Archive for December, 2008

OA reviews about cancer stem cells and melanoma

Two recent reviews about CSC and melanoma are gratis OA. Both were written prior to the recent publication: Efficient tumour formation by single human melanoma cells by Elsa Quintana and 5 co-authors, Nature 2008(Dec 4); 456(7222): 593-8.  [Comments about this recent publication have been posted here]. The reviews are:

1) Cancer stem cells: Lessons from melanoma by Caterina La Porta, Stem Cell Rev 2008(Dec 18) [Epub ahead of print][PubMed Citation][Full text].

2) Stem cells, melanoma and cancer stem cells: the good, the bad and the evil? by Farid Menaa and 5 co-authors, including Jörg Wischhusen, G Ital Dermatol Venereol 2008 (Dec 17) [Epub ahead of print][PubMed Citation][Full text PDF].


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Access policy of Cortex journal

In the post Another TA editorial on OA (Open Access News, December 23, 2008), Peter Suber pointed out that an Editorial by Sergio Della Sala and Jordan Grafman, Cortex new open access policy, Cortex 2008(Nov 21) [Epub ahead of print] can’t be accessed by non-subscribers.  I was able to obtain access via the University of Toronto Libraries. Excerpts from the full text:

Ever since we took over as editors, Cortex has adopted a complete Open Access policy (see [Harnad, 2002] and [Suber, 2002]). We stated in one of our early editorials (Grafman and Della Sala, 2002) that ideally the output of scientific research, especially if funded by tax-payers’ money, should not be treated as private property. Hence, we supported the establishment of open archives of scientific literature with unrestricted access.

However, since Cortex is published by the Elsevier Group, a company that must make a profit, we will now have to comply with the policies set up by Elsevier. Since 2004, Elsevier has employed the “Open Access Green Route”. This implies that as well as traditional print and online publishing of the article, the final, pre-print version of the article is released to the authors for their distribution, usually online, free of charge.


Further and updated information could be found at the following Elsevier web pages:

For copyright and authors’ rights:

For agreements with specific funding bodies:


Grafman J and Della Sala S. Cortex on line. Cortex, 38: 1, 2002.

Harnad S. Six proposals for freeing online access to the refereed literature and how the cortex initiative can help. Cortex, 38: 93–99, 2002.

Suber P. Where does the free online scholarship movement stand today? Cortex, 38: 261–264, 2002.

Comment: According to the full text of the first of these 3 references, Cortex was initially published (beginning in 2001) by Masson Italia. This publisher, previously independent, is now a subsidiary of Elsevier.

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OA interviews in Stem Cells journal

The journal Stem Cells is publishing a series of interviews that are gratis OA. So far, two issues have contained contributions to the Interview Series: Volume 26, Number 11, 2008 and Volume 26, Number 12, 2008. The interviews are:

Celebrating 10 Years of hESC Lines: An Interview with James Thomson by Miodrag Stojkovic and Susan Rainey Daher , Stem Cells 2008(Nov 1); 26(11): 2747-8.

Celebrating 10 Years of hESC Lines: An Interview with Alan Trounson by Miodrag Stojkovic and Susan Rainey Daher , Stem Cells 2008(Dec 1); 26(12): 3002-4.

Celebrating 10 Years of hESC Lines: An Interview with Rudolf Jaenisch by Miodrag Stojkovic and Susan Rainey Daher , Stem Cells 2008(Dec 1); 26(12): 3005-7.

Interviews with Christine Mummery and Peter Andrews will be published in Stem Cells 2009(Jan 1); 27(1).

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Collection of free research articles in Blood journal

Blood, the journal of the American Society of Hematology (ASH), provides access to a collection of Free Research Articles. There are currently 551 articles (published between December 15, 2008 and May 1, 2004) in the collection.

The most recent article in the collection, at present, is one of the ASH 50th Anniversary Reviews: Stem cell concepts renew cancer research by John E Dick, Blood 2008(Dec 15); 112(13): 4793-4807.

Added December 15, 2008: See also the Public Access policy of ASH.

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Support for NIEHS journal from new director

New NIEHS leader looks ahead, Bob Grant, The Scientist NewsBlog, December 9, 2008. Excerpt:

Schwartz resigned from his post earlier this year. One of his most provocative moves was to suggest privatizing and cutting funding for Environmental Health Perspectives, NIEHS’s open-access, peer-reviewed journal. The proposition raised hackles in Washington, DC and beyond, among members of the environmental health and science community.


[New NIEHS director Linda] Birnbaum did say that she is in favor of keeping EHP publically funded. “I’ve always been a strong supporter of EHP,” she told The Scientist. “I feel very fortunate to have it as part of the NIEHS portfolio.”

For some background, see: NIEHS re-commits to its OA journal, Peter Suber, Open Access News, July 2, 2007.

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Two Marquette OA journals

In a post, Marquette will launch 8 OA journals in 2008 (Open Access News , August 28, 2007), Peter Suber reported that “Marquette Books will launch eight peer-reviewed OA journals in January 2008“. Issues of three of the 8 journals are now available [About the Journals][Access the Journals]. Two, Journal of Communication Studies and Journal of Global Mass Communication are OA. In the third, Russian Journal of Communication, only the Abstracts are OA.

See also: Journal of Global Mass Comm., Inaugural issue, comlaw (Catherine Michael), Communications & Legal Studies, December 8, 2008.

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First issue of Int J Stem Cells

The International Journal of Stem Cells published its first issue in November, 2008. The “Greetings” section of the website provides an endorsement by Jae-Kyu Roh MD, PhD, President of the Korean Society for Stem Cells Research.

PDF versions of articles published in the first issue are freely accessible. However, in a response to an email query, Dong-Ik Kim MD, PhD, the Editor-in-Chief of the journal, commented that: “We will provide PDF version of articles with no charge for a while“. So, free access to the full text will be available only temporarily.

The same email response from Dong-Ik Kim also provided instructions about how to access the journal’s “Copyright Transfer and Agreement Form“. Via the “Online Submission” section of the website, one can create a new account and log in. Via the “Author Center“, one then clicks on “Submit a New Manuscript“. One then can go immediately to “Proof and Submit” (Step 6 of the submission sequence). The form can be downloaded at this step. An excerpt from the form:

Copyright Transfer and Agreement
The undersigned author assigns and transfers all rights, title, interest, and copyright ownership in the above named manuscript form [sic] the author(s) to International Journal of Stem Cells. The author warrants the originality of the materials in the above-named manuscript and has the authority to convey the copyright on behalf of all coauthors
All materials become the property of International Journal of Stem Cells and may not be published elsewhere without prior written permission from International Journal of Stem Cells.

Comment: Authors do not retain copyright if this form is signed. Might the journal be willing to accept an addition, to the “Copyright Transfer and Agreement Form“, of an Author Addendum that would permit Green OA? I didn’t ask the Editor-in-Chief that question.

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