Archive for May, 2009

UC Libraries release Open Letter to License Content Providers

Saturday, May 30th, 2009

The University of California and the California Digital Library sent an open letter to many of the information providers they license content from, informing them of the need to work collaboratively with the UCs to create solutions to keep costs low given the state of California’s economy.

Google Gives Partner Libraries Say in Pricing

Friday, May 22nd, 2009

A recent New York Times article reports that Google recently signed a deal with the University of Michigan giving the library a say in the prices Google could charge for its digital collection of books.  The twenty-one institutions whose libraries lend books to Google for digitizing will eventually be allowed to object to pricing as well.

There is speculation that Google is doing this to quell criticism, especially within in the library community,  of the settlement, which requires academic libraries to subscribe to a site license in order to access digitized books from the world’s largest research libraries.  Many critics are taking a wait-and-see approach regarding the actual costs of access, while others say that this latest agreement does not respond to major complaints regarding orphan works and worries that the settlement does not protect the privacy of readers of Google’s digital library.   Google defends its actions by saying that its digitization project offers widespread access to millions of books that are largely hidden in the stacks of university libraries.

First Humanities Department to Mandate Open Access

Friday, May 15th, 2009

The University of Oregon’s Department of Romance Languages voted unanimously Wednesday to institute an Open Access Mandate, making it the first humanities department to do this.  The announcement of the mandate states all tenure-track faculty submit postprints to the University of Oregon’s institutional repository Scholar’s Bank and that all URLS of self-archived postprints be included in review and promotion materials.  In addition, Romance Languages faculty are to grant to the university a Creative Commons “Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 United State” license.

Several Universities Experiment with Amazon’s New Kindle

Thursday, May 7th, 2009

Amazon unveiled the new Kindle DX May 6, designed with a larger screen for newspapers and textbooks.  The Chronicle of Higher Education reported that Case Western University is evaluating Kindles preloaded with course materials.  The university cites the high cost of textbooks and the need to find alternatives for students.

Princeton, one of several other universities involved in pilot projects, is looking into the Kindle to save paper on campus.  Currently, twelve textbook publishers offer more than 6,300 titles.

Radio Show ‘Marketplace’ Looks at Open Access

Sunday, May 3rd, 2009

American Public Media’s Radio show Marketplace takes a look at the cost of publicly funded research and its impact on taxpayers, researchers, and the business models of publishers.  The focus is on the NIH Public Access Policy and the Fair Copyright in Research Act, the proposed law in the U.S. Congress to overturn it.