University of Calgary Becomes Beta Development Partner for Summon Unified Discovery Service

The University of Calgary has become a beta development partner for Serials Solutions' Summon unified discovery service.

Here's an excerpt from the press release:

Serials Solutions, a business unit of ProQuest, has added University of Calgary as a beta development partner for the Summon™ unified discovery service. A variety of new content providers, including BMJ, an international peer-reviewed medical journal and subsidiary of the British Medical Association have also signed onto the Summon™ service. BMJ joins nearly 100 content providers along with key partners ProQuest and Gale–aggregators representing more than 4,700 publishers.

The Summon™ service is a pioneer in creating Google-like searching of the full breadth of content found in library collections. In the case of University of Calgary, library archives and museum collections will be integrated too, enabling users to find books and videos, e-resources at the article level, as well as manuscripts and artifacts, all from a simple, obvious starting point.

"We are a unique cultural institution supporting research, a museum, a university press, along with archives and special collections," said Tom Hickerson, Vice Provost and University Librarian, Libraries and Cultural Resources, at University of Calgary. "We've been actively searching for ways to provide integrated access to the diversity of our resources, enhancing discovery of an entirely new spectrum of information. I'm optimistic that the Summon service is the mechanism that can do that."

The goal of the Summon™ service is to not only bring the user back to the library as the starting place for research, but to also provide a channel for greater return on the library's content investment. The role of the beta partners is to ensure the service is tracking against those goals, providing feedback from the field. University of Calgary librarians, archivists and curators will initially test and use the Summon™ service. Then, they will move it to an open beta in May, getting feedback from faculty and student users. Other partners who are already testing include Dartmouth College, Oklahoma State University, University of Sydney, University of Liverpool and Western Michigan University


Preprint: “Where There’s a Will There’s a Way?: Survey of Academic Librarian Attitudes about Open Access”

College & Research Libraries has made a preprint of "Where There’s a Will There’s a Way?: Survey of Academic Librarian Attitudes about Open Access" available. (C&RL preprints are only available prior to publication.)

Here's an excerpt:

Academic libraries are becoming increasingly involved in scholarly communication through work with institutional repositories and other open access models. While academic librarians are being encouraged to promote these new models, their opinions about open access have not been documented. This article reports on the results of a national survey conducted in the summer of 2006 of academic librarians' attitudes toward open access principles and related behaviors. While attitude responses were largely positive, there were differences in levels of support related to respondents' job descriptions and funding of open access activities. Surveyed librarians appear to be more comfortable with tasks that translate traditionally held responsibilities, such as educating others, to the open access environment. Most significant is the discrepancy between stated support of library involvement in open access initiatives and significantly lacking action toward this end. The results offer insight into how open access proponents may better focus their advocacy efforts.


Digital Videos from Columbia’s Scholarly Communication Program’s Research without Borders 2008-2009 Program

A complete set of digital videos from Columbia University's Scholarly Communication Program's "Research without Borders" 2008-2009 program is now available.

Here's an excerpt from the press release:

The inaugural year of Research without Borders featured speakers at the forefront of the open access movement as well as experts in scholarly publishing, information policy, and copyright law. Harvard Professor Stuart Shieber kicked off the series in the fall semester, tracing the development of Harvard Faculty of Arts and Sciences' Open Access Policy. The second panel, with Marian Hollingsworth from Thomson Reuters, Jevin West of, and Johan Bollen of the MESUR project, debated the controversial Impact Factor, a metric of scholarly journals' prominence. Helen Tartar and Sanford Thatcher, leaders of Fordham and Penn State University Presses, respectively, joined Columbia Libraries' Ree DeDonato for the third event, which focused on the future of scholarly monographs.

The spring semester opened with a discussion on the benefits of open science with Bora Zivkovic of the Public Library of Science, Jean-Claude Bradley of Drexel University, and Barry Canton of OpenWetWare and Ginkgo BioWorks. In March, UCLA's Christine Borgman, author of Scholarship in the Digital Age (2007), spoke to a packed room on information infrastructure and policy. The final event explored the implications of copyright trends for research, featuring SPARC's Heather Joseph, Michael Carroll of Washington Law School at American University, and Kenneth Crews of the Columbia University Copyright Advisory Office.

The Research Without Borders series will continue in the 2009-10 academic year with six new events on topics including scholarly blogging, open data, and open-access business models. Stay connected to the Program by following ScholarlyComm at, by joining the Scholarly Communication Program Facebook group, and through the iTunesU page. For more information on the Program and the series, please email Kathryn Pope at, or visit


African Journals Online Migrates to Open Journal Systems Platform

African Journals Online has migrated all of its journals to Open Journal Systems.

Here's an excerpt from the press release:

At 346 journals from 26 countries, AJOL is the world’s largest online collection of African journals, but until now, has included only tables of content, abstracts, and journal information on the website. As of the beginning of May, 60% of the 40,000 plus articles on AJOL will be available for immediate download. By the end of 2009, AJOL aims to have 100% of its growing collection fully full-text online.

The updated site and the new functionality are possible due to a close collaboration between AJOL and the Public Knowledge Project (PKP), developers of Open Journal Systems (OJS)—the open source software which powers the AJOL service. AJOL is also supported by its donor partners, INASP and the Ford Foundation.

AJOL receives an average of 60,000 visits per month, 30% of which are from the African continent and over 15% from other parts of the developing world. The global researcher community and the authors and institutions whose work is published in the portal benefit from this increased access and visibility of African knowledge provided by AJOL. The new portal helps AJOL achieve its greater goal of shifting global flows of scholarly information, so that the importance of research published from the global south is more equitably represented.

AJOL allows for both Subscription-based and Open Access journals to be hosted for free on the site, with article downloads to toll journals being processed by AJOL and income sent on to the originating journals, less AJOL cost-recovery. In the future, AJOL will begin providing access to journal management functions of OJS to its partner Open Access journals, as a way to improve editorial quality and lower production costs.


ACRL, ALA, and ARL File Comments about Google Book Search Settlement

The American Library Association, the Association of College and Research Libraries, and the Association of Research Libraries have filed comments with the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York regarding the Google Book Search Copyright Class Action Settlement.

Here's an excerpt from the press release:

Representing over 139,000 libraries and 350,000 librarians, the associations filed the brief as members of the plaintiff class because they are both authors and publishers of books. The associations asserted that although the settlement has the potential to provide public access to millions of books, many of the features of the settlement, including the absence of competition for the new services, could compromise fundamental library values including equity of access to information, patron privacy, and intellectual freedom. The court can mitigate these possible negative effects by regulating the conduct of Google and the Book Rights Registry the settlement establishes.

"While this settlement agreement could provide unprecedented access to a digital library of millions of books, we are concerned that the cost of an institutional subscription may skyrocket, as academic journal subscriptions have over the past two decades," Erika Linke, President of ACRL, said. . . .

Jim Rettig, President of ALA, said the proposed settlement "offers no assurances that the privacy of what the public accessed will be protected, which is in stark contrast to the long-standing patron privacy rights libraries champion on behalf of the public."


Paperback Version: Scholarly Electronic Publishing Bibliography: 2008 Annual Edition

Digital Scholarship has published the Scholarly Electronic Publishing Bibliography: 2008 Annual Edition by Charles W. Bailey, Jr. as a paperback book. The paperback book is available from Lulu for $40. It is 231 pages long, 8.5" x 11", and has perfect binding. The book is under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial 3.0 United States License.

SEP [Scholarly Electronic Publishing Bibliography] is compiled with utter professionalism. It reminds me of the work of the best artisans who know not only every item that leaves their workshops, but each component used to create them—providing the ideal quality control. . . . The selection of items is impeccable. I have yet to find journal articles irrelevant to the scope of the bibliography. SEP could be used as a benchmark in evaluating abstracting/indexing databases that proudly claim to have coverage of electronic publishing, but do not come close to SEP." Jacsó, Péter. "Peter's Picks & Pans." ONLINE 27, no. 3 (2003): 73-76. (Full review)

Digital Scholarship receives about $25 per copy from the sale of the book, which helps subsidize the continued publication of the freely available digital versions of the Scholarly Electronic Publishing Bibliography and other Digital Scholarship publications. At present, Digital Scholarship does not carry external advertising or receive any other kind of external support. Between 4/20/05 and 4/30/09, Digital Scholarship received over 19 million file requests from over 3.9 million visitors from 220 countries.

book cover


Peter Suber Receives Joint Fellowship at Harvard Office for Scholarly Communication and the Harvard Law School Library

Congratulations to Peter Suber, who has received a Berkman Center for Internet & Society joint fellowship at the Harvard Office for Scholarly Communication and the Harvard Law School Library. He will "be focusing on Open Access documentation efforts, as well as outreach around Open Access, across Harvard and beyond."

In his advocacy efforts for the open access movement, Suber has been a tireless speaker and a prolific author, noted for his exceptionally lucid, insightful, and well-reasoned commentary.

Here's an excerpt from Stevan Harnad's "Peter Suber Appointed Berkman Fellow at Harvard" post:

A brilliant choice, and eminently well-deserved. Peter—whose historic contributions to the growth of OA have been spectacularly successful—will continue his invaluable OA work, but this Fellowship will also make it possible for him to begin writing the books on OA and related matters that are welling up in him, and that the world scholarly and scientific research community (as well as the historians of knowledge) are eagerly waiting to read, digest and learn from for years to come.


NorthEast Research Libraries Consortium Releases Budget Crisis Letter to Publishers

The NorthEast Research Libraries consortium has released a letter to publishers about the current collection development budget crisis its members face.

Here's an excerpt from the letter:

Financial officers in NERL institutions have been given–and shared with NERL–quite specific targets for budget discipline for the next 2 or more years. For example, in NERL's home institution, Yale University, reductions in our collections budget for FY 2009-2010 will be on the order of 10%, with a likely additional 5% already mandated for 2010-2011. Similar stories are told on many sides, with some of the heaviest impacts on the institutions among us that are the largest and have been the beneficiaries of important university endowments. Average actual dollar cuts across the NERL consortium are in the range of (minus) 4-5%, which we currently estimate as impacting overall buying power against normal increases on the order of (minus) 8-10%. . . .

Our goal with you and other information providers similarly placed is to find ways to achieve net price reductions in both next year and the year after. We hope to do this strategically and in partnership with you, in a way that allows us to stabilize a new working relationship on which to build in the years to follow. With some imagination and creativity, we hope we can strike new pricing models, or perhaps a menu of such models, which will enable institutions to do best by their faculty and students.

I hope and expect that we can do this thoughtfully, collegially, and in a spirit of mutual understanding and respect, realizing that the structural adjustments of these coming two years will impact and reduce permanently our ability to purchase content at pre-2008-09 levels.


Digital Library Jobs: Digital Projects Specialist at University of California at Irvine

The University of California at Irvine Libraries are recruiting a Digital Projects Specialist (one-year appointment).

Here's an excerpt from the ad:

The UCI Libraries seek an experienced professional in the field of digital project management to support the Libraries' digital services. This is a temporary one-year appointment. The incumbent will explore, adapt, and support library information technologies for digital projects, including the application of standards, metadata, discovery interfaces, workflow design, production coordination, and quality controls appropriate to specific projects. Reporting to the Head of Information Technology, the successful candidate will work collaboratively with a variety of Libraries' staff involved in digital preservation, management, and scholarship.


Library IT Jobs: Lead Information Technology Specialist at Library Of Congress

The Library Of Congress is recruiting a Lead Information Technology Specialist.

Here's an excerpt from the ad:

The Lead IT Specialist (Application Development and Infrastructure) is responsible for application design and configuration, testing, writing documentation of application and functions and making recommendations for purchases of specialized hardware and associated software as needed, as related to web site content that conforms to W3C and Section 508 accessibility standards. Additional responsibilities include troubleshooting and development of new code and the maintenance of existing web site content.


Digital Video: Know Your Rights: Who Really Owns Your Scholarly Works?

The Scholarly Communication Program at Columbia University Libraries/Information Services has released Know Your Rights: Who Really Owns Your Scholarly Works? (Thanks to Digital & Scholarly.)

Here's the announcement:

In this panel discussion, experts on copyright law and scholarly publishing discuss how scholars and researchers can take full advantage of opportunities afforded by digital technology in today's legal environment, and suggest ways to advocate for positive change. The panelists are Heather Joseph, who has been Executive Director of the Scholarly Publishing and Academic Resources Coalition (SPARC); Michael Carroll, Visiting Professor of Law at American University's Washington College of Law and a founding member of the Board of Directors of Creative Commons; and Director of the Columbia University Copyright Advisory Office Kenneth Crews, whose research focuses on copyright issues, particularly as they relate to the needs of scholarship at the university.


Profile of Todd Carpenter, Managing Director of NISO

The Society for Scholarly Publishing has published a profile of Todd Carpenter, who is the Managing Director of the National Information Standards Organization.

Here's an excerpt:

[SSP] Where do you see scholarly communications heading, and what new directions interest you most?

[Carpenter] I see the following as critical areas that are in most desperate need of attention in our community: discovery, license and ownership questions, and preservation. On the questions of discovery, thanks to Google, we seem to have forgotten all of the advances in organization that libraries have developed over decades in finding information and have turned to rely solely on keyword searching. This works well enough 80% of the time. The problem is that people have become satisfied with the 80% results that Google returns in fractions of a second, not understanding that there may be something critical in that remaining 20%. Incorporating into search classification structures, ontologies, and improved semantics—all common under different guises in the print world—is a critical component to ensuring that ALL relevant content is visible to users. . . .

The directions that interest me most include ebooks and display technology, identification of items, people and content, and copyright. The next transformation of our industry will likely be in how people access digital content—moving away from the desktop to something that more resembles the experience of using a book. Much of this will depend on developments with display technology, digital ink, and battery power. How people interact with content is going to come down to better solutions for identification of people and content. Control of access to content will be driven by advances in identity management. This likely won't come out of the publishing world (more likely banking or government), but will have incredible ramifications on how scholarship and all content is distributed. Finally, sharing and reuse of content is not likely to be contained by the current rules for copyright. Restructuring those rules to acknowledge and allow what most people want to do with content will be a key question worth watching if copyright is to continue to have any respect by end-users of content.


Digital Library Jobs: Interface Programmer at Michigan’s Scholarly Publishing Office

The Scholarly Publishing Office at the University of Michigan University Library is recruiting an Interface Programmer (two-year term appointment with the possibility of renewal).

Here's an excerpt from ad:

The SPO Interface Programmer works in a team environment for online publishing of scholarly literature and is primarily responsible for implementing interfaces for a broad variety of scholarly publications, making contributions to interface design and usability testing, using open standards and open-source software. The Interface Programmer will also contribute to the design and development of online publishing tools, including content management systems.

Work will primarily focus on coding publication-specific interface customizations for SPO's locally developed publishing platform, DLXS (see Other projects may include: system-wide improvements to the DLXS interface; implementation of content management system for digitalculturebooks (an online book series); interface support for collaborative publishing projects with the University of Michigan Press; interface specification for a database of 20 disciplinarily related journals; assessment and implementation of strategies to increase the discoverability of SPO publications; participation in a review of electronic publishing platforms.