Harvard Provost Issues Report of the Task Force on University Libraries

Posted in ARL Libraries on November 15th, 2009

Harvard Provost Steven E. Hyman has issued the Report of the Task Force on University Libraries.

Here's an excerpt from the announcement:

In March 2009 I appointed a University-wide Task Force to examine our library system and make recommendations that would put it on a footing that could sustain and ideally enhance its excellence long into the future. Today, I am pleased to share with you the Task Force’s findings and recommendations. A link to the report’s text can be found below.

The report of the Task Force on University Libraries is a very thoughtful document about an extraordinary system. But it is also a stark rendering of a structure in need of reform. Our collections are superlative, and our knowledgeable library staff are central to the success of the University’s mission. The way the system operates, however, is placing terrible strain on the libraries and the people who work within them.

Over time, a lack of coordination has led to a fragmented collection of collections that is not optimally positioned to respond to the 21st century information needs of faculty and students. The libraries’ organizational chart is truly labyrinthine in its complexity, and in practice this complexity impedes effective collective decision-making.

Widely varying information technology systems present barriers to communication among libraries and stymie collaboration with institutions beyond our campus gates. Our funding mechanisms have created incentives to collect or subscribe in ways that diminish the vitality of the overall collection.

Libraries the world over are undergoing a challenging transition into the digital age, and Harvard’s libraries are no exception. The Task Force report points us toward a future in which our libraries must be able to work together far more effectively than is the case today as well as to collaborate with other great libraries to maximize access to the materials needed by our scholars.

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    Google Book Search Settlement Amended

    Posted in Copyright, Digital Copyright Wars, E-Books, Google and Other Search Engines, Mass Digitizaton, Publishing on November 15th, 2009

    An amended version of the Google Book Search Settlement has been filed by the AAP, the Authors Guild, and Google with the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York.

    The complete amended agreement is available from Google as a Zip file.

    Exhibit 1 provides the primary text of the amended settlement agreement.

    An overview of the amended settlement agreement is available, as is an FAQ.

    Read more about it at "Google Books Settlement Sets Geographic, Business Limits"; "Is the Google Books Settlement Worth the Wait?"; and "Terms of Digital Book Deal with Google Revised."

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      DigitalKoans Break

      Posted in Announcements on November 5th, 2009

      DigitalKoans postings will resume on 11/16/09.

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        Manager of Digital Lab at Harvard Law Library

        Posted in Digital Library Jobs on November 5th, 2009

        The Harvard Law Library is recruiting a Manager of Digital Lab.

        Here's an excerpt from the ad:

        The Harvard Law Library is seeking a creative and experienced innovator to provide strategic and operational leadership as the Manager of our Digital Lab. The Digital Lab is the Library's focal point for a wide range of activities, including developing internet tools to promote and enhance access to legal information and coordinating the library's digitization efforts. Reporting to the Associate Director for Collection Development and Digitization, the Manager of the Digital Lab leads the design, creation, and distribution of technological tools for delivering content and services in support of learning and research at the Harvard Law School and beyond; manages the Library's digitization projects, including those produced onsite and those outsourced to the University's Digital Imaging Group or other external entities; develops and implements division policies, plans, goals, and procedures; ensures appropriate staffing levels, staff skills, and output. The Manager will supervise a current full time staff of five; two Development Programmers, a Web Development Librarian, a Digital Preservation Librarian, and a Digital Projects Assistant, as well as project fellows.

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          Academic Journal Publisher Brill Launches Brill Open

          Posted in Open Access, Publishing, Scholarly Journals on November 5th, 2009

          Brill, an international academic publisher located in Leiden and Boston, has launched Brill Open.

          Here's an excerpt from the press release:

          This new author service offers the option of making articles freely available upon publication. Brill Open enables authors to comply with research funding bodies and institutions which require open access.

          The Brill Open option will be available for all 135 journals published under the imprints Brill, Martinus Nijhoff and VSP. Articles will be put in online open access in exchange for an article publishing fee to be arranged by the author.

          Sam Bruinsma, Brill's Business Development Director, explains:"We are launching this new service in answer to a growing number of research funding bodies and universities announcing their compliance with the open access model. With Brill Open our journals are ready to meet the expected increase in contributions under this model."

          In order to ensure that authors' funder requirements have no influence on the editorial peer review and decision-making, Brill Open will be made available to authors only upon acceptance of their paper for publication. Those authors who do not wish to use this service will be under no pressure to do so, and their accepted article will be published in the usual manner.

          Brill's strategic intent is to adjust the future subscription price of a journal to reflect an increase in Brill Open fees. Sam Bruinsma comments: "Our view on open access developments is positive. We accept that over time an increasing part of our revenues will come through this new model. This will have an impact on the revenues from our library subscription service. The combination of these two business models will continue to support a healthy and sustainable journal program attractive to the best authors in the field."

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            "Economies of Desire: Fair Use and Marketplace Assumptions"

            Posted in Copyright on November 5th, 2009

            Rebecca Tushnet has self-archived the "Economies of Desire: Fair Use and Marketplace Assumptions" in SSRN.

            Here's the abstract:

            At the moment that "incentives" for creation meet "preferences" for the same, the economic account of copyright loses its explanatory power. This piece explores the ways in which the desire to create can be excessive, beyond rationality, and free from the need for economic incentive. Psychological and sociological concepts can do more to explain creative impulses than classical economics. As a result, a copyright law that treats creative activity as a product of economic incentives can miss the mark and harm what it aims to promote. The idea of abundance—even overabundance—in creativity can help define the proper scope of copyright law, especially in fair use. I explore these ideas by examining how creators think about what they do. As it turns out, commercially and critically successful creators resemble creators who avoid the general marketplace and create unauthorized derivative works (fanworks). The role of love, desire, and other passions in creation has lessons for the proper aims of copyright, the meaning of fair use, and conceptions of exploitation in markets.

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              Information Economy Report 2009: Trends and Outlook in Turbulent Times

              Posted in Digital Culture on November 4th, 2009

              The United Nations Conference on Trade and Development has released Information Economy Report 2009: Trends and Outlook in Turbulent Times.

              Here's an excerpt from the announcement:


              • Global and regional trends in the diffusion of ICTs such as fixed and mobile telecommunications, Internet, and broadband
              • Ranking of the most dynamic economies in terms of increased ICT connectivity between 2003 and 2008
              • Monitoring of the “digital divide”
              • Survey of national statistical offices on the use of ICT in the business sector
              • A review of the changing patterns in the trade of ICT goods
              • A mapping of the new geography in the offshoring of IT and ICT-enabled services.
              • Policy recommendations on how developing countries can reap greater benefits from ICT
              • A statistical annex with global ICT data.
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                Utah State University Press Merges with Library, Goes Open Access

                Posted in Open Access, Publishing, Research Libraries, University Presses on November 4th, 2009

                The Utah State University Press will merge with the Merrill-Cazier Library, and it will "adopt a new publication model, with open access as a central component."

                Here's an excerpt from the press release

                Joining a growing national trend, Utah State University Press will merge with the administrative structure of Merrill-Cazier Library at Utah State University. The transition has begun, with the arrangement officially taking effect at the start of fiscal year 2010-11. . . .

                "Many university presses are moving toward open access, often under the administration of the library,” Clement [Richard Clement, Dean of USU Libraries] said. “The most conspicuous example in the recent past is the University of Michigan Press which moved into the library and is now focusing on OA and other forms of digital publication. We propose to move the USU Press along the same path." . . .

                While the decision to move USU Press to Merrill-Cazier Library was not completely budget-driven, it will result in significant savings, Clement said. With a larger staff in place, the library will assume a number of support activities for the press, including accounting, IT support, graphic design and public relations. . . .

                USU Press will adopt a new publication model, with open access as a central component and will move toward increased digital delivery of books. The library’s position will be enhanced as well, as academic libraries nationally take on a stronger role in the evolution of scholarly publishing.

                Read more about it at "Survival—Through Open Access" and "USU Press merging with Merrill-Cazier Library."

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                  Cloud Computing and Repositories: Fedorazon: Final Report

                  Posted in Cloud Computing/SaaS, Digital Repositories, Fedora, Institutional Repositories on November 3rd, 2009

                  JISC has released Fedorazon: Final Report.

                  Here's an excerpt:

                  The Fedorazon project is first and foremost the experiences of a small HE/FE team running and maintaining a Repository in the Cloud for one year. Being early adopters we provide both technical, fiscal and practical advice for both our successes and failures in this endeavour. We hope this report provides insight for other institutions wishing to utilise the Cloud for their Repository instance which we wholeheartedly recommend given they read this report first and prepare accordingly.

                  The Fedorazon project has discovered that a 'Repository in the Cloud' is easy to get up and running (both figuratively and literally); after that, all the complexity of hardware management, political costings and human resource allocation are still right where you left them. None the less we think there are significant cost savings in the Cloud that will only increase over time. We also believe that utilising the 'network effect' of the Cloud institutions can relieve the burden of having a local hardware expert to manage the repository instance. Finally, we believe that Cloud will lead to a significant change in the way we view repository architectures, especially in regards to how a 'preservation architecture' is achieved.

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                    Web Developer at Harvard Law Library

                    Posted in Library IT Jobs on November 3rd, 2009

                    The Harvard Law Library is recruiting a Web Developer.

                    Here's an excerpt from the ad:

                    The Harvard Law Library is seeking an energetic and creative web developer to join our newly created Digital Lab team. The Digital Lab is the Library's focal point for a wide range of activities including developing internet tools to promote and enhance access to legal information. The Web Developer manages the full life cycle of development projects. Reporting to the Manager of the Digital Lab, the Web Developer will design, develop, test and deploy new applications and extensions to existing applications; research coding and infrastructure technologies in connection with application design and implementation; identify integration requirements between applications; review and modify systems programs as needed to correct utility or application programs; install or customize modules and features for open source and proprietary software packages; develop and maintain documentation, participate in third party tool and product evaluations as needed, and take on other related duties as assigned. Works closely with librarian, unit director and other programmers.

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                      Stanford University to Implement Electronic Dissertations

                      Posted in Electronic Theses and Dissertations (ETDs), Research Libraries on November 3rd, 2009

                      Stanford University will implement an electronic dissertation program this month.

                      Here's an excerpt from the press release:

                      Speaking at the Oct. 22 Faculty Senate meeting, University Librarian Michael Keller said the digital world offers a "much greater palette of expression" to graduate students, because they will be able to include more graphics, color and character sets in their dissertations than in paper copies.

                      "[There will be] more opportunities to link to online resources and to have those links live," Keller said during a joint presentation on the program with University Registrar Thomas Black.

                      The program is the result of a yearlong collaboration between Stanford University Libraries & Academic Information Resources and the Registrar's Office.

                      Under the program, digital dissertations will be stored in the Stanford Digital Repository, which provides preservation services for scholarly resources, helping to ensure their integrity, authenticity and usability over time.

                      Keller said the documents will be available to the Stanford community through Socrates, the university's online library catalog, and "available to the world" through Google, which will serve as a third-party distributor. He said the library will print one copy of each work and store it in the Stanford University Archives.

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                        Presentations from DC-2009: Semantic Interoperability of Linked Data

                        Posted in Metadata on November 3rd, 2009

                        Presentations from the DC-2009: Semantic Interoperability of Linked Data conference are now available.

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