Public Library of Science’s Cameron Neylon on the state of Open Access: Where are we, what still needs to be done? “I expect a lot of heavy lifting on infrastructure and systems, largely quiet and unsung to be undertaken by OA publishers, repository developers and policy makers, while in the public sphere a lot of shouting and noise will get the headlines. There will be fierce debate on harmonising US, EU, and UK OA policies. Much will be said about the differences in theory, but there will be a lot of quiet progress in practice alongside an increase in lobbying by some of the traditional publishers aiming to slow things down. And likely an increase in pressure from funders and institutions on publishers about greater pricing transparency. By mid-2014 we will have an emerging picture of what the transition will look like in the sciences, with some areas of the humanities and social sciences making significant progress and some being left behind. We will start seeing large scale re-aggregations and tools based on them emerging in the next 12 months and the advantages of liberal licensing will start to become clear as accessible but non-open content starts to get left behind in preference to that which can be effectively re-used and shared.” Read here.
Helping scholars tell their stories using altmetrics – Elsevier. Academic research and publishing have transitioned from paper to online platforms, and that migration has continued to evolve from closed platforms to connected networks. With this evolution, there is growing interest in the academic community in how we might measure scholarly activity online beyond formal citation. The collection, analysis and presentation of data about how people share and discuss academic papers are known as altmetrics. Over the last year altmetrics has received increasing attention in journals, conferences and social media. (A good starting point for learning about altmetrics is http://altmetrics.org/manifesto.) Data collected by altmetric platforms come from many sources, ranging from PDF downloads on scholarly platforms to mentions on everyday social websites. More here.
An OA publisher’s perspective on CC-BY. As the Director of the University of Adelaide Press, I am participating in the Humanities and Social Sciences session in the OASPA (Open Access Scholarly Publishers Association) conference in Latvia, Riga later this month. OASPA was initially set up to group together Open Access journal publishers, and now is keen to include book publishers, in all disciplines. At present, which is why I am speaking, OASPA require that their members not only have published at least one Open Access book, but also that it is published with a licence that allows the “broadest re-use of published material possible”. Their preference is the ‘CC-BY’ licence, now required by the United Kingdom funding bodies if they fund research, the European Union, and increasingly other funding bodies around the world. I do not believe this licence is automatically appropriate for Humanities and Social Sciences which generally publish in books. ‘Open Access’ as a term was formally adopted in the Budapest Open Access Initiative in December 2001, with the aim of assisting faster advances in Sciences, Medicine and Health. Subsequently, the six Creative Commons licences were created, to provide globally coherent copyright licences. I do not have a quibble with the most open licence of all, the CC-BY licence, when it is used in Sciences, Medicine and Health. Or for that matter, if any author in the Humanities and Social Sciences wishes to use it. My quibble is when it is mandated to all of us to use. I disagree flatly and categorically that when there are six different Creative Commons licences that only one must be used. Read here.
Open access “tipping point”: 50 per cent of science articles freely available within two years. A recent study funded by the European Commission and undertaken by analysts at Science-Metrix, a Montreal-based company that assesses science and technology organizations, has concluded that half of all published academic papers become freely available in no more than two years. According to the study, the year 2011 is a milestone for open access. By this analysis, 50 per cent of all scientific articles published in 2011 are currently available in some open access form or another, and the trend is toward more and more articles becoming open access. The study says that the “free availability of a majority of articles has been reached in general science and technology, in biomedical research, biology, and mathematics and statistics.” More here.
The Other Side of Open is Not Closed, Dazza Greenwood, JD. Impliedly, the opposite of “open” is “closed” but the other side of open data, open API’s and open access is usually still about enabling access but only when allowed or required. Open government also needs to include adequate methods to access and work with data and other resources that are not fully open. In fact, many (most?) high value, mission critical and societally important data access is restricted in some way. If a data-set is not fully public record then a good practice is to think of it as “protected” and to ensure access according to proper controls. As a metaphorical illustration, you could look at an open data system like a village square or agora that is architected and intended to be broadly accessible. On the other side of the spectrum, you could see a protected data system more like a castle or garrison, that is architected to be secure from intruders but features guarded gates and controlled access points in order to function. More here.
Higher Ed Associations Form Joint Steering Group to Build Federated System for Publicly Funded Research. The Association of Research Libraries (ARL), the Association of American Universities (AAU), and the Association of Public and Land-grant Universities (APLU) today announced the formation of a joint steering group to advance a proposed network of digital repositories at universities, libraries, and other research institutions across the US that will provide long-term public access to federally funded research articles and data. The steering group will oversee a feasibility study, guide policy, and explore governance structures necessary for prototyping and implementing the network. This repository network, the SHared Access Research Ecosystem (SHARE), is being developed as one response to a White House directive instructing federal funding agencies to make the results of research they fund available to the public. More here.
ALPSP Seminar: The Future of Peer Review, London. On Tuesday 12 November 2013. The journal peer review process is evolving to meet the needs of today’s research community, and leverage new online technologies. This seminar takes a look at the new developments that are shaping the future of peer review. With the peer review process continuing to define the very essence of a journal – a journal without peer review is not a journal – this is a must-attend seminar for all journal publishers, old and new… More here.
Where to find funds for publishing in Gold Open Access? If you are considering publishing in Gold OA it is worth to check, if your alma mater offers funds for these purposes. As I mentioned, research institutions and universities have extra money for this. For example – Genome Canada or Wellcome Trust. Wellcome Trust is the independent research-funding charity which introduced its own OA policy offering grants with additional funding for Open Access charges. But research institutions are just one of the sources. More here.
THE: EC study finds low citation gains for gold open access. An analysis of articles published via various open access models found that in all fields but physics and astronomy, publishing in journals giving immediate open access to articles was linked with a lower rate of citation by other academics. The disadvantage was “marked” in the arts, humanities and social sciences, economics and business and chemistry, says the report by Montreal-based research evaluation consultancy Science-Metrix. But its findings echo previous studies suggesting that in general open access publishing increases citation. More here.
CounterPress: A New Open Access Publisher! CounterPress, a new publisher focusing in critical theory and radical thinking, has just been announced. The publisher is an offshoot of Critical Legal Thinking, a blog “to enable critical legal scholars to make public interventions.” CounterPress will offer “reasonably priced” printed books, in addition to a digital “pay-as-you-can” model. Counterpress seeks to offer “critical legal scholars and allied theorists, philosophers, and other trans/inter-disciplinary academics an alternative to traditional book publishers.” So far, CounterPress has announced 4 titles, “Being Social: The Social and Legal Bond in Poststructuralism,” “Introduction to Critical Finance Law,” “The Other Critical Legal Studies” and The “Politics of Law and the Logic of Rupture.” More here.
The Danger Of Universal Gold Open Access, Björn Brembs. As a strong supporter of any open access initative over the last almost ten years, there is now a looming threat that the situation may deteriorate beyond the abysmal state scholarly publishing is in right now. Yes, you read that right: it can get worse than it is today. What would be worse? Universal gold open access – that is, every publisher charges the authors what they want for making the articles publicly accessible. I’ve been privately warning of this danger for some time, and now an email and a blog post by Ross Mounce reminded me that it is about time to make my lingering fear a little more public. He wrote: Outrageous press release from Nature Publishing Group today. More here.