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ICSTI: news items

  • To: epc@iucr.org
  • Subject: ICSTI: news items
  • From: Pete Strickland <ps@iucr.org>
  • Date: Tue, 27 Jul 2004 13:08:21 +0100
  • Organization: IUCr
Subject: Mandating OA around the corner?

Part of a thread on mandating OA from the 'Harnad' list.

From: "Martin Frank" <Mfrank@the-aps.org>

Mark brings up a good point, especially in light of David Lipmann's claim that 
it would only cost about $700,000 based on the hosting of 50,000 manuscripts 
annually. While this might be the number which PubMed Central conveys to the 
public, without a true cost accounting I am unconvinced that this is a real 
number. I suspect that the $700,000 does not take into account the general 
overhead (rent, heat, electricity, janatorial) that most publishers have to 
include in their cost analyses. I believe that Martin Blume alluded to that 
in his response to David. I also question David's analysis because of his 
claim that PubMed Central has an annual budget of approximately $2.5 million. 
While this is not a lot of money as compared to the total NIH budget, it is 
in my view $2.5 million more than needs to be spent and could instead be used 
to support approximately 6 research grants designed to find cures for cancer, 

If the PubMedCentral budget is indeed $2.5 million as claimed by David 
Lipmann, one could use that number as the basis for establishing what an 
expanded PubMedCentral might cost if it started receiving articles from 
50,000 authors per year from 4000 or more journals. At least when PMC gets 
their downloads from journals now, they come in bunches using the appropriate 
DTD, etc. Dealing with 50,000 submissions would probably be much less 
efficient than PMC's current efforts with its existing journal customers.

As I indicated, David claims that his budget for PMC is $2.5 million. PMC 
currently hosts about 150 journals. That translates into $16,666 per journal. 
Assuming that PMC is likely to receive submissions from the equivalent of 
3000 journals, that translates into a cost of approximately $50,000,000.

I don't claim to know the right answer for the future cost of PMC, but 
extrapolating from their own numbers, it is a lot of money and a lot of lost 
research opportunities.

martin frank
>>> doyle@APS.ORG 07/21/04 02:00PM >>>

On Jul 18, 2004, at 1:08 PM, Martin Frank wrote:

> However, based on knowledge of the costs associated with the hosting
> of journals at HighWire Press, it is estimated that a full fledged
> archive of NIH funded manuscripts at NIH would cost in the
> neighborhood of $75-100 million.

Wild (uncalled for!) speculation in my opinion (additonal FUD removed).

According to David Lipman, this is off by at least an order of magnitude. They 
expect about 50-60,000 NIH funded manuscripts per year. Even a generous $100 
per hosted manuscript gives only $5-6 million. Lipman also pointed out that 
one would not expect to have to immediately deal with this number of 
articles. Considering that NLM can leverage off of the existing PubMed 
infrastructure, I think they are in quite good shape (even creating by hand 
good XML metadata with tagged references can be done for about $5/article). 
It should be noted that if this is really author-deposit of manuscripts 
(again, Lipman's impression of the intent of the legislative language), than 
this might even be doable on the same cost scale of arXiv.org ($1 - $10 per 
article). I suspect the real cost will be somewhere in the middle.


Mark Doyle
Assistant Director, Journal Information Systems
The American Physical Society
Subject: New Medical meta-search engine


   OmniMedicalSearch.com is a metasearch engine. It does not operate the
   same way as search engines like Google or Yahoo. Instead of
   assembling our own database of websites to present our search
   results, we return the search results from other search engines in
   various combinations. When you submit a search term, our metasearch
   software sends that query, simultaneously, to other search engines,
   websites and databases. When it returns, you are presented with the
   top results of ALL the search engines and databases you selected.

It covers:

PubMed, Nat'l Library of Medicine, ClinicalTrials.gov, HealthFinder.gov, 
Cancer.gov, Centers for Disease Control, MedHelp.org, MedlinePlus.gov, 
MedWebPlus.com, eMedicine.com, WebMD.com & Healthopedia.com

Subject: EU consultation on IPR Directives

The European Commission has launched a consultation on whether the existing 
set of EU Directives on copyright and related rights need to be simplified or 
re-worked. Its own recommendation is for fine-tuning rather than an overhaul.

The last 10 years have seen the adoption of seven EU Directives relating to 
copyright, and the Commission is concerned to establish whether 
inconsistencies between the different Directives hamper the operation of EU 
copyright law or damage the balance between rights holders’ interests, those 
of users and consumers and those of the European economy as a whole.

More details at:

The EU's paper on the process is at:

An extract:

"This paper assesses whether any inconsistencies on the definitions or on 
rules on exceptions and limitations between the different Directives hamper 
the operation of the acquis (that is to say the body of Community law) or 
have a harmful impact on the fair balance of rights and other interests, 
including those of users and consumers. The provisions of the early copyright 
acquis are reviewed alongside each other and compared with the standard set 
by the Information Society Directive 2001/29/EC, which is the most horizontal 
measure in the field of copyright and related rights. The paper concludes 
that there is, for example, a need to make a minor adjustment to the 
definition of the reproduction right and extend the application of the 
exception for certain temporary acts of reproduction under Article 5(1) of 
the Information Society Directive to computer programs and databases"
Subject: NFAIS Forum on stats

An NFAIS Forum for the Information Community: Online Usage Statistics - 
Current Trends and Future Directions in Meeting User Needs

The NFAIS Committee on Best Practices/Usage Statistics is organizing a forum 
that will provide an overview of the current status and future trends in the 
development and provision of online usage statistics - all within the context 
of evolving technology, emerging standards and most importantly - customer 
needs and expectations. This one-day session will be held on Friday, October 
1, 2004 at St. John's University Manhattan Campus, New York, N.Y, from 
9:00A.M. - 4:30P.M. It will begin with an overview of the development of 
online usage statistics and a discussion of the various standards that have 
been developed for their use. A group of users from diverse market sectors - 
academic, government, and corporate - will present their perspective with 
regard to how well their needs are currently being met, and what they 
perceive as the essential user requirements to be met in the future. The 
expectations - and limitations - of technology in meeting those needs will be 
addressed, as will the legal concerns related to users' privacy rights. The 
remainder of the session will be devoted to case studies of actual 
implementation of online usage statistics, highlighting the challenges that 
were met and the level of customer satisfaction that resulted.

Come and join your peers in learning what organizations need to know - and 
plan for - in order to ensure that evolving customer needs are met - both now 
and in the future. Register early, as seating is limited. The draft program, 
registration form, directions to the meeting location, and a list of nearby 
hotels are available at: http://www.nfais.org/events/event_details.cfm?id=26

Register before August 20, 2004 and NFAIS members pay $155 and non-members pay 
$205 (registration fee includes continental breakfast, a box lunch and two 
refreshment breaks). After August 20, 2004 NFAIS members pay $195 and 
non-members pay $245. For more information contact: Jill O'Neill, NFAIS 
Director, Communication and Planning, 215-893-1561 (phone); 215-893-1564 
(fax); mailto:jilloneill@nfais.org.
Subject: Fwd: Re: The UK report, press coverage, and the Green and Gold Roads 
to Open Access

Stevan Harnad's take on the press reaction to the UK House of Commons and the 
NIH reports on OA....

"The press just keeps on missing the mark!

"American and British Lawmakers Endorse Open-Access Publishing"
Andrea Foster and Lila Guterman
Chronicle of Higher Education, July 30, 2004

>    "In a double coup for the open-access movement this month,
>    committees of the U.S. Congress and British Parliament recommended
>    that papers resulting from government-financed research be made
>    available free. The committees recommended that the U.S. and British
>    governments require researchers to deposit in free, online archives
>    any articles that arise from research sponsored, respectively,
>    by the National Institutes of Health and any British agency.

So far, so good. That part was correct. But then:

>    The British committee further recommended that journal publishers
>    adopt an open-access model in which authors would pay to publish
>    and subscription fees would be eliminated. Both governments are
>    expected to act on the committees' recommendations this year."

No, the British committee did not recommend that; on the contrary, they 
explicitly refrained from recommending it and recommended only further 
experimentation with it, along with funding to help pay author-institutions 
costs for OA Publishing. 

Nor is the title of the story correct:

"American and British Lawmakers Endorse Open-Access Publishing"

"Endorsement" is ambiguous. What, if anything, both the Americans and the 
British endorsed was Open Access (OA), not OA Publishing. They recommended 
mandating OA *Provision* through author/institution self-archiving of 
published articles (the "green" road to OA), not OA Publishing (the golden 
road to OA).

Stevan Harnad"
Subject: New patent search management tool from Questel

Questel•Orbit Releases PatentExaminer

Questel•Orbit, a provider of intellectual property information services, 
announced the release of PatentExaminer, a patent portfolio management system 
that speeds patent analysis and enhances the collaboration among search 
experts, engineers, and patent attorneys. PatentExaminer displays the 
full-text patents and original facsimile patents side-by-side. It includes a 
user-defined text mapping and clustering feature incorporating different 
colored highlighting to quickly find text and concept clusters. Ranking and 
annotation features are included to assist in the examination and 
collaboration process.



Best wishes

Peter Strickland
Managing Editor
IUCr Journals

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