Archive for the 'Research Libraries' Category

Microsoft Joins Effort to Provide Free or Low-Cost Access to Journals in Developing Countries

Posted in E-Journals, Open Access, Publishing, Research Libraries, Scholarly Communication, Scholarly Journals, Serials Crisis on July 17th, 2007 by Charles W. Bailey, Jr.

Microsoft will provide an access and authentication system to support the AGORA (Access to Global Online Research in Agriculture), HINARI (Health InterNetwork Access to Research Initiative), and OARE (Online Access to Research in the Environment) programs.

Here’s an excerpt from the press release:

Many developing countries lack access to the information and training that can help save lives, improve the quality of life, and assist with economic development. To address this disparity, more than 100 publishers, three UN organizations, two major universities, and Microsoft announced the extension of programs that provide free or almost free access to online subscriptions of peer-reviewed journals. Information technology leader Microsoft announced its support of technical assistance to enhance access to online research for scientists, policymakers, and librarians in the developing world.

The three sister programs—HINARI (Health InterNetwork Access to Research Initiative), AGORA (Access to Global Online Research in Agriculture) and OARE (Online Access to Research in the Environment)—provide research access to journals focusing on health, agriculture and the environment, respectively to more than 100 of the world’s poorest countries. All three of the programs will now have official commitment from the partners until 2015, marking the target for reaching the Millennium Development Goals. . . .

As the initiative’s only technology partner, Microsoft is providing a new system for access and authentication enabling secure and effective use of the programs in developing countries. Through these enhanced features provided under the Intelligent Application Gateway (IAG) 2007 as part of the Microsoft Forefront Security products, the system will be able to meet expanded demand and perform at the standards of today’s most heavily trafficked websites.

In a World Health Organization (WHO) survey conducted in 2000, researchers and academics in developing countries ranked access to subscription based journals as one of their most pressing problems. In countries with per capita income of less than USD $1000 per annum, 56 percent of academic institutions surveyed had no current subscriptions to international journals. . . .

The public-private partnerships of these three programs have already resulted in:

  • A strengthened intellectual foundation for universities, enabling faculty to develop evidence-based curricula, perform research on a par with peers in industrialized countries, develop their own publishing record, and enable students to conduct research and seek education in new and emerging scientific fields;
  • More science-driven public policies and regulatory frameworks;
  • Greater capacity for organizations to gather and disseminate to the public new scientific knowledge in the medical, agricultural and environmental sciences and deliver improved services;
  • Increased participation of experts from developing countries in international scientific and policy debates; and
  • A greater movement toward library patronage at universities and an enhancement of the status of libraries.

Representatives from the World Health Organization, the Food and Agriculture Organization, the UN Environmental Programme, and leading science and technology publishers, together with representatives from Cornell and Yale Universities, met today in Washington DC to officially extend their cooperation to 2015, in line with the UN’s MDGs.

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British Library Licenses Turning the Pages Toolkit

Posted in Digital Archives and Special Collections, Digitization, E-Books, Research Libraries on July 3rd, 2007 by Charles W. Bailey, Jr.

The British Library has announced that it is now licensing its Turning the Pages Toolkit to libraries and museums. You can see the software in action at their Turning the Pages Web site.

Here’s an excerpt from the press release:

From today, libraries around the World will be able to license the award-winning Turning the Pages software used by the British Library to bring some of the world’s most rare and valuable books online.

Since its launch in 2004, Turning the Pages has grown to become one of the most popular resources at the British Library, allowing the Library to bring iconic treasures such as the Lindisfarne Gospels, Leonardo da Vinci’s Notebooks and Mercator’s Atlas of Europe online for everyone to see. With the launch of Turning the Pages 2.0, and a completely re-built software platform developed by Armadillo Systems, May 2007 also sees launch of a new "toolkit" that allows other libraries and museums around the World to create their own Turning the Pages gallery. . . .

Michael Stocking, Managing Director of Armadillo Systems and developer of the Turning the Pages software said "As well as making it easy for our customers to create their own collections, we also wanted to enhance the Turning the Pages experience. We have migrated the software to a new platform that places the book in a 3-D environment so, as well as being able to examine the book as a piece of text, users can now also examine it as an object. They can now look at the book from different angles, zoom in and even look at two books, side-by-side."

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ARL’s Library Brown-Bag Lunch Series: Issues in Scholarly Communication

Posted in ARL Libraries, Copyright, Open Access, Research Libraries, Scholarly Communication on June 22nd, 2007 by Charles W. Bailey, Jr.

The Association of Research Libraries (ARL) has released a series of discussion guides for academic librarians to use with faculty. The guides are under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 United States license.

Here’s an excerpt from the guides’ web page:

This series of Discussion Leader’s Guides can serve as a starting point for a single discussion or for a series of conversations. Each guide offers prework and discussion questions along with resources that provide further background for the discussion leader of an hour-long session.

Using the discussion guides, library leaders can launch a program quickly without requiring special expertise on the topics. A brown-bag series could be initiated by a library director, a group of staff, or by any staff person with an interest in the scholarly communication system. The only requirements are the willingness to organize the gatherings and facilitate each meeting’s discussion.

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Council of Australian University Librarians ETD Survey Report

Posted in Digital Repositories, Electronic Theses and Dissertations (ETDs), Institutional Repositories, Open Access, Research Libraries, Scholarly Communication on June 15th, 2007 by Charles W. Bailey, Jr.

The Council of Australian University Librarians has released Australasian Digital Theses Program: Membership Survey 2006.

Here’s an excerpt from the "Key Findings" section:

1. The average percentage of records for digital theses added to ADT is 95% when digital submission is mandatory and 17% when it is not mandatory. . . .

2. 59% of respondents will have mandatory digital submission in place in 2007.

3. With this level of mandatory submission it is predicted that 60% of all theses produced in Australia and New Zealand in 2007 will have a digital copy recorded in ADT. . . .

5. The overwhelming majority of respondents offer a mediated submission service, either only having a mediated service or offering both mediated and self-submission services. When mediated and self-submission are both available, the percentage self-submitted is polarised with some achieving over a 75% self-submission rate.

6. Over half the respondents have a repository already and most are using it to manage digital theses.

7. 87% will have a repository by the end of this year, and the rest are in the initial planning stage.

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CIC’s Digitization Contract with Google

Posted in ARL Libraries, Copyright, Digitization, E-Books, Google and Other Search Engines, Mass Digitizaton, Open Access, Publishing, Research Libraries, Scholarly Communication on June 14th, 2007 by Charles W. Bailey, Jr.

Library Journal Academic Newswire has published a must-read article ("Questions Emerge as Terms of the CIC/Google Deal Become Public") about the Committee on Institutional Cooperation’s Google Book Search Library Project contract.

The article includes quotes from Peter Brantley, Digital Library Federation Executive Director, from his "Monetizing Libraries" posting about the contract (another must-read piece).

Here’s an excerpt from Brantley’s posting:

In other words—pretty much, unless Google ceases business operations, or there is a legal ruling or agreement with publishers that expressly permits these institutions (excepting Michigan and Wisconsin which have contracts of precedence) to receive digitized copies of In-Copyright material, it will be held in escrow until such time as it becomes public domain.

That could be a long wait. . . .

In an article early this year in The New Yorker, "Google’s Moon Shot," Jeffrey Toobin discusses possible outcomes of the antagonism this project has generated between Google and publishers. Paramount among them, in his mind, is a settlement. . . .

A settlement between Google and publishers would create a barrier to entry in part because the current litigation would not be resolved through court decision; any new entrant would be faced with the unresolved legal issues and required to re-enter the settlement process on their own terms. That, beyond the costs of mass digitization itself, is likely to deter almost any other actor in the market.

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Emory Will Use Kirtas Scanner to Digitize Rare Books

Posted in Digital Archives and Special Collections, Digital Curation & Digital Preservation, Digital Presses, E-Books, Mass Digitizaton, Research Libraries, Scholarly Communication on June 6th, 2007 by Charles W. Bailey, Jr.

Emory University’s Woodruff Library will use a Kirtas robotic book scanner to digitize rare books and to create PDF files that will be made available on the Internet and sold as print-on-demand books on Amazon.

Here’s an excerpt from the press release:

"We believe that mass digitization and print-on-demand publishing is an important new model for digital scholarship that is going to revolutionize the management of academic materials," said Martin Halbert, director for digital programs and systems at Emory’s Woodruff Library. "Information will no longer be lost in the mists of time when books go out of print. This is a way of opening up the past to the future."

Emory’s Woodruff Library is one of the premier research libraries in the United States, with extensive holdings in the humanities, including many rare and special collections. To increase accessibility to these aging materials, and ensure their preservation, the university purchased a Kirtas robotic book scanner, which can digitize as many as 50 books per day, transforming the pages from each volume into an Adobe Portable Document Format (PDF). The PDF files will be uploaded to a Web site where scholars can access them. If a scholar wishes to order a bound, printed copy of a digitized book, they can go to Amazon.com and order the book on line.

Emory will receive compensation from the sale of digitized copies, although Halbert stressed that the print-on-demand feature is not intended to generate a profit, but simply help the library recoup some of its costs in making out-of-print materials available.

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Google Book Search Adds Its First Belgium Library

Posted in Digitization, E-Books, Mass Digitizaton, Research Libraries, Scholarly Communication on May 24th, 2007 by Charles W. Bailey, Jr.

The Universiteitsbibliotheek Gent has joined the Google Books Library Project.

Earlier in the month, the La Bibliothèque Cantonale et Universitaire de Lausanne in Switzerland joined the project.

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EDUCAUSE 2006 Podcast on Penn’s Institutional Repository

Posted in Institutional Repositories, Research Libraries, Scholarly Communication on April 22nd, 2007 by Charles W. Bailey, Jr.

In this podcast ("Content Recruitment and Development: A Proactive Approach to Building an Institutional Repository"), Marjorie Hassen describes the University of Pennsylvania Libraries’ strategy for developing and supporting the ScholarlyCommons@Penn, an institutional repository based on the Digital Commons platform.

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Researchers’ Use of Academic Libraries and Their Services

Posted in Libraries, Research Libraries, Scholarly Communication on April 15th, 2007 by Charles W. Bailey, Jr.

The Research Information Network (RIN) and the The Consortium of Research Libraries in the British Isles (CURL) have published a new report titled Researchers’ Use of Academic Libraries and Their Services.

Here’s an excerpt from the report’s Web page:

This study was designed to provide an up-to-date and forward-looking view of how researchers interact with academic libraries in the UK. Harnessing empirical data and qualitative insights from over 2250 researchers and 300 librarians, the RIN and CURL hope that the results will be useful in informing the debate about the future development of academic libraries and the services they provide to researchers.

This is an important moment in the relationship between researchers and research libraries in the UK. The foundations of the relationship are beginning to be tested by shifts in the way that researchers work. The rise of e-research, interdisciplinary work, cross-institution collaborations, and the expectation of massive increases in the quantity of research output in digital form all pose new challenges. These challenges are about how libraries should serve the needs of researchers as users of information sources of many different kinds, but also about how to deal with the information outputs that researchers are creating.

Currently, the majority of researchers think that their institutions’ libraries are doing an effective job in providing the information they need to do their work, but it is time to consider the future roles and responsibilities of all those involved in the research cycle—researchers, research institutions and national bodies, as well as libraries—in meeting the challenges that are coming.

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