World eBook Fair

The World eBook Fair runs July 4-August 4, 2011.

The fair’s aim is to provide free public access for a month to some 6.5 million eBooks.

Project Gutenberg and the Internet Archive are both contributing organizations.

Each will be presenting a number of items in other media during 2011 — such as music, movies, artwork, and dance choreography.

The available collections include reference books and scientific items, as well as approximately 50,000 music entries (on top of 12,000 that debuted last year).

All are welcome to join the World Public Library for an annual membership of US$8.95 per year.

Members can download from a selection of about 2 million PDF eBooks.

Hat tip to ResourceShelf.com.

See also: World eBook Fair – 6.5 million ebooks available through August 4th

Cross-posted on Law Library Blog.

Open Access Law Journals – “One Journal at a Time”

Judy Janes and Marissa Andrea just published a good article on open access law journals.  Their article, “One Journal at a Time,” includes a few paragraphs providing “a brief history of open access.”  In addition, they comment upon how “the success of RSS feeds, SSRN alerts and SMARTCILP/CLJC email updates has further accelerated the transition to Open Access journals.”

In their “Learn More” section of the article they link to a video presentation where Dick “Danner discusses Open Access and the Durham Statement and also his paper entitled “The Durham Statement on Open Access One Year Later: Preservation and Access to Legal Scholarship” available at SSRN.”

Other resources linked in the Janes and Andrea article include:

Directory of Open Access Journals

Science Commons Open Access Law Project

and

New York Law School list of law reviews with online content

This movement will benefit us all, as Janes and Andrea state it:

. . . As more journals become available on the Internet through an initiative called Open Access, published legal scholarship — once only available in print form from law libraries, or online through proprietary databases ­— will reach a wider audience. This is a movement not only benefiting practicing attorneys, but historians, scholars and members of the public with legal research interests, who will be able to access legal scholarship by simply googling a topic.

“Freeliterature” Portal to E-Book Sites

Freeliterature is a valuable portal to e-book sites, including not only collections of items in English — such as Project Gutenberg — but also in other languages from around the globe.

Categories of books/materials covered — see here — include, among other things:

  • Classical Greek & Latin – Medieval
  • Technical and Scientific
  • Audio Books
  • Art
  • Music
  • Research, Education and Scientific Publications

Freeliterature also invites participation — see here — in the proofreading of electronic texts in order to help make them available online.

Hat tip to ResourceShelf.com.

Cross-posted on Law Library Blog.

Illinois Supreme Court Announces New Public Domain Citation System

The Supreme Court of Illinois has announced a new public domain citation system — see the online Illinois State Bar Association (ISBA) story:

Illinois Supreme Court ends era of printed volumes with new public domain citation system

The new method eliminates the need to contract with publishers to have official opinions produced in bound volumes (which must then be purchased), reportedly saving Illinois taxpayers hundreds of thousands of dollars a year.

As stated in the ISBA story:

The public domain citation system was first recommended by the American Association of Law Libraries in 1994 and was endorsed by the American Bar Association in 1995. Since then, about a dozen states have adopted it.

Cross-posted in Law Library Blog.

New Pilot Project Will Enhance Public Access to Federal Court Opinions

The U.S. Courts website has just announced a new project to enhance public access to U.S. federal court opinions:

New Pilot Project Will Enhance Public Access to Federal Court Opinions

The full announcement reads:

New Pilot Project Will Enhance Public Access to Federal Court Opinions

May 04, 2011

A dozen federal courts have been selected to participate in a pilot program in which the federal judiciary and the Government Printing Office are partnering to provide free public access to court opinions through the GPO’s FDSys system.

The one-year pilot project was approved by the Judicial Conference in March 2010, and the GPO received approval from the Joint Committee on Printing – often referred to as the oldest joint committee of the Congress – in February 2011.

When fully implemented later this year, the pilot will include two courts of appeals, seven district courts, and three bankruptcy courts. In March, the Judicial Conference approved expansion of the pilot to include up to 30 additional courts.

The judiciary continually has sought ways to enhance public access to court opinions. Free access to opinions in all federal courts is currently available via the judiciary’s Public Access to Court Electronic Records service (PACER).

Building on that success, staff from the Administrative Office of the U.S. Courts met with GPO management to explore making opinions even more accessible. Fdsys can provide the public with a robust search engine that can search common threads across opinions and courts.

The initial 12 participating courts are the U.S. Courts of Appeals for the Second and Eighth Circuits; the U.S. district courts for the Districts of Minnesota, Rhode Island, Maryland, Idaho, and Kansas, the Northern District of New York, and the Northern District of Alabama; and the U.S. bankruptcy courts for the District of Maine, the Southern District of Florida, and the Southern District of New York.

Cross-posted on Law Library Blog.

Citation Advantage of Open Access Legal Scholarship

“Citation Advantage of Open Access Legal Scholarship”

UGA Legal Studies Research Paper No. 11-07

JAMES M. DONOVAN, University of Kentucky College of Law Library
CAROL A. WATSON, University of Georgia Law School

To date, there have been no studies focusing exclusively on the impact of open access on legal scholarship. We examine open access articles from three journals at the University of Georgia School of Law and confirm that legal scholarship freely available via open access improves an article’s research impact. Open access legal scholarship –  which today appears to account for almost half of the output of law faculties – can expect to receive 50% more citations than non-open access writings of similar age from the same venue.

Group of Libraries Launch eBook Lending Program

The Internet Archive and a group of 150 libraries have recently announced development of a collection of over 80,000 eBooks (of mostly 20th century titles) that will extend traditional library lending.

Please see:

In-Library eBook Lending Program Launched

Hat tip to ResourceShelf.com.

Cross-posted on Law Library Blog.

U.S. Goverment Printing Office & Library of Congress to Digitize Historic Documents

After receiving approval from the Joint Committee on Printing (JCP) of the U.S. Congress, the U.S. Government Printing Office (GPO) and Library of Congress (LoC) will be working together on a project to digitize certain important legal and legislative documents of the United States. The project will cover public laws and private laws, as well as proposed constitutional amendments passed by Congress, as published in the official U.S. Statutes at Large from 1951-2002. In addition, the GPO and LoC will be digitizing official debates of Congress from the permanent volumes of the Congressional Record from 1873-1998.  These materials will be authenticated and accessible by the public on GPO’s Federal Digital System (FDsys) and the LoC’s THOMAS legislative information system.

Hat tip to ResourceShelf.com.

Cross posted on Law Library Blog.

New Legal Bug Tracker Tool: Call for Debugging Help

Our friend — and technologist, author, public domain advocate, currently known for his foundation public.resource.org and as a leader in the Law.gov effort to bring online all primary legal source materials (cases, constitutions, ordinances, regulations, rules, statutes) for open public access — Carl Malamud is calling for help to debug the new Law.gov open source NILM (National Inventory of Legal Materials) Legal Bug Tracker tool:

Help us debug the Legal Bug Tracker

Laws of Utah Digitized

RulesNews, the newsletter of the Utah State Division of Administrative Rules, has posted as follows:

Laws of Utah Digitized
[Posted] On December 6, 2010, In Other News, By Ken Hansen

The Utah State Law Library reports that the Laws of Utah have been scanned and are now available online through the Utah State Library’s Pioneer service.  The session laws, from 1851 through 2009, are available thanks to the efforts of the Utah State Library in cooperation with W.S. Hein & Co., Inc.  Read more here.

Congratulations on this signal accomplishment by the State of Utah in open access!