Re: FOS Newsletter Excerpts

From: Peter Suber <>
Date: Thu, 27 Dec 2001 11:41:03 +0000

      Excerpts from the Free Online Scholarship (FOS) Newsletter
      December 26, 2001

In a 1952 essay, A. J. Muste argued that civil disobedience was useful
in part because it made actual dissidents known to potential
dissidents. It broke the appearance of unanimity that, by itself,
discouraged many people from voicing their opposition or even thinking
clearly and courageously about opposition. The growing subscription list
is gratifying in part precisely for breaking the appearance of
unanimity. The Public Library of Science petition has had the same effect
on a much larger scale. It's odd to be working toward an exciting reform
that will benefit scholars, the effective means to which are already in the
hands of scholars, but which most scholars haven't yet acknowledged, let
alone endorsed. We can be forgiven for welcoming the occasional bit of
evidence that fellow travelers exist beyond the illusory veil of unanimity.


More on the BioMed Central (BMC) decision to charge processing fees per
article starting January 1.

I should have mentioned in my previous story on this decision (FOSN for
12/19/01) that BMC will waive the processing fee not only for authors from
developing countries, and authors with financial hardship, but also for
authors from institutions with a BMC membership. Universities will pay
much less in per-article processing fees on behalf of their
researcher-employees than they now pay in subscription prices through their
libraries. Moreover, because processing fees will make the resulting
literature freely available online, universities willing to pay them will
give their researchers more readers and impact in their fields. BMC is
hoping that as universities understand these new realities, more will
support this alternative financing model, and more will seek the even
deeper discounts permitted by institutional memberships.

BMC press release on its institutional membership program
("BioMed Central's business model is based on the dual premise that all
original research articles should be freely available and that the
imposition of subscription charges by other publishers is damaging the
communication of science.")

Jeffrey Young, Publisher of Free Online Science Journals Will Charge
Authors a 'Processing Fee'

BMC's online discussion of its alternative financing model



* With money from the Heritage Lottery Fund, the Wellcome Trust has bought
Francis Crick's scientific and personal papers. Early in 2002 it will
start indexing and digitizing them and will eventually create a free online
Crick archive.

* Canada's Advanced Internet Development Organization (CANARIE) has
launched a program to fund the development of advanced e-content, including
projects in the arts and cultural heritage. Proposals for first-round
funding will be considered until January 30.

* The Open Video Project, a free online video archive, is now a compliant
and registered with the Open Archives Initiative.

* JISC and NSF have launched a joint initiative to study how digital
libraries can transform teaching and learning.

* The Research Libraries Group (RLG) has launched the Cultural Materials
Initiative to promote online access to cultural materials, including
digitized copies of rare and unique works otherwise very difficult to
see. Access will not be free.

* ICAAP is a non-profit organization devoted to advancing the cause of free
and affordable online scholarly communication. It has just launched
myICAAP, a service to help support ejournals, launch new ones, and help
ejournals find qualified, willing reviewers. myICAAP is backed by the
powerful BlueSky software suite (see FOSN for 6/1/01) which automates
nearly every aspect of publishing an online journal except the exercise of
editorial judgment. For example, editors can assign a manuscript to a
reviewer, track and nag the reviewer, read the reviewer's judgment, and
decide whether to accept, reject, or resubmit the manuscript, with just a
few mouse clicks. With another click, an accepted article can be readied
for publication in HTML, PDF, eBook, CD-ROM, or WAP formats. The software
will also generate statistics on reviewer time and acceptance rates, and
generate any kind of article metadata, including OAI metadata. The
extensive automation saves time, labor, and money. Journals that register
for myICAAP have full use of BlueSky. Scholars who register for myICAAP
enter a database that participating journals may search by academic
specialization when they need reviewers. Libraries are asked to pay a
subscription fee based on the number of myICAAP journals to which they want
access. But even these fees are voluntary, since ICAAP journals are free
for readers and libraries.

(Full disclosure: I'm on the ICAAP board of governors.)


* Turbo 10 is a metasearch engine willing to incorporate nearly any
specialty database or search engine that wishes to sign up. The chief
exception is that once a topic like chemistry or artificial intelligence is
"sufficiently covered" by other participating databases, Turbo 10 won't
accept new databases on the same topic. This limitation seems arbitrary to
me, except as a way to spur archive managers to sign up quickly. But apart
from this, Turbo 10 is a smart concept, a win-win for searchers who want
deeper access to the invisible web and content providers who want wider
visibility. If you maintain a searchable archive, sign up before you're
preempted. Joining the Turbo 10 index is free and entirely revocable.

Turbo 10 home page

How to add your search engine to Turbo 10

* If you like the idea of advancing science by harnessing spare CPU cycles
around the internet for distributed supercomputing, be careful about
implementing it at your institution without wide consultation. David
McOwen faces a $400,000 fine and 120 years in prison for installing software on the DeKalb Technical Institute network in
1998. McOwen had authority to install software on the network at the time,
and the software he installed is used exclusively for
scientific projects. At McOwen's school, the network cycles were put to
use testing the RC5 encryption algorithm. The total drain on the system
was equivalent to sending one email per day. McOwen's trial is set for
January 28.

Ann Harrison, Is Distributed Computing a Crime?

Postscript. I'm covering this because it's an unexpected legal obstacle to
scientific research. But as long as I'm on the subject, note this news
that major players like IBM, Sun, Compaq, NEC, and Cray are trying to make
sure that the future of distributed or "grid" computing is open source.,,3281_931951,00.html

* The proceedings of the October International Conference on Dublin Core
and Metadata Applications 2001, in Tokyo, are now online.

Informative TOC without links

Uninformative TOC but with links

The powerpoint presentations of a subset of the conference presentations
went online earlier (see FOSN for 12/12/01).

* Educause has put online the proceedings of its Fall 2000 forum, The
Internet and the University.


Share your thoughts

* The Network Industry Awards would like your nominations (including
self-nominations) for the 2002 awards. It will accept nominations until
April 1, 2002.

* Canada's Internet Development Organization, CANARIE, solicits nominations
for the five 2002 CANARIE IWAY (Information Highway) awards. It will
accept nominations until January 30, 2002.

* In the December 26 _SearchDay_, Chris Sherman describes two free online
archives on the history of the internet, other than the Wayback
Machine: The Arpanet Collection and the Internet FAQ Consortium.

* In a December 3 press release, InfoTrieve reports that a study it
commissioned from Outsell has found that the market for scholarly journal
articles is $1.6 billion per year. It also reports that rising
subscription prices has triggered a growing demand for pay-per-view
document delivery. (PS: Was FOS listed among the options on the
survey? There's no telling, but it's relevant that InfoTrieve specializes
in pay-per-view document delivery.)

* In his December column on digital libraries for _Library Journal_, Roy
Tennant argues that the tendency of human beings to settle for what is good
enough rather than push harder for excellence, and the rise of digital
libraries, have created a "convenience catastrophe". One solution is to
provide more searchable online pointers (such as tables of contents,
indexes, and reviews) to offline resources. Another is cross-database

* In FOSN for 11/26/01 I summarized Nicholas Carroll's elegant
anti-thesaurus proposal, which would create a new metadata tag allowing
authors declare that certain search terms were *not* relevant to their
sites. Carroll has now written Part 2 to his proposal, responding to
common questions and giving more technical detail on how it would
work. Better, he quotes a line from the FOSN coverage of Part 1.

If you plan to attend one of the following conferences, please share your
observations with us through our discussion forum.

* Academic Institutions Transforming Scholarly Communications (SPARC/ARL
Forum at the ALA Midwinter Meeting)
New Orleans, January 18-23

* Electronic Texts in the 21st Century (another forum at the ALA Midwinter
New Orleans, January 18-23

* Intellectual Property and New Business Creation from Science and Technology
Oxford, January 27 - February 1

* High Quality Information For Everyone And What It Costs
Bielefeld, February 5-7

* E-volving Information futures
Melbourne, February 6-8

* ICSTI Seminar on Digital Preservation of the Record of Science
[No web site yet, but for registration info contact Barry Mahon, <icsti
Paris, February 14-15

* Electronic Journals --Solutions in Sight?
London, February 25-26

* International Spring School on the Digital Library and E-publishing for
Science and Technology
Geneva, March 3-8

* Database and Digital Library Technologies (part of the 17th ACM Symposium
on Applied Computing)
Madrid, March 10-14

* Computers in Libraries 2002
Washington D.C., March 13-15

* The Electronic Publishers Coalition (EPC) conference on ebooks and
epublishing (obscurely titled, Electronically Published Internet
Connection, or EPIC)
Seattle, March 14-16

* Internet Librarian International 2002
London, March 18-20

* New Developments in Digital Libraries
Ciudad Real, Spain, April 2-3

* The New Information Order and the Future of the Archive
Edinburgh, March 20-23

* International Conference on Information Technology: Coding and Computing
Las Vegas, April 8-10

* NetLat and Friends: 10 Years of Digital Library Development
Lund, April 10-12

* United Kingdom Serials Group Annual Conference and Exhibition
University of Warwick, April 15- 17

* Information, Knowledges and Society: Challenges of A New Era
Havana, April 22-26


The Free Online Scholarship Newsletter is supported by a grant from the
Open Society Institute.


This is the Free Online Scholarship Newsletter (ISSN 1535-7848).

Please feel free to forward any issue of the newsletter to interested
colleagues. If you are reading a forwarded copy of this issue, you may
subscribe by signing up at the FOS home page.

FOS home page, general information, subscriptions, editorial position

FOS Newsletter, subscriptions, back issues

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Guide to the FOS Movement

Peter Suber

Copyright (c) 2001, Peter Suber
Received on Thu Dec 27 2001 - 11:42:01 GMT

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