Archive for July, 2009

Updates sent to Twitter, July 2009

Updates related to OA, sent to Twitter during July 2009:

Stuart Lewis’ Blog: “Email your repository” (email items in to your repository using SWORD & IMAP) #swordapp [July 30]:

Addressing the scandal of the knowledge divide [July 30]:

How the GNU request button has been implemented at Universite du Quebec a Montreal’s repository [July 25]:

Reasons why Physical Review D, 97% on the arXiv, has not lost subscriptions (Gene D Sprouse, APS) [July 25]:

PLoS decides to stop promoting journal impact factors on their sites [July 23] – see last paragraph at:

Wikipedia at the NIH (aimed at improving public knowledge about health, science, and medicine) [July 20]:

Working paper by P. Gaule and N. Maystre, 2008; Getting cited: does open access help? [July 20]:

Hark – PubMedCentral Canada on the horizon! Social Justice Librarian, July 15, 2009 [July 17]:

AACR, publisher of journal Cancer Research, launches manuscript deposition service [July 12]:

Agreement process completed on a three-way partnership to establish PubMed Central Canada (PMC Canada) [July 7]:

OATP project RSS feed for Connotea tag plus feed for a Twitter search for the hashtag #OpenAccess [July 6]:
[Tweet][Archived FF link]

ACM’s publication model described as ‘clopen’ [July 4]. [Forwarded from:]


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Addressing the scandal of the knowledge divide

An essay by Jean-Claude Guédon, Open Access and the divide between “mainstream” and “peripheral” science, was posted recently (July 23, 2009) at Mesa Redonda sobre Patrimonio Intelectual y Conocimiento Libre. [Apparently, this is a website supported by the Government of Venezuela – Google translation from Spanish to English: “Roundtable on Intellectual Heritage and Free Knowledge”]. A short excerpt from the latter part of this interesting essay:

This paper identifies the facets of the Gold and Green Roads that make sense in addressing the scandal of the knowledge divide. It brings to light essentially two fundamental strategies: on the Gold side, fully subsidized journals that do not financially penalize authors from poor countries, or do not submit them to humiliating forms of pleading for special treatment are essential. On the Green side of Open Access, the way to create symbolic value in competition with what presently supports the divide barriers is to organize a coherent system of institutional and thematic repositories. The former are charged with collecting and preserving all that they can and want to preserve. It is through institutional repositories that depositing mandates should be implemented as mandates can originate from a variety of institutions with some political clout, universities, research centres and granting agencies among them. However, it is through thematic repositories that the (research) wheat can be separated from the chaff and it is through them that various forms of new and useful forms of symbolic value can be created.

This essay had been deposited previously, as an eprint of a book chapter, in the E-LIS repository. The eprint was last modified on November 19, 2008. The citation indicates that this book chapter was expected to be “forthcoming in 2007, in Portuguese“.

Blog items (apparently, about an earlier version of the eprint) were posted by Peter Suber (OA for mainstreaming peripheral science) on December 1, 2007 and by Heather Morrison (National open access journal subsidy) on December 1, 2007. The eprint has been cited on CiteULike, and a version is also available via Scribd, posted on August 18, 2008 (see:

The version posted at the Venezuelan site has generated some recent interest on FriendFeed. See, for example, (July 25, by Bill Hooker) and (July 27, by Bora Zivkovic). Recommendation from Bora Zivkovic: “[Essay] by Jean-Claude Guédon is a Must Read of the day“.

Comment: An excerpt from Heather Morrison’s blog post is noteworthy:

Scielo is an excellent example of what can be accomplished through a nationally subsidized open access program. While the Scielo portal encompasses the scholarly work of many latin countries, Brazil alone, in 2005, brought 160 fully open access journals to the world at a very modest cost of only $1 million dollars.

Canada is experimenting with subsidized open access journals, through the Aid to Open Access Journals program.

Note: The link to the webpage for SSHRC’s Aid to Open Access Journals program has been updated in the excerpt. This  program has been renamed the SSHRC Aid to Scholarly Journals program. See also: About SSHC > Policy Focus > Open Access.

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OA journal: Cellular Therapy and Transplantation

Bora Zivkovic, Cellular Therapy and Transplantation is an Open Access oncology journal: [Twitter, July 24][FriendFeed entry].

Excerpt from the home page: Cellular Therapy and Transplantation is a new international, peer-reviewed, open access journal which publishes articles in the fields of cellular and genetic therapy and transplantation.

The full text of each article is publicly accessible in English and Russian. The journal is funded by the Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (German Research Foundation). Excerpts from the FAQ:

1. Are there any article charges?

For the first five issues, authors can publish in CTT without any article charges.


7. Author license

The CTT author license says that copyright is retained by you, the authors, and that by sending us your final version you confirm that no rights of third parties have been infringed on. We recommend you choose a Creative Commons license to go with your article. …..

The first issue (Vol. 1, No. 1, June 2008) includes a foreword by Mikhail Gorbachev.

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Project to improve European cancer communications

New Web site launches $1.7 million project to improve European cancer communications, EurekAlert, July 19, 2009. Excerpt:

The Eurocancercoms project is an initiative of the European Institute of Oncology and is led by ECCO – the European CanCer Organisation and ecancermedicalscience (an online, open access journal).

Comment: The OA journal ecancermedicalscience has published three volumes, one for each of 2007 (7 articles), 2008 (34 articles) and 2009 (16 articles, so far). Free registration is required to view the full text of an article. About the journal: “It is free to publish your paper, it is free to register and read – and you’re free to comment online, on the science, the editorials, the policy papers or the case reports“. The journal uses the name ecancer on Twitter. A FriendFeed search for ecancer (on July 24, 2009) yielded tweets from dated March 4, 2009 or later. Tweets dated February 23, 1009 or later were available (again, on July 24, 2009) from the ecancer site itself. I have not yet found a way to archive links to individual tweets.

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Comic: Nature vs. Science

Nature vs. Science, pt. 2, PHD Comics, July 17, 2009. From the third panel: “It [supporting the business of Nature] sounds outrageous, but scientists will do it, because they want to be published“. The second panel provides a concise summary, in cartoon format, of the toll-access business model.

Comment: Found via a FriendFeed entry from Bora Zivkovic (Coturnix). Updates about PHD Comics (by Jorge Cham) are available from phdcomics via Twitter. Nature vs. Science, pt. 1 and PHD Comics, from 1997 onwards, are available from the archive. A Blogs search for mention of PHD Comics on Nature Networks (on July 20, 2009) yielded 5 results. One of these is Yes, Timo, we do! by Heather Etchevers, July 20, 2009. Excerpts:

The second panel might seem amusing or cynical, depending on your point of view, but it is realistic. …..

The third panel is a bit facile. Scientists “do it” because they want to be published in one of these two journals in particular.

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Sharing Research Objects

Social networking site for researchers aims to make academic papers a thing of the past,, July 16, 2009.  Excerpts:

myExperiment, the social networking site for scientists, has set out to challenge traditional ideas of academic publishing as it enters a new phase of funding.


[According to the developers] researchers will in the future be sharing new forms of “Research Objects” rather than academic publications.

Research Objects contain everything needed to understand and reuse a piece of research, including workflows, data, research outputs and provenance information. They provide a systematic and unbiased approach to research, essential when researchers are faced with a deluge of data.


The myExperiment Enhancement project will integrate myExperiment with the established EPrints research repository in Southampton and Manchester’s new e-Scholar institutional repository. With its emphasis on social networking, myExperiment provides essential social infrastructure for researchers to discover and share Research Objects and to benefit from multidisciplinary collaborations.

From the Main Page for myExperiment:

myExperiment is a collaborative environment where scientists can safely publish their workflows and experiment plans, share them with groups and find those of others.

Comment: Found via a FriendFeed entry from Jim Hardy. In the comments about this entry, questions were raised about whether or not the headline of the news release in misrepresents the intended purpose of myExperiment. What’s being published are “workflows and experiment plans“, not “academic papers“.

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Real-time Nanoscience updates

The Twitter Journal of Nanoscience is a new informal service, not a peer review journal. Excerpt from its webpage:

TTJN aims to be an informal, central point for collection of interesting information and updates from scientists on the front-line of Nanoscience research and spreading this information, 140 characters at a time to its audience on Twitter. Articles can be on interesting observations from the laboratory, a picture of something you’ve seen through a microscope, letting people know about your ASAP article in a journal, anything really, we’ll leave it up to you and see how it grows over time

[Twitter user name for TTJN: JournalofNano. See: Twitter JOURNALS, found via a FriendFeed entry from Bill Hooker].

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Medicine needs OA journals?

The blog post: Do We Need Open Access Journals? by Glyn Moody (July 10, 2009) has attracted some attention. [Connotea bookmark][FriendFeed search]. It’s a commentary about: Citing and Reading Behaviours in High-Energy Physics. How a Community Stopped Worrying about Journals and Learned to Love Repositories, by Anne Gentil-Beccot, Salvatore Mele and Travis Brooks (arXiv, June 30, 2009). [Connotea bookmark][Twitter entry].

Examples of Comments about the blog post:

Gunther Eysenbach:

I would argue that there are significant differences depending on the discipline / subject matter involved, and that it is probably not legitimate to extrapolate from high energy physics to the entire [field] of STM publishing. For example, in the field of medicine, where the potential audience is very large and goes well beyond a small group of researchers/experts in a highly specialized field, things like peer-review and sending out press releases – roles fulfilled by open access journals but not repositories – are by no means “ancillary to the main business of getting the information out there”, but rather at the core of knowledge translation from “bench to bedside”, protecting the public from quackery/information tainted by commercial interests (peer-review) and at the same time helping knowledge uptake (press-releases, editorials etc).

Glyn Moody:

Yes, I think that’s a good point. In the HEP community, you’re able to look after yourself (provided you can do the maths), but maybe in the fields of medicine there is a far wider, and less expert audience – GPs, for example. And so the mediating, filtering, authenticating role of open access publishers assumes a greater importance.

Indeed, it’s probably no coincidence that open access began in HEP, with arXiv, and that this result is also in HEP.

Comment: I agree with Gunther Eysenbach that, at present, journals add significant value, including the brand recognition that’s been earned by high-impact journals. However, perhaps the evolving social media may play increasingly important mediating, filtering, authenticating (and even brand recognition) roles?

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Interview with a Biology cyber-teacher

ScienceOnline’09: Interview with Stacy Baker, Coturnix [Bora Zivkovic], A Blog Around The Clock, July 9, 2009. [FriendFeed entry]. Excerpt:

The web makes current science accessible to my students. The Open Access movement and science blogs make it easy to connect my students with scientists and original research. The web is a great way to make science exciting again. My students get tired of learning about what’s already been done and it excites them to talk with scientists about what is currently being researched.

See also: Site Map for

Comment: An inspiring example of a way in which the combination of the OA movement, Web 2.0 and social networking tools can be valuable, not only to current researchers, but also to researchers-to-be.

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Canada joins PMC International

Canada Joins International Effort to Provide Access to Health Research:  “PubMed Central repository will open new pathway to Canadian health research“, News Release, Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR), July 6, 2009. [Connotea bookmark][FriendFeed entry]. Excerpt:

The Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR), the National Research Council’s Canada Institute for Scientific and Technical Information (NRC-CISTI), and the US National Library of Medicine (NLM) have announced a three-way partnership to establish PubMed Central Canada (PMC Canada). PMC Canada will be a national digital repository of peer-reviewed health and life sciences literature, including research resulting from CIHR funding. This searchable Web-based repository will be permanent, stable and freely accessible.

See also: PMC International (PMCI). Excerpt:

To date, NLM [US National Library of Medicine] has authorized two PMCI centers: UKPMC and PMC Canada.

Some background: PubMed Central Canada (PMC Canada) initiative, Kumiko Vezina, OA Librarian, September 17, 2008. Excerpt:

Before this [PMC Canada] can go forward, however, the second and final step of the agreement process must be completed. That would be for CISTI and CIHR to jointly approach the US National Library Medicine to co-sponsor the service, as a mirror site to PubMed Central therefore obtaining a 3-way agreement between CISTI, CIHR and the US National Library of Medicine to ‘officially’ enter into the PubMed Central International (PMCI) network. Once the final agreement is in place, development will begin on the first phase of PMC Canada thus enabling CIHR researchers to deposit their publications into PubMed Central.

More background information is available from the NRC-CISTI Partnership Development Office. (The current version of this webpage was last updated on February 12, 2009).

Comment: It’s good news that the 3-way partnership is now in place. The initial release of PMC Canada is expected to be available in the fall of 2009.

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