SCHOLARLY COMMUNICATION ISSUES

A NEWSLETTER FOR THE UIUC COMMUNITY

Issue No. 17

April 22, 2002


Paula Kaufman, University Librarian

Editor

 

COURT OVERTURNS JUDGE ON BOOKSTORE RECORDS

The Colorado Supreme Court overturned a ruling by a Denver judge who had ordered a bookstore owner to turn over customer records to police.  In an unanimous ruling, the Court said that Tattered Cover Book Store owner Joyce Meskis was not bound to hand over a customer’s records to a Denver-area drug task force.  The ruling affirms that both the First Amendment and the Colorado State Constitution protect the rights of citizens to buy books anonymously.  (LJ Academic newswire 4/9/02)

 

FEDERAL AGENCIES UNFETTERED IN REQUESTING WITHDRAWAL OF SOME MATERIALS

The Association of Research Libraries has a memo from legal counsel Thomas M. Susman of Ropes & Gray advising libraries that federal agencies are “effectively unfettered in their ability to request that a depository item be withdrawn from public access.”  The memo precedes a memo from White House Chief of Staff Andrew Card requesting that all agencies and executive departments conduct an immediate reexamination of all public documents, with a focus on information that “could reasonably be expected to assist in the development or use of weapons of mass destruction.”  Reports are due within 90 days.  Susman’s memo notes that neither depository libraries nor patrons have a formal procedure available to appeal an agency’s decision to withdraw documents, although the Superintendent of Documents usually discusses the planned removal with the responsible agency official.  Libraries may risk depository status if they don’t comply with a withdrawal request by the Superintendent of Documents, and they may face liability issues if they knowingly provide access to a publication that’s been recalled.   LJ Academic Newswire, 4/9/02.  Susman’s memo can be read at: http://www.arl.org/info/frn/gov/susman.html

 

SCHOLARLY COMMUNICATION INSTITUTE FUNDED

The Council on Library and Information Resources (www.clir.org) will join with Dartmouth College to develop a Scholarly Communication Institute with the help of a grant from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.  The Institute will bring together pioneers and innovators in scholarly communication for a one-week residential experience that will allow them to discuss, plan, and organize institutional and discipline-based strategies for advancing innovation in scholarly communication.  The Institute will foster this cadre of leaders as mentors to the next generation of individuals who will work at the forefront of the transformation of scholarly communication in a digital environment.  The first of at least three annual institutes will be held on the Dartmouth campus in the summer of 2003.  www.clir.org/pubs/press/2002_mellsci.html

 

THE DEATH OF BOOKS? TEXTBOOKS, THAT IS

At a recent conference held in the UK on the future of textbooks, publishers, university librarians, authors, and university administrators explored the issues facing academic publishing in the wake of the internet, digital publishing and the UK government’s ambition to increase the number of 18-year-olds participating in higher education to 50% by 2006.   There is a clear decrease in the number of print text books now published in that country.   Many instructors are using course packs in lieu of expensive textbooks (does this sound familiar?) but publishers have not yet found pricing models that will enable libraries to purchase copies of e-texts without diminishing their total market.   Read more at www.guardian.co.uk/Archive/Article/0,4273,4389510,00.html

 

THE END OF PAPER JOURNALS?

The LJ 2002 periodical price survey shows the rise of e-journals, which authors Kathleen Born and Lee Van Orsdel say show that the e-journal has officially taken its place as the preferred method of scholarly communication.  The survey data show an incredible pace of the shift to electronic serials and a diminution of relation on paper versions.  As to pricing, overall, periodical prices seem to be leveling off.  Annual increases have averaged 7-9% in recent years and the authors expect that trend to hold steady.  However, as more and more print and online subscriptions are negotiated separately, the future of periodical prices is hard to predict.  Read the article at http://libraryjournal.reviewsnews.com/index.asp?layout=article&articleid=CA206383

 

CANADIAN SUPREME COURT RESTORES COPYRIGHT BALANCE

In a landmark decision that explicitly addresses the question of copyright and balance, the Canadian Supreme Court noted that the proper balance lies not only in recognizing creators’ rights but also giving appropriate weight to their limited nature.  Moreover, the majority argued that “excessive control by holders of copyrights and other forms of intellectual property may unduly limit the ability of the public domain to incorporate and embellish creative innovation in the long-term interests of society as a whole or create practical obstacles to proper utilization.”   Read the decision at www.lexum.umontreal.ca/csc-scc/en/rec/html/laroche.en.html

 

NATIONAL DIGITAL INFORMATION INFRASTRUCTURE PRESERVATION PROGRAM

In December 2000, Congress passed legislation establishing the National Digital Information Infrastructure and Preservation Program (NDIIPP) in the Library of Congress (LC).  It calls for LC to lead a national planning effort for the long-term preservation of digital content and to work collaboratively with representatives of other federal, research, library, and business organizations.  The legislation allocates $100 million for the program, to be released in stages.  Read about the goals and progress of this ambitious program at www.dlib.org/dlib/april02/friedlander/04friedlander.html

 

GAINING INDEPENDENCE

Wondering what to do once you’ve “declared independence” and are ready to publish an online scholarly journal independently of an established publisher?  Head for SPARC’s new manual for non-profit publishing, Gaining Independence.  The manual focuses on the economics and business plans of online scholarly journals, the aspect of scholarly publishing least familiar to most scholars and the one most critical to the success of a new journal.  The manual is based on SPARC’s extensive experience supporting the publication of free and affordable scientific journals.  Access the manual at www.arl.org/sparc/GI/

 

NEW ACTIVIST LOBBY FORMED

The Open Technology Consortium (OTC) is a new PACT to lobby in favor of open source software, freedom of speech, technological innovation, and free-market competition, and against all legislation that would constrain any of these or give existing technologies artificial protection against superior, emerging technologies.  The OTC welcomes individual ($25) and group ($50) members, and of course donations beyond the membership dues.  The OTC’s energetic website is at www.thelinuxshow.com/otc.htm

 

UIUC CULTURAL HERITAGE REPOSITORY

In addition to reporting on trends in scholarly communication, the UIUC Library is busy at the cutting edge of improving access to all types of scholarly information.  With funding from the Mellon Foundation we have launched an OAI-compliant institutional archive.  It is focused on cultural heritage collections and contains records provided by 26 institutions.  In addition to launching the archive, the UIUC team has developed open-source tools for building OAI-compliant archives and harvesting their metadata.  These tools are available from our site.  UIUC is collaborating with the University of Michigan Digital Library extension Service.  Visit the Cultural heritage repository at http://oai.grainger.uiuc.edu/oai/search

 

DO WE NEED TO MAKE CHANGES?

Scholarly Communication Issues welcomes your input.  Please let us know what’s missing from our coverage.  And let us hear your comments about the issues themselves.  Does our current system of scholarly communication need to be changed?  If so, how should the academic community go about changing it?  Send your comments to Paula Kaufman at ptk@uiuc.edu.