The High Museum of Art has organized “Road to Freedom: Photographs of the Civil Rights Movement, 1956-1968,” an exhibition of civil rights-era photography on display through August at the Brooklyn Museum of Art.
This week UNC Press joined CrossRef, a publishers’ organization that enables online publications to link to each other. This is the sort of news that may be of interest only to people who are really interested in the nuts and bolts of online publishing, but we are excited about it!
The “Publishing the Long Civil Rights Movement” project’s Mellon grant money allowed us to join; there is an annual membership fee, plus a very small fee for each publication deposited in the CrossRef database.
The CrossRef website presents detailed information on how the system works. Here is a very simple version: The publisher registers metadata about each publication and assigns a Digital Object Identifier (DOI) based on the CrossRef scheme to each one. (The DOI is an unchangeable number, like an online ISBN or social security number for the publication.) Publishers can choose to assign a DOI to any piece of content; usually one purpose would be to support a business model in which the pieces are for sale individually, such as journal articles.
We also send the bibliographies from our soon-to-be-online books to CrossRef, and they return versions with other publishers’ DOIs embedded. Whenever a publication listed in a bibliography has a DOI from another publisher, that DOI is there. Each DOI is a persistent online link, meaning that when you click it, you will find that publication online, or at least information on it.
This means that our authors’ bibliographies will contain live links to other publishers’ content (“outbound linking”), and other publishers’ bibliographies will link to our books (“inbound linking”). Wow! Continue reading ‘UNC Press Joins CrossRef’
Sounds boring, but it’s not. Via Boing Boing, a new peer-reviewed study published in the Journal of Electronic Publishing addressed the effect of free digital release of books on their print sales. They studied print sales of four groups of titles from publishers like Random House and Tor, and found that in most cases, free digital releases had a (moderate, short-term) positive effect on print sales.
The group of books from Tor, the only group of the four that experienced a decline in print sales following free digital release, is an important exception. But Tor also treated its release schedule differently than the publishers who enjoyed print sales increases, offering their free digital books relatively shortly before the release of the print versions, making their digital books available for only one week, and requiring registration before download. These restrictions appear to have affected print sales.
The authors measured only print sales, not, for example, digital sales of the second and third books in a series following making the first one available for free. Or sales of other books by the same author or publisher. As devices like the Kindle become more widely used, the impact of free distribution should only increase.
In long, long civil rights movement news, UMass Amherst is digitizing its W.E.B. DuBois papers in an ambitious project expected to wrap up this summer. The project website includes learning modules for teachers and video of Amilcar Shabbazz discussing DuBois’s significance. DuBois’s Niagara Movement sought to push a “why we can’t wait” style of advocacy for civil rights and social change, but it disbanded by 1910 and was replaced by the NAACP.
The Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee, one of the most influential organizations in the black freedom struggle, was founded 50 years ago this spring in Raleigh, NC, not far from the campus of UNC and the nexus of the LCRM Project. They’re celebrating their anniversary with a gathering at Raleigh’s Shaw University. Here’s the conference website.
Ella Baker, one of SNCC's founders.
The conference offers a remarkably comprehensive look at SNCC, from the details of its founding, to its goals and achievements, its influence, and how it is remember. Panels expand, too, to address broad subjects like the role of women in the civil rights movement and Black Power. This is an unprecedented opportunity to learn an important history straight from the people who made it.