Provosts and Presidents of 27 Major Research Institutions Support Federal Research Public Access Act

Posted in Legislation and Government Regulation, Open Access on May 3rd, 2010

In "The Open Letter to the Higher Education Community" issued by the Harvard University Provost, the provosts and presidents of 27 major research institutions have indicated their strong support for the Federal Research Public Access Act.

Here's an excerpt:

The United States Congress will have the opportunity to consider the Federal Research Public Access Act (FRPAA). FRPAA would require Federal agencies whose extramural research budgets exceed $100 million to develop policies ensuring open, public access to the research supported by their grants or conducted by their employees. This Bill embodies core ideals shared by higher education, research institutions and their partners everywhere. The Bill builds upon the success of the first U.S. policy for public access to publicly funded research mdash; implemented in 2008 through the National Institutes of Health—and mirrors the intent of campus-based policies for research access that are being adopted by a growing number of public and private institutions across the nation.

We believe that this legislation represents a watershed and provides an opportunity for the entire U.S. higher education and research community to draw upon their traditional partnerships and collaboratively realize the unquestionably good intentions of the Bill’s framers—broadening access to publicly funded research in order to accelerate the advancement of knowledge and maximize the related public good. By ensuring broad and diverse access to taxpayer-funded research the Bill also supports the intuitive and democratic principle that, with reasonable exceptions for issues of national security, the public ought to have access to the results of activities it funds.

The broad dissemination of the results of scholarly inquiry and discourse is essential for higher education to fulfill its long-standing commitment to the advancement and conveyance of knowledge. Indeed, it is mission critical. For the land-grant and publicly funded institutions among us, it addresses the complementary commitment to public service and public access that is included in our charters. In keeping with this mission, we agree with FRPAA’s basic premise that enabling the broadest possible access to new ideas resulting from government-funded research promotes progress, economic growth, and public welfare. Furthermore, we know that, when combined with public policy such as FRPAA proposes, the Internet and digital technology are powerful tools for removing access barriers and enabling new and creative uses of the results of research.

Collectively, our universities engage in billions of dollars of funded research. On average, approximately 50% of our research funding originates with the federal government. That public investment—estimated at over $60.5 billion for the research covered by FRPAA—is complemented by our own institutional investments in research units, laboratories, libraries, and the faculty and staff whose expertise permeates them.

FRPAA has the potential to enable the maximum downstream use of those investments. Many of us are already working on programs and policies to promote greater access to the wealth of research produced by our scholars; we are adopting policies for open access to the research outputs of our institutions; we are building open access digital repositories to collect research, developing advanced publishing channels, and working with our scholarly publishing partners to pursue the broadest possible distribution of scholarship at lowest possible costs. FRPAA will complement these efforts and be a powerful tool in ensuring their success.

Each month the evidence mounts that open access to research through digital distribution increases the use of that research and the visibility of its creators. Widespread public dissemination levels the economic playing field for researchers outside of well-funded universities and research centers and creates more opportunities for innovation. Ease of access and discovery also encourages use by scholars outside traditional disciplinary communities, thus encouraging imaginative and productive scholarly convergence.

Open and public access policies can also match the missions of scholarly societies and publishers who review, edit, and distribute research to serve the advancement of knowledge. Sharing the fruits of research and scholarship inevitably leads to the creation of more research and scholarship, thus highlighting the need for publishing professionals to manage the selection and review of the highest quality research, both publicly and privately funded.

Open and public access to publications in no way negates the need for well-managed and effective peer review or the need for formal publishing. It does, however, challenge us all to think about how best to align the intellectual and economic models for scholarly publishing with the needs of contemporary scholarship and the benefits, including low marginal costs of distribution, of network technology. That challenge is one that many scholarly societies and commercial publishers are already successfully engaging through a variety of business model experiments and partnerships. We believe that FRPAA productively calls for further engagement.

As scholars and university administrators, we are acutely aware that the present system of scholarly communication does not always serve the best interests of our institutions or the general public. Scholarly publishers, academic libraries, university leaders, and scholars themselves must engage in an ongoing dialogue about the means of scholarly production and distribution. This dialogue must acknowledge both our competing interests and our common goals. The passage of FRPAA will be an important step in catalyzing that dialogue, but it is not the last one that we will need to take.

FRPAA is good for education and good for research. It is good for the American public, and it promotes broad, democratic access to knowledge. While it challenges the academy and scholarly publishers to think and act creatively, it need not threaten nor undermine a successful balance of our interests. If passed, we will work with researchers, publishers, and federal agencies to ensure its successful implementation. We endorse FRPAA's aims and urge the academic community, individually and collectively, to voice support for its passage.

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    Open Access News Ceases Publication

    Posted in Open Access on May 2nd, 2010

    Peter Suber has announced that Open Access News has ceased publication. OAN was a prolific (over 18,000 posts) and enormously influential blog that played a major role in launching and energizing the open access movement. Hats off to Peter Suber and Gavin Baker for writing this incredible publication.

    Here's an excerpt from the announcement:

    Tomorrow (May 1, 2010) Google will turn off FTP updating for Blogger. The old FTP-based Blogger blogs can migrate to a new Google-hosted site where FTP won't be necessary. If a blog migrates, then all the posts in its archive will receive new URLs, all links to the old URLs will be redirected, all posts will carry their old page-rank to their new addresses, and Google will start indexing the new versions of the posts and stop indexing the old. If a blog doesn't migrate, it will die. Its archive may remain online, but it cannot be updated with new posts.

    My days of heavy blogging at Open Access News are behind me. In July 2009, I curtailed my blogging to make room for my new work at the Berkman Center, and in January 2010 I cut back even further—essentially to zero—in favor of the Open Access Tracking Project, a more comprehensive and scalable alert service for the now very large and very fast-growing OA movement. OATP was not designed to do what OAN once did. But for several years now, the high volume of daily OA news has made it impossible to keep doing what OAN once did, even with an assistant.

    Despite that, my plan was to keep Open Access News alive and contribute sporadically. But now Google has forced my hand.

    I've decided not to migrate OAN. At first I worried about the risks to the large OAN archive: more than 18,000 posts in more than 400 files. I use the archive every day in my own research and I know that many of you use it too. It's still the best source for news and links about any OA development in the last eight years, and I didn't want to take the chance that even part of it might not survive the migration or might disappear behind broken links. Blogger has been very good about answering my anxious queries and I'm persuaded that the risks are low. But the fact remains that migration is irreversible.

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      Library Applications Developer at Brown University

      Posted in Library IT Jobs on May 2nd, 2010

      The Brown University Library is recruiting a Library Applications Developer.

      Here's an excerpt from the ad (job number: B01156 ):

      The Library Applications Developer is responsible for designing new and innovative web-based library services, systems, and tools which anticipate the needs and meet or exceed the expectations of library users. The incumbent implements, continually enhances, and extends commercial software applications to make new and improved services available to users. The incumbent works with library departments to develop tools which increase automation and workflow efficiency, improve data reporting, provide greater cross-system integration and day-to-day support for library operations.

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        Open Access in France: A State of the Art Report

        Posted in Open Access on May 2nd, 2010

        The Ministry of Higher Education and Research, Couperin, and INIST-CNRS have released Open Access in France: A State of the Art Report.

        Here's an excerpt:

        The first part of the report provides some background information on the French public research environment, which is essential to understand the national development of Open Access.

        The second part gives an historical overview on the development of both the green and golden roads to Open Access. It is not intended to be exhaustive but to highlight the major institutional entities in the French Open Access movement.

        The third and fourth parts respectively describe and comment on the current situation of French Open Access journals and Open Access repositories.

        The fifth part describes the major mass digitisation programs which are related to Open Access.

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          Metadata and Digitization Librarian at Illinois Institute of Technology

          Posted in Digital Library Jobs on May 2nd, 2010

          The Galvin Library at the Illinois Institute of Technology is recruiting a Metadata and Digitization Librarian.

          Here's an excerpt from the ad (requisition number: 0600741):

          The Metadata and Digitization Librarian provides leadership on all issues related to description and discovery of digital collections and assets including establishing metadata policies, procedures, and best practices to facilitate discovery and improve access to these resources.

          Establishes policies, procedures, workflow, and best practices for the library in the application of metadata to digital content in order to facilitate increased accessibility by the IIT community. Provides original cataloging of digital materials for inclusion in the integrated library system and other content management systems using current and emerging metadata standards.

          Manages IIT's institutional repository (IR), Share, including establishing policies, procedures, and workflow for the submission of materials for inclusion in the IR and application of descriptive and administrative metadata to these materials. . . .

          Provides expertise in creating, managing, and preserving local digital collections including providing overall quality control in the application of metadata.

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            Peer Review in Academic Promotion and Publishing: Its Meaning, Locus, and Future

            Posted in Publishing, Scholarly Communication on May 2nd, 2010

            The Center for Studies in Higher Education has released Peer Review in Academic Promotion and Publishing: Its Meaning, Locus, and Future.

            Here's an excerpt from the announcement:

            As part of its Andrew W. Mellon Foundation-funded Future of Scholarly Communication Project, the Center for Studies in Higher Education (CSHE) has hosted two meetings to explore how peer review relates to scholarly communication and academic values. In preparation for an April 2010 workshop, four working papers were developed and circulated. They are presented as drafts here. . . .

            The topics of the working papers are: (1) Peer Review in Academic Promotion and Publishing: Norms, Complaints, and Costs, (2) New Models of Peer Review: Repositories, Open Peer Review, and Post Publication Metrics, (3) Open Access: Green OA, Gold OA, and University Resolutions, and (4) Creating New Publishing and Peer Review Models: Scholarly Societies, Presses, Libraries, Commercial Publishers, and Other Stakeholders.

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              Last Week’s DigitalKoans Tweets 2010-05-02

              Posted in Last Week's DigitalKoan's Tweets on May 2nd, 2010
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                Last Week’s DigitalKoans Tweets 2010-04-27

                Posted in Last Week's DigitalKoan's Tweets on April 25th, 2010
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                  DigitalKoans Break

                  Posted in Announcements on April 18th, 2010

                  DigitalKoans weblog postings will resume on 5/3/10.

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                    Official ACTA Draft Text to Be Made Public on April 21st

                    Posted in Copyright, Digital Copyright Wars on April 18th, 2010

                    The Office of the United States Trade Representative has announced that the draft text of the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement (ACTA) will be made public on 4/21/10.

                    Here's an excerpt from the press release:

                    The 8th round of negotiations on the proposed Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement (ACTA) was held in Wellington, New Zealand from 12-16 April 2010, hosted by New Zealand. Participants were welcomed by New Zealand's Minister of Trade Hon Tim Groser at a function attended by a wide range of stakeholders with an interest in the ACTA negotiations.

                    Participants in the negotiations included Australia, Canada, the European Union, represented by the European Commission, the EU Presidency (Spain) and EU Member States, Japan, Korea, Mexico, Morocco, New Zealand, Singapore, Switzerland and the United States of America. . . .

                    Overall, therefore, there was a general sense from this session that negotiations have now advanced to a point where making a draft text available to the public will help the process of reaching a final agreement. For that reason, and based on the specific momentum coming out of this meeting, participants have reached unanimous agreement that the time is right for making available to the public the consolidated text coming out of these discussions, which will reflect the substantial progress made at this round.

                    It is intended to release this on Wednesday 21 April.

                    In agreeing to release publicly this draft text in the particular circumstances of this negotiation, participants reaffirmed the importance of maintaining the confidentiality of their respective positions in trade negotiations.

                    ACTA will not interfere with a signatory's ability to respect its citizens' fundamental rights and liberties, and will be consistent with the WTO Agreement on Trade Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPS Agreement) and will respect the Declaration on TRIPS and Public Health.

                    There is no proposal to oblige ACTA participants to require border authorities to search travellers' baggage or their personal electronic devices for infringing materials. In addition, ACTA will not address the cross-border transit of legitimate generic medicines.

                    While the participants recognise the importance of responding effectively to the challenge of Internet piracy, they confirmed that no participant is proposing to require governments to mandate a "graduated response" or "three strikes" approach to copyright infringement on the Internet.

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                      Digital Collections Coordinator at University of Texas at Austin

                      Posted in Digital Library Jobs on April 18th, 2010

                      The Harry Ransom Center at the University of Texas at Austin is recruiting a Digital Collections Coordinator. Salary: $4,583 per month, negotiable. (Ends 2015, with the possibility of extension.)

                      Here's an excerpt from the ad:

                      The coordinator will develop best practices for the preservation and management of digital collections; collaborate with Ransom Center staff on the acquisition, preservation, description, access and exhibition of digital collections; and direct the development of a digital preservation program. . . .

                      Work with administrative staff to establish goals and priorities, identify objectives, and coordinate and monitor projects related to these assets; Develop and oversee maintenance of a digital assets management system (DAMS) as an integral part of the research, teaching, and learning mission of the Center Work with archivists to develop best practices to access, preserve, describe, and interpret digital materials; Work with staff library-wide to continue development of best practices for digitization, metadata creation, online access, digital repositories, and digital preservation; Participate in the development of online exhibitions and digital collections; Attend conferences and meetings devoted to emerging technologies; work with counterparts at the UT Libraries and other campus agencies and with library, archive and museum managers worldwide in developing best practices for the preservation and management of digital collections. Identify grant opportunities and work with development staff to create proposals in support of digital collections and continuing funding for the position;

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                        Digital Video of “Skills for the Future: Educational Opportunities for Library and Museum” Session

                        Posted in Information Schools on April 18th, 2010

                        A digital video of the “Skills for the Future: Educational Opportunities for Library and Museum” session of the Webwise 2010 conference is now available.

                        Panelists included Peter Botticelli, University of Arizona School of Information Resources and Library Science; Phyllis Hecht, Johns Hopkins University Museum Studies Program; Helen Tibbo, University of North Carolina School of Information and Library Science; and Bill Veillette, Northeast Document Conservation Center.

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