De Gruyter has digitized its book archive of over 53,000 titles dating back to 1749. This marks the completion of the De Gruyter Book Archive project, which began in 2017. All titles have been scanned and cataloged and are now available digitally on degruyter.com and as print-on-demand copies.
The archive documents more than 270 years of German and European intellectual history and makes thousands of original scholarly works permanently accessible. It includes the program of the publishing houses Georg Reimer, G.J. Göschen, I. Guttentag, Karl I. Trübner, and Veit & Comp., which Walter De Gruyter merged in 1923 to found his publishing house.
The donations page says that “In the next few years Sci-Hub is going to dramatically improve”, and lists a number of planned developments. These include a better search engine, a mobile app, and the use of neural networks to extract ideas from papers and make inferences and new hypotheses. Perhaps the most interesting idea is for the software behind Sci-Hub to become open source. The move would address in part a problem discussed by Techdirt in May: the fact that Sci-Hub is a centralized service, with a single point of failure. Open sourcing the code — and sharing the paper’s database — would allow multiple mirrors to be set up around the world by different groups, increasing its resilience.”
Research results in astronomy, solar physics, and planetary science are about to become more widely accessible to scientists and the public alike. The American Astronomical Society (AAS), a leading nonprofit professional association for astronomers, today announced the switch of its prestigious journals to fully open access (OA) as of 1 January 2022.
I can’t help but notice that the theme of the International Open Access week, although ‘different’ every year, is starting to sound like something we’ve heard before. If we look back at the themes from previous years, we notice quickly that they are frequently about ‘including,’ ‘diversifying,’ and ‘equalizing.’ All relevant topics, but what I hope to see is more focus on what is truly new, innovative, groundbreaking and pushing us to rethink the possibilities with Open Access. This concerns all in the ecosystem and ways their roles are evolving (or not evolving): scholars, publishers, and libraries.
Below is the recent press release:
The 2021 Open Access Week Advisory Committee has announced that the theme for this year’s International Open Access Week, to be held October 25-31, will be “It Matters How We Open Knowledge: Building Structural Equity.”
A new podcast titled “Walled Culture” has been announced, produced and conducted by Irish Times journalist Karlin Lillington and Belgium-based Communications specialist Gwen Franck. The podcast will feature a series of interviews with a range of authors and publishing experts on how technology and all things digital have impacted the book industry and copyright. The podcast is described as follows on the website:
Access to culture has never seemed easier with the switch to digital. Yet, at the same time, it has also become totally different from the analogue days. We don’t own our books, movies or music as we did before. This podcast is a journey to discover how culture is captured behind the copyright walls.
I was privileged to go first. In the hour-long interview (to be published in the coming weeks), I share my thoughts on the present and future of copyright.
More information about the podcast is available here.
A few weeks ago I was asked by a New Yorker magazine journalist to share my thoughts on the future of digital reading and e-books as we know them, particularly in the context of libraries. The article, titled “An App Called Libby and the Surprisingly Big Business of Library E-Books” has now been published and may be read on the New Yorker’s website. It is quite insightful and features the voices of various others.
Librarians engaged with funding Open Access (OA) publishing, particularly the conversation of paid scholarly journals to OA, have been hearing a lot lately about the benefits of an emerging model first pioneered by Annual Reviews: Subscribe-to-Open (S20). As explained on the Annual Reviews website:
“S2O is a business model that uses subscription payments to convert gated access journals to full open access (OA). Under S2O, institutional customers continue to subscribe to the journals that their patrons value. If support is sufficient, new volumes are published OA under a Creative Commons license; if support is insufficient, the paywall is retained. Thus, S2O is a subscription model, not a voluntary donation approach. It offers a partnership for rapid and equitable conversion to OA for readers and authors in all disciplines.”
Established in 1993, Central European University Press is regarded in the library world as a leading publisher of scholarly books exploring the history of Central and Eastern Europe and the topics of communism, post-communist reconstruction and transitions to democracy. Its backlist has grown to over 450 monographs and edited collections over the years, with 25 new titles published each year.
Frankfurter Buchmesse will bring the international publishing community together again this year. Publishers, service providers and literary agents from over 60 countries have registered for the 73rd Frankfurter Buchmesse, which is scheduled to take place from 20-24 October 2021 as an in-person event with digital and hybrid offerings. Over 110 organizations will be participating in the book fair for the first time this year. Many exhibitors will be present at 41 national collective stands, including those from Argentina, Bulgaria, Estonia, France, Japan, Switzerland, Taiwan and Hungary. Both Canada’s French- and English-language book markets will be on-site at Frankfurter Buchmesse with a collective stand. And the fair’s future Guests of Honour – Spain (2022), Slovenia (2023) and Italy (2024) – will also be in attendance at large country stands.
Below is the full introduction to the new No Shelf Required book, published by the American Library Association in Fall 2021. The book may be ordered via ALA Store or Amazon.
When discussing the focus of this book—the third in the series of No Shelf Required books published by the American Library Association—we agreed immediately that we needed to place practice (rather than theory) in the forefront of every chapter. And we agreed that the value of this book will depend greatly on our ability to highlight the projects of the many individuals inside and outside publishing and libraries who have pushed us to think and act outside the box.
UK Research and Innovation’s (UKRI) new policy will increase the opportunity for the findings of publicly funded research to be accessed, shared and reused. Following extensive consultation with the sector, UKRI has published a single Open Access Policy for research publications that acknowledge funding from its councils.
Michael T. Nietzel, senior education correspondent for Forbes, wrote in his 2019 article: “…the precipitous drop in education graduates – led by an exodus of women from the field – comes at the very time the U.S. faces a teacher shortage, a problem that is growing because of the accelerating number of teachers leaving the profession…..as has been recognized by many in the academy, the humanities are struggling. Fewer graduates are majoring in English, history, foreign language, or liberal arts now versus ten years ago. Whether these declines reflect student concerns about employability, a lack of clear purpose or direction for these majors or the malaise that has gripped the humanities for years is not clear, but the student flight from these fields is unmistakable.”
It’s a conversation many of us who have been mentored in our professional lives may have had, as young practitioners: Be careful about mixing the personal and the professional. Make sure there are boundaries. Try and be a bit more detached. But in more recent years, the advent of postmodern thought has given rise to what people call ‘mesearch’ (or, more academically, autoethnography) – when a researcher uses their personal experiences to tackle academic questions. I want to explore some of the issues of detachment as they relate to a publisher’s work. And, particularly in the context of ‘social justice’ issues such as race, gender, equality, diversity, and inclusion.
As part of my doctoral research—which examined the factors that contribute to the sustainability of collaborative Open Access (OA) models for scholarly books (i.e., monographs)—I recently surveyed librarians across Europe with knowledge of or dealings with OA monographs and collaborative OA business models designed to finance their publishing. The study focused exclusively on monographs (not journals) and on collaborative business models referred to as crowdfunding or cross-institutional global initiatives. Examples of such initiatives include (but are not limited to) Knowledge Unlatched, Unglue.it, and Reveal Digital.
Although the term may still not be familiar to the wider public—including college students and faculty—Open Educational Resources (OERs) have been an integral part of education worldwide for at least two decades. OERs generally refer to digital educational materials that anyone anywhere can use freely and legally, including the user’s right to copy, share, enhance and/or modify them for the purposes of sharing knowledge and enabling education. These run the gamut and stretch beyond digital textbooks—usually perceived as the most common educational resources—to include everything from course materials, university courses, e-learning platforms, software, and streaming videos to lectures and digital repositories of monographs and journals.
In early 2021 the European Commission will launch their Open Research Europe platform: An Open Access publishing platform offering fast publication and open peer review for research conducted by Horizon 2020 and Horizon Europe beneficiaries.
Open Research Europe will be a scholarly publishing platform providing a full open access peer-reviewed publishing service for Horizon 2020 and Horizon Europe beneficiaries without cost, both during and after the end of their grants. The platform will enable fast publication times as well as publication outputs which support research integrity, reproducibility, and transparency, stimulating open science practices.
The goal of the One Country One Library project has been to develop a national platform of books and other publications (including short stories, academic articles and journals, textbooks, audiobooks, educational videos, and podcasts) that would be freely accessible via a website or app within the country’s borders. In a recent Library Tech Report (vol. 56, no. 7), published by the American Library Association, the project’s founder and manager describes the idea, the model and the experience.
What is a book review? Many have attempted to answer this question over the last few decades in a multitude of ways—from informed scholars, librarians, and booksellers to publishers, authors and readers. While their views differ widely on how successful book reviews are in bringing us closer to a book’s quality—and whether this is even possible—their definitions of book reviews and their core purpose seem to be in sync.
Digital resources for libraries—including digital databases and e-book versions of their print counterparts—have gained in popularity over the past decade and are embraced by general readers as well as educators and learners at all levels of education, from kindergarten through graduate school. With the COVID-19 crisis forcing a rapid shift to remote and distance learning around the world, the issue of the accessibility of digital resources becomes even more prominent.
A couple of weeks ago I moderated a global panel on Open Access. We (playfully) called it ‘Break on Through to the Open Side.” The subtitle, on the other hand, offered more context and set the tone for a serious, in-depth, discussion centered around this question: “Is Open Access prioritizing the needs of science and research?” As the person entrusted with the task of moderating this panel (the recording may be accessed here), I am using this opportunity to offer more context and to share some key takeaways.
In celebration of international Open Access Week librarians, publishers and scholars worldwide are invited to join an online panel discussion. A distinguished panel of publishers and librarians will provide their views on the impact of Open Access and participants will have the opportunity to ask questions and engage in the discussion.
Macmillan has just announced a new e-book lending model for libraries, as reported in various media outlets, including The Wall Street Journal, Publishers Weekly and Library Journal. Macmillan’s CEO John Sargent’s confirmed this change in a memo addressed to Macmillan authors, agents and illustrators last week. “One thing is abundantly clear,” said Sargent. “The growth in ebook lends through libraries has been remarkable. For Macmillan, 45% of the ebook reads in the US are now being borrowed for free from libraries. And that number is still growing rapidly.”
Last month, Knowledge Unlatched (KU) launched the Open Research Library, a new platform which unites the world’s Open Access (OA) book content under one search and hosting interface. With the help of infrastructure partners who contribute different services—including, for example, BiblioLabs, EBSCO, ProQuest, OCLC and Researcher App—KU aims to offer a solution to the main problem with OA book content: it is growing fast, but it still isn’t available to researchers in one place. Instead, it is scattered in various online repositories, making it difficult for researchers to find it and making it equally difficult for libraries to manage it as well as to integrate it into their discovery systems.
In our analysis of the ebook buying methods in academic libraries, we’ve examined thus far the unexpected effects of Demand-Driven Acquisitions (DDA), a model that showed promise at its inception but eventually led librarians and publishers to question its long-term sustainability, and we’ve cleared up some confusion surrounding the Approval Plan and explained why it remains as effective for purchasing digital books as for print. If we take a closer look at these two tools for acquiring content—the former a radical departure from traditional curation-based methods of buying that places the user and his/her activity at the center of buying, and the latter a decades-old method that has stood the test of time and evolved to support new technology and new methods (including DDA)—we discover that they share one key feature: both are centered around ‘title-by-title’ purchasing. Both invite and encourage a focus on individual titles, which are ‘picked’ or ‘chosen’ for purchase either automatically based on a set of pre-determined parameters or based on usage.
At a time when academic libraries are investing more time and resources experimenting with models that place user demands at the center of library acquisitions (via such models as DDA), there seems to be confusion and misunderstanding about which methods compete and why. Publishers and libraries spent a significant amount of time pitting the print book against the ebook in the early years of digital reading—at the time very few were pointing out that there was no real competition between the two formats to begin with, at least not to the extent that one should cancel out the other. Similarly, librarians have been tempted to decipher the maze of book and ebook buying models as a zero-sum game, i.e., that some models must clearly stand in opposition to others.
In the years and decades leading up to the digital revolution, academic librarians often questioned how much of the content they acquired in print really got used. Did the books they purchased in advance via approval plans and other methods get used enough to justify the cost of the library’s largely speculative buying? Were those books they bought really what library patrons needed in the first place? Then the universe of content exploded online and overnight, it seemed, an ocean of digital books became available—some for purchase, some via subscriptions, some free (e.g., Project Gutenberg). New ways of building library collections content emerged—ways that would allow librarians to gain valuable insight into patron activities and answer the decades-old question at the heart of collection development: Are libraries acquiring what patrons need?
September 12, 1931: George Jones is born in Saratoga, Texas. George, a.k.a. Possum (his friends thought he resembled one), had 160 singles make the charts! I’m not a country music devotee, but I know George is considered one of the best. Despite decades of heavy drinking—he eventually beat it, living out his final years sober—George lived to 81, passing in 2013.
September 12, 1931: Ian Holm Cuthbert is born in Goodmayes, Essex, England. His Scottish nurse mother and psychiatrist father worked at the local asylum. Despite years of live performing with the Royal Shakespeare Company, Ian, oddly, developed stage fright and walked out in the middle of performing The Iceman Cometh in 1976. Equally strange, he overcame it and returned successfully to live theater 20 years later! Always enjoy him in films.
September 13, 1908: Mae Questel (real name Kwestel) is born into a Orthodox Jewish family in the Bronx (with that voice, where else!). Her strict parents dissuaded her from pursuing a stage career, but she persisted, studying drama at Columbia University. After winning a contest for her impression of singer Helen Kane, an agent signed her and Mae hit vaudeville. She was adept at impersonations of popular celebrities of the day (Mae West, Fanny Brice, Eddie Cantor) , and her vocal talents opened the door to performing in cartoons. Max Fleischer hired her to voice Betty Boop, Olive Oyl, Sweet Pea, and other characters. Mae also appeared in numerous radio shows and film (later TV) and was the highest paid voice actor in Hollywood for years (girl power!). She also made records that sold millions. Generations later, she appeared in commercials, most notably for Scott paper towels and Folgers coffee in the 1970s.
September 13, 1974: Kolchak: The Night Stalker debuts on ABC. Star Darren McGavin quit after one season (it ended March 28, 1975), carping that ABC only was giving the show minimum support. Viewing episodes, McGavin’s claims are justified; the first handful are solid—good scripts and effects—and the last few are awful. A shame, too, because he’s a blast in the role.
September 13, 1996: Everybody Loves Raymond premieres on CBS. Great writing and a rock solid cast kept this show consistently funny throughout its nine-year run. For me, the secret sauce that made it so palatable was Patricia Heaton’s turn as Deborah, the normal outsider thrust into the hive of crazies—basically, the straightman to the comedians. Bravo, all! Happy 25th anniversary.
September 15, 1907: Fay Wray is born in Cardston, Alberta, Canada. Fay began her film career as a teen in silents and worked until 1980. She appeared with a number of Hollywood’s biggest talents, but all paled in comparison to the biggest star in film history in the 1933 role that defined her career.
September 15, 1938: Thomas Wolfe dies 18 days shy of his 38th birthday (his brain was ravaged by a form of tuberculosis). I wonder if anyone still reads him. I hope so.
Happy 75th birthday to Tommy Lee Jones, born September 15, 1946 in San Saba, Texas. Always dependable across the board, and Tommy brought a nice comedic touch to his role in the Men in Black series. But the older he gets the more he looks like an old catcher’s mitt.
September 16, 1963: The Outer Limits premieres on ABC with “The Galaxy Being” starring Cliff Robertson. I remember watching this as a kid (it ran until January 1965—49 shows total) and it scaring the hell out of me and my brother, although looking at it now most of the monsters were pretty low budget. It’s greatness was in the scripts written by Psycho screenwriter Joseph Stefano, Robert Towne, Harlan Ellison, and others combined with terrific actors. Solid stuff.
September 17, 1820: John Keats leaves for Italy. He never came back. He’s buried in Rome in the same cemetery as Shelley (alas, they’re not near each other).
September 17, 1923: Hank Williams is born in Mount Olive, Alabama. When Hank was eight, a black bluesman named Rufus “Tee Tot” Payne began coming around his parents’ place giving him guitar lessons in exchange for food, becoming a heavy influence on the boy’s later music career.
September 17, 1932: Robert Brown Parker is born in Springfield, Massachusetts. He wrote his first novel while teaching literature at Northeastern University. When his mystery novels began selling, he quit the classroom to write full time. Parker’s Boston PI, Spencer, is his best-known character, but he also created Jesse Stone and female detective Sunny Randall. Robert passed in 2010.
September 17, 1935: Ken Kesey is born in La Junta, CO. When teaching writing at the University of Oregon in 1990, Kesey and his grad student class wrote a mystery novel together and got it published—pretty cool!
September 18, 1709: Samuel Johnson is born in Lichfield, England. He was the most esteemed man of letters of his time and spent nearly a decade composing the first English-language dictionary, a Herculean feat for which we must thank him still. Physically large and imposing, he wore an oversized coat with considerable exterior and interior pockets. It was common for acquaintances and strangers both to present their latest manuscripts for his consideration, and Johnson would reach out with his beefy hand and the offered paper would disappear into the seemingly endless depths of the warehouse of his coat (think Harpo Marx).
Johnson apparently had numerous odd quirks of speech and movement that made new acquaintances uncomfortable around him, but thanks to the detailed descriptions supplied by Boswell’s famous biography, modern doctors have diagnosed that Johnson wasn’t purposely being off-putting—he had Tourette syndrome!
Happy birthday to Robert Blake, born in Nutley, New Jersey, September 18, 1933. I’ve always liked him as an actor, and he was much fun to watch on Johnny Carson back in the Baretta days. He’s, apparently, a gifted guitar player as well. Robert here as Perry Smith, the role he was born for, preparing to murder the Clutter family in Richard Brooks’s still chilling adaptation of Capote’s In Cold Blood.
September 18, 1961: James Gandolfini is born in Westwood, New Jersey. Always good in films, but he was one of those guys you often saw in supporting character parts without necessarily knowing his name. That changed in a flash when moving to TV for the role that rocketed his career. James would be 60.
September 18, 1970: Jimi Hendrix overdoses on barbiturates at age 27.
September 19, 1928: Adam West is born, in Walla Walla, Washington. For those of us of a certain age, Adam always will be Batman.
September 19, 1934: Brian Epstein is born in Liverpool. He knew a good thing when he heard it.
“As far back as I can remember I always wanted to be a gangster.”
September 19, 1990: Martin Scorsese’s mob masterpiece, GoodFellas, opens.
Lastly, a Shakespeare Sunday 70th birthday salute to the lovely Cassandra Peterson, who, with a barrel of mascara, poodle-sized wig, and low-cut gown revealing a half-acre of cleavage becomes every monsterkid’s walking wet dream—the mysterious, wise-cracking, Elvira, Mistress of the Dark! Born in Manhattan, Kansas, on September 17, 1951, Peterson has been a Vegas showgirl and model, a singer with an Italian rock band, and dated Elvis before landing the gig that immortalized her. Sans the Elvira rig, you’ve seen Cassandra in commercials and films/TV shows without recognizing her.
Michael Rogers (firstname.lastname@example.org) is a Jesse H. Neal Gold Award-winning freelance writer, editor, reviewer, and photographer. He is also former Media Editor and audiobook reviewer at Library Journal
More than 80% of scientific papers stemming from Horizon 2020 funded projects were published in open access journals, according to the European Commission in a new report.
It shows 86% of publications based on projects funded through the excellent science pillar in Horizon 2020 were published in open access journals. The highest rates of open access publication were in projects funded through the European Research Council (ERC) and the Future and Emerging Technologies (FET) programme, where rates were over 88%.
In an effort to draw attention to quality self-published literature and in agreement with BlueInk Review, NSR highlights reviews published on BIR’s site each week, including a wide variety of fiction and nonfiction. This week’s pick:
Corporate America has found it difficult to get people back to work after the pandemic. But talent shortages, especially in fields like tech that drive the economy, were a problem even before the pandemic. Steve Cadigan’s compelling book Workquake explains why.
Cadigan posits that the pace of technological change makes employees’ skills obsolete in less than five years, particularly in fields that depend on knowledge-work. Future skill-sets are so uncertain that older employment models that emphasized regularity and employee retention are no longer relevant.
Cadigan offers a new model for this uncertain future. Employees need to realize that stability and loyalty to a company are yesterday’s virtues. Today’s employees should expect to change jobs frequently, allowing them to gain knowledge of different parts of an enterprise and different business models, all while building their own network. Employees must operate as entrepreneurs, marketing an ever-changing array of skills to a series of employers…
Steve Cadigan has been at the forefront of global talent strategy and company culture for the past 30 years. Most famous for scaling Linkedin from 400 to 4000 in 3.5 years, Steve also led the development of LI’s legendary company culture and was at the helm of the Talent function for its period of the highest growth and through their IPO.
Having worked in 5 different industries and 3 different countries while also leading dozens of acquisition integrations all over the world, Steve has built unparalleled expertise for the Talent arena. Steve’s focus today is to help leaders and organizations build winning talent solutions to compete in an increasingly complex digital economy.
BlueInk Review was founded by Patti Thorn, former books editor of the Rocky Mountain News, and Patricia Moosbrugger, literary agent and subsidiary rights specialist. It offers serious, unbiased reviews of self-published books. Reviews are penned largely by writers drawn from major mainstream publications, such as The New York Times and Washington Post, and editors of respected traditional publishing houses. Select reviews appear in Booklist magazine.
The webinar will be hosted by Mirela Roncevic, with Frances Pinter as a guest speaker, and the discussion will center on CEUP’s existing digital collections of books (on the history and culture of Central and Eastern Europe) and ways in which libraries may purchase access to them while enabling the publishing of CEUP’s frontlist titles OA.
August 9, 1927: Actor and writer Robert Shaw is born in Westhoughton, Lancashire, England. One of the great screen villains of 70s movies—with a little bit of early Bond thrown in—Shaw had the ability to appear restrained and polite while remaining fully menacing. Neat trick. Solid in From Russian With Love, The Sting, The Taking of Pelham 1,2,3, and Robin and Marian, but, undoubtedly, best remembered as the vengeance-driven shark hunter in JAWS. Addicted to drinking, Shaw died in 1978 three weeks after turning 51.