Federal Republic of Germany Opposes Google Book Search Settlement

The Federal Republic of Germany has filed a lengthy objection to the Google Book Search Settlement.

Here's an excerpt:

The proposed Settlement also attempts to characterize itself as applying to actions taken only within the United States and, hence, without impact in other countries where U.S. copyright rules do not apply. Nowhere is this more clearly incorrect than in the realm of making the books available over the Internet. . . .

Privacy is another key area of conflict. The proposed Settlement has few provisions protecting the privacy of authors, publishers or users. In sharp contrast, Germany strongly protects the privacy of individuals who use the Internet through the Federal Data Protection Act (Bundesdatenschutzgesetz or "BDSG") of 1990, as amended in 2009, and the Telemedia Act (Telemediengesetz or "TMG") of 2007, as amended in 2009. . . .

The proposed Settlement raises an even more fundamental issue of fairness, causing concern that German authors may find their own voices unheard. The plaintiff Authors Guild, representative of the author sub-class, cannot adequately and fairly represent German authors or their interests because of its limitations on membership. For an author to join the Authors Guild, he or she must have been published by an established American publisher. . . .

Similarly, the plaintiff Association of American Publishers does not adequately and fairly represent German publishers or their interests because its membership is only open to "all U.S. companies actively engaged in the publication of books, journals, and related electronic media." . . .

For the reasons summarized above [the text has more objections than those abridged here], the proposed Settlement will have an immediate impact upon German authors, publishers and digital libraries by setting a industry-changing precedent that not only gives defendant Google an unfair advantage over all other digital libraries (commercial and non-commercial) in the United States and Germany, but also will flout German laws that have been established to protect German authors and publishers, including with respect to digital copying, publishing and the dissemination of their works. The decision of this Court with respect to this Settlement will have the dramatic and long-range effect of creating a new worldwide copyright regime without any input from those who will be greatly impacted — German authors, publishers and digital libraries and German citizens who seek to obtain access to digital publications through the Google service.

Harvard Launches DASH (Digital Access to Scholarship at Harvard) Repository

Harvard has launched its DASH (Digital Access to Scholarship at Harvard) repository. (Thanks to Open Access News.)

Here's an excerpt from the press release:

Harvard's leadership in open access to scholarship took a significant step forward this week with the public launch of DASH—or Digital Access to Scholarship at Harvard—a University-wide, open-access repository. More than 350 members of the Harvard research community, including over a third of the Faculty of Arts and Sciences, have jointly deposited hundreds of scholarly works in DASH.

"DASH is meant to promote openness in general," stated Robert Darnton, Carl H. Pforzheimer University Professor and Director of the University Library. "It will make the current scholarship of Harvard's faculty freely available everywhere in the world, just as the digitization of the books in Harvard's library will make learning accumulated since 1638 accessible worldwide. Taken together, these and other projects represent a commitment by Harvard to share its intellectual wealth." . . .

DASH has its roots in the February 2008 open-access vote in the Faculty of Arts and Sciences. In a unanimous decision, FAS adopted a policy stating that

Each Faculty member grants to the President and Fellows of Harvard College permission to make available his or her scholarly articles and to exercise the copyright in those articles. In legal terms, the permission granted by each Faculty member is a nonexclusive, irrevocable, paid-up, worldwide license to exercise any and all rights under copyright relating to each of his or her scholarly articles, in any medium, and to authorize others to do the same, provided that the articles are not sold for a profit.

In addition, faculty members committed to providing copies of their manuscripts for distribution, which the DASH repository now enables. Authored by Stuart M. Shieber, James O. Welch, Jr. and Virginia B. Welch Professor of Computer Science and director of the Office for Scholarly Communication, the policy marked a groundbreaking shift from simply encouraging scholars to consider open access to creating a pro-open-access policy with an "opt out" clause.

"It's the best university policy anywhere," said Peter Suber of the Scholarly Publishing and Academic Resources Coalition in Washington, DC, and a fellow of Harvard Law School's Berkman Center and the University's Office for Scholarly Communication (OSC). "It shifts the default so Harvard faculty must make their work openly available unless they opt out. The default at most universities is the other way around: you have to choose open access and arrange for all the provisions."

To date, Harvard Law School, the John F. Kennedy School of Government, and the Harvard Graduate School of Education have joined FAS in supporting a comprehensive policy of open access. DASH fulfills the promise made in these four open-access votes.

Still a beta, DASH is a joint project of the OSC and the Office for Information Systems (OIS), both of which are strategic programs of the Harvard University Library. DASH is based on the open-source DSpace repository platform. Software customizations will continue throughout the coming academic year.

DASH is also intended to serve as a local digital home for a wide and growing array of other scholarly content produced at the University. Non-faculty researchers and students are already afforded deposit privileges, and DASH will eventually have collection spaces for each of the 10 schools at Harvard.

Among the many features the DASH development team has added to its DSpace implementation is the ability to link directly from a faculty author's name in DASH search results to his or her entry in Profiles, a research social networking site developed by Harvard Catalyst. Profiles, which provides a comprehensive view of a researcher's publications and connections within the University research community, currently indexes faculty from the medical and public health schools; its developers hope to expand it to include the Faculty of Arts and Sciences and School of Engineering and Applied Sciences in the near future. . . .

DASH currently supports automated embargo lift dates, so that a work can be deposited "dark" and then automatically switch to open access once a publisher's self-archiving embargo has expired. Another noteworthy feature is DASH's PDF header page: when a user downloads a full-text item, DASH generates a header page for the document, giving its provenance and relevant terms of use.

"The terms of use were drafted after a series of conversations with publishers about Harvard's open-access initiatives," said Shieber. "We wanted to give publishers the opportunity to articulate their concerns about Harvard's intended use of content in the repository, and we designed our repository and our practices as responsively as possible. We continue to welcome publisher input and engagement along these lines.

"Our long-term growth strategy for DASH is to integrate it so fully into other faculty tools that self-archiving just becomes second nature. When a Harvard author is updating their profile or the CV on their personal web site, upload-to-DASH will be there, and vice versa. All these loci for sharing information about publications will eventually synchronize with one another. This includes tools that store bibliographic information only, as well as those that provide open access to full text, such as the established subject repositories already used by many of our faculty to disseminate their work. Ultimately, DASH aims to provide as comprehensive and open a view of Harvard research as possible."

"Google Book Search Settlement: A Publisher's Viewpoint"

In "Google Book Search Settlement: A Publisher's Viewpoint," Tim Barton and Barbara Cohen of Oxford University Press discuss the Google Book Search Settlement with Mary Minow.

Here's an excerpt:

[Barton] Finally, it is also worth considering what happens if the settlement fails. The settlement offers us a vision of a world where all Americans have access—for free—via c. 20,000 public libraries and higher education institutions—to millions of works which are not now available. They would also have substantial free access to those same titles from every (online) computer in the country. Consumers could also purchase these titles (for what I believe will be a reasonable price), and institutions can subscribe to them (again for what I believe will be a reasonable price). The alternative is access to snippets, at most.

The availability of a book used to be determined either by whether a publisher could justify a print run, or by access to the specialized collections of a relatively small number of libraries. Printing technology and cost structures meant that books were put out of print long before their useful lives were over. We now live in a time when technology and the different commercial dynamics around internet search have combined to give us an unprecedented opportunity to make available again the ideas and work of millions of such books written by generations of scholars and writers. Why wouldn't we grasp that opportunity?

"The Humanities and the NEH"

In "The Humanities and the NEH," Scott Jaschik summarizes a podcast interview with James A. Leach, the National Endowment for the Humanities chairman.

Here's an excerpt:

Among other topics he discussed: . . . .

  • In discussions of digitization of scholarship and the push to require free online access to such work that receives federal support, Leach said he understands the importance of copyright, but that he leans "toward open access" and wants "maximum availability" of scholarship.

Harvard University Library Launched Web Archive Collection Service (WAX)

The Harvard University Library has launched its Web Archive Collection Service (WAX).

Here's an excerpt from the press release (posted on DIGLIB@infoserv.nlc-bnc.ca):

WAX began as a pilot project in July 2006, funded by the University's Library Digital Initiative (LDI) to address the management of web sites by collection managers for long-term archiving. It was the first LDI project specifically oriented toward preserving "born-digital" material. . . .

During the pilot, we explored the legal terrain and implemented several methods of mitigating risks. We investigated various technologies and developed work flow efficiencies for the collection managers and the technologists. We analyzed and implemented the metadata and deposit requirements for long term preservation in our repository. We continue to look at ways to ease the labor intensive nature of the QA process, to improve display as the software matures and to assess additional requirements for long term preservation. . . .

WAX was built using several open source tools developed by the Internet Archive and other International Internet Preservation Consortium (IIPC) members. These IIPC tools include the Heritrix web crawler; the Wayback index and rendering tool; and the NutchWAX index and search tool. WAX also uses Quartz open source job scheduling software from OpenSymphony.

In February 2009, the pilot public interface was launched and announced to the University community. WAX has now transitioned to a production system supported by the University Library's central infrastructure.

The Future of Scholarly Journals Publishing Among Social Science and Humanities Associations

The National Humanities Alliance has released The Future of Scholarly Journals Publishing Among Social Science and Humanities Associations.

Here's an excerpt from the press release:

In December 2006, the National Humanities Alliance (NHA) charged a Task Force with developing projects to assist NHA members in exploring issues related to scholarly journal publishing in humanities and social science (HSS) associations.

The Task Force needed current business data on HSS journal publishing, and it approached several larger humanities and social science societies to participate in a pilot study that would produce comparable data on HSS journal publishing and financing. The study set out to enable society publishers to better understand their business models over time, to make relevant comparisons with models employed in other disciplines, and to assess potential changes in their models that would help them deliver journal content to the widest possible audience on an economically sustainable basis. The participating societies are: the American Academy of Religion, American Anthropological Association, American Economic Association, American Historical Association, American Political Science Association, American Sociological Association, American Statistical Association, and the Modern Language Association.

With generous support from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation through a grant to the American Anthropological Association, the eight scholarly societies engaged the professional guidance of Mary Waltham, an independent consultant with recognized expertise in the publishing field who had conducted a similar study of scientific, technical and medical (STM) journals for the UK's Joint Information Systems Committee. Waltham developed the data collection templates, and gathered detailed cost and revenue information on the flagship journals of the participating HSS societies for a three-year period, 2005- 2007.

Stuart Shieber on Subsidized Open Access Fees and Academic Freedom

In "More on Academic Freedom and OA Funds," Stuart Shieber discusses whether subsidizing open access fees conflicts with academic freedom.

Here's an excerpt:

Kent says "libraries can't control the disbursement of open access fees precisely because of academic freedom." The premise here is that any method an OA fund uses to control disbursement must if effective necessarily cause a change in behavior of authors, for instance encouraging them to publish in less expensive journals over more expensive ones ceteris paribus. This much is true. Furthermore, there is an implicit assumption that any such policy that causes behavioral changes in where authors publish is coercive and a violation of academic freedom. They are not "free" to publish in any location because some are financially more attractive to them than others.

But no. Academic freedom means that faculty can study what they want, and publish the results where they want. It doesn't mean that the university must cover all costs for doing so, nor does it mean the university cannot cover some costs and not others in ways that redound to what the university sees as the benefit of its constituencies.

English-Language Summary of A Future for Our Digital Memory: Permanent Access to Information in the Netherlands

The Netherlands Coalition for Digital Preservation has released an English-language summary of A Future for Our Digital Memory: Permanent Access to Information in the Netherlands.

Here's an excerpt:

In order to underpin its strategy, the NCDD decided to first build a detailed picture of the current situation in the public sector in the Netherlands. Can institutions or domains be identified which have successfully risen to the challenge of digital preservation and permanent access? Which categories of data are in danger of being lost? How can the risks be managed? This so-called National Digital Preservation Survey was funded by the Ministry of Ministry of Education, Culture and Science.

After some preliminary consultancy work it was decided that the survey would best be carried out by researchers with both knowledge of the issues involved in digital preservation and of the three sectors, which were identified as: scholarly communications, government & archives, and culture & heritage. A team of three researchers was recruited from among NCDD member staff, with the NCDD coordinator leading the project. The initial objective, to conduct a statistically relevant quantitative survey, had to be abandoned early in the project. The field to be surveyed was vast and varied, and some of the target groups were quite unfamiliar with the specifics of digital preservation, making online surveys unproductive. Therefore, the research team decided on a methodology of (some seventy) semi-structured interviews with knowledgeable stakeholders, adding relevant information from both Dutch and foreign published sources. Five interviews were held with major private sector parties to establish whether the private sector has best practices to offer for the public sector to emulate.

Systems Analyst/Programmer at Indiana University

The Institute for Digital Arts and Humanities at Indiana University, Bloomington is recruiting a Systems Analyst/Programmer (funded for 15 months with the potential for renewal).

Here's an excerpt ad (job no. 701):

Participates in the development of multimedia research and digital library applications in support of the Institute for Digital Arts and Humanities (IDAH) at IU Bloomington. Participates in the development of technical system design and implementation to application requirements. Implements technical system design as programmatic constructs, with concentration on user delivery systems and application development, including metadata; data storage; data manipulation; data integrity; indexing; search and retrieval; media synchronization, cataloging, access, and administrative interfaces; digital repositories; workflow systems; networking considerations for media delivery; synchronized multimedia display; use scenarios; usability design; interface mockups; usability testing; user documentation; technical documentation; and technical and user support for implementation. Participates in the development of software tools for the Sound Directions audio preservation project, funded by a grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities to the IU Archives of Traditional Music.

"The Open Access Availability of Library and Information Science Literature"

College & Research Libraries has released a preprint of "The Open Access Availability of Library and Information Science Literature" by Doug Way.

Here's an excerpt:

To examine the open access availability of Library and Information Science (LIS) research, a study was conducted using Google Scholar to search for articles from 20 top LIS journals. The study examined whether Google Scholar was able to find any links to full text, if open access versions of the articles were available and where these articles were being hosted. The results showed the archiving of articles is not a regular practice in the field, articles are not being deposited in institutional or subject repositories at a high rate and the overall the percentage of available open access articles in LIS was similar to the findings in previous studies. In addition, the study found that Google Scholar is an effective tool for finding known LIS articles.

Martin Halbert Named Dean of Libraries at the University of North Texas

Martin Halbert, Director for Digital Innovations at the Emory University Libraries, has been named Dean of Libraries at the University of North Texas Libraries. Halbert will also have a joint appointment as an associate professor in the UNT College of Information. UNT was recently named as one of the "Up-and-coming National Universities" by U.S. News & World Report in its "Best Colleges 2010" issue.

Halbert is widely known for his innovative work in the MetaScholar Initiative and, more recently, the MetaArchive Cooperative.

He has co-edited The Information Commons: A Field Guide, edited or co-edited several proceedings, and authored or coauthored a number of papers on digital library topics, including "Combined Searching of Web and OAI Digital Library Resources," "Digital Library Federation (DLF) Aquifer Project," "Findings from the Mellon Metadata Harvesting Initiative," "Integrating ETD Services into Campus Institutional Repository Infrastructures Using Fedora," "Lessons from the Information Commons Frontier," "An Initial Evaluation of Automated Organization for Digital Library Browsing," "The MetaArchive Cooperative: A Collaborative Approach to Distributed Digital Preservation," and "The Metascholar Initiative: AmericanSouth.Org and MetaArchive.Org."

He holds a Ph.D. from Emory University, where his dissertation was on "New Models for Research Libraries in the Digital Age" (excerpt). He also holds an M.L.I.S. from the University of Texas and a B.A. from Rice University.

Here's an excerpt from the press release:

Halbert replaces Dr. B. Donald Grose, who retired from the dean position in July after serving 21 years with the UNT Libraries. Dr. Judith Forney, dean of UNT's School of Merchandising and Hospitality Management, will continue as interim dean of the libraries until Halbert arrives at UNT.

In his position with Emory University Libraries, Halbert has served as the principal investigator for digital library services and research projects totaling $6.1 million, including the Transatlantic Slave Trade Voyages and Origins projects, which offer comprehensive access to primary data from four centuries of the transatlantic slave trade. Halbert is also president of MetaArchive Cooperative, an international consortium of research libraries and institutes that preserve digital archives in partnership with the Library of Congress, as part of the National Digital Information Infrastructure and Preservation Program.

"Dr. Halbert's strengths lie in digital library services, innovative ideas, strategic planning and management of multiple libraries on one university campus," said Dr. Wendy K. Wilkins, UNT provost and vice president for academic affairs. "We are delighted that he also has a national reputation among funding agencies and leading digital and technological library organizations, and we look forward to welcoming him to UNT."

Halbert, a native of Houston, said the UNT Libraries' national reputation as a leader in digital projects and services attracted him to the university.

"Libraries are changing with the times, and UNT is at the forefront of that. I am looking forward to being part of the growth of the UNT Libraries, and I'm delighted to be part of the UNT community," he said. "I'm also happy to be returning to Texas, where I grew up."

At Emory, Halbert is an adjunct professor in the Graduate Institute of Liberal Arts, where he developed a doctoral certificate in digital scholarship and new media, an interdisciplinary credential that provides graduate students with expertise in new forms of research and publication using digital media.

He is also the principal investigator of the Librarians for the Digital Age Master of Library Science program for north Georgia, a partnership with UNT's College of Information and the Atlanta University Center, a consortium of four historically African-American colleges in the city.

In Librarians for the Digital Age, 60 students from north Georgia are earning master of library science degrees, with courses taught by UNT faculty members in four-day institutes and online. The students began the program in the fall of 2008 and are scheduled to graduate in September 2010.

"The students are excited about being part of a premiere program like the UNT College of Information," Halbert said. "The program is intended to provide a robust next generation of librarians from diverse backgrounds who will be well prepared for the evolving roles of information professionals in the digital age. It has exceeded all of our expectations and goals."

Before being named to his current position with Emory University Libraries in February 2007, Halbert was the libraries' director for digital programs and systems for 11 years. He was also head of networked systems for libraries and head of the Computing Resources Library at Rice University, taking a semester off from Rice in 1994 to work for the U.S. Information Agency in Tartu, Estonia as an American Library Association fellow, advising the national university library in automation planning.

Since 2001, Halbert has successfully applied for many grants for collaborative projects, receiving funding from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, Institute of Museum and Library Services, National Digital Information Infrastructure and Preservation Program, National Endowment for the Humanities, National Historic Publications and Records Commission and National Science Foundation.

He has served the National Science Digital Library, the U.S. leading online library for education and research in science, technology and mathematics, as chair and vice chair of the policy committee, co-chair of the technology standing committee and a member of the planning committee. He was chair of both the Emerging Technologies Interest Group and the Digital Library Technologies Interest Group for the Library and Information Technology Association, a division of the American Library Association, and has served as a grant reviewer for the National Science Foundation and Institute of Museum and Library Services.