Archive for November, 2007

Nigersaurus, the OA dino

An OA article, Structural Extremes in a Cretaceous Dinosaur by Sereno PC, Wilson JA, Witmer LM, Whitlock JA, Maga A, et al., in PLoS ONE 2007(21 Nov); 2(11): e1230, has generated, as of today, only two Annotations and Discussions, but quite a lot of blogging activity. Coturnix (Bora Zivkovic), in his role as Online Community Manager at PLoS-ONE, has been tracking the other blog and media coverage at Extreme Dinosaur: Nigersaurus, the Mesozoic Cow!, A Blog Around The Clock, November 15, 2007. An example: The Nigersaurus has landed, Chris Surridge, PLoS Blog, November 15, 2007. Excerpt:

Strictly speaking the publication date on this paper is November the 21st but we are using what is known as Early Online Release (EOR, pronounced ‘eeyore’ like the depressive donkey in Winnie-the-Pooh) to set it live today, 10:30 Eastern Standard time.

Why have we done this?

Simple. At 10:30 EST the fossil skull is being unveiled as the centrepiece of an exhibition at National Geographic Gallery in Washington DC.

See also: Extreme Dinosaur – Nigersaurus: Africa’s Long-Necked Fern Mower, National Geographic Museum, November 15, 2007.

Chris Surridge also points out that: “This is superb example of the power of Open Access publishing“. This same point is made by Peter McGrath in Open access science publishing lands a big one, The Beagle Project Blog, 16 November 2007.

It’s also a superb example of the power of blogs to attract attention to interesting articles. From the perspective of the OA movement, Peter Suber’s Open Access News continues to provide another superb example of this latter power. And, the interesting articles don’t need to be in OA journals. They can be in OA repositories, or even in other blogs. They simply need to be OA. An example (while on the subject of dinosaurs): Another blog comment on the Royal Society statement, by Peter Suber (Open Access News, November 27, 2005) about a blog post, Royal Society Stands Against Open Access, by Matt Barton, KairosNews, November 26, 2005. Excerpt from the latter:

It’s really sad for me to see the Royal Society lumbering on like all the other dinosaurs. After all, the historically revolutionized scientific discourse by offering the first real scientific journal, Philosophical Transactions, and made every effort to get that journal into the hands of scientists everywhere–even “foreign” ones. Of course, back then they were progressive and fighting against so many repressive nationalist forces, from home and abroad. They were also converting science from one of secrecy to one of full disclosure (making a gamble that scientists would trade their knowledge for good publicity and notoriety). However, I guess we should note that the first editor of PT, Henry Oldenburg, made his living editing, printing, and selling the journal–so I suppose there has always been this profit motive burning deep in the bowels of the RS.

Royal Society Publishing now provides a hybrid open access option, EXiS Open Choice. However, the fee is high and will not be waived for those who cannot pay. For more details, see: The Royal Society adopts the OA hybrid model for all seven of its journals, Open Access News, June 21, 2006, and More on the Royal Society hybrid OA journals, Open Access News, June 24, 2006.

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Advice for the California stem cell agency

See: High Priests vs. Open Access to Research, David Jensen, California Stem Cell Report, November 05, 2007. Excerpts:

The high priests of the newspaper business – otherwise known as editors and publishers — have learned about the power of the Internet the hard way. Their business is turning remorselessly downward as advertisers shift their dollars to chase readers who have abandoned print.

Now comes the turn of the high priests of scientific journals. And the forces at work are something that the California stem cell agency will have to confront as it deals increasingly with public access to publicly funded research findings and how quickly that access becomes available.

The Internet is like a tidal force. Resisting its imperative may appear to be possible in the short term, but over the long term the high priests will be sweep out to sea. The alternative is come up with a better business plan and to find a way to ride the tide instead fighting it.

Intransigent high priests? Or, inadvertently playing the role of King Canute, who “used his evident inability to order the tide to roll back to display to his courtiers the limitations of a king’s power to command the seas“?

For another source of news about the “science, ethics, business and politics of stem cell research“, see The Stem Cell blog.

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Wikipedia entry for hybrid open access

I’ve recently posted some additions to the list of hybrid OA publishers in the Publishers and names section of the Wikipedia entry for Hybrid open access journal.

Some of these additions have been based on information provided by Peter Suber and Caroline Sutton, Society publishers with open access journals, SPARC Open Access Newsletter, issue #115, November 2, 2007. See also: More on society publishers with OA journals, Peter Suber, Open Access News, November 3, 2007.

It would be helpful to those looking for easily-accessible information about hybrid OA journals if the Wikipedia entry for such journals is as accurate and comprehensive as possible.

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