ARL Responds to US Office of Science and Technology Policy Request for Information on American Research Environment – Association of Research Libraries

“ARL endorses the recommendations in the 2018 National Academies of Science, Engineering, and Medicine (NASEM) consensus report Open Science by Design: Realizing a Vision for 21st Century Research. The report, grounded in FAIR principles, promotes essential actions for research ecosystem stakeholders to improve openness and transparency in research processes, and share and reuse research products, in order to accelerate scientific discovery and innovation.

In particular, research funders and research institutions are in the best position to develop policies and procedures to identify the data, code, specimens, and other research products that ensure long-term public availability, and they are best positioned to provide the resources necessary for the long-term preservation and stewardship of those research products.1 Successful implementation of policies to identify research outputs for reuse and long-term preservation will require integration and alignment between the scientific community (e.g., managers of domain repositories and scholarly societies) and the stewardship community. ARL is committed to partnering with and convening the relevant stakeholders to work towards this alignment….

ARL recommends that federal agencies provide maintenance funding and require maintenance plans for community-governed tools and services that enable rapid dissemination, interlinking research through registries of persistent identifiers, data sharing, and collaboration to advance scientific progress. New modes of research publication enable researchers to publish executable code and data alongside articles, share preprints with associated data and code, enable post-publication peer review through overlay journals, and facilitate collaboration and team science.

Scientific tools and infrastructure such as outlined above, including tools like Jupyter Notebooks, ReproZip, and Code Ocean, accelerate the progress of science and facilitate replicability. Openness enables both interoperability and preservation for future research and the scholarly record. A recent paper on the arXiv.org preprint server, “Publishing Computational Research—A Review of Infrastructures for Reproducible and Transparent Scholarly Communication,” provides an excellent review of the issues from major stakeholder perspectives….”

The Rebirth of Copyright As an Opt-In System? – The Media Institute

“For most of the history of Anglo-American copyright law, copyright was an opt-in system: Authors had to jump through certain regulatory hoops if they wanted to prevent others from copying their works without consent.  These threshold formalities included registering their works with a government agency, affixing a notice to published copies, depositing exemplars with a centralized library, and more.  A failure to comply with the requirements usually meant a diminution in the authors’ copyright entitlement – and in some cases a wholesale forfeiture, under which the works would pass immediately into the public domain.

After some 200 years, however, U.S. copyright abandoned its formal requirements.  Beginning in 1976 and culminating in 1989, Congress responded to complaints from authors (who had sometimes lost protection due to what they viewed as a technicality) and to pressure to join the international copyright community (which forbade most formalities).  Copyright law accordingly underwent a conversion from opt-in to opt-out.

As a result, copyright protection now arises by operation of law, without any action by the author.  As long as a work contains a modicum of originality and is fixed in some tangible form, copyright automatically protects it, and authors must affirmatively disclaim the entitlement if they don’t want its protection.  And these threshold requirements of originality and fixation are incredibly minimal, such that every reader of this essay is probably the owner of hundreds, and quite possibly thousands, of copyrights – in everything from diary entries to doodles….

Of course, any opt-in proposal would face a number of political obstacles, including the fact that predicating copyright protection on any formality (at least for foreign works) is inconsistent with the international copyright conventions to which the United States is a party.  But the Internet does not stop at the border; if opt-in makes sense here, it will make sense abroad as well.  When the United States and its trade partners are done figuring out what to do with Google Books, then, they should consider a return to copyright’s roots.  Make copyright opt-in once more….”

The Atlas – Mapping the Histories and Metadata of Digitised Newspapers Collections Around the World

“Between 2017 and 2019, Oceanic Exchanges, funded through the Transatlantic Partnership for Social Sciences and Humanities 2016 Digging into Data Challenge, brought together leading efforts in computational periodicals research from six countries—Finland, Germany, Mexico, the Netherlands, the United Kingdom, and the United States—to examine patterns of information flow across national and linguistic boundaries. Over the past thirty years, national libraries, universities and commercial publishers around the world have made available hundreds of millions of pages of historical newspapers through mass digitisation and currently release over one million new pages per month worldwide. These have become vital resources not only for academics but for journalists, politicians, schools, and the general public. However, these digitisation programmes share a critical weakness: the very creation of national newspapers collections obscures the fact that international news exchange was central to the nineteenth-century press.

The Atlas of Digitised Newspapers and Metadata is an open access guide to digitised newspapers around the world. Its initial selection is limited in scope, being comprised of the ten databases (including the aggregator Europeana) for which we were able to secure access and licensing to the machine-readable data. Nonetheless, it aims to form the foundation of a wider mapping of collections beyond its current North Atlantic and Anglophone-Pacific focus. It brings together their histories and digitisation choices with a deeper look at the language of the digitised newspaper, the evolution of newspaper terminology and the variety of metadata available in these collections. It explores how machine-readable information about an issue, volume, page, and author is stored in the digital file alongside the raw content or text, and provides a controlled vocabulary designed to be used across disciplines, within academia and beyond.

This report draws upon multiple taxonomies: our own open access dataset, which provides a full catalogue of metadata fields across the collections, academic and industry discussions­­ of the newspaper as a journalistic form and historical artefact, digitisation guidelines and strategies, library websites, annual reports, interviews with librarians and digitisation providers and the data files themselves. The maps of this Atlas explore each of our overarching categories in detail, providing a selection of language variants, the technical definition we employed in the categorisation process, and notes on its usage across the collections and in the wider world of press history. This allows a greater understanding of how the term is currently being used in different ways by different groups and allows researchers to navigate to the specific type of information they required and ascertain its availability across these collections. Each entry also includes technical information for obtaining this data across the collections, including data types, which often vary considerably, and XPaths for locating the information within that dataset. With this information, researchers should be able to understand the different structures of these collections and develop computational means for robustly comparing datasets to explore deeper and more meaningful research….”

NIH to Host Workshop on Role of Generalist Repositories to Enhance Data Discoverability and Reuse Feb. 11-12 in Bethesda, Md. | Data Science at NIH

“The Office of Data Science Strategy at the National Institutes of Health and the National Library of Medicine are hosting a workshop (link is external) on the Role of Generalist Repositories to Enhance Data Discoverability and Reuse on Feb. 11-12. The workshop will be held at the Lister Hill Auditorium on the NIH main campus in Bethesda, Md.

The primary goals of the workshop are to: 

Hear from generalist repositories about how they see themselves in the larger biomedical data repository landscape.
Understand from institutional data repositories how they are creating suites of solutions for their researchers and how they see generalist repositories fitting in this landscape. 
Consider desired characteristics of data repositories and how they relate to institutional expectations of data storage/preservation solutions.
Explore adoption of common infrastructure, standards and federated search solutions to enable greater discoverability of NIH research data across federated data repositories. 
Address the role of data curators in ensuring that data and metadata are sufficiently well curated to enhance discovery and enable reuse. …”

Keith Webster: Libraries will champion an open future for scholarship | Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

“All of us who work in academic libraries here in Pittsburgh and around the world aspire to improve the quality of science and scholarship. It’s increasingly clear that this can best be done through the open exchange of ideas and data, which can accelerate the pace and reach of scientific discovery.

The desire of researchers and their funders to make their research freely available to all is evident. As a result, the acceptance of open access publishing and article sharing services has soared in recent years. Meanwhile, the rapidly escalating journal costs experienced by libraries over the past 25 years are agreed to be unsustainable. It is against this backdrop that Carnegie Mellon University is establishing open access agreements with top journal publishers, with a special focus on the the fields of science and computing.

Most recently, CMU joined three fellow premier research institutions in reaching new open access agreements with the Association for Computing Machinery, the university’s largest publisher. CMU collaborated with the University of California, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Iowa State University in developing a new publishing model that is expected to influence ACM’s future open access agreements….”

Sharing research data and findings relevant to the novel coronavirus (nCoV) outbreak | Wellcome

“The outbreak of the novel coronavirus in China (2019-nCoV) represents a significant and urgent threat to global health.

We call on researchers, journals and funders to ensure that research findings and data relevant to this outbreak are shared rapidly and openly to inform the public health response and help save lives.

We affirm the commitment to the principles set out in the 2016 Statement on data sharing in public health emergencies, and will seek to ensure that the World Health Organization (WHO) has rapid access to emerging findings that could aid the global response.

Specifically, we commit to work together to help ensure:

all peer-reviewed research publications relevant to the outbreak are made immediately open access, or freely available at least for the duration of the outbreak
research findings relevant to the outbreak are shared immediately with the WHO upon journal submission, by the journal and with author knowledge
research findings are made available via preprint servers before journal publication, or via platforms that make papers openly accessible before peer review, with clear statements regarding the availability of underlying data
researchers share interim and final research data relating to the outbreak, together with protocols and standards used to collect the data, as rapidly and widely as possible – including with public health and research communities and the WHO
authors are clear that data or preprints shared ahead of submission will not pre-empt its publication in these journals…”

Collaborate on Open Access Publishing Infrastructure in Africa with Coko, WACREN and EIFL : Collaborative Knowledge Foundation

“If you want to work collaboratively to design free and open source open access publishing infrastructure in Africa, please get out your diary! On Tuesday, March 17 in Cotonou (Benin), please plan to join Coko Founder Adam Hyde, WACREN’s Omo Oaiya, and Iryna Kuchma from EIFL for a workshop on the subject. Registration is open to all (publishers, researchers, technologists), and free. At the same time, if travel cost is a burden, some limited funding is available, so please reach out.

Attendees can expect to participate in the following:

To conduct a high-level audit of needs for open access scholarly publishing in Africa (open source tools and services for publishing books, journals, textbooks, micropublications)
To discuss training needs and define training and support programmes
To share experiences and identify areas for collaborations around shared free and open source open access publishing infrastructure
To frame the Coalition for Open Access Publishing Infrastructures in Africa: tools, training, hosting and advice across Africa for all those that want it…”

Knowledge Unlatched announces the results of the 2019 pledging round, plans to make 410 books and 13 journals Open Access in the course of 2020 – Knowledge Unlatched

“Knowledge Unlatched (KU), the central platform for Open Access (OA) financing models, is pleased to announce the results of the 2019 pledging round, which ended in December 2019 and saw hundreds of libraries worldwide pledge support for OA models and initiatives offered by KU and its partners.

In 2019, KU continued to expand its KU Select offerings in the Hu-manities and Social Sciences (HSS) as well as in Science, Technolo-gy, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM). It also introduced new partnerships and business models with some of the world’s most renowned academic publishers. As a result, KU will be able to un-latch 274 books from its KU Select 2019 HSS collection, 38 books from its KU Select STEM collection, and about 98 books from its various partner offerings, including, among others, Routledge Afri-can Studies 2020-2022, Routledge Gender Studies 2020-2022, HAU Books 2019-2021, IntechOpen Engineering 2020-2022, IntechOpen Physics 2020-2022, KU Romance Studies 2019-2021, Luminos, as well as German language-only packages transcript OPEN Library Politikwissenschaft, wbv Open Library 2020 and Peter Lang IT-Recht.

Apart from unlatching scholarly books, KU will also unlatch 13 journals, resulting from the successful Berghahn Open Anthro Sub-scribe-to-Open pilot, as well as several OA scholarly videos, owing to its partnership with Latest Thinking….”

Position Statement on Controlled Digital Lending by Libraries endorsed by COSLA

“The Board of the Chief Officers of State Library Agencies (COSLA) recently endorsed the Position Statement on Controlled Digital Lending by Libraries as a thoughtful analysis that presents a unique model for leveraging print collections in the digital world. Originating conceptually from the copyright community and pioneered by the Internet Archive through their Open Libraries program, Controlled Digital Lending (CDL) allows libraries to digitize older in-copyright print books. In this ‘lend like print’ model, participating libraries choose to circulate either the print or the digital copy of a title. The model supports libraries in making 20th century materials available digitally while respecting copyright laws. The Internet Archive has been circulating a collection of over one million books using this model since 2008….”

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