Wednesday, June 28, 2006

Changes In Scholarly Communication

The digital environment is changing scholarly publishing. "Create Change" has been the motto of SPARC (Scholarly Publishing and Resources Coalition) and their newly revised website "Create Change" provides a resource for faculty who are interested in these changes. From their website: "In the age of the Internet, the ways you share and use academic research results are changing — rapidly, fundamentally, irreversibly. There’s great potential in change. After all, faster and wider sharing of journal articles, research data, simulations, syntheses, analyses, and other findings fuels the advance of knowledge. It’s a two-way street — sharing research benefits you and others. But will the promise of digital scholarship be fully realized? How will yesterday’s norms adapt to tomorrow’s possibilities?

This website will help you understand the changing landscape and how it affects you and your research. It also offers practical ways to look out for your own interests as a researcher.

A scholarly revolution is underway. It enables you to get a greater return from your research. All you have to do is share it."

Tuesday, June 27, 2006

Academic journal publishing trends

A recent report by the Association of Learned and Professional Society Publishers on trends in academic journals revealed these key findings:

* Publishers continue to make more content available online – 90% of journals are now online, compared with 75% in 2003.
* The number of journals continues to grow. 174 publishers have launched 1,048 new journal titles in the five years to 2005, averaging 6.02 per publisher, while they discontinued 185 titles, averaging 1.06 each.
* The availability of back issues online has increased by 5% to 91% in 2005. Many publishers have digitised back to Volume 1 Issue 1; 47 offer online access to pre-1990 content. Continuing access to previously subscribed volumes is provided by about 60%. Access to journal back volumes is becoming an integral part of the online product; 63% of publishers provide active subscribers with access at no extra cost.
* About a fifth of publishers are experimenting with open access journals.
* Online article submission and peer review processes have been widely adopted in the last five years.
* Almost all publishers offer more content to more users via bundling and/or consortia deals; pricing models vary considerably; and many smaller publishers are now included in multi-publisher packages such as the ALPSP Learned Journals Collection.
* All categories of publishers are now extending usage rights to be ‘library friendly’.
* Although most publishers still require journal authors to assign copyright, the proportion willing to accept a licence to publish has grown significantly in the past two years.

An excutive summary of the report will be found at

Women Writers Online - Enhancements

The Brown University Women Writers Project ( is pleased to announce the launch of a new and significantly expanded version of Women Writers Online. Available starting in the first week of June, the new release includes powerful new text analysis tools, new texts, and a magnificently fast search engine that makes waiting for search results a thing of the past. Women Writers Online is a full-text collection of pre-Victorian women's writing in English, encoded in detailed TEI/XML, and published for use in research and teaching.

New Tools
The new WWO interface is built on top of the Philologic search engine developed at the University of Chicago ( In addition to improved speed, it offers the following features for in-depth searching and analysis of text:

--detailed word frequency statistics
--context-sensitive searching
--sequential search refinement
--searching on similar words
--keyword-in-context display
--word in clause position
--collocation analysis
--detailed results bibliography

New Texts
The new release adds texts by the following authors:

Hannah Adams
Anne Askew
Jane Barker
Margaret Cavendish
Caroline Cushing
Esme Stuart Erskine
Deborah Gannett
Mary Austin Holley
Elizabeth Singer Rowe
Elizabeth Elkins Sanders
Phillis Wheatley
[more if there are more by then]

Please visit the Women Writers Project at and have a look. The new site will become active in the first week of June, but is available in beta mode until then. We welcome your feedback and suggestions for further improvement to the site: please send comments to

All site URLs will remain unchanged, including links to the main WWO page and to individual title-level URLs. However, during the cutover period there may be a brief interval in which title-level URLs are temporarily broken. We appreciate your patience as we make this change.

The old version of WWO will remain available for a month following this launch, linked from the main WWO site, to allow users time to become familiar with the new version.

Monday, June 05, 2006

Future of the Book

There has been a lot of discussion about the Google project to digitize books, and a recent article in the New York Times by Kevin Kelly, "Scan this Book", [May 14, 2006 - available via our Lexis/Nexis account]generated an open discussion on MPR with Pat Schroeder and Kevin Kelly on June 1, 2006. The audio file of the MPR recording can be found at:

Although most of us would agree that the paper book is not going away, we'd like to hear your views regarding the Google project, Kevin Kelly's forecasts, and the view expressed by Pat Schroeder.

Let us know what you think.