An intro to Open Access

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Given at LIKE 45 "Strictly Open" in The Castle pub, Farringdon 6pm to 10pm http://like45.eventbrite.com/

An event organised by London Information & Knowledge Exchange ( LIKE, http://www.likenews.org.uk/ )

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An intro to Open Access

  1. 1. Ross MounceUniversity of Bath, PhD CandidateOKF Community Coordinator, Open Science#like45 @rmounce
  2. 2. What is open access?By "open access" to this literature, we mean its free availability on thepublic internet, permitting any users to read, download, copy, distribute,print, search, or link to the full texts of these articles, crawl them forindexing, pass them as data to software, or use them for any other lawfulpurpose, without financial, legal, or technical barriers other than thoseinseparable from gaining access to the internet itself. The only constrainton reproduction and distribution, and the only role for copyright in thisdomain, should be to give authors control over the integrity of their workand the right to be properly acknowledged and cited.http://www.opensocietyfoundations.org/openaccess/readBudapest Open Access Initiative (BOAI), 2002(N.B. Clickable links all the way through!)
  3. 3. What is open access?● Its more than just free access● Its more than just ocular accessA vital and sometimes neglected aspect of OA isthe (legal) right to re-use, redistribute and remixOA materials.If its open to some uses but not all (e.g.commercial use), its NOT open access.Search “Open Access Explained!” for more – its a brilliant videohttp://www.youtube.com/watch?v=L5rVH1KGBCY
  4. 4. Why do we need OA?● The “serials crisis”, the Academic Spring, ethics,efficiency, economics, fraud... so many reasons!● Articles are non-substitutable goods: publishershave a monopoly, with no regulation● 2 million scholarly articles published per year c.4% growth rate each year● >50 million scholarly articles so far (Jinha, 2010)● Yet, its small data: ~72,000 PDFs from PLOS arejust ~15GB (compressed)
  5. 5. Who Needs Access?● Everyone● Translators, policy-makers, small businesses● Doctors, dentists, nurses● Teachers, politicians, patients & patient groups● School kids (e.g. Jack Andraka)● Amateur & retired scholars● ArtistsCase examples at whoneedsaccess.org
  6. 6. Who Needs Access?● Jack AndrakaUS school kid who discovereda less-invasive, cheaper testfor early pancreatic cancerHe had to pay thousands of$$$ to get access to theliterature he needed to read.“ I want all kids to have the same opportunitiesI had – the opportunity to innovate.”http://blogs.plos.org/thestudentblog/2013/02/18/why-science-journal-paywalls-have-to-go/
  7. 7. Who Needs Access?● The General PublicOne subscription accessprovider recently admitted:JSTOR turns away almost150 million individual attemptsto gain access to articlesevery year.One in four people seeking health informationonline have hit a paywall [Pew Research, 2013]http://chronicle.com/blogs/wiredcampus/jstor-tests-free-read-only-access-to-some-articles/34908http://www.pewinternet.org/Reports/2013/Health-online/Part-One/Section-9.aspx
  8. 8. I want to helpreconstruct theTree of Life.Thousands of otherscientists also wantto do this.Phylogeneticresearch getspublishedpiecemeal across>100,000 papers.Hard to synthesise,much of it not inPMCMy PhD
  9. 9. My content of interest is scattered across 1000+ journalsNeedless to say, I dont have access to all of this content :(3476,523 articlesout of a total of 91,788 for this period
  10. 10. Standard license agreements● Many explicitly do not allow data mininge.g. Nature, JSTOR, AIP, ACS, Elsevier, Taylor & Francis...“This licence does not include any derivative use of the Site orthe Materials, any collection and use of any product listings,descriptions, or prices; any downloading or copying of accountinformation for the benefit of another merchant; or any use ofdata mining, robots or similar data gathering and extractiontools...”InformaWorldSource See also: http://www.cdlib.org/services/collections/redactions/http://www.mpdl.mpg.de/services/ezb-readme_en.htm
  11. 11. Asking permission doesnt scale● There are 90,000 different publishers in 215 different countries listedin Ulrichs Periodicals Directory & >336,000 periodicals.“I had a phone call on Friday with my university librarianand six (!) Elsevier employees.”Heather Piwowar5 March → 16 April just to get permission/access to start work onjust one publishers contentCould have done all of the analysis in time period.Hugely intimidating & patronizing process, an utter waste of time
  12. 12. Blocking & Criminalizing Research● I have had my access to at least one publisher (BioOne) cut-offbefore. My crime – downloading more than 25 PDFs in 5mins.● Access to materials of one publisher for the entire U. of Cambridgecampus for a week(!) was blocked because Peter Murray-Rustthrough legitimate access downloaded too many PDFs in the courseof his research● Countless other cases, large majority not widely reported● ...Aaron Swartz – need I say more?We have legitimate access, we do not seek to redistribute contentwholesale. Whats the problem? Why are we being criminalized?
  13. 13. OA publishers make it easyOne can easilydownload the entirecontent of many OApublishers e.g. PloS,BMC, Hindawi...They actively facilitate& encourage corpusdownloadsAll of PLoS as PDF upto mid-2010 is just 15GB(~72,000 articles)
  14. 14. For-profit publishers have incentivesto actively block content mining“53 % of publisher respondents will decline mining requests if theresults can replace or compete with their own products and services”from the Publishing Research Consortiums own report(Smit & van der Graaf, 2011)My POV: some publishers are clearly blocking the liberation of non-copyrightable facts from their content so they can continue makingmoney from access to, or services around them.N.B. >80% of research is public sector fundedDan Graham, HSBC report 2013:https://www.research.hsbc.com/midas/Res/RDV?ao=20&key=RxArFbnG1P&n=360010.PDF
  15. 15. CostsOpen Access isnt without financial cost...but at least its transparent.Costs as low as $6.50 per article for some journalsWith subscription access; cost is murky.There are big deal bundles and NDAs(non-disclosure agreements)UCL pays > £1,000,000 per year forsubscription access to just Elsevier materialhttp://edchamberlain.wordpress.com/2011/12/09/a-million-squid-you-say/http://blogs.law.harvard.edu/pamphlet/2012/03/06/an-efficient-journal/
  16. 16. Further topics... (you decide)● The Transition to Open Access● Green & Gold paths to open access(Im not a fan of the terminology!)● Article Processing Charges● RCUK policy & other OA policies● Decoupling the scholarly journal,Journal ranking, prestige, conservatism
  17. 17. Cost (x) vs Article Influence (y)There is little or no relationship between APC cost & article-level influence!Furthermore, there are an abundance of fee-free gold OA journalshttp://www.eigenfactor.org/openaccess/

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