California Digital Library expands to full-text publications; Institute begins online Occasional Paper series.
Moving into the digital age, the University of California President's Office in 1997 founded the California Digital Library. This has been an open-ended venture that has grown in many directions since its creation. Initially the CDL was largely an online catalog, making available the UC systemwide Melvyl library database as well of those of most of the 9 UC campuses, as well as numerous datasets. Soon this expanded into online dictionaries and encyclopedias, links to some 70 bibliographic services, major newspapers, and similar data sources. Then came a flood of online journals, available only to UC students, faculty, and staff because of the high cost of subscriptions.
The most recent addition to the CDL is the ambitious eScholarship repositories. These have four sections: (1) working papers and sets of conference papers; (2) peer reviewed articles, journals, and books; (3) complete digital books from UC Press; and (4) interactive, map-linked journals. Much of this material is free to the general public as well as the UC community.
These full-text initiatives have several goals. Non-peer-reviewed working papers, which can help circulate scholarly studies quickly, far in advance of the slow pace of journal publication, are migrating throughout the UC system from paper editions to posting in the eScholarship repository. Some 69 UC research centers and libraries have their own sections of the repository. These range from the Berkeley Roundtable on the International Economy to the California Space Institute and its many subcenters on aerospace engineering, nanotechnology and other subjects; the prestigious Scripps Institution of Oceanography in San Diego; and the multicampus University of California Energy Institute.
UCLA International Institute Occasional Papers
The UCLA International Institute joined this circle this month with the creation of its own section within the eScholarship repository and the beginning of an Occasional Paper series. The first two papers to appear there are "The Politics of WTO Dispute Settlement" by Institute Vice Provost Geoffrey Garrett and James McCall Smith of George Washington University; and "Electoral Systems and Real Prices: Panel Evidence for the OECD Countries, 1970-2000" by UCLA political scientists Ronald Rogowski and Eric C. C. Chang, and Mark Andreas Kayser of the University of Rochester and Nuffield College, Oxford.
Several of the UCLA International Institute's affiliated research centers are preparing their own sections of the eScholarship repository.
1,500 Online Books by UC Press
The next two levels of the eScholarship site are devoted to online publication of peer reviewed articles and books. A key aim is to legitimate online publication as an alternative to traditional paper publication.The "Peer Reviewed Articles and Journals" section, launched in October 2002, hosts the UC International and Area Studies (UCIAS) edited volumes. Published in association with UC Press, at this time there are three books available, with more in preparation. These are an effort to have peer-reviewed but web-only publication validated for departmental promotions in the UC system.
The third section, "Digital Books," is a repository for the full texts of existing University of California Press books that have previously appeared in paper editions. Beginning a year or so ago with a trial run of some 60 titles, the Press has decided to jump in with both feet. It is in process of preparing no less than 1,500, and perhaps as many as 3,000, of its current titles for free distribution through the eScholarship site. About 650 are already up. Of these, about a third are available for free to the general public; the rest require a UC computer address or use of a campus proxy server from home to access. To our knowledge this is the most extensive free online distribution of full text books by any publisher in the world at this time.
On the whole, representatives of the Press have told us, the free online distribution has not hurt their paper sales. On the contrary, many browsing readers sample a little and then decide to buy the book rather that read it all online or print out a heap of loose pages. For those like me who are brave enough to use a computer voice synthesizer to read texts outloud to make book tapes for commuting, here is a real treasure trove of contemporary works in the history of all continents, literary criticism, and much more.
Published: Tuesday, February 18, 2003
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