Friday, July 30, 2010

APS Online Journals Available Free in U.S. Public Libraries

In an interesting move the American Physical Society is making all issues of its journals freely available to readers in public libraries. From its 28 July announcement:
The American Physical Society (APS) announces a new public access initiative that will give readers and researchers in public libraries in the United States full use of all online APS journals, from the most recent articles back to the first issue in 1893, a collection including over 400,000 scientific research papers. APS will provide this access at no cost to participating public libraries, as a contribution to public engagement with the ongoing development of scientific understanding.

APS Publisher Joseph Serene observed that "public libraries have long played a central role in our country’s intellectual life, and we hope that through this initiative they will become an important avenue for the general public to reach our research journals, which until now have been available only through the subscriptions at research institutions that currently cover the significant costs of peer review and online publication."

Librarians can obtain access by accepting a simple online site license and providing valid IP addresses of public-use computers in their libraries. The license requires that public library users must be in the library when they read the APS journals or download articles. Initially the program will be offered to U.S. public libraries, but it may include additional countries in the future. . . .

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Movie Clips and Copyright

From Inside Higher Ed, July 28th:
If the words “sweeping new exemptions to the anti-circumvention provisions of the Digital Millenium Copyright Act” make you want whoop for joy and join a conga line, you just might be a fair use advocate — one who wants professors and students to be able to decrypt and excerpt copyrighted video content for lectures and class projects. Since Monday, a lot of advocates have been dancing.
“This is very exciting,” says Patricia Aufderheide, a communications professor and director of the Center for Social Media at American University. “We’re doing nothing but chat about this, we’re so excited.”

The thing that has made so many professors abuzz — and a-blog — is the latest round of rule changes, issued Monday by the U.S. Copyright Office, dealing with what is legal and what is not as far as decrypting and repurposing copyrighted content.
One change in particular is making waves in academe: an exemption that allows professors in all fields and “film and media studies students” to hack encrypted DVD content and clip “short portions” into documentary films and “non-commercial videos.”

Sunday, July 25, 2010

The Old Bailey Proceedings Online Project

The Old Bailey Proceedings Online is a vast and fascinating open access database that provides access to over two hundred years of full-text proceedings of British trials.
"The Old Bailey Proceedings Online makes available a fully searchable, digitised collection of all surviving editions of the Old Bailey Proceedings from 1674 to 1913, and of the Ordinary of Newgate's Accounts between 1676 and 1772. It allows access to over 197,000 trials and biographical details of approximately 2,500 men and women executed at Tyburn, free of charge for non-commercial use.

In addition to the text, accessible through both keyword and structured searching, this website provides digital images of all 190,000 original pages of the Proceedings, 4,000 pages of Ordinary's Accounts, advice on methods of searching this resource, information on the historical and legal background to the Old Bailey court and its Proceedings, and descriptions of published and manuscript materials relating to the trials covered. Contemporary maps, and images have also been provided."

House Committee to Hold Hearing on OA to Federally Funded Research

The Alliance for Tax Payer Access announced in a press release that a House Committee will hold a hearing on 29 July on open access to federally funded research:
The U.S. House of Representatives Committee on Oversight and Government Reform Subcommittee on Information Policy, the Census and National Archives announced it will hold a hearing on the issue of public access to federally funded research on Thursday, July 29. The hearing will provide an opportunity for the Committee to hear the perspectives of a broad range of stakeholders on the potential impact of opening up access to the results of the United States’ more than $60 billion annual investment in scientific research.

The Subcommittee’s interest stems from the growing number of visible expressions of interest in the issue of public access that have surfaced in recent months, in both the Legislative and Executive branches of government. Notably, the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy earlier this year hosted a Public Access Policy Forum on mechanisms that would leverage federal investments in scientific research and increase access to information.

Additionally, H.R. 5037, the Federal Research Public Access Act (FRPAA), which was introduced into the House on April 15 by Rep. Mike Doyle (R-PA) and is supported by a growing bi-partisan host of cosponsors, was referred to the Committee. The bill, and its identical Senate counterpart (introduced by Sens. Joe Lieberman (I-CT) and John Cornyn (R-TX)), proposes to require those eleven federal agencies with extramural research budgets of $100 million or more to implement policies that deliver timely, free, online public access to the published results of the research they fund. . . .

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Digital Project of the Medieval Academy of America

The Medieval Academy of America reports a retrospective digitization project of its publications:
The National Endowment for the Humanities, Division of Research Programs, has awarded the Academy $120,000 to support “Retrospective Digital Editions of Print Editions Published by The Medieval Academy of America, 1925–2001.” The two-year grant will make it possible for the Academy to digitize thirty-eight editions published by Medieval Academy Books from the Academy’s foundation to 2001. In addition to editions of Medieval Latin, the project will digitize these major vernaculars: Arabic, Dutch, English, French, German, Hebrew, Italian, and Welsh. Poetry and music are found in addition to prose works. By treating literary, philosophical, scientific, commercial, documentary, political, and religious texts, the project will provide multiple points of entry to the Middle Ages.

Half of the thirty-eight editions are out of print, and those titles in print and published before 1982 were printed on acidic paper and are therefore beginning to disintegrate. Digitization will obviate the problem of acidic paper and offer an extra dimension of accesssibility, for these texts will be findable through electronic search engines. Searchability will extend use of the material beyond the self-defined circle of medievalists, thus bringing the Academy’s commitment to interdisciplinary scholarship to a new level. The books will be accessible free of charge on the Academy’s website. . . .
Some beta versions of the Academy's digital editions.

Millions of Books get Digitized for the Disabled

USA Today reports that the Internet Archive is embarking on a new campaign to double the number of digitized books available for print disabled people:
For those who are blind, dyslexic or have diseases like multiple sclerosis and have difficulty turning book pages, reading the latest best seller just got easier.

Brewster Kahle, a digital librarian and founder of a virtual library called the Internet Archive, has launched a worldwide campaign to double the number of books available for print-disabled people.

The Internet Archive began scanning books in 2004 and now has more than 1 million available in DAISY format, or Digital Accessible Information System, a means of creating "talking" books that can be downloaded to a handheld device. Unlike books on tape, the digital format makes it easier for print-disabled people to navigate books because they can speed up, slow down and skip around from chapter to chapter. . . .

Christopher Danielsen, spokesman for the National Federation of the Blind, says the Internet Archive will benefit the 1.3 million blind people in the USA because it will increase the variety of books available to the population. Danielsen says only about 5% of published books are transferred to a format the blind can use. . . .

Kahle says the Internet Archive is an invaluable resource for dyslexic, blind and print-disabled students who can use the digital book collection to download reference materials and write research papers. He encourages teachers to send in books that will be on reading lists for the next school year. If received now, the books can be scanned during the summer and available online when school resumes in the fall.

The Internet Archive will cover the expenses of scanning the first 10,000 books it receives but is asking people to donate to help continue scanning.

Friday, July 2, 2010

June's SPARC Open Access Newsletter

The June, 2010 issue of Peter Suber's SPARC Open Access Newsletter is now available.

Springer Introduces New Open Access Journals

On 28 June Springer announced the establishment of a new open-access journal program entitled SpringerOpen. To start, SpringerOpen will publish 12 new, peer-reviewed, e-only journals covering science, technical, and medical disciplines.

From the press release:
Springer is expanding its open access offering to all disciplines. . . within the science, technology and medicine (STM) fields and will be offered in cooperation with BioMed Central. The entire content of SpringerOpen journals – including research articles, reviews, and editorials – are fully and immediately open access, and are accessible to anyone with an internet connection. No subscription is needed. . . .

SpringerOpen journals are e-only journals. Springer is committed to delivering high-quality articles and ensuring rapid publication as with its traditional journals, from online submission systems and in-depth peer review to an efficient, author-friendly production process. The final articles are not only published in a timely manner on Springer’s online information platform SpringerLink, but are also distributed to archives such as PubMed Central and to institutional repositories as requested.

SpringerOpen journals are published under the Creative Commons Attribution license, which facilitates the open distribution of copyrighted work. According to this license, Springer will not reserve any exclusive commercial rights. The journals ask the authors to pay an article-processing charge, in accordance with market standards. . . .