“Many of us probably share the following intuitions: to keep up with the ever-growing amount of literature, researchers have to specialize more and more; this reduces the potentially fruitful exchange between specialist bubbles. And: a growing number of political, economic, and societal decisions are made based on science. However, science gives guidance only; it does not make decisions for us. Given the participatory nature of democratic societies, we all need to understand what science generally – not only science from one’s own field of expertise – actually tells us about climate change, future energy systems, COVID-19, multiresistant bacteria, loss of biodiversity, etc.
But would researchers or stakeholders read the original papers in fields beyond their own expertise? Many wouldn’t – and they’d miss the information. The value of press releases, newspapers, and popular science magazines, on the other hand, is limited . These aim at being comprehensible to broader audiences and, to this end, refrain from presenting the full complexity and limitations of the actual findings.
The conceptual gap between these types of document is usually large. An article that falls within that gap, however, might offer an appropriate balance of simplicity and complexity for researchers with different specializations, policymakers, decision-makers, funders, early career scientists, journalists, educated generalists – in short, for those less likely to read the original research but who have an in-depth interest in the science presented.
I’d therefore like to suggest that this gap is a place in its own right that deserves additional coverage….”
“The online database Trove may go offline in the middle of the year without additional funding.
Trove, which is owned and operated by the National Library of Australia (NLA), is a free resource which provides access to billions of digital documents, images, media and records of physical documents. It also contains millions of digitised Australian newspaper pages and issues.
Trove receives around 22 million hits per year, and is widely used by both academic researchers and members of the public.
So what does it cost to run an archive like it?…
According to the Sydney Morning Herald, the NLA requires $7-$10 million per year to keep Trove running in its current form….”
“In many ways, the erasure of the alternative weekly, whose print and online journalism included matters such as nightlife listings as well as deep investigative work, isn’t unusual. Historians have long warned about the decay of digital news archives, which are increasingly falling victim to mishandling, indifference, bankruptcies and technical failures.
But some of the Hook’s founding journalists suspect the archive didn’t simply expire from natural causes. They think someone paid to kill it.
Their evidence, while circumstantial, is intriguing. There’s the mystery buyer who purchased the Hook archive from its longtime custodian a few months before it went dark. There’s the reluctance of people involved in that sale to say much about it….”
“Later today, the House of Commons will vote to approve Bill C-18, the Online News Act, sending it to the Senate just prior to breaking for the holidays. While Canadian Heritage Minister Pablo Rodriguez and media lobbyists will no doubt celebrate the milestone, it should not go unremarked that the legislative process for this bill has been an utter embarrassment with an already bad bill made far worse. The government cut off debate at second reading, actively excluded dozens of potential witnesses, expanded the bill to hundreds of broadcasters that may not even produce news, denigrated online news services as “not real news”, and shrugged off violations of international copyright law. All the while, it acknowledged that mandated payments for links are the foundation of the bill with officials stating that individual Facebook posts accompanied by a link to a news story would be caught by the law. As for the purported financial benefits, the government’s own estimates are less than half those of the Parliamentary Budget Officer, who also concluded that more than 75% of the revenues will go to broadcasters such as Bell, Rogers, and the CBC. The end result is a bill that will undermine competition and pose a threat to freedom of expression, while potentially leading Facebook to block news sharing in Canada and Google to cancel dozens of existing agreements with Canadian news outlets….”
“The EU Directive on Copyright in the Digital Single Market contains two spectacularly bad ideas. One is the upload filter of Article 17, which will wreak havoc not just on creativity in the EU, but also on freedom of speech there, as algorithms block perfectly legal material. The other concerns the “snippet tax” of Article 15, more formally known as ancillary copyright..
Just as the impetus for the upload filter came from the music and film industries, so the lobbying for Article 15 came from newspaper publishers. The logic behind their demand, such as it was, seemed to be that Google was making money from ads on its pages that had some links to newspaper sites. That ignored two inconvenient facts. First, that Google’s dedicated news site, Google News, had precisely zero ads on its pages. And secondly, the pages on the main Google search engine that did have ads, had many other search hits alongside links to newspapers. And those links to newspaper sites send a considerable flow of traffic, that publishers have repeatedly shown they are desperate to have….”
Abstract: The company Altmetric is often used to collect mentions of research in online news stories, yet there have been concerns about the quality of this data. This study investigates these concerns. Using a manual content analysis of 400 news stories as a comparison method, we analyzed the precision and recall with which Altmetric identified mentions of research in 8 news outlets. We also used logistic regression to identify the characteristics of research mentions that influence their likelihood of being successfully identified. We find that, for a predefined set of outlets, Altmetric’s news mention data were relatively accurate (F-score = 0.80), with very high precision (0.95) and acceptable recall (0.70), although recall is below 0.50 for some news outlets. Altmetric is more likely to successfully identify mentions of research that include a hyperlink to the research item, an author name, and/or the title of a publication venue. This data source appears to be less reliable for mentions of research that provide little or no bibliometric information, as well as for identifying mentions of scholarly monographs, conference presentations, dissertations, and non-English research articles. Our findings suggest that, with caveats, scholars can use Altmetric news mention data as a relatively reliable source to identify research mentions across a range of outlets with high precision and acceptable recall, offering scholars the potential to conserve resources during data collection. Our study does not, however, offer an assessment of completeness or accuracy of Altmetric news data overall.
“Last week, Authors Alliance submitted a comment to the U.S. Copyright Office, responding to its new study about establishing a new press publishers’ right in the United States which would require news aggregators to pay licensing fees as part of their aggregation of headlines, ledes, and short phrases of news articles. Our comment, made in the second round of comments on this study, also responded to an initial round of comments from other stakeholders. Authors Alliance opposes a new press publishers’ right because it is contrary to the interests of our members and small press publications and moreover is inconsistent with longstanding principles of copyright law. …”
“The Howard University Moorland-Spingarn Research Center (MSRC) received a $2 million grant from the Jonathan Logan Family Foundation to support the preservation and digitization of the Black Press Archives, a newspaper collection of titles by Black journalists, editors and publishers. MSRC worked in partnership with the Center for Journalism and Democracy to secure this critical gift, and the center will be committing additional funds to the project to ensure a significant number of publications in the Black Press Archives are available in an online repository for worldwide research….”
“After the publication shut down, owner Stephen Mindich wanted the public to be able to access back issues of the Phoenix. The complete run of the newspaper from 1973 to 2013 was donated to Northeastern University’s special collections. The family signed copyright over the university.
Librarians led a crowdsourcing project to create a digital index of all the articles and authors, which was helpful for historians and others in their research, said Giordana Mecagni, head of special collections and university archivist. Northeastern had inquired about digitizing the collection, but it was cost prohibitive.
As it turns out, the Internet Archive owned the master microfilm for the Phoenix and it put the full collection online in a separate collection: The Boston Phoenix 1973-2013. Initially, the back issues were only available for one patron to check out at a time through Controlled Digital Lending. Once Northeastern learned about the digitized collection, it extended rights to the Archive to allow the Phoenix to be downloaded without controls….”
“The thing about a lot of the news behind paywalls is that it doesn’t stay behind paywalls. It gets syndicated, sometimes to paywall-free sources. Most stories, even those paywalled, have a paragraph or so of content. To find these articles elsewhere, you could easily copy a phrase and then look for it in Google News. Or you could make a couple of bookmarklets and have a one-click, instant search for different case scenarios.
In this article we’re going for the latter option: two bookmarklets that will help you get to articles you can’t access otherwise. They won’t work 100% of the time, but I think you’ll be surprised at how short some of those paywalls are….”
“We’re putting together a webinar to talk about exactly this issue. How can scholars and publishers and librarians, so sort of this three-legged stool, how can we work together to find new models for creating and disseminating and preserving content that works for all of these communities? We’re going to have representatives from PLoS come and talk about their new business model exploring Community Action Publishing which is similar in some ways to the MIT Press Direct to Open Model. And then we’re also going to talk about the Global Press Archive which is a collaboration between CRL and Eastview which is similar to a Direct to Open publishing model but for newspaper content. So, those are some things that we’re doing later this month but that’s something that we want to build on in the future. ”
September 30th, 20214:00 p.m. – 5:00 p.m. (EST) via ZoomHosted by Jill Livingston, Associate University Librarian at Wesleyan UniversityThis event is free and open to the public, but registration is required.The University of California has been making news lately with the “transformative agreements” it is striking with commercial publishers to make UC-authored research articles available via open access. For some, this work marks a significant achievement in the decades-long quest to “flip” the scholarly communications market away from gated (subscription) content and toward an open model that ensures global access to scholarly publications. For others, these agreements fall short by failing to address a number of equity issues that are bound up with resourcing, publisher size/clout, and the question of who gets to publish in the first place.In this talk, Dr. Mitchell will argue that many recent conversations about transformative agreements have been too polarized and too polarizing–that, in fact, there is no single intervention that will solve all the problems of access and equity that grip academia, and we are all better served to think in terms of collective and complementary efforts, rather than silver bullets. In discussing UC’s library publishing program and open access policies, as well as their digital special collections and digitization projects, Dr. Mitchell will describe the ways in which each of these services encounters and tackles its own problems of access, equity, and resourcing–and how they all, together with the work of the licensing division, represent UC’s multiple pathways toward open and equitable knowledge sharing..Catherine Mitchell, PhD, is the Director of Publishing, Archives, and Digitization at the California Digital Library, University of California. This program provides the University of California research community with innovative open access publishing and distribution solutions, and aggregates world-class digital collections from libraries, archives, and museums throughout the State of California, serving an array of end users including researchers, scholars, students, and the general public. Program services include eScholarship (UC’s Open Access IR/Publishing platform, with 85+ journals), Calisphere (an open gateway to over two million digitized historical images, texts and recordings), and the Google Books/HathiTrust projects. Catherine is also Operations Director of UC’s Office of Scholarly Communication, served on the Library Publishing Coalition’s Advisory Board for six years (two years as President), and is currently Treasurer of the Crossref Board of Directors.
“The George A. Smathers Libraries at the University of Florida, has added 200,000 digitized pages of historic Florida newspapers to the freely available in the Florida Digital Newspaper Library (FDNL). The project, “Making Florida Newspaper Collections Accessible,” was completed with $53,040 in Library Services and Technology Act funding from the State Library and Archives of Florida as part of the 2020-21 funding cycle. Utilizing newspapers microfilmed by the University of Florida, the project team migrated the newspapers to a more accessible and preservable digital format….”
“The George A. Smathers Libraries at the University of Florida received a grant award from the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) to expand newspaper digitization efforts and continue participating in the National Digital Newspaper Program (NDNP). This is the fifth NDNP award the Libraries have received since 2013, bringing the combined project total to nearly $1.5 million.
The recent NEH award will fund the Ethnic Florida & US Caribbean Region Digital Newspaper Project, which will run until August 2023, building on work from previous project phases. During the eight-year period from 2013 to 2021, more than 400,000 pages of historical newspapers published in Florida, Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands were digitized and made publicly available online….”
Abstract: The goal of the open access (OA) movement is to help everyone access the scholarly research, not just those who can afford to. However, most studies looking at whether OA has met this goal have focused on whether other scholars are making use of OA research. Few have considered how the broader public, including the news media, uses OA research. This study sought to answer whether the news media mentions OA articles more or less than paywalled articles by looking at articles published from 2010 through 2018 in journals across all four quartiles of the Journal Impact Factor using data obtained through Altmetric.com and the Web of Science. Gold, green and hybrid OA articles all had a positive correlation with the number of news mentions received. News mentions for OA articles did see a dip in 2018, although they remained higher than those for paywalled articles.