Monday, 26 November 2012

CRKN to Terminate National Agreement with the ACS

From the Canadian Research Knowledge Network's website:

November 26, 2012
The Canadian Research Knowledge Network (CRKN) has announced a decision to terminate the national license agreement it has held with the American Chemical Society (ACS) since 2001 for its Web Editions and Legacy Archives products.  Termination of the CRKN-ACS license will take effect at the end of 2013, at which time participating libraries may choose to contract directly with ACS or implement alternate arrangements.
The decision to terminate the national agreement was taken by the CRKN Board of Directors after the organization’s negotiating team was unable to reach a renewal agreement with ACS, owing to fundamental issues with the new pricing model adopted by ACS for its international (non-US) library and consortia customers.
Under ACS’s new pricing, costs for participant libraries will be determined solely by usage, using the average number of full-text downloads from the most recent three years, and with participating institutions organized into usage bands.  Any growth in usage that would move a participating institution into a higher usage band would result in a prohibitive price increase that could double or triple the cost of the ACS content.  This pricing regime represents a huge financial risk for those libraries that are most committed to promoting ACS resources, and will penalize those who are most successful in integrating ACS content into new web- and mobile-based discovery and access systems that are used increasingly by university researchers and students.
“CRKN’s Board of Directors took this decision, with regret, after thorough due diligence, consultation with members, and evaluation of options,” reported Deb deBruijn, Executive Director. “Volatile, unpredictable and prohibitive pricing will serve to deter, rather than foster, full utilization of this important content by our members’ researchers and students.  Ultimately, ACS’s approach runs counter to CRKN’s mission of maximizing use of digital content nation-wide so as to build universities’ research capacity, enable innovative research outputs, and add to the international pool of research ingenuity.”
The decision to terminate CRKN’s agreement with ACS comes after twelve years of partnership between the two organizations, made possible by a series of large-scale, stable, multi-year agreements that were negotiated in good faith by both parties and maintained with streamlined administration. This partnership expanded the reach of ACS’s journals into sixty-six Canadian universities, transforming the research environment for chemists and enabling major advances in interdisciplinary, inter-institutional, and international work.
CRKN and its member libraries will use the coming year to wind down the national agreement and engage researchers, students, and other stakeholders in the critical issues that surround this development.  In consultation with their user communities, member libraries will also review local needs and identify options for providing key content in ways that reduce or mitigate the financial risks introduced by ACS’s usage-based pricing.  CRKN will support its members through this transition, and will also add its voice to the international efforts of research universities, libraries and consortia that are strongly urging ACS to re-evaluate the business and pricing model it has applied in recent negotiations.
About CRKN
The Canadian Research Knowledge Network is a partnership of Canadian universities, dedicated to expanding digital content for the academic research enterprise in Canada.  Through the coordinated leadership of librarians, researchers, and administrators, CRKN undertakes large-scale content acquisition and licensing initiatives, currently amounting to almost $100 million annually, in order to build knowledge infrastructure and research capacity in 75 of Canada’s universities.

Wednesday, 24 October 2012

Wednesday, 10 October 2012

Adam Matthew acquired by SAGE

This is the news release from SAGE that has been sent out to libraries today:
As a valued customer of Adam Matthew we wanted to give you someexciting news before the official announcement is released tomorrow(Thursday 11th October).
During our work this year with SAGE ( it has become
clear that our two businesses share the same core values andapproaches to quality publishing. As a result of these fundamentalalignments, and the ambitious plans for both companies, Adam Matthewis now a part of the SAGE Group:
SAGE has acquired Adam Matthew Digital and Adam Matthew Education. Theacquisition was concluded on 5th October, 2012, but remains strictlyconfidential until a public announcement is made tomorrow (11th Oct,2012).
There will be no changes to the Adam Matthew team or structure. The
business will continue to operate from its offices in Marlborough,Wiltshire and Chicago, IL under its existing management team who willcontinue to maintain all existing customer relationships.
Adam Matthew’s product fit, and the strongly aligned brand values with
SAGE, make this an exciting opportunity for the next phase in AdamMatthew’s development.
Both SAGE and Adam Matthew strongly believe in high quality products
and editorial integrity. With the agreement that Adam Matthew willcontinue to operate independently, but with the backing of SAGE, theapproach to creative, high value product development that has definedboth companies will be strengthened further.
All existing contracts will remain between Adam Matthew and its
partners, not transferred to SAGE. Please see this link:<> for important clarification on the retention ofdigital materials and access to our collections.
From January 2013 SAGE will begin selling and marketing Adam Matthew
products globally.
SAGE’s global presence will enable the further dissemination of Adam
Matthew products into new markets. Recent expansion has shown thatthere is a great appetite for Adam Matthew products and thisrelationship will support that demand.
All enquiries relating to Adam Matthew products will continue to be
managed by the Adam Matthew team.
We are extremely excited about this new relationship and believe the
next phase of Adam Matthew’s growth and development will be very wellsupported by the SAGE Group. We look forward to discussing thesedevelopments with you over the next few months as we meet many of youon our travels around the world.
Many thanks for your continued support,
The Adam Matthew Team |

Springer for sale

From Sky News, October 10, 2012:
Academic Publishing Giant Springer For Sale

Wednesday, 3 October 2012

TERMS: Techniques for Electronic Resource Management

This is a wiki I recently learned about that may be helpful for librarians when thinking about electronic resources: TERMS: Techniques for Electronic Resource Management. It was created by Jill Emery, Portland State University, and Graham Stone, University of Huddersfield in an effort to create best practices for managing electronic resources. It provides information about different stages in the management process and what you need to take into consideration. Very helpful!

YBP's Annual Book Price update

YBP has released its annual book price update, based on data from their fiscal year of July 1, 2011 - June 30, 2012. This is good information for academic libraries managing budgets and trying to plan spending.

Most interesting is that the average book price for cloth books is $83.59USD, and book prices are up 3.2%. Also, ebook prices from the aggregators that YBP uses (ebrary, Ebsco and EBL) averaged $95.14USD, a decrease of 2% from the previous year.

YBP predicts a 3-4% increase in the cost of both academic print and e-books for this fiscal year.

SCOAP3 Open Access Initiative launched

In case you missed it, on Monday SCOAP3 was officially launched at CERN. From the Press Release:

Publishers of 12 journals, accounting for the vast majority of articles in the field, have been identified for participation in SCOAP3 through an open and competitive process, and the SCOAP3 initiative looks forward to establishing more partnerships with key institutions in Europe, America and Asia as it moves through the technical steps of organizing the re-direction of funds from the current subscription model to a common internationally coordinated fund. SCOAP3 expects to be operational for articles published as of 2014.

Tuesday, 25 September 2012

Open-access deal for particle physics

And in other open access news, this is exciting (from Nature):
Open-access deal for particle physics

The SCOAP3 initiative has been slowly moving things forward for a number of years, and now they have reached a milestone after negotiating contracts for 12 journals that cover 90% of the research output in the field of high-energy physics. It will be exciting to watch this play out over the coming year.

AHA Statement on Scholarly Journal Publishing

Yesterday, the American Historical Society released a statement on scholarly journal publishing, specifically relating to open access. They have concerns about payment for open access, maintaining high standards, and  the potential loss of peer review. It's good to see their concerns laid out and that they are starting to talk about this within their Society. For librarians, its a good chance to speak with History faculty about these kinds of issues and maybe quell some of their fears.


The site previously known as total-impact has been relaunched as ImpactStory. If you're not familiar, this is a site for gathering alt-metric measures on research articles. From their FAQ:
ImpactStory is a website that makes it quick and easy to view the impact of a wide range of research output. It goes beyond traditional measurements of research output -- citations to papers -- to embrace a much broader evidence of use across a wide range of scholarly output types. The system aggregates impact data from many sources and displays it in a single report, which is given a permaurl for dissemination and can be updated any time.
Basically, researchers can see the impact of their research in places that we previously may not have considered, such as via Twitter, Facebook, Slideshare, Mendeley, and some more traditional sources such as Scopus and PubMed. It meshes the world of social media with the world of scholarly communication, to provide a broader picture of impact beyond the number of citations in Web of Science! See what it looks like:
Sample impact report
Something to share with faculty who are interested in looking beyond the traditional measures of impact.

New papers on digital preservation

A few recent papers that will be of interest to those who care about digital preservation:

Economics of Long Term Digital Storage

LOCKSS Boxes in the Cloud

Curation in the Cloud

Monday, 24 September 2012

The Disappearing Web

Thanks to my colleague, Kathy West, for pointing out this article in Business Week. At the University of Alberta Libraries, we've been concerned with preservation for some time now, and have been using ArchiveIt to archive materials on the web that we've identified as priorities.

The Disappearing Web: Decay Is Eating Our History

Here's the research study mentioned in the article:

Losing My Revolution: How Many Resources Shared on Social Media Have Been Lost?

Bottom line from the authors: " From this model we conclude that after the first year of publishing, nearly 11% of shared resources will be lost and after that we will continue to lose 0.02% per day."

Tuesday, 18 September 2012

Altmetric for Scopus

Scopus has announced that it has incorporated a new Altmetric service for article level metrics within its database. The altmetric service will capture information from social media sites such as Twitter and Facebook, mainstream media, and reference managers such as Mendeley, to illustrate how scholarly articles are being used beyond academia. I think this is a nice complement to the citation information currently contained in Scopus, and integration of these different sources in one place is great.

Monday, 17 September 2012

Serial prices likely to rise 5-7% in 2013

On Friday, EBSCO released its 2013 Serials Price Projection Report. Their projection is that serial prices for academic libraries will rise 5-7% in 2013. This is not good news for academic libraries facing very tight budgets with far smaller increases than 5%.

Wednesday, 5 September 2012

Report: Moving Towards an Open Access Future

Here's a recent report from SAGE and the British Library, on the role of academic libraries with respect to open access publication. The content of the report is based on an international roundtable meeting of 14 librarians and industry experts. There are some predictions here that really don't hold any weight, but otherwise the report does provide a good overview of current issues relating to OA and academic libraries.

Moving towards an open access future: The role of academic libraries

Tuesday, 4 September 2012

In the digital era, we own nothing

This is a good story in The Guardian re: long term ownership of digital media. For academic libraries, the ownership of what we buy is of great importance, and magnified from what this story illustrates.  While the University of Alberta Libraries try to "own" and "purchase" what we buy (vs. rent/subscribe to something where we lose all content should our subscription end, or should a publisher choose to remove content from a package), sometimes that is not possible, and there are still lingering questions about what a purchase actually means. Publishers are very wary of allowing local hosting of digital content, or for that content to be held by the library, so this puts us in a position of managing content in a very different way than what we do with print materials. We want to build collections that last a very long time, for use by future generations, not just for short-term use. Digital materials are here to stay and that's for the better, considering the advantages in terms of access and use of those materials; but there are still a lot of problems to work out regarding how these materials can be purchased, owned and shared.  The story also makes me think about our donations, and while print book donations show no signs of slowing down, the potential donations of electronic books or music is something that we need to start thinking of as well. Will our libraries be poorer for the loss of materials that people like Bruce Willis might want to give us but cannot due to restrictions around use of that material, simply because it is digital? So many questions and lots of work to do...

The Bruce Willis dilemma? In the digital era, we own nothing

Monday, 3 September 2012

The state of California passes a bill to create open access digital library for textbooks

Here's an interesting bit of news from California that's worth keeping an eye on:

California passes bills to create open-source digital library for college textbooks

California Passes Nation’s First Open Source Textbook Legislation

According to the Sacramento Observer, Bill SB 1052 "provides for the selection, development and administration of the free open digital textbooks for the most popular lower-division courses overseen by the establishment of the California Open Education Resources Council (COERC)."  These textbooks will be open access and open source, with a creative commons license allowing for reuse.

Wednesday, 29 August 2012

Giving ebooks to the world

Here's an interview with the founder of, which the University of Alberta Libraries has supported with the first unglued book, Oral Literature in Africa. We chose to support because of its new approach to making scholarly books widely available and open access.

Giving ebooks to the world

Springer Publishing extends their Springer Open program to e-books

Springer Open is now publishing open access ebooks. It's not exactly clear what the author fee is - looks like it's based on the number of pages in the book. Since the University of Alberta Libraries supports BioMed Central (a Springer division) with membership, our membership also applies to Springer Open for both journal articles and books. This means that UAlberta authors will receive a discount (50%) on the author fee should they wish to publish this way.

Tuesday, 28 August 2012

The Simons Foundation provides funding for arXiv

Today, Cornell University Library announced that the Simons Foundation is providing an operating grant to assist with the stewardship of arXiv. The grant will match membership fees paid by libraries, to a maximum of $300,000. The University of Alberta Libraries has made a 5 year commitment to support arXiv and it is nice to know that our contribution is now going further through this matching grant.

Ensuring arXiv's Future

How to Succeed in Publishing Without Really Trying

A brilliant piece in Inside Higher Ed:. Sums up the current state of scholarly publishing very accurately, and with humour.  Definitely worth a read.

How to Succeed in Publishing Without Really Trying

Monday, 27 August 2012

Are you a book lover, technophile, pragmatist, or printer?

This recently published article in College & Research Libraries measured user opinions of e-books. The authors found that people generally fell into one of four main categories:
1. Book lovers - "have an inherent affinity for the print form. They cherish books as physical objects. Leisure reading is a very important component of their opinion on e-books, and they cannot imagine reading an e-book for pleasure."
2. Technophiles - "are strongly interested in the possibilities of new technology as regards the book. They feel as if the advantages in searching and access outweigh any downsides to e-books."
3. Pragmatists - "are the most neutral of the four types isolated, as they are most interested in content and see pros and cons to both formats."
4. Printers - "prefer print books but are distinguished from Book Lovers in that they have specific difficulties with the usability of e-books. This group simply cannot read text on a screen and needs to print any online texts with which they work."

Book Lovers, Technophiles, Pragmatists, and Printers: The Social and Demographic Structure of User Attitudes toward e-Books by Andy Revelle, Kevin Messner, Aaron Shrimplin, and Susan Hurst

The study found that overall, 34% of participants were Book Lovers, 22% Technophiles, 19% Pragmatists, and 28% Printers.  The study also breaks these figures down by gender, departmental affiliation, and academic status.  Some food for thought in terms of how we buy books and the preferences of our students and faculty.

ALCTS web course: Fundamentals of Collection Development and Management

This four-week online course addresses the basic components of collection development and management (CDM) in libraries. The course was developed by Peggy Johnson, University of Minnesota. 

ALCTS web course: Fundamentals of Collection Development and Management
Session: October 1–October 26,  2012
Registration Fees:  $109 ALCTS Member and  $129 Non-member

Article: New Journals in Education and Psychology

Today I sat in on a journal club at our Education Library. We discussed the following article by Bernadette Lear in College & Research Libraries (March 2012):

New Journals in Education and Psychology: General Trends, Discoverability, and Ubiquitous Journals of the Decade, 2000–2009

Lear looks at English language refereed journals that began publication between 2000-2009, in the fields of education and psychology.  It is quite a long article, with much information about the publication and coverage of these new journals in indexes, databases, etc. If your liaison area is education or psychology, the findings will be fascinating. For example, of the 683 journal titles included in the study, 259 (37.9%) were open access; only 38.4% of titles had any coverage in ERIC, PsycINFO, or Web of Science; only 34.8% of the titles had any coverage in Ebsco's Academic Search Complete, Gale's Academic OneFile, and ProQuest's Central.  There's a lot more data in this article -- lots to think about when making collections decisions, and also when helping students and faculty. Our small group was inspired since the article gave us lots to think about and sparked some future research possibilities.

Friday, 24 August 2012

Integrating E-books in Academic Libraries

This literature review in Collection Management provides a good overview of the breadth of issues that librarians need to consider regarding e-books in academic libraries.

Best Practices for Integrating E-books in Academic Libraries: A Literature Review From 2005 to Present

Opening Access to Research

Here's a good current overview article about open access from Peter Suber, in berfrois: Intellectual Jousting in the Republic of Letters:

Ah e-books, everyone's favourite!

From Research Information, August 20, 2012:

Librarians and publishers still have problems with e-books

First Steps for Managing Born-Digital Content Received on Physical Media

Here's a new report from OCLC on managing born-digital content received on physical media:

You've Got to Walk Before You Can Run: First Steps for Managing Born-Digital Content Received on Physical Media

Students Find E-Textbooks ‘Clumsy’ and Don’t Use Their Interactive Features

This article from the Chronicle of Higher Education, August 22, 2012, discusses student use of e-textbooks at Cornell University, Indiana University, University of Minnesota, University of Virginia, and University of Wisconsin:

Students Find E-Textbooks ‘Clumsy’ and Don’t Use Their Interactive Features

Here is the actual report that the Chronicle article is talking about:

Internet2 eTextbook Spring 2012 Pilot Final Project Report, August 1, 2012

Alt-metrics: fairer, faster impact data?

Alt-metrics refers to alternative impact measures for research publications. With social media such as Twitter and open citation management programs such as Mendeley, scholarly research is being discussed and cited in many new ways.  To learn more about alt-metrics, see: alt-metrics: a manifesto.

From Times Higher Education, August 23, 2012:

Research Intelligence - Alt-metrics: fairer, faster impact data?

Thursday, 23 August 2012


Welcome to my collections blog. The purpose is to send out information and initiate discussion about collections related topics in libraries. I particularly hope to engage librarians at the University of Alberta Libraries on issues that are of importance to our library, but also to have broad based discussions within the wider profession.