Open Access News

News from the open access movement

Friday, August 23, 2002

New from BioMed Central: Journal of Negative Results in Biomedicine. An excerpt: "This open access, online journal publishes papers on all aspects of unexpected, controversial, provocative and/or negative results/conclusions in the context of current tenets, providing scientists and physicians with responsible and balanced information to support informed experimental and clinical decisions".

New open-access journal: "IT&Society is a web-based scholarly journal devoted to the scientific analysis of the social impact of information technology on society, with special emphasis on quantitative survey analysis." IT&Society is published by the Stanford Institute for the Quantitative Study of Society. (Thanks to Terry Foreman.)

More on the UCITA amendments....Andrea Foster describes briefly why academic library groups conclude that the amendments don't go far enough.

Can a publisher put public-domain government documents into an electronic database along with copyrightable content and then claim a copyright on all the contents of the database? This is the topic of an interesting thread running on the LibLicense discussion forum.

BT has lost its court battle to patent the hyperlink.

At the recent WILSWorld conference (Madison, July 31 - August 1), Gerry McKiernan spoke on "emerging innovative augmented digital library services" --namely, (1) the NASA Astrophysics Data Systems Abstract Service, (2) NEC Research Institute ResearchIndex, and (3) His PPT slides on these three services are now line.

Is there any point in "preserving" a 5th century manuscript on CDs, when the manuscript is still readable after 1,500 years and the CDs may not be readable in a decade? Yes and no. Dough Alexander describes the dilemma in the India Tribune. (Thanks to Shelflife.)

A study by the DNER's formative evaluation project has found that 45% of students in the UK turn to Google first when looking for information online. This is more than four times the number who turn first to their university's online catalog, the runner-up resource. The study is online (RTF format).

Wednesday, August 21, 2002

The September issue of Walt Crawford's Cites & Insights is now online. It has a hefty section on copyright news, from the Berman bill and mandatory ads to the Edelman and Eldred cases.

More on deep linking....David Sorkin has a blog linking without permission to every company and organization he can find that demands permission for incoming links, and deep linking to those that prohibit deep linking. Paul Festa gives It good exposure in today's Sorkin is a law professor at the John Marshall Law School.

Tuesday, August 20, 2002

There's an interesting thread on paying referees currently running on the The AmSci (a.k.a. September98) discussion list.

More on PubSCIENCE....In the August 16 Ex Libris, Marylaine Block makes the case for keeping PubSCIENCE and urges readers to write to the Department of Energy. Quoting her own letter to DOE: "In case you're unaware of it, the indexing industry has a track record of pricing products out of the reach of most small libraries and colleges, with prices jumping annually by hundreds, or even thousands of dollars...Your elimination of PubScience is a disservice not just to those libraries, but to science and knowledge itself, which builds on the ideas of those who've gone before. If you want invention to thrive in this country, you don't shove it into a high-priced enclave few can afford to enter. Furthermore, PubScience is just one juicy target for the indexing industry. If they can shut it down, don't you think their next profit opportunity will be shutting down the venerable MEDLINE and ERIC databases researchers have relied on for forty years, so they can force researchers to use expensive commercial indexes instead?"

Monday, August 19, 2002

The Indian Institute of Science in Bangalore has launched an OAI-compliant eprints archive. This is distinct from its recent workshops on eprint archiving.

More on PubSCIENCE....The most comprehensive story to date is by Marydee Ojala in today's Information Today. "Noting that the U.S. federal government funds 80 to 90 percent of scientific research and development, DOE touts PubSCIENCE as a significant taxpayer benefit. The private sector never saw it that way."

The International Federation of Library Associations (IFLA) and the International Publishers Association (IPA) have released Preserving the Memory of the World in Perpetuity: a joint statement on the archiving and preserving of digital information.

The Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS) has put online its draft Guidelines for Ensuring and Maximizing the Quality, Objectivity, Utility, and Integrity of Information Disseminated by the IMLS. It welcomes public comment until September 15. The final draft will be published by October 1

The Canadian National Institute for the Blind would like to digitize its entire library of audio books and braille publications. The project will cost $33 million, which it hopes to raise in a capital campaign launched last week.

In today's Declan McCullagh criticizes both the DMCA and some of its critics.

Against the DMCA: "[It] is both an egregious law and a brazen power grab by Hollywood, the music industry and software companies. It is probably unconstitutional. It creates unnecessary federal crimes, cedes too much authority to copyright holders, and should be unceremoniously tossed out by the courts. (As a bonus, perhaps we could horsewhip its many fans in Congress.)"

Against some of its critics: "[I]f activists hope to assail a law like the DMCA, they'll be taken more seriously if they know what they're talking about. 'The risk that a researcher could go to jail for giving a speech at an academic conference is essentially zero, says Orin Kerr, a law professor at George Washington University."

The American Library Association maintains a page on database protection legislation. The page reports developments in the Congressional negotiations on pending bills, explains what is at stake, and links to the ALA position on database policy. "The ALA is monitoring Database Protection legislation because it poses a threat to the free flow of information and the public domain."

More on the USA PATRIOT Act....Librarians at the annual meeting of the Pacific Northwest Library Association criticized the act for authorizing the secret seizure and destruction of library records and documents. One participant: “In 50 years, when historians want to conduct research, they may find that a lot of the original materials have been destroyed by our own government.” (Thanks to LIS News.)

Sunday, August 18, 2002

The negative impact of the commercialization of biomedical research on open publication is considered in two recent articles. In the August 6 issue of CMAJ , Willison and MacLeod comment that "Engagement in academic–industry research partnerships and commercialization of university research were significantly associated with publication delays". In the August 17 issue of BMJ, Charles Marwick notes that "A recent court decision narrowed the definition of proprietary information to the production process—how a product is made. It excludes ideas or study designs.".