Saturday, January 31, 2009

Campus-based Publishing Partnerships: A Guide to Critical Issues

SPARC recently published a freely accessible guide, Campus-based Publishing Partnerships: A Guide to Critical Issues. Authored by Raym Crow, the guide provides practical help with setting up successful campus publishing partnerships. From the press release:
. . . .The guide is the core of a new Web site, the Campus-based Publishing Resource Center, designed by a panel of advisors from the library and university press communities to support successful publishing partnerships.

Campus publishing partnerships can offer universities greater control over the intellectual products that they help create. But to fully realize this potential, partnerships need to evolve from ad hoc working alliances to stable, long-term collaborations. SPARC’s guide will help partnering organizations t0

--Establish practical governance and administrative structures;
--Identify funding models that accommodate the different financial objectives of libraries and presses;
--Define objectives that advance the missions of both the library and of the press, without disrupting the broader objectives of either; and
--Demonstrate the value of the collaboration to university administrators.
Campus-based Publishing Partnerships will help libraries, presses, and other campus units to structure successful partnerships—and to recognize when collaboration is not the right course of action. The guide reviews current library-press initiatives, describes the potential benefits of partnerships, and provides an overview of the financial and operating criteria for launching and sustaining a successful collaboration. It provides practical guidance on structuring a publishing partnership, including case studies that illustrate key concepts.

Friday, January 23, 2009

Robert Darnton on "Google & the Future of Books"

Robert Darnton, Head of Harvard’s Libraries, has an interesting article, Google & the Future of Books, in the latest NY Review of Books. A strong advocate of the democratization of knowledge, Darnton ponders the Google book digitization project (Harvard’s libraries were among the first to partner with Google in this initiative) and implications resulting from last October’s settlement of a class action suit brought by authors and publishers. Darnton asks provocative questions – drawing much from the background of the Enlightenment and the Republic of Letters!


Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Electronic Theses and Dissertations Bibliography, Version 3

Version 3 (the latest) of Charles W. Bailey’s Electronic Theses and Dissertations Bibliography is now available at

Bailey’s bibliography presents selected English-language articles, conference papers, and other printed and electronic sources that are useful in understanding electronic theses and dissertations (ETDs). Where possible, links are provided to sources that are freely available on the Internet, including e-prints in disciplinary archives and institutional repositories.

Monday, January 19, 2009

EDUCAUSE on "Openness" as a Value

The Jan/Feb 2009 issue of EDUCAUSE Review Magazine (Vol. 44, No. 1) has an article entitled “EDUCAUSE Values: Openness”. EDUCAUSE is preparing a series of value statements. Each statement contains a brief overview of what the value means, why the EDUCAUSE community considers it to be important, and how the value guides EDUCAUSE in its service to association members and to higher education. The first statement focuses on “openness”. Extract:

“EDUCAUSE values sharing, collaboration, and open access to knowledge and resources, and thus supports the development and adoption of technologies, applications, and approaches that foster openness.”

A central pillar of the academic community is its commitment to the free flow of information and ideas. This commitment to sharing is essential to scholarly discovery and innovation. It is also central to helping learners engage, absorb, and apply knowledge in order to advance personally and academically. Finally, this commitment to openness provides the foundation for leveraging resources, both within and among institutions, to strengthen the creation, transmission, and preservation of knowledge.

The academic—and, by extension, social—value of unfettered intellectual exchange finds expression in technologies, applications, and approaches that foster sharing, collaboration, and open access to knowledge and resources. By actively encouraging collaboration, customization, and experimentation, open environments—whether social, cultural, or technological—best facilitate the free flow of information and ideas on which discovery, innovation, and high-quality higher education depend. In an IT context, examples include:

--Open standards and interoperability
--Open and community source software development
--Open access to research data
--Open scholarly communications
--Open access to, and open derivative use of, content


Friday, January 16, 2009

Letter Advocating Public Access Sent to Obama Transition Team

A letter was recently sent to President Elect Obama’a transition team advocating public access to the published results of publicly funded research. The signatories were: Alliance for Taxpayer Access, American Association of Law Libraries, American Library Association, Association of College and Research Libraries, Association of Research Libraries, Greater Western Library Alliance, Public Knowledge, Public Library of Science, SPARC (Scholarly Publishing & Academic Resources Coalition), Special Libraries Association. Extract:

Every year, the federal government funds tens of billions of dollars in basic and applied research with the expectation that the results will accelerate the pace of scientific discovery, stimulate innovation, and improve the public good. These research results typically are reported in articles published in a wide variety of academic journals. However, the high cost of journal subscriptions and restrictive licensing terms severely limits public access to these articles.

Because U.S. taxpayers underwrite this research, they have a right to expect its dissemination and use will be maximized. The Internet has revolutionized information sharing and has made it possible to make the latest advances promptly available to every scientist, physician, educator, business owner and citizen at his or her home, school, or library. If this information is shared with all potential users via the Internet, it will advance science, spur innovation, and improve the welfare of U.S. citizens. . . .

Full text

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Updated Scholarly Communication Toolkit

ACRL has just released a revamped and updated version of its Scholarly Communication Toolkit -- an excellent place for librarians to go to find out more about scholarly communication topics. From the e-mail:
The Association of College and Research Libraries (ACRL) has released an updated version of its popular Scholarly Communication Toolkit in a new format and with updated content. The toolkit continues to provide context and background by summarizing key issues to offer quick, basic information on scholarly communication topics. It also links to examples of specific tools, including handouts, presentations and videos for libraries to adapt and use on their own campuses. The ACRL Scholarly Communication Toolkit is freely available at

Monday, January 12, 2009

John Muir Papers at the University of the Pacific

The University of the Pacific provides access to a fine digitized collection of the journals, drawings, and photographs of John Muir, one of the great leaders of the modern environmental movement. The journals were written by Muir between 1867 and 1913. They include his 1867-1868 “thousand mile walk,” his early years in Yosemite, extensive travels in Alaska, his 1903 world tour, and his 1911-1912 voyage to South America and Africa. Though the 78 digitized journals are not transcribed, the zoom feature enables one to magnify pages and improve legibility. There are 242 photographs and 384 drawings by Muir in the collection.

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Educational Video Collections at

The website continues to make available a fine selection of open access cultural and educational media, e.g. podcasts, videos, online courses, etc. “We sift through all the media, highlight the good and jettison the bad, and centralize it in one place.” There's some justice in the site’s claim that you can find relevant material “more efficiently than if you spend your time searching with Google, Yahoo or iTunes.”

Particularly useful is oculture’s new entry Intelligent Life at YouTube: 80 Educational Video Collections, an interesting listing of a diverse and rich grouping of freely accessible educational and cultural videos.

Monday, January 5, 2009

Jan. 2009 SPARC Open Access Newsletter

Peter Suber recently published the latest Open Access Newsletter. It’s particularly useful for its extensive overview of the numerous Open Access initiatives of 2008.