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ICSTI: news items

  • To: epc@iucr.org
  • Subject: ICSTI: news items
  • From: Pete Strickland <ps@iucr.org>
  • Date: Mon, 18 Apr 2005 12:13:22 +0100
  • Organization: IUCr

----------  Forwarded Message  ----------

Subject: Fwd: CISTI considers OA
Date: Sunday 17 April 2005 2:15 pm
From: Barry Mahon <barry.mahon@IOL.IE>

 From Open Access News - note the word 'misleading'.....not mine....

The Canadian Institute for Scientific and Technical Information (CISTI) has 
released its Strategic Plan 2005-2010.
Section 3.2 gives a misleading overview of OA:  as if self-archiving didn't 
exist, as if OA journals charging author-side fees used an "author pays" 
model, as if most OA journals used this funding model, and as if some OA 
proponents argued that peer-reviewed literature was costless to produce.  
Then it draws some conclusions:  'This decade will see continuing 
experimentation with Open Access models and growing pressure on publishers to 
make journals partially or fully open access. This will have significant 
impacts on not-for-profit publishers, including CISTI's publishing program, 
the NRC Research Press.
CISTI already provides free access for Canadians to the electronic versions of 
the NRC Research Press journals and monographs. This access is supported by 
funding from the Government of Canada through the Depository Services 
Program, administered by Public Works and Government Services Canada. 
However, CISTI relies on revenue from the sale of NRC Research Press 
publications outside of Canada.  CISTI must be aware of and respond to trends 
regarding Open Access and will need to develop a new funding model for its 
publishing activities that will take these trends into account. Open Access 
may result in reduced collection costs for libraries. However, costs related 
to maintaining permanent storage and access may rise. As the trend to 
institutional repositories becomes a standard practice, CISTI is positioned 
to develop an institutional repository for NRC and may be called upon by the 
government to provide broader access to R&D outputs of Canadians through a 
national repository.
New challenges and opportunities created by the outcomes of the Open Access 
movement will impact on CISTI's collection costs and policies and on how 
CISTI provides access to STM information in the new paradigms.'Two of the 
CISTI strategic goals push in the right direction, though without committing 
the organization to OA:  'Goal 1: Provide universal, seamless, and permanent 
access to information for Canadian research and innovation.  Goal 2: Enable 
researchers and entrepreneurs to advance and exploit knowledge through 
accelerated, innovative scientific communication.'


----------  Forwarded Message  ----------

Subject: CAS protesting competition from OA PubChem
Date: Sunday 17 April 2005 2:15 pm
From: Barry Mahon <barry.mahon@IOL.IE>

 From Open Access News:

'CAS, formerly known as Chemical Abstracts Service, said the National 
Institutes of Health's PubChem database copies CAS' registry. It has asked 
the Bethesda, Md., health organization to change the way it compiles 
While CAS charges a fee for access to its registry, PubChem offers it free, 
threatening the company and its 1,200 employees, CAS President Robert Massie 
said.  "For me to wake up one morning and find I have to compete with my own 
government is extraordinary," Massie told The Columbus Dispatch for a story 
published Friday.
The information CAS provides - chemical properties, molecular diagrams, 
scientific-journal entries - is used by thousands of chemists and other 
scientists.  CAS questions whether the information PubChem compiles violates 
copyright law. CAS, a division of the American Chemical Society, has tracked 
the field of chemistry since 1907. The CAS registry contains information on 
25 million chemicals.
Last year, NIH started PubChem to further medical research. Its 850,000 
entries link molecular data to biomedical literature, said Jeremy Berg, 
director of the National Institute of General Medical Sciences.  He said 
PubChem does not have the same information as the CAS Registry.  Gov. Bob 
Taft said in a letter to U.S. Health and Human Services Secretary Michael 
Leavitt that PubChem "threatens the very existence of CAS."'


----------  Forwarded Message  ----------

Subject: Fwd: "Life After NIH" - Stevan Harnad comments
Date: Saturday 16 April 2005 5:33 pm
From: Barry Mahon <barry.mahon@IOL.IE>


A commentary by Stevan on an article in the Library Journal. A good summary of 
the state of the art in what is becoming, in my opinion, an increasingly 
confusing situation concerning OA and the various 'paths' to achieving 'Green 
or Gold' status.

Bye, Barry

    Andrew R. Albanese "Life After NIH" (Library Journal, April 15 2005)

In this article today about the NIH 6-12-month Back Access "Request"
Policy, Albanese asks "After a flawed policy, what's next for librarians
and open access?"

    "SPARC executive director Rick Johnson, one of the NIH proposal's most
    ardent supporters says... 'I see open access as a means to introduce
    market forces into a system that largely is devoid of them. Our task
    is to break this monopoly and at the same time enable a competitive,
    dynamic market for services that add value to research.'"

I instead see open access as open access. I see our immediate task
as reaching 100% open access, already well within reach, as soon as
possible. I think we are already quite late.

    "Johnson says it is a mistake to take the current NIH policy at
    face value and that the public discussion SPARC has helped fuel will
    crystallize into success for open access. 'Without such a clear symbol
    of why we need open access, change on a broad scale would occur at
    a slower pace,' he says. 'I am convinced that Congress will not be
    satisfied with a de facto 12-month embargo, and I can't imagine the
    NIH will be either... The current [NIH] policy is not the end of
    the discussion... We'll soon know what percentages of eligible
    papers make their way into PubMed Central and the average delay in
    public availability. If the result does not respond to the wishes
    of Congress, then I expect NIH will make adjustments.'"

I think our pace could not possibly be slower and that waiting several
more years to weigh the "percentage of papers" and the "average delay"
of NIH Back Access and then "make adjustments" is an extremely bad idea.

There is an immediate alternative, which is to adopt and promote the more
recent and optimal Berlin-3 Policy recommendation (formulated this month
at an international meeting in Southampton UK) instead of the flawed
NIH policy.


The two policies differ in 4 critical respects:

    NIH: self-archive up to 6-12 months after publication
    B-3: self-archive immediately upon publication

    NIH: self-archive only NIH-funded research
    B-3: self-archive all institutional research output

    NIH: self-archive in PubMed Central
    B-3: self-archive in researcher's own institutional archive

    NIH: request self-archiving
    B-3: require self-archiving

There are already several hundred institutional archives worldwide, but
most are near-empty, because most have not yet adopted a self-archiving


About a dozen of these institutions, however, *have* adopted a
self-archiving policy, and some of the biggest of these (CNRS, INRIA,
CERN) -- approaching a bigger total research output than NIH, and
across all disciplines (not just biomedicine) -- adopted their policy
this month, as a direct result of the Berlin-3 policy recommendation:


The world now has a clear choice: To wait and see the outcome of the
NIH policy, and then perhaps "make adjustments," or to get it right the
first time, by adopting Berlin-3 and providing Open Access now.

Institutions adopting a self-archiving policy are invited to register
and describe it, so as to encourage emulation by others, at:


Stevan Harnad

    BOAI-1 ("green"): Publish your article in a suitable toll-access journal
    BOAI-2 ("gold"): Publish your article in a open-access journal if/when
            a suitable one exists.
    in BOTH cases self-archive a supplementary version of your article
            in your institutional repository.



Best wishes

Peter Strickland
Managing Editor
IUCr Journals

IUCr Editorial Office, 5 Abbey Square, Chester CH1 2HU, England
Phone: 44 1244 342878   Fax: 44 1244 314888   Email: ps@iucr.org
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