News You Need to Start the Week

by | Jun 4, 2012 | 0 comments

A publishers’ report on open access mandate; a new people centric search engine; 25,000 sign  White House petition;  goal of 1 million ebooks for African children set by Worldreader; handheld/mobile editions launched by ACLS; Smartlinks+ now offered by EBSCO; and the search engine Scholrly launches.

Open access will bankrupt us, publishers’ report claims

A report commissioned by the Publishers Association and the Association of Learned, Professional and Society Publishers in the UK has just been released.  Entitled, “The Potential Effect of Making Journal Articles Freely Available in Repositories after a Six-Month Embargo, the report “found that 65 per cent of the 210 libraries that responded to a survey would cancel at least some arts, humanities and social science (AHSS) journals if a universal open-access mandate were introduced with an embargo period of six months. Nearly a quarter of libraries would cancel their humanities and social science subscriptions entirely.”

Interestingly, the threat that these findings pose are called in to question by an announcement from the Publishing and the Ecology of European Research (PEER) project that “found no evidence that the self-archiving of academic papers (in repositories) threatened journal viability.  The project… found that self-archiving actually increased the number of times that papers, particularly those in the life sciences, were downloaded from publishers’ websites – although the reasons were unclear.”

(Perhaps another PEER Project finding that “the vast majority of academics did not self-archive their work even when asked to do so” might have something to do with it.)


25,000 Advocates Urge White House to Open Taxpayer-Funded Research to Everyone

According to this SPARC press release “the movement to make taxpayer-funded research freely available online hit a new milestone on Sunday when advocates hit their goal of 25,000 signatures to a “We the People” petition to the Obama administration. The petition, created by Access2Research (a group of Open Access advocates, including SPARC’s Executive Director, Heather Joseph), requests that President Obama make taxpayer-funded research freely available…”

 Worldreader Aims for ‘Books for All’

Paula J. Hane writes in Information Today that “as of May 2012, Worldreader (a U.S. and European nonprofit) had put more than 100,000 ebooks—and the life-changing, power-creating ideas contained within them—into the hands of 1,000 children in sub-Saharan Africa.  Recently, Worldreader teamed up with soccer team FC Barcelona to attempt something that’s never before been possible. It is raising money to send 1 million ebooks to the children of Africa. Worldreader has set the goal of raising enough money by Dec. 31, 2012, to send 1 million ebooks to Africa’s children. Donations starting at $5 are sufficient for Worldreader to send one ebook to students in Africa…”

 ACLS Humanities E-Book Officially Launches Handheld/Mobile Editions Program

InfoDOCKET reports that “HEB [from the American Council of Learned Societies] has officially launched its handheld/mobile editions program, with several dozen titles from the online collection now available for use with various handheld readers, and more to come down the line. For the time being, these titles may be individually purchased for $9.99 from various online retailers, including Amazon and iBooks. We are also exploring options for eventually offering the books as part of a subscriptions package…

EBSCO Provides Access to Full Text with SmartLinks+

Theresa Cramer reports in Resource Shelf that EBSCO now offers EBSCO SmartLinks+, a tool designed to help librarians expose more content and make searches more relevant within their library’s collection. SmartLinks+ utilizes a knowledge base of more than 23 million article links from more than 15,000 journals, dynamically inserting the appropriate links to full text directly into EBSCOhost search results…”

 The Launch of Scholrly: new search engine seeks to change the way people find research

In his “Ubiquitous Librarian” column for the Chronicle of Higher Education, Brian Mathews discusses the relatively new search engine Scholrly and its people-centric emphasis.  Brian goes on to describe that when typing in a keyword into Scholrly “you not only get relevant citations but relevant people as … The goal is to let users search for people and to figure out who is important within the subject context.”  According to Brian, this approach is of particular benefit to science and engineering students who generally look “for people (rather than subject headings) during the information gathering stage…”


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