SCHOLARLY COMMUNICATION ISSUES

A NEWSLETTER FOR THE UIUC COMMUNITY

Issue No. 45

June 9, 2003

Paula Kaufman, University Librarian

Editor

 

 

STUDY PREDICTS SLOWING ADOPTION OF BROADBAND
A new study by the Pew Internet and American Life Project predicts that, despite strong growth in recent years in the broadband market, many users satisfied with current access will not upgrade to broadband. An estimated 31 million U.S. households have high-speed access, up 50% from a year ago, and a number of companies are trying various approaches to encourage consumers to continue moving up to broadband at a similar rate. The new study, however, indicates that a large percentage of dial-up users are content to continue with their existing service. Pew analyst John B. Horrigan said the good news is that 13 percent of current dial-up users are ready to upgrade, but, he said, the bad news is that "the pool of dial-up users most primed to
migrate to broadband ... is shrinking." NewsFactor Network, 19 May 2003, Edupage, May 19, 2003  http://www.newsfactor.com/perl/story/21537.html

 

DISNEY PLANS TO LAUNCH SELF DESTRUCTING DVD
Disney home video unit Buena Vista Home Entertainment will launch a pilot movie rental" program in August that uses self-destruction technology.  The technology cannot be hacked by programmers who would want to view the disc longer, because the mechanism that closes the viewing window is chemical and has nothing to do with computer technology. The disc can be copied within 48 hours, since it works like
any other DVD during that window. BNA's Internet Law News (ILN) -
5/20/03
http://news.com.com/2100-1026_3-1003889.html

 

CONGRESSIONAL CAUCUS TARGETS PIRACY
Three members of the House - Robert Wexler, D-Fla., Adam Smith, D-Wash., and Tom Feeney, R-Fla. - are creating a new caucus that aims to combat piracy and promote stronger intellectual property laws. Planning for the Congressional Caucus on Intellectual Property Promotion and Piracy Prevention is still in its early stages representatives say with a formal letter going out to colleagues late last week. Still unclear: its exact agenda. Hilary Rosen of the RIAA commends the move: "It's initiatives like this, along with those of other congressional leaders, which help showcase the economic and cultural contributions of the creative community while shedding light on piracy's harmful impact." Corante - Tech News: May 20, 2003

http://news.com.com/2100-1028_3-1007908.html?tag=fd_top

 

CONGRESS MUST SAFEGUARD AMERICANS’ FREEDOM TO READ, BOOK COMMUNITY SAYS

 American publishers and authors have joined with colleagues from the bookselling and library communities in calling upon Congress to safeguard the right of every American to read freely, without the government’s knowledge or intervention. The Association of American Publishers (AAP) was one of a group of 32 organizations and businesses that issued a statement calling for passage of H.R. 1157, The Freedom to Read Protection Act.   Introduced in the House in March by Congressman Bernard Sanders (I-VT), the legislation at last count had 85 Democratic and Republican co-sponsors.  H.R. 1157 would exempt bookstore sales records and library circulation records from Section 215 of the USA Patriot Act, which gives FBI agents the ability to seize bookstore and library records with an order obtained from a secret court without having to show probable cause or even reasonable grounds to believe that the person whose records are sought has been involved in a crime. Passage of the Freedom to Read Protection Act would still allow law enforcement authorities to obtain these records, but under closer supervision by the courts. The full text of the statement along with a complete list of signatories can be found on the Free Expression Network web site at: www.freeexpression.org/ftrpa.htm

 

LIBRARIES CONTACTED BY JUSTICE DEPARTMENT

On Tuesday, May 20, the Justice Department released documents revealing that public libraries have been contacted about 50 times by federal investigators as part of their anti-terrorism efforts, as reported by the Associated Press. The information was released as part of the House Judiciary Committee's efforts to oversee how the government and FBI are using their much-expanded investigative powers under the USA Patriot Act. The Department will not say whether or not they looked through or took information from library records, the AP article noted. Commenting on the Justice Department's revelations, American Library Association President Maurice J. Freedman noted that "the documents released yesterday by the U.S. Department of Justice raise more questions than they answer. Although the Justice Department referenced an informal survey, the real number of libraries visited and the circumstances of those visits are still not known."  The American Civil Liberties Union also was not satisfied with the report, and said that the government did not provide enough details about the library investigations. Nonetheless, Committee Chairman James Sensenbrenner (R-WI)—who, along with Rep. John Conyers (D-MI), first initiated the Committee's efforts to find out the extent of the government's use of its new powers under the Patriot Act—commended the "timing and thoroughness" of the Department's answers, AP reported.  http://news.bookweb.org/

 

NEW YORK TIMES TO CHARGE FOR EMAIL UPDATES

The New York Times is going to turn its popular e-mail alert tracker into a subscription service, charging at least $19.95 for a year ("a special introductory rate"). The current free service—a service with 500,000 subscribers—called NewsTracker will be eliminated after two weeks. As a promotion, the new subscribers will be offered a $10 gift certificate to The Times' online store. This is an interesting idea and one many have speculated sites might try. But with 500,000 subscribers, the NewsTracker e-mails offered a lot of advertising revenue potential. Rafat Ali reports on PaidContent.org that the new service won't have ads in it,  even though the ad revenue from the free service would seem to have more revenue potential than the subscription fee from a paid service (which no doubt will have fewer subscribers).  “What's most odd about this plan is that The Times is making its breaking news e-mail alerts exclusive to subscribers of this service. Since so many sites offer comparable breaking news alerts—and since their primary purpose is to drive traffic to the Web site—it seems odd that The Times is discontinuing this as a free service.”  May 28, 2003 http://www.cyberjournalist.net/news/000428.php

 

ONLINE PUBLISHERS SEE REVENUE GROWTH

The Online Publishers Association reports that first-quarter ad revenue of two dozen of its members grew an average of 40.7% during the first quarter of the year. Total revenue among this group was up an average of 37.6 % over the same period last year. The companies surveyed included: About.com, Bankrate.com, Belo Interactive, CBS MarketWatch, CNET Networks, CondeNet, COXnet, Edmunds.com, ESPN.com, Forbes.com, Hearst, Internet Broadcasting Systems, Knight Ridder Digital, Meredith, MSNBC.com, New York Times Digital, Scripps Networks, Slate, SportingNews.com, Tribune Interactive, USATODAY.com, Wall Street Journal Online, weather.com and Washingtonpost.Newsweek Interactive.  May 23, 2003  http://www.cyberjournalist.net/news/000414.php

 

ARKive LAUNCHES

Fred Pearce describes the launch of ARKive in the May 23 issue of The Scientist.

ARKive is a not-for-profit initiative of The Wildscreen Trust (www.wildscreen.org.uk).

It is the Noah's Ark for the Internet era - the world's centralized digital library of films, photographs and associated recordings of species, accessible to all via the world wide web. ARKive is leading the virtual conservation effort - finding, sorting, cataloging and copying the key records of species, and building them into a comprehensive and enduring audio-visual record. For each species, we are selecting and digitizing an average of 10 minutes of moving footage, 6 - 10 stills and sound recordings (where appropriate), to compile a complete profile of the species' characteristic behavior and appearance.  FOS News 5/28/03 http://www.biomedcentral.com/news/20030523/06

 

BERTELSMANNSPRINGER SOLD TO CANDOVER AND CINVEN

Richard Poynder reports on the sale of BertelsmannSpringer to Candover and Cinven (C&C) in the May 27 issue of Information Today. C&C plans to merge the giant publisher with Kluwer Academic Publishers (KAP), which it bought last year, creating the world's second-largest academic publisher, behind Elsevier. Observers expect journal price hikes, the usual result of publisher consolidation. After quoting Mark McCabe and Andrew Odlyzko on the subject, Poynder concludes, "Such views are based on the now widespread conviction that STM publishers have been systematically overcharging customers, leading researchers to respond by adopting alternative publishing models, not least through self-archiving their papers on the Web." But Simon Leefe of C&C defends the acquisition: "Based on our experience at KAP, which we have owned now for a few months, and from the research we did on Springer, we have no sense that [library] budgets are in decline. FOS News 5/27/03  http://www.infotoday.com/newsbreaks/nb030527-1.shtml

 

LIBRARY GROUPS OPPOSE PUBLISHING MERGER

The Information Access Alliance (IAA), comprised of six library organizations, is asking the Justice Department to stop the purchase of academic publisher BertelsmannSpringer by private equity firms Cinven and Candover. The IAA, which includes the American Association of Law Libraries, American Library Association, Association of College and Research Libraries, Medical Library Association, and Scholarly Publishing and Academic Resources Coalition, says the proposed deal would result in increase prices and reduced access to scholarly research.

http://www.info-commons.org/blog/archives/000025.html#more

 

THOMSON TO SELL HEALTHCARE PUBLICATIONS

Thomson Corporation has announced that it will sell off its healthcare publications, including titles such as Medical Economics and Drug Topics, by the end of the year. Thomson has made clear that it is exiting all print businesses, and it sold off newspaper properties in recent years. Its strategy is to be global, electronic, and a leader in providing content and tools to professionals in its main target markets, including finance, legal, science, health, and education. Remaining print properties in Thomson's portfolio should also be seen as candidates for divestiture. It's not clear to Outsell why print publications have to go in order for that strategy to be fulfilled, when their content is clearly relevant to sectors Thomson wishes to serve. The Scientific, Technical and Medical (STM) space is evolving from a single sector to three distinct spaces dominated by Big S (Reed Elsevier's focus on pure sciences), Big M (Wolters Kluwer's focus on medical information), and Big T (Thomson's focus on technology, engineering, and applied science).  Source: Outsell's e-briefs, May 23, 2003  www.outsellinc.com

 

NEW ANSWERS TO OLD QUESTIONS

The gathering of industry professionals in Manhattan last month generated an urgent call for action on several fronts. Since that May 5 meeting, the conversation has continued and in this article Publishers Weekly revisits the major themes and extends an analysis of how publishers can better compete in the current marketplace. http://publishersweekly.reviewsnews.com/index.asp?publication=publishersweekly

 

REALNETWORKS LOWERS THE BAR FOR PER-SONG DOWNLOAD PRICE

Not long after Apple Computer's new music service went online selling songs for 99 cents each, RealNetworks announced that its new Rhapsody music service would charge just 79 cents per song. Rhapsody is based on the Listen.com service, which RealNetworks acquired last month. According to RealNetworks's Dan Sheeran, users who subscribe to the service for $9.95 per month will be able to download songs for the
79-cent price. Sheeran said the revenues from subscriptions will allow the service to run at a profit. By comparison, Apple's service is available to anyone with a Mac, without a monthly subscription fee. Subscribers to the Rhapsody service will be allowed unlimited downloads and can burn any downloaded songs to CDs. Internet News, 28 May 2003  Edupage, May 28, 2003 http://www.internetnews.com/ec-news/article.php/2213011

 

MELLON GRANT ALLOWS UNIVERSITIES TO ARCHIVE WORLD MUSIC
A partnership between Indiana University and the University of Michigan will create an online digital archive of video recordings and a searchable database of world music to be used for research and teaching, thanks to a Mellon Foundation grant and additional support from both universities. The Ethnomusicological Video for Instruction and Analysis (EVIA) Digital Archive project (http://www.indiana.edu/~eviada) will focus on video recordings made by ethnomusicologists to preserve traditional musical performances, which are increasingly threatened or destroyed by war and globalization. Although preservation is the driving issue behind the digital archive, an ultimate goal is to return the recordings to the cultures where they were originally recorded, a task that has often proved difficult with physical videotapes. The digital recordings will be made available to a global network of people, not only to those able to physically travel to archival institutions, as has been the case in the past. (AScribe Newswire 5 May 2003) ShelfLife, No. 108 (May 29 2003) http://www.ascribe.org/cgi-bin/spew4th.pl?ascribeid=20030505.113326&time=12%2042%20PDT&year=2003&public=1

 

PUBLISHER, LIBRARY SIGN LONG-TERM DIGITAL ARCHIVING PACT
The Director General of the Koninklijke Bibliotheek (the National Library of the
Netherlands) has inked an agreement with the CEO of Kluwer Academic Publishers to digitally archive all Kluwer electronic journals featured on its Kluwer Online Web site. Kluwer Online currently contains 235,000 articles from 670 journals and more than 600 e-books. Plans for this year call for adding more than 70,000 articles and 400 additional e-books. The Koninklijke Bibliotheek has made research and development on long-term digital archiving a top priority, working with IBM to develop the E-deposit system. The system, which was implemented last December, made the KB the first national library in the world to own an operational system for the deposit and long-term preservation of digital materials. In support of its mission, the KB is seeking to enter into similar agreements with all major scientific publishers. (Business Wire 19 May 2003) ShelfLife, No. 108 (May 29 2003) http://home.businesswire.com/portal/site/home/index.jsp?epi-content=NEWS_VIEW_POPUP_TYPE&newsId=20030519005163&newsLang=en&beanID=2133606841&viewID=news_view_popup

 

KANSAS U PROVOST CALLS FOR PUBLIC ACCESS TO PUBLICLY-FUNDED RESEARCH
Federal legislation should require that, as a condition of accepting a federal research grant, scientists and scholars agree to place articles reporting their results in a free, publicly accessible repository within a specified period after publication in a journal. That was the case presented by
University of Kansas provost David Shulenberger at a joint SPARC and ACRL panel session during the recent ACRL National Conference. Shulenberger's presentation offered participants a preview of an article he has co-authored, due to be published in the October issue of Change magazine. Also on the panel, entitled "Scholarly Communication: Taking Stock, Charting Next Steps," were James Neal, Columbia University, and Jean-Claude Guedon, University of Montreal.  Neal examined the impact of low-price journal alternatives, open-access business models, and open archiving on the scholarly communications market.  Dr. Guedon, a historian of science and outspoken critic of the current system, discussed faculty motives for publishing in the current system of scholarly communication. ACRL plans to offer a webcast version of the session.  For more information, please visit the ACRL home page SPARC E-News April-May 2003  http://www.arl.org/sparc/core/index.asp?page=g30#2

 

WATCH IT COME, WATCH IT GO

Carol Tenopir, Gayle Baker, and William Robinson, The Art of Conjuring E-Content, Library Journal, May 30, 2003. A survey of disappearing, reappearing, and transformation acts over the past 18 months, with a very useful series of 58 profiles of the major academic databases.  FOS News 5/31/03 http://libraryjournal.reviewsnews.com/index.asp?layout=article&articleid=CA296416&publication=libraryjournal

 

FREE SAMPLING LICENSE

Creative Commons, a nonprofit dedicated to building a layer of reasonable copyright, announced late last month that it would begin development of the Sampling License, a copyright tool designed to let artists encourage the creative transformation of their work, for profit or otherwise. Leading the public discussion and development of the license is Negativland, practitioners of "found sound" music as well as other forms of media manipulation. http://www.creativecommons.org/press-releases/entry/3707

 

DMCA FOUND TO ALLOW COPYRIGHT HOLDERS TO SHUT DOWN WEBSITES

The United States District Court for the District of Hawaii granted the Defendant's motion on April 29, 2003, in regard to the case of Michael J. Rossi dba InternetMovies.com vs. Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA) et al. This decision rules that the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) does not require a copyright holder to conduct an investigation to establish actual infringement prior to sending notice to an Internet Service Provider (ISP) requiring them to shut-down an allegedly infringing web site, or stopping service all together to an alleged violator. The DMCA states that a "good faith belief" of infringement does not require a copyright holder to make any investigation to act against the accused.  Music Industry News Network JUNE 2, 2003 http://www.mi2n.com/press.php3?press_nb=52456

 

DEREGULATION 101

Confused about the implications of the impending FCC’s on media cross-ownership rules?  Here's a good guide from Poynter's Julie Moos on how to understand the FCC's ownership regulations, how they may change, and what that means to journalists, journalism, and news consumers. It includes a "5-Minute Guide to Deregulation," with a timeline, who's who, and a synopsis of the rules and proposed changes. http://www.poynter.org/content/content_view.asp?id=35654

 

COMMUNITY COMMONS: LIBRARIES IN THE NEW CENTURY

Presentations from A Community Commons: Libraries in the New Century - Association of Research Libraries 142nd Annual Meeting - Lexington, Kentucky - May 14-17, 2003 are now available. Included are presentations on The Role of Library Architecture in Building Community, Extending Library Participation in the Research Community, Insights Into User Behavior, and Realizing a Vision Through Architecture.  The latter includes a presentation by Stephen Murray of Columbia University who will be part of the Future of the Library Symposium here on the UIUC campus on October 30 – open to all.  Peter Scott’s Library Blog, 5/29/03  http://www.arl.org/arl/proceedings/142/


PUTTING A TRACE ON COPYRIGHTED BOOTY
A Q&A with Paul Kocher, who says he is developing a new technology to crack down on Internet piracy without invading Internet users' privacy. "Instead of trying to track everyone's habits and patterns, Kocher's code would create a forensic trail to allow law-enforcement authorities to hunt down criminals - but only after there is evidence that illegal copies have been made," reports Business Week. Kocher: "We're trying to create a
system where there will be consequences if people don't obey the laws, but anonymity will be protected if they do." Business Week says his ideas, though "still in the research stage," are "getting rave reviews from
Hollywood studios, as well as DVD-player manufacturers." Kocher created the Secure Socket Layer a security protocol that allows Internet users to make secure online purchases. Corante News 6/2/03 http://businessweek.com/technology/content/may2003/tc20030529_4913_tc073.htm

 

VENDORS ANNOUNCE COMPLIANCE WITH COUNTER
Blackwell Publishing, ISI and Oxford University Press have announced that the online usage reports they supply to customers now comply with Release 1of the COUNTER Code of Practice. All three companies have signed formal declarations of compliance and the list of usage reports covered by each publisher may be found on the COUNTER website at www.projectCounter.org.  A number of other leading vendors have declared their intention to become COUNTER compliant in the course of 2003 and are working towards this goal. They include: American Institute of Physics Lippincott, Williams & Wilkins BMJ Publishing Group Extenza CABI International HighWire Press EBSCO Ingenta Elsevier Science Institute of Physics Publishing Nature Publishing Group  Issue 104, Internet Resources Newsletter

 

GALE ALSO ALIGNS REPORTS WITH ELECTRONIC PRODUCT USAGE GUIDELINES

Reference publisher Gale has aligned its electronic product usage reports to the guidelines and requirements outlined by two authorities on electronic product usage statistics. The authorities, ICOLC (International Coalition of Library Consortium) and COUNTER (Counting Online Usage of NeTworked Electronic Resources), are international organizations dedicated to developing standards for the measurement and reporting of usage statistics. Beginning in July 2003, full-text record access will be displayed separately from abstract and citation record access on all Gale usage reports. Prior to July 2003, only the "Journal Retrievals" report displayed full-text record access separately from abstract record access. As new ICOLC and COUNTER requirements for usage reporting are published, Gale will respond with usage reporting updates that keep its statistics aligned with market needs. ICOLC published usage-reporting guidelines in November 1998, and updated those guidelines in December 2001. COUNTER published usage-reporting requirements on January 14, 2003, in their "Code of Practice" statement.  http://www.econtentmag.com/?ArticleID=4484

 

PUBLISH OR PERISH: SELF-ARCHIVE TO FLOURISH

Stevan Harnad writes that it is becoming apparent that our main challenge is not creating institutional repositories, but creating policies and incentives for filling them. Universities' "publish or perish" policies are intended to encourage and reward researchers for doing research and for making their findings public to all would-be users. It is a natural extension of "publish or perish" to encourage and reward researchers for maximizing the impact of their research output by maximizing would-be user access to it. An article on how this can be done through national and university
research accessibility and accessibility policies (with the UK as a model) appeared recently in the Times Higher Education Supplement.  It is a condensed version of the
following short article: "Enhance UK research impact and assessment by making the RAE webmetric"  http://www.ecs.soton.ac.uk/~harnad/Temp/thes.html
 

DIGITAL PRESERVATION: A SCHOLAR'S RESPONSIBILITY, TOO
Inadequate preservation is the greatest risk to future scholarship. Preservation, which encompasses everything that ensures information will be fit for future use, includes capture, curation, and storage and has traditionally been the realm of librarians. But who is responsible for preservation in the digital age? Librarians cannot do it alone anymore, yet few scholars are aware of their own roles in the preservation of the intellectual property they produce. These scholars, after all, arrived in the digital age rather abruptly. For the most part, their work habits were forged back in the analog era, when others traditionally handled the collection and preservation of their work. While libraries and publishers are beginning to step up to the challenge, the individual scholar must also assume some of the responsibility. In some sense, the creator—knowingly or not—makes the critical decisions about the life expectancy of a file in the first few hours after its conception: which software to encode it, which hardware to play it back, and how to name the files. A blue ribbon commission of the National Science Foundation recently urged the building of an infrastructure that will support reliable information creation and transmission over time. In the humanities, the challenge is helping individual scholars build work habits that will ensure the integrity of a digital project long after the scholar has moved on. Without preservation, after all, scholarship will indeed be a truly solitary pursuit, cut off from its connections with both the past and the future. (Educause Review May-Jun 2003)  ShelfLife, No. 109 (
June 5 2003)
http://www.educause.edu/ir/library/pdf/erm0338.pdf

 

CLICK CLICK
Writing in the online magazine Ubiquity that the Web is slowly but surely transforming human beings from thinkers to "clickers," M.O. Thirunarayanan asks: "Why should a person take the time to think when he or she can click his or her way to an instantaneous answer to a question that might otherwise have necessitated some thinking on the part of the person to get an answer." Why all this clicking? "The act of clicking instills in human beings a sense of being in control. Clicking on a link gives a person who is doing the clicking the feeling that he or she is in charge of the situation. Clickers feel that they are the masters of their domains. On the other hand, there is uncertainty and a sense of lack of control when a person initially starts thinking about something. It should therefore come as no surprise that when a Web user's eye perceives a link, his or her fingers start clicking almost instantaneously." Thirunarayanan's solution? Get a life, he seems to say—and ends his article this way: "If you have finished reading this brief paper, please feel free to express your need to click your way out of this Web page. I hope that the information in this paper did not in any way result in further reinforcing your clicking behavior." (Ubiquity 13-19 May
2003) ShelfLife, No. 109 (June 5 2003)
http://www.acm.org/ubiquity/views/m_thirunarayanan_8.html

 

'TO BE OR NOT TO BE, THAT IS THE POINT'
"The point"? Not "the question"? No, not according to Shakespeare's original Quartos, a body of work largely unavailable to the average researcher. But Octavo, a unique publishing company that captures rare classic books and manuscripts, page by page, using the most modern of high-resolution digital media, is hoping to put Shakespeare's Quartos and thousands of other precious literary antiquities into the hands of scholars everywhere. Octavo produces CD-ROMs of books by the likes of Shakespeare, Galileo, Newton, Chaucer and Euclid, and is working on a version of the Gutenberg Bible. The PDF files on the discs open up into detailed photographs of every page. Viewers can click through the pages and zoom in to examine the smallest details, whether an embellishment on an illuminated letter or even a wormhole bored through the page of a work by Copernicus. Researchers affiliated with Octavo prepare transcriptions and translations of the works, and the text is fully searchable. Richard Kuhta of the Folger Shakespeare Library in Washington, DC, cites Octavo's philosophy as a major reason he opened up Folger's collection to the eyes of their cameras. "The attitude at Octavo appealed to us as much as the technology, along with the shared understanding that the digital environment offered, oddly, the opportunity to extend access to priceless material while at the same time reduce handling of physical objects." (East Bay Business Times 26 May 2003) ShelfLife, No. 109 (June 5 2003)
http://www.bizjournals.com/eastbay/stories/2003/05/26/smallb1.html

 

DIGITAL ART
The Amico Library, which is an Internet archive with digital copies of more than 100,000 paintings, sculptures, and photographs, was created through a collaboration of 39 museums (from the well-known, such as the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York, to the less well-known, such as the Newark Museum. Amico is an acronym for Art Museum Image Consortium (www.amico.org), a nonprofit venture that has become almost self-sufficient since its founding in 1999, and has a current annual budget of $750,000. This month Amico's board of trustees voted to accept an invitation to merge with Artstor (www.artstor.org), a nonprofit venture supported by the Andrew Mellon Foundation. The two organizations, when merged, will be under ArtStor's direction. (New York Times 22 May 2003) ShelfLife, No. 109 (June 5 2003)
http://www.nytimes.com/2003/05/22/technology/circuits/22muse.html?ex=1368936000&en=dc6a10a2d49a6f4c&ei=5007&partner=USERLAND

 

WE’RE ALL IN THIS TOGETHER

In difficult times, scholarly presses stress solidarity, the need for new initiatives—and point to a few cheering bright spots. When the book business is suffering, as it is at present, university presses, whose task is to disseminate scholarship and only incidentally to make a profit if they can, are likely to be suffering even more. Peter Givler, executive director of the Association of American University Presses, winces visibly when asked how they are faring in today's rather bleak marketplace.

"Most of them are scrambling, month to month," he says. "The whole business is in the doldrums right now, but we're especially hard hit because the library market, which is important to us, is getting hammered. State budget cuts are affecting university libraries, and endowments are down. Everybody's struggling. At best, a university press will be pleased if it can hold level with last year—which wasn't a great year anyway."

Can he foresee press closings? "Some of the smaller state ones are certainly vulnerable, but I'd expect to see more firings of directors, in an attempt to turn things around, than actual closings," says Givler. And in fact one recent such firing, that of Bill Strachan at Columbia, had captured much attention because of the obvious conflict it revealed between a lively press's ambitions and the funds available to carry them out. http://publishersweekly.reviewsnews.com/index.asp?layout=articlePrint&articleID=CA302166

 

UMASS PRESS FIGHTING FOR ITS LIFE UNDER CURRENT BUDGET PROPOSAL
The University of Massachusetts Press is fighting for its life under a current budget proposal that would discontinue its $340,000 annual subsidy. Under the current budget
scenario put forth by UMass Chancellor John Lombardi, the press would have to replace its subsidy or find a way to survive on the just over $1 million in annual revenues from
book sales. Like a large number of university systems across the country, UMass is struggling to close a major budget deficit and is trimming budgets across all
departments. UMass Press Director Bruce Wilcox confirmed that the press is facing an uncertain future. Wilcox said he was sympathetic to Lombardi, whom he termed "a smart and decent man" facing a "horrendous" financial situation. "[Lombardi] must make cuts of somewhere between $24 and $40 million on this campus [
Amherst] for the fiscal
year that begins July 1," said Wilcox. Founded in 1963, the University of Massachusetts Press
is regarded as one of the nation's finest small university presses. It has sold more than 1.8 million volumes and has over 900 titles in print. With a lean staff of 13
employees, the press publishes roughly 40 new titles annually in a variety of humanities and social sciences subjects. Wilcox said he hopes the press could find a way to survive should it lose part or its entire subsidy.  Library Journal Academic News Wire: June 06, 2003

 

OPEN ACCESS TIBETAN BUDDHIST RESOURCE CENTER

In the June 6 Chronicle of Higher Education, Peter Monaghan profiles the open-access Tibetan Buddhist Resource Center and describes the efforts of E. Gene Smith to collect and digitize the texts on which it is based. All the TBRC texts are now available on disk, with the exception of a few passages on secret rites, omitted at the request of the Tibetan caretakers of the paper originals. The digital texts are slowly moving from disks to the web, where they are available without charge. Those who want texts not yet online may order them on disk and pay whatever they are moved to pay. Quoting Smith: "There is an uneasiness in the Tibetan tradition about selling books or images. We like to try at least to cover the cost of postage [but do not even require that]. The idea is that we just don't want to be selling back the Tibetan culture to the Tibetans."  FOS News 6/6/03  http://chronicle.com/weekly/v49/i39/39a04801.htm

 

OPEN-ACCESS ECONOMICS BULLETIN

SPARC has announced a partnership with the open-access journal, Economics Bulletin. Quoting John Conley, professor of economics at Vanderbilt and co-founder of Economics Bulletin: "The problem as we see it is that the current business model employed by commercial publishers does more to inhibit than foster scholarly communication. Our hope is that the Economics Bulletin demonstrates that it [is] feasible to take back control of the publication process and produce high-quality, peer-reviewed journals on an open access basis within the academic community itself." For more details, see the SPARC press release.  Conley moved to Vanderbilt from UIUC; the UIUC Library is committed to archiving the publication.  http://www.topica.com/lists/fos-forum/read/message.html?mid=907830102&sort=d&start=776

 

ONLINE INDUSTRY HISTORY

Starting with the June issue, Searcher magazine will run a series of articles on "the genesis of the first online industry, which surfaced in the late 1960s, and served primarily information scientists; documentation experts; government researchers in educational, scientific, technical and medical fields; and librarians." The article in the June issue includes reminiscences by Carlos Cuadra (of ORBIT) and Roger Summit (of Dialog) on Medline, ERIC, and their interaction with early commercial services. FOS News 6/2/03  http://www.infotoday.com/searcher/jun03/ardito_bjorner.shtml

 

USED BOOK MARKED ROBUST

A significant percentage of American book buyers turn to used books to get the titles they want or need at a substantial discount.  About 10 per cent of U.S. households bought at least one used book between April and December of last year. In total, these households purchased roughly 110 million used books or about $400 million in dollars spent, according to data released at BookExpo America by Ipsos BookTrends.  Used books accounted for roughly 13% of unit volume and 5% of dollars spent on trade books (excluding children’s books). Projecting purchase trends for the full year, Ipsos BookTrends estimates that American consumers bought about 145 million used books last year, for about $533 million. Nearly one-third of book buying households purchased both a new and a used book during the last nine months of 2002. Among used book buyers, most of who purchase both used and new books during the year, one out of every three book purchases was for a used book.  Peter Scott’s Library Blog 6/9/03  http://www.ipsos-pa.com/dsp_displaypr_us.cfm?id_to_view=1827

 

LEGISLATION TO SCALE BACK USE OF ANTICOPYING TECHNOLOGY?

A Republican lawmaker is expected to announce a bill next week that would dramatically scale back the ability of record labels, movie studios and others to use anticopying technology. The bill, authored by Sen. Sam Brownback, would regulate digital rights management systems, granting consumers the right to resell copy-protected products and requiring digital media manufacturers to prominently disclose to consumers the presence of anticopying technology in their products. The Kansas Republican's proposal could also derail the recording industry's legal pursuit of the identity of a Verizon Communications subscriber by requiring that a copyright holder file a lawsuit in pursuit of the name of an alleged peer-to-peer pirate. That would amend the 1998 Digital Millennium Copyright Act, which a federal court concluded does not require a judge's approval before a copyright holder can force the disclosure of a suspected pirate's identity. The main thrust of the Brownback bill, however, is to slap regulations on digital rights management (DRM) technology, which has become increasingly popular as a way to reduce widespread copyright infringement on the Internet. Last month, Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer stressed his company's support for DRM technology, and Apple Computer uses DRM to limit how customers can reuse music downloaded from the iTunes Music Store. Some consumer groups argue that DRM infringes on the right to make "fair use" of copyrighted works and to back up legally purchased digital files. If the Brownback proposal were enacted, the Federal Trade Commission would have the power to ban DRM systems that limit a consumer's right to resell any "digital media product," a category that includes everything from computer software and e-books to copy-protected CDs and movies. It also says that companies selling such products must offer "clear and conspicuous notice or a label on the product" indicating the presence of anticopying technology that follows FTC regulations, starting one year after the law's enactment, unless the FTC determines that industry groups have created reasonable "voluntary" guidelines of their own. http://www.businessweek.com/technology/cnet/stories/1013037.htm

 

NEW VERSION OF SCHOLARLY ELECTRONIC PUBLISHING BIBLIOGRAPHY

This new SEPB version includes over 1,900 articles, books, and other printed and electronic sources that are useful in understanding scholarly electronic publishing efforts on the Internet. The "Scholarly Electronic Publishing Resources" directory includes over 230 related Web sites. Scholarly Electronic Publishing Blog 6/9/03  http://info.lib.uh.edu/sepb/sepb.html

 

 

The scholarly communications are also available on line at http://www.library.uiuc.edu/administration/news.htm