Sunday, December 14, 2008

Dramatic Growth of Open Access in 2008 reported

Highlights: a quick snapshot of the continuum of access to scholarly journals suggests not only strong growth of open access journals, but a scholarly communications system well on its way to transitioning from toll to open access, with the pure toll access journal (no author self-archiving allowed, no back issues, etc.) a small, and diminishing, portion of the total. The growth of open access journals continues to be dramatic; there are now over 3,700 journals in DOAJ, 781 more journals than last year, 2 new titles per day. While content recruitment at the local repository may seem painfully slow, on a global basis the content and growth are phenomenal, with more than 24 million publications available through Scientific Commons, 19 million through OAIster. Every week, close to 150,000 new items become available through Scientific Commons.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Society publishers' attitude towards OA - survey results

Peter Suber reports in his blog

"SAGE has released Meeting the challenges: societies and scholarly communication (November 2008), the results of a survey it launched in September. .... (21 pages)

....for respondents in this survey, it was particularly interesting to see both HSS and STM responses fairly evenly split on OA as an opportunity or a threat.

Responses viewing OA as an opportunity highlighted the ability to broaden access. The negative responses related to revenue, copyright, and the lack of funds within certain disciplines to support the model....

The evenly split results pro- and anti- OA across the disciplines in this study is surprising and suggests there may be a greater level in favour of free access to research than anticipated...."

Google Booksearch now includes digitized magazines

"Today, we're announcing an initiative to help bring more magazine archives and current magazines online, partnering with publishers to begin digitizing millions of articles from titles as diverse as New York Magazine, Popular Mechanics, and Ebony. ......

For years, we've worked to make as much information as possible accessible online, whether that information comes from books, newspapers, or images. We think that bringing more magazines online is one more important step toward our long-standing goal of providing access to all the world's information...."

Friday, November 21, 2008

Author rights, your rights

Many academic authors believe it is necessary to transfer their copyright to the publisher when they publish a scientific article. This however, is not the case. Copyright is something that lies with the author, and that he can dispose of as he sees fit. He can choose to transfer his copyright to the publisher, but this often leads to him not being able to do what he wants with his work. He does not have to do this. An author can also authorize the publisher to publish his work by using a licence. With this licence a publisher can publish as usual and if necessary still take measures against illegal copy making. For the author a licence means that he retains the right to publish his work somewhere else, for example freely accessible on the internet, or on a department’s website, or an improved version in a different medium.

SURFdirect, SURF’s digital rights expert community, has produced a short film on Author rights, your rights.

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Dublin City University officially launched its institutional repository, DORAS

Dublin City University officially launched its institutional repository, DORAS (DCU Online Research Access Service). From the announcement:
The [DCU] Library held a special event on Tuesday 4th November to launch DORAS....
DORAS provides access to DCU’s research publications through a single interface which showcases its scholarship on a global scale. Professor Eugene Kennedy, Vice President for Research, spoke about the importance of DORAS in terms of increasing the visibility and impact of DCU’s research output. He noted that amongst the top ten downloads from DORAS in September 2008, were a number of PhD theses and remarked on the importance of the research commons as a dedicated space for PhD students to work on their theses and the opportunity the space afforded for cross-disciplinary networking and collaboration. He strongly encouraged all those in attendance to deposit their research papers in DORAS.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

BMJ converts to OA

The BMJ [formerly, the British Medical Journal] reiterates its commitment to open access publishing on the first international Open Access Day.

BMJ is now officially an Open Access journal

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

UCD Institutional Repository reaches a milestone

Just in time for Open Access day Tuesday, October 14, Research_online@UCD, the UCD library institutional repository, has archived its 500th item. The collection consists of peer reviewed journal articles, scholarly working papers, books and book chapters, technical reports, conferences items and government publications. The project is currently focused on the life's work of UCD economists and looks forward to providing access to a growing body of full text scholarly research.
Congratulations and thanks to all who have helped achieve this milestone. Take a look at

Today is Open Access Day!

Take a look at the web page we have prepared to mark this first OA Day. Or if you are in the James Joyce Library this week then we have some information boards and take-away leaflets for you.

Thursday, October 9, 2008

University of Glasgow introduces Open Access MANDATE

University of Glasgow announces new Publications Policy

The University of Glasgow is proud to announce a new Publications Policy which will require authors to deposit the full text of peer reviewed journal articles and conference proceedings in the University's institutional repository Enlighten ( where publisher agreements permit this.

The University has been at the forefront of repository developments since 2002 when the internationally recognised DAEDALUS Project, funded by JISC, was founded. Glasgow is an internationally renowned research intensive University producing thousands of research publications each year. In joining major institutions and funding bodies worldwide the University recognises the importance of free and unrestricted access to scholarly literature in the furtherance of research; and the importance to researchers of maximising the impact of their research across the world.

Professor Steven Beaumont, OBE CEng FRSE Vice-Principal Research and Enterprise said 'The University of Glasgow generates over 3,000 research papers per year. Since we began to put these into Enlighten on a voluntary basis there have been over 1 million downloads. Enlighten really does help the University to showcase its research and to increase the impact of that it has on society. This new policy will make that impact even greater. I very much appreciate the support of Senate in adopting this move.'

Details of the policy, which was approved by the University Senate, are available at The policy came into effect at the beginning of the 2008/2009 academic year.

Sunday, October 5, 2008

Open Access citation effect illusory

Journal articles made freely available online are accessed more than articles with a subscription cost but are not cited more. This is the controversial early finding of what will be a four-year study at Cornell University. The open access (OA) lobby has slammed the publication of the preliminary report as premature.

Thursday, October 2, 2008

Dramatic growth of Open Access continues

Article in The Imaginary Journal of Poetic Economics

"..The percentage of the world's scholarly literature that is freely available appears to be close to 20%..."

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Citizendium is holding a Biology Week Sept 22-29

From the Citizendium announcement:

During this week, biologists and anyone interested in the topic are invited to test the Citizendium system. Editors and authors from the project’s Biology Workgroup will be on hand to meet and greet new people on the wiki. ‘I strongly believe that the Citizendium system will be appealing to many scientists and scholars’, said Sanger. ‘Many of them just need to give it a try. Biology Week is an excuse for biologists to try out the system together.’

The Citizendium, or ‘citizens’ compendium’, uses the same software as Wikipedia and is a public-expert hybrid project to produce a general reference resource. The community encourages general public participation, but makes a low-key, guiding role for experts. It also requires real names and asks contributors to sign a ‘social contract’. As a result, the project is said to be vandalism-free and, despite its youth (its public launch was just 18 months ago), has steadily added more than 8,000 articles.

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Australia ups the ante on global access to research

A pioneering move by the Australian Government to allow open access to all of the nation's publicly funded research could "set all the dominoes falling worldwide", it was predicted this week....from a Times Higher report Sept 18

Saturday, September 6, 2008

Bloomsbury Academic.launched - a new OA imprint

A radically new publishing imprint for humanities and social sciences, commencing in September 2008

Publications will be available on the Web free of charge and will carry Creative Commons licences.

Simultaneously physical books will be produced and sold around the world.

For the first time a major publishing company is opening up an entirely new imprint to be accessed easily and freely on the Internet. Supporting scholarly communications in this way our authors will be better served in the digital age.

A new mailing list for those interested in Open Science

Hi all,

After discussions with Cameron Neylon (Open Wetware) and Kaitlin Thaney (Science Commons), I've set up a new open science mailing list:

I've blogged about this here:

We'd really like to get as much of the open science community on this aspossible, so please blog and forward as appropriate!

Many thanks,
Jonathan Gray
The Open Knowledge Foundation

Friday, August 22, 2008

Ireland's Higher Education Authority has adopted an OA mandate

Here's some more good news on the Green OA Archiving front: Ireland's HigherEducation Authority has adopted an OA mandate 'in keeping with the recommendations of the European Research Advisory Board (EURAB) Policy inrelation to scientific publication'.'

Following a very supportive public consultation process' earlier this year (, the HEA mandate came into effect on June 30th2008.

It covers all research funded by the HEA (in whole or in part) whichincludes the Programme for Research in Third-Level Institutions ( PRTLI) andthe Programme of Strategic Cooperation between Irish Aid and Higher Educationand Research Institutes 2007-2011, amongst other very significant nationalfunding initiatives.The text of the mandate is available at this link:

Friday, August 15, 2008

Campus Open Access Policies: The Harvard Experience and How to Get There

Some keynote speaker videos concerning the efforts at Harvard to broaden access to their scholarly outputs via a mandate.

View other mandates at

UCD Institutional Repository gains full time manager

We are pleased to inform you that we now have a full time IR manager, Joseph Greene, who has been seconded for 2 years to take forward developments on the university full text research repository.

All queries on this can be sent to

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Authors Rights - excellent 2 minute video

ACRL, ARL and SPARC have produced this very short video summarising the reasons to think before signing typical publisher agreements regarding articles accepted for publication, which typically result in handing over many of your rights.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Stanford School of Education introduce OA mandate

Faculty members at Stanford University’s school of education have voted to make scholarly articles available to the public for free, a policy change that the university says makes Stanford’s education school the first such school in the nation to join the growing “open access” movement in academia.
“We think it’s a huge gain in terms of public access, professional access, policymaker access, and lawmaker access,” said John M. Willinsky, the education professor who proposed the idea to his colleagues at the California university. “This is a body of work that is now available to schools that hasn’t been available before.”
Only 15 percent of the 1,600 education journals published around the world provide free access to their content, according to Mr. Willinsky.

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Who owns science? Call for open access to science

Sulston argues for open medicine. "A Nobel Prize-winning scientist has hit out at what he terms the "moral corruption" of the medical industry. Britain's Sir John Sulston says that profits are taking precedence over the needs of patients, particularly in the developing world. He was speaking at the launch of a new research institute into science, ethics and innovation"

See also Times letters
Times coverage

RePEc reaches 600,000 works

RePEc have released their June 2008 update.

June was a surpisingly busy month, especially in terms of content expansion. We have now reached 600,000 works listed on RePEc, and it took only 10 months to add the last 100,000. Traffic was also heavy for the season, reaching 584,843 downloads and 2,803,705 abstract views.

The following institutions joined RePEc with an archive: World Scientific Publishing, Queens College (CUNY), GEFRA, Kobe University, Institut für Angewandte Wirtschaftsforschung (IAW), Université d’Auvergne, Universtät Freiburg, Società Italiana degli Economisti.

Finally, here are the thresholds we reached this month:
140,000,000 cumulative abstract views
100,000,000 cumulative abstract views on IDEAS
45,000,000 cumulative abstract views for articles
600,000 listed works
350,000 articles listed
300,000 online articles listed
240,000 working papers listed
180,000 working paper abstracts
150,000 items with references
120,000 article abstracts
20,000 NEP reports

More at the RePEc blog

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Understanding Open Access in the Academic Environment: A Guide for Authors

This guide aims to provide practical guidance for academic authors interested in making their work more openly accessible to readers and other researchers. The guide provides authors with an overview of the concept of and rationale for open access to research outputs and how they may be involved in its implementation and with what effect.

A Copyright Toolkit is provided to further assist authors in managing their copyright

This is a substantial report of over 114 pages.

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

U of Calgary funds Open Access Authors Fund

The new fund will provide U of C faculty and graduate students with financial support to cover Open Access author fees.

Open Access publishing is a rapidly expanding development in the exchange of research information.

An increasing number of academic journals make research literature openly available via the internet without the restrictions on authors and without the high costs to users imposed by traditional subscription-based publications.

This new publishing model does, however, often require that authors pay fees contributing to the costs of publication. With the establishment of this new fund, researchers at the University of Calgary will have the freedom to exercise their own choice in publishing decisions....

Copyright toolbox for redrafting publisher agreements

SURFfoundation and JISC have created a copyright toolbox which academics could use in redrafting their publishing agreements.

The copyright toolbox also has a licence to publish academics could use in their contacts with publishers.

The tool box can be found at

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Open Access Self-Archiving Mandate at the University of Helsinki, Finland

Open access to output of publicly funded research enhances the visibility and the impact of the work of the University as well as of individual researchers.
The goals of the University of Helsinki are
• To support open access to research results
• To make results of publicly funded research openly accessible online to anyone interested
• To encourage other funding bodies as well to require research results funded by them be made public
• To increase the visibility, use and impact of research publications of the University of Helsinki by providing open access through the University’s own repository
• To make its repository and publication records openly available online and available for linkage to other repositories internationally
• To ease the reviewing of research results with open access research publications

By a unanimous decision of the university management team the University of Helsinki requires that researchers working at the University deposit copies of their research articles published in academic research journals in the open repository of the University.

This decision applies to articles approved for publication from 1st January 2010 onwards. The University of Helsinki recommends the depositing of articles in the repository of the University also for articles published before this date.

The researcher is responsible for submitting a full-text version of his/her article to the open repository which is maintained by the University library. The University will offer the support services needed in the deposit process for all its researchers.
In addition to the research articles, other kinds of publications such as popular articles, other published texts, serial publications of University departments, teaching material and, publishing contracts permitting, monographs may be stored in the open repository of the University of Helsinki.

University of Helsinki is the first university in Finland to mandate open access self-archiving of its scholarly output. With its more than 38 000 students and nearly 8000 employees University of Helsinki is the biggest multidisciplinary institution of higher education and research in the country. University of Helsinki web pages

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

Unpaid peer review is worth £1.9bn

From the THES

"Study tallies 'hidden subsidy' of global scholarly communications system. Zoe Corbyn reports
The idea of being paid for the time spent assessing colleagues' research might only fleetingly cross most academics' minds.

The advancement of the academy's collective body of knowledge has traditionally been held to be reward enough for the time and effort put into peer review.

But a new report has attempted to quantify in cash terms exactly what peer reviewers are missing out on. It puts the worldwide unpaid cost of peer review at £1.9 billion a year, and estimates that the UK is among the most altruistic of nations, racking up the equivalent in unpaid time of £165 million a year."

Friday, May 30, 2008

Survey: > half of academic authors unsure whether publishing agreements allow a copy of their articles in IR

Bernard Lane May 28, 2008
ACADEMICS acknowledge the importance of making their research widely available but in any conflict between open access and the career-boost of a prestigious publication they would opt for the traditional, subscription journal.

A new survey by the Open Access to Knowledge Project at the Queensland University of Technology also reports that more than half of academic authors are unsure whether their publishing agreements with journals allow them to put a copy of their articles in an open access repository.

"It is, I suppose, a little unsettling to see that a lot of people are saying, 'we're not really sure what we're signing and how that will affect dissemination of our research'," said Brian Fitzgerald, OAK law project leader, although the survey showed enthusiasm for open access, especially among early career academics.

Professor Fitzgerald said universities needed to give researchers more advice about how to "strategically manage their copyright" for private benefit and public good.

Thursday, May 29, 2008

Updated ranking of world repositories

Our schedule is to publish an updated version of the Ranking Web of World Repositories two times per year (January and July) as we already do with the other Rankings produced by our Cybermetrics Lab. In the meantime we want to offer a second and last beta version that collects some of the comments and advices we have received.

Thanks to Peter Suber's Open Access News blog

OA and authors' rights

Thanks to Peter Suber's Open Access News Blog

Heather Morrison, Open Access, Authors' Rights and the Commons, a presentation at the Canadian Library Association Preconference 2008: Copyright 0.9, Vancouver, British Columbia (Canada), 2008.
Abstract: Open Access (OA) is beginning to open up interesting conversation about scholarship and copyright. There are already more than 3,300 fully open access, peer-reviewed scholarly journals listed in DOAJ, many millions of items available in open access archives. Research funders, universities and faculty themselves are requiring OA. A traditional copyright transfer agreement in which all rights are assigned by the author to the publisher, does not make sense in this environment. Most publishers are modifying how they work with authors. One approach is a more liberal copyright policy, which leaves some rights with the author. Some publishers use a license to publish approach, leaving copyright with the author and clarifying rights to publish. Many authors are negotiating copyright, whether individually or through the use of Authors' Addenda. Some publishers and authors are using Creative Commons licenses.

Monday, May 19, 2008

IREL-OPEN project is officially launched

The irel-open project, to build a repository at each Irish university plus a value-added national portal to showcase full text of Irish research, had its official launch Friday May 16th at the TCD Science Gallery. The keynote speech was from Frank Gannon of SFI and ther President of UCD was one of the guests.

The occasion also saw the launch of a new information and promotional leaflet on the project which will shortly be available for distribution.

University of Limerick repository is live!

The repository has just gone live and further project information can be viewed at

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Science Foundation Ireland proposes to establish and promote an Open Access policy

Science Foundation Ireland proposes to establish and promote an Open Access policy relating to the placement of research publications for SFI supported published research.

Responses invited by June 19th

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

How to use copyright wisely within scholarly communication

Today[May 7 2008], SURF is launching the English version of its website about copyright in higher education, especially for scholarly communcation:

If an author transfers all of his rights exclusively to a publisher, this restricts the options for reusing the research results, for either teaching or research purposes. Doing so may also involve additional costs. Being more aware about copyright and using alternative licence models helps to optimise access to the publicly financed results of scientific and scholarly research and to reuse those results.

The website is aimed primarily at scientific and scholarly authors and tries to provide answers to such questions as:
Why do I need to concern myself with copyright matters?
Why is this important for me?
What does the law say?
What do I still need to arrange myself?

The website explains a number of basic rules, gives background information, and provides authors of scientific publications and doctoral theses with practical advice on how to deal with copyright matters. All of this makes copyright easier than many people think.

When an author publishes, he enters into relationships with the institution for which he works, with the publisher, and with other users of the publication. SURF’s new website provides information on the best way to regulate those relationships from the legal point of view for all the parties concerned, but particularly for the author.

Besides information for scientific or scholarly authors, the website also provides practical guidelines and background information for the other parties concerned: universities, publishers, and users.

Sunday, May 4, 2008

OPEN DOORS AND OPEN MINDS:What faculty authors can do to ensure open access...

A SPARC/SCIENCE-COMMONS White Paper which may be of interest.

Dublin Institute of Technology full text research repository is live

DIT repository has just gone live - take a look.

IRCSET adopts an OA mandate

Today the Irish Research Council for Science, Engineering and Technology (IRCSET) adopted its long-awaited OA mandate. From the policy:
...Where a research publication arises in whole or in part from IRCSET funded research..., the following policy will be adhered to with effect from 1st May 2008.....

1. This publication policy confirms the freedom of researchers to publish first wherever they feel is the most appropriate.

2. The effect of the policy is intended to increase the visibility of, and improve access to, the research funded by IRCSET and the State, where such research is intended to be published by the researcher(s) concerned.

3. The policy is based on recognised best practice. It is in keeping with the recommendations of the European Research Advisory Board (EURAB) Policy in relation to scientific publication. It is also in keeping with the combined OECD Ministers’ Declaration entrusting the OECD to work towards commonly agreed Principles and Guidelines on Access to Research Data from Public Funding.

A summary of the IRCSET conditions can be found on Peter Suber's blog.
In essence a postprint of all research funded by IRCSET must be placed in a repository, preferably the UCD Institutional Repository, within 6 months of acceptance for publication.

Monday, April 28, 2008

New report: Key Concerns Within the Scholarly Communication Process

A report to the JISC Scholarly Communications Working Group has recently been announced.

The main findings regarding concerns about accessibility (thanks to Peter Suber blog) were:
Availability does not equal accessibility: researchers’ top concern about scholarly communication is that they cannot access all the content they wish to access...

The main problem with discovery is coming up against an access barrier

Researchers do not always know how to seek out a freely-available copy of an article that they want and which they have discovered behind a toll barrier...

Discovering research datasets can be a difficult and time-consuming process. Accessing them once discovered can also be difficult, requiring specialised software tools

e-journals are extremely popular and researchers would like all their journals delivered digitally.

Access problems occur when digital backfiles are not available, when the subscription to a journal is cancelled and access to the backfile ceases or when site licence terms debar some users

Site licences may debar certain constituencies of user, such as remote workers, off-campus workers or visiting faculty not normally based on campus

Access to research monographs is a concern. Researchers in the arts and humanities, where monographs are the most important literature type, perceive that access is reducing and that this is because the purchase of monographs is suffering because the science journal budget is taking an increasing proportion of the library’s funds....

Accessing intrinsic data – facts that reside in the text of an article – is made difficult by the preponderance of PDF as an output format. XML is the optimal format for authoring and specialised mark-up languages can be built upon that

Researchers remain poorly informed about Open Access. Awareness is growing but still only slowly and there remain many misconceptions. Researchers are eager to maximise their own impact and reputation but do not understand what means and opportunities are available to them...

UCD Institutional Repository, Full time project manager sought

A full time project manager post is currently advertised and details can be found at

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Open Access features in Guardian libraries supplement

Today the Guardian has a special supplement related to the JISC launch of the Libraries unleashed iinitiative.

Included is some material on the development of Open Access and institutional repositories, which you can view directly at,,2275369,00.html

Saturday, April 19, 2008

Complete works of Charles Darwin Online

Thousands of papers written by Charles Darwin, including the first draft of his famous Origin of Species, are now accessible on the internet at the Darwin Online website.
The historic texts, totalling about 20,000 items in nearly 90,000 images, were previously available only to scholars at Cambridge University Library.

"Charles Darwin is one of the most influential scientists in history," said Dr John van Wyhe, director of The Complete Work of Charles Darwin Online at Cambridge University.
"This release makes his private papers, mountains of notes, experiments and research behind his world-changing publications available to the world for free.

"His publications have always been available in the public sphere, but these papers have until now only been accessible to scholars."

A searchable electronic catalogue has been created to help users navigate the collection, which is so large that even if someone viewed one image per minute, it would still take more than two months to see all of the material.

"Darwin changed our understanding of nature forever," added van Wyhe. "This is one of the most important collections of primary materials in the history of science."

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

UCD Today includes publicity on the Institutional Repository project

Turn to page 5...

Stirling issues institutional mandate to deposit research in IR

The University of Stirling has become the first academic institution in the UK to oblige staff to make all their published research available online. Stirling is leading the way in open access to its research work, after the University’s Academic Council issued an institutional mandate which requires self-archiving of all theses and journal articles. Professor Ian Simpson, Deputy Principal (Research and Knowledge Transfer) said: “We believe that the outcomes of all publicly funded research should be made available as widely as possible. By ensuring free online access to all our research output, we will maximise the visibility and impact of the University’s work to researchers worldwide.” The four year project to create STORRE (Stirling Online Research Repository) has been brought to fruition by information technology specialists Clare Allan and Michael White. Clare Allan said: “The University now requires all published journal articles to be deposited by authors, as soon as possible after they are accepted for publication, and in compliance with the publishers' copyright agreements.

Top researchers talk about Open Access

BMC have a YouTube channel and this includes some interesting short videos where researchers talk about scholarly communication and Open Access.

Blog Archive