Universities Join Forces to Support Open-Access Policies

The University of Kansas (KU) has had a faculty-approved open-access mandate in place since 2009. What it hasn’t had is a group of like-minded institutions to share ideas with about how to support such policies.

Today KU and 21 other universities and colleges announced that they’re joining forces to form the Coalition of Open Access Policy Institutions, or Coapi. The new group will “collaborate and share implementation strategies, and advocate on a national level,” it said in a statement. The group’s members so far include Arizona State, Columbia, Duke, Emory, Harvard, Oregon State, Stanford, and Trinity universities as well as the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Oberlin College. “The goal is to provide more practical advice and ideas for refining and expanding policies on our individual campuses but also to leverage those policies into action,” said Lorraine Haricombe, the dean of libraries at KU.

Ms. Haricombe began working to put together the coalition after hearing scholars and librarians on her campus talk about the challenges of complying with the open-access mandate. For instance, she said, it’s been difficult to get some publishers to allow faculty authors to deposit copies of journal articles in Kansas’s institutional repository, as the policy mandates. Ms. Haricombe said that another topic for Coapi is how to shift some of the money libraries pay for journal subscriptions over to support author-side fees charged by some open-access publishers. “My hope is that we will be able to speak with a collective voice about these issues that we face on our campuses,” she said.

The group will meet at the upcoming Berlin 9 open-access conference, to be held in November in Washington, to talk about which issues to focus on first. It will also discuss establishing itself as a formal membership organization and inviting other institutions to join. The group has the support of the Scholarly Publishing and Academic Resources Coalition, or SPARC, a national group that advocates for open access.

–Jennifer Howard in The Chronicle of Higher Education, August 2, 2011.

New Open Access journal in Scholarly Communications announced

A joint publishing partnership between the libraries at Pacific University in Oregon and California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo (CA) has announced a new open access, peer-reviewed journal dedicated to library-led scholarly communication initiatives, online publishing and digital projects.

The Journal of Librarianship and Scholarly Communication will provide a focused forum for library practitioners to share ideas, strategies, research and pragmatic explorations of library-led initiatives related to such areas as institutional repository and digital collection management, library publishing/hosting services and authors’ rights advocacy efforts. As technology, scholarly communication, the economics of publishing, and the roles of libraries all continue to evolve, the work shared in JLSC will inform practices that strengthen librarianship.

The journal will be co-edited by Marisa Ramirez (Cal Poly) and Isaac Gilman (Pacific), assited by a board of over a dozen experience and respected library practitioners, including Lisa Schiff of the California Digital Library (CDL).  The first issue is planned for early 2012, with rolling quarterly issues thereafter. All content will be open access and licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution license. For more information, contact Isaac Gilman (503-352-7209 or gilmani@pacificu.edu).

–Adapted from an undated press release issued in early July 2011.

Introducing PressForward

For some time, the people at the  Roy Rosenzweig Center for History and New Media at George Mason University have been thinking about the state of scholarly publishing and its increasing disconnect with how scholars and others have come to communicate online. Among their concerns:

• A variety of scholarly work is flourishing online, ranging from long-form writing on blogs, to “gray literature” such as conference papers, to well-curated corpora or data sets, to entirely novel formats enabled by the web.

• This scholarship is decentralized, thriving on personal and institutional sites, as well as the open web, but could use some way to receive attention from scholarly communities so works can receive credit and influence others.

• The existing scholarly publishing infrastructure has been slow-moving in accounting for this growing and multifaceted realm of online scholarship.

• Too much academic publishing remains inert—publication-as-broadcast rather than taking advantage of the web’s peer-to-peer interactivity.

• Too much scholarship remains gated when it could be open.

Legacy formats like the journal have considerable merit, of course, and they are rightly valued: they act as critical, if sometimes imperfect, arbiters of the good and important. At the same time, the web has found ways to filter the abundance of online work, ranging from the tech world (Techmeme) to long-form posts (The Browser), which act as screening agents for those interested in an area of thought or practice.

What if  the best of the scholarly review process could be combined with the best of open-web filters? What if there were a scholarly communication system that was digital first?

On June 24, the Rosenzweig Center announced a new initiative to do just that: PressForward, generously supported by a $862,000 grant from the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation‘s Digital Information Technology program.

PressForward says it will bring together the best scholarship from across the web, producing vital, open publications scholarly communities can gather around. PressForward will:

  • Develop effective methods for collecting, screening, and drawing attention to the best online scholarship, including scholarly blogs, digital projects, and other web genres that don’t fit into traditional articles or books, as well as conference papers, white papers, and reports.
  • Encourage the proliferation of open access scholarship through active new forms of publication, concentrating the attention of scholarly communities around high-quality, digital-first scholarship.
  • Create a new platform that will make it simple for any organization or community of scholars to launch similar publications and give guidance to institutions, scholarly societies, and academic publishers who wish to supplement their current journals with online outlets.

The Center hopes scholars will join them in making this new form of scholarly communication a reality. It particularly hopes to serve researchers in fields that are underserved by traditional outlets, those with digital projects that can only be “published” if described  in an article, editors of journals who would like to supplement standard articles with digital content from across the web, scholarly societies that want to find and feature online work, and the broader audience of researchers who are currently locked out of gated scholarship.  Visit the Center’s website for information on the scholars who are leading this new effort and on how to contact them by email, Twitter, or RSS feed.

(Adapted from the Center’s press release, dated June 24, 2011)

National Academies Press Puts All 4,000 Books Online at No Charge

The National Academies Press–the publishing arm of the National Academies of Sciences and Engineering, the Institute of Medicine, and the National Research Council–announced on June 2 that it would offer its entire PDF catalog of books for free, as files that can be downloaded by anyone. Many NAP books and reports are relied on by scientists, educators, and policy makers.

Barbara Kline Pope, executive director for the press, said it had previously offered 65 percent of its titles—ones that were narrow in scope—for free. “The 35 percent that we are adding today will reach a wider audience, and we are doing it because it’s central to our mission to get this information to everyone.”

Ms. Pope said the first new title taken was Surrounded by Science: Learning Science in Informal Environments, which sells in hardcover for $24.95. A more technical tome, but very popular among researchers, is Prudent Practices in the Laboratory: Handling and Management of Chemical Hazards, which costs $99.95 in hardcover. (The press has published a set of instructions for getting the free PDFs.)

“Eight years ago, if we did this, we would have lost substantial amounts of money,” Ms. Pope says. “But our costs have come down a lot, and our institution says they will stand behind us even if we do lose money.” The operating costs of the press are lower, she said, because it jettisoned its own printing and fulfillment operations (they are now outsourced) and cut staff from about 70 people down to about 40. It also no longer prints catalogs but does all its marketing over the Internet. “So now we can afford to do this,” she says. “Of course, we still need to sell some hardcover books.”

–Adapted from article by Josh Fischman in The Chronicle of Higher Education, June 2, 2011.

SPARC Launches Open-Access Journal Resource

SPARC (the Scholarly Publishing and Academic Resources Coalition)  released on May 26th a free online Open Access Journal Publishing Resource Index with information and documents to support the launch and operation of an open-access journal. Materials in the index will help libraries, presses, and other academic units on campuses as they work together to make the work of their researchers more widely available.

This new resource is launched in conjunction with the SPARC Campus-based Publishing Resource Center, which delivers a guide to critical issues in campus-based publishing partnerships, case studies, a bibliography and resource list, an index of collaborative initiatives (operated in partnership with Columbia University Libraries), and access to the LIBPRESS online discussion forum (operated by the University of California). The Center is overseen by an editorial board representing library and university press staff who are actively engaged in creating and managing publishing partnerships.

The new index complements the rich existing resource center by pointing to relevant sections in existing open-access journal publishing guides and to sample journal proposals, policies, bylaws, and other documentation to help with planning, development, and collaboration issues. Topics covered include:

• New Journal Planning
• Journal Publishing Program Policies
• Governance
• Editorial
• Marketing & Promotion
• Technical Platforms
• Sustainability Planning

Relevant sections of existing open-access publishing guides, including those by David Solomon, Carol Sutton, Kevin Stranack, Jan Velterop, Howard Goldstein and Raym Crow, and others are indicated under each topic area.

By highlighting samples and best practices, the index will help give campuses the tools they need to develop and maintain long-term, successful open-access publishing ventures. “As campus-based publishing gets more ambitious in scope, it’s important to build on the successes and challenges of earlier initiatives and adopt best practices,” said Raym Crow, senior consultant at SPARC. “Ultimately, campus-based publishing can offer universities greater control over the intellectual products they help create. SPARC is pleased to provide another tool to support libraries and publishers in sustainable, professional, open-access publishing.”

Lee C. Van Orsdel, Dean of University Libraries at Grand Valley State University, and a former speaker at the UCSD Libraries luncheon forum for scholarly communication issues, says faculty are beginning to consult librarians for advice on journal publishing options, including open-access models, and the SPARC site is a welcome resource. “We’re deepening our knowledge as quickly as possible, but it’s a whole new area of expertise for most of us,” she said. “It will save us time and increase the probability that we can get to the right solution when advising our faculty on their best options.”

The editorial board invites contributions from other campuses to help build this resource and expand the bibliography – especially with primary research papers on collaboration issues. “SPARC hopes this will seed an effort where people will give documents to share, making it a community hub,” said Crow. Members of the board and how to contact the managing editor with suggestions are detailed on the Center home page.

–Adapted from the SPARC press release dated May 26, 2011.

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Wiley Launches New Program of Open Access Journals, Developed to Increase Author Choice

Wiley announced on February 1 the launch of Wiley Open Access, a new publishing program of open access journals. The first journals will launch shortly, publishing primary peer-reviewed research in a range of broad-based subject disciplines in the life and biomedical sciences, including neuroscience, microbiology, ecology and evolution.

Wiley Open Access will provide authors wishing to publish their research outcomes in an open access journal with a range of new high quality publications which meet the requirements of funding organizations and institutions where these apply.

“The development of Wiley Open Access is an example of our commitment to offer authors the widest possible choice in publishing with Wiley”, said Steve Miron, Senior Vice President, Wiley-Blackwell. He added, “Wiley has a strong history of innovation in journal publishing and we see this as a natural extension of our service to our learned society partners, authors, and the scholarly community in its broadest sense”.

The new journals are being launched in collaboration with a group of international professional and scholarly societies with which Wiley currently partners. Each journal will appoint an Editor-in-Chief and Editorial Board responsible for ensuring that all articles are rigorously peer-reviewed, and each journal will be offered with the full functionality of Wiley Online Library.

The new Wiley Open Access journal Brain and Behavior will publish open access research across neurology, neuroscience, psychiatry and psychology. Brain and Behavior’s newly appointed Editor-in-Chief, Andrei V. Alexandrov, Professor of Neurology, University of Alabama at Birmingham, comments:

“With the launch of Brain and Behavior, the Editorial Board and I, along with the support of many international societies, will offer the research community a high quality peer-reviewed journal that meets the needs of those authors who wish to publish their work in an open access environment. I am delighted to be working with Wiley to deliver this important new service.”

Professor Allen Moore, University of Exeter and newly appointed Editor-in-Chief of Ecology and Evolution comments:

“I am excited to be involved with this new open access journals initiative. Ecology and Evolution will deliver rapid decisions and fast publication of research in all areas of ecology, evolution and conservation science. By working in collaboration with leading societies to deliver open access to all, this new journal offers authors an ideal place to publish their work quickly to the broadest possible audience.”

Professor Geoff Hanlon, Honorary President of Society for Applied Microbiology (SfAM) comments:

“The new Wiley Open Access journal in microbiology will deliver something of real value, with in-depth peer-review, fast publishing times and availability to the worldwide research community. We are looking forward to partnering with Wiley to support this new high-quality open access journal for the microbiology community.”

Wiley Open Access journals will be published under the Creative Commons Attribution NonCommercial License, which permits use, distribution and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited and is not used for commercial purposes. A publication fee will be payable by authors on acceptance of their articles. Wiley will introduce a range of new payment schemes to enable academic and research institutions, funders, societies, and corporations to actively support their researchers and members who wish to publish in Wiley Open Access journals.

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Coalition Looks to Rally Student Support for Open-Access Publishing

(Adapted from an article by Travis Kaya in The Chronicle of Higher Education online, posted Dec. 15, 2010).
Improving access to scholarly journals is not a typical student rallying cry, but a growing organization thinks it should be.
The Right to Research Coalition, which says it represents student groups comprising 5.5 million members in the United States and several other countries, unveiled a Web site and blog in October to educate and connect students about open-access publishing, and increase pressure on publishers and scholars to make their work freely available online.
Unlike rising textbook costs—a point of contention on college campuses—journal subscription costs often go unnoticed by students, say coalition leaders. They hope the Web site will show the impact that open-access publishing could have on students’ individual research and on scholarship around the globe, especially as cash-strapped academic libraries cut expensive journal subscriptions.
The Washington-based group—run via the Scholarly Publishing and Academic Resources Coalition—was founded in June 2009 after some student organizations drafted the Student Statement on the Right to Research. Though scholars and librarians have advocated for open-access publishing for a long time, students have only recently added their voices to the discussion, says Nick Shockey, leader of the new group.
Support among student organizations has been growing. Since 2009, the coalition has attracted 28 member organizations, including the American Medical Student Association, the United States Student Association, and the National Association of Graduate-Professional Students. “We have a great opportunity to act on the national and state level,” Mr. Shockey says. “It’s really an area where students can have an impact.”

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Leading researchers present the individual and collective benefits of free online access to research

     Today marks the start of Open Access Week 2010, as thousands of scholars, faculty, and students in nearly 90 countries worldwide (including UCSD–see below) participate in events to raise awareness and advance understanding of the benefits of Open Access (OA). The week features the voices of top researchers who have stepped forward with first-hand accounts of how Open Access to research has positively impacted them and their ability to do their work.
     “The exciting opportunity we have with this year’s Open Access Week stems from the fact that Open Access is mature enough that good examples now exist of what you can do as a scholar in an open-access enabled world that you simply can’t do in a closed environment.” With these words, Heather Joseph, Executive Director of SPARC (the Scholarly Publishing and Academic Resources Coalition and organizer of OA Week), tees up the official 2010 Open Access Week Online Kick-off Event.
     Leading the event is pioneering Open Access advocate Dr. Harold Varmus, a Nobel Prize-winning scientist who currently directs the U.S. National Cancer Institute. Varmus is joined by Dr. Cameron Neylon, a biophysicist and open research advocate; Dr. Mona Nemer, professor and vice-president for research at the University of Ottawa; Dr. Roger Wakimoto, Director of the U.S. National Center for Atmospheric Research; and a host of other leading researchers from around the globe. This recorded event can be viewed online at http://www.vimeo.com/15881200 by anyone, in any time zone, on any day during OA Week.
     The Kick-Off Event, along with the voices of a large international host of researchers, will be highlighted in Open Access Week programs everywhere and is now available through the Open Access Week Web site at www.openaccessweek.org/video.

     A global event now entering its fourth year, Open Access Week (October 18 to 24) is an opportunity for the academic and research community to learn about the potential benefits of Open Access (OA), to share ideas with colleagues, and to inspire wider participation in establishing Open Access as a new norm in scholarship and research. Research funding agencies, academic institutions, research organizations, non-profits, businesses, and others use as a valuable platform to launch expanded open-access publication funds, institution-wide open-access policies, and new reports on the societal and economic benefits of OA.

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UC Continues to Support Open Access Resources

As part of UC’s continuing support of Open Access journals and alternatives to traditional publishing practices, UC campuses are now institutional supporting members of the two resources listed below. 


 The University of California is now an institutional supporting member of arXiv, an open-access database to e-prints in physics, mathematics, computer science, quantitative biology, quantitative finance and statistics.  For more, see http://arxiv.org/help/support/faq .

Nucleic Acids Research  http://nar.oxfordjournals.org Nucleic Acids Research (NAR) publishes the results of leading edge research into physical, chemical, biochemical and biological aspects of nucleic acids and proteins involved in nucleic acid metabolism and/or interactions. It enables the rapid publication of papers under the following categories: Chemistry and synthetic biology; Computational biology; Gene regulation, chromatin and epigenetics; Genome integrity, repair and replication; Genomics; Molecular biology; Nucleic acid enzymes; RNA and Structural biology. A Survey and Summary section provides a format for brief reviews. The first issue of each year is devoted to biological databases, and an issue in July is devoted to papers describing web-based software resources of value to the biological community.        Oxford University Press and the Editors of Nucleic Acids Research (NAR) launched an Open Access initiative for NAR in 2005. This means that it is no longer necessary to hold a subscription in order to read current NAR content online.  The UC Libraries have an Institutional Membership of NAR.
A 2010 institutional membership provides discounted publication charges (50% discount) for Corresponding authors based at the member institution.  Additionally, institutional memberships help to underwrite the publication charges for author’s from institutions in developing countries.  For more, see NAR’s Open Access Initiative.

Just Published: Open Access: Opportunities and Challenges – a Handbook

A Joint publication of the European Commission and the German Commission for UNESCO, 2008

The English version of the handbook, a joint publication with the European Commission’s Science in Society Programme, has just been published. The publication is available in print and electronic version. The handbook aims to provide information about the opportunities and challenges offered by Open Access, and to present a wide array of issues and positions under debate. The English version of the handbook is a translation of the handbook in German, published by the German Commission for UNESCO  in 2007.

Download the Book:
OR, http://ec.europa.eu/research/science-society/document_library/pdf_06/open-access-handbook_en.pdf

More Details about the book: http://www.unesco.de/openaccess-en.html

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