Friday, 18 May 2012

IMPORTANT ANNOUNCEMENT: EPT has a new web site and a new blog address!

EPT is happy to announce that it has both a  new website and a new blog address. We think you will like the cleaner appearance and will benefit from postings made to the blog by the Trustees of EPT.

Here is the new EPT web address 
Here is the new blog address

We look forward to seeing you there! 

Monday, 9 April 2012

OA Policy Guidelines - a UNESCO publication by Dr Alma Swan

If you want to know all there is to know about Open Access policies, read this now:

This is a recently released document commisisoned by UNESCO and prepared by the highly reliable OA advocate, Dr Alma Swan. This is an important publication that should be the basis for all organisations wanting to know about how to embrace Open Access, or wanting to understand better the needs and mechanisms with which to accelerate access to essential research. For researchers in emerging nations, OA is the route to providing access on an equal basis and to ensuring their research becomes part of the global knowledge base.

Our congratulations to Alma Swan for such a comprehensive and sound document - and to UNESCO for supporting the need for it.

Tuesday, 13 March 2012

China EPT OA Award runner-up, Dr Xiaolin Zhang, praised for his work

One of the runners-up of the EPT OA Award, Dr Xiaolin Zhang received his Certificate from Bev Acreman. The citation from the EPT was read out in his honour, and was as follows:
"The Open Access movement stems from the simple but powerful belief that all human progress depends on the dissemination and sharing of scientific and cultural knowledge. That philosophy cuts across the vested interests of many powerful groups. The success of the Open Access movement then relies on the tireless efforts of selfless and usually anonymous individuals who promote and build the infrastructure to make such sharing of scientific research normal rather than an exceptional activity. The Electronic Publishing Trust for Development has therefore instituted an annual award to recognise those individuals in developing countries who have made unstinting efforts to enssure the widest possible access to research publications.

The EPT is therefore privileged to honour the work of Dr Xiaolin Zhang. Dr Zhang is a man of exceptional and international standing; he has promoted publication in Open Access journals such as BioMed Central; he has promoted awareness, developed OA policy for the Chinese Academy of Sciences and forged links worldwide to promote Chinese science. CAS institutes hold almost a quarter of a million journal articles and the CAS Portal provides access to some 160 journals.

The list of his efforts could be extended at length, but suffice to say that in the first inaugural year of its awards, teh EPT is privileged to recognise the contribution of Dr Zhang."

Wednesday, 22 February 2012

Presentation video of EPT OA Award to Francis Jayakanth

Please link to!i=1718491385&k=32CgbfH to view the presentation ceremony that took place in India to mark the award to the winner, Francis Jayakanth. The opportunity was taken to include a presentation on the benefits of OA to developing countries. The Swaminathan Research Foundation provided the camera skills and tools to record the event and Professor MS Swaminathan himself presented the Award.

Congratulations to all concerned!

Sunday, 19 February 2012

An interview with Francis Jayakanth, winner of the 2011 EPT OA Award

It is very good to hear the views of the winner of the EPT OA Award, Francis Jayakanth, on the current status of access to research findings - he knows from first hand and from working in this area over many years the exact situation of researchers in the developing world with regard to access to research findings. See He understands precisely the twin benefits afforded by open access, namely a) access to the world's literature that can impact on research in India, and b) the enhanced visibility of local research and the opportunities this provides for collaborative research programmes and future partnerships. That is, the need for S to N, N to S and S to S exchange of information that the EPT and like-minded organisations have been advocating. He knows from personal contacts the existing needs of researchers - but says, ' . . So still a long way to go in achieving 100 per cent OA to scholarly literature! If all the research institutions set up their IRs and ensure that copies of post-prints are placed in the IRs then 100 per cent OA to scholarly literature could be achieved, at least, from now onwards.' Jayakanth has been working tireleesly to achieve this optimal situation.

Thursday, 16 February 2012

The Hindu publicises India's progress towards full Open Access to research publications

The Hindu has an article describing India's progress towards Open Access to research publications, see This coincides with India's announcement by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh in which 2012/2013 was declared the year of science.

The Hindu article says '... there is a lot of effort being made all over the country to not only intensify the quantity and quality of research but also ensure greater access for all' and includes quotes from EPT Trustee, Subbiah Arunachalam, and the winner of the EPT OA Award, Francis Jayakanth, announced here earlier.

Friday, 27 January 2012

Berlin 10 OA Conference to be in Africa for the first time

From Ina Smith, runner-up of the EPT OA Award and Repository Manager of the University of Stellenbosch (SUNScholar):

****  First Announcement  ****
Berlin 10 Open Access Conference to be held in Stellenbosch, South Africa

Stellenbosch University, in partnership with the Max Planck Society and the
Academy of Science for South Africa, has the pleasure of announcing that the
prestigious Berlin 10 Open Access Conference will be held in Stellenbosch,
South Africa. This will be the first time that the Berlin Open Access
Conference will be held in Africa. As is tradition with the conference, it
will explore the transformative impact that open, online access to research
can have on scholarship, scientific discovery, and the translation of
results to the benefit of the public.
The Conference will be held at the Wallenberg Research Centre, Stellenbosch
Institute for Advanced Study (STIAS). STIAS is situated on the historic
Mostertsdrift farm in the heart of Stellenbosch.

Conference date:                   7-8 November 2012

Pre-conference date:            6 November 2012

The theme, programme, speakers and other relevant information will become
available in forthcoming announcements which will also be available on the
conference website (

Ina Smith

E-Research Repository Manager (SUNScholar) | Library and Information Service
| University of Stellenbosch | Private Bag X5036, 7599 | South Africa | | E-mail: |
Tel:  +27 21 808 9139 | Skype: smith.ina | Office hours: Mo-Fr: 08h00-16h30

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Sunday, 15 January 2012

EPT OA Award - And the runners-up are!

After highlighting the winner of EPT’s OA Award (Francis Jayakanth, India) for individuals that have made the most significant contribution to the progress of OA, we are pleased now to give wider recognition to our runners-up, who have all received Certificates in honour of their achievements. We congratulate them all and are proud to include them in our 2011 ‘OA roll of honour’.

We are very pleased to provide extended information on the work of the runners-up to the EPT OA Award. They are (in alphabetical order):

- Ina Smith, University of Stellenbosch, South Africa – manager of E-Research Repository (SunScholar)  and UPSpace Institutional Repository. In 2011, Ina and her team launched SunJournals to host OA journals – a collaboration between the University Librarary and Information Service, departments and other university units. Professor Russel Botman signed the Berlin Declaration in 2010 committing the University to OA policies and practices. Ina has organised a number of IR training events in other countries and held seminars and webcasts in celebration of OA week.

- Tatyana Zayseva, Khazar University Library and Information Center (KULIC) - has promoted and educated OA options among the University faculty and has successfully established KULIC, the university IR, has explained the importance of OA to the University and to other national organisations, has developed online OA journals under a CC_BY license, has introduced e-learning technologies. Tatyana has participated in numerous international initiatives (in Russia, USA, Ukraine and Turkey). Her efforts have resulted in KUIR becoming the only IR in Azerbaijan and the Caucasus to be included in the top repositories in the world (World repository Ranking). KULIC has also been responsible for digitising back issues of university theses and dissertations. See here for local praise:

- Xiaolin Zhang, National Science Library  (NSL), Chinese Academy of Science the NSL has been responsible for the establishment of the CAS IR Grid which harvests and aggregates metadata from IRs across the CAS Institutes; it has organised numerous workshops and seminars on all aspects of OA, including  IR and OA journal management, IR policies, OA licensing and IR deposit best practices. CAS was the first Chinese institute to sign the Berlin Declaration in 2003, and the NSL provides integrated library services, including training and alert services. In 2009, NSL introduced an OA mandate requiring deposit in its IR within one month of publication; it also drafted copyright addendums and licenses, serving as a test bed for the Chinese OA Portal. OA is now firmly established in CAS Institutions.

 Collectively, these individuals have become responsible for the wide dissemination of research arising from their countries’ support. This in turn advances the success of global research, since all OA material is globally available for building new developments. Recognising the importance of this as the main purpose of all research, the contrast between these efforts in the developing world and those of some publishers in the North, who are introducing measures to undermine the OA movement (see Blog posting of January 10th 2012) is noticeable.  

Tuesday, 10 January 2012

An attempt to block OA distribution of US published research findings - the RWA

The EPT has written to a number of publishers/organisations that are signed up members of the American Association of Publishers, which supports the recently presented Research Works Act (RWA) submitted to Congress as HR3699. This Act seeks to undermine the existing open access distribution of published research, via such outlets as the NIH, and is clearly a move by the publishing industry to undermine the great advances already made towards the free and fair distribution of publicly funded research findings. The EPT has written to publishers that have existing OA policies, pointing out that the RWA act is in conflict with these policies and requesting clarification and preferably dissociation from the stance taken by the AAP.

Fur further information on the RWA, follow Peter Suber’s blog on

Below is an example of the letters we have sent:

"We write from the Electronic Publishing Trust for Development, a long-established UK-based registered charity which works to support access to current research by the vast majority of the world’s researchers who live in low-economy countries.

The US Research Works Act currently proposed totally undermines this effort. This Act has been introduced by Darrell Issa (R-CA) and Carolyn Maloney (D-NY), both of whom appear to have received substantial sums of money from the publishing industry over the past few years. The Act would prevent open dissemination of publicly-funded research, undoing all the good done by the NIH open access policy and preventing the world’s disadvantaged researchers from accessing the findings from US research.

The American Association of Publishers has openly welcomed and supported the Act. Your company/organisation is a member of the AAP.  As a publisher with a mission to disseminate research as widely as possible, we would expect you to dissociate yourselves, clearly and loudly, from this proposal. Support for the RWA is clearly in direct conflict with your stated policy in support of Open Access.

Open Access has been a life-line to the researchers in developing and emerging countries, their institutes and ultimately to their national economies, providing the potential for building on past research to the benefit of the global community (think infectious diseases, all public health issues, climate change, agricultural problems, energy provision, water conservation, engineering developments . . .).

The economic returns to countries from freedom of access to global research and the developments that follow from it are vastly greater than those from the small service provided by the publishing industry. The former is almost immeasurable in comparison. This Act has been driven by those that are putting commercial gain before the health and indeed survival of many of the world’s populations. This is not the purpose of public investment in research.

Yours sincerely,

The Electronic Publishing Trust for Development

Sunday, 1 January 2012

EPT OA AWARD 2011- announcing the winner!

Press Release January 1st 2012


The Electronic Publishing Trust for Development is pleased to announce the winners of a new annual award to be made to individuals working in developing countries who have made a significant personal contribution to advancing the cause of open access and the free exchange of research findings.

We received 30 proposals from organisations in 17 developing countries on four continents, naming individuals who have worked hard to promote Open Access and who have achieved substantial progress. The selection of a single winner was extremely difficult as we received nominations for so many individuals who have made impressive strides by any or all of the following means:
  • establishing OA institutional repositories;
  • setting up or encouraging conversion to OA journals;
  • achieving establishment of OA mandates requiring research to be OA on  publication, or other policy developments;
  • advocating OA via seminars, publications, workshops, videos;
  • training others in the technology of setting up IRs;
  •  preparing and establishing e-learning projects;
  • working towards the acceptance of Creative Commons licensing arrangements for research publications;
  • developing software for use in OA practices.
Because of the high standard of the applicants, we have decided to name a single winner, but also to recognise three other individuals who were very close runners-up. All will receive a certificate and the winner will receive in addition an engraved plaque in the next few weeks.

We are very happy to announce that the winner of the inaugural award is Dr Francis Jayakanth of the National Centre for Scientific Information, Indian Institute of Science, Bangalore, India.  Dr Jayakanth played a significant role in the establishment of India’s first institutional repository (IR) ( He now manages the IR and has provided technical support for establishing IRs in many other universities and institutes in India. He has been the key resource person at many events to train people in setting up IRs and OA journals. He has delivered presentations on IRs, OA journals, the OAI protocol, OAI compliance, the benefits of OA to authors and institutions and the role of libraries. He has developed a free and open source software tool (CDSOAI), which is widely used. 

The Indian Institute of Science is the most prestigious institute in India and its IR now holds >31,400 records, making the century-old institute's research far more globally visible than before. The University Grants Commission in India has been impressed by the IISC’s IR and has directed all universities in India to replicate this effort.

Francis Jayakanth can indeed be considered an OA ‘renaissance man’, an advocate and technical expert in all aspect of Open Access development and an inspiration to all, both at the research and policy level.

The EPT is proud to congratulate Dr Jayakanth as our first Award winner. We believe this Award and the example of our first winner will inspire many others and lead to similarly impressive nominations  in 2012.

The runners-up for this award were (in alphabetical order): 

  - Ina Smith, University of Stellenbosch, South Africa;
  - Tatyana Zayseva, Khazar University, Azerbaijan;
  - Xiaolin Zhang
, National Science Library,
Chinese Academy of  Science.

The EPT wishes to congratulate them and all who have been proposed, since without exception they have made a significant personal contribution to the sharing of research findings across the world.  We will be sharing some of their stories and successes on our blog over the next few weeks.

Electronic Publishing Trust for Development


Dr Francis Jayakinth 

We wish to stress once more that the selection of a single winner was exceedingly difficult since all nominees were very worthy and their work of such a high standard. Nominees ranged from those working on long-established developments to those setting up new ‘starter’ efforts, making progress in one or all of the aspects of Open Access, listed above. We were very encouraged to learn how much impressive work is underway around the world to achieve equitable access to research findings and hope that this Award will encourage further developments in the years ahead.

While established efforts in the ‘North’ now debate the finer points of Open Access and are frustrated at the too-slow speed of adoption, the developing world is marching ahead with establishing essential infrastructure, recognising the great benefits that OA can bring to authors, their institutes and indeed to the progress of research in their regions.

We will be posting further details of the excellent work of some of our nominees in the weeks ahead.