The provosts of 25 research universities jointly release an open letter that strongly backs the Federal Research Public Access Act and encourages higher education to prepare for a new way of disseminating research findings. UC Provost and Executive Vice President Rory Hume is among the signatories. (An article in Inside Higher Education covers the development.)
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 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), 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:
In the wake of a heavily attended faculty conference on scholarly publishing on March 31, 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.
Statement of Principles Executive Summary
The press reports that the American Chemical Society is calling on Congress to shut down the NIH’s PubChem, a freely accessible database that connects chemical information with biomedical research and clinical information, organizing facts in numerous public databases into a unified whole. PubChem is a critical component of the NIH strategic “roadmap” to speed new medical treatments and improve healthcare. (more…)