Science Researchers on Google Scholar, Web of Science, and PubMed

Shifting Sands: Science Researchers on Google Scholar, Web of Science, and PubMed, with Implications for Library Collections Budgets , Issues in Science and Technology Librarianship, Fall 2010
Authors: Christy Hightower, Christy Caldwell

A study done by two librarians named Christy at UC Santa Cruz in Issues in Science & Technology Librarianship. Interesting implications for content budgets and publishers...

ProQuest Buys Ebrary

Ebrary, one of the pioneers in aggregating books and other print content online, has been acquired by ProQuest for an undisclosed price. Founded in 1999 by Christopher Warnock and Kevin Sayar, ebrary hosts more than 273,000 digital books, handbooks, reports, maps, journals and other content from about 500 publishers.

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Librarian's Passive Approach Lets The Market Run Against Our Interests

Librarian's Passive Approach Lets The Market Run Against Our Interests
- We didn’t clearly scope and demand our interests in metadata management, leaving these subscription agencies with valuable metadata that we pay them to ‘manage’ so that they can in turn sell it back to us via A-Z, link-resolver and related add-ons.
- This situation is reinforced by our bungling of the ILS space, namely, allowing the market to move towards extreme vendor lock-in, and overly segmented product offerings (where functionality has been doled out in a dysfunctional ‘pay per use’ model, rather than more organically).
-We’ve missed opportunities to be better organized on consortial purchasing, pricing activism, and stronger leadership towards open access.

A History of the OCLC Tax-Exemption Status

A History of the OCLC Tax-Exemption Status

One of the baffling elements I’ve found in discussions of the history of OCLC is that of its tax exempt status under Ohio law. The latest example of this comes from documents filed in the SkyRiver/Innovative-vs.-OCLC case that make disparaging remarks about how OCLC got its state tax-advantaged status. (The text of the remarks in those documents are included below.) I was curious about this a while back and so did some research on the topic. I had set it aside and forgotten about it until this latest lawsuit brought it up again. So, to set the record straight, here is at least one version — hopefully written from a neutral perspective — of what happened nearly three decades ago.


Novel-T Literary T-Shirt Contest

From Media Bistro's Galley Cat: For her entry in a t-shirt contest, reader Kristin Walko created an entire t-shirt out of pages from Moby Dick. The final product is pictured above.

Walko entered the Novel-T Photo Contest, a chance to win ten shirts and eight books. All you have to do is post a picture of someone wearing a Novel-T literary t-shirt on the company's Facebook page. The deadline is October 3rd, and the winner will be the picture with the most 'likes' from readers.

Here's more about the entry: "Here's my entry for the totally awesome contest! I may ogle your site each week but I've yet to be so lucky as to own a Novel-T, so this is my go at making my own Ahab shirt! I've fashioned it from pages of the novel itself (which I printed out--no book sacrificing here!). Thanks so much for doing what you folks do!"

Oxford Bibliographies Online: More Rant Than Review

Oxford Bibliographies Online: More Rant Than Review
Oxford is certainly adding value to the work of the scholars who write the content for the OBO. There is significant organizational work (anyone who has edited a scholarly journal knows all about the cat-herding involved) and technical work; I imagine the academics who edit the Subjects do most of the editorial work, and the peer reviewers are minimally compensated. The product looks good and should be easy to use (we haven’t requested a trial). But is Oxford adding value to the tune of $1000 per subject per year? My beloved Jenkins cost me about $40, in paperback (I bought a personal copy), and I don’t have to pay for it annually.

Sony Has Dave Farrow Reading Aloud to Promote Its Readers & Help Canadian Libraries

Dave Farrow, who overcame dyslexia and ADHD to become a world-famous speed reader and Guinness World Record holder, is living and reading in a front window display at the Sony Centre in Toronto. For every book he reads, Sony will donate 2 Reader™ digital books to public libraries across Canada. Watch live on Facebook.

Beginning this past Tuesday, consumers were and are invited to view Farrow's progress and additional world record attempts online (also via Facebook). If you're in the Toronto area, you can also visit the newly renovated Sony Centre for the Performing Arts in person at One Front Street East in Toronto at the south-east corner of Yonge and Front Streets, where Farrow will be reading and living from September 7 through 24th. Consumers who visit the Sony Centre can receive an in-person demonstration of the new Reader Pocket and Touch Editions, "relief-read" for Dave Farrow, enter to win great prizes, and enjoy free frozen yogurt bars from 10:30-1pm daily.


Watch the Net Neutrality FCC Hearings Thursday Night

Note from Senator Al Franken of MN:

A few weeks ago, Google and Verizon announced a proposed policy framework that they claimed would protect net neutrality, but it does not apply to wireless Internet services. It does not protect net neutrality -- it undermines it.

We've set up a special link so you can watch the hearing, courtesy of the UpTake -- it starts at 6:00 Central Time (7:00 Eastern) tonight.

Please invite your friends to watch by Tweeting and posting to Facebook. This is a big opportunity for us to stand up for net neutrality -- and stand up to big corporations who want to own the flow of information in America.

Not a Day Passes Without Changes in the eBook Market

The maker of a once-hyped e-reader composed of plastic has ended plans to market the device after a sharp drop in the price of Inc.'s (AMZN) Kindle.

Plastic Logic, a startup firm based in Mountain View, CA pulled the plug on its Que e-reader in a widely expected move late Tuesday. The company postponed the release date of the Que several times and canceled preorders in June, triggering speculation that the device would never reach the market. Wall Street Journal reports.

The Que was supposed to be released early this year, but at a starting price of $650, it was unlikely to generate sufficient sales. Consumers can now buy an Amazon Kindle for as little as $139 or spend $500 on an Apple (AAPL) iPad tablet computer that's more powerful but not much bigger than the Que.

Made of high-grade and innovative plastic technology, the Que drew lots of attention in 2009 as the market for e-readers took off. Yet Amazon has cut the price of the Kindle several times since then -- to as low as $139 for a Wi-Fi only version from a high of $359.

"We recognize the market has dramatically changed, and with the product delays we have experienced, it no longer makes sense for us to move forward with our first-generation electronic-reading product," said Plastic Logic Chief Executive Officer Richard Archuleta in a statement. "This was a hard decision, but is the best one for our company, our investors and our customers."

SkyRiver Files Antitrust Suit Against OCLC

SkyRiver Files Antitrust Suit Against OCLC
July 29, 2010
Emeryville, CA—In a move that could have far-reaching implications for competition in the library software and technology services industry, SkyRiver Technology Solutions, LLC has filed suit in federal court in San Francisco against OCLC Online Computer Library Center, Inc. The suit alleges that OCLC, a purported non-profit with a membership of 72,000 libraries worldwide, is unlawfully monopolizing the markets for cataloging services, interlibrary lending, and bibliographic data, and attempting to monopolize the market for integrated library systems, by anticompetitive and exclusionary practices.

OCLC is a nonprofit Ohio corporation formed in 1967 and headquartered in Dublin, Ohio. OCLC’s stated mission is “furthering access to the world’s information and reducing library costs.” But over the years, OCLC has evolved into a global enterprise that sells numerous commercial products and services to libraries, generating revenues in excess of $200 million annually from 2005 through 2008, tax-free profits averaging over $17 million per year, and amassing a securities portfolio as high as $176 million in 2007. Since 1982 OCLC has used its tax-free profits to acquire 14 for-profit companies.

“OCLC started out 40 years ago as a library cooperative, but it has become a corporate monopoly.” said SkyRiver’s President Leslie Straus. “In the process OCLC has punished its own members who have tried to seek out lower cost alternatives like SkyRiver.”

SkyRiver is joined in the lawsuit by Innovative Interfaces, Inc., a library automation company. The suit also addresses OCLC’s anticompetitive behavior in the integrated library systems market.

SkyRiver was launched in October 2009 to provide a high quality, low cost alternative to OCLC cataloging, potentially allowing customers to achieve savings of up to 40%. The complaint details how public sector SkyRiver customers, like Michigan State University and California State University, Long Beach, turned to SkyRiver to achieve cost savings, only to have OCLC quote them a price increase of over 1100% to upload their holdings to OCLC’s WorldCat database for the benefit of other interlibrary loan (ILL) users. Straus concludes, “If allowed to continue unabated, OCLC’s actions can have the effect of eliminating competition and taking away choice for libraries. They will not succeed.”

A printable version of the press release can be found [here]

For more information about the SkyRiver’s lawsuit and the issue of choice for libraries in the marketplace for library software and services, visit Twitter users are encouraged to use hashtag #skyoclc.


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