Rethinking Authentication, Revamping the Business

IP authentication is the most important mechanism for authorizing access to licensed e-resources resources. Substantial business and policy issues for libraries and publishers alike connect up to IP authentication. Today, there is substantial interest in eliminating IP authentication, so it is timely to examine the implications if we were soon to see its end.

Elsevier Acquires SSRN

Today, Elsevier is announcing that it has acquired SSRN, the preprint and publishing community that focuses on social sciences and law. Among other things, the SSRN acquisition is another step in Elsevier’s path towards data and analytics. In a number of ways, Mendeley is the linchpin for this acquisition. More generally, this acquisition plainly indicates Elsevier’s interest in the open access repository space. Finally, universities, their libraries, and other publishers, should have on their minds some of the policy and governance issues around the data that Elsevier is accumulating and the uses to which they may be put.

Will the Monograph Experience a Transition to E-Only? Latest Findings.

Although journals, other serials, and reference have made a large scale transition away from print, we must not assume that the same path will inevitably be pursued for other components of collections. A combination of business models, reading practices, and other user needs will play the biggest role in determining the prospects for the printed monograph. Today, it seems that a dual-format environment may remain before us for some time, and there will be advantages for the libraries, publishers, and intermediaries that can develop models for monographs that work best in such an environment.

Why Is ClinicalTrials.gov Still Struggling?

With no clear benefits to researchers, a frustrating user experience, and no penalties for non-compliance, ClinicalTrials.gov is becoming increasingly irrelevant to clinical researchers and the world at large with each passing day. What does this mean for public access to research results? Is an obligation to patients putting themselves at risk in trials being breached? Why has it failed to live up to its potential?

Improving Privacy by Rethinking Architecture

Today, we grapple with privacy issues as consumers, as citizens, and as voters. As an industry, we should be thinking about how to draw not only on policy but also on technical architecture to balance privacy and innovation. When the stars align, an entirely different architecture for the control of user data is possible. What would such a shift mean for scholarly publishing and academic libraries?

Another Big Win for Google Books (and for Researchers)

Google wins in court (again) as the Second Circuit of Appeals rules that its mass book digitization program qualifies as fair use. But Google is a commercial entity! And their files might get hacked! And their library partners are even more susceptible to copyright pirates than Google is! Yes, said the court, but. . .

Transitioning to a More Unified Platform

Combining most if not all of a publisher’s scholarly content on a single publisher platform has not always been the norm. Oxford University Press’s transition to a new platform represents not just a one-to-one platform shift but in fact a consolidation from more to fewer platforms. This is a trend worth understanding and watching.