EdSpace: An Educationally Focussed Repository for the University of Southampton. Final Report.

JISC has released EdSpace: An Educationally Focussed Repository for the University of Southampton. Final Report..

Here's an excerpt:

For some years, digital content has been stored in our VLE, but the VLE does not encourage sharing or re-use. EdShare is intended to act as the storage for the VLE, storing our everyday teaching materials such as presentations, hand-outs, reading lists, assignments etc., so that they can easily be viewed by others and re-used in whole or part as appropriate.

Important design principles of this share were:

  • Ease of use The share should be open to anyone to access, whether logged-in or not; any logged in member of the university can upload resources and comment on others. The user interface should be simple to use and fully accessible
  • Minimal metadata We acknowledge that requiring metadata is a barrier to use, and that search engines do a large part of the job based on free text. Web 2.0 style recommendations complement the search engines
  • Permanent URLs Every share entered in EdShare, and the description of the resource, are allocated unique and permanent URLs, which can be used to refer to them from external programs – for example VLEs such as Blackboard
  • Open Access to the descriptions, but user controlled access to the content. Anyone in the world can browse or search to discover what items are in EdShare (i.e. they can see the description), but the depositing user can control the visibility of the actual resource. The default is to allow visibility within the university, but it is possible to make the visibility wider (the whole world) or narrower (only my school, or even only the depositor and named collaborators). . . .

EdShare has been implemented as open source software on top of E-Prints, and the team are committed to working with others in supporting other institutions, or cross-institutional disciplinary consortia, to make both the technical and educational changes that we have benefited from.

Peter Sefton on ThesICE (ICE for Theses)

In "ICE for Theses (ThesICE), Where We Are We Up To?," Peter Sefton, Manage of Software Research and Development Laboratory at the Australian Digital Futures Institute, discusses ThesICE (ICE for Theses).

Here's an excerpt:

Assuming that you have the resources to support ICE, which I’ll cover below there are a few reasons why an institution might want to use it for theses specifically.

  • It provides a well tested general purpose way to design templates, with a standard set of style names, so even if none of the other features appeal ICE templates might. . . .

  • You can present theses in HTML as well as PDF. . . .

    It is possible to deposit from ICE into a repository via SWORD APP; we have plugins for ePrints and Fedora only at the moment, not for Dspace which is what they use at ANU.

  • It provides annotation services . . . If you are running ICE either from a desktop or the server version then you can collaborate via paragraph-level annotations, but at the moment we don’t have a way to do the workflow that would be required to allow examiners to do this. . . .

  • You can integrate data into a document via links, making it Linked Data at least, we have proved the concept on the ICE-TheOREM project, but this would need to be worked out discipline by discipline.

National Diet Library to Digitize Around 920,000 Titles

The Japan Times reports that the National Diet Library will digitize around 920,000 titles.

Here's an excerpt:

In Japan, the Copyright Law was revised June 12, enabling the National Diet Library to digitize its books. The fiscal 2009 supplementary budget allocates ¥12.6 billion for digitizing about 920,000 titles or about one-fourth the books owned by the library in one to two years' time.

PLoS Currents = E-Biomed 2.0?

In "E-Biomed 2.0?," Richard Poynder discusses PLoS Currents in the historical content of the National Institutes of Health's ill fated 1999 E-Biomed proposal.

Here's an excerpt:

Looking back one is bound to ask: Was the E-Biomed proposal really so radical and, as some at the time argued, dangerous? As Varmus explained in his proposal, papers posted on E-Biomed would get there by one of two routes: "(i) Many reports would be submitted to editorial boards. These boards could be identical to those that represent current print journals or they might be composed of members of scientific societies or other groups approved by the E-biomed Governing Board. (ii) Other reports would be posted immediately in the E-biomed repository, prior to any conventional peer review, after passing a simple screen for appropriateness."

"SCOAP3: A Key Library Leadership Opportunity in the Transition to Open Access"

Heather Morrison has self-archived "SCOAP3: A Key Library Leadership Opportunity in the Transition to Open Access" in the SFU Institutional Repository.

Here's an excerpt:

The SCOAP3 consortium aims to transition the whole of High Energy Physics (HEP) publishing from a subscription to an open access basis. SCOAP3 currently has commitments for more than 63% of the projected 10 million Euros per year budget, from partners in more than 21 countries, including more than 50 libraries and consortia in the U.S. Full participation from the U.S., a leader in HEP research, is both essential and particularly challenging, as the U.S. does not have a national coordinating body that can make one commitment for the country, as many other countries do. While the work to undertake this commitment for the library should not be underestimated – figuring out subscription costs when journals are part of a big deal, often through a consortium – neither should the benefits be underestimated. In brief, the benefits are the optimum access that comes with open access—full open access to the publisher's PDF for everyone, everywhere; a model for transitioning to open access that involves no financial risk, as commitments are capped at current subscriptions expenditures, and SCOAP3 is addressing the issue of unbundling successful journals from big deals and reducing costs accordingly; future financial benefits as a transparent, production-based pricing model for scholarly communication introduces competition into a market where it has been lacking; gaining publisher acceptance of library advocacy efforts for open access by addressing a key concern of publishers (financing the journals in an open access environment) and perhaps most importantly, establishing a leadership role for libraries in a future for scholarly communication that will be largely open access. As Douglas (2009) explains, "To move forward in achieving open access, U.S. libraries that subscribe to any of the five journals that are considered 100 percent convertible to SCOAP3 (European Physical Journal C, Journal of High Energy Physics, Nuclear Physics B, Physical Review D, and Physics Letters B) need to participate". If this describes your library, please go to the SCOAP3 website, now, to learn more and participate in this innovative global collaboration that can be a model, not only for transitioning to open access, but also for how humankind can work cooperatively across borders to accomplish a great good that will benefit all of us.

Digital Collaboratives Grant Project Coordinator at BCR

BCR is recruiting a Digital Collaboratives Grant Project Coordinator (two-year position).

Here's an excerpt from the ad:

The digital collaboratives grant project coordinator will establish a project management framework to implement BCR’s NEH grant, including a detailed timeline; infrastructure using Web 2.0 technology for communicating with faculty and workshop participants; and a project website. Working with faculty, the project coordinator will develop a workshop structure and learning materials and, in collaboration with BCR staff, create and execute workshop promotional program to assure attendance. The coordinator will assist in writing project reports.

"A Taxonomy of Articles in PubMed Central"

In "A Taxonomy of Articles in PubMed Central," Jim Till examines the open access characteristics of articles deposited in PubMed Central that were published between April 7, 2008 and August 7, 2008.

Here's an excerpt:

Summary: The total number of articles published in the 4-month interval (April 7 to August 7, 2008) and contributed to PMC was 23960. The four subtypes of articles in PMC, and their estimated proportions during this 4-month interval, are: 1) Author manuscripts that are publicly accessible (7346/23960=30.7%); 2) Articles that are embargoed (378/23960=1.6%); 3) Articles that are Libre OA (3635/23960=15.2%); 4) Other articles that are publicly accessible, via Gratis OA (12601/23960=52.5%). These proportions are probably not very different for the subset of NIH-supported articles, if it's assumed that, during this 4-month interval, about 50-60% of the articles contributed to PMC were NIH-supported.

Michael Smith Foundation for Health Research's Open Access Policy

The Michael Smith Foundation for Health Research, which is funded by the Government of British Columbia, adopted an "Open Access to Research Outputs Policy" on July 6, 2009. (Thanks to Be Openly Accessible or Be Obscure.)

Here's an excerpt:

All MSFHR Award Recipients who receive an award or an award renewal after July 7, 2009 must ensure that all final peer-reviewed journal manuscripts that arise from research supported by that award (in whole or in part) are made freely accessible through either the Publisher's website or an online repository within six months of publication.

The Policy applies to any manuscript that is supported from funding in whole or in part from a MSFHR Award. The manuscript must be peer-reviewed and is accepted for publication in a journal on or after July 7, 2009. This includes all graphics and supplemental materials that are associated with the article. The Policy does not apply to non-peer-reviewed materials such as book chapters, reports, monographs, conference proceedings and editorials.

Additionally, Award Recipients are now required to deposit bioinformatics, atomic, and molecular coordinate data, as already required by most journals, into the appropriate public database immediately upon publication of research results.

Authors are encouraged, but are not required, to submit final peer-reviewed manuscripts accepted before July 7, 2009, if they have appropriate copyright permission. MSFHR Award Recipients are responsible for ensuring that any publishing agreements concerning submitted manuscripts fully comply with this Policy.

Microsoft, Yahoo, Internet Archive, Library Associations, and Others Forming Coalition to Fight Google Book Search Settlement

The Wall Street Journal and other news sources are reporting that a powerful new coalition is being formed to fight the Google Book Search Copyright Class Action Settlement. Amazon, the American Society of Journalists and Authors, the Internet Archive, Microsoft, the New York Library Association, the Special Libraries Association, Yahoo have been named as potential participants. Antitrust lawyer Gary L. Reback will work with the coalition.

Read more about it at "Google Rivals Will Oppose Book Settlement," "Tech's Bigs Put Google's Books Deal in Crosshairs," and "Tech Giants Unite against Google."

"Why is the Antitrust Division Investigating the Google Book Search Settlement?"

In "Why is the Antitrust Division Investigating the Google Book Search Settlement?," noted copyright expert Pamela Samuelson examines the DOJ Antitrust Division's investigation of the Google Book Search Copyright Class Action Settlement.

Here's an excerpt:

My concerns about the competition-policy consequences of the settlement center on the market for institutional subscriptions. The settlement gives Google the right to have and make available the contents of a universal library of books. Anyone else could build a digital library with public domain books and whatever other books it could license from publishers or BRR. But no one else can offer a comparably comprehensive institutional subscription service because only Google has a license to all out-of-print books. Google's optimistic estimate is that only 10 percent of the books in the corpus will really be "orphans," but 10 percent is still roughly two million books. Suppose the real percentage of orphans is closer to 30 percent and another 20 percent of those whom BRR tries to sign up tell the BRR reps to get lost.

"Open Access to Journal Content as a Case Study in Unlocking IP"

Roger Clarke and Danny Kingsley have published "Open Access to Journal Content as a Case Study in Unlocking IP" in the latest issue of SCRIPTed.

Here's an excerpt:

The Internet has brought with it both means to disseminate and access content, and an enhanced expectation that content will generally be readily accessible. This has threatened entrenched for-profit activities, which have long prospered on closed, proprietary approaches to publishing, facilitated by anti-consumer provisions in copyright laws. The ePrints and Open Access (OA) movements have been complemented by the emergence of electronic repositories in which authors can deposit copies of their works.

The accessibility of refereed papers published in journals represents a litmus test of the extent to which openness is being achieved in the face of the power of corporations whose business model is dependent on the exploitation of intellectual property (IP). A specification of the requirements for "Unlocking IP" in refereed papers is presented and applied, leading to the conclusion that a great deal of progress appears to have been made. The copyright arrangements applied by most publishers enable authors to self-deposit PrePrints of their papers on their own web-sites and in open repositories; and in many cases authors can also self-deposit the PostPrint, i.e. the author's copy of the final version.

The theoretical success of the OA, ePrints and repositories movements has not – or at least not yet – resulted in success in practice. This is because only a small proportion of papers are actually self-deposited, and a large proportion of refereed papers continue to be accessible only through highly-expensive subscriptions to journals and journal-collections controlled by for-profit publishers. The unlocking of IP in refereed papers is therefore still very much a work-in-progress. Moreover, the gains may be ceded back to the for-profit publishing industry, unless concerted efforts are made within academe.

eIFL-IP Draft Law on Copyright Including Model Exceptions and Limitations for Libraries and Consumers

Electronic Information for Libraries has released eIFL-IP Draft Law on Copyright Including Model Exceptions and Limitations for Libraries and Consumers.

Here's an excerpt from the announcement:

The eIFL-IP Draft Law on Copyright is a practical guide to assist librarians, as well as their legal advisors and policy makers, when national laws are being updated. It contains provisions that support access to knowledge and the public interest of libraries and consumers.

The eIFL-IP Draft Law reflects contributions from international library and archive copyright experts, and amends and improves the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) Draft Law On Copyright And Related Rights (version 2005), previously available online

Harold Varmus Announces Experimental Open Access Publication, PLoS Currents: Influenza

Harold Varmus has announced an experimental open access publication, PLoS Currents: Influenza.

Here's an excerpt from the announcement:

PLoS Currents: Influenza, which we are launching today, is built on three key components: a small expert research community that PLoS is working with to run the website; Google Knol with new features that allow content to be gathered together in collections after being vetted by expert moderators; and a new, independent database at the National Center for Biotechnology Information (NCBI) called Rapid Research Notes, where research targeted for rapid communication, such as the content in PLoS Currents: Influenza will be freely and permanently accessible. To ensure that researchers are properly credited for their work, PLoS Currents content will also be given a unique identifier by the NCBI so that it is citable. . . .

To enable contributions to PLoS Currents: Influenza to be shared as rapidly as possible, they will not be subject to in-depth peer review; however, unsuitable submissions will be screened out by a board of expert moderators led by Eddie Holmes (Center for Infectious Disease Dynamics, Pennsylvania State University, USA) and Peter Palese (Department of Microbiology, Mount Sinai School of Medicine, USA).

The key goal of PLoS Currents is to accelerate scientific discovery by allowing researchers to share their latest findings and ideas immediately with the world's scientific and medical communities. Google Knol's features for community interaction, comment and discussion will enable commentary and conversations to develop around these findings. Given that the contributions to PLoS Currents are not peer-reviewed in detail, however, the results and conclusions must be regarded as preliminary. In time, it is therefore likely that PLoS Currents contributors will submit their work for publication in a formal journal, and the PLoS Journals will welcome these submissions.

EFF Raises Concerns over Privacy Issues in Goggle Book Search

In "Warrants Required: EFF and Google's Big Disagreement about Google Book Search," Cindy Cohn discusses the Electronic Frontier Foundation's concerns over privacy issues in Google Book Search.

Here's an excerpt:

One of the most important of those protections is the assurance that your browsing and reading habits are safe from fishing expeditions by the government or lawyers in civil cases. In order to maintain freedom of inquiry and thought, the books we search for, browse, and read should simply be unavailable for use against us in a court of law except in the rarest of circumstances. We have other concerns about Google Book Search as well—concerns and data collection, retention, and reader anonymity—so this won't end the debate, but safeguards against disclosure are a central point of concern for us. . . .

Given this backdrop, we asked Google to promise that it would fight for those same standards to be applied to its Google Book Search product. . . .

Unfortunately, Google has refused. It is insisting on keeping broad discretion to decide when and where it will actually stand up for user privacy, and saying that we should just trust the company to do so. So, if Bob looks like a good guy, maybe they'll stand up for him. But if standing up for Alice could make Google look bad, complicate things for the company, or seem ill-advised for some other reason, then Google insists on having the leeway to simply hand over her reading list after a subpoena or some lesser legal process. As Google Book Search grows, the pressure on Google to compromise readers' privacy will likely grow too, whether from government entities that have to approve mergers or investigate antitrust complaints, or subpoenas from companies where Google has a business relationship, or for some other reason that emerges over time.

Associate University Librarian for Publishing at the University of Michigan

The University of Michigan Library is recruiting an Associate University Librarian for Publishing.

Here's an excerpt from the ad:

As a member of the University Library's senior leadership, the Associate University Librarian for Publishing (AUL for Publishing) will direct the scholarly publishing activities at the University of Michigan by overseeing the University of Michigan Press, the Scholarly Publishing Office, the Library’s Institutional Repository Deep Blue, and the Library’s Copyright Office. The AUL for Publishing will lead the development of content delivery through a financially sustainable publishing program, involving both print and electronic models, and will represent the University Library in national and international conversations about the future of scholarly publishing. This position is located within the University Library system and reports to the University Librarian.

"The Regulation of Creativity Under the WIPO Internet Treaties"

Ruth Okediji, Professor at the University of Minnesota Law School, has self-archived "The Regulation of Creativity Under the WIPO Internet Treaties" in SSRN.

Here's an excerpt:

The WIPO Copyright Treaty and the WIPO Performances and Phonograms Treaty (WIPO Internet Treaties) recite a need for a digital copyright framework to facilitate 'adequate solutions to questions raised by new economic, social, cultural and technological developments.' It can hardly be contested that the social and cultural developments to which the Treaties refer do not derive from the cultural or economic conditions (much less technological developments) of the developing and least-developed countries. Consistent with their predecessors, the WIPO Internet Treaties marginalize collaborative forms of creative engagement with which citizens in the global South have long identified and continue in the tradition of assuming that copyright’s most enduring cannons are culturally neutral. Recently, however, the rise of Web 2.0 and the salience of new forms of creativity mediated by digital technologies and social networking sites have exposed structural tensions in copyright laws of OECD countries similar to those which developing countries have historically raised in opposition to the Berne Convention. This Essay reviews the evolution of the WIPO Internet Treaties and argues that the framework established just over a decade ago is increasingly less relevant in addressing the challenges of creativity in the digital age. The Treaties do not provide a meaningful basis for a harmonized approach to encourage new creative forms in much the same way the Berne Convention fell short of embracing diversity in patterns and modes of authorial expression. The growing social and legal recognition of new forms of creativity enabled through digital technologies offers an important opportunity to challenge anew claims that globally mandated copyright norms can effect incentives to create that are relevant across geographical, cultural and technological boundaries.

"Towards Scholarly HTML"

Peter Sefton has posted an e-print of his forthcoming Serials Review article "Towards Scholarly HTML" (dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.serrev.2009.05.001) on ptsefton.

In an attempt to comply with Elsevier's author agreement, he states:

At the moment that link seems to resolve to an open version of the article, whether or not you have a subscription to the journal but I guess that will change; when it is "published" you will only see the article if you are clicking from inside a network that's on their list of subscribers. If not, you will need money to see it. But I can post the article here with the copyright statement you see below and remind you that you need to use the DOI to cite the paper should you wish to. No naughty linking back here (unless it is to reference these comments I'm adding). And no linking to the version I'm about to put in ePrints. OK? Even though you know that if you do link to the DOI some people may not be able to see the article in the future, don't do it, use the DOI link. There, I think I told you.

Note: the Elsevier version is no longer freely available.

Bibliothèque Nationale de France Google Book Search Deal?

According to an 8/18/09 article in La Tribune, "Google en Négociation avec la Bibliothèque Nationale de France," the BnF was negotiating a deal with Google to digitize its collection.

Amid a brewing controversy about the alleged deal, the BnF issued a press release to clarify the issue.

Here's an excerpt from the press release (translated using Google Translate):

Following a news item published in Tuesday August 18 The Tribune, the BnF wishes to clarify that it has not signed an agreement with Google for digitization of its collection. The Library has never ruled out a private partnership would be consistent with the strategy of the Ministry of Culture regarding digital content and respect the principles of free and freedom access to works exclusively free for use. BnF reminded that, thanks to government support with the NLC, it has embarked on a program of large-scale digitization of its Collections: 100,000 printed per year over three years and a large selection of rare and valuable documents (books, manuscripts, prints . . .). Readily available on the public site Gallica, these Documents feed-Free Europeana naturally, the European digital library.

At the same time, a unique partnership in the world has been up with the French publishers to bring an offer of legal books Digital law and under permit from Gallica, find easily links to their marketing platforms.

Read more about it at "French Library Denies 'Google Seduction' Claims," "Google Breaks into French National Library," and "Google Bruises Gallic Pride as National Library Does Deal with Search Giant"

Peter Hirtle on "The Undiscussed Danger to Libraries in the Google Books Settlement"

In "The Undiscussed Danger to Libraries in the Google Books Settlement," Peter Hirtle discusses the printing fees that libraries may have deal with as a result of the Google Book Search Copyright Class Action Settlement.

Here's an excerpt:

Here is the kicker: if the library charges a fee for printing (and how many libraries can allow users to print for free?), then they are required by Section 4.8(a)(ii) of the Agreement to charge users for the printing. Google will collect the money on behalf of libraries and pass it on to the Registry. Google has agreed to pay the cost of the printing for the first five years or $3 million, whichever comes first.

Digital Archivist Project Manager at the New York Philharmonic

The New York Philharmonic is recruiting a Digital Archivist Project Manager.

Here's an excerpt from the ad:

New York Philharmonic Archives seeks a Digital Archivist Project Manager to supervise the entire process of digitizing 1.3 million pages of content and the implementation of the institution's Alfresco digital asset management system making these documents available to researchers world-wide through the internet. This is a three-year grant-funded project but there is the possibility that this assignment would extend beyond that period. This position is based in the Archives and interfaces heavily with the Information Technology department.

Digital Preservation: Alpha Prototype of JHOVE2 Released

An alpha prototype of JHOVE2 is now available. JHOVE2 is a tool for the characterization (i.e., identification, validation, feature extraction, and assessment) of digital objects that is used for digital library and digital preservation purposes.

Here's an excerpt from the announcement:

An alpha prototype version of JHOVE2 is now available for download and evaluation (v. 0.5.2, 2009-08-05). Distribution packages (in zip and tar.gz form) are available on the JHOVE2 public wiki at (http://confluence.ucop.edu/display/JHOVE2Info/Download). The new JHOVE2 architecture reflected in this prototype is described in the attached architectural overview (also available at http://confluence.ucop.edu/display/JHOVE2Info/Architecture). . . .

The prototype supports the following features:

  • Appropriate recursive processing of directories and Zip files.
  • High performance buffered I/O using the Java nio package.
  • Message digesting for the following algorithms: Adler-32, CRC-32,
  • MD2, MD5, SHA-1, SHA-256, SHA-384, SHA-512
  • Results formatted as JSON, text (name/value pairs), and XML.
  • Use of the Spring Inversion-of-Control container for flexible module
  • configuration.
  • A complete UTF-8 module.
  • An minimally functional Shapefile module.
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