Open Access Standard Time: Setting Your Publishing For Success
A discussion with Ed Pentz, executive director, CrossRef
Recorded May 1, 2014
KENNEALLY: Welcome, indeed, on the line to our program, which we do call Open Access Standard Time. And just as, in the spring, we all look forward to changing our clocks and moving them ahead for Eastern Daylight Time or British Summer Time, so now is the time in publishing to set the standard time for open access. And we have a great guest to help us learn all about that – Ed Pentz at CrossRef. We’ll tell you more about him in just a moment.
But as I’m sure everyone on the line understands, for authors, publishers, institutions and researcher funders, open-access and public-access mandates require clear definitions to manage growth and ensure data consistency. Authors want to know what rights they retain and whether they are complying with a given funder policy. Publishers must state precisely what the audience can and cannot do with the articles they disseminate. And research funders need to verify whether their policies have been followed. So we’ll learn about how to do that with something called metadata in the next 45 minutes.
Indeed, we are entering, as a result of the open-access movement, a new era for metadata, and it is, I think, something we are all aware of that open access is the fastest growing segment of the scientific journal market and is pushing publishing toward a future where high-quality research and information is widespread and access to it is pretty much unrestricted.
However, we do note that there are many different types of open access, and we indeed still live, in 2014, in a mixed-model world, where publishers offer content in many different ways. So really the challenge and the opportunity lies in providing various services that link and provide access to content both for subscription and OA published materials.
We are on Twitter, of course, and we hope that you will join us in tweeting about this program. Our hashtag for this and all of our open access-related webinars – and we’ve done this series now for about a year and a half – the hashtag is cccopenaccess. You can follow Copyright Clearance Center @copyrightclear.
I want to make sure that everyone knows about a very important new service that Copyright Clearance Center has joined in partnership with ALPSP – the Association of Learned and Professional Society Publishers – in presenting to our communities, and this is openaccessresources.org. It’s an online service providing the latest open access news, reports, white papers, webinars, and websites. We’ve got a feedback survey for your input on just what kind of material you would like to see in this.
In addition to the types of reports that we have and the access to all the information, we do have it broken down by region, and it’s worth pointing out at this point that on the line with us today are people from North America, from Europe, and from Asia. So indeed open access is very much of global interest. And our openaccessresources.org site reflects that global interest. And we do hope you will check that out and bookmark that and return to it frequently.
When it comes to open access, Copyright Clearance Center is dedicated not only to providing you with the very latest information, but listening to what publishers are concerned about and responding with the types of services that you will need to be more effective in your publishing of OA material. Just last year, Copyright Clearance Center was named one of the 10 to watch by information industry analyst Outsell in its 2013 Open Access Market Report. And we’ve done a lot of work and a lot of listening when it comes to putting together a solution for open-access publishing we call RightsLink for Open Access.
And we’ve been at this not just since the last few months or the last year but for seven years. CCC launched its first OA solution back in 2006 and 2007. And the market then was limited to just a small number of OA articles and a one-size-fits-all price and licensing model. But, not surprisingly, today publishers have much more complex needs, and they face a number of more intricate challenges.
And so what we offer through RightsLink is managing the article processing charges in a secure fashion, page and color charges, as well. We provide services that help you – the publisher and the authors – comply with funding agencies, and we provide a variety of services, including author support, billing and rapid collection. You can learn all about what we do have on offer for RightsLink for Open Access at our URL there, copyright.com/openaccess.
So with all of that as an introduction, I want to introduce Ed Pentz, the executive director of CrossRef, who is with me now. And Ed, welcome to our program.
PENTZ: Thank you, Chris. Happy to be here.
KENNEALLY: Well, we’re happy to have you here. We’re happy to see you here. We get to see you live and in person because, while you are usually based in the U.K., CrossRef has a U.S. office really just down the road from us at Copyright Clearance Center, so you’ve been visiting them and are with us live and in the studio, as they say. So we’re happy to have you with us.
We’ll tell people that Ed Pentz is the executive director of CrossRef, a not-for-profit membership association of publishers which is set up to provide cross-publisher reference linking services. Ed is also currently the chair of the ORCID Board. ORCID is the Open Researcher and Contributor ID – and much more about that in just a few moments.
Ed was appointed CrossRef’s first executive director when the organization was created in 2000, and he’s been with them ever since, as CrossRef has grown to include over 4,000 organizations from around the world. Prior to joining CrossRef, Ed held electronic publishing, editorial and sales positions in the U.S. and the U.K. He managed the launch of Academic Press’s first online journal, The Journal of Molecular Biology, in 1995.
And, as something of a sign of hope for all of us liberal arts majors, I have to tell people, Ed, that you have a degree in English literature from Princeton University. And so now you get to use that in a very creative way, I think, and it’s terrific. And he currently lives, as we say, in Oxford, England.
And I’ll say briefly – and Ed’s going to have a lot more to talk about CrossRef – but its mandate is to be the citation-linking backbone for all scholarly information in electronic form. And CrossRef is a collaborative service that functions as a kind of digital switchboard. It doesn’t hold any content itself but effects linkages, particularly through the CrossRef Digital Object Identifiers – the so-called DOIs – which again we will hear a lot more about.
So with all of that, Ed, you know, it’s your view – and probably something that is shared in the publishing community – that we really are in a new era for metadata, driven not only by the open-access mandates but of particular concern when it comes to those. And tell us what we mean by that. I mean, we are in a new environment with new information, essentially.
PENTZ: Yes, that’s right. I think that this is a challenge for all scholarly publishers, both open-access and traditional subscription publishers. There are, you know, many what are called pure OA publishers, but many of the traditional subscription publishers are in a multi-business model environment, where they have open-access journals as well as traditional subscription journals. And there’s been an increasing need to be more transparent about the status content, and so I think traditional metadata has always been focused on bibliographic information, and that’s now changing.
KENNEALLY: Right. And it’s not only that there are new types of publishing models out there, but there are even some new stakeholders in this process. The funders had been, if you will, in the background in the past, and now they are very much at the front of the stage.
PENTZ: That’s right. And a lot of the changes are really being driven by funders – government agencies in the U.S., the Office of Science and Technology Policy issues a public-access memo that is requiring public access for all the main federal agencies. That’s been a big driver.
In Europe, there’s been a lot of similar mandates and policies and institutions themselves, universities developing mandates, which are all around trying to track the effectiveness of research by looking at where that research – when articles are published that are based on that research.
KENNEALLY: Right. And all of those changes are driving the need for new types of metadata. So let’s take a look at metadata so we can better understand what kind of metadata is required for more effective open-access publishing. And here we’ve got a slide that talks about traditional metadata. And you motioned bibliographic information. If you think about that screen image there, if you go back a generation, that would have been a library card catalog for all but one of those. So talk about that.
PENTZ: So I think, again, traditionally metadata has been very important for scholarly publishers and for librarians, and it’s about identifying a content. That’s the basic requirement. And you have titles, authors, volume issues, page numbers, that type of information, and two important standards, the ISSN and ISBN for journals and books.
And then the Digital Object Identifier came along in the late ’90s and CrossRef was created in order to enable reference linking based on DOIs, which is a unique identifier for journal articles and book chapters.
KENNEALLY: Right. And it’s a persistent identifier, because one of the characteristics of online information is that the locations can change and certain versions can happen. And so with the DOI, rather than linking to a URL, per se, we’ve got some kind of persistence there. That’s important.
PENTZ: That’s right. So the DOI is both a unique identifier and a persistent link to content. And it can be applied to any type of content. CrossRef specifically uses it in relation to scholarly content, books as well as journals and standards and conference proceedings – a lot of different type of information.
But it is still what – I put it in the traditional metadata category, because I think it’s been around long enough now that it really fits in well with the traditional way of, you know, you’re just trying to – identifying content. Then it’s an actionable link, though, because it allows you to click on it and go somewhere. But it’s now been around for a while. It’s fairly well established.
KENNEALLY: And indeed, as you say, very well established, so that I understand from figures from about a year ago – April 2013 – there were some 85 million DOI names assigned to some 9,500 organizations, so pretty well populated online, DOI is. But now we are entering this new era for new metadata, and a number of those critical to open-access publishing. And one that you’re familiar with, as we mentioned in your biography – that you are on the board for ORCID. And that is an ID specific to researchers and, in the scientific and academic community, very important indeed.
PENTZ: That’s right. And you mentioned that CrossRef was set up to do online reference linking. But effectively, what’s happened now is that we collect all sorts of metadata. Publishers deposit all sorts of information. And we’re now starting to collect additional information that goes beyond the bibliographic information.
And one of them is the ORCID – the Open Researcher and Contributor ID. ORCID is an independent nonprofit organization that is run jointly by scholarly publishers, universities and funders themselves. And it’s an open organization, and it’s a majority nonprofit organizations are running that. But the key thing is that it’s creating a registry of researchers to deal with the problem of name disambiguation and uniquely identifying researchers and connecting researchers to their research and their publications.
KENNEALLY: Right, because there can be a number of Ed Pentzes, a number of Chris Kenneallys, and in various countries – it can be the case in China or Korea, wherever, that they’ll list last name first and then the first name. So all these kinds of things have to resolve themselves into a way to really know which particular Ed Pentz we’re speaking about.
PENTZ: Yes, that’s right. And ORCID – the registry launched over a year ago, and there are now already over 650,000 IDs that have been claimed by researchers, and a lot of organizations now are starting to integrate with the ORCID system and publishers adding them to their systems – collecting the ORCIDs when manuscripts are submitted and collecting it right up front and tying it to the publication.
KENNEALLY: And this will all become clear as to why this is critical for open access in just a moment. But the full text link is another area you’ve highlighted briefly. Now, why is that something that people should be watching closely?
PENTZ: Yes. That’s an interesting thing that CrossRef’s collecting in a more explicit way because, of course, a DOI always resolves to a URL. So the URL can change. And usually it links to the abstract for an article or a book chapter. And one of the ways it’s persistent is that, if that URL changes, the DOI still stays the same.
Now, CrossRef is starting to additionally collect what we call the full-text link. And that can be a URL that goes to a particular version of content, so it can go to the XML or a PDF or HTML version of a particular article. And by making that part of the metadata, it enables some new services. And one in particular is to facilitate text and data mining, which has become more of an issue recently, both in the U.S. and Europe.
KENNEALLY: And very quickly, CrossRef is about to launch a new text data mining service, I understand.
PENTZ: Yes, that’s right. So by the extra metadata that we’re collecting, which also includes licensing information, which we’ll talk about a little bit later, it’s to facilitate researchers getting to content that they want to use for text and data mining.
KENNEALLY: Well, indeed, that’s what it’s all about. And I think an important point is that publication of research is really part of the whole notion of what research is about, which is advancing science and making it possible. And if you can’t get to the particular article you need, it’s going to be a road block for a researcher.
So with regard to CrossRef and its various services, let’s sort of sum things up – and people can learn a lot more about you at crossref.org – but you are a way to bring all of this information together in an environment that, we have to stress, is still a hybrid one, where traditional models of publishing coexist side by side with open access publishing – as you mentioned, pure play publishers like PLOS, but also many traditional publishers are now offering OA-type journals.
PENTZ: That’s right. All the leading OA publishers are members of CrossRef, which is great, because I think the concerns of scholarly publishing are the same. It’s about publishing original, high-quality content, and any scholarly publisher with whatever business model needs to be concerned with that.
So you mentioned about the metadata – so we collect this rich set of metadata, and we kind of act as a digital hub, a central point for that metadata. And that metadata we have then enables various services. So we have the reference linking, which I mentioned, and the text and data mining that we have. And we’re going to be talking about some of the new services.
But I think, with OA publishers in particular, there’s particular issues around wanting to comply with funder mandates as well, and I think that’s a big part of some of the services – the newer services.
KENNEALLY: Well, indeed it is. And we’re about to talk about that. But I want to remind people, first of all, that you’re listening to a program for Copyright Clearance in its open access webinar series with Ed Pentz, executive director of CrossRef.
If you are following along on Twitter – we hope you will do that – our hashtag is cccopenaccess. You can follow us on Twitter @copyrightclear. And a useful service – we’ve had some questions in our chat box, and some people have gone to Twitter for their answers, so that’s terrific. And in fact, you can start a conversation on Twitter about what you’re hearing today, and we hope you will do that.
If you do have a question directly for Ed Pentz today, please use the chat box on the lower right corner of your screen there. Let us know what’s on your mind if you need some clarification or have a question, and we will get to as many of those as we can at the end of the program.
But now, Ed Pentz, so that’s a good background. We’ve just sort of set the stage, kind of given the foundation for people about metadata. Let’s talk specifically about how all this applies to open access publishing. And one particular area is bringing together this stakeholder, the funder, with the publisher. And it’s really about connecting them so that they can better track the impact of the research and the funding that they’ve provided.
PENTZ: Yeah, exactly. And it was kind of surprising that this hadn’t happened sooner. Funding bodies weren’t able to track the output that was related to their funding. Publishers couldn’t easily report back about that. And then institutions, of course, are interested as well in connecting funding and publication that their researchers and faculty are engaged in.
So CrossRef started a pilot in 2012, and basically there’s two parts for it. It’s basically collecting standard metadata with a funder name and a grant or award number, and a critical piece of that is having unique names as well for funders. And so CrossRef has actually created a registry of funders. Elsevier helpfully donated some information of about – a registry of about 5,000 funders. CrossRef’s now managing that and making it an open resource. And that enables publishers – when a manuscript is submitted, they can get the author to say specifically where the funding came and which funder funded the research that the article’s based on.
KENNEALLY: And so that tracking and reporting is essential. And the players that are involved are, as you say, the funders and the publishers. But institutions as well find this a very useful service.
PENTZ: Yes, that’s right, because of course – and then, if you imagine now, with an institution, they want to track what their researchers are doing, and obviously institutions are getting a lot of funding from numerous different both private and state funders, and they want to be able to track that so they can track the effectiveness of their researchers and faculty.
So it’s really a multi-stakeholder initiative, and it brought CrossRef for the first time into talking to funders, and so that’s been a really interesting process. But we’ve got a really useful service now where, by tying particular funding and particular grants to publication and then also uniquely tying it to researchers via their ORCID, it creates a sort of very powerful system.
KENNEALLY: Well, we’re really seeing the interconnections in all of this. And what’s interesting to me is you say that this brought you into contact with the various funders. We know what that’s about at Copyright Clearance Center because in fact what we’ve recognized with the open access movement and the changes going on – that it really is important to communicate with all of those parties. So in this particular series – which people can access back programs on our website at copyright.com/openaccess.
We’ve had Robert Kiley from the Wellcome Trust, for example, joining us and providing their perspective. They are the ones who, just about a year ago, really raised the temperature in the room by instituting a variety of mandates for open access publishing whenever they were funding research. And I think that’s really interesting. As I say, it’s brought publishers, it’s brought CrossRef, it’s brought the authors much more close to the funders than they ever had been before.
And the kinds of publishers that you’ve got participating in all this – a number of names – perhaps, some people on the line, this is where you work. Other will just be familiar with these people. So this really is a new initiative, but one that is catching on fairly quickly. And I guess the question really is what does it take to get involved, if you’re not already?
PENTZ: Well, this is – obviously, being a CrossRef member is the first step. Most scholarly publishers are already CrossRef members. And so really the publishers have to do two things, which is to collect at least a funder name, and preferably a funder name and a grant number when an author submits a manuscript to a journal for publication.
And so CrossRef has a number of tools and the funder registry that enables publishers to do this. That metadata gets deposited with CrossRef. And then that then gets distributed. And we’re making this information openly available, and so the idea is then that that information then can flow through all the current systems, along with the other metadata about the article.
KENNEALLY: Right. And we’ve been saying that this is an environment we live in, in publishing today, that is very much a mixed one. And that’s true of the open access particular segment as much as it is true for publishing generally speaking. There is no one single flavor of open access. There is gold road and green road and so forth. And all of this is, I would imagine, as neutral to the open access models as it is to models across the board.
PENTZ: Yes, that’s right. And I think, again, this is another example where, again, there isn’t really a distinction between OA publishers and non-OA publishers. All publishers are having to deal with this. And then we have what’s called gold OA. And there was a question here online about the green open access model. And really, from CrossRef’s point of view, that really doesn’t matter in terms of FundRef. The data gets attached to any publication, and then the business model is something that, well, we’ll talk about a little bit later.
KENNEALLY: Well, Ed Pentz, thank you for that. And again, if you do have a question for Ed or for here at Copyright Clearance Center, use the chat box in the lower right-hand corner of the screen.
And let’s talk now about another particular area that is important for CrossRef and especially important in open access when it comes to the very last on that list of content changes, Ed, which is about version information.
And really what – and I suppose we could say that all of this metadata is helping provide for authors and publishers and others – is transparency. It’s a window into a world of publishing that we really haven’t had before and that we’re able to provide because of technology, frankly.
PENTZ: That’s right. And particularly with content changes, there’s this image that – incorrect image – that a scholarly journal article is something that’s set in stone and, once it’s published that it’s final and that’s the end of the process. Now, the hope is that content doesn’t change, but the scientific process involves, if something is found to be in incorrect in an article after publication, then there are lots of mechanisms to update that and change that, issuing an erratum or, in more serious cases, retractions and withdrawal. And they don’t happen a lot. But when they do happen, it’s critical that people know about them.
And I think, particularly in the open access world, picking up on the version information – that with, say, a CC BY article, that could be hosted in many different places. And if there’s a retraction or a correction, there’s currently no system in place for notifying those – that somebody looking at that content is notified of those or is aware of those corrections that happen post-publication. You can imagine, if somebody downloads a PDF and keeps it on their hard drive for six months and a correction happens in that time, they may be then looking at the PDF later and wanting to cite it for their research and not even realize that something’s happened, the status has changed.
And I think big systems like, say, PubMed Central – publishers notify changes to PubMed Central. But we’ve seen a proliferation of many different repositories in many different places where content – full text – can appear.
KENNEALLY: So there’s a way to address all of that, which CrossRef has pulled together – something called CrossMark, which is a way to let readers know when content does change. Tell us how that works.
PENTZ: So again, similarly with FundRef, this is about extra metadata, so a publisher can provide extra metadata. But we also have a mechanism where it can notify people who are using content – readers of the content – of changes. So there are really two sides of it, in that a publisher deposits extra metadata with CrossRef and they also apply the CrossRef logo and display it on content, and it can be embedded in the PDF and displayed on HTML versions, as well.
And clicking on that logo, then actually using the DOI, checks the CrossRef system and can see in real time whether there have been any updates to that content. And then it also gives extra information about that content. And it’s an update identification system so, particularly if there’s been a correction or retraction or withdrawal, then it’s a good system for disseminating that information.
KENNEALLY: And this was launched a couple of years ago – April 2012 – and you’re currently working with some 35 publishers, and I understand that there have been 630,000 CrossMark deposits made to some kind of nearly 10,000 updates. So this is really an important service that you are providing.
What would a publisher need to do, whether they’re a pure play open access or a hybrid publisher or on the traditional side of things, to participate in all this, because they’ll need to do some work first?
PENTZ: Yes. I think that’s one of the particular challenges we’re finding here with CrossMark is that publishers can see the value of it, but it takes some work on the publishers’ side – on their systems. And so anything with a CrossRef DOI can be registered with a CrossMark, and it can be online early content, as well.
The main thing is that publishers have to have a system in place to track these corrections and changes on their system, but also to deposit that extra information with CrossRef. And so we’ve certainly found that it’s taking publishers some time to make those changes, but there are huge benefits once they make those changes, because then they have a much more transparent system.
KENNEALLY: Well, in fact, none other than PLOS – the Public Library of Science – has been speaking to this point just recently. And in a blog post at the end of March, Molly Sharp and Kevin Brandt spoke about the effort that PLOS went through to incorporate CrossMark into its publishing services. And while they concede in this blog that there was some work involved, they really found it to be very valuable – and not only for the immediate purpose of CrossMark – sort of following the various versions and updates and so forth – but they see a way to extend CrossMark usage to help provide even greater transparency for their published articles. And Molly and Kevin mentioned things like displaying FundRef info, the info about the peer review process and so forth.
PENTZ: Yes, that’s right. And I think the CrossMark system is really a system for publishers to convey information about what they did to that content and why. It gives the user tools to assess the quality of that content, so there can be information about the peer review process that was applied, there can be links to extra information. And the whole goal here is, again, transparency and making it apparent what the publisher actually did, that it was maybe checked for plagiarism via CrossCheck, that type of information getting out to the user.
KENNEALLY: But we do want to stress, of course, that there is a fair investment in resources and time to pull all of this together. And for people who want to get a sense of what that was like for the folks at PLOS, I do refer you to that blog post there, “Getting to CrossMark.”
We have a question from Katherine (sp?) I want to address immediately, which is whether an updated manuscript needs a new DOI. I think I know the answer, but I’m not sure. I’m going to ask you, Ed – does it need a new DOI? It would not, necessarily.
PENTZ: No. So DOIs are usually assigned on acceptance. So once the article is accepted for publication by the publisher, a DOI gets assigned, and then the DOI doesn’t change. And the way the process works is that, if a publisher publishes a correction or if they publish an erratum, the erratum itself gets a DOI, and then it’s linked back to the article that’s being corrected. And then that feeds into the CrossMark system so, when somebody’s looking at the original article, they can then see that a correction or an erratum has actually been published for that.
But in those situations, the article doesn’t get a new DOI because, in effect, what’s happening with journal articles, the practice isn’t to go in and actually change the article itself. It’s to highlight the corrections that occur, because you need to know what the original article said. That’s part of the scientific record, and that’s very important to maintain that.
It’s a little bit different with other types of content. And we are working on versioning information with medical publications, where they can use CrossMark to track links to clinical trial registries and things like that. And in the book world, it’s a little bit different where, if something is updated and it’s a new version – a new edition, equivalently – then you might assign a new DOI to that.
KENNEALLY: Well, we’re very happy to have everyone joining us today for a program on metadata and open access we call Open Access Standard Time. Joining us is Ed Pentz, the executive director of CrossRef.
Ed, you are involved – as well as a colleague of mine here at Copyright Clearance Center, Heather Reid – in a very important effort that’s been undertaken by the National Information Standards Organization, NISO, which is specifically addressing open access metadata. And this was something that was launched a year ago, in January 2013, as a working group there.
You’re one of the co-chairs, along with Cameron Neylon from PLOS, as well as Greg Tananbaum with SPARC, and there are working group members from around the world and universities and publishers, like Elsevier and program providers like JISC and so forth, STM and on and on.
And this has been a very important effort that you’re undertaken, one that is taking time – and there’s a real process here that NISO is following – to try to get some import and to be able to make some recommendations around open access metadata. Tell us where we stand with that. I think we’re sort of getting to the end of a long, hard road.
PENTZ: Yes. The group has had lengthy discussions. We started back in 2013 and did a lot of work to initially get use cases, so we had a lot of use cases submitted from librarians and publishers and abstracting and indexing services, where there were particular concerns about the lack of ability to identify whether a piece of content was open access.
But there’s also a bigger question about the status of that article, and there’s a particular concern, say, in traditional subscriptions journals often have the ability for – it’s a hybrid journal is what it’s referred to – where some of the articles are under subscription and some of those articles can actually be gold OA within that journal, and there’s no easy way to distinguish that content at the moment.
So those were some of the key use cases. And so there was a draft recommendation published. And we had, a couple of months ago, just finished the comment period, and there were over 150 comments, so lots of really great comments.
But just to quickly summarize what the recommendations are – there are two pieces. There’s a recommendation that everybody should adopt two pieces of extra metadata and associated tags in relation to scholarly content. And the source of this is going to be, obviously, the publishers. Whoever is publishing the content would initially make this information available. But it would also involve repositories and other systems, as well.
The first one is a very simple – what’s called the free to read. So it’s a free to read tag, and it indicates that the work’s freely accessible to be read by anyone on the Internet. Now, this isn’t a tag for open access, because the working group quickly realized that there are many different definitions of open access, and it was very hard – different people have different definitions of what actually open access is. But there was a need to have a tag that would give a very quick indication that this content is open and it’s free to read, and it doesn’t say anything else about other use rights.
KENNEALLY: And that’s important. I think it’s unmistakable that people can read it. But what could be in the details there is what, for example, the license reference would provide information on.
PENTZ: Yes. And so then the working group felt that, tied with this free to read – because a free to read could be useful in, say, search results, where you just want to flag to users in search results how you can get to this, you can read it, and then they’re ready to go. But it’s very important also to have licensing information. And there were really two possible approaches here.
One was to actually start to put license terms into the metadata itself. The working group decided not to do this because it’s a sort of endless task and, eventually, what you would wind up with is the whole entire license in the metadata. And the idea here is to – what we’re recommending is that there’s just a URL, a URI and – technical terms – pointing to the license terms for that content. And that, of course, can be a Creative Commons license. That could be recognized licenses.
And we really picked this up from the open source software community where, in software code, they point to recognized licenses to indicate the status of the code. And we’re picking up on this with the same idea here.
KENNEALLY: And it’s an effort, again, that Copyright Clearance Center is following very closely indeed. And I mentioned my colleague, Heather Reid. Now, she is chair currently for NISO, and we’re very happy to be participating in all of this. She’s working with you on this particular effort but on other efforts there at NISO.
And so what can we expect? And so we have this recommendation made, and things will become finalized at some point?
PENTZ: Yeah. We are going to be responding to the commenters and releasing a revised draft within the next month. And then that will go out for final approval then.
KENNEALLY: So we’re very close to all of that. And what I think is important about that is that there’s real community input here. There’s a sense that a standard of any type is going to be successful only if people really feel like they have some stake in it.
PENTZ: That’s right. And I think the process here, which is normal for NISO projects – it brings together all the key stakeholders, the publishers, universities, librarians and others, and that really helps get that buy-in.
KENNEALLY: Indeed. We’re coming very close to the end of our program with Ed Pentz, executive director of CrossRef, looking at Open Access Standard Time and what publishers need to do to ensure their success in this very dynamic environment.
If you have a question for Ed in the time remaining, we would urge you to use the chat box in the lower right-hand corner of the screen. If you’re following along on Twitter and want to see what the conversation is about with this program, our hashtag is cccopenaccess, and you can follow Copyright Clearance Center @copyrightclear.
So Ed, we do have some questions coming in. And let’s see how many we can get to in the time remaining to us. There was a question about consideration of the embargo in free to read. And that takes a little bit of unpacking, because free, as you say, is a term with a variety of interpretations. It’s not only about whether something is free but when it may be free.
PENTZ: Yes. And I think I should have mentioned before that dates are very important with both the free to read and the license tag, and they can accommodate embargoes. And so the free to read can have a start date and an end date. But importantly, the license ref can have a start date, as well. So if there’s an embargo – so if content’s published January 2014, it can say this license applies, and that may be a proprietary publisher license. But then in January 2015, a CC-BY license applies, and that would be a yearlong embargo, and so it’s very important in these tags that the dates do accommodate the issues of embargoes.
KENNEALLY: We have a question from – let’s see here – from Jen (sp?) about envisioning CrossMark as a way to identify types of Creative Commons licenses. And I suppose you have mentioned one of the most common, which is the CC-BY and attribution-type license. But where does CrossMark fit in with those various flavors of Creative Commons licenses?
PENTZ: Well, CrossMark can be used to, again, display the licensing information in a standard location. So if you are going around to different publisher websites, the CrossMark is going to be indicated, and the CrossMark logo will look the same and go to a set of information, and so that definitely can include licensing information.
And again, in terms of implementation for publishers, I see there was a question just about linking with CC-BY licenses. I mean the CC-BY licenses are very standard. But the license ref could have any link in it. And so what we see is there’s definitely going to be the potential for third parties to recognize particular licenses.
So you may have a particular funder who has a mandate, and they can say here’s a list of the licenses that we accept. And then they will be able to read the metadata and say, OK, here’s all the articles that have the license that we accept, so that meets our mandate. And this information is going to be used by CHORUS – for the Clearinghouse for Open Access Research in the U.S. – and also by the share system, so we see it as being a key piece of infrastructure that’s going to drive a lot of these services.
KENNEALLY: Right. And, you know, we’ve been stressing the point, Ed, that these efforts are to provide greater transparency. But I’m sure, for publishers large and small out there – just like Jen is concerned about just the effort that’s going to be necessary to undertake all of this and whether or not this is going to have an impact on publisher workflow and websites. How do you see that playing out?
PENTZ: I think that the publisher workflows is a critical piece of it. And I think that there are going to be numerous things that publishers are working on – their own systems and their own workflows in house, but they’re also collaborating with external organizations, with the manuscript tracking systems and, for instance, with the APC functionality that CCC has developed, as well.
So there are a number of different routes that publishers can do. And I think the thing is that, with any investment, there’s the return on investment and, as this goes forward, then there are clear benefits from making these changes.
KENNEALLY: If you have a question for Ed Pentz, we have time for just a couple more. Please use the chat box in the lower right-hand corner of the screen. Do check on our Twitter feed at hashtag cccopenaccess for the conversation online, and follow us @copyrightclear.
And Ed, there’s a point made by Jamie (sp?), who is asking about humanities publishers. And while I happen to sort of fall into the trap, if you want to call it that, of thinking about this as all being very much about scientific, technical, medical publishing, publishing covers – particularly in the academic and scholarly fields – covers the gamut here.
And so where do – or I should say it this way – does the services and the need for open access metadata that CrossRef addresses care whether the particular research is humanities or scientific or social sciences?
PENTZ: I think that’s a good question about humanities. We do tend to talk a lot about the STM fields, but I think open access is a little bit different in the humanities. There’s different funding. Research is funded differently or maybe not funded really at all in the same way that particularly life sciences is, but I think the type of information about conveying licensing information and conveying the metadata we’ve been talking about is just as important in humanities. You know, that content’s published online. It’s part of the scholarly record.
The question of open access is a very, very different question. Probably funder mandates aren’t driving a need, necessarily, for humanities to be open access. But there’s certainly a lot happening on the open access front in humanities, and looking at monographs, as well, but they’re very much at earlier stages. There’s a project looking at OA scholarly monographs in the U.K. – it’s run by JISC – and a number of different experiments, but again, much more early stage work.
KENNEALLY: Well, and as you say, the point about funding is critical there. There’s not a lot of funding coming from Wellcome Trust for Michel Foucault. It’s more about a certain kind of gene transformation. That’s really what’s driving all this. But it is a good question and one that I’ve been hearing a great deal more as I get out there and speak about open access to the publishing community.
And we are just about to close things off here. And we’ve been chatting today with Ed Pentz. Very happy to have him join us here at Copyright Clearance Center offices for this program in our open access webinar series. And we do recommend that you go back and take a look at some of the previous programs we’ve had in this series. You can find all of those online at copyright.com/openaccess.
We’ll remind you that Copyright Clearance Center has joined with the Association of Learned and Professional Society Publishers to provide a single source for information on open access, the latest news, reports, websites and so forth. You can find all of that online at openaccessresources.org. We hope you will, as I say, make a bookmark in your browser for that and refer to that from time to time. It’s updated on a very regular basis, and I think you’ll find it a very useful site indeed for you as you think about the open access movement and what it’s going to mean to your business, your research, or your institution. So do check that out.
I want to thank Ed Pentz, the executive director of CrossRef. Ed, thank you for joining us today.
PENTZ: Thank you.
KENNEALLY: I want to thank Courtney Wegener, my colleague at Copyright Clearance Center, for getting us through this with all the technology that’s involved. My name is Chris Kenneally. I’m director of business development at Copyright Clearance Center. Our contact information is up there on the screen.
And we want to close with a reminder to everybody that you can see everybody from Copyright Clearance Center coming up later this month at the annual meeting of the Society of Scholarly Publishing, which will be coming to Boston. We’ll be at booth 21.
This year’s 36th annual meeting of SSP is called “Who’s at Stake and What’s at Stake? Looking Outward at the Future of Scholarly Publishing,” and that’ll be taking place May 28th through the 30th here in Boston, our home town, at the Westin Boston Waterfront, a great place with a great view and a great facility. We hope you will, if you are attending that meeting, stop by our booth, booth number 21.
Again, for all of us at Copyright Clearance Center, my name is Chris Kenneally. Thanks, everyone.