Open Access News

News from the open access movement

Saturday, August 03, 2002

Kendra Mayfield, College Archives 'Dig' Deeper, Wired News, August 3. On institutional eprint archives at MIT, University of California, Ohio State, and CalTech, as well as the more subject-oriented archives arXiv and CogPrints. Mayfield even links to eprints software and the Open Archives Initiative. Mayfield: "These archives may provide more efficient, open access to research than costly commercial journals, which scholars often rely upon to publish their work and establish prestige." Quoting MIT librarian MacKenzie Smith: "We see this kind of system as as a kind of public good." Quoting Rick Johnson of SPARC: "Today, institutions are paying unconscionably high prices to buy access to the research they support that is published in profitable commercially published journals. Institutional repositories can stimulate emergence of new publishing models that are more efficient and effective in serving academe."

Friday, August 02, 2002

CNET: DMCA defenders in enemy territory. "Copyright owners clashed with consumer electronics makers and consumer advocates during a lively debate Thursday over proposed laws that would give movie and music companies more control over digital copies of their products." Jenny Levine: More like "DMCA defenders in untenable position territory". "I so want to do a survey of executives of media companies and find out how many of them have current library cards."

Thursday, August 01, 2002

Andrew Albanese, Digital Libraries Reach Out to Alumni, Library Journal, July 15, 2002. Dartmouth alumni now have free online access to 70 million full-text articles from 7100+ journals. Journal licensing agreements do not allow Dartmouth to pay for access by students and faculty and then extend access to alumni. So the Friends of the Dartmouth College Library bought new subscriptions just for the alumni. (PS: Will new gifts from the happy alums offset the cost?)

David Banisar has posted his report on Freedom of Information and Access to Government Records Around the World. A detailed and well-documented summary of official policies and informal barriers in 45 nations. Banisar is a Policy Fellow of the Open Society Institute and Deputy Director of Privacy International. (Thanks to Shelflife.)

Georgia Briscoe, Karen Selden, and Cheryl Nyberg have put online the powerpoints, links, and blibliography for their presentation at the July 23 American Association of Law Libraries meeting in Orlando, The Catalog vs. The Homepage: Best Practices in Connecting to Online Resources.

Greg Notess, Free Full Text, Online, July/August 2002. A positive review of FindArticles and MagPortal.

Barbara Quint, The Digital Library of the Future, Information Today, July/August 2002. On CrossRef's plan to expand from linking to searching full-texts, free of charge to users. Clearly this will help users. But the plan alarms providers of secondary services like abstracting and indexing, who apparently believe that their usefulness depends on print-era obstacles to access. "The bottom line is that primary publishers have apparently decided there's not enough room in the lifeboats for secondary services."

Albert Benschop maintains a page of links to free online Social Science Data Archives. (Thanks to ResearchBuzz.)

Florentin Smarandache (ed.), Proceedings of the First International Conference on Neutrosophy, Neutrosophic Logic, Neutrosophic Set, Neutrosophic Probability and Statistics, University of New Mexico. A free online ebook based on a conference in December 2001.

The library of the University of Bielefeld is digitizing the complete back runs of the most important German scientific and literary journals from the 18th and 19th centuries, and putting them online free of charge. See the library's page (in German) or Google's English translation. (Thanks to Klaus Graf.)

Wednesday, July 31, 2002

The Canadian Association of Research Libraries (CARL) has proposed a research program on Optimizing the Transformation of Knowledge Dissemination: Towards a Canadian Research Strategy.

More on UCITA....The National Conference of Commissioners of Uniform State Laws (NCCUSL) will vote on important UCITA amendments at its meeting this week in Tucson. The amendments improve an atrocious bill, but library and consumer groups argue that they contain fatal loopholes and don't go far enough. (See my summary of the most FOS-relevant of these amendments from late May when they were announced.) Paul Festa for has a good overview of the controversy.

Jenny Levine: eBook problems definitely aren't our fault. "eBooks aren't important to libraries right now, but they will be. Digital files of all kinds will be an important part of our circulation, cataloging, indexing, and preservation future, so while there isn't much libraries can do about ebooks right now, there is a foundation we need to start laying today."

The American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) has released a major study, Seizing the Moment: Scientists' Authorship Rights in the Digital Age, by Mark Frankel. The study recommends new licensing agreements for scientific papers to give authors greater control over their dissemination and access. It deliberately avoids endorsing a single licensing model, but recommends a range of innovations and tracking to observe their actual effects on access. It is clear, however, on the kind of licenses it opposes: "agreements that grant access to some, but constrain sharing with others, could be contrary to the goal of increasing the availability and use of information for society's ultimate benefit." Bottom line: Scientific authors negotiating with journals now have the authority of the AAAS behind their request to retain copyright or some rights traditionally transferred to journals. (Thanks to SPARC E-News.)

Tuesday, July 30, 2002

Stuart L. Weibel, "Scholarly Publishing on the World Wide Web," Journal of Library Administration, 34, 1/2 (2001) pp. 73-80. Only this abstract is free online: "The explosive growth of the World Wide Web (WWW) is due in part to the ease with which information can be made available to Web users. The simplicity of HTML and HTTP servers lowers the barriers to network publishing."

In the July 29 SearchDay Chris Sherman describes new DARPA research with the potential to transform the way we discover, retrieve, and share information on the net.

More on cross-border censorship....The libertarian Cato Institute has just released a report by Robert Corn-Reeve, Caught in the Seamless Web: Does the Internet's Global Reach Justify Less Freedom of Speech? Also see Adam Thierer's summary of the report.

NEXA San Francisco State University Science and Humanities Convergence Programs

Dozens of full text scholarly e-books (downloadable by chapter).

GeoExplorer - Geography Portal is a guide to Geography on the web. Links and web resources to support students and teachers of geography or those with a general interest in geography. Includes a FULL TEXT DICTIONARY.

The permanent research collection of the Department of Anthropology comprises approximately 17,000 objects, most of which are ethnographic. The Department actively collects material of the indigenous cultures of western North America (exclusive of Mexico) and of the Pacific Rim, including all Pacific islands and East Asia. Current strengths of the collection are general holdings from the U.S. Southwest and the Pacific Islands, and basketry from California. Earlier years of collecting have yielded both ethnographic and archaeological materials from East Africa, the Middle East, Europe, and Central and South America.

Monday, July 29, 2002

Malaysia is simultaneously (1) cracking down on software piracy with prison sentences of up to five years and (2) allowing schools to use pirated software.

Joseph Esposito has written a reflective essay on electronic books --the book as portal, as self-referencing text, as platform, as machine component, and as network node. (Thanks to the Digital Copyright list.)

SPARC has launched a Japanese version of Create Change, its extensive and informative web site on the serials pricing crisis, solutions (in free and affordable journals), and strategy tips for faculty and librarians who want to help the cause.

Today SPARC released a major position paper, The Case for Institutional Repositories (also in PDF). From the paper: "Institutional repositories can provide an immediate and valuable complement to the existing scholarly publishing model, while stimulating innovation in a new disaggregated publishing structure that will evolve and improve over time. Further, they build on a growing grassroots faculty practice of self-posting research online. While institutional repositories necessitate that libraries --as their logical administrative proponents-- facilitate development of university intellectual property policies, encourage faculty authors to retain the right to self-archive, and broaden both faculty and administration perspectives on these issues, they can be implemented without radically altering the status quo. Moreover, they can be introduced by reallocating existing resources, usually without extensive technical development. In sum, institutional repositories offer a strategic response to systemic problems in the existing scholarly journal system --and the response can be applied immediately, reaping both short-term and ongoing benefits for universities and their faculty and advancing the positive transformation of scholarly communication over the long term."

More on scientific self-censorship....The National Academy of Sciences has agreed to hold the meeting proposed recently by Ronald Atlas, president of the American Society for Microbiology (ASM). The meeting will address the question whether information that might be useful to terrorists should be deleted from research articles before publication (either by authors or editors). Atlas posed the question to the NAS when he noticed that many authors submitting papers to ASM journals were asking to withhold information that might create security risks. While Atlas believes the question should be discussed, he opposes this kind of self-censorship, fearing that it will lead to incomplete research results that cannot be replicated.

Eighteen censored Chinese dissidents and intellectuals have published a Declaration of Internet Users' Rights. The declaration calls for freedom to surf the net and read all its contents, and to post any kind of content short of libel, pornography, and "violent attacks or behaviour". (I've only seen this news story about the Declaration. If any one can find the text or URL of the Decaration itself, I'll post them.)

The University of Southampton, which developed the eprints software for self-archiving, has a grant from JISC to find ways to stimulate universities to create eprints archives and fill them. The project is called TARDIS (Targeting Academic Research for Deposit and dISclosure).

Sunday, July 28, 2002

The papers from the SLA conference, Putting Knowledge to Work (Los Angeles, June 9-12), are now online. Some are FOS-related, such as JoAnne Rocker et al. on the NASA Scientific and Technical Information Program implementation of the Open Archives Initiative. (Thanks to EuroCRIS News.)

More on scientific self-censorship....Microbiologists submitting articles to journals from the American Society for Microbiology (ASM) have been asking the editors for permission to withhold critical information that might be useful to terrorists. ASM President Ronald Atlas has posed the question to the National Academy of Sciences. "Dr. Atlas said he feared that if authors were allowed to withhold information, the journals might find themselves publishing papers that could not be reproduced. He said he was leaning against the proposal but felt it was important enough to bring to the academy, asking that it convene a conference of journal editors...Dr. Donald Kennedy, the editor of the journal Science, said he doubted if a conference of journal editors would include the necessary expertise on national security to decide what should or should not be published."