Could the University of Iowa Libraries save over $2 million from their subscriptions budget with a flip to open access?

Thanks to Wendy Robertson at the University of Iowa Libraries for posting some very useful information about their library’s expenditures on journals.

This post is an informal research collaboration designed to build on Robertson’s work, explore the cost of a full flip to open access for this particular university and some of other not yet quantified possibilities that may be of interest along with a flip to open access.

By my calculations, the University of Iowa Libraries could save over $2 million dollars or 60% of the expenditures for journals listed on this web page with a full flip to open access, paid for entirely out of the library budget, assuming a mixed model composed of half of the articles published in the scholar-led publishing sector as illustrated by OJS (Edgar & Willinsky), with an average per-article cost of $188; and the other half published using an article processing fee with the PLoS ONE fee of $1,350 as an average. It is assumed that 1,960 articles were published by the University of Iowa Libraries in 2010, based on a Google Scholar Advanced Search.

More information would be most helpful to refine my calculations. In particular, it would be really helpful to have a better estimate of the number of journal articles published by the University of Iowa faculty in a given year.  If anyone has data to help with this project, please share! In order to facilitate this sharing, I plan to turn on the comment feature on my blog. For calculations, download the data. Method note: the reason I used the 2008 google scholar article numbers is because this was the highest count in recent, i.e. to obtain a conservative figure.

Food for thought

I argue that we need to look for savings in the process of transition to open access, because libraries have many new areas where funding is needed, such as services to support research data, preserving electronic information, research commons type services and embedded librarianship.

One of the reasons why the scholar-led publishers that are the primary users of Open Journal Systems have such a low per-average article cost is that many are built on efficient, not-for-profit library publishing services. Perhaps the transition to full open access will open up opportunities for our librarian colleagues? For example, I hear that there are (understandably) many concerns about potential layoffs at Harvard’s libraries. Getting into publishing could be a great freelance opportunity for some of these highly qualified people – after all, who better to help libraries make the transition to OA than our own professional colleagues? Or, I wonder if Harvard has considered that this might be a good time to grow their own publishing services? Then they could simply transition acquisitions budgets into funding for new opportunities to retain their own great staff.

Speaking of job opportunities, growth in the not-for-profit publishing sector could open up many a part-time or full-time opportunity for some of our faculty members, too – no doubt this would be very welcome considering the impact of the financial crisis on university professors. I wonder if even those who have secure jobs themselves might like the idea of transitioning high profits for commercial publishers into more and/or better job opportunities for their colleagues and graduating students? We could spend a lot more than that average $188 per article and still save a bundle, too!

For more of my writing on the economics of scholarly communication in transition to open access, please see this draft chapter of my open thesis.  


Edgar, B. D., & Willinsky, J. (2010) (In press). A survey of thescholarly journals using
open journal systems. Scholarly and Research Communication, Retrieved August
 27, 2011from  

Boycott Elsevier: Does your institution invest in them?

I am supporting the Boycott against Elsevier ( ) not only for the reasons given there (exorbitant prices, bundles of unwanted journals, support for SOPA/PIPA/RWA) but also because they exercise monopoly control. This monopoly is supported through restrictive contracts and cripples innovation in scholarship such as text-mining and data-mining, re-use of factual scientific information and many other necessary actions.

Elsevier’s market is based on reputation and is fragile. The CostOfKnowledge boycott was sufficiently prominent that it caused the share price to dip. Investors are clearly watching the current concern about our protests and we should be able to transmit our concerns to them. In the UK we are able to ask public bodies questions through Freedom Of Information and I am now suggesting we do this on a wide basis.

It would be very disquieting to find that any University or any public body responsible for libraries actually invested in Elsevier. That would imply a conflict between trying to reduce journal prices and benefitting from having higher ones. I am therefore asking my current University to confirm that they do not invest in Elsevier.

This is easy to do. Visit and type a brief letter (such as the one below). The University is required to respond within 20 working days. Anyone can do this (you don’t have to be a UK citizen AFAIK and you don’t have to have any connection with the institution

To: University of Cambridge
Subject: Freedom of Information request – Investments in Elsevier

Dear University of Cambridge,

I would like to know if the University or any of its subsidiary companies have any investment in Elsevier (Reed Elsevier PLC/N.V.), and if so how much.

Yours faithfully,

Peter Murray-Rust

I would urge readers of this blog to copy my action and ask other Universities to confirm that they do not invest in this way.

This type of action will also help to keep the momentum of the boycott.

URGENT: US Citizens MUST Sign RWA petition

I’m amazed and saddened that the community has not massively signed the petition against the RWA. (I haven’t because I’m not a US citizen). The petition wanted 25,000 signatures and has only got a much smaller amount. It gives the impression that academia doesn’t care. If the petition isn’t signed, then publishers will say “what a wonderful job we’re doing. Academia loves us – they approve of the RWA – The NIH is against the vibrant market economy, etc.

It’s simple – sign the petition.

Subject: HR3699, Research Works Act

Rep. Caroline Maloney has not backed off in her attempt to put forward the interests of Elsevier and other academic publishers.

If you oppose this measure, please sign this petition on the official ‘we the people’ White House web site. It needs 23,000 signatures before February 22nd and only 1100 so far. Please forward far and wide.

Oppose HR3699, the Research Works Act

HR 3699, the Research Works Act will be detrimental to the free flow of scientific information that was created using Federal funds. It is an attempt to put federally funded scientific information behind pay-walls, and confer the ownership of the information to a private entity. This is an affront to open government and open access to information created using public funds.

This link gets you to the petition:!/petition/oppose-hr3699-research-works-act/vKMhCX9k

Raji Edayathumangalam
Instructor in Neurology, Harvard Medical School
Research Associate, Brigham and Women’s Hospital
Visiting Research Scholar, Brandeis University

Do NOT assume that RWA will fail. A failure to fill the petition will set us back. A late rally will have huge impact.

PeterMR and PeterMR’s avatar oppose RWA (and so do many publishers)

Evolutionary Applications publishes first open access issue

Evolutionary ApplicationsWe are please to announce that the first 2012 issue of Evolutionary Applications has now been published here. This is the first issue which has been published under an open access model. All articles in this issue are free to read, download and share for non-commercial use.

This is the first Wiley journal which has been converted from subscription to open access. Evolutionary Applications is a high impact factor journal (5.145) and it continues to publish under the direction of Louis Bernatchez, Editor-in-Chief, and Michelle Tseng, Founding and Managing Editor.

PLoS ONE News and Blog Round-Up

Tiny chameleons Brookesia desperata courtesty Frank Glaw

This month in PLoS ONE: synchronized eating, depression’s link to working overtime (surprise!), a step towards understanding Alzheimer’s, the oldest living thing on earth and a species of very small chameleons.

Your choice of dining companion may have a greater influence on your meal consumption than you first expect. Researchers found that 70 pairs of female diners tended to mimic each other in eating behavior, taking bites simultaneously and consuming similar amounts of food. This study was covered by Scientific American, MSNBC and CNN

It seems logical to connect working long hours with feeling down but now you can point to new scientific evidence of this correlation. In this five year study of more than 2,000 British civil servants, men and women who routinely worked 11 hours or more per day more than doubled their risk of developing depression, compared with co-workers who put in eight hour days. This study was covered by ABC, NPR, LA Times and others.

The implications are profound for new research supporting the concept that Alzheimer’s spreads through the brain like an infection. Originating in the entorhinal cortex, abnormal tau proteins seem to progress from neuron to neuron across synapses, creating tangles of protein fibers in areas needed for memory creation and storage. Covered by NPR, The New York Times and Reuters, this research could be used to help diagnose Alzheimer’s in earlier stages and improve treatment.

The oldest living thing on earth may be a giant patch of seagrass found in the Mediterranean. Beds of this clonal organism, Posidonia oceania, are likely at least 100,000 years old, almost 60,000 years older than the previously thought oldest living organism (a Tasmanian plant), but may be under threat from rising ocean temperatures. This study was covered by the Huffington Post, BBC and Voice of America.

Tiniest but not least, a newly discovered dwarf chameleon species represents “an extreme case of island dwarfism” in Madagascar. Reaching only about 16mm fully grown, these chameleons are among the smallest vertebrates in the world. Their discovery was covered by Wired, Discovery and by Slate on Youtube.

For more in-depth coverage on news and blog articles about PLoS ONE papers, please visit our Media Tracking Project.

Image Credit: Frank Glaw

Major Media Coverage of FRPAA & RWA

January 5, 2012
The Atlantic – Why Is Open-Internet Champion Darrell Issa Supporting an Attack on Open Science?

January 6, 2012
Wired - Congress Considers Paywalling Science You Already Paid For

January 7, 2012
Scientific American - The Research Works Act would deny taxpayers access to federally funded research.

January 10, 2012
The New York Times – Research Bought, Then Paid For

January 16, 2012
The Guardian - Academic publishers have become the enemies of science
The New York Times - Cracking Open the Scientific Process

January 22, 2012
The Chronicle of Higher Education - Who Gets to See Published Research?
The New York Times - Should Research Be More Freely Available?

January 26, 2012
The Huffington Post - SOPA’s Killer Cousin You’ve Probably Never Heard About

January 28, 2012
Forbes - Elsevier’s Publishing Model Might be About to Go Up in Smoke
The Lancet - The Research Works Act: a damaging threat to science

January 30, 2012
Wired - Testify: The Open-Science Movement Catches Fire
The Chronicle of Higher Education - Elsevier Publishing Boycott Gathers Steam Among Academics

February 1, 2012
Science Insider - Thousands of Scientists Vow to Boycott Elsevier to Protest Journal Prices

February 2, 2012
The Guardian - Scientists sign petition to boycott academic publisher Elsevier

February 4, 2012
The Economist - The price of information

February 7, 2012
The Scientist – Occupy Elsevier?

February 9, 2012
The Independent - The future of academic publishing
Slate - The Other Academic Freedom Movement
The Times Higher Education - Elsevier defends stance on anti-openaccess bill
Wired – Open Science Revolt Occupies Congress

February 10, 2012
Science Insider - Lawmakers Reintroduce Public Access Bill

February 12, 2012
The Boston Globe – Why scientists are boycotting a publisher

February 13, 2012
The New York Times - Mathematicians Organize Boycott of a Publisher

101 reasons we need @ccess to BOAI-compliant material: Translation

We’ve started the @ccess resource and community to make more and hopefully all scholarly material fully BOAI- and OKD-compliant. Anyone can use it for any legal purpose and do anything with it without permission or fear of being sued by publishers. There are probably 101 reason why @ccess is valuable – and most of them I haven’t even dreamed of. So one thing @ccess will do is collect examples of why @ccess-compliance is essential. (Note that I shall never use the words Open and Free in a meaningful sense because they aren’t precise). So here’s an example from the list

On Mon, Feb 13, 2012 at 6:40 PM, Douglas Carnall <> wrote:

>> Especially for scientists access to complete articles and data
>> is compulsory, but I guess that for “laymen” illustrative pictures and
>> abstracts would be sufficient.

>I always get nervous when I see this sort of scientist/layman
>distinction, and I think we should work to eradicate such a boundary
>as much as possible.  (I was a layman myself until a few years ago,
>and would have hated to be fed a watered-down version of research
>while an elite priesthood of scientists got the Real Stuff.

I’d like to reinforce this point. As a translator and editor I very
often deal with unfamiliar topics and need to get up to speed quickly
with the language and jargon typical in a field. It is a major
frustration in my work that the most authoritative work is locked up
behind paywalls. Typically I need to briefly access one key term in a
handful of articles to understand how it is used in the field. As the
prevailing rate for technical translation is around $0.12-0.20/word,
accessing 3 or 4 articles at $30 each to check a single term is
completely unfeasible. But that would be the best way to ensure high
quality. I find paywalls vexing precisely because dumbed down
popularizations are useless to me.

PMR: This is a brilliant example of how people don’t realise the different uses to which articles can be put.  What percentage of a domain do translators need? For example if we got 10% of all papers is that likely to be enough.

Another similar requirement is my own field of computational linguistics. To train machines to interpret text you need a marked up corpus. For that you absolutely have to have BOAI material – reading free through a paywall is useless. It needs to be redistributable


DC: The point more generally is that neither the author nor the publisher
can possibly conceive of all the potential ways that a scholarly work
might be useful when it is freely available. If the scholarly
literature could be treated as one vast linguistic corpus, I am sure
that interesting developments in scientific communication,
terminology, and translation would follow, for example.



PMR: So let’s collect more examples on the list. What have people wanted to do with scholarly publications and not been able to?

A way of saying "this is open access"

In honour of the 10th anniversary of the Budapest Open Access Initiative (February 14), here is a way of saying “this is open access” based on BOAI. I am hoping that this kind of approach can lend clarity and avoid some of the complexities that come with Creative Commons licensing. In brief, the basic idea is to make a statement that a work is made open access in accord with the definition and the spirit of the Budapest Open Access Initiative. People can link to BOAI, or copy the text; and add specific permissions if these apply.

Here is an attempt at such a license for my scholarly blog, The Imaginary Journal of Poetic Economics:

This blog is open access in the definition and spirit of the Budapest Open Access Initiative. Note that sometimes I copy bits from other peoples’ works, so please watch for this as my permissions apply only to my own work. What the definition and spirit of BOAI means to me is that you are free to take my work and reuse it, with attribution, as long as you make any copies or derivatives freely available and with the caveat that you may not sell my work, or place it behind a paywall.

Following are the relevant excerpts from BOAI –

Statement of spirit (intent)

An old tradition and a new technology have converged to make possible an unprecedented public good. The old tradition is the willingness of scientists and scholars to publish the fruits of their research in scholarly journals without payment, for the sake of inquiry and knowledge. The new technology is the internet. The public good they make possible is the world-wide electronic distribution of the peer-reviewed journal literature and completely free and unrestricted access to it by all scientists, scholars, teachers, students, and other curious minds. Removing access barriers to this literature will accelerate research, enrich education, share the learning of the rich with the poor and the poor with the rich, make this literature as useful as it can be, and lay the foundation for uniting humanity in a common intellectual conversation and quest for knowledge.

Definition of open access

By “open access” to this literature, we mean its free availability on the public internet, permitting any users to read, download, copy, distribute, print, search, or link to the full texts of these articles, crawl them for indexing, pass them as data to software, or use them for any other lawful purpose, without financial, legal, or technical barriers other than those inseparable from gaining access to the internet itself. The only constraint on reproduction and distribution, and the only role for copyright in this domain, should be to give authors control over the integrity of their work and the right to be properly acknowledged and cited.

This statement does not (yet) replace my CC-BY-NC-SA license for IJPE, but is rather presented as one idea to help in the struggle to Articulate the Commons.  Comments are welcome – join me in Google G+ for discussion.

PLoS ONE is in the lead…but could a well thought out noncommercial approach give a competitor an edge?

PLoS ONE has often been the source of attention on IJPE and elsewhere, becoming in 2010 the world’s largest journal then doubling in size in 2011, publishing close to 14,000 articles that year.  No wonder PLoS ONE is leading the new tendency to competition in open access, attracting a number of clones.

No doubt many a competitor is wondering how they’ll ever get a edge when PLoS ONE is so far ahead – that’s my guess as to why Mary Anne Liebert is starting out by providing free publishing services

So here is a thought – could  a well thought out noncommercial approach give a publisher an edge over PLoS ONE, with its insistence that all authors accept the CC-BY license? There just might be something to this. My own perspective is that as an open access advocate of course I want to freely share my work – but not for sale! My preference for including the noncommercial element in a CC license is by no means unusual – my understanding is that NC is the most popular of the CC elements. I’ve even been thinking that when I next get around to doing some writing to submit for publication, I just might go for Nature’s Scientific Reports rather than PLoS ONE – much as I like PLoS and PLoS ONE, Nature will let me have my preferred NC license, and PLoS ONE won’t.

When we scholars come up with our own open access mandates, sharing our work, “but not for a profit” is part of the deal, as illustrated by the leader with this approach, Harvard, and MIT. This kind of suggests that scholars don’t want to give away their work to just anyone to sell for a profit, doesn’t it?

So what would a good noncommercial policy look like? First of all, if authors are paying to make their work open access, then it should be open access, and the copyright (including any reserved commercial rights) should belong to the author. This would protect the publisher from having a competitor take their whole journal and use it for commercial purposes that would undermine the working publisher’s revenue streams, while making it clear to authors and funders alike that the purpose is not to sneak in other enclosures for the purpose of making more profits.

This is a concept I am just starting to explore. Comments are welcome, via email at hgmorris at sfu dot ca. This post is part of the Articulating the Commons series.

Avian Malaria. Can Bibsoup and @ccess help? Do penguins get malaria?

We’re taking MALARIA as our lead project in @ccess. If you haven’t read about @ccess, read the previous post. Many peple are incredibly frustrated by lack of access to the scholarly literature. I call them the “Scholarly Poor”. If you want to read the literature it often costs 35 USD per paper. PER PAPER for ONE DAY. If you work in a University you usually get this “for free”. Of course it’s not free – it comes out of research grants, student fees (yes, student fees go to support the library), government grants (if applicable), charitable donations. It feels free to the researcher but it costs a lot.

And if you’re not in a University it’s anything but free. So we thought we’d have a look at what you can get. Although this is literally deadly serious, I’m illustrating this with our #animalgarden Bibsoup team. What’s Bibsoup? It’s an idea that lets ordinary beings manage their bibliography and grow new functionality ( ). So we have built a Bibsoup for MALARIA. Pubmed showed us how to download their bibliography. This bibliography is OKD-Open, regardless of whether the content referenced by it is or is not Open. ( ).

Jim Pitman developed Bibserver software and over the last year Mark MacGillivray has developed it into a major resource. Mark’s ingested all the records. Tom Olijhoek and Bart Knols of MalariaWorld have given us keywords to search with (“malaria”, “plasmodium”, etc.) – that gives 73560 records see

The animals are now very worried about malaria – It seems to be common in Owls. Do penguins get it? #animalgarden is going to use BibSoup to explore the literature. They don’t have any money so what will they be able to read? They can read the titles, and they can usually read the abstracts.

But abstracts are acknowledged to lack critical information. They don’t have things like:

  • Maps
  • Methodology
  • Caveats
  • Tables
  • Pictures of animals and parasites
  • Graphs

For that you have to have the full text. And even if you have the full text you can’t reproduce it unless it’s OPEN. OKD-OPEN (free to read is not good enough). So how many articles have free full text and how many have Open content?

I sat down to watch the football while Owl and Penguin examined the bibliography. They limited the search to birds by typing “AVIAN”. Maybe they have missed a few (“false negatives”), but it won’t affect the conclusions. And only one paper was a “false positive” (nothing to do with malaria – feeding garlic oil to starlings) [made owl feel sick just to read it]. They’ve got 70 papers in the period 2000-2010. Here’s their OPENness classification:

  • 8 “Free to read” gratis (the mechanism for being free is not given)
  • 5 “author manuscripts” gratis (maybe the version that the author submitted and not the final paper)

That’s 15 out of 70. Just over 20% In 2009-2010 only 1/13 papers was readable without paying.

What did they find? The first thing is that Bibsoup made it incredibly easy to browse this literature (of course Pubmed has provided the base functionality). It’s not easy to find whether you can read a paper. Often it says “Full text online” but it means “Full text IF YOU PAY”. It usually depends on the journal, and that’s where Bibsoup makes the contribution. Bibsoup will allow us in @ccess to identify the publisher and therefore – to a first approximation – whether the paper is OKD-OPEN.

My journals are BOAI-Open” shouts Gulliver, the Open-Access Turtle (Gulliver is the green one). That makes it easy – we can immediately label all BMC journals as OKD-OPEN. Unfortunately there are only 2 BMC papers in these 70 papers. The other 13 papers are free-to-read. That’s a lot better than nothing, but you can’t use them in books, lectures, magazines, etc. You can’t use them for text-mining. (Actually you can’t use anything on Pubmed or UKPMC for text-mining even if it’s OKD-OPEN. That because the closed-access publishers have required Pubmed to forbid it, even though it’s Open. Using Pubmed for anything automated is almost impossible – the publishers have made sure of that ( ):

Restrictions on Systematic Downloading of Articles

Crawlers and other automated processes may NOT be used to systematically retrieve batches of articles from the PMC web site. Bulk downloading of articles from the main PMC web site, in any way, is prohibited because of copyright restrictions.


Articles that are available through the PMC OAI and FTP services are still protected by copyright but are distributed under a Creative Commons or similar license that generally allows more liberal use than a traditional copyrighted work. Please refer to the license statement in each article for specific terms of use. The license terms are not identical for all the articles.

“What does that mean?” said Gulliver. “It means that in the Open Access subset you STILL cannot use automated methods because the licences might forbid you” said Owl.

“But” said Penguin, “that’s what @ccess will do. We only have to read each article once, annotate it, and then EVERYONE will know what the licence is. If we each do a bit, then the work becomes easy. We’ll see if Mark can create a button we can click on each record.”

And I think Mark can J .

The sad news is that it looks like Penguins get malaria:

H J W Sturrock and D M Tompkins (2007)
Avian malaria (Plasmodium spp) in yellow-eyed penguins: investigating the cause of high seroprevalence but low observed infection.
New Zealand veterinary journal
view at pubmed

And the even sadder news is that Penguin cannot read the article.

But at least we can reproduce a picture from Gulliver’s journal (

Click on image to enlarge

Figure 2

Mosquito trapping methods used in this study. A – CDC Light trap hung from dead tree in grassland along Nyong River, Ndibi; B – Net trap placed in grassland along Nyong River; C – Collecting mosquitoes resting in grass and on tree branches by sweep net. Mosquitoes were aspirated out from the sweep net and then placed into holding cages for identification and preservation. D – Ehrenberg bird trap hung in branches of dead tree in along edge of Nyong River grassland.


Owl is not sure that SHE would like to be placed in a cage to be bitten by mosquitoes…




What is the use of @ccess? Do owls get malaria? Is Wikipedia believable? Who’s Alice Hibbert-Ware?

Yesterday I blogged about our new project in Opening scholarship: @ccess. Several people retweeted it, and one asked “What’s @ccess for?” – a good prompt for some more information. @ccess is to discover OPEN scholarly information, to label it, and promote it. After that we believe that anything is possible. So I’ll use an example.

We’re lucky to get interesting birds in our garden and I idly wondered whether birds get malaria. They get influenza, of course, and they are a major host and therefore hazard to human health (the human viewpoint). But malaria? Do birds get bitten by mosquitos? I had no idea. So I went to Wikipedia and in 10 seconds discovered . Yes birds get malaria. From a bird point of view it’s very serious:

Hawaii has more extinct birds than anywhere else in the world; just since the 1980s, 10 unique birds have disappeared. Virtually every individual of endemic species below 4000 feet in elevation has been eliminated by the disease [malaria].

And I read on:

since 1995, the percent of malaria-infected Great Tits has risen from 3 percent to 15 percent. In 1999, some 4 percent of Blackcaps — a species once unaffected by avian malaria —were infected. For Tawny Owls in the UK, the incidence had risen from two or three percent to 60%.[1]

And I was gobsmacked. Blackcaps used to be summer visitors only – but now they winter in UK (in our garden). And Owls. I have a special relation with owls in Cambridgeshire as my great-aunt, Alice Hibbert-Ware (who lived in Girton – 5 km from Cambridge), was seminal in persuading the country that little owls should be protected. Here’s Girton Bird News ( ):

Once introduced, it spread rapidly and as it spread it fell foul of ever greater numbers of gamekeepers. They accused the Little Owl of every crime in their calendar, […] It was against this near hysterical background that Alice Hibbert-Ware, after an extensive publicity campaign in the press and on BBC radio, was appointed in 1935 by the BTO as principal investigator into the Little Owl’s diet. Over the next two years, assisted by 75 helpers in 34 counties, she assembled a mass of data, primarily derived from pains-taking dissection of 2460 Little Owl pellets (the indigestible fur and bones ‘sicked up’ by birds of prey), from just one of which she extracted the remains of 343 earwigs, and from another 2000 crane-fly (‘daddy-long-legs’) eggs. This forensic detail both demolished the myths of larders and beetle-luring charnel houses, and swept the ground from under the feet of those who stigmatised the Little Owl as a wholesale destroyer of game-bird chicks. Over the years the bird’s black reputation has withered away, due in no small measure to the initial efforts of Alice Hibbert-Ware, and it is now a welcome addition to the fauna of these islands. So, remember Alice when next you rest in the shade under ‘her’ trees!

I remember her through a photograph given to my father by Eric Hosking, the great bird photographer. It’s a gorgeous photograph, with the owl at the entrance to the burrow. Here’s a detail showing clearly that the owl is eating a cockroach, not a partridge chick.

So maybe Little owls also get malaria? And that’s where the problem starts. Wikipedia gives references

^ GaramszegI, László Z (2011). “Climate change increases the risk of malaria in birds”. Global Change Biology
17 (5): 1751–1759. doi:10.1111/j.1365-2486.2010.02346.x.

It’s from Wiley. So I have to pay. I don’t know how much but probably 30-40 USD. And I have to read it by midnight because I only have ONE day. So of course I don’t read it.

So I don’t know that owls get malaria. And I don’t know whether it’s restricted to Tawny Owls. I imagine not. So the Girton little owls probably have malaria.

And @ccess? When I read Wikipedia I’d like to know whether the references are worth following. It’s a waste of my time to click on links behind Wiley’s paywall. I have a legitimate need to follow up this information – it’s nothing to do with my day-job in the Univeristy of Cambridge, it’s because I am a concerned member of the human race.

Birdwatchers are part of the scholarly poor. @ccess aims to collect OPEN information in subdomains – doesn’t have to be science, but that’s my speciality. It has to be OPEN. The info can then be used for anything. Here’s some ideas:

  • Collections of images
  • Guides for health workers and patients
  • Mapping information onto Open maps
  • Tutorials

And hundreds more ideas

Here’s a typical example of a paper on avian malaria

Struct Biol. 2008 Jun;162(3):460-7. Epub 2008 Mar 21.

The avian malaria parasite Plasmodium gallinaceum causes marked structural changes on the surface of its host erythrocyte.

Nagao E, Arie T, Dorward DW, Fairhurst RM, Dvorak JA.

Laboratory of Malaria and Vector Research, National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, MD 20892, USA.

It’s got some lovely images in of how malaria infects cells, using atomic force, scanning and transmission electron microscopy (an area I used to be involved with). I’d like to put them on this blog. But I can’t. The paper is published by Elsevier and costs 31 USD to read. If I take images from that paper Elsevier might sue me. (Not fanciful, Wiley threatened a graduate student for daring to put a scientific image on her blog ). So science is impoverished.

But hey! At the bottom of the paper it says:

This is a PDF file of an unedited manuscript that has been accepted for publication. As a service to our customers we are providing this early version of the manuscript. The manuscript will undergo copyediting, typesetting, and review of the resulting proof before it is published in its final citable form. Please note that during the production process errors may be discovered which could affect the content, and all legal disclaimers that apply to the journal pertain.

This is almost gobbledegook to normal humans, but for those of us accustomed to doing battle (sorry, but that’s how I feel) with publishers I interpret this to mean:

This is what the authors sent to the journal. The copyright in this does NOT belong to the publisher and they have no rights over it. It’s technically the author’s pre-publication pre-review manuscript. So-called “Green” Open Access (not a self-evident term to non-specialists).

But that means the authors still hold the copyright? And I would have to ask them for permission ?

Normally yes. But the authors here are from the US NIH. And works of the US government are in the public domain. So the images are in the public domain! And here they are – how malaria gets into a cell:

Fig. 1

Typical SEM images contrasting the surface topography of noninfected (a) and P. gallinaceum-infected erythrocytes (b, c). Noninfected erythrocytes have a smooth surface. In contrast, the furrow-like surface structures are seen on infected erythrocytes. Bars in (a) and (b) represent 1 ?m, in (c) 200 nm.


If I’m wrong my quarrel is with the NIH, not Elsevier. If the NIH have handed the total copyright of these images to Elsevier then I’ll scrub this blog post.

If I’m not wrong, then these images can be aggregated into @ccess. And avaliable for anyone who wants them, for example:

  • Writing a lecture
  • Writing a textbook
  • Educating people infected with malaria to show the science going into the problem
  • Re-used as compoents in artistic works,

And so on.

Now it’s possible that I have run foul of Pubmed rules. That I can’t even re-use public domain works in Pubmed. If so, Pubmed will tell me. And they’ll tell me that THEY don’t make the rules – the publishers do.

Let’s see.

But in any case there is masses of stuff we can all put into @ccess, that will enhance the information available to the human race. And we all want that, don’t we?

NOTE: I took the photograph of the photograph of the little owl. I might have broken copyright as I died 20 years ago. But somehow I think he and his heirs will approve of what I have done.

NOTE: I can’t reproduce Alice H-W’s report on the Little Owl as, she died in 1944 and Wiley wants 30-40 USD for me to read it for ONE day. (Except I have it in my bedroom)






Mary Anne Liebert enters the open access megajournal competition

Mary Anne Liebert has just announced their entry into the open access megajournal competition with Bioresearch Open Access on a loss leader (no article processing fees – yet) basis.

My comments, in brief: this development is most welcome, as yet another example that open access has moved into a competitive phase for the commercial sector. Commentary on the APF will have to wait until one is announced, but note that anything above $1,300 U.S. will not be competitive with existing options such as Nature’s Scientific Reports and PLoS ONE.  It is hard to assess the terms based on the description from the announcement. My advice to Liebert is to use a CC license, leave copyright with the author, and clarify what “noncommercial” means as the current CC NC terms are much too broad.  My recommendation is to limit noncommercial to no resale and clearly state that there is no intention of limiting educational use.


Description from the announcement:  

BioResearch Open Access is a journal of broad interest that has been launched to overcome unnecessary barriers to the immediate availability and use of research. BioResearch Open Access makes all content freely available to researchers worldwide. There will be no article processing fees for articles submitted prior to May 15, 2012. Article processing fees to cover the cost of publication may be announced after May 15, 2012.

All articles in the Journal will be deposited upon publication, without embargo, to PubMed Central. BioResearch Open Access is fully NIH-, HHMI-, and Wellcome Trust-compliant.
Benefits to authors:

  • High visibility: immediate universal access, high citations, downloads
  • Accessible to researchers in low-income countries
  • Fast-track publication opportunity
  • Global marketing and publicity for your article
  • Podcasts or Skype videocasts on selected articles
  • Users may access, download, post, and redistribute article as well as adapt, translate, text- and data-mine content contained in the article, for noncommercial purposes


Welcome to Mary Anne Liebert and Bioresearch Open Access – yet another example that open access has moved into a competitive phase for the commercial sector.  Comment on the article processing fee will have to wait until this is announced, but note that anything above $1,300 U.S. would not be competitive with similar services such as Nature’s Scientific Reports and PLoS ONE. The default $3,200 optional open access fee for other Liebert journals suggests that this publisher has yet to take OA competition seriously. This article processing fee is nearly double the BioMedCentral standard fee of $1,895 U.S., for example, and six times the article processing fees for many of the journals published by the profitable Hindawi Publishing Company.

The description of terms Users may access, download, post, and redistribute article as well as adapt, translate, text- and data-mine content contained in the article, for noncommercial purposes needs to be clarified before serious commentary is possible.  Questions that I see as needing an answer:

1.  Who retains copyright? (My advice: with open access, the author should retain copyright).
2.  Will a CC license be used, and if so, which one? Presumably NC, but this is not totally clear.
3. If Liebert is not planning to grant blanket commercial rights, what does this mean, exactly? Note that I fully support the CC Noncommercial license, providing that the intent is limited to prohibiting resale and that it is clear that educational use is not considered commercial.  Unfortunately, this is not clear with the CC Version 3.0 licenses – I hope that this will be corrected for Version 4.0, but in the meantime clarification is necessary. The language that I use for this for IJPE is available to anyone for this purpose on a public-domain basis (tweak as you like, citation optional). 

Thanks to Daniel Mietchen for the head’s-up.

@ccess for everyone. A new initiative in open Scholarship

We have started a really new exciting venture in making scholarship available to everyone. We’re starting from scratch. We’re still working out details. And “we” means “you”.

About 3 weeks ago things came to a head. Many people are frustrated with the lack of real, 21stCentury, access to scholarship. To the outputs of funded scholarship (somewhere between 300 BILLION USD and 1000 BILLION USD). And to the feeling of exclusion that everyone who isn’t a powerful academic feels. The inability to contribute. The feeling that scientific research is a spectator sport for the lucky few who are in rich universities. Some of us swapped emails, initially from a sense of frustration.

But what emerged after about a week was the sense that we had exciting new opportunities to change the world in a bottom-up manner. We are increasingly empowered by the public technology of the web, and we are building on top of it. So we are creating a project, a philosophy, a toolkit, and collections of content. It’s happening under the aegis of the Open Knowledge Foundation (OKFN) (mailing lists at: ) as a new project (openaccess ) and overlaps with open-bibliography and open-science.

When we use “open” we are committed to the Open Knowledge Definition: (

“A piece of content or data is open if anyone is free to use, reuse, and redistribute it — subject only, at most, to the requirement to attribute and share-alike.”

This applied to several aspects of Open Scholarship – Open Access, Open Bibliography (BOAI-compliant), Open Citations and Open Data (OABCD) as a start. If we have OKD-conformant information then, for the first time, we can start to see the power of machines and humans working together. We can use automation without having to seek permission.

We’re currently calling it @ccess .

@ccess for all.

Why this strange formation? Because it’s simple, memorable, and searchable on the web. It avoids the overloading of “Open”. “Open Access” and more generally “Open Foo” is not an effective label for OKD-compliant information. By using a clearly defined string we can label information as OKD-Open, as BOAI-open. (Unfortunately even after 10 years of BOAI there is no simple automatic way of telling that a piece of information is re-usable without asking permission).

So what information can we AUTOMATICALLY label as @ccess – OKD-open? Not very much yet, but we expect that this will grow rapidly. Here’s what we can do:

  • Anything specifically labelled with CC-BY, CC0, PDDL licences.
  • Datasets in CKAN labelled as Open
  • Articles from BOAI-compliant publishers (the main ones being BMC, PLoS, EGU, and a few others)
  • Data from bioscience databases (e.g. genomes, protein structures) (Bioscientists don’t normally use licences but adhere to the Bermuda principles)

Here are some things that, by default, are not AUTOMATICALLY recognisable as OKD-compliant

  • Depositions in Institutional repositories. Almost no content is labelled usefully for machines
  • Self-archived manuscripts including arXiv
  • Bibliographic collections
  • Contents of Pubmed (except as above)
  • Hybrid publications (95% is NOT OKD-compliant)

So a major problem is that we don’t know what is actually OKD-Open and what we can use for modern automated scholarship. @ccess aims to change that.

We’re going to build collections of OKD-Open material and label it as such. To show that’s it’s useful and a new approach to scholarship. Open to everyone, not just academics. Because @ccess is bidirectional – it’s about building our principles and community so that we have a say in modern scholarship.

We’re using our new bibliographic tools – Bibserver and Bibsoup – as an efficient means of collecting the information and labelling it. We’re starting with disease as there are already active communities who want to start using the tools. Our first project is based on MALARIA. This idea been brewing for a year or more – Open Research Reports – but we’ve had to wait while we developed the technology. We’ve now got this, and we can collect and, very soon, label and annotate the information.

We are very grateful to Tom Olijhoek, Bart Knols and MalariaWorld for acting as the centre of this. Our first task is to find what Open information there is. This will require considerable human effort. Even Pubmed isn’t able to label the documents which are OKD-Open.

We’ll be posting more about this – so far we have 70,000 references for Malaria keywords (“Malaria”, “Plasmodium”, etc.) Mark MacGillvray has ingested them into a Bibsoup and we’ll be working on them. The first activity will be to find out how many are OKD-Open. I’m guessing about 3%. That’s the sad face of access to scholarly information. That’s the amount that we can legitimately text-mine, re-index, use graphics from, etc.

But as people see the value of this they’ll want more. And that’s an important driver for making more information OKD-Open and labelling it.






Elsevier, FooBar and Content-mining – yet another Digital Land Grab – wake up academia and fight. Or surrender for ever

I have just discovered Elsevier’s content mining document.

For those who don’t know I have been trying to get permission to text-mine Elsevier content for two years and have been treated as a second-class citizen and ultimately come away with nothing. See . The analysis in this post will centre round Elsevier but also applies to another major publisher (FooBar, who I will reveal in later posts if my informant agrees). And I suspect it applies to a large proportion the rest of the publishing community. I’ll reproduce most of the document. (I don’t have the sacred copyright permission to reproduce it of course, but…). BTW the Elsevier staff in Oxford a year ago promised that they would update me when this document came out but of course they didn’t.

Read before you read my critique Consider the implications. Then I’ll indicate why we have been so badly let down by academic libraries or their purchasing agents who have given away more of our crown jewels without a fight.

If you want to know why I am so angry with University Libraries read the bottom of the post as well.

OK, have you read it? – it’s not very long. I’ll go through and annotate it – Like a peer-reviewer. Because after all that’s why we pay Elsevier isn’t it? – because without them we’d be incapable of organising peer-review: (Elsevier is in italics).


Overview of content mining

•    Content Mining concerns the automatic processing of large collections of various forms of data and information to identify, organise and perform analysis in order to determine possible links within the content that may not be obvious on initial inspection.

PMR: This is a extraordinarily simplistic view. It probably arises from Elsevier’s limited vision. FromWikipedia

Text mining, sometimes alternately referred to as text data mining, roughly equivalent to text analytics, refers to the process of deriving high-quality information from text. High-quality information is typically derived through the devising of patterns and trends through means such as statistical pattern learning. Text mining usually involves the process of structuring the input text (usually parsing, along with the addition of some derived linguistic features and the removal of others, and subsequent insertion into a database), deriving patterns within the structured data, and finally evaluation and interpretation of the output. ‘High quality’ in text mining usually refers to some combination of relevance, novelty, and interestingness. Typical text mining tasks include text categorization, text clustering, concept/entity extraction, production of granular taxonomies, sentiment analysis, document summarization, and entity relation modeling (i.e., learning relations between named entities).

Information retrieval (IR) is the area of study concerned with searching for documents, for information within documents, and for metadata about documents, as well as that of searching structured storage, relational databases, and the World Wide Web. There is overlap in the usage of the terms data retrieval, document retrieval, information retrieval, and text retrieval, but each also has its own body of literature, theory, praxis, and technologies. IR is interdisciplinary, based on computer science, mathematics, library science, information science, information architecture, cognitive psychology, linguistics, and statistics.

Information extraction (IE) is a type of information retrieval whose goal is to automatically extract structured information from unstructured and/or semi-structured machine-readable documents. In most of the cases this activity concerns processing human language texts by means of natural language processing (NLP). Recent activities in multimedia document processing like automatic annotation and concept extraction out of images/audio/video could be seen as information extraction.


•    There are various methods to perform this processing, but there are elements common to all methods, including an automated way to process all sizes and types of content in which to identify relevant information, facilitate its extraction and its analysis.

PMR: This is a woolly sentence – the only relevant concept is automation. This is the key to our struggle for Free/Open information to mine.

•    Content mining has links to semantic technology as it focuses on the interlinks and contextual commonalities to enhance the understanding of the content.

PMR: I have no idea what a “contextual commonality” is. The only meaningful concept here is semantic technology.

•    The development of these mining approaches are of particular importance within the scientific community to drive the interdisciplinary nature of research and support new areas of discovery.


PMR: A safe generalization adding little new insight


Elsevier’s principles on content mining

  • Elsevier wants to support our customers to advance science and health.

PMR: This is so vapid that it can only be classified as marketing froth. What Elsevier “wants” and what Elsevier provides have no correspondence in reality

  • We want to help them realise the maximum benefit from our content and enhance insight and understanding through content mining.

PMR: And in practice they do everything possible to retard the independent development of textmining

  • Our journals and books have added value – we invest in quality content and enrich content to maximise discoverability and usability.

PMR: “maximise usability”??? Double-column (or even single column) PDF is a major destruction of information. Scientists have spent hundreds of person-years (probably thousands) trying to get information out of PDF. Whereas simply providing us with the original author manuscript in Word or LaTeX is all we need. We can add the document semantics. But no, we need Elsevier to provide the content.

  • We believe a transparent content mining policy framework is essential, which needs efficient implementation and flexibility to cover multiple scenarios.

PMR: Devoid of meaning. “transparent”?? Efficient and flexible? Weasel words (a Wikipedia term) that imply only Elsevier is clever enough to do this,

  • The framework of open innovation enables and facilitates application development within our content.

PMR: “open” means controlled by Elsevier. The rest of the sentence is unproven, unimplemented marketing speak.

  • Elsevier will continue to manage its content in modern digital formats that facilitate the easy access, use, and re-use of content.



Our approach to providing content mining

  • Elsevier is receiving an increasing number of content mining requests and we are developing solutions to meet customer needs. We are doing this because we realise that researchers and organisations which to derive even more value from our content, but in a way that they choose. Consequently we have adapted our policies to this primary goal.

PMR: “Researchers choose”??? No, Elsevier chooses. Or have I missed a public consultation process??

  • We wish to understand our customers’ text mining requirements and as practically every content mining request has a different goal and there is not a common solution to provide this. Consequently we request that customers looking to mine our content should speak to their Elsevier Account Manager or should contact us directly at

PMR: Maybe they do “wish” but they aren’t trying – as this document shows. Yes, every content mining project has a different goal. So, before doing research on OUR own output we have to speak to “our Elsevier account manager”.

PMR: a separate comment for “universal access”. Newspeak. This is so Orwellian it’s unbelievable.

  • We will then discuss the mining request, access to the content (see below), licensing and (where applicable) pricing for the project.

PMR: HERE WE HAVE THE CRUX!!! This is the first meaningful sentence in the whole document. I have to get permission from Elsevier to do research on “their” content. If they don’t like what I want to do they can just block it – or better fail to respond. “Licensing”. I won’t be able to publish the results Openly. I’ve already seen their contract (see my blog post). We carry out mining for Elsevier to possess the results. To create enhanced content that they can sell to the community for higher process and higher justification for their added value.

  • Mining requests are often content specific. Customers can choose to mine our full-text content, abstracts, data and other materials. A charge may be applicable dependent on the request.

PMR: “A charge”. I’ll discuss that below. This is the second meaningful sentence.

  • Common requests for Content Mining include:
    • Running extensive searches and using locally loaded content for text mining purposes for research.
    • Extraction of semantic entities from Elsevier content for the purpose of recognition and classification of the relations between them.
    • Performing extensive mining operations on subscribed content, including structuring input text, deriving patterns within this text and evaluation and interpretation of the output.
    • Customers can integrate results on a server used for the subscriber’s own mining system for access and use by its researchers through the subscriber’s internal secure network.

PMR: “the subscriber’s internal secure network”. Again we see the control. Nobody can extract value and publish it to the world.

  • All commercial usage of content mining results arising from Elsevier content will be subject to licensing and will be chargeable. We will discuss the utilisation of results in accordance to each request.

PMR: Do I have to explain the implications of this?

Facilitating access & technology to empower content mining

Elsevier have developed several different methods to allow customers to mine our content. This provides maximum flexibility and multiple options to access the required content. Examples of this include methods to deliver high amounts of content on demand, API access and other solutions associated with specific content types. For example:

  • ScienceDirect and Scopus licence agreements – subscribers to these products may have options to search, download, email and extract content to allow them to perform their requisite analyses
  • Application Marketplace – Enabling developers who wish to design and implement applications to analyse our content, or who may wish to test applications as part of their research within Elsevier content. For further information on SciVerse Applications, please visit

PMR: In other words I can only have access through Elsevier’s walled gardens.

Now I think we are at a really dangerous place in the history of modern digital scholarship.

The simple position is that we have given the publishers our content. Up till now they have simply replayed it back to us (at vast cost to us and profit to them). But the cost is irrelevant.

Now they want to control it. And get us to pay even more. Lots more.

And the first library to agree to pay for text-mining access has sold the whole academic community down the river.

It is our RIGHT to text-mine scientific content. We created it and we can use modern tools to mine it. Without any help from publishers.

By when University libraries “purchase subscriptions” they only consider the pricing. They come back and tell us “we got a great deal – we beat the publishers down!” (I think there has been a recent Russell group “victory”).

But they flabbily sign the ultra restrictive clauses in the contracts. This is not about copyright, it’s actually signing a much much more restrictive contract. That forbids scientists like me any possibility of doing any meaningful chemical linguistic research. So here are two questions for libraries:

  • Has your organization ever challenged the restrictive contracts on text-mining? And won the freedom to text-mine?
  • Have you ever negotiated with a publisher about additional charges for textmining?

Only if you can answer YES and then NO can you hold your head up.

And FooBar? The publisher that wanted to charge huge amounts for one University to do textmining? Yes, they exist. But I want to get accurate documentation.

So if you have any information about publishers wanted fees to allow textmining please add them as comments.

Act now! Support the bipartisan Federal Research Public Access Act (FRPAA)

Students! Act now to support the bipartisan Federal Research Public Access Act.  This important legislation would provide students – and the rest of the public – with unprecedented free and timely access to all articles resulting from federally funded research.

We currently have a unique opportunity to create change.  The Research Works Act, a piece of legislation introduced in December that would ban the government from providing the public access to publicly funded research, has galvanized the research community into acting against practices that restrict access to research articles – reaching the pages of the Economist, the New York Times, Wired, the Guardian, the Boston Globe, Slatethe Chronicle of Higher Education, and many other outlets.

Furthermore, the publishers of the two most prestigious scientific journals, Science and Nature, have not only opposed the Research Works Act but also endorsed the National Institutes of Health public access policy, which FRPAA would extend to the other federal science agencies.

With reinvigorated support from the research community and attention from the mainstream media, now is the time to push for this groundbreaking legislation and let Congress know that students – and the rest of the public – deserve access to the research which they paid for and upon which their education depends.

Act Now | Background | Talking Points | Resources

Act now!

Let Congress know you support FRPAA

  • Write your legislators, via the Right to Research Action Center
    A letter of support is the best way to influence your legislators to support and co-sponsor FRPAA if they haven’t already, or if they have, a letter thanking them for their leadership will go a long way in getting them to push FRPAA aggressively. Through our action center, you can send letters to your legislators directly using pre-made templates that you can add to and customize.

  • Thank FRPAA’s introducing co-sponsors
    Even if you’re not in their districts, it’s important to thank FRPAA’s introducing sponsors to let them know there is a large community of support behind the bill.

  • Visit your legislators’ local offices
    Taking the time for an in-person visit to the office of one of your legislators is an especially effective was to demonstrate your support for FRPAA, particularly if you can organize a group of students from your campus or your student organization to join you.

Raise awareness of and build support for FRPAA

  • Tell your friends and professors about FRPAA, encourage them to contact their legislators as well.

  • Sign the ATA Petition in support of FRPAA. Click here to view signatories of the petition.

  • Like the Right to Research Coalition Facebook page on Facebook and follow us on Twitter to receive the latest news and updates.  Share our call to action and updates through your own Facebook and Twitter accounts.

  • Tweet at or post of the Facebook wall of your legislators to ask them to support and co-sponsor FRPAA; or, if they’re already a sponsor, thank them for their leadership.

  • Write a letter to the editor or op-ed for your campus or local newspaper.  You can submit a letter to the editor directly to publications in your area through the media section of our legislative action center.

  • Make a brief, 5-minute presentation on FRPAA and what students can do to support it at student group meetings.

  • Add a “Support FRPAA” banner to your or your organization’s website.  You can find the banner in a variety of formats here. [COMING SOON]


Now before both the House of Representatives and the Senate, FRPAA would require those agencies with annual extramural research budgets of $100 million or more to provide the public with online access to research manuscripts stemming from such funding no later than six months after publication in a peer-reviewed journal.

This bill would revolutionize students’ access to the tools necessary for a complete, up-to-date education. Even at well funded universities, students – and those who teach them – often cannot get access to significant portions of the scholarly record due to prohibitive price barriers.  The vast collection of articles FRPAA would make freely available – representing a significant portion of all researched published in the United States – would provide students with an unprecedented educational resource and level the playing field for those at less wealthy institutions.

The bill specifically covers unclassified research funded by agencies including: Department of Agriculture, Department of Commerce, Department of Defense, Department of Education, Department of Energy, Department of Health and Human Services, Department of Homeland Security, Department of Transportation, Environmental Protection Agency, National Aeronautics and Space Administration, and the National Science Foundation.

FRPAA reflects the growing trend among funding agencies – and college and university campuses – to leverage their investment in the conduct of research by maximizing the dissemination of results.  It follows the successful path forged by the NIH’s Public Access Policy, as well as by private funders like the Wellcome Trust and campuses such as Harvard, MIT, and the University of Kansas. The bill also reflects the Obama Administration’s recent expression of interest in the potential implementation of public access policies across U.S. science and technology agencies – as indicated by the call for public comment issued by the Office of Science and Technology Policy, which closed in January.

Talking Points

  • Thank the sponsors for introducing FRPAA and ask your Representative and Senators to consider co-sponsoring FRPAA. 

  • The bipartisan bill, which was introduced in the Senate by Senators Cornyn (R-TX) and Wyden (D-OR) and in the House by Representative Doyle (D-PA) and Yoder (R-KS), would ensure that the published results of research funded by the U.S. government can be accessed and used by American taxpayers via the Internet. 

  • Because of often-high subscription prices and shrinking library budgets, students routinely run into barriers accessing research articles – especially those at less wealthy institutions. The bill will significantly expand the access that students – and those who teach them – have to the up-to-date research that forms the building blocks of our education, from the core to the cutting edge.

  • By improving undergraduate and graduate education, FRPAA will benefit students when it comes to putting their educations to use after graduation. Students will be better able to hit the ground running in their careers and contribute immediately in both the public and private sectors.

  • America’s future economic competitiveness will rely on workers with an advanced education in fields like biotechnology and clean energy that depend on unfettered access to the research literature.

  • Widespread access to the information contained in these manuscripts is an essential, inseparable component of our nation’s investment in science. This and other scientific information should be shared in cost-effective ways that take advantage of the Internet, stimulate further discovery and innovation, and advance the translation of this knowledge into public benefits. 

  • Open online access to research will ensure maximum discovery, use and re-use of available research – making possible an unprecedented variety of potential connections and discoveries, and improve the lives and welfare of people in the U.S. and around the world. 

  • [Detail why public access to research is important to you or your organization.]