Generation Open: Open Access Week 2014

Open.Michigan welcomes guest blogger Jacob Glenn, a science librarian at the University of Michigan’s Shapiro Science Library. Jacob is blogging on behalf of the library’s Open Access Committee, which is responsible for organizing Open Access Week activities here on campus. For more information about the committee and about Open Access Week, please contact the committee’s chair, Jean Song.

International Open Access Week (OA Week, October 20-26) is an opportunity for the academic community to promote broader access to the products of research and scholarship. This year’s theme is Generation Open, highlighting the generation of students, citizen scientists and early-career researchers who have grown up learning and publishing on the open Web. Next week the University of Michigan Library will host a number of events aimed at connecting the academic community with Generation Open.

On Monday the library will host Journal Editors’ Tea, inaugurating a quarterly series of panel discussions devoted to new models of scholarly publishing. Four scholars from a variety of academic disciplines will share their experiences managing successful, sustainable open access journals. In the evening the American Library Association University of Michigan Student Chapter will host Attribution: Why it Matters to You, a conversation about the role of attribution in fostering the creation of Open Access publications and Open Educational Resources.

On Tuesday, join us in Rackham Amphitheater to hear this year’s OA Week keynote speaker, Jack Andraka. Jack is a Maryland high school student and winner of the 2012 Intel International Science and Engineering Fair Gordon Moore Award and the 2012 Smithsonian American Ingenuity Award, both for his work on early detection of pancreatic cancer (which he continues at Johns Hopkins School of Medicine). Jack has been outspoken in his support of open access to scientific research. He will talk about the information barriers he faced as an independent researcher and the role of Open Access publications in supporting his work. In past talks Jack has argued that by turning knowledge into an artificially scarce commodity, publishers have effectively denied most people the opportunity to innovate. Not only is this a form of discrimination, it is also a huge waste of human potential. “Citizen science” and the open sharing of knowledge are essential if humanity is to meet the challenges we currently face, but that will never happen on a larger scale unless we decide that the artificial restriction of knowledge is a serious problem that needs to be solved.

There are more events sprinkled throughout the week, including a brown bag discussion on Open Access and social justice and the perennially popular Wikipedia Edit-a-thon. For this year’s full calendar of OA Week events, including times, locations, and links to registration, see

U-M and BioMed Central Collaborate to Publish Open Access Journal on Clinical Diabetes and Endocrinology

Through a unique publishing collaboration, the University of Michigan and BioMed Central have launched a new open access journal, Clinical Diabetes and Endocrinology, which is now seeking submissions and set to begin publishing in the first quarter of 2015. The journal is led by Editor-in-Chief Meng H. Tan, Professor of Internal Medicine in the Division of Metabolism, Endocrinology, and Diabetes at the University of Michigan.

Visit the Clinical Diabetes and Endocrinology website

Dr. Tan states, “Clinical Diabetes and Endocrinology aims to promote better care for people with diabetes and endocrine diseases by sharing with their health professionals new research and clinical knowledge on various aspects of their diseases. This collaborative academic-private initiative will make the new knowledge readily, freely, and immediately accessible to these health professionals worldwide so it can have a global impact.”

Jasna Markovac, Senior Director, Learning Design and Publishing for Medical School Information Services (MSIS), explains, “The University of Michigan has a history of emphasizing the importance of open scholarship, open access, and open publishing. We encourage faculty to publish in open access journals, but there are very few high quality, reputable ones in the medical field. So the Medical School decided to explore launching a series of open journals in an effort to provide for our faculty, staff and students more alternatives to the traditional subscription-based journals.”

Around the same time, BioMed Central approached Peter Arvan, Division Chief for Metabolism, Endocrinology, and Diabetes, and Director of the Michigan Comprehensive Diabetes Center, about starting a journal. Dr.Markovac, who consults Medical School faculty on alternative publishing models, and Dr. Arvan decided the Biomed Central partnership offered the best of both worlds, combining the model of a traditional peer-reviewed journal with a world-renowned open access publisher.

According to the BioMed Central license agreement, all articles published in the journal will be made available under a Creative Commons Attribution License 4.0 (or under a Creative Commons 1.0 Public Domain Dedication waiver, if required by law). This allows anyone to freely copy and redistribute the material in any medium or format, and also to remix, transform, and build upon the material.

Dr. Arvan, emphasizes, “The University of Michigan is proud to partner with BioMed Central for the launch of Clinical Diabetes and Endocrinology. We hope that this journal will have direct influence on the research and practice within the endocrine subspecialty. The diversity and remarkable credentials of this outstanding editorial board sends a signal that the journal stands for quality in publication to match the quality that we aspire to in our clinical practice.”

Ted Hanss, Chief Information Officer, University of Michigan Medical School, adds, “We are delighted to be partnering with BioMed Central to launch this exciting new open access publication which will allow for critical medical knowledge to be disseminated worldwide without boundaries or restrictions.”

Dr. Markovac concludes, “Everything aligned between our internal Medical School plans and what BioMed Central envisioned. If this goes well, we hope to launch more open access journals for other clinical departments at the Medical School.”

For more information about the journal, open access, or MSIS Health Sciences Publishing Services, please contact Jasna Markovac at