Scholarly Communication Institute 6: Humanities Research Centers, University of Virginia, July 13-15, 2008

The Scholarly Communication Institute has released Scholarly Communication Institute 6: Humanities Research Centers, University of Virginia, July 13-15, 2008.

Here's an excerpt:

In SCI 6, participants undertook an exploration of humanities research centers and their potential to advance technology-enabled scholarship. . . .

SCI 6 was designed to determine what collaborative actions a group of humanities centers might undertake that would promote technology-enabled scholarly communication. Though we are particularly interested in how new technologies can advance scholarship, the goal of this meeting was to engage centers organized in a variety of models and with differing orientations towards technology. . . .

A wide spectrum of research centers were represented at this institute: local, campus-based centers that serve all humanities and social science faculty; discipline-specific centers; a national center of excellence that formed around a rich collection of rare primary-source materials; a digital humanities center housed within an academic department; a digital humanities center that constitutes an academic department; a campus-based center that supports experimental work in digital humanities; and an international institute that relies on digital technologies to share multilingual resources and maintain an international network of collaborators. Also represented were several centers still in the development phase with explicit plans to focus on new technologies.

Beyond the Silos of the LAMs: Collaboration Among Libraries, Archives and Museums

OCLC Programs and Research has published Beyond the Silos of the LAMs: Collaboration Among Libraries, Archives and Museums.

Here's an excerpt:

The project that forms the basis of this report began in 2007, when RLG Programs initiated work on the program, Library, Archive and Museum Collaboration. The goal of the program was threefold: to explore the nature of library, archive and museum (LAM) collaborations, to help LAMs collaborate on common services and thus yield greater productivity within their institutions, and to assist them in creating research environments better aligned with user expectations—or, to reference this report’s title, to move beyond the often-mentioned silos of LAM resources which divide content into piecemeal offerings.

At the heart of the program was a series of workshops designed to be both exploratory and outcome-oriented. Workshop participants were asked to identify motivations and obstacles in the collaborative process and plan new collaborative projects and programs that addressed needs at their own institutions.

Five RLG Programs partner sites were selected to participate in the workshops: the University of Edinburgh, Princeton University, the Smithsonian Institution, the Victoria and Albert Museum, and Yale University.

Open Access to and Reuse of Research Data—The State of the Art in Finland

The Finnish Social Science Data Archive has published Open Access to and Reuse of Research Data—The State of the Art in Finland.

Here's an excerpt:

In 2006, the Ministry of Education in Finland allocated resources to the Finnish Social Science Data Archive (FSD) to chart national and international practices related to open access to research data. Consequently, the FSD carried out an online survey targeting professors of human sciences, social sciences and behavioural sciences in Finnish universities. Some respondents were senior staff at research institutes. The respondents were asked about the state and use of data collected in their department/institute. Almost half of the respondents considered the preservation and use of digital research data to be relevant to their department. The number of respondents (150) is large enough to warrant statistical analysis even though response rate was low at 28%.

Digital Repository Log Standards: Final Report: JISC Usage Statistics Review

JISC has released Final Report: Usage Statistics Review.

Here's an excerpt:

The JISC Usage Statistics Review Project is aimed at formulating a fundamental scheme for repository log files and at proposing a standard for their aggregation to provide meaningful and comparable item-level usage statistics for electronic documents like e.g. research papers and scientific resources. . . .

The thus described usage events should be exchanged in the form of OpenURL Context Objects using OAI. Automated access (e.g. robots) should be tagged. . . .

With the JISC-funded Publisher and Institutional Repository Usage Statistics (PIRUS) and the DFG-funded Open-Access-Statistics there are two projects which will formulate standards for usage statistics and work on their implementation. To reach broad comparability national efforts should be bundled together. A central authority—which could for example be the Digital Repository Infrastructure Vision for European Research (DRIVER)—should aggregate the usage data. . . .

Policies on statistics should be formulated for the repository community as well as the publishing community. Information about statistics policies should be available on services like OpenDOAR and RoMEO.

Major Copyright Law, the PRO-IP Act, Passed by Senate

The Prioritizing Resources and Organization for Intellectual Property Act (PRO-IP Act), formerly called the Enforcement of Intellectual Property Rights Act, has been passed by the Senate sans a controversial provision that would have given the Justice Department the ability the bring civil suits against infringers, a provision that the DoJ opposed. The provision to create an Intellectual Property Enforcement Coordinator, opposed by the White House, remained intact.

Read more about it at "IP Bill Passes Senate, No Civil Enforcement Power for DoJ," "Public Knowledge Statement on Senate Passage of Intellectual Property Legislation," "Senate Passes Bill Creating 'Copyright Czar,'" and "Stacking Penalties Upon Penalties (PRO-IP Passes Senate)."

ALA Urgent Call to Action on Orphan Works Bill

ALA has issued an urgent call to action about the Shawn Bentley Orphan Works Act of 2008. See ARL's "Orphan Works Legislation" briefing for background information.

You can contact your Congressional representatives to support the bill using ALA's Take Action page for the bill. (In Firefox, quotes do not appear properly in the prepared message. Replace diamonds with a question mark with straight quotes.)

Omeka 0.10 Alpha Released

The Center for History and New Media at George Mason University has released Omeka 0.10 Alpha. Omeka is used to provide access to digital collections and exhibitions (see the About page).

Here's an excerpt from the announcement:

In this version we’ve updated to a powerful new data model based on an unqualified Dubin Core standard. We’ve also improved the theme and plugin APIs to work with that data model and make it easier for plugin and theme creators to work with Omeka.

U.S. Departments of Commerce and Justice Oppose Title I of "Enforcement of Intellectual Property Rights Act"

The U.S. Departments of Commerce and Justice have sent a joint letter to Patrick Leahy, Chairman of the Senate Committee on the Judiciary, opposing Title I of the "Enforcement of Intellectual Property Rights Act."

Here's an excerpt:

We strongly oppose Title I of the bill, which not only authorizes the Attorney General to pursue civil remedies for copyright infringement, but to secure "restitution" damages and remit them to the private owners of infringed copyrights. First, civil copyright enforcement has always been the responsibility and prerogative of private copyright holders, and U.S. law already provides them with effective legal tools to protect their rights. . . .

Second, Title 1's departure from the settled framework above could result in Department of Justice prosecutors serving as pro bono lawyers for private copyright holders regardless of their resources. . . .

Third, the Department of Justice has limited resources to dedicate to particular issues, and civil enforcement actions would occur at the expense of criminal actions, which only the Department of Justice may bring.

Read more about it at "DoJ Agrees: IP Enforcement Bill is a Bad Idea" and "DoJ to Senate: Don't Make Us Be Big Content's Copyright Cops."

Judge in Capitol Records v. Jammie Thomas: Merely Making Available Not Enough for Infringement

United States District Court Judge Michael Davis has ruled in the widely publicized Capitol Records v. Jammie Thomas case that merely making a digital work available is not enough to constitute infringement, rather the work must be accessed and such access must be proved. Since this was not the instruction given to the jury, Thomas has been granted a new trial.

The judge also commented on the disproportionate size of the awarded damages ($222,000 for 24 songs):

While the Court does not discount Plaintiffs' claim that, cumulatively, illegal downloading has far-reaching effects on their businesses, the damages awarded in this case are wholly disproportionate to the damages suffered by Plaintiffs. Thomas allegedly infringed on the copyrights of 24 songs—the equivalent of approximately three CDs, costing less than $54, and yet the total damages awarded is $222,000—more than five hundred times the cost of buying 24 separate CDs and more than four thousand times the cost of three CDs. While the Copyright Act was intended to permit statutory damages that are larger than the simple cost of the infringed works in order to make infringing a far less attractive alternative than legitimately purchasing the songs, surely damages that are more than one hundred times the cost of the works would serve as a sufficient deterrent.

Read more about it at "Capitol v. Thomas: Judge Orders New Trial, Implores Congress to Lower Statutory Penalties for P2P"; "Judge Declares Mistrial in RIAA-Jammie Thomas Trial"; and "Thomas Verdict Overturned, Making Available Theory Rejected."

National Institutes of Health Director Resigns

The National Institutes of Health has announced the resignation of its Director, Elias A. Zerhouni, M.D., from that post effective at the end of October 2008. Zerhouni has been a strong open access advocate (Peter Suber has commented on the potential effect of his resignation on the NIH Public Access Policy.)

For further information, see "Federal Health Official to Step Down," "National Institutes of Health Director Zerhouni Stepping Down," and "NIH Director Departs."

American Libraries to Go Open Access

In a comment to Brian Kenney's "An Open and Shut Case: It's Time for ALA to Set Its Journals Free," Leonard Kniffel, Editor-in-Chief of American Libraries, says that the journal will be freely available this fall once the new ALA Website is up. (Thanks to Open Access News.)

For discussions of ALA and open access that have appeared in DigitalKoans, see: "On ALA, CLA, and Open Access" (6/11/08); "More about ALA, CLA, and Open Access" (6/12/08); "The American Library Association and Open Access" (7/23/06); and "More on ALA and Open Access" (7/25/06).

National Research Data Management for the UK: UKRDS Interim Report Released

The UK Research Data Service has released the UKRDS Interim Report.

The report recommends adopting a "Hybrid/Umbrella" model for managing research data in the UK. Here's an excerpt:

In this model ["Hybrid/Umbrella"], UKRDS acts as an umbrella organisation, representing the interests of many UK data repositories, both those based around single institutions and those based on storage for a single discipline. Such an organisation would be well-placed to act as a mediator, as a standards-setting body and as source of information about data archiving and repositories, perhaps in a similar fashion to the Digital Curation Centre (DCC). In time it might become a data repository in its own right or take on other functions as required. This approach brings the Shared Services model into the current environment of grid computing and cloud-based data storage, with an emphasis on distributed shared services, rather than centralised shared services. Although there are still risks associated with this model, they are lower than the previous two and more manageable. The exact structure of such an organisation would be dependent on circumstance and would need to take into account the requirements of the member organisations.

Bellinger Named Director of the Office of Digital Assets and Infrastructure at Yale

Meg Bellinger, Associate University Librarian for Integrated Access and Technical Services at the Yale University Library, has been named Director of the Office of Digital Assets and Infrastructure at Yale, a new position in the Provost's office that is responsible for university-wide digitization.

Read more about it at "Bellinger to Direct Digitizing Office."

Funded: Towards Interoperable Preservation Repositories (TIPR): A Demonstration Project

The Florida Center for Library Automation has received a $392,649 grant (matching amount: $392,764) from the Institute of Museum and Library Services for a two-year project titled "Towards Interoperable Preservation Repositories (TIPR): A Demonstration Project." The Cornell University Library and the New York University Libraries are FCLA's grant partners.

Here's an excerpt from the announcement:

Practical repository-to-repository transfer requires agreed-upon transfer protocols, enhancements to repository software applications, and a common standards-based transfer format capable of transporting rich preservation metadata and associated digital objects. Building on prior work, this project will define a transfer format, modify three different open source repository applications to import and export information packages in this format, and test a carefully developed set of use cases to verify the usability and flexibility of the format.

Identifying Factors of Success in CIC Institutional Repository Development: Final Report

The Graduate School of Library and Information Science at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign has released Identifying Factors of Success in CIC Institutional Repository Development: Final Report.

Here's the abstract:

With support from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, the GSLIS Center for Informatics Research in Science and Scholarship at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign undertook a one-year pilot study to investigate advances in institutional repository (IR) development. The aim was to learn about successes and challenges experienced by IR initiatives at university libraries that had made a substantial commitment to developing and sustaining an IR. Three sites were studied using the comparative case study method. They were purposefully selected to represent varying approaches to IR development undertaken at research libraries with similar missions and users.

Former Register of Copyrights Says NIH Public Access Policy Will "Destroy the Commercial Market" for "Scientific, Technical, and Medical Journals"

In testimony yesterday before the Subcommittee on Courts, the Internet, and Intellectual Property of the House of Representatives' Committee on the Judiciary, Ralph Oman, former Register of Copyrights of the United States and Pavel Professorial Lecturer in Intellectual Property Law Fellow at the George Washington University Law School, said that the NIH Public Access Policy will "destroy the commercial market" for "scientific, technical, and medical journals."

Here's an excerpt from Oman's testimony:

My basic concern about the NIH proposal is that it will, sooner rather than later, destroy the commercial market for these scientific, technical, and medical journals. If this dark prophesy comes to pass, who, I wonder, will handle all of these expensive and sensitive administrative details? Some of my academic colleagues are confident that this change in the mechanics of scientific publishing will have little or no impact on the private sector, and that it will remain as robust as ever, even if the NIH freely publishes all of the NIH peer-reviewed article manuscripts shortly after private publication. Some claim that they have "evidence" that STM publishing will continue to flourish. I have not seen that evidence. To me, it suggests an element of wishful thinking. In my experience, Congress is normally reluctant to hang major legislative change in copyright policy on the thin reed of wishful thinking. With the prospect of free copies available in the near term, who in the face of experience and reality can reasonably expect that subscribers to STM journals, faced with their own budgetary constraints and needs, will not look with real favor on alternative free sources? I can’t. It is belied by common sense. Certainly, many university and industry librarians will cancel their subscriptions to these learned journals, with some estimates of a cancellation rate approaching 50 percent. With plummeting sales, how could the STM publishers stay in business? This is a critical point, and one that this committee has a special sensitivity to. It really goes to the heart of the matter, in terms of public policy.

Dr. Martin Frank, Executive Director American Physiological Society, was also critical of the policy.

Here's an excerpt from Frank's testimony:

Because the NIH mandate in effect reduces copyright protection for publications to only one year, it risks undermining the revenue stream derived principally from subscriptions, that enables publishers to add value to research articles and to enhance readers’ ability to discover and use scientists’ work. As the number of full-text articles based upon NIH-funded science in PMC increases, concern grows that current journal subscribers will access the text from that website, rather than from the journal’s own online site. Over time, this is bound to cause subscription cancellations. If publication costs cannot be recovered through subscriptions, journals will try to recover them through author fees or similar mechanisms that would reduce funds available for research by amounts much greater than the cost of subscriptions. We are gravely concerned that the funding base of some journals may become eroded to the point where they can no longer adequately serve their communities and will be forced to implement or increase their authors' fees at a time when funding levels are shrinking. In both cases, researchers are disadvantaged—in one case by having less freedom to choose where to publish, or what community to reach, and in the other, failing to have adequate resources to fund research designed to develop treatments and cures for disease.

Here are links to testimony from the "Fair Copyright in Research Works Act" hearing:

Read more about it and related news at: "Congressional Committee Moves to Block NIH Public Access Policy," "At Hearing, Witness Says NIH Policy Will 'Destroy' Commercial Scientific Publishing," "More on Attempts to Undo the NIH Policy," "New Bill Would Forbid Copyright Transfer as a Condition for Federal Funding," and "Two Public Statements from the Anti-OA Lobby."

Public Knowledge Warns That Pending Copyright Bills Are a "Perfect Storm"

Public Knowledge has posted a summary of three copyright bills (and a rumor of a possible bill) that it says constitutes "a perfect storm of bad copyright legislation."

Analyzed in the post are the Enforcement of Intellectual Property Rights Act of 2008, the Fair Copyright in Research Works Act, the International Intellectual Property Protection and Enforcement Act of 2008, and the broadcast flag.

NIH Public Access Policy Alert: Text of the Fair Copyright in Research Works Act Now Available

As reported previously in DigitalKoans ("Is the NIH Public Access Policy in Danger? House Subcommittee to Hold Hearing"), the Subcommittee on Courts, the Internet, and Intellectual Property of the House of Representatives' Committee on the Judiciary will hold a hearing on the "Fair Copyright in Research Works Act" on 9/11/2008. (See the post for contact information for Subcommittee members.)

The text of that bill is now available.

Copyright Extension Will Help Most EU Performing Artists? Guess Again

The Open Rights Group has analyzed the EU Commission's Impact Assessment on the Legal and Economic Situation of Performers and Record Producers in the European Union report and found that only music companies and a small number of performers will benefit significantly from a proposed copyright term extension.

Here's an excerpt from "As Little as 50¢ a Year from Increased Term of Copyright."

Our submission shows that for the vast majority of performers the projected extra sales income resulting from term extension is likely to be meagre: from as little as 50¢ each year in the first ten years, to as "much" as £26.79 each year. That’s because most of the gains (89.5%) will go to the top 20% of recording artists. Meanwhile the major labels will be dividing up millions in extra handouts every year.

Read more about it at "80% of Artists Would Get ‹£30/year from Copyright Extension."

New Fedora Commons HatCheck Newsletter

Fedora Commons has published a new issue of its HatCheck newsletter.

Highlights include: