April 30, 2016

CHORUS Inks Agreement with NSF, USGS, NIST

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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.

Harvard Launches “Free the Law” Digitization Project

Langdell Hall, Harvard Law School, Cambridge, MA
Photo credit: Daderot via Wikimedia Commons -

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.

METRO Hosts Panel on Open Ed Resources

Panelists Lisa Norberg, Megan Wacha, and Steven Ovadia

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.”

FASTR Approved by Senate Committee

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On July 29 the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee (HSGAC) unanimously passed S. 779, the Fair Access to Science and Technology Research (FASTR) Act by voice vote. The bill, which calls for public access to taxpayer-funded research, was marked up to bring it into line with the existing White House Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP) policy memorandum and current National institutes of Health (NIH) policy, and will now move to the full Senate for consideration.

Sharing Policy Draws Criticism; Elsevier Responds

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On April 30 the academic publishing company Elsevier announced that it would be updating its article sharing policies. In a post on its website titled Unleashing the power of academic sharing, Elsevier’s director of access and policy Alicia Wise outlined a framework of new sharing and hosting policies, which include guidelines for sharing academic articles at every stage of their existence, from preprint to post-publication, and protocol for both non-commercial—that is, repository—and commercial hosting platforms.

U. Minnesota Press, CUNY Grad Center Develop Hybrid Publishing Platform

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The University of Minnesota Press and the GC Digital Scholarship Lab at the Graduate Center of the City University of New York (CUNY) in April were awarded a $732,000 grant from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation to launch Manifold Scholarship, a new platform that will enable the publication of iterative, networked, electronic versions of scholarly monographs alongside the print edition of the book.

K|N’s Open Access Network: Knowledge Made Public

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The Open Access Network (OAN), a project set to establish a business model for OA in the humanities and social sciences, was the topic of a key session at “Knowledge Made Public,” a May 5 conference held at the City University of New York (CUNY) Academic Commons. The session featured a presentation by K|N Consultants principals Rebecca Kennison and Lisa Norberg, who were joined by Martin Burke and Jessie Daniels of the CUNY Graduate Center, and Ken Wissoker, editorial director at Duke University Press, for a lively and informative discussion of OAN, K|N’s newest initiative, which will launch in mid-May.

Whole Lotta Shakin’ Goin’ On | Periodicals Price Survey 2015

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Like the ground in the Ring of Fire that surrounds the Pacific Ocean, the serials world is in almost constant motion, responding simultaneously to pressures both large and small. As in seismology, some of the pressures result in incremental changes, while others, often the result of years of incremental change hidden below the surface, seem suddenly to shake the serials world like an earthquake.

Collaboration, Growth, and Discovery | ER&L 2015

ER&L Conference tenth anniversary

Over 650 attendees from 42 states and five countries gathered for this year’s ER&L conference, with hundreds more viewing more than 60 hours of livestreamed and archived sessions online. This year’s conference also included a new, two-day “Designing for Digital” user experience (UX) event, which ER&L plans to make a regular component of the conference going forward. As usual, the days were packed with panels and presentations on e-resources, with topics ranging from organizational strategies and working with vendors to sessions on troubleshooting and technical maintenance. Here are highlights from some of the sessions that LJ was able to attend.

NEH, Mellon Foundation’s Humanities Open Book Program to Revive Backlist Work

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As part of a wider emphasis on digital publishing and the relevance of humanities scholarship, the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation and the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) are giving new life to out-of-print humanities books. In January the two organizations announced a new joint pilot grant program, Humanities Open Book, which will help publishers identify important out-of-print works, secure rights to them, and convert them to EPUB format ebooks freely accessible under a Creative Commons (CC) license. Awards range from $50,000 to $100,000 per recipient, and will cover a period of one to three years.