Issue 14/05              

                                             October 21, 2005  



You can now keep current with our new Issues in Scholarly Communication blog at  It’s also available through an RSS feed.  While you’re there, check out our new Scholarly Communication website, which has links to many issues core to understanding and shaping our systems of scholarly communications.  If you have suggestions for these new services, contact Katie Clark ( or me (  We hope to keep you informed and up-to-date.


A New Report Bemoans the State of Online Research on American Literature

Whether digitizing out-of-print novels or publishing their own criticism, a growing number of scholars are putting their research on American literature on the Web. But they're not getting much support from their colleges, according to a new report that also serves as a catalog of online literary research. The report, "A Kaleidoscope of Digital American Literature," was released on Tuesday by the Digital Library Federation and the Council on Library and Information Resources. It draws on interviews and case studies compiled by Martha L. Brogan, a library consultant who was once the director of collection development for libraries at Indiana University at Bloomington. Ms. Brogan's study is, first and foremost, a catalog that includes digital collections, bibliographies, oral histories, and other critical material. According to David Seaman, executive director of the Digital Library Foundation, the catalog is unprecedented, chiefly because scholarly projects on the Web pop up in a "disjointed" fashion. The report "provides us, I think for the first time, with a fairly comprehensive, current survey of what's out there," Mr. Seaman said, "and that's half the value of the report." The other half, he said, comes from Ms. Brogan's finding that too many book-digitization projects are maintained by scholars as "a labor of love," without any significant support from their college libraries or English departments. That is a disturbing trend, Mr. Seaman said, because it means that many influential scholarly sites have no agreed-upon standards for presenting material, no consistent source of outside funding, and no plan for what happens if a professor quits or suffers a computer breakdown…  Chronicle of Higher Education 9/28/05  Report at


It's a Small World After All: Book-Banning Around the Globe

While libraries across the United States are hosting events through Oct. 1 to mark Banned Books Week, libraries around the world also struggle with similar issues, but without the benefit of a coordinated campaign. Instead, they have organizations like the International Federation of Library Associations and Institutions (IFLA) or International PEN, a federation of writers comprised of people from various countries, promoting freedom of expression and stand as a global representation for libraries and writers. “Censorship of books, media and the Internet is widespread all over the world,” says Susanne Seidelin, director of the IFLA. Books like The Grapes of Wrath, Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone and Lolita have been banned in different countries at different times. But the reasons and methods behind the restrictions are as diverse at the literature itself. The independent publication Index on Censorship is committed to bringing to light these reasons and the stories behind them. Dedicated to protecting and promoting free expression, Index offers opinion, analysis and comment on free-expression issues, and also tracks free-expression abuses taking place around the globe. According to the American Library Association (ALA), book challenges have increased in the U.S. over the past year. In 2003, 458 books were challenged, compared to the 547 books in 2004. The most oft-cited reason for challenging a book in the U.S., the ALA says, is “sexually explicit” content. But other countries tend to think differently about which issues are taboo in literature. “Other countries generally ban on religious grounds or political and ideological grounds,” Mullin says, “or when the ideas in a book challenge the status quo of a given country or the hegemony of its rulers.”  One international bestseller, Dan Brown’s The Da Vinci Code, has come under fire in many countries for its portrayal of the Catholic Church. After the Catholic Information Center of Lebanon gave its unfavorable opinion on The Da Vinci Code, the Surete Generale of Lebanon banned the novel, as it allegedly could be harmful to Christian beliefs. This illustrates another difference between the United States and other countries: the national versus local levels of censorship. Despite differences in why and how books are banned, the IFLA and Seidelin both cite Article 19 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, adopted by the United Nations in 1948, to explain a common goal: “Everyone has the right to freedom of opinion and expression; this right includes freedom to hold opinions without interference and to seek, receive and impart information and ideas through any media and regardless of frontiers.” Even so, “with regards to censorship in other countries, we are talking about a huge and worrying issue difficult to cover in a few lines,” Seidelin says, and the future will be a challenge for these organizations and their allies.  The Book Standard 9/27/05

Wikibooks Takes on Textbook Industry                                                           
If you found yourself needing an old biology textbook and couldn't locate your battered copy from college, you'd have a few options. You could go to a university bookstore and snag a used copy; you could drop a few dollars on a new one at; or you could track down some old college chums and ask for their copies.  But if Jimmy Wales and his colleagues at the Wikimedia Foundation have anything to say about it, you could have another way to go—the Wikibooks project. It's their attempt to create a comprehensive, kindergarten-to-college curriculum of textbooks that are free and freely distributable, based on an open-source development model. Created in the same mold as the Wikipedia project—the open-source encyclopedia that lets anyone create or edit an article and that now has nearly 747,000 entries in English alone—Wikibooks is still in its earliest stages. Cnet


O’Reilly on Google Print 

Tim O'Reilly, the publisher of popular computer books, provides his views on Google Print in an op-ed in the NY Times. O'Reilly argues that "obscurity is a far greater threat to authors than copyright infringement, or even outright piracy."  BNA's Internet Law News (ILN) - 9/29/2005


In Challenge to Google, Yahoo Will Scan Books     

An unusual alliance of corporations, nonprofit groups and universities plans to announce today an ambitious plan to digitize hundreds of thousands of books over the next several years and put them on the Internet, with the full text accessible to anyone. The effort is being led by Yahoo, which appears to be taking direct aim at a similar project announced by its archrival, Google, whose own program to create searchable digital copies of entire collections at leading research libraries has run into a series of challenges since it was announced nine months ago. The new project, called the Open Content Alliance, has the wide-ranging goal of digitizing historical works of fiction along with specialized technical papers. In addition to Yahoo, its members include the Internet Archive, the University of California, and the University of Toronto, as well as the National Archive in England and others."  New York Times 10/3/05


Approach to Tenure

At many institutions, tenure has historically been determined by publishing and teaching records, with “service” a distant and poorly defined third criterion. With the idea of “public scholarship” — a broad term that encompasses any number of ways faculty members may work with and in various communities — gaining more attention, many scholars believe that tenure systems need revision. A large-scale effort to do that was announced Friday by Imagining America, a consortium of colleges that encourage faculty members to be active members of their local and national communities. The group announced the creation of a national commission — to be led by Nancy Cantor, chancellor of Syracuse University, and Steven D. Lavine, president of the California Institute of the Arts — that will develop new ways to evaluate faculty members in the arts and humanities. Members of the panel include other presidents, as well as deans and professors. The group hopes to produce models that deans and departments could use, to keep rigor high while also recognizing different forms of work.  Inside Higher Education 10/3/05


Will New Yorker Compilation Remain Completely OK?
Alex Beam wonders how the New Yorker had the legal right to produce their eight-disc COMPLETE NEW YORKER SET. As Beam points out, a similar venture from the National Geographic issued in 1997 has produced two different rulings from federal Appeals Courts in different districts. Photographer Jerry Greenberg won his suit against National Geographic, upheld in the 11th Circuit, and passed over for review by the Supreme Court. But a group of authors, including Jon Krakauer, lost their case against National Geographic before the Second Circuit—ironically, because of the Supreme Court's Tasini case, which benefited freelancers on the sale of individual articles but protected certain "collected works." Beam notes that the National Geographic took their product out of the market two years ago. "An exasperated executive vice president Terry Adamson explains that the Society has spent 'millions of dollars' defending its right to publish its best-selling digital tome in several courts, with no firm decision yet rendered."  Publishers Lunch 10/4/05  Boston Globe 10/4/05


Academic Press and Prolific Author Tell Google to Remove Their Books From Its Scanning Project

A well-known scholar and his publisher have demanded that Google withdraw his books from the digital archive that the Internet-search company is compiling from the holdings of five university and research libraries. "The basic problem is copyright violation," said Jacob Neusner, a research professor of theology at Bard College, who has written more than 900 books. In an interview on Thursday, Mr. Neusner said that he had asked Google to remove his works from its Google Library project, but Google had insisted that he fill out a separate form for each of his books. That was wrong, said Mr. Neusner, because under copyright law it is Google's responsibility to seek permission to use a copyrighted work. So the Rowman & Littlefield Publishing Group, which has issued many of his books, took up the banner and has insisted that its entire works be removed from Google Library as well. Jed Lyons, president of Rowman & Littlefield, said that his company had not requested a royalty from Google for using the works. Nor will they.  Chronicle of Higher Education 10/7/05

Thomson Scientific adds JSTOR content to Web of Science

Thomson Scientific has recently announced that common subscribers of JSTOR and the Web of Science section of ISI Web of Knowledge can now get direct access to full-text articles in the JSTOR Scholarly Journal Archive via the Web of Science platform. The move is projected to add over 1.25 million articles to Web of Science. KnowledgeSpeak Newletter 10/7/05  


Future Digital System

From the Government Printing Office (GPO), The Office of Innovation and New Technology is working to develop GPO’s Future Digital Information System. As outlined in the Strategic Vision, this Digital Content System will allow federal content creators to easily create and submit content that can then be preserved, authenticated, managed and delivered upon request. This future digital system (code named FDsys) will form the core of GPO’s future operations.  Included in the FDsys will be all known Federal Government documents within the scope of GPO’s Federal Depository Library Program (FDLP), whether printed or born digital. This content will be entered into the system and then authenticated and catalogued according to GPO metadata and document creation standards. Content may include text and associated graphics, video and sound and other forms of content that emerge. Content will be available for Web searching and Internet viewing, downloading and printing, and as document masters for conventional and on-demand printing, or other dissemination methods. We are planning for system operation December 2007.  Government Printing Office 10/7/05


Book on Homosexuality in Antiquity and Essay on Pederasty Will Be Printed After All, Publisher Says

A DISPUTED VOLUME on homosexuality in the classical world will be published after all, Haworth Press announced on Tuesday, and the controversial essay that almost sank the book will also be published, but in a different venue. Late last month, the press announced the cancellation of Same-Sex Desire and Love in Greco-Roman Antiquity and in the Classical Tradition of the West, an edited volume that had been scheduled for publication in November. (It was to have been published simultaneously as a special issue of The Journal of Homosexuality, which is also published by Haworth.) The press scratched the book after conservative activists objected to one of its 15 essays, which they saw as a defense of pederasty in present-day society. On Tuesday, Haworth reversed course and announced that the book and journal would indeed be published -- but without the controversial essay, which was written by Bruce L. Rind, an adjunct instructor in psychology at Temple University. Mr. Rind's essay, meanwhile, will be published in a future "supplementary volume" of The Journal of Homosexuality, according to the press's announcement.  Chronicle of Higher Education 10/12/05


Survey of Open-Access and Subscriber-Based Journals Finds Changes Afoot in Both Business Models

The first large-scale comparison of open-access journals with traditional ones reveals an industry in flux. While traditional journals are doing better financially, publications in both categories are contemplating changes in their business models, according to a study published on Tuesday. The study was published in book form as The Facts About Open Access by the Association of Learned and Professional Society Publishers. The association financed the research with three other organizations, all of which are affiliated with traditional journals.  The comparison was based on a survey of nearly 500 journals, and the results were first reported in March. "It's too early to tell whether full open access is a viable business model," said Cara S. Kaufman, who conducted the survey and is a principal at the Kaufman-Wills Group, publishing consultants in Baltimore. She found that more subscription-access journals break even or produce surpluses than do open-access journals. She also learned that more than half of all journals, whether traditional or openly accessible, were considering changing their business models within three years. (That rule had one exception: Only one-third of journals put out by members of the Association of Learned and Professional Society Publishers were planning a change.) And in what may be the report's most surprising finding, Ms. Kaufman discovered that a larger fraction of traditional journals than open-access journals charge authors fees to publish. Because the most visible publishers in the open-access movement, the Public Library of Science and BioMed Central, charge authors fees, the movement itself has often been associated with that business model. Chronicle of Higher Education 10/12/05  Full text (overview is free) at


Delivering on the Promise of Digital Data

The boom in digital technology has been a boon for research, resulting in a remarkable explosion in the number and quality of data collections and a marked expansion in their availability to a broad range of interested parties. But to ensure that the databases continue to be viable and are used to the fullest extent, the federal government, led by the National Science Foundation, must craft a clearer strategy for managing and financially supporting them, a National Science Board task force said in a report Tuesday. The report, “Long-Lived Data Collections: Enabling Research and Education in the 21st Century,” was prepared by a special committee of the science board’s Committee on Programs and Plans.   Higher Education 10/13/05  Report: 


Yahoo Expands Its News Search System

Yahoo Inc. has announced the expansion of its News Search System. The new search system will include pictures and related web links contributed by users and bloggers. According to Yahoo, this combination of professionally edited reports and those of novice reporters will augment the sources of information. A three-tier system has been created by Yahoo to find new items. The top ten stories and related pictures will be those produced by mainstream news organizations, and will be available on the primary Yahoo News website. Users and readers looking for a detailed report need to go to the secondary level news site. This webpage consists of news items from 6,500 professional sources and hyperlinks to millions of blogs from its syndication service. In short, this whole process of news searching is an amalgamation between a professionally edited version of the news and self-publishing. 10/13/05


Google Says It's Just Improving Card Catalogs

Google officials are on a press tour trying to clarify details of the company's controversial library-scanning project. Jim Gerber, director of content partnerships at Google, and Nathan Tyler, a public relations manager, stopped by The Chronicle's office today to present a PowerPoint presentation about their projects and to answer questions. They compared the vast, full-text index of millions of books that Google is building to a library card catalog—a finding tool to locate the right book rather than a library of its own. "It's a more powerful version of the card catalog," said Mr. Gerber.  The Chronicle Wired Campus Blog 10/14/05


Panel Warns U.S. Not Keeping Pace in Science       

A new report says that the United States stands to lose its leading position in science and research unless efforts are made to strengthen support for educational and other scientific programs. The panel that wrote the report was convened by the National Academies and included representatives from corporations and higher education, as well as Nobel laureates and former presidential appointees. The panel pointed to the narrowing scientific gap between the United States and countries such as China and India; recent results showing declining performance among U.S. students in science and math compared with students around the world; and economic factors that work against U.S. scientific interests. Among the report's recommendations are funding scholarships

to support 10,000 students annually to pursue careers in teaching math and science; allocating money for 30,000 students per year to study science, math, and engineering; and relaxing visa regulations to allow international students to find employment in the United States after they graduate.  CNET, 13 October 2005  Edupage, October 14, 2005


BioMed Central Responds to ALPSP's Study 'The Facts about Open Access'

BioMed Central welcomes objective research into open access publishing. Unfortunately, however, the report published by ALPSP this week ("The Facts about Open Access") contains significant factual inaccuracies.  We also disagree with many of the reports interpretations and conclusions. The two most serious problems with the report are that it inaccurately describes the peer review process operated by BioMed Central's journals, and it also draws unjustified conclusions concerning the long-term sustainability of open access journals. The overview of the report incorrectly states that BioMed Central does not operate external peer review on most of its journals. In fact, all of BioMed Central's journals operate full peer review using external peer reviewers. Full peer review is a condition of the inclusion of articles in NIH's PubMed Central, in which all 140+ of the journals published by BioMed Central are archived. The study groups BioMed Central together with Internet Scientific Publications (ISP) as a cohort, and indicates that this was done because over half of the responding open access journals were from these two publishers. ISP and BioMed Central have little in common as publishers, and so the conclusions drawn about BioMed Central by looking at this cohort are not meaningful and are often misleading. For example, the BioMed Central/ISP group of journals is reported to offer online manuscript submission on a lower percentage of journals than other journal groups. The report picks up on this as a surprising finding, suggesting implicitly that open access journals are lagging behind in this regard. In fact, BioMed Central offers online submission of manuscripts on every one of its journals. Not only that, but BioMed Central's manuscript submission system is widely praised by authors, many of whom tell us that it is the best online submission system they have used. 

ALPSP Chief Executive Sally Morris comments in her introduction to the report that "Over 40% of the Open Access journals are not yet covering their costs and, unlike subscription journals, there is no reason why the passage of time - evidenced in increasing submissions, quality or impact - should actually change that." She goes on to suggest that this calls into question the sustainability of the open access publishing model. The suggestion that the economics of open access journals are unlikely to improve over time is not supported by the evidence in the report, and runs strongly counter to BioMed Central's direct experience. More at:


Photo Agencies Scour the Web For Copyright Violations

Bloggers, beware: That photo of Tom Cruise and Katie Holmes on your Web site could be fodder for a lawsuit. Stock photography companies like Getty Images Inc. and Corbis Corp. are using high-tech tools to crack down on Web site owners who try to use their photographs without paying for them. While music and movie studios remain suspicious of the Internet, many stock photography companies have digitized their collections so that customers can easily access them online. At sites like and, advertisers, publishers and others looking to license professional photographs can browse and purchase millions of high-quality images. In making it easy for customers to find pictures, though, the sites have also made it easier to swipe a copy of an image and post it on the Web.  The Wall Street Journal 10/14/05


Call for Stern Measures to Limit Patents and Copyrights

An international group of scientists, academics and artists has called for stern measures to restrict patents and copyrights, expressing concern that the increase of intellectual property (IP) protection is restraining the spread of knowledge and creativity. The Royal Society of Arts, London has developed a charter on IP that calls for an automatic presumption against producing new protection or widening existing rules. According to the charter, patents and copyrights should not be applied to business processes, computer code, abstract data or scientific theories. Sir John Sulston, who headed the centre at Cambridge University that helped map the human genome, is one of the signatories. According to the project supporters, the collaborative nature of such projects illustrates the potential for scientific inventions without authoritative IP protection. Some of the other signatories include William Neal Reynolds, professor of Law at Duke Law School, Gilberto Gil, musician and Culture Minister of Brazil, and Vandana Shiva, Director of India’s Research Foundation for Science Technology and Ecology. 10/18/05


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