New IMLS-funded project: Opening access to 20th century public domain serials

Read the full post from Everybody’s Libraries.

I’m happy to report that over the next year, I and others at Penn will be working on a project that the Institute of Museum and Library Services has just funded to help open access to the vast public domain of 20th century serials.  We’ll be developing and demonstrating data sets and procedures to make it much easier to verify public domain status for content in scholarly journals, magazines, newspapers, newsletters, and special interest periodicals published in the United States.  We hope that all kinds of libraries can take advantage of the resources we provide to make materials like this in their collections available online to all, and digitally preserve them for posterity.

A Few Bad Scientists Are Threatening to Topple Taxonomy

Read the full story in Scientific American.

Naming species forms the foundation of biology—but these rogue researchers are exposing the flaws in the system.

A “Botanist’s Botanist” : The Field Books of Timothy Plowman

Read the full story from the Biodiversity Heritage Library.

The Field Museum Library has recently digitized and added to the Biodiversity Heritage Library Timothy Plowman’s entire field book collection, which spans his career from 1969, when he worked for the botanical museum at Harvard, through his years as a curator of botany at the Field Museum from 1976-1987. Timothy Plowman was an ethnobotanist and the world authority on the taxon Erythroxylum(coca). This genus of tropical trees and shrubs is best known for the species Erythroxylum coca L., a sacred leaf of the Andes, and also the source from which commercial cocaine is derived.

A Confusion of Journals — What Is PubMed Now?

Read the full post from Scholarly Kitchen.

What is PubMed? Is it a search engine? A credentialing system? A filter? Is it a publisher? An enabler of open access (OA) publishing? A technology provider? A competitor? Depending on the situation, you can answer each of the above in the affirmative, despite the contradictions many of the combinations may cause.

Wiley launches content sharing across 1,700 journals

Read the full story from Wiley.

John Wiley and Sons, Inc. has announced the launch of Wiley Content Sharing across its research portfolio. The launch follows a successful trial that began in early 2017. Wiley Content Sharing facilitates collaboration by allowing authors and subscribers to share free-to-read full-text articles with non-subscribers. This new functionality will be available to all journals on Wiley Online Library. In addition, Wiley Content Sharing provides the public with greater access to research when following links from selected media outlets globally. During the four-month trial Wiley Online Library users shared more than 7,000 links to articles. Upon launch, Wiley Content Sharing will be available to more than 1,700 journals from across Wiley’s portfolio.

Sci-Hub’s cache of pirated papers is so big, subscription journals are doomed, data analyst suggests

Read the full story in Science.

There is no doubt that Sci-Hub, the infamous—and, according to a U.S. court, illegal—online repository of pirated research papers, is enormously popular. (See Science’s investigation last year of who is downloading papers from Sci-Hub.) But just how enormous is its repository? That is the question biodata scientist Daniel Himmelstein at the University of Pennsylvania and colleagues recently set out to answer, after an assist from Sci-Hub.

Their findings, published in a preprint on the PeerJ journal site on 20 July, indicate that Sci-Hub can instantly provide access to more than two-thirds of all scholarly articles, an amount that Himmelstein says is “even higher” than he anticipated. For research papers protected by a paywall, the study found Sci-Hub’s reach is greater still, with instant access to 85% of all papers published in subscription journals. For some major publishers, such as Elsevier, more than 97% of their catalog of journal articles is being stored on Sci-Hub’s servers—meaning they can be accessed there for free.

US court grants Elsevier millions in damages from Sci-Hub

Read the full story in Nature.

One of the world’s largest science publishers, Elsevier, won a default legal judgement on 21 June against websites that provide illicit access to tens of millions of research papers and books. A New York district court awarded Elsevier US$15 million in damages for copyright infringement by Sci-Hub, the Library of Genesis (LibGen) project and related sites.