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January 22, 2008

Peer Review and Blog Comments Go Head-to-Head

An unusual experiment to compare traditional peer review with anonymous blog comments begins today, reports the Chronicle of Higher Education. Noah Wardrip-Fruin, assistant professor of communication at UCSD, working with the Institute for the Future of the Book's CommentPress (and with the agreement of his publisher, MIT Press), will post sections of his book (Expressive Processing: Digital Fictions, Computer Games, and Software Studies) on Grand Theft Auto, making it available to readers to add critiques in the margins. MIT Press also will use its traditional peer review process, allowing for a side-by-side comparison of traditional and new review techniques. Professor Wardrip-Fruin expects to receive many more helpful comments through the blog than through the traditional peer review approach. Although the blog comments may be helpful, it's unlikely that they will replace the traditional peer review process -- at least not quite yet.

Posted by P. Kaufman at 9:37 AM

January 18, 2008

More on the NIH Mandate from the journal, Science

The January 18th Science adds or clarifies several points about the recent NIH mandate (see previous posting), including:

Not surprisingly, publishers will be (and have been) monitoring what their authors put in PubMed Central:

...some publishers say they will need to police the site for articles mistakenly posted, such as those not yet released from the journal's embargo or those published before 2005. Martin Frank, executive director of the American Physiological Society, says APS asked NIH to remove 78 papers last year, and he expects "hundreds" of similar errors when the mandatory policy kicks in. Lipman acknowledges that NIH had to remove some papers. But complying with copyright, he says, is not NIH's responsibility; it's "between the author and the publisher."

For a growing list of other funder-mandates, take a look at ROARMAP (Registry of Open Access Repository Material Archiving Policies).

Posted by Katie Newman at 10:08 AM

January 16, 2008

Open Access Mandate from the European Research Council

The European Research Council (ERC), a relatively new granting agency with deep pockets, has released its Guidelines for Open Access:

The ERC requires that all peer-reviewed publications from ERC-funded research projects be deposited on publication into an appropriate research repository where available, such as PubMed Central, ArXiv or an institutional repository, and subsequently made Open Access within 6 months of publication.

This news is especially exciting as the ERC will shortly be announcing (PDF) it's first round of grant recipients, some 300 up-and-coming scientists from 21 countries and 170 institutions. Together they will share around 6 billion Euros over the next six years. Grant sizes will be for up to 2 million Euros per 5 year period.

The ERC joins a growing list of granting agencies that are requiring that publications resulting from their funds be made openly accessible within 6-12 months of publication.

Posted by Katie Newman at 5:43 PM

NIH Reveals Details of the Open Access Mandate

As previously reported, the National Institutes of Health (NIH), has been directed by new legislation to mandate that all peer-reviewed journal articles published as a result of NIH grant funds be made freely available through PubMed Central, the digital archive of biomedical and life sciences journal literature.

The NIH has now filled in many implementation details concerning the mandate and they may be found on the NIH Public Access site, FAQ, and Guide Notice for Public Access.

Details that will be of interest to the University of Illinois community:

The policy applies to all peer-reviewed articles that are accepted for publication on or after April 7, 2008.

From the FAQ:
“Authors should work with the publisher before any rights are transferred to ensure that all conditions of the NIH Public Access Policy can be met. Authors should avoid signing any agreements with publishers that do not allow the author to comply with the NIH Public Access Policy.”

A publisher’s compliance with the NIH policy can be checked by reviewing the SHERPA site. For example, from Sherpa one learns that both Nature and Science allow authors to comply with the NIH mandate, subject to restrictions, with just a 6 month embargo. In neither publication can the author archive the publisher's PDF (though it should be referenced); rather the author's final peer-reviewed version should be posted to PubMed Central. (The most convenient time to do this would be at the same that you send in the final version to the publisher.)

In our experience, authors are having some success with modifying the copyright transfer agreements when they strike through the objectionable portions of copyright transfer forms and write in the rights that they wish to maintain. The new NIH policy does not change the author’s copyrights’ status. The author can still “assign [copyrights] to journals, subject to the limited right that must be retained…to post the works in accordance with the Policy” in PubMed Central.

The NIH suggests some possible language that can be used to modify a publisher’s agreement: "Journal acknowledges that Author retains the right to provide a copy of the final manuscript to the NIH upon acceptance for Journal publication, for public archiving in PubMed Central as soon as possible but no later than 12 months after publication by Journal.”

Additionally, the University of Illinois provides authors with a copyright amendment form to publisher agreements that is supported by the provosts of the CIC, and was developed to support authors who wanted to retain some rights over the works that they produce. The amendment language, if accepted by the publisher, would allow authors to comply with the NIH mandate. Download the CIC amendment. To use the addendum, authors need only to fill in the form and staple it to the publisher's agreement form that they return to publishers prior to the publication of their article.

NIH will reimburse for publication costs, including author fees. (Some journals charge article processing fees for articles that will be made openly available. NIH’s policy is to cover such costs.)

Posting is required even if you publish in an open access journal, or if the article is freely accessible on the publisher’s website.

"Beginning May 25, 2008, anyone submitting an application, proposal or progress report to the NIH must include the PMC or the NIH Manuscript Submission reference number when citing applicable articles that arise from their NIH-funded research. This policy includes applications submitted to the NIH for the May 25, 2008 due date and subsequent due dates."

Be sure to read the NIH Public Access site, FAQ, and Guide Notice for Public Access.

Send questions concerning the mandate or other aspects of the NIH Public Access Policy to:
Office of Extramural Research
National Institutes of Health
1 Center Drive, Room 144
Bethesda, MD 20892-0152

For local assistance, please contact Katie Newman, University of Illinois Library Scholarly Communication Officer. or 217-265-5386

With thanks to the MIT Libraries for some of the organization of this message.

Posted by Katie Newman at 3:54 PM

January 15, 2008

University Presses Band Together to Produce More Books

From Research Information (1/7/2008)....

Top university presses announce a collaboration to find a way to reduce costs of scholarly publishing and to allow for more books to be released. Set up as a joint operation for copy-editing, design, layout and typesetting for the work in American literatures, the collaboration will be funded by the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation. The five university presses involved are: the NYU Press, Rutgers University Press, Fordham University Press, Temple University Press and the University of Virginia Press.

The NYU will manage a $1.37 million grant to be spread out over five years. The grant includes royalties for authors and marketing funds. It is expected that Mellon will follow this grant with several others promoting collaboration, in sectors such as Slavic studies, ethnomusicology and East Asian studies.

The new system is likely to generate adequate savings to allow each of the presses to increase output by five books a year.

Read more:
Inside Higher Ed (12/28/2007)

Posted by Katie Newman at 12:06 PM

January 2, 2008

America's Most Literate Cities

The annual rankings of the "most literate cities" have been released by Central Connecticut State University, accounting for per capita booksellers; educational attainment; internet resources; library resources; newspaper circulation; and periodical publications. The study ranks only the 69 largest U.S. cities (population 250,000 or more)

And the winners are:

1 Minneapolis, MN
2 Seattle, WA
3 St. Paul, MN
4 Denver, CO
5 Washington, DC
6 St. Louis, MO
7 San Francisco, CA
8 Atlanta, GA
9 Pittsburgh, PA
10 Boston, MA

Posted by P. Kaufman at 10:49 AM