UC-Elsevier Transformative Agreement Contrasted with the CSU-Elsevier Transformative Agreement

Big news today in the Academic Publishing world: the University of California and Elsevier reached a Transformative Agreement, the biggest of its kind in history. Congrats to the UC negotiation team for achieving a truly transformative, transformative agreement! The unique leverage of the UC as the world’s largest producer of academic journal literature and a system with a decade of leadership and innovation in the Open Access movement made this moment possible. It will certainly be a blueprint for other institutions, including the CSUs, to follow.

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Amazon disintermediates libraries, Librarians deconstruct libraries, and Congress doubles down on libraries

Three fascinating reads on currents in librarianship today:

First, a disturbing WaPo article by tech reporter Geoffrey A. Fowler describing in detail how Amazon’s growth as a publisher has come at the steepest of prices for libraries: not being able to lease or lend e-books, especially for its most popular titles.

Second, a thought-provoking article by Argentinian librarian Edgardo Civallero about the history and call of libraries to reinvent themselves constantly in service of the needs of people.

Third, an inspiring ALA update on the library-specific and library-eligible funding in the American Rescue Plan. Not only does it grant $200 million to the Institute of Library and Museum Services (most of which will be distributed to libraries through state agencies), but also invites libraries to compete for the $7 billion in funds to bridge the digital and informational divides in our communities: “Participating libraries will receive 100 percent reimbursement for the cost of hotspots and other Wi-Fi capable devices, modems, routers, laptops, tablets and similar devices to loan to patrons.” If these funds can also include 3D printers, portable book scanners, VR equipment, data visualization screens, machine learning stations, and other maker-oriented tech and the software to support it, that represents an enormous opportunity for libraries to re-tool.

ShareYourPaper for Libraries: Interview with a ScholComm Librarian

Really excellent and fascinating interview-style overview of the partnership of Montana State and ShareYourPaper to expedite and automate the processes of depositing university scholarship, checking legal rights, and entering metadata. We in the CSU have already had a few meetings with Joe McArthur at ShareYourPaper / OpenAccessButton, and an integration is now at #7 in our list of ScholarWorks development priorities. Thank you for your leadership and excellent work, Leila and Joe!

Linked Open Data Protest against ResearchGate.net and Academia.edu

After having spent countless hours curating publication lists and metadata on these platforms and fielding numerous requests from their bots and users to upload content, as a self-motivated academic author I’ve finally decided to reset the nature of my relationship with ResearchGate.net and Academia.edu.

Besides deleting dozens of my publications from these sites, here is the core of my personal Linked Open Data protest:

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How Libraries Can Learn Not to Hate Commencement

This op-ed was published earlier today in the CSU Fullerton student newspaper, the Daily Titan.


Back in the pre-digital age, when university libraries bought physical resources, graduating students knew that the university library collections would continue to be there for them. Even if it meant a trip back to campus, that reservoir of curated knowledge would always be available to enjoy.

These days, graduating students are sadly, abruptly and completely cut off from most of the digital resources that we librarians work so hard to supply and teach students how to use.

How did this happen? How have libraries learned to hate commencement?

[Link to full article]

Scholarly Communication and Religious Studies Discourse and Debates

[Cross-posted from my other blog: vocesanticae.com]

I’ve been emailing back and forth a bit the last few days with my friend and academic colleague, Dieter Roth, the world’s leading expert on the study of Marcion and his texts. We met at a conference at KU Leuven a few years back, one graciously hosted by Joseph Verheyden and John Kloppenborg. It was such a wonderful gathering. I’ve let Dieter know that I value our scholarly friendship and eagerly welcome his feedback. He said he’s working on a response.

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