It’s Time to Support the Creative Commons

The Creative Commons has launched it’s 2006 fund raising campaign, and I’d urge my readers to support it as generously as they can.

Why? The reason is simple: it’s easier to restore balance in copyright by convincing content creators to embrace Creative Commons licenses than it is to influence copyright legislation that rolls back lengthy copyright protection periods that are in danger of becoming virtually perpetual, that constricts the ever-widening scope of copyright, and that permits realistic fair use of DRM-protected digital materials. Moreover, the Creative Commons fosters what Lawrence Lessig calls a "read-write" digital culture that permits digital material to be freely used and remixed vs. a read-only-maybe digital culture where digital materials are often hidden behind access barriers and cannot be remixed without permission, which may be impossible to obtain. If you doubt that this can work, consider this quote from the Creative Commons: "From January 2006 to July 2006 there was a growth from 40,000,000 to 140,000,000 linkbacks to our licenses!"

So, donate. At the $75 level or above you’ll get a t-shirt as well as the button and sticker that are available at lower donation levels. Or, don’t donate, but help out by buying Creative Commons gear at their store.

OAI’s Object Reuse and Exchange Initiative

The Open Archives Initiative has announced its Object Reuse and Exchange (ORE) initiative:

Object Reuse and Exchange (ORE) will develop specifications that allow distributed repositories to exchange information about their constituent digital objects. These specifications will include approaches for representing digital objects and repository services that facilitate access and ingest of these representations. The specifications will enable a new generation of cross-repository services that leverage the intrinsic value of digital objects beyond the borders of hosting repositories. . . . its real importance lies in the potential for these distributed repositories and their contained objects to act as the foundation of a new digitally-based scholarly communication framework. Such a framework would permit fluid reuse, refactoring, and aggregation of scholarly digital objects and their constituent parts—including text, images, data, and software. This framework would include new forms of citation, allow the creation of virtual collections of objects regardless of their location, and facilitate new workflows that add value to scholarly objects by distributed registration, certification, peer review, and preservation services. Although scholarly communication is the motivating application, we imagine that the specifications developed by ORE may extend to other domains.

OAI-ORE is being funded my the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation for a two-year period.

Presentations from the Augmenting Interoperability across Scholarly Repositories meeting are a good source of further information about the thinking behind the initiative as is the "Pathways: Augmenting Interoperability across Scholarly Repositories" preprint.

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

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

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

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

The "Strong Copyright + DRM + Weak Net Neutrality = Digital Dystopia?" postprint is now available.

The abstract is below:

Three critical issues—dramatic expansion of the scope, duration, and punitive nature of copyright laws; the ability of Digital Rights Management (DRM) systems to lock-down digital content in an unprecedented fashion; and the erosion of Net neutrality, which ensures that all Internet traffic is treated equally—are examined in detail and their potential impact on libraries is assessed. How legislatures, the courts, and the commercial marketplace treat these issues will strongly influence the future of digital information for good or ill.

If you would like a more detailed description, see my posting about the preprint.

The Ohio State University Press Open Access Initiative

The Ohio State University Press is providing free access to over 30 out-of-print books that it has published as part of its open access initiative. Chapters and other book sections are provided as PDF files. The books remain under traditional copyright statements.

Examples include:

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

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

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

Digital University/Library Presses, Part 11: Other Digital Presses

Here are brief descriptions of eleven more digital university/library presses, bringing the total number of presses covered by this series of postings to 21.

  1. Clemson University Digital Press: "The Clemson University Digital Press was established in 2000 to exist within the college of Architecture, Arts, and Humanities at Clemson. . . . The press generally publishes two books per annum, in addition to maintaining its flagship journals, the semiannual South Carolina Review, and the annual Shakespeare journal, The Upstart Crow." (See the publication list.)
  2. EPIC: "The Electronic Publishing Initiative at Columbia (EPIC) is a groundbreaking new initiative in digital publishing at Columbia University that involves Columbia University Press, the Libraries, and Academic Information Systems. Its mission is to create new kinds of scholarly and educational publications through the use of new media technologies in an integrated research and production environment. Working with the producers of intellectual property at Columbia University and other leading academic institutions, it aims to make these digital publications self-sustaining through subscription sales to institutions and individual users."
  3. eScholarship Repository: The eScholarship Repository publishes both journals and peer-reviewed series (see the publication list). eScholarship works in partnership with the University of California Press, which has an active digital publishing program. Notable efforts include eScholarship Editions, the University of California International and Area Studies Digital Collection, and University of California Publications.
  4. Digital Library and Archives, Virginia Tech University Libraries: "The Scholarly Communications Project (SCP) expanded its resources and services and merged with Special Collections to become the university’s Digital Library and Archives in July 2000. SCP began working with members of the university community in 1989 to help them create online resources such as electronic journals, and to use library services such as electronic reserve with its centralized access to online course materials." (See the journal list.)
  5. Praxis (e)Press: "Praxis (e)Press is an open access e-book publishing house located simultaneously at Okanagan University College, Vernon, and the University of Victoria, Victoria, British Columbia, Canada." (See the book list.)
  6. Project Euclid: "Project Euclid’s mission is to advance scholarly communication in the field of theoretical and applied mathematics and statistics. Project Euclid is designed to address the unique needs of low-cost independent and society journals. Through a collaborative partnership arrangement, these publishers join forces and participate in an online presence with advanced functionality, without sacrificing their intellectual or economic independence or commitment to low subscription prices. Full-text searching, reference linking, interoperability through the Open Archives Initiative, and long-term retention of data are all important components of the project." (See the journal list.)
  7. Project MUSE: "MUSE began in 1993 as a pioneering joint project of the Johns Hopkins University Press and the Milton S. Eisenhower Library at JHU. Grants from the Mellon Foundation and the National Endowment for the Humanities allowed MUSE to go live with JHU Press journals in 1995. Journals from other publishers were first incorporated in 2000 . . . .Today, MUSE is still a not-for-profit collaboration between the participating publishers and MSEL, with the goal of disseminating quality scholarship via a sustainable model that meets the needs of both libraries and publishers." (See the journal list.)
  8. Rice University Press: "Using the open-source e-publishing platform Connexions, Rice University Press is returning from a decade-long hiatus to explore models of peer-reviewed scholarship for the 21st century. The technology offers authors a way to use multimedia—audio files, live hyperlinks or moving images—to craft dynamic scholarly arguments, and to publish on-demand original works in fields of study that are increasingly constrained by print publishing."
  9. Scholarly Publishing Office, University of Michigan Library: "The office supports the traditional constructs of journal and monographic publication in an online environment, as well as publishing scholarly work expressly designed for electronic delivery. . . . It is currently developing a set of services in journal, monograph and multimedia publishing in two related, but distinct, ways. It provides cost-effective services to all members of the campus community, as resources and capacity allow. It also actively recruits scholarly journals, monographs and projects of exceptionally high quality. . . . Among these are projects that draw on the significant digital collections already available at the University Library." (See the publications and projects list.)
  10. Sydney University Press: "Sydney University Press was restarted in 2003 as a digital and print ‘on demand’ publisher. . . .SUP draws on the digital library collection of the University of Sydney Library’s Scholarly Text and Image Service (SETIS). . . .SUP provides the ability to purchase a print copy of selected texts to anyone, anywhere. SUP has partnered with the Copyright Agency Ltd (CAL) to bring out-of-print Australian novels back into circulation. . . . SUP publishes new work based on teaching and research from the University of Sydney and other Australian academic institutions." (See the book list.)
  11. The University of Texas Houston Electronic Press: "The U.T. Houston Electronic Press exists to advance knowledge in the health sciences by electronically disseminating the results of scholarly activities for the furtherance of education, research and service. It is an open access digital resource."

Prior postings on this topic:

Digital University/Library Presses, Part 10: Parallel Press

The University of Wisconsin-Madison Libraries’ Parallel Press publishes "print-on-demand books that parallel online publications, as well as chapbooks featuring the work of regional poets and UW historians." Many of the books are reprints of out-of-print works. It appears that the Parallel Press was established in 1998.

The relationship between the press and the University of Wisconsin-Madison Libraries’ digital collections is described as follows:

While managed independently of the Parallel Press, the UW-Madison Libraries’ digital collections are inexorably linked with the press’ print-on-demand publishing operations as the original source of all reprinted material. If enough interest is shown, nearly any of these online resources could be the basis of a future Parallel Press print publication.

While the chapbooks are only available in low-cost print editions, the books have a freely available digital version. Examples of books include (links are to the digital versions):

Prior postings on this topic:

MIRACLE Project’s Institutional Repository Survey

The MIRACLE (Making Institutional Repositories A Collaborative Learning Environment) project at the University of Michigan’s School of Information presented a paper at JCDL 2006 titled "Nationwide Census of Institutional Repositories: Preliminary Findings."

MIRACLE’s sample population was 2,147 library directors at four-year US colleges and universities. The paper presents preliminary findings from 273 respondents.

Respondents characterized their IR activities as: "(1) implementation of an IR (IMP), (2) planning & pilot testing an IR software package (PPT), (3) planning only (PO), or (4) no planning to date (NP)."

Of the 273 respondents, "28 (10%) have characterized their IR involvement as IMP, 42 (15%) as PPT, 65 (24%) as PO, and 138 (51%) as NP."

The top-ranked benefits of having an IR were: "capturing the intellectual capital of your institution," "better service to contributors," and "longtime preservation of your institution’s digital output." The bottom-ranked benefits were "reducing user dependence on your library’s print collection," "providing maximal access to the results of publicly funded research," and "an increase in citation counts to your institution’s intellectual output."

On the question of IR staffing, the survey found:

Generally, PPT and PO decision-makers envision the library sharing operational responsibility for an IR. Decision-makers from institutions with full-fledged operational IRs choose responses that show library staff bearing the burden of responsibility for the IR.

Of those with operational IRs who identified their IR software, the survey found that they were using: "(1) 9 for Dspace, (2) 5 for bePress, (3) 4 for ProQuest’s Digital Commons, (4) 2 for local solutions, and (5) 1 each for Ex Libris’ DigiTools and Virginia Tech’s ETD." Of those who were pilot testing software: "(1) 17 for DSpace, (2) 9 for OCLC’s ContentDM, (3) 5 for Fedora, (4) 3 each for bePress, DigiTool, ePrints, and Greenstone, (5) 2 each for Innovative Interfaces, Luna, and ETD, and (6) 1 each for Digital Commons, Encompass, a local solution, and Opus."

In terms of number of documents in the IRs, by far the largest percentages were for less than 501 documents (IMP, 41%; and PPT, 67%).

The preliminary results also cover other topics, such as content recruitment, investigative decision-making activities, IR costs, and IR system features.

It is interesting to see how these preliminary results compare to those of the ARL Institutional Repositories SPEC Kit. For example, when asked "What are the top three benefits you feel your IR provides?," the ARL survey respondents said:

  1. Enhance visibility and increase dissemination of institution’s scholarship: 68%
  2. Free, open, timely access to scholarship: 46%
  3. Preservation of and long-term access to institution’s scholarship: 36%
  4. Preservation and stewardship of digital content: 36%
  5. Collecting, organizing assets in a central location: 24%
  6. Educate faculty about copyright, open access, scholarly communication: 8%

Open Access Update Web Page: New Aggregate Feed

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

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

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

Digital University/Library Presses, Part 9: University of Cincinnati Digital Press

Established in 1995, the University of Cincinnati Digital Press is a service of the Digital Projects Department of the University of Cincinnati Libraries.

The mission of the University of Cincinnati Digital Press is described as follows:

The University of Cincinnati Digital Press is devoted to the electronic publication of original documentation of the Transmississippi West for use in research and instruction. The Press developed out of an effort to preserve special materials in the University Libraries and to increase their accessibility using new technologies. Collection strength and staff interest in Western Americana provided a subject focus for these efforts. The Libraries’ mission as well as staff experience and expertise in the requirements and technology of information access provided the concentration on collections of primary documentation. The Press came into being when it became clear that electronic publications resulting from these efforts would be of interest and use beyond the University of Cincinnati.

The press has two staff members, plus student assistants.

The press publishes both research publications and online publications.

Research publications are described as follows:

Research publications of the University of Cincinnati Digital Press are collections of primary documentation incorporating high resolution images, databases, texts, and supporting documentation with a software interface offering maximum opportunities for searching, examination, and analysis of the contents. The cataloging, organization, and electronic presentation of materials offers the means for comprehensive searching and detailed examination of a vast array of documentation from rare and often unique sources in widely separated collections.

The press distributes its research publications on CD-ROM for a fee, and it utilizes the locally developed Windows-based CUrator software, which has the following capabilities:

Individual items are displayed in multiple resolution images.

These images are incorporated into a database offering 85 fields for physical and bibliographic description as well as notes for all formats of materials.

Links can be made to associated documents in various formats including maps, charts and texts.

Database records are presented in several displays: list, brief record, full record, image contact sheet.

There are multiple searching capabilities: keyword, boolean, and geographic as well as filtering by format.

Searches can be conducted across multiple databases.

The software is easy to use and context sensitive online help is provided.

With the exception of monographs (partial contents accessible), online publications are freely available. They are categorized as bibliographies, exhibits, monographs, and Web sites.

For further information:

Kohl, David F. "Starting a Library-Based University Press." Reference Services Review 27, no. 1 (1999): 4-12. (Abstract)

Guernsey, Lisa. "Digital Presses Transform Librarians into Entrepreneurs." The Chronicle of Higher Education, 22 May 1998, A27-A28.

Also see the Articles & Reviews page.

Prior postings on this topic:

Open Access Update Web Page

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

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

Digital University/Library Presses, Part 8: Monash University ePress

Established in 2003, the Monash University ePress publishes both digital scholarly books and journals, primarily in the humanities and social sciences. Some works are also available in print format via print-on-demand technology.

The aims of the press are to:

  • advance scholarly communication by reducing the costs of and barriers to scholarly publications
  • provide a more direct link between readers and writers of scholarly material
  • promote the best of Monash University’s research activities and intellectual capital
  • provide a sustainable electronic publishing model that facilitates the identification and pursuit of commercial opportunities
  • use innovative information technology to capture, publish, retrieve, read and present scholarly material
  • lead by example and provide a body of expertise within the university

The press, which charges for its publications, has a two-year embargo period after which materials are freely accessible; however, access may be through a different interface than paid content. The press issues digital documents in either or both HTML and PDF formats, depending on the publication. There is a time-limited pay per article/chapter option. Use of content by individuals is governed by a license agreement as is use by institutions.

Monash University ePress manager Michele Sabto outlines the economic model of the press as follows:

The ePress has also now moved towards a fee-for-service model that guarantees a minimum income from each title, underwritten by the author/journal editor. Basically it is a publication fee offset by sales income.

She further describes the involvement of the press in journal editorial functions as follows:

The ePress does not undertake the traditional publishing functions of copyediting or managing the submission and refereeing process: there are no inhouse journal editors or copyeditors. The academics editing the journals are responsible for managing these functions themselves, with support from the ePress that includes high-level editorial advice, an online submission and refereeing system, and assistance with scheduling and manuscript preparation to ePress specifications. The ePress produces proofs and takes in proof corrections, publishes online and in print and markets and sells the journals. The ePress doesn’t deal directly with authors of individual articles—the sole ePress contact for journals is the journal’s editor.

There two full-time staff members and a twelve-member advisory board that "advises on operational and strategic questions, but also makes the final call on the decision to publish particular titles."

The press currently publishes four journals:

  • Applied GIS, which is "an online peer-reviewed ejournal that publishes articles covering specific applications of GIS, demonstrating the deployment of spatial sciences in a wide range of environmental and social science contexts."
  • Australian Review of Applied Linguistics, which is "the journal of the Applied Linguistics Association of Australia."
  • History Australia, which is "the official journal of the Australian Historical Association (AHA), a professional association of historians in Australia which links practitioners in universities and schools with those in museums, galleries and the heritage industry."
  • Monash Business Review, which "publishes the latest thinking and research from leading Australian and international academics and business executives, and identifies major trends influencing and shaping business."

It also publishes four books:

For further information, see "A University ePress" by Michele Sabto or the "About Monash University ePress" Web page.

Prior postings on this topic:

Digital University/Library Presses, Part 7: HighWire Press

Established in 1995, Stanford University Libraries’ HighWire Press publishes over 967 journals in digital form, with more planned for future release. Working with scientific societies and other partners, the press focuses on producing high-impact STM (science, technology, and medicine) digital journals. It makes a significant portion of the articles it publishes freely available:

As of 8/30/06, we are assisting in the online publication of 1,403,007 free full-text articles and 3,648,630 total articles. There are 22 sites with free trial periods, and 34 completely free sites. 223 sites have free back issues, and 851 sites have pay per view!

The press provides sophisticated digital publishing services:

Under the guidance of its publishing partners, HighWire’s approach to online publishing of scholarly journals is not simply to mount electronic images of printed pages; rather, by adding links among authors, articles and citations, advanced searching capabilities, high-resolution images and multimedia, and interactivity, the electronic versions provide added dimensions to the information provided in the printed journals.

More information about these digital publishing services is available, such as the Web page about journal hosting services and the Bench>Press Web page.

The My HighWire Press page offers registered users a wide variety of customized journal access features, such as a favorite journals page and e-mail or RSS table of contents alerts.

Headed by Michael A. Keller, the press has a large staff, which appears to include a significant number of dog owners.

Given its long history and its success, a number of articles have been written about the HighWire Press.

Prior postings on this topic:

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

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

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

Digital University/Library Presses, Part 6: UTSePress

Established in January 2004, the University of Technology, Sydney’s UTSePress publishes e-journals and conference proceedings. The university’s DSpace institutional repository is also under the UTSePress.

There is a Steering Group whose role is to:

  1. Establish the scope of UTSePress, making recommendations on organisational structure including the terms of reference and composition of the UTSePress Board.
  2. Take steps to protect the name UTSePress, relevant Internet domains and any associated intellectual property.
  3. Develop the initial guidelines for the operation of UTSePress including the criteria for approval of imprints and publications.
  4. Identify the initial imprints and publications of UTSePress.
  5. Guide the first phase of the development of the infrastructure for UTSePress including the establishment of the Technical Committee.
  6. Make any other necessary recommendations for the future operation and development of UTSePress.

The UTSePress uses Open Journal Systems to publish five e-journals:

  • African Journal of Information & Communication Technology, which is "an international journal providing a publication vehicle for coverage of topics of interest to those involved in computing, communication networks, electronic communications, information technology systems and Bioinformatics." It is peer reviewed.
  • Portal Journal of Multidisciplinary International Studies, which is "a fully peer-reviewed journal dedicated to the publishing of scholarly articles from practitioners of international, regional, area, migration and ethnic studies, and it is also dedicated to providing a space for the work of cultural producers interested in the internationalization of cultures."
  • Public History Review, which "is concerned with nature and forms of public history: with ideas as to what constitutes the ‘public’ in history making, with the means by which history is communicated to a range of audiences and with the ways in which the past operates in the present." It is peer reviewed.
  • Transforming Cultures eJournal, which is "a journal for the study of cultural and social transformations." It is peer reviewed.
  • Unscrunched, which "publishes writing from students in the Writing and Cultural Studies Area of the Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences at the University of Technology, Sydney."

The copyright statements for these e-journals vary. The most common one says:

Authors submitting a paper to UTSePress publications agree to assign a limited license to UTSePress if and when the manuscript is accepted for publication. This license allows UTSePress to publish a manuscript in a given issue.

Articles published by UTSePress are protected by copyright which is retained by the authors who assert their moral rights. Authors control translation and reproduction rights to their works published by UTSePress.

UTSePress publications are copyright and all rights are reserved worldwide. Downloads of specific portions of them are permitted for personal use only, not for commercial use or resale. Permissions to reprint or use any materials should be directed to UTSePress.

The UTSePress has published one conference proceeding: International Conference on Wireless Broadband and Ultra Wideband Communications. It appears that Open Conference Systems is being used to support this function.

These documents provide further information about the UTSePress: (1) "UTSePress Breaks Boundaries in Online Publishing" (press release) and (2) "UTSePress: UTS Advancing Scholarly Publication."

Prior postings on this topic:

Digital University/Library Presses, Part 5: Internet-First University Press

Established in January 2004, Cornell University’s Internet-First University Press is described as follows:

These materials are being published as part of a new approach to scholarly publishing. The manuscripts and videos are freely available from this Internet-First University Press repository within DSpace at Cornell University.

These online materials are available on an open access basis, without fees or restrictions on personal use. All mass reproduction, even for educational or not-for-profit use, requires permission and license.

There are Internet-First University Press DSpace collections for books and articles, multimedia and videos, and undergraduate scholarly publications. There is a print-on-demand option for books and articles.

There are DSpace sub-communities for journals and symposia, workshops, and conferences. One e-journal is published by Internet-First University Press, the CIGR E-Journal (most current volume dated 2005). A print journal, Engineering Quarterly, has been digitized and made available.

There appears to be no further information about the Internet-First University Press at its DSpace site; however, the "Internet-First Publishing Project at Cornell Offers New and Old Books Free Online or to Be Printed on Demand" press release provides further background information.

Prior postings on this topic:

ARL Institutional Repositories SPEC Kit

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

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

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

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

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

Here are some quick survey results:

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

Digital University/Library Presses, Part 4: Singapore E-Press

Launched in September 2004, the Singapore E-Press is part of National University of Singapore Publishing. It "aims to provide a platform for online, open-access publications from Singapore-based research teams."

Using Open Journal Systems for many of its publications, the Singapore E-Press publishes electronic journals, supplemental material to books, and reference material.

The current publications of the press are:

Prior postings on this topic:

Digital University/Library Presses, Part 3: Newfound Press

The editorial policy of the Newfound Press states that:

Newfound Press is a digital imprint of the University of Tennessee Libraries. The purpose of Newfound Press is to advance the frontiers of learning by providing peer-reviewed, open access to theoretical, intellectual, practical, and scholarly works in all disciplines, encompassing scientific research, humanistic scholarship, and artistic creation. Newfound Press invests in authors the responsibility for appearance and format of the content. The audience for Newfound Press publications includes researchers, practitioners, students, and other scholars in virtually any subject.

The Newfound Press publishes books, journals, and multimedia. It provides authors with submission guidelines for various types of works as well as an FAQ. It has an Advisory Board.

The Newfound Press Web site doesn’t indicate when it was established, but appears from an Open Access News posting that it was launched in March 2006. So far, it has published a digital book.

Copyright statements for works are mandatory, and they "should include a statement of ownership, an invitation to reproduce content under certain conditions, and a warning about possible infringements." The Newfound Press provides potential authors with sample license language and a link to the Creative Commons Web site.

Prior postings on this topic:

Overcoming Obstacles to Launching and Sustaining Non-Traditional-Publisher Open Access Journals

As I noted in "What Is Open Access?," there is a fairly long history of non-traditional publishers producing free electronic journals:

During the late 1980s and early 1990s, the Internet had developed to the point that scholars began to publish free digital journals utilizing existing institutional infrastructure and volunteer labor (e.g., EJournal, PostModern Culture, and The Public-Access Computer Systems Review. These journals were not intended to generate income; they were "no-profit" journals. Although many of these journals allowed authors to retain their copyrights and they had liberal copyright statements regarding noncommercial use, they preceded by a decade or more the Creative Commons, and, consequently, did not embody that kind of copyright stance. While some of these journals ceased publication and others were transformed into non-profit ventures, they provided a model that others followed, especially after the popularization of the Internet began in the mid-1990s, which followed the earlier introduction of Web browsers. In recent years, the availability of free open source journal management and publishing systems, such as the Open Journal Systems, further simplified and streamlined digital journal publishing, fueling additional growth in this area. Now, a wide variety of academic departments or schools, institutes and research centers, libraries, professional associations, scholars, and others publish digital journals, a subset of which comply with the strictest definition of an open access journal and a larger subset which comply with the looser definition of an open access journal as a free journal. Since these diverse "publishers" would have been unlikely to be engaged in this activity without facilitating digital technologies and tools, I refer to them as "non-traditional publishers." Many of them are also "no-profit" publishers as well.

Given open source digital journal publishing systems, the idea of starting an OA journal has become more attractive than it was in the days when digital journals required a fair amount of specialized, labor-intensive technical support. However, the obstacles that non-traditional-publisher OA journals (hereafter called NTP OA journals) face are not primarily technical.

Here are some issues that NTP OA journals can face:

  • NTP OA journals are new journals. New journals have much more difficulty attracting authors, especially high-visibility authors, than established journals. Therefore, they also have more difficulty attracting readers, especially scholars who will cite their articles. This is a vicious circle. There are three key strategies for overcoming this problem: (1) focus your journal on a specialized, emerging topic of great interest that is not covered or not well covered by existing journals; (2) establish a high visibility editorial team and editorial board; and (3) actively recruit articles from authors.
  • NTP OA journals are digital-only journals. Certainly there is less prejudice against digital-only journals today than in the late 1980s; however, there may still be residual feelings by some scholars that digital journals are not "real" journals, and many scholars may have legitimate concerns about whether these journals will be available 10, 20, 30 or more years into the future. Regarding the latter point, it is highly desirable to have a convincing digital preservation strategy in mind, such as LOCKSS (a growing number of academic libraries are using this system to preserve digital journals). Authors who must face the prejudices of tenure committees against digital journals may be reluctant to publish in them or wish that they hadn’t when facing a promotion review. Provosts, department chairs, and others need to tackle the difficult issue of separating the digital wheat from the chaff so that junior faculty can be comfortable publishing in sanctioned NTP OA journals in their disciplines.
  • NTP OA journals often lack strong "branding." Conventional journal publishers typically have well-established reputations and they invest significant resources in promoting their journals, especially new journals.
  • NTP OA journals typically publish fewer articles than their conventional counterparts. In my view, this is not an intrinsic problem, but it can lead to negative perceptions of these journals.
  • NTP OA journals may not be indexed in traditional disciplinary indexing and abstracting services, they may lack standard identifiers (ISSN numbers), and they may not be cataloged by libraries in systems such as the OCLC Online Union Catalog (now publicly available as WorldCat). Fortunately, the latter two issues can be fairly easily addressed by NTP OA journal editors working with the National Serials Data Program at the Library of Congress and their local libraries; getting in I&A systems may require both time (to demonstrate that the journal warrants indexing) and persistent effort. The existence of directories of freely available digital journals, such the Directory of Open Access Journals, ameliorates the I&A problem somewhat, and NTP OA journal editors should make every effort to get their journals in such directories.
  • For the reasons noted above, NTP OA journals may lack citation impact; however, if they do have impact this may not be known because they are not included in prominent ISI publications that are widely used to measure such impact. However, with the advent of Google Scholar and similar systems that provide alternative ways of measuring citation impact, there is a glimmer of hope on the horizon, but these new methods of determining impact need to be widely recognized as being legitimate for them to be effective. One favorable impact factor is that, since NTP OA journals’ contents can be freely indexed by commonly used search engines (e.g., MSN Search), scholars are more likely to find their articles and cite them.
  • NTP OA journals require copy editing. This seems like an obvious point; however, novice editors can easily underestimate how much copy editing is required to produce a high-quality journal and how demanding this can be.
  • NTP OA journals survival may depend on the continued interest of their founders. Founders can lose interest in their journals, they can move to new jobs (leading to issues of their continued affiliation with the journal or the transfer of the journal to a new organization), they can retire, and they can die (see Walt Crawford’s "Free Electronic Refereed Journals: Getting Past the Arc of Enthusiasm").

For the reasons outlined above, NTP OA journals have a higher probability of success and survival if they are produced by a formal digital publishing program that has the firm backing of a nonprofit organization (or a unit of such an organization) than they do if they are published by a loose confederation of individuals. This digital publishing program does not need to invest anywhere near the level of resources that conventional publishers do, but it needs to have a parent organization that is committed to the continued operation and preservation of its journals, a distinct brand identity, a small core of subsidized part- or full-time editorial staff supported by a much larger number of editorial volunteers, a minimal level of supported technical infrastructure that relies on open source software, an active vs. passive content recruitment orientation, and a vigorous targeted promotion effort that integrates its journals into conventional finding tools and uses disciplinary and dedicated mailing lists, RSS feeds, Weblogs, and other free or low-cost communication tools to publicize them.

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

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

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

Digital University/Library Presses, Part 2: Linköping University Electronic Press

The Linköping University Electronic Press publishes freely available digital conference proceedings, databases, journals, series, reports, and theses. It was established in 1996. As of April 2004, the E-Press became "an independent department within Linköping University Library." The E-Press has five staff members. There is an E-Press Governing Board.

Conference proceedings, journals, series, and reports have editors. The journals are peer reviewed. Two out of four journals appear to have ceased publication. A "news journal" that was related to one of the peer-reviewed journals also appears to be inactive. The other digital publishing programs (e.g., conference proceedings and series) are active. The E-Press ensures the Internet availability of works for at least 25 years after publication. Instructions for how to publish works in the E-Press are available, including how to start new conference proceedings, journals, and series. Site-wide use statistics are available.

Authors sign publishing agreements and retain their copyrights. In accordance with its copyright polices, the E-Press permits specified uses of its works:

  • To read and/or download LiU E-Press papers on-line, without restrictions.
  • To make single printouts of LiU E-Press papers for your own use in research, teaching, or otherwise.
  • To hand over a single printout of an LiU E-Press paper to a colleague in the course of work.
  • To quote short passages in an LiU E-Press paper, as well as the abstract, in order to describe, summarise, or argue against what is said there.
  • To download images, diagrams or cartoons on-line for personal use (i.e. not to spread it to other persons or on homepages).

It’s worth noting that Electronic Transactions on Artificial Intelligence, which appears to have ceased publication, used an innovative peer-review procedure:

  • Open reviewing during three months, where the article is advertised to the community of researchers in its specialized area, and a public, on-line discussion is organized about its contents.
  • Confidential refereeing after the open reviewing period has concluded. Here, leading researchers in the specialized area of the article weigh the article as well as the review discussion and decide whether or not to accept the article.

For more information on the Linköping University Electronic Press, see the FAQ.

Prior postings on this topic:

Digital University/Library Presses, Part 1: ANU E Press

Established in May 2004, the ANU E Press at the Australian National University fosters new scholarly publishing models, such as:

  • the production of electronic editions of academic monographs of interest to both scholarly and general-interest readers
  • web-based dissemination of digitally reformatted publications
  • support for presentation and dissemination of interactive publications and teaching materials
  • the development of technologies that enhance peer review while accelerating dissemination of scholarly publication

The ANU E Press has the following features:

  • open e-publication
  • institution-based repositories with appropriate listings and metadata/discovery mechanisms
  • a centralised repository
  • a low-cost, common-good funding model
  • moderation/peer review
  • copyright preserved by creators
  • facilities for access to and transfer of electronic information, for example, a print-on-demand facility

A representative ANU E Press title is Negotiating the Sacred: Blasphemy and Sacrilege in a Multicultural Society, which is freely available in HTML, PDF, and mobile device formats and can be ordered as a print-on-demand book.

A complete list of titles is available.

For more information, see the Frequently Asked Questions Web page.

Version 63, Scholarly Electronic Publishing Bibliography

Version 63 of the Scholarly Electronic Publishing Bibliography is now available. This selective bibliography presents over 2,730 articles, books, and other printed and electronic sources that are useful in understanding scholarly electronic publishing efforts on the Internet.

The PDF version of SEPB is now produced annually. The 2005 PDF file is available (Version 60, published 12/9/2005).

The Open Access Bibliography: Liberating Scholarly Literature with E-Prints and Open Access Journals, by the same author, provides much more in-depth coverage of the open access movement and related topics (e.g., disciplinary archives, e-prints, institutional repositories, open access journals, and the Open Archives Initiative) than SEPB does.

The "Open Access Webliography" (with Ho) complements the OAB, providing access to a number of Websites related to open access topics.

Changes in This Version

The bibliography has the following sections (revised sections are in italics):

Table of Contents

1 Economic Issues
2 Electronic Books and Texts
2.1 Case Studies and History
2.2 General Works
2.3 Library Issues
3 Electronic Serials
3.1 Case Studies and History
3.2 Critiques
3.3 Electronic Distribution of Printed Journals
3.4 General Works
3.5 Library Issues
3.6 Research
4 General Works
5 Legal Issues
5.1 Intellectual Property Rights
5.2 License Agreements
5.3 Other Legal Issues
6 Library Issues
6.1 Cataloging, Identifiers, Linking, and Metadata
6.2 Digital Libraries
6.3 General Works
6.4 Information Integrity and Preservation
7 New Publishing Models
8 Publisher Issues
8.1 Digital Rights Management
9 Repositories, E-Prints, and OAI
Appendix A. Related Bibliographies
Appendix B. About the Author
Appendix C. SEPB Use Statistics

Scholarly Electronic Publishing Resources includes the following sections:

Cataloging, Identifiers, Linking, and Metadata
Digital Libraries
Electronic Books and Texts
Electronic Serials
General Electronic Publishing
Images
Legal
Preservation
Publishers
Repositories, E-Prints, and OAI
SGML and Related Standards

Further Information about SEPB

The HTML version of SEPB is designed for interactive use. Each major section is a separate file. There are links to sources that are freely available on the Internet. It can be can be searched using Boolean operators.

The HTML document includes three sections not found in the Acrobat file:

  1. Scholarly Electronic Publishing Weblog (biweekly list of new resources; also available by mailing list and RSS feed)
  2. Scholarly Electronic Publishing Resources (directory of over 270 related Web sites)
  3. Archive (prior versions of the bibliography)

The 2005 annual PDF file is designed for printing. The printed bibliography is over 210 pages long. The PDF file is over 560 KB.

Related Article

An article about the bibliography has been published in The Journal of Electronic Publishing.