Friday, July 31, 2009

Stanford University Libraries and Academic Information Resources (SULAIR) recently launched their Super-Enlightenment website. From Sarah Sussman's 13 April, 2009 overview of the site:
This collection assembles about three dozen rare works in French written between 1716 and 1835, covering mythology, alchemy, religion, free-masonry, science, and other topics. Rather than rejecting what we commonly think of as Enlightenment ideas and paradigms, these esoteric texts explore many of the same themes, representing what Dan Edelstein, assistant professor of Stanford's French and Italian department and faculty coordinator of this site, calls "the dark side of the Enlightenment" -- or "Super-Enlightenment." We hope that making these works available as a searchable corpus (after they have long been pushed to the margins) will open up new paths of research for scholars at Stanford and around the world. Historians, literary scholars, and art historians are some of the target audiences for this resource.

This text collection currently consists of 64 volumes, both held by SULAIR and gathered from other library collections, that are presented as searchable PDFs. Yet Super-E is not only a collection of primary sources, it also offers scholarly materials for the researcher and teacher. Nine bio-bibliographical essays by specialists in the field and Professor Edelstein's brief introduction offer historical and theoretical background to the project and to the works and authors that it showcases. Users can also sort the texts by author, date, and by the following thematic topics: Art and Architecture, Illuminism and Science, Masonry, Mythology, Orientalism, and Reform and Revolution

Sunday, July 26, 2009

Open Access and Authors’ Rights Management: A Possibility for Theology?

Kevin L. Smith, Scholarly Communications Officer at Perkins Library, Duke University, has a new article in Theological Librarianship: An Online Journal of the American Theological Library Association that discusses the landscape of Open Access with respect to theological studies. The abstract of the article “Open Access and Authors’ Rights Management: A Possibility for Theology?” is below. The full-text of the article is accessible here.

Several academic disciplines have begun to understand the benefits of open access to scholarship, both for scholars and for the general public. Scientific disciplines have led the way, partially due to the nature of scholarship in those areas and partially because they have felt the crisis in serials pricing more acutely than others. Theological studies, however, have largely been insulated from the push for open access; considering the reasons for that is the first task of this article. It is also the case, however, that the missionary impulse that stands behind much theological scholarship is a strong incentive to embrace the opportunities afforded by digital, online dissemination of research and writing. After discussing this imperative for global distribution, the bulk of the article focuses on how theological institutions, and especially their libraries, can encourage and support scholars in making their work freely accessible. Copyright issues, including the elements of a successful copyright management program, are discussed, as are some of the technological elements necessary for an efficient and discoverable open access repository. Options for licensing, both at ingestion of content and at dissemination to users are also considered. Finally, it is argued that the role of consortia and professional organizations in supporting these initiatives is especially important because of the relatively small size of so many theological institutions.

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Campus Outreach to Scholarly Society Leaders, Editors, and Members

The Association of Research Libraries has just released a new guide: “Campus Outreach to Scholarly Society Leaders, Editors, and Members: Promoting positive change and a continuing role for scholarly societies”. The purpose of the guide is “to assist libraries in developing positive, supportive relationships with leaders, editors, and members of academic scholarly societies affiliated with their institutions. It will support development of faculty outreach programs at ARL member libraries by offering strategy and tactics for increasing the engagement with leaders at their institution.”

From the press release:

The guide seeks to increase library staff’s conscious connections with leaders of scholarly societies residing on their campus in order to:

--Build positive relationships between librarians and faculty members

--Create opportunities for education and dialog with key opinion leaders and decision-makers within disciplinary communities

--Identify opportunities for libraries to partner/collaborate with scholarly societies

--Enhance library leadership’s decision-making capability by building a better understanding of their faculty members’ and researchers’ ongoing needs for services from scholarly societies

Successful campus outreach should encourage and support society leaders to engage in positive change that advances the scholarly communication system, promotes new research modes, and offers a path forward in a time of paradigm shift.

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Mandates to Self-Archive & Provide Open Access

The site ROARMAP (Registry of Open Access Repository Material Archiving Policies) currently lists 120 national and international institutional and funder policy mandates for self archiving scholarship and making it Open Access. 39 are institutional, 13 departmental, 39 funder, and 29 thesis. ROARMAP also lists several proposed mandates that hopefully will be actualized.

Sunday, July 5, 2009

Federal Research Public Access Act Reintroduced

Last week Senators Joseph Lieberman (I-CT) and John Cornyn (R-TX) reintroduced the Federal Research Public Access Act (FRPAA), a bill to ensure free, timely, online access to the published results of research funded by eleven U.S. federal agencies. The Alliance for Taxpayer Access – ATA (BC Library is a member) applauds this bill that promotes open access to vast amounts of federally funded research. From ATA’s recent press release:

FRPAA would require those agencies with annual extramural research budgets of $100 million or more to provide the public with online access to research manuscripts stemming from such funding no later than six months after publication in a peer-reviewed journal. The bill gives individual agencies flexibility in choosing the location of the digital repository to house this content, as long as the repositories meet conditions for interoperability and public accessibility, and have provisions for long-term archiving. . . .

The bill covers unclassified research funded by agencies including: Department of Agriculture, Department of Commerce, Department of Defense, Department of Education, Department of Energy, Department of Health and Human Services, Department of Homeland Security, Department of Transportation, Environmental Protection Agency, National Aeronautics and Space Administration, and the National Science Foundation. . . .

“We welcome the introduction of this landmark legislation,” added Heather Joseph, spokesperson for the Alliance and Executive Director of SPARC (the Scholarly Publishing and Academic Resources Coalition). This bill reflects the recognition that expanded access to research results will benefit all citizens. Every member of the public has a stake in this research. Whether it is understanding climate change, developing renewable energy resources, or helping to halt a flu pandemic, these research results are of critical value to every American taxpayer. We look forward to working with the wide coalition of supporters of public access to see this legislation come to fruition.”

The Alliance for Taxpayer Access calls on organizations and individuals to write in support of the bill through the Web site at

Open Access Newsletter -- July, 2009

The July issue of Peter Suber's Open Access Newsletter is now available.