NIH policy: please express support!

OA Librarian colleagues – especially in the U.S. – please submit a comment in support of the NIH policy! Comments are due tomorrow, Saturday, May 31, at 5:00 p.m. Eastern Time. If you’re not sure about the details of the policy implementation, no problem – at least comment on question number 4, expressing thanks and support for the policy.

Details from Peter Suber on Open Access News:

Time is short to comment on the NIH policy

Public comments on the OA mandate at the NIH are due by 5:00 pm (Eastern Standard Time), Saturday, May 31, 2008, less than two days from now

Submit your comments through the NIH web form.  But before you do, see some of the comments already submitted.  The pro-OA comments will give you ideas, and the anti-OA comments will show you what objections to answer and what perspective might predominate if you don’t send in your own.

This time the NIH wants separate answers to four separate questions.  The web form has four separate spaces for them:

  1. Do you have recommendations for alternative implementation approaches to those already reflected in the NIH Public Access Policy?
  2. In light of the change in law that makes NIH’s public access policy mandatory, do you have recommendations for monitoring and ensuring compliance with the NIH Public Access Policy?
  3. In addition to the information already posted [here], what additional information, training or communications related to the NIH Public Access Policy would be helpful to you?
  4. Do you have other comments related to the NIH Public Access Policy?

If you’re thinking that the NIH just concluded a round of public comments for its March 20 meeting, you’re right.  See the comments generated by that round (and my blog post on them).  One persistent publisher objection is that the policy has not been sufficiently vetted and one purpose of the new round no doubt is to give the stakeholders one more chance to speak.  We must use it.  Publishers will.

Please submit a comment and spread the word.  Even if you have no suggestions to improve the policy, it’s important to express your support.

Thanks to Peter Suber on
“”>Open Access News

Health Commons video

Science Commons’ John Wilbanks has produced a 6-minute video on the Health Commons which explains succinctly what is broken about the current approach to health discovery, and how a health commons could make a difference.

The current approach emphasizes profit; this makes the weight problems of the wealthy a higher priority than river blindness, a serious affliction for millions of people around the world.

The world wide web makes it possible to create new approaches to science discovery, based on open sharing of knowledge and collaboration.

Thanks to Peter Suber on Open Access News.

Olympics archive is OA

I found this while doing something else. It appears to be masses of Olympic information in the LA84 Foundation archives. And considering what will descend on us in 2010, the topic is getting bigger.

From the entry page:

Digital Archive

The LA84 Foundation has undertaken an ambitious project to convert portions of its traditional library collection to digital format. The growing digital collection now contains more than 300,000 pages, stored in over 45,000 PDF files.

Digital resources include academic journals, scholarly books, popular sports magazines of the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, and an extensive offering of Olympic publications. The Olympic titles include a complete run of back issues of Olympic Review, the official publication of the International Olympic Committee, and two dozen Olympic Games official reports.

All of the digital publications are available at no cost to website visitors. The LA84 Foundation Search page provides full-text access to all digital documents and shows a complete list of titles.

Medicins sans Frontiers website now OA

From the Website:
MSF is well known for its humanitarian medical work, but it has also produced important research based on its field experience with vulnerable populations. Its studies have been published in over 90 peer-reviewed journals and have often changed clinical practice and been used for humanitarian advocacy.
This website archives MSF’s scientific articles and makes them available free, with full text, and in an easily searchable format. No login required.

The Audacity of SCOAP3

This brief page-and-a-half on SCOAP3 is an interesting an engaging way to learn about this exciting intiative to convert high energy physics publishing from subscription to OA:

The Audacity of SCOAP3
by Ivy Anderson, Director of Collections, California Digital Library


Taking Action on SCOAP3
by Julia Blixrud, Assistant Executive Director, External Relations, ARL, and Assistant Director, Public Programs, SPARC

downloadable from: