Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Open-Access Deal for Particle Physics

Nature reports that "[t]he entire field of particle physics is set to switch to open-access publishing, a milestone in the push to make research results freely available to readers.'

Full article here.

AHA Statement on Scholarly Journal Publishing

On 24 September, 2012 the American Historical Association (AHA) issued a statement on Scholarly Journal Publishing which voiced a number of concerns about open access to articles published in scholarly journals.The statement while admitting that "elements of unfairness" exist in the current system of scholarly journal dissemination, contends that the author pays system often proposed in open access systems generates "new, and more difficult, dilemmas. Requiring authors to pay the costs of their own publications is not the answer. The AHA suggests that historians begin thoughtful conversations at their own institutions and participate in the discussions that we will initiate at our annual meeting, our web site and other appropriate venues."

The full statement.

Monday, September 24, 2012

BC Adds Another Online Open Access Journal

The Proceedings of the Catholic Theological Society of America are now being published online as an open access publication, in collaboration with the Boston College University Libraries. The Proceedings of the 67th Annual Convention (2012) are available. The archival volumes are gradually being added and the Proceedings of Conventions 1-16 (1946-1961) are currently accessible under the Archives heading.

Learn more about the Libraries’
open access journal publishing program.

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Moving towards an open access future: the role of academic libraries.

Last April a group of librarians and industry experts met for a roundtable discussion regarding the role of academic libraries in an increasing open access environment. The roundtable resulted in a report published in August 2012: Moving towards an open access future: the role of academic libraries.

The report's conclusions:
Open access is becoming more important as a way of communicating research findings, particularly driven by strong policy moves in Europe and to some extent in North America.

Academic libraries and research communication will change as open access grows in importance. Some of libraries’ traditional roles will be reduced and others will need to change, but libraries still have an important role to play in managing and advising on information and information-related budgets.

The roundtable discussion identified a number of key aspects of the role of academic libraries in an open access future. Libraries need to evolve and be prepared to be creative, as the ways that researchers and students access and use information are changing and will continue to change. Libraries will also play an essential role in explaining open access to researchers.

As resources become open access and therefore not tied to a particular institutional subscription, there will be an increasing trend to sharing discovery and support services among libraries and institutions. This will require greater dialogue between libraries about strategies for dealing with open access and best practices.
With a willingness to be creative and to support users in new ways through communication, collaboration and tools, academic libraries should remain an important component of the research process in their institutions and beyond.

Friday, September 7, 2012

California passes bills to create open-source digital library for college textbooks

On 31 August, 2012, reports Jennifer Van Grove, the California State Senate passed bills that aim to provide students with free access to college textbooks. After Governor Jerry Brown signs them the bills will become law.
The state of California is on the verge of enacting legislation that would make college educations a bit more affordable for students and their parents.

The California State Senate today passed two bills, SB 1052 and SB 1053, designed to provide students at public postsecondary institutions with access to free digital textbooks for popular lower-division courses and to open source the curriculum to facility members.

The bills are said to create the nation’s first free open source digital library for college students and faculty. California Governor Jerry Brown’s signature is required before the bills are enacted into law.

“This is the first time government has come in with substantial dollars that match philanthropic efforts to create a library where students can access free textbooks and faculty can utilize their skills to remix, revise and repurpose these textbooks for their students,” said Dean Florez in a statement. Florez is president of the 20 Million Minds foundation, a nonprofit that works to reduce textbook costs for students.

Digital textbooks have been around for years, with companies ranging from Apple to Chegg providing students with digital alternatives to their hard-bound books. Under SB 1052, California, however, would establish a faculty-run council called the California Open Education Resources Council (COERC) to select and develop the free digital textbooks for students at state universities and community colleges. Companion bill SB 1053 would create an open source library to house the digital textbooks.

The 1052 bill passed the California Senate with 32-3, according to the state legislator’s website. The 1053 companion bill passed by the same margin.