Current Cites

July 2018

Edited by Roy Tennant

Contributors: Charles W. Bailey, Jr., Peter Hirtle, Leo Robert Klein, Nancy Nyland, Roy Tennant

Boczar, Jason, Nina  Collins, and Rebel  Cummings-Sauls, et. al.An Ethical Framework for Library Publishing  Atlanta: Library Publishing Coalition, 2018.( - One of the most promising developments in the open access movement is the resurgence of library-based publishing since the early twenty-first century. The establishment of digital presses by academic libraries has been complemented by increasing mergers and partnerships with university presses as well as by the establishment of new university presses in partnership with other academic units. Becoming a publisher involves many considerations beyond merely technical infrastructure ones. A Library Publishing Coalition task force has addressed the issues that surround this new venture for most libraries in this report. It provides background information and recommendations in these important areas: publishing practice; accessibility; diversity, equity, and inclusion; privacy and analytics; and intellectual and academic freedom. The Library Publishing Coalition's website is also a very useful resource for further exploration of library publishing. - CB

Carlstone, Jamie, Ayla  Stein, and Michael  Norman, et. al."Copyright Renewal of U.S. Books Published in 1932: Reanalyzing Ringer’s Study to Determine a More Accurate Renewal Rate for BooksCollege & Research Libraries (C&RL)   79(5)(2 July 2018)( - A 1961 study from the Copyright Office concluded that copyright was renewed in only 7% of the U.S. publications published in 1932. This has been taken as proof that old copyrights are of limited economic value and that the public domain is much larger than we thought. But is it true? The authors of this very detailed analysis conclude that the copyright renewal rate for books is actually between 26 and 33 percent. There are other important nuggets in the article's detail. Many books, for example, were not included in Class A in the Catalog of Copyright Entries (CCE), which means their renewal records are not found in the Stanford Copyright Renewal Database. A thorough renewal search would require an examination of the printed CCE volumes or examination of the Copyright Office card catalog as well. And given the publishing history of the CCE outlined in this paper, it is unclear if all the digitized copies of the CCE available online contain all of its fascicles. It makes expansion of the Copyright Office's new "virtual card catalog" all the more important. - PH

Cole, Carmen, Angela R.  Davis, and Vanessa  Eyer, et. al."Google Scholar's Coverage of the Engineering Literature 10 Years LaterThe Journal of Academic Librarianship  44(3)(May 2018): 419 - 425. ( - This study expands a 2008 comparison of Google Scholar and the Compendex engineering database by including Scopus as a third resource. The authors extracted citations from more than 6,000 dissertations in eight engineering topics, as well as computer science. The citations covered works in the almost seven decades from 1950 to the present. A small, randomly selected sample of citations was searched in all three sources. Google Scholar consistently found a higher percentage of citations than either of the two individual databases, across all decades. Although the searches were for citations only and not full text, and did not compare a broader discovery system to Google Scholar, the conclusion is that "Google Scholar is a reasonable alternative to expensive, fee-based tools." - NN

McMillan, Gail. "ETDs in the 21st CenturyEDUCAUSE Review  (July/August 2018): 58-59. ( - The author uses the 20th anniversary of the the first electronic thesis/dissertation (ETD) required to earn a master's or doctoral degree (by Virginia Tech) to summarize the state of the ETD world. After noting that going electronic has not fundamentally changed the ETD, she does point out some notable exceptions where multimedia has been incorporated. Best practices and new tools are noted, as are the main ways to access ETDs and efforts to preserve them. All told, a good and succinct summary on the current state of the ETD world. - RT

Saper, Craig. "Microfilm Lasts Half a MillenniumThe Atlantic  (22 July 2018)( - First there was Nicholson Baker's Double Fold: Libraries and the Assault on Paper, a screed critiquing the rush by libraries to convert newspapers and books to microfilm. Now Saper laments the rush of some libraries to do away with microfilm in favor of digital resources. His piece opens with a humorous account of his efforts to secure an unwanted film reader from his library, and continues with a brief history of the role of microfilm in research. He notes several advantages to scholarship of film over digital (hint: it is not just the longevity of film). I suppose it is only a matter of time until some scholar bemoans the disappearance of command-line search interfaces or networked CD-ROM databases. At least Saper believes that libraries will continue to make microfilm available, even if they are embarrassed by it. - PH

Shores, Sandra J. "Information Technology and Libraries at 50: The 1970s in ReviewInformation Technology and Libraries  37(2): 4-6. ( - Brief trip into yesteryear in celebration of ITAL's "first full decade of publication", yesteryear in this case being the 1970s. The author gives us a summary of developments with online catalogs being a chief innovation. This ability to network our holdings information led to a shift, in the author's words, "from valuing ownership of materials to valuing cooperation and resource sharing". - LRK