SCHOLARLY COMMUNICATION ISSUES

A NEWSLETTER FOR THE UIUC COMMUNITY

Issue 22/04

December 7, 2004

Paula Kaufman, University Librarian, Editor

 

 

 

SENATE APPROVES STRICTER COPYRIGHT LEGISLATION

A bill passed by the U.S. Senate expands certain protections for copyrighted material but excludes proposed language that would have made file trading on P2P networks a criminal offense. Under the bill, which is similar to one already passed by the House of Representatives, those found guilty of videotaping movies in theaters face up to three years in prison. In addition, people who put copyrighted movies, music, or other content online prior to its official release will also face harsher penalties. The House and Senate versions of the bill must be reconciled before it can be signed into law. Last month the Senate Judiciary Committee approved a measure under which those found to have shared more than one thousand songs on a P2P network could face three years in prison, but that measure was stripped from the Senate bill after strong opposition from groups that said such a measure would represent an unreasonable expansion of copyright law. The Senate bill also did not include language that would have made it illegal to remove certain parts of copyrighted works. Representatives from the movie industry had argued that services that edit copyrighted movies to make them appropriate for younger viewers violate the movie studios' copyrights, but the Senate did not approve that measure. Reuters, 22 November 2004 Edupage, November 22, 2004 http://www.reuters.com/newsArticle.jhtml?storyID=6886714

 

THE LOBBY BATTLE OVER COPYRIGHT REFORM

Declan McCullagh's weekly CNET column focuses on copyright reform and claims by some in the music industry that they are being "outgunned" by opponents. Skeptics argue that the failure to enact certain music industry-backed reforms reflects overreaching by the industry. BNA's Internet Law News (ILN) - 11/22/04 http://news.com.com/2010-1071-5460597.html

 

CONGRESS APPROVES COPYRIGHT ENFORCEMENT CZAR

The US Congress has approved a program that creates a federal copyright enforcement czar. Under the program, the president can appoint a copyright law enforcement officer whose job is to coordinate law enforcement efforts aimed at stopping international copyright infringement and to oversee a federal umbrella agency responsible for admin istering intellectual property law. BNA's Internet Law News (ILN) - 11/24/04 http://news.com.com/2100-1028_3-5464576.html

 

THE FLAWS IN INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY POLICY MAKING

James Boyle's latest column for the Financial Times criticizes the current approach to intellectual property policy making which he argues is often devoid of economic evidence for the argument that "more is better". Boyle uses the effect of database legislation as a good example of a case where legislation is not needed for a thriving industry. BNA's Internet Law News (ILN) - 11/23/04 http://news.ft.com/cms/s/4cd4941e-3cab-11d9-bb7b-00000e2511c8.html

 

NIH PROPOSAL

Congress again affirmed its support for NIH to enhance public access to NIH funded research information. This support was expressed via language in the Conference Report accompanying the FY 2005 Consolidated Appropriations Act (H.R. 4818, H Rept 108-792), legislation that includes nine appropriations bills. The conference report language restates the NIH proposed policy of making research articles based on NIH funding available to the public free of charge. These articles would be publicly available via PubMed Central within six months after publication in a peer-reviewed journal. The language also requests that NIH provide an annual cost accounting for impl ementing this policy as well as work with publishers of scientific journals to maintain the "integrity of the peer review system." The text is included below and is available via Thomas (page 104 of the Statement of the Managers). FY05 Omnibus Appropriations Conference Report (NIH, Office of Director, excerpted from the Statement of the Managers).


"The conferees are aware of the draft NIH policy on increasing public access to NIH-funded research. Under this policy, NIH would request investigators to voluntarily submit electronically the final, peer reviewed author's copy of their scientific manuscripts; six months after the publisher's date of publication, NIH would make this copy publicly available through PubMed Central. The policy is intended to help ensure the permanent preservation of NIH-funded research and make it more readily accessible to scientists, physicians, and the public. The conferees note the comment period for the draft policy ended November 16th; NIH is directed to give full and fair consideration to all comments before publishing its final policy. The conferees request NIH to provide the estimated costs of impl ementing this policy each year in its annual Justification of Estimates to the House and Senate Appropriations Committees. In addition, the conferees direct NIH to continue to work with the publishers of scientific journals to maintain the integrity of the peer review system."

Prue Adler , Association of Research Libraries, 11/22/04

 

NIH FLOORED WITH COMMENTS ON PUBLIC ACCESS PROPOSAL

Prodded by Congress, the National Institutes of Health this fall solicited the public's views on a plan that would require NIH-funded investigators' papers to be posted on the Internet 6 months after a journal publishes them. And the public took notice. NIH received about 6000 comments by the 16 November deadline. A brief review of the first batch of 800 or so—the only ones NIH made available by press time—indicates support from librarians, patient advocates, teachers, and individual scientists. But although some major research organizations back NIH's proposal, many scientific societies and commercial publishers have called for NIH to delay or scrap it. NIH has tallied a preliminary count based on 95% of the responses submitted on a Web form. NIH officials caution against drawing conclusions because large organizations only got a single vote, and some people didn't answer all the questions. Of those who did, however, four of five clicked "agree" to the concept that research results should be freely available. Two-thirds of commenters said they liked NIH's impl ementation plan, which would require that NIH-funded investigators submit their final, peer-reviewed manuscripts to PubMedCentral, NIH's free online full-text archive, for posting 6 months after publication. The Scholarly Publishing and Academic Resources Coalition, which represents libraries, urged NIH to resist pressure to extend the 6-month delay, arguing that taxpayers actually need "immediate access." ACRL Scholarly Communication T.F. 11/28/04


NOTE: Your editor is a member of the PubMedCentral Advisory Committee, which met on November 22. Although the Committee does not provide advice about the open access proposal, we heard an update. NIH received thousands of comments on the plan (submission deadline November 16). It hopes to have synthesized and categorized them by December 1 and hopes to issue a decision as soon thereafter as possible.

 

NEW STUDY FINDS POSITIVE IMPACT FROM DIGITAL OBJECT IDENTIFIER (DOI)

The Digital Object Identifier (DOI) is a technology that helps make information more discoverable through persistent linking and interlinking. It has been adopted universally across the scientific/technical/medical (STM) publishing sector and more recently is being adopted in other sectors of publishing and other industries. Greenhouse Associates has just made available an analysis of the DOI’s impact on publishers based on case studies of DOI use by publishers in the U.S. , U.K. , Europe , and Australia . Download white paper. While the name impl ies that the DOI is applicable only to digital content, it is more aptly seen as useful to any products, digital or physical, as they are represented on the internet. Furthermore, once a user locates any single object, that object’s DOI can enable the user to see availability of all related objects, thus improving user navigation without affecting search functionality and enhancing further discovery. For example, a link to a book might also reflect information such as reviews, pricing, ordering information, ancillaries, supplements, and other products on the same subject or by the same author. In addition, the DOI enables publishers to make available more “granular” components, such as individual chapters or problem sets.

Greenhouse’s research showed that publishers have achieved measurable benefits from the DOI in a number of ways:

Most publishers expect rapid payback on their initial investments, and see cumulative benefits in using the DOI over time. They plan to increase their investment in DOIs by adding DOIs to more of their documents, putting DOIs on additional forms of content, and developing systems to automate the production and maintenance of DOIs. Download white paper. Digital Strategies Newsletter, Greenhouse Associates 11/04 http://www.greenhousegrows.com/publications/11-2004/article2.html

HISTORICAL VOICES

Aims to create a "fully searchable online database of spoken word collections spanning the 20th century" and "provide storage for these digital holdings and display public galleries that cover a variety of interests and topics." It also includes research and an educators' forum, and plans to include guidelines for Best Practices. Neat New Stuff 11/34/04 http://www.historicalvoices.org/

 

URBANA FREE LIBRARY DEBUTS LOCAL HISTORY ONLINE

Access to Local History Online, the Urbana Free Library’s indices to Urbana go vern ment documents and Champaign County history and genealogy, is now available. It includes to major databases: Urbana Municipal Documents Index and the Library’s Historical and Genealogical Index. Together, they include more than 2 million index entries. http://64.107.115.148/default.htm

 

OPEN ACCESS IN SCHOLARLY PUBLISHING

Richard Poynder, a U.K.-based freelance journalist who specializes in intellectual property and the information industry, observes that self-archiving is gaining allies in some surprising qu arte rs: "President of Blackwell Publishing Bob Campbell, for instance, has come to believe that not only is it acceptable, but it could benefit publishers. First, by offering easily accessible archives over the Web, it would deflect criticism from those who argue that the taxpayer should be entitled to read what they have paid for. Second, self-archiving may drive traffic toward publishers' versions of articles—thereby increasing, rather than decreasing, access to their services, through the so-called citation boosting effect, which provides "increasing evidence that self- or open archiving provides an added promotional effect for the official version." Poynder finishes his column with this meditation: "What, then, is the solution to the journal affordability problem? We don't know. What we do know is that, although the merits of OA are indisputable, it looks certain (in the short term at least) to increase, not decrease, library costs. The tragedy for librarians is that while they have done so much to promote OA, their reward has been only further financial pain. No gain without pain, they say. In this case, researchers gain; libraries feel the pain!" (Information Today 4 Nov 2004 ) ShelfLife, No. 184 ( November 24 2004 ) http://www.infotoday.com/IT/nov04/poynder.shtml

APPLYING A METHOD TO THE DIGITAL PRESERVATION MADNESS

People in charge of preserving our national heritage and public records must make decisions today that will affect generations—and knowledge—well into the future. But determining which of today's digital artifacts will endure the test of time and which will fall by the technological wayside is an inexact and constantly changing science. Andreas Stanescu, software architect for OCLC's Digital Collections and Preservation

Services, offers a systematic approach to measuring the preservation durability of digital formats. The process—called INFORM (INvestigation of FOrmats based on Risk Management)—gives archivists the tools to measure and identify formats suited for preservation, provides guidelines for action plans, but lets individuals use their own interpretation of the results to make their own decisions. INFORM attempts to discover specific threats to preservation (from royalties and embedded metadata to the size of the publishing organization) and measures their possible impact on preservation decisions. By taking the guesswork out of the decision-making process, INFORM records the logic behind why, for example, TIFF would be a preferred choice. And, by repeating the process, archivists can detect changes in the threat model over time and respond accordingly. (D-Lib Magazine Nov 2004) ShelfLife, No. 184 ( November 24 2004 ) http://www.dlib.org/dlib/november04/stanescu/11stanescu.html

 

MORE ON GOOGLE SCHOLAR

Web Cheats Get Online for Google Scholar. Excerpt: 'While this aspect of the service [sorting by citations] has been embraced by users, academics in particular have expressed concern about a 'copy and paste' culture, emerging in the wake of Google Scholar. They say the accuracy and speed of the search engine could lead to a rise in how much information in essays is s impl y lifted from online sources. According to the Plagiarism Advisory Service (PAS), a qu arte r of students have cheated by lifting material off the web and passing it off as their own. The group already provides universities with special software to detect rogue students, which it said it would keep on using as a more powerful alternative to Google. The Scholar search is a website that other academics argue should be welcomed, and if used properly - could actually aid the fight against conscious plagiarists. They argue that if Google is used correctly, it could well deliver quick and reliable information for students and academics alike, without leading to an increase in internet lifting. This is because students, who currently seem undeterred by plagiarism laws, would in the future be more cautious about their sources given the advances of Web searching.' Freelance UK, November 24, 2004 Open Access News 11/24/04 http://www.freelanceuk.com/news/774.shtml

 

AMAZON LINKING TO CITED BOOKS

Amazon has st arte d linking to cited books. T.J. Sondermann points us to the example of David Weinberger's Small Pieces Loosely Joined. When you look at Amazon's page on the book, you see that Weinberger cites 14 other books. Amazon lists the 14 and links to the Amazon pages on each. When the cited book participates in Amazon's Search Inside the Book program, then Amazon also links to the individual pages containing the citations. (PS: It's curious that this useful service appeared just a few days after the launch of Google Search, which points users to citing—not cited—works. But it's unlikely that Amazon could have put this together in just the last week. However, now that both services exist, let's see whether competitive pressure nudges Amazon to go beyond cited books to citing books, and Google to go beyond citing works to cited works.) Open Access News 11/25/04 http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/book-citations/0738208507/002-4943815-3900022?

 

ONLINE PAID CONTENT TOTALS $853 MILLION IN FIRST HALF OF 2004

The overall rate of growth for online paid content remains robust, according to a report from the Online Publishers Association and comScore Networks. In the first half of 2004, online content spending grew to $853 million, up 14 percent over the same period in 2003. Other findings:

OCLC ABSTRACTS - November 29, 2004 http://www.online-publishers.org/pdf/opa_paid_content_report_nov_04.pdf

ECHO TOOLS CENTER

The number of historians interested in using digital tools to facilitate their work has been rapidly expanding, as has the number of researchers developing online tools for the humanities. In order to facilitate contact between these two groups, Echo would like to announce the beta launch of its new Tools Center , an experimental, comprehensive resource for scholars interested in the nuts and bolts of online history. Just as Echo's Research Center offers a guide to thousands of history websites, the Tools Center is envisioned as a central directory of the myriad pieces of software and other tools available to contemporary historians. Built using the same open-source software that powers sites like Wikipedia, the Tools Center is a specifically collaborative resource, enabling developers to post descriptions of their products, and users to apply their own expertise to build and expand its entries. Though still in beta form, historians and software developers are invited to visit the Tools Center at http://echo.gmu.edu/toolcenter-wiki/ and contribute their knowledge to this growing asset to the online history community. CNI Announce 11/19/04

 

LIBRARIAN AND UNIVERSITY PRESS PERSPECTIVES ON THE FUTURE

This is actually two pieces—one by a librarian and another by a university press publisher. The librarian's tongue-in-cheek piece highlights the fact that libraries have been raiding their book funds to pay for increasingly expensive journals, thereby potentially harming the viability of university presses. Library purchases can be a significant percentage of the potential sales of university press books, so the recent decline in monographic purchasing can have a devastating impact on their bottom line. The publisher's piece is less playful but no less thought-provoking. Current Cites, November 2004 Library Journal 11/15/04 http://libraryjournal.com/article/CA479162

 

JUDGE REJECTS COPYRIGHT CHALLENGE

A federal judge has rejected a challenge to several parts of copyright law that plaintiffs in the case said unnecessarily keep certain works out of the public domain. The nonprofit Internet Archive and the Prelinger Archives argued that so-called orphan works—books that are out of print, old films, and academic articles without significant commercial value—should be easier to archive and make publicly available. At issue in the case was the plaintiffs' contention that current law fundamentally alters the scope of copyright because it does not require owners of works to apply for copyright protection, instead granting protection irrespective of whether it is sought. The judge in the case disagreed, issuing her ruling without hearing arguments. Jennifer S. Granick, exec utive director of the Center for Internet and Society at Stanford University , which was involved on behalf of the plaintiffs, said the judge's ruling was improper and that the plaintiffs would appeal. Chronicle of Higher Education, 30 November 2004 (sub. req'd) Edupage, December 01, 2004 http://chronicle.com/prm/daily/2004/11/2004113003n.htm

 

THE COMPLICATED WEB OF DIGITAL ARCHIVING

The necessity of - and complications involved in - digital archiving hits home with the realization that, in addition to today's hot new recording devices quickly becoming obsolete, backup mechanisms also may lose their integrity. For example, the life span of data on a CD recorded with a CD burner could be as little as five years if it is exposed to extremes in humidity or temperature. If a CD is scratched it can become unusable. And, unlike, for example, faded but readable ink on paper, the instant a digital file becomes corrupted or starts to degrade it is undecipherable. Says Ken Thibodeau of the National Archives and Records Administration: "It is a global problem for the biggest go vern ments and the biggest corporations all the way down to individuals." Already, half of all photographs are taken by digital cameras, with most never leaving the PC's hard drive. Those who think they're safe by "migrating" data to newer computers and storage devices may set up a new set of problems. Migration works only if the data can be found, and with ever-more capacious hard drives with multiple subdirectories, that one special item can be the old needle-in-the-haystack. (Mercury News 26 Nov 2004 ) ShelfLife, No. 185 ( December 2 2004 ) http://www.mercurynews.com/mld/cctimes/business/10276182.htm?1c

 

ENDANGERED ARCHIVES PROGRAM LAUNCHED

Representatives from historical, conservation and diplomatic groups from around the world gathered last week at the British Library to mark the debut of the Endangered Archives Programme—a £10 million global effort to help save endangered archives. The program, funded as a joint initiative between the British Library and the Lisbet Rausing Charitable Fund, will be admin istered by the BL in conjunction with a panel of international experts. Institutions and academic researchers will be able to apply for grants to identify endangered records and relocate them in local institutional archives. The program will also provide funds for overseas librarians and archivists to foster improved archival management and preservation for the longer term. "This is an immensely exciting initiative which will unquestionably have a far-reaching and long-term impact on international research and scholarship," says BL director of scholarship and collections Dr. Clive Field. "As a repository of world knowledge, through our universal collections and professional expertise, the British Library is proud and delighted to have been invited to house, admin ister and lead the program." (British Library News Release 16 Nov 2004 ) ShelfLife, No. 185 ( December 2 2004 ) http://www.bl.uk/cgi-bin/press.cgi?story=1455

 

THE GODDARD LIBRARY WEB CAPTURE PROJECT

The NASA Goddard Space Flight Center is a large engineering enterprise, with most project information presented in Web pages on its intranet. The GSFC Library has developed the Digital Archiving System to capture and archive these pages for future use, based on standards and open source software including the Open Archives Initiative-Protocol for Metadata Harvesting, Lucene, and the Dublin Core. As with many other projects, the focus has been on capturing the materials before they are lost, rather than on preservation strategies. Therefore, the sites are subject to the same instability as public Web sites—i.e., pages are often moved, replaced or eliminated entirely. The goal of the GSFC's Web Capture project is to provide a Web application that captures Web sites of long-term scientific and technical interest, stores them, extracts metadata, if possible, and indexes the metadata in a way that the user can search for relevant information. The ultimate goal is to preserve the sites and make them permanently accessible. Ultimately, however, the technologies on which these sites are built will be replaced with new versions and even newer technologies, going beyond the Web as we now know it. To ensure continued availability of these knowledge assets to the GSFC community, the GSFC Library is working closely with preservation experts to determine how best to preserve the captured Web sites once they are no longer maintained by the current owners or curators. Appropriate preservation strategies, preservation metadata to ensure long-term management, and access and rights management control must be developed in order to accomplish this. (D-Lib Nov 2004) ShelfLife, No. 185 ( December 2 2004 ) http://dlib.org/dlib/november04/hodge/11hodge.html

 

ART VS. SCIENCE IN AUDIO PRESERVATION

Participants in a recent Audio Engineers' Roundtable, convened under the auspices of the Library of Congress and the National Recording Preservation Board, were quickly able to articulate best practices for procedures such as cleaning discs, handling and repairing damaged tapes, and adjusting for audio distortions, but consensus in several other areas was more elusive. The sticking point appeared to a lack of agreement over which problems could, in principle, be solved by technology and which could not. Many oldtimers, who've spent decades stabilizing and transferring obsolete tape and disc formats for rerecording were adamant about the importance of human judgment—usually referred to as "ear," or what sounds right to an expert. Other participants pointed out that while experience is certainly important, sound is a physical property that can be measured by acoustical mechanics that should serve as the benchmark for audio quality. Given these juxtaposed opinions, participants were urged to work together to develop guidelines for how collection stewards should perform a risk-benefit analysis of preservation-worthy audio holdings and recommend actions that would improve audio preservation techniques. A forthcoming report will synthesize the discussions and present some best practices for audio archivists. (CLIR Nov/Dec 2004) ShelfLife, No. 185 ( December 2 2004 ) http://www.clir.org/pubs/issues/issues42.html#audio

 

DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE REPORT ON BROADBAND

Last month, the Department of Commerce released the report A Nation Online: Entering the Broadband Age, which includes lots of information about utilization of high speed Internet (via NITLE Tech News). ITRU Update #34 (12.3.04)

 

ARTISTS LOVE THE WEB, HATE MUSIC PIRACY

In the first large-scale survey of artists (i.e., filmmakers, writers and digital artists), musicians and the general public, the Pew Internet and American Life Project has found that only about half of the artists polled thought that sharing unauthorized copies of music and movies online should be illegal. Nearly two-thirds of those said file-sharing services such as Kazaa and Grokster should be held responsible for illegal file-swapping, while only 15% thought it was a good idea to go after individual users. Among musicians, 37% said the file-sharing services and users should share the blame for illegal file-swapping, while 17% singled out the services as the guilty parties. The survey results indicate that while file-swapping is an ongoing irritant to artists and musicians who see their work distributed for free on the Net, they also value the wide-scale exposure that the Internet makes possible. "The overall picture is that the musician-artistic community has a much wider range of views and experiences than folks who watch the Washington debate about copyright might imagine," says Lee Rainie, director of the Pew Internet Project. (New York Times 6 Dec 2004 ) NewsScan Daily, 6 December 2004 http://www.nytimes.com/2004/12/06/arts/06down.html

 

THE INTERNET GENERATION GROWS UP

The first generation of kids to grow up with the Internet as an integral part of their lives is now reaching young adulthood, and their notions of community, work, entertainment and personal relationships are very different from their predecessors', according to observers. "Students are continuously connected to other students and friends and family in ways that older generations never would have imagined," says Steve Jones, U. of Illinois communications department chair and a senior research fellow at the Pew Internet & American Life Project. Students find their research and learning activities coordinated around the Internet, and workers use the Net to increase their job proficiency and efficiency, or to find another position. "Nowadays, a person employed at one company can be coordinating interviews via Hotmail during lunch and literally finding a new job without even leaving their desk," says a young PR agency employee who landed her job on the Net. Meanwhile, young people are also wary of the Net's downside—its potential for fraud, stalking and the everyday threat of rumor-mongering. Still, most see the Internet as a powerful force for good, says Jones: "There is a real power there, a kind of technological power. But also I think there's a kind of intellectual power that can be harnessed. They are so curious about using these technologies, and I'd really like to be able to regularly marshal that curiosity."

(AP/SiliconValley.com 5 Dec 2004 ) NewsScan Daily, 6 December 2004 http://www.siliconvalley.com/mld/siliconvalley/10340961.htm