enews - October/November 2006
In this issue:
Upcoming SPARC-ACRL Forum to Explore Public Access
The upcoming SPARC-ACRL Forum at the ALA Midwinter meeting will focus on the timely topic "Public Access - Federal Research Access Policies and How They'll Change Your Library." The Forum will be held on Saturday, January 20, 2007, from 4:00 - 6:00PM in the Sheraton Seattle (Metropolitan B).
Speakers include Carl T. Bergstrom, Associate Professor of Biology, University of Washington; Ellen Finnie Duranceau, Scholarly Publishing and Licensing Consultant, Massachusetts Institute of Technology; and David Pershing, Senior Vice-President for Academic Affairs, University of Utah. Each will examine current and emerging public access policies and explore key opportunities and challenges facing libraries - including what can be done to prepare for the transformation ahead. The forum is followed by the ACRL Scholarly Communication Discussion Group on Sunday from 4:00 - 6:00PM, where there will be an open discussion of key issues that surface at the Forum.
SPARC has signed on as a Major Supporter of the upcoming conference, "Open Repositories 2007: Achieving Interoperability in an Open World" (OR07), which will take place January 23-26, 2007 in San Antonio, Texas.
As with the meetings and workshops on repositories that SPARC has held over the past four years, OR07 is designed to help ensure that members of the community are positioned to make further strides in creating, maintaining, and expanding their repositories. The program for OR07 aims to equip attendees with practical problem-solving tools and ideas, and to explore both theoretical and strategic topics. Areas covered will include service design, recruiting content, and understanding users and uses. In addition, SPARC Director Heather Joseph will present an update on legislative advances related to open access and repositories in U.S. and worldwide.
The web site at http://www.openrepositories.org offers further information and details on registration. The program is available at http://openrepositories.org/program/ and detailed information on the presentations is at http://openrepositories.org/program/presentations.
SPARC Response to CIHR Report
SPARC and CARL (the Canadian Association of Research Libraries) have announced their support for the strength and timeliness of the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR) Draft Policy on Access to Research Outputs. The Draft Policy (http://www.cihr-irsc.gc.ca/e/32395.html) will govern peer-reviewed journal publications, research materials, and final research data stemming from CIHR funding. It marks a significant step forward for Canadian science and puts Canada in the forefront of the global open access movement. CIHR is the major federal agency responsible for funding health research in Canada.
The CIHR's Draft Policy on Access to Research Outputs
(http://www.cihr-irsc.gc.ca/e/32326.html) is the result of consultations, and a survey of the health research community, focusing on topics related to access. The process was conducted through the CIHR Web site beginning in April 2006. The policy is guided by an advisory committee whose members represent Canadian researchers across CIHR's four research theme areas: biomedical, clinical, health services, and population health. The SPARC letter to CIHR is online at http://www.arl.org/sparc/advocacy/canada/cihr_draft_policy_response.pdf
BioOne.2, the second collection from BioOne, will launch on schedule in early January 2007. BioOne.2 now includes 30 titles from 19 publishers in the fields of organismal and integrative biology, including the Harvard University Museum of Comparative Zoology, the Carnegie Museum of Natural History, and six titles from Japan's UniBio Press. One third of BioOne.2's titles are based outside of the U.S., with participating publishers in Brazil, Kenya, Japan and Scandinavia.
As with BioOne.1, many titles participating in BioOne.2
have not been available online until now.
Beginning in 2007, all titles will be available in full-text XML,
providing for a sophisticated and fully linked online presence. Institutions may subscribe to BioOne.2 either
in combination with BioOne.1 (at a discount) or as a separate subscription.
University of Zurich has launched ZORA (Zurich Open Repository and Archive) using BioMed Central's Open Repository service. ZORA is freely available online at www.zora.unizh.ch. The University of Zurich is the largest university in Switzerland. Over 4000 staff and 24,000 students work across 160 institutes, departments and clinics. The University of Zurich has an open access near-mandate, expecting that researchers deposit a copy of all their published and refereed articles in ZORA, subject to copyright restrictions. The university is the sixth institution to launch a repository using BioMed Central's Open Repository service.
Open Repository provides institutions with a hassle-free hosted solution to get
repositories up and running quickly. The service adds unique,
value-added features to the open-source DSpace technology platform. Zurich, like other customers, maintains complete
administrative control over the repository while BioMed Central
provides ongoing hosting services, personalization, backups and technical support.
Public Library of Science
PLoS Biology Editorial:
in-cites: Talks with Dr. Hemai Parthasarathy, the Managing Editor of PLoS Biology, About the Journal's Citation Record:
In related news, the Public Knowledge Project has announced that the first international PKP conference will be held from July 11-13, 2007 in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada. The conference will provide opportunities for those involved in the organization, promotion, and study of scholarly communication to share and discuss innovative work in scholarly publishing, with a focus on the contribution that open source publishing technologies can make to improving access to research and scholarship on a global and public scale.
The conference will consist of a mixture of plenary talks and three parallel conference streams intended for journal editors, publishers, researchers in scholarly publishing; librarians and information specialists; and open source software developers. Proposals for papers or presentations should be submitted by January 15, 2007, using the submission guidelines and form available at http://ocs.sfu.ca/pkp2007/
The SEP hosted a symposium highlighting the intersection of philosophy and technology at Stanford University in late October. Because the SEP is built on a partnership between the worldwide philosophy and library communities, this symposium was designed to raise the profile of SEP for philosophers and others interested in philosophy.
For further background on SEP, see http://www.arl.org/sparc/partner/index.html#sep.
SPARC's Peter Suber Wins Award
The Charleston Advisor recently announced its Six Annual Readers Choice Awards. The first award was a special award for a "Non-Librarian Working for Our Cause" which went to Peter Suber for his "excellent work in managing the influential SPARC Open Access Forum and the Open Access Newsletter." More information: http://www.charlestonco.com/features.cfm?id=209&type=me.
John Wiley & Sons Acquires Blackwell Publishing
John Wiley & Sons has announced the acquisition of Blackwell Publishing for US $1.08 billion. The transaction between two of the key players in the scientific, technical and medical (STM) publishing market is expected to close in early 2007. For an analysis of the transaction, please see: http://www.infotoday.com/newsbreaks/nb061127-1.shtml.
Oxford University Press Content to be Available from PubMed Central
Oxford Journals, a division of Oxford
University Press, has announced a new agreement with the National
Library of Medicine (NLM) that will allow all content published as open
access under its Oxford Open model to be available from PubMed Central. For more information:
Parallel Press's New OA Publication
The UW-Madison Libraries, through its publishing imprint Parallel Press, has released a three-volume open-access print publication, South African Voices, compiled and edited by Professor Harold Scheub of UW-Madison. The volumes are entitled: A Long Time Passed (volume 1), Created in Olden Times (volume 2), and The Way We Travelled (volume 3).The volumes include stories, oral histories, and poetry in their original South African languages, Xhosa and Zulu. There is a preface to the series, introductions in each volumes, and English abstracts of each story. The full text of the content of volumes, audio files of the original recorded stories, as well as substantial related information and images are available on the South African Voices Web site: http://digicoll.library.wisc.edu/SouAfrVc/
Cornell and Penn State Release DPubS software
Cornell University Library and Penn State University Libraries and Press have released DPubS (Digital Publishing System), electronic publishing software that will expand opportunities for creative communications among scholars worldwide. DPubS supports change in scholarly publishing by giving academic libraries and their partners the means to organize and disseminate scholarly communications electronically. To learn more about DPubS, visit dpubs.org.
Web Science Research Initiative
The new Web Science Research Initiative (WSRI), a collaboration between MIT and the University of Southampton (UK), will explore the scientific, technical and social challenges that now exist with the growth of the Internet. More information:
CERN Open Access Publishing
European funding agencies concerned about the future of particle physics held a meeting at CERN to establish an unprecedented consortium for Open Access publishing in that field. According to participants, the discipline of particle physics is the first scientific field to unify efforts to explore the conversion of subscription-based journals to Open Access. More information:
Open DOAR Initiative
The Directory of Open Access Repositories (OpenDOAR) has announced a full-text cross-archive search to be offered through Google's Custom Search Engine. The full-text search service of a number of quality-controlled open access repositories will complement OpenDOAR's global directory of freely available open access repositories. More information: http://www.knowledgespeak.com/newsArchieveviewdtl.asp?pickUpID=3005&pickUpBatch=495
Online Access to Research in the Environment (OARE) is a new project involving 200 publishers who have united to make available scholarly, peer-reviewed environmental science journals to more than 1,200 public and non-profit environmental institutions across the developing world. More information: http://www.market-day.net/article_35963/20061030 /Developing-nations-given-access-to-science.php
Editor's Note: The new interview on the Create Change web site is with Dr. Gary Ward, Associate Professor of Microbiology and Molecular Genetics at the University of Vermont. An excerpt from the interview follows. The complete interview can be found at: http://www.createchange.org/cases/microbiology.html.
What have the benefits of digital scholarship been in your field, and to you personally?
In my own research on parasites, some work that used to take up to a year can now be done in a couple of weeks using genome sequence data. As more information becomes available, it's easier for us to determine if what we are looking at in one parasite is also found in other parasites. We've had three examples in my lab recently where digital sequence information made it possible for us to quickly extend our research results into other parasites - including those that cause malaria. The availability of DNA sequence information for so many organisms has also made most of us think more about evolution and the evolutionary history of the organisms we work on. It's all right there in front of you. This has had a huge impact on our understanding of evolutionary biology.
You write that it's a misconception that everyone who needs access to scientific literature has access. Is there a serious access problem?
It's clear there is a problem. If you are at NIH or Harvard, you may not experience it. At the University of Vermont or the University of Kentucky, you may lack access to 25 percent of the information you need. At many state and junior colleges, you have less access still. Research at these institutions suffers as a result. So does teaching. If you are trying to teach upper level classes and you don't have access to the most current literature, you are really handicapped, and your students are not getting as good an education as they deserve.
How do you feel about the role of societies in scientific communication and change?
When it comes to access to the literature, societies range from the bold to the cautious to the outright obstructionist. Some societies have taken a very strong stand against increased access because they are concerned about losing subscription revenue. But the leadership in these societies is often out of sync with their members, who want to provide the greatest possible access to their own papers. So there is tension in some societies over this issue. The important thing to understand is that you can have a journal that both makes money and provides reasonable free access to content. There are many, many journals that offer content for free after two to 12 months that remain profitable.
5. Summary of Recent SPARC Meetings
"Open Scholarship 2006: New Challenges for Open Access Repositories" was held at the University of Glasgow from the 18th to the 20th of October 2006. This companion conference to the OAI meetings at CERN in Geneva and to the Nordic Scholarly Communication conferences in Lund, Sweden focused on the range of new challenges and opportunities faced by open access repositories. In addition to tutorial sessions and repository briefings, OS 2006 addressed key themes presented by many leading European practitioners in the field of Open Access. The conference was supported by the University of Glasgow, SPARC Europe and LIBER.
There were over 200 attendees from 24 countries. The 2½ day conference began with four tutorial/workshops sessions as a lead in to the plenary sessions on the following day. The 22 plenary sessions were grouped by themes: sustainability, legal issues, policies and implementation, quality assessment and added-value services. These were supplemented by six briefings from repository suppliers and over 20 posters.
conference included an opportunity for a range of suppliers and users of
repository software to give short talks. These were a mix of open source
(DSpace, EPrints and Fedora) and commercial (DigiTool, Digital Commons
and OpenRepository) software platforms. To learn more about the conference, go to:
Lagace, Martha. "Open Source Science: A New Model for Innovation."
Harvard Business School Working Knowledge. November 20,
Ward, Gary. "Deconstructing the Arguments Against Public Access." Newsletter of the American Society of Cell Biology [PDF]. November 13, 2006. http://www.ascb.org/files/0611newsletter.pdf