Harvard University Library Launched Web Archive Collection Service (WAX)

Posted in Digital Curation & Digital Preservation on September 2nd, 2009

The Harvard University Library has launched its Web Archive Collection Service (WAX).

Here's an excerpt from the press release (posted on DIGLIB@infoserv.nlc-bnc.ca):

WAX began as a pilot project in July 2006, funded by the University's Library Digital Initiative (LDI) to address the management of web sites by collection managers for long-term archiving. It was the first LDI project specifically oriented toward preserving "born-digital" material. . . .

During the pilot, we explored the legal terrain and implemented several methods of mitigating risks. We investigated various technologies and developed work flow efficiencies for the collection managers and the technologists. We analyzed and implemented the metadata and deposit requirements for long term preservation in our repository. We continue to look at ways to ease the labor intensive nature of the QA process, to improve display as the software matures and to assess additional requirements for long term preservation. . . .

WAX was built using several open source tools developed by the Internet Archive and other International Internet Preservation Consortium (IIPC) members. These IIPC tools include the Heritrix web crawler; the Wayback index and rendering tool; and the NutchWAX index and search tool. WAX also uses Quartz open source job scheduling software from OpenSymphony.

In February 2009, the pilot public interface was launched and announced to the University community. WAX has now transitioned to a production system supported by the University Library's central infrastructure.

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    The Future of Scholarly Journals Publishing Among Social Science and Humanities Associations

    Posted in Publishing, Scholarly Journals on September 2nd, 2009

    The National Humanities Alliance has released The Future of Scholarly Journals Publishing Among Social Science and Humanities Associations.

    Here's an excerpt from the press release:

    In December 2006, the National Humanities Alliance (NHA) charged a Task Force with developing projects to assist NHA members in exploring issues related to scholarly journal publishing in humanities and social science (HSS) associations.

    The Task Force needed current business data on HSS journal publishing, and it approached several larger humanities and social science societies to participate in a pilot study that would produce comparable data on HSS journal publishing and financing. The study set out to enable society publishers to better understand their business models over time, to make relevant comparisons with models employed in other disciplines, and to assess potential changes in their models that would help them deliver journal content to the widest possible audience on an economically sustainable basis. The participating societies are: the American Academy of Religion, American Anthropological Association, American Economic Association, American Historical Association, American Political Science Association, American Sociological Association, American Statistical Association, and the Modern Language Association.

    With generous support from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation through a grant to the American Anthropological Association, the eight scholarly societies engaged the professional guidance of Mary Waltham, an independent consultant with recognized expertise in the publishing field who had conducted a similar study of scientific, technical and medical (STM) journals for the UK's Joint Information Systems Committee. Waltham developed the data collection templates, and gathered detailed cost and revenue information on the flagship journals of the participating HSS societies for a three-year period, 2005- 2007.

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      Stuart Shieber on Subsidized Open Access Fees and Academic Freedom

      Posted in Open Access on September 1st, 2009

      In "More on Academic Freedom and OA Funds," Stuart Shieber discusses whether subsidizing open access fees conflicts with academic freedom.

      Here's an excerpt:

      Kent says "libraries can't control the disbursement of open access fees precisely because of academic freedom." The premise here is that any method an OA fund uses to control disbursement must if effective necessarily cause a change in behavior of authors, for instance encouraging them to publish in less expensive journals over more expensive ones ceteris paribus. This much is true. Furthermore, there is an implicit assumption that any such policy that causes behavioral changes in where authors publish is coercive and a violation of academic freedom. They are not "free" to publish in any location because some are financially more attractive to them than others.

      But no. Academic freedom means that faculty can study what they want, and publish the results where they want. It doesn't mean that the university must cover all costs for doing so, nor does it mean the university cannot cover some costs and not others in ways that redound to what the university sees as the benefit of its constituencies.

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        English-Language Summary of A Future for Our Digital Memory: Permanent Access to Information in the Netherlands

        Posted in Digital Curation & Digital Preservation on September 1st, 2009

        The Netherlands Coalition for Digital Preservation has released an English-language summary of A Future for Our Digital Memory: Permanent Access to Information in the Netherlands.

        Here's an excerpt:

        In order to underpin its strategy, the NCDD decided to first build a detailed picture of the current situation in the public sector in the Netherlands. Can institutions or domains be identified which have successfully risen to the challenge of digital preservation and permanent access? Which categories of data are in danger of being lost? How can the risks be managed? This so-called National Digital Preservation Survey was funded by the Ministry of Ministry of Education, Culture and Science.

        After some preliminary consultancy work it was decided that the survey would best be carried out by researchers with both knowledge of the issues involved in digital preservation and of the three sectors, which were identified as: scholarly communications, government & archives, and culture & heritage. A team of three researchers was recruited from among NCDD member staff, with the NCDD coordinator leading the project. The initial objective, to conduct a statistically relevant quantitative survey, had to be abandoned early in the project. The field to be surveyed was vast and varied, and some of the target groups were quite unfamiliar with the specifics of digital preservation, making online surveys unproductive. Therefore, the research team decided on a methodology of (some seventy) semi-structured interviews with knowledgeable stakeholders, adding relevant information from both Dutch and foreign published sources. Five interviews were held with major private sector parties to establish whether the private sector has best practices to offer for the public sector to emulate.

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          Systems Analyst/Programmer at Indiana University

          Posted in Digital Library Jobs on September 1st, 2009

          The Institute for Digital Arts and Humanities at Indiana University, Bloomington is recruiting a Systems Analyst/Programmer (funded for 15 months with the potential for renewal).

          Here's an excerpt ad (job no. 701):

          Participates in the development of multimedia research and digital library applications in support of the Institute for Digital Arts and Humanities (IDAH) at IU Bloomington. Participates in the development of technical system design and implementation to application requirements. Implements technical system design as programmatic constructs, with concentration on user delivery systems and application development, including metadata; data storage; data manipulation; data integrity; indexing; search and retrieval; media synchronization, cataloging, access, and administrative interfaces; digital repositories; workflow systems; networking considerations for media delivery; synchronized multimedia display; use scenarios; usability design; interface mockups; usability testing; user documentation; technical documentation; and technical and user support for implementation. Participates in the development of software tools for the Sound Directions audio preservation project, funded by a grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities to the IU Archives of Traditional Music.

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            "The Open Access Availability of Library and Information Science Literature"

            Posted in Libraries, Open Access, Self-Archiving on September 1st, 2009

            College & Research Libraries has released a preprint of "The Open Access Availability of Library and Information Science Literature" by Doug Way.

            Here's an excerpt:

            To examine the open access availability of Library and Information Science (LIS) research, a study was conducted using Google Scholar to search for articles from 20 top LIS journals. The study examined whether Google Scholar was able to find any links to full text, if open access versions of the articles were available and where these articles were being hosted. The results showed the archiving of articles is not a regular practice in the field, articles are not being deposited in institutional or subject repositories at a high rate and the overall the percentage of available open access articles in LIS was similar to the findings in previous studies. In addition, the study found that Google Scholar is an effective tool for finding known LIS articles.

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              Martin Halbert Named Dean of Libraries at the University of North Texas

              Posted in People in the News, Texas Academic Libraries on September 1st, 2009

              Martin Halbert, Director for Digital Innovations at the Emory University Libraries, has been named Dean of Libraries at the University of North Texas Libraries. Halbert will also have a joint appointment as an associate professor in the UNT College of Information. UNT was recently named as one of the "Up-and-coming National Universities" by U.S. News & World Report in its "Best Colleges 2010" issue.

              Halbert is widely known for his innovative work in the MetaScholar Initiative and, more recently, the MetaArchive Cooperative.

              He has co-edited The Information Commons: A Field Guide, edited or co-edited several proceedings, and authored or coauthored a number of papers on digital library topics, including "Combined Searching of Web and OAI Digital Library Resources," "Digital Library Federation (DLF) Aquifer Project," "Findings from the Mellon Metadata Harvesting Initiative," "Integrating ETD Services into Campus Institutional Repository Infrastructures Using Fedora," "Lessons from the Information Commons Frontier," "An Initial Evaluation of Automated Organization for Digital Library Browsing," "The MetaArchive Cooperative: A Collaborative Approach to Distributed Digital Preservation," and "The Metascholar Initiative: AmericanSouth.Org and MetaArchive.Org."

              He holds a Ph.D. from Emory University, where his dissertation was on "New Models for Research Libraries in the Digital Age" (excerpt). He also holds an M.L.I.S. from the University of Texas and a B.A. from Rice University.

              Here's an excerpt from the press release:

              Halbert replaces Dr. B. Donald Grose, who retired from the dean position in July after serving 21 years with the UNT Libraries. Dr. Judith Forney, dean of UNT's School of Merchandising and Hospitality Management, will continue as interim dean of the libraries until Halbert arrives at UNT.

              In his position with Emory University Libraries, Halbert has served as the principal investigator for digital library services and research projects totaling $6.1 million, including the Transatlantic Slave Trade Voyages and Origins projects, which offer comprehensive access to primary data from four centuries of the transatlantic slave trade. Halbert is also president of MetaArchive Cooperative, an international consortium of research libraries and institutes that preserve digital archives in partnership with the Library of Congress, as part of the National Digital Information Infrastructure and Preservation Program.

              "Dr. Halbert's strengths lie in digital library services, innovative ideas, strategic planning and management of multiple libraries on one university campus," said Dr. Wendy K. Wilkins, UNT provost and vice president for academic affairs. "We are delighted that he also has a national reputation among funding agencies and leading digital and technological library organizations, and we look forward to welcoming him to UNT."

              Halbert, a native of Houston, said the UNT Libraries' national reputation as a leader in digital projects and services attracted him to the university.

              "Libraries are changing with the times, and UNT is at the forefront of that. I am looking forward to being part of the growth of the UNT Libraries, and I'm delighted to be part of the UNT community," he said. "I'm also happy to be returning to Texas, where I grew up."

              At Emory, Halbert is an adjunct professor in the Graduate Institute of Liberal Arts, where he developed a doctoral certificate in digital scholarship and new media, an interdisciplinary credential that provides graduate students with expertise in new forms of research and publication using digital media.

              He is also the principal investigator of the Librarians for the Digital Age Master of Library Science program for north Georgia, a partnership with UNT's College of Information and the Atlanta University Center, a consortium of four historically African-American colleges in the city.

              In Librarians for the Digital Age, 60 students from north Georgia are earning master of library science degrees, with courses taught by UNT faculty members in four-day institutes and online. The students began the program in the fall of 2008 and are scheduled to graduate in September 2010.

              "The students are excited about being part of a premiere program like the UNT College of Information," Halbert said. "The program is intended to provide a robust next generation of librarians from diverse backgrounds who will be well prepared for the evolving roles of information professionals in the digital age. It has exceeded all of our expectations and goals."

              Before being named to his current position with Emory University Libraries in February 2007, Halbert was the libraries' director for digital programs and systems for 11 years. He was also head of networked systems for libraries and head of the Computing Resources Library at Rice University, taking a semester off from Rice in 1994 to work for the U.S. Information Agency in Tartu, Estonia as an American Library Association fellow, advising the national university library in automation planning.

              Since 2001, Halbert has successfully applied for many grants for collaborative projects, receiving funding from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, Institute of Museum and Library Services, National Digital Information Infrastructure and Preservation Program, National Endowment for the Humanities, National Historic Publications and Records Commission and National Science Foundation.

              He has served the National Science Digital Library, the U.S. leading online library for education and research in science, technology and mathematics, as chair and vice chair of the policy committee, co-chair of the technology standing committee and a member of the planning committee. He was chair of both the Emerging Technologies Interest Group and the Digital Library Technologies Interest Group for the Library and Information Technology Association, a division of the American Library Association, and has served as a grant reviewer for the National Science Foundation and Institute of Museum and Library Services.

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                "Shrinking the Commons: Termination of Copyright Licenses and Transfers for the Benefit of the Public"

                Posted in Copyright, Creative Commons/Open Licenses on August 31st, 2009

                Timothy K. Armstrong has self-archived "Shrinking the Commons: Termination of Copyright Licenses and Transfers for the Benefit of the Public" in SSRN.

                Here's an excerpt:

                Federal law limits the free alienability of copyright rights to prevent powerful transferees from forcing authors into unremunerative bargains. The limiting mechanism is a statutory provision that permits authors or their heirs, at their sole election, to terminate any transfer or license of any copyright interest during a defined period. Indeed, the applicable provisions of the Copyright Act go so far as to invalidate purported waivers by authors of their statutory termination powers.

                These statutory provisions may constitute an impediment to the effective grant of rights for the benefit of the public under widely used "open content" licensing arrangements, such as the GNU General Public License ("GPL") for software or the Creative Commons family of licenses for other sorts of expressive works. Although recent case law suggests that such open-source or open-content licensing arrangements should be analyzed under the same rules that govern other copyright licenses, doing so necessarily raises the possibility of termination of the license. If GPL or Creative Commons-type licenses are subject to later termination by authors (or their heirs), and this termination power cannot validly be waived, then users of such works must confront the possibility that the licenses may be revoked in the future and the works effectively withdrawn from public use, with potentially chaotic results.

                Although a number of judge-made doctrines may be invoked to restrict termination of a license granted for the benefit of the public, the better course would be for Congress to enact new legislation expressly authorizing authors to make a nonwaiveable, irrevocable dedication of their works, in whole or in part, to the use and benefit of the public—a possibility that the Patent Act expressly recognizes, but the Copyright Act presently does not.

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                  "Digital Publishing: E-Reader Scorecard"

                  Posted in E-Books on August 31st, 2009

                  In "Digital Publishing: E-Reader Scorecard," Publishers Weekly compares a dozen e-book readers.

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                    Visiting Research Programmer at University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

                    Posted in Digital Library Jobs on August 31st, 2009

                    The University of Illinois Library's Grainger Engineering Library is recruiting a Visiting Research Programmer (1 year initial appointment; funded for a maximum of 3 years).

                    Here's an excerpt from the ad:

                    The Research Programmer will be appointed to support current digital library research projects, including grant-funded projects. Appointee will work on at least two different projects, reporting to project PIs or co-PIs. May also provide programming support towards design & development of internally funded new or experimental digital library services. . . .

                    Research and grant funded position(s) will provide an opportunity to participate in design, development, and testing of innovative, cutting-edge digital library systems. Incumbent will collaborate with experienced Research Programmers in Grainger and the Library's Office of Library Information Technology Planning and Policy. Grainger has been home for a series of externally funded digital library research projects continuously since it opened in 1994 and staff at Grainger has established an international reputation in the digital library research community. Technologies involved are complimentary and overlapping with those used in production library services. Grainger hosts its own developmental Linux and Windows servers, virtual server cluster, and SAN. Research projects are implemented using a wide range of programming languages and technologies, including: Microsoft ASP & ASP.Net, Ruby on Rails, Java, C++, Perl, PHP, JavaScript, VBScript/AJAX, SQL, XHTML, CSS, XML, XSL-T, XSL-FO, OAI-PMH, and OAI-ORE. Responsibilities of the position will vary over time but will include: development and/or customization of Web, Windows, and Linux applications and tools; installation, maintenance, and administration of Web services and potentially other networked applications; database design, administration, and programming; writing documentation and discussion of technical results for inclusion in conference papers and reports to project sponsors; providing technical assistance to and consultation with Library & GSLIS faculty and staff collaborating in research.

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                      "Digital Library Europeana Said to Be Europe’s Answer to Google Books Settlement"

                      Posted in Copyright, Digital Libraries, Google and Other Search Engines, Mass Digitizaton on August 31st, 2009

                      In "Digital Library Europeana Said To Be Europe’s Answer to Google Books Settlement," Dugie Standeford examines Google Book Search in the European context and considers whether Europeana can compete with it.

                      Here's an excerpt:

                      Europeana has the potential to be the "Google-like service Europe needs" but as part of a broader vision, said Europeana Marketing and Communications Manager Jonathan Purday. The EC has enabled Europeana to become operational and laid the foundations for an integrated platform providing access from museums, archives, libraries and audiovisual collections. But the digital library's future "depends on countries scaling up their digitisation efforts" and unifying their fragmented legal framework, he said.

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                        "Is Creative Commons Good for Copyright?"

                        Posted in Copyright, Creative Commons/Open Licenses on August 31st, 2009

                        Copycense has published an editorial asking "Is Creative Commons Good for Copyright?"

                        Here's an excerpt:

                        We conclude now, as we did in 2007, that the continued use and prominence of Creative Commons licenses actually obscures the real copyright issues we face in this country, and keeps Americans from settling on the proper parameters of digital information use, access, retrieval and preservation in the 21st century.

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