“Weighing Paper against Pixel”

From the November issue of Scientific AmericanWhy the brain prefers paper, by Ferris Jabr

In many studies people understand and remember what they read on paper better than what they read on screens.  Researchers think the physicality of paper explains this discrepancy.

A plea to scholars

Dear scholars,

Please pay attention to where you place your scholarship.   Are you aware of the cost of some journal subscriptions?  One example, of many, is the Journal of Law & Society.  The Stanford Law Library used to get this print subscription with discounted rate and paid $161 for the current 2013 print subscription. We just received word from Hein (who handles the subscription for us) that the publisher will begin to charge us the full price with an additional payment of $851.00.

What made me think of this was the receipt yesterday of a new publication from my hero Carl Malamud.  Carl has become quite the pamphleteer and his most recent is On Crime and Access to Knowledge.    I urge you all to read it.

In the pamphlet, Carl tells the story of the late Aaron Swartz and discusses JSTOR, PACER, and broader information access issues such as Carl’s heroic efforts to make public safety documents, such as building codes, available to the public.

But on the issue of what Aaron did with JSTOR, Carl makes this important point:

. . . One must remember that JSTOR is a messenger, an intermediary, and if there is fault here, that fault is ultimately the fault of the scholars who wrote those articles and allowed them to be locked up.  It was a corruption of scholarship when the academy handed over copyright to knowledge so that it could be rationed in order to extract rents.

Please think twice before you place a piece of your scholarship with a particular journal.  Find out what it costs to subscribe to the journal; find out what databases include its text (your librarian can help with this); ask the journal if you can retain ownership and publication rights.  And ask yourself:  Do you really want your scholarship tightly locked up behind expensive pay walls?

 

After Google Book Search: Rebooting the Digital Library

“After Google Book Search: Rebooting the Digital Library” 
University of Chicago Law & Economics, Olin Working Paper No. 559

RANDAL C. PICKER, University of Chicago – Law School

The rejection of the Google Book Search settlement means that we are at a point of rebooting how we design our digital library future. There were many criticisms of GBS and the settlement but perhaps chief among those was the risk that approval of the settlement would have locked in a single approach to digital libraries. Google would have received unique access to the so-called orphan works and that would have provided it what may have been a decisive advantage against digital library competitors, both private and public. As we move forward on the orphan works, we need to do so with two principles in mind. First, we need to enable broad competing uses of the orphan works while, to the greatest extent possible, respecting the rights of the orphan works holders. Second, we should not repeat the mistake of the GBS settlement by somehow tilting the table in favor of digital library monopoly, either public or private.

We should want to foster a rich digital library ecosystem. GBS makes clear that we can have large-scale private digital libraries. That is an important development and one that we should seek to enable. If we create use rights for copyrighted works for digital libraries, we should be sure to make those privileges available to both public digital libraries and private digital libraries such as GBS and its successors. Our existing statutory safe harbors for libraries favor noncommercial libraries and archives. The emergence of GBS suggests that that is too narrow a conception of what libraries can be in the digital age and we need a statutory scheme that supports that.

Source: LSN: University of Chicago Law School, Law & Economics Research Paper Series Vol. 13 No. 4, 06/27/2011

 

Jerusalem Review of Legal Studies

New journal from the Hebrew University Faculty of Law: Jerusalem Review of Legal Studies

Volume 1 is available online full-text:

http://law.huji.ac.il/eng/pirsumim.asp?cat=2062&in=1957

Jerusalem Review of Legal Studies is a law journal dedicated to in-depth discussions of important studies of and in law. Each issue consists of two symposia on a book or a research-project, which entail critical comments by commentators and a response by the person whose research project it is.

Additional information about the journal available on the Legal Theory Blog:

http://lsolum.typepad.com/legaltheory/2010/09/journal-announcement-the-jerusalem-review-of-legal-studies.html


Citation Process for California Supreme Court Opinions

On the NOCALL list today was an interesting posting from Kerry Shoji, Paralegal/Research Analyst.

Kerry had recently asked questions on the NOCALL list about the citation process for the California Supreme Court.  Kerry then passed the questions along to the experts, Fran Jones, Director of Library Services, California Judicial Center Library and Edward Jessen, Reporter of Decisions.

Below is the text of Kerry’s questions and Mr. Jessen’s responses. [Reproduced with the permission Kerry Shoji and Edward Jessen.]

“How can you find out a California Supreme Court citation on a recently decided case?  I have the LEXIS citation, but I am curious:

1) How the official reporter volume/page number for the citation is assigned?

The California Official Reports publisher assigns volumes and page numbers because it is essentially a byproduct of the print composition process, and deadlines preclude much involvement in this function by the Reporter of Decisions.  But the publisher is contractually required to print opinions in the order received, and there are contractual requirements for the pagination of volumes.

2) How long does it take to go from slip opinion to the bound opinion?

For example, Official Reports advance pamphlet No. 16 will contain all published opinions filed between 5/17/10 and 5/25/10, and will be issued on 6/17/10.  Promptness is regulated by the Official Reports publication contract.*

Citations for opinions in that pamphlet, however, will be available on LexisNexis by approximately June 11.

3) How one can determine the official citation once bound?

Bound volumes, as a general rule, publish about 10 to 12 months after the last pamphlet issues with opinions  for a particular volume.  Citations, however, never change between advance pamphlets and bound volumes, except that superseded opinions (review granted, depublished, or rehearing granted) are omitted.

4) Do all the Westlaw or Lexis electronic references get converted to the official citation once the bound version is issued?

For the California Official Reports, there are several points in the editorial process leading to the final version of opinions in the bound volumes at which this office or the publisher would “convert” a Lexis or Westlaw cite to another California opinion to the Official Reports cite.  The LexisNexis version of that opinion would also then receive the Official Reports cite in place of the Lexis or Westlaw cite.  I cannot speak to what Westlaw would do in this situation because it is not the official version of opinions and we do not control content in the way we do for opinions on LexisNexis.”

*Special note: Peter W. Martin, Cornell Law School, has published in his Access to Law site many of the contracts between State courts and law report publishers, including California (2003).  There is also a great table showing these contracts, too.

Book: French-American Network for the Internationalization of Law

The Januray 28th issue of Recueil Dalloz includes an interview in French with Professor Mireille Delmas-Marty discussing her work with the French-American Network for the Internationalization of Law; there are also Franco-Brazilian and Franco-Chinsese networks. In the interview she mentions a book she edited with Justice Stephen Breyer.

Regards croises sur l’internationalizaation du droit: France-Etat-Unis

Paris : Société de législation comparée, 2009

ISBN: 978-2-908199-79-6
http://www.lgdj.fr/colloques-etudes-rapports/229059/regards-croises-internationalisation-droit-france-etats

 Interview citation:

Le réseau internationalisation du droit: entretien trois questions a Mireille Delmas-Marty.

Recueil Dalloz 2010 #4/7409  page 248.

Latin American Studies Full-Text Online

International Information Services has recently launched a subscriber ($) database of full-text journals from various disciplines, focsuing on Latin America. There appear to be only a handful of legal journals on their list of publications. For now, many of the items are available for free.  Spanish and English language content is planned.

LatAm Estudios Texto Completo en Línea / Latin American Studies Full-Text

http://www.latam-studies.com/

From the database description:

Ninety-five percent of the content is licensed from top Latin American and Caribbean institutions and universities. Much of the important scholarly content for Latin America comes from Latin America, yet little of it is included in the major U.S. or European scholarly indexing services. LatAm-Studies targets this content. We index for free-text searching and offer you the full-text of everything.

LatAm-Studies Full Text Online is a database service dedicated to the promotion and dissemination of research on Latin America and the Caribbean. We have licensed journals and other academic content of the most prestigious research institutions in the region and the world. Because we charge a subscription fee for access to the service, we are able to pay royalties to our content providers in order to help them thrive and to support continuing research. In addition, we keep our subscription fees at low cost to achieve the widest possible dissemination of content.

Country Coverage
LatAm-Studies.com brings together thousands of full-text reports on 46 countries.* Coverage includes all countries in South America, Caribbean, Central America and Mexico.

Subject Coverage
The reports included in the database cover a multitude of business, government, economic, and social issues.

Examples of specific subject coverage include finance, trade, environment, human resource development, history, languages, culture, bests practices in government, fisheries, tourism, education and research on women. An average study is 10 pages long and contains research, analysis and forecasts. Most contain statistical tables, charts, and/or graphs.

Document Browsing
Studies are arranged for easy browsing by subject, study provider, and alphabetical order.  In addition, all studies are indexed in a comprehensive database that is quickly searchable using free text. Each month, the home page highlights new and noteworthy studies and updates.

The database search engine offers advanced search features for experienced researchers while delivering excellent results for novices, because it forgives spelling errors and automatically stems. Users can browse by country to find country specific annual statistical overviews.  Multi-country and Latin America wide comparisons are also available.

U.S. Government Blogs Organized by Subject

USA.gov, which provides official information and services from the United States Government, has recently organized federal government blogs by subject.

Under the current organization there are 11 categories:

  1. Business and Economics Blogs: Small business owners, economics news…
  2. Defense and International Relations Blogs: Military, foreign policy, veterans…
  3. Environment, Energy, and Agriculture Blogs: Agriculture, environmental protection, saving energy…
  4. Family, Home, and Community Blogs: Human services, community development, middle class…
  5. Health and Nutrition Blogs: Medicine, public health…
  6. History, Arts, and Culture Blogs: Museums, libraries…
  7. Jobs, Education, and Volunteerism Blogs: Volunteering, employment…
  8. Public Safety and Law Blogs: Security, law enforcement, disasters, emergencies…
  9. Reference and General Government Blogs: Grants, White House…
  10. Science and Technology Blogs: Information technology, Internet security…
  11. Travel and Recreation Blogs: Transportation, parks…

Hat tip to: ResourceShelf.

E-books, on the cusp of their “iPod moment”?

Full page Analysis piece in today’s Financial Times:

Brought to book

Publishing Amid rapid growth in the number of digital titles and devices to read them on, an industry barely changed isnce Gutenberg is confronting upheaval, write Ben Fenton and Salamander Davoudi

Financial Times, Friday, October 16, 2009, p. 7

From the story:

. . .

At the Frankfurt Book Fair this week, the talk has been all about the impact of the e-book, with scores of sessions and seminars devoted to discussing the implications of devices such as Amazon’s Kindle and the Sony Reader. Another hot topic is Google’s digitisation of, so far, 10m books including about 9m still protected by copyright.

The Google Books project, arguably the first attempt to collect the planet’s collective knowledge in one (cyber) space since the Library of Alexandria was founded in the third century BC, also includes plans to allow people to buy out-of-print books from Espresso printing and binding machines.

. . .

Overall, industry executives and analysts expect digital books to reach about 20-25 per cent of the market over the next decade as publishers await their “iPod moment”, the appearance of a piece of hardware that gives the digital incarnation of the written word the same volcanic momentum that transformed the consumption, and the business, of music.

Judicial Information Management in an Electronic Age: Old Standards, New Challenges

“Judicial Information Management in an Electronic Age: Old Standards, New Challenges”

Federal Courts Law Review, Forthcoming

PETER A. WINN, University of Washington School of Law

Under well established law, information in court records is open to the public, but it may be sealed upon a fact-based showing either that the information is not a matter of legitimate public concern or is sufficiently sensitive to need such protection. Under the former paper-based court record system, however, routine violations of these publcity standards were widely tolerated. At the same time, the practical obscurity of paper provided a default privacy benefit for negligently unsealed sensitive information. With the introduction of electonic filing, old improper sealing practices are now increasingly being exposed and criticised; while the dealth of practical obscurity has caused individuals with sensitive information in court files, to be increasingly exposed to harm. This article argues that restoring an appropriate homeostasis to the judicial information eco-system, where legitimate privacy and publicity interests are both protected, does not require replacing established common law standards; but it will require the adoption of new legal procedures, better use of information technologies, and more careful training of judges and lawyers. Ultimately, to properly achieve this goal, the existing common law adversarial system of information mangement will need to be supplemented by a new administrative model.

Source:  LSN Information Privacy Law Vol. 2 No. 34,  10/07/2009