OA to polar biodiversity data

Antarctic marine biodiversity data now online, press release, March 31, 2009.

The International Polar Year (IPY) concluded in March 2009 with a tangible legacy in the form of a network of databases on marine biodiversity that will serve as clearinghouse for all biodiversity-related data gathered since the very first Antarctic research expeditions. … Created by the Scientific Committee on Antarctic Research’s (SCAR), an inter-disciplinary committee of the International Council for Science, the Marine Biodiversity Information Network (SCAR-MarBIN) is a collaborative web portal that provides free and open access to information on Antarctic marine biodiversity. The portal started as a major Belgian contribution to the IPY, but grew into an international collaborative effort, with hundreds of scientists from around the world joining forces to build this unique web-based tool, enabling the community to share and publish information that is critical for research but also for conservation purposes. …

New gratis chemistry resource from ACS

Common Chemistry is a gratis beta resource from the Chemical Abstracts Service which contains CAS Registry Numbers for approximately 7,800 chemicals of interest to the public.

… While not a comprehensive CAS Registry Number lookup service, Common Chemistry does provide a way to quickly and easily find names or CAS Registry Numbers for chemicals of general interest.

CAS has collaborated with Wikipedia in developing this resource and encourages you to use the Wikipedia link (when available) or other sources of general information on chemistry, to learn more about these chemicals.

See also comments by Antony Williams:

… We have already created the CommonChemistry.org Data Source on ChemSpider in case anyone wants to connect up records from ChemSpider with CommonChemistry as they are curating our dataset. …

It is unclear what licensing is on the data. I doubt it’s Open but that won’t matter to the majority of users…they are looking for a piece of information or to confirm something and are unlikely to be distracted by whether the data are Open or not…free access will suffice. …

See also our past posts on the Chemical Abstracts Service.

Video of Willinsky on OA

John Willinsky, Open Access Policies and Practices for Increasing Scholarly Contributions, presentation at the University of Kansas, February 19, 2009. Abstract:

John Willinsky, Professor of Education at Stanford University, presents “Open Access Policies and Practices for Increasing Scholarly Contributions,” February 19, 2009 at the University of Kansas. Presentation sponsored by KU Libraries, Hall Center for the Humanities, KU School of Education, and Kansas African Studies Center. 90 minutes.

New OA mandate and IR for the Académie Louvain

DIAL (Dépôt Institutionnel de l’Académie universitaire ‘Louvain’) is the new multi-institutional IR for the Académie ‘Louvain’ (composed of the Facultés universitaires catholiques de Mons, Facultés Universitaires Notre-Dame de la Paix à Namur, Facultés universitaires Saint-Louis, and the Université catholique de Louvain). (Thanks to Fabrizio Tinti.)

The history and context section of the repository notes that the Université catholique de Louvain adopted a mandatory OA policy on July 7, 2008, which requires deposit in the IR.

Papers from the Sydney public-domain conference

Most of the papers to be delivered at next month’s conference, National and Global Dimensions of the Public Domain (Sydney, April 16-17, 2009) are already online.

The most OA-related of the papers currently up is Roger Clarke and Danny A. Kingsley, Open Access to Journal Content as a Case Study in Unlocking IP, last revised March 30, 2009.  Abstract:  

The Internet has brought with it both means to disseminate and access content, and an enhanced expectation that content will generally be readily accessible. This has threatened entrenched for-profit activities, which have long prospered on closed, proprietary approaches to publishing, facilitated by anti-consumer provisions in copyright laws. The ePrints and Open Access (OA) movements have been complemented by the emergence of electronic repositories in which authors can deposit copies of their works.

The accessibility of refereed papers published in journals represents a litmus test of the extent to which openness is being achieved in the face of the power of corporations whose business model is dependent on the exploitation of intellectual property (IP). A specification of the requirements for ‘Unlocking IP’ in refereed papers is presented and applied, leading to the conclusion that a great deal of progress appears to have been made. The copyright arrangements applied by most publishers enable authors to self-deposit PrePrints of their papers on their own web-sites and in open repositories; and in many cases authors can also self-deposit the PostPrint, i.e. the author’s copy of the final version.

The theoretical success of the OA, ePrints and repositories movements has not, or at least not yet, resulted in success in practice. This is because only a small proportion of papers are actually self-deposited, and a large proportion of refereed papers continue to be accessible only through highly-expensive subscriptions to journals and journal-collections controlled by for-profit publishers. The Unlocking of IP in refereed papers is therefore still very much a work-in-progress. Moreover, the gains may be ceded back to the for-profit publishing industry, unless concerted efforts are made within academe.