“Two problems in scholarly communication, and how to solve them”

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.

“In the sciences, research results are disseminated through the journal article. In the humanities, scholarly monographs are the predominant medium. Both distribution systems are exhibiting severe signs of distress, but the sources of the problems are quite different. I will describe the symptoms in the two modes of scholarly communication, diagnose the underlying problems, and propose treatments, some proven and some speculative.”

Professor Shieber’s primary research field is computational linguistics, the study of human languages from the perspective of computer science. His research contributions have extended beyond that field as well, to theoretical linguistics, natural-language processing, computer-human interaction, automated graphic design, the philosophy of artificial intelligence, computer privacy and security, and computational biology. He is the founding director of the Center for Research on Computation and Society and a director of the Berkman Center for Internet and Society.

He received an AB in applied mathematics summa cum laude from Harvard College in 1981 and a PhD in computer science from Stanford University in 1989. He was awarded a Presidential Young Investigator award in 1991, and was named a Presidential Faculty Fellow in 1993, one of only thirty in the country in all areas of science and engineering. He has been awarded two honorary chairs: the John L. Loeb Associate Professorship in Natural Sciences in 1993 and the Harvard College Professorship in 2001. He was named a fellow of the American Association for Artificial Intelligence in 2004, and the Benjamin White Whitney Scholar at the Radcliffe Institute for 2006-07.

His work on open access and scholarly communication policy, especially his development of Harvard’s open-access policies, led to his appointment as the first director of the university’s Office for Scholarly Communication, where he oversees initiatives to open, share, and preserve scholarship.

This talk is sponsored by the UC San Diego Center for the Humanities.

Categories: events

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.

Categories: Uncategorized

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: http://www.insidehighered.com/news/2012/06/06/mla-embraces-open-access-writer-agreements-journals#ixzz25pc7XR30
Inside Higher Ed

Read more: http://www.insidehighered.com/news/2012/06/06/mla-embraces-open-access-writer-agreements-journals#ixzz25pb59gNd
Inside Higher Ed

eLife selects Highwire platform for new open access journal

eLife, the new funder-researcher collaboration in science communication, has selected HighWire Press as the platform for its new open‐access journal for life and biomedical science.
The journal will launch toward the end of 2012 and will open for manuscript submissions soon.
First announced in summer 2011, eLife is a researcher-led initiative for the best in science and science communication. Backed by the Howard Hughes Medical Institute, the Max Planck Society, and the Wellcome Trust, the initiative’s first aim is to launch an open-access journal for outstanding advances in life science and biomedicine, which is also a platform for experimentation and showcasing innovation in research communication.      more

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ALA Group Issues Report on Fair Use for Videos in Libraries

The Fair Use and Video Project has posted online its document titled “Community Practices in the Fair Use of Video in Libraries.”  This project began as an attempt by the Video Roundtable (VRT), a group within the American Library Association (ALA), to establish a recommended body of practice in the fair use of video for educational purposes. A team of six librarians, with advice and guidance from ALA’s Office of Information Technology Policy, coordinated the process of gathering input from the media librarian community and created the final document. Over the course of the project, our aims shifted from suggesting best practices, which was leading us into a thicket of conflicting copyright interpretations, to documenting community practices, which allowed us to explore how librarians routinely and responsibly fulfill their mission to preserve and provide access to our cultural record.  The team conducted in-person interviews at national conferences and hosted a series of focus groups at locations across the country: Boston, Seattle, Evanston, Washington, D.C. and Richmond.  About eighty library staff members with varying responsibilities for buying, processing, and/or supporting the educational use of video were included in our surveys.

The report concludes that librarians are deeply respectful of fair use as a means to ensure the kind of access to valuable content that is appropriate to the classroom, library, and learning space of today’s university. Such is the pace of change in higher education that new technological breakthroughs, court cases, and revisions to the law will likely change the landscape, over and over again, for use of library content of every conceivable format. However, fair use is clearly the cornerstone of a philosophy of service based on the principle of unfettered access to the materials of research and scholarship. This philosophy will endure as long as libraries maintain a strong commitment to the real intention of the copyright law, to “promote the progress of science and the useful arts.” Without fair use, libraries would most assuredly have to sharply curtail their efforts to deliver the essential materials of scholarship in the form and manner appropriate for real academic inquiry.

The document has a place for comments in the box at the top right of the page.


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The World Bank’s new open access policy and repository

The World Bank announced yesterday that it has created a “search-engine friendly” Open Knowledge Repository that contains more than 2,000 books, articles, reports and research papers and will allow the public to distribute, reuse and build upon much of its work—including commercially.

The repository, launched today, is a one-stop-shop for most of the Bank’s research outputs and knowledge products, providing free and unrestricted access to students, libraries, government officials and anyone interested in the Bank’s knowledge. Additional material, including foreign language editions and links to datasets, will be added in the coming year.

And, in a bid to promote knowledge-sharing around the world, the Bank has become the first major international organization to require open access under copyright licensing from Creative Commons—a non-profit organization whose copyright licenses are designed to accommodate the expanded access to information afforded by the Internet.

The repository and Creative Commons licenses are part of a new open access policy that takes effect on July 1 and will be phased in over the next year. The policy formalizes the Bank’s practice of making research outputs and knowledge products freely available online, but now much of that content can be shared and reused freely, if the Bank is credited for the original work.

Google Scholar Citation Service

Google has opened their Google Scholar Citations service to everyone.   It allows individuals to track their citations.




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