Sunday, November 30, 2008

NIH Public Access Policy Videos

The National Institutes of Health (NIH) has made two videos available to assist in complying with the law requiring deposition of articles funded by NIH into PubMed Central. The first video shows how the author himself can deposit final peer-reviewed manuscript in PMC via the NIH Manuscript Submission System (NIHMS). The second video shows the submission process for final peer-reviewed manuscripts that the publisher has deposited in the NIH Manuscript Submission System (NIHMS).

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Global Library of Women's Medicine Launched

Global Library of Women's Medicine, a new open access database, has recently been launched. It is intended to provide a definitive resource on the latest therapeutic options in women's medicine for doctors and women concerned about their health. Incorporating a vast range of detailed clinical information across the whole field of women's medicine, it consists of 442 main chapters and 53 supplementary chapters, supported by over 40,000 references. The chapters have been written by more than 650 specialists. This freely available Library is accessible at:

Sunday, November 23, 2008

DOAJ Growing Impressively

The Directory of Open Access Journals (DOAJ) is going from strength to strength. DOAJ now lists 3756 journals. 1312 of these journals are searchable at article level, the number of articles included being 222745 as of today.

The goal of DOAJ “is to increase the visibility and ease of use of open access scientific and scholarly journals thereby promoting their increased usage and impact.” It “aims to be comprehensive and cover all open access scientific and scholarly journals that use a quality control system to guarantee the content.” More information about DOAJ is available at There is also a page of FAQs.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

European Commission launches EUROPEANA

Europeana, an online inventory of European digital resources, profiles its rich cultural heritage by drawing from collections in libraries, museums and archives. Although all EU countries are represented one observes that France dominates the site. View the Ch√Ęteau de Versailles Podcast. Europeana complements The European Library site, of National Libraries of Europe website, formerly Gabriel.


Monday, November 17, 2008

Research Funded by Autism Speaks to be Open Access

Autism Speaks, the largest autism advocacy organization in the U.S., recently announced the new policy that effective December 3, 2008 all researchers in receipt of funding from Autism Speaks will be required to deposit any resulting peer-reviewed research papers in the PubMed Central digital repository, whence they will be freely accessible to anyone with internet access. PubMed Central will make the papers available to the public within 12 months of journal publication. This new policy is firmly in line with the National Institutes of Health mandate.

From Autism Speaks’ 13 November, 2008 press release:

Posting articles on PubMed Central not only makes the results of research more accessible, it also integrates them with other research and data, making it easier for scientists worldwide to pursue autism research and make discoveries. Equally important, families, clinicians, patients, educators, and students reap the benefits by having open access to Autism Speaks-funded research. PubMed Central's trusted repository of full-text biomedical journal articles is freely available online at

While families are now able to view a wide range of information about autism research online, they often do not have easy access to primary sources, including peer-reviewed scientific literature. This new policy will allow everyone to access complete articles that in the past may have been available only through fee-based journals.

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Copyright Angst, Lust for Prestige and Cost Control: What Institutions Can Do to Ease Open Access

In an article in the latest issue of Ariadne Leo Waaijers considers why authors are hesitant about publishing their scholarship in Open Access journals or placing them in their institution’s digital repository. Though the article is primarily focused on the European context its arguments and recommendations are fully applicable to the US. In The Introduction Waaijers writes “[authors] ask themselves whether that will not be at odds with the copyright rules and whether they will gain – or perhaps even lose – prestige. For their part, institutional managers wonder whether switching to Open Access will not make things more expensive than sticking with the traditional system of publication.

This article analyses the current situation regarding these three issues. The only possible conclusion is that the academic community finds itself in the course of a transition – from paper to digital – as regards the dissemination of knowledge, a transition that urgently requires an active and directive approach on the part of universities and research institutions. This conclusion is in line with a recent recommendation by the European University Association, with the primary conclusion being that ‘Universities should develop institutional policies and strategies that foster the availability of their quality controlled research results for the broadest possible range of users, maximizing their visibility, accessibility and scientific impact.’”

In two appendices Bas Savenije and Michel Wesseling compare the costs of open access publishing and subscriptions/licences for their respective institutions, Utrecht University and the Institute of Social Studies in The Hague.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

The beauty of Some Rights Reserved

ACRL -The beauty of "Some Rights Reserved: Introducing Creative Commons to librarians, faculty, and students"
C&RL News, November 2008Vol. 69, No. 10
by Molly Kleinman

This short article details the background of Creative Commons licenses, explains the various types, and gives some tips on introducing them to faculty and students. It also links to some useful resources.

"Founded by a group of intellectual property and technology experts in 2001, Creative Commons has emerged as a major player in the growing movement to provide an alternative to “All Rights Reserved.” Their goal is “to build a layer of reasonable, flexible copyright in the face of increasingly restrictive default rules.”3 They appear to be succeeding. As of this writing, Creative Commons licenses are available in 44 countries, with 9 more on the way. There are more than 60 million photographs available under Creative Commons licenses on the popular photo sharing Web site Flickr (; nearly 10,000 sound clips, samples, and remixes on the music site ccMixter (; and materials from 1,800 undergraduate and graduate level MIT courses in the MIT OpenCourseWare program ("

Monday, November 10, 2008

ARL Study: Current Models of Digital Scholarly Communication

The Association of Research Libraries (ARL) has released the report Current Models of Digital Scholarly Communication, by Nancy L. Maron and K. Kirby Smith. From ARL’s press release:

In the spring of 2008, ARL engaged Ithaka's Strategic Services Group to conduct an investigation into the range of online resources valued by scholars, paying special attention to those projects that are pushing beyond the boundaries of traditional formats and are considered innovative by the faculty who use them. The networked digital environment has enabled the creation of many new kinds of works, and many of these resources have become essential tools for scholars conducting research, building scholarly networks, and disseminating their ideas and work, but the decentralized distribution of these new-model works has made it difficult to fully appreciate their scope and number.

Ithaka's findings are based on a collection of resources identified by a volunteer field team of over 300 librarians at 46 academic institutions in the US and Canada. . . . Ultimately, 206 unique digital resources spanning eight formats were identified that met the study's criteria. . . .

Highlights from the study's findings include:

  • While some disciplines seem to lend themselves to certain formats of digital resource more than others, examples of innovative resources can be found across the humanities, social sciences, and scientific/technical/medical subject areas.
  • Of all the resources suggested by faculty, almost every one that contained an original scholarly work operates under some form of peer review or editorial oversight.
  • Some of the resources with greatest impact are those that have been around a long while.
  • While some resources serve very large audiences, many digital publications--capable of running on relatively small budgets--are tailored to small, niche audiences.
  • Innovations relating to multimedia content and Web 2.0 functionality appear in some cases to blur the lines between resource types.
  • Projects of all sizes--especially open-access sites and publications--employ a range of support strategies in the search for financial sustainability.

The report is freely available on the ARL Web site at Search the database at

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

PLoS Biology celebrates 5!

This month marks five years since first publication of the peer-reviewed, open access journal, PLoS Biology. An editorial in this issue (Bloom T, Ferguson C, Gross L, MacCallum CJ, Milton J, et al. (2008) PLoS Biology at 5: The Future Is Open Access. PLoS Biol 6(10): e267 doi:10.1371/journal.pbio.0060267) celebrates the changes that have taken place in the open access movement in that period.

Published by the Public Library of Science (PLoS), a nonprofit organization of scientists and physicians, PLoS Biology publishes high-quality research articles from all areas of biology under the Creative Commons Attribution License. Authors retain ownership of copyright, but allow others to download, reuse, reprint, and make other described uses, as long as the original authors are credited. Publication is supported by author fees, which may be discounted by institutional membership in PLoS or waived in the case of financial hardship. With an ISI (Institute for Scientific Information) Impact Factor now at 14.1 (placing it within the very top tier of biochemistry/molecular biology journals), PLoS Biology serves as a model for high-quality scientific publishing that is freely available to all immediately upon publication.

Upcoming Conference on the Future of the Book

On Nov. 11, a panel of representatives from academic presses will conduct a discussion at Columbia University titled "The Future of the Book: Can the Endangered Monograph Survive?" The following is an excerpt from the announcement:
For humanities scholars seeking promotion or tenure, having a published monograph—a work of writing on a single subject—is often a key requirement. Due to small, specialized audiences and growing financial challenges for university presses and academic libraries, the business of publishing these monographs has long been a troubled undertaking. The panel will discuss the future of the print monograph, especially in light of the increasing digitization of scholarly communication.
Access to the live session will be available, as will a video soon after the event. For more information, see this web article on LISWire and the Events page for the Scholarly Communication Program on the Columbia University Libraries/Information Services website.

Monday, November 3, 2008

SPARC Open Access Newsletter

The latest issue of the SPARC Open Access Newsletter is available at