[For current news, click here.]
- As of April 7, 2008, anyone who publishes an article based upon research funded by the National Institutes of Health (NIH) is required to submit an electronic version of their final, peer-reviewed manuscript to PubMed Central. This groundbreaking policy gives the public full access to taxpayer-funded research within 12 months of its publication.
For more information and instructions on how to comply, go to the Reshaping Scholarly Communication NIH policy pages:
- NIH Public Access Policy: Information for UC authors
- Benefits of the NIH Public Access Policy
- Provost’s response to NIH Open access Policy [PDF]
- The Harvard Arts and Sciences Faculty voted unanimously to adopt a policy that makes them the first university in the US to mandate open access to its faculty members’ research publications. Read more about it in Open Access News.
- UC Berkeley announces a fund to subsidize open access and paid access fees. The Berkeley Research Impact Initiative (BRII) supports faculty members, post-docs, and graduate students who want to make their journal articles free to all readers immediately upon publication
- UC Provost Wyatt R. Hume writes a letter to California Senators Feinstein and Boxer encouraging their support of proposed changes to strengthen the NIH policy on public access to research results. In the letter Hume says that the policy goals, including the expanded use of NIH research findings for the advancement of science and public health, "are shared by UC health scientists and by researchers worldwide."
- The UC Office of Scholarly Communication releases "Faculty Attitudes and Behaviors Regarding Scholarly Communication: Survey Findings from the University Of California" [PDF] which analyzes over 1,100 survey responses representative of all disciplines and tenure-track faculty ranks. The survey reveals deep concern about the health of scholarly communication, especially in its relationship to promotion and tenure. The report is timed to inform Universitywide discussions about strategic responses to challenges and opportunities in the evolution of scholarly publishing and communication. The survey also provides important insight into how the University's eScholarship publishing services (including those offered in partnership with the UC Press) can meet faculty needs.
- Citing the "obvious potential for this policy to be beneficial to the broader scholarly community" the UC Academic Senate conveys their review of the UC Open Access Proposal. The review also included significant concerns with policy implementation and explored a concern about the risk of additional burdens on the faculty. In asking the Provost to address the concerns raised, the Council says it "looks forward to a second review of the draft Open Access Policy" and "hopes it can decide to endorse the policy at that time."
- Twenty-six US Nobel laureates, including UCSF Chancellor Michael bishop and three others with UC affiliation, write an open letter to Congress calling for the results of research funded by the NIH to be made publicly available. "We believe that the time is now for Congress to enact this enlightened policy to ensure that the results of research conducted by NIH can be more readily accessed, shared and built upon - to maximize the return on our collective investment in science and to further the public good." At the time of the letter, the appropriations committees of both houses included the policy language in their bills; later in July the House of Representatives passed the bill with the language intact.
- With the UC Press and other principals among their informants, Ithaka issues "University Publishing in a Digital Age" a study which calls on university presses to focus more on online publication, including books, to collaborate on the development of publishing infrastructure, and to "provide a robust alternative to commercial competitors."
- The University of California, the University of Michigan and the Scholarly Publishing and Academic Resources Coalition (SPARC) co-sponsor New Structures, New Texts: A Summit on the Library and the Press as Partners in the Enterprise of Scholarly Publishing.
- Saying that it "has long viewed the sharing of research materials and tools as a fundamental responsibility of scientific authorship," the Howard Hughes Medical Institute announces a policy that will require its scientists to publish the results of their research in journals that allow the articles and supplementary materials to be made freely accessible in a public repository within six months of publication. The costs associated with making original research articles publicly available will be covered by the Institute as a result of agreements that the Institute has concluded with several major publishers. Forty-three UC faculty members are Howard Hughes Investigators and five of the UC campuses host Hughes Laboratories.
- The Center for Studies in Higher Education (CSHE) at UC Berkeley is awarded a grant of more than $400,000 from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation to continue its research into the changing nature of scholarly communication and publication practices. The new project, Assessing the Future Landscape of Scholarly Communication: An In-depth Study of Faculty Needs and Ways of Meeting Them, is under the direction of principal investigators Jud King and Diane Harley.
- Citing the University of California Senate's recommendation that the University take action "to facilitate scholarly communication and maximize the impact of the scholarship of UC faculty," Provost Rory Hume asks the UC Chancellors and Academic Senate to review a proposed Open Access Policy. The policy proposes that UC faculty authors of published articles or conference proceedings retain their copyright but routinely give the University non-exclusive permission to make their research findings available in a publicly accessible online repository such as UC's eScholarship repository.
- The UC libraries announce a report describing their work on "value-based" prices for scholarly journals. Authored by a task force of the ten-campus library system's Collection Development Committee, The Promise of Value-based Journal Prices and Negotiation: A UC Report and View Forward is a direct outcome of the UC libraries' collective strategic priority to advance economically balanced and sustainable scholarly communication systems. The report details UC's rationale for value-based journal prices and modeling of prices for scholarly materials that are reasonable, transparent, and based upon the value of the material to the academic mission of the University of California.
- Former UC provost C. Judson King and five co-authors at Berkeley's Center for Studies in Higher Education release their report titled Scholarly Communication: Academic Values and Sustainable Models. The study explores "academic value systems as they influence publishing behavior and attitudes of University of California, Berkeley faculty," and includes case studies based on direct interviews with relevant stakeholders - faculty, advancement reviewers, librarians, and editors - in five fields: chemical engineering, anthropology, law and economics, English-language literature, and biostatistics.
- The Research Councils UK (RCUK) issued its open-access policy, which, while letting the eight separate Research Councils go their own way, reaffirms the overall "commitment to the guiding principles that publicly funded research must be made available and accessible for public examination as rapidly as practical." On the day of the announcement three fo the councils - the Medical Research Council, Biotechnology & Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC), and Economic & Social Research Council (ESRC) - had already decided to mandate open access to the research they fund.
- On May 10th the UC Academic Assembly accepted the white papers of the Academic Council's Special Committee on Scholarly Communication (see April 2006 item below) and unanimously approved the proposal on a UC Faculty Scholarly Work Copyright Rights Policy. On May 30th John Oakley, chair of the UC Academic Senate conveyed the proposed policy and a request to UC President Dynes to appoint a working group to "refine the proposal in preparation for full Senate and Administrative review and adoption as expeditiously as possible."
- On April 17th The UC Academic Council - the executive committee of the full Academic Assembly - accepted the white papers of their Special Committee on Scholarly Communication (see December 2005 item below), and committed to forwarding the papers to the Academic Assembly along with a resolution recommending that the UC President appoint a working group to review and refine the UC Faculty Scholarly Work Copyright Rights Policy and ultimately to adopt and implement the policy "as soon as feasible."
- The eScholarship Repository hit the milestone of 3 million full-text downloads. It took eighteen months to reach the first million, about nine months to reach the second million, and 166 days to reach the 3 million download mark.
- John Ober's article, Facilitating open access: Developing support for author control of copyright appeared in College and Research Library News. Vol. 67, No. 4. April 2006.
- On December 14, the University of California's Academic Council approves five white papers and one policy proposal for Systemwide Academic Senate Review. The papers are the product of the Council's Special Committee on Scholarly Communication (SCSC) and, under the collective title Responding to the Challenges Facing Scholarly Communication, include:
- Evaluation of Publications in Academic Personnel Processes
- The Case of Journal Publishing
- The Case of Scholarly Book Publishing
- Scholarly Societies and Scholarly Communication
- The Case of Scholars' Management of Their Copyright
- Proposal for UC Faculty - Scholarly Work Copyright Rights Policy
- The Wellcome Trust, one of the largest research funders in the UK, starts implementing its new open-access mandate for Wellcome-funded research.
- In the wake of a heavily attended faculty conference on scholarly publishing, UC Berkeley's faculty senate adopt a Scholarly Publishing Statement of Principles. The statement has clauses covering faculty control of their intellectual property, advancement and promotion, incentives to establish and use alternative publishing forms, and support for the library in its efforts to curtail unsustainable pricing structures for scholarly materials.
- Saying that "a failure to respond [to scholarly communication issues] will jeopardize UC's pre-eminence, its contributions to scholarly inquiry and the progress of knowledge, its effectiveness in teaching and learning, and its service to the citizens of California," UC's Systemwide Library and Scholarly Information Advisory Committee writes and endorses Resolution I: The University's Role in Fostering Positive Change in Scholarly Communication. Thhe resolution calls upon the university and its faculty to take a number of certain steps to "regain control of and strengthen scholarly communication processes."
- Postprint Repository Services: Context and Feasibility at the University of California [PDF]. This March 2005 research report, generously supported by The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, provides contextual information and recommendations for a repository for open-access distribution of UC faculty article publications. It based its recommendations for establishing, promoting, and further studying a UC postprint repository service on results from six research objectives that collectively provide baseline data about the number and proportion of UC faculty articles that can be made available for simultaneous distribution in an open-access postprint repository, and faculty attitudes toward managing copyright in their work as a means of enabling its open-access distribution.
- The University of California's eScholarship Repository announces its new "postprint" service. UC faculty who have retained the appropriate copyrights or who obtain permission from their publishers can easily deposit previously published articles into this publicly accessible online repository. The postprints are fully searchable, available free of charge, and are persistently maintained in a centrally managed database. The established popularity of the repository, with more than one million full-text downloads of content since 2002, makes it an ideal venue for faculty to reach new audiences of researchers.
- The NIH releases the final version of its policy on enhancing public access to archived publications resulting from NIH-funded research. Beginning May 2, 2005, NIH-funded investigators are requested to submit to the NIH National Library of Medicine's (NLM) PubMed Central (PMC) an electronic version of the author's final manuscript upon acceptance for publication, resulting from research supported, in whole or in part, with direct costs1 from NIH.
- Leading open access publisher Public Library of Science, announces three new open-acces journals: PLoS Computational Biology, PLoS Genetics, and PLoS Pathogens. As with all PLoS journals, access is open to the public at no charge while production costs are covered by a mixture of sources including publication fees and institutional memberships. PLoS describes the new publications as "community journals" and is partnering with the International Society for Computational Biology (ISCB) on the first of these.
- The University of Southampton in the UK commits itself to providing open access to the research output of the university. According to the press release: "The University of Southampton is to make all its academic and scientific research output freely available. A decision by the University to provide core funding for its Institutional Repository establishes it as a central part of its research infrastructure, marking a new era for Open Access to academic research in the UK."
- Google announces the beta release of Google Scholar. The Google Scholar FAQ promises the ability "to search specifically for scholarly literature, including peer-reviewed papers, theses, books, preprints, abstracts and technical reports from all broad areas of research ... from a wide variety of academic publishers, professional societies, preprint repositories and universities, as well as scholarly articles available across the web." For each article it indexes the service also displays a count of citations of which it is aware.
- The UC Office of Scholarly Communication contributed analysis to the preparation of UC's response to the September 2004 NIH call for public comment on their proposed policy on public access and archiving.
- Open access journal publisher Public Library of Science launches PLoS Medicine, its second journal.
- SAGE Publications announces that it will allow authors to make available open access postprints without case-by-case requests for permission. Sage thus joins a growing list of like-minded publishers (see, for example, the Sherpa list of publisher copyright policies).
- John Ober, Catherine Candee, and Beverlee French's article, “Reshaping Scholarly Communication” appeared in Against the Grain. Vol. 16, no. 3. June 2004. Reviews the mounting evidence of the economic unsustainability of scholarly communication systems and outlines the University of California’s strategies for response. [PDF]
- The Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS) introduces an open access option for authors. The option, which is to be evaluated after an experimental period, allows authors to pay a $1,000 surcharge to make their articles available for free via PNAS Online and PubMed Central immediately upon publication. In a survey informing the decision, nearly half of the respondents were in favor of an open access option. According to Nicholas R. Cozzarelli, PNAS Editor-in-Chief and Professor of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology at UC Berkeley, "PNAS is starting by experimenting with an open access option for authors. It is a compromise between open access for all articles and doing business as usual." See the press release.
- The American Physical Society (APS) announces that it will decrease prices in 2005 on all of its journals. With the announcement, the APS continues its reputation as a model society committed to creating sustainable publications whose revenues support only the publications themselves. A letter from publisher Thomas J. McIlrath provides details on how the price reduction was accomplished.
- Daniel Greenstein's article, “Not so quiet on a Western front” appears in the May 2004 Nature Publishing Group’s web forum “Access to the Literature: The Debate Continues.”
- The UC libraries conclude their negotiations with Reed-Elsevier. Starting January 1, 2004, the UC community will have access to a selected list of about 1,200 of the company’s scholarly journals, including titles produced by Harcourt Health Sciences, Academic Press, and Cell Press. The five-year contract accommodates the University’s deteriorating budget situation without sacrificing access to the titles selected by each campus. The libraries report that they have "arrested for now the price inflation that has been common in this market," and describe the necessity for continuous action to address the economic sustainability of scholarly communications. See the letter to UC faculty [PDF].
- UC libraries host regional faculty forums to discuss alternative forms of scholarly communication.
- The Academic Senate of UC Santa Cruz passes a resolution calling for "its tenured members to give serious and careful consideration to cutting their ties with Elsevier: no longer submitting papers to Elsevier journals, refusing to referee the submissions of others, and relinquishing editorial posts should the UC/Elsevier negotiations prove unsuccessful." See the resolution on ties with Elsevier journals.
- In a widely distributed letter, two UC San Francisco faculty call for "unified actions" from faculty regarding Cell Press journals, including: "i) decline to review manuscripts for Cell Press journals; ii) resign from Cell Press editorial boards; iii) cease to submit papers to Cell Press journals; and iv) talk widely about Elsevier and Cell Press pricing tactics and business strategies." The letter is reported in the Chronicle of Higher Education.
- A briefing letter from UC Faculty Senate Chair Lawrence Pitts and the University Librarians is sent to UC faculty regarding unsustainable license costs for some journals. See the letter [PDF].
- The Public Library of Scienice (PLoS), a San Francisco-based non-profit organization of scientists and physicians, publishes the first issue of PLoS Biology, a monthly peer-reviewed journal available free online. The journal features several articles authored by UC San Francisco faculty.
- The Berlin Declaration on open access to knowledge in the sciences and humanities is created and signed by major public funders committed to open access from Germany, France, Greece, Hungary, Italy, and Norway.
- The Company of Biologists announces its open access initiative. From January 2004, its journals (Development, Journal of Cell Science, and The Journal of Experimental Biology) will offer authors the option of open access, allowing all internet users completely free access to articles.
- UC libraries web site debuts at http://libraries.universityofcalifornia.edu.
- The Bethesda Statement on Open Access Publishing is drafted at a meeting held at the headquarters of the Howard Hughes Medical Institute in Chevy Chase, Maryland. The principles are designed to "stimulate discussion within the biomedical research community on how to proceed, as rapidly as possible, to the widely held goal of providing open access to the primary scientific literature."
- UC joins BioMed Central via UC's eScholarship program; membership entitles UC researchers to a waiver of the article processing fee for publishing in BMC journals.
- UC launches the eScholarship Repository for working papers and peer-reviewed series originating at UC research units and departments.
- The Budapest Open Access Initiative arises from a small but lively meeting convened in Budapest by the Open Society Institute (OSI). The meeting accelerates progress in the international effort to make research articles in all academic fields freely available on the Internet.
- The principles for emerging systems of scholarly publishing are developed from the Tempe Conference on Emerging Systems of Scholarly Publishing in Tempe, Arizona, March 2–4, 2000.