JURN’s big expansion and ‘spring cleaning’ is complete. “The open access search tool Jurn.org has just completed a significant expansion, undertaken throughout March/April 2014. Jurn.org had previously only indexed its core collection of over 4,000 arts and humanities ejournals, all open access or otherwise free. The new Jurn.org expansion has now added a large intake of business, science, biomedical and ecology related open access ejournals. Also new to Jurn.org are full-text theses at selected academic repositories, with an initial focus on including the bulk of the larger UK repositories. Jurn.org has been built by hand, and highly curated, over a period of five years. Jurn is non profit and ad-free.” More here.
In the Library with the Lead Pipe » Librarian, Heal Thyself: A Scholarly Communication Analysis of LIS Journals. “This article presents an analysis of 111 Library and Information Science journals based on measurements of “openness” including copyright policies, open access self-archiving policies and open access publishing options. We propose a new metric to rank journals, the J.O.I. Factor (Journal Openness Index), based on measures of openness rather than perceived rank or citation impact. Finally, the article calls for librarians and researchers in LIS to examine our scholarly literature and hold it to the principles and standards that we are asking of other disciplines. [Also available as an EPUB for reading on mobile devices, or as a PDF.]” More here.
Open Access, Institutionalised?: Or, Another Reason Why International Relations Is Failing As An Intellectual Project. “It has been many times been suggested that Editors and Editorial Boards should abandon journals that maintain closed policies, especially where that work is voluntary and the publishers are particularly mercenary. But we cannot even manage a moratorium on starting new journals on the same tired models (and there are plenty of those new journals that celebrate their own supposed ‘criticality’). At this rate, that will come with a choice between high APCs or the old bargain of subscription-funded invisibility. When that choice begins to bite, some will no doubt express surprise that our learned societies had not acted sooner to guarantee our relevance, or impact, or value. This is all the more depressing if we want to insist, as we should, that IR is not just about politics, but also has a politics in the world. Right now that politics is to burn up cash whilst drifting away, disinterested, from new possibilities and new publics. Institutionalisation is no great rupture in the Western knowledge tradition, and no automatic boon to the general intellect, but it’s something. Maybe we should consider it.” More here.
Open Access Button project starts work on Version 2.0. “The Open Access Button, which enables people to log when they hit paywalls to scholarly content and to find alternative routes to that content, is seeking £20,000 of funding for Version 2.0 of the tool, which is planned for launch in this October’s Open Access Week. The Open Access Button was founded by Joseph McArthur and David Carroll and an early version, built by a team of volunteer developers, was launched in October 2013. The founders say on their fundraising page, ‘So far we’ve mapped over 6500 moments of this injustice, but we know that this is just the beginning. There are stories of patients looking for information on their condition and treatment, students trying to do their homework, and researchers trying to advance our knowledge of the world we live in.” More here.
MIT seeks better compliance with open-access policy. “Since the implementation of the Institute’s open-access policy in 2009, more than 11,000 articles have been posted on DSpace, MIT’s online archive of research. These represent 37 percent of the total number of papers published by the MIT faculty in that period. “That number is less than the majority of papers — it may not sound impressive, but its actually among the highest of MIT’s peers,” said Faculty Chair Steven Hall, who reported on a five-year review of the policy at a faculty meeting on April 16. The policy mandates that faculty members let MIT openly publish the “fruits of their research.” Hall hopes to form a committee in the fall that will consider what incentives MIT can offer to encourage authors to comply with the policy more often. The committee will also consider whether to extend the policy to the thousands of postdoctoral researchers, and perhaps even MIT students.” More here.
Friend of Open Access, by Stevan Harnad. “Fred Friend died two days ago. He had been a dedicated, tireless and inspired advocate for OA ever since the idea was first baptized with a name (Budapest 2001, where he was one of the original co-drafters and signatories of the BOAI). Fred’s commitment to OA did not, I believe, originate only ex officio, as Director of Scholarly Communication at UCL, in the serials crisis with which he and all other library directors have had to struggle for decades. Fred also had a profound sense of justice (one that extended beyond local happenings sub specie aeternitatis). He simply felt that OA was right. And what he did on its behalf he did out of character and conviction. (He was also extremely forgiving, as I can humbly attest.) Fred was, in his own words, a Friend of Open Access. It is undeniable that OA has now lost a precious ally. But I think it is equally undeniable (and I am sure Fred knew it too) that OA is unstoppable now. That is in no small part true thanks to the efforts of this modest and faithful Friend. Heartfelt sympathy to Fred’s family; I hope that in their pain they will also find room for some pride.” View here.
Slideshow: Open Access Initiatives on a Regional and Global Scale: EIFL, OASPA, COAR and NDLTD, by Iryna Kuchma. “The presentation covers EIFL’s open access programme, Confederation of Open Access Repositories (COAR), Networked Digital Library of Theses and Dissertations (NDLTD) and Open Access Publishers Association (OASPA).” View here.
Opening Access to Research, by Mark Armstrong. Munich Personal RePEc Archive. “Traditionally, the scholarly journal market operates so that research institutions are charged high prices and the wider public is often excluded altogether, while authors can usually publish for free and commercial publishers enjoy high profits. Two forms of open access regulation can mitigate these problems: (i) direct price regulation of the form whereby a journal must charge a price of zero to all readers, or (ii) mandating authors or publishers to make freely available an inferior substitute to the published paper. The former policy is likely to result in authors paying to publish, which may lead to a reduction in the quantity of published papers and may make authors less willing to publish in selective journals. Recent UK policy towards open access is discussed.” Read here.
OKFN: Green on the possibilities of open education.”I was recently invited to join the Advisory Board of Open Knowledge’s Open Education Working Group and I quickly accepted. The aim of the group, “to initiate global cross-sector and cross-domain activity that encompasses the various facets of open education,” is perfectly inline with the open education, policy, access, data, science, legal and government work we do at Creative Commons. I firmly believe that the world is shifting from closed to open and that we need all hands on deck and all open organizations and advocates fully connected and coordinated if we are to leverage this historic opportunity. The opportunity? For the first time in human history, most of the world’s knowledge, research, data, and educational resources are digital. Digital things cost almost nothing to store, distribute and copy…and we can share these digital things, at the marginal cost of $0, under Creative Commons licenses with the world. Further, governments and other funders are starting to require that publicly funded resources are openly licensed resources.” More here.
Chronicle: A Public Library of the Humanities? An Interview with Martin Paul Eve. “This is the tenth interview in a series, Digital Challenges to Academic Publishing, byAdeline Koh. Each article in this series features an interview with an academic publisher, press or journal editor on how their organization is changing in response to the digital world. The series has featured interviews with Duke University Press, Anvil Academic,NYU Press, MIT Press and the Penn State University Press. In this interview I speak with Martin Paul Eve (@martin_eve, Lecturer in English at the University of Lincoln, UK and co-founder of the Open Library of Humanities.” View here.
Research Information: The impact of impact, by Ernesto Priego. “Cultural change in scholarly communication is often imposed rather than encouraged and this has led to a series of negative sentiments associated with the word ‘impact’. There is an increasing polarisation, in both discourse and practice, between visions of the future and the pragmatic limitations still experienced by many. So far the voices of funders have been heard (or mis-heard), as have the voices of some key players of the academic publishing industry. However, not all researchers, and particularly surprisingly to me, not all PhD students and early career researchers, are fully invested in the debates. The old dictum of ‘publish or perish’ has turned academic publishing into an empty signifier, a landmark to reach in order to get a stamp on the passport. You could say that publishing has become the process where content goes to die. Researchers move on after publishing an output as there’s pressure to publish more and more, and many publishers consider the job done once the content (or often rather just the URL, or the abstract) is online.” More here.
The Comics Grid: The Cost of Academic Publishing, by Michelle Brook. “What could the UK academic community do with £14.5 million? That is the same as the yearly tuition fees for over 1600 undergraduates paying £9,000 fees. And that is what just 19 Universities in the UK are spending in total during a single year on journal subscriptions to a single publisher. The act of publishing research has an intrinsic cost, and I don’t know anyone who claims otherwise. However, the key questions we as an academic community should be asking is how much this publishing process costs, and if we are receiving value for money. But we can’t answer these questions. Because we don’t know how much academic publishing costs. Historically, the costs of scientific research publication have been covered through subscriptions to academic journals in which the research has been published. Alternative business models are beginning to develop, but the majority of research around the world is still published in journals to which subscriptions are required. Individual academics are largely protected from the costs of access to these journals. Libraries at universities are largely responsible for managing institution wide access to journals, and through JISC negotiate these subscription costs.” More here.
Slideshow: Disciplinary Differences in Twitter Scholarly Communication, by Kim Holmberg and Mike Thelwall. “This paper investigates disciplinary differences in how researchers use the microblogging site Twitter. Tweets from researchers in five disciplines (astrophysics, biochemistry, digital humanities, economics, and history of science) were collected and analyzed both statistically and qualitatively. The results suggest that researchers tend to share more links and retweet more than the average Twitter users in earlier research. The results also suggest that there are clear disciplinary differences in how researchers use Twitter. Biochemists retweet substantially more than researchers in the other disciplines. Researchers in digital humanities use Twitter more for conversations, while researchers in economics share more links than other researchers. The results also suggest that researchers in biochemistry, astrophysics and digital humanities are using Twitter for scholarly communication, while scientific use of Twitter in economics and history of science is marginal.” View here.
The Guardian: Is UK humanities research reaching the widest possible audience? by Martin Paul Eve. “Today marks the launch of another report on open access, a topic area that is rapidly becoming saturated. The latest document, funded by theHigher Education Funding Council of England (Hefce) and overseen by the British Academy, specifically focuses on the humanities and social sciences in an international environment. The conclusions are fairly clear:
• Research Councils UK (RCUK) is unrealistic and its policies, we are told, “pose serious dangers for the international standing of UK research in the humanities”.
While such work is welcome, it must be stressed that there are also some problems with the research here. The most notable problem is the fact that the researchers destroyed datasets in order to preserve commercial confidentiality. Nobody can, therefore, check these findings and they must be treated with caution.” More here.
Times Higher Education: British Academy fears for humanities in open access world. “Research Councils UK’s open access policy poses “serious dangers for the international standing of UK research in the humanities”, a report by the British Academy has warned. Open Access Journals in Humanities and Social Science, published on 17 April, examines the practical issues raised for these disciplines by the UK’s move to open access. Critics have said these fields will find the transition particularly difficult. The report, whose lead author is Chris Wickham, British Academy vice-president of publications and Chichele professor of medieval history at the University of Oxford, says the level of compliance with UK open access policy by non-UK journals in English and modern languages may be as low as 20 per cent. It suspects the same may be true for art history and music, where open access is hampered by copyright issues for images and scores. Only about half of non-UK journals in history, archaeology, philosophy, politics and drama are compliant.” More here.
Research Information: New resource aims to provide quality insight into OA resources. “The ISSN team, with funding from UNESCO, saw an opportunity to help join up the dots. The result, which launched in beta in December 2013 as a subset of the ISSN Register, is ROAD – the Directory of Open Access Scholarly Resources. ROAD includes a range of OA resources, including journals, conferences proceedings, monographs, and institutional repositories. Content is chosen for inclusion in the directory based on the criteria that there is open access to the whole content of the resource (free registration is accepted); no moving wall; the resource comprises mainly research papers; and the audience is mostly researchers and scholars. Currently hybrid journals are not part of the project. Pelegrin said that this decision was made to limit the scope during the pilot phase of the project. However, he said that this is something that might be considered in the future if it is valuable to users. Similarly, he said that identifying predatory journals is not part of scope of the project, although sometimes ISSNs are not assigned for such titles. ‘Beall’s list is very good at this role but based on negative criteria. ROAD is based on positive criteria,’ he explained. The way that ROAD works is that ISSN records that describe OA resources are marked with a devoted code so that they can be published in ROAD. These ROAD codes are added by the ISSN National Centres when creating the records, or retrospectively by the ISSN International Centre. The ISSN records are then enriched with data taken from external sources such as journal indicators, indexing-abstracting services and registries.” More here.
Steven Harnad: The Only Way to Make Inflated Subscriptions Unsustainable: Mandate Green OA. “The only effective way to make inflated subscriptions unsustainable is for funders and institutions to mandate Green OA self-archiving. Tim Gowers is quite right that “the pace of change is slow, and the alternative system that is most strongly promoted — open access articles paid for by article processing charges [“Gold OA”] — is one that mathematicians tend to find unpalatable. (And not only mathematicians: they are extremely unpopular in the humanities.)… there is no sign that they will help to bring down costs any time soon and no convincing market mechanism by which one might expect them to.” This is all true as long as the other form of OA (“Green OA” self-archiving by authors of published articles in OA repsositories, mandated by funders and institutions) has not prevailed. Pre-Green Gold is “Fool’s-Gold.” Only Post-Green Gold is Fair-Gold.” More here.
Scholarly Kitchen: Strategic Thinking Exercise — Who Is Positioned to Keep Gold Open Access Growing? by Kent Anderson. “Strategic thinking can force you to face uncomfortable realities. It often shakes up your assumptions — but it’s necessary in order to anticipate and plan, to play where the puck is going rather than where it’s been. Part of the role of publishers and business leaders is to look ahead, sense where how the business environment is developing, and make judgments accordingly — often on incomplete information. In this light, a question has been dogging the strategic thinking part of my brain recently — basically, who is going to keep Gold open access (OA) growing?” More here.