A slew of them has been coming up. Via DigitalKoans:
Even in citations, print is the default no more. The seventh edition of the MLA Handbook for Writers of Research Papers, released Tuesday, states that the Modern Language Association no longer recognizes print as the default medium, and suggests that the medium of publication should be included in each works cited entry. Moreover, the MLA has ceased to recommend inclusion of URLs in citing Web-based works – unless the instructor requires it or a reader would likely be unable to locate the source otherwise.[...]
The latest edition of the standard style guide for language and literary study is thinner than the last (and considerably less shiny) – thinner because it is the first to be complemented by a Web component. The password-protected Web site includes the full (and searchable) text of the handbook, plus 200 online-only examples, and a series of 30-plus-step narratives taking undergraduates through the process of writing a paper, complete with model papers available in PDF form and professors’ sample comments.
The seventh edition of the MLA Handbook for Writers of Research Papers, six years in the making, is available for purchase here.
Here (PDF) is the document that describes BU’s current thinking on open access, and what we’re doing about it. Linked here is the version approved by the Faculty Council last September. We welcome and invite constructive feedback on this work in progress.
(Please note: I personally am involved in this project, but am acting more or less as the messenger. I will be unlikely to answer specific questions having to do with policy; other people monitoring this post, however, may be more useful. We’ll be discussing whatever comments we receive amongst ourselves, so if there is no overt reply, please be assured that your input is not only valuable but actively being included in the process.)
We’re go! University Council Approves Open Access Plan, BU Today, 17 Feb 2009:
Boston University took a giant step towards greater access to academic scholarship and research on February 11, when the University Council voted to support an open access system that would make scholarly work of the faculty and staff available online to anyone, for free, as long as the authors are credited and the scholarship is not used for profit. [...]
“This vote sends a very strong message of support for open and free exchange of scholarly work,” says [University Librarian Robert] Hudson. “Open access means that the results of research and scholarship can be made open and freely accessible to anyone. It really has increased the potential to showcase the research and scholarship of the University in ways that have not been evident to people.”
Of course, we’ll need to be implementing this, which is no trivial matter—just ask Dorothea Salo and the many, many other institutional repository managers out there. And BU is very aware of this:
“Open access will really highlight the tremendous productivity of our faculty,” says [MED professor of medicine Barbara] Millen. “Among the more important things needed to make it work is a collaboration between the libraries and our faculty to get their research onto the Web. It’s not an inconsequential task.”
Yep, they sure know it’s going to take a large amount of resources—and it looks like the university is willing to put in the effort to do this right. It’s a fantastic thing to be part of.
Any repository folk who happen to read this, please share your wisdom and the appropriate warnings. It’ll be a long (exciting!) haul.
The past few weeks have been exciting for digital humanities and digital libraries projects, which are getting recognized and rewarded all over the place.
The Mellon Foundation has announced the recipients of its third annual Mellon Awards for Technology Collaboration (MATC). Among the recipients are UIUC’s brainchild Archon, archiving and publishing software for archivists and manuscript curators; George Mason University’s Omeka, another web-based publishing platform for collections; King’s College London’s Pliny Project, a scholarly annotation tool; and Villanova University’s VuFind, a library resource portal designed to replace a traditional online catalog.
Mellon isn’t the only source of recognition for digital humanities projects. A collaboration between the U.S. Department of Energy and the National Endowment for the Humanities has resulted in a fantastic opportunity for three major humanities projects, housed at UVA, UC San Diego and Tufts. Together, these projects will take advantage of 1 million hours of supercomputing time. This will allow humanities scholars to perform hugely computationally intensive research and processing of primary resources, be they Michelangelo’s David or linguistic corpora. Read UVA’s news release here.
Such tremendous recognition of these projects is notable not only in itself but also in conjunction with the upcoming nomination of Elena Kagan to the post of the United States Solicitor General. During her tenure as the Dean of Harvard Law School, Kagan supported the activities of the Berkman Center for Internet and Society, and most recently welcomed copyright law scholar Lawrence Lessig back to Harvard, to (among other things) direct the Safra Foundation Center for Ethics. Having Kagan as the country’s Solicitor General is reassuring in this time of uncertain copyright law – proponents of open access and Creative-Commons-like open licensing will have an advocate in Kagan, who will (as Lessig discusses) affect policymaking on a federal level.
And speaking of policies and copyright, looks like the recording industry is looking to abandon mass lawsuits in favor of “more effective ways to combat online music piracy.” (WSJ) It’s about time; those costly lawsuits have been both ineffective in accomplishing the RIAA’s anti-piracy goals and a PR disaster (see above-linked article).