Archive for April, 2008

Open Access Directory, a Factual Wiki, Launched

Posted in Open Access, Scholarly Communication, Social Media/Web 2.0 on April 30th, 2008 by Charles W. Bailey, Jr.

The Open Access Directory, a Wiki for factual information (vs. narrative descriptions) about the open access movement has been launched.

Here's the press release:

Peter Suber and Robin Peek have launched the Open Access Directory (OAD), a wiki where the open access community can create and maintain simple factual lists about open access to science and scholarship. Suber, a Research Professor of Philosophy at Earlham College, and Peek, an Associate Professor of Library and Information Science at Simmons College, conceived the project in order to collect OA-related lists for one-stop reference and searching.

The wiki will start operating with about half a dozen lists—for example, conferences devoted to open access, discussion forums devoted to open access, and journal "declarations of independence"—and add more over time.

The goal is to harness the knowledge and energy of the open access community itself to enlarge and correct the lists. A list on a wiki, revised continuously by its users, can be more comprehensive and up to date than the same list maintained by an individual. By bringing many OA-related lists together in one place, OAD will make it easier for users, especially newcomers, to discover them and use them for reference. The easier they are to maintain and discover, the more effectively they can spread useful, accurate information about open access.

The URL for the Open Access Directory is

The wiki is represented by an editorial board consisting of prominent figures in the open access movement. The Graduate School of Library and Information Science (GSLIS) at Simmons College hosts and provides technical support to the OAD.

Editors and administrators

Robin Peek. Editor, Associate Professor, Graduate School of Library and Information Science, Simmons College
Athanasia Pontika. Assistant Editor, Doctoral Student, Graduate School of Library and Information Science, Simmons College
Terry Plum. Technical Coordinator, Assistant Dean for Technology and Director, Simmons College

Editorial board members

Charles Bailey. Publisher, Digital Scholarship
Leslie Chan. Program Supervisor for New Media Studies, University of Toronto Scarborough
Heather Joseph. Executive Director, Scholarly Publishing and Academic Resources Coalition (SPARC)
Melissa Hagemann. Open Society Institute
Peter Suber. Research Professor of Philosophy at Earlham College, Visiting Fellow at Yale Law School, and Senior Researcher at SPARC
Alma Swan. Key Perspectives Ltd
John Wilbanks. Vice President, Creative Commons

Read more about it at "Launch of the Open Access Directory."

Scholarly Electronic Publishing Bibliography 2007 Annual Edition Published

Posted in Digital Scholarship Publications, Scholarly Communication on April 29th, 2008 by Charles W. Bailey, Jr.

The Scholarly Electronic Publishing Bibliography 2007 Annual Edition is now available from Digital Scholarship.

Annual editions of the Scholarly Electronic Publishing Bibliography are PDF files designed for printing. Each annual edition is based on the last HTML version published during the edition's year.

The SEPB 2007 Annual Edition is based on Version 70 (12/18/2007). The printed bibliography is over 260 pages long. The PDF file is over 1 MB.

In addition to updated URLs, hundreds of additional URLs have been added to the SEPB 2007 Annual Edition. (The additional URLs will be added to Version 72 of the SEPB HTML edition.)

Blogging Break

Posted in Announcements on April 23rd, 2008 by Charles W. Bailey, Jr.

Aside from the next Scholarly Electronic Publishing Weblog (5/7/08) and any Digital Scholarship publication announcements, DigitalKoans will be on break until 6/2/08.

Vuze Issues Report on ISP Throttling

Posted in Net Neutrality, P2P File Sharing on April 23rd, 2008 by Charles W. Bailey, Jr.

Vuze has issued a report (First Results from Vuze Network Monitoring Tool) analyzing the network management tactics of ISPs.

Here's an excerpt from the report:

We believe that there is sufficient data to suggest that network management practices that "throttle" internet traffic are widespread. At a minimum, more investigation is required to determine whether these resets are happening in the ordinary course of business or whether they represent the kind of throttling practices which target specific applications and/or protocols, harming the consumer experience and stifling innovation.

Read more about it at "Study: All Major Broadband Providers Disrupt P2P," "U.S. Senate Committee Tackles Net Neutrality Today," and "Vuze Says Some ISPs Abuse TCP Resets; Data Not That Clearcut."

E-Book Readers to Go: NCSU Libraries to Check Out Kindles and Sony Readers

Posted in E-Books, Social Media/Web 2.0 on April 23rd, 2008 by Charles W. Bailey, Jr.

Starting next week, the North Carolina State University Libraries will check out Kindles and Sony Reader Digital Books from its Learning Commons. Users will ask library staff to load desired e-books on the readers at check-out.

Read more about it at "Library to Offer New Reading Options."

Another interesting development is that the NCSU Libraries are supporting both Weblog (WolfBlogs) and Wiki (WolfWikis) services for NCSU community members.

University of Florida Has Digitized 1.7 Million Pages, over 100,000 in Last Month Alone

Posted in Digital Archives and Special Collections, Digital Repositories, Digitization on April 23rd, 2008 by Charles W. Bailey, Jr.

The University of Florida Digital Library Center has announced that it has digitized over 1.7 million pages, with about 100,000 pages being added in the last month alone. Their digitization statistics are available online. (Thanks to Open Access News.)

Read more about it "100,000 Pages a Month."

Further Coverage about and Commentary on the Georgia State Digital Copyright Lawsuit

Posted in Copyright, Digital Copyright Wars, E-Reserves, Publishing, Scholarly Books, Scholarly Journals on April 22nd, 2008 by Charles W. Bailey, Jr.

Here's a selection of recent news articles and Weblog postings about the Georgia State copyright infringement lawsuit. See my prior postings for further information about the suit ("Georgia State Copyright Infringement Suit Coverage and Commentary" and "Georgia State Sued by Three Publishers for Alleged Digital Copyright Infringement in E-Reserves, Course Management, and Other Systems").

"Academic Publishers Sue US Uni over Digital Course Material"

It is an estimate that electronic course packs now constitute half of all syllabus reading at American colleges and universities. . . . Cambridge University Press, for example charges 17 cents a page for each student for electronic use, and generally grants permission for use of as much as 20 percent of a book.

"Copyright Suit Tests How Much Is Too Much"

Indeed, the complaint notes that the three plaintiffs have published more than 100 books and monographs authored by GSU professors. That GSU is a nonprofit institution shouldn't have any bearing on how much unauthorized copying it can do, Smith [Frank Smith, Cambridge University Press] says.

"We're a nonprofit," he points out. "I assume they wouldn't want their classes flooded with students who weren't paying tuition, but you could say there's no extra cost to filling another desk. I'm sure they would resist that, and I could see why."

"Publishers vs Academics"

The educational area is one where courts have traditionally afforded a greater degree of leeway in fair use and even the plaintiff's lawyer has to admit that he can't find a law or binding precedent stating how much digital copying would be "not too much." It seems likely that if the case ever makes it as far as a decision that decision would be appealed. My personal opinion is that they'll work out a settlement before it gets that far—neither side wants to see a precedent set that would go against them. Plus there's a core reality that academic publishers and educational institutions exist in a kind of death-grip dependency that would harm both if it was violently broken.

"Publishing Group Hires Qorvis for Lawsuit Messaging"

The Association of American Publishers hired Qorvis to handle messaging for three academic publishers' copyright lawsuit against Georgia State University.

"Suing Georgia"

So, . . . what's left if you really, really, really believe that educators ought to be able to use whatever they need to and want to use in their classrooms without worrying about what it costs or whether it's fair use?

Consumer resistance, or OA.

"Temperance Is a Virtue"

If that case every reaches the stage of arguing the fair use defense, I hope the court will look very hard at the second fair use factor—the nature of the copyrighted work. Previously, the action on this factor has been minimal and has largely focused on published versus unpublished works and how much originality is necessary for "thick" or "thin" protection. But the economics of a particular segment of publishing, especially one as dysfunctional as scholarly publishing, ought to be considered when analyzing fair use, and factor two is a good place to do that. If the system is structured in a way that undermines the whole incentive purpose of copyright, as I have argued the scholarly publishing is, factor two, which really focuses on the expectations of creators of different types of works, should strongly favor an expansive application of fair use.

"What Does the Lawsuit against Georgia State Mean?"

There are a number of possible outcomes in this case. Settlement is possible. The complaint itself is somewhat vague in its details; while specific examples are provided for some of the allegedly infringing uses, the publishers provide no specific details or examples of professors linking to course material from their open web pages, or any information about specifically infringing behaviors within the course management system. Although it claims the copying is in excess of what is permitted as fair use, the publishers do not offer a specific discussion of what it considers to be the bounds of fair use, nor does it adequately define course packs, nor offer any interpretation of the cited cases against copy shops, other than to broadly claim that they act as guiding precedence.

Report Released: Strategies for Open and Permanent Access to Scientific Information in Latin America

Posted in Open Access, Scholarly Communication on April 22nd, 2008 by Charles W. Bailey, Jr.

CRIA has released Strategies for Open and Permanent Access to Scientific Information in Latin America: Focus on Health and Environmental Information for Sustainable Development, a report about the 2007 workshop of the same name.

Read more about it at "Workshop Report: Strategies for Open, Permanent Access to Scientific Information."

EDUCAUSE Podcast on P2P File Sharing: "Don't Download This Panel"

Posted in Copyright, Digital Copyright Wars, P2P File Sharing on April 22nd, 2008 by Charles W. Bailey, Jr.

EDUCAUSE has released a podcast on P2P file sharing called "Don't Download This Panel." The podcast is from a panel discussion about the topic at the EDUCAUSE 2008 Western Regional Conference.

The speakers are:

  • Greg DePriest, Vice President, Technology Policy, NBC Universal
  • Kenneth C. Green, Founding Director, The Campus Computing Project
  • Fred von Lohmann, Senior Staff Attorney, Electronic Frontier Foundation
  • Session moderator: Kent Wada, Director, IT Strategic Policy, UCLA

National Endowment for the Humanities High Performance Computing Initiative Launched

Posted in Cyberinfrastructure/E-Science, Digital Humanities on April 22nd, 2008 by Charles W. Bailey, Jr.

The National Endowment for the Humanities' Office of Digital Humanities has announced the Humanities High Performance Computing Initiative.

Here's an excerpt from the announcement:

As you may have seen in today's Chronicle of Higher Education, the NEH has just announced our new Humanities High Performance Computing initiative—HHPC for short. Our goal is to start a conversation about how high performance computers—supercomputers—can be used for humanities research. We are working with colleagues at the Department of Energy and the National Science Foundation to provide you with information on how high performance/grid computing and data storage might be used for work in the humanities. We are also announcing a new grant competition with DOE to award time and training on their machines. I urge you to check out our HHPC Resources page for more information.

Here's an excerpt from the Humanities High Performance Computing Resource page:

So what do we mean by "HHPC?" Humanities High-Performance Computing (HHPC) refers to the use of high-performance machines for humanities and social science projects. Currently, only a small number of humanities scholars are taking advantage of high-performance computing. But just as the sciences have, over time, begun to tap the enormous potential of HPC, the humanities are beginning to as well. Humanities scholars often deal with large sets of unstructured data. This might take the form of historical newspapers, books, election data, archaeological fragments, audio or video contents, or a host of others. HHPC offers the humanist opportunities to sort through, mine, and better understand and visualize this data.

Interview with Microsoft's Pablo Fernicola about Article Authoring Add-in for Microsoft Office Word 2007

Posted in Digital Repositories, Open Access, Publishing, Scholarly Journals, Self-Archiving on April 21st, 2008 by Charles W. Bailey, Jr.

Jon Udell has posted an interview ("Word for Scientific Publishing") with Pablo Fernicola, a Microsoft Group Manager, about the Article Authoring Add-in for Microsoft Office Word 2007 (see my prior posting "Microsoft Developing Authoring Add-in for Microsoft Office Word 2007 with NLM DTD Support"). (Warning: there is a very annoying Silverlight download pop-up that obscures part of the post.)

Udell has also posted a screencast of Fernicola demonstrating the add-in ("Pablo Fernicola Demonstrates the Word Add-In for Scientific Authors").

CrossRef and iParadigms to Launch Scholarly Plagiarism Analysis Service

Posted in Publishing, Scholarly Communication on April 21st, 2008 by Charles W. Bailey, Jr.

CrossRef and iParadigms will launch CrossCheck in June, which will allow publishers to analyze content in both publisher systems and Internet Web sites in order to identify works that may have been plagiarized.

Here's an excerpt from the press release:

CrossRef is partnering with iParadigms, LLC to offer its members—leading scholarly and professional publishers—the opportunity to verify the originality of works submitted for publication using the iThenticate service to check against a vast database of proprietary as well as open web content. Until now, there was no automated way to check submissions against previous publications because the published literature had not been indexed and "text fingerprinted" for this purpose. The CrossCheck database will include the full-text journals of leading academic publishers, and is expected to grow very rapidly over the coming months as CrossRef member publishers sign up for the service.

CrossCheck will be available to all CrossRef members who opt to contribute their content to the database. To use the service publishers will need to integrate the checking tool into their editorial processes and develop suitable policies and guidelines. CrossRef is working with iParadigms, member publishers, and editorial system software producers on appropriate technical information and guidelines for CrossCheck.

JorumOpen, UK Repository for Creative Commons Licensed Educational Materials, Announced

Posted in Creative Commons/Open Licenses, Digital Repositories, Learning Objects, Licenses, Open Access on April 21st, 2008 by Charles W. Bailey, Jr.

JISC has announced JorumOpen, a national repository of open access educational materials under Creative Commons licenses.

Here's an excerpt from the announcement:

It was announced today that Jorum, the UK national repository for learning and teaching materials funded by JISC, is to offer open educational resources. This will make it easier for lecturers and teaching staff to share and re-use each other's teaching resources. JorumOpen—as it will be called—will also provide a showcase for UK universities and colleges on the international stage. . . .

Jorum is managed jointly by EDINA and Mimas, the two National Academic Data Centres funded by JISC at the Universities of Edinburgh and Manchester. During the first phase of Jorum's development, the focus has been on building a system that safeguards investment in digital learning resources and offers controlled access to licensed materials. The result is a service that supports access to over 2,500 learning resources for download for direct use in the classroom and within virtual learning environments (VLEs).

Through the development of JorumOpen, lecturers and teachers will be able to share materials under the Creative Commons licence framework: this makes sharing easier, granting users greater rights for use and re-use of online content and easier to understand. Importantly, it does not require prior registration. As a result availability is global as well as across UK universities and colleges. JorumOpen will run alongside a 'members only' facility, JorumEducationUK, that will support sharing of material just within the UK educational sector; this will be available only to registered users and contributors, as is currently the case.

Open Access to High-Energy Physics Journals: Greater Western Library Alliance Expresses Interest in SCOAP3 Project

Posted in Open Access, Scholarly Journals, Serials Crisis on April 19th, 2008 by Charles W. Bailey, Jr.

The Greater Western Library Alliance, a consortium of 31 research libraries, has expressed interest in the SCOAP3 project. The Greater Western Library Alliance joins a growing list of U.S. institutions interested in the SCOAP3 project.

Here's an excerpt from Towards Open Access Publishing in High Energy Physics: Executive Summary of the Report of the SCOAP3 Working Party that explains the project:

The proposed [SCOAP3] initiative aims to convert high-quality HEP journals to OA, pursuing two goals:

  • to provide open and unrestricted access to all HEP research literature in its final, peer-reviewed form;
  • to contain the overall cost of journal publishing by increasing competition while assuring sustainability.

In this new model, the publishers’ subscription income from multiple institutions is replaced by income from a single financial partner, the "Sponsoring Consortium for Open Access Publishing in Particle Physics" (SCOAP3). SCOAP3 is a global network of HEP funding agencies, research laboratories, and libraries. Each SCOAP3 partner will recover its contribution from the cancellation of its current journal subscriptions. This model avoids the obvious disadvantage of OA models in which authors are directly charged for the OA publication of their articles. . . .

In practice, the OA transition will be facilitated by the fact that the large majority of HEP articles are published in just six peer-reviewed journals from four publishers. Five of those six journals carry a majority of HEP content. These are Physical Review D (published by the American Physical Society), Physics Letters B and Nuclear Physics B (Elsevier), Journal of High Energy Physics (SISSA/IOP) and the European Physical Journal C (Springer). The aim of the SCOAP3 model is to assist publishers to convert these "core" HEP journals entirely to OA and it is expected that the vast majority of the SCOAP3 budget will be spent to achieve this target. The sixth journal, Physical Review Letters (American Physical Society), is a "broadband" journal that carries only a small fraction (10%) of HEP content; it is the aim of SCOAP3 to sponsor the conversion to OA of this journal fraction. The same approach can be extended to another "broadband" journal popular with HEP instrumentation articles: Nuclear Instruments and Methods in Physics Research A (Elsevier) with about 25% HEP content.

Creative Commons Statement of Intent for Attribution-ShareAlike Licenses Made Official

Posted in Copyright, Creative Commons/Open Licenses, Licenses on April 17th, 2008 by Charles W. Bailey, Jr.

The draft designation for the Creative Commons Statement of Intent for Attribution-ShareAlike Licenses has been removed, and the document is now the official explanation of the goals of this group of licenses.

Read more about it at "Creative Commons Statement of Intent for Attribution-ShareAlike Licenses Released."

Iowa Digital Library Adds Its 100,000th Item

Posted in Digital Archives and Special Collections, Digital Libraries, Digitization on April 17th, 2008 by Charles W. Bailey, Jr.

A digitized page from the mid-13th century by William de Brailes has become the 100,000th item in the Iowa Digital Library.

Read more about it at "Iowa Digital Library Hits 100,000 Items."

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