Publishers behaving badly

A recent article in Science Magazine,, reveals a troubling problem with peer review at some scientific journals. The author, John Bohannon, submitted a bogus, scientifically and ethically flawed paper to 304 Gold OA journals (meaning they charge a fee to publish), and so far 157 journals have accepted the article. 98 journals have rejected the paper, including PLoS One and a Hindawi journal. Publishers for journals that accepted the paper include some listed on Jeffrey Beall’s Predatory Open Access list and well-known publishers like Elsevier, Sage and Wolters Kluwer.

While this is certainly a very interesting topic, without repeating the study on toll-access journals and evaluating articles posted to institutional repositories it’s rather difficult to say if the problem is exclusive to OA journals or part of a larger problem in the scientific publishing community.

Open Educational Resources – Past, Present, Future?

Wednesday, October 23rd, 12:30-1:30pm in SAC 1.118

In this presentation, Garin Fons, will discuss the inception and evolution of Open Educational Resources (OER) over the past 10 years and explore where the Open Education movement might be headed in the years to come.

OERs are teaching and learning materials freely available online for everyone to use and reuse. To see a local example of an OER, the University of Texas at Austin’s Center for Open Educational Resources and Language Learning (COERLL) created a Yorùbá Open Access Textbook, called Yorùbá Yé Mi. To see large-scale offerings of OERs, see MIT’s OpenCourseWare website for their 2,150 course materials, which went live in 2002 and reached 125 million visits in 2012.

Garin Fons is the Project Manager for the University of Texas at Austin’s Center for Open Educational Resources and Language Learning (COERLL). He helps COERLL coordinate the creation of various openly licensed foreign language teaching and learning materials, including open textbooks, web resources, video, image, and audio archives, and supervises the development of other innovative projects to combine principles of a participatory and collaborative culture with deeper teaching and learning. He received his MSI from the University of Michigan’s School of Information and when not at the University, enjoys making charcuterie and salami.

Wikipedia Edit-a-thon

Celebrate Open Access Week by joining other students, faculty, staff, librarians, and community members interested in becoming Wikipedians and improving the open educational content of this online encyclopedia.

Monday, October 21, 4-6pm in PCL 1.124

The first thirty minutes of the event will be a short introduction to the basics of editing followed by an editing session where you can contribute your expertise to Wikipedia and get one-on-one assistance from experienced editors. Learn how to access the resources of the University of Texas Libraries, including the open access resources found in the UT Digital Repository, guided by the expertise of our librarians.

Free snacks while they last will be available to fuel your contributions. Everyone is welcome and no previous web development or Wikipedia editing experience is required to participate. Current UT students, faculty and staff need an EID to log on to computers for hands-on access. The general public is welcome to attend without hands-on access.

We hope to update the OA Week blog with examples of what was edited during the session, so stay tuned for another Edit-a-thon post after the event.

We hope to see you there!

Update on Google Books Case

Judge Denny Chin heard oral arguments yesterday in the long running case regarding the lawsuit over Google’s library book scanning project. Comments from Judge Chin during oral arguments seem to indicate he will be inclined to rule that Google’s digitization project including Google Books search engine fall within fair use.

Reuters article:

Publishers Weekly article:

OA Week 2013 Events

Dates and times have been finalized for UT Libraries’ OA Week 2013 events.

  • Monday, October 21st, 4-6 pm: Wikipedia Editathon in the Perry Castañeda Library (PCL 1.124)
  • Tuesday, October 22nd, 12-1:30 pm: Open Access Panel Discussion in the Student Activity Center Legislative Assembly Room (SAC 2.302)
  • Wednesday, October 23rd, 12:30-1:30 pm: Open Educational Resources – Past, Present & Future? in the Student Activity Center (SAC 1.118)
  • Thursday, October 24th, 6-9 pm: RiP: A Remix Manifesto movie screening in the Fine Arts Library
  • Friday, October 25th, 12-1 pm: Open Access Scholarly Publishing with Texas Digital Library in the Student Activity Center (SAC 1.118)

Stay tuned for more information about each event.


Half of 2011 papers free to read

The European Commission recently released a report that finds that half of all articles published in 2011 are now freely available to read. The rise of open access journals, delayed free access in traditional journals (typically a 12 month embargo), and author-archived copies are all believed to contribute to the increased availability of articles.

Nature news article about this report:

Link to PDF of report:

Responses to the White House OSTP Directive on Open Access

I had been waiting for the draft plans in response to the Feb, 2013 White House Directive on Open Access to be released, so we might see what affect the plans would have on our own planning for our institutional repository, the UTDR, as well as to plan educational and support programs. Word is that the draft plans were required to be submitted to the White House by August 22, 2013, but not made public necessarily, until they go through internal review and revision. But there is some indication from those who are close to the process that most of the 23 agencies that are affected are considering most seriously an interagency repository or utilizing the existing NIH repository, PubMed Central. This may be a bit of a surprise for all of us, in that the mandate to accomplish open access without additional funding suggested that reliance on outside facilities, such as those proposed by the publishers (CHORUS) and University libraries (SHARE), would prove useful. Apparently not so much, at least not with respect to journal articles. Maybe with data.

All of this is speculation at this point, however. I guess that’s all we’ve got right now.

Project Open Data

President Obama recently signed an Executive Order to make government data more accessible to the public. The terms of the Executive Order and the new Open Data Policy state that all newly generated government data will be made available in an open, machine-readable format.

In an effort to help federal agencies and researchers comply with the new policy the website, Project Open Data, has been created. The website includes definitions, implementation guidelines, free software tools, and case studies.

Oregon State adopts open access policy

Oregon State University unanimously approved an open access policy at their June 2013 Faculty Senate meeting.

“The policy grants Oregon State University a non-exclusive license to exercise any and all rights under copyright relating to its faculty’s scholarly articles, in any medium, and to authorize others to do the same, provided that the articles are not sold for a profit. The policy further directs faculty to submit an electronic copy of the accepted (post-peer review, pre-typeset) manuscript of their articles to OSU Libraries for dissemination via its institutional repository.”

They join a growing list of universities around the world that have adopted open access policies in order to make the work created at those universities freely available.

For more information about OSU’s policy, see the Center for Digital Scholarship & Services announcement: