Request your free Open Access Week posters

@mire is back on board as an advocate sponsor for SPARC’s International Open Access Week. During the week of October 22nd, institutions from all across the globe put an emphasis on free access to research outputs. Some institutions put together large conferences, other organizations apply more grassroots advocacy efforts and guerilla marketing. In order to support the community in spreading the word last year, we sent out free “Ask me about Open Access” door hangers that made it all the way to Japan.

This year we created a poster that aims to explain the basic principles of Green Open Access, Gold Open Access and how they relate to the roles of an Institutional Repository.

Claim your free posters now.

To request 5 posters for free, register using this form. Posters will be sent on a first come first serve basis.

FNRS Open Access Management and Policy Conference Writeup

Brussels, 28th of September: The FNRS has done an excellent job bringing together international speakers for an overdue day on Open Access Policy in Belgium. Unfortunately, the percentage of Flemish (dutch speaking) attendees was low, so hopefully this blog contributes in the dissemination of the top notch content. In case you want immediate access to the content in detail, following links are useful:

Full Programme

Webcast home: videos for all of the talks

Overall, the day brought together different stakeholders, ranging from librarians, researchers, policy makers and publishers. This blog is based on the public conference notes, including personal interpretation on my part. Note that you are reading a blog written by an Open Access advocate, so although our objective is to paint a readable summary of the day, some bias might apply here. Only some of the talks are listed here. Both the conference notes, and the video clips, contain more content.

@mire, as a provider of institutional repository services, has a clear stake in the establishment of Institutional Repositories as an enabler of Open Access.


Opening Address – Bernard Rentier


 Rentier opened the conference by clearing up a few things. He indicated that open access should not be regarded as a religion, conviction or movement lead by a few guru’s. According to him it all comes down on common sense.


The open access landscape today is the result of two simultaneous evolutions:

1. The world wide web enabled electronic publishing. Progress in the state of the art here make it more and more interesting as a medium for scientific communication.

2. Ever growing publication costs


Due to the timely encounter of both these evolutions, you can now have more images, appendices in your work, as you are less confined in the usage of space. Video, raw data, sound, are also within reach.


Liquid publication (not explained in detail but illustrated as a promising trend)


Two misconceptions created a camp of non-believers within the research community:

1. If it’s available online for free, it must be junk.

2. There is no good quality peer review in open access.


Both are simply not true and its a pity that these were the grounds that caused wars between scientists who wanted to advance open access, and those that wanted to preserve the old model.


Currently, these groups have given room to eachother and there seems a fragile balance between both parties, who are at least talking to eachother today.


As a final interesting tidbit, Rentier indicated that scientific institutions produce 2 things: diploma’s and publications. Although these institutions have a pretty good grip on keeping track of the diploma’s, he stated that most institutions do a lousy job on tracking publication output at the moment.


Why “Green” Open Access self-archiving mandates must become before “Gold” Open Access publishing – Stevan Harnad – Université du Québec, CND / University of Southampton, UK/EOS

Presenter Bio


If you are new to Open Access or if you never heard a talk by Stevan Harnad before, take half an hour to watch the recording of this talk, you won’t be sorry.


Basically, he gave the same presentation twice in this one session. First without and then with the aid of his slides, as he indicated they might distract people from the essence.


In short, he adviced the audience to focus on one specific goal, the green Open Access to scholarly communication. By avoiding over-reaching the community can get to significant results faster.


So what does he consider “Green Open Access” and what are examples of over-reaching?


Green Open Access has nothing to do with “Open Access Publishing”. It can peacefully co-exist with any publishing model, be it a traditional one, or an open access one. Regardless of the medium by which the publication was published originally, Green Open Access is enabling free, online access to the publication on the initiative of the author (or his/her institution), through institutional repositories.


There is squemischness around the word “mandate”. For example, the new Princeton Policy doesn’t contain the word mandate even once.

However, there is an implicit Open Access mandate, inherently part of publishing: “Publish or Perish”. By the very nature of publishing, an author benefits by having his or her results communicated as widely as possible.


This brings us back to over-reaching. The community shouldn’t over reach in terms of scope/domain. Scholarly communication, scientific articles, that’s what we should be going for. It’s premature to start the crusade for books, software, video, … Opposed to scholarly communication, it’s much more likely that this content HAS been created with a profit goal in the first place. So we shouldn’t see this as the same ballpark.


So again, the scope of Green Open Access should be

  • 2,5 Million Articles
  • Published yearly
  • In 25000 peer reviewed journals.

Another form of over-reaching is aiming for Gold Open Access. This has less in common with Green Open Access than some people might think. The decision to go for Green OA is entirely in the hands of the researcher. Gold Open Access is the name for the publishing model in which subscription fees are replaced by Author Processing Charges (APC’s), or to put it bluntly, author pays, not the reader. One of the reasons why we shouldn’t be going there yet, is that there is no money to fund this. Ultimately, if Green OA is able to bring costs down for publishers and institutions, the freed up money could be spent on Gold OA. But the current situation, in which Gold OA Author Processing Charges are imposed ON TOP of what institutions are already paying for subscriptions, is unsustainable according to Harnad.


The last form of over-reaching he wanted to advise against, at least for now, is pushing for Libre Open Access, which goes beyond Green (or Gratis) Open Access. The subtle difference is that Libre Open Access advocates for certain further re-use rights, on top of the right to access the publication. Again, the community is advised to be pragmatic and not reach for Libre Open Access … yet.


There is more content to be found in the public conference notes, but do check out the video if you have the time.


About negative aspects of the open access system – Jacques Reisse


Presenter Bio


Jacques Reisse had some serious considerations with the wild growth of Open Access publishers and journals (cfr Gold Open Access Model). The current appraisal systems, built on measures like impact factor and h-index will not reward you when publishing in novel journals that don’t have an impact factor yet. Of course, this is unrelated to the benefits of Green Open Access, which can co-exist with any medium of peer reviewed publication.


Not sure anymore why, but he brought up this interesting paper:

Metadata Mega Mess in Google Scholar


Reisse also indicated that we should be careful using download statistics. When researchers provide attractive keywords, downloads can go sky high. Download doesn’t mean “read”, and certainly doesn’t mean “cited”.


As a last consideration, he indicated that publishers still have a vital role to play to control the ever growing ocean of information. My personal view on this is that this reality is something that everyone needs to deal with on a daily basis, not only researchers. Which doesn’t take away that publishers are in a very good position to provide added value in this space that currently can’t be found elsewhere.


Elsevier vision for universal access – Alicia Wise

Presenter Bio


Wise indicated that the Publishers have been on the cutting edge, with investments in digitization efforts. This amount is estimated to be around 2 billion USD since 2000 as an overarching investment by the whole journal publishing industry.


The Universal Access vision of Elsevier can be summarized as: “A world in which everyone has immediate access to all information they need, while preserving quality.”


According to recent survey results, Wise illustrated that 93% of surveyed researchers are happy with access to research in scholarly journals. However, the percentage gets worse for other types of information, especially datasets, market research and doctoral theses. Other stakeholders (SME, large corporations, non-corporate, university college) have other satisfaction levels on access.


Elsevier doesn’t believe that one single model (open access) is the answers to all situations. Other models that might apply are:

  • Free at point of use
  • Information philanthropy
  • Transactions (pay per view)
  • Subscriptions
  • Lending & Rental operations

Elsevier does not oppose voluntary Green Open Access on the initiative of individual authors but is concerned about the introduction of mandates with overly short embargo periods.


Finally, she introduced the DeepDyve pilot, a content aggregation platform over multiple publishers that operates on a pay per use basis.


There is more content to be found in the public conference notes. Alternatively, you can watch the video.


Access to scientific information. The role of the EU – Carl-Christian Buhr

Presenter Bio



Buhr works in the cabinet of european commissioner Neelie Kroes.


Although the Commission is highly in favor of open access, it only has power to recommend, as it has no authority to regulate on the area of scientific research.


For me this was the most striking point in the talk. Gold OA costs are reimbursable for any publication output, related to FP7 projects. This reimbursement is not limited to the 20% of FP7 projects that are covered by the Open Access Pilot.

However, these costs have to be included within the running time of the project. This is troublesome, as publishing often takes place after the actual project.


There is more content to be found in the public conference notes. Alternatively, you can watch the video.


SCOAP3: Open Access Publishing in  High-Energy Physics – Salvatore Mele


Salvatore Mele: Presenter Bio

Download the slides


SCOAP3 stands for the Sponsoring Consortium for Open Access Publishing (in particle physics). This consortium has the audacious goal of converting a whole discipline to Open Access. In order to do this, they are looking to pool together €10M in order to ensure free access to around 5000-7000 High Energy Physics publication per year. Currently, the consortium has pledges for already 8 out of the 10 million and has launched a request for proposal towards the publishers.


Mele also made a strong case against embargo’s in Open Access. To illustrate the benefits of embargo-free open access, he pointed out the recent neutrino findings from CERN. Already 24 hours after release, there were several “citations” (non peer reviewed) by authors in the field which lead to rapid scientific development.


There is more content to be found in the public conference notes. Alternatively, you can watch the video.

@mire presents: Request your free Open Access week doorhangers (SOLD OUT)

Currently, all available doorhangers have been requested and are prepared for shipment.


Open Access Week is approaching! I am proud to announce that @mire has committed to an official sponsorship of this initiative. As part of our involvement, we have produced Open Access Week doorhangers that we intend to send out to institutions worldwide.

It was our impression that some researchers, enthusiastic about Open Access, are not willing to walk around in an OA Week t-shirt for the whole duration of the week.
That is why we created these “Ask me about Open Access” doorhangers that they can use as a tool to demonstrate their support for open access and invite their colleagues for a chat.

If you want to give these doorhangers to your researchers, you can use the link below to request up to 100 pieces and I will ship them to you for free in the next weeks.


Open Access Week doorhanger: front design


Open Access Week doorhanger: back design

The 7th CERN Workshop on Innovations in Scholarly Communication (OAI7) Summary

This report is a general report of the OAI7 conference. Please see a previous report for DSpace specific information, presented at the OAI7 DSpace Pre-Conference day.

All of the link to author names, will take you to the OAI7 programme pages, containing the slides and even audio & video recordings for some of the presentations. Links to our collaborative Piratepad attempts to create live notes during the sessions are included as well. 



It was great to witness that the spirit of the original 30 Open Access enthusiasts still resonates with a crowd that was now almost 300 people strong, during the seventh incarnation of this event. The sessions proved to be a successful mix of reporting of innovations in the field and bold outlooks into the future. At the same time, they provided useful content for both technical and non-technical attendees. This report zooms in on a few specific sessions and provides links to related content and notes.


Open Access Advocacy and Policy

Advocacy and policy topics were covered during multiple sessions. First of all, they were an important topics of discussion at the “Everything you always wanted to know about Open Access” Tutorial on Wednesday 22nd of June.

Heather Joseph (SPARC) mentioned that the Howard Hughes Medical Institute, the Max Planck Society and the Wellcome Trust announced that they are to support a new, top-tier, open access journal for biomedical and life sciences research. Although these institutions have been known to support Gold Open Access (by funding the Author Processing Charges or APC’s) with existing publishers, entering the playfield themselves with their own OA Journal gives a whole new spin to the story.

David Prosser indicated how we meet less and less people who are totally unaware about Open Access thereby illustrating the advancements in advocacy and policy.

Raw notes for Tutorial 6

Advocacy was also the topic of the morning session Thursday 23rd of June featuring talks by Monica Hammes, William Nixon and Heather Joseph. Katarina Lovrecic (InTech) did a great job summarizing these presentations.

Monica Hammes gave pragmatic hints on concerns, barriers and methods to approach three distinct groups of Open Access Stakeholders: Researchers (contributors), Management and Readers.

William Nixon attributed some of the success of the University of Glasgow repository, Enlighten, to strategies for embedding the system in other applications and workflows in the institution.



Contrary to the previous speakers, Heather Joseph went beyond the boundaries of a single institution when highlighting some of SPARC’s recent successes in lobbying and advocacy on a national (USA) and international level.

Raw notes for the OAI7 Advocacy session


Towards Machine-Actionable Scholarly Communication

During the session chaired by Herbert van de Sompel, speakers highlighted innovations in the field today while providing insights in future challenges and possible solutions.

Sean Bechhofer used examples like MyExperiment, Sysmo-DB and Methodbox to illustrate how frameworks are required to facilitate reuse and exchange of digital knowledge. With a traditional publication merely being the end product of research activity, he stated that up to 40% of information gets lost in the publishing/mining cycle. It is this information that would allow other researchers to validate the presented results, reproduce and verify them.

Raw notes for Sean’s talk “Research Objects: Towards Exchange and Reuse of Digital Knowledge”


Jon Deering explained the T-PEN approach towards innovation of common editing practices in publishing transcriptions. By default, it takes months of transcribing and often years of editing before people can access a full transcription of older, scanned and translated works. T-PEN approaches this topic by publishing transcriptions as added value annotations. Although the newly created content (the transcription) is based on original content, there remains a clear separation between the content itself and the transcription. It’s a great, WORKING example that illustrates how working collaboratively on a much more granular level can greatly increase the speed of distribution.

Raw notes for Jon’s talk “Publishing transcriptions as annotations on source images”


As the last speaker in the session, Barend Mons took the audience on a more conceptual journey to approach (at least) 2 hot issues we face today. Traditional publications are not the most optimal vessels to propagate new knowledge or findings. As an expert on Malaria, the largest part of any new paper he reads on the subject is filled with citations and recall of older work, thus not being new knowledge. Nano publications, broken down bits of (new) knowledge that go down to the assertion level were introduced as an answer. If a traditional paper could be represented as a few hundred of these nano publications it would be much easier to build automated tools that provide researchers with new information and link together assertions from different publications. The second hot issue was the lack of merit and recognition for researchers that produce results outside the traditional publishing workflow. He illustrated this issue with the example of a researcher who built a very successful and often cited gene database. Although his database effectively contains new assertions, who could be represented as nanopublications, he gains no recognition or merit in the traditional publishing workflow.



Although a great number of practical questions & issues could arise when considering broad implementation, this futuristic view really made it clear that moving forward with greater granularity offers considerable benefits for science.

Raw notes for Barend’s talk “Nanopublications”


Open Science

The three talks on Open Science looked at contributions from society to science.



François Grey really made it clear that boundaries between professional scientists and passioned amateurs are becoming more vague thanks to the omnipresent access to information that the web represents. With countless examples, ranging from to, he debunked several myths about these initiatives, and citizen cyberscience as a conceptual movement.

Not intending to paint a grim picture,Cameron Neylon stated that we currently don’t have the cultural infrastructure that supports contributions to society and that we severely lack practices to make some more innovative Open Science and collaboration ideas applicable on larger scales. He did this with a great analogy of a public swimming pool roster, traditionally posted as a printed PDF outside the pool. Today we see that such bits of public information are often mashed up or published online by external, voluntary contributions. The lack of cultural support infrastructure and practices for such contributions become painfully clear when toddlers end up in the reserved race track of the swimming pool after an update of the roster. The pool administration published a new roster in their old traditional way, lacking ways of collaborating with the innovative external contributor who missed this update.

Being a bit more on the tech side of the spectrum, Mendeley CEO Victor Henning showed the audience how Mendeley could work as a component in the open science infrastructure. Often dubbed as “the iTunes of research publications”, the Mendeley software allows researchers to build their collections and publication lists online after which this corpus can be leveraged allowing new information discovery and collaboration.



Raw notes for the Open Science talks


Research Data

Anja Jentzsch gave an update on Linked Open Data. The most popular illustration of the current state must be the Linked Open Data Cloud diagram.

As an outlook to the future, she indicated that Linked Data within enterprises is the next step as towards an  alternative to data warehouses and EAI middleware, mainly because of the schema-less data model and pay as you go data integration advantages.



Raw notes for the Research Data talks