Tag Archives: open access

Open Access Workshop: Maximising Research Impact

Wednesday 7th July CAS-IP along with Bioversity International will be organising a workshop on Open Access.  From the (attached) agenda:

CGIAR centres with the aim of creating international public goods, is challenged with many questions: How to maximize the visibility of research publications and improve the quality, impact and influence of research? How to disseminate the research results in the most efficient way? How to demonstrate the quality of its research? What are the new tools to better measure and manage the research in the centre?  

The workshop intends to explore open access as a tool to answer the above questions, and show scientists its economic, social and educational benefits to make research outputs as available and widely distributed as possible without financial, legal and technical restraints. A discussion session will offer participants the chance to discuss concerns and difficulties they may have. Invitees from other UN institutions and Rome-based research institutes will provide their experience on the management of open access.

For more information on the sessions please view the agenda.  I will be attending the meeting and will report back via this blog later in the week.

Open Access in the CGIAR

Victoria Henson-Apollonio circulated a link to Richard Poynder’s blog post, “A letter to CGIAR in support of Open Access” http://poynder.blogspot.com/2010/05/letter-to-cgiar-in-support-of-open.html#links

Poynder, a prolific journalist with a special interest in Open Access, reports that:

Indian Open Access (OA) advocate Professor Subbiah Arunachalam (Arun) organized a letter to the top management of CGIAR . The letter spoke of the need for, and advantages of, making all of CGIAR’s research output Open Access.

Poynder interviews Arun, who makes a number of astute and relevant observations about the origins and the mandate of the CGIAR and similar organizations.  Arun observes that:

Unfortunately, research findings of CGIAR laboratories often end up as articles in refereed professional journals, most of which are behind toll access. I thought it needed to be corrected.

In the belief that research conducted by public organizations should be easily accessible, Arun has written similar letters to other organizations which have a development mandate.

CAS-IP lawyer Francesca Re Manning posted a comment on Poynder’s blog in response to this interview:

I completely agree with Professor Arunachalam. Research outputs should be made as widely accessible as possible; this is one of the ways the CGIAR can fulfill its mission. CAS-IP, the legal unit to the CGIAR, is assisting other centers in going “open”, advising on open access strategies and copyright. That is why Bioversity, CIMMYT, and ICARDA are following ICRISAT’s example, adopting an open access policy and consistently use of Creative Commons as well as OpenData Commons for their data exchanges. We are really pleased to be involved in this process which will ultimately benefit research in the agricultural sector in developing countries.

Enrica Porcari, Chief Information Officer of the CGIAR and Leader of the CGIAR’s ICT-KM Program, posted a reponse to the letter sent by Subbiah Arunachalam to the CGIAR leadership.  In her response she outlines some of the OA policies underway at various centres within the CGIAR.  She says:

“Open access” policies can often be easily applied to products that stay in our hands, but the situation becomes more complex when it comes to articles published by third parties.

And this is of course true also of works co-written with third parties.  Enrica concludes by saying:

Rather than a policy on “open access” limited to journal articles, I would instead prefer to see us develop a strong and clear CGIAR view and set of practices that balance the need for high quality science with highly accessible outputs, and reinforces the substantial progress we have already made across all the Centers…I would advocate for a concerted effort to “opening access to our research”

The debate is continuing in the comments section of the original blog post.  Read more about the ICT-KM ‘Triple A Framework ‘ that Enrica references in her post.

Last year, Poynder featured CAS-IP in a post entitled “Intellectual Property, Open Access, and the Developing World“.

Post written by Peter Bloch, consultant to CAS-IP and Kay Chapman

EPO action on Green Patents

Guat Hong Teh sent me this link to an article in Nature http://www.nature.com/news/2010/100505/full/465021a.html describing an EPO initiative to make clean energy patents easily accessible in a central database:

The EPO trawled through 60 million patent documents and re-classified clean-energy patents according to 160 technical categories, such as carbon capture and solar photovoltaics. This should make it much easier to find patent information. The database launches in June through esp@cenet (http://www.espacenet.com), a gateway to European patent databases. Last year, the EPO received 1,259 renewable-energy patent applications, up 27% from 2008, and the new database will be updated daily to include the growing number of energy patents filed at patent offices worldwide (see Going green).

This is a real groundbreaker and is part of a trend that includes a fast-track program for green energy patent applications in both the USA and the UK.

A reminder that CAS, particularly through working with ICRISAT, has been instrumental in ensuring that literature relating to CG innovations is included in EPO’s non-patent literature database. Victoria Henson-Apollonio observes that:

This ensures that patent examiners are more fully informed about prior art and helps make sure that patents don’t cover what is already known and has been put forward by others; and this results in better quality patents.

Back to green patents: check out the Global Innovations Commons.

As part of their public service program, financial and IP innovator M•CAM has assembled an impressive database of public domain IP – mostly expired patents –  in categories such as agriculture, soil erosion and solar energy.  This information is freely available, but…

…here’s the catch. We’re sharing this under a license. The license is really simple. If you use this information, you must share what you’re doing with everyone else. If you improve upon it, you must share your improvements with everyone else. And finally, if you use any of this information, you must reference the “Global Innovation Commons.” That’s it. When you take the next step, turn the possibilities into realities.

Post written by Peter Bloch, consultant to CAS-IP

Increased donor support for UK PubMed Central (UKPMC)

Good news for open access supporters!  Four European research donors will mandate that research outputs from their funding be freely available through the UK PubMed Central (UKPMC).  (The Health Research Board Ireland, Science Foundation Ireland, Telethon Italy and the Austrian Science Fund).  Stipulation from the donor is an extremely effective route to open access, removing institutional barriers and boosting motivation to get this done!  And, as the article points out there are benefits to the funder; “…providing the functionality – through text and data mining technologies – to integrate research articles with a range of other online sources

See the Wellcome Trust press release with the news for more details.

Sir Mark Walport, Director of the Wellcome Trust, one of the principal funders of UKPMC said:

“Free access to peer-reviewed research is essential for facilitating progress in biomedicine. I am delighted that these European funders have thrown their support behind UKPMC, and hope that other European research funders will follow their example. This should enable us to build on the success of the repository and expand to a Europe-wide service.””

Some background to UKPMC:

“Launched in January 2007, UKPMC is a free-to-access digital archive of full-text, peer-reviewed biomedical and life sciences research. As of February 2010, it holds over 1.7 million full text articles. The ambition of the repository is to become the information resource of choice for the UK biomedical and health research communities and eventually to expand to become ‘Europe PubMed Central’.

(I first spotted this item on the “Ninth Level Ireland blog” so thanks to them for picking it up and passing it on!)

Self regulation of public goods

NYTimes.com article: “The Non-Tragedy of the Commons”
Interesting point of view about the self regulation of

“resource(s) that don’t belong to anyone”. 

The author sums up some of the arguments from research by Elinor Ostrom of Indiana University into the management of “commons”. 

“the effort to preserve biodiversity should not lead to the destruction of institutional diversity”

Click here to link to the publication “Understanding Knowledge as a Commons. From Theory to Practice” Edited by Charlotte Hess and Elinor Ostrom

Some of my favourtite topics in there — digital media and OA! I will have a quick read of the sample chapters and update this post with any points of interest I find.

Thanks to Irina Curca, Programme Assistant to CAS-IP who sent this link.

A new open access offering; from the Nature Publishing Group!

Nature Publishing Group press release
In 2010 the Nature Publishing Group will launch a new title “Nature Communications” and it will have an Open Access (OA) option.  This is great news!  Whilst an “Author Pays” publishing model isn’t new to the Nature Publishing Group (NPG), this will be the first time it is available for a title with the prestigious “Nature” branding.

Visit the Sherpa site to find more information on current OA options in NPG.

Taken from the press release the new publication, Nature Communications will:

“publish research papers in all areas of the biological, chemical and physical sciences, encouraging papers that provide a multidisciplinary approach…A team of independent editors, supported by an external editorial advisory panel, will make rapid and fair publication decisions based on peer review, with all the rigour expected of a Nature-branded journal.”

They go on to say:

“authors will be able to publish their work either via the traditional subscription route, or as open access through payment of an article processing charge (APC). Authors who choose the open-access option will be able to license their work under a Creative Commons license, including the option to allow derivative works”

This really is good news!  Now publishing scientists can have both the prestige and recognition of publishing in Nature AND make their work available to all.  They are now accepting submissions; see today’s press release from Nature Publishing.

Open Access Advocacy Checklist


The lead link today was found on a comment left on the Peter Suber blog.  It is a checklist written by Alma Swan for TICER 2009.   It is concise and informative.

If you are trying to improve OA in your institute — read it!!