Open Access News

News from the open access movement

Saturday, September 07, 2002

More on the Eldred case....Eldred's lawyers have submitted the final version of their brief to the U.S. Supreme Court. As expected, the brief argues that copyright extension (shrinking the public domain) violates both the constitution's copyright clause and the First Amendment.

Friday, September 06, 2002

According to a September 6 update from BioMed Central, a new PubMed search by Email delivers the full text of freely-accessible articles (such as those published by BioMed Central) to developing countries, via a service provided by the West Africans Doctors Network (WADN).

In the September 4 ZDNet News Doug Isenberg reviews the music industry's short-lived lawsuit against internet backbone providers, and argues cogently that "[t]he real problem --and there's no denying the music industry faces a real problem-- is not access. It's infringement." (PS: The same conclusion applies in other domains. Don't criminalize circumvention, which can be pursued for many legitimate purposes, including fair use. Criminalize infringement. Don't punish lawful conduct to get at unlawful conduct.)

Thursday, September 05, 2002

In the July-August issue of Captain Doc ("Le guide de la documentation électronique"), Anne-Marie Badolato reviews eleven major FOS or open-access initiatives on the scene today. (In French.)

In the August 19 issue of The Scientist, Mignon Fogarty and Christine Bahls survey a range of methods for coping with information overload. "Better search engines, free journal access, proprietary databases and E-mail alerts are all helping scientists get what they want. But some worry that they are not getting all they need." Fogarty and Bahls close with a short profile of BioMed Central. (Thanks to Shelflife.)

On August 13, Guy Aron launched the EprintBlog from Melbourne, Australia. His subtitle: "E-print archives in universities and colleges, particularly those hosted by academic libraries, and the e-print phenomenon in general." Welcome, Guy!

Reporters Without Borders today issued a report, The Internet on Probation, identifying Western democracies that suppress digital freedom of expression in the name of national security, and documenting the recent security measures most harmful to democratic rights. The United States, United Kingdom, and European Union are all on the list. Quoting the report: "One year after the tragic events in New York and Washington, the Internet can be added to the list of 'collateral damage' caused by the general spate of security measures. As a result, basic cyber-freedoms have been cut back." Today's AP is running a short summary of the report.

Wednesday, September 04, 2002

CLE e-Prints offers free online access to preprints by authors who are members or visiting researchers at Centre for Logic, Epistemology and the History of Science (CLE) in Campinas, Brazil.

More on the Patriot Act....Daniel de Vise describes for yet more citizens how the Act harms libraries. Quoting Judith Krug, director of the ALA office for intellectual freedom: ''Our rights have been taken away. We're being forced to go against our professional ethics. But the only way to overcome this is to act illegally. It's awful.'' (Thanks to LIS News.)

Tuesday, September 03, 2002

In yesterday's San Francisco Chronicle, Tom Abele profiles Pat Brown, co-founder of the Public Library of Science. Also see the follow-up discussion in Slashdot.

More on net censorship....Ben Stocking reports in Mercury News that the Vietnamese are cracking down on web sites advocating democracy. In a related editorial Anick Jesdanun reviews censor-evading technologies. (Thanks to Internet Law News.)

China has blocked access to Google because it brings up too many links to censored sites. (PS: Another award for Google. The Chinese have not blocked Yahoo.)

Monday, September 02, 2002

In yesterday's CNN Sci-Tech, Marsha Walton describes the pros and cons of ebooks in college courses.

Every resident of Ohio now has free online access to 22 EBSCO databases, including full-text articles from over 3,000 journals. The package was negotiated by Libraries Connect Ohio and cost $2.5 million. If every school and library in Ohio licensed the same content from EBSCO, they would have paid a total of $18 million.

In the July 2002 Charlston Advisor, Donald Beagle reflects on a claim by Gene Levy, Provost at Rice University, that web browsing is superior to open stack browsing for discovery and serendipity.

Jim Morrison's interview with me on the FOS movement is now online in the September-October issue of The Technology Source.

Sunday, September 01, 2002

Gerry McKiernan, "Web-based Journal Manuscript Management and Peer-Review Software and Systems, " Library Hi Tech News, 19, 7 (August 2002) 31-43. Accessible online only to subscribers. McKiernan reviews AllenTrack, Bench Press, EdiKitSM, ESPERE, Journal Assistant, Manuscript Central, and Rapid Review. (PS: For other software in this category that McKiernan doesn't review, see the comprehensive SPARC list.)

More on the USA Patriot Act....In a preprint of an article forthcoming from the Northwestern University Law Review, Orin Kerr argues that the USA Patriot Act has been widely mischaracterized in the press, and that it protect privacy and civil liberties as much as it helps law enforcement.

More on open access to court records....I used to classify these news stories under "the problem of excessive accessibility". But more and more, the stories are about decisions to provide open access, or decisions to balance open access and privacy, rather than objections to open access as excessive compared to the former policy of open paper access. The Center for Democracy and Technology has just posted the results of a 50-state survey, showing which records each state makes openly accessible.