By MIKE FLEMING | Tuesday July 20, 2010 @ 9:21am EDT
Amazon.com is crowing that for the first time, its e-book sales volume has surpassed hardcovers. Am I the only one who sees this as an apocalyptic sign for the great pleasure of book reading? Amazon's basing its assertion on sales figures for the last three months, when buyers were lining their Amazon Kindles with summer beach reading. Amazon chief Jeffrey Bezos marvels that the milestone is more remarkable given that Amazon has only been selling e-books 33 months, as opposed to the 15 years it has been moving hardcovers. A report on the milestone in The New York Times indicates that within the next decade, less than 25% of books sold will be in print.
The lure of e-books is easy to understand: with no trees killed, books come cheaper to consumers, who no longer have to lug around hardcovers when an entire library can be loaded into a single lightweight device. On the cost front, I wonder what will happen when the makers of Kindle and other devices corner the publishing market and are no longer interested in selling its software at loss leader prices so that it can move hardware. That confrontation is inevitable, when more brick and mortar stores vanish.
My biggest problem--and the reason I'll always stick to print books--is that I think the entire experience of reading a books is cheapened by technology, same as it was in music. Young people don't become invested in musical artists the way I did when I bought vinyl albums, savored the cover art and gave every song a chance (my kids pay a buck to download hits only and don't care about an artist's progression). Future generations of readers won't value the ritual experience of buying a book, appreciating its distinctive smell and formative heft, earning the way to the end, page by page, and then displaying the best ones like trophies on a shelf.
Now, the whole business of publishing is changing. More and more authors like James Patterson are co-writing novels. That's made them more prolific and wealthy, but it doesn't mean their books are better. Tom Clancy is taking this a step further this fall with the fall publication of Dead or Alive, a Jack Ryan thriller. All of the big authors write their signature franchise character books solo--Patterson works alone on his Alex Cross mysteries--Clancy wrote the Jack Ryan book with frequent collaborator Grant Blackwood. While other authors continued Ian Fleming's James Bond series, Robert Ludlum's Bourne series and even Mario Puzo's The Godfather characters, it's only because those authors are dead. What's Clancy's excuse? I see it as another step in the wrong direction.
As for e-books, I'll give the last word to Elmore Leonard, who's still cranking out his customary 3 to 4 pages each day from 10-6, even as he prepares to turn 85. "To me, a book is a book, an electronic device is not, and love of books was the reason I started writing," Leonard told me recently. "I don’t have a word processor, e-mail, any of that stuff. I write in longhand mostly, then put it on my typewriter as I go along. I don’t have any interest in any of that electronic stuff, but I’m going on 85, and won’t have to worry about it too much longer.”
What about the rest of us, Elmore?
Center Releases New Guide to Navigating Copyright Law - Wired Campus - The Chronicle of Higher Education
Center Releases New Guide to Navigating Copyright Law
By Sophia Li
Communications scholars often fret over the legal nuances of using copyrighted material in their research, says Pat Aufderheide, a professor of communication at American University and director of its Center for Social Media. Ms. Aufderheide and Peter A. Jaszi, a law professor at American, hope to help researchers rest easy with a new guide to using copyrighted work—like political cartoons or screenshots from online games—in their studies.
Because of the "fair use" provisions of copyright law, copyrighted work can be quoted if it is being used for a purpose different from its original intent, according to the report, which was vetted by a committee of lawyers.
The report, released today, gives communications scholars four types of research-related situations as examples: analyzing copyrighted material, quoting it to illustrate a point, using it to spark discussion, and storing it in a collection. The situations in the report were based on 387 responses to a survey of communications scholars conducted in collaboration with the International Communication Association.
The center's guides establish what's acceptable for a field and tell scholars how to apply the law to the cases they encounter, said Ms. Aufderheide.
The center plans to continue producing similar documents for other groups, like an association of research librarians, that want clearer guidelines on using copyrighted works, she added.
ScienceOnline and copyright anxiety January 21, 2010Posted by Kevin Smith in : Authors' Rights, Copyright in the Classroom, Open Access and Institutional Repositories , trackback
I attended parts of the ScienceOnline 2010 conference, held here in the Research Triangle this weekend. There was a fascinating array of topics discussed and an interesting crowd of 270+ that included many working scientists, librarians and even journalists. It was a great opportunity to listen to scientists talk about how they want to communicate with one another and with the general public.
There are some excellent discussions of what went on at this year’s conference, especially here and here on Dorothea Salo’s blog. Those with a real passion for more information can check out this growing list of blog posts about the conference. I won’t try to compete with these comprehensive recaps, especially because my selection of events to attend was rather idiosyncratic, and perhaps even ill-advised. But I do want to make three quick observations about what I personally learned from the conference.
First, I discovered one more argument for open science that had not occurred to me before, but has the potential to be very compelling for scientists on our faculties. One reason academic research should be online is that “junk” science is already there. If the general public — including the proportion thereof who vote or require health care — do not make good decisions in regard to matters involving scientific knowledge, we can only blame ourselves when the best research is not available to them, hidden behind pay walls.
Second, I was fascinated to discover that health science bloggers have developed a code of ethics to try and account for the many issues that arise when scientists put important and potentially life-altering information onto the open web. The benefits of this openness are indisputable, but so are some of the risks. This code of ethics represents an attempt to address some of those risks and minimize them (there is a somewhat different discussion of a similar issue from the conference here). The criteria applied to evaluate health care blogs (see the text of the code itself) — clear representation of perspective, confidentiality, commercial disclosure, reliability of information and courtesy — encapsulate standards that all of us who try to share information and opinion online need to be aware of.
Third, I was amazed at how important, and problematic, copyright issues were to this group. I attended seven sessions at the conference, and five of them dealt with copyright as a major (although often unannounced) topic of discussion. Even recognizing my tendency to gravitate toward such sessions, this is a high percentage. I asked a fellow attendee why so many sessions raised copyright and was told, albeit with tongue in cheek, that it is “ruining our lives.” More seriously, one scientist described trying to put his classroom lecture slides online and being told by his university’s counsel that all material that he did not create had to be removed first. Apparently there was no discussion of the applicability of fair use and how to decide what was and was not allowable; just a wholesale rule that would discourage most scientists interested in sharing. This suggested to me that it really is very important to improve the quality of copyright education on campus — for faculty, librarians (who are often the ones asked for advice) and even legal counsel. We cannot reasonably advocate more online open access unless we also give our scholars the resources to accomplish that goal. In many ways the technological infrastructure is becoming trivial and it is the policy and legal questions that must be addressed directly if we really want encourage openness.
Steinbeck and Guthrie Families Now Supports Google Book PlanBy MOTOKO RICH
Associated Press John Steinbeck
The families of the author John Steinbeck and the musician Woody Guthrie, which previously opposed the proposed Google Book settlement that would create a vast digital library of books, say that they now support it.
In a statement released Thursday by the Authors Guild, one of the parties to the settlement, Gail Steinbeck, the wife of Thomas Steinbeck, the author’s son, said “the majority of the problems that we found to be troubling have been addressed.”
The settlement of a copyright infringement lawsuit brought by the Authors Guild and the Association of American Publishers against Google after the company began scanning books from university libraries, was originally announced in October 2008. Since then, a widespread group of authors, academics, librarians, public interest groups, as well as the Justice Department, have raised an array of objections based on antitrust, copyright and class-action issues.
Ms. Steinbeck, who had received notice of the settlement shortly before a May deadline for authors to opt out of it, sent a letter back then to several influential authors outlining her concerns. Responding to her urging to “stop it in its tracks right now,” a group of authors that included the musician Arlo Guthrie, Woody Guthrie’s son, asked the court for a four-month extension on the opt-out date. It was granted.
In September, the Justice Department laid out its concerns in a memorandum and in October, Google and its partners pledged to revise the settlement. The revised agreement was submitted to the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York in November, making it easier for other companies to license Google’s digital collection of copyrighted but out-of-print books and established the position of an independent fiduciary, or trustee, who would be solely responsible for decisions regarding so-called orphan works, the millions of books whose rights holders are unknown or cannot be found.
In an e-mail message to fellow authors cited in Thursday’s statement from the Author’s Guild, Ms. Steinbeck wrote that the revision “meets our standards of control over the intellectual properties that would otherwise remain at risk were we to stay out of the settlement.” She added that neither the Steinbeck nor Guthrie families would “initiate a separate lawsuit against Google.”
The Cornell University Library has established a collaborative business model for the arXiv repository.
Here's an excerpt from the press release:
arXiv will remain free for readers and submitters, but the Library has established a voluntary, collaborative business model to engage institutions that benefit most from arXiv.
"Keeping an open-access resource like arXiv sustainable means not only covering its costs, but also continuing to enhance its value, and that kind of financial commitment is beyond a single institution's resources," said Oya Rieger, Associate University Librarian for Information Technologies. "If a case can be made for any repository being community-supported, arXiv has to be at the top of the list."
The 200 institutions that use arXiv most heavily account for more than 75 percent of institutional downloads. Cornell is asking these institutions for financial support in the form of annual contributions, and most of the top 25 have already committed to helping arXiv.
Institutions that have already pledged support include:
- California Institute of Technology
- University of California, Berkeley
- University of Cambridge (UK)
- CERN – European Organization for Nuclear Research (Switzerland)
- CNRS – Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique (France)
- Columbia University
- DESY – Deutsches Elektronen-Synchrotron (Germany)
- Durham University (UK)
- ETH Zurich – Eidgenössische Technische Hochschule Zürich (Switzerland)
- Harvard University
- University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
- Imperial College London (UK)
- Los Alamos National Laboratory
- Massachusetts Institute of Technology
- Max Planck Society (Germany)
- University of Michigan
- University of Oxford (UK)
- University of Pennsylvania
- Princeton University
- SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory
- Texas A&M University . . .
The proposed funding model is viewed as a short-term strategy, and the Library is actively seeking input on a long-term solution. Currently, Cornell University Library supports the operating costs of arXiv, which are comparable to the costs of the university's collection budget for physics and astronomy. As one of the most influential innovations in scholarly communications since the advent of the Internet, arXiv's original dissemination model represented the first significant means to provide expedited access to scientific research well ahead of formal publication.
Open access isn't the same as free access (#scio10)
There is one point from the discussion following our ScienceOnline2010 presentation that I want to elaborate on. This is the way in which credentialism excludes amateurs. This is a problem that I face.
The internet has made accessible vast amounts of literature for much wider audiences than ever before. Many of the original sources that I have been able to use in my research would not have been available to me just ten years ago. Many early journals existed for only a few years, in very small numbers. To read them, I would have had to travel to major libraries in Europe and the Eastern states, which would have been prohibitively expensive. Once at those libraries, I would have needed to get access to their rare book collections, which would have been very difficult since I lack an institutional affiliation. Because of Project Gutenberg, Google Books, and the efforts of many libraries I can now read these works online and, in may cases, view scans of the actual pages without traveling.
My point about lacking an institutional affiliation is very important. Most of the people at ScienceOnline2010 were associated with some kind of university or research institution. It was so taken for granted that they put it on the name tags, as if the affiliation was part of their name. I'm sure that it is standard practice at all professional conferences to assume the attendees are all in that profession. However, this was not a scientists' conference; it was a science communicators conference and communicators were defined as including bloggers who just happen to like science. Many attendees commented that it would have been useful to put peoples' blog aliases or online avatars on their tags along with their names. However, I didn't hear anyone suggest that these identities should have been put on the tags in place of their affiliations. Lacking an institutional affiliation, I put down Clever Wife's soap business, just to have something to fill in the blank.
The wonderful era of online access, which I mentioned above, is already facing counter-pressures to close it back up. The attendees were all familiar with the problems of modern scientific journals. They are ungodly expensive to purchase and many libraries don't have all of the relevant titles to their research. Many journals are beginning to address these problems by putting their content online, allowing institutions to purchase subscriptions that give access to the members of that institution wherever they are. That's great for them, but a barrier to everyone else. As an alumnus of the University of Washington, I'm supposed to have the same access privileges to library resources as do current students. The catch is that those privileges do not extend to internet access. To read journals, I have to go to the library. That's not a problem for people who work at the University, but, to someone who does not work there, it means making a special trip to read any given article. In those who do not work on or near a university library, the internet revolution has changed nothing.
Many of the journals who have put their content online do allow laypersons to access their articles, but we have to pay by the article. The prices range from ten to forty dollars per article with no consideration for length. Scientific research articles are usually quite short; one article I want is three pages long and will cost me forty dollars to view. For current research articles, I need to determine if it is relevant to my work without actually seeing it first.
The pay-per-view firewalls deprive an historical researcher of important context. The Proceedings of the Royal Philosophical Society are a perfect example of this. A few years ago they began posting online scanned images of the pages of their entire run. These were treasure to me. Whenever I went looking for an article, I browsed the entire issue to get an idea of the intellectual context of that one paper. This was not only useful, it was a lot of fun. In my presentation, I mentioned letters from landowners about natural oddities discovered on their land. As recently as the late 1700s, the Proceedings printed letters as trivial as someone finding a turnip in the shape of the Prime Minister's head. Priceless!
Last spring, with the scanning complete, the Society turned management of the digital archives over to JSTOR, a for-profit institution. Most of the attendees at our presentation were not even aware of the change. Because of their institutional affiliations, nothing had changed for them; they simply go online and read whatever they want. For me and people like me, it costs ten dollars for each article and letter unless we make a special trip to the University library.
As I mentioned in the presentation, the professionalization of the scientific world was a great thing in many ways, but, along with breaking down some barriers to the free exchange of ideas, it created new barriers. It divided the scientific world into two classes, active practitioners and passive spectators. Threats and barriers to the free and open access of ideas are not limited to censorship and social pressures; sometimes they are as simple as cost and distance.
Today’s the Last Day: Make the Case for Open Access | Peer to Peer Review - 1/21/2010 - Library Journal
Today’s the Last Day: Make the Case for Open Access | Peer to Peer Review
The time to send messages to the White House ended January 21
Barbara Fister, Gustavus Adolphus College, St. Peter, MN -- Library Journal, 1/21/2010
Go back to the
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Have you told the White House what you think about open access to publicly funded research? The Office of Science and Technology Policy has been accepting comments for weeks now, but the window of opportunity to add your thoughts closes today.
You haven’t commented yet? Do it now. Don’t worry. I’ll wait for you.
Okay, now that you’re back, I want to confess that there’s a lot involved that I don’t personally understand: the technical requirements, the need for uniformity, the way the deposits should work—I don’t have opinions on the fine points. What I do believe, though, is that the research funded by our tax dollars is important because it’s a public good. We wouldn’t be funding it with public dollars otherwise. It’s good for academic science, but it’s good for industry, too. (See also what ALA/ACRL and ARL have to say.)
My son is a physics postdoc at the Argonne National Laboratory. He does things with our tax dollars that I couldn’t begin to explain, but I do get that what he does may end up improving batteries that will be sold in products that we’ll be using—laptops, cars, you name it. It’s good for consumers. It’s good for business. And it’s especially good for pushing forward the frontiers of what we know about materials at a very fundamental level. (I mean, he fires photons at stuff to see what happens. That’s pretty basic.)
What if students or faculty at my college need to read up on the latest research published by the people whose synchrotron is funded by our taxes? Well, they’re probably in luck. Physicists are big on sharing. They’ve been doing it for years, through arXiv and by making their own society publications open access friendly. Not everything is available, of course, but quite a lot is. They still publish massive amounts of research, but somehow they feel their interest in supporting a quality publishing operation is not incompatible with fast and free dissemination of results.
Not on the same page
Other science disciplines taught at my campus aren’t quite as open. In biology, there are myriad worthy societies that rely on earnings from library subscriptions, and there are even more commercially-published journals that rank high in importance. Neuroscience is an exciting concentration that is attracting a lot of students but, oy, it’s expensive. Like physics, chemistry has a major society that represents many branches of the field, but its journals are pricey and the logic of open access is not wired into the discipline as it is in physics.
We also pay a lot just to find out what we don’t have. Our most expensive specialized databases are those covering chemistry and mathematics literature. The vast majority of what these tools index is published in journals we can’t afford, but, if we expect our faculty to be active scholars (and we do), there’s really no alternative. We have to hope that the land grant university up the road whose library we depend on will have enough tax-supported funding to provide access to the fair-use articles we can obtain, and that we’ll be able to afford copyright fees for the rest. For this to work, somebody, somewhere, has to buy a subscription.
Many small colleges like mine are going straight to paying commercial publishers for articles at point of need, and they’re saving a lot of money on subscriptions. But this means that, by design, there is no public asset to explore, even on a licensed, temporary basis. Scientific research is thus a disposable unit purchased for individuals, a solution that still costs libraries thousands of dollars per year. That’s a savings that comes at a steep cost.
This situation, of course, is often mistakenly called “the serials crisis.” It might be more accurate to call it the humanities crisis, because both my library and the research university we count on have less money for books, which are the lifeblood of many humanities disciplines. We know we have to pay fees for journal articles, because the only way we share them is by copying. Thanks to the first sale doctrine, we can share a book until it falls apart—and it’s politically a lot easier to not buy a book than it is to cancel a journal or database subscription.
Here’s another thing: it has always seemed peculiar to me that the “5/5 rule” CONTU guideline for the interlibrary loan (ILL) of articles is a flat rate of five articles, published within the most recent five years, regardless of the size of a journal. We can get five articles from a science journal that publishes 1000 short articles a year—and five articles from a humanities journal that publishes 20 long articles a year. That doesn’t seem right, but such are the peculiar metrics of copyright compromises. It’s considered fair use to request by ILL some 20 percent of the humanities journal before paying copyright fees (which tend to be very affordable, anyway) but only one half of one percent of the big science journal, for which copyright fees typically cost the price of a scholarly trade paperback in the humanities. No wonder we’re buying fewer books.
Science in the public interest
We have a long way to go before we sort out the economics of publishing in a digital world. Book publishers are sweating over when to release ebooks, and the newspaper of record is poised to start charging frequent flyers.
But this one is a no-brainer. We believe science is valuable enough that we pour public funding into it. We need to make sure that the results of that funding helps advance our knowledge of the physical and natural world, and that won’t happen if libraries can no longer afford it. Let’s make sure our investment pays off—for the public good.
The White House wants to hear from us. Add your comments to the open forum today.
Barbara Fister is a librarian at Gustavus Adolphus College, St. Peter, MN, a contributor to ACRLog, and an author of crime fiction. Her next mystery, Through the Cracks, will be published by Minotaur Books this year.
At SPARC-ACRL Forum, Reality Check on Open Access Monographs
Josh Hadro -- Library Journal, 1/21/2010
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- Unprecedented dissemination opportunities, but difficulty for business models
- "Average" OA humanities monograph runs at a deficit
- Experiments under way to see what works
Open access (OA) publishing models, pricing concerns, and the cannibalization of print sales were the headline topics at the SPARC-ACRL forum session on Saturday at the ALA 2010 Midwinter Meeting in Boston, titled "The Ebook Transition: Collaboration and Innovations Behind Open Access Monographs."
The conclusion? Open access monographs are an unprecedented boon to the scholarly mission of dissemination, yet challenge the financial sustainability of an academic press.
Introducing the panelists, David Carlson, incoming chair of the SPARC steering committee and dean of library affairs at Southern Illinois University, Carbondale, said that the scholarly market demands ebooks, regardless of the difficulties they pose for publishers and libraries. The three panelists then described their attempts to meet that demand.
Bearish outlook for OA monographs
Michael Jensen, director of strategic web communications for the National Academies Press (NAP), was the first to suggest the bad news/good news proposition: the press’s sales have actually declined, but NAP has fulfilled more of its mission of achieving maximal dissemination.
"There's an awful lot of reading going on," Jensen said of NAP's open content, which draws on average ten page views for each distinct visitor. However, only 0.3% of visitors purchase anything. The press has experimented with making the best non-optimal version (HTML page access) free, while offering the optimal version (PDF download) for a fee. The content is openly available, he said, but you can't easily read the free version on an airplane, for example, since pages must be requested individually online. This encourages users to buy the text as an ebook.
Aside from not worrying about royalties for the content it publishes on behalf of the National Academies, Jensen said NAP faces slightly less pressure since its support is guaranteed by the Academies. Similarly, the press functions under the umbrella of scientific funding rather than under a humanities mindset, where requests as small as staff computers can pose budget anxiety.
"I've never been more bearish on the future," Jensen concluded, adding that the near-term holds serious risks for monograph publishers, and that specialty markets for OA monographs likely won't function without explicit institutional support.
Taking stock of the "average" OA monograph
Patrick Alexander, director of the Penn State University Press, similarly cited tension between OA and “the practical goal of sustainability," then analyzed the press's open access Romance [language] Studies collection.
A 256 page "average monograph" has a list price of $57.88 for a cloth edition and $30.50 for paper (though many sales are at a significant discount). Meanwhile, it’s alsn made available at no cost to the end user in PDF sections. This press sells an average of just 95 copies in cloth and 279 copies in paper.
Thus, the "visible" first copy costs total about $5223, including editing and materials, as well as Cataloging in Publication filing and copyright registration. Beyond that are “invisible costs” for processes like validating metadata and software training for staff. Other overhead costs such as university support, facilities, personnel, and equipment add up to another $5,188, he said, bringing the total cost for the first digital and print copy to about $10,411.
In the end, each title runs a deficit of $9,898, Alexander said, with the obvious conclusion that the current model doesn't demonstrate financial sustainability. Still, the press has reached most of its dissemination goals, with some titles still getting significant traffic online two years after publication, an unusual sign of interest for this specialized field.
Value of experimentation
Finally, Maria Bonn, newly appointed associate university librarian for publishing at the University of Michigan, described her institution's similar experiments with "calculated risk-taking" in the service of scholarly access.
She described three open access efforts, including an imprint called digitalculturebooks, the inclusion of retrospective press titles in the HathiTrust, and a partnership with the Open Humanities Press. As with the other OA efforts described at the panel, Bonn said that making the digitalculturebooks materials available online represented purely additive costs on top of regular cost of producing a print title.
The response to the imprint—which covers topics particularly suited to an online audience—has been generally good in terms of both sales and online visibility, but Bonn said it’s unclear whether this and other efforts would be viable over the long term.
Weak sales or not, "we think it's the right thing to do," she said. "It's the purpose of the press to support scholarly access."
For now, it seems, publishers support such experiments to generate valuable data about open publishing models, but it is also clear they can't continue forever.
"interesting idea -- will it be sustainable?" HSM
UBC Library gives inaugural award for communicating research The UBC Library will be inaugurating the UBC Library Innovative Dissemination of Research Award, which will honour students, faculty and staff whose creative use of new tools and technologies are expanding the boundaries of research and enhancing the impact of research findings. Faculty, staff and students are eligible to apply to win the certificate of recognition and a $2,000 cash prize. The first winner will be selected by the University Librarian and members of the Librarys Scholarly Communications Committee, and announced during Celebrate Research Week in early March. Deadline for applications is Feb. 1, 2010. For information on submission criteria and procedures, visit http://scholcomm.ubc.ca/award or contact Joy Kirchner at 604-827-3644 or email@example.com.
White House Mulls Plan to Broaden Access to Published Papers Jocelyn Kaiser Should all papers that result from U.S. taxpayerfunded research be made freely available? The White House science office likes the idea and has asked for input on whether many federal agencies should formally adopt it. So-called open access advocates are enthusiastic in comments submitted to a White House forum, but some scientific societies remain wary, fearing that a too-broad public-access policy could kill journal subscriptions. Both sides agree that the White House appears to be moving toward a plan. "They're focusing not on should we do this but how would we do this," says Heather Joseph, executive director of the Scholarly Publishing and Academic Resources Coalition, a librarian group and open-access proponent. The push for mandatory release of research papers started 2 years ago at the National Institutes of Health, which required that grantees send copies of their peer-reviewed, accepted papers to the agency. NIH posts the final manuscripts or published papers in its free PubMedCentral archive; release can be delayed on request up to 12 months after publication. The objective has been to give patients and the public broader access to research results. Despite grumbling from publishers, NIH says the policy is working smoothly. Last month, as part of President Barack Obama's "open government" activities, the Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP) launched an online discussion about whether the NIH model should be expanded to other agencies. The OSTP forum asks nine questions, including how to ensure that authors comply. About 400 comments have been submitted so far from scores of individual scientists, librarians, publishers, and others. The majority support broadening public access, says OSTP Assistant Director of Life Sciences Diane DiEuliis, a neuroscientist on detail from NIH. "There was a fair consensus on the general issue," she told Science by e-mail, as well as on other questions, such as "embargo times": how long an author and journal can keep a paper under private control. Many suggested using the current NIH embargo12 monthsand preferred central repositories like PubMedCentral rather than university archives. But even a 12-month delay worries some nonprofit scientific publishers. For example, mineralogists and anthropologists argued that their papersunlike those in biomedical researchmay have a very long "half life" and that releasing the full text on the Internet could cause journals to lose subscribers. Katherine McCarter of the Ecological Society of America, which has not yet submitted comments, says that for ecology journals, "even a 1-year delay could be a real disincentive to buy a subscription." The cost of producing a single paper can run significantly higher in social sciences because papers need more space and require a "more robust peer-review process," argues William E. Davis III, executive director of the American Anthropological Association. His letter warns that mandatory release of such papers "could well result in the demise of the very journals that ... advocates seek to make more freely available." Despite such concerns, OSTP seems to be moving inexorably toward a general open-access policy. DiEuliis says OSTP will sort through all comments (the deadline has been extended until 21 January) and send suggestions to an interagency working group. This panel will also consider a report due this week from a group of publishers and other stakeholders that OSTP and the House Science Committee convened last June. One possibility, DiEuliis says, is that OSTP could draft an executive order or memo that would set out "minimum standards" but "give agencies flexibility to create custom plans.
Universities UK on Open Access, Metrics, Mandates and the Research Excellence Framework - Open Access Archivangelism
Universities UK on Open Access, Metrics, Mandates and the Research Excellence Framework Universities UK recommends making all the research outputs submitted to the UK's new Research Excellence Framework (REF) Open Access (OA). The UUK's recommendation is of course very welcome and timely. All research funded by the RCUK research councils is already covered by the fact that all the UK councils already mandate OA. It is this policy, already adopted by the UK, that the US is now also contemplating adopting, in the form of the proposed Federal Research Public Access Act (FRPAA), as well as the discussion in President Obama's ongoing OSTP Public Access Policy Forum. But if HEFCE were to follow the UUK's recommendation, it would help to ensure Open Access to UK research funded by the EU (for which OA is only partially mandated thus far) and other funders, as well as to unfunded research -- for which OA is mandated by a still small but growing number of universities in the UK and worldwide. (The same UUK proposal could of course be taken up by UK's universities, for once they mandate OA for all their research output, all UK research, funded and unfunded, becomes OA!) There is an arbitrary constraint on REF submissions, however, which would greatly limit the scope of an OA requirement (as well as the scope of REF itself): Only four research outputs per researcher may be submitted, for a span covering at least four years, rather than all research output in that span. This limitation arises because the REF retains the costly and time-consuming process of re-reviewing, by the REF peer panels, of all the already peer-reviewed research outputssubmitted. This was precisely what it had earlier been proposed to replace by metrics, if they prove sufficiently correlated with -- and hence predictive of -- the peer panel ranklings. Now it will only be partially supplemented by a few metrics. This is a pity, and an opportunity lost, both for OA and for testing and validating a rich and diverse new battery of metrics and initializing their respective weights, discipline by discipline. Instead, UUK has endorsed a simplistic (and likewise untested and arbitrary) a-priori weighting ("60/20/20 for outputs, impact and environment"). Harnad, S. (2009) Open Access Scientometrics and the UK Research Assessment Exercise. Scientometrics 79 (1) Also in Proceedings of 11th Annual Meeting of the International Society for Scientometrics and Informetrics 11(1), pp. 27-33, Madrid, Spain. Torres-Salinas, D. and Moed, H. F., Eds. (2007)
Impact of Open Access on Citation By Adrian K. Ho on January 6, 2010 8:50 PM |
Yassine Gargouri, Chawki Hajjem, Vincent Lariviere, Yves Gingras, Les Carr, Tim Brody, and Stevan Harnad have archived their article, Self-selected or mandated, open access increases citation impact for higher quality research, in arXiv.
Here is the abstract: Articles whose authors make them Open Access (OA) by self-archiving them online are cited significantly more than articles accessible only to subscribers. Some have suggested that this "OA Advantage" may not be causal but just a self-selection bias, because authors preferentially make higher-quality articles OA. To test this we compared self-selective self-archiving with mandatory self-archiving for a sample of 27,197 articles published 2002-2006 in 1,984 journals. The OA Advantage proved just as high for both. Logistic regression showed that the advantage is independent of other correlates of citations (article age; journal impact factor; number of co-authors, references or pages; field; article type; or country) and greatest for the most highly cited articles.
The OA Advantage is real, independent and causal, but skewed. Its size is indeed correlated with quality, just as citations themselves are (the top 20% of articles receive about 80% of all citations). The advantage is greater for the more citeable articles, not because of a quality bias from authors self-selecting what to make OA, but because of a quality advantage, from users self-selecting what to use and cite, freed by OA from the constraints of selective accessibility to subscribers only. BTW, the Open Citation Project has created a bibliography of studies on the effect of open access and downloads on citation impact.
Journalist, freelance and sci-fi authors groups take aim at Google book settlement | Technology | Los Angeles Times
Journalist, freelance and sci-fi authors groups take aim at Google book settlement January 6, 2010 | 6:03 pm
Three national authors groups comprising more than 4,000 writers and journalists today decried the controversial agreement between Google and author-publisher groups that would allow the tech giant to sell access to millions of books online. In a letter to Congress, the three groups -- the National Writers Union, the American Society of Journalists and Authors, and the Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America -- pointed to what they saw as the overly confusing and ultimately unfair rules that would govern what Google could do with the books if the settlement were to be approved in federal court. In language by turns wry and outraged, the writer groups accuse Google of inadequately explaining the terms of the agreement to the many authors it could affect, and the Authors Guild and publishing industry of fashioning a deal that favors current authors, while leaving less lucrative out-of-print authors behind. The deal does not cover books currently in print. "Think about it," the letter reads. "The existing competitive marketplace is best for the books that publishers care about. It's just the rest of us they want shoved into the straight jacket of the Book Rights Registry which they and the Authors Guild are proposing." If the settlement were approved, it would include the creation of a "Book Rights Registry" to oversee licensing and revenue claims for all books covered by the agreement -- many of which are out of print but remain copyrighted. Under its current terms, authors are automatically included in the settlement, and must "opt out" if they prefer that their books not appear in Google's search results. By the nature of older books, many authors are dead or difficult to find. Still, many authors have objected to being automatically included in the settlement process. "Are you opting in or opting out of the Google Books Settlement? If you dont know what that means or dont know what it means for you and your book youre in good company," read the letter. "No attempt was made to locate the vast majority of authors, and the rest were sent emails. Of those, how many thought they were email spam and deleted them unread?" Google declined to directly address the concerns expressed in the letter, noting instead that if it is approved, "the settlement will open access to millions of books while giving authors and publishers new ways to distribute their work online." The Authors Guild did not immediately respond to a request for comment. Find the full text of the letter embedded below.
Copyright Tips for Review Sites By Jonathan Bailey " Jan 6th, 2010 "
Whether you are looking to start a review site or have been running one for years, copyright is an issue you are almost certainly going to bump into. This is especially true if you're going to be reviewing copyrighted works, such as books, games or movies, but is true for just about any review you do. Even those who review electronics, for example, have to look at the packaging, manuals and promotional material as copyrighted works. Fortunately, copyright law gives a great deal of leeway when creating reviews, as it should, but knowing where the boundaries are and how to keep your site legal is important. Perhaps even more importantly though, it is crucial to be aware of ways in which your content could accidentally become a target for copyright enforcement, often by automated systems. However, with some common sense, some simple precautions and some common courtesy, you should be able to avoid any and all issues pretty easily. With that in mind, here is what you need to be aware of. For the rest of the ....
In the end though, if youre looking to set up a review site or are running one now, you probably have no reason to fear so long as you are acting in good faith. Reviews, commentary and criticism are highly protected under copyright law and, generally, the bar for infringement is higher than mere distribution. If youre aware of the potential issues and work to avoid them, you most likely have very little to fear.
Blade Runner author's family takes aim at Google By Kevin Rawlinson 12:53
The family of Blade Runner's author claim Google nicked names for its Nexus One smartphone.
The family of Blade Runner's author claim Google nicked names for its Nexus One smartphone. The family of author Philip K Dick is threatening to sue Google for infringement of intellectual property rights over its new Nexus One mobile. Isa Dick Hackett, daughter of the American writer, says that many of the names of the phone's features are lifted directly from her father's book Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? and the 1982 film Blade Runner based upon it. The Nexus One's operating system is called Android and the rogue cyborgs in the book are called Nexus 6s. Ms Dick Hackett sent a letter to Google yesterday, the day after the phone's launch, demanding that the corporation change the name. "Google takes first and then deals with the fallout later. In my mind, there is a very obvious connection to my father's novel. People don't get it. It's the principle of it. It would be nice to have a dialogue. We are open to it. That's a way to start," she said. Google's new product is based on its Android technology, launched two years ago. The company hopes that the phone - a direct competitor to the Apple iPhone - will gain it a share in the mobile phone market.
Google claimed at the phone's launch on Tuesday that the Nexus name is used in the word's original sense - as a place where things converge. In Dick's book, set in a future San Francisco, the main protagonist, Rick Deckard -n played by the actor Harrison Ford in Blade Runner - is a bounty hunter, searching for renegade androids who have escaped their human masters and are trying to lead lives as humans. After some people left Earth to escape the fallout from a nuclear war which had ravaged the planet, the cyborgs were supposed to act as slaves.
In the past, the Dick family, along with the relatives of the writer John Steinbeck and musician Arlo Guthrie, son of US musician Woody Guthrie, has also attacked Google's Book section, on which users can search the text of books the company has scanned and uploaded. Google uses optical character recognition technology to convert the books into searchable text and stores them on its digital database. They said that the system was overly complicated and that copyright holders were being asked to make binding decisions. In 2008, Google agreed to pay around £78m (NZ$169m) to copyright holders after the American Author's Guild sued. The company also agreed to set up Book Rights Registry to distribute revenue to copyright holders. Another mobile phone company, Motorola, agreed to pay the director of the Star Wars and Indiana Jones films, George Lucas, for the use of the name Droid in their Android OS-powered smartphone. However, the Nexus One character is not trademarked by the Dick family. - THE INDEPENDENT By Kevin Rawlinson
French solution to illegal download and copyright infringement - tax Google and Yahoo | ZDNet Government | ZDNet.com
French solution to illegal download and copyright infringement - tax Google and Yahoo
Posted by Doug Hanchard @ January 7, 2010 @ 11:24 AM
The French government commissioned a study to determine solutions to the problems of downloading copyright protected movies and music. The panels recommendation is to tax search engine companies, funding new portals that would make available legal ways for consumers to access copyright materials. In a Globe and Mail post, the governments Minister of Culture, Frederic Mitterrand; The plan seemed inevitable to us, if we want to maintain a certain pluralism in the culture world and prevent the endless enrichment of two or three world players who will impose their cultural formatting on us, Patrick Zelnik, a record producer who helped lead the mission, was quoted as telling Liberation newspaper. This idea is similar to how blank VCR and music tapes were taxed in some countries to distribute to the music industry in the 1970s and 1980s. Googles response in the article was polite but clearly concerned; Google appears cool to the idea, but sought a conciliatory tone. Google Frances public affairs director said the company told the mission it wanted co-operation between Internet players and the cultural fields to develop new models. Olivier Esper said there were opportunities to promote innovative solutions instead of continuing on a path that opposes the Internet and the cultural worlds, for example the path of taxation. Its unknown what the RIAA or MPAA think of this approach. The complexity of creating the taxation method and how it is applied certainly would cause significant challenges and how tax revenues would be distributed. Such a program would likely face stiff resistance if a similar proposal was suggested in the United States and Canada.
ARL/ACRL Institute on Scholarly Communication Webinar Series Strengthening Programs Through Collaboration This 8-part webinar series will assist libraries in taking their scholarly communication programs to the next level. Featured guest speakers will provide practical perspectives on emerging areas in scholarly communication. Throughout the series, participants will have opportunities to build and develop a network of colleagues and to review how local successes and activities can build towards a comprehensive program plan.
Audience: The series is designed to cover a broad range of topics geared toward graduates of the popular ARL/ACRL Scholarly Communication Institute, as well as others with responsibilities in the area of scholarly communication. Specific webinars may also appeal to a broader audience of librarians who feel they need to be better informed of scholarly communication issues. Organizations are welcome to participate as a group, or librarians can participate individually.
Format: Each webinar will be one hour in length, followed by an optional half-hour online breakout discussion session. Sessions will take place in an interactive, online classroom environment. They will be recorded and made available to registrants as an archive, so if you sign up for the full series but cannot attend a particular session, there will be an opportunity to catch up later. Optional pre-work assignments will be available in advance to enrich the experience or to provide the necessary background to bring participants up to speed in advance of the sessions.
Libraries may wish to collaborate on pre-work assignments with neighboring libraries (or more distant libraries virtually). A list of registrants will be available in advance to facilitate coordination of such collaboration.
Timing: The series will begin in March 2010 and conclude in November with one webinar per month, except for August.
Registration: Participants can choose to register for the whole series at a fee of $325.00 (paid in two installments), or for individual sessions at of fee of $50.00 each.
Believing that it is crucial for libraries to sustain commitment to building scholarly communication programs, the sponsors of the institute are underwriting the costs to bring this webinar series to you at a greatly reduced price. We are pleased to offer this opportunity to engage virtually as we know that your professional development dollars are limited. Webinars take place in an interactive, online classroom environment with one user/one login per group. If you wish to participate as a group, one person must register, login, and keyboard during the event. Your institution could project the webcast to participants in the same location. Class size is limited to X logins. Full refunds will be granted up to X days prior to the start of the seminar.
Open Access - 148 Resources * Overview * Publications (93) * Presentations (15) * Podcasts (18) * Blogs (22) Overview * Minds on Fire: Open Education, the Long Tail, and Learning 2.0 * Initiatives from the NSF's DataNet Program: DataONE and the Data Conservancy * The "Other" Sustainability Problem * Throwing Open the Doors: Strategies and Implications for Open Access * Where Is the Open Education Movement Going? Refers to access to databases, online learning environments, publications and other information systems that often are password-protected.
Strong open access growth reported by Hindawi Hindawi Publishing reports strong growth for 2009. Submissions more than doubled, from 7,600 in 2008 to more than 16,500 in 2009. The number of accepted manuscripts grew from 2,500 in 2008 to 4,400 in 2009. Note that the growth in accepted manuscripts is smaller than the growth in submitted manuscripts, indicating an increased rejection rate. This data and indication of strong growth at PLoS One is important in indicating that not only is growth rate of open access journals very strong (two per day based on DOAJ rates), the growth of articles published in open access journals is strong as well. Thanks and congratulations to Hindawi's Paul Peters and Ahmed Hindawi.