Tuesday 22 December 2009

Survey on social media

Michael Collins of i-Publishing Consultants invites ALPSP members to participate in a short social media survey at http://www.surveymonkey.com/s/JKTJVSK. The survey takes about 5 mins to complete and everyone who completes it will be sent a free copy of the social media benchmarking report that will subsequently be published by Qube Media. This will be of use to all involved in editorial, marketing, sales and customer service in publishing. Contact Michael on 07779 602 865 or at michael@i-publishingconsultants.com for more info.

French court rules against Google in copyright case

Catherine Blache (Senior Counsellor, International Policy at Syndicat National de l'Edition (the French Publishers' Association)) has sent the following English summary of the recent French court decision against Google:

"On December 18, 2009, the Paris Court of First Instance condemned Google for violating copyright of books published by the French publishing group La Martiniere, by forbidding the search engine to continue digitizing books without publishers' authorization. This decision is based on French law, whose application Google had attempted to question, and the acknowlegement by the French court of its competence to deal with such a case.

"The court also acknowledged that the French Publishers Association (SNE) and the Authors Publishers Association (SGDL) were entitled to join the suit. It stated that 'by fully reproducing and making available extracts of books' without the authorization of rights-holders, Google had committed acts of copyright violation to the detriment of Le Seuil and its two subsidiaries, as well as to the SNE and SGDL.

"The court gave Google one month to apply the ruling and halt such acts or face a 10,000 euros per day fine.

"Google will also have to pay EUR 300,000 in damages to the three publishers owned by La Martiniere group and a symbolic sum of one euro to the SNE Publishers' Association and the SGDL Society of Authors , thus recognizing damages caused to the whole publishers and authors community.

"This case law can from now on be referred to by other publishers who may want to sue Google for the scanning and making available of their books."

OSTP Public Access Policy - deadline extended to 21 January 2010

We are awaiting confirmation in the Federal Register but a blog post by Rick Weiss (Director of Strategic Communications and a Senior Policy Analyst at OSTP) on 19 December 2009 indicates that the deadline for comments on the OSTP Public Access consultation will be extended by two weeks (presumably to 21 January 2010).

Many comments received so far are calling for a mandate to ensure that all Federally funded research (no matter what subject discipline) is made freely available on the open web in PubMed Central-type government repositories.  The value that publishers add is appreciated as most comments suggest that it should be the final, peer reviewed, publisher version (the Version of Record) that is deposited, but since they want the mandate to insist that peer reviewed papers are deposited with a maximum of 6 months embargo (or no embargo at all) they clearly have no understanding of the likely impact that this will have on the publishing industry.  Or that no scholarly publishing industry means no peer reviewed journal material.

Whatever your views, ALPSP urges you to respond to this public consultation.

Friday 18 December 2009

Swets rumours...

I've been contacted several times recently regarding rumours that Swets are closing their Singapore office and what this means for Swets as a whole.

I have spoken to Swets and these rumours are unfounded.  Their Singapore office is not closing and, while they have taken the opportunity to do some reorganization and rationalization globally, this is all for sound business reasons.

Robert Jacobs (Director of Publisher Relations at Swets) has offered to field any queries that ALPSP members might have but it looks like this is a non-story!

Thursday 17 December 2009

Office of Science and Technology Policy Public Access Forum - comment now!

The Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP), part of the Executive Office of the President in the US government, has opened a Public Access Forum to consult on the issues around access to publicly-funded research results.  The underlying suggestion is that peer reviewed journals articles and other material arising from all federally funded research should be made freely available to the public.

ALPSP will be submitting our own response via the ALPSP North American division but we strongly encourage all ALPSP members - whatever your views - to contribute to this debate.  We believe the best way to do this is to submit a letter by e-mail to publicaccess@ostp.gov or by mail to Office of Science and Technology Policy, Attn: Open Government Recommendations, 725 17th Street, Washington, DC 20502.  Comments must be received by January 7, 2010.

The timing of this consultation is unfortunate given that it spans the Christmas vacation and also because we understand that the report from the Congressional Roundtable set up to also examine these issues will not report until early in the New Year.  ALPSP will therefore be joining a number of other organizations in asking for an extension for comments of 30 days so that the Roundtable report can be taken into consideration and we would suggest that you do the same.

The ALPSP view is that, while we are supportive of public access, policies should consider the business and publishing needs of our members and not be mandated by funding agencies.

This is a very important consultation and, as I said earlier, we very strongly encourage you to respond whatever your views.

Wednesday 16 December 2009

Publisher Lookup Award for Accessibility

JISC TechDis have launched a new award to support accessibility in the scholarly publishing industry.  To quote their announcement:

“In order to celebrate the growing awareness of accessibility issues among publishers the Publisher Lookup Award for Accessibility is being sponsored by Dolphin and iansyst (specialists in alternative formats) on behalf of JISC TechDis.

This award gives publishers and aggregators the opportunity to nominate themselves for relevant accessibility related practice. The award will be presented at the London Book Fair on 21 April 2010. To nominate your organisation please fill in the online form.

The award relates to a wide range of issues that contribute towards accessibility (e.g. staff training, workflows, organisational structure changes, etc) – some of which may not yet be visible to users but could be an important part of the wider transformational change we are looking to encourage.”

New Chair for INASP

INASP - the International Network for the Availability of Scientific Publications - has announced that Professor John V. Wood is to be the next Chair of its Board of Trustees.

INASP works with publishers and the developing world to provide affordable, sustainable access to scholarly publications in its partner countries through programmes like PERii.  It is important work.  INASP currently cooperates with over 50 publishers facilitating access to around 25,000 journals and 11,000 ebooks in over 100 countries - if you are not already involved you really should take a look at what INASP do.

Professor Wood is Principal of the Faculty of Engineering and a former Chief Executive of the Council for the Central Laboratories of the Research Councils.  He currently Chairs both the European Research Area Board (ERAB) and the JISC Support of Research committee (JSR).

John succeeds Bob Campbell, Senior Publisher at Wiley-Blackwell, whose committed work with the Board over the last five years helped steer INASP through its transition from ICSU working group to a fully registered international charity.  Bob will remain a Board member for a further year to ensure a smooth handover.

Friday 27 November 2009

Gap analysis tool introduced by Accucoms

Accucoms has recently announced the development of a gap analysis tool that will help publishers identify gaps in their market penetration and provide a highly qualified target list of prospective customers to use for direct marketing and sales activities.

The tool is the result of a large-scale research project undertaken by Accucoms and includes comprehensive information on the subject focus of institutions worldwide, as well as market segmentation data such as type of organisation (e.g. academic, corporate, government, hospital). This information is becoming increasingly important as publishers implement much more targeted sales and marketing campaigns.

The tool will help any publisher using Accucoms’ suite of direct marketing and sales representations services gain competitive advantage as it identifies potential subscribers in underrepresented geographic regions. It contains profiles of tens of thousands of institutions around the world and can be cross-referenced with the publisher’s existing subscription list to identify key prospects and help evaluate market share.

Pinar Erzin, Managing Director of Accucoms, says “Our gap analysis tool provides publishers with essential strategic information about possible growth in certain regions and on a tactical level, it offers qualified, relevant and up-to-date lists of prospects. Gathering this information is not a trivial task but it is information that every company needs. We have invested considerable time and effort in developing this tool and we believe it will significantly enhance our client’s sales and marketing activities.”

For more information please contact Egon Menardi, Tel: +31 (0)71 5247630, egon.menardi@accucoms.com

Certificate in Journals Publishing - enrolling now!

The Certificate in Journals Publishing is aimed at graduates currently working in entry-level positions in journals publishing and who have, ideally, between 6-12 months experience within that environment.  It offers delegates the opportunity to gain a good overall knowledge of the journals industry, and to gain credits towards a Masters degree at Oxford Brookes University.

The Certificate – provided by the Oxford International Centre for Publishing Studies (OICPS) at Oxford Brookes University in cooperation with the Association of Learned and Professional Society Publishers (ALPSP) – is a two-module postgraduate programme open to holders of a good honours degree. The Certificate consists of taught lectures and group work, which take place one afternoon per week (on Thursdays) for 11 weeks, starting on February 11th, 2010 followed by a period of independent study to be completed in the delegate’s own time.

The course is also open to graduates from other relevant ‘knowledge industry’ sectors, such as academic libraries and learned societies.

More information is available on the Brookes website.

Wednesday 25 November 2009

DataSalon and Ringgold launch new service to unlock the value of relationships between organizations

Ringgold and DataSalon have announced a new service to aid publishers in visualizing customer hierarchies.

DataSalon’s MasterVision platform has been enhanced with the addition of an interactive hierarchy viewer, providing academic publishers with a highly visual ‘family tree’ view of Ringgold’s entire Identify database and follows a strategic partnership between the two companies announced in March 2009.

Ringgold creates and maintains Identify, a hierarchical reference database of organizations subscribing to
academic journals, including information about location, size, and subject specialties and providing coverage of more than 150,000 academic, healthcare, government and corporate organizations worldwide, including all of the various parent/child relationships between them.

Designed and built specifically for the needs of academic publishers, DataSalon’s MasterVision is a web-based system which provides publishers with ‘complete customer insight’ – it integrates every source of customer information held by a publisher (including subscribers, authors, alert recipients, etc.) into a user-friendly web interface that includes flexible search, segmentation, visualization and reporting tools. MasterVision has been  and the new hierarchy viewer is fully integrated into the product.

The relationships between libraries, departments, universities and consortia form a fundamental part of the sales operation for all major academic publishers, with consortia agreements and other ‘big deals’ providing a significant proportion of revenues. However, existing publisher systems provide little support for searching and viewing these complex relationships between different levels of customer. By combining the rich data of Identify with MasterVision’s hierarchy viewer, publishers will be able to understand the relationships between direct sales and ‘big deals’ more clearly than ever before.

More information is available on the DataSalon website.

Tuesday 17 November 2009

Academic Publishing in Europe Jan 2010 Conference

I thought ALPSP members would be interested to know that they receive a special “Members Conference Registration Rate” of €450 rather than the full €600 for the “APE1010” conference which is being held in Berlin on the 18/19/20th of January.

I attended last year and found it both stimulating and useful. With a strong European focus the contributors and attendees provide a unique take on our scholarly publishing industry.

You can find the programme at: http://www.ape2010.eu/05_19jan_fullconference.htm
And the registration form at: http://www.ape2010.eu/02registration.php
Pre-conference workshops: http://www.ape2010.eu/07_18jan_preconference.htm (these are not included in the standard delegate rate)



Tuesday 10 November 2009

Understanding E-Journal Technology

I thought ALPSP members would be interested to know that there are still places available on Renew Training’s “Understanding E-Journal Technology” course on 19th November in London. The course is aimed at anyone working in sales, marketing, editorial, customer service, or senior management in need of refreshing their understanding of this ever-changing part of the business.

The course has recently been updated to include information on new web-scale discovery tools and what they mean for publishers. Many libraries are now testing and implementing these types of tools and it is important that publishers stay up to speed with what is happening in this area of library technology. They will also include the latest on industry initiatives such as Shibboleth/Athens and Counter and take a peek into the future of e-journal navigation and use.

Full course information and a booking form can be found at www.renewtraining.com/uejt/uejt.htm

Friday 30 October 2009

House Science and Technology Committee Roundtable

Attendees at the 2009 ALPSP International Conference heard Fred Dylla (American Institute of Physics) reference a Congressional Roundtable group that both he and the Chair of ALPSP North America, Crispin Taylor (American Society of Plant Biologists), have been involved with.

This Scholarly Publishing Roundtable was convened earlier this year by the U.S. House of Representatives Committee on Science and Technology under Congressman Gordon and the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy. The Roundtable group was formed to seek "consensus on feasible and effective ways to expand access to and preservation of federally funded research information". The recommendations arising from the Roundtable discussions are expected to be released in the next few weeks.

A status report on the work of the Roundtable group has just been published online along with the details of the members of the Roundtable and their biographies.

Sensible and progressive dialogue between fair-minded representatives of the various stakeholders is hugely welcomed by ALPSP and we eagerly await the recommendations of the group.

Tuesday 27 October 2009

ALPSP Seminar: Marketing to Libraries

During times when many publishers are waiting to hear how their renewals for 2010 are going, and feeling anxious about what the future holds despite weathering the financial storms of a difficult 2009, one of the key things to get right is how to market effectively to libraries.

Which is why you or one of your colleagues need to book a place at our one-day seminar about
Marketing to Libraries on the 20 November in London.

British Institute of Radiology, 36 Portland Place, London, W1B 1AT
Friday 20 November 2009

Chair: Bernie Folan, Head of Journals Marketing, SAGE Publications

A great line up of speakers:
Claire Duddy, HM Treasury

Jane Harvell
, Head of Research Services and Special Collections at University of Sussex

Phil Jamieson

Melinda Kenneway
TBI Communications Ltd

Nancy Buckley
and Helen Cooke
, Burgundy Information Systems Limited

Kathryn Spiller
Society for Endocrinology

Colin Meddings
Oxford University Press

Katie Sayers
SAGE Publications

Chris Clarke

Followed by a networking reception with wine and nibbles

Book your place online or contact me for further information

Dee French: info@alpsp.or or 01827 709188

Invitation to Participate in an ICSTI Technical Project

In association with its forthcoming Workshop on 'Interactive Publications and the Record of Science' (http://www.icsti.org/events.php), the International Council for Scientific and Technical Information (ICSTI) is undertaking a technical project to survey and analyse publishers' use of interactive technologies in scholarly publishing.

Prospective participants are invited to complete the online questionnaire hosted on the web site of the project leader or to write to Brian McMahon if they wish to become more closely involved.

Incidentally, ALPSP is an Associate Member of ICSTI and so all ALPSP members are able to attend the Workshop at ICSTI member rates.

Thursday 22 October 2009

OAPEN survey on 'Funding of Monographs in the Humanities and Social Sciences'

ALPSP members may be interested in taking part in a survey being conducted by the OAPEN (Open Access Publishing in European Networks - www.oapen.org - project). The title of the
survey is “Funding of Monographs in the Humanities and Social Sciences (HSS)”


Long link:


The aim of OAPEN is to develop and implement an Open Access publication model for peer reviewed academic books in HSS to improve the accessibility, impact and relevance of European research in these fields. To make sure that the model meets the needs of researchers, funders and publishers, they are keen to find out how books are currently funded and how this might be complemented by funding opportunities for the Open Access publishing of books.

They say about the survey:

Publishing monographs (including anthologies in HSS often relies on additional funding on the part of authors/editors as costs can not solely be met by revenues of sales. So far funders have mainly supported the print production and based their funding models on the traditional book market. The combination of a free (open access) electronic version (access, searchability, quick citability etc.) with a convenient pay print version offers new opportunities in visibility and dissemination.

If you have any questions or comments, please contact Stefan Buddenbohm, Göttingen State and University Library, buddenbohm@sub.uni-goettingen.de <mailto:buddenbohm@sub.uni-goettingen.de>

posted by Nick Evans, ALPSP 22 October 2009

Saturday 17 October 2009

ALPSP Chair elect breaks leg

I'm not 100% sure if Toby Green fell while shouting from the treetops that he had been elected as the next Chair of ALPSP... or if in fact he fell out of a tree while constructing a tree house.

The fact is, fall he did and unfortunately Toby, who will take office as Chair in January 2010, managed to break his leg. He could therefore be seen hobbling around the Messe at the Frankfurt Book Fair this week on crutches.

Determined that some good will come from his misfortune, Toby took the opportunity to raise some money for Della Sar's terrific charity Friends of Della and Don. I'm sure you know, but Della is Global Marketing Director at Nature Publishing Group and the story of how and why the charity was set up is worth reading. The eagle-eyed will have noticed that Toby had a collecting tin gaffa-taped to his crutches and the response at the Fair was great...

...but it could be even better and it's not too late to give an online donation of any size to help support Della's charity.

Friday 16 October 2009

O’Reilly TOC Frankfurt fails to deliver

O’Reilly Media’s Tools of Change (TOC) conference came to Frankfurt on 13 October 2009 – the first time the concept had been aired outside of the United States.

It is safe to say that TOC Frankfurt had been eagerly anticipated; I was certainly looking forward to it and if the bustle during registration was anything to go by then so were the majority of the roughly 200 (my guestimate) delegates who had paid the not insignificant Euro 499 +VAT registration fee to attend.

There were a couple of slightly annoying housekeeping issues. Registration was a bit chaotic due to poor signage, the breakout rooms were cramped and generally way too small and problems with the internet connection throughout the day must have been embarrassing to O’Reilly given their cutting-edge internet reputation. These could have easily been forgiven (it’s not easy to put on a conference like this, especially in an unfamiliar venue) had a program that promised “new insights” delivered.

It didn’t.

The opening two keynotes, Sara Lloyd (Pan Macmillan) and Neelan Chokski (Lexcycle), shared a slick delivery style but failed to impart any real insight. The third of the opening trio, Cory Doctorow, gave a passionate – if rather hurried – view of what needs to happen to sustain books into the future.

As we headed for coffee and the parallel sessions that were to follow, I was feeling a little underwhelmed.

Brian O’Leary (Magellan Media) improved my mood as he outlined research – albeit on a small scale – that seemed to suggest a correlation between peer-2-peer piracy and an increase in sales. He was careful in what he said and began and ended by suggesting that more work was needed from a bigger range of titles and publishers (he was just reporting on a subset of titles from the O’Reilly list). I was therefore disappointed, but not surprised, to read the several “Piracy boosts sales” headlines the following day…

Timo Hannay (Nature Publishing Group) gave a typically interesting presentation, though many in the scholarly / academic publishing industry will have heard much of the content before, but while the panel session on Alternative Digital Sales Channels was entertaining enough, it didn’t really work as a Q and A, failed to really address the topic in hand, and consequently stuttered. Simon Waldman (Guardian Media Group) did manage to give an overview of the innovative things that the Guardian are doing that was both interesting and entertaining. The elephant in the room during his talk was that the Guardian, like many newspapers, are struggling financially and have reduced the number of professional journalists working on the paper (in fact the Guardian is sustained by profits from Auto Trader). Opportunities to generate income from the innovations that Simon was talking about appear scarce, but in fairness that wasn’t his brief and nonetheless he reported some neat stuff.

I did enjoy the PECHA KUCHA session. Though some of the presenters struggled with the challenge of this, errr challenging, format they all managed to get through it unscathed. Well more or less. It was fast paced which meant that if you didn’t like a particular speaker then, like the weather in Melbourne, you didn’t have long to wait for a change.

Closing keynote speaker and O’Reilly founder Tim O’Reilly wasn’t able to make it to Frankfurt and this news was kept until the last possible moment which was understandable, I guess. After all, the organizers will have wanted to ensure that everybody stayed to the end. Unfortunately the attempt by Andrew Savikas (VP of Digital Initiatives at O’Reilly Media) to fill the void was a big disappointment. The title of the talk was ‘Reasons to be Excited’ but Savikas did little more than drone on about O’Reilly Media itself. Again I thought there was little of interest or insight and for me TOC Frankfurt ended as it began – with a damp squib.

Some have criticised TOC Frankfurt for its anti-DRM stance. The trouble was that throughout the whole day there was no real debate – about DRM or anything else – and that’s perhaps the biggest lesson that TOC needs to learn. It was also pretty one-dimensional: Publish your content DRM-free and via an iPhone app. Yawn.

So in summary I would not recommend O’Reilly Tools of Change to ALPSP members on the evidence of the first TOC Frankfurt event. Admittedly this is partly due to the high expectations that I had, and indeed the high cost of attending. But the bottom line is that I can spend my time and my organization’s money much more productively, and other familiar faces that I saw at TOC Frankfurt generally agreed.

The Frankfurt Book Fair has announced that an improved TOC conference will be back next year. I am sure it will, but I won’t be there to see it.

Ian Russell
#alpsp #tocfrankfurt #fbf09

Tuesday 13 October 2009

To DRM, or not to DRM

DRM - Digital Rights Management is a hot topic at the O'Reilly Tools of Change conference in Frankfurt (#tocfrankfurt), or at least TPM is (that's technical protection measures).*

Ronald Schild, CEO of MVB, made the point that it is a tough value proposition to charge for the TPM protected version, which by definition is not as easy to use, if you have an illegal, pirated version of a book that gives the user no TPM hassles.

Also, I hear that there is competition among pirates to be the first to post an illegal copy on a bit torrent site and huge kudos among their community goes to the first person to break the TPM. That seems like an incentive to pirate TPM protected content that just isn't there for something that has no TPM. Or is that DRM?


*It's interesting to me that DRM - which strictly speaking is about managing and communicating rights digitally is often used to mean TPM, which is about stopping users doing things with your content that you don't want them to do...

Friday 9 October 2009

ALPSP Survey of Librarians - report published

Against the backdrop of the global economic downturn that began in the second half of 2008, ALPSP undertook a survey of librarians in mid-2009 to inform a panel discussion at the 2009 ALPSP International Conference.

The report arising from that survey is now available and is free to ALPSP members.

Key findings are:
  • The average number of journals being made available by the libraries surveyed more than doubled between 2000 and 2009. However, librarians are predicting that they will provide access to around the same number of journals in 2010 as they did in 2009, with more journals purchased as part of 'big deals' and fewer as single subscriptions. This will be of concern to smaller publishers who are unable to offer their content as part of a 'big deal' and those that are launching new subscription journals.
  • A significant proportion of librarians responding to the survey state that they would prefer to purchase content from non-profit publishers, although the profit status of the publisher is not an important factor in any of the purchasing decisions surveyed.
  • There is a strong demand from library customers to move more journals to electronic only. Three of the four most important barriers are within the control of publishers who may wish to consider what more can be done regarding electronic only offerings, licensing terms and post cancellation access to facilitate this move.
  • Librarians generally understand and value the role that academic publishers play in the dissemination and communication of scholarship. However, there is room for a better understanding of the inflationary pressures on journal prices and better communication regarding this from the scholarly publishing industry generally.
  • Librarians look for the most advantageous cost / benefit ratio when making their purchasing decisions. Usage statistics, both overall use and cost per use, are very important tools used in determining whether to renew or cancel journal content. Publishers should therefore continue to make every effort to maximize the usage of their version of the article. Faculty continue to play a very important role in all purchasing decisions relating to single subscriptions and end user marketing will therefore remain a priority for journal publishers who primarily sell their content as single subscriptions.
  • Librarians responding to the survey are knowledgeable of open access publishing business models. However, more work needs to be done to minimise the burden of administrating open access publishing and to ensure that expenditure is predictable.

Monday 28 September 2009

Don't miss this key ALPSP Seminar

Going Green? Sustainable Publishing, 4 November, London

Chair: Ashley Lodge, Publisher, Pearson Education and Chair, Publishers Green Network

Speakers include:

Genny Early, Head of Purchasing and Distribution, Oxford Journals
Mark Gough, Global Environmental Manager, Reed Elsevier
Edward Milford, Chairman, Earthscan
Toby Sawday, Business Development & Sustainability, Alistair Sawday Publishing

Your supply chain is important when considering the environmental impact of your publishing. But there are other key issues - how do you get buy in from your staff, change the way you organise the office and business without escalating costs? Learn how to be an effective publisher in a sustainable way at the ALPSP practical one day seminar on 4 November in Central London.

Online Information - 1-3 December 2009

Just a swift reminder that the Online Information will be held as usual at Olympia in London on the 1-3rd of December, 2009. This year we won't have an ALPSP stand but if you're there why not use the Twitter hashtag #alpsp to keep in touch?

To pre-register for entry to the exhibition go to www.online-information.co.uk. As an ALPSP member you can also claim an association discount if you register for the conference which is being run alongside the exhibition.


Monday 21 September 2009

Semantico offer free demo at Frankfurt

A message just received from Richard Padley of Semantico which you might find of interest . . .

Free data consultancy and rapid online publishing demo on the Semantico stand at Frankfurt: Hall 4.2, Stand K445

If you’re planning to visit the Frankfurt Book Fair this year, why not make a date to talk to us on the Semantico stand right now?

Gareth Bish and I will be conducting one-to-one, hands-on demo sessions of our new rapid online publishing platform SIPP Rapid, and arranging FREE consultancy days to help improve the quality of your data.

You can also hear about a selection of our newest service developments for 2010 to help your organisation position for recovery – see the list below.

To book a time to meet up, just hit reply and suggest a time and we’ll get back to you.
We look forward to welcoming you on the stand!
Best regards,
Richard PadleyManaging Director, Semantico Limited

Shibboleth: come and talk to us about enabling federated access management for your sites
Book Widget taster: publishers can trial a range of titles for a six-month period without making a major commitment to an entire library or imprint
User-experience review: a 2-day consultancy package offering that helps publishers get more sales effectiveness out of an existing site

Friday 18 September 2009

What's Next for the Google Settlement - FREE online seminar from CCC

Colleagues may be interested in a free online seminar which has been organized by fellow ALPSP member the Copyright Clearance Center.

Copyright law specialist Lois F. Wasoff will give the hour-long webinar which will take place on Wednesday, September 23, 2009 at 12:00 pm EDT (5:00 pm BST in the UK, 6:00 pm CEST in mainland Europe).

To quote the blurb:
"Since its announcement in October 2008, there has been a continuous stream of activity surrounding the Google Settlement. The dates to opt-out and object have passed and thousands of documents have been filed with the court. Renowned copyright law and policy attorney Lois Wasoff returns to help sort out the diverse viewpoints in anticipation of the Fairness Hearing, the next important event in this historic lawsuit. Presented in clear and concise terms, the seminar will examine the complex issues facing Judge Dennis Chin as the hearing date approaches."

The webinar is FREE, but you must register to take part.

Wednesday 16 September 2009

Current Communications and public consultations from the European Commission

The European Commission currently has three 'communications' (EC speak for policy documents) and public consultations open that may be of interest to ALPSP members.

1. Consultation on “Europeana – next steps”
The European Commission adopted the Communication “Europeana – next steps” on 28 August 2009. Europeana is "Europe's online library, museum and archive" and is part of the European Commission's digital libraries initiative which, in their words, aims "to make Europe's cultural and scientific heritage accessible to all on the internet".

The EC has launched a public consultation to discuss the further development of Europeana (deadline for comments: 15 November 2009).

2. Consultation on “Post i2010: priorities for a new strategy for European information society (2010-2015)”
The European Commission has published Europe’s Digital Competitiveness Report and opened a public consultation on what future strategy should be adopted to meet 5 stated goals:

  • to accelerate the economic recovery and maintain its world leadership in high-tech sectors
  • to spend research budgets more effectively so that bright ideas are marketed and generate new growth
  • to kick-start ICT-led productivity to offset GDP stagnation as the labour force starts to shrink when the baby boomers retire
  • to foster new, smarter, cleaner technologies that can help Europe achieve a factor for growth; and
  • to use networking tools to rebuild trust in Europe as an open and democratic society.

The Commission has launched an online questionnaire to gather opinion.

3. Communication on “Enhancing the enforcement of intellectual property rights in the internal market”
On 14 September 2009 the European Commission adopted the Communication "Enhancing the enforcement of intellectual property rights in the internal market". There is no consultation open on this Communication but ALPSP members may be interested in the "practical, non-legislative measures to combat counterfeiting and piracy" that are outlined in the Commission's press release.

Toby Green elected next Chair of ALPSP

Toby Green, Head of Publishing at the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), has been elected as the next Chair of ALPSP.

Toby joined OECD in 1998 and became Head of Publishing in 2007. He was instrumental in the launch of SourceOECD in 2000 and since then OECD has continued to carve out a reputation as one of the most innovative and forwarding-thinking publishers in the non-profit sector. He began his publishing career in 1982 and has previously worked for Academic Press, Elsevier and Pergamon Press.

Speaking of his election, Toby said "It is a great honour to be asked to Chair ALPSP. The challenge is to build on the momentum that ALPSP has so that it can deepen and extend its work in serving the international community of not-for-profit scholarly publishers. ALPSP has its roots in the UK but has 140 members outside of the UK and active chapters in North America and Australasia so it is definitely a global association. Appointing a Chair based outside the UK for the first time underlines this global aspiration."

Toby served as a Member of the Council of ALPSP from 2002-2006 and will re-join Council as Chair on 1 January 2010, succeeding Robert Parker (Royal Society of Chemistry) who will continue to serve on Council as Past-Chair.

Saturday 12 September 2009

Fun and fundraising at the ALPSP / Ringgold Golf

Congratulations to the winners of the 2009 ALPSP / Ringgold Texas Scramble golf competition.

Shown receiving their trophies from Ringgold's Helen Henderson (far left) are from left to right Jevin West, Mary Waltham and Jacquie Thomson.

I am delighted to say that the event raised £200 for the Multiple Sclerosis Society.

My thanks to all those that took part - a good time was definitely had by all!

Friday 4 September 2009

New report on small businesses' access to research literature

The Publishing Research Consortium (PRC) - of which ALPSP is a founding partner - has just published a new report by Mark Ware examining UK small businesses' access to research information.

As noted by Bob Campbell, Chair of the Publishing Research Consortium steering group:

"The so-called ‘access gap’ for small businesses has often been cited as a problem in the current scholarly communication system, without much idea of its extent. This study is an important first step in improving our understanding of how staff in small businesses use journals and what can be done to achieve even greater access."

It's a hot topic because small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) make up a huge proportion of businesses (over 99% in the UK), account for a significant proportion of private sector employment and turnover and, crucially, drive much of the innovation in the economy. Access to the research literature by SMEs hasn't been studied much and so this report is a very welcome addition to the evidence base.

The report includes primary data from an online survey and qualitative interviews and finds that SME access to research information is good, but could be improved still further. Key findings are:
  • 70% of respondents for whom access to the literature was important described their access as fairly of very easy
  • SME respondents read circa 112 articles per year on average which implies that there are no major access barriers
  • Ease of access was lower among SMEs than in larger companies or universities
  • SMEs are more likely to experience access difficulties than those in larger companies or universities

The research report Access by UK small and medium-sized enterprises to professional and academic information is available from the PRC website along with a companion report containing additional information and analysis.

Mark Ware will give a brief presentation on the survey at an additional session of the ALPSP International Conference at 5:30pm on Thursday 10 September 2009.

Wednesday 2 September 2009

UK government gets tough with internet pirates

The UK government has accepted the huge and growing problem of internet piracy with Culture Secretary Ben Bradshaw promising tougher measures to crackdown on illegal file-sharing.

Measures that the UK government is supporting include:
  • Warning letters to those illegally downloading content
  • Allowing telecoms watchdog Ofcom to release the identities of serial infringers to facilitate prosecution by rightsholders
  • Making internet service providers (ISPs) slow down the internet connections of repeat offenders, although the government appears to have backed away from getting ISPs to terminate internet access altogether

Representatives of the content industries - including ALPSP - have been working together to ensure that the government understands the economic and social importance of the creative industries and the negative impact that illegal file-sharing is having and it is great to see that our message seems to have gotten through despite fierce lobbying from the ISPs who oppose these measures.

Social Media Workshops - discount for ALPSP members

Reed Media are offering a 10% discount to ALPSP members for their workshop Introduction to Social Media Marketing for Publishers which will take place in London on October 27, 2009.

More information is available on the event's webpage.

To claim your discount enter the code alpsp1009 when prompted.

FOCUS ON: The DC Principles Coalition

The DC Principles Coalition has been an important voice in the on-going debate about changes to scholarly publishing, and an extremely active and influential one.

Marty Frank (American Physiological Society) explains more about the DC Principles Group and why it started:

"The seeds for the DC Principles Coalition for Free Access to Science were planted at the 2003 meeting of publishers working with HighWire. The group had been monitoring the efforts of advocates for changes in scholarly communication, finding themselves frustrated by calls for open access and complaints about the high cost of scholarly publications, especially those published by commercial companies. As not-for-profit publishers, the group considers themselves responsible partners with the academy, producing reasonably priced scholarly journals. As a result, a group of not-for-profit scholarly publishers, led by representatives from the American Physiological Society, the Endocrine Society, the American Association of Pediatrics and the American Association for Cancer Research, created the DC Principles Coalition in 2004 providing a voice for not-for-profit publishers (www.dcprinciples.org).

Coalition members believe it appropriate to make the full-text of their journals freely available to everyone worldwide either immediately or within months of publication, depending on each publisher’s business & publishing requirements. Unfortunately, funding agencies do not agree with that philosophy, mandating free access without demonstrating any concern about the viability of the journals that the scientific community relies upon. As a group, representatives of the DC Principles Coalition have written to our elected representatives, met with administration leadership, and testified before Congress on legislation and policies that impact upon our ability to publish scholarly works. The Coalition is comprised of 73 publishers with nearly 400 journals ranging from top-tier medical and research to small niche publications. The societies that make up the Coalition represent over 700,000 individual members. They publish over 100,000 articles annually with approximately 20% of them based on research funded by the National Institutes of Health. The Coalition represents a diverse group of not-for-profit publishers believing in free access with some making their content available after 2 years, while others immediately or after 2 months because one policy does not fit the needs of all publishers."

ALPSP is supportive of the DC Principles Coalition; if your organization believes in the free access as defined by your organization’s business and publishing requirements, consider joining the DC Principles Coalition by completing the form available at http://www.dcprinciples.org/join.htm.

ALPSP meal at Frankfurt - Tuesday 13 October 2009

I'm pleased to be able to confirm that we will be holding our now famous ALPSP informal Pre-Frankfurt Book Fair dinner on Tuesday 13th of October 2009 for all ALPSP members the evening before the Fair opens.

We will be holding it at the same restaurant as last year: The Bangkok, Sandweg 17, 60316, Frankfurt, Germany (www.bangkok-restaurant.com).

Those of you who came last time will remember that this is not far from the city centre and all the main hotels. The start time will be 7.30pm.

We will arrange a selection of Thai dishes to suit all tastes (including vegetarians) and will arrange for some wine to be served with the meal. However other drinks either before, during or after the meal will need to be ordered at the restaurant and paid for separately.

This is a chance for members to mix and chat in an informal setting, the only rule being that if you come with a colleague you cannot sit with him/her during the meal.

I hope as many of you as possible will be able to make it for 2009. It was exceptionally popular last year, and we hope it will be so again. The cost will be 40 Euros. You should expect to pay me cash on the evening and it would also be helpful if you are able to give me a business card. Receipts will be emailed to you after the Fair (this will save me having to handwrite 80 receipts as everyone is leaving!).

Please email me as soon as possible if you would like to attend. We'll be taking over the whole restaurant but places are limited by their capacity!

Please pass this message to your colleagues if you are not attending the Fair yourself as everyone working for a member of ALPSP is welcome.

Ian Russell and I look forward to seeing you there. If not, then remember to drop by the ALPSP stand in Hall 4.2, during the Fair.


ALPSP @ the Frankfurt Book Fair

ALPSP will have its usual strong presence at the Frankfurt Book Fair this year.

Ian Russell and Nick Evans are currently booking meeting appointments so if you would like to get together please contact us.

Places still available for ALPSP golf event

These are the trophies on offer for the winners of the 2009 ALPSP / Ringgold Charity Texas Scramble team competition at Hinksey Heights Golf Course (see http://www.oxford-golf.co.uk/) on the western outskirts of Oxford.

We still have a couple of places available!

The intention is to provide a fun golf event with a little networking which raises money for charity. All of the proceeds will therefore go to the MS Society (http://www.mssociety.org.uk/).

The event will take place on Friday 11 September 2009 with the first team teeing off at 3pm. As publishing folk we are used to challenging conditions and we will therefore play no matter what the weather!

Hinksey Heights is easily accessed from the A34 Oxford ring-road.

The organizers (Helen Henderson and myself) will be placing each of the players into teams to try to ensure that there is a relatively even distribution of experience. The teams will be announced on the day and Team Captains will be determined by lot.

The golf will be followed by a barbeque (which is included in the price) and cash bar during which the winners will be announced and presented with their trophies. We expect the barbeque to start around 6:30 and the event will formally end at around 7:30 – 8:00 (though players will be welcome to stay beyond that!)

Participation in the event costs £30 which includes green fees, barbeque and a donation to the MS Society of £10 (any additional surplus, should it arise for any reason, will also be donated to the MS Society).

In order to keep the administration simple we are asking players to pay on the day but places MUST BE BOOKED AND CONFIRMED IN ADVANCE!

We are assuming that players will bring there own clubs, otherwise clubs will need to be hired from Hinksey Heights – please contact me for details.

We will make our best efforts to try to arrange car-shares from the venue of the ALPSP International Conference (the Oxford Belfry). Otherwise players will have to make their own way to Hinksey Heights.


Friday 14 August 2009

FOCUS ON: Anianet

ALPSP members may be interested in a new service which seeks to connect Chinese scholars with their western counterparts.

Fellow ALPSP member Anianet (http://www.anianet.com/) is a professional network for Chinese researchers, professors, and other academic professionals interested in forging better connections with the west by creating free professional profiles on the Anianet network. These English-language profiles outline a member's research interests, institutional affiliation, publishing history, teaching experience, awards, collaboration histories, and other details of his/her professional accomplishments. The profiles are enhanced by including pictures, CVs, links to presentations, and so forth. In this manner, Chinese scholars can make themselves better known to western editors, reviewers, meeting organizers, and others who are beginning to use the network as a means to better understand who is doing what in the Chinese academic space.

The service provides a unique way to connect the Chinese scholars to the international research community, serving tailored feeds of western content from thousands of sources – news, announcements, abstracts, grant opportunities, etc. – tied to a member's specific subject area. In this manner, a Chinese organic chemist, behavioral ecologist, or macroeconomist can effectively keep abreast of international developments in his or her field. It looks like it could become an important tool in developing long-term relationships with Chinese researchers and research institutions and assist in the recruiting of Chinese Editors, Editorial Board members and authors.

Anianet officially launched in late July and already more than 1,600 Chinese scholars - in fields ranging from architectural design to zoology - have created Anianet profiles.

ALPSP Annual General Meeting

The ALPSP Annual General Meeting will be held on Thursday 10th of September 2009 at 12pm at The Oxford Belfry, Milton Common, Thame, Oxfordshire OX9 2JW, UK (online map).

This will coincide with the ALPSP International Conference which is being held at that venue from the 9th–11th of September. Attendance at the AGM is open to all ALPSP members, both Full and Associate, and does not require you to attend the conference as a delegate However, if you are not registered for the conference we would be grateful if you could let Lesley Ogg know you are coming so that she can advise the Conference Centre and they can provide an entry badge.

Wednesday 5 August 2009

Content Nation - prize draw at the ALPSP International Conference

Further to the blog entry on John Blossom, you can win a copy of John's excellent book, Content Nation, at the 2009 ALPSP International Conference.

We'll be giving five copies of the book away at the Conference dinner courtesy of the publisher of Content Nation, John Wiley and Sons.

If you're not fortunate enough to win a copy, the book will also be available to order at a special discounted rate at the Conference.

Draw entry rules apply.

Monday 3 August 2009

ALPSP Council - nominations

Primary contacts at member organizations should now have received notification from Nick Evans of this year’s vacancies to ALPSP Council. If you wish to nominate someone (with their permission and agreement of course!) then please contact Nick Evans.

Thursday 30 July 2009

FOCUS ON: John Blossom

"Surviving and Thriving as Social Media Technology Changes Our Lives and Our Future"

John Blossom, founder, President and Senior Analyst of Shore Communications, is a smart and interesting guy. He is one of the most influential and widely recognized content industry analysts and his book Content Nation, published in January 2009, uses analysis and case studies to examine the dynamics and impact of social media. It proved an immediate hit and gets straight 5 star reviews on Amazon.com.

As you might expect from someone so savvy in marketing and social media he maximises the use of social networking technologies and the web: Content Nation, though published by a mainstream publisher (John Wiley and Sons), was developed through a collaborative wiki; he's very active on Twitter with close-on 1500 followers; has his own YouTube channel; and has active profiles on Facebook, LinkedIn and a host of other social and professional networking services. But most impressively John consistently appears at the top of search engine results lists in a way that is simply stunning! Seriously, check it out - for me 9 of the first 10 hits on Google and 8 of the first 10 on Bing are to him. Not bad for someone with a name that's not that uncommon.

Not surprisingly John is in demand which is why it's so terrific that he's one of the keynote speakers at the 2009 ALPSP International Conference which will take place from 9-11 September 2009 at the Oxford Belfry Hotel and Conference Centre.

I honestly believe that John's keynote will be worth the conference registration fee alone. Places are still available and you can find out more and register on-line at the Conference website.

Wednesday 15 July 2009

ALPSP Chairty Golf Event - confirmation

I am pleased to confirm details of the inaugural ALPSP Charity Golf Event!

We will hold a 'Texas Scramble' team competition starting at 3:00 pm on Friday 11 September 2009 at Hinksey Heights Golf Club, Oxfordshire.

We have decided to run a Texas Scramble competition as this is primarily intended as fun event and an opportunity to raise money for charity. Golfers of both sexes and all abilities are welcome!

Places are strictly limited and will be allocated on a first-come, first-served basis with a reserve list in operation should there be any late withdraws. Allocation of individuals to teams will be done by the organizers to try to ensure a mix of experience and ability.

The event will finish with a barbeque and prize giving ceremony for the winning team and runners-up.

Our chosen charity is the Multiple Sclerosis Society; you don't have to play in the competition to make a donation which you can do online.

The cost for taking part will be £30 including green fees, barbeque and a donation to charity.

If you wish to register then please contact me.

Tuesday 7 July 2009

July industry announcements

  • SAGE partners with the American Sociological Association to publish 8 of its journals
  • The Charlesworth Group Helps Nature Publishing Group Semantically Enrich PDFs [press release]

Monday 6 July 2009

ALPSP Charity Golf event

Attention golfers of all standards!

I am pleased to say that, thanks to Helen Henderson of Ringgold, ALPSP will be holding a charity ‘Texas Scramble‘ golf event on the afternoon of Friday 11 September 2009 (immediately after the ALPSP International Conference) most likely at Hinksey Heights gold course in Oxfordshire.

More details will be announced very shortly but in the meantime you can register your interest by e-mailing me. (You don’t need to be attending the Conference to take part; players will be assigned teams to try to ensure a mix of ability.)

Copyright Infringement Portal

Illegal distribution of in-copyright material via websites and peer-to-peer file sharing is becoming an ever greater concern to scholarly and professional publishers as we have highlighted previously (see the Advice Note on the topic).

As also previously reported, the UK Publishers Association (PA) has developed an online Copyright Infringement Portal to streamline the process of serving take-down notices and to give an overview of where infringement is taking place. I am delighted to say that, thanks mostly to Alicia Wise, ALPSP is now working with the PA who have launched an ALPSP version of the portal. The service is available at a very substantial discount to ALPSP members with prices starting at just £247.50 – that’s about the price of an hour’s worth of legal advice. The service is completely free if you are a member of the PA.

Full details of the pricing structure are available on the website where you can also register and pay online.

Thursday 11 June 2009

Beyond Books and Journals Conference - UCL 25/26 June

There is still time to sign up for the third Bloomsbury Conference on e-publishing and e-publications at UCL on 25/26 June. The theme is the nature of formal scholarly communication (our business). The journal article in particular has not changed even though the way scholars communicate in their presentations to one another is very different in the digital environment.

Anthony Wattkinson who is the conference organiser says the difference between this conference and most others is that the speakers are researchers and publishers who have done the research or who have the experience and the value added by publishers is a given not something that has to be argued for.

For further information including a complete programme and registration see http://www.ucl.ac.uk/infostudies/e-publishing/. The cost is modest and there is a day rate.


Friday 5 June 2009

Rowecom - the cheque's in the post!

I am pleased to say that I understand cheques for the final distribution from the Rowecom settlement are in the mail and should be arriving very shortly.

I suspect many of you will have written off this money some time ago and so this will be some welcome extra cash!


Friday 29 May 2009

Government advisers: online piracy costing the UK GBP 12 billion a year

Research commissioned by the Strategic Advisory Board for Intellectual Property (SABIP) - a body that offers advice on IPR issues to the UK government - has reported that around 7 million people in Britain are involved in illegal file-sharing and are downloading material worth £12 billion each year.

As many ALPSP members will know, illegal file sharing is not restricted to Hollywood movies and the music industry; increasing amounts of scholarly material are being found on both general file-sharing websites and sites aimed specifically at our industry.


Thursday 28 May 2009

Science Blogs Connect

Quick posting from the SSP Annual Meeting in Baltimore:

Science Blogs Connect announced as new free service for publishers to connect the peer-review research literature with research blogs...

ALPSP members PLoS and The Royal Society are the first publishers to participate...

More on this later!


Thursday 21 May 2009

Should Rightslink introduce a new service for ALPSP members?

Copyright Clearance Center (CCC) and ALPSP have been discussing the possibility of introducing a new service tailored specifically for use by small and medium sized scholarly publishers based on their popular Rightslink service. It is expected that if a new service is developed that members will be able to receive it in late 2009.

CCC’s Rightslink service automates the entire content licensing and delivery process. Today, Rightslink is used by several publishers such as Elsevier, Oxford University Press, Springer, Taylor & Francis, and many more. This online survey is being conducted to establish whether such a service will offer particular value to ALPSP members, and we hope therefore that you will be able to participate. Thank you very much for your help in completing this study.
To access the survey go to: http://www.tidewatchsurveys.com/STS/3323/cgi-bin/ciwweb.pl?studyname=3323&scr1=1&src=2

This online survey takes about 12 minutes to complete. In the survey they will be asking you about how your business grants licenses and permissions to customers who want to reuse content that your organization manages.

Please be assured that the information you provide will be used solely for this survey and will not be sold, shared, or used for any other purpose.

Nick Evans

Tuesday 19 May 2009

WolframAlpha - set to topple Google?

Wolfram Research - the outfit behind Mathematica - have launched a new service that they call 'a computational knowledge engine'. WolframAlpha aims to 'collect and curate all objective data; implement every known model, method, and algorithm; and make it possible to compute whatever can be computed about anything'.

Golly! Quite a mission statement and every bit as ambitious as that of a certain Mountain View-based search engine, i.e. 'to organize the world's information and make it universally accessible and useful'.

According to their website: 'WolframAlpha is the first step in an ambitious, long-term project to make all systematic knowledge immediately computable by anyone. You enter your question or calculation, and WolframAlpha uses its built-in algorithms and growing collection of data to compute the answer.'

So what has this got to do with a challenge to Google? Well the 'new kind of knowledge-based computing' that WolframAlpha uses could be the next step to a semantic web search engine that might - just might - topple Google's supremacy in search in the way that Google's own pagerank algorithm blew everything else out of the water in the late 1990's.

At the very least it looks like it will be of huge interest to the STM publishers out there - especially those in mathematics, physics and engineering...

Online Communities - learn from the best of the rest

I suppose it's pretty appropriate that I'm using our Blog and other social network groups to send you news about an interesting ALPSP one-day seminar which is being held on the 7th of July in London entitled Online Communities: what can scholarly publishing learn from other industries?'

I hope that the meeting will appeal for a number of different reasons:

1) the speakers are all experts not from scholarly publishing but from related industries who use communities as part of their mainstream business (magazines, mobile devices, computer games, specialist newspapers, general books);
2) we're flying in an expert from the States who has published a major report on social networking;
3) you won't have heard of any of the speakers before as none of them are the "usual suspects" from scholarly publishing;
4) the "back it or bin it" format adds spice to the day by letting you choose who has made the biggest impression by allowing you to spend your specially printed "ALPSP pounds" on who you personally favour. So it'll be fun as well as educational.
5) Pam Sutherland from OUP will be Chairing the meeting, and that's a reason to come all on its own.

But most important of all it has a serious purpose: to lift the lid on how online communities need to be part of your core business.

See you there.



Monday 18 May 2009

Charlesworth Group tie up $1 million worth of deals in China

ALPSP member The Charlesworth Group has announced that they have successfully negotiated contracts between fourteen publishers and the National Science and Technology Library (NSTL) nationwide consortia in China. The press release states that the deals represent additional gross annual revenue worth over US$1 million.

Charlesworth's China-based composition and pre-press services are well known and have given the organization a sizable footprint in the country; they employ 200 staff in Beijing and Langfang. It seems that they are increasingly focussing on brokering rights and licensing deals in China.


ALPSP Conference - early-bird discount ends June 14!!!

A quick reminder that the 2009 ALPSP International Conference early-bird discount ends on June 14 2009 and will not be extended!

The full Conference program is now available at the conference website along with a list of speakers. In fact we have speakers from five continents and we're sure you'll agree that it is a fantastic line up!

We've kept the registration fees at last year's level even though the program is longer.

Also don't forget that this year we will be holding parallel pre-conference workshops which are completely free for anyone attending the full Conference - another ALPSP credit crunch busting move!

Don't delay - register for your place today!

New URL for ALPSP blog

The ALPSP blog has a new URL - blog.alpsp.org

The blog has proved to be more popular than we thought and so we decided it was high time that it moved to an ALPSP web address.

The blog is still hosted by blogger and so the old address will still work (it just redirects to blog.alpsp.org)

Wednesday 13 May 2009

ALPSP workshops all over the world!

May 12 was something of a red-letter day for ALPSP.

We held professional development workshops in Philadelphia (Introduction to Journals Publishing), Washington DC (Effective Journals Marketing), London (Effective Journal Editorial Management ) and Geneva (Creating High Impact Marketing)!

We've held courses in these places before, of course, but never in four cities across three countries on the same day!

The DC and Philly courses are part of our North American workshop program - we have seven more planned for Fall, 2009 - and I am delighted to say that both of the May 12 workshops were sold out! It's still early days for our US program, but what a start!


Tuesday 12 May 2009

NISO start work to standardize single sign-on

NISO are setting up a new working group under the auspices of their Discovery to Delivery Topic Committee to create one or more recommended practices that will explore practical solutions for improving the success of single sign-on (SSO) authentication technologies.

NISO's current Chair, Oliver Pesch (Chief Strategist, EBSCO Information Services) is quoted as saying: "By developing recommended practices that will help make the SSO environment work better libraries and information providers will improve the ability for users to successfully and seamlessly access the content to which they are entitled."

In addition to forming the working group, NISO will be establishing an "interest group" e-mail list. If anyone would like to be a part of this new working group or to join the affiliated interest group, contact the NISO office at www.niso.org/contact.


Monday 11 May 2009

Google Book Settlement delayed

As you may have heard already, the District Judge hearing the Google Settlement has ordered an extension to the opt-out deadline and the date of the Final Fairness Hearing.

The deadline for opt-opts is now set at September 4, 2009 with the Final Fairness Hearing scheduled for October 7, 2009.


Wednesday 29 April 2009

New suite of tools to enhance search capabilities

I thought this announcement from Califronian based 'DeepDyve' would be of particular interest given the growing use of semantic web techniques.


DeepDyve Unveils Suite of Tools for Publishers

New Tools Enable Advanced Search and Discovery

APRIL 28, 2009 – Sunnyvale, CALIF — DeepDyve, the research engine for the Deep Web, today unveiled a suite of tools for publishers and scientific societies of all sizes that want to enhance the search capabilities on their websites. The suite of tools leverages DeepDyve’s KeyPhraseTM algorithm, which allows users to input whole sentences, paragraphs or entire articles as their query to find related results.
"Our vision is that search is becoming more sophisticated and more decentralized. Increasingly, users are initiating their research online and they want to have search integrated seamlessly with their reading and browsing behavior — in other words, they want their content to be their query for finding comprehensive answers to difficult questions. These tools give our partners the ability to make their content more findable and to demonstrate the breadth and depth of their collection," said William Park, CEO of DeepDyve. "We're making available some of our most frequently used search capabilities to publishers that want to give their visitors a more compelling search experience."

The products being announced today are designed to first make the publisher's content more discoverable in search engines which is where, according to a report from Outsell, more than 70% of users begin their research. From there, other tools are available to increase the engagement at the publisher's site by allowing users to quickly find related articles based on what they are viewing.

Publisher Landing Pages
Publisher Landing Pages use DeepDyve's technology to enhance the findability of publisher content by Google and other search engines. These co-branded or private label pages present the Web searcher with not just one article at a time, but with a whole page full of closely related articles from the same publisher, with links pointing them to the publisher site. One Landing Page can be set up for each article, yet they are easy to deploy, totally automated and hosted by DeepDyve.

Custom Search API
DeepDyve's next-generation search technology is available to publishers via a web services API (Application Programming Interface). The API can be set up to search only a publisher's own content, or to help users discover other highly relevant documents in the DeepDyve index. Searches can be launched with a few keywords, or by allowing users to use a paragraph or an entire document as a query to find articles that match the concepts described. Results are returned via an XML feed or as a hosted, co-branded web page.

More Like This Document API

The DeepDyve More Like This Document API enables websites to directly interface with the DeepDyve database to search for articles that are similar to a designated document within the DeepDyve index. It is designed for use by publishers whose content has been indexed by DeepDyve and who would like to include a 'related articles' functionality on their site without the painful implementation. The user may select any document to use as a query, and the title and body are compared to other documents in the DeepDyve index. The resulting documents can be limited to a publisher's own content, or may include other content in the DeepDyve index. Results are returned via an XML feed or as a hosted, co-branded web page.

Content Highlight Widget
The Highlight Widget enables users at the publisher site to simply highlight any block of text up to 5,000 characters, then run that selection as a query. DeepDyve returns only the Publisher's articles in the search results via an XML feed or as a hosted, co-branded page of results.
DeepDyve is a search engine that was developed to scour the depths of the so-called Deep Web, the vast collection of information-rich content that is largely overlooked by today's traditional search engines. Since the company's launch in September 2008, DeepDyve has worked closely with major publishers, building an index with hundreds of millions of pages that showcases content from the industry's most respected research organizations, academic institutions and professional associations. The API tools that are being announced today are the next step in DeepDyve's vision for enabling publishers to better utilize the Internet to reach as large an audience as possible.

Early Customer Adoption
The Public Library of Science (PLoS) is one of the first organizations to implement DeepDyve's search technology.
"We are looking forward to DeepDyve powering the search on PLoS.org," said Peter Jerram, CEO of The Public Library of Science. "DeepDyve's cutting-edge technology and ability to use entire sentences as a query will make it much easier for our users to find and discover new original research in science and medicine."

Pricing and Availability
Each of these tools is available for free with advertising revenue sharing, or for a fee which varies depending on volume.

About DeepDyve
DeepDyve, formerly known as Infovell, is the research engine for the Deep Web. DeepDyve unlocks the vast and rich collection of information that is out on the web, but is hidden from today's search engines. Using DeepDyve, people find the in-depth, high-quality information they need to answer tough research questions. The company is headquartered in Sunnyvale, CA, with offices in Shanghai, China. To learn more about DeepDyve, go to www.DeepDyve.com or call 1-408-773-0110.

Thursday 23 April 2009

RCUK publishes new open access report

RCUK has published its long awaited open access report:


The language used in the release is moderate. Ian Diamond, Chair of RCUK, is quoted as saying “The Research Councils look forward to working with their partners across the research community to consider the options” which seems like a responsible attitude to me.

The headlines are:
That over time (my emphasis) the UK Research Councils will support increased open access, by:
* building on their mandates on grant-holders to deposit research papers in suitable repositories within an agreed time period, and;
* extending their support for publishing in open access journals, including through the pay-to-publish model.

I haven’t read the full report yet and will post further comments in due course...


Tuesday 21 April 2009

ACT NOW TO PROTECT YOUR RIGHTS! - important deadline: May 5

Published or sold a book in the United States before January 5 2009? Then you need to pay attention!

As you probably know, May 5 2009 is a very important deadline in the Google Books Settlement. This is the date by which rightsholders need to opt-out of the class action settlement. You don’t need to have been involved in the instigation of the class action to be affected; everyone who has published or sold a book in the United States at any time before January 5 2009 may be involved.

You are strongly urged to decide whether to opt-out or not. Do not to let this deadline pass without actively making a decision!

ALPSP has not adopted a position on the Google Books Settlement and individual rightsholders will obviously need to come to their own decision on whether the terms of the settlement are right for them.

I won’t go into the detail here, but here are a few things about the settlement that will hopefully help you determine whether you need to find out more:

It is about books (and some inserts to books) only. Some journals have been included in Google’s digitization program but these are not included in this settlement.

Google has apparently digitized around 7 million books. Of these about one million are out of copyright and are therefore not subject to the settlement. Around a further one million are still in-print and have been digitized with the agreement of publishers under the partner program; these are also not part of the settlement. The remaining 5 million books are in copyright but out-of-print and are the subject of this settlement (and, as I understand it, are any in copyright, out-of-print books not yet digitized).

As far as I can tell, Google has made no attempt to identify the rightsholders of the ~ 5 million books that are the subject of this settlement. In fact they may use the ‘opt-out’ procedure of the class action as justification for their actions if the rightsholders have not come forward. Google terms these ‘orphan works’ (i.e. works where the rightsholder cannot be identified) but as I say I believe that no due process to identify rightsholders has actually been carried out.

The settlement does not cover most of the images in the books which have been (or will be) blanked out.

Access to the digitized versions of these books will only be from the USA (those involved more closely appear confident that this can be achieved but it seems an enormously difficult task to me…)

You need to have the US copyright interest in the book (so if you have retained worldwide rights you are included).

If you choose to opt-out of the settlement you are retaining the right to sue Google for copyright infringement with respect to their digitizing activity of these books. However, it strikes me that even if you have no intention of suing Google you will be sending a message that you do not feel that the settlement is in your interests and be objecting to Google’s activities in this area.

If you choose to opt-out of the settlement you will not benefit from the payments from Google for the digitization of these works nor from any income generated in the future by the books included in the service. In addition you will not be able to formally comment on the terms of the settlement.

The Publishers Licensing Society have provided some additional information and, in case you've not seen it, a copy of the legal notice summary and full notice.

More information:
The settlement - http://www.googlebooksettlement.com/
FAQs - http://www.googlebooksettlement.com/help/bin/answer.py?answer=118704&hl=en
To opt out - http://www.googlebooksettlement.com/r/enter_opt_out

You can also email the Settlement Administrator at booksettlement_en@rustconsulting.com.

Please note that ALPSP is unable to give legal advice regarding this settlement. If you are in any doubt you should consult a lawyer.

Saturday 18 April 2009

Founders of The Pirate Bay jailed for copyright infringement

On the same day as the Digital Britain Summit, the four founders of BitTorrent tracker site The Pirate Bay were handed prison sentences and ordered to pay USD 3.6m in damages for assisting copyright infringement of 'about 30 works'.

The Pirate Bay displays utter contempt for copyright as demonstrated by the legal disputes section of their website and have steadfastly refused to remove links to infringing content. It's great to see the Swedish courts taking the matter seriously and dishing out sentences that will hopefully serve as a deterrent for others.

On name-dropping and argument at the Ditigal Britain Summit

On Friday 17 April I attended the Digital Britain summit at the British Library in London.

The day covered the whole breadth of the topic, from the cable, fibre and wireless infrastructure needed to deliver Next Generation Access (NGA) through to the needs and confidence of consumers, to the issues around intellectual property (IP) and the protection of creativity and innovation.

We were treated to four government ministers including the Prime Minister, Gordon Brown, himself (not that he said much of relevance but it does, as we were frequently reminded, show the seriousness with which the UK government views this issue).

On the subject of piracy and the respect of IP, or lack of it, in the digital environment I got into a heated debate with two middle-aged attendees over coffee who refused to accept that piracy and illegal file sharing had any negative consequences at all (I mention age because we are so frequently told that it is only the young who are so naive about such matters). Instead I was told that there were no costs to producing content (which must come as a bit of a surprise to, for example, the Hollywood film studios!), that copying and distribution were free and that file sharing was free marketing. Of course when I asked how creators and rightsholders should recoup their investment I was told that it's for us to figure out and if we don't someone else will. Great.

The highlight for me was a long chat with Fergal Sharkey, former front man for The Undertones, chart-topping solo artist and now CEO of UK Music. UK Music are doing a huge amount to expose the impact that illegal file sharing and piracy are having on the creative industries and are banner wavers for all of us...