Monday, August 27, 2007

On PubMedCentral, by PubMedCentral

With all the misinformation being spread about the U.S. National Institutes of Health and PubMedCentral, it is very refreshing to hear what PMC really is all about, from Dr. David Lipman, the physician-turned-researcher who heads the department responsible for PMC. The purposes of PMC are, respectively, archiving, access, and integration, (or facilitating more rapid advances in research through technology). The U.S. National Library of Medicine, the world's oldest and largest medical research library, has long been a leader in technology developments, having developed the Medline electronic database in the 1960's, and, in the author's opinion, was among the earliest of open access pioneers when PubMed was opened up to everyone in the mid-1990's.

Following are some notes from an interview with Dr. David Lipman:

Dr. David Lipman, Director of NBCI, the group at the U.S. National Library of Medicine that builds PubMedCentral, talks about how and why PMC developed, what it does and is meant to do, in an Open View interview with Sundar Raman of internet radio station, the voice of Fairfield (about an hour).

Some key points from this interview:

There were three reasons for developing PMC:
1. Archiving. One of the traditional roles of the National Library of Medicine has been archiving of the medical literature, something that journals have never really taken responsibility for.
2. Access - not all publications will remain available on the publishers' web site. Note: PubMedCentral is not necessarily open access; many of the journals PMC works with provided free access after an embargo period.
3. Integration with underlying scientific data, i.e. making the articles much more useful. This requires a kind of expertise in areas that have simply not been the domain of publishers. This integration was a part of the original vision of Dr. Harold Varmus, who came up with the idea of PMC. Journals were invited to participate in this free database, and many do; some provide articles right away, others after an embargo period of 6 months to a year.

The U.S. National Library of Medicine is the world's largest and oldest medical library, having started at the time of the Civil War, and has also for many years been a leader in both technology and access. The NLM initiated development of the electronic database Medline in the 1960's. From my perspective, opening up free access to PubMed in the 1990's is one of the earliest and most important milestones of the open access movement.

Sharing of data - gene and protein sequence information, for example - has been happening for the past 20 years, and the value in speeding up discovery is well understood. The discoveries not only come faster, but interestingly, often come serendipitously. This potential for serendipitous discovery appears to be a driving force behind recent and upcoming developments at NLM, such as the Discovery Initiative that will be the focus for he next couple of years, actively seeking ways to connect readers with articles that interest them, that they might not know to look for, as well as how to connect readers with the best works in an area, such as the Systematic Reviews that currently only specialists are likely to know to look for.

Dr. Lipman talked about the work towards PMC International, an international, voluntary collaborative network of biomedical repositories. PMC-UK is already up and running; beta testing is occurring in a number of countries, including Italy, South Africa, Korea, Vietnam, and Canada.

As for the next few years, David's view is that there is a pent-up energy to change the scientific communications so long constrained by the traditional journal. It is hard to say what the changes will look like; perhaps articles will be longer or shorter or contain different types or formats of information, or maybe there will changes in what constitutes peer review.

This might become the first in a new series on U.S. or global leadership in the open access movement.

Hat tip to Graham Steel on the SPARC Open Access Forum.

Full list of Open Views Interviews - looks interesting! Thanks to Charles Bailey for the list.
  • Cory Doctorow, Sci-Fi Author, Copyright Reform Activist
  • David Lipman, National Institutes of Health
  • John Wilbanks, Science Commons
  • Mark Patterson, Virginia Barbour, Public Library of Science
  • Mike Linksvayer, CTO
  • Melissa Hagemann, Open Society Institute
  • Mike Linksvayer, Vice President,
  • Prayas Abhinav, Creative Commons India
  • Richard Poynder
  • Ronaldo Lemos, Lead of CreativeCommons Brazil
  • Siva Vaidhyanathan, Author and Historian
  • Vera Franz, OSI
  • Wendy Seltzer,
  • Sunday, August 26, 2007

    Heather's peer review rates: from free to $5,000 per article

    As Tom Wilson points out, if publishers are claiming to be spending hundreds of millions of dollars per year on peer review, perhaps it is about time that we academics, so long accustomed to providing these services for free, should be receiving our fair share of all this revenue.

    Here are my rates:
    Open access journals: free.
    Rationale: My reviewing for scholarly journals for the purposes of disseminating knowledge fits within my professional (work and personal) obligations to service to the profession.
    Toll-access, for-profit journals: $5,000 per article.
    Rationale: As Tom Wilson points out, The University and College Union in the UK...has a recommended daily rate for consultancy and similar work - or at least the Association of University Teachers had such a rate and, when I last looked, it was £650. This translates into $1,300 Canadian.

    So, how did I come up with $5,000 per article? Academia, as all academics know, is more a labour of love, an avocation, than a job. We academics work very hard, and we work long hours; it takes many years of study and proving oneself to even become qualified. We work at below-market rates for people with our talent, because what we do, expanding knowledge, is a public good. Our rewards are generally less about money, and more about prestige and the personal satisfaction that comes with knowing that what we do makes a difference. Academic librarians often overlook positions at other library types and the private for-profit sector, even though benefits may be better and salaries higher. Universities have limited funds, which come from the public purse and student tuitions. We understand, and gladly overlook the other possibilities in order to contribute to the research and educational goals of our institutions which are so dear to us.

    When it comes to the private, for-profit sector (especially the highly profitable for-profit sector), there is no reason why we should settle for less than we are worth. The U.K.'s Association of University Teachers has probably recommended a consultancy rate for the types of consultancy we academics are likely to do, often for other not-for-profit groups.

    What should other academics charge when working for highly profitable publishers, for example publishers who count their net profits in the hundreds of millions per year? Let's look at the market. The for-profit publishing industry is one of what some are calling the "copyright" industries, just like movie and music producers.

    How much does a movie star make?
    How much does a pop star make?
    How much should a star researcher make?

    Hmmm..what about our employers, the universities? When we academics provide free peer review to not-for-profits whose goal is dissemination of knowledge as part of the service component of our work, it makes sense that our employers provide the equipment, offices, and occasionally a bit of work time, for free. If we're working for a highly profitable for-profit company, though, it seems to me that there are other rules that apply...

    This is just peer review, of course. What about the writing and editing I currently do for free? Again, for the open access journal, if it is all about dissemination of our work, free is just fine. For the highly profitable publisher, that is a different story.

    More on PRISM: what will the academics do?

    Tom Wilson on Information Research Weblog has a detailed response, and some interested suggestions to my Save the Millionaires blogpost.

    Basically, Tom is asking, if publishers are making these ludicrous claims, what will the academics do?

    Tom's suggestion:
    resign from the editorial boards of non-OA journals, and state their daily rate for reviewing.

    How would be academics who are accustomed to providing free peer review services know what to charge these highly profitable publishers for our services?

    Tom has done some homework! His suggestion:
    since the publishers are spending so much money on the peer review process, isn't it time that those who do the reviews were properly paid for it? The University and College Union in the UK, I believe, has a recommended daily rate for consultancy and similar work - or at least the Association of University Teachers had such a rate and, when I last looked, it was £650

    £650 translates into($1,300 US, $1,377 Canadian).

    This is just one of Tom's suggestions - please read the whole post. Thanks, Tom! More soon!

    Saturday, August 25, 2007

    Save the Millionaires!

    The following message contains satire. Reader caution is advised.

    PRISM, the Coalition of the highly profitable publishing industry developed by a branch of the Association of American Publishers, is alerting us to their concern that they believe that the hundreds of millions of dollars a year of revenue they enjoy is at risk, and that we average citizens and voters MUST act to join their lobbying effort, and share our deep concerns about this with our U.S. representative.

    I am sure that you, dear reader, are every bit as concerned as I am about this horrendous possible loss of profits for the wealthy. Urgent action is needed, now!

    Let's set up a charitable foundation to help out these poor profit-makers. We can call it, "Save the Millionaires!".

    Dear Senator

    Again, my apologies to my fellow open access advocates - a little more help for the poor, beleaguered publishing industry.

    PRISM, the latest anti-OA lobbying effort of the American Association of Publishers, is asking Americans to write letters to their US representatives fighting the evils of open access. Here is a sample letter, that a researcher who gives away their own work, but worries about the terrifying possibility that the publishing industry might have to do without hundreds of millions of dollars a year, might send:

    Dear Senator,

    I am a cancer researcher who receives significant funding from the American taxpayer, thanks to grants from the National Institute of Health. I work hard on my research and often write up results on my own time. I receive no monies from the publication of my research, nor for the peer review that I do to help out other researchers.

    It has come to my attention that scientific publishers receive and spend hundreds of millions of dollars per year for coordinating the publication of this work that they receive for free, and I have been told that these monies are at risk.

    I have done some investigating, and am now lying awake nights with worry. The largest of the science publishers, Europe-based Reed Elsevier, reported an operating profit of 1.6 billion dollars (1.2 billion Euros) and a net profit of 922 million dollars (677 million Euros) (2006 Reed Elsevier Annual Review and Summary Financial Statement).

    Before the U.S. mandates open access to the research funded by the U.S. taxpayer, we must think through the consequences. What if the Reed Elsevier net profits fell below half a billion a year, for example - could we live with ourselves?


    Cancer Researcher

    A Beautiful Backfire?

    One of the tactics of the latest anti-OA lobbying effort has some interesting implications. With apologies to my fellow open access advocates, let me offer some help to the opposition (they obviously need it!), and point out that this could backfire, badly - or beautifully, depending on your perspective.

    The PRISM Coalition, established by The Executive Council of the Professional & Scholarly Publishing Division of the Association of American Publishers (AAP), claims that is was "established to protect the quality of scientific research, an issue of vital concern to...scientific, medical and other scholarly researchers who advance the cause of knowledge;...and the institutions that encourage and support them...".

    PRISM is asking people to send letters to their US representatives fighting open access mandate policies such as the NIH Public Access policy. Here is one of the points from their sample e-mail: "private sector journals spend hundreds of millions of dollars each year managing the peer review process, publishing, distributing, promoting and archiving a wide variety of scientific and medical articles".

    Very interesting, PRISM!

    Scholarly researchers, who give away their scholarly articles and donate their time to do peer review, might be very interested to learn that hundreds of millions of dollars are going into the publishing process every year.

    Similarly, the institutions who support the researchers - and pay the subscription fees that generate these hundreds of millions of dollars - might well be interested in this, too. Would they immediately rally to a lobbying effort to make sure that scholarly publishers continue to receive these sums...or would they muse about whether there might be some potential savings here?

    For years, librarians have been working to educate faculty and university administrators about the economics of scholarly publishing. It has not been easy! Researchers who give away their work and who benefit from library subscriptions for which they themselves do not pay have long been shielded from the economics of scholarly publishing. If the publishing industry itself points out to these folks that hundreds of millions of dollars involved, perhaps this will get their attention?

    References are from:
    The PRISM website
    PRISM sample letter for US representatives

    LIS literature and the gold road

    LIS literature is well on the way on the gold road (full open access publishing). Already, 30% of LIS journals are fully open access; and, even more encouraging, it seems that the more recent the journal, the more likely it is open access. In fact, since 2000, full open access publishing as defined by the Directory of Open Access Journals is the dominant mode for LIS publishing, with the extent of dominance growing the more recent the start year. For example, in 2006 Uhlrich's records 9 new LIS scholarly journals, DOAJ 8, for a percentage of 88% OA.

    For more details, please see my OA Librarian blogpost: LIS Literature and the Gold Road: Already 30% There!, and my open data spreadsheet LIS Literature and the Gold Road.

    A research partner to work with me on this approach to OA research would be welcome.

    Open Notebook Science and Malaria

    Chemists Without Borders is featuring a talk by Drexel University's Jean-Claude Bradley on Open Notebook Science and Malaria, Thursday, September 6, 2007, 9:00 a.m. Pacific Time (noon Eastern Time).

    Jean-Claude Bradley is an Associate Professor of Chemistry and E-Learning Coordinator for the College of Arts and Sciences at Drexel University. He leads the UsefulChem project, an initiative started in the summer of 2005 to make the scientific process as transparent as possible by publishing all research work in real time to a collection of public blogs, wikis and other web pages.

    Jean-Claude coined the term Open Notebook Science to distinguish this approach from other more restricted forms of Open Science. The main chemistry objective of the UsefulChem project is currently the synthesis and testing of novel anti-malarial agents. The cheminformatics component aims to interface as much of the research work as possible with autonomous agents to automate the scientific process in novel ways. Jean-Claude teaches undergraduate organic chemistry courses with most content freely available on public blogs, wikis, games and audio and video podcasts. Openness in research meshes well with openness in teaching. Real data from the laboratory can be used in assignments to practice concepts learned in class. Jean-Claude has a Ph.D. in organic chemistry and has published articles and obtained patents in the areas of synthetic and mechanistic chemistry, gene therapy, nanotechnology and scientific knowledge management.

    For details about registration (free), see the Chemists Without Borders website.

    Publishers and "their" peer reviewed articles

    The PRISM anti-OA lobbying effort asks people to write letters to House and Senate members. One of their key points?

    I ask that you oppose any effort that would require not-for-profit and commercial journals to surrender their peer reviewed articles....

    First, it is important to point out that there are no efforts underway to require publishers to surrender publishers' version of articles; mandate policies refer to the author's own version.

    However, something else to think about: publishers have a lot of nerve claiming that these peer reviewed articles are theirs.

    What about the authors? One of the purposes of copyright law is to protect creators; it is the authors who are the creators of these articles, not the publishers. Scholarly works are not work-for-hire; scholars do not receive compensation for these articles.

    Authors do not have to give their copyright to publishers, in order to publish. All that an author needs to do, is to give the publisher permission to publish.

    I am an author. Here is a link to a collection of my works, in E-LIS. Various publishers, editors, reviewers, co-writers and presenters have helped in a variety of ways with my works, all of which is very much appreciated; but, make no mistake - this is my work.

    Shakespeare must have had a publisher - or many. Shakespearean scholars may know who they were. I don't! I do not hesitate, however, to use the term "Shakespeare's works". Even though these works are now long in the public domain and there is no more copyright, they will forever be, in many senses, the author's own works.

    Peer reviewers, also donate their time. In scholarly publishing, it is also not unusual for editors to provide voluntary services, or to be paid on an honorarium basis, at far below the market value for their work. Some publishers maintain their own offices, however universities provide a great deal of office and administrative support for scholarly editors, often for free.

    When the taxpayer has paid for the research that the article is based on, it makes sense that the taxpayer has a right to see the results. These articles reflect the fruits of the taxpayer's labours, too; in this sense, all of these articles should be seen as to some extent theirs - the taxpayers, that is.

    With medical research, what about the human subjects who participate in the research, and the family members often involved in providing permission? Sometimes people participate hoping for relief from a medical condition, of course; but others undertake inconvenience, risk, and/or discomfort for the sake of expanding knowledge and helping others. Are the results not theirs, too?

    For a balanced view, follow Peter Suber on Open Access News. Peter Suber reports on and links to the actual statements of the opposition before thoroughly refuting them.

    Here is a link to the PRISM letter. Recommended reading for open access activists who are needed to counter the anti-OA lobby, and for students of misinformation.

    Friday, August 24, 2007

    PRISM: latest anti-OA lobbying

    If you need an excellent refutation to the latest anti-OA lobbying effort by the American Association of Publishers, PRISM, à la Dezenhall please see Peter Suber's Open Access News.

    Stevan Harnad on the American Scientist Open Access Forum has announced an Exercise to See whether PRISM has managed to come up with any substantive point that has not already been refuted many times over, e.g. in:

    Berners-Lee, T., De Roure, D., Harnad, S. and Shadbolt, N. (2005) Journal publishing and author self-archiving: Peaceful Co-Existence and Fruitful Collaboration.

    No luck here - I'm not seeing anything here which is not old and tired as well as ludicrous. On the plus side, if you enjoy fiction of the paranoid conspiracy genre and your local public library is closed due to a strike, this could provide a bit of light reading material.

    Under "Actions" the bit about protecting the millions of dollars of investments of the poor private sector strikes me (neglecting to mention that these millions of dollars - plus much more, in profits, comes from the public purse), not as a new anti-OA argument, but nevertheless a new anti-OA-lobbying approach with above-average humorous potential. Does this count, Stevan?

    Monday, August 20, 2007

    Open, Digital Scholarly Publishing at Athabasca University Press

    From the Athabasca University Press release, August 20, 2007:

    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).

    Our publications are of the highest quality and are assessed by peer review; however, we are dedicated to working with emerging writers and researchers to promote success in scholarly publishing.

    Our geographical focus is Canada, the West, and the Circumpolar North, and we are mandated to publish innovative and experimental works that challenge the limits of established canons, subjects and formats. Series under development in several subject areas will promote and contribute to specific academic disciplines, and we aim to revitalize neglected forms such as diary, memoir and oral history.

    At AU Press, we also publish scholarly websites with a particular focus on distance education and e-learning, labour studies, Métis and Aboriginal studies, gender studies and the environment.


    It is a wonderful personal pleasure to congratulate and thank Athabasca University and AU Press for a stellar example of Canadian Leadership in the Open Access Movement, as a former student. About half my undergrad senior year was taken through AU; I am very happy to highly recommend AU for quality programming and services as well as leadership in scholarly communications. AU is a leader in open learning and distance education, with students around the world.

    Saturday, August 18, 2007

    Open Access: Quick Stats, Fast Facts

    Getting ready for the fall term and looking for a quick update on what you need to know about open access? Here is a brief update with my pick of "must know" items for the busy librarian.

    How much open access is there?
    The Directory of Open Access Journals (DOAJ) lists over 2,800 journals as of August 2007. Growth rate: more than 1 title per calendar day.

    An OAIster search encompasses more than 12 million records from over 850 repositories.

    Scientific Commons includes more than 16 million publications by more than 6 million authors in 877 repositories.

    The world's largest open access archive is PubMed Central, which exceeded the one million mark in June 2007.

    A few key resources for helping faculty with open access questions:
    Research funders open access mandate policies: Sherpa JULIET
    Where to publish OA (OA & hybrid publishers): DOAJ new journal search feature for authors
    Publisher self-archiving policies: Sherpa ROMEO
    How authors can retain copyright:
    SPARC Author Addendum
    Canadian Association of Research Libraries (CARL) Author's Addendum
    CARL Addenda de l'auteur canadien
    Science Commons Scholar's Copyright Project

    Update August 20, 2007 (thanks for the anonymous comment!

    Open Access Mandate Policies in Progress
    U.S. National Institutes of Health: strengthening from request to a requirement. In progress, as part of current Appropriations Bill, to be voted on by the U.S. Senate in the near future. If you're from the U.S. - call your Senator, and voice your support!
    Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR): policy on Access to Research Outputs anticipated in near future. This is expected to be a strong policy; Canadian medical researchers are well advised to take action on open access now, including archiving of past research results.
    U.S. Federal Research Public Access Act (FRPAA): has not been brought to Congress yet.
    For info on U.S. policies, see the SPARC Advocacy website
    Europe: Europe-wide mandate policies in the works. As with any policy initiative of this breadth and scope, this might take a while.
    Plus: to generalize a bit, similar discussions are happening around the world.

    To keep up with all the open access mandate initiatives, tune in to Peter Suber's Open Access News

    Thursday, August 16, 2007

    Catalog record for IJPE

    Northwestern University Libraries has created a catalog record for The Imaginary Journal of Poetic Economics.

    Thanks, Northwestern! And, thanks to Bob Michaelson of the Chemistry Information List (CHMINFO) for the following alert and details:

    Our Serials Department has created a catalog record
    for your blog -- in part because we are trying to develop Scholarly Communications in the Library, but also because I think you have such a great title for it: Imaginary Journal of Poetic Economics!

    Update August 18th: Northwestern's original catalogue record contains a default permissions statement (no downloaded, redistribution, retaining) that did not make sense for IJPE, which has an Attribution / Sharealike license. This will be fixed! I think libraries should be collecting and preserving blogs. Thanks to Bob Michaelson for pointing out that Brewster Kahle is archiving IJPE, on the Internet Archive. Thanks, Brewster!

    Wednesday, August 15, 2007

    CARL SPARC Author's Addendum Tips

    A more direct link to the CARL SPARC Author's Addendum is available at:

    Although the Addendum was just released this morning, it has already proven to be very useful! When Editors or Publishers contact me about potential articles, book chapters, etc., as an open access advocate, naturally one of the first things I need to clarify is whether my work can be made openly accessible if published in this particular publication venue. Pointing to the CARL SPARC Author's Addendum is a great way to explain the rights I want to retain!

    What if the publisher will not accept the Addendum? No problem! I have far more opportunities to write than I have time for anyways. If some possibilities need to be eliminated, the ones with limited dissemination (or, as Jim Till might put it, aiming for obscurity) I can let slip!

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

    CARL and SPARC have teamed up to provide a Canadian version of the SPARC Author Addendum. Please spread the word! This message is an important example, and recognition, of Canadian Leadership in the Open Access Movement

    Le texte français suit le texte anglais

    For immediate release
    August 15, 2007

    For more information, contact:
    Tim Mark, CARL
    (613) 562-5385

    Jennifer McLennan, SPARC
    (202) 296-2296 ext. 121

    Popular author copyright addendum adapted for use in Canada

    Ottawa, ON and Washington, DC - August 15, 2007 - The Canadian Association of Research Libraries (CARL) and SPARC (the Scholarly Publishing and Academic Resources Coalition) today announced the release of the SPARC Canadian Author Addendum, a new tool for authors in Canada to retain key rights to the journal articles they publish.

    Traditional publishing agreements often require that authors grant exclusive rights to the publisher. The new SPARC Canadian Author Addendum enables authors to secure a more balanced agreement by retaining select rights, such as the rights to reproduce, reuse, and publicly present the articles they publish for non-commercial purposes. It will help Canadian researchers to comply with granting council public access policies, such as the Canadian Institutes of Health Research Policy on Access to Research Outputs. The Canadian Addendum reflects Canadian copyright law and is an adaptation of the original U.S. version of the SPARC Author Addendum.

    "The SPARC Canadian Author Addendum allows researchers to have maximum impact and visibility for their publications - with the comfort of knowing important rights still belong to them," stated Carolynne Presser, Chair of the CARL Scholarly Communication Committee and Director of Libraries at the University of Manitoba.

    "The Canadian Addendum is an important contribution to the ongoing international movement to support authors in making research articles accessible to all who may benefit from their findings," said Heather Joseph, Executive Director of SPARC. "Canada has been a leader in the move toward increased access to research and we're pleased to have played a role in collaborating with CARL on this important initiative."

    An explanatory brochure complements the Addendum. Both the brochure and addendum are available in French and English on the CARL and SPARC Web sites and will be widely distributed. SPARC, in conjunction with ARL and ACRL, has also introduced a free Web cast on Understanding Author Rights. See for details.

    For more information, please see the CARL Web site at or the SPARC Web site at

    CARL is the leadership organization for the Canadian research library community. CARL's members represent Canada's 27 major academic research libraries, Library and Archives Canada, the Library of Parliament and the Canada Institute for Scientific and Technical Information (CISTI). For more information see

    SPARC (Scholarly Publishing and Academic Resources Coalition), with SPARC Europe and SPARC Japan, is an international alliance of more than 800 academic and research libraries working to create a more open system of scholarly communication. SPARC's advocacy, educational, and publisher partnership programs encourage expanded dissemination of research. SPARC is on the Web at

    Publication immédiate
    Le 15 août 2007

    Renseignements :
    Tim Mark, ABRC
    (613) 562 5385

    Jennifer McLennan, SPARC
    (202) 296 2296, poste 121

    Un addenda populaire sur le droit d'auteur est adapté pour utilisation au Canada

    Ottawa (Ontario) et Washington, DC - le 15 août 2007 - L'Association des bibliothèques de recherche du Canada (ABRC) et SPARC (Scholarly Publishing and Academic Resources Coalition) ont annoncé aujourd'hui le lancement de l'Addenda de l'auteur canadien SPARC, un nouvel outil permettant aux auteurs du Canada de conserver d'importants droits sur les articles de revue qu'ils publient.

    Selon les ententes traditionnelles de publication, les auteurs doivent souvent concéder des droits exclusifs à l'éditeur. Le nouvel Addenda de l'auteur canadien SPARC permet aux auteurs de conclure une entente plus juste du fait qu'ils conservent certains droits, comme les droits de reproduction, de réutilisation et de présentation publique des articles qu'ils publient à des fins autres que commerciales. Il permettra aux chercheurs canadiens de se conformer aux politiques d'accès public des conseils subventionnaires, comme la Politique sur l'accès aux résultats de la recherche des Instituts de recherche en santé du Canada. L'Addenda est conforme à la loi canadienne sur le droit d'auteur et il s'agit d'une adaptation de la version originale américaine du Author Addendum de SPARC.

    « L'Addenda de l'auteur canadien SPARC permettra aux chercheurs d'avoir une influence et d'obtenir une visibilité maximales pour leurs publications, tout en sachant qu'ils en conservent certains droits importants, » a déclaré Carolynne Presser, présidente du Comité de la communication savante de l'ABRC et directrice des bibliothèques à l'Université du Manitoba.

    « L'Addenda est une contribution importante au mouvement international actuel visant à aider les auteurs à rendre leurs articles savants accessibles à tous ceux qui pourraient tirer avantage de leurs découvertes, » a dit la directrice exécutive de SPARC, Heather Joseph. « Le Canada a été un chef de file dans le mouvement visant à élargir l'accès à la recherche et nous avons été heureux de jouer un rôle en collaborant avec l'ABRC à cette initiative importante. »

    Une brochure explicative complète l'Addenda. La brochure et l'addenda sont disponibles en français et en anglais sur les sites Web de l'ABRC et de SPARC et ils seront largement diffusés. SPARC, en collaboration avec l'ARL et l'ACRL, a aussi lancé un webcast gratuit pour expliquer les droits d'auteur (Understanding Author Rights). Voir pour plus de renseignements.

    Pour plus d'information, consultez le site Web de l'ABRC à ou le site Web de SPARC à

    L'ABRC est l'organisme chef de file pour l'ensemble des bibliothèques de recherche au Canada. Ses membres représentent les 27 grandes bibliothèques de recherche universitaire au Canada, Bibliothèque et Archives Canada, la Bibliothèque du Parlement et l'Institut canadien de l'information scientifique et technique (ICIST). Pour plus d'information, voir

    SPARC (Scholarly Publishing and Academic Resources Coalition), avec SPARC Europe et SPARC Japon, est une alliance internationale regroupant plus de 800 bibliothèques universitaires et de recherche qui s'efforcent d'établir un système plus ouvert pour la communication savante. Avec ses programmes de promotion, d'éducation et de partenariat, SPARC favorise une plus grande diffusion de la recherche. On peut trouver SPARC sur le Web à

    Sunday, August 12, 2007

    NIH Public Access Policy: Is the Funding for an OA transition already there?

    Updated August 12, 2007

    Some funders, such as the Wellcome Trust, are providing targeted funding for open access publishing of the research they fund. This step is welcome, but not necessary for the research funder, as researchers can provide open access through self-archiving without publishing in open access journals. However, it is worth noting that some funders do not need to provide targeted funding in order to support a transition to open access, as existing grant provisions may be more than adequate.

    For example, the US National Institutes of Health already expends an estimated $30 million annually in direct costs for publication expenses, and provides for "indirect costs" which can be used to pay for such items as library subscriptions and site license fees.

    To put this in perspective: in 2003, the NIH estimates that 60-65,000 articles were written about NIH-funded research. What if all of these articles were published in open access journals? Less than half of open access journals charge article processing fees, as reported in the Kaufmann-Wills study The Facts about Open Access, free to download from
    If half the articles were paid for through article processing fees, about 32,500 articles, the $30 million NIH is already paying for publication charges would cover an average of $923 per article. That this is well within the realm of feasibility is illustrated by the fact that, while $923 average is less than the fee charged by some open access publishers, but it is more than is charged by other open access publishers, including the profitable Hindawi.

    The feasibility of full open access publishing for NIH-funded research becomes even more obvious when we consider the possibility of redeploying some or all of the "indirect costs", from subscriptions or site licenses to support for open access initiatives.

    This makes good economic sense for the NIH. Every article that is published or self-archived for open access is then available for every researcher. Other NIH funded researchers will enjoy savings from grant funds that might have otherwise gone to subscription, interlibrary loan or pay per view fees. Researchers not funded by the NIH also benefit, both financially and in terms of greater access. This increases their capacity to forward our knowledge in the medical arena, which then benefits future NIH researchers and advances us all more quickly to the real goals: understanding, treating, and curing disease.

    Librarians are ideally situated to lead in the transition from subscriptions / site licensing to open access, for a number of reasons. For example, librarians who track expenditures on open choice initiatives are in an optimal position to ensure that this revenue translates into appropriate savings on subscriptions, for example as practiced by Oxford University Press.

    Here is the relevant paragraph from the NIH policy (with thanks to William Walsh on Liblicense).

    The "Policy on Enhancing Public Access to Archived Publications
    Resulting from NIH-Funded Research" states:

    "The NIH supports the current publishing process by providing its
    funded investigators with an estimated $30 million annually in
    direct costs for publication expenses, including page and color
    charges and reprints. In addition, NIH provides funds, through
    indirect costs, to research institutions for library journal
    subscriptions and electronic site licenses."

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

    Update April 17: for more analysis on how open access will benefit the research funder economically, please see my 2006 blogpost, Open Access: to Leverage the Research Dollar.