News & Announcements 7/30/15

Printin - IMAGEN_1*Book closed on University of Akron Press as millions in expenses trimmed;  *AAUP Statement on Announced Closure of University of Akron Press;  *National Endowment for the Humanities Announces $1.7 Million for “Public Scholars”;   *New Analysis From Pew Research: “15% of Americans Don’t Use the Internet. Who are They?”  *Panel Discussion at Wikimedia Foundation: “Copyright in the Era of Mass Digitization” *SPARC Applauds Senate Committee Action on Public Access Legislation;  *Authors Guild Urges More Book Contract Changes;  *Australian National University chosen as new host of the World Wide Web Consortium Australia Office;  *Ukrainian authors and writers criticise new state open access initiative plus more corporate and publishing news from a variety of sources. reports that “there’s been another cultural hit at the University of Akron. The University of Akron Press was shuttered Tuesday as the university is trimming millions in expenses. Workers at the press — the director and two staff members — were given their walking papers Tuesday. Layoff notices for scores of workers were supposed to be completed by Tuesday, but university officials say the task of notifying 161 workers will continue into Wednesday.

The layoffs are part of the university’s effort to trim its budget by $40 million before the start of the fall semester…

According to this announcement “the Association of American University Presses (AAUP) was shocked by the announcement Tuesday afternoon that the University of Akron would close its Press. The University of Akron Press, founded in 1988 and an AAUP member since 1997, publishes a small but vibrant list in the areas of regional history and culture, politics, business, and poetry. Although the University is undertaking a significant transition, the UA Press has posted sound results while developing a respected publishing program—closely tailored to its mission, community, and resources. AAUP believes the Press can play as vital a role in the University’s new future as it has in the institution’s recent history…”

The National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) today announced $1.7 million in grants to enable the publication of 36 nonfiction books that will bring important humanities scholarship into book clubs and onto best-seller lists.

These are the first awards made under NEH’s new Public Scholar grant program, which was created in December 2014 as part of The Common Good: The Humanities in the Public Square, an agency-wide initiative that seeks to bring humanities into the public square and foster innovative ways to make scholarship relevant to contemporary life.

InfoDOCKET notes that an analysis of survey data from Pew Research found that “today, 15% of U.S. adults do not use the internet… 

The size of this group has changed little over the past three years, despite recent government and social service programs to encourage internet adoption. But that 15% figure is substantially lower than in 2000, when Pew Research first began to study the social impact of technology. That year, nearly half (48%) of American adults did not use the internet…”

InfoDOCKET also reports on “a panel discussion organized by the Wikimedia Foundation and titled, “Copyright in the Era of Mass Digitization” that took place at Wikimedia HQ in San Francisco.

The event was also streamed live as a Google Hangout and a recording is now available on YouTube and embedded below. It runs about 90 minutes…”

“The Senate Homeland Security & Governmental Affairs Committee (HSGAC) today passed S. 779, the Fair Access to Science and Technology Research (FASTR) Act, unanimously by voice vote and moved it to the full Senate for consideration. This marks the first time the Senate has acted on a government-wide policy ensuring public access to the results of publicly funded research, and is an important step towards codifying the progress made by the 2013 White House OSTP Directive.

FASTR calls for federal agencies with extramural research budgets in excess of $100 million to establish consistent, permanent public access policies for articles reporting on their funded research making articles freely available to the public no later than twelve months after publication – and preferably sooner…”

Publishers Weekly reports that “in the fourth installment of its Fair Contract Initiative, first introduced at BookExpo America, the Authors Guild took a deep dive into contract time limits, subrights, and out of print clauses. The latest entry, called “A Publishing Contract Should Not Be Forever,” was posted on Guild’s website Tuesday morning. It expands on the Guild’s previous post, revealed in June, which called for an overhaul of royalty rates and a general re-examination of an author’s right to his or her work, suggesting specific changes to contract boilerplates…”

According to KnowledgeSpeakThe Australian National University (ANU) is set to play a significant role in guiding the future of the Web after being chosen as the new host of the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) Australia Office. The W3C is an international consortium of over 400 member organisations that work together to develop Web standards and guidelines to ensure the long-term growth of the Web…”

KnowledgeSpeak also reports that “Ukrainian writers and authors are reportedly on the verge of massive protests, due to a recent initiative of the Ukrainian Parliament (Verkhovna Rada) to conduct digitalisation and online publishing of all of the books and documents stored in the national archives and libraries. It is planned that the new state initiative may be approved in the form of amendments to the existing law, which is known as ‘On Copyright and Related Rights’…”



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