Promoting open access (OA) scientific publication practices to health sciences librarians, researchers and practitioners

The Network of Collaboration Between Europe & Latin American-Caribbean (NECOBELAC)  countries  is a project that aims to promote open access publishing in Europe and Latin America. The project is sponsored by six institutions; Istituto Superiore di Sanità in Italy, Consejo Superior de Investigaciones Cientificas (CSIC) in Spain, University of Nottingham in the UK, Biblioteca Virtual em Saúde (bvs) in Brasil, Universidad Nacional De Colombia  in Colombia, and Universidade do Minho in Portugal. In the past, these partners have developed a collaboration scheme and spurred enthusiasm and interest about the open access publishing options in the scientific community of both continents.

Due to the variety of the scientific writing practices in Europe and Latin America, the NECOBELAC project works in the two geographical areas and spreads the word about the publishing options enabled by the information and communication technologies (ICTs) in relation to open access. The project has established two different types of training activities; the first (T1) is a training course where the participants are expected to become trainers in their affiliated institutions and educate others on the available open access publication practices. The second (T2) includes workshops or meetings that aim to replicate activities and develop wide open access advocacy strategies. The success of the NECOBELAC project stems from the interrelation of the activities that take place in the two continents, and the bidirectional approach that is followed to spread best practices and strategies both in relation to the teaching styles and the implementation of advocacy plans for open access.

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Green mandates and gold choices

My doctoral degree arrived by mail this past week in my office at the Centre for Research Communications, where I have been working for two months now as an Open Access Adviser for the Repositories Support Project (RSP).  Thinking back of the whole PhD process I believe that one word describes every part of it well, the adverb “amazingly”! When you are a PhD student, first, you are amazingly poor; second, amazingly enough, you can survive without sleeping; and, third, conducting research and writing a dissertation about open access is amazingly interesting.

I started my PhD in September 2007 at the Graduate School of Library & Information Science, Simmons College, Boston, Massachusetts, a prestigious library school with a long history. My plan was to study the open-access movement with Associate Professor Robin Peek, an open-access advocate and one of the first signatories of the Budapest Open Access Initiative (BOAI).

The title of my dissertation is, “The Influence of the National Institutes of Health Public-Access Policy on the Publishing Habits of Principal Investigators“. The mandatory National Institutes of Health (NIH) public-access policy requires that the NIH-funded principal investigators (PIs) submit to PubMed Central (PMC) immediately upon publication the peer-reviewed copy of their article, which will then become available for public access through PMC no later than after a twelve-month embargo period. The policy has been effective since April 7th, 2008 (Division G, Title II, Section 218 of PL 110-161 Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2008).

The purpose of this dissertation was to investigate the effect of the NIH public-access policy on the NIH-funded principal investigators’ publishing decisions.

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New Springer OA Journals

Interesting to see the launch by Springer of a new range of 12 OA journals. It seems they are leveraging their purchase of BioMed Central a couple of years ago to underpin their new journals with an experienced OA management and production system. This announcement shows that publishers do see a developing need for OA journals which they want to supply. Encouraging news and another step towards more OA, albeit that repositories offer a faster and cheaper route. Read more of this post