Wednesday, November 28, 2007

DOAJ: 80 new titles in the last 30 days

The Dramatic Growth of Open Access continues to astonish even this ever-optimistic open access enthusiast!

As of today, November 28, 2007, the Directory of Open Access Journals (DOAJ) has added 80 new titles in the last 30 days. That's an average of 2.67 per calendar day!

While some journals appear to be new, a number have start years going back as far as 1992, indicating a mix of new journals and OA conversions. Only 4 of these titles are from Bentham Open. Bentham Open is a new open access publisher, with plans to launch over 300 OA journals in the coming year, so clearly DOAJ staff have their work cut out for them!

This post is part of the Dramatic Growth of Open Access Series.

DOAJ has already added 451 titles in 2007 so far, for an average growth rate of a minimum of 1.24 titles per calendar day - and a month to go! This is not only a healthy growth rate; it's a healthy, increasing growth rate. For the full story of 2007, watch for year-end numbers!

Sunday, November 25, 2007

Open Access and Accessibility for the Print Disabled


Open Access and Accessibility for the Print Disabled are two goals that fit together like hand and glove. In the online environment, it just makes sense to think about accessibility as we create information, rather than creating inaccessible information and building expensive services to overcome barriers that we have built later on. A document in XML or HTML is more accessible than one in PDF. A PDF that is not locked down with permissions, and not image-based, is more accessible than a PDF that is either locked down or image-based. The Budapest Open Access Initiative was not designed specifically to meet the needs of the print disabled; but a document that meets the BOAI definition of open access will be accessible for the print disabled, too. Similarly, when advocates for the print disabled convinced Adobe to build accessibility into their product (1), they were not thinking about accessibility for the rest of us, but their efforts have already (inadvertently) meant that many a PDF - whether published by a traditional or open access publisher - is much closer to meeting the BOAI definition of open access. This post includes a listserv message and comments, some from experts, and concludes with some final thoughts, including whether this might be considered a peer-reviewed listserv / blogpost, whether the publisher's PDF is, as often referred to, a value-add - or a value-subtract.


This post began as a message to the SPARC Open Access Forum, ERIL-L, SSP list, liblicense, and Scholcomm. The above paragraph reflects modification based on comments by at least two experts on services for the print disabled, one publishing industry expert (private correspondence), and Peter Suber (on Open Access News. Comments posted publicly are listed below.

Heather's message to various listservs, Nov. 5, 2007
Note: the wording on different listservs varies a bit

For the print disabled, the difference between a PDF that is locked down and one that is not, is the difference between a work that is accessible, and one that is one.

A locked PDF is an image file, with inaccessible text. An unlocked PDF has text that is accessible, that can be manipulated by screen readers designed for the print disabled. Even without special equipment, is it easy to see how an unlocked PDF can very easily be transformed into large print, or read aloud.

Publishers, please unlock your PDFs! Librarians, please ask about unlocked PDFs when you purchase.

If a country has a law requiring access for the print disabled, is it even legal to purchase databases with unnecessarily locked-down PDFs?

The Budapest Open Access Initiative did not aim to meet the needs of the print disabled. This is just another side-benefit of open access.


Corey Davis on ERIL-L: Thanks for the imperative Heather. I would also recommend that librarians look for databases that have multiple full text options, such as PDF and HTML. Having worked with the print disabled community for several years, I can tell you that PDFs--even accessible ones--can be quite problematic, especially when it comes to reading order.

For more information, check out Joe Clark's article on A List Apart

Mike Rogawski on the SPARC Open Access Forum:

Adobe makes it possible to apply different types of restrictions to PDFs. Obviously, publishers don't use the most common type of "locking" which requires a password to open and read the document, and they don't impose restriction on printing.

However, occasionally they may impose a more subtle form of locking, which makes a password necessary for "Content Copying or Extraction." This type of restriction is unnecessary and diminishes the utility of the article for scholars, teachers and students. Indeed, it makes it difficult for users to exercise some fair use rights.

For example, it prevents a reader from taking notes by copying snippets of text to a personal journal. It also prevents a reader from copying a literature citation from a reference list (thus increasing the chances that an error will be made with manual copying).

Also, it prevents a teacher from using Photoshop to rasterize an image (such as a chart, graph, diagram, cartoon or picture) within the article for use, for example, in scholarly research, classroom teaching, or in preparing to teach a class, as permitted by fair use.

Publisher should not distribute scholarly articles with restrictions on content copying or extraction. Authors should inform publishers that these restrictions inhibit the fair use of their work.

Peter Suber on Open Access News Exactly. If publishers insist on using PDFs at all, then at least they should unlock them. To facilitate re-use even further, they should offer HTML or XML editions alongside the PDFs.

(1) Private conversation, Mary Anne Epp, Manager, Contract Services, Langara College

Heather's final comment and thoughts: This process reflects some elements of peer review, doesn't it? Could this be a peer-reviewed listserv / blogpost? We often talk about the added value of the publisher's PDF. If a locked-down or image-based PDF is a less useful than an XML or HTML file - is the publisher's PDF a value-add, or a value-subtract?

Sunday, November 11, 2007

Dramatic Growth of Open Access Series

The Dramatic Growth of Open Access Series is a quarterly series (end of March, June, September, and December) of key data illustrating the growth of open access, with additional comments and analysis. The series is available in open data and blogpost (commentary) editions. The quarterly series began December 31, 2005, and is predated by a peer-reviewed journal article featuring data as of February 2005. To download the data or the rationale & method, see the Dramatic Growth of Open Access dataverse Morrison, Heather, 2014-03, "Dramatic Growth of Open Access", Morrison, Heather [Distributor] V1 [Version]

Dramatic Growth of Open Access 2019

October 1, 2019 

March 31, 2019

December 31, 2018: 2018: best year yet for open access

June 30, 2018

March 31, 2018

December 31, 2017

September 30, 2017

Items of interest since September 30, 2017:

Directory of Open Access Books reaches milestone of 10,000 books

UK is "undergoing a transition towards open access in the UK and, and this reports shows...we are increasing the proportion of our research which is available open access at a considerable rate. We now make 37% of our outputs freely available to the world immediately on publication, and this increases to 53% after 24 months. Tickell, A., Chair, Universities UK, Monitoring the transition to open access: December 2017

June 30, 2017 

Items of interest since June 30, 2017:

PLOS reaches milestone of 200,000 articles

March 31, 2017: data is available for download from the dataverse. No commentary post this quarter.

Items of Interest since March 31, 2017

Kramer, D. (2017).  Steady, strong growth is expected for open-access journals. Physics Today 70:5, 24 doi: 10.1063/PT.3.355

December 31, 2016 Dramatic Growth of Open Access

September 30, 2016 Dramatic Growth of Open Access

June 30, 2016 Dramatic Growth of Open Access

Items of interest since June 30, 2016:
PubMedCentral now has more than 4 million articles  
Over 1 billion CC licensed works 

March 31, 2016 Dramatic Growth of Open Access
Update: DOAJ announces milestone of addition of PLOS metadata, instantly growing by 182,500 articles

December 31, 2015 Dramatic Growth of Open Access

June 30, 2015 Dramatic Growth of Open Access

2015 March 31, 2014

Items of interest since March 31:

Healthy growth in open access journals and articles published in them (thanks to Walt Crawford). 

2014 December 31, 2014 - 30 indicators of growth beyond the ordinary

2014 September 30, 2014 - useful facts and figures for Open Access Week 

Items of interest since September 30:

Khabsa & Giles (2014). The number of scholarly documents on the public web. PLOS ONE

-  estimates 114 million freely available english language scholarly documents

2014 Second Quarter (June 30, 2014) (with Jihane Salhab) 

Items of interest since June 30:
Open Access Directory sails past 4 million view

2014 First Quarter (March 31, 2014)

Items of interest since March 31, 2014

  • June 4: the home page for Peter Suber's MIT Press book Open Access passed the milestone of 100,000 page views (I highly recommend this as an excellent brief starting point for learning about OA).

December 31, 2013 Dramatic Growth of Open Access: first open source edition

The unstoppable growth of high quality open access resources - December 2013 early year-end edition.

Items of interest since December 11, 2013:
September 30, 2013 Dramatic Growth of Open Access 

Items of interest since September 30, 2013:

DOAJ notes that due to continuous improvement DOAJ has been deleting as many titles as it has been adding since August 2013. For this reason, DOAJ has been tantalizingly close to 10 thousand titles for some time.

PLoS celebrates milestone of100,000th article 

SCOAP3 set to begin January 1, 2014 

The unstoppable rise of open access. Spotlight by Peter Gruss, President, the Max Planck Society. 

June 30, 2013 Dramatic Growth of Open Access

Items of interest since June 30, 2013:

March 31, 2013 Dramatic Growth of Open Access
Download data, word version of commentary, chart

Items of interest since March 31, 2013

Bjork et al, preprint, Subject repositories: an overview

Outsell Open Access Report

December 31, 2012 Dramatic Growth of Open Access 

Items of interest since December 31, 2012

Peter Suber posts DOAJ details and analysis including breakdown.

DOAJ article search exceeds 1 million articles! - and for the first time more than half of the journals listed in DOAJ are provided article level metadata.

Anatomy of green open access - forthcoming article by Bjork, Laakso, Welling and Paetau

December 2012 early year-end edition

Items of interest since December 11, 2012

Open Access Tracking Project milestone - more than 20,000 items tagged since 2009 (thanks to Peter Suber)

MedOANet Open Access Tracker
combines and visualizes open access data for Mediterranean countries

Thank you, open access movement! September 30, 2012 Dramatic Growth of Open Access

June 30, 2012 Dramatic Growth of Open Access 

Items of interest since June 30, 2012

Public Library of Science celebrates milestone of 50,000 articles published (July 10, 2012)

Open Access Map - please help Ross Mounce build this visual approach to seeing the extent and growth of open access by adding repositories and other services that you know about.

Megajournals - trading knowledge. Interesting blogpost on large open access publishing operations - some data, more qualitative background.

Open Access in the UK - graph from Nature illustrating difference in open access by discipline. Found that of the approx. 85,000 articles published by researchers in the U.K. indexed in Web of Science in 2010, 40% were open access as of 2012 - 5% gold, 35% green. (My note - Web of Science will tend to understate research activity in the humanities and social sciences). Data from Yassine Gargouri according to Alma Swan on the GOAL list.

Open access and the dramatic growth of PLoS ONE, by Graham Steel

YouTube breaks records with 4 million creative commons licensed videos 

Directory of Open Access Journals now has more than 8,000 journals 

Two milestones - 600+ scholarly societies publish 700+ open access journals 

OA coming of age - opinion piece by David Solomon and Bo-Christoph Bjork in The Scientist

The impact of funding agency open access policies (March 31, 2012 Dramatic Growth of Open Access

Items of interest since March 31, 2012:

Happy 2012 Open Access Movement! December 31, 2011 Dramatic Growth of Open Access 

Items of interest since December 31, 2011
Mendeley Open Access update - Repository Man Les Carr congratulates Mendeley on a 47% increase in OA computer documents, reflecting an increase in participation.  (Note: I haven't been able to find the full Mendeley OA count recently so have dropped them off of the Dramatic Growth of Open Access. Any tips on how to quickly figure this number would be most appreciated).
Hathitrust - 10 million and counting 
Steady growth for Open Journal Systems and Open Conference Systems - thanks to Kevin Stranack:

The NIH Public Access Policy
  • Over 2.4 million articles are now in PMC. 
  • In addition to the NIH-funded papers deposited into PMC, publishers voluntarily deposit more than 100,000 papers per year. 
  • Every weekday, one half million users access the database, retrieving over 1 million articles.
  • Based on internet addresses, an estimated 25% of users are from universities, 17% are from companies, and 40% from the general public.
The challenges of success: dramatic growth of open access early year-end edition
December 11, 2011

Items of interest since December 11, 2011
20 million item on Europeana
Creative Commons 9th birthday - 500 million CC licensed items
Growth in scholarly society OA publishers since 2007 (Dec. 2) 
Mike Eisen's blogpost listing 9 PLOS ONE clones supports my June 30 hypothesis that we are entering a phase of competition for open access
PLOS ONE 5th birthday many milestones 

  • The growth of the PLoS ONE exceeded even the most optimistic predictions. In the first full year of publication it published 1,230 articles (making it larger in volume than all but about 100 journals) and, within 4 years, it became the largest peer-reviewed journal in the world. To date, PLoS ONE has published more than 28,700 articles and in 2011 alone it will publish almost 14,000 articles (meaning that approximately 1 in 60 of all articles indexed by PubMed for 2011 will have been published in PLoS ONE). 
2011 the year of open BCcampus' Paul Stacey's inclusive view of the expansion of open in many dimensions
2010/11 Report on Open Access and Preservation Policies in Europe 
Katarina Lovrecic Open Access year-end highlights: coming up roses? 
Peggy Schaeffer Dryad milestone - 100th journal (many, but not all, are open access)
2011 letter from Gregg Gordon, President, SSRN
Social Sciences Research Network stats
September 30, 2011 Dramatic Growth of Open Access

Quick reference (for viewing) 
Quick reference (download as excel or PDF)
Rationale and method
Dataverse for downloading data.

Items of interest since September 30, 2011
Sherpa services blog: 60% of journals allow immediate self-archiving of post peer-reviewed articles
Open Access Directory just sailed past our 2 millionth view of the OAD
One million works available online through RePEC (Nov. 26, 2011) 

Let the competition begin! June 30, 2011 Dramatic Growth of Open Access
Quick reference (viewing)
Quick reference (download as excel or PDF)
Rationale and method
Dataverse for downloading data.

Items of interest since June 30, 2011

March 31, 2011 Dramatic Growth of Open Access

Those ACTIVE open access journals! Data from Ulrich's strongly suggesting that open access journals are more likely to be active than subscription-based journals from major commercial publishers.

Lewis, David W. (2010) How to think about the Pace of Substitution of Open Access Academic Journals for Traditional Subscription Journals

Over 9,000 OJS installations (PKP, April 7, 2011)
The PubMedCentral Picture: Steady Growth, Downloadable Stats OpenBioMed.Info

BASE number counter fixed with new version: 1 million more records than recorded in Dec. 2010 (26,498,582 from 1,693 content providers as of February 14, 2011)

Hindawi 40% growth in submissions in 2010

PLoS ONE: now THE world's largest journal?

2010 Dramatic Growth of Open Access
2010 Show Growth - for quick 2010 annual growth stats plus average daily, weekly, and monthly growth by service
Polish version created by E-LIS Editor Bożena Bednarek-Michalska, which can be found here and here.

Thompson-Reuters chart shows 20% gold OA article growth as compared to 3.5% overall article growth

December 11, 2010 early year-end edition

During the week of October 4 - 8, 2010, open access and free journal collector extraordinaire Jan Sczcepanski collected his 10,000th journal. Thanks, Jan!

Preliminary results of SOAP (Study of Open Access Publishing) Survey. At least 120,000 articles / year published as open access (this is about 8% of the estimated 1.5 million peer-reviewed articles published per year). Excludes non-english journals.

September 30, 2010

Hindawi's monthly submissions grow to over 2,000 September 7, 2010 announcement from Hindawi's Paul Peters

More than 25 million records in BASE August 3, 2010 announcement, Dirk Pieper, BASE

June 30, 2010

Wellcome Trust: Robert Kiley reports 44% compliance rate with OA policy for 2009

March 31, 2010

Social Science Research Network
2010 is our 16th year and it is off to a great start. Our eLibrary ( has delivered over 37.4 million downloads to date and grown to 290,000 documents and 138,000 authors - increases over the last year of 53,000 and 22,000 respectively. Our CiteReader technology, developed with ITX Corp, has captured over 6 million references, 5.7 million footnotes, and close to 3.9 million citation links. We believe this growth in multi-disciplinary, open access content is exciting and contributing to innovative scholarly research in social science and humanities.

PLoS One: Open Access to the Scholarly Journal Literature: Status 2009. Random study of 1,837 titles found of articles published in 2008, over 8% were open access on the publisher's website, and over 11% otherwise freely available, for an overall average of over 20% of articles freely available. There was a disparity in results by discipline.

Project Euclid exceeds one million pages of open access content.

NDLTD Union Catalog Surpasses One Million Electronic Theses and Dissertation

Over 20% of world's scholarly journals are now fully open access - kudos to DOAJ!

Internet Archive: Over 1 Million Books now Available Free to the Print Disabled

March 31, 2010

Notes February 3, 2010: Jim Tills' method for determining CIHR policy compliance, and more than 5,000 journals using OJS.

December 31, 2009, New Year's Eve edition

December 11, 2009, early year-end edition

Strong Open Access Growth Reported by Hindawi. Hindawi's figures for 2009 show more than doubling of submissions, and strong growth in accepted manuscripts, indicating that in addition to strong growth in number of OA journals, there is evidence of strong growth in articles within established OA journals as well.

September 30, 2009

The Dramatic Growth of PLoS One: soon-to-be world's largest journal

June 30, 2009

March 31, 2009

Update April 7: Open-access policy flourishes at NIH. Meredith Wadman. Nature News, April 7, 2009. Thanks to Peter Suber on Open Access News.

Looking for downloadable data? Go straight to the DGOA Dataverse.

Directory of Open Access Journals (DOAJ) Growth 2005-2008. Charts illustrated the growth in journal titles, journals searchable at article level, articles searchable at article level, and growth in growth rate for all measures in 2008.

Open Access Journals: Around the World, and Top OA Journal Countries
OpenDOAR exceeds 1,300!

December 31, 2008 Open Data - Happy New Year Brief Edition

December 11, 2008 Early Annual Edition

September 30, 2008

More evidence of a spike in DOAJ in 2008
Gavin Baker presents more evidence of a spike in DOAJ in 2008. Factors to consider when considering DOAJ as an imperfect measure of open access journal numbers and growth are presented.

arXiv exceeds half a million items! (October 3, 2008)
Estimate: NIH Public Access compliance rate has already tripled with mandatory policy (up to August 2008)

Twice as much gold OA articles in 2008 as in 2006!

Housekeeping: Dramatic Growth of Open Access Release Dates

DOAJ Over 200,000 searchable articles!

DOAJ growth rate nearly doubles in a year. From 2007 to 2008, the DOAJ growth rate increased from 1.2 to 2.2 new titles, on average, per calendar day.

Noteworthy Dramatic Growth July 2008: PMC and RoMEO

Scientific Commons exceeds 20 million items (July 2008)

Dramatic Growth of Open Access: June 30, 2008 update
- note corrections to growth rate
Open Data Edition (showing quarterly and annual growth) - plus PMC free data, second sheet.
Open Data Edition (just data)
PMC Journals

The Dramatic Growth of Open Access: Open Data Edition (from March 31, 2008)
The Dramatic Growth of Open Access: Open Data Full Data Edition (to March 31, 2008)

March 31, 2008

More baseline data for PubMedCentral. Baseline data for PMC on the eve of the NIH new open access mandate, April 7, 2008.

Cancer literature: 13% free. Baseline data for free full-text, before the NIH open access mandate takes effect.

December 31, 2007 Dramatic Growth of Open Access

Dramatic Growth of Open Access: 2007 Interim Report and Predictions for 2008 Minor Update

Directory of Open Access Journals: Already the Biggest Big Deal?

DOAJ: 80 new titles in 30 days (Nov. 28, 2007)

September 30, 2007

June 30, 2007

March 31, 2007
Dramatic Growth March 2007 Update & Open Data Edition

December 31, 2006
Dramatic Growth December 2006 & Predictions for 2007
September 30, 2006
September 2006 Update.
June 30, 2006
June 30, 2006 Update.
March 31, 2006
March 31, 2006 Update.
December 31, 2005
Dec. 31, 2005 Update and 2006 Predictions
February 2005 data
The Dramatic Growth of Open Access: Implications and Opportunities for Resource Sharing, Journal of Interlibrary Loan, Document Delivery & Electronic Reserve, 16, 3 (2006).

About the Dramatic Growth of Open Access Series

40 new titles added to PubMedCentral in the last 60 days!

PubMedCentral Journals: Baseline Data

This post is designed to gather other posts and data editions of this series, and is backdated so that updates are not incorrectly identified as new posts.
Last updated September 23, 2007

Is the Canadian Journal of Anesthesia asleep?

Are the folks at the Canadian Journal of Anesthesia asleep?


While Canada's main research funder in medicine, the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR), calls for open access to CIHR-funded research, the Canadian Journal of Anesthesia is among the small, and shrinking, percentage of journals that do not even allow author self-archiving! Canadian anesthesiologists: did you know that Harvard and Cal State do not subscribe to the journal produced by your society? Researchers there can read the articles, but not until they are a year old, unless they are willing to pay a temporary access fee of $20 US per day, for access at one computer. It seems unlikely that many researchers at Harvard or Cal State would purchase under these bizarre terms; in the developing world, these fees may amount to an enormous sum of money. If you're a member of the Canadian Anesthesiologist's Society, please tell your society to ask the folks at the journal to wake up, and realize how much Canadian anesthesia has to gain by moving to the optimal dissemination that is open access!


If you're a savvy, funded Canadian researcher who has read the Canadian Institutes of Health Research Policy on Access to Research Outputs and understand your obligations under 5.5.1, first paragraph:
Grant recipients are now required to make every effort to ensure that their peer-reviewed publications are freely accessible through the Publisher's website (Option #1) or an online repository as soon as possible and in any event within six months of publication (Option #2), you will be looking for a journal that is open access, or to least allows authors to self-archive their work as open access, in which to publish.

If you look at the Directory of Open Access Journals For Authors page, which lists full or hybrid open access publishing options, you won't find the Canadian Journal of Anesthesia here.

If you check the SHERPA RoMEO Publisher Copyright Policies and Self-Archiving site, you won't find the Canadian Journal of Anesthesia here, either.

Okay, so your research funder requires that you make the peer-reviewed research articles open access, but it is not possible to do this if you wish to publish in the Canadian Journal of Anesthesia.

There are other reasons for publishing, of course. You want impact. That is, you want other researchers to read and cite your work.

What does publishing in the Canadian Journal of Anesthesia accomplish here?

According to the Canadian Journal of Anesthesia's information for advertisers, advertising in the Canadian Journal of Anesthesia is the best way to reach Canadian anesthesiologists.

What about outside the U.S.? If you are a researcher at Harvard or California State University and wish to view a recently-published article from the Canadian Journal of Anesthesia, you will not be able to do so. The Canadian Journal of Anesthesia is included in Highwire Free; but articles are not available here until they are at least a year old.

You can go directly to the Canadian Journal of Anesthesia website, of course. The Canadian Journal of Anesthesia provides an option to purchase short-term access. From the CJAE website:

Purchase Short-Term Access
* Pay per Article - You may access this article (from the computer you are currently using) for 1 day for US $20.00

This is mind-boggling. $20 per article, and only 1 day's access from 1 computer? If you start reading an article at the hospital library, get called away to attend to a patient and want to continue reading from your office, you're expected to pay again?

If you're a Canadian and the article is funded through Canadian taxpayer dollars, this is particularly offensive, as you have already paid for the work.

If you're a researcher or practitioner in the developing world, this may be an enormous sum of money.

If there is another article you want to read and it is in an open access journal or open access archive, you can download again and again to as many computers as you would like. If your time and attention is limited, what will you read?

No wonder there is such an impact advantage with open access!

Even if an author wishes to consider subscription journals with no open access policies to publish in, why choose the Canadian Journal of Anesthesia with its circulation of 4,000, when Anesthesiology has a circulation of 38,000? Not to mention that Anesthesiology is obviously experimenting with free sample articles for current issues, too.

Here is an hypothesis: all else being equal, the open access impact advantage should correlate inversely with journal circulation. The smaller the circulation, the bigger the OA impact advantage.

If Canadian researchers are not interested in research funding and/or do not care about the people who provide the research funding (the Canadian taxpayer), and do not care whether anyone reads their work, by all means - go ahead and publish in Canadian Journal of Anesthesia, if you are aiming for obscurity.

On the other hand, if Canadian anesthesiologists wish to make an impact - on the world, on their research funder and the Canadian public - please tell your association to wake up, quit publishing for a few anesthesiologists in Canada, and go for the optimal dissemination that is open access!

This post is NOT a part of the Canadian Leadership in the Open Access Movement series. Perhaps a future issue?

Thursday, November 08, 2007

Open Access: back to the basics

It is important for those of us who have been advocating for open access for many years to remember that there is still much work to do educating people about what open access is; from time to time, let's remember to get back to the basics. As open access mandate policies are developed, we need to watch for, and correct, misunderstandings.

Here is the definition of open access, from the Budapest Open Access Initiative:

By "open access" to this literature, we mean its free availability on the public internet, permitting any users to read, download, copy, distribute, print, search, or link to the full texts of these articles, crawl them for indexing, pass them as data to software, or use them for any other lawful purpose, without financial, legal, or technical barriers other than those inseparable from gaining access to the internet itself. The only constraint on reproduction and distribution, and the only role for copyright in this domain, should be to give authors control over the integrity of their work and the right to be properly acknowledged and cited.

The only element missing from this definition, is that true open access means that an item is available open access immediately on publication, not after a delay period.

The literature that should be given away for free, is the literature that scholars have always given away for free. Scholars traditionally give away their peer-reviewed journal articles. Peer reviewers are not paid for their work, either.

There are two basic types of open access:

Open Access Archiving (or the green approach): the author (or someone representing the author) makes a copy of the author's work openly available, separate from the publication process. That is, the article may be published in a traditional subscription-based journal. The version of the article that is self-archived is the author's own copy of the work, reflecting changes from the peer review process (all the work that is provided for free), not the publisher's version.

Open Access Publishing (or the gold approach): the publisher makes the work open access, as part of the process of publication.

Research funders' policies requiring open access always apply to the recipient of the funding, the author. Policies either allow either approach to open access, or they specify the open access archiving, or green approach. The green approach is broader; an article published in an open access journal is available for deposit in an open access archive. Therefore, a green open access policy provides for either approach to providing open access.

Thanks to Peter Suber and Stevan Harnad for pointing out the need to focus on restating the basics of OA.

Saturday, November 03, 2007

The Usefulness of Open Access, or Yet Another Positive OA Cycle

Many faculty members are currently encountering one of the sillier disadvantages of the toll-access approach in the internet-based world. That is, the decreasing usefulness of articles with the restrictions of licensing. An article that one might have put on reserve as a print copy, or handed out in class as print, without a second's thought, may well be forbidden, or much more complex to provide, in the online environment.

Librarians, this is a teachable moment! An article that is truly OA as per the Budapest definition, CAN be placed on e-reserve or distributed in coursepacks, either as a link, or as the full content of the article - with attribution, of course, but with no frustrating, time-wasting and often costly process of obtaining permissions, or dealing with the complexities of authentication or re-authentication to connect student with article.

For example, no permission at all is needed to link to each and every article in the latest First Monday, a special issue devoted to papers arising from the First International PKP Scholarly Publishing Conference.

In such a situation, the simplest, most fulfilling, and lowest cost solution may be, after searching for an OA copy, is for the teacher (or librarian) to contact the author and ask whether self-archiving might be a possibility.

For that matter, the more we promote resources like DOAJ, OAIster, Scientific Commons, etc., the more faculty will see for themselves this particular benefit of OA. This can only increase the tendency for faculty to want to seek out OA resources, and publish OA themselves - a positive cycle.

Why Yet Another Positive Cycle? Because the first potential positive cycle is OA through article processing fees decreasing subscription costs, freeing up funds for more article processing fees and other OA support, and so on.

Any opinion expressed in this e-mail is that of the author alone, and does not reflect the opinion or policy of BC Electronic Library Network or Simon Fraser University Library.

Heather Morrison
The Imaginary Journal of Poetic Economics

This blogpost was originally posted to ERIL-L, Scholcomm, the SPARC Open Access Forum, and CACUL-L, on October 29, 2007

It should be noted that even with print, there are differences in generosity to the user with 'Fair Use' in the US, and the more restrictive 'Fair Dealing' in Canada and the UK. Even with Fair Dealing, however, there are often greater restrictions with electronic than print.