BioMed Central Replies to Yale

On Sunday, DigitalKoans reported that Yale had canceled its BioMed Central membership. Today, BioMed Central has replied to the Yale posting about that decision.

Here's an excerpt from the BioMed Central posting:

The main concern expressed in the library's announcement is that the amount payable to cover the cost of publications by Yale researchers in BioMed Central's journals has increased significantly, year on year. Looking at the rapid growth of BioMed Central's journals, it is not difficult to see why that is the case. BioMed Central's success means that more and more researchers (from Yale and elsewhere) are submitting to our journals each year.


An increase in the number of open access articles being submitted and going on to be published does lead to an increase in the total cost of the open access publishing service provided by BioMed Central, but the cost per article published in BioMed Central's journals represents excellent value compared to other publishers.

The Yale library announcement notes that it paid $31,625 to cover the cost of publication in BioMed Central's journals by their authors in 2006, and that the anticipated cost in 2007 will be higher. But to put this into context, according to the Association of Research Library statistics, Yale spent more than $7m on serial subscriptions. Nonetheless, we do recognize that library budgets are very tight and that supporting the rapid growth of open access publishing out of library budgets alone may not be possible. . . .

If library budgets were the only source of funding to cover the cost of open access publication, this would be a significant obstacle. Fortunately, however, there are other sources of funding that are helping to accelerate the transition to open access. . . .

The Wellcome Trust report estimated that on average the cost associated with publishing a peer-reviewed research article is less than $3000, and further estimated that this represented only 1-2% of the typical investment by a funder in carrying out the research that led to the article. It is not surprising therefore, that major biomedical research funders such as NIH and HHMI now encourage open access publication, and are willing to provide financial support for it. BioMed Central's list of biomedical funder open access policies provides further information.

Authors may, of course, pay articles from their own grant funds, and around half of articles published in BioMed Central journals are indeed paid for in this way. However, relying on authors to pay for the cost of open access publication themselves puts open access journals at a significant disadvantage compared to traditional journals, which are supported centrally through library budgets, and so are often perceived to be 'free' by authors.

That is why BioMed Central introduced its institutional membership scheme, which allows institutions to centrally support the dissemination of open access research in the same way that they centrally support subscription journals, thereby creating a 'level playing field'.

In order to ensure that funding of open access publication is sustainable, we have encouraged institutions to set aside a small fraction of the indirect funding contribution that they receive from funders to create a central open access fund.

Over the last several months, BioMed Central has hosted workshops on the issue of sustainable funding for open access at the UK's Association of Research Manager's and Administrators annual conference and at the Medical Library Association's meeting in Philadelphia [see report]. Further such workshops are planned.

In this way, by helping research funders, administrators, VPs of research and librarians to work together to provide sustainable funding channels for open access, we aim to "provide a viable long-term revenue base built upon logical and scalable options", as called for in statement fromYale's library. . . .

We look forward to working with librarians and research administrators at Yale to develop a solution that will make it as easy as possible for Yale's researchers to continue publish their open access research articles in BioMed Central's journals.

ACRL Recommends Next Steps for Supporting NIH Mandate

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

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

Here’s an excerpt from ACRL Legislative Update:

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

Publisher Author Agreements

According to today's SHERPA/RoMEO statistics, 36% of the 308 included publishers are green ("can archive pre-print and post-print"), 24% are blue ("can archive post-print (i.e. final draft post-refereeing)"), 11% are yellow ("can archive pre-print (i.e. pre-refereeing)"), and 28% are white ("archiving not formally supported"). Looked at another way, 72% of the publishers permit some form of self-archiving.

These are certainly encouraging statistics, and publishers who permit any form of self-archiving should be applauded; however, leaving aside Creative Commons licenses and author agreements that have been crafted by SPARC and others to promote rights retention, publishers recently liberalized author agreements still raise issues that librarians and scholars should be aware of.

Looking deeper, there are publisher variations in terms of where e-prints can be self-archived. Typically, this might be some combination of the author's Website, institutional repository or Website, funding agency's server, or disciplinary archive. Some agreements allow deposit on any noncommercial or open access server. Restricting deposit to open access or noncommercial servers is perfectly legitimate in my view; more specific restrictions are, well, too restrictive. The problem arises when the agreement limits the author's deposit options to ones he or she doesn't have, such as only allowing deposit in an institutional repository when the author's institution doesn't have one or only allowing posting on an author's Website when the author doesn't have one.

Another issue is publisher requirements for authors to remove e-prints on publication, to modify e-prints after publication to reflect citation and publisher contact information, to replace e-prints with published versions, or to create their own versions of postprints. Low deposit rates in institutional repositories without institutional mandates suggest that anything that involves extra effort by authors is a deterrent to deposit. The above kinds of publisher requirements are likely to have equally low rates on compliance, resulting in deposited e-prints that do not conform to author agreements. To be effective, such requirements would have to be policed by publishers or digital repositories. Otherwise, they are meaningless and are best deleted from author agreements.

A final issue is retrospective deposit. We can think of the journal literature as an inverted pyramid, with the broad top being currently published articles and the bottom being the first published journal articles. The papers published since the emergence of author agreements that permit self-archiving are a significant resource; however, much of the literature precedes such agreements. The vast majority of these articles are under standard copyright transfer agreements, with publishers holding all rights. Consequently, it is very important that publishers clarify whether their relatively new self-archiving policies can be applied retroactively. Elsevier has done so:

When Elsevier changes its policies to enable greater academic use of journal materials (such as the changes several years ago in our web-posting policies) or to clarify the rights retained by journal authors, Elsevier is prepared to extend those rights retroactively with respect to articles published in journal issues produced prior to the policy change.

Elsevier is pleased to confirm that, unless explicitly noted to the contrary, all policies apply retrospectively to previously published journal content. If, after reviewing the material noted above, you have any questions about such rights, please contact Global Rights.

Unfortunately, many publishers have not clarified this issue. Under these conditions, whether authors can deposit preprints or author-created postprints hinges on whether these works are viewed as being different works from the publisher version, and, hence, owned by the authors. Although some open access advocates believe this to be the case, to my knowledge this has never been decided in a court of law. Michael Carroll, who is a professor at the Villanova University School of Law and a member of the Board of the Creative Commons, has said in an analysis of whether authors can put preprints of articles published using standard author agreements under Creative Commons licenses:

Although technically distinct, the copyrights in the pre-print and the post-print overlap. The important point to understand is that copyright grants the owner the right to control exact duplicates and versions that are "substantially similar" to the copyrighted work. (This is under U.S. law, but most other jurisdictions similarly define the scope of copyright).

A pre-print will normally be substantially similar to the post-print. Therefore, when an author transfers the exclusive rights in the work to a publisher, the author precludes herself from making copies or distributing copies of any substantially similar versions of the work as well.

Much progress has been made in the area of author agreements, but authors must still pay careful attention to the details of agreements, which vary considerably by publisher. The SHERPA/RoMEO—Publisher Copyright Policies & Self-Archiving database is a very useful and important tool and users should actively participate in refining this database; however, authors are well advised not to stop at the summary information presented here and to go to the agreement itself (if available). It would be very helpful if a set of standard author agreements that covered the major variations could be developed and put into use by the publishing industry.

Yale Cancels BioMed Central Membership

Except for current submissions, Yale’s Cushing/Whitney Medical and Kline Science Libraries have stopped funding author fees for Yale faculty who publish papers in BioMed Central journals. According to ARL statistics, the Yale spent $7,705,342 on serials in 2005-06, which raises the question: If Yale can’t afford to support BioMed Central, what academic library can?

Here’s an excerpt from the Yale posting:

The libraries’ BioMedCentral membership represented an opportunity to test the technical feasibility and the business model of this OA publisher. While the technology proved acceptable, the business model failed to provide a viable long-term revenue base built upon logical and scalable options. Instead, BioMedCentral has asked libraries for larger and larger contributions to subsidize their activities. Starting with 2005, BioMed Central page charges cost the libraries $4,658, comparable to a single biomedicine journal subscription. The cost of page charges for 2006 then jumped to $31,625. The page charges have continued to soar in 2007 with the libraries charged $29,635 through June 2007, with $34,965 in potential additional page charges in submission.

As we deal with unprecedented increases in electronic resources, we have had to make hard choices about which resources to keep. At this point we can no longer afford to support the BioMedCentral model.

(Thanks to Open Access News.)

New Learned Publishing Open Access Option

The Association of Learned and Professional Society Publishers has announced that Learned Publishing authors now have the option of paying a fee to have their articles immediately available.

Here's an excerpt from the press release:

The Association of Learned and Professional Society Publishers (ALPSP), publisher of Learned Publishing. . . announces the launch of "ALPSP Author Choice," an optional Open Access model whereby authors can choose to make the online version of their article freely available to all immediately on publication. The fee for this optional service is £1,250/$2,500 for members of ALPSP and the Society for Scholarly Publishing (SSP) and £1,500/$3,000 for non-members. "ALPSP Author Choice" is being launched on a trial basis by ALPSP, the international association for non-profit publishers and those who work with them. The first article to be published under the new service appeared in the July 2007 issue of the journal (Volume 20, No. 3), and is entitled "Going all the way: how Hindawi became an open access publisher" by Paul Peters.

Learned Publishing already provides "Delayed Open Access": all papers can be accessed free of charge 12 months after publication. The journal is also freely accessible to all ALPSP and SSP members, and to participants in the HINARI and AGORA projects. . . .

The "ALPSP Author Choice" service is being offered on a trial basis that will run for 12 months, before being reviewed by ALPSP Council, at which point the current subscription rates will also be considered.

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."

House Passes H. R. 3043 and NIH Mandate Is Approved, but Bush May Veto Bill

By a 276 to 140 vote, the House approved H. R. 3043 (Making Appropriations for the Departments of Labor, Health and Human Services, and Education, and Related Agencies for the Fiscal Year Ending September 30, 2008, and for Other Purposes), which includes the following wording:

SEC. 217. The Director of the National Institutes of Health shall require that all investigators funded by the NIH submit or have submitted for them to the National Library of Medicine's PubMed Central an electronic version of their final, peer-reviewed manuscripts upon acceptance for publication, to be made publicly available no later than 12 months after the official date of publication: Provided, That the NIH shall implement the public access policy in a manner consistent with copyright law.

Due to concerns over increased spending, President Bush may veto the bill (see Peter Suber's "House Approves OA Mandate for NIH, but Bush May Veto" for details).

Here's the party breakdown on the vote:

  • Democrats: 223 yes, 1 no, 6 not voting.
  • Republications: 53 yes, 139 no, 9 not voting.

You can see a breakdown of votes by party, state, and other criteria at the Washington Post Votes Database page for the bill.

From the Washington Post, here are the House members who voted against the bill.

Robert Aderholt, Todd Akin, Rodney Alexander, Michele Bachmann, Spencer Bachus, Richard Baker, J. Gresham Barrett, Roscoe Bartlett, Joe Barton, Melissa Bean, Brian Bilbray, Rob Bishop, Marsha Blackburn, Roy Blunt, John Boehner, Jo Bonner, John Boozman, Charles Boustany, Kevin Brady, Henry Brown, Ginny Brown-Waite, Michael Burgess, Dan Burton, Steve Buyer, Dave Camp, John Campbell, Chris Cannon, Eric Cantor, John Carter, Steve Chabot, Howard Coble, Tom Cole, Michael Conaway, Ander Crenshaw, John Culberson, Geoff Davis, David Davis, Tom Davis, Nathan Deal, Mario Diaz-Balart, Lincoln Diaz-Balart, John Doolittle, Thelma Drake, David Dreier, John 'Jimmy' Duncan, Mary Fallin, Tom Feeney, Jeff Flake, Randy Forbes, Vito Fossella, Virginia Foxx, Trent Franks, Rodney Frelinghuysen, Elton Gallegly, Scott Garrett, Paul Gillmor, Phil Gingrey, Louie Gohmert, Virgil Goode, Bob Goodlatte, Kay Granger, Ralph Hall, J. Dennis Hastert, Doc Hastings, Dean Heller, Jeb Hensarling, Wally Herger, Peter Hoekstra, Duncan Hunter, Bob Inglis, Darrell Issa, Sam Johnson, Walter Jones, Jim Jordan, Steve King, Peter King, Jack Kingston, John Kline, Joe Knollenberg, Randy Kuhl, Doug Lamborn, Ron Lewis, Jerry Lewis, John Linder, Frank Lucas, Daniel Lungren, Connie Mack, Donald Manzullo, Kenny Marchant, Kevin McCarthy, Michael McCaul, Thad McCotter, Jim McCrery, Patrick McHenry, John Mica, Jeff Miller, Jerry Moran, Marilyn Musgrave, Sue Myrick, Randy Neugebauer, Devin Nunes, Stevan Pearce, Mike Pence, Thomas Petri, Joe Pitts, Ted Poe, Tom Price, Adam Putnam, George Radanovich, Thomas Reynolds, Cathy McMorris Rodgers, Hal Rogers, Dana Rohrabacher, Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, Peter Roskam, Edward Royce, Paul Ryan, Bill Sali, Jean Schmidt, Jim Sensenbrenner, Pete Sessions, John Shadegg, John Shimkus, Bill Shuster, Lamar Smith, Adrian Smith, Mark Souder, Cliff Stearns, John Sullivan, Lee Terry, Mac Thornberry, Todd Tiahrt, Pat Tiberi, Timothy Walberg, Greg Walden, Zachary Wamp, Lynn Westmoreland, Ed Whitfield, Roger Wicker, Joe Wilson

Should the need arise due to a veto, you can easily contact House and Senate members by e-mail using ALA's Action Alert form.

Publishers May Challenge NIH Mandate

According to a Library Journal Academic Newswire article, publishers may challenge the provisions of the NIH Public Access Policy mandate if it is made law. The issue arises from the wording of the House bill:

Sec. 217: The Director of the National Institutes of Health shall require that all investigators funded by the NIH submit or have submitted for them to the National Library of Medicine’s PubMed Central an electronic version of their final, peer-reviewed manuscripts upon acceptance for publication to be made publicly available no later than 12 months after the official date of publication: Provided, That the NIH shall implement the public access policy in a manner consistent with copyright law.

Regarding this wording, the Library Journal Academic Newswire article says:

While seemingly innocuous, that language almost certainly will form the basis for a challenge to the policy's implementation. In a letter to lawmakers, the Association of American Publishers (AAP) argued that "a mandate may not be consistent with copyright law," a position emphasized by Brian Crawford, chair of the AAP's Professional and Scholarly Publishing Division Executive Committee. "The copyright proviso in the Labor/HHS Appropriations language does not in itself provide sufficient assurance of copyright protection," Crawford told the LJ Academic Newswire. "The mandatory deposit of copyrighted articles in an online government site for worldwide distribution is in fundamental, inherent, and unavoidable conflict with the rights of copyright holders in those works."

Microsoft Joins Effort to Provide Free or Low-Cost Access to Journals in Developing Countries

Microsoft will provide an access and authentication system to support the AGORA (Access to Global Online Research in Agriculture), HINARI (Health InterNetwork Access to Research Initiative), and OARE (Online Access to Research in the Environment) programs.

Here’s an excerpt from the press release:

Many developing countries lack access to the information and training that can help save lives, improve the quality of life, and assist with economic development. To address this disparity, more than 100 publishers, three UN organizations, two major universities, and Microsoft announced the extension of programs that provide free or almost free access to online subscriptions of peer-reviewed journals. Information technology leader Microsoft announced its support of technical assistance to enhance access to online research for scientists, policymakers, and librarians in the developing world.

The three sister programs—HINARI (Health InterNetwork Access to Research Initiative), AGORA (Access to Global Online Research in Agriculture) and OARE (Online Access to Research in the Environment)—provide research access to journals focusing on health, agriculture and the environment, respectively to more than 100 of the world’s poorest countries. All three of the programs will now have official commitment from the partners until 2015, marking the target for reaching the Millennium Development Goals. . . .

As the initiative’s only technology partner, Microsoft is providing a new system for access and authentication enabling secure and effective use of the programs in developing countries. Through these enhanced features provided under the Intelligent Application Gateway (IAG) 2007 as part of the Microsoft Forefront Security products, the system will be able to meet expanded demand and perform at the standards of today’s most heavily trafficked websites.

In a World Health Organization (WHO) survey conducted in 2000, researchers and academics in developing countries ranked access to subscription based journals as one of their most pressing problems. In countries with per capita income of less than USD $1000 per annum, 56 percent of academic institutions surveyed had no current subscriptions to international journals. . . .

The public-private partnerships of these three programs have already resulted in:

  • A strengthened intellectual foundation for universities, enabling faculty to develop evidence-based curricula, perform research on a par with peers in industrialized countries, develop their own publishing record, and enable students to conduct research and seek education in new and emerging scientific fields;
  • More science-driven public policies and regulatory frameworks;
  • Greater capacity for organizations to gather and disseminate to the public new scientific knowledge in the medical, agricultural and environmental sciences and deliver improved services;
  • Increased participation of experts from developing countries in international scientific and policy debates; and
  • A greater movement toward library patronage at universities and an enhancement of the status of libraries.

Representatives from the World Health Organization, the Food and Agriculture Organization, the UN Environmental Programme, and leading science and technology publishers, together with representatives from Cornell and Yale Universities, met today in Washington DC to officially extend their cooperation to 2015, in line with the UN’s MDGs.

The ticTOCs Project: Enhancing Table-of-Contents RSS Feeds

The goal JISC-funded ticTOCs Project is to greatly enhance access to and re-use of journal table-of-contents RSS feeds.

Here's an excerpt from ticTOCs in a Nutshell:

ticTOCs intends be a catalyst for change by incorporating existing technology plus Web 2.0 concepts in the smart aggregation, recombination, synthesization, output and reuse of standardised journal Table of Contents (TOC) RSS feeds from numerous fragmented sources (journal publishers). These TOCs, and their content, will be presented in a personalisable and interactive web-based interface that requires little or no understanding, by the user, of the technical or procedural concepts involved. It has been called ticTOCs because in certain instances it will involve the selective ticking of appropriate TOCs, and also because ticTOCs is a memorable name, something which is important in todays online environment.

ticTOCs will incorporate:

  1. A user-friendly web-based, AJAX enabled TOCosphere for the smart aggregation, personalisation, output and reuse of TOC RSS feeds and contents. It will allow users to discover, select, personalise, display, reuse and export (to bibliographic software).
  2. Within this TOCosphere there will be a Directory of TOCs to allow easy selection by title, subject, ISSN, and so on.
  3. Re-use of data this will involve embedding TOCs and combined TOCs in research output showcases, gateways, VREs, websites, etc.
  4. Easy links from a multitude of journals lists to ticTOCs using chicklet subscribe buttons
  5. Data gathered for analysis presents many possibilities.
  6. Community networking possibilities, within the TOCosphere. . . .

The ticTOCs Consortium consists of: the University of Liverpool Library (lead), Heriot-Watt University, CrossRef, ProQuest CSA, Emerald, RefWorks, MIMAS, Cranfield University, Nature Publishing Group, Institute of Physics, SAGE Publishers, Inderscience Publishers, DOAJ (Directory of Open Access Journals), Open J-Gate, and Intute.

Urgent: Send a Message to Congress about the NIH Public Access Policy

Peter Suber has pointed out that ALA has an Action Alert that allows you to just fill in a form to send a message to your Congressional representatives about the NIH Public Access Policy.

Under "Compose Message" in the form, I suggest that you shorten the Subject to "Support the NIH Public Access Policy." As an "Issue Area" you might use "Budget" or "Health." Be sure to fill in your salutation and phone number; they are required to send an e-mail even though the form does not show them as required fields.

I’ve made slight modifications to the talking points and created a Web page so that the talking points can simply be cut and pasted into the "Editable text to" section of the form as the message.

ACRLog Urgent Call for Action about NIH Policy Vote

An urgent call for action has been issued on ACRLog about upcoming House and Senate votes on Labor, Health and Human Services appropriations bills that will determine whether NIH-funded researchers are required to make their final manuscripts publicly accessible within twelve months of publication.

Here's an excerpt from the posting:

We need your help to keep the momentum going. The full House of Representatives and the full Senate will vote on their respective measures this summer. The House is expected to convene on Tuesday, July 17. We’re asking that you contact your US Representative and your US Senators by phone or fax as soon as possible and no later than Monday afternoon. Urge them to maintain the Appropriations Committee language. (Find talking points and contact info for your legislators in the ALA Legislative Action Center. It is entirely possible that an amendment will be made on the floor of the House to delete the language in the NIH policy.

Want to know more? Listen to an interview with Heather Joseph of SPARC on the ALA Washington Office District Dispatch blog. Find background on the issue along with tips on communicating effectively with your legislators in the last two issues of ACRL’s Legislative Update and at the Alliance for Taxpayer Access website.

Peter Suber has issued a similar call on Open Access News. Here it is in full:

Tell Congress to support an OA mandate at the NIH

Let me take the unusual step of repeating a call to action from yesterday in case it got buried in the avalanche of news. 

The House Appropriations Committee approved language establishing an OA mandate at the NIH.  The full House is scheduled to vote on the appropriations bill containing that language on Tuesday, July 17

Publishers are lobbying hard to delete this language.  If you are a US citizen and support public access for publicly-funded research, please ask your representative to support this bill, and to oppose any attempt to amend or strike the language.  Contact your representative now, before you forget.

Time is short.  Offices are closed on the weekend, but emails and faxes will go through.  Send an email or fax right now or telephone before Monday afternoon.

Because the Senate Appropriations Committee approved the same language in June, you should contact your Senators with the same message.  But the vote by the full House is in three days, while the vote by the full Senate has not yet been scheduled.

For help in composing your message, see

Then spread the word!

Code4Lib Journal Established

The newly established Code4Lib Journal has issued a call for papers.

Here’s an excerpt from the call:

The Code4Lib Journal (C4LJ) will provide a forum to foster community and share information among those interested in the intersection of libraries, technology, and the future.

Submissions are currently being accepted for the first issue of this promising new journal. Please submit articles, abstracts, or proposals for articles to c4lj-articles@googlegroups.com (a private list read only by C4LJ editors) by Friday, August 31, 2007. Publication of the first issue is planned for late December 2007.

Possible topics for articles include, but are not limited to:

* Practical applications of library technology. Both actual and
hypothetical applications invited.
* Technology projects (failed, successful, proposed, or
in-progress), how they were done, and challenges faced
* Case studies
* Best practices
* Reviews
* Comparisons of third party software or libraries
* Analyses of library metadata for use with technology
* Project management and communication within the library environment
* Assessment and user studies . . . .

The goal of the journal is to promote professional communication by minimizing the barriers to publication. While articles in the journal should be of a high quality, they need not follow any formal structure or guidelines. Writers should aim for the middle ground between, on the one hand, blog or mailing-list posts, and, on the other hand, articles in traditional journals. . . .

The Journal will be electronic only, and at least initially, edited rather than refereed. . . .

Code4Lib Journal Editorial Committee

Carol Bean
Jonathan Brinley
Edward Corrado
Tom Keays
Emily Lynema
Eric Lease Morgan
Ron Peterson
Jonathan Rochkind
Jodi Schneider
Dan Scott
Ken Varnum

Publisher Mergers: Walter de Gruyter Buys K. G. Saur Verlag

In yet another scholarly publishing company merger, Walter de Gruyter has announced that it has acquired K. G. Saur und Max Niemeyer.

Here’s an excerpt from the press release:

Walter de Gruyter GmbH & Co. KG has with immediate effect acquired the complete publishing programme of K. G. Saur Verlag GmbH, which since 2005 has also included the programme of Max Niemeyer Verlag. Through this acquisition Walter de Gruyter will become the market leader in the subject areas classical studies, philosophy, German studies, linguistics and English and Romance studies, as well as in library sciences and general library reference works.

For an analysis of the effect of publisher mergers on serials prices, see the works of Dr. Mark J. McCabe.

Lund University Journal Info Database Now Available

Lund University Libraries, creators of the Directory of Open Access Journals, has released a new database called Journal Info, which provides authors with information about 18,000 journals selected from 30 major databases. The National Library of Sweden provides support for JI, which is under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported license.

Here’s an excerpt from the FAQ page:

The purpose [of the service] is to provide an aid for the researcher in the selection of journal for publication. The publication market has continuously grown more and more complex. It is important to weigh in facts like scope and quality, but more recently also information about reader availability and library cost. The Lund University Libraries have made an attempt to merge all there items into one tool, giving the researcher the power to make informed choices.

Journal Info records provide basic information about the journal (e.g. journal homepage), "reader accessibility" information (e.g., open access status), and quality information (e.g., where it is indexed).