Creating a New Model for the Scholarly Monograph

The mission of Knowledge Unlatched (KU) is to explore and change the current system for publishing scholarly books. By working together, libraries can create a sustainable route to open access for the scholarly monograph and secure long-term cost savings.  Scholars, students, higher education institutions, and the public benefit. And authors benefit because their books are available to anyone in the world who has access to the internet (and access=citations=impact).

The University of Iowa Libraries is a charter member of KU, whereby we supported the publication of a pilot collection of 28 scholarly titles, published by a variety of established publishers. Since March (in merely 8 months), the books in the collection have been downloaded nearly 13,000 times, and readers in at least 139 countries have been accessing the titles via HathiTrust or OAPEN, trusted digital repositories that archive content in perpetuity.

Some additional, and amazing, statistics on the usage of these 28 titles:

  • Total number of downloads: 12,763
  • Mean average number of downloads per week: 1,064
  • Mean average number of downloads per book/week: 40
  • Mean average number of downloads=473 per book

 

 

 

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Appeals Court Rules on Georgia State’s E-Reserves Case: Back to Lower Court

Last week a federal appeals court reversed the a judge’s decision from May 2012 that ruled in favor of Georgia State University, whose library wanted to be able to make freely available as much copyrighted material as possible via electronic reserves. This is actually not bad news for libraries, as attested to by several copyright experts.  Kevin Smith, scholarly communications officer at Duke, points out in a recent blog post:

  • The court agreed that potential copyright violations should be addressed on an “item by item” basis, which allows universities to make individualized fair use decisions.
  • The court agreed that when evaluating whether e-reserve copying counts as fair use, it should be relevant that university libraries are nonprofit, educational institutions and are not making money off of course reserves.
  • The court rejected the lower court’s 10% or one chapter rule.  The appellate judges instead advocated for “a more flexible approach that takes into account the amount appropriate for the pedagogical purpose.”
  • The court agreed that if a publisher had not made it possible for libraries to license excerpts of a copyrighted work, then libraries do not harm the market for the publisher’s products by copying the desired excerpts and making them freely available.

Smith concludes that the publishers in the case have lost big for what were fighting for, that is to “radically change the landscape.”

Read more:

Ga. State’s Loss in ‘E-Reserves’ Case Might Actually Be a Win for Librarians, Chronicle of Higher Education, Oct. 20, 2014

Nancy Sims, of University of Minnesota, has an astute analysis of the case.

There is a thorough and smart analysis of the ruling from Nancy Sims of the University of Minnesota found here. – See more at: http://blogs.library.duke.edu/scholcomm/#sthash.IEno3aYH.dpuf
There is a thorough and smart analysis of the ruling from Nancy Sims of the University of Minnesota found here. – See more at: http://blogs.library.duke.edu/scholcomm/#sthash.IEno3aYH.dpuf
There is a thorough and smart analysis of the ruling from Nancy Sims of the University of Minnesota found here. – See more at: http://blogs.library.duke.edu/scholcomm/#sthash.IEno3aYH.dpuf

Paperity Aggregates All Open Access Articles. Finally!

Paperity, just launched this week, is the first multi-disciplinary aggregator of all peer-reviewed published open access articles and papers. Yes, that’s right, it aggregates not just the abstracts, but the full-text of the articles. Right now Paperity includes over 160,000 articles from 2,000 scholarly journals, and growing. The goal of the team is to cover 100% of Open Access literature in 3 years from now.

Paperity:

  • gives readers easy and unconstrained access to thousands of journals from hundreds of disciplines, in one central location;
  • helps authors reach their target audience and disseminate discoveries more efficiently;
  • raises exposure of journals, helps editors and publishers boost readership and encourage new submissions.

Check it out!

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Streaming Media Makes Obtaining Content Harder for Libraries

An article in The Chronicle reveals the all-too-real frustrations of obtaining digital content for academic libraries, like the University of Iowa.

How Streaming Media Could Threaten the Mission of Libraries, by Steve Kolowich

Excerpt:

In March 2011, the University of Washington’s library tried to get a copy of a new recording of the Los Angeles Philharmonic, conducted by Gustavo Dudamel, playing Berlioz’s Symphonie Fantastique that the library could lend to students. But the recording was available only as a digital download, and Amazon and iTunes forbid renting out digital files.

So the librarians contacted the Philharmonic to see if there was some way they could get a copy of the album that they could lend out like a compact disc. The orchestra referred them to a distributor, which referred them to the publisher, the Universal Music Publishing Group. At first the corporation said it couldn’t license the recording to the university, according to the librarians. Later it offered to license 25 percent of the album for two years in exchange for a licensing fee plus a $250 processing fee.

No thanks, the librarians said.

Welcome to content licensing, a great source of anxiety for librarians in the digital era.

….The licensing of digital media, however, gives publishers far more power. Instead of selling an album outright, they can sell permission to access its contents for a fixed amount of time. (This is a boon for textbook publishers in particular. Under a digital regime, they may not have to worry about losing sales to students’ buying used copies.)

Continue reading>>

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The new Authors Alliance aims to assist authors with their rights

Excerpted from an article by Jennifer Howard in the The Chronicle of Higher Education:

“A new nonprofit group wants to help authors understand all of their options. Called the Authors Alliance, it’s led by several academics and writers, including Pamela Samuelson, a professor of law and information at the University of California at Berkeley. She has long been a major voice in copyright discussions and has been a moving force behind friend-of-the-court briefs filed in closely followed copyright-infringement cases, including a lawsuit that pitted another authors’ group, the Authors Guild, against Google over its mass digitizing of books.

The new alliance is part of an attempt to develop a positive agenda around copyright, she says, and to arm writers, and perhaps policy makers, with information that will help them make decisions.”

Read full article here.

And, for more: Kevin Smith, a copyright expert and librarian, explains why he joined the Authors Alliance, and how it differs from the Authors Guild, in his most recent blog posting.

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