Open Access News

News from the open access movement

Saturday, July 06, 2002

The Association for Computational Linguistics has a free online archive of research papers. The archive includes retroactively digitized papers from the ACL print journal. (Thanks to Jim Rogers.)

More on the 2600 DeCSS case....After federal courts at both the district and circuit levels ruled that it could not publish the source code to DeCSS or link to sites that did, 2600 Magazine has decided not to appeal its case to the Supreme Court. The EFF, which represented 2600, says that later cases will be better for testing the constitutionality of the DMCA anti-circumvention clause. Here's the 2600 statement, the EFF press release, and the coverage in CNN/Sci-Tech and the New York Times.

CiteBase has created an online exercise to introduce its powerful service to new users. CiteBase is the only OAI-compliant search engine allowing users to rank search results by citation and browsing frequency.

More on the Patriot Act....Even though the Patriot Act authorizes the FBI to search library borrowing records, and prohibits libraries from telling the affected patrons, First Librarian Laura Bush says it's OK "because we are at war against terrorism". Now you know. (Thanks to LIS News.)

Post-CIPA....The public library in Lee County, Florida, is considering spyware to monitor which sites its patrons are visiting. Is this an improvement over filtering software that blocks legal sites? (Thanks to LIS News.)

The Chronicle of Higher Education is hosting an online colloquy on the question whether academic libraries should be "redesigned to place less emphasis on books". (Accessible only to subscribers.)

Friday, July 05, 2002

A vast collection of annotated and hyperlinked bibliographies in the Booklist Center. Includes lists prepared by authorities in dozens of fields as well as comprehensive listings of award-winning books complete from the first year of the award to the present.

Wednesday, July 03, 2002

E is for Everything: The Extra-Ordinary, Evolutionary [e-]Journal" is from The Serials Librarian 43(3/4): 293 - 321 (2002) ABSTRACT. An ever-increasing number of e-journals are transcending the limitations of the paper medium by incorporating and integrating a wide variety of innovative electronic features and content. In this article, we examine the current evolution of the scholarly journal and review the emergence of functionalities that expand and extend the conventional electronic journal. We further explore additional e-journal enhancements and consider new forms and formats of scholarly communication likely to arise in the not-so-distant future.This article, as well as many other noteworthy contributions, are included in a special issue of The Serials Librarian titled _E-Serials Cataloging: Access to Continuing and Integrating Resources via the Catalog and the Web_

Teri Robinson argues that the internet is too vast for effective legal regulation. In contrast to similar assessments from the mid-90's, Robinson is aware of the aggressive recent efforts to exert legal control. Compare her conclusions with Michael Geist's diagnosis only last week that regulation is finding a foothold.

EPrints was already free and open source, but is now also part of GNU. The most important consequence of the new affiliation may be that EPrints is publicly committed to remain free and open source. For some worried FOS proponents, this fact needed underlining after the EPrints partnership with Ingenta was announced two days ago. Ingenta will produce a commercial version of the software for institutions wanting more support than open source software can provide. But the open source solution will remain, which is now clearer than ever.

Kerry Thompson, Library's journals come with hefty prices, Guelph Mercury, July 3. A good overview of the serials pricing crisis and the need for FOS as a solution. (Thanks to ResourceShelf.)

The Skeptic's Dictionary is a critical survey of questionable therapies, eccentric beliefs, amusing deceptions and dangerous delusions. The full text contents are available here.

Tuesday, July 02, 2002

Version 0.1 of ZMARCO has just been released. If MARC records are already available through a Z39.50 server, then ZMARCO will also make them available through the OAI protocol for metadata harvesting. ZMARCO is an open source program for Windows.

The July issue of Digicult, now called Digicult.Info, is now online. In addition to smaller news items, this issue contains two articles on the preservation and authentication of digital records, and one on the use of digital asset management systems, DAMS, by cultural heritage institutions.

BioMed Central has published its Open Access Charter. "The charter commits BioMed Central to permanently maintaining its open access publishing policy, retrospectively and prospectively, in all eventualities, including any future changes in ownership." It also explains how BMC will accomplish this. (PS: No human institution is permanent. But this charter is a very good idea and the method it outlines for assuring long-term open access is serious and far-reaching.)

Consumer Health Digest Archive - from the Web site: Consumer Health Digest is a free weekly e-mail newsletter edited by Stephen Barrett, M.D., and cosponsored by NCAHF and Quackwatch. It will summarize scientific reports; legislative developments; enforcement actions; other news items; Web site evaluations; recommended and nonrecommended books; research tips; and other information relevant to consumer protection and consumer decision-making. Items posted to this archive may be updated when relevant information becomes available. Contributed by Sam Vaknin

Ingenta has entered a partnership with the University of Southampton to enhance software for creating and managing OAI-compliant eprint archives. Southampton already produces ePrints, open source software for OAI archives. Ingenta will produce "an enhanced, commercially supported version of ePrints", make it available worldwide as part of an OAI support service, and share some of the revenue it produces with Southampton. ePrints will continue to be open source.

British composer Mike Batt recently released a CD with a track containing one minute of silence. In an allusion to John Cage's 4'33" (four minutes and 33 seconds of silence), Batt listed his piece as composed by "Batt/Cage". But he soon received a letter from Cage's publisher demanding royalties. Quoting Batt: "My silence is original silence, not a quotation from his silence." (Thanks to Eric Schnell on the CNI_Copyright list.)

Monday, July 01, 2002

Elisabeth Winter and Gail Dykstra, E-Libraries Comes into Its Own, Information Today, July 1. On the E-Libraries 2002 Conference (New York, May 14-16).

Richard Wiggins, OCLC Extends Digital Library Offerings, Information Today, July 1. On OCLC's new CONTENTdm software for assembling, managing, and searching the contents of a digital library.

The Open Society Institute has launched a grants program inspired by the principles of the Budapest Open Access Iniative. Under the program, OSI will fund institutional memberships in BioMed Central for biomedical research institutions in developing nations. The primary benefit of the BMC membership is the waiver of processing fees for articles accepted at BMC journals. Readers pay nothing to read BMC's open-access journals; employees of grant recipients will also pay nothing to publish in them.

Omniglot - An online guide to more than 100 writing systems (alphabets and languages). Contributed by Sam Vaknin

The Newspaper Association of America has announced the launch of Newspaper Tech, a website that will offer more than 600 technical training courses online (From The WriteNews Weekly dated June 24). Contributed by Sam Vaknin

Specialized publications and databases about the brain, neuroscience and the basis of learning, stress, behaviour and sleep. The Journal of Neurotherapy is accessible in Full Text. The public database of The Society for Neuronal Regulation is searchable online. Additionally, the educational, clinical and research resources from The Brain Lab, New Horizons Org., Brain Awareness, Neuroscience for Kids, and BrainConnection are all available through this Web Site. Contributed by Sam Vaknin

An OASIS Rights Language Technical Committee is seeking input for a DRM standard for digital libraries in the humanities. However, the Technical Committee lacks any members from universities or libraries. If you would like input, send your comments to Robin Cover (robin [at] before August 7. (Thanks to Seth Johnson.)

I just updated the page of FOS Conferences.

The American Society for Information Science & Technology (ASIST), International Information Issues Special Interest Group are sponsoring an essay contest on International Digital Libraries and Information Science & Technology Advances in Developing Countries. Submissions are due by July 31. (Thanks to EuroCRIS News.)

Presentations from Global Research Networking Summit (Brussels, May 21-22) are now online. (Thanks to EuroCRIS News.)

Powerpoints of the presentations at the Interactive Electronic Publishing Conference, "Multimedia Content & Tools: Towards Information & Knowledge" (London, May 30-31) are now online. (Thanks to EuroCRIS News.)

EuroCRIS is conducting an online survey for CRIS (Current Research Information Systems) users.

Mary Minow has written a very detailed and comprehensive guide to libraries deciding whether works are in the public domain or otherwise eligible for digitization and free online distribution. (Thanks to LIS News.)

The Jeffrey Young article (previous posting) contains a short summary of Elsevier's restrictive policy on self-archiving. I just posted an item to the FOS forum noting that Elsevier's web site describes a slightly less limited policy and that in a recent interview Elsevier's CEO described a much less limited policy.

Jeffrey Young, 'Superarchives' Could Hold All Scholarly Output: Online collections by institutions may challenge the role of journal publishers, Chronicle of Higher Education, July 5. An excellent overview of institutional eprint archive projects in the US, from OAI-compliant archives e.g. at CalTech to unique systems like MIT's DSpace. Young also interviewed archiving proponents who could address concerns about archiving, administrators on the rate of adoption, librarians on implementation details, and Elsevier on FUD.