Information and Society

29
Feb12

Scholars call for boycott of Elsevier over high prices and copyright maximalism [Updated]

Posted by: Hillary Corbett

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Mega-publisher Elsevier has been garnering some negative publicity of late. Last month it was revealed that its political action group funded the re-election campaigns of Rep. Carolyn Maloney (D-NY), one of the authors of the controversial Research Works Act (H.R. 3699) that would prohibit open access to articles resulting from government-funded research.

[Update: On 2/27/2012, Elsevier announced it no longer backed the Research Works Act, and the sponsoring legislators subsequently announced they will not pursue the bill further.]

Now, thousands of scholars are signing an agreement to boycott Elsevier in protest of its high subscription prices, its practice of bundling journals (so libraries are forced to subscribe to titles they don’t want), and its support of restrictive legislation like SOPA, PIPA, and the Research Works Act. Although members of the library community have protested such practices by Elsevier and other large publishers for years, this marks the first occasion that members of the research community–the people who write the articles and serve as peer reviewers or editors–have taken a large-scale stand.

Timothy Gowers, a prominent mathematician, wrote a blog post on January 21, 2012, in which he discussed the issues outlined above and asked, “Why can’t we just tell Elsevier that we no longer wish to publish with them?” A reader took up the challenge and created a website where scholars could register their dissatisfaction and refusal to provide free labor for Elsevier in the form of research, peer review, and editorial duties. Within its first ten days of existence, the website has collected the signatures of over 2,700 scholars worldwide.

The boycott has received a lot of media attention, perhaps especially because it has grown so exponentially in such a short period of time. And many writers are asking: because scholars are both producers and consumers of research journals, do they have the ability to disrupt the scholarly publishing system and effect lasting change?

Further reading:

Posted in: Information and Society, Research Online, Scholarly Communications

10
Feb12

Upcoming Workshop at the DMDS: After Effects Basic

Posted by: Jonathan Iannone

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The DMDS is pleased to announce its next workshop which will be held on Tuesday February 21 at Noon time.

To reserve your spot for this workshop please follow this link to make your reservation: After Effects sign up

 

Posted in: Digital Media Design Studio (DMDS), Information and Society

6
Feb12

Final Cut 7 now available at the DMDS

Posted by: Jonathan Iannone

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The Digital Media Design Studio now has 10 Mac Pro workstations with Final Cut Pro 7 installed. Please see the flyer for more details.

Final cut pro 7 flyer

Posted in: Digital Media Design Studio (DMDS), Information and Society, Serendipity

19
Jan12

Meet Snell’s Newest Staff Member

Posted by: Samantha Wasserman

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Snell Library is gaining a new librarian: Daniel Jergovic has been appointed as a new Metadata Librarian in the Metadata Management department. Jergovic started his new job with Northeastern University Libraries on January 9th.

As a metadata librarian, Jergovic creates access to the library’s resources, especially those that are electronic and digital. Jergovic says he is interested in this area because he enjoys “the challenges of organizing information” and “helping people find and use library resources”.

Jergovic brings plenty of experience to his new position: before working at Northeastern, he was a librarian for five years, working at the University of South Florida, University of Washington, and San Diego State University. At San Diego State, he managed metadata and cataloging activities for multiple print and digital projects. Jergovic holds an MSIS from the State University of New York at Albany.

In addition to his various positions as a librarian, Jergovic is also an active contributor to library committees and professional development associations, including the ALA ALCTS CaMMS Recruitment and Mentoring Committee and the Leadership Development Committee, where he serves as a communications liaison.

Jergovic has just moved to Boston and loves living in the city so far. Originally from Cleveland, Jergovic has lived in several cities, including Seattle, San Diego, Tampa, and London. Jergovic says Boston is among his “most favorite places to live”. Jergovic is also fluent in Croatian and Serbian and has been an instructor at Berlitz International.

When he’s not at the library, Jergovic has numerous hobbies that he likes to partake in, including movies, music, traveling, exercising, eating out at restaurants, and cooking, although he admits the latter is not his strongest skill.

So far, Jergovic likes working at Northeastern and says he is “really impressed by the university,” especially its “strong orientation towards looking toward the future.”

We at the library welcome Daniel to Northeastern University and wish him luck in his new position!

Posted in: Data Curation, Information and Society, Jobs, Library News and Events, Staff Interests

18
Jan12

Why is Wikipedia down today? (Jan. 18, 2012)

Posted by: Hillary Corbett

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Major websites such as Wikipedia and the Internet Archive are holding blackouts today, January 18, 2012, in protest of two anti-piracy bills currently before Congress. Many believe that the Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA) and the Protect Intellectual Property Act (PIPA) go too far in their efforts to curb illegal downloading and streaming of movies and television shows.

The stated intent of these acts is to protect the intellectual property rights of copyright holders (sometimes the authors or creators but more frequently the large media corporations who own the works). However, if passed into law, they may set a dangerous precedent for permitting private companies to block access to information. Wikipedia, among other sites, has chosen to do just that today – block access to the information that millions of us seek every day – in order to highlight what they feel could happen if SOPA and PIPA are passed.

What do you think about this topic? Read more here:

Full text of SOPA and PIPA

“A Political Coming of Age for the Tech Industry” (The New York Times)

On a lighter note…

“Wikipedia Blackout: A Nation of Students Mourn” (The Guardian)
(compilation of tweets, may contain foul language)

Register your opinion on SOPA/PIPA with Congress:

PopVox: What’s Your Position on the Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA)?

PopVox: What’s Your Position on the Protect IP Act (PIPA)?

Need that information TODAY? Visit our online collection of dictionaries and encyclopedias!

Posted in: Information and Society, Library News and Events, Research Online, Scholarly Communications, Tech Alerts