Archive for May, 2005

Google Print Controversy Heats Up

Posted in Copyright, Google and Other Search Engines, Scholarly Communication on May 31st, 2005

Lots of ink (real and virtual) on Google Print and the AAUP’s recent resistance (all from Open Access News):

"Forget Google Print Copyright Infringement; Search Engines Already Infringe," SearchEngineWatch

"From Gutenberg to Google: Five Views on the Search-Engine Company’s Project to Digitize Library Books," The Chronicle
of Higher Education
(requires subscription)

"Google Books under Fire," The Register

"Google Library Project Hit by Copyright Challenge from University Presses," Information Today Newsbreaks

"Google Print Goes Live," InternetNews

"A Google Project Pains Publishers," Business Week

"Google This: ‘Copyright Law,’" Business Week

"Google’s Scan Plan Hits More Bumps," Forbes

"Publishers Lay into Google Print," ZDNet UK

"The University Press Assn.’s Objections," Business Week

"University-Press Group Raises Questions About Google’s Library-Scanning Project," The Chronicle of Higher Education

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    Strategic Planning Efforts at ARL Libraries, Part 1

    Posted in ARL Libraries, Libraries, Webliographies on May 31st, 2005

    How do some of the largest libraries in North America see their near-term future?

    The Association of Research Libraries (ARL) currently has 123 member libraries in the US and Canada. Below is a partial list of strategic planning Web sites at ARL libraries. This list was complied by a quick look at ARL libraries’ home pages, supplemented by limited site-specific Google searching. Web sites were included if the library’s strategic plan included the years 2004 and/or 2005.

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      Will You Only Harvest Some?

      Posted in Disciplinary Archives, E-Prints, Institutional Repositories, OAI-PMH, Open Access on May 26th, 2005

      The Digital Library for Information Science and Technology has announced DL-Harvest, an OAI-PMH service provider that harvests and makes searchable metadata about information science materials from the following archives and repositories:

      • ALIA e-prints
      • arXiv
      • Caltech Library System Papers and Publications
      • DLIST
      • Documentation Research and Training Centre
      • DSpace at UNC SILS
      • E-LIS
      • Metadata of LIS Journals
      • OCLC Research Publications
      • OpenMED@NIC
      • WWW Conferences Archive

      DL-Harvest is a much needed, innovative discipline-based search service. Big kudos to all involved.

      DLIST also just announced the formation of an advisory board.

      The following musings, inspired by the DL-Harvest announcement, are not intended to detract from the fine work that DLIST is doing or from the very welcome addition of DL-Harvest to their service offerings.

      Discipline-focused metadata can be relatively easily harvested from OAI-PHM-compliant systems that are organized along disciplinary lines (e.g., the entire archive/repository is discipline-based or an organized subset is discipline-based). No doubt these are very rich, primary veins of discipline-specific information, but how about the smaller veins and nuggets that are hard to identify and harvest because they are in systems or subsets that focus on another discipline?

      Here’s an example. An economist, who is not part of a research center or other group that might have its own archive, writes extensively about the economics of the scholarly publishing business. This individual’s papers end up in the economics department section of his or her institutional repository and in EconWPA. They are highly relevant to librarians and information scientists, but will their metadata records be harvested for use in services like DL-Harvest using OAI-PMH since they are in the wrong conceptual bins (e.g., set in the case of the IR)?

      Coleman et al. point to one solution in their intriguing "Integration of Non-OAI Resources for Federated Searching in DLIST, an Eprints Repository" paper. But (lots of hand waving here), if using automatic metadata extraction was an easy and simple way to supplement conventional OAI-PMH harvesting, the bottom line question is: how good is good enough? In other words, what’s an acceptable level of accuracy for the automatic metadata extraction? (I won’t even bring up the dreaded "controlled vocabulary" notion.)

      No doubt this problem falls under the 80/20 Rule, and the 20 is most likely in the low hanging fruit OAI-PMH-wise, but wouldn’t it be nice to have more fruit?

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        Streaming Video E-Reserves at Emory University Libraries

        Posted in Digital Libraries, Digital Media, E-Reserves on May 25th, 2005

        Emory’s Woodruff Library has a streaming video e-reserves service. Here are a few quotes:

        Material to be digitized must be owned either by the library or by the person requesting the digitization. We will not digitize any third-party copies, recordings, or transfers, including personal recordings of television broadcasts or rentals. If you would like to digitize material that is not owned either by you or by the library, please contact us and we will attempt to purchase it for the library’s collection. . . .

        We will digitize video and compress it into a streaming video format that is accessible via a link posted in ReservesDirect for the duration of the semester. Our current streaming formats of choice are Real and QuickTime. Real and quicktime video players may be downloaded freely from the web. . . . We will optimize the stream for a reasonably wide cross-section of those who are likely to view it. . . .

        As with other materials that are digitized and placed on ReservesDirect, we will place a copyright notice at the beginning of all video we digitize. All digitized materials will be retained and archived solely by us. . . .

        We will digitize up to 20% total of a commercially produced video or film. . . .

        Since all video submitted is for use in an instructional context, we anticipate that all materials submitted will follow guidelines for what is appropriate for display in a classroom setting. Therefore we will not judge or censor materials submitted to us for digitization. However, if a challenge concerning the appropriateness of materials is submitted to us, we reserve the right to restrict access to digitized materials at any time while we review the challenge and make a decision on whether to continue access to the material.

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          No Respectable University Would Offer an Online Doctorate?

          Posted in Information Schools, Libraries on May 25th, 2005

          During the JESSE debate on online Ph.D.’s, Bill Summers said:

          Relatedly, Universities which take themselves seriously do not permit external PHD programs. At any of the three institutions with which I have been privileged to be associated, Rutgers, South Carolina and Florida State, the Dean presenting such a proposal to the Faculty Senate would be hooted off campus and the program forever thereafter labeled as Mickey Mouse.

          These are some universities that offer online doctorates (there are others that offer distance-education doctorates that aren’t "online" per se).

          University of Arizona, College of Nursing

          Boston University, College of Fine Arts

          Boston University, Sargent College of Rehabilitation Sciences

          Texas Tech University, Department of English

          University of Hawaii, School of Nursing and Dental Hygiene

          University of Maryland University College

          University of Wisconsin, Milwaukee, College of Nursing

          Anyone hooting?

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            Online Ph.D. Programs Redux

            Posted in Information Schools, Libraries on May 24th, 2005

            My "Online Ph.D. Programs: Unique Clientele?" posting, which I also sent as a message to the JESSE list, triggered a long discussion thread on that list. It makes for very interesting reading. (Choose "Next in topic" in the View box to move from message to message.) For related threads, see the May archive.

            Let me briefly recap some of my main points in light of this discussion. Academic librarians with faculty or faculty-like status who are at the associate and full levels do not need to be taught how to be scholars: they are scholars. In this respect they represent a unique doctoral clientele. What they need, if they do not have them, are Ph.D.’s. They do not want to quit their jobs or commute long distances to get them from the few information schools that remain. If they wanted Ph.D.’s in other subject areas, they would not be troubling information school faculty. Certainly, a DLIS option would be a welcome alternative to nothing. However, they are not in any way intimidated by the prospect of a research degree. They are researchers. They are interested in a research degree, but many have no interest in joining the ranks information school faculty. Having a research degree will help them in their current career path in a variety of ways.

            Illustrating the point that academic librarians are researchers, an examination of high-impact library-oriented journals would likely show: (1) academic librarians edit such journals, (2) information school faculty edit such journals, (3) academic librarians publish in journals edited by information school faculty, (4) information school faculty publish in journals edited by academic librarians, (5) academic librarians often cite papers written by information school faculty, and (6) information school faculty often cite papers written by academic librarians. In short, the peer-reviewed library literature is a co-mingling of the scholarly work of academic librarians, information school faculty, and others. If all identifying information were stripped away from a peer-reviewed library journal article, it would be impossible to determine if it was written by an academic librarian or an information school faculty member.

            In spite of some frustrations, most academic librarians have a high regard for information school faculty and believe that what they do is very important. However, they find it difficult to understand how, in 2005, with the wide array of digital technologies at information schools’ disposal why, in light of their unique circumstances, their needs cannot be adequately met with these technologies, supplemented by brief on-campus stays. This dialog has revealed a number of information school faculties’ concerns. It appears to me that a key one is that such a degree would not be viewed as legitimate by faculty in other disciplines at the local institution. This is understandable, because these faculty do not have a potential doctoral study body with similar characteristics. But, depending on local circumstances, they may, at the same time, be officially recognizing local librarians as faculty members or as having a faculty-like status. They sit beside them at the Faculty Senate, and they may have elected an academic librarian to lead them. This could be pointed out to them as a case was made for establishing a special program that was designed to reflect the unique status of academic librarians.

            The extent of interest in an online Ph.D. program among academic librarians may not be apparent to information school faculty. However, market research is likely to reveal that a significant subset of academic librarians are interested in pursuing such an option, and information schools that overcome the barriers that prevent such programs will find that their pool of potential doctoral students is significantly expanded with experienced, highly desirable candidates that they would never otherwise attract.


            Based on a JESSE message from Ian M. Johnson, it appears that the Information Management department at The Robert Gordon University in the UK is about to offer an online Ph.D. (It currently has six online Master’s programs.)

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              Scholarly Electronic Publishing Weblog Update (5/23/05)

              Posted in Announcements on May 23rd, 2005

              The biweekly update of the Scholarly Electronic Publishing Weblog (SEPW) is now available, which provides brief information on 20+ new journal issues and other resources. Especially interesting is a new issue of the INDICARE Monitor, which has an article about Digital Rights Management (DRM) and open access by Richard Poynder. Also, Walt Crawford weighs in on the DigitalKoans Bailey-Harnad debates in the latest Cites & Insights: Crawford at Large, and there is a theme issue of Issues in Science and Technology Librarianship on open access.

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                Online Ph.D. Programs: Unique Clientele?

                Posted in Information Schools, Libraries on May 21st, 2005

                Information schools have one group of potential Ph.D. students that appear to have unique characteristics: academic librarians with faculty or faculty-like status.

                To advance in rank in these up-or-out systems, academic librarians:

                1. Publish in peer-reviewed journals, edit such journals, serve on the editorial boards of such journals, write books, and edit books. They also write, edit, and serve on editorial boards of a variety of other publications.
                2. Write proposals for, manage, and analyze the results of funded research projects.
                3. Make presentations at professional conferences and elsewhere.
                4. Teach for-credit and non-credit courses.
                5. Serve as adjunct faculty in information schools.
                6. Serve on committees and as officers of professional associations.
                7. Often obtain multiple master’s degrees.

                This is not to say that other librarians do not also perform the above activities; however, academic librarians with faculty or faculty-like status are typically required to do 1, 3, and 6, with the main difference in such requirements being on the need to perform higher-level activities in 1. And they are "rewarded" for performing all of them.

                So, what other disciplines with Ph.D. programs have potential students with similar requirements? If the answer is "none" and if the above activities are not viewed as a kind of faux scholarship, then it would appear that experienced members this client group (say those with associate status or above) have characteristics that suggest that their need for enculturation, lengthy preliminary study, and other academic requirements that are obviously needed for freshly minted undergraduates or inexperienced MLS graduates is limited or nonexistent. Consequently, they may be quite successful in online Ph.D. programs where these other students would fail, especially if online study is supplemented with brief on-campus stays.

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                  The Nearly Nonexistant Online Ph.D.

                  Posted in Information Schools, Libraries on May 19th, 2005

                  Well, I had that bit about UNT offering an online Ph.D. program wrong. UNT’s grant PI Brian O’Connor says:

                  I must say that our program is NOT web-based, though it has a strong web component. Our IMLS cohort members are considered members of the same doctoral program and subject to the same requirements as our "residential" students. . . . The IMLS program is design[ed] so that more than 51% of course time is conducted with the same level of face-to-face engagement between students and faculty as would be the case for residential students. . . . I would comment that enculturation is terribly important, though one might be able to imagine someone making major contributions while not being "enculturated.". . . Perhaps more intriguing is the assertion that enculturation cannot be adequately accomplished within a virtual environment. Is this a necessary case? Is it not at all true now, but possible with different technology?. . . . Is there not some virtual way to accomplish critical thinking, sharing, debating, using different perspectives? So far, our experience shows that such give and take is quite possible, especially if the students have had an opportunity to meet each other face-to-face at some point early on. Please do not take the above to mean that I prefer the possibility of a virtual academy—I do not. I am simply suggesting that we not toss out the possibilities, at least, not yet.

                  Looks like we’re down to one online Ph.D. program (and waiting for a disclaimer on that one). Since it’s only been about 12 years since the Web took off with the release of the alpha version of Mosaic, I guess we need to be patient.

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                    The Ever-Elusive Online Ph.D.

                    Posted in Information Schools, Libraries on May 19th, 2005

                    Recently, there has been some discussion of online Ph.D. programs in information studies on the JESSE list. I probably don’t need to tell you that few such programs exist.

                    The University of North Texas has an online Ph.D. program. However, this IMLS-funded program limits who can apply to school media and public librarians. Nova University has had one for quite some time.

                    While I’m sure that information school faculty have many good reasons why they believe that such degrees cannot be offered online, I’m afraid that to some academic librarians, who are not about to abandon their day jobs and who have no program within striking distance, this seems like a decidedly 19th-century viewpoint, especially if offered by a school that has morphed into an avant-garde “I” school.

                    It also seems to be based on the peculiar notion that all Ph.D.s must want to teach. Academic librarians, who are "neither fish nor fowl," may want a Ph.D. for other career reasons.

                    But leaving that aside, is it really the case that, in 2005, the rich diversity of online tools at our disposal cannot substitute for pressing the flesh, especially if augmented by brief on-campus stays? If that’s really true, why aren’t online MLS degrees second-rate? Isn’t physical proximity as important to future library professionals as to the future teachers of library (and other) professionals?

                    There is a certain delicious irony in the fact that "I" schools, like my old alma mater Syracuse University, strive mightily and successfully to teach and develop advanced technologies, but cannot bring themselves to use them to deliver online Ph.D. degrees in subject areas like digital libraries. Yet, they offer online digital library CAS degrees (SU and UIUC) without any apparent qualms.

                    But, it’s unfortunate that, by doing so, they deprive potential students of doctoral degrees and themselves of an expanded client base.

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                      Joint Institutional Repository Evaluation Project

                      Posted in Institutional Repositories, Open Access on May 18th, 2005

                      The Johns Hopkins University Digital Knowledge Center in conjunction with MIT and the University of Virginia are working on a Mellon Foundation-funded "A Technology Analysis of Repositories and Services" project to: "conduct an architecture and technology evaluation of repository software and services such as e-learning, e-publishing, and digital preservation. The result will be a set of best practices and recommendations that will inform the development of repositories, services, and appropriate interfaces."

                      The grant proposal and a presentation given at the CNI Spring 2005 Task Force Meeting provide further details about the project.

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                        FCLA Digital Archive

                        Posted in Digital Curation & Digital Preservation, Digital Libraries on May 17th, 2005

                        Since 2003, the Florida Center for Library Automation (FCLA) has been creating an IMLS-grant-funded Digital Archive (DA) to serve Florida’s public universities. The DA project’s goals are to: "1) establish a working and trusted digital archive, 2) identify costs involved in all aspects of archiving, and 3) disseminate tools, procedures and results for the widest national impact."

                        The DA will "accept submission packages from participating partners, ingest digital documents along with the appropriate metadata, and safely store on-site and off-site copies of the files."

                        The DA is a "dark" archive:

                        Our original idea, and the one thing that did not change over time, was the idea of
                        building a dark archive. By “dark” I mean an archive with no real-time, online access to
                        the content by anyone except repository staff. Dark archives are out of favor right now
                        but we had some good reasons for it. We serve ten state universities and each of them
                        has its own presentation systems and some have their own institutional repository
                        systems. Some of the libraries use FCLA delivery applications but some use their own
                        applications. Central Florida uses CONTENTdm, South Florida uses SiteSearch and
                        Florida State uses DigiTool. At FCLA we donÂ’t have the software to replicate these
                        access functions and we donÂ’t have any desire to; it would cost a great deal to acquire the
                        software licenses, and it would take a huge amount of staff to support all these
                        applications. So the idea of our offering presentation services on top of our stored
                        repository content wasnÂ’t feasible.

                        Real-life digital preservation efforts are always worth keeping an eye on, and this one is quite ambitious. You can track their progress through their grant page and their publications and presentations page.

                        The project’s most recent presentation by Priscilla Caplan ("Preservation Rumination: Digital Preservation and the Unfamiliar Future ") is available from OCLC in both PowerPoint and MP3 formats.

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                          Digital Scholarship

                          Copyright © 2005-2015 by Charles W. Bailey, Jr.

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