Guardian Newspaper: ‘Why open access makes no sense’ – There can be no such thing as free access to academic research, says Robin Osborne in Debating Open Access essays – research is a process that universities teach and charge for. “The fundamental argument for providing open access to academic research is that research that is funded by the tax-payer should be available to the tax-payer. Those who have paid for the research, it is urged, should not have to pay a second time for access to the publication of that research. Proponents of what has come to be called ‘open access’ claim that this is simply obvious, but in fact this argument mistakes the fundamental nature of academic research, it mistakes nature and process of academic publication, and it mistakes what is involved in providing access to academic research. I shall limit my claims here to research in the Humanities, but very similar arguments apply to research in the sciences also.” More here.
Björn Brembs: Open Access and the looming crisis in science. There is a looming crisis in science, and we must act now to prevent it. Currently, the number of scientific papers retracted from a large database of thousands of biomedical journals is a mere 0.05%, a low rate. But recently this rate has been rising. That rise is so quick that, if the trend were to continue, as many scientific publications will have to be retracted as are being published by about 2045. More here.
Tim McCormick: Six paths to a global Open Access Repository.
- “OpenRef“: analogous to CrossRef, a single service point to look up, request, or submit materials, offering the simplest, most user-centered possible interface for all needs.
- “Best available version” concept: recognize preprints, drafts, outlines, alternate articles, book summaries, etc., as legitimate versions for many purposes.
- Identifier assignment and association/clustering (e.g. of DOIs) for all materials.
- 80/20 approach: discover and focus on the content that is most needed.
- Crowdsource the identification, prioritization, discovery/archiving, and creation of archivable works, e.g. with the #paywall hashtag.
- Global scope: not limited by institution, discipline, country, educational level, or genre of work.
Open Reflections: #OAbooks in the HSS: Contexts, Conversations, Technologies and Communities of Practice. A summary of the OAPEN UK/JISC Open Access Monographs Conference at the British Library, by Janneke Adema. Read here. More on the conference here, here and here.
Research Discovery and the Migration to Open Access’ – an event at the Research Support, Library Services, Queen Mary, University of London on Tuesday, 16 July 2013 from 12:30 to 17:00 (BST). Entry is free. More information here.
Evaluating the Open Access software toolchain. Although we always go by the aphorism that the social problems are the ones that need fixing, we cannot neglect the technological. If we do not build and maintain an open toolset, we cannot rely on the arguments derived from the free software movement for ethical imperatives to OA. If we do not build and maintain an open toolset, we will be beholden to proprietary lock-in and outside determination of workflow (which drives peer review). More here.
NIH sees surge in open-access manuscripts. Last November, the US National Institutes of Health (NIH) said that “as of spring 2013″ it would start cracking down on enforcing its public-access policy — and it seems the agency is now seeing positive results. In May, authors approved more than 10,000 peer-reviewed manuscripts arising from NIH-funded research to go into the agency’s online free repository, PubMed Central. That’s a huge jump from the average 5,100 per month in 2011–12, and suggests the agency is nearing its goal of getting everyone it funds to make their papers publicly available. More here.
Horizon 2020 – Outline of a Pilot for Open Research Data. Joint Statement by OpenAIRE, LIBER and COAR – 3 July. The European Commission is developing an Open Data Project. It will look at research data generated in projects funded under the Horizon 2020 framework, with the aim of stimultating the data-sharing culture among researchers and facilitating both the re-use of information and data-driven science. As organisations with a strong interest in Open Data, OpenAIRE, LIBER and COAR would like to give their views on the current situation and make recommendations for an effective Open Data Pilot. Read outline here.
Before the law: open access, quality control and the future of peer review, by Martin Paul Eve. OA is not about abandoning peer review but it does provide the opportunity to rethink its role and our methods.
- 67% of existing OA journals do not charge APCs and yet academics have tended to steer clear of them.
- People opt for recognised outlets because of the (erroneously) perceived emphasis on publication venue by accreditation structures such as RAE/REF/tenure.
- In the print world peer review was historically linked to page limits; these do not apply in the electronic realm.
- Double blind review is a misnomer and even then preserved anonymity can be problematic.
- The alternative is to publish everything that meets a certain threshold of academic soundness and to let readers decide what should last; in effect a kind of post-publication, or peer-to-peer, review.
- This modification of peer review could lead to more collaboration and less insistence on an individual finished product.
UC Libraries Discontinue Taylor & Francis Systemwide Journals License. Following a rigorous value assessment, the Libraries on the ten UC campuses and the California Digital Library (CDL) have discontinued their systemwide Taylor & Francis journals license in favor of local campus subscriptions effective January 1, 2013. Three important systemwide principles were the basis for the decision: achieving sustainable pricing, better aligning cost to value, and maintaining the highest quality journal content possible across a broad range of disciplines. Clear UC-focused value metrics by subject category combined with a structured, holistic review process encompassing all systemwide journal packages were used to inform this decision, which will save the Libraries nearly 45% over previously projected costs. More here.