|The California Digital Library (CDL; http://www.cdlib.org)
and The Berkeley Electronic Press (bepress) have announced a partnership
designed to advance innovations in scholarly communication. Through the
partnership, the CDL will make a suite of electronic publishing tools from
bepress available to University of California researchers. The tools enable
rapid and low-cost creation, management, and online publication of electronic
journals, discussion papers series, and other electronic forms of scholarship.
According to the announcement, the partnership is an important development
for the library's eScholarship program (http://escholarship.cdlib.org),
which is actively supporting new electronic publications and services for
tobacco-control research, environmental science, international and area
studies, and dermatology research, among others. The newly forged partnership
will extend new capabilities to those and additional fields.
The bepress technology will allow, for example, multiple e-print repositories
in the social sciences to be created and integrated, thus supporting the
emergence of a primary source of information for students and researchers
in either a specific or a broad-based academic discipline.
According to the announcement, the CDL and bepress have similar motivations
and visions for improving scholarly communication, including creative use
of technology to quickly, efficiently, and cheaply distribute research
results. Access to research will be enhanced by rapid dissemination; by
nearly unlimited additional materials such as images, animations, and original
datasets; and by automating much of the editing and peer-review process.
"We have created a range of tools that are ideally suited for this type
of partnership," said Robert Cooter, co-CEO of The Berkeley Electronic
Press. "The primary goal of our company is to place the publishing power
in the hands of the individual researcher. Our relationship with the California
Digital Library ensures that cutting-edge research will be more readily
available with lower barriers of access. We are quite pleased to have the
insight of CDL and its member communities to help shape our future efforts."
"CDL is committed to the concept of scholar-led innovations in the communication
of research," said Catherine Candee, director of CDL's Scholarly Communication
Initiatives. "Providing bepress editorial tools to our faculty partners
and hosting their content online is a great way to further this aim. Now,
a research institute at UCLA or a lab at UCBerkeley can use an eScholarship-hosted
e-print server or electronic journal to release their work. There is no
reason these new publications could not be extended to other members of
their disciplines, fostering broad-based change."
According to the announcement, the bepress system is a comprehensive
and easy-to-use tool for scholarly publishing. UC researchers interested
in establishing a new electronic journal, preprint (i.e., non-refereed)
series, or other form of scholarly communication will be able to customize
their product's presentation, policies, and functionality.
For example, some researchers may wish to use The Authors & Reviewers'
Bank, a component that allows editors to track scholars' contributions
as writers and referees. Others might wish to employ the bepress journal-family
concept, whereby multiple unique journals that concentrate on a single
subject area share editorial boards and peer-evaluation mechanisms. Like
many of the features within the bepress system, these elements are modular.
As a result, each journal or preprint series will have its own unique look
Three University of CaliforniaBerkeley professors founded The Berkeley
Electronic Press in 1999. According to the company, bepress develops Internet-based
software to address the problems in scholarly publishing, including slow
time to market, typesetting gaffes, an inequitable revenue split between
contributor and publisher, and exorbitant subscription rates. In addition
to licensing software tools, bepress publishes its own slate of electronic
[Editor's Note: For more on bepress, see the interview with Cooter
on page 1 of the March issue or at http://www.infotoday.com/it/mar01/hane.htm.]
Source: The Berkeley Electronic Press, Berkeley, CA, 510/981-0910; http://www.bepress.com.