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Publishers face distribution and DRM decisions as use of e-textbooks grows

No longer viewed as a dot-com-era fad, Internet-based education is rapidly gaining legitimacy and market traction. According to this article by Keith Regan, electronic textbooks are in the pathway of a runaway trend within digital media distribution - the move to eliminate digital rights management (DRM) restrictions. In the case of e-texts, DRM restrictions can ensure that a book isn't copied or otherwise distributed in a way that would decrease future sales. Keith Regan is a freelance writer in Grafton.
   
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ETDs, scholarly communication, and campus collaboration: Opportunities for libraries

Electronic submission, storage, and dissemination of student theses and dissertations are growing more common in universities and colleges. For many libraries, ETDs (Electronic Theses and Dissertations) are the first targets for an institutional repository program, and represent an opportunity to engage graduate students and their faculty advisors in broader conversation about open access, intellectual property management, long-term management of digital content, and other scholarly communication issues. This article is authored by Richard Fyffe and William C. Welburn. Fyffe is Rosenthal librarian of the college at Grinnell College, and Welburn is associate dean of the graduate college at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.
   
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Something rotten in the state of scientific publishing

In this article, Jonathan M. Gitlin takes a look at the subject of plagiarism within the scientific literature. According to him, just because plagiarism is bad, doesn't mean that no one will do it, and, as we know from high-profile fraud cases like Woo Suk Hwang, there will always be scientists out there who bend and break the rules. Gitlin serves on the board of the National Postdoctoral Association.
   
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Peer review: the myth of the noble scientist

Peer review is supposed to combat fraud, but it can just as easily hold back radical discoveries, says Terence Kealey in this article. According to the author, less formal arrangements will remind us that new science is always provisional - and that validation comes only after publication, when others try to reproduce the work. Terence Kealey is Vice Chancellor of the University of Buckingham.
   
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Reinventing Academic Publishing

In this article James Hendler of the Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute discusses online scientific interaction outside the traditional journal space. The issue is something that's becoming more and more important to academic communication. According to Hendler, we must change our focus from scientific disciplines to scientific "contexts." When looking at the most successful Web technologies, especially in what's known as Web 2.0, we see that many of the most exciting sites exploit a community or context focus.
   
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