Nobel Prize Winner to Boycott Leading Science Journals

December 10th, 2013

Randy Schekman, a professor at UC Berkeley and co-winner of the 2013 Nobel Prize in physiology or medicine, announced Monday in a “Comment” piece in The Guardian that his lab would stop submitting research articles to Nature, Cell, and Science, which he describes as “luxury journals.”

He has taken this action because of what he describes as “inappropriate incentives”: their practice of publishing articles about the most attention-getting research rather than the best/most important research. He proposes publishing in open-access journals edited by working scientists instead and encourages universities and funding agencies to consider the quality of the published research rather than the outlet in which it appeared.

Judge Supports Fair Use in Google Books Ruling

November 14th, 2013

U.S. Circuit Judge Denny Chin has issued a ruling that comprehensively supports Google’s use of U.S. copyright law’s fair use doctrine in the Google Books Project.  The ruling dismisses a suit brought by the Authors Guild that alleged copyright infringement. The judge’s ruling focused on the public benefits of the project and the absence of economic harm to the plaintiffs.

UC Open Access Policy Takes Effect for UCLA Faculty Today

November 1st, 2013

The new systemwide UC Open Access Policy takes effect for UCLA faculty starting today, November 1, 2013.  As UCLA Executive Vice Chancellor and Provost Scott L. Waugh noted in an October 8 announcement, the policy “allows faculty members to maintain legal control over their research articles while making their work much more widely available to the public.”

This policy places the UC system in the company of more than 175 prestigious colleges and universities across the country, though we’re the largest to date. It does not require publication in open access journals or the payment of publication fees; instead, it commits faculty to making a version of each journal article published on or after November 1, 2013, available publicly in an open access repository, such as UC’s own eScholarship repository or a subject repository.

The UCLA Library is working with the Academic Senate to make implementation as easy as possible for UCLA faculty. More information is available on the Library’s web page about the policy, and questions and requests for assistance can be emailed to

White House Makes Government Data Publicly Accessible

May 10th, 2013

The White House has taken steps to make all data created and stored by the federal government openly accessible to the public. The president issued an executive order, and the Office of Science and Technology Policy established an open data policy, both of which require data generated by the government from this point on to be made available in open, machine-readable formats, while safeguarding privacy, confidentiality, and security as necessary.

U.S. Supreme Court Rules on “First Sale” Doctrine

March 19th, 2013

The U.S. Supreme Court issued its opinion this morning in the case of Kirtsaeng v. John Wiley and Sons, Inc., ruling that the doctrine of first sale applies to copies of works legally made abroad and imported into the U.S.  The first-sale doctrine allows the owner of a book to legally resell it; in the case of libraries, it allows books printed overseas to be circulated to users.

Applications Being Accepted for UCLA Library’s Affordable Course Materials Initiative

March 15th, 2013

The UCLA Library recently launched the Affordable Course Materials Initiative, which incentivizes instructors to use low-cost or free alternatives to expensive course materials.  These can include open-access scholarly resources, Library-licensed and owned resources, and learning objects and texts that faculty create themselves.

Applications are now being accepted for courses to be taught during the the 2013-14 academic year.  A total of $10,000 is available: Five awards of $1,000 each for instructors teaching courses with enrollments of fewer than two hundred students, and two awards of $2,500 each for instructors teaching courses with enrollment of two hundred or more students.

Further information on the application procedure and deadlines is available on the initiative website.


White House Issues Directive on Public Access to Federally Funded Research

February 22nd, 2013

The White House Office of Science and Technology Policy has issued a directive that aims to increase public access to the results of federally funded research.  This policy memorandum directs federal agencies spending more than $100 million in research and development grants to develop plans that will make the published results of federally funded research freely available to the public and that will require researchers to better manage digital data resulting from federally funded research.

Public-access Legislation Introduced in U.S. Congress

February 15th, 2013

Zoe Lofgren joined her House colleagues Mike Doyle and Kevin Yoder to introduce the Fair Access to Science and Technology Research Act (FASTR), designed to increase the openness, transparency, and accessibility of publicly funded research results.  The legislation, which has attracted wide bipartisan support, would require federal agencies with annual extramural research budgets of $100 million or more to provide public online access to manuscripts resulting from funded research no later than six months after publication in a peer-reviewed journal. Senators John Cornyn and Ron Wyden also introduced the bill in the U.S. Senate.

Judge Rules for UCLA Twice in Video Streaming Case

November 26th, 2012

For the second time in just over a year, a federal judge has ruled in favor of UCLA in a copyright case involving video streaming for instructional purposes.

In October 2011 Judge Consuelo B. Marshall with the U.S. District Court in Los Angeles dismissed a lawsuit brought by Ambrose Video Publishing Inc. and the Association for Information Media and Equipment, which alleged that UCLA violated copyright by streaming DVDs of performances of Shakespeare’s plays. She allowed the plaintiffs to file an amended complaint but ruled against that as well; her second ruling was issued on November 20.

Compliance with NIH Public Access Policy to be Enforced

November 16th, 2012

The National Institutes of Health (NIH) has announced that it will enforce compliance with its mandatory public access policy beginning in Spring 2013.  At that point, the NIH will begin to hold processing of non-competing continuation awards if publications arising from the awards are not in compliance with the policy until the publications are in compliance.

Further information is available in an NIH Guide notice.