Coverage of the Demise of Microsoft's Mass Digitization Project

Microsoft's decision to end its Live Search Books program, which provided important funding for the Open Content Alliance, has been widely covered by newspapers, blogs, and other information sources.

Here's a selection of articles and posts: "Books Scanning to be Publicly Funded," "'It Ain’t Over Till It's Over': Impact of the Microsoft Shutdown," "Microsoft Abandons Live Search Books/Academic Scan Plan," "Microsoft Burns Book Search—Lacks 'High Consumer Intent,'" "Microsoft Shuts Down Two of Its Google 'Wannabe’s': Live Search Books and Live Search Academic," "Microsoft Will Shut Down Book Search Program," "Microsoft's Book-Search Project Has a Surprise Ending," "Post-Microsoft, Libraries Mull Digitization," "Publishers Surprised by Microsoft Move," "Why Killing Live Book Search Is Good for the Future of Books," and "Without Microsoft, British Library Keeps on Digitizing."

Sustainability and Revenue Models for Online Academic Resources: An Ithaka Report Released

The Strategic Content Alliance has released Sustainability and Revenue Models for Online Academic Resources: An Ithaka Report.

Here's an excerpt from the announcement:

This paper was commissioned by the Joint Information Systems Committee (JISC) is the first step in a three-stage process aimed at gaining a more systematic understanding of the mechanisms for pursuing sustainability in not-for-profit projects. It focuses on what we call 'online academic resources' (OARs), which are projects whose primary aim is to make content and scholarly discourse available on the web for research, collaboration, and teaching. This includes scholarly journals and monographs as well as a vast array of new formats that are emerging to disseminate scholarship, such as preprint servers and wikis. It also includes digital collections of primary source materials, datasets, and audio-visual materials that universities, libraries, museums, archives and other cultural and educational institutions are putting online.

This work is being done as part of the planning work for the Strategic Content Alliance (SCA), so it emphasises the development and maintenance of digital content useful in the networked world. In this first stage, we have conducted an initial assessment of the relevant literature focused on not-for-profit sustainability, and have compared the processes pursued in the not-for-profit and education sectors with those pursued by commercial organisations, specifically in the newspaper industry. The primary goal of this initial report is to determine to what extent it would make sense to conduct a more in-depth study of the issues surrounding sustainability.

Further Coverage about and Commentary on the Georgia State Digital Copyright Lawsuit

Here's a selection of recent news articles and Weblog postings about the Georgia State copyright infringement lawsuit. See my prior postings for further information about the suit ("Georgia State Copyright Infringement Suit Coverage and Commentary" and "Georgia State Sued by Three Publishers for Alleged Digital Copyright Infringement in E-Reserves, Course Management, and Other Systems").

"Academic Publishers Sue US Uni over Digital Course Material"

It is an estimate that electronic course packs now constitute half of all syllabus reading at American colleges and universities. . . . Cambridge University Press, for example charges 17 cents a page for each student for electronic use, and generally grants permission for use of as much as 20 percent of a book.

"Copyright Suit Tests How Much Is Too Much"

Indeed, the complaint notes that the three plaintiffs have published more than 100 books and monographs authored by GSU professors. That GSU is a nonprofit institution shouldn't have any bearing on how much unauthorized copying it can do, Smith [Frank Smith, Cambridge University Press] says.

"We're a nonprofit," he points out. "I assume they wouldn't want their classes flooded with students who weren't paying tuition, but you could say there's no extra cost to filling another desk. I'm sure they would resist that, and I could see why."

"Publishers vs Academics"

The educational area is one where courts have traditionally afforded a greater degree of leeway in fair use and even the plaintiff's lawyer has to admit that he can't find a law or binding precedent stating how much digital copying would be "not too much." It seems likely that if the case ever makes it as far as a decision that decision would be appealed. My personal opinion is that they'll work out a settlement before it gets that far—neither side wants to see a precedent set that would go against them. Plus there's a core reality that academic publishers and educational institutions exist in a kind of death-grip dependency that would harm both if it was violently broken.

"Publishing Group Hires Qorvis for Lawsuit Messaging"

The Association of American Publishers hired Qorvis to handle messaging for three academic publishers' copyright lawsuit against Georgia State University.

"Suing Georgia"

So, . . . what's left if you really, really, really believe that educators ought to be able to use whatever they need to and want to use in their classrooms without worrying about what it costs or whether it's fair use?

Consumer resistance, or OA.

"Temperance Is a Virtue"

If that case every reaches the stage of arguing the fair use defense, I hope the court will look very hard at the second fair use factor—the nature of the copyrighted work. Previously, the action on this factor has been minimal and has largely focused on published versus unpublished works and how much originality is necessary for "thick" or "thin" protection. But the economics of a particular segment of publishing, especially one as dysfunctional as scholarly publishing, ought to be considered when analyzing fair use, and factor two is a good place to do that. If the system is structured in a way that undermines the whole incentive purpose of copyright, as I have argued the scholarly publishing is, factor two, which really focuses on the expectations of creators of different types of works, should strongly favor an expansive application of fair use.

"What Does the Lawsuit against Georgia State Mean?"

There are a number of possible outcomes in this case. Settlement is possible. The complaint itself is somewhat vague in its details; while specific examples are provided for some of the allegedly infringing uses, the publishers provide no specific details or examples of professors linking to course material from their open web pages, or any information about specifically infringing behaviors within the course management system. Although it claims the copying is in excess of what is permitted as fair use, the publishers do not offer a specific discussion of what it considers to be the bounds of fair use, nor does it adequately define course packs, nor offer any interpretation of the cited cases against copy shops, other than to broadly claim that they act as guiding precedence.

Georgia State Copyright Infringement Suit Coverage and Commentary

Here's a selection of news articles and Weblog postings about the Georgia State copyright infringement lawsuit.

"Coursepack Sharing: An Idea Whose Time Has Come?": John Mark Ockerbloom, who maintains The Online Books Page, looks at the suit from an open access point of view. He says:

But in a world that's brought us global content sharing systems like Flickr, CiteULike, and PubMedCentral, it's not that much of a stretch to imagine systems that would let instructors provide and share open access course readings more readily. A well-designed, browsable and searchable repository of such readings could provide a convenient way for professors to upload, organize, and disseminate open coursepacks for their students ("Just go to the OpenCoursePacks website, and type in the name of my course", they could say). The same site could also let profs could tag, annotate, and recommend their readings, thereby making it that much easier for other professors to find and include suitable open access content in their own coursepacks. With a good design, and suitable scale and interest, a coursepack sharing site could make a lot more good instructional material widely and freely used and shared.

"Georgia State Sued For Copyright Infringement": Information Media Partners supports the suit and provides an interesting comment about publishers' fear of entering the "valley of death" of the print-to-electronic transition.

"Oxford, Cambridge and Sage Sue Georgia State": Paul N. Courant, University Librarian and Dean of Libraries at the University of Michigan, reacts to the suit. In summary, he says:

Things have come to a pretty pass when academic institutions sue each other over academic matters. Even if the publishers prove to be right on the merits, the lawsuit ought to be the last resort, and student use of academic materials produced by academic institutions ought be priced at something like marginal cost, rather than at the price that maximizes profit. And one wonders why three rich and distinguished institutions would go after an urban university that is much less well-resourced.

"A Press Revolt against E-Packet Practices": Andy Guess' Inside Higher Ed article overviews the suit, provides background information about prior communications between GSU and the plaintiff’s law firm, notes that the suit indicates that the e-reserves system wasn't restricted access until after a complaint to the university, and includes a call from Kenneth C. Green, director of the Campus Computing Project, for a iTunes-like system for scholarly material.

"Publishers Sue Georgia State for Copyright Infringement": Calvin Reid's Publisher's Weekly article overviews the suit and includes comments by Patricia Schroeder (AAP President and Chief Executive Officer), Allan Adler (AAP Vice President, Legal and Governmental Affairs), and Niko Pfund (Oxford University Press Vice President).

"Publishers Sue Georgia State University Over E-Reserves": Andrew Albanese's Library Journal article overviews the suit and includes comments by Pfund as well as a useful brief recap of prior e-reserves disputes and resolutions. (For more background, see Albanese's 2007 article "Down with E-Reserves: Confusing, Contentious, and Vital, E-Reserves Fuel Higher Education—And an Ongoing Copyright Battle.") Albanese notes that the "suit offers a remarkably detailed view of what the plaintiffs believe to be infringing activity at GSU, including specific examples of uses it considers to be well beyond the scope of fair use and a detailed appendix of alleged infringed materials."

"Trying to Sue State U": Kevin Smith, Scholarly Communications Officer at Duke University, analyzes the suit, weaving in an analysis of a recent case of state sovereign immunity and copyright infringement (discussed here in "Copyright Infringement Liability of State Employees"). In summary, Smith says:

A little bit of attention to the economics of scholarly publishing quickly undermines the claim in this complaint that, without permission fees for electronic reserves, the incentive system of copyright will be undermined. No monetary incentive currently exists for the vast majority of academic publishing, from the point of view of faculty, yet academics keep writing. There is no evidence at all that this well of free content will suddenly go dry if publishers are not able to collect an additional income stream from that well. If this suit goes forward in spite of sovereign immunity, that should be the issue on which the court focuses its attention.

For further reactions, see Jennifer Howard's "Librarians React to Lawsuit Against Georgia State U."

Association of American University Presses Issues Press Release Supporting Digital Copyright Lawsuit against Georgia State

The Association of American University Presses has issued a press release supporting the digital copyright lawsuit against Georgia State University (see "Georgia State Sued by Three Publishers for Alleged Digital Copyright Infringement in E-Reserves, Course Management, and Other Systems.")

Here's an excerpt from the press release:

In today's universities, it is increasingly rare for students to buy assigned books at the campus bookstore or purchase coursepacks at the local copyshop. Instead, professors often distribute assigned course readings electronically through digital course management, e-reserves, or similar systems. While many universities seek legally required permissions, others do not and simply distribute substantial excerpts from books and journals without permission or compensation. This has become a significant problem for university presses, who depend upon the income due them to continue to publish the specialized scholarly books required to educate students and to advance university research.

Against this backdrop, three scholarly publishers, Cambridge University Press, Oxford University Press, and Sage Publications, have recently filed suit against Georgia State University officials, citing a pattern of illegal distribution of copyrighted book and journal content through digital course management and similar systems controlled by Georgia State. The Association of American University Presses supports the difficult decision made by Cambridge and Oxford, both AAUP members, to take this action—particularly in light of its broad concerns for the critical role that university presses, which are non-profits, play in the world of university instruction and scholarly communications.

The basic legal issue in the suit, namely whether permissions are required for course materials, was forcefully addressed in Basic Books v. Kinko's Graphics Corp. (1991), which held that the coursepacks sold by Kinko's required the payment of permissions fees to publishers, and that the reproduction of a single chapter was "quantitatively [and] qualitatively substantial" under the Copyright Act. While AAUP respects the doctrine of fair use, which permits spontaneous and limited uses of copyrighted material for instruction, it is clear that universities need to seek permission for more regular and substantial uses of excerpts in coursepacks and other assigned reading. That the delivery method for coursepacks is digital rather than print-on-paper does not change the nature of the use or the content, and such uses are governed by the same legal principles established in earlier cases.

University presses are non-profits that operate on very thin margins, and their primary audience is the university community. Indeed, although university presses comprise only a small segment of the market, they supply a very significant proportion of the books and journal articles taught and read in universities, particularly in graduate and upper-level undergraduate courses. . . .

University presses also serve a critical role for universities by providing faculty with a platform to publish their research, a role central to scholarship and the tenure system. . . .

Many universities have understood these realities and have promulgated strong institutional policies on the digital use of copyrighted materials. Over the last two years, publishers have had productive discussions with several universities including Cornell, Syracuse, Marquette and Hofstra, all of whom have recently adopted sound copyright policies about the use of digital course materials. Several mechanisms currently exist for universities to obtain clearance for the use of these materials, whether through individual publishers or the Copyright Clearance Center. While many universities have adopted a centralized approach and treated electronic course materials as they do paper, Georgia State has flatly rebuffed repeated attempts by publishers to work toward an acceptable university policy and has continued to foster a system of widespread copyright abuse.

The decision to file a suit is never easy, and always a last resort. It is particularly painful for non-profit publishers to sue a university, even if in this situation it was unavoidable. "It feels like suing a member of the family" said AAUP Executive Director Peter Givler. "Unfortunately, the alleged infringement is like stealing from a member of the family."

Georgia State Sued by Three Publishers for Alleged Digital Copyright Infringement in E-Reserves, Course Management, and Other Systems

Backed by the Association of American Publishers, Cambridge University Press, Oxford University Press, and SAGE Publications have sued Georgia State University alleging "systematic, widespread and unauthorized copying and distribution of a vast amount of copyrighted works" via GSU's e-reserves, course management, and other systems.

The suit "seeks injunctive relief to bring an end to such practices, but does not seek monetary damages." The defendants named in the suit are the GSU President, Provost, Dean of Libraries, and Associate Provost for Information Systems and Technology.

Read more about it at "Publishers Sue Georgia State on Digital Reading Matter" and "Publishers Take Action against Georgia State University Copyright Infringement."

Cornell University Library and Duke University Press to Collaborate on Project Euclid

The Cornell University Library and Duke University Press have announced that they will collaborate on the future development of Project Euclid.

Here's an excerpt from the press release:

Effective July 2008, Duke will provide publishing expertise in marketing, sales, and order fulfillment to Project Euclid's participating publishers and institutional subscribers. Duke will work to broaden and deepen Project Euclid's subscriber base, resulting in greater global exposure for 54 journals and a growing number of monographs and conference proceedings. Cornell will continue to provide and support the vital IT infrastructure for Project Euclid and assume responsibility for archiving and preservation activities, ensuring robust and reliable access to the content deposited with Project Euclid for future scholars, researchers, and students.

Now home to 93,000 journal articles (75% of which are open access), along with 60 monographs and conference proceedings, Project Euclid and its partner publishers will benefit from Duke's commitment to Project Euclid's mission and from the Press's publishing proficiency, reputation for quality consciousness, and university-based value system. Duke's recent initiative to expand its journals publishing program into science, technology and medicine further ensures that together the Cornell Library and Duke University Press will achieve Project Euclid's goal to become a primary destination site for mathematicians and statisticians. . . .

This joint venture was undertaken in cooperation with the Scholarly Publishing & Academic Resources Coalition (SPARC), an alliance of universities, research libraries, and organizations, created by the Association of Research Libraries.

Leadership for Project Euclid will be assumed by management at both Cornell and Duke.

ARL Publishes Research Library Publishing Services: New Options for University Publishing

The Association of Research Libraries has published Research Library Publishing Services: New Options for University Publishing by Karla L. Hahn.

Here's an excerpt from the "Executive Summary":

To foster a deeper understanding of an emerging research library role as publishing service provider, in late 2007 the Association of Research Libraries surveyed its membership to gather data on the publishing services they were providing. Following the survey, publishing program managers at ten institutions participated in semi-structured interviews to delve more deeply into several aspects of service development: the sources and motivations for service launch, the range of publishing services, and relationships with partners.

The survey verified that research libraries are rapidly developing publishing services. By late 2007, 44% of the 80 responding ARL member libraries reported they were delivering publishing services and another 21% were in the process of planning publishing service development. Only 36% of responding institutions were not active in this arena.

These libraries are publishing many kinds of works, but the main focus is journals; 88% of publishing libraries reported publishing journals compared to 79% who publish conference papers and proceedings, and 71% who publish monographs. Established journal titles dominate this emerging publishing sector and are the main drivers of service development, although new titles are also being produced. Although the numbers of titles reported represent a very thin slice of the scholarly publishing pie, the survey respondents work with 265 titles: 131 are established titles, 81 are new titles, and 53 were under development at the time of the survey. On average, these libraries work with 7 or 8 titles with 6 currently available. . . .

Peer reviewed works dominate library publishing programs and editors or acquisitions committees typically maintain their traditional roles in identifying quality content. Libraries often provide technical support for streamlined peer review workflows, but they are not providing peer review itself. The manuscript handling services provided by some publishing programs were a significant attraction to the editors of established publications.

Library publishing program managers report substantial demand for hosting services. Libraries increasingly are positioned to provide at least basic hosting services. Open source software such as the Public Knowledge Project’s Open Journal Systems and DPubs along with new commercial services such as those offered by The Berkeley Electronic Press (bepress) through Digital Commons allows libraries to support basic journal hosting relatively easily.

Advice and consulting regarding a variety of publishing practices and decisions are perhaps even more popular services. There are pressing demands for information and advice about issues such as moving print publications into electronic publishing, discontinuing print in favor of electronic alternatives, publishing works with limited revenue-generating capability, revenue generation, standards of various sorts, markup and encoding, metadata generation, preservation, contracting with service providers, and copyright management.

Supporting Digital Scholarly Editions: A Report on the Conference of January 14, 2008

The National Endowment for the Humanities and the Virginia Foundation for the Humanities have published Supporting Digital Scholarly Editions: A Report on the Conference of January 14, 2008, which was written by Ithaka staff.

Here'a an excerpt from the "Introduction":

On January 14, 2008, a group of editors, representatives from university presses, and other stakeholders met to discuss the future of scholarly editions and how they might best be supported in the digital age. . . . .

The objectives of the meeting were:

  • To identify services and tools that are critical for supporting digital documentary editions;
  • To assess the need for a service provider to facilitate the production of these editions; and
  • To articulate the key uncertainties involved in creating such a service provider, so that those can be further investigated.

This report documents the workshop, with the goal of providing a reference not only for participants, but also for others in the community who are concerned with the future of scholarly editions. It is divided into three sections that follow the course of the day itself:

  1. Developing a vision for the next generation scholarly edition
  2. How do we get there? Identifying needs and gaps
  3. Creating a service provider for scholarly editions

NYU Libraries and Institute for the Future of the Book Partner to Develop New Digital Scholarly Communication Tools

The New York University Division of Libraries and the Institute for the Future of the Book will work together to develop new digital scholarly communications tools.

Here's an excerpt from the press release:

"We are constantly watching the unfolding digital landscape for new paths we might want to take," said Carol A. Mandel, dean of the NYU Libraries. "IFB is a thought leader in the future of scholarly communication. We will work together to develop new software and new options that faculty can use to pubish, review, share, and collaborate at NYU and in the larger academic community."

For the past three years, IFB has been researching, prototyping, and sketching out models for how university presses could expand their publishing programs to include digital and networked formats. IFB is best known for its series of "networked book" experiments, which modify popular blogging technologies to create social book formats for the Web. Among these are: "Without Gods" by NYU’s Mitchell Stephens, "The Googlization of Everything" by Siva Vaidhyanathan, "Gamer Theory" by McKenzie Wark (the first fully networked digital monograph), and "Expressive Processing" by Noah Wardrip-Fruin, which is currently undergoing the first blog-based peer review.

Out of these projects, IFB developed CommentPress, an extension for the WordPress blog platform that enables paragraph-level commenting in the margins of a text. IFB is also at work on a powerful open source digital authoring environment called Sophie, the first version of which has just been released.

"We are thrilled to be working with NYU," said IFB Director Bob Stein. "We now have the benefit not only of the Libraries’ first-rate technical support, but also of working with world-class faculty, many of whom are leading innovators in digital scholarly communications."

In an auspicious start to their partnership, NYU Libraries and IFB have been awarded a start-up grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) to design a set of networking tools that will serve as the membership system for MediaCommons, an all-electronic scholarly publishing network in the digital humanities that IFB has been instrumental in developing.

Under the agreement, three of IFB’s leaders will serve as visiting scholars at NYU. They are Bob Stein; Ben Vershbow, IFB editorial director; and researcher Dan Visel. They will work with NYU librarians; with the digital library team, headed by James Bullen; and with Monica McCormick, the Libraries’ program officer for digital scholarly publishing.

Read more about it at "Major News: IFB and NYU Libraries to Collaborate."

A Dialog with the Mellon Foundation's Don Waters on the Grand Text Auto Open Peer Review Experiment

Previously ("Book to Be Published by MIT Press Undergoing Blog-Based Open Peer Review"), DigitalKoans reported on an open-peer-review experiment on the Grand Text Auto Weblog.

Now, if:book has published a dialog between its staff, the book's author, and Donald J. Waters, the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation's Program Officer for scholarly communications, about the experiment.

Here's an excerpt from the posting:

[Waters] As I understand the explanations, there is a sense in which the experiment is not aimed at "peer review" at all in the sense that peer review assesses the qualities of a work to help the publisher determine whether or not to publish it. What the exposure of the work-in-progress to the community does, besides the extremely useful community-building activity, is provide a mechanism for a function that is now all but lost in scholarly publishing, namely "developmental editing." It is a side benefit of current peer review practice that an author gets some feedback on the work that might improve it, but what really helps an author is close, careful reading by friends who offer substantive criticism and editorial comments. . . . The software that facilitates annotation and the use of the network, as demonstrated in this experiment, promise to extend this informal practice to authors more generally.

Book to Be Published by MIT Press Undergoing Blog-Based Open Peer Review

Noah Wardrip-Fruin's draft of Expressive Processing: Digital Fictions, Computer Games, and Software Studies, which will be published by MIT Press, is undergoing an open peer-review process on the Grand Text Auto Weblog using a new plug-in version of CommentPress. The book is also undergoing a conventional peer-review process.

Read more about it at "Blog Comments and Peer Review Go Head to Head to See Which Makes a Book Better"and "Expressive Processing: An Experiment in Blog-Based Peer Review."

Mellon Foundation Awards Four Grants for Cooperative University Press Projects

The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation has awarded grants to four groups of university presses to support the cooperative publication of scholarly books and digital works in the fields of American Literatures, Ethnomusicology, Slavic Studies, and South Asian Studies. The Ethnomusicology project will develop a plan for publishing printed and digital works, and the American Literatures project will utilize a "a shared, centralized, external editorial service dedicated solely to managing the production of books in the initiative."

Here's an excerpt from the press release:

The four projects and participating presses are:

  • Slavic Studies: University of Wisconsin Press, Northwestern University Press, and the University of Pittsburgh Press;
  • American Literatures: New York University Press, Fordham University Press, Rutgers University Press, Temple University Press, and the University of Virginia Press;
  • South Asian Studies: Columbia University Press, the University of California Press, and the University of Chicago Press;
  • Ethnomusicology: Indiana University Press, Kent State University Press, and Temple University Press. . . .

Wisconsin, Northwestern, and Pittsburgh will use the Mellon funds to support the publication and promotion of first monographs in Russian, East European, and Central Asian studies. Although all three presses have strong publication lists in this field, this initiative will enable them to accept more first books by junior scholars, to work closely with those scholars to develop their authorial skills, and in some cases to underwrite the publication of works in paperback or the incorporation of expensive elements (such as color images). . . .

The American Literatures Initiative, led by NYU in collaboration with Fordham, Rutgers, Temple and Virginia, also seeks to publish promising scholars’ first books in their focus field of English-language literatures of Central and North America and the Caribbean. The most innovative aspect of the program will be the establishment of a shared, centralized, external editorial service dedicated solely to managing the production of books in the initiative. This service will handle all copyediting, design, layout, and typesetting costs, and manage each title through to the point where it is ready for printing. Mellon funds will also be used to pay authors modest royalty advances and develop robust, collaborative marketing efforts among the five presses—which will reduce costs for advertising and electronic marketing, publicity, academic conference exhibits, and other efforts. . . .

Major editorial goals of the Columbia-led South Asian Studies series will be to open up new archival material to scholars, to explore new theories and methods, and to develop scholarship that is both deep in expertise and broad in appeal across disciplines. . . .

The ethnomusicology project received a one-year planning grant, the first phase in establishing a cooperative publishing program that will include the digital publication of related field materials. Through their cooperative series Indiana, Kent State, and Temple will seek to broaden publishing opportunities for emerging scholars in ethnomusicology, and to offer scholars in ethnomusicology and related fields enhanced means of accessing these materials via the Web. In so doing the presses’ goal is to assist in disseminating scholarship and developing new methodologies in both research and publication. The project will be eligible to apply for continued funding at the completion of the planning stage.

Columbia University Libraries and Bavarian State Library Become Google Book Search Library Partners

Both the Columbia University Libraries and Bavarian State Library have joined the Google Book Search Library Project.

Here are the announcements:

Pitt's Libraries and University Press Establish Open Access Book Program

The University of Pittsburgh University Library System and the University of Pittsburgh University Press have established the University of Pittsburgh University Press Digital Editions, which offers free access to digitized versions of print books from the press.

Here's an excerpt from the press release:

The University of Pittsburgh’s University Library System (ULS) and University Press have formed a partnership to provide digital editions of press titles as part of the library system’s D-Scribe Digital Publishing Program. Thirty-nine books from the Pitt Latin American Series published by the University of Pittsburgh Press are now available online, freely accessible to scholars and students worldwide. Ultimately, most of the Press’ titles older than 2 years will be provided through this open access platform.

For the past decade, the University Library System has been building digital collections on the Web under its D-Scribe Digital Publishing Program, making available a wide array of historical documents, images and texts which can be browsed by collection and are fully searchable. The addition of the University of Pittsburgh Press Digital Editions collection marks the newest in an expanding number of digital collaborations between the University Library System and the University Press.

The D-Scribe Digital Publishing Program includes digitized materials drawn from Pitt collections and those of other libraries and cultural institutions in the region, pre-print repositories in several disciplines, the University’s mandatory electronic theses and dissertations program, and electronic journals during the past eight years, sixty separate collections have been digitized and made freely accessible via the World Wide Web. Many of these projects have been carried out with content partners such as Pitt faculty members, other libraries and museums in the area, professional associations, and most recently, with the University of Pittsburgh Press with several professional journals and the new University of Pittsburgh Press Digital Editions. . . .

More titles will be added to the University of Pittsburgh Press Digital Editions each month until most of the current scholarly books published by the Press are available both in print and as digital editions. The collection will eventually include titles from the Pitt Series in Russian and East European Studies, the Pitt-Konstanz Series in the Philosophy and History of Science, the Pittsburgh Series in Composition, Literacy, and Culture, the Security Continuum: Global Politics in the Modern Age, the History of the Urban Environment, back issues of Cuban Studies, and numerous other scholarly titles in history, political science, philosophy, and cultural studies.

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."

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