A Summary of SPARC Europe Annual Meeting 2010

SPARC Europe Annual Meeting with Springer and MESUR

On the warm morning of Tuesday 29th of June, Astrid van Wesenbeeck, SPARC Europe’s new Executive Director, launched the SPARC Europe annual meeting during the LIBER 39th Annual Conference, held at the Aarhus State and University Library in Denmark. Wim van der Stelt (Springer, The Netherlands) and Johan Bollen (Indiana University School of Informatics and Computing, USA) were also present.[PDF]

The discussion about SPARC Europe’s future mainly referred to what activities should SPARC Europe be focusing on in the future. Some important issues that were addressed:

  • advocating and lobbying for Open Access at a political level;
  • flashing out economic aspects of Open Access;
  • liaising with funding parties;
  • focusing on quality improvement of Open Access journals/publishing and repositories; creating awareness amongst researchers;
  • creating a follow up plan for mandatory policies;
  • creating an Open Access Road Map; and
  • establishing liaisons and partnerships between publishers and repository managers.

Based on the outcomes Astrid will set up, in the upcoming months, a work plan for 2011 and a strategic plan for the 2011-2015 period. SPARC Europe will of course continue cooperation and strengthen partnerships with other organisations such as SPARC Japan and SPARC US, COAR, eIFL, LIBER, OASPA, OpenAIRE, etc. All SPARC’s activities, initiatives and projects should be further developed to the benefit of universities, researchers and Open Access within Europe and beyond.

In the coming months, we will also aim at bringing regular updates to our website, from information on initiatives, ongoing projects to publications and studies related to Open Access as well as news on our work plan and related activities, discussions. We invite you to give us your feedback, either to c.morlon@kb.nl or astrid.vanwesenbeeck@kb.nl.

Wim van der Stelt presented an overview of Springer’s Open Access initiatives

[PDF] The hybrid Open Choice Program offers authors the opportunity to have their articles published in Open Access by paying an author fee of $3.000. All author keep their copyright which allows them to archive the final published version in an institutional repository.

To study the effects of Open Access and to encourage Open Access publishing Springer and the Dutch University Libraries and the Royal Library, agreed that all authors at Dutch universities were allowed to publish their articles in Open Access at no charge. An evaluation showed that this initiative didn’t make authors use Open Access more: no more articles were published. Though, the public usage of Open Access articles was slightly higher.

The amount of Open Access articles led to a modest decrease of subscription fees of 31 journals.

Springer publishes approximately 2% of its publications in Open Access and has just launched http://www.SpringerOpen.com, a forthcoming series of fully Open Access journals. The only thing that differs from subscription journals is the business model; all other things such as peer review process remain exactly the same. We consider this as a very positive development!

Johan Bollen presented an overview of the activities and results of the MESUR project

[PDF] which has collected multiple years of very large- scale scholarly usage data to analyze patterns of scholarly activity and perform a comprehensive survey of possible impact metrics. The usage data were obtained from some of the world’s most significant publishers, institutional consortia and aggregators in the period 2006-2008, although collection has continued and is projected to extend the range of MESUR’s data from 2006 to the present. At this point the MESUR database contains more than 1 billion usage events, pertaining to nearly 50 million documents and about 100,000 identifiable serials.

The analysis resulted in a map of science that highlights the relations between a multitude of scientific domains according to large- scale patterns of user clickstreams [1] and a map of metrics that shows the diversity and variety possible impact metrics [2]. The latter map of metrics, based on the statistical technique of principal component analysis, shows that present citation-based metrics represent only one of many possible facets of the general notion of scholarly impact.

The outcomes of the MESUR project suggest the feasibility of impact assessment systems that can complement present citation analysis to address some of its potential biases, such as its focus on a particular type of publication, significant publication delays and domain-specific citation and publication practices.

The MESUR project will continue to post updates on its project website: http://www.mesur.org/

  1. Johan Bollen, Herbert Van de Sompel, Aric Hagberg,Luis Bettencourt, Ryan Chute, Marko A. Rodriguez, Lyudmila Balakireva. Clickstream data yields high-resolution maps of science. Clickstream data yields high-resolution maps of science. PLoS One, February 2009
  2. Johan Bollen, Herbert Van de Sompel, Aric Hagberg and Ryan Chute. A Principal Component Analysis of 39 Scientific Impact Measures. PLoS ONE, June 2009. URL: http://dx.plos.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0006022.
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