spoken out in support of PubChem. In a letter to Rep. Ralph Regula, Chairman of the Subcommittee on Labor, Health and Human Services and Related Agencies, the AAMC urged Congress to continue support for this vital resource.
SPARC urges its members to bring the PubChem issue to the attention of chemistry and life sciences faculty on campus. Please circulate and excerpt the letter of support SPARC sent to Chairman Regula to encourage faculty to make their voices heard. The question of PubChem’s future is currently being decided within the Labor and Health and Human Services Appropriations Subcommittee. If restrictions are enacted, SPARC will continue efforts to support PubChem by shifting its attention to the Senate.
Rick Johnson, SPARC’s founding Executive Director, will resign, effective July 1, and will be succeeded by Heather Joseph, the founding President and Chief Operating Officer of BioOne. Joseph held a number of senior positions with publishing organizations in both the non-profit and commercial sectors before signing on to help launch BioOne in 2000.
BioOne is a groundbreaking collaboration among scientific societies, libraries, academe and the commercial sector that works to transform the scholarly communication process by providing expanded access to scientific research results. SPARC was instrumental in the establishment of BioOne, raising crucial development funds from SPARC member libraries and supplying business-planning expertise to help ensure the venture’s success and sustainability.
SPARC Steering Committee Chair James Neal, Vice President for Information Services and University Librarian at Columbia University, expressed admiration for Johnson’s accomplishments at SPARC. “Rick Johnson is a dedicated and heroic champion for open access. The power of his leadership is nowhere more apparent than in the success he had in orchestrating a broad community of support for the NIH public access policy," he said.
Neal also spoke of the promise of working with the incoming director. “Heather Joseph is a stellar choice to assume the leadership of SPARC. Her commitment to barrier-free access combined with her experience in scientific publishing make for a perfect leader to address the challenges presented by the transformation of scholarly communication. SPARC's agenda is ambitious and Heather's appointment assures that we won't miss a beat,” he said.
SPARC members are encouraged to apply their purchase commitment to support these worthwhile publications.
BMC has launched BMC Cell Biology - Image of the Month and BMC Developmental Biology - Image of the Month. Every month, BMC editors will choose their favorite image from an article previously published in the relevant journal. Because of BMC’s open access policy, these images are available for anyone to use or reproduce, provided that BioMed Central is identified as the original publisher and that proper attribution of authorship and the correct citation details are given.
BMC has also launched BioMed Central Gateways, the first in a series of new subject-focused collections of content and resources. The first four to be launched are Bioinformatics and Genomics; Cancer; Microarrays; and RNAi. The gateways are continuously updated and bring together all relevant journals, plus the latest research, news and links to the latest Faculty of 1000 evaluations of papers published in that portion of the biological sciences.
STANFORD ENCYCLOPEDIA OF PHILOSOPHY
The Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy International Association (SEPIA)—the membership organization sponsored by Indiana University Libraries and operated by the Southeastern Library Network, Inc. (SOLINET)—is now collecting membership dues from libraries and library consortia. These dues will support free and open access to the Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy, and for every $3 paid in membership dues, the National Endowment for the Humanities will offer a matching $1, up to $500,000. A library can join the list of institutional supporters of SEP by registering with SOLINET.
The SEP funding plan, developed with support from ICOLC and SPARC, is to create a protected operating fund, the interest on which will provide income to cover the annual costs of administering and supporting the volunteer efforts to maintain the online encyclopedia. More than 1,000 professional philosophers donate their time and labor to write, referee, and maintain the encyclopedia collaboratively. Libraries joining SEPIA will receive protection on the money they pay in membership dues. Should the project ever terminate, their contribution would be returned with any interest it may have accrued while it is managed for the SEP. SPARC encourages its members to use funds allocated from their SPARC purchase commitment to help build the SEP protected fund.
SPARC and U. Michigan Launch Publisher Assistance Program
For details, consult the SPARC announcement. For information on how to participate in the Publisher Assistance Program, please contact Raym Crow, SPARC Senior Consultant.
New Web Site on Copyright Information
The Copyright Information and Education Initiative at University of Minnesota Libraries is a newly developed resource about copyright issues in teaching and research for the higher education community. In addition to background information on copyright, the site incorporates a number of interactive tools, including a Decision Map and a Fair Use Analysis Tool. The online resource has commentary about copyright law and its expanding impact on academic life and culture and also has a FAQ and links to other copyright resources on the web .
University Faculty Senate Resolutions
A number of university faculty senate organizations have recently issued resolutions in favor of open access. These include:
- University of California Academic Senate, Berkeley Division
In the statement [PDF], Berkeley faculty resolve to retain control of their scholarly output by retaining intellectual property rights and submitting their work with publishers who maintain reasonable business practices. The Academic Senate statement encourages Berkeley scholars to publish or serve as editors in alternative outlets and pledges to provide tools and incentives for them to change their behavior.
- Cornell University Faculty Senate
This resolution urges tenured faculty to cease supporting publishers who engage in exorbitant pricing, by not submitting papers to, or refereeing for, the journals sold by those publishers, and by resigning from their editorial boards if more reasonable pricing policies are not forthcoming. The Senate strongly urges all faculty to deposit preprint or postprint copies of articles in an open access repository such as the Cornell University Library DSpace Digital Repository or discipline-specific repositories such as arXiv.org.
- University of Kansas University Council
The resolution on access to scholarly information urges faculty to amend publisher’s copyright transfer forms to permit the deposition of a digital copy of every article accepted by a peer-reviewed journal into an open access venue and calls on the university, professional scholarly associations, and professional organizations of university administrators to invest in the infrastructure necessary to support new venues for peer-reviewed publication.
- Case Western Reserve University Faculty Senate
Described in the committee report [PDF], the resolution encourages faculty to support open access publishing in their educational, research, editorial and administrative roles.
ATA Commends NIH Public Access Policy
The Alliance for Taxpayer Access (ATA), a coalition that supports making taxpayer-funded research accessible to the public, called the rollout of the National Institutes of Health (NIH) “Public Access Policy” a positive step but voiced concern that the voluntary nature and discretionary timeframe of the policy may work against achieving the ends sought by NIH and Congress. In a letter to NIH Director Elias Zerhouni [PDF], the ATA asked that NIH provide statistics on the number of papers that are posted on PubMed Central to help gauge the policy's effectiveness. The requested data to be put online monthly includes the number of papers approved by principal investigators for inclusion in PubMed Central but still under embargo, and the embargo periods requested by the submitters of these papers.
Announced on Feb. 2 following a public comment period, the NIH Public Access policy asks NIH-funded researchers to voluntarily deposit their peer-reviewed research articles in PubMed Central. Authors who choose to deposit their work are given a choice of when it will be available to the public—anywhere from immediately to after a 12-month embargo.
In late April, NIH issued notice NOT-OD-05-045 that contains details on implementation of the policy. It restates NIH’s expectation that “only in limited cases will authors deem it necessary to select the longest delay period.” The notice also summarizes the previously announced policy, introduces the NIH Manuscript Submission (NIHMS) system, and briefly describes how to submit a manuscript. For more information about the NIHMS, the agency set up a FAQ.
Wellcome Trust announces Open Access plans
The Wellcome Trust has announced that beginning on October 1, 2005, all papers from new research projects must be deposited in PubMed Central or a U.K. version of PubMed Central (once it has been formed) within six months of publication. The move comes as part of a drive from the United Kingdom's biggest non-governmental funder of biomedical research to push forward open access publication of scientific literature, making findings freely available to those who want to see them.
The Wellcome Trust has also announced that from October 1, 2006, all existing grant holders must deposit any future papers produced from Trust funding into PubMed Central or U.K. PubMed Central. This delay in extending the grant condition will allow existing grant holders time to adjust to the new policy. The Wellcome Trust spends £400 million yearly and their sponsored research results in almost 3500 papers each year.
Open Access Focus in Library Journal price survey
The ever-growing open access movement was a focal point of Library Journal’s Choosing Sides--Periodical Price Survey 2005, which appeared in their April 15, 2005 issue. The article, by Lee C. Van Orsdel and Kathleen Born, stated that the “OA movement remains a powerful catalyst for change.”
Zwolle Principles Relating to Open Access
Fred Friend explores the application of the Zwolle Principles aimed at balancing stakeholder interests in scholarship-friendly copyright practices to open access in a new article. In the paper, entitled The Application of the Zwolle Principles to Open Access
Repository and Journal Content [PDF], Friend states that copyright policies should be considered in the interests of maintaining scholarship of high quality. His paper concludes that good rights management procedures are as important for open access content as they are for purchased content.
Dutch Open Access Initiative
The Dutch Cream of Science online repository, launched in May, contains the work of 206 leading Dutch scientists and researchers, available free of charge. The website provides access to their 41,000 publications; about 60 percent (25,000) of these can be accessed full text. Cream of Science was launched by the Netherlands' DARE (Digital Academic Repositories) program as part of DAREnet, which already hosted 20,000 research results. Cream of Science was under development for four years and is overseen by the SURF Foundation.
By Mike Smith, Chief Editor and Founder
The Journal of Maps (JoM) is a new multi-disciplinary open-access journal that aims to provide a forum for researchers to publish their maps. JoM's establishment came out of the realization that academic map publication is in gradual decline due to the restrictions and costs imposed by journals. JoM was founded as a non-profit organization in November 2003 to meet the need for easy and cost-effective map publication, and published its first issue in January 2005; there is currently a bi-annual publication cycle.
JoM was envisioned as a charitable organization whose main aim is the support and publication of original maps from any discipline, while a secondary aim is archival of maps. To ensure publication from a wide range of disciplines, the editorial panel provides a broad range of knowledge, expertise and experience from a variety of subject areas. The initial emphasis will be upon traditional geo-subjects such as physical/human geography, geology, surveying and cartography, however other subject areas will be strongly encouraged to submit original work.
JoM is an online journal to lower costs and enhance access. The journal has opted to follow a reverse publishing model (where the author pays for the review process) to make maps freely available. Given the electronic publishing model adopted, traditional publishers (and their associated profit-based model) could be avoided. JoM is therefore open access, with the author paying a nominal fee (currently £30 or ~$50) to cover the review and distribution process. The journal has been developed independently and receives no external funding. JoM is also now establishing links with a large format, ink-jet based, mail order printing company (A3 ~£10, A2 ~£15, A1 ~£20, A0 ~£25) to provide a print option.
Basic registration to JoM allows access to published materials. Personal details need to be provided in order to submit a map for publication. The principal author will need to supply a press-quality map and article ready for review. The article should be short (1000–2000 words), describing the data presented in the map and any pertinent techniques used during the collection/mapping process. JOM does not accept long articles incorporating data analysis and interpretation, as these are better published in traditional subject-based journals. JoM should be seen as a channel to publish map-based material not normally accepted by traditional journals that can then be referred to and viewed by other researchers. The principal author should also supply the details of two people who may act as external referees; these persons should not have recently published with the author(s) or work at the same institution.
Using full peer review and a reverse publishing method , all published maps will be freely distributed to anyone wishing to view them.
SPARCACRL Forum: Three Big Ideas Transforming Scholarly Communication
2005 American Library Association Annual Conference, Chicago, Ill.
Saturday, June 25, 4:30–6:00 p.m.
Hilton Hotel, Constitution Room C
Also at the 2005 ALA Annual conference:
ACRL Scholarly Communications Discussion Group
A panel of librarians and others will respond to the presentations from the SPARCACRL Forum.
Sunday, June 26, 3:00–5:00 pm
Sheraton Hotel & Towers, Ohio Room
IFLA Satellite meeting No 17.
Open access: the option for the future?
Rikshospitalet University Hospital
Saturday, August 13, 10 a.m.–4.30 p.m.
Organized by the IFLA sections:
Health and Biosciences Libraries
Science and Technology Libraries
CERN Workshop on Innovations in Scholarly Communication, OAI4
CERN, Geneva, Switzerland
October 20–22, 2005
This workshop is the latest in a successful series that began in 2001 to discuss technical issues associated with scholarly communication. Registration is now open.
The list that follows is a sampling of recent articles on open access, taxpayer access, and/or SPARC.
Albanese, Andrew R. Life After NIH. Library Journal, April 15, 2005.
Rosenzweig, Roy. Should Historical Scholarship Be Free? Perspectives, April 2005.
Steinbrook, Robert, M.D. Public Access to NIH-Funded Research. New England Journal of Medicine, Volume 352:1739-1741, Number 17, April 28, 2005.
Van Orsdel, Lee C. and Kathleen Born. Choosing Sides--Periodical Price Survey 2005. Library Journal, April 15, 2005.
Wysocki, Bernard, Jr. “Scholarly Journals' Premier Status Is Diluted by Web” Wall Street Journal, May 23, 2005.
Send corrections, comments and responses to Alison Buckholtz.
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posted: June 02, 2005