Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Stevan Harnad says:

Stevan Harnad, a leader in the open access movement, posted the following comment on a JISC mailing list this morning:
Physicists have been spontaneously self-archiving in Arxiv since 1991, but most other disciplines have not followed suit, despite the demonstrated benefits of providing open access in terms of research uptake, usage and impact. 

It is for this reason that research funders and institutions worldwide are (at last) beginning to mandate (i.e., require) that their fundees and faculty self-archive. 

For open access mandates to work, however, it has to be possible to systematically monitor and verify compliance

Not all research is funded (and there are many different research funders); but virtually all research comes from institutions (universities and research institutes), most of which now have institutional repositories for their researchers to self-archive in. 

Institutions are hence the natural (and eager) partners best placed to fulfill the all-important role of monitoring and ensuring compliance with the requirements of their own researchers' grant requirements, via their own institutional repositories. (This also gives institutions the incentive to adopt open access self-archiving mandates of their own, for all their research output, funded and unfunded, in all disciplines.) 

Researchers, in turn, should only need to deposit their articles once, institutionally -- not willy-nilly, and multiply, in diverse institution-external repositories.

The solution is simple, since all open access repositories are interoperable, meaning they share the same core metadata-tagging system, and hence each institution's repository software can automatically export its metadata to any other institution-external repository desired. 

That way researchers need only deposit once, in their own institutional repository; institutional and funder open access mandates areconvergent and cooperative rather than divergent and competitive; and mandate compliance can be reliably and systematically ensured by the author's institution.

So Biorxiv is a welcome addition to the growing list of disciplinary repositories for centralized search and retrieval, but deposit in Biorxiv should not be direct: researchers should export to it from their institutional repositories. (Biorxiv can also harvest from institutional repositories, just as Google and Google Scholar do.)

Biologists and biomedical scientists, unlike physicists, do not have a culture of spontaneous self-archiving. Hence open access mandates from funders and institutions are needed if there is to be open access to their research. And those mandates have to be readily complied with; and compliance has to be readily verifiable.

So let us not lose another quarter century hoping that biologists will at last do, of their own accord, what Arxiv users have already been doing, unmandated, since 1991. In 1994 there was already a "Subversive Proposal" -- unheeded -- that all disciplines should do as the Arxivers had done. Harold Varmus made a similar proposal ("e-biomed") in 1999, likewise unheeded.

Let us start getting it right in 2013, the year that funders in the US, EU and UK have begun concertedly mandating open access, along with a growing number of institutions worldwide. But let us harmonize the mandates, to ensure that they work: 

Arxiv has certainly earned the right to remain the sole exception, insofar as direct deposit is concerned, being the only institution-external repository in which authors have already been faithfully self-archiving, unmandated, for almost a quarter century: 

For Arxiv, institutional repositories can import instead of export. But for the rest: Deposit institutionally, export centrally.

Monday, November 11, 2013

Good Practices for University Open-Access Policies

Good Practices for University Open-Access Policies

Published October 22, 2013

byPeter Suber, Stuart Shieber

This is a guide to good practices for university open-access (OA) policies. It’s based on the type of policy adopted at Harvard, Stanford, MIT, U of Kansas, U of Oregon, Trinity, Oberlin, Rollins, Wake Forest, Duke, U of Puerto Rico, Hawaii - Manoa, Columbia, Strathmore, Emory, Princeton, Jomo Kenyatta, Utah State, Bifröst, Miami, California - San Francisco, the U Massachusetts Medical School, Rutgers, Georgia Tech, McGill University Librarians,  and many other institutions. (See p. 66).  Recommendations should be useful to universities taking these and other approaches.

This is an excellent guide representing one version in a constantly evolving and growing compilation of recommendations exploring best practices for open access in the university setting.

The guide is endorsed by these projects and organizations:
  • Coalition of Open Access Policy Institutions (COAPI) 
  • Confederation of Open Access Repositories (COAR) 
  • Electronic Information for Libraries (EIFL)
  • Enabling Open Scholarship (EOS)
  • Harvard Open Access Project (HOAP) 
  • Mediterranean Open Access Network (MedOANet)
  • Open Access Directory (OAD) 
  • Open Access Implementation Group (OAIG)
  • Open Access Scholarly Information Sourcebook(OASIS) 
  • Scholarly Publishing and Academic Resources Coalition (SPARC)
  • SPARC Europe

The site includes access to the first print and PDF editions. The new editions use the text as it stood in late September 2013.

Given the Tri-Council plans for mandated Open Access to funded research, I hope to see our Canadian institutions use the guide to develop their own policies.

~~~~~~~~~~ Posted by K. Jane

Monday, November 4, 2013

ACS Publications expand its open access publishing options

4 Components of ACS OA expansion

ACS Publications announced a far-reaching expansion of its open access publishing options—including a major new open access journal, more licensing choices for authors, and a stimulus program to support authors who select ACS journals when seeking to publish their work open access.

1. ACS Central Science—ACS’s first pure open-access, peer-reviewed journal will be launched in 2014.

2. ACS Editors’ Choice—One article published in a subscription-based ACS journal will be made openly accessible every day beginning on Jan. 1, 2014.

3. ACS Author Rewards—Corresponding authors of articles published in ACS journals in 2014 will get a $1,500 credit per article, which can be used to pay for open-access fees starting in 2015 and until 2017.

4. ACS AuthorChoice—Existing program will be expanded for new features, including more licensing options.

Visit the website for a full overview of the new offerings.

~~~ posted by K. Jane

Thunder Clap! and fight for Open Access to Research

OA Button

Do you believe Open Access is the way forward? Dedicate a moment of your time to push for it.

"Paywalls hide knowledge and stifle innovation, help map their impact and get the research you need. #oabuttonlaunch”     

The open access button is a browser-based tool that tracks how many people are denied access to academic research, where they are in the world, their profession and why they were looking for the research to create a real-time interactive map of the issue.

Sign the Thunderclap

~~~ Posted by K. Jane