Recent Open Access Development in the U.K.: “Briefing on Mandatory Open Access Policies”

The Society of College, National and University Libraries (SCONUL) representing all university libraries in the United Kingdom and Ireland published last month a 135-page document

Briefing on Mandatory Open Access Policies

Prepared by Sarah Durrant, Red Sage Consulting and Ann Rossiter

Hat tip to

Another Timely CRS Report — “Syria’s Chemical Weapons: Issues for Congress”

Another timely Congressional Research Service (CRS) report

  • Syria’s Chemical Weapons:
    Issues for Congress
    By Mary Beth D. Nikitin
    Specialist in Nonproliferation
    & Paul K. Kerr
    Analyst in Nonproliferation
    & Andrew Feickert
    Specialist in Military Ground Forces
    August 20, 2013 [R42848]

is here.

Hat tip to

Cross-posted at Law Librarian Blog.

United Nationas Human Rights Council (UNHRC): Report of the Special Rapporteur on the Promotion and Protection of the Right to Freedom of Opinion and Expression

The subject report of the UNHRC is here.
From the report’s introduction:

1. The present report analyses the implications of States’ surveillance of communications for the exercise of the human rights to privacy and to freedom of opinion and expression. While considering the impact of significant technological advances in communications, the report underlines the urgent need to further study new modalities of surveillance and to revise national laws regulating these practices in line with human rights standards.

Hat tip to

Cross-posted at Law Library Blog.

2013 Global Information Technology Report (GITR) and Networked Readiness Index (NRI)

The World Economic Forum has published

The Global Information Technology Report 2013: Growth and Jobs in a Hyperconnected World

Beñat Bilbao-Osorio, Soumitra Dutta, and Bruno Lanvin, Editors

The online edition is here.

The executive summary begins with

When The Global Information Technology Report (GITR) and the Networked Readiness Index (NRI) were created some 12 years ago, the attention of decision makers and investors was on adopting business and financial strategies that would allow them to develop in the context of a fast-moving but nascent Internet economy. Over more than a decade, the NRI has provided decision leaders with a useful conceptual framework to evaluate the impact of information and communications technologies (ICTs) at a global level, and to benchmark the ICT readiness and the usage of their economies.

Today, the world has undergone massive changes: the Internet bubble has come and gone, and emerging countries such as China and India have become prominent global users and providers of ICT equipment and services. Struggling to emerge from the financial crisis, developed economies are striving to return to higher levels of growth and competitiveness while fighting stubbornly high unemployment rates, especially among their youth. Both emerging and developed economies are focusing on innovation, competing globally for talent, resources, and market shares. Information flows and networks have spread across borders in ways that could not be imagined before the onset of the Internet, the global adoption of mobile telephony and social networks, and the rapid growth of broadband. Business models have been redefined, the workplace has been redesigned, small startups have evolved into large companies, and entire functions of society (education, health, security, privacy) are being rethought.

and is divided into the following sections, indicating the order discussion throughout the full, 409-page report:

    • Insight from the NRI 2013 on the world’s networked readiness
    • Digitization for Economic Growth and Job Creation: Regional and Industry Perspectives
    • Convergent Objectives, Divergent Strategies: A Taxonomy of National Broadband and ICT Plans
    • The Importance of National Policy Leadership
    • Fiber Broadband: A Foundation for Social and Economic Growth
    • The Economic Impact of Next-Generation Mobile Services: How 3G Connections and the Use of Mobile Data Impact GDP Growth
    • Better Measurements for Realizing the Full Potential of Health Information Technologies
    • Re-Establishing the European Union’s Competitiveness with the Next Wave of Investment in Telecommunications
    • The Big Opportunity for Inclusive Growth
    • Colombia’s Digital Agenda: Successes and Challenges Ahead
    • The Metamorphosis to a Knowledge-Based Society: Rwanda
    • E-Government in Latin America: A Review of the Success in Colombia, Uruguay, and Panama

Hat tip to

Cross-posted at Law Library Blog.

New Article: “Are Elite Journals Declining?”

This interesting piece by Canadian and Estonian scholars is here.

The abstract reads:

Previous work indicates that over the past 20 years, the highest quality work have been published in an increasingly diverse and larger group of journals. In this paper we examine whether this diversification has also affected the handful of elite journals that are traditionally considered to be the best. We examine citation patterns over the past 40 years of 7 long-standing traditionally elite journals and 6 journals that have been increasing in importance over the past 20 years. To be among the top 5% or 1% cited papers, papers now need about twice as many citations as they did 40 years ago. Since the late 1980s and early 1990s elite journals have been publishing a decreasing proportion of these top cited papers. This also applies to the two journals that are typically considered as the top venues and often used as bibliometric indicators of “excellence”, Science and Nature. On the other hand, several new and established journals are publishing an increasing proportion of most cited papers. These changes bring new challenges and opportunities for all parties. Journals can enact policies to increase or maintain their relative position in the journal hierarchy. Researchers now have the option to publish in more diverse venues knowing that their work can still reach the same audiences. Finally, evaluators and administrators need to know that although there will always be a certain prestige associated with publishing in “elite” journals, journal hierarchies are in constant flux so inclusion of journals into this group is not permanent.

Hat tip to

Cross-posted at Law Library Blog.

The 2012 Web Index

The Web Index is an interesting new measurement of “the Web’s utility and impact on people and nations.”

Coverage is of “61 developed and developing countries, incorporating indicators that assess the political, economic and social impact of the Web, as well as indicators of Web connectivity infrastructure and use.”

Please see the “snapshot” here and the full report available here.

Hat tip to

Cross-posted on Law Library Blog.

“Happy Planet Index” (HPI): Measuring “What Matters”

The New Economics Foundation (nef) in the UK earlier this summer released:

The Happy Planet Index: 2012 Report — A global index of sustainable well-being

The Happy Planet Index is a new
measure of progress that focuses on
what matters: sustainable well-being for
all. It tells us how well nations are doing
in terms of supporting their inhabitants
to live good lives now, while ensuring
that others can do the same in the future.

In a time of uncertainty, the Index
provides a clear compass pointing
nations in the direction they need to
travel, and helping groups around the
world to advocate for a vision of progress
that is truly about people’s lives.

Hat tip to

Cross-posted on Law Library Blog.

New Congressional Research Service (CRS) Report: “Abortion: Judicial History and Legislative Response”

The Congressional Research Service (CRS) has posted a new report:

Abortion: Judicial History and Legislative Response (July 9, 2012)

From page 1 of the report:

In 1973, the U.S. Supreme Court concluded in Roe v. Wade, 410 U.S. 113 (1973), that the U.S. Constitution protects a woman’s decision to terminate her pregnancy. In Doe v. Bolton, 410 U.S. 179 (1973), a companion decision, the Court found that a state may not unduly burden the exercise of that fundamental right with regulations that prohibit or substantially limit access to the means of effectuating the decision to have an abortion. Rather than settle the issue, the Court’s rulings since Roe and Doe have continued to generate debate and have precipitated a variety of governmental actions at the national, state, and local levels designed either to nullify the rulings or limit their effect. These governmental regulations have, in turn, spawned further litigation in which resulting judicial refinements in the law have been no more successful in dampening the controversy.

Although the primary focus of this report is legislative action with respect to abortion, discussion of the various legislative proposals necessarily involves an examination of the leading Supreme Court decisions concerning a woman’s right to choose.

Hat tip to

Cross-posted on Law Library Blog.

“Dealing with Data: A Case Study on Information and Data Management Literacy”

The open access, freely available, online PLoS (Public Library of Science) publication PLoSbiology has recently posted the following thoughtful contribution to the field of data and information literacy:

“Dealing with Data: A Case Study on Information and Data Management Literacy”

Here’s the abstract:

Our scientific body of knowledge is built upon data, which is carefully collected, analyzed, and presented in scholarly reports. We are now witnessing a dramatic shift in our relationship to data: where researchers once managed discrete, controllable building blocks of knowledge, they must now contend with a tsunami of information that paradoxically feeds the growing scientific output while simultaneously crushing researchers with its weight. Numerous national and international initiatives, projects, and working groups have been established to address the data dilemma from multiple angles, including recent Requests for Information from the US Office of Science and Technology Policy and the National Institutes of Health (NIH), and a US White House announcement of spending US$200 million on “Big Data”. … Libraries have traditionally been the place to acquire information; now they have become the place to learn how to manage it. The eagle-i Consortium, a collaborative resource sharing network, is designed to address both the researcher’s data-sharing needs and the modern library’s new mandate to facilitate and accelerate the discovery of new knowledge. The launch and development of this initiative provides a vivid demonstration of the challenges that researchers, libraries, and institutions face in making their data available to others.

Hat tip to

Cross-posted at Law Library Blog.