Issue No. 53
October 13, 2003
Paula Kaufman, University Librarian


The University Library celebrated the acquisition of its 10-millionth volume on October 10, 2003.  Unlike its previous “millionth” volumes, which were rare and, for the most part, centuries old, the Library produced a one-of-a-kind volume that reflects the excellence of this Library – as a collection, as a place, and as people.  Unlocking Our Past, Building Our Future” represents the Library’s timeless importance to the University’s mission and the scholars of the world.  Library faculty, staff, and friends provided the texts and other representations.  The book’s text was printed with a hand letterpress (by Foils & Dies of Colorado) on handmade paper reminiscent of parchment (by Twinrocker Handmade Paper of Indiana).  The volume was bound in-house using leather and wood with decorative cover.  Conservation Librarian Jennifer Hain Teper designed and produced the volume.  The book’s production was made possible by a generous gift from Alan and Phyllis Hallene.  

The Wellcome Trust strongly endorsed open access in an October 1 public position statement.  It will allow WT grant recipients to use WT contingency funds to pay the processing fees charged by open-access journals.  The WT is the world's largest private funder of medical research.  Apart from WT research grants, the public statement urges authors "where possible" to retain copyright and make their work freely available online.  WT will also "encourage and support" the launch of new open-access journals and repositories.  The WT definition of "open access" is heavily based on the Bethesda definition (June 2003). On the same day that WT released its public statement, it released a report on the economics of scientific research publishing, which helped it decide to endorse open access.  The WT is in a key position to change the way medical research is funded and published.  Its decision to support open access should carry weight with holdouts who are intrigued by the promise of open access but undecided about its economics.  Of course it also means that a lot of important medical research in the near future will be openly accessible, which is very good news for the acceleration of progress, growth of knowledge, sharing of results, and treatment of patients.  SPARC Open Access Newsletter, 10/2/03 

PLoS Biology (, a monthly peer-reviewed journal available free online, features research of exceptional significance, including several groundbreaking articles that recently have received extensive coverage in the worldwide news media. PLoS is employing a new model for scientific publishing in which research articles are freely available to read and use through the Internet. The costs of publication are recovered not from subscription fees—which limit information access and use—but from publication fees paid by authors out of their grant funds and from other sources. PLoS is supported by a large group of the world's leading scientists, including Nobel Laureate James Watson, Susan Lindquist, E.O. Wilson, and Kai Simons. A team of leading scientists serve as academic editors and an experienced professional staff operate the venture. Start-up costs for PLoS are being supported by a grant from the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation. 

Here’s a take on the PLoS from
UK’s Guardian: A group of leading scientists are to mount an unprecedented challenge to the publishers that lock away the valuable findings of research in expensive, subscription-only electronic databases by launching their own journal to give away results for free. The control of information on everything from new cancer treatments to space exploration is at stake, while caught in the crossfire are the world's publicly funded scientists, some of whom will soon face a choice between their career and their conscience. On one side of the conflict stand the major multinational publishing houses like Elsevier Science that package scientific findings into hundreds of specialist journals and sell them for thousands of pounds a year. On the other is a new publishing group called the Public Library of Science (PLoS) that will distribute its journals free of charge and is backed by top scientists, including the British Nobel prize winners Paul Nurse and Sir John Sulston.  Read more at,3604,1056608,00.html

Oxford University Press announced recently that it will provide open access to articles published in OUP journals, written by Oxford University authors, and stored in the Oxford institutional repository. Quoting Martin Richardson, director of the OUP Journals Division: "I am delighted that we are the first publisher to become involved in this innovative project. Access to our online journals corpus will provide a substantial collection of high quality scholarly research across a broad range of disciplines, facilitating investigations into some key technical, economic and cultural issues surrounding the creation of institutional repositories." The project is a partnership of OUP, Oxford University Library Services, and Project SHERPA. The Oxford repository will be built with the open-source eprints software.  For more information see the press release.  Open Access News 10/03/03 

Sen. Norm Coleman (R-Minn.) intends to introduce legislation that will lower the fines for those found guilty of sharing copyrighted music files. Under the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA), violators face fines of between $750 and $150,000 per song. Coleman, who recently chaired a hearing on the issue of file sharing and recording industry efforts to curb the practice, said the range of fines is unreasonable. Facing the prospect of having to pay $150,000 for each copyrighted song, he said, "forces people to settle when they may want to fight." Coleman also took issue with the DMCA subpoena provision, which allows copyright owners to obtain identities of suspected infringers without approval of a judge. Coleman voiced an opinion shared by many in the P2P community that there should be some level of judicial review for the subpoenas. A spokesman for the Recording Industry Association of America, which supports the DMCA as it stands today, said, "Given the scope of today's piracy epidemic, we must not weaken the hand of copyright holders." San Jose Mercury News, 2 October 2003 Edupage, October 03, 2003

As libraries increasingly incorporate digital content into their existing print collections, the question invariably arises as to how this new blending is viewed by both patrons and professionals. In an effort to address that question, the Council on Library and Information Resources (CLIR) analyzed more than 200 recent research studies focusing on the use of electronic library resources and has compiled a report summarizing those findings. Although the methodology used and conclusions drawn in the studies vary widely, there are several consistent themes that reoccur regularly. Both faculty and students like electronic resources, particularly if the sources are perceived as convenient, relevant and time-saving to their natural workflow, but most of these users still print out their e-journals for reading. Electronic resources are especially handy for browsing and for taking advantage of hyperlinks to related material, although subject experts make much more use of the hyperlinks than students. Different disciplines exhibit different usage patterns and preferences for print or electronic, but print is used for reading assignments in almost every discipline, and is considered important in some disciplines, especially in the humanities. Print is definitely the most popular medium for books, with electronic books still in the embryonic stage of usage. With rising prices in academic publishing, many faculty are allowing their print subscriptions to lapse, relying instead on electronic subscriptions subsidized by the library or on the Internet. Internet-based resources have become the dominant medium used by most college and high schools students, who often believe that they are more expert at searching than their teachers, but their criteria for judging the quality of those sources often differs from that of their teachers. (Council on Library and Information Resources, Use and Users of Electronic Library Resources: An Overview and Analysis of Recent Research Studies Aug 2003) ShelfLife, No. 126 (October 2 2003)

Like most museums, the Smithsonian has millions of artifacts stored in warehouses, inaccessible to the public. But "the nation's attic" has flung open its doors—virtually—with a new Web site called HistoryWired ( Like a private tour through the Smithsonian's backstage areas, HistoryWired lets visitors select the objects that interest them. With a mouse click, curators explain the items' significance while you examine them. The initial 450 objects include famous, unusual, and everyday items with interesting stories to tell. Featuring artifacts from the National Museum of American History, HistoryWired is free of the thematic restrictions of most public exhibits, and uses that freedom to offer a truly eclectic collection. The Web site's interface is a Java-enabled object map resembling an enormous jigsaw puzzle or surveyor's grid; it's composed of different-sized rectangles filled with dozens of other rectangles. Each represents an object you can view. (Christian Science Monitor 24 Sept 2003) ShelfLife, No. 126 (October 2 2003)

The Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) has released an update of its DMCA report, Unintended Consequences: Five Years under the Digital Millennium Copyright Act. One conclusion: "Section 1201 is being used by a number of copyright owners to stifle free speech and legitimate scientific research. The lawsuit against 2600 magazine, threats against Princeton Professor Edward Felten's team of researchers, and prosecution of the Russian programmer Dmitry Sklyarov have chilled a variety of legitimate activities. Bowing to DMCA liability fears, online service providers and bulletin board operators have begun to censor discussions of copy-protection systems, programmers have removed computer security programs from their websites, and students, scientists and security experts have stopped publishing details of their research on existing security protocols. Foreign scientists are increasingly uneasy about traveling to the United States out of fear of possible DMCA liability, and certain technical conferences have begun to relocate overseas." There follows a depressingly long list of annotated and documented examples.  Open Access News, 10/03/03

Senators Larry Craig (R-ID) and Richard Durbin (D-IL) have introduced the Security and Freedom Ensured Act (SAFE) of 2003 in the Senate. The legislation would amend parts of the USA Patriot Act, including Section 215, which gives law enforcement officials broad authority to demand that libraries or bookstores turn over books, records, papers, and documents. Similar to the Library, Bookstore, and Personal Records Privacy Act—legislation introduced into the Senate by Senator Russell D. Feingold (D-WI) in late July—SAFE would narrow the universe of people whose bookstore or library records could be searched under the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA). Under SAFE, the FBI cannot access bookstore or library records without specifying that "there are specific and articulable facts giving reason to believe that the person to whom the records pertain is a foreign power or an agent of a foreign power."  Bookselling This Week, 10/02/03

A civil-liberties group is objecting to plans by the San Francisco Public Library to put into its books computer chips that will electronically signal the books' locations. The Associated Press reports that library officials approved a proposal to install tiny radio-frequency identification chips (RFIDs) into the 2 million books, compact discs and audiovisual materials that patrons can borrow. The microchips send electromagnetic waves that make it easy to determine the books' locations. Library officials said the system will help locate books in branches and speed the checkout process. They said the chips would be deactivated as materials are taken from the library, thus preventing any stealth tracking of books off premises. But the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) expressed concern that patrons' privacy rights could be threatened because the chips could be used by ingenious hackers or police.

EDUCAUSE, the association for information technology in higher education, has released a monograph, EDUCAUSE Core Data Service 2002 Summary Report, which summarizes data from a broad sample of 621 colleges and universities about their campus IT environments and practices. The data from responding institutions—representative of institutional size and governance—yield such findings as the fact that while more than 50% of college students overall own personal computers, ownership at private research universities is around 84% but at all public institutions less than 38%. Other notable findings include: 50% of most central IT budgets are allocated to staff costs; about half the computers on most campuses are covered by funded replacement cycles; despite the rise of ERP products, the average age of most administrative systems is nine years; and the number of Chief Information Officers from all types of institutions who sit on presidential cabinets has been steadily rising to the current average of nearly 44%.

The Free Expression Project has issued a new report, The Progress of Science and Useful Arts: Why Copyright Today Threatens Intellectual Freedom.  It notes that copyright enforcement will never be perfect, nor should it be. Whether circumventing digital locks or copying songs, pictures, or articles for friends and colleagues is or is not a technical violation of copyright law, much of this activity has been "below the radar" in the past, and has not prevented publishers, music producers, or other media companies from enjoying healthy profits. The legitimate goal of stopping commercial piracy should not be an excuse for turning the Internet into a police state or making criminals of computer scientists and music-loving teenagers. It makes several recommendations:

° Move toward restoring the "limited time"/public domain balance by returning to the copyright terms of the 1976 Act: life plus 50 years for individuals; 75 years for corporations. Alternatively, require that heirs and corporations file a notice of renewal, thereby allowing works that no longer have commercial value to enter the public domain sooner. Require corporate copyright holders to file a notice of renewal after 50 years, and every ten years thereafter, as proposed by Representative Lofgren.

° Repeal the "tools" provisions of the DMCA, or at least, exempt anyone whose purpose is political commentary or scientific research. Legalize the manufacture or distribution of circumvention tools that permit "significant non-infringing use" of copyrighted works.

° Create broader exemptions for fair use under the DMCA. Limit liability for circumvention to those who intentionally aid and abet copyright infringement. Alternatively, interpret the law narrowly to bar only conventional circumvention devices such as "black boxes," and not to censor computer code.

° Recognize that much copying done for personal, noncommercial purposes is fair use.

° Require copyright owners to license copyright-protected music and other creative work online on reasonable, nondiscriminatory terms.

° Eliminate the DMCA requirement that Internet service providers and search engines remove disputed content from their servers based simply on a demand letter from a copyright owner. Eliminate ISP liability for copyright infringement by their users unless they intentionally assist with infringement.

° Outlaw the industry practice of encrypting portions of works that are not copyright-protected - for example, the original text of public domain works.

° Encourage alternatives to lengthy copyright terms through Creative Commons and similar projects.

In a letter to the House Subcommittee on Courts, the Internet, and Intellectual Property, the Center for Democracy and Technology expressed support for the goals of a pending copyright enforcement bill (HR 2517) but highlighted privacy concerns raised by a provision that would facilitate sharing of information between law enforcement agencies and private copyright holders. CDT also wrote that a provision designed to reduce the spread of spyware is overly broad. The Subcommittee was scheduled to complete its markup of the bill on October 2nd, but debate over controversial provisions delayed final consideration until the following week. October 3, 2003

The new issue of Henry Gladney's Digital Document Quarterly is now online. The major feature in this issue is an article on what's missing from the Plan for the National Digital Information Infrastructure and Preservation Program.  Open Access News 10/08/03

There has been much written about the technique and rationale for digital preservation, and a large number of businesses and cultural institutions have digital preservation and records management programs in place. This article by Johnathon Crowhurst focuses on the actual dangers of digital preservation - data loss due to the ever increasing use of electronic mail and the loss of data due to changes in software and data storage platforms. Crowhurst examines the remedies advanced to counter the onset of a potential "digital dark ages."  This article was prompted by a feature published in the science journal Nature (19 June 2003) <>. The authors, from the University of Texas, contend that the electronic world in general and email in particular is a very poor medium for preserving data and point out some serious pitfalls with over reliance on the technology for historians in several generations time.  Crowhurst concludes: The Millennium Bug turned out to be one of the biggest non-events in history. The loss of data and history through over reliance on computer technology for preservation and storage is a far more serious issue as human culture will lose something of itself. We need to be thinking outside the box. We need to increase awareness among businesses and institutions who are storing data and records electronically; among software and hardware vendors whose only goal is the short term. Otherwise it will be easier for historians to reconstruct the world 100 years ago than those historians 100 years hence reconstructing the 21st century.

For the past several hundred years, publishers have promoted a simplistic view of copyright. Copyright is a matter of fairness to authors, they argue. Authors own their creations and therefore should be free to control them. But the history of copyright and its underlying philosophy contradicts that simple view. Copyright is not about fairness to authors; copyright is about balancing interests, including the interest of the public. This article by John Ewing provides a brief history of copyright and its philosophy in order to show that the publishers’ simple view is inaccurate, and suggests that understanding copyright’s nature is the first step to solve the problems of copyright in the modern world.  First Monday, October 2003

A federal jury has ordered Legg Mason, a financial services firm, to pay a newsletter publisher $20 million after the firm emailed unauthorized copies of a daily email newsletter to its network of broker-dealers.  Three employees of Legg-Mason paid for the annual subscription but over 1,500 people received it through the unauthorized distribution. BNA's Internet Law News (ILN) - 10/8/03

Last month, Barnes & Noble, one of the earliest and most vocal supporters of ebooks, pulled out of the business.  B&N's retreat made headlines, but Lee Greenhouse contends that is irrelevant to the part of the ebook business that is actually growing: professional reference works.  B&N's assumption when it entered the business in the late 1990s was that consumers would want to read full-length popular works on a handheld device and would actually be willing to purchase a dedicated device to do so.  That assumption has proven to be entirely wrong.  Last year a paltry 500,000 ebooks were sold in the U.S. compared with more than 1.5 billion printed books, according to research firm Ipsos-Insight. At the same time, ebooks are selling well in some in some professional markets. Physicians and nurses, for example, have been purchasing and downloading versions of reference works, such as the Physicians Desk Reference, the Washington Manual, and other sources of drug and disease information.  Forget about dedicated devices; these reference works function well on existing Palm and Windows CE devices.  What makes ebooks so compelling to these types of users is portability, quick look-ups, and cross-linked content - all important characteristics in the hectic, information-intensive environment of clinical healthcare.  Greenhouse Effects, 10/03

From a recent Bear Stearns report on Elsevier: Reed recently informed librarians that it is to hike science journal prices yet again in 2004, by 6.5%. Our channel check of science libraries suggests that users are under funding pressure but they will pay up. Pricing power in journals, together with margin expansion as revenues migrate on-line, are key to Reed's ability to deliver earnings growth and hence its share price valuation. Reed’s Science business, which accounts for around 40% of Reed’s value on our estimates, is in our view a shareholders' dream. Reed has a 23% share of the science journal market, has a high proportion of 'must-have' journals, and is the price leader in the industry. While price increases have been moderated, they are still high. This is the same increase as Reed put through last year, and while lower than the 10% hikes of the 1990s, in real terms it is almost as high given today’s low inflation. [O]ur channel check suggests that while libraries are under funding pressure, these price increases will be accepted by the customer base. In addition, we believe that science margins will increase from their already high level as libraries drop paper subscriptions and opt for internet-only access. We believe Reed's only problem will be hiding this margin increase from regulators. Science journal publishing is like nothing else in media. Reed has around 1,500 science journals; each is a mini-monopoly enjoying huge pricing power. Reed is taking share as it bundles journals, and margins are expanding as users drop print for e-only. Reed justifies these price increases to customers by pointing to increased usage, and this is the best leading indicator of this business' pricing power. The nature of the scientific publishing industry will not change any time soon, in our view, despite the attempts of organizations such as SPARC (the 20 Scholarly Publishing and Academic Resources Coalition) to encourage academics to publish their research directly on the internet and to encourage the 'boards' of individual journals to defect from commercial publishers to not-for-profit publishers. Libraries and academics have been trying for over a decade to develop new ways of disseminating academic knowledge and research, but the barriers to entry enjoyed by the incumbent journals are just too high (loyal readership, brand recognition, 'boards' of academics who peer review research), as is the value proposition (they bring order to an anarchic process: the development of knowledge). Libraries have had some success in forming buyer groups, but to date these initiatives have had limited impact.  We believe that three key drivers will affect the industry over the next few years.

1. Cyclical slowdown in industry growth rate due to budget cuts. The economic downturn will lead to budget cuts for many of the academic libraries that purchase journals. We saw a similar slowdown in 1992 and 1994.

2. Benefits of scale will increasingly accrue to larger players. Large publishers enjoy economies-of-scale in an online world because they can bundle their portfolio of journals into a single 'product'.

3. Margins will expand for those publishers with successful online platforms. Usage has so far shifted from paper to paper-and-online, but over the next four years, we believe there will be a growing trend of moving from paper-and-online to online-only. This represents a win-win situation for the libraries and the journal publishers (particularly the large ones). Libraries in the U.S. spend $1.50 on staff costs and other operating expenses for every $1 they spend on buying content, so moving to purely online access to journals opens up the possibility of huge cost savings. Journal publishers will also benefit. We estimate that the publisher’s absolute level of profit improves by 16% as a customer transfers from a paper-and-online subscription (most pay for both) to online-only access….We believe that Reed is likely to continue to outperform the market for four reasons:

*  A significant portion (we estimate 70%) of Reed’s revenues are protected by three-year contracts (with price escalators, which we estimate at 5%).

*  Larger players can bundle their journals into a single 'product' that becomes core to a library’s subscription base.

*  Reeds owns a number of strong titles with large academic followings. Weaker titles are more likely to be cut.

*  Reed is successfully tapping into the corporate market (such as pharmaceutical companies), which provides an additional revenue stream

*  Books are being cut before journals

SPARC-OAForum Digest #73

Scientific journals increasingly are instituting tighter restrictions on who can access them online, in many cases forcing academic libraries to turn away "unaffiliated" walk-ins. Traditionally, anyone seeking information enjoyed free access to the latest medical and scientific journals through the nearest state-funded university library. But as libraries switch over from print to digital subscriptions, many publishers are ratcheting down on the license provisions, prohibiting librarians from issuing passwords to the public. The problem is compounded by publishers' penchant for bundling their titles into "big deals" covered by a single contract. "The kicker with these deals is that in exchange for a guaranteed price, they say you can't cancel anything," says Deborah Lordi Silverman, journal manager at the
University of Pittsburgh's medical library. The strong-arm tactic is fueling a backlash, however. A nonprofit group called the Public Library of Science is launching two free online journals on life science. And Minnesota Congressman Martin Sabo has introduced legislation that would forbid publishers from claiming copyright on "scientific work substantially funded by the federal government." "It defies logic to collectively pay for our medical research only to privatize its profitability and availability," says Sabo. (Scientific American 8 Sep 2003) ShelfLife, No. 127 (October 9 2003)

A group representing the Internet's most popular free music-sharing service has come up with a business plan that it says would stop piracy by allowing consumers to legally buy copyright-protected music, though the music industry remains skeptical. Distributed Computing Industry Association, a trade group formed in July by the parent companies of song-sharing services Kazaa and Altnet, rolled out the plan at its Arlington headquarters yesterday, saying it could earn the music industry up to $900 million per month in Internet music sales.  The group characterized the plan as a starting point for peacemaking discussions with a music industry hostile toward free file-sharing Web sites, which it says rob musicians and record labels of billions of dollars in royalties and revenue they would otherwise get through music sales.

Despite scientists' general distaste for any constraints on research, a panel of the National Academy of Sciences yesterday recommended prior review, at the university and federal levels, of experiments that could help terrorists or hostile nations make biological weapons. The panel's work was initiated by the academy, the leading scientific body in the nation, and represents an attempt by biologists to put their own review systems in place before others might do so for them. But Dr. John H. Marburger, science adviser to President Bush, suggested that the report might not go far enough. Though it was "a very positive move by the scientific community, I am sure there are other things that will happen in the future," he said. Though physicists have long lived with the fact that certain areas of research are classified and cannot be discussed openly, biologists are relatively new to security concerns. Apart from biological defense research, done mostly at military institutions, academic biology is focused on medicine and conducted without security restraints. The academy panel has sought to institute some measure of review of possibly harmful biomedical research without burdening scientific research with onerous controls. Its proposed solution is to reinvigorate a review system put in place after a 1975 conference at which biologists called for a moratorium on certain genetic engineering experiments then becoming possible. Concern about those experiments has long since faded. But the review system remains, with biosafety committees at all leading research universities and the federal Recombinant DNA Advisory Committee, known as the R.A.C. The National Academy of Sciences panel, led by Dr. Gerald Fink of the Whitehead Institute at M.I.T., said research proposals in seven areas of biology should be reviewed by both a scientist's local biosafety committee and by the R.A.C. Local committees could decree that an experiment should not be conducted on their premises, and the federal committee could advise the director of the National Institutes of Health that an experiment should not receive government money. The government has the power to make any research secret and therefore prevent the work from being published, but in practice would not wish to classify large chunks of biomedical research like immunology and virology.  New York Times, 10/09/03 

The scholarly communications are also on line at