This year, several announcements and blog posts combined to focus my attention on a slightly different question. What problems can open access solve? The answer seems obvious; open access will solve the problem of highly restricted and limited access to scholarship. A somewhat different problem that OA can help solve is the problem of scholarship locked up in the hands of badly run businesses that have come to believe that their inefficient and ineffective ways of doing business must be preserved at all costs.
When Purdue University Press was brought under the wing of the university’s library in 2009, it was a marriage of necessity, brought on by the flagging financial fortunes of the press. Since being absorbed into the library in 2009, the press has moved from reporting to library administrators to participating in planning with them, said Dean of Libraries James Mullins at a recent conference sponsored by education non-profit Ithaka. Purdue is one of a growing number of universities and colleges across the country where the in-house press and library are working more closely together, offering a glimpse into the possible future of academic publishing.
Agricultural research can take seasons to come to fruition, meaning the data researchers gather is voluminous, tracking things like weather patterns and crop yields over years. A failure to establish data standards and sharing practices means that most of these raw figures never make it out of the hands of the researchers who gather them. With new open access standards coming to federally funded research, though, agricultural researchers will need share their data more effectively, and a team of scientists and librarians at Purdue University may have the first blueprint for the field.
As more and more countries embrace policies that drive government funded research into Open Access publishing, an Open Access standard in the future is looking less like a possibility and more like an inevitability. But in a paper released earlier this week, Dr. Richard Wellen of York University, Toronto, argues that an Open Access future in practice could be very different from what it looks like on paper.
I have for years been a huge fan of the WAC Clearinghouse—a remarkably deep collection of open access resources for those who teach writing across the curriculum (WAC) and want to share scholarship on the teaching of writing. That’s in part because there’s a lot in common between writing instruction and information literacy programs. But I’m also a fan because it’s such a good example of high quality open access publishing. I decided this week to contact Mike Palmquist, founding editor of the Clearinghouse, to ask him how it all works.
Last weekend I went to Spring Green, Wisconsin for a treat I’d been anticipating most of a year: a double-bill of Shakespeare’s Hamlet and Stoppard’s Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead at American Players Theatre. I drove home from the theater with lines and themes from the play pulling together disparate threads in my mind, such as opportune moments and their opposites, MIT’s report on its behavior during Aaron Swartz’s prosecution, the Biss bill as the latest twist in the movement toward open access to scholarly literature, and sundry other past and present information-related struggles in academe, and I want to share some of my musings.
The Association of Research Libraries (ARL), in cooperation with the Association of American Universities (AAU) and the Association of Public and Land-Grant Universities (APLU), offered a proposed solution to the open access mandate of the recent Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP) memo. The plan, called the Shared Access Research Ecosystem (SHARE), posits a network of cross-institutional digital repositories based in research universities as the digital home for both the finished papers and the underlying data sets resulting from research produced with federal funds.
The Association of American Publishers (AAP) has put forward its bid for a coalition of publishers to handle many of the requirements outlined in the recent Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP) memo requiring open access to federally funded research, in the form of the Clearinghouse for the Open Research of the United States (CHORUS).
On May 9, President Obama signed an open data executive order and released an open data policy. Only a couple of weeks later, on May 22, Data.gov responded by launching a new data catalog on an open source data management system called CKAN, which, the site says, will enable the central implementation of the Open Data Policy, as it will harvest the data inventories that federal agencies will be creating under the directive. LJ caught up with members of the library and data-driven research communities to see what this may mean for their missions.