Two new Open Access bills generating buzz

A bill not unlike the NIH Public Access policy has been introduced in the United States Congress, laying a framework for increased access to science and technology research conducted with publicly-funded support.

From Library Journal:

The Fair Access to Science and Technology Research Act (FASTR) was introduced on February 14 in both the Senate and the House of Representatives. If passed, FASTR would require government agencies with annual extramural research expenditures of more than $100 million make electronic manuscripts of peer-reviewed journal articles based on their research freely available on the Internet within six months of publication in a peer-reviewed journal.

Major library advocacy organizations such as the ALA, ACRL, and SPARC (among others) have come out in support of the FASTR Act.

Commercial publishers’ response to the bill has, predictably, been cold. The American Association of Publishers (AAP) is arguing that the policy would be wasteful of taxpayers money, and that it would not serve the need of all scientific disciplines.

A day later, a more general bill that would mandate the creation of Open Access policies at public universities in Illinois was introduced to the Illinois State Legislature. Possible positive outcomes of this bill include:

  • Free online access to all research published at public universities and colleges in Illinois
  • Increased support for Open Access institutional repositories, which will inevitably become the infrastructure that supports the sharing and preservation of research created in Illinois
  • More awareness of, and support for, digital preservation at the university level

Areas for concern include:

  • The granting of “worldwide copyright license granted by the author to the public.” This provision will likely have faculty up in arms, as the bill calls for what is essentially a CC-BY license to be applied to all work produced by faculty–allowing others to use and share their work in nearly any way they see fit, even for commercial gain.
  • Blanket applicability to all disciplines even though there is more resistance to OA from arts and humanities scholars, who do not benefit from the practice in the same way that science researchers do.

Hopefully, at the very least these bills will both engender some much-needed debate in Congress about the mission of universities as creators of knowledge for the public good rather than profit.

A Guide to Text and Data Mining at Indiana University Bloomington

Kim D, Yu H (2011) Figure Text Extraction in Biomedical Literature. PLoS ONE 6(1): e15338. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0015338
Kim D, Yu H (2011) Figure Text Extraction in Biomedical Literature. PLoS ONE 6(1): e15338. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0015338

Text and data mining of academic databases are becoming increasingly popular ways to conduct research. They can allow scholars to make connections not previously discovered, or find solutions more quickly and efficiently. Such research has also gotten some researchers into trouble for alleged copyright and contract violations, when practiced without due diligence into existing legal restrictions.

For IU researchers interested in accessing the Libraries’ digital journals, databases, special collections (specifically, HathiTrust), and other subscription content for the purposes of text or data mining, we’ve put together a quick-and-dirty guide to text and data mining at IUB. Check it out and let us know what you think in the comments.

Quality – it’s what we want to publish

Over the summer, IU Bloomington’s Provost, Lauren Robel, announced the creation of the Office of Scholarly Publishing.  The OSP includes the IU Press and IUScholarWorks among other endeavors and is sure to grow.  Since the announcement I have been invited to be a part of many discussions about the OSP’s strategic plan, exploring how the IU Press and IUScholarWorks could coalesce around something new.  Yes, this is very exciting.

This is the first post in which I’ll stress a few points from these converstaions.  I will continue to share as we explore our Press-Library partnership.

At my first meeting, I threw out the question: What is it we want to do together?  And IU Press Director, Janet Rabinowitch threw back a one word answer:  Quality!  We want to continue to publish quality.  Yes!  This was the sort of response we all appreciated.  It’s also something IUScholarWorks has grappled with through innumerable conversations only to fall short of how we can ensure that IUScholarWorks is publishing quality scholarship.

I know it’s not easy to accomplish and that my view here is simplistic, but the Press has a system in place to ensure quality scholarship.  They vet each publication that come to them before they consider publishing it.  Their expert staff is good at judging whether a publication adds value to the field.  If they do publish it, they not only have a team of in-house editors who work to ensure quality, but the Press is also plugged into a/peer reviewing system which sends manuscripts out for review.  How the Press operates in these circles for their monographs and journals may be different, particularly for journals for which the journal editors may play a key role in sending manuscripts out for review.

What do the vetting and credentialing systems look like for IUScholarWorks?  We essentially do not vet publications for quality when they approach of for support.  This is not a particular problem for our journals because the editors of the journals have the primary responsibility for providing reviewing systems for their publications.  But for most every other type of publication that asks for our support, we are simply un-involved.  In most cases, this does not present problems for authors as they too are unconcerned about our involvement.  Rather they are confident that their scholarship has been created in a system by which their peers have been involved at various levels and at significant points along the way.  But for some, particularly in the humanities, they look to us to help them find a way to credential their works so that their originial publicaitons may be published in our open access systems.  More often than we sometimes care to admit, we have to tell them we aren’t able to support this part of the publishing process, yet.

Much work, though, is on the horizon and we intend to take advantage of credentially systems based on crowd concepts.  Commons in a Box and PressForward come to mind as does Open Monograph Press.

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.


IU Libraries and Open Access

Dr. Katy Börner explains a visualization built on open Wikipedia data at the IU Libraries' Open Data Visualizations for the Sciences and Humanities brown bag on October 24, 2012.
Dr. Katy Börner explains a visualization built on open Wikipedia data at the IU Libraries’ Open Data Visualizations for the Sciences and Humanities brown bag on October 24, 2012.

The week of October 22-28 was designated as the sixth annual Open Access Week, during which members of the academic and research community across the globe hosted events to recognize and promote the value of open access publication. For IU Libraries, Open Access Week was an opportunity to introduce researchers and students to our many open access tools and experts, answer questions about these services and technologies, and help scholars discover new ways to engage with and benefit from open access publishing.

Facilitating open access publication is a priority for Indiana University Libraries. The IU Libraries exist to support all aspects of scholarship at IU – from providing materials, tools, and services for research to promoting innovation in teaching and learning. Increasingly, we are also called upon to develop and implement diverse channels for scholarly communications. While traditional publication methods remain essential to many disciplines, these new, highly accessible models offer scholars unprecedented opportunities for sharing their findings and engaging in real-time global discussions that can dramatically enhance their work.

Open access literature, as defined by Peter Suber of the Harvard Open Access Project, is “digital, online, free of charge, and free of most copyright and licensing restrictions.” This type of publication can broaden the availability of research findings, forging greater connections among scholars and learners and increasing the pace at which discoveries can build upon one another. These capabilities call to mind the principles outlined in the Intellectual Freedom Manual of the American Library Association:

“Intellectual freedom can exist only where two essential conditions are met: first, that all individuals have the right to hold any belief on any subject and to convey their ideas in any form they deem appropriate, and second, that society makes an equal commitment to the right of unrestricted access to information and ideas regardless of the communication medium used, the content of work, and the viewpoints of both the author and the receiver of information.”  (Intellectual Freedom Manual. Introduction. 8th edition, 2010, p. xvii.)

Our continual goals are to uphold these principles of intellectual freedom, respond to the information resource needs of the communities we serve, and preserve information for future generations. To meet these objectives, we have developed a suite of library-based open access publishing services for Indiana University. Gathered under the heading of IUScholarWorks, these services enable researchers to preserve and share their work in a persistent online repository, store and archive their data in searchable formats, and even publish and manage new online journals that remain freely available worldwide.

For an increasing number of IU scholars, these and other open access tools represent a new frontier for scholarly communication. By removing restrictions in research availability and hastening the publication process, open access models capitalize on new technologies to create a thriving global network of interconnected scholars who can quickly respond to advancements within and beyond their fields.

 

Judge Dismisses Hathi Trust Law Suit

Earlier this month, a judge in the U.S. District Court in Manhattan threw out  a law suit brought against Hathi Trust, Indiana University, and four other R1 university libraries by the Authors Guild, Inc. and other author rights organizations and individuals. The lawsuit alleged that by digitizing millions of works that the universities owned–many of which are considered orphan works or are no longer under copyright–the rights of authors were violated.

The judge’s decision found that the digitization project falls squarely under the Fair Use provision of copyright law, and described the Hathi Trust project as an “invaluable contribution to the progress of science and cultivation of the arts” and a boon for the visually impaired and others who are considered print-disabled.

Read more about the ruling over at the Chronicle of Higher Education.

View from a GA, Part One

My name is Nick Farris and I’m the new GA at IUScholarWorks.  I will be assisting ScholarWorks through 2013 with supporting data services on dspace and providing OJS support. Rather than give a standard, book report sounding post- I think Stacy’s post below is great jumping off point into my brief experience here at IUScholarWorks. Salo’s Innkeeper at the Roach Motel, while provocative, still seems to be as relevant today as it was in 2008.

Some of the hurtles mentioned in Salo’s article still seem to be around. It seems like the IRS were first created with the expectation that faculty would just come by and quickly provide content. This strikes me as the primary reason that IRs with broad goals have failed to quickly provide a great deal of open access content. In economics, we constantly told to think about incentives that are created by certain policy decisions or institutions. The incentives created by such an open-ended, meandering IR aren’t ideal from the scholar’s prospective- in so far as the scholars considering depositing have little practical upside (beyond perhaps getting their work to the public, the abstract future benefit of helping develop a more efficient, cost-effective method of scholarly communication) but bare the rather concrete downside risks (time investment, being scoped/plagiarized by other people). Of course, I think it is likely that greater open access of academic work would greatly benefit the academic community as a whole- but the individual incentives don’t align in a way that makes such a task easy to carry out.

I think every IR managers dream at this point is to a Harvard or UC like mandate that all works of a certain type must be deposited in the institutional repository at the end of the academic year. After all, this makes the process significantly easier- rather than hounding weary academics for journal articles or attempts to market the term “open access” to 60 year old professors, the school just makes the IR an integral part of the academic reporting at the end of the year.

While perhaps the original concept behind IRs was slightly too optimistic, I think IRs still have the power to be relevant without broad, institution-wide mandates. For example, many large grant funding organizations (such as the NSF or NIH) are now going about the process of creating policies that publicly-funded research must be archived so that the public can make use of it. ScholarWorks has been at the forefront of creating personalized, individual plans to help researchers archive large amounts of their datasets into the scholarworks and then help with the compliance paperwork. I suspect that these types of projects will become increasingly common and important over the next decade.

One last note- and not a particular well-thought out one at that- but last week’s EconTalk (which along with NPR’s Planet Money are the best economics/finance podcasts around) dealt with the closely associated topic of the problems of academic incentives in scientific research and publishing. While I often hear librarians complain about publishers for financial reasons, Professor Nosek brought up a whole host of reasons that the entire journal-based scholarly communication method is troublesome for its most fundamental goal of producing robust, reproducible science (ie the incentives to publish bombastic positive results but few to publish negative ones, the file drawer effect, and the lack of interest in publishing verifications).  He recommended services like Open Science Framework and the PsychFileDrawer that has many similarities to IRs (posting pre-prints, allowing the general community to review and discuss articles and data, etc ). I wonder to the extent that university IRs could assist or promote this practice. Could an IR provide the tools to help this conversation along? Maybe next month’s post can highlight this theme in more depth.

Sources: http://www.econtalk.org/archives/2012/09/nosek_on_truth.html

Archiving Conference Works in IUScholarWorks Repository

The IUScholarWorks Open Access Research Repository can be an excellent archive for IU conference and workshop presentations in whatever form they take.  Often times these types of materials are difficult,  perhaps impossible, to locate after the event.  If there is value in preserving these materials and making them available at a permanent Internet location, please contact us.

To participate in the Repository, the rightsholder (in all likelihood, the presenter) needs to be able to accept the Repository’s non-exclusive license.  While it is best to have the license accepted before the event, it is possible to track down presenters from past events in order for their materials to be archived.

It is not necessary to have every presentation from a conference or workshop archived in the Repository.  It is possible to deposit the event program so that users may understand the full scope of the event when all presentations are not available.  It is also possible for rightsholders to opt for a Creative Commons license to their work when they elect to archive them in the Repository.

If this service could extend the value of a conference or workshop, please contact IUScholarWorks staff.   We will help devise a workflow for the responsible group that will result in a collection similar to the Latin American Music Center’s 50th Anniversary Cultural Counterpoints conference.