Last Call for the Digital Scholarship Publications Survey

If you are interested in the continuation of Digital Scholarship publications, such as DigitalKoans/Flashback, the Scholarly Electronic Publishing Bibliography/Weblog/Resources, and the Open Access Bibliography/Webliography, please take a short survey on this matter (six multiple-choice questions and two optional questions).

The survey will remain open through August 31, 2007.

What's in Your Wallet? Three Librarian Salary Surveys

Three surveys of librarian salaries have been recently published.

The Association of Research Libraries has published the ARL Annual Salary Survey 2006-07. PDF and Excel versions are freely available.

ALA has published the 2007 editions of the ALA-APA Salary Survey: Librarian—Public and Academic and the ALA-APA Salary Survey: Non-MLS—Public and Academic. Various priced access options are available.

Here's an excerpt from the ALA press release:

Analysis of data from more than 800 public and academic libraries showed the mean salary for librarians with ALA-accredited Master’s Degrees increased 2.8 percent from 2006, up $1,550 to $57,809. The median ALA MLS salary was $53,000. Salaries ranged from $22,048 to $225,000.

For the first time the non-MLS salary survey data, including 62 non-MLS positions, reported salaries for staff employed as librarians but who do not have ALA-accredited Master’s Degrees in Library Science. Non-MLS salaries ranged $10,712 to $143,700.

RIAA v. The People: Four Years Later

With is focus on entertainment, digital audio/video file-sharing would appear to have little to do with digital scholarship; however, file-sharing is the canary in the digital copyright coal mine. Since the financial stakes are high, the legal battle over file-sharing is fierce, and it is where a growing body of digital copyright case law is being written. These rulings are legal precedents that may affect a wider range of digital materials in the future. File-sharing is also where the fate of digital rights management (DRM) is being largely decided, and this could have a major impact on future digital scholarship as well. That’s why I cover file-sharing legal issues in DigitalKoans.

The EFF has issued a new report, RIAA v. The People: Four Years Later, that examines the track record of one of the major legal combatants in the file-sharing war, the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA).

Here's a brief excerpt from the report:

Are the lawsuits working? Has the arbitrary singling out of more than 20,000 random American families done any good in restoring public respect for copyright law? Have the lawsuits put the P2P genie back in the bottle or restored the record industry to its 1997 revenues?

After four years of threats and litigation, the answer is a resounding no.

CCIA Launches Defend Fair Use Site

The Computer & Communications Industry Association, whose members include Google, Microsoft, Yahoo!, and others, has launched its Defend Fair Use website to promote its FTC complaint.

The Website is under CCIA's "Just Rights™ Statement."

The CCIA fair use complaint illustrates a key problem with ever-tightening copyright restrictions for corporations—they affect all potential users of copyrighted information, not just individual users. The growing desire of corporations to monitor, control, and profit from every possible use of their copyrighted material ultimately restricts those same corporations' ability to freely and fairly use the works held by others.

Next stop for CCIA, a "Stop DRM" Website?

Firefox Campus Edition Includes Zotero

The new Firefox Campus Edition incorporates Zotero from the Center for History and New Media at George Mason University.

Here's a description of Zotero from its About page:

Zotero is an easy-to-use yet powerful research tool that helps you gather, organize, and analyze sources (citations, full texts, web pages, images, and other objects), and lets you share the results of your research in a variety of ways. An extension to the popular open-source web browser Firefox, Zotero includes the best parts of older reference manager software (like EndNote)—the ability to store author, title, and publication fields and to export that information as formatted references—and the best parts of modern software and web applications (like iTunes and del.icio.us), such as the ability to interact, tag, and search in advanced ways. Zotero integrates tightly with online resources; it can sense when users are viewing a book, article, or other object on the web, and—on many major research and library sites—find and automatically save the full reference information for the item in the correct fields. Since it lives in the web browser, it can effortlessly transmit information to, and receive information from, other web services and applications; since it runs on one’s personal computer, it can also communicate with software running there (such as Microsoft Word). And it can be used offline as well (e.g., on a plane, in an archive without WiFi).

AltLaw.org Launch

The Columbia Law School and the University of Colorado Law School have launched AltLaw.org.

Here's a quote from the press release:

AltLaw.org contains nearly 170,000 decisions dating back to the early 1990s from the U.S. Supreme Court and Federal Appellate courts. The site’s creators, Columbia Law School’s Timothy Wu and Stuart Sierra, and University of Colorado Law School’s Paul Ohm, said the site’s database will grow over time. . . .

Wu said he envisions AltLaw.org being used by many groups—journalists, the public, lawyers who want to avoid the hundreds of dollars per hour in fees for proprietary law databases, and legal scholars who need quick and searchable access to cases at home or on the road. One of the assets to AltLaw.org’s design is that it is fast and simple to use, Wu said.

Ohm wrote the thousands of lines of code that download cases to AltLaw.org from more than a dozen court websites each night. He said the data comes from the courts themselves, and AltLaw.org is designed as an extremely open platform so that others can take the raw material and use it in various ways.

"This is what we call the 'law commons' part of the design," Ohm said. "The touchstone of AltLaw.org is openness, and this means that not only will users be able to search cases, but they'll also be able to make copies of all of the cases in our database to reuse or remix in any way that they'd like."

Google Scholar Digitization Program

According to the article "Changes at Google Scholar: A Conversation with Anurag Acharya," Google Scholar has begun a small-scale, targeted journal digitization effort.

Here's a quote from the article:

Representing another effort to reach currently inaccessible content, Google Scholar now has its own digitization program. “It’s a small program,” said Acharya. “We mainly look for journals that would otherwise never get digitized. Under our proposal, we will digitize and host journal articles with the provision that they must be openly reachable in collaboration with publishers, fully downloadable, and fully readable. Once you get out of the U.S. and Western European space into the rest of the world, the opportunities to get and digitize research are very limited. They are often grateful for the help. It gives us the opportunity to get that country’s material or make that scholarly society more visible.”

Source: Quint, Barbara. "Changes at Google Scholar: A Conversation with Anurag Acharya." NewsBreaks 27 August 2007.

Crawford's Public Library Blogs: 252 Examples Published

Walt Crawford has published Public Library Blogs: 252 Examples.

Here's an excerpt from his posting about the book:

Public Library Blogs: 252 Examples

Public Library Blogs: 252 Examples is now available at Cites & Insights Books. Price: $29.50 plus shipping and handling.
The 299-page 6×9 trade paperback (x+289 pages) features descriptions and sample posts for a wide range of blogs from 196 public libraries of all sizes, in the United States, Canada, Australia, Ireland and New Zealand.

If your library is considering a blog, this book should help you find blogs from comparable libraries to consider as examples. If your library has a blog and is considering more (or revising the ones you have), this book should help you find interesting examples–the public library blogging community is remarkably diverse!

For now, Public Library Blogs is only available from the Cites & Insights Books store at Lulu.com, printed on 60lb. cream book stock. In a few days, a version on bright white paper and with an ISBN will be available from CreateSpace–and, a couple of weeks after that, from Amazon.com

Interviews with Copyright and Other "Open" Activists from KRUU

KRUU has a series of digital audio interviews with copyright and other activists in the "open" movement. Here's a sample:

University of Minnesota Launches the Digital Conservancy

The University of Minnesota has launched its institutional repository, the Digital Conservancy. It utilizes DSpace.

Here's a description from the University Digital Conservancy FAQ page:

The University Digital Conservancy is a program of the University of Minnesota, administered by the University Libraries. The program provides stewardship, reliable long-term open access, and broad dissemination of the digital scholarly and administrative works of University of Minnesota faculty, departments, centers and offices. Materials in the Conservancy are freely available online to the University community and to the public.

Here are selected web pages about the Digital Conservancy:

Scholarly Electronic Publishing Weblog Update (8/22/07)

The latest update of the Scholarly Electronic Publishing Weblog (SEPW) is now available, which provides information about new scholarly literature and resources related to scholarly electronic publishing, such as books, journal articles, magazine articles, technical reports, and white papers.

Especially interesting are: "The Changing Landscape of Serials: Open Access Journals in the Public Catalog"; "DRIVER: Seven Items on a European Agenda for Digital Repositories"; "EThOSnet: Building a UK e-Theses Community"; "Incentivizing the Open Access Research Web Publication-Archiving, Data-Archiving and Scientometrics"; "Institutional Repositories and Their 'Other' Users: Usability Beyond Authors"; "Interoperability for the Discovery, Use, and Re-Use of Units of Scholarly Communication"; "Next-Generation Implications of Open Access"; "The PubMed Central Archive and the Back Issue Scanning Project"; and "The State of Scholarly Communications: An Environmental Scan of Emerging Issues, Pitfalls, and Possibilities."

For weekly updates about news articles, Weblog postings, and other resources related to digital culture (e.g., copyright, digital privacy, digital rights management, and Net neutrality), digital libraries, and scholarly electronic publishing, see the latest DigitalKoans Flashback posting.

Institutional Repositories: DOA?

Of late, an air of discouragement has begun to permeate discussions about institutional repositories. Of course, this is understandable. E-print deposit rates have been disappointing, deposit mandates hard to come by, and real operational costs have been higher than some imagined.

Are institutional repositories dead on arrival?

The answer is determined by our expectations.

If we expect swift, easy, rapid progress with university administrators and faculty enthusiastically rallying behind institutional repositories, the answer is "yes." The thrill of putting up the repository software and seeing the initial inflow of e-prints is, for many, gone; the experiment has failed; and it's time to cut our losses and move on.

On the other hand, if we expect that the establishment of fully functional institutional repositories will be a complex, lengthy, and expensive venture, we are on target, and remarkable progress has been made worldwide in a short period of time.

I'm in the latter camp. I cannot say this enough: successful institutional repositories are not primarily determined by technical factors, rather they are determined by attitudinal factors. In other words, faculty, especially key faculty such as holders of endowed chairs and journal editors, and university administrators, especially provosts and presidents, must be convinced that institutional repositories are essential infrastructure for the 21st century. For the most part, the argument rests on the scholarly communication crisis theme, with institutional repositories portrayed as part of the remedy. However, institutional prestige, institutional visibility, and improved citation impact factors are important themes as well. The successful, relentless communication of these themes to key constituencies is essential to the successful establishment of institutional repositories.

In my view, the best strategy for a institution without a repository is to start a vigorous scholarly communication outreach program first. The next best strategy is to do so in parallel with putting up an institutional repository. Next is to implement a scholarly communication program after the repository is up. The worst strategy is to put up a repository with no scholarly communication program—this is a recipe for failure.

So, chin up. It will take slow, steady effort to succeed, but it will be worth it in the end.

Look Out LexisNexis: Malamud Wants Free Access to Court Decisions

In a move that could change the $5 billion legal publishing marketplace, Carl Malamud, who established public.resource.org earlier this year, plans on making more than ten million court decisions freely available on the Internet.

Here's an excerpt from "A Quest to Get More Court Rulings Online, and Free":

Mr. Malamud has a significant track record in battling publishers over public information. In 1994 he began a crusade that ultimately persuaded the federal government to make records from the Securities and Exchange Commission and the Patent and Trademark Office available online to the public at no cost.

He said the free availability of that digital information did not undercut the businesses that were making money from the information at the time. . . .

The Public Resource effort is one of several attempts to make the nation's laws more accessible. One project, AltLaw (altlaw.org) is a joint effort by Columbia Law School’s Program on Law and Technology and the Silicon Flatirons program at the University of Colorado Law School to permit free full-text searches of the last decade of federal appellate and Supreme Court opinions.

Source: Markoff, John. "A Quest to Get More Court Rulings Online, and Free." The New York Times, 20 August 2007, B6.

Athabasca University Establishes AU Press, an Open Access Publisher

Athabasca University has established AU Press, which will publish open access books, journals, and other digital publications.

Here's an excerpt from the press release:

AU Press, Canada’s first 21st century university press, is dedicated to disseminating knowledge emanating from scholarly research to a broad audience through open access digital media and in a variety of formats (e.g., journals, monographs, author podcasts).

Our publications are of the highest quality and are assessed by peer review; however, we are dedicated to working with emerging writers and researchers to promote success in scholarly publishing.

Our geographical focus is Canada, the West, and the Circumpolar North, and we are mandated to publish innovative and experimental works that challenge the limits of established canons, subjects and formats. Series under development in several subject areas will promote and contribute to specific academic disciplines, and we aim to revitalize neglected forms such as diary, memoir and oral history.

At AU Press, we also publish scholarly websites with a particular focus on distance education and e-learning, labour studies, Métis and Aboriginal studies, gender studies and the environment.

Web/Web 2.0 Tools

Here’s a list of a few Web/Web 2.0 resources and tools that developers may find useful.

SPARC Canadian Author Addendum

The Canadian Association of Research Libraries (CARL) and SPARC (the Scholarly Publishing and Academic Resources Coalition) have released the SPARC Canadian Author Addendum.

Here's an excerpt from the press release:

Traditional publishing agreements often require that authors grant exclusive rights to the publisher. The new SPARC Canadian Author Addendum enables authors to secure a more balanced agreement by retaining select rights, such as the rights to reproduce, reuse, and publicly present the articles they publish for non-commercial purposes. It will help Canadian researchers to comply with granting council public access policies, such as the Canadian Institutes of Health Research Policy on Access to Research Outputs. The Canadian Addendum reflects Canadian copyright law and is an adaptation of the original U.S. version of the SPARC Author Addendum. . . .

An explanatory brochure complements the Addendum. Both the brochure and addendum are available in French and English on the CARL and SPARC Web sites and will be widely distributed. SPARC, in conjunction with ARL and ACRL, has also introduced a free Web cast on Understanding Author Rights. See http://www.arl.org/sparc/author for details.

Two EDUCAUSE Live! Podcasts: Cyberinfrastructure and Digital Libraries

Two EDUCAUSE Live! Podcasts have been released:

Portico Studying E-Book Preservation

Portico is launching a e-Book preservation study, which will last the rest of the year.

Here's an excerpt from the press release:

In response to several requests from publishers and libraries, Portico is conducting a study in order to assess how to extend its archival infrastructure and service to respond to the emerging need to preserve e-books. During the study we will analyze the structure and preservation needs of e-books and determine what adjustments to Portico's existing, operational and technological infrastructure and the economic model developed to support e-journal preservation might be required in order to respond to this new genre. Portico's e-journal archiving service was developed through a pilot project that drew heavily upon engagement with publisher and library pilot participants. We anticipate that a similar process will be essential in understanding how best to respond to the challenges of e-book preservation. . . .

The current participants in the E-Book Preservation study include:

Publishers

  • American Math Society
  • Elsevier
  • Morgan Claypool
  • Taylor and Francis

Libraries

  • Case Western Reserve University
  • Cornell University Library
  • McGill University
  • SOLINET
  • Texas University Libraries
  • University College of London
  • Yale University Library
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