Friday, February 29, 2008

2008 Digital Humanities Summer Institute: Scholarships

The University of Victoria's Digital Humanities Summer Institute is scheduled for May 26 - 30, 2008. For details, see

If your library or faculty is involved in publishing using Open Journal Systems, Session 5 may be of particular interest:

Online Journal Publishing Using PKP's Open Journals System (OJS)
PKP Staff (Alec Smecher and James MacGregor)

Participants will be instructed in all aspects of the installation, configuration, customization, and operation of the OJS software, including a technical overview of the PKP software suite. By the end of the week-long session, participants will have created a fully operational OJS instance and/or become familiarized with writing OJS code plug-ins. Journal teams consisting of editorial, management, and technical staff are especially encouraged to register for this session as there will be opportunities for specialized instruction in each of these areas.

Thanks to the generosity of SSHRC, there are a limited number of Scholarships available.

This post brings together several examples of Canadian Leadership in the Open Access Movement. Open Journal Systems (OJS) is free, open source software which greatly facilitates the process of publishing, particularly peer reviewed journals, and is used by over 1,000 journals around the world. OJS has greatly advanced open access; all known OJS journals are either fully open access, or provide free access to back issues. OJS was developed by thePublic Knowledge Project, initially developed by world-renowned Canadian open access advocate John Willinsky.

Canada's Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council, which is generously providing funding for the scholarships, adopted a position in favour of open access in 2004, and is currently leading in an innovative Aid to Open Access Research Journals.

If you are planning to attend the Canadian Library Association 2008 Conference, the Digital Humanities Summer Institute is the week after.

Library and Archives Canada: public responses to Canadian Digital Information Strategy

Library and Archives Canada has released the public responses to the Canadian Digital Information Strategy (CDIS).

As reported earlier on IJPE, the draft CDIS includes some great support for open access.

The public responses include strong support for the open access provisions and encouragement to move towards a more forward-looking approach on copyright from the British Columbia Library Association and the Canadian Library Association.

Hat tip to Michael Geist.

Thursday, February 28, 2008

Create Change Canada

The Canadian Association of Research Libraries (CARL) and SPARC have just released Create Change Canada.

From the website: A scholarly revolution is underway. It enables you to get a greater return from your research. All you have to do is share it.

Create Change Canada is designed to help the researcher understand the potential of the internet for research, and provides practical advice on how to take advantage of this potential.

There are links to key information about Digital Scholarship, New Modes, Funding Policies, and much more.

The original Create Change was developed by The Association of Research Libraries and SPARC, with the assistance of the Association of College and Research Libraries.

The list of recommended blogs to keep up includes The Imaginary Journal of Poetic Economics. Thanks, CARL and SPARC!

Monday, February 25, 2008

No to author's rights? Let your librarian know!

Authors, if your publisher will not permit you to keep your rights to your own work - to self-archive as you please, to sign the Author's Addendum of your choice - be sure to let your librarian know!

After all, there isn't much of a future for a journal that treats its authors this way; such a journal may be said to be Aiming for Obscurity.

Perhaps cancelling the journal would be prudent? Strictly for the financial best interest of the university, of course. There is so much pressure to keep buying more and more journals; it would be a relief to hear that there is one that the library can let go.

Saturday, February 23, 2008

From the wiki

Citizens for Open Access to Civic Information and Data (CivicAccess) is a group of citizens which believes all levels of government should make civic information and data accessible at no cost in open formats to their citizens. We believe this is necessary to allow citizens to fully participate in the democratic process of an “information society.”

The group's Objectives are well worth reading!

Read more about in Tracey P. Lauriault & Hugh McGuire's Data Access in Canada:, Open Source Business Resource, February 2008.

This post is part of the Canadian Leadership in the Open Access Movement Series.

Thanks to Peter Suber on Open Access News.

The Plagiarist, and Aiming for Obscurity

Are there any situations where it is in the author's best interest to seek obscurity?

There is at least one situation where this is likely the best option. If an author has plagiarized another, then deliberately seeking a venue with the most restricted possible access might be the best way to Aim for Obscurity, to minimize the odds of being caught.

To illustrate how easy it is to check for plagiarism in an open access environment, try googling this paragraph from my blogpost Aiming for Obscurity:

In brief, the term refers to authors who do not publish in open access journals or self-archive their works, as well as journals and publishers that are not adjusting to the open access environment.

I just did this, and the blogpost came up first, even though it was just posted earlier today! In case my search was influenced by my previous search behavior from this computer, I would be very interested in hearing what happens if someone else tries a search for this paragraph.

Aiming for Obscurity (definitional post)

This post is a definition of the phrase Aiming for Obscurity, for reference purposes.

In brief, the term refers to authors who do not publish in open access journals or self-archive their works, as well as journals and publishers that are not adjusting to the open access environment.


There is a substantial body of evidence that open access articles are more likely to be cited (see Steve Hitchcock's The effect of open access and downloads ('hits') on citation impact: a bibliography of studies.

Therefore, authors who continue to publish in toll-access journals and do not self-archive can be said to be aiming for obscurity. In other words, an author in this position is pursuing a course of action which is very likely to decrease the probably of the author's work being read and cited.

It is logical to apply the same concept to journals and publishers that are not adjusting to the open access environment. For example, a journal that does not permit authors to self-archive, or a journal that refuses to publish articles funded by any of the large and growing number of research funding agencies that require open access, or universities or faculty with open access policies (e.g. Harvard, and, in the near future, all of the universities in Europe). Refusing to publish quality research articles would appear to be a business strategy likely to lead the journal or publisher to obscurity.

The term aiming for obscurity is inspired by Jim Till's wonderful blog, Be Openly Accessible, or Be Obscure.

Thursday, February 21, 2008

Carbon Tax Coming to BC

British Columbia is showing leadership as the first Canadian province to introduce of a Carbon Tax in this year's budget as one of the features of an environmentally-oriented budget called Greener Future, Stronger Economy in the
BC government press release

In the words of Finance Minister Carole Taylor:

This budget marks a turning point. It overturns the notion that you have to choose either a healthy environment or a strong economy. It will help keep British Columbia vibrant and growing, it takes a big step toward meeting the challenge of climate change, and it strengthens key public services like health care and education.

Carole Taylor's media presentation is well worth watching as she outlines what sounds like a very well-thought out plan for achieving the two goals of environment and economy. Now that's poetic economics!

One blogpost I've been meaning to write but never seem to find the time: the environment IS the economy. Economics is all about how to share the limited resources that we have; and ultimately the shared environment of our beautiful blue planet is all that we have. Responsible economics IS good environmental stewardship.

Disclosure: I am proud to be a British Columbian!

Michael Geist named as recipient of 2008 EFF Pioneer Awards

Canadian Copyfighter and open access hero Michael Geist has been named one of the winners of the 2008 Electronic Frontier Foundation Pioneer Awards.

Other 2008 winners are:

Mitchell Baker and the Mozilla Foundation, which is dedicated to promoting openness, innovation, and opportunity on the Internet through its sponsorship of the open-source Mozilla project.

Mark Klein is a retired AT&T telecommunications technician who blew the whistle on the government's warrantless surveillance program.

Congratulations to Michael and all the other winners! As Michael G. points out, the list of past winners is remarkable, including, in 2000, Tim Berners-Lee, the inventor the world wide web, and "librarians everywhere".

Wednesday, February 20, 2008 and Authors Advantages has Advantages for Authors, prominently displayed on their website! These advantages cited are high quality, high citation, liberal copyright, wide access - plus, an honorarium for authors, and for editors and reviewers who complete their tasks promptly, too.

Librarians might like the Background section, which talks about providing librarians with value for money, using modern web-based marketing and manufacturing techniques to minimize costs.


Prominently placed in the middle-left of the now home screen is a link called Authors Advantages. Click! and the author learns that the direct advantages to you as an author include not only High Quality and High Citation, but also Liberal Copyright and Wide Access.

Liberal Copyright means:

# Authors retain copyright of the article

# Authors are free to self-archive

# Authors can re-use the work in books, etc without asking permission or paying fees

The now Authors Agreement confirms this Liberal Copyright policy.
According to the Background section on the website, the company is ideally placed to bring a new era to academic publishing, which values editors and authors, deploys a liberal and fair copyright policy, and provides librarians with value for money. The primary mission of now is to improve scholarly communication, speed the flow of information, and reward the scientist. The company uses modern web-based marketing and manufacturing techniques to minimize costs. Using targeted marketing and print-on-demand publishing technologies now is able to significantly compensate authors and editors for their efforts, and pass on cost-savings to librarians.

Kudos to now publishing for a great role model in the period of Transitioning to Open Access

Kudos to now, and thanks to Zachary Rolnick for the tip, and permission to post!

Please note that any rights to wording from the now website belong to nowpublishing, not IJPE.

Monday, February 18, 2008

Journals: if you are author rights friendly, let everyone know!

As awareness of open access and its benefits grows (not to mention the open access mandates of research funders and universities, both existing and in development), authors will increasingly be looking for publishing venues that make it possible for them to enjoy the benefits of both traditional peer review and open access.

Is your journal authors' rights friendly? Perhaps you are fine with self-archiving preprints and/or postprints in institutional and disciplinary open accessrepositories, or willing to accept an Author's Addendum? If so, let authors know! This is especially important if your traditional author's agreement is in a period of review, and you routinely grant permission for authors to self-archive, while your copyright transfer agreement paradoxically still calls for complete and total transfer of copyright.

Why not post a note about your author's rights policy to your journal's website? This is a good way to make sure the best authors continue to seek your services during the time of Transitioning to Open Access

Some sample language: please note - the following is available for reuse and modification by anyone for any purposes, including commercial use:

Full Author's Rights
Author's Rights are Respected Here! [Name of journal] requests from Authors right of first publication; otherwise, the copyright is yours! Authors can feel free to post [preprints] [author's own post-peer review copy] to the open access repository of their choice.

Copyright Transfer Agreement Under Review

Authors, please note that our Copyright Transfer Agreement is currently Under Review! While the form we have been using for many years requests full transfer of copyright, as a matter of routine, we approve posting of preprints and postprints for open access in the open access repository of the author's choice.

Authors' Addendum Accepted Here

Authors who need to retain some rights to share their work please note that Authors' Addenda [SPARC, Science Commons, CARL] are welcome here!

Friday, February 15, 2008

Whither white, fair RoMEO?

Whither white, fair RoMEO? or, What Fate Awaits the Journal of Unfunded Research?

Incredible as it may sound, there is still at least one publisher in the field of medicine who is a "white" publisher, according to the SHERPA / RoMEO Publisher Copyright Policies and Self-Archiving. A "white" publisher does not support open access archiving.

The publisher will not be named, for now at least, for surely a letter from such a publisher to SHERPA about their new, open access archiving friendly policy, is on its way?

Otherwise, what is the business plan of such a publisher? A very large percentage of medical research funding nowadays comes with an expectation of public or open access archiving; for example, the world's largest medical research funder, the US National Institutes of Health, the world's second-largest medical research funder, the Wellcome Trust, and many more. For a list of research funders with open access policies, see SHERPA JULIET.

What will a "white" publisher do in this environment?

Fight with researchers who wish to publish in their journals? In the short term, they will no doubt win the occasional battle and gain copyright to a few more articles. In the long term, though, what are the likely impacts on their business? A researcher who needs to publish might accept such terms; but would they willingly continue to provide free peer review services for this journal, or would they join the volunteers at an open access journal? If the library needs to find subscriptions to cancel, will they fight to keep this journal? If a suitable open access friendly option appears before their next article is ready, will the researcher seek their publishing services once more, or will they choose the open access option instead?

Refuse to publish funded research?
What impact would this have on the offerings of such a publisher, and the inclination of libraries to continue subscriptions?

When librarians look at the SHERPA record for a publisher that is not open access friendly and not compliant with the policies of research funding agencies (as illustrated below), will they be thinking In a year or two from now, if this publisher will not accept funded research, what will they be publishing, exactly? Why subscribe?

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

Harvard Faculty of Arts and Sciences Adopts Open Access Mandate

The Harvard Faculty of Arts and Sciences passed an open access mandate on February 12, 2008. This is particularly noteworthy as a mandate requested by faculty, rather than administration or research funders.

Watch for more mandates from universities in the near future. The University of Oregon Faculty Senate adopted a resolution in support of an open access mandate on February 13th. The European Universities Association (more than 700 universities in 46 countries) made a unanimous commitment to adopt open access policies at each of their institutions, earlier this year.

Details on the Harvard policy can be found on Open Access News, at:

An article in the Chronicle of Higher Education can be found at:

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Happy Birthday, BOAI! and confirmation of acceleration of growth in DOAJ

Today is the 6th birthday of the Budapest Open Access Initiative, an early defining moment in the open access movement.

Much has happened since February 14, 2002. Thousands of journals have converted to open access, or begun anew as OA, and the DOAJ list was developed to help us keep track. More than a thousand of these journals use the open source Open Journal Systems, developed by the Public Knowledge Project. There are more than a million free items in PubMedCentral, the world's largest open access archive, and more than a thousand open access archives tracked by OpenDOAR. Funding agencies, universities, and now faculty (with thanks to Harvard) are developing open access policies, tracked by Sherpa Juliet.

The growth of open access in the past few years has been nothing short of phenomal.

In my last (December 2007) update of the Dramatic Growth of Open Access, I hinted that the growth rate as measure by DOAJ appeared to be accelerating.

Today, it is my great pleasure to confirm this trend. As of today, DOAJ has added 136 titles in the last 30 days, a growth rate of 4.5 titles per calendar day; a significant increase in growth from last year's already amazing rate of 1.4 titles per calendar day.

Let me join Peter Suber in wishing everyone in the open access movement a happy BOAI Birthday - and Valentine's Day!

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Canada Revenue Agency, open access and charitable status for research

The Canada Revenue Agency has issued a
Consultation on proposed Guidelines for Research as a Charitable Activity

Open access advocates, take note, from the Summary:

research will only be considered charitable if:

4) the results are disseminated and made freely available to others who might want access to them.

Please write your support for this aspect of the policy, before the February 29 deadline for comments!

This is a likely item for a future issue of Canadian Leadership in the Open Access Movement.

Thanks to David Bearman via Peter Suber on Open Access News.

Thursday, February 07, 2008

Hilde Colenbrander and an open access cIRcle at UBC

Glenn Drexhagle writes, in UBC Reports, about How Information Gets to be Free.

At the University of British Columbia, open access will soon come full cIRcle, as the institutional repository works to move from pilot to operation stage.

One of the driving forces behind cIRcle is Digital Repository Librarian Hilde Colenbrander, one of the most vocal and active of local open access advocates here in Vancouver for a number of years - and that's saying something, at the university where John Willinsky first developed the Public Knowledge Project and Open Journal Systems!

When Hilde is not busy developing the institutional repository at UBC, she is an active participant in the Canadian Library Association's Task Force on Open Access, a speaker at UBC's SLAIS and mentor to students. Hilde & I co-presented with Andrew Waller at BCLA just before BCLA adopted A Resolution on Open Access, an event noted on Peter Suber's Open Access Timeline.

Thanks to Denise Koufougiannakis.

Congratulations on this well-deserved publicity for yet another example of Canadian Leadership in the Open Access Movement.

Monday, February 04, 2008

Combining subscriptions and open choice

The Max Planck Society and Springer have announced their successful negotiations for an arrangement that provides the Max Planck Society with access to Springer journals, and free access to Max Planck authors for the Springer "Open Choice" option. For details on the press release, see here.

In my view, this is an important innovation and a model that others might wish to consider for the process of Transitioning to Open Access.

Thanks to Peter Suber on Open Access News; please see his post for Peter's comments.