Hot Topics of the Week

by | Jun 5, 2013 | 0 comments

by Jonathan H. Harwell, Rollins College

In February, the US Office of Science and Technology Policy “directed Federal agencies with more than $100M in R&D expenditures to develop plans to make the published results of federally funded research freely available to the public within one year of publication and requiring researchers to better account for and manage the digital data resulting from federally funded scientific research.”  Since then, competing plans have been in the works from the publishing and academic sectors, in hopes that the federal government will adopt one of their models.

As Ry Rivard explains at Inside Higher Ed, a group of publishers has proposed the model of CHORUS (Clearinghouse for the Open Research of the United States).  These are the same entities behind CrossRef.  Meanwhile, the Association of American Universities is working on a proposal for connecting institutional repositories nationwide.  Rivard’s article, a good rundown on where we are at this point, is available here.

Two amicus briefs have been filed in support of HathiTrust in its appeal of a ruling in favor of the Authors Guild and other plaintiffs.  Details here.

On May 9, the White House released an executive order to make government information resources “open and machine readable” by default.  And we’re off to a rollicking start.  On May 22, Data.gov’s new data catalog appeared.  Here’s the announcement.

UNESCO also has a new open access policy.  And California’s House has sent the California Taxpayer Access to Publicly Funded Research Act to the Senate.

The Unlocking Technology Act of 2013 has been introduced in Congress.  Mother Jones has a rundown.  In related news, there’s a new e-book about SOPA.  The book is yours for the price you name.

Remember Connecticut’s House Bill 5614, which would “require publishers of electronic books to offer e-books for sale to libraries on reasonable terms that would permit libraries to provide their users with access to such books”?  It’s been amended to call for a study by February 2014; passed by the state House; and sent to the Senate.

Library Journal reports that Cengage is considering bankruptcy.

PLOS has called for participation in developing software prototypes for scholarly communication in the sciences, via PLOS Labs.

Should laws themselves be covered by the US Copyright Law?  Nope, says a coalition of law professors and librarians.

The impact factor, at least as it has commonly been (mis)used, might be going out of style.  Or should.

Robert Deaner is musing about a potential new mechanism for journal reviews, not so much for readers but for authors.  I second that emotion, and see the same need with regard to monograph publishers.

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