OCLC Answers Questions about the Future of OAIster

Posted in Open Access on September 22nd, 2009

In "The Straight Dope on OAIster," OCLC answers questions about the future of OAIster.

Here's an excerpt:

  • Starting in October, the records will be freely discoverable along with all the other content in WorldCat.org. However, it will not be possible to limit a search to OAIster records alone.
  • In FirstSearch, OAIster records can either be searched along with other FirstSearch databases, or selected to search alone. OAIster records have been searchable in FirstSearch since January 2009.
  • Contributors of OAIster records can receive free access to the OAIster aggregation in FirstSearch by request. Contributors were recently contacted to offer them such access and many have already responded that they would like to have such access.
  • Only data providers that request that we not harvest their records will be removed from the aggregation. We feel strongly that one of the main benefits of OAIster has been the aggregation of records from the vast majority of repositories worldwide. Therefore, unless a repository denies us permission to harvest their records, we will seek to include them.
  • No money was exchanged in this transfer and OCLC is not making any money on the OAIster aggregation. OAIster records were added to FirstSearch at no extra charge to FirstSearch subscribers, and of course there is no charge for searching WorldCat.org, where they are also exposed. Rather than boosting revenue, in fact, OCLC is committed to making an investment in the kind of large-scale harvesting operation that OAIster represents. . . .
  • We are exploring options for machine access. Z39.50 access to OAIster is available to FirstSearch subscribers now, and we are considering whether additional options should be supported. The University of Michigan did not offer an OAI-PMH or Web Services interface, although they did offer an rsync option. Learning the needs of the community will help inform what we do in this area. . . .
  • We are forming an advisory board to provide us with essential advice. We know that this is an ongoing service that will require further development and support, and so we seek the advice of those knowledgeable and experienced within the community to make sure we get it as right as we can on behalf of our member institutions and the broader community of users.
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    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.

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      "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.

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        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.

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          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.

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            University of Western Ontario Launches Scholarship@Western

            Posted in ARL Libraries, Digital Commons, Institutional Repositories, Scholarly Journals on September 21st, 2009

            The Western Libraries at the University of Western Ontario have launched Scholarship@Western.

            Here's an excerpt from the announcement by Adrian K. Ho, Scholarly Communications Librarian:

            Scholarship@Western showcases publications and presentations from the university community by department. As this is a new initiative, not all academic departments are listed at present. A segment of Scholarship@Western, named Researcher Gallery, offers virtual space for Western's faculty, graduate students, librarians, and archivists to create their homepages and provide access to their publications, presentations, and other academic materials. In addition, Scholarship@Western can function as an online publishing platform for journals, conference proceedings, research reports, and working papers. An online journal, the Western Undergraduate Research Journal: Health and Natural Sciences, will be published to celebrate Western's academic excellence.

            Scholarship@Western will feature a niche for the University's master's theses and PhD dissertations. Western Libraries already has some of the past theses and dissertations digitized and will upload them to Scholarship@Western for free public access. Meanwhile, we have been working with the School of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies to develop a university-wide program that will publish, archive, and preserve future theses and dissertations on Scholarship@Western for widest possible access.

            Read more about it at "Online Archive Opens Access to Research."

            Related post: "Adrian K. Ho Named Scholarly Communication Librarian at Western Libraries of the University of Western Ontario."

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              Litman on "Real Copyright Reform"

              Posted in Copyright, Digital Copyright Wars on September 21st, 2009

              Jessica Litman, John F. Nickoll Professor of Law at the University of Michigan Law School, has self-archived "Real Copyright Reform" at SSRN.

              Here's the abstract:

              A copyright system is designed to produce an ecology that nurtures the creation, dissemination and enjoyment of works of authorship. When it works well, it encourages creators to generate new works, assists intermediaries in disseminating them widely, and supports readers, listeners and viewers in enjoying them. If the system poses difficult entry barriers to creators, imposes demanding impediments on intermediaries, or inflicts burdensome conditions and hurdles on readers, then the system fails to achieve at least some of its purposes. The current U.S. copyright statute is flawed in all three respects. In this article, I explore how the current copyright system is failing its intended beneficiaries. The foundation of copyright law's legitimacy, I argue, derives from its evident benefits for creators and for readers. That foundation is badly cracked, in large part because of the perception that modern copyright law is not especially kind to either creators or to readers; instead, it concentrates power in the hands of the intermediaries who control the conduits between creators and their audience. Those intermediaries have recently used their influence and their copyright rights to obstruct one another's exploitation of copyrighted works. I argue that the concentration of copyright rights in the hands of intermediaries made more economic sense in earlier eras than it does today. The key to real copyright reform, I suggest, is to reallocate copyright's benefits to give more rights to creators, greater liberty to readers, and less control to copyright intermediaries.

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                Fiber to the Library: How Public Libraries Can Benefit from Using Fiber Optics for Their Broadband Internet Connection

                Posted in Libraries on September 21st, 2009

                The ALA Office for Information Technology Policy has released Fiber to the Library: How Public Libraries Can Benefit from Using Fiber Optics for Their Broadband Internet Connection .

                Here's an excerpt from the announcement:

                The purpose of this paper is to assist libraries in understanding the benefits of fiber optic technology and to suggest strategies they can consider when exploring how to obtain fiber connectivity. This paper provides background information and arguments that may be useful in library community applications to the Broadband Technology Opportunities Program (BTOP) of the U.S. Department of Commerce.

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                  University of California and Internet Archive Joint Mass Digitization Project Ends

                  Posted in ARL Libraries, Mass Digitizaton on September 21st, 2009

                  The California Digital Library has announced that a joint mass digitization project by the University of California and the Internet Archive has ended.

                  Here's an excerpt from the announcement:

                  In 2005, the UC Libraries entered into a ground-breaking partnership with the Internet Archive to digitize public domain book collections from the University of California Libraries. With the generous support of external partners such as Microsoft, Yahoo, and the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation, our collaboration grew to encompass two major on-site scanning centers at NRLF and SRLF and scores of dedicated staff at the UC Regional Library Facilities and elsewhere throughout UC, producing an impressive corpus of close to 200,000 public domain books that are now available worldwide to students, scholars, and the general public. Today, five years and over 64 million pages later, we announce the conclusion of this phase of our Internet Archive collaboration and celebrate the work we have accomplished together.

                  UC's book digitization partnership with Internet Archive began in 2005 as a founding member of the Open Content Alliance. In February 2006, the first on-site digitization center comprising ten Scribe scanning machines was installed at NRLF; a second 10-station scanning center was opened at SRLF later that year. In August 2008, UC's on-site Internet Archive digitization center at NRLF was de-commissioned and relocated to an Internet Archive facility in San Francisco, leaving the SRLF scanning center as our only remaining on-site facility. One year later in August 2009, the UC-hosted Internet Archive scanning center housed at SRLF was closed and relocated to a new off-site facility in the Los Angeles area, marking the conclusion of a digitization project that has made available to the world an unparalleled digital corpus of public domain books drawn from the renowned collections of the University of California Libraries. . . .

                  While this phase of our work with Internet Archive is coming to an end, we look forward to continuing our collaboration for many years to come as opportunity and resources permit.

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                    "Preserving a Free and Open Internet: A Platform for Innovation, Opportunity, and Prosperity"

                    Posted in Net Neutrality on September 21st, 2009

                    The FCC has released the text and a digital video of FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski's "Preserving a Free and Open Internet: A Platform for Innovation, Opportunity, and Prosperity" speech at the Brookings Institution.

                    Here's an excerpt:

                    The rise of serious challenges to the free and open Internet puts us at a crossroads. We could see the Internet’s doors shut to entrepreneurs, the spirit of innovation stifled, a full and free flow of information compromised. Or we could take steps to preserve Internet openness, helping ensure a future of opportunity, innovation, and a vibrant marketplace of ideas.

                    I understand the Internet is a dynamic network and that technology continues to grow and evolve. I recognize that if we were to create unduly detailed rules that attempted to address every possible assault on openness, such rules would become outdated quickly. But the fact that the Internet is evolving rapidly does not mean we can, or should, abandon the underlying values fostered by an open network, or the important goal of setting rules of the road to protect the free and open Internet.

                    Saying nothing—and doing nothing—would impose its own form of unacceptable cost. It would deprive innovators and investors of confidence that the free and open Internet we depend upon today will still be here tomorrow. It would deny the benefits of predictable rules of the road to all players in the Internet ecosystem. And it would be a dangerous retreat from the core principle of openness—the freedom to innovate without permission—that has been a hallmark of the Internet since its inception, and has made it so stunningly successful as a platform for innovation, opportunity, and prosperity.

                    In view of these challenges and opportunities, and because it is vital that the Internet continue to be an engine of innovation, economic growth, competition and democratic engagement, I believe the FCC must be a smart cop on the beat preserving a free and open Internet.

                    The FCC also launched a new website: Open Internet.Gov.

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                      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."

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                        Digital Preservation: Life2 Final Project Report

                        Posted in Digital Curation & Digital Preservation, Digital Repositories on September 20th, 2009

                        JISC has released Life2 Final Project Report.

                        Here's an excerpt:

                        LIFE Model v2 outlines a fully-revised lifecycle model taking into account feedback from user groups, the Case Studies and the wider digital preservation community.

                        Generic Preservation Model (GPM) summarises the update to the preservation model with an accompanying spreadsheet. This model allows institutions to estimate potential digital preservation costs for their collections. The GPM fits into the updated LIFE Model.

                        An Economic Evaluation of LIFE was written by economist Bo-Christer Björk on the approach used for both the first and second phases of LIFE. This independent review validates the LIFE approach for lifecycle costing.

                        The SHERPA DP Case Study outlines the mapping of the repository services that CeRch provides to the LIFE Model. The SHERPA-LEAP Case Study maps three very different HE repositories to the LIFE Model. Goldsmiths University of London, Royal Holloway University of London and UCL (University College London) each provide exemplars of varying collections. Each institution’s repository is at a different stage of development.

                        The Newspapers Case Study successfully maps both analogue and digital newspaper collections to the LIFE Model. This success means that LIFE could be developed into a fully-compatible predictive tool across both analogue and digital collections, allowing for comparison both throughout the lifecycles of a collection and across different types of collections.

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