R2RC Launches New Open Publishing Guide for Students

The Right to Research Coalition has announced a new student guide to publishing openly, entitled “Optimize Your Publishing, Maximize Your Impact.”  This new resource presents students with the ways in which they can make their research openly available for the widest possible readership and lays out the benefits of doing so – both as authors and as readers.  How do you know where to submit your manuscript?  What are the factors that go into deciding the most appropriate publication outlet?  Which journal will give your article the widest audience? Where to publish is too important of a decision to put off until the end of the research process.

In addition to information on openaccess journals, repositories, and authors’ rights, the guide includes a publishing choices decision tree outlining the different opportunities to make an article openly available throughout the publication process.  The publication process can be complicated, and an article can still be made openly available even if it’s published in a subscription-based journal.  The decision tree lays out all of the options, so students understand the flexibility they have when deciding to make their work openly accessible.

While there are many general, how-to resources for open publishing, this guide is specifically tailored to address students’ concerns when it comes to publishing an article and launching their research career.  From how to approach a research advisor about Open Access to the dividends the open access citation advantage can pay when launching a career, students are in a unique position when it comes to deciding to publish openly.

The new resource is also designed to be flexible. Not only can students use it to educate themselves and their peers about open publishing choices, but faculty can also use it to start the conversation with their students.  And, librarians can integrate it into their scholarly communication programs, especially during library orientation for new students.  There is also space on the final page for the guide to be localized to a particular institution and include information on a campus’ institutional repository or openaccess policy.

Today’s students are tomorrow researchers, and this guide will help students make informed decisions about how and where to publish their work for maximum impact.

The Right to Research Coalition’s open publishing guide was produced with generous support from the Open Society Foundations.

The Birth of JIDC…A new kind of Journal



In the beginning . . . there was . . . an Idea . . . JIDC

There is an old saying that “Success has a thousand mothers and failure has none”. JIDC, I am proud to say, has thousands of mothers, fathers, sons and daughters. Truly, thousands. The success is of JIDC is the fruit of the dedication and hard work of editors, mentors, proofreaders, page setters, reviewers, web designers, web wizards, translators,  and of course the authors who contribute their precious work to JIDC.

Interestingly, I am frequently asked how JIDC began. In a way it began overlooking a mountain in Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan, in May of 2006. A great number of my associates were attending a meeting—the first International Meeting of Infectious Disease in Central Asia, in Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan. We had many intense discussions on the problems facing scientists from developing countries attempting to publish in predominantly western journals and from these discussions evolved the unorthodox idea of a journal that was dedicated to scientists and infectious disease in developing countries.

Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan  AdvanTours Photo


Many of us had long recognized that scientists and infectious disease science from developing countries were dramatically underrepresented in journals published in western countries. The underlying  science from infectious disease clinicians and scientists, we believed, was of a high calibre, but often the writing and presentation within manuscripts were not.  The solution, we summarized, in the majestic scenery of Bishkek, was to provide assistance in the writing and presentation of data for scientists’ draft JIDC manuscripts.  We thus added to JIDC a mentor system to guide and aid authors from developing countries with both writing skills and manuscript organization.


But alas, finances presented the greatest hurdle for scientists to publish and for the JIDC to function. Many journals require a payment of sorts to be made for accepted manuscripts to be published. The average going rate of $3,000 USD in western journals is manageable by western scientists, but the amount is simply out of the reach for many scientists and clinicians in developing countries. In fact, this may represent nearly one half a year’s wages in some developing countries. The JIDC, we declared, must be free of fees for those who cannot afford them. JIDC today is open access, free to submit, and the publication fee is waived for those who cannot afford the modest fee of 200 euros. The financial burden of maintaining JIDC is shouldered by volunteers of JIDC and grants from foundations and organizations such as the Foundation of Bank of Sardinia, Sardegna Ricerche, the University of Sassari, Shantou University Medical College, the Li Ka Shing Foundation, and the University Health Network in Toronto, Canada. Our heartfelt gratitude goes out to these people and organizations.


Through the months and years that followed the Bishkek meeting, JIDC was able to attract the dedicated team that now manages submitted manuscripts, reviews manuscripts, edits manuscripts, and publishes papers. The success of JIDC is the success of the many people who have joined in this exciting and rewarding journey! As we look forward to our fifth anniversary in 2012, the future is in our hands and it is a glorious sunrise.



Salvatore Rubino, Editor in Chief humble servant…..

JIDC Website:  http://www.jidc.org/index.php/journal

JIDC Editorial Meeting 2011 in Stintino, Sardinia

WVU Libraries Participate in International Digital Library Projects

As we celebrate international open access week, the West Virginia University (WVU) Libraries remain at the forefront of global outreach in supporting research through the early adoption of digital library programs as well as sharing their knowledge and experience by providing assistance to schools interested in implementing electronic thesis and dissertation (ETD) programs and digital repository development to enhance scholarly communications.

In preparation for ETD 2012, the 15th international symposium on electronic theses and dissertations to be held in Peru in September 2012, promoted by the Networked Digital Library of Theses and Dissertations (NDLTD), a Peruvian national conference on digital theses and repositories was held last week in Lima, Peru, with over 125 participants attending from the region. WVU Libraries’ ETD program coordinator and NDLTD Board member, John H.
Hagen attended the conference to provide several keynote presentations and to assist with promotions for the forthcoming international ETD symposium.

A follow up news story about the conference was published in “El Comercio”, one of Peru’s leading national newspapers, in an article titled “Encouraging digitization of knowledge in Peru”, by Bruno Ortiz (for El Comercio / Life & Future Column, Lima, Peru). Read the English translation of the article from the NDLTD news at http://www.ndltd.org/events_and_awards/encouraging-digitization-of-knowledge-in-peru. At the end of the article there are links provided to the original story in Spanish as well as other related news stories.

For more information about the NDLTD and ETD 2012, visit http://www.ndltd.org/.

Source:  http://thesis.wvu.edu/etd_news/2011/10/27/wvu-libraries-participate-in-international-digital-library-projects

Open Access Week 2011: A Short History of Open Access

Access to information is a basic human right.

Free exchange of scientific information forms the basis for economic, cultural, social and scientific development. Unfortunately the free exchange of information is severely compromised by the restricted access model of scientific publishers and the dependency of scientists on the publication of results in high impact restricted access journals.


This year the week of 24-30th of October is already the fifth edition of a worldwide Open Access Week , with activities ranging from international Conferences to local awareness campaigns.  Among the many events for this year two stand out: Open Access Africa 2011 in Accra and the 9th Berlin Open Access Conference in Washington DC. An overview of all the events for 2011 can be found here, and on the internet site of openaccessweek. The latter site also contains contact information for Open Access groups in different countries and it acts as an organizing network for individuals and groups working towards open access.


I want to use the Open Access Week 2011 as an opportunity to provide you with a brief look at the history of the open access movement, and review the events that have led to the present status.


The advent of the internet and its endless possibilities for information processing and distribution has been acting as a catalyst for the growth  of open access initiatives. The internet provided the tool to free scientists from the unwanted and unwarranted restricted access to information imposed by the publishers.  In 1991 Paul Ginsparg started the first free scientific online archive for physicists, arXiv.org. The Archive has been a huge success ever since. Notably, and in contrast with popular belief, the publishing of articles in arXiv has had no effect on journal subscriptions in physics; even though the articles are freely available, usually before publication.


1998 Saw the launch of the American Scientists Open Access Forum, but the Open Access movement for the Life Sciences only really gained momentum in 2001. In that year 34,000 scholars around the world signed “An Open Letter to Scientific Publishers” calling for “the establishment of an online public library that would provide the full contents of the published record of research and scholarly discourse in medicine and the life sciences in a freely accessible, fully searchable, interlinked form”. The result was the establishment of the Public Library of Science (PLoS), and its transformation into an open access publisher with a number of Open Access Journals, PLoS ONE being the most recent addition.


 The Budapest Open Access Initiative in 2002 was the first global Open Access initiative. Attending scientists were asked to sign an agreement to preferentially publish their findings in open access journals. This agreement can still be signed online today.  In 2003, the Berlin Declaration on Open Access to Knowledge in the Sciences and Humanities was published after a Conference with that name. This year (2011) the 9th Berlin open access conference will be held, now for the first time in North America, in Washington DC.

 Libraries, confronted with increasing costs for subscriptions and decreasing budgets have been instrumental in the promotion of Open Access. The average cost per journal has been rising at a rate far above inflation for decades, and publishers made , and nowadays still make 30-40 % profits.  SPARC, the Scholarly Publishing and Academic Resources Coalition, is an international alliance of academic and research libraries working to ‘’correct imbalances in the scholarly publishing system’’. The European counterpart SPARCEUROPE promotes open access at European universities and institutions. NEBELAC is is a network for collaboration between Europe and Latin-American Caribic countries. Also in Europe, the EU Commission for the Digital Agenda has launched the OPENAire initiative. Scientists receiving European research grants are required to put their results in freely accessible repositories. This so-called green road to open access has now been adopted by universities and institutions worldwide. Many of them have either made commitments to open access, or are in the process of reviewing their policies and procedures. The renowned Harvard and Princeton universities recently joined this group.

 Most Open Access journals of today work according to the principles of the so-called ‘gold road’ where authors have to pay a fee to publish in these journals.  There is however a third option called Open Access 2.0, where reading and publishing is both free of charge. Examples of this are still scarce. WebmedCentral is one example, JIDC (Journal of Infection in Developing countries) is another. The Dutch Malaria Foundation has plans to publish a malaria research journal in Open Access 2.0. The following picture (courtesy: Bart Knols, Chairman of Advisory Board at Dutch Malaria Foundation) depicts these three publishing models with the red arrow indicating the flow of funds.

Both the green road and the gold road, while offering open access reading, are still restrictive for authors. Especially authors in developing countries will often be faced with unaffordable publication fees and thus restricted access. The current preference of publishers for either the green or the gold road to open access could at least be partly due to the fact that these models can easily be derived from the existing model and still guarantee the publishers (un)fair profit margins.

The only way then to fully unrestricted open access is offered by the no-fee publication model of Open Access 2.0.  However as this model demands for a complete new business model with considerably less profit, it will very likely be met with fierce opposition from the publishers.

But we have to be faithful to our essential ideal – that science belongs to all humanity – and join together in bringing it about.We can not allow the world to be divided into those with ready access to knowledge and its benefits, and those without.  And we are not powerless. Speaking up and sharing our ideas on media like MalariaWorld will allow us to devise strategies for the creation of an open knowledge society, where knowledge is seen as a common human heritage which should be of benefit to all.

DSpace Open Access repository development in Africa: Sudan, South Africa

Sudan, South Africa This is the fourth of a five-part series that looks at Open Access repository development in twelve African countries in celebration of Open Access Week Oct. 24-30, 2011. The first part (Botswana, Ethiopia and Ghana) may be found here: http://duraspace.org/dspace-africa-growing-openaccess-knowledge-and-culture. Parts two and three (Kenya, Malawi; Mozambique, Senegal) may be found here: http://duraspace.org/dspace-openaccess-repository-development-africa-kenya-malawi; http://duraspace.org/dspace-openaccess-repository-development-africa-mozambique-senegal-0.

The series is co-authored by Iryna Kuchma, Open Access Programme manager, EIFL (http://www.eifl.net/) and EIFL-OA country coordinators: Netsanet Animut, Addis Ababa University and Chair of the Consortium of Ethiopian Academic and Research Libraries, Charles Banda, Copperbelt University, Zambia, Aissa Mitha Issak, Universidade Pedagógica, Mozambique, Gloria Kadyamatimba, Chinhoyi University of Technology Library, Zimbabwe, Richard B. Lamptey, Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology, Ghana, Fredrick Kiwuwa Lugya, Makerere University Library, Uganda, Reason Baathuli Nfila, University of Botswana Library, Rosemary Otando, University Nairobi, Kenya, Kondwani Wella, Kamuzu College of Nursing, University of Malawi and Carol Minton Morris, DuraSpace.


Open Access to Arabic launguage resources

The first Sudanese Institutional Repository was released on October 10, 2011 and is now available at http://oascir.uofk.edu/. DSpace@ScienceUofKrepository is the result of the EIFL-funded OASCIR (Open Access Scientific Institutional Repository) project  which included carrying out an Open Access awareness-raising campaign at the Faculty of Science, University of Khartoum and setting up an institutional repository.
DSpace@ScienceUofK goes live with more than175 records in its database. Most of them areavailable in full-text. In the coming weeks there will be an effort to increase the  content in the repository. Additional functionality–such as an Arabic interface–is still being developed for the repository and will be available shortly.
(From DSpace@ScienceUofK is now LIVE OASCIR project blog http://uofkoascir.blogspot.com/2011/10/dspacescienceuofk-is-now-live.html)

South Africa

Open Access advocacy in service to  to shared knowledge

South Africa is a leading African country in terms of Open Access (OA) policies on the governmental level and grass-roots OA initiatives in universities and research organizations.
All 11 traditional universities (or at least their departments), two universities of technology (Cape Peninsula University of Technology and Durban University of Technology), three comprehensive universities (University of Johannesburg, University of South Africa and University of Zululand) and Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) have set up OA repositories.
University of Pretoria and University of Johannesburg have adopted OA policies (mandates) to ensure that results of researches funded by institutions are made freely available.
University of Pretoria and Stellenbosch University host the largest IR collections in the country: UPSpace (http://repository.up.ac.za/, 14,108 records) + University of Pretoria Electronic Theses and Dissertations (http://upetd.up.ac.za/UPeTD.htm, 6,592 records); and SUNScholar Repository (http://scholar.sun.ac.za/, 15,053 records).
Stellenbosch University has also joined this international cohort of open access advocates and has signed the Berlin Declaration confirming its commitment to openly sharing its research output. During the past year the University has made considerable progress in terms of opening access to information. The University is actively preserving its research output (research articles, theses, dissertations, etc.) via its institutional repository, SUNScholar. The University’s commitment has grown in leaps and bounds culminating in ‘publishing’ journal titles in open access forums using open source software. 
Stellenbosch University has also set up an IR wiki  http://wiki.lib.sun.ac.za/index.php/SUNScholar/IR – a useful resource of best practice recommendations for repository managers.
“IRSpace” is an informal community of those who are interested in advancing the case of OA and IRs in South Africa and Africa. Communication channel: Irtalk discussion list   http://lists.lib.sun.ac.za/mailman/listinfo/irtalk and DuraSpace – The South African Dspace/DuraSpace Workgroup discussion list http://lists.lib.sun.ac.za/mailman/listinfo/duraspace.
IRSpace http://www.google.com/cse/home?cx=013518019117943970829%3Atlw8-sayn_q – Search South African & African research repositories: is an IR harvester for African research institutions.

Dutch Malaria Foundation supports Open Access

The Dutch Malaria Foundation was founded in 2010. We are committed to a world without malaria. We want to achieve this by combining integrated, responsible pest control with innovative applied research, education and informationWe see a need to fight malaria.on two fronts, not only the protection of people but also the control of the mosquito that carries the parasite. With a combination of vector control, education and innovative research, it will be possible to effectively fight malaria. After all  this is the way that the disease has been eradicated in Europe, America and other affluent parts of the world..

Education and innovative research are dependent on sharing of information. Participation of scientists from developing countries is essential in the fight against malaria. And Open Access to information is essential for many scientists in the developing world to be able to participate fully in the global scientific community. We therefore are strong supporters of the Open Access publishing system.

In order to make the scientific literature better accessible for scientists in the developing world we run the website MalariaWorld that provides weekly updates on the malaria literature. Weblinks provide easy access to malaria research papers. We collaborate with Elsevier to promote open access. The site also serves as a social network for currently >6,500 users working in the field of malaria, and offers possibilities for blogging and forum discussions.

We are developing an Open Access 2.0 malaria journal, where next to free reading also publication of articles will be free of charge. In our view this offers the best opportunities for scientists in developing countries to not only read but also be read.

Guerilla Open Access: To Be or Not To Be?

Aaron Swartz, Greg Maxwell, et al have been vocal in their support of guerilla open access. While I am all for open access (or else why would I be here, right?), I have my share of doubts regarding the issue of embracing illegal methods to further the cause of open access.

In my third post in the series of posts, celebrating this year’s open access week, I take a look into the issue of guerilla open access and why I do not think this is the panacea we are looking for.

Check out my post: Guerilla Open Access.

What do you think?

Suboptimal/missing Open Licences by Wiley and Royal Society


Well Wiley has just proudly announced its first Open Access Journals http://www.wileyopenaccess.com/view/journals.html. They’re not cheap for author-side fees (Brain and Behaviour == 2500 USD – higher than the others – presumably it’s easier to tap brain researchers for money).

What has upset me is that the licence is CC-NC. No commercial use. http://www.wileyopenaccess.com/details/content/12f25d1df44/About.html

Now I’ll be very generous and assume that Wiley isn’t aware of the real problems of CC-NC. If they aren’t they should read my blog post:


which also points to definitive sources.

CC-NC is apparently attractive, but actually completely restrictive for anything I want to do.

  • The material cannot be used for teaching as that can be construed as commercial (especially in private universities)
  • It cannot be put on web-pages which carry adverts
  • It cannot be used for text- or data-mining which is openly published because a commercial company might read my paper or website and use it
  • All derivative works must carry CC-NC
  • And worst of all it violates the Budapest Open Access Declaration (and the Open Definition)

I doubt VERY much whether it is the intention of the AUTHORS to forbid commercial use of their material. Effectively they would be saying

“I don’t want a manufacturer of medical equipment to use any pictures from Brain and Behaviour without paying WILEY money” (remember dear reader that the AUTHOR gets nothing.”

So, Wiley, I am in a good mood and assume this was a mistake. It would be very nice if you were able to respond to this post (you WILL read it, I know).

There’s a similar case at the Royal Society. Now they already publish Open Biology under CC-BY 3.0 so they know about licences. They’ve recently made all their historical content FREE, which is absolutely stunning (http://royalsociety.org/news/Royal-Society-journal-archive-made-permanently-free-to-access/ ), but there is no explicit licence. I have also heard that there are actually still paywalls in place for this material.

Please, Royal Society, tell us you simply forgot to add CC-BY on the splash pages and the articles. Because then we can use them for teaching, etc. with a clear legal conscience.

And we can then do some exciting things with the Bibliography!



An ocean of pheromones

Human pheromones have been the source of quite a bit of speculation, and while they may have some effect on sexual attraction, it certainly doesn’t appear that they are required for mating. The story for diatoms, though, is exactly the opposite, according to a study published today.

These tiny unicellular creatures live in the ocean, where it is easy to imagine that an egg and sperm might have trouble finding each other. To solve this problem, they have evolved a system where pheromones actually orchestrate the whole process, so that egg and sperm are only released on cue, hopefully making it easier for them to connect.

Here’s how it works. The females release their sex pheromone, called ph-1, constantly. Then, when a male is nearby, he senses the pheromone, which triggers him to make and release sperm. At the same time, he also begins to produce his own sex pheromone, called ph-2, which makes the female produce and release her eggs. The researchers suspect that there is yet a third pheromone, called ph-3, that is then released by the eggs to continue attracting the sperm. However, while they detected ph-1 and ph-2 in their experiments, ph-3 was not directly observed.

By relying on these chemical signals, the diatoms make sure that they are only releasing their gametes when a potential partner is nearby, which keeps them from wasting lots of energy. This elegant solution so far appears unique among related organisms.

The researchers also found some other cool elements of the diatom’s reproductive cycle, like “threads” on the sperm that help it move and grab things, and “blobs” on the sperm with unknown function. Check out these movies for a look!

This post was written by Rachel Bernstein, an associate editor at PLoS ONE.