Digital Publishing Category

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White House petition calls for open access to federally funded research results

Under the sponsorship of Access2Research a White House petition has been initiated that calls for open access to journal articles published as a result of federally funded research. The Access2Research web site urges:

“Sign the petition to require free access over the Internet to journal articles arising from taxpayer-funded research. This will require you to create an account at the White House petition website, confirm the account by clicking on a link in your email, and then sign the petition itself. 

25,000 signatures in 30 days gets an official Administration response. We want to hit that number – blow it out of the water – to escalate this issue inside the White House. We believe the idea of requiring free access has support but is stuck. This could well be the event that gets it through.”

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British government announces plans to make publicly funded research reports open access

The British government announced on Wednesday that it would take steps to require open access publication of research based on government funding. The govenment spokesman, as reported by Jennifer Howard in the Chronicle of Higher Education, did not specify how the published research would be made available.  Jimmy Wales, the founder of Wikipedia, will be advising the government on standards and other matters. The article reports a response by a spokesman from Springer Verlag.

“Throwing its weight behind open access, the British government has declared it wants to make all research paid for with public money freely available online. If it succeeds, the move is likely to have significant consequences for publishers, and will boost the international momentum of the open-access movement. But the government won’t share details about how it will make the plan a reality.”

In reaction the Guardian in a May 9 article observes that a primary mode of financing open access publishing, with article fees paid by the author or author’s institution, is discriminatory and favors those with “deep pockets.” The article points out:

“A major problem with the APC model is that it effectively shifts the costs of academic publishing from the reader to the author and therefore discriminates against those without access to the funds needed to meet these costs. Among those excluded are academics in, for example, the humanities and the social sciences whose research funding typically does not include publication charges, and independent researchers whose only means of paying the APC is from their own pockets. Academics in developing countries in particular face discrimination under APC because of their often very limited access to research funds.”

 

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Modern Language Association issues new guidelines for evaluating digital work

Articles in Inside Higher Ed and the Chronicle of Higher Education describe the MLA’s new guidelines and quote from their contents.

“Institutions and departments should develop written guidelines so that faculty members who create, study, and teach with digital objects; engage in collaborative work; or use technology for pedagogy can be adequately and fairly evaluated and rewarded,” says the MLA guidance. “The written guidelines should provide clear directions for appointment, reappointment, merit increases, tenure, and promotion and should take into consideration the growing number of resources for evaluating digital scholarship and the creation of born-digital objects. Institutions should also take care to grant appropriate credit to faculty members for technology projects in teaching, research, and service.”

“Digital media are transforming literary scholarship, teaching, and service, as well as providing new venues for research, communication, and the creation of networked academic communities,” the updated guidelines say. “Academic work in digital media must be evaluated in the light of these rapidly changing technological, institutional, and professional contexts, and departments should recognize that many traditional notions of scholarship, teaching, and service are being redefined.”

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Interview with High Wire Press on digital publishing

The second in a series of interviews by Adeline Koh on scholarly publishing and the digital environment appears in yesterday’s Chronicle of Higher Education.  See “The Printing Press of the Digital Environment: A Conversation with Stanford’s Highwire Press.”

From the interview: 

We like to see scholars and authors being bold and experimentative, not just waiting for terms to be given to them. While it’s true that certain structures of academia, such as tenure criteria, may tend to operate conservatively, on the other hand change happens eventually, and we see many signs of impending change, even disruption — for example with online education, education-related startups, altmetrics, and academic social networks (e.g. ResearchGate, Academia.edu, Mendeley).

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Local costs for journals

A boycott of Elsevier journals has been growing to show opposition to their support of the Research Works Act and their 36% profits (see Research Bought, Then Paid For – an Op-Ed in the New York Times, Elsevier boycott gains momentum, Elsevier responds to the boycott, and “Of goats and headaches”–The Economist on journal publishing for previous posts on these issues ).

There have also been prominent articles about the lack of public accessibility of academic research, such as “Locked in the Ivory Tower: Why JSTOR Imprisons Academic Research”  which appeared in The Atlantic on Jan 20, 2012. This particular article points to JSTOR as an example of the “broken economics of academic publishing”. Nancy Sims from University of Minnesota wrote “Academic publishing is full of problems; lets get them right” which is a good response to the Atlantic article, correcting some of the specifics.

Since that time, we have seen faculty taking note of the cost of some e-journal packages and collections of titles, most notably the $2.9 million figure from Purdue when that institution came close to cancelling their Elsevier package in December. (“Purdue re-signs contract for online scholastic access” )

In order to keep Iowa faculty informed about the cost of journals from a variety of sources, we offer these figures for University of Iowa costs from FY 2011:

 Publisher  Cost # of Titles
Elsevier  $       1,641,530

2095

Wiley/Blackwell  $           868,031

1304

Springer  $           607,540

400

Sage  $           243,647

608

JSTOR  $             97,602

2319

Cambridge UP  $             43,940

145

Project Muse  $             33,210

500

Oxford UP  $             21,313

250

Please note that the JSTOR figure is for back content (the so-called moving wall), not current issues.

The following chart offers another way to view the relative size shares of the pie different publishers receive from our acquisitions budget (the denominator for these percentages is total spending on e-journals). The data is slightly older than that used above.

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Proposed federal legislation might criminalize digital library practices

Steve Kolowich, writing for Inside Higher Ed, reports on the Stop Online Piracy Act (H.R. 3261), or SOPA, due to be taken up next week by the House Judiciary Committee. The Library Copyright Alliance, a group made up of the American Library Association, the Association of Research Libraries, and the Association of College and Research Libraries, has written to committee members expressing concern that the measure would leave university libraries open to prosecution for current practices considered legal under the fair use provisions of the U.S. Copyright Law.

To read the complete article, see: http://www.insidehighered.com/news/2011/11/09/library-associations-say-legislation-could-expose-them-copyright-prosecution.

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Digital Public Library of America (DPLA) plans move forward.

At a meeting at the National Archives last Friday “representatives from top cultural institutions and public and research libraries expressed robust support for the proposed library, which would create a portal to allow the public to get easy online access to collections held at many different institutions.” Announcements included additional pledges of financial support from donors and foundations and a linkage with Europeana, a related project in Europe.

David Ferreiro, Archivist of the United States, is quoted as stating  “My reason for being so passionate about the DPLA is that I want every stinking piece of this collection digitized … I want it available to the world 24 hours a day.”

See Jennifer Howard’s article on the meeting  in the Chroncle of Higher Education

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OA week continues: Michael Eisen on PLoS One’s success

PLoS One, an author-pays open access journal, has achieved great success while offering a new model for peeer review and rapid publication. It is tied for second among journals in frequency of publication by Iowa authors, and comes in third for number of citations to articles published by Iowa researchers. Michael Eisen in this blog post comments on its success and the imitators it has spawned in its wake:

“So it has given me considerable pleasure to watch, over the past year or so, as one traditional publisher after another has responded to the smashing success of PLoS One by launching direct ripoffs that seek to capitalize on the business model we have established.”

See “PLoS Won” http://www.michaeleisen.org/blog/?p=686 

Clones mentioned by Eisen include:

 

 

 

 

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“Tough love for authors”: © ≠ Ownership

Interesting post by Rich Anderson on the balance between authors’ rights as creators and readers’ rights to make use of their creations. Additional comments on ebooks, the Authors’ Guild suit against Hathi Trust, and other matters.

See http://scholarlykitchen.sspnet.org/2011/10/25/some-tough-love-for-authors/

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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!”
http://policynotes.arl.org/post/11024602634/a-copyright-victory-video-vendor-case-dismissed

Scholarly Communications at Duke. “Streaming Video Case Dismissed”
http://blogs.library.duke.edu/scholcomm/2011/10/04/streaming-video-case-dismissed/

Full-text of the decision
http://www.aime.org/news.php?download=nG0kWaN9ozI3plMlCGRm&u=111004120000