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Archives for Publishing

Georgia State in Publishers Weekly: Tom Allen of the AAP vs. Moi

A few weeks ago Publishers Weekly published an adaptation of my June 9 blog post on the Georgia State trial on their “Soapbox” page.  This week’s issue of PW contains a reply by Tom Allen, President of the Association of American Publishers. Perhaps not surprisingly, Mr. Allen and I do a good deal of talking […]

Closing the book on academic freedom

The following post, which provides a constitutional analysis of aspects of the Georgia State case, is written by Bobby Glushko, J.D., who is currently Associate Librarian in the Copyright Office of the University of Michigan Library. I find Glushko’s views to be illuminating and important. In this post, Mr. Glushko speaks for himself, and not […]

The Card Catalog and Biblical Plagues

After extended deliberation and over twenty years after its official retirement, the University of Michigan Library decided recently to divest itself of the old card catalog — 108 cases containing over 12 million cards. The story was fairly widely covered, with a piece in the official University Record and another in the local digital newspaper, […]

Orphan Works Legislation and the Google Settlement

I spent Friday at a fascinating conference at the Columbia University Law School, on the subject of (what else?) the Google settlement. Lead counsel from all three parties, lots of other lawyers, several princpals, publishers, authors and librarians were there. I learned something important that at some level I already knew. The most important single […]

On the Meaning and Importance of Peer Review

In my previous post I briefly discussed peer review, which has been raised by many in the publishing industry as a justification for opposing the NIH mandate for deposit of articles into PubMed Central, and, more broadly, as a justification for the vigorous protection of publisher-held copyright in scholarly publications. In this post I discuss […]

The Fair Copyright in Research Works Act is a lot of things, but fair ain’t one of them

Last week there was a hearing on a new bill before the House Judiciary Committee, the “Fair Copyright in Research Works Act.” Think of it as the Clear Skies Act for copyright; an odious piece of corporate welfare wrapped in a friendly layer of doublespeak. The bill, introduced by Michigan Congressman John Conyers, would prohibit […]

The Michigan of the East goes Open Access

Since everyone else is talking about the new open access mandate from Harvard’s Faculty of Arts and Sciences, I figure I might as well jump in, too. There are any number of details that will have to be worked out before we know how the mandate will be implemented, and we will probably never know […]

Recessions and Libraries

In this post, I get to be both an economist and a librarian. I want to argue that recessions pose at least two kinds of problems for academic libraries, one of them quite obvious, the other one less so. The obvious problem is that recessions bring with them reductions in income – the stuff that […]

E-Books and P-Books

Like everyone else who follows the blogs and listserves that everyone else follows, over the past month or so I have had the opportunity to skim thousands of comments on the new Amazon Kindle. I haven’t actually played with a Kindle, yet, but if ever a subject were well covered by the secondary literature, this […]

Why I hate the phrase “Scholarly Communication”

I hate the phrase, “scholarly communication.” It’s not that I hate the practice, which I view as a pinnacle of human achievement, without which the life and work of many (including me) would be meaningless. It’s that the phrase itself connotes a mechanical process, rather than the transcendent purpose that underlies the activity itself. Decoding […]