Back to Grey : Disclosure and Concealment of Electronic Theses and Dissertations

Abstract: The open access principle requires that scientific information be made widely and readily available to society. Defined in 2003 as a “comprehensive source of human knowledge and cultural heritage that has been approved by the scientific community”, open access implies that content be openly accessible and this needs the active commitment of each and every individual producer of scientific knowledge. Yet, in spite of the growing success of the open access initiative, a significant part of scientific and technical information remains unavailable on the web or circulates with restrictions. Even in institutional repositories (IRs) created to provide access to the scientific output of an academic institution, more or less important sectors of the scientific production are missing. This is because of lack of awareness, embargo, deposit of metadata without full text, confidential content etc. This problem concerns in particular electronic theses and dissertations (ETDs) that are disseminated with different status – some are freely available, others are under embargo, confidential, restricted to campus access (encrypted or not) or not available at all. While other papers may be available through alternative channels (journals, monographs etc.), ETDs most often are not. Our paper describes a new and unexpected effect of the development of digital libraries and open access, as a paradoxical practice of hiding information from the scientific community and society, while partly sharing it with a restricted population (campus). The study builds on a review of recent papers on ETDs in IRs and evaluates the availability of ETDs in a small panel of European and American academic IRs and networks. It provides empirical evidence on the reality of restricted access and proposes a model of independent variables affecting decisions on embargo and on-campus access, together with a table of different degrees of (non) open access to ETDs in IRs. The paper builds on a study conducted in Lille between January and April 2013 (Schöpfel & Prost 2013) and contributes to a French-German survey on ETD embargoes carried out by the Institute for Science Networking at the University of Oldenburg and the University of Lille.

ATG Newschannel Original: The Passing of a Giant: Eugene Garfield Dies at 90 | Against The Grain

“The citation indexes and the Current Contents service became essential tools, not only in libraries but in research labs and technology companies across the globe….By having ready access to the tables of contents of core research journals available, researchers were easily able to mark those articles of key interest and then contact the authors for a copy of the article. Perhaps this can be seen today as a precursor to today’s Open Access movement, allowing for direct communication between researchers and their colleagues as well as potential developers….”

Ebooks, Innovation, and the Rebel Within – The Scholarly Kitchen

“As with all good innovators, Peter [Krautzberger, project lead for MathJax] is frustrated. He feels, for example, that advocates of open science focus heavily on sharing of supposedly neutral data, but are still not able to see beyond the PDF. For him open science should be more about how the Web can facilitate communications….”

The real reasons Jonas Salk didn’t patent the polio vaccine.

“There was near unanimity within the organization [National Foundation for Infantile Paralysis] that the public had already paid for the polio vaccine through their donations, and patenting it for profit would have represented double charging. That’s what Jonas Salk should have said to Murrow—not that all vaccines belong to the people, but rather that this vaccine belonged to the people….


There is an important footnote regarding Salk’s statement that “there is no patent.” Prior to Murrow’s interview with Salk, lawyers for the National Foundation for Infantile Paralysis did look into the possibility of patenting the vaccine, according to documents that Jane Smith uncovered during her dive into the organization’s archives. The attorneys concluded that the vaccine didn’t meet the novelty requirements for a patent, and the application would fail. This legal analysis is sometimes used to suggest that Salk was being somewhat dishonest—there was no patent only because he and the foundation couldn’t get one. That’s unfair. Before deciding to forgo a patent application, the organization had already committed to give the formulation and production processes for the vaccine to several pharmaceutical companies for free….”

ARL 227: On the Transition of Journals to Open Access

“The proposed solution presents a way to manage the inevitable transition period, with little financial risk to the owners. It is based on the model provided by Tom Walker in Florida Entomologist, published by the Florida Entomological Society <> and the journals of the Entomological Society of America <>. Authors would be presented with two options:

To pay a publication charge–the paper is then made open access on publication.

Not to pay the publication charge–the paper is only made available to subscribers.

This would result in a hybrid journal in which access to each paper would depend on the authors’ willingness to pay the publication fee. This is a low-risk strategy for the journal’s owner as they would still collect subscription revenue. In year one (say 2004) authors would be invited to pay for open access. The subscription price would be set to what is required to cover costs if no authors took up the offer. Any author payments would then be a bonus! In year two (2005), the subscription price would be set based on the experience in 2004….”

DOI-OA-Crawler/ at master · atmire/DOI-OA-Crawler · GitHub

“Wiley article page urls can be extended with /epdf. From these EPDF pages, we retrieve the value of the field “‘WOL-Article-Access-State'” in the returned HTML source. Currently, this approach only works for articles hosted on However, we are very interested in developing similar approaches for other publishers/vendors….”

NOT-OD-17-050: Reporting Preprints and Other Interim Research Products

“The NIH encourages investigators to use interim research products, such as preprints, to speed the dissemination and enhance the rigor of their work. This notice clarifies reporting instructions to allow investigators to cite their interim research products and claim them as products of NIH funding….”

Open Knowledge Maps – Working Groups / Open Science – Open Knowledge Forums

We have now connected Open Knowledge Maps to one of the largest academic search engines in the world: BASE. This means, you are able to visualize a research topic from 100+ million documents. And for the first time, you can search within different types of resources, including datasets and software. We would like to thank our collaborators BASE and rOpenSci for their outstanding support in making this happen!

We have also spent a lot of time improving the naming of the sub-areas to make the concepts in a field more visible – which means that this update improves our existing PubMed integration too.

Open Knowledge Maps follows the motto “open science, all the way”. From our roadmap to our source code and our data, we publish everything under an open license that is compatible to the Open Definition. As always, we welcome any feedback you may have!