Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Google Books: what if authors of new books want in?

One aspect of the Google Books Settlement that concerns me is: what about authors (and publishers) of new books? For example, my book, Scholarly Communication for Librarians, was published in 2009, just months after the date covered by the Google Books Settlement.

This means if Google Books goes ahead, authors who published just a few months before me will have a tremendous advantage in terms of exposure, unless they have opted out.

Also, while copyrighted books must be limited in terms of geographic exposure, what about the growing trend towards open access monographs, which I expect to take off in the very near future with the anticipated release of Open Monographs Press? Already, I have a book chapter in a forthcoming book on Free Knowledge edited by Daryl Hepting. Since this book will be OA, there will be no need to limit access; it should be available to anyone, anywhere. If the Google Books service includes a convenient print-on-demand option, I want in! Royalties, even small ones, would be nice, but if Google makes some money on this service, this is well deserved, in my opinion.

Saturday, February 13, 2010

New Open Access Fund at SFU Library

Kudos to Simon Fraser University & Library for this great news about a new Open Access Fund! Note that there is a link to the full SFU Library Open Access Strategy at the bottom of the page. The SFU Library OA Strategy includes both green and gold, with an institutional repository in place and plans for further development, hosting of more than 200 journals using Open Journal Systems (OJS), and serving as one of partners of the Public Knowledge Project which has developed OJS, Open Conference Systems, with Open Monographs Press coming soon.

Excerpt from the New Open Access Fund announcement:

At its January 2010 meeting, the Senate Library Committee adopted sweeping recommendations that will make SFU one of only three Canadian universities to embrace Open Access (OA) publishing. “We’re going to put our money where our mouth is,” says Bird. OA Journals are scholarly peer-reviewed journals freely available on the web without subscription fees, but they are often supported through Article Processing Charges (APCs) levied to authors. Fees range from a few hundred to several thousand dollars per accepted paper. Prominent examples are BioMed Central, Public Library of Science, and Hindawi.

Thanks to Gwen Bird.

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

Friday, February 12, 2010

The scholar's copy

There has been much useful discussion on this list about scholars
as authors, and rightly so. Today, I would like to introduce a
view of what we scholars need nowadays as readers.

Increasingly, my reading is onscreen. The copy of an article or
book that works best for me is the one that I can download to my
desktop, and mark up as I please with highlighting and
commentary. I want to be able to re-copy to multiple folders if
this suits how I work. If I am using the same article for two
different projects, for example, I may want two copies with
different highlighting reflecting the most salient points to each
particular project. This ideal is a copy that I can search,
along with everything else on my computer, either for keywords or
key phrases in the text, or for my own notes. I can share a copy
freely with colleagues or students, with or without my notes,
either privately, or openly, on the web. I may want to create a
new version before sending, with customized notes to fit the
needs of my fellow researcher or student.

My access to my ideal scholar's copy is not dependent on whether
or not my library can afford a subscription, or whether I
continue at the institution with the subscription. If I submit
an article for publication, I can keep copies of the works that I

This is true of journal articles, reports of all kinds, and
e-books, too.

This is one of the reasons why we need libre open access. So
far, only a small percentage of OA is clearly libre OA.
However, once scholars like me begin to experience the
difference, my prediction is that demand for libre OA will grow,
while demand for digital rights management (DRM)-ridden works
will decrease.

It would be most useful if search services would permit limiting
to libre OA (e.g. CC-licensed works).

Heather Morrison, MLIS
PhD Student
Simon Fraser University School of Communication
hgmorris at sfu dot ca

This message was first posted to the Liblicense discussion list.

Wednesday, February 03, 2010

Notes for dramatic growth of open access

Jim Till presents a method on how to track compliance with the CIHR policy on Be openly accessible or be obscure.

The Public Knowledge Project has released a map and data indicating that over 5,000 journals, around the world, are using Open Journals Systems.

OJS journals by continent, for future reference:
Asia 678
Europe 961
Africa 429
Oceania 96
North America 1,343
South America 1,537

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

Tuesday, February 02, 2010

Slowing down to protect the incumbents - or speeding up to protect the earth?

In this February's issue of the SPARC Open Access Newsletter, Peter Suber discusses some analogies between open access and clean energy.

One of Peter's discussion points is the issue of whether to slow down to protect the incumbents; in the case of clean energy, this would mean continuing to support environmentally harmful energy industries when clean ones are available, just because the incumbents are there; in the case of open access, this means slowing down to protect the interests of the existing publishing industry - interests which are not synonymous with the interests of scholarship, or of the public at large.

Peter raises some interesting points. My own take on the relationship between open access and clean energy: we need breakthrough research to move to clean energy, on several fronts - the hard science, economics, and social sciences research as change requires changes in attitudes and behavior. This is an urgent matter - we are running out of the old energy resources, and in trouble if we do not address global warming - and because it is an urgent matter, we need innovation in scholarship. We need our scholars to focus on innovating towards the breakthroughs - this means sharing results as early and as widely as possible. The kind of rapid transformation that led to mapping of the human genome in such a short time involved open sharing of information and a collaborative approach. This is exactly what we need to move to clean, renewal energy resources. This means that we need to rethink things like academic tenure and promotion processes; while academic traditions, in my opinion, have a great deal of merit, we cannot currently afford the luxury of taking significant time to consider change. We need to figure out how scholars can be supported to advance our knowledge in these areas in the ways that will lead to the most rapid possible change - not holding back knowledge to publish in the most prestigious journal possible.

ARL ACRL Scholarly Communication Institute Webinar Series

Registration is now open for Strengthening Programs through Collaboration, the ARL ACRL Scholarly Communication Institute Webinar Series that Julie Garrison & I are co-coordinating.