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In a Digital Age, Students Still Cling to Paper Textbooks

(nytimes.com): Though the world of print is receding before a tide of digital books, blogs and other Web sites, a generation of college students weaned on technology appears to be holding fast to traditional textbooks. That loyalty comes at a price. Textbooks are expensive - a year's worth can cost $700 to $900 - and students' frustrations with the expense, as well as the emergence of new technology, have produced a confounding array of options for obtaining them.
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Are ebooks taking off?

(sciblogs.co.nz): The latest US book industry sales figures from the Association of American Publishers show ebooks are now tracking at 9% of domestic trade book revenue for the 8-month period January to August 2010. This certainly looks like ebook sales, and presumable sales of ebook readers and similar devices, is taking off in the US.
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Survey of Legal Professionals Reveal Impact of Information Overload on Productivity, Work Quality and Morale

(lexisnexis.com): An international survey of legal professionals reveals that information overload is a remarkably widespread and growing problem in the legal community around the world, and one that is taking a heavy toll on the profession in terms of productivity and morale. On average, more than two in five (44%) legal professionals surveyed say that if the amount of information they receive continues to increase, they will reach a "breaking point" at which they will be unable to handle any more.
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MIT's landmark Open Access policy - Hundreds of scholarly articles are now freely available

(mit.edu): Since the MIT Libraries began to implement the policy last fall, they have added more than 1,900 scholarly articles to the MIT Open Access articles collection in DSpace@MIT; the collection has also had more than 63,000 article downloads since October 2009. In addition to the articles that are already part of the collection, many more have been acquired but are queued for processing; collectively, these articles represent an estimated one-third of all faculty articles published over the past year.
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Correlation, Causation, and the Weight of Evidence

(openaccess.eprints.org): One can only speculate on the reasons why some might still wish to cling to the self-selection bias hypothesis in the face of all the evidence to date. It seems almost a matter of common sense that making articles more accessible to users also makes them more usable and citable -- especially in a world where most researchers are familiar with the frustration of arriving at a link to an article that they would like to read (but their institution does not subscribe), so they are asked to drop it into the shopping cart and pay $30 at the check-out counter. The straightforward causal relationship is the default hypothesis, based on both plausibility and the cumulative weight of the evidence. Hence the burden of providing counter-evidence to refute it is now on the advocates of the alternative..
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