Archive for September, 2008

Scholarly Communication Institute 6: Humanities Research Centers, University of Virginia, July 13-15, 2008

Posted in Digital Humanities on September 30th, 2008

The Scholarly Communication Institute has released Scholarly Communication Institute 6: Humanities Research Centers, University of Virginia, July 13-15, 2008.

Here's an excerpt:

In SCI 6, participants undertook an exploration of humanities research centers and their potential to advance technology-enabled scholarship. . . .

SCI 6 was designed to determine what collaborative actions a group of humanities centers might undertake that would promote technology-enabled scholarly communication. Though we are particularly interested in how new technologies can advance scholarship, the goal of this meeting was to engage centers organized in a variety of models and with differing orientations towards technology. . . .

A wide spectrum of research centers were represented at this institute: local, campus-based centers that serve all humanities and social science faculty; discipline-specific centers; a national center of excellence that formed around a rich collection of rare primary-source materials; a digital humanities center housed within an academic department; a digital humanities center that constitutes an academic department; a campus-based center that supports experimental work in digital humanities; and an international institute that relies on digital technologies to share multilingual resources and maintain an international network of collaborators. Also represented were several centers still in the development phase with explicit plans to focus on new technologies.

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    Beyond the Silos of the LAMs: Collaboration Among Libraries, Archives and Museums

    Posted in Digital Archives and Special Collections, Museums, OCLC, Research Libraries on September 30th, 2008

    OCLC Programs and Research has published Beyond the Silos of the LAMs: Collaboration Among Libraries, Archives and Museums.

    Here's an excerpt:

    The project that forms the basis of this report began in 2007, when RLG Programs initiated work on the program, Library, Archive and Museum Collaboration. The goal of the program was threefold: to explore the nature of library, archive and museum (LAM) collaborations, to help LAMs collaborate on common services and thus yield greater productivity within their institutions, and to assist them in creating research environments better aligned with user expectations—or, to reference this report’s title, to move beyond the often-mentioned silos of LAM resources which divide content into piecemeal offerings.

    At the heart of the program was a series of workshops designed to be both exploratory and outcome-oriented. Workshop participants were asked to identify motivations and obstacles in the collaborative process and plan new collaborative projects and programs that addressed needs at their own institutions.

    Five RLG Programs partner sites were selected to participate in the workshops: the University of Edinburgh, Princeton University, the Smithsonian Institution, the Victoria and Albert Museum, and Yale University.

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      Open Access to and Reuse of Research Data—The State of the Art in Finland

      Posted in Data Curation, Open Data, and Research Data Management, Digital Curation & Digital Preservation, Open Access on September 30th, 2008

      The Finnish Social Science Data Archive has published Open Access to and Reuse of Research Data—The State of the Art in Finland.

      Here's an excerpt:

      In 2006, the Ministry of Education in Finland allocated resources to the Finnish Social Science Data Archive (FSD) to chart national and international practices related to open access to research data. Consequently, the FSD carried out an online survey targeting professors of human sciences, social sciences and behavioural sciences in Finnish universities. Some respondents were senior staff at research institutes. The respondents were asked about the state and use of data collected in their department/institute. Almost half of the respondents considered the preservation and use of digital research data to be relevant to their department. The number of respondents (150) is large enough to warrant statistical analysis even though response rate was low at 28%.

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        Digital Repository Log Standards: Final Report: JISC Usage Statistics Review

        Posted in Digital Repositories, Institutional Repositories, Standards on September 28th, 2008

        JISC has released Final Report: Usage Statistics Review.

        Here's an excerpt:

        The JISC Usage Statistics Review Project is aimed at formulating a fundamental scheme for repository log files and at proposing a standard for their aggregation to provide meaningful and comparable item-level usage statistics for electronic documents like e.g. research papers and scientific resources. . . .

        The thus described usage events should be exchanged in the form of OpenURL Context Objects using OAI. Automated access (e.g. robots) should be tagged. . . .

        With the JISC-funded Publisher and Institutional Repository Usage Statistics (PIRUS) and the DFG-funded Open-Access-Statistics there are two projects which will formulate standards for usage statistics and work on their implementation. To reach broad comparability national efforts should be bundled together. A central authority—which could for example be the Digital Repository Infrastructure Vision for European Research (DRIVER)—should aggregate the usage data. . . .

        Policies on statistics should be formulated for the repository community as well as the publishing community. Information about statistics policies should be available on services like OpenDOAR and RoMEO.

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          Shawn Bentley Orphan Works Act of 2008 Passed by Senate

          Posted in Copyright, Digital Copyright Wars on September 28th, 2008

          The Shawn Bentley Orphan Works Act of 2008 has been passed by the Senate by unanimous consent. See ARL's "Orphan Works Legislation" briefing for background information.

          The bill now goes to the House.

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            Major Copyright Law, the PRO-IP Act, Passed by Senate

            Posted in Copyright, Digital Copyright Wars on September 28th, 2008

            The Prioritizing Resources and Organization for Intellectual Property Act (PRO-IP Act), formerly called the Enforcement of Intellectual Property Rights Act, has been passed by the Senate sans a controversial provision that would have given the Justice Department the ability the bring civil suits against infringers, a provision that the DoJ opposed. The provision to create an Intellectual Property Enforcement Coordinator, opposed by the White House, remained intact.

            Read more about it at "IP Bill Passes Senate, No Civil Enforcement Power for DoJ," "Public Knowledge Statement on Senate Passage of Intellectual Property Legislation," "Senate Passes Bill Creating 'Copyright Czar,'" and "Stacking Penalties Upon Penalties (PRO-IP Passes Senate)."

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              Thomson Reuters Sues George Mason University over Zotero

              Posted in Open Source Software, Research Tools on September 27th, 2008

              Thomson Reuters has sued George Mason University over its popular Zotero research management tool, which is produced by the university's Center for History and New Media. (Thanks to Catalogablog.)

              Read more about it at "Reuters Says George Mason University Is Handing Out Its Proprietary Software."

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                ALA Urgent Call to Action on Orphan Works Bill

                Posted in Copyright, Digital Copyright Wars on September 27th, 2008

                ALA has issued an urgent call to action about the Shawn Bentley Orphan Works Act of 2008. See ARL's "Orphan Works Legislation" briefing for background information.

                You can contact your Congressional representatives to support the bill using ALA's Take Action page for the bill. (In Firefox, quotes do not appear properly in the prepared message. Replace diamonds with a question mark with straight quotes.)

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                  Metadata Working Group Releases Guidelines for Handling Image Metadata Version 1.0

                  Posted in Digital Media, Metadata on September 26th, 2008

                  The Metadata Working Group, a joint effort by Adobe Systems, Apple, Canon, Microsoft, Nokia and Sony, has released Guidelines for Handling Image Metadata Version 1.0.

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                    Omeka 0.10 Alpha Released

                    Posted in Digital Archives and Special Collections, Museums, Open Source Software, Social Media/Web 2.0 on September 26th, 2008

                    The Center for History and New Media at George Mason University has released Omeka 0.10 Alpha. Omeka is used to provide access to digital collections and exhibitions (see the About page).

                    Here's an excerpt from the announcement:

                    In this version we’ve updated to a powerful new data model based on an unqualified Dubin Core standard. We’ve also improved the theme and plugin APIs to work with that data model and make it easier for plugin and theme creators to work with Omeka.

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                      U.S. Departments of Commerce and Justice Oppose Title I of "Enforcement of Intellectual Property Rights Act"

                      Posted in Copyright, Digital Copyright Wars on September 25th, 2008

                      The U.S. Departments of Commerce and Justice have sent a joint letter to Patrick Leahy, Chairman of the Senate Committee on the Judiciary, opposing Title I of the "Enforcement of Intellectual Property Rights Act."

                      Here's an excerpt:

                      We strongly oppose Title I of the bill, which not only authorizes the Attorney General to pursue civil remedies for copyright infringement, but to secure "restitution" damages and remit them to the private owners of infringed copyrights. First, civil copyright enforcement has always been the responsibility and prerogative of private copyright holders, and U.S. law already provides them with effective legal tools to protect their rights. . . .

                      Second, Title 1's departure from the settled framework above could result in Department of Justice prosecutors serving as pro bono lawyers for private copyright holders regardless of their resources. . . .

                      Third, the Department of Justice has limited resources to dedicate to particular issues, and civil enforcement actions would occur at the expense of criminal actions, which only the Department of Justice may bring.

                      Read more about it at "DoJ Agrees: IP Enforcement Bill is a Bad Idea" and "DoJ to Senate: Don't Make Us Be Big Content's Copyright Cops."

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                        Judge in Capitol Records v. Jammie Thomas: Merely Making Available Not Enough for Infringement

                        Posted in Copyright, Digital Copyright Wars, P2P File Sharing on September 25th, 2008

                        United States District Court Judge Michael Davis has ruled in the widely publicized Capitol Records v. Jammie Thomas case that merely making a digital work available is not enough to constitute infringement, rather the work must be accessed and such access must be proved. Since this was not the instruction given to the jury, Thomas has been granted a new trial.

                        The judge also commented on the disproportionate size of the awarded damages ($222,000 for 24 songs):

                        While the Court does not discount Plaintiffs' claim that, cumulatively, illegal downloading has far-reaching effects on their businesses, the damages awarded in this case are wholly disproportionate to the damages suffered by Plaintiffs. Thomas allegedly infringed on the copyrights of 24 songs—the equivalent of approximately three CDs, costing less than $54, and yet the total damages awarded is $222,000—more than five hundred times the cost of buying 24 separate CDs and more than four thousand times the cost of three CDs. While the Copyright Act was intended to permit statutory damages that are larger than the simple cost of the infringed works in order to make infringing a far less attractive alternative than legitimately purchasing the songs, surely damages that are more than one hundred times the cost of the works would serve as a sufficient deterrent.

                        Read more about it at "Capitol v. Thomas: Judge Orders New Trial, Implores Congress to Lower Statutory Penalties for P2P"; "Judge Declares Mistrial in RIAA-Jammie Thomas Trial"; and "Thomas Verdict Overturned, Making Available Theory Rejected."

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