COSIAC Newsletter December 2011 Thursday, 15 December 2011


A summary of resources, research, news and events in open scholarship for the preceding month



Australian policies are summarised on ROARMAP (note that this is a little out of date)

Help with developing policies

List of papers on developing policies

JISC: How to build a case for university policies and practices in support of Open Access 25 Feb 201

Will open access save libraries?

These are excellent slides which argue libraries are becoming unviable with the increase of Google - BUT open access can be the answer. Libraries are trying to reinvent in times of massive change - these excellent graphics of the challenges facing libraries as we move into the digital era, and how we need to move from ownership to access and that open access is a way to transform the library - remember it only took 10 years to transform the music industry.

Libraries in the future - You Tube video

John Palfrey, Chair of the DPLA Steering Committee, recently gave a speech titled A Future for Libraries as part of the October 2011 MobilityShifts summit at The New School in New York City. In this twenty-six minute talk, Palfrey discusses the past, present, and future of the Digital Public Library of America. Along the way, he touches upon the cultural dissonance between libraries’ increased importance in the 21st century on the one hand, and the near constant battle to resist decreased funding on the other; the democratic notion of “free to all” in a contemporary marketplace of licenses and leases; and the process of truly connecting the physical library space with the virtual.

Selling the copyright message

Yes it is American but some good tips here on how to present copyright issues to staff and students. Central Michigan University offered 213 classes and 1,113 class sections on copyright in 2010-11. How many classes did your institution offer? Peters, Timothy, Copyright to the University: Tips on Informing, Educating, and Enabling", College & Research Libraries News 72, no. 10 (2011)

Shared Academic Knowledge Base (UK)

This cloud service is called the Shared Academic Knowledge Base plus, or KB+, and will be a database covering all ‘subscribed resources’ from a UK higher education perspective. <…> the focus is on data and harnessing the community effort and work that happens at an institutional level. JISC aims to simplify the the challenge of collating accurate, quality and timely data across UK universities.


Everything you need to know about running a repository

'Starting, Strengthening, and Managing Institutional Repositories'. Nabe, Jonathan (a $90 book available from here - It gets a good review by Thomas Singarella in Journal of Electronic Resources in Medical Libraries – Vol 8 Issue 4 2011,

List of predatory open access publishers

This lists a series of vanity publishers who0 are trying to make a buck out of open access. … "Typically, these publishers spam professional email lists, broadly soliciting article submissions for the clear purpose of gaining additional income. Operating essentially as vanity presses, these publishers typically have a low article acceptance threshold, with a false-front or non-existent peer review process. Unlike professional publishing operations, whether subscription-based or ethically-sound open access, these predatory publishers add little value to scholarship, pay little attention to digital preservation, and operate using fly-by-night, unsustainable business models. "

Where is the ERA plugin?

(This has been developed for the UK reporting process - REF) The newly-developed REF2014 plugin for the widely-used EPrints repository software is entering its live testing phase. Five universities that currently have their repositories hosted by EPrints Services will be participating in the testing process. The goal is to release the REF2014 plugin next February and it will be available free of charge.

Information about license negotiations

This seems like a pretty good basic instruction-type article about this topic. It doesn't say anything about negotiating open access rights as part of the licence. Lemley, Trey et al, 'Negotiating your license', Journal of Electronic Resources in Medical Libraries, Volume 8, Issue 4, 2011 May need subscription:




Mandates don't change depositing behaviour (sorry)

Title: 'A review of open access self-archiving mandate policies' Abstract: This article reviews the history of open access (OA) policies and examines the current status of mandate policy implementations. It finds that hundreds of policies have been proposed and adopted at various organizational levels and many of them have shown a positive effect on the rate of repository content accumulation. However, it also detects policies showing little or no visible impact on repository development, and attempts to analyze the effects of different types of policies, with varied levels of success. It concludes that an open access mandate policy, by itself, will not change existing practices of scholarly self-archiving.

What types of research data are you working with? (survey)

The SWORD v2 project has been asked by the JISC to look into the applicability of the SWORD protocol for depositing Research Data. In order to investigate how well SWORD and SWORD v2 would deal with Research Data, we need to know about the different types of research data that you are working with. This will allow us to discover some of the range of different data types in use, and the general and specific requirements of each. The survey is only 9 questions long.


Data - it is up to us

Abstract: The role of libraries is to collect, preserve, and disseminate the intellectual output of the society. This output includes books and serials as well as the digital versions of the same. Scientists, other scholars, and all of society are now producing, storing, and disseminating digital data that underpin the aforementioned documents in much larger volumes than the text. The survival of this data is in question since the data are not housed in long-lived institutions such as libraries. This situation threatens the underlying principles of scientific replicability since in many cases data cannot readily be collected again. Libraries are the institutions that could best manage this intellectual output. The Emerging Role of Libraries in Data Curation and E-science, Journal of Library Administration, Volume 51, Issue 7-8, 2011 Special Issue: Living the Future


Repositories are not necessarily collecting the high impact best research

(It is a US study but probably fairly similar to results we would find here) Abstract: Open access institutional repositories were created to promote access to information, encourage scholarly communication, and demonstrate institutional prestige. While these repositories have been widely adopted, the quality of their contents often fails to represent their institution's scholarly output. Moreover, current research uses measurements of quantity, not quality, to assess their value. In response, this article opens new areas of scholarly inquiry by assessing the quality of contents. This is accomplished through a cross-sectional study of repositories at American colleges and universities across the academic spectrum, using citation indexing to identify an institution's articles and authors of highest impact. Megan Wacha, "Measuring Value in Open Access Repositories" The Serials Librarian Volume 61, Issue 3-4, 2011


Have the publishers been selling us a lie?

This blog is asking "Restricting online access: what evidence do publishers have to support their claims that open access negatively affects sales?" and concludes that putting work up online is advertising for, not theft of, sales.


Call for universities to stay apace as digital age keeps marching on

Article (SMH 26 Oct 2011) that describes Lindsay Tanner's point that universities that fail to embrace new technology will lose students and die: while Australian universities were using the internet to deliver study materials, they were not yet fully exploiting the potential technology offered for developing new ways of learning. ''Fixing the technology's important, but so is changing the pedagogy,'' Mr Tanner said. ''While we've made great progress in e-learning, there's been an awful lot about 'e' and not much about 'learning'.'' Read more:

Guardian article about UK decision to make research OA

The commitment to making publicly funded research free to access is a direct challenge to the business models of the big academic publishing companies, which are the gatekeepers for the majority of high-quality scientific research. Previous attempts by open access publishers to break this stranglehold over the dissemination of scientific results have largely failed.

Debate - how can we ensure academics share their data?

Read what has been said, and join in the discussion

Big names in OA talk about the benfits of OA

This is a transcript of some comments from an online event "Exploring open access in higher education: live chat best bits" which was asking the question: What is the benefit of open access to academia? Who will pay for open education resources? The page includes lots of links out to resources.

UK publicly funded research must be open access

The UK Government released on 10 December a White Paper on research which, among other things, commits to requiring all publically funded research outputs to be made available on Open Access: The relevant section is '6 New Innovation Challenges', with 6.6 specifically stating: Expanded Access to Research Publications and Data 6.6 The Government, in line with our overarching commitment to transparency and open data, is committed to ensuring that publicly-funded research should be accessible free of charge. Free and open access to taxpayer-funded research offers significant social and economic benefits by spreading knowledge, raising the prestige of UK research and encouraging technology transfer. At the moment, such research is often difficult to find and expensive to access. This can defeat the original purpose of taxpayer-funded academic research and limits understanding and innovation. We have already committed, in our response to Ian Hargreaves’s review of intellectual property, to facilitate data mining of published research. This could have substantial benefits, for example in tackling diseases. But we need to go much further if, as a nation, we are to gain the full potential benefits of publicly-funded research.

Interesting new approach - 'renting' articles

'Cambridge U. Press Would Like to Rent You an Article' - November 30, 2011, by Jennifer Howard Will researchers pay for short-term access to journal articles? Cambridge University Press is about to find out. The publisher has just announced a rental program for articles from the more than 280 peer-reviewed journals it publishes. “For just £3.99, $5.99 or €4.49, users are now able to read single articles online for up to 24 hours, a saving of up to 86% compared with the cost of purchasing the article,” the press said in an announcement. “After registration and payment, the reader is e-mailed a link, through which they can access and read the article in PDF format as often as they wish during the subsequent 24 hours.”

Over 60% of Journals allow archiving

(This sounds good…but we know the devil is in the detail.) ew charts published on the SHERPA/RoMEO Blog show that 87% of journals allow some form of immediate self-archiving of articles, although in only 60% of cases is this a post-peer-reviewed version. This rises impressively once embargo periods have expired and any other restrictions have been complied with, showing that 94% of journals permit peer-reviewed articles to be archived. Furthermore, nearly a quarter of journals allow the publisher's version/PDF to be archived. Only 5% of journals do not permit any form of archiving. The statistics were compiled from a snapshot of the RoMEO Journals database taken on the 15th Nov.2011, when it contained about 19,000 titles.

Harnad stepping down as moderator of list

This will not be news to those who are on the American Scientist Open Access list but Harnad is stepping down as moderator after 14 years.

Creating a UK repository 'infrastructure'

(Background: The UK is having to collect all its research output for reporting for the first time - they are approaching the issue very differently to in Australia) Over the coming months a piece of work called the RIO Extension project will take place to scope the issues and requirements from universities, funders and researchers in managing the information about research outputs. The aim of the work is to provide the UK education and research sector with clear, practical guidance on recording and sharing information about its research outputs, so that it can be reused for a variety of purposes, including by the systems used by the Research Councils. The project information is here- and the borader information is here:


The Americans already collect all their publicly funded research output

The STAR METRICS project is a partnership between science agencies and research institutions to document the outcomes of science investments to the public. The benefits of STAR METRICS are that a common empirical infrastructure will be available to all recipients of federal funding and science agencies to quickly respond to State, Congressional and OMB requests. It is critical that this effort takes a bottom up approach that is domain specific, generalizable and replicable.

Oh, and so do the Europeans

Areas of interest not only cover research databases and maintenance of CERIF (Common European Research Information Format), but explicitly also CRIS related data like scientific datasets, (open access) institutional repositories, as well as data access and exchange mechanisms, standards and guidelines and best practice for CRIS.


Leading research organisations announce top-tier, open access journal for biomedical and life sciences

(old news but missed) 27 June 2011 - The Howard Hughes Medical Institute, the Max Planck Society and the Wellcome Trust announced today that they are to support a new, top-tier, open access journal for biomedical and life sciences research. The three organisations aim to establish a new journal that will attract and define the very best research publications from across these fields. All research published in the journal will make highly significant contributions that will extend the boundaries of scientific knowledge.

A top tier life sciences open access journal - eLife

(It seems to be the season for it…) Jennifer Howard in the Chronicle of Higher Ed - Scientists in the lab and in the field are closest to cutting-edge research. But at top scientific journals, it’s professional editors who ultimately decide what gets published. A new journal scheduled to make its debut next year aims to change that by putting scientists in the editors’ chair.

Supporting open content for education (UK)

The Joint Information Systems Committee and the Higher Education Academy is inviting institutions to submit funding proposals for projects to enhance digital infrastructure to support open content for education. Extract of the scope of this Call:

Your chance to contribute to OR12

The seventh International Conference on Open Repositories (OR12) will be held July 9-13th July, 2012. The theme and title of the 2012 conference at Edinburgh - Open Services for Open Content: Local In for Global Out - reflects the current move towards open content, ‘augmented content’, distributed systems, microservices and data delivery infrastructures. The conference will feature both general conference sessions and user group meetings for the three main open source repository platforms: DSpace, Fedora, and EPrints. There will also be a strand for the popular ‘Repository Fringe’, an informal, creative gathering of repository managers and developers which has been hosted at the University of Edinburgh each year since 2008 – to coincide with the internationally well known Edinburgh Fringe Festival. The call for proposals will be available from the conference web site soon:


JISC Research Integrity Conference - The importance of good data management

(13 Sept 2011) With increased pressure on universities and researchers to preserve research data for re-use in the future, JISC's Research Integrity Conference considered the role of universities in safeguarding research integrity and looked into the real issues being faced by universities from a strategic and technical perspective.