About Author: Karen Fischer

Posts by Karen Fischer

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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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A ‘Federated System’ for Public Access to Research

Universities and Libraries Envision a ‘Federated System’ for Public Access to Research, Chronicle of Higher Education, by Jennifer Howard

June 7, 2013

Excerpt:

As federal agencies scramble to meet an August 22 deadline to comply with a recent White House directive to expand public access to research, a group of university and library organizations says it has a workable, higher-education-driven solution. This week, the Association of American Universities, the Association of Public and Land-Grant Universities, and the Association of Research Libraries are offering a plan they call the Shared Access Research Ecosystem, or Share.

Share would expand on systems that universities and libraries have long been building to support the sharing and preservation of research. The groups behind Share have been circulating a document, dated June 7, that lays out the basics behind the idea.

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The Real Digital Change Agent: Institutional Open Access Policies

Jason Mittell, an associate professor of film and media culture at Middlebury College, has written an interesting opinion piece on Institutional Open Access Policies (there is a coalition of them called Coapi) that are making the much of the scholarly output at participating institutions freely available online.  He ponders why these OA Policies are not making the news more often, while MOOCs (massive open online courses) are consistently discussed in the media, and viewed as a revolutionary way to extend the reach of scholars.

He writes: “Odds are that you haven’t read much about Coapi as a revolutionary, democratizing force within higher education, especially compared with its high-profile contemporary, MOOCs (massive open online courses). While it’s quite rare to read about open-access policies in the popular news media, celebrations of MOOCs as the Great Revolution About to Overturn Higher Education As We Know It litter newspapers’ opinion pages—for instance, Thomas Friedman’s recent celebratory gloss in The New York Times.”

Read more of his opinion piece in the Chronicle of Higher Education.

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Launch of the Digital Public Library of America (DPLA)

The DPLA announced on Tuesday that Daniel J. Cohen, a leading digital-humanities scholar, will be the project’s founding executive director.

Cohen sketched out a vision of the DPLA as both a gatherer of information and a gateway to it. It will be “an important nationwide collaboration of state and regional digital libraries who will bring together all the local content and bring it upstream to this giant ocean that will be the DPLA,” he said. “The DPLA, in turn, will redirect the general public and scholars and teachers” to digital collections and cultural resources across the country.

“The idea that we can bring all this content to Americans and people all across the world is tremendously compelling,” Mr. Cohen said.

Read more at the Chronicle of Higher Education.

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NIH to begin enforcing Open Access Policy

NIH to Begin Enforcing Open-Access Policy on Research It Supports, by Paul Basken

Chronicle of Higher Education, Nov. 19, 2012

Excerpt:

The NIH, in a statement issued on Friday, said that beginning in about five months, it would block the renewal of grant awards in cases where journal publications arising from the award do not comply with its open-access rule.

The NIH’s online database, PubMed Central, has some 260,000 papers collected under the policy, or about three-fourths of the eligible publicly financed research, an agency official said.

“While compliance to the policy currently stands at 75 percent and continues to edge upward,” said Neil M. Thakur, program manager for the public-access policy in Ms. Rockey’s office, the “NIH believes that four years has been sufficient time for NIH grantees to adjust to the requirement.”

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Journals’ Ranking System Roils Research

An article in the Wall Street Journal reports on the increasing practice of journals and authors to find ways to play the system that ranks scholarly publications.  At issue, this time, were two papers published by The Scientific World Journal which excessively cited the journal Cell Transplantation.  The Scientific World Journal retracted both articles, however Thomson Reuters, which publishes the impact factors, suspended both journals for two years, which is a serious “blow to the researchers who publish” in them. “The disapproval isn’t about the metric itself but about its misuse,” says Jim Testa, a vice president of editorial development and publisher relations at Thomson Reuters.

Phil Davis, a publishing consultant, who is quoted in the WSJ article and who researches citation gaming, has studied Cell Transplantation’s citation patterns and noted in an April blog entry that “a review article published in another journal, Medical Science Monitor, had cited a total of 490 articles in the field, of which 445 were articles that had appeared in Cell Transplantation alone, in 2008 and 2009. Both those years were used to compute the 2010 impact factor for Cell Transplantation, and those citations apparently had an effect: the journal’s IF rose from 5.126 in 2009 to 6.204 in 2010, a jump of 21%.”

article by Naik, Gautam. Wall Street Journal (Online) [New York, N.Y] 24 Aug 2012

 

 

 

 

 

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Research Bought, Then Paid For – an Op-Ed in the New York Times

An Op-Ed piece in the New York Times, written by Michael Eisen (scientist and co-founder of Public Library of Science), decries a new bill that would cripple access to publicly-funded research currently made available by under NIH Public Access Policy.

Eisen writes,

The Research Works Act would forbid the N.I.H. to require, as it now does, that its grantees provide copies of the papers they publish in peer-reviewed journals to the library. If the bill passes, to read the results of federally funded research, most Americans would have to buy access to individual articles at a cost of $15 or $30 apiece. In other words, taxpayers who already paid for the research would have to pay again to read the results.

…Rather than rolling back public access, Congress should move to enshrine a simple principle in United States law: if taxpayers paid for it, they own it.

…But it is not just Congress that should act. For too long scientists, libraries and research institutions have supported the publishing status quo out of a combination of tradition and convenience. But the latest effort to overturn the N.I.H.’s public access policy should dispel any remaining illusions that commercial publishers are serving the interests of the scientific community and public.”

to read the complete article, go to:

http://www.nytimes.com/2012/01/11/opinion/research-bought-then-paid-for.html?_r=1

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Google Book Settlement Information

Google has been in the news a lot, particularly regarding the Authors Guild anti-trust suit against the HathiTrust and several affiliated universities who have worked with Google to scan books.  Below is a list of articles (compiled by Nicki Saylor), lending background information on the Google Book Settlement, and some insights into the developments of the Authors Guild suit.  Continuing developments on this topic will be address in our blog.

As a service to faculty, other campus authors, and interested members of the UI community we have gathered some information related to the Google book settlement.

Recent Developments

Judge Rejects Settlement in Google Book Case, Saying It Goes Too Far (March 2011)
The proposed settlement in the long-standing class-action lawsuit over Google’s vast book-scanning project is dead, at least in its current form. In a ruling on Tuesday, the federal judge overseeing the case rejected the settlement, saying that it “would simply go too far,” even though “the digitization of books and the creation of a universal digital library would benefit many.” But he also urged the parties to consider revising the settlement, and suggested an approach that would deal with his major concerns.

Federal judge indicates he won’t rule today, as speakers argue for and against the revised settlement agreement (Feb. 18, 2010)
Eighteen parties spoke out against the revised Google Settlement before the lunch break today in a fairness hearing before U.S. District Court in Manhattan. Five spoke in favor. The speakers were limited to five minutes each, and generally either boiled down points made in previous submissions or responded to recently filed documents.

Hurtling Toward the Finish Line: Should the Google Books Settlement Be Approved? (Feb. 16, 2010)
Late last week, Google and the plaintiffs filed their final briefs in defense of the Google Books Amended Settlement Agreement (ASA) that is before the New York Southern Federal District Court. As the rhetoric around the Settlement heats up to white-hot intensity in the final days before the Fairness Hearing on February 18th, I’d like to offer a few personal thoughts from my vantage point at the California Digital Library.

The Google Book Settlement: Second Round Comments (Feb. 10, 2010)
Late last year, Google, the Author’s Guild, the American Association of Publishers, and the individual plaintiffs in the lawsuit over Google’s massive book digitization program negotiated several revisions to their original Proposed Settlement Agreement (original agreement). The revisions were designed to address concerns raised by the Department of Justice and other critics who advised the court to reject the original agreement.1 The deadline to file comments on the new Proposed Amended Settlement Agreement (amended agreement) was January 28, 2010. The Department of Justice filed its comments on Thursday, February 4, 2010. This document describes the second round of comments.

Justice Dept. Criticizes Latest Google Book Deal (Feb. 5, 2010)
In another blow to Google’s plan to create a giant digital library and bookstore, the Justice Department on Thursday said that a class-action settlement between the company and groups representing authors and publishers had significant legal problems, even after recent revisions.

Open access and the Google book settlement (Dec. 2, 2009)
Google and the groups suing it –the Authors Guild and the Association of American Publishers–released a revised version of their settlement agreement on November 13. Judge Denny Chin gave it preliminary approval six days later. …Many sharp eyes and sharp minds are looking at what the revised agreement says, how it differs from the original agreement of October 2008, how well it answers objections levelled against the original, and whether the preliminary approval ought to become final approval. I won’t do any of that here. I want to focus on the settlement’s implications for OA.

Judge Grants Preliminary Approval to Revised Google Book Settlement (Nov. 20, 2009)
The federal judge overseeing the Google Book Search case has given preliminary approval to the revised settlement submitted late last Friday by the parties to the lawsuit. The new version is “within the range of possible approval,” according to a court order issued yesterday.

Parties Submit New Proposal to Settle Google Book Search Litigation (Nov. 15, 2009)
Though they kept the world waiting until the last legal minute, the parties to the proposed Google Book Search settlement managed to meet their new November 13 deadline to file a revamped version with the federal judge overseeing the case. Google, the Authors Guild, and the Association of American Publishers submitted Settlement 2.0 close to midnight Eastern time on Friday. (Read more about the settlement on the Google Public Policy Blog.)

November 9 Is New Deadline for Revised Google Book Search Settlement (Oct. 7, 2009)
The parties to the Google Book Search settlement have agreed to deliver an amended agreement to the judge in the case by November 9, according to reports in The New York Times, Publishers Weekly, and other media outlets.

Justice Department Wants Changes in Google Books Settlement (Sept. 21, 2009)
The U.S. Department of Justice has weighed in on the proposed Google Book Search settlement with authors and publishers, advising the federal court overseeing the case that the deal in its current form “does not meet the legal standards this court must apply.”

At Congressional Hearing, Register of Copyrights Slams Google Settlement (Sep. 11, 2009)
At a Congressional hearing, Marybeth Peters, Register of Copyrights, U.S. Copyright Office, testified forcefully, warning that key parts of the settlement “are fundamentally at odds with the law,” creating a compulsory license for Google that should be the domain of Congress, not the courts.

CIC Provosts File Letter With Court in Google Settlement (Sep. 8, 2009)
The CIC has been a Google digitization partner since 2007. Under the terms of the partnership, Google will digitize up to ten million volumes across the CIC universities. The CIC has filed a letter with the federal court of New York overseeing the proposed Google Book Search settlement.

Library Associations Submit Supplemental Filing, Call for Increased Oversight of Google Agreement (Sep. 2, 2009)
The American Library Association (ALA), the Association of College and Research Libraries (ACRL) and the Association of Research Libraries (ARL) today submitted a supplemental filing with the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York overseeing the proposed Google Book Search settlement to address developments that have occurred since the groups submitted their filing on May 4.

UC Academics Raise Major Concerns About Google Settlement (Aug. 20, 2009)
More than twenty University of California faculty members have written a letter to the court speaking on behalf of academic authors more interested in the public interest than in supporting themselves from their book revenues.

University of Michigan amends its agreement with Google (May 20, 2009)
The University of Michigan, one of the original participating libraries in the Google Book project, recently entered into an amended agreement that will govern the relationship between Google and Michigan if the proposed Google Book Search settlement is approved by the judge.

A Guide for the Perplexed Part III: The Amended Settlement Agreement (Nov. 30, 2009)
The American Library Association (ALA), the Association of Research Libraries (ARL) and the Association of College and Research Libraries (ACRL) released a series of guides to help librarians better understand the revised terms of the Google Book Search Settlement. The first release was A Guide for the Perplexed: Libraries and the Google Library Project Settlement. As a follow up, a second document, “A Guide for the Perplexed Part II: The Amended Google-Michigan Agreement,” provides a concise description of the Google-Michigan amended terms. The third outlines the amended settlement agreement

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America COMPETES Reauthorization Act, and Further OA Legislation update

On January 4, President Obama signed into law the America COMPETES Reauthorization Act (Public Law 111-358), a statute that many have kept an eye on as a possible indicator of legislative receptiveness to broader public access initiatives. However, the bill’s adoption may actually have the effect of checking the advance of more progressive open access legislation, at least in the immediate short term. FRPAA (Federal Research Public Access Act) expired with the last Congress, and must now be reintroduced for a third time since it was first put on the table by Senators John Cornyn and Joseph Lieberman in 2006.

Aside from assigning funding to agencies like the National Science Foundation (NSF), Department of Energy Office of Science, and the National Institute of Standards and Technology, the COMPETES Act also stipulates the creation of in interagency Public Access Committee that would explore the feasibility of a broader open access mandate, such as that proposed by the Federal Research Public Access Act (FRPAA).

In terms of defining the research under consideration for public access, the COMPETES Act language somewhat mirrors that of FRPAA, which would govern the research output of any “Federal agency with an annual extramural research expenditure of over $100,000,000.”

Excerpts from Library Journal, Jan. 20, 2011. Read the full article at: http://www.libraryjournal.com/lj/home/888910-264/as_competes_act_is_signed.html.csp

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University of Iowa’s citation and publishing history

Garnering data from the Local Journal Utilization Report (LJUR) produced by Thomson Reuters (who extrapolates the data based on citations in the Web of Science database), we can see which journals are most often used by UI authors and which journals most often cite UI authors. Keep in mind that this data is confined by the limits of the universe of journals covered by Web of Science.

Cumulative data from the most recent three years (2008-2010) indicates the journals that most frequently cite UI authors (thus showing where UI researchers are having the most impact). The top 12 titles are:

Journal Title Total cites (2008-2010)
JOURNAL OF BIOLOGICAL CHEMISTRY 3181
JOURNAL OF GEOPHYSICAL RESEARCH 2724
PLOS ONE 2668
PHYSICAL REVIEW D 1898
PROCEEDINGS OF THE NATIONAL ACADEMY OF SCIENCES 1830
JOURNAL OF IMMUNOLOGY 1774
JOURNAL OF NEUROSCIENCE 1410
JOURNAL OF VIROLOGY 1315
PHYSICS OF PLASMAS 1178
INVESTIGATIVE OPHTHALMOLOGY & VISUAL SCIENCE 1169
BRAIN RESEARCH 1059
NEUROIMAGE 988

Of note is PLOS ONE, which is an open access journal.  In 2010 (the most recent available), PLOS ONE jumps to the top of the list with 1236 cites.

Data from the same three year period also shows which journals UI authors most often cite in their published articles (thus showing which journals have the most impact on UI authors).  The top ten are:

JOURNAL OF BIOLOGICAL CHEMISTRY
PROCEEDINGS OF THE NATIONAL ACADEMY OF SCIENCES
NATURE
SCIENCE
JOURNAL OF GEOPHYSICAL RESEARCH
NEW ENGLAND JOURNAL OF MEDICINE
JOURNAL OF IMMUNOLOGY
JOURNAL OF THE AMERICAN MEDICAL ASSOCIATION
JOURNAL OF VIROLOGY
JOURNAL OF NEUROSCIENCE

Interested in seeing more of the data?  Contact Karen Fischer (karen-fischer@uiowa.edu, 335-8781).