Yale Will Work with Microsoft to Digitize 100,000 Books

The Yale University Library and Microsoft will work together to digitize 100,000 English-language out-of-copyright books, which will be made available via Microsoft’s Live Search Books.

Here’s an excerpt from the press release:

The Library and Microsoft have selected Kirtas Technologies to carry out the process based on their proven excellence and state-of-the art equipment. The Library has successfully worked with Kirtas previously, and the company will establish a digitization center in the New Haven area. . . .

The project will maintain rigorous standards established by the Yale Library and Microsoft for the quality and usability of the digital content, and for the safe and careful handling of the physical books. Yale and Microsoft will work together to identify which of the approximately 13 million volumes held by Yale’s 22 libraries will be digitized. Books selected for digitization will remain available for use by students and researchers in their physical form. Digital copies of the books will also be preserved by the Yale Library for use in future academic initiatives and in collaborative scholarly ventures.

Wiley Reports Strong First Quarter Growth

Boosted by its acquisition of Blackwell, John Wiley & Sons, Inc. reported strong earnings growth in the first quarter.

Here's an excerpt from the press release:

John Wiley & Sons, Inc. (NYSE:JWa) (NYSE:JWb) announced today that revenue for the first quarter of fiscal year 2008 of $389 million increased 48% from $263 million in the previous year, including $116 million of revenue from Blackwell Publishing Ltd. (Blackwell), which Wiley acquired on February 2, 2007. Revenue excluding Blackwell increased 3% over last year's strong first quarter to $273 million, or 2% excluding favorable foreign exchange. . . .

U.S. STM revenue of $56 million was flat with the previous year's first quarter mainly due to the timing of journal, book and backfile releases. In addition to healthy journal license renewals, several new Enhanced Access Licenses were signed by academic and corporate customers around the world. Direct contribution to profit as a percent of revenue declined in the first quarter mainly due to the flat top-line results. Excluding Blackwell, global STM revenue was up 4%, including the favorable effect of foreign exchange. . . .

During the first quarter, U.S. STM signed several new, renewed, and extended contracts with societies to publish their journals, including a multi-year agreement with the American Association of Anatomists, with whom Wiley already partners, to publish Anatomical Sciences Education; the International Society for Autism Research to publish Autism Research; and the International Union of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology (IUBMB) to publish IUBMB Life. . . .

According to the Thomson ISI® 2006 ISI Journal Citation Reports, Wiley and Blackwell combined now publish more journals in the Social Science Citation Index than any other publisher. A third of these titles experienced significant increases in impact factors, more than any other publisher.

Athabasca University Establishes AU Press, an Open Access Publisher

Athabasca University has established AU Press, which will publish open access books, journals, and other digital publications.

Here's an excerpt from the press release:

AU Press, Canada’s first 21st century university press, is dedicated to disseminating knowledge emanating from scholarly research to a broad audience through open access digital media and in a variety of formats (e.g., journals, monographs, author podcasts).

Our publications are of the highest quality and are assessed by peer review; however, we are dedicated to working with emerging writers and researchers to promote success in scholarly publishing.

Our geographical focus is Canada, the West, and the Circumpolar North, and we are mandated to publish innovative and experimental works that challenge the limits of established canons, subjects and formats. Series under development in several subject areas will promote and contribute to specific academic disciplines, and we aim to revitalize neglected forms such as diary, memoir and oral history.

At AU Press, we also publish scholarly websites with a particular focus on distance education and e-learning, labour studies, Métis and Aboriginal studies, gender studies and the environment.

Portico Studying E-Book Preservation

Portico is launching a e-Book preservation study, which will last the rest of the year.

Here's an excerpt from the press release:

In response to several requests from publishers and libraries, Portico is conducting a study in order to assess how to extend its archival infrastructure and service to respond to the emerging need to preserve e-books. During the study we will analyze the structure and preservation needs of e-books and determine what adjustments to Portico's existing, operational and technological infrastructure and the economic model developed to support e-journal preservation might be required in order to respond to this new genre. Portico's e-journal archiving service was developed through a pilot project that drew heavily upon engagement with publisher and library pilot participants. We anticipate that a similar process will be essential in understanding how best to respond to the challenges of e-book preservation. . . .

The current participants in the E-Book Preservation study include:

Publishers

  • American Math Society
  • Elsevier
  • Morgan Claypool
  • Taylor and Francis

Libraries

  • Case Western Reserve University
  • Cornell University Library
  • McGill University
  • SOLINET
  • Texas University Libraries
  • University College of London
  • Yale University Library

Cornell Joins Google Books Library Project

The Cornell University Library has joined the Google Books Library Project.

Here's an excerpt from the press release:

Google will digitize up to 500,000 works from Cornell University Library and make them available online using Google Book Search. As a result, materials from the library’s exceptional collections will be easily accessible to students, scholars and people worldwide, supporting the library’s long-standing commitment to make its collections broadly available.

“Research libraries today are integral partners in the academic enterprise through their support of research, teaching and learning. They also serve a public good by enhancing access to the works of the world's best minds,” said Interim University Librarian Anne R. Kenney. “As a major research library, Cornell University Library is pleased to join its peer institutions in this partnership with Google. The outcome of this relationship is a significant reduction in the time and effort associated with providing scholarly full-text resources online.”

Materials from Mann Library, one of 20 member libraries that comprise Cornell University Library, will be digitized as part of the agreement. Mann’s collections include some of the following subject areas: biological sciences, natural resources, plant, animal and environmental sciences, applied economics, management and public policy, human development, textiles and apparel, nutrition and food science.. . .

Cornell is the 27th institution to join the Google Book Search Library Project, which digitizes books from major libraries and makes it possible for Internet users to search their collections online. Over the next six years, Cornell will provide Google with public domain and copyrighted holdings from its collections. If a work has no copyright restrictions, the full text will be available for online viewing. For books protected by copyright, users will just get the basic background (such as the book’s title and the author’s name), at most a few lines of text related to their search and information about where they can buy or borrow a book. Cornell University Library will work with Google to choose materials that complement the contributions of the project’s other partners. In addition to making the materials available through its online search service, Google will also provide Cornell with a digital copy of all the materials scanned, which will eventually be incorporated into the university’s own digital library.

Open Access to Books: The Case of the Open Access Bibliography Updated

Last July, I reported on use of the Open Access Bibliography: Liberating Scholarly Literature with E-Prints and Open Access Journals, which is both a printed book and a freely available e-book. Both versions are under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 2.0 License. You can get a detailed history at the prior posting; the major changes since then have been the conversion of the HTML version to XHTML and the addition of a Google Custom Search Engine.

So, what does cumulative use of the e-book OAB version look like slightly over one year down the road from the last posting? Here's a summary:

  • UH PDF: 29,255 (March through May 2005)
  • All Web files on both Digital Scholarship hosts: 192,849 (33,814 uses of the PDF file; June 2005 through July 2007)
  • dLIST PDF: 655 (March 2005 to present)
  • E-LIS PDF: 556 (November 2005 to present)
  • ARL PDF: Not Available

Combined, OAB Web files have been accessed 223,315 times since March 2005.

Review by a Prominent Press, Publication by the Rice University Press

In the fall, Rice University Press will publish Images of Memorable Cases by Herbert L. Fred. What's unusual is that the book was first reviewed by "a prominent press," which deemed it worthy of publication, but decided that it was not economically viable to do so by conventional means. However, the Rice University press, a digital press that offers free online access and low-cost print-on-demand books, saw a good fit with its new The Long Tail Press program, which will publish books vetted by other presses that they cannot feasibly publish. The change in publication strategy brought the print copy price down to about $80 from a projected $175.

The Rice University Press is also starting a collaborative publishing effort with Stanford University Press, which will review books for potential publication, with the works either being published by Rice alone or by both Rice and Stanford in a "hybrid" print/online model.

Other Rice University Press postings: "Digital University/Library Presses, Part 11: Other Digital Presses," "Rice University Names Head of Its Digital Press," and "Rice University Press Publishes Its First Open Access Digital Document."

Source: Jaschik, Scott. "New Model for University Presses." Inside Higher Ed, 31 July 2007.

University Publishing in a Digital Age

Ithaka has released University Publishing in a Digital Age by Laura Brown, Rebecca Griffiths, and Matthew Rascoff (preface by Kevin Guthrie).

Here's an excerpt from the "Introduction":

This paper has four purposes: First, we hope to make the case that universities should become more actively involved in publishing scholarship. It may not be obvious to many administrators that they should be in this “business” at all. . . . We will argue, however, that universities give up too much by withdrawing from publishing. They give up the opportunity to enhance institutional reputation and prestige. They reduce their ability to influence what gets published—and, therefore, not only what gets read but also who gets hired or promoted. They give up an opportunity to enhance the quality of what is published through the rich dialogue that is enabled by bringing editors into the fabric of relationships among scholars. And, as is often decried by open access advocates, universities sometimes must pay excessively high prices to gain access to published scholarship. . . .

Our second purpose is to galvanize action and investment to support revitalization of university publishing. . . . In some cases, that may mean making major structural and strategic changes to an existing press. In other cases it may mean forming new collaborations between different entities on campus or even across institutions, or disaggregating and recombining publishing related activities across multiple campus entities. It will no doubt require new infusions of capital, but this investment can create economies of scale that could help, in the end, to lower the costs and extend the reach of scholarly publishing. . . .

Third, we wish to explore some of the challenges and opportunities specific to university presses, as we believe that they can remain a vibrant part of the scholarly system if they are able to adapt quickly to the new electronic environment. . . . We concentrated primarily on exploring how the presses see themselves, how they are seen by others in the university community, and what unique strengths presses have to offer, with an eye towards identifying opportunities for them to translate their skills and assets to the future needs of the academy. We have also sought to understand the factors that have impeded their transition to electronic media, especially in monograph programs, in an effort to identify realistic measures going forward.

Fourth, and finally, we aim to start a conversation and gauge interest in a possible collective investment in a technological platform to support innovation in university-based, mission-driven publishing. . . . Our discussions with administrators, publishers, faculty, and librarians revealed real enthusiasm for the concept of a service that could aggregate published university content online, create a dynamic, efficient space for the tools of scholarship developed within universities, and spread the costs of investment among multiple institutions. We would now like to expand this conversation to the wider community, to test and refine the idea, and determine whether it may merit further exploration and possible investment.

The study was sponsored by JSTOR and Ithaka and was led by Laura Brown, former president of Oxford University Press USA, in collaboration with Ithaka’s Strategic Services group. We gratefully acknowledge the assistance of Peter Givler of the American Association of University Presses in distributing the survey to university press directors and encouraging their participation.

You can find further information about the report in the Inside Higher Ed article "Ideas to Shake Up Publishing."