Archive for June, 2007

Lund University Journal Info Database Now Available

Posted in E-Journals, Open Access, Scholarly Communication, Scholarly Journals on June 29th, 2007

Lund University Libraries, creators of the Directory of Open Access Journals, has released a new database called Journal Info, which provides authors with information about 18,000 journals selected from 30 major databases. The National Library of Sweden provides support for JI, which is under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported license.

Here’s an excerpt from the FAQ page:

The purpose [of the service] is to provide an aid for the researcher in the selection of journal for publication. The publication market has continuously grown more and more complex. It is important to weigh in facts like scope and quality, but more recently also information about reader availability and library cost. The Lund University Libraries have made an attempt to merge all there items into one tool, giving the researcher the power to make informed choices.

Journal Info records provide basic information about the journal (e.g. journal homepage), "reader accessibility" information (e.g., open access status), and quality information (e.g., where it is indexed).

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    DSpace How-To Guide

    Posted in Digital Repositories, DSpace, Institutional Repositories, Open Access, Scholarly Communication on June 27th, 2007

    Tim Donohue, Scott Phillips, and Dorothea Salo have published DSpace How-To Guide: Tips and Tricks for Managing Common DSpace Chores (Now Serving DSpace 1.4.2 and Manakin 1.1).

    This 55-page booklet, which is under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 3.0 License, will be a welcome addition to the virtual bookshelves of institutional repository managers struggling with the mysteries of DSpace.

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      DRAMA Releases Fedora Front-End Beta for Authentication/Full-Text Search

      Posted in Digital Repositories, Fedora, Institutional Repositories, Open Access, Scholarly Communication on June 27th, 2007

      DRAMA (Digital Repository Authorization Middleware Architecture) has released Fiddler, a beta version of its mura Fedora front-end that provides access control, authentication, full-text searching and a variety of other functions. DRAMA is a sub-project of RAMP (Research Activityflow and Middleware Priorities Project).

      Here’s an excerpt from the news item that describes Fiddler’s features:

      • Hierarchical access control enforcement: Policies can be applied at the collection level, object level or datastream level. . . .
      • Improved access control interface: One can now view existing access control of a particular user or group for a given datastream, object or collection. . . .
      • User-centric GUI: mura only presents users with operations for which they have permissions.
      • XForms Metadata Input: We employ an XForms engine (Orbeon) for metadata input. XForms allow better user interaction, validation and supports any XML-based metadata schemas (such as MARC or MODS).
      • LDAP Filter for Fedora: The current Fedora LDAP filter (in version 2.2) does not authenticate properly, so we have developed a new LDAP filter to fix this problem.
      • Local authentication for DAR and ASM: In addition to Shibboleth authentication, the DAR and ASM can be configured to use a local authentication source (eg. via a local LDAP).
      • Generic XACML Vocabulary: XACML policies are now expressed in a generic vocabulary rather than Fedora specific ones. . . .
      • XACML Optimization: We have optimized of the evaluation engine by employing a cache with user configurable time-to-live. We have also greatly reduced the time for policies matching with DB XML, through the use of bind parameters in our queries.
      • Flexible mapping of Fedora actions to new Apache Axis handlers: Axis is the SOAP engine that Fedora employs to provide its web services. The new flexibility allows new handlers to be easily plugged into Fedora to support new features that follow the same Interceptor pattern as our authorization framework.
      • Version control: mura now supports version control.
      • Full-text search: We enabled full-text search by incorporating Fedoragsearch package.
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        Web/Web 2.0 Toolkits

        Posted in Coding, Social Media/Web 2.0, Techie on June 26th, 2007

        Here’s a list of a few information-packed directories of Web/Web 2.0 tools that developers may find useful.

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          Remembering Mosiac, the Web Browser That Changed Everything

          Posted in History on June 26th, 2007

          If you have never had to use a standalone FTP client, a standalone Telnet client, a Gopher client, or a standalone USENET client, it might be hard to imagine what the Internet was like before Mosiac, the Web browser that put the World-Wide Web on the map and transformed the Internet (and the world). Go dig up a copy of The Internet for Everyone: A Guide for Users and Providers out of your library’s stacks, dust it off, and marvel at how far we have come since 1993. You’ll also meet Archie, Veronica, and WAIS, the Googles of their day.

          Another way to travel back in time is to read PC Magazine‘s 1994 review of the NCSA Mosaic for Windows, and, if you really want a history lesson, download Mosaic from the National Center for Supercomputing Applications (yes, it’s still available). Also take a look at the NCSA’s About NCSA Mosaic page.

          To finish off your journey to the Internet’s Paleolithic age, check out the Timeline of Web Browsers and Hobbes’ Internet Timeline v8.2.

          Of course, if you do remember these seemingly ancient technologies, you can easily imagine how primitive today’s hot technologies, such as Web 2.0, will seem in 14 years, and you may wonder whether future generations will remember them clearly or as a minor footnote in technological history.

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            Report of the Sustainability Guidelines for Australian Repositories Project (SUGAR)

            Posted in Digital Curation & Digital Preservation, Digital Repositories, Scholarly Communication on June 25th, 2007

            The Australian Partnership for Sustainable Repositories (APSR) has released Report of the Sustainability Guidelines for Australian Repositories Project (SUGAR).

            Here’s an excerpt from the report:

            The Sustainability Guidelines for Australian Repositories service (SUGAR)was intended to support people working in tertiary education institutions whose activities do not focus on digital preservation. The target community creates and digitises content for a range of purposes to support learning, teaching and research. While some have access to technical and administrative support many others may not be aware of what they need to know. The typical SUGAR user may have little interest in discussions surrounding metadata, interoperability or digital preservation, and may simply want to know the essential steps involved in achieving the task at hand.

            A key challenge for SUGAR was to provide a suitable level and amount of information to meet the immediate focus of the user and their level of expertise while introducing and encouraging consideration of issues of digital sustainability. SUGAR was also intended to stand alone as an online service unsupported by a helpdesk.

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              Towards an Open Source Repository and Preservation System

              Posted in Digital Curation & Digital Preservation, Digital Repositories, Open Access, Open Source Software, Scholarly Communication on June 25th, 2007

              The UNESCO Memory of the World Programme, with the support of the Australian Partnership for Sustainable Repositories, has published Towards an Open Source Repository and Preservation System: Recommendations on the Implementation of an Open Source Digital Archival and Preservation System and on Related Software Development.

              Here’s an excerpt from the Executive Summary and Recommendations:

              This report defines the requirements for a digital archival and preservation system using standard hardware and describes a set of open source software which could used to implement it. There are two aspects of this report that distinguish it from other approaches. One is the complete or holistic approach to digital preservation. The report recognises that a functioning preservation system must consider all aspects of a digital repositories; Ingest, Access, Administration, Data Management, Preservation Planning and Archival Storage, including storage media and management software. Secondly, the report argues that, for simple digital objects, the solution to digital preservation is relatively well understood, and that what is needed are affordable tools, technology and training in using those systems.

              An assumption of the report is that there is no ultimate, permanent storage media, nor will there be in the foreseeable future. It is instead necessary to design systems to manage the inevitable change from system to system. The aim and emphasis in digital preservation is to build sustainable systems rather than permanent carriers. . . .

              The way open source communities, providers and distributors achieve their aims provides a model on how a sustainable archival system might work, be sustained, be upgraded and be developed as required. Similarly, many cultural institutions, archives and higher education institutions are participating in the open source software communities to influence the direction of the development of those softwares to their advantage, and ultimately to the advantage of the whole sector.

              A fundamental finding of this report is that a simple, sustainable system that provides strategies to manage all the identified functions for digital preservation is necessary. It also finds that for simple discrete digital objects this is nearly possible. This report recommends that UNESCO supports the aggregation and development of an open source archival system, building on, and drawing together existing open source programs.

              This report also recommends that UNESCO participates through its various committees, in open source software development on behalf of the countries, communities, and cultural institutions, who would benefit from a simple, yet sustainable, digital archival and preservation system. . . .

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                POD for Library Users: New York Public Library Tries Espresso Book Machine

                Posted in E-Books, Emerging Technologies, Open Access, Print-on-Demand, Publishing on June 24th, 2007

                The New York Public Library’s Science, Industry, and Business Library has installed an Espresso Book Machine for public use through August.

                Here’s an excerpt from the press release:

                The first Espresso Book Machine™ ("the EBM") was installed and demonstrated today at the New York Public Library’s Science, Industry, and Business Library (SIBL). The patented automatic book making machine will revolutionize publishing by printing and delivering physical books within minutes. The EBM is a product of On Demand Books, LLC ("ODB"—www.ondemandbooks.com). . .

                The Espresso Book Machine will be available to the public at SIBL through August, and will operate Monday-Saturday from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. . . .

                Library users will have the opportunity to print free copies of such public domain classics as "The Adventures of Tom Sawyer" by Mark Twain, "Moby Dick" by Herman Melville, "A Christmas Carol" by Charles Dickens and "Songs of Innocence" by William Blake, as well as appropriately themed in-copyright titles as Chris Anderson’s "The Long Tail" and Jason Epstein’s own "Book Business." The public domain titles were provided by the Open Content Alliance ("OCA"), a non-profit organization with a database of over 200,000 titles. The OCA and ODB are working closely to offer this digital content free of charge to libraries across the country. Both organizations have received partial funding from the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation. . . .

                The EBM’s proprietary software transmits a digital file to the book machine, which automatically prints, binds, and trims the reader’s selection within minutes as a single, library-quality, paperback book, indistinguishable from the factory-made title.

                Unlike existing print on demand technology, EBM’s are fully integrated, automatic machines that require minimal human intervention. They do not require a factory setting and are small enough to fit in a retail store or small library room. While traditional factory based print on demand machines usually cost over $1,000,000 per unit, the EBM is priced to be affordable for retailers and libraries. . . .

                Additional EBM’s will be installed this fall at the New Orleans Public Library, the University of Alberta (Canada) campus bookstore, the Northshire Bookstore in Manchester, Vermont, and at the Open Content Alliance in San Francisco. Beta versions of the EBM are already in operation at the World Bank Infoshop in Washington, DC and the Bibliotheca Alexandrina (The Library of Alexandria, Egypt). National book retailers and hotel chains are among the companies in talks with ODB about ordering EBM’s in quantity.

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