Posts Tagged ‘copyright’

QOTD: Scholarly communication online, circa 1996

December 2nd, 2015

Here is a glimpse into scholarly communication 20 years ago, from a paper about Alzforum, the Alzheimer Research Forum website. “In July of 1996, the website made its debut at the International Conference on Alzheimer’s Disease and Related Disorders in Osaka, Japan.”1

Having established a foothold in cyberspace, the challenge for Alzforum was and continues to be to define new types of scientific publishing that take advantage of the speed and wide distribution of the Web and to curate and add value to information available from other public sources. This is a perennial challenge, thanks to the rapid advances in biomedical resources on the Web.

This uphill struggle, however, seems less strenuous when we compare the current situation with the “old days.” Recall that in 1996, PubMed did not exist! (PubMed was launched in June of 1997.) Medical institutions had access to Medline, but in order for Alzforum to produce its Papers of the Week listings, the editor had to ask the Countway Medical Library at Harvard Medical School to provide weekly text files listing newly indexed AD papers. The Alzforum hired a curator to paraphrase each abstract so that this information could be posted without violating journal copyrights. These documents were manually edited, sent out in a weekly email to the advisors for comments, and compiled into a static HTML page. Looking back, we can see that the entire process seems as antiquated as the hand-copying of manuscripts in the Middle Ages.

(emphasis mine)

From pages 459-460 of “Alzheimer Research Forum: a knowledge base and e-community for AD research”2

  1. page 458, Kinoshita, June, and Gabrielle Strobel. “Alzheimer Research Forum: a knowledge base and e-community for AD research.” in Alzheimer: 100 Years and Beyond, Mathias Jucker, Konrad Beyreuther, Christian Haass, Roger M. Nitsch, Yves Christen, eds. Berlin Heidelberg:Springer-Verlag, 2006: 457-463. []
  2. Kinoshita, June, and Gabrielle Strobel. “Alzheimer Research Forum: a knowledge base and e-community for AD research.” in Alzheimer: 100 Years and Beyond, Mathias Jucker, Konrad Beyreuther, Christian Haass, Roger M. Nitsch, Yves Christen, eds. Berlin Heidelberg:Springer-Verlag, 2006: 457-463. []

Tags: , , ,
Posted in future of publishing, information ecosystem, scholarly communication | Comments (0)

Happy Public Domain Day!

January 2nd, 2011

Today, in many countries around the world, new works become public property: January 1st every year is Public Domain Day. Material in the public domain can be used, remixed and shared freely — without violating copyright and without asking permission.

However, in the United States, not a single new work entered the public domain today. Americans must wait 8 more years: Under United States copyright law, nothing more will be added to the public domain until January 1, 2019.

Until the 1970’s the maximum copyright term was 56 years. Under that law, Americans would have been able to truly celebrate Public Domain Day:

  1. All works published in 1954 would be entering the public domain today.
  2. up to 85% of all copyrighted works from 1982 would be entering the public domain today. (Copyright Office and Duke).

Instead, only works published before 1923 are conclusively in the public domain in the U.S. today. What about post-1923 publications? It’s complicated: in the United States1.

For more information on Public Domain Day and the United States, Duke’s Center for the Study of the Public Domain has a series of useful pages.

  1. 609 pages worth of complicated []

Tags: , ,
Posted in books and reading, information ecosystem, intellectual freedom, library and information science | Comments (0)