Rapid Reviews

„The MIT Press announced today the launch of Rapid Reviews: COVID-19 (RR:C19), an open access, rapid-review overlay journal that will accelerate peer review of COVID-19-related research and deliver real-time, verified scientific information that policymakers and health leaders can use.

Scientists and researchers are working overtime to understand the SARS-CoV-2 virus and are producing an unprecedented amount of preprint scholarship that is publicly available online but has not been vetted yet by peer review for accuracy. Traditional peer review can take four or more weeks to complete, but RR:C19’s editorial team, led by editor-in-chief, Stefano M. Bertozzi, Professor of Health Policy and Management and Dean Emeritus of the School of Public Health at University of California Berkeley, will produce expert reviews in a matter of days.“


Only two out of five articles by New Zealand researchers are free-to-access

https://doi.org/10.1101/2020.06.23.164004 (Preprint)

„We studied journal articles published by researchers at all eight of New Zealand universities in 2017 to determine how many were freely accessible on the web. We wrote software code to harvest data from multiple sources, code that we now share to enable others to reproduce our work on their own sample set. In May 2019, we ran our code to determine which of the 2017 articles were open at that time and by what method; where those articles would have incurred an Article Processing Charge (APC) we calculated the cost if those charges had been paid. Where articles were not freely available we determined whether the policies of publishers in each case would have allowed deposit in a non-commercial repository (Green open access). We also examined average citation rates for different types of access. We found that, of our 2017 sample set, about two out of every five articles were freely accessible without payment or subscription (41%). Where research was explicitly said to be funded by New Zealand’s major research funding agencies, the proportion was slightly higher at 49%. Where open articles would have incurred an APC we estimated an average cost per article of USD1,682 (for publications where all articles require an APC, that is, Gold open access) and USD2,558 (where APC payment is optional, Hybrid open access) at a total estimated cost of USD1.45m. Of the paid options, Gold is by far more common for New Zealand researchers (82% Gold, 18% Hybrid). Where articles were not freely accessible we found that a very large majority of them (88%) could have been legally deposited in an institutional repository. In terms of average citation rates, we found Green and Hybrid open access to achieve the highest rates, higher than other forms of open access and higher still than research that is only available via payment. Given that most New Zealand researchers support research being open, there is clearly a large gap between belief and practice in New Zealand’s research ecosystem, despite a clear citation advantage for open access over research that is not freely accessible.“

Sources of Old English and Anglo-Latin Literary Culture, 500-1100

A new Trump appointee has put internet freedom projects in crisis mode

„One of the US government’s strongest forces for internet freedom is in danger, and supporters are calling on the public for help. The Open Technology Fund (OTF), a small US agency devoted to protecting digital speech across the world, has helped support nearly all of the most prominent encryption projects at various points — including Signal, Tails, Qubes, and the Tor Project. But after the abrupt firing of the fund’s entire leadership team, current recipients say their contractually promised funding is now at risk.“


Claremont School of Theology Donates 250,000 Books to the Open Library


„This gesture of radical solidarity of one library with its fellow library (the Internet Archive) couldn’t come at a better time, given last week’s lawsuit by four major publishers to end the Open Library and challenge its legal basis in Controlled Digital Lending. If these publishers get their way, it will not merely affect their own book offerings and authors. It will do irreparable damage to the accessibility of legally purchased, library-owned and library-borrowed materials. Scholarship and the advancement of science will be harmed far beyond the scope of the publishers’ commercial interests.“

Books owned by the Canonesses of the Holy Sepulchre


„The Canonesses Regular of the Holy Sepulchre are a Catholic female religious order founded in 1480 by John à Broeck in Kinrooi (present-day Belgium). His sister Mentha and two of her companions would be the first Canonesses to be professed. The order expanded from there and other convents were opened across the Low Countries: four convents, for instance, were founded in the town of Liège. This is where, in 1642 two English girls, Susan Hawley and Frances Cary, originating from the convent in Tongeren, founded an English branch of the order. It is this English branch that donated their rare books and archive to Durham University in 2018“


There was never an abbey at „Kempen, Rhineland“

The Schoenberg Database of Manuscripts is like other foreign catalogs a great source for incorrect determination of German provenances. Let’s have a look on the entries of „Kempen Abbey, Rhineland“:


1. https://sdbm.library.upenn.edu/entries/179119 1977 – All Saints‘ (Church : Bristol, England) – Medieval Manuscripts in British Libraries, v.2, London (N.R.Ker) (Collection Catalog) # 3

There is a little article on this Augustinus manuscript (1465) by D. W. Whitfield, A Fifteenth century Ms from the Third Order Convent of St. Anne, Kempen, in: Archivum Franciscanum Historicum 45 (1952), pp. 231-232 citing the colophon: „Scriptum et consommatum apud sorores tercij ordinis francisci, Conventus sancte Anne in Kempen. Anno domini M° cccc°. lxv“. There is also an inscription „Liber sororum 3i ordinis Anne sancte in Kemp'“ in the book.

Gerhard Rehm presented a summary of the history of the convent (which was no abbey) in: Nordrheinisches Klosterbuch 2 (2012), pp. 641-645. He treated the library in: Geschichte des Annenklosters im 15. Jahrhundert, in: Campunni-Kempen. Geschichte einer niederrheinischen Stadt, vol. 2: Aufsätze (1993), pp. 67-86, esp. 81-85. He has not used the extremely faulty compilation „Handschriftenerbe“ by Sigrid Krämer (1989/1990), available as augmented database „Bibliothecae codicum medii aevi“ (2009-2010, Dr. Erwin Rauner). 40+ mostly latin manuscripts written by the sisters were sold in Hamburg 1808. A manuscript – not in Krämer’s list – in the auction catalog 1808 no. 12233 (copy with manuscript notes digitized by the Bonn university library) has been identified by Rehm with a manuscript now in the Hamburg university library (he cites only the catalogue, but gives no call number). Krämer has found a few manuscripts in the Bibliotheca Büloviana e.g. III, no. 86 (Marburg UL) which is, according to her, London, BL, Add. MS. 10949.

From this Kempen library there is another manuscript in the Schoenberg database, falsely attributed to „Kampen, Netherlands, Low Countries, Europe (Franciscan nunnery of Sancta Anna in Kemp(en))“: https://sdbm.library.upenn.edu/entries/33089.

2. https://sdbm.library.upenn.edu/entries/29167 1983-11-23 – F. Dörling (Hamburg)‏ – No. 107: Wertvolle Bucher [sic!], Manuskripte und Autographen, alte und moderne Kunst, dekorative Graphik, Gemalde [sic!] … (Auction/Dealer Catalog) # 6

A psalter saec. XIII written in Northern France with provenance information „Cloister Maria Kemp-Dinslaken“. This is the Augustinian women convent Marienkamp in Dinslaken.

Wikidata: https://www.wikidata.org/wiki/Q59168711

Krämer has no manuscript for this sister house. I only know a saec. XV manuscript in the Dinslaken city archive „Liber conventus Regularissarum yn Dynslaycke“, see https://archivalia.hypotheses.org/1558.

3. https://sdbm.library.upenn.edu/entries/730 1991-06-18 – Sotheby’s (Firm) – Western manuscripts and miniatures, to be sold with the Froissart of Cardinal d’Amboise, and including the prayerbook of the Antipope Clement VII. (No. 1691) (Auction/Dealer Catalog) # 114

„Stifftung des Gotzhaus Kempten“. This is Munich, State Library, Cgm 9470 (the manuscript is online). The provenance Kempten, OSB abbey, is not clear. Elisabeth Wunderle gives in her description a different lot number for the Sotheby’s 1991 sale (# 116). See also http://www.handschriftencensus.de/14741.

English Wikipedia on Kempten abbey: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Princely_Abbey_of_Kempten

Wikidata: https://www.wikidata.org/wiki/Q543840

4. https://sdbm.library.upenn.edu/manuscripts/1080 1976-11-30 – Sotheby’s (Firm) – Bibliotheca Phillippica; Medieval manuscripts. New Series: pt. 11 : catalogue of manuscripts on papyrus, vellum and paper from the celebrated collection formed by Sir Thomas Phillipps (1792-1872) (Auction/Dealer Catalog) # 865 = Philipps No. 470 – Van Ess No. 85

This is according to Krämer in her entry on the Cistercian abbey Kamp „Berlin, SBPK, Hdschr. 131 (Phill. 470; van Ess 85) – s. XIV1 – Gregorius M., Regula pastoralis“.

English Wikipedia on Kamp abbey: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kamp_Abbey

Wikidata: https://www.wikidata.org/wiki/Q896699

Kamp and Kempen are different places!

5. https://sdbm.library.upenn.edu/entries/9597 1969 – Dawson, William & Sons – Catalogue … :Dawsons of Pall Mall, London 200 (Auction/Dealer Catalog) # 3. Buyer: Yale University = Philipps No. 522 = Van Ess No. 137 (GBS)

Pertinet monasterio Campensi ordinis Cisterciensis

There is no way to find this manuscript from Kamp OCist in the Beinecke catalogs with the title: „Turris Virtutum & Pomerium Fidelis Anime“. It is the „Speculum theologiae, etc.“, Beinecke MS 416, completely online: „Written in Germany at the end of the 13th or beginning of the 14th century, perhaps at the Cistercian monastery of Kempen near Duesseldorf to which it belonged in the 15th century“ (same error also in the catalog). I find the correct place Kamp in an article by Brian Noell and in an article by Milvia Bollati. Marry J. Carruthers 2009 has „Rhineland, Cistercian monastery of Kempen“ (JSTOR, Academia.edu without original pagination).

From the 69 numbers of the Krämer list of Kamp OCist manuscripts four are referring to this manuscript:

Düsseldorf, HStA, s.n. (Phill. 522) s. XIII. Turris virtutum; etc. Lit: Sotheby Sale Catal. 1965, S. 31.
New Haven, CT, Yale UL, Beinecke Library, 416 (Phill. 522; van Ess 137) c. 1410 Tractatus super sex alas Cherubim de confessione; etc. s Hermannus Zoestius. Lit: Sotheby Sale vom 30. 11. 1965, Nr. 10; Knaus-Krämer, S. 1554; Shailor, Catal. New Haven 2, S. 329f.
(0; Phill. 522; van Ess 137), s. XIII. Turris virtutum; Pomerius, Fidelis animae; etc. p Hermannus de Kempen. Lit: *Sotheby Sale Catal. 1966; Catal. 1979 (London 1967), Nr. 563; Catal. 200 (London 1969), Nr. 3; Scriptorium 21 (1967), S. 354 Nr. 702; 24 (1970), S. 233f. Nr. 534; Catal. Dawson of Pall Mall 200, London 1969, Nr. 3.
(0), s. XIII Tractatus de virtutibus Lit: *Antiquar. Dawsons of Pall Mall, catal. 168 (London 1966), Nr. 675; Scriptorium 21 (1969), S. 177.

According to the Knaus-Krämer article 1977 (page in GBS), which gives additions to the Rathgen 1936 article (Internet Archive) on the Kamp manuscripts, the false Düsseldorf notice is based on a phone call.

Hopefully authorities data like Wikidata will help to avoid such shameful mistakes in the next centuries.


Libraries should offer more digital services


Anthony W. Marx (president of the New York Public Library): „To remain true to their mission, all libraries must undergo radical change. To serve the public in the face of unprecedented challenges, libraries will need to transition their services to the virtual space and explore new avenues to serve the public and bring people together, even while we are apart.“

Italy and the Origins of Capitalism