In "Ten Things That Finally Killed Net Neutrality," Declan McCullagh examines why the Net Neutrality movement has failed.
The culprits? The AT&T merger, the Bush administration, Congressional gridlock, the decline of the It's Our Net coalition, the FCC, lack of evidence of wrongdoing by broadband providers, and Nancy Pelosi, among others.
Source: McCullagh, Declan. "Ten Things That Finally Killed Net Neutrality." CNET News.Com, 6 September 2007.
LIFE (Life Cycle Information for E-Literature) is a joint, JISC-funded project of the University College London Library Services and the British Library that is investigating life cycle issues involved in collecting and preserving digital materials.
Here's an excerpt from the home page:
The LIFE Project has developed a methodology to model the digital lifecycle and calculate the costs of preserving digital information for the next 5, 10 or 100 years. For the first time, organisations can apply this process and plan effectively for the preservation of their digital collections.
Currently the LIFE Project is in its second phase ("LIFE2"), an 18 month project running from March 2007 to August 2008.
Documentation from the first and second phases of the project is available.
The project has just established a weblog.
Laura Edwards has made available a spreadsheet that summarizes the perpetual digital access policies of publishers. A wiki version should be up shortly.
Here’s a complete summary of the Digital Scholarship survey results. Thanks again to the respondents.
Amazon is expected to release a wireless e-book reader this October called Kindle. It's anticipated to be priced in $400-$500 range.
Also in the fall, Google is expected to offer charged access to the complete contents of digital books, with pricing to be determined by publishers.
Source: Stone, Brad. "Are Books Passé? Envisioning the Next Chapter for Electronic Books." The New York Times, 6 September 2006, C1, C9.
Beginning with the 2005–06 report, ARL is using an Expenditures-Focused Index instead of its traditional Membership Criteria Index in public ranking reports. The Chronicle of Higher Education has published the "Index of Expenditures at University Research Libraries, 2005-6" (requires subscription).
Here's an excerpt from the ARL Index page:
Starting with 2005–06 data, ARL is calculating an Expenditures-Focused Index as an alternative to the ARL Membership Criteria Index. The Expenditures-Focused Index replaces the public availability of the ARL Membership Criteria Index. The Expenditures-Focused Index is highly correlated with the Membership Criteria Index and less affected by changes in the collections variables. The methodology behind this new index is described by Bruce Thompson in his October 2006 paper, "Some Alternative Quantitative Library Activity Descriptions/Statistics that Supplement the ARL Logarithmic Index."
The arXiv archive has removed 67 plagiarized papers, which were written by 15 Turkish physicists. Questions about the physics expertise of two of the authors emerged during their oral dissertation defenses, and the investigation widened from there.
Source: “Turkish Professors Uncover Plagiarism in Papers Posted on Physics Server.” The Chronicle of Higher Education News Blog, 6 September 2007.
Thanks to the 179 respondents who filled out the Digital Scholarship survey.
Asked the question "The following free digital publications are important sources of information for me," respondents' favorable ratings (five-point Likert Scale, with "Agree" and "Strongly agree" responses added together) were:
- Scholarly Electronic Publishing Bibliography (established 10/96): 80.5%
- Open Access Bibliography: Liberating Scholarly Literature with E-Prints and Open Access Journals (established 3/05): 73.2%
- Scholarly Electronic Publishing Resources (established 9/97): 70.4%
- Open Access Webliography (established 8/05): 64.3%
- Scholarly Electronic Publishing Weblog (established 6/01): 59.2%
- DigitalKoans (established 4/05): 36.9%
- FlashBack (established 6/05): 19.5%
High levels of "Neither agree or disagree" responses for DigitalKoans (54.2%) and FlashBack (64.8%), combined with reader comments, suggested that readers were not as familiar with these publications as with the others.
The top-ranked publications in terms of continuation were: (1) Scholarly Electronic Publishing Bibliography, (2) Open Access Bibliography, and (3) Scholarly Electronic Publishing Resources.
Annual paperback editions were of interest to 33.5% of respondents (both "agree" categories) for the Scholarly Electronic Publishing Bibliography and the 30.1% of respondents for the Open Access Bibliography. The acceptable price range was most frequently between $30 and $50.
Based on this survey and on use data (which does not always correlate well with the survey), I'm making the following changes:
- Flashback has been discontinued. I'll cover a few of the most interesting items in regular DigitalKoans postings.
- The Scholarly Electronic Publishing Weblog will be published monthly instead of biweekly.
- Version two of the Open Access Webliography will be written.
- A print-on-demand edition of the 2007 annual version of the Scholarly Electronic Publishing Bibliography will be published. (The HTML SEPB version and Scholarly Electronic Publishing Resources will continue to be published quarterly and they will continue to be freely available).
I'll take the high level of interest in the Open Access Bibliography under advisement. Like SEPB, the OAB is a major undertaking. It took nine months of more than full-time effort to write a draft for submission and a considerable amount of follow-up time to finalize it for publication.
Finally, a clarification. Some readers apparently assume that the above digital publications have been the result of a team effort. With the exceptions of the Open Access Webliography (which has a co-author), the Open Access Bibliography PDF file, and prior use of UH search engines for SEPB/SEPW, this has never been true. In addition to content creation, I have done all of the related Web and other digital production work myself, including creating and maintaining the Digital Scholarship site.
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, technical reports, and white papers.
The Scholarly Electronic Publishing Weblog will now be published on the first Wednesday of each month unless otherwise noted.
Especially interesting are: "Collaboration: Paradigm of the Digital Cultural Content Environment," "Digital Object Identifiers and Their Use in Libraries," "'Doing Much More Than We Have So Far Attempted'," Faculty Attitudes and Behaviors Regarding Scholarly Communication: Survey Findings from the University of California, Institutional Repositories: Content and Culture in an Open Access Environment, "Online Information Drives Growth," Peer Review: The Challenges for the Humanities and Social Sciences, Unlocking the Potential through Creative Commons: An Industry Engagement and Action Agenda, and "Will Open Access Undermine Peer Review?"
Here’s a list of a few Web/Web 2.0 resources and tools that developers may find useful.
JISC has released a podcast of Kevin Guthrie, President of Ithaka, discussing "why international collaboration is important to the digitisation of scholarly resources and what the US and the UK can learn from each other."
The APSR AONS II project has released a beta version of the Automatic Obsolescence Notification System (AONS).
Here's an excerpt from the announcement on apsr_announcements:
Users can register with the service by providing a URL to a repository's format scan summary. The AONS service will display the summary and allow a repository manager to compare the formats of items in their repository with information from format registries such as PRONOM and Library of Congress. These registries flag any formats that are likely to become obsolete. Repository managers can then make curation decisions about any items at risk, such as upgrading their formats.
By downloading and installing an AONS locally, an institution can also take advantage of a pilot risk metrics implementation. . . .
The AONS software is the result of the AONS II project funded under APSR and developed by David Pearson, David Levy and Matthew Walker from the National Library of Australia (NLA) with an administrative user interface developed by David Berriman at ANU.
The software is able to be downloaded from Sourceforge at http://sourceforge.net/projects/aons and a mailing list is also available for support and feedback. As this is a beta release we welcome feedback to the Sourceforge mailing list to inform our testing which will continue until mid-September.
Please try out the pilot service by sending an email to email@example.com to register with the service, and tell us which institution you are from. . . .
While the Association of American Publishers' Partnership for Research Integrity in Science and Medicine (PRISM) initiative didn't get a warm welcome from library and open access bloggers, it certainly got a heated one.
Peter Suber has pointed out a few of the more incisive responses: "Andrew Leonard on PRISM," "Has PRISM Violated Copyright?," "John Blossom on PRISM," "More Comments on PRISM ," "More Comments on PRISM ," "More on PRISM ," "More on PRISM ," "More on PRISM ," "More on PRISM ," "Much More on PRISM," and "Stevan Harnad on PRISM." As usual, Suber's own analysis is one of the most cogent: "Publishers Launch an Anti-OA Lobbying Organization." Matt Hodgkinson's post, "PRISM Are Scum," offers another link roundup. Rick Anderson, a frequent critic of the open access movement, disclaimed any affiliation with PRISM in a 8/30/07 liblicense-l message after the organization included his "Open Access: Clear Benefits, Hidden Costs" paper in its In the News: Articles page.
Jonathan A. Eisen, an evolutionary biologist at the University of California at Davis, said the following in his "Calling for a Boycott of AAP—Association of American Publishers" posting:
I think academics and the public need to fight back against this attempt to mislead the public about the issues surrounding Open Access publishing. And one way to fight back is to recommend that the members of AAP drop out or request termination of the PRISM effort. So here is a list (see below for the full list) with links of the members of AAP. If you are involved or have connections to any of these groups, consider writing or calling them and suggesting they reconsider involvement in AAP. Look, for example at all the University presses. If they do not back out of PRISM we should consider launching a boycott of AAP members.
So far, no official PRISM response to this tsunami of criticism that I'm aware of.
If you are interested in the continuation of Digital Scholarship publications, such as DigitalKoans/Flashback, the Scholarly Electronic Publishing Bibliography/Weblog/Resources, and the Open Access Bibliography/Webliography, please take a short survey on this matter (six multiple-choice questions and two optional questions).
The survey will remain open through August 31, 2007.
Three surveys of librarian salaries have been recently published.
The Association of Research Libraries has published the ARL Annual Salary Survey 2006-07. PDF and Excel versions are freely available.
ALA has published the 2007 editions of the ALA-APA Salary Survey: Librarian—Public and Academic and the ALA-APA Salary Survey: Non-MLS—Public and Academic. Various priced access options are available.
Here's an excerpt from the ALA press release:
Analysis of data from more than 800 public and academic libraries showed the mean salary for librarians with ALA-accredited Master’s Degrees increased 2.8 percent from 2006, up $1,550 to $57,809. The median ALA MLS salary was $53,000. Salaries ranged from $22,048 to $225,000.
For the first time the non-MLS salary survey data, including 62 non-MLS positions, reported salaries for staff employed as librarians but who do not have ALA-accredited Master’s Degrees in Library Science. Non-MLS salaries ranged $10,712 to $143,700.
With is focus on entertainment, digital audio/video file-sharing would appear to have little to do with digital scholarship; however, file-sharing is the canary in the digital copyright coal mine. Since the financial stakes are high, the legal battle over file-sharing is fierce, and it is where a growing body of digital copyright case law is being written. These rulings are legal precedents that may affect a wider range of digital materials in the future. File-sharing is also where the fate of digital rights management (DRM) is being largely decided, and this could have a major impact on future digital scholarship as well. That’s why I cover file-sharing legal issues in DigitalKoans.
The EFF has issued a new report, RIAA v. The People: Four Years Later, that examines the track record of one of the major legal combatants in the file-sharing war, the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA).
Here's a brief excerpt from the report:
Are the lawsuits working? Has the arbitrary singling out of more than 20,000 random American families done any good in restoring public respect for copyright law? Have the lawsuits put the P2P genie back in the bottle or restored the record industry to its 1997 revenues?
After four years of threats and litigation, the answer is a resounding no.
The Computer & Communications Industry Association, whose members include Google, Microsoft, Yahoo!, and others, has launched its Defend Fair Use website to promote its FTC complaint.
The Website is under CCIA's "Just Rights™ Statement."
The CCIA fair use complaint illustrates a key problem with ever-tightening copyright restrictions for corporations—they affect all potential users of copyrighted information, not just individual users. The growing desire of corporations to monitor, control, and profit from every possible use of their copyrighted material ultimately restricts those same corporations' ability to freely and fairly use the works held by others.
Next stop for CCIA, a "Stop DRM" Website?
The Z39.50 Target Directory from Index Data includes both Z39.50– and SRU/SRW-enabled systems.
It can be searched or browsed by name.
The new Firefox Campus Edition incorporates Zotero from the Center for History and New Media at George Mason University.
Here's a description of Zotero from its About page:
Zotero is an easy-to-use yet powerful research tool that helps you gather, organize, and analyze sources (citations, full texts, web pages, images, and other objects), and lets you share the results of your research in a variety of ways. An extension to the popular open-source web browser Firefox, Zotero includes the best parts of older reference manager software (like EndNote)—the ability to store author, title, and publication fields and to export that information as formatted references—and the best parts of modern software and web applications (like iTunes and del.icio.us), such as the ability to interact, tag, and search in advanced ways. Zotero integrates tightly with online resources; it can sense when users are viewing a book, article, or other object on the web, and—on many major research and library sites—find and automatically save the full reference information for the item in the correct fields. Since it lives in the web browser, it can effortlessly transmit information to, and receive information from, other web services and applications; since it runs on one’s personal computer, it can also communicate with software running there (such as Microsoft Word). And it can be used offline as well (e.g., on a plane, in an archive without WiFi).
The Columbia Law School and the University of Colorado Law School have launched AltLaw.org.
Here's a quote from the press release:
AltLaw.org contains nearly 170,000 decisions dating back to the early 1990s from the U.S. Supreme Court and Federal Appellate courts. The site’s creators, Columbia Law School’s Timothy Wu and Stuart Sierra, and University of Colorado Law School’s Paul Ohm, said the site’s database will grow over time. . . .
Wu said he envisions AltLaw.org being used by many groups—journalists, the public, lawyers who want to avoid the hundreds of dollars per hour in fees for proprietary law databases, and legal scholars who need quick and searchable access to cases at home or on the road. One of the assets to AltLaw.org’s design is that it is fast and simple to use, Wu said.
Ohm wrote the thousands of lines of code that download cases to AltLaw.org from more than a dozen court websites each night. He said the data comes from the courts themselves, and AltLaw.org is designed as an extremely open platform so that others can take the raw material and use it in various ways.
"This is what we call the 'law commons' part of the design," Ohm said. "The touchstone of AltLaw.org is openness, and this means that not only will users be able to search cases, but they'll also be able to make copies of all of the cases in our database to reuse or remix in any way that they'd like."
According to the article "Changes at Google Scholar: A Conversation with Anurag Acharya," Google Scholar has begun a small-scale, targeted journal digitization effort.
Here's a quote from the article:
Representing another effort to reach currently inaccessible content, Google Scholar now has its own digitization program. “It’s a small program,” said Acharya. “We mainly look for journals that would otherwise never get digitized. Under our proposal, we will digitize and host journal articles with the provision that they must be openly reachable in collaboration with publishers, fully downloadable, and fully readable. Once you get out of the U.S. and Western European space into the rest of the world, the opportunities to get and digitize research are very limited. They are often grateful for the help. It gives us the opportunity to get that country’s material or make that scholarly society more visible.”
Source: Quint, Barbara. "Changes at Google Scholar: A Conversation with Anurag Acharya." NewsBreaks 27 August 2007.
Paul Royster, of the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, has released an interesting PDF of a PowerPoint presentation about scholarly communication issues and the DigitalCommons@University of Nebraska-Lincoln.
Walt Crawford has published Public Library Blogs: 252 Examples.
Here's an excerpt from his posting about the book:
Public Library Blogs: 252 Examples is now available at Cites & Insights Books. Price: $29.50 plus shipping and handling.
The 299-page 6×9 trade paperback (x+289 pages) features descriptions and sample posts for a wide range of blogs from 196 public libraries of all sizes, in the United States, Canada, Australia, Ireland and New Zealand.
If your library is considering a blog, this book should help you find blogs from comparable libraries to consider as examples. If your library has a blog and is considering more (or revising the ones you have), this book should help you find interesting examples–the public library blogging community is remarkably diverse!
For now, Public Library Blogs is only available from the Cites & Insights Books store at Lulu.com, printed on 60lb. cream book stock. In a few days, a version on bright white paper and with an ISBN will be available from CreateSpace–and, a couple of weeks after that, from Amazon.com
John A. Kunze has announced on DC-GENERAL that the RFC for Dublin Core (RFC 5013) has just been published.
He notes that it "contains the same element definitions as the recently revised NISO standard, Z39.85-2007, but is freely accessible in one click via a global set of mirrored repositories used by the highly technical audiences that support and define Internet infrastructure."