May 25, 2007

Audio Recording Available of Dr John Willinsky's 20 March 2007 Presentation: "Open Access: The Sea Change in Scholarly Publishing"

.:The University of Alberta Libraries is pleased to make available an audio recording of our March 20th forum with Dr John Willinsky - Open Access: The Sea Change in Scholarly Publishing (mp3 format) - .

Dr Willinsky's award-winning Public Knowledge Project is the world's leading open source software for journal publishing, and his recent book: The Access Principle (MIT Press, 2006), has won this year's Blackwell Award for Scholarship.

To learn more about support available from the University of Alberta Libraries, visit our Open Access Publishing Information Site. Please see also the article, "Public knowledge - Open access publishing pushes scholarship into the public realm, advocates say", from the 13 April 2007 issue of the University of Alberta's newspaper, Folio.

January 26, 2007

British Library and US DoE to Collaborate on Global Science Gateway

.: From yesterday's Press Release, and as reported by Peter Suber, and elsewhere:

January 25 2007
THE BRITISH LIBRARY, LONDON -- Dr. Raymond L. Orbach, Under Secretary for Science of the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE), has signed an agreement with Lynne Brindley, Chief Executive of the British Library, to collaborate on the development of a global science gateway. The gateway would eventually make science information resources of many nations accessible via a single Internet portal.

Called ‘,’ the planned resource would be available for use by scientists in all nations and by anyone interested in science. The approach will capitalise on existing technology to search vast collections of science information distributed across the globe, enabling much-needed access to smaller, less well-known sources of highly valuable science. Following the model of, the U.S. interagency science portal that relies on content published by each participating agency, ‘’ will rely on scientific resources published by each participating nation. Other countries have been invited to participate in this international effort.

Recognising the impact of international research efforts, Dr. Orbach stated, “It is time to make the science offerings of all nations searchable in one global gateway. Our goal is to speed up the sharing of knowledge on a global scale. As a result, we believe that science itself will speed up.”

Lynne Brindley said, “We are delighted to be embarking on what we expect to be a very fruitful collaboration with the DOE to develop the resource. The British Library has a long history of delivering online information resources through international partnerships – the most recent of which being the UK PubMed Central database, which has generated a huge amount of interest since it was launched on January 9.”

Increasingly science projects are international in scope, with researchers across the globe collaborating on projects as diverse as energy, linear colliders, genomes and the environment. At the same time, the US and UK have recognised the importance of providing their citizens with one-stop electronic access to increasing volumes of science information, with a growing sense of the need for reciprocity and sharing of science knowledge across national boundaries.

Objectives of the “” initiative are to:

  • Search dispersed, electronic collections in various science disciplines;
  • Provide direct, seamless and free searching of open-source collections and portals;
  • Build upon existing and already successful national models for searching;
  • Complement existing information collections and systems; and
  • Raise the visibility and usage of individual sources of quality science information.
The US Department of Energy’s Office of Scientific and Technical Information (OSTI) ( will work with the British Library ( and international counterparts to develop a prototype of “” in 2007.

For further information please contact: Ben Sanderson at the British Library Press Office (telephone 01937 546126, email: or Lawrence Christensen (telephone 020 7412 7114, email:

December 4, 2006

Place Your Bets: Peter Suber Believes 2007 Will Be The Year of Open Access

.: From the ACRLog: :

In the December SPARC Open Access Newsletter, Peter Suber provides an evaluation of the results of the November elections from the point of view of Open Access (sometimes defined as free public access to federally funded research), and provides his predictions for Open Access in 2007.

Suber notes that Open Access advocate Lieberman won and Open Access opponents Santorum and DeWine lost, yielding 3 critical victories for Open Access policies. (On another political note, net neutrality advocate Ed Markey will chair the House Telecom and Internet Subcommittee.)

September 14, 2006

BioMed Central To Launch New Open-Access Chemistry Journal

.: Knowledgespeak reports today that BioMed Central, under its new initiative called Chemistry Central, "...a new service publishing peer-reviewed open access research in chemistry from BioMed Central", is launching a new journal called Chemistry Central Journal. From the Chemistry Central Journal site:

Chemistry Central Journal (ISSN 1752-153X) is an open access, peer-reviewed, online journal recently launched by Chemistry Central. Chemistry Central, developed by the same team who created BioMed Central, the leading biomedical open access publisher, is committed to ensuring peer-reviewed chemical research is immediately and permanently available online without charge or any other barriers to access.

May 19, 2006

IoP Announces New OA Journal: Environmental Research Letters

.: The latest Knowledgespeak reports that the Institute of Physics is launching a new open access journal, Environmental Research Letters:

The Institute of Physics, UK, has announced the launch of open–access (OA) journal Environmental Research Letters (ERL). The new journal seeks to bring together professional scientists, economists and engineers, as well as the public sector and people engaged in efforts to understand the state of natural systems and, increasingly, the human footprint on the biosphere. Daniel Kammen of the University of California, Berkeley serves as the editor-in-chief.
Full IoP press release here.

May 18, 2006

Open Access Articles Generating More Citations Than Non-OA - Report in PLoS Biology

.: The 18 May 2006 issue of Knowledgespeak includes mention of a study just published in PLoS Biology, which suggests that OA articles are more likely to be cited more frequently than non-OA articles. The study, Citation Advantage of Open Access Articles, was written by Gunther Eysenbach, University of Toronto, and was based on analysis of articles published in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. Excerpts from the abstract:

Open access (OA) to the research literature has the potential to accelerate recognition and dissemination of research findings, but its actual effects are controversial. This was a longitudinal bibliometric analysis of a cohort of OA and non-OA articles published between June 8, 2004, and December 20, 2004, in the same journal (PNAS: Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences). Article characteristics were extracted, and citation data were compared between the two groups at three different points in time: at “quasi-baseline” (December 2004, 0–6 mo after publication), in April 2005 (4–10 mo after publication), and in October 2005 (10–16 mo after publication).

Continue reading "Open Access Articles Generating More Citations Than Non-OA - Report in PLoS Biology" »

April 20, 2006

Biointerphases - New Open Access Journal

.: Biointerphases has published its first issue, March 2006. Biointerphases is published by AVS, formerly the American Vacuum Society, and hosted by the American Institute of Physics.

Topics Include… •Interface spectroscopy •In vivo mechanisms •In vitro mechanisms •Interface modeling •Adhesion phenomena •Protein-surface interactions •Biomembranes on a chip •Cell-surface interactions •Biosensors / biodiagnostics •Bio-surface modification •The nano-bio interface •Biotribology / Biorheology •Molecular recognition •Cell patterning for function •Polyelectrolyte surfaces •Ambient diagnostic methods

Continue reading "Biointerphases - New Open Access Journal" »

March 29, 2006

Japan Science and Technology Agency Releases Journal@rchive

.: The Japan Science and Technology Agency has release Journal@rchive, an archive of articles from Japanese journals, some going back to the 19th century. From the About page:

Journal@rchive is an archive site of J-STAGE operated by the Japan Science and Technology Agency (JST). On Journal@rchive, academic journals scanned through the Electronic Archive Initiative are released from their first issues, including those issued in the 19th century. The Initiative commenced by JST in FY2005 aiming at two goals: (1) to preserve of academic heritages of Japan, and (2) to further promote worldwide distribution of Japanese research results.

March 21, 2006

Optics Express - Soaring Citation Rate for Open Access Title

.: Optics Express, the Open Access journal of the Optical Society of America, "... was recognized by Essential Science Indicators as having the highest percent increase in total citations in the field of Physics in both September 2005 and January 2006. Optics Express is a SPARC Leading Edge publisher partner.

March 3, 2006

Open Access Authoring@Caltech: OA Advocacy Without Attitude

Open Access Authoring @ Caltech is a new venue with a new strategy for communicating observed Open Access behaviors by campus researchers to campus researchers.

Have you ever noticed that advocacy is a concept fraught with potential conflict? Advocacy routinely involves pushing for change, not merely hinting or suggesting. Pushing is a strategy which is most usefully employed by those with a strength or elevation advantage. Sisyphus is a classic(al) example of lacking the strategic elevation advantage.

Campus politics is an intensely local game and is, in all respects, intense. Libraries and librarians are rarely power players in this realm. Advocacy, as such, "you should do thus and so..." will need to have resonance, momentum, the height advantage, to have any real impact. A documentary blog, asserting observed items of fact, may help to create momentum.

Continue reading "Open Access Authoring@Caltech: OA Advocacy Without Attitude" »

February 21, 2006

Hindawi Publishing's Open Access Titles

Hindawi Publishing has embraced Open Access publishing in a major way. Hindawi is an established, low-cost, for-profit STM journal publisher that has decided that OA for-profit publishing is a viable model, both for start-up titles and by converting formerly subscription-based titles. In December 2005, Hindawi had a slate of 12 OA titles. The list has since expanded to 14 titles (8 with content) with the stated intent to grow by another 15 journals by the end of 2006.

Continue reading "Hindawi Publishing's Open Access Titles" »

February 12, 2006

UniProt - The Universal Protein Resource

.: The following is of interest to those working in molecular biology and requiring access to protein sequence daabases. The UniProt Consortium is comprised of the European Bioinformatics Institute (EBI), the Swiss Institute of Bioinformatics (SIB), and the Protein Information Resource (PIR). Until recently, EBI and SIB together produced Swiss-Prot and TrEMBL, while PIR produced the Protein Sequence Database (PIR-PSD). The UniProt databases (UniPARC, UniProtKB, UniREF) are built upon the pooled overlapping and complementary resources, efforts and expertise of these pioneereing efforts; UniProt FAQ

January 4, 2006

Geochemical Transactions -- Fresh Start as an Open Access Journal - George Porter

.: Geochemical Transactions has had a troubled history. Four lackluster years hosted by the Royal Society of Chemistry led to a transfer to the American Institute of Physics. AIP opted out due to a continuing dearth of manuscript submissions over the last two years.
With volume 7, the editorial board is trying a new tact. The journal is moving to BioMed Central and adopting an author pays [UK pounds 800, Euros 1185, US$1410], Open Access publishing model. Officially the move is effective on 1 January 2006. Currently, the new website has an announcement of the purchase of all of the backfiles (funded by the ACS Geochemistry division) and an editorial on the new vision for the journal.

Martin A A Schoonen, Ken B Anderson and Scott A Wood. Moving Geochemical Transactions forward as an open access journal. Geochemical Transactions 2006, 7:1. doi:10.1186/1467-4866-7-1

Geochemical Transactions, the first online-only journal in geochemistry and environmental chemistry, is now the first major open access journal in this subject area. All issues of Geochemical Transactions, including the back content, will be fully and permanently available online to all, without a subscription charge. Copyright of all future articles will be retained by the authors. Geochemical Transactions remains the official journal of the Division of Geochemistry of the American Chemical Society. The generous support of the Division has made it possible to make the back content available without a subscription charge.
As the impact factor demonstrates (1.941), the content has been strong, even if the flow of articles has been meager. The journal has never received a noticeable push from the American Chemical Society. The Geochemistry Division of the American Chemical Society has done a poor job recruiting submissions from its own members, but perhaps, the journal has finally turned the corner. - George Porter, as posted on STS-L.

December 8, 2005

Engineering-Related OA Journals Published by Hindawi

Hindawi Publishing Corp. publishes a dozen Open Access journals, 10 of which are directly applicable to engineering.

- George Porter

December 2, 2005

OA Librarian - New Collaborative Open Access Blog

.: Andrew Waller, U Calgary, posted an e-mail to Jerome-l regarding a new collaborative blog on open access issues, called OA Librarian. From his e-mail:

OA Librarian is a new, cooperatively produced weblog, which combines a pathfinder function with news and commentary on open access and librarianship. Please visit us here:

Continue reading "OA Librarian - New Collaborative Open Access Blog" »

November 25, 2005

Dana Roth on Open Access Archives and STM

As commercial STM publishers continue to increase the subscription prices of their journals, and charge for backfile access, is it time for them to consider offering open access to their archives? Dana Roth of the Millikan Library at Caltech considers the benefits and consequences of such a move in this commentary:

Open Access Archives and STM Publishers - A Commentary by Dana Roth

One wonders ...

One wonders when commercial publishers might re-think their marketing strategies and recognize that their library subscribers deserve some compensation for years of annual price increases that far exceed inflation (for either CPI or pagination). The cumulative effect of decades of these often questionable price increases is exemplified by an analysis of the 2004 subscription costs, pagination, and cost/page.

Journal Title (publisher/volume) 2004 $ 2004 pp 2004 $/p
J. Electrochem. Soc. (ECS-v.151) $715 5825 $0.12
J. Solid State Electrochem. (Sp-v.9) $585 913 $0.64
Electrochimica Acta (P/Els-v.49) $4215 5260 $0.80
Electroanalysis (W/VCH-v.16) $2428 2094 $1.16
J. Applied Electrochem. (Kl-v.34) $2029 1291 $1.57
J. Electroanal. Chem. (Els-v.560-572) $9469 4267 $2.26

Factoring in the ISI Impact Factors (IP) and normalization of the cost/page/IP values for each commercial journal against the Journal of the Electrochemical Society (JES) produces some very startling results. These normalized values (2004N$/p/IP) are possibly a measure of the cost-effectiveness of each journal compared with JES.

Journal title - 2004 ISI/IP 2004$/p/IP 2004N$/p/IP
J. Electrochem. Soc. - 2.36 0.05 1.0
Electrochimica Acta - 2.34 0.34 6.8
Electroanalysis - 2.04 0.57 11.4
J. Solid State Electrochem. - 0.98 0.65 13.0
J. Electroanal. Chem. - 2.29 0.99 19.8
J. Applied Electrochem. - 0.98 1.60 32.0

While the Electrochemical Society's JES is somewhat unique in its very reasonable cost/page, they are certainly not publishing this journal at a loss. The normalized values of the 2004 cost/page/IP indicate that the J. Electrochem. Soc. is more cost effective than the J. Applied Electrochem. by a factor of 32. Alternatively, looking simply at the difference in the $cost/page data suggests that, if published by a society, J. Electroanal. Chem. could be priced at $512/year instead of $9649.

Given these presumably handsome profits, would it be unreasonable to suggest that commercial publishers consider making their online archives freely available thru an equivalent of PubMed Central?

One can only imagine the enormous positive public relations that the first commercial publisher will receive for this small token of appreciation to the library and research community ... and that this might encourage others to follow suit. This would also have the beneficial effect of freeing up funds for the learned society journal back files, which when their capital costs are met could also be made freely available. Thus, with a little publisher cooperation, an Open Access environment for virtually all journal articles published more than ten years ago would be a reality.

P.S. Publishers should also strongly consider offering RSS feeds, and MARC records for new online books in addition to currently offered e-mail announcements.

Dana L. Roth
Millikan Library / Caltech 1-32
1200 E. California Blvd. Pasadena, CA 91125
626-395-6423 fax 626-792-7540
dzrlib AT

November 17, 2005

BioMed Central to Publish ACS Title in 2006 as Open Access

.: KnowledgeSpeak reports that BioMed Central will assume publication of Geochemical Transactions, the online journal of the Geochemistry Division of ACS, beginning 1 January 2006. From the BioMed Central press release:

BioMed Central is pleased to announce that it will publish Geochemical Transactions, the online journal of the Geochemistry Division of the American Chemical Society, from January 1, 2006. Geochemical Transactions ranks third in impact factor among geochemistry journals and will become the first open access journal in the field.

Geochemical Transactions joins the 140+ open access journals currently published by BioMed Central, including over 70 titles that are run by independent editorial groups. In line with the publisher's open access policy, all articles published in Geochemical Transactions from January 1, 2006 will be immediately and permanently accessible online free of charge. All articles that were published in the journal prior to 2006 will also retrospectively become open access.

October 24, 2005

Petroleum Journals Online

.: Jay Bhatt on STS-L and Roddy MacLeod in the Internet Resources Newsletter have reported on a new open access initiative regarding petroleum engineering. Petroleum Journals Online is a new publishing initiative involving a number of open access journals covering a variety of topics in petroleum engineering:

Petroleum Journals Online (PJO) publishes the first fully refereed e-journals of petroleum engineering. The publications cover the following main areas of petroleum engineering namely: petrophysics, production geology, drilling, production, reservoir engineering, and petroleum management and economics. Content and editorial board composition are international in scope. Articles are accepted on the basis that they will make a lasting contribution to technical literature. Information regarding scope, policies and author guidelines specific to each of the e-journals can be found by visiting the "About" section within the relevant journal's website.
So far, only one issue is available, that being v1 n1 2005 of the e-journal of reservoir engineering.

Of interest are the many "Reading Tools" available with each article, including links to author bios, "capture the citation", Dublin Core metadata, "add comment to the item", and links to related items such as other works by the author(s), quotations, book reviews, etc.

September 23, 2005

Hindawi Publishing Corporation launches Open Access Institutional Membership

.: George forwarded the following press release:

The Hindawi Publishing Corporation is pleased to announce the launch of its Open Access Institutional Membership program. The Institutional Membership was created in order to give libraries and other institutional sponsors the opportunity to encourage Open Access publishing within their organization.

Researchers from Member Institutes will be able to publish in any of our Open Access journals without incurring an article processing charge (usually around €600 per article). A membership for the year 2006 will cost a flat-rate of €2000 per institute, and it will apply to all of our existing Open Access journals as well as any Open Access journals that Hindawi launches during 2006 (around 20 new OA titles are expected in 2006). As an added bonus, all members who sign up during 2005 will automatically be given a free membership for the remainder of this year.

Hindawi currently publishes 10 Open Access journals in a number of fields including electrical engineering, mechanical engineering, biomedicine, applied mathematics and materials science. All articles published in our Open Access journals are released using a Creative Commons Attribution License and are freely available at

For more information about our Open Access Institutional Membership, please visit . If you would like to take part in this program, or if you would like to ask us any questions, please send an email to

Paul Peters
Senior Publishing Developer
Hindawi Publishing Corporation

September 20, 2005

Nucleic Acids Symposium Series -- Free Online Access

From a HighWire announcement which slipped past me 6 months ago:

The Nucleic Acids Symposium Series consists of the proceedings of the Symposium on Nucleic Acids Chemistry held annually in Japan. The online edition of the series is freely available to all, therefore no subscription is needed. Limited copies of the proceedings are printed and distributed to delegates at the symposium.

Nucleic Acids Symposium Series
Fulltext v42+ (1999+)
Print ISSN: 0261-3166 | Online ISSN: 1746-8272

- George S. Porter

September 13, 2005

OA Geosciences Journal Enters Top 50% in ISI Essential Indicators

:: George Porter forwarded information regarding the rapid ascent of Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics into the top 50% of journals in its field, according to an article the August 2005 issue of in-Cites. When asked how he accounts for the increased citation rate of the journal he edits, Chief Executive Editor Dr. Ulrich Pöschl noted the following:

The high and increasing citation rates of ACP are certainly due to multiple reasons, most of which are related to the advantages of its interactive open access journal concept (freely accessible two-stage publications with public peer review and interactive discussion as detailed on the journal website*). We think that the following aspects are most important:
  1. free internet accessibility of all articles (open access publishing);
  2. rapid dissemination of novel scientific results as discussion papers on the ACPD website (minimum time from submission to publication on the order of one week);
  3. public documentation of the review process (quality assurance) and availability of complementary information in fully citable interactive comments from the referees, authors, and other interested scientists, which have not been publicly available in traditional scientific journals; and
  4. top quality and information density of the final papers published in ACP after revision and peer review completion in view of the interactive public discussion, including referee comments like in the traditional closed peer review process plus the input from other interested scientists

September 7, 2005

Geosphere - New Open Access Journal From GSA

Geosphere is the Geological Society of America's first Open Access journal. Geosphere joins GSA's two established journals, Geology and Geological Society of America Bulletin, and its magazine, GSA Today, all of which are hosted by Allen Press . Accoding to the journal's Additional Information page, Geosphere will appear bimonthly.

Fulltext v1+ (2005+)
ISSN: 1553-040X

[Thanks to Jim O'Donnell and Michael Noga.]

- George S. Porter

August 25, 2005

PNAS, Open Access, and Levels of Interest - Commentary by George Porter

.: George Porter, contributor to STLQ and Librarian at Sherman Fairchild Library, CalTech, offers a thoughtful analysis on open access and the impact on readership, using PNAS as a test case. - Randy.

There has been a great deal of speculation about the willingness of authors to pay fees to provide greater access to their articles. Contributors to the discussion on all sides of the Open Access (OA) debate (and there are certainly more than two schools of thought on the subject) have been able to find numbers to support their theses. However, it has proven exceedingly difficult to find a virtually unassailable test case from which all interested parties could concede that valid lessons might be drawn.

An opportunity presents itself with the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America (PNAS) is a respected, established scientific journal.

PNAS is a signatory of the DC Principles and has chosen a 6 month window of exclusivity for subscribers. In addition, PNAS instituted a Walker/Prosser model of OA by the article in late 2004. Under this model, authors may pay an additional fee to provide immediate global access to their published article.

Continue reading "PNAS, Open Access, and Levels of Interest - Commentary by George Porter" »

August 18, 2005

Two New Open Access Informatics Journals

.: George Porter reports the following: Cancer Informatics is a new peer-reviewed, open-access journal from Libertas Academica. The first issue has already been released. A banner on the journal's website indicates Cancer Informatics has been accepted for indexing in PubMed, although I haven't found independent confirmation yet.

Jason Moore, a member of the editorial board, from the Computational Genetics Laboratory at Dartmouth Medical School, provides a good summary of the target areas of Cancer Informatics in a posting to his Epistasis Blog.

Evolutionary Bioinformatics Online (EBO) is a new Open Access journal, the first issue of which has not yet been released. EBO is the second Open Access journal started by Libertas Academica, following the recent debut of Cancer Informatics.

Libertas Academica is a fairly new arrival on the publishing scene, having been "... established in 2004 to promote and expand Open Access to scientific, technical and medical information. Our mission is to implement Open Access journals whilst still preserving the very high editorial standard that have characterized conventional subscription-based publishing in the past."

.: George also reports that PubChem has added structures from the NIH Chemical Genomics Center (NCGC). As well, PubChem has added structures from ChemBridge and updated its structures from ChemIDplus and NIAID

June 27, 2005

PLoS Computational Biology Debuts

:: As posted by George Porter on a number of listservs today:

PLoS, the Public Library of Science, launched their third Open Access journal this week. PLoS Computational Biology joins PLoS Biology and PLoS Medicine.

PLoS Computational Biology is the first journal to launch of the three new titles announced for introduction in 2005. PLoS Genetics has a preview available of some of the articles which will appear in the debut issue. PLoS Genetics will go live on July 25. PLoS Pathogens is slated to debut in September 2005.

PLoS Computational Biology
Fulltext v1+ (2005+)
Print ISSN: 1553-734X | Online ISSN: 1553-7358

Continue reading "PLoS Computational Biology Debuts" »

April 26, 2005

Open Access Journals Increase in Numbers

:: Interesting article in Wired News: Open-Access Journals Flourish. According to the article, at least 1,525 open access journals are available, which is between 5-10% of the journals on the planet.

April 22, 2005

CSA Launches "Sustainability" Open Access E-Journal

:: From an e-mail received today from Cambridge:

Sustainability: Science, Practice, & Policy, a new peer-reviewed, open access journal, has launched publication. Accessible at, the e-journal provides a platform for the dissemination of new practices and for dialogue emerging out of the field of sustainability.

Sustainability: Science, Practice, & Policy includes peer-reviewed full-text articles, guest editorials, and community essays. The guest editorial in the premier issue is by Edward O. Wilson, Pellegrino University Research Professor, Harvard University. Each issue presents a symposium exploring the sustainability issues relating to the topic.

Complete issues of Sustainability: Science, Practice, & Policy will be published twice a year and are available at no charge at In addition, articles for issues in progress will be posted after completing the peer-review and editorial process.

The journal is published as part of an ambitious government / private industry partnership between CSA and the National Biological Information Infrastructure (NBII).

For additional information about please access

More information is available in the CSA Press Release.

April 4, 2005

Blackwell Offers Free Backfiles to Selected Titles

:: George Porter forwarded a message written by Chuck Hamaker and posted to the SPARC Open Access Forum by Peter Suber, regarding Blackwell now offering free access to archives of some of their journals:

These journals on the Blackwell (s)ite all STATE they have free archives. There are others that are free at the moment, but don't have a statement about whether they are free or not, and their are other titles that just make certain sections i.e. reviews, free.

There are undoubtedly others. This was a quick run through. But it shows a significant number of major journals are making their backfiles free, across a range of subjects.

BLACKWELL's Free Archives -([partial list I'm sure]}

Acta Ophthalmologica Scandinavica
Published on behalf of the Institution Acta Ophthalmologica Scandinavica
Free access to issues over two years old

British Journal of Clinical Pharmacology
Published on behalf of The British Pharmacological Society
All online journal issues older than one year are available free to all users.

Cellular Microbiology
Free access to all review articles
Free access to issues over two years old

Continue reading "Blackwell Offers Free Backfiles to Selected Titles" »

David Stern on Open Access

:: David Stern, Director of Science Libraries and Information Services, Kline Science Library, Yale University, has written a timely piece on open access. He argues that the open access publishing model isn't necessary or wanted, and represents a danger to the stability of the current scholarly publication network. In Open Access or Differential Pricing for Journals: The Road Best Traveled?, from Online, v29 n2, March/April 2005, he writes:

Open access (OA) is becoming a reality, with new cost models under development. The various cost models will have serious short- and long-term implications for libraries and dangerously impact the scholarly communication network. I believe that the adoption of the OA model for journals will create serious instabilities within the existing scholarly publication industry. OA, as a business model, is neither necessary nor desirable. With or without the often-discussed author charges approach, it would be almost impossible to obtain the same amount of total revenue through selected libraries as now exists from the much larger base of library subscriptions. Tiered or differential pricing (and services) among the existing subscribers would be a far more logical approach to supporting a modified scholarly journal distribution network.

March 22, 2005

Beilstein Launches Open Access Journal on Organic Chemistry

:: George Porter sent word about the following new open access journal for organic chemistry:

San Diego, CA.: The prestigious Beilstein-Institut today announced the launch of the first major Open Access journal for organic chemistry. Beilstein Journal of Organic Chemistry will be published by the Beilstein-Institut in co-operation with BioMed Central, the Open Access publisher. The peer-reviewed online journal will begin publication during 2005, and a call for papers, providing full information for authors, will be issued in May.

Director of the Beilstein-Institut Martin Hicks made the announcement at the American Chemical Society 229th Annual Meeting in San Diego, California. Professor Jonathan Clayden, of the University of Manchester, has been confirmed as the Editor-in-Chief, and an international editorial advisory board is also being appointed.

The Beilstein Journal of Organic Chemistry will publish outstanding original research on all aspects of organic chemistry and related disciplines. Areas covered in the journal will include: organic synthesis, organic reactions and mechanisms, natural products chemistry and chemical biology, organic materials and macro- and supramolecular organic chemistry.

Continue reading "Beilstein Launches Open Access Journal on Organic Chemistry" »

March 11, 2005

International Journal of Rotating Machinery Goes Open Access

:: George Porter forwarded this post from Peter Suber on Open Access News, which will be of interest to engineering librarians, especially mechanical:

Hindawi Publishing has announced that The International Journal of Rotating Machinery has converted to open access, effective immediately. From the announcement: 'IJRM is edited by Prof Wen-Jei Yang of the University of Michigan, USA. The journal employs an open access model based on article processing charges to be paid by the authors' institution or research grant. The journal shall have an online edition which is free with no subscription or registration barriers and a print edition which shall be priced at a level reasonable for covering the printing cost. All articles published in the journal shall be distributed under the "Creative Commons Attribution License," which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. Hindawi is currently working on retro-digitizing the back volumes of the journal and will make these volumes available online in the near future.' (PS: Kudos to Hindawi for this important step.)
This is good news, but with one concern. The subscription through MetaPress goes back to v8 n1 Jan/Feb 2002, whereas Hindawi is offering it from v9 n1 Jan 2003 only. A minor quibble perhaps, but there will always be at least one researcher who needs that one volume to which access is no longer offered.

March 8, 2005

Theory of Computing -- New OA journal

:: As posted by George Porter to PAMNET-L (and other listservs): Theory of Computing (ToC) is based at the University of Chicago Department of Computer Science, with mirrors at IIT Kanpur, SzTAKI, Budapest, and KTH, Stockholm. ToC cites the Electronic Journal of Combinatorics (EJC) as the source of its publishing model. Considering that EJC recently has been added to ISI's Web of Science, this seems like a reasonable choice of role models. In addition, ToC has a separately published section, Quantum Computing.

Theory of Computing is the second of two Open Access journals specializing in theoretical computer science which were inspired by the editorial board revolt at the Journal of Algorithms. [For background on the Journal of Algorithms kerfuffle, consider reading Commentary: The Crisis In Scholarly Communication and Journal of Algorithms Fallout Getting Noticed, Stanford U Takes Stand Against "Pricey Journals] Both are overlay journals, utilizing the Computing Research Repository (CoRR), the computer science portion of arXiv.

Continue reading "Theory of Computing -- New OA journal" »

March 7, 2005

ACS Broadens Article Access

:: From Chemical & Engineering News, March 7, 2005, v83 n10, p10: "ACS Broadens Article Access - Conditions set for free availability one year after publication"

The American Chemical Society is broadening access to research articles published in its scholarly journals. The society is introducing two experimental policies that define how readers can view free digital versions of the articles beginning one year after publication.

The first policy represents a response to public access guidelines recently released by the National Institutes of Health (C&EN, Feb. 7, page 23). NIH encourages authors whose work it funds to submit their peer-reviewed manuscripts to PubMed Central, the agency's free digital archive of biomedical and life sciences journal literature. ACS has decided to take on the task of submission to PubMed Central on behalf of its authors, according to Robert D. Bovenschulte, president of the society's Publications Division. ACS will authorize PubMed Central to make the authors' versions of unedited manuscripts available to the public 12 months after the edited, final articles are published by ACS.

The above reported by Sophie Rovner. Via: Open Access News.

:: The March v6.3 2005 issue of ACS's LiveWire is now available.

Open Access Bibliography

:: Charles W Bailey,Assistant Dean for Digital Library Planning and Development, University of Houston, sent the following e-mail regarding the Open Access Bibliography:

The Open Access Bibliography: Liberating Scholarly Literature with E-Prints and Open Access Journals presents over 1,300 selected English-language books, conference papers (including some digital video presentations), debates, editorials, e-prints, journal and magazine articles, news articles, technical reports, and other printed and electronic sources that are useful in understanding the open access movement's efforts to provide free access to and unfettered use of scholarly literature.
Most sources have been published between 1999 and August 31, 2004; however, a limited number of key sources published prior to 1999 are also included. Where possible, links are provided to sources that are freely available on the Internet (approximately 78 percent of the bibliography's references have such links).

This bibliography has been published as a printed book (ISBN 1-59407-670-7) by the Association of Research Libraries (ARL).

ARL and the author have made the above PDF version of the bibliography freely available. It is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial License.

February 14, 2005

Proceedings of Science - New Open Access Initiative to Publish Conference Proceedings

:: I read this on PAMNET-L, and think it's a brilliant idea:

Dear colleagues,
I would like to inform you about a new, online service provided by SISSA - the International School for Advanced Studies of Trieste - to the scientific community, called PoS - Proceedings of Science.

PoS publishes online, at moderate rates for organizers, conference proceedings in the fields of Astronomy, Biophysics, Mathematics, Neuroscience and Physics and Science communication. Access by the readership is OPEN ACCESS, without registration or charge. Moreover, the online publication procedure is fast and user-friendly thanks to the software system that runs the entire editorial procedure. I think that including this open resource, which publishes highly rated conferences, in your databases could improve the service offered by your library. Given its low rates and its easy use I think that you could recommend this service to conference organizers in your institution.

Best regards
dott. Andrea Wehrenfennig; SISSA Library Head
tel. 0039-040-3787523; fax 0039-040-3787528
andreaw AT sissa DOT it;

January 7, 2005

International Libraries and the Internet Archive Collaborate To Build Open-Access Text Archives

:: This is old news from The Internet Archive, on December 15, 2004, but important nonetheless. From the press release:

Today, a number of International libraries have committed to putting their digitized books in open-access archives, starting with one at the Internet Archive. This approach will ensure permanent and public access to our published heritage. Anyone with an Internet connection will have access to these collections and the growing set of tools to make use of them. In this way we are getting closer to the goal of Universal Access to All Knowledge.

By working with libraries from 5 countries, and working to expand this number, we are bringing a broad range of materials to every interested individual. This growing commitment to open access through public archives marks a significant commitment to broad, public, and free access. While still early in its evolution, works in dozens of languages are already stored in the Internet Archive's Open-Access Text Archive offering a breadth of materials to everyone.

Over one million books have been committed to the Text Archive. Currently over twenty-seven thousand are available and an additional fifty thousand are expected in the first quarter of 2005. Advanced processing of these multilingual books will offer unprecedented access.

December 15, 2004

ACS Division of Chemical Information - Highlights from 228th Meeting, Philadelphia, August 2004, Of Interest to Librarians

:: The 228th ACS National Meeting was held in Philadelphia in August, 2004. A selection of slide presentations from some of the 98(!) sessions of the Division of Chemical Information are available for viewing on the web site. On the ReedElsevier discussion list, Joe Kraus noted that Karen Hunter of Elsevier gave a presentation on open access:

CINF 31: Elsevier: A commercial publisher's perspectives on Open Access Karen Hunter, Elsevier, 360 Park Avenue South, New York, NY 10010, k.hunter AT

Abstract: The publishing industry, academia, and scientific research itself, have gone through a tidalwave of change since the emergence of the internet. During the early days of the transition to online publishing, many perceived a revolution of science in the making. Today, usage of scientific journals online has doubled year on year, indicating that scientific information is reaching users like never before. At the same time, library budgets continue to be reduced and libraries are forced to make difficult decisions about collection development and access. Various forms of "pay to publish" models are surfacing, as well as alternative distribution models. Now once again, revolution is in the air. This presentation will include proprietary Elsevier research and focus on Elsevier's view, as a commercial publisher, on Open Access and related activities, such as Open Archiving and institutional repositories, as well as the general outlook for the future.

Dana Roth commented on Hunter's presentation:
Thanks to Joe for this 'heads up'. It is interesting to see the cost/article for varying from $10K down (Science) to $3.8K (estimated STM mean cost).

One suspects that Science is dividing their total cost of production by the number of research articles.

The AIP is offering 'open access' for $2K (in 2005 for J. Math. Phys., Rev. Sci. Instrum. & Chaos), in contrast with Springer's charge of $3K.

Acta Crystallography is offering it at $800 (450GBP), which includes "editorial and production costs of editing, markup, hyperlinking, validation and assembly of an article and any associated supplementary materials".

Optics Express is charging $450 (for 6 pages or less)and $800 (for 7-15 pages), but is specifically not offering copy editing.

**It would be nice to have a tabulation of journals and 'open access' charges so, if you have info on others, please post.

Continue reading "ACS Division of Chemical Information - Highlights from 228th Meeting, Philadelphia, August 2004, Of Interest to Librarians" »

December 9, 2004

AZoNano Launch Online Open Access Journal of Nanotechnology

:: A new, open access journal on nanotechnology is forthcoming: Pty. Ltd. Sydney Australia and the UK-based Institute of Nanotechnology are pleased to announce the forthcoming launch of the Online Journal of Nanotechnology.

The Online Journal of Nanotechnology is based on a free access publishing model, coupled with what is believed to be a unique development in the field of scientific publishing the distribution of journal revenue between the authors, peer reviewers and site operators.

The Online Journal of Nanotechnology at will publish high quality articles and papers on all aspects of nanotechnology and related scientific, social and ethical issues. All the contributions will be reviewed by a world class panel of founding editors who are experts in a wide spectrum of nanotechnology science.

Via On Christina's Radar.

November 16, 2004

American Institute of Physics Announces "AIP Author Select" - A New Open Access Initiative for 2005

:: As posted to PAMNET on 15 November 2004

:MELVILLE, NEW YORK, NOVEMBER 15, 2004 - The American Institute of Physics announced today that it will offer on a trial basis an open-access publishing option to authors contributing to three AIP journals: Journal of Mathematical Physics, Review of Scientific Instruments, and Chaos: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Nonlinear Science. The initiative has been named "AIP Author Select."

Continue reading "American Institute of Physics Announces "AIP Author Select" - A New Open Access Initiative for 2005" »

November 15, 2004

Open Access Journals in the ISI Citation Db

:: Thomson Scientific has issued a white paper, entitled Open Access Journals in the ISI Citation Databases: Analysis of Impact Factors and Citation Patterns - A citation study from Thomson Scientific. Using the 2003 Journal Citation Reports, ISI re-examined the coverage and citation performance for open access journals. From the abstract:

The evolving environment of scholarly publishing includes additional avenues for making content openly available. Our findings suggest that over 55% of the journals and over 65% of the articles indexed in Web of Science in 2003 are produced by publishers who permit some form of self-archiving, and could be made OA by author archiving.

November 9, 2004

UK Gov't Passes on Opportunity To Support Open Access

:: As reported last year, the UK Science and Technology Committee has been conducting an inquiry into scientific publications. The Guardian had reported that the inquiry could put Reed Elsevier at risk. The final report of the Committee was released in July, 2004, and called on the UK government to support open access publishing.

On the CHMINF-L discussion group on November 8, Bill Town reported that the UK Science and Technology Committee has released its Fourteenth Report of Session 2003-04, entitled: Responses to the Committee's Tenth Report, Session 2003-04: Scientific Publications: Free for all?. From p7 of the report:

Conclusions and recommendations

1. It is clear to us that, in the Government Response, DTI has sought to neutralise some of views put forward by the Joint Information Systems Committee and other organisations and departments. This will prevent the Government from making any significant progress on this issue. (Paragraph 7)

2. Rather than engaging in the complex issues posed by the Committee�s Report, the Government has clearly decided against the author-pays model ahead of the further investigation that it was urged to pursue. This approach prejudges the issue. (Paragraph 8)

3. Following completion of the European Commission study into the market for scientific publications, to which the OFT response refers, we request that the Director General of Fair Trading agrees to write again to the Committee setting out the actions he proposes to take on the basis of the Commission�s findings and the concerns expressed in our Report. (Paragraph 10)

4. We are disappointed that the Government has missed the opportunity to take more decisive action in response to our Report. We recommend that the Government reconsider its position on this important issue in the light of the other responses to our Report published here; the forthcoming RCUK policy on the publication of, and access to, research outputs; and in view of the support for the Committee�s stance from the Wellcome Trust, an important research funder. In this context, we do not believe that Government should continue to refuse to provide the modest funds necessary to make institutional repositories workable, and to allow the experimentation necessary to properly test the feasibility of the author-pays publishing model. (Paragraph 12)

Richard Wray, writing in The Guardian, was quick to respond:
The government yesterday threw away an opportunity to carry out a thorough review of the way scientific research is disseminated. Instead of engaging constructively with the Commons science and technology committee and assessing the potential impact of moves towards "open access" to research, the government - led by the department of trade and industry - sided with the traditional subscriptions-based journal publishers
Wray also reported on the response of the Committee's members to the "obstructive" response of the UK Government.

Continue reading "UK Gov't Passes on Opportunity To Support Open Access" »

October 28, 2004

BioMed Central Provides MARC Records

:: George Porter sent an e-mail about the following:

BioMed Central provides MARC records to facilitate the cataloging of their large collection of Open Access journals. A delimited spreadsheet containing titles, URLs, ISSNs, journal abbreviation and date of initial publication is also available. Very few publishers have proven so supportive of the library community. BioOne, a SPARC Scientific Community, is deserving of special mention in this regard for being a pioneer in providing application-neutral spreadsheets to facilitate cataloging.

September 29, 2004

The Other Side of the "Open Access" Issue - Dana Roth

For some views from the 'other side' ...

:: There is note in Nature, v431, n7005, September 9, 2004. p.111, "Experiments in Publishing", which reviews Nature's Web Focus on the topic of Open Access. "One conclusion of the forum, which has already wrapped up, is that societies and publishers must remain financially healthy if they are to be able to maintain the quality of information, launch new journals and innovate electronically".

:: "Open Access to Journals Won't Lower Prices" is the thought provoking headline of a 'Point of View' by John H. Ewing (Executive Director of the American Mathematical Society), in the October 1, 2004 issue of the Chronicle of Higher Education. Subscriber access at:

Ewing's main points are:

  • "We are told that the real problem is access to information, and that we should focus our attention on making material more accessible. Magicians call this technique misdirection, and it's at the heart of all tricks."
  • "Commercial publishers are delighted by the inadvertent misdirection because it diverts attention from the exorbitant prices they charge. As savvy business people, they understand that changing how they collect money does not have to change their profit margins."
  • "Do we need to destroy our publishing system to find a solution? Perhaps. But the argument that an open-access, author-pay model would solve the problem of prices is tenuous at best. Such a revolutionary restructuring of journals goes against Occam's razor, the idea that the most effective solutions are usually the simplest ones."
  • "Scholars and librarians have to stop dealing with high-priced journals,
    as authors, editors, referees, or subscribers."
  • "Will cutting off ties to high-priced journals be easy? Surely not. But it is far more likely to solve the problem of prices than changing the way we collect the money."
- Dana Roth

September 27, 2004

Canada's Innovation Deficit

:: Michael Geist, Research Chair in Internet and E-commerce Law, University of Ottawa, has written a through-provoking and timely article in the Toronto Star about the innovation deficit in Canada. Next week in Canada, the Governor General will deliver the Speech From The Throne to begin the fall session in the Canadian House of Commons. Geist writes:

While the government will likely propose a plan to avoid a fiscal deficit, there are two other Canadian deficits that merit its attention as well. This week's column addresses one of these Canada's innovation deficit. The federal and provincial governments urgently need to adopt policies that foster innovation by increasing access to, and dissemination of, cutting-edge Canadian knowledge and research in order to correct the imbalance between dollars spent on research and educational materials and the corresponding outputs to the Canadian research and education communities.
Geist outlines three issues he believes need to be addressed. Concerning dissemination of publicly funded research, he advocates an open-access model:
Late last month, a group of Nobel prize winners in the United States (which faces the same dilemma) issued a public letter calling on their government to link public research funding with public dissemination of the results. Canada should jump at the chance to adopt a similar model that would tie free, public dissemination to all publicly funded research. Such an approach would still leave room to commercialize the research results, while providing Canadians with an unprecedented innovation opportunity and a more immediate return on its research granting investment.

Continue reading "Canada's Innovation Deficit" »

September 24, 2004

Free and/or OA Journals in Librarianship - George Porter

Yesterday, George Porter, on a number of discussion groups, wrote about free and open access journals dedicated to the profession. Additional titles in the list were e-mailed to me directly.

Today's launch of Biomedical Digital Libraries [see note on Open Access News, hosted by BioMed Central, got me to thinking about the tools of the librarian trade. Here are the complete fulltext journals, either free or Open Access, which come to my mind. I'm sure I'll miss a few, which is why I'm casting a pretty wide net.

Issues in Science and Technology Librarianship
Fulltext no0+ (1991+); ISSN: 1092-1206

Cites & Insights: Crawford at Large (CI:CaL)
Fulltext v1+ (2001+); ISSN: 1534-0937

D-Lib Magazine
Fulltext v1+ (1995+); ISSN: 1082-9873

Current Cites
Fulltext v1+ (1990+); ISSN: 1060-2356

Continue reading "Free and/or OA Journals in Librarianship - George Porter" »

September 22, 2004

Is Open Access Socialized Science?

:: Rudy Baum is Editor-in-Chief of Chemical & Engineering News. In v82 n38 p7, 20 Sept 2004, he comments on the open access model, and is not in favour of it:

As I've written on this page in the past, one important consequence of electronic publishing is to shift primary responsibility for maintaining the archive of STM literature from libraries to publishers. I know that publishers like the American Chemical Society are committed to maintaining the archive of material they publish. Maintaining an archive, however, costs money. It is not hard to imagine a scenario in which some publishers, their revenues squeezed at least in part by loss of subscriptions as a result of open-access policies, decide to cut costs by turning off access to their archives. The material, they would rationalize, is posted on government websites.
The editorial has provoked responses on CHMINF-L:

Continue reading "Is Open Access Socialized Science?" »

September 20, 2004

News Items of Interest from Information Today

Amazon Launches Search Site, Inc., a subsidiary of, Inc., has launched to make searching the Internet more effective. The new site builds on a beta test version the company introduced in April 2004 that offered Google searching of the Web combined with searches of Amazon's books and site information from Amazon's subsidiary, Alexa Internet. The official launch of adds several information sources and new search and organizational features. The company says the new site is more of an information management tool.

Continue reading "News Items of Interest from Information Today" »

September 13, 2004

Free Full-Text Journals in Chemistry

:: As posted to CHMINF-L:

A new academic year starts and the directory Free Full-Text Journals in Chemistry returns to active living.

All links and comments had been verified in August 2004. It was a surprise to me that less than ten journals died or closed free access to full texts since August 2003. Moreover, every forth journal of the list has expanded in free cyberspace.

As in the previous year, I plan to add new information to the site twice a
month. Don't miss announcements on short-term freebies in Part B of the Directory.

RSS feed <> is on.

I appreciate your comments.
Alexander Ragoisha
ragoisha AT bsu DOT by

August 16, 2004

The Botox of scholarly communications

I just received a notification that the latest issue of Open Access Now is out. As per usual, it has a number of intriguing stories related to OA initiatives--some of which involve gains with rather large publishing houses. A lot of this has already made the rounds on many of the listservs and blogs but I still find it interesting. The editorial quotes Dylan, "You better start swimmin', or you'll sink like a stone, for the times they are a-changin'". The times are definitely changing, although it still remains a mystery to me as to who is swimming and who exactly will end up at the bottom of the pond.

BTW - Charles Bailey's Scholarly Electronic Publishing Bibliography is now up to Version 54 (7/13/2004). His blog just pointed me to an interesting paper on OA appearing in the latest issue of First Monday. To read about how "OA is the Botox of scholarly communications," see The devil you don’t know: The unexpected future of Open Access publishing. I may have been asleep at the wheel, but I thought this paper would have provoked more debate on the lists. Thoughts?

August 11, 2004

Open Access Journals: Revenue Beyond Author Charges

:: David Stern, Director of Science Libraries and Information Services, Kline Science Library, Yale, has created a web page that provides an outline of one version of a proposed open access model. The site is called Open Access Journals: revenue beyond author charges. The approach "is based upon guaranteed revenue generated through differential pricing, with direct and indirect charges to vested institutions." From the web site:

This page will attempt to outline the current pricing models that are being tested for supporting Open Access to electronic journals. My definition of open access is: freely available immediate access to published peer reviewed research articles.
David welcomes comments on his proposal, which can be added from the site.

:: Brian Simboli, Lehigh U, has created the "Non-Exhaustive List of Resources about Open Access Publishing".

July 30, 2004

U.K. House of Commons Science and Technology Committee Inquiry into Scientific Publications Releases Final Report

:: Richard Poynder reports in Information Today NewsBreaks that the U.K. House of Commons Science and Technology Committee has completed its work, and published its final report, Scientific Publications: Free for all? (see 20 July 2004). Poynder notes:

Following 7 months of deliberation, the U.K. House of Commons Science and Technology Committee has concluded that the current model for scientific publishing is unsatisfactory, and it has called on the U.K. government to support open access (OA). Arguing that traditional subscription-based publishing is restricting access to research, as library budgets fail to keep pace with constant price rises, the report recommends that the government create a network of institutional repositories and mandate all publicly funded researchers to deposit a copy of all their articles in the repositories, thereby making their research accessible to all free of charge, online.

Continue reading "U.K. House of Commons Science and Technology Committee Inquiry into Scientific Publications Releases Final Report" »

July 29, 2004

NIH Research to be Open Access

:: I guess you could call this breaking news! Paula Park reported today, in The Scientist, that Elias Zerhouni, director of the US National Institutes of Health (NIH), "indicated at a gathering of 43 scientific journal publishers and editors Wednesday (July 28) that eventually all NIH-financed research will be freely available to the public." Full-text of Park's report is here. On CHMINF-L, Rob McFarland reacted to this news by writing, "Did anyone know NIH was moving this quickly??? Think of the possible implications!"

:: On a sad note, Francis Crick, co-discovered of the double helix, passed away yesterday in San Diego.

Journal of STEM Education

:: The Journal of STEM Education: Innovations and Research, is now available online:

The Journal of STEM Education: Innovations and Research is a half yearly, peer-reviewed publication for educators in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) education. The journal emphasizes real-world case studies that focus on issues that are relevant and important to STEM practitioners. These studies may showcase field research as well as secondary-sourced cases. The journal encourages case studies that cut across the different STEM areas and that cover non-technical issues such as finance, cost, management, risk, safety, etc. Case studies are typically framed around problems and issues facing a decision maker in an organization.
The journal began with a March 2000 issue, at which time it was called Journal of SMET Education: Innovations and Research. The name changed with the v4, issue3-4, July-Dec 2003 issue, "to reflect a change in usage by the National Science Foundation, which has adopted the term STEM to emphasize that the focus needs to be on science, technology, engineering and math." Abstracts are available from v1 issue1, April 2000 to v4 issues1-2, January-June 2003.

July 26, 2004

Open Archives Initiative Data Providers. Part II: Science and

:: Gerry McKiernan has made available for viewing his recent article, "Open Archives Initiative Data Providers. Part II: Science and Technology", which appeared in Library Hi Tech News, v21, n5, (June 2004): 22-30.

July 6, 2004

Relative Value of an Open Access Article - Commentary by George Porter

:: Once upon a time, folk wisdom held that "a man's word is his bond." This evolved(?) into, "a verbal contract isn't worth the paper it's written on."

The recent Parliamentary inquiry into Open Access and STM publishing had proponents on both sides of an Open Access variation on that theme -- notably, those who contended that Open Access journals/articles were of profoundly dubious quality.

As one who still believes in the value of a promise, I'd like to call attention to evidence, not just supposition, of the value and validity of, at least one, OA article.

Microarray results: how accurate are they?
Kothapalli R, Yoder SJ, Mane S, Loughran TP
3: art. no. 22 2002

Currently cited 23 times in Web of Science, it was designated a 'New Hot Paper' by ISI's Essential Science Indicators service. To my surprise, the topic under which it appears as a New Hot Paper is Computer Science.

New Hot Paper Comments
By Ravi Kothapalli
ESI Special Topics, May 2004
Citing URL -

I remembered having seen a news item about the New Hot Paper designation at
BioMed Central when I came across a citation in the bibliography of a current article in Plant Cell by a Caltech biologist. - George Porter

June 30, 2004

Entomological Routes to Open Access

:: From an e-mail on STS-L:

Dr. Thomas J. Walker, Professor Emeritus, University of Florida, Gainesville, gave an excellent presentation on open access at the STS Publisher/Vendor Relations Discussion Group Session on Saturday, June 26, during the American Library Association 2004 Annual Conference. Dr. Walker talked about the different approaches used by two entomological societies to move from traditional, paper-based dissemination of journal articles to dissemination that is Web-based and free to all users.

Dr. Walker's PowerPoint presentation and explanatory notes are posted at

Dr Walker has created a page on his web site called Web Access to Traditionally Published Journals, which features links some of his articles, presentations and discussions on open access, as well as links to other sites of related interest.

June 28, 2004

Nucleic Acids Research Moves to Open Access Model

:: Oxford U Press has announced that Nucleic Acids Research will move to an open-access model:

Oxford Journals, a Division of Oxford University Press (OUP), announced today that its flagship journal Nucleic Acids Research (NAR) is to move to a full 'Open Access' (OA) publishing model from January 2005. This represents a significant step towards maximum dissemination of scholarly research, a core part of OUP's mission as a leading University-owned Press.

NAR will adopt a mandatory OA model whereby authors pay a fee once their paper has been accepted, and all articles published online are immediately available without charge.

The full text of the announcement is available here. Further details are available here.

From: Peter Scott's Library Blog.

June 14, 2004

Open Access and Archiving At SLA

:: Obviously I kept missing other bloggers at SLA. Garrett Eastman dropped me a note this morning, with links to his summaries, posted on Open Access News, of two important sessions at SLA, both of which I missed because of other commitments. The sessions Garrett covered were Publisher/Libarian Archiving Initiatives and Open Access Publishing. Thanks for letting me know!

May 31, 2004

ISI Adding Open Access Journals to Web of Science

:: Thomson ISI issued a press release in April, noting that of the 8,700 journals covered in Web of Science, 191 of them are open access titles.

Philadelphia, PA USA-London UK April 15, 2004Today, Thomson ISI, a business of The Thomson Corporation, announced that journals published in the new Open Access (OA) model are beginning to register impact in the world of scholarly research. A significant number of Open Access journals meet the Thomson ISI selection criteria, which ensures that only the highest-quality content is indexed.

Of the 8,700 selected journals currently covered in Web of Science, 191 are OA journals. Though small in comparison to the total number of journals indexed in Web of Science, the number is quite significant in terms of the progress made by the OA movement. The Thomson ISI editorial staff reviews nearly 2,000 journals annually, but only 10-12% of the evaluated journals are accepted. The same established set of criteria that is applied to traditionally published journals is also applied to OA journals as part of the selection process.

Also available is The Impact of Open Access Journals - A Citation Study from ISI. (Thanks, George.)

May 26, 2004

When A Journal Ceases Publication - Commentary by George Porter

What happens when a journal ceases to produce new issues?

In the print environment, at least from the librarian/academician standpoint, the answer was perfectly clear -- no new issues arrived, but all received issues remain available until a collection management/space decision led to a conscious, locally determined change in that situation.

Local control over what happens to the material is a critical difference between the print and online environments. Online, authors, scholars, and libraries tend to be at the vendor's mercy, having no control the fate of the published archive.

Vendors have the unfortunate ability to conflate multiple titles and multiple ISSNs into a single web archive; i.e. Journal of Climate & Applied Meteorology, from the American Meteorological Society inhabits an archive with its successor, Journal of Applied Meteorology. Wiley is notorious for splitting titles and ignoring the rules for ISSN issuance. Whenever a journal changes title or splits into sections, from a cataloging/ISSN standpoint, multiple bibliographic records and ISSNs are required to track the changes. For instance, in 2003, Wiley split Journal of Experimental Zoology (JEZ) into JEZ A and JEZ B; however, Wiley insists that all 3 titles have the same ISSN, 0022-104X. The American Geophysical Union (AGU) goes further, insisting that the six sections of Journal of Geophysical Research (JGR) are a single publication with ISSN 0148-0227. I've even seen the occasional conflation of multiple journals, not continuations of one another on the same web page. That won't/shouldn't happen in a library.

A title simply changing publishers is usually a nonevent to librarians and authors, but is a huge upheaval in the online publishing world. Catalogers will ensure that issues from one volume appear with issues of the succeeding volume. In the online environment, volumes may disappear, be transferred, have redirects, or a number of other variations which are yet to be discovered.

In the online environment the simple question, what happens to a journal...?, has a multitude of facets:

    * has the title merged or split to continue under a new title(s)
    * has the title changed
    * is the question being asked/answered by a librarian/academic or a publisher
    * has the title been transferred between publishers, thus possibly 'ceasing' from the point of view of the initial publisher
Here are a couple of examples to illustrate some, but certainly not all, of the ways in which a seemingly simple question is answered.

Continue reading "When A Journal Ceases Publication - Commentary by George Porter" »

May 25, 2004

PNAS Introduces Open Access Publishing Option

May 24, 2004

Bridget Coughlin, Managing Editor
202-334-1370, e-mail BCoughlin AT

The Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS) now offers an open access publishing option. PNAS authors may opt to pay a $1000 surcharge to make their articles available for free via PNAS Online ( and PubMed Central ( immediately upon publication. PNAS will offer this open access option as an experiment until December 31, 2005. PNAS will then continue to move toward an author-pays open access model, maintain the option in the same or modified form, or discontinue it. By introducing this option, PNAS strengthens its commitment to making the scientific literature more freely available than ever before, and hopes that its support of open access will encourage other scientific publishers to follow suit. PNAS will evaluate author participation and the financial impact of the open access option on PNAS revenue.

"The benefits to science of unfettered access to the literature are obvious," says Nicholas R. Cozzarelli, PNAS Editor-in-Chief. "Open access publishing offers the immediate release of scientific results to everyone without the delay and cost of obtaining research articles through journal subscriptions. The challenge of open access is how to pay for it. This is particularly important for PNAS, which operates as a nonprofit, break-even operation and does not maintain contingency funds or capital reserves. PNAS is starting by experimenting with an open access option for authors. It is a compromise between open access for all articles and doing business as usual." The first open access article is by Yang and Purves (1), published online in PNAS Early Edition on May 19, 2004.

Continue reading "PNAS Introduces Open Access Publishing Option" »

May 24, 2004

Rush Hour on the Information Superhighway

:: To feed my personal NYC obsession, I subscribe to Time Out New York. Although it arrives in my mailbox anywhere from 3-5 weeks after publication, I look forward to each issue. While its content keeps me up-to-date on All Things Pop Culture and All Things NYC, there are always well-written articles that pique my interest and result in further investigation on my part. In many cases, the articles are not necessarily NYC-centric either.

A recent example is the article, "Rush Hour on the Information Superhighway", by Clive Thompson, which appeared in Issue No. 445 April 815, 2004.

A funny thing happened on the road to utopia. The Information Age promised greater efficiency, allowing us to explore new worlds online and enjoy more free time. Instead, we're working longer hours and feeling more stressed as we drown in a tsunami of e-mail, blogs and Google searches. And nowhere is this pressure to stay connected more prevalent than in mediacentric New York.
Thompson succinctly addresses information bombardment and overload, focusing on four aspects: e-mail and spam, Google and googling, blogs, and TiVo (which, btw, isn't available in Canada yet). As librarians and information specialists, we are bombarded with information from many sides every day. How do we deal with it? Often, we don't - some, if not all of it flows over us like water off the back of a duck. We process a little of it. But being librarians, when we search for information we should know where and when to stop, and Thompson very correctly nails this in his discussion of searching:
That's another conundrum of our age: New technologies seem only to amp up our desire for more. Consider Google. It is by all accounts an informational godsend. But since it offers hundreds of hits for even the most quixotic query, many people have no idea when to stop parsing the endless results, says Joseph Janes, chair of library and information science at the University of Washington's Information School, who teaches a graduate seminar on the site and its impact on the culture. "It can make your life simpler, but it can also lead you down the path to perdition," Janes adds. "You find things that point to things that point to things that point to things, and you wake up two hours later. Or maybe you're looking for something that simply can't be found on Google, and it takes you 45 minutes to figure that out." Janes was trained as a librarian, and he says one thing librarians learn is when to stop: "We know when to declare victoryor to go home if the information just isn't there."
Consider that: knowing when to stop. It's one of the many characteristics that define us as information and library professionals, and I think we should be proud of it.

BTW, the Time Out New York publishers and editors have quietly set a high standard for open access. They have uploaded the contents, except for listings of current events, of every issue since the magazine began publishing in 1995. New issues are archived online one month after publication. Issues can be browsed by date, and a search function is provided that allows keyword searching with the ability to restrict by section of the journal. As a good friend would say, totally brilliant.

May 19, 2004

Cites & Insights and The Open Access Debate

:: The v4 n7 June 2004 issue of Walt Crawford's Cites & Incites: Crawford at Large, is worth a look (for that matter, so is every issue, but I digress...) Walt provides coverage and analysis of the continuing debate on open access. In "Library Access to Scholarship", he brings us up to date on the latest developments at U Maryland, Stanford U, and Indiana U Bloomington, and comments on H.R. 2613, the Public Access to Science Act, aka the Sabo Bill, (which would exclude copyright for the publication of results of US-federally funded research) and PLoS. Also covered, in "The Empire Strikes Back", Walt discusses the investigations into the state of scientific publishing currently underway in the UK, providing analysis and commentary on Elsevier's position paper, responses from BioMed Central (including its (Mis)Leading Open Access Myths, and The Open Society Institute, and more.

May 12, 2004


:: The European Geosciences Union publishes Biogeosciences (BG), and the related discussion forum, Biogeosciences Discussions (BGD), on a non-profit basis. Internet access is free to the general public:

Biogeosciences (BG) is an international scientific journal dedicated to the publication and discussion of research articles, short communications and review papers on all aspects of the interactions between the biological, chemical and physical processes in terrestrial or extraterrestrial life with the geosphere, hydrosphere and atmosphere. The objective of the journal is to cut across the boundaries of established sciences and achieve an interdisciplinary view of these interactions. Experimental, conceptual and modelling approaches are welcome.
What's interesting is the wide-open, open access approach, so to speak:
In the first stage, papers that pass a rapid access-review by one of the editors are immediately published on the Biogeosciences Discussions (BGD) website. They are then subject to interactive public discussion, during which the referees comments (anonymous or attributed), additional short comments by other members of the scientific community (attributed) and the authors replies are also published in BGD. In the second stage, the peer-review process is completed and, if accepted, the final revised papers are published in BG. To ensure publication precedence for authors, and to provide a lasting record of scientific discussion, BGD and BG are both ISSN-registered, permanently archived and fully citable.
George Porter notes that the first paper submitted to BSD is now online and available for viewing and comment.

May 7, 2004

A Heat Transfer Textbook: A Free Electronic Textbook

:: The third edition of A Heat Transfer Textbook, written by John H Lienhard V (MIT) and John H Lienhard IV (U Houston), has been made available on the web. The book is an introduction to heat transfer, geared towards engineering students. It may be downloaded free of charge. The authors explain:

We are placing a mechanical engineering textbook into an electronic format for worldwide, no-charge distribution. The aim of this effort is to explore the possibilities of placing textbooks online -- effectively giving them away. Two potential benefits should accrue from doing this. First, in electronic format, textbooks can be continually corrected and updated, without the delays inherent in printed books (second and later editions are typically published on a five-year cycle). Second, free textbooks hold the potential for fundamentally altering the economics of higher education, particularly in those environments where money is scarce.

May 6, 2004

Annals of Botany Backfiles Now Available

:: George advises that the Annals of Botany, published by Oxford University Press, on behalf of the Annals of Botany Company, a non-profit educational charity established to promote plant science worldwide, has opened their fulltext for free access, following a 1 year period of exclusive use by subscribers.

Annals of Botany
Fulltext v71+ (1993+) 1 year moving wall
Print ISSN: 0305-7364; Online ISSN: 1095-8290

A complete list of titles to which Highwire provides free online access to full-text articles, either upon publication, or after a certain time period, is available here.

April 28, 2004

Electronic Theses and Dissertations - Overlooked Academic Treasures

Sometimes the obvious eludes us. In the rush toward Open Access journals and databases, it is easy to overlook unique source material to which academic libraries have easy access, namely theses and dissertations.

Although NDLTD, Networked Digital Library of Theses and Dissertations, provides access to many participating institutions' electronic theses repositories, including Caltech's, via the NDLTD Union Catalog, some gems fall through the cracks. Here is one such gem which I discovered yesterday.

    Quantum Information Theory By Michael Aaron Nielsen. DISSERTATION - Submitted in Partial Fulfillment of the Requirements for the Degree of Doctor of Philosophy -- Physics, The University of New Mexico Albuquerque, New Mexico, USA, December 1998

Nielsen is affiliated with Caltech's Institute for Quantum Information and co-author of the leading book on quantum computing, Quantum computation and quantum information / Michael A. Nielsen & Isaac L. Chuang (OCLC #43641333).

Basic background information on the international electronic thesis movement, which has UNESCO backing, is posted on the NDLTD website . Caltech's participation has been ongoing for three years. The first year depended upon voluntary submissions. The second complete graduating class of grad students for whom a mandatory electronic submission requirement applies are currently defending their theses ahead of a June Commencement.

Some recent articles on Caltech's ETD program:

- George Porter

April 27, 2004

Copernicus Gesellschaft - a Cornucopia of Open Access titles

Copernicus Gesellschaft is an exemplary Open Access publisher, providing free online distribution of a number of journal titles on behalf of the European Geosciences Union. All of the following journals are freely available online, in addition, print volumes can be acquired by libraries whose clientele and storage space permit and/or require such access.

Advances in Geosciences Fulltext v1+ (2003+); Print ISSN: 1680-7340; Online ISSN: 1680-7359

Atmospheric Chemistry & Physics
Fulltext v1+ (2001+); Print ISSN: 1680-7316; Online ISSN: 1680-7324

Atmospheric Chemistry & Physics Discussions
Fulltext v1+ (2001+); Print ISSN: 1680-7367; Online ISSN: 1680-7375

Natural Hazards & Earth System Sciences
Fulltext v1+ (2001+); Print ISSN: 1561-8633; Online ISSN: 1684-9981

Nonlinear Processes in Geophysics
Fulltext v1+ (1994+); Print ISSN: 1023-5809; Online ISSN: 1607-7946

- George Porter

George also notes the following:

The European Geosciences Union is preparing to launch two new journals in the interdisciplinary field of
biogeoscience, including:
    * Biodiversity & ecosystem function
    * Evolutionary ecology
    * Environmental microbiology
    * Biogeochemistry & global elemental cycles
    * Biogeochemistry & gas exchange
    * Biomineralization, microbial weathering & sedimentation
    * Interactions between microbes, organic matter sediments & rocks
    * Biogeophysics
    * Earth system sciences & response to global changes
    * Paleogeobiology, including origin & evolution of life, evolution of
    the biosphere, sedimentary records, & the development & use of proxies
    * Astrobiology & Exobiology

Forthcoming fulltext v1+ (2004+); Print ISSN: 1726-4170; Online ISSN: 1726-4189

Biogeosciences Discussions
Forthcoming fulltext v1+ (2004+); Print ISSN: 1810-6277; Online ISSN: 1810-6285

Biogeosciences and Biogeosciences Discussions are following the model pioneered by the European Geophysical Union with the instantly successful companion journals, Atmospheric Chemistry & Physics and Atmospheric Chemistry & Physics Discussions.

April 5, 2004

Scientific Societies' Publishing Arms Unite Against Open-Access Movement

:: Interesting piece from the 26 March 2004 issue of The Chronicle of Higher Education. As reported earlier, the Washington DC Principles for Free Access to Science was announced on 16 March 2004. The Chronicle's take is that the DC Principles represents the 48 nonprofit groups as forming "a united front against the increasingly popular open-access movement.":

"It feels good to say everything should be free," says Martin Frank, executive director of the American Physiological Society and one of the organizers of the new coalition, in an interview. "But we'd rather get there using a business model different than the one used by PLoS and the open-access advocates. It's our contention that there's nothing wrong with that, that it makes the literature available to the community of individuals who need it, in a timely manner."

In their statement, the society publishers vowed to improve the efficiency and accessibility of the scientific literature. But they also argued that "publication fees should not be borne solely by researchers and their funding institutions, because the ability to publish in scientific journals should be available equally to all scientists, no matter what their economic circumstances."

March 25, 2004

Sci-Tech Not-For-Profit Publishers Commit to Limited Open Access

:: Barbara Quint reports in Information Today that 48 top STM societies and not--for-profit publishers have inked the "Washington DC Principles for Free Access to Science", which proclaims their collective commitment to providing free access and dissemination of published research findings. Quint notes that while the press release indicated that the societies signing the DC Principles publish >380 journals, in actual fact, the total is 115, and are all hosted on HighWire Press:

Confusion over the 380 journals claimed by the press release stems from the participation of the Society of National Association Publications ( and its 265 titles. SNAP is a professional society serving associations with publishing operations and does not control individual member policies. However, SNAP does endorse and recommend the DC Principles to its scholarly society members. The 265 title count, according to Peter Banks of SNAP, constitutes its full membership, not just the scholarly society members. He hoped that corrections to the DC Principles Web site would clarify the matter.

March 23, 2004

(Mis)Leading Open Access Myths - BioMed Central Responds

:: As previously reported, the Science and Technology Committee of the UK Parliament is conducting an inquiry into scientific publications. BioMed Central is providing coverage of the inquiry on their new Open Access now website. The site includes BioMed Central's submissions to the inquiry, but also links to the other submissions, including those from Elsevier, Blackwell Publishing, Oxford UP, among others, and - wait for it - the American Association of Law Libraries, American Library Association, Association of Academic Health Sciences Libraries, Association of College & Research Libraries, Association of Research Libraries, Medical Library Association, Public Knowledge, and the Scholarly Publication and Academic Resources Coalition. (Gee, where was SLA on this one??)

This week, BioMed Central released (Mis)Leading Open Access Myths, in response to what it describes as "some of the most prevalent and
most misleading anti-Open Access arguments." The document discusses the following in detail:

  • Myth 1. The cost of providing Open Access will reduce the
    availability of funding for research
  • Myth 2. Access is not a problem virtually all UK researchers have
    the access they need
  • Myth 3. The public can get any article they want from the public
    library via interlibrary loan
  • Myth 4. Patients would be confused if they were to have free access
    to the peer-reviewed medical literature on the web
  • Myth 5. It is not fair that industry will benefit from Open Access
  • Myth 6. Open Access threatens scientific integrity due to a conflict of
    interest resulting from charging authors
  • Myth 7. Poor countries already have free access to the biomedical
  • Myth 8. Traditionally published content is more accessible than Open
    Access content as it is available in printed form
  • Myth 9. A high quality journal such as Nature would need to charge
    authors 10,000-30,000 in order to move to an Open Access
  • Myth 10. Publishers need to make huge profits in order to fund
  • Myth 11. Publishers need to take copyright to protect the integrity of
    scientific articles
Via George Porter.

March 10, 2004

PLoS: Public Library of Science

:: The v65 n3 March 2003 issue of College and Research Library News has an interesting article by Helen J Doyle, entitled The Public Library of Science: Open access from the ground up.

Despite the recent spike in press coverage, conference symposia, and electronic list discussions dedicated to the subject, open-access publishing is not a new concept or a nascent revolution. Both the idea and the practice of providing free access to scholarly literature in widely available; searchable archives have a long, rich history.1 In a sense then, the current spate of international interest in open access might be seen as a number of parallel movements, which are converging and gathering momentum due to a variety of forces, both internal and external to the scholarly publishing system.

The Public Library of Science (PLoS), a relatively new player on the open access scene, is one piece of a dynamic and complex landscape of organizations, policies, beliefs, myths, constraints, and ideals about open access and scholarly publishing. As an open-access publisher and advocacy organization, PLoS is steadfast in its commitment to making the scientific and medical literature a public resource, so that anyone with access to the Internet can read and use the scientific discoveries that are generated through research largely funded with public monies.

January 2, 2004

January issue of the SPARC Open Access Newsletter

Peter Suber writes, "In addition to the usual round-up of news and bibliography from the past month, it takes a close look at open access momentum during 2003, the "many-copy problem" and "many-copy solution", and the gap between the literature directly available through a university library and the literature that campus patrons need for their research."

Access the January issue:

December 16, 2003

BioMed Central launches BMC Medicine and BMC Biology

:: "BioMed Central launched a new pair of Open Access journals BMC Medicine and BMC Biology on 1 December. The journals compliment the 57 established specialist titles in the BMC journal series by providing a selective home for articles of broad interest within a large field or across fields.

BMC Biology publishes original research articles and methodology articles in any area of biology but with a focus on the biomedical sciences. BMC Medicine publishes original research articles, technical advances and study protocols in any area of medical science or clinical practice."