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.