Archive for November, 2007

New Release of BioMed Central's Open Repository, a Hosted Institutional Repository Service

Posted in DSpace, Institutional Repositories, Open Access on November 30th, 2007 by Charles W. Bailey, Jr.

BioMed Central has released version 1.4.9 of Open Repository, its DSpace-based, hosted institutional repository service.

Here's an excerpt from the press release:

Open Repository version 1.4.9 has several new features that are designed to enhance the customer experience. The release offers an improved user interface, making it easier for customers to browse and submit their material online. Additionally, institutions can convert their Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Text and RTF documents to PDF format. Customers can also set up RSS feeds, and customize lists and search fields, adding value to the already robust platform.

New York Public Library Makes 600,000 Digital Images Available to Kaltura Users

Posted in ARL Libraries, Digital Archives and Special Collections, Digital Culture, Digital Media, Research Libraries, Social Media/Web 2.0 on November 30th, 2007 by Charles W. Bailey, Jr.

The New York Public Library has made its collection of 600,000 digital images available for use by Kaltura users. Kaltura is a free, online collaborative video production site.

Here's an excerpt from the press release:

The New York Public Library and Kaltura, Inc., a pioneer in Collaborative Media, announced today that the organizations have joined forces to further enhance online rich-media collaboration. The New York Public Library's treasure trove of 600,000 digital images can now be incorporated easily into Kaltura's group video projects. The library's digital collection includes a wide range of rare and unique images drawn from its research collections. These range from Civil War photographs and illuminated Medieval manuscripts to historic views of New York City, Yiddish theatre placards and 19th Century restaurant menus. Users can search, preview and add these library images directly from the Kaltura web site (To try it, go to, click 'start a kaltura').

"Kaltura is a good fit for The New York Public Library as we work to take advantage of the latest technologies and approaches to make our collection freely and widely accessible," said Joshua M. Greenberg, Director of Digital Strategy and Scholarship at The New York Public Library. "We are excited to enable the use of our extensive Digital Gallery of historical images in Kaltura's cutting-edge and innovative application. Working with Kaltura was a natural step in enabling the creative use of these rich materials in the broader online world."

Kaltura enables groups of users to collaborate in the creation of videos and slideshows, similar to the way in which Wiki platforms allow users to collaborate with text. When creating a Kaltura video, users can upload their own videos, photos, audio and animation, can import their previously uploaded material from MySpace, Photobucket or YouTube, or they can access and import rich-media from various public-domain and CreativeCommons sources such as Flickr, CCMixter, Jamendo, and now The New York Public Library. Kaltura aims to team with additional databases and digital resource partners in order to both provide users with the widest array of rich-media, and to provide its resource partners with access to Kaltura's Global Network of users, content, and services that allows unprecedented collaboration around rich-media creation, remixing and distribution.

"We strive to provide users with the most comprehensive, enjoyable and user-friendly experience possible when creating their collaborative Kalturas in a fun, safe, and legal environment; The New York Public Library database is a huge addition to resources that we offer, both in terms of its size and the great value that it brings," said Ron Yekutiel, Chairman and CEO of Kaltura.

"Kaltura was built around the principles of openness and sharing with the mission to enhance collaboration and to lower the barriers of participation—it is through partners with a similar vision, like The New York Public Library, that we can achieve our goal of delivering the world's first open platform for peer production of rich media, with the broadest access to rich-media materials, resources and databases," Yekutiel added. "We are truly honored by this collaboration."

Pitt's Libraries and University Press Establish Open Access Book Program

Posted in ARL Libraries, Digital Presses, E-Books, Open Access, Publishing, Research Libraries, Scholarly Books, University Presses on November 29th, 2007 by Charles W. Bailey, Jr.

The University of Pittsburgh University Library System and the University of Pittsburgh University Press have established the University of Pittsburgh University Press Digital Editions, which offers free access to digitized versions of print books from the press.

Here's an excerpt from the press release:

The University of Pittsburgh’s University Library System (ULS) and University Press have formed a partnership to provide digital editions of press titles as part of the library system’s D-Scribe Digital Publishing Program. Thirty-nine books from the Pitt Latin American Series published by the University of Pittsburgh Press are now available online, freely accessible to scholars and students worldwide. Ultimately, most of the Press’ titles older than 2 years will be provided through this open access platform.

For the past decade, the University Library System has been building digital collections on the Web under its D-Scribe Digital Publishing Program, making available a wide array of historical documents, images and texts which can be browsed by collection and are fully searchable. The addition of the University of Pittsburgh Press Digital Editions collection marks the newest in an expanding number of digital collaborations between the University Library System and the University Press.

The D-Scribe Digital Publishing Program includes digitized materials drawn from Pitt collections and those of other libraries and cultural institutions in the region, pre-print repositories in several disciplines, the University’s mandatory electronic theses and dissertations program, and electronic journals during the past eight years, sixty separate collections have been digitized and made freely accessible via the World Wide Web. Many of these projects have been carried out with content partners such as Pitt faculty members, other libraries and museums in the area, professional associations, and most recently, with the University of Pittsburgh Press with several professional journals and the new University of Pittsburgh Press Digital Editions. . . .

More titles will be added to the University of Pittsburgh Press Digital Editions each month until most of the current scholarly books published by the Press are available both in print and as digital editions. The collection will eventually include titles from the Pitt Series in Russian and East European Studies, the Pitt-Konstanz Series in the Philosophy and History of Science, the Pittsburgh Series in Composition, Literacy, and Culture, the Security Continuum: Global Politics in the Modern Age, the History of the Urban Environment, back issues of Cuban Studies, and numerous other scholarly titles in history, political science, philosophy, and cultural studies.

Stable Version of SPECTRa Released: Software for Depositing Chemical Data into Repositories

Posted in Digital Repositories, Institutional Repositories, Open Access on November 29th, 2007 by Charles W. Bailey, Jr.

A stable version of SPECTRa has been released. SPECTRa is designed to facilitate the deposit of chemical data into digital repositories.

The JISC-funded SPECTRa (Submission, Preservation and Exposure of Chemistry Teaching and Research Data a Digital Repository for the Chemical Community) project's final report is also available.

Here's a U.S. Export Canadians May Not Want: DMCA-Style Copyright Laws

Posted in Copyright, Digital Copyright Wars on November 29th, 2007 by Charles W. Bailey, Jr.

There are persistent reports that the Canadian government will introduce copyright legislation that is modeled on the U.S. Digital Millennium Copyright Act as soon as next week.

Read more about it at "Canada Moves to Reform Copyright Protection"; "Canada's Coming DMCA Will Be the Worst Copyright Yet"; "Canada’s Copyright Law Is Stronger and Better than U.S.'s"; "Copyright Choices and Voices"; "DMCA-Style Laws Coming to Canada, Switzerland"; and "A New Copyright Law Is Coming."

University of Maryland Libraries Digital Collections Launched

Posted in ARL Libraries, Digital Archives and Special Collections, Digital Repositories, Fedora, Research Libraries on November 28th, 2007 by Charles W. Bailey, Jr.

The University of Maryland Libraries has launched its Digital Collections repository.

Here's an excerpt from the announcement:

This release marks two and a half years of work in the creation of a repository that serves the teaching and research mission of the University of Maryland Libraries. Many of the objects are digital versions from Maryland's Special Collections (such as A Treasury of World's Fairs Art and Architecture) or are new virtual collections (The Jim Henson Works). Other collections (such as Films@UM) support the teaching mission of the Libraries. This release also marks the integration of electronically available finding aids, ArchivesUM, into the repository architecture, creating a framework for digital objects to be dynamically discovered from finding aids.

The repository is based on the Fedora platform, uses Lucene for indexing, and Helix for streaming video. The repository features almost 2500 digital objects, with new objects added monthly. Object types currently delivered include full text (both TEI and EAD), video, and images. Objects can be discovered within a collection context or via a search across multiple collections. Cross-collection discovery is achieved through a common metadata scheme and controlled vocabulary. This metadata scheme also provides for individual collections to have more granular domain-specific metadata.

An FAQ for the repository is available.

RLG Programs Descriptive Metadata Practices Survey Results Published

Posted in Metadata on November 28th, 2007 by Charles W. Bailey, Jr.

RLG Programs has published RLG Programs Descriptive Metadata Practices Survey Results and RLG Programs Descriptive Metadata Practices Survey Results: Data Supplement.

Here's an excerpt from the announcement:

We conducted this survey in July and August 2007 among 18 RLG partners in the United States and the United Kingdom, selected because they had "multiple metadata creation centers" on campus that included libraries, archives, and museums and had some interaction among them. Our objective was to gain a baseline understanding of current descriptive metadata practices and dependencies, the first project in our program to change metadata creation processes.

The report summarizes the descriptive practices used across a variety of applications, the data structure and data content standards followed, the audiences for the metadata created, and some organization patterns. The data from the 89 respondents is reported in a series of charts and graphs that are open to interpretation. RLG Programs offers its own interpretation in the prefatory narrative, flagging questions for follow up and goals for future projects. Although we saw some expected variations in practice across libraries, archives and museums, we were struck by the high levels of customization and local tool development, the limited extent to which tools and practices are, or can be, shared (both within and across institutions), the lack of confidence institutions have in the effectiveness of their tools, and the disconnect between their interest in creating metadata to serve their primary audiences and the inability to serve that audience within the most commonly used discovery systems (such as Google, Yahoo, etc.).

Digital Identity Issues Explored in Two JISC Reports

Posted in Authentication and Security on November 28th, 2007 by Charles W. Bailey, Jr.

JISC has issued two reports that examine the increasingly important problem of effectively managing digital identities: E-infrastructure Security: Levels of Assurance: Final Report and The Identity Project: Final Progress Reports.

Here's an excerpt from the press release:

Following two 12-month projects to investigate identity management in higher education and the levels of assurance needed to prove an individual’s identity, JISC has just published two reports which both provide important findings on higher education’s current practice and approaches to identity management.‘Identity is becoming increasingly important in society, meaning that students and staff in further and higher education are starting to ask what their institution is doing to manage their identities.'

The Identity Project report reviews how identity is being addressed across UK higher education and, in more detail, at 10 representative institutions. Identifying the need for greater understanding of some of the key issues involved in identity management, it also calls for improved documentation and standards, greater awareness and training amongst staff and the introduction of regular audits to ensure implementation of appropriate measures across the institution.

Levels of assurance (LoAs) are about how much proof is needed of an individual’s identity to access online resources; whether via a simple user name and password or a more complex system of biometrics and tokens. The JISC report on levels of assurance looks at how LoAs can be defined, agreed and then applied to different resources. . . .

For further information, please go to: Identity and ESLOA.

MPAA Toolkit May Allow Internet Users to See Internal University Network Traffic

Posted in Copyright, Digital Copyright Wars, Privacy on November 28th, 2007 by Charles W. Bailey, Jr.

The Washington Post reports that the Motion Picture of Association of America is trying to persuade universities to utilize its new MPA University Toolkit, which uses Snort and ntop to provide detailed internal network use statistics that may identify possible copyright infringers.

Security experts have determined that, in its default configuration, the MPA University Toolkit sets up a Web server that provides use statistics to any Internet user unless it is blocked from doing so by a firewall. There is a user/password option, but network administrators are not prompted to set it. Moreover, the software "phones home" to the MPAA upon setup, providing the organization with the IP address of the server.

Read more about it at "MPAA University 'Toolkit' Raises Privacy Concerns."

University of Arizona's Online Digital Information Management Certificate Program Accepting Applications for Summer 2008

Posted in Digital Libraries, Digitization, Information Schools on November 27th, 2007 by Charles W. Bailey, Jr.

The University of Arizona School of Information Resources and Library Science's Graduate Certificate in Digital Information Management (DigIn) program is accepting applications for its second cohort of students, who will begin their studies in the summer of 2008.

Here's an excerpt from the press release:

Students and working professionals interested in careers in digital information have until Feb. 1 to apply to The University of Arizona's online graduate-level certificate program in digital information management. The program, commonly known as "DigIn," is offered exclusively by the UA's School of Information Resources and Library Science at the University of Arizona.

The program prepares students to build and manage digital collections in a variety of government and private settings, including libraries, archives and museums. Also, the students in the program acquire practical applied technology skills, along with a solid foundation in the theory and strategy underpinning digital collections.

The digitization and creation of collections of books, photographs, museum archives, artifacts, documents, film and video, and other kinds of resources has exploded over the last several years. This has created a demand for individuals with both an understanding of the information management disciplines and also technical knowledge and skills needed to create, manage and support digital information collections.

Those admitted will become part of the DigIn program's second cohort of students, who begin taking courses in the summer of 2008.

The program starts with an intensive hands-on course in applied technology covering the basics of the Linux operating system and also fundamentals of web servers, databases and scripting applications commonly used in today's digital information environment.

In subsequent courses, students are introduced to strategic technology planning and project management; creating, managing, and preserving digital collections; and basic principles of the information professions. Students will learn to apply key concepts and technologies through case studies, applications, theory, and hands-on work with metadata, content management systems and real-life digital collections. Students complete the certificate with a capstone course involving an individual project and electronic portfolio. Many complete the six-class 18-credit hour online course of study in 15 months, and extended options are available.

The DigIn program has been created in partnership with the Arizona State Library, Archives and Public Records. The certificate is administered by the UA Office of Continuing Education and Outreach. Admissions requirements include a bachelor's degree from an accredited institution and other stipulations of the School of Information Resources and Library Sciences and the UA Graduate College.

DigIn is currently supported with funding from the Institute of Museum and Library Services, which will also be providing a generous number of scholarships for the new cohort of students starting in summer of 2008. For more information, visit the website at, or call 520-626-4631.

SCImago Journal & Country Rank: Journal Rankings Based on Scopus Data

Posted in Scholarly Communication, Scholarly Journals on November 27th, 2007 by Charles W. Bailey, Jr.

The new SCImago Journal & Country Rank system utilizes data from Elsevier's Scopus database to produce a variety of scholarly journal rankings. For example, you can rank countries by the number of citable documents in library and information sciences that they produce.

The Help page provides detailed information about the free service.

Institute of Physics Launches an Open Access Earth and Environmental Science Proceedings Service

Posted in Open Access, Publishing, Scholarly Communication on November 27th, 2007 by Charles W. Bailey, Jr.

The Institute of Physics has launched the IOP Conference Series: Earth and Environmental Science, an open access proceedings service. A FAQ is available.

Here's an excerpt from the press release:

Based on IOP Publishing’s highly successful open access proceedings in physics, EES allows conference organizers to create a comprehensive record of their event and make a valuable contribution to the open access literature that will be of long-lasting benefit to their research communities.

As part of the service’s launch, EES is waiving a total of US$5000 of publication fees for a number of conferences who expect to publish their proceedings during 2008.

We are delighted to announce that the first conference to qualify for this is the 14th International Symposium for the Advancement of Boundary Layer Remote Sensing (ISARS2008) which takes place on 23–25 June 2008, Risø National Laboratory, DTU, Roskilde, Denmark.

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