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 .