Archive for the 'Publishing' Category

Pamela Samuelson: "DOJ Says No to Google Book Settlement"

Posted in Copyright, E-Books, Google and Other Search Engines, Mass Digitizaton, Publishing on September 22nd, 2009

In "DOJ Says No to Google Book Settlement," noted copyright expert Pamela Samuelson examines the U.S. Department of Justice's Google Book Search Settlement filing.

Here's an excerpt:

Among the most significant recommendations DOJ made for modifying the Proposed Settlement is one to ameliorate the risk of market foreclosure as to institutional subscriptions. DOJ suggests the parties should find a way to "provide some mechanism by which Google's competitors could gain comparable access to orphan works." That is, DOJ is recommending that Google, the Authors Guild and the publishers find a way to let firms such as Amazon.com and Microsoft get comparable licenses to out-of-print books, particularly to orphans. Google has previously denied that it was possible to include competitors in any license granted through the settlement. It will be interesting to see if the litigants want the settlement badly enough to conjure up a way to extend the license to firms other than Google.

"Empirical Study of Data Sharing by Authors Publishing in PLoS Journals"

Posted in Data Curation, Open Data, and Research Data Management, Open Access, Publishing, Scholarly Journals on September 22nd, 2009

Caroline J. Savage and Andrew J. Vickershave have published "Empirical Study of Data Sharing by Authors Publishing in PLoS Journals" in PLoS One.

Here's an excerpt:

We requested data from ten investigators who had published in either PLoS Medicine or PLoS Clinical Trials. All responses were carefully documented. In the event that we were refused data, we reminded authors of the journal's data sharing guidelines. If we did not receive a response to our initial request, a second request was made. Following the ten requests for raw data, three investigators did not respond, four authors responded and refused to share their data, two email addresses were no longer valid, and one author requested further details. A reminder of PLoS's explicit requirement that authors share data did not change the reply from the four authors who initially refused. Only one author sent an original data set. . . .

We received only one of ten raw data sets requested. This suggests that journal policies requiring data sharing do not lead to authors making their data sets available to independent investigators.

Comments on U.S. Copyright Office's "Mandatory Deposit of Published Electronic Works Available Only Online" Proposal

Posted in Copyright, Publishing on September 22nd, 2009

Comments on the U.S. Copyright Office's "Mandatory Deposit of Published Electronic Works Available Only Online" proposal are available, including comments by the American Library Association and the Association of Research Libraries.

Here's the Copyright Office's description of the proposal:

The Copyright Office of the Library of Congress is proposing to amend its regulations governing mandatory deposit of electronic works published in the United States and available only online.

The amendments would establish that such works are exempt from mandatory deposit until a demand for deposit of copies or phonorecords of such works is issued by the Copyright Office. They would also set forth the process for issuing and responding to a demand for deposit, amend the definition of a "complete copy" of a work for purposes of mandatory deposit of online—only works, and establish new best edition criteria for electronic serials available only online. The Copyright Office seeks public comment on these proposed revisions.

Nature Publishing Group Will Publish New Open Access Journal, Nature Communications

Posted in E-Journals, Open Access, Publishing, Scholarly Journals on September 22nd, 2009

The Nature Publishing Group has announced that it will publish a new open access journal, Nature Communications, starting in April 2010.

Here's an excerpt from the press release:

Nature Communications will publish high-quality peer-reviewed research across the biological, chemical and physical sciences, and will be the first online-only Nature-branded journal.

"As a born-digital publication, Nature Communications will provide readers and authors with the benefits of enhanced web technologies alongside a rapid, yet rigorous, peer-review process." says Sarah Greaves, Publisher of Nature Communications. "Nature Communications will offer authors high visibility for their papers on the nature.com platform, access to a broad readership and efficient peer review with fast publication. For readers, the journal will offer functionality including interactive browsing and enhanced metadata to enable sorting by keywords."

Nature Communications will publish research papers in all areas of the biological, chemical and physical sciences, encouraging papers that provide a multidisciplinary approach. The research will be of the highest quality, without necessarily having the scientific reach of papers published in Nature and the Nature research journals, and as such will represent advances of significant interest to specialists within each field. A team of independent editors, supported by an external editorial advisory panel, will make rapid and fair publication decisions based on peer review, with all the rigour expected of a Nature-branded journal.

To ensure Nature Communications responds to changes in journal publishing, authors will be able to publish their work either via the traditional subscription route, or as open access through payment of an article processing charge (APC).

Authors who choose the open-access option will be able to license their work under a Creative Commons license, including the option to allow derivative works. Authors who do not choose the open-access option will still enjoy all of the benefits of NPG's self-archiving policy and manuscript deposition service.

"Developments in publishing and web technologies, coupled with increasing commitment by research funders to cover the costs of open access, mean the time is right for a journal that offers editorial excellence and real choice for authors." said David Hoole, Head of Content Licensing at NPG.

U.S. Department of Justice Files Objection to Google Book Search Settlement

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

The U.S. Department of Justice has filed an objection to the Google Book Search Settlement.

Here's an excerpt:

Nonetheless, the breadth of the Proposed Settlement—especially the forward-looking business arrangements it seeks to create—raises significant legal concerns. As a threshold matter, the central difficulty that the Proposed Settlement seeks to overcome—the inaccessibility of many works due to the lack of clarity about copyright ownership and copyright status—is a matter of public, not merely private, concern. A global disposition of the rights to millions of copyrighted works is typically the kind of policy change implemented through legislation, not through a private judicial settlement. If such a significant (and potentially beneficial) policy change is to be made through the mechanism of a class action settlement (as opposed to legislation), the United States respectfully submits that this Court should undertake a particularly searching analysis to ensure that the requirements of Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 23 ("Rule 23") are met and that the settlement is consistent with copyright law and antitrust law. As presently drafted, the Proposed Settlement does not meet the legal standards this Court must apply.

This Memorandum sets forth the concerns of the United States with respect to the current version of the Proposed Settlement; these concerns may be obviated by the parties' subsequent changes to the agreement. Commenters' objections to the Proposed Settlement fall into three basic categories: (1) claims that the Proposed Settlement fails to satisfy Rule 23; (2) claims that the Proposed Settlement would violate copyright law; and (3) claims that the Proposed Settlement would violate antitrust law. In the view of the United States, each category of objection is serious in isolation, and, taken together, raise cause for concern. . . .

This Court should reject the Proposed Settlement in its current form and encourage the parties to continue negotiations to modify it so as to comply with Rule 23 and the copyright and antitrust laws.

Read more about it at "Do Justice Department Objections Spell Doom for Google's Online Book Deal?," "DOJ: Court Should Reject Google Book Search Settlement," and "Government Urges Changes to Google Books Deal."

"The York Digital Journals Project: Strategies for Institutional Open Journal Systems Implementations"

Posted in E-Journal Management and Publishing Systems, E-Journals, Open Access, Publishing, Scholarly Journals on September 17th, 2009

College & Research Libraries has released a preprint of "The York Digital Journals Project: Strategies for Institutional Open Journal Systems Implementations" by Andrea Kosavic.

Here's an excerpt:

Embarking on a university-wide journal hosting initiative can be a resource-intensive undertaking. Providing such a service, however, can be equally rewarding as it positions the library as both partner and colleague in the publishing process. This paper discusses ideas and strategies for institutional journal hosting gleaned over two years by the York Digital Journals Project. Suggestions for startup including policy considerations and service models are discussed. Ideas for advertising and networking are explored as well as the question of project sustainability.

NPR Interview: "Who Should Control The Virtual Library?"

Posted in Copyright, E-Books, Google and Other Search Engines, Mass Digitizaton, Privacy, Publishing on September 16th, 2009

NPR has released a digital audio recording and transcript of an interview with Daphne Keller (Google), Fred Von Lohmann (EFF), and Jessica Vascellaro (Wall Street Journal) about the Google Book Search Settlement.

Here's an excerpt:

[Von Lohmann] Unlike a bookstore or even a library, because these books will live online on Google's computers, where you will be accessing them, Google will have the ability to watch every page you read, how long you spend on any particular page, what page you read a minute ago and what page you're going to read a week from now. It really is as though every book comes with a surveillance camera that comes home with you. So we think it's really critical that this arrangement builds in real strong privacy protections because our nation's bookstores and libraries have fought hard for that, and we think we should accept no less online.

University of Michigan Press Opts in to Google Settlement

Posted in Copyright, E-Books, Google and Other Search Engines, Mass Digitizaton, Publishing, University Presses on September 16th, 2009

The University of Michigan Press has opted in to the Google Book Search Settlement.

Here's an excerpt from the announcement:

University of Michigan Press has decided to opt in to the terms of the Settlement and is beginning the process of claiming books digitized by Google under its Book Search program. We will claim all titles under copyright on behalf of our authors.

ARL Releases "Summary on House Committee on the Judiciary Hearing: 'Competition and Commerce in Digital Books' (Sept. 10, '09)"

Posted in Copyright, E-Books, Google and Other Search Engines, Mass Digitizaton, Publishing on September 14th, 2009

The Association of Research Libraries has released "Summary on House Committee on the Judiciary Hearing: 'Competition and Commerce in Digital Books' (Sept. 10, '09)."

Here's an excerpt:

The panel of witnesses was evenly divided on these issues, with four unequivocally in favor of the settlement, including representatives from Google and the Authors Guild. Three witnesses were unequivocally opposed, including Register of Copyrights Marybeth Peters and a representative from Amazon.com. The eighth witness, law professor Randall Picker of the University of Chicago, was ambivalent and suggested several changes that he felt would cure potential problems with the Settlement. A complete list of witnesses appears on the last page of this summary, with hyperlinks to the written testimony of each witness.

Cornell, Dartmouth, Harvard, MIT, and UC Berkeley Commit to Compact for Open-Access Publishing Equity

Posted in ARL Libraries, Open Access, Publishing on September 14th, 2009

Cornell, Dartmouth, Harvard, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and the University of California, Berkeley have committed to a Compact for Open-Access Publishing Equity.

Here's an excerpt from the press release:

Open-access scholarly journals have arisen as an alternative to traditional publications that are founded on subscription and/or licensing fees. Open-access journals make their articles available freely to anyone, while providing the same services common to all scholarly journals, such as management of the peer-review process, filtering, production, and distribution.

According to Thomas C. Leonard, university librarian at UC Berkeley, "Publishers and researchers know that it has never been easier to share the best work they produce with the world. But they also know that their traditional business model is creating new walls around discoveries. Universities can really help take down these walls and the open-access compact is a highly significant tool for the job."

The economic downturn underscores the significance of open-access publications. With library resources strained by budget cuts, subscription and licensing fees for journals have come under increasing scrutiny, and alternative means for providing access to vital intellectual content are identified. Open-access journals provide a natural alternative.

As Dartmouth Provost Barry P. Scherr sees it, "Supporting open-access publishing is an important step in increasing readership of Dartmouth research and, ultimately, the impact of our research on the world."

Since open-access journals do not charge subscription or other access fees, they must cover their operating expenses through other sources, including subventions, in-kind support, or, in a sizable minority of cases, processing fees paid by or on behalf of authors for submission to or publication in the journal. While academic research institutions support traditional journals by paying their subscription fees, no analogous means of support has existed to underwrite the growing roster of fee-based open-access journals.

Stuart Shieber, Harvard's James O. Welch, Jr. and Virginia B. Welch Professor of Computer Science and Director of the University's Office for Scholarly Communication, is the author of the five-member compact. According to Shieber, "Universities and funding agencies ought to provide equitable support for open-access publishing by subsidizing the processing fees that faculty incur when contributing to open-access publications. Right now, these fees are relatively rare. But if the research community supports open-access publishing and it gains in importance as we believe that it will, those fees could aggregate substantially over time. The compact ensures that support is available to eliminate these processing fees as a disincentive to open-access publishing."

The compact supports equity of the business models by committing each university to the timely establishment of durable mechanisms for underwriting reasonable publication fees for open-access journal articles written by its faculty for which other institutions would not be expected to provide funds.

Additional universities are encouraged to visit the compact web site and sign on.

Cornell Provost Kent Fuchs offers his perspective on participating in the compact. "As part of its social commitment as a research university," Fuchs says, "Cornell strives to ensure that scholarly research results are as widely available as possible. The Compact for Open-Access Publishing Equity could increase access to scholarly literature while at the same time ensuring that the valuable services that publishers provide are supported."

A full account of the motivation for the compact can be found in the article "Equity for Open-Access Journal Publishing," published in the open-access journal Public Library of Science Biology.

"Supporting OA journals is an investment in a superior system of scholarly communication," states Peter Suber of the Scholarly Publishing and Academic Resources Coalition (SPARC) in Washington, DC, and a fellow of Harvard Law School's Berkman Center and Harvard University's Office for Scholarly Communication. "Before this compact, a number of funding agencies and universities were willing to pay OA journal processing fees on behalf of their grantees and faculty. It's significant that five major universities recognize the need to join the effort, extend fee subsidies to a wider range of publishing scholars, enlist other institutions, and start to catch up with their long practice of supporting traditional—or non-OA—journals."

Summing up the compact, MIT Provost L. Rafael Reif observes, "The dissemination of research findings to the public is not merely the right of research universities: it is their obligation. Open-access publishing promises to put more research in more hands and in more places around the world. This is a good enough reason for universities to embrace the guiding principles of this compact."

Read more about it at "Interview: Stuart Shieber."

John Wiley & Sons, Inc. Releases First Quarter Fiscal Year 2010 Results

Posted in Publishing, Scholarly Journals on September 13th, 2009

John Wiley & Sons, Inc. has released its first quarter fiscal year 2010 results.

Here's an excerpt:

John Wiley & Sons, Inc. (NYSE: JWa and JWb) announced today that revenue for the first quarter of fiscal year 2010 grew 2% on a currency neutral basis, a result of strong growth in Higher Education (HE) and Scientific, Technical, Medical, and Scholarly (STMS) journals. As expected, Professional/Trade (P/T) revenue was down from last year’s first quarter. Including the $21 million negative effect of foreign exchange, Wiley’s revenue declined 3% to $388 million. . . .

Global STMS revenue for the first quarter advanced 2% to $229 million on a currency neutral basis, but declined 5% including unfavorable foreign exchange of $15 million. Increased revenue from journal subscriptions, new journal business, and global rights was partially offset by softness in books, advertising, and backfiles. Some of the shortfall in backfiles is due to timing.

Direct contribution to profit declined 4% from prior year to $94 million on a currency neutral basis, or 3% including favorable foreign exchange. The decline reflects the benefit of a bankruptcy recovery ($2 million) in the prior year, as well as increased journal royalties, editorial costs, and selling expenses, partially due to timing. . . .

For the quarter, journal revenue of $191 million was up 5%, excluding a negative foreign exchange impact of $11 million. The increase is attributed to higher subscription revenue and rights income, new business, and journal reprints, partially offset by lower revenue from backfiles and advertising.

Digital Video: Google's Chief Legal Officer Testifies at Hearing on "Competition and Commerce in Digital Books"

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

A digital video of David C. Drummond, Senior Vice President of Corporate Development and Chief Legal Officer at Google, testifying at the House Judiciary Committee hearing on "Competition and Commerce in Digital Books" is available on YouTube.


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