Thursday, December 20, 2012

Visualizing Library Collections Using HathiTrust Holidngs

Visualizing the Uniqueness, and Conformity, of Libraries

 "Tucked away in a presentation on the HathiTrust Digital Library are some fascinating visualizations of libraries by John Wilkin, the Executive Director of HathiTrust and an Associate University Librarian at the University of Michigan. Although I’ve been following the progress of HathiTrust closely, I missed these charts, and I want to highlight them as a novel method for revealing a library fingerprint or signature using shared metadata.

With access to the catalogs of HathiTrust member libraries, Wilkin ran some comparisons of book holdings. His ingenious idea was not only to count how many libraries held each particular work, but to create a visualization of each member library based on how widely each book in its collection is held by other libraries."

From Dan Cohen's Humanities Blog, read the piece at:

Monday, December 10, 2012

Stanford Prize for Innovation in Research Libraries (SPIRL)

Stanford Prize for Innovation in Research Libraries (SPIRL)

Stanford University Libraries announces the Stanford Prize for Innovation in Research Libraries - SPIRL, an award that is intended to recognize and celebrate individual research libraries for sustained and significant innovation in any operational area.  Nominations with documentation may be made by institutions or individuals and are due by 5:00pm Pacific Standard Time on Tuesday 15 January 2013.  A full explanation of the intent and process for SPIRL may be found at It is expected that the first prize(s) will be announced in mid- to late-February 2013.

Judging criteria

Awards will be based on a single programmatic or project undertaking and/or a sustained culture and profile of encouraging effective and sustainable innovation; the effect of such efforts must have measurable impact on the library's own clientele as well as the potential for influencing the practices and/or standards of research librarianship generally. The notion of “innovation” need not be inherently about information technology, though it might be assumed that such technology will be employed as appropriate to achieve the programmatic ends of the institution. Nominations will be judged on the following:
  • Evidence of the effects of the program(s) on the readers/users or staff of the nominated library;
  • Nature of the innovation;
  • Potential contribution(s) of the program to research and/or service practices in other domains outside of research librarianship;
  • Sustainability of the program;
  • Potential for replication or adaptation by other research libraries.

Thursday, November 29, 2012

Georgia Institute of Technology faculty adopt an institutional Open Access Policy - November 27, 2012

Georgia Tech overwhelmingly voted to adopt an Open Access policy!

"The Faculty of Georgia Tech is committed to disseminating the fruits of its research and scholarship as widely as possible. In addition to the public benefit of such dissemination, this policy is intended to serve faculty interests by promoting greater reach and impact for articles, simplifying author retention of distribution rights, and aiding in electronic preservation. In keeping with these commitments, the Faculty adopts the following policy:

Each Faculty member grants to Georgia Tech Research Corporation (hereinafter "GTRC") nonexclusive permission to make available his or her scholarly articles and to exercise the copyright in those articles for the purpose of open dissemination. In legal terms, each Faculty member grants to GTRC a nonexclusive, irrevocable, royalty-­‐free, worldwide license to exercise any and all copyrights in his or her scholarly articles published in any medium, provided the articles are not sold or licensed for a profit by GTRC or any GTRC-­‐granted licensee."


It takes effect Jan 1, 2013.

Here is the policy:

For Attribution: Developing Data Attribution and Citation Practices and Standards - NAP monograph

New monograph from National Academies Press on data attribution and citation:

For Attribution: Developing Data Attribution and Citation Practices and Standards 

See press release:

Direct link to workshop monograph free online:


Monday, October 29, 2012

"Open Access Explained!" from Ph.D. Comic (Ph.D.TV)  (YouTube 8:24)

Comments by Mitchell Brown:  The video is descriptive about Open Access but tends to group all publishers together, which is a little misleading but that's not a detraction from the video. arXiv is used as an example of how to a preprint sharing model that works well for high-energy physics and mathematics but the concept may not scale well to all subject areas. American Physical Society (APS) is an example of a reasonable road to wider access.

Monday, October 22, 2012

HowOpenIsIt? A New Guide on Openness is Released Oct. 22, 2012

PLOS, SPARC, and OASPA would like to thank everyone who contributed during the open review process of the Open Access Spectrum guide. In preparation for Open Access Week (October 22-28), the final version is being issued today so that people can download and print it for their use next week and beyond. 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. Ultimately, the conversation must shift from “Is It Open Access?” to “HowOpenIsIt?” The phrase “HowOpenIsIt?” will be used for a family of offerings to foster and promote open access in research communications. The Open Access Spectrum is our first program with more to come. Today’s content also includes an FAQ and a Chinese translation (Spanish translation coming soon).
The public comment period, which lasted two weeks, generated 60 responses from 11 countries. Input was received from publishers, librarians, authors, editors, and research funders, among others. Of the 26 entries in the draft table, 18 were edited and improved as a result of this feedback. The most notable change was an additional entry to the “Copyrights” category. The draft version included four definitions along the Open Access Spectrum. The final version added a fifth: Publisher holds copyright, with some allowances for author and reader reuse of published version.
We deeply appreciate all the suggestions that we received. Your feedback provided greater clarity and precision to the final document.

Friday, October 19, 2012

LCA Comments on Authors Guild v. HathiTrust Decision

October 11, 2012
For more information, contact:
Jonathan Band

LCA Comments on Authors Guild v. HathiTrust Decision

Washington, DC—The Library Copyright Alliance (LCA) welcomes Judge Harold Baer's decision yesterday that the HathiTrust Digital Library’s (HDL) use of digitized works is a fair use permitted under the Copyright Act. Judge Baer's key holding was: "I cannot imagine a definition of fair use that would not encompass the transformative uses made by [HDL] and would require that I terminate this invaluable contribution to the progress of science and cultivation of the arts that at the same time effectuates the ideals espoused by the [Americans with Disabilities Act]." Judge Baer's ruling not only allows HathiTrust to continue serving scholars and the print disabled, it also provides helpful guidance on how future library services can comply with copyright law.
The HathiTrust Digital Library is operated by a consortium of universities, including the University of Michigan, the University of California, the University of Wisconsin, Indiana University, and Cornell University. Many of the 10 million digital volumes in HDL were provided by Google in exchange for the universities' allowing Google to scan books in their collections for the Google Library Project. The Library Project is the subject of two separate cases, one of which settled last week. In the case that Judge Baer decided yesterday, HathiTrust was sued by the Authors Guild (AG) and several other authors' associations in 2011. HDL is used in three ways: full-text searches; preservation; and access for people with print disabilities.
In his decision, Judge Baer cited the two amicus briefs that LCA filed in Authors Guild v. HathiTrust. First, when rejecting the AG's contention that the library exceptions in section 108 somehow limit the fair use privilege in section 107, Judge Baer stated that the LCA brief "further convince[s] me that fair use is available as a defense for the Defendants." Then, when balancing the fair use factors, Judge Baer observed that the LCA brief "further confirm[s] that the underlying rationale of copyright law is enhanced by the HDL."
Judge Baer made numerous helpful holdings:
  • An association does not have standing under the Copyright Act to bring infringement suits on behalf of its members.
  • As noted above, the library specific exceptions in section 108 do not restrict the availability to libraries of fair use under section 107.
  • The creation of a search index is a transformative use under the first fair use factor: "The use to which the works in the HDL are put is transformative because the copies serve an entirely different purpose than the original works: the purpose is superior search capabilities rather than actual access to copyrighted material."
  • The use of digital copies to facilitate access for the print disabled is also transformative. Because print-disabled persons are not a significant potential market for publishers, providing them with access is not the intended use of the original work.
  • The AG failed to show that HDL created any security risks that threatened AG's market.
  • AG's suggestion that HDL undermines existing and emerging licensing opportunities is "conjecture."
  • The goals of copyright to promote the progress of science and useful arts are better served by allowing HDL's use than by preventing it.
  • The University of Michigan is an authorized entity under the Chafee Amendment, 17 USC 121, because it has "a primary mission" to provide access for print-disabled individuals.
  • The Americans with Disabilities Act "requires that libraries of educational institutions…reproduce and distribute their collections to print-disabled individuals."


The Library Copyright Alliance (LCA) consists of three major library associations—the American Library Association, the Association of Research Libraries, and the Association of College and Research Libraries. These three associations collectively represent over 300,000 information professionals and thousands of libraries of all kinds throughout the United States and Canada.

Thursday, October 4, 2012

Association of American Publishers (AAP) settles lawsuit with Google Books over in-copyright material

"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."

Related comments:
Text of settlement document between AAP-Google [Google Book Settlement: Outline of Benefits]

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

DataUp - free mangaement tool for data in spreadsheet format

The University of California’s Digital Library (CDL) and its partners today (Oct. 2) launched DataUp, a free data management tool.

Researchers struggling to meet new data management requirements from funders, journals and their own institutions now can use the DataUp Web application and a Microsoft Excel add-in to document and archive their tabular data.

“DataUp will change the way scientists do their work, making it easy for them to manage and preserve their spreadsheet data for future use,” said Bill Michener, principal investigator for the DataONE project.

Scientific datasets have immeasurable value, but they are useless without proper documentation and long-term storage. Data sharing also is strongly encouraged in the scientific community but is not the norm in many disciplines, including Earth, ecological and environmental sciences. DataUp addresses these issues.

CDL partnered with the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation, Microsoft Research Connections and DataONE to create the DataUp tool, which is free to use and creates a direct link between researchers and data repositories. CDL also announces today that the DataUp project has been contributed to the Outercurve Foundation’s Research Accelerator Gallery.

The DataUp add-in operates within a program many researchers already use: Microsoft Excel. The Web application allows users to upload tabular data in either Excel format or comma-separated value (CSV) format. Both the add-in and the Web application allow users to:

·         Perform a “best practices check” to ensure data are well-formatted and organized
·         Create standardized metadata, or a description of the data, using a wizard-style template
·         Retrieve a unique identifier for their dataset from their data repository
·         Post their datasets and associated metadata to the repository.

Although hundreds of data repositories are available for archiving, many scientific researchers either are unaware of their existence or do not know how to access them. One of the major outcomes of the DataUp project is the ONEShare repository, created specifically for DataUp, where users can deposit tabular data and metadata directly from the tool.

An added advantage of ONEShare is its connection to the DataONE network of repositories. DataONE links existing data centers and enables users to search for data across participating repositories by using a single search interface. Data deposited into ONEShare will be indexed and made available by any DataONE user, facilitating collaboration and enabling data re-use.

“DataUp is uniquely positioned because it improves the quality and documentation of data in Microsoft Excel, the tool of choice for many researchers who would otherwise not participate in data preservation initiatives,” said Matthew Jones, Director of Informatics at UC Santa Barbara's National Center for Ecological Analysis and Synthesis. “Scientific synthesis will benefit tremendously from the infusion of these small but information-rich data sets from Excel into the DataONE ecosystem of shared data.”

CDL envisions the future of DataUp directed by the participating community at large. Interested developers can expand on and increase the tool’s functionality to meet the needs of a broad array of researchers. Code for both the add-in and Web application is open source and participation in its improvement is strongly encouraged.

UC3 is a creative partnership bringing together the expertise and resources of the University of California. Together with the UC libraries, we provide high quality and cost-effective solutions that enable campus constituencies — museums, libraries, archives, academic departments, research units and individual researchers — to have direct control over the management, curation and preservation of the information resources underpinning their scholarly activities. For more information, visit

About Microsoft Research Connections

The program collaborates with and supports the work of the world’s top academic researchers and institutions. It establishes partnerships to advance the state of the art in computer science and develop technologies that fuel data-intensive scientific research. By connecting leading researchers around the world, Microsoft Research Connections aspires to accelerate the scientific discoveries and breakthroughs that respond to some of the world’s most urgent global challenges. Fellowships, grants and awards from Microsoft Research Connections help to inspire the next generation of computer scientists and the broader research community.

About the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation

The foundation is committed to making a meaningful difference in environmental conservation, patient care and scientific research. Gordon Moore, co-founder of Intel, and his wife, Betty, established the foundation in 2000 to create positive outcomes for future generations. The Moore Foundation focuses on that goal around the world and in the San Francisco Bay Area. For more information, visit

About DataONE

DataONE serves as the foundation of innovative environmental science through a distributed framework and sustainable cyber-infrastructure, meeting the needs of science and society with open, persistent, robust and secure access to well-described and easily-discovered Earth observational data. It is supported by a $20 million award from the National Science Foundation’s DataNet program. With coordination nodes at the University of New Mexico, University of California, Santa Barbara and the University of Tennessee, DataONE is a collaboration of universities and government agencies teamed up to organize and present vast amounts of diverse, inter-related, but often heterogeneous scientific data.

About the Outercurve Foundation

The Outercurve Foundation is a not-for-profit foundation providing software IP management and project development governance that help organizations develop software collaboratively in open-source communities for faster results. The Outercurve Foundation is the only open-source foundation that is platform, technology and license agnostic. For more information, contact

Read the UC Newsroom press release.

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Impact Factors Skewed by a Few Articles and not the Entire Journal

Sick of Impact Factors

Posted on  August 13, 2012  Stephen Curry (Reciprocal Space)
I am sick of impact factors and so is science.

The impact factor might have started out as a good idea, but its time has come and gone. Conceived by Eugene Garfield in the 1970s a useful tool for research libraries to judge the relative merits of journals when allocating their subscription budgets, the impact factor is calculated annually as the mean number of citations to articles published in any given journal in the two preceding years.

By the early 1990s it was clear that the use of the arithmetic mean in this calculation is problematic because the pattern of citation distribution is so skewed. Analysis by Per Seglen in 1992 showed that typically only 15% of the papers in a journal account for half the total citations. Therefore only this minority of the articles has more than the average number of citations denoted by the journal impact factor. Take a moment to think about what that means: the vast majority of the journal’s papers — fully 85% — have fewer citations than the average. The impact factor is a statistically indefensible indicator of journal performance; it flatters to deceive, distributing credit that has been earned by only a small fraction of its published papers.


Thursday, August 30, 2012

Western Regional Storage Trust (WEST) Announces Print Archiving Milestone

Western Regional Storage Trust (WEST) Announces Print Archiving Milestone
The Western Regional Storage Trust (WEST), a partnership to create a distributed retrospective print journal repository in the western United States, has completed its first round of print journal archiving under a three-year program jointly funded by WEST members and the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.

In this first cycle in the 2011-12 academic year, 12 WEST libraries serving as archive holders on behalf of the partnership have archived more than 6,100 journal titles, comprising more than 160,000 volumes. These totals include almost 5,100 titles archived at the Bronze level (no validation; also have digital preservation), more than 500 titles archived at the Silver level (validated for completeness at the volume level) and more than 500 titles validated at the Gold level (validated for both completeness and condition at the issue level).

The WEST validation levels are designed to ensure that library collections are preserved and made available for long-term use by future generations of students and scholars, while investing in archiving efforts appropriate to the level of risk. These WEST archiving commitments have been recorded in the OCLC WorldCat database and the Center for Research Libraries (CRL) Print Archives Preservation Registry (PAPR) using Print Archives Metadata Guidelines developed in conjunction with an OCLC pilot project last year, making this information available in a standardized form to libraries across the U.S.

Building on these archiving commitments, WEST has produced individualized collection comparison reports for most of its members — an important benefit of WEST membership. To aid in making collection management decisions, each member library that provided information about its print journal holdings has received a report listing the titles in its collection that have been archived by another WEST partner library.

WEST also is pleased to welcome eight new members who joined in 2012: California State University – Northridge; New Mexico State University; and, through the consortial membership of the Statewide California Electronic Library Consortium (SCELC), California Baptist University, La Sierra University, Santa Clara University, University of Redlands, University of San Diego and Whittier College. This brings the total WEST membership to 109 libraries in 18 states, many through consortial partners Orbis Cascade Alliance and SCELC.

More information about WEST is available at

About WEST

Western Regional Storage Trust is a distributed retrospective print journal repository program serving more than 100 research libraries, college libraries and university libraries, and three library consortia, in the western part of the United States. WEST is funded by member fees and by a grant from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation. The California Digital Library (CDL) serves as the administrative host for WEST.

About the California Digital Library

The California Digital Library supports the University of California libraries in their mission of providing access to the world's knowledge for the UC campuses and the communities they serve through the development and management of digital collections, innovation in scholarly publishing and the long-term preservation of digital information. The University of California library system, which includes more than 100 libraries on the 10 UC campuses, collectively is the largest research/academic library in the world. More information about CDL is available at

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Data Mining Astrophysical Literature - Interview with ADS

Mining the astronomical literature

A clever data project shows the promise of open and freely accessible academic literature.

"There is a huge debate right now about making academic literature freely accessible and moving toward open access. But what would be possible if people stopped talking about it and just dug in and got on with it?
NASA’s Astrophysics Data System (ADS), hosted by the Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory (SAO), has quietly been working away since the mid-’90s. Without much, if any, fanfare amongst the other disciplines, it has moved astronomers into a world where access to the literature is just a given. It’s something they don’t have to think about all that much.
The ADS service provides access to abstracts for virtually all of the astronomical literature. But it also provides access to the full text of more than half a million papers, going right back to the start of peer-reviewed journals in the 1800s. The service has links to online data archives, along with reference and citation information for each of the papers, and it’s all searchable and downloadable."


Tuesday, June 26, 2012

How Fair Use Can Help Solve the Orphan Works Problem

How Fair Use Can Help Solve the Orphan Works Problem

Jennifer M. Urban

University of California, Berkeley - School of Law

June 18, 2012

Berkeley Technology Law Journal, Vol. 27, 2012
UC Berkeley Public Law Research Paper

Many works that libraries, archives, and historical societies, among others, would like to digitize and make available online are "orphan works," that is, works for which the copyright holder either is unknown or cannot be located after a diligent search. Encountering orphan works can be stymieing because the lack of an owner means that there is no way to obtain permission to use them. While Congress nearly passed legislation to deal with the orphan works problem in 2008, its ultimate failure to enact this bill has left those who possess orphan works in limbo. Because of the risk of high statutory damages if an owner later shows up, nonprofit libraries and similar institutions have been reluctant to digitize these works and offer them to the public. The orphan status of these works thus creates a barrier to access to important cultural and historical information despite recent improvements in digitization technologies that could bring these works out of obscurity and make them much more widely useful. As such, there is international consensus that the “orphan works problem” must be addressed.

Download full paper:

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Open Access Publishing Mandate at UC San Francisco

UCSF joins trend offering published research free

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Peer J Inc.- New Open Access Model

New OA Journal, Backed by O’Reilly, May Disrupt Academic Publishing

An open access academic publishing company called Peer J Inc. launched today, and its notable co-founders are promising that the company’s business model will revolutionize the field.

The company’s co-founders are Jason Hoyt, formerly the chief scientist and vice president for research and development at Mendeley, and Peter Binfield, until recently the publisher of PLoS One. The duo said they are poised to exploit a looming “wholesale move” toward open access in academic publishing, and they “expect to be at the forefront of a revolution in how academic content is published and distributed.”

“It was incredibly satisfying to run PLoS ONE, and I believe that PLoS ONE has been one of the major forces for change in the industry,” Binfield said. “However, I wanted to break out and see how much further I could push the envelope towards new, and innovative, modes of open access publication, while all the time maintaining the highest standards of professional publication.”

PeerJ will do without the widely employed and often expensive article-processing charge (commonly called author fees) of other OA journals, which average about $900 per published paper, according to a recent study.

Instead, PeerJ will use a “pay once, publish for life” model, which will offer individual membership plans starting at $99. Authors who join are granted lifetime rights to publish for free in the company’s peer-reviewed journal, also called PeerJ. Each author on a paper must be a member.


Wednesday, June 6, 2012

MLA Journals to Shift Copyright to Authors - Ticker - Chronicle of Higher Education - June 6, 2012

Good news for Humanists on the Scholarly Communications issue of authors rights for retaining copyright. MCB

With New Agreement, MLA Journals Shift Copyright to Authors

June 6, 2012, 8:47 am    The Chronicle of Higher Education


"The journals of the Modern Language Association will switch to a new author agreement that leaves copyright with writers, the scholarly group announced on Tuesday. The MLA had previously asserted that the journals themselves held copyright.

Under the new agreement—which takes effect with the next full issue of each journal—authors will also be permitted to post their manuscripts on personal or departmental Web sites, or in open-access repositories."

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Open Access Petition to White House - June 4, 2012

25,000 Advocates Urge White House to 
Open Taxpayer-Funded Research to Everyone
“We the People Petition” hits 25,000 signatures in just two weeks

Washington, DC – June 4, 2012  - The movement to make taxpayer-funded research freely available online hit a new milestone on Sunday when advocates hit their goal of 25,000 signatures to a “We the People” petition to the Obama administration. The petition, created by Access2Research (a group of Open Access advocates, including SPARC’s Executive Director, Heather Joseph), requests that President Obama make taxpayer-funded research freely available.

According to the petition site’s rules, any petition securing 25,000 signatures within 30 days will be sent to the White House Chief of Staff, and will receive an official response. The Open Access petition hit the 25,000 mark in half the allotted time.

“The community is fully engaged in sending a clear message to the Administration – access to taxpayer-funded information is in the public’s interest, and they want it now,” said Heather Joseph, SPARC’s Executive Director.
The petition says: “We believe in the power of the Internet to foster innovation, research, and education. Requiring the published results of taxpayer-funded research to be posted on the Internet in human and machine readable form would provide access to patients and caregivers, students and their teachers, researchers, entrepreneurs, and other taxpayers who paid for the research.”

The Open Access mandate builds on the National Institutes of Health’s policy, noting that that agency’s experience “proves that this can be done without disrupting the research process,” urging the president “to act now to implement open access policies for all federal agencies that fund scientific research.”

John Wilbanks, Senior Fellow in entrepreneurship for the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation and one of the creators of the petition believes that the fast uptake by the public signals a new pace in the Open Access debate. “Opening access to taxpayer-funded research is no longer a policy discussion happening away from researchers, scientists and taxpayers. People are now fully part of the conversation, and that changes everything.”

“The next step is for the White to House to issue an official response,” said Mike Rossner, Executive Director at The Rockefeller University Press and an original sponsor of the petition. “Our hope is that they will act quickly and will require expansion of the successful NIH policy to all other major U.S. federal funding agencies.”

A number of key organizations outside the academic community endorsed the petition. The Wikimedia Foundation endorsed the petition and included a feature article on its Wikipedia’s English Homepage. Patients advocacy groups from Patients Like Me to the Avon Foundation promoted the petition to their members, as did a variety of publishers, university libraries, commercial companies and advocacy organizations.

For further information on the petition, its sponsors and supporting organizations see the SPARC website at and the Access2Reserach website at

SPARC (Scholarly Publishing and Academic Resources Coalition), with SPARC Europe and SPARC Japan, is an international alliance of more than 800 academic and research libraries working to create a more open system of scholarly communication. SPARC’s advocacy, educational, and publisher partnership programs encourage expanded dissemination of research. SPARC is on the Web at

Monday, June 4, 2012

Opinion: Academic Publishing Is Broken - Michael P. Taylor, The Scientist

News and Opinion - The Scientist

Opinion: Academic Publishing Is Broken

The current system by which academics publish their scientific discoveries is a massive waste of money.

By Michael P. Taylor | March 19, 2012

Link this Stumble
Flickr, dullhunkAcademic publishers are currently up in arms about the Federal Research Public Access Act (FRPAA)—a bill that has the perfectly reasonable goal of making publicly funded research available to the public that funded it. Tom Allen, president of the American Association of Publishers, described it rather hysterically as “intellectual eminent domain, but without fair compensation.” Why are he and his colleagues so desperate to retain the current business model?

Flickr, dullhunk

By any objective standard, academic publishing is a very strange business indeed. It became established at a time when all publishing was on paper, when duplication and delivery were demanding problems, and when publishers provided an important service to researchers. Now, as the Internet is dramatically changing other forms of publishing, academic journals seem stuck in the 1980s, with results both comical and disastrous.

Georgia State University e-reserves case - ARL Policy Notes

Archived video from ARL’s free webcast with Brandon Butler and Jonathan Band discussing the meaning and implications of the Georgia State University e-reserves case.

ARL Policy Notes blog - posted May 31, 2012

To read ARL's Issue Brief on the GSU decision, visit

The GSU decision — not an easy road for anyone  
By On May 12, 2012, Scholarly Communications @ Duke blog, Duke University

Georgia State E-Reserves
by Steven Harris on May 15, 2012
A verdict has finally been issued in the Georgia State University e-reserves case (Cambridge University Press et al v. Patton et al). Several publishers were suing GSU over their electronic reserves practices. The judge’s decision is mostly favorable to libraries. Most of the particular claims of infringement were rejected. The case, however, may establish some specific guidelines or safe havens that may not be exactly what librarians would want.

Publishers Sue Georgia State University Over E-Reserves
Apr 16, 2008 – It charges GSU with “pervasive, flagrant, and ongoing unauthorized distribution of copyrighted materials” via its “electronic course reserves ...


Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Open and Shut?: Open Access: The People’s Petition

Open and Shut?: Open Access: The People’s Petition:
(There is a short Q&A with OA advocate John Wilbanks) - May 25, 2012

Earlier this month a group of Open Access (OA) advocates flew to Washington to attend a meeting with the US Office of Science & Technology Policy (OSTP). Their objective was to convince OSTP that it is vital the US government ensures that all publicly-funded research is made freely available on the Internet.
The omens seemed good: at the end of last year the OSTP had issued an RFI on Public Access to Peer-Reviewed Scholarly Publications Resulting from Federally Funded Research, and the Obama Administration has been making positive noises about OA for a while now (although without introducing any new policies as yet).


Thursday, May 24, 2012

Petion for Public Access for Federally Funded Research

A petition calling for public access to all federally funded research, posted on the White House’s “We the People” website on May 21, already has 14,743 signatures as of the morning of May 24. If the petition gets 25,000 signatures by June 19, it will be considered for action by the White House staff.

Open Access Policy for UC San Francisco

Open Access Movement Finds New Ally in University of California, San Francisco


The open access movement received another major boost on May 21 when the University of California, San Francisco (UCSF), one of the leading public, scientific institutions in the country, adopted an open access policy.

The UCSF academic senate voted unanimously to make electronic versions of current and future scientific articles freely available to the public. This is particularly significant because, according to numbers from the university, the UCSF health campus is the country’s largest public recipient of funding from the National Institutes of Health (NIH), receiving 1,056 grants last year valued at $532.8 million.

“This vote is very, very good news,” said Karen Butter, UCSF librarian and assistant vice chancellor. “I am delighted that UCSF will join leading institutions in changing the model of scientific communications, and that UCSF authors have chosen to take control of their scholarship, providing new audiences with incredible opportunities to translate UCSF’s remarkable research into improving health care.”


Wednesday, May 23, 2012

"E-Content: The Digital Dialogue" - e-book release from American Library Association

American Library Association (ALA) released “E-content: The Digital Dialogue,” a new report examining fair and reasonable access to digital content through our nation’s libraries.  A major focus of this report is e-books.  Certainly a timely topic and one of interest to most of the RUSA membership. 

From the press release: "The report, published as a supplement to American Libraries magazine, explores various licensing models and the state of librarian-publisher relations. Additionally, the report provides an update on the ALA-wide effort to promote access to digital content (co-chaired by Robert Wolven, associate university librarian at Columbia University, and Sari Feldman, executive director of the Cuyahoga County Public Library)."
Announcement from May 23, 2012

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Inaugural Issue of Journal of Librarianship and Scholarly Communication

Inaugural Issue of Journal of Librarianship and Scholarly Communication released May 16, 2012

The inaugural issue of the Journal of Librarianship and Scholarly Communication (JLSC) is now available (, featuring open access, peer-reviewed research, about library-led scholarly communication initiatives, online publishing and digital projects. Journal content is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution license. The journal is a not-for-profit endeavor, published by Pacific University Library. In support of open and equitable opportunities for authors, JLSC does not charge article submission or publication fees.

“Because libraries are actively working to shape the scholarly communication sphere, there was a need for this important work to be specifically represented in the literature. JLSC meets this need by providing a dedicated ‘home’ for librarians to share their ideas about institutional and digital repositories, open education initiatives, library e-publishing services, authors’ rights advocacy efforts, data curation and other emerging issues,” says editor Marisa Ramirez (Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo).

JLSC is open to experimental formats and innovative alternatives to the traditional publishing system.

The first issue is available online at

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

SPARC Open Access "Funds in Action"

SPARC's latest  updates to our  Open Access "Funds in Action" document is now available.

The updated document contains information from twenty-four universities, you can see how these universities are spending their funds and what their current usage stats are. Looking at the big picture this document represents a large increase in the number of institutions experimenting with open access funds. This in turn, shows that a larger conversation has begun on campuses generating more awareness to open access. 

The updated document is available on our website at

Think Like a Start-Up: a White Paper - Brian Matthews (University of Virginia)

Think Like a Start-Up: a White Paper

April 4, 2012, 1:19 pm
This project has been in the works for a long time. I think that the initial seed was planted during my time at Georgia Tech. It simmered while I was out in California. And it crystalized as soon as I arrived in Blacksburg. I thought this document would be a one-pager that I could finish over a weekend, but it grew into something much more involved.

I’ve been fascinated with startup culture for a long time and as I considered all the changes happening in academic libraries (and higher ed) the parallels were quite stunning. No, we’re not developing new products to bring to market, and no, we’re not striving for an IPO payday, but we are being required to rethink/rebuild/repurpose what a library is and what it does. The next twenty years are going to be an interestingly chaotic time for the history of our institutions.

Here’s a snippet that frames the paper:
The media and pop culture provide us with romanticized visions of dorm room ideas becoming billion dollar IPOs. And indeed, that does happen sometimes, but startups are more than rags to riches stories. In concise terms: startups are organizations dedicated to creating something new under conditions of extreme uncertainty. This sounds exactly like an academic library to me. Not only are we trying to survive, but we’re also trying to transform our organizations into a viable service for 21st century scholars and learners.

This paper is a collection of talking points intended to stir the entrepreneurial spirit in library leaders at every level. I think it is also useful for library science students as they prepare to enter and impact the profession. My intention is for this to be a conversation starter, not a step-by-step plan. The future is ours to figure out and I hope that this captures the spirit of the changes ahead.

Think Like A Startup: a white paper to inspire library entrepreneurialism (3.96 Mb) PDF

Friday, April 6, 2012

Science R&D Spending in the Federal Budget (Infographic)

Date: 27 January 2011 Time: 11:35 AM ET

 Historical look at how science funding has changed over the decades with different administrations in power.

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Google Books to Scale Back Scanning of Books from Universities

Article: "Google Begins to Scale Back Its Scanning of Books From University Libraries"
By Jennifer Howard
Chronicle of Higher Education
March 9, 2012

"Google has been quietly slowing down its book-scanning work with partner libraries, according to librarians involved with the vast Google Books digitization project. But what that means for the company's long-term investment in the work remains unclear.

Google was not willing to say much about its plans. "We've digitized more than 20 million books to date and continue to scan books with our library partners," a Google spokeswoman told The Chronicle in an e-mailed statement."

Thursday, February 23, 2012

HathiTrust Collections

Are you familiar with the collection creation part of HathiTrust?

There are currently 829 collections created by users and library staff. Many are fantastic and many aren't! We primarily see collections as providing a way to collect materials on a theme or even associated with a particular physical collection/location. Once items are put into a collection, you can search the full-text of just the items in that collection. At the University of Michigan, we have a few collections that are connected to physical locations (e.g., graduate reference reading) so staff and users can search within these collections to help figure out which book has some obscure term or quote and then go pull it from the shelf.

The HathiTrust UX Advisory group has been talking about how great it would be to have even more high-quality collections to help demonstrate the usefulness of this feature. We'd also like to explore how this kind of feature could better help support library needs. 

Because large collections can be somewhat cumbersome to create manually, HathiTrust staff can actually work with you to help build them! See below for more details on this along with some sample, custom collections we've helped make.

Does anyone have ideas for collections that might be useful to them or their patrons? Feel free to forward this email to anyone who might.


Information about getting help to build custom collections:

In order for us to do this, we would need you to identify specifically which items you want in the collection by either supplying us with IDs or providing a specific set of search terms and limitations.  There are various ways this can be achieved, depending on the type of material you want in your collection. Here are some examples of collections that have been custom built:
Identify the title, and we will locate all the items attached to all the records from all the partners and build a collection. 
This collection was based on a catalog search for "genealogy" anywhere in a HathiTrust record, with only full view items wanted.  The owner has since added other items manually after the fact; the genesis of the collection was roughly 1700 items.
Because we link to HathiTrust items in Mirlyn, our catalog, I could use the Aleph client and retrieve all the records with a location of "Hatcher Graduate Reference Rm." and then save all the attached HathiTrust holdings to extract IDs.  The selector who wanted this collection elected to have volumes from all partners included; it would have been simple to have limited it to Michigan items only, if he had decided to do so, based on the namespace of the identifiers.
ESTC staff provided us with identifiers based on their analysis of the bibliographic information available through the bib API.

Please note that once the collection has been built, we would transfer ownership to whomever wants it so the collection can be updated and maintained.