Welcome to Online Insider ...
... the editorial blog by Marydee Ojala, Editor of ONLINE: Exploring Technology & Resources for Information Professionals. ONLINE Insider intends to extend the reach of the print publication, presenting a more timely commentary on the products, people, and events that shape today's online world. It explores new technologies as they impact the working lives of information professionals, explains resources for specific topic areas, and expounds on information management tools and techniques.

Buy from ITI at ALA, SLA & Help Katrina Victims

Marydee Ojala @ 8:27 am

From ITI’s Newsbreaks :

Information Today, Inc. has announced its plan to donate 20% of all booth sales from both the SLA and ALA annual conferences next month to the Hurricane Katrina Relief Fund. Stop by ITI’s booth at either event (ALA booth #540, SLA booth #2125) and purchase any of our publications, books, research reports, directories, or other information industry products.

Great idea, how about other publishers following this example set by ITI?

American Lawyer Media Goes West

Marydee Ojala @ 9:40 am

On May 1st, Thomson West began its new relationship with American Law Media, becoming the exclusive distributor of ALM publications. This “content-sharing” agreement (an odd way to phrase a distribution deal) means that Westlaw is the sole third-party distributor of ALM’s publications (including American Lawyer, The National Law Journal, Corporate Counsel, New York Law Journal, and Legal Times), newsletters, and litigation resources (such as jury verdict and expert witness databases).

LexisNexis is putting its own spin on the deal. It announced, in an email newsletter to subscribers, that “following a strategic review of our business relationship and content offerings, LexisNexis has decided not to continue licensing American Lawyer Media content for distribution via the LexisNexis services.

This change does not, in any way, alter LexisNexis’ value for customers or our overall market position. A single publisher or source will never define the value of LexisNexis; instead we succeed and provide value to our customers through the combined strength of our content licenses. LexisNexis continues to offer the right solutions to deliver winning results for you. Our unmatched content collection remains an industry benchmark.”

LN goes on to boast of its large collection, some of it exclusive to LN, and to assure subscribers it’s working hard to add new titles.

Federal Research Public Access Act of 2006

Marydee Ojala @ 8:08 am

Just as I’m putting together slides for my open access presentation at WebSearch University comes news of legislation just introduced in the Senate by John Cornyn (Republican from Texas) and Joseph Lieberman (Democrat from Connecticut) called the Federal Research Public Access Act of 2006. The FAQ is here. It would require recipients of federal grants to make their research accessible via the Web within 6 months of publication. All the major library associations, as part of the coalition of AALL, ALA, ARL, ACRL, MLA, and SLA, support the bill. In fact, they “applaud legislation that improves public access to federal scientific research.” I have a press release that SLA e-mailed to me, but I don’t yet see it on their Web site . It may show up later today or tomorrow. Another sentence from the press release, “Enhanced public access to publicly funded research spurs innovation and competition by accelerating research, sharing knowledge, improving treatment of diseases, and supports the educational enterprise.”
There’s an excellent (what else would you expect?) piece by Peter Suber at the SPARC Open Access Newsletter.

World Press Freedom Day

Marydee Ojala @ 7:54 am

It’s World Press Freedom Day. Take a look at your local paper to see if they’re publishing any editorial materials on the topic. If not, maybe a letter to the editor is in order so that they’ll observe it next year. The World Association of Newspapers has made essays, opinion pieces, interviews, infographics, editorial cartoons, photographs and advertisements available for free and to be widely disseminated with no copyright restrictions here.

Why should librarians care about World Press Freedom Day? Because we have a lot in common with journalists. Both journalists and librarians believe in universal access to information and decry censorship. Plus, we librarians rely on journalists to write the articles that we retrieve online and that we store in our libraries in printed form. In fact, this year’s theme, “Don’t Lock Up Information,” could have been devised by information professionals.

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