Welcome to the Free Online Scholarship (FOS) NewsletterOctober 19, 2001
Follow-up on journal editor resignations
* If you're just tuning in, last week we reported that 40 editors of _Machine Learning Journal_ resigned in order to protest the subscription price and online access policies of its publisher, Kluwer. One of the editors, Leslie Pack Kaelbling, created the _Journal of Machine Learning Research_ (JMLR) as a free online alternative.
* Some corrections and further details to the story have been posted to our discussion forum and others have come in by private email. Here are the highlights. Robert Holte, executive editor of MLJ, reports that about a third of the MLJ editors did not resign, considerably more than the "handful" I described. Holte also points out that Kluwer now allows author self-archiving and gives free online access to its own copies of accepted MLJ articles, though only until the articles appear in print. However, Kluwer didn't tell Holte about this change of policy until October 11, after the 40 editors' public letter of resignation. It appears that the resignations, or perhaps the public letter explaining them, triggered a policy change that Kluwer would not have made otherwise. Leslie Pack Kaelbling, editor of JMLR and my source for the story, agrees that Kluwer's new online access policy is a very reasonable one. She says that if MLJ had allowed author self-archiving earlier, she would not have resigned from MLJ or launched JMLR.
Robert Holte's response to last week's article and to the public letter of resignation
* Paul Ginsparg of arXiv and Leslie Pack Kaelbling exchanged some emails about JMLR's costs and how it meets them. I was copied in and can offer this summary. Since JMLR receives no revenue from MIT Press, its editorial costs are not subsidized by the subscription fees MIT collects for the print edition of the journal. Editors and reviewers generally donate their time. Authors do their own PDF formatting. Fixed costs like the domain name, software, and legal fees for creating a non-profit corporation, will be more than covered by donations already in hand or committed. Network space is donated by the MIT AI Lab, where Kaelbling works. While MLJ published about 50 papers per year, JMLR started with 11 papers last year and will double that this year. JMLR received 150 papers last year, and spent about 600 editor-hours processing them.
* In the postscript to last week's story, I asked whether there were other cases like _Machine Learning_, the _Journal of Logic Programming_, and _Evolutionary Ecology_ in which the editor or editorial board resigned to protest the publisher's high subscription price and formed a new journal.
George Porter of CalTech's Fairchild Library of Engineering & Applied Science wrote to tell me about Henry Hagedorn's resignation as editor of the _Archives of Insect Biochemistry & Physiology_ (Wiley-Liss) in order to form the _Journal of Insect Science_ (University of Arizona library). JIS is a free online journal with no print edition. It plans to offset the costs of online publication with author fees. As with the other cases, its birth and early survival were assisted by SPARC.
Henry Hagedorn's public letter of resignation and call for change
[old journal] Archives of Insect Biochemistry & Physiology
[new journal] Journal of Insect Science
* Here's a better link than the one I published in the last issue for the background on Michael Rosenzweig's resignation from _Evolutionary Ecology_ in order to launch _Evolutionary Ecology Research_.
What will it profit you to gain [free online scholarship] and lose your very [connectivity]? Luke 9:25.
Is the internet really vulnerable to massive failure from deliberate attacks? I admit that this is one scenario about the risk of FOS for which I have no ready answer. I can say that such attacks are unlikely. But is this just wishful thinking? I can say that FOS relies on distributed archives which cannot all be destroyed, even if the connections among them are temporarily severed. But I don't really know the maximum destructive potential of viruses and worms. I can say that we shouldn't slacken our efforts to enhance research and education just because these efforts could be undermined by determined wrongdoers. If that consideration could suspend FOS initiatives, then it could suspend all constructive activity. But clearly I cannot say that FOS would still be useful if the internet itself were deeply unreliable or largely destroyed. Worse than useless, a shift to FOS could be dangerous if we let other forms of publication atrophy and then experienced a digital apocalypse.
So far I haven't heard any critic of FOS or lobbyist for commercial publishers call for a pause until the internet can be hardened against attack. But it's healthy to anticipate the objection and think about how to answer it. (How could you persuade a clay-tablet culture to make the move to paper at a time when some prognosticators fear arson?)
How reasonable is the fear? How likely are terrorist attacks on the internet? How vulnerable is it to attack? Here are the views of eight people who have studied the problem. (I cite the sources below.)
Steve Bellovin, security expert for AT&T: "There is a substantial risk of someone taking out the internet. That capability absolutely exists."
Bruce Schneier, security and encryption expert now with Counterpane Internet Security: "The Internet is not as robust as people think. Among security people, it's well-known --someone could take out enough of the thing so it's all gone, for weeks or months."
Dave Dobrotka, former security system administrator for the U.S. Air Force's Information Warfare Center: "I've seen reports comparing computer readiness of the Internet to airport security before the terrorist attacks."
Alan Paller, Director of the System Administration, Networking, and Security (SANS) Institute: "The Internet is simply not ready because of these vulnerabilities; we're not ready to withstand a major attack."
William Wulf, president of the National Academy of Engineering: "Frankly, I was simply appalled by how very little progress [on network security] had been made in the past 15 years....We have to think about an active defense. Everything we have done so far has been passive."
Richard Forno, CTO for Shadowlogic and consultant to the Defense Department on information warfare: "I'm just not impressed with the overall United States government infrastructure assurance effort."
Report from the National Infrastructure Protection Center (NIPC): "Although the cyber protests seen today have already caused limited damage, the potential for future attacks could bring about large economic losses as well as potentially severe damage to the national infrastructure, affecting global markets as well as public safety."
John Tritak, Director of the U.S. Critical Intrastructure Assurance Office (CIAO): "Infrastructure owners and operators have always had primary responsibility for protecting their physical assets against unauthorized intruders. Yet these measures, however effective they might otherwise be, were generally not designed to cope with significant military or terrorist threats."
Keith Epstein, Taking Out the Net (Bellovin and Schneier quotations)
Howard Wolinsky, Cyber-jihad could be chaotic, even deadly (Dobrotka quotation)
Patrick Thibodeau, FBI, SANS Institute: Internet 'not ready' for attack (Paller quotation)
Dan Carnevale, Congress is Urged to Spend More on Research Into Ways to Counter Cyberterrorism (Wulf quotation)
Michelle Delio, Cyberwar Foundering on Feuds? (Forno quotation)
Brian Krebs, FBI Warns Of Increased Hacktivism, Cyber Protests (NIPC quotation)
October 4 Senate testimony of John S. Tritak, Director of the U.S. CIAO (Tritak quotation)
* Postscript. On May 22, 1998, Bill Clinton signed Presidential Decision Directive #63, which created the National Infrastructure Protection Center (NIPC) and its Critical Infrastructure Assurance Office (CIAO). Michelle Delio (cited above) reports that there are now turf wars between Clinton's NIPC and Bush's Homeland Security Office, which interfere with efforts to protect U.S. infrastructure. Here are some additional links on internet vulnerability and protection.
National Infrastructure Protection Center (NIPC)
NIPC report on the threat to the U.S. information infrastructure (October 2001)
Critical Intrastructure Assurance Office (CIAO)
Clinton Administration white paper behind Presidential Decision Directive 63
George Bush's panel to prevent cyberterrorism
Institute for the Advanced Study of Information Warfare
EPIC's Critical Infrastructure Protection Resources
The SANS Institute, The Twenty Most Critical Internet Security Vulnerabilities, Version 2.100 (October 2)
Vulnerability Notes Database from the CERT Coordination Center
The National Institute of Standards and Technology recently awarded $5 million in grants to improve internet security.(Just $5 million?)
Infoshop.org's page on Info War, Netwar, Cyberwar(not up to date)
* PPS. Would terrorists take down the internet if they need it for communication and organization? I don't know. Maybe those who use it are at odds with those who are terrified by post-medieval life, including the Taliban who banned the internet completely from Afghanistan in July (see FOSN for 7/17/01). But the evidence is that many terrorist groups do use the internet.
* PPPS. As I go to press, the AP is reporting that President Bush wants to change the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) so that details about attacks on computer networks need not be made public. This is intended to encourage the reporting of attacks on private companies, which might lose business if their customers thought them vulnerable. If the loss of this FOIA information will hinder research into internet security, then this move puts corporate PR ahead of national security and the public interest.
netLibrary on the block
netLibrary has failed to find funding and started looking for a buyer. netLibrary hosts 33,000+ ebooks to which libraries can purchase access, after which the library's patrons can borrow the ebooks electronically, subject to the usual rules of borrowing periods and simultaneous users. Librarians are worried that, if netLibrary goes out of business, then the ebooks for which they have paid licenses will simply disappear.
Some libraries apparently anticipated this development and have terms in their netLibrary contracts allowing them to keep the ebook files they have licensed along with software to read them. But other libraries did not apparently bargain to include these terms in their agreements.
Earlier this year, netLibrary struck a deal with OCLC, although its exact bearing on a netLibrary bankruptcy is not clear. The copy of the agreement on the netLibrary site says only that OCLC will store back-up copies of netLibrary's ebooks. But the copy of the agreement at OCLC says that each netLibrary customer will receive a copy of the entire netLibrary inventory, along with software to read it, in case netLibrary goes out of business. Some librarians posting to the ERIL list believe that the OCLC bail out only affects libraries who paid extra for it.
Public statement from Rob Kaufman (President and CEO) and Rich Rosy (VP), from the LibLicense email list
OCLC copy of the netLibrary-OCLC agreement
netLibrary copy of the net-Library OCLC agreement
Jeffrey Young, E-Book Provider netLibrary Puts Itself Up for Sale, Worrying Librarians
Erika Stutzman, NetLibrary put up for sale
Richard Crocker, NetLibrary Fails to Attract Investment, Looks for Buyer
* Next month, Oxford's Refugee Studies Centre (RSC) will put its Forced Migration Digital Library online. The archive consists of RSC's own collection of grey literature along with material from Tufts University’s Feinstein International Famine Center and Columbia University’s Program on Forced Migration. The result will be the world's largest archive on refugees and on forced migration.
David Cohen's report in the _Chronicle of Higher Education_
Oxford's Refugee Studies Centre
RSC description of the Forced Migration Digital Library
* On October 10, the three DOI Registration Agencies (CrossRef, Content Directions, and Enpia Systems) demonstrated the commercial potential of DOI's. The demonstrations showed that DOIs can facilitate the sale of digital content and track the distribution of copyrighted material. (PS: A DOI is an identification code for a digital object like an online article, book, or book chapter. The DOI system is neutral technology that helps both FOS and commercial publishers. DOI's help FOS by providing the infrastructure for automatic reference linking, permanent URLs, and the retrieval of metadata to accompany any content of interest. They help commercial publishers by supporting DRM and access rules.)
* Openly Informatics has released 1Cate adapter, the first commercial software to assist digital libraries in implementing CrossRef citation links.
* The Ashcroft Justice Department has filed a motion to dismiss Edward Felten's claim that he has a First Amendment right to publish his encryption research (see FOSN for 8/16/01). The DOJ motion does not argue that Felten's claim is without merit, only that it is premature because Felten has not been prosecuted. Felten is asking a federal court for a "declaratory judgment" (legalese for a declaration) that he has a First Amendment right to publish his research precisely so that he needn't fear, or wait for, prosecution. (Download warning: the government motion is 1.6 MB.)
* Graham Allen, a Labour MP, has proposed that every new bill, after its first reading, be posted to the internet for two months of public comment before the House of Commons can take it up for further action.
* The University of Central England's Center for Information Research has launched eVALUEd, a project to evaluate e-libraries in higher education and their practices.
* Amazon.com now offers a smidgen of free online content. Its new "Look Inside" program lets you look at sample pages before deciding whether to buy. This would be like book shopping in meatspace except that the number of sample pages is limited and you don't get to pick the pages to view. Right now, 25,000 books have sample pages online, with more to come.http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/tg/stores/detail/-/books/0679451234/reader/ref=b_lib_sk_7/103-6827284-6895823
Amazon can't offer more than its cooperating publishers want to offer, of course. But in deciding whether the cooperating publishers are being generous or chintzy, it's worth remembering that National Academy Press lets web users sample *all* pages of its books before (or instead of) buying. NAP insists that this practice increases its sales (see FOSN for 9/14/01). Now NAP doesn't publish fiction. Is there any reason to think that its policy of free online access will work better for its line of research non-fiction than for Amazon's best sellers in fiction and general non-fiction?
New on the net
* Between now and March 2002, you are invited to take part in a virtual symposium, "Screens and networks: towards a new relationship with the written word." Every two weeks starting October 15, a new paper will be posted to the symposium web site and discussed electronically by the symposium's speakers and other participants. The first paper, now under discussion, is Roger Chartier's "Readers and Readings in the Electronic Age." If you register, you can receive the papers and discussion postings by email and (apparently) post your own discussion comments. At its completion, the symposium will be published in electronic form and as a printed book. The symposium is hosted by the Bibliothèque publique d'information (BPI), Centre Pompidou, the Institut Jean Nicod (CNRS), and EURO-EDU, with additional funds from GiantChair.com and UNESCO.
* A beta version of the September 11 Television Archive is now online. This is a collection of multi-lingual, worldwide TV broadcasts from September 11-17 as well as scholarly and op-ed commentaries on the TV coverage from that period. The broadcasts are viewable in RealPlayer or QuickTime format, and visitors may write reviews of each clip. It's definitely creepy to take current knowledge back to the moment of discovery, and watch (for example) the hosts of "Good Morning America" chat merrily with Fergie about her latest diet, then cut to a commercial, return with live pictures of the first WTC tower burning, and struggle to understand what they are seeing until the second plane comes into view.
* The American Bar Association has collected links to vendors of law books and research services willing to help law libraries in New York and Washington recover from the September 11 attacks by donating replacement volumes, research assistance, and temporary passwords.
* JISC and DNER have announced an online index of the _London Times_ from 1790 to 1980. Access will not be free, although institutions may sign up for a free 90 day trial.
* MedLine Plus has created a sub-archive of news and research articles on chemical and biological weapons.
* The proceedings of the July conference at Stanford on the Semantic Web are now online.
* The second beta of the dbXML Core XML database is now online and downloadable. The dbXML Core is a native XML database, written in open source Java, designed to manage an archive of XML documents.
* The National and University Library of Iceland, Cornell University, and the Árni Magnússon Institute have launched Saganet, a free online archive of medieval Icelandic literature, including the sagas. The archive includes 380,000 manuscript pages and 145,000 printed pages, both primary sources and pre-20th century critical studies.
* The proceedings of the May conference in Atlanta, Virtual Libraries in the New Millenium, are now online.
* On October 25 or 26, tune in to Ian Witten's webcast, Browsing Around A Digital Library.
* Steve Baldwin Associates has created The Museum of E-Failure, an archive of web pages from dead dot-coms.
* The July-September issue of eCulture just came out. Email subscribers got their issues this week. The web version should be at this URL, but wasn't yet online when I send this issue.
In other publications
* In the October 15 _DigiNews_, William Lund compares the available products to help build digital collections, and offers his library's criteria for selecting the most useful.
* Also in the October _DigiNews_, Maria Bonn reviews the costs and methods of the University of Michigan's huge digitization project, The Making of America. The Mellon Foundation funded the project in part to see the collection digitized and in part to generate this report on how to do it and how much it costs.
* In the October 12 _Chronicle of Higher Education_ Andrea Foster interviews Jessica Litman, author of _Digital Copyright_ (Prometheus Books, 2001). Litman argues in her book that the DMCA reflects the interests of publishers and ignores the interests of readers and consumers. Quoting Litman, "If people on a widespread basis simply disrespect the copyright law, then all copyright owners are the losers, and I'm hoping they'll be realistic about that, and go back to the drawing board and come up with something a little more reasonable."
Table of contents and excerpts from Litman's book.
* In the October _RLG Focus_, Steve Hensen gives an overview of the RLG Cultural Materials alliance, an integrated virtual collection (not free) built from the sub-collections of many member libraries. David Richards describes the system's infrastructure and how it is built.
* In the October _D-Lib Magazine_, Brewster Kahle, Rick Prelinger, and Mary Jackson argue that universal digital access is attainable. "Currently, the technology has reached the point where scanning all books, digitizing all audio recordings, downloading all websites, and recording the output of all TV and radio stations is not only feasible but less costly than buying and storing the physical versions." For a near-term strategy they propose a combination of copyright conservancies, digital interlibrary loans, and direct digital lending.
* Also in the October _D-Lib_, Kevin Boyack, Brian Wylie, and George Davidson show how software tools for visualizing or mapping internet content by topic can illuminate the scholarly landscape. In their worked example, they use the maps to conclude that researchers are neglecting certain rich opportunities for interdisciplinary study. But apart from their example, they show one more service that can be brought to bear on scholarly literature once it is freely accessible online as data to pass to increasingly sophisticated software. It's the best recent proof that we have barely begun to imagine how to realize the full potential of the internet for research and scholarship.
* Also in the October _D-Lib_, Ian Witten, David Bainbridge, and Stefan Boddie review Greenstone, the open source software system for digital libraries.
* Also in the October _D-Lib_, Sally Jo Cunningham reports on the 5th European Conference on Digital Libraries (September 4-9 in Darmstadt), and Christine Borgman and Heather Hessel report on the First Joint Conference on Digital Libraries (June 24-28 in Roanoke).
* In the October _Charleston Advisor_, Irvin Muchnik has an op-ed about writing and publishing in the Post-Tasini world.
* In October OCLC and RLG released their joint working group report on preservation metadata.
* In the September 10 _Forbes_, Daniel McFadden describes a tragedy of the commons in the online world of commercial content. Free online content is a public good, but its value to individuals is too "dispersed and small" to induce them to pay the costs of creating and organizing it. So its quality degenerates. As a result, he predicts more AOL and Microsoft in our future, and less free online content. (PS: By focusing on commercial content, he doesn't mention a similar but different enclosure of the commons for scholarship. Research articles are donated by their authors as if to the academic commons; but they become the private property of journal publishers who deprive the public of free access.) McFadden won the 2000 Nobel Prize in economics.
* Miriam Schconik has posted to the web her doctoral dissertation on e-readers, the dedicated reading platforms for ebooks. In the dissertation she explores how adults read ebooks differently from pbooks, and what kinds of reading are best suited to these platforms. Her results are based on a survey of 105 people. (Download warning: the dissertation is 2.2 MB.)
* ARL has posted to its web site the report for Phase II of its project to measure the use and value of electronic resources.
* In August, CLIR put online its report, _Building and Sustaining Digital Collections: Models for Libraries and Museums_.
* In July, DLF and CLIR put online Tim Jewell's report on how research libraries manage (select, license, present, and support the use of) their digital collections, especially those with components provided by commercial vendors.
* In June, NIH launched ARCHIVE-COMM-L, a listserv for its Image Archive Steering Committee. The primary list topic is the archiving of digital medical images.
Lobbyists for the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA), with the support of the Motion Picture Association of America, proposed an amendment to the recently passed anti-terrorist act that would have immunized copyright owners from liability for hacking into private computers in order to delete files that violate their copyrights. Aides to Senator Patrick Leahy rejected the amendment before the Senate voted on the act. The RIAA believes the new law "unintentionally" prohibits an anti-piracy tool available to the industry under current law.
On October 16, Topica lost both the newsletter and discussion forum. Visitors were told that neither list even existed. This was a temporary problem with its server, but it's another reason why I'm looking for a new host. If you can help, please send me an email. Here are my criteria.
If you plan to attend one of the following conferences, please share your observations with us through our discussion forum.
* Collections & Access for the 21st Century Scholar: A Forum to Explore the Roles of the Research LibraryWashington, D.C., October 19-20
* Intellectual Property Rights in the Knowledge-Based EconomyWashington, D.C., October 22
* International Conference on Dublin Core and Metadata Applications 2001Tokyo, October 22-26
* e-Book Lessons: From Life-Cycle to User ExperiencesWaltham, Massachusetts, October 23
* Fourth Meeting of the [NAS] Committee on Intellectual Property Rights (only parts are open to the public)Washington, D.C., October 23-24
* Document Security and Digital Rights Management (an ALPSP Seminar)London, October 26
* Copyright Issues in the Electronic AgeWaltham, Massachusetts, October 29
* Paperless Publishing: Peer Review, Production, and PublicationWashington, D.C., October 30
* The XML Revolution: What Scholarly Publishers Need to knowWaltham, Massachusetts, November 1
* Information in a Networked World: Harnessing the FlowWashington D.C., November 2-8
* Long Term Archiving of Digital Documents in PhysicsLyon, November 5-6
* Electronic Book 2001: Authors, Applications, and AccessibilityWashington D.C., November 5-7
* Internet Librarian 2001Pasadena, November 6-8
* Content Summit 01: Funding opportunities for European digital content on global networksZurich, November 7-9
* Setting Standards and Making it Real (on Digital Reference Services)Orlando, November 12-13
* First Annual Meeting of the Text Encoding Initiative ConsortiumPisa, November 16-17
* ARL Workshop for Publishers: Licensing Electronic Resources to Libraries: Understanding Your MarketPhiladelphia, November 19
* European Forum on Harmful and Illegal Cyber ContentStrasbourg, November 28
* eGovernment [in Europe]: From Policy to PracticeBrussels, November 29-30
* Digital Media Revolution in the AmericasPasadena, November 29 - December 1
* School for Scanning: Creating, Managing, and Preserving Digital AssetsDelray Beach, Florida, December 3-5
* Online Information 2001London, December 4-6
* The Electronic Library: Strategic, Policy and Management IssuesLoughborough, December 9-14
* 4th International Conference of Asian Digital LibrariesBangalore, December 10-12
The Free Online Scholarship Newsletter is supported by a grant from the Open Society Institute.
This is the Free Online Scholarship Newsletter (ISSN 1535-7848).
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Copyright (c) 2001, Peter Suber