open movement


The 2013 Digital Humanities awards came out relatively recently, offering an array of amazing projects to peruse — some public, some academic, all worth a gander.  It is worth highlighting that the best InfoGraphic award covered statistics on why “Humanities Matter” [PDF]  — making the infographic a meta-DH project of sorts.

As a follow-up to the UCL Centre for Digital Humanities’ “Quantifying Digital Humanities” infographic from 2012 (PDF), The Humanities Matter! starts a more expansive effort by the Center and 4Humanities to gather statistics and create infographics about the humanities. The Humanities Matter! is part of the 4Humanities Humanities Infographics initiative, including Infographics Friday online posts.

Another DH-for-fun award went to Serendip-o-matic — which acts as a federated-serendipitous-search engine:  insert a block of text, and the applet finds related images culled from the Digital Public Library of America (DPLA) and Europeana digital Libraries.

If you are curious about Digital Humanities at St. John’s, the next CTL Interdisciplinary Roundtable discussion will focus on Digital Humanities, on Monday April 7th; where Jen Travis will facilitate discussions about “projects and pedagogies of this emerging field.”  If you are interested in learning more about creating infographics, or using them as an alternative research project, the University Libraries are hosting an edutech workshop on infographics on Wed. April 2nd.  Does unearthing the treasures of the DPLA sound appealing?  Does making your own a mash-up of the DPLA resource-data sound sound intriguing ?  If so, join us Wednesday, April 9th, for a workshop on DPLA and engage with new treasure trove of primary resources and the meta-data that makes it tick!

If you are wondering why some sites are blacked-out today, or why some sites have blocked out their logos/name, it is in protest regarding bills in congress which are aimed at stamping out piracy / protecting intellectual property (a good goal) but proposing to do it by way of censorship and/or surveillance (a questionable means). There are a number of petitions going around, but for a little more info on why there is such an outcry, here are a couple of quick, reliable resources:

The google graphic shows the variety of people and organizations who oppose the bills and why; and offers the opportunity to add your name to their petition. The American Library Association has put together a quick reference guide to explain the PIPA, SOPA and OPEN Acts (pdf).   It indicates who initiated the bill and where the bill would impact free speech and/or free enterprise.

…the ALA deplores any legislation that would incentivize and likely increase surveillance of online activity promoted by these bills.  These bills, if passed, would likely blanket Internet activity with an immediate chilling effect – on first amendment free speech rights, intellectual freedom and privacy rights, among others.

 

The recent  article from 8/31/2010 issue of CHE takes up a new wrinkle in the Google Books project.  The article “Google’s Book Search: A Disaster for Scholars” recounts the issues surrounding the big-buzz question “what will Google do with the books once scanned” and goes on to another practical question: “Can Google possibly live up to the professed goals of the ‘Google Books Library’ project?”  If Google scanned all the scholarly-library-donated-books in order to facilitate  discoverability of  lost treasures, the metadata needed to facilitate a scholarly search needs to be reliable and standardized enough (think library cataloging by subject specialists) to help the researcher find the relevant material across the database objects.

But to pose those [research-based] questions, you need reliable metadata about dates and categories, which is why it’s so disappointing that the book search’s metadata are a train wreck: a mishmash wrapped in a muddle wrapped in a mess.

Jon Orwant, the person responsible for metadata in the GoogleBooks project has posted his own thoughtful responses in the comments area of Nunberg’s  “illustrated” version of the article (and in keeping with web-2.0 publication vagaries, the illustrated version and comments are dated 8/29!)

Of course, while library catalogues and databases try to be slaves to consistent metadata, we often work with whatever we can get in order to make sure that our researchers have access to their needed information in as many venues as possible.  Thus, we note with some pleasure that the earlier Google Scholar project — which deals primarily with scholarly articles and citations from scholarly bibliographies — does not suffer as much on the metadata end, but this is because the basic-but-standard bibliographic metadata is generated by the authors themselves, and therefore tend to be more reliable (as reliable as scholars are careful!) .

Libraries have also worked with Google Scholar to facilitate Check for full text linking to a patron’s “home” university library for full-text access to cited articles (in the preferences options).  St. John’s Libraries and WorldCat are automatically added to  GoogleScholar results if you are using computers in the labs, but if you would like to add this “Check  for Full Text” feature to your work or home computer, and find a way to add GS citations to your RefWorks folder, use this tutorial.

Here’s hoping that the GoogleBooks efforts are fruitful and that we can look forward to Google’s transparency and co-operation with libraries and librarians — who have been their precursors and constant companions in the effort to  promote wider-access-to and reliable-metadata-for the information people seek to improve their research or their lives.

We noted in a prior blog entry that COPE Open Access Scholarship in the Humanities and Social sciences are gaining ground and are explicitly recognizing that access to scholarship shouldn’t be limited to those Universities which can pay increasingly prohibitive costs for access through publishers and vendors. We also have noted Good Cop/ Bad Cop issues with Harvard whose Business publisher is are “trying to charge Universities even more to deep-link to articles for which most University Libraries have already paid both high prices to the publisher and the vendor for access” And of course, we have been following the Google-Books courts cases with an eager eye.

If you are interested seeing how it all comes together, you might check out this week’s Publishers Weekly article:

While the high-profile Google settlement has captured the attention of the publishing industry at large, a contentious copyright infringement lawsuit filed in Atlanta in 2008 by academic publishers against four individuals at Georgia State University has quietly progressed. And while a New York court now considers whether to approve the sweeping Google deal, a court in Atlanta could yet deliver something that publishers expressly chose to avoid in their settlement with Google: a fair use ruling.

  • “A Failure to Communicate” Andrew Albanese, Publishers Weekly (June 14, 2010) by features editor: http://bit.ly/95SpB4

You might also find the following articles of interest for more background on the Georgia case from an academic library perspective.

  • “Implication of the Georgia State e-reserves case.” Barbara Fister, Library Journal, (April 1, 2010) http://bit.ly/cfxoLL

For more on how university libraries (including our own) have been dealing with the escalating costs of current scholarly publishing-and-distribution platforms — which basically require an academic library to pay for access to the same articles anywhere from two-to four separate times — check out our LIbLog “open movement” entries which work towards convincing Academic Communities that Open Access publishing is a wiser way to go.

open lockFollowing up on previous postings about the “open” movement in research and education, we refer you to a report in Library Journal’s (9/15/2009)  that five universities — Cornell University, Dartmouth College, Harvard University, MIT, and UC Berkeley — have spearheaded a campaign to make OA publishing economically viable. They are the first to create and sign on to COPE: compact for open-access publishing equity. They are encouraging other universities to join in, and offering answers to “frequently asked questions about how/why to join.    Aside from the economic issues facing big institutional libraries, the OA model is a social justice issue, ensuring that timely, authoritative research is available to scholars in emerging nations.  The overview section of the COPE site briefly explains the need for such a compact:         

Universities subsidize the costs of subscription journals by subscribing to them. Universities and funding agencies can provide equitable support for the processing-fee business model for open-access journals — to place the subscription-fee and processing-fee models on a more level playing field — by subsidizing processing fees as well.

The compact for open-access publishing equity supports equity of the business models by committing each university to “the timely establishment of durable mechanisms for underwriting reasonable publication charges for articles written by its faculty and published in fee-based open-access journals and for which other institutions would not be expected to provide funds.”

A full account of the motivation for the compact can be found in the article “Equity for Open-Access Journal Publishing” published in the open-access journal Public Library of Science Biology

Citations:

Compact for Open-Access Publishing Equity (2009). http://www.oacompact.org/ Accessed 9/18/2009.

Hadro J (2009) Five Universities Sign Open Access Funding Compact. Library Journal.com  (9/15/2009). Accessed 9/18/2009.

Shieber SM (2009) Equity for Open-Access Journal Publishing. PLoS Biol 7(8): e1000165. doi:10.1371/journal.pbio.1000165

We noted in a prior blog entry that Open Access Scholarship got a boon in early 2009, when Harvard faculty decided to make their scholarship available in Institutional Repositories.  It marked a point where one of the premiere US Institutions of higher learning explicitly recognized that access to scholarship shouldn’t be limited to those Universities which  can pay increasingly prohibitive costs for access through publishers and vendors.  Six months later, and on the other end of the access spectrum,  Harvard Business Publishing is trying to charge Universities even more to deep-link to articles for which most University Libraries have already paid both the publisher and the EBSCO vendor.

open lockAcademic librarians have long questioned the economically voracious model of publishing in academia — Cornell’s public break with Elseivier is probably the most widely known rallying point, and they in turn are vocal and active proponents of OA Scholarship.   The recent buzz around making NIH-funded research publically available helps bolster the argument for Open Access among academic publishers.  Like government-funded publications, most University research is  funded, at least partially, by the  University itself, in addition to private or public grants.  The traditional commercial publisher model charges that author’s University Library a large subscription rate to have print access and then works with vendors to charge libraries for the convenience of electronic access to that research. Generally a publisher justifies the price by saying that they add value through editing, through sponsoring the peer-review process, and through volume printing costs.  With OpenAccess publishing (along with Open Journal systems that can automate peer-review work-flows for scholarly presses), these “added values” are becoming less valued.  

The basis, if any, for charging more to have a deep-link to an article, when the professor can aways link to the Library’s vendor-provided abstract (with PDF link or full-text-search link)  is unclear.  While HBP’s desire to charge for deep-linking to the article in EBSCO doesn’t exactly parallel the motives behind another linking-suit filed  against Georgia State University by Oxford, Cambridge and Sage, it appears that they are both related to lost revenue on Course Packs.   In the latter suit, the 3 presses claimed that Georgia State University made electronic versions of articles available in  online course reserves without proper permission. Ostensibly, their suit was based on the fact that access was not behind a password protected course-page; however, in the course of subsequent statements, they questioned whether “Fair Use” extends to electronic copies hosted on CMS and Library e-reserves (which would both be behind password protections and could be linked to vendor-database links).

unlockSen. John Cornyn’s  (R-TX)  2006 Federal Research Public Access Act  was re-introduced by Sen. Joseph Lieberman (I-CT) on June 25th  ( S.1373 ) to provide for Federal agencies to develop public access policies relating to research conducted by employees of that agency or from funds administered by that agency. ”  

According to  the SPARC website,  this bipartisan act:

 “would require that 11 U.S. government agencies with annual extramural research expenditures over $100 million make manuscripts of journal articles stemming from research funded by that agency publicly available via the Internet. The manuscripts will be maintained and preserved in a digital archive maintained by the agency or in another suitable repository that permits free public access, interoperability, and long-term preservation. Each manuscript will be freely available to users without charge within six months after it has been published in a peer-reviewed journal.”

This is a step forward from the January, 2008 move by the  National Institutes of Health (NIH), to revised its public access policy which:

 “now requires eligible researchers to deposit copies of final manuscripts upon acceptance into a peer-reviewed journal so that they may be made publicly available within 12 months of publication.”

For more on what these government moves toward Open Access entail for University faculty and administrators, see the SPARC site: http://www.arl.org/sparc/advocacy/frpaa/frpaafaq.shtml

599px-courtgavelOur previous blog entry on Scholarly Publishing and Open Access in HE  indicated that Harvard’s move toward scholarly repositories was the beginning of a crack in the academic publishing realm.  Nearly a year later,  all of the schools and faculty at Boston University Faculty  followed suit.  Now, we are seeing alliances across Law schools and Law Libraries as well:

In a broad call to action, a group of the nations’ law schools and law librarians have signed the Durham Statement on Open Access to Legal Scholarship.

unlock1While LIBlog has discussed the role of Scholarly Repositiories and Open Access publishing before, we also know that some courses still need to rely on textbooks and journals to provide timely information for students.  Because textbook prices remain prohibitively expensive for some students,  the libraries continue to partner with faculty and the book store to  suggest ways of supplying salient course materials at low- or no-additional-costs to students.  E-reserves and deep-linking* to articles in a coursepage allow a student to have access to both open-access and proprietary-database articles, as well as subscription e-books.  Our recent switch to LibGuides also allows us to work with indivdual faculty members to create a “resources by subject” page at the individual course level.  If you are interested in finding more about deep-linking, finding public domain and open access resources, or would like to work with a librarian to create a dynamic course resource page, ask your subject specialist or email one of our Instructional Services Librarians.  If you are interested in working with the libraries to propose a plan for lower-cost print texts or e-text-books , please contact our Outreach Librarian.

For more about Open Resources, check out the mini-course developed by Judy Baker, covering open access courseware systems as well as copyright, public domain texts, primary resources, etc.

Baker, J. (2007, May 5). Introduction to Open Educational Resources. Retrieved from the Connexions Web site: http://cnx.org/content/col10413/1.2/

* Deep-linking offers direct access to a database article by adding the libraries’ proxy-prefix (http://jerome.stjohns.edu:81/login?url=) at the very start of the PURL or at the start of the URL in the address box.

openeducation2MIT’s Vijay Kumar (Senior Associate Dean & Director, Office of Educational Innovation and Technology) talks about the next step in the “open” movement in a short interview with Mary Grush in this month’s Campus Technology. [Beyond Access: What's behind quality education?]

Open education, according to Kumar, goes beyond open content and open standards and is the sharing of “practices and pedagogies that underlie the content and resources.” The result is a process that can improve pedagogy through collaboration and input from many parties.

Some existing examples that have started to move toward open education are MIT’s Open CourseWare, the OpenCourseWare Consortium, and MERLOT. There are also some projects beginning to share pedagogy along with content – Carnegie Foundation’s KEEP Toolkit, Rice University’s Connexions, and the Open Univeristy’s OpenLearn.

Fundamentally, open education relies on and is made possible by combining open knowledge/content/resources with Web 2.0 technologies.  Kumar concludes by saying “We’re facing a climate that requires a re-0rientation of practices and a rethinking of operational models, to deliver relevant eduation…By sharing pedagogy, critically reviewing it, and making that work much more visible, we can bring the practice of research into education and move collectively toward better practices and educational transformation.”

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