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Daily Archives: October 12, 2020

Pandemic Amplifies Trouble with Restrictive Licensing and E-Textbooks

SPARC – “…With the shift to remote learning, the demand for digital learning materials has intensified. Library staff are finding themselves having to educate their communities about the licensing restrictions and some are speaking out about the untenable position in which publishers have put them. In a shot across the bow, the University of Guelph Library in Canada posted a statement on its website explaining how publishers have limited their ability to serve students in need. “Approximately 85% of existing course textbooks are simply unavailable to libraries in any other format than print,” the Guelph statement noted. “Textbook publishers have built their profit models around selling e-textbooks directly to students. Despite this, we also know that the cost of textbooks and other course materials represent a major financial hurdle for students.” Guelph staff decided to name names, listing the publishers unwilling to sell the library e-textbook versions of their publications: Pearson, Cengage, Houghton, McGraw Hill, Oxford University Press Canada (Textbook Division), Thieme, and Elsevier imprints (such as Elsevier Health Science, Mosby, and Saunders). Ali Versluis, open educational resources librarian at Guelph, says when she and her colleagues were figuring out a sustainable workflow to help faculty find alternative materials, they felt a need to be upfront about the challenges with the entire publishing ecosystem, while being explicit about which publishers were part of the problem…”

OpenTexts World – Opening up a world of digitized texts

“OpenTexts.World is an experimental service that provides free access to digitised text collections from around the world. provides free access to millions of digitised texts from libraries around the world. Currently in beta. Think of it as a search engine for books. Every year, libraries worldwide digitise hundreds of thousands of books. Open Texts… Continue Reading

Pete Recommends – Weekly highlights on cyber security issues, October 10, 2020

Via LLRX – Pete Recommends – Weekly highlights on cyber security issues, October 10, 2020 – Privacy and security issues impact every aspect of our lives – home, work, travel, education, health and medical records – to name but a few. On a weekly basis Pete Weiss, highlights articles and information that focus on the increasingly… Continue Reading

Report – Voters Should Not Be Intimidated

Brennan Center for Justice Report: “As Election Day nears, President Trump has increasingly threatened to instigate voter intimidation. First, he has insinuated that he will deploy law enforcement officers or call up the National Guard to root out election-related crimes at the polls. (Spoiler alert: voter fraud is vanishingly rare). The president has abused his authority… Continue Reading

The next generation discovery citation indexes

Medium – “In terms of cross disciplinary citation indexes that are used for discovery, everyone knows of the two incumbants — Web of Science and Scopus (2004). Joined by the large web scale Google Scholar (2004), these three reigned as the “Big 3” of citation indexes for roughly a decade more or less unchallenged. However… Continue Reading

Webinar – The Reasonable Robot: Artificial Intelligence and the Law

“Join the Center for Data Innovation on Friday, November 13, 2020 at 12:00 PM EDT for a conversation with Ryan Abbott on his new book The Reasonable Robot: Artificial Intelligence and the Law. The book argues that, as a general principle, the law should not discriminate between AI and human behavior, and discusses how this… Continue Reading

Want to discover world’s top wildlife habitats? This website has them all

BirdLife International: “Where can you find out about the world’s most important sites for nature, and the reasons for their significance? The Key Biodiversity Area Partnership is delighted to announce the launch of its new website, containing everything you need to know about all 16,000 sites…13 of the world’s leading conservation institutions, including BirdLife International,… Continue Reading

Handwriting shown to be better for memory than typing, at any age

BigThink: A new study collected 500 data points per second. Handwriting won out. “While tablets are excellent for scrolling through the day’s news, the value of digital versus print has long been debated. Physical books are tactile, which bring readers great pleasure, including ease of annotation, better navigation, and a sense of accomplishment—pages are landmarks,… Continue Reading