Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Is There Such a Thing as Scholarly Tweeting?

Apparently there is. The January 26th Chronicle of Higher Education has an article about the role played by Twitter in a Modern Language Association meeting in December: At Language Scholars' Convention, Social Media Amplify the Discourse. According to Amanda French, recently a visiting research scholar at NYU, "Monthly or quarterly journals and annual conferences used to be the way that scholars talked [she struck through "wrote" here] among themselves, but now it's e-mail listservs (yes, still) and, better, the much more public blogosphere and twittersphere."

Sunday, January 24, 2010

A Window on Fair Use

MIT Libraries recently created a potentially very useful video, A Window on Fair Use:
"The 9-minute video explains how you can employ the concept of “Fair Use” under US copyright law to legally reuse copyrighted content without permission from the copyright holder. It reviews the “four factor” analysis to assess whether a proposed use is likely to be a “fair use,” and offers relevant tools to support your own fair use analysis.

The tutorial also provides information on finding content that is available for flexible reuse, because it is in the public domain or offered under a creative commons license. It offers brief information on seeking permission to use for content when fair use does not apply."

Friday, January 22, 2010

France Joins Race to Digitize World's Books

See an interesting article in The Washington Post about France's $1 billion plan to digitize many of the holdings in its libraries and museums and, potentially making a volte-face, perhaps seeking a compromise with Google to facilitate mass digitization.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Comment Period Extended for White House-led Online Forum Discussing Public Access

Science Magazine recently posted the news item, "White House Mulls Plan to Broaden Access to Published Papers", about the online discussion now underway at the Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP) web site. OSTP has requested feedback on extending public access requirements for publicly-funded research beyond NIH to include additional federal agencies. Post comments or read the blog on the OSTP web site. The period for open comment has been extended to January 21st, 2010.

Monday, January 18, 2010

Rev. Martin Luther King's "I Have a Dream" Speech

Here's the full 17 minute version of Martin Luther King's "I Have a Dream" speech:

Saturday, January 16, 2010

Is Google Good for History?

On January 7 there was a panel entitled "Is Google Good for History?" at the American Historical Association Annual Meeting in San Diego. One of the panelists was Dan Cohen, director of the Center for History and New Media, at George Mason University, who provided a balanced view of Google's utility for historical research. Though Cohen discusses a number of limitations of Google, not least some problems with the digitization of Google Books, he is quite positive that Google is indeed good for history: "We historians are searchers and sifters of evidence. Google is probably the most powerful tool in human history for doing just that. It has constructed a deceptively simple way to scan billions of documents instantaneously, and it has spent hundreds of millions of dollars of its own money to allow us to read millions of books in our pajamas. Good? How about Great?"

Cohen's talk is available on his blog site. Scott Jaschik gives an overview of Cohen's and the other panelists' talks in Inside Higher Education (8 January, 2010).

Thursday, January 7, 2010

PLoS ONE to be indexed by Web of Science

PLoS ONE ("An interactive open-access journal for the communication of all peer-reviewed scientific and medical research") will now be indexed by the Web of Science.

From Mark Patterson's news item:
Initially, coverage in the Web of Science will include new PLoS ONE articles plus those published in 2008 and 2009, and will be expanded to the articles published in 2006 (when PLoS ONE was launched) and 2007 in the coming weeks. Inclusion in the Web of Science also means that in June 2010 PLoS ONE will receive journal-level citation data from Thomson Reuters including a 2- and 5-year Impact Factor and Eigenfactor metrics.

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

January 2010 issue of the SPARC Open Access Newsletter

Peter Suber has posted the January 2010 issue of the SPARC Open Access Newsletter.

Library of Congress Puts Thousands of Historic Books Online

The Library of Congress has digitized and made freely available almost 60,000 works from its collection. Sarah Rouse in a 24 December, 2009 article in America.gov discusses the project. Excerpts:
Nearly 60,000 books prized by historians, writers and genealogists, many too old and fragile to be safely handled, have been digitally scanned as part of the first-ever mass book-digitization project of the U.S. Library of Congress (LOC), the world’s largest library. . . .

The oldest work in the batch, dated 1707, covers the trial of two Presbyterian ministers in New York. The 25,000th book to be digitized was a 1902 children’s history book, The Heroic Life of Abraham Lincoln: The Great Emancipator, in time for Lincoln’s bicentennial on February 12, 2009.

These and the other digitized books can be accessed through the Library’s catalog Web site and the Internet Archive (IA), a nonprofit organization dedicated to building and maintaining a free online digital library.

“The Library’s collections are of unbelievable scope and depth,” said Internet Archive co-founder Brewster Kahle. “Now, with an Internet connection, you can download, print or bind copies of all these books.” . . . .