Re: Excerpts from FOS Newsletter

From: Peter Suber <>
Date: Mon, 25 Feb 2002 20:34:32 +0000

      Excerpts from the Free Online Scholarship (FOS) Newsletter
      February 25, 2002

More on the Budapest Open Access Initiative

Since its launch on February 14, the BOAI has attracted participants and
press attention. Over 1,000 individuals and several dozen organizations
have signed on during the last week. It's especially gratifying to see
among the institutional signatories a growing number of journals, library
consortia, and universities. Some of the new names are the Library of
Congress, the Association of Research Libraries, the Canadian Association
of Research Libraries, the University of Pittsburgh, and the Australian
Vice Chancellors Committee.

Remember that you can help the cause by signing the online document,
persuading your institution to sign it, and spreading the word. We've also
written a good-sized list of specific actions that people can take
depending on their position --researchers, librarians, editors, publishers,
or representatives of universities, foundations, professional societies, or

This week we've also added French and German translations of the BOAI

BOAI Home page

What you can do to help

(The FAQ and the list of ways you can help, above, will remain open to

See who has signed

Sign it yourself

* Here are some news stories about BOAI that have appeared since the last
issue of FOSN

ALPSP response to the BOAI
(The only criticism I've seen to date.)
[response ]

Anon., Budapest Open Access Archive Announced (for _LTWorld_)

Anon., Moves Made to Give Greater Free Access to Research Results (for
_Cordis News_)

Declan Butler, Soros Offers Access to Science Papers (for _Nature_)
(I listed this piece last week, but at that time I linked to my own copy of
the article. Now _Nature_ has put it where it is accessible to

Denis Delbecq, L'abordage des revues scientifiques (for _Liberation_)

Peter Evans, Budapest Open Access Initiatives [sic] Launched (For the UK
_Serials eNews_)

Stéphane Foucart, Guerre ouverte contre le monopole des revues
scientifiques (for _Le Monde_),5987,3244--263082-,00.html

Alexander Grimwade, Open Societies Need Open Access (for _The Scientist_)

Jon Gordon, Scholarly Journals on the Net (for _Minnesota Public Radio_)
[Requires RealPlayer]
(This a radio interview of me. I'm happy with all of it except the way it
ends. Gordon closes with the remark that priced journals justify
themselves by their role in providing peer review. Period. I didn't get
to reply. So he leaves the false impression that BOAI doesn't endorse peer
review, doesn't know it costs money, or doesn't have a way to cover the
costs. To see how I would have replied, see the BOAI FAQ on these points,

Tamsin McMahon, Billionaire Wants Free Web-Based Academic Journals (for

Richard Poynder, George Soros Gives $3 Million to New Open Access
Initiative (for _Information Today_)

Sam Vaknin, Copyright and Scholarship (for _UPI_)
Part I,
Part II,
(This is a wide-ranging interview of me on FOS issues in which Vaknin let
me give long answers and his editor didn't cut anything. I thank them
both. BOAI comes up in Part II.)


Ripeness is all

In the last month, three major FOS initiatives were launched at one week
intervals. On January 31, HINARI began delivering free content to research
institutions in the developing world. On February 6, eight
major research library organizations representing 600 research libraries
worldwide announced the creation of the pro-FOS International Scholarly
Communications Alliance (FOSN for 2/14/02). On February 14, the Budapest
Open Access Initiative began its project to expand self-archiving, create
open-access journals, and recruit foundations beyond the founding Open
Society Institute to help to pay the costs of the transition to open-access
science and scholarship (FOSN for 2/14/02).

During the same period a couple of other large initiatives were announced
for future launch. The Alliance for Cellular Signaling is the largest FOS
experiment yet from _Nature_ (FOSN for 2/14/02). Lawrence Lessig announced
the Creative Commons, an organization that will offer free, flexible
intellectual property licenses that will simultaneously protect authors and
promote open online sharing (FOSN for 2/14/02).

In the previous month, SciDev was launched (FOSN for 1/23/02), BioMed
Central implemented its funding model to cover the costs of free online
access (FOSN for 1/1/02), and the French Académie des Sciences issued a
public statement calling on the European Commission not to apply ordinary
copyright rules to scientific publications whose authors do not demand
payment (FOSN for 2/14/02).

We could consider the recent convergence of FOS initiatives a statistical
fluke. If you wait long enough a coin will come up heads 100 times in a
row. But this view of it ignores recent history, which shows a steadily
growing number of initiatives, experiments, articles, and endorsements of
FOS. This is not so much a fluke as a trajectory that suggests growing
recognition of the desirability and feasibility of FOS.


International Scholarly Communications Alliance
(No home page yet, just the press release of its launch.)

Budapest Open Access Initiative

Alliance for Cellular Signaling

The Creative Commons, beta site


BioMed Central

French Académie des Sciences public statement

* Postscript. This week I wrote the first draft of Timeline of the FOS
Movement. I wanted to embed this convergence of FOS initiatives in some
recent history, see the local trajectory and test for randomness. Have a
look. Let me know what you think belongs on such a list.

Timeline of the FOS Movement (first draft)


FOS is entirely compatible with copyright as it is, and does not depend on
the public domain. Therefore, Eldred could go either way and many forms of
FOS would be completely unaffected. But this case matters for FOS because
the public domain is one very important avenue of FOS, even if not the only

Why FOS is compatible with copyright

Why FOS doesn't need the public domain


* A recent survey of chemists by DK Associates reveals that their most-used
online source of chemical information is ChemWeb, followed closely by
Google --two free sources. (PS: ChemWeb is owned by Elsevier but
developed by Current Science, the same people who developed BioMed
Central. I'm not surprised that Google is on the short list. I'd bet that
similar surveys in any other discipline would put Google in the top two or
three. This is remarkable since it is not optimized for scholarship and
includes peer-reviewed, unreviewed, and crank writings without
discrimination. However, its sort algorithm doesn't rank them equally. It
uses the network of links as a kind of communal peer review. Even though
the peers in this network are academics and non-academics, the algorithm
still tends to make worthy work rise higher in its sort list than unworthy

* When the free online journals published by SciELO were included in ISI,
their visibility grew quickly. Researchers from Oxford University report
in the January 21 _Nature_, that the average impact factor of the SciELO
journals covered by ISI grew 133.7% since their inclusion. SciELO produces
scientific journals for Brazil, Latin America, and the
Caribbean. (PS: This shows that while open access increases visibility
and impact, recognition by channels already used and respected by scholars
can boost visibility and impact even further. Not a surprise but a
reminder that accessibility is necessary but not sufficient for impact.)
(Thanks to Serials eNews.)

* Search Engine Watch has announced its award-winners for
2001. Highlights: Google won for Outstanding Search Service (and four
other awards). Scirus won for Best Specialty Search Engine.

* The University of British Columbia is developing an "Education Commons"
to integrate all the free online teaching and learning resources used by
its faculty.

* CrossRef and SFX are now fully integrated. This means that at sites
using both technologies, the reference links provided by CrossRef will take
the user's licenses into account as determined by SFX..


New on the net

* The Resource Libraries Group (RLG) has created a discussion list for
those implementing the Open Archival Information Systems (OAIS) reference
model. Subscription is free.

* Bentham Science Publishers is offering free online access to all of its
2000 and 2001 journals during 2002, but only during 2002. Access is
through ingenta. (PS: What's going on here? A year from now, will
Bentham really see enough revenue in these back issues to reinstate price
limitations on access?)
(Thanks to the Manchester Metropolitan University Library.)

* Version 41 of Charles W. Bailey, Jr.'s Scholarly Electronic Publishing
Bibliography is now online. The new edition cites more than 1,550
articles, books, and other printed and electronic sources on the
publication of online scholarship.

* The text-e online seminar has moved on to a new text, "The New
Architecture of Information" by Stephana Broadbent and Francesco
Cara. This paper will be the subject of the online discussion until
February 28.

* The UBC's Public Knowledge Project has also released Open Conference
Systems, free software for organizing scholarly conferences and publishing
their proceedings to the internet.


In other publications

* In the March issue of _Cites & Insights_, Walt Crawford responds to the
Theodore Zeldin and Jason Epstein symposium papers at Text-e. (He
responded to four other Text-e symposium papers in the February issue.) He
also evaluates the last 2001 issue of _Library Hi Tech_, which is devoted
to ebooks, and has kind words for FOSN, saying it "provides a fine mix of
personal commentary and annotated links." Thanks, Walt.

* In a February 21 posting to _WoPEc_ (of a July 2001 paper), Robert Parks
argues that not even free online journals will solve the serials crisis
because free online journals will not give authors an incentive to submit
their works to them rather than to the priced journals. He doesn't predict
that FOS will fail to materialize, only that at best it will co-exist with
priced journals. Some of his arguments are very weak: authors don't
really want more readers, because this costs them additional time in
responding to their queries. When editorial boards resign to create FOS
journals, they are replaced. Readers don't care whether journals cost a
lot of money provided their institutions pay the costs. (PS: Parks gives
many reasons to think that incentives to use priced journals might
persist. But he does very little to show that these incentives are strong,
durable, or weightier than contrary incentives. Author incentives are an
important problem for FOS. But all the indicia of significance and
prestige can belong to FOS journals, even if cultivating them takes
time. And already FOS journals give authors a larger audience, superior
visibility, and greater impact, which are overriding incentives for a
growing number of authors.)

* The February issue of _D-Lib_ Magazine contains several FOS-related articles.

Stewart Granger, "Digital Preservation and Deep Infrastructure"

Makx Dekkers and Stuart L. Weibel, "Dublin Core Metadata Initiative
Progress Report and Workplan for 2002"

John Kirriemuir, "Video Gaming, Education and Digital Learning
Technologies: Relevance and Opportunities" (see FOSN for 10/5/01)

Eric F. Van de Velde, "OpenURL Standardization Moving Forward"

Peter J. Quinn, "The Astrophysical Virtual Observatory"

Susanne Dobratz, Birgit Matthaei, and Dr. Peter Schirmbacher, "Open
Archives Forum"

* The February issue of _RLG DigiNews_ contains several FOS-related articles.

Trevor Jones and Beth Sandore, "We don't know the first thing about

Kizer Walker, "Integrating a Free Digital Resource: The Status of 'Making
of America' in Academic Library Collections"

Feature on METS: Metadata Encoding and Transmission Standard

John Perkins, "Disclosing Digital Cultural Wealth: Museums and the Open
Archives Initiative"
("Sustained testing of the OAI protocol seems a logical and sensible
research initiative that will bring us closer to making the rich
information resources museums hold more widely available to researchers and
other users.")

Monika Segbert, Anna Maria Balogh and Rima Kupryte and Darius Cuplinskas,
"eIFL: Electronic Information for Libraries"
(A good introduction to this important program and some related programs
with which it achieves synergy. "There are many projects supported by the
European Union that can and could use the network created through the eIFL
network to transfer knowledge and research results, enable closer
networking with institutions in the EU, and aid capacity building pioneered
in the 10 years of OSI operations in the region.")

* _NewScientist_ has published a series of letters to the editor about its
experiment with copyleft (see FOSN for 2/6/02).

* In a recent working paper posted to Indiana University's Center for
Social Informatics, Rob Kling and two co-authors describe what they call
"Guild Publishing" as a fifth model of free online scholarly publishing,
after ejournals, hybrid paper-electronic journals, authors posting to their
own web sites, and self-archiving to institutional or disciplinary
archives. Guild Publishing is the free online dissemination of working
papers or technical reports sponsored by academic departments of research
institutes. For example, all major U.S. computer science departments, and
250 others around the world, sponsor research manuscript series, as do all
major research institutes of high energy physics. Kling and his co-authors
enumerate six advantages of Guild Publishing: local control, ease of
innovation, quality control through "career review" (based on the
reputation of the department or institute), accessibility, economy, and
compatibility with other publishing models. They also list three

* In another recent working paper posted to IU's CSI, Rob Kling traces the
evolution of E-Biomed into PubMed Central. He studies postings to
discussion lists and concludes that Harold Varmus' original idea for
E-Biomed responded to criticism and objections raised by publishers and
scientific societies. An incidental conclusion of some weight is that
"scientific societies and individual scientists they represent do not
always have identical interests, especially in regards to scientific

* In a January 15 story in _UPI_, Sam Vaknin explores the future of
electronic publishing, commercial publishers' clumsy embrace of the
internet, and the prospect that priced online content can attract a paying
audience. He predicts that online commercial publishing will start to
flourish "as hardware improves and becomes ubiquitous, as content becomes
more attractive, as more versatile information taxonomies are introduced,
as the Internet becomes more gender-neutral, polyglot, and
cosmopolitan....This renaissance will probably be aided by the gradual
decline of print magazines and by a strengthening movement for free open
source scholarly publishing."

* In the January issue of the _Journal of the Medical Library Association_,
Rollo Turner explains why electronic journals have not reduced journal
prices or simplified licensing contracts. (PS: The good news is that most
of the costs Turner identifies for ejournals exist only for priced journals
that want to restrict access to paying customers.)
(Thanks to Shelflife.)



If you plan to attend one of the following conferences, please share your
observations with us through our discussion forum.

* Integrating _at_ Internet Speed: Strategies for the Content Community
[conference on reference linking]
Philadelphia, February 24-27

* Getting your message across: How learned societies and other
organizations can influence public and government opinion
London, February 25

* Electronic Journals --Solutions in Sight?
London, February 25-26

* [Public lecture], Will Thomas and Ed Ayers, "The Next Generation of
Digital Scholarship: An Experiment in Form
Washington, D.C., February 27

* Meeting of the Digital Preservation Coalition
London, February 27

* A Symposium on the Research Value of Printed Materials in the Digital Age
College Park, Maryland, March 1

* International Spring School on the Digital Library and E-publishing for
Science and Technology
Geneva, March 3-8

* CURL ePrints Workshop
Glasgow, March 4

* Search Engine Strategies
Boston, March 4-5

* Redefining [Digital] Preservation (ARL and the University of Michigan)
Ann Arbor, Michigan, March 7-8

* Towards an Information Society for All
Berlin, March 8-9

* Knowledge Technologies Conference 2002
Seattle, March 10-13

* 17th ACM Symposium on Applied Computing. Special tracks on Database and
Digital Library Technologies; Electronic Books for Teaching and Learning;
and Information Access and Retrieval
Madrid, March 10-14

* Digitization for Cultural Heritage Professionals: An Intensive Program
Chapel Hill, North Carolina, March 10-15

* EUSDIC Spring Meeting. E-Content: Divide or Rule
Paris, March 11-12

* Open Publish 2001
Seattle, March 11-14

* ARL Workshop on Interactive Publishing of Data on the Web
Charlottesville, Virginia, March 11-15

* Computers in Libraries 2002
Washington D.C., March 13-15

* International Conference on the Statistical Analysis of Textual Data
St. Malo, March 13-15

* The Electronic Publishers Coalition (EPC) conference on ebooks and
epublishing (obscurely titled, Electronically Published Internet
Connection, or EPIC)
Seattle, March 14-16

* Digital Resources and International Information Exchange: East-West
March 15 (Washington DC), 18 (Flushing NY), 20 (Stamford CT)

* Internet Librarian International 2002
London, March 18-20

* The New Information Order and the Future of the Archive
Edinburgh, March 20-23

* Institute of Mueum and Library Services. Building Digital Communities
Baltimore, March 20-22

* Advanced Licensing Workshop
Dallas, March 20-22

* Electronic Publishing Strategy
London, March 22

* OCLC Institute. Steering by Standards. (A series of satellite
Cyberspace. OAI, March 26. OAIS, April 19. Metadata standards in the
future, May 29.

* WebSearch University
San Francisco, March 25-26; Stamford CT, April 30 - May 1; Washington DC,
September 23-24; Chicago, Octeober 22-23; Dallas, November 19-20.

* European Colloquium on Information Retrieval Research
Glasgow, March 25-27

* e-Content: Discovering and Delivering Value
Toronto, March 25-27

* New Developments in Digital Libraries
Ciudad Real, Spain, April 2-3

* The New Information Order and the Future of the Archive
Edinburgh, March 20-23

* Copyright Management in Higher Education: Ownership, Access and Control
Adelphi, Maryland, April 4-5

* Global Knowledge Partnership Annual Meeting
Addis Ababa, April 4-5

* International Conference on Information Technology: Coding and Computing
Las Vegas, April 8-10

* NetLab and Friends: 10 Years of Digital Library Development
Lund, April 10-12

* E-Content 2002 (on ebooks)
London, April 11

* Censorship and Free Access to Information in Libraries and on the Internet
Copenhagen, April 11

* International Learned Journals Seminar: We Can't Go On Like This: The
Future of Journals
London, April 12

* SIAM International Conference on Data Mining
Arlington, Virginia, April 11-13

* Creating access to information: EBLIDA workshop on getting a better deal
from your information licences
The Hague, April 12

* Licensing Electronic Resources to Libraries
Philadelphia, April 15

* United Kingdom Serials Group Annual Conference and Exhibition
University of Warwick, April 15- 17

* Conference on Computers, Freedom, and Privacy
San Francisco, April 16-19

* EDUCAUSE Networking 2002
Washington, D.C., April 17-18

* Museums and the Web 2002
Boston, April 17-20

* Legal Guidelines for Use of Intellectual Property in Higher Education
Oneonta, NY, April 19

* Information, Knowledges and Society: Challenges of A New Era
Havana, April 22-26

* DAI Institute on The State of Digital Preservation: An International
Washington, D.C., April 24-25

* The European Library: The Gate to Europe's Knowledge: Milestone Conference
Frankfurt am Main, April 29-30


The Free Online Scholarship Newsletter is supported by a grant from the
Open Society Institute.


This is the Free Online Scholarship Newsletter (ISSN 1535-7848).

Please feel free to forward any issue of the newsletter to interested
colleagues. If you are reading a forwarded copy of this issue, you may
subscribe by signing up at the FOS home page.

FOS home page, general information, subscriptions, editorial position

FOS Newsletter, subscriptions, back issues

FOS Discussion Forum, subscriptions, postings

Guide to the FOS Movement

Sources for the FOS Newsletter

Peter Suber

Copyright (c) 2002, Peter Suber
Received on Mon Feb 25 2002 - 20:35:34 GMT

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