SPARC Open Access Newsletter, issue #148

In the August issue of the SOAN, Peter Suber contemplates “Discovery, Rediscovery, and Open Access”
“In 1979, William Garvey made a remarkable claim: ” … in some disciplines, it is easier to repeat an experiment than it is to determine that the experiment has already been done.” (See W.D. Garvey, Communication: The essence of science, Pergamon Press, Oxford 1979, p. 8.)
Garvey was talking about research in the era of print, and we’d like to think that digital technologies have changed the picture. But Garvey’s thesis is not false today. It’s just true less often than it was in 1979.
Of course digitizing research makes it easier to find. But when finding it is still hard (because search tools are weak or access barriers block crawlers) or when retrieval is hard (because the work is toll-access or TA) or when the original experiment is particularly easy to repeat, then repeating the experiment can still be the path of least resistance. ”

Read the rest of the newsletter here.

New Study Suggests the Benefits of Green OA Exceed the Costs

The Scholarly Publishing and Academic Resources Coalition (SPARC) recently released the results of a commissioned study into the economic returns of public access policies (see the press release here).
The study, “The Economic and Social Returns on Investment in Open Archiving Publicly Funded Research Outputs,” was authored by John Houghton, Bruce Rasmussen, and Peter Sheehan of the Centre for Strategic Economic Studies at Victoria University, Australia. See the full report here.
The authors developed a model to measure the impacts of the proposed US Federal Research Public Access Act (FRPAA) on returns to public investment in R&D. Preliminary results indicate that “…over a transitional period of 30 years from implementation, the potential incremental benefits of the proposed FRPAA archiving mandate might be worth around 4 times the estimated cost…”
The “FRPAA would require that 11 U.S. government agencies with annual extramural research expenditures over $100 million make manuscripts of journal articles stemming from research funded by that agency publicly available via the Internet.”