ISSUES IN SCHOLARLY COMMUNICATION

A NEWSLETTER FOR THE UIUC COMMUNITY

Issue 16/04

September 9, 2004

Paula Kaufman, University Librarian, Editor

 

 

MAKING NIH STUDY REPORTS AVAILABLE TO ALL

 

The National Institute of Health released a draft proposal recently that would require researchers who receive NIH grants to provide the agency with electronic copies of final reports on their study results, which would be posted online in a federal digital archive that is free to all. Public comments on the proposal will be accepted until November 3. The agency's action follows a recommendation last July by the Appropriations Committee of the U.S. House of Representatives, which urged the NIH to provide the public with free online access to articles resulting from research financed by the agency's grants and contracts Chronicle of Higher Education 9/7/04 http://chronicle.com/daily/2004/09/2004090701n.htm

 

TAXPAYERS SUPPORT “OPEN ACCESS” TO NIH RESEARCH

An unprecedented coalition of public interest groups announced the formation of the Alliance for Taxpayer Access on August 24, 2004. The Alliance will urge the National Institutes of Health as well as Congress to ensure that peer-reviewed articles on taxpayer-funded research at NIH become fully accessible and available on line and at no extra cost to the American public. The Alliance formation precedes the public interest meeting slated for Tuesday, August 31 where NIH will receive input on how to improve public access to the results of NIH-funded biomedical research. The Alliance is an informal coalition of libraries, patient and health policy advocates, and other stakeholders who support reforms that will make publicly funded biomedical research accessible to the public. Details and FAQ’s on the Alliance may be found at www.taxpayeraccess.org

 

PUBLISHERS OPPOSE NIH OA PLAN

The Professional Schol arl y Publishing division of the Association of American Publishers has posted the full-text of its August 23 letter to Elias Zerhouni, Director of the NIH. The letter spells out nine objections to the NIH open-access plan. Also see the cover letters from AAP President Pat Schroeder to the science press and to Sen. Arlen Specter, Chairman of the Senate Appropriations subcommittee with jurisdiction over the NIH. (PS: My FAQ answers most of the PSP/AAP objections.) Open Access News 8/26/04 http://www.pspcentral.org/

NOBEL SCIENTISTS WANT RESEARCH PAPERS FREELY AVAILABLE

 

Twenty-five Nobel Prize-winning scientists have called for the go vern ment to make all taxpayer-funded research papers freely available. "Science is the measure of the human race's progress," scientists say in a letter to Congress and the National Institutes of Health. Signers include DNA co-discoverer James Watson and former National Institutes of Health chief Harold Varmus, a longtime supporter of open access. "As scientists and taxpayers, too, we therefore object to barriers that hinder, delay or block the spread of scientific knowledge supported by federal tax dollars, including our own works." Science is driven by researchers publishing results to communicate findings, collect funding and gain tenure. About 25,000 scientific and schol arl y journals worldwide publish studies. Most hold copyrights to papers, charging single-paper access fees as high as $28. Ye arl y subscription fees rose 226% from 1986 to 2000 and averaged $840 this year

(though for one journal, Brain Research, the subscription runs $18,856), says the Association of Research Libraries. Publishers say the fees are necessary for journals to survive, even for taxpayer-funded studies. USA Today 8/29/04 http://www.usatoday.com/news/science/2004-08-29-free-research_x.htm

 

MORE ON THE NIH PLAN

Judy Sarasohn, Accessibility Battle Flares, Washington Post , September 2, 2004 . Excerpt: "A lobbying battle over the accessibility of federally funded medical research to the public and other researchers gathered steam over the summer recess and threatened to break out in full force when Congress returns to town. To the Alliance for Taxpayer Access and its founder, the Open Access Working Group, "it's about how science can be exchanged freely," says Debra Lappin, one of the lobbyists working the issue. To the Association of American Publishers and other publishing organizations, the issue is "one of primarily fairness," says Allan R. Adler, AAP's vice president for legal and go vern mental affairs. So far, the open access folks seem to be winning, even though they promote themselves as David vs. a publishing Goliath. The National Institutes of Health is developing policy guidance that would require that final peer-reviewed manuscripts of NIH published [PS correction: should be "NIH-funded"] research be placed in PubMed Central, the digital library maintained by the National Library of Medicine, within six months after publication in a scientific journal. Language promoting this direction is included in a report accompanying a House Appropriations Committee bill." http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/articles/A55045-2004Sep2.html Open Access News 9/2/04 See also http://chronicle.com/daily/2004/09/2004090101n.htm

 

 

AN IMPORTANT TECH LESSON FOR WRITERS

The Guardian reports that bestselling novelist Louis de Bernières, author of Captain Corelli's Mandolin had his laptop computer stolen, which contained the only copy of the first fifty pages of his new novel, A Partisan's Daughter. De Bernières left his laptop in the house where he was staying and went off to enjoy the Edinburgh festival. When he returned, he found that thieves had broken into a window and made off with the laptop. The author is offering £500 for its return and another £500 for information leading to the conviction of the thieves. Said de Bernières: "I never make disk copies of my work because I am not a computer boffin. I prefer just to do print-outs on paper after I have finished each chapter. But I had not been doing that because I had been writing in the summerhouse and the printer was indoors." The moral of this story? Paranoia should rule the day: always back up your new novel onto a disk or make a printout, even though you have to walk indoors to do it. Anyone could be lurking behind the nearest tree, just waiting to run off with your masterpiece. Writers Blog 8/22/04 http://www.guardian.co.uk/uk_news/story/0,3604,1287699,00.html

 

SENATORS QUESTION ORDER TO DESTROY DEPOSITORY LIBRARY DOCUMENTS

 

On August 24, 2004, Senator Patrick Leahy (D-VT), Ranking Member of the Senate Judiciary Committee, and Representative John Conyers Jr. (D-MI.), Ranking Member of the House Judiciary Committee, wrote Attorney General John D. Ashcroft asking him to explain the rationale for the request that GPO instruct federal depository librarians to withdraw and destroy five documents. The ALA Washington Office has been in communication with the congressional offices since the DOJ request. Senator Leahy and Rep. Conyers Jr. said "Given the Administration's penchant for secrecy, we fear that this action was yet another attempt to erode the public's right to know." ALAWON: American Library Association Washington Office Newsline Volume 13, Number 58 August 25, 2004 The Senators' letter can be found online at: http://www.house.gov/judiciary_democrats/dojlibraryltr82404.pdf

 

'LINKING ON STEROIDS'

 

Professor Péter Jacsó of the Library and Information Science program at the University of Hawaii notes that the backbone (and bane) of schol arl y publishing is the set of references cited by authors and listed at the end of their works: "Sadly, a significant proportion of the cited references have typos in their titles and/or page numbers as well as in the names of authors, journals, volumes, and issues. Abstracting-and-indexing services add their own typos and inconsistencies (and sometimes correct the erroneous ones in the source, as H.W. Wilson does so well). Humans can cope with most of the errors and find the cited works (often with a little help from librarians), but link-resolver programs (as with most other software) are hypersensitive to accurate syntax." In his InfoToday column he offers insights into the best and worst linking practices in link typology and topology. (InfoToday Jul 2004) ShelfLife, No. 171 ( August 26 2004 ) http://www.infotoday.com/IT/jul04/jacso.shtml

 

FAIR USE AND FORGIVENESS FOR AUDIO COLLECTIONS

 

How can libraries assess their own readiness to preserve and provide access to their recorded-sound collections? A new CLIR report examines the state of audio recordings in academic libraries. Perhaps the highest priority on the national agenda, the report concludes, is the need to harmonize the monopoly rights of audio content copyright owners with the public good of preserving recorded sound for its eventual passage into the public domain. Many in the library field are uncertain about laws covering access in the digital realm. They seem to be waiting for case law to clarify what is permissible. The trend so far has been to move digital content out of the realm of copyright and into the realm of licensing, so that it's unlikely for a body of case law to inform policy. Even where the law might apply, libraries and archives are generally not eager to establish legal precedents in the copyright area. What's needed, concludes the CLIR report, is not s impl y a clarification of existing law, but an ongoing assertion by libraries of fair use for educational ends. Without the constant assertion of fair use, a commercial marketplace will probably develop to meet the increasing demand for audio, thereby rendering the notion of fair use invalid, even on campuses. As one member of the advisory group noted, it is better for librarians to beg forgiveness than to seek permission. (CLIR

Report Aug 2004) ShelfLife, No. 171 ( August 26 2004 ) http://www.clir.org/pubs/abstract/pub128abst.html

 

RISING DEMAND FOR USED BOOKS

Rising Demand for Used Books Sends Powell's Shopping in Seattle
Powell's Books (Portland, OR) plans to spend 11 days this month buying used books in Seattle, in a space right across from the University Book Store. Marketing manager Michael Drannen says used books comprise "about 50 percent" of the bookseller's sales. "Used books are a huge, booming part of the book-sales market." CEO Miriam Sontz says the initiative is the first step in a larger strategy. "This is our traveling show," she tells the Seattle Post-Intelligencer. "We wanted to start it in Seattle for both geographical and emotional reasons. Then we may take it on the road to cities and towns with a high preponderance of college grads, places like Madison , Wis. , and Ch arl ottesville , Va. " Powell's currently buys "between 3,000 and 5,000 used books every day" in Portland at eight different locations. Publishers Lunch 8/27/04 http://seattlepi.nwsource.com/books/187509_powells24.htmlhttp://seattletimes.nwsource.com/html/businesstechnology/2002013491_powells24.html

CHANGES TO NEW COPYRIGHT BILL URGED

 

The Consumer Electronics Association and the American Library Association, along with other technology and consumer groups, have recommended changes to the controversial Inducing Infringement of Copyrights Act (SB 2560), which is intended to discourage illegal file-sharing. The bill, sponsored by Senators Orrin Hatch (R-Utah) and Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), is supported by the record labels and Hollywood studios, who

complain that illegal file-sharing is ruining their livelihood. But consumer groups recommend amending the legislation so "only someone who distributes a commercial computer program that is 'specifically designed' for wide-scale piracy on digital networks would be held liable for copyright violations," according to a press release. The proposed change would absolve ISPs, venture capitalists, credit card companies, banks,

advertising agencies, IT help desks and librarians from liability. Emily Sheketoff, exec utive director of the American Library Association's Washington office, says she worries that SB 2560 "will quash innovation and creativity and the fair use of these technologies. The answer to protecting copyright is not to stop developing new technologies. The answer is to educate people on how to use these technologies properly and encourage people to use these technologies properly. There are many legal, legitimate file-sharing activities." (Wired.com 25 Aug 2004 ) NewsScan Daily, 26 August 2004 ("Above The Fold") http://www.wired.com/news/politics/0,1283,64697,00.html

HARVARD PRESS UNIT IN DISPUTE IN BEJING

The publishing arm of Harvard Business School and a former distributor of the publisher's products in China are suing each other, with the publisher saying the distributor infringed on Harvard's copyrights and the distributor saying that Harvard has not paid its bills. Allan Ryan, director of intellectual property for Harvard Business School Publishing, or HBSP, confirmed that the press had entered into distribution and agency agreements with Smart Access, a Chinese company, in 2002, and that the press was involved in two legal disputes with the company. "Smart Access has brought suit against HBSP in China over the agency agreement, and we have sued Smart Access on grounds it violated the distribution agreement and is infringing HBSP's copyrights and trademarks," Mr. Ryan said on Friday. Mr. Ryan declined to give further details, saying that both suits had been submitted to courts in Beijing and that "it would not be appropriate for us to comment on the merits of the litigation." However, a report in the Beijing Youth Daily quoted an unnamed Chinese lawyer for the Harvard press as saying at a court hearing last Monday that Harvard was owed $350,000 by Smart Access International. The newspaper further reported that Smart Access had presented e-mail records detailing the business relationship between the two companies at the hearing, and that HBSP's lawyer had argued that the records should not be used as evidence because of the possibility of tampering with the content of e-mail documents. Chronicle of Higher Education 8/30/04 http://chronicle.com/prm/daily/2004/08/2004083003n.htm

MORE DATA CONFIRMING IMPACT OF PUBLISHER MERGERS ON SERIALS PRICES

 

Mark McCabe, Law Serials Pricing and Mergers: A Portfolio Approach, Contributions to Economic Analysis and Policy, 3, 1, (2004). Abstract: "Using data from more than 400 legal serials, I estimate the impact of six publisher mergers on law serial prices during the period, 1990-2000. The results suggest that merger-related price increases were substantial during this period, even after accounting for secular price trends. Furthermore, these merger effects occurred across a broadly-defined portfolio of serial titles consisting of legal encyclopedias and treatises. For other types of serials, such as newsletters and looseleaf services, these effects were not observed. Based on the portfolio demand behavior of buyers, I offer an explanation for this result based on the degree of product differentiation at the level of the individual title. Of particular interest is the purchase of West Publishing Company by Thomson Financial & Professional Publishing Group in 1996. Despite a go vern ment-mandated divestiture of more than 50 titles, the results indicate that titles published by West-Thomson experienced a significant post-merger price increase." Open Access News 8/28/04

http://www.bepress.com/bejeap/contributions/vol3/iss1/art11/

 

US UNIVERSITIES TAKE STEPS AGAINST COPYRIGHT INFRINGEMENT

Despite evidence that sharing music and movies online remains popular, a report issued by a committee of entertainment and university leaders says universities have made strides the past year to limit copyright infringement. The report, submitted to Congress by the Joint Committee of the Higher Education and Entertainment Communities, highlights steps taken by the universities but offers few details of their effectiveness. BNA's Internet Law News (ILN) - 8/30/04

http://www.siliconvalley.com/mld/siliconvalley/news/editorial/9484951.htm

ENABLING NEW SCHOLARSHIP

Amy Harbur and Abby Smith , Enabling New Scholarship: Scholarly Communication Institute Highlights Collaboration and Technology, CLIR Issues , September/October 2004. On CLIR's second annual Scholarly Communications Institute (SCI). Excerpt: "The presentations made it clear that digital scholarship cannot exist in a vacuum....Scholars today provide the content, but admin istrators must provide the institutional support, and librarians, technologists, and publishers must provide the structure, for digital information dissemination and retrieval....Scholars, it transpired, are often unaware of the resources available to them in their campus libraries. Technologists, given little or no direction, create 'cool' Web sites that do not provide the information and functionality that scholars need. Librarians create enhanced searching techniques for content they may never receive from scholars, who do not know they should be passing it along. Publishers provide value through peer review and editing, but they are often failing financially. Administrators must struggle to balance the demand for online resources from students and senior faculty's adherence to paper-based resources. Meanwhile, librarians cry for the resources to provide both digital and paper media as they seek to serve their increasingly diverse user bases....Having identified the case study as a tool that is important both for teaching and for research [in practical ethics], the teams proposed creating a case-study repository that the four centers could test collectively." Open Access news 8/30/04 http://www.clir.org/pubs/issues/issues41.html#sci

MPAA CAMPAIGNS FOR TIGHTER CONTROL ON CAMPUS

 

Officials from the Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA) have begun making phone calls and sending e-mails to non-IT staff at colleges and universities as part of its ongoing efforts to curb illegal trading of movies on campus networks. The MPAA has contacted 79 schools, with plans to contact another 61 where, according to the group, online movie trading is common. James W. Spertus, the MPAA's vice president for antipiracy operations, said his organization is trying to shift the focus of antipiracy efforts away from technology solutions toward education. In the phone calls, MPAA officials typically ask admin istrators about existing policies and educational programs concerning movie piracy and offer advice or materials schools could use to teach students about appropriate use of technology. Administrators at some institutions said they were uncomfortable with the thought that the MPAA's campaign was intended to influence campus policy. Others were less concerned by the phone calls, including Juan Franco, vice president for student services at Utah State University . Franco said he did not feel pressured and that if the materials the MPAA sends him seem useful, he will share them with students. Chronicle of Higher Education, 31 August 2004 Edupage, September 01, 2004 http://chronicle.com/free/2004/08/2004083103n.htm

 

INSTANT MESSAGING USED BY 42% OF ONLINE AMERICANS

 

A new survey by the Pew Internet & American Life Project finds that some 42% of online Americans use instant messaging, and 24% of instant messagers say they use IM more frequently than email. This translates to 53 million American adults who instant message and over 12 million who IM more than emailing. On a typical day, 29% of instant messengers—or roughly 15 million American adults—use IM. The new survey also finds that instant messaging is especially popular among younger adults and technology enthusiasts. 62% of Gen Y Americans (those ages 18-27) report using IM. Within the instant messaging Gen Y age group, 46% report using IM more frequently than email. http://www.pewinternet.org/report_display.asp?r=133

 

SPAM VOLUME KEEPS RISING

Rising tides of spam are drowning the usefulness of e-mail, according to a new report from IDC. Spam has accounted for 38 percent of the 31 billion e-mails sent each day in North America in 2004, up from 24 percent in 2002, the market researcher said. Improved content filtering and antispam tools will help fight the problem, as will the growing use of alternative communications means, such as video conferencing and instant messaging software. The ever-increasing intrusion by spam is forcing users and IT staff to spend extra time and energy to identify and delete such spurious e-mail, which can be entry points for viruses, worms and offensive content. E-mail is still the most preferred form of communication--business or otherwise--over the Internet. According to IDC, the volume of e-mail sent annually worldwide exceeded 1 exabyte , or 1 billion gigabytes, for the first time last year. cnet.com 9/1/04 gigalaw.com 9/2/04 http://news.com.com/2100-1032_3-5339257.html

ACHIEVING OPEN ACCESS: ALTERNATIVES TO AUTHOR CHARGES

 

There probably isn't a researcher or scholar alive who wouldn't love to see true open access to schol arl y journals -- freely available, immediate electronic access to published, peer-reviewed research articles. And while some open access does exist -- in a limited way to some journals -- the author proposes some ideas for making open access a more universal reality. One plan being impl emented by some publishers calls for "author charges" as an alternative to traditional subscriptions. The assumption is that those with vested interests should pay for the distribution of the material, and

that go vern ment grants and other sources of income will fund these direct payments. Noting that this model is flawed for a variety of reasons, the article suggests instead that alternatives can provide the desired access without destabilizing the system. One interesting idea is to reconsider the entire "publish or perish" focus of the promotion and tenure process. The existing system encourages unlimited schol arl y publication, and enormous numbers of editorial boards with little guarantee of quality control from

many commercial operations. Ideally, if papers were only being written and published because their authors truly had something to say, everybody would benefit. ( Yale University Science Libraries) ShelfLife, No. 172 ( September 2 2004 ) http://www.library.yale.edu/science/oa.html

 

THE LIFESPAN OF DIGITAL INFORMATION

 

Neil Beagrie, JISC and British Library Partnership Manager, says that as the volumes, heterogeneity, and complexity of digital information grow, the issue of digital preservation becomes urgent, because a serious and widening gap has developed between our ability to create digital information and our infrastructure and capacity to manage and preserve it over time. The future, at worst case, could become a "digital dark ages," unless that dismal prospect is averted by attention to organizational

issues such as data policies and impl ementation; collaboration within and between organizations; and the development of greater international collaboration and greater political will in addressing the problem. (SAP Info 25 Aug 2004 ) ShelfLife, No. 172 ( September 2 2004 ) http://www.sapinfo.net/

DIGITAL MUSIC’S NEXT BIG BATTLE

If you follow technology long enough, every once in awhile you'll get a jolt - the sudden "this is big" realization when you see a new technology and grasp its potential to change how you'll go about your life. There was the Web, for instance. And Napster. Or, more recently, wireless home networking and voice over IP. Writer Eric Hellweg reports that he has just received another such jolt. The new new thing: a piece of software called TimeTrax, which lets you search the airwaves for songs to record. But TimeTrax has stirred the music industry to fight in a battle that could make the peer-to-peer skirmishes look quaint by comparison. Emerging Technologies Tuesday Update (09.07.04)
http://www.technologyreview.com/articles/04/09/wo_hellweg090704.asp?trk=nl

TRAGIC FIRE DESTROYS RARE BOOKS AT GERMAN LIBRARY

 There was a tragic loss for the international library community last week, as 30,000 volumes and other irreplaceable collections were destroyed in a fire at the venerable Duchess Anna Amalia Library in the German city of Weimar . Initial European press reports blame the fire on outdated electrical equipment. Besides consuming books, some of which dated back to the Renaissance, the fire also ravaged rare paintings. Further reports this week say that as many as another 40,000 volumes were badly damaged and may also be unsalvageable. "The literary memory of Germany has suffered severe damage," German Culture Minister Christina Weiss said after she inspected the scene. Weiss said the German go vern ment would offer assistance in restoring the books and the library, with costs expected to be swell into the millions of dollars. The library,

>founded in 1691, has a collection of roughly one million books. The building, a rococo palace, has been designated by UNESCO as a World Heritage Site. Library Journal Academic News Wire: September 09, 2004