Legislation of Concern in 2023 – EveryLibrary

“EveryLibrary is monitoring state legislation during the 2023-2024 session that would limit Americans’ freedom to read and think for themselves. Of most concern are proposed laws that would allow for civil and criminal prosecution of librarians, educators, higher ed. faculty, and museum professionals.

In 2023, we are paying the most attention to state legislative initiatives in eight categories: efforts to limit access to school library databases, proposals to establish book rating systems, mandating or prescribing materials challenge policies, efforts to regulate collection development policies, use of parental control policies to limit free speech, changes to obscenity and harmful to minors definitions that preempt First Amendment guarantees, bills that limit or outlaw the teaching of “divisive concepts”, and bills that would criminalize libraries, education, and museums by removing long-standing defense from prosecution exemptions under obscenity laws. 

We do more than monitor bills. EveryLibrary is an active and engaged partner with several state library associations helping them create and field effective legislative advocacy strategies. We provide them with free access to a suite of digital advocacy tools including our Action.EveryLibrary.Org site, FightForTheFirst.org, and SaveSchoolLibrarians.org. If you would like to talk about how EveryLibrary can assist your state library association or advocacy group, please contact our executive director John Chrastka today….”

Massachusetts (Re)Joins the Effort — Readers First

“On Friday January 20th, Ruth Balser of the 12th Middlesex district filed “An Act empowering library access to electronic books and digital audiobooks.”

So, Rhode Island now has company and two states are showing the bravery that characterized the Tea Party (in Boston Harbor, not the more recent and very much less illustrious political movement) and the American Revolution.

The bill is different than most previous library ebook legislative efforts and is likely to have benefitted from the expert advice of Mr. Kyle Courtney….

But this is to pick nits a little ignoble—for the bill is bold, cogent, and important. Love its provision that libraries can’t be restricted from talking about what we pay for licensing from publishers/vendors. That anti-competitive restriction needs to be rejected in every state. The part about severability—if one provision is ever struck down, the rest still stand—is important for all state efforts as well….”

Blow Away the January Blues! 10 Takeaways from four European Commission Studies on Research and Copyright – Knowledge Rights 21

“A first step in the delivery of this part of the Commission’s work is a series of four expert reports, published at the beginning of August of last year. They collectively provide an excellent overview of how things stand now, not just as concerns the laws on the statute book, but also the way that laws are made.

In particular, they address EU copyright and access to data (by Martin Senftleben), and access to and reuse of scientific publications (Christina Angelopoulos), as well as the impacts of the Digital Services Act and Digital Markets Act on research (Björn Lundqvist) and on the Open Data Directive, Data Governance Directive and Data Act (Mireille van Eechoud).

While summer may seem a long way away (at least in Europe), we encourage you to add them to your reading list for the new year. In this blog, we highlight some of the key points they raise: …”

How can I persuade my institution to support collective funding for open access books? | Community-led Open Publication Infrastructures for Monographs (Part One) · Community-led Open Publication Infrastructures for Monographs (COPIM)

By Lucy Barnes and Tom Grady

As part of our work at COPIM, we speak to a lot of librarians. Many are personally convinced of the need to support collective funding models for open access (OA) books because these serve as equitable alternatives to the Book Processing Charge model,[undefined] but many librarians find themselves in the position of needing to convince their management team or budget holders to invest in Open Access initiatives.

For librarians who find themselves in this position, we have compiled a list of resources and arguments to help inform decisions to invest in OA monograph initiatives. This will be a two part blog post: in the first we’ll give some background by laying out the problems with Book Processing Charges (BPCs) and disentangling the various alternative models; in Part Two we’ll go into more detail, with practical steps on how colleagues might convince their budget holders to invest in collective funding models.

So, why should a library or institution invest in collective funding for open access books?

[…]

 

How can I persuade my institution to support collective funding for open access books? (Part Two) | Community-led Open Publication Infrastructures for Monographs (COPIM)

This is the second part of a two-part blog post. Part One explores why your institution should support collective funding for open access books. This second post highlights practical steps you can take to build a case to management for supporting collective OA book funding.

 

POLICY BRIEF: Opposing Attempts to Criminalize Librarianship through State Obscenity Laws

“In 2023-2024, we anticipate that many legislators whose bills failed the last session will reintroduce language in this session and anti-access activists will be inspired to sponsor their own regressive initiatives. The EverLibrary Institute is releasing a new Policy Brief “Opposing Attempts to Criminalize Libraries and Education Through State Obscenity Laws” to help state library associations anticipate this legislation and prepare properly to oppose unnecessary politicized changes to settled state law….”

Open Access Publishing: A Study of UC Berkeley Faculty Views and Practices

Abstract:  This project focused on open access (OA) publishing, which enhances researcher productivity and impact by increasing dissemination of, and access to, research. The study looked at the relationship between faculty’s attitudes toward OA and their OA publishing practices, including the roles of funding availability and discipline. The project team compared University of California Berkeley (Berkeley) faculty’s answers to questions related to OA from the 2018 Ithaka Faculty Survey with the faculty’s scholarly output in the Scopus database. Faculty Survey data showed that 71% of Berkeley faculty, compared to 64% of faculty nationwide, support a transition to OA publishing. However, when selecting a journal to publish in, faculty indicated that a journal having no cost to publish in was more important than having no cost to read. After joining faculty’s survey responses and their publication output, the data sample included 4,413 articles published by 479 Berkeley faculty from 2016 to 2019. With considerable disciplinary differences, the OA publication output for this sample, using data from Unpaywall, represented 72% of the total publication output. The study focused on Gold OA articles, which usually require authors to pay Article Processing Charges (APCs) and which accounted for 18% of the publications. Overall, the study found a positive correlation between publishing Gold OA and the faculty’s support for OA (no cost to read). In contrast, the correlation between publishing Gold OA and the faculty’s concern about publishing cost was weak. Publishing costs concerned faculty in all subject areas, whether or not their articles reported research funding. Thus, Berkeley Library’s efforts to pursue transformative publishing agreements and prioritize funding for a program subsidizing publishing fees seem like effective strategies to increase OA. 

Transformative Agreements in Australian Academic Libraries

Open access means making research available online, free of cost for anyone to access it. Open access is part of a wider ‘open’ movement to encourage free exchange of knowledge and resources to broaden access and encourage innovation, creativity and economic activity.  Publishing in academic peer-reviewed journals is a critical part of the academic process that maintains research integrity.[1] However, most academic journal articles are behind a paywall which means only those with subscription can access these publications. This blog post will discuss transformative agreements (TA) negotiated by the Council of Australian University Librarians (CAUL) which aims to provide authors the opportunity to publish open access immediately on acceptance, and free of any transactional Article Processing Charges (APCs).

Fair Use Creep Is A Feature, Not a Bug

“Fair use is essential to internet for at least two reasons. First, the vast majority of what we do online, from email to texting to viewing images and making TikToks, involves creating, replicating, and/or repurposing copyrighted works. Since copyright is a limited but lengthy monopoly over those works, in theory, using or even viewing them might require a license; now, and for many decades in the future.

Second, technological innovation rarely means starting from scratch. Instead, developers build on existing technologies, hopefully improving them. But if the technology in question involves code, it is likely copyrightable. If so, that add-on innovation might require a license from the rightsholder, giving them a veto right on technological development.

As digital technologies dramatically (and sometime controversially) expand the reach of copyright, fair use helps ensure that the rights of the public expand as well….

In Hachette v. Internet Archive, four of the biggest publishers in the world, are trying to shut down Controlled Digital Lending, which allows people to check out digital copies of books for two weeks or less and only permits patrons to check out as many copies as the Archive and its partner libraries physically own. That means that if the Archive and its partner libraries have only one copy of a book, then only one patron can borrow it at a time….

Fortunately for the public, fair use has likewise grown to protect the original purpose of copyright: to encourage forward progress. And no matter what Hollywood or John Deere tells you, that’s a feature, not a bug.”

Better data exchange for Open Access publications: TIB, ZB MED and ZBW sign agreement with OA Switchboard

“The three specialised German National Libraries will fund participation in the OA Switchboard initiative for universities and research institutions in Germany until the end of 2024.

Open Access makes research results freely available to all, and the Open Access transformation is progressing steadily. Many stakeholders are involved in this process: Researchers, academic institutions including libraries, research funders, and publishers.

The OA Switchboard provides a central interface for the rapid standardized exchange of information and messages between universities, universities of applied sciences or research institutions on the one hand and publishers or research funders on the other hand. It was developed to improve communication about submitted and published articles by transmitting relevant metadata about each article in a timely manner and in a standardized data format. In this way, the OA Switchboard can support institutions such as libraries or universities in the necessary documentation of Open Access publications by their own researchers.

The three specialised German National Libraries, TIB – Leibniz Information Centre for Science and Technology, ZB MED – Information Centre for Life Sciences and ZBW – Leibniz Information Centre for Economics are jointly funding access to the OA Switchboard for universities and research institutions throughout Germany for a two-year pilot phase covering 2023 and 2024….”

The University Library joins the Open Education Network | Library | The University of Sheffield

“We are pleased to announce that we’ve become the first UK institution to join the Open Education Network (OEN), a vibrant and supportive community that advances the use of open educational resources and practices. 

The OEN started in 2014, following the establishment of the Open Textbook Library, at the University of Minnesota by the Center for Open Education and the University of Minnesota Libraries. 

The Open Textbook Library (OTL) currently contains over 1150 open textbooks across a range of disciplines, all licensed to be freely used and adapted. Anybody can suggest a book for the OTL, providing it meets the required criteria. Around 75% of the books have been reviewed by members of the OEN Community, helping teachers and students to evaluate suitability for their own teaching and learning.

Membership of the OEN will enable colleagues at the University of Sheffield to submit their own reviews, and we hope that these will be useful across the HE community in the UK….”

Library Impact Research Report: Open Access Publishing: A Study of UC Berkeley Faculty Views and Practices – Association of Research Libraries

Overall, the UC Berkeley study found a positive correlation between publishing gold OA and the faculty’s support for OA (no cost to read). In contrast, the correlation between publishing gold OA and the faculty’s concern about publishing cost was weak. Publishing costs concerned faculty in all subject areas, whether or not their articles reported research funding. Therefore, UC Berkeley Library’s efforts to pursue transformative publishing agreements and prioritize funding for a program subsidizing publishing fees seem like effective strategies to increase OA.

News from Canada on CDL — Readers First

“While Canadian copyright laws differ from those in the United States somewhat, but the description of the uses of CDL and its legal support are similar across borders and welcome to see. ReadersFirst salutes the growing international advocacy for a practice that is fair, based on standard library practice, and valuable for preservation and content sharing, especially of out-of-print materials.”