E-Science Talking Points for ARL Deans and Directors

The Association of Research Libraries has released E-Science Talking Points for ARL Deans and Directors.

Here's an excerpt:

The term "e-science" is roughly—though not precisely—synonymous with "Cyberinfrastructure;" where the latter term is prevalent in the United States, e-science predominates in the United Kingdom and elsewhere in Europe. Both terms refer to the use of networked computing technologies to enhance collaboration and innovative methods in research. "e-science," however, has a more specific focus on scientific research, whereas Cyberinfrastructure is more inclusive of fields outside the sciences and engineering, and incorporates greater emphasis on supercomputing resources and innovation.

Production Release of Object Reuse and Exchange Specifications

The Object Reuse and Exchange (OAI-ORE) project has released the first production version of its Object Reuse and Exchange specifications.

Here's an excerpt from the press release:

These standards provide the foundation for applications and services that can visualize, preserve, transfer, summarize, and improve access to the aggregations that people use in their daily Web interaction: including multiple page Web documents, multiple format documents in institutional repositories, scholarly data sets, and online photo and music collections. The OAI-ORE standards leverage the core Web architecture and concepts emerging from related efforts including the semantic web, linked data, and Atom syndication. As a result, they integrate both with the emerging machine-readable web, Web 2.0, and the future evolution of networked information. . . .

The documents in the release describe a data model to introduce aggregations as resources with URIs on the web. They also detail the machine-readable descriptions of aggregations expressed in the popular Atom syndication format, in RDF/XML, and RDFa.

Institutional Repositories: Strategies for the Present and the Future

A preprint of "Institutional Repositories: Strategies for the Present and the Future," written by Jean-Gabriel Bankier, Connie Foster, and Glen Wiley, is now available. Bankier is the President of the Berkeley Electronic Press, Foster is the Head of the Department of Library Technical Services at the Western Kentucky University Libraries, and Wiley is Metadata Librarian at the Cornell University Library.

University of Michigan Library Will Use Creative Commons Licenses for Its Works

The University of Michigan Library has announced that it will use Creative Commons Attribution-Non-Commercial licenses for works that it creates for which the Regents of the University of Michigan hold the copyrights.

Here's an except from the press release:

University Librarian Paul Courant said, "Using Creative Commons licenses is another way the University Library can act on its commitment to the public good. By marking our copyrighted content as available for reuse, we offer the University community and the public a rich set of educational resources free from traditional permissions barriers." . . .

All original copyrighted material that is created by Library staff and in which the copyright belongs to the Regents of the University of Michigan will be available under the Creative Commons Attribution-Non Commercial license. This includes bibliographies, research guides, lesson plans, and other resources. For some samples of the kinds of excellent resources that will now be available for adaptation and re-use, see our many Library Research Guides http://www.lib.umich.edu/guides/, the Usability Studies produced by the Library's Usability Working Group http://www.lib.umich.edu/usability/projects/projects.html, or the tutorials for using spatial and numeric data http://www.lib.umich.edu/nsds/spatial_tutorials/.

The Library has begun attaching Creative Commons licenses to content throughout its website, but some pages do not include the license code yet. The licenses will be fully integrated into the Library's new website design, scheduled for release in Fall 2008.

Welcome to the Filtered Internet: No Opt-Out for Australians

Australia's Plan for Cyber-Safety will not offer an Internet filtering opt-out. Rather, Australians will have to choose between two filtered options: one blocks inappropriate content for children, the other "illegal" content.

Read more about it at "Australians Censor the Internet," "Australia Continues Down the Slippery Slope of Censorship. . . 'For The Children,' of Course," and "No Opt-Out of Filtered Internet."

Nix to Remix: YouTube Acts on Takedown Notices from Networks about McCain Campaign Videos

YouTube has immediately acted on takedown notices from networks such as CBS and Fox News about McCain campaign videos, removing the allegedly infringing videos. The campaign has sent a protest letter to YouTube regarding the takedowns.

Here's an excerpt:

Numerous times during the course of the campaign, our advertisements or web videos have been the subject of DMCA takedown notices regarding uses that are clearly privileged under the fair use doctrine. The uses at issue have been the inclusion of fewer than ten seconds of footage from news broadcasts in campaign ads or videos, as a basis for commentary on the issues presented in the news reports, or on the reports themselves.

Regarding the letter, Gigi Sohn, President of Public Knowledge, said:

It is ironic that the McCain/Palin campaign sent its letter to YouTube complaining about that company’s take-down procedures on the same day that President Bush signed the Pro-IP Act, which is yet another bill written by the big media companies that adds yet more imbalance to our copyright laws.

Read more about it at "McCain Campaign Feels DMCA Sting," "McCain Letter Shows Imbalance in Copyright Law," and "McCain/Palin Campaign Angry over Bogus DMCA Takedowns."

President Bush Signs PRO-IP Copyright Bill

President Bush has signed the Prioritizing Resources and Organization for Intellectual Property Act (PRO-IP Act). In addition to strengthening infringement penalties, the bill creates an Intellectual Property Enforcement Coordinator position (commonly known as the "Copyright Czar") in the Office of the President.

Read more about it at "Bush Signs RIAA-backed Intellectual-Property Law," "President Bush Approves 'Copyright Czar' Bill," and "Stacking Penalties upon Penalties (PRO-IP Passes Senate)."

It's Open Access Day, Open Access Scholarly Publishers Association Launches

It's Open Access Day, and the Open Access Scholarly Publishers Association has officially been launched.

Here's an excerpt from the press release:

The Open Access Scholarly Publishers Association, OASPA, announces its official launch today in conjunction with an OA Day celebration hosted by the Wellcome Trust in London. The mission of OASPA is to support and represent the interests of Open Access (OA) journals publishers globally in all scientific, technical, and scholarly disciplines through an exchange of information, setting of industry standards, advancing business and publishing models, advocating for gold OA journals publishing, education and the promotion of innovation.

From having first emerged as a new publishing model over a decade ago, OA publishing has become an embedded feature of the scholarly publishing landscape: The Directory of Open Access Journals (DOAJ) lists over 3500 peer-reviewed journals; a growing number of professional organizations offer OA publications; university libraries increasingly support OA publishing services; funding organizations support and encourage OA publishing; and a long tail of independent editorial teams and societies now publish their titles OA. Professional OA publishers such as BioMed Central and the Public Library of Science (PLoS) have been in business for over five years, while some scientist/scholar publishers (editorial teams operating independently of a professional publisher) have published their OA journals for a decade or more. Moreover, a number of traditional publishing houses are now engaging in Open Access activities, the recent acquisition of BioMed Central by Springer and the SAGE-Hindawi partnership being two cases in point. By bringing together those who share an interest in developing appropriate business models, tools and standards to support OA journals publishing, it is hoped that success in these areas can be achieved more quickly to the benefit of not only OASPA members, but more importantly, for the scholarly community that OA publishers serve.

Membership in OASPA is open to both scholar publishers and professional publishing organizations, including university presses and for profit and non-profit organizations. Members are expected to demonstrate a genuine interest in OA journals publishing by having signed either the Berlin or Budapest Declarations and must publish at least one full OA journal. Other individuals and organizations who support OA journals publishing or who are interested in exploring opportunities are also welcome. Membership criteria and an application form can be found on the OASPA website, www.oaspa.org.

The founding members of OASPA represent a broad spectrum of OA publishers and include: BioMed Central, Co-Action Publishing, Copernicus, Hindawi Publishing Corporation, Journal of Medical Internet Research (Gunther Eysenbach), Medical Education Online (David Solomon), the Public Library of Science (PLoS), SAGE, SPARC Europe and Utrecht University Library (Igitur). Representatives from each of these publishers will form an interim board until a first General Meeting is held during 2009.

Scholarly Publishing Practice, Third Survey 2008: Academic Journal Publishers' Policies and Practices in Online Publishing

ALPSP has released Scholarly Publishing Practice, Third Survey 2008: Academic Journal Publishers' Policies and Practices in Online Publishing. It is available for purchase by non-ALPSP members.

Here's an excerpt from the press release:

Key findings include:

  • Publishers—especially large publishers and commercial publishers are launching new journals at a higher rate than in 2005.
  • The growth trajectory of online availability has been steady since 2003. There is still some difference between the disciplines, with 96.1% of STM and 86.5% of arts, humanities and social science titles accessible online.
  • Pricing models are just as complex and varied as they were in 2005. Most publishers use a variety of means to establish prices. It is notable that fewer publishers are providing online access free with print and instead are offering online-only subscriptions.
  • Open access advocacy has clearly had an effect on publishers' thinking. The proportion of publishers offering optional open access to authors has grown from 9% in 2005 to 30% in 2008. However, the take-up of the author pays open access option is exceedingly low.
  • Licensing terms have become more generous, as publishers have become more comfortable with the use of digital content, including allowing use in Virtual Learning Environments and repurposing to create learning objects.
  • Publishers' practice on authors' rights is changing. Fewer publishers now require authors to transfer copyright to the publisher and will instead accept a licence to publish.
  • The growth of institutional and subject based repositories has prompted a rethink on authors' rights to post their articles on the web. Large publishers have relaxed prohibitions on posting pre-prints, but have imposed embargoes on the final accepted version.
  • Publishers are at different stages of development in their implementation of Web 2.0 technologies, with 20% enabling collaborative tagging and between 10% and 15% implementing forums, blogs and podcasts for a journal.

PEER Project to Examine Large-Scale "Green" Open Access Impacts

The PEER (Publishing and the Ecology of European Research) project will examine "the effects of the large-scale, systematic depositing of authors' final peer-reviewed manuscripts . . . on reader access, author visibility, and journal viability, as well as on the broader ecology of European research." The project will conclude in 2011.

Here's an excerpt from the press release:

The aim of PEER is to build a substantial body of evidence, by developing an 'observatory' to monitor the effects of systematic archiving over time. Participating publishers will collectively contribute 300 journals to the project and supporting research studies will address issues such as:

  • How large-scale archiving will affect journal viability
  • Whether it increases access
  • How it will affect the broader ecology of European research
  • Which factors influence the readiness to deposit in institutional and disciplinary repositories and what the associated costs might be
  • Models to illustrate how traditional publishing systems can coexist with self-archiving

The International Association of Scientific, Technical and Medical Publishers (STM), the European Science Foundation, Gottingen State and University Library, the Max Planck Society and INRIA will collaborate on PEER, supported by the SURF Foundation and University of Bielefeld, which will contribute the expertise of the EU-funded DRIVER project.

Committee on Institutional Cooperation and University of California Launch HathiTrust, Shared Digital Repository

The Committee on Institutional Cooperation and the University of California System's university libraries have launched the HathiTrust, a shared digital repository.

Here's an excerpt from the press release:

A group of the nation’s largest research libraries are collaborating to create a repository of their vast digital collections, including millions of books, organizers announced today. These holdings will be archived and preserved in a single repository called the HathiTrust. Materials in the public domain will be available for reading online. . . .

Launched jointly by the 12-university consortium known as the Committee on Institutional Cooperation (CIC) and the 11 university libraries of the University of California system, the HathiTrust leverages the time-honored commitment to preservation and access to information that university libraries have valued for centuries. UC’s participation will be coordinated by the California Digital Library (CDL), which brings its deep and innovative experience in digital curation and online scholarship to the HathiTrust.

"This effort combines the expertise and resources of some of the nation’s foremost research libraries and holds even greater promise as it seeks to grow beyond the initial partners," says John Wilkin, associate university librarian of the University of Michigan and the newly named executive director of HathiTrust. Hathi (pronounced hah-TEE), the Hindi word for elephant incorporated into the repository’s name, underscores the immensity of this undertaking, Wilkin says. Elephants also evoke memory, wisdom, and strength.

As of today, HathiTrust contains more than 2 million volumes and approximately ¾ of a billion pages, about 16 percent of which are in the public domain. Public domain materials will be available for reading online. Materials protected by copyright, although not available for reading online, are given the full range of digital archiving services, thereby offering member libraries a reliable means to preserve their collections. Organizers also expect to use those materials in the research and development of the Trust.

Volumes are added to the repository daily, and content will grow rapidly as the University of California, CIC member libraries, and other prospective partners contribute their digitized content. Also today, the founding partners announce that the University of Virginia is joining the initiative.

Each of the founding partners brings extensive and highly regarded expertise in the areas of information technology, digital libraries, and project management to this endeavor. Creation of the HathiTrust supports the digitization efforts of the CIC and the University of California, each of which has entered into collective agreements with Google to digitize portions of the collections of their libraries, more than 10 million volumes in total, as part of the Google Book Search project. Materials digitized through other means will also be made available through HathiTrust.

Read more about it at "University Libraries in Google Project to Offer Backup Digital Library."

Long-Term Preservation: Results from a Survey Investigating Preservation Strategies amongst ALPSP Publisher Members

The Association of Learned and Professional Society Publishers has released Long-Term Preservation: Results from a Survey Investigating Preservation Strategies amongst ALPSP Publisher Members.

Here's an excerpt from the press release:

  • The majority of ALPSP publishers who responded to the survey believe long-term preservation to be a critical issue: 91% either agreed or strongly agreed with the statement "Long-term preservation is an issue which urgently needs to be addressed within the industry." 9% were neutral; no-one disagreed.
  • ALPSP publishers are strongly motivated to engage with preservation because of its critical importance to their customers, with over 90% of respondents citing this as a major motivating factor: a heartening response for those in the library community.
  • Although 68% of publishers reported understanding of preservation issues within their organisation to be either 'good' or 'reasonable', the survey also revealed a wide range of concerns suggesting an overall lack of confidence, at least for the present. The survey revealed a strong desire amongst almost all publishers for the development of 'best practice' and industry standards.
  • There is some confusion surrounding the nature and extent of publisher participation in long-term preservation schemes, with high numbers of respondents declaring their organisation to be participating in one or more initiatives and yet the schemes themselves reporting substantially lower numbers presently taking part.
  • Publisher views on who should take responsibility for long-term preservation also reveal some interesting contradictions: despite presently supporting a range of preservation schemes, a significant majority of publishers indicated they would in fact prefer other groups and institutions to take this responsibility on. National libraries in particular were a popular choice.
  • Finally, the survey revealed most publishers are clear about the distinction between ensuring long-term access and ensuring long-term preservation, with the majority believing they have clear responsibility for long-term access. A worryingly high number however admit to either not trusting their present strategy or not currently having any strategy to deliver here.

UM Scholarly Publishing Office Releases Economics and Usage of Digital Libraries: Byting the Bullet

The Scholarly Publishing Office of the University of Michigan Library has released an open access monograph, Economics and Usage of Digital Libraries: Byting the Bullet. It is edited by Wendy Pradt Lougee (University Librarian, University of Minnesota) and Jeffrey K. MacKie-Mason (Arthur W. Burks Collegiate Professor of Information and Computer Science, School of Information, University of Michigan).

Here's an excerpt from the press release:

In the late 1990's, researchers and digital library production staff at the University of Michigan collaborated on deploying the Pricing Economic Access to Knowledge project (PEAK), a full-scale production-quality digital access system to enable usage of content from all of Elsevier's (then about 1200) scholarly journals, and at the same time to conduct a field experiment to answer various questions about the interplay between pricing models and usage. The experiment culminated in a lively conference that engaged scholars, library practioners and publishers. This volume captures some of the most interesting and provocative discussions to come out of that conference. PEAK was a ground-breaking effort in its day, and references to the project have continued over time. It raised important questions about the potential for highly functional journal content and new economic models of publishing. In today’s context of socially-enabled systems and open-access publishing, the motivating questions of PEAK remain relevant.

Microsoft Releases Research-Output Repository Platform Beta 1 and OfficeSWORD

Microsoft Research has released Research-Output Repository Platform Beta 1 and Savas Parastatidis, Architect in the Technical Computing @ Microsoft group, has released OfficeSWORD.

Here's an excerpt from the Research-Output Repository Platform's download page:

The platform is based on Microsoft's technologies (SQL Server 2008 and .NET Framework version 3.5 SP1) hence taking advantage of their robustness, their quality support infrastructure, and the plethora of developer-focused documentation. New applications on top of the platform can be developed using any .NET language and the Visual Studio 2008 SP1 environment. The platform focuses on the management of research assets—such as people, papers, lectures, workflows, data, and tags—as well as the semantic relationships between them. Support for various services such as full-text search, OAI-PMH, RSS and Atom Syndication, BibTeX import and export, SWORD, AtomPub, and OAI-ORE are included as part of the distribution.

Here's an excerpt from "SWORD Plugin for Word 2007":

During discussions with the Fedora Commons and DSpace communities, it was suggested to us that an open source plugin for Word 2007 that talks with any repository service through SWORD would be a good idea. I finally managed to put some time aside to develop such a plugin and upload it to Codeplex. You'll need VS.NET 2008 SP1 to load the code and run it (there is currently no separate installer I am afraid but we are working on one).

New Zealand's New Copyright Law Will Terminate Internet Service to Repeat Infringers

With the exception of the controversial Section 92A, New Zealand's Copyright (New Technologies) Amendment Act 2008 will become effective on 10/31/08. According to a government press release, Section 92A has "a requirement for internet service providers to have, and reasonably implement, a policy for termination of accounts of repeat copyright infringers in appropriate circumstances." It will become effective on 2/28/09.

Read more about it at "Copyright Bill Provisions Trample Kiwi Rights Further, Experts Say" and "ICT Industry Moves to Address Copyright Confusion."

Reactions to AAA's Free Access after 35-Year Embargo Decision

In "Open Access or Faux Access?," Scott Jaschik of Inside Higher Ed has rounded up some initial reactions to the American Anthropological Association's decision to provide free access to American Anthropologist and Anthropology News after a 35-year embargo period.

Perhaps stunned that the AAA, a well-known OA opponent, would make any move towards free access, two anthropologists on the Savage Minds blog seemed to feel that, on balance, this was a positive move forward. On the other hand, Patricia Kay Galloway of the University of Texas at Austin School of Information called the notion that this move constituted open access "just crap."

Read more about it at "AAA 'Goes OA': The Emphasis Should Be on 'First Step'" and "Open Access and 'Open Access'."

Springer Will Acquire BioMed Central Group, Major Open Access Publisher

Springer Science+Business Media will acquire the BioMed Central Group, a major open access publisher that publishes over 180 journals.

Here's an excerpt from the press release:

BioMed Central was launched in May 2000 as an independent publishing house committed to providing free access to peer-reviewed research in the biological and medical sciences. . . .

BioMed Central’s flagship journals include Journal of Biology, BMC Biology, BMC Medicine, Malaria Journal, BMC Bioinformatics and Genome Biology. BioMed Central has revenues of approximately EUR 15 million per year. The company is based in London, with a second office in Liverpool, and has approximately 150 employees.

Derk Haank, CEO of Springer Science+Business Media said: "This acquisition reinforces the fact that we see open access publishing as a sustainable part of STM publishing, and not an ideological crusade. We have gained considerable positive experience since starting Springer Open Choice in 2004, and BioMed Central’s activities are complementary to what we are doing. Additionally, this acquisition strengthens Springer’s position in the life sciences and biomedicine, and will allow us to offer societies a greater range of publishing options."

Matthew Cockerill, Publisher of BioMed Central said: "We are very excited about this new phase of BioMed Central's growth and development. Springer has been notable among the major STM publishers for its willingness to experiment with open access publishing. BioMed Central has demonstrated that the open access business model can work, and we look forward to continued rapid growth as part of Springer. The support of our authors, journal editors and institutional customers has been vital to BioMed Central's success and we will continue to focus on offering the best possible service to these groups."

Peter Suber has commented on the potential implications of the sale for the open access movement.