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Google and Publishers Settle Over Digital Books

As reported by the New York Times and other news outlets, the American Association of Publishers (AAP) and associated plaintiffs have reached a legal settlement with Google regarding its digitization effort, which makes books available in Google Books and HathiTrust.

The New York Times account is here: http://www.nytimes.com/2012/10/05/technology/google-and-publishers-settle-over-digital-books.html

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Is Open Access a disaster for publishers? Maybe not

In a posting from Scholarly Kitchen, Kent Anderson notes that while the movement to open access could affect Elsevier’s bottom line (and presumably that of some other large commercial publishers) it’s not likely to be the end of them.  Read the full post here.

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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

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Cornell gets major grant to support arXiv

Cornell University Library has announced a major grant from the Simons Foundation to support the costs of operating arXiv. The grant will provide up to $300,000 per year to match contributions from institutions which have supported arXiv since 2010.  From the announcement:

arXiv, the free repository that has revolutionized the way scientists share information, is adopting a new governance and business model that will allow it to grow and succeed in the future….As an open-access service, [arXiv] allows scientists to share “preprint” research before publication and boasts hundreds of thousands of contributors. In 2011 alone, arXiv saw close to 50 million downloads from all over the world and received more than 76,000 new submissions.

Iowa–through the University Libraries–has committed to providing annual support for arXiv since a call for support went out from Cornell. It is an especially important resource for researchers in physics, mathematics, and computer science, among others. It has been hosted at Cornell since 2001, when its founder, Paul Ginsparg, joined the faculty. See also the article by Jennifer Howard in the Chronicle.

 

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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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US District Court judge again rules against publishers suing Georgia State

On Friday US District Court judge Orinda Evans ruled against publishers seeking an injunction that would have imposed restrictions on faculty wanting to use copyrighted material in courses. She also required the publishers to pay Georgia State’s attorney fees.  In a story from Inside Higher Ed Steve Kolowich reports “In the course of explaining her decision to make the publishers foot the bill for the university’s legal defense, the judge declared what observers have been opining for months: “On balance,” she wrote, “the court finds that the defendants are the prevailing party in this case.” For the opinion itself see http://chronicle.com/items/biz/pdf/pdflawsuit.pdf

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The Global University Press

A recent article in The Chronicle of Higher Education provides another perspective on University Presses. “The Global University Press” (July 23, 2012) by Peter J. Dougherty, director of Princeton University Press, looks at the global market and how University Presses can benefit from increased international focus. Dougherty discusses several trends in global scholarship and lists innovations that can aid University presses:

  1. University Press Content Consortium’s Books on Project MUSE and Books at JSTOR
  2. Transnational advance of online book merchants
  3. Print on demand, or POD
  4. Digitally driven publicity
  5. Use of social and other digital media to communicate with local sales representatives in foreign countries

He adds, “The most crucial work in creating the global university press lies with acquisitions editors, who will be building the lists of the future.”

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“Library of the Future” Nets Large NEH Grant

As reported by Jennifer Howard the The Chronicle of Higher Education’s Wired Campus, the proposed Digital Public Library for the Humanities netted a $1-million grant from the National Endowment.  DPLA hopes to become an open-access national digital library.  Read the full story here.

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Altmetrics: Trying to Fill the Gap

Judy Luther’s recent post on Scholarly Kitchen highlights developments in Altmetrics, the movement to extend the measurement of the impact of scholarly research beyond the traditional metric of journal impact. Among other efforts, she mentions the article-level metrics (ALM) in development at PLoS.

Read more: http://scholarlykitchen.sspnet.org/2012/07/25/altmetrics-trying-to-fill-the-gap/

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US News & World Report takes on academic journal publishing

In a long piece online at its web site, Simon Owens of US News and World Report offers an overview of academic (chiefly scientific) journal publishing and the rise of open access. See Is the Academic Publishing Industry on the Verge of Disruption?” Starting with the recent Harvard letter on journal prices (see Transitions for April 23, 2012), the article reports on moves toward open access publishing, and resistance from commercial “closed access” publishers.