Excerpts from FOS Newsletter

From: Peter Suber <peters_at_earlham.edu>
Date: Wed, 23 Jan 2002 12:11:13 -0500

      Excerots from the Free Online Scholarship (FOS) Newsletter
      January 23, 2002

The Havana Declaration

In April 2001, two Latin American conferences on health science jointly
issued the Declaration of Havana Towards Equitable Access to Health

The Declaration opens with a strong statement of FOS
principle: "[S]cientific-technical information is a global public good
essential for social development, and...[its] universal and equitable
dissemination should be assured by national and international public

Another part of the declaration asserts that "the unjust, unnecessary and
avoidable" health differences among individuals and groups are due in part
to "inequitable access to health information and knowledge".

The remedy for both health inequalities and poverty is political
participation, which in turn depends on "access to information and

Apart from the statement of principle, one purpose of the declaration is to
elicit world-wide support for the Virtual Health Library, a free online
source of health information.

Declaration of Havana Towards Equitable Access to Health Information
(Thanks to Jan Velterop.)

Virtual Health Library / Biblioteca Virtual en Salud

* The declaration was issued by the participants in the following two

Second Regional Coordination Meeting of the Virtual Health Library

V Regional Congress on Health Sciences Information

* Postscript. The Havana Declaration is an exemplary reminder that FOS
doesn't merely accelerate research. If it did, FOS would be of merely
academic interest. By accelerating research, FOS accelerates the benefits
of research, such as health care. By spreading knowledge, FOS spreads the
benefits of knowledge, such as informed political participation.



* JISC has launched the Focus on Access to Institutional Resources (FAIR),
a program to support access to institutional content in higher
education. It is currently soliciting proposals from UK institutions. It
prefers projects that use the harvesting of metadata to support data
services. The proposal deadline is February 28.

* JISC has also launched Exchange for Learning (X4L), a program to take
advantage of earlier investments in digital academic content by making it
available for learning (as opposed to research). Like FAIR, X4L is also
soliciting proposals with a deadline of February 28.

* eXist is an open source XML database. The code for version 0.7 has now
been released and may be downloaded from the site.
(Thanks to El.pub Weekly.)


New on the net

* Public Knowledge now has its own web site. (It formerly had a section of
David Bollier's site.) PK describes itself as "a public-interest advocacy
organization dedicated to fortifying and defending a vibrant 'information
commons' --the shared information resources and cultural assets that we own
as a people." Among its FOS-related projects are making copyright law
serve art, culture, democracy, and science.

Public Knowledge home page
(Thanks to Doug Bennett.)

Public Knowledge projects

* Ken Frazier of the University of Wisconsin, Madison, libraries, has
written an open letter to UW faculty explaining why the library must cancel
some journals. It's an excellent introduction to the serials pricing
crisis for faculty who haven't quite tuned in yet. The letter closes with
some suggestions about how faculty can help alleviate the problem.
(Thanks to the ERIL list.)

* El.pub Weekly has put online its summary of electronic publishing
initiatives and funding opportunities under the EU's 5th Framework
Programme. (PS: If you've been baffled or deterred by the sheer size of
the 5th Framework Programme, this is a good overview.)

* Last week I reported that the Gates Foundation had picked CLIR (Council
on Library and Information Resources) to administer its annual million
dollar award, Access to Learning. This week CLIR seeks applicants and
nominations for the award. Nominees should be libraries or comparable
organizations, outside the U.S., that have been "innovative in providing
free public access to information". The deadline is April 15.

* In the January 23 _Chronicle of Higher Education_, Jeffrey Young
describes the initiative by the Big 10 and University of Chicago to
distribute ebooks and ejournals published by any member to all the other
members free of charge (FOSN for 12/26/01). (PS: If a dozen universities
can make this agreement, why can't 1,000? Why not an open "treaty" that
admits new signatories at any time?)

* In the January 21 _O'Reilly Network_, Richard Koman interviews Brewster
Kahle, creator of the Internet Archive's Wayback Machine.
(Thanks to Gary Price's VASND.)

* In a January 9 note from EPS, David Worlock gives a positive review of
the BioMed Central method of funding free online access to its
journals. The funding model "has several neat effects....[It] provides
additional value to institutions, which they can offer to researchers who
they seek to recruit, and provides an inducement to publish that aligns
with the institution's needs as well as the individual's career
requirements. And, of course, it preserves the free and open access policy
which is clearly close to contributor/user perceptions of good practice."
(Thanks to LibLicense.)

* The January issue of _D-Lib Magazine_ contains several FOS-related articles.

Suzana Sukovic reports that libraries are increasingly involved in text
encoding projects. She argues that, despite appearances, this is congruent
with traditional library roles, improves the functionality of texts, and
aids information retrieval.

William Arms and seven co-authors describe NSDL (National SMETE Digital
Library) and the lessons learned in implementing it to date. They argue
that interoperability can be achieved among cooperating sites if all adopt
the same standard, but that this is difficult to arrange. For a
heterogeneous collection of collections, like NSDL, it makes sense to
achieve interoperability at some "levels" and not necessarily at
others. Movement to higher levels can take place over time as costs drop
or incentives rise. (The OAI standard is one of the lower levels and they
recommend it as a minimum.)

Tony Gill points out that there are many digitization projects, but little
harmony of digitization standards. He describes the joint effort by UKOLN,
CIMI, and Re:source to work out international digitization standards.

Hilary Berthon and two co-authors describe the Safekeeping project, a
subset of PADI (Preserving Access to Digital Information) in which selected
resources on digital preservation are themselves preserved in a
distributed, permanent collection.

Michael Nelson and B. Danette Allen wanted to know how well digital
libraries support long-term access to their contents. They picked 20
digital libraries (some leading FOS archives like PubMed and CogPrints) and
50 digital objects from each library. Then they set a robot to check the
availability of each object three times a week for a year. At the end of
the year, 31 objects, or 3.1%, had become unavailable. The article breaks
down the results by library. (PS: I'm sure the authors are right that
this rate of loss is, as it ought to be, lower for digital libraries than
for the general web. But is 3% a year a disturbingly high number for
digital libraries, or a reassuringly low number? What do you think?)
PS: Nelson and Allen don't give comparable data on the loss rate for the
general web, perhaps because no one has collected these data yet. The
closest study I've seen is the OCLC analysis of "IP address volatility" for
1998-2000. OCLC put the rate at about 45% per year.

* In the January issue of _American Libraries_, David Dorman writes about
the rapid rise of OpenURL. SFX has made it popular. NISO likes
it. Openly Informatics likes it. OCLC likes it. A growing list of
commercial publishers like it. It even has a theme song.
(Thanks to Shelflife.)

* Because open source is an important kind of software, it's also a growing
topic of scholarship. MIT hosts the Open Source Research Community, an
online registry of scholars interested in the open source and free software
movements, and a free online archive of their scholarship.
(Thanks to C-FIT.)

* In March 2001, Linda Beebe reviewed four online peer review
systems: Global Editor, Manuscript Central, PaperWeb, and Rapid Review.

* I just discovered that since September, FOSN has been a "featured
journal" at the e-journals directory of electronic journals.



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

* Changing Business Models for Journal Publishing
London, January 24

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

* Secure electronic publishing and data protection
London, January 30

* CIMI Institute Forum. New Developments in Standards for Digital Preservation
Washington, D.C., January 31

* EBLIDA workshop on the national implementation of the EU copyright directive.
London, February 1

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

* International Conference on Bioinformatics 2002: North-South Network
Bangkok, February 6-8

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

* Kongress für digitale Inhalte
Wiesbaden, February 7-8

* Book Tech 2002
New York, February 11-13

* Society for Scholarly Publishing, Top Management Roundtable. Successful
Publishing in the Global Environment.
Washington, D.C., February 13-14

* ICSTI Seminar on Digital Preservation of the Record of Science
Paris, February 14-15

* Conference on Intelligent Text Processing and Computational Linguistics
Mexico City, February 17-23

* Wissensmanagement im universitären Bereich
February 19-20

* Symposium on Foundations of Information and Knowledge Systems
Schloß Salzau, February 19-23

* Fifth International Publishers Association Copyright Conference
Accra, Ghana, February 20-22

* Integrating _at_ Internet Speed: Strategies for the Content Community
[conference on reference linking]
Philadelphia, February 24-27

* Getting your message across: How learned societies and other
organizations can influence public and government opinion
London, February 25

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

* [Public lecture], Will Thomas and Ed Ayers, "The Next Generation of
Digital Scholarship: An Experiment in Form
Washington, D.C., February 27

* A Symposium on the Research Value of Printed Materials in the Digital Age
College Park, Maryland, March 1

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

* Search Engine Strategies
Boston, March 4-5

* Towards an Information Society for All
Berlin, March 8-9

* 17th ACM Symposium on Applied Computing. Special tracks on Database and
Digital Library Technologies; Electronic Books for Teaching and Learning;
and Information Access and Retrieval
Madrid, March 10-14

* Digitization for Cultural Heritage Professionals: An Intensive Program
Chapel Hill, North Carolina, March 10-15

* EUSDIC Spring Meeting. E-Content: Divide or Rule
Paris, March 11-12

* Knowledge Technologies Conference 2002
Seattle, March 11-13

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

* International Conference on the Statistical Analysis of Textual Data
St. Malo, 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

* Digital Resources and International Information Exchange: East-West
March 15 (Washington DC), 18 (Flushing NY), 20 (Stamford CT)

* Internet Librarian International 2002
London, March 18-20

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

* Advanced Licensing Workshop
Dallas, March 20-22

* Electronic Publishing Strategy
London, March 22

* OCLC Institute. Steering by Standards. (A series of satellite
Cyberspace. OAI, March 26. OAIS, April 19. Metadata standards in the
future, May 29.

* WebSearch University
San Francisco, March 25-26; Stamford CT, April 30 - May 1; Washington DC,
September 23-24; Chicago, Octeober 22-23; Dallas, November 19-20.

* European Colloquium on Information Retrieval Research
Glasgow, March 25-27

* e-Content: Discovering and Delivering Value
Toronto, March 25-27

* 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

* Copyright Management in Higher Education: Ownership, Access and Control
Adelphi, Maryland, April 4-5

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

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

* International Learned Journals Seminar: We Can't Go On Like This: The
Future of Journals
London, April 12

* SIAM International Conference on Data Mining
Arlington, Virginia, April 11-13

* Creating access to information: EBLIDA workshop on getting a better deal
from your information licences
The Hague, April 12

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

* EDUCAUSE Networking 2002
Washington, D.C., April 17-18

* Museums and the Web 2002
Boston, April 17-20

* 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).

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Peter Suber

Copyright (c) 2002, Peter Suber
Received on Wed Jan 23 2002 - 18:07:44 GMT

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