Blog archive for February, 2007

Free Culture group announces repository project on OA Day

February 15th, 2007 by Kaitlin Thaney

It’s Open Access Day! Brought to you by Free Culture and the Alliance for Taxpayer Access (ATA), today is a National Day of Action for students who support increased access to publicly funded research.

February 15 also marks the fifth anniversary of the Budapest Open Access Initiative, heralded as the beginning of the worldwide open access movement. Organizers hope this day of action will draw attention to the “importance of taxpayer access to publicly funded research” as well as help “rally support for Congressional passage of the Federal Research Public Access Act – introduced last year by Senators John Cornyn (R-Texas) and Joseph Lieberman (I-Conn.).

Harvard’s Free Culture group raised OA awareness and support by announcing the creation of an open access repository system that would hold undergraduate students’ senior theses. The Thesis Repository project (also referred to as the “Free Thesis Project”) is said to be up and running by March 1, 2007, in time for this year’s graduates to submit their final papers.

All work will be put under a CC-BY license, allowing for the works to be freely shared and remixed as long as proper attribution is given.

For more information on the Thesis Repository Project, see their FAQ.

Freely available and still profitable?

February 8th, 2007 by Kaitlin Thaney

Despite the heated rhetoric over open-access (OA), some journal publishers have been quietly finding ways to reconcile OA with profit-making. The American Society for Cell Biology is one of those publishers. Gary Ward, treasurer of the organization, discusses this point in a recent blog post on The Chronicle’s Web site, contesting the common misconception that open access undermines business models and lacks an economic incentive.

From the post:

“Scientific journals can be made freely available to the public and still make money […]. For the past six years, the society has made reports published in its monthly research journal, Molecular Biology of the Cell, available online to nonsubscribers two months after publication. The journal has not only remained financially sound but also continues to generate profits while following an open-access model, the society reports.”

Ward’s stance comes in the wake of a recent article in Nature, exposing the plan of a group of for-profit publishers to hire “PR pit bull” Eric Dezenhall to take on open-access. For our blog post on the article, click here.

To read more about the ASCB’s argument for open-access, click here.

(Thanks to Peter Suber for posting this.)

iBridge Network launches at DEMO 07

February 1st, 2007 by Kaitlin Thaney

The iBridge Network – a partner in the Science Commons Materials Transfer project – launched publicly yesterday at the DEMO 07 conference. The project is a program of the Kauffman Innovation Network, Inc., an initiative of the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation.

The iBridge Web site currently lists 728 research innovations (as of today), available from seven universities. The iBridge Network facilitates the transfer of these innovations – creating a searchable index that streamlines access to advances that may otherwise not be discovered by the public. The site not only helps scientific achievements and research on the university level gain greater recognition, but also is designed to ease the transaction burden on the university (which, of course, is where Science Commons comes in).

So, what all can iBridge be used for? From their official press release:

“Universities may use the iBridge Web site to license and distribute a variety of items, including software, research tools, databases, teaching materials, survey, and reference materials. Postings may include a variety of research materials and descriptions of ongoing research activities.”

iBridge is a partner with our MTA project, and will be one of the first sites to host our MTA tools consisting of standardized agreements along with software that facilitates MTA contracting and negotiation.

Currently, iBridge is working with the University of Arizona, University of Kansas, Washington University in St. Louis, Cornell University, University of Chicago, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, and the Wisconsin Alumni Research Foundation. The beta version of the site lets users browse by category, tags, or search by organization.

For more information on iBridge or to search the database yourself, visit their Web site.