RoMEO and JULIET Updates for July

RoMEO
Added new publishers:
•    American Society for Information Science and Technology (ASIS&T) [Green] [29/7/11]
•    Kerala Orthopaedic Association [Blue] [1/7/11]
•    Paris Legal Publishers (Uitgeverij Paris) [Blue][6/7/11]
•    UniBrasil [Blue] [1/7/11]
•    Universidad Autonoma de Madrid, Departamento de Matematicas [Blue ] [1/7/11]

Updated entries:
•    Actuarial Profession, The – policy url [4/7/11]
•    Adis Online to Adis, plus some policies updates [15/7/11]
•    American Association for the Advancement of Slavic Studies changed to  Association for Slavic, East European, and Eurasian Studies [4/7/11]
•    American Association of Critical Care Nurses – policy url updated [22/7/11]
•    American Medical Association – poliy URL [4/7/11]
•    American Mosquito Control Association – policy URL [4/7/11]
•    American Society of Health-System Pharmacists – policy url updated [22/7/11]
•    American Society of Hematology – policy urls [4/7/11]
•    Brill Academic Publisher – policy URL and minor changes to policy [1/7/11]
•    Foundation for Rehabilitation Information – policy url [4/7/11]
•    Instituto para o Desenvolvimento da Gestão Empresarial, Projectos – main URL [4/7/11]
•    Instituto Politécnico de Castelo Branco, Escola Superior Agrária- Main URL [4/7/11]
•    Instituto Politécnico de Castelo Branco, Escola Superior de Artes Aplicadas- main url [4/7/11]
•    Instituto Politécnico de Castelo Branco, Escola Superior de Gestão- main URL [4/7/11]
•    Kerala Orthopaedic Association – pre-print confirmed as not allowed [4/7/11]
•    Oceanography Society –[28/7/11] – policy update
•    Partnership (Provincial and Territorial Library Association of Canada) – pre-prints allowed [22/7/11]
•    PNG Publications – added Paid OA [29/7/11]
•    Presses Agronomiques de Gembloux – PDF use calrified [7/7/11]
•    Taylor & Francise [28/7/11] – policy update
•    UniBrasil – pre-print allowed [4/7/11]

Declined
•    Archant Specialist – Trade Magazines [22/7/11]
•    Art Review Media – Consumer Magazines [22/7/11]
•    Centaur Media – Trade Magazines [22/7/11]
•    CMP Information Media – Trade Magazines [22/7/11]
•    Future Publishing – Consumer Magazines [22/7/11]
•    Global Trade Media – Trade Magazines [22/7/11]
•    Mowbray Communications – Trade [22/7/11]
•    Quartz Business Media– Trade [22/7/11]
•    Stage Newspaper – Trade [22/7/11]
•    TSL Education – Trade [22/7/11]

JULIET
•    Arts and Humanities Research Council – RCUK Policy URL [4/7/11]
•    BBSRC– RCUK Policy URL [4/7/11]
•    Cancer Research UK – policy url [4/7/11]
•    Department of Health – repository url [4/7/11]
•    EPSRC – policy updates from funding agencie [6/7/11]
•    ESRC – RCUK Policy URL [4/7/11]
•    ESRC – repository URL [4/7/11]
•    Heart and Stroke Foundation of Canada – policy URLs [4/7/11]
•    MRC– RCUK Policy URL [4/7/11]
•    NERC – policy update [7/7/11]
•    NERC– RCUK Policy URL [4/7/11]
•    STFC– RCUK Policy URL [4/7/11]
•    Wellcome Trust – Updated Policy URL [4/7/11]

Added
•    Dunhill Medical Trust [22/7/11]
•    Parkinson’s UK [27/7/11]

Overall Total: 59 [27/7/11]
Publications: 57, Data: 25, OA Journals: 23

Jane

Latest Article Alert from Harm Reduction Journal

The latest articles from Harm Reduction Journal, published between 06-Jul-2011 and 28-Jul-2011For articles which have only just been published, you will see a ‘provisional PDF’ corresponding to the accepted manuscript.A fully formatted PDF and full text (HTML) version will be made available soon.ResearchThe relationship between self-reported substance use and psychiatric symptoms in low-threshold


An informal definition of OpenScience

Over at the open-science mailing list at okfn.org, Michael Nielsen just posted a great “informal” definition of open science:

 

Open science is the idea that scientific knowledge of all kinds should be openly shared as early as is practical in the discovery process.

The discussion on the list has been very interesting, but that particular “informal” definition is great because it gets at why we’re struggling with established social norms in science given the new technological methods of communicating results:

 

…when the journal system was developed in the 17th and 18th centuries it was an excellent example of open science.  The journals are perhaps the most open system for the dissemination of knowledge that can be constructed — if you’re working with 17th century technology.  But, of course, today we can do a lot better.

OpenDOAR exceeds 2,000 repositories!

Congratulations to the OpenDOAR and the crew at Sherpa for exceeding 2,000 repositories listed!

This is particularly significant because OpenDOAR is a vetted list. As described on the OpenDOAR website, OpenDOAR provides a comprehensive, authoritative and quality checked list of institutional and subject-based repositories. In addition it encompasses archives set up by funding agencies like the National Institutes for Health in the USA and the Wellcome Trust in the UK and Europe.

This post forms part of the Dramatic Growth of Open Access Series.

Thanks to Peter Suber via the Open Access Tracking Project.

Networking Research as Paradigm Shift: Opening the Door

“It is possible,” says the doorkeeper, “but not at the moment.”

Franz Kafka, ‘Before the Law

I know: that term, ‘paradigm shift’. It embodies its own contradiction: easier said than done.

Declarative rather than performative. Simply saying it does not make it happen. It has been said countless of times, the digital age and its related values, transparency, openness, collaboration, collective authority, timeliness, crowd wisdom, democracy, acting locally thinking globally, etc. pose great opportunities and challenges to researchers.

The future, it is tweeted and retweeted and blogged every day at all times, lies in ‘harnessing’ (that other over-used term) ‘the power of social media’ and electronic publishing, in collaborative research, in open access resources, in sharing knowledge internationally, in increasing impact through sustainable, good practice-abiding public engagement strategies.

Nevertheless, for many of us, this ‘future’ happened yesterday. We have been working collectively online and sharing our work openly for quite some time now. The so-called paradigm shift is not here for us yet, though. We remain doing this work for free and without official academic recognition. Thousands of hours and words spent sharing information, expertise and knowledge through open access blogs and other web-based services such as Twitter, Slideshare, Facebook, Prezi, Google Docs still seem to many a waste of time, at best desperate attempts at gaining visibility. You may attend the conferences, write about them, link in and link out, create and monitor hashtags and other metadata, listen and participate and share, and still, if you’re not already in, well, you’re not in.

A shift towards a widespread social and academic acceptance of the contribution that scholars make online through official and ‘alternative’ (non-institutional) channels has taken and is likely to take a long time to take place. The cause lies at the heart of that great unspoken, largely-uncontested fact, the academic status quo, in other words, the social pragmatics of current institutional scholarly practice.

In spite of important efforts and successes in developing awareness of the benefits of multidisciplinary approaches and inter-departmental, inter-institutional collaboration, university researchers are still divided by the tall –though transparent– walls of funding. It has been pointed out to me in several conference coffee breaks and dinners that ideas, research questions and objectives are not necessarily, in practice, defined by a desire to make a contribution to any given field, but to fit specific fellowship and funding schemes.

For many PhD candidates and early career scholars, research topics are not for them to decide based on specific personal and professional interests (let alone passion). Apparently, a great number of PhD students’ research topics are received facts, determined by the available funding. It is money, not knowledge, the carrot in front of the cart.

"The Evolution of Intellectual Freedom", by Jorge Cham, 20 July 2011
“The Evolution of Intellectual Freedom”, by Jorge Cham, 20 July 2011

Savage budget cuts to academic research has meant that there are less sources of funding for everyone, and also less available jobs for recent PhDs. Moreover, the über-specialisation which is characteristic of academic research promotes the logical creation of tightly-shut research groups whose members will understandably protect each other. This means that institutional collaborative research does not necessarily imply an exercise in openness and collective intellectual authority, but a survival mechanism to accelerate measurable impact through peer-reviewed publications and presentations in established academic conferences where most people already know each other in one way or another.

It cannot be emphasised enough how this is clearly at odds with the values of collective openness frequently attached to the digital age. Nevertheless, in both theory and practice, social media continuously provide examples of how closed practices of standard academic research are simply replicated online. What makes it more problematic is how online media, even if it has the power to counteract that (and there are very valuable projects doing that already), simply makes academia’s inwardness cynically transparent. Not many people complain because no one else is really looking: rarely ever anyone who is not already a guest does know there is a party. Public engagement #fail, right?

Where social media has the power to reduce the height of the fencing around the ‘Ivory Tower’, in specific academic settings the so-called backchannel is reduced to an amplification of academic endogamy, strengthening the ties of an already tight-knit happy few. (This does not have to be thus: in my experience, there is great interest by members of the public in what goes on at the type of conferences I attend and microblog from, to the frequent amazement of many participants and organisers alike).

It can be said that everything is in the eye of the beholder, but it seems this is accepted as the-way-things-are, an uncontrollable fact like the weather or inflation rates. This is a phenomenon very few dare to discuss publicly: academia is a very small world, early-career scholars are a hungry and highly competitive bunch, and there is not enough money or opportunities for all (or so it seems). In this context, it is essential that students, PhD candidates and early-career scholars feel like they can express their views freely with an aim to reconfigure the current system. Unfortunately, most of us are terrified that our online activity will be held against us.

It is in this setting I have presented that I would like to suggest the following questions:

  • How to contribute towards change as a student or recent graduate?
  • How long can independent researchers keep working constructively in unpaid online scholarly engagement before throwing the towel?
  • How can we promote the necessary desinterestedness to become true ‘networked’ researchers, contributing collectively and openly to the construction of knowledge when there does not seem to be life outside traditional structures?
  • How can we convince senior and junior academics to engage in the public creation and sharing of knowledge when ‘informal’ openaccess online scholarly work keeps being ignored by selection committees and academic employers?
  • How can the dominant funding-first-research-later scheme be interrogated and hopefully re-imagined, so that it is funding that follows the existing research initiatives?
  • When will it become clear that it is essential to ‘do the walk and not jut the talk’ and find ways to encourage and support new generations of researchers to work on openaccess electronic publishing, dissemination and engagement, employing mechanisms appropriate to the demands of what is now mostly a digitally-networked age?

In the current social context, many junior and senior academics see sharing as counterintuitive– why would you give your work away for free, if on top of that it will not be recognised? Others resent the imposition of what they perceive as technological determinism and/or technological imperialism.

At the same time, as awareness of the potential of online publishing for academic works becomes more and more apparent, new funding opportunities appear. Those who were not interested before become interested now. The contradictions between technologies that enable the blurring of boundaries and the pragmatics of a self-preserving, institutional, gate-kept model of scholarly communications is creating short-circuits here and there.

We know what the ‘paradigm shift’ should look like. Opening that door seems possible, but we cannot do this alone.

 

Originally published on Networked Researcher, 26 July 2011

The JSTOR downloading caper: Open Access is creator give-away, not consumer rip-off

Assuming the world has not gone entirely bonkers (and the US Attorney’s Office has not contracted terminal wikileakimania), the charges against Aaron Swartz will be dropped as they have been by JSTOR once it becomes clear that he was (as I hope!) only data-mining what he downloaded, not redistributing it.

Breaking into a locked room and computer at MIT is not ethical except if something far more important and justifiable is at stake — but Swartz will be pardoned for that peccadillo too.

Yet access to retroactively scanned journal article databases is definitely not the same sort of “primal right” as access to current, born-digital articles, where the access is willingly provided by their authors, at no cost to themselves or the user.

In other words, author give-away is not the same thing as user rip-off.

Back-scanning and archiving services may well be over-charging, substantially, relative to their expenses, and that should be challenged and remedied, but the remedy is not theft.

I hope the JSTOR downloading caper will not be conflated or even associated with the legitimate worldwide efforts by researchers to give and get open access to one another’s own refereed research.

Stevan Harnad
EnablingOpenScholarship

More on failing to grasp the Gratis OA within reach because of over-reaching for the Libre OA that is not

Peter Murray-Rust, in his valid and important advocacy for data-archiving and data-mining, has been arguing for the advantages of Libre Gold OA (LiGoOA: free online access + re-use rights + publication in a Gold OA journal) over Gratis Green OA (GrGrOA: free online access). I argue that since GrGrOA asks for less, faces fewer obstacles, and is immediately reachable today if mandated, we should not miss that opportunity by trying to over-reach instead directly for LiGoOA, since it is not within reach.

The practical advantages of grasping gratis Green OA before trying to reach Libre Gold OA

Peter Murray-Rust (PMR) misses the main advantages of Gratis Green OA (GrGrOA):
(1) Immediate GrGrOA has far smaller obstacles, being already endorsed by over 60% of journals (including almost all the top journals).

(2) Hence GrGrOA can already provide at least 60% GrGrOA plus 40% almost-OA (with the repository?s automated email-eprint-request button) today.

(3) Hence immediate 60% GrGrOA plus 40% almost-OA can already be mandated.

This contrasts with Libre Gold OA (LiGoOA):

(1′) LiGoOA is not yet endorsed by any journal other than the small proportion of LiGoOA that already exist (say, about 10%, and that does not include most of the top journals).

(2′) Hence LiGoOA can only provide 10% LiGoOA today.

(3′) LiGoOA cannot be mandated (today, or ever).

All the LiGoOA advantages PMR seeks will come, but before we reach LiGoOA we have to reach GrGrOA, and we won?t reach it by over-reaching: GrGrOA will simply inherit LiGoOA?s bigger obstacles.

(And what comes with the territory with GrGrOA is searching, downloading locally, reading, saving locally, data-crunching, printing off; that?s all. But it?s incomparably more than what we have now, without GrGrOA.)

No axioms: Just evidence, logic and pragmatics

PMR:There is a difference between the size of an obstacle and the number of obstacles. I agree that there is quantitatively more opportunity for self-archiving than LiGo.”

And for mandating 100% of it. And that’s what OA is about: Reaching 100% OA, at long last.

PMR:I do not understand the phrase ?almost-OA?.

Articles deposited as Closed Access but semi-automatically requestable via the repository’s email eprint request Button.

Sale, A., Couture, M., Rodrigues, E., Carr, L. and Harnad, S. (2012) Open Access Mandates and the “Fair Dealing” Button. In: Dynamic Fair Dealing: Creating Canadian Culture OnlinePMR:This figure [ % Gold OA] is growing”

But not fast enough. And unlike Green, cannot be accelerated with mandates.

Poynder, Richard (2011) Open Access by Numbers, Open and Shut, 19 June 2011

PMR: “You assert opinions [SH: ‘LiGoOA cannot be mandated’]

Please describe how (and who) you propose to mandate (i.e. require) LiGoOA, that is, require authors to publish in Libre Gold OA Journals.

PMR:Another axiom [SH: ‘before we reach LiGoOA we have to reach GrGrOA, and we won?t reach it by over-reaching: GrGrOA will simply inherit LiGoOA?s bigger obstacles’]”

Please describe how you propose to persuade authors who are not even providing GrGrOA to their articles, published in their journals of choice, for free, to pay instead to publish them in LiGoOA journals. (And then describe how you propose to mandate it, if they demur.)

PMR: “You and I differ as to what is formally allowable [with GrGrOA]

If it’s not “searching, downloading locally, reading, saving locally, data-crunching, printing off” as I said, then what is formally allowable with GrGrOA, by your lights?

Priorities and pragmatics

PMR:I don?t see why the amount of something alters the rate of growth

It doesn’t. It’s just that the rate of growth of Gold OA is way too slow. The current growth rate will not even reach 60% Gold OA before 2026, whereas Green OA mandates have been reaching 60% Green OA within two years of adoption for years now:

Poynder, Richard (2011) Open Access by Numbers, Open and Shut, 19 June 2011

PMR:Libre costs the reader nothing. Yes, we have a prisoner?s dilemma, or a transition process. I would argue that the final state of full Libre will cost less than the current toll-access. But we are in the land of opinions, not logic.”

It is the author who pays for Gold OA, not the reader. And it is the author who provides Gold OA, not the reader. So it is not a Prisoner’s Dilemma but an Escher Impossible Figure. Green OA mandates can cure the paralysis for Gratis Green OA, and this is a matter of evidence and logic, not opinion. What’s your alternative, for curing paralysis for Libre Gold OA?

PMR:I would urge funders to insist on Libre content

Good luck! But reality is that most funders don’t even insist on Gratis content yet. Might it not be better to start to try to succeed in urging them to insist on at least that, first?

PMR:authors to insist on financial support from either funders or their institutions

If authors want, and can provide Gratis Green OA for free (and don’t even bother to do it until/unless mandated), what leverage do they have with their funders (when research funds are already scarce) or with their institutions (whose spare funds are locked into subscriptions) — even if authors bother to insist at all on what they don’t even bother to do themselves for free?

PMR:libraries cancelling as many toll-journals as possible

Libraries are already cancelling as many toll journals as possible, but they can’t cancel the must-have ones until/unless their institutional users can get access to their contents some other way. That’s the Escher Impossible Figure (not a Prisoner’s Dilemma). And what will resolve it is mandating Green OA, which, once Green OA is universal, allows the libraries to cancel their subscriptions, releasing the institutional windfall savings to pay for a universal conversion to Gold (and Libre!) OA.

PMR:development of new and imaginative and lower-cost ways of publishing

Gold OA publishing — once all access-provision and archiving (and their costs) have been offloaded onto the worldwide network of Green OA institutional repositories — will already reduce the cost of publishing to just the cost of peer review. All it takes to see this is a little imagination (but for that, you have to be able to defer immediate gratification on Libre OA!).

PMR:Stevan has asserted [SH: ‘if we start with an objective of 100% OA? we need to start by backing green OA, which has a clear strategy?. Ultimately we want the same thing, but it?s how we get there, and how quickly? that really matters’] as an axiom for 10 years. I don?t agree. And as important, Gratis OA is no use to me, while continuing to legitimise the ownership of material inappropriately

But perhaps you’ll allow that Gratis OA may be of use to many other would-be users, in many fields — and that the fields for which Libre OA is more urgent than Gratis OA, if any, may be far fewer?

Stevan Harnad
EnablingOpenScholarship

Open Access Week sponsorships now available!

In response to overwhelming demand, SPARC is now welcoming sponsors to the 2011 Open Access Week. Your financial contributions will help make this year’s event a huge hit — and it’s a great chance to highlight your company or organization’s work for a worldwide audience. Take a look at the benefits here: http://openaccessweek.org/pages/sponsorship

We’ll look forward to hearing from you!

On Collaborative Blogging as Open Access Scholarly Activity. The Case of The Comics Grid.

A longer version of this post was originally published in two parts by PhD2Published on 12 July 2011 and 14 July 2011

“If collaboration and team working are going to be expected more of humanities researchers in future, then we need to think about how to make it seem more normal.”

 

Claire Warwick, 15 June 2011

 
One of the most satisfying and challenging projects I’ve been involved with recently is The Comics Grid. When people ask me what it is all about, I say “collaboration.” After I submitted the final draft of my PhD dissertation (ambitiously titled “The Comic Book in the Age of Digital Reproduction”), I couldn’t wait any longer to to create an actual platform, a research and teaching tool, something concrete (online resources are very much concrete and not “virtual” in the sense of “unreal) with which to address a lack I perceived in the field.
 
This field is actually a multiplicity of fields. Since what has been called “comics scholarship” studies multimodal texts the methodologies employed to study them should equally be multmodal, i.e., combining different disciplines until not too long ago perceived (and in some cases still perceived) as essentially different. Media studies, communication studies, information studies, cultural studies, film studies, archeology, library science, history, geography, you name it: people studying comics within and outside academia have always employed a combination of approaches and terminologies produced and transmitted from these disciplinary areas.

What I wanted was to develop an open online platform to foster collaboration between scholars based in different parts of the world, to empower them to self-edit and self-publish original research online in tight collaboration with their peers, and to help make a contribution towards the acceptance of

a) comics scholarship as a valid academic activity and

b) online scholarship/academic blogging and social media as a valid expression of scholarly publishing and scholarly communications.

In spite of efforts like the Modern Language Association’s “Short Guide to Evaluation of Digital Work (2010)“, evaluation, appreciation and referencing of online scholarship still has a long way to go. Teachers all over the world still request their students not to “cite from the Internet”, but often fail at developing digital research literacy strategies to address this problem (and often, when they do, they replicate old paradigms which digital publishing debunks in practice).

In comics scholarship, proper attribution of sources (as Martin Barker noticed back in 1989) is equally troubled by a lack of standards, notwithstanding the existence of resources like Allen Ellis’ “Comic Art in Scholarly Writing. A Citation Guide” (1998). Moreover, the humanities have a long tradition of employing visual material to illustrate research and teaching, but have traditionally failed to see these sources as worthy of citation (as it keeps happening today).

So I knew that the obstacles were multiple: if non-funded, open online research faces plenty of resistance (accused of complacency and lack of academic rigour, persistence, “impact”, authenticity and authority), comics scholarship faced similar deeply-rooted prejudices, based on unfounded notions of what is worthy of academic study and what is not. In brief, the obstacles seemed insurmountable, but this was what, precisely, made them irresistible to challenge consistently and systematically. In order to do it, the only logical option was to do it as a coordinated front.
 

“Every moment has its discontents, its challenges and failures. Yet no moment is every truly last, at least not so long as we persist in human conversation.”

Stuart Moulthrop, 2005 [PDF]

From the start I knew that if The Comics Grid project was attractive to others it was going to grow fast. I therefore considered essential to design specific guidance documentation, that was later reviewed by the core editorial team. What started with one person, then five, has become now thirteen active contributors, including reviewers and editors. We have published 52 posts since January 2011, and have since maintained our publication schedule of two original posts per week. The blog has been viewed almost 28,000 times, and our analytics reveal that most readers find us by making comics research-related queries on Google.

A sense of mission is what has kept editors and contributors working together in spite of the logical challenges imposed by lack of face-to-face interaction (all work is done online, by email, on shared Google docs and on the blog’s dashboard). In what follows I’d like to share with you one the points that summarise our mission:

General Mission

The Comics Grid wants to consolidate an international network of comics scholars and to offer a forum to promote their academic work online. It functions as an online open access laboratory where different critical approaches to comics are publicly and collectively put to test. Though our scope wants to be as diverse as possible, our initial aim is to focus on the analysis of specific comics page layouts and panels. Our content is media-specific. We foster public engagement through social media tools and other dissemination activities.

Our detailed mission statement,  draft schedule, and editorial and contribution guidelines exist as online documents which are shared amongst all contributors and editors.

Our editorial guidelines and other internal documents are available to serious interested parties upon written request.

We aim to follow good practice in electronic publishing and seek to make our content as widely available as possible through reliable metadata, standardised image file description/referencing, search engine optimisation, human-readable permalinks, RSS and Mobile platform capabilities, etc.

We have clear open policies regarding content sharing and community management
(commenting).

All the original content published on the blog  is shared under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License, but individual authors retain their respective intellectual property rights.

We believe that online open access scholarship needs to be taken into account as valid academic work.

We believe that online open access scholarship has a real impact within scholarly communities and is naturally well-suited for public engagement.

All contributors are requested to actively engage in the promotion of our content through social media tools, conferences and other dissemination activities.

I hope that sharing these notes with you will have helped you understand what is that guides us and keeps us working together, and perhaps even see the similarities with your own projects or even (who knows!) inspire to start your own online collaborative project. For me these first six months have been incredibly exciting but also exhausting. In comparison, working individually, thinking only of your own benefit, seems incredibly easier. Also, having someone else to do all your PR and promotional needs is way easier than having to do it yourself. But we built something, and now we want others to use it, and to achieve this we need to work hard in spreading the word.

Until now we don’t have the institutional back up that other similar resources have. This also means that some of our colleagues may look down on us as “just a blog”. It would be a lie not to say this is also on my mind every day I spend hours working on the Grid, talking to people about it, commissioning contributions, working hard to convince established scholars that contributing a piece of research to us is worth it.

Working in a team, remotely, with mostly words as your main channel of communication, without any immediate, direct financial gain in sight is not an easy thing to do. I keep the faith it will be worth it. I am convinced this system of academic work is a logical reaction to the way culture is taking shape in the 21st century. This conviction, the idea of work as a constant conversation with others, is what keeps me going.