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Peter Suber
Works at Harvard Office for Scholarly Communication
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Peter Suber

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This +Gmail bug is driving me nuts. It started at least five days ago and I'm still seeing it today. What gives? If fixing it is a low priority for Google, this doesn't look good. If fixing it is a high priority for Google, it looks even worse.
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Peter Suber

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Happy birthday to the Budapest Open Access Initiative.

Today is the 13th anniversary of the original BOAI public statement <> and the 3d anniversary of its 10th anniversary update <>. I'm proud of my association with both. 

As we put it in the 10th anniversary statement, the BOAI "didn't invent the idea of OA. On the contrary, it deliberately drew together existing projects to explore how they might 'work together to achieve broader, deeper, and faster success.' But the BOAI was the first initiative to use the term 'open access' for this purpose, the first to articulate a public definition, the first to propose complementary strategies for realizing OA, the first to generalize the call for OA to all disciplines and countries, and the first to be accompanied by significant funding."

Happy Valentines Day to all who are working for OA worldwide!

#oa #openaccess #boai 
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Peter Suber

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New OA mandate from the US Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ).

The Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) just became the second US federal agency to adopt an OA mandate under the Obama White House directive of February 2013.

The first such OA mandate came from the Department of Energy (DOE). For the reasons why I found it deeply flawed, see my blog post from August 2014.

On the plus side, the AHRQ avoids one of the biggest mistakes of the DOE policy. AHRQ will use OA repositories independent of publishers. As much as it can, the DOE will use publisher-hosted OA. AHRQ will disregard CHORUS, while DOE will depend on CHORUS. 

On the minus side, the AHRQ shares one of the biggest mistakes of the DOE policy. It is silent on open licensing and reuse, even though the White House guidelines explicitly require agency policies to "maximize the potential for...creative reuse." (To be more precise, the AHRQ wants reuse for data, but is silent on reuse for articles.)

We know that the White House approved the DOE policy. I can't tell yet whether it has approved the AHRQ policy. If it has, that will confirm the conclusion that +The White House will not enforce its own guidelines. If it hasn't yet approved the new policy, and is still deliberating, then there's hope that public comments can persuade it to send agency policies back to the drawing board to comply with the reuse requirement.

Here's my quick take on the AHRQ policy strengths and weaknesses:

* The AHRQ policy does not rely on CHORUS or publisher-hosted OA. For articles, it will use PubMed Central. For data, it will outsource to a still-unnamed commercial repository.
* It covers data as well as articles.
* It wants data to be freely available at time of publication, without embargo.
* It adopts the NIH mechanism to enforce the deposit requirement, including the potential withholding of funds to non-compliant grantees.

* It's silent on the timing of the deposit of articles. For example, it doesn't require deposit at the time of acceptance or before the time of publication.
* It's silent on open licensing and reuse.

The AHRQ permits embargoes up to 12 months. That's a weakness, but unfortunately it's one allowed, even encouraged, by the White House guidelines. 

For background, see the Obama White House directive itself from February 2013.

Also see my March 2013 article on the Obama directive and FASTR.

Also see the AHRQ home page.

#oa #openaccess #ahrq  
This document is the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality's (AHRQ's) plan for establishing a policy for public access to scientific publications and scientific data in digital format resulting from AHRQ funding.
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It makes sense for AHRQ to use PMC because they already use the NIH award tracking system, and they are a tiny agency.
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Users of #openaccess research speak.

These stories volunteered by the users of our open-access repository are the best evidence that OA serves real people with real needs, that OA meets unmet demand, that the demand unmet by conventional journals includes academic and non-academic readers, and that for scholars who publish in conventional journals, deposit in an OA repository is not a superfluous extra step but a social and academic gift, even a responsibility, for which uncounted readers will be deeply grateful. 

For scholars who publish in conventional journals and want to reach everyone who could benefit from their work, or everyone wishing to read, cite, apply, extend, or build on it, these stories are the best incentive to deposit that work in an OA repository.

"The Harvard Library Office for Scholarly Communication is very pleased to launch Your Story Matters, a new site featuring stories and anecdotes from users of DASH (Digital Access to Scholarship at Harvard), Harvard's open-access repository. With nearly 1,000 user stories from 83 countries, "Your Story Matters" offers moving evidence that DASH readers are deeply grateful for barrier-free access to Harvard research. Since DASH launched in 2009, users have downloaded its articles 4.6 million times, from every country on Earth. Even the subset of users who volunteered stories to DASH includes a remarkable variety of people <>, from faculty and students at institutions unable to afford the high prices of scholarly journals, to non-academics such as physicians, nurses, clergy, writers, journalists, public officials, social workers, political activists, retirees, and ordinary citizens in countries that try to limit what people may read. The visual interface of "Your Story Matters," and the easy way it supports rapid scrolling through stories from different countries, make vivid who is using DASH, from where, and with what impact...."

#oa #openaccess  
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Delighted to see this! I have linked to it from
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Peter Suber

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Targeting predatory journals without targeting #openaccess .

Many have said this, but it can't be repeated often enough. There's a baby in this bathwater.

From +Jocalyn Clark and +Richard Smith in BMJ: "Unfortunately, predatory publishing is often confused with open access publishing....Legitimate open access publishing — which has widely benefited scientific communication — uses all the professional and ethical practices associated with the best science publishing...."

#oa #openaccess  
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Like all BMJ editorials since 2003, that one's paywalled. Add to the long list of #OA advocacy #irony emitting from that quarter. Spreading FUD (fear, uncertainty, doubt) about newcomers is a well-recognised tactic of any incumbent. Look, here's a 2013 example from the NEJM (home of the Ingelfinger rule, re-invented in the 1990s to head off self-archiving at the pass) :, which joyfully catalogues OA wrongdoing whilst studiously (and disgracefully) ignoring the positive developments there have been towards quality: OASPA etc.
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Peter Suber

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This is a great opportunity to spend a summer at the +Berkman Center for Internet & Society. Spread the word.

Among other Berkman projects, mine (Harvard Open Access Project, is hiring an intern.

#oa #openaccess 
Time Commitment | Payment | Commitment to Diversity | Eligibility | Select Expected Summer 2015 Opportunities | Selectivity / Opportunity | To Apply. The application deadline for all students for Summer 2015 is Monday February 16, 2015 at 11:59 p.m. ET. Each summer the Berkman Center for ...
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Have him in circles
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Peter Suber

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From +Lawrence Lessig​: Opponents of net neutrality "are now frantically filling the tubes with FUD about the FCC's decision. But as you work through this FUD, keep one basic fact clear. Relative to practically every other comparable nation, America's broadband sucks. Seriously, sucks. Even France beats us in cost and quality. And as the genius Yochai Benkler established in the monumental report by the Berkman Center commissioned by the FCC after Obama was elected, the single most important reason our broadband sucks is the sell-out regulatory strategy of the prior decade at least. Nations that imposed neutrality-like rules beat us, in cost and quality. They have more competition, faster growth, and better access. So for anyone remotely connected to reality-based policy making, it has been clear forever that America made a wrong turn in its regulatory strategy, and that we needed an about face."

#netneutrality #FCC 
The history in Internet innovation is the story of outsiders building a better mouse trap -- kids, dropouts, and non-Americans, given a neutral platform to prove their ideas. It was neutral because it was built that way....
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+Ronald Holliman
the worse off part  and this option would be better is debatable..
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Peter Suber

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Another story from a DASH user.

#oa #openaccess
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Nature makes CC-BY the default for its open-access journals.

Not all of Nature's journals are OA, but all its OA journals will now use CC-BY as their default license. This is a good move. 

From the +Nature Publishing Group: "We’re pleased to start 2015 with an announcement that we’re now using Creative Commons Attribution license CC BY 4.0 as default. This will apply to all of the 18 fully open access journals Nature Publishing Group owns, and will also apply to any future titles we launch. Two society- owned titles have introduced CC BY as default today and we expect to expand this in the coming months....Some authors will always prefer CC BY-NC-SA or CC BY-NC-ND, for a myriad of different reasons, and we support their choice to do so – but CC BY is widely considered to be the gold standard for open access, as it allows for maximum re-use and discovery.  It is also preferred by many funders, and we continue to be compliant with all open access funder mandates. As a result we will be introducing CC BY as default across all of the fully open access journals we own (plus two owned by our academic and society partners) from today, at a flat APC rate...."

#oa #openaccess #libre   #cc -by
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Awesome! Thanks for sharing!
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Peter Suber

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World Health Organization wants to open up research into Ebola and other diseases of the global south.

From the "Follow-up of the report of the Consultative Expert Working Group on Research and Development: Financing and Coordination" by the Director-General of the +World Health Organization (WHO), December 19, 2014:

"The focus of the fund would be the development of effective and affordable health technologies related to type III and type II diseases and the specific research and development needs of developing countries in relation to type I diseases, taking into account the principles formulated by the Consultative Expert Working Group on Research and Development: Financing and Coordination, namely delinkage of the delivery price from research and development costs, the use of open knowledge innovation, and licensing for access."

For the definitions of type I, II, and III diseases, see this WHO doc from 2012:

"Type I diseases: are incident in both rich and poor countries, with large numbers of vulnerable populations in each. Type II diseases: are incident in both rich and poor countries, but with a substantial proportion of the cases in poor countries. Type III diseases: are those that are overwhelmingly or exclusively incident in developing countries."

Now if only we could see some definitions of "open knowledge innovation" and "licensing for access". Does this mean open access under CC-BY or CC0? If so, it would help to say so. If not, it would help to spell out the restrictions on life-saving research that WHO is willing to accept.

Here's a WHO gloss on "open knowledge innovation" from another 2012 doc:

"[O]pen knowledge innovation: precompetitive research and development platforms, open source and open access schemes, and the utilization of prizes, in particular milestone prizes."

#oa #openaccess #ebola #who #south
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Get some new clues.

+Doc Searls and +David Weinberger, two of the four authors of the original Cluetrain Manifesto, just published 121 New Clues

Of course the new work is OA. In fact, it's in the public domain under CC0.

Every section is beautifully done, especially (IMHO) "The Net is not a medium" (clues 19-24), "Marketing still makes it harder to talk" (52-67), "Kumbiyah sounds surprisingly good in an echo chamber" (94-103). 

Doc and David remind us why we love the internet, and why we resent threats to what we love. Thank you Doc and David.

#clueful  #newclues
Hear, O Internet. It has been sixteen years since our previous communication. In that time the People of the Internet — you and me and all our friends of friends of friends, unto the last Kevin Bacon — have made the Internet an awesome place, filled with wonders and portents.
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Peter Suber

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Go Dutch!

From Paul Jump in the +Times Higher Education​​​: "Dutch universities have vowed not to soften their groundbreaking demands for publishers to permit all papers published by their academics to be made open access for no extra charge....Gerard Meijer, president of Radboud University and one of the lead negotiators for the Dutch universities, said that in addition to preserving access to their subscription journals, the universities wanted publishers to permit all future articles whose corresponding author has a Dutch affiliation to be published on an open access basis for no extra charge. He said universities were also unwilling to tolerate any more above-inflation price rises...."

#oa #openaccess
Institutions ‘unbending’ on fee-free demand as talks with Elsevier resume
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+Peter Suber Netherlands has 8 OA policies, only 3 of them mandates, and all of those are institutional, not governmental or funder mandates. We both object to gold mandates absent green mandates. Most of the Netherlands talk (and all of the Netherlands governmental talk) has been -- and continues to be -- about gold, not green.
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I work for the free circulation of science and scholarship in every field and language. In practice that means research, writing, organizing, and pro bono consulting for open access to research. I wear several hats:
I'm the founder of the Open Access Tracking Project, co-founder of the Open Access Directory, and co-developer of TagTeam.

My latest book is Open Access (MIT Press, 2012). The book itself is OA, and I've created a book home page for posting updates and supplements, and linking to reviews, translations, and OA editions. Also see my other writings on open access, my writings on topics other than open access, and my section of the Harvard institutional repository.

For more detail, see my home page.

My G+ posts are automatically reposted to my Twitter account. I seldom post to Twitter manually. I don't use FB or LinkedIn at all. For now, I'm on what Mike Elgan calls a Google+ diet

Most of my G+ posts are about open access (OA), but most of what I want to share about OA doesn't yet make it to G+. I tag new OA developments for the Open Access Tracking Project (OATP). You can follow complete versions of the OATP feed on the web or by RSS, Atom, JSONP, or email. There are also Twitter and G+ versions of the feed, but unfortunately they are both abridged (details here and here respectively). 
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