Saturday, December 31, 2005

The Dramatic Growth of Open Access: Dec. 31, 2005 Update & 2006 Predictions

The dramatic growth of open access continues! Many areas of open access, particularly OA journals and repositories, appear to be showing a very rapid growth rate of more than 40% annually. The total number of articles in repositories is showing a somewhat lower growth rate, just over 25% annually.

My predictions for 2006:

Open Access Journals: continued high growth rate
This prediction is based on conversations with people in the process of developing new OA journals or working on converting to an OA journal model. DOAJ growth is assured, based on the many OA journals which await discovery and vetting. The truly important figure, however, is the total number of articles openly accessible, rather than journals. This growth will begin to become more obvious later in 2006, when the impact of mandated open access policies, from funding agencies and universities, begins to be felt.

Institutional Repositories: very high growth in repositories, slower growth in articles / documents, a trend that will gradually reverse
This prediction is based on conversations with people who are in the process of developing new institutional repositories. First we will see the repositories with few items, then they will begin to fill - slowly at first, then more rapidly as mandates and increased awareness kick in.

Following is the data on which my estimates of current growth are based. I am including some figures for future reference purposes; if no earlier data is presented, none is readily available. Only easily identifiable data is included. If your subject repository is not included, it may be because it is not easy to identify the total number of items from your website.

Early figures are from my preprint, The Dramatic Growth of Open Access: Implications and Opportunities for Resource Sharing, Journal of Interlibrary Loan, Document Delivery & Electronic Reserve, 16, 3 (2006).

Directory of Open Access Journals:
Dec. 31, 2005: 1,988 titles
February 2005 - over 1,400 titles
492 journals searchable at article level - 83,235 articles
This represents a growth of close to 600 titles, or 40% growth, in less than a year. In early 2005, the number of titles in DOAJ was roughly comparable to the number of titles in a general aggregator package for libraries (e.g. Academic Search Elite, Expanded Academic Index). DOAJ now clearly has more titles than these packages did in February 2005.
Note that the DOAJ list does not represent all open access journals, only the ones that have met DOAJ standards, and have gone through the DOAJ vetting process. Jan Szczepanski's list is much longer: over 4,705 titles total as of early December 2005.
The number of DOAJ titles will likely fluctuate over the next few months, as DOAJ has plans to weed out titles that no longer meet DOAJ criteria.

Dec. 22, 2005: 6,255,599 records from 578 institutions
February 2005: over 5 million records, 405 institutions
This is about a 25% increase in records in less than a year, and a 40% increase in institutions. Why is the number of institutions increasing faster than the number of records? It could be because there are a great many libraries which have very new institutional repositories. My expectation is that this trend will continue in 2006, as many libraries have institutional repositories in planning stages. Eventually, the trend will reverse, as the number of institutional repositories stabilizes, but the IRs begin to fill more rapidly for two reasons: mandates, and increased awareness of the potential once a few institutions have repositories worth showing off.

Highwire Press Free Online Fulltext Articles
Dec. 31, 2005: 1,131,135 free articles
early January 2005: over 800,000 free articles
This is about a 40% increase in less than a year.

Dec. 31, 2005: Open access to 350,745 e-prints in Physics, Mathematics, Computer Science and Quantitative Biology.

RePEC: Research Papers in Economics
Dec. 31, 2005: over 350,000 items of interest, over 250,000 of which are available online.
February 2005: over 200,000 freely available items.
This represents a growth rate of over 25% in less than a year. The growth rate for well-established repositories might be expected to be less than that for new repositories.

Dec. 31, 2005: 3,095 documents
No earlier figure available.

Open Access Publishers
Dec. 31, 2005: Over 140 open access journals covering all areas of biology and medicine
February 2005: over 100 open access journals.
Growth rate of about 40% in less than a year.
Public Library of Science
Dec. 31, 2005: 6 journals
February 2005: 2 journals
Threefold increase in journals in less than a year.
The interesting figure for the future for open access publishers will be the total number of articles, rather than journals, but setting up the journals likely does need to come first.

Canadian Association of Research Libraries : Metadata Harvester
Dec. 31, 2005: 21,9225 records from 11 archives.

This post reflects my personal opinion only and does not represent the opinions or policy of the BC Electronic Library Network or the Simon Fraser University Library.

Tuesday, December 27, 2005

Open access textbooks

There are many curious ironies about the open access movement, and indeed the shift from print to electronic in general. Not least of these is that while advocacy efforts focus on the peer-reviewed research article, progress towards open access is happening in areas where no advocacy efforts are directed at all, to my knowledge. One such area is open access textbooks.

This came to my attention one day when searching for online math textbooks. I was not expecting to find free texts at all, on the assumption that textbooks were an area where the commercial sector would obviously prevail - after all, who would write an entire textbook without expectation of financial compensation?

Imagine my surprise, then, to find the extensive list of Textbooks, Lecture Notes and Tutorials in Mathematics by Alexandre Stefanov. All resources are free, and are divided into topics such as general mathematics, number theory, algebra, algebraic geometry, topolisis, analysis, geometry, mathematical physics, probability theory, formatting documents (TEX, LATEX, etc.).

Alexandre links to a number of other substantial lists, including the list of
Online mathematics textbooks, including over 40 textbooks as of October 2005, maintained by George Cain, School of Mathematics, Georgia Institute of Technology.

Why is this happening? This explanation, from George Cain's website, may help:
"The writing of textbooks and making them freely available on the web is an idea whose time has arrived. Most college mathematics textbooks attempt to be all things to all people and, as a result, are much too big and expensive. This perhaps made some sense when these books were rather expensive to produce and distribute--but this time has passed."

There may be more similarity between the writing of textbooks and the writing of peer-reviewed articles than one might think at first. Unlike the writers of articles, those who write books generally are paid for their time - however, in academia this is not generally a lucrative business proposition. Rather, faculty likely see a need for a textbook, or for a better textbook, and so they begin to write one. If there is financial assistance, it is most likely to compensate for the faculty member's time, so that they can be released to spend time writing the textbook.

The more I think about it, the more open textbooks make sense, particularly in mathematics. Printed textbooks are expensive - one cannot ask students to purchase more than one mathematics textbook. Yet it seems obvious that the student is much better off having access to the dozens of free textbooks that are already available. If a student is having difficulty understanding a concept explained one way, does it not make sense to provide an alternative explanation?

If writing a textbook without financial compensation seems like a puzzling thing to do, picture this: caculus tutorial. An endless line of students, all struggling to understand this complex subject. Some may be working hard, and may be taking the course for the second or third time, but still struggling. Doesn't writing down your best explanation of a given concept, to share with everyone - your students, and the students of other professors, everywhere, make sense?

If there are areas where subsidies for production for open access make sense, is this not one of them? If mathematics is covered in public education, and providing free resources can help more students to pass their math courses the first or second time (rather than the second or third time), does this not fulfill two very important public policy goals at once: efficient use of tax dollars, and maximum development of a critical skill area?

What about learning objects, too? If one person develops a learning object that helps students to master a complex concept, why not share this with everyone?

For that matter, could there be a role for students to help develop learning objects and/or explanations for textbooks? Could textbooks and learning object repositories be developed collaboratively, perhaps wikipedia-style?

Some opportunities for research based on the open textbooks phenomenon:

Contact the writers and publishers of open textbooks - ask them what inspired them to do this, would they recommend that others take the same approach, etc.

Do students with ready access to a range of textbooks do better than students with access to only one textbook?

Learning objects and concept mastery - it should be possible to design research that would test the relationship between students exposure to learning objects (on an individual or group basis) and their mastery of particular concept(s) - perhaps even years later. This in turn could help to identify the most useful learning objects. This kind of research would have some complex ethical / privacy dimensions to address.

This posting is a further development of a theme earlier discussed on the
SPARC Open Access Forum and Open Access News.

Update Dec. 28:
According to Peter Suber, "There's a growing number of OA textbook sites, but as far as I know just one searchable portal that tries to be comprehensive: Jason Turgeon's Textbook Revolution". From: Open Access News.

This post reflects my personal opinion only and does not represent the opinions or policy of the BC Electronic Library Network or the Simon Fraser University Library.

Friday, December 23, 2005

Michael Eisen's Open Science Blog

Public Library of Science co-founder Michael Eisen has a new open access blog, the Open Science Blog. The first article, Fight Intelligent Design - Publish in PLoS!, talks about the importance for academics to bridge the growing gap between the scientific community and the public.

This article talks a bit about the use of research literature by the public - one of my favorite topics. Michael makes the point that much of the research literature is much more readable by the public, once they have access, than one would think. My point of view is that there is a relationship between learning and the opportunity to learn. Before the printing press and the ready availability of books, not many could read. The more people who have access to the research literature, the more people who will learn to read and use it.

For more on my thoughts on open access to the research literature and the public, see the article Andrew Waller and I wrote, Open Access: Basics and Benefits.

Thanks to Peter Suber on Open Access News

This post reflects my personal opinion only and does not represent the opinions or policy of the BC Electronic Library Network or the Simon Fraser University Library.

Tuesday, December 20, 2005

Open Access Policy Issues Breakout Session

Just self-archived: my presentation at the CERN Workshop on Scholarly Innovations (OAI4) on the open access policy issues breakout session. In E-LIS or the Simon Fraser University Library Institutional Repository.


The CERN Workshop on Scholarly Innovations (OAI4) included about 30 participants from a variety of open access related backgrounds. Some were involved in institutional repositories at various stages, from mature repositories with mandated self-archiving policies to new or planned repositories. There was much interest in copyright issues, and the more experienced group members felt that the approach appreciated most by faculty was assistance in negotiating their rights with publishers, for example using the standard authors' addendum developed by SPARC U.S. Some participants were from the subject repository community (E-LIS, PubMed). Potential differences of viewpoint between the two approaches were identified, but seen as superficial differences which could be overcome. A representative from a funding agency suggested that the funding agency monies for open access charges could perhaps be leveraged to free up funds for non-funded researchers. The author concludes with an afterthought along these lines, that is, if publishers are receiving revenues from processing fees for funded researchers, subscription fees should decrease; these funds could then be diverted to a fund to pay for further processing fees.

This post reflects my personal opinion only and does not represent the opinions or policy of the BC Electronic Library Network or the Simon Fraser University Library.

Wednesday, December 14, 2005

The elusive art of costing (institutional repositories)

Talk in open access circles of late has centred around the true costs of setting up and maintaining an institutional repository. The only accurate answer to this question, in my opinion, is: it depends - on a number of factors.

At the low end of the cost range is the completely free institutional repository. An individual can easily download free software, such as gnu eprints, using computing and internet facilities already in place for other purposes at work. The amount of volunteer labor involved also depends on how the IR is set up. Are authors allowed to deposit their own works, or is there a central vetting process? Obviously, the central vetting process is more labor-intensive than allowing authors to deposit their own works.

Of course, even this is option is not truly completely free; it is just that there are no hard dollar costs. Even with no budget at all, we can easily get an institutional repository up and running with what we have.

In fact, this might be easier and simpler for the smaller and poorer library. Decisions, for example, are easier, when one has fewer options to contemplate. This is another example of the Delightful Irony of open access; that the poor can afford, what the rich cannot (or claim that they cannot).

At the higher end of the cost range, a large university could plan a comprehensive institutional repository program, not only for the open access research literature, but also for all manner of other types of information. For example, universities which move to electronic records only have long-term needs for preservation and access to a variety of institutional records, including some (such as student and personnel records) which are confidential. It may well be necessary and/or desirable to develop a series of repositories, rather than just one, and these may be handled in a centralized or distributed manner. The highest single per-repository cost would come with a central system housing a variety of different types of information for a large university. This operation may well require a fair bit of hardware, connectivity, security and authentication arrangements, staff, and space to house the computers and staff - plus adminstrative overhead, of course. The costs for this kind of arrangement are not necessarily new costs, as there will be current means of maintaining institutional records and so forth; indeed, there may be a variety of cost savings. It is likely that there would be initial transitional costs, such as equipment purchases, space design, and so forth. Even with substantial cost savings, however, the costs for such a comprehensive program could well be substantial, both initially and ongoing.

In between there is a great variety of possibilities for costs. A library could set up an institutional repository using free open source software, and advertise for a specialist to work on the institutional repository, whether as technical support or promotion or both, full or part time. An open source software solution with paid hosting costs could be pursued, or commercial software.

To sum up, when we look at the wide variety of costs reported for institutional repositories - from practically nothing to $6,000, to hundreds of thousands of dollars, and ask: which of these costs estimates is correct? There are two correct answers to this question: all of the above, and it depends - how much money do you have, and what are you willing to spend?

This wide range of costs is not particularly unusual, especially in the electronic environment. Think of a website - or blog. Either one can easily be set up by an individual, using equipment and connectivity already in place as part of a standard internet connection service - or even using totally free equipment and services, often provided by public libraries. Or, a large institution can set up a web services department, hire a manager, some graphic designers, administrative staff, and naturally, supply them with office space. Here, too, it is quite accurate to say that the true cost of a website or blog ranges from nothing or virtually nothing, to a great deal of money.

This phenomenon is not entirely new, for that matter. Consider the costs of transportation. A billionaire might own a fleet of planes, helicopters, ships, and fancy cars, in various locations all the over the world. Transportion costs for such a person could be astronomical. Those of us with more modest means get about with our bikes, skateboards, more modest cars, and buses. Even the destitute, barring disability, can get about on their own two feet. If we think such a person cannot get as far - remember Gandhi. Has anyone accomplished more? So, the answer to the question: how much does transportation for one person cost? Is, quite correctly, a wide range, from nothing to a very large sum of money, with many possibilities in between.

This post was inspired by a recent conversation on the SPARC Open Access Forum (SOAF); for more on this perspective, see my SOAF posting on this topic.

This post reflects my personal opinion only and does not represent the opinions or policy of the BC Electronic Library Network or the Simon Fraser University Library.

Monday, December 12, 2005

Make Internet an Election Issue

Michael Geist, Make Internet an Election Issue Toronto Star, Dec. 12, 2005.

Michael Geist calls on Canadians to take advantage of the parties' attempt to articulate a unique vision for the future of Canada, to draw attention to key policy areas, such as access and privacy.

The following excerpt is from Peter Suber on Open Access News

As local politicians go door-to-door in search of votes and the national party leaders prepare for this week's debates, the election campaign has thus far centred on each party's attempt to articulate a unique vision for the future of Canada. With this in mind, Canadians should jump at this rare opportunity to turn the leaders' attention to law and technology issues....In this election, two issues come immediately to mind — access and privacy....[The access] issue should also touch on access to knowledge initiatives. The Internet has the potential to tear down barriers to knowledge by embracing open-access research funding that would bring federally-funded research into the hands of millions of Canadians, committing to the creation of a national digital library that could emerge as a critical cultural export, and promoting online access to knowledge in Canadian schools without unnecessary new licensing schemes. The Liberals provided some support for open access funding, but were non-committal on other access issues; opposition parties should take a stand.

This post reflects my personal opinion only and does not represent the opinions or policy of the BC Electronic Library Network or the Simon Fraser University Library.

Friday, December 09, 2005

"Without the risk"

Lord Martin Rees, President of the Royal Society, has publicly released his December 7 response to the open letter written by nearly 50 Fellows of the Royal Society in support of open access, in which he states the support of the Royal Society for open access, but says:

"We are simply concerned that open access is achieved without the risk of unintended damage..."

Two comments:

First, as others have pointed out, there is a substantial body of evidence that open access is completely consistent with an ongoing traditional peer review system - this has been the experience with physics, where close to 100% of articles in some sub-disciplines are freely available in arXiv, and this has been the case for over a decade.

Second, if we all waited for guarantees of a risk-free outcome before making changes towards necessary goals - would anything ever get done?

Who knows this better than our politicians? Who knows more about what is involved in change? Politicians must envision a better future, articulate it so that voters will provide the mandate, then take the bold steps needed to implement the vision. Ideally, one wants everyone onside; but, in reality, we need to make changes, even though not everyone is completely comfortable with them.

What happens if we apply the risk-free philosophy to our personal lives? Would we ever go to school (we might fail! we might sign up for the wrong program!), apply for a job, start a business or develop a relationship? Would we ever leave the house in the morning to go to work? We might get killed or injured in a traffic accident on the way! Better stay home - but then, don't most accidents happen at home? Better stay in bed, then - but isn't this a risk to our physical and mental health?

"without the risk" - indeed.

Thanks to Peter Suber at Open Access News for the link to the Royal Society letter.

Thursday, December 08, 2005

The Open Access Organizational Advantage: An Hypothesis

The open access citation advantage has been amply demonstrated in many studies, which can be found through Steve Hitchcock's excellent bibliography, The effect of open access and downloads ('hits') on citation impact: a bibliography of studies.

With universities and countries proceeding towards open access at different paces, here is an hypothesis which anyone interested in invited to test:

There will be a strong positive correlation between open access and organizational impact.

Open access can be measured through such means as the availability and fill rate of an institutional repository, or the tendency of faculty to publish in open access journals. The former will likely be easier to measure than the latter.

Organizational impact can be measured through such means as success at obtaining funding grants (whether measured by number or amount of grants), success at attracting top students (perhaps measured through traditional evaluation criteria by which students are considered for competitive programs), graduate student success, success at obtaining operational or capital funding through public or private sources, academic awards, student success in the workplace, and so forth.

Here is a bit of background to explain why organizations would also see an open access impact advantage.

Funding agencies (e.g. the U.S. National Institute of Health, Wellcome Trust, Research Councils U.K., Canada's Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council), have expressed a strong preference for open access to the results of the research they fund. Even without formal criteria rating research proposals from researchers with an open access portfolio higher (possible though this is, given the preference), there are still two reasons why researchers who meet this criterion are likely to be successful. First, even if the reviewers make every effort to avoid allowing this preference to affect their funding decisions, they are human beings, and subject to bias. All else being equal, if one would like to obtain funding, it is a good idea to try to fit the preferences of the funders, particularly ones with a sound philosophical basis such as open access. Second, the work of the researcher with the open access portfolio will be readily accessible to the reviewers. A researcher with a good track record will benefit from this added opportunity for scrutiny.

Top students are more likely to be attracted to a university with a strong open access mandate for two reasons. First, they are more likely to encounter the research published by the university's researchers and thus become interested in the university. Second, the university's researchers will benefit from the open access citation advantage - their work will be cited more often, and hence will be more obviously valued by the scholarly community. Good matches between graduate students and supervisors would appear to have some relation with common research interests - the more students who have access to our work, the better the chances that the grad student who would be a really good match will find us. This is particularly true of students who come from developing countries, or poorer areas of the developed world, who would not otherwise have access to all of the research literature.

A university that makes its work available to the world through an institutional repository is a resource for the community. Local media will find it easy to write about the university, and find local experts to interview. It makes sense that this would enhance the value of the university to the community, which in theory should help universities in their funding efforts.

If top-level students, whether graduate or otherwise, make their best work - whether a thesis, a capstone paper, or their best presentation - openly available, this should help out in obtaining employment related to their career. Picture a resume with this work - readily clickable, and leading to the repository of a university with a great reputation. Could this be a means of helping universities and alumni to keep in touch? Once again, this could help the university out financially, as alumni are an important source of fund-raising for many.

The same principles that apply to universities apply to other organizations, and entire countries. All else being equal, the country that is fully open access will be full of researchers whose work is read and cited more often, and universities with an edge on attracting top students and funding. Not that this competition is the point. To me, equity is the point, and this is where open access eventually leads. It's just that those of us who have to work hardest against the barriers (mostly the profits of a very few) are at a bit of a disadvantage. The only person we should ever be in competition with is ourselves - to always strive to be our very best. The real competition of the educational sector is not the other institutions - it is ignorance.

This post reflects my personal opinion only and does not represent the opinions or policy of the BC Electronic Library Network or the Simon Fraser University Library.

Monday, December 05, 2005

Scholars, Professionals, and the Value of Knowledge

One of the arguments in the open access movement advanced by publishers is that they have every right to expect to be paid for their valuable work. In some senses, I completely agree; but then, if we apply this concept to the full production of scholarly knowledge - what happens?

That knowledge is of tremendous value is something that I think most of humans can agree on. There are at least two ways of looking at the value of knowledge: as something so precious that it belongs to all of us; or, as an economic commodity like any other.

Let us look at the role of the scholar and the professional in light of these two approaches. To become qualified to participate in the advancement of human knowledge, or to become a practising professional, takes many, many years of education, and ongoing hard work to keep up with the latest developments.

If we see knowledge as something that belongs to all of us, it makes sense for scholars and professionals to make the kind of sacrifices that we do - basically giving away much of our labour for the good of all, with our rewards being modest incomes and a little bit of recognition for our contributions.

On the other hand, if we see knowledge as an economic commodity like any other, perhaps we scholars and professionals should be thinking about pay equity. The salaries of people like professional sports stars, movie stars, and upper management in the corporate sector are often in the hundreds of thousands, and not infrequently millions, of dollars.

If we are looking at this from a purely economic standpoint - isn't the work of the brain surgeon or the dedicated researcher who is working towards a cure for cancer, worth more than the salaries of those who entertain us - no matter how well - or who merely manage? If we think a movie star deserves several million dollars for their role in a movie - what is the worth of the researcher who finds a treatment for stroke that eliminates disability for millions, or a new form of energy that dramatically decreases pollution?

What about the universities, funding agencies, and taxpayers? If knowledge is a commodity - shouldn't the publishers be paying the people who fund the research and support the researcher - not vice versa?

This post reflects my personal opinion only and does not represent the opinions or policy of the BC Electronic Library Network or the Simon Fraser University Library.

Sunday, December 04, 2005

The Impossible Assignment, and the Research Question

Librarians and academics in recent years have been working together to help students to develop information literacy skills, that is, the kind of skills that are likely to be particularly essential in the information age. Basically, these are the skills that help us to recognize a need for information, find the right information, evaluate it, and effectively use it.

Occasionally, a curious phenomenon arises out of these endeavours: the impossible assignment - impossible, at any rate, for the average undergraduate student.

That is, a faculty member would like to assign a topic, and encourage students to find particular resources - but the resources simply do not exist.

One poignant example of this is the faculty member who would like students to find scholarly critiques of the work of a local author, particularly if the original work was published fairly recently. Thanks are due to the members of BCLA's Academic Librarians in Public Service (ALPS), who talked about their mutual experiences with this phenomenon at a meeting last Friday. [Disclosure: I am the Chair-Elect of ALPS].

Which makes me wonder: do the forces in academia - the need to publish or perish - discourage us from pursuing questions we really think are important, and sharing information in the way that makes the most sense to us, when we think about it?

To take the example of the local author: academics need to publish - or they will perish. The best thing for one's career is to publish in the most prestigious journals; the ones that are read and cited by the most other academics. Will our local authors - or local politics, social structure, culture or ecosystem - ever be the top priority for these kinds of journals?

The essential problem here, in my opinion, is that we are placing the procedure - the method - ahead of what is truly important - the research question. We want an easy, objective way to measure the quality of the research our faculty are doing. In the sciences, the impact factor of a journal provides a quick means to achieve this; in other areas, less numeric but still similar kinds of judgements are likely to apply.

To illustrate the approach to research, here is how this works: we know, and are comfortable with, a particular method - surveys, citation analysis, experimental methodology. We start with the method. We know how to count, therefore, what will we count? It is very, very easy to do this instead of considering the more complex - but more important question: what do we need to learn about?

It would be interesting to know whether academics are beginning to talk about these kinds of questions; no doubt, some are. In the area of english literature, the situation is particularly ironic, as the scholars are, in some cases, also the writers whose works end up being neglected; or, they are friends of these authors, and care deeply about the writing process and encouraging the writer. That's probably why they assigned the impossible assignment in the first place.

As librarians begin to move into evidence-based practice, here is a challenge that I am hoping my fellow professionals will take up: start by focusing on the research question, not the method. We have, and are developing, some fancy new tools that will give us interesting numbers to look at: database usage statistics, surveys, story-gathering and pattern-recognition software, among others. Rather than focusing on learning the tools and asking: what can we do with these? - why not ask ourselves the really important questions.

In this case, why is this assignment impossible? Why are researchers not researching and publishing on what they truly think is important? What can - or should librarians do this in situation? We could do pilot studies to encourage assignment-checking and eliminating those impossible assignments - but, is this a disservice to our academic colleagues? Should we not, instead, alert them to the fact that the research they expect someone is doing, is in fact not being done at all?

I would like to acknowledge my professor of research methodology and general LIS studies advisor, Dr. Alvin Schrader of the University of Alberta, for his contributions to my thinking here. If he reads this blogpost, he might be thinking: someone was listenting to those lectures!

As for the timely sharing of information, if professors would like to see students working on more timely research assignments, there is a simple and immediate solution: self-archive those preprints!

This post reflects my personal opinion only and does not represent the opinions or policy of the BC Electronic Library Network or the Simon Fraser University Library.

Saturday, December 03, 2005

Canadian Leadership in the Open Access Movement

Concordia University Open Access mandate

New Open Access Fund at SFU Library

PubMedCentral Canada up and available for searching

University of Ottawa among North American leaders in open access

Michael Geist's creative open access initiative!

Vancouver enters the age of the open city

University of Calgary Library Faculty Open Access Mandate

Canadian Health Services Research Foundation Open Access Policy

Open Sesame to the Digital World - an open access high school library.

Free access to the Cochrane Library for Canada. While this geographically limited access is not full OA, it is likely the very best that the Canadian Cochrane Center can do, given that it does not have the rights to the full Library. Let's hope that the international Cochrane network is inspired by this example, and comes together to provide full open access to everyone!

Ontario contributes $4.7 million more to lab of Toronto-based open access researcher Aled Edwards

Canadian Research Knowledge Network looking for expressions of interest in supporting major OA initiative in physics

Canada, let's fix the open access policy loophole BEFORE we harmonize

Towards PubMedCentral Canada: Update

Québec's Fonds de la Recherche en Santé has released their Policy regarding open access to published research outputs Jim Till's comments

Jennifer Bell on Government Transparency via Open Data and Open Source

Irving K. Barber Learning Centre supports open access resources

Two calls for open access from Quebec

Will Canada Seize the Lead in the Open Access Movement in the History Books - Or Cede to the U.S.?

Michael Geist Calls on Canadian Government to Implement Open Access Policies

CLA Announces New Open Access Interest Group

National Cancer Institute of Canada Open Access Policy

PubMedCentral Canada (PMC) Initiative

Open Access in Canada: Sept/Oct 2008 College and Research Libraries News article by Heather Morrison and Andrew Waller. Overview of status of OA in Canada

CANLII, Canada's open access legal database, is the electronic resource most used by the Canadian legal community!

Danielle Dennie and Librarian Activist.Org

Meet Pam Ryan. Pam Ryan and colleague Denise Koufogiannakis are behind the support OA support at the University of Alberta libraries.

Tracey Lauriault of and, is among Canada's most vocal open data advocates.

Meet Hugh McGuire, a Montreal-based engineer, founder of Librivox which aims to make an audio version of every public domain book freely available at all and Canadian open data advocate.

Canadian Association of University Teachers (CAUT) recommends copyright retention!

National Research Council OA Mandate

Three forthcoming OA policies announced at ELPUB

Richard Poynder Interviews Leslie Chan

CLA/ABC Position Statement on Open Access for Canadian Libraries

Free Government Pubs, from the BC Legislature Library

Canadian Association of Research Libraries calls for Canadian OA Mandate

On May 22, 2008, the Canadian Library Association approved a Position Statement on Open Access for Canadian Libraries.

Dean Giustini on Canadian Leadership in the Open Access Movement. Dean's first post covers the early years to 1999.

York University Library

A Celebration of Research and Scholarship at Kwantlen University College
Ranjini Mendis is an open access pioneer, having co-developed (with John Willinsky) the first open access, fully online international journal on postcolonial studies to come out of Canada, Post-Colonial Text. Babir Gurm and Alice Macpherson developed the open access Transformative Dialogues - inventing their own approach to online publishing along the way.

York University Library is a great role model! YUL's EJournal publishing support for faculty is prominently displayed as a link on the services for faculty page; York has not one, but 3 repositories; York librarians are researching, publishing, and presenting on open access and scholarly communications.

Taking the plunge: from print to online open access

Hilde Colenbrander and an open access cIRcle at UBC

RRRESEARCH: UBC Leadership in the Open Access Movement

Francis Ouellette named one of 6 Franklin Awards finalists

Pilot Project to Provide Open Access to NRC Publications

The Canadian Digital Information Strategy and Open Access

The Canadian Library Association congratulates Dr. Alan Bernstein, President of the Canadian Institutes of Health Research, on the CIHR Open Access policy.

Stephen's web

Stephen Downes works for the National Research Council, and writes a blog with a philosophy very similar to IJPE, often about open access.

Libraries and Public Access to Information (CLA 1994)

The Canadian Library Association's Information and Telecommunications Access Principles, 1994, articulate the role of librarians as spokepersons for public access to information, one of the key elements of the open access movement.

Access to any or all sources of information; a matter of ethics (CLA 1976)

The Canadian Library Association Code of Ethics, 1976, states that CLA members, individually and collective, have an ethical obligation to facilitate access to any and all sources of information that may be of assistance to library users.

CLA Commitment to "Open Availability to Information" - from 1987

Canadian Sociology Journal Goes OA

Dr. Kevin Haggerty, incoming Editor of the Canadian Journal of Sociology, talks about why this well-established journal decided to move to electronic-only, fully open access beginning in January 2008, using the Open Journal Systems platform hosted by the University of Alberta Libraries.

Jim Till: Be Openly Accessible or Be Obscure

Jim Till, Chair of the CIHR Advisory Committee responsible for developing a model open access policy for CIHR, and a key person in the initial development of the Canadian Breast Cancer Research Agency's Open Access Archive, is among Canada's most noted open access advocates - and that is saying something! Formerly a member of the Open Access News team when it was a group blog, Jim is now author of Be Openly Accessible or Be Obscure, one of the most thoughtful - and thought-provoking blogs on open access on the web. Delightfully named, too!

Canadian Institutes of Health Research(CIHR): Policy on Access to Research Outputs

CIHR announcement of an open access policy likely to be seen as a model by other funding agencies. Features include strong support for immediate open access, or OA with no more than a 6 month delay, and support for OA publishing, including clarification that article processing fees for OA are an eligible expense under Use of Grant Funds. Traditional publishers can easily comply with CIHR policy through an enlighted self-archiving policy, as the vast majority of journals already do.

Open, Digital Scholarly Publishing at Athabasca University Press

From the press announcement: AU Press, Canada’s first 21st century university press, is dedicated to disseminating knowledge emanating from scholarly research to a broad audience through open access digital media and in a variety of formats (e.g., journals, monographs, author podcasts.

CARL and SPARC offer Canadian authors new tool to widen access to published articles.

Announcement by the Canadian Association of Research Libraries (CARL) and the Scholarly Publishing and Academic Resources Coalition (SPARC) on the release of the Canadian version of the SPARC Author's Addendum.

Canadian Library Association Moves Open Access

The Canadian Library Association announces a strong open access policy for CLA publications, as well as an open policy for almost all CLA communications. New blog urging governments to make data about Canada and Canadians free and accessible to citizens. Highly recommended!

Atlantic Provinces Library Association supports Open Access Publishing!

Free Online Access to Digital Mapping Data

"Our Government recognizes the importance of providing Canadians with access to the latest digital mapping information at no cost," said Minister Lunn. "Not only will Canadians now have free access to digital maps, but Canada will be known as an important source for digital mapping data around the world."

Congratulations and thanks to the Honourable Gary Lunn and NRCan for yet another illustration of Canadian Leadership in the Open Access Movement.

Thanks to Olivier Charbonneau.
SSHRC Aid to Open Access Journals
BC Libraries Support DOAJ!
The British Columbia Library Association Resolution on Open Access
Canadian Association of Research Libraries (CARL): Canadian Leader in Open Access
Canadian Leadership in the Open Access Movement: Budapest
Jean Claude Guédon
Leslie Chan
Stevan Harnad
Michae Geist. Canada: the Time has Come to Prioritize Open Access!
Linda Hutcheon: a Democratized Diffusion of Knowledge
The Ouellette Declaration
Coming April 24: the IDRC Digital Library (thanks to Marjorie Whalen).
John Willinsky and the Public Knowledge Project

This post reflects my personal opinion only and does not represent the opinions or policy of the BC Electronic Library Network or the Simon Fraser University Library.