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:

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 -

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

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


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.