Thursday, June 7, 2012

Modern Language Association Adopts New Open Access Policy

The Modern Language Association announced on Tuesday that it was adopting a new Open Access author friendly policy. From their press release: "The revised agreements leave copyright with the authors and explicitly permit authors to deposit in open-access repositories and post on personal or departmental Web sites the versions of their manuscripts accepted for publication." MLA webpage This is great news and one can hope that other associations start to follow suit. It has been a good month for open access advocates!

Friday, May 25, 2012

"Open Access: The People's Petition" - a blog posting by Richard Poynder

Richard Poynder's blog posting has a good overview of the petition and includes an interview with John Willbanks. It's a short, but worthwhile read. Academic librarians have been advocating for OA for more than a decade, but as pointed out in this blog posting, it is the public who need to get behind this push. As stated in the posting: "That something else became an initiative called Access2Research. The objective was to engage the public in the discussions about OA. As Wilbanks wrote on his blog, 'The only thing missing from the open access debate is the public.'" {emphasis mine}

Monday, May 21, 2012

Public Access to Federally Funded Research - Please sign the petition

Message from SPARC - Call to Action - Deadline June 19
We need 25,000 signatures.

Excerpts from SPARC message:  "As you know, the Obama Administration has been actively considering the issue of Public Access to the  results of Federally Funded Research this year. They have recently completed a year-long Interagency Working Group examination of the issue, and have had the opportunity to consider the public input contributed during the RFI process that ended in January. 

We now have a brief, critical window of opportunity to underscore our community's strong commitment to expanding the NIH Public Access Policy across all U.S. Federal Science Agencies. The Administration is currently considering which policy actions are priorities that will they will act on before the 2012 Presidential Election season swings into  high gear later this summer.  We need to ensure that Public Access is one of those priorities. 

To help accomplish this, SPARC will be working with our network of partner organizations across the library, 
publishing, research, student, and advocacy communities to post a petition to the White House's "We the People" site requesting action on this issue, starting on Monday, May 21st. If the petition garners 25,000 signatures within 30  days, it will be reviewed by White House staff, and considered for action. 

In order to reach this number, we need each and every SPARC member to do all that you can to activate your
networks, and to encourage as many colleagues to sign the petition as possible. Qualified signers must be at least 13  years old, have a valid email address, and come from inside or outside the U.S. Additional information - and the 
petition text - will be available at:

As you all know, we have worked extremely hard to get - and keep - the issue of public access to federally funded
research on the Administration's radar screen. We have been very successful in doing so, but illustrating the depth 
of public support represented by 25,000 signatures will help drive home the importance of this issue at a critical time. "

Thursday, May 3, 2012

Britain Announces Plan to Make Publicly Financed Research Freely Available

In the Wired Campus issued dated May 2, 2012, Jennifer Howard posted an article about the British 

government declaring that it wants to "make all research paid for with public money freely available 

online."  One can only hope that our legislators will take notice.

You can read the full article here -  and the following is a brief excerpt (emphasis mine.)

May 2, 2012, 2:35 pm

Throwing its weight behind open access, the British government has declared it wants to make all research paid for with public money freely available online. If it succeeds, the move is likely to have significant consequences for publishers, and will boost the international momentum of the open-access movement. But the government won’t share details about how it will make the plan a reality.
David Willetts (left), Britain’s minister for universities and science and a member of the Conservative Party, made the announcement today at the general meeting of the U.K. Publishers Association in London. (The full text of Mr. Willetts’s remarks is available here.) He shared the gist of the news in a column published yesterday in The Guardian newspaper.
“Giving people the right to roam freely over publicly funded research will usher in a new era of academic discovery and collaboration, and will put the U.K. at the forefront of open research,” Mr. Willetts wrote. “The challenge is how we get there without ruining the value added by academic publishers.”

Wednesday, February 29, 2012

"Values and Scholarship" - Letter from CIC Provosts supporting FRPAA

Provosts from the Committee on Institutional Cooperation
(Big 10 Universities, including the U of M) 
Original Source  and complete essay will be found here:

Excerpts From Inside Higher Education, Feb. 23, 2012
Values and Scholarship - 
February 23, 2012 - 3:00am

"We are the provosts of 11 large research universities that engage in over $5.6 billion of funded research each year. That research is directed at serving the public good through medical advances, improved defense systems, enhanced agricultural and industrial productivity, technological innovation, and reasoned social policy. In the aggregate, the outcomes of this research fuel America’s global leadership, improve the quality of life in our communities, and enrich the educational experience of our students.
While the collective portfolio of federally funded research undertaken by our universities incontrovertibly strengthens our country, the research process itself is strengthened by an academic culture that encourages the free and open exchange of ideas among scholars. Scholarship finds meaning through — and is continuously improved by — open sharing, critical assessment of peers, and incorporation into subsequent work.
As provosts and chief academic officers, we take pride in knowing that our campus colleagues are motivated, first and foremost, by the opportunity to advance the public good. Toward that end, our scholars seek to share information broadly as the most effective way to assure excellence — not just for themselves, or for a particular university, but for the relevance of their disciplines and the world-changing outcomes each can produce."

"Support for Open Access
Consistent with these deeply held academic norms, we provosts have advocated for taxpayer access to federally-funded research, writing, for example, a 2006 open letter in support of the Federal Research Public Access Act, and supporting this Congressional session’s proposed extension of the legislation (HR 4004/S 2009).
More operationally, our universities have made substantial investments in the development of open institutional repositories, as well as adopting campus guidelines and procedures to ensure compliance with federally mandated requirements that funded research results be made accessible in open access repositories. As stated above, we believe that open access to such federally-funded research reports facilitates scholarly collaboration, accelerates progress, and reinforces our government’s accountability to taxpayers and commitment to promoting an informed citizenry essential to the enduring stability of our democracy."

Read the rest of the essay at

Monday, February 27, 2012

Research Works Act is DOA

It was announced this morning that Elsevier had pulled its support for the Research Works Act.  Richard Poynder on his blog noted that Elsevier had posted a notice on its website withdrawing support for the bill.  This afternoon, the Chronicle announced that the legislation has died in Congress.

Whether it was the effect of the boycott which has resulted in over 7500 signatures or not, the fact remains that Congress still must pass the FRPAA 2012 to ensure and expand access to federally funded research.