Professional and scholarly publishers in the US have expressed strong opposition to the recently proposed Federal Research Public Access Act of 2006. Calling the legislation a duplicative effort that places an unwarranted burden on research investigators, the publishers have argued that if passed, the legislation will seriously endanger the integrity of the scientific publishing process. The legislation would require the majority of recipients of US federal research agency funds to make their findings freely available online within six months of their initial publication in a scholarly journal.
According to the publishers, the provisions of the Act threaten to undermine the essential value of peer review by eliminating the publishers' incentive and ability to sustain investments in a range of STM activities. The proposed legislation comes at a time when increased public access to government-funded research is already occurring in a voluntary and highly effective manner through a variety of publisher-initiated mechanisms and cooperative approaches.
The Bill was introduced on the first anniversary of the National Institutes of Health's (NIH) adoption of its public access policy. As the NIH's implementation of the policy has not yet progressed to the point where its impact can be assessed, publishers view the introduction of the Bill as premature.
The US title output, for the first time since 1999, decreased by over 18,000 to 172,000 new titles and editions in 2005, according to a recently released statistics on the US book publishing by bibliographic information provider, Bowker, US. This follows the record increase of over 19,000 new books in 2004.
The statistics revealed that only the very large academic, professional, and trade publishers could publish close to the number of new titles and editions that they did in 2004. Output from small publishers declined by over 7%, while new titles from the small-to-medium and medium-to-large publishers dropped by 10% and 15% respectively. Meanwhile, university presses showed some rise in most categories, with science and law displaying the largest increases.
Great Britain now replaces the United States as the publisher of most new books in English. In 2005, nearly 206,000 new books were published in the UK, representing an increase of nearly 28% over 2004.
Healthcare publisher Lippincott Williams & Wilkins (LWW), part of Wolters Kluwer Health (WK Health), US, and the American Association of Critical-Care Nurses (AACN) have announced the launch of a quarterly journal, AACN Advanced Critical Care. The journal will be released at the National Teaching Institute (NTI) and Critical Care Exposition to be held in California from May 20-25, 2006.
A replacement for AACN's quarterly journal AACN Clinical Issues, the journal will now cover a wide range of critical care challenges, including moral distress in caregivers, understanding advanced modes of mechanical ventilation, and preventing and managing complications of critical illness. Additionally, it will also deliver the latest and most crucial advice on topics such as complex ECG rhythms, healthy work environments, new critical care drugs and leading-edge technologies.
AACN Advanced Critical Care joins AACN's portfolio of other periodicals such as the American Journal of Critical Care, Critical Care Nurse, and clinical reference publications including the award-winning AACN Procedure Manual for Critical Care. The journal will be offered at an unprecedented discounted subscription rate for AACN members.
Open access publisher BioMed Central, UK, has announced that its Open Repository service has built the recently launched Landspitali's institutional repository, utilising its open-source DSpace technology platform. The repository is currently available at http://landspitali.openrepository.com/lsh/.
Landspitali's institutional repository will enable its staff and students to deposit and share research findings. While BioMed Central will provide hosting services, customisation, backups and technical support, Landspitali will maintain complete administrative control over the repository.
Landspitali chose BioMed Central's Open Repository service for its value-added features in addition to the standard DSpace functionality, such as a submission form using PubMed ID and external linking to Entrez databases. Open Repository now offers a new Pilot Repository setup scheme, allowing customers to have working demo sites personalised to their needs for a three-month, no obligation, free trial.
Thomson Scientifics' subscription newsletter Science Watch has ranked UK universities based on both the total number of citations as well as their impact during 2001-2005. The rankings are published in the latest issue of the bimonthly newsletter.
The University of Cambridge ranked first in 10 of the 21 fields based on total citations, while the University of Oxford took the lead in four of the 21 fields based on the average number of citations per paper. The University of Cambridge registered the highest total-citation count in almost half of the scientific fields studied. The university published over 21,000 papers between 2001 and 2005, increasing its high total citation count. Imperial College London ranked second with the highest total citation count in three fields having published nearly 19,000 papers.
The Science Watch rankings are derived from Thomson Scientific's United Kingdom University Science Indicators, a database containing publication and citation statistics on more than 150 UK universities and affiliated institutions in nearly two dozen main scientific fields.
Information solutions provider Ovid Technologies, US, part of Wolters Kluwer Health, has announced a partnership with 3D medical imagery producer, Primal Pictures, UK, to offer a service called Primal Pictures on Ovid. Under the deal, Ovid will provide access to 3D interactive human anatomy animation, including video, through its Ovid Web Gateway search and discovery platform. Currently available on Ovid, the product also includes a study guide and sample test questions for students.
Primal Pictures on Ovid includes 21 interactive learning modules that focus on the anatomical, surgical, sports medicine and other aspects of one or more areas of the human body. Each module consists of three-dimensional computer models and animations that show structural relationships, functions and biomechanics. The modules are also available in German and French languages.
The computer models and animations have been created by anatomists and graphic designers using medical scan and dissection data taken from real bodies. More modules will be added to Ovid Web Gateway later this year. In addition, users will be able to search all Primal Pictures content across all modules on Ovid simultaneously. Primal is the creator of the world's first complete 3D model of human anatomy.
Richard W. Pound, has announced several new members to the panel struck to review the governance of the Canadian Medical Association Journal (CMAJ). Pound recently replaced Antonio Lamer, a retired chief justice of the Supreme Court of Canada who stepped down last week due to health problems.
The new panel members include Dr Catherine D. DeAngelis, Editor-in-Chief of The Journal of the American Medical Association; Dr Martin T. Schechter, Professor and Head of the Department of Health Care and Epidemiology in the Faculty of Medicine at the University of British Columbia; Dr Eldon R. Smith, Editor-in-Chief of the Canadian Journal of Cardiology; and Dr Amir Attaran, Canada Research Chair in Law, Population Health and Global Development Policy at the University of Ottawa.
In light of the recent changes to the CMAJ Governance Review Panel, the deadline for submissions has been extended to May 15th. The Panel is expected to present its final recommendations to the Canadian Medical Association by July 14, 2006.