FOS Newsletter, 8/8/02
Aug 08, 2002 08:13 PDT
Welcome to the Free Online Scholarship (FOS) Newsletter
August 8, 2002
Interview with Ingenta CEO Mark Rowse
In my last issue (FOSN for 6/17/02) I wondered why Ingenta had appointed
such an FOS-friendly advisory board. Ingenta produces electronic editions
of scholarly journals for publishers of print journals. So far Ingenta
produces no FOS or open-access journals.
On July 15 I had a wide-ranging telephone interview with Mark Rowse,
Ingenta's CEO, who answered my earlier question and many others.
The short answer to my original question is that Rowse sees no conflict
between FOS and Ingenta's current business. He wants to know what's
happening in the FOS domain, wants Ingenta to advance some of the goals of
the FOS movement (more below), and wants to position his company beyond the
sometimes politicized conflicts in the scholarly communication industry
For Rowse scholarly journal articles are not merely free or priced. They
evolve, and are often both free and priced at different times or in
different versions. In the earliest stages, they are usually free, for
example in presentations at conferences and informal email
discussions. They might also be free at some middle stages, such as
circulating preprints to colleagues or posting them to a preprint
exchange. The final stage tends to be publication in a peer-reviewed
journal. Rowse does not rule out making this final stage free as well, but
points out that, even when it is priced, it is compatible with free
distribution of the earlier versions at earlier stages.
Rowse believes that publishers are starting to recognize the legitimacy of
free versions of published articles. This is shown by their growing
acceptance of eprint archiving, at least of preprints.
Having said this, Rowse emphasized that Ingenta is not a publisher and does
not want to become one. Others can solicit content and organize its peer
review. Ingenta's niche is to produce the ejournal of the resulting articles.
Rowse's openness to free distribution of preprints is one factor that led
Ingenta into the eprint services business.
Background: On July 1, Ingenta announced its plan to produce a commercial
version of the eprints software developed at Southampton
University. Eprints is the open-source software for creating OAI-compliant
institutional archives. The Southampton version of the software will
remain free and open source, and will continue to undergo development. The
free Southampton version and priced Ingenta version will coexist and serve
Rowse is betting that some institutions will not want to bother installing
and maintaining an eprints archive, even if the software is free. Ingenta
will take on these jobs for institutions willing to outsource them, as well
as the job of uploading content to the archives, a follow-through step that
many institutions neglect. Institutions will choose whether to host the
archives themselves or have Ingenta host them. The even when Ingenta hosts
them, the archives will be open-access. For many institutions, Rowse
believes that hiring Ingenta will cost less than doing the same work
Rowse can't yet estimate the release date for the commercial version of the
software. Ingenta is still writing the code and considering different
Though Ingenta will sell the software and related services, Rowse does not
expect them to produce a significant portion of company revenue. Ingenta
has other reasons for entering the eprints and OAI services
business. First, it would like to assure the consistency of the metadata
generated by different archives at different institutions. It would like
to provide researchers with searching tools that cover both refereed and
unrefereed content, perhaps with different tabs on a search results
page. It would like to interest commercial publishers in the OAI metadata
harvesting protocol, even if these publishers will never adopt open
access. It would like to enhance the protocol for various value-added
research functions. In all these ways, it would like to make the free and
priced worlds interoperable. Above all, it would like to be involved in
scholarly communication at every stage in the life of an article.
Finally, I asked whether Ingenta had considered producing open-access
journals. The answer is yes, but Rowse noted that he has never been
approached by an open-access journal.
Ingenta's expertise includes the DRM system that limits online access to a
journal's paid subscribers. But Ingenta only enforces the access rules
requested by its publisher clients. Open-access journals might not have
considered Ingenta in the past, because they would not take advantage of
its DRM (true) or because they believed Ingenta was committed to priced
access (untrue). But Ingenta is willing to produce ejournals for anyone,
whether they wish to use its DRM or not. In fact, because open-access
journals would use fewer of Ingenta's services, Ingenta could charge them
less for production and hosting. (Ingenta would not compete with companies
like BMC, for the same reason that Ingenta would not become a
publisher.) Since the question hasn't yet arisen, Rowse can't give a price
for this service. But he invites open-access journals to contact him to
discuss it. It's possible that Ingenta's experience and economies of scale
would make its production costs lower than other alternatives.
Ingenta home page
Ingenta announcement of its Open Archive and E-Print services
Open Archives Initiative
For more on Ingenta's support for online scholarship, see its June 25
acquisition of BIDS, the non-profit academic bibliographic service in the UK.
...and its study of the impact of site licensing and library consortia on
academic journal publishing.
* PS. Some publishers ask Ingenta to allow free access to their
contents. Here's one example,
Journal of the Association of Laboratory Automation (current issue)
The only snag is that articles are only "available for download for 24
hours". I don't know what this time limit means in practice. But if it is
enforced, then this is free access without open access in the full sense.
But that is only how one journal chose to regulate access. I recommend
that fully open-access journals take Mark Rowse at his word. If you are
comparing prices for mark-up, hosting, and production (just about
everything but editing), then ask Ingenta for quote.
Momentum for eprint archiving
Institutional eprint archiving is currently undergoing a unprecedented
surge of acceptance and support. Years of patient work by many people at
many institutions around the world have slowly assembled the pieces, spread
the word, impressed the skeptics, and created a critical number of
interoperable archives. Now archiving has reached a tipping point. Its
rapidly spreading success is a pleasure to behold.
For these purposes, eprint archiving has three components: (1) the
software for building the archives, Eprints for large institutional or
disciplinary archives and Kepler for smaller individual "archivelets", (2)
the Open Archives Initiative metadata harvesting protocol, the standard for
making the archives interoperable, and (3) the decision by universities and
laboratories to launch archives and fill them with the research output of
* Here are the major developments on these three fronts going back only six
months. If you've been following the progress of the FOS movement for any
number of years, you'll agree that no other single idea or technology in
the movement has enjoyed this density of endorsement and adoption in a six
February 1, 2002. JISC holds the meeting to launch its Focus on Access to
Institutional Resources Programme (FAIR), a program "inspired by the vision
of the Open Archives Initiative".
February 6, 2002. Eight major library organizations from eight nations
launch the International Scholarly Communication Alliance, which endorses
institutional eprint archiving and the Open Archives Initiative.
February 14, 2002. Eprints launches version 2.0.
February 14, 2002. The Open Society Institute launches the Budapest Open
Access Initiative, which endorses institutional eprint archiving and the
Open Archives Initiative.
February 25, 2002. The University of Michigan Libraries Digital Library
Production Service announces the launch of OAIster, which creates an
OAI-compliant archive out of content previously invisible in the deep internet.
March 2002. The CARL/ABRC (Canadian Association of Research Libraries /
Association des bibliothèques de recherche du Canada) issues a report
endorsing the Open Archives Initiative.
March, 2002. François Schiettecatte launches my.OAI, a flexible search
engine for OAI-compliant archives.
March 12, 2002. MIT's OAI-compliant DSpace enters its Early Adopter Phase
March 26, 2002. The first DELOS EU/NSF Digital Libraries All Projects
Meeting in Rome devotes a forum to the Open Archives Initiative.
March 26, 2002. The OCLC Institute hosts the satellite videoconference, "A
New Harvest: Revealing Hidden Resources With the Open Archives Metadata
Harvesting Protocol" with host Lorcan Dempsey and featured speaker Herbert
Van de Sompel.
April 3, 2002. The California Digital Library launches the OAI-compliant
April 7, 2002. The University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign launches its
OAI-compliant Cultural Heritage repository.
April 11, 2002. Stephen Pinfield, Mike Gardner and John MacColl write an
important article for _Ariadne_ on their experience setting up
institutional eprint archives at the universities of Edinburgh and Nottingham.
April 17, 2002. At the Museums and the Web 2002 conference in Boston,
Timothy Cole and five co-authors present their experience setting up the
UIUC Cultural Heritage Repository.
May-June, 2002. Colin Steele and Lorena Kanellopoulos visit each of the
Group of Eight universities in Australia to promote the creation and use of
eprint repositories. Queensland set up an archive, Monash plans to do so,
and Melbourne is experimenting; the rest of the Group of Eight is expected
to create archives shortly. The separate university archive projects have
web sites, but not the Steele-Kanellopoulos roadshow.
May, 2002. CARL/ABRC launches a project to create institutional archives
at seven Canadian universities and have the institutions exchange ideas,
suggestions and best practices. (Also see the November 21-22 conference,
below.) The project itself does not have a web page, but it does have this
page of relevant resources.
May, 2002. RLG (Research Libraries Group) and OCLC (Online Computers
Library Center) release their major report, "Trusted Digital
Repositories: Attributes and Responsibilities".
May 6, 2002. The Perseus Project launches its Open Archives Initiative
May 9, 2002. Colin Steele gives a seminar on eprint archives at University
May 21, 2002. ARL (Association of Research Libraries) releases its final
report on its Scholars Portal project, and calls for it to be OAI-compliant.
May 29, 2002. _The Australian_ publishes a major article on eprint
June 14, 2002. The OAI releases version 2.0 of the protocol for metadata
June 22, 2002. A group chaired by Colin Steele completes specifications
for a national center to promote eprint repositories in Australia. The
specifications were requested by the Australian Department of Education,
Science and Training department. There is no web site yet for this project.
July, 2002. OAIster launches version 1.0 of its search interface.
July 1, 2002. Eprints affiliates with GNU, assuring that it will remain
free and open source.
July 1, 2002. Eprints forms a partnership with Ingenta, which will produce
a commercial version of the software (more in the Ingenta story above).
July 4, 2002. Eprints launches version 2.1.
July 5, 2002. Jeffrey Young publishes a important article on institutional
archiving in the _Chronicle of Higher Education_.
July 8, 2002. William Nixon writes an important article for _Ariadne_ on
the experience of setting up an institutional archive at the University of
July 14, 2002. The Public Knowledge Project releases its Open Archives
July 14, 2002. Michael Nelson, Herbert Van de Sompel, and Simeon Warner
present an "Advanced Overview of Version 2.0 of the OAI Protocol for
Metadata Harvesting" at the ACM/IEEE Joint Conference on Digital Libraries.
July 16-17, 2002. The Joint Conference on Digital Libraries gives the OAI
two sessions at its 2002 meeting in Portland, Oregon. (Scroll down to
sessions 6B and 10A.)
July 29, 2002. The University of Southampton, which developed the eprints
software, announces TARDIS (Targeting Academic Research for Deposit and
dISclosure), a project to stimulate the practice of eprint archiving.
July 29, 2002. SPARC (Scholarly Publishing and Academic Resources
Coalition) releases its major position paper, "The Case for Institutional
August 1, 2002. Project SHERPA (Securing a Hybrid Environment for Research
Preservation and Access) begins operation. Funded by JISC-FAIR, SHERPA is
designed to stimulate eprint archiving in the UK CURL (Consortium of
University Research Libraries) institutions.
http://www.sherpa.ac.uk/ (home page under construction)
August 2, 2002. Max Rauner writes an important story on institutional
archiving for _NZZ Online_.
http://www.nzz.ch/2002/08/02/em/page-article88LHN.html (In German)
http://makeashorterlink.com/?F22715371 (Google's English translation)
August 3, 2002. Kendra Mayfield writes a major story on eprint archives
for _Wired News_.
August 8, 2002. And now this.
* If we peek a little into the future, we see three important meetings coming:
October 17-19, 2002. CERN will host its second annual workshop on the Open
Archives Initiative and eprint archives.
Here's the web site for the first CERN OAI workshop, in March 2001.
October 18, 2002. ARL, SPARC, and CNI will host a workshop on institutional
repositories in Washington, D.C.
(Rick Johnson of SPARC tells me that this workshop has already attracted
more than 100 registrations from 66 universities. This suggests widespread
interest in launching institutional repositories.)
November 21-11, 2002. CARL/ABRC will host a conference ("Research,
Innovation and Canadian Scholarship: Exploring and implementing some new
models for scholarly publishing") on the lessons learned from its ongoing
project to launch and monitor archives at seven Canadian
universities. (See the CARL/ABRC entry for May above.) The conference
program and registration information will soon appear at the CARL web site.
* There are also some developments without specific dates:
The BOAI (Budapest Open Access Initiative) is considering a program to
support institutional archiving.
(No details on the site yet. Stay tuned; I'll report any developments.)
The BOAI self-archiving FAQ is growing steadily.
(If you haven't seen it recently, see it now. It has become extremely
detailed and thorough.)
Helene Bosc reports that five eprint repositories have recently sprung up
These-En-Ligne (theses only)
l'Institut Jean Nicod
Paristech (theses only)
* Here are the URLs of some players mentioned above without links.
Open Archives Initiative
* Thanks to Helene Bosc, Sarah Faraud, Chris Gutteridge, Melissa Hagemann,
Stevan Harnad, Rick Johnson, Xiaoming Liu, Tim Mark, Stephen Pinfield,
Colin Steele, and Herbert Van de Sompel for providing details.
Back from limbo
In early June I had a good dialog with Rick Anderson and a few other
correspondents on the LibLicense discussion list. The topic was how to get
past DMCA-bashing to a constructive alternative. If the DMCA is bad for
scholarship and libraries, then what would be good? If our fair-use rights
are being violated, then what amendments are needed to respect them that
won't violate legitimate IP rights on the other side? I liked the
challenge of not imitating the IP industry in simply making the infantile
demand for a one-sided remedy.
The dialog went through many layers. Unfortunately, when it finally
petered out I discovered that my postings in the LibLicense archive were
empty. It's still not clear why --some unusual convergence of bugs and
incompatibilities at the two ends of the communication. Ann Okerson, the
LibLicense moderator, has been very helpful in restoring the postings to
the archive from her personal email box. I thank Ann.
Rick and I took the conversation offline after a point, where it continued
for another 4-5 layers. If there's any interest, then with Rick's
permission I can post those messages to the FOS forum.
The thread, "DMCA Alternatives"
At first the FOS News blog was an experiment to see whether it could carry
some of the burden formerly carried by the newsletter. It has definitely
succeeded. I love the way that I can post items immediately, open the door
for other contributors to post items, give every item a unique URL, and let
users choose whether to read the results on the web, by email, or through
So here's where things stand in the evolution of the FOS Newsletter.
(1) News items with and without short comments will go straight to the FOS
News blog. If you signed up for the newsletter in order to get these news
items, then you should start visiting the blog regularly, add it to your
RSS newsfeed aggregator, or sign up for email delivery (on the blog page).
The newsletter will no longer carry these items.
(2) I'll send press releases, interesting postings from other discussion
lists, and other tidbits to the FOS discussion forum. Subscription to the
forum is free but separate from subscription to the newsletter. I
separated them early last year because many newsletter subscribers did not
want the extra traffic in their mailboxes represented by forum postings.
(3) Conference and workshop information now goes to a dedicated web page,
not the newsletter. This allows you to get updates as soon as I do, and
see the conference information as far into the future as I have information.
(4) FOSN will continue to be the place where I write longer pieces of
analysis. However,as my work for the 02-03 school year kicks in, these
will not be frequent.
I'm happy to report that the blog now has eight excellent contributors. It
will serve everyone better, however, if I can recruit more. As the 02-03
school year deepens, I'll not only have less time for writing essays for
the newsletter, but less time for posting short items to the blog. And so
far my postings have constituted about 90% of the whole. As I slow down, I
worry about gaps in its news coverage. We can prevent this if we add
contributors from different disciplines, different nations, and different
sectors of the scholarly communication universe. The more the
merrier. Please consider joining the blog's board of contributors. Read
more about it and drop me a line if you're interested.
I'm also happy to report that the tally of newsletter subscribers continues
to grow (now 1220+), even while the newsletter frequency declines. To all
the newcomers I say welcome and thanks for your interest. If you're
wondering why the newsletter is slowing down just as you're signing up, the
reasons can be found in the May 30 issue.
FOS News blog
FOS home page
(Subscribe to the discussion forum, search the FOS pages.)
The Free Online Scholarship Newsletter is supported by a grant from the
Open Society Institute.
This is the Free Online Scholarship Newsletter (ISSN 1535-7848).
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