Saturday, September 30, 2006

Dramatic Growth of Open Access September 06 update

The Dramatic Growth of Open Access continues! I just published my September 2006 Dramatic Growth update on Imaginary Journal of Poetic Economics. Here is the abstract:

The number of open access journals included in DOAJ continues to increase at a rate of about 1.5 per calendar day, while the increase in material in open access archives in showing a dramatic increase in the rate of growth, for all archives followed, as well as absolute growth. There have been some significant events in the past quarter which the author predicts will accelerate the rate of growth of OA, including funding agencies' open access policies, hybrid open access journal programs, new OA presses and significant work on models for small publishers to transition to open access.

Elsevier and Wellcome Trust Come to Agreement

The trail-blazing Wellcome Trust, one of the largest research funders in the United Kingdom, requires open access to the results of research that it funds.

On September 29, 2006 Elsevier and Wellcome announced an agreement that will allow Elsevier-published researchers to comply with the Wellcome mandate. This is wonderful news for OA advocates. As Peter Suber notes, this could be a "win-win-win."

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

Thursday, September 28, 2006

Sometimes the most open access is print

Sometimes it makes sense to drop print production as a necessary efficiency for online open access - but not for things like topographic maps, which people need access to in places where there is no interest access, and the specialized equipment for printing maps well is not common. Canadians, please note that our government is currently in the process of dropping production of print maps - for information and advocacy action suggestions, please see:

Thanks to Carla Graebner.

Monday, September 25, 2006

OA Librarians and Societies: Two Perspectives

T. Scott Plutchak thinks we OA advocates are too hard on societies; you can read his blogpot It Gets Lonely Out Here. My sympathies to T. Scott, who reports to one of the very few provosts who signed the letter opposing FRPAA. This has to be a lonely situation for an OA advocate.

Dorothea Salo on Caveat Lector presents another point of view in her blogpost Unyielding opposition?. As Dorothea points out, it would be a lot easier to be supportive of scholarly societies if they did not themselves exhibit unyielding opposition to open access, FRPAA, NIH, PubChem, etc.

Personally, I am completely against this anti-OA activities on the part of some scholarly societies, but totally for the concept of scholarly societies. I think libraries should work cooperatively with societies to provide support - financial and technical, not just moral - to enable scholarly societies to transition to open access.

Another of Dorothea's points: "I may be alone in this, but I’m also irked by one specific phrase I see in scholarly publishers’ contributions to the open-access debate: “subscription-funded activities.” I’ll make my stance as clear as I know how: libraries are not responsible for supporting society activities unrelated to the scholarly literature".

You're not alone, Dorothea. When we have a scholarly communications system that has been in crisis for decades, it is irreponsible to charge more than necessary to fund other activities.

Thanks to Peter Suber on Open Access News for pointing out these two blogposts.

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

Thursday, September 21, 2006

Google support

Here's what comes up when you google the phrase "support open access."

Digital University / Library Presses

Charles Bailey is writing a very helpful series for libraries and others serious about creating change. Digital University / Library Presses # 11 is now available on Digital Koans.

Wednesday, September 13, 2006

Publishing Cooperatives: An Alternative for Non-Profit Publishers

Many professional societies feel caught in a bind about open access publishing. They support the goal of freely available research, but depend on revenues from traditional subscriptions to sustain themselves.

Raym Crow, a senior consultant for SPARC, has just published an important paper about how to resolve this dilemma. He proposes that societies form publishing cooperatives rather than attempting to move completely to an open access model by themselves.

Crow builds on the work of others who have wrestled with this challenge, such as John Willinsky. He offers new hope that societies can meet their "twin imperatives of financial sustainability and mission fulfillment." That mission is to share their knowledge with the world.

Article: OA for the medical librarian

If we may blow our own horn, an article written by Heather Morrison and me has recently been published in the Journal of the Canadian Health Libraries Association (JCHLA)
( Entitled "Open access for the medical librarian", the article is based on a presentation we gave at the Canadian Health Libraries Association Conference in Vancouver, BC on May 14, 2006. JCHLA has recently become an OA journal (kudos to the CHLA!) so the article can be easily accessed at It can also be found at:

Simon Fraser University institutional repository:
University of Calgary institutional repository:

Take your pick!

Monday, September 11, 2006

Two OA projects that could use your help!

Tenn-Share is creating a list of Open Access Databases; please add your suggestions! Thanks to Peter Suber of Open Access News for the tip.

The Canadian Library Association's Information Commons Interest Group is building a list of Open Access Advocates Worldwide, wiki-style. Should you, or someone you know, be added to the list? If so, please register (it's fast and easy), and add names and links to contact information. Thanks to the CLA Info Commons group [disclosure: I'm a member], and to Peter Suber for the idea of expanding the Canadian list to a worldwide list.

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

Friday, September 08, 2006

Free open source open access federated searching

An open version of the open source federated search tool dbwiz is available, for searching open access resources, thanks to Simon Fraser University Library. dbwiz is part of the open source reSearcher software suite. Comments?

[Disclosure: I work for SFU Library, and coordinate participation in reSearcher for BC academic libraries. This is a purely personal viewpoint, not endorsed by SFU library or BC ELN].

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

Thursday, September 07, 2006

Libraries and open access

Are we librarians doing our bit to support open access?

Dorothea Salo has an interesting perspective piece on libraries, librarians and open access on Caveat Lector. Dorothea talks about her work on a review of Open Access: Key Strategic, Technical and Economic Aspects.

Thanks to Peter Suber on Open Access News.

Tuesday, September 05, 2006

American Chemical Society: Hybrid too

Yet another commercial publisher has established a hybrid journal option for its articles. This time, it's the American Chemical Society (ACS). Beginning in October, authors in ACS journals will be able to provide free online access to their articles for a fee; this charge will range from $1,000 to $3,000 US, "depending on whether the author is an ACS member or is affiliated with an institution that subscribes to ACS journals". Authors will also be able to place their articles on their personal websites and in institutional repositories.

No word on whether or not there will be any changes to subscription costs (as there will be with the Cambridge OA project).

There is a news release about the ACS OA option at Peter Suber, as always, has some interesting things to say about this development; see

Perhaps, soon, we'll be asking ourselves, "which commercial publishers do not have a hybrid journals program"?

Saturday, September 02, 2006

Two OA Milestones in One

This month marks the beginning of the second hundred, # 101, of the SPARC Open Access News by Peter Suber! Many thanks for keeping us all informed, Peter. This issue focuses on the remarkable momentum in hybrid open access journals, with four publishers launching new programs in the last month alone!

Friday, September 01, 2006

Open-models for exchange of library research

Web 2.0 has provided librarians with collaborative technologies to improve the exchange and uptake of our own research.

To that end, we have started a wiki for LIBR534. I envision it as a knowledge-base for library school students, librarians and faculty interested in health information sources and services.

Here is UBC HealthLib-Wiki -

I have loaded the shell only - think of it as a strong hull. I am working out details of the editing policy, and my formation of the Gentlemen's Wiki Administrative Club, of which I will be the cruise director. Think 21st Century on the SS Normandie.

We will customize the wiki logo, top left - soon. If you have an idea for a cool logo, let me know. Jeremiah came up with a caduceus logo, with headphones - love that. In the meantime, browse around - introduction, editing policies, etc are falling into place. - Dean

First International PKP Scholarly Publishing Conference: Preliminary Accouncement

First International PKP Scholarly Publishing Conference: Preliminary Announcement

The Public Knowledge Project is pleased to announce that the first international PKP conference will be held from July 11–13, 2007 in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada. The conference will promote and celebrate the quality use of the PKP open source software suite – Open Journal Systems (OJS); Open Conference Systems (OCS); and the Open Archives Harvester.

Further details are available on the PKP Web Site. Ou, en français à (Merci, Olivier!)

OA Librarian types note: there will be either a preconference or conference stream relating to library roles, thanks to the OA Librarian types at SFU Library, one of the partners in PKP: Lynn Copeland, G.W. Brian Owen, and Mark Jordan, among others.

Vancouver is a beautiful city, located in the aptly named province, Beautiful British Columbia (in my opinion), and home to several of the OA Librarian blog team (Lesley Perkins, Dean Giustini, and Heather Morrison).

Open Access to Policy Poster Sessions

** as posted to Canadian listservs **

CLA's Information Policy Working Group, part of the CLA Standing Committee on Intellectual Property and Public Access, sponsored a Student Poster Session at CLA 2006, with exciting and informative results!

The student poster sessions are now available in E-LIS, the Open Archive for Library and Information Studies, along with open access sessions at CLA 2006, at:

Congratulations and thanks to poster developers and presenters Martin Dowding, Frederic Murray, Jeremiah Saunders, Robin Featherstone, David Ley, Heather McKend, Iva Seto, and Catherine Sinnott. For those involved in LIS Education - whether as teachers or students - it's not too soon to start thinking about the 2007 posters!


Heather Morrison
Member, CLA Information Policy Working Group

Member, CLA Information Commons Interest Group
Chief E-LIS Editor, Canada

Heather's comment: many thanks to all the students for sharing their work as open access, and to E-LIS for providing a venue to distribute information on these important policy topics (privacy, freedom of information, media and trade policy, info policy and public health, and intellectual property and genetically modified foods.