Issue 15/05              

November 15, 2005



This is the last issue of Issues in Scholarly Communication.  You can 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 Scholarly Communication website, which has links to many issues that are central to understanding and shaping our systems of scholarly communications.  If you have suggestions for these new services, contact Katie Newman ( or me (  We hope to keep you informed and up-to-date.


Paula Kaufman

University Library



Goals of Google Scholar Search Outlined in Recent Presentation

A recent ppt presentation, Searching Scholarly Literature: A Google Scholar Perspective, by Google Scholar principal engineer Anurag Acharya, states that the goal of the service is to "find all scholarly work...journals, conferences, reprints, reports...[from] all countries, all languages, all sources..." The presentation briefly highlights coverage by publisher, by category (with medical at 22%), and lists the countries with the most queries (US, UK, Australia, Germany, Mexico and Brazil).  BeSpacific 10/18/05


5 Big Publishing Houses Sue Google to Prevent Scanning of Copyrighted Works

The Association of American Publishers said Wednesday that five of its members had filed a copyright-infringement lawsuit against Google because it is scanning books from top research libraries for the Google Library Project. The publishers' group is coordinating and paying for the lawsuit. In their complaint, filed with the U.S. District Court in the Southern District of New York, the McGraw-Hill Companies, Pearson Education, the Penguin Group, Simon & Schuster, and John Wiley & Sons charge that Google is infringing copyright to "further its own commercial purposes." The publishers ask the court to forbid Google from reproducing their works and to require Google to delete or destroy records already scanned. The only remuneration the publishers ask is that Google pay their legal fees. Another organization, the Authors Guild, and three writers filed a similar complaint last month.  Chronicle of Higher Education 10/20/05


German Publishers to Build Own Online Book Network


German publishers, keen to defend their copyrights as Internet search engines seek to put the world's literature online, aim to set up their own web-based database allowing readers to browse, borrow or buy books. Search engine Google has angered publishers with proposals to scan copyrighted works without permission to make them searchable online. Critics fear the digital repository of books it would build up would give it a monopoly on culture. The German association of book publishers is planning to build a network by next year that will allow the full texts of their books to be searched online by search engines but will not hand the texts over to these companies. Google currently has agreements with publishers whereby it scans their books to allow readers to search the full texts online. The search results display only limited extracts. In the longer term, the German association wants to build its own search engine to offer services which could rival those offered by Google, Yahoo or Lycos, and even offer readers the chance to borrow books online.  Reuters UK 10/23/05


Web Enjoying a Year of Robust Growth

The World Wide Web is expanding more in 2005 than any other year to date, says an article from the BBC News Web site based on a new report from monitoring firm Netcraft. With 17 million sites added just since January, Netcraft estimates there are now 74.4 million Web addresses—quite an increase from the approximately 19,000 addresses recorded 10 years ago. Netcraft analyst Rich Miller says this year's surge signals an uptick in the number of small enterprises, fueled by the availability of new tools and services that make it easy and cheap to launch a Web business. Growth has also come as a result of the blogging phenomenon, and from registrars making better use of unused domains by asking them to exploit the advertising systems operated by Google and Yahoo. OCLC ABSTRACTS - October 24, 2005 (Vol. 8, Issue 43)  BBC News 10/10/05


Journal Cost-Effectiveness Calculator  

Ted Bergstrom and Preston McAfee have created a Journal Cost-Effectiveness calculator. Enter a journal by title or ISSN and get back its price per article, its price per citation, and rank (on these prices) relative to other journals in the fields of your choice. It does not cover all journals, but is remarkably useful for those it does cover.  Open Access News 10/24/05


Microsoft Joins Yahoo Book Project         

Microsoft has said it will participate in a recently announced book-scanning project led by Yahoo and the Internet Archive. Unlike Google's much-maligned project, the Yahoo initiative, called the Open Content Alliance, will only scan books that are in the public domain or for which explicit permission has been granted by the copyright holder. In contrast, Google will scan copyrighted books unless copyright holders specifically request that their books be excluded, though only small portions of copyrighted books will be available online. For its part, Microsoft will finance the scanning of about 150,000 books, while Yahoo will pay for about 18,000 books to be digitized. The Open Content Alliance also differs from Google's project in that all of the content from the alliance will be available from a database to any search engine; Google will be the only means to access the content of its project. Microsoft will create an MSN Book Search service next year, though the business model for particular services and fees has not been set, according to Danielle Tiedt, general manager of search content acquisition at MSN. ZDNet, 25 October 2005  Edupage, October 26, 2005


U. of Georgia Press Revokes Award and Recalls Book That Borrows From an Earlier Work

The University of Georgia Press has revoked a prominent fiction award to Brad Vice, whose short-story collection contains uncredited material from a book published decades ago, the publisher recently announced. The press has also recalled the collection, The Bear Bryant Funeral Train, from bookstores.   In a written statement, the press said it had learned on October 13 "that one of the stories in Mr. Vice's collection, 'Tuscaloosa Knights,' contained uncredited material from the fourth chapter of the first section of Carl Carmer's Stars Fell on Alabama." It said it had immediately frozen stock of Mr. Vice's book and contacted the author, who "admitted that 'Tuscaloosa Knights' borrows heavily from Stars Fell on Alabama [and] that he had made a terrible mistake in neglecting to acknowledge Carmer's work."  In 2004, the press had awarded Mr. Vice the Flannery O'Connor Award for Short Fiction for The Bear Bryant Funeral Train.   Mr. Carmer's book, a nonfiction account of early-20th-century Alabama life, was originally published in 1934 but is still under copyright and was reissued by the University of Alabama Press in 2000. Mr. Vice's book was published in September….The University of Georgia Press said that the Flannery O'Connor Award would be given to one of the other finalists from last year's competition. Chronicle of Higher Education 10/31/05


Journals Offer NIH Wider Research Access

More than 50 medical and scientific non-profit publishers, representing more than 120 journals, have offered the National Institutes of Health access to their contents free of charge through their current links to the NIH's PubMed Central data archive. The links actually have existed for more than six years, but only a few journals have offered all of their contents—newly released and older articles alike—to non-subscribers for free. The journals embracing this policy for the first time will provide access to studies in plant science, dairy science, dentistry, entomology and ornithology in addition to new areas of biomedical research. If the NIH accepts, the public would gain online access to 1 million existing research articles that would increase by around 15,000 submissions every month, as well as an archive of 1.7 million full-text articles dating back to 1849. The 57 publishers approached Dr. Elias Zerhouni, the NIH's director, under the auspices of DCPRinciples, an organization founded two years ago to respond to the open-access movement and the concerns of librarians about the high cost of commercial journals. ..All of the participating non-profit journals offer free access to their contents, from right away to 12 months after publication, and these datelines would not change, but if the NIH accepts the organization's offer, only copy-edited articles would be released and there would be no problem with copyright issues.  In addition, the public would have access not only to published NIH-funded research, but also to all research the journals publish, no matter what the funding source. United Press International 10/29/05


Google to Resume Google Print Scanning

Google is to start scanning and copying the world's books again after announcing on Tuesday that its self-imposed suspension is over. The company says it will resume scanning books but will focus on out-of-print titles and wants to get publishers' permission to scan in-print books as part of Google Print.  BNA's Internet Law News (ILN) - 11/1/05


Dramatic Rise In Authors Publishing In Open Access Journals

Twenty-nine percent of senior authors questioned say that they have published in an open access journal, according to a new independent survey. This is up eighteen percentage points compared to a similar question asked in a study carried out in 2004 by the same researchers, a two-and-a-half-fold increase in just twelve months. BioMed Central is delighted that independent research is now available that confirms its own experience of the continuing growth of open access publishing.  "New Journal Publishing Models: An International Survey of Senior Researchers was produced by CIBER, an independent publishing think tank based at City University in London. The study, published in September 2005, is based on a survey of 5513 authors (typically principal investigators or research group leaders) who had published in an ISI-indexed journal during 2004. It is the follow up to a previous CIBER study conducted in 2004. Ian Rowlands and Dave Nicholas, the authors of the report, found that "the research community is now much more aware of the open access issue." The report authors write "There has been a large rise in authors knowing quite a lot about open access (up 10 percentage points from the 2004 figure) and a big fall in authors knowing nothing at all about open access (down 25 points)." Thirty percent of authors surveyed claimed to know "a lot" or "quite a lot" about open access journals. This is up from 18% in the 2004 survey. Altogether 81% of authors claim to have some awareness of open access, up from 66% in 2004. Rowlands and Nicholas found that "Authors strongly believe that, as a result of open access, articles will become more accessible." 75% of authors surveyed agreed with the statement "High prices make it difficult to access the journals literature".    More at  11/1/05


Digital Textbooks Struggle to Gain a Foothold on Campus

A pilot program that lets college students buy digital textbooks from their campus bookstores has gotten off to a slow start. But the company that runs the project says the early returns show at the very least that students are interested in e-books.  MBS Textbook Exchange, Inc., has released sales data from 10 colleges that started offering digital textbooks through the company's Web site this fall. According to the company, e-books now account for 5.7% of the textbook sales at those institutions. The Chronicle Wired Campus Blog 11/1/05


The FBI's Secret Scrutiny

The FBI came calling in Windsor, Conn., this summer with a document marked for delivery by hand. On Matianuk Avenue, across from the tennis courts, two special agents found their man. They gave George Christian the letter, which warned him to tell no one, ever, what it said. Under the shield and stars of the FBI crest, the letter directed Christian to surrender "all subscriber information, billing information and access logs of any person" who used a specific computer at a library branch some distance away. Christian, who manages digital records for three dozen Connecticut libraries, said in an affidavit that he configures his system for privacy. But the vendors of the software he operates said their databases can reveal the Web sites that visitors browse, the e-mail accounts they open and the books they borrow. Christian refused to hand over those records, and his employer, Library Connection Inc., filed suit for the right to protest the



FBI demand in public. The Washington Post established their identities—still under seal in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 2nd Circuit—by comparing unsealed portions of the file with public records and information gleaned from people who had no knowledge of the FBI demand.  Washington Post 11/6/05 


Google Print Raises Curtain on 10,000 Non-Copyrighted Texts

The Google Print project has started to roll out more non-copyrighted texts from its library scanning efforts, now bringing to light little chestnuts such as ""The Seventh Regiment Rhode Island Volunteers in the Civil War" and other public-domain works. This wave of texts is fairly large - 10,000 volumes in all, according to the New York Times - and includes the full text of these works available for searching and reading online. In place of the "Copyrighted Material" label on the edge of each displayed is the phrase "Google Print" - not indicating ownership but clearly branding the content in the Google mold. Though the Times piece claims that one can cut and paste content from a page and print individual pages the "how" of this is not evident: "right-click" mouse functions are disabled on Google Print pages in both Internet Explorer and Firefox and one cannot select the text image on the page for copying. Using the "Control-P" key sequence to print the Web page for a displayed book page prints out everything BUT the page of text. Dear NY Times, please verify these functions before trusting the PR guys at Google. The bottom line of all this is that Google has succeeded in creating searchable online books in the public domain that provide a valuable research source for those who would have otherwise been challenged to find these works in other venues. The limited display capabilities of Google Print appear to protect booksellers nicely and even lends them a hand with links to the online sellers. And for this we should be afraid because...? ShoreLines Newsletter from Shore Communications Inc. - 9 November 2005