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

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.

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    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

    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 http://www.kaltura.com, 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."

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      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

      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.

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

        Posted in Digital Repositories, Institutional Repositories, Open Access on November 29th, 2007

        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.

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

          Posted in Copyright, Digital Copyright Wars on November 29th, 2007

          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."

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            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

            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.

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              RLG Programs Descriptive Metadata Practices Survey Results Published

              Posted in Metadata on November 28th, 2007

              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.).

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                Digital Identity Issues Explored in Two JISC Reports

                Posted in Authentication and Security on November 28th, 2007

                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.

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