Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Explore Revues' Electronic Journals

Revues covers more than 100 ejournal titles in the humanities and the social sciences published in France. Access e-Spania. Revue électronique d’études hispaniques médiévales or European Journal of American Studies.

"Scrittori d'Italia" makes available Italian literature, poetry and history texts

Intute reports “The website "Scrittori d'Italia" makes freely available online digital reproduction of texts representing the entire series published by Laterza publishing house, and bearing the same title. Under the editorial guidance of Benedetto Croce (1866-1952), the printed series ran to 179 texts which appeared - a few in several editions - between 1910 and 1987, year of the final publication. Benedetto Croce was responsible for the editorial selection and criteria of publication.” more

Saturday, July 26, 2008

PubMed Central Submissions Jump Sharply Under New NIH Policy

Library Journal Academic Newswire reports that substantially more deposits of NIH funded research articles are now being made into PubMed Central as a result of the new mandatory NIH policy:
In the months since passage of the National Institutes of Health’s (NIH) mandatory public access policy in late December of 2007, the number of submissions to the National Library of Medicine’s (NLM) PubMed Central (PMC) repository, where authors are now required to deposit their NIH-funded research papers, has risen significantly.

According to NIH statistics, submissions to PMC began steadily rising in December 2007, soon after it became clear a mandatory policy would be adopted in 2008. By the first month following passage of the new policy, January 2008, monthly submissions to PMC hit an all-time high of 1255, and have continued to increase significantly every month so far this year. In April 2008, when the policy officially took effect, submissions spiked even more sharply, rising from 1852 total submissions in March, to 2,765 in April and 2,593 in May. The April/May 2008 figures represent well over double the number of submissions for the same months in 2007 (1,198 PMC submissions in April ’07; 948 in May ’07). Although official figures for June have not yet been posted, the NIH’s Dr. David Lipman told the LJ Academic Newswire the submission totals were higher than May.

It’s still too early to compute compliance rates, Lipman noted, but the early returns suggest a stunning turnaround. “Looking at the increase in submissions and the dramatic increase in journals signing PMC Publisher Participation agreements,” Lipman suggested a “reasonable projection” would be a compliance rate “around 55-60 percent.” Adoption of the “mandatory” NIH policy was spurred by abysmal compliance rates under the NIH’s first public access policy, adopted in 2005, which, after considerable pushback from publishers opposed to a deposit mandate, was scaled back to a voluntary policy at the 11th hour. In February, 2006, NIH reported to congress that compliance rates under the voluntary policy lagged around four percent.

SPARC executive director Heather Joseph told the LJ Academic Newswire she expected PMC deposits to remain strong, and said the spike in submissions validated the work done by NIH and the policy’s supporters, including libraries, to educate NIH investigators about the policy, including workshops, podcasts, and an array of web resources.

Monday, July 21, 2008

Electronic Publication and the Narrowing of Science and Scholarship

A recent report published in Science (Vol 321, p. 395), Electronic Publication and the Narrowing of Science and Scholarship, argues that even as the depth of online journal backfiles increases researchers are citing fewer journals and more recent articles. In addition, James Evans argues that the hyperlinking found in online articles may contribute to a hastening toward scientific consensus; print browsing and the use of less precise print indexing exposes the research to other, more diverse points of view. The study takes into account the currency of individual research areas (by weighting of title terms) and citation patterns within disciplinary subfields.

Friday, July 18, 2008

Lyon Municipal Library signs with Google Books

Google has announced a partnership with Lyon’s Municipal Library. This library, France’s second largest, has agreed to allow over 500,000 of its books to be digitized and made accessible as part of Google’s Book Search Library project. From the Bookseller (15 July, 2008):

Google and the municipal library of Lyon will make more than 500,000 books available online as part of Google's Book Search Library project.

The Lyon Municipal Library, which is France's second largest library after the national library in Paris, is the first French library to join the project. It will give internet users access to out-of-copyrights works, searchable through Google Book Search, with the chance to download the full texts from the historic and special collections.

It also includes works in Latin, Italian, English, German and Spanish, which will be added to Google's multilingual index.

Gérard Collomb, senator and mayor of Lyon, said: "[The decision] allows us to open our library doors to the rest of the world. Digitisation, combined with the increased usage of the internet now allows to preserve collections - with digital copies - while also opening up the possibility for users to access and consult books from a distance".

The Lyon Municipal Library is the 29th library to join the project, which also includes Oxford University, Harvard University, Stanford University and Princeton University.

Thursday, July 17, 2008

APA policy re NIH deposit

Two days ago the Chronicle of Higher Education ran an article stating that the APA had adopted a new policy with regard to its NIH funded authors, advising that they

"should NOT deposit” their own manuscripts, and instead should allow the group to do so. “The deposit fee of $2,500 per manuscript for 2008 will be billed to the author’s university,” the policy says. Because the NIH does not charge a fee, that money is apparently going to the psychological association.

Kevin Smith posted an interesting analysis of the policy on the blog Scholarly Communication @Duke He states:

Now comes the news that the APA is announcing that authors publishing articles in its journals that are based on NIH-funded research “should NOT” deposit their own works in PubMed Central as is now required by law. Rather, they will be required to pay APA $2500 so that the articles can be deposited by the publisher. Since there is virtually no cost associated with the mechanics of deposit itself, and the NIH policy allows an embargo on public availability of articles of up to one year in order to protect the traditional subscription market, it is hard to see what this policy is intended to accomplish other than to force an additional income stream out of the faculty authors who already provide the APA with free content. And there is heavy irony in the APA’s assertion that they can do this “as the copyright holder.”

APA is trying to put its own authors between the proverbial rock and a hard place, and it is behaving as if theirs is a non-competitive market. This is not, in fact, the case – only two of the top ten psychology journals in 2007, based on impact factor, were published by the APA, and one non-APA journal editor expressed pleased surprise at the new policy because it was sure to benefit those other journals. But for years our faculties have behaved as if they were, indeed, captive to specific journals. As scholarly societies are driven, apparently by fear and anger more than a realistic business strategy, to treat the authors on whom they depend with such contempt, one can only hope that this misperception will begin to change.

In the meantime, the APA has removed the policy from their website and the page now states:

A new document deposit policy of the American Psychological Association (APA) requiring a publication fee to deposit manuscripts in PubMed Central based on research funded by the National Institutes of Health (NIH) is currently being re-examined and will not be implemented at this time. This policy had recently been announced on APA’s Web site. APA will soon be releasing more detailed information about the complex issues involved in the implementation of the new NIH Public Access Policy.

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Canadian University Starts an Author's Fund

Observers of the open access movement are well aware of the cost issues involved in open access publishing. Open access journals operate on the principle that scholarly research should be freely available to all, but inevitably the publication of those journals requires funding. One of the models for raising funds has been for publishers to charge author's fees when an author wishes to provide open access to the published article. There have been a number of funding solutions to cover author's costs, and one has been financial support from the author's institution. Last month, the University of Calgary announced that it would create a special fund to cover this kind of expense for its faculty. The following text is from the university's announcement:

University of Calgary professors and graduate students will now have access to a $100,000 Open Access Authors Fund designed to increase the amount of publicly available research. The new fund, announced today by Thomas Hickerson, Vice-Provost, Libraries and Cultural Resources and University Librarian, is the first of its magnitude in Canada. “I am proud that the University of Calgary is taking leadership in this movement to increase the worldwide accessibility of cutting-edge research,” said Hickerson.

Friday, July 11, 2008

Open Access Policy Adopted by Stanford's Education Faculty

Emulating Harvard's Arts and Sciences faculty as well as Harvard Law faculty, the School of Education at Stanford recently adopted a policy requiring its faculty members to make their scholarly articles available for free to the public.

From the Stanford News Service, 9 July, 2008:

In a move designed to broaden access to faculty research and scholarship, the School of Education at Stanford recently adopted a policy requiring its faculty members to make their scholarly articles available for free to the public.

The school's faculty unanimously approved the new "open access" policy in June, becoming the first education school in the nation to enact a mandatory policy.

An estimated 30 universities around the world have adopted similar plans. . . .

Under the new policy, faculty members in the School of Education will give Stanford University a worldwide, nonexclusive license to post their articles online at no cost to readers, as long as the articles are properly attributed to the authors and are not sold for a profit.

Faculty members may request waivers from the policy. . . .

John Willinsky, a professor of education at Stanford who presented the proposal to faculty, said the people who will benefit the most from the new policy are those who lack access to university libraries, which make journals available to students, faculty and staff.

Willinsky, the Khosla Family Professor of Education at Stanford, said the vast majority of scholarly journals—80 percent—are available online, but only to subscribers in most cases. A small percentage of those journals will sell articles to individuals. . . .

Willinsky said the School of Education's new policy recognizes the valuable contribution publishers make to the system by granting publishers rights to the final, published version of the article as it appears in journals, while giving Stanford the right to post the author's final, peer-reviewed version of the article on a university website.

See the complete article.

Tuesday, July 8, 2008 New Global Science Gateway

On June 12, 2008, the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) announced the establishment of, an alliance of 32 national scientific databases and portals from 44 countries. Users can now search some 200 million pages of freely-available scientific information and data not generally accessible through standard search engines. Founding-member organizations include: African Journals OnLine; the British Library; Canada Institute for Scientific and Technical Information; Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (South Africa); German National Library of Science and Technology; Institut de l’Information Scientifique et Technique (France); Japan Science and Technology Agency; Korea Institute of Science and Technology Information; Alliance (United States); Scientific Electronic Library Online; and the VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland.

Sunday, July 6, 2008

Posting One's Articles on Personal and Departmental Websites

Many BC faculty wish to provide full-text access to their journal publications on both their department’s and their own personal websites. However, there are often challenges to doing so, notably when the author has signed over their copyright to the publisher in the publication contract.

The following website is very useful: SHERPA/RoMEO: Publisher Copyright Policies & Self-Archiving. Though it’s UK based, it’s still valuable for the US. Essentially the website may be used to find a summary of permissions that are normally given as part of each publisher's copyright transfer agreement. Though it certainly does not include every publisher, the number of publishers listed is fairly large.

Each publisher is assigned a color (green, blue, yellow, or white). “Green” is the best: an author can provide access to the full-text of the pre-print and the post-print of her/his journal article. Some green publishers, e.g. Cambridge U. Press, Duke U. Press, U. of California Press (and many others) allow an author to place the actual publisher’s version/PDF on the author’s personal or departmental web page. The SHERPA/RoMEO url is:

July issue of the SPARC Open Access Newsletter

The July issue of the SPARC Open Access Newsletter is now online:

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Big Growth in Directory of Open Access Journals

The Directory of Open Access Journals ( is increasing very rapidly. There are now 3483 free, full text, quality controlled scientific and scholarly journals in the Directory. Currently 1178 of them are searchable at article level. As of today 190242 articles are included in the Directory.