I have a new report (jointly produced with CEPA for RIN) out today: Heading for the open road: costs and benefits of transitions in scholarly communications. We investigate the drivers, costs and beneﬁts of potential ways to increase access to scholarly journals. The report identiﬁes ﬁve different routes for achieving that end over the next ﬁve years, [read more]
The contract for the “Dynamics of improving access to research papers” project was awarded to CEPA (Cambridge Economic Policy Associates) working in association with Mark Ware Consulting. This project is part of the Transitions in scholarly communications portfolio of projects that are being managed by the Research Information Network with a very diverse range of [read more]
STM has just released The STM Report: An overview of scientific and scholarly journal publishing. A follow up to my 2006 report, Scientific publishing in transition: an overview of current developments, this new report collects the available evidence and provides a comprehensive picture of the trends and currents in scholarly communication.
I mentioned a couple of weeks ago that I am working with Robin Beecroft of Searchlighter on the development of a web-based toolkit for scholarly communications in the UK. We have now launched a blog for the project which can be found here: http://rinsc.wordpress.com/ We plan to use the blog to post our research findings [read more]
We’ve been awarded a contract to develop a web-based toolkit to support key stakeholders (especially research funders, higher education institutions, libraries and publishers) to apply the common principles set out in an earlier RIN document, the Research and the Scholarly Communications Process: towards strategic goals for public policy. I’m working with Robin Beecroft of Searchlighter on this [read more]
The JISC-funded report “Economic Implications of Alternative Scholarly Publishing Models: Exploring the costs and benefits” by John Houghton et al. was released today: – press release – full report (pdf) From the report: A reduction of revenue to the publishing industry, should it arise, would imply a reduction of activity and employment in the industry. [read more]
JISC announced its RepositoryNet project on 17 July:Repositories are important for universities and colleges in helping to capture, manage and share institutional assets as a part of their information strategy.
In my note about the launch of Nature Precedings last week, I said incorrectly there were 64 submissions on the launch date and gave the breakdown by subject category. This made a rather obvious error – my numbers assumed that each submission was in only one subject category, whereas course many have multiple categories.
Timo Hannay’s announcement is here and the press release here.The site is very nicely implemented, with all the Web2.0 features we have come to expect from Nature Publishing Group, including tagging (documents and people), voting for articles, and open discussion on articles, etc. Perhaps not surprising, by far the largest single subject category is Bioinformatics, with 20 documents…. Nature hopes the stature of the partners will allay fears about Nature’s plans for possible future control of the content.The site differs from some of the earlier preprint sites (like arXiv in physics) in that it accepts powerpoint presentations as well as journal article preprints, e.g. this interesting presentation: Open Notebook Science Using Blogs and Wikis.
This, in turn, allows them to solicit community feedback and establish priority over their results or ideas.A bioinformatics resesarcher, Pedro Beltrão, who has been participating in the beta testing, has a posting about it here…. Despite the long-time success of subject-based preprint servers in other disciplines (arXiv in physics, RePEc in economics, etc.), there has been very little interest to date, and indeed some active hostility, to the idea in biomedical research.
From publishers’ perspectives, the parts about open access will be of particular interest:The vision for 2010 refers to the wish that a “high percentage of newly published scholarly outputs [be] made on available on terms of open access” and speaks of “a growing recognition of the benefits of making academic content more available”…. Universities UK was:“firmly behind” JISC’s approach to the development of open access repositories, suggesting that repositories were “vital to universities’ economies and to the UK economy as a whole.”Although Universities UK has recently produced a Policy Brief on open access (I blogged about this a few days ago here) the presentation is much broader (although it opens with a slide on OA), covering efficiencies in managing academic assets, data-driven science, lifelong learning and preservation.
Universities UK – the representative body for the executive heads of UK universities and is recognised as the umbrella group for the university sector – has published a Policy Briefing entitled Publishing research results: the challenge of open access.It has not attracted much comment, perhaps out of embarrassment, because it is an extraordinarily unbalanced and partial review. For example, it ignores completely two reports (one written by myself, and the other by Chris Beckett and colleagues at Scholarly Information Strategies) which presented studies into the potential impact of self-archiving on journal subscriptions.
A story from data-recovery experts Ontrack UK’s list of Top 10 data disasters: Ontrack UK – Top 10 List of Data Loss Disasters of 2006:Beware of Bananas – A customer left an old banana on the top of his external hard drive which proceeded to seep its contents into the drive, ruining the circuitry. The drive would no longer run, but Ontrack was able to clean the drive and repair the circuit board so the drive would spin long enough to recover his data.