INASP Open Access Week competition

Information from INASP website:

In 2013 INASP is encouraging our partner and network countries to use Open Access Week to showcase the activities that universities and research institutions within developing and emerging countries are planning and doing. Your activities might include: 

  • creating greater understanding of Open Access or the Open Access movement
  • increasing wider awareness and use of institutional repositories
  • promoting and providing training in Open Access resources
  • showcasing the open source software being used
  • using the opportunities provided by Open Access policies to create, share and improve access to information and electronic resources
  • having fun with your own competitions or displays

The above may be undertaken through library or faculty displays, training sessions, or producing materials/resources to share information about your activities — or other innovative ways you have found to reach research, faculty and library colleagues (such as social networking sites).

We are aware that finding budget to produce materials to promote Open Access and your own activities can be difficult, so INASP is hosting a competition that will provide winners with $500 to contribute towards these costs. There are 10 prizes to be won and the winners will also have the opportunity to share their Open Access activities with the INASP network through our websites and publications. All applicants may also to share ideas and get feedback.

  • Application Deadline: Friday 2nd August 2013
  • Successful applicants will be notified by: Monday 19th August 2013
  • Online application form
  • Winners’ reports must be submitted to INASP by: 14th November 2013

Eligibility: You must represent an institution or organisation from one of INASP’s partner or network countries to enter.  See our country pages for more information. 

American Geophysical Union and Wiley Partner to Launch New Open Access Journal

Earth's Future coverThe American Geophysical Union (AGU) and John Wiley & Sons, Inc., are partnering to publish the new open access peer-reviewed journal, Earth’s Future, which is now open for submissions.

Earth’s Future will emphasize the Earth as an interactive, evolving system under the influence of the human enterprise and will reflect the risks and opportunities associated with environmental changes and challenges. It will feature primary research across disciplines and connect it to policy through the inclusion of editorials, essays, reviews, and other commentary pieces. Contributors will tackle solutions to such grand challenges as population increase, industrial and agricultural development, urbanization, climate change, energy, food and water resource sustainability and security.

Dr. Guy Brasseur has been appointed to lead the launch of Earth’s Future as its inaugural Editor-in-Chief. Brasseur is the director of Germany’s Climate Service Center. Previously, Dr. Brasseur was associate director of the National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR) in Boulder, Colorado, and head of NCAR’s Earth and Sun Systems Laboratory.

Earth’s Future represents an important and innovative contribution not only to transdiciplinary research, but also to the ability of the public and policy makers to navigate and connect with our science, and to successfully incorporate it into their decision making processes,” said AGU President Carol Finn. “AGU is pleased to be able to partner with a global leader like Wiley to provide this new platform for the exploration of global change and sustainability. Launching Earth’s Future represents a key achievement in our mission to promote discovery in the Earth and space sciences for the benefit of humanity.”

“We are extremely excited to launch Earth’s Future, an open access journal, with our partner AGU that spans the scope of their disciplines,” said Colette Bean, Vice President and Associate Publishing Director in Wiley’s Global Research business. “This is truly a unique publishing opportunity for emerging research within and beyond the geophysical research community. Earth’s Future will play an important role in disseminating this critical research on a global scale.”

The new journal joins AGU’s prestigious portfolio of peer-reviewed research publications, including Geophysical Research Letters and Journal of Geophysical Research – Atmospheres. Both are ranked among the top ten most-highly cited research publications on climate change over the past decade. As with all its journals, AGU is responsible for editorial processes and content which will be published on Wiley’s innovative platform.

Earth’s Future will publish articles under a choice of Creative Commons Licenses, including the Creative Commons Attribution License, enabling authors to be fully compliant with open access requirements of funding organizations where applicable. All articles will be published as fully open access on Wiley Online Library and deposited in PubMed Central immediately upon publication.

A publication fee will be payable by authors on acceptance of their articles. Authors affiliated with, or funded by, an organization that has a Wiley Open Access Account can publish without directly paying any publication charges.

Additional information on Earth’s Future is available at

Sign up to receive email content alerts here >

Submit an article to Earth’s Future via the online submission site >

Open Science Champions of Change

Congratulations to new White House “Champions of Change” for Open Science – all well-deserved!   It is fantastic to see Open Science getting public and welcome recognition from OSTP. A number of other great people from the Open Science movement will be at the ceremony at the White House today.    I’ll be there to give the aforementioned Open Science poster.  I’m looking forward to connecting with some people, including a few who I haven’t seen since the OpenSource/OpenScience conference at Brookhaven National Labs way back in 1999.

It’s for the birds: Citizen science reveals shift in winter bird homes

western grebe 2

Just in time for summer solstice (the longest day of the year!), we bring you the heartwarming tale of a study that analyzed data collected about our feathery friends in the middle of winter. The Audobon Christmas Bird Count, a yearly bird census originating back in 1900, is conducted by bird-loving volunteers all over the Western Hemisphere who spot birds and record their sightings. It is also an example of what some call “citizen” or “crowd-sourced” science, and a newly published PLOS ONE article demonstrates how this scientific data, collected by the general public, can help researchers assess the conservation needs of an at-risk migratory bird, the western grebe.

Canadian researchers wanted to take a closer look at the bird population patterns of the grebe, a marine water bird that had recently been showing a worrying trend of drastic population declines in its winter home, ranging from the Pacific coast to California. In “Citizen Science Reveals an Extensive Shift in the Winter Distribution of Migratory Western Grebes,” researchers modeled a whoppin’ 36 years of collected bird count data from 163 “circles,” or designated diameters of land, mounting to a total of 2.5 million grebe observations.

So, what did they—and we, in this case—find? Thanks to decades of data collected by birdwatchers (1975-2010), researchers were able to show that western grebe populations along the northern Pacific coastal region decreased by about 95% over 36 years, but increased by over 300% in coastal California. Similar trends were observed for related bird species, suggesting that the winter habitat of the grebe has shifted south by ~ 900 km, to California, between 1980 and 2010.

western grebe 3

This is much better news than finding a concerning population decline that might prompt time-consuming and expensive conservation efforts. The researchers state that they aren’t yet sure of the reasons for this shift, but they suspect that the types of fish prey the grebes feed on may have also shifted in abundance between the two locations. All in all, this study demonstrates that wildlife data gathered by the general public (in any season, really) can result in meaningful, published scientific research that is useful to ecologists and conservationists alike.

Citation: Wilson S, Anderson EM, Wilson ASG, Bertram DF, Arcese P (2013) Citizen Science Reveals an Extensive Shift in the Winter Distribution of Migratory Western Grebes. PLoS ONE 8(6): e65408. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0065408

Image Credits: Grebe photo by Mike Baird; map photo from article


Double-Clicking Instead of Double-Paying

Jack Stilgoe (“Open Access Inaction,” Guardian 18 June 2013) has the indignation but not the information:

1. UCL has a Green OA Self-Archiving Mandate:

In May 2009, UCL Academic Board agreed two principles to underpin UCL?s publication activity and to support its scholarly mission:

— That, copyright permissions allowing, a copy of all research outputs should be deposited in the UCL repository in Open Access

— That individual UCL academic researchers should be directly responsible for providing and maintaining details of their publications in relevant UCL databases so as to support both Open Access and the requirement for UCL to keep an accurate record of its research outputs

UCL, therefore, has a ?Green? Open Access policy, by which copies of UCL research are deposited in UCL Discovery, UCL?s Open Access repository. This UCL policy informs UCL?s approach to the open access requirements of research funders.

2. Elsevier’s self-archiving policy is “Green,” meaning all Elsevier authors retain the right to make their final, refereed drafts OA immediately (without embargo) by self-archiving them in their institutional repository.

3. The Elsevier self-archiving policy contains double-talk to the effect that “authors may self-archive without embargo if they wish but not if they must”:

“Accepted author manuscripts (AAM): Immediate posting and dissemination of AAM?s is allowed to personal websites, to institutional repositories, or to arXiv. However, if your institution has an open access policy or mandate that requires you to post, Elsevier requires an agreement to be in place which respects the journal-specific embargo periods.”

The “agreement” in question is not with the author, but with the author’s institution. Unless UCL has been foolish enough to sign such an agreement (in order to get a better deal on Elsevier subscription prices), authors can of course completely ignore this absurd clause.

4. Even if UCL has foolishly signed such an agreement with Elsevier, the refereed final draft can nevertheless be deposited immediately, with access set as Closed Access instead of Open Access during the embargo. During that period, the UCL repository’s facilitated eprint request Button can provide Almost-OA almost-instantly with one click from the requester and then one click from the author.

5. Surely even double-clicking is preferable to double-paying Elsevier (subscription plus Gold OA fees), as RCUK/Finch foolishly prefers? Even if “robust knowledge is expensive to curate” (which is false) surely it needn’t be that expensive…

Harnad, S. (2010) No-Fault Peer Review Charges: The Price of Selectivity Need Not Be Access Denied or Delayed. D-Lib Magazine 16 (7/8).

Houghton, J. & Swan, A. (2013) Planting the Green Seeds for a Golden Harvest: Comments and Clarifications on “Going for Gold”. D-Lib Magazine 19 (1/2).

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 Online (Rosemary J. Coombe & Darren Wershler, Eds.)

Exploring multiple facets of modern men’s health

2695540485_7fed1903e5_zJune is Men’s Health Month! This is a time to bring awareness to preventable health issues and encourage early detection of diseases affecting men. As we wind down from celebrating Father’s Day this past weekend, here are a few articles focusing on some important men’s health issues.

Lowering salt intake helps alleviate a number of health concerns, such as decreasing the risk of heart disease, stroke and stomach cancer. However, how easy is it to reduce your sodium intake without compromising taste, or your wallet?  In a recent study, researchers sought to determine how feasible a low-sodium, inexpensive and nutritious meal for men could be. The authors used cost and nutritional data to model and optimize familiar diets. In this analysis, they showed that it is possible to decrease sodium levels to well below the recommended maximum, proving that nutrition does not need to be compromised when preparing an enjoyable low-cost meal.

So what should men be consuming to help with disease prevention? Olive plant leaves (Olea europaea L.) have been used in traditional medicine to treat diabetes for centuries. In a PLOS ONE clinical trial published this year, researchers investigated the effects of olive polyphenols on insulin balance.  In this study, 46 male participants received either capsules of olive leaf extract or a placebo for 12 weeks.  Through their observations, the researchers found that olive leaf extract significantly improved two factors related to Type 2 Diabetes (insulin sensitivity and pancreatic ?-cell secretory capacity) in overweight, middle-aged men.

What about prostate health, you might ask? The Prostate Specific Antigen test, along with digital rectal examination is widely used for prostate cancer screening. PSA, which stands for Prostate Specific Antigen, is a glycoprotein secreted by epithelial cells of the prostate gland, and individuals with prostate cancer have a higher than normal amount of this compound in their systems. PSA levels can also change in response to external factors like surgery, though, so understanding these other forces is crucial for the test to be effective.  In a recent study, authors investigated whether bike riding affects PSA concentration in men. The researchers took blood samples from 129 male participants 60 minutes before a bike ride and 5 minutes after completion. They found that cycling caused their PSA to increase an average of 9.5% when measured within 5 minutes after completing the ride. Based on these findings, the authors suggest a 24–48 hour period of abstinence from cycling before a PSA test to avoid any false positive results.

These articles are just a taste of the published articles touching on men’s health; for more research visit PLOS ONE here.



Wilson N, Nghiem N, Foster RH (2013) The Feasibility of Achieving Low-Sodium Intake in Diets That Are Also Nutritious, Low-Cost, and Have Familiar Meal Components. PLoS ONE 8(3): e58539. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0058539

de Bock M, Derraik JGB, Brennan CM, Biggs JB, Morgan PE, et al. (2013) Olive (Olea europaea L.) Leaf Polyphenols Improve Insulin Sensitivity in Middle-Aged Overweight Men: A Randomized, Placebo-Controlled, Crossover Trial. PLoS ONE 8(3): e57622. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0057622

Mejak SL, Bayliss J, Hanks SD (2013) Long Distance Bicycle Riding Causes Prostate-Specific Antigen to Increase in Men Aged 50 Years and Over. PLoS ONE 8(2): e56030. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0056030

 Image Credit: on Flickr by Lindz Graham

More Fallout From Finch Folly: Springer Silliness

On Mon, Jun 17, 2013 at 3:42 PM, Didier Pélaprat wrote on GOAL:

Springer, which defined itself some months ago as a “green publisher” in an advertisement meeting to which they invited us (they call that “information” meeting) and did not ask any embargo for institutional open repositories (there was only an embargo for the repositories of funders with a mandate), now changed its policy (they call this a “new wording“) with a 12-month embargo for all Open repositories.

This is now displayed in Sherpa/Romeo. It was stated that this new policy was settled “in reaction to the US, Europe and RCUK policy”.

I figured out that this would make some “buzz”, but for the moment I did not see any reaction. Did you hear of one?

No buzz, because the change is inconsequential:

Authors may self-archive the author?s accepted manuscript of their articles on their own websites. Authors may also deposit this version of the article in any repository, provided it is only made publicly available 12 months after official publication or later.”

1. There is no difference between the authors’ “own websites” and their own institution’s “repository.”

Authors’ websites are sectors of their own institution’s diskspace, and their institutional repository is a sector of their own institution’s diskspace. Way back in 2003 U. Southampton had already laid this nonsensical pseudo-legal distinction to rest pre-emptively by formally declaring their authors’ sector of their institutional repository their personal website:

3e. Copyright agreements may state that eprints can be archived on your personal homepage. As far as publishers are concerned, the EPrint Archive is a part of the Department’s infrastructure for your personal homepage.

2. As to institution-external OA repositories, many green publishers try to forbid them, but this too is futile nonsense: External repositories can simply link to the full-text in the institutional repository.

Indeed this has always been the main reason I have been strongly advocating for years that self-archiving mandates should always stipulate institutional deposit rather than institution-external deposit. (Springer or any publisher has delusions, however, if they think any of their pseudo-legal double-talk can get physicists who have been self-archiving directly in Arxiv for over two decades to change their ways!)

3. But, yes, Finch/RCUK’s persistence in its foolish, thoughtless and heedless policy is indeed having its perverse consequences, exactly as predicted, in the form of more and more of this formalistic FUD from publishers regarding Green OA embargoes.

Fortunately, HEFCE/REF has taken heed. If their proposed immediate-(institutional)-deposit mandate is adopted, not only is all this publisher FUD mooted, but it increases the likelihood that other OA mandates. too, will be upgraded to HEFCE’s date-stamped immediate-deposit as the mechanism for submitting articles to institutional research performance review or national research assessment.

4. If a publisher says you may self-archive without embargo if you do it voluntarily, but not if your funder requires you to do it: Do it, and, if ever asked, say, hand on heart, “I did it voluntarily.”

This ploy, which Springer too seems to have borrowed from Elsevier, consisting of pseudo-legal double-talk implying that
“you may deposit immediately if you needn’t, but not if you must” is pure FUD and can and should be completely ignored. (Any author foolish enough to be taken in by such double-talk deserves all the needless usage and impact losses they will get!)

If there’s to be “buzz,” let the facts and contingencies at least be got straight!

Off-line query from [identity removed]:

“This email expresses my current confusion about green open access and Springer. Forgive my concreteness, but I don?t ?get it.? I now self-archive my publications on sites such as ResearchGate and

“I simply don?t understand the Springer mandate! Can you refer me to some text somewhere which expresses all of this in really plain English?”

Springer says you can self-archive your final, refereed draft on your own website (which includes your institutional repository) immediately, without embargo.

Springer also says that in institution-external repositories you can only deposit it after a 12-month embargo.

This means, technically and formally, that ResearchGate or can link to the full text in the institutional repository, but they cannot host the full text itself till after the 12-month embargo.

(In principle, RG/AE could also link to the Closed Access deposit during the embargo, thereby enhancing the scope of the institutional repository’s eprint-request Button.)

But the practical fact is that there’s nothing much that Springer or anyone can do about authors sharing their own papers before the embargo elapses through social sharing sites like RG or AE or others. Publishers’ only recourse is send individual take-down notices to RG/AE, with which RG/AE can duly comply — only to have the authors put them right back up again soon after.

OA is unstoppable, if authors want it, and they do. They’re all just being too slow about realizing it, and doing it (as the computer scientists and physicists saw and did 20 years ago, no questions asked).

That’s why the OA mandates are needed. And they’re coming…