“It has now been more than a decade since the Budapest Open Access Initiative coined the term open access (OA) and united a movement to free scholarly literature from access barriers. Incredible progress has been made in this time with the launching of thousands of OA journals, open repositories, and mandates from institutions, funders, and various levels of government in countries around the world. The momentum only seems to be increasing in recent years. OA is now considered to be inevitable, with one prediction estimating that it will be the dominant model for scholarly literature in the next decade.1
This guide is intended to be a practical tool to help busy researchers, and the librarians who support them, make the transition to OA. The focus herein is on freely available online resources that will assist in making research publications OA; the closely associated, and rapidly growing, area of research data is beyond the scope of this column.”
In honour of Open Access Week 2012 PhD TV has posted a new video explaining what open access is and why it is important. Features narration from well-known UC Davis evolutionary biologist Jonathan Eisen.
The Directory of Open Access Books has just launched today with 756 Academic peer-reviewed books from 22 publishers!
This is an initiative of OAPEN to increase the discoverability of Open Access books. Academic publishers of open access books are encouraged to submit the metadata for their titles to the DOAB, This metadata will be harvestable and available for aggregators and libraries to include in their catalogues. The objective is to maximize the dissemination, visibility and impact of open access scholarly books.
Jeffrey Beall, an academic librarian at the University of Colorado Denver, has just released his 2012 list of Predatory Open-Access Publishers over at his Metadata blog.
From the blog entry: “Predatory, open-access publishers are those that unprofessionally exploit the author-pays model of open-access publishing (Gold OA) for their own profit.”
These are the sort of “publishers” that cause confusion and suspicion regarding the quality of reputable OA publications. They perpetuate the myth that OA = vanity publishing and/or low-quality peer-review.
Thank you to Jeffrey for naming and shaming.
SPARC (the Scholarly Publishing and Academic Resources Coalition) has recently created a free index of resources to help launch and operate Open Access (OA) journals: Open Access Journal Publishing Resource Index
From the SPARC news release announcing the index:
The new index complements the rich existing resource center by pointing to relevant sections in existing open-access journal publishing guides and to sample journal proposals, policies, bylaws, and other documentation to help with planning, development, and collaboration issues. Topics covered include:
• New Journal Planning
• Journal Publishing Program Policies
• Marketing & Promotion
• Technical Platforms
• Sustainability Planning
TheDirectory of Open Access Journals (DOAJ)is the first place to search for Open Access journals by subject area or title. DOAJ is a quality controlled list – if you are wondering about the quality or legitimacy of an OA journal check to see if it is listed in the DOAJ.
“The Directory aims to be comprehensive and cover all open access scientific and scholarly journals that use a quality control system to guarantee the content.” Recent milestones:
The DOAJ now has over 6400 OA journals listed, from more than 100 countries, and in more than 50 languages! And they have just launched a new search interface – go check it out: www.doaj.org
And, as always, if you want to learn more about Open Access please visit the Open Access LibGuide.
One of the enduring myths surrounding Open Access is that OA journals are somehow of lower quality. Indeed, there is no inherent reason why a journal would have lower standards simply because it is OA – and in fact my personal experience is that sometimes OA journals have more stringent peer review processes than Toll Access journals. There are quality control mechanisms in place among Open Access publishers: the Directory of Open Access Journals (DOAJ) will not include a new journal in its listings without vetting it for quality, and the Open Access Scholarly Publishers Association (OASPA) also vets potential new members. You can be sure that any OA journal or publisher included in the DOAJ and the OASPA is legit. However, if it is a new publication, not yet included in these lists, how can you assess its quality?
Heather Morrison, over at the Imaginary Journal of Poetic Economics blog, has put together a thoughtful post on this topic listing a number of indicators of quality in assessing new OA journals.
A new addon for Firefox and Chrome has just been released that helps users attribute Creative Commons licensed materials.
Most online CC material requires that you attribute the creator when you use it – but how to properly format the attribute can be confusing. The new OpenAttribute addon recognizes when you are on a page that has a CC license. If you want to use the material on the page – and correctly attribute it – all you need to do is click on the small CC icon that appears in the URL bar and the formatted attribution will appear for you to copy & paste!
The Right to Research Coalition is an open access advocacy group founded by students in 2009 on the “belief that no student should be denied access to the articles they need because their institution cannot afford the often high cost of access.” They advocate for policies that support OA and educate students who will be the next generation of scholars.
Their website is a good place to start for students wanting to learn more about the issue of OA.
An excerpt from The Student Statement on the Right to Research: “Open Access improves the educational experience. All students, regardless of their institution’s ability to afford subscriptions, should have access to the full scholarly record, whether for assigned reading, research for a term paper, or literature review for a dissertation.”