Authors Guild to Appeal HathiTrust Ruling

According to an article in today’s Publishers’ Weekly, the Authors Guilde announced its decision to appeal in a court filing late last week. A federal judge last month threw out the authors’ argument that HathiTrust Digital Library and its university partners had violated copyright law by scanning books and making them available for certain uses, a decision that observers hailed as a big victory for the principle of fair use.
Although few details were available at PW’s press time, it isn’t hard to imagine on what parts of the decision the Guild appeal might hinge: in a statement issued at the time of the decision, the Authors Guild said they “disagree with nearly every aspect of the court’s ruling.”

Comment on Proposed UC Systemwide Policy on Open Access

As announced today, Lisa Lampert-Weissig, chair of the UCSD Senate Committee on the Library, is gathering comments and discussion on a new policy on Open Access in Scholarly Communication that has been proposed by the systemwide University Committee on Library and Scholarly Communication (UCOLASC). This policy has significant implications for research, publishing, and teaching. A link to the proposed policy, background documents, as well as links to the UCSD campus Committee on Library’s response, can be found at

Feedback on the proposed policy can be viewed and submitted through the on-line discussion forum at forum through Friday, November 9th.


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UC San Diego Open Access Fund (Pilot)

Beginning this week, Open Access Week 2012, University of California campuses are launching a pilot open access fund for scholarly articles. This fund will help offset open access publishing charges for authors who do not have grant funds available to cover them. Eligible charges include Article Processing Charges (APCs) and Open Access (OA) fees for fully open access journals. Funds from the pilot may not be used for color charges, page charges, illustration charges, or submission charges. Articles must be made freely available at the time of initial publication, without any embargo periods.

UC San Diego faculty, graduate students, post-doctoral scholars, researchers, and staff are eligible to apply for funds. The fund will pay up to $1000 per article in a fully open access journal (journals in which all articles are immediately available open access), and has a cap of one article per author per year.

The California Digital Library (CDL) and UC campuses are providing the funds in order to support UC researchers interested in reshaping models of scholarly publishing. The chief goals of the program include fostering greater dissemination of the work of University of California scholars and encouraging greater awareness of authors’ rights. Campuses will track how the funds are spent, and the success and sustainability of the pilot will be evaluated after 12-18 months.

Additional details, as well as the application form, are located at


Coming up soon:  On November 1, 2012, Stuart Shieber, James O. Welch, Jr. and Virginia B. Welch Professor of Computer Science in the School of Engineering and Applied Sciences in the Faculty of Arts and Sciences at Harvard University, will discuss “Two problems in scholarly communication, and how to solve them.”  The talk will take place in the Seuss Room at Geisel Library at UC San Diego, and will last from 3:30-5:00 pm with a reception following from 5:00-6:00 pm.  This talk is being co- sponsored by the UC San Diego Center for the Humanities.

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In 2002, the Budapest Open Access Initiative (BOAI) articulated the basic tenets of Open Access (OA) for the first time. Since then, thousands of journals have adopted policies that embrace some or all of the OA core components related to: readership; reuse; copyright; posting; and machine readability. It’s time to move the conversation beyond the deceptively simple question of, “Is It Open Access?” toward a more productive evaluation of “How Open Is It?”

PLOS, SPARC and OASPA have collaborated to create a guide called “HowOpenIsIt?” that identifies the core components of OA and how they are implemented across the spectrum between “Open Access” and “Closed Access.” This resource outlines the core components of open access (e.g., reader rights, reuse rights, copyrights, author posting rights, etc.) across the continuum from “open access” to “restricted access.”  Its aim is to help authors make informed decisions on where to publish based on journal policies. It also provides a resource for funders and other organizations to help establish criteria for the level of Open Access required for their policies and mandates.

We hope that you find this guide useful — and that you pass it along.

Happy Open Access Week (October 22-28, 2012)!


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Linguistics Society of America to Move Publications to OA Framework

The Executive Committee of the Linguistics Society of America  (LSA) announced today that it will “significantly expand” the content and accessibility of its principal journal, Language,  by publishing new digital content under an Open Access framework. Among the chief components of LSA’s new publications policy are the following: 

  •  All content published in Language (both print and digital) will be made freely available on the new LSA website after a one-year embargo period.
  • Authors who wish to have their content available immediately, either on the Language site or on other websites, may pay a $400 article processing fee to do so.
  • The contents of Language will continue to be immediately available to subscribers of Project Muse.  (The UCSD community may directly access issues since 2001 of  Language. Contents of the journal from its beginning in 1925 up through 5 years ago are available to the UCSD community in JSTOR.)

LSA will also be hosting a session on OA at its January 2013 national conference in Boston, held jointly with the Modern Language Association of America. The session is being co-organized by UCSD Associate Professor of Linguistics Eric Bakovic.

Harvard scholars launch Good Practices for University Open-Access Policies

Stuart Schieber, Professor of Computer Science and the Director of the Office for Scholarly Communication at Harvard University, and Peter Suber, Director of the Harvard Open Access Project, Special Advisor to the Harvard Office for Scholarly Communication, and Fellow at the Berkman Center for Internet & Society, have just compiled a document–intended to evolve–titled “Good Practices for University Open-Access Policies.” Based on policies adopted at Harvard, Duke, Stanford, MIT, Princeton, Kansas, UC San Francisco, and over a dozen other universities over the past three years, it includes recommendations that should be useful to institutions with other sorts of OA policy as well.  The document is based on a recommendation (4.2) developed and published in the report that came from last month’s tenth-year anniversary of the Budapest Open Access Initiative.

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Another Fair Use Victory in the Courts

The cause of fair use at academic libraries got a big boost on Wednesday, when a federal judge handed the HathiTrust Digital Library and its university partners (including the University of California) a resounding victory in a copyright-infringement lawsuit brought by the Authors Guild and other groups. In a summary judgment, the judge threw out the authors’ arguments that HathiTrust and its partners had trampled copyright law by preserving and making scanned works available for certain uses.

In his ruling, Judge Harold Baer Jr. of the U.S. District Court in Manhattan agreed with the HathiTrust defendants that their handling of the scanned works did not violate the law. “Although I recognize that the facts here may on some levels be without precedent, I am convinced that they fall safely within the provision of fair use,” he wrote. “I cannot imagine a definition of fair use that would not encompass the transformative uses made” by the defendants’ mass-digitization project.

Those uses include making copies for preservation and full-text searching and indexing. HathiTrust does not make copyrighted material openly available to the public. “The copies serve an entirely different purpose than the original works,” the judge wrote. He noted that HathiTrust’s search functions “have already given rise to new methods of academic inquiry such as text mining.”

“On every substantive issue, HathiTrust won,” said James Grimmelmann, a professor of law at New York Law School, in an analysis posted on his blog.

–Adapted from a story by Jennifer Howard in the Chronicle of Higher Education.

Publishers and Google Reach Settlement

The Association of American Publishers (AAP) and Google today announced a settlement agreement that will provide access to publishers’ in-copyright books and journals digitized by Google for its Google Library Project. The dismissal of the lawsuit will end seven years of litigation. For details, read the press release from the American Publishers Association here and from Google here, and early analysis from the trade magazine Publisher’s Weekly and TechDirt.  The AAP/Google settlement does not affect the continuing litigation between Google and the Authors’ Guild.

Publishers to Appeal Georgia State Decision

The publisher plaintiffs who accused Georgia State University of copyright infringement in a lawsuit over course e-reserves aren’t happy with the outcome of that case. On Monday they said they would appeal a federal judge’s decision, handed down in May, that was largely a win for the defendants.

In a statement, Cambridge University Press, Oxford University Press USA, and SAGE Publications said that the decision, by Judge Orinda D. Evans of the U.S. District Court in Atlanta, had left them “no alternative but to appeal, to protect our authors’ copyrights and advocate for a balanced and workable solution” to the challenge of accommodating both copyright and fair use.
–From The Chronicle of Higher Education, 9/11/2012.

MLA Adopts New Open-Access Policy

The journals of the Modern Language Association, including PMLA, Profession, and the ADE and ADFL bulletins, have adopted new open-access-friendly author agreements, which will go into use with their next full issues. The revised agreements leave copyright with the authors and explicitly permit authors to deposit in open-access repositories and post on personal or departmental Web sites the versions of their manuscripts accepted for publication.

Rosemary G. Feal, executive director of the MLA, said that the association’s new policy “was not responding at all” to various forms of federal legislation and regulations requiring that more federal grant-supported research results be made openly available to the public.  Rather, she said, “we see that publishing needs are changing, and our members are telling us that they want to place their scholarship in repositories, and to disseminate work on blogs.” Professors want to produce articles that “circulate freely,” she said, and that reach as many people as possible. Until now, the MLA policy was that the journals held copyright, and the only blanket exception was that authors could use their works (with attribution to the MLA publication that published it) in other works.

According to Scott Jaschik, co-founder of Inside Higher Ed, the new MLA policy appears to move beyond those of other humanities organizations — although some of them have created ways to work with authors who want their scholarship in open access repositories. The American Historical Association, for example, holds copyright on articles that appear in its journals, but its author agreement tells authors that — if they ask — they will be granted permission to post articles in repositories and on personal websites. The Organization of American Historians — which publishes The Journal of American History with the Oxford University Press — gives authors a link that can be used for open access repositories. But Nancy Croker, director of operations for the OAH, said that “we do hope that an author would not circulate their article in such a way that it jeopardizes the integrity of the publication as a whole.”

Many disciplinary associations have been dubious of the open access movement, saying that it would hurt their revenues from journals (either directly through subscriptions or indirectly as an incentive to become a member of the association).

Read more:
Inside Higher Ed

Read more:
Inside Higher Ed

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