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Mandating a solution to journal affordability and accessiblity

Dating from 1665, the scholarly journal has served the research community well for over 300 years. In the past few decades, however, the subscription model it utilises has created a couple of apparently intractable problems—what we will call the affordability and accessibility problems. The affordability problem has its roots in the dramatic growth in research after World War II, a problem made worse by the constant above-inflation increases in the…

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Implementing CHORUS: Big Decisions Loom for Publishers

Shortly after the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP) released its memo regarding public access to federally funded research in February 2013, The Clearinghouse for the Open Research of the United States (CHORUS) was born. This publisher-driven initiative was one of a few that took on the charge of responding to the requirements detailed in the OSTP memo. The development of CHORUS has moved very swiftly, in…

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AAAS to launch major new open access journal in 2015

The mission of the nonprofit American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS), the publisher of Science, is to advance science for the benefit of all humankind. Science contributes to that mission by communicating the very best research across the full range of scientific fields to an extremely broad international audience. The research enterprise has grown dramatically in the past few decades in the number of high-quality practitioners and results,…

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Open access gets big boost from Congress

Washington, DC – Progress toward making taxpayer-funded scientific research freely accessible in a digital environment was reached today with Congressional passage of the FY 2014 Omnibus Appropriations Bill.  The bill requires federal agencies under the Labor, Health and Human Services, and Education portion of the Omnibus bill with research budgets of $100 million or more to provide the public with online access to articles reporting on federally funded research no…

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How BioMed Central affects impact factors

Does open access increase the likelihood for articles to be cited, or to be cited more often, compared to articles published in subscription-based journals? The questions around such an ‘open access citation effect’ – its size, indeed its existence, and how it may relate to different open access models – have been discussed for many years. A 2010 literature review by Alma Swan showed that the vast majority of relevant…

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No peeking…

ONCE upon a time, it was common for scientists to receive letters from researchers working in other institutions, asking for reprints of papers they had published. It was the usual practice in those days for journal publishers to furnish authors with a couple of dozen such reprints, precisely for this purpose—but, if these had run out, a quick visit to the photocopier kept the wheels of scientific discourse turning, and…

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OA passes early adopter stage in 2013

Rogers Everett Was this the year open access for science reached critical mass? One hypothesis suggests that a transformative group needs to reach one-third to be prominent and persisting. Rogers’ theory on the diffusion of innovations that will eventually reach saturation level says the first 2.5% are innovators. By the time you get to 16% the phase of early adopters could be ending. If that’s the trajectory that accessible scientific…

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Is open access the right path?

A new Q&A in a series exploring the current state of Open Access has been published. This one is with Robin Osborne, Professor of Ancient History at the University of Cambridge, and a Fellow of the British Academy. Earlier this year Osborne published an essay questioning one of the basic premises of the OA movement — that research funded by the taxpayer should be freely available to all. To claim…

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