Open access, social media, and book-selling libraries; it’s the Scholarly BIN

Here’s the latest installment of our irregular roundup of recent publishing news of note.

Bill limiting open-access publication of federal research dies
Late last month, Representatives Darryl Issa (R-CA) and Carolyn Maloney (D-NY), the cosponsors of the 2011 Research Works Act, which would have restricted the open-access publication of federally funded research and, according to some, limited scientists’ ability to share data, proclaimed the bill’s usefulness “exhausted,” effectively killing the legislation.  The Issa-Maloney announcement came shortly after scientific publisher Elsevier, which is enduring an academic boycott over journal pricing and related issues, reversed itself and withdrew support for the legislation.

The legislation had split the academic publishing community, with the American Association of University Presses coming out in opposition while the Professional and Scholarly Publishing division of the Association of American Publishers supported it. The organizers of the boycott against Elsevier appear intent on continuing the protest until the other concerns they have expressed with the publisher are addressed.

International research organizations announce new open-access science journal
In other open-access news, our friends over at The Sheridan Libraries blog alerted us to news of a new journal project to launch later this year. An initiative of the Howard Hughes Medical Institute, the Max Planck Society, and the Wellcome Trust, eLife will be an online, open-access biomedical and life science journal run and edited by practicing research scientists without the aid of professional editors. 

A path to publication and official recognition for digital humanities scholars
Inside Higher Ed recently reported on a new publishing venture for humanities scholars working on digital projects. A joint project of the National Institute for Technology in Liberal Education and Council on Library and Information Resources, Anvil Academic would give a respected scholarly imprimatur for computer-based humanities research and perhaps finally establish standards academic committees could then use in tenure and other decisions.

Facebook’s Timeline a boon for Goodreads
While we here at JHU Press are more than a little concerned about the effects of Facebook’s decision to impose its Timeline on our company Facebook page at the end of the month, the book-focused social media site Goodreads reports that usage of its Facebook app has more than doubled as a direct result of the Timeline. Which begs the question: Will Facebook be the place where people embrace social reading?

Modern Language Association issues standard for citing ‘tweets’
Ah, the digital era is only truly upon us now that the MLA has standards for citing information found on the micro-blogging platform Twitter. Though advice abounds online about how to cite a variety of electronic information, there is no word yet from the esteemed association about using Facebook posts in academic papers.

A rebirth for bookstores, in libraries?
It’s no secret that libraries and bookstores are struggling financially. But would you believe that libraries across the country are “finding” money by selling their books? The Boston Globe reports that libraries across Massachusetts are bringing in revenue by selling books for just a couple of dollars. A quick web search shows that this phenomenon is not limited to the Bay State.

The Scholarly BIN (Book Industry News) is a semi-regular roundup of news about and of interest to the scholarly publishing industry. Got a tip? Please send it along to Brendan Coyne.