Israel Scholar Communication Scrolls

Reshaping academic communication. Liberating the scholarship from commercial publisher cabal. Uniting global Jewish scholarship

October 30, 2006

Editorial Board of Elsevier Journal Resigns in Protest Over Pricing

Richard Monastersky, Editorial Board of Elsevier Journal Resigns in Protest Over Pricing, Chronicle of Higher Education, October 27, 2006. Excerpt by Peter Suber:

The entire editorial board of the prestigious mathematics journal Topology has resigned to protest the pricing policies of the journal's publisher, Elsevier, a giant European editorial company. "Topology has a very high price per page," said Marc Lackenby, a member of the editorial board and a professor of mathematics at the University of Oxford. "Elsevier as a whole doesn't seem to be acting in the interest of the mathematical community."

The New York Sun published an article on Thursday describing the resignations, which were announced over the summer and take effect on December 31.... [Lackenby] and his co-editors sent a letter on August 10 to Robert Ross, the Elsevier publisher in charge of pure-mathematics journals, announcing their resignations. In the letter, the board members said, "We believe that the price, in combination with Elsevier's policies for pricing mathematical journals more generally, has had a significant and damaging effect on Topology's reputation in the mathematical-research community, and that this is likely to become increasingly serious and difficult, indeed impossible, to reverse in the future."

In a statement released by Elsevier on Thursday, the company said it "regrets the decision taken by the editorial board of Topology, but we believe it doesn't fully reflect the changes we have made over the past decade, and continue to make, which have moderated price increases and provided considerably more value for customers, in terms of both cost per article and research efficiency."

According to Mr. Lackenby, the high cost of the journal, which has an institutional price of $1,665 per year in the United States, was hurting its quality. "Many mathematicians were beginning to boycott the journal," he said. The editors had noticed a drop in the number of high-quality papers submitted for publication and also a decline in the number of mathematicians willing to serve as peer reviewers. As a result, he said, "the recent issues have been quite a bit thinner." Mr. Lackenby said "the overwhelming response of the mathematical community has been to back our resignation." Moreover, he said, "there was an overwhelming point of view that Elsevier was exploiting the mathematical community."

When Peter Woit, a lecturer in mathematics at Columbia University, posted a note about the resignations on his blog, Not Even Wrong, it attracted 49 comments, many of which expressed displeasure with Elsevier. This is not the first time that an editorial board has revolted at an Elsevier publication. In 1999 the 50-member board of the Journal of Logic Programming resigned and formed a new journal, according to Peter Suber, a research professor of philosophy at Earlham College and an advocate of open-access publishing. Mr. Suber has used his blog devoted to open-access issues to list cases in which editors had left journals to start lower-cost or free alternatives. According to Mr. Suber, Elsevier faced another uprising by topologists in 2001, when some editors of Topology and Its Applications resigned and later formed Algebraic and Geometric Topology....

PS: Minor correction by Peter Suber: "The Chronicle cites my page of lists, not my blog."

October 28, 2006

What's coming for scientific research articles

Timo Hannay, The Scientific Paper of the Future, a slide presentation for the the Microsoft eScience Workshop at Johns Hopkins University (Baltimore, October 13-15, 2006). (Thanks to Richard Akerman.) Timo is the Director of Web Publishing at the Nature Publishing Group.

Source: OA News by P Suber (27 October 2006) [FullText]

October 26, 2006

More Google Custom Search Engines in Service to Open Access

"Charles Bailey has added four Google Custom search engines to Open Access Update, the RSS feed and web site woven of many individual OA-related feeds. One of the new search engines covers the Mailing Lists in the collection, one covers the Serials, one covers the Weblogs, and one covers the Wikis," Peter Suber reports at his OA News Blog.

October 24, 2006

The Nonsense of Copyright in Libraries : Digital Information and the Right to Copy

Paul Staincliffe, The nonsense of copyright in libraries : digital information and the right to copy, in Proceedings LIANZA Conference 2006, Wellington (New Zealand), 2006. Self-archived October 18, 2006. (Thanks to Charles Bailey and Peter Suber OA News):

Abstract: "The notion of copyright is deeply entrenched in the psyche of librarians, who remain one of the few groups who consistently support or uphold it. Given the growth of digital information and consequential change in the behaviour of information creators and users the paper posits that copyright administration in libraries has become a cumbersome burden whose “time has come”. Changes in information provision by libraries towards delivering more digital information have ironically highlighted the paradox libraries face between providing the best possible service and upholding copyright. The notion that there exists in the digital environment a “right to copy” is put forward. Copyright is legally complicated, controversial, subject to a number of misunderstandings and generally not fully understood even by the librarians whose daily tasks include administering it. To better understand the current status of copyright and its impact on libraries the notion of copyright is briefly outlined, along with what exactly copyright is, its historical roots and its suitability in the current environment. In examining the legislation the paper critiques its aims and how it fails in these; compares arguments in favour and against its retention, investigates how it serves to restrict creativity rather than encourage it and in closing suggests why libraries should abandon the struggle to uphold copyright. Examples from New Zealand, Australia, the US and the UK are used to highlight inconsistencies that support the argument that copyright in the digital environment is a nonsense that no longer works."

October 22, 2006

On the Economic Impact of Open Access

Guy Healy, Internet researchers topple ivory towers, Campus Review Online, October 18, 2006. Excerpt by Peter Suber OA News:

"If more research outcomes were made open access, it would spread the knowledge more broadly, in contrast to the present system of expensive and effectively closed subscription-based journals," said [University of Sydney head librarian, John Shipp]. Open access through the development of a national system of repositories in university libraries, such as has just been recommended by a major [Australian] Federal Government report, would find broad support from university librarians. The Department of Education, Science and Training's report, 'Research Communication Costs in Australia, Emerging Opportunities and Benefits'. found that if a comprehensive reporting system aimed at improving research efficiency was adopted...benefits of around $4 billion could be realised. Such a national system could be expected to cost about $130 million over 20 years. The report was authored by ANU Emeritus Professor Colin Steele and Victoria University Centre for Strategic Economic Studies academics, Professors John Houghton and Peter Sheehan. The report is likely to find broad appeal. Prime Minister John Howard, Federal Education Minister Julie Bishop and Chief Scientist Dr Jim Peacock have all recently stressed the imperative for publicly-funded research to be applied to the benefit of the public... Co-author Houghton told Campus Review the report shows scholarly communications activities alone cost around $3.6 billion a year or about 30 per cent of total higher education spending... The report found the potential impacts of enhanced access were likely to be substantial since a 5 per cent efficiency increase on gross national R&D spending would be worth $628 million."

October 19, 2006

Protect-Your-Copyright ABC for Every Scholar, or Academic Librarian Demands Open Access for Librarians Published Works

Dorothea Salo, Open access to the library literature, Caveat Lector, October 17, 2006. Excerpt by Peter Suber OA News (Providing OA to library literature, 18 Oct 2006):

I’m shocked that nobody is calling me names. Instead, a productive discussion is starting about open access to the library literature....

[T]he costs and benefits of open access apply to us librarians too. We certainly have overpriced journals and trade publications. We certainly have journals that sold out and saw their prices soar. We certainly have journals and trade publications that ask us to sign ridiculous copyright-transfer agreements....

[T]here’s more value for us, in the long run [in providing OA to library literature] --it’s called “eating our own dog food.” We can’t reasonably go out and evangelize self-archiving to faculty when we aren’t doing it ourselves. We can’t evangelize open-access journals when we don’t publish in them....

I mean, our very own guidebooks militate against open access! I was reading the publication chapter in The Successful Academic Librarian last week (ambitious, that’s me) when I ran smack into (paraphrased) “There are open-access journals, but they aren’t well-known, so most librarians consider them dubious publication outlets at best.” Oh, great; thanks ever so, O Molder of the Mind of the Young. That isn’t even true, for $DEITY’s sake! Find me a techie librarian who doesn’t know about D-Lib and Ariadne. One.

So what is a librarian who publishes in the library literature to do? At a minimum, I suggest the following:

A. Read all copyright transfer agreements. It’s flat-out irresponsible not to. If you don’t like what you’re reading, ask if that’s the only agreement available, and be prepared to detail your concerns.

B. For those agreements that do not appear to allow self-archiving or do not address self-archiving, ask the editor “May I self-archive this paper?” Editors and publishers need to hear that their authors want to do this; we mustn’t let publishers hide behind “but our authors don’t care!” Just asking the question is not going to kill your acceptance chances (especially if you ask this after your paper is accepted!).

C. Whenever possible, submit your work to an existing open-access journal. Gold-OA has a chicken-and-egg problem; authors won’t submit to OA journals unless other authors do, and Molders of the Minds of the Young won’t give credence to OA journals until they know people (good people!) who publish in them. We don’t necessarily need to start more OA library journals. We need to utilize the ones we do have fully. (That said… watch this space.)

Know OA resources in our field. Use them, and point other librarians to them. I’m at DLIST all the time these days.

Want to go a little further? There are ways.... [PS: Here cutting six good suggestions; see the whole post.]

October 17, 2006

Directory of Open Access Journals Helps Authors to Find Appripriate OA Journal to publish at

The Directory of Open Access Journals (DOAJ) is offering a new service, OA News Blog reports. The new "for authors" service lets authors look up journals by keywords and find both full OA journals and hybrid OA journals. Even better, users can filter the results and choose to look only at the no-fee journals or the fee-based journals.

Comment by Peter Suber (OA News Blog author): This is a very useful new service. Authors looking for journals that will offer OA to their articles will want to scan both the full and hybrid OA journals. It appears that only full OA journals, and no hybrids, appear in the main directory of OA journals. I only tested it on a handful of hybrids, but the pattern seems to hold. If true, this was the right decision. Readers looking for OA literature will be more interested in full OA journals than hybrids; and if they want to look at the hybrids, they can use the new "for authors" service.

October 16, 2006

Israel Scholar Founder Teaches Global Neuroscience Community on Open Access at the Major Congress of Neurosciences

Atlanta, Georgia - 16 October 2006 - Teaching Presentation on Open Access by Israel Scholar Founder Alexei Koudinov, MD, PhD provides an ABC for the Society for Neuroscience Annual Meeting attendees on how Open Access to Scholar literature may benefit and be easily achived by every scientist, their labs and Universities.

Neuroscience 2006, held this year October 14-18 in Atlanta, Georgia, is a major world gathering and showcase of latest research and technology in Neurosciences, hosted by Washington, DC based professional Society for Neuroscience (SfN). Unlike half-a-day science sessions, Dr. Koudinov teaching session is open for poster viewing during the entire conference week. Two poster board pospresentation serves to educate global scholar community about noteworthy OA projects, their usefulness and ease of use.

Dr. Koudinov (who also serve as founding and managing editor of two Open Access journals, Neurobiology of Lipids and Doping Journal) is a neuroscientist with fifteen years expertise in Alzheimer's disease. The list of his academic affiliations includes New York University Medical Center, The Weizmann Institute in Rehovot, Israel, Hamburg University Hospital in Germany, and a number of Institutions in Moscow, Russian Federation. His research on the role of cholesterol and other fats in brain function and brain diseases was published in the major world science journals, such as Science, PLoS medicine, FASEB Journal, Neurology, etc. His Society for Neuroscience Annual Meeting science and teaching presentations were named hot science stories, as supported by their appearence in lay language in the Neuroscience Meeting Press Books 2000, 2001, 2004. In 2004, Dr.Koudinov co-authored Neuroscience Annual Meeting 2004 teaching presentation on Open Access (with a key OA advocate Prof.Peter Suber, available in the abstract form, as full text poster presentation .PDF imprint, and press book lay language article.

Quoting Neuroscience 2006 Open Access presentation abstract (available in full at the Neuroscience 2006 abstract central web site): "Open Access (OA) is the online access to scientific literature, free of charge and free of most copyright and licensing restrictions. OA was named one of the top recent science news stories by science, learned society and media publishers (including Nature, Science, The Scientist, The Wall Street Journal) and governments (USA, EU, UK, India). Rapidly rising conventional subscription journal prices have been denounced by leading universities, found dysfunctional by independent analysts (PNB Paribas, Citigroup, Credit Suisse), and are supported by most influential science funding bodies (National Institutes of Health USA), Howard Hughes Medical Institute USA; the Wellcome trust UK; the Max Planck Society and the DFG, Germany, the CNRS and INSERM, France), graduate students, leading scientists and the panel of Nobel Prize laureates. OA movement includes the development of OA journals and OA archives. There are high profile OA journals (such as PLoS Biology and PLoS Medicine) successfully competing with most influential science, technical and medical (STM) serials. OA archives (institutional or governmental, such as PubMedCentral, PMC by National Library of Medicine USA) allow scholars to deposit their articles published previously in regular peer-reviewed subscription-based journals, to secure free access to their creative works by peers and the public. Modern web search capabilities (ex. Google Scholar) allow easy web accessibility of an article at either publisher or an archive web site..."

Israel Scholar founder presentation explains why OA journals and OA archives both provide the tools to liberate scholarship from commercial publisher cabal, why OA improves the impact of scientists' publications, their university recognition, and ease grant application and reporting requirements. Studies show that OA accelerates research, shares knowledge, improves the usefulness of scholar literature, higher education and global scientific heritage. Wider development of Open Access depends on educating the scientific community about its simplicity and benefits. The presentation makes simple the understanding of what Open Access is and how easy it can be achieved by students and scientists. It is available for viewing at Israel Scholar Advocacy section as .PDF imprint of the poster presentation, part 1.

The second part of the presentation by Alexei Koudinov (entitled Grant Support Wanted: Developing Universal Open Access to Scholar literature and available in full as .PDF imprint of the poster presentation) describes the rationale and the development plan of run by scholars (not commercial publishers) non-profit OA science journals (Neurobiology of Lipids and Doping Journal) and nation-wide OA archive (Israel Scholar Works). This project as competitive award application of "merit" (submitted to The Rolex Awards for Enterprise 2006) reached final evaluations step by Rolex Awards committee. "The Rolex Awards support exceptional men and women who are breaking new ground in areas which advance human knowledge and well-being," - Rolex Awards Official Web site says. The project, however, was not funded and therefore open for support by other interested organizations. Full application and any additional info are available upon request, Neuroscience 2006 presentation by Israel Scholar founder concludes.

For further info please contact Israel Scholar: (972 54) 796-8607 or postmater[at]

October 15, 2006

U of Rochester Libraries Get Grant to Improve Web-Based Tools for Dissertation Writing and Scholar Works Accessibility

The University of Rochester's River Campus Libraries will receive more than $320,000 to improve Web-based tools for graduate students to support the writing of the doctoral dissertation, academic collaboration, and the accessibility of scholarly work.

The University of Rochester has received a grant from the US federal Institute of Museum and Library Services to improve web-based writing tools and automate the deposit of resulting theses, dissertations, and research articles in the author's institutional repository. From yesterday's announcement:

The University of Rochester's River Campus Libraries will receive more than $320,000 to improve Web-based tools for graduate students to support the writing of the doctoral dissertation, academic collaboration, and the accessibility of scholarly work....Investigators will apply the new funding over two years to focus on how graduate students work on their dissertations and interact with advisors and technology....

"[In earlier research] we found that there is a critical need for Web-based tools to support scholarly work leading up to finished manuscripts," said [anthropologist Nancy Fried Foster]...."Our plan is to create a new type of authoring system for the next generation of academics, who will then link to our institutional repository for preservation and self-publishing of completed manuscripts," explained Nathan Sarr, software engineer and manager of the project.

Institutional repositories exist to preserve digital scholarship and make it widely available, but often they are underutilized....

Source: P Suber OA News Blog (14 Oct 2006) [FullText]

October 14, 2006

Israel Scholar Works to Expand Israel and Global Jewish Scholar Communication Tradition

Israel Scholar Works (ISW) is a digital archive ( repository ) for creative work by the faculty, staff and students of Israel Academic Institutions and Jewish scholars all around the world. Israel Scholar Works aims to facilitate innovation in the production and dissemination of Israel scholarship, to unite Israel and Jewish scholarship, to make it available to a wider audience, and to help assure its long-term preservation. Israel Scholar Works has published first postscript archive article and now open for submissions of a wide range scholarly publications.

By publishing the first postscript article, Israel Scholar, a web based independent non-profit educational organization based in academic town of Rehovot, Israel, officially launched today The Israel Scholar Works.

Israel Scholar Works (ISW) is a digital archive (repository) for creative work by the faculty, staff and students of Israel Academic Institutions and Jewish scholars all around the world. Run by scholars, Israel Scholar Works aims to facilitate innovation in the production and dissemination of Israel scholarship, to promote and unite Israel and global Jewish scholarship, to make it available to a wider audience, and to help assure its long-term preservation.

Israel Scholar, its partners in Israel and across the global academic world are reshaping scholarly communication. Taking digital age advantage of the modern Internet technology and its' end-user availability, Israel Scholar has established the Israel Scholar Works, where every Israel and/or Jewish scholar can personally permanently archive his or her creative work, and make it freely available for peers and for the public. Such archive thus provides a platform to have Israel scholars' rights to regain control over their scholarship realized easily.

While Israel Scholar Works present focus is postscript (or postprint) archiving of articles originally published in peer-reviewed journals and dissertations by Israel/Jewish scholars, in future the Repository will offer direct control over creation and dissemination of the full range of scholarly output, including pre-publication materials, conference proceedings, book chapters and teaching series. Importantly, it will cross disciplinary boundaries, giving it a wider scope than any journal or any small set of journals.

This is especially important, because current scholar publishing models are not economically sound and do not serve the public interest. Academic researchers, faculty and students have access to a decreasing fraction of relevant scholarship. New software tools and technologies, however, are being developed, tested and implemented. In addition to The Works, Israel Scholar runs Israel Scholar Communication Scrolls section that help scholars to realize that the responsibility and rights of regaining control of scholarly communication rests with them.

Sadly, "Israel does not have the level of Open Access activity that we see in any other part of the world with comparable levels of higher education and research," says Peter Suber, a leading proponent of Open Access, Open Access project director of Washington, DC based non-profit Public Knowledge, and the author of Open Access News. Israel Scholar Works founder Dr. Alexei Koudinov "is the leading proponent of Open Access in Israel and is trying almost alone to change this," Professor Suber adds.

Israel Scholar aims to raise the profile of Open Access among Israeli scholars, librarians, university administrators, and government officials, and help bring Israel to a level of recognition for its OA activity commensurate with its levels of scientific research.

Having a feasible development project (presented at the Society for Neuroscience annual meeting in Atlanta, Georgia, October 14-18, 2006), Israel Scholar is open for grant or philanthropic support by an individual or organization.

Israel Scholar Works is available at

For more information, please contact Israel Scholar at (972 54) 796-8607 , skype userid akoudinov or postmaster[at] .

October 13, 2006

Open Access Expert Talks on Optimizing Open Access Archiving

Stevan Harnad, Optimizing OA Self-Archiving Mandates: What? Where? When? Why? How? A technical report for the University of Southampton Department of Electronics and Computer Science, self-archived October 13, 2006.

Excerpt: With the adoption of Open Access Self-Archiving Mandates worldwide so near, this is the opportune time to think of optimizing how they are formulated. Seemingly small parametric or verbal variants can make a vast difference to their success, speed, and completeness of coverage:

What to mandate: The primary target content is the author's final, peer-reviewed draft ("postprint") of all journal articles accepted for publication.

Why to mandate self-archiving: The purpose of mandating OA self-archiving is to maximize research usage and impact by maximizing user access to research findings.

Where to self-archive: The optimal locus for self-archiving is the author's own OAI-compliant Institutional Repository (IR)...

When to self-archive: The author's final, peer-reviewed draft (postprint) should be deposited in the author's IR immediately upon acceptance for publication. (The deposit must be immediate; any allowable delay or embargo should apply only to the access-setting, i.e., whether access to the deposited article is immediately set to Open Access or provisionally set to Closed Access, in which only the author can access the deposited text.)

How to self-archive: Depositing a postprint in an author's IR and keying in its metadata (author, title, journal, date, etc.) takes less than 10 minutes per paper. Deposit analyses comparing mandated and unmandated self-archiving rates have shown that mandates (and only mandates) work, with self-archiving approaching 100% of annual institutional research output within a few years. Without a mandate, IR content just hovers for years at the spontaneous 15% self-archiving rate.

Source: Peter Suber OA News Blog (13 October 2006) [FullText]

October 11, 2006

Open Access to Biblical Studies

Carl Kinbar, Open Access and the SBL [Society of Biblical Literature], SBL Forum, October 2006. Excerpt:

The move toward Open Access (OA) journals is arguably one of the most important trends in academia today. It is motivated by the desire to make scholarship available to as broad a constituency as possible (especially where library budgets are increasing strained) and to scholars in the developing world. As a large and influential body of scholars, SBL members are uniquely positioned to participate in this crucial endeavor....

How successful has PLoS been? Library Journal reported, "In its second year of publication, Public Library of Science (PLoS) Biology had an impact factor of 13.9, making it the highest ranked general biology journal in the world, and five OA journals from BioMed Central ranked in the top five journals in their specialties. These successes are backed by research showing that OA articles generate between 25% and 250% more citations than non-OA articles in the same journal from the same year" (Issue of April 15, 2006).

The need for broader access exists in the humanities as well....[A]ccess to current research in the humanities is restricted by financial barriers. Access to peer-reviewed journal articles in disciplines in which the SBL takes an interest is severely limited. In the field of early Judaism, for example, the online versions of even the most respected journals that publish in the field, such as the Journal of Jewish Studies, are available to relatively few....

I would like to discuss two OA journals that can serve as models of OA humanities journals — the Journal of Hebrew Scriptures and the Jewish Studies Internet Journal — and then look at ways that SBL scholars can promote Open Access in their respective fields....

Source: P Suber OA News Blog (10 Oct 2006) [FullText]

October 09, 2006

US National Library of Medicine is Confident About Open Access Future

Charting a Course for the 21st Century: NLM's Long-Range Plan 2006-2016, National Library of Medicine Board of Regents, September 21, 2006. Excerpt by Peter Suber's Open Access News Blog and Clifford Lynch:

[By 2025] the majority of new scientific research results will be freely available in permanent digital archives shortly after initial production or publication, thus fueling additional scientific discovery and encouraging the development of a wide range of value-added commercial products and services.

October 07, 2006

What Are Present and Future Benefits of Open Access: A ViewPoint by Commercial OA Publisher

Matthew J. Cockerill and Vitek Tracz, Open Access and the Future of the Scientific Research Article, Journal of Neuroscience, October 4, 2006. Excerpt by Peter Suber OA News Blog:

Open access to the scientific literature remains a controversial area. To adequately summarize the different arguments and opinions on the matter could easily fill an entire book (Willinsky, 2005). In this commentary, we present the perspective of an open access publisher....

In the early days of the open access movement, critics expressed concern about the likely quality of peer review under an open access model. The Thomson-ISI statistics (such as the Genome Biology 2005 impact factor of 9.71) have mostly addressed such criticisms, however....

Another frequently raised concern is that open access might not be economically viable or affordable by the scientific community. However, two reports on the economics of science publishing, commissioned by the Wellcome Trust (2003) and by the European Commission (European Commission Directorate-General for Research, 2004), have both concluded that open access publishing can be expected to be more efficient than the traditional model and so should, in fact, be more affordable for the scientific community....Hindawi Publishing Corporation...already operates a profitable commercial open access publishing business....

An important factor in the recent growth of open access is active support from research funders. Major research funders are no longer willing to let publishers tell them what they can and cannot do with their own research, and this has resulted not just in words but in concrete actions by funding agencies that are determined to maximize access to the research that they have funded....

One of the most direct demonstrations of the progress of open access in recent years is the sustained and rapid growth in submissions to the BioMed Central open access journals over the 6 year period since launch (Fig. 1)....

There are many important benefits of open access that have helped to drive its adoption. Immediate barrier-free access to previous publications certainly makes the research process more efficient. The lack of barriers is especially important in facilitating work that spans multiple disciplines (for example, computer scientists and mathematicians need easy access to the latest biological research if they are to be able to effectively spot opportunities for collaboration with biologists in areas such as systems biology). Open access also particularly helps those at less well funded institutions, and in developing countries, whose access under the traditional model is especially constrained. The transparency of the "article processing charge" also promises to deliver a more efficient marketplace for scientific publications, keeping costs down.

There is another reason, however, why open access is not just desirable but critical to the future of biomedical research. The rate at which biomedical knowledge is being generated is exploding....The only feasible solution to this problem is to develop better systems to help researchers work with the literature. Ideally, the current state of biological knowledge, as reported in peer-reviewed research articles, needs to be captured by automated tools that will allow researchers to easily identify relevant facts, conflicts, or correlations, wherever they may be hidden.

An important consequence is that, in the future, the readership of research articles will include not only humans but also the many computerized systems that will be scanning the literature to add the relevant material to their knowledgebase. Open access to raw data and to original research articles is critically important to the development of such tools (Table 1), which is why BioMed Central makes its entire full text XML corpus of >18,000 articles freely available for download and mining....

Perhaps in the future, an important part of publishing a scientific paper will be to ensure that the pertinent new "facts" reported in the paper are expressed in an unambiguous way so as to facilitate their interpretation by automated systems....BioMed Central is actively working, both with the academic community and with other publishers, to develop standards and tools for the semantic enrichment of the scientific literature....

October 04, 2006

Dramatic Growth of Open Access - September 2006

Heather Morrison, Dramatic Growth September 2006, Imaginary Journal of Poetic Economics, September 30, 2006. Excerpt by Peter Suber (OA News Blog):

The Dramatic Growth of Open Access continues! The number of open access journals included in DOAJ continues to increase at a rate of about 1.5 per calendar day, while the increase in material in open access archives in showing a dramatic increase in the rate of growth, for all archives followed, as well as absolute growth. There have been some significant events in the past quarter which the author predicts will accelerate the rate of growth of OA, including funding agencies' open access policies, hybrid open access journal programs, new OA presses and significant work on models for small publishers to transition to open access....

The growth illustrated by open access archives in the past quarter is best described as "wow!". OAIster is poised to exceed [10 million] items (not all are open access) far ahead of my June predictions (end of 2007, then the end of 2006). With over 9.4 million items and growth of more than 1.8 million items in the past quarter, it now seems very likely that OAIster will exceed [10 million] items in the very near future.

All archives tracked (arXiv, rePec, E-LIS, the CARL Metadata Harvester, and now, PubMedCentral) are showing a noticeable increase in growth rate over the last quarter. Seasonable variations in archiving patterns could be a factor....

There were many events occurring in the past quarter which will result in increasingly dramatic growth of open access, particularly:

Open Access Funding Agency Policies: Four of the UK Research Councils announcing strong open access policies - for an in-depth report on the funding agency policies, see the August 2006 SPARC Open Access Newsletter.

Journal Hybrid Open Access Programs: A number of publishers have announced hybrid open access journal programs in the past quarter, which is likely to increase the number of open access articles available in the future. My prediction is that this will also result in an increase in the number of fully open access journals, as more traditional publishers have an opportunity to experiment with shifting to an open access business model. Details and analysis are available in the September 2006 SPARC Open Access Newsletter.

New OA presses and approaches: A quieter trend for now which I think will have a big impact in a year or two is the development by universities and libraries of new OA presses, many using open source software solutions such as Open Journal Systems. Charles Bailey has now blogged about 12 such presses in Digital Koans. SPARC's Raym Crow has published a significant work on Publishing Cooperatives, a blueprint for open access approaches that I predict will significantly advance the transition to OA by smaller traditional publishers...