Amnesty International (AI): “Torture is Flourishing”

Amnesty International (AI) earlier this month posted the sad report

Torture in 2014: 30 Years of Broken Promises

For the accompanying AI press release, please see here.

Scribed Brings E-Readers Wiley’s “For Dummies” Reference Series Via E-Book Subscription Service

E-book subscription service Scribd and “For Dummies” reference series publisher Wiley have partnered to make available 1,000 of Wiley’s books within Scribd’s e-book subscription service.

Please see the following press release:

And see a number of the Wiley “For Dummies” titles here.

Hat tip to

Open Educational Resources (OERs)

The European Parliamentary Resource Service has this month posted a valuable briefing on open educational resources (OERs) — something related, of course, to Open Access (OA), which has been frequently referenced earlier on this blog in various places, including but not limited to here, here, here, here, here, here, here and here; please see (for a PDF):

New technologies and open education resources: Transforming education requires pedagogical, organisational and technological innovation. Increasing use of the Internet brought in a new era in course design and delivery to the mainstream model of traditional education. That is particularly so for open educational resources


Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change’s (IPCC’s) “Assessing and Managing the Risks of Climate Change”

The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change’s (IPCC’s) “Assessing and Managing the Risks of Climate Change” (see the “Summary for Policymakers” here and the unedited, accepted final draft report here) — its 5th Assessment Report (AR5) — has been released (as of March 31, 2014).

The AR5 is intended to “provide a clear view of the current state of scientific knowledge relevant to climate change.”

As prominently stated in the “Summary for Policymakers” (page 3):

Human interference with the climate system is occurring, and climate change poses risks for human and natural systems. [footnote and figure omitted]

For some background information on the IPCC, a scientific intergovernmental organization under the auspices of the United Nations (UN) which was created per the request of member state governments, please see here.

Hat tip to

New White House Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP) Memo on Improving Management of and Access to Scientific Collections

The Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP) of the White House yesterday issued a memorandum to the heads of all federal executive departments and agencies on “improving the management of and access to federal scientific collections — please see here.

The accompanying press release is here.

Hat tip to Law Librarians.

Recent United Nations Human Rights Council Report: the “Right to Food”

The Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) at the United Nations (UN) has recently (on January 24, 2014) released:

Report of the Special Rapporteur — Olivier De Schutter — on the right to food,
Final report: The transformative potential of the right to food
U.N. Doc. No. A/HRC/25/57

Please see also:

The Right to Food

4 “Key elements of the right to adequate food”:

– Availability: Food should be available from natural resources either through the production of food, by cultivating land or animal husbandry, or through other ways of obtaining food, such as fishing, hunting or gathering. On the other hand, it means that food should be available for sale in markets and shops.

– Accessibility: Economic and physical access to food to be guaranteed. Economic accessibility means that food must be affordable. Individuals should be able to afford food for an adequate diet without compromising on any other basic needs, such as school fees, medicines or rent. Physical accessibility means that food should be accessible to all, including to the physically vulnerable, such as children, the sick, persons with disabilities or the elderly. Access to food must also be guaranteed to people in remote areas and to victims of armed conflicts or natural disasters, as well as to prisoners.

– Adequacy: Food must satisfy dietary needs, taking into account the individual’s age, living conditions, health, occupation, sex, etc. Food should be safe for human consumption and free from adverse substances. Adequate food should also be culturally acceptable.

– Sustainability: Food should be accessible for both present and future generations.

An accompanying Web portal is here.

And for some coverage finding the report to be “radical” and working toward “an end to corporate domination”, please see here.

Coalition of Organizations Concerned with Animal Abuse File Federal Civil Rights Lawsuit in District of Idaho against Idaho’s Ag-Gag Law

A coalition of organizations such as the Animal Legal Defense Fund, People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals, American Civil Liberties Union of Idaho and the Center for Food Safety, along with others, yesterday filed a federal civil rights lawsuit against Idaho’s “Ag-Gag” law — Idaho Code § 18‒7042 (2014) — which they consider to be unconstitutional.

The case is:

Animal Legal Defense Fund et al v. Otter et al.
Docket No. 1:14-cv-00104 (D. Idaho, Boise – Southern Mar. 16, 2014) (complaint)

For some coverage of the case, please see here and here.

Release of Latest Biennial Report on U.S. Academic Libraries

Earlier this year the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES) of the Institute of Education Sciences (IES), U.S. Department of Education, published and released the latest biennial report on U.S. academic libraries, which contains data on staffing, spending, collections and other services at academic libraries in 2- and 4-year degree-granting post-secondary institutions in the United States.

Please see the 57-page document:

Academic Libraries: 2012 First Look (January 2014)

Ralph Nader Supports Carl Malamud & His Nonprofit Public.Resource.Org

Longtime American political activist, lecturer, author, and attorney Ralph Nader has today posted

The Law Must Be Free and Accessible to All — Not Secret and Profitable

in support of Carl Malamud, our friend and technologist, author, and public domain advocate — and perhaps best known for his nonprofit foundation

New from Copyright Clearance Center (CCC): Open Access Resource Center

The nonprofit Copyright Clearance Center (CCC), “a global rights broker for the world’s most sought-after books, journals, blogs, movies and more” — last month launched a new Open Access Resource Center, in partnership with the Association of Learned and Professional Society Publishers (ALPSP), which “aims to be a comprehensive resource for all things open access to make it easy for the marketplace to stay on top of the latest developments” (see press release here).

See also: Why I Don’t Care About Open Access to Research—and Why You Should