Royal Society Journal Embraces Open Access

Posted on January 23, 2012 No Comments

Royal Society journal archive made permanently free to access

The Royal Society…journal archive – which includes the first ever peer-reviewed scientific journal – has been made permanently free to access online.

Around 60,000 historical scientific papers are accessible via a fully searchable online archive, with papers published more than 70 years ago now becoming freely available.

reasures in the archive include Isaac Newton’s first published scientific paper, geological work by a young Charles Darwin, and Benjamin Franklin’s celebrated account of his electrical kite experiment.

The move is being made as part of the Royal Society’s ongoing commitment to open access in scientific publishing.

Good for them. Slowly more and more are realizing clinging to old fashion publishing models are contrary to promoting science and scientific literacy.

Related: 340 Years of Royal Society Journals OnlineBritain’s Royal Society Experiments with Open Access (2006)8-10 Year Olds Research Published in Royal Society Journal

MIT Faculty Open Access to Their Scholarly Articles

Posted on March 23, 2009 4 Comments

MIT faculty open access to their scholarly articles

In a move aimed at broadening access to MIT’s research and scholarship, faculty at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology have voted to make their scholarly articles available to the public for free and open access on the Web.

The new policy, which was approved unanimously at an MIT faculty meeting on Wednesday, March 18 and took immediate effect, emphasizes MIT’s commitment to disseminating the fruits of its research and scholarship as widely as possible.

Under the new policy, faculty authors give MIT nonexclusive permission to disseminate their journal articles for open access through DSpace, an open-source software platform developed by the MIT Libraries and Hewlett Packard and launched in 2002. The policy gives MIT and its faculty the right to use and share the articles for any purpose other than to make a profit. Authors may opt out on a paper-by-paper basis.

MIT’s policy is the first faculty-driven, university-wide initiative of its kind in the United States. While Harvard and Stanford universities have implemented open access mandates at some of their schools, MIT is the first to fully implement the policy university-wide as a result of a faculty vote. MIT’s resolution is built on similar language adopted by the Harvard Faculty of Arts & Sciences in 2008.

It is good to see scientists putting advancing science above outdated journal business models. It is a bit of a shame that we have to be happy for such a small thing but given the state of those fighting against open science it is good to see those in favor of open access to science make progress.

Related: John Conyers Fights Open ScienceAnger at Anti-Open Access PRThe Future of Scholarly Publication

Study on Citation of Open Access Papers v. Closed Access Papers

Posted on February 23, 2009 1 Comment

Open Access to Scientific Papers May Not Guarantee Wide Dissemination

To test this theory, James A. Evans, an assistant professor of sociology at the University of Chicago, and Jacob Reimer, a student of neurobiology also at the University of Chicago, analyzed millions of articles available online, including those from open source publications and those that required payment to access.

The results were surprising. On average, when a given publication was made available online after being in print for a year, being published in an open source format increased the use of that article by about 8 percent. When articles are made available online in a commercial format a year after publication, however, usage increases by about 12 percent.

“Across the scientific community,” Evans said in an interview, “it turns out that open access does have a positive impact on the attention that’s given to the journal articles, but it’s a small impact.”

Yet Evans and Reimer’s research also points to one very positive impact of the open source movement that is sometimes overlooked in the debate about scholarly publications. Researchers in the developing world, where research funding and libraries are not as robust as they are in wealthier countries, were far more likely to read and cite open source articles.

The University of Chicago team concludes that outside the developed world, the open source movement “widens the global circle of those who can participate in science and benefit from it.”

So while some scientists and scholars may chose to pay for scientific publications even when free publications are available, their colleagues in other parts of the world may find that going with open source works is the only choice they have.

I remain a strong advocate for open science. The out of date model of publishing research in closed journals does not make sense. Especially not for any government funded research or any research supported by foundations, universities or others that aim to promote science.

The quote above and the interview webcast also provide unclear data on what the actual impact is (on how often a paper is cited in other papers). Maybe the article would be clearer but I can’t tell because it is closed access. This link has some worthwhile comments: Generalizing the OA impact advantage.

Related: Toward a More Open Scientific CultureOpen Access Journal WarsDinosaurs Fighting Against Open Science

Canada Film Board Provides Open Access

Posted on February 4, 2009 4 Comments

The National Film Board of Canada is marking its 70th anniversary in 2009 with a gift to Canadians and Web users: a new online Screening Room providing free home viewing of over 700 productions, films, trailers and clips from the NFB’s world-renowned collection.

“This new online Screening Room is the latest example of how the NFB plays a major role in the free exchange of ideas through cinema,” said Tom Perlmutter, Government Film Commissioner and Chairperson of the National Film Board of Canada. “At a time when issues are inter-connected and global communications are mobile and instantaneous, Canada needs a voice. More than ever, the NFB provides that voice: empowering Canadians to share their concerns, express their points of view, tell Canada’s stories. The world is changing – our stories continue.”

From historical films dating back to 1928 to current contemporary releases, including award-winning documentaries, animation and fiction, this initiative invites Canadians from all regions, to browse, discover and be entertained by the stories that bind us together.

The NFB has also opened its vaults to bring forgotten gems to light: archival works that offer rare glimpses back into our past, from Canada’s sacrifices during World War II to traditional communities, exploring the changing face of Canada over the decades.

The site includes many science and nature films including: Life on IceKluane National ParkIn Search of the Bowhead WhaleThe Enduring Wilderness (Canada’s Natural Parks)

The National Film Board of Canada showing far more vision than many others clinging to outdated models. The internet provides a great opportunity for sharing and using open access to share ideas.

Related: Meteorite, Older than the Sun, Found in CanadaFishy Future?Arctic System on Trajectory to New, Seasonally Ice-Free State

Open Access Legislation May Be Included in HHS Budget Bill

Posted on November 3, 2007 No Comments

Open Access to Research Funded by U.S. Is at Issue by Rick Weiss:

The idea is that consumers should not have to buy expensive scientific journal subscriptions — or be subject to pricey per-page charges for nonsubscribers — to see the results of research they have already paid for with their taxes. Until now, repeated efforts to legislate such a mandate have failed under pressure from the well-heeled journal publishing industry and some nonprofit scientific societies whose educational activities are supported by the profits from journals that they publish.

But proponents — including patient advocates, who want easy access to the latest biomedical findings, and cash-strapped libraries looking for ways to temper escalating subscription costs — have parlayed their consumer-friendly “public access” message into legislative language that has made it into the Senate and House versions of the new HHS bill.

The opponents of open science are lobbying to keep scientific research funded by taxpayers unavailable to the public. As I have said before it is time to stop supporting those who attempt to stop scientific progress. The out of date thinking behind closed access journals should be discouraged and those journals fighting progress should not be supported. This legislation would bring openness to federal research in a similar manner to the steps taken by Howard Hughes Medical Institute announced for research they fund.

Related: Publishers Continue to Fight Open Access to ScienceScience Journal Publishers Stay StupidI Support the Public Library of ScienceOpen Access Legislation supported by 25 leading university provosts (2006)

Publishers Continue to Fight Open Access to Science

Posted on September 21, 2007 6 Comments

Publishers prepare for war over open access

On one side are the advocates of open-access journals – publications that make academic papers freely available and recoup costs by charging authors to publish. The model seems increasingly successful. New open-access journals are springing up weekly and could gain support if the US acts on plans make all its publicly funded health research freely available via a government archive.

Lined up against them are the academic publishers. The idea of open-access journals is frightening for an industry whose profits are based on subscription charges.

Dezenhall’s strategy includes linking open access with government censorship and junk science – ideas that to me seem quite bizarre and misleading. Last month, however, the AAP launched a lobby group called the Partnership for Research Integrity in Science & Medicine (PRISM), which uses many of the arguments that Dezenhall suggested.

It is sad to see journals that were founded to promote science so flawed in their thinking today. As I said last month in Science Journal Publishers Stay Stupid: “It is time for the scientific community to give up on these journals and start looking to move to work with new organizations that will encourage scientific communication and advancement (PLoSarXiv.orgOpen Access Engineering Journals) and leave those that seek to keep outdated practices to go out of business.” Organizations can’t ignore principles when choosing tactics. Tactics that might be ok in other situations, should not be acceptable to scientists publishing scientific information. When journals move to harm science to preserve their outdated business practices they deserve to lose the respect of scientists.

Related: Finding Open Scientific PapersOpen Access Journal WarsAnger at Anti-Open Access PROpen Access Article Advantage

Howard Hughes Medical Institute Takes Big Open Access Step

Posted on June 27, 2007 4 Comments

HHMI Announces New Policy for Publication of Research Articles that will require

its scientists to publish their original research articles in scientific journals that allow the articles and supplementary materials to be made freely accessible in a public repository within six months of publication.

Great news. Some, including me, would prefer a shorter time but this is the limit on the slowest time that will be acceptable not a goal. I don’t know but I wouldn’t be surprised if HHMI is the largest source of research funds outside of the federal government in the USA. This is one more sign the tactics of the old school journals are failing.

HHMI and Public Access Publishing policy

The Howard Hughes Medical Institute has long viewed the sharing of research materials and tools as a fundamental responsibility of scientific authorship. That principle also extends to ensuring that original, peer-reviewed research publications and supplemental materials are freely accessible within six months of publication

Well put; it is amazing how out of touch with the basic concepts of advancing scientific ideas the old style journals are.

Related: The Future of Scholarly PublicationOpen Access Legislation$600 Million for Basic Biomedical Research from HHMI$60 Million in Grants for Universities from HHMI

Open Access and PLoS

Posted on May 28, 2007 2 Comments

In An Open Mouse, Carl Zimmer discusses the conflict between closed journals and those that support open access.

And what do I now hear from PLOS? Do I hear the grinding of lawyerly knives? No. I hear the blissful silence of Open Access, a slowly-spreading trend in the journal world. PLOS makes it very clear on their web site that “everything we publish is freely available online throughout the world, for you to read, download, copy, distribute, and use (with attribution) any way you wish.” No muss, no fuss. If I want to blog about this paper right now, I can grab a relevant image right now from it.

His post mentions the recent bad publicity Wiley received. It seems to me the Journals still don’t understand that their copyright of research results paid for by public funds are not going to continue. And that open access science is clearly the way of the future that their continued failure to deal with is increasing the odds monthly that they will find themselves on the outside of those practicing science in the 21st Century.

PLoS on the other hand recently hired Bora Zivkovic as PLoS ONE Online Community Manager. He will be great and continue to build PLoS into an organization supporting free and open science. I loved PLoS proactive action recounted by Bora, he posted that he was interested in the job:

Next morning, I woke up to a comment by the Managing Editor of PLoS ONE asking if my blog-post should be considered as a formal job application. My comment in response was a Yes.

Related: The Future of Scholarly PublicationAnger at Anti-Open Access PR

Open Access Science Education Journal

Posted on March 25, 2007 No Comments

Science in School is an open access journal focused on science education published quarterly.

Science in School aims to promote inspiring science teaching by encouraging communication between teachers, scientists, science teachers and everyone else involved in European science education. Science in School addresses science teaching both across Europe and across disciplines: highlighting the best in teaching and cutting-edge research. It covers not only biology, physics and chemistry, but also maths, earth sciences, engineering and medicine, focusing on interdisciplinary work.

The contents include teaching materials; cutting-edge science; education projects; interviews with young scientists and inspiring teachers; European education news; reviews of books and other resources; and European events for teachers.

The latest issue includes: Silky, stretchy and stronger than steel by Giovanna Cicognani and Montserrat Capellas (on spider silk), A fresh look at light: build your own spectrometer by Mark Tiele Westra, Fair enough? Balanced considerations for future science-fair organisers by Eva Amsen and Fusion in the Universe: we are all stardust by Henri Boffin and Douglas Pierce-Price.

Related: Open Access Education MaterialsScience Education Web SitesOpen Access Engineering Journalsprimary and secondary school science and engineering education post

Open Access Journal Wars

Posted on March 14, 2007 1 Comment

Open Access Launches Journal Wars

The $10 billion science publishing industry hasn’t heard the last of a bill that would make publicly funded studies available for free. Sen. John Cornyn (R-Texas) has pledged this year to resurrect the Federal Research Public Access Act (S.2695), which would require federally funded research to become publicly available online within six months of being published.

“When it’s the taxpayers that are underwriting projects in the federal government, they deserve to access the very things they’re paying for,” said Cornyn spokesman Brian Walsh. “This research is funded by American taxpayers and conducted by researchers funded by public institutions. But it’s not widely available.”

Great. The idea that people will actually buy some crazy excuse like: “It’s inappropriate for the government (to interfere).” as a reason that publicly funded research should be kept from the public is frustrating. And even more so because some people actually might buy it. But for those that can think, I believe it confirms that they have no good arguments against proposal. If the best argument for opposition to open access requirements is trying to confuse people into thinking something that makes no logical sense they must not have any good reasons.

Is there any part of “you must make the research openly available” that is interfering with the science involved? Interfering with an outdated business model maybe, but that is all. And really not even that because you can retain that business model if you want. I can’t see how anyone can sensibly argue that it is in the interest of science to keep information inaccessible.

Related: The Future of Scholarly PublicationOpen Access LegislationAnger at Anti-Open Access PRPublicly Funded Research Open Expectations

Anger at Anti-Open Access PR

Posted on January 28, 2007 2 Comments

Blog posts angry at the anti open access moves by science journals are exploding. Which is a good thing; hopefully the momentum will keep up and some real changes will take place.

Those with money to lose will fight against freedom of information by Bora Zivkovic, is pretty representative:

While the world is moving towards an Open Science model of exchange of scientific information, there are, as expected, forces that are trying to oppose it. Whenever there is a movement to change any kind of system, those most likely to lose will make a last-ditch and nasty effort to temporarily derail the progress.

More: My advice to the American Chemical SocietyBig Content’s ‘pitbull’ and the AAAScience Journals Hire “PR Pit Bull”Traditional science publishers hire PR firms to scuttle open accessThe Open Access “Debate”A quick bit on the future of Open Access Publishing, Anthropology, and Public RelationsMore on the AAP PR campaignAnti-Open Access Propaganda: An Institution Under SiegeScience publishers get stupid

Good. Go blogosphere, Go Open Access and Go Badgers, too.

Related: more posts from our open access categoryThe Future of Scholarly PublicationOpen Access LegislationThe Future of the Scholarly Journal
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