Thursday 28 February 2019

Win for Open Access: U. of California system cancels all Elsevier subscriptions

The Chronicle of Higher Education reports that, after months of negotiations, the University of California's 10-campus system has cancelled its subscriptions with Elsevier - one of the largest academic publishers in the world. The previous 5 year contract with Elsevier had cost about $50 million.
In a press release, the UC Office of the President stated that "As a leader in the global movement toward open access to publicly funded research, the University of California is taking a firm stand by deciding not to renew its subscriptions with Elsevier. Despite months of contract negotiations, Elsevier was unwilling to meet UC’s key goal: securing universal open access to UC research while containing the rapidly escalating costs associated with for-profit journals." A member of the negotiation team is quoted as saying, "Make no mistake: The prices of scientific journals now are so high that not a single university in the U.S. — not the University of California, not Harvard, no institution — can afford to subscribe to them all. Publishing our scholarship behind a paywall deprives people of the access to and benefits of publicly funded research. That is terrible for society.”
The University of California had asked for contract terms that would integrate subscription charges and open access publishing fees, making open access the default for any article by a UC scholar and stabilizing journal costs for the university.

Wednesday 6 February 2019

Lexis news: chatbots & bubbles are coming

Bob Ambrogi reports on the news from a a Legalweek media briefing he attended- Lexis Advance will soon have "chatbots" guiding our research and "speaking" with users via a chat bubble. He has an iPhone photo of what this will look like. Mr. Ambrogi also spoke with LexisNexis product developers at Legalweek to learn more about the chatbots and how they will be used.
"When the researcher is exploring an unfamiliar area or topic of law (t)he bot can be like an electronic mentor, guiding the researcher to the sources people typically look at for that topic.
We see in the future an interaction with Lexis Advance that is highly conversational,” Pfeifer said. “You ask a question, we present results. The interaction becomes more human-like."