UN Supports OA Movement

On July 23, 2010, the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) released a statement in support of Open Access to Information.
An excerpt:
“UNESCO promotes and supports Open Access—the online availability of scholarly information to everyone, free of most licensing and copyright barriers—for the benefit of global knowledge flow, innovation and socio-economic development.”

Digital Economy Consultation

The Government of Canada recently conducted a Digital Economy Consultation with Canadians aimed at creating a digital economy strategy for Canada. The Consultation Paper explains more fully the purpose of this strategy.
The consultation ran from May 10 – July 13, 2010, with more than 2000 Canadian individuals and groups participating. Of the top three ideas that emerged two were related to Open Access concerns:
* Open Access to Canada’s Public Sector Information and Data

* Improved Access to Publicly-Funded Data
Another related idea: Open Access to Canadian Research also received strong support.
See also:
The Canadian Library Association’s submission to this consultation.
And the Canadian Association of Research Libraries submission. Download file

SOAN Newsletter #147: The UC vs NPG Battle

Recently there has been a very high profile showdown developing between two powerhouses in academia and publishing: the University of California (UC) and the Nature Publishing Group (NPG). As Peter Suber puts it: “…we may be witnessing a face-off between the world’s most powerful university and the world’s most powerful publisher.”
Peter Suber has written a very comprehensive summary of the whole affair thus far in the SPARC Open Access Newsletter #147.
On June 4, 2010 UC sent a letter to all its faculty stating that NPG was trying to raise the price of UC’s site license by 400% (more than $1 million!). If NPG did not negotiate a more equitable increase, UC told its faculty that it would not renew any NPG titles next year. Indeed a boycott of all NPG-associated activities (authorship, editorship, board membership, peer-reviewing, advertising of UC positions in NPG publications) is already under serious discussion among UC faculty. It is worth noting that this is a faculty-led revolt, with support from the UC Library system.
Nature replied in a press release on June 9, 2010 complaining that UC already enjoyed a large discount from list subscription prices and NPG was merely attempting to reduce the discount.
UC responded on June 10, 2010 that they are clearly challenging the unreasonable SITE LICENSE FEE not SUBSCRIPTION PRICES. Most institutions never pay the list price anyway.
Suber has some strong words for publishers:
Publishers like to argue that all of their price increases reflect increased costs. But they’ve done a very bad job at making the case. It’s hard to believe that their costs have been rising faster than inflation since the 1970’s or 1980’s….It’s hard to believe that costs rise faster than inflation when authors give publishers their raw material free of charge, and when referees evaluate and help refine the raw material free of charge. It’s hard to believe that costs continue to rise faster than inflation after publishers shift to e-only publishing and drop their print editions.”
Bravo to UC for acting decisively in its own interest. Bravo for drawing the line. Bravo for vowing to use its rare bargaining power to fight back.”
Stay tuned, this will be an interesting battle to watch.

New OA Madate from the Heart & Stroke Foundation of Canada

The Heart and Stroke Foundation of Canada (HSF) has just announced a new OA mandate:
Open Access to Research Outputs Policy
The stated objective of this policy is “…to enhance access of our HSF-funded research to a broad audience.”
The HSF Policy Statement reads…
The Heart and Stroke Foundation requires that all researchers supported in whole or in part through the Heart and Stroke Foundation make their research outputs publicly available as soon as possible, but no later than six months after the final publication or availability of final results.
In this policy, HSF defines research outputs as peer-reviewed journal publications, research data, and the results of clinical trials that will not be published in peer-reviewed journals
.”
The policy applies to all publications resulting from research that received funding from the HSF June 1, 2010 and onwards.
The HSF follows a similar policy adopted in 2007 by the Canadian Institutes of Health Research.

ARL Webinar Series: Reshaping Scholarly Communication

Part 3b: Transitioning from Subscriptions to Open Access: Article Processing Fees and Combined Licensing/Author’s Rights Approaches
Tuesday July 27, 11am-12:00pm, Rm 102, Murray Library

The Directory of Open Access Journals currently lists more than 4,000 fully open-access, peer-reviewed scholarly journals, and the growth rate averages about two titles per day–this without any comprehensive, concerted approach to shifting funding from subscriptions to support for open access! Libraries are beginning the process of piloting approaches to providing economic support for open access, ranging from payment of article processing fees to combining licensing subscriptions with authors’ rights or other open-access approaches. Program 3B presents participants with an opportunity to learn from the leaders in this field.
Scheduled Speakers
• Ivy Anderson, Director, Digital Collection & Management, California Digital Library
• Barbara DeFelice, Director, Digital Resources Program, Dartmouth College
• Andrew Waller, Licensing & Negotiating Librarian, Library & Cultural Resources, University of Calgary
All are welcome!
Brought to you by the Learning and Development Committee, University of Saskatchewan Library. The Library has registered to the entire 8-part series. There will be approximately one part per month – so watch for upcoming webinars!
Here is a poster to advertise the event:Download file
For more information on this series see: http://www.arl.org/sc/institute/iscwebseries/index.shtml