Articles in the Blog Category
…one of the motivations I had to get writing again was a request from someone at a traditional publisher to write more because it “was so useful to have a moderate voice to point to”. Seems I didn’t do so well at that with that first post back.
When you get a criticism about tone it is easy to get defensive. It’s particularly easy when there has been a history of condescension, personal attacks and attacks on the fundamental logic of what you’re doing from “the other side”. But of course …
Access to Research is an initiative from a 20th Century industry attempting to stave off progress towards the 21st Century by applying a 19th Century infrastructure. Depending on how generous you are feeling it can either be described as a misguided waste of effort or as a cynical attempt to divert the community from tackling the real issues of implementing full Open Access. As is obvious I’m not a neutral observer here so I recommend reading the description at the website. Indeed I would also recommend anyone who is interested to …
“Open source” is not a verb
Nathan Yergler via John Wilbanks
I often return to the question of what “Open” means and why it matters. Indeed the very first blog post I wrote focussed on questions of definition. Sometimes I return to it because people disagree with my perspective. Sometimes because someone approaches similar questions in a new or interesting way. But mostly I return to it because of the constant struggle to get across the mindset that it encompasses.
Most recently I addressed the question of what “Open” is about in a online talk …
This is a guest post from Joseph McArthur and David Carroll. They have an idea and they’re looking for your help to make it happen.
The Association of American Publishers have launched a response to the OSTP White House Executive Order on public access to publicly funded research. In this they offer to set up a registry or system called CHORUS which they suggest can provide the same levels of access to research funded by Federal Agencies as would the widespread adoption of existing infrastructure like PubMedCentral. The bottom line is that it is necessary to bear in mind that this is the same group that put together the Research Works Act, a group with a long standing, and in some cases personal, antipathy to the success of PMC. There is therefore some grounds for scepticism about the motivations of the proposal. However here I want to dig a bit more into the details of whether the proposal can deliver. I will admit to being sceptical from the beginning but the more I think about this, the more it seems that either there is nothing there at all, or alternately the publishers involved are setting themselves up for a massive and potentially hugely expensive failure. Let’s dig a little deeper into this to see where the problems lie.
Two things caught my attentions over the past few days. The first was the text of a Graduation Address from Dorothea Salo to the graduating students of the Library and Information Sciences Program at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. The second was a keynote from Chris Bourg, whose blog is entitled “Feral Librarian”, gave at The Acquisitions Institute.
Both focus on how the value of libraries and the value of those who defend the needs of all to access information are impossible to completely measure. Both offer a prescription of action and …
There have been a lot of electrons spilled over the Elsevier Acquisition of Mendeley. I don’t intend to add too much to that discussion but it has provoked for me an interesting train of thought which seems worth thinking through. For what its worth my views of the acquisition are not too dissimilar to those of Jason Hoyt and John Wilbanks, and I recommend their posts. I have no doubt that the Mendeley team remain focussed on their vision and I hope they do well with it. And even with …
Someone once said to me that the best way to get researchers to be serious about the issue of modernising scholarly communications was to let the scholarly monograph business go to the wall as an object lesson to everyone else. After the last couple of weeks I’m beginning to think the same might be said of the UK Humanities and Social Sciences literature. I get that people are worried, even scared. I can also see some are stirring up mud behind the scenes to get academics and editors angry. But the problem …
With major governments signalling a shift to Open Access it seems like a good time to be asking which organisations in the scholarly communications space will survive the transition. It is likely that the major current publishers will survive, although relative market share and focus is likely to change. But the biggest challenges are faced by small to medium scholarly societies that depend on journal income for their current viability. What changes are necessary for them to navigate this transition and can they survive?
The Finch Report was commissioned by the UK Minister for Universities and Science to investigate possible routes for the UK to adopt Open Access for publicly funded research. The report was released last night and I have had just the chance to skim it over breakfast. These are just some first observations. Overall my impression is that the overall direction of travel is very positive but the detail shows some important missed opportunities.
The report comes out strongly in favour of Open Access to publicly funded research. Perhaps the core …