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Issues in Science and Technology Librarianship
Summer 2005

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Book Reviews

Open Access Bibliography: Liberating Scholarly Literature with E-Prints and Open Access Journals

Ann Jensen
Mathematics Statistics Library
University of California, Berkeley

Open Access Bibliography: Liberating Scholarly Literature with E-Prints and Open Access Journals. Charles W. Bailey, Jr. Washington, D.C.: Association of Research Libraries, 2005. 107 pages, $45.

This bibliography includes over 1,300 English language documents related to open access to scholarly information. The resource is valuable for its organization and front matter in addition to its bibliographic entries. Charles Bailey, Assistant Dean of Digital Library Planning and Development at University of Houston Libraries, founder of PACS-L and the Public-Access Computer System Review, and author of the open access Scholarly Electronic Publishing Bibliography has compiled a most useful tool for understanding this important and evolving new concept.

Entries in this volume are a sampling of the major and key works, rather than an exhaustive listing of all scholarly and commercial publications on topics related to open access. Entries for books, conference papers, a few web debates and dialogues, editorials, e-prints and journal articles, from 1999 to August 2004 are included. A few seminal documents that pre-date 1999 are included. The author subscribes to the Budapest Open Access Initiative (BOAI) definition of open access: " availability on the public Internet, permitting any users to read, download, copy, distribute, print, search, or link to the full texts of these articles, crawl them for indexing, pass them as data to software, or use them for any other lawful purposes, without financial, legal, or technical barriers other than those inseparable from gaining access to the Internet itself. The only constraint on reproduction and distribution, and the only role for copyright in this domain, should be to give authors control over the integrity of their work and the right to be properly acknowledged and cited..."

The bibliography does not include power point or digital video presentations, though if these are ultimately published in conference proceedings, they might be included with the proceedings listing. Electronic-only items that require free registration are also excluded. If e-print is available for an article that was previously published in a restricted access journal, its URL was included as the reference, along with the reference to the journal. Some of the listings are ephemeral and not available within traditional scholarly publishing venues. As a result, this compilation has value as a snapshot in time, even if those links disappear over time.

The bibliography is a comprehensive organization of the issues relevant to open access. Starting with General Works, it moves into the major open access statements, such as the Berlin Declaration, Bethesda Statement on Open Access, Budapest Open Access Initiatives, Tempe Principles, and others. The section titled Copyright Arrangements for Self-Archiving and Use includes information about the Creative Commons, and research articles on copyright ownership and rights. Other sections are Open Access Journals; E-Prints, Disciplinary Archives, Institutional Archives and Repositories; Open Archives Initiatives and OAI-PMH; Conventional Publisher Perspectives; Government Inquiries and Legislation; and Open Access Arrangements for Developing Countries.

The author used major indexes and abstract databases, Internet search engines, OAI-PMH search services, web logs, and open access archives as sources for the citations.

Traditional bibliographies by definition look backward as they compile what has come before. This bibliography is unique as a dynamic open access document - 78% of its entries are links to open access documents, and the bibliography in its entirety has been {self-archived by the author} at his home institution's server.

The volume is licensed using the Creative Commons Attribution-Non Commercial License. It is also a real-time example of the promise and perils of open access documents, showing the variability of their citation formats, and with time, their rate of URL decay. A random checking of these sites found URLs intact and available, which speaks to the care taken in transcribing the complex URLs, and the strength of the open access commitment by those publishers. This is an excellent resource for its extensive background documentation of the open access arguments and issues.

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