Thursday, September 26, 2013

Open Access save lives!

This is an interview with Jack Andraka, a 16 year old American teenager who has made a medical breakthrough in cancer research. He was able to do this only because he found the majority of research articles he needed on open access. Watch the interview here

Thursday, May 30, 2013

Welcome Trust Extends Open Access Policy

Wellcome Trust extends open access policy to include scholarly monographs and book chapters. The Wellcome Trust today (30 May, 2013) announces that it is to extend its open access policy to include all scholarly monographs and book chapters written by its grantholders as part of their Trust-funded research. More at

Friday, May 10, 2013

Research Data the next thing to go Open Access?

 President Obama signed an Executive Order directing his administration to take historic steps to make government-held data more accessible to the public and to entrepreneurs and others as fuel for innovation and economic growth. The Executive Order declares that information is a valuable resource and strategic asset for the nation; Newly generated government data will be required to be made available in open, machine-readable format by default -- enhancing their accessibility and usefulness, and ensuring privacy and security; These executive actions will allow entrepreneurs and companies to take advantage of this information -- fueling economic growth in communities across the Nation. Watch this short video and find out more about today's announcement:

Open Access Survey

The Irish Times survey on Open Access is now live and will remain open until May 12th. This is part of the Special Initiative for Citizen Engagement that Atomium Culture is developing together with Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, El Pais, Il Sole 24 Ore, Der Standard and the Irish Times. Here's the link to the Irish Times introductory article on Open Access:

This is the link to the survey itself:

This is the third "Have your say about science' survey to run in April/May by national newspapers in 5 pilot countries.

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Taylor and Francis Survey discovers an Open Access Dichotomy among Authors.
This was a survey carried out by the publishers Taylor & Francis among researchers to ascertain opinions about open access publishing.
Authors agree that publication should not be down to the  ability to pay  (85% of authors surveyed) and all research outputs should be free to read online (66% of authors surveyed). 77% of respondents agreed publishers were an essential part of the research communication process and contribute to the dissemination of research but it was noted that "without researchers their value is substantially reduced"
Full details and the questionnaire can be found here

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Elsevier buys Mendeley!

It was confirmed today that Elsevier has bought Mendeley for a sum of money somewhere between $69 and $100 million. Mendeley is a platform for academics and organisations to share research and collaborate with each other via a social network.  It has been in operation since 2008.
Given that all the Mendeley staff are moving over to Elsevier this may signal their intention to become more involved in the world of open and social educational data!

Friday, February 22, 2013

Interesting times in the United Kingdom!

Some time ago the Research Council of the United Kingdom choose to select Gold Open Access. This means that the Funders pay the publishers for open access rights for scholarly publications. The alternative is Green Open Access where the author deposits a draft of his/her article in the institutional repository thus incurring no costs whatsover.

 A report published today by the House of Lords Science and Technical Committee recommends determining whether other countries are mandating Gold or Green OA. The National Principles on Open Access published before Christmas clearly show that Ireland has opted for Green Open Access and not just because we cannot afford Gold but because it is the right thing to do!

The House of Lords report has criticised the RCUK policy stating "There are still many unknowns concering the impact of the open access policy, which is why the RCUK must commit to a wide ranging review of its policy in 2014, 2016 and before it expects full compliance in 2018". Further on the report states "Open Access is an inexorable trend. The Government must ensure that in further developing our capabilities to share research they do no inadvertently damage the "complex ecosystem" of research communication in the U.K."
Lets hope they see the "Green Light" as our government has done already!

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

A new kind of journal was launched in December, 2012. eLife is an open access funder sponsored journal. Their mission statement says "We are a joint initiative of the Howard Hughes Medical Institute, the Max Planck Society, and the Wellcome Trust. Along with a growing number of public and private research funders worldwide, these three organisations recognise that the communication of research results is as fundamental a component of the research process as the experiments themselves. Disseminating new findings as widely and effectively as possible maximises the value of research investments. The first step in the initiative is to establish a new, open-access venue for the most important advances — from basic biological research through to applied, translational and clinical studies.". This is a recognition by these powerful bodies that open access publishing increases the speed of scholarly communication,the advancement of knowledge and assists impact. Is this the start of a new trend in publishing?