Archive for April, 2009

U.S. Justice Dept. Investigates Google Book Settlement

Thursday, April 30th, 2009

The U.S. Department of Justice is investigating the antitrust implications of the Google Book settlement with authors.  Further details are available in a New York Times article.

 Separately, the judge overseeing the settlement has extended the deadline for authors to opt out of the agreement until September 4, 2009.  This gives authors and copyright holders more time to review the settlement and decide whether to participate.

Maryland Faculty Vote Down Open Access

Tuesday, April 28th, 2009

The University Senate at the University of Maryland voted down an open-access resolution late last week.   The resolution had been brought to the senate by the faculty affairs committee.

More details are available in the university’s student newspaper.

More than 9,000 National Academies Reports Available Online

Friday, April 17th, 2009

More than nine thousand reports issued between 1863 and 1997 by the National Academy of Sciences, National Academy of Engineering, Institute of Medicine, and National Research Council have been digitized and are now available online free of charge through Google Book Search.  This is the first phase of a two-part project; the full collection of some eleven thousand reports should be available online by 2011.

These reports join more than four thousand digitized books accessible through the National Academies Press.

Open Textbook Supporter May Become Undersecretary of Education

Wednesday, April 8th, 2009

According to the San Francisco Chronicle, President Obama has nominated Martha Kanter, chancellor of the Foothill-De Anza Community College District in Santa Clara County, as undersecretary of education. In this position she would oversee national postsecondary education policy, federal student aid, and other areas.

Kanter has supported efforts to encourage colleges to share noncopyrighted books and course materials on the Internet.

Scholars’ Role in their Digital Future

Monday, April 6th, 2009

UCLA professor Johanna Drucker, in a recent Chronicle of Higher Education article, remarks that humanities and social science scholars must become more active participants in their future digital environments.  Drucker calls this work “an intellectual responsibility, not a technical task.”

Often considered to be the realm of librarians and technologists, digital tools that do not help scholars engage in research are not used.  Drucker points to the critical need for scholars, including those in the humanities, to work with these partners to create useful digital tools for the types of scholarship they do.  She believes scholars must take their role seriously and administrators must see the value of this work.