About Author: Brett Cloyd

Posts by Brett Cloyd


Chronicle: Publisher threatens to sue blogger

Following up on a lawsuit attempt by Edwin Mellen Press to quiet its’ critics, Jeffrey Beall has been threatened with a $1 billion lawsuit from an Indian publisher, OMICS Publishing Group. Beall has achieved notoriety for creating and maintaining Beall’s list and popular blog Scholarly Open Access. Both attempt to assist scholars assess the credibility of Open Access publishing organizations, and identify publishers that authors should avoid.

See the full story at: http://chronicle.com/article/Publisher-Threatens-to-Sue/139243/


Amherst College launches no-cost digital only press.

Be sure to read this news story from Inside Higher Ed about an ambitious new plan from Amherst College.


Amherst will emphasize high quality, peer-reviewed monographs in its new endeavor. They are currently hiring a press director and two editors to staff the press. Much of the initiative is coming from the Amherst College Librarian, Bryn Geffert.

“My grand dream — quixotic though may be — is that if enough libraries begin  doing what we’re doing, at some point there is going to be a critical mass of  freely available scholarly literature — literature that libraries don’t have to  purchase. And if they use those savings to publish more material, you reach a  tipping point.”




Appealing the Georgia State case

From Bernie Sloan in Publishers Weekly:

“The three publisher plaintiffs in the Georgia State University e-reserve case yesterday lodged an appeal with the Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals, seeking to overturn one of the most significant fair use rulings in decades.”

Full text at: http://bit.ly/OdNDbb


Fister: “An Academic Spring”

Be sure to check out Barbara Fister’s piece “An Academic Spring“. She follows scholar Timothy Gowers’ decision to withraw his participation from the scholarly activities of the large publisher, Elsevier:

“Gowers faulted the corporation for high prices, bundling subscriptions in ways that made selection prohibitively expensive for libraries, and for supporting the Research Works Act (RWA), proposed legislation that would prohibit government agencies from requiring that publicly funded research be freely accessible within a year.”

Gowers’ decision prompted action across academia. A petition against Elsevier was created, and brought together 10,800 signatures from those scholars who intended to boycott Elsevier as well.

Fister connects the “Academic Spring” with last year’s “Arab Spring” in a clever way that just might propel sudden change.


MLA Changes Copyright Policy

The Modern Language Association (MLA) has recently changed its copyright policy to allow authors in its publications to retain copyright. Authors will now be able to include versions of their work on their own web sites and in institutional repositories. Inside Higher Education has this article for more information.

Kevin Smith’s “Saying the right things, then doing them” goes into further detail and analyses what MLA’s shift may do to the humanities.

These 3 points may be most important,

  1. Open access is not only possible, but is even vitally important, in the humanities.
  2. Open access, especially in its “green” form of author self-archiving, is not a threat to scholarly societies.
  3. The value of organized publishing efforts is in the services they provide around the content, not in the content itself (which, of course, the publishers do not create).

UCLA video case is dismissed.

According to Brandon Butler, Director of Policy Initiatives at the Association of Research Libraries, “the federal district court in central California has dismissed the complaint against UCLA over ripping and streaming DVDs to authenticated users over the Internet. The case was dismissed on both procedural grounds (state sovereign immunity, standing) and substantive ones (UCLA did not infringe copyright).” Experts are not saying this case makes sweeping changes to laws or regulations.  However, in the context of pending litigation on copyright it may offer some hope for fair use applications for video presentations.

ARL Policy Notes.  “A Copyright Victory: Video Vendor Case Dismissed!”

Scholarly Communications at Duke. “Streaming Video Case Dismissed”

Full-text of the decision