Scholars contributing to books risk their livelihoods | Times Higher Education (THE)

“There are lots of reasons why you, a middling academic, might want to edit or contribute to a collection of essays. These include pride, intellectual kudos or, in the UK, a need to boost your likely rating in the Research Excellence Framework (REF). The one thing you don’t do it for is the royalty cheque which is small or, more probably, non-existent.

On the other hand, at least accepting the invitation won’t cost you, except in time. Or will it? Increasingly, you would be wise to look carefully at the contract before you agree to it….

In the old days, contracts didn’t amount to much. You would probably guarantee originality and that, to the best of your knowledge, your work was not defamatory or illegal, but that was it. No longer, however. One publisher (I won’t name it, but it’s part of a major international conglomerate) insists on a contract stating that “the Author will indemnify and hold harmless the Publishers against any loss, damages, injury, costs and expenses (including any legal costs or expenses, and any compensation costs paid by the Publishers) arising from any alleged facts or circumstances which, if true, would constitute a breach of the warranty”.

Even if such verbiage makes your eyes glaze over, think carefully. You’re guaranteeing to pay from your own pocket, without limitation, for all the consequences to the publisher of any breach of copyright, libel or breach of privacy….:

Similarity search on millions of books, in-browser / Benjamin Schmidt / Observable

“Keyword search remains dominant for books, but at some point, whether they know it or not, everyone will probably be searching vectorized representations. This notebook tries out some methods for textual similarity search across a large corpus of books based on vectorized representations.

Back in 2018, it took me a lot of effort to set up an approximate nearest-neighbors search on a server. Now in 2022, new technologies and new tricks that make it possible to search across 2 million+ books in dozens of languages without even having a server. In this demo notebook, I load exactly 2 million books; it would be quite easy to scale up significantly higher, although it might take a minute to download representations of ten to twenty million books….”

Funding & tenders

“Projects are expected to contribute to the following expected outcomes:

Improve the understanding of the current landscape of scientific book and monograph publishing in different fields of science in which it plays an important role, and in particular the bottlenecks in strategies and policies for their open access.
Support aligned funder and institutional policies for open access monographs and books within the open science culture in the European Research Area and facilitate their coordination….”

The Future of Online Lending: A Discussion of Controlled Digital Lending and Hachette with the Internet Archive | Berkman Klein Center

“The Internet Archive offers Controlled Digital Lending (CDL), where it lends digital copies of books to patrons — but ensures that the number of books owned is equal to the number loaned. Through the Open Library, the Internet Archive aims to “make all the published works of humankind available to everyone in the world.”

In June 2020, four major publishers sued the Archive for copyright infringement, alleging that CDL threatens their business model. 

Join us for a discussion with Brewster Kahle, founder and digital librarian of the Internet Archive, about the pending Hachette v. Internet Archive case and the future of digital libraries. Kahle will be joined by Rebecca Tushnet and Kyle Courtney, amici in the case, and Jonathan Zittrain.

The panel will explore the background of the case and the National Emergency Library, the value of CDL for online libraries and public access, CDL’s fair use implications, and the future of online libraries and large publishers….”

Wiley withdrawing key ebook titles from library collections – evidence required please | #ebooksos – Campaign to investigate the ebook market for libraries

A conversation was bought to our attention on Twitter a few days ago that went like this

– In June my library was told that Wiley would be removing 1,379 ebooks from our subscription packages. Because many of these books were heavily used, we looked into purchasing them with perpetual access but were told they were considered textbooks.
So basically, because these books were heavily used, Wiley decided to stop letting libraries buy them as ebooks. To top it off, we lost access the second week of classes. Faculty had planned their courses around students having library access to the texts. #TextbookEquity

– This happened to us, too, except to my knowledge we weren’t told. We found out when students tried to access these texts.

– Same. And some of them are actually just out of print now. You can’t even buy them from Amazon

– Yes, same deal from Wiley in Australia in lead-up to start of 2nd semester.

We are also receiving emails from UK librarians who are experiencing the same issues. Wiley are withdrawing access to key reading materials just a week or two before the beginning of the new academic year. We need to hear how this is impacting your library so we can highlight this matter to the CMA and MPs.

 

From Mattering Press to the Open Book Collective: Interview with Joe Deville | Community-led Open Publication Infrastructures for Monographs (COPIM)

Corazza, F., & Fathallah, J. (2022). From Mattering Press to the Open Book Collective: Interview with Joe Deville. Community-Led Open Publication Infrastructures for Monographs (COPIM). https://doi.org/10.21428/785a6451.ffebd406

As well as being the Chair of the Open Book Collective, due to launch soon, Joe Deville is one of the founders of Mattering Press, a small Open Access book publisher. We sat down with Joe to speak to him about how he became involved in Open Access publishing, some of the challenges that small publishers can face when starting up, and how his work with Mattering Press led to his involvement in the Open Book Collective.

 

Experimenting with repository workflows for archiving: Automated ingest | Community-led Open Publication Infrastructures for Monographs (COPIM)

by Ross Higman

In a recent post, my colleague Miranda Barnes outlined the challenges of archiving and preservation for small and scholar-led open access publishers, and described the process of manually uploading books to the Loughborough University institutional repository. The conclusion of this manual ingest experiment was that while university repositories offer a potential route for open access archiving of publisher output, the manual workflow is prohibitively time- and resource-intensive, particularly for small and scholar-led presses who are often stretched in these respects.

Fortunately, many institutional repositories provide routes for uploading files and metadata which allow for the process to be automated, as an alternative to the standard web browser user interface. Different repositories offer different routes, but a large proportion of them are based on the same technologies. By experimenting with a handful of repositories, we were therefore able to investigate workflows which should also be applicable to a much broader spread of institutions.

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NEW COMMUNITIES: SCHOLAR-LED PUBLISHING UND OPEN ACCESS — Aktuelle scholar-led Publishing-Initiativen und Open Access in den Geistes- und Sozialwissenschaften (Teil 3) | Open Media Studies

by Tobias Steiner

 

«[M]ight it not be helpful to think of open access less as a project and model to be implemented, and more as a process of continuous struggle and critical Resistance?» (Adema and Hall, 2013)

«[I]f we are theorists, if we are radical, critical theorists, then our critique should aim at a transformation of the actual systems within which we work.» (Joy, 2017)

via deepl.com

In the first part of this blog series, scholar-led publishing was classified and situated in the context of Open Access. In the second part, I worked diachronically – with a focus on journals – how scholar-led initiatives from the field of cultural and media studies created their own spaces in the digital realm at an early stage and, through these, realized their respective individual interpretations of the basic motivation that also underlies Open Access: enabling free access to knowledge. In the third part, I will present a selection of scholar-led book publishers relevant to cultural and media studies, as well as collaborations, networks, and infrastructure initiatives.

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OLD TRADITIONS: SCHOLAR-LED PUBLISHING UND OPEN ACCESS — zu den Anfängen digitalen scholar-led Publishings in den Geistes- und Sozialwissenschaften (Teil 2) | Open Media Studies

by Tobias Steiner

«Apparently, there are academics, and reputable ones at that, for whom the cost/benefit of the Mercedes Benz — the smart cover, prestigious logo, beautiful paper, and added-value galore — is less important than the means of quick and effective conveyance, even if it be merely a rusty old heap that runs. Academic aspirations are, in many cases, being modified by the financial realities of the day. I believe this is leading us to a more differentiated array of publications. I imagine the Internet full of curiously painted VW beetles and vans, an engaging mixture of information vehicles. If this speculation becomes reality, and if our academics and their institutions become aware that the current style of single-minded high-value publishing can lead to perishing, then we are headed for some value shifts over time.»

Anna Shumelda Okerson: Oh Lord, Won’t You Buy Me A Mercedes Benz Or, There is a There There, in: Surfaces, Bd. IV, Nr. 102, 1994, Folio 1.

via deepl.com

For the humanities and social sciences, early scholar-led publishing projects and initiatives that emerged and experimented with the new digital medium, especially before the widespread history of OA cited in the first part, still play a role that is too little noticed in the broad sense. As Moore, for example, points out with reference to early digital journal initiatives, numerous scholar-led initiatives from the humanities and social sciences existed well before the early 2000s, which are generally regarded as the start of the OA movement. These initiatives – also as a reaction to the strong commercialization of the journal market in the 1970s and 1980s2 – had set themselves the goal of organizing the production and circulation of scholarly communication in the digital realm themselves and making it freely accessible to the public.

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PLURALITIES: SCHOLAR-LED PUBLISHING UND OPEN ACCESS — zur Rolle von scholar-led publishing in den Geistes- und Sozialwissenschaften (Teil 1) | Open Media Studies

by Tobias Steiner

Publikationskulturen sind im Wissenschaftsbetrieb ähnlich vielfältig wie die ihnen zugrundeliegenden Forschungskulturen. Im heutzutage oftmals normativ geführten Diskurs um Open Access besteht die Gefahr, dass diese Vielfalt zugunsten techno-solutionistischer Implementationen ins Hintertreffen gerät oder gar mittelfristig verloren geht. Im Folgenden möchte ich daher näher auf den Ansatz des scholar-led publishing eingehen und aufzeigen, welche Zusammenhänge zwischen scholar-led Initiativen und der ‹klassischen› Open Access-Bewegung bestehen.

Dazu beginne ich mit einer kurzen Diskurseinordnung und leite dann diachron ab, wie scholar-led Initiativen aus den Geistes- und Sozialwissenschaften – und mit ihnen aus den Kultur-, Medien- und Kommunikationswissenschaften – schon früh und parallel zu den weithin rezipierten Entwicklungen aus dem medizinisch-naturwissenschaftlichen Bereich der 1990er Jahre auf eigene Weise wichtige Impulse zur Öffnung von Publikationskulturen setzten. Im zweiten Teil stelle ich dazu ein Spektrum von scholar-led Journal-Initiativen vor, während der dritte Teil sich scholar-led Buchverlagen sowie scholar-led Netzwerken im weiteren Sinn zuwendet.

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The OAPEN Dashboard – a new partner service  – OAPEN – supporting the transition to open access for academic books

During the UKSG 2022 Annual Conference held from May 30th to June 2nd in Telford UK we officially launched the OAPEN Dashboard1 – a new analytics service for our library members, publishers and funder partners to help them gain a deeper understanding of the usage of open access books. 

Over 179 publishers, libraries and funders are using the dashboard today and we expect to welcome more users over the coming months. The dashboard service includes data for the entire OAPEN Library which is home to over 24,000 open access books that see over 1 million COUNTER-conformant downloads per month.  

Book publishers, Internet Archive spar over fate of digital-book lending lawsuit | Reuters

By Blake Brittain

(Reuters) – The Internet Archive and a coalition of major book publishers submitted dueling arguments Friday to persuade a Manhattan federal court that they deserve an immediate win in their potential landmark copyright dispute over digital lending.

The parties squared off in opposing court papers over the legality of the Archive’s “controlled digital lending” of digitally scanned print books, which the Archive equates to traditional library lending but the publishers call a front for mass infringement.

[…]

 

Libraries take charge

“The Open Access publishing landscape: why academic libraries are entering the Open Access publishing space….

Academic publishing is changing, and university libraries are becoming more intrinsically woven into the fabric of the new landscape. Although publishers affiliated with universities, such as Cambridge University Press and Oxford University Press, have been around for centuries, university libraries are now launching their own publishing and content hosting initiatives, usually with a sole focus on Open Access. If you’re not familiar with it, Open Access is part of a movement to facilitate the free exchange of knowledge and widen access globally. It often entails publishing academic articles, books, resources and content under public copyright licences, usually Creative Commons licenses, to enable free distribution and reuse of the work under certain conditions.

 

The past decade has seen the launch of several new university presses in the UK dedicated to publishing Open Access research, including Cardiff University Press (launched in 2014), UCL Press (2015), the University of Westminster Press (2015), White Rose Press (2016) and, most recently, the Scottish Universities Press (2022). At the same time, libraries have been carving out their own space in the publishing sphere, providing hosting solutions to their academics, staff and students. Initiatives include the University of St Andrews Journal Hosting Service, Liverpool John Moores University Open Journals Service and Edinburgh Diamond (which I manage)….”

Internet Archive Opposes Publishers in Federal Lawsuit – Internet Archive Blogs

“On Friday, September 2, we filed a brief in opposition to the four publishers that sued Internet Archive in June 2020: Hachette Book Group, Harper Collins Publishers, John Wiley & Sons, and Penguin Random House. This is the second of three briefs from us that will help the Court decide the case….

Our opposition brief responds to the arguments raised in the publisher’s motion for summary judgment. There, some of the world’s largest and most-profitable publishers complained that sometimes “Americans who read an ebook use free library copies, rather than purchasing a commercial ebook.” They believe that copyright law gives them the right to control how libraries lend the books they own, and demand that libraries implement the restrictive terms and conditions that publishers prefer.

 

Our opposition brief explains that “[p]ublishers do not have a right to limit libraries only to inefficient lending methods, in hopes that those inefficiencies will lead frustrated library patrons to buy their own copies.” The record in this case shows that publishers have suffered no economic harm as a result of our controlled digital lending–indeed, publishers have earned record profits in recent years. “[D]igital lending of physical books costs rightsholders no more or less than, for example, lending books via a bookmobile or interlibrary loan. In each case, the books the library lends are bought and paid for, ensuring that rightsholders receive all of the financial benefits to which they are entitled.” …”

‘Copyright Flexibilities: mapping, explaining, empowering’: workshop invitation | Open Access Books Network

Dear OABN members,

On behalf of the H2020 project reCreating Europe and COMMUNIA, we would like to invite the OABN community to the expert workshop on “Copyright Flexibilities: mapping, explaining, empowering”, which will be held in a hybrid format at the Institute for Information Law (IViR), University of Amsterdam and online (Zoom) on 21 September 2022, from 9:00 to 17:00 CEST.

The workshop will bring together the core research teams that have developed three websites/databases devoted to users’ rights and copyright flexibilities (www.copyrightexceptions.eu, www.copyrightflexibilities.eu and www.copyrightuser.eu), national copyright experts who contributed to the mapping, and stakeholders representing various groups of beneficiaries.

The aims of the workshop are (i) to launch the three platforms, gather feedback on their functionalities and plan their future; (II) to discuss the state of copyright flexibilities and necessary policy actions at the EU and national level, with three expert panels on (a) teaching and research; (b) freedom of expression and (c) cultural uses and preservation; (iii) to present and test reCreating Europe’s best practices on copyright flexibilities with interested stakeholders.

We would be delighted if OABN members would join us for the entire event or any panel of interest, and particularly to discuss reCreating Europe’s best practices at the dedicated roundtable that will take place after the lunch break (ca. 14.30 CEST). Please note that the event is not restricted to citizens of EU member countries.

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