Boston College Sponsors New Open Access Bibliography

The Boston College Jesuit Bibliography, an open access resource created by Boston College faculty and library staff in collaboration with Brill Publishers, is now available in an early release version. BC is providing the funds to make it freely available.

Edited by Prof. Robert Maryks, Associate Director of the Institute for Advanced Jesuit Studies at Boston College, this comprehensive online bibliography covers books, book chapters, journal articles and book reviews pertaining to the exponentially growing field of Jesuit Studies. In addition to basic bibliographic information, entries include (English) abstracts, detailed subject headings, direct links to items available in electronic format where available, and a link to an item’s WorldCat entry.

A more extensive description is available on the Brill website.

Oxford UP’s Pilot for Open Access Monographs

The publishing world has certainly seen a lot activity and discussion about open access journals, but not as much about open access for monographs.  That may be changing. Oxford University Press is participating in a project initiated by JISC, a UK organization whose mission is “to provide world-class leadership in the innovative use of Information and Communications Technology to support education, research and institutional effectiveness” (JISC Strategy 2010-2012, p. 12).  Titled OAPEN-UK, the year-long project will allow OUP to explore the impact of open access on its traditional mode of publishing.  Here’s a description of how the project will proceed:

OAPEN-UK works by matching pairs of monographs which are similar in subject area, predicted sales, extent and publication date, and then publishing one open access and publishing the other in the normal manner, as a control.

The titles randomly selected to be open access have been made available as a freely available PDF on the OUP UK Catalogue, Oxford Scholarship Online, the OAPEN Library, and on Google Books. These PDFs are distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial No Derivatives licence (CC-BY-NC-ND). In addition to this, these titles continue to be sold and marketed in the normal way (customers can still purchase print copies or ebooks, for example).

The control titles are not made open access and are simply sold, marketed and distributed in the traditional manner.

More information about OUP’s open access project as well as a list of titles linked to full text PDFs is available.  Note that one of the books is by a Boston College author, Marina McCoy of the Philosophy Department: Wounded Heroes: Vulnerability as a Virtue in Ancient Greek Literature and Philosophy.

The Latest Version of Open Access Bibliography Available

Here is Charles Bailey’s announcement about the online publication of his bibliography of material on open access and its effect on academic scholarship:

Transforming Scholarly Publishing through Open Access: A
Bibliography is now available from Digital Scholarship:

This bibliography presents over 1,100 selected
English-language scholarly works useful in understanding the
open access movement’s efforts to provide free access to and
unfettered use of scholarly literature. The bibliography
primarily includes books and published journal articles. A
limited number of book chapters, conference papers,
dissertations and theses, magazine articles, technical
reports, and other scholarly works that are deemed to be of
exceptional interest are also included (see the “Preface”
for further details about selection criteria). The
bibliography includes links to freely available versions of
included works. Most sources have been published from
January 1, 1999 through August 1, 2010; however, a limited
number of key sources published prior to 1999 are also
included. The bibliography is available as a paperback and
an open access PDF file.

The following Digital Scholarship publications may also be
of interest:

(1) Scholarly Electronic Publishing Bibliography, version 78

(2) Digital Scholarship 2009 (paperback and open access PDF

(3) Scholarly Electronic Publishing Bibliography: 2008
Annual Edition (paperback, Kindle e-book, and open access
PDF file)

(4) Digital Curation and Preservation Bibliography,
version 1

Translate (oversatta, oversette, prelozit, traducir,
traduire, tradurre, traduzir, or ubersetzen):

Portico Announces It Has Reached a Milestone

In the past when print was the only form of publication, scholars would assume that the products of their work would live long lives on library shelves as books and journal articles. In today’s publishing environment where electronic publications are proliferating, scholars may have serious doubts about the longevity of their work if they publish on the web. In an effort to address their concerns, several digital preservation projects have been developed in recent years. One of the most important is Portico. This means that the library’s e-journals produced by publishers signed up with Portico will remain available to future researchers regardless of changes in technology. A recent announcement from Portico administrators provides some numbers that give an idea of how far Portico has progressed:

Portico is pleased to announce that 110 publishers, representing more than 2,000 professional and scholarly societies, are now participating in the Portico archive. Furthermore, nearly 15 million articles are now safely preserved in the Portico archive. “These are significant milestones for Portico and this substantial growth in a short period of time underscores the importance of digital preservation, and the commitment of the hundreds of Portico’s participating libraries and publishers to ensuring long-term access to scholarly content,” said Eileen Fenton, Portico’s Managing Director.

Campus-based Open-access Publishing Funds

Some commercial academic journal publishers will allow open access to articles if the author pays a fee up front. SPARC®, the Scholarly Publishing and Academic Resources Coalition, is urging academic institutions to support the creation of special funds for paying such fees. Understandably, this approach raises a number of questions which SPARC attempts to answer.

For example:

For administrators:
1. Why might my institution start an open-access fund?
2. How do faculty members feel about these issues?
3. My institution is considering the creation of an open-access fund. What guidance can SPARC provide?
4. What types of charges should an open-access fund cover? Who within my institution should be eligible for these funds?
5. Doesn’t covering the publication fees to traditional subscription-based journals that offer an open-access publishing option amount to double payment?
6. Does spending money on a single author’s publishing take away from the broader acquisition funding of my institution?

For authors
1. How do I know if my institution has an open-access fund for its authors? If my institution does not have an open-access fund, with whom should I speak to encourage the creation of one?
2. If my institution were to have an open-access fund, how does the reimbursement/payment process typically work?
3. To what journals can I submit under this policy?
4. Where can I find a list of open-access journals to which I might apply these funds?
5. If I publish my paper with the assistance of my institution’s open-access fund, am I restricted from posting it elsewhere on the Web?

The full guide to creating this kind of funding is available.

Results of Ithaka S+R Faculty 2009 Survey

Ithaka S+R is the strategy and research section of Ithaka, a not-for-profit organization working with the academic community to incorporate new information and networking technologies into teaching and research. Held every three years, its faculty surveys of over 3,000 faculty “examine changes in faculty attitudes toward the academic library, information resources, and the scholarly communications system as a whole.”

Its 2009 survey reports the following findings:

  • Basic scholarly information use practices have shifted rapidly in recent years and, as a result, the academic library is increasingly being disintermediated from the discovery process, risking irrelevance in one of its core areas.
  • Faculty members’ growing comfort in relying exclusively on digital versions of scholarly materials opens new opportunities for libraries, new business models for publishers, and new challenges for preservation.
  • Despite several years of sustained efforts by publishers, scholarly societies, libraries, faculty members, and others to reform various aspects of the scholarly communications system, a fundamentally conservative set of faculty attitudes continues to impede systematic change.

Ithaka is offering a series of three webinars which will be discussions of the report’s findings. The remaining webinars are:

Chapter 2: The Format Transition for Scholarly Works
When: April 29th, 3pm – 4pm EDT
About: Faculty members’ growing comfort in relying exclusively on digital versions of scholarly materials opens new opportunities for libraries, new business models for publishers, and new challenges for preservation.
Who should attend: Librarians, publishers, and scholarly societies interested in the print-to-electronic transition
How to register:

Chapter 3: Scholarly Communications
When: May 5th, 3pm – 4pm EDT
Publishers, scholarly societies, libraries, faculty members, and others have laid significant groundwork for reforming various aspects of the scholarly communications system, but faculty attitudes are driven by incentives and suggest the need for continued leadership.
Who should attend: Publishers, librarians, scholarly societies, and faculty members interested in the changing landscape for scholarly communications
How to register:

Hopefully, all three webinars will be recorded and made available after the last one is held.

"Toward a New Alexandria"

Take a break, kick back, and read a fascinating article appearing in The New Republic titled “Toward a New Alexandria: Imagining the Future of Libraries,” by Lisbet Rausing. The first part gives a mind-bending view of the rapidly expanding universe of information made possible by the digital revolution. But the meat of Rausing’s essay is her argument against the restrictions in place for accessing scholarly work. While the argument is familiar – the harm done by such restrictions defeats the creative growth of new knowledge – it benefits from being well written. E.g.:

Excepting the odd Wykehamist or yeshiva boy, our children—always on, multi-tasking, mobile—will not engage with a body of scholarship their elders have incomprehensibly surrounded by barbed wire. But they will remain engaged in learning. The question is not whether there will be future scholars. It is how these future scholars will remember and integrate previous scholarship. And in pondering that, which means pondering our own scholarly legacy, it is worth remembering that “the generational war is the one war whose outcome is certain.”

Is Your Book Out of Print?

At Texas A&M, if a faculty member’s book has gone out of print, it may be republished digitally thanks to a service being offered by the university’s library. All the author needs to do is to check the contract he or she signed with the publisher and see if it has a clause stating that the copyright reverts back to the author when the book goes out of print. If that is the case at Texas A&M, the book can get a new lease on life via the library’s digital repository. It serves as another example of how academic libraries are finding innovative ways of serving their users. More details about this service is available.

Is There Such a Thing as Scholarly Tweeting?

Apparently there is. The January 26th Chronicle of Higher Education has an article about the role played by Twitter in a Modern Language Association meeting in December: At Language Scholars’ Convention, Social Media Amplify the Discourse. According to Amanda French, recently a visiting research scholar at NYU, “Monthly or quarterly journals and annual conferences used to be the way that scholars talked [she struck through “wrote” here] among themselves, but now it’s e-mail listservs (yes, still) and, better, the much more public blogosphere and twittersphere.”