Open Access News from the RSP team
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Open Washing and Open Access Publishing

"Open Access stands for unrestricted access and unrestricted reuse.1

As discussed earlier in this blog it is obvious that non-commercial and non-derivatives licenses do not comply with the requirements of the Budapest Open Access Initiative, the RCUK Open Access policy and the Berlin Declaration. All these licences have to be considered as totally incompatible with “Open Access” publishing.

If you look at the Directory of Open Access Journals (DOAJ) and the new Directory of Open Access Monographs (DOAB), you will find most of the publications listed are using non-commercial and non-derivatives licenses which are not open in Terms of the Definition of “Open”. Even if the metadata in DOAJ and DOAB is licensed under an open license (CC-BY-SA), they do not list true “Open Access” publications as they promise. These two open access directories are just two of many examples of an ongoing threat of the idea of unrestricted access and reuse of academic publications."

 

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Let’s hide our research from unworthy people | Open Science

"The Guardian recently published an article by Professor Robin Osborne under the controversial title “Why open access makes no sense”. The author sets out to prove that there is no such thing as free access to academic research, and having caused quite a stir, I think it is worth commenting.

Let’s start with a presentation of the main thesis proposed by Robin Osborne, according to which open access makes no sense. In essence, the fact that research is funded by the tax-payer does not mean that it becomes the property of the tax-payer, because research is not a product but the process.

I will not quote his full statement, which takes up almost the whole of the professor’s article. However, it is worth quoting two passages that explain the rational of his arguments"

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Open access. Why would an intermediary be involved? | SwetsBlog

"Open access presents some interesting challenges for both libraries and publishers. While the publisher side has been very well documented over the past few years, the impact open access will have on the rest of the content supply chain has been less well explored, particularly in terms of the potential role of an intermediary like Swets.

There are important and functional processes that a third-party service provider might help with related to the growth of open access publishing. In the case of increasing levels of gold open access papers, there will be an equal growth in the processing of author fees (article processing charges, or APCs), which will require high levels of administration and often brand new workflows for both libraries, publishers and funding organizations. In Swets’ case, our global support infrastructure could provide real value here by taking the time-consuming tasks out of the hands of the library so they can focus on the delivery of content and helping their authors and readers directly, providing information, training and support for publishing and discovering open access content."

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Evaluating the Open Access software toolchain

Evaluating the Open Access software toolchain | Open Access News from the RSP team | Scoop.it

"I received an interesting email this week from Nate Wright, who posed the following questions: "I’m a web developer interested in contributing to a low-cost, open-source solution for online academic publishing. Prompted by a conversation with a former lecturer of mine, I’ve spent some time investigating the various open-source or low-cost options for digital journal publication (OJS, Scholastica, Annotum, Faculty, and the collection of tools being developed by the team at eLife).

It looks like OJS is the only open-source platform out there which can provide end-to-end capabilities for running a journal. In my own experience, though, I’ve grown wary of niche CMS’s, which lack a large body of tools and community support to help inexperienced site admins easily customise and extend their website. Even fairly large and well-maintained CMS’s, like Silverstripe, really suffer from the small size of their community developing plugins and themes. OJS seems pretty tightly bound to traditional publishing cycles as well, which will limit its utility as academic publishing transitions to new models. Speaking purely from the perspective of a mainstream web developer, if I was advising someone setting up a journal now, I would tell them they were taking a risk by committing to OJS. It’s not clear how a successful journal website could mature on the platform over time and whether or not data would be portable if (when) a better solution arises in the future."

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Open practices make for strange bed fellows - Research Blogs

"Open approaches are now familiar in all aspects of our daily lives. With governments spearheading initiatives to make the information they hold available to all and developments such as open source software now changing the way we work, communicate and play.

Open policies are already widely in use in the academic world and all the indicators show that this is an unstoppable trend. For future Research Excellence Framework exercises, the Higher Education Funding Council for England is proposing to adopt an ‘open by default’ policy that will require all research papers to be open access and to be deposited in institutional repositories. And it is expected that the EU’s next big funding round – Horizon 2020 – will embrace open culture and practices, including by requiring high levels of openness from all those who apply for funds, as well as funding a data sharing pilot."

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Making the case for open access books

Making the case for open access books | Open Access News from the RSP team | Scoop.it

"Simon Chaplin: The humanities matter. Books matter. Through open access, they can reach a wider audience than ever before. A policy requiring open access to academic books? Surely that's asking for trouble? After all, it was only a few months ago that many humanities researchers were up in arms when Research Councils UK (RCUK) implemented its new policy on open access to journal articles. Although such measures are broadly accepted in the sciences, the RCUK policy was criticised by the Royal Historical Society, among others, for being a blunt instrument, insensitive to the differences that mark out historians from histologists.

Given the anguish that RCUK's policy caused, the announcement last week that the Wellcome Trust – a major funder of biomedical research – has now extended its open access policy to include books and book chapters might seem a little, well, insensitive. After all, the Trust's long-standing policy on open access to journal articles was seen by many as having beaten the path for RCUK's approach. So why books, and why now?"

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SPARCing debate on Open Access

SPARCing debate on Open Access | Open Access News from the RSP team | Scoop.it

"As part of our field work in Washington DC last month I met with Heather Joseph who is Executive Director of the Scholarly Publishing and Academic Resources Coalition (SPARC), a membership organization of academic and research libraries. Their mission is to make libraries and the information they hold more equitable and more open, and they count more than 800 institutions among their membership.

Heather gave a great overview of where SPARC have been in the past and where they see themselves in the future.  She began by noting that there remain barriers to providing high quality information on campus, and the subscription model impedes possibilities for innovation."

 

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Busting the top five myths about open access publishing

"Rather than lock up knowledge in costly journals, increasingly universities and governments are recognising that publicly funded research should be open to all.

This past year has seen new open access policies in the United Kingdom, the United States and from the European Commission. In Australia too, the Australian Research Council (ARC) and the National Health & Medical Research Council (NHMRC) now both have open access policies.

Despite this activity, there remains a large amount of confusion about open access, with many misunderstandings persisting in the academic community and in universities"

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Why Robin Osborne makes no sense

Why Robin Osborne makes no sense | Open Access News from the RSP team | Scoop.it

"Robin Osborne, professor of ancient history at King’s College, Cambridge, had an article in the Guardian yesterday entitled “Why open access makes no sense“. It was described by Peter Coles as “a spectacularly insular and arrogant argument”, by Peter Webster as an “Amazingly wrong-headed piece” and  by Glyn Moody as “easily the most arrogant & dim-witted article I’ve ever read on OA”.

Here’s my response (posted as a comment on the original article):

At a time when the world as a whole is waking up to the open-access imperative, it breaks my heart to read this fusty, elitist, reactionary piece, in which Professor Osborne ends up arguing strongly for his own irrelevance. What a tragic lack of vision, and of ambition."

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Willetts: I don’t want research restricted

Willetts: I don’t want research restricted | Open Access News from the RSP team | Scoop.it

"Funds are allocated on project quality not desire to support elite, says minister. Chris Parr reports. 

David Willetts, the universities and science minister, has maintained that he does not have an agenda for further concentrating research budget allocations on elite institutions.

Speaking as part of a launch event for the Times Higher Education 100 Under 50 2013 rankings of young universities, Mr Willetts said that research funding should be based on the projects that were bidding for money, not just the institutions where they were based.

The government has been accused of creating a concentration of research in elite universities by asking for funding to be cut for lower-rated research and focusing capital investment on large projects involving such institutions"

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Opening the door to institutional repositories | Smithsonian Libraries Blog

Opening the door to institutional repositories | Smithsonian Libraries Blog | Open Access News from the RSP team | Scoop.it

"What if you could search the research output of hundreds of institutions in one place, gaining access to some of the most important research being done on any number of fields of interest?

Luckily, you can. I know of two directories that allow you to not only find a specific institutional repository, but also search the content of all repositories they have registered. Namely ROAR, the Registry of Open Access Repositories and OpenDOAR, the Directory of Open Access Repositories. Both utilize a Google custom search engine that allows you to search across the repositories for specific terms."

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