Monday, November 1, 2010

Right to Research Coalition

Right to Research Coalition is a student organization focused on Open Access. They have just launched a new redesigned website. Check it out at

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Letter from SPARC regarding OA Week HIghlights

The following letter provides highlights of OA Week activities this year:

"An Open Access Week letter from SPARC

The largest, most successful International Open Access Week yet has just come to a close. With just under 900 participants in 94 countries, this year’s event was no less than three times larger than it was just a year ago. Hundreds of videos, photos, blog posts, and more were released to promote and highlight the benefits of Open Access to research and take the conversation even more deeply into the research community – and they absolutely did.

We could celebrate the week as a success in numbers like these alone, but the numbers really only tell part of the story.

The increase in diversity of participants is even more telling. Started as a student-driven event in 2007 with support from SPARC and the library community, Open Access Day was at first a library-centric affair. Having grown in recognition and participation every year since, in 2010 we truly began to make deep inroads into the academy.

The student stake in the conversation on access continues to grow more firm, but this year participants from the academy – including humanists, climate change scientists, provosts, research funders, Nobelists, and lawyers – really took advantage of the occasion to share their insights on how Open Access has had an impact on their work and lives.

Nobel prize-winning scientist and director of the U.S. National Cancer Institute Dr. Harold Varmus participated in the official OA Week kick-off event, saying, with respect to where open-access publishing has reached and what’s now possible: “All of these adventures are tremendously exciting because they markedly enrich the experience of being a scientist, of reading the work of others, and of exchanging views with others in the scientific community.” Dr. Varmus’s comments are online at

In his video, Dr. Nico Sommerdijk, associate professor of Chemical Engineering and Chemistry at the Dutch Eindhoven University of Technology, expresses a need for moving beyond traditional publishing approaches to share data. He made his research data openly available so that now, “Everybody can access [the data set] directly with one click of your computer mouse. People may use the same data set for things that we were not looking for and so generate new science with the same scientific data set.” (

The stories that were shared are inspiring, but so was the creativity of the delivery.

In Portugal, the Polytechnic Institute of Santarém held a portion of their Open Access Week program in Second Life. (

Students at Boston University made a video to illustrate that studying without access to the resources you need is like having half a sock to wear, half a hotdog to eat, or half a book to read (

And, in Open Families (, scientists relate in personal and compelling terms how Open Access to the research and data they produce, as well as that produced by others, is not just a professional cause for them but a family affair.

All these contributions to the conversation – in writing, photo, and video – are a fantastic resource that will help us all to continue the conversation over the course of the year and beyond, and are a sure sign of the growing momentum behind Open Access Week. Of course, the growing size and power of the global network also continues to impress.

Open Access Week 2010 was also a great reminder to us of the work and opportunities that lie ahead. We’ve isolated a need to dig deeper into the academy and find ways to meet faculty on their own terms – to find ways to bring Open Access Week, so to speak, to campus every day of the year. While we’ve made crucial advances, we’ve only just started to make the inroads needed to engage the community of scholars and researchers.

We’ve made fantastic progress, with awareness-raising around Week and with advancing Open Access as a new norm in scholarship. Congratulations to every single person who worked so hard to ensure the success of the event – locally, regionally, nationally, and globally. And, thank you.

SPARC also extends special thanks to the members of the 2010 Open Access Week program advisers (, SPARC members (, and everyone we’ve had the pleasure in working with this year. Thank you.

Naturally, there’s more to come. Watch for more OA Week round-up materials from SPARC, including more videos, throughout the week. And, course, there’s Open Access Week 2011 to look forward to! We'll look forward to seeing you at then.

Warm wishes,

Heather Joseph, Executive Director"

Monday, October 25, 2010

OA Week

Steven Harnard posted the following:
"Eleven new mandates in response to the OA Week OA Mandate Challenge raises institutional adoptions to 102 (plus 4 proposed) and departmental adoptions to 26 (4 plus four proposed). There are also 46 funder mandates (and 8 proposed) for a total of 174 mandates (plus 16 proposed).

If you know of an OA mandate -- already adopted or proposed -- that has not yet been registered, please register it (or encourage a relevant official to register it) in ROARMAP during OA Week."

Monday, August 23, 2010

Update on Public Hearings for Public Access to Federally Funded Research

A report on the panels that took place on July 29th will be found on the Alliance for Taxpayers Access page at Congress is on recess until September 9th, but you can still contact your representatives and let them know where you stand on the issue.

Sunday, June 6, 2010

Help us expand access to research

In September, 2009, President Brian Rosenberg, along with 56 other presidents of liberal arts colleges, signed a letter in support of legislation that would make government-funded research freely available online.

On April 15, 2010, a bill was introduced in the U.S. House of Representatives with this purpose. Currently, publishing rights to much of government-sponsored research goes to private companies who charge for access.

You can help too: Contact your representatives (Senate, House) and express your support for public access to taxpayer-funded research.

For more information, please visit the Alliance for Taxpayer Access.

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

University Presidents in Support of FRPAA

"A coalition of President, Provosts, and research Vice Presidents of 27 of the nation’s leading research universities and colleges has issued an open letter calling for greatly increased public access to the results of research funded by major federal agencies, including the National Institutes of Health, National Science Foundation, Department of Defense, and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

The letter has been issued in support of the Federal Research Public Access Act (FRPAA), which is currently working its way through Congress. The letter notes that FRPAA “builds upon the success of the first U.S. policy for public access to publicly funded research – implemented in 2008 through the National Institutes of Health – and mirrors the intent of campus-based policies for research access that are being adopted by a growing number of public and private institutions across the nation.

“We believe that this legislation represents a watershed and provides an opportunity for the entire U.S. higher education and research community to draw upon their traditional partnerships and collaboratively realize the unquestionably good intentions of the Bill’s framers – broadening access to publicly funded research in order to accelerate the advancement of knowledge and maximize the related public good,” the letter says.

The signers of the letter are representatives of, among other institutions, Harvard, Dartmouth, Princeton, Cornell, Duke, Indiana Universities, two campuses of the University of Texas, the University of California system and two of its individual campuses, Stanford University, Tulane University, and Rutgers, the State University of New Jersey.

The letter has been posted on the website of Steven E. Hyman, Harvard Provost and a signer, at"
[Harvard University]

Friday, February 19, 2010

How can you support open access?

According to a recent session held in DC for the Association of Research Libraries, open access to research is "inevitable". From the session:
"I now believe that having public access to most scholarly communications is inevitable," said David Shulenburger, vice president for academic affairs at the Association of Public and Land-Grant Universities. " Chronicle of Higher Education

Leola Johnson, Humanities, Media, and Cultural Studies, had an article published recently in the International Journal of Communication, a peer-reviewed, open access journal. This journal allows authors to retain their copyright as well as making articles freely accessible.

If you want to make your published articles openly accessible, please consider reviewing your rights as an author. Will the journal allow you to post a pre-print or post-peer reviewed version in our Selected Works? Another option for Macalester faculty is to request support from the library fund that will pay author fees to cover the costs some journals require to make an article openly accessible. For more information, please contact your liaison librarian and we will be happy to work with you regarding your rights in disseminating your scholarly work as broadly as possible.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Google Book Project - more on settlement

"Hurtling Toward the Finish Line: Should the Google Books Settlement be Approved?" Ivy Anderson of the California Digital Library has a very thoughtful article that is worth reading about the pros and cons of the Google Book Project.

In April, during National Library Week, we will have the opportunity to hear Jack Bernard, Assistant General Counsel at the University of Michigan, and Mac alum from the Class of '88, talk about his work on the Google Book Project. He will be joined by Wendy Pradt Lougee, University Librarian and McKnight Presidential Professor at the University of Minnesota, Twin Cities. We will post additional information about this event, but you can mark your calendars now for Friday, April 16th, 12 noon in the John B. Davis Lecture Hall.

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Upcoming SPARC Webcast: Feb 17

In a February 17th SPARC Webcast, Catherine Mitchell of the California Digital Library and Laura Cerutti of the University of California Press will talk about the University of California Publishing Services (UCPubS), a program intended to respond to the publishing needs within the University of California and “leverage the power of the University of California’s publishing and scholarly communications network”.

Library-press partnerships in action: The new University of California Publishing Services
A SPARC Webcast
Wednesday, February 17, 2010
Noon – 1:00PM CST
Registration is free, but required. RSVP by February 15 at

What is SPARC?