COSIAC Newsletter March 2012 Wednesday, 21 March 2012


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

Huge open access news for Australia - NHMRC mandate

All research funded by NHMRC to be accessible free of charge

The National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC) has joined other international health research funding bodies, both governmental (such as NIH) and philanthropic (such as the Wellcome Trust), in requiring that publications from research funded by us are placed in the public domain – so called “open access”. This also assists other researchers in planning and conducting their research. Open access is particularly important for researchers in low income countries.


Excellent You Tube video about Creative Commons

This was produced in NZ and explains it all beautifully.


A video about the what and how of Linked Data

If linked open data and RDF triples are still a bit of a mystery, try this really nice introductory animation video about what it is and its benefits for users and data providers:

World map of downloads of MIT OA research

It supports argument that Australia would lose out if the RWA went ahead! "MIT Faculty Articles Downloaded Worldwide Through Open Access Policy"

Your opportunity to build world resources on filling repositories

The Confederation of Open Access Repositories (COAR) is kicking off a new project to collect and disseminate sustainable, replicable best practices related to populating repositories. They are particularly interested in collecting advice and experience of institutions in areas such as: "Lessons learned: what’s worked and what hasn't?" "Workflows or strategies to gather content and populate repositories over time", "Long-term staffing, operational plans, or campus partnerships that have lead to consistently higher rates of deposit," "Automated processes to gather content and populate repositories." Email [] any documents that you think might be relevant including handouts, brochures, articles, websites, or your own description of an initiative. We will be collecting and reviewing information in March and April.

Good US report about access to taxpayer funded research

This report includes interesting figures like: the National Institutes of Health mandate to deposit work to the PubMed Central repository has resulted in 2.3 million articles deposited over four years and there are roughly 500,000 unique visitors to PMC on a typical workday.“The future of taxpayer-funded research: Who will control Access" - CED 2012

Electronic Theses in the UK: A Sector Wide Survey into Policies, Practice, and Barriers to Open Access

This is a short presentation with a summary from the report

Report: Influencing the Deposit of Electronic Theses in UK HE (Dec2010)

62 out of the 90 HEIs (69%) that currently accept e-theses make them openly accessible. The survey found high levels of reported concern about the risks associated with: Third party copyright infringement, Plagiarism, Sensitive data within theses, Open e-thesis deposit potentially hindering the author's future publication prospects However, very few actual instances of copyright-driven ‘takedown’, plagiarism, issues arising from data sensitivity, or publication refusal were reported. In every case, HEIs are actively managing these risks.

Interview with Michael Eisen, co-founder of the Public Library of Science

Michael Eisen is an evolutionary biologist at University of California Berkeley and an Investigator of the Howard Hughes Medical Institute. He is also co-founder of the Open Access (OA) publisher Public Library of Science (PLoS). Founded in 2000, PLoS was conceived as an advocacy group for what only later became known as Open Access. PLoS’ first initiative was to publish an Open Letter and invite scientists around the world to sign on to it....



Libraries are vital to scholarly reading

JISC Collections, together with Professor Carol Tenopir from the Center for Information and Communication Studies at the University of Tennessee, has carried out research to measure the value and outcomes from access to scholarly publications by academics. The research also examined what academics would do if library resources were not available. The findings suggest that without the library, academics and their departments would not find articles of such quality, that they would find fewer related articles, and that it would be a significantly more costly and time-consuming process. "UK Scholarly Reading and the Value of Library Resources report"

Online measuring of impact is not yet suited for research assessment exercises

SURF foundation in the Netherlands have announced a new report which shows individual researchers benefit from online impact assessment, but it isn't ready yet to replace the systems we have. The rather hilariously named "Users, Narcissism and Control" is available here

Can we enhance the google-scholar discoverability of EPrints (and DSpace) repositories?

Abstract: Google Scholar has difficulty indexing the contents of institutional repositories, and the authors hypothesize the reason is that most repositories use Dublin Core, which cannot express bibliographic citation information adequately for academic papers. Google Scholar makes specific recommendations for repositories, including the use of publishing industry metadata schemas over Dublin Core. This paper tests a theory that transforming metadata schemas in institutional repositories will lead to increased indexing by Google Scholar. Kenning Arlitsch, Patrick Shawn OBrien, (2012) "Invisible Institutional Repositories: Addressing the Low Indexing Ratios of IRs in Google Scholar", Library Hi Tech, Vol. 30 Iss: 1

Note that ePrints reckons some of this is wrong

Tim Brody After all that is said, the most critical factor to IR visibility is having (BOAI definition) open access content. Hiding content behind search forms, click-throughs and other things that emphasise the IR at the expense of the content will hurt your visibility. Lastly, Google will index your metadata-only records while Google Scholar is looking for full-texts. Your GS/Google ratio will approximate how many of your records have an attached open access PDF (.doc etc).

Reply from DSpace

Just a note that as of DSpace 1.7.0 (released Dec 2010), DSpace ships with Google Scholar recommended metadata enabled out-of-the-box. For that release, DSpace developers at MIT actually worked directly with the technology lead for Google Scholar to ensure DSpace content could be more discoverable via Google Scholar. However, it is worth noting that institutions may need to modify the configuration of the DSpace Google Scholar "mappings" if they have customized their local DSpace metadata schema in any way. Those instructions are in our DSpace Documentation at: DSpace also provides general hints/tips on ensuring that your institutions' DSpace installation is indexed/discoverable via Google (and other search engines) in general. Many of these tips were actually written/provided by Robert Tansley at Google (initial creator of DSpace).

What Google Scholar has to say about inclusion

We encourage you to go over the Google Scholar inclusion guidelines at to see if your repository meets the guidelines for indexing. It would probably also be good to discuss the guidelines with the provider of your repository software.

New Journal of eScience Librarianship

Includes a range of artciles including "Teaching Research Data Management: An Undergraduate/Graduate Curriculum", "DataONE: Facilitating eScience through Collaboration", "Tiers of Research Data Support Services"


Happy tenth anniversary Budapest!
Frederick Friend February 14 2012 is the tenth anniversary of the launch of the Budapest Open Access Initiative, which resulted from what the BOAI web-site describes as “a small but lively meeting convened in Budapest by the Open Society Institute (OSI) on December 1-2, 2001”. As one of the privileged participants in that meeting I can confirm the liveliness of the discussions!;95d772f7.1202
Have your say - the Australian government review of medical & health research
This is asking for submissions. An obvious answer to "How can we optimise translation of health & medical research into better health & wellbeing?" is: With an open access mandate. Yes the NHMRC is mandating that research that comes out of their grants has to be OA - but much more research happens than just that which is grant funded…
Elsevier are trying to do something about appearing more open access friendly
Elsevier has released the first issue of its publication 'Authors’ Update – Issue 1' which states: "Welcome to the first issue of Elsevier’s Authors’ Update! Our aim is to provide our authors with relevant information and useful tools during the publishing process. We support and help authors as you are the key element in the dissemination of scientific knowledge."
A new service for Open Access Monographs: the Directory of Open Access Books.
OAPEN has announced a new service for Open Access monographs: the Directory of Open Access Books (DOAB). DOAB will provide a searchable index to peer-reviewed monographs and edited volumes published under an Open Access business model, with links to the full texts of the publications at the publisher’s website or repository. The beta version of the service will contain publications of a selected number of academic publishers. The beta version will be made public early spring 2012.
EVENTS (Upcoming)
Scholarly Communications: new developments in open access - UK in June
This free one day event is aimed at those working in research repositories and higher education libraries but may be of interest to a wider audience including researchers. It will showcase examples of innovative approaches which support open access to research outputs and an open approach to scholarship. This includes new publishing initiatives – journals and monographs, new approaches to peer review, data sharing, the role of repositories and the use of social networking tools by academics. Booking and further information at:
Symposium on open access with research data focus - Texas in May
May 21, 2012 a symposium concerning the emerging landscape of research data management and strategies for ensuring that publicly funded research remain openly accessible to the public. The 3rd Annual Symposium on Open Access ( will be held at the University of North Texas in the Dallas area; registration is open on a first come basis.


BOAI meeting - Budapest 10 years on
There are some vimeo videos of various people talking about OA. This link is to Tom Cochrane, and there are links to the right of the screen to other people, Peter Suber and Heather Joseph included.

Call to action: Tell Congress you support the Bipartisan Federal Research Public Access Act (H.R. 4004 and S. 2096)
We currently have a unique opportunity to create change. The Research Works Act, a piece of legislation introduced in December that would ban the government from providing the public access to publicly funded research, has galvanized the research community into acting against practices that restrict access to research articles
Prime Time for Public Access
A good summary of events by By Heather Joseph Executive Director, SPARC
In January 2012, COAR submitted a brief in response to the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP) public consultation on Public Access to Federally-Funded Research. The COAR position focused on demonstrating that there is an expanding global network of repositories available to support open access policies. The brief emphasized that Open Access is an international movement with strong momentum across the world, and outlined the importance of repository interoperability across institutions and borders.
Academics join world fight against publisher
SMH; Nicky Phillips February 21, 2012 AUSTRALIAN academics have joined thousands of their international peers pledging to boycott the world's largest publisher of academic journals, Elsevier. More than 6000 academics, including close to 100 Australians, support a petition claiming the Dutch publisher charges ''exorbitantly high'' prices for access to journals as well as bundling titles together, forcing libraries to buy unwanted journals to access essential ones.
We may be closer to ‘Peak Elsevier’, but investors and the stock market need to be spooked by bad publicity before the company’s practices change
Cameron Neylon Impact of Social Sciences blog As the academic boycott of Elsevier grew, the company’s stock prices fell, but is this really an indication of the future collapse of the publisher? Cameron Neylon considers the need for a large-scale scare of investors in order to force the publisher to change its way of working and wonders how close academics are to ‘Peak Elsevier’.
Journal publishers: in strife and in denial
The Common Room blog, The Australian 20 February 2012 THE Common Room has an old-fashioned attitude to copyright – it protects property. Owners of art and ideas have every right to charge what the market will bear and people taking without paying is stealing…
The Elsevier petition is the academic equivalent of the Hollywood writers strike, and I applaud the senior members of our community who are providing leadership and showing the way.
Impact of Social Sciences Blog - Feb 27 The publishing system may be built into the DNA of academia, but academics can still make a change by putting pressure on publishers to kick back some profit to the very people who make research happen. Adding to the debate, Inger Mewburn talks the ethics of publishing, the costs to libraries, and why publishers need to be a bit more creative.
Academics must be applauded for making a stand by boycotting Elsevier. It’s time for librarians to join the conversation on the future of dissemination, but not join the boycott.
Impact of Social Sciences Blog – 28 February Blog posts and campaign statements published by an anonymous scientist and blogger @FakeElsevier have struck a chord with Dave Puplett. Here he explains why the blogger’s call to arms appeals to his inner ideological librarian.
The Education of a Scientist
Azimuth blog – 29 February Why are scientists like me getting so worked up over Elsevier and other journal publishers? It must seem strange from the outside. This cartoon explains it very clearly. It’s hilarious—except that it’s TRUE!!! This is why we need a revolution.
Elsevier 2011 financial report
Reed Elsevier has released its 2011 financial report including the following highlights. Total revenues of the group, after acquisitions and disposals and currency translation effects, declined by 1% to £6,002m, but Elsevier showed a growth of 2% (the same level of growth as reported in 2010). Adjusted operating profits increased by 5% overall, of which Elsevier's rose by 6% to £768m. STM sections of Elsevier showed the highest growth in revenue (by 4%) with growth in health and medical solutions offset by declines in print profits. The underlying operating profit is reported to be 4% (maintained by 'increased efficiency').
Terry Tao joins Elsevier boycott
NHMRC CEO supports Elsevier boycott; says all research must be made open access
Julie Hare: The Australian February 22, 2012 12:29PM THE National Health and Research Council has fired another bullet in the international boycott of academic publishing company Elsevier by announcing all council-funded research will have to be deposited in an open source repository within 12 months of publication.