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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 …

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[21 May 2012 | Comments Off | ]
Send a message to the Whitehouse: Show the strength of support for OA

Changing the world is hard. Who knew? Advocating for change can be lonely. It can also be hard. As a scholar, particularly one at the start of a career it is still hard to commit fully to ensuring that research outputs are accessible and re-useable. But we are reaching a point where support for Open Access is mainstream, where there is a growing public interest in greater access to research, and increasingly serious engagement with the policy issues at the highest level.
The time has come to show just how strong …

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[3 May 2012 | 6 Comments | ]
Parsing the Willetts Speech on Access to UK Research Outputs

Yesterday David Willetts, the UK Science and Universities Minister gave a speech to the Publishers Association that has got wide coverage. However it is worth pulling apart both the speech and the accompanying opinion piece from the Guardian because there are some interesting elements in there, and also some things have got a little confused.
The first really key point is that there is nothing new here. This is basically a re-announcement of the previous position from the December Innovation Strategy on moving towards a freely accessible literature and a more public announcement …