Archive for April, 2009

NISO to Form Single Sign-On Authentication Working Group

Posted in Emerging Technologies, Standards on April 30th, 2009

NISO will form a single sign-on authentication working group.

Here's an excerpt from the press release:

NISO is pleased to announce the approval by the NISO Voting Members of a new work item to focus on perfecting single-sign-on (SSO) authentication to achieve seamless item-level linking in a networked information environment. A new working group will be formed under the auspices of NISO's Discovery to Delivery Topic Committee to create one or more recommended practices that will explore practical solutions for improving the success of SSO authentication technologies and to promote the adoption of one or more of these solutions to make the access improvements a reality.

This work item is the outcome of NISO's new Chair's Initiative, an annual project of the chair of NISO's Board of Directors. NISO's current Chair, Oliver Pesch (Chief Strategist, EBSCO Information Services), has identified single-sign-on authentication as an area that would benefit greatly from study and development within NISO, with a focus on a solution that will allow a content site to know which authentication method to use without special login URLs in order to provide a seamless experience for the user. Possible solutions include providing a generic mechanism for passing the authentication method from site to site; use of cookies to remember the authentication method that was used the last time the site was accessed by that computer; and/or providing a mechanism to discover if the user has an active session for one of the common SSO authentication methods. "By developing recommended practices that will help make the SSO environment work better (smarter)," said Pesch, "libraries and information providers will improve the ability for users to successfully and seamlessly access the content to which they are entitled."

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    Canada Put on U.S. Copyright Blacklist

    Posted in Copyright, Digital Copyright Wars on April 30th, 2009

    Canada has joined countries such as China, Russia, and Pakistan on a U.S. copyright blacklist.

    Here's an excerpt from 2009 Special 301 Report:

    Canada will be added to the Priority Watch List in 2009. The United States appreciates the high level of cooperation between our two governments in many important bilateral and multilateral IPR initiatives. The United States also welcomed the Government of Canada's reaffirmation earlier this year of its 2007 and 2008 commitments to improve IPR protection and enforcement. However, the Government of Canada has not delivered on these commitments by promptly and effectively implementing key copyright reforms. The United States continues to have serious concerns with Canada's failure to accede to and implement the WIPO Internet Treaties, which Canada signed in 1997. We urge Canada to enact legislation in the near term to strengthen its copyright laws and implement these treaties. The United States also continues to urge Canada to improve its IPR enforcement system to enable authorities to take effective action against the trade in counterfeit and pirated products within Canada, as well as curb the volume of infringing products transshipped and transiting through Canada. Canada's weak border measures continue to be a serious concern for IP owners.

    Read more about it at "Canada Placed on Copyright Blacklist."

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      Digital Video: The Commons: Celebrating Accomplishments, Discerning Futures

      Posted in Copyright, Creative Commons/Open Licenses on April 30th, 2009

      A digital video of the Harvard's Berkman Center for Internet & Society panel discussion "The Commons: Celebrating Accomplishments, Discerning Futures" is now available.

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        The Open Access Directory Turns One

        Posted in Open Access on April 30th, 2009

        The Open Access Directory is now a year old, and SPARC has issued a press release about this event.

        Here's an excerpt from the press release:

        The Open Access Directory, hosted by Simmons College, is a wiki where community contributors create and maintain simple, factual lists about Open Access to science and scholarship. Launched just one year ago, and operated entirely by an international corps of volunteers, the OAD quickly blossomed from six to 40 lists and has served more than 250,000 unique users.

        Designed by Robin Peek (Associate Professor, Graduate School of Library and Information Science, Simmons College) and Peter Suber (Research Professor of Philosophy at Earlham College, Visiting Fellow at Yale Law School, and Senior Researcher at SPARC), the OAD has quickly become a "go-to” resource in the academic community.

        The Directory’s "signature” lists include:

        "The Open Access Directory has become a central and relied-upon resource that is also a gathering place for everyone looking to learn more about the benefits of Open Access," said Heather Joseph, Executive Director of SPARC. "In planning last year’s Open Access Day, it became clear that OA champions in every corner of the world have valuable tools, key advancements, and breaking news to share. The OAD is the place they can meet and share these resources. Congratulations to the editors of the Open Access Directory on their first birthday!"

        The Open Access Directory will serve as a central component in the program for the upcoming Open Access Week (October 19 to 23, 2009), which will feature educational resources that local hosts can use to customize events to suit local audiences and time zones. Two sample program tracks, highlighting "Author’s rights and author addenda—For researchers," and "Institutional Advantages from Open Access—For administrators," have been released for participants to use to design or inspire their plans for the week.

        Sample tracks point first to OASIS (the Open Access Scholarly Information Sourcebook), which delivers resources for multiple constituencies and awareness levels. Both OAD and OASIS resources are community-driven tools that invite registered users to expand and refine available content. The organizers of Open Access Week invite feedback on the sample tracks as well as contributions to OASIS and the OAD. Additional sample tracks will be developed with advice from registered Open Access Week participants.

        Here are the editorial staff members of the OAD:

        • Editors and Administrators
          • Robin Peek. Editor. Associate Professor, Graduate School of Library and Information Science, Simmons College
          • Jean-Claude Guédon. Associate Editor. Professor of Comparative Literature, University of Montreal
          • David Goodman. Associate Editor, and wiki consultant. Princeton University Library, retired (Administrator at Wikipedia, and Editorial council, Citizendium)
          • Athanasia Pontika. Assistant Editor. Doctoral Student, Graduate School of Library and Information Science, Simmons College
          • Terry Plum. Technology Coordinator. Assistant Dean for Technology and Director, Simmons GSLIS at Mount Holyoke College
        • Editorial Board
          • Charles W. Bailey, Jr. Member. Publisher, Digital Scholarship
          • Leslie Chan. Member. Program Supervisor for New Media Studies, University of Toronto Scarborough
          • Heather Joseph. Member. Executive Director, Scholarly Publishing and Academic Resources Coalition (SPARC)
          • Melissa Hagemann. Member. Open Society Institute
          • Peter Suber. Member. Research Professor of Philosophy at Earlham College, Visiting Fellow at Yale Law School, and Senior Researcher at SPARC
          • Alma Swan. Member. Key Perspectives Ltd
          • John Wilbanks. Member. Vice President, Creative Commons
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          Controlling Access to and Use of Online Cultural Collections: A Survey of U.S. Archives, Libraries and Museums for IMLS

          Posted in Copyright, Digital Archives and Special Collections, Digital Humanities, Digital Rights Management, Licenses, Museums on April 30th, 2009

          Kristin Eschenfelder has self-archived a draft of Controlling Access to and Use of Online Cultural Collections: A Survey of U.S. Archives, Libraries and Museums for IMLS in dLIST.

          Here's an excerpt:

          This report describes the results of an Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS) funded study to investigate the use of technological or policy tools to control patron access to or use of digital collections of cultural materials created by U.S. archives, libraries and museums. The technological and policy tools serve primarily to control copying or other reuses of digital materials. The study had the following goals: 1. Assess what technical and policy tools cultural institutions are employing to control access to and use of online digital collections. 2. Investigate motivations for controlling access to or use of collections (e.g., copyright, privacy, protecting traditional restrictions, income generation etc.). 3. Investigate discouragers to the implementation of access and use control systems (e.g., preference for open collections, lack of resources, institutional mission, etc.). 4. Gauge interest in implementing technical systems to control access to and use of collections. 5. Determine what types of assistance IMLS could provide. 6. Identify institutions with innovative controlled online collections for follow up case studies on policy, technical and managerial details.

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            Summary of DSpace Community Network Survey Results

            Posted in Digital Repositories, DSpace, Institutional Repositories on April 30th, 2009

            A brief summary of the recent DSpace Community Network Survey results is now available.

            Here's an excerpt:

            • Type of institution: 83% of respondents represent academic institutions, 19% research centers, 10% archive/public library, 10% government *
            • Number of items: More than half of the respondents have 2,500 or less items in their repositories, only 15% have 10,000 or more items . . . .
            • Modifications to software: 54% minor cosmetic, 29% new features, 29% significant UI customizations, 23% no changes, 8% core code changes*

            *Many of the questions allowed for multiple answers, therefore some of the numbers and percentages represent multiple answers from the same respondent.

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              Interview with Kristin Antelman, Associate Director for the Digital Library at NCSU Libraries

              Posted in Digital Libraries, People in the News on April 29th, 2009

              In "A Conversation with Kristin Antelman," Brett Bonfield has interviews Kristin Antelman, Associate Director for the Digital Library at the North Carolina State University Libraries about the Taiga Forum (a group for Assistant/Associate University Librarians and Assistant/Associate Directors), its controversial 2009 Provocative Statements, and other topics.

              Here's an excerpt:

              [Bonfield] Is there anything we could do to that would keep us from being at the mercy of Google and the major publishers? . . . .

              [Antelman] Scholarly publishers, operating in an increasingly consolidated market, will continue to raise prices beyond inflation and restrict libraries through complex big deal licenses. They do have us at their mercy. Open access may be the eventual solution (and I think it is) but, in the interim, the detrimental impacts of their dominance (smaller market for monographs, for instance) will continue to be significant. One thing libraries can do—and many have done—is never again enter into big deals, where flexibility is traded for cost savings. Another thing libraries can do is to be less fixated on collecting for posterity. Scholarly work is increasingly preserved beyond our walls: a significant percentage of the best articles are already openly available on the web (and this segment is growing), while another significant percentage is made openly available by publishers after an embargo period. Libraries, collectively, will have to be less dogmatic about licensing (and replicating) complete and official versions of the STM (scientific/technical/medical) literature. At risk are two dimensions of our mission that have historically (and justifiably) defined us as research libraries: developing collections of significant breadth to meet the needs of all our constituents and maintaining the capacity to invest in new services.

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                Free Cloud Services from Amazon: AWS in Education

                Posted in Cloud Computing/SaaS, Cyberinfrastructure/E-Science on April 29th, 2009

                Amazon is offering academic community members free cloud services in its AWS in Education program.

                Here's an excerpt from the press release:

                Amazon.com, Inc. announces AWS in Education, a set of programs that enable the academic community to easily leverage the benefits of Amazon Web Services for teaching and research. With AWS in Education, educators, academic researchers, and students worldwide can obtain free usage credits to tap into the on-demand infrastructure of Amazon Web Services to teach advanced courses, tackle research endeavors and explore new projects. . . AWS in Education also provides self-directed learning resources on cloud computing for students.

                Read more about it at "AWS in Education FAQs."

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                  Justice Department Launches Antitrust Investigation into Google Book Search Settlement

                  Posted in Copyright, Digital Copyright Wars, E-Books, Google and Other Search Engines, Publishing on April 29th, 2009

                  The Justice Department has launched an antitrust investigation into the Google Book Search Copyright Class Action Settlement.

                  Read more about it at "Justice Department Looking into Google Book Settlement" and "Justice Dept. Opens Antitrust Inquiry Into Google Books Deal."

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                    Seven ARL Libraries Face Major Planned or Potential Budget Cuts

                    Posted in ARL Libraries, Higher Education Budget Cuts, Serials Crisis on April 28th, 2009

                    Seven Association of Research Libraries member libraries are facing major planned or potential budget cuts. These examples suggest that significant budget cuts may be widespread in ARL libraries.

                    The Cornell University Library will have to cut around about $944,000 from the fiscal year 2010 materials budget.

                    "A reduction in the materials budget is in keeping with reductions across the university," said John Saylor, associate university librarian for scholarly resources and special collections. "It's unfortunate but unavoidable. The library is committed to maintaining and building a collection that ensures our lasting position among the top research libraries."

                    The Emory University Libraries have "already cut $200,000 from the current (2008/2009) collections budget" and more cuts are planned in FY 2010:

                    Fiscal Year 2010 will bring additional collection cuts as the library struggles to adjust a reduced budget to inflationary pressures which can range from five to ten percent. Chuck Spornick, Head of Collection Management for the General Libraries, estimates that almost $637,000 will need to be trimmed from the 2010 collections budget.

                    The MIT Libraries are faced with a $1.4 million budget cut this summer:

                    "As part of the Institute-wide mandate to reduce General Institute Budget expenditures in the 2010 fiscal year, the MIT Libraries are required to reduce their budget by 6%, or $1.4M by July 1, 2009. Further budget reductions are anticipated for FY2011 and FY2012."

                    The UCLA Libraries are facing a cut of over $400,00 this year alone:

                    Last Friday I received a memorandum from Executive Vice-Chancellor and Provost Scott Waugh detailing this request. I am meeting with campus administration today to further explore the implications for the UCLA Library. In the detail attached to EVC Waugh’s memorandum the library is slated for a $438,623 mid-year reduction for 2008-09 and the five percent reduction for 2009-10 of $1,830,201.

                    The University of Tennessee Libraries sent a February 16th memo to deans, department heads, and library representatives saying that they were "facing a potential 8% base budget cut. This cut represents reductions totaling $1,343,299 from the library’s operations, personnel, and collections budget."

                    The University of Washington Libraries have submitted a business plan to the Provost and Executive Vice President that reflects "levels of reduction in central support of 8%, 10%, and 12%." In dollar terms, these reductions are $2,457,962, $3,072,452, and $$3,686,943 respectively.

                    The Yale University Library is cutting its collection budget for the first time due to budget shortfalls:

                    This is the first time that the general University collections budget will be cut for economic reasons. Four or five years ago the Library's General Appropriation (GA) was reduced by 5%, but this reduction was not applied to the collections budgets. (On a couple of occasions in the last decade, the YUL general collections were reduced by $500,000 each, as part of a buying-power reconciliation.) This time will be different. As a result of the University's 25% endowment decrease, the following reductions will take effect: (1) the collections GA budgets will be cut by 5%, a decrease of around $300,000; and (2) the collections endowment budgets will see a 6.75% reduction, approximately $900,000. These reductions will take effect as of 1 July 2009 and may be repeated in future year(s).

                    In "Predictions for 2009," Peter Suber discusses the potential impact of the global recession on journal publishing, libraries, and open access (see "The Worldwide Financial Crisis and Recession Will Have Mixed Consequences for OA, but Will Yield More Gains Than Losses" section).

                    Related post: "University of Florida Libraries Propose to Cut Budget by over $2.6 Million."

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                      Six University Presses Get Mellon Grant for Archaeology of the Americas Digital Monograph Initiative

                      Posted in Grants, Publishing, University Presses on April 28th, 2009

                      The Alabama Press, University of Arizona Press, the University Press of Colorado, the University Press of Florida, the Texas A&M University Press and the University of Utah Press have received a $282,000 one-year planning grant from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation for the Archaeology of the Americas Digital Monograph Initiative, a digital collection of New World archaeology scholarship.

                      Here's an excerpt from the press release:

                      Together, the institutions will explore ways to deliver data- and illustration-rich digital editions of cutting-edge archaeological research.

                      The project, the "Archaeology of the Americas Digital Monograph Initiative," will give scholars and professional archaeologists the ability to review supplemental data not often contained in conventionally published volumes.

                      "This initiative enables each press to break out of the traditional monograph form, in which it is often financially impossible to offer digital resources alongside the book," said Kathryn Conrad, interim director of the UA Press. . . .

                      The books produced as part of this initiative will be enhanced by large data sets, color illustrations, video components, three-dimensional, rotatable images, and in some cases, interactive components such as reader commenting. . . .

                      If the program reaches full implementation, the presses could potentially create a third-party entity devoted to the creation and maintenance of the digital platform.

                      The presses also plan to work on a business model for the proposed platform. In addition, the presses plan to develop a prototype digital book, providing a workable platform that could potentially be used by scholarly presses around the world.

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                        Digital Library Jobs: Digital Projects Librarian at Sandia National Laboratories Technical Library

                        Posted in Digital Library Jobs on April 28th, 2009

                        The Sandia National Laboratories Technical Library is recruiting a Digital Projects Librarian.

                        Here's an excerpt from the ad:

                        The Sandia National Laboratories Technical Library is seeking an innovative, highly motivated, energetic and forward-thinking Digital Projects Librarian to become part of its Library of the Future team. The selected candidate will take overall responsibility for researching, evaluating, selecting, implementing and supporting technologies shaping the Sandia Library of the Future. The Digital Projects Librarian will work with Sandia Library staff, Library IS Team and Library customers in order to identify, analyze and address Library technology needs and future direction. The Librarian will also take a role in supporting access to e-resources, including implementing and managing electronic resource management applications including SFX, MetaLib and Verde; collecting usage statistics and creating reports needed to manage and monitor electronic resource subscriptions; and implementing e-resource subscriptions troubleshooting access, maintenance, and other performance issues related to electronic resources. The Digital Projects Librarian will provide vision and leadership to the Library's technology needs and future and will be self-directed and independently motivated.

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