...One of reasons for the interest in print on demand among libraries is the possibility that they may soon have access to significant digital repositories. The most prominent example, and one near and dear to my present heart at the University of California, is the potential digital largesse of works being made available via the Google Book Search Library partners program. In the program, libraries get back a digital copy of their works scanned by Google. Obviously, for works that are in copyright, there is a very limited number of things that libraries can do with these copies. For public domain works, however, almost anything is fair game, including printing off your own copies.
One of the challenges of the Google Book Search program for libraries is that the quality of the images delivered to libraries is uneven, and certainly not archival. Without belaboring the details, it is fair to say that Google's effort is focussed on the indexing of the texts to power discovery, and a marred display image is an acceptable compromise to make in order to reach the magnitudes of digitization necessary to make the operation - an industrial one in scale - sustainable. But not-pretty images pose a problem for print on demand....
For these repositories to be acceptable, [John Mark Ockerbloom] points that what we should do is to establish a clearing house or registry of these digitized works....
[I]f a faculty member requested a print of a book, a librarian could verify whether it met minimal standards and could give it a rough grade, certifying it to a certain level. They wouldn't try to correct or itemize the errors, but rather merely note this was a readable work, or readable but for the preface. In such a fashion, particularly if universities could ever figure out how to work together to make a centralized repository of public domain works, one could know simply by looking up the work whether it was printable or not....
Peter Suber at 1/11/2007 09:39:00 PM.
The open access movement:
Putting peer-reviewed scientific and scholarly literature
on the internet. Making it available free of charge and
free of most copyright and licensing restrictions.
Removing the barriers to serious research.