Highlights from Open Access Week 2012 at IUB

This year’s Open Access Week events at Indiana University-Bloomington were a resounding success. Due in large part to new cross-campus partnerships, the Scholarly Communication department was able to bring a series of six events to students and faculty from October 22-26.

Naz answers a question about how copyright law affects Open Access at Monday’s event

Librarians Jen Laherty and Nazareth Pantaloni kicked off the week on Monday with their talk “Making Your Work Open Access,” which focused on IU-specific resources for those new to OA publishing. Dr. Urs Schoepflin of Max Planck Gesellschaft fuer Wissenschaftsgeschichte (Berlin) gave a talk on Monday afternoon titled “Challenges for the Humanities: Scholarly Work and Publishing in the Digital Age.” The event, sponsored by Sawyer Seminar (Mellon Foundation), Catapult Center for Digital Humanities, and HPSC brought together faculty and librarians from across the campus for a great discussion on experiences in supporting Open Access digital humanities projects.

On Tuesday, Business/SPEA and Law School graduate students attended a lecture (co-sponsored by GPSO) led by Christina Sheley, Cindy Dabney, and Stacy Konkiel on how to use the popular subject repository, Social Science Research Network.

Will Cowan (Digital Library Program) explains the Oufinopo Database of public domain film noir clips at Wednesday’s event

Science was also on the mind of those who attended Wednesday’s DLP brown bag, “Open Data Visualizations for the Sciences and Humanities,” featuring researchers from across the campus that use visualizations based on open data to power their work. The event, which was the first brown bag held at the new IQ Wall in the Wells Library East Tower, was the week’s best attended.

Thursday’s grad student-focused brown bag, “Real Experiences with Open Access,” featured Dean David W. Lewis (IUPUI), who described the OA publishing landscape via video conference to audiences at

Graduate students listen to Dean David W. Lewis’s lecture on Open Access at Thursday’s brown bag event

IU Bloomington and IUPUI. The event, co-organized by IUB SLIS students Laura Manifold and Margaret Janz and librarian Kristi Palmer at IUPUI, and co-sponsored by the GPSO, was the most popular graduate student event of the week. Asked why she chose to participate in Open Access Week, Manifold explained, “I really believe Open Access is an integral part of the library’s future.  As an MLIS graduate student, it’s important to me to get my peers involved in what will be the norm for scholarship and research.” Janz agreed, adding: “Open Access is a great -and necessary- shift in scholarly communication, not just for graduate students, but for all scholars and researchers. It’s goes beyond issues of library budgets; open sharing of information is essential for advancing research on a global scale.”

Friday saw the final event for Open Access Week at IU Bloomington, “Complying with the NIH Public Access Mandate.” The workshop helped attendees understand the OA-friendly federal mandate, and showcased the tools used to make NIH-sponsored research freely available to the public.

The IU Libraries and the new Office of Scholarly Publishing rounded out the week by releasing a statement explaining their support for Open Access. The statement, available here on the Scholarly Communication Department’s blog, sums up the reasons why facilitating Open Access publishing is a priority for the Libraries.

The Scholarly Communication Department would like to thank the GPSO for their co-sponsorship of our events. We would also like to thank our workshop leaders, participants, and SLIS students Laura Manifold and Margaret Janz.

View from a GA, Part 2

I just wanted to provide everyone with several updates about my ongoing work at IU ScholarWorks. October has been an exciting month.  One of the interesting events that happened was Open Access Week, in which librarians reached out to the general academic community to preach the merits of open access. Jen and Naz gave a talk called “Making Your Research Open Access”, directed at researchers interested in learning more about Open Access and the Institutional Repository.  Judging by the turnout, it was a success by any measure.

I was also given an opportunity to give a workshop on the NIH Public Access Policy. The NIH’s policy ensures that the public has open access to the published results of research funded by NIH award grants. While there have been some open access victories in other areas, I considered the NIH’s Public Access Policy to be on the better conceived and executed large open access projects. Not only has it provided millions of scientific work to the public for free, but it has also achieved a sufficient compromise with authors and publishers. With authors, the mandate comes as part of the grant award funding- if the research is “directly” funded by the grant, the author must make the work available to the public within 12 months of publication. Failure to do so will lead to both the PI and Insitutions having problem gaining NIH funding in the future. Perhaps more importantly then just creating abstract mandates for public access (like the NSF currently does), the NIH created a system that is remarkably easy to navigate, find information and submit document in one centralized database.

While general IR submission rates are relatively low, NIH compliance is roughly around 75% according to some studies of the issue, both because of ease of use and incentives created by the need for future funding. Just as importantly, the policy does make compromises not to upset the apple-cart of the current scholarly publishing model. The author still submits to the traditional academic journals in the usual fashion and is given a 12 month buffer between the time of publication and the time in which the article must be posted in pub med central. As it turns out, publishers are still doing just fine under this arrangement, as Elsevier continues to post a decent profit margin. Many journals’ voluntary compliance and submission (via Method A) has made the process extremely easy on authors. Granted, even this generous compromise in the favor of publisher is still being disputed by some large publishers, as clearly displayed by bills like “The Research Works Act” (H.R. 3699) that have attempted (and failed so far) to revoke the public access requirement.

Anyway, librarians should think about NIH Public Access requirement both as a model (for other funding agencies) and in the context of their own attempts to promulgate open access. Thinking about what the NSF might do (as of 2010 they promulgated a data sharing policy, intended to require data management plans as part of all proposals responding to NSF grant funding solicitations) will also be important as researchers look to libraries for assistance in archive large datasets online. I tend to think that such mandate either at funding levels or institutional levels might be a large boon for institutional repositories.