CHORUS (the Clearinghouse for the Open Research of the United States) has partnered with a number of federal agencies over the past six months to help them comply with the Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP) and Office of Management and Budget (OMB) directives requiring open access to federally funded research. The United States Department of Energy (DOE), the Smithsonian Institution, the National Science Foundation (NSF), the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS), and U.S. Commerce Department’s National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) have all reached agreements with CHORUS.
The New York Public Library in December announced a new partnership with nonprofit Benetech, and the organization’s Bookshare solution, to provide print disabled patrons with access to more than 370,000 accessible ebooks through NYPL and the Heiskell Braille and Talking Book Library. Although Bookshare provides free access to its collection for all U.S. students with qualifying disabilities through an award by the U.S. Department of Education’s Office of Special Education Programs, access to the collection for qualifying adults, seniors, and other non-students generally requires payment of a $25 setup fee and a $50 annual subscription fee. The partnership to provide free access to library patrons through NYPL is Bookshare’s first such partnership with a U.S. library, and Benetech officials have stated that the organization is hoping to establish similar agreements with public libraries throughout the U.S.
The Knovel Academic Challenge enables thousands of engineering students at universities around the world to hone their research skills while competing for prizes and recognition. This year, a group of four students from Drexel University, assisted by Jay Bhatt, the university’s liaison librarian for engineering, took their participation to another level, designing the engineering problem sets that were used in this fall’s 10th annual challenge.
It took Harvard Law School (HLS) nearly 200 years, since its founding in 1817, to amass its collection of United States case law reporters—one of the world’s largest collections of legal materials. It will take the HLS Library about three years to scan and digitize that collection and, in partnership with legal technology startup Ravel Law, make it freely available to the public online. If all goes according to plan, by early to mid–2017, the “Free the Law” project will have digitized the “official print versions of all historical U.S. court decisions,” according to the HLS Library blog.
JSTOR Labs, in partnership with Eigenfactor project co-founder Dr. Jevin West and the University of Washington’s DataLab, have launched JSTOR Sustainability, a new website powered by Eigenfactor Article Influence scores and a 1,500 term semantic index created by JSTOR. Currently in beta, the new website is the product of JSTOR and DataLab’s collaborative effort to help scholars in interdisciplinary fields understand and navigate literature outside of their core areas of expertise.
Penguin Random House today announced a new unified, companywide terms of sale (TOS) policy for ebook licenses sold to public, school, and other libraries working with approved ebook vendors in the United States and Canada. Effective January 1, 2016, all Penguin and Random House adult and children’s frontlist and backlist ebook titles will be available under the one-ebook, one-user, no loan cap perpetual licensing model that has long been employed by Random House.
Dallas-based non-profit library cooperative Amigos Library Services announced the official debut of the Amigos eShelf Service, a new ebook platform for public, school, and academic libraries. Developed with funding from the U.S. Institute of Museum and Library Services and the Texas State Library and Archives Commission, the service is available to both Amigos members and non-members throughout the U.S., and currently features a selection of 25,000 titles from 60 imprints of nine publishers, including Rowman and Littlefield, Crossroad Press, O’Reilly Media, and ABDO.
Mappamundi is the online web portal for the Global Middle Ages Project (GMAP) based out of the University of Texas at Austin (UT). It links to a series of Digital Humanities projects by scholars from around the world about people, places, and objects from the period of roughly 500-1500 CE. Although many people think of this period solely as the European “Dark Ages,” the project directors are interested in portraying a much more global picture. Many of the projects focus on areas outside of Europe and are interested in cultural exchange between peoples.
Manifold Scholarship Turns Scholarly Books into Iterative Digital Projects | Charleston Conference 2015
During the Charleston Conference session “New Platforms and Discovery Tools: Towards 21st Century University Presses and Libraries”, two Mellon Foundation-funded projects were introduced: UPScope Project, a university press-wide discovery engine based on natural language searches, being developed by the Association of American University Presses, and the Manifold Scholarship project, detailed below.
As part of the ongoing celebration of International Open Access Week, Metropolitan New York Library Council (METRO) and the Greater New York Metropolitan Area Association of College and Research Libraries (ACRL/NY) organized a panel discussion on November 2 titled “Leveraging Open Educational Resources in the Classroom and Beyond.”