Archive for the 'Publishing' Category

"Reed Elsevier Interim Results 2009" Released

Posted in Publishing on July 30th, 2009

The "Reed Elsevier Interim Results 2009" statement is now available.

In a related development, Reed Elsevier is putting Library Journal, Publishers Weekly, and School Library Journal up for sale.

Read more about it at "'PW' For Sale," "Reed Begins £1 Billion Cash Call to Slash Debt," "Reed Elsevier Drops Most in Year on Share-Sale Plan (Update 3)," and "Reed Elsevier Shares Drop on Profits Fall and Placing."

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    Five Videos on PLoS Medicine

    Posted in Open Access, Publishing, Scholarly Journals on July 29th, 2009

    PLoS Medicine has released five digital videos in which Ginny Barbour, Chief Editor, discusses the journal.

    Here's an excerpt from the post:

    In the first video Ginny talks about the experience of launching PLoS Medicine nearly five years ago. This leads to the discussion in the second video about the decision to focus on the specific diseases and risk factors that cause the greatest burden worldwide. The third video is about the importance of open access to medical information; the fourth and fifth videos discuss PLoS Medicine's plans for the future and the achievements of open access respectively.

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      Google's Alexander Macgillivray on the Google Book Search Settlement

      Posted in Copyright, E-Books, Google and Other Search Engines, Mass Digitizaton, Publishing on July 28th, 2009

      The Beckman Center for Internet and Society has released a digital video of Alexander Macgillivray, Deputy General Counsel for Products and Intellectual Property at Google, discussing the Google Book Search Settlement.

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        EFF Releases Letter to Google about Reader Privacy and Google Book Search

        Posted in Copyright, E-Books, Google and Other Search Engines, Mass Digitizaton, Privacy, Publishing on July 27th, 2009

        The Electronic Frontier Foundation has released a letter to Google about reader privacy and Google Book Search.

        Here's an excerpt:

        1. Protection Against Disclosure: Readers should be able to use Google books without worrying that the government or a third party is reading over their shoulder. Google needs to promise that it will protect reader records by responding only to properly-issued warrants from law enforcement and court orders from third parties. It also must promise that it will let readers know if anyone has demanded access to information about them.
        2. Limited Tracking: Just as readers can anonymously browse books in a library or bookstore, they should also be able to search, browse, and preview Google books without being forced to register or provide any personal information to Google. And for any of its Google Book Search services, Google must not keep logging information longer than 30 days. Google should also not link any information it collects about reader use of Google Book Search to that reader’s usage of any other Google services without specific, affirmative consent.
        3. User Control: Readers should have complete control of their purchases and purchasing data. Readers should be able to delete their records and have extensive permissions controls for their "bookshelves" or any other reading displays to prevent others from seeing their reading activities. Readers should be able to “give” books to anyone, including to themselves, without tracking. Google also should not reveal any information about Google book use to credit card processors or any other third parties.
        4. User Transparency: Readers should know what information is being collected and maintained about them and when and why reader information has been disclosed. Google needs to develop a robust, enforceable privacy policy and publish the number and type of demands for reader information that are received on an annual basis.

        Read more about it at "Don't Let Google Close the Book on Reader Privacy!."

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          John Wiley & Sons to Use Attributor Anti-Piracy Service

          Posted in Copyright, Digital Copyright Wars, Publishing on July 22nd, 2009

          John Wiley & Sons will use Attributor's anti-piracy service to track illegal use of its digital publications.

          Here's an excerpt from the press release:

          Attributor announced today that global publisher John Wiley & Sons, Inc . . . has selected its anti-piracy service as a tool to identify unlawful use of its books, e-Books, and other content online and prevent use of the infringed copies. Attributor's technology monitors more than 35 billion pages, including hosting sites and link farms, quickly identifying unauthorized copies and taking action to remove them.

          "When Wiley content appears, without permission, on Web sites where users share the content free of charge or sell it without authorization, authors are cheated of their rightful compensation for their work. This affects us all, since the loss of compensation is a disincentive to authors' creativity and innovation," said Roy Kaufman, Legal Director, Wiley-Blackwell. "Wiley's agreement with Attributor will greatly enhance our ongoing pursuit of anyone who willfully infringe upon our intellectual property and will enable us to cost-effectively scale our anti-piracy efforts across the Web."

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            Rejecta Mathematica: Send Your Rejected Math Articles Yearning to Be Published

            Posted in Publishing, Scholarly Journals on July 22nd, 2009

            The first issue of Rejecta Mathematica, an open access journal that publishes papers that have been rejected by other math journals has been published.

            Here's an excerpt from the announcement:

            We are pleased to announce that the inaugural issue of Rejecta Mathematica is now available at! To recap our mission, Rejecta Mathematica is an open access, online journal that publishes only papers that have been rejected from peer-reviewed journals in the mathematical sciences. In addition, every paper appearing in Rejecta Mathematica includes an open letter from its authors discussing the paper's original review process, disclosing any known flaws in the paper, and stating the case for the paper's value to the community.

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              Barnes & Noble's eBookstore Offers over 700,000 E-Book Titles

              Posted in E-Books, Publishing on July 21st, 2009

              The Barnes & Noble’s eBookstore now offers over 700,000 e-book titles at $9.99 each. It will market the Plastic Logic eReader device in the future.

              Here's an excerpt from the press release:

              Barnes & Noble's launch encompasses:

              • Barnes & Noble's eBookstore offering its customers seamless access to more than 700,000 titles, including hundreds of new releases and bestsellers at only $9.99, making it the world's largest selection of eBooks available in one place.  The company expects that its selection will increase to well over one million titles within the next year, inclusive of every available eBook from every book publisher and every available eBook original, which is a fast growing marketplace.  
              • More than a half-million public domain books from Google, which can be downloaded for free.  Readers can discover and explore this rich treasure trove, including everything from classic works by well-known writers to long-forgotten and obscure titles that are historically much harder to access.
              • An upgraded version of its eReader application, which was part of the company's Fictionwise acquisition earlier this year.  This device-agnostic eBook application supports both wireless and wired access to the new Barnes & Noble eBookstore.  Millions of internet-enabled devices are currently supported by eReader, including the nation's two leading smartphone device families from Apple and BlackBerry®, as well as most Windows® and Mac® laptops or full-sized computers.
              • First-time users of the eReader will have the opportunity to download free eBooks, including titles such as Merriam-Webster's Pocket Dictionary, Sense and Sensibility, Little Women, Last of the Mohicans, Pride and Prejudice, and Dracula.  See site for further details.
              • A strategic commerce and content partnership with Plastic Logic, whose eReader device is especially designed for business professionals. Barnes & Noble will power the eBookstore for the Plastic Logic eReader device. The ultra thin 8.5 x 11 inch wireless eReader is slated to debut in early 2010.
              • The free, full-featured B&N Bookstore app for iPhone and iPod touch users, which is now the #1 downloaded book app in Apple's App Store. In addition to enabling customers to easily place orders for books, movies, and CDs, the app also lets users search millions of products simply by snapping a photo. Using the iPhone's camera, customers can snap a photo of the front cover and within seconds get product details, editorial reviews, and customer ratings – even find and reserve a copy in the nearest store. The app also includes a store locator, bestseller lists, book recommendations, and a store events calendar.
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                University of Michigan to Offer Print-on-Demand Editions of Thousands of Public Domain Books via BookSurge

                Posted in ARL Libraries, Digital Presses, Mass Digitizaton, Print-on-Demand, Publishing on July 21st, 2009

                The University of Michigan will offer print-on-demand editions of thousands of public domain books via BookSurge for between $10 to about $45.

                Here's an excerpt from the press release:

                The agreement gives the public a unique opportunity to buy reprints of a wide range of titles in the U-M Library for as little as a few dollars. As individual copies are sold on, BookSurge will print and bind the books in soft-cover form.

                "This agreement means that titles that have been generally unavailable for a century or more will be able to go back into print, one copy at a time," said Paul N. Courant, U-M librarian and dean of libraries.

                "The agreement enables us to increase access to public domain books and other publications that have been digitized," Courant said. "We are very excited to be offering this service as a new way to increase access to the rich collections of the university library."

                Maria Bonn, director of the U-M Library's scholarly publishing office, said the reprint program includes both books digitized by the U-M and those digitized through the U-M's partnership with Google. The initial offering on Amazon will include more than 400,000 titles in more than 200 languages ranging from Acoli to Zulu.

                All of the books being offered on Amazon through BookSurge are titles that remain available in their original form at the U-M Library. The U-M has been offering a limited number of titles for reprint on demand with BookSurge and other distribution partners for the past five years. A reprint "best seller" might sell 100 copies, Bonn said.

                The U-M will set the list price of each book. The agreement calls for a sharing of revenue between BookSurge and the university.

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                  "Should Copyright of Academic Works Be Abolished?"

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

                  Steven Shavell, Samuel R. Rosenthal Professor of Law and Economics at the Harvard Law School, has self-archived "Should Copyright of Academic Works Be Abolished?"

                  Here's an excerpt:

                  The conventional rationale for copyright of written works, that copyright is needed to foster their creation, is seemingly of limited applicability to the academic domain. For in a world without copyright of academic writing, academics would still benefit from publishing in the major way that they do now, namely, from gaining scholarly esteem. Yet publishers would presumably have to impose fees on authors, because publishers would not be able to profit from reader charges. If these publication fees would be borne by academics, their incentives to publish would be reduced. But if the publication fees would usually be paid by universities or grantors, the motive of academics to publish would be unlikely to decrease (and could actually increase)—suggesting that ending academic copyright would be socially desirable in view of the broad benefits of a copyright-free world. If so, the demise of academic copyright should be achieved by a change in law, for the 'open access' movement that effectively seeks this objective without modification of the law faces fundamental difficulties.

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                    Elsevier Launches Article of the Future Project

                    Posted in Publishing, Scholarly Journals on July 20th, 2009

                    Elsevier has launched its Article of the Future project.

                    Here's an excerpt from the press release:

                    Elsevier, the leading publisher of scientific, technical and medical information products and services, today announces the "Article of the Future" project, an ongoing collaboration with the scientific community to redefine how a scientific article is presented online. The project takes full advantage of online capabilities, allowing readers individualized entry points and routes through content, while exploiting the latest advances in visualization techniques.

                    The Article of the Future launches its first prototypes this week, revealing a new approach to presenting scientific research online. The key feature of the prototypes is a hierarchical presentation of text and figures so that readers can elect to drill down through the layers based on their current task in the scientific workflow and their level of expertise and interest. This organizational structure is a significant departure from the linear-based organization of a traditional print-based article in incorporating the core text and supplemental material within a single unified structure.

                    A second key feature of the prototypes is bulleted article highlights and a graphical abstract. This allows readers to quickly gain an understanding of the paper's main "take home" message and serves as a navigation mechanism to directly access specific sub-sections of the results and figures. The graphical abstract is intended to encourage browsing, promote interdisciplinary scholarship and help readers identify more quickly which papers are most relevant to their research interests. . . .

                    The prototypes have been developed by the editorial, production and IT teams at Cell Press in collaboration with Elsevier"s User Centered Design group using content from two previously published Cell articles. They can be viewed at where Elsevier and Cell Press are inviting feedback from the scientific community on the concepts and implementations. Successful ideas from this project will ultimately be rolled-out across Elsevier"s portfolio of 2,000 journals available on ScienceDirect.

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                      "The Dissemination of Scholarly Information: Old Approaches and New Possibilities"

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

                      Economists Omar Al-Ubaydli (George Mason University) and Rufus Pollock (Cambridge University) have self-archived "The Dissemination of Scholarly Information: Old Approaches and New Possibilities."

                      Here's an excerpt:

                      In this paper we began by setting out the basic goals of the scholarly communication system. We compared the current, journal dominated system, against those goals and found it wanting, and explored in detail alternative options in which distribution and filtering are separated and centralized filtering is replaced by a distributed, decentralized approach.

                      Using a simple model we explored the factors underlying the development of the current journal paradigm. There were two main factors: a) the high costs of information transmission in the pre-digital era (and, associatedly, fixed costs and economies of scale in transmission which make journals an effective club good) b) the natural complementarity of filtering to distribution which leads journals to act as filtering as well as distributional mechanisms.

                      With the collapse of transmission costs in the era of the Internet these original rationales for journals have disappeared. It is now possible for distribution and filtering to be separate and for the development of richer, and more complex filtering models based on decentralized, distributed mechanisms—with this latter process dependent on the first (if distribution and filtering are tied—as in the traditional journal model—distributed mechanisms make little sense).

                      We explored the various benefits of such alternative distributed mechanisms—and also provide a detailed description of how such a mechanism would function in appendix A. One of the main implications of our work discussion is that a crucial benefit of the open-access approach, in addition to the obvious one of reducing the deadweight loss to access, is that it permits the development of radically new matching mechanisms based on a richer set of information which offer major efficiency (and other) advantages. This second benefit, though often overlooked, is a major one, and is, in the long run we believe, likely to be the most significant.

                      Unfortunately, it is hard for new approaches to take hold because of the lock-in to the traditional 'closed' journal model engendered by the mutual expectations of authors and readers. Given the potential benefits afforded by innovation in this area, it is crucial that the potential of new approaches be thoroughly considered so that the scholarly community can adequately assess the options and, if necessary, take collective action to achieve mutually beneficial change.

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                        BioMed Central Presentations, Including "10 Years of Open Access at BioMed Central"

                        Posted in Open Access, Publishing, Scholarly Journals on July 19th, 2009

                        BioMed Central has released presentations about its open access publishing activities that were made at a recent workshop for publishing consultants. Included was Matthew Cockerill's "10 Years of Open Access at BioMed Central" presentation.

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