Friday, December 28, 2007

New Collaboration for Scholarly Presses

In an article published in Inside Higher Education, 5 University presses are collaborating with the help of Mellon funded support. See article at


It has taken several years, but it is now official. Federally funded research results will be made accessible for the public. The following is the press release from SPARC:

President Bush signs omnibus appropriations bill,
including National Institutes of Health research access provision

"Washington, D.C. – December 26, 2007 – President Bush has signed into law the Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2007 (H.R. 2764), which includes a provision directing the National Institutes of Health (NIH) to provide the public with open online access to findings from its funded research. This is the first time the U.S. government has mandated public access to research funded by a major agency.

The provision directs the NIH to change its existing Public Access Policy, implemented as a voluntary measure in 2005, so that participation is required for agency-funded investigators. Researchers will now be required to deposit electronic copies of their peer-reviewed manuscripts into the National Library of Medicine’s online archive, PubMed Central. Full texts of the articles will be publicly available and searchable online in PubMed Central no later than 12 months after publication in a journal.

"Facilitated access to new knowledge is key to the rapid advancement of science," said Harold Varmus, president of the Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center and Nobel Prize Winner. "The tremendous benefits of broad, unfettered access to information are already clear from the Human Genome Project, which has made its DNA sequences immediately and freely available to all via the Internet. Providing widespread access, even with a one-year delay, to the full text of research articles supported by funds from all institutes at the NIH will increase those benefits dramatically."

"Public access to publicly funded research contributes directly to the mission of higher education,” said David Shulenburger, Vice President for Academic Affairs at NASULGC (the National Association of State Universities and Land-Grant Colleges). “Improved access will enable universities to maximize their own investment in research, and widen the potential for discovery as the results are more readily available for others to build upon.”

“Years of unrelenting commitment and dedication by patient groups and our allies in the research community have at last borne fruit,” said Sharon Terry, President and CEO of Genetic Alliance. “We’re proud of Congress for their unrelenting commitment to ensuring the success of public access to NIH-funded research. As patients, patient advocates, and families, we look forward to having expanded access to the research we need.”

“Congress has just unlocked the taxpayers’ $29 billion investment in NIH,” said Heather Joseph, Executive Director of SPARC (the Scholarly Publishing and Academic Resources Coalition, a founding member of the ATA). “This policy will directly improve the sharing of scientific findings, the pace of medical advances, and the rate of return on benefits to the taxpayer."

Joseph added, “On behalf of the Alliance for Taxpayer Access, I’d like to thank everyone who worked so hard over the past several years to bring about implementation of this much-needed policy.”

For more information, and a timeline detailing the evolution of the NIH Public Access Policy beginning May 2004, visit the ATA Web site at"

Tuesday, November 6, 2007

Thursday, November 1, 2007

NIH Bill Advances in the Senate

From American Libraries Direct :

"Senate Okays Public Access to Medical Research"

"The U.S. Senate approved October 23 a measure that mandates the deposit of peer-reviewed articles researched with the support of the National Institutes of Health to be deposited into the National Library of Medicine’s PubMed Central database for public availability within 12 months of publication.

The provision is part of the Senate’s $605.5-billion version of H.R. 3043, the FY2008 appropriation for the departments of Labor, Health and Human Services, and Education. The American Library Association’s Washington Office reports that the Senate has recommended $171.5 million of that amount for grants under the Library Services and Technology Act, which is $5 million more than the House approved in July. The two chambers must reconcile the versions, along with six other spending bills passed by both houses, before sending them to the White House.

According to the October 24 CongressDaily online news, President Bush has threatened to veto H.R. 3043 because the discretionary spending portion is some 5% more than appropriated for FY2007, compared to the 2.5% cut proposed by the administration.

The passage by the Senate was hailed by Heather Joseph of the Scholarly Publishing and Academic Resources Coalition (SPARC) as “a milestone victory [that] sets the stage for researchers, patients, and the general public to benefit in new and important ways from our collective investment in the critical biomedical research conducted by the National Institutes of Health.” First proposed in 2004 by a House subcommittee, unfettered public access to peer-reviewed research has been opposed by the publishing industry. The initial compromise struck was the 2005 establishment of a voluntary deposit program, which has yielded open access to less than 5% of the eligible medical literature, according to the Alliance for Taxpayer Access.

SPARC and ALA are among 41 groups of educators and patient and health-policy advocates that formed the Alliance in 2004.

Posted October 27, 2007."

Friday, September 14, 2007

Inside Higher Ed - Summary of historical factors that have made an impact on system of scholarly publishing

Although the title of the article could be misleading, the author does provide a summary of the factors contributing to the difficult times university presses currently face. See "Ronald Reagan vs. the University Press" by James F. Reische, Sept. 14 issue.

Monday, September 10, 2007

Serials Price Increases

Our vendor, EBSCO, recently released two reports:
Serials Price Projections and Cost History
with projections for our 2008 subscriptions. Overall estimated increases are anticipated to be between 6 to 8%. These are the basic figures we use to start to prepare for our budget requests for the 2008-09 year.

Those interested in looking at the past five years can see a chart of the trends for serials price increases from 2003-2007.

Friday, September 7, 2007

FUD and NIH Legislation

FUD = "Fear Uncertainty and Doubt" and is a method used to provide misleading information. As reported in Peter Suber's blog today, the Copyright Alliance has issued a press release with further misinformation related to the NIH Legislation. As per Peter's blog, the membership of the Copyright Alliance includes Reed Elsevier as well as other commercial interests:

"Most of its members are not in academic publishing and not even close (e.g. Motion Picture Association of America, National Association for Stock Car Auto Racing, National Football League, and the Walt Disney Company) and must be very new to this issue. But two of its members are Reed Elsevier and the Association of American Publishers (AAP), which recently launched PRISM. It appears that they made the kind of pitch to the larger organization that they made online through PRISM, and heads nodded around the table. Now CA’s weight is behind their cause. Too bad someone on staff didn’t check the facts."

Anthropology Association and Scholarly Communication

I missed this due to being on the road, but the Anthropology Association has decided to migrate from the University of California Press (open access friendly) to Wiley-Blackwell. The Wiley-Blackwell merger was of concern to many librarians because of the further concentration of publishers. See the following for more details:

Tuesday, September 4, 2007

University of California Report - "Faculty Attitudes and Behaviors Regarding Scholarly Communication"

As noted in today's Sept. 4th, Inside Higher Education
the University of California has completed a survey of faculty attitudes about scholarly communication. From the UC Office of Scholarly Communication:

"The University of California Office of Scholarly Communication announces 'Faculty Attitudes and Behaviors Regarding Scholarly Communication: Survey Findings from the University Of California' which analyzes over 1,100 survey responses covering a range of scholarly communication issues from faculty in all disciplines and all tenure-track ranks. The
report provides summary and detailed evidence of a UC community of scholars that:
* Is strongly interested in scholarly communication issues;
* Conforms to conventional behavior in scholarly publication, albeit with significant beachheads on a number of fronts;
* Feels strongly that promotion and tenure processes impede the potential for change;
* Is concerned about maintaining quality in the face of innovation;
* Is aware of alternative forms of dissemination but concerned about preserving their current publishing outlet;
* Displays a gap between attitudes toward copyright management and actual behavior;
* May find the Arts and Humanities disciplines as the most fertile for University-sponsored initiatives in scholarly communication.

These and other high-level findings are extracted from the in-depth 32-item survey. The full report (124 pages) provides detailed results for each question, including analysis of responses by discipline and by faculty rank. The full report, executive summary, and the survey
instrument are available at the "Publications & Activities" page of the UC Office of Scholarly Communication,
Findings will be used to assist the University in ongoing efforts to strategically plan and implement a range of scholarly publishing and communication services, to contribute to and inform responses to policy proposals and other environmental developments, and to guide outreach and education activities that deepen the University community'sunderstanding of the rapid evolution of scholarly communication systems.

By sharing the results widely and openly, the OSC also contributes to the body of similar work in the UK, and elsewhere, in the hope that it will inform scholarly communication program planning for others.

The University of California's Office of Scholarly Communication (OSC) was founded in 2004 to assist the University and its ten campuses to create an environment that fosters, and a policy and service infrastructure that enables, the maximum dissemination and impact of the
University's scholarship, and cost-effective access to the scholarshipof others. The OSC facilitates internal partnerships among the UC libraries, faculty, and administration and, where appropriate, in concert with entities outside of UC. It collaborates closely with theCalifornia Digital Library,and its eScholarship program,which facilitates innovation and supports experimentation in the production and dissemination of scholarship. More information is available at"

Thursday, August 30, 2007

Publishers Fighting Public Access to Publicly Funded Research

A recent announcement from ARL regarding the PRISM coalition of publishers working to prevent public access policies ( "There's lots of commentary out there and as usual Peter Suber is staying right on top of it ( I want to take the opportunity to point out an issue brief that ARL created last winter when the news of publishers' plans for a smear campaign broke. You can find it at " A copy is also available from the Library website for faster access.

Information on the NIH proposal is available from our Scholarly Communication web pages. We'd like to hear your thoughts on the campaign by publishers to prevent public access policies.

Links to related articles

9/11/2007 "Project of Publishers' Association Is Criticized by Some of Its Members and Open-Access Advocates" - update in Chronicle of Higher Education, Sept. 11

"University-Press Leader Quit Publishers' Panel Over Anti-Open-Access Campaign", Chronicle of Higher Ed, Sept. 11, 2007

"Critics Say Publishers' PRISM Initiative Causing More Discord than Discussion "

Friday, August 3, 2007

University Publishing in a Digital Age

University Publishing in a Digital Age (Ithaka Report) July 23, 2007
This report was released July 23, 2007 and has already received a lot of press. Because University Presses play a significant role in academic publishing in the humanities and social sciences, faculty may want to review in order to be aware of the proposals and recommendations made in this report.

And what others are saying about it:

"Ideas to Shake up Publishing" , Inside Higher Ed

"Sailing from Ithaka", Inside Higher Ed - "The Ithaka Report may very well turn out to be a turning point in the recent history, not only of scholarly publishing, but of scholarship itself."

"Universities should support a broader concept of publishing in the digital age, report says." Chronicle of Higher Ed

Rice U Will Start First All Digital Press, Chronicle of Higher Ed

* ACRLog blog entry by Barbara Fister, Gustavus College

*Future of the Book blog

* Library Journal blog entry by Roy Tennant