All 3 entries tagged Institutional
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November 30, 2007
Writing about web page http://escholarship.usyd.edu.au/index.html
University digital presses seem one of the obvious strategic areas of development for university research libraries. In his strategic analysis Lewis (2007) draws attention to the shift from purchased to Open Access content and suggests that libraries should also shift their focus from purchasing to curating digital content, yet avoid the temptation to add no value by doing no more than complacently free-riding on OA content curated elsewhere.
Little wonder then that the latest ARL Bimonthly Report (no. 252/253 of June/August 2007) focuses on the state of university publishing and the evolving role for research libraries in the delivery of publishing services.
Digital presses may well be the next widespread development in universities. Librarians are well placed to do the electronic publishing and curation, in collaboration with academics doing the authoring and editorial.
An example of a previous wave is the use of virtual learning environments to leverage electronic media for e-learning. This is now widespread.
Open Access Institutional Repositories are a current wave. Universities have been setting up IRs in order to organize their research outputs for Open Web access and have them readily available for audit purposes (an IR consists of a deposit policy, or mandate, besides the technical set up of the actual digital archive).
Equally the development of OA IRs can be seen as part of the larger wave towards university presses, since OA IR content can effectively be overlaid with editorial control. There is not a huge difference between a well-established overlay journal and an electronic journal.
The Electronic Law Journals project at the University of Warwick is only one of many instances of academic departments already publishing their own electronic journals.
Overlay journal is a useful term for a range of web publications resembling an electronic journal. An overlay journal is basically an electronic newsletter consisting of table of contents hyperlinked to the full text of each item, plus the editorial work and peer review validation that distinguishes it. The full text articles may be hosted in an IR or in other electronic repositories or digital archives.
Just as an overlay journal can easily transition into an electronic journal, any IR may become one step in the development of a university digital press. Whilst university digital presses are the logical direction for this evolution, Research Support in libraries is also expanding beyond literature search and bibliographic management to cover the publication and curation of research outputs.
And where does all this leave the current commercial electronic publishing industry? Publishers and vendors alike will take the opportunity and offer their technical expertise in the different operations of the e-publishing process as separate services, becoming publisher-services businesses and probably not without some consolidation of the industry.
In fact, OA journal publishers are already charging for submission instead of charging for access. This could eventually tip over in a global flip to the OA business model, according to an idea floated by Ingenta’s Mark Rowse (Hane 2003) and elaborated by Peter Suber (2007).
Of course, university digital presses need not be limited to publishing journals, or even research monographs. E-publishing of undergraduate text books could also become part of the collaboration between academics and their libraries.
The obvious benefits to the institution from having its own branded university press are impact and reputation, besides any savings resulting from not having to purchase publications written by its own faculty. All the elements already exist and have already come together for those who were early, e.g. the University of Sydney Library with its Sydney eScholarship
Hane, P. (2003) Stable and Poised for Growth. [Interview with Mark Rowse, Ingenta’s founder and CEO]. Information Today, 20(11).
Lewis, D. (2007) A Strategy for Academic Libraries in the First Quarter of the 21st Century. College & Research Libraries, 68(5), 418-434.
Suber, P. (2007) Flipping a journal to open access. SPARC Open Access Newsletter, 114.
December 06, 2006
Writing about web page http://www.jisc.ac.uk/news/stories/2006/10/news_model_surf.aspx
One of the obstacles to any kind of electronic repository of academic writing is that the copyright for that writing is most often owned by the Publisher. Therefore only the publisher can create such a repository, to which they will charge an access fee or else they will charge a large fee for anyone else to have permission to do so.
The institution that funds and supports the research ought to be able to create an electronic collection of academic writing about that research, for sharing within and across the institution.
To this end, academics need support and encouragement when negotiating publication of their writing to retain the copyright. There is now a model agreement that they can follow. (See the linked Jisc news item.)
Such a negotiation could help in the creation of an institutional repository of academic research writing.
However, should an insitutional repository contain academic writings or are there other types of content more suited to populating an institutional repository?
July 14, 2006
Just came accross a situation at another University where a tutor wanted to reference journal articles on the author’s own web pages. The author might or might not own the copyright and therefore might or might not be legally able to make those articles available in the way that s/he has.
How confident can the tutor who wants to link to those articles be that the content is in fact legal? Although the author puts out a disclaimer allowing visitors to print the material, if the author has no right to do so then is the tutor who references the website in fact supporting his/her students to make illegal copies since the students might make copies in good faith that the disclaimer is legal.
If the content were hosted within an institutional repository then we could be confident that some procedures had been followed to verify the copyright status of the items in the repository.