13 November 2008

OA and the Role of Societies - Berlin 6

We're on to the last panel of Day 2 of Berlin 6. I have a few blog posts that still need some cleaning up, but will get those up tonight. Apologies for the mix up in order. Some sessions are easier to synthesize on the fly than others :)

This session is on the role of scholarly societies in Open Access. The panelists include Ingrid Gogolin from EERA (European Educational Research Association, Gene Sprouse from the American Physical Society, and Stephen Anderson from LSA.

1. Ingrid Gogolin, EERA

background about EERA ( is a scholarly society founded in the 1990's and is made up of 24 national associations and some regional associations as members.
need for an international perspective on European educational research. Traditionally it is very national in nature, with a scope limited by geographic boundries. In order to foster ideas between European researchers and to better promote reserach quality in collaborative projects, saw EERA as a necessary complement to national research associations. They focus on increasing communication amongst research institutions and better disseminating the findings.
They have an electronic journal (current issue only "OA" to members, FYI).

Gogolin spoke specifically about a new EERA project - EERQI, funded under FP7 (I'll have to google the acronym). The project sets out to develop new indicators and methodologies to determine quality of educational research publications, as well as to produce a search and query engine for resource harvesting and text analysis.

Why? European educational research, social sciences and humanities is not adequately covered under traditional methods of measuring research quality. Instruments do not cover these due to a number of reasons, including, among others, multi-linguality in Europe. The project doesn't rely on citation frequencies but also incorporates qualitative criteria, which I'd be interested to hear more about as the project develops (very much so still in its infancy).

2. Gene D. Sprouse, American Physical Society

"We're not-for-profit, but also not-for-loss."

A new manuscript arrives approximately ever 3 minutes to the APS' door. APS, for a bit of background, is the largest publisher of physics articles. They have 10 OA publications.

Though they have a set of OA journals, they do maintain some journals that are subscription based, which helps support their OA efforts. Someone's gotta pay the bills.

In terms of their copyright policies, APS allows authors to post APS' version of their article on the author's or institution's Web site / repository immediately on publication. The author can post the final manuscript with corrections made on peer-review in pre-print archives, and all authors are now allowed to reuse up to 50% of their works in derivative works, which they then own the copyright for. This is also retroactive, so any APS article now has this capability.

3. Stephen Anderson, LSA / eLanguage Agora project

Anderson talked about open access and the eLanguage Agora project of the Linguistic Society of America. My notes on this are skimp, since he largely walked through the history of the project, which you can find on their Web site. IMO (and also voiced by a few other participants over coffee), this project - out of the 3 discussed - is the only real OA example. APS has a split model - with some of its journals being subscription based, and EERA is only available to members (which, thankfully, David Prosser of SPARC Europe pointed out -- it's not OA and should not be classified as such).

Interesting panel, covering an array of scholarly societies and their work in increasing access to their materials, whether truly OA or not.


  1. Hi Kaitlin,

    Thanks for your updates - they are saving me a lot of travel time to Berlin! Just one point with this posting though, you say about the APS that:

    They have 10 publications, all OA.

    In actual fact they have a few OA journals, but the majority and the most prestigous are all subscription titles, all be it with 'free to read' options for authors paying $975-1300.


  2. Sorry - don't know why I called you Kaitlin!

  3. Thanks, Chris - You're right. This was how Gene articulated it but it is somewhat misleading. Correcting now so it's clearer, without having to read thru the rest of the synopsis.:)

  4. Well, Chris - That is my first name. :) No problem in referring to me as such. As you can see, I'm not actively concealing my identity here ... or at least, if I'm trying, not doing a very good job (kidding).


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