Standard eBooks builds upon Project Gutenberg to offer a better reading experience – Good e-Reader

“Project Gutenberg has always been a commendable literary initiative that ensured the classic titles of yore lived on in the digital age. While that is great, the eBooks lack consistent typography. Cover art leaves something to be disired, in addiiton to many typos, that can mar the reading experience considerably.

It is here that the Standard eBooks come into the picture. As the name suggests, the Standard eBook refers to a set of guidelines that each of their eBooks is required to comply with. What that means is each of the books taken from Project Gutenberg re subjected to a laid-down procedure for publishing.

That includes formatting and typesetting with the help of a ‘professional-grade style manual.’ Also, each book is proofread with corrections made wherever necessary. It is only after this that a new digital edition of the book is created using the latest e-reader and browser technologies. This ensures each of the Standard ebooks thus created is compatible with almost all known e-reader devices currently in vogue….”

When free access is not open access | CCSD

“You have downloaded your article from the website of the journal and you think that, since it is available free, you can deposit this published version in HAL. Well, sometimes it is true but …. sometimes it is not.

Does the mention “Open Access” or “Open” is included in your file? or a Creative Common license (CC-BY, CC-BY-NC, etc) ? If so, you can deposit this publisher’s version in HAL. You sometimes need good eyes to find the licence: in the Elsevier’s files, it is at the bottom of the first page (example); idem for the articles published by Oxford University Press (example). On the other hand, for articles in journals published by Nature Publishing Group and MDPI, the licence is on the last page of the file (example).

But if these mentions are not included in the file, you cannot deposit the published version without first checking if the publisher approves it….”

Primer on the Rights Retention Strategy | Zenodo

Abstract: The rights retention strategy (RRS) is a new tool to help academic authors retain rights over their manuscripts. This will allow you to freely share your author accepted manuscript at any time. The RRS is simple and elegant; authors need follow only two steps. (1) Add the following text, e.g. to the cover page, or acknowledgements, to your manuscript before submission to a journal: “A CC BY or equivalent licence is applied to the AAM arising from this submission.” (2) Once your article is accepted for publication, you can deposit your version of the manuscript in a public repository. This strategy has been developed by cOAlition-S, but can be used by all authors, irrespective of funding. Here I describe pros and cons of this  approach, but recommend its adoption by scholars as a way to retain ownership of their own content.

The need for free and open data in Earth observation activities – SpaceNews

“The evolving quality and quantity of Earth observation data enables an ever-increasingly profound knowledge of the climate crisis, enhancing the efficacy of mitigation strategies as well as the management of risk and natural or human-made disasters. Access to satellite imagery offers a unique and game-changing advantage compared to data collected in situ: the capacity to build data sets with decades worth of observations while providing constant, up-to-date, and reliable information.

The environmental emergency, while having severe global effects, will not affect all states equally. Poorer, less developed countries are expected to face severe challenges directly related to climate change, and will experience the large majority of climate-induced human mobility, be it internally displaced people or climate migrants. Open Data policies promoting free and open access to Earth observation data and information are an important tool to guarantee access to satellite imagery to those states which do not yet possess the capabilities for independent access to space. This is especially true for data related to the causes and effects of climate emergencies, such as the Essential Climate Variables identified by the Global Climate Observing System. Open Data principles not only greatly enhance the mitigation strategies of less-developed countries, but would significantly further their risk and disaster management….”

Apple provided FBI with data on Sci-Hub founder

“A woman who has in the past been described as “the spiritual successor to Aaron Swartz” – who was a US web pioneer hounded to suicide by US prosecutors for making academic research available to everyone – has now learned the FBI is investigating her….

Elbakyan included a screenshot of the conveniently “no-reply” email in her tweet, where Apple informed her that it in February 2019 received a request from the FBI for data pertaining to her account, and that the nature of the request was such that it only allowed the tech giant to notify the user with delay.

Apple also told Elbakyan that the requested data had been handed over, and washed its hands off the whole thing by advising the programmer that if she wanted to know more about the request and what kind of information the FBI wanted – she should talk to the FBI….”


Is Sci-Hub Increasing Visibility of Indian Research Papers? An Analytical Evaluation

Abstract:  Sci-Hub, founded by Alexandra Elbakyan in 2011 in Kazakhstan has, over the years, emerged as a very popular source for researchers to download scientific papers. It is believed that Sci-Hub contains more than 76 million academic articles. However, recently three foreign academic publishers (Elsevier, Wiley and American Chemical Society) have filed a lawsuit against Sci-Hub and LibGen before the Delhi High Court and prayed for complete blocking these websites in India. It is in this context, that this paper attempts to find out how many Indian research papers are available in Sci-Hub and who downloads them. The citation advantage of Indian research papers available on Sci-Hub is analysed, with results confirming that such an advantage do exist. 

“Free libraries for the free people”: How mass-literature “shadow” libraries circumvent digital barriers and redefine legality in contemporary Russia | First Monday

Abstract:  Shadow mass-literature online libraries in Russia developed during the early Post-Soviet years. They are a phenomenon rooted in both the practice of circumventing constraints caused by state censorship, and a book production process of insufficient quality. Since the fall of the USSR, Russian legislation has aligned itself with international standards, adopting their strictest instantiation. In 2013, “anti-piracy” legislation made “information intermediaries” responsible for illegal content, introduced an “eternal” blocking of sites, made pre-trial negotiations more difficult. Successive amendments have sought to respond to the circumvention tactics developed by shadow libraries. In this context, for a library which is not part of the book market, remaining in the legal realm means freezing its own content or becoming a self-publishing platform. Libraries that become illegal have to ensure the sustainability and growth of their collections by multiplying their dissemination means, to provide personal security to administrators through a “safe” geographical location or strict anonymity, and to guarantee an access to their collections on the Russian Federation territory through inventive circumvention techniques. They leave the public struggle against state and industry regulation of the Internet to digital rights advocates, and promote a particular vision of “freedom” anchored in the mastery of technical tools and in uncensored cultural practices.


Call for Research Proposals – American University Washington College of Law

“The Academic Network on the Right to Research in International Copyright is calling for  research relevant to the development of global norms on copyright policy in its application to research. Text and data mining research, for example, is contributing insights to respond to urgent social problems, from combatting COVID to monitoring hate speech and disinformation on social media. Other technologies make it possible to access the materials of libraries, archives and museums from afar – an especially necessary activity during the COVID pandemic. But these and other research activities may require reproduction and sharing of copyright protected works, including across borders. There is a lack of global norms for such activities, which may contribute to uncertainty and apprehension, inhibiting research projects and collaborations. 

We seek to partner with researchers interested in exploring the means and ends of recognizing a “right to research” in international copyright law. In our initial conception, there are at least three overlapping dimensions to the concept:

The first dimension relates to the work of academic and other investigators, whose success depends on their ability to access and analyze information that may be subject to copyright protection, and to make their findings available. 

The second dimension points toward the audience that learns from, applies, and further disseminates research findings. It sounds in the human right to “receive and impart information,” as well as the right to “benefit from” creativity and scientific progress.

The third dimension focuses on institutions. Researchers and consumers alike rely on institutions that can collect, preserve, and assure the results of research over time….”

Towards a Global Consensus on Open Science – Online Expert Meeting on Open Science and Intellectual Property Rights

“UNESCO is leading the development of an international standard-setting instrument on Open Science in the form of a UNESCO Recommendation on Open Science.

Recognizing the ongoing policy challenge to balance openness and Intellectual Property Rights (IPRs) protection, UNESCO is organizing an expert meeting to discuss the relationships between IPRs and Open Science; to present the different existing instruments and mechanisms that reconcile ownership and sharing/openness, and to exchange on balanced IPRs and Open Science policies and strategies.

The meeting will be held in English and French on the Zoom online platform on Friday, 23 April from 12:00 to 14:00 CET (Paris time)….”

Authors Alliance Partner Program (A2P2) [Product Review]

Abstract:  The Authors Alliance Partner Program (A2P2; is a recent addition to the educational content of the Authors Alliance. This nonprofit advocacy organization aims, “to advance the interests of authors who want to serve the public good by sharing their creations broadly.” Their new initiative provides prêt-à-porter instructional material with the express purpose of supporting the scaling of rights-related programming—a goal that distinguishes A2P2 from other well-established and deeply valuable copyright-focused resources. While copyright touches nearly all we do in libraries, outreach in this area often primarily falls to scholarly communication or copyright librarians. As Schmidt (2019) notes, “providing copyright information services in the library has become part of the standard operations of academic libraries in the U.S.” We must, consequently, train ourselves up and stay current on copyright issues, as well as instruct our peers and our communities on copyright- and author rights—related issues (Reeves 2015; Norris et al. 2019; Secker et al. 2019). We need to build resources on topics that are nuanced, evolving, and carry risk. These efforts take time, care, and confidence. For professionals who may well have varied and competing job responsibilities, time and confidence certainly may be at a premium (Charbonneau and Priehs 2014). While one could easily despair, there’s help to be had. Enter, A2P2.