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[6 Jul 2013 | 9 Comments | ]

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.

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[7 Jun 2013 | 4 Comments | ]

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.

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[20 May 2013 | 2 Comments | ]

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 …

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[13 Apr 2013 | 5 Comments | ]
What’s the right model for shared scholarly communications infrastructure?

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 …

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[12 Dec 2012 | 13 Comments | ]

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 …

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[22 Jul 2012 | 8 Comments | ]
The challenge for scholarly societies

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?

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[19 Jun 2012 | 7 Comments | ]

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 Good
The report comes out strongly in favour of Open Access to publicly funded research. Perhaps the core …

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[11 Jun 2012 | 6 Comments | ]

The holy grail of research assessment is a means of automatically tracking the way research changes the way practitioners act in the real world. How does new research influence policy? Where has research been applied by start-ups? And have new findings changed the way medical practitioners treat patients? Tracking this kind of research impact is hard for a variety of reasons: practitioners don’t (generally) write new research papers citing the work they’ve used; even if they did their work is often several steps removed from the original research making the links harder …

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[5 Jun 2012 | 21 Comments | ]
Added Value: I do not think those words mean what you think they mean

There are two major strands to position of traditional publishers have taken in justifying the process by which they will make the, now inevitable, transition to a system supporting Open Access. The first of these is that the transition will cost “more money”. The exact costs are not clear but the, broadly reasonable, assumption is that there needs to be transitional funding available to support what will clearly be a mixed system over some transitional period. The argument of course is how much money and where it will come from, …

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[4 Jun 2012 | 11 Comments | ]
25,000 signatures and still rolling: Implications of the White House petition

I’m afraid I went to bed. It was getting on for midnight and it looked like another four hours or so before the petition would reach the magic mark of 25,000 signatures. As it turns out a final rush put us across the line at around 2am my time, but never mind, I woke up wondering whether we had got there, headed for the computer and had a pleasant surprise waiting for me.
What does this mean? What have John Wilbanks, Heather Joseph, Mike Carroll, and Mike Rossner achieved by deciding …