Monday, December 31, 2007

Dramatic Growth of Open Access: Dec. 31, 2007 update

My Dramatic Growth of Open Access: Open Data Edition has been updated with today's numbers. For analysis of growth of OA in 2007 and predictions for 2008, see my Dramatic Growth of Open Access: 2007 (Interim) and Predictions for 2008, and my Minor Update.

One notable story for the latter half of December is the continuing very strong recent growth in the Directory of Open Access Journals, with 64 new titles added in the past 30 days; an average of more than 2 per calendar day, higher than their 2007 overall growth rate of 1.4 per calendar day.

As reported earlier, public access to the results of research funded by the U.S. National Institutes of Health, the world's largest medical research funder, is now law. This is a substantial addition to the medical research open access mandates, which include pioneer Wellcome Trust, U.K. Medical Research Council, the Canadian Institutes of Health Research, and the Howard Hughes Medical Institute, among others. For details on research funders' open access policies, see the Sherpa JULIET list. Based on these mandates, my prediction is that increasing growth in PubMedCentral will be one of interesting areas to watch through the period 2008 - 2010. The time lag in seeing the full effects of the mandates reflects the time it takes to confirm research funding, conduct the research, publish the results, and in some cases, embargo periods.

The implications of the NIH public access mandate go beyond medicine, however. The US Congress and Senate have approved the first US public access mandate, in spite of intense lobbying efforts against public access. Watch for more public access / open access mandates, in the US and elsewhere, in 2008.

Thursday, December 27, 2007

NIH Public Access Mandate Made Law

Congratulations to open access advocates in the U.S. - especially the Alliance for Taxpayer Access, SPARC and SPARC Executive Director Heather Joseph, as well as Congress, the Senate, and the President who signed an Omnibus spending bill which includes a requirement that research funded by the National Institutes of Health be publicly accessible!

For full details, see the press release of the Alliance for Taxpayer Access.

Here is the language that just became law (thanks to http://www.earlham.edu/~peters/fos/2007/12/oa-mandate-at-nih-now-law.html:

The Director of the National Institutes of Health shall require that all investigators funded by the NIH submit or have submitted for them to the National Library of Medicine's PubMed Central an electronic version of their final, peer-reviewed manuscripts upon acceptance for publication to be made publicly available no later than 12 months after the official date of publication: Provided, That the NIH shall implement the public access policy in a manner consistent with copyright law.

Saturday, December 22, 2007

Francis Ouellette named one of the Franklin Awards Finalists

Francis Ouellette of the Ontario Institute for Cancer Research has been named by bioinformatics.org as one of the 6 Franklin Awards Finalists for 2008. Thanks to Peter Suber. The winner will be announced at the Bio-IT World Conference and Expo, April 29, 2008.

Francis has served on the Canadian Institutes of Health Research committee that developed the CIHR Policy on Access to Research Outputs, and has earlier been recognized as part of the Canadian Leadership in the Open Access Movement in my blogpost entitled The Ouellette declaration.

Congratulations on the nomination, Francis!

Thursday, December 20, 2007

Over 500 open access sites

GNU Linux Centar has accumulated a set of links to over 500 open access resources, ranging from open courseware, open access journals and archives, to free texts and much more. Thanks to Vedran Vucic.

Monday, December 17, 2007

Dramatic Growth of Open Access & Predictions for 2008: Minor Update

Two minor updates to my Dramatic Growth of Open Access 2007 (Interim) & Predictions for 2008.

It should be noted that my prediction that 15% of peer-reviewed scholarly journals will be fully open access and listed in DOAJ by the end of 2008 is a very conservative estimate. Indeed, by some estimates, we are already there; that is, the total number of scholarly, peer-reviewed journals in the world is generally estimated to be 20,000 - 25,000. If the total is 20,000, then the 3,000 journals in DOAJ is already 15% of the total.

I have added a few numbers for repositories for 2006 from Peter Suber's Jan. 1, 2007 SPARC Open Access Newsletter (for OpenDOAR, Scientific Commons, and OpenArchives.eu). These numbers confirm and support other data illustrating a dramatic rise in the number of repositories in 2007.

Watch for another update to the open data version on Dec. 31, 2007.

Sunday, December 16, 2007

NEJM and Nature evolving towards open access

There are signs that many of the traditional publishers are using some real creativity to evolve towards open access.

According to Jim Till at Be Openly Accessible or Be Obscure, the New England Journal of Medicine, a top-ranked journal in medicine with an impressive impact factor, is not only providing free back access after 6 months, but also up to 33% of content is free right from the time of publication. Why some contents are free and others not, we do not know; Jim has sent a letter to the journal inquiring about this.

According to Kumiko Vézina on OA Librarian Nature Publishing Group has announced that it is introducing a Creative Commons licence for original research articles publishing the primary sequence of an organism's genome for the first time in any of the Nature journals.

Peter Suber reports that Nature has also released another free online supplement, Proteins to Proteomes, sponsored by Pfizer.

This moves are wonderful to see. There is some real expertise in the traditional publishing community which will be more than welcome in our open access future, not to mention this entrepreneurial creativity to lead the way in the transitional period.

This post is part of the Transitioning to Open Access Series.

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

E-LIS: over 7,000 documents

E-LIS, the open access archive for library and information studies, recently exceeded 7,000 documents! Congratulations, E-LIS!

Disclosure: I am a member of the E-LIS governance team.

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Dramatic Growth of Open Access: 2007 (Interim) and Predictions for 2008

This is an early, interim report on the dramatic growth of open access for 2007, dated December 11, 2007. DOAJ 3,000 journals announcement added Dec. 12. Congratulations, DOAJ!!

All data are presented as partial, rather than extrapolating estimates, as the partial data is more than sufficient to demonstrate that 2007 was a very, very good year for open access. OA advocates and implementers can feel free to catch up on their rest for the remainder of the year; we will all need our energy for 2008. This is because, in brief, we now have sufficient capacity and open access resources to create momentum in 2008. There are more than 3,000 fully open access journals, with new titles being added to DOAJ at a rate of more than 1.4 per day (late in the year, this has soared to more than 3 titles per calendar day, but it is too soon to draw any conclusions); more than 1,000 repositories, and at least 17 million items that are already OA. People will begin to notice, and when they do, they will see the benefits, and seek OA for their own works.

Before we turn to growth, let us review what I see as the top story of 2007: how much open access there already is. Lots!!

Open Access Publishing
There are already more journals listed in the Directory of Open Access Journals than in the holdings of the world's largest commercial scholarly publisher. There are more non-embargoed, scholarly journals in DOAJ than in the largest of the aggregated packages purchased by libraries.

Some brief and approximate figures (non-embargoed, fulltext, peer-reviewed journals):
DOAJ: 3,000 journals
Science Direct: 2,000 journals
EBSCO Academic Search Complete / Gale Cengage Academic OneFile: 1,700 journals
For full details, see my blogpost, Directory of Open Access Journals: Already the Biggest of the Big Deals?

Open Access Archiving


Growth Rates
DOAJ continued to grow at a steady rate, adding 484 journals so far this year. This makes for a fairly steady growth rate of approximately 1.4 new titles per calendar day, over the past two years. In December, DOAJ has shown remarkable growth, with 101 new titles added in the last 30 days, for an incredible growth rate of 3.4 titles per calendar day. This rate partially reflects the entry of new open publisher Bentham Open; so, while it is suggestive of an accelerating growth rate, it is not possible to draw any firm conclusions at this time.

OAIster added more than 4.4 million records this year, for a very healthy growth rate of 44%. OAIster currently numbers 14.3 million items. Scientific Commons added more than half a million items, and close to a quarter of a million authors, this quarter alone!

The numbers may not be as large, but the story of the local institutional repository may be the growth story of the year. In 2007, an archive browse of the CARL Metadata Harvester jumped from 12 to 17 repositories, a 42% jump. The number of items added in the last (incomplete) quarter of 2007, 4,270, was more than were added in the whole of 2006.

Which brings us to my predictions for 2008.

Open access now has significant capacity. There are more than 3,000 fully open access journals, at least 10% of the world's estimated 20-25,000 peer-reviewed journals, and more are being added at a rate of at least 1.4 per calendar day. DOAJ will list about 15% of the world's peer-reviewed journals by the end of 2008. There are more than 1,000 open access repositories. We have software to create institutional repositories and open access journals, and the knowledge to implement. There are more than 40 open access policies by funding agencies and universities, and more to come. Many librarians and faculty have, or are developing, expertise in the area of scholarly communications. Many publishers have been pondering open access for some time, not to mention experimenting with providing free access to back issues, hybrid open access, as so forth.

Now that we have the capacity and understanding, we will begin to make good use of it.

In open access publishing, the initiative to watch will be SCOAP3, an attempt to flip the entire High Energy Physics publishing to a fully open access model.

In institutional repositories, the stories will be many. At the beginning of the institutional repository movement, every repository faced a chicken and egg situation. How to demonstrate the value of an IR, without any content? How to attract content, when one cannot demonstrate the value of an IR? As repositories begin to fill, there will be more and more good examples of repositories, which will drive desires for IRs. Growth in open access repositories has been dramatic in 2007, and I anticipate that it will be even more so in 2008.

For full data, see the 2007 Interim Dramatic Growth of Open Access.

For another view of what might happen in 2008, see Peter Suber's December Open Access Newsletter

This post is part of the Dramatic Growth of Open Access Series.

Sunday, December 09, 2007

Directory of Open Access Journals: Already the Biggest Big Deal?


Could the Directory of Open Access Journals already be the world's biggest big deal, or aggregation of scholarly journals?

A recent comparison suggests that the answer, in at least one sense - the number of scholarly, peer-reviewed journal titles available with no embargo - is yes! The Directory of Open Access Journals lists close to 3,000 journals as of today; Science Direct, the largest publisher aggregated package, about 2,000, while the number of non-embargoed, full text, scholarly journals in the world's largest aggregated packages for libraries number less than 1,700, or a little more than half the titles already in DOAJ.

To see how your library's aggregated package compares, go to:

Open Access Journals, Big Deal, and Aggregated Packages Comparison.

This compares only one aspects of the aggregations; the aggregated packages also include valuable indexing for thousands of journals, and a great many non-peer-reviewed titles, many of which are important for academic libraries. Comparisons of number and quality of articles in toll and open access journals are left for another time, or another researcher.

Nevertheless, this does say a great deal about the state of OA. At the very least, the number of fully open access journals says much about the capacity of the open access publishing system as it exists now. Every OA title, regardless of age or size, has behind it enough support for scholarly publishing - infrastructure, editors and/or an editorial board, willing authors and peer reviewers. If Science Direct, with about 2,000 journals, can manage about 1/4 of STM publishing - what are the 3,000 journals in the DOAJ capable of? With this many journals emerging with limited support from library budgets - what is the potential if library subscriptions budgets were redirected to support open access publishing?

Figures for the vendor packages reflect considerable manual manipulation of title lists, so please consider the totals suggestive rather than definitive. Informal peer-review in the form of checking of numbers would be most welcome.

This post is part of the Dramatic Growth of Open Access Series.

Saturday, December 01, 2007

National open access journal subsidy

Jean-Claude Guédon, in Open Access and the divide between “mainstream” and “peripheral” science, talks about how some of the really important questions have been overlooked in open access debates, questions like the potential impact of open access on power structures in science.

Open access has the potential to overcome the divide between the mainstream and the periphery, which is particularly important in the developing world.

One model for economic support for open access which has not received as much attention in open access debates is a national open access journal subsidy program. Outside of a very few countries, scholarly publishing has never been profitable, and subsidies have always been the norm. There are a few exceptions, such as the U.s. and the U.K.; even here, when the work given away by authors, peer reviewers, research funders, and the indirect subsidies through library subscriptions are factored in, it is likely that scholarly publishing is basically indirectly
subsidized.

Where journals are directly subsidized, switching to open access just makes sense, as the cost is lower without toll barries (no licensing, authentication, or subscription tracking, for example), and the impact is much greater.

Subsidized journals is a model that works very well for authors of developing countries, who may not have funding to pay article processing fees. A national program can ensure that local journals have the infrastructure and technology they need to succeed and be visible internationally.

Local control of academic publishing has other benefits as well. One example is that a local journal would appear to be much more likely to consider an article on a topic of high priority locally as relevant, than would an international journal. In a scholarly publishing industry heavily dominated by a few international players, medical researchers in developing countries may be more likely to focus on illnesses that impact peoples in northern countries, rather than illnesses such as malaria which have a greater impact at a lower level. A well-supported local scholarly publishing system can address this imbalance.

Librarians are very familiar with the difficulty of locating information of local importance. In Canada, our library patrons are often wanting information of relevance to Canada; when our tools are almost entirely international in nature, it is very difficult to find the local. This is true not only in Canada, but everywhere else as well.

While many aspects of scholarly knowledge are universal in nature, there is much of the local that is important, too.

For example, in humanities, I sometimes wonder whether the need to publish in international journals leads our literary scholars to study the works of authors considered important on an international level, when without this pressure they might be more inclined to study the works of local authors. Could a shift in focus from the international to the local increase the breadth and depth of our understanding of literature - and, at the same time, support local cultures everywhere? Could this result in a happy flourishing of literature and culture around the world?

Scielo is an excellent example of what can be accomplished through a nationally subsidized open access program. While the Scielo portal encompasses the scholarly work of many latin countries, Brazil alone, in 2005, brought 160 fully open access journals to the world at a very modest cost of only $1 million dollars.

Canada is experimenting with subsidized open access journals, through the Aid to Open Access Journals program.

In my opinion, it is not only governments that should be thinking about fully subsidizing open access journals. This makes sense for libraries, too. After all, we are already subsidizing scholarly publishing, through subscriptions. After a little careful reworking of economics, we could transform the system to directly support the journals.

Many libraries are already providing support to facilitate a transition to open access for journals their faculty publish, for example by hosting and supporting journal publishing software.

A useful next step would be to examine the monies spent on journals, and consider whether libraries or library consortia are already paying enough, or more than enough, to fund a fully open access journal. Given that many journals are currently sold in bundles, often international in scope, this will be complex at first; we will need to ask questions that publishers / vendors will not have immediate answers for.

However, we will have to begin asking such questions at any rate. With many journals providing open choice options, libraries will have to begin examining how much is paid for through open choice, and ensure that subscription fees are reduced accordingly, simply to avoid double-dipping; it is, one might argue, a needed element just for due diligence.

If we must focus on such issues in the transition to open access, why not be proactive and determine whether and how libraries can contribute to a fully subsidized, fully open access scholarly publishing system?

full reference:
Jean-Claude Guédon, in Open Access and the divide between “mainstream” and “peripheral” science, in Ferreira, Sueli Mara S.P. and Targino, Maria das Graças, Eds. Como gerir e qualificar revistas científicas (forthcoming in 2007, in Portuguese). The eloquent and profound Guédon is one of the world's earliest open access leaders, and still among the most active around the world; one of the reasons why we have such strong Canadian Leadership in the Open Access Movement.

This post is part of the Transitioning to Open Access Series.

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

DOAJ: 80 new titles in the last 30 days

The Dramatic Growth of Open Access continues to astonish even this ever-optimistic open access enthusiast!

As of today, November 28, 2007, the Directory of Open Access Journals (DOAJ) has added 80 new titles in the last 30 days. That's an average of 2.67 per calendar day!

While some journals appear to be new, a number have start years going back as far as 1992, indicating a mix of new journals and OA conversions. Only 4 of these titles are from Bentham Open. Bentham Open is a new open access publisher, with plans to launch over 300 OA journals in the coming year, so clearly DOAJ staff have their work cut out for them!

This post is part of the Dramatic Growth of Open Access Series.

DOAJ has already added 451 titles in 2007 so far, for an average growth rate of a minimum of 1.24 titles per calendar day - and a month to go! This is not only a healthy growth rate; it's a healthy, increasing growth rate. For the full story of 2007, watch for year-end numbers!

Sunday, November 25, 2007

Open Access and Accessibility for the Print Disabled

Abstract

Open Access and Accessibility for the Print Disabled are two goals that fit together like hand and glove. In the online environment, it just makes sense to think about accessibility as we create information, rather than creating inaccessible information and building expensive services to overcome barriers that we have built later on. A document in XML or HTML is more accessible than one in PDF. A PDF that is not locked down with permissions, and not image-based, is more accessible than a PDF that is either locked down or image-based. The Budapest Open Access Initiative was not designed specifically to meet the needs of the print disabled; but a document that meets the BOAI definition of open access will be accessible for the print disabled, too. Similarly, when advocates for the print disabled convinced Adobe to build accessibility into their product (1), they were not thinking about accessibility for the rest of us, but their efforts have already (inadvertently) meant that many a PDF - whether published by a traditional or open access publisher - is much closer to meeting the BOAI definition of open access. This post includes a listserv message and comments, some from experts, and concludes with some final thoughts, including whether this might be considered a peer-reviewed listserv / blogpost, whether the publisher's PDF is, as often referred to, a value-add - or a value-subtract.

Details

This post began as a message to the SPARC Open Access Forum, ERIL-L, SSP list, liblicense, and Scholcomm. The above paragraph reflects modification based on comments by at least two experts on services for the print disabled, one publishing industry expert (private correspondence), and Peter Suber (on Open Access News. Comments posted publicly are listed below.

Heather's message to various listservs, Nov. 5, 2007
Note: the wording on different listservs varies a bit

For the print disabled, the difference between a PDF that is locked down and one that is not, is the difference between a work that is accessible, and one that is one.

A locked PDF is an image file, with inaccessible text. An unlocked PDF has text that is accessible, that can be manipulated by screen readers designed for the print disabled. Even without special equipment, is it easy to see how an unlocked PDF can very easily be transformed into large print, or read aloud.

Publishers, please unlock your PDFs! Librarians, please ask about unlocked PDFs when you purchase.

If a country has a law requiring access for the print disabled, is it even legal to purchase databases with unnecessarily locked-down PDFs?

The Budapest Open Access Initiative did not aim to meet the needs of the print disabled. This is just another side-benefit of open access.

Comments

Corey Davis on ERIL-L: Thanks for the imperative Heather. I would also recommend that librarians look for databases that have multiple full text options, such as PDF and HTML. Having worked with the print disabled community for several years, I can tell you that PDFs--even accessible ones--can be quite problematic, especially when it comes to reading order.

For more information, check out Joe Clark's article on A List Apart http://www.alistapart.com/articles/pdf_accessibility

Mike Rogawski on the SPARC Open Access Forum:

Adobe makes it possible to apply different types of restrictions to PDFs. Obviously, publishers don't use the most common type of "locking" which requires a password to open and read the document, and they don't impose restriction on printing.

However, occasionally they may impose a more subtle form of locking, which makes a password necessary for "Content Copying or Extraction." This type of restriction is unnecessary and diminishes the utility of the article for scholars, teachers and students. Indeed, it makes it difficult for users to exercise some fair use rights.

For example, it prevents a reader from taking notes by copying snippets of text to a personal journal. It also prevents a reader from copying a literature citation from a reference list (thus increasing the chances that an error will be made with manual copying).

Also, it prevents a teacher from using Photoshop to rasterize an image (such as a chart, graph, diagram, cartoon or picture) within the article for use, for example, in scholarly research, classroom teaching, or in preparing to teach a class, as permitted by fair use.

Publisher should not distribute scholarly articles with restrictions on content copying or extraction. Authors should inform publishers that these restrictions inhibit the fair use of their work.

Peter Suber on Open Access News Exactly. If publishers insist on using PDFs at all, then at least they should unlock them. To facilitate re-use even further, they should offer HTML or XML editions alongside the PDFs.

(1) Private conversation, Mary Anne Epp, Manager, Contract Services, Langara College

Heather's final comment and thoughts: This process reflects some elements of peer review, doesn't it? Could this be a peer-reviewed listserv / blogpost? We often talk about the added value of the publisher's PDF. If a locked-down or image-based PDF is a less useful than an XML or HTML file - is the publisher's PDF a value-add, or a value-subtract?

Sunday, November 11, 2007

Dramatic Growth of Open Access Series

The Dramatic Growth of Open Access Series is a quarterly series (end of March, June, September, and December) of key data illustrating the growth of open access, with additional comments and analysis. The series is available in open data and blogpost (commentary) editions. The quarterly series began December 31, 2005, and is predated by a peer-reviewed journal article featuring data as of February 2005. To download the data or the rationale & method, see the Dramatic Growth of Open Access dataverse Morrison, Heather, 2014-03, "Dramatic Growth of Open Access", http://hdl.handle.net/10864/10660 Morrison, Heather [Distributor] V1 [Version]

September 30, 2017

Items of interest since September 30, 2017:

Directory of Open Access Books reaches milestone of 10,000 books  http://mailchi.mp/oapen.org/doab-milestone-10000-publications

UK is "undergoing a transition towards open access in the UK and, and this reports shows...we are increasing the proportion of our research which is available open access at a considerable rate. We now make 37% of our outputs freely available to the world immediately on publication, and this increases to 53% after 24 months. Tickell, A., Chair, Universities UK, Monitoring the transition to open access: December 2017 https://www.elsevier.com/__data/assets/pdf_file/0011/547958/UUK_Report_2018_A4_Digital_FINAL.pdf

June 30, 2017 

Items of interest since June 30, 2017:

PLOS reaches milestone of 200,000 articles  http://blogs.plos.org/plos/2017/07/publishing-milestone-plos-research-articles/

March 31, 2017: data is available for download from the dataverse. No commentary post this quarter.

Items of Interest since March 31, 2017

Kramer, D. (2017).  Steady, strong growth is expected for open-access journals. Physics Today 70:5, 24 doi: 10.1063/PT.3.355   http://physicstoday.scitation.org/doi/pdf/10.1063/PT.3.3550

December 31, 2016 Dramatic Growth of Open Access

September 30, 2016 Dramatic Growth of Open Access  http://poeticeconomics.blogspot.ca/2016/10/dramatic-growth-of-open-access.htmlhttp://poeticeconomics.blogspot.ca/2016/10/dramatic-growth-of-open-access.html

June 30, 2016 Dramatic Growth of Open Access  http://poeticeconomics.blogspot.ca/2016/06/dramatic-growth-of-open-access-june-30.html

Items of interest since June 30, 2016:
PubMedCentral now has more than 4 million articles  
Over 1 billion CC licensed works 

March 31, 2016 Dramatic Growth of Open Access
http://poeticeconomics.blogspot.ca/2016/04/dramatic-growth-of-open-access-march-31.html
Update: DOAJ announces milestone of addition of PLOS metadata, instantly growing by 182,500 articles

December 31, 2015 Dramatic Growth of Open Access
http://poeticeconomics.blogspot.ca/2015/12/dramatic-growth-of-open-access-december.html

June 30, 2015 Dramatic Growth of Open Access
http://poeticeconomics.blogspot.ca/2015/06/dramatic-growth-of-open-access-june-30.html

2015 March 31, 2014
http://poeticeconomics.blogspot.ca/2015/04/dramatic-growth-of-open-access-2015.html

Items of interest since March 31:

Healthy growth in open access journals and articles published in them (thanks to Walt Crawford). 

2014 December 31, 2014 - 30 indicators of growth beyond the ordinary
http://poeticeconomics.blogspot.ca/2014/12/2014-dramatic-growth-of-open-access-30.html

2014 September 30, 2014 - useful facts and figures for Open Access Week http://poeticeconomics.blogspot.ca/2014/10/dramatic-growth-of-open-access.html 

Items of interest since September 30:

Khabsa & Giles (2014). The number of scholarly documents on the public web. PLOS ONE http://www.plosone.org/article/info%3Adoi%2F10.1371%2Fjournal.pone.0093949#pone-0093949-g003

-  estimates 114 million freely available english language scholarly documents

2014 Second Quarter (June 30, 2014) (with Jihane Salhab) http://poeticeconomics.blogspot.ca/2014/07/dramatic-growth-of-open-access-june-30.html 

Items of interest since June 30:
Open Access Directory sails past 4 million view https://plus.google.com/u/0/+PeterSuber/posts/fhnyVTDsLQz

2014 First Quarter (March 31, 2014) http://poeticeconomics.blogspot.ca/2014/04/dramatic-growth-of-open-access-first.html

Items of interest since March 31, 2014

  • June 4: the home page for Peter Suber's MIT Press book Open Access passed the milestone of 100,000 page views (I highly recommend this as an excellent brief starting point for learning about OA).

December 31, 2013 Dramatic Growth of Open Access: first open source edition

The unstoppable growth of high quality open access resources - December 2013 early year-end edition.

Items of interest since December 11, 2013:
September 30, 2013 Dramatic Growth of Open Access 

Items of interest since September 30, 2013:

DOAJ notes that due to continuous improvement DOAJ has been deleting as many titles as it has been adding since August 2013. For this reason, DOAJ has been tantalizingly close to 10 thousand titles for some time.

PLoS celebrates milestone of100,000th article 

SCOAP3 set to begin January 1, 2014 

The unstoppable rise of open access. Spotlight by Peter Gruss, President, the Max Planck Society. 

June 30, 2013 Dramatic Growth of Open Access

Items of interest since June 30, 2013:

March 31, 2013 Dramatic Growth of Open Access
Download data, word version of commentary, chart

Items of interest since March 31, 2013

Bjork et al, preprint, Subject repositories: an overview http://www.openaccesspublishing.org/repositories/Subject_Repositories.pdf

Outsell Open Access Report

December 31, 2012 Dramatic Growth of Open Access 

Items of interest since December 31, 2012

Peter Suber posts DOAJ details and analysis including breakdown.

DOAJ article search exceeds 1 million articles! - and for the first time more than half of the journals listed in DOAJ are provided article level metadata.

Anatomy of green open access - forthcoming article by Bjork, Laakso, Welling and Paetau

December 2012 early year-end edition

Items of interest since December 11, 2012

Open Access Tracking Project milestone - more than 20,000 items tagged since 2009 (thanks to Peter Suber)

MedOANet Open Access Tracker
combines and visualizes open access data for Mediterranean countries

Thank you, open access movement! September 30, 2012 Dramatic Growth of Open Access

June 30, 2012 Dramatic Growth of Open Access 

Items of interest since June 30, 2012

Public Library of Science celebrates milestone of 50,000 articles published (July 10, 2012)

Open Access Map - please help Ross Mounce build this visual approach to seeing the extent and growth of open access by adding repositories and other services that you know about.

Megajournals - trading knowledge. Interesting blogpost on large open access publishing operations - some data, more qualitative background.

Open Access in the UK - graph from Nature illustrating difference in open access by discipline. Found that of the approx. 85,000 articles published by researchers in the U.K. indexed in Web of Science in 2010, 40% were open access as of 2012 - 5% gold, 35% green. (My note - Web of Science will tend to understate research activity in the humanities and social sciences). Data from Yassine Gargouri according to Alma Swan on the GOAL list.


Open access and the dramatic growth of PLoS ONE, by Graham Steel

YouTube breaks records with 4 million creative commons licensed videos 

Directory of Open Access Journals now has more than 8,000 journals 

Two milestones - 600+ scholarly societies publish 700+ open access journals 

OA coming of age - opinion piece by David Solomon and Bo-Christoph Bjork in The Scientist

The impact of funding agency open access policies (March 31, 2012 Dramatic Growth of Open Access

Items of interest since March 31, 2012:

Happy 2012 Open Access Movement! December 31, 2011 Dramatic Growth of Open Access 

Items of interest since December 31, 2011
Mendeley Open Access update - Repository Man Les Carr congratulates Mendeley on a 47% increase in OA computer documents, reflecting an increase in participation.  (Note: I haven't been able to find the full Mendeley OA count recently so have dropped them off of the Dramatic Growth of Open Access. Any tips on how to quickly figure this number would be most appreciated).
Hathitrust - 10 million and counting 
Steady growth for Open Journal Systems and Open Conference Systems - thanks to Kevin Stranack:
http://pkp.sfu.ca/ojs-user-numbers
http://pkp.sfu.ca/ocs-user-nu

The NIH Public Access Policy http://publicaccess.nih.gov/public_access_policy_implications_2012.pdf
KEY FACTS ABOUT PMC:
  • Over 2.4 million articles are now in PMC. 
  • In addition to the NIH-funded papers deposited into PMC, publishers voluntarily deposit more than 100,000 papers per year. 
  • Every weekday, one half million users access the database, retrieving over 1 million articles.
  • Based on internet addresses, an estimated 25% of users are from universities, 17% are from companies, and 40% from the general public.
The challenges of success: dramatic growth of open access early year-end edition
December 11, 2011

Items of interest since December 11, 2011
20 million item on Europeana
Creative Commons 9th birthday - 500 million CC licensed items
Growth in scholarly society OA publishers since 2007 (Dec. 2) 
Mike Eisen's blogpost listing 9 PLOS ONE clones supports my June 30 hypothesis that we are entering a phase of competition for open access
PLOS ONE 5th birthday many milestones 

  • The growth of the PLoS ONE exceeded even the most optimistic predictions. In the first full year of publication it published 1,230 articles (making it larger in volume than all but about 100 journals) and, within 4 years, it became the largest peer-reviewed journal in the world. To date, PLoS ONE has published more than 28,700 articles and in 2011 alone it will publish almost 14,000 articles (meaning that approximately 1 in 60 of all articles indexed by PubMed for 2011 will have been published in PLoS ONE). 
2011 the year of open BCcampus' Paul Stacey's inclusive view of the expansion of open in many dimensions
2010/11 Report on Open Access and Preservation Policies in Europe 
Katarina Lovrecic Open Access year-end highlights: coming up roses? 
Peggy Schaeffer Dryad milestone - 100th journal (many, but not all, are open access)
2011 letter from Gregg Gordon, President, SSRN
Social Sciences Research Network stats
September 30, 2011 Dramatic Growth of Open Access

Quick reference (for viewing) 
Quick reference (download as excel or PDF)
Rationale and method
Dataverse for downloading data.

Items of interest since September 30, 2011
Sherpa services blog: 60% of journals allow immediate self-archiving of post peer-reviewed articles
Open Access Directory just sailed past our 2 millionth view of the OAD
One million works available online through RePEC (Nov. 26, 2011) 

Let the competition begin! June 30, 2011 Dramatic Growth of Open Access
Quick reference (viewing)
Quick reference (download as excel or PDF)
Rationale and method
Dataverse for downloading data.

Items of interest since June 30, 2011


March 31, 2011 Dramatic Growth of Open Access

Those ACTIVE open access journals! Data from Ulrich's strongly suggesting that open access journals are more likely to be active than subscription-based journals from major commercial publishers.

Lewis, David W. (2010) How to think about the Pace of Substitution of Open Access Academic Journals for Traditional Subscription Journals https://scholarworks.iupui.edu/handle/1805/2030

Over 9,000 OJS installations (PKP, April 7, 2011)
The PubMedCentral Picture: Steady Growth, Downloadable Stats OpenBioMed.Info

BASE number counter fixed with new version: 1 million more records than recorded in Dec. 2010 (26,498,582 from 1,693 content providers as of February 14, 2011)

Hindawi 40% growth in submissions in 2010

PLoS ONE: now THE world's largest journal?

2010 Dramatic Growth of Open Access
2010 Show Growth - for quick 2010 annual growth stats plus average daily, weekly, and monthly growth by service
Polish version created by E-LIS Editor Bożena Bednarek-Michalska, which can be found here and here.

Thompson-Reuters chart shows 20% gold OA article growth as compared to 3.5% overall article growth

December 11, 2010 early year-end edition


During the week of October 4 - 8, 2010, open access and free journal collector extraordinaire Jan Sczcepanski collected his 10,000th journal. Thanks, Jan!

Preliminary results of SOAP (Study of Open Access Publishing) Survey. At least 120,000 articles / year published as open access (this is about 8% of the estimated 1.5 million peer-reviewed articles published per year). Excludes non-english journals.

September 30, 2010

Hindawi's monthly submissions grow to over 2,000 September 7, 2010 announcement from Hindawi's Paul Peters

More than 25 million records in BASE August 3, 2010 announcement, Dirk Pieper, BASE

June 30, 2010

Wellcome Trust: Robert Kiley reports 44% compliance rate with OA policy for 2009

March 31, 2010

Social Science Research Network
Excerpt:
2010 is our 16th year and it is off to a great start. Our eLibrary (http://ssrn.com/search) has delivered over 37.4 million downloads to date and grown to 290,000 documents and 138,000 authors - increases over the last year of 53,000 and 22,000 respectively. Our CiteReader technology, developed with ITX Corp, has captured over 6 million references, 5.7 million footnotes, and close to 3.9 million citation links. We believe this growth in multi-disciplinary, open access content is exciting and contributing to innovative scholarly research in social science and humanities.

PLoS One: Open Access to the Scholarly Journal Literature: Status 2009. Random study of 1,837 titles found of articles published in 2008, over 8% were open access on the publisher's website, and over 11% otherwise freely available, for an overall average of over 20% of articles freely available. There was a disparity in results by discipline.

Project Euclid exceeds one million pages of open access content.

NDLTD Union Catalog Surpasses One Million Electronic Theses and Dissertation

Over 20% of world's scholarly journals are now fully open access - kudos to DOAJ!

Internet Archive: Over 1 Million Books now Available Free to the Print Disabled

March 31, 2010

Notes February 3, 2010: Jim Tills' method for determining CIHR policy compliance, and more than 5,000 journals using OJS.

December 31, 2009, New Year's Eve edition

December 11, 2009, early year-end edition

Strong Open Access Growth Reported by Hindawi. Hindawi's figures for 2009 show more than doubling of submissions, and strong growth in accepted manuscripts, indicating that in addition to strong growth in number of OA journals, there is evidence of strong growth in articles within established OA journals as well.

September 30, 2009

The Dramatic Growth of PLoS One: soon-to-be world's largest journal

June 30, 2009

March 31, 2009

Update April 7: Open-access policy flourishes at NIH. Meredith Wadman. Nature News, April 7, 2009. Thanks to Peter Suber on Open Access News.

Looking for downloadable data? Go straight to the DGOA Dataverse.

Directory of Open Access Journals (DOAJ) Growth 2005-2008. Charts illustrated the growth in journal titles, journals searchable at article level, articles searchable at article level, and growth in growth rate for all measures in 2008.

Open Access Journals: Around the World, and Top OA Journal Countries
OpenDOAR exceeds 1,300!

December 31, 2008 Open Data - Happy New Year Brief Edition

December 11, 2008 Early Annual Edition

September 30, 2008

More evidence of a spike in DOAJ in 2008
Gavin Baker presents more evidence of a spike in DOAJ in 2008. Factors to consider when considering DOAJ as an imperfect measure of open access journal numbers and growth are presented.

arXiv exceeds half a million items! (October 3, 2008)
Estimate: NIH Public Access compliance rate has already tripled with mandatory policy (up to August 2008)

Twice as much gold OA articles in 2008 as in 2006!

Housekeeping: Dramatic Growth of Open Access Release Dates

DOAJ Over 200,000 searchable articles!

DOAJ growth rate nearly doubles in a year. From 2007 to 2008, the DOAJ growth rate increased from 1.2 to 2.2 new titles, on average, per calendar day.

Noteworthy Dramatic Growth July 2008: PMC and RoMEO

Scientific Commons exceeds 20 million items (July 2008)

The
Dramatic Growth of Open Access: June 30, 2008 update
- note corrections to growth rate
Open Data Edition (showing quarterly and annual growth) - plus PMC free data, second sheet.
Open Data Edition (just data)
PMC Journals

The Dramatic Growth of Open Access: Open Data Edition (from March 31, 2008)
The Dramatic Growth of Open Access: Open Data Full Data Edition (to March 31, 2008)

March 31, 2008

More baseline data for PubMedCentral. Baseline data for PMC on the eve of the NIH new open access mandate, April 7, 2008.

Cancer literature: 13% free. Baseline data for free full-text, before the NIH open access mandate takes effect.

December 31, 2007 Dramatic Growth of Open Access

Dramatic Growth of Open Access: 2007 Interim Report and Predictions for 2008 Minor Update

Directory of Open Access Journals: Already the Biggest Big Deal?

DOAJ: 80 new titles in 30 days (Nov. 28, 2007)

September 30, 2007


June 30, 2007

March 31, 2007
Dramatic Growth March 2007 Update & Open Data Edition

December 31, 2006
Dramatic Growth December 2006 & Predictions for 2007
September 30, 2006
September 2006 Update.
June 30, 2006
June 30, 2006 Update.
March 31, 2006
March 31, 2006 Update.
December 31, 2005
Dec. 31, 2005 Update and 2006 Predictions
February 2005 data
The Dramatic Growth of Open Access: Implications and Opportunities for Resource Sharing, Journal of Interlibrary Loan, Document Delivery & Electronic Reserve, 16, 3 (2006).

About the Dramatic Growth of Open Access Series


40 new titles added to PubMedCentral in the last 60 days!

PubMedCentral Journals: Baseline Data

This post is designed to gather other posts and data editions of this series, and is backdated so that updates are not incorrectly identified as new posts.
Last updated September 23, 2007

Is the Canadian Journal of Anesthesia asleep?

Are the folks at the Canadian Journal of Anesthesia asleep?

Abstract

While Canada's main research funder in medicine, the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR), calls for open access to CIHR-funded research, the Canadian Journal of Anesthesia is among the small, and shrinking, percentage of journals that do not even allow author self-archiving! Canadian anesthesiologists: did you know that Harvard and Cal State do not subscribe to the journal produced by your society? Researchers there can read the articles, but not until they are a year old, unless they are willing to pay a temporary access fee of $20 US per day, for access at one computer. It seems unlikely that many researchers at Harvard or Cal State would purchase under these bizarre terms; in the developing world, these fees may amount to an enormous sum of money. If you're a member of the Canadian Anesthesiologist's Society, please tell your society to ask the folks at the journal to wake up, and realize how much Canadian anesthesia has to gain by moving to the optimal dissemination that is open access!

Details

If you're a savvy, funded Canadian researcher who has read the Canadian Institutes of Health Research Policy on Access to Research Outputs and understand your obligations under 5.5.1, first paragraph:
Grant recipients are now required to make every effort to ensure that their peer-reviewed publications are freely accessible through the Publisher's website (Option #1) or an online repository as soon as possible and in any event within six months of publication (Option #2), you will be looking for a journal that is open access, or to least allows authors to self-archive their work as open access, in which to publish.

If you look at the Directory of Open Access Journals For Authors page, which lists full or hybrid open access publishing options, you won't find the Canadian Journal of Anesthesia here.

If you check the SHERPA RoMEO Publisher Copyright Policies and Self-Archiving site, you won't find the Canadian Journal of Anesthesia here, either.

Okay, so your research funder requires that you make the peer-reviewed research articles open access, but it is not possible to do this if you wish to publish in the Canadian Journal of Anesthesia.

There are other reasons for publishing, of course. You want impact. That is, you want other researchers to read and cite your work.

What does publishing in the Canadian Journal of Anesthesia accomplish here?

According to the Canadian Journal of Anesthesia's information for advertisers, advertising in the Canadian Journal of Anesthesia is the best way to reach Canadian anesthesiologists.

What about outside the U.S.? If you are a researcher at Harvard or California State University and wish to view a recently-published article from the Canadian Journal of Anesthesia, you will not be able to do so. The Canadian Journal of Anesthesia is included in Highwire Free; but articles are not available here until they are at least a year old.

You can go directly to the Canadian Journal of Anesthesia website, of course. The Canadian Journal of Anesthesia provides an option to purchase short-term access. From the CJAE website:

Purchase Short-Term Access
* Pay per Article - You may access this article (from the computer you are currently using) for 1 day for US $20.00
.

This is mind-boggling. $20 per article, and only 1 day's access from 1 computer? If you start reading an article at the hospital library, get called away to attend to a patient and want to continue reading from your office, you're expected to pay again?

If you're a Canadian and the article is funded through Canadian taxpayer dollars, this is particularly offensive, as you have already paid for the work.

If you're a researcher or practitioner in the developing world, this may be an enormous sum of money.

If there is another article you want to read and it is in an open access journal or open access archive, you can download again and again to as many computers as you would like. If your time and attention is limited, what will you read?

No wonder there is such an impact advantage with open access!

Even if an author wishes to consider subscription journals with no open access policies to publish in, why choose the Canadian Journal of Anesthesia with its circulation of 4,000, when Anesthesiology has a circulation of 38,000? Not to mention that Anesthesiology is obviously experimenting with free sample articles for current issues, too.

Here is an hypothesis: all else being equal, the open access impact advantage should correlate inversely with journal circulation. The smaller the circulation, the bigger the OA impact advantage.

If Canadian researchers are not interested in research funding and/or do not care about the people who provide the research funding (the Canadian taxpayer), and do not care whether anyone reads their work, by all means - go ahead and publish in Canadian Journal of Anesthesia, if you are aiming for obscurity.

On the other hand, if Canadian anesthesiologists wish to make an impact - on the world, on their research funder and the Canadian public - please tell your association to wake up, quit publishing for a few anesthesiologists in Canada, and go for the optimal dissemination that is open access!

This post is NOT a part of the Canadian Leadership in the Open Access Movement series. Perhaps a future issue?

Thursday, November 08, 2007

Open Access: back to the basics

It is important for those of us who have been advocating for open access for many years to remember that there is still much work to do educating people about what open access is; from time to time, let's remember to get back to the basics. As open access mandate policies are developed, we need to watch for, and correct, misunderstandings.

Here is the definition of open access, from the Budapest Open Access Initiative:

By "open access" to this literature, we mean its free availability on the public internet, permitting any users to read, download, copy, distribute, print, search, or link to the full texts of these articles, crawl them for indexing, pass them as data to software, or use them for any other lawful purpose, without financial, legal, or technical barriers other than those inseparable from gaining access to the internet itself. The only constraint on reproduction and distribution, and the only role for copyright in this domain, should be to give authors control over the integrity of their work and the right to be properly acknowledged and cited.

The only element missing from this definition, is that true open access means that an item is available open access immediately on publication, not after a delay period.

The literature that should be given away for free, is the literature that scholars have always given away for free. Scholars traditionally give away their peer-reviewed journal articles. Peer reviewers are not paid for their work, either.

There are two basic types of open access:

Open Access Archiving (or the green approach): the author (or someone representing the author) makes a copy of the author's work openly available, separate from the publication process. That is, the article may be published in a traditional subscription-based journal. The version of the article that is self-archived is the author's own copy of the work, reflecting changes from the peer review process (all the work that is provided for free), not the publisher's version.

Open Access Publishing (or the gold approach): the publisher makes the work open access, as part of the process of publication.

Research funders' policies requiring open access always apply to the recipient of the funding, the author. Policies either allow either approach to open access, or they specify the open access archiving, or green approach. The green approach is broader; an article published in an open access journal is available for deposit in an open access archive. Therefore, a green open access policy provides for either approach to providing open access.

Thanks to Peter Suber and Stevan Harnad for pointing out the need to focus on restating the basics of OA.

Saturday, November 03, 2007

The Usefulness of Open Access, or Yet Another Positive OA Cycle

Many faculty members are currently encountering one of the sillier disadvantages of the toll-access approach in the internet-based world. That is, the decreasing usefulness of articles with the restrictions of licensing. An article that one might have put on reserve as a print copy, or handed out in class as print, without a second's thought, may well be forbidden, or much more complex to provide, in the online environment.

Librarians, this is a teachable moment! An article that is truly OA as per the Budapest definition, CAN be placed on e-reserve or distributed in coursepacks, either as a link, or as the full content of the article - with attribution, of course, but with no frustrating, time-wasting and often costly process of obtaining permissions, or dealing with the complexities of authentication or re-authentication to connect student with article.

For example, no permission at all is needed to link to each and every article in the latest First Monday, a special issue devoted to papers arising from the First International PKP Scholarly Publishing Conference.

In such a situation, the simplest, most fulfilling, and lowest cost solution may be, after searching for an OA copy, is for the teacher (or librarian) to contact the author and ask whether self-archiving might be a possibility.

For that matter, the more we promote resources like DOAJ, OAIster, Scientific Commons, etc., the more faculty will see for themselves this particular benefit of OA. This can only increase the tendency for faculty to want to seek out OA resources, and publish OA themselves - a positive cycle.

Why Yet Another Positive Cycle? Because the first potential positive cycle is OA through article processing fees decreasing subscription costs, freeing up funds for more article processing fees and other OA support, and so on.

Any opinion expressed in this e-mail is that of the author alone, and does not reflect the opinion or policy of BC Electronic Library Network or Simon Fraser University Library.

Heather Morrison
The Imaginary Journal of Poetic Economics
http://poeticeconomics.blogspot.com

This blogpost was originally posted to ERIL-L, Scholcomm, the SPARC Open Access Forum, and CACUL-L, on October 29, 2007

It should be noted that even with print, there are differences in generosity to the user with 'Fair Use' in the US, and the more restrictive 'Fair Dealing' in Canada and the UK. Even with Fair Dealing, however, there are often greater restrictions with electronic than print.

Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Pilot Project to Provide Open Access to NRC Publications

The National Research Council's Institute for Research in Construction has had an OA mandate since 2003! Thanks to CISTI's Alison Ball, who also reports that NRC is moving towards OAI-PMH compliance for their pilot repository.

From CISTI News, Volume 23 #1, Summer 2007

Pilot project to provide open access to NRC publications

One research organization, one gateway for information. This is the goal of a new pilot project to demonstrate the viability of an NRC Publications Archive. This archive would establish an NRC-wide approach to managing and providing seamless access to NRC's scientific contributions, which translate to about 3,700 papers each year from 20 NRC institutes and 5 technology centres.

Called NPArC (pronounced N-Park) for short, the two-year, CISTI-funded pilot will offer public access to NRC publications from seven NRC institutes. Open-access search engines like Google Scholar will also be able to access the publications.

The institutes participating in the project include the Institute for Research in Construction (IRC), the Institute for National Measurement Standards (INMS), the Institute for Information Technology (IIT) and the Institute for Aerospace Research (IAR), which have publications databases; and the Institute for Chemical Process and Environmental Technology (ICPET), the Integrated Manufacturing Technologies Institute (IMTI) and the Canadian Neutron Beam Centre (CNBC) of the Steacie Institute for Molecular Sciences (SIMS), which do not.

CISTI expects that this pilot will establish the importance of an institutional information repository in measuring NRC's performance at translating science and technology into value for Canada. In addition, the project will be a first step in making NRC's publications more accessible to the scientific community, as well as the general public.

This post is part of the Canadian Leadership in the Open Access Movement Series.

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Canadian Digital Information Strategy and Open Access

Library and Archives Canada has released their Canadian Digital Information Strategy consultation document. Comments are due November 23rd. (Thanks to Michael Geist).

This Strategy document contains much that is relevant to open access, particularly Challege 3: Maximizing Access and Use.

In particular, let us applaud and support:

3.3 Provide timely and open online access to Canada's public information and publicly-funded research information and data.

Watch for more on this topic.

This post is part of the Canadian Leadership in the Open Access Movement Series.

Sunday, October 28, 2007

Rethinking Collections and Transitioning to Open Access: First Monday

The October 1, 2007 issue of First Monday has just been released, featuring a selection of presentations at the First International PKP Scholarly Publishing Conference, including:

Morrison, Heather. Rethinking Collections: Libraries and Librarians in an Open Age
Abstract
Open access, one of the most important of the potentials unleashed by the combination of the electronic medium and the World Wide Web, is already much more substantial in extent that most of us realize. More than 10 percent of the world’s scholarly peer–reviewed journals are fully open access; this does not take into account the many journals offering hybrid open choice, free back access, or allowing authors to self–archive their works. Scientific Commons includes more than 16 million publications, nearly twice as much content as Science Direct. Meanwhile, even as we continue to focus on the scholarly peer–reviewed journal article, other potentials of the new technology are beginning to appear, such as open data and scholarly blogging. This paper examines the library collection of the near and medium future, suggests that libraries and librarians are in a key position to lead in the transition to an open age, and provides specific suggestions to aid in the transition.

and:
Transitioning to Open Access
Christina Struik, Hilde Coldenbrander, Stephen Warren, Halina de Maurivez, Heather Joseph, Denise Koufougiannakis, Heather Morrison, Kathleen Shearer, Kumiko Vezina, Andrew Waller
Abstract
This paper presents a summary of three presentations: Heather Joseph of the Scholarly Publishing and Academic Resources Coalition (SPARC) on key advocacy strategies, the Canadian Association of Research Libraries’s (CARL) Kathleen Shearer on the CARL Institutional Repository program and forthcoming CARL Author’s Addendum, and Heather Morrison on the Canadian Library Association’s (CLA) Task Force on Open Access. The presentations were followed by a one–hour workshop, with about 50 participants including librarians from Canada and elsewhere, publishers, and others. Workshop exercises, designed for the expert audience anticipated at the First International PKP Scholarly Publishing Conference, were developed to elicit a broad overview of open access initiatives underway, issues and barriers to open access, and solutions to overcome them. Participants reported being engaged in a wide variety of open access initiatives, from OA publishing and institutional repositories to a recent commitment to devote a percentage of a university budget to OA. Two solutions the workshop participants saw as key for open access were finding a funding solution (possibly re–deploying collections and acquisitions budgets or earmarking grants funds for knowledge transfer), and branding repositories as containing trustable material. The workshop portion could have been expanded considerably, to a half or full day. Results of the workshop will help to inform the work of the CLA Task Force on Open Access.

This issue of First Monday is the first produced using the free, open source Open Journal Systems.

This post is part of the Transitioning to Open Access Series.

Sunday, October 21, 2007

Open Access as an Unprecedented Public Good: Presentation

Open Access as an Unprecedented Public Good is a presentation developed for the Workshop on Internet/s and Organizations, coordinated by Susan Kretchmer as a preconference to the Association of Internet Researchers (AoIR) conference. I was not able to deliver the presentation due to a family emergency, but have developed speaking notes and posted in E-LIS.

Abstract:

This brief presentation introduces open access as one illustration of the transformative potential of the internet. Open access is defined, and the two basic approaches to open access (publishing and archiving). The extent of open access today, and its dramatic growth, are reviewed, using the Directory of Open Access Journals (DOAJ), with over 2,800 journals and a growth rate of 1.2 new titles per calendar day and OAIster, with 13.6 million items in 896 repositories and a 42% growth rate over the past year, as illustrations. E-LIS is discussed, as one example of an open access archive. E-LIS is a global collection, with contributions from many countries and in many languages. E-LIS is also a global collaboration, with its team of volunteer editors from around the world. The author discusses her scholarly blog, The Imaginary Journal of Poetic Economics, specifically the series on Creative Globalization. An example is highlighted, a blogpost on the idea that developing countries may have more incentive to find cost-efficient solutions, and that this would be a very good reason for people in developed countries to pay more attention to the work of researchers in developing countries.

Canadian Library Association congratulates CIHR on its Open Access Policy

The Canadian Library Association posted its congratulatory letter to Dr. Alan Bernstein, President of the Canadian Institutes of Health Research, on the CIHR Policy on Access to Research Outputs. Thanks to CLA and President Dr. Alvin Schrader for yet another example of Canadian Leadership in the Open Access Movement.

Here is the text of the letter:

Dr. Alan Bernstein
President, Canadian Institutes of Health Research

Dear Dr. Bernstein,

Re: CIHR Open Access to Research Outputs Policy

Please accept the congratulations of the Canadian Library Association (CLA) on the recent announcement of the Open Access to Research Outputs policy.

The Canadian Library Association (CLA) is Canada’s largest national and broad-based library association, representing the interests of public, academic, school and special libraries, professional librarians and library workers, and all those concerned about enhancing the quality of life of Canadians through information and literacy.

CIHR’s adoption of the Open Access to Research Outputs policy is a significant step in the right direction towards the full and immediate open access to publicly funded research results. It is encouraging to see that “grant recipients must make every effort to ensure that their peer-reviewed research articles are freely available as soon as possible after publication”.

The policy is very generous in its flexibility to researchers and publishers, providing for grant recipients to meet this expectation through self-archiving of the author’s own work, or publishing in an open access journal. This flexibility, and the clarification that article processing fees for open access publishing are eligible expenses under Use of Grant Funds, are more than sufficient to ensure stability in publishing of this research during the transitional period. Inclusion of the Policy Review section is wise, to ensure that the policy moves forward toward full open access, as the publishing industry continues to evolve and adjust to the imperative of ensuring optimal use of research results in the internet environment, which includes provision of open access to research results.

Members of the Canadian Library Association, both as individuals and as organizations, will be helping with this implementation, in many ways. Librarians at research institutions will be educating researchers about the policy, why and how to comply; and librarians at all types of libraries will be helping library users to make good use of this expanded access to the results of CIHR research.

CLA recently adopted a policy of open access of its own, and we wish CIHR every success in its implementation of the Open Access to Research Outputs policy.

Sincerely,

Canadian Library Association / Association canadienne des bibliothèques

Alvin Schrader
President

Full OA is a reasonable position, plus, compromise takes two!

Peter Suber's response to my postWould a Bold Politician Speak Up for the Public Good? says:

Heather is right to take a political perspective. But politically, this is a two-sided issue. On the one hand, immediate OA is in the public interest, but on the other, we should be ready to compromise in order to get a bill passed.

I completely agree, however with respect to the NIH Public Access policy, may I point out that it takes two to compromise?

IF the publishing industry recognized and appreciated the significant compromise of allowing for a 12-month embargo period (not to mention the significant funding for publication charges and subscription fees already provided by the NIH) and SUPPORTED the NIH Public Access policy, including a change to requiring public access, instead of hiring PR pitbull Eric Dezenhall and fighting the modification to requirement tooth and nail, THAT would be a compromise, and one worth supporting.

As things stand, it appears to me that we have one side which is basically neutral (Public Access Policy, presenting a position which is a compromise), and another which is opposed. What's missing? Someone who will speak openly and passionately for the public interest.

Surely it is reasonable to at least express this viewpoint, in a democracy? It may be that immediate OA is not mandated; but at least this would make it clear that allowing for a 12-month embargo is indeed a compromise, and a significant one.

This is not a purist position which does not take into account the economics of scholarly publishing; that is another myth of the Dezenhall variety.

The public interest in open access to NIH-funded research is not only about the unprecedented public good that comes with freeing access to our medical knowledge; it is also in the public interest to ensure due diligence in expenditure of public funds.

That is to say, NIH is already funding, not only the research, but also, but to large (if not fully known) extent, the publilcation costs, too. One of the myths spread by the anti-OA lobby is that NIH is an "unfunded mandate". This is simply not true, based on what NIH is already spending in this area. NIH is paying $30 million per year in direct publication costs alone, an average of $500 per article published based on NIH-funded research. NIH also contributes to subscription costs through indirect costs to research; while the precise amount is not known, it seems a real possibility that NIH is already paying more than enough to fund a fully open access scholarly publishing system for NIH-funded research. These funds would still be available with a full open access mandate. Even with all the costs of publication covered by NIH, publishers still have opportunities to earn considerable profits, by selling subscriptions to the final versions with all the value they add - the copyediting, layout, etc., and access to additional content not funded by the public, not to mention advertising dollars!

Citations:

From: NIH. Policy on Enhancing Public Access to Archived Publications Resulting from NIH-Funded Research. F: Potential Economic Impact on Journal Publishers. The NIH supports the current publishing process by providing its funded investigators with an estimated $30 million annually in direct costs for publication expenses, including page and color charges and reprints. In addition, NIH provides funds, through indirect costs, to research institutions for library journal subscriptions and electronic site licenses. NIH also supports the current process by encouraging publication of NIH-supported original research in scientific journals.

IJPE: NIH Public Access Policy: Is the Funding for an OA Transition Already There?