John Ben DeVette's Blog

Thoughts experiences & learnings about the world of academic publishing …

PATENT to Human Genome Ruled INVALID – Major Victory for the PUBLIC KNOWLEDGE MOVEMENT

A new ruling by the New York federal court declared illegal and invalid the Myriad Genetics and the University of Utah Research Foundation owned patents to the BRCA genes . The patent was restricting both scientific research and patients’ access to medical care. The lawsuit filed by ACLU and the Public Patent Foundation argued that patents on human genes violate the First Amendment and patent law because genes are “products of nature.”

20% of the 2000 human genes (gene maps) have already been patented. These patents prevent anyone from further research into the patented gene without permission or paying a royalty to the patent owner. All existing gene patents will likely be reviewed, and many overturned.

BRCA genes are known to be associated with hereditary breast cancer and ovarian cancer. Myriad & Univ of Utah’s patent to the BRCA gene was severely limiting competitive research into the causes of breast cancer and the development of new methods for detection and prevention of breast cancer.

Daniel B. Ravicher, Executive Director of PUBPAT and co-counsel in the lawsuit said: “No one invented genes. Inventions are specific tests or drugs, which can be patented, but genes are not inventions.”

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30 March 2010 Posted by | Patent Copyright Intellectual Property IP, Scholarly Communication | , , , , , | Leave a comment

INTERDISCIPLINARY LEARNING EXERCISE for Archivists, Archivalists, Perpetrators of National Memory Projects, Storage Fans, and People Who Are Losing their Memory

Gizmodo.com has collected an excellent series of websites and videos that all pertain to memory: human, machine and corporate. Entertaining and instructive at the same time.
Here it is: http://gizmodo.com/tag/memoryforever

If you’re not sure you want to spend the time watching each video, here is an 2-minute summary article “The Future of Memory” from the New York Times online edition which includes a few of the more popular items. Here is the link to the NYT article: http://tiny.cc/oBPmr

Enjoy!

23 March 2010 Posted by | Archival, Digital Publishing | , , | Leave a comment

The Key to an Efficient Archival System Must be How Quickly You Can Access the Content

Librarians have always been good at storage. And to a lesser degree, so have publishers. But the KEY TO EFFICIENT STORAGE MUST BE EASE OF USE. Most archival systems are evaluated in these terms:

– Permanence. Will it be there for the next generation?
– Responsibility. Who is going to build it? Who will maintain it?
– Buy-in. What percentage of our authors are contributing to the archive?
– Completeness. How comprehensive is the archive, how far back does it go?
– Copyright. What are the legal limitations of these archived materials?
– Cost. Can we afford to archive it?
– Accessibility. How do we get the data back out?

In my experience, the last requirement ACCESSIBILITY is not emphasized enough. From the design stages, the end user experience must be kept at the forefront. How user-friendly will the final product be is crucial to the success of all archival systems. If librarians and publishers have successfully stored away the past 200 years of scholarship, but you can’t find it on Google, how useful is it really? If the archived content is not being used, there is a danger it will be considered irrelevant and useless. Certainly, rarely accessed archives that receive little attention will find it difficult to raise funds when needed upgrades are due.

Archival solutions must fit the way humans think and must work with the tools we have on hand now. They must mesh smoothly with the popular search engines. A 2009 study by Dotov, Nie, and Chemero on the impact of inefficient tools on the human brain (citation into with DOI at bottom of this post), consistently shows that learning slows radically when the brain – tool link malfunctions.

If it takes too long to get there, the brain stops focusing on the subject, and starts focusing on packaging (the tool being used to access and evaluate the subject). Or in the case of online searching, if you are used to a search taking 3 seconds, and suddenly it takes 9, your rhythm is interrupted and your brain slows down. When I was at EBSCO we used to call it the “3-Clicks, You’re Out” rule.

An archival system that does not allow for near-immediate access is like frozen steak in the bottom of the freezer downstairs in the basement. If you’re hungry the food in the kitchen is what you’ll eat. Even worse would be a frozen steak in your neighbor’s basement!

Archival and storage systems from the onset must have the end-user access in mind. Just locking it away safely is not enough.

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Dotov DG, Nie L, Chemero A (2010) A Demonstration of the Transition from Ready-to-Hand to Unready-to-Hand. PLoS ONE 5(3): e9433. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0009433

20 March 2010 Posted by | Archival, Digital Publishing, University Publishing | , , | Leave a comment

Contract Law Takes Precedence Over Copyright Law: PINK FLOYD WINS IN COURT

“Pink Floyd Wins Court Battle With EMI Over Downloads” was announced last week in London. [ http://www.nytimes.com/2010/03/12/business/media/12pink.html ] A good reminder to authors and creators of intellectual property. Whenever you enter into a contract with a publisher (or in this case a recording company or record label) the wording of the contract supersedes and overrides copyright law.

In the case of Pink Floyd versus EMI, the contract in question was favorable to the artists’ interests, and limited the way EMI was allowed to sell (online or in any format) Pink Floyd’s recordings. In effect, EMI must sell only entire the entire album or CD, and is not allowed to sell individual songs online or in any format.

In essence this is the same battle that academic publishers are having with authors. Increasingly, authors want to control how their intellectual property (IP) is being used. Any contracts signed between author and publisher will supersede common copyright law. So when submitting articles for publication, please pay close attention to the fine print before signing away your future rights.

This has implications for university institutional repositories and open access publishing endeavors, obviously.  Choosing a Creative Commons License in effect will also supercede common copyright law, but once again, any contracts signed between author and publisher will supersede a Creative Commons license in the same way it overrides common copyright law.

LINK TO ORIGINAL NYT ARTICLE:   http://www.nytimes.com/2010/03/12/business/media/12pink.html

Creative Commons:  http://creativecommons.org/

15 March 2010 Posted by | Digital Publishing, Patent Copyright Intellectual Property IP, Self Publishing, Uncategorized | , , , , , | Leave a comment

Speed Bump by Dave Coverly on Creators.com – A Syndicate Of Talent

Cute comic about the difficulties of e-books versus traditional print books.

Book clubs are for

Speed Bump by Dave Coverly on Creators.com – A Syndicate Of Talent.

1 March 2010 Posted by | Digital Publishing | , , , , | Leave a comment

TINY URL – Now Everyone Can Make Permanent Mini-URL Addresses on the Fly (Just like Twitter)

Its amazing how long some URL addresses are. Sometimes the URL is longer than my content! Have you ever envied the way Twitter or WordPress is able to automatically generate the cute little 20 character URL addresses that conveniently squeeze into a 140 character tweet? Well, now you can DIY (do it yourself) with TINY URL. Go here and check out. You’re going to love it!

http://tiny.cc/

The URL is ‘durable’. You can assume it will always work.

[INTERESTING TANGENT FOR SENIOR INFORMATION INDUSTRY PROFESSIONALS] Back when I was making megabucks at EBSCO (that’s a joke), part of our standard sales presentation for EBSCOHost and A-to-Z linking tools was that our URL addresses were a durable URL or a permanent URL. We used to call them DURL or PURL. Oliver Pesch (a great guy who still works for EBSCO) was even on a standards committee at the Library of Congress to create standards for permanent links. So, frankly, I am amazed that there is now a free website that makes PURLs for the general public. Who finances these things? Click-through advertisers?

In addition to space saving and longevity, TINY URL offers a statistics tracking feature. But be warned! They only give you the chance to save the link once. To quote (I’ve pasted this from the TINYURL website):

After you click the “Tiny it!” button, A line will appear that says: “Track how many people click your tiny link here” Clicking the “here” hyperlink on the home page – at the time you make the URL will take you to a traffic stats Web page for that Tiny URL. Each Tiny URL has its own statistics page (with unique ID and code). This is where you can trace your newly made link. Please bookmark or note the URL of your stats page immediately after it is made because that is the only opportunity you will have to note it.

So, bookmark it or save it some place where you can find it later, or its gone.

Lastly, when you create the new TINY URL, you can add a few letters or a word of your choice to the future mini-URL you’re creating. Its a nice way to ID some thing before you click it open, even though its already been compressed into a permanent statistical TINY URL!!!

[SECOND INTERESTING TANGENT FOR SENIOR INFORMATION INDUSTRY PROFESSIONALS] Any one who has been paying money to have someone create permanent URLs, in theory, can now use TINY URL to do the same thing.

Could something like this eventually replace the DOI and put CrossRef out of business? Or rather enable them to focus on something harder?

Thanks to Peter Binfield, publisher of PLOS ONE, for recommending (and using) http://www.tiny.cc at SCIENCE ONLINE 2010.

25 February 2010 Posted by | Digital Publishing, Self Publishing, University Publishing | , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

NEW PARADIGMS IN SCHOLARLY COMMUNICATION / A Series of Lectures on the Future of Academic Publishing

NEW PARADIGMS IN SCHOLARLY COMMUNICATION
A Series of Lectures on the Future of Academic Publishing

John Ben DeVette
DeVette Publishing Solutions
johndevette@devettepublishing.com
https://devette.wordpress.com

Assuming libraries are unsustainable, universities are re-engineering scholarly communication models, and forcing publishers to re-engineer business models. Legacy publishing systems must evolve or become redundant. A host of new publishing, social networking, and online communication tools now exist and are pushing academics toward a significant new way of interacting with peers and the publishers.
The series begins with a review of the goals of scholarly communication. A session will focus on why ScienceDirect and PLOS in their unique and seemingly contradicting ways have become huge successes. The group will learn about a variety of new publishing and online communication tools, and methods for measuring academic achievement. Twittering will be strongly recommended and real time examples given of its effectiveness in learning and communication.
[9 LECTURE SERIES. 17 HOURS]
1. What is Scholarly Communication. Why scholars communicate. [1 hour]
a. Finding the truth & making it known
b. Humans are a social organism: Teamswork
c. Importance of interdisciplinary communication

2. Overview of publishing models: present and future [3 hours]
a. Science publishing.
i. Case study: the evolution of Elsevier’s ScienceDirect.
ii. Case study: PLOS, publishing articles, not journals.
b. User-generated science. Online collaboration. Crowdsourcing.
c. Blogs and other social networking tools are building global societies of scholars.
d. How to use Twitter.

3. Bottlenecks to communication & learning [2 hours]
a. Copyright. Protecting the author’s idea or the publisher’s profits?
b. Applying Cournot’s Model of Oligopoly to the publishing market.
c. Publish or perish. The difficulties of measuring academic success.
d. Information overload. Finding the needle of truth in a haystack of hubris
e. Journals are better for storage than communication.
f. Language barriers to learning

4. The role of e-books in scholarly communication [2 hours]
a. E-books, e-readers, e-platforms, and why the iPad will change everything.
b. 30 million e-books. How will these impact the future of libraries and online use of information?
c. The Google Books Library Project
d. Digital text books are different
e. Print on Demand

5. Copyright [2 hours]
a. History of copyright law. Why we protect intellectual property.
b. Enforced scarcity in a market of overproduction?
c. Public Knowledge Project.
d. SPARC. Open Access Movement.
e. Creative Commons.
f. How Google is changing the rules.

6. The Self-publishing Movement. [3 hours]
a. Role of universities in the information chain.
i. Campus-based publishing. Merging the library and the university press. Case study: Univ of Michigan.
b. Leveraging the university institutional repository.
c. Role of learned societies.
d. Micro-publishing in a mega-publisher world.
e. New (and often open source) tools for publishing.
f. The blog as a record of scholarly achievement.

7. How to create scholarly communities for people who cannot speak the same language. [1 hour]
a. OAI-MPH compatibility
b. Translation strategies
c. Symbol-based evaluation and feedback models
d. Visual learning. Use of videos and charts in publishing.
e. Aural communication solutions

8. Findability. Improving the way online content is accessed. [1 hour]
a. Digital formats
b. Indexes. Human or Machine
c. How to get hit by Google
d. Metadata & XML. CrossRef & DOIs.

9. Evaluating scholarly performance / Bibliometrics. How we spotlight quality and evaluate scholarly performance. Are we rewarding excellence or limiting innovation? [2 hours]
a. Impact Factors, including their role in academic advancement.
b. Focusing on the quality of an article or an author. New metrics. Article Level Metrics. ResearcherID.
c. Using the Hirsch Index to measure an author, a faculty, a university, and even a nation.
d. How to measure tagging activity.
e. Self-mediated peer review.

ONLINE LINK TO GOOGLE DOCS AT:
http://docs.google.com/View?id=dcbj2pbh_6ktz93cdn

Copyright info at Creative Commons:

Creative Commons License
NEW PARADIGMS IN SCHOLARLY COMMUNICATION A Series of Lectures on the Future of Academic Publishing by John Ben DeVette is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 3.0 United States License.

24 February 2010 Posted by | Crowd Sourcing, Digital Publishing, Self Publishing, Uncategorized, University Publishing | , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Heavy Consumers of Romance Novels Love E-Readers

In a conversation last June (2009) with Paul Keith, Electronic Resources Librarian at Chicago Public Library, he said that circulation of e-books provided by his library was up noticeably. An interesting note about the kind of library patrons who are early adopters of e-books, Paul said: “Heavy readers of romance novels love e-readers.” My ‘nutshell’ interpretation of that is affluent commuters & urbanites who read lots of thick novels, with sensual cover-art prefer e-readers for their privacy and convenience.

More specifically, e-books and e-book readers are attractive to people who are:
1. Heavy readers of thick books. Ie. romance, science fiction & fantasy, best sellers.
2. Students. Again, because text books are heavy.
3. Commuters & urbanites, who don’t want to advertise what they are reading.
4. Business travelers.
5. Early adopters.

22 February 2010 Posted by | Digital Publishing, Uncategorized | , , , , | Leave a comment

CAMPUS-BASED PUBLISHING: CAN A MARRIAGE OF THE LIBRARY WITH THE UNIVERSITY PRESS SPARC A SOLUTION TO THE SERIALS PRICING CRISIS?

Please see my article on new e-publishing paradigms, and specificially campus-based publishing trends. Go to page 9 at
http://www.ifla.org/files/information-technology/ifla1-09-dec_its.pdf

2 February 2010 Posted by | Digital Publishing, University Publishing | , , , | Leave a comment

What is CAMPUS-BASED PUBLISHING? An Excerpt from My Upcoming Article…

Campus-based publishing is a new phenomenon taking place at some of the world’s leading universities. Campus-based publishing is where the university press and the library form a partnership, often one combined organization with singular leadership and a mandate from the university chancellor to be the general manager of the entire flow of information from consumption to creation to storage to dissemination. These new entities are self-serving and proud of it!

For decades, universities have had established university presses. Also, for decades these in-house publishing units have acted mostly independent of their faculties’ traditional activities of research and reporting, and their libraries’ information management responsibilities. It has become obvious that universities have been sitting in a vast pool of learning (a knowledge base) that has been growing and maturing in their own back yard, but has been grossly miss-managed and underutilized.

It is crucial for the long term viability of universities to retain control of the knowledge they create. University presses know how to publish. Libraries are experts at acquiring and archiving information.

The world wide web changed the way scholars communicate, creating new opportunities for information management. Academia is making fundamental changes to the way the universities package and distribute scholarly communications and published results.

25 December 2009 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , | Leave a comment

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