Open Access Week: Series of reports on OA

David Wojick dwojick at CRAIGELLACHIE.US
Sat Oct 25 11:31:36 EDT 2014

Stevan (I prefer to reply at the top like most people here),

As you should know, I am now a journalist, which I was prior to joining DOE 
in 2004. In this role I get to criticize everyone, including the 
publishers. My rag is which you might 
consider subscribing to in order to know what is actually going on. If you 
think the publishers have any sort of control you are mistaken, as the Feds 
are in charge. I have written about this in some detail. However, if you 
know of any US agency that is taking your proposals seriously I would love 
to hear about it.

Something very interesting is going on, namely a group of medical students 
is investigating DOE, probably looking for improper liaison with the 
publishers (which I doubt exists). Here are some excerpts from this weeks 
issue of Inside Public Access:

DOE hit with Public Access FOIA request

Synopsis: The US Energy Dept. is responding to a Freedom of Information Act 
request targeting correspondence between DOE and the "publishing industry" 
regarding the Department's Public Access program. The FOIA request comes 
from the American Medical Student Association and appears to be related to 
their "Access to Medicine" campaign. The purpose of the request is unclear 
at this time.

AMSA and the FOIA request

Ms. Reshma Ramachandran from the American Medical Student Association 
(<>AMSA) has filed a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) 
request with the US Energy Department. The request is reportedly for 
"Copies of all correspondence including electronic and paper 
communications, between all Department of Energy personnel tasked with 
developing the Department of Energy's plan for providing access to the 
results of federally funded research and the publishing industry relating 
to the development, drafting and implementation of said plan for providing 
access to the results of federally funded research released on August 4, 
2014." DOE is working to collect and deliver all the requested documents. 
Everything prior to September 11, 2014, when the request was finalized, 
will be included.

Interestingly, there is a recent precedent for the AMSA FOIA action. Kent 
Anderson, editor of the prestigious Scholarly Kitchen blog and President of 
the Society for Scholarly Publishing, did a FOIA action against PubMed 
Central that yielded a considerable amount of potentially damaging 
information. In particular, Anderson made a 
of allegations of conflict of interest and other wrongs in some 
collaborations between PMC and certain publishers.

FOIA actions have a tendency to chill communications between agencies and 
the public. Unfortunately this AMSA enquiry comes just when that sort of 
communication is most important, because DOE and the scholarly community 
must work closely together if Public Access is going to work well. As they 
say, the devil is in the details, and the details are now upon us. As we 
have documented here in Inside Public Access, there are a host of serious 
and complex procedural issues yet to be worked out.

I have trouble believing it is worth it, but it remains to be seen what, if 
anything, AMSA finds. Perhaps the real danger is that innocent statements 
will be taken out of context and used politically, rather than to improve 
the Public Access program. On the other hand maybe there is something wrong 
going on. In any case the results may be quite interesting, now that the 
spotlight is on.

A surprising development. Med students!


At 09:02 AM 10/25/2014, you wrote:
>Adminstrative info for SIGMETRICS (for example unsubscribe): 
>>On Oct 24, 2014, at 5:05 PM, William Gunn 
>><<mailto:william.gunn at MENDELEY.COM>william.gunn at MENDELEY.COM> wrote:
>>><>DOA as an acronym for 
>>>"Delayed Open Access" does have a certain ring to it, now that I think 
>>>about it...
>>>William Gunn | Head of Academic Outreach, Mendeley | @mrgunn
>>>| (650) 614-1749
>>On Oct 25, 2014, at 7:41 AM, David Wojick 
>><<mailto:dwojick at CRAIGELLACHIE.US>dwojick at CRAIGELLACHIE.US> wrote:
>>Are you referring to the fact that DOA usually means Dead On Arrival? 
>>Given that the US Public
>>Access program has opted for delayed access it is more like Dominant On 
>>Arrival, since the Feds
>>fund a significant fraction of all published research. In that regard I 
>>notice that the definition of DOA
>>does not mention government mandates, which it should. The US action may 
>>be decisive.
>>Also the references to hybrid are somewhat muddled. Hybrid is not a kind 
>>of article access at all,
>>rather it is a kind of journal access. Perhaps we need a different set of 
>>definitions for articles and journals.
>>What does seem funny to me, as an observer, is that the publishers have 
>>basically said "Okay, if you
>>insist on giving us money to publish your articles, then we will take 
>>it." Wiley, for example, is bringing
>>out a bunch of new APC journals. At this point it looks like DOA and APC 
>>are the future of OA. Of course
>>that may change given time.
>>David Wojick
>instead of DOA to bring access back to life immediately,
>and to hasten the (inevitable and well-deserved) demise of OA embargoes

>And the feds will lead the way only if they ignore 
>who try to steer them in the direction
>of publisher control, publisher embargoes and DOA, and go IDOA instead.
>(Bravo to William Gunn for his spot-on pun!)
>Harnad, S (2014) 
>only way to make inflated journal subscriptions unsustainable: Mandate 
>Green Open Access.
>LSE Impact of Social Sciences Blog 4/28
>Vincent-Lamarre, P., Boivin, J., Gargouri, Y., Larivière, V., & Harnad, S. 
><>Estimating Open Access Mandate 
>Effectiveness: I. The MELIBEA Score. arXiv preprint arXiv:1410.2926.
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