Scholarly Electronic Publishing Weblog Update (12/18/06)

The latest update of the Scholarly Electronic Publishing Weblog (SEPW) is now available, which provides information about new scholarly literature and resources related to scholarly electronic publishing, such as books, journal articles, magazine articles, newsletters, technical reports, and white papers. Especially interesting are: The Complete Copyright Liability Handbook for Librarians and Educators, "Copyright Concerns in Online Education: What Students Need to Know," Digital Archiving: From Fragmentation to Collaboration, "Fixing Fair Use," "Mass Digitization of Books," MLA Task Force on Evaluating Scholarship for Tenure and Promotion, "Open Access: Why Should We Have It?," "Predictions for 2007," "Readers’ Attitudes to Self-Archiving in the UK," "The Rejection of D-Space: Selecting Theses Database Software at the University of Calgary Archives," "Taming the Digital Beast," and Understanding Knowledge as a Commons: From Theory to Practice.

The SEPW URL has changed. Use:

http://sepw.digital-scholarship.org/

or http://www.digital-scholarship.org/sepb/sepw/sepw.htm

There is a mirror site at:

http://www.digital-scholarship.com/sepb/sepw/sepw.htm

The RSS feed is unaffected.

For weekly updates about news articles, Weblog postings, and other resources related to digital culture (e.g., copyright, digital privacy, digital rights management, and Net neutrality), digital libraries, and scholarly electronic publishing, see the latest DigitalKoans Flashback posting.

Scholarly Electronic Publishing Weblog (11/20/06)

The latest update of the Scholarly Electronic Publishing Weblog (SEPW) is now available, which provides information about new scholarly literature and resources related to scholarly electronic publishing, such as books, journal articles, magazine articles, newsletters, technical reports, and white papers. Especially interesting are: "Author Addenda: An Examination of Five Alternatives"; "Building Preservation Environments with Data Grid Technology"; "Improving Access to Research Results: Six Points"; "Improving Access to Research Results: What’s in It for the Institution? Can We Make the Case?"; "Is There a Viable Business Model for Commercial Open Access Publishing?"; "Library Access to Scholarship"; "The Open Access Movement in China"; and "Standards-Based Interfaces for Harvesting and Obtaining Assets from Digital Repositories."

For weekly updates about news articles, Weblog postings, and other resources related to digital culture (e.g., copyright, digital privacy, digital rights management, and Net neutrality), digital libraries, and scholarly electronic publishing, see the latest DigitalKoans Flashback posting.

QuickTime Videos and PowerPoints from the Transforming Scholarly Communication Symposium

When I was chairing the Scholarly Communications Public Relations Task Force at the UH Libraries, the task force initiated a series of projects to increase awareness of key issues on the UH campus under the name "Transforming Scholarly Communication": a Website, a Weblog, and a symposium.

I’m pleased to announce that both the PowerPoint presentations and the QuickTime videos of the symposium speeches are now available. Thanks again to our speaker panel for participating in this event.

Ray English, Director of Libraries at Oberlin College and Chair of the SPARC Steering Committee, kicked things off with a talk on "The Crisis in Scholarly Communication" (PowerPoint, QuickTime Video, and "Sites and Cites for the Struggle: A Selective Scholarly Communication Bibliography").

Next, Corynne McSherry, Staff Attorney at the Electronic Frontier Foundation and author of Who Owns Academic Work?: Battling for Control of Intellectual Property, spoke on "Copyright in Cyberspace: Defending Fair Use" (PowerPoint and QuickTime Video).

Finally, Peter Suber, Research Professor of Philosophy at Earlham College, Senior Researcher at the Scholarly Publishing and Academic Resources Coalition (SPARC), and the Open Access Project Director at Public Knowledge, discussed "What Is Open Access?" (PowerPoint and QuickTime Video).

Scholarly Electronic Publishing Weblog (11/6/06)

The latest update of the Scholarly Electronic Publishing Weblog (SEPW) is now available, which provides information about new scholarly literature and resources related to scholarly electronic publishing, such as books, journal articles, magazine articles, newsletters, technical reports, and white papers. Especially interesting are: "Building an Information Infrastructure in the UK," "Considering a Marketing and Communications Approach for an Institutional Repository," "Creative Commons Licences in Higher and Further Education: Do We Care?," "Examining the Claims of Google Scholar as a Serious Information Source," "Fedora and the Preservation of University Records Project," "The Mandates of October," "The Need to Archive Blog Content," "No-Fee Open-Access Journals," "Risk Assessment and Copyright in Digital Libraries," and To Stand the Test of Time: Long-Term Stewardship of Digital Data Sets in Science and Engineering.

For weekly updates about news articles, Weblog postings, and other resources related to digital culture (e.g., copyright, digital privacy, digital rights management, and Net neutrality), digital libraries, and scholarly electronic publishing, see the latest DigitalKoans Flashback posting.

New OA Google Custom Search Engines

I’ve enhanced Open Access Update with four new Google Custom Search Engines:

  1. Open Access Mailing Lists (these are lists that have general discussion of OA topics)
  2. Open Access Serials
  3. Open Access Weblogs
  4. Open Access Wikis

The indexed works contain significant information about open access topics and are freely available.

See Open Access Update for details about the included works.

Scholarly Electronic Publishing Weblog Update (10/23/06)

The latest update of the Scholarly Electronic Publishing Weblog (SEPW) is now available, which provides information about new scholarly literature and resources related to scholarly electronic publishing, such as books, journal articles, magazine articles, newsletters, technical reports, and white papers. Especially interesting are: "Copyright Jungle," "Disruptive Beneficence: The Google Print Program and the Future of Libraries," "DLF-Aquifer Asset Actions Experiment: Demonstrating Value of Actionable URLs," "Ideas on Creating a Consumer Market for Scholarly Journals," "An Interoperable Fabric for Scholarly Value Chains," IWAW’ 06: Proceeding of the 6th International Web Archiving Workshop, "Moving into the Digital Age: A Conceptual Model for a Publications Repository," "The Publishing Imperative: The Pervasive Influence of Publication Metrics," and "Strategies and Frameworks for Institutional Repositories and the New Support Infrastructure for Scholarly Communications."

For weekly updates about news articles, Weblog postings, and other resources related to digital culture (e.g., copyright, digital privacy, digital rights management, and Net neutrality), digital libraries, and scholarly electronic publishing, see the latest DigitalKoans Flashback posting.

Scholarly Electronic Publishing Weblog Update ( 10/9/06)

The latest update of the Scholarly Electronic Publishing Weblog (SEPW) is now available, which provides information about new scholarly literature and resources related to scholarly electronic publishing, such as books, journal articles, magazine articles, newsletters, technical reports, and white papers. Especially interesting are: "As We May Read," "CDSware (CERN Document Server Software)," "Delay between Online and Offline Issue of Journals: A Critical Analysis," Fedora and the Preservation of University Records, Final Project Report to Atlantic Philanthropies: Creating an Open Access Paradigm for Scholarly Publishing, "InCommon: Watch This Space!," "Impacts of Mass Digitization Projects on Libraries and Information Policy," "OA Wrap-up on the Last Congress," "Open Access and Quality," Research Communication Costs in Australia: Emerging Opportunities and Benefits, and UK Scholarly Journals: 2006 Baseline Report: An Evidence-Based Analysis of Data Concerning Scholarly Journal Publishing.

For weekly updates about news articles, Weblog postings, and other resources related to digital culture (e.g., copyright, digital privacy, digital rights management, and Net neutrality), digital libraries, and scholarly electronic publishing, see the latest DigitalKoans Flashback posting.

Scholarly Electronic Publishing Weblog Update (9/25/06)

The latest update of the Scholarly Electronic Publishing Weblog (SEPW) is now available, which provides information about new scholarly literature and resources related to scholarly electronic publishing, such as books, journal articles, magazine articles, newsletters, technical reports, and white papers. Especially interesting are: "Books without Boundaries: A Brief Tour of the System-Wide Print Book Collection"; The Complete Copyright Liability Handbook for Librarians and Educators; Digital Preservation; "Effect of E-Printing on Citation Rates in Astronomy and Physics"; Evaluating DRM: Building a Marketplace for the Convergent World; "Integration and Collaboration within Recently Established Australian Scholarly Publishing Initiatives"; "Nine Questions for Hybrid Journal Programs"; "Open Access Perspective Part I: Pioneer Journals: The Arc of Enthusiasm, Five Years Later"; "Open Access Perspective, Part II: Pioneer OA Journals: Preliminary Additions from DOAJ"; "Publishing Cooperatives: An Alternative for Non-Profit Publishers"; "Repository Librarian and the Next Crusade: The Search for a Common Standard for Digital Repository Metadata"; and Technical Evaluation of Selected Open Source Repository Solutions

For weekly updates about news articles, Weblog postings, and other resources related to digital culture (e.g., copyright, digital privacy, digital rights management, and Net neutrality), digital libraries, and scholarly electronic publishing, see the latest DigitalKoans Flashback posting.

Open Access Update Web Page: New Aggregate Feed

The Blogdigger feed was not updating properly, and it has been deleted.

I’ve created a MySyndicaat Feedbot feed to replace it. The aggregate feed provides recent postings for the current week for selected Weblogs and other sources (currently 14 sources). The Open Access Update page’s feed has been switched to the MySyndicaat feed and the number of possible postings increased to 50. The MySyndicaat Feedbot Web page is now available as well.

Although the MySyndicaat Feedbot is set to the shortest update cycle, keep in mind that there are bound to be some feed update delays.

Open Access Update Web Page

Building on an earlier effort by Lesley Perkins, I’ve created a new Blogdigger aggregate feed for open access Weblogs that includes a wider selection of Weblogs. I’ve also created an Open Access Update Web page that presents the latest 30 headlines from the aggregate feed and provides links to OA-related mailing list archives, Peter Suber’s OA overview, OA-related journals, and OA-related Wikis.

Postscript: There were technical problems with updating the Blogdigger feed, and it has been deleted. See: "Open Access Update Web Page: New Aggregate Feed."

Scholarly Electronic Publishing Weblog Update (8/25/06)

The latest update of the Scholarly Electronic Publishing Weblog (SEPW) is now available, which provides information about new scholarly literature and resources related to scholarly electronic publishing, such as books, journal articles, magazine articles, newsletters, technical reports, and white papers. Especially interesting are: "The Acquisition of Open Access Research Articles"; "The Economics of Open Access Publishing"; Institutional Repositories SPEC Kit 292; "Let’s Get it Started!"; Lifecycle Information for E-Literature: A Summary from the LIFE Project Report Produced for the LIFE Conference 20 April 2006, Report of the Task Force on Open Access Publishing in Particle Physics; "Unlocking Scholarly Access: ETDs, Institutional Repositories and Creators: Highlights of ETD 2006, the 9th International Symposium on Electronic Theses and Dissertations"; and "What Deep Log Analysis Tells Us about the Impact of Big Deals: Case Study OhioLINK."

For weekly updates about news articles, Weblog postings, and other resources related to digital culture (e.g., copyright, digital privacy, digital rights management, and Net neutrality), digital libraries, and scholarly electronic publishing, see the latest DigitalKoans Flashback posting.

ARL Institutional Repositories SPEC Kit

The Institutional Repositories SPEC Kit is now available from the Association of Research Libraries (ARL). This document presents the results of a thirty-eight-question survey of 123 ARL members in early 2006 about their institutional repositories practices and plans. The survey response rate was 71% (87 out of 123 ARL members responded). The front matter and nine-page Executive Summary are freely available. The document also presents detailed question-by-question results, a list of respondent institutions, representative documents from institutions, and a bibliography. It is 176 pages long.

Here is the bibliographic information: University of Houston Libraries Institutional Repository Task Force. Institutional Repositories. SPEC Kit 292. Washington, DC: Association of Research Libraries, 2006. ISBN: 1-59407-708-8.

The members of the University of Houston Libraries Institutional Repository Task Force who authored the document were Charles W. Bailey, Jr. (Chair); Karen Coombs; Jill Emery (now at UT Austin); Anne Mitchell; Chris Morris; Spencer Simons; and Robert Wright.

The creation of a SPEC Kit is a highly collaborative process. SPEC Kit Editor Lee Anne George and other ARL staff worked with the authors to refine the survey questions, mounted the Web survey, analyzed the data in SPSS, created a preliminary summary of survey question responses, and edited and formatted the final document. Given the amount of data that the survey generated, this was no small task. The authors would like to thank the ARL team for their hard work on the SPEC Kit.

Although the Executive Summary is much longer than the typical one (over 5,100 words vs. about 1,500 words), it should not be mistaken for a highly analytic research article. Its goal was to try to describe the survey’s main findings, which was quite challenging given the amount of survey data available. The full data is available in the "Survey Questions and Responses" section of the SPEC Kit.

Here are some quick survey results:

  • Thirty-seven ARL institutions (43% of respondents) had an operational IR (we called these respondents implementers), 31 (35%) were planning one by 2007, and 19 (22%) had no IR plans.
  • Looked at from the perspective of all 123 ARL members, 30% had an operational IR and, by 2007, that figure may reach 55%.
  • The mean cost of IR implementation was $182,550.
  • The mean annual IR operation cost was $113,543.
  • Most implementers did not have a dedicated budget for either start-up costs (56%) or ongoing operations (52%).
  • The vast majority of implementers identified first-level IR support units that had a library reporting line vs. one that had a campus IT or other campus unit reporting line.
  • DSpace was by far the most commonly used system: 20 implementers used it exclusively and 3 used it in combination with other systems.
  • Proquest DigitalCommons (or the Bepress software it is based on) was the second choice of implementers: 7 implementers used this system.
  • While 28% of implementers have made no IR software modifications to enhance its functionality, 22% have made frequent changes to do so and 17% have made major modifications to the software.
  • Only 41% of implementers had no review of deposited documents. While review by designated departmental or unit officials was the most common method (35%), IR staff reviewed documents 21% of the time.
  • In a check all that apply question, 60% of implementers said that IR staff entered simple metadata for authorized users and 57% said that they enhanced such data. Thirty-one percent said that they cataloged IR materials completely using local standards.
  • In another check all that apply question, implementers clearly indicated that IR and library staff use a variety of strategies to recruit content: 83% made presentations to faculty and others, 78% identified and encouraged likely depositors, 78% had library subject specialists act as advocates, 64% offered to deposit materials for authors, and 50% offered to digitize materials and deposit them.
  • The most common digital preservation arrangement for implementers (47%) was to accept any file type, but only preserve specified file types using data migration and other techniques. The next most common arrangement (26%) was to accept and preserve any file type.
  • The mean number of digital objects in implementers’ IRs was 3,844.

Scholarly Electronic Publishing Weblog Update (8/14/06)

The latest update of the Scholarly Electronic Publishing Weblog (SEPW) is now available, which provides information about new scholarly literature and resources related to scholarly electronic publishing, such as books, journal articles, magazine articles, newsletters, technical reports, and white papers. Especially interesting are: "Augmenting Interoperability Across Scholarly Repositories," "The Digital Learning Challenge: Obstacles to Educational Uses of Copyrighted Material in the Digital Age," "Digital Preservation in the Context of Institutional Repositories," The Economic Impact of Enhanced Access to Research Findings, "The Movement for Open Access Law," "The National Institutes of Health (NIH) Policy on Enhancing Public Access: Tracking Institutional Contribution Rates," "Open Access: Implications for Scholarly Publishing and Medical Libraries," "Repositories for Research: Southampton’s Evolving Role in the Knowledge Cycle," and "Using OAI-PMH and METS for Exporting Metadata and Digital Objects between Repositories."

For weekly updates about news articles, Weblog postings, and other resources related to digital culture (e.g., copyright, digital privacy, digital rights management, and Net neutrality), digital libraries, and scholarly electronic publishing, see the latest DigitalKoans "Flashback" posting.

Scholarly Electronic Publishing Weblog Update (7/31/06)

The latest update of the Scholarly Electronic Publishing Weblog (SEPW) is now available, which provides information about new scholarly literature and resources related to scholarly electronic publishing, such as books, journal articles, magazine articles, newsletters, technical reports, and white papers. Especially interesting are: "Accessing Digital Libraries: A Study of ARL Members’ Digital Projects," "Building a Distributed, Standards-based Repository Federation: The China Digital Museum Project," "Lessons for the Future Internet: Learning from the Past" "On the Tips of Their Tongues: Authors and Their Views on Scholarly Publishing," "Open Archives and Their Impact on Journal Cancellations," and "A Service Framework for Libraries."

For weekly updates about news articles, Weblog postings, and other resources related to digital culture (e.g., copyright, digital privacy, digital rights management, and Net neutrality), digital libraries, and scholarly electronic publishing, see the latest DigitalKoans "Flashback" posting.

Scholarly Electronic Publishing Weblog Update (7/17/06)

The latest update of the Scholarly Electronic Publishing Weblog (SEPW) is now available, which provides information about new scholarly literature and resources related to scholarly electronic publishing, such as books, journal articles, magazine articles, newsletters, technical reports, and white papers.

Especially interesting are: "The CARL Institutional Repositories Project: A Collaborative Approach to Addressing the Challenges of IRs in Canada"; "Distributed Preservation in a National Context NDIIPP at Mid-Point"; Factors Affecting Science Communication: A Survey of Scientists and Engineers; "Google Scholar and 100 Percent Availability of Information"; "Institutional Repositories: Review and an Information Systems Perspective"; "Institutional Strategies and Policies for Electronic Theses and Dissertations"; Mass Digitization: Implications for Information Policy; "Nuts and Bolts of Network Neutrality"; "Open Access in the United States"; Open Access: Key Strategic, Technical and Economic Aspects; "An Overview of Portico: An Electronic Archiving Service"; "Three Options for Citation Tracking: Google Scholar, Scopus and Web of Science"; and "University of Waterloo Electronic Theses: Issues and Partnerships."

For weekly updates about news articles, Weblog postings, and other resources related to digital culture (e.g., copyright, digital privacy, digital rights management, and Net neutrality), digital libraries, and scholarly electronic publishing, see the latest DigitalKoans "Flashback" posting.

Scholarly Electronic Publishing Weblog Update (6/19/06)

The latest update of the Scholarly Electronic Publishing Weblog (SEPW) is now available, which provides information about new scholarly literature and resources related to scholarly electronic publishing, such as books, journal articles, magazine articles, newsletters, technical reports, and white papers. Especially interesting are: "Certification in a Digital Era," "Digital Rights Management": Report of an Inquiry by the All Party Internet Group, "Fair Use in Theory and Practice: Reflections on Its History and the Google Case," "Investigating the ‘Public’ in the Public Library of Science: Gifting Economics in the Internet Community," Linking UK Pepositories: Technical and Organisational Models to Support User-Oriented Services across Institutional and Other Digital Repositories, "Managing Risk and Opportunity in Creative Commons Enterprises," "Reviving a Culture of Scientific Debate," and "Strategies for Developing Sustainable Open Access Scholarly Journals."

For weekly updates about news articles, Weblog postings, and other resources related to digital culture (e.g., copyright, digital privacy, digital rights management, and Net neutrality), digital libraries, and scholarly electronic publishing, see the latest DigitalKoans "Flashback" posting.

dLIST Information Sciences Digital Archive Announces New Editors

From the press release:

We are pleased to announce the dynamic new team of editors for dLIST, the Digital Library of Information Science & Technology. These Information/Library & Information Science faculty and librarians will be
responsible for specific subjects.

dLIST is a cross-institutional, subject-based, open access digital archive for the Information Sciences, including Archives and Records Management, Library and Information Science, Information Systems, Museum Informatics, and other critical information infrastructures. The dLIST vision is to serve as a trusted archive and source for scholarly communication in the Information Sciences, broadly understood. dLIST seeks to positively impact and shape scholarly communication in our closely related fields. Editors represent diverse sub-disciplinary communities and work closely with scholars in different fields such as Digital Humanities and Digital Libraries (Marija Dalbello), Government Information and Social Informatics (Kristin Eschenfelder), Information Behaviors (Soo Young Rieh), Museum Informatics (Paul Marty), Scholarly Communication (Charles Bailey), Science Technology Studies (Fernando Elichirigoity), and Classics (Michael May). More information about each of the dLIST editors is available at http://dlist.sir.arizona.edu/editors.html.

The new team invites you to self-register, self-archive and explore the many unique features of dLIST.

Some dLIST features are:

  • DL-Harvest, an open access aggregator, which brings together materials from 14 global and open access archives in the Information Sciences for meta-searching and access to the full-text.
  • Detailed Usage Statistics, provide usage statistics of each item in dLIST .
  • RSS feeds and subscription alerts for items deposited in dLIST are available both by individual subjects (example: Academic Libraries) as well as the entire archive and anybody can be alerted automatically and quickly about new dLIST works.
  • A streamlined new web-based submission interface that lets authors upload and deposit their works easily.
  • Software patches and modifications (useful to Eprints archive maintainers) by Joseph Roback.
  • dLIST Classics is a new project that will be making fundamental and leading Library and Information Science texts openly accessible in dLIST.

For more information about dLIST and to self-register please visit http://dlist.sir.arizona.edu/ or email dlist at u dot arizona dot edu.

dLIST, Digital Library of Information Science & Technology
Email: dlist at u dot arizona dot edu
Contact: Garry Forger, Learning Technologies at the University of Arizona

Anita Coleman

Scholarly Electronic Publishing Weblog Update (6/5/06)

The latest update of the Scholarly Electronic Publishing Weblog (SEPW) is now available, which provides information about new scholarly literature and resources related to scholarly electronic publishing, such as books, journal articles, magazine articles, newsletters, technical reports, and white papers. Especially interesting are: "Business Models in Open Access Publishing"; "The Case for Scholars’ Management of Author Rights"; "Copyright: Finding a Balance"; "The Depth and Breadth of Google Scholar: An Empirical Study"; "Digital Library Federation (DLF) Aquifer Project"; "Finding a Balance 2: Signs of Imbalance"; "Follow-up on the Federal Research Public Access Act"; "Open Content and the Emerging Global Meta-University"; "Public Access to Federally Funded Research: The Cornyn-Lieberman and CURES Bills"; Scholarly Publishing Practice Academic Journal Publishers’ Policies and Practices in Online Publishing. Second Survey; and "Sustainable Digital Library Development for Scientific Communities in China."

For weekly updates about news articles, Weblog postings, and other resources related to digital culture (e.g., copyright, digital privacy, digital rights management, and Net neutrality), digital libraries, and scholarly electronic publishing, see the latest DigitalKoans "Flashback" posting.

2006 Dr. Ilene F. Rockman Award

I was very surprised and deeply honored by receiving the first Dr. Ilene F. Rockman Award yesterday for my work on the "Reference Librarians and Institutional Repositories" issue of Reference Services Review. (Normally, this award, which is one of the Emerald Literati Network Awards for Excellence, is given for the outstanding paper of the year, rather than an outstanding issue.)

My thanks to the RSR Editors and Editorial Board (who made this award without my knowledge), to Emerald, to the issue’s authors, and, of course, to Ilene.

The RSR issue in question includes the following IR articles (the links are to e-prints):

Scholarly Electronic Publishing Weblog Update (5/9/06)

The latest update of the Scholarly Electronic Publishing Weblog (SEPW) is now available, which provides information about new scholarly literature and resources related to scholarly electronic publishing, such as books, journal articles, magazine articles, newsletters, technical reports, and white papers. Especially interesting are: "Another OA Mandate: The Federal Research Public Access Act of 2006," "Library Access to Scholarship," Podcasting Legal Guide: Rules for the Revolution, and "Preserving Electronic Scholarly Journals: Portico."

"Strong Copyright + DRM + Weak Net Neutrality = Digital Dystopia?" Preprint

A preprint of my "Strong Copyright + DRM + Weak Net Neutrality = Digital Dystopia?" paper is now available.

It will appear in Information Technology and Libraries 25, no. 3 (2006).

This quote from the paper’s conclusion sums it up:

What this paper has said is simply this: three issues—a dramatic expansion of the scope, duration, and punitive nature of copyright laws; the ability of DRM to lock-down content in an unprecedented fashion; and the erosion of Net neutrality—bear careful scrutiny by those who believe that the Internet has fostered (and will continue to foster) a digital revolution that has resulted in an extraordinary explosion of innovation, creativity, and information dissemination. These issues may well determine whether the much-touted "information superhighway" lives up to its promise or simply becomes the "information toll road" of the future, ironically resembling the pre-Internet online services of the past.

For those who want a longer preview of the paper, here’s the introduction:

Blogs. Digital photo and video sharing. Podcasts. Rip/Mix/Burn. Tagging. Vlogs. Wikis. These buzzwords point to a fundamental social change fueled by cheap PCs and servers, the Internet and its local wired/wireless feeder networks, and powerful, low-cost software: citizens have morphed from passive media consumers to digital media producers and publishers.

Libraries and scholars have their own set of buzz words: digital libraries, digital presses, e-prints, institutional repositories, and open access journals to name a few. They connote the same kind of change: a democratization of publishing and media production using digital technology.

It appears that we are on the brink of an exciting new era of Internet innovation: a kind of digital utopia. Dr. Gary Flake of Microsoft has provided one striking vision of what could be (with a commercial twist) in a presentation entitled "How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Imminent Internet Singularity," and there are many other visions of possible future Internet advances.

When did this metamorphosis begin? It depends on who you ask. Let’s say the late 1980’s, when the Internet began to get serious traction and an early flowering of noncommercial digital publishing occurred.

In the subsequent twenty-odd years, publishing and media production went from being highly centralized, capital-intensive analog activities with limited and well-defined distribution channels to being diffuse, relatively low-cost digital activities with the global Internet as their distribution medium. Not to say that print and conventional media are dead, of course, but it is clear that their era of dominance is waning. The future is digital.

Nor is it to say that entertainment companies (e.g., film, music, radio, and television companies) and information companies (e.g., book, database, and serial publishers) have ceded the digital content battlefield to the upstarts. Quite the contrary.

High-quality thousand-page-per-volume scientific journals and Hollywood blockbusters cannot be produced for pennies, even with digital wizardry. Information and entertainment companies still have an important role to play, and, even if they didn’t, they hold the copyrights to a significant chunk of our cultural heritage.

Entertainment and information companies have understood for some time that they must adopt to the digital environment or die, but this change has not always been easy, especially when it involves concocting and embracing new business models. Nonetheless, they intend to thrive and prosper—and to do whatever it takes to succeed. As they should, since they have an obligation to their shareholders to do so.

The thing about the future is that it is rooted in the past. Culture, even digital culture, builds on what has gone before. Unconstrained access to past works helps determine the richness of future works. Inversely, when past works are inaccessible except to a privileged minority, it impoverishes future works.

This brings us to a second trend that stands in opposition to the first. Put simply, it is the view that intellectual works are "property"; that this property should be protected with the full force of civil and criminal law; that creators have perpetual, transferable property rights; and that contracts, rather than copyright law, should govern the use of intellectual works.

A third trend is also at play: the growing use of Digital Rights Management (DRM) technologies. When intellectual works were in paper form (or other tangible forms), they could only be controlled at the object-ownership or object-access levels (a library controlling the circulation of a copy of a book is an example of the second case). Physical possession of a work, such as a book, meant that the user had full use of it (e.g., the user could read the entire book and photocopy pages from it). When works are in digital form and they are protected by some types of DRM, this may no longer true. For example, a user may only be able to view a single chapter from a DRM-protected e-book and may not be able to print it.

The fourth and final trend deals with how the Internet functions at its most fundamental level. The Internet was designed to be content, application, and hardware "neutral." As long as certain standards were met, the network did not discriminate. One type of content was not given preferential delivery speed over another. One type of content was not charged for delivery while another wasn’t. One type of content was not blocked (at least by the network) while another wasn’t. In recent years, "network neutrality" has come under attack.

The collision of these trends has begun in courts, legislatures, and the marketplace. It is far from over. As we shall see, it’s outcome will determine what the future of digital culture looks like.

Scholarly Electronic Publishing Weblog Update (4/24/06)

The latest update of the Scholarly Electronic Publishing Weblog (SEPW) is now available, which provides information about new scholarly literature and resources related to scholarly electronic publishing, such as books, journal articles, magazine articles, newsletters, technical reports, and white papers. Especially interesting are: "The Impact of Mandatory Policies on ETD Acquisition," "Journals in the Time of Google," "Libraries and the Long Tail: Some Thoughts about Libraries in a Network Age," "Signing Away Our Freedom: The Implications of Electronic Resource Licences," Study on the Economic and Technical Evolution of the Scientific Publication Markets in Europe, Unintended Consequences: Seven Years under the DMCA, and The Wealth of Networks: How Social Production Transforms Markets and Freedom.

Scholarly Electronic Publishing Weblog Update (4/10/06)

The latest update of the Scholarly Electronic Publishing Weblog (SEPW) is now available, which provides information about new scholarly literature and resources related to scholarly electronic publishing, such as books, journal articles, magazine articles, newsletters, technical reports, and white papers. Especially interesting are: "CERN’s Open Access E-print Coverage in 2006: Three Quarters Full and Counting," "Comparison of Content Policies for Institutional Repositories in Australia," "Discovering Books: The OCA/GBS Saga Continues," "A Library’s Contribution to Scholarly Communication and Environmental Literacy: The Case of an Open-Access Environmental Journal," "The State of the Large Publisher Bundle: Findings from an ARL Member Survey," Study on the Economic and Technical Evolution of the Scientific Publication Markets in Europe, and "Surveying the E-Journal Preservation Landscape"

Scholarly Electronic Publishing Weblog Update (3/27/06)

The latest update of the Scholarly Electronic Publishing Weblog (SEPW) is now available, which provides information about new scholarly literature and resources related to scholarly electronic publishing, such as books, journal articles, magazine articles, newsletters, technical reports, and white papers. Especially interesting are: "Advancing Scholarship and Intellectual Productivity: An Interview with Clifford A. Lynch (Part 1)," "Building the Econtent Commons," Digital Libraries, "Finding Information in (Very Large) Digital Libraries: A Deep Log Approach to Determining Differences in Use According to Method of Access," "Institutional Open Archives: Where Are We Now?," and "What Do You Do with a Million Books?."