I sent off the invitation with a brief commentary for my colleagues, then thought that my message could also make is as a blog post. Here it is:
From: Greenberg, Charles Sent: Tuesday, August 28, 2012 2:18 PM To: +++++++++++++++ Cc: +++++++++++++++ Subject: FW: [sparc-oaforum] Invitation: Learn more about eLife, the funder-researcher collaboration for the best in science
I will be away at this time.
The open access war between PLoSOne, MBio, and eLife is about to erupt, and eLife’s first volley (besides the virtual press conference) is no author fee for at least three years.
Of course, I was reading in my institutional office and could go right to the article. But I spent a couple of minutes looking at the article page, still committed to the optimistic idea that the editors of Science Translational Medicine still knew when to choose the open access high road of giving a research article public access status, in particular because a proportion of the authorship, including the lead author Evan S. Snitkin, work in divisions of the National Institutes for Health(NIH). Instead, on settling into my blogging chair at home and lacking my institutional IP access, I hit what many members of the public, unaffiliated physicians, and independent researchers, are used to hitting:
I am so happy that AAAS decided that these presentations were worth giving away, but there was also an expectation from both my colleagues and the AAAS sales and marketing staff that work most closely with them that scientific information wants to be free, particularly genomic research that is heavily supported by NIH extramural funds and the NIH research lab expertise, to the tune of billions of dollars derived from tax revenue. The wealth of science published under commercial contract has to be balanced with opportunities for the tax-paying public to get access to quality research sooner.
None of these author options really makes up for the public deficit of a pay wall for salient and attention-grabbing public health translational research funded by taxpayers and conducted at federal facilities.
Now that Jeffrey Beall has published his Criteria for Determining Predatory Open-Access Publishers [PDF], those of us that enjoy hunting predators (with our open commentary) need to be able to track and follow each others efforts in twitter. The lingua franca of following tweets is the hashtag (#). Sometimes the wisdom of crowds allows logical abbreviations to become the hash tag, but often one persons logic (e.g. #oa for open access) competes with another group’s logic (#oa for other asians).
Anyway, please share with me your opinion about which of the following hashtag candidates would be the one you would follow to track tweets on predatory open access. I will post the results in a week or so.
Using the SCImago Journal & Country Rank (no subscription required, based on SCOPUS data, for which many libraries pay much), it is relatively simple to put in a word like “translational” and discover how many journals have been launched on that theme (at least those indexed by SCOPUS):
Journals with -Translational- in the Title
OPEN ACCESS ?
Gold or Hybrid
Journal of Translational Medicine
Science Translational Medicine
Personal Web Site Green
Clinical and Translational Oncology
US$3000/EUR2000 excl. VAT
American Journal of Translational Research
Clinical and Translational Science
Journal of Cardiovascular Translational Research
US$3000/EUR2000 excl. VAT
Translational Stroke Research
US$3000/EUR2000 excl. VAT
Experimental and Translational Stroke Medicine
Journal of Experimental Stroke and Translational Medicine
Society for Experimental Stroke
No Author Fee
Drug Delivery and Translational Research
US$3000/EUR2000 excl. VAT
Open Translational Medicine Journal
So out of 14 journal titles meeting the “translational” title word criteria, only three have no open access ingest option. Of course, Elsevier is a green open access publisher (my blog posts on the subject of green OA), and AAAS does have a partial-green policy: “After publication, authors may post the accepted version of the paper on the author’s personal Web site.” Lots of open access choice with these relatively new journals.
Given the constant news on open access journal literature, it can be easy to forget that the lifeblood of the institutional repository movement on many campuses is the electronic thesis or dissertation (ETD). The Networked Digital Library of Theses and Dissertations (NDLTD) provides resources, services and meeting opportunities. NDLTD includes members such as universities around the world, profit and non-profit partner organizations, and even individuals, all working toward the goal of delivering open and accessible scholarship. Examples of notable student authors and academic ETD pioneers and are found in ETD Award Winners 2004 – 2010: Case Studies in Success (PDF)
There is obvious interest in data-driven research to address the health concerns of this issue and a whole host of other health issues emerging in geologic research, and I hope the editors of GDJ are tweeting and emailing researchers in a wide variety of fields, about the opportunities offered in their new open access publication.
The forthcoming open access journal eLife recently appointed their Board of Reviewing Editors (BRE), a global team of scientists that will do the challenging work of rapid peer view, under the leadership the Senior Editors. Like the Senior Editors, the 175-member BRE represents the wide array of disciplines, covering basic biological research in applied, translational and clinical settings.
As I looked at descriptions of the initial BRE appointments, particularly those in based at U.S. universities and clinical research centers, it is not difficult to find their connection to one of the eLife co-founders, the Howard Hughes Medical Institute (HHMI). HHMI, one of the nation’s largest philanthropies, plays a powerful role in advancing biomedical research and developing a pipeline of science investigation in the United States. In 2011, HHMI spent $825 million for research and distributed $80 million in grant support. Their annual report proclaims their identity: “Catalysts for Creativity” and approach basic, clinical, and translational science from a variety of initiatives and directions. Thousands of scientists are direct or indirect recipients of HHMI funding.
I wrote back in February that Elsevier’s Cost of Knowledge publicity stumble offered scientists the opportunity to consider alternative scholarly activities, just at the moment that eLife was starting to construct their editorial staff.
HHMI has been unabashedly out front with support for the NIH Open Access Policy and stated their preference for reviewed research publications and supplemental materials are freely accessible within six months of publication. Joining forces with the eLife foundation partners provides a way for many previously funded HHMI investigators to demonstrate tangibly their shared belief in the benefits of open knowledge. Although an award committee might decide that a discovery is truly an original, mainstream innovative scientists build their hypotheses on the shoulders of others. Sharing and openness produce innovation. Here is eLife’s first promotional video by scientists, for scientists.
My blogging has been curtailed to maximize my personal time to prepare for the Medical Library Association annual meeting in May and my visit to the Republican Scientific Medical Library in mid-June to teach my Armenian librarian colleagues about identifying and applying health information research techniques to improve Armenian health care outcomes. I am preparing a workbook and website which requires much time outside of my MLA and Olympic National Park visit.
Rest assured that I should return to active blogging when all my preparations are ready for a successful training activity. You can read about my previous expedition to the Republic of Armenia here.
After careful deliberation, the NSABB unanimously recommended the revised manuscript by Dr. Yoshihiro Kawaoka be communicated in full. The NSABB also recommended, in a 12-to-6 decision, that the data, methods, and conclusions presented in the revised manuscript by Dr. Ron Fouchier be communicated fully after a number of further scientific clarifications are made in the manuscript. The recommendation to communicate the research was based on the observation that the information in the revised manuscripts has direct applicability to ongoing and future influenza surveillance efforts and does not appear to enable direct misuse of the research in ways that would endanger public health or national security.
The HHS Secretary and I concur with the NSABB’s recommendation that the information in the two manuscripts should be communicated fully and we have conveyed our concurrence to the journals considering publication of the manuscripts. This information has clear value to national and international public health preparedness efforts and must be shared with those who are poised to realize the benefits of this research.
What Dr. Collins did not share was the reality that there are are already at least 60 articles deposited in PubMed Central that have been funded from US and non-US research grants. Anyone with an email account can establish MyNCBI Collections of research results. I combined a search for Influenza in Birds appearing in the same article with Influenza, Human/virology and limited the result to a variety of publication types for funded research.
The precedent has already been well established by NIH that national and international public health preparedness efforts and must be shared with those who are poised to realize the benefits of this research.
Here are video instructions on how to host and build these collections with your MyNCBI account: