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.