Open access roundup

  • The Public Knowledge Project released version 2.3.1 of its Open Journal Systems publishing software.
  • A collection of OA German-language texts will be added to Wikimedia.
  • PLoS released the results of its author surveys, which asked authors who submitted to a PLoS journal for their views about the service.
  • PKP posted a new case study of how the University of the Basque Country uses its open journal and conference software.

New OA journal on schol. comm. launches

Scholarly and Research Communication, a new OA journal published by the Canadian Centre for Studies in Publishing at Simon Fraser University, released its first issue. Abstract of the launch editorial:

In general, publishers are motivated by social values rather than by profit. They provide a service by transforming a manuscript into an exploitable literary property targeted at a known market. STM journal publishers distinguish themselves by extracting maximum profit based on the potential financial value of the need-to-know research they report. In the 1990s and aided by the Internet, scholars began to reassert control of journals and journal publishing. Scholarly effort has focused on transmission, that is to say, production and creation of the public record. Full control by the scholarly community must embrace the transformative nature of publishing, and reinvolving publishers to provide a full range of publishing services would seem desirable. The journal Scholarly and Research Communication is being founded to document the developing study and technology involved in this quickly expanding field.

From the December 22, 2009 announcement:

This volume will stay open until we have published all remaining articles pertaining to the PKP 2009 conference. Watch for more articles in January.

Open access roundup

OA publisher to pay author royalties

Sciyo Becomes the First Academic Publisher to Introduce Usage-based Author Royalties, press release, December 18, 2009.

Authors publishing with Sciyo in 2010 will be the first in academic publishing to receive royalties based on the number of downloads of their publication. For every 10 downloads, 0.2 euro will be accredited to author’s account on an annual basis.

Sciyo operates under the open access publishing model, replacing subscription fees with publication fees paid by the authors or their funders. All Sciyo’s publications are available online, free to view, download, print, copy and share under Creative Commons Attribution License and without sign up, which increases their visibility and citation rates.

Author royalties will be accredited directly to the author’s account, with the exception of royalties under 100 euro, which will be deducted from the author’s publishing fee head on the next time he or she decides to publish with Sciyo. …

Sciyo’s publishing fee of 470 euro is among the lowest in the open access publishing industry. …


  • Sciyo was formerly known as In-Tech (see our past post) and, before that, I-Tech (see our past post).
  • If my math is right, an author would need 23,500 downloads to offset the publishing fee.

Review of studies on access to literature

Philip M. Davis, Studies on access: a review, preprint, self-archived December 20, 2009. Abstract:

A review of the empirical literature on access to scholarly information. This review focuses on surveys of authors, article download and citation analysis.

From the article:

… In reviewing the literature, there is surprising consistency in the conclusions of these
studies: access to the published literature is improving, and those who generate knowledge view
access issues as largely unimportant. We should emphasize the phrase “those who generate
knowledge,” since there has been very little work on the dissemination of scientific information
to those who use – but do not contribute to – the literature (i.e. teachers, medical practitioners, industrial researchers, and the lay public).

Moreover, most studies have focused on access to the formal, published literature and
assume that access is provided either directly from the publisher or through a library
intermediary. We should not ignore the many informal ways academics share documents among
informal networks of peers. Lastly, we should understand that most of the surveys and
interviews cited below were conducted prior to the recent economic downturn, which have
resulted in significant material reductions in major academic libraries. …

An OA journal at 5

Kuan-Teh Jeang, The Retrovirology Open Access experience, Retrovirology, December 15, 2009.

Retrovirology launched in February 2004 and since then has published more than 550 papers. … The quality of the journal has been monitored stringently by the editors and the editorial board and has improved over time. The latter assertion is supported by several observations. For instance, in November 2004, Retrovirology received 6 submissions and published 5 papers that month. By contrast, in November 2008, Retrovirology received 27 submissions and published 10 papers; and in November 2009, the journal received 29 submissions and published 10. In parallel, the rate of annual citations to Retrovirology has also increased steadily with a healthy upslope.

Retrovirology, as measured by SCImago journal rating using data from Scopus, ranks in the top quartile of all virology journals. … The visibility of Retrovirology papers is attested by the citation numbers to recently published papers. …

Periodically, emails arrive to me from colleagues in South America and graduate students in Africa conveying thanks for Retrovirology’s fee-free full text Open Access format. … The Retrovirology Open Access experience has been good for science, good for authors, and good for readers. The journal is doing well by doing good.

White House consultation enters next round

Rick Weiss, Public Access Policy Phase One Wrap-Up: Implementation, OSTP Blog, December 19, 2009.

[December 20] marks the last day of Phase One of OSTP’s forum on public access to published, federally funded research. …

[T]hanks and kudos to everyone for making the first ten days of this process such a success. Together you weighed in with almost 200 substantive comments, many complete with links to studies and other valuable data sets that promise to keep our discussion and policy planning process evidence-based, as it should be. …

[W]e have heard from many of you that this schedule [for Phases Two and Three] poses difficulties, especially because of the intervening holidays. … So we have decided (and will soon announce in the Federal Register) to add two weeks beyond the scheduled end of [the Phase Three] forum. We will use those last two weeks to revisit, on a more detailed level, all three focus areas that will have been addressed by then—perhaps asking you to dive deeper into a few areas that, by then, show themselves as deserving additional attention. …

Rick Weiss, Policy Forum on Public Access to Federally Funded Research: Features and Technology, OSTP Blog, December 21, 2009.

This morning OSTP is launching Phase Two of our forum on public access publishing, which will focus on Features and Technology. …

It is one thing to talk about the philosophy of public access and open government generally, and quite another to get serious about how, exactly, to implement some of those ideas. So through the waning hours of 2009—until midnight of Dec. 31, that is—OSTP is inviting you to weigh in on some of the nuts and bolts aspects of public access publishing. Among the questions we hope you will address:

  • In what format should published papers be submitted in order to make them easy to find, retrieve, and search and to make it easy for others to link to them?
  • Are there existing digital standards for archiving and interoperability to maximize public benefit?
  • How are these anticipated to change?
  • Are there formats that would be especially useful to researchers wishing to combine datasets or other published results published from various papers in order to conduct comparative studies or meta-analyses?
  • What are the best examples of usability in the private sector (both domestic and international) and what makes them exceptional?
  • Should those who access papers be given the opportunity to comment or provide feedback?
  • What are the anticipated costs of maintaining publicly accessible libraries of available papers, and how might various public access business models affect these maintenance costs?
  • By what metrics (e.g. number of articles or visitors) should the Federal government measure success of its public access collections? …