Wednesday, December 24, 2008

New Trans-Atlantic Slave Trade Database at Emory U.

Emory University recently opened a new OA resource: "Voyages: The Trans-Atlantic Slave Trade Database". Voyages documents the slave trade from Africa to the New World between the 16th and 19th centuries, providing details on almost 35,000 slaving voyages. One may create listings, tables, charts, and maps using information from the database. In addition, one may identify over 67,000 Africans aboard slave ships, using name, age, gender, origin, and place of embarkation. Voyages is sponsored by Emory University, the National Endowment for the Humanities, and by the W.E.B. Du Bois Institute for African and African American Research.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Medieval Manuscripts of Abbey Library Digitized.

The Abbey Library of St. Gallen, the oldest library in Switzerland, is one of the earliest and most important monastic libraries in the world. The Catholic Administration (Katholische Konfessionsteil) of the State of St. Gallen owns the Abbey Library. An important recent development is the digitization of many of its manuscripts. An informative article, Cataloguing the Middle Ages in Cyberspace, describes this digital project, the history of the Abbey Library and e-codices, the virtual manuscript library of Switzerland. An e-codices search retrieves 221 digitized manuscripts in the St. Gallen Collection. One must accept the Terms of Use before searching.


Wednesday, December 10, 2008

E-Dissertations at Temple University

Temple University has announced that all doctoral dissertations completed at Temple University from August, 2008 will be freely available online through its Digital Collections website. From Temple’s press release:

Temple doctoral candidates are now able to complete all their work electronically, submit it for review in electronic format and have it permanently archived at the Library as a born-digital document. As part of this shift to all-digital dissertations the Libraries will no longer add paper copies of Temple dissertations to the Library stacks nor will it collect dissertations on microfilm. The versions of the dissertations available through the Library's Digital Collections website are the original and complete versions of the dissertation. Dissertations accessed through the ProQuest Digital Dissertations database may be subject to some editing changes performed by ProQuest. . . .

All Temple Dissertations will continue to be indexed by the authoritative international database Digital Dissertations (formerly known as Dissertation Abstracts) to which Temple and many other universities subscribe, but now they will also be directly accessible to any Web user free of charge. Many other leading research universities have created similar “open-access” electronic dissertation repositories and have found that cutting-edge doctoral research is more frequently read and cited as a result of making dissertations globally available in an open-access repository.

Thursday, December 4, 2008

5 Million Articles Online at HighWire, 2 Million of which are OA

HighWire Press, a division of the Stanford University Libraries, announced this week the posting of its five millionth article on its e-publishing platform. HighWire now hosts 1189 journals and 5,009,562 full text articles from over 140 scholarly publishers. Over 2,013,680 of these articles are open access, i.e. freely accessible to anyone with internet access.

SPARC Open Access Newsletter: December Issue

The December issue of the SPARC Open Access Newsletter is now available. Particularly interesting are Peter Suber's predictions for 2009.

Monday, December 1, 2008

Studying Institutional Repositories through a Sociological Lens

In the Fall 2008 issue of The Journal of Electronic Publishing, Oya Y. Rieger, Associate University Librarian for Information Technologies at Cornell University Library, argues that the development of institutional repositories (IRs) should be viewed from a sociological perspective, i.e., the perspective which explores how two groups - librarians and faculty - have approached the creation and use of IRs. According to Rieger,
IR development and deployment efforts to date have been predominantly driven by digital libraries. IRs provide a provocative case for examining the consequences of system development primarily based on perceptions, background, and expectations of a particular community of practitioners—in this case information and library scientists. It is an example of a technologically sound system that is facing challenges being embraced and adopted by intended end users. The problem is the misalignments between developers’ inscriptions of end users—their projection of users’ behavior in order to create the user interface—and the actual end use patterns.
Without more of a coordinated effort between the two groups, the IRs will be no more than "a set of empty shelves." The value of Rieger's article is her use of specific social theories to interpret how this particular area of library technology has evolved thus far. Her concluding remarks serve as an invitation to librarians to become more aware about who was involved in the construction of the IR and how it could be done differently.
Through analysis of sociocultural factors based on social theories, we can attain a better understanding of how information and communications technologies should be designed and implemented, and improve promotional activities to encourage their appropriation. . . . To design effective information and communication technologies, we need to better understand the associations among the information practices, institutions, and the social and material foundation of the scholarly communication processes.

Sunday, November 30, 2008

NIH Public Access Policy Videos

The National Institutes of Health (NIH) has made two videos available to assist in complying with the law requiring deposition of articles funded by NIH into PubMed Central. The first video shows how the author himself can deposit final peer-reviewed manuscript in PMC via the NIH Manuscript Submission System (NIHMS). The second video shows the submission process for final peer-reviewed manuscripts that the publisher has deposited in the NIH Manuscript Submission System (NIHMS).

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Global Library of Women's Medicine Launched

Global Library of Women's Medicine, a new open access database, has recently been launched. It is intended to provide a definitive resource on the latest therapeutic options in women's medicine for doctors and women concerned about their health. Incorporating a vast range of detailed clinical information across the whole field of women's medicine, it consists of 442 main chapters and 53 supplementary chapters, supported by over 40,000 references. The chapters have been written by more than 650 specialists. This freely available Library is accessible at: www.glowm.com.

Sunday, November 23, 2008

DOAJ Growing Impressively

The Directory of Open Access Journals (DOAJ) is going from strength to strength. DOAJ now lists 3756 journals. 1312 of these journals are searchable at article level, the number of articles included being 222745 as of today.

The goal of DOAJ “is to increase the visibility and ease of use of open access scientific and scholarly journals thereby promoting their increased usage and impact.” It “aims to be comprehensive and cover all open access scientific and scholarly journals that use a quality control system to guarantee the content.” More information about DOAJ is available at http://www.doaj.org/doaj?func=loadTempl&templ=about. There is also a page of FAQs.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

European Commission launches EUROPEANA

Europeana, an online inventory of European digital resources, profiles its rich cultural heritage by drawing from collections in libraries, museums and archives. Although all EU countries are represented one observes that France dominates the site. View the Château de Versailles Podcast. Europeana complements The European Library site, of National Libraries of Europe website, formerly Gabriel.


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Monday, November 17, 2008

Research Funded by Autism Speaks to be Open Access

Autism Speaks, the largest autism advocacy organization in the U.S., recently announced the new policy that effective December 3, 2008 all researchers in receipt of funding from Autism Speaks will be required to deposit any resulting peer-reviewed research papers in the PubMed Central digital repository, whence they will be freely accessible to anyone with internet access. PubMed Central will make the papers available to the public within 12 months of journal publication. This new policy is firmly in line with the National Institutes of Health mandate.

From Autism Speaks’ 13 November, 2008 press release:

Posting articles on PubMed Central not only makes the results of research more accessible, it also integrates them with other research and data, making it easier for scientists worldwide to pursue autism research and make discoveries. Equally important, families, clinicians, patients, educators, and students reap the benefits by having open access to Autism Speaks-funded research. PubMed Central's trusted repository of full-text biomedical journal articles is freely available online at www.pubmedcentral.gov.

While families are now able to view a wide range of information about autism research online, they often do not have easy access to primary sources, including peer-reviewed scientific literature. This new policy will allow everyone to access complete articles that in the past may have been available only through fee-based journals.

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Copyright Angst, Lust for Prestige and Cost Control: What Institutions Can Do to Ease Open Access

In an article in the latest issue of Ariadne Leo Waaijers considers why authors are hesitant about publishing their scholarship in Open Access journals or placing them in their institution’s digital repository. Though the article is primarily focused on the European context its arguments and recommendations are fully applicable to the US. In The Introduction Waaijers writes “[authors] ask themselves whether that will not be at odds with the copyright rules and whether they will gain – or perhaps even lose – prestige. For their part, institutional managers wonder whether switching to Open Access will not make things more expensive than sticking with the traditional system of publication.

This article analyses the current situation regarding these three issues. The only possible conclusion is that the academic community finds itself in the course of a transition – from paper to digital – as regards the dissemination of knowledge, a transition that urgently requires an active and directive approach on the part of universities and research institutions. This conclusion is in line with a recent recommendation by the European University Association, with the primary conclusion being that ‘Universities should develop institutional policies and strategies that foster the availability of their quality controlled research results for the broadest possible range of users, maximizing their visibility, accessibility and scientific impact.’”

In two appendices Bas Savenije and Michel Wesseling compare the costs of open access publishing and subscriptions/licences for their respective institutions, Utrecht University and the Institute of Social Studies in The Hague.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

The beauty of Some Rights Reserved

ACRL -The beauty of "Some Rights Reserved: Introducing Creative Commons to librarians, faculty, and students"
C&RL News, November 2008Vol. 69, No. 10
by Molly Kleinman

This short article details the background of Creative Commons licenses, explains the various types, and gives some tips on introducing them to faculty and students. It also links to some useful resources.

"Founded by a group of intellectual property and technology experts in 2001, Creative Commons has emerged as a major player in the growing movement to provide an alternative to “All Rights Reserved.” Their goal is “to build a layer of reasonable, flexible copyright in the face of increasingly restrictive default rules.”3 They appear to be succeeding. As of this writing, Creative Commons licenses are available in 44 countries, with 9 more on the way. There are more than 60 million photographs available under Creative Commons licenses on the popular photo sharing Web site Flickr (flickr.com); nearly 10,000 sound clips, samples, and remixes on the music site ccMixter (ccmixter.org); and materials from 1,800 undergraduate and graduate level MIT courses in the MIT OpenCourseWare program (ocw.mit.edu)."

Monday, November 10, 2008

ARL Study: Current Models of Digital Scholarly Communication

The Association of Research Libraries (ARL) has released the report Current Models of Digital Scholarly Communication, by Nancy L. Maron and K. Kirby Smith. From ARL’s press release:

In the spring of 2008, ARL engaged Ithaka's Strategic Services Group to conduct an investigation into the range of online resources valued by scholars, paying special attention to those projects that are pushing beyond the boundaries of traditional formats and are considered innovative by the faculty who use them. The networked digital environment has enabled the creation of many new kinds of works, and many of these resources have become essential tools for scholars conducting research, building scholarly networks, and disseminating their ideas and work, but the decentralized distribution of these new-model works has made it difficult to fully appreciate their scope and number.

Ithaka's findings are based on a collection of resources identified by a volunteer field team of over 300 librarians at 46 academic institutions in the US and Canada. . . . Ultimately, 206 unique digital resources spanning eight formats were identified that met the study's criteria. . . .

Highlights from the study's findings include:

  • While some disciplines seem to lend themselves to certain formats of digital resource more than others, examples of innovative resources can be found across the humanities, social sciences, and scientific/technical/medical subject areas.
  • Of all the resources suggested by faculty, almost every one that contained an original scholarly work operates under some form of peer review or editorial oversight.
  • Some of the resources with greatest impact are those that have been around a long while.
  • While some resources serve very large audiences, many digital publications--capable of running on relatively small budgets--are tailored to small, niche audiences.
  • Innovations relating to multimedia content and Web 2.0 functionality appear in some cases to blur the lines between resource types.
  • Projects of all sizes--especially open-access sites and publications--employ a range of support strategies in the search for financial sustainability.

The report is freely available on the ARL Web site at http://www.arl.org/bm~doc/current-models-report.pdf. Search the database at http://www.arl.org/sc/models/model-pubs/search-form.shtml.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

PLoS Biology celebrates 5!

This month marks five years since first publication of the peer-reviewed, open access journal, PLoS Biology. An editorial in this issue (Bloom T, Ferguson C, Gross L, MacCallum CJ, Milton J, et al. (2008) PLoS Biology at 5: The Future Is Open Access. PLoS Biol 6(10): e267 doi:10.1371/journal.pbio.0060267) celebrates the changes that have taken place in the open access movement in that period.

Published by the Public Library of Science (PLoS), a nonprofit organization of scientists and physicians, PLoS Biology publishes high-quality research articles from all areas of biology under the Creative Commons Attribution License. Authors retain ownership of copyright, but allow others to download, reuse, reprint, and make other described uses, as long as the original authors are credited. Publication is supported by author fees, which may be discounted by institutional membership in PLoS or waived in the case of financial hardship. With an ISI (Institute for Scientific Information) Impact Factor now at 14.1 (placing it within the very top tier of biochemistry/molecular biology journals), PLoS Biology serves as a model for high-quality scientific publishing that is freely available to all immediately upon publication.

Upcoming Conference on the Future of the Book

On Nov. 11, a panel of representatives from academic presses will conduct a discussion at Columbia University titled "The Future of the Book: Can the Endangered Monograph Survive?" The following is an excerpt from the announcement:
For humanities scholars seeking promotion or tenure, having a published monograph—a work of writing on a single subject—is often a key requirement. Due to small, specialized audiences and growing financial challenges for university presses and academic libraries, the business of publishing these monographs has long been a troubled undertaking. The panel will discuss the future of the print monograph, especially in light of the increasing digitization of scholarly communication.
Access to the live session will be available, as will a video soon after the event. For more information, see this web article on LISWire and the Events page for the Scholarly Communication Program on the Columbia University Libraries/Information Services website.

Monday, November 3, 2008

SPARC Open Access Newsletter

The latest issue of the SPARC Open Access Newsletter is available at http://www.earlham.edu/~peters/fos/newsletter/11-02-08.htm

Friday, October 31, 2008

Videos Supporting Open Access

SPARC (the Scholarly Publishing and Academic Resources Coalition), the Public Library of Science (PLoS), and Students for FreeCulture recently released a series of one-minute videos celebrating Open Access Day (14 October). This Voices of Open Access series underscores the importance of providing Open Access to a broad range of scholarly research results for a wide variety of important reasons: “health is transformed; research outputs are maximized to their fullest extent; efficiencies in the research process enable faster discoveries; the best science is made possible; young people are inspired; access transcends the wealth of the institution; cost savings are realized across the research process; and medical research conducted for the public good is made available to everyone who needs it.”

The short videos may be viewed individually or back to back.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

New Publication on Authors Rights

Charles Bailey has a new publication re. Authors Rights. It’s a short, simple, yet very useful overview of such issues as: Copyright, Self-Archiving, and Open Access Journals; Conventional Publisher Agreements; Copyright Addenda; Retaining Full Copyright; Creative Commons Licenses; Self-Archiving Your Article; Publishing in Open Access Journals, etc. Bailey also lists a number of relevant references to online documents and links to pertinent websites (including several very useful videos on author rights).

This publication should be a valuable resource for faculty, grad students and other BC authors re. author rights, retaining one’s copyright, scholarship@BC, etc.

The URL of Bailey’s publication is: http://www.digital-scholarship.org/ts/authorrights.pdf

Bailey has another valuable publication in the same series on “Institutional Repositories”: http://www.digital-scholarship.org/ts/irtoutsuite.pdf

Friday, October 24, 2008

20,000 Publishers Now Partnering with Google in its Book Search

Over the space of a year Google has doubled the number of publishers with which it is partnering in Google’s Book Search project. There are now 20,000 publishers who are allowing Google to scan the full-text of their books so that internet users can access at least snippets (maybe more) of the works. Excerpt from a 15 October Reuters report:

"We're getting publishers get their content to more and more relevant people and, vice versa, we're getting users in contact with relevant content they probably didn't know existed," said Santiago de la Mora, head of book partnerships in Europe.

Speaking in an interview at the Frankfurt Book Fair, de la Mora said he did not want to single out individual publishers who had joined the programme in the last year.

But, when asked, he confirmed that Bertelsmann's Random House, the world's largest non-factual publisher, had signed up.

Google has been in legal dispute since 2005 with U.S. publishers over its practice of scanning in-copyright works it accesses through its U.S. library partners without explicit permission from copyright holders.

De la Mora was unforthcoming as to the number of books the company has scanned.

"The figure has not been changed. That's the official number," he said, referring to last year's announcement that Google had scanned more than a million books. "It's more than the figures. Let's not get bogged down."

Asked whether the project was getting the necessary resources from Google, de la Mora said, "It's a very ambitious project, I mean, clearly, it's an enormous undertaking, so it's huge, it's huge. And we're going as fast as possible. I mean, 100 languages, more than 1 million books, it's enormous." . . . .

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

ALPSP Scholarly Publishing Practice Survey

The Association of Learned and Professional Society Publishing (ALPSP) recently published the results of a survey of journal publishers regarding their scholarly publishing practices and any changes in their policies and practice since 2000. The survey was conducted of 400 journal publishers, both commercial and not-for-profit. A response rate of over 65% was achieved including the majority of major journal publishers. The report’s findings clearly indicate that many publishers are responding positively to the advocacy of freer and wider dissemination of scholarship advocated by most libraries, SPARC, the Alliance for Taxpayer Access and many other OA proponents. The full report is only free to ALPSP members. Key findings of the survey (from ALPSP’s press release) include:

  • Publishers - especially large publishers and commercial publishers are launching new journals at a higher rate than in 2005.
  • The growth trajectory of online availability has been steady since 2003. There is still some difference between the disciplines, with 96.1% of STM and 86.5% of arts, humanities and social science titles accessible online.
  • Pricing models are just as complex and varied as they were in 2005. Most publishers use a variety of means to establish prices. It is notable that fewer publishers are providing online access free with print and instead are offering online-only subscriptions.
  • Open access advocacy has clearly had an effect on publishers' thinking. The proportion of publishers offering optional open access to authors has grown from 9% in 2005 to 30% in 2008. However, the take-up of the author pays open access option is exceedingly low.
  • Licensing terms have become more generous, as publishers have become more comfortable with the use of digital content, including allowing use in Virtual Learning Environments and repurposing to create learning objects.
  • Publishers' practice on authors' rights is changing. Fewer publishers now require authors to transfer copyright to the publisher and will instead accept a licence to publish.
  • The growth of institutional and subject based repositories has prompted a rethink on authors' rights to post their articles on the web. Large publishers have relaxed prohibitions on posting pre-prints, but have imposed embargoes on the final accepted version.
  • Publishers are at different stages of development in their implementation of Web 2.0 technologies, with 20% enabling collaborative tagging and between 10% and 15% implementing forums, blogs and podcasts for a journal.

Friday, October 17, 2008

Interview with John Wilkin, U. of Michigan, re. the Hathi Trust

The immediately previous posting below reported on the initiative (the Hathi Trust) of over twenty major research libraries to archive and share their digitized collections. The majority of these collections will be composed of digitized works from the Google Book Search project. On 16 October the LJ Academic Newswire published an interview with John Wilkin, Michigan Associate University Librarian and Executive Director of HathiTrust, about this initiative. Excerpt:

LJAN: HathiTrust represents something librarians have thought—or, dreamed about—since the digital age began. How did this specific initiative get rolling?
JW: You’re right—we’ve been thinking about this sort of thing for years, with specific discussions going back at least to the first Making of America project in 1995. Sometimes the genesis of an idea is hard to trace, but in fact we had very specific discussions regarding this notion of a shared digital repository back in 2004, with Michigan and California beginning to articulate some specific notions. Discussions in the CIC were early, as well, and began to flesh out an approach. But as we began to absorb substantial amounts of digitized content from Google, talks become more focused and urgent. It’s worth pointing out that we have had terrific support in this venture from university leadership, as well in the libraries.

You mention Google—it seems you are both its partner and competitor at once. Can you talk about where your missions diverge and dovetail?
That’s a great question—the primary difference will be in our commitment to long-term preservation of this information and Google’s commitment to access. That said, we will provide some minimal levels of access (for public domain works, etc.), and we will work to identify specific scholarly needs that Google is less likely to serve. For example, data mining and large-scale linguistic computation is more likely to be in our bailiwick than Google’s. . . .

HathiTrust has been funded for five years: what happens then—can this major effort be sustained?
We should make a distinction between funding and planning—the participating institutions here have always known they would have to spend money to host their digitized content and, by and large, they have identified funding to support this work for the indefinite future. So, in that sense, the initiative is permanently funded. This specific collaboration, however, is something that has never been done at this scale, and it makes a lot of sense to build in requirements for examination and evaluation of the initiative. Hence, the initial commitment is for five years. Before that deadline, we will surely make changes and we expect that participants will renew and extend their financial commitments.

The complete interview here.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Something to ponder...

Should Boston College Libraries consider adopting Creative Commons Attribution-Non-Commercial licenses for works created by the Library for which The Trustees of Boston College hold the copyright?

Essentially, this license is a limited solution to copyrighted material on the internet. Specifically, one is free to share and to remix, to adapt the work, only under two conditions: attribution and noncommercial. First, you must attribute the work in the manner specified by the author or licensor (but not in any way that suggests that they endorse you or your use of the work) and secondly, you may not use this work for commercial purposes. Recently, The University of Michigan Library decided to adopt Creative Commons Attribution-Non-Commercial licenses for all works created by the Library for which the Regents of the University of Michigan hold the copyrights. More information.

Monday, October 13, 2008

University Libraries in Google Project to Offer Backup Digital Library

An article in today’s Chronicle of Higher Education discusses an initiative by a group of university libraries that are partnering with Google in Google’s Book Search project to digitize millions of the world’s books. Excerpt from article:

A group of major universities has been quietly working for the past two years to build one of the largest online collections of books ever assembled, by pooling the millions of volumes that Google has scanned in its partnership with university libraries.

One of the most important functions of the project, say its leaders, who plan to unveil the giant library today, is to create a stable backup of the digital books should Google go bankrupt or lose interest in the book-searching business.

The project is called HathiTrust, and so far it consists of the members of the Committee on Institutional Cooperation, a consortium of the 11 universities in the Big Ten Conference and the University of Chicago, and the 10 campuses in the University of California system. The University of Virginia is joining the project, it will be announced today, and officials hope to bring in other colleges as well.

Each university library originally planned to manage the digital copies of the scanned books on its own, but through HathiTrust, library officials are now working together to create a shared online collection. . . .

Already HathiTrust contains the full text of more than two million books scanned by Google.

But there is an important catch. Because most of the millions of books are still under copyright protection, the libraries cannot offer the full text of the books to people off their campuses, though they can reveal details like how many pages of a given volume contain any passage that a user searches for. . . .

The librarians have already added one feature that some library leaders have been calling on Google to provide—a better sense of exactly what is in the collection. Google has refused to release such details, but HathiTrust publishes online a list, updated daily, of what is in its collection.

The librarians plan to work together to create new services to search and display the digital books that Google might not provide for its copies.

Click here for full article.

Friday, October 10, 2008

Ranking of Journals

There's an interesting article in a recent issue of the Chronicle of Higher Education regarding the ranking of journals:
http://chronicle.com/weekly/v55/i07/07a01001.htm (this URL is for subscribers only). The article refers to work of the European Reference Index for the Humanities (ERIH):

Though this ERIH body seems mainly concerned with the Humanities, there is also an initial list of journals in a couple of Social Science areas, e.g. education/pedagogy and psychology. To access the lists, click the link "ERIH 'initial' lists" in the NAVIGATE ERIH column on the right. Then navigate to the disciplinary area.

Whatever the merits of the methodology used by ERIH in ranking journals, it has the benefit of ranking journals in Humanities areas. It is not easy to locate rankings of Humanities journals. However, for evaluating and comparing journals in Science, Technology and Social Science disciplines the database Journal Citation Reports (one of BC Library’s online databases) is an important tool. Journal Citation Reports relies on various analyses of citation data in ranking and evaluating journals.

Monday, October 6, 2008

Call for Wider Support for Digitizing Books

On Sept. 25 and 25 at the Boston Public Library, a "summit" meeting sponsored by the Boston Library Consortium and the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation focused on the need for preserving public access to digitized library collections. Such access is potentially in danger if digitization is left to Google and other internet companies where the bottom line, and not our intellectual and cultural legacy, is the ultimate criterion for any project.

Co-conveners of the meeting were Dr. Mark Huddleston, President, University of New Hampshire, Dr. Peter Nicholls, Provost, University of Connecticut, and Dr. Jack Wilson, President, University of Massachusetts. Speakers included Senator Chris Dodd (via video); Maura Marx, Executive Director of the newly formed Open Knowledge Commons; Dr. Robert Darnton, Carl H. Pforzheimer University Professor and Director of the University Library, Harvard University; and Siva Vaidhyanathan, Professor Media Studies and Law, University of Virginia. Attendees included university and library administrators, educators, and public interest advocates.

A white paper titled “Free Our Libraries! Why We Need a New Approach to Putting Library Collections Online,” presented by Richard K. Johnson, senior advisor to the Association of Research Libraries, commissioned by BLC for the summit, identified a number of issues which need to be addressed as libraries push forward with substantial digitization projects of their own such as the BLC/OCA project. The BLC's news release about the meeting and Richard Johnson's white paper are available. Boston College is participating in the BLC/OCA project by digitizing books on the history of the Jesuit order. Quest records are available for the books which have been digitized thus far. In Quest, click the Command button near the top of the page. In the Enter Search Terms box, type wlt=oca jesuitana and click Search.

Friday, October 3, 2008

2 New Digital Models Promise Academic Publishing for Profit

Jennifer Howard published an article in the October 2 issue of The Chronicle of Higher Education discussing a couple of recent innovative models of disseminating monographs in digital format. One model concerns the publisher Bloomsbury Academic (discussed in this blog on 10 September in this blog) that will be making all its imprints freely accessible as open access. The other initiative concerns Tizra Inc., an e-publishing service provider, with whom the Association of American University Presses has recently made a deal. “Tizra provides what is sometimes called ‘agile software’ or ‘software as a service.’ The company's Web site describes Tizra Publisher as a ‘Web-based software service that lets content owners create branded commerce Web sites from existing content, with complete control over branding, merchandising, and sales terms’ — a sort of glorified Movable Type for publishers. Content — university-press monographs, for instance—is hosted on Tizra's servers, but how it looks and how it is distributed are up to those providing the content.”

The complete Chronicle article is available here.

New Issue of SPARC Open Access Newsletter

The October 2 issue of the SPARC Open Access Newsletter is now online.

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Author Rights under NIH Public Access Policy

In the 30 September issue of ARL Monthly Report Ben Grillot discusses the different interpretations and practices of 12 publishers regarding “Author Rights” of the new National Institutes of Health (NIH) Public Access Policy. His analysis will be useful for authors when considering publishers’ agreements and what amendments, if any, they should seek to the agreements. Grillot concludes

The significant variability in publisher agreements requires authors with NIH funding to closely examine their agreements and the rights granted and retained when deciding where to publish their research. When faced with ambiguous agreements or in order to achieve consistency in retained rights, authors should consider the use of author addenda to provide clarity and retain the rights necessary to use the work as they see fit.

Friday, September 26, 2008

Educational Materials About OA

The wiki Open Access Directory (OAD) recently added a new page “Educational Materials About OA”. This is intended to help publicize and promote Open Access Day (October 14, 2008) whose goal is to broaden awareness and understanding of Open Access. The “Educational Materials About OA” site, which will undoubtedly grow, presently has a small but very informative set of online resources that elucidate OA and that individuals can use to glean ideas for their own writings, talks, presentations etc. about Open Access.

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Book-Printing Machine Installed in U. Michigan Library

The University of Michigan recently installed an Espresso Book Machine in Shapiro Library. This book-printing machine “produces perfect-bound, high-quality paperback books on demand. A Time Magazine ‘Best Invention of 2007,’ the Espresso Book Machine has been called ‘the ATM of books.’” Michigan is the first university library to install such a machine. From the 17 September News Release:

The book machine, located in the Shapiro Library lobby on U-M's Central Campus, prints out-of-copyright books from the University's digitized collections. At a cost of about $10 per book, the service is available to researchers, students and the public.

The printing process begins with a reader selecting a digitized book from U-M's pre-1923 collection or from another online source, such as the Open Content Alliance. Most books printed prior to the early 1920s can be reprinted without seeking the permission from whomever holds the copyright. Then the file is downloaded to the Espresso Book Machine, where it is formatted, printed and perfect bound with a four-color cover.

A finished printed book takes 5-7 minutes, depending on the number of pages. . . .

"This print technology will allow the Library to maximum advantage of digital technology," said U-M's Courant [Paul Courant, dean of libraries at U-M].

"Digital and print versions work in tandem, and soon researchers anywhere in the world will be able to browse U-M's digitized holdings, select a book from our out of copyright collections and have the book printed within minutes."

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Patient Perspectives -- Alliance for Taxpayer Access (ATA)

The Alliance for Taxpayer Access (Boston College Library system is a member) has added a new feature to its site, Patient Perspectives. Perspectives is intended to “highlight voices across the coalition on the enduring and often personal importance of public access to taxpayer-funded research in individual lives.” Four advocates are presently featured: Sophia Colamarino, Vice President of Research, Autism Speaks; Pat Furlong, Founding President and CEO, Parent Project Muscular Dystrophy; Josh Sommer, Co-Founder, The Chordoma Foundation and Duke University student; Sharon Terry, President and CEO, Genetic Alliance.



Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Bloomsbury Academic: A New Publisher of OA Books

The recently established Bloomsbury Academic, a division of Bloomsbury Publishing, will be making all its imprints freely accessible as open access. From its website:

Bloomsbury Academic is a radically new scholarly imprint launched in September 2008.

Bloomsbury Academic will begin publishing monographs in the areas of Humanities and Social Sciences. While respecting the traditional disciplines we will seek to build innovative lists on a thematic basis, on issues of particular relevance to the world today.

Publications will be available on the Web free of charge and will carry Creative Commons licences. Simultaneously physical books will be produced and sold around the world.

For the first time a major publishing company is opening up an entirely new imprint to be accessed easily and freely on the Internet. Supporting scholarly communications in this way our authors will be better served in the digital age.

More details

Thursday, September 4, 2008

Scientific data: focus of the newest Nature

Today’s issue of Nature (September 4, 2008; Volume 455 Number 7209 pp1-136) features a special section on scientific data. This “Big Data” issue provides feature articles and commentary on the need for improved documentation and metadata standards, as well as better management and curation of data, as the volume of data continues to grow. Various articles discuss the use of wikki-type web pages to collect and manage data for the particular scientific community, the need for better visualization tools, the infrastructure behind the storage of terabytes of data, and, often, the politics underlying the collection of data


Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Monday, September 1, 2008

Update on Major Book Digitization Projects

Walt Crawford’s September issue of his Cites & Insights contains a good overview of latest developments in a number of major book digitization projects: Microsoft’s Live Search Books, the Open Content Alliance (OCA), Google Book Search, and Open Library. Crawford also performs some interesting comparison searches at some sites: Google Book Search, Open Library, Internet Archive texts, Universal Library at ulib.org, Mirlyn at the University of Michigan and Live Search .

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Publishers Allowing the Deposition of their Published Version/PDF in Institutional Repositories

The Sherpa-Romeo website has recently been updated to highlight the growing number of publishers that allow authors to deposit the publishers' version or publishers' PDF of a journal article into the author's institutional repository. There are now 50 that do so, including such important publishers as Duke U. Press and California U. Press. As Jane Smith points out via the JISC-Repositories list: these 50 publishers "allow immediate, un-embargoed deposit into repositories -- even more allow use in restricted circumstances. This means that there is a large volume of work which can be deposited directly into repositories even if the author has not retained their own final draft. We hope that this information will help repository administrators in encouraging deposit into their repositories."

For a list of these publishers allowing
authors to deposit the publisher version or PDF of their article in an Institutional Repository, without fee or an embargo see the following: http://www.sherpa.ac.uk/romeo/PDFandIR.html

Monday, August 25, 2008

European Commission Launches Online Pilot Project

The European Commission has launched a pilot project to provide open access to EU-funded research results after a 6-12 month embargo period. This improves access to scientific articles funded by the EU.


Max Planck Society and PLoS Agree Upon Central Funding of Publication Fees

The Max Planck Society (MPS) recently announced that it would pay from central MPS funds the publication fees of MPS scientists who publish in Public Library of Science (PLoS) journals. From the press release:

Like many Open Access journals, PLoS journals charge a fee for publication. For papers accepted in PLoS journals after July 1st, 2008, MPS will pay the publication fee directly to PLoS from central funds for all articles where the corresponding author is affiliated with a Max Planck Institute.

"PLoS is a top quality Open Access publisher. We are pleased to support a seminal publication model with this collaboration and thus facilitate publishing for our scientists in this interesting spectrum of titles", said Ralf Schimmer, head of the Department of Scientific Information Provision of the Max Planck Digital Library.

PLoS is a nonprofit organization of scientists and physicians committed to making the world's scientific and medical literature a freely available public resource. PLoS applies the Creative Commons Attribution License (CCAL) to all published articles. Under the CCAL, authors retain ownership of the copyright for their article, but allow anyone to download, reuse, reprint, modify, distribute, and/or copy articles in PLoS journals, so long as the original authors and source are cited. No permission is required from the authors or the publishers. Thus, the contents of the seven Open Access journals of PLoS are freely accessible for the reader worldwide via internet.

“The Max Planck Society is one of the world’s leading research organizations whose researchers have an international reputation for scientific excellence. We are delighted to be working with MPS so that more MPS researchers will be able to publish their work in PLoS journals, and for the broader promotion of Open Access to research literature", said Mark Patterson, Director of Publishing at PLoS.

Friday, August 15, 2008

Publisher-Author Agreements and the NIH Public Access Policy

The following excerpt is from a news release issued today (8/15/08) by the Association of Research Libraries:
The Association of Research Libraries (ARL) has released "PubMed Central Deposit and Author Rights: Agreements between 12 Publishers and the Authors Subject to the NIH Public Access Policy," by Ben Grillot, MLS (Maryland 2002), second-year student at the George Washington University Law School, and legal intern for ARL.

To help authors make informed choices about their rights, Grillot compares how the agreements of 12 publishers permit authors to meet the requirements of the recently revised National Institutes of Health (NIH) Public Access Policy and share their works while they are under embargo. The NIH Public Access Policy requires authors of NIH-funded research to deposit their works in PubMed Central and make them publicly available within 12 months of publication. . . .

Grillot concludes that the significant variability in publisher agreements requires authors with NIH funding to closely examine publisher agreements and the rights granted and retained when deciding where to publish their research. His analysis of these 12 agreements will help authors determine what to look for in an agreement and what questions to ask before signing.

"PubMed Central Deposit and Author Rights" is available for free download from the ARL Web site at http://www.arl.org/bm~doc/grillot-pubmed.pdf. It will also be included in a forthcoming issue of ARL: A Bimonthly Report.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Mellon Foundation Assesses E-Book Projects

According to an item in the Aug. 8, 2008 issue of The Chronicle of Higher Education, the section on scholarly communication in the just-published 2007 report of the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation states: "The transition to e-books has not been as smooth and as rapid as Mellon (and many others) thought it would be." In an effort to give a much needed boost to university presses but without any requirements that the presses produce books in digital format, the Mellon Foundation has awarded sizable grants to the presses for publishing books in one of two categories: the first a new series called the American Literature Initiative and the second a series on the civil rights movement. The absence of any expectation that the books be produced digitally was explained by two of the Mellon report authors Donald J. Waters and Joseph S. Meisel:
"Both projects [Gutenberg-e monographs and The Humanities E-Book project] have been extremely valuable in demonstrating the capabilities and requirements for publishing monographs authored specifically for electronic media," Mr. Waters and Mr. Meisel write. "But neither of them succeeded in establishing the core hypothesis that such books would be cheaper to produce and distribute than those designed for print media."
All of which suggests we'll have to wait and see what the future role for e-books will be in the complex world of scholarly communication.

Friday, August 8, 2008

Publisher Facilitation of PMC Deposition Often Accompanied by Maximum Embargo Period

The August 7th issue of Library Journal Academic Newswire reports that National Institutes of Health (NIH) officials are recognizing that as many publishers are offering to facilitate deposition of journal content in the PubMed Central repository under the NIH Mandate, most are also requiring the maximum, 12-month embargo period before the article is released as open access.

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

ChemSpider -- Open Access Tool for Chemists

ChemSpider is a new structure-focused tool for search and retrieval of open access chemical information. You'll find here a single interface for access to structural and property data found in such open access repositories as PubChem (the National Library of Medicine compound database), ChemIDPlus, various NIST (National Institute of Standards and Technology) databases, Oxford University Chemical Safety Data and many others. Use the literature search module to link out to PubMed Central, the Royal Society of Chemistry, the International Union of Crystallography, and the International Union of Pure and Applied Chemistry, amongst others, to retrieve both freely-available and licensed resources.

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Explore Revues' Electronic Journals

Revues covers more than 100 ejournal titles in the humanities and the social sciences published in France. Access e-Spania. Revue électronique d’études hispaniques médiévales or European Journal of American Studies.




"Scrittori d'Italia" makes available Italian literature, poetry and history texts

Intute reports “The website "Scrittori d'Italia" makes freely available online digital reproduction of texts representing the entire series published by Laterza publishing house, and bearing the same title. Under the editorial guidance of Benedetto Croce (1866-1952), the printed series ran to 179 texts which appeared - a few in several editions - between 1910 and 1987, year of the final publication. Benedetto Croce was responsible for the editorial selection and criteria of publication.” more

Saturday, July 26, 2008

PubMed Central Submissions Jump Sharply Under New NIH Policy

Library Journal Academic Newswire reports that substantially more deposits of NIH funded research articles are now being made into PubMed Central as a result of the new mandatory NIH policy:
In the months since passage of the National Institutes of Health’s (NIH) mandatory public access policy in late December of 2007, the number of submissions to the National Library of Medicine’s (NLM) PubMed Central (PMC) repository, where authors are now required to deposit their NIH-funded research papers, has risen significantly.

According to NIH statistics, submissions to PMC began steadily rising in December 2007, soon after it became clear a mandatory policy would be adopted in 2008. By the first month following passage of the new policy, January 2008, monthly submissions to PMC hit an all-time high of 1255, and have continued to increase significantly every month so far this year. In April 2008, when the policy officially took effect, submissions spiked even more sharply, rising from 1852 total submissions in March, to 2,765 in April and 2,593 in May. The April/May 2008 figures represent well over double the number of submissions for the same months in 2007 (1,198 PMC submissions in April ’07; 948 in May ’07). Although official figures for June have not yet been posted, the NIH’s Dr. David Lipman told the LJ Academic Newswire the submission totals were higher than May.

It’s still too early to compute compliance rates, Lipman noted, but the early returns suggest a stunning turnaround. “Looking at the increase in submissions and the dramatic increase in journals signing PMC Publisher Participation agreements,” Lipman suggested a “reasonable projection” would be a compliance rate “around 55-60 percent.” Adoption of the “mandatory” NIH policy was spurred by abysmal compliance rates under the NIH’s first public access policy, adopted in 2005, which, after considerable pushback from publishers opposed to a deposit mandate, was scaled back to a voluntary policy at the 11th hour. In February, 2006, NIH reported to congress that compliance rates under the voluntary policy lagged around four percent.

SPARC executive director Heather Joseph told the LJ Academic Newswire she expected PMC deposits to remain strong, and said the spike in submissions validated the work done by NIH and the policy’s supporters, including libraries, to educate NIH investigators about the policy, including workshops, podcasts, and an array of web resources.

Monday, July 21, 2008

Electronic Publication and the Narrowing of Science and Scholarship

A recent report published in Science (Vol 321, p. 395), Electronic Publication and the Narrowing of Science and Scholarship, argues that even as the depth of online journal backfiles increases researchers are citing fewer journals and more recent articles. In addition, James Evans argues that the hyperlinking found in online articles may contribute to a hastening toward scientific consensus; print browsing and the use of less precise print indexing exposes the research to other, more diverse points of view. The study takes into account the currency of individual research areas (by weighting of title terms) and citation patterns within disciplinary subfields.

Friday, July 18, 2008

Lyon Municipal Library signs with Google Books

Google has announced a partnership with Lyon’s Municipal Library. This library, France’s second largest, has agreed to allow over 500,000 of its books to be digitized and made accessible as part of Google’s Book Search Library project. From the Bookseller (15 July, 2008):

Google and the municipal library of Lyon will make more than 500,000 books available online as part of Google's Book Search Library project.

The Lyon Municipal Library, which is France's second largest library after the national library in Paris, is the first French library to join the project. It will give internet users access to out-of-copyrights works, searchable through Google Book Search, with the chance to download the full texts from the historic and special collections.

It also includes works in Latin, Italian, English, German and Spanish, which will be added to Google's multilingual index.

Gérard Collomb, senator and mayor of Lyon, said: "[The decision] allows us to open our library doors to the rest of the world. Digitisation, combined with the increased usage of the internet now allows to preserve collections - with digital copies - while also opening up the possibility for users to access and consult books from a distance".

The Lyon Municipal Library is the 29th library to join the project, which also includes Oxford University, Harvard University, Stanford University and Princeton University.

Thursday, July 17, 2008

APA policy re NIH deposit

Two days ago the Chronicle of Higher Education ran an article stating that the APA had adopted a new policy with regard to its NIH funded authors, advising that they

"should NOT deposit” their own manuscripts, and instead should allow the group to do so. “The deposit fee of $2,500 per manuscript for 2008 will be billed to the author’s university,” the policy says. Because the NIH does not charge a fee, that money is apparently going to the psychological association.


Kevin Smith posted an interesting analysis of the policy on the blog Scholarly Communication @Duke http://library.duke.edu/blogs/scholcomm/. He states:


Now comes the news that the APA is announcing that authors publishing articles in its journals that are based on NIH-funded research “should NOT” deposit their own works in PubMed Central as is now required by law. Rather, they will be required to pay APA $2500 so that the articles can be deposited by the publisher. Since there is virtually no cost associated with the mechanics of deposit itself, and the NIH policy allows an embargo on public availability of articles of up to one year in order to protect the traditional subscription market, it is hard to see what this policy is intended to accomplish other than to force an additional income stream out of the faculty authors who already provide the APA with free content. And there is heavy irony in the APA’s assertion that they can do this “as the copyright holder.”

APA is trying to put its own authors between the proverbial rock and a hard place, and it is behaving as if theirs is a non-competitive market. This is not, in fact, the case – only two of the top ten psychology journals in 2007, based on impact factor, were published by the APA, and one non-APA journal editor expressed pleased surprise at the new policy because it was sure to benefit those other journals. But for years our faculties have behaved as if they were, indeed, captive to specific journals. As scholarly societies are driven, apparently by fear and anger more than a realistic business strategy, to treat the authors on whom they depend with such contempt, one can only hope that this misperception will begin to change.


In the meantime, the APA has removed the policy from their website and the page now states:



A new document deposit policy of the American Psychological Association (APA) requiring a publication fee to deposit manuscripts in PubMed Central based on research funded by the National Institutes of Health (NIH) is currently being re-examined and will not be implemented at this time. This policy had recently been announced on APA’s Web site. APA will soon be releasing more detailed information about the complex issues involved in the implementation of the new NIH Public Access Policy.

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Canadian University Starts an Author's Fund

Observers of the open access movement are well aware of the cost issues involved in open access publishing. Open access journals operate on the principle that scholarly research should be freely available to all, but inevitably the publication of those journals requires funding. One of the models for raising funds has been for publishers to charge author's fees when an author wishes to provide open access to the published article. There have been a number of funding solutions to cover author's costs, and one has been financial support from the author's institution. Last month, the University of Calgary announced that it would create a special fund to cover this kind of expense for its faculty. The following text is from the university's announcement:

University of Calgary professors and graduate students will now have access to a $100,000 Open Access Authors Fund designed to increase the amount of publicly available research. The new fund, announced today by Thomas Hickerson, Vice-Provost, Libraries and Cultural Resources and University Librarian, is the first of its magnitude in Canada. “I am proud that the University of Calgary is taking leadership in this movement to increase the worldwide accessibility of cutting-edge research,” said Hickerson.

Friday, July 11, 2008

Open Access Policy Adopted by Stanford's Education Faculty

Emulating Harvard's Arts and Sciences faculty as well as Harvard Law faculty, the School of Education at Stanford recently adopted a policy requiring its faculty members to make their scholarly articles available for free to the public.


From the Stanford News Service, 9 July, 2008:

In a move designed to broaden access to faculty research and scholarship, the School of Education at Stanford recently adopted a policy requiring its faculty members to make their scholarly articles available for free to the public.

The school's faculty unanimously approved the new "open access" policy in June, becoming the first education school in the nation to enact a mandatory policy.

An estimated 30 universities around the world have adopted similar plans. . . .

Under the new policy, faculty members in the School of Education will give Stanford University a worldwide, nonexclusive license to post their articles online at no cost to readers, as long as the articles are properly attributed to the authors and are not sold for a profit.

Faculty members may request waivers from the policy. . . .

John Willinsky, a professor of education at Stanford who presented the proposal to faculty, said the people who will benefit the most from the new policy are those who lack access to university libraries, which make journals available to students, faculty and staff.

Willinsky, the Khosla Family Professor of Education at Stanford, said the vast majority of scholarly journals—80 percent—are available online, but only to subscribers in most cases. A small percentage of those journals will sell articles to individuals. . . .

Willinsky said the School of Education's new policy recognizes the valuable contribution publishers make to the system by granting publishers rights to the final, published version of the article as it appears in journals, while giving Stanford the right to post the author's final, peer-reviewed version of the article on a university website.

See the complete article.



Tuesday, July 8, 2008

WorldWideScience.org: New Global Science Gateway

On June 12, 2008, the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) announced the establishment of WorldWideScience.org, an alliance of 32 national scientific databases and portals from 44 countries. Users can now search some 200 million pages of freely-available scientific information and data not generally accessible through standard search engines. Founding-member organizations include: African Journals OnLine; the British Library; Canada Institute for Scientific and Technical Information; Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (South Africa); German National Library of Science and Technology; Institut de l’Information Scientifique et Technique (France); Japan Science and Technology Agency; Korea Institute of Science and Technology Information; Science.gov Alliance (United States); Scientific Electronic Library Online; and the VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland.

Sunday, July 6, 2008

Posting One's Articles on Personal and Departmental Websites

Many BC faculty wish to provide full-text access to their journal publications on both their department’s and their own personal websites. However, there are often challenges to doing so, notably when the author has signed over their copyright to the publisher in the publication contract.

The following website is very useful: SHERPA/RoMEO: Publisher Copyright Policies & Self-Archiving. Though it’s UK based, it’s still valuable for the US. Essentially the website may be used to find a summary of permissions that are normally given as part of each publisher's copyright transfer agreement. Though it certainly does not include every publisher, the number of publishers listed is fairly large.

Each publisher is assigned a color (green, blue, yellow, or white). “Green” is the best: an author can provide access to the full-text of the pre-print and the post-print of her/his journal article. Some green publishers, e.g. Cambridge U. Press, Duke U. Press, U. of California Press (and many others) allow an author to place the actual publisher’s version/PDF on the author’s personal or departmental web page. The SHERPA/RoMEO url is: http://www.sherpa.ac.uk/romeo.php

July issue of the SPARC Open Access Newsletter

The July issue of the SPARC Open Access Newsletter is now online:

http://www.earlham.edu/~peters/fos/newsletter/07-02-08.htm

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Big Growth in Directory of Open Access Journals

The Directory of Open Access Journals (doaj.org) is increasing very rapidly. There are now 3483 free, full text, quality controlled scientific and scholarly journals in the Directory. Currently 1178 of them are searchable at article level. As of today 190242 articles are included in the Directory.

Monday, June 30, 2008

SPARC Innovators: Harvard University Faculty of Arts and Sciences

"SPARC (the Scholarly Publishing and Academic Resources Coalition) has named the Faculty of Arts and Sciences at Harvard University as the newest SPARC Innovators for their unanimous vote in support of a policy that ensures Open Access to the faculty's published research results.

A February 12 vote made the Harvard faculty the first in the U.S. to embrace an Open Access directive and the first to grant permission to the university to make their articles openly available. The policy, drafted by a 10-member provost’s committee, was ratified by unanimous vote of a quorum of faculty members.

The Harvard FAS vote and Open Access policy emerged at a time when there is growing concern among faculty that traditional publishing processes are not ensuring maximum access to their research."

To read the complete SPARC Innovator profile see http://www.arl.org/sparc/innovator/.


Sunday, June 29, 2008

Two new policies widen the path to balanced copyright management: Developments on author rights

Karla Hahn in the July/August 2008 issue of C&RL News discusses recent developments in copyright management and author rights. She focuses in particular on a) the April 2008 policy by the National Institutes of Health requiring investigators to deposit their articles stemming from NIH funding in the NIH online archive, PubMed Central; and b) the Feb. 2008 Harvard’s Faculty of Arts and Sciences vote to require that authors deposit their peer reviewed articles in Harvard’s digital repository and that they assign copyright permission to Harvard to preserve and to disseminate these articles ( in May 2008 faculty in Harvard Law School emulated their colleagues in Arts and Science).

With these two watershed developments, libraries have a new opportunity to educate and advocate for the development of a new generation of institutional policies on author rights management, one geared to the opportunities of networked digital technologies and built on the foundations of recent developments in rights management tools and institutional and disciplinary repositories. For librarians considering how best to help campus authors promote a healthy culture of copyright on campus—one that promotes research, teaching, learning, and service to society—a recent SPARC/Science Commons white paper, “Open Doors and Open Minds: What Faculty Authors Can Do to Ensure Open Access to Their Work Through Their Institution,” discusses several action strategies promoting the development of institutional policies.

Norms are always more difficult to change than technologies. We are now witnessing a key shift in norms for sharing scholarly work that promises a giant step forward in leveraging the potential of network technologies and digital scholarship to advance research, teaching, policy development, professional practice, and technology transfer. Librarians need to seek and promote today’s burgeoning opportunities to accelerate these positive changes toward openness. The next important strategy to pursue is developing institutional policies that ensure institutions receive limited distribution rights.

The full article is available here.

Friday, June 27, 2008

The Big Picture: How Scholars Are Using the Internet

In her 2007 book, Scholarship in the Digital Age : Information, Infrastructure, and the Internet (MIT Press, 360 p,), Christine Borgman (UCLA) examines many of the issues involved in pursuing scholarly communication on the internet today. No doubt, the open exchange of scholarly information in this rapidly changing digital environment is a complex phenomenon with economic, legal, social, and political aspects, and Borgman has attempted to present an overview in all its complexity.

From the book's jacket: "Analyzing scholarly practices in the sciences, social sciences, and humanities, Borgman compares each discipline's approach to infrastructure issues. In the process, she challenges the many stakeholders in the scholarly infrastructure - scholars, publishers, libraries, funding agencies, and others - to look beyond their own domains to address the interaction of technical, legal, economic, social, political, and disciplinary concerns. Scholarship in the Digital Age will provoke a conversation among all who depend on a rich and robust scholarly environment." More information may be found on the MIT Press website.

Sunday, June 22, 2008

Strong Impact Factors for BioMed Central's Journals

Matthew Cockerill in the BioMed Central Blog writes that ISI's Journal Citation Reports reveals that the official impact factors of BioMed Central's journals for 2007 are excellent:

There are now 40 BioMed Central journals which have official Impact Factors. Highlights of this year's Impact Factors include an impressive showing by BMC Biology, the biological flagship journal of the BMC series, which debuted with an Impact Factor above 5.0, and Molecular Pain, which confirmed its status as one of the leading journals in Anesthesiology and Pain Medicine with an impressive Impact Factor of 4.13.

Malaria Journal retained its status as the No 1. ranked journal in the field of Tropical Medicine, while Retrovirology appeared for the first time in the JCR, ranking 5th of 25 journals in the Virology category, ahead of long established titles such as the journal Virology. BMC Plant Biology jumped straight into the upper echelons of the Plant Science rankings, with an Impact Factor of 3.23, which places it 18th of 152 journals in that area.

Overall, the median Impact Factor of a BioMed Central journal has increased from 2.77 to 2.91. Last year, BioMed Central had 4 journals with Impact Factors above 4.0 and 10 journals with Impact Factors above 3.0. This year, we have 8 journals above 4.0, and 17 greater than 3.0.

Cockerill's posting provides the full list of BioMed Central's journals for 2007.