Welcome to the Free Online Scholarship (FOS) Newsletter
     May 6, 2002

* I'll be in Washington D.C. on May 10 to speak on the Budapest Open Access Initiative.  The occasion is the "Protecting the Information Commons" conference sponsored by Public Knowledge and the New America Foundation.  As a result, the next issue of the newsletter will be delayed by a few days. 

* I'm still investigating a handful of possible new hosts for the FOS Newsletter and discussion forum.  Please forgive any ads that Topica may insert into the newsletter before I finish picking a new host and making the move.


Open access helps the bottom line

On May 3, Jupiter Media Metrix released a study showing that users of P2P music swapping software are more likely to buy priced music than other music fans. 

* Postscript.  It's important to remember that P2P music swapping is not closely related to FOS.  Most musicians copyright and price their music, and don't consent to open access; free swapping violates their copyright and violates their theory of how they can best make a living from their art.  By contrast, most scholars give away their articles and consent to open access; free distribution increases their audience and the impact of their research.  In short, open access to music is harder to justify than open access to scholarship.  That's why it's significant when empirical evidence shows that even musicians focused on the bottom line profit more from allowing open access than from blocking it.  We've seen open access provide a net boost to sales again and again for scholarly books (see e.g. FOSN for 4/12/01, 9/14/01).  The Baen Free Library has documented it for novels (FOSN for 4/22/02).  The new Jupiter study shows it for music.  When the evidence sinks in, then even music and film executives should be able to see the benefits of open access.  Or, if not, then their stockholders should remove them for missing an opportunity to maximize profit.  When they see that their threatened business model is actually inferior to a model based on open access, they can back off their support for anti-circumvention, copyright extension, and CBDTPA-mutilations of general purpose computers.  Perhaps even commercial publishers of scholarly journals will get the message, and at least try open access experimentally.

It's also important to remember that FOS for peer-reviewed research articles, and their preprints, is justified and economically sustainable even if open access doesn't help the bottom line of profit-seeking artists and publishers.  But if open access did help the bottom-line of commercial artists and publishers, then scientists and scholars would no longer have to waste energy arguing that their corner of the publishing industry is an exception to the general rule.  They would no longer have to combat the myth that preventing free copying is in the interest of all copyright holders.  If every sector of the publishing industry benefited from open access, though for different reasons (research impact v. profit), then all the sectors could collaborate in establishing the benefits and removing the barriers to open access.


Where are the DQA evaluation procedures?

The Data Quality Act (DQA) allows citizens and corporations to object that information disseminated by federal agencies, or used by agencies in rule-making, is inaccurate, incomplete, or otherwise inadequate (see FOSN for 4/1/02).  Each federal agency must develop its own procedure for evaluating corrections submitted by the public.  May 1 was the deadline for agencies to put draft evaluation procedures on their web sites for public comment.  By July 1, agencies must submit their revised procedures to the OMB for review.  Final versions of the procedures must be in place by October 1, when the public may start submitting corrections. 

It's time to surf over to the web sites of the federal agencies most relevant to your work, review their evaluation procedures, and submit comments --if you can find them.  I couldn't find draft evaluation procedures for the Environmental Protection Agency, Food and Drug Administration, Department of Justice, Office of Homeland Security, U.S. Copyright Office, or any other agency I tried.

The only draft procedure I've seen is for the Office of Science and Technology, which advises the president on the implications of science and technology for policy questions facing the nation.
(Thanks to EuroCrisNews.)

Either a lot of agencies have missed the May 1 deadline, or a lot of agencies are hiding their procedures from their own search engines and the general public.

There are two reasons to be impatient and hold agencies to the deadline.  (1) The procedures will affect how easily disgruntled corporations can manipulate the system to duck regulations they dislike.  (2) The federal government is one of the leading providers of FOS in the United States.  The agency procedures will affect when federally published science, for example, will be revised or retracted.  After the DQA, scientific peer review is not the only quality-control procedure on which federal dissemination depends.  The DQA makes federal dissemination depend on a layer of legal-political review.  These two reasons show that the stakes are high in producing evaluation procedures that favor objective science and resist campaigns of lobbying and censorship disguised as statistical quibbling.  Agencies that have already missed the May 1 deadline should get on the ball.  The public deserves every day of the comment period.

DQA, full text of the statute (very short)

Agency evaluation procedures must conform to guidelines laid down by the OMB

* Postscript.  Does anyone know a site collecting links to DQA evaluation procedures or protesting that most federal agencies have apparently missed the May 1 deadline?


Advanced searching with Google variations

Google is the second-most used search engine for chemistry research by professional chemists, after ChemWeb (see FOSN for 2/25/02, 4/22/02).  Google's sorting algorithm and index size make it useful for serious scientific research even in direct competition with searchable databases dedicated to scientific content. 

One of Google's smarter moves recently was to publish its API so that programmers could build Google searching into their own programs.  With a few lines of code programmers can incorporate all the power of Google into a program, and then with a few more lines tweak and vary this power to suit their needs or visions.  Some search innovations wouldn't work on their own but would very well when added to the Google feature set.  Some innovations would work very well on their own but would work even better when applied to Google's index of more then two billion continuously refreshed web pages.

Google's decision to open its API will trigger an explosion of creativity in search technology.  If you have a special searching need not met by existing search engines, it's likely that someone's Google-variant will soon meet your need.  If not, you can take a whack at doing it yourself.  Here are some of the Google-variants now online. 

Google email interface, from CapeClear.
(Send an email to <google [at] capeclear.com> with the search string in the subject line.  CapeClear software will send you back an email of the top 10 results.)

Google API Proximity Search (GAPS), from Staggernation
(Find keywords within 1, 2 or 3 words of one another.)

Google API Relation Browsing Outliner (GARBO)
(Enter a URL, get a collapsible outline either of related pages or of pages linking to the URL.)

Google Web Search by Host (GWASH)
(Organizes results in a collapsing outline by host.  Within each host it seems to sort by Google's page rank.)

Home grown Google variants cannot be commercial, and cannot query the index more than 1,000 times a day.   Since Google is willing to terminate service to entire domains when a user from the domain sends automated queries to the index, this suggests that Google will give developers using the API a privilege that it doesn't give to other users.  If you agree that processing FOS as data can provide services above and beyond FOS itself (FOSN for 4/8/02), investigate what the Google API makes possible.

Google's instructions for downloading and using its API

There will be endless Google variations as the word spreads, and I don't plan to cover them all.  After this list, which should stimulate your imagination, I'll only cover new variations especially helpful to serious scholarly research.

I haven't seen a page collecting links to Google variations.  If you have, let me know and I'll link to it here.  Meantime, try one of these links to find new variations.

ResearchBuzz by Tara Calashain
(Tara tracks Google variations.  I learned about the three Staggernation variations above from ResearchBuzz.)

SearchDay by Chris Sherman
(Chris also tracks Google variations as they appear.)

Google search for "google api"

* Postscript.  This week AOL dropped Overture and adopted Google as its default search engine.  Overture invented the pay-for-rank business model for search engines, which assumes that users are more interested in shopping than research.  Overture is the leading search engine with the model, and Google is the leading search engine that has refused to adopt it.  From this point of view, the AOL decision is a victory for objective searching over the commercial rigging of search results.



* The Open Society Institute (OSI) has announced a grant program in which it will give $100,000 to help open-access journals publish research by authors from 67 developing nations.  The grants will defray the costs of processing accepted articles for free online dissemination.  Peer-reviewed, open-access journals in any academic field are eligible to apply.  This is a pilot program "inspired by the principles of the Budapest Open Access Initiative".  Grants will be given in two waves.  Applications for the first wave are due by June 14, and for the second wave by September 9.

* On May 1, the International Federation of Library Associations (IFLA) published its manifesto, "Freedom of Access to Information, the Internet and Libraries and Information Services".  The manifesto calls for freedom of expression, privacy and confidentiality of research, and internet access without "any form of ideological, political or religious censorship [and without] economic barriers".  In case anyone thought the absence of economic barriers meant affordable rather than free access, the statement reiterates:  library and internet access "should be without charge."
(Thanks to Gary Price's VASND.)

* The Canadian Heritage Information Network (CHIN) is now free of charge.  CHIN archives over 2 million collection records and 200,000 images from Canadian cultural and natural history museums.  It also hosts information for collection professionals on creating and managing digital content, intellectual property, and standards.  At the same time that CHIN dropped its access charges, it dropped the password gateway, enhanced its web site, and added a search engine.
(Thanks to Klaus Graf.)

* The Gates Foundation has given OCLC a $9 million grant to build a technical support portal for organizations (like public libraries) that provide open access to knowledge and information.  The portal will focus "managing hardware and software, implementing advanced applications, training staff and patrons, and delivering digital library services."
(Thanks to LIS News.)

* The _Human Nature Review_ (HNR) has created a free, customizable Explorer toolbar for searching online science and scholarship.  It comes with codes for a large number of searchable databases and instructions for adding new ones on your own.  Among the codes provided are those for PubMed, CogPrints, the MIT Encyclopedia of Cognitive Science, AnthroNet, Natural Science Update, FindArticles, the Encylopedia Britannica, Noesis (which I co-edit with Tony Beavers), and more than a dozen others.  It also includes a code for Scirus, which searches arXiv, BioMed Central, and all Elsevier ejournals.  Users can run searches on a single database or across a list of databases. 

* _Moxie_ is an online magazine for women that provides free access to all its articles.  It just started charging authors $10 per submission, triggering a wave of author protests.  Apparently the new author fees are not designed to subsidize free online access but simply to cover the costs of reading submissions, which are ballooning as _Moxie_ becomes more popular.  Fees for accepted articles are refunded.  (PS:  _Moxie_ isn't a scholarly journal and its authors write for money, so their protests are understandable.  Still, this is an interesting variation on the theme of upfront financing that scholarly journals might investigate.  Which is better, (1) to charge authors or their sponsors only for accepted papers, or (2) to charge for all submissions and refund the fees paid on accepted papers?  The former is narrowly tailored to the costs of online dissemination of accepted papers, but requires higher payments than would be necessary if the costs were spread over all submissions.  The latter would reduce author/sponsor payments, but would discourage multiple submissions.  I see a difficult balance of pros and cons on each side.)

* David Bollier has just published _Silent Theft:  The Private Plunder of our Common Wealth_ (Routledge, 2002), a wide-ranging book on the enclosure of the commons in every sector of the economy, including the privatization of public knowledge and the enclosure of the academic commons (chapters 8 and 9).  It's not free or online, but a description with TOC, reviews, and links is free online.  Bollier is a co-founder of Public Knowledge and Director of the Information Commons Project at the New American Foundation.

_Silent Theft_ is a book-length version of Bollier's long essay, "Private Assets and Private Profits", which is free and online.
PDF ed. http://makeashorterlink.com/?B26A34BC
HTML ed. http://makeashorterlink.com/?V2F0627C

* A new eBook in the Wiley Interscience Series in Discrete Mathematics and Optimization takes a step forward in helping ebooks realize the potential of the digital medium.  _Graph Theory and Geography_ by Sandra Arlinghaus, William Arlinghaus, and Frank Hilary contains dynamic, interactive maps and graphs.  Users may mark and move portions of these graphs and see the results in real time.

* Soft Experience has released Catalogue 3.0, software to generate metadata for documents in many common file formats and create HTML or XML reports based on the results.
(Thanks to EuroCrisNews.)


New on the net

* The National Library of Australia has put online its report, "Guidelines for the Creation of Content for Resource Discovery Metadata".

* The World Summit on the Information Society (WSIS) has launched a free online _WSIS Newsletter_.  The first issue is now online.  The WSIS is a sequel to the UN's Millennium Declaration, which also inspired HINARI, one of the largest FOS initiatives donating scholarly ejournal subscriptions to developing nations.  WSIS has a much broader mandate than FOS, but includes FOS and bridging the digital divide among its concerns.
(Thanks to EuroCrisNews.)

* The proceedings of the conference on "The Future of the Information Revolution in Europe" (April 2001, Limelette, Belgium) are now online.
(Thanks to EuroCrisNews.)


In other publications

* The May 6 issue of _FirstMonday_ is now online.  It contains several articles on digitizing museum collections for the web, and these two other FOS-related articles:

Clifford Lynch, "Digital Collections, Digital Libraries and the Digitization of Cultural Heritage Information"

Timothy W. Cole, "Creating a Framework of Guidance for Building Good Digital Collections"

* In the May 6 _Law.com_, Barry Bayer reviews PACER (Public Access to Court Electronic Records), a low-cost  searchable database of court records.  PACER charges $0.07 per screenful.

* In the May 4 _Business Week_, Jane Black interviews Lawrence Lessig on his idea that Congress should enact compulsory licenses for copyrighted digital content like music and films.  Quoting Lessig:  "The record labels have launched lawsuits against every company that has a model for distributing [music and entertainment] content they can't control.  That has sent a clear message to venture capitalists:  Don't deploy a technology that we don't approve of, or we will sue you into the Dark Ages.  The result is that the field has been left to dinosaurs."  The dinosaurs have persuaded Congress that we face the false dilemma between "perfect protection or no protection" for digital content.  "No one is seriously arguing for no protection.  They are arguing for a balance...." 
(Thanks to QuickLinks.)

* Dan Gillmor's May 4 column is devoted to the content industry's opposition to deep linking and ad skipping.  In both cases content publishers are trying to control how people use their products, even when it hurts their own bottom line.  For example, a ban on deep linking would eliminate most of the incoming links to a newspaper.  Gillmor's diagnosis:  this is control for the sake of control, "paranoia, stupidity, and greed" run amok.  Congress has rolled over for content publishers because it hasn't yet heard from the fed-up and long-suffering public.

* In the May 3 _Chronicle of Higher Education_ Marshall Poe tells why he didn't publish his latest book with a "good" print publisher, why he published it himself on the web, and what steps he went through to do so.
(Accessibly only to subscribers.)

Poe published a funnier version of the same story, which also happens to be free online, in the December _JEP_ (FOSN for 12/5/01).

* In the May 3 _NewsBytes_ William Jackson brings us up to date on the Net Guard, the "National Guard for the Net" that will mobilize to repair digital infrastructure damaged by acts of war or terrorism (FOSN for 12/5/01).  Congress is considering Ron Wyden's bill to create the Net Guard.  A related bill, passed by the House and now in the Senate, would give about a billion dollars to the NSF and NIST for research and education on net security. 

* In the May 2 _New York Times_ David Pogue reviews free, shareware, and commercial programs that not only convert text to speech, but convert the audio file to MP3 format.  The result is a bridge from written texts to the P2P music-swapping and MP3 music-playing infrastructure.  (PS:  The companies that hire actors to dictate books on tape will never record serious academic titles beyond a thin set of classics.  Software like this is the best hope for a large library of free online audio scholarship.  See FOSN for 10/5/01.)

* In the May 2 _BBC News_, Mark Ward describes how grid computing is helping astronomers.  Astrogrid is a unified front end to the many astronomical archives and data sets now online, and a channel to cope with the voluminous data generated by digital telescopes and other instruments.  For example, the Visible & Infrared Survey Telescope for Astronomy (Vista) will generate 100 GB of data every day.  Astrogrid makes different archives and data sets interoperable through its own metadata standard.  The result is that astronomers have access to x-ray, radio, magnetic, infra-red, and optical data on a given celestial object, even if these data must be gathered from different online sources.

* In the May 1 _Library Journal_, Carol Tenopir gives advice to searchers frustrated by the multiplicity of overlapping, non-interoperable, searchable databases.

* In the May _Information Today_ Paula Hane tells what is known of the rise and fall of Prestige Factor (PF), a Toronto company with a new way to the measure the impact of scholarly journals.  Like ISI, PF measured the frequency of citations, but unlike ISI, it only counted citations to original research articles.  In February ISI sued PF for violating its intellectual property rights and in March PF went out of business, apparently unable to bear the costs of defending itself in court.

* In the May _Computers in Libraries_, George Pike gives an excellent overview of how the licensing (rather than sale) of electronic content to libraries increases administrative complexity and costs for libraries and diminishes traditional rights to copy and lend.
(Thanks to LibLicense.)

* In the April 29 _CableWorld_, Staci Kramer interviews Turner Broadcasting CEO Jamie Kellner.  Kellner asserts that skipping the commercials on commercial TV is "theft".  He allows that "there's a certain amount of tolerance for going to the bathroom" but insists that "your contract with the network when you get the show is [that] you're going to watch the spots".  Systematically skipping commercials is a violation of Turner's intellectual property rights.  (PS:  I know this isn't FOS.  But ad-supported journals are one form of FOS and Kellner's fantasy may be pointer to the future of ad-supported media.  The lightning reflex to close pop-up windows will be theft.  The discipline to avert your eyes from blinking text and keep reading will be theft.  So the future of ad-supported online media won't be pop-ups and blinking text.  Perhaps it will be like the scene from Clockwork Orange in which Alex is strapped into a chair and steel clamps hold his eyelids open.  But unlike Alex, we won't be watching a deprogramming tape to dull our violent desires.  We'll be watching ads for hair dye, laxatives, and pick-up trucks.  Unless someone straps people like Kellner in the chair first.)
(Thanks to C-FIT.)

Also see Ernest Miller's excellent retort to Kellner's position in _LawMeme_.

* In the April 28 _Heise Online_, Stefan Krempl describes the Math-Net Page initiative from the International Mathematics Union (IMU).  A Math-Net Page at a university math department web site hosts links to faculty and their online papers in a standardized way that facilitates the collection of the linked pages by special software run by the Math-Net portal.  The goal is to produce a free online archive of world mathematical literature, by encouraging mathematicians to post their papers to their department sites and encouraging departments to post Math-Net Pages.  Krempl closes with a summary of major FOS initiatives from arXiv and the Public Library of Science to the Budapest Open Access Initiative.  (The article is in German.)
(Thanks to QuickLinks.)

IMU press release on Math-Net Pages (in English, undated)

IMU statement endorsing open access, May 2001 (in English)

* Peru is considering a bill to require all government agencies to use open-source software for all official purposes.  The manager of Microsoft Peru wrote a letter full of expostulation and FUD to Edgar David Villanueva Nuñez, a member of the Peruvian Congress.  Microsoft probably expected a politician ignorant of technology policy issues, whose eyes glaze over quickly when they come up, and eager to defer to the wealthy investor in the local economy.  But instead they found an informed and passionate proponent of open source who understands the issues better than Microsoft and as well as any open-source advocate who has ever written on these issues.  It would have been easy for Nuñez to pitch the Microsoft letter into the trash.  After all, you can't expect to convert Microsoft to open source.  But instead of pitching it, Nuñez wrote a lengthy public reply (April 8) that devastates Microsoft's arguments with overwhelming detail and patience.  Imagine a U.S. Congressman writing such a long, articulate, candid, courteous, detailed, informed, and persuasive open letter, let alone a letter taking this side of the issue.
(Thanks to C-FIT.)

* In the April _Charleston Advisor_, Margaret Landsman argues that we need a new model of ebooks that goes beyond subscription to purchase, beyond pricing by FTE, and beyond "one book / one user".  (In general, she thinks ebrary is on the right track.)  A new model for ebooks will benefit readers, researchers, libraries, publishers, and libraries what wish to become publishers.

* The April issue of _Librarian's eBook Newsletter_ contains several FOS-related articles:

An interview with ebrary CEO Christopher Warnock

Major collections of free online full-text books

A bibliography of recent articles on ebooks

* In the April issue of the _Journal of the Medical Library Association_, contains several FOS-related articles:
(Thanks to Charles Bailey's Scholarly Electronic Publishing Weblog.)

Anamarija Rozic-Hristovski and two co-authors, "Users' information-seeking behavior on a medical library Website"

Kathleen Bauer, "Cost analysis of a project to digitize classic articles in neurosurgery"
(Highlights:  "[F]ellows, students, and residents preferred electronic
journals, and faculty preferred print journals.  Patrons used print journals
for reading articles and scanning contents; they employed electronic
journals for printing articles and checking references.  Users considered
electronic journals easier to access and search than print journals; however,
they reported that print journals had higher quality text and figures.")

Nila A. Sathe and two co-authors, "Print versus electronic journals: a preliminary investigation into the effect of journal format on research processes"

Stéfan Darmoni and five co-authors, "CISMeF-patient: a French counterpart to MEDLINEplus"

* CLIR and the Library of Congress have released their study, "Building a National Strategy for Preservation:  Issues in Digital Media Archiving."

Dale Flecker wrote the chapter on preserving digital journals.

* The Spring issue of the _Professional Scholarly Publishing [PSP] Bulletin_ is now online.  Among other things, it summarizes the proceedings of the annual AAP PSP conference (February 11-13, Washington, D.C.).

* An undated document at the AAP's Professional Scholarly Publishing site (undated but listed on the "What's New" page) describes the top 10 issues on the minds of traditional or non-FOS scholarly publishers.  All 10 are worth reading, but #3 is about online access.  Here are three of the five bulleted points on online access:  "(*) Glut of free information impacts publishers directly by creating the misperception that information should cost less.  (*) Free access is not free of cost.  (*) Ease of access is the goal; immediate access increases user productivity."

* In FOSN for 4/22/02, I cited the February issue of the _ARL Bimonthly Report_ without a URL because the issue was not online at that time.  But it's online now.  (While dated February, this issue appeared in April.)  The issue is devoted to open access and contains the following pieces:

Mary Case, "Promoting Open Access:  Developing New Strategies for Managing Copyright and Intellectual Property"

Peter Suber, "Where Does the Free Online Scholarship Movement Stand Today?"
(Reprint of my April editorial for _Cortex_.)

The Budapest Open Access Initiative (full statement and excerpts from its FAQ)
("The [BOAI] FAQ is one of the most usefully linked documents your [ARL] editors have ever discovered on the Web.")


Following up (new developments in continuing stories)

To see past coverage of these stories in FOSN, use the search engine at the FOSN archive.

* More on the CBDTPA

Edmund Sanders reports in the _Los Angeles Times_ that Hollywood's support for the CBDTPA is not monolithic.  Its apparent unity until now was a carefully negotiated, tactical display hiding deep disagreements about one another's turf advantages as well as the CBDTPA.  Their divisions are starting to emerge and may hinder the lobbying effort for the CBDTPA.

The Software and Information Industry Association (SIIA) has come out against the CBDTPA.  It has fought digital piracy longer than Hollywood, but argues that CBDTPA is a dangerous solution to the problem.  (PS:  SIIA's open letter makes such a good case that one is tempted to overlook the fact that it is a staunch opponent of government-subsidized FOS and lobbied Congress to kill the funds for PubScience.  See FOS for 7/30/01.)
(Thanks to Politech.)

Mike Godwin in _ReasonOnline_ has a long and careful analysis of the two industries clashing over the CBDTPA (so it's odd that he still calls it the SSSCA).  He points out that we know the clashing industry positions much better than we know the positions of ordinary PC users and music/film consumers.
(Thanks to Freedom News.)

Hiawatha Bray reviews Gateway's campaign against the CBDTPA and the music industry's angry response.

Roger Parloff loves the DMCA and hates the CBDTPA.  Perhaps his critique of the CBDTPA, then, will be more persuasive to pro-Disney senators than the critiques friendlier to digital freedom.  "Though my guess is that creators can adequately protect their digital wares without legislation of this sort, if events should prove me wrong, the Hollings legislation should still be defeated.  If controlling digital property requires government intervention on this scale, then there should be no such control.  Digital technology will have rebuffed the legal system's attempts to tame it, anti-protectionists will have won the war, and it will be time for protectionists like me to raise the white flag.  We can't imperil everyone's freedom and prosperity in a quixotic quest.  The game has to end somewhere."

* More on the DMCA

The EFF has released a report on how the DMCA has been used to chill free speech, suppress scientific research, deny fair-use rights, and interfere with business competition.

Colin McMillen, a student at the University of Minnesota, has put online his account of how the DMCA blocked his research into the scheduling of real-time computer systems.
(Thanks to C-FIT.)

Eliot Van Buskirk has interviewed Rep. Rick Boucher, the most active Congressional defender of fair-use rights and critic of the DMCA and CBDTPA.  Here's Part One of the interview.  Part Two comes out in two weeks.
(Thanks to C-FIT.)

Rep. Rick Boucher has been collecting public comments on the DMCA since last summer in preparation for a bill to amend it.  He now says that he's ready and will submit his bill within a month.  His amendment will revise the anti-circumvention clause so that it only prohibits circumvention with the intent to infringe.  The effect will be to legalize circumvention for fair use, research, personal back-ups, and migrating digital files to new computers.

* More on the Elcomsoft/Sklyarov case

In a recent interview, Elcomsoft CEO Alexander Katalov defended his company and the software that allegedly violates the DMCA.  He described the DMCA as a law that makes it "illegal to produce legal programs".  On May 6, the judge will either grant one of Elcomsoft's two motions to dismiss the charges or set a trial date.

* More on the problem of excessive accessibility

The state of New York has created a commission to study the privacy problems created by making court case files freely available on the internet.  These files include dockets, court orders, and judicial opinions, but not any sealed files which have traditionally been kept from the public.  The problems are not created by making private files public, but by making public files easy to find and read rather than difficult.  The chairman of the commission is Floyd Abrams, the First Amendment scholar.

President Bush has stored his Texas gubernatorial records in his father's presidential library, which is administered by the National Archives.  The National Archives can take 60-90 days to reply to requests for information from the records, e.g. about Bush's ties to Enron.  The open-record laws in Texas require a reply within 10 days.  The snag is that the National Archives does not appear to be subject to Texas law, which is just the way the President likes it.  Last week the Texas Attorney General ruled that Texas law, and the 10 day rule, do apply.  No word yet on whether the President would appeal.
(Thanks to ResearchBuzz.)

* More on government-ordered purges of web content to keep it from terrorists

Marydee Ojala points out (once again) that deleting internet content from its home site or official source does not delete all copies from the internet.  So the practice has the evil intent of censorship without any of the intended benefits.  She criticizes the Federation of American Scientists, "an organization dedicated to unfettered access to information", for acquiescing in the purge of its site (FOSN for 3/4/02).  "Using terrorism as an excuse to pull information that should be public is detrimental to a democratic society and repugnant to online professionals."

* More on the restrictive new EU Copyright Directive

Alan Cox is awakening Linux users to the prospect of European variations on the DMCA and the Sklyarov prosecution.

* More on GeekPac and the Open Technology Consortium

Hal Plotkin in the _San Francisco Gate_ introduces GeekPac and the OTC to the general public and gives them some advice on how to spend their money.
(Thanks to C-FIT.)

* More evidence that the net doesn't intrinsically resist censorship

Andrew Stroehlein pulls together much of the current evidence for AlterNet.
(Thanks to Red Rock Eater.)


Catching up (old news I should have discovered earlier)

* On February 12, the Professional Scholarly Publishing (PSP) Division of the AAP announced its awards for 2002.  The PSP makes annual awards in 32 categories, including six for digital media.  The Best Internet-Based Electronic Product in Math/Science was Patty's Industrial Hygiene and Toxicology Online from John Wiley & Sons (not free).  In the counterpart category for the social sciences and humanities, no award was given in 2002.  Likewise, no award was given in any of the remaining categories for digital media.  (PS:  We accept that AAP will not recognize free online resources.  But should we infer that once these are put to one side, the quality of remaining digital and online resources is not worth recognizing?  If not, then what should we infer?)



* In my last issue I said I couldn't find the 2002 UKSG International Research Award winners on the web.  Ross MacIntyre has pointed me in the right direction.  Thanks, Ross.



If you plan to attend one of the following conferences, please share your observations with us through our discussion forum.  (Conferences marked by two asterisks are new since the last issue.)

* Pacific-Asia Conference on Knowledge Discovery and Data Mining
Taipei, May 6-8

* DLM-Forum 2002.  Access and Preservation of Electronic Information.  Best Practices and Solutions.
Barcelona, May 7-8

** Protecting the Information Commons:  Asserting the Public Interest in Copyright Law and Digital Infrastructure
Washington, D.C., May 10

* NISO/DLF Workshop on Standards for Electronic Resource Management
Chicago, May 10

* ContentWorld 2002 [mostly for commercial content]
San Jose, California, May 13-16

* Open Archives Forum Workshop
Pisa, May 13-14

* Copyright for Beginners [among librarians and information professionals]
London, May 15

* A Day in the Life of an [Electronic] Journal Publisher
Chichester, May 16

* Shaping the Network Society:  Patterns for Participation, Action and Change
Seattle, May 16-19

* National Conference for Digital Government Research
Los Angeles, May 19-22

* Libraries in the Digital Age 2002
Dubrovnik, May 21-26

* Taking the Plunge:  Moving from Print to Electronic Journals
London, May 22

** Online Submission and Peer Review.  Sponsored by the Journals Committee of the Professional & Scholarly Publishing Division of the AAP.
New York, May 22

* CAiSE '02.  Advanced Information Systems Engineering
Toronto, May 27-31

* Workshop on Personalization Techniques in Electronic Publishing on the Web:  Trends and Perspectives
Malaga, Spain, May 28

* Society for Scholarly Publishing (AAP)
Boston, May 29-31

* Fair Use Seminar
Portland, Oregon, May 30

* Off the Wall and Online:  Providing Web Access to Cultural Collections
Lexington, Massachusetts, May 30-31

* Multimedia Content and Tools:  Towards Information and Knowledge Systems
London, May 30-31

* Advancing Knowledge:  Expanding Horizons for Information Science
Toronto, May 30 - June 1

* Electronic Theses and Dissertations 2002
Provo, Utah, May 30 - June 1

* International Association of Technological University Libraries Annual Conference:  Partnerships, Consortia, and 21st Century Library Science
Kansas City, June 2-6

* Digital Behavior:  European Forum on Digital Content Creation, Management, and Distribution
Cologne, June 4-8

* DELOS Workshop on Evaluation of Digital Libraries:  Testbeds, Measurements, and Metrics
Budapest, June 6-7

* Social Implicatoins of Information and Communication Technology
Raleigh, North Carolina, June 6-8

* Electronic Resources and the Social Role of Libraries in the Future
Sudak, Ukraine, June 8-16

* First International Semantic Web Conference
Sardinia, June 9-12

* Frontiers of Ownership in the Digital Economy:  Information Patents, Database Protection and the Politics of Knowledge
Paris, June 10-11

* IASSIST 2002:  Accelerating Access, Collaboration, and Dissemination
June 10-15

* The Commons in an Age of Globalisation.  Ninth Biennial Conference of the International Association for the Study of Common Property
Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe, June 17-21

* Informing Science and IT Education
Cork, June 19-21

* 8th International Conference of European University Information Systems
Porto, June 19-22

* Finders Keepers, Losers Weepers:  Exploiting the Online Environment for Maximum Advantage
Birmingham, June 20-21

* Transforming Serials:  The Revolution Continues
Williamsburg, Virginia, June 20-23

* Choices and Strategies for Preservation of the Collective Memory
Bolzano, Italy, June 25-29

* CIG Seminar:  REVEALed:  The Truth Behind the National Database of Resources in Accessible Formats
London, June 26

* 4th International JISC/CNI Conference
Edinburgh, June 26-27

* Digitisation Summer School for Cultural Heritage Professionals
Glasgow, June 30 - July 5


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