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ICSTI: news items

  • To: epc@iucr.org
  • Subject: ICSTI: news items
  • From: Pete Strickland <ps@iucr.org>
  • Date: Fri, 12 Mar 2004 13:22:00 +0000
  • Organization: IUCr
Subject: Information Architecture

Information Today is organising a conference during i-expo in Paris, 
June 8-9 2004. The topic is Information Architecture and it is is an 
intensive 2-day conference about how to design and organise 
information systems that enable better search, navigation, and 
collaboration within organisations.

There is a web site with more details at: www.infotoday.com/iaparis

I-Expo is the new name for the well known IDC Conference and 
Exhibition, organised by GFII, the French Information Industry 
Grouping, which has been going for many years. 

Subject: PSP Conference

Eamon Fennessy from the Copyright Group attended the PSP Conference on 
behalf of ICSTI. Below is his report from the meeting.

The Professional and Scholarly Publishing Division (PSP) of the 
Association of American Publishers (AAP) gathered in Washington, D.C. 
for its annual conference. The theme was "Value in a Culture of Open 
Access." Approximately 140 persons were registered for the sessions 
which began on February 9 and ended on February 11, 2004.


Several speakers raised significant issues such as, "Will open access 
(especially Web Access) attract paying subscribers in the future?" 
NAS speaker Michael Jensen devoted his talk to the idea that the jury 
was still out. No conclusive statement can be made now but in the 
meantime NAS does offer free web access and hopes to understand 
readers' use of online information through expanded monitoring of 
users' online activities.

Bill Carr of Amazon.com felt his firm's, "Search Inside the Book" 
increases interest and has resulted in increased book sales. 


PW's Gayle Feldman said U.S., readers want more pictures in their 
books. She went on relate how, in England, UK publishers sponsor 
"Book Day" when each school child is given a British Pound to buy a 
book of their choice. Surprisingly, publisherss do offer books, 
specifically for this program, at this price. (US $1.90)

A Google representative reported a new service will soon be offered 
providing full text for titles published before 1923 in order to 
encourage more reading.

Wal-Mart was complimented for successfully competing against discount 
vendors, Borders and Barnes & Noble who already offer heavy 
discounts. Wal-Mart's sales are zooming up. 


There was much discussion about "The Sabo Bill." U.S. Congressman Sabo 
has introduced a bill (HR 2613) which will require open access by 
publishers. The proposal calls for elimination of copyright 
protection for "any work produced pursuant to scientific research 
substantially funded by the Federal Government." In effect the bill 
destroys the Copyright Law. Publishers look askance at this and 
contend implementation of the bill runs the risk of "unintended 

Some, such as MedScape, endorse open access and continue to promptly 
publish articles online as quickly as they can arrange it.

Overall, publishing online has global implications which has to be 
considered with online publication. 


Consensus at this meeting: Usage rules for Digitial Rights M<anagement 
must be set and followed. Content should be encrypted where security 
risks exist. Systems need to be simpler among the many formats, i.e. 
Adobe Readers, Microsoft Readers, various Palms (PDAs), etc. if these 
formats are to be successful.

The British Library representative touted its Secure Electronic 
Delivery and said not only Digital Rights Management was an issue, 
but Web archiving and Digital Object Management presented challenges 
as well. 


Open Access is looked on as "good news" and "bad news." There is a 
demand for it but publishers are uneasy about who (and how) will they 
be paid if Open Access becomes a widespread reality. Still, the 
publishers, the authors, and the librarians, continue to address the 
issue and discuss it in international conferences. Will it be 
inevitable? No one at this conference had the answer.

Subject: NFAIS summary of various submissions to the UK House of 

The latest issue of NFAIS News contains a summary of various inputs 
(including ICSTI's) to the inquiry underway in the UK Parliament into 
Scientific Publications, as well as other commentary on how many 
journals are actually available, given the various sets of figures 
quoted in the submissions.

Best wishes

Peter Strickland
Managing Editor
IUCr Journals

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