"Should Copyright of Academic Works Be Abolished?"

Posted in Copyright, Open Access, Publishing, Scholarly Communication on July 20th, 2009

Steven Shavell, Samuel R. Rosenthal Professor of Law and Economics at the Harvard Law School, has self-archived "Should Copyright of Academic Works Be Abolished?"

Here's an excerpt:

The conventional rationale for copyright of written works, that copyright is needed to foster their creation, is seemingly of limited applicability to the academic domain. For in a world without copyright of academic writing, academics would still benefit from publishing in the major way that they do now, namely, from gaining scholarly esteem. Yet publishers would presumably have to impose fees on authors, because publishers would not be able to profit from reader charges. If these publication fees would be borne by academics, their incentives to publish would be reduced. But if the publication fees would usually be paid by universities or grantors, the motive of academics to publish would be unlikely to decrease (and could actually increase)—suggesting that ending academic copyright would be socially desirable in view of the broad benefits of a copyright-free world. If so, the demise of academic copyright should be achieved by a change in law, for the 'open access' movement that effectively seeks this objective without modification of the law faces fundamental difficulties.

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    Making DSpace 1.5 Your Own: Customizations via Overlays

    Posted in Digital Repositories, DSpace, DuraSpace, Institutional Repositories on July 20th, 2009

    Tim Donohue, Research Programmer at IDEALS, has made his "Making DSpace 1.5 Your Own: Customizations via Overlays" presentation available on SlideShare.

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      DSpace Lead Developer and DuraCloud Integration Engineer

      Posted in Digital Library Jobs on July 20th, 2009

      DuraSpace is recruiting a DSpace Lead Developer and a DuraCloud Integration Engineer.

      Here's an excerpt from the DSpace Lead Developer ad:

      The DSpace lead developer will work in collaboration with developers from around the world to preserve and provide open access to intellectual output from a community of over 600 top educational institutions. The lead developer will be responsible for providing technical guidance, support, and leadership to the developer community in advancing the platform to be able to effectively manage digital assets for a diverse set of requirements and applications. S/he will interact with user groups to facilitate the integration of code and documentation contributions, expedite feature requests and requirements, and organize FAQs, wiki and forum entries. S/he will work closely and collaboratively with the developers and committers on the software to come up with a technical roadmap. S/he will provide technical oversight for key architecture decisions and will work with standards bodies to ensure the application adheres to applicable standards in the industry.

      Here's an excerpt from the DuraCloud Integration Engineer ad:

      The integration developer will join the team designing, building, and supporting the DuraCloud durable storage service and related Web sites for the DSpace Foundation, Fedora Commons, and other open source projects. The developer will be responsible for all aspects of requirements gathering, technical analysis and development, testing and documenting both APIs and customer-facing applications, working both alone and as a member of a team. The position, which reports to the Chief Technology Officer, requires a knowledgeable, enthusiastic, and self-motivated individual with extensive experience in integrating disparate code bases and projects using browser mashups, Web services, API calls, wrappers, scripts or database synchronizations. The integration developer will focus on best strategies for integrating DuraCloud and other DuraSpace systems as the underpinning for dynamic, collaborative Web-based applications. Other responsibilities include assisting the DuraSpace team in defining project goals, leading the software engineering process, and disseminating results (including software deployment, documentation, reports, journal articles, presentations at professional meetings/conferences).

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        Elsevier Launches Article of the Future Project

        Posted in Publishing, Scholarly Journals on July 20th, 2009

        Elsevier has launched its Article of the Future project.

        Here's an excerpt from the press release:

        Elsevier, the leading publisher of scientific, technical and medical information products and services, today announces the "Article of the Future" project, an ongoing collaboration with the scientific community to redefine how a scientific article is presented online. The project takes full advantage of online capabilities, allowing readers individualized entry points and routes through content, while exploiting the latest advances in visualization techniques.

        The Article of the Future launches its first prototypes this week, revealing a new approach to presenting scientific research online. The key feature of the prototypes is a hierarchical presentation of text and figures so that readers can elect to drill down through the layers based on their current task in the scientific workflow and their level of expertise and interest. This organizational structure is a significant departure from the linear-based organization of a traditional print-based article in incorporating the core text and supplemental material within a single unified structure.

        A second key feature of the prototypes is bulleted article highlights and a graphical abstract. This allows readers to quickly gain an understanding of the paper's main "take home" message and serves as a navigation mechanism to directly access specific sub-sections of the results and figures. The graphical abstract is intended to encourage browsing, promote interdisciplinary scholarship and help readers identify more quickly which papers are most relevant to their research interests. . . .

        The prototypes have been developed by the editorial, production and IT teams at Cell Press in collaboration with Elsevier"s User Centered Design group using content from two previously published Cell articles. They can be viewed at http://beta.cell.com where Elsevier and Cell Press are inviting feedback from the scientific community on the concepts and implementations. Successful ideas from this project will ultimately be rolled-out across Elsevier"s portfolio of 2,000 journals available on ScienceDirect.

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          Librarian in Digital Library Services at Florida Center for Library Automation

          Posted in Digital Library Jobs on July 20th, 2009

          The Florida Center for Library Automation is recruiting a Librarian in Digital Library Services.

          Here's an excerpt from the ad:

          The Librarian will be part of the Digital Library Services Group, which helps the libraries of the public university system of Florida create, manage and preserve digital information resources. The incumbent will provide support for digital special collections, electronic theses and dissertations (ETDs), archival finding aids (EADs), and other born-digital and retrospectively digitized materials. S/he will work with DigiTool, Archon, OAI data and service providers, and other commercial, open source, and locally-developed content management applications. The incumbent will provide expertise in describing digital resources (cataloging and metadata) to FCLA and library staff.

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            "The Dissemination of Scholarly Information: Old Approaches and New Possibilities"

            Posted in Open Access, Publishing, Scholarly Communication, Scholarly Journals on July 20th, 2009

            Economists Omar Al-Ubaydli (George Mason University) and Rufus Pollock (Cambridge University) have self-archived "The Dissemination of Scholarly Information: Old Approaches and New Possibilities."

            Here's an excerpt:

            In this paper we began by setting out the basic goals of the scholarly communication system. We compared the current, journal dominated system, against those goals and found it wanting, and explored in detail alternative options in which distribution and filtering are separated and centralized filtering is replaced by a distributed, decentralized approach.

            Using a simple model we explored the factors underlying the development of the current journal paradigm. There were two main factors: a) the high costs of information transmission in the pre-digital era (and, associatedly, fixed costs and economies of scale in transmission which make journals an effective club good) b) the natural complementarity of filtering to distribution which leads journals to act as filtering as well as distributional mechanisms.

            With the collapse of transmission costs in the era of the Internet these original rationales for journals have disappeared. It is now possible for distribution and filtering to be separate and for the development of richer, and more complex filtering models based on decentralized, distributed mechanisms—with this latter process dependent on the first (if distribution and filtering are tied—as in the traditional journal model—distributed mechanisms make little sense).

            We explored the various benefits of such alternative distributed mechanisms—and also provide a detailed description of how such a mechanism would function in appendix A. One of the main implications of our work discussion is that a crucial benefit of the open-access approach, in addition to the obvious one of reducing the deadweight loss to access, is that it permits the development of radically new matching mechanisms based on a richer set of information which offer major efficiency (and other) advantages. This second benefit, though often overlooked, is a major one, and is, in the long run we believe, likely to be the most significant.

            Unfortunately, it is hard for new approaches to take hold because of the lock-in to the traditional 'closed' journal model engendered by the mutual expectations of authors and readers. Given the potential benefits afforded by innovation in this area, it is crucial that the potential of new approaches be thoroughly considered so that the scholarly community can adequately assess the options and, if necessary, take collective action to achieve mutually beneficial change.

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              JISC’s Libraries of the Future Campaign

              Posted in Digital Libraries, Libraries, Scholarly Communication on July 20th, 2009

              JISC has released a brochure and two digital videos related to its Libraries of the Future campaign:

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                Personal Engagement with Repositories through Social Networking Applications: Final Report

                Posted in Digital Repositories, Institutional Repositories, Social Media/Web 2.0 on July 19th, 2009

                JISC has released the Personal Engagement with Repositories through Social Networking Applications: Final Report.

                Here's an excerpt from the project Web site that describes the project:

                The Institutional Repository has become the established technology deployed at universities and other institutions to enable scholars to self-archive their research outputs; the PERSoNA team will be embedding social networking tools which allow chat, tagging and bookmarking (amongst other things) within the repository, and encouraging users to comment on their use of our repository and make recommendations amongst each other leading to the onward discovery of further resources.

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                  "A Networked Registration Scheme to Support Open Science"

                  Posted in Copyright, Open Access on July 19th, 2009

                  Adrian Pickering, Christopher Gutteridge, and David De Roure have self-archived "A Networked Registration Scheme to Support Open Science" in the ECS EPrints Repository.

                  Here's an excerpt:

                  The Open Source and Open Science movements have demonstrated the success of distributed collaborative experimentation and intellectual property (IP) development. While those contributing to the effort may do so without seeking to secure IP rights, it is clear that credit and attribution are crucial to the scholarly lifecycle because they underpin reputation—when IP is created it is only fair that 'credit is given where credit is due'. We propose that there need to be systems in place, independent of the project, where the evidence of 'prior art' can be registered. The authors' thesis is that simply having such a system available will ensure proper behaviour between collaborators and foster higher productivity.

                  Repositories such as EPrints and myExperiment, which focus respectively on publications and digital 'research objects', can readily use such a system—the intellectual assets stored digitally in the repository can be registered by their owners. To achieve this with the necessary guarantees we need an appropriate registration scheme and architecture.

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                    BioMed Central Presentations, Including "10 Years of Open Access at BioMed Central"

                    Posted in Open Access, Publishing, Scholarly Journals on July 19th, 2009

                    BioMed Central has released presentations about its open access publishing activities that were made at a recent workshop for publishing consultants. Included was Matthew Cockerill's "10 Years of Open Access at BioMed Central" presentation.

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                      Digital Repository Resident at University of Massachusetts Amherst

                      Posted in Digital Library Jobs on July 19th, 2009

                      The University of Massachusetts Amherst Libraries are recruiting a Digital Repository Resident (one-year position).

                      Here's an excerpt from the ad:

                      The University of Massachusetts Amherst seeks candidates for the position of Digital Repository Resident. Under general supervision of the Scholarly Communication and Special Initiatives Librarian, the Digital Repository Resident Librarian explores, adapts, and implements emerging digital repository technologies in support of library and campus digital collections and publishing initiatives. Develops and manages repository projects, researches and recommends changes and enhancements, and works with other library staff to develop and implement metadata and preservation standards, and facilitates the development of workflows that accommodate new scholarly communication initiatives.

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                        U.S. Copyright Office Proposes Rule Change for Mandatory Deposit of Electronic Works Published in the United States and Available Only Online

                        Posted in Copyright on July 19th, 2009

                        The U.S. Copyright Office is proposing a rule change for the mandatory deposit of electronic works that are published in the United States and are only available online. (Thanks to ResourceShelf.)

                        Here's an excerpt from the notice of proposed rulemaking:

                        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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