Israel Scholar Communication Scrolls

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November 30, 2005

Indian President Wants Indian Libraries Digitized and Open Access (OA)

"Prez calls for digitisation of libraries, Deccan Herald, November 22, 2005. (Thanks to LIS News.) Excerpt:
President A P J Abdul Kalam wants all libraries in schools, colleges and universities to be digitised within the next four years. At the valedictory of Mahabharata Utsav, organised by the Mahabharata Research Foundation, here on Monday, the President said the digitisation of books has to be in regional languages. Knowledge has always been the prime mover for prosperity. It is important to take up the mission of integrating all forms of knowledge and culture into our digital library....The President unveiled a state-of-art Digital Mobile van to document, conserve, digitise and disseminate manuscripts. He suggested that the mobile digital library can become a partner of the Digital Library of India portal, a project aimed at providing free-to-read searchable collection of one million books."

Source: Peter Suber. Indian president wants Indian libraries digitized and OA. OANews Blog (23 Nov 2005) [FullText]

November 29, 2005

Open Access (OA) Repository of Medline Citations

"The U.S. National Library of Medicine (NLM) has launched the MEDLINE/PubMed Baseline Repository (MBR). From the announcement (November 23):

A freely accessible Web site, the MEDLINE / PubMed Baseline Repository (MBR), developed by staff in NLM's Lister Hill Center is now available. The MBR...contains various resources derived from or pertaining to the MEDLINE/PubMed baseline files which are produced after the records have undergone annual maintenance. One MBR resource, the MBR Query Tool, is restricted to use by NLM's registered MEDLINE/PubMed licensees. MEDLINE/PubMed licensees may prefer to search the baseline files via this Web-based Query Tool rather than, or in addition to, locally mounting all the baseline files obtained from NLM's ftp server....Researchers have expressed interest in having access to MEDLINE citations in the state they were at a given moment in time. The MBR was set up to provide this capability. NLM has stored the end of year baseline MEDLINE/PubMed database for each year maintained with MeSH vocabulary for the upcoming year starting in 2002 along with a selection of the associated MeSH Vocabulary data files. The 2006 baseline files will be available in December 2005."

Source: Peter Suber. OA repository of Medline citations. OANews Blog (24 November 2005) [FullText]

November 28, 2005

Scholarly plug-ins for Firefox

"The Center for History and New Media is developing open-source tools for scholarship to run on Firefox. From the announcement:

The Center for History and New Media is building an open-source package of tools for libraries and museums that will work right in the web browser, where most research is now done. We are calling the project SmartFox: The Scholar's Web Browser, and it will enable the rich use of library and museum web collections with no cost --either in dollars, or probably more importantly, in secondary technical costs related to their web servers-- to institutions. This set of tools will be downloadable and installable on any of the major open-source browsers related to the increasingly popular Firefox web browser... SmartFox will enable users, with a single click, to grab a citation to a book, journal article, archival document, or museum object and store it in their browser. Researchers will then be able to take notes on the reference, link that reference to others, and organize both the metadata and annotations in ways that will greatly enhance the usefulness of, and the great investment of time and money in, the electronic collections of museums and libraries. All of the information SmartFox gathers and the researcher creates will be stored on the client's computer, not the institution's server (unlike commercial products like Amazon's toolbar), and will be fully searchable. The Web browser, the premier platform for research now and in the future, will achieve the kind of functionality that the users of libraries and museums would expect in an age of exponentially increasing digitization of their holdings."

Source: Peter Suber. Scholarly plug-ins for Firefox. OANews Blog (24 Nov 2005) [FullText]

November 27, 2005

Keep science off web, says Royal Society

"Richard Wray, Keep science off web, says Royal Society, The Guardian, November 25, 2005. Excerpt:

The Royal Society, Britain's national academy of science, yesterday joined the debate about so-called open access to scientific research, warning that making research freely available on the internet as it is published in scientific journals could harm scientific debate. The Royal Society fears it could lead to the demise of journals published by not-for-profit societies, which put out about a third of all journals. "Funders should remember that the primary aims should be to improve the exchange of knowledge between researchers and wider society," The Royal Society said....Open access proponents said the Royal Society position statement confuses open access publishing...with author self-archiving. The latter, which has already been carried out in some disciplines for years, relies on academics publishing on the internet articles that have been accepted by journals. A spokesman for the Royal Society said: "We think it conceivable that the journals in some disciplines might suffer. Why would you pay to subscribe to a journal if the papers appear free of charge?" PS: Does the RS want "to improve the exchange of knowledge between researchers and wider society" or does it want to subordinate this improvement to the financial interests of the publishing industry? ..."

"David Dickson, Open access deemed 'dangerous' by Royal Society, SciDev.Net, November 24, 2005. Excerpt:

The world's oldest scientific society has warned that the spread of open access journals — as well as open archiving — could have a "disastrous" impact on scientific publishing, possibly forcing some peer-reviewed journals to close. Proponents of open access deny this claim, saying there is no evidence to support such alarmist statements, and that its authors have confused various strands of the open access debate."

Source: P.Suber. More on the Royal Society statement OANews Blog (25 Nov 2005) [FullText]; More on the Royal Society statement (24 Nov 2005) [FullText]

November 26, 2005

Google thwarted by limited fair-use rights in Europe

VNU Staff, Google digitisation faces Euro legal challenge, Information World Review, November 24, 2005. Excerpt:

"Google has acknowledged that it cannot digitise copyright material from European libraries, according to the Association of Learned and Professional Society Publishers (ALPSP). ALPSP chief executive Sally Morris said that at a meeting with Google last month --also attended by the Publishers Association (PA), the International Publishers Association and the Association of American University Presses-- the search giant agreed it was "absolutely the case that it is not allowed to [digitise in-copyright material from libraries] in Europe". The American "fair use" law, which Google has used as a justification for its scanning of in-copyright material from libraries in America, is, Morris said, broader than its European equivalent, "fair dealing". Google is currently embroiled in lawsuits in the US with both the Authors Guild and the Association of American Publishers over its actions. Morris said Google's acknowledgement meant that if it wanted to digitise copyright books from European libraries, it would need to find a solution - even if it successfully defends the US lawsuits. She now plans to devise a system that will make it easy for Google - or any other organisation digitising books, such as the Open Content Alliance and Microsoft - to get the permissions they need. She told the Bookseller : "The fact Google recognise they can't do this without permission in Europe gives us a threshold to work out a way for them to get permission. In America, they have the law on their side. Here, they accept they don't." Her suggestions, put to Google at the meeting, include a Canadian model whereby, if it proves impossible to locate a copyright owner, a licence is granted so the material can be used legally. "We are waiting for them to come back to us on these issues," added Morris, "but they said they were interested.""

Source: Peter Suber. Google thwarted by limited fair-use rights in Europe. Open Access News Blog (25 November 2005) [FullText]

November 25, 2005

Attention, Israeli Librarian: Open Canada Digitization Initiative

"The Canadian Association of Research Libraries (CARL) has announced the launch of the Open Canada Digitization Initiative (no web site yet). (Thanks to Digitizationblog.) From the November 17 press release:

Leaders of Canada’s major research libraries held a national summit at Emerald Lake, BC, November 1-3, 2005. The summit outlined plans for online access to Canada’s recorded heritage. At the conclusion the participants declared their commitment to a coordinated and sustained program to digitize Canada’s information and knowledge resources - with 2006 as the catalyst year. “Our vision is that Canadians will be able to know themselves through their heritage and the world will have the opportunity to better know Canadians” declared CARL President John Teskey. “Our common aim is to provide easy online access to the extraordinary wealth of written and other records by and about Canadians.” The Emerald Lake participants included members of the library, archives and museum communities. The group strongly endorsed ‘Open Governance’ for the initiative.... [Said Ernie Ingles, Vice-Provost and Chief Librarian, University of Alberta, and the Chair of the CARL Planning Committee:] “There will be an open invitation for everyone who is willing and able to come and play their own unique part in developing our collective Canadian online memory. We would like to hear from local history societies, archives organizations, genealogists and others across the country.”...The Open Canada Digitization Initiative will act in concert with the Canadian digital information strategy presently being developed by Library and Archives Canada CARL calls on governments and funding bodies to support this initiative, to ensure that Canadians will know themselves and that the world will know Canada - now and for generations to come."

Source: Peter Suber. Open Canada Digitization Initiative. OANews Blog (25 November 2005) [FullText]

November 24, 2005

Elsevier Computer Science Editor Draws the Ideal Journal Features

"Chris Leonard, 14 Steps to the Perfect CS Journal? Computing Chris, November 21, 2005. (Thanks to Richard Ackerman.) Excerpt:

OK - imagine for one crazy moment that I am in charge of Elsevier and I was about to embark upon a mission to make our journals the most attractive place to publish for computer scientists. What qualities would that journal (or journals) need to have? Having spoken to many people in the last year, I have come to the conclusion that the following points are (more or less) important. If I have missed any, please let me know.

  • FREE ACCESS - at least at the point of use. Subscribers access the journal for 1 year, then all articles are available to everyone who wants them? ...
  • UPDATEABLE ARTICLES - following the example of versions on arXiv, authors should be able to update their articles whenever new date or results are available. Old versions remain available as well....
  • SOME PROFIT - a commercial company needs to make a profit to survive. What would be an acceptable level of profit to make (after tax)? Any excess could go to reducing the costs of the journal subscriptions....
  • RAW DATA - all articles to have raw data available on the web in an open, interchangeable format....

Leonard is the Elsevier Publishing Editor responsible for theoretical computer science journals. He played a role in the experiment with free online access at Elsevier's Information and Experimentation announced in August.

Source: P.Suber. Elsevier editor imagines the ideal journal. OA News Blog (24 November 2005) [FullText]

November 23, 2005

Thomson ISI to Launch Web Citation Index

More on the Web Citation Index
Mark Chillingworth, Thomson corals open access into single index, Informationi World Review, November 23, 2005. (That should be "...corrals...") Excerpt:

Thomson Scientific is releasing a single tool for searching and accessing online open access content. The Web Citation Index (WCI) from the abstracting and indexing (A&I) specialist will become part of its ISI Web of Knowledge platform and connect together pre-print articles, institutional repositories and open access (OA) journals, IWR can exclusively reveal. WCI uses the same technology as the Web of Science and provides users with general search and citation search engines, alerts, search history and linking services. At the heart of WCI is technology that crawls the internet searching for research documents that are freely available. Once the software has located the document it indexes it, locates the citations within the document and automatically links these to the cited document. This technology is the result of a partnership between Thomson and electronics giant NEC, who provided their CiteSeer scientific library system. "We married their technology with the ability to index citations, combining algorithmic and editorial processes," said Jim Pringle, Thomson vp of development, government and academic. Thomson has formed an editorial team to assess the material being indexed. All content will be judged on a set of criteria that includes; who hosts the archive and is it well maintained, what selection process does the archive have, document formats and whether full text is available. "The goal is to index all repository material, but it has to conform to scholarly standards," Pringle said, "It brings a consistent resource for pre-prints are difficult to find and brings them into professional research." Pringle said the OA and institutional repository community needed a serious index and search tool to make their content more "discoverable". Although a shot in the arm for the OA community, Pringle was quick to back traditional publishing models. "Peer review journal literature continues to have an important future; I don't see the repository movement calling that into question. This is part of the process by which repositories are finding their way."

(PS: It really looked like the ISI folks got it until Pringle implied that one must support "traditional publishing models" in order to support peer review.)

Source: Peter Suber. More on the Web Citation Index. OANews Blog (23 Nov 2005) [Fulltext]

November 22, 2005

Primer for Israeli Academic Libraries

When Israel Universities will recruit Librarians based on their qualifications, not friendship with University administration or top rank academic bureaucracy. Dont't say you are not aware of it (see Israel Scholar of 21 March 2005). Alternatives, however, do exist:

"The Texas A&M University Libraries are looking for a metadata librarian. Excerpt from the job ad:
[E]xperience with one or more of the following standards: Dublin Core, METS/MODS, OpenURL, OAI-PMH, TEI, or others. Experience with creation and/or management of digital objects in various text, image, sound, and/or video formats. Knowledge of institutional repositories and open access publishing..."

Quotation Source: P.Suber. Another sign of progress. OANews Blog [FullText]

November 21, 2005

Technology Changes Publisher Business Models

"Bill Rosenblatt, Rights management and the revolution in e-publishing, Indicare, November 21, 2005. Excerpt:
Abstract: Google Book Search and the handful of developments in its aftermath are ushering in the next wave of digital publishing. Discoverability and rendering of copyrighted works on the Internet add up to the most disruptive force to publishers' lines of business at least since the emergence of desktop publishing in the 1980s. Digital rights management plays a crucial role in this e-publishing revolution. In this article, we outline the big changes in online publishing today, and we discuss the role that DRM plays in new online content distribution, discovery, and retail initiatives, and how it should play a role in the future.
From the body of the article:

Developments like Google Book Search show that technology companies have the potential to force dramatic changes to publishers' business models and supplychains. Publishers must realize that once content is out there on the Internet, control over rights is the key to control over their industry's future. If they do not act soon, then Internet technology companies will take over their supply chains, they will be marginalized into lesser relevance in the content world, or both. "

Source: P.Suber. Google could change publisher business models. OANEws Blog (21 Nov 2005) [FullText]

November 19, 2005

Anti-Google Critique Misses the Target

Pat Schroeder and Bob Barr, Reining in Google, The Washington Times, November 3, 2005. Pat Schroeder is a former member of Congress from Colorado and the current president of the Association of American Publishers (AAP), which his suing Google. Bob Barr is a former member of the House Judiciary Committee. (Thanks to Garrett Eastman.) Excerpt:

You're probably reading the byline above and wondering, "What could these two, from opposite sides of the aisle in Congress, possibly have in common with each other?" The answer is when it comes to Google's Print Library Project we have much in common: We're both authors and both believe intellectual property should actually mean something....The creators and owners of these copyrighted works will not be compensated, nor has Google defined what a "snippet" is: a paragraph? A page? A chapter? A whole book? Meanwhile Google will gain a huge new revenue stream by selling ad space on library search results....Not only is Google trying to rewrite copyright law, it is also crushing creativity. If publishers and authors have to spend all their time policing Google for works they have already written, it is hard to create more. Our laws say if you wish to copy someone's work, you must get their permission. Google wants to trash that....Just because Google is huge, it should not be allowed to change the law....Google envisions a world in which all content is free; and of course, it controls the portal through which Internet user's access that content. It would completely devalue everyone else's property and massively increase the value of its own....These lawsuits are needed to halt theft of intellectual property. To see it any other way is intellectually dishonest.

Comment. Nine quick replies. (1) A snippet is a fair-use excerpt. If you think Google's snippets are too long to count as fair use, then the AAP should scale back its lawsuit to the demand that snippets be short enough to count as fair use. Right now the AAP is trying to halt the whole project regardless of fair use. (2) Why do you care whether Google makes money? When a book critic quotes a fair-use excerpt in a book review, it appears on the same page as an advertisement. The publishing newspaper has a commercial purpose in publishing the excerpt. Does that negate fair use? Does it depend on how much the newspaper makes from advertising? (3) Authors who have nothing better to do than "police" free advertising for their books, and try to stop it, should lie down and wait for help. Meantime, other authors can write books and work with Google, among others, in bringing them to the attention of readers. (4) Google believes that existing rules protect what it is doing. It doesn't need to trash them. If you really don't know that Google has a legal argument, then see the many defenses of Google's project by lawyers and law professors that I collected last month. (5) You write: "Just because Google is huge, it should not be allowed to change the law." Did you really think Google disagreed? Just because you are angry authors doesn't mean that Google is harming you. Just because you are former members of Congress doesn't mean that you've got the lock on fair use. (6) No doubt, Google is taking a step whose legality is uncertain. But its legality will be decided by a court, not by Google. Did you really think otherwise? (7) Google is making some information free, but it's making other information searchable without making it free and helping users find places to buy it. (8) You clearly believe that Google's project will harm authors and publishers. But why not cite even one piece of evidence? (9) Why is it more important for you to disparage the arguments against you as intellectually dishonest than to restate them honestly and criticize them?

Source: P Suber OA News Blog, 3 November 2005

November 17, 2005

Costs of Open Access Repositories

"Rebecca Kemp has posted some figures on the costs of setting up and running open-source OA repositories at 10 institutions. The figures came in response to her call for data on the LibLicense discussion list. If you have additional data, send them to her at kempr[at]

According to her spreadsheet, the low end for set-up costs is $5,770 (CILEA) and the high end is $1,706,765 (Cambridge University). The low end for yearly maintenance is $36,000 (National University of Ireland) and the high end is $285,000 (MIT). Because Cambridge gives no annual maintenance cost, it's very high set-up cost may include annual maintenance. Kemp lists the Caltech archive but doesn't mention Caltech's finding that set-up costs are less than $1,000.

It's not clear what the different institutions are counting as part of set-up and maintenance. It would help to break out the different costs so that we know when we're comparing like with like and when we're not.

Source: Peter Suber. Costs of OA repositories. OA News (3/11/2005) [FullText]

November 15, 2005

Where in the World are Open Access (OA) Journals Published?

Jutta Haider, The Geographic Distribution of Open Access Journals, a poster presented at the 9th International Congress on Medical Librarianship, September 2005.

Abstract: The regional distribution of Open Access (OA) journals in the ISI citation databases differs significantly from the overall distribution of journals, namely in favour of peripheral areas and regions constituted predominantly of poorer countries. According to McVeigh (2004) in the ISI citation databases as a whole, North America and Western Europe account for 90% of the titles indexed, yet they account for only 40% of OA journals. Less than 2% of European and North American journals employ the OA model, yet 15% of those from the Asia-Pacific region and 40% from Central and South America are OA. This leads the author to conclude that "[for] many journals, providing free content online expands their access to an international readership" (McVeigh 2004, p.4). Departing from this assumption the study at hand addresses the following questions: Is the geographic distribution of OA journals in general more favourable towards peripheral publishing countries? How does it differ from the distribution of scholarly journals in general? Which proportions of scholarly journals and of scholarly online journals are OA in different regions and in groups of economically similar countries?* For this purpose, publishing data for active scholarly/academic journals from Ulrich's Periodicals Directory and the Directory of Open Access Journals (DOAJ) were gathered and analysed using descriptive statistical techniques. The data was gathered in May 2005. The results indicate interesting differences between the geographic distribution of scholarly journals in general and the subgroup of OA journals. To illustrate, among the top 25 publishing countries for all journals, 7 do not belong to the group of high income countries*, and only 6 in the case of scholarly online journals. Yet for OA journals this number increases to 11, with Brazil taking the 3rd and India the 5th spot. According to the DOAJ almost a fifth (18%) of OA journals in the Health Sciences and over a quarter (26%) of Biology and Life Science OA journals are published in the Latin American and Caribbean region. While the group of high income countries publishes 6% of its online journals as OA, 32% of those from upper middle income countries, 10% of those from lower middle income countries, and 34% of online journals emanating from low income countries are OA. Correspondingly, 5% of online journals published in Western Europe* and 6% of those from Canada and the USA are OA, yet 51% of online journals published in Latin America and the Caribbean are. (South Asia: 7%, Africa/Middle East: 8%, Eastern Europe/Central Asia: 15% East Asia/Pacific: 15%) This also has to be seen in the light of the fact that the USA, Canada, and the countries of Western Europe together account for 80% of all registered academic online journals, while their share of OA journals amounts to 59%. Due to the fast changing nature of the subject the results are meant to provide a snapshot as well as to be indicative and exploratory, and also to invite different interpretations. Yet at the same time they are also intended to instigate debate about the role OA is attributed and its significance as a peripheral practice.

Notes: * see World Bank Classification of Economies. ** for the purpose of this study “Western Europe” means pre-enlargement European Union, plus Switzerland, Iceland, and Norway.

Source: P.Suber. Where in the world are OA journals published? OANews Blog (4 November 2005) [FullText]

November 13, 2005

Knowledge Versus Information Societies: UNESCO Report Takes Stock of the Difference

Knowledge versus information societies: UNESCO report takes stock of the difference, a press release dated 3 November 2005. Excerpt:

A UNESCO report launched today urges governments to expand quality education for all, increase community access to information and communication technology, and improve cross-border scientific knowledge-sharing, in an effort to narrow the digital and “knowledge” divides between the North and South and move towards a “smart” form of sustainable human development. “Towards Knowledge Societies”, launched in Paris today by UNESCO Director-General Koïchiro Matsuura, also advocates...sharing environmental knowledge and developing statistical tools to measure knowledge and help policy makers define their priorities....The Report, opens a panorama “that paints the future in both promising and disquieting tones,” says the Director-General, “promising because the potential offered by a rational and purposeful use of the new technologies offers real prospects for human and sustainable development and the building of more democratic societies; disquieting for the obstacles and snares along the way are all too real.” One of the main obstacles, according to the Report, is the disparity in access to information and communication technology that has become known as the digital divide. Only 11 percent of the world’s population has access to the internet and 90 percent of those connected live in industrialized countries. This digital divide is itself the consequence of a more serious split. “The knowledge divide,” write the authors, “today more than ever, separates countries endowed with powerful research and development potential, highly effective education systems and a range of public learning and cultural facilities, from nations with deficient education systems and research institutions starved of resources, and suffering as a result of the brain drain.” Encouraging the development of knowledge societies requires overcoming these gaps, “consolidating two pillars of the global information society that are still too unevenly guaranteed – access to information for all and freedom of expression.”...The stakes are high, stresses the Report, for the cost of ignorance is greater than the cost of education and knowledge sharing. It argues in favour of societies that are able to integrate all their members and promote new forms of solidarity involving both present and future generations. Nobody, it states, should be excluded from knowledge societies, where knowledge is a public good, available to each and every individual.

Update. The report is now online in English and five other languages. (Thanks to John Russell and P.Suber of OA News Blog)

November 11, 2005

Microsoft in Digitizing Deal with British Library

Jon Boone and Maija Palmer, Microsoft in deal with British Library, Financial Times (3 Nov 2005). Excerpt by Open Access News Blog:

Microsoft on Thursday announced a “strategic partnership” with the British Library that will allow the software group to digitise 25m pages of content - the equivalent of 100,000 books....The agreement will allow the US software company to scan some of the library's collection and to make digital copies of the books available on the internet. Once some technical challenges have been overcome, the “digitised” books, journals, maps and manuscripts would be made available on the library's website and on a new MSN Book Search service which Microsoft plans to launch next year....Microsoft said it would invest $2.5m in the British Library venture next year as “an initial investment”. While the early “pilot” phase will aim to process 10,000 books, the company made clear that it saw its involvement with the British Library as a long-term project. Microsoft said the technology that would be developed to scan the material, index it and make whole books searchable could be commercially exploited by companies looking to store huge paper archives digitally. The work will be conducted in conjunction with the Open Content Alliance, a consortium of non-profit and for-profit groups led by Yahoo. It was set up this year in response to Google Print's digitisation venture. The British Library said it was happy to work with any company that helped it make its holdings more readily available. Lynne Brindley, the library's chief executive, said: “Our aim is to provide perpetual access to the intellectual output of the nation.”

November 09, 2005

Editorial on Open Access in a Leading Medical Journal

Joanne M Shaw, Geraldine Mynors, and Caroline Kelham, Information for patients on medicines, BMJ, November 5, 2005. An editorial. Excerpt by P.Suber:

Information for patients on medicines should be much more accessible and patient centred....The traditional model for communicating with patients about their medicines is that doctors decide the best treatment and patients follow their doctors' instructions with only limited independent access to information about treatment. The Association of the British Pharmaceutical Industry (ABPI) is now reviewing its code of practice, and this is an important opportunity to move to a more modern view of patients --as partners of health professionals and decision makers in relation to their health. The main aim of the code is to protect patients from potentially harmful influence. It currently focuses heavily on regulating the pharmaceutical industry's communications with health professionals and imposes highly restrictive conditions on direct communication with patients. This model is seriously flawed. The ABPI code of practice should reflect the increasing role that patients are taking in decisions about their health and treatment, as well as patients' entitlement to access information from any source they choose. The code should require companies to provide better information for members of the public who seek it, rather than prevent them from doing so....Around half of all medicines are not taken as prescribed, with serious consequences in terms of preventable ill health, mortality, and cost to the NHS. Non-compliance is almost always the result of conscious choices made by patients rather than forgetfulness. The best predictors of compliance are patients' attitudes, beliefs, and perceptions about their illness and treatment....These beliefs are strongly influenced by the information that patients receive from health professionals and other sources....Feedback about the pilot guides [in the Medicines Information Project] showed that they help patients and their families. Designed and developed with both health professionals and patients and accessible online from anywhere in the world, these guides have advantages over mandatory patient information leaflets. They can be customised to provide only the information relevant to a specific indication; they discuss medicines in the context of all available alternatives, including non-drug options; and they link to relevant clinical information about conditions in NHS Direct Online. And because the guides are an online resource with open access, they can inform the dialogue between patients and health professionals when making treatment decisions. "

November 07, 2005

Managing Digital Assets: Strategic Issues for Research Libraries

Held: October 28, 2005Washington DC ,
Sponsors: Association of Research Libraries (ARL), Coalition for Networked Information, Council on Library and Information Resources, Digital Library Federation

The forum explored the strategic implications of repositioning research libraries to manage digital assets for their institutions. Donald J. Waters, Program Officer, Scholarly Communication, The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, opened the meeting with a broad overview of several issues and developments surrounding digital-asset management. Three program sessions followed on institutional policies, emerging federal policies, and the state of tools available to take on the role of digital-asset management.

Source: Convention web site: Forum Proceedings , More info

November 05, 2005

Launch of India Made Open Access Toolbar

Shahul Ameen has developed OAses, a nifty Open Access Toolbar. From the web site:

OAses, a toolbar for Internet Explorer, is designed to make internet searching easier for students, academicians and scientists. OAses searches many open access resources, free databases, and search engines. The toolbar is free to download and use, easy to install, and requires no registration. Among the sources that OAses will search are OAIster, the Directory of Open Access Journals, Creative Commons, Project Gutenberg, FindArticles, PubMed Central, and a handful of the major search engines. OAses supports most of the high-end features you may be used to e.g. from the Google toolbar, such as browsing the target resources, highlighting search terms, dragging search terms from the browser to the searchbox, search histories, pop-up blocking, and cookie-clearing. For more details, see the FAQ.

Ameen is an M.D. and Senior Resident at the Central Institute of Psychiatry, Ranchi, India.

Source: P.Suber. Launch of an OA toolbar. OA News. (5 Nov 2005) [FullText]

November 03, 2005

First Google Library Books Appear in the Google Index

Jeffrey Young, Google Adds First Scanned Library Books to Search Index, and Says Copyrighted Works Will Follow, Chronicle of Higher Education, November 3, 2005 (accessible only to subscribers). Excerpt by P.Suber of Open Access News blog:

Google has added the initial batch of scanned library books to a searchable index, the first fruits of the company's controversial partnership with five major research libraries. The Library Project, part of the company's Google Print program, has been digitizing library books for nearly a year, in an arrangement with Harvard and Stanford Universities, the University of Michigan at Ann Arbor, and the University of Oxford, in England, as well as the New York Public Library. But until now those scanned books had not been part of the Google index. Adam M. Smith, a senior business-product manager at Google who is working on the book-scanning project, said in an interview on Wednesday that "thousands" of library books are now in the index, though he would not give an exact number. All of the books added to the index are in the public domain, he said....Mr. Smith also said that Google has resumed scanning copyrighted books. The company had temporarily stopped scanning copyrighted works in order to give publishers a chance to give Google lists of books that they did not want scanned. Mr. Smith added that some of the copyrighted books would begin to appear in the Google index "very shortly." From now on, library books will be added to the index as they are scanned, according to Nathan Tyler, a spokesman for Google. "We're going to be constantly adding new books to the index as they become available," he said. The full-text books now in Google include Civil War regimental histories from the University of Michigan, government documents from Stanford University's collection, works by Henry James from Harvard's libraries, and biographies from the New York Public Library's holdings. The books can be found by searching Google Print.

November 02, 2005

British Library Shapes Plans for National Digital Library

Mark Chillingworth, BL recruits to define digital library, Information World Review, October 14, 2005. Excerpt by Open Access News Blog:

"Ruth Jones has been appointed head of development at the British Library (BL), a new role that will involve redefining the role of the BL as a National Digital Library. Jones was the founding general manager of Extenza e-Publishing, seeing the company through start-up to sell-off, and will use this business experience in her new role. “I think it’s interesting that they brought someone in with a commercial background. I think they wanted someone with a strong empathy with the information industry,” she said. Jones is the latest in a long line of BL recruits from the private sector. The BL strategy for 2005 to 2008 makes the digital library a priority. “Our challenge is to redefine the role and purpose of the British Library in the information revolution of the 21st century,” it said. Jones told IWR that BL’s centrality to the UK information industry made its digital ambitions pivotal. “All routes lead there,” she said. The National Digital Library is already in a pilot stage with 23 journal publishers contributing electronic content to the archive. Jones said the difference between the National Digital Library and the growing number of archives being launched by commercial publishers is the BL’s remit to preserve content in perpetuity. [PS: What about open access?] A team of six licensing experts and five product development experts have been pulled together to direct development, liaise with publishers and work with all areas of the BL in development. Jones said BL Direct, its web-based document delivery service, is the platform from which she will launch the digital library. The trial is currently taking in PDF content, but is looking at a long-term technology that will provide access to future generations. Full-text XML is the preferred technology, but Jones said there needs to be a move towards international standards on archiving digital content."