SCHOLARLY COMMUNICATION ISSUES

A NEWSLETTER FOR THE UIUC COMMUNITY

Issue 11/04

June 15, 2004

Paula Kaufman, University Librarian, Editor

 

MORE ON ELSEVIER’S NEW POSTPRINT ARCHIVING POLICY

According to an article in The Guardian, Elsevier’s move to permit posting published articles on authors’ websites could make the 200,000 articles Reed Elsevier publishes every year freely available on the internet. Karen Hunter, Elsevier senior vice-president, strategy, explained: “There was a desire in the market from many authors and many institutions to have an official record of their institution's intellectual output. We have listened and we have responded.”...Deborah Cockerill, assistant publisher at rival open access publisher BioMed Central, said Reed's move “merely scratches the surface of the fundamental problem with the traditional publishing model which is based on controlling access. They are offering a series of limited forms of access - so partial compared with open access so that it won't threaten the subscription model.” The Guardian 6/3/04 Open Access News 6/2/04 http://education.guardian.co.uk/higher/research/story/0,9865,1230219,00.html

 

EVEN MORE ON ELSEVIER’S NEW POLICY

Elsevier issued a press release on June 3 describing the policy-change. "Now, no permission is required for authors to revise and widely post the final version of the text, provided that the posting contains a link to the home page of the journal in which the article was published, and that the posting is not used for commercial purposes—such as systematic distribution or creating links for commercial customers to articles." Open Access News 6/3/04 http://www.elsevier.com/wps/find/authored_newsitem.cws_home/companynews05_00145

 

ELSEVIER REJECTS DISPUTED STUDY ON IBM WORKERS

Elsevier has rejected a controversial study by a Boston University professor and a colleague that had already passed the peer-review process. The article suggests that workers at IBM semiconductor plants were at a higher risk of dying of cancer than the population as a whole. The publishing company said its decision was not based on concerns about legal retribution by IBM, which maintains that the authors do not have a right to publish the article. Rather, Elsevier said that its journal, Clinics in Occupational and Environmental Medicine, publishes "only review articles," not original research, which it says can be found in the article. IBM has denounced the study as flawed and contends that the authors, Richard W. Clapp and Rebecca A. Johnson, are bound by a court order barring them from publishing the study because it is based on data that were provided as part of a court case under conditions of confidentiality. Mr. Clapp maintains that the confidentiality restrictions no longer apply (The Chronicle, June 4). Mr. Clapp is a professor of environmental health at Boston University . Ms. Johnson is a private consultant who helped Mr. Clapp with computer analysis of the data. The rejection from Elsevier came in an e-mail message from Catherine Bewick, the company exec utive who oversees the journal and others in Elsevier's Medical Clinics of North America series. The message was sent to Joseph LaDou, guest editor for a forthcoming special issue on the semiconductor industry, Eric Merkel-Sobotta, said on Wednesday that "the article was rejected by a guest editor because it was in the wrong format." Dr. LaDou, who is director of the International Center for Occupational Medicine at the University of California at San Francisco , never said anything of the kind," he said. Dr. LaDou said he does not consider the article to be original research but an analysis of IBM's data, "to the extent that they were willing to share it." He has been eager to publish the study, which he considers important despite its limitations. He acknowledged that the work is not technically a "review" article because it does not distill information from previously published studies. Dr. LaDou said seven of the nine other authors whose articles are scheduled to appear in the special issue of Clinics have told him that they would be willing to withhold their articles—a sort of boycott—unless the study by Mr. Clapp and Ms. Johnson were published in that journal or in some other appropriate journal. As an alternative, Dr. LaDou had hoped to be able to publish the article in a forthcoming special issue of the Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine, of which he is also a guest editor. It is scheduled to appear at about the same time as the Clinics special issue, in November. Dr. LaDou had tried to get the article approved based on its prior peer review. But on Wednesday that plan fell apart. The editor in chief of the Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine, Paul Brandt-Rauf, said that while he was not concerned about the legal issues related to IBM, he would still want to submit the article to peer review, or examine the comments of the prior peer-reviewers, before accepting it. That could take several months. http://chronicle.com/prm/daily/2004/06/2004061001n.htm

 

TWO BILLS THREATEN JUSTICE DEPARTMENT COULD SUE MUSIC DOWNLOADERS

Under two bills that legislators are quietly pushing through Congress, those who swap music online in violation of copyright law—including college students—would have to worry about being sued by the Justice Department, not just the Recording Industry Association of America. One of the bills, dubbed the Pirate Act, would prod the Justice Department to bring civil charges against suspected copyright violators and seek fines typically reserved for criminal wrongdoing. The Justice Department, which usually devotes resources to criminal matters, would get $2-million for the antipiracy effort. The bill—formally called the Protecting Intellectual Rights Against Theft and Expropriation Act of 2004, S 2237—passed the Senate Judiciary Committee in April and almost reached the Senate floor for a vote last month. Sen. Orrin G. Hatch, a Utah Republican who is chairman of the Judiciary Committee, and Sen. Patrick Leahy of Vermont , the ranking Democrat on the committee, are pressing to have the Senate pass the bill before the body adjourns this year. Under the bill—the Piracy Deterrence and Education Act of 2004, HR 4077—those who make 1,000 or more copyrighted songs available on a file-sharing network in "reckless disregard" for the law could be found guilty of criminal copyright infringement. Prosecutors currently have to show that suspects acted "willfully," intending either to profit from their actions or to share music worth more than $1,000, to prove them guilty of a crime. The bill passed the House Judiciary Committee's Subcommittee on Courts, the Internet, and Intellectual Property in March. Opponents of the two bills are particul arl y troubled that legislators are quietly and quickly shepherding the legislation through Congress without holding public hearings, an approach that is highly unusual for controversial measures. The Senate leadership attempted to bring the Pirate Act up for a vote last month under a procedure that would have limited or barred debate before a vote was taken. However, one senator, who has remained anonymous, put an informal "hold" on the bill, effectively blocking the vote. Chronicle of Higher Education 6/1/04 http://chronicle.com/daily/2004/06/2004060101n.htm

 

ARE BRITISH PUBLISHERS ABANDONING CATALOGS?

One of the laws of publishing is that publishers produce catalogs of their spring and autumn lists. The catalogs advertise them to booksellers, overseas publishers and the media; they are the documents by which the houses are measured. But Penguin is about to depart from convention. It says that its autumn catalogs will be its last and that it will instead produce sales documents for booksellers as well as an online database of forthcoming titles. Pan Macmillan is working on improving its website with a view to making the same move, and other publishers are likely to follow suit. Booksellers do not need half-ye arl y catalogs any more because publishers produce a lot of glossy brochures for them, and the publishers also think that they can save six-figure printing costs by encouraging journalists to look for titles on the web. The Guardian, 5/29/04 http://books.guardian.co.uk/news/articles/0,6109,1227039,00.html

 

FEDS MAP RISKS OF GIS

Officials at the Federal Geographic Data Committee’s Homeland Security Working Group published a draft policy May 3 in an attempt to advise agency officials about identifying sensitive geospatial data and the proper balance of access and security. The group published the guidelines for federal and local go vern ments, private-sector entities and not-for-profit organizations that create and maintain geospatial data. The policy encourages officials to answer questions s such as “should a neighborhood have access to details about a nearby nuclear plant? The policy states that agency officials should assess whether security risks outweigh the benefits of making such information public. Rand Corp. officials say that open access to geospatial data doesn’t pose much of a national security risk. A recent report from the company found that much of the information available is not sufficiently unique, critical, or current to be of much use to terrorists. Nevertheless, as long as terrorism exists, the guidelines are here to stay.

http://www.fcw.com/fcw/articles/2004/0531/pol-gis-05-31-04.asp

 

NOT SO QUIET ON A WESTERN FRONT

Daniel Greenstein, director of the California Digital Library, has weighed into the schol arl y communications debate about open access that is currently taking place in Nature’s web pages. "I believe that the business model of commercial publishing, which once served the academy's information needs, now threatens fundamentally to undermine and pervert the course of research and teaching. Put bluntly, the model is economically unsustainable for us. If business as usual continues, it will deny scholars both access to the information they need and the ability to distribute their work to the worldwide audience it deserves....Will author charges sustain high-quality peer reviewed [open-access] publications? Perhaps not. But surely the combination of uncertainty and hope associated with this unproven model is vastly superior to the certainty and hopelessness that surrounds the current and failed commercial one....In this regard, is it not more appropriate to view the current Open Access business model as a starting point and catalyst for change rather than as a static form? Will the model work outside a small number of scientific disciplines? It may not, but should we not be encouraging various approaches, so long as each meets a range of agreed criteria concerning, for example, quality (peer review), price, facility of production, accessibility, interoperability and persistence?" Open Access News 5/28/04

http://www.nature.com/nature/focus/accessdebate/23.html

 

80% OF ONLINE AMERICANS READ INTERNET NEWS

Four out of five adults (80%) who are online report that they have used the Internet to read some kind of news in the last seven days. The types of online news used by the largest numbers of people are the weather (60% of all those online), national news (56%), international news (44%) and local news (36%). Currently 69% of all U.S. adults are online from home, work, school, library or other location. A qu arte r (26%) of people who go online for news say that this use of the Internet reduces their use of other media such as television, newspapers, news magazines and the radio. But most (57%) say that it does not change their use of other news media, while 13% say that it changes their use of other media but doesn't reduce it. These are some of the results of a nationwide Harris Poll of 2, 41 5 adults surveyed online by Harris Interactive between April 13 and 18, 2004. The Write News 5/27/04 http://www.writenews.com/2004/052104_internet_news.htm

 

GAO FINDS WIDESPREAD FED DATA MINING

According to a new General Accounting Office study, data mining is more pervasive in the federal go vern ment than many citizens realize, a finding that go vern ment auditors suggest may exacerbate privacy concerns. The GAO report reveals 52 federal agencies that use or plan to use data mining, in most cases for reasons other than searching for hidden terrorist activities. At least 122 of the data mining projects reported in the study include the use of personally identifying information, some of it held in private-sector databases. For its study, GAO looked at data mining that relies on statistical and modeling techniques to help analysts discover hidden patterns and relationships and to make predictions based on those discoveries. GAO noted that data mining challenges the concept of privacy protection afforded to individuals “through the inherent inefficiency of go vern ment agencies analyzing paper, rather than aggregated, computer records.” Federal Computer Week 5/28/04 http://fcw.com/fcw/articles/2004/0524/web-datamine-05-28-04.asp

Report at http://www.gao.gov/new.items/d04548.pdf

 

NEW DIGITAL IMAGE COLLECTION PORTAL DEBUTS

David Rumsey and Cartography Associates announced the launch of Visual Collections (http://www.davidrumsey.com/collections/), a new digital image collection portal that includes more than 300,000 works from museums, universities, and private collections throughout the world. According to the company, the collected works create “an unparalleled online resource in the arts and humanities that is available for free, public access.” Fine art, photography, maps, architecture, and other collections of culture are represented within Visual Collections, which is made possible through the contributions of dozens of institutions. At its launch, more than 30 collections are represented in Visual Collections, ranging from the fine art of Museums & the Online Archive of California (MOAC) to e arl y maps of Scotland from the University of Edinburgh ’s Charting the Nation collection. Using Luna Imaging’s Insight software, the collections are available in an online environment that allows each to be explored individually, to be used in conjunction with one another, or accessed as one large, comprehensive collection. Users can search for a particular artist, time period, or medium, and use the tools provided by Insight to zoom, pan, view image data, and save groups of images. Most of the collections in Visual Collections are available for free public access. In a few cases, use of materials is limited to educational use and subscriptions are required, but complete low-resolution versions of all the collections are available. Information Today 6/1/04 http://www.infotoday.com/newsbreaks/wnd040601.shtml

 

LIBRARY PERIODICALS EXPENSES

To better understand how the transition to e-resources may change libraries' costs and, more specifically, the effects of this transition on library operations and associated nonsubscription expenditures, in 2003 the Electronic-Archiving Initiative sponsored a study of 11 academic libraries. Grouped roughly by size, the libraries studied were Bryn Mawr, Franklin & Marshall, Suffolk, and Williams (small); Drexel, George Mason, and Western Carolina (medium); and Cornell, New York University, Pittsburgh, and Yale (large). In addition to the authors of this article, the research team included Ann Okerson, Donald King, and Kevin Guthrie. This article offers an overview of the research findings. A more detailed version of the findings recently appeared in D-LIB Magazine, and the full version of the study will be published this month by the Council on Library and Information Resources. The team found that the long-term financial commitment associated with accessioning one year of a periodical title for the electronic format was lower than that for print at every library in the study. The potential per-title savings were most pronounced at the smaller institutions. CLIR Issues May/June 2004 http://www.clir.org/pubs/issues/issues39.html#periodicals

 

SCOTTISH BROADSIDES AVAILABLE ONLINE

The National Library of Scotland's online collection of ne arl y 1,800 broadsides lets you see for yourself what “The Word On The Street” was in Scotland between 1650 and 1910. Crime, politics, romance, emigration, humor, tragedy, royalty and superstitions - all these and more are here. Each broadside comes with a detailed commentary and most also have full transcriptions of the text, plus a downloadable PDF facsimile. You can search by keyword, browse by title or browse by subject. Peter Scott’s Library Blog 6/1/04 http://www.nls.uk/broadsides/

 

TRADE PUBLISHERS WARNED OF GOOGLE’S IMPACT ON MAGAZINES

Google’s rise to prominence could have serious consequences for publishers of B2B (Business to Business) and industry trade magazines, according to participants at a recent conference that examined the nexus of technology, media and advertising. A media investment banker explains that online paid search programs like those offered by Google are "taking ad dollars away from B2B and consumer-magazine companies." Moreover, Google has made a solid dent in the profits of "high-priced newsletters" for specific niche audiences: "If Google can slice and dice [information] and give highly qualified users to very targeted advertisers, then what do you need a trade publication for?" Media exec utives also discussed the role of ‘image’ and ‘context’ as two factors that Google must consider as it consolidates its beachhead in the technology publishing industry. Adage.com 5/31/04 Corante - Tech News: June2, 2004

http://www.adage.com/news.cms?newsId=40667

 

LABELS TO DAMPEN CD BURNING?

Reports that the recording industry is testing new anti-piracy technology being developed by both SunnComm and Macrovision that would prevent consumers from making copies of legally purchased music, a move the article says could alienate some customers. Mike McGuire of GartnerG2: "There is a fine digital rights management balance that nobody has struck, especially with physical CDs. If there's somebody who's making 25 copies for the world and finds they can't do that, then few people will probably complain. But if someone finds they can't make a copy for their kid so he can play it in the car, you're going to have a lot of people returning broken CDs." Also discussed: the technology in relation to digital download businesses like Napster and iTunes. News.com 6/2/04 Corante - Tech News: June2, 2004 http://news.com.com/Labels+to+dampen+CD+burning%3F/2100-1027_3-5224090.html?tag=nefd.lede

 

BRITISH GROUPS DIVE INTO DIGITAL AQUIFER

Organizations in various economic sectors e.g., health, education, museums, archives, research, libraries—are making significant content available online to their respective communities. But the barriers among sectors mean that not all this content is accessible to everyone who might need it or want it. Too much remains hidden among low-quality information cluttering the Web and behind technical, commercial and admin istrative walls. Working under the umbrella of the Common Information Environment (CIE), several British agencies are cooperating to nurture an open environment in which information and information-powered services may be disclosed, discovered, embedded, used and reused in a manner that meets users' needs, rather than those of just the originating organization. The CIE is not a new search engine or portal to all knowledge, says CIE director Paul Miller: "Rather, it is collaborative work towards a culture in which existing and future organizations presume the need to be joined up

—to be part of the digital aquifer of national interest information—from the outset, and work for that, rather than continuing the trend of building multitudinous silos of data, each fronted by a different Web interface, and each ignorant of related data in neighboring silos." (Ariadne Apr 2004) ShelfLife, No. 159 ( June 3 2004 )

http://www.ariadne.ac.uk/issue39/miller/

 

ECAI COMBINES PLACE , TIME, AND TOPIC SEARCHING

An online catalog of research findings and other shared resources, the Electronic Cultural Atlas Initiative was formed to encourage the sharing of data among researchers who emphasize the relationships between place, time and topic in the study of culture and history. To develop better tools and practices, ECAI has sponsored the development of TimeMap software, for downloading and editing geo-temporal data to create dynamic maps. Used together, TimeMap software and the ECAI Metadata Clearinghouse enable researchers to discover and download datasets contributed by different researchers and overlay them to create dynamic maps. The time bar feature and the ability to include and exclude layers allows researchers to visualize the data in various ways. Interactive map visualizations can be used to define areas of interest, including regions with informal names like "The Midwest" or " Silicon Valley ." Latitudes and longitudes within the chosen area can be referred to a gazetteer to identify named places near the defined area, in order to pursue a text-based search. ECAI also offers a clearinghouse of shared datasets accessible through a map-based interface, projects on format and content standards for gazetteers and time period directories, studies to improve geo-temporal aspects in online catalogs, good practice guidelines for preparing e-publications with dynamic geo-temporal displays, and numerous international conferences. (ECAI is at http://www.ecai.org/) (D-Lib Magazine May 2004) ShelfLife, No. 159 ( June 3 2004 ) http://www.dlib.org/dlib/may04/buckland/05buckland.html

 

THE EVOLUTION—AND FUTURE TRAVELS—OF SEARCH TECHNOLOGY

In this trip down the Memory Lane of information retrieval—or search—technology, author Ramana Rao begins at the beginning, with an excerpt from a 1945 Vanity Fair article titled "As We May Think" that foretold the image of a scholar aided by a machine: "a device in which an individual stores all his books, records and communications, and which is mechanized so that it may be consulted with exceeding speed and flexibility." Today, when some 25 million Web searches an hour are conducted, that vision is quickly becoming reality. Rao finds that, across the decades, two dichotomies stand out cle arl y in the evolution of search. "The first is the contrast between focusing on the one hand on narrowly defined technological approaches and on the other hand on a broader understanding of the full problem set and the possible solutions. The second is the contrast between working out ideas in research versus spreading them commercially." Essentially, the longstanding challenge has been matching technological capabilities to real information needs. Rao concludes that the "semantic Web," may eventually come to pass, but only with the birth of systems that support human-computer symbiosis. (Open Source May 2004) ShelfLife, No. 159 ( June 3 2004 ) http://www.acmqueue.com/modules.php?name=Content&pa=showpage&pid=148

 

LIBRARIES FACE DILEMMAS WHEN THEY DIGITIZE ITEMS

Libraries are discovering that the promise of technology brings its own troubles. Once a library starts digitizing its collections, it discovers that the cost of maintaining the digital archive is higher than expected. Even the technology itself can be problematical. Technologies become obsolete quickly, but they must be maintained anyway, unless the library invests still more money in updated applications and hard drives. Add to the conundrum an age-old issue: a shortage of money, especially for long-term projects. A conference held recently in Chicago brought together librarians from universities, colleges and historical societies as well as museum curators and commercial publishers to talk about how they can stretch their resources. Many libraries depend on grants from foundations and go vern ment agencies to help them put their collections into a digital format. The staying power of the money is essential, given that libraries are increasingly offering critical and large-scale resources on the Web. Cheaper methods of reproducing library materials exist, such as microfilm, but they aren't as popular or as convenient for library users as are digital formats. Another concern is that libraries cannot count on technology to preserve their collections. Once the technology becomes obsolete, libraries must invest in moving the data to a newer system. On the other hand, libraries can extend their reach and fulfill their teaching missions when they make their collections accessible online. The conference's co-chairs, Peter B. Kaufman and Jim Grossman, point to other technological dilemmas for libraries. Librarians must decide whether they want Web surfers to be able to search the online material, and whether they will buy equipment and hire workers to keep the Web site updated or outsource the work, said Kaufman, director of strategic initiatives for Innodata Isogen, a New York-based company that helps libraries digitize their holdings. One way that libraries can save money and make their case to private foundations or other groups is to band together, Kaufman said. Grossman said another hurdle is financing a help line, especially if their Web sites are aimed at helping teachers and students. Libraries also must wrangle with legislation that lags technological changes and with legal issues such as copyright law and plagiarism. Chicago Sun Times 6/2/04

http://www.suntimes.com/output/zinescene/cst-fin-ecol02.html

 

MEDIA VOWS TO PRY OPEN CLOSED DOORS IN WASHINGTON

Press efforts to thwart go vern ment secrecy are moving forward on two fronts as Washington bureau chiefs unite to more aggressively cover federal go vern ment attempts to hide information and the head of Associated Press offers plans for a new open go vern ment lobbying center in Washington, D.C Editor & Publisher 6/3/04

http://www.editorandpublisher.com/eandp/news/article_display.jsp?vnu_content_id=1000523635

 

OhioLINK AND PLoS SIGN DEAL

The Ohio Library and Information Network (OhioLINK) has struck an interesting deal with the Public Library of Science. For every faculty member in the 84 member institutions, OhioLINK will pay half the article processing fee charged by PLoS journals. Only six of the 84 colleges and universities are already institutional members of PLoS. Helen Doyle, PLoS director of development and strategic alliances, said the OhioLINK program would “help to catalyze a widespread transition to open- access publishing in science and medicine.” Doyle told the LJ Academic Newswire that OhioLINK and PLoS had discussed extensively the possibility of making OhioLINK an institutional member, but settled instead on the current arrangement." Open Access News 6/4/04 http://www.charlestonco.com/pressrm/viewPR.cfm?id=621

 

MODERN GADGETS RAISE WORK STRESS

Mobile phones, laptop computers and PDAs are increasing levels of stress in the workplace, according to a new U.K. study. Using such gadgets in meetings is regarded as inappropriate and distracting for others, research by the University of Surrey reveals.

Most people said they found email and mobile phones necessary for contacting colleagues and clients instantly. But the survey showed their increased use was adversely affecting the patience of others in the workplace. More than half of those surveyed believed it was inappropriate to use any form of IT equipment in a meeting or when talking to another person at work. Only 11% thought it was acceptable for a mobile phone to be switched on during a meeting. More than 80% felt it was inappropriate to look at or send text messages when with others. Some 60% of respondents said there were informal workplace rules for the use of IT equipment, while two out of five said the use of mobile phones was not allowed. The University of Surrey study was carried out to examine attitudes in the workplace to modern communication equipment. Researchers said it was generally recognized that a certain etiquette is required when using mobile phones in the workplace. Responding to a call when speaking to somebody impl ies that the phone call is more important than the person, the survey said. Answering a call during a meeting suggests the meeting is not important. However, the study showed that younger people were less likely to be offended by others answering mobile phone calls during meetings. BBC News 6/3/04 http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/business/3774713.stm

 

CONSUMER BOOK SALES UP SIX PERCENT IN 2003

Driven by astonishing gains in Religious texts, Children’s and Young Adult Hardcover, Audio books, and E-books, overall sales in the Consumer publishing sector rose 6.3 percent in 2003, according to figures released recently by the Association of American Publishers. Adult Hardcover and Adult Mass Market, which between them account for 54 percent of Consumer book market sales, were virtually flat in 2003. The data were contained in a new report, Consumer Books and Materials, released to the press and the public at Book Expo America in Chicago . Adult Hardcover, which makes up 27 percent of the Consumer sector, grew by only 1.4 percent; Adult Paperback, which makes up 20 percent of the sector, grew at 6.9 percent. Children’s and Young Adult Hardcover, comprising 10 percent of the sector, grew by 19 percent, reflecting a resurgence in reading among preteens and teenagers. Religious publishing, comprising 5 percent of the Consumer sector, grew by an astounding 37 percent. Adult Mass Market, which at 27 percent is the largest segment of the Consumer publishing sector, grew by 2.0 percent when measured in dollars but decreased by 2.1 percent when measured in units. Audio book sales increased by 13 percent and electronic books, which grew by 45 percent, continued their explosive growth, albeit from a base which represents only a tiny portion of the Consumer sector. Returns from retailers throughout the Consumer sector continue to be a problem for publishers. In 2003, Consumer returns were 8 percent higher than in 2002. The magnitude of the problem is reflected in the fact that Mass Market book returns reached an average of 41 percent of sales and Adult Hardcover returns reached 31 percent. Audio books, which like texts are distributed as a physical product, had a 24 percent return rate. On the other hand, electronic books are never returned. Publisher price per unit in the Consumer sector rose 3.7 percent in 2003; the largest increase (12 percent) occurred in the increasingly popular Audio segment. The price per unit, at the publisher’s level, rose to $11.50 for an Adult Hardcover book and to $4.10 for an Adult Mass Market book. Association of American Publishers 6/4/04 http://www.publishers.org/press/releases.cfm?PressReleaseArticleID=205

 

WHO WILL READ NEWSPAPERS?

A 500-page report, The State of the News Media 2004, recently published by the Project for Excellence in Journalism, indicated the immediate prospects for newspapers, as well as televised network news, are not bright. Circulation of English-language papers in the United States has declined 11 percent since 1990. The share of the U.S. population that reads newspapers has been shrinking for more than two generations, but population growth once masked the trend. Now circulation is decreasing in absolute terms. The inaugural report, done by a research affiliate of the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism and financed by the Pew Charitable Trusts, attempted a comprehensive look at all forms of news media. While traditional newspapers are losing readership, nontraditional ethnic, alternative, and online outlets are enjoying brisk growth. Spanish-language newspapers, in particular, have experienced phenomenal gains since 1990, with circulation tripling to 1.7 million papers a day. Bilingual education programs, which often keep immigrant children immersed in their native language instead of rapidly teaching them English, could be affecting this trend, although the report did not explore that angle. The portion of the massive report devoted to newspapers offered this observation about the post-1990 circulation decline for English-language papers:

"It became clearer that the young, the next generation of likely readers, were failing to develop a newspaper reading habit. The lack of immigrant readers and the middle class also became more pressing as those populations grew and ... several mainstream newspaper companies are now pursuing the Spanish-language market in particular. What's more, some data now suggest that people who began reading newspapers in recent years—including young people—have stopped. Newspapers are now losing readers across age and demographic groups." Heartland Institute 6/1/04 Write News 6/2/04 http://www.heartland.org/Article.cfm?artId=15059

 

CROSS-BORDER DEFAMATION SUIT THREATENS ACADEMIC FREEDOM

Donna Hughes is a University of Rhode Island (URI) expert on international sex trafficking in women and children. URI recently removed two of her articles on this subject from the URI web server when a London law firm threatened to sue her for defaming an unnamed UK man and unnamed UK woman whom Hughes had described as traffickers. The articles are still available through the journals that originally published them, National Review Online (Fall 2002) and Vital Speeches of the Day (January 2003). For more details, see Robin Wilson, Professor Says U. of Rhode Island Wants to Censor Her Research Instead of Defending It in Court, Chronicle of Higher Education, June 7, 2004 (accessible only to subscribers). Open Access News 6/7/04 http://chronicle.com/prm/daily/2004/06/2004060703n.htm

 

“INGENIOUS” WAY TO VIEW IMAGES AND VIEWPOINTS

Ingenious is a new website that brings together images and viewpoints to create insights into science and culture. It weaves unusual and thought-provoking connections between people, innovations and ideas. Drawing on the resources of NMSI, the site contains over 30,000 images which are used to illustrate over 30 different subjects, topics and debates. The key NMSI contributors to the site are the Science Museum , the National Museum of Photography, Film & Television, the National Railway Museum , the Science & Society Picture Library and the Science Museum Library. Peter Scott’s Library Blog 6/8/04 http://www.ingenious.org.uk/

 

THE ONLINE BOOK PIRATES

The unauthorized sharing of digitized books is flourishing via news groups, P2P networks and chat rooms, even though the process is far more cumbersome than ripping a CD (each page must be scanned, run through OCR software and proofread before the complete work is uploaded to a network or transferred directly to a recipient). One online book thief says he's never had pangs of conscience when downloading books because he thinks the publishers charge too much: "Perhaps the cost factor has numbed the sense of guilt. I bought my first books when they were priced for 95 cents a paperback and less than $10 for a hardcover." Although more than 25,000 to 30,000 pirated titles, mostly in English, are available on the Web, electronic book piracy appears to have little impact on the publishing industry's bottom line. One publisher says, "The same reasons that legal E-books have been slow to catch on are the same reasons that illegal downloading of book files is nothing more than a concern rather than a critical stage for us." Maybe not yet, but it's just a matter of time before display technologies are created to make the reading experience similar to that of cracking open a book. A researcher at the British company Envisional, which tracks Internet piracy, predicts confidently that "as technology gets better and devices on which you can read books get more and more popular, people will look for ways to obtain books freely." (New York Times 3 Jun 2004 ) ShelfLife, No. 160 ( June 10 2004 ) http://www.nytimes.com/2004/06/03/technology/circuits/03book.html

 

The scholarly communications are also on line at http://door.library.uiuc.edu/administration/scholarly_communication/