ATG Hot Topics of the Week

by Jonathan H. Harwell, Rollins College

Today I have for you a smorgasbord o’ delights from the past few weeks.  Read on  – you’ll be glad you did.

On March 20, Charles Piot, Editor of Cultural Anthropology, held an online discussion with Brad Weiss, President of the Society for Cultural Anthropology (a section of the American Anthropological Association, and publisher of Cultural Anthropology) about that journal’s open-access future.  Insightful questions & answers from those who attended are available here.

“Who is afraid of open access?”  An open access manifesto appeared on March 15 in Le Monde, contributed by a group of 60 stakeholders in academic research, including librarians, publishers, and university presidents.  Here’s an English translation.

The University of Rhode Island has adopted an open access policy.  And in order to increase his research impact, Murray Rudd of the University of York has been sharing a large amount of open data via Academia.edu, about the research interests of coastal scientists.

Taylor & Francis and Routledge asked their authors what they think of open access.  Here are the results, based on over 17,400 responses.

Evan Hughes published an article in Wired about the future of book publishing, in which he sees publishers being removed from the process as it disintermediates.  which prompted Laura Miller to respond in Salon with doubts about his predictions.  And Hugh Howey shares an author’s perspective.  By the way, Richard Van Noorden is also asking how much value publishers have, especially with regard to science journals.  That’s part of a special issue of Nature on “The Future of Publishing.”  It also includes a look at Jeffrey Beall and “predatory publishers.”  Gina Kolata has another feature on Beall in The New York Times, and Michael Eisen (co-founder of the Public Library of Science) finds her analysis very wrong.

ARTstor is contributing over 10,000 images from museums to the Digital Public Library of America, and the New York Public Library is bringing data to the table as well.  Meanwhile, Robert Darnton of Harvard explains why his university is supporting DPLA, and what the April 13 DPLA launch means.

Amazon bought GoodReads.

The entire editorial board of Journal of Library Administration resigned, alleging “that the licensing terms in the Taylor & Francis author agreement are too restrictive and out-of-step with the expectations of authors in the LIS community.”

If you’ve ever watched Snakes on a Plane on network television, you now know that Samuel L. Jackson’s character has had it with these monkey-fighting snakes on this Monday-to-Friday plane.  I hope he doesn’t mind e-readers.

As a student, I worked in a library that was overrun by feral cats during a massive reconstruction project.  I heard they were even in our 2nd floor office area.  (Perhaps they were following the translucent geckos that lived in the stairwells.)  Now David Harvie, et al., of the University of Leicester, have published an article about what to do with “feral publishers,” in Organization (a Sage journal).  They’ve spurred quite a bit of discussion.  Take a look.

In The Guardian, Dan Gillmor looks at e-resource licensing and the right of first sale, in light of recent news.  And Carrie Rampp of Bucknell University is urging us toward “an electronic content doctrine equivalent to the first-sale doctrine.”

IU Bloomington is finding audio stored in 2-D format.

Illinois Sen. Daniel Biss (D-Evanston) is re-drafting the Open Access to Research Articles Act, which could mandate state institutions of higher education to adopt open access mandates.

David W. Lewis of IUPUI has some proposals for moving academic library collections into the future.

In response to the Kirtsaeng v. Wiley decision, Scott Turow, President of the Authors Guild, published a piece in The New York Times on “The Slow Death of the American Author.”  Maureen Sullivan, ALA President, disagrees with Turow.

And finally, courtesy of The Public Domain Review, the open access e-book we’ve all been waiting for: The accidents of youth : consisting of short histories, calculated to improve the moral conduct of children, and warn them of the many dangers to which they are exposed.

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