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An intro to Open Access

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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/ )

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 Mounce University of Bath, PhD Candidate OKF Community Coordinator, Open Science #like45 @rmounce
  2. 2. What is open access? By "open access" to this literature, we mean its free availability on the public internet, permitting any users to read, download, copy, distribute, print, search, or link to the full texts of these articles, crawl them for indexing, pass them as data to software, or use them for any other lawful purpose, without financial, legal, or technical barriers other than those inseparable from gaining access to the internet itself. The only constraint on reproduction and distribution, and the only role for copyright in this domain, should be to give authors control over the integrity of their work and the right to be properly acknowledged and cited. http://www.opensocietyfoundations.org/openaccess/read Budapest Open Access Initiative (BOAI), 2002 (N.B. Clickable links all the way through!)
  3. 3. What is open access? ● It's more than just 'free access' ● It's more than just 'ocular access' A vital and sometimes neglected aspect of OA is the (legal) right to re-use, redistribute and remix OA materials. If it's 'open' to some uses but not all (e.g. commercial use), it's NOT open access. Search “Open Access Explained!” for more – it's a brilliant video http://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: publishers have 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, it's small data: ~72,000 PDFs from PLOS are just ~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 ● Artists Case examples at whoneedsaccess.org
  6. 6. Who Needs Access? ● Jack Andraka US school kid who discovered a less-invasive, cheaper test for early pancreatic cancer He had to pay thousands of $$$ to get access to the literature he needed to read. “ I want all kids to have the same opportunities I 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 Public One subscription access provider recently admitted: JSTOR turns away almost 150 million individual attempts to gain access to articles every year. One in four people seeking health information online have hit a paywall [Pew Research, 2013] http://chronicle.com/blogs/wiredcampus/jstor-tests-free-read-only-access-to-some-articles/34908 http://www.pewinternet.org/Reports/2013/Health-online/Part-One/Section-9.aspx
  8. 8. I want to help reconstruct the 'Tree of Life'. Thousands of other scientists also want to do this. Phylogenetic research gets published piecemeal across >100,000 papers. Hard to synthesise, much of it not in PMC My PhD
  9. 9. My content of interest is scattered across 1000+ journals Needless to say, I don't have access to all of this content :( 34 76,523 articles out of a total of 91,788 for this period
  10. 10. Standard license agreements ● Many explicitly do not allow data mining e.g. Nature, JSTOR, AIP, ACS, Elsevier, Taylor & Francis... “This licence does not include any derivative use of the Site or the Materials, any collection and use of any product listings, descriptions, or prices; any downloading or copying of account information for the benefit of another merchant; or any use of data mining, robots or similar data gathering and extraction tools...” InformaWorld Source See also: http://www.cdlib.org/services/collections/redactions/ http://www.mpdl.mpg.de/services/ezb-readme_en.htm
  11. 11. Asking permission doesn't scale ● There are 90,000 different publishers in 215 different countries listed in Ulrich's Periodicals Directory & >336,000 periodicals. “I had a phone call on Friday with my university librarian and six (!) Elsevier employees.” Heather Piwowar 5 March → 16 April just to get permission/access to start work on just one publisher's content Could 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-off before. My 'crime' – downloading more than 25 PDFs in 5mins. ● Access to materials of one publisher for the entire U. of Cambridge campus for a week(!) was blocked because Peter Murray-Rust through legitimate access downloaded 'too many' PDFs in the course of 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 content wholesale. What's the problem? Why are we being criminalized?
  13. 13. OA publishers make it easy One can easily download the entire content of many OA publishers e.g. PloS, BMC, Hindawi... They actively facilitate & encourage corpus downloads All of PLoS as PDF up to mid-2010 is just 15GB (~72,000 articles)
  14. 14. For-profit publishers have incentives to actively block content mining “53 % of publisher respondents will decline mining requests if the results can replace or compete with their own products and services” from the Publishing Research Consortium's 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 making money from access to, or services around them. N.B. >80% of research is public sector funded Dan Graham, HSBC report 2013: https://www.research.hsbc.com/midas/Res/RDV?ao=20&key=RxArFbnG1P&n=360010.PDF
  15. 15. Costs Open Access isn't without financial cost ...but at least it's transparent. Costs as low as $6.50 per article for some journals With subscription access; cost is murky. There are 'big deal' bundles and NDA's (non-disclosure agreements) UCL pays > £1,000,000 per year for subscription access to just Elsevier material http://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 (I'm 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 journals http://www.eigenfactor.org/openaccess/

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