The Bits Blog online with The New York Times reports that programmer Aaron Swartz was indicted for allegedly stealing 4 million documents from MIT and JSTOR. According to documents posted to Scribd, the arrest warrant cites alleged violation of 18 USC 1343, 18 USC 1003(a)(4), 18 USC 1003(a)(2), 18 USC 1003(a)(5)(B), and 18 USC 2.
The Boston Globe summed up the charges stating:
Aaron Swartz, 24, was charged with wire fraud, computer fraud, unlawfully obtaining information from a protected computer, and recklessly damaging a protected computer. He faces up to 35 years in prison and a $1 million fine.
Activist group Demand Progress, of which Swartz previously served as Executive Director, has a statement posted. Internet luminary Dave Winer also has a thought posted as to the indictment. Wired's report cites the current Executive Director of Demand Progress as likening the matter to checking too many books out of a library.
In late 2008, the University of Oregon's library faced a financial double punch. The recession meant belt tightening across the university at a time when the rising cost of journal subscriptions had already put a strain on the library's budget. "We were faced with a two-pronged financial attack here," recalled David C. Fowler, the library's head of licensing, grants administration, and collection analysis.
Something had to give. That something, as it turned out, was Oregon's so-called Big Deals with two heavyweight publishers, Elsevier and John Wiley & Sons. Big Deals provide large collections of journal articles but also lock institutions into multiyear subscriptions at rising prices that many libraries say they can no longer afford. At Southern Illinois University at Carbondale, another institution under pressure to make ends meet, those deals were eating up 40 percent of the library's materials budget.
What is wrong with Scientific Publishing: an illustrative “true” story
In closing I should make it clear that Open Access in its formal sense is only a small advance. More people can read “it”, but “it” is an outdated, twentieth century object. It’s outlived its time. The value of Wikipedia and Nature Precedings for me is that this has enabled a communal journey. It’s an n<->n communication process rooted in the current century.
Unless “journals” change their nature (I shall explore this and I think the most valuable thing is for them to disappear completely) then the tectonic plates in scholarly publishing will create an earthquake.
Academic Peer-Review…Crowd Sourced
Sympoze: a network of high-quality academic publications that utilizes crowd sourcing for the peer-review process. Crowd sourcing the peer-review process improves a number of problems with the current academic publishing model.
Reduced referee burden
Reduced review time
Speed up finding qualified referees
Eliminate the bad luck of being assigned to a biased or overworked referee
More diverse feedback
Decisions better reflect opinion of the field
Sympoze will also offer…
High-quality peer-reviewed scholarship by experts in the field
Immediate open-access publication (for pieces that pass the review process)
Yearly print volumes for each discipline in traditional book and e-book formats
Barring a pleasant surprise, this is the final issue before ALA. The first essay in the 28-page issue (PDF as usual, but all essays except the last are also available in HTML form from http://citesandinsights.info/) may help explain why that is.
Bibs & Blather (pp. 1-2)
Where do we go from here?
Trends & Quick Takes (pp. 2-9)
Eight mini-commentaries and three quick takes.
disContent (pp. 9-12)
A twofer: Two of my favorite "disContent" columns.
Interesting & Peculiar Products (pp. 12-20)
Twentyone product discussions (where "product" is interpreted loosely) and two editor's choice/roundups.
The CD-ROM Project (pp. 20-23)
The subtitle says it (almost) all: Some Work, Many Don't. The two that worked are both excellent--but so were some of the eight that didn't.
My Back Pages (pp. 23-28)
One essay that's way too long for MBP and five other chunks of snark.
Award-winning author and NPR commentator Nancy Pearl will begin writing a new monthly library-themed column for Publishers Weekly called “Check It Out” later this month. The first column will run in the May 30 issue of PW, the magazine's pre-ALA issue, as well as online at Publishers Weekly.
PW is now actively soliciting questions and comments for the “Check It Out” with Nancy Pearl column. “If you care about libraries, if you care about books, we want to hear to hear from you” said PW features editor Andrew Richard Albanese. Questions, comments and ideas may be sent via e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org or by regular mail to “Check It Out” with Nancy Pearl, Publishers Weekly, 71 West 23rd Street, Suite 1608, New York, NY 10010.
Journal tendering for societies: a brief guide
Hundreds of societies publish journals in collaboration with publishers. Some may be considering how and whether to renegotiate or go out to tender. Some may be considering whether they can/should/wish to change the business model of the journal (e.g. by a move to Open Access). Other societies may be considering using an external publisher for the first time. This guide, based on our experience, is written for all of these. In their negotiations with publishers learned societies – especially smaller ones – may have difficulty articulating their requirements and assessing the publishers’ offerings. This is true where they wish to compare the newer models with typical "conventional" models, or simply compare different conventional offerings. The reasons are complex and include: * lack of knowledge of the publishing industry on the part of the society's executive staff (who cannot always find the time to acquire the knowledge); * the "author/research funder pays" models, which, whilst becoming more prevalent in the domains of science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM), appear (but may not actually be) rather less feasible in other domains. This guide draws on the experience of one learned society, the Association for Learning Technology (ALT), in reviewing the publishing arrangements for its journal Research in Learning Technology, between September and December 2010.
The 44-page issue is PDF as usual, and consists of 1.5 essays. Each essay (or portion) is also available as an HTML separate; click on the essay titles. If this seems like an all-ebook issue, that's not intentional.
This issue includes:
Perspective: Writing about Reading (continued) pp. 1-16
This essay completes Perspective: Writing about Reading from the April 2011 C&I, with sections on how ebooks will (if you believe the authors) change reading and writing; "all singing! all dancing"--in which the only future for books is as multimedia extravaganzas; and writing about writing. It's snarkier than the first portion, even though it's been heavily desnarked.
The Zeitgeist: 26 is Not the Issue pp. 16-44
This abecedary goes from Absurd licenses to... Well, no, the topic is the only one truly suitable for the Zeitgeist label at the moment--HarperCollins, pay-per-view in some form, deals with the devil and what you lose when ownership turns to licenses.
If this one seems long, I'll note two things: -- Read More
For the first time, PW will publish a special supplement ahead of this year's American Library Association's annual conference set for June 23-28 in New Orleans. The pre-ALA issue will be published May 30 and will include features on library funding, the e-book loan controversy and an overview of the meeting program, in addition to other pieces on the show. "Our subscribers have been telling us they want more coverage of the library market and the ALA supplement is part of our commitment to act on that request," said PW publisher Cevin Bryerman who will handle advertising inquiries at email@example.com. Andrew Albanese will be overseeing the supplement's editorial content and can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The 32-page issue, PDF but with most essays also available as HTML separates, includes:
Perspective: Writing about Reading pp. 1-24
Dipping one toe gingerly into the ebook/ereader waters, here's the first of a two-part megaperspective on the nature of books, reading and writing. (Anticipate the snarkier second part in the May 2011 issue, barring surprises.)
Trends & Quick Takes pp. 24-27
More predictions, the gap between tools and talent, the cost of "free," and seven quicker takes.
The CD-ROM Project pp. 27-30
Six title CD-ROMs about political and cultural leadership--and, unfortunately, the message is right in the title: "Sometimes They Just Don't Work."
My Back Pages pp. 30-32
Only three of nine snarky little essays have anything to do with audiophilia--and in one case, that's stretching things.