Open Access Day

Today, 15 October 2008, is Open Access Day!

Today I attended an OA Day event in the QUT Library, which was sponsored by SPARC, PLoS and Students of Free Culture.

First, we watched the “Voices of Open Access” video, which is available on the Open Access Day website, and the QUT Library Secretariat “Shout Out” for OA video.

We then had some presentations and discussions, moderated by Elizabeth Stark.

Peter Jerram, CEO of PLoS, gave a short introduction. He stated that there is now:

  • Over 3600 journals in Directory of Open Access Journals (DOAJ)
  • Now more than 12,000 OA repositories in more than 70 countries
  • More than 50 mandates for OA in 28 countries

He also gave his thanks to:

  • Authors who choose to publish in OA
  • Peter Suber
  • Melissa Hagemann, OSI
  • DOAJ
  • Publishers and editors of OA journals
  • Research funders such a Wellcome Trust that provide funds for OA journals
  • SPARC and Students of Free Culture
  • Advocates of OA

Dr Phil Bourne, Editor in Chief of PLoS Computational Biology, who was presenting from University of California San Diego, gave the keynote presentation. The webcast can be accessed at

Presentation: The Promise of Open Access

mash up of academic content
e.g. Pubcast – video integrated with the full text of the paper – but this requires openness in relation to the paper i.e. unrestricted access, Creative Commons licence
e.g. Professional Profile includes all sorts of content: publications, pubcasts and videos etc – profiles are a first step to virtual research environments

BioLit: Tools for new modes of scientific dissemination
Mash up between database and journal article
Integrate biological literature and biological database and includes:

  • A database of journal text
  • Authorising tools to facilitate database storage of journal text
  • Tools to make static figures and table interactive

Semantic enrichment of text
Semantic enrichment at the point of authoring – like the spell checker in Word – scans for specific information/word (e.g. name of a gene) and goes out an retrieves information, info appears in column to side of paper, author can choose whether to link to that information or not.


Q: How does peer review fit into the new multi-media environment?
A: It is a misconception that peer review does not fit into the OA environment
For Pubcast, the paper associated with the video has already been peer reviewed.

Q: is there a plug-in for the semantic enrichment tool for open office or other platforms that are not Word?
A: Not yet, but probably coming. Will be open source and people can do what they like with it. No restraints imposed by Microsoft