Free at Your Campus: The ACRL Scholarly Communications 101 Road Show

If your institution meets its criteria, ACRL is offering to bring its Scholarly Communications 101 Road Show to your campus at no cost.

Here's an excerpt from the Road Show Web site:

Participants will:

  • Understand scholarly communication as a system to manage the results of research and scholarly inquiry and be able to describe system characteristics, including academic libraries and other major stakeholders and stakeholder interests, major types and sources of current stress and evolution, and key indicators of size, complexity, and rates of change
  • Enumerate new modes and models of scholarly communication; business models; research & social interaction models (from blogs, curated websites, etc), and peer review models and examples of the ways in which academic libraries have or can initiate or support those models
  • Be able to select and cite key principles, facts, and messages relevant to current or nascent scholarly communication plans and programs in their institutions, e.g. as preparation for library staff or faculty outreach, to contextualize collection development decisions

ACRL, ALA, and ARL Will File Google Book Search Settlement Amicus Brief

The American Library Association, the Association of College and Research Libraries, and the Association of Research Libraries will file an amicus brief authored by Jonathan Band about the Google Book Search Settlement.

Read more about it at "Library Organizations to File Amicus Brief in Google Book Search Settlement."

ALA Issues Call to Action about Fair Copyright in Research Works Act

ALA has issued a call to action about the Fair Copyright in Research Works Act (H.R. 801). The alert includes a link to a Web form that will allow you to e-mail a House Judiciary Committee Member from your district about the bill (will not work if your Representative does not serve on the Judiciary Committee).

Fair Copyright in Research Works Act: Ten Associations and Advocacy Groups Send Letter to Judiciary Committee Members Opposing Act

Ten associations and advocacy groups, including AALL, ACRL, ALA, ARL, and GWLA, have sent a letter to House Judiciary Committee members opposing the Fair Copyright in Research Works Act (H.R. 801).

Here's an excerpt:

The U.S. government funds research with the expectation that new ideas and discoveries from the research will propel science, stimulate the economy, and improve the lives and welfare of Americans. Public support for science is enhanced when the public directly sees the benefits from our nation's investment in scientific research. Yet H.R. 801 would reverse the only U.S. policy for public access to research, at the National Institutes of Health (NIH), and make it impossible for other agencies to enact similar policies.

Scientific research is advanced by broad dissemination of knowledge, and the subsequent building upon the work of others. To this end, the NIH Public Access Policy ensures that the results of our nation's $29 billion annual investment in research reach the broadest possible audience. The Policy requires that, in exchange for receiving federal research dollars, grantees deposit the final electronic manuscript of their peer-reviewed research results into PubMed Central, NIH’s digital archive, to be made publicly available within 12 months—and was specifically implemented in full compliance with current U.S. copyright law.

The NIH Policy achieves several notable goals: First, it ensures broad public access to the results of NIH's funded research, allowing scientists and researchers to collaborate and engage in cutting-edge research. Such access allows for greater sharing of information, speeding discovery, medical advances, and innovations.

Second, the NIH Policy ensures that the U.S. government has a permanent archive of these critical, publicly funded biomedical research results, ensuring that results can be built upon by not only this generation, but also future generations, of researchers.

Finally, the Policy creates a welcome degree of accountability and transparency, which enable us to better manage our collective investments in the NIH research portfolio and ensure the maximum possible benefits to the public in return.

At the direction of Congress, the NIH Public Access Policy, in place as a voluntary measure since 2005, was recently strengthened to a mandatory policy. As a result, the rate of eligible manuscripts being deposited for public accessibility quickly increased from 19% to 60%. This requirement proved crucial to ensuring that the more than 80,000 articles resulting from NIH funding each year are, for the first time, available to any researcher, physician, faculty member, student, or member of the public who wants them.

H.R.801 presupposes that the NIH Public Access Policy undermines the rights of the author and conflicts with U.S. copyright law. As library organizations and allies we fully respect copyright law and the protection it affords content creators, content owners, and content users. NIH-funded research is copyrightable and copyright belongs to the author. The NIH Policy requires only the grant of a non-exclusive license to NIH, fully consistent with federal policies such as Circular A- 110 and Circular A-102. This policy leaves the author free to transfer some or all of the exclusive rights under copyright to a journal publisher or to assign these anywhere they so choose. Attached please find an issue brief detailing how the NIH Public Access Policy does not affect copyright law [see the letter for the brief].

The NIH Public Access Policy advances science, improves access by the public to federally funded research, provides for effective archiving strategies for these resources, and ensures accountability of our federal investment. Given the proven success of the revised NIH Public Access Policy and the promise of public access to federally funded research, we firmly oppose H.R.801 and ask that you do the same. Thank you for considering the stake and position of the key constituencies in this discussion.

Read more about it at "Conyers Introduces H.R. 801, "The Fair Copyright in Research Works Act."

ALA, ARL, and ACRL Meeting on Google Book Search Settlement

In "ALA, ARL, ACRL Host Meeting of Experts to Discuss Google Book Search Settlement," District Dispatch reports on the numerous questions raised about the Google Book Search Settlement in a recent meeting on that topic.

Here's an excerpt :

  • Access. What will the settlement mean for protecting the public’s ability to access and use digital resources from the nation’s libraries? Since the Book Rights Registry established as a condition of the settlement will represent the interests of the authors and publishers, who will represent the interests of libraries and the public? What are the financial implications of participation? Could the settlement create a monopoly that threatens the mission of libraries by raising the prices to an unreasonable level that limits public access?
  • Intellectual freedom. Are there academic freedom issues to consider? What are the implications of Google’s ability to remove works at its discretion? Will there be notification of their removal? What are the issues regarding possible access and use restrictions on the Research Corpus?
  • Equitable treatment. Since not all libraries are addressed in the settlement, what impact will it have on the diverse landscape of libraries? In light of tight economic times, will this negatively affect libraries with lean budgets? Will it expand the digital divide?
  • Terms of use. Under the terms of the agreement, will library users continue to enjoy the same rights to information under copyright and other laws? Will the settlement impact the legal discussions and interpretations of library exceptions that allow for library lending, limited copying and preservation?

ALA Action Alert: American Recovery and Reinvestment Act

ALA has issued an action alert regarding the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act. You can use the alert's form to contact your Congressional representatives.

Here's an excerpt:

The next 36 to 48 hours is critical to get millions, maybe billions, of dollars for libraries in the stimulus package. We need every single library supporter to start sending messages and calling congressional offices so that we can keep important library provisions in the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA). As you all know, libraries are a key source of free Internet access to look for jobs and so much more. Our libraries provide essential services that stimulate our local economies, and the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 provides crucial funding for libraries to continue and build upon them. This week, the Senate and House versions of the economic stimulus package will go to conference to reconcile these pieces of legislation, and your calls and e-mails will help protect this funding. There are pros and cons of each version of the stimulus, and we need to protect the parts that benefit our communities.

In the coming days, you will receive a lot of e-mails from us, and your advocacy will be the key to our success. Last week, Senate Amendment 501 could have stripped broadband funding from their version of the bill but your calls and e-mails to your elected officials defeated this amendment and successfully protected this funding. Now, more than ever, your activism is needed. Over 1,250 calls went to our elected officials, and now we need even more.

Please call your elected officials and tell them to communicate with the conferees in support of the following parts in both the House and the Senate versions:

  • Restore education construction funds eliminated from the Senate version of the ARRA. The House version of the ARRA would provide $14 billion for K-12 construction and $6 billion for higher education construction and specifically mention libraries as an allowable use of funds. The K-12 construction funds would create 300,000 jobs.
  • Restore the money cut from the State Stabilization Fund in the Senate bill to $79 billion to and restore the Governors ability to use a portion of the funds at his or her discretion.
  • Maintain $8 billion for ‘Broadband Technology Opportunities Program’ for robust broadband to all of America including “fiber to the libraries for the 21st century.”
  • No less than $200 million that shall be available for competitive grants for expanding public computer center capacity, including community colleges and public libraries.
  • Open access of networks should be upheld and not include provisions allowing intrusive network management techniques.

If your elected officials are one of the following, it is even more critical that you contact them, as they are conferees on this legislation and control what stays in and what will be taken out.

Please contact the following and use the same talking points:

Appropriations Chairman Obey (D-WI)
Ways and Means Chairman Charlie Rangel (D-NY)
Commerce Chairman Waxman (D-CA)
Appropriations Ranking Member Jerry Lewis (R-CA)
Ways and Means Ranking Member Dave Camp (R-MI)
Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV)
Finance Chairman Max Baucus (D-MT)
Appropriations Chairman Daniel Inouye (D-HI)
Finance Ranking Member Chuck Grassley (R-IA)
Appropriations Ranking Member Thad Cochran (R-MS)

Call to Action: Amendment 501 Would Strip Broadband Library Funding from Recovery and Reinvestment Act

ALA has issued an immediate call to action over amendment 501 which would strip broadband library funding from the Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009.

Here's an excerpt:

Calls to ALL Senators are needed IMMEDIATELY to protect $200 million for libraries, community computing centers and related institutions in the original language of the Senate stimulus bill, H.R. 1, the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009. We have just been advised that Senators Kent Conrad (ND-D) and Lindsey Graham (SC-R) are expected to introduce Senate Amendment 501 which would strip funding for libraries and broadband to put additional funding in FDIC. If introduced, the vote could take place this afternoon.

The message is: keep the $200 million for libraries and broadband in H.R. 1—defeat amendment 501. Libraries provide information on jobs, employment skills, and all other types of job-seeking information. More people are using libraries during these difficult times and the demand for broadband is greater than ever.

ALA Office of Government Relations will keep you updated as the stimulus debate continues on the Senate floor. Please watch the District Dispatch for updates.

Check District Dispatch for current updates.

Here’s Why You Can’t Find That Online ALA Journal (and Other Tales of Journal Access Woes)

Apparently without warning, the American Library Association has changed the format for its journal URLs, and the old URLs are not redirected to the new ones.

Here's an example from version 73 of the Scholarly Electronic Publishing Bibliography ("Fair Use after CONFU" from College & Research Libraries):

  • Old URL:
  • New URL:

ALA journal URLs were removed from version 74 of SEPB, and will be restored in version 75 (unless there are further changes). Since ALA does not include article page numbers in journal sites such as College & Research Libraries, they may be missing from some SEPB references, reflecting the time lag between issue publication and inclusion in standard indexing tools that I can access.

A similar issue has arisen with archived issues of RLG DigiNews, a ceased e-journal archived by OCLC.

Here's an example from version 73 of SEPB ("Benchmarking Conversion Costs: A Report from the Making of America IV Project"):

  • Old URL:
  • New URL:

RLG DigiNews articles were removed from version 74 of SEPB, and they will be restored in a future version. (SEPB previously included virtually all articles published in this fine journal.)

American Libraries to Go Open Access

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

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

Information Technology and Libraries Launches ITALica Weblog

Information Technology and Libraries has launched the ITALica Weblog.

Here's the announcement:

Hello friends, Information Technology and Libraries (ITAL), LITA's peer-reviewed quarterly journal, is about to launch a new weblog called ITALica at ITALica addresses a need we on the ITAL Editorial Board have long sensed, that is, an area for "letters to the editor", updates to articles, supplementary materials we can't work into the journal,. . . you-name-it. One of the most important features of ITALica will be a forum for readers' conversations with our authors: we'll ask authors to host and monitor discussion for a period of time after publication of their articles, so that you'll then have a chance to interact with them.

ITALica is currently a pilot project. For our first author-hosted discussion, we are very pleased to have as host Jennifer Bowen of the University of Rochester.

Many of you will know—either because you attended, or because you've heard the buzz about it since—about the 'Creating the Future of the Catalog and Cataloging', program at the ALA Annual Conference in Anaheim. This program, which was sponsored by ALCTS CCS, and co-sponsored by the LITA Next Generation Catalog Interest Group and the ALCTS Networked Resources and Metadata Interest Group, drew an overflow crowd of several hundred and featured as presenters—in addition to Jennifer—Diane Hillmann, Tim Spalding, Roy Tennant, and Martha Yee.

Jennifer's presentation was in large part based on her paper 'Metadata to Support Next-Generation Library Resource Discovery: Lessons from The eXtensible Catalog, Phase 1', just published in the June 2008 issue of ITAL. We on the ITAL Editorial Board believe that the eXtensible Catalog (XC) project at Rochester represents a significant contribution to the future development and directions of both library metadata and the library catalog as a discovery tool. Jennifer will host the first ITALica, contributing her thoughts about the ALA program, updating her ITAL paper with more recent developments in the XC initiative, and engaging in discussion with those of you who care to contribute. LITA members can access the full version of Jennifer's paper online, at the ITAL website . . . from where you can also then find a link to the ITALica discussion. You can also access ITALica directly (no membership in LITA required) at ( Jennifer will be monitoring the discussion from 18 August to 15 September 2008.

Beginning with the September issue of ITAL, we plan to expand ITALica discussions to include all articles and other features in that and subsequent issues. We hope to see many of you online at ITALica for what promises to be the first in an ongoing series of very stimulating discussions!

Marc Truitt, Editor, ITAL, for the Editorial Board

New ACRL Publications Agreements FAQ

ALA's Association College & Research Libraries has made available a new ACRL Publications Agreements FAQ, which covers serials, book chapters, book editors, and podcasts.

The FAQ's statement about Creative Commons licenses and serials is of special interest:

We didn’t want to require our authors to publish their works using a Creative Commons license, but you are welcome to attach the CC license of your choosing to your work after it is published by ACRL. Visit the Creative Commons website ( to learn more about their licensing options.

This is welcome news, and ACRL is to be applauded for supporting the use of Creative Commons licenses.

It is very helpful to have a concise and clear explanation of ACRL's copyright and other publication policies regarding serials, and the information about book chapters, book editors, and podcasts is very helpful as well. It would be highly desirable for other ALA divisions to follow ACRL's lead in this matter.

Note that ACRL's copyright forms are on the ACRL Forms page.

Association of College and Research Libraries Sends a Letter of Support to SCOAP3

The Association of College and Research Libraries has sent a letter of support to SCOAP3.

Here's an excerpt:

On behalf of the Association of College and Research Libraries (ACRL), a division of the American Library Association (ALA) representing over 13,000 academic and research librarians and interested individuals, I am writing to express interest and support for SCOAP3, the Sponsoring Consortium for Open Access Publishing in Particle Physics’ effort to facilitate open access publishing in High Energy Physics (HEP). . . .

ACRL believes that SCOAP3 is a valuable addition to the heterogeneous mix of strategies being undertaken by scholars, publishers, libraries, and others to ensure the future of high-quality journals. SCOAP3 is unique in its explicit goals to unite researchers and libraries and to partner with publishers so that aggregated financial contributions will support HEP publishing, make the results available at no cost to any reader any where, and serve as a potential model to other disciplines.

Therefore ACRL encourages its members to consider joining the SCOAP3 effort when appropriate, e.g. through an institutional or consortial "expression of interest" (as outlined at, providing education and outreach about SCOAP3 to their faculty, library staff and administrators, and finding other ways to analyze and support SCOAP3 where possible.

Oil, ALA, and Digital Communities

I follow the energy markets closely, and recently there have been predictions of $250 a barrel oil in 2009 and $400 a barrel oil in 2018.

What does this have to do with ALA? Nothing, if ALA functioned effectively as a virtual organization that wasn't dependent on physical travel. Everything, if it is not.

Already we see airlines consolidating, cutting routes, and raising ticket and auxiliary prices. That's with oil at about $136 a barrel. Imagine if it were $250 a barrel or $400 a barrel. Impossible? Unlikely? Maybe, but in early 2007 it was $60 a barrel, and predictions of $100 a barrel met with incredulity.

We can hope that oil prices stabilize or decline, but it may be prudent to plan for what to do if they do not.

Would ALA function well if its committee members were increasingly unable to attend meetings? Would the organization's current awareness and personal networking functions that physical conferences support work if general members were increasingly unable to attend them?

Ask yourself this: If you never attended ALA conferences, how would the organization look to you? Would you feel that you could meaningfully participate in it? Would you feel that it had added value as an important source of current information, personal networking, and professional development?

Perhaps. In recent years, ALA has make progress in creating a more useful digital presence with efforts like virtual committee members, blogs, wikis, and other tools. This is commendable progress; however, much remains to be done. Do virtual committee members interact with physical committee members in real-time meetings? Is there meaningful non-conference committee digital interaction? Are conference presentations and committee meeting sessions available to ALA members in MP3 and digital video formats? Are blogs open to all potential member authors through self-initiated registration procedures? Are wikis dynamic information exchange mechanisms or primarily dull descriptive tools for disseminating information about ALA and its divisions? Is social network software provided to connect members with each other, committee members, and ALA officers? Is there is a true sense of a vibrant digital community?

Although its not perfect, the EDUCAUSE CONNECT community points in the direction of what could be.

Of course, energy markets are volatile, prices could drop, and all could be well for a while, but there is little to suggest at the current time that the long-term prospects for cheap energy are good. Thinking the unthinkable about reinventing ALA as a digital community might not be a bad idea as a contingency plan, and it might not be a bad idea in any case.

More about ALA, CLA, and Open Access

Peter Suber has commented on my "On ALA, CLA, and Open Access" posting:

PS: For background, see Charles' previous report on OA for ALA publications (July 2006). In my comment at the time, I pointed out some of the ALA's public statements in support of OA: "(1) the ALA Washington office has a page on OA, (2) the ALA Council adopted a resolution in support of FRPAA at its June 2006 annual meeting, and (3) the ALA has signed on to several public statements in support of OA, most recently a July 12 letter in support of FRPAA and a May 31 letter in support of the EC report on OA."

Of course, I had reviewed Peter's prior comment before writing the new post. Here's a further analysis:

A good summary of other ALA joint statements, along with those of ACRL, can be found at "ACRL Taking Action."

Here's more information on ALA's "green" and "gold" policies.

Let's assume that both ALA copyright agreements are in effect for all journals. The Copyright Assignment Agreement explicitly supports limited self-archiving ("The right to use and distribute the Work on the Author’s Web site"). The Copyright Assignment Agreement further says that the author has: "The right to use and distribute the Work internally at the Author’s place of employment, and for promotional and any other non-commercial purposes." While "any other non-commercial purposes" seems to permit broad self-archiving, the specification of the "distribute the Work internally at the Author's place of employment" right seems to imply that the right to distribute the work outside of the author's place of employment is in question, which would mean that self-archiving in digital repositories could be done only in the author's institutional repository and only if access to the work was limited to institutional users. Moreover, if broad self-archiving is permitted, why single out the right to self-archive on the author's Web site? I find the wording ambiguous, and I would not recommend that anyone who wants to self-archive use this license. If its intent is to allow broad self-archiving, this should be spelled out. The Copyright License Agreement supports all types of self archiving ("Copyright of the Work remains in Author’s name, and the Author reserves all other rights"). Consequently, we can say that ALA supports "green" self-archiving, but this may be very weak under the Copyright Assignment Agreement.

Without further information, it is not possible to say that any of ALA's major journals are "gold," although Public Libraries and School Library Media Research might be. If this were true, ALA's Public Library Association and its American Association of School Librarians divisions would be ALA's gold journal publishers, with the Association of College & Research Libraries division nearly being one.

On ALA, CLA, and Open Access

The Canadian Library Association recently issued a new, strongly worded open access statement ("Position Statement on Open Access for Canadian Libraries"). Peter Suber commented on this statement, saying "Many organizations have called on their governments to mandate OA for publicly-funded research, but the CLA is first I've seen to regard embargo periods as a temporary compromise, justified only to help publishers adapt during a transition period."

The American Library Association is a member of the Alliance for Taxpayer Access and the Open Access Working Group, and. as such, has signed a variety of targeted statements about free access to government-funded research. The most active ALA Division in terms of open access support is the Association of College and Research Libraries, which has a number of activities geared towards promoting it.

Such statements and activities are praiseworthy, but the question remains: What kind of open access to these associations provide to their own journals?

CLA appears to embargo the current issue of Feliciter. If so, CLA cannot be said to be providing full free access to the journal; however, as embargoes go, it is a generous one.

Since it publishes more journals, the situation for ALA is more complex, and it is summarized below in a discussion of its major journals.

ALA Journal Free Access?
Children and Libraries: The Journal of the Association for Library Service to Children No
College & Research Libraries Embargo (current volume?), with e-prints that are removed on issue publication leaving a free access gap
Information Technology and Libraries Six month embargo
Library Administration and Management No
Library Resources & Technical Services Embargo? (last complete issue listed on site is from 2006 and last free volume is from 2006)
Public Libraries Embargo? (last listed issue on site is from 2007)
RBM: A Journal of Rare Books, Manuscripts, and Cultural Heritage Embargo? (last listed issue on site is from 2006)
School Library Media Research Embargo? (last listed issue on site is from 2007)
Reference & User Services Quarterly No (there are no issues listed on site)
Young Adult Library Services No

Given that several journals are far behind in listing back issues, some have no listed 2008 issues, and one has no back issues whatsoever, it is difficult to make definitive statements about their open access policies. It is possible that this confusion arises from difficulties in the timely maintenance of ALA journal Websites. What can be said is that, as of today, those missing digital issues are not accessible to anyone from the ALA site.

One thing is clear: it would be very helpful if ALA journals would clearly and prominently state their open access policies. Although it will not be discussed here in any detail, several journals have conflicting or unclear copyright agreement policies. It is assumed that ALA offers its two copyright agreements (Copyright Assignment Agreement and Copyright License Agreement.) for all journals, but this cannot be verified from all journal Websites.

While it is not uniform, ALA is making progress towards providing more free journal content; however, it cannot be said that ALA fully supports free access to all of its major journals. Moreover, to my knowledge, ALA itself has never made an open access position statement that is similar to CLA's and those of other library organizations, such as IFLA's (this excludes any statements by ALA divisions or joint statements). As the open access movement nears the decade point, it would seem desirable for it to unambiguously do so.

ALA is a major voice in the library community, and, if its open access efforts are to be taken seriously by publishers and scholars, it should state whether it supports green access (self-archiving), gold access (open access journals), or both. If it wants to support gold access, it should first reform its own journal publishing business model. If not, it would be helpful for it to clarify and make consistent the terms of its embargo access at an organizational vs. a divisional level.

ALCTS Preservation and Reformatting Section Publishes Digital Preservation Definition

The Preservation and Reformatting Section of the Association for Library Collections & Technical Services, a division of the American Library Association, has published its formal definition of digital preservation.

Here's an excerpt from the press release:

The definition was developed to promote an understanding of digital preservation within the library community, as well as our allied professions and the user communities we exist to serve. This definition is presented to mark our current understanding of digital preservation and encourage further development of these ideas.

This definition grew out of a conversation held at the Digital Preservation Discussion Group at the ALA Midwinter Meeting in 2007. An ad hoc task force crafted language that was shared with a number of constituencies during the spring and early summer of 2007. The definition was discussed and approved by the PARS Executive Committee during the 2008 Midwinter Meeting in Philadelphia. The ALCTS Board of Directors approved it during Midwinter, and the definition was presented to and accepted by Council as an informational document. The definition is being incorporated into the forthcoming revision of the current ALA Preservation Policy currently being undertaken by PARS.

The working group studied a number of resources to familiarize itself with the critical elements of digital preservation identified by a broad selection of individuals and agencies. These ideas were cast into language that speaks to a wide variety of stakeholders while also being consistent with the core preservation concepts that have developed in the library and archival communities.

The core concepts are presented in a short, medium and long version to accommodate a variety of needs. The long version includes a number of currently accepted best practices but is not intended to be an exhaustive list. As more is learned about implementing digital preservation programs, the definitions should be reviewed and revised on a regular basis.

The definition will be reviewed and updated as needed.

College & Research Libraries Makes Preprints Available, but Restricts Access

The Association of College and Research Libraries' journal, College & Research Libraries, is now offering access to preprints on its site; however, access is restricted to ACRL members.

According to the C&RL Manuscript Preparation page, the typical post-review publication delay for papers is about one year.

This preprint strategy does not appear to preclude authors from depositing preprints elsewhere after publication. Below is an excerpt from the C&RL Manuscript Preparation page (emphasis added):

The agreement between ACRL and the author is license to publish. The author retains copyright and thus is free to post the article on an institutional or personal web page subsequent to publication in C&RL. All material in the journal may be photocopied for the noncommercial purpose of scientific or educational advancement.

The American Librarian Library Association's author agreement that C&RL uses states (emphasis added):

  1. In consideration of the Publisher’s agreement to publish the Work, Author hereby grants and assigns to Publisher the right to print, publish, reproduce, or distribute the Work throughout the world in all means of expression by any method now known or hereafter developed, including electronic format, and to market or sell the Work or any part of it as it sees fit. Author further grants Publisher the right to use Author’s name in association with the Work in published form and in advertising and promotional materials. Copyright of the Work remains in Author’s name.
  2. Author agrees not to publish the Work in print form prior to publication of the Work by the Publisher. [ALA requests that should you publish the Work elsewhere, you cite the publication in ALA’s Publication, by author, title, and publisher, through a tagline, author bibliography, or similar means.]

The author agreement says nothing about restricting the author's right to distribute digital preprints, yet the Manuscript Preparation page implies that the author is not free to do so prior to publication. Which is it?

If authors are free to distribute their own digital preprints, what good does it do to restrict access to preprints at the ACRL Website? This policy appears to make no sense unless ACRL believes that authors' motivation to distribute their own preprints will be undermined by ACRL making them available or unless ACRL believes that its authors simply have little or no interest in distributing their own preprints.

Perhaps the C&RL Manuscript Preparation page is just poorly worded. If so, it would be helpful if it were corrected.

But even if this is the case, it begs the question: "What is ACRL, which is actively promoting open access on many fronts, doing making C&RL's preprint service restricted?" While ACRL directly providing access to preprints at the C&RL Website is a welcome step forward, restricting access to those preprints is taking two steps back, and, although well intended, it sends the wrong message for an organization that is trying to move the open access agenda forward.

Read more about it at "C&RL Launches Preprints!"

Podcast of ALA's Virtual Communities and Libraries Member Initiative Group Meeting

A podcast of the first meeting of the ALA's Virtual Communities and Libraries Member Initiative Group is now available.

Here's the group's statement of purpose from its ALA Wiki entry:

To provide a group within ALA for members interested in fostering the practice of library work, the visibility of libraries and library workers, and the extension of library services within online social networks, virtual worlds, and other communities of intention. To provide a mechanism for sharing experiences and practices in-person or virtually through programming or asynchronous communications. To encourage wider participation by the profession and the association in virtual worlds. and To establish a forum across all types of libraries and at all levels of library employment concerned with the development of library services in emerging social networks, virtual worlds, and other communities of intention. This group is open to all members.

ALA Urgent Call for Action about the Presidential Veto of the Labor-HHS Bill

The American Library Association has issued an urgent call for action about the presidential veto of the FY 2008 Health and Human Services, Education, and Related Agencies appropriations bill, which includes the NIH Public Access Policy mandate and essential funding for library programs.

You can easily contact your senators using the ALA Action Alert Web form.

I've created a cut-and-paste version of prior ALA/Alliance for Taxpayer Access text about the NIH open access mandate and added brief information about key library programs funded by the bill. You can use this text to simplify the process of sending an e-mail via the ALA Action Alert Web form, but personalizing this text with an added sentence or two is recommended.

Cut-and-Paste NIH Public Access Policy Message to Senate Updated

I've updated the cut-and-paste text on the Contact the Senate about the NIH Public Access Policy page to include mention of and a link to the ALA/ARL/SPARC "Mandatory Public Access to Federally Funded Research Does Not Violate Copyright Obligations" statement.

You can use the cut-and-paste text in the linked ALA Contact Your Senators in Support of Open Access Web form, which will allow you to easily e-mail your senators by entering your Zip Code.

Contact the Senate about the NIH Public Access Policy by 9/28/07

The Alliance for Taxpayer Access, whose membership includes major library associations, has issued a new call to action about the NIH Public Access Policy that urges interested parties to contact their Senators by Friday, September 28, 2007. You can easily contact your senators using the ALA Action Alert Web form with my cut-and-paste version of ALA/ATA text or you can fax your Senators using the fax numbers in the press release (use the below link to get to the full press release)

Here's an excerpt from the press release:

As the Senate considers Appropriations measures for the 2008 fiscal year this fall, please take a moment to remind your Senators of your strong support for public access to publicly funded research and – specifically – ensuring the success of the National Institutes of Health (NIH) Public Access Policy by making deposit mandatory for researchers.

Earlier this summer, the House of Representatives passed legislation with language that directs the NIH to make this change ( The Senate Appropriations Committee approved a similar measure ( Now, as the Appropriations process moves forward, it is critically important that our Senators are reminded of the breadth and depth of support for enhanced public access to the results of NIH-funded research. Please take a moment to weigh in with your Senator now. . . .

Feel free to draw upon the following talking points:

  • American taxpayers are entitled to open access on the Internet to the peer-reviewed scientific articles on research funded by the U.S. government. Widespread access to the information contained in these articles is an essential, inseparable component of our nation's investment in science.
  • The Fiscal Year 2008 Labor/HHS Appropriations Bill reported out of committee contains language directing the National Institutes of Health (NIH) to change its Public Access Policy so that it requires NIH-funded researchers to deposit copies of agency-funded research articles into the National Library of Medicine’s online archive.
  • Over the more than two years since its implementation, the NIH's current voluntary policy has failed to achieve any of the agency's stated goals, attaining a deposit rate of less than 5% by individual researchers. A mandate is required to ensure deposit in NIH’s online archive of articles describing findings of all research funded by the agency.
  • We urge the Senate to support the inclusion of language put forth in the Labor/HHS Appropriations bill directing the NIH to implement a mandatory policy and ensuring free, timely access to all research articles stemming from NIH-funded research – without change – in any appropriate vehicle.

(We’ll be making additional resources for patient advocates – including the recording of our August 30 Web cast and specific talking points – available shortly as well.

What's in Your Wallet? Three Librarian Salary Surveys

Three surveys of librarian salaries have been recently published.

The Association of Research Libraries has published the ARL Annual Salary Survey 2006-07. PDF and Excel versions are freely available.

ALA has published the 2007 editions of the ALA-APA Salary Survey: Librarian—Public and Academic and the ALA-APA Salary Survey: Non-MLS—Public and Academic. Various priced access options are available.

Here's an excerpt from the ALA press release:

Analysis of data from more than 800 public and academic libraries showed the mean salary for librarians with ALA-accredited Master’s Degrees increased 2.8 percent from 2006, up $1,550 to $57,809. The median ALA MLS salary was $53,000. Salaries ranged from $22,048 to $225,000.

For the first time the non-MLS salary survey data, including 62 non-MLS positions, reported salaries for staff employed as librarians but who do not have ALA-accredited Master’s Degrees in Library Science. Non-MLS salaries ranged $10,712 to $143,700.

ACRL Recommends Next Steps for Supporting NIH Mandate

As reported on DigitalKoans previously, the House passed H. R. 3043, which includes the NIH deposit mandate.

ACRL has some suggestions about follow-up actions that supporters of the mandate can take as the battle moves to the Senate.

Here’s an excerpt from ACRL Legislative Update:

  1. Send a thank you note if your Representative voted yes to pass the House appropriations bill (check the roll call). Your legislators want to hear from you and need to know they did the right thing.
  2. Contact both of your Senators during August. While a phone call, e-mail or fax would work, consider taking advantage of the fact that they are home for the August recess. Make a visit to the local district office or invite your Senators to visit your library. Urge them to maintain the language put forth by the Senate appropriations committee on the NIH public access policy. Find talking points and contact info in the ALA Legislative Action Center.
  3. Ask library advocates in your state to talk to their Senators.
  4. Talk about this issue with leaders on your campus—your government relations office, library advisory committee, faculty senate—to enlist individual and institutional support.

ALA Weblogs and Creative Commons Licenses

The American Library Association and its divisions have launched a number of Weblogs in the last few years. What copyright provisions are these digital publications under? Do they use Creative Commons licenses?

As the list below shows, the vast majority of ALA Weblogs have no explicit copyright statement on their homepage. The absence of such a statement does not mean that under U.S. law the Weblogs are not under standard copyright provisions. They are copyrighted, but by who? Unless ALA has a copyright transfer or work-for-hire agreement with Weblog authors, it appears that the author of each posting holds the copyright to that posting, and copyright permissions for uses of postings that exceed fair use would need to be obtained from their authors. (Some Weblogs have a single author.)

One ALA Weblog uses the standard ALA copyright statement (ALA Techsource), one is copyrighted under the name of the Weblog (ACRLog), one is under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 United States license (YALSA), and three others are under Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 2.5 licenses (District Dispatch, LITA Blog, and Office for Intellectual Freedom).

Thus, the vast majority of ALA Weblogs are under standard copyright provisions, one is under ALA’s more liberal copyright provisions, and a few are under Creative Commons Licenses that permit noncommercial use without further permission as long as it does not include the creation of derivative works.