How should we understand the value of academic publications?  That was the question addressed at the ALA Annual Conference last month during the SPARC/ACRL Forum.  The forum is the highlight of each ALA conference for me because it always features a timely topic and really smart speakers; this year was no exception.

One useful [...]

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A new organization for authors, called the Authors Alliance, is launching today (May 21) with a reception in San Francisco at the headquarters of the Internet Archive.  I cannot attend, but a couple of weeks ago I responded to an invitation and became a founding member of the Alliance; I also made a small [...]

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This past week there have been a lot of angry blog posts about the new “Connected Casebook” plan from Aspen Publishers (Wolters Kluwer Legal Education) that would attempt to deprive students of their rights under the First Sale doctrine in U.S. law to resell the books that they buy.  Aspen publishes case books — the [...]

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Publishing ironies

On April 30, 2014 By

Would Karl Marx have waived his copyright on principle?  I don’t know for sure, but I rather doubt it.  Marx was not entirely in sympathy with Proudhon’s famous assertion that “property is theft,” and in any case probably expected to make at least part of his living off from his intellectual property.  Nevertheless, there is [...]

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A new thing started happening here at Duke this week; we began getting inquiries from some faculty authors about how to obtain a formal waiver of our faculty open access policy.  We have had that policy in place for over three years, but for the first time a single publisher — the Nature Publishing Group [...]

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When I first saw the story about the conflict between the Social Science History Association (SSHA) and Duke University Press (DUP), I thought I had best not comment about it. But since then a number of my colleagues have gotten in touch with me and also made comments about the case that miss some [...]

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Walking the talk

On March 7, 2014 By

All of the presentations at the SPARC Open Access meeting this week were excellent.  But there was one that was really special; an early career researcher named Erin McKiernan who brought everyone in the room to their feet to applaud her commitment to open access.  We are sometimes told that only established scholars who [...]

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Please propose to us

On February 28, 2014 By

Later this year, the first in a new series of Scholarly Communication Institutes will be held here in the Research Triangle and we are looking for proposals from diverse and creative teams of people who are interested in projects that have the potential to reshape scholarly communications.

Last year the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation [...]

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There is a persistent problem with polemics.  When writing to address someone else’s position with which one disagrees, it is easy to lose sight of the proverbial forest for the trees.

In my previous two posts, I was addressing a misunderstand that I am afraid might lead authors to be less attentive and assertive about [...]

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There has been a lot of attention given to the moves by publishing giant Elsevier to enforce its policy regarding authors’ rights to post his or her article on a personal website or in an institutional repository.  Since Elsevier began sending take down notices last fall, first to Academia.edu and then to individual universities, it [...]

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