Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Copyright Rebellion

Today's Chronicle of Higher Education contains a series of four articles about scholars pushing back against copyright restrictions.
The article entitled The Million Book Lockup is a very good explanation of the Orphan Works problem. These issues are very familiar to those working on digitization projects.

Friday, May 20, 2011

Wiley Launches New OA Journal Program

Wiley has just announced a new open access journal program, the launch of which will take place throughout 2011, with calls for submissions occurring soon.

Excerpts from the Press Release:
. . . . The first journals will launch shortly, publishing primary peer-reviewed research in a range of broad-based subject disciplines in the life and biomedical sciences, including neuroscience, microbiology, ecology and evolution.

Wiley Open Access will provide authors wishing to publish their research outcomes in an open access journal with a range of new high quality publications which meet the requirements of funding organizations and institutions where these apply. . . .

A publication fee will be payable by authors on acceptance of their articles. Wiley will introduce a range of new payment schemes to enable academic and research institutions, funders, societies, and corporations to actively support their researchers and members who wish to publish in Wiley Open Access journals. . . .

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Orphan Works

Two interesting developments regarding orphan works in the aftermath of the latest Google Books ruling:
The University of Michigan is undertaking a project to identify copyright owners of "orphan works".
What Michigan is doing is “detective work,” as Ms. Levine puts it. She has students probing in-copyright works from 1923 to 1963. They’re trying to determine ownership and, in the event that isn’t possible, documenting the dead ends that led them to conclude a work is orphaned.

In addition, the Library Copyright Alliance, issued a joint statement (ALA, ACRL, and ARL) indicating that a legislative solution to the orphan works issues may not be possible, and that recent rulings indicate that mass digitization projects may be better served by relying on fair use.

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Digital Images of Yale’s Vast Cultural Collections Now Available for Free

Yale University has announced a new open access policy whereby it will allow free access to online images of a very large number of objects from Yale's museums, archives, and libraries. Already more than 250,000 images are available through Yale's Cross Collection Discovery catalog. Click for a slide show of some digitized images from the collection.

Excerpt from the Yale Daily Bulletin (10 May, 2011):
The goal of the new policy is to make high quality digital images of Yale's vast cultural heritage collections in the public domain openly and freely available.

As works in these collections become digitized, the museums and libraries will make those images that are in the public domain freely accessible. In a departure from established convention, no license will be required for the transmission of the images and no limitations will be imposed on their use. The result is that scholars, artists, students, and citizens the world over will be able to use these collections for study, publication, teaching and inspiration.

"With this pioneering open access policy, Yale reminds us that with any great academic collection comes a great responsibility: to share our cultural heritage openly in order to advance scholarship not only on campus but around the world. Yale has set a new standard by which we should measure our colleges' and universities' commitment to scholarship," noted Max Marmor, president of the Samuel H. Kress Foundation, which encourages teaching, learning and scholarship in the history of art.

Friday, May 6, 2011

Jewish News Archive Launches Online Archive with 250,000 Articles

On 5 May the JTA Jewish News Archive announced the launching of a digital archive containing 250,000 articles dating from 1923. The archive is searchable and free for everyone to use.
Highlights of the archive include extensive reporting from Europe in the 1930s and 1940s —including perhaps the first article on what has become known as the Babi Yar massacre —JTA’s reportage on the founding of the State of Israel, close and sustained coverage of the Soviet Jewry movement, and decades of articles chronicling the changing roles and responsibilities of Jewish women.

“The JTA Jewish News Archive has the potential to spark an interest in the past that will transform the future,” said Jonathan Sarna, the Joseph H. & Belle R. Braun Professor of American Jewish History at Brandeis University. . . .

“There was and still is a lot of conventional wisdom that Americans didn’t know about the Holocaust while it was happening, and couldn’t have known about the Holocaust while it was happening,” said Northeastern University journalism professor Laurel Leff. “One of the values of this archive is that people can actually look at the bulletins that JTA sent out during this period and see what information was, in fact, available.”

The archive was created with the help of Digital Divide Data, a nonprofit organization that provides jobs to disadvantaged youth in Southeast Asia. Young Cambodians digitized JTA’s files, thereby completing a circle — a vital journalistic record of the Holocaust is being preserved by the next generation in a country racked by its own genocide. . . .

Sunday, May 1, 2011

MLA Establishes Office of Scholarly Communication

The Chronicle of Higher Education has reported that the the Modern Language Association has established a new office of scholarly communication. It is likely that a primary concern of the office will be the promotion of digital scholarship among MLA members.
The Modern Language Association has created an office of scholarly communication and named a well-regarded digital-humanities scholar to lead it, the group announced on Friday. Kathleen Fitzpatrick, a professor of media studies at Pomona College and co-founder of MediaCommons, a digital scholarly network, will lead the new office. She will oversee the group’s book-publishing unit and “a range of activities intended to promote scholarship among our members and within the larger academic community,” the association said. Rosemary G. Feal, the association’s director, told The Chronicle in an interview on Thursday that the announcement was another sign that the MLA was “devoting more effort to thinking as an organization about the digital humanities” and about how to take advantage of Web-based publishing and networking opportunities.