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Scholarly Communication

Published: 2010-10-19T13:59:44-06:00


Former NIH Director Touts Benefits of Open Federal Science


Reposted from:

Former National Institutes of Health (NIH) director Harold Varmus touts the benefits of open science in a new video released for Open Access Week (Oct. 18-24, 2010).

height="225" frameborder="0" width="400" src="">

In the video, Varmus calls open access, or free online access to scientific papers, an "incredibly important development in the history of science." Open access, he says, "has changed science in a very beneficial way, saved money, and increased the quality of what we do."

Varmus currently serves as director of the National Cancer Institute, an institute of the NIH. He served as NIH director under President Clinton and formerly served as co-chair of President Obama's Council of Advisors on Science and Technology. For his pioneering cancer research, Varmus received the 1989 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine.

As NIH director, Varmus laid the foundation for PubMed Central, a free repository of medical research hosted by NIH's National Library of Medicine. Today, NIH funds $31 billion in medical research. In 2007, Congress required that NIH-funded scientists post papers resulting from NIH funding on PubMed Central for free public access.

The Federal Research Public Access Act, now pending in the House and Senate, would expand that mandate to all federally-funded research. Introducing the bill in 2009 with Sen. Joe Lieberman (I-CT), Sen. John Cornyn (R-TX) said, "Our legislation would give the American people greater access to the important scientific research they help fund, which will accelerate scientific discovery and innovation, while also making sure that funding is being spent appropriately to ensure taxpayers are receiving a return on their research investments."

(Gavin Baker 10/18/10)

Public Access to Publicly Funded Research Bill Update


House committee to hold hearing on public access to publicly funded research Support for public access expands in Congress Washington, DC – The U.S. House of Representatives Committee on Oversight and Government Reform Subcommittee on Information Policy, Census and National Archives announced it will hold a hearing on the issue of public access to federally funded research on Thursday, July 29. The hearing will provide an opportunity for the Committee to hear the perspectives of a broad range of stakeholders on the potential impact of opening up access to the results of the United States’ more than $60 billion annual investment in scientific research. The Subcommittee’s interest stems from the growing number of visible expressions of interest in the issue of public access that have surfaced in recent months, in both the Legislative and Executive branches of government. Notably, the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy earlier this year hosted a Public Access Policy Forum on mechanisms that would leverage federal investments in scientific research and increase access to information. Additionally, H.R. 5037, the Federal Research Public Access Act (FRPAA), which was introduced into the House on April 15 by Rep. Mike Doyle (R-PA) and is supported by a growing bi-partisan host of cosponsors, was referred to the Committee. The bill, and its identical Senate counterpart (introduced by Sens. Joe Lieberman (I-CT) and John Cornyn (R-TX)), proposes to require those eleven federal agencies with extramural research budgets of $100 million or more to implement policies that deliver timely, free, online public access to the published results of the research they fund. According to the notice: “The hearing will examine the state of public access to federally-funded research in science, technology, and medicine. The hearing will assess and delineate the complex issues surrounding public access policies. The hearing will afford an opportunity for representatives from the areas of publishing, science and research, education and patient care to provide perspective on challenges, potential impact and opportunities regarding increased access.” This open, public hearing will be held Thursday, July 29, at 2:00 PM in Rayburn House Office Building, room 2154. “We are pleased that the Committee is creating this opportunity to shine a light on the issue of public access and examine the opportunities and implications it presents in an open, public forum,” said Heather Joseph, spokesperson for the Alliance for Taxpayer Access and Executive Director of SPARC (the Scholarly Publishing and Academic Resources Coalition). “This is an issue of deep importance to a wide range of stakeholders – from scientists to students, entrepreneurs to educators, publishers and the public. We welcome this chance for a diverse array of viewpoints on the issue to be heard.” The growing interest in exploring effective public access policies in the U.S. reflects a larger worldwide trend. Around the globe, national and non-profit funding agencies are recognizing the opportunity to increase the return on their research grants by requiring that findings be made freely accessible on the Internet. For more information about the issue of public access to publicly funded research, the Federal Research Public Access Act, and other public access policies, visit # The Alliance for Taxpayer Access (ATA) is a coalition of patient, academic, research, and publishing organizations that supports open public access to the results of federally funded research. The Alliance was formed in 2004 to urge that peer-reviewed articles stemming from taxpayer-funded research become fully accessible and available online at no extra cost to the American public. Details on the ATA may be found at ------------------------------------- Jennifer McLennan Director of Programs & Operations SPARC (202) 296-2296 x121 Fax: (202) 872-0884 [...]

Ithaka Faculty Survey, 2009


Food for Thought...

From Inside Higher Ed:
"Eroding Library Role?"

If libraries do not seriously rethink their role in the lives of researchers, they could come to be seen as resource purchasers more than as research collaborators, according to a report released today by the nonprofit group Ithaka S+R.

As scholars have grown better able to reach needed materials directly online, the library has been increasingly disintermediated from research processes, write the authors of the report, which is based on a national survey of professors administered last year.

The declining visibility and importance of traditional roles for the library and librarian may lead to the faculty primarily perceiving the library as a budget line, rather than an active intellectual partner, they later add.
Read on...

See also, from the Chronicle...

"Scholars Increasingly Embrace Some, but Not All, Digital Media"

The more things change, the more they remain the same­ at least when it comes to certain aspects of scholarly behavior, such as what modes of publication researchers prize most.

According to new survey findings, scholars in all disciplines are ever more comfortable using research materials online. In sharing and publishing their research, however, scholars remain most strongly influenced by their disciplines' old models of status, tenure, and promotion.

A report on the findings, "Faculty Survey 2009: Key Strategic Insights for Libraries, Publishers, and Societies" gives detailed responses from 3,025 scholars at institutions across the country. It focuses on three areas: how faculty members use and perceive their campus libraries; how they are handling the print-to-digital shift in scholarly work; and how much they have or have not changed their professional habits in an increasingly electronic environment. It was prepared for the Ithaka group, a nonprofit organization that promotes technology in higher education, by Roger C. Schonfeld, manager of research at Ithaka's strategy-and-research arm, and Ross Housewright, an analyst there. The new report is the latest installment that presents findings from a survey Ithaka has conducted every three years for the past decade.
Read on..

The full Ithaka report: "Faculty Survey 2009"

Electronic Deposit of Dissertations and Theses a Success!


As many of you know, the U of Illinois Graduate College, in collaboration with IDEALS, offered optional Electronic Thesis and Dissertation (ETD) deposit to the entire campus for December graduation. IDEALS implemented a system called Vireo that was developed by the Texas Digital Library to manage this process.

This pilot was a enormous success - of the 262 total deposits, 223 were through the ETD system - 85%!

Students had three access options:
- 62% chose to make their dissertation or thesis openly available immediately;
- 22% chose to limit access to the University of Illinois for two years; and
- 16% chose to limit access completely for two years.

We're happy to announce that all electronic theses and dissertations deposited during this period are available now in IDEALS. All ETD's (except those under a patent hold) can be found in the Dissertations and Theses community within IDEALS:

Due to electronic deposit we have been able to make available the December deposits before the August and October deposits (which are all in paper) have even been processed!

Each dissertation or thesis is also mapped to a Department or College level collection. For example:

- Education -
- History -
- Animal Sciences -
- Civil and Environmental Engineering -

Our next steps are to work to get these into our Online Catalog, and to send the dissertations on to ProQuest Digital Dissertations.

Within the next month or so, we will also be releasing an update to IDEALS that will allow you to search by department or adviser (or other committee member).

Please let me know if you have any questions. Special thanks go to Tim Donohue, Bill Ingram, Nicholas Riley (our technical GA), Steve McCauley (the IDEALS GA), Merinda Hensley, and, of course, our colleagues at the Graduate College - Rebecca Bryant and Mark Zulauf - for making this a smooth and straightforward process.

Sarah L. Shreeves
IDEALS Coordinator
Scholarly Commons Coordinator
University Library
University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

Call To Support Public Access to Federally Funded Research


 ACRL and ALA call for increased public access to federally funded research Associations encourage members to do likewise by Jan. 21  WASHINGTON, D.C.– The American Library Association (ALA) and the Association of College and Research Libraries (ACRL) today submitted comments to the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP) supporting increased public access to research funded by federal science and technology agencies.  The ALA and ACRL have long believed that ensuring public access to the fruits of federally funded research is a logical, feasible, and widely beneficial goal. They provided information and evidence as the Executive Branch considers expanding public access policies, like that implemented by the National Institutes of Health (NIH), to other federal agencies. Specifically, the ALA and ACRL recommend: which agencies should be covered, that policies should be mandatory, that earlier access is better, version and format recommendations, how to keep implementation costs reasonable, and the importance of supporting emerging scholarly practice.  While greater access to publicly funded research has long been a high priority issue for academic libraries, ACRL President Lori Goetsch, Dean of Libraries at Kansas State University, emphasized that now is the time for public and school librarians to tell their stories.  “What would it mean for members of your community to have better access to scholarly, scientific, and technical articles – paid with their own tax dollars through grants from agencies like NASA or the EPA?” Goetsch said. “How would it help small business owners starting up green technology companies? How would it help enhance teaching and learning in high schools?”  In the past, the ALA and ACRL have supported NIH Public Access Policy and endorsed “The Federal Research Public Access Act of 2009” (S. 1373) noting the latter, “reflects ALA policy regarding access to Federal government information by providing for the long-term preservation of, and no-fee public access to, government-sponsored, tax-payer funded published research findings.”  The ALA and ACRL encourage all members to consider making comments, no later than January 21, 2010, to OSTP as individuals or libraries. Find more information on the OSTP Public Access Policy blog at and post comments there directly. Comments e-mailed to are also accepted, but may be posted to the blog by the moderator. General comments, addressing any part of the Request for Information, may be submitted. See the full notice Federal Register notice at for details.  ###  The American Library Association (ALA) is a nonprofit professional organization of more than 65,000 librarians, library trustees, and other friends of libraries dedicated to providing and improving library services and promoting the public interest in a free and open information society.  ACRL is a division of the American Library Association (ALA), representing nearly 13,000 academic and research librarians and interested individuals. ACRL is the only individual membership organization in North America that develops programs, products and services to meet the unique needs of academic and research librarians. Its initiatives enable the higher education community to understand the role that academic libraries play in the teaching, learning and research environments. Contacts: J enni Terry, Press Officer, ALA Washington Office, (202) 628-8410, Kara Malenfant, ACRL, (312)280-2510,[...]

Nobel Laureates Urge the U.S. Congress to Ensure Free Online Access to Federally Funded Research Results


Washington, DC ­ “For America to obtain an optimal return on our investment in science, publicly funded research must be shared as broadly as possible,” is the message that forty one Nobel Prize-winning scientists in medicine, physics, and chemistry gave to Congress in an open letter delivered yesterday. The letter marks the fourth time in five years that leading scientists have called on Congress to ensure free, timely access to the results of federally funded research ­ this time asking leaders to support the Federal Research Public Access Act of 2009 (S.1373). The Nobel Prize-winners write: "As the pursuit of science is increasingly conducted in a digital world, we need policies that ensure that the opportunities the Internet presents for new research tools and techniques to be employed can be fully exploited. The removal of access barriers and the enabling of expanded use of research findings has the potential to dramatically transform how we approach issues of vital importance to the public, such as biomedicine, climate change, and energy research. As scientists, and as taxpayers too, we support FRPAA and urge its passage." The bi-partisan Federal Research Public Access Act (FRPAA), introduced by Senators Lieberman (I-CT) and Cornyn (R-TX), would deliver online public access to the published results of research funded through eleven U.S. agencies and departments, requiring that peer-reviewed journal articles stemming from publicly funded research be made available in an online repository no later than six months after publication. The Nobelists note that enabling access to this information would be an important contribution in fostering innovation and fueling positive economic and social returns: "The open availability of federally funded research for broad public use in open online archives is a crucial building block in laying a strong national foundation to support accelerated discovery and innovation. It encourages broader participation in the scientific process by providing equitable access to high-quality research results to researchers at higher education institutions of all kinds ­ from research-intensive universities to community colleges alike. It can empower more members of the public to become engaged in citizen science efforts in areas that pique their imagination. It will equip entrepreneurs and small business owners with the very latest research developments, allowing them to more effectively compete in the development of new technologies and innovations. Open availability of this research will expand the worldwide visibility of the research conducted in the U.S. and increase the impact of our collective investment in research." The full text of the letter [including the list of signatories] is online at http:/ The Federal Research Public Access Act would build upon the success of the first U.S. requirement for public access to publicly funded research, through the National Institutes of Health. It is widely supported by a broad set of stakeholders, including: scientists, higher education leaders, librarians, consumer and economic groups (including the Committee on Economic Development), technology companies (including,, Bloomberg, eBay, Google, Yahoo!, and state and local ISPs), publishers, patients and patient advocates, and major national and regional research organizations. For full details on support for the Act, visit The Alliance for Taxpayer Access calls on organizations and individuals to write in support of the bill through the Web site at For more information about the Federal Research Public Access Act, visit, [or read FRPAA online at Thomas:]. ### The Alliance for Taxpayer Access is a coalition of advocacy, academic, research[...]

Scholarly Communication and Open Access Week @ the University Library


The Library is pleased to offer a range of lectures and workshops on scholarly communication, open access, and copyright the week of October 26-30. ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Thursday, October 29, 2009 Lecture: Who Owns Your Scholarship: Copyright, Publication Agreements, and Good Practice Kenneth Crews Director, Copyright Advisory Office Columbia University Please join the University Library and the Graduate College for the CAS MillerComm lecture by Kenneth Crews, Director of the Copyright Office of Columbia University, on "Who Owns Your Scholarship: Copyright, Publication Agreements, and Good Practice". Issues related to copyright span the range of activities at the university from the creation of new scholarly works to the use of others' works in the classroom and research. Copyright can be a baffling process today, and Professor Crews will help faculty and students better understand and manage their rights as authors while increasing the impact of their works by providing the greatest possible visibility and access. Thursday, October 29, 2009 at 4:00pm Alice Campbell Alumni Center 601 S. Lincoln Ave Sponsored in conjunction with the College of Law, Graduate School of Library and Information Science, Office of Technology Management, Office of the Vice President for Technology and Economic Development -------------------------------------------------------------- Workshops on Copyright and Open Access Offered by the Library All workshops will be held in Main Library, room 314. Register: Workshops are co-sponsored by the Graduate College and organized by the Library's Scholarly Communications Committee. Many thanks to Sarah Shreeves and Janice Pilch. ------------------ Workshop: Understanding Open Access Are you wondering what the fuss is about open access? The movement for open access to publications - that is, publications that are freely and openly available to anyone to access - has been steadily gaining momentum. With the National Institute of Health's open access policy as well as those at Harvard and MIT, it is important to understand the different forms of open access that are available. Come to this workshop to learn about open access journals as well as self-archiving your work into a repository such as Illinois' IDEALS ( Mon, Oct 26, 4-5pm Fri, Oct 30, 1-2pm Register: ------------------ Workshop: Your Research Rights: Ownership Awareness to Maximize the Impact You're going to be published - congratulations! Did you know that you own the copyright on your work until you transfer copyright to a publisher? Did you know you need to retain rights in order to include an article or reuse a chart in your dissertation or thesis or make your work openly available on the web? Come to this session and learn about what your rights as an author are and how to negotiate with publishers for the rights that you need to retain. Tue, Oct 27, 9-10:30am Wed, Oct 28, 3:30-5pm Register: ------------------ Workshop: Practical Copyright: Considerations for Teaching and Research You're writing a thesis or preparing to teach your course, but you have a lot of concerns about being ethical and abiding by copyright law. Come to this session and learn the basics of copyright law and some guidelines for how you can stay within the law using the four principles of Fair Use. Please remember that librarians cannot give you advice regarding copyright issues, but we can steer you in the right direction to find answers to your questions. Tue, Oct 27, 2-3:30pm Wed, Oct 28, 2-3:30pm Register: ------------------[...]

What WAS the 1,000,000th Downloaded Item from IDEALS?


As announced the other day, the 1,000,000th idem had been downloaded from the University of Illinois digital archive, IDEALS.

For those of you wondering....

Download #999,999
"Milk and butter tests"
Downloaded from Bangkok, Thailand

Download #1,000,000
"Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books 41 (04) 1987"
Downloaded from Doha, Qatar

Download #1,000,001
"Fracture Behavior of Concrete Materials for Rigid Pavement Systems"
Downloaded from Herndon, Virginia, USA

Sarah L. Shreeves
Coordinator, IDEALS
University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
217-244-3877 or 217-333-4648

IDEALS Digital Repository Surpasses 1-millionth Download


NEWS RELEASE 7 October 2009 IDEALS Digital Repository Surpasses 1-millionth Download Urbana, Illinois—The Illinois Digital Environment for Access to Learning and Scholarship (IDEALS), a digital repository for research and scholarship developed at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, has surpassed its one-millionth download. The service, offered through the University Library and Campus Information Technologies and Educational Services (CITES), is sponsored by the Office of the Provost at Illinois and was launched in 2006. The campus institutional repository includes articles, working papers, preprints, technical reports, conference papers and, data sets in various digital formats provided by University faculty, staff, and graduate students. Although central to the University of Illinois, anyone can access and benefit from IDEALS collections and services. “Today, over 12,000 items have been uploaded into IDEALS,” said Sarah Shreeves, associate professor and IDEALS coordinator. “The success of this service has surpassed what anyone envisioned two and a half years ago, and we hope that others in the Illinois community will take advantage of its services.” The mission of IDEALS is to preserve and provide persistent and reliable access to digital research and scholarship in order to give these works the greatest possible recognition and distribution. IDEALS endeavors to ensure that its materials appear in search engines such as Google, Google Scholar, and Bing and that the majority of the research is openly available for anyone to access. As a result of its efforts to disseminate research produced at the University of Illinois, IDEALS was recently ranked in the top 10 of institutional repositories worldwide. “I am delighted with the exposure that IDEALS has provided us with. Whenever we place a thesis or a report, the downloads start and never stop. We get many comments back from readers and researchers who have seen our work only on IDEALS,” said Amr Elnashai, head, Civil and Environmental Engineering Department at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. IDEALS contains a wealth of diverse information, from a Mid-America Earthquake Center report on the Kashmir Earthquake of 2005 to the Ethnography of the University Initiative’s publications and presentations, including campus folklore and cultural perceptions. “I appreciate that my thesis is archived in a stable location for reliable long-term access. The document is now freely available to anyone in the world, yet I retain the copyright,” said David P. Hruska, an Illinois graduate. “Furthermore, my thesis is now displayed in search results returned by Google Scholar, improving the dissemination of my research. "This depository has been exceptionally helpful in preserving in an easily-accessed archive, the extensive field data sets I accumulated over a 25-year period," said Lowell Getz, professor emeritus, Ecology, Ethology, and Evolution (now Animal Biology) at the University of Illinois. "There are no other such data sets and most likely never will be again." For more information about, or to access, the IDEALS digital repository, visit ### The University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign Library holds over eleven million volumes, more than 90,000 serial titles, and more than nine million manuscripts, maps, slides, audio tapes, microforms, videotapes, laser discs, and other non-print material. The University Library is ranked highly nationally and globally, and its collections and services are used heavily by students, faculty, and scholars. More than one million items are circulated annually, and many more are used on site and virtually from anywhere in the world. For more information, please visit -- Heather Murphy Assistant Director of Advancemen[...]

Five Major American Universities Commit to Support OA Journals


From Open Access News...

A Compact for Open-Access Publication, press release, September 14, 2009.

Five of the nation's premier institutions of higher learning—Cornell, Dartmouth, Harvard, the Massachusetts Institute of Technoology, and the University of California, Berkeley—today announced their joint commitment to a compact for open-access publication. ...

Since open-access journals do not charge subscription or other access fees, they must cover their operating expenses through other sources, including subventions, in-kind support, or, in a sizable minority of cases, processing fees paid by or on behalf of authors for submission to or publication in the journal. While academic research institutions support traditional journals by paying their subscription fees, no analogous means of support has existed to underwrite the growing roster of fee-based open-access journals.

Stuart Shieber, Harvard's James O. Welch, Jr. and Virginia B. Welch Professor of Computer Science and Director of the University's Office for Scholarly Communication, is the author of the five-member compact. According to Shieber, "Universities and funding agencies ought to provide equitable support for open-access publishing by subsidizing the processing fees that faculty incur when contributing to open-access publications. Right now, these fees are relatively rare. But if the research community supports open-access publishing and it gains in importance as we believe that it will, those fees could aggregate substantially over time. The Compact ensures that support is available to eliminate these processing fees as a disincentive to open-access publishing."

The Compact supports equity of the business models by committing each university to the timely establishment of durable mechanisms for underwriting reasonable publication fees for open-access journal articles written by its faculty for which other institutions would not be expected to provide funds.

Additional universities are encouraged to visit the compact web site and sign on. ...

,,, the Compact's FAQ establishes a loophole for grant-funded research: "a compact institution may reasonably expect that ... the funding agency should be responsible for payment of the publication charge, and the article would not be eligible for underwriting by the institution whether or not the funding agency actually covers the particular charge."

Addendum: At the time this compact was signed, only Berkeley already had established an OA fund. But subsequently both Cornell and Harvard have also established OA funds to support the OA publishing of their faculty (follow links for additional information). It is expected that MIT and Dartmouth will announce OA funds eventually, too.

Currently the U of Illinois is a supporting member of BioMed Central, so our members get a discount on the publication fees when they publish in BMC journals. And we have a membership in Oxford's Nucleic Acids Research, which also provides our authors with a discount when publishing in NAR. If you have comments on whether the U of Illinois should join the Compact and set up an OA fund, please contact Paula Kaufman, the University Librarian.

Federal Research Public Access Act, 2009


Yesterday, Senators Lieberman (I-CT) and Cornyn (R-TX) (re-)introduced the Federal Research Public Access Act (S.1373), a bill that would ensure free, timely, online access to the published results of research funded by eleven U.S. federal agencies. S.1373 would require those agencies with annual extramural research budgets of $100 million or more to provide the public with online access to research manuscripts stemming from such funding no later than six months after publication in a peer-reviewed journal. The bill gives individual agencies flexibility in choosing the location of the digital repository to house this content, as long as the repositories meet conditions for interoperability and public accessibility, and have provisions for long-term archiving.

The bill specifically covers unclassified research funded by agencies including:
Department of Agriculture
Department of Commerce
Department of Defense
Department of Education
Department of Energy
Department of Health and Human Services
Department of Homeland Security
Department of Transportation
Environmental Protection Agency
National Aeronautics and Space Administration
National Science Foundation

S. 1373 reflects the growing trend among funding agencies and college and university campuses to leverage their investment in the conduct of research by maximizing the dissemination of results. It follows the successful path forged by the NIH Public Access Policy, as well as by private funders like the Wellcome Trust, and universities such as Harvard and MIT.

The Library has requested that our Washington government relations liaison contact our representatives in support of this bill.

If you would like to voice your opinion on this bill to our representatives, an easy way to do so has been provided at the Alliance for Taxpayer Access website:
You may use one of their pre-written forms, or compose your own.

Detailed information about the Federal Research Public Access Act is available at

Or read the text of the bill, online.

This memo was clipped from a longer message received from:

Heather Joseph
Spokesperson for the Alliance for Taxpayer Access and Executive Director of SPARC
Telephone: (202) 296-2296
Email: heather [at] arl [dot] org

Farewell to the Printed Monograph


From Inside Higher Ed (3/23/09):

"The University of Michigan Press is announcing today that it will shift its scholarly publishing from being primarily a traditional print operation to one that is primarily digital.

Within two years, press officials expect well over 50 of the 60-plus monographs that the press publishes each year -- currently in book form -- to be released only in digital editions. Readers will still be able to use print-on-demand systems to produce versions that can be held in their hands, but the press will consider the digital monograph the norm. Many university presses are experimenting with digital publishing, but the Michigan announcement may be the most dramatic to date by a major university press.

The shift by Michigan comes at a time that university presses are struggling. With libraries' budgets constrained, many presses have for years been struggling to sell significant numbers of monographs -- which many junior professors need to publish to earn tenure -- and those difficulties have only been exacerbated by the economic downturn. The University of Missouri Press and the State University of New York Press both have announced layoffs in recent months, while Utah State University Press is facing the possibility of a complete elimination of university support.

Michigan officials say that their move reflects a belief that it's time to stop trying to make the old economics of scholarly publishing work. ...

While Pochoda [director of the Michigan press] acknowledged that Michigan risks offending a few authors and readers not ready for the switch, he said there is a huge upside to making the move now.

Because digital publishing is so much less expensive -- with savings both in printing and distribution -- the press expects to be able to publish more books, and to distribute them electronically to a much broader audience. Michigan officials said that they don't plan to cut the budget of the press -- but to devote resources to peer review and other costs of publishing that won't change with the new model. Significantly, they said, the press would no longer have to reject books deemed worthy from a scholarly perspective, but viewed as unable to sell.

"We will certainly be able to publish books that would not have survived economic tests," said Pochoda. "And we'll be able to give all of our books much broader distribution." ...

Teresa A. Sullivan, Michigan's provost, ... said she would like to move to the idea that a university press should be judged by its contribution to scholarship, not "profit or loss," which has become too central as the economics of print publishing have deteriorated. ...

In terms of pricing, Sullivan said that Michigan planned to develop site licenses so that libraries could gain access to all of the press's books over the course of a year for a flat rate. While details aren't firm, the idea is to be "so reasonable that maybe every public library could acquire it.""

... read the rest of the Inside Higher Ed article for e-book experiments at other university presses.

ps... More: The Chronicle of Higher Education is reporting that the U of Michigan Press will become a unit of the University Library. Read more (U of Illinois access link).

Modern Language Association Style Guide Has Big Changes


This news item in /Inside Higher Education/ would be of interest to many --

The /MLA Handbook for Writers of Research Papers/ (Modern Language Association) has been updated. A couple of the changes show the sea-change scholarship is undergoing:

* "no longer recognizes print as the default medium, and suggests
that the medium of publication should be included in each works
cited entry "
* "the MLA has ceased to recommend inclusion of URLs in citing
Web-based works "

In addition, much of the Handbook is now only available online, and thus only available to individuals who have paid for a copy of the Handbook:

The latest edition of the standard style guide for language and literary study is thinner than the last (and considerably less shiny) – thinner because it is the first to be complemented by a Web component. The password-protected Web site includes the full (and searchable) text of the handbook, plus 200 online-only examples, and a series of 30-plus-step narratives taking undergraduates through the process of writing a paper, complete with model papers available in PDF form and professors' sample comments.

NIH Public Access Mandate in Jeopardy!


An email from ARL (Association of Research Libraries) concerning a recently submitted bill, supported by some of our largest publishers, that would reverse the NIH Public Access mandate, and also make it impossible for other government agencies to start similar programs. The basis theses of the NIH mandate is that research publications that were supported by funding from the National Institutes of Health -- we have many researchers on this campus who are so supported -- must be made freely available to all within year of publication. The thought is that the citizens paid for the research so they should have access to it! The publishers are saying that this infringes on their copyrights, but the mandate requires the authors to make available THEIR version of their work; that is, the version before they hand over copyrights to the publishers (which we're encouraging them NOT to do, but that's another story!) Read on for more information as well as a recommendation that we contact our congressmen about this proposed legislation. Katie Newman U of Illinois Biotechnology Librarian ---------------- From: Jennifer McLennan Subject: [SPARC-ADVOCACY] CALL TO ACTION: Ask your Representative to oppose the H.R. 801 ­ The Fair Copyright in Research Works Act Last week, the Chairman of the House Judiciary Committee (Rep. John Conyers, D-MI) re-introduced a bill that would reverse the NIH Public Access Policy and make it impossible for other federal agencies to put similar policies into place. The legislation is H.R. 801: the “Fair Copyright in Research Works Act” ( All supporters of public access – researchers, libraries, campus administrators, patient advocates, publishers, and others – are asked to please contact your Representative no later than February 28, 2009 to express your support for public access to taxpayer-funded research and ask that he or she oppose H.R.801. Draft letter text is included below. As always, it’s important to let us know what action you’re able to take, via H.R. 801 is designed to amend current copyright law and create a new category of copyrighted works (Section 201, Title 17). In effect, it would: 1. Prohibit all U.S. federal agencies from conditioning funding agreements to require that works resulting from federal support be made publicly available if those works are either: a) funded in part by sources other than a U.S. agency, or b) the result of "meaningful added value" to the work from an entity that is not party to the agreement. 2. Prohibit U.S. agencies from obtaining a license to publicly distribute, perform, or display such work by, for example, placing it on the Internet. 3. Stifle access to a broad range of federally funded works, overturning the crucially important NIH Public Access Policy and preventing other agencies from implementing similar policies. 4. Because it is so broadly framed, the proposed bill would require an overhaul of the well-established procurement rules in effect for all federal agencies, and could disrupt day-to-day procurement practices across the federal government. 5. Repeal the longstanding "federal purpose" doctrine, under which all federal agencies that fund the creation of a copyrighted work reserve the "royalty-free, nonexclusive right to reproduce, publish, or otherwise use the work" for any federal purpose. This will severely limit the ability of U.S. federal agencies to use works that they have funded to support and fulfill agency missions and to communicate with and educate the public. Because of the NIH Public Access Policy, millions of Americans now have[...]

Bill Against NIH Open-Access Policy Back in House


A news item in GenomeWeb Daily News is reporting that

A bill aimed at limiting the open-access publishing policy adopted by the National Institutes of Health has been re-introduced in the US House of Representatives by Rep. John Conyers (D – Mich.), after the same legislation expired at the end of the 110th Congress.

The law would effectively overturn the policy NIH put into effect last year mandating that all NIH-funded investigators must submit electronic versions of their final, peer-reviewed manuscripts to PubMed Central within a year after they are officially published.

Read the rest of the article...

See also Peter Suber's early comments about this development...