“MIT researchers hope to publish open-source designs for a low-cost respirator that could potentially help Covid-19 patients struggling with critical respiratory problems.
The motorized device automatically compresses widely available bag valve masks, the sort of manual resuscitator used by ambulance crews to assist patients with breathing problems. The designs could arrive as a growing number of engineers, medical students, and hobbyists attempt to build or share specifications for makeshift respirators—of unknown quality and safety—amid rising fears of widespread shortages as the coronavirus epidemic escalates….”
“Last Tuesday we launched a National Emergency Library—1.4M digitized books available to users without a waitlist—in response to the rolling wave of school and library closures that remain in place to date. We’ve received dozens of messages of thanks from teachers and school librarians, who can now help their students access books while their schools, school libraries, and public libraries are closed.
We’ve been asked why we suspended waitlists. On March 17, the American Library Association Executive Board took the extraordinary step to recommend that the nation’s libraries close in response to the COVID-19 outbreak. In doing so, for the first time in history, the entirety of the nation’s print collection housed in libraries is now unavailable, locked away indefinitely behind closed doors.
This is a tremendous and historic outage. According to IMLS FY17 Public Libraries survey (the last fiscal year for which data is publicly available), in FY17 there were more than 716 million physical books in US public libraries. Using the same data, which shows a 2-3% decline in collection holdings per year, we can estimate that public libraries have approximately 650 million books on their shelves in 2020. Right now, today, there are 650 million books that tax-paying citizens have paid to access that are sitting on shelves in closed libraries, inaccessible to them. And that’s just in public libraries.
And so, to meet this unprecedented need at a scale never before seen, we suspended waitlists on our lending collection. As we anticipated, critics including the Authors Guild and the Association of American Publishers have released statements (here and here) condemning the National Emergency Library and the Internet Archive. Both statements contain falsehoods that are being spread widely online. To counter the misinformation, we are addressing the most egregious points here and have also updated our FAQs….”
“We are stunned by the Internet Archive’s aggressive, unlawful, and opportunistic attack on the rights of authors and publishers in the midst of the novel coronavirus pandemic.
“Publishers are working tirelessly to support the public with numerous, innovative, and socially-aware programs that address every side of the crisis: providing free global access to research and medical journals that pertain to the virus; offering complementary digital education materials to schools and parents; and expanding powerful storytelling platforms for readers of all ages.
“It is the height of hypocrisy that the Internet Archive is choosing this moment – when lives, livelihoods and the economy are all in jeopardy – to make a cynical play to undermine copyright, and all the scientific, creative, and economic opportunity that it supports.”
“The Authors Guild is appalled by the Internet Archive’s (IA) announcement that it is now making millions of in-copyright books freely available online without restriction on its Open Library site under the guise of a National Emergency Library. IA has no rights whatsoever to these books, much less to give them away indiscriminately without consent of the publisher or author. We are shocked that the Internet Archive would use the Covid-19 epidemic as an excuse to push copyright law further out to the edges, and in doing so, harm authors, many of whom are already struggling.
With mean writing incomes of only $20,300 a year prior to the crisis, authors, like others, are now struggling all the more—from cancelled book tours and loss of freelance work, income supplementing jobs, and speaking engagements. And now they are supposed to swallow this new pill, which robs them of their rights to introduce their books to digital formats as many hundreds of midlist authors do when their books go out of print, and which all but guarantees that author incomes and publisher revenues will decline even further.
IA is using a global crisis to advance a copyright ideology that violates current federal law and hurts most authors. It has misrepresented the nature and legality of the project through a deceptive publicity campaign. Despite giving off the impression that it is expanding access to older and public domain books, a large proportion of the books on Open Library are in fact recent in-copyright books that publishers and authors rely on for critical revenue. Acting as a piracy site—of which there already are too many—the Internet Archive tramples on authors’ rights by giving away their books to the world….”
“One of the most pressing shortages facing hospitals during the Covid-19 emergency is a lack of ventilators. These machines can keep patients breathing when they no longer can on their own, and they can cost around $30,000 each. Now, a rapidly assembled volunteer team of engineers, physicians, computer scientists, and others, centered at MIT, is working to implement a safe, inexpensive alternative for emergency use, which could be built quickly around the world.
The team, called MIT E-Vent (for emergency ventilator), was formed on March 12 in response to the rapid spread of the Covid-19 pandemic. Its members were brought together by the exhortations of doctors, friends, and a sudden flood of mail referencing a project done a decade ago in the MIT class 2.75 (Medical Device Design). Students and faculty working in consultation with local physicians designed a simple ventilator device that could be built with about $100 worth of parts, although in the years since prices have gone up and the device would now cost $400 to $500 in materials. They published a paper detailing their design and testing, but the work ended at that point. Now, with a significant global need looming, a new team, linked to that course, has resumed the project at a highly accelerated pace….”
“HathiTrust staff members are working hard to explore a new emergency service for member libraries that will provide expanded access for their students, faculty, and staff to digitized versions of items in member library collections. We intend to expand fair use access to our corpus to ensure that the academic communities of our members can continue teaching and learning with HathiTrust resources if physical access to print collections is compromised during the COVID-19 pandemic. Member libraries must meet specific emergency conditions and implement the service to the specifications that permit fair use access….
Academic Libraries Eligible for Emergency Access
HathiTrust member libraries located in the U.S. that have suffered an unexpected or involuntarydisruption to normal operations, such as closure for a public health emergency like COVID-19 pandemic, requiring it to be closed to the public, or otherwise restrict print collection access services.
Emergency Temporary Access Service: Summary
Students, faculty, and staff ONLY at the affected institution will, upon logging in to HathiTrust, have access to copyrighted titles that the library owns and for which we have been able to identify a match through our ongoing holdings analysis. Users will be able to read the book online, in the web browser, but will not be able to download the work in full. …”
“In the face of a global health contingency, the vital role of Open Access is endorsed: to bring knowledge to all corners of the world, to allow science to be quickly and timely accessible so that its contribution is reflected in the improvement of the quality of human life , in saving lives and in the development of a better society for all. Open Access initiatives such as Redalyc have been working towards this goal for 18 years. Today, the AmeliCA/Redalyc alliance reaffirms its commitment to Open Access and continues to develop technology which it is now applied to the semantic dissemination of articles published on topics of interest in epidemiology, pandemics and related topics. This development enable to publish more than 6 thousand articles in Linked Open Data (LOD) format so that they can be processed and interconnected in the LOD knowledge cloud and allow users to browse content and access to full-texts in a thematic discovery service….”
AmeliCA/Redalyc1 run an ontology-based algorithm, previously developed called OntoOAI (Becerril-Garci?a & Aguado-Lopez, 2018), on their databases to extract epidemics-related content. The results include: an ontology representation of the knowledge published in 6,557 scientific articles including concepts and relations, as well as their attributes, a directed-graph thematic content browser to access to full-texts and a dataset available at SPARQL endpoint to query the results as part of Linked Open Data….”
“These successes, though, have also revealed divisions within the open-access community over two now-familiar questions: Who should run the publishing houses? And who should pay for the whole system? Instead of an open-access commons run by scholars in the public interest, the new open-access revolution increasingly looks like it will depend on the same big commercial publishers, who, rather than charging subscription prices to readers, are now flipping the model and charging researchers a fee to publish their work. The result is a kind of commercial open-access — a model very different than what many open-access activists envisioned.
Some advocates see corporate open-access as a pragmatic way of opening up research to the masses. But others see the new model as a corruption of the original vision — one that will continue to funnel billions of dollars into big publishing companies, marginalize scientists in lower income countries, and fail to fix deeper, systemic problems in scientific publishing….”
“This page aims to support researchers and interested individuals by providing tools and data sets related to the Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) outbreak and the SARS-CoV-2 virus.
Please contact us if you need help or have suggestions for further tools or data sets. We are experienced in bioinformatical data analysis, text mining, data visualization, (FAIR) research data management as well as in hosting information services….”
“Wikipedia is among the most requested, published, accessed, and consulted sources of information on coronavirus disease 2019, also called COVID-19. Responsible media planning to communicate general-interest information for COVID-19 or any future crisis includes recognition of Wikipedia’s position in the global media environment, what Wikipedia is, and why Wikipedia matters….”