Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Revised FAQ on SCOAP3

SPARC (the Scholarly & Academic Resources Coalition) and ACRL (the Association of College and Research Libraries) have published a revised FAQ on the SCOAP3 (Sponsoring Consortium for Open Access in Particle Physics Publishing) initiative. Led by CERN, SCOAP3 aims to bring the various international stakeholders in high energy physics (authors, funding agencies, publishers and libraries) into close consultation to redirect subscription expenditures to provide public access to the core peer-reviewed literature in an economically-sustainable way. Publishers have been invited to submit “bids” for their services, and libraries have been asked to submit “expressions of interest” in collaboration for this effort. So far, over 100 libraries, including Boston College Libraries, have taken this step, either directly or indirectly (via consortia).

Friday, April 24, 2009

Economists on the Economics of Open Access Publishing

The March 2009 issue of Economic Analysis and Policy (EAP) (a journal that “runs a strict open access policy”) has a number of articles about the economics of open access publishing. (thanks to Kit Baum, Economics Dept. for alerting me to this information on the RePEc Blog):

-- Introduction, by Christian Zimmermann

The Stratified Economics of Open Access, by John Willinsky

But what have you done for me lately? Commercial Publishing, Scholarly Communication, and Open-Access, by John P. Conley and Myrna Wooders

Publishing an E-Journal on a Shoe String: Is It a Sustainable Project?, by Piero Cavaleri. Michael Keren, Giovanni B. Ramello and Vittorio Valli

Open Access Models and their Implications for the Players on the Scientific Publishing Market, by Steffen Bernius, Matthias Hanauske, Wolfgang K├Ânig and Berndt Dugall

Open Access Economics Journals and the Market for Reproducible Economic Research, by B.D. McCullough

Estimating the Potential Impacts of Open Access to Research Findings, by John Houghton and Peter Sheehan

The Economics of Open Bibliographic Data Provision, by Thomas Krichel and Christian Zimmermann

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Sharing Searchable Scholarly Bibliographies on the Web

ISI Web of Knowledge, the producers of EndNote among other citation management software, now offers a free web version of EndNote which researchers can use to collect their citations and share their bibliographies with others. I have just uploaded a bibliography of scholarship in Buddhist-Christian dialogue which I have named BCSD. To search it:
  1. Sign up for an EndNote Web account at
  2. Send your e-mail address to me at
  3. After I have sent you a confirmation, go to and sign into your account.
  4. Click on BCSD under Groups Shared by Others on the left hand side. You will see the beginning of the bibliography.
  5. Do a trial search. In the Quick Search box, type "earth" (without quotation marks). Then select BCSD in the pull-down menu below it. Click on Search.
  6. Click on the Title to see the full citation. NOTE: Clicking on Author will not bring up the author's other works in the bibliography. This is something that needs to be corrected by ISI. It is posssible to find the author's other works by using the Quick Search feature.
  7. If you are a member of the Boston College community, click on FindIt to see where you might locate the item being cited.
Please use the Comments feature on this blog to give your feedback on this resource.

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Periodicals Price Survey 2009

Lee C. Van Orsdel & Kathleen Born have just published their annual Periodicals Price Survey in Library Journal (4/15/2009). They paint a bleak picture showing that both libraries and publishers are bracing for big cuts. Still, they stress that the grim budgetary constraints may provide an increased opportunity for innovative systems of scholarly communication and open access. Excerpts:

As waves of grim economic news wash over state and federal governments here and abroad, libraries of all types and sizes are bracing for budget cuts the likes of which have not been seen in three generations. Unlike most financial crises, this one is ubiquitous, with all but a handful of states in the red and getting redder. Globally, the meltdown is playing havoc with currencies, and the cost of journals priced in currencies other than the pound, the euro, or the U.S. dollar have skyrocketed. Severe losses in endowment revenue, which in the past insulated materials budgets to a degree, have left even larger and wealthier libraries facing cuts. . . .

Some see in the financial debacle an opportunity to promote more open systems of scholarly exchange, and open access (OA) initiatives are clearly gathering momentum. Last year’s unanimous OA mandate from Harvard’s Faculty of Arts and Sciences was quickly emulated by faculties from Harvard’s Law School and from Stanford’s School of Education. New mandates are under development at over a dozen U.S. colleges and universities. The mandate at the National Institutes of Health (NIH) went into effect in April 2008. Early numbers indicate strong compliance and high usage. In September, Elias Zerhouni, then NIH director, testified that well over half of the articles funded by NIH grants were being deposited in PubMed Central, and 400,000 users were accessing 700,000 articles each day. The National Science Foundation (NSF) is considering a similar mandate. Lest one think the struggle is over, the publisher lobby is back in force, supporting legislation designed to overturn the NIH mandate and stop other agencies from following suit.

Nevertheless, publishers as a whole do seem to be making an effort to accommodate rising demand for OA-friendly practices, as evidenced in a report from the Association of Learned and Professional Society Publishers (
Scholarly Publishing Practice, Third Survey 2008). Some are moving aggressively toward OA business models, but most are taking smaller steps—liberalizing copyright transfer agreements or facilitating manuscript deposit into designated digital archives, for example. Thirty percent now offer authors an OA option, up from 9% three years ago, with author fees typically running between $1000 and $3000 per article. Just over half of publishers have long-term archiving arrangements for their journals, most typically with Portico or LOCKSS. On a less hopeful note, as the number of repositories and the practice of self-archiving have grown, large publishers have begun to restrict authors’ rights to post final manuscripts on the web; more require embargoes if they allow it at all. . . .

As economic times get harder, the rationale for open access becomes clearer. A major research study on the
Economic Implications of Alternative Scholarly Publishing Models by the Joint Information Systems Committee (JISC), released in January, estimates that British universities would save around £80 million a year by shifting to an OA publishing system. The study supposed that resources now used for subscription would be redirected toward the costs of journal publication and dissemination. It also concluded that significant additional benefits would accrue to business and industry as the result of greater accessibility to research findings. . . .

Friday, April 17, 2009

The Jewish Women's Archive

The Jewish Women’s Archive strives to “uncover, chronicle, and transmit
to a broad public the rich history of American Jewish women.” The JWA is "a
national non-profit organization founded in 1995 and based in Brookline, MA, the Jewish Women's Archive presents the stories, struggles, and achievements of Jewish women in North America. The JWA site includes a Virtual Archive, curricula and other educational materials, podcasts, a variety of online exhibits, oral history guides, a blog, a growing collection of reminiscences of recently deceased Jewish women, and other resources, such as a biographical piece on Betty Friedan. To expand your knowledge on this subject please consult a librarian or the Boston College LibGuides Gender Studies.

Saturday, April 11, 2009

Library of Congress Putting Content on YouTube and Apple iTunes

The Library of Congress is beginning to make available content from its video and audio collections through YouTube and Apple iTunes in order to make its great resources more widely accessible to a broad audience. Matt Raymond posted the following on the Library of Congress blog:

Well, this is a day that has been a long time in coming. The Library of Congress has been working for several months now so that we could “do YouTube right.” When you’re the stewards of the world’s largest collection of audiovisual materials (some 6 million films, broadcasts and sound recordings), nothing less would be expected of you, and our own YouTube channel has now gone public.

We are starting with more than 70 videos, arranged in the following playlists: 2008 National Book Festival
author presentations, the Books and
author series, Journeys and Crossings (a series of curator discussions), “Westinghouse” industrial films from 1904 (I defy you to watch some of them without thinking of the Carl Stalling song “Powerhouse”), scholar discussions from the John W. Kluge Center, and the earliest movies made by Thomas Edison, including the first moving image ever made (curiously enough, a sneeze by a man named Fred Ott).

But this is just the beginning. We have made a conscious decision that we’re not just going to upload a bunch of videos and then walk away. As with our popular
Flickr pilot project, we intend to keep uploading additional content. We’re modifying some of our work-flows in modest ways to make our content more useful and delivered across platforms with built-in audiences of millions.

Not so incidentally, all of the videos we post on YouTube will also be available at (and many, many more, of course) on American Memory, many of which are newly digitized in much higher resolution by the fine Motion Picture, Broadcast and Recorded Sound conservators in Culpeper, Va.

Sunday, April 5, 2009

FAQs for MIT's New Open Access Policy

MIT has provided answers to some common questions about working with its new Faculty OA policy. Excerpts:

What do I have to do to comply with this policy?
The policy operates automatically to give MIT a license in any scholarly articles faculty members complete after its adoption. MIT will establish procedures for confirming this license and obtaining copies of articles to post in the repository, as well as for granting waivers of the policy when informed by an author of a decision to opt out.

If you want to be thorough, communicate this policy to your publisher and add to any copyright license or assignment for scholarly articles an
addendum stating that the agreement is subject to this prior license. That way, you will avoid agreeing to give the publisher rights that are inconsistent with the prior license to MIT permitting open-access distribution. MIT provides a suitable form of addendum for this purpose. Whether you use a suitable addendum or not, the license to MIT still will have force.

What if a journal publisher refuses to publish my article because of this prior license?
You have a number of options. One is to try to persuade the publisher that it should accept MIT’s non-exclusive license in order to be able to publish your article.Another is to seek a different publisher. A third is to consult with the Scholarly Publishing & Licensing Consultant (Ellen Duranceau or the Office of General Counsel about taking steps to address the publisher’s specific concerns. A fourth is to obtain a waiver for the article under the policy (see more below under Opting Out.)
. . . .

What kinds of writings does this apply to?
Only scholarly articles. Using terms from the
Budapest Open Access Initiative, faculty’s scholarly articles are articles that describe the fruits of their research and that they give to the world for the sake of inquiry and knowledge without expectation of payment. Such articles are typically presented in peer-reviewed scholarly journals and conference proceedings.

Many of the written products of faculty effort are not encompassed under this notion of scholarly article: books, popular articles, commissioned articles, fiction and poetry, encyclopedia entries, ephemeral writings, lecture notes, lecture videos, or other copyrighted works. The Open Access Policy is not meant to address these kinds of works.

What version of the paper is submitted under this policy?
The author’s final version of the article; that is, the author’s manuscript with any changes made as a result of the peer-review process, but prior to publisher’s copy-editing or formatting. . . .

How do I opt out?
To opt out, you simply send an email or other written notice to informing MIT of the following:
--Name of MIT author
--Title of article (expected or working title)
--Journal you expect to publish in
--Reason you are opting out . . . .

April Issue of the SPARC OA Newsletter

Peter Suber has published the April issue of the SPARC Open Access Newsletter.

Thursday, April 2, 2009

Planning for the Digital Future

In her recent article, Blind Spots: Humanists Must Plan their Digital Future (The Chronicle of Higher Education, April 3, 2009), Joanna Drucker recounts recent changes in the design and planning for libraries at Stanford University. Her article is a reminder to faculty that they have a key role to play in the critical intellectual work involved in digitization of library materials and in the development of information portals.
The design of new environments for performing scholarly work cannot be left to the technical staff and to library professionals. The library is a crucial partner in planning and envisioning the future of preserving, using, even creating scholarly resources. So are the technology professionals. But in an analogy with building construction, they are the architects and the contractors. The creation of archives, analytic tools, and statistical analyses of aggregate data in the humanities (and in some other scholarly fields) requires the combined expertise of technical, professional, and scholarly personnel.
Dr. Drucker is a professor of information studies at the University of California at Los Angeles, and currently a Digital Humanities Fellow at the Stanford Humanities Center. (This link to The Chronicle of Higher Education will expire in 5 days.)

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

4000 Journals Now in DOAJ.ORG

The Directory of Open Access Journals has now reached the very impressive milestone of having 4000 journals in the directory. Currently 1424 of these are searchable at the article level.