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News 02-12-2002

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Alliance Formed to Open Scholarly Publishing Avenues

Eight research library organizations from around the world last week formed an organization to collaborate with scholars and publishers to push for "equitable access to scholarly and research publications." The group, dubbed the International Scholarly Communications Alliance (ISCA), said it represents over 600 research libraries worldwide and would use its clout and financial power to ensure open and affordable access to scholarship across national boundaries. The group is concerned that the spiralling cost of journal literature -- which it put at 226 percent in the last 15 years -- has affected the open flow of academic research. The Alliance wants to "transform the scholarly communcations process" by supporting alternatives to commercial journal titles and promoting public access to library content.

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Bill Earmarks $880M for Higher Ed Security Work

The House of Representatives last week approved a bill that would strengthen academic programs in information security, provide fellowships and grants, and fund research. The legislation, sponsored by House Science Committee Chairman Sherwood B'ehlert, (R-N.Y.), would provide $880 million over five years. The Senate must also approve the measure. The bill calls for the National Science Foundation to create cybersecurity research centers and provide grants and fellowships to colleges. Also, the National Institute of Standards and Technology would develop grant programs that team industry and universities on security projects and encourage researchers in other fields to work on cybersecurity.

College Battles Network File-Sharing Traffic

Lees-McRae College purchased network management sofware to limit music and video file-sharing traffic on campus, which was consuming 70 percent of the North Carolina school's T-1 network capacity. Students had been back on campus only a few weeks when access to the library's card catalog, hosted off campus, became constricted. The school installed WiseWan, a bandwith management system from NetReality Inc. to reduce P2P or file sharing traffic to 30 percent of peak capacity. "It was important for us to not block P2P traffic entirely," said Russell Taylor, director of academic computing and IT. "We feel strongly that whether to stop file sharing entirely is a decision for the courts."

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Syllabus Conference Survey Drawing - Winner Announced

Attendees from the Syllabus fall2001 conference in Boston who opted to take part in an online survey evaluating the conference were entered in a prize drawing. The winner was selected in a random drawing on February 1, after all responses were tallied. Mark Decker, of the University of Texas-Austin won a free full conference registration to a Syllabus conference in 2002. Congratulations, Mark!

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SCT Buys Sallie Mae Student Info Systems Biz

SCT agreed last week to acquire Sallie Mae's student information systems business for higher education. Under the terms of the deal, valued at $15.5 million, SCT will acquire Sallie Mae's Exeter Student Suite and Perkins/Campus Loan Manager product lines. SCT said components of the tecnology would be integrated into SCT's Internet-based SCT Banner solution and the SCT Plus line. The deal gives SCT a Microsoft-based student information solution. The two companies also announced they would collaborate on marketing Sallie Mae's Net.Pay billing and payment solution and on support for student loan processing for mutual customers.

Kansas Provide Online Billing and Payment Options

The University of Kansas has launched an online payment system that will enable KU students and their parents or guardians to view consolidated statements for tuition and fees and make payments securely on the Internet. The university is using eBill and ePayment software from Chicago-based infiNet Solutions. William Eakin, Kansas associate provost for support services, said the system enables us to carry out a legislative mandate that KU's financials system allow tuition payment by credit card." Infinet said its programs are designed for the higher education market. The system provides access to billing and payment options using an institution's existing authentication system.

Indiana to Automate Key Procurement Processes

Indiana University said it will acquire software to help it manage its procurements and relationships with suppliers. The eight-campus university said its agreement with HigherMarkets Inc., which develops procurement software solutions, would allow it to create an integrated procurement system that streamlined the flow of purchasing documentation with its key suppliers. HigherMarkets will host the system, meaning Indiana will not need to license software or purchase hardware, and the company will manage all upgrades and product changes.

Micron Unveils Alternative to Intel StrataFlash

Chipmaker Micron Technology, Inc. announced the industry availability of 32Mb Q-Flash, the first offering in the Q-Flash family of high-density, even-sectored Flash memory chips. Q-Flash memory is comparable to Intel's StrataFlash, targeting applications such as set-top boxes, cellular base stations, and networking applications. The comppany said the devices represent "one of the most competitive memory solutions for applications needing both code and data storage."

Five Canadian Schools License Campus Pipeline

Five Canadian universities last week bought licenses to the Campus Pipeline Web Platform to provide centralized Web access to campus information and services. The schools include: Centennial College, Toronto, Ontario, Mount Royal College, Calgary, Alberta, Okanagan University College, Kelowna, British Columbia, Saskatchewan Institute of Applied Science and Technology (SIAST), Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, and Southern Alberta Institute of Technology (SAIT), Calgary, Alberta. Campus Pipeline Web Platform is enterprise integration software that that integrates data, portals, calendars, and other campus technologies under a single online roof.

Net Security Firm Forms Higher Ed Group

Network security software firm Okena Inc. said it would launch what it called the Higher Education Security Consortium (HESC) and offer free intrusion prevention security to colleges and universities that are accepted to the consortium before July 1, 2002. The company said HESC was formed to promote proactive security to higher education IT environments. Erich Baumgartner, vice president of Okena sales, said the company is "collaborating with the nation's higher education centers to ensure students, educators and IT administrators are all brought up to speed on the latest methods of preventing attacks." The company said HESC members receive $27,000 of Okena intrusion prevention software with a commitment to pay only $1,650 in annual maintenance fees.

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