Associate Director for Technology at MIT

Posted in Digital Library Jobs, Library IT Jobs on February 7th, 2011

The MIT Libraries are recruiting an Associate Director for Technology.

Here's an excerpt from the ad:

The MIT Libraries seek an innovative and experienced manager to fill its senior technology position. The Associate Director for Technology will lead the Libraries’ evolving technology strategy, advance its digital technology research efforts, and manage and coordinate IT development in furtherance of the Libraries’ strategic initiatives and service priorities. S/he will have broad responsibility for information technology across the Libraries, including assessing IT trends and innovations and maintaining important relationships with key players outside the Libraries.

The AD for Technology will seek funding and collaborative partners at MIT, within foundations, and with other institutions – educational, governmental, and non-governmental – to advance system-wide initiatives. S/he will continue the work of the Libraries’ respected and productive research program in the practical applications of digital technology for libraries. As the leader of the Technology Directorate, s/he will be responsible for the oversight of software development and systems administration activities within the Libraries, and for assessing and planning the Libraries’ enterprise systems environment.

The AD will be a member of the senior management team and will contribute to long-range planning, program development and evaluation, resource development, budget formulation, and allocation of resources in support of the Libraries’ mission. In the context of a distributed technology organization, s/he will also provide leadership in technology transfer, assessment, and coordination related to technology-driven processes and services throughout the MIT Libraries.

The Associate Director for Technology will extend existing working relationships with other IT service organizations at MIT, as well as with academic departments and labs engaged in complementary research efforts. S/he will be the MIT Libraries’ primary liaison with organizations such as CNI, EDUCAUSE, DLF, and will participate actively in the national and international development of digital library models and standards.

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    Special Issue of PLATFORM: Journal of Media and Communication about the Creative Commons

    Posted in Copyright, Creative Commons/Open Licenses on February 7th, 2011

    PLATFORM: Journal of Media and Communication has published a special issue about the Creative Commons.

    Here's an excerpt from the issue's editorial by Elliott Bledsoe and Jessica Coates:

    We are privileged to be able to begin this issue with an interview with one of the leading thinkers in the field, Esther Wojcicki, the Vice-Chair of the Creative Commons Board of Directors. Esther is an award winning journalist and educator, who has taught at Palo Alto High School in California for 25 years and blogs regularly for The Huffington Post and Hotchalk. She is an articulate and experienced advocate of open, using it in her professional and personal life. In Wojcicki’s interview she introduces us to the background philosophy of Creative Commons through the lens of her experience, giving her take on why rights literacy is necessary to teach a generation that will work and play primarily on the net.

    Providing a broader overview of where things are at, the issue commences with Rachel Cobcroft’s piece chronicling the development of the international Creative Commons Case Studies initiative. The 2-year-old qualitative research project uses real world examples to gauge the impact of the Creative Commons licensing scheme's legal, technological, social, media and policy initiatives. As well as providing the fundamentals of the Creative Commons model, Cobcroft's piece examines the progress of open content licensing; identifies models of implementation and licensing trends across industry sectors as diverse as music, government, wikis and fashion; and, perhaps most importantly, explores individual motivations for the adoption of open philosophies.

    A similar focus on motivations is central to our second piece by Cheryl Foong. However, in contrast to the broad picture provided by Cobcroft, Foong takes a narrow focus for her analysis, asking the question can open philosophies go hand in hand with commercial gain? Drawing on examples of adoption of Creative Commons licensing by content creators and intermediaries, Foong concludes that, if used wisely, the open licensing scheme can be a useful tool for those creators who wish to circumvent traditional distribution channels dominated by content intermediaries, while maintaining a level of control over their copyright works. However, Foong identifies a need for caution – giving your work away is not a business model in itself, and only those who can successfully adapt the tools provided by the open movement to, as Techdirt CEO Mike Masnick puts it, connect with fans and give them a reason to buy,. . . will achieve success in this space.

    The message that open is valuable, but does not solve all problems is taken up in our third paper, a collaborative piece by Alexandra Crosby and Ferdiansyah Thajib. Viewed through the lens of video activism in Indonesia, Crosby and Thajib seek to explore the experience of individual creators attempting to tackle the behemoth of copyright in the liberated, but confusing, internet age. In doing so, they argue that while open licensing is an improvement on the models of the past, there is not yet a solution for the problems of copyright management that fits the Indonesian context. Of particular concern are issues of collaboration and credit in a world where attribution is the new currency, and the increasing gap between the global rhetoric of copyright enforcement and the diversity of practices on the ground. In the end Crosby and Thajib conclude that if the commons movement is to be successful in Indonesia, it must address cultural issues, images of imperialism and practical barriers to clear and open licensing in a society where no strong copyright tradition exists.

    The final paper by Peter Jakobsson also focuses on the principle of collaboration that underpins the current commons movement, but with a more critical, theoretical eye. Relying primarily on the analytical model provided by Rene Girard's theory of mimetic desire, Jakobsson examines the relationship between the growing trend, and rhetoric, of cooperation on the ‘social web' and the often undervalued importance of competition in the same field. In doing so, he argues that both competition and collaboration are not only valuable but central to the new forms and platforms of cultural production. Most interestingly, to demonstrate his argument he draws on the real world example of YouTube's Partnership program, demonstrating that even in a limitless world, scarcity still exists in resources such as viewer attention.

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      Generations and Their Gadgets

      Posted in Digital Culture, Reports and White Papers on February 6th, 2011

      The Pew Research Center's Internet & American Life Project has released Generations and Their Gadgets.

      Here's an excerpt from the announcement:

      Many devices have become popular across generations, with a majority now owning cell phones, laptops and desktop computers. . . .

      • Cell phones are by far the most popular device among American adults. Some 85% of adults own cell phones, and 90% of all adults—including 62% of those age 75 and older—live in a household with at least one working cell phone.
      • Desktop computers are most popular with adults ages 35-65, and Millennials are the only generation that is more likely to own a laptop computer or netbook than a desktop: 70% own a laptop, compared with 57% who own a desktop.
      • Almost half of all adults own an iPod or other mp3 player, but these are still most popular with Millennials—74% of adults ages 18-34 own an mp3 player, compared with only 56% of the next oldest generation, Gen X (ages 35-46).
      • Game consoles are uniformly popular with all adults ages 18-46, 63% of whom own these devices.
      • Overall, 5% of adults own an e-book reader, and 4% own an iPad or other tablet computer.

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        New Journal of Physics Now Includes Video Abstracts

        Posted in Digital Media, Scholarly Journals on February 6th, 2011

        The New Journal of Physics, an open access journal, now includes video abstracts.

        Here's an excerpt from the press release:

        New Journal of Physics (NJP) has today announced the launch of video abstracts as a new integrated content stream that will give all authors the opportunity to go beyond the constraints of the written article to personally present the importance of their work to the journal's global audience.

        Early contributions include videos from the groups of David Wineland, National Institute of Standards and Technology and J. Ignacio Cirac, Max Planck Institute for Quantum Optics, talking about scalable ion traps for quantum information processing, and quantum superposition of living organisms. Researchers from more than 25 countries are represented by the videos abstracts that are published today.

        One of the first contributors, Neil Wilson of the University of Warwick, UK, said of the service "We are very excited to have the opportunity to feature a video abstract alongside our NJP article. Embracing the possibilities of online media in this way allows us to present our work as we see it, and helps focus interested readers on what we believe the key points to be. We hope that being able to put faces to names, and visualize some of the research in action, will add a human touch and so help the scientific community to grow closer." His video on the structure and topography of free-standing chemically modified graphene can be viewed at

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          Library Web Programmer/Drupal Developer at University of California, Santa Barbara

          Posted in Library IT Jobs on February 6th, 2011

          The University of California, Santa Barbara's Davidson Library is recruiting a Library Web Programmer/Drupal Developer. Salary range: $4,538-$5,082 monthly.

          Here's an excerpt from the ad (job number: 20110039):

          The Library Web Programmer/Drupal Developer provides dedicated programming support to meet the needs of the UCSB Library. Under the direction of the Programmer Manager, has primary responsibility for the technical development and maintenance of the Library website.

          Works with the Library Web Content Manager to identify unmet needs among Library staff and patrons. Implements new tools, user interfaces, and applications on the web in a variety of programming languages. Responsible for the administration of the Library's Content Management System, performing software upgrades and maintenance and providing technical support to the Web Content Manager as needed. Performs website-related system administration duties in a complex environment, working directly with file systems and databases. Performs creative layout, graphics creation, and design tasks, and advises the Library on design decisions during website redesigns.

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            Current News: Twitter Updates for 2/6/11

            Posted in Current News: DigitalKoans Twitter Updates on February 6th, 2011

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              Digital Archivist at Washington University

              Posted in Digital Library Jobs on February 6th, 2011

              Washington University's Olin Library is recruiting a Digital Archivist. Salary Range:$3,185.00-$4,060.88 per month.

              Here's an excerpt from the ad:

              The Digital Archivist will assume management responsibilities in the area of archival processing of material regardless of format; lead the archives’ digital initiatives; and develop strategies for the management of digital assets/electronic records. These responsibilities involve working closely with the University Archivist and other University departments. This position will also provide some references services.

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                "Did Online Access to Journals Change the Economics Literature?"

                Posted in E-Journals, Open Access on February 6th, 2011

                Mark J. McCabe and Christopher M. Snyder have self-archived "Did Online Access to Journals Change the Economics Literature?" in SSRN.

                Here's an excerpt:

                Does online access boost citations? The answer has implications for issues ranging from the value of a citation to the sustainability of open-access journals. Using panel data on citations to economics and business journals, we show that the enormous effects found in previous studies were an artifact of their failure to control for article quality, disappearing once we add fixed effects as controls. The absence of an aggregate effect masks heterogeneity across platforms: JSTOR boosts citations around 10%; ScienceDirect has no effect. We examine other sources of heterogeneity including whether JSTOR benefits "long-tail" or "superstar" articles more.

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