Archive for November, 2006

DOIs for Books Gain Ground

Posted in E-Books, Metadata on November 27th, 2006

According to CrossRef, the official DOI registration agency, over a half-million DOIs have been assigned to books or book chapters, and twenty of its members are using DOIs in this fashion.

What’s a DOI? Here’s a short description from CrossRef

The DOI, or digital object identifier, serves as a persistent, actionable identifier for intellectual property online. DOIs can be assigned at any level of granularity, and therefore provide publishers with an extensible platform for a variety of applications. And DOI links don’t break. Even if a publisher needs to migrate publications from one system to another, or if the content moves from one publisher to another, the DOI never changes.

While the use of DOIs for book chapters is especially interesting, DOIs can be utilized for smaller book sections as this example of an entry for Ian Fleming in the Oxford Dictionary of National Biography illustrates. (Notice the DOI, "Ian Lancaster Fleming (1908–1964): doi:10.1093/ref:odnb/33168," at the bottom of the entry.)

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    International Journal of Digital Curation Launched

    Posted in Digital Curation & Digital Preservation, E-Journals on November 25th, 2006

    The Digital Curation Centre has launched the International Journal of Digital Curation, which will be published twice a year in digital form (articles are PDF files). It is edited by Richard Waller, who also edits Ariadne. It is published by UKOLN at the University of Bath, using Open Journal Systems.

    The journal is freely available. Although individual articles in the first volume do not have copyright statements, the Submissions page on the journal Web site has the following copyright statement:

    Copyright for articles published in this journal is retained by the authors, with first publication rights granted to the University of Bath. By virtue of their appearance in this open access journal, articles are free to use, with proper attribution, in educational and other non-commercial settings.

    The first issue includes "Digital Curation, Copyright, and Academic Research"; "Digital Curation for Science, Digital Libraries, and Individuals"; "Scientific Publication Packages—A Selective Approach to the Communication and Archival of Scientific Output"; and other articles.

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      Digital Preservation via Emulation at Koninklijke Bibliotheek

      Posted in Digital Curation & Digital Preservation, Emerging Technologies on November 21st, 2006

      In a two-year (2005-2007) joint project with Nationaal Archief of the Netherlands, Koninklijke Bibliotheek is developing an emulation system that will allow digital objects in outmoded formats to be utilized in their original form. Regarding the emulation approach, the Koninklijke Bibliotheek says:

      Emulation is difficult, the main reason why it is not applied on a large scale. Developing an emulator is complex and time-consuming, especially because the emulated environment must appear authentic en must function accurately as well. When future users are interested in the contents of a file, migration remains the better option. When it is the authentic look and feel and functionality of a file they are after, emulation is worth the effort. This can be the case for PDF documents or websites. For multimedia applications, emulation is in fact the only suitable permanent access strategy.

      J. R. van der en Wijngaarden Hoeven’s paper "Modular Emulation as a Long-Term Preservation Strategy for Digital Objects" provides a overview of the emulation approach.

      In a related development, a message to padiforum-l on 11/17/06 by Remco Verdegem of the Nationaal Archief of the Netherlands reported on a recent Emulation Expert Meeting, which issued a statement noting the following advantages of emulation for digital preservation purposes:

      • It preserves and permits access to each digital artifact in its original form and format; it may be the only viable approach to preserving digital artifacts that have significant executable and/or interactive behavior.
      • It can preserve digital artifacts of any form or format by saving the original software environments that were used to render those artifacts. A single emulator can preserve artifacts in a vast range of arbitrary formats without the need to understand those formats, and it can preserve huge corpuses without ever requiring conversion or any other processing of individual artifacts.
      • It enables the future generation of surrogate versions of digital artifacts directly from their original forms, thereby avoiding the cumulative corruption that would result from generating each such future surrogate from the previous one.
      • If all emulators are written to run on a stable, thoroughly-specified "emulation virtual machine" (EVM) platform and that virtual machine can be implemented on any future computer, then all emulators can be run indefinitely.
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        Scholarly Electronic Publishing Weblog (11/20/06)

        Posted in Announcements on November 20th, 2006

        The latest update of the Scholarly Electronic Publishing Weblog (SEPW) is now available, which provides information about new scholarly literature and resources related to scholarly electronic publishing, such as books, journal articles, magazine articles, newsletters, technical reports, and white papers. Especially interesting are: "Author Addenda: An Examination of Five Alternatives"; "Building Preservation Environments with Data Grid Technology"; "Improving Access to Research Results: Six Points"; "Improving Access to Research Results: What’s in It for the Institution? Can We Make the Case?"; "Is There a Viable Business Model for Commercial Open Access Publishing?"; "Library Access to Scholarship"; "The Open Access Movement in China"; and "Standards-Based Interfaces for Harvesting and Obtaining Assets from Digital Repositories."

        For weekly updates about news articles, Weblog postings, and other resources related to digital culture (e.g., copyright, digital privacy, digital rights management, and Net neutrality), digital libraries, and scholarly electronic publishing, see the latest DigitalKoans Flashback posting.

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          New Digital Image Documentation from TASI

          Posted in Digital Media, Metadata on November 16th, 2006

          The Technical Advisory Service for Images (TASI) has issued new documentation dealing with digital image issues:

          TASI has also created new guides to assist users in identifying appropriate materials:

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            Under the Hood of PLoS ONE: The Open Source TOPAZ E-Publishing System

            Posted in E-Journal Management and Publishing Systems, E-Journals, Fedora, General, Open Access, Open Source Software, Publishing, Scholarly Communication on November 15th, 2006

            PLoS is building its innovative PLoS ONE e-journal, which will incorporate both traditional and open peer review, using the open source TOPAZ software. (For a detailed description of the PLoS ONE peer review process, check out "ONE for All: The Next Step for PLoS.")

            What is TOPAZ? It’s Web site doesn’t provide specifics, but "PLoS ONE—Technical Background" by Richard Cave does:

            The core of TOPAZ is a digital information repository called Fedora (Flexible Extensible Digital Object Repository Architecture). Fedora is an Open Source content management application that supports the creation and management of digital objects. The digital objects contain metadata to express internal and external relationships in the repository, like articles in a journal or the text, images and video of an article. This relationship metadata can also be search using a semantic web query languages. Fedora is jointly developed by Cornell University’s computer science department and the University of Virginia Libraries.

            The metastore Kowari will be used with Fedora to support Resource Description Framework (RDF) metadata within the repository.

            The PLoS ONE web interface will be built with AJAX. Client-side APIs will create the community features (e.g. annotations, discussion threads, ratings, etc.) for the website. As more new features are available on the TOPAZ architecture, we will launch them on PLoS ONE.

            There was a TOPAZ Wiki at PLoS. It’s gone, but it’s pages are still cached by Google. The Wiki suggests that TOPAZ is likely to support Atom/RSS feeds, full-text search, and OAI-PMH among other possible features.

            For information about other open source e-journal publishing systems, see "Open Source Software for Publishing E-Journals."

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              Results from the DSpace Community Survey

              Posted in DSpace, E-Prints, Institutional Repositories, Open Access, Scholarly Communication on November 14th, 2006

              DSpace conducted an informal survey of its open source community in October 2006. Here are some highlights:

              • The vast majority of respondents (77.6%) used or planned to use DSpace for a university IR.
              • The majority of systems were in production (53.4%); pilot testing was second (35.3%).
              • Preservation and interoperability were the highest priority system features (61.2% each), followed by search engine indexing (57.8%) and open access to refereed articles (56.9%). (Percentage of respondents who rated these features "very important.") Only 5.2% thought that OA to refereed articles was unimportant.
              • The most common type of current IR content was refereed scholarly articles and theses/dissertations (55.2% each), followed by other (48.6%) and grey literature (47.4%).
              • The most popular types of content that respondents were planning to add to their IRs were datasets (53.4%), followed by audio and video (46.6% each).
              • The most frequently used type of metadata was customized Dublin Core (80.2%), followed by XML metadata (13.8%).
              • The most common update pattern was to regularly migrate to new versions; however it took a "long time to merge in my customizations/configuration" (44.8%).
              • The most common types of modification were minor cosmetics (34.5%), new features (26.7%), and significant user interface customization (21.6%).
              • Only 30.2% were totally comfortable with editing/customizing DSpace; 56.9% were somewhat comfortable and 12.9% were not comfortable.
              • Plug-in use is light: for example, 11.2% use SRW/U, 8.6% use Manakin, and 5.2% use TAPIR (ETDs).
              • The most desired feature for the next version is a more easily customized user interface (17.5%), closely followed by improved modularity (16.7%).

              For information about other recent institutional repository surveys, see "ARL Institutional Repositories SPEC Kit" and "MIRACLE Project’s Institutional Repository Survey."

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                QuickTime Videos and PowerPoints from the Transforming Scholarly Communication Symposium

                Posted in Announcements, Copyright, Open Access, Publishing, Scholarly Communication on November 10th, 2006

                When I was chairing the Scholarly Communications Public Relations Task Force at the UH Libraries, the task force initiated a series of projects to increase awareness of key issues on the UH campus under the name "Transforming Scholarly Communication": a Website, a Weblog, and a symposium.

                I’m pleased to announce that both the PowerPoint presentations and the QuickTime videos of the symposium speeches are now available. Thanks again to our speaker panel for participating in this event.

                Ray English, Director of Libraries at Oberlin College and Chair of the SPARC Steering Committee, kicked things off with a talk on "The Crisis in Scholarly Communication" (PowerPoint, QuickTime Video, and "Sites and Cites for the Struggle: A Selective Scholarly Communication Bibliography").

                Next, Corynne McSherry, Staff Attorney at the Electronic Frontier Foundation and author of Who Owns Academic Work?: Battling for Control of Intellectual Property, spoke on "Copyright in Cyberspace: Defending Fair Use" (PowerPoint and QuickTime Video).

                Finally, Peter Suber, Research Professor of Philosophy at Earlham College, Senior Researcher at the Scholarly Publishing and Academic Resources Coalition (SPARC), and the Open Access Project Director at Public Knowledge, discussed "What Is Open Access?" (PowerPoint and QuickTime Video).

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                  Statement about My Resignation for Library Journal

                  Posted in Digital Scholarship Publications on November 10th, 2006

                  Library Journal contacted me about my resignation. I declined an interview, but I did issue the below statement:

                  During my thirty-one-year career, I have always viewed myself as a technological change agent. In the current environment, academic libraries must make difficult resource allocation choices between maintaining print collections, supporting ever-growing collections of licensed electronic resources, and fostering new modes of scholarly communication. There is no universal "right" choice. Each library must realistically make its own decision about what the right mix of these activities is in light of unique local circumstances. At this stage of my life, I believe that I can best serve my particular passions in the realm of scholarly communication and digital libraries elsewhere, although I am grateful for the support I have received at the University of Houston Libraries from many colleagues, both past and present, and I am especially grateful to Robin. N. Downes, former Director of the UH Libraries. For those interested in following my continued digital publishing activities, they can do so at

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                    Scholarly Electronic Publishing Weblog (11/6/06)

                    Posted in Announcements, General on November 6th, 2006

                    The latest update of the Scholarly Electronic Publishing Weblog (SEPW) is now available, which provides information about new scholarly literature and resources related to scholarly electronic publishing, such as books, journal articles, magazine articles, newsletters, technical reports, and white papers. Especially interesting are: "Building an Information Infrastructure in the UK," "Considering a Marketing and Communications Approach for an Institutional Repository," "Creative Commons Licences in Higher and Further Education: Do We Care?," "Examining the Claims of Google Scholar as a Serious Information Source," "Fedora and the Preservation of University Records Project," "The Mandates of October," "The Need to Archive Blog Content," "No-Fee Open-Access Journals," "Risk Assessment and Copyright in Digital Libraries," and To Stand the Test of Time: Long-Term Stewardship of Digital Data Sets in Science and Engineering.

                    For weekly updates about news articles, Weblog postings, and other resources related to digital culture (e.g., copyright, digital privacy, digital rights management, and Net neutrality), digital libraries, and scholarly electronic publishing, see the latest DigitalKoans Flashback posting.

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                      Scholarly Electronic Publishing Bibliography Changes

                      Posted in Digital Scholarship Publications on November 3rd, 2006

                      I have resigned my position as Assistant Dean for Digital Library Planning and Development at the University of Houston Libraries effective 1/31/07.

                      Effective immediately, there are several important changes to the Scholarly Electronic Publishing Bibliography (SEPB), Scholarly Electronic Publishing Resources (SEPR), and the Scholarly Electronic Publishing Weblog (SEPW) that users should be aware of:

                      1. These publications have been moved to my domain:

                      2. While the UH Libraries will archive SEPB versions up to version 64, no new versions will be published on their Website. If you maintain a catalog record for SEPB, I would ask that you update it with the new address. Next Monday’s SEPW will be published at the new site.

                      3. A transition version of SEPB (65) has been published at the new site. There are no content changes. This version simply makes a number of HTML coding adjustments needed for the new location. A Google Custom Search Engine replaces the prior search capability. Once Google starts indexing the new site, search results will be from that site.

                      4. The SEPW mailing list will be discontinued at the end work today. You can continue to get an e-mail version from FeedBurner. I’m sorry for the inconvenience of your having to sign up again; all that is required is your e-mail address.

                      5. The SEPW RSS feed remains the same.

                      6. You can continue to follow my digital publishing activities at my domain and at DigitalKoans.

                      Thanks for your patience during this transition.

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