Internet Freedom Preservation Act of 2009

Posted in Legislation and Government Regulation, Net Neutrality on August 2nd, 2009

Reps. Edward J. Markey (D-MA) and Anna G. Eshoo (D-CA) have introduced the Internet Freedom Preservation Act of 2009.

Here's an excerpt from the press release:

"The Internet is a success today because it was open to everyone with an idea," said Rep. Markey. "That openness and freedom has been at risk since the Supreme Court decision in Brand X. This bill will protect consumers and content providers because it will restore the guarantee that one does not have to ask permission to innovate."

"The Internet has thrived and revolutionized business and the economy precisely because it started as an open technology," Rep. Eshoo said. "This bill will ensure that the non-discriminatory framework that allows the Internet to thrive and competition on the Web to flourish is preserved at a time when our economy needs it the most."

H.R. 3458, the Internet Freedom Preservation Act, is designed to assess and promote Internet freedom for consumers and content providers. The bill will also require the FCC to examine whether carriers are blocking access to lawful content, applications, or services. The legislation calls for the FCC to conduct eight public broadband summits around the country no less than a year after the bill is enacted. These summits will be used to gather input from consumers, small business owners, entrepreneurs, and other stakeholders on Internet freedom and U.S. broadband policies affecting consumer protection, competition, and consumer choice.

Here's an excerpt from the "Public Knowledge Hails Internet Freedom Preservation Act":

[Gigi B. Sohn, president and co-founder of Public Knowledge] "The requirements in the bill are very straightforward. In essence, the bill would return non-discrimination to communications law, preventing Internet service providers (ISPs), such as telephone and cable companies, from interfering in that end-to-end relationship. The requirements would curb the ability of ISPs from using the claim of network management to impose their own priorities on data traffic, based on financial arrangements or other considerations."

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    Sony Offers One Million Public Domain Books for Its Current E-Book Readers

    Posted in E-Books, Public Domain on July 30th, 2009

    Sony has announced that one million public domain books from Google are available for its current e-book readers.

    In related news, there are rumors that two new Sony e-book readers may be released in August.

    Read more about it at "Sony E-Readers Get Access to 1M Free Public Domain Books from Google" and "Sony to Offer 1 Million Google Books through Its Readers."

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      Fellowships at Digital Humanities Centers

      Posted in Digital Humanities on July 30th, 2009

      The NEH Office of Digital Humanities has announced the availability of fellowships at Digital Humanities Centers.

      See the application guidelines for details.

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        "Open Science: Good For Research, Good For Researchers?"

        Posted in Open Access on July 30th, 2009

        The Scholarly Communication Program at the Columbia University Libraries/Information Services has released a digital video of a panel discussion on "Open Science: Good For Research, Good For Researchers?" (Thanks to Digital & Scholarly.)

        Here's an excerpt from the announcement:

        Open science refers to information-sharing among researchers and encompasses a number of initiatives to remove access barriers to data and published papers, and to use digital technology to more efficiently disseminate research results. Advocates for this approach argue that openly sharing information among researchers is fundamental to good science, speeds the progress of research, and increases recognition of researchers. Panelists: Jean-Claude Bradley, Associate Professor of Chemistry and Coordinator of E-Learning for the School of Arts and Sciences at Drexel University; Barry Canton, founder of Gingko BioWorks and the OpenWetWare wiki, an online community of life science researchers committed to open science that has over 5,300 users; Bora Zivkovic, Online Discussion Expert for the Public Library of Science (PLoS) and author of "A Blog Around the Clock."

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          Interview with Maria Bonn, Director of Michigan’s Scholarly Publishing Office

          Posted in E-Books, Mass Digitizaton, Print-on-Demand, Publishing on July 30th, 2009

          In “Turning Out-of-Copyright Books into Gold: An Interview with University of Michigan’s Maria Bonn,” Maria Bonn, Director of the Scholarly Publishing Office at the University of Michigan Library, discusses Michigan’s recent decision to offer print-on-demand paperback editions of over 400,000 digitized books via BookSurge and Amazon.

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            "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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              Nicholson Baker on the Kindle: "A New Page"

              Posted in E-Books on July 29th, 2009

              In "A New Page," Nicholson Baker, author of Double Fold: Libraries and the Assault on Paper, takes a critical look at the Kindle.

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                "Positional Effects on Citation and Readership in arXiv"

                Posted in Disciplinary Archives, E-Prints, Self-Archiving on July 29th, 2009

                Asif-ul Haque and Paul Ginsparg have self-archived "Positional Effects on Citation and Readership in arXiv" in arXiv.org.

                Here's an excerpt:

                arXiv.org mediates contact with the literature for entire scholarly communities, both through provision of archival access and through daily email and web announcements of new materials, potentially many screenlengths long. We confirm and extend a surprising correlation between article position in these initial announcements, ordered by submission time, and later citation impact, due primarily to intentional "self-promotion" on the part of authors. A pure "visibility" effect was also present: the subset of articles accidentally in early positions fared measurably better in the long-term citation record than those lower down. Astrophysics articles announced in position 1, for example, overall received a median number of citations 83% higher, while those there accidentally had a 44% visibility boost. For two large subcommunities of theoretical high energy physics, hep-th and hep-ph articles announced in position 1 had median numbers of citations 50% and 100% larger than for positions 5-15, and the subsets there accidentally had visibility boosts of 38% and 71%.

                We also consider the positional effects on early readership. The median numbers of early full text downloads for astro-ph, hep-th, and hep-ph articles announced in position 1 were 82%, 61%, and 58% higher than for lower positions, respectively, and those there accidentally had medians visibility-boosted by 53%, 44%, and 46%. Finally, we correlate a variety of readership features with long-term citations, using machine learning methods, thereby extending previous results on the predictive power of early readership in a broader context. We conclude with some observations on impact metrics and dangers of recommender mechanisms.

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                  Supervisory Information Technology Specialist at Library of Congress NDIIPP Office

                  Posted in Digital Library Jobs on July 29th, 2009

                  The National Digital Information Infrastructure and Preservation Program (NDIIPP) Office at the Library of Congress is recruiting a Supervisory Information Technology Specialist.

                  Here's an excerpt from the ad:

                  Plays a key role in formulating long-range policies and in developing and implementing strategies and management guidelines for complex and changing digital library information technology systems, policies, best practices, and standards. Provides high level programmatic and technical advice and counsel to top management and other key officials on matters relating to new or modified digital library initiatives, policies, projects, and programs that affect or relate to current and existing library universal holdings policy, and life cycle management functions. Plans and carries out digital library project and programs, resolving conflicts which arise, integrating and coordinating the work of other projects and programs as necessary and interpreting policy in terms of established objectives. Participates on agency, Federal, and national non-governmental committees, task forces, and groups relative to national and Library of Congress digital library policy and technology planning. Presents policy project status briefings and recommendations concerning long-range LC and/or national digital library plans to top levels of management. Provides first line communications, which includes problem determination, problem resolution, and making recommendations to resolve digital library issues and requirements. Keeps abreast of changing and emerging digital library standards and best practices, trends, relevant technologies, and information technology systems.

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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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                      Open Annotation Collaboration Funded

                      Posted in Grants, Research Tools on July 29th, 2009

                      The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation has awarded $362,000 to the Open Annotation Collaboration to "build new digital annotation tools and define and demonstrate a framework for sharing annotations of digital content across the World Wide Web."

                      Here's an excerpt from the press release on JESSE:

                      The OAC includes humanities scholars, librarians, and information scientists from four universities—George Mason University, the University of Illinois, the University of Maryland, and the University of Queensland (Australia)—from the Los Alamos National Laboratory Research Library, and from the Office of Advanced Technology Research at JSTOR, an integrated online archive of over five million items digitized from scholarly journals and primary source archives. . . .

                      The OAC effort will focus on annotation interoperability, creating data models, standards, and tools that allow scholars working in disparate locations to share and leverage annotations of digital resources across the boundaries of individual annotation applications and content collections.

                      As part of the OAC Phase I work funded by the Mellon Foundation, a new annotation tool, leveraging ongoing work at the Maryland Institute for the Humanities (MITH) that was initiated previously with a grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities, will be integrated into the popular Zotero Firefox Web browser extension. Created by the Center for History and New Media (CHNM) at George Mason University, Zotero helps users collect, manage, and cite research sources found on the World Wide Web.

                      In parallel with this work, researchers at the Center for Informatics Research in Science and Scholarship (CIRSS) at the Graduate School of Library and Information Science at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and at the eResearch Lab of the School of Information Technology and Electrical Engineering (ITEE) at The University of Queensland in Australia will examine the breadth and diversity of current annotation models and system architectures in the context of scholarly practices and scholarly-focused use cases involving annotations in both online and traditional settings. . . .

                      The co-Principal Investigators for the OAC Phase I project are Timothy W. Cole of the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, Neil Fraistat of the University of Maryland, Jane Hunter of the University of Queensland, and Herbert Van de Sompel of Los Alamos National Laboratory.

                      All work produced as part of the OAC Phase I project will be made available under open source license for the free use and exploitation by other scholars and non-profit educational, scholarly and charitable institutions.

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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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