Issue 10/05              

   July 6, 2005      

Paula Kaufman, University Librarian, Editor


NOTE:  Watch this space for information about our forthcoming blog and Scholarly Communication web site.



JISC's Scholarly Communications Group commissioned Key Perspectives Ltd to undertake an author study on open access to determine the current state of play with respect to author self-archiving behavior. Open Access Self-Archiving: An Authors Study has produced its final report and this can now be found on the JISC website via the Scholarly Communications Group home page at:  or click here for a direct link to the report:


The Presidential e-Government Initiatives of 2000 have lost much of their steam because people still prefer to interact with federal agencies over the telephone, according to a report from Forrester Research Inc. of
Cambridge, Mass. “Our research indicates that citizens contact the government predominantly for personal rather than business reasons, seeking answers to specific questions, expressing opinions or completing transactions,” said Alan Webber, a consulting analyst. “Because of the personal nature of these interactions, they still rely on telephone and in-person contact and don’t completely trust the Web. Even though most of these people use the Internet for other aspects of their daily lives, old habits die hard,” Webber said in a press release.  Hurdles for implementation of e-government initiatives include constrained budgets and a change-resistant culture, which may become exacerbated as federal IT spending begins to decrease in the next couple of years, the report said. Government bureaucracy, extremely long project cycles and long overdue deadlines also have slowed adoption.  Forrester defined three levels of e-government maturity: an “access era” to obtain information online; an “interaction era” to make small transactions and submit information online; and an “engagement era” to complete personalized, comprehensive transactions online. Most agencies currently are at the interaction era. Moving forward will require more disciplined management practices, an increase in the security of online environments, more complete enterprise architectures, greater capabilities for records and data, and additional IT talent, according to the study.  Government Computer News 6/13/05



Major book publishers in Canada are preparing to boost their business by selling directly to consumers from their websites, a move that has booksellers spooked about being squeezed by their own suppliers. The publishers say they don't consider the e-commerce strategy as a primary growth vehicle, but many retailers aren't appeased. They warn this could be the thin edge of the wedge—and that publishers could emerge as an important selling force. More in  BookTrade.Info



An interesting wiki has been set up by the Social Science Research Council, inviting collaboration on a real-time history and analysis of the politics of open source adoption (POSA). By 'politics of adoption' the SSRC seeks to step back from the task of explaining or justifying Free and/or Open Source Software (F/OSS) in order to ask how increasingly canonical explanations and justifications are mobilized in different political contexts. Initial contributions to POSA 1.0 have already been made on topics as diverse as 'The European Politics of F/OSS Adoption', 'F/OSS Adoption in Brazil', 'F/OSS Adoption in the Health Care Sector' as well as 'Legal Uncertainty in Free and Open Source Software and the Political Response.' To sweeten the pot, two prizes of $250 will be awarded to the two best contributions to POSA 2.0  Creative Commons Blog 6/8/05



Susan Nevelow Mart has written a new report on government information, Let the People Know the Facts: Can Government Information Removed from the Internet be Reclaimed, which examines the legal bases of the public's right to access government information, and examines and analyzes the types of information that have recently been removed from the Internet and the rationales given for the removals. The concerted use of FOIA by public interest groups and their constituents is suggested as a possible method of returning the information to the Internet. Their article concludes with a brief review of recent FOIA cases that might provide some guidance on the litigation sure to follow such concerted requests.  Law Library Blog



Barbara Quint, Elsevier's Scirus Opens Repository Search Service, Information Today NewsBreaks, June 13, 2005. Excerpt: 'Institutional repositories of digital data at universities and other research institutions may now receive deeper, more thorough indexing and full-text delivery through Elsevier’s free, sci-tech search engine, Scirus. The Scirus engine already reaches content at many institutional repositories, but those joining the new Scirus Repository Search service will receive more extensive and sophisticated indexing of a wider range of content. The repositories will also have access to additional search capabilities on their own Web sites at no cost. The first university to join the Scirus Repository Search service is the University of Toronto's T-Space collection. All of T-Space's digital files and data are available to the open Web. Marshall (Peter) Clinton, director of information technology services at the University of Toronto Libraries, said that a similar arrangement with Google preceded Scirus' arrangement by several months. He estimates that both Scirus and Google's improved service has improved access for both on-campus and off-campus users of the T-Space site. Ammy Vogtlander, Scirus' general manager, attributes the development of the Scirus Repository Search service to the fact that "Elsevier understands that an increasing amount of valuable content is currently held in academic repositories." She indicated that working directly with institutional repositories would allow Scirus to reach unique metadata and full-text material. It will also allow Scirus to reach content in alternative formats to journal articles or reports....According to Vogtlander, "We already had full indexing of various sites and institutional repositories, but now, for participating repositories, we will target key reports, have higher quality indexing, better display of results, and more accurate metadata." She found it odd that some institutional repositories, for all their important content, "offer no full text, only metadata."...Google Scholar has introduced linking to "appropriate copy" or restricted access content. (See Library Collections Linked on Google Scholar for Free.) When asked about Google Scholar's clustering and linking, Vogtlander said that Scirus is considering clustering. For now, however, Scirus users will see multiple results ranked on frequency of terms and date. Scirus also can't handle Open URL linking to library-licensed content.... Vogtlander seems to see the world in different terms from traditional Elsevier. In reference to the policy of not charging for Scirus' services, even the new Repository Search service, she stated: "We must understand the free service business. There are different business models now, and Web searching is seen as free."'  Open Access News 6/13/05



Once in awhile, the information industry goes through a period in which thresholds are crossed and balances tipped. This is one of those times. In recent weeks:

Outsell Now 6/9/05



Google may be searching for a business model as it digitizes library content, but leave it to the increasingly savvy British Library to launch its new British Library Direct service that gives fee-based access to top journals from around the world, including content from major suppliers such as Elsevier and Springer. The online service makes a la carte purchases available through a single-line standard search interface with pop-up article abstracts and easy click-through ordering. This month BL also debuts the delivery of targeted content collection licensing and delivery to its clients for both journal content and other content found in its Electronic Table of Contents (ETOC) collection, with daily FTP updates available. The British Library is an unusual institution of its kind given its aggressiveness and effectiveness in making both its own content and other content in its collections available commercially, but an important paradigm for other library services providers to consider. Meeting patrons' needs need not be a purely altruistic function: if there's commercial value in content, then meet your patrons' needs head-on where the value can be compensated by commercially motivated patrons. Anyone can collect content these days, so the onus is on library services providers to leverage their core strengths in as many directions as possible, serving the public on a free access basis where it is possible and makes sense and learning how to leverage commercial value from key local strengths where that too will serve the overall public interest. While few libraries have the BL's powerful position, all libraries need to look at the commercial landscape for content as well as traditional outlets to consider how best to service their patrons' needs.  Shore News Commentary 6/10/05



A growing number of librarians are trying to turn their library's rare holdings into promotional and marketing tools for their institutions, and for traditional research methods.  Special collections, librarians say, can help charm tech-obsessed undergraduates into a love affair with old-fashioned books, and with the library as a whole. Such collections may also help attract financial and political support, as libraries increasingly find themselves raising money to make up for budget shortfalls. Wired Campus Blog 6/14/05


Freedom to Read Amendment Passes by 238 - 187 Vote

In a vote that sends a clear message to the Bush administration that Section 215 of the USA Patriot Act needs to be amended to protect Americans' right to privacy, the House today passed Rep. Bernie Sanders' (I-VT) Freedom to Read Amendment to the Commerce, Justice, State (CJS) Appropriations Bill by a vote of 238 - 187. The Sanders amendment cuts Justice Department funds for bookstore and library searches under Section 215 of the USA Patriot Act. On Tuesday, the Bush Administration had warned that it would veto the House Appropriations Bill if it included any amendments that would weaken the Patriot Act, as reported by the Washington Post. This vote represents a significant victory for Sanders and the many free speech groups and civil liberties advocates, including the Campaign for Reader Privacy, who believe that Section 215 is a dangerous erosion of constitutional rights. Bookselling This Week Flash! 6/15/05



When an editor pulls stories due to reader complaints or fears of spreading teen suicides or helping the competition, is the site still the record of the newspaper? Ethicists and editors decry the practice. Now, the struggle over writing and editing the first draft of history includes a little birdie on the shoulders of journalists telling them that their work might live on forever on the global Web—and not just in a musty morgue or library. While most editors and ethicists believe that every single story that appears in a newspaper should also appear on the paper's Web site and archive, there have been exceptions to the rule. Online Journalism Review 6/5/05



"Cautiously optimistic" is how Willis Regier, director of the University of Illinois Press, summed up the mood at this year's Association of American University Presses meeting, which ended here on Sunday. "A lot of presses have stabilized their sales and returns," Mr. Regier said. More than 700 university-press professionals attended the meeting and discussed such topics as perennial budget tightening, political pressures on publishers, and the effects of digital publishing on the industry. The association's executive director, Peter Givler, said it was the association's largest meeting ever.  Panelists and attendees spoke in favor of turning crises into opportunities: creating more focused, higher-quality lists; inventing new ways to get those titles into the hands of readers inside and outside academe; and remembering that, for academe, the intellectual stakes in what the presses do are even higher than the economic ones. As Dana Gioia, the chairman of the National Endowment for the Arts, told an appreciative crowd at the opening-night dinner on Thursday, academic publishers are "the custodians, champions, salesmen and -women of important knowledge."  The controversy over Google's plan to digitalize the books of its partners in the Library Project—Harvard and Stanford Universities, the University of Michigan at Ann Arbor, the University of Oxford, and the New York Public Library—made a discussion called "Online Opportunities" among the best-attended and most fractious at the meeting. Chronicle of Higher Education 6/20/05



The University of Michigan at Ann Arbor has released the details of the contract it signed with Google to digitize books and allow the texts to be searchable online.  John P. Wilkin, an associate university librarian at Michigan, said the university made the contract available to give more "transparency" to the controversial partnership. Many publishing groups have expressed concern about putting the contents of books online, saying that doing so without permission from the copyright owner would be illegal. The contract shows that the university is not making any money in the deal, Mr. Wilkin said, although Google is compensating the university for the costs of handling and transporting the books.  The contract is available on the university's Web site   Chronicle of Higher Education 6/20/05


A contract between Google and the
University of Michigan released publicly on Friday contains no provisions for protecting the privacy of people who will eventually be able to search the school's vast library collection over the Internet. Google announced plans late last year to digitize and index as many as 7 million volumes of material from the University of Michigan to make them searchable on the Internet as part of its Google Print service, a searchable index of books. Google also has agreements with Harvard, Oxford, the New York Public Library and Stanford, where Google co-founders Sergey Brin and Larry Page began their search work before launching their company in 1998. While the library projects have prompted copyright concerns from university groups and publishers, privacy issues are the latest wrinkle in Google's plans to expand the universe of Web-searchable data. "I would have hoped that the University of Michigan would be sensitive to the fact that Google tracks everything that everyone searches," said Daniel Brandt, founder of the Web site, which is highly critical of the search company's policies. A Google spokesman was not available to respond directly to that comment late Friday, but said earlier that Google Print does not require users to share any personally identifiable information.  But even if that service doesn't currently link personally identifiable data with searches and other activity or closely track individual user activity, that doesn't preclude them from doing so in the future, particularly if the U.S. government requires it, the spokesman said. The privacy policy on Google's Web site says: "If you have an account, we may share the information submitted under your account among all of our services in order to provide you with a seamless experience and to improve the quality of our services." 6/17/05



PLoS Genetics will officially launch on July 25 but already has a couple of "sneak preview articles" online. See the PLoS press release (June 16): 'PLoS Genetics, a new open-access, peer-reviewed journal published by the Public Library of Science (PLoS), will premier on July 25, 2005. The journal is lead by the Editor-in-Chief, Dr. Wayne N. Frankel, a Senior Staff Scientist at The Jackson Laboratory in Bar Harbor, Maine. PLoS Genetics will capture the breadth and scope of quality genetics research from around the world. We invite you to judge PLoS Genetics for yourself by reading the two papers we are previewing from the first issue. Open access—free availability and unrestricted use—to all articles published in the journal is central to the mission of PLoS Genetics. "Genetics and genomics research have lead the way for timely, open access policies to all types of biological data—it is high time that we applied the same principle to our papers and unleash our creativity to develop new ways to use the scientific literature," the editorial team says. The two papers released now report a gene involved in diaphragm defects in humans, and a community effort to annotate the genome of the yeast that causes thrush and other conditions.'  Open Access News 6/18/05


A prevailing anxiety in the publishing industry is the concern that quantity is usurping quality when it comes to the release of titles. When the Book Industry Study Group released statistics several weeks ago showing that 2004 saw a whopping 195,000 titles published, wags from the print-on-demand publisher went so far as to claim “Authorgeddon” was coming—the day there would be more titles published than there would be readers to read them. A new study from R.R. Bowker shows that academic presses aren’t any smarter than the rest of the class, having upped their title output last year as well.  According to a June 16 report from the company, university presses published a record 14,484 titles last year. The number reverses a 4.3% decline in title output from 2002 to 2003, representing a 6.3% increase from 2003 to 2004. The numbers indicate more of a recovery than new growth, however, points out Andrew Grabois, a consultant for Bowker: In 2002, in response to a sudden, 9/11-related demand for titles on topics like Islam, Afghanistan and terrorism, many university presses expanded their lists quickly and attempted to get back into the trade market. “A few [university presses] published way too many titles and were hurt by returns,” Grabois says. It also didn’t help that trade presses rushed out a glut of titles on the same topics. The Bowker report shows that academic presses have upped their title output by returning to exactly the kinds of books with which they have been traditionally associated, with history, biography and law as the biggest areas of growth; these account for 55% of the increase in new titles. Philosophy, psychology and medicine, meanwhile, saw a decline. (Princeton University Press, incidentally, has been doing particularly well with its crossover hit, On Bullshit, but that shouldn’t be read as a sign that academic presses should aim to emulate it. “[University presses] shouldn’t take the wrong message from On Bullshit,” Grabois says, “because the trade model makes it difficult for even trade publishers to succeed.” Patrick Kenny, of Monumental Information Resource (a Bowker-owned company that tracks higher-education publishing), said that the university presses that saw the most success in 2004 were able to tap into niche markets. “University presses have always had to operate in uncertain environments,” Kenny said. “The best ones have built upon successes in niche markets. Georgetown University Press, for example, has enjoyed double-digit sales growth over the last few years by capturing market share in niches like Arabic-language titles.”  The Book Standard



Yudhijit Bhattacharjee, Society Bars Papers From Iranian Authors, Science Magazine, June 17, 2005. Excerpt: 'Six months after scientific societies and publishers won a hard-fought battle with the U.S. government to edit and publish manuscripts from countries under a U.S. trade embargo, the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics (AIAA) has decided to bar such submissions from its journals and conferences. The institute says the ban, which falls hardest on scientists from Iran, is necessary to protect national security. But other scientific associations say the decision is wrong-headed and could actually limit U.S. access to scientific developments in the four embargoed countries: Iran, Cuba, North Korea, and Sudan....AIAA's position that the ban is "consistent with U.S. laws" is incorrect, says Marc Brodsky, executive director of the American Institute of Physics (AIP), which has pushed hard to assure open communication with scientists in the embargoed countries. "There is no law or regulation I know of that requires AIAA to take the actions it has announced," he says. "Certainly it hurts our security to bury our head in the sand and not learn about what scientists and engineers are doing in the countries the institute has targeted."...In December, the Treasury Department's Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) clarified that publications did not need the government's permission to edit and print papers from anywhere in the world (Science, 24 December 2004, p. 2170). That decision, which reversed an earlier ruling requiring journals to obtain a license in order to edit papers from embargoed countries, came after AIP and other publishers filed a lawsuit against OFAC in October 2004 alleging that the agency was violating freedom of speech. The suit cited a 1988 legal amendment that exempts information from trade embargoes.... The policy has triggered internal dissent, according to some AIAA staff members who requested anonymity. "We're hopeful that it will be reversed," says one.'  Open Access News 6/21/05


The scholarly communications are also on line at This issue will be available soon.