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As many of you have already noticed the new eIFL website went live in mid-March. Besides a new and fresher look, the new website incorporates interactive tools such as wikis and blogs that will enable our network to strengthen knowledge and information sharing. As a new feature, you will find the "eIFL.net Spotlight", which will be changed once a month with a new story. Last month it was about Lesotho, and this month we are featuring Palestine. We would like to publish as many stories as we can, so please get in touch with us with the exiting developments happening in your country consortium. Another new feature is to be more visual, and show photos that tell a story: the one you see is a photo which was sent to us by Margaret Ngwira from Malawi. It was taken during the launch of the VSAT project of the Malawi consortium. If you have other material that describes what you do, please send it to us. We have a section on our home page "What's new on this site" where you can see what new information was transferred from the old site or added. In the future we will remove it, but for the time being this will help to track the developments during the transition period from the old to the new site.
We would also like to draw your attention that in the Member countries’ section each country can place their own news and events that are happening in the local consortium. Bulgaria, Macedonia and Armenia already have some postings and we will be working with you to show how to do it.
The translation into Spanish is available and we would like to thank our Kyrgyz colleagues Sania Battalova, Safia Rafikova and Irina Pak for their translation into Russian, and also our former colleague Isabelle Rouquet, who is assisting us with the French translation. Please do let us know your comments and suggestions regarding translations and other sections of the new site.
eIFL and Google have reached an agreement that will enable the digitization of journal back files from eIFL member countries. The proposed digitization effort is similar to the Google Print Publisher Program where Google digitizes books provided by publishers, therefore without any copyright infringements. Access to the digitized journals will be available in full text and at no cost to the end user who will search through Google Scholar. In order to help understand the project, a FAQ’s manual has been produced for distribution within the eIFL community along with the negotiated service agreement between Google and the Publisher.
eIFL will be one of the exhibitors at the 73rd IFLA Conference in Durban, South Africa, on 19-23 August. We have been assigned the stand number 71 and hope to see many of you at our stand! More information will be sent as the date approaches.
On March 30, 10 University libraries of Tirana met to design the agenda of the local library consortium. Miranda Bakiosi from the library of the Academy of Arts was elected as the new eIFL country coordinator.
Armenia The Conference “Information Technologies in Education in the 21st century” is sponsored by the EU Tempus programme, “The East-East: Partnership Beyond Borders”, the Open Society Institute Assistance Foundation – Armenia, the British Council in Armenia and Yerevan State University and will be held in Yerevan on 21-23 May. The Conference will focus on the state-of-the-art and prospects of new information technologies in library practice; virtual learning environments; management of e-resources; open source systems; training of librarians, educators and end-users. Emilija Banionyte, eIFL Board member, will be giving a presentation on Open Access and we hope that others use this opportunity and approach the local Soros foundation East East program for travel support to attend this event. Monika Segbert, Member of the eIFL.net Management Board, will also participate in the conference, in her role as project monitor.
Another eIFL activity in Armenia will be the visit by Anry Nersesyan and Tigran Zargaryan, eIFL country coordinators in Armenia, to the Academy of Sciences to launch a raising awareness campaign about the resources which Armenia can access through eIFL.
Bulgaria On May 10, The Bulgarian Information Consortium is holding the 10th Technology Day Meeting which will gather librarians, software developers and publishers to discuss open source software applications, web 2.0, local initiatives and accessibility systems.
Kosovo The library consortium is planning to organize a few awareness raising meetings in some faculties of the University of Prishtina and in some private universities to encourage higher usage of e-resources available for the consortium through eIFL.
Lithuania As a result of the number of programs and services offered by the Lithuanian Research Library Consortium, it has been decided to appoint a full time person to work as administrator of databases licensed through the consortium. Many of you will remember the new person, Jevgenija Sevcova, as she was part of the local organizing committee of the very successful eIFL General Assembly in Vilnius in 2005
Moldova In June the Consortium eIFL Direct Moldova will hold a meeting with all members and will have as prior issue the payment of EBSCO databases, consortium membership and the attraction of new members.
Russia In April the National Electronic Information Consortium NEICON became a winner of a governmental tender of the Ministry of Education and Science of the Russian Federation, signing its third contract with the Federal Agency for Science and Innovation: «Development of a System of the Electronic-information: Support of Scientific Research and Higher Education in the Priority Areas of Development of the Scientific and Technical Complex in Russia". A large part of the budget will be spent on subscribing to electronic resources. Up to now, more than 300 Russian institutional members of NEICON have subscribed with governmental support to 11 resources of leading world publishers. As a result of this new project, some subscriptions will continue and some new ones will be added.
Tigran Zargaryan will moderate the workshop “Open-source software: pros and cons” at the 31st European Library Automation Group Library Systems Seminar to take place in Barcelona, Spain, on 9-11 May. The seminar will be devoted to 2.0 Library and full details can be viewed at elag2007.upf.edu
Teresa Hackett will present the paper “eIFL.net: supporting libraries in developing and transition countries” to members of the European library association on the occasion of Annual Council meeting, European Bureau of Library, Information and Documentation Associations (EBLIDA) in Reykjavik, Iceland, on 11-12 May
On 16 May, Susan Veldsman will attend the International planning meeting for a new IAP (InterAcademy Panel on International Issues) Programme on Promoting Access to and Use of Digital Knowledge Resources in Countries with Developing and Transitional Economies. The event will be hosted by the Academy of Sciences of South Africa.
Melissa Hagemann and Prof. Xiaolin Zhang of the Library of the Chinese Academy of Sciences will participate in the eIFL sponsored Conference "Promoting 21st Century Scholarly Communication: The Open Access and Institutional Repository Movements” in Hong Kong on 17-18 May. Additional information is available at lib.hku.hk
Teresa Hackett will attend the WIPO Provisional Committee on Proposals Related to a WIPO Development Agenda: Fourth Session, Geneva, on 11-15 June. The meeting will discuss the remaining, contentious proposals for a development agenda for WIPO. The outcome is crucial, because it will decide on what recommendations, if any, to make for a development agenda at the WIPO General Assembly in September.
Susan Veldsman and other resource people will hold an Open Access and Institutional repository sensitization workshop in Ghana on 12-13 June.
Teresa Hackett will attend the second of two special sessions of the WIPO Standing Committee on Copyright and Related Rights (SCCR), in Geneva on 18-22 June to decide on a treaty for the protection of broadcast organisations. This meeting was extended to five days because no agreement could be reached at the first session in January.
Susan Veldsman attended the London Book Fair where she had appointments with a number of publishers. Here below are the main issues discussed:
Renewals of the licenses for 2008:
Oxford Journals, Institute of Physics and Sage indicated that the renewal of licenses will not be much different from the current pricing structure and that the expected percentage increases will be very low. Also talks with Integrum-Techno, provider of Russian content, indicate that the current agreement will be extended with a revision of prices that were fixed for three years with no increase during that period.
Renewals of licenses for 2007:
A variation agreement has been signed by Oxford Reference, which besides existing resources on offer (the Oxford Reference Online Premium Collection and the Oxford English Dictionary Online), adds two new collections, Grove Music Online (a database containing Grove Music Online, The New Grove Dictionary of Opera and The New Grove Dictionary of Jazz) and Grove Art Online (a database containing The Dictionary of Art and The Oxford Companion to Western Art New). The new agreement with Oxford Reference is valid till 2010.
A variation agreement has also been signed with Cambridge University Press Journals, which allows access to over 200 journals in HSS and S&T thru 2010.
We have developed a model, shorter version of a license to be signed by institutions for the products that are made available for free to some of the countries as part of negotiations of eIFL. Institutions that have access for free will be asked to send back to the publisher only one page acceptance form via fax or electronically or via post. We already introduced this with BioOne and are waiting to hear from IoP, CUP and ORO that offer access for free to some of the countries as part of new extension agreements.
Currently trials for Project Muse and Science Online have been set up for interested countries. Get in touch with us if you want to be added to the trials. We are also in final stages of negotiations with Britanica Online and are close to common understanding with Nature.
eIFL features in a major new study published by the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) on the relationship between copyright law and the needs of blind and visually impaired people. The 230-page report examines national copyright laws, analyses the rules that govern the transfer of accessible material for blind and visually impaired people between jurisdictions, presents multiple case studies from developed and developing countries and makes tentative recommendations on ways of addressing identified problems.
Copyright provisions for the benefit of visually impaired people in a wide range of eIFL countries were analysed. eIFL members identified national case studies for Lesotho and Lithuania – thank you!
The study was requested in September 2006 by the WIPO Standing Committee on Copyright and Related Rights (SCCR), that sets global copyright norms and standards. The SCCR is busy until the end of 2007 with discussions on a draft international broadcast treaty. It is expected to discuss the study in its spring 2008 session, when we hope that it will move the debate on exceptions and limitations forward at WIPO. Related information at www.eifl.net
The European copyright Directive came into force in 2001, when EU member states and countries negotiating their entry into the EU, were required to amend their national copyright laws accordingly. The objectives of the Directive were to adapt copyright legislation to reflect technological developments, and for the EU to adopt new international obligations arising from the 1996 WIPO Internet treaties.
The first official study on the effect of the Directive (undertaken by the University of Amsterdam on behalf of the European Commission) concludes “On balance, the harmonisation process has produced mixed results at great expense, and its beneficial effects on the Internal Market remain largely unproven and are limited at best.” It goes on to make recommendations on exceptions and limitations, technological protection measures, contracts and economic rights. The growing awareness of the need for evidence-based assessments measuring the impact of copyright law chimes with calls by developing countries at WIPO for an independent impact assessment office.
An independent study by Prof. Dr Urs Gasser and Silke Ernst from the University of St Gallen in Switzerland came up with a “best practice” guide on implementing the EU copyright Directive in the digital age. With country contributions from eIFL, it reports “Today, years after intense struggles and tussles, almost all EU Member States have transposed the EU-Copyright Directive (EUCD) into national law. However, the continuing controversies surrounding the EUCD itself and conflicts about the national implementations have made clear that we are far from having reached a consensus about the appropriate design of copyright law for the digital age that satisfies – or better: serves the interests of – all relevant stakeholders, including creators, artists, teachers, students, and the public at large”.
Study on the Implementation and Effect in Member States' Laws of Directive 2001/29/EC on the Harmonisation of Certain Aspects of Copyright and Related Rights in the Information Society, L. Guibault, G. Westkamp, T. Rieber-Mohn, P.B. Hugenholtz, et al., report to the European Commission, DG Internal Market, February 2007. www.ivir.nl
Gasser, Urs and Ernst, Silke, "EUCD Best Practice Guide: Implementing the EU Copyright Directive in the Digital Age" (December 2006). Berkman Center Research Publication No. 2006-10 papers.ssrn.com
Intellectual Property: benefit or burden for Africa? by Denise Nicholson. IFLA Journal 2006 Vol. 32/4 pp. 310-324
This paper highlights copyright-related issues affecting access to knowledge in South Africa and other African countries, as well as the implications of international intellectual property agreements. It shows that the majority of these countries are struggling to meet the very basic requirements of international intellectual property agreements, yet some of them are being pressured by developed countries to adopt stricter intellectual property regimes through Free Trade Agreements.
The paper highlights the impact of the some of these so-called “TRIPS-Plus” provisions on education, libraries, and people with sensory-disabilities, as well as public health and development in general.
Essential reading, especially for our African colleagues! See Resources: www.eifl.net
The national Institutional repositories and Open Access for scholarly communication: a sensitization workshop took place at the State Library, Maseru, Lesotho on April 24-26. Susan Veldsman attended this important event for the library community in Lesotho and for Swaziland. Hussein Suleman, Eve Gray and Monica Hammes were the resource people who joined her. This meeting was well attended by 40 librarians (systems, acquisitions and information), researchers, lectors, registrars and PVC’s of institution. The presentations were well received and attendees were left inspired and motivated.
The action points that were identified at the end of the workshop by ways of discussion groups were:
How to convince researchers and management
Susan Veldsman and Melissa Hagemann attended the OAI5 conference at CERN on 18-20 April. OSI provided funding for some participants from developing and developing countries to attend. As a result, we were joined by many of the eIFL-OA coordinators who were able to hear updates on some of the leading international OA projects such as the MESUR project which is focused on usage-based metrics of scholarly impact, CERN’s open access publishing model, and Science Commons. Presentations, the list of participants and video of the conference are available on the conference website oai5.web.cern.ch/oai5
PLoS Neglected Tropical Diseases is an open access journal which seeks to promote and profile the efforts of researchers, health practitioners, and public-health experts in endemic countries in order to help build science and health capacity in those regions. In an attempt to bridge the disparities in access to information between developed and developing countries, the journal offers several means of support to authors in developing countries, including a fee waiver, editorial support, and the establishment of an international editorial board where about 40% of associate editors are based in developing countries. Please read all related details at the journal website www.plosntds.org.
Over the last months, the eIFL FOSS programme has been presented in a series of international conferences. Thus, Bess Sadler was invited to talk about it and its Library-in-a-box at the Digital Odyssey 2007 Conference in Canada and at the code4lib Conference in the USA. She has also been recently on the Talking with Talis podcast. For his part, Arnold Hirshon represented eIFL on the New Architectures for consortia OPACs panel at the ICOLC Spring Meeting where he gave an overview on eIFL-FOSS activities. You can find links to all these events at www.eifl.net.
Next steps will focus on identifying country/regional coordinators for the implementation of eIFL-FOSS. These coordinators will serve as the main point of contact with the larger eIFL-FOSS body, and act as a point of contact for open source software community building in the libraries in their country. The coordinator should currently work in some capacity with the library IT infrastructure in one of the local eIFL consortium libraries. More information on the Terms of Reference for eIFL FOSS coordinators and application procedures will be sent to eIFL country coordinators soon via email.