|Home||Who we are||What we do||Where we work||News, events & media||Contact us|
2007 will be a year as busy as the previous ones and here goes a quick overview of our guiding agenda.
The driving force will be the consolidation of consortia to ensure their sustainable and longer term management, through continued attention to training and country visits in order to address specific problems and issues. New communication tools will pave the way for a mutually effective and continuous feedback for eIFL and countries.
New content is being negotiated and we are securing renewals of existing licenses. Collaboration with Google Scholar will consolidate with further usage of the free resolver ScholarSFX, more linking of union catalogues through Google, creation of free union catalogues for member countries lacking it and digitization.
We are working on the set up of a solid OA network which will reinforce our awareness raising and capacity building activities in this area. Local content promotion has been placed as a top priority within eIFL OA-IR efforts and important moves will be in this regard this year.
On the IP front, eIFL will continue to influence and participate in the main international policy and legislative fora and will provide guidance and policy advice to national officials and local librarians on copyright issues. In addition, useful material is being produced so that our network of local librarians can keep abreast of the latest developments in the field and act for the safeguard of libraries' rights.
The two new eIFL initiatives on board, FOSS for libraries and eCommunity tools, were launched in 2006 and progress will be duly reported. The new tools coming with the new eIFL website such as blogs, chat fora, wikis will greatly support our global "helping each other" knowledge flow. Our new website will go live in February. The active participation of you all will be essential for success!
Since its kick-off, the eIFL-FOSS programme has been given much coverage due to the long term benefits that this initiative could trigger in libraries in developing and transitional countries. The Knowledge Management Section of the IFLA Newsletter has just captured the flavour of this exciting project, please read it at www.ifla.org/VII/s47/pub/KM-Newsletter3.pdf.
We are glad to inform you that the proposal "Establishing a strategic framework for electronic libraries in Syria Higher Education" (SYReLIB) submitted to the TEMPUS Structural and Complementary Measures call for proposals last year has been selected for a grant from the European Commission. A joint proposal by the Robert Gordon University and Middlesex University in the United Kingdom, Aleppo University and al-Baath University in Syria and eIFL.net, SYReLIB will aim to put in place sufficient technical infrastructure to enable first -phase ILS, eResource access systems and Institutional Repositories in the two Syrian participating institutions.
Google Scholar has added the Armenian Union Catalog links into its search engine. You can see some examples here: scholar.google.com
The "Armenian Libraries" link appears under results in Google Scholar that are available in the Armenian union catalog. These links appear by default when the user is located in Armenia (based on their IP address).
Please visit the Armenian Libraries Union Catalog at www.armunicat.am:8991/ALEPH
Within the marketing and awareness raising activities, on December 17 the Union of Information Technology Enterprises in cooperation with ArmNews TV station (Armenia, Yerevan) organized an interview with 2 Armenian leading specialists on Open Source Systems: Mr. Hovahannes Avoyan, founder and board member of Open Source Armenia Foundation (www.opensourcearmenia.com), and Mr. Tigran Zargaryan, director of the Fundamental Scientific Library of Academy of Sciences. The main topic of the interview was Open Source Systems versus proprietary software products. During 25 minutes TV broadcasting Mr. Avoyan presented the benefits which could have Armenian Universities, NGO's, and public sector from using OSS. Mr. Zargaryan presented the new eIFL initiative "FOSS for EIFL Libraries: Advocacy and Outreach" project.
On January 17-18, a couple of awareness raising events were held in the National and University Library "St. Clement Ohridski" Conference and training centre and in the Medical Faculty in Skopje premises, where all e-resources available through MEL were be presented to a broad audience including libraries, government bodies, media, NGOs etc.
On January 10, Teresa Hackett met in London with the eIFL Legal Advisor, Emanuella Giavarra, and Professor Ruth Okediji, eIFL-IP Advisory Board to discuss the model provisions for libraries in national copyright law.
On January 16, Teresa Hackett and Emanuella Giavarra met with the WIPO Secretariat to present the eIFL proposals for model provisions for libraries in national copyright law.
On January 17-19, Teresa Hackett attended the first of two special sessions of the WIPO Standing Committee on Copyright and Related Rights (SCCR) to decide on whether to have a treaty for the protection of broadcast organisations.
On February 2-3 the eIFL Advisory Board will hold its 13th meeting at the SURF offices in Utrecht, the Netherlands. eIFL staff and Advisory Board will discuss the 2007 agenda in depth.
On February 15-16, Emilija Banionyte, Biljana Kosanovic, Iryna Kuchma and Melissa Hagemann will be participating in the Scientific Publishing in the European Research Area meeting in Brussels. The goal of this event is to bring together all stakeholders concerned with access, dissemination and preservation issues in connection with scientific publication and data in an effort to provide policy options for scientific publishing under FP7 and in the European Research Area, details of the conference can be viewed at ec.europa.eu/research/science-society/
On February 28 - March 2 Bess Sadler, one of the coordinators of the eIFL-FOSS Programme, will attend the code4lib Conference in Athens, Georgia, USA, to present this new eIFL initiative. You can see the full details of the event at code4lib.org/2007
Teresa Hackett and Iryna Kuchma from Ukraine will attend the WIPO Provisional Committee on Proposals Related to a WIPO Development Agenda: Third Session in Geneva on February 19-23. The meeting will discuss the non-contentious proposals for a development agenda for WIPO.
On February 24, Rima Kupryte, Teresa Hackett and Emanuella Giavarra will discuss policy and strategy for eIFL-IP at the first meeting of the newly formed eIFL-IP Advisory Board in Geneva.
On February 25, Rima Kupryte, Teresa Hackett and Emanuella Giavarra will attend a planning with other stakeholders in Geneva to develop a work plan for the project "Compulsory licensing for educational materials".
Renewal agreements were signed with Cambridge University Press and BioOne for the period 2007-2010 while Oxford Reference Online is only due for a renewal agreement this April.
You can see the latest usage statistics relative to EBSCO, BioOne and Emerald under "Statistics" at the MEMBERS ONLY section of our website. They show to what degree these online resources are being used by eIFL countries, which institutions are benefiting the most and where usage can be encouraged more. Usage statistics for the whole period of 2006 for other products will be available soon.
Following a busy year in 2006, which saw the completion of the regional training programme, attendance at key strategic conferences, interventions at inter-governmental meetings at the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO), participation in consultations and the provision of legal advice to eIFL member countries, we are looking forward to an exciting programme ahead in 2007.
eIFL-IP will continue to focus on capacity building and in providing support to the eIFL-IP copyright expert network. We will provide tools and resources to build and strengthen national policy positions and participation by national experts in national and regional events. We will continue to have a visible presence at WIPO, especially for discussions on a development agenda and the proposed treaty for the protection of broadcast organisations, both of which will be decided in 2007. We have also been invited to take part in a project to explore compulsory licensing for educational materials, which could potentially be of enormous benefit to libraries and education.
After two years, eIFL-IP has established itself as a serious activist organisation. To provide guidance on future policy, advocacy and strategy and to ensure that eIFL-IP remains focused and effective, an Advisory Committee has been established with expertise in strategy, development, copyright and libraries. The members of the Advisory Board are:
The Board will meet in Geneva in February 2007. In the meantime, we welcome comments and suggestions on policy, strategy or activities and any ways in which we can improve our service.
eIFL Handbook on Copyright and Related Issues for Libraries
The eIFL Handbook on Copyright and Related Issues for Libraries has recently been launched. Sponsored by the UNESCO Information for All Programme, this is a practical guide to topical legal questions affecting the information work of libraries in the fast moving digital environment. Each topic is described briefly, the main policy aspects for libraries are outlined, and there are links to library policy statements for further reading.
The topics are the Relationship between Copyright and Contract Law: Electronic Resources and Library Consortia; Technological Protection Measures - the "triple lock"; Copyright, the Duration of Protection and the Public Domain; Orphaned works; Collective Rights Management; Public lending right; the Database Right - Europe's Experiment; Creative Commons: an "open content" licence; Open Access to Scholarly Communications; Copyright and Trade Agreements; International Policy Making: a Development Agenda for WIPO; National Policy Making: Advocating for Fair Copyright Laws.
We encourage re-use and translation. The complete Handbook, as well as the individual topics, are available for download on the eIFL website at eIFL.net/services.
Hard copies are available on request from teresa.hackett[at]eifl.net
Model provisions for libraries in national copyright law
eIFL is regularly asked by members and by government officials from eIFL member countries for advice on library provisions in the national copyright law. We are developing the first ever set of model provisions for libraries which may be used when countries are updating their copyright laws.
Since 2002, 53 developing and transition countries have signed the WIPO Copyright Treaty. Many are also entering into trade agreements with the US and the EU. As illustrated by the recent US-Australia free trade agreement, these usually impose TRIPS-plus copyright provisions. For Least Developed Countries, this may override their transition period for TRIPS implementation. The model provisions will be a tool to lobby and to provide practical advice to governments.
The model provisions are based on the WIPO draft law, which WIPO uses to advise developing countries. But the WIPO draft law is very restrictive and does not take into account the needs of modern library services. eIFL has therefore improved and expanded the library provisions. We have referenced a wide range of copyright laws from both developed and developing countries, as well as the Consumers International report and a study by Professor Ruth Okediji, University of Minnesota, on limitations & exceptions for developing countries. We have consulted with copyright experts from the international library community and we will meet with Professor Okediji, as well as the WIPO Secretariat, before engaging in a wider consultation in spring 2007.
Entering its third year, the eIFL-OA Program is pleased to formally welcome Susan Veldsman on board as the program manager of our repositories' program. Susan's addition will help to further strengthen the eIFL-OA Program's ability to provide training and advocacy for the development of repositories throughout the eIFL network. Our priorities in 2007 will be:
Peter Suber has provided a great overview of the developments within the OA movement in 2006 in his January issue of the SPARC newsletter. Peter has christened 2006 as the year of mandates, citing the strong rise of OA mandates and policies at universities, governments and research funders. Other highlights include:
In the wake of the publication of the report from the "EU Study on the Economic and Technical Evolution of the Scientific Publication Markets of Europe" a consortium of organisations working in the scholarly communication arena is sponsoring a petition to the European Commission to demonstrate support for Open Access and for the recommendations in the report. Signatures may be added on behalf of individuals or institutions.
Please register your support for Open Access in this way. To sign the petition, please go to www.ec-petition.eu.
The sponsoring organisations are JISC (Joint Information Systems Committee, UK), SURF (Netherlands), SPARC Europe, DFG (Deutsches Forschungsgemeinschaft, Germany), DEFF (Danmarks Elektroniske Fag- og Forskningsbibliotek, Denmark).
PLoS ONE is an exciting new publication by PLoS which will publish the results of scientific research from any scientific or medical discipline in an open access environment, and will facilitate the discovery of connections between papers within or between disciplines. It will employ a two-stage peer-review process. Pre-publication peer review will concentrate on objective and technical concerns to determine whether the research has been sufficiently well conceived, well executed, and well described to justify inclusion in the scientific record. Post-publication papers are opened up for interactive discussions, annotations and assessment in which the whole scientific community can participate. PLoS ONE went live on 20 December, 2006, visit it at www.plosone.org
UKPMC provides a stable free-to-access online digital archive of full-text, peer-reviewed research publications. Currently the UKPMC database holds over 620,000 full-text articles - mirrored from PMC in the US. In addition, the UK Manuscript Submission System will be used by grantees to self-archive their research papers in UKPMC. The project was made possible by a group of UK research funders, led by the Wellcome Trust which awarded a contract to develop UKPMC to a partnership between the British Library, The University of Manchester and the European Bioinformatics Institute last July. For more information, please see: ukpmc.ac.uk/
This is the first example of high level executives from commercial publishers joining an open access publisher. Bryan Vickery joined BMC as deputy publisher, with responsibility for the Chemistry Central portal launched in August. Chris Leonard will lead the development of open access titles in physics, maths and computer science.
Since MIT made a groundbreaking move in favour of open scholarship by announcing its decision to give free access to its courses materials in 2001, the tendency has been reinforced greatly in the last years. The rising number of Universities willing to offer their syllabi online is embodied in the creation of the site OpenCourseWare comprising more than 50 institutions from Africa, Asia, Europe, South America, and USA where students and scholars worldwide can access their materials seamlessly. Visit the site ocw.mit.edu.
The Conference proceedings corresponding to the 9th International Symposium on Electronic Theses and Dissertations held in Quebec last February are now available at www6.bibl.ulaval.ca:8080/etd2006/
www.freemedicaljournals.com - 400 free medical journals. 650 medical textbooks and more are coming.
highwire.stanford.edu - HighWire Press offers archive of free full text articles. There is also a list of titles offered for Developing countries.
eIFL's Free and Open Source Software for libraries programme (eIFL-FOSS) held its inaugural meeting in October. Since then its members have been busy working to get the group's first major project off the ground. eIFL libraries have said that their top technology concern is addressing the many problems they encounter with commercial integrated library systems (ILS). Therefore, eIFL-FOSS has decided that their first project will involve helping eIFL libraries transition to the use of open-source ILS products. This transition will enable libraries to stop paying the often crippling software licensing fees they currently pay to vendors, and instead keep this money in their local community, using it to build local expertise in software development and maintenance. By transitioning to open source ILS products, the hope is that eIFL libraries will receive better support, spend less money, and be better able to design their own localized interfaces and training.
One major step on the road to the adoption of open source ILS products is to make open source integrated library systems easy for libraries to install. Although there are currently at least two open source ILS products that meet most of the needs of eIFL libraries, these products are currently fairly difficult to install. eIFL-FOSS proposes to package these ILS products into an easily distributable CD-ROM to be called "Library-in-a-box." Modeled on the successful "NGO-in-a-box" (ngoinabox.org) product built by the Tactical Technology Collective (www.ttc.org), Library-in-a-box will choose the most appropriate open source ILS solutions available and develop easily installable software packages for each, along with training and documentation to help eIFL libraries implement the software. eIFL-FOSS will soon be asking for proposals from eIFL member libraries to become pilot participants in the testing and implementation of Library-in-a-box.
Tigran Zargaryan, director of the Fundamental Scientific Library of Academy of Sciences in Yerevan, Armenia, and Bess Sadler, systems librarian at the University of Virginia, USA, are the co-chairs of eIFL-FOSS and both are working hard to make this project succeed. Currently they are writing funding documents and project plans, as well as investigating the technical hurdles that must be overcome in the creation of the Library-in-a-box product. In February Bess will travel to Athens, Georgia, USA to present a paper about the Library-in-a-box project at the annual code4lib conference. There she will meet with representatives from both the open source ILS products that Library-in-a-box hopes to use to discuss how eIFL can cooperate with these open source communities for everyone's mutual benefit.