Friday, March 29, 2013

French Scholars Say ‘Oui’ to Open Access

On 15 March sixty senior French humanities and social sciences academics published a statement in Le Monde expressing support of open access. The Time Higher Education provides an overview of the statement.

. . . . The signatories, who include university presidents, librarians and journal editors, warn that if the humanities and social sciences were to opt out of wider moves towards open access they “would become isolated and ultimately extinct”. The statement, titled “Who Is Afraid of Open Access?”, was published on 15 March and has received more than 2,000 endorsements on a dedicated website, I love open access . . . .
It says open access has the potential to “take knowledge out of silos” and allow it to play its “pivotal role” in the “collective growth” of society. 
The statement also highlights the success of open access in Latin America, which it says demonstrates its potential to break the dominance of English-language journals, enabling a “plurality of viewpoints, modes of publication, scientific paradigms, and languages”. 
To fear open access is “to commit oneself to a narrow - and, in fact, erroneous - vision of the future”, it says. “The humanities and social sciences can be at the forefront of this opening movement precisely because there is an increasing social demand for their research results.”

Extracts from the actual statement in Le Monde:
. . . . Qui a peur de l'accès ouvert ? L'accès privatif bride la dissémination des idées et est inadapté aux nouveaux paradigmes offerts par le numérique. Il est temps de voir dans le Web une formidable occasion dans le domaine de l'innovation, de la diffusion des savoirs et de l'émergence de nouvelles idées. 
Nous n'avons pas peur de l'accès ouvert. Sortir les savoirs des silos et des frontières des campus, c'est les ouvrir à tous, c'est reconnaître à la connaissance un rôle moteur dans nos sociétés, c'est ouvrir des perspectives d'enrichissement collectif. . . . 

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

New EU Initiative: Opening up Scientific Data

In Stockholm on Monday, 18 March, 2013, Neelie Kroes, Vice-President of the European Commission responsible for the Digital Agenda, announced that all scientists receiving funding from European Union sources will be required to publish their results as Open Access. She also discussed the launch of the global Research Data Alliance.

Extracts from Ms. Kroes's speech:
First, the EU is supporting open science. Because I know that we can advance these goals through our policies and platforms. And because I know that our society and our future are best served through science that is faster, better and more open. 
The EU has long invested in research and innovation. Now, even in these difficult times, EU leaders have agreed to significantly increase that investment. It's the right thing to do: faced with weak growth, we must all the more focus on future growth, and all the more ensure the tools and knowledge that can make us more productive. 
But taxpayers who are paying for that research will want to see something back. Directly – through open access to results and data. And indirectly – through making science work better for all of us. 
That's why we will require open access to all publications stemming from EU-funded research. That's why we will progressively open access to the research data, too. And why we're asking national funding bodies to do the same.
More specifically, we are investing in the iCordi project: a leading global forum to chart, demonstrate and drive convergence between emerging data infrastructures. And of course iCordi also supports this Alliance. 
All in all, we are putting openness at the heart of EU research and innovation funding.
Commentary about this new initiative is available in today's Wall Street Journal. More about the global Research Data Alliance is available here.

Friday, March 8, 2013

You Say You Want a Revolution? - Open Access on the March

Abby Clobridge has published a brief, though informative, overview of the Open Access movement over the past year or so. Her article is entitled "You Say You Want a Revolution? - Open Access on the March" and it appears in the March/April 2013 issue of Online Searcher. After focusing on recent OA developments in the "watershed year" of 2012, Clobridge discusses such topics as funding models to support OA publishing, OA awareness, advocacy, author rights, library as publisher, repository management, how to find OA content. She also briefly considers the important question of how to measure the impact and value of open access.

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Open Access Explained

PhD Comics have an entertaining, and also very informative, video about scholarly communication issues and open access. It's entitled "Open Access Explained."