Wednesday, December 14, 2011

This is what Open Access is all about!

Cambridge University announced the availability of selected papers from Sir Isaac Newton in their new digital library collection.  On the Cambridge University website, Anne Jarvis, University Librarian states, "We want to make our collections accessible to anyone, anywhere in the world with an internet connection and a thirst for knowledge."  The Newton papers are part of their "Foundations in Science" collection "will focus on original scientific manuscripts, beginning with the papers of Isaac Newton and his contemporaries. Cambridge University Library has very strong collections in the history of science. In addition to our Newton collections, the Library holds the papers of, among many other famous scientists, Charles Darwin, Lord Kelvin, Adam Sedgwick, J.J. Thomson, Ernest Rutherford, James Clerk Maxwell and Sir George Gabriel Stokes. The Library holds the archives of Cambridge's famous Cavendish Laboratory and is also the repository of the Royal Greenwich Observatory archives, which includes the papers of the Astronomers Royal and the Board of Longitude." [From their website]

Friday, November 4, 2011

Taylor and Francis Group Announces More Open Access

The Taylor and Francis Group, one of the major players in publishing scholarly journals,  in a press release dated October 28th announced that they would be introducing a "range of new Open Access journals."  The full press release is below:

Press Release - Taylor & Francis Group widens Open Access offerings
Oxford, 28th October 2011

Taylor & Francis Group is marking Open Access week by announcing a range of new Open Access
journals and an enhancement of their current Open Access programme for 2012. These initiatives
will encompass publications from across the range of science, social and behavioral sciences and
humanities subjects.

What’s changing?
Taylor & Francis’ current iOpenAccess option will be renamed for 2012 as Taylor & Francis Open
Select, and will continue to give authors and their sponsors the option of making their articles
available on Open Acess to all for a publication fee. This initiative has been running since 2006 and
currently encompasses 500 titles from across Taylor & Francis Group’s extensive portfolio.
In addition, three cutting-edge titles currently available on a subscription basis will be converted to
full Open Access for 2012. The digital archives of these titles will also be made Open Access. These
titles – Green Chemistry Letters and Reviews, Journal of Biological Dynamics, Smart and Nano
Materials – publish significant research in their fields and have author communities with a strong
interest in publishing research in an Open Access model.

And what’s new?
Taylor & Francis will also be launching Taylor & Francis Open. This initiative will cover all our fully
Open Access titles. One important part of this initiative is a new series of fully Open Access titles
from 2012 in major subject areas. These titles will offer rapid online publication of methodologically
sound research which will be subject to rigorous peer review. The journals will have affordable
article publication fees, with discounts or fee waivers for emergent countries. The initiative will also
involve collaboration with leading journals within T&F’s existing portfolio, along with support from
learned societies and internationally acclaimed editors, ensuring the quality of these titles.
Commenting on this initiative, Professor Nick Quirke, Editor of the journals Molecular Simulation
and Journal of Experimental Nanoscience, stated, “The new open access suite of journals being
offered in Taylor & Francis Open will allow universal access to high quality academic literature,
opening it up to all of the scientific community to benefit from the research.”
Details of these titles, their supporting journals and their editors will be released in the coming
weeks, so watch this space for more information.
In addition to these broad-spectrum titles, Taylor & Francis will also:
 launch Journal of Organic Semiconductors on a full Open Access basis for 2012;
 launch a major new financial economics title on a full Open Access basis for 2012;
 announce in the next month a publishing partnership with an established major health and
social care full Open Access title;
 continue our publishing partnership with Kotuitui: New Zealand Journal of Social Sciences
Online, an established fully Open Access journal currently published under the Routledge
imprint in cooperation with the Royal Society of New Zealand.

Dr David Green, Global Journals Publishing Director, sums up Taylor & Francis’ new approaches to
Open Access, “Taylor & Francis is committed to producing high-calibre journals that showcase
quality global research. We believe that this content should be widely disseminated and are now
exploring various Open Access business models to enable universal access in ways that are
sustainable and meet the needs of the research communities we serve. We feel the time is right to
increase the scope of our Open Access offerings to sit alongside the cost-effective subscription and
licensing options we offer to libraries. Over the past three years society journals have been
partnering with Taylor & Francis Group at the rate of more than one per week, and, if required, we
are now able to offer a potential partner a range of Open Access business models where there is real
author demand and we can ensure viability and sustainability”.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

In celebration of Open Access Week - Notice of Oberlin Group and the Berlin Declaration

At the annual October meeting of the Oberlin Group the members present voted to endorse the Berlin Declaration. 
From our website - The Oberlin Group: A Consortium of Liberal Arts College Libraries endorses the Berlin Declaration:   Atlanta, GA – At its 2011 annual meeting at the Atlanta University Center and Agnes Scott College on October 6, 7, and 8, the Oberlin Group agreed to become a signatory of the Berlin Declaration on Open Access to Knowledge in the Sciences and Humanities. The library directors noted that the colleges they represent are important components of our nation’s scientific and scholarly productivity, that their colleges’ faculty actively pursue research, much of it with government funding, and that their graduates go on to obtain Ph.D. degrees or take leadership roles in many sectors of society and the economy. Liberal arts college libraries also hold important collections of cultural heritage material, much of which is already openly available via the Internet. Oberlin Group spokesperson Richard Fyffe, Librarian of the College at Grinnell College, observed that “the Berlin Declaration is consistent with the commitment to the common good that is fundamental to the missions of the liberal arts colleges we represent, and to American librarianship itself. The Consortium is pleased to lend its support to the Berlin Declaration in time for its North American meeting.”
For a list of signatories see

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Two Developments Yesterday Related to Digitization of Books

Yesterday, we received notice that the founder of Project Gutenberg passed away at the age of 64.  A true visionary, Michael Hart started the movement to digitize books.  You can read more in the Chronicle article posted yesterday.   Project Gutenberg began in 1971 and now has more than 36,000 books available for free and accessible for anyone with a laptop, Kindle, or portable device. 

Also released yesterday was a notice of a lawsuit being brought against the five major universities  involved in the Haiti Trust, the cooperative project to preserve the digital assets of more than 7 million titles that have been scanned by Google.  The Author's Guild, in cooperation with counterparts in Australia, Canada, and Britain has started a lawsuit.  CNN released a report yesterday that summarizes the suit, and you can read the press release from the Author's Guild on their website.  This comes just one day after Duke announced that it was joining the digitization project.  Their student paper had a good article that talks about the benefits of this project.

At issue are "orphan works."  These are books for which we cannot locate a copyright owner.  Once again, Duke Scholarly Communication Officer, Kevin Smith, has outlined what is at stake on his blog.

While the Google Book Settlement is still unsettled, there are numerous projects underway to digitize books and make them accessible electronically.  The Internet Archive is working to make digital copies of books available for interlibrary lending.  Harvard is currently involved in the development of  a Digital Public Library of America.  And, of course, we're still waiting to hear the results of the Georgia copyright case

A lot is at stake in terms of access to information for scholars.  While we try to follow these developments and keep abreast of what's happening, I'm wondering how many scholars are closely following these developments and having discussions in their professional societies? 

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

More about what is at stake with Georgia Case and Fair Use

It is the beginning of August, and many of us are watching and waiting to see how the judge decides in the case of copyright infringement by Georgia State.  This is a critical case as pointed out  in a blog posting today about the Georgia case, Kevin Smith at Duke reported:

"Reading the plaintiffs’ brief, I was struck forcefully by the realization that they are asking the Judge to eliminate fair use virtually entirely for academia and instead substitute a compulsory license.  This is especially clear when you see in their proposed injunction a requirement that permission be obtained for 90% of the readings in any course, regardless of whether or not some or all of that 90% could be considered fair use (under the extremely restrictive definition provided in the proposal). "[Emphasis mine.]  You can read his complete post here

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Humanities Scholars Discuss New Digital Age of Communication

An article in the July 18, 2011 issue of the Chronicle of Higher Ed discusses a recent meeting of scholars, librarians, members of scholarly societies, and publishers who met to talk about changes in scholarly communication in the humanities. "'What we're talking about is an era of remaking and rebuilding scholarly communication,' Ms. Rumsey said. 'What's needed now is "a different set of skills, a different kind of energy."Even the term "digital humanities" was called into question.'"

Of particular interest, is a panel session that contained views from participants, and can be found here -  "Views Onto the Future."

You can read more about the Scholarly Communication Institute, funded by the Mellon Foundation, at their website -  The institute has held nine sessions on different topics.

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Civil War Diaries Transcription Project

There is an interesting project underway by the University of Iowa.  The Civil War Diaries Transcription Project is a collaborative project to transcribe the 3011 diary pages in their Civil War Diaries collection.  By making it a collaborative project, anyone can select a page to transcribe.  As stated on their main page: "libraries are now able to use the knowledge and interest of the general public to meet goals that they would never have the time, financial, and staff resources to achieve on their own."  This is just one of many projects mentioned in Digital Humanities Now a publication of the Center for History and New Media.

Friday, June 10, 2011

Interlibrary Loan Privileges and Fair Use Under Attack

In another development related to the Georgia State copyright case, "yesterday the publishing community opened a second front in their attack on education by issuing a statement of principles designed to hobble inter-library loan."  This is from Kevin Smith's blog, Scholarly Communication @Duke, and he goes into more detail in the article.  Kevin's expertise is in copyright law and we're following his blog closely in order to stay abreast of developments that threaten our current practices with interlibrary loan and fair use of copyrighted materials for classes.  The statement of principles is made by the International Association of Scientific, Technical, and Medical Publishers.  If you publish in an STM journal or are a member of a STM society, you may want to look at what your organization is promoting.  You can see their list of members --  If you are a member of one of these organizations, you should be aware that they are supporting the proposals that would seriously erode existing interlibrary lending practices.  If you are interested in protecting your rights, you should contact your association and let them know.

Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Copyright - Special feature in Chronicle of Higher Ed

In the May 29th issue of the Chronicle of Higher Ed there is a special feature on "The Copyright Rebellion."  Recent lawsuits against universities for copyright infringement are being closely followed by those of us in academic institutions.  Two weeks ago, Kevin Smith posted an item about the Georgia case on his blog, Scholarly Communication @Duke  and pointed out some of the dire consequences of a potential injunction. The University of California case dealing with streaming videos is also being closely followed. Both cases have implications for interpretations of what is considered "fair use."  The articles in the Chronicle are worth reading :

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Liberal arts colleges and their response to the changes in scholarly communication

Bryan Alexander, Senior Fellow at NITLE (National Institute for Technology in the Liberal Arts) has published a white paper entitled, "The New (IN)Visible College: Emergent Scholarly Communication Environment and the Liberal Arts" (  His paper provides an overview of the  scholarly communication crisis and the change that is underway, but more importantly provides a list of 13 recommendations for actions liberal arts colleges could take.  The list includes:
  • "Explore open access only by full-campus discussion"
  • "Exploit the campus repository"
  • "Understand and value peer-reviewed, born digital scholarship"
  • "Teach the crisis"
While we have not had a "full-campus discussion" on open access, we have "taught" the crisis both in classes and in conversations with faculty in the science division and social sciences.

One of Bryan's points is the need to expand open access publishing beyond the sciences.  We have been publishing student peer-reviewed journals for several years, and last week we launched a new student peer-reviewed publication in American Studies.  Tapestries, which was produced as part of a team-taught class, Engaging the Public.  The class is taught by Dean Jane Rhodes and me and was a wonderful experience working with students to produce an open access journal. 

Bryan's publication is noteworthy for focusing on liberal arts colleges.  Too often, publications on academic library publishing efforts focus on larger research institutions, but there are many colleges that are publishing and providing access to research produced by their students and faculty.  The lengthy list of liberal arts campuses that are engaged in providing open access to their publications is a good indicator of how providing access to our intellectual is becoming a key component of the work we do.

Monday, February 21, 2011

Digital Public Library of America

The Berkman Center for the Internet and Society at Harvard has announced a grant to develop a Digital Public Library of America. Although this project is just beginning the goal is to "examine strategies for improving public access to comprehensive online resources." It is expected that this will build on the work done by major institutions participating in the Haithi Trust and Google Book Project.