Dramatic Growth of Open Access 2012: early year-end edition

Another awesome year for open access! The Directory of Open Access Journals continues its steady increase at around 3 titles per day, to well over 8,000 titles. An easy prediction for the new year is that DOAJ is likely to exceed a million articles searchable at the article level early in 2013. Welcome to newcomer Directory of Open Access Books – already 35 publishers with over 1,200 free, peer reviewed academic books! OpenDOAR now lists over 2,200 open access archives, while Bielefeld Academic Search Engine now searches over 40 million documents, illustrating that these archives are far from empty. The chart above illustrating growth in percentage of NIH external fundees’ research that is freely available within 3 years of publication growing from 34% to 60% shows steady growth – not the 100% that we’d all like to see, but constantly moving in the right direction. Meanwhile Beall’s list of open access publishers continues to grow, too, illustrating that open access is getting lots of attention, and not always on the right side.

On the fun side, flickr now has close to a quarter billion CC licensed photos – and note that 70% use the CC noncommercial element. If this Creative Commons is a democratic community, it’s time to make NC the default! Wikimedia is now over 15 million items, and the Internet Archive recently surpassed one million movies.

Details below – or download the full data edition.

The numbers
  • 8,461 journals – increased by 1,133 over past year or 3 titles per day
  • 4,199 journals searchable by article – up 739 over past year, 2 per day
  • 944,804 articles searchable by article – up 246,258 over past year, 674 per day
  • easy prediction: over 1 million articles searchable by article early in 2013 

Directory of Open Access Books

  • 1,255 books – growth this quarter, 40 books – several books / week
  • 35 publishers

 Electronic Journals Library 

  •  37,609 journals can be read free of charge; up 5,524 over last year, 15 added per day

Highwire Press Free

  • # free articles – no change from September; broken automated counter?
  • 63 completely free journals – up 14 in past year
  • 285 journals with free back issues – up 3 in past year


  • 2,236 repositories; up 76 over last year, 1.5 per week

Registry of Open Access Repositories (ROAR)

  •  3,032 repositories; up 449 over last year, 8.6 per week

Bielefeld Academic Search Engine (BASE)

  • 40 million documents (milestone!); up 6.4 million in past year; over 17,000 documents per day
  • 2,403 content providers, up 328 over last year


  • 2.6 million articles; up 300,000 in past year, 821 per day (1 article every 2 minutes)
  • 1,462 journals actively participating, up 168 in past year
  • 1,023 journals with all articles immediate free access, up 207 in past year
  • 892 journals with all articles open access, up 196 in past year


  •  805,796 e-prints; up 84,318 in past year, 231 e-prints per day


  • 13,841 documents; up 1,737 from last year, or 5 items per day

 Social Sciences Research Network
new to Dramatic Growth

  • 370,230 full text papers; up 9,573 this quarter, 131 papers per day
  • 212,514 authors

Open Access Mandate Policies (ROARMAP)

  • 34 sub-institutional; up 1 in past year
  •  54 funder; up 3 in past year
  • 163 institutional; up 27 in past year
  • 4 multi-institutional; up 3 in past year
  • 98 theses; up 10 in past year
  • 353 policies in total; up 44 in past year

Internet Archive

  •  1 million moving images (movies); milestone!
  • 100,000 concerts
  • 1.5 million audio recordings
  • 3.7 million texts

Beall’s list of open access publishers
GOAL note


This year’s list of predatory publishers includes over 225 highly-questionable scholarly publishing operations. Last year’s list included only 23 publishers, and the 2010 list had about 18. This year’s list of predatory stand-alone journals has 106 titles. (The previous year’s list did not include stand-alone titles).

This post is part of the Dramatic Growth of Open Access series.


flickr and Creative Commons: the popularity of noncommercial

Congratulations to Creative Commons, celebrating its 10th birthday from December 7 to 16th! As of December 11, 2012, flickr contains close to a quarter of a billion CC licensed photos! flickr posts a list with the number of photos per license, which provides an opportunity to see which CC licenses are the most popular with flickr users. The two most popular licenses, accounting for more than half of the photos, are Attribution-Noncommercial-Sharealike (BY-NC-SA) (29%) and Attribution-Noncommercial-Noderivatives (BY-NC-ND) (28%). Of the CC license elements, the most popular by far is Noncommercial (NC). Over 173 million flickr photos – 70% of the flickr CC set – use NC.

flickr CC licenses, in descending order based on use

Attribution-Noncommercial-Sharealike: 71,564,474 photos (29% of total)
Attribution-Noncommerical-Noderivatives: 68,929,900 photos (28% of total)
Attribution: 37,419,759 photos (15% of total)
Attribution-Noncommercial: 32,853,005 photos (13% of total)
Attribution – Sharealike: 22,281,007 (9% of total)

Attribution-Noderivatives: 13,443,522 photos (6% of total)

The most popular CC license elements

Noncommercial: 173,347,379 photos (70% of total)
Sharealike: 93,845,481 photos (38% of total)
Noderivatives: 82,373,422 photos (33% of total)

For a description of the Creative Commons license elements, see the CC Licenses page.

Comment: this is particularly remarkable considering that the default CC license is CC-BY, and the CC license chooser deliberately tries to steer people away from NC and ND by labelling these as “not free culture” licenses. In other words, it takes effort to use these elements. If Creative Commons is meant to be a democracy, and if other communities using CC licenses show similar results, then NC should be the default. From my perspective, NC IS the free culture choice. This is the element that gives us a chance to share things and say that they do not belong to the realm of commerce.

This post is part of the Creative Commons and open access critique series.

A rockin’ good time at AGU

Last week the American Geophysical Union (AGU) Fall Meeting was held just down the road from our San Francisco office, and PLOS staff could not pass up the opportunity to make an appearance.

If you were an exhibition hall attendee and could manage to tear yourself away from all the talks, poster sessions, and workshops long enough to pay us a visit, you would have been met with friendly staff from both PLOS ONE and PLOS Currents Disasters, all on a mission to inform as many geophysicists as possible about open access and our various journals. We thoroughly enjoyed spending the week there and meeting any PLOS readers, authors, editors, and reviewers that stopped by to say hello. In particular, our publications manager Krista Hoff was excited to meet and have a chat with one of our longstanding Academic Editors, Ben Bond-Lamberty.

In an little bit of contrast to our recent visit to the Annual Meeting of the American Society of Human Genetics, many passersby did not immediately recognize the PLOS name. They were similarly unaware of our status as a nonprofit, our commitment to open access, and our relatively unique publication criteria. These conversations led to an exciting opportunity for us to explain that we publish in all areas of science, and especially to show our love to the worlds of geology, physics, chemistry, and environmental science.

While free pens were flying off the table, we had stimulating conversations with seismologists, planetary scientists, climatologists, geologists, and environmental scientists. Our rapid-peer-review journal PLOS Currents Disasters was extremely well-received among researchers associated with earthquakes or other chemical and geological hazards (including potential meteor disasters!).

Many scientists found our printed Open Access guide “How Open Is It?” both helpful and informative, and several were big proponents of open-access journals, excited to find that we accept submissions in geophysics research.

Long-time PLOS supporters were thrilled to inform us that they intended to submit at least one paper within the next year, and we definitely piqued the interest of at least a few potential reviewers and academic editors. We had some great discussions about barriers to scientific publishing in general and received insightful suggestions for improving the overall publication experience. We appreciated hearing everyone’s feedback and will be sure to incorporate your suggestions into our future discussions.

Look out for the PLOS booth again in just a few days at the American Society for Cell Biology, where we hope to see yet another side of our growing and diverse PLOS community!

Photo credits: U.S. Geological Survey Photographic Library

How to Immunize RCUK Against Predictable Perverse Effects of Finch Folly

Thursday July 26 2012

SH: If you were a journal publisher? what would you do, when faced with a policy like [Finch/RCUK]?

RP: What do you predict?

SH: The answer is obvious: You would offer to ?allow? your authors to pay you for hybrid Gold OA (while continuing to collect your usual subscription revenues) and, for good measure, you would ratchet up the Green OA embargo length (up to the date your grand-children finished their university education!) to make sure your authors pay you for hybrid Gold rather than picking the cost-free option that you fear might eventually pose a risk to your subscription revenues!

Monday December 10 2012

Institute of Historical Research: Statement on position in relation to open access:

“[IHR] fully support initiatives to make scholarship as widely and freely available as possible, above all online…  The government wants all RCUK funded and all QR funded scholarship to be published ?gold? insofar as funding allows. This would mean that an author (through their university) would pay an ?article processing charge? (APC) to the journal… The government also envisages ?green? open access… This means that no fee is paid by the author to a journal. Instead, the article must be made freely available on line after an embargo period.If gold access is not offered by the journal, that period could be as little as 6 to 12 months. In the case of humanities, the government is prepared to accept a longer [embargo] period, perhaps around 2 years, particularly if the journal concerned also offers gold open access…  We want first to make it clear that we will accept gold APCs… The period of embargo [IHR] will offer [for green] will be 36 MONTHS…”


All is far from lost, however. There is a simple way that funder mandates can immunize themselves against such perverse consequences. They need only include the following 8 essential conditions: 

(1)  immediate-deposit (even if access to the deposit is allowed to be embargoed: no delayed deposit)  

(2) of the final peer-reviewed draft 

(3) on the date of acceptance by the journal (which is marked by a verifiable calendar date)

(4) and the immediate-deposit must be directly in the author’s own institutional repository (not institution-external)

(5) so that immediate-deposit can be monitored and verified by the author’s institution (regardless of whether the mandate is from a funder or the institution)  

(6) as a funding compliance condition and/or an institutional employment condition

(7) and the institutional repository must be designated as the sole locus for submitting publications for institutional performance evaluation, research grant applications and national research assessment.

(8) Repository deposits must be monitored so as to generate rich and visible metrics of usage and citation, so as both to verify and reward authors for deposit and to showcase and archive the institution’s and funder’s research output and impact; for embargoed deposits, user needs can be fulfilled via the repository’s email-eprint-request Button.

An instance of such mutually reinforcing funder and institutional policies is the FRS-FNRS policy in Belgium.

Such an integrated, maximized-strength mandate model immunizes against publisher embargoes and should be adopted, complementarily and convergently, by all institutions and funders, in Europe and worldwide.

Here is the fundamental point that needs to be grasped: The only thing that is standing between the world and 100% OA is author keystrokes (for depositing the full text in an online repository). Once those keystrokes are done, even if some of those deposits are under an access embargo, nature and human nature will take its course, under pressure from the increasingly palpable benefits of OA, and embargoes will soon die their inevitable and well-deserved deaths of natural causes — and journals will survive, and evolve, and adapt.

But it will take forever to happen if the keystrokes are not mandated. Journals will try to filibuster and embargo OA for as long as possible: it’s a conflict of interest, between, on the one hand, research, researchers, their institutions, their funders, the R&D industry, and the tax-payers who fund the research, and, on the other hand, the research publishing industry.

Scholarly research is not funded and conducted as a service to the scholarly publishing industry (regardless of whether the publishers are commercial or “scholarly”, and regardless of whether they are subscription publishers or Gold OA publishers).

It is time to stop allowing the publishing tail wag the research dog.

Mandating the Green OA keystrokes (even where embargoed) is the fastest, cheapest and surest way to get us to 100% Green OA — and then all Gold OA, Libre OA will not be far behind.

But trying ins tea to mandate Gold OA preemptively as the Finch Committee have perversely proposed to do, under the influence of the publishing industry lobby, will only serve leave the UK, the former leader of the global OA movement, far behind.

Stevan Harnad

Questions concerning open access research: my responses

Following are some interesting research questions from Joseph Kraus, University of Denver, and my responses.

Q 1) The Finch report and the RCUK report recently came out.  These reports have taken stances concerning green and gold open access in the UK.  What are your thoughts on the issue of green vs gold open access policies?

R 1) Open access policy should be green, not gold. Here are a few thoughts on why.

I’d like to take a step back and talk about open access archiving (green) and open access publishing (gold). A healthy sustainable open access scholarly publishing system needs to have diverse components, because any one component will have vulnerabilities that other types are less susceptible to. A key limitation with open access publishing is that it cannot by itself look after ongoing preservation and access. Journals and publishers change over time. Journals cease to exist. Journals and publishers change hands; new owners may pursue a different business model.

The RCUK policy which prefers gold open access with CC-BY has a huge vulnerability or loophole. A researcher who publishes in a journal using the CC-BY license has met the requirements of the open access policy. However, the journal has no obligation whatsoever to continue to provide open access or to continue to provide a version of the article under a CC-BY license.  Creative Commons licenses make it possible to waive certain rights that we have under copyright; they place no obligations on the licensor. If each CC-BY licensed article is placed in one or more open access archives (I recommend more than one), then ongoing open access is secure even if the article does not remain open access on the publisher’s website. 

Flatworldknowledge, an open textbooks publisher for 5 years which recently announced that as of January 2013 their books will no longer be free online, illustrates the danger – see their announcement about from free to fair.

Green open access archives are essential for a sustainable open access system.

The RCUK endorsement of CC-BY illustrates another problem with open access publishing mandates. It is understandable that RCUK would not want to fund open access options where publishers retain re-use rights for their own commercial purposes. However, CC-BY has other unintended consequences. CC-BY grants to anyone, anywhere commercial rights, and the right to create derivatives. Material provided by third parties may not be available for licensing via CC-BY. It would not be ethical to include material provided by research subjects (e.g. pictures, stories) under CC-BY without informed consent. Obtaining informed consent would require explaining the possible consequences; material using this license could be picked up by a for-pay image databank, for example, and so someone’s picture could end up in an ad on the bus.

The RCUK policy is only one example of an open access publishing or gold mandate.

Where an open access publishing mandate makes sense is for funders that subsidize scholarly publishing per se, something that is common in many countries, but not the UK. Even here, a policy to make subsidized journals open or publicly accessible under fair use or fair dealing makes more sense than a more specific policy. That is, good policy provides the direction, the goal – it says what is to be done, but not necessarily how. The how is best left to the people who do the work (some might say the market).

Q 2) PLOS ONE is a well-known large open access journal that covers a broad range of disciplines.  Because it has been deemed successful, other publishers have also proposed or started similar journals.  What is your opinion of this new type of publication outlet?

R 2) It’s about time that new forms of scholarly communication emerged! We can do so much more with the tools we now have available, it doesn’t make sense to continue to publish online with the constraints that came with print. One important point to note about PLOS ONE is that it accepts all sound science. This just makes sense; the reason journals have high rejection rates (now seen as a badge of quality) is because in the print medium you can only fit in so many articles. This adds considerable waste to the system (rejected articles are usually still published, it’s just that they tend to go through several rounds of review rather than just one). It’s good to see competitors, too.

Q 3) Harvard University has recommended to their faculty to “consider submitting articles to open-access journals, or to ones that have reasonable, sustainable subscription costs; move prestige to open access.” (http://isites.harvard.edu/icb/icb.do?keyword=k77982&tabgroupid=icb.tabgroup143448) The concept of “moving prestige to open access” is an interesting statement to the Harvard faculty authors and researchers.  What do you think of this statement?

R 3) Kudos and thanks to Harvard!!! The impact factor, locking in prestige and hence negotiating clout for journal owners, has been a major barrier in moving forward with developing a new, open access scholarly communication system. 

Q 4) University presses and many societies are concerned about how the open access movement will affect their financial bottom line.  What concerns do you have about open access and society publications?

R 4) I share this concern. One of the key points of my research is that the economic support for the current system comes from academic library budgets. Libraries should prioritize transitioning support for the system to open access. This isn’t easy, but it needs to happen. 

Q 5) AltMetrics is gathering steam as an additional method for faculty to determine the impact of their work. (http://altmetrics.org)  Do you plan to take advantage of this data for either your work, or for the benefit of your institution or department?

R 5) I have serious concerns about the rush for AltMetrics, particularly AltMetrics based on social media. Before anyone even begins to think about using such metrics for assessing the work of scholars, much work needs to be done. For example, I argue that it is reasonable to hypothesize that any AltMetrics based on social media (whose work is tweeted, promoted on Facebook, etc.) is likely to reflect and amplify existing social biases. Men will be tweeted more than women, ethnic majorities more than ethnic minorities. Then there is strong potential for bias, both artefactual – e.g. a pharmaceutical company is likely to promote a study showing that their drug is effective, but not the one demonstrating the side-effect – and deliberate. Consider how climate change denial or big tobacco smoking is good for you proponents could manipulate social media to make their preferred research and researchers look good. Altmetrics is an approach with tremendous potential as a research project, but should not be used for assessing the work of scholars.

Q 6) The Research Excellence Framework (REF) in the UK notes: “No sub-panel will make any use of journal impact factors, rankings, lists or the perceived standing of publishers in assessing the quality of research outputs.” (http://www.ref.ac.uk/faq/all/) While this is a valid statement for UK based research evaluation, it would be impossible to get a majority of academic tenure and promotion committees throughout the United States to agree to a similar statement in the near future.  Since the UK has the REF, and the US does not, how much is this holding back the US from adopting greater OA policies at various institutions?

R 6) Open access is happening throughout the world. Each area can, does, and should, work within the context of the strengths, culture and history of its own region. The U.S. has been a very strong leader in open access policy, with the N.I.H. policy and the faculty permissions policies pioneered by Harvard, as well as open access publishing support by libraries.

On the topic of the REF – to me, the REF approach exemplifies what I call irrational rationality, something to avoid and not to emulate.

Q 7) Is there anything else you would like to say concerning open access publishing?

R 7) My recommendation is library support for scholar-led publishing as the most cost-effective solution for the future.

All this and much more is covered in my dissertation, “Freedom for scholarship in the internet age”. 

Cancer Medicine Publishes Issue 1:3

Cancer Medicine

You can read Issue 1:3 of Cancer Medicine online now!

The journal brings together articles on a range of oncology specialties, covering cancer biology, clinical cancer research and cancer prevention, with authors from across the globe.

Below are some top articles which Editor-in-Chief Prof. Qingyi Wei has highlighted from the issue.  We hope that you enjoy this exciting new content.

purple_lock_openModulation of CXCL-8 expression in human melanoma cells regulates tumor growth, angiogenesis, invasion, and metastasis
Sheng Wu, Seema Singh, Michelle L. Varney, Scott Kindle and Rakesh K. Singh

Summary: CXCL-8 is a direct determinant of aggressive melanoma phenotypes, including tumor growth, metastasis, and angiogenesis, and targeting CXCL-8 produced by tumor cells and the supporting stroma is a direction for studying this pathway to develop future melanoma diagnostics and therapeutics.

purple_lock_openEffectiveness of aromatase inhibitors and tamoxifen in reducing subsequent breast cancer 
Reina Haque, Syed A. Ahmed, Alice Fisher, Chantal C. Avila, Jiaxiao Shi, Amy Guo, T. Craig Cheetham and Joanne E. Schottinger

Summary: Women who take aromatase inhibitors (AIs) alone or following tamoxifen treatment have subsequent breast cancer rates similar to women treated exclusively with tamoxifen even after accounting for adherence.

purple_lock_openUrban–rural disparities in colorectal cancer screening: cross-sectional analysis of 1998–2005 data from the Centers for Disease Control’s Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance Study 
Allison M. Cole, J. Elizabeth Jackson and Mark Doescher

Summary: Colorectal cancer screening is effective, yet underused. Rural residents may face increased barriers to screening compared with urban residents. We describe significant urban–rural colorectal cancer screening disparities in the United States.

Cancer Medicine is a peer reviewed, interdisciplinary journal providing rapid publication of cutting-edge research from global biomedical researchers across the cancer sciences.

Submit your paper here>    Sign up for eToC Alerts here>

New CIHR Open Access Mandate Still Needs a Tweak

The updated Canada Institutes of Health Research (CIHR) Open Access Mandate has taken one step forward and one step back:

One step forward:

Grant recipients are required to make every effort to ensure that their peer-reviewed publications are freely accessible through the Publisher’s website (Option #1) or an online repository (Option #2)

One step back:

as soon as possible and in any event within six 12  months of publication. Under the second option, grant recipients must archive the final peer-reviewed full-text manuscripts immediately upon publication in a digital archive?

But there is a simple way to fix and optimize it.

The archiving must always be done by the author, not the publisher (and preferably in the author’s institutional repository, never the publisher’s website, so the institution can verify timely compliance); and the deposit must be done immediately upon publication in every instance. (The length of the allowable embargo — though the shorter the better — is less important than the necessity of immediate, verifiable institutional deposit by the author. PMC Canada and others can then harvest automatically from the author’s institutional repositories.)


Grant recipients are required to archive the final peer-reviewed full-text manuscripts of their publications in their institutional repository immediately upon publication and must ensure that they are freely accessible within [X] months of publication.

Integrating Institutional and Funder Open Access Mandates: Belgian Model

How to Integrate University and Funder Open Access Mandates

Optimize the NIH Mandate Now: Deposit Institutionally, Harvest Centrally

Optimizing OA Self-Archiving Mandates: What? Where? When? Why? How?

Which Green OA Mandate Is Optimal?

Open Access Week 2012 at University of Kentucky

The University of Kentucky Libraries hosted these events to celebrate this year’s Open Access Week:

  • Oct. 22: OA Café
  • Oct. 22: Screening of the SPARC World Bank Webcast
  • Oct. 24: Keynote event: Scholarship Unlocked: The Future of Open Access

Our keynote speaker was Dr. David Solomon from Michigan State University. He provided an overview of the growth and direction of OA publishing/archiving. He also discussed some of the new directions in OA and scholarly communication. Three panelists from the University of Kentucky then responded to Dr. Solomon’s presentation from three different perspectives. The videos of the keynote event are available for viewing at: http://uknowledge.uky.edu/oaweek/2012/

We look forward to celebrating Open Access Week 2013.

Open Access Week 2012 at the University of Kansas

Our theme this year is “Set the Default to Openness”and features panel discussions and presentations about Open Learning, the Federal Research Public Access Act (FRPAA), the International Impact of Open Access, Open Access and graduate students, and a forum with publishers who are making the transition to business models that include Open Access. The week starts with a terrific webinar from SPARC and the World Bank about the World Bank’s Open Access initiatives.

Schedule of Events

Refreshments will be served at all events.

Open Access Week Kickoff:  Set the Default to Open Access

Monday, October 22, 3:00-4:30 pm,

Watson Library, Room 455, Lawrence campus AND

Dykes Library, Room G025, KU Medical Center campus

Please join us on the Lawrence and KU Med Center campuses to watch this Open Access Week kickoff webinar about the World Bank’s Open Access efforts.   The webinar is brought to you by the Scholarly Publishing & Academic Resources Coalition (SPARC), part of the Association of Research Libraries, and the World Bank.

Open Access: New Frontiers in Publishing

Tuesday, October 23, 2:00 pm-3:30 pm, Watson Library, Room 455

  • Lea Currie, Head of Collection Development, KU Libraries, moderator
  • Bob Schatz, North American Sales Manager, BioMed Central
  • Will Schweitzer, Sr. Editor, Journals, Sage Publications

This event is a publisher’s forum with representatives from Sage Publications and BioMed Central discussing their companies’ transitions to business models that include open access.

From Open Access to Open Learning:  Online learning platforms for distance education and foreign language learning

Wednesday, October 24, 11:00 am-1:00 pm, Watson Library, Room 455

  • Jon Giullian, Librarian for Slavic and East European Studies, KU Libraries, moderator
  • Kim Glover, Instructional Design Librarian, KU Libraries
  • Amy Rossomondo, Associate Professor, Co-Director of Spanish Language Instruction, Department of Spanish and Portuguese, KU
  • Jonathan Perkins, Director, Ermal Garinger Academic Resource Center (EGARC), KU
  • Keah Cunningham, Assistant Director, Ermal Garinger Academic Resource Center (EGARC), KU

Panelists at this event will discuss open learning initiatives in higher education, highlighting projects developed by KU faculty and graduate students in partnership with the Ermal Garinger Academic Resource Center (EGARC). (Please feel free to bring your lunch; drinks and light snacks will be provided.)

Presentation about the Federal Research Public Access Act (FRPAA)
by Congressman Kevin Yoder, Kansas’ Representative and a FRPAA co-sponsor

Wednesday, October 24, 3:00 pm-4:00 pm, Watson Library, Watson 3 West

This presentation will encompass the FRPAA legislation currently before Congress.   FRPAA requires that research funded by several federal agencies be made available free of charge to the public.  This is modeled after the mandate currently in place for research funded by the National Institutes of Health (NIH).  A reception will follow the presentation from 4:00 pm-5:30 pm.

KU Medical Center Open Access panel discussion and Dr. Paul Terranova’s introduction of the One University Open Access Publishing Fund

Thursday, October 25, 12:00-1:00 pm, Clendening Library Foyer, KU Medical Center

  • Dr. Paul Terranova, Vice Chancellor for Research and Senior Associate Dean for Research & Graduate Education

Join Dykes Library in celebrating Open Access Week as we look at open access through the KUMC lens on Thursday, October 25 from 12-1:00 p.m. in the Clendening foyer, where a panel of KUMC faculty and post-docs who have published in open access journals or negotiated copyright transfer agreements will share their experiences. Dr. Paul Terranova will be in attendance to make a very special announcement! Lunch will be provided for the first 40 registrants. Register at http://www.kumc.edu/events-calendar.html.

Open Access and Graduate Students

Thursday, October 25, noon-1:30 pm, Watson Library, Room 455

  • Nick Shockey, Director of Student Advocacy, SPARC

The graduate students who respond to our invitation will be served a pizza lunch, watch short video presentations introducing open access concepts and join an informal discussion with Nick Shockey, Director of Student Advocacy at SPARC, about how open access affects them as scholars.

International Impact of Open Access

Thursday, October 25, 3:00 pm-5:00 pm, Watson Library, Room 455

  • Marianne Reed, Digital Information Specialist, Center for Digital Scholarship, KU Libraries, moderator
  • Townsend Peterson, Distinguished Professor of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, KU
  • Marc Greenberg, Professor of Slavic Languages & Literature and Chair, Germanic Languages & Literatures, KU
  • Joy Ward, Associate Professor, Plant Physiological Ecology and Global Change, KU
  • Dr. Rezq Basheer-Salimia, Associate Professor, Plant Science, Faculty of Agriculture, Hebron University, Palestine
  • Luis Escobar, Ecology and Natural Resources Faculty, Andres Bello University, Chile
  • Jerry Ward, Adjunct Researcher, English, KU

This event features KU faculty and some of their international colleagues sharing their experiences with barriers to international access to scholarship and the Open Access options in their fields that can make scholarship available.

The UK Gold Rush: "A Hand-Out from the British Government"

Re: Finch access plan unlikely to fly across the Atlantic
(Times Higher Education, 6 December 2012)

It’s not just the US and the Social Sciences that will not join the UK’s Gold Rush. Neither will Europe, nor Australia, nor the developing world.

The reason is simple: The Finch/RCUK/BIS policy was not thought through. It was hastily and carelessly cobbled together without proper representation from the most important stake-holders: researchers and their institutions, the providers of the research to which access is to be opened.

Instead, Finch/RCUK/BIS heeded the lobbying from the UK’s sizeable research publishing industry, including both subscription publishers and Gold OA publishers, as well as from a private biomedical research funder that was rather too sure of its own OA strategy (even though that strategy has not so far been very successful). BIS was also rather simplistic about the “industrial applications” potential of its 6% of world research output, not realizing that unilateral OA from one country is of limited usefulness, and a globally scaleable OA policy requires some global thinking and consultation.

Now it will indeed amount to “a handout from the British government” — a lot of money in exchange for very little OA — unless (as I still fervently hope) RCUK has the wisdom and character to fix its OA mandate as it has by now been repeatedly urged from all sides to do, instead of just digging in to a doomed policy:

Adopt an effective mechanism to ensure compliance with the mandate to self-archive in UK institutional repositories (Green OA), in collaboration with UK institutions. And scale down the Gold OA to just the affordable minimum for which there is a genuine demand, instead of trying to force it down the throats of all UK researchers in place of cost-free self-archiving: The UK institutional repositories are already there: ready, waiting — and empty.

Prowling Catfish Catch Pigeons on Land

Cats hunt birds, and sea-birds hunt fish.  And in some odd ecological pockets, catfish hunt pigeons.

In a study published today by researchers at the University of Toulouse, France, scientists have investigated this unusual predator-prey relationship between European catfish and pigeons in the Southwest region of France.

European catfish have been reported to capture the pigeons on land and drag them back into the water.  This surprising behavior has not been known to occur in the native range of the species; however this article discovers that in France, where the fish are an invasive species, they have adapted their natural behavior in order to feed on novel prey in their new environment.

The researchers completed this study along the Tarn River in Southwestern France.  European catfish originate from Europe, east of the Rhine River, but were introduced to the Tarn River in 1983.

From a bridge above a gravel island on the river, the researchers watched the fish from June through October 2011. Over that time they saw 54 pigeon hunting incidents, and in 28% of these cases, the catfish successfully captured their prey on land and dragged them back into the water to eat them. These attacks were nearly always triggered by active pigeons, as catfish never attacked motionless pigeons. This evidence suggests that the catfish used water vibrations to hunt their prey rather than visual cues.

The cause of this unusual predation behavior is still unknown. However, these new findings may bring us closer to understanding the implications of such novel behavior in a new ecosystem.

To view the fascinating catfish behavior described in this article, please see the video below:

Citation: Cucherousset J, Boulêtreau S, Azémar F, Compin A, Guillaume M, et al. (2012) “Freshwater Killer Whales”: Beaching Behavior of an Alien Fish to Hunt Land Birds. PLoS ONE 7(12): e50840. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0050840

RoMEO and JULIET Updates for November


New publishers:

  • Business Systems Laboratory [7/11/12] Green
  • Consiglio per la Ricerca e la sperimentazione in Agricoltura, Unità di Ricerca per la Valorizzazione qualitativa dei cereali  (CRA-QCE) [7/11/12] – Blue
  • Ebioscholar [7/11/12] Green
  • Engineering, Technology and Applied Science Research (ETASR) [16/11/12] Green
  • Ernst und Sohn [White] [19/11/12]
  • International Journal of Chemical and Petroleum Sciences (IJCPS) [16/11/12] Green
  • Mythopoeic Society [16/11/12] Green
  • Research Network of Computational and Structural Biotechnology (RNCSB [7/11/12] Green
  • Universidad Autónoma de Madrid, Facultad de Derecho, Departamento de Ciencia Política y Relaciones Internacionales, Grupo de Estudios de Relaciones Internacionales (GERI) [16/11/12] Blue
  • Universidade Federal de Campina Grande, Centro de Ciências Jurídicas e Sociais, Unidade Acadêmica de Ciências Contábeis [7/11/12] Green


Updated entries

Jane updated the following publisher entries:

  • American Association of Physics Teachers – Policy URL [16/11/12]
  • American Entomological Society – Main URL [8/11/12]
  • American Physiological Society –additional policy URL added [9/11/12]
  • Ashgate – PDF allowed [23/11/12]
  • Astronomical Society of the Pacific – main URL [8/11/12]
  • Canadian Ophthalmological Society – main URL [8/11/12]
  • Cancer Intelligence – Blue to Green [23/11/12]
  • Feinstein Institute for Medical Research – White to Blue [28/11/12]
  • Formifarma – main URL [8/11/12]
  • Geological Society – main URL [8/11/12]
  • Hemeroteca Científica Catalana – policy in relation to exceptions [20/11/12]
  • Inderscience – policy URL [9/11/12]
  • International Society for Stereology – PDF allowed [16/11/12]
  • OMICS Publishing Group – main URL [8/11/12]
  • Royal Pharamceutical Society – Main URL [8/11/12]
  • Soil Society of America – policy URL [28/11/12]


Journal Exceptions

  • American Institute of Physics
    • AIP Advances [9/11/12]
  • American Physiological Society
    • Journal of Neurophysiology [19/11/12]
  • Elsevier
    • Lancet [20/11/12]
  • Harvard University, Harvard Law School
    • Harvard Law Record [21/11/12]
  • Hemeroteca Científica Catalana
    • Catalan Historical Review [20/11/12]
    • International Microbiology [20/11/12]
    • Other CC-BY-NC-ND [20/11/12]
  • Portland Press
    • Creative Commons [19/11/12]






  • Action on Hearing Loss – policy URL [8/11/12]
  • Action on Hearing Loss- UKPMC to Europe PMC [7/11/12]
  • AHRC – added RCUK news release on Block grants [12/11/12]
  • Arthritis Research UK- UKPMC to Europe PMC [7/11/12]
  • Austrian Science Fund- UKPMC to Europe PMC [7/11/12]
  • BBSRC– added RCUK news release on Block grants [12/11/12]
  • BBSRC- UKPMC to Europe PMC [7/11/12]
  • Brain Tumour Trust- UKPMC to Europe PMC [7/11/12]
  • Breakthrough Breast Cancer – policy link [8/11/12]
  • Breakthrough Breast Cancer- UKPMC to Europe PMC [7/11/12]
  • British Heart Foundation- UKPMC to Europe PMC [7/11/12]
  • Canadian Health Services Research Foundation – main url [8/11/12]
  • Canadian Health Services Research Foundation name changed to Canadian Foundation for Healthcare Improvement [8/11/12]
  • Cancer Research UK- UKPMC to Europe PMC [7/11/12]
  • Chief Scientist Office, Scottish Executive- UKPMC to Europe PMC [7/11/12]
  • Department of Health- UKPMC to Europe PMC [7/11/12]
  • Dunhill Medical Trust- UKPMC to Europe PMC [7/11/12]
  • EPSRC – updated Data Policy ][19/11/12]
  • EPSRC– added RCUK news release on Block grants [12/11/12]
  • ESRC– added RCUK news release on Block grants [12/11/12]
  • European Research Council- UKPMC to Europe PMC [7/11/12]
  • IRC policy link , replaced with Draft Policy link [8/11/12]
  • Knut och Alice Wallenbergs Stiftelse – removed English name and updated policy links [27/11/12]
  • Marie Curie Cancer [6/11/12]
  • Medical Research Council – UKPMC to Europe PMC [7/11/12]
  • Motor Neuron Disease Association- UKPMC to Europe PMC [7/11/12]
  • MRC– added RCUK news release on Block grants [12/11/12]
  • NERC– added RCUK news release on Block grants [12/11/12]
  • North West Cancer Research Fund – main ULR [8/11/12]
  • Parkinson’s UK- UKPMC to Europe PMC [7/11/12]
  • Science Foundation Ireland- UKPMC to Europe PMC [7/11/12]
  • STFC– added RCUK news release on Block grants [12/11/12]
  • Telethon Foundation- UKPMC to Europe PMC [7/11/12]
  • Wellcome Trust – added note on CC-BY requirements from 1st April 2013 [16/11/12]
  • Wellcome Trust – Submission system to Europe PMC url updated [8/11/12]
  • Wellcome Trust – UKPMC to Europe PMC [7/11/12]


Geophysics for All: PLOS ONE at AGU

The American Geophysical Union Fall Meeting has arrived in San Francisco, and PLOS ONE is excited to be there at booth 1137 from Tuesday through Friday.

Geophysics is quite a broad field, including earth science, climate science, space science, and more. For this post, instead of trying to cover the whole spectrum, we decided to highlight one particularly explosive topic: volcanoes.

For ten days in August 2006, a submarine volcano in Tonga erupted after 22 years of dormancy, producing a temporary volcanic island. The eruption also created a pumice raft, which is exactly what it sounds like: a floating raft made of pumice, a volcanic rock. In a paper published this July, researchers reported that this pumice raft helped disperse more than 80 species, including barnacles, sponges, and corals, over 3,000 miles in 7-8 months. The authors conclude that such pumice rafting facilitates “massive transport of genetic material” and provides “lines of internal communication” between distant ocean regions, which may have implications for conservation and the spread of invasive pest species.

The end results of volcanic eruptions may be the most obviously noticeable part of the process, but the events preceding an eruption are also an active area of research. For example, the researchers behind a study published in May investigated how long huge pools of molten rock, or giant magma bodies, remain buried under the earth’s crust before they cause volcanic superuptions. Previous work indicated that one particular giant magma body, which was responsible for the Long Valley caldera in California, was long-lived and slow-evolving. The new work describes analysis of quartz samples from this area and suggests that the giant magma body was in fact relatively short-lived. The authors conclude that giant magma bodies are “rather ephemeral features, which quickly and effectively destroy themselves during supereruptions.”

These two studies provide just a small taste of the highly varied research in geophysics, and we’re excited to hear more at the meeting. We’re also excited to have representatives from PLOS Currents Disasters there to meet you. We hope you come visit us at booth 1137, and look forward to seeing you there.


Bryan SE, Cook AG, Evans JP, Hebden K, Hurrey L, et al. (2012) Rapid, Long-Distance Dispersal by Pumice Rafting. PLoS ONE 7(7): e40583. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0040583

Gualda GAR, Pamukcu AS, Ghiorso MS, Anderson AT Jr, Sutton SR, et al. (2012) Timescales of Quartz Crystallization and the Longevity of the Bishop Giant Magma Body. PLoS ONE 7(5): e37492. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0037492