After Israeli Court Orders HttpShare Blocked, It Has to Upgrade Hardware to Respond to Increased Traffic

After an Israeli court ordered ISP providers to block HttpShare, a torrent search engine and link-only site, traffic sharply increased as a result of news coverage. The site now has a banner that says "Big Thanks to IFPI that bring us alot traffic!"

Read more about it at "'IFPI Advertising' Boosts Visitors to Blocked File-Sharing Site," "IFPI Gets Israeli ISPs to Block Hebrew Peer-to-Peer Site," "IFPI Pressure Forces ISPs to Block Another File-Sharing Site," and "'Year of Filters' Turning into Year of Lawsuits against ISPs."

Gordon Tibbitts Named as Berkeley Electronic Press CEO

Berkeley Electronic Press, a low-cost scholarly journal publisher whose Digital Commons institutional repository software is widely used, has named Gordon Tibbitts, former President of Blackwell Publishing, as its Chief Executive Officer.

Here's an excerpt from the press release:

Tibbitts comes to bepress after seven years as President of Blackwell Publishing, where he grew the company into the world's leading society publisher, and led the effort to develop an online platform for Blackwell journals. Tibbitts first entered the publishing field in 1980 as Director of Information Systems at Aster Publishing (later Advanstar), before moving to the Thomson Corporation in 1993, where he served as a vice-president until 1999. He holds a BS degree in Computer Science and an MBA from the University of Oregon.

"Gordon Tibbitts is a great match for Berkeley Electronic Press," said Chairman and Co-founder Aaron Edlin. "The past years have seen some great successes at bepress, and we are poised for substantial growth. Gordon is the right person to make it happen—a dynamic, energetic leader with valuable technical and publishing experience and vision."

In addition to his 25 years of experience at major publishing firms, Tibbitts is a founder and board chair of CLOCKSS and board member of LOCKSS, and has served on the Google publishing advisory board and as an advisor to ScholarOne and Atypon Systems, Inc. He frequently speaks and moderates at publishing, library, and technology meetings.

Dealing with Research Data in a Federated Digital Repository: Oxford University Planning Document Released

The Oxford e-Research Centre has released Scoping Digital Repository Services for Research Data Management, a project plan for determining the requirements for handling data in a federated digital repository at Oxford University.

Here's an excerpt from the "Aims and Objectives" section:


  • Capture and document researchers’ requirements for digital repository services to handle research data.
  • Participate actively in the development of an interoperability framework for the federated digital repository at Oxford.
  • Make recommendations to improve and coordinate the provision of digital repository services for research data.
  • Initiate and develop collaborations with the different repository activities already occurring to ensure that communication takes place in between them.
  • Raise awareness at Oxford of the importance and advantages of the active management of research data.
  • Communicate significant national and international developments in repositories to relevant Oxford stakeholders, in order to stimulate the adoption of best practices.

NEH Awards $474,474 in Digital Humanities Start-Up Grants

The National Endowment for the Humanities has awarded $474,474 to Digital Humanities Start-Up Grants recipients.

Here's an excerpt from the press release:

Note: The We the People program encourages and strengthens the teaching, study, and understanding of American history and culture. Grants bearing this designation have been recognized for advancing the goals of this program.



University of Alaska, Fairbanks $50,000
Digital Humanities Start-Up Grants
Project Director: Siri Tuttle
We the People Project Title: Minto Songs Project Description: The collection, digitization, organization, and archival storage, as well as dissemination among the Minto Athabascan community, of recorded performances of Alaskan Athabascan songs.



University of Arizona $25,000
Digital Humanities Start-Up Grants
Project Director: Douglas Gann
Project Title: Virtual Vault
Project Description: Electronic access to the world's largest collection of whole pottery vessels from the American Southwest through digital renderings of Arizona State University's Pottery Vault and relevant prehistoric archaeological sites as well as interviews with anthropologists, conservators, and Native American potters.


Lake Forest

Lake Forest College $25,000
Digital Humanities Start-Up Grants
Project Director: Davis Schneiderman
We the People Project Title: Virtual Burnham Initiative
Project Description: The development of the Virtual Burnham Initiative (VBI), a multimedia project that would examine the history and legacy of Daniel H. Burnham's and Edward H. Bennett's Plan of Chicago (1909).


College Park

University of Maryland, College Park $11,708
Digital Humanities Start-Up Grants
Project Director: Matthew Kirschenbaum
Project Title: Approaches to Managing and Collecting Born-Digital Literary Materials for Scholarly Use
Project Description: A series of planning meetings and site visits aimed at developing archival tools and best practices for preserving born-digital documents produced by contemporary authors.



University of Massachusetts, Boston $24,748
Digital Humanities Start-Up Grants
Project Director: Joanne Riley
We the People Project Title: Online Social Networking for the Humanities: the Massachusetts Studies Network Prototype
Project Description: The development and evaluation of a social networking platform for the members of the statewide Massachusetts Studies Project.


Wheaton College $41,950
Digital Humanities Start-Up Grants
Project Director: Mark LeBlanc
Project Title: Pattern Recognition through Computational Stylistics: Old English and Beyond
Project Description: Development of a prototypical suite of computational tools and statistical analyses to explore the corpus of Old English literature using the genomic approach of tracing information-rich patterns of letters as well as that of literary analysis and interpretation.


Mississippi State

Mississippi State University $50,000
Digital Humanities Start-Up Grants
Project Director: Paul Jacobs
Project Title: Distributed Archives Transaction System
Project Description: Development of open source web tools for accessing online digitized collections in the humanities via a system that communicates with multiple database types while protecting the integrity of the original data sets.



Unaffiliated Independent Scholar $23,750
Digital Humanities Start-Up Grants
Project Director: Daniel Visel
Project Title: Sophie Search Gateway
Project Description: The development of an interoperable portal within the Web authoring program, "Sophie," for locating and incorporating multi-media sources from the Internet Archive.


Hofstra University $23,591
Digital Humanities Start-Up Grants
Project Director: John Bryant
We the People Project Title: Melville, Revision, and Collaborative Editing: Toward a Critical Archive
Project Description: The development of the TextLab scholarly editing tool to allow for analysis of texts that exist in multiple versions or editions, beginning with the Melville Electronic Library.

New York City

New York University $49,657
Digital Humanities Start-Up Grants
Project Director: Brian Hoffman
Project Title: MediaCommons: Social Networking Tools for Digital Scholarly Communication
Project Description: Development of a set of networking software tools to support a "peer-to-peer" review structure for MediaCommons, a scholarly publishing network in the digital humanities.



Brown University $49,992
Digital Humanities Start-Up Grants
Project Director: Julia Flanders
Project Title: Encoding Names for Contextual Exploration in Digital Thematic Research Collections
Project Description: The advancement of humanities text encoding and research by refining and expanding the automated representation of personal names and their contexts.



University of Texas, Austin $49,251
Digital Humanities Start-Up Grants
Project Director: Samuel Baker
Project Title: The eCommentary Machine Project
Project Description: Development of a web-based collaborative commentary and annotation tool.



University of Virginia $49,827
Digital Humanities Start-Up Grants
Project Director: Scot French
We the People Project Title: Jefferson's Travels: A Digital Journey Using the HistoryBrowser
Project Description: Development of an interactive web-based tool to integrate primary documents, dynamic maps, and related information in the study of history, with the prototype to be focused on Thomas Jefferson's trip to England in 1786.

More Bits Than Stars in the Sky: Report on Global Information Growth

The International Data Corp has released The Diverse and Exploding Digital Universe: An Updated Forecast of Worldwide Information Growth through 2011.

According to the report: "But the number of digital 'atoms' in the digital universe is already bigger than the number of stars in the universe. And, because the digital universe is expanding by a factor of 10 every five years, in 15 years it will surpass Avogadro's number." (Avogadro's number is 602,200,000,000,000,000,000,000.)

Read more about it at "Study: Digital Universe and Its Impact Bigger Than We Thought" and "Web Users Warned about Online Exposure."

Several Publisher Associations Release Joint Statement on Journal Publishing Agreements and Copyright Agreement Addenda

The International Association of Scientific, Technical & Medical Publishers (STM), the Professional/Scholarly Publishing Division of the Association of American Publishers (PSP), and the Association of Learned and Professional Society Publishers (ALPSP) have released the "STM/PSP/ALPSP Statement on Journal Publishing Agreements and Copyright Agreement 'Addenda'."

Here's an excerpt from the STM press release:

The debate on the rights that authors have (or indeed it is claimed inaccurately, do not have) over their published works continues to rage, and much coverage has been given to purportedly restrictive practices or policies, when in fact they do not exist for the majority of publishers.

The most recent examples surround the vote of the Faculty of Arts and Sciences at Harvard for university ownership and distribution of research papers (February 2008). One advocate of the Harvard policy claims that this step was taken because "the scholarly publishing system has become far more restrictive than it need be [… m]any publishers will not even allow scholars to use and distribute their own work." (See

This is not only an inaccurate perception of the role of publishers and copyright, but also means that advocating authors to modify existing journal publishing agreements with "copyright addenda" is simply a call for needless bureaucracy. . . .

STM publishers invariably allow the authors of journal articles to use their published papers in their own teaching and for educational purposes generally within their institutions. Most journals have policies that permit authors to provide copies of their papers to research colleagues, and to re-use portions of their papers in further works or books. Although some news-oriented science and medical magazines have a few restrictions on pre-publication posting, almost all research journals permit the posting by the author or the author's institution of some version of the paper on the Internet.

The Texas Digital Library Repository Is Live

Although there appears to have been no formal public announcement about its roll out, the DSpace-based Texas Digital Library Repository is available.

The TDL Repository contains some initial materials (mainly ETDs and Seventeenth-Century News) from three of the four founding TDL members (Texas A&M University at College Station, Texas Tech University at Lubbock, and the University of Texas at Austin; there are no materials from the University of Houston) as well as from the University of Texas at Arlington.

Using Open Journal Systems, TDL also provides access to the Journal of Digital Information, which is supported by the Texas A&M University Libraries.

The Texas Digital Library Shibboleth Federation has made progress in providing Shibboleth access to TDL for three of the four founding members (the status as of August 2007 was: Texas A&M University at College Station: fully deployed, Texas Tech University at Lubbock: agreement reached, and the University of Texas at Austin: fully deployed; there was no activity at the University of Houston). Progress was also being made for Shibboleth access for Baylor University, Texas State University, and the University of North Texas.

Essays from the Core Functions of the Research Library in the 21st Century Meeting

The Council on Library and Information Resources has released essays from its recent Core Functions of the Research Library in the 21st Century meeting.

Here's an excerpt from the meeting home page that lists the essays:

"The Future of the Library in the Research University," by Paul Courant

"Accelerating Learning and Discovery: Refining the Role of Academic Librarians," by Andrew Dillon

"A New Value Equation Challenge: The Emergence of eResearch and Roles for Research Libraries," by Richard E. Luce

"Co-teaching: The Library and Me," by Stephen G. Nichols

"Groundskeepers to Gatekeepers: How to Change Faculty Perceptions of Librarians and Ensure the Future of the Research Library," by Daphnee Rentfrow

"The Research Library in the 21st Century: Collecting, Preserving, and Making Accessible Resources for Scholarship," by Abby Smith

"The Role of the Library in 21st Century Scholarly Publishing," by Kate Wittenberg

"Leveraging Digital Technologies in Service to Culture and Society: The Role of Libraries as Collaborators," by Lee Zia

Presentations from the SCOAP3 US Focal Meeting

SCOAP3 (Sponsoring Consortium for Open Access Publishing in Particle Physics) has released presentations from its SCOAP3 US Focal meeting at the University of California at Berkeley.

Here is an excerpt from the announcement that lists the presentations:

To find out more about SCOAP3, see the About SCOAP3 page.

Approaches to Managing and Collecting Born-Digital Literary Materials for Scholarly Use Grant Awarded

The Maryland Institute for Technology in the Humanities, the Emory University Manuscript, Archives, and Rare Book Library, and the Harry Ransom Center have been awarded a NEH Digital Humanities Start-Up Grant for studying "Approaches to Managing and Collecting Born-Digital Literary Materials for Scholarly Use."

Here's an excerpt from the announcement:

The project, directed by Matthew Kirschenbaum, Associate Professor of English at the University of Maryland, will involve a series of site visits and planning meetings among personnel working with the born-digital components of three significant collections of literary material: the Salman Rushdie Papers at Emory University’s Manuscript, Archives, and Rare Book Library (which includes Rushdie’s laptops), the Michael Joyce Papers at the Harry Ransom Humanities Research Center at the University of Texas at Austin, and the Deena Larsen Collection at the Maryland Institute for Technology in the Humanities (MITH) at the University of Maryland. The meetings and site visits will facilitate the preparation of a larger collaborative grant proposal among the three institutions aimed at developing archival tools and best practices for preserving and curating the born-digital documents and records of contemporary literary authorship.

According to Kirschenbaum, "Today nearly all literature is born-digital in the sense that before it is ever printed as a book the text is composed with a word processor, saved on a hard drive or other electronic storage media, and accessed as part of a computer operating system. This new technological fact about writing means that an author working today will not and cannot be studied in the future in the same way as writers of the past, since the basic material evidence of their creative activity—manuscripts and drafts, working notes, correspondence, journals—is, like all textual production, increasingly migrating to the electronic realm. We look forward to the process of examining how to best meet these challenges, balancing the needs of both scholarship and archives in the new textual environment."

Stephen Enniss, Director of the Manuscript, Archives, and Rare Book Library at Emory, notes "The born-digital archive not only contains enormous data, it also contains enormous potential for literary scholars to pose new questions of the archive not even contemplated in the past." Thomas F. Staley, Director of the Ransom Center, comments "The Ransom Center is very pleased to be part of this vitally important project to explore how we can best preserve and make accessible the map of an author’s creative process in the digital age. This collaborative effort between the Ransom Center, MITH, and Emory will help lead the way in the preservation of born-digital materials and ensure that these materials are available to students and scholars for generations to come." Neil Fraistat, Director of MITH, adds "This project will deepen MITH’s focus on the preservation and analysis of born digital literary artifacts, which is already well established in its work with the Electronic Literature Organization and on an NDIIPP funded project on the preservation of virtual worlds."

Controversial Provision in the PRO-IP Act Dropped

The House Judiciary Subcommittee on the Courts, the Internet and Intellectual Property dropped a controversial provision of the Pro-IP Act (HR 4279, the Prioritizing Resources and Organization for Intellectual Property Act of 2007) that would have made infringers liable for damages for each part of a compilation work (e.g., each song on an album). The Subcommittee then approved the bill.

Read more about it at "House Panel Kills Controversial Copyright Provision," "Public Knowledge Comments on Intellectual Property Bill Action by House Subcommittee," and "Rep. Berman Pulls Controversial 'Compilations' Rule from PRO-IP Act."

InterConnections: The IMLS National Study on the Use of Libraries, Museums and the Internet Published

The Institute of Museum and Library Services has published InterConnections: The IMLS National Study on the Use of Libraries, Museums and the Internet. The full conclusions gives you the major findings.

Here's an excerpt from the press release:

IMLS sponsored this national study through a cooperative agreement with a University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill research team led by José-Marie Griffiths and Donald W. King, recognized leaders in information research. Their findings are based on five surveys of 1,000 to 1,600 adults each that were conducted during 2006. The study found that:

  • Libraries and museums are the most trusted sources of online information among adults of all ages, education levels, races, and ethnicities. Libraries and museums rank higher in trustworthiness than all other information sources including government, commercial, and private Web sites. The study shows that the public trust of museums and libraries migrates to the online environment.
  • The explosive growth of information available in the “Information Age” actually whets Americans’ appetite for more information. People search for information in many places and since the use of one source leads to others, museums, public libraries, and the Internet complement each other in this information-rich environment.
  • The Internet is not replacing in-person visits to libraries and museums and may actually increase onsite use of libraries and museums. There is a positive relationship between Internet use and in-person visits to museums and public libraries.

Open Access Advocate Jan Velterop Exits Springer to Join KnewCo

Springer has announced that Jan Velterop, Director of Open Access at that publisher, will leave Springer to become the CEO of KnewCo Inc. Knewco's mission is to: "deploy its advanced semantic technology to accelerate key elements of the scientific process, and specifically semantic enrichment of web-published content, to support on-line knowledge discovery."

Here's an excerpt from the press release:

Springer launched its Springer Open Choice service in July 2004 as a pioneering project which provides an additional publication option to the traditional subscription model. Authors can choose to make their articles freely available worldwide on the Internet, for a fee of 3,000 US dollars. Open Choice is Springer's response to the sometimes energetic debate on the open access publishing model.

Velterop is one of the most prominent figures of the open access community. He joined Springer in August 2005 from BioMedCentral, an established open access biomedical research publisher, where he was Publishing Director. . . .

"When I joined Springer to promote Open Choice, I did so knowing that it would not be enough to simply promote this service to authors in the scientific community. I realized that a large part of my role would be to convince publishers that open access was not a threat to established publishing companies, but rather an opportunity. I am happy to say that the reaction from authors and institutions was positive and that my colleagues have come to accept that Open Choice can be a valid alternative to the subscription model, especially in some disciplines," said Velterop. . . .

Springer will continue to develop Open Choice and remains committed to growing the share of articles published using open access. Wim van der Stelt, Executive Vice President of Business Development will be responsible for Springer Open Choice going forward.

New DigitalKoans Browse-by-Category Feature

Since DigitalKoans now has about 1,000 posts, it can be difficult to find posts using the built-in browsing tools in my blogging system. To help with this problem, I've installed software that organizes posts first by category and then by date, showing the post titles only. Although it is not as easy to navigate as I'd like it to be, this new browsing feature should speed up browsing posts by category.

You can access this new browsing feature using a link named "Category Index with Post Titles" that is located under the search box on the DigitalKoans home page.

Acta Crystallographica Section E Adopts Author-Pays OA Model and Creative Commons License

The International Union of Crystallography has adopted a very modest publication fee ($150) to support open access to Acta Crystallographica Section E: Structure Reports Online. It has also put the journal under a Creative Commons Attribution License.

Read more about it at "Acta Crystallographica E is Open Access."

SEASR (Software Environment for the Advancement of Scholarly Research)

The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation-funded SEASR (Software Environment for the Advancement of Scholarly Research) project is building digital humanities cyberinfrastructure.

Here's an excerpt about the project from its home page:

What can SEASR do for scholars?

  • help scholars to access existing large data stores more readily
  • provide scholars with enhanced data synthesis and query analysis: from focused data retrieval and data integration, to intelligent human-computer interactions for knowledge access, to semantic data enrichment, to entity and relationship discovery, to knowledge discovery and hypothesis generation
  • empower collaboration among scholars by enhancing and innovating virtual research environments

What kind of innovations does SEASR provide for the humanities?

  • a complete, fully integrated, state-of-the-art software environment for managing structured and unstructured data and analyzing digital libraries, repositories and archives, as well as educational platforms
  • an open source, end-to-end software system that enables researchers to develop, evolve, and maintain data interoperability, evaluation, analysis, and visualization

Read more about it at "Placing SEASR within the Digital Library Movement."

EDUCAUSE Urgent Call to Action about the College Opportunity and Affordability Act of 2007

EDUCAUSE has issued an urgent call for action by March 7 about the College Opportunity and Affordability Act of 2007, which contains a provision about illegal file sharing.

Here is the provision:

Section 494: Campus Based Digital Theft Prevention

(a) IN GENERAL—Each eligible institution participating in any program under this title shall to the extent practicable—

(2) develop a plan for offering alternatives to illegal downloading or peer-to-peer distribution of intellectual property as well as a plan to explore technology-based deterrents to prevent such illegal activity

See EDUCAUSE's talking points, action call template, and file-sharing resources. For further background, see "In a Win for the MPAA and RIAA, the College Opportunity and Affordability Act of 2007 Is Approved by the House Education and Labor Committee."

You can use Congress Merge to find contact information for your Congressional representatives.

Helping Researchers Understand and Label Article Versions: VERSIONS Toolkit Released

The VERSIONS (Versions of Eprints—A User Requirements Study and Investigation Of the Need for Standards) project has released the VERSIONS Toolkit.

Here's an excerpt from the "Introduction":

If you are an experienced researcher you are likely to be disseminating your work on a personal website, in a subject archive, or in an institutional repository already. This toolkit aims to:

  • provide peer-to-peer advice about managing personal versions and revisions in order to keep your options open for future use of your work
  • clarify areas of uncertainty among researchers about agreements with publishers and how these relate to different versions of research outputs
  • suggest ways to identify your work clearly when placing it on the web in order to guide your readers to the latest and best versions of your work
  • direct you to further resources about making versions of your work openly accessible

The toolkit draws on the results of a survey of researchers’ attitudes and current practice when creating, storing and disseminating different versions of their research. As such the guidance in the toolkit represents the views of active researchers. Survey respondents were predominantly from economics and related disciplines.

U.S. Computer Science Bachelors Graduates Drop to Decade Low, but New Enrollments Up Slightly

In 2006-2007, there were only 8,021 computer science bachelors degree graduates in the U.S., down from the decade peak of 14,185 in 2003-2004; however, new enrollments edged up slightly to 7,915 for the 2007 fall semester.

Read more about it at "'Chic Geek': Computer Science Major Rebounds" and "Computer Science Graduating Class of 2007 Smallest This Decade."