Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Wiley Adds Natural Disaster Clause for Emergency Access

John S. Wiley, Inc., one of the world's largest publishers of scientific, technical and medical journals, has just announced the addition of a natural disaster clause to its licenses, ensuring continued access to subscribed electronic content for "emergency workers, students, faculty, and academic institutions" displaced in the wake of a local, national or global extreme event. Wiley has previously provided emergency access following Hurricane Katrina, tsunamis in Southeast Asia and the recent earthquake in Haiti; this clause will now extend that protection to all of its managed licenses. The addition of this clause provides an added level of perpetual access protection for electronic content.

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Results of Ithaka S+R Faculty 2009 Survey

Ithaka S+R is the strategy and research section of Ithaka, a not-for-profit organization working with the academic community to incorporate new information and networking technologies into teaching and research. Held every three years, its faculty surveys of over 3,000 faculty "examine changes in faculty attitudes toward the academic library, information resources, and the scholarly communications system as a whole."

Its 2009 survey reports the following findings:
  • Basic scholarly information use practices have shifted rapidly in recent years and, as a result, the academic library is increasingly being disintermediated from the discovery process, risking irrelevance in one of its core areas.
  • Faculty members’ growing comfort in relying exclusively on digital versions of scholarly materials opens new opportunities for libraries, new business models for publishers, and new challenges for preservation.
  • Despite several years of sustained efforts by publishers, scholarly societies, libraries, faculty members, and others to reform various aspects of the scholarly communications system, a fundamentally conservative set of faculty attitudes continues to impede systematic change.
Ithaka is offering a series of three webinars which will be discussions of the report's findings. The remaining webinars are:
Chapter 2: The Format Transition for Scholarly Works
When: April 29th, 3pm - 4pm EDT
About: Faculty members' growing comfort in relying exclusively on digital versions of scholarly materials opens new opportunities for libraries, new business models for publishers, and new challenges for preservation.
Who should attend: Librarians, publishers, and scholarly societies interested in the print-to-electronic transition
How to register:

Chapter 3: Scholarly Communications
When: May 5th, 3pm - 4pm EDT
Publishers, scholarly societies, libraries, faculty members, and others have laid significant groundwork for reforming various aspects of the scholarly communications system, but faculty attitudes are driven by incentives and suggest the need for continued leadership.
Who should attend: Publishers, librarians, scholarly societies, and faculty members interested in the changing landscape for scholarly communications
How to register:

Hopefully, all three webinars will be recorded and made available after the last one is held.

Monday, April 26, 2010

Library Journal: Periodicals Price Survey 2010

Library Journal recently published its annual survey of periodical prices: average no. of titles; average price per title per discipline; average % increase by year, etc. The primary conclusion is that libraries continue to face a tough battle in subscribing to journals. This will still be the case even when the economy improves as increased library funding will probably not be the top priority for many academic institutions.

Particularly interesting is Library Journal's commentary on the impact of open access:
Despite some tremendous efforts by proponents, open access (OA) initiatives have had only a modest effect on the publishing industry as a whole. Open access journals are not yet considered mainstream publishing venues. And while the number of peer-reviewed, full open access journals represents ten percent of all peer-reviewed journals, estimates are that only two percent to 4.6 percent of total articles published are OA. Experimentation continues, nonetheless. Cornell, Dartmouth, Harvard, MIT, and UC-Berkeley announced their joint support for A Compact on Open-Access Publishing that promotes the economic advantages of a robust author-pays option for scholarly publishing and urges the academic community to step up universitywide efforts to make the author-pays model more viable.

The National Institutes of Health (NIH) Public Access Policy was made permanent in 2009, requiring articles resulting from NIH-funded research be deposited in PubMed and openly accessible within 12 months of publication. Then in June 2009, the U.S. House of Representatives Committee on Science and Technology convened a Scholarly Publishing Roundtable to review the current state of scholarly publishing and develop recommendations for expanding public access to the journal articles arising from research funded by agencies of the U.S. government.

This group recommends that federal research funding agencies should develop and implement an explicit public access policy that brings about open access to the results of the research that it funds. It appears that the NIH policy will be extended to other federal agencies. The round table did recognize the value of peer review in scholarly communication and did not recommend immediate open access to published materials, but it clearly indicated that there is a public good in broad access to this content (

There are many efforts under way to continue developments in OA. An open access initiative in particle physics, known as SCOAP3, is under consideration worldwide but has not yet been adopted. Many universities have mandates that require faculty to post journal articles in their home institutions' open access repositories. With the economic downturn, it is even more evident that the current commercial publishing models will be difficult to sustain. OA publishing may have a role in containing costs as new journals could be launched on OA platforms as opposed to being added to costly commercial ones. It remains to be seen if that will come to fruition.

Some commercial publishers seem tobe under the impression that they will simply have to ride out the current bad times, but the changes libraries need to make to get through the next few years might be more drastic than imagined. Libraries might have to alter radically how and what content they deliver rather than merely waiting for the good times to reemerge. In such a climate, open access will become an increasingly important part of academic publishing.

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Faculty at Concordia University Vote for Open Access to their Output

Faculty at Montreal's Concordia University have voted to make their scholarly output open access. From the April 22 press release:

Concordia University's academic community has passed a landmark Senate Resolution on Open Access that encourages all of its faculty and students to make their peer-reviewed research and creative output freely accessible via the internet. Concordia is the first major university in Canada where faculty have given their overwhelming support to a concerted effort to make the full results of their research universally available. . . .

Gerald Beasley, Concordia's University Librarian, was instrumental in the campus-wide dialogue on open access that began more than a year ago. "I am delighted that Senate voted to support the recommendations of all four Faculty Councils and the Council of the School of Graduate Studies. There are only a handful of precedents in North America for the kind of leadership that Concordia faculty have demonstrated by their determination to make publicly-funded research available to all rather than just the minority able to afford the rapidly rising subscription costs of scholarly databases, books and journals."

This past year, Concordia launched Spectrum, an open access digital repository that continues to grow beyond its initial 6,000 dissertations submitted at Concordia, and at its predecessors Sir George Williams University and Loyola College. The Senate Resolution encourages all of Concordia's researchers to deposit their research and creative work in Spectrum.

Friday, April 16, 2010

FRPAA Re-Introduced into House of Representatives

Thursday, 15th April, 2010

"Fueling the growing momentum toward openness, transparency, and accessibility to publicly funded information, the Federal Research Public Access Act of 2010 (FRPAA) has been introduced today in the U.S. House of Representatives by Rep. Mike Doyle (D-PA) and a bi-partisan host of co-sponsors. The proposed bill would build on the success of the first U.S. mandate for public access to the published results of publicly funded research at the National Institutes of Health (NIH), and require federal agencies with annual extramural research budgets of $100 million or more to provide the public with online access to research manuscripts stemming from funded research no later than six months after publication in a peer-reviewed journal."

Click here for full press release from Alliance of Taxpayer Access

Monday, April 12, 2010

New Model for the Institutional Repository

Jean-Gabriel Bankier and Courtney Smith, both of Berkeley Electronic Press, argue for a new model for the institutional repository, i.e. one that is integral to units on campus beyond the library, in their paper "Digital Repositories at a Crossroads: Achieving Sustainable Success through Campus-wide Engagement".

The article's conclusion:
The IR must serve the needs of its campus, or else it will contribute to its own demise. We might even suggest that to the extent that the IR fails to be successful, so may the library fail to be relevant.

At its core, the institutional repository provides access to content. It begs the questions, What content belongs in the IR? What content makes the IR most valuable? Across Digital Commons repositories, we see proof that scholarship and other creative works from across the entire continuum of scholarly content make the IR important to stakeholders on campus. The IR is at a critical juncture. It cannot limit its scope to post-prints when it holds the potential to be relevant to so many other people.

In our experience supporting the Digital Commons user community, we find that the most successful IRs are those that strive to engage a diverse set of groups across campus, specifically liaising and serving both academic and non-academic units, accepting a wide scope of content, aligning repository services with the mission of the university, and facilitating new opportunities for knowledge production and publication. These libraries effectively serve the mission of the university, the business of the university, and impact scholarly life on campus, and use the IR as both tool and demonstration of their renewed role.

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

April 2010 Issue of Open Access Newsletter

The April issue of the Peter Suber's SPARC Open Access Newsletter is now available.

Monday, April 5, 2010

Graphical View of Open Access Landscape

Laura Briggs, Collections Librarian (Science & Technology) at the University of Alberta, has created an open access concept map illustrating the relationships between the major features of the open access landscape.