May 15, 2013
Should Legal Vendors Provide More Information on How They Protect End User Privacy?
Jean O'Grady reports that Bloomberg reporters have had no access to BLaw usage data. This was confirmed on the heels of the news about long-term monitoring of subscribers Bloomberg Financial Services access. She added:
Law firm research queries are a treasure trove of leads... pretty innocuous standing alone - but probably an interesting "data map" of law firm client support activity if viewed in the aggregate. In 30 years I have never ever heard of a breach or misuse of this kind of data at LexisNexis Westlaw, Wolters Kluwer or Bloomberg but I think it is time that these companies provide more information to customers about how they protect law firms and their clients from the threats of a "big data" hack.
We know that usage data is monitored internally by WEXIS and presumably BLaw. In some cases, it has to be for out-of-plan charges. However, each time one logs into a online search service, usage data is being recorded. We have even heard that Classic Westlaw use data was used to develop West Search for WLN. And what about our vendors' online news, analysis, commentary and research practice-centric services, workflow productivity and matter applications?
I think O'Grady has a point about our vendors providing us with information about how our user populations privacy is protected. I doubt Daniel L. Doctoroff's, CEO and President, Bloomberg L.P., Safeguarding Customer Data statement and/or Holding Ourselves Accountable by Matthew Winkler, editor-in-chief of Bloomberg News, is sufficient. Both statements were reactions to the public disclosures about Bloomberg reporters past practices.
For much more, see O'Grady's Dewey B Strategic post, Bloomberg Law Not Impacted By Bloomberg Terminal Privacy Breach. But Can We Ever Stop Worrying About a "Big Data" Hack of a Legal Research Provider? [JH]
May 14, 2013
The Big Whoop-de-do of Current Services: Why vendors should not forget that the Google Generation is also the YouTube Generation
"In a presentation to advertisers this week Google Executive Chairman Eric Schmidt declined to forecast that Internet video would replace television, Schmidt said, 'That’s already happened, the future is now for YouTube,'" wrote Kevin O'Keefe in his May 4th, 2013 post titled Google’s Schmidt: YouTube has replaced TV. What’s it mean for law firms?
Referring to YouTube both as a specific delivery platform as well as a metaphor for electronic video content generally, I believe the interesting question is what does that mean for our commercial legal publishers, professional legal services, legal solutions (whatever) vendor? If the focused user population is the so-called Google generation and it certainly is, this user population is also the "YouTube" generation now. This applies not only to webinars but to vendor search platforms, productivity platforms, specific practice-centric offerings, "news and developments" coverage, and enhanced eBooks' current status quo.
BLaw's video productions -- easily do-able because the tech infrastructure was already in place -- has resulted in other vendors scrambling to catch up in some areas. Any vendor which might be resistant to the idea that multimedia is not going to be an essential add-on component in all their law-related inventory of e-content is in denial.
But I am not refering to training webinars! Nor am I merely referring to just enhancing legal research and eBook platforms. Today's Google-YouTube generation will also want to incorporate official video proceedings (problematic due to the source's encoding formats) and their own in-house produced videos in work product using licensed "legal solutions."
The big whoop-de-do of "shared folders," etc. is so last century to our vendor's targeted demographic market that it borders on absurdity. I can hear our vendors say "but our focus groups aren't asking for that!" Well, the grim reaper of innovation is making decisions based on focus groups. [JH]
May 13, 2013
Bloomberg News Reporters Have Been Snooping on Subscribers' Use of Bloomberg Financial Services for Years
With the "Terminal" found in most every banking and trading company as well as industry regulators, shock waves rippled through the financial services industry on May 10th when the New York Post's Mark DeCambre broke the story that Bloomberg's financial journalists were extracting subscribers' private usage data at Goldman Sachs employees concerned Bloomberg news reporters are using terminals to snoop. The New York Times' Amy Chozick and Ben Protess reported on how widespread the monitoring activity was within the industry by Bloomberg News reporters at Privacy Breach on Bloomberg’s Data Terminals.
Reportedly Bloomberg News staff could not see trading activities but the available extracted information about when and how the Company's terminals were used by subscribers provided enough clues to aid its financial journalists for news reports. See also Zachary M. Seward's What Bloomberg employees can see when they snoop on customers.
Bloomberg confirmed that several hundred reporters have been monitoring subscriber usage of various Bloomberg financial services functions for years. The Company also announced that the system functions its reporters had been using were disabled.
First question: Et tu BLaw? [JH]
May 07, 2013
Roncevic's E-book Platforms for Libraries
"Librarians, I hope you find the comparative tables useful and the vast landscape of ebooks a bit less daunting after having read this report. Library vendors, I hope you benefit from the insight into how your products compare to others and how you can continue to improve their functionalities and business models." -- Mirela Roncevic, No Shelf Required
Roncevic's E-book Platforms for Libraries, Library Technology Reports, April 2013 issue, is now available for purchase from the ALA Store. Here's the blurb:
E-book vendors continue to experiment: adjustments to business models, consolidation of content, and mergers with competitors mean constant change. What’s good for innovation can equal confusion when it comes to choosing an e-book platform for your library. Making a sound purchasing decision requires research and close consideration of trade-offs, and Roncevic’s new issue of Library Technology Reports will get you started. Based on surveys of e-book vendors with an established presence in academic, public, and/or K–12 library markets, this report includes
- Background and business model descriptions for 51 leading e-book vendors
- Four tables comparing content, technical specifications, functionality, and business models
- An at-a-glance overview of platforms, including vendor website URLs
- Bulleted checklists of factors to consider, and questions to ask vendors
- An examination of the blurring channels of publisher, aggregator, and distributor platforms, with advice to help you avoid content overlap
April 30, 2013
Joining the Major Leagues: Institutionalizing BLaw into the Law School Setting
BLaw started making its aggressive push into the academic market last year. Mark wrote in BLaw Makes Its Push Into Law Schools (LLB, April 23, 2012):
The offer to schools is interesting to say the least. Any school that subscribes to the BNA Premier Service will receive a significant discount on their subscription charge and free access to Bloomberg Law. That discount can be in tens of thousands of dollars for an acknowledged high quality legal database. What Bloomberg asks in return, is parity with the way other electronic legal research services are treated at law schools.
By parity, Bloomberg Law wanted student exposure to and instruction in its online research services similar to the treatment given to WEXIS in law schools. In Bloomberg Law and the Quest for Parity, CRIV Sheet, May 2013, at 3, Lee Sims (Rutgers-Newark Law Library) commented
If we are not adding BLaw, as well as Loislaw, Casemaker, and EDGAR, to whatever we are teaching, we are not providing our students with tools they need to be successful graduates. And this was a point on which everyone I surveyed seemed to agree: to prepare students for the current legal research environment, we have the obligation to expose them to as many resources as possible. If those resources include BLaw, so be it.
April 23, 2013
Ginsborg's Lexis eShift or eShaft? Analysis
Because several readers asked, Michael Ginsborg's four-part series of LLB blog posts, Lexis eShift or eShaft? (April 15-18, 2013), can be downloaded in one PDF for easy reference here. Permission requested and obtained from the author. Reuse permission for downloading this eShifted format version also provided.
While I suggested in this April 8, 2013 post that one apply AALL's draft The Code of Best Practices for Licensing Electronic Resources to the LexisNexis periodicals migration, Michael correctly, in my opinion, applied AALL's Principles For Licensing Electronic Resources in his analysis. This official AALL document was in effect at the time Lexis started eShift-ing periodical subscriptions without either consulting with or provide advance notice to institutional subscribers. AALL's Principles For Licensing Electronic Resources also is relevant because the document is incorporated by reference in the current edition of AALL's Guide to Fair Business Practices for Legal Publishers (2012), another official AALL document cited in Michael's analysis.
In the April 2013 AALL eNewsletter issue (date stamped Thursday, April 18, 2013) rank-and-file members were informed The Code of Best Practices for Licensing Electronic Resources was approved by the E-Board during its April 4-5, 2013 Spring Meeting, apparently as submitted. It will supercede AALL's Principles For Licensing Electronic Resources. The Code "will soon be available on AALLNET."
Since I have no idea whether AALL's Principles For Licensing Electronic Resources will be archived online for future reference, you may download a copy I scraped from AALLNET here. Michael did not ask for this, but I think it is needed to understand his detailed analysis just in case the superceded Principles are AALLNET vaporized and/or the AALLNET URLs in his posts become dead links when the The Code of Best Practices for Licensing Electronic Resources goes live. [JH]
Advocating for eLending: ALA reports on latest meetings with trade publishers
ALA President Maureen Sullivan reported on the latest series of meetings the library association conducted with trade publishers in New York: From her blog post
In terms of library ebook lending, a number of ideas arose. In several meetings we discussed how libraries might be able to provide new ways to enable access (and sales) for publisher titles without compromising our values. One such existing mechanism is the deployment of the buy-it-now button—when a library user placed on the waiting list for an ebook is given the option to purchase the title—with some of the proceeds from purchases that patrons opt to make benefiting the library. Based on the work of ALA’s Digital Content and Libraries Working Group, other business model components were discussed and some interest was expressed by publishers.
Another common theme was how libraries typically provide ebook access through intermediaries. We all recognize that these intermediaries provide valuable services. Still, both publishers and libraries experience significant challenges in how library ebooks are made available and these challenges merit increased attention. Perhaps the most notable issue for libraries is ownership and control of library user data; the ability of intermediaries to collect and analyze such data; and the subsequent use of the data for marketing purposes.
For much more, see Report from Manhattan: Librarians Navigating the Digital Revolution (E-content, April 16, 2013). [JH]
April 18, 2013
LexisNexis eShift or eShaft? Part Four In A Four-Part Series
Needed Guidance Left Unstated In AALL Consumer Policies
In Part 3, we considered LexisNexis’ (LN) license restrictions on a library’s eShifted titles. If your library has such titles, do these license restrictions strike you as reasonable for your library, especially if or as Lexis adds more print titles to the eShift program? Or are they sufficiently unmanageable to create at least the appearance of a “bait-and-switch” maneuver to sell multiple-use licenses through the LexisNexis Digital Library? Not surprisingly, LN advertises the Digital Library as “more efficient compared to each individual eBook user purchasing and managing his or her own digital content.” We might have preferred a higher bar for "efficiency." At any rate, LN disingenuously states, “you are welcome to consider other solutions” if your library can not pay for a Digital Library.
Under Principle 18 of AALL’s Principles For Licensing Electronic Resources (PLER), library licensees should not have “enforcement obligations” that impose an “unreasonable burden.” If a revised LexisNexis Master Agreement(LNMA) followed PLER Principles 13 and 14, it would mitigate unreasonable burdens of library compliance. At least library licensees would not be held liable for unauthorized uses if, by “reasonable and appropriate methods,” they notify users of the restrictions (Principle 13). And they would have opportunity to investigate and correct LNMA violations as circumstances warrant (Principle 14).
Notwithstanding availability of a Digital Library option, the LNMA also can be understood to violate PLER Principle 17, a recommendation to “allow for routine remote access to [library-]licensed electronic information resources.” Finally, the LNMA has no provision for use of alternative dispute resolution, in possible violation of PLER Principle 33.
CRIV may yet intervene, as it has a phone conference scheduled this week with LN. LN seems unlikely to lift any of the license restrictions for libraries. Otherwise, LN could have foreseen that our libraries would object to the consequences, and would not have offered such a restrictive license agreement to libraries in the first place. Worse still, CRIV may not have standing to intervene. Neither FBPG nor PLER offer specific guidance on one of the most important library issues of our time - the issue of how publishers transition print subscriptions of libraries to e-formats. Therefore, it is far from clear that these guidelines support (or undermine) my interpretation that LNMA violates them.
Indeed, with one important exception, both FBPG and PLER might reasonably be interpreted to apply in this instance to new purchases, and not to “e-migrating” subscriptions. None of FBPG’s “change-in-format” principles has bearing, except for Principle 3.1(e), on advance notice to customers. PLER appears to have straightforward application, but the appearance is deceptive, because library customers have an alternative. Indeed, with respect to the Digital Library, LNMA may generally satisfy FBPG and PLER. Nothing in either guideline speaks to the “bait-and-switch” maneuver that arguably is at issue.
At any rate, LexisNexis need not modify its Master Agreement and disclosures in any way to satisfy FBPG and (by extension) PLER. AALL recognizes that "the publisher is in the best position to fully implement the guidelines in a manner suitable to its business plan." (FBPG Introduction item 4). LexisNexis can claim that it has fully implemented the guidelines in a manner suitable to its business plan, especially if the company has a business plan to increase licensed-product market share among law libraries. The claim would not be specious.
AALL’s consumer policies depend for their effectiveness on a self-regulatory model of “publisher partnerships.” eShift represents the cusp of a sweeping change for law libraries from owners to licensees of publications. eShift tests the adequacy this model. While our Association’s guidelines remain essential as minimal standards, the partnership model does not adequately protect law libraries facing “e-migration” of their holdings.
Editor's Note: Prior posts in the LexisNexis eShift or eShaft? four-part series:
April 17, 2013
LexisNexis eShift or eShaft? Part Three In A Four-Part Series
Burdens of Licensing Compliance - Added Costs, But No Commensurate Benefits
Imagine that yours is a 108(a)(2) library with more than one of the eShifted newsletters. You can reasonably expect LexisNexis to add other print titles to the eShift program, perhaps even treatises, such as those now available for eBook purchase. But suppose as well that you do not request a multiple-user license for these subscriptions through the LexisNexis Digital Library - an option, oddly enough, not described in the eShift letter. Under the LexisNexis copyright policy, you can print (and route) a single copy of a newsletter title issue, but your Library will now bear the expense of preparing printouts for routing and shelving. (What if the printer jams, or runs out of paper, producing an incomplete single copy?)
So eShift incurs a cost for printing to route or shelve the designated newsletters, and other serial publication that LexisNexis may designate for eShift’s pdf format. If or when eShift starts to include treatise subscriptions, treatises will be available in an eShift format other than pdf.
Does the digital format confer any substantial benefits? No. It confers just three marginal benefits. First, a single user in a library may search the digital content of “archived” newsletters, but how often is that likely to happen, given the license restrictions? Second, according to its eShift letter, LexisNexis states that the eBook format will “increase the timeliness and currency of your newsletter.” By the time newsletters are published, the events they cover already tend to represent dated news. Faster distribution makes little or no difference to attorneys if routed to more than two. If at some point treatises join the eShift program, neither of these benefits will matter (to the extent available for specific treatises), and for similar reasons.
Finally, as LexisNexis advertises, users will be able to “highlight, make notes, print and bookmark” content. But library patrons can not print more than an “insubstantial portion” and can not save any highlighted language, except as needed to print insubstantial portions. As computers used must not be “borrowed or removed from the premises,” each single user could not save the highlights or bookmarks without at least distracting the next user. Thus the license restrictions make the advertised benefit practically unavailable to library licensees. Because the advertisement misleads, it can be understood to violate Principle 1.2 of AALL’s Fair Business Practices Guide (FBPG), on accurate marketing and communication.
The license would add the following burdens of compliance to current and future print titles targeted for eShift. As the restrictions effectively demonstrate, the license has been designed for single buyer-users, not libraries. You can download all of your library’s eShifted newsletter issues, or all of your other print eShift titles, on one computer. Or you can download each title on its own computer. Regardless, you must maintain “exclusive control” over the computer or computers used. If you use just one computer for all eShifted titles, only one patron at a time will have access to any of them. You must, for each computer used, ensure that no patron “transfers” content except to print “an insubstantial portion." You must ensure that copied content does not end up in emails or Word documents, even if you disconnect the device from a network. You must keep patrons from taking the computer used off “the premises”; you and your colleagues must maintain “exclusive control” over it. That condition applies no matter how many patrons might use the designated computer for eShifted title access, or whether you or your colleagues are available to exercise “exclusive control.” You must also have every patron “agree” to posted licensing restrictions - a requirement best met in writing. Of course, interlibrary loans are not allowed.
Tomorrow, in the last part of this series, I will consider how these restrictions can be interpreted to violate AALL’s consumer advocacy guidelines. But that interpretation remains open to question, so I will suggest how the guidelines fall short of the consumer protections our libraries need in the “e-migration” era.
Editor's Note: Prior posts in the LexisNexis eShift or eShaft? series:
April 16, 2013
LexisNexis eShift or eShaft? Part Two In A Four-Part Series
The LexisNexis Electronic Publications Master Agreement, Problems of Disclosure, and Restrictions on Library Licensees
eShift customers would not have learned about the LexisNexis Master Agreement (LNMA) from the “eShift letter,” the communication that the company sent them about the change. (You can find the letter in this post by Joe Hodnicki, who appears to have based his comments on the letter.) The letter's omission, of course, presents a problem: it can be understood to violate Fair Business Practice Guide (FBPG) Principle 2.2(h), or the recommendation that legal publishers disclose license restrictions in customer communications. It also can be understood to violate FBPG Principle 2.4. Under this principle, where legal publishers advertise or market products both online and in print, they should not limit material statements to either just the print or online formats. However, a material statement appears in the just eShift letter mailed to customers, and not also the eBooks website. It concerns an important statement about “reuse rights” of eShift subscribers to the new pdf formats.
Another problem concerns liability of a library licensee under LNMA for unlicensed uses of LN’s electronic publications. LNMA specifies a library licensee as any library “described in 17 U.S.C. 108 (a) (2)” - a category that typically applies to law firm, academic, and public law libraries. License restrictions resemble some that apply to CD products. (See, for example, terms and conditions for Matthew Bender CD-ROMs.)
Under LNMA Section 1.3, a library licensee must do more than post a required notice of restrictions on any computer providing access. A library licensee “shall require” patrons to agree to the terms of restriction. The library licensee must also “not allow” any patron to (1) remove the electronic publication “from the premises”; (2) have “remote access” to it, whether by telephone, Internet, “or other means”; and (3) copy any but an “insubstantial portion” of content for printouts used in legal research. Restrictions (1) and (3) do not apply to individual purchasers of electronic publications. Thus individual purchasers using an eBook reader can obviously take an LN electronic publication home. They may also include an “insubstantial” portion in work product (Section 1.1.3).
Moreover, a library licensee must maintain “exclusive control” over the affected eReader or other computer, and must ensure that only one user at a time can have access. Finally, rather than take reasonable corrective steps, the library licensee must notify LN of unauthorized uses and “cooperate fully” with LN in “any resulting legal action.” It is hard to know what meaningful rights library licensees could expect to retain or defend in a “resulting legal action.” LNMA has no provision for arbitration of disputes.
Library subscribers to eShifted titles will find that their subscriptions have become far more costly and only marginally more useful. Tomorrow, in Part 3, I will describe the burdens of compliance for library licensees that do not buy access to a LexisNexis Digital Library, and related, possible violations of AALL’s Principles For Licensing Electronic Resources.
Editor's Note: For Part 1 in this series, see Introduction - eShift and LexisNexis Licensing.
April 15, 2013
LexisNexis eShift or eShaft? Part One In A Four-Part Series
Introduction - eShift and LexisNexis Licensing
AALL members recently had questions about LexisNexis eBooks and the “eShift” from print-to-electronic subscriptions, a change that currently affects 20 print newsletters and 24 handbooks and manuals (here and here) on CDs. (See also the company’s “Migration Efforts” and related posts by Joe Hodnicki here and here.) As a result of eShift, print newsletter subscribers will have to use an eBook (pdf) format to continue the subscriptions; handbook/manual subscribers will have to do likewise. The eShift list of print and CD-ROM titles appears likely to grow, and at some point may include treatises, like those already available for purchase.
CRIV quite helpfully enlisted LexisNexis to respond to many of our questions. Of course, LexisNexis deserves credit for responding, and for providing helpful information at its eBook website, even if serious concerns remain over the eShift program. On April 12th, CRIV announced that it “has a phone conference scheduled with Lexis next week” about outstanding issues. In this series, I will focus on just the newsletters and all other eShift print candidates, as relatively few law libraries continue to buy titles on CD-ROM.
A paramount concern involves licensing. In its response, LexisNexis stated that “you may find answers to your questions in the terms and conditions (the “Electronic Publications Master Agreement”) related to eBooks (as well as CDs, DVDs, PDFs, flash drives or other offline publications distributed electronically by LN) located at http://lexisnexis.com/terms/bender/masteragreement/.” A LexisNexis representative has just confirmed that the "eshift titles are governed by any terms and conditions within the product itself, the Master Agreement ... referenced, and any contract terms that [the customer] may have entered into on purchase." What tentative conclusions can we reach about the Lexis Nexis Master Agreement (LNMA), if we consider the consequences of compliance for "eShifted" newsletters and other (future candidate) print titles, and if we rely on our association’s consumer policies - the Guide to Fair Business Practices (FBPG) and Principles For Licensing Electronic Resources (PLER)
Tomorrow, in Part 2 of this series, I will describe a problem of disclosure and the nature of LNMA restrictions. In Part 3, I will describe the burdens they impose on library licensees and possible violations of FBPG and PLER. In Part 4, I will suggest that AALLs consumer policies, while essential, still fall far short of needed consumer protections for our libraries, given dramatic changes of the kind eShift represents.
April 11, 2013
District of Columbia Makes Its Code Available for Bulk Download Under a Creative Commons License
As a quick follow-up to The District of Columbia Claims It Needs to Copyright Its Code to Protect Itself from Commercial Publishers (April 3, 2013), a digital version of the DC Code is now available under a Creative Commons license. From the announcement:
In the interest of allowing developers to more readily access and adapt the D.C. Official Code, we are providing a freely available copy of the Code. This copy of the Code is not an official copy and should not be relied upon for legal purposes. It is current only through December 11, 2012.
This copy of the Code is available for use under CC0
April 08, 2013
Obla di, obla da, life goes on: "ACTION REQUIRED TO CONTINUE YOUR SUBSCRIPTION" because one of AALL's "vendor partners" is at it again
We strive to obtain the maximum value for our institution's fiscal resources, while at the same time making judicious, analytical and rational use of our institution's information resources. -- AALL Ethical Principles (1999)
Dear LexisNexis® Subscriber:
The next release of this publication will be delivered in eBook format via the LexisNexis® Download Center. You will no longer receive the printed version of this publication. Electronic delivery via the LexisNexis Download Center will increase the timeliness and currency of your newsletter subscription, in addition to reducing our impact on the environment.
What do you need to do to ensure your subscription continues?
What should you expect going forward?
After providing an email address for your account, you will receive an email alert from LexisNexis when a new release of the publication becomes available. This email alert will include a link to the LexisNexis Download Center, where you may access the latest edition. To access the PDF, you will need to download Adobe Reader to your computer if you do not already have this program.
Only the latest newsletter issue will be available on the LexisNexis Download Center. You will need to save and archive each edition for quick reference to previous issues. If you miss downloading an earlier release, you may contact Customer Support and ask that a copy be sent to you.
Thank you for choosing LexisNexis products and services. If you have any questions about your subscription, please call us at 800.833.9844, email email@example.com or visit www.lexisnexis.com/printcdsc.
Note Regarding Reuse Rights: The subscriber to this publication in .pdf form may create a single printout from the delivered .pdf. For additional permissions, please see www.lexisnexis.com/terms/copyright-permission-info.aspx. If you would like to purchase additional copies within your subscription, please contact Customer Support.
Without advance notice to invoice-paying law librarians, attentive serials check-in staff are spotting a form letter (sidebar right) inserted in the shipment of the last print copies of newsletter, bulletin and journal issues stating that their periodicals will no longer be published in print by Lexis.
Under the banner heading "ACTION REQUIRED TO CONTINUE YOUR SUBSCRIPTION", the "Dear LexisNexis® Subscriber" Notice states in its lead paragraph:
The next release of this publication will be delivered in eBook format via the LexisNexis® Download Center. You will no longer receive the printed version of this publication.
(Emphasis in the original.)
Further on, the Notice states:
Only the latest newsletter issue will be available on the LexisNexis Download Center. You will need to save and archive each edition for quick reference to previous issues. If you miss downloading an earlier release, you may contact Customer Support and ask that a copy be sent to you.
Note well, the Notice does not even identify the title of the publication. Also, it is not an eBook. Each forthcoming issue will be a PDF copy that the subscriber is permitted to print out once.
So the first action required... is to ask your serials check-in staff to write down the damn title on the Notice that has been eShift-ed by Lexis. To get started, here's the list of Lexis periodical titles Harvard Law School Library has be able to identify. It's only current as of the middle of last week:
- Environmental Law
- CA Family Law Monthly
- Commercial Damages Reporter
- CA Criminal Defense Reporter
- CA Environmental Law Reporter
- Business Crime
- Benders Health Care Law
- FL Family Law Reporter
- CA Real Estate Reporter
- TX Family Law Reporter
- TX Torts Update
- Warren Heaton Case Digest
- Benders CA Labor & Employment
- Construction Law Digest
- Benders Labor Employment Bulletin
- CA WCAB Noteworthy Panel Decisions
- Michies 4th Circuit Criminal Reporter
- MA Family Law Journal
- MN Family Law Journal
- TX Oil & Gas Law Journal
Do note that according to one librarian's exchange with a Lexis rep, sometime this summer Lexis will have online an archive of PDF-ed issues in case you have missed this eShift for an affected periodical. Until then, call your pBook-eBook rep before he or she is laid off in Albany. They are the best equipped to help with these pesky account management issues. In the alternative, just cancel the damn periodicals and demand a refund from your Lexis rep. Quoting from the Notice:
Thank you for choosing LexisNexis products and services.
Lexis claims "Electronic delivery via the LexisNexis Download Center will increase the timeliness and currency of your newsletter subscription, in addition to reducing our impact on the environment." Well, it will not increase timeliness and currency of the so-called "newsletter" (read "periodical") subscription until institutional buyers figure out how to archive and deliver to their user populations all forthcoming ePeriodical PDF issues. And that certainly will have an impact on libraries' tech services, IT, and user services environment unless what one only does is print out a single PDF copy and pretends the affected periodical is still published in print.
"Making judicious, analytical and rational use of our institution's information resources." How are libraries supposed to preserve and make accessible issues of titles affected? According to Lexis, download every damn PDF issue and host the ePeriodical's issues on your local server. How circa late-1990s web hosting is that! So get ready to have this conversation with your IT staff.
First we need a dummy email account. Something like "serial(dot)checkin@" will do. Then the library needs separate dark subdirectories on our web server for Environmental Law, CA Family Law Monthly, Commercial Damages Reporter, etc. After that, under each title's web page, we need "<ul><li></li><li></li>[and on and on until]</ul>."
You need to give our serials check-in staff permission to access the server so we can upload PDFs and insert identifier text with embedded links within each "<li></li>" segment. Or your department's staff needs to do this promptly so we can provide access each time an issue has been downloaded and emailed to your department.
For each subdirectory's web page the library also will need an RSS feed so we have a way to subscribe those members of our user population who want to know when an issue has been received and processed. Hopefully no one makes mistakes to the web page otherwise false update messages will be generated.
Yes, each ePeriodical title really must have its our subdirectory.The library needs a unique URL to include in our OPAC's bibliographic record by title to this dark archive when we update our bib records with an eShift note. Hey, I don't want to do this either but I'm not calling the technical processing shots, Lexis is. I'm just trying to deal with the consequences.
Yup, that's a "great" way for making "judicious, analytical and rational use of our institution's information resources." Of course, one also can ask the IT staff to start creating an in-house database or elending solution tied to a library's serials check-in and circulation modules but since no library yet knows how many and when their Lexis periodicals are being eShifted, it might be wise to just start with some basic HTML coded web pages for now.
ePeriodicals, no problem. Dumping this on institutional subscribers with no thought of how this migration is supposed to be efficiently executed by subscribers (in-house economics alert), just like the "free" eBook substitution for CDs, by Lexis, yes, problem.
"To obtain maximum value for our institution's fiscal resources." I understand that Harvard Law School Library has informed CRIV of this latest eFormat switcheroo executed by Lexis. It is unclear to me if the Executive Board knows what the hell is going on because the communication to CRIV was made right around the time E-Board members were traveling to and attending their Spring Meeting in Chicago. (Can you say "live and archived webcast of the proceedings if AALL really wants to be transparent in conducting our, not their, business?")
The meeting's agenda included approval of AALL's The Code of Best Practices for Licensing Electronic Resources. See Tab 14 of the Spring Meeting Board Book behind AALL's walled garden for the text. Assuming The Code was approved, apply it and AALL's Guide to Fair Business Practices (2012) to this latest eFormat substitution by Lexis.
Frankly I believe that exercise would just be a waste of time. By allowing vendors to be AALL members (full, associate, whatever), one of our association's so-called "Business Relationships" ethical principles, quoted above, is vacuous. Worse than that -- this ethical imperative only protects vendor members because their business plans trump library business plans according to the Fair Business Practices Guide.
It certainly is time to queue up this music video. [JH]
April 8, 2013 in Administration, Collection Development, Digital Collections, Electronic Resource, Information Technology, Library Associations, Products & Services, Publishing Industry | Permalink | Comments (1)
April 02, 2013
Insights from an Academic Law Library Pilot Program Using OverDrive for eLending
Nina Scholtz, Digital Resources Librarian, reports on what the Cornell University Law Library learned from its one-year experiment using Overdrive as an eLending solution for eBooks. Insights include the following about eBook collection development in the context of patron usage:
Our approach to this [eBook] pricing minefield has been to select our items for our audience carefully. Since we are not a public library and our collection is very small, we have much less pressure to purchase every bestseller. Instead, we have focused on trying to select those books that we think will interest law faculty and students and spreading out purchases over time for the opportunity to examine checkout and hold patterns. The latter step has helped considerably in divining the reading interests of our community.
For much more, see A Pilot Using OverDrive: E-lending in academic law libraries (AALL Spectrum, April 2013). Highly recommended. [JH]
March 26, 2013
Presentations from the IFLA-CILIP eBooks and Libraries SeminarIFLA's Management of Library Associations Committee and the Chartered Institute of Library and Information Professionals (CILIP) conducted a seminar entitled Ebooks and Libraries: A Global Challenge of Survival? on February 21, 2013. Hat tip to LJ InfoDocket's Gary Price for providing links to the presentations here. The presentations can also be downloaded from CILIP's site. [JH]
March 25, 2013
GPO has "no intention of charging public users a fee to access content available through FDsys"
and "GPO remains committed to no-fee access to FDsys for the public as part of our mission of Keeping America Informed." That was Acting Public Printer Davita Vance-Cooks responding to the CASSANDRA (Concerned Government Information Professionals) letter regarding NAPA's Rebooting the Government Printing Office: Keeping America Informed in the Digital Age. (Text of CASSANDRA letter here.)
Remember one of National Association of Public Administration's recommendations was that the GPO consider "cost recovery" for FDsys access. "This is, of course, good news, but we have to temper our enthusiasm with the realization that GPO's ability to meet its intentions will inevitably be dictated by Congress and its budget," wrote JA Jacobs on Free Government Information at GPO Response to NAPA Report's Recommendation to Charge for FDsys access (includes text of Vance-Cooks' letter.) [JH]
March 20, 2013
Sunlight Foundation Evaluates Online Public Access to Legislative Information for All 50 States and the District of Columbia
During Sunshine Week last week the Sunlight Foundation released a "transparency report card" that graded how accessible state legislative information was available online to the public. "Most state legislatures are generally behind the technological curve, and that has negative implications for government oversight," wrote Gabriela Schneider in Editorial Memo: How to Improve State Legislatures’ Transparency. She added:
To their credit, many states have embraced the web for decades and do disclose legislative data, but their technological progress has stalled. At the same time, a cottage industry of expensive pay-services has sprouted to make state legislative data more useful to those who can afford it.
James Turk explains that the transparency report card is a byproduct of the work performed to produce Open States. [LLB post] He identifies the six criteria used to evaluation each state: completeness, timeliness, ease of access, machine readability, use of commonly owned standards and permanence. For more about the methodology, see Open States: Transparency Report Card.
To view your state's grade, check out the Sunlight Foundation's first but hopefully not last Transparency Report Card. [JH]
March 19, 2013
Reminder: Registration for AALL's eBook Webinar Due by March 21
Sue Polanka is presenting an AALL sponsored webinar on eBooks. Note well that registration is due by Thursday, March 21st.
E-books: Opportunities, Obstacles, and Trends
Date: Wednesday, March, 27, 2013
Time: 11 A.M. (Central Time)
Fee: AALL Members - $30; Non-AALL Members - $60;
Site Registration (one per physical location) $150
Register by March 21
E-books are a moving target, presenting many opportunities – and obstacles. Wherever you are in the e-books evolution, do you know how to move forward? Are there best practices for the future? Please join e-books expert Sue Polanka, a 2011 Library Journal Mover and Shaker, award-winning e-books blogger, and columnist for a discussion on the growth, challenges, and trends of the e-book industry. Topics to be discussed include licensing and managing content across locations, business models and their impact on access and budgets, locally hosting versus proprietary platforms, and managing content in a mobile environment. Get a jump start (and a leap ahead) into the ever-changing world of e-books.
Program participants will:
• Explore different business models and degrees of accessibility
• Examine budgeting for collection building versus access-only materials
• Compare locally hosted content with content on proprietary platforms
• Determine criteria for evaluating e-book vendors
• Gain tips and ideas for moving forward with your own e-book offerings
March 14, 2013
Palfrey's Why We Miss the First Sale Doctrine in Digital Libraries
In Why We Miss the First Sale Doctrine in Digital Libraries, John Palfrey "examines the role of law in the ebook lending debate, explore potential solutions to the problems, and consider how the DPLA can contribute to solutions for those we serve. At the core of this issue is the way the copyright law works–or doesn’t–when it comes to books, libraries, and readers in the United States today and into the future."
Hat tip to beSpacific. [JH]
March 04, 2013
Open States: A non-profit, non-partisan public resource for monitoring state legislative activity
"If you're interested in your state lawmaker, you'll be able to get notifications for their actions, a map of their district, voting records, committee assignments, campaign finance records from Influence Explorer, local news articles and contact information. If you're curious about a particular piece of legislation, Open States allows you to check on its status, find the sponsors, break down votes, view bill text and all supporting documents. Our powerful search capabilities allow you to find similar topics across states and view overview pages for each state, chamber and committee." --- Nicko Margolies, Open States: Find and Follow Your State Capitol (Sunlight Foundation Blog, Feb. 14, 2013)
In February of 2009, the Sunlight Foundation announced that its next big goal was "The Fifty State Project." The objective was to provide the same sort of access to legislative data and related information OpenCongress did but for all 50 states from one website. Not an easy task but the Foundation stayed the course. Last month the Sunlight Foundation announced the launch of the full Open States site.
After more than four years of work from volunteers and a full-time team here at Sunlight we're immensely proud to launch the full Open States site with searchable legislative data for all 50 states, D.C. and Puerto Rico. Open States is the only comprehensive database of activities from all state capitols that makes it easy to find your state lawmaker, review their votes, search for legislation, track bills and much more.
Let's add that Open States data is available for bulk downloading.
Give Open States a test drive. Some may want to toss it into an ALR lecture on researching state legislation. Others may want to add the resource as an alternative to very expensive research offerings for monitoring state legislation. And some may even want to experiment with repurposing the data made available by bulk downloads. For an introductory tutorial, see Exploring State Legislative Data.
Just as OpenCongress has evolved since 2009, my hunch is Open States also will. [JH]