The Open Access Button launched this month. This is a button on your browser where you can report whenever you hit a "paywall" and cannot read materials you need or want. In addition to tracking the problem worldwide, it also searches (by title or DOI) in Google Scholar, so will sometimes find a freely-available version for you. I've already used this a few times, even though I work at Washington University where we have a lot of paid access. Here are a couple of posts about this:
-- Turning Paywalls into Opportunity: the Open Access Button has Arrived, by Heather Joseph.
-- The Open Access Button: Discovering when and where researchers hit paywalls, by Bonnie Swoger.
-- If someone hits a paywall in the forest, does it make a sound?: The Open Access Button, PLOS blog
Reporting plagiarism? Post from Retraction Watch: Want to report a case of plagiarism? Here’s how. Unfortunately it reports an article which is not available to WU users, except through Academic Search Premier 18 months after publication, so I was reported the paywall using my Open Access Button and plan to rely on the blog summary for now.
Thoughts on founding open-access journals, by Stuart Shieber in The Occasional Pamphlet on scholarly communication, features a careful checklist of issues to consider. Note: If you are considering starting or flipping-to an open access journal, WU Libraries has a platform for you to consider, Open Scholarship. Contact your subject librarian or firstname.lastname@example.org to discuss this further.
Vestiges of print publication in scientific journals, by Bonnie Swoger. I thought this was an interesting comment about things that persist despite online distribution, such as abbreviations in citations, page and issue numbers, paper-style pdf, peer review timelines.
Frontiers in Innovation, Research, Science and Technology Act of 2013 (FIRST) was proposed in the US House. This would delay the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy Directive on Public Access to the Results of Federally Funded Research. More:
-- Oppose Section 302 of the proposed FIRST Act from SPARC
-- FIRST Up: Lawmakers to Examine Bill Renewing U.S. Research, ScienceInsider
-- The FIRST Act Is the Last Open Access Reform We'd Ever Want, Electronic Frontier Federation
Affordable College Textbook Act introduced in the U.S. Senate.
-- 2 Senators Offer Bill Promoting Open-Access Textbooks, Chronicle of Higher Education
-- Support the Affordable College Textbook Act, SPARC