SCHOLARLY COMMUNICATION ISSUES

A NEWSLETTER FOR THE UIUC COMMUNITY

Issue 13/04

July 15, 2004

Paula Kaufman, University Librarian, Editor

NOTE: Issues is going on vacation and will resume in mid-August.

 

MAJOR DEVELOPMENT IN PROVIDING OPEN ACCESS TO FEDERALLY-FUNDED RESEARCH

On July 14, the U.S. House of Representatives Appropriations Committee approved an important provision in connection with the FY 2005 National Institutes of Health (NIH) appropriation. The Committee Report accompanying the FY 2005 Labor, HHS, Education and Related Agencies Appropriations Bill recommends that NIH provide free public access to research articles resulting from NIH-funded research. The Report calls on NIH to offer access to authors' final manuscripts (as accepted for journal publication) and supplemental materials via PubMed Central six months after publication. If the grantee used NIH funds to pay any publication charges (e.g., page or color charges, or fees for digital distribution), PMC access would be immediate. The Report instructs NIH to inform the Committee by December 1, 2004 how it intends to impl ement the policy. Rick Johnson, SPARC, Open Access News 7/15/04

 

REVIEW OF SPARC’S WORK

Bas Savenije, The SPARC initiative: a catalyst for change, a presentation at the TICER workshop, The Digital Library and e-Publishing for Science, Technology, and Medicine ( Geneva , June 13-18, 2004 ). SPARC was st arte d in 1997 by a number of large research libraries in the US . Its main goal was to restore a competitive balance of the STM journals publishing market. Over the last two years SPARC has put a special emphasis on Open Access, including institutional repositories. This paper gives an overview of the activities of SPARC and its partners in these areas. The results are evaluated and compared with the measures defined in 1997. Finally, the paper describes the possibilities for libraries to contribute to the realization of SPARC's goals. Open Access News 7/7/04 http://www.library.uu.nl/staff/savenije/publicaties/ticer2004.htm

 

AAU AND LIBRARIES SUPPORT BILL TO REVAMP PART OF SMCA

Andrea Foster, Library Groups Join Effort to Ease Copyright Law's Restrictions on Digital Sharing, Chronicle of Higher Education , July 9, 2004 (accessible only to subscribers). The Association of American Universities and five academic library groups have joined a coalition that seeks to make the digital distribution of copyrighted works easier in some circumstances. The coalition already includes consumer groups and telecommunications and electronics companies. Calling itself the Personal Technology Freedom Coalition, the group is backing legislation that would revamp the controversial section of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act known as the anti-circumvention provision. Rep. Rick Boucher, a Virginia Democrat, is championing the bill, called the Digital Media Consumers' Rights Act (HR 107). Chronicle of Higher Education 7/9/04 Open Access News 7/6/04

 

SCRAPING THE WEB FOR IMPLIED DATA

Dr. Gary Flake, Principal Scientist & Head of Yahoo! Research Labs, thinks that there is more impl ied data (or inferable metadata) than "raw" data on the Web, and that we are barely scratching the surface of it. "Today, all search engines are scraping for some s impl e forms of impl ied data: language, locality, etc. What's missing from this list is a ne arl y infinite collection of relationships that are obvious to most any human reader but extremely difficult to infer from a single document." He gives the example of a very technical document about protein folding, which assumes that the reader would know the specification language and much else about the material being presented. An ordinary reader might sense the document "makes reference to physics in a non-trivial way," an expert would note even more impl ied facts ("the article may be out-dated by now," "the author is considered an authority in this domain," or "there's an expectation that diseases will be curable if these advances continue," etc.). Flake says: "In total, all of the impl ied data amounts to the stuff that all of us carry in our heads but no one bothers to write down; yet these factoids are essential to understanding and meaning. Some people in AI have been trying to codify these factoids for decades (and in many forms, from ontologies to databases of common sense). We are now starting to scrape the web for these subtle relationships. The key insight is that it is not enough to look at words, concepts, or documents; one must also look at how all of these things relate to one another. (Search Engine Watch 29 Jun 2004 ) ShelfLife, No. 164 ( July 8 2004 ) http://searchenginewatch.com/searchday/article.php/3374821

 

CLASSICS FROM AMAZON, BORDERS, MEIJER, AND COSTCO

Much of today's news is a testament to the things you can learn on the Internet, sometimes in the most unusual places. Buried in an article in the Ann Arbor News, we discover this big development: Amazon has contracted with packager/publisher Ann Arbor Media (owned by the same family that controls printer Edwards Brothers) to produce a series of 200 classics, a separate series of study guides, and more. The classics program will span public domain literature from the 1500s up to the expiration of copyright in the 1930s. They hope to have the full 200 titles produced by 2006, for individual sale and for purchase as a set for $4,000. A separate group of annotated classics will "include the original, unabridged text as well as detailed commentary by leading academics," and are being called "study editions." The company will also create "a series of high-end, leather-bound classics for the online bookseller, as well as a series including the great works of golf." (The company already is producing an ambitious line of golf titles through their Sports Media subsidiary.) Other classics ventures from the company have included a 64-title (and growing) line of low-priced hardcover classics and a 34-volume line of leather bound works for Borders, and a new line of literary classics for the Meijer Inc.'s superstores. The company also has a deal for a proprietary classics line for Costco. Publishers Lunch 7/8/04

 

PENGUIN SALES ITS RARE BOOKS AT BARGAIN PRICE

Penguin has quietly sold 100,000 books from its archives to a dealer in Dallas , to the astonishment of booksellers and collectors. E arl y editions of classics by Graham Greene, Agatha Christie and John Steinbeck are among titles that are now lining the shelves of Half Price Books' 80 stores across America . Many of them date back to the 1930s, and books by John Buchan and James Joyce bear scribblings, editorial notes and design instructions that could have been invaluable for future historians and researchers, experts said yesterday. The collection includes a copy of Aku-Aku signed by its author, Thor Heyerdahl, the Norwegian ethnologist and adventurer who led the Kon-Tiki expedition in 1947. The book is dedicated to Sir Allen Lane , who founded Penguin in the 1930s. A senior publishing figure said: "If this is so, it is a major cultural crime." And how! b2b 7/8/04 http://www.book2book.co.uk/index.php?category=news&feed=BookNews&newsitem=4281

 

FREEDOM TO READ AMENDMENT FAILS ON TIE VOTE

On Thursday, July 8, the Freedom to Read Amendment to the Commerce, Justice, State (CJS) Appropriations Bill, died in a tie vote—210 - 210—in the U.S. House of Representatives. The amendment had been introduced by Rep. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) and would have barred the Justice Department from using any of the money appropriated under the CJS bill to search bookstore and library records under Section 215 of the USA Patriot Act. "The close vote in the House reflects the growing support for the protection of the privacy of bookstore and library records, and shows cle arl y that our efforts are having an effect," said ABA COO Oren Teicher. Bookselling This Week 7/8/04
http://news.bookweb.org/read/2697

 

REPORT SHOWS BIG DROP IN READING

The reading of books is on the decline in the U.S. , despite Harry Potter and the best efforts of Oprah Winfrey. A report released Thursday by the National Endowment for the Arts says the number of non-reading adults increased by more than 17 million between 1992 and 2002. Only 47 percent of American adults read ``literature'' (poems, plays, narrative fiction) in 2002, a drop of 7 points from a decade e arl ier. Those reading any book at all in 2002 fell to 57 percent, down from 61 percent. NEA chairman Dana Gioia, himself a poet, called the findings shocking and a reason for grave concern. ``We have a lot of functionally literate people who are no longer engaged readers,'' Gioia said in an interview with The Associated Press. The likely culprits, according to the report: television, movies and the Internet. The decline came despite the creation of Oprah's book club in 1996 and the Harry Potter craze that began in the late 1990s among kids and adults alike. Reading fell even as Barnes & Noble boasted that its superstore empire was expanding the book market. In 1992, 72.6 million adults in the United States did not read a book. By 2002, that figure had increased to 89.9 million, the NEA said. The NEA study, titled Reading at Risk, was based on a Census Bureau survey of more than 17,000 adults. The drop in reading was widespread: among men and women, young and old, black and white, college graduates and high school dropouts. The numbers were especially poor among adult men, of whom only 38 percent read literature, and Hispanics overall, for whom the percentage was 26.5. The decline was especially great among the youngest people surveyed, ages 18 to 24. Only 43 percent had read any literature in 2002, down from 53 percent in 1992. AP New York Times 7/8/04 http://www.nytimes.com/aponline/national/AP-Reading-at-Risk.htmlhttp://www.nea.gov/pub/ReadingAtRisk.pdf

 

CHOICE? SPRINGER UPS THE ANTE ON OPEN ACCESS

In a headline-grabbing announcement, Springer, now the second-largest commercial STM publisher in the world, has announced that authors publishing in any of its journals can now choose to make their work freely, "permanently" available in return for an author charge. But is Springer's new Open Choice program a boost for open access or s impl y a bold strategy to compete with both burgeoning open access journals and traditional commercial publishers? Under the program, which begins immediately, authors can choose between making their work available through the existing subscription models or pay a $3000 author charge, plus any other applicable fees such as page charges for print editions, to have their articles freely accessible to the public through Springerlink, Springer's online platform. Each journal will feature a mix of paid and free content. Springer CEO Derk Haank, former CEO of industry leader Elsevier, said the move was designed to "respond to the demands of the small group of researchers and certain publicly funded research communities" calling for wider access. The number two player in the field, Springer was created by British investment firms Cinven and Candover, which merged Kluwer Academic Publishers and Bertelsmann Springer in 2002. The timing of the announcement is also worthy of note—just as the UK P arl iament prepares to release its report on its recently concluded inquiry into STM publishing. Open access and pricing issues were heavily discussed during the inquiry.

 

OXFORD OPEN ACCESS JOURNAL GETS SPONSORSHIP, RAISES QUESTIONS

Oxford University Press has introduced a new open access journal that will be free of author charges for a decade—though perhaps not free of skepticism. Oxford describes EVIDENCE-BASED COMPLEMENTARY AND ALTERNATIVE MEDICINE (eCAM) as "an international, peer-reviewed journal that seeks to understand the sources and to encourage rigorous research in this new, yet ancient world of complementary and alternative medicine." The journal, which has recently published its first issue, will focus on traditional Asian healing systems. Rather than charging libraries or individuals subscription fees, and rather than charging author fees, the journal will be supported for a decade by the Ishikawa Natural Medicinal Products Research Center (INMPRC) in Japan . The journal's managing editor is Professor Nobuo Yamaguchi—president of INMPRC. Asked if that did not present a conflict of interest, OUP spokeswoman Rachel Goode said that, as a policy, "any paper submitted by an author based at or funded by the INMPRC is not handled by Professor Yamaguchi." Instead, those papers will be handled by professor [Edwin] Cooper." Cooper is a founding editor-in-chief of eCAM and a professor of neurobiology at UCLA. An article in the journal describes Yamaguchi and Cooper as 25-year friends. See http://www.ecam.oupjournals.org. Goode says Oxford is following the International Committee of Medical Journal Editors guidelines (http://www.icmje.org/). This is a third open access initiative from Oxford , which has certainly shown a willingness to experiment with its journals program. NUCLEIC ACIDS RESEARCH recently began a mandatory author-pays model (see LJ Academic Newswire 7/1/04 ), while the JOURNAL OF EXPERIMENTAL BOTANY has an optional author-pays model. Library Journal Academic News Wire: July 08, 2004

 

PROFESSIONAL SOCIETY”S TAKE ON ACCESS TO SCIENTIFIC LITERATURE

Bettie Sue Masters and Judith S. Bond have entered the Nature debate on open access. The Journal of Biological Chemistry (JBC), the flagship journal of the American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology (ASBMB), will celebrate its centennial in 2005. More recently, JBC has provided free, on-line, full text searchable access to every published article since its inception in 1905. The [ASBMB Journal of Lipid Research (JLR)] now also provides free, on-line access to every published article since its founding in 1959. Many other journals are now following suit but only a few have succeeded in achieving the goal of making their entire contents available in such a form. This activity was undertaken with the view of providing a vital service to the biological sciences community but it was not done without considerable thought and concern about its financial impl ications; the process cost in excess of $700,000. The financial stability of the ASBMB and its business model for publishing has allowed its non-profit organization to take on such expenses, to serve its readers, authors and science. Its expenses are paid by a combination of sources, primarily by page charges to authors and subscriptions to individuals and libraries. In a recent survey of over a 1,000 JBC authors, over 80% preferred this mode of covering expenses to other models, such as authors or institutions paying all the costs. Nature 7/8/04 Open Access News 7/11/04 http://www.nature.com/nature/focus/accessdebate/27.html

 

RESEARCHERS OFTEN FAIL TO DISCLOSE CONFLICTS OF INTEREST

A significant number of researchers are not complying with leading journals' requirements that they disclose financial ties that could lead to bias, according to a report released on Monday by the Center for Science in the Public Interest, a watchdog group. But at least one journal editor disputes the report's conclusions. The report, Unrevealed: Non-Disclosure of Conflicts of Interest in Four Leading Medical and Scientific Journals, was written by Merrill Goozner, the director of the center's Integrity in Science Project. "The journals have to have a more cle arl y defined policy on disclosure," he said on Monday as the report was released at a conference on corporate and political influence on science. "Authors should disclose all of their conflicts of interest." Disputing Mr. Goozner's findings was the editor of one journal he examined. Of 42 articles he analyzed from the New England Journal of Medicine, Mr. Goozner found two examples of unreported financial conflicts of interest. Both examples were links between the study and the financial interest that were weak enough that they probably did not need to have been reported, said Gregory D. Curfman, the journal's exec utive editor. "I applaud the efforts of this report," he said in an interview on Friday. "It's just that I would interpret the findings a bit differently." Using publicly available information, Mr. Goozner looked at the financial ties of authors of original research articles that appeared from December 2003 to February 2004 in the New England Journal of Medicine, the Journal of the American Medical Association,Environmental Health Perspectives, and Toxicology and Applied Pharmacology. For each article, he considered only the first and last authors, because the researchers who lead studies are often listed that way. Out of 163 studies, he found 13 papers where readers were not informed of financial ties that Mr. Goozner considered relevant to the studies—a "surprisingly frequent failure to report conflicts of interest," he wrote in the report. In one instance, a Procter & Gamble scientist's affiliation with the company was not listed in Environmental Health Perspectives even though the study reported on a toxicity test that could be used on the company's products. http://chronicle.com/prm/daily/2004/07/2004071301n.htm

 

OMB WATCH CHALLENGES OMB REPORT ON DATA-QUALITY LAW

A recent report on a federal law that allows the public to question scientific findings used by the U.S. go vern ment is riddled with inaccuracies and omissions, according to an analysis released on July 12 by a public-interest group. The group examined a report, released in April by the White House Office of Management and Budget, on the 2001 Data Quality Act, which bars federal agencies from using scientific findings that have not met standards of objectivity and quality. In that report, the OMB gave a largely u pb eat assessment of the first year under the law, concluding that federal agencies and departments had received only 35 "substantive" petitions from the public asking agencies to correct faulty information. But the analysis by the public-interest group, OMB Watch, said that the go vern ment had miscalculated the number of petitions that had been filed under the Data Quality Act, and had failed to measure the law's true impact on agencies and the rule-making process. OMB Watch said it found that 98 petitions had been filed with the government and that 72 percent of the challenges—nearly three-quarters—had come from industry, not the public at large. The group's number includes 63 petitions that were not deemed "substantive" by the White House office. Those findings prompted the group to reissue warnings that the law could be misused by industry to "delay, dilute and derail" safeguards and rules being written at federal agencies. OMB's April report maintains that has not happened, finding that the act has not affected the pace or length of rule-making. The complete texts of the Office of Management and Budget's report and http://www.ombwatch.org/info/dataqualityreport.pdf are available on their Web sites. Chronicle of Higher Education 7/13/04 http://chronicle.com/prm/daily/2004/07/2004071304n.htm

 

SOCIETY FOR SCHOLARLY PUBLISHING ISSUES OPEN ACCESS STATUS REPORT  

The first Issue of Status Report published by the Society for Schol arl y Publishing came about in response to member requests that SSP declare a position regarding open access publishing. From its beginnings, SSP was predicated on the concept that the Society would serve as a neutral forum for all opinions generated by the numerous perspectives arising from the diversity of its membership—a membership spanning the communication process from author to reader. This report contains a reading list that points to an extensive body of supportive and supplemental materials. Open Access News 7/14/04 http://www.sspnet.org/public/articles/index.cfm?cat=117

 

ELSEVIER’S NEW CEO FACES OPEN ACCESS CHALLENGE

Elsevier has hired Erik Engstrom as the new CEO of its Science & Medical Division. The Telegraph gives more space to open access than to Engstrom, pointing out that one of Engstrom's first challenges will be to deal with the potential threat to the Elsevier business of the 'open access' publishing model, which some analysts claim could significantly hit margins and which has already weighed on the company's share price. At present OA journals account for just 1 percent of the entire market but the model is gaining momentum. Open Access News 7/13/04 http://www.telegraph.co.uk/money/main.jhtml?xml=/money/2004/07/14/cnreed14.xml&sSheet=/money/2004/07/14/ixcity.html

 

REED ELSEVIER’S ACQUISITION TRAIL TAKES IT DOWN RISKY PATHS

According to a report in Book2Book, Reed Elsevier, the Anglo-Dutch information group, has money to burn. The company generates a little under £400 million a year—after paying dividends—which it wants to use for acquisitions. On July 14 it spent the annual budget in one glorious go, buying snoopers' database Seisint for $745 million (£401 million), the largest single deal that the company has struck since it bought Harcourt, the educational publisher, in 2001. Book2Book 7/15/04 http://www.book2book.co.uk/index.php?category=news&feed=CompanyNews&newsitem=4323&PHPSESSID=6d359f56ab262d51c460de450e24218c

 

NAPSTER JUDGE BACK, DENIES DISMISSAL OF CASE AGAINST BACKERS

US District Judge Marilyn Patel, who issued an injunction against the original Napster in 2000, has denied motions to dismiss lawsuits claiming past Napster investors like Bertelsmann AG and venture capital firm Hummer Winblad kept the song-swap site going, costing the music industry $17 billion in lost sales. Patel permitted the case to proceed through its discovery phase, saying the plaintiffs, including music publishers, songwriters and record labels, had the right to try to prove their allegations. BNA's Internet Law News (ILN) - 7/15/04 http://news.com.com/2100-1027_3-5269814.html

http://www.wired.com/news/digiwood/0,1412,64219,00.html

 

BENEVOLENT "VIRUS" HELPS REVEAL THE HIDDEN WEB

Perennial problem: locating data in the "deep Web." Ingenious solution: combine the Open Archives Initiative mission to promote interoperability standards with pervasive Apache server modules and add a nice infectious (but benevolent) virus. Thanks to funding by the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, the melding of these three concepts is helping make it possible to find more treasures on the hidden Web. It's elegantly s impl e says Phil Long, Ph.D., of the Academic Computing Enterprise at MIT. First you make something for a host that is widely distributed in the population. Then you make it incredibly easy to transmit it symbiotically—that is, in a way that does not detract from the host's general health, but adds capability. Ne arl y 64% of Web sites worldwide use the Apache server, which allows programmers to launch new features through easy-to-install modules. The modules to be launched to help tap hidden databases are driven by the Open Archives Initiative's Protocol for Metadata Harvesting, based on the open standards HTTP and XML. So the host is the Apache server, and the "viral" package to distribute is the high-performance federated digital search service impl emented as an Apache module, mod_OAI. (Syllabus.com Jul 2004) ShelfLife, No. 165 ( July 15 2004 )

http://www.syllabus.com/article.asp?id=9680

 

PAPER PROMISES BETTER E-PAPER

It is clear that computer displays will someday be thin and flexible enough to roll up, enabled by plastic electronics. Most prototypes to date have been built using organic light emitting diodes (OLED) on plastic or metal foil substrates. Researchers from Korea Electronics Technology Institute (KETI) have produced electronic paper made from ordinary paper coated with thin layers of plastic electronics. Paper has the advantage of being light, inexpensive and thermally and mechanically stable during processing. Their method could be used to make roll-up displays of all types, including electronic paper, electronic maps, and advertising displays. The researchers made the device by coating a sheet of commercial inkjet paper with the plastic parylene to protect the paper from moisture and provide a uniform surface, then applying a second layer of parylene followed by layers of nickel, three types of organic material and a metal top layer. The top layer is semi-transparent, transmitting more than 75 percent of the light generated beneath it to provide a maximum brightness of 41 7 candelas per square meter. Computer display brightness values typically range from 150 to 2,000 candelas per square meter. The prototype device has emitting areas of 10 millimeters by 2 millimeters. The device worked while rolled around a pen with a diameter of 8 millimeters, according to the researchers. Technology Research News  7/7/04 http://www.technologyreview.com