Issue 5/05

March 10, 2005

Paula Kaufman, University Librarian, Editor




The Financial Times features Jamie Boyle's latest column that compares U.S. and European approaches to publicly funded information.  Boyle contrasts the U.S. approach to making weather information available at cost, which has spurred a thriving industry, in comparison to Europe, which claim government copyright over such data and demand high fees for access and use.  BNA's Internet Law News (ILN) - 2/28/05



A rapidly growing number of Americans are increasing their use of online sources for news and information at the expense of other media , according to a national segmentation study conducted by in partnership with Nielsen//NetRatings and Scarborough. "In the twelve months ending December 2004, 47% of respondents reported significantly increasing their usage of online media for news and information. A smaller number (4%) of those surveyed reported decreasing their usage of the internet for news during the same time period. In contrast, traditional media showed modest gains with radio at 16%, television at 18%, newspapers at 12% and magazines at 15%. However, similar declines were noted for each at -12%, -20%, -18% and -18%, respectively. "Users cited 24-hour availability, ability to multi-task while browsing, breaking news, easy ability to search and free access as the top reasons for preferring to get their news online." Other key findings:
• "About half of all online news users are still increasing their use of the Internet, even as this medium reaches saturation. "
• "For these Internet users, more time is spent online in a given week than with any other medium. In prior research, we’ve always seen the Internet and TV in a close horse race; this year, the Internet has pulled ahead."
• "When we look specifically at sources for news and information, online pulls far ahead, with 60% of users going online DAILY. Fewer than half use TV or any other source of news on a daily basis."

The sample is comprised of visitors to news and information sites during the prior 90 days from a survey of 15,000 members of Nielsen//NetRatings MegaPanel in December 2004. The margin of error is ± 2 percentage points.  A PowerPoint of the methodology and full findings may be found at 2/28/05



In a recent speech, Reuters CEO Tom Glocer focused on the personalization of content as a key revenue driver. Glocer outlines the parameters of successful content personalization, including the ability not only to zoom in on personal profiles but to provide content that looks beyond personal horizons to what's important outside of that profile - perhaps up to 20 percent of what an individual needs to know. Glocer sees new opportunities to leverage the Reuters brand in more personal venues via the proliferation of consumer-oriented content platforms, with platforms such as "3G" mobile phones providing more control over content monetization options than the ad-driven Web arena. Getting content into more personal contexts is certainly a very key factor for publishers today, yet for a company whose revenues are still driven primarily by the bulk distribution of professionally-oriented financial content there's an irony to be considered in Glocer's words. Reuters can make great inroads in getting its highly respected news product into the hands of more individuals in the content marketplace, but the intransigence of content acquisition methods in the financial industry continue to prevent both Reuters and other major vendors from introducing more progressive revenue models for their core markets in many instances. Individuals understand how to manage the risk of working cooperatively with content suppliers to get their personal needs fulfilled in some ways far better than the corporate set. The scales of risk are obviously different in the corporate space, but there's a need for "just-in-time" content supply chains that move beyond mere speedy delivery to new content sourcing methods that add the right content at the right time in the right context far more effectively than found in today's bulk feed and database production and distribution. The company that does this well will have a new kind of integrity that goes well beyond technology and traditional editorial prowess to a new level of information professionalism.  John Blossom, Shore Communications 3/9/05



In the late 1990s, "My Yahoo" set an example for a whole generation of personalized "my" services. The idea that an information service could be "mass customized" for individual users with their own lists of news topics, stocks, books, and music helped reshape and upgrade how information services thought about users. Such personalization has become so integral to all information services that it is no longer a separate feature. It is now assumed to be part of any information service.

Personalization as a discrete feature is also declining because information services are becoming more defined around the needs of specific job functions and their workflows. As a result, the needs of an individual user now get addressed through an information service designed for a specific class of users. For example, an information service developed for mechanical engineers incorporates much of what any individual engineer would want as part of the standard product. While users typically express the need for "flexibility," what they really want are information services that understand and translate their needs into a highly relevant set of content, applications, features, and functions-all of which minimize a user's need to do any customization. Information executives admit that many of their personalization features go largely unused because users don't want to be burdened with setting them up, no matter how minimal the effort. An information service should be like a well-cooked meal: it should be delicious just the way the chef prepares it, without the need to add salt or ketchup.

The next frontier of personalization is making personal data more inter-operable across applications. Microsoft had the right idea with its recently abandoned Passport application, designed to allow stored personal data to be used easily by applications. Users want to minimize repetitive entry of information as they use multiple applications, but the need goes beyond the handling of personal data. For example, after making travel reservations, we want the airline flight details and the hotel information to appear in our Outlook calendar. We want directions from the airport to the hotel to appear in an email. The night before the trip, we'd like an automatic weather alert about the destination city, a list of restaurants near our hotel, and directions to all of our meetings. When applications can automatically collect and store external information that is linked to personal information and pass information generated in one application to other applications, personalization will be something to crow about. Digital Strategies Newsletter (Greenhouse Associates) 2/05



Blackwell Publishing has announced the launch of a new service, Online Open, which offers authors the opportunity to make their articles freely available to all users of the internet in perpetuity on payment of a publication fee. The new Online Open service will be on trial through to the end of 2006. During this period, authors of accepted articles will have the option to pay a fee of $2,500 or £1,250 (plus VAT where applicable), which will ensure that their article is made freely accessible to all via Blackwell's online journals platform Blackwell Synergy. Online Open articles will be published to exactly the same high standards as subscription-based articles, following the full peer-review process and benefiting from the same production procedures and online features. Online Open articles will also appear in the print edition of journals with an indicator pointing to the free access online.  The subscription prices for journals participating in the Online Open trial will be adjusted according to the number of author-pays articles that each journal expects to publish in the following year. Blackwell's subscription prices take into account any increase in the amount of material we expect to publish in the journal in the next year. The company will continue to use this information in setting pricing but we will only account for material published under the traditional publishing model. Any articles published under the new Online Open model will be excluded from this calculation as their costs will have been paid by the author or the author's funding body. Blackwell Publishing is consulting with the societies for whom it publishes on whether they wish to be included in the trial of Online Open. The company will issue an initial list of those journals participating within the next two months and will add any other journals as societies choose to join. Blackwell expects that most of the initial journals in the trial will be in biology or medicine, subjects where there is likely to be funding for the author-pays model.  3/1/05

International open access to research papers on the internet has taken a crucial step closer after a meeting at Southampton University this week, supporters have said. A gathering of 60 academics, publishers and university librarians this week thrashed out practical steps to promote open access - something backed last year by the Commons science and technology committee but so far rejected by the UK government after strenuous lobbying by publishers
But Stevan Harnad, a professor of cognitive science at Southampton and a leading advocate of open access, believes that universities have found a way around previous objections by encouraging academics to self-archive their research papers in repositories at their own universities. These papers would then be accessible by anyone via the internet, providing the author agrees. He told that the spread of the new arrangements would bring great benefits to scientists and other researchers, while funders, universities and even publishers stood to gain. Among publishers, including the giant Elsevier, 92% were in favour of self-archiving, he added.  Since a declaration in Berlin two years ago in favour of the principle of open access, there have been efforts to promote open access journals, backed by the Joint Information Systems Committee (Jisc) in the UK and the Public Library of Science in the United States, but progress has been slow.  The Southampton meeting was called to put flesh on the bones of the Berlin declaration. Speaking after the meeting, Professor Harnad said it was the "optimal and inevitable solution". He added: "Everybody will benefit from it - researchers will be able to access what they could not before and the impact of their research will go up. At last those who agree open access is a good thing know how to provide it." He said French and German research institutions, the Cern European particle physics lab in Switzerland, and all 12 major universities in the Netherlands were already adopting open access, as well as some British universities like Southampton.  The plan is for each university to encourage researchers to place the full text of each paper, along with the title, publication etc (the "metadata") in a repository where, if the author agrees, it can be accessed by fellow researchers all over the world.  The carrot (or stick) is that academics will be "invisible" for research assessment purposes if their articles are not in the repository - the institutional repository will be the data on which their performance assessment and the institution's own record-keeping of its own research output will be based. Professor Harnad believes that once researchers have got used to archiving their papers they will agree to open access rather than be pestered with email requests for copies.  He argues the availability of the researcher's paper will not hit sales of academic journals and will in fact increase their "impact" (the number of times a paper is cited by other researchers in the field). Researchers will also be encouraged to publish in the few open access journals that exist (5% of titles).   Education Guardian 3/2/05,9865,1428634,00.html



The open access movement is reforming the system of scholarly communication by advocating free, online access to academic literature. This new bibliography presents over 1,300 selected English-language books, conference papers (including some digital video presentations), debates, editorials, e-prints, journal and magazine articles, news articles, technical reports, and other printed and electronic sources that are useful in understanding the open access movement. Most sources were published between 1999 and August 31, 2004; however a limited number of key sources published prior to 1999 are also included. Where possible, links are provided to sources that are freely available on the Internet (approximately 78 percent of the bibliography's references have such links). The bibliography is conveniently organized into the following categories: General Works, Open Access Statements, Copyright Arrangements for Self-Archiving and Use, Open Access Journals, E-Prints, Disciplinary Archives, Institutional Archives and Repositories, Open Archives Initiative and OAI-PMH, Conventional Publisher Perspectives, Government Inquiries and Legislation, and Open Access Arrangements for Developing Countries. The publication also includes a concise overview of key concepts that are central to the open access movement.  The table of contents, preface, and overview of key open access concepts from this publication are available online as a PDF at  ARL Announce 3/2/05



Backed by powerful technology groups and a handful of artists, file-swapping software companies Grokster and StreamCast asked the US Supreme Court yesterday to reject proposals from the entertainment industry that could put them out of business. The Supreme Court case is one of the most closely watched issues across the technology and entertainment realms this year, with both sides saying that an unfavorable outcome could be devastating to their respective industries. BNA's Internet Law News (ILN) - 3/2/05  EFF archive of briefs at, General coverage at,  Coverage of Intel brief Coverage of leading scientists brief at Coverage of electronics industry brief at Coverage of musicians brief at



The US recording industry has filed lawsuits against another 753 people as part of its legal fight against individuals who it claims swap music illegally over the Internet. The suits include complaints against people at 11 universities suspected of using the colleges' computer networks to send music over the internet.  BNA's Internet Law News (ILN) - 3/2/05



It's not easy transforming a large diverse corporation. Like any change, the transformation process takes time and a delicate balancing of resources to maintain current revenue streams while investing in new products and services.  On March 2, Wolters Kluwer released its 2004 results, which showed substantial improvements over the previous year, but the overall top-line growth when stated in the most rosy terms (organic, net of exchange rate effects, acquisitions, and divestments) was only 1%. Without these adjustments, revenues for the year declined 5%. Wolters Kluwer's chairman, Nancy McKinstry, who initiated a restructuring plan in late 2003 shortly after she was appointed to lead the company, has focused heavily on transforming WK from a publisher of static print and electronic products to a provider of end-to-end solutions that help their target customers become more productive in performing their job functions. As Shore affiliate Russell Perkins pointed out in his recent post, McKinstry illustrated her commitment to developing software-based solutions in her statement: "we have as many programmers as we do editors".  Indeed, it is refreshing to witness McKinstry's tight focus on providing solutions that incorporate a mix of content, software, and an understanding of their customers' fundamental objectives. By now, everyone who knows Shore, knows that this mix is what we call vContent and we fully support the efforts of publishers who are moving in this direction. But, the move to vContent requires balancing resources, including investments in new infrastructure, content assets, and key personnel with current operational expenses. Finding the right personnel may be the most difficult aspect. It isn't easy to find top executives who have the ability to lead operations that produce both quality content and produce, sell, and service effective software solutions. In its Health division, WK has moved quite dramatically toward hiring top execs with experience in developing large scale technical products and services (several from GE Healthcare, which seems to be the favored breeding ground for WK Health and Thomson Healthcare). These tech-savvy executives are certain to help WK keep their eyes on the future and help them move them toward their goal of delivering high-value content-based solutions.  However, investors won't allow Wolters Kluwer to ignore the here-and-now. Despite improvements in organic growth, WK lags behind Reed Elsevier and Thomson in top-line growth. Like other European-based global publishers, Wolters Kluwer is also hurt by the weak dollar. As we said, it's a delicate balancing act to transform a large company.  Shore Newsletter 3/7/05



The presentations from the Open Access Scholarly Communication Workshop (Kyiv, Ukraine, February 17-19, 2005), are now online. From the conference site: 'Workshop participants...recommended Ukrainian authorities to ensure the right of individuals and public to access information and knowledge and to guarantee that intellectual property regimes are not the obstacles to the public’s access to knowledge, to encourage research and higher educational institutions to practice open access, to put an open access condition to state funded researches (except reasonable exceptions) and to provide state fund and technical assistance to research and higher educational institutions to set up and maintain an open access repositories (a condition of government assistance should be that the institution adopt a policy to encourage or require its researchers to deposit their research output in the repository except reasonable exceptions), to support ICT development in libraries, archives, museums and other organizations providing access to information and to provide state fund and technical assistance to open access to cultural heritage.'  Open Access News 3/6/05



Last week, the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) announced that it will shut out most public interest organizations at two important meetings devoted to intellectual property and development. As a result, WIPO delegates from 182 nations will discuss these issues without hearing from many of the world's best-qualified experts. Scheduled for next month, two WIPO "Development Agenda" meetings will focus on the impact of copyright, patent, and other intellectual property rights regimes on the developing world. Without the public interest organizations, the discussions will be heavily weighted toward major motion picture studios, broadcasters, pharmaceutical giants, and other powerful interests that want to expand copyright and patent law.  Electronic Frontier Foundation 3/7/05



The future of instructional paper books may be hanging in the balance with the explosion in ‘smart’, media-rich, interactive digital books, or eBooks. Leading the assault is a new edition by Cheshire based publisher, Cool Publications, which takes the interactivity of eBooks, particularly instructional ones to a new level.

Will Brazier-Smith’s instructional book, Learn to Play the Guitar in 5 Days, is a cutting-edge eBook that fuses the best of the interactivity of the internet with the high-end formatting of the printed page to create a book that not only guides you through the normal words-and-pictures route of learning to play the guitar but also gives you the sound files necessary to tune your instrument and learn to hear what your efforts should sound like. WebWire 3/7/05



The University of California (UC) Office of Scholarly Communication (OSC) last week announced the public launch of its new eScholarship Postprints service, which adds peer-reviewed articles previously published in academic journals to the eScholarship institutional repository. The service provides scholars with another option to maximize the availability and thus the influence of their work. But more broadly, noted eScholarship director Catherine Candee, the repository provides "a spark and a model for new forms of scholarly publishing." The postprints are fully searchable, free to the public, and maintained in a centrally managed database. Established in 2000 by the OSC, which is housed within the California Digital Library, the eScholarship repository has proven popular thus far—logging more than one million full-text downloads to date for access to preprints and other research output. Institutional repositories like eScholarship are becoming increasingly important to scholarly communication, a recent example being the National Institutes of Health (NIH) policy that now requests all NIH grant recipients to deposit their research findings into another open-access database: PubMed Central. The eScholarship program, say UC officials, also demonstrates the university's commitment to preserving the vast output of scholarly and cultural information produced by UC faculty, staff, and students—and acquired or created by its libraries and museums.  Of course, access remains the key issue, and the eScholarship services, including preprints, Candee noted, respond to faculty's expressed needs. "Negotiations with commercial publishers in 2004 focused faculty attention on the fact that hyper-inflated journal pricing meant a growing percentage of resources were becoming unaffordable and unavailable," she explained. Like a number of large research libraries, in 2003, UC participated in a tense negotiation with industry-leading journal publisher Elsevier, but eventually agreed to a five-year deal in early 2004 that "arrested price inflation". Although much debate regarding scholarly communication has concerned experimental open access publishing models, Candee noted that many publishers, including Elsevier, have eased restrictions on the posting of preprints and postprints on personal web sites and in institutional repositories, although some publishers, especially in the STM realm, retain restrictive policies. "Many faculty continue to transfer exclusive rights to publishers," she noted, which can mean lengthy embargoes to access, or no access without a subscription. With more publishers easing restrictions on posting, however, better access to research could be closer at hand through initiatives like eScholarship. "The critical change," Candee said, "will come when faculty no longer assign away exclusive publishing rights."   Library Journal Academic News Wire: March 08, 2005



National lottery funding should be introduced to tackle the "scandal" of Britain's shabby and neglected public library services, according to a report yesterday which says that well-stocked, attractive shelves, rather than IT terminals, are the bedrock of its future. The report by the Commons select committee on culture, media and sport indicts 50% of library services as "persistently below standard" after decades of underfunding - an explanation for steadily falling book loans and visitor numbers over the past 15 years. The committee cites estimates that between a quarter and more than two-thirds of a billion pounds would be needed to wipe out the backlog of building repairs and refurbishments. "This is manifestly a problem, and with such vast ... estimates the solution cannot be simple," it adds. It urges the government to give libraries access to lottery money. This could be managed by the agency in charge of the sector, the Museums, Libraries and Archives Council (MLA).  The Guardian 3/10/0,6109,1434189,00.html



In September 2003, The University of Alabama, University Libraries, in partnership with the University of Wisconsin-Madison Libraries, received an IMLS National Leadership grant to create the digital resource, Publishers' Bindings Online, 1815-1930: The Art of Books (PBO).   PBO, a significant digital collection of decorative bindings, along with a comprehensive glossary and guide to the elements of these objects, will strengthen the growing interest in and create broader awareness for this “common” object called the book." LIS News 3/10/05



If open access becomes reality, the results could dramatically reshape the activities of all scholarly publishers, including the IEEE…. (T)he IEEE’s Publication Services and Products Board (PSPB) is undertaking a strategic analysis of the publishing options open to the organization.  IEEE is being urged to experiment now, “when we have the luxury of income from subscriptions and can afford to,” rather than being forced into it from the outside by congressional legislation or other events.  Read more for an informative perspective from a large scholarly society.  The Institute (IEEE) 3/10/05



NYPL Digital Gallery provides access to over 275,000 images digitized from primary sources and printed rarities in the collections of The New York Public Library, including illuminated manuscripts, historical maps, vintage posters, rare prints and photographs, illustrated books, printed ephemera, and more.



Texts often survived from Antiquity through the Middle Ages by the skin of their teeth, subject to hazards ranging from fire and war to decay and neglect. What were the odds that a manuscript would survive, that an entire work would go extinct, or that the transmission of knowledge itself could be seriously jeopardized? By treating manuscripts as though they were fossils from an extinct population, Cisne shows that explicit, testable estimates of manuscripts' and texts' survival indeed can be found under certain circumstances, and that certain works have had much greater chances of survival than has been guessed from anecdotal evidence. This work suggests a new way of using centuries' worth of exacting scholarship to investigate the survival and dissemination of information.


The scholarly communications are also on line at TU