Archive for the 'Publishing' Category

PLoS Currents = E-Biomed 2.0?

Posted in Open Access, Publishing, Self-Archiving on August 23rd, 2009

In "E-Biomed 2.0?," Richard Poynder discusses PLoS Currents in the historical content of the National Institutes of Health's ill fated 1999 E-Biomed proposal.

Here's an excerpt:

Looking back one is bound to ask: Was the E-Biomed proposal really so radical and, as some at the time argued, dangerous? As Varmus explained in his proposal, papers posted on E-Biomed would get there by one of two routes: "(i) Many reports would be submitted to editorial boards. These boards could be identical to those that represent current print journals or they might be composed of members of scientific societies or other groups approved by the E-biomed Governing Board. (ii) Other reports would be posted immediately in the E-biomed repository, prior to any conventional peer review, after passing a simple screen for appropriateness."

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    "SCOAP3: A Key Library Leadership Opportunity in the Transition to Open Access"

    Posted in Libraries, Open Access, Publishing on August 23rd, 2009

    Heather Morrison has self-archived "SCOAP3: A Key Library Leadership Opportunity in the Transition to Open Access" in the SFU Institutional Repository.

    Here's an excerpt:

    The SCOAP3 consortium aims to transition the whole of High Energy Physics (HEP) publishing from a subscription to an open access basis. SCOAP3 currently has commitments for more than 63% of the projected 10 million Euros per year budget, from partners in more than 21 countries, including more than 50 libraries and consortia in the U.S. Full participation from the U.S., a leader in HEP research, is both essential and particularly challenging, as the U.S. does not have a national coordinating body that can make one commitment for the country, as many other countries do. While the work to undertake this commitment for the library should not be underestimated – figuring out subscription costs when journals are part of a big deal, often through a consortium – neither should the benefits be underestimated. In brief, the benefits are the optimum access that comes with open access—full open access to the publisher's PDF for everyone, everywhere; a model for transitioning to open access that involves no financial risk, as commitments are capped at current subscriptions expenditures, and SCOAP3 is addressing the issue of unbundling successful journals from big deals and reducing costs accordingly; future financial benefits as a transparent, production-based pricing model for scholarly communication introduces competition into a market where it has been lacking; gaining publisher acceptance of library advocacy efforts for open access by addressing a key concern of publishers (financing the journals in an open access environment) and perhaps most importantly, establishing a leadership role for libraries in a future for scholarly communication that will be largely open access. As Douglas (2009) explains, "To move forward in achieving open access, U.S. libraries that subscribe to any of the five journals that are considered 100 percent convertible to SCOAP3 (European Physical Journal C, Journal of High Energy Physics, Nuclear Physics B, Physical Review D, and Physics Letters B) need to participate". If this describes your library, please go to the SCOAP3 website, now, to learn more and participate in this innovative global collaboration that can be a model, not only for transitioning to open access, but also for how humankind can work cooperatively across borders to accomplish a great good that will benefit all of us.

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      Microsoft, Yahoo, Internet Archive, Library Associations, and Others Forming Coalition to Fight Google Book Search Settlement

      Posted in Copyright, E-Books, Google and Other Search Engines, Mass Digitizaton, Publishing on August 21st, 2009

      The Wall Street Journal and other news sources are reporting that a powerful new coalition is being formed to fight the Google Book Search Copyright Class Action Settlement. Amazon, the American Society of Journalists and Authors, the Internet Archive, Microsoft, the New York Library Association, the Special Libraries Association, Yahoo have been named as potential participants. Antitrust lawyer Gary L. Reback will work with the coalition.

      Read more about it at "Google Rivals Will Oppose Book Settlement," "Tech's Bigs Put Google's Books Deal in Crosshairs," and "Tech Giants Unite against Google."

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        "Why is the Antitrust Division Investigating the Google Book Search Settlement?"

        Posted in Copyright, E-Books, Google and Other Search Engines, Mass Digitizaton, Publishing on August 20th, 2009

        In "Why is the Antitrust Division Investigating the Google Book Search Settlement?," noted copyright expert Pamela Samuelson examines the DOJ Antitrust Division's investigation of the Google Book Search Copyright Class Action Settlement.

        Here's an excerpt:

        My concerns about the competition-policy consequences of the settlement center on the market for institutional subscriptions. The settlement gives Google the right to have and make available the contents of a universal library of books. Anyone else could build a digital library with public domain books and whatever other books it could license from publishers or BRR. But no one else can offer a comparably comprehensive institutional subscription service because only Google has a license to all out-of-print books. Google's optimistic estimate is that only 10 percent of the books in the corpus will really be "orphans," but 10 percent is still roughly two million books. Suppose the real percentage of orphans is closer to 30 percent and another 20 percent of those whom BRR tries to sign up tell the BRR reps to get lost.

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          Harold Varmus Announces Experimental Open Access Publication, PLoS Currents: Influenza

          Posted in Open Access, Publishing, Scholarly Communication on August 20th, 2009

          Harold Varmus has announced an experimental open access publication, PLoS Currents: Influenza.

          Here's an excerpt from the announcement:

          PLoS Currents: Influenza, which we are launching today, is built on three key components: a small expert research community that PLoS is working with to run the website; Google Knol with new features that allow content to be gathered together in collections after being vetted by expert moderators; and a new, independent database at the National Center for Biotechnology Information (NCBI) called Rapid Research Notes, where research targeted for rapid communication, such as the content in PLoS Currents: Influenza will be freely and permanently accessible. To ensure that researchers are properly credited for their work, PLoS Currents content will also be given a unique identifier by the NCBI so that it is citable. . . .

          To enable contributions to PLoS Currents: Influenza to be shared as rapidly as possible, they will not be subject to in-depth peer review; however, unsuitable submissions will be screened out by a board of expert moderators led by Eddie Holmes (Center for Infectious Disease Dynamics, Pennsylvania State University, USA) and Peter Palese (Department of Microbiology, Mount Sinai School of Medicine, USA).

          The key goal of PLoS Currents is to accelerate scientific discovery by allowing researchers to share their latest findings and ideas immediately with the world's scientific and medical communities. Google Knol's features for community interaction, comment and discussion will enable commentary and conversations to develop around these findings. Given that the contributions to PLoS Currents are not peer-reviewed in detail, however, the results and conclusions must be regarded as preliminary. In time, it is therefore likely that PLoS Currents contributors will submit their work for publication in a formal journal, and the PLoS Journals will welcome these submissions.

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            EFF Raises Concerns over Privacy Issues in Goggle Book Search

            Posted in Copyright, E-Books, Google and Other Search Engines, Mass Digitizaton, Privacy, Publishing on August 19th, 2009

            In "Warrants Required: EFF and Google's Big Disagreement about Google Book Search," Cindy Cohn discusses the Electronic Frontier Foundation's concerns over privacy issues in Google Book Search.

            Here's an excerpt:

            One of the most important of those protections is the assurance that your browsing and reading habits are safe from fishing expeditions by the government or lawyers in civil cases. In order to maintain freedom of inquiry and thought, the books we search for, browse, and read should simply be unavailable for use against us in a court of law except in the rarest of circumstances. We have other concerns about Google Book Search as well—concerns and data collection, retention, and reader anonymity—so this won't end the debate, but safeguards against disclosure are a central point of concern for us. . . .

            Given this backdrop, we asked Google to promise that it would fight for those same standards to be applied to its Google Book Search product. . . .

            Unfortunately, Google has refused. It is insisting on keeping broad discretion to decide when and where it will actually stand up for user privacy, and saying that we should just trust the company to do so. So, if Bob looks like a good guy, maybe they'll stand up for him. But if standing up for Alice could make Google look bad, complicate things for the company, or seem ill-advised for some other reason, then Google insists on having the leeway to simply hand over her reading list after a subpoena or some lesser legal process. As Google Book Search grows, the pressure on Google to compromise readers' privacy will likely grow too, whether from government entities that have to approve mergers or investigate antitrust complaints, or subpoenas from companies where Google has a business relationship, or for some other reason that emerges over time.

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              Bibliothèque Nationale de France Google Book Search Deal?

              Posted in Copyright, E-Books, Google and Other Search Engines, Libraries, Mass Digitizaton, Publishing on August 19th, 2009

              According to an 8/18/09 article in La Tribune, "Google en Négociation avec la Bibliothèque Nationale de France," the BnF was negotiating a deal with Google to digitize its collection.

              Amid a brewing controversy about the alleged deal, the BnF issued a press release to clarify the issue.

              Here's an excerpt from the press release (translated using Google Translate):

              Following a news item published in Tuesday August 18 The Tribune, the BnF wishes to clarify that it has not signed an agreement with Google for digitization of its collection. The Library has never ruled out a private partnership would be consistent with the strategy of the Ministry of Culture regarding digital content and respect the principles of free and freedom access to works exclusively free for use. BnF reminded that, thanks to government support with the NLC, it has embarked on a program of large-scale digitization of its Collections: 100,000 printed per year over three years and a large selection of rare and valuable documents (books, manuscripts, prints . . .). Readily available on the public site Gallica, these Documents feed-Free Europeana naturally, the European digital library.

              At the same time, a unique partnership in the world has been up with the French publishers to bring an offer of legal books Digital law and under permit from Gallica, find easily links to their marketing platforms.

              Read more about it at "French Library Denies 'Google Seduction' Claims," "Google Breaks into French National Library," and "Google Bruises Gallic Pride as National Library Does Deal with Search Giant"

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                Peter Hirtle on "The Undiscussed Danger to Libraries in the Google Books Settlement"

                Posted in Copyright, E-Books, Google and Other Search Engines, Libraries, Mass Digitizaton, Publishing on August 18th, 2009

                In "The Undiscussed Danger to Libraries in the Google Books Settlement," Peter Hirtle discusses the printing fees that libraries may have deal with as a result of the Google Book Search Copyright Class Action Settlement.

                Here's an excerpt:

                Here is the kicker: if the library charges a fee for printing (and how many libraries can allow users to print for free?), then they are required by Section 4.8(a)(ii) of the Agreement to charge users for the printing. Google will collect the money on behalf of libraries and pass it on to the Registry. Google has agreed to pay the cost of the printing for the first five years or $3 million, whichever comes first.

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                  University of California Faculty Bodies Comment on Goggle Book Search Settlement

                  Posted in Copyright, E-Books, Google and Other Search Engines, Mass Digitizaton, Publishing on August 17th, 2009

                  Members of the University of California's Academic Council and the chair of the Academic Senate’s Committee on Libraries and Scholarly Communication have submitted a letter about the Google Book Search Copyright Class Action Settlement to the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York.

                  Here's an excerpt:

                  We have three main concerns about the proposed settlement agreement. First, to maximize access to knowledge, prices should be reasonable. Unfortunately, the proposed settlement agreement contains inadequate checks and balances to prevent price gouging and unduly restrictive terms for purchasers of books and institutional subscribers. Second, the agreement does not contemplate or make provision for open access choices that have in recent years become common among academic authorial communities, especially with regard to out of print books. The settlement agreement only contemplates that authors would monetize their books and related metadata through the Book Rights Registry (BRR). This is especially worrisome as to the millions of out of print, and likely orphan, books. Third, the agreement contemplates some monitoring of user queries and uses of books in the Book Search corpus that negatively impinge on significant privacy interests of authors and readers and undermine fundamental academic freedom principles.

                  Read more about it at "U.C. Professors Seek Changes to Google Books Deal."

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                    Early Open Access Journal, the PACS Review, Established 20 Years Ago Today

                    Posted in E-Journals, Open Access, Publishing, Scholarly Journals on August 16th, 2009

                    On August 16, 1989, I announced the establishment of The Public-Access Computer Systems Review. If it was published today, this e-journal would be called a "libre" open access journal since it was freely available, allowed authors to retain their copyrights, and had special copyright provisions for noncommercial use.

                    Here's the announcement:

                    Thanks to everyone who sent me messages regarding the possibility of starting an electronic journal. There was a very favorable response to this idea, and I am willing to give it a try.

                    The Public-Access Computer Systems Review will contain short articles (1 to 7 single-spaced pages), columns, and reviews. PACS Review will cover all computer systems that libraries make available to their patrons, including CAI and ICAI programs, CD-ROM databases, expert systems, hypermedia systems, information delivery systems, local databases, online catalogs, and remote end-user search systems. All types of short communications dealing with these subjects are welcome. Articles that present innovative projects in libraries, even those at an early stage of their development, are especially welcome. Proposals for regular (or irregular) columns will be considered on an ongoing basis. There will be a section for reviews of books, journal articles, reports, and software. As a style guide, use Kate L. Turabian's A Manual for Writers (5th edition). If you are in doubt about whether your topic falls in the purview of PACS Review, consult my article: "Public-Access Computer Systems: The Next Generation of Library Automation Systems." Information Technology and Libraries 8 (June 1989): 178-185.

                    The initial editorial staff of the PACS Review will be as follows:

                    Editor: Charles W. Bailey, Jr., University of Houston

                    Editoral Board: Nancy Evans, Carnegie Mellon University
                    David R. McDonald, University of Michigan
                    Mike Ridley, McMaster University
                    R. Bruce Miller, University of California, San Diego

                    The PACS Review will come out on a regular schedule. I will determine the schedule based on the interest you show in submitting articles. If desired, authors can retain copyright to their works by notifying the editor. The logistics of distribution of the Review will be worked out at the release of the first issue. Either individual articles will be sent as PACS-L messages [PACS-L was a LISTSERV mailing list] or a table of contents will be sent and users will retrieve articles from the file server (at this point we do not have full documentation for the file server aspect of PACS-L). The PACS Review will have a volume and issue enumeration. It will be paginated.

                    I hope PACS Review will be timely, lively, and thought provoking. I hope that it will complement the PACS-L conference, potentially resulting in a unique interaction between formal and informal electronic communications. I welcome your contributions to this experimental electronic journal. Please send all articles to me at LIB3@UHUPVM1. Your contributions will determine whether this journal gets off the ground or not. Let's see if electronic publishing of library journals has a future!

                    The first issue of the PACS Review was published in 1990 and the last in 1998, for a total of 42 issues.

                    The following articles discuss the PACS Review:

                    • Bailey, Charles W., Jr. "Electronic (Online) Publishing in Action . . . The Public-Access Computer Systems Review and Other Electronic Serials." ONLINE 15 (January 1991): 28-35. (Preprint)
                    • Ensor, Pat, and Thomas Wilson. "Public-Access Computer Systems Review: Testing the Promise." The Journal of Electronic Publishing 3, no. 1 (1997).

                    Also see my "A Look Back at Twenty Years as an Internet Open Access Publisher."

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                      Google Books Adds Creative Commons Licence Options

                      Posted in Copyright, Creative Commons/Open Licenses, E-Books, Google and Other Search Engines, Mass Digitizaton, Publishing on August 16th, 2009

                      In "Bringing the Power of Creative Commons to Google Books," Xian Ke, Associate Product Manager of Google Books, describes Google's new Creative Commons license options for rights holders, and indicates that, in the future, users will be able to restrict searches to works that have such licenses. Users will be able to download complete Creative Commons licensed books, and if the license permits, modify them.

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                        "The Google Book Settlement and the Fair Use Counterfactual"

                        Posted in Copyright, E-Books, Google and Other Search Engines, Mass Digitizaton, Publishing on August 13th, 2009

                        Matthew Sag, Associate Professor at the DePaul University College of Law, has self-archived "The Google Book Settlement and the Fair Use Counterfactual" in SSRN.

                        Here's an excerpt:

                        In the wake of the proposed Settlement, the Google Book debate has shifted away from the merits of book digitization, and refocused on questions of commoditization and control. This Article highlights four critical areas in which the Settlement differs sharply from the predicted fair use ruling. First, the Settlement permits Google to engage in a significant range of uses including the complete electronic distribution of books that go well beyond fair use. Second, the Settlement provides for initial cash payments by Google to the copyright owners and a fairly generous revenue sharing agreement, neither of which would have been required under a fair use ruling. Third, the agreement creates a new set of institutional arrangements that will govern the relationship between Google and the copyright owners covered by the Settlement. The foundations of this new institutional framework are the Settlement agreement itself, the creation of a collective rights management organization called the "Book Rights Registry" and the "Author Publisher Procedures." The fourth area in which the Settlement differs from the likely fair use outcome relates to the accessibility, commoditization and control of orphan works.

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