With the exception of new Digital Scholarship publication announcements, DigitalKoans will be on a blogging break until 1/14/08. Happy holidays.
Archive for December, 2008
Philip Davis at The Scholarly Kitchen has commented on "The ATLAS Experiment at the CERN Large Hadron Collider," an article that has over 2,900 authors.
Here's an excerpt:
Either the definition of authorship in high energy physics will need to change, or other methods for evaluating individuals will take dominance over publications. Collectively, this community will help draft new rules.
In "Editorial: Google Deal or Rip-Off?," Francine Fialkoff, Library Journal Editor-in-Chief, takes a hard look at the Google-Association of American Publishers/Authors Guild copyright settlement.
Here's an excerpt:
Clearly, the public had little standing in the negotiations that led to the recent agreement in the class-action lawsuit against Google for scanning books from library shelves. . . . Well, the suit was never about the public interest but about corporate interests, and librarians did not have much power at the bargaining table, no matter how hard those consulted pushed. While there are many provisions in the document that specify what libraries can and can't do and portend greater access, ultimately, it is the restrictions that scream out at us from the miasma of details.
Other perspectives can be found in my recently updated Google Book Search Bibliography, Version 3.
Noted copyright expert Lawrence Lessig has joined the faculty of Harvard Law School and become the faculty director of Harvard’s Edmond J. Safra Foundation Center for Ethics.
Here's an excerpt from the press release:
Lessig—a widely acclaimed expert in constitutional law, cyberlaw, and intellectual property—comes to Harvard from the faculty of Stanford Law School. Prior to joining the Stanford faculty in 2000, he was on the faculty of the University of Chicago Law School and Harvard Law School. . . .
As faculty director of the Center, Lessig will expand on the center’s work to encourage teaching and research about ethical issues in public and professional life. He will also launch a major five-year project examining what happens when public institutions depend on money from sources that may be affected by the work of those institutions—for example, medical research programs that receive funding from pharmaceutical companies whose drugs they review, or academics whose policy analyses are underwritten by special interest groups.
“I am very excited to be returning to Harvard to work on a project of enormous importance to our democracy,” said Lessig. “The chance to extend the work of the Center to focus on the problems of institutional independence is timely and essential. I am eager to work with friends and old colleagues from the Law School and across the University to make this project a success.”
A prolific writer, Lessig is the author of five books: “Remix” (2008), “Code v2” (2007), “Free Culture” (2004), “The Future of Ideas” (2001), and “Code, and Other Laws of Cyberspace” (1999). He has published more than 60 scholarly articles in leading law and technology journals. His work also appears regularly in the popular press, and he was a monthly columnist for Wired Magazine.
The New Press will publish David Bollier's Viral Spiral: How the Commoners Built a Digital Republic of Their Own.
Here's an excerpt from the announcement:
Reporting from the heart of this "free culture" movement, journalist and activist David Bollier provides the first comprehensive history of the attempt by a global brigade of techies, lawyers, artists, musicians, scientists, businesspeople, innovators, and geeks of all stripes to create a digital republic committed to freedom and innovation. Viral Spiral —the term Bollier coins to describe the almost-magical process by which Internet users can come together to build online commons and tools—brilliantly interweaves the disparate strands of this eclectic movement. The story describes major technological developments and pivotal legal struggles, as well as fascinating profiles of hacker Richard Stallman, copyright scholar Lawrence Lessig, and other colorful figures.
The Bookseller reports that Sony has sold 300,000 Sony Reader Digital Books since the product’s roll out in 2006.
Read more about it at “Sony Divulges Reader Sales.”
The Pew Internet & American Life Project has released Future of the Internet III.
Here’s an excerpt from the announcement:
Here are the key findings on the survey of experts by the Pew Internet & American Life Project that asked respondents to assess predictions about technology and its roles in the year 2020:
- The mobile device will be the primary connection tool to the internet for most people in the world in 2020.
- The transparency of people and organizations will increase, but that will not necessarily yield more personal integrity, social tolerance, or forgiveness.
- Voice recognition and touch user-interfaces with the internet will be more prevalent and accepted by 2020.
- Those working to enforce intellectual property law and copyright protection will remain in a continuing arms race, with the crackers who will find ways to copy and share content without payment.
- The divisions between personal time and work time and between physical and virtual reality will be further erased for everyone who is connected, and the results will be mixed in their impact on basic social relations.
- Next-generation engineering of the network to improve the current internet architecture is more likely than an effort to rebuild the architecture from scratch.
The Book Industry Study Group's Digital Standards Committee has released BookDROP 1.0, which is "a standard intended to support the search and discovery of digital book content on the Web."
Here's an excerpt from the standard's description:
It was first published on December 8, 2008 and was developed jointly by the Book Industry Study Group and the Association of American Publishers. BookDROP defines a set of HTTP transactions between a publishers digital book archive and the websites of the publisher's syndication partners. The overall goal of BookDROP is to encourage the discovery, search, browse and distribution of digital book content across the Web while allowing publishers to manage the quality and availability of their content.
Read more about it at "BISG Unveils BookDROP Standard for Digital Book Repositories."
ICA-AtoM 1.0.4 beta has been released.
Here's an excerpt from the What is ICA-AtoM? page:
ICA-AtoM stands for International Council on Archives—Access to Memory. It is a web-based, open-source application for standards-based archival description in a multi-lingual, multi-repository environment.
- HTML pages served to a web browser from a web server. Apache is used in development but ICA-AtoM is also compatible with IIS.
- A database on a database server. MySQL is used in development but ICA-AtoM uses a database abstraction layer and is therefore also compatible with Postgres, SQLite, SQLServer, Oracle, etc.
- PHP5 software code that manages requests and responses between the web clients, the application logic and the application content stored in the database.
- The Symfony web framework that organizes the component parts using object-orientation and best practice web design patterns.
- The Qubit Open Information Management toolkit, developed by the ICA-AtoM project and customized to make the ICA-AtoM application.
In "CiteSeerX and SeerSuite—Adding to the Semantic Web," Avi Rappoport overviews beta versions of CiteSeerX and its open source, Java-based counterpart, SeerSuite.
Here's an excerpt:
Building on that experience, CiteSeerX is a completely new system, re-architected for scaling and modularity, to handle increasing demands from both researchers and digital library programmatic interfaces. The system uses artificial intelligence, machine learning, support vector machines, and other techniques to recognize and extract metadata for the articles found. It now uses the Lucene search engine and supports standards such as the Open Archives Initiative (OAI), including metadata browsing, and Z39.50. CiteSeerX has a simple but powerful internal structure for documents and citations. If it cannot access a document cited, it creates a virtual document as a place holder, which can then be filled when the document is available.
The Australian Partnership for Sustainable Repositories has released a SWORD plugin for Open Journal Systems, which was developed by Scott Yeadon and Leo Monus. The plugin requires "a significant amount of patching to DSpace," and it is recommended that testing be done with Fedora. A new version will be released next year that may eliminate the need for DSpace patching.