Higher Education Institutions’ libraries may be impacted by the collapse or scaling down of academic publishing houses. The world’s most distinguished research institutions would, the report suggests, be impacted the most, since published outputs are essential for the work carried out by their researchers. The reports’ results indicate that STM publishers could expect to retain full subscriptions from 56 percent of libraries, compared with 35 percent for AHSS publishers.
The report documents the results of a survey carried out to obtain a significant body of information on how the acquisitions policies of libraries might be affected by an across-the board mandate to make journals articles free of charge six months after publication. The report analyses the results of responses from 210 libraries across the world who were asked if the majority of content of research journals was freely available
within 6 months of publication, would they still continue to subscribe. Libraries were asked to send separate responses for Scientific, Technical and Medical (STM) journals and Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences journals (AHSS).
A federal judge in Manhattan recently granted class-action status to authors suing Internet search services provider Google, US, over the company’s book-scanning project. The judge, allowing the long-stalled case to move forward, ruled that three individual authors and the Author's Guild could represent the class of all authors whose works had been scanned by Google.
Google had sought the opposite result, arguing that including all authors in a single lawsuit would make the case too complex. According to the company, most authors actually supported the scanning project.
Judge Denny Chin ruled on two distinct legal issues. The first was over whether the Author's Guild was entitled to serve as a representative of its members. Google had argued that only individual authors could be plaintiffs as the case would require the participation of those individual plaintiffs to consider issues such as fair use.
But Judge Chin reportedly rejected Google's argument. The associations' claims of copyright infringement and requests for injunctive relief would not require the participation of each individual association member, he stated.
Chin also gave the go-ahead for three individual plaintiffs - Betty Miles, Joseph Goulden and Jim Bouton - to represent the vastly larger class of persons residing in the US who hold a US copyright interest in one or more books reproduced by Google as part of its Library Project.
The ruling is seen as an important victory for the authors because it would have been financially difficult for the three authors to carry the lawsuit forward on an individual basis. This ruling means that plaintiffs' lawyers will be more interested in taking the case in expectation of hefty damages if the authors win. The plaintiffs will also be able to rely on the resources of the Author's Guild to cover their legal costs.
Electronic research databases provider EBSCO Publishing, US, has announced that the company will make millions of images from the Associated Press (AP) available to library customers. EBSCO has been named the sole library distributor of the AP Images, the commercial photo unit of AP. It is one of the world’s largest collections of historical and contemporary imagery including more than twelve million photographs dating back more than 100 years.
AP Images Collection is a primary source database with millions of images from 1826 to present and more than 3,500 additional photographs are added daily. The collection also includes 36,400 audio sound bytes dating from the 1920’s and more than 2,900 multimedia interactives. The multimedia interactives represent a compilation of integrated video, graphics and photos that bring the latest news and educational topics to life. In addition, AP Images Collection provides 2.7 million Associated Press news stories from 1997 to present, and a professionally produced collection of more than 340,000 maps, graphs, charts, logos, flags and illustrations.
The archive is currently available on APImages.com but the eventual migration to EBSCOhost will benefit customers accessing the content through EBSCOhost as well as EBSCO Discovery Service (EDS). AP Images Collection via EBSCOhost and EDS will provide a greater search experience for the end user with millions of images integrated into results.
Libraries using EBSCO Discovery Service that purchase AP Images Collection will add a rich database of images that will complement results from other image providers, as well as results from journals, magazines, newspapers, newswires, e-books, print books, conference proceedings, video and other sources types. EDS is by far the most comprehensive discovery service for magazine, journal and e-book searching, and this extensive collection from Associated Press, when teamed with other collections, means that EDS will also be the most comprehensive discovery service for images.
Academic publishers Cambridge University Press (CUP), Oxford University Press (OUP) and SAGE Publications Inc. have filed a proposed order for injunctive relief with the Court in the Georgia State University e-reserves case. The move is in response to Judge Orinda Evans' direction in her May 11 opinion following her finding that Georgia State University's flawed 2009 copyright policy caused the infringement of some of the publishers’ works.
Tracking the Judge's ruling, this proposed injunction aims to reduce the chances that GSU will in the future infringe works posted to its eReserve and uLearn systems. Many universities strive to create and implement reasonable copyright policies that respect the balance between fair use in any format and fair compensation to the authors and publishers who create academic works. This proposed order for injunctive relief would ensure that GSU's practices and policies achieve this same balance.
Universities and academic publishers are longtime partners in the dissemination of scholarship. The publishers will continue to work in partnership with the academic community to ensure that universities can access high-quality learning materials through efficient and accessible licensing solutions and through the robust but respectful fair use of copyrighted materials that is as critical to teaching as it is to publishing.
CUP, OUP and SAGE Publications will determine their next steps after this proposed order.
Global library cooperative OCLC, US, has announced that EZproxy, the authentication and remote access software for libraries, is now available as a hosted solution in Europe. Beginning in June 2012, University of the Arts London will be piloting an EZproxy authentication service hosted in OCLC’s new data center in London. On conclusion of the pilot, the service will go live for libraries in Europe, Middle East and Africa.
EZproxy manages institutional data about staff and users, domains and IT settings plus libraries’ electronic collections to facilitate access to online materials both inside and outside institutional IP ranges. The service ensures that a user’s interaction and engagement with their library’s e-resources can be the same, wherever they happen to be when accessing them.
The growth in investment in e-resources by libraries and the increasing numbers of users who choose to connect with these resources remotely has put even greater emphasis on the need for robust and trusted technology to manage increasing levels of access requests. The hosted service is expected to attract interest from libraries that are looking for a fully managed service where all aspects of its setup and configuration – in addition to its ongoing maintenance including IT monitoring, security, backup and recovery - will also be provided.
Hosted EZproxy is also being offered as part of OCLC WorldShare License Manager, OCLC’s wider solution for electronic resource access and management. The service, announced earlier this year, addresses the needs of electronic services teams who are on the frontline in managing user requests and troubleshooting access issues. License Manager combines a robust access and delivery mechanism for e-resources with an easy-to-build search and manage subscription and licence repository, hosted in the cloud and populated by data from the WorldCat knowledge base.
The UK’s Joint Information Systems Committee (JISC) has announced the launch of two new TechDis tools as part of the work to improve access to education for all abilities. The tools were launched by John Hayes MP, Minister of State for Further Education, Skills and Lifelong Learning.
The tools, TechDis Voices and TechDis Toolbox, seek to improve text-to-speech and provide a one-stop toolbox of resources, aimed primarily at helping people with disabilities or other difficulties to improve their work and learning.
TechDis Voices will seek to improve the computerised voice people hear when they choose to listen to a voice read out text from a device. The new TechDis voices are projected as two high quality, youthful and modern voices - Jack and Jess - that can be used with text-to-speech tools.
JISC TechDis has reportedly worked with hundreds of learners and the specialist synthetic voice company Cereproc to ensure that Jess and Jack meet high standards. For instance, the software could help one multitask and listen to texts whilst travelling or exercising. It is said to be especially useful for people with print impairments, such as dyslexia, and can also be very helpful to those who are more confident with spoken rather than written English.
TechDis Toolboxis a collection of resources that give useful hints and tips on technologies that can help individuals work smarter, quicker and more efficiently. While written primarily for those with disabilities or difficulties, it is useful for anyone who wants to gain or improve on the skills most valued by employers.
The toolbox explores many common workplace technologies such as Microsoft Office and Google and explains how to get the most out of them. It also suggests different tools for different needs.
The two new tools were announced in Hayes’ plenary speech at the 7th National Digital Conference.
ebrary, a ProQuest business, has announced that 45 percent of its customers are diversifying acquisition models to provide their researchers with a breadth and depth of high-quality, relevant e-books. Many customers subscribe to Academic Complete as an affordable base collection with unlimited access and continued growth and expand the collection with other models including patron driven acquisition, perpetual archive, and short-term loans. Academic Complete claims to be the industry’s first and most scholarly subscription product with over 75,000 titles.
Diversification is a key component of ebrary’s strategic approach to e-book acquisition based on three steps - Transition, Diversify and Streamline. As libraries are transitioning from print to digital, and as more books are published digitally, diversifying models and streamlining ordering are becoming a necessity.
ebrary representatives will be on hand to discuss the company’s new approach to strategic e-book acquisition at the ALA (ProQuest booth #2000) from June 22-25, in Anaheim, CA.
Library automation services provider Innovative Interfaces, US, has announced that development of its new institutional repository module, Content Pro IRX, is complete and several library partners will begin beta testing this month. Innovative will offer IRX as an optional add-on module to Content Pro, its digital asset management system.
Content Pro IRX simplifies the management of an institution's digital collections by providing a central store for institutional documents, academic research, special collections, and archival materials.
IRX handles any digital file format, including documents, images, video, and audio. An elegant, intuitive, and thoroughly modern Web interface includes multiple embedded media viewers to make files easily accessible to users. The wizard submission form for uploading files makes it easy for anyone to contribute to the repository, so individual departments can manage any or all of their production, freeing up system administration needs.
Full integration with the Encore discovery platform (and all OAI-PMH-compliant systems) exposes collections to users across the Web. Integration with the Handle System provides persistent identifiers for all items, ensuring that collections are always findable. In addition, user communities can stay up to date with collections as they grow, through RSS feeds.
The slideshow feature allows staff to curate digital exhibitions. This feature also enables faculty to extend the use of special collections into the classroom by creating slideshows and embedding them in course management software or using them to augment lectures.
Libraries will have the flexibility to first implement Content Pro and later add IRX as they outgrow their system, or choose Content Pro IRX at the outset for its institutional repository features. Libraries that currently use Innovative's previous institutional repository system, Symposia, will upgrade to IRX. IRX will be available for general release in summer 2012.
The latest edition of Blogspeak is now online. Featured are: Joseph Esposito (The Post-Apocalyptic Publishing Platform); Heather Morrison (Society publishers: time to quit whining and make the leap to open access); Joe Wikert (B&N Desperately Needs To Become a Technology Company); and Kent Anderson (We’re All Publishers Now? Not So Fast). Blogspeak includes blog posts relevant to the publishing industry, particularly STM publishing. Subscribers are invited to participate in the latest edition of Blogspeak Here.