Digital Preservation: Media Vault Program Interim Report

Posted in Digital Curation & Digital Preservation, Digital Repositories on September 15th, 2009

The Media Vault Program has released Media Vault Program Interim Report.

Here's an excerpt:

All major studies and reports on the sustainability of digital resources point to a multitude of barriers that can be clustered into four factors:

Economic: Who owns the problem, and who benefits from the solutions? Who pays for the services, long-term preservation, development, and curation? . . . .

Technical: Simple services are needed, but they are not simple to build, implement and support in our complex environment. Successful structures that can support digital scholarship must account for user needs, emerging technologies/file formats, adverse working contexts (fieldwork, offline, multi-platform), and should be supported at the enterprise scale. . . .

Political/Organizational: . . . . there are good reasons for the various service provider organizations to innovate on their own, but there is much to gain from working together on common goals and milestones. In fact, where communities have succeeded in softening the boundaries between content producers and consumers, supporters and beneficiaries, significant successes have been achieved. . . .

Social: We live in interesting times . . . and the prevalence of cheap/stolen media has produced an expectation that things should be always available, conveniently packaged, and free. Where some organizations, such as the Long Now Foundation, are hoping to "provide counterpoint to today's "Faster/cheaper" mind set and promote 'slower/better' thinking," it may be up to those of us who care deeply about the persistence of research data to step up as the seas continue to change.

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    Faculty Director for Libraries Information Technology at University of Colorado

    Posted in Library IT Jobs on September 15th, 2009

    The University of Colorado at Boulder Libraries are recruiting a Faculty Director for Libraries Information Technology.

    Here's an excerpt from ad:

    The Head of the Libraries Information Technology Department has the title Faculty Director of Libraries Information Technology (LIT) and reports to the Associate Director for Administrative Services. The LIT department provides primary information technology services in support of the University Libraries’ mission and strategic plan. These technologies and services currently include the Libraries’ integrated library system, web servers, other servers, digital library initiatives, and more than 700 computers and associated peripherals in multiple campus locations. The faculty director, along with library and campus colleagues, will play a key role in developing strategies and future organizational structures to support next generation library services and resources. The successful candidate will have a strong theoretical understanding of the role of libraries in higher education. This position supervises a department of one FTE faculty, eight FTE technical staff, and student assistants and therefore must effectively plan and evaluate performance and provide mentoring so that employees can achieve personal and professional goals.

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      Defining "Noncommercial": A Study of How the Online Population Understands "Noncommercial Use"

      Posted in Copyright, Creative Commons/Open Licenses on September 15th, 2009

      The Creative Commons has released Defining "Noncommercial": A Study of How the Online Population Understands "Noncommercial Use".

      Here's an excerpt:

      In 2008-09, Creative Commons commissioned a study from a professional market research firm to explore understandings of the terms"commercial us" and "noncommercial use" among Internet users when used in the context of content found online.

      The empirical findings suggest that creators and users approach the question of noncommercial use similarly and that overall, online U.S. creators and users are more alike than different in their understanding of noncommercial use. Both creators and users generally consider uses that earn users money or involve online advertising to be commercial, while uses by organizations, by individuals, or for charitable purposes are less commercial but not decidedly noncommercial. Similarly, uses by for-profit companies are typically considered more commercial. Perceptions of the many use cases studied suggest that with the exception of uses that earn users money or involve advertising—at least until specific case scenarios are presented that disrupt those generalized views of commerciality—there is more uncertainty than clarity around whether specific uses of online content are commercial or noncommercial.

      Uses that are more difficult to classify as either commercial or noncommercial also show greater (and often statistically significant) differences between creators and users. As a general rule, creators consider the uses studied to be more noncommercial (less commercial) than users. For example, uses by a not-for-profit organization are generally thought less commercial than uses by a for-profit organization, and even less so by creators than users. The one exception to this pattern is in relation to uses by individuals that are personal or private in nature. Here, it is users (not creators) who believe such uses are less commercial.

      The most notable differences among subgroups within each sample of creators and users are between creators who make money from their works, and those who do not, and between users who make money from their uses of others' works, and those who do not. In both cases, those who make money generally rate the uses studied less commercial than those who do not make money. The one exception is, again, with respect to personal or private uses by individuals: users who make money consider these uses more commercial than those who do not make money.

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        Institutional Identifiers in Repositories: A Survey Report for the NISO I2 Workgroup

        Posted in Institutional Repositories, Metadata on September 15th, 2009

        The National Information Standards Organization has released Institutional Identifiers in Repositories: A Survey Report for the NISO I2 Workgroup.

        Here's an excerpt:

        The survey showed that standardized institutional identifiers are seen as important and it was agreed there is a need for them in the repository community. The need for identifiers is underscored by the ways in which repository content is shared. A clear majority of repositories include identifiers for the repository itself and many include institutional identifiers. Those that include the latter generally also include identifiers for subordinate units within the identified institution. Most of these identifiers are not used in other usage contexts—e.g., Inter-Library Loan, electronic resource management systems, etc.—but there is some agreement that it would be important for a single identifier to be used for all organizational purposes. The majority of respondents would be willing to participate in a registry of institutional identifiers provided that participation is voluntary and cost-free.

        Institutional identifiers already in usage are largely based upon the Uniform Resource Identifier (URI) standard, whether they take the form of Hypertext Transfer Protocol (HTTP) URIs, Uniform Resource Names (URNs), CNRI Handles, or OCLC PURLs. An overwhelming majority of respondents consider resolvability of institutional identifiers important.

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          "Broken Promises of Privacy: Responding to the Surprising Failure of Anonymization"

          Posted in Privacy on September 14th, 2009

          Paul Ohm, Associate Professor of Law at the University of Colorado Law School, has self-archived "Broken Promises of Privacy: Responding to the Surprising Failure of Anonymization" at SSRN.

          Here's an excerpt:

          Computer scientists have recently undermined our faith in the privacy-protecting power of anonymization, the name for techniques for protecting the privacy of individuals in large databases by deleting information like names and social security numbers. These scientists have demonstrated they can often 'reidentify' or 'deanonymize' individuals hidden in anonymized data with astonishing ease. By understanding this research, we will realize we have made a mistake, labored beneath a fundamental misunderstanding, which has assured us much less privacy than we have assumed. This mistake pervades nearly every information privacy law, regulation, and debate, yet regulators and legal scholars have paid it scant attention. We must respond to the surprising failure of anonymization, and this Article provides the tools to do so.

          Read more about it at "What Information Is 'Personally Identifiable'?"

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            "7 Things You Should Know About Federated Identity Management"

            Posted in Authentication and Security on September 14th, 2009

            EDUCAUSE has released "7 Things You Should Know About Federated Identity Management."

            Here's an excerpt :

            Identity management refers to the policies, processes, and technologies that establish user identities and enforce rules about access to digital resources. With an enterprise identity management system, rather than having separate credentials for each system, a user can use a single digital identity to access all resources to which the user is entitled. Federated identity management permits extending this approach above the enterprise level, creating a trusted authority for digital identities across multiple organizations. It results in greatly simplified administration and streamlined access to resources; eliminating the need to replicate databases of user credentials for separate applications and systems offers improved security. Federated identity management puts the focus on users of information and services rather than on entities that house those resources.

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              Web Services Librarian at University of Miami

              Posted in Library IT Jobs on September 14th, 2009

              The University of Miami Libraries are recruiting a Web Services Librarian.

              Here's an excerpt from the ad:

              Reporting to the Director for Information Management and Systems, the Web Services Librarian provides leadership and direction in the design and development of the Libraries’ web presence for all services, content, and interfaces; supervises the Libraries Web Administrator. Works with the Web Administrator to co-chair the Libraries Web Team and convene a Content Managers Group for discussions and dissemination of information; develops and recommends policies, standards, and guidelines for web content development, implementation, and management in collaboration with Library and University stakeholders; oversees usability of all user interfaces and web design, and develops guidelines and assessment strategies to provide a superior experience for all users.; coordinates testing, initiates focus groups, develops reports, and disseminates information to necessary staff; collaborates effectively with Systems and Digital Initiatives staff, stake-holders and unit-level managers to conceptualize and determine technologies and design in the delivery of user-centered library services, incorporating web 2.0 technologies to provide new features and functionality; participates as an ex-officio member of the Libraries’ Student Advisory Group, and attends Education and Outreach Services meetings for informational purposes; works with Instructional Advancement and participates in programming for the Libraries’ Faculty Exploratory to support and promote faculty development and the use of technology in teaching and learning; networks, collaborates and actively participates in local, regional, national, or international organizations regarding related issues; represents and promotes the University of Miami Libraries in local, state-wide, regional, national, or international organizations as appropriate ; serves on/participates in Libraries and University organizations, committees, task forces, and teams as appropriate.

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                ARL Releases "Summary on House Committee on the Judiciary Hearing: 'Competition and Commerce in Digital Books' (Sept. 10, '09)"

                Posted in Copyright, E-Books, Google and Other Search Engines, Mass Digitizaton, Publishing on September 14th, 2009

                The Association of Research Libraries has released "Summary on House Committee on the Judiciary Hearing: 'Competition and Commerce in Digital Books' (Sept. 10, '09)."

                Here's an excerpt:

                The panel of witnesses was evenly divided on these issues, with four unequivocally in favor of the settlement, including representatives from Google and the Authors Guild. Three witnesses were unequivocally opposed, including Register of Copyrights Marybeth Peters and a representative from Amazon.com. The eighth witness, law professor Randall Picker of the University of Chicago, was ambivalent and suggested several changes that he felt would cure potential problems with the Settlement. A complete list of witnesses appears on the last page of this summary, with hyperlinks to the written testimony of each witness.

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                  Cornell, Dartmouth, Harvard, MIT, and UC Berkeley Commit to Compact for Open-Access Publishing Equity

                  Posted in ARL Libraries, Open Access, Publishing on September 14th, 2009

                  Cornell, Dartmouth, Harvard, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and the University of California, Berkeley have committed to a Compact for Open-Access Publishing Equity.

                  Here's an excerpt from the press release:

                  Open-access scholarly journals have arisen as an alternative to traditional publications that are founded on subscription and/or licensing fees. Open-access journals make their articles available freely to anyone, while providing the same services common to all scholarly journals, such as management of the peer-review process, filtering, production, and distribution.

                  According to Thomas C. Leonard, university librarian at UC Berkeley, "Publishers and researchers know that it has never been easier to share the best work they produce with the world. But they also know that their traditional business model is creating new walls around discoveries. Universities can really help take down these walls and the open-access compact is a highly significant tool for the job."

                  The economic downturn underscores the significance of open-access publications. With library resources strained by budget cuts, subscription and licensing fees for journals have come under increasing scrutiny, and alternative means for providing access to vital intellectual content are identified. Open-access journals provide a natural alternative.

                  As Dartmouth Provost Barry P. Scherr sees it, "Supporting open-access publishing is an important step in increasing readership of Dartmouth research and, ultimately, the impact of our research on the world."

                  Since open-access journals do not charge subscription or other access fees, they must cover their operating expenses through other sources, including subventions, in-kind support, or, in a sizable minority of cases, processing fees paid by or on behalf of authors for submission to or publication in the journal. While academic research institutions support traditional journals by paying their subscription fees, no analogous means of support has existed to underwrite the growing roster of fee-based open-access journals.

                  Stuart Shieber, Harvard's James O. Welch, Jr. and Virginia B. Welch Professor of Computer Science and Director of the University's Office for Scholarly Communication, is the author of the five-member compact. According to Shieber, "Universities and funding agencies ought to provide equitable support for open-access publishing by subsidizing the processing fees that faculty incur when contributing to open-access publications. Right now, these fees are relatively rare. But if the research community supports open-access publishing and it gains in importance as we believe that it will, those fees could aggregate substantially over time. The compact ensures that support is available to eliminate these processing fees as a disincentive to open-access publishing."

                  The compact supports equity of the business models by committing each university to the timely establishment of durable mechanisms for underwriting reasonable publication fees for open-access journal articles written by its faculty for which other institutions would not be expected to provide funds.

                  Additional universities are encouraged to visit the compact web site and sign on.

                  Cornell Provost Kent Fuchs offers his perspective on participating in the compact. "As part of its social commitment as a research university," Fuchs says, "Cornell strives to ensure that scholarly research results are as widely available as possible. The Compact for Open-Access Publishing Equity could increase access to scholarly literature while at the same time ensuring that the valuable services that publishers provide are supported."

                  A full account of the motivation for the compact can be found in the article "Equity for Open-Access Journal Publishing," published in the open-access journal Public Library of Science Biology.

                  "Supporting OA journals is an investment in a superior system of scholarly communication," states Peter Suber of the Scholarly Publishing and Academic Resources Coalition (SPARC) in Washington, DC, and a fellow of Harvard Law School's Berkman Center and Harvard University's Office for Scholarly Communication. "Before this compact, a number of funding agencies and universities were willing to pay OA journal processing fees on behalf of their grantees and faculty. It's significant that five major universities recognize the need to join the effort, extend fee subsidies to a wider range of publishing scholars, enlist other institutions, and start to catch up with their long practice of supporting traditional—or non-OA—journals."

                  Summing up the compact, MIT Provost L. Rafael Reif observes, "The dissemination of research findings to the public is not merely the right of research universities: it is their obligation. Open-access publishing promises to put more research in more hands and in more places around the world. This is a good enough reason for universities to embrace the guiding principles of this compact."

                  Read more about it at "Interview: Stuart Shieber."

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                    John Wiley & Sons, Inc. Releases First Quarter Fiscal Year 2010 Results

                    Posted in Publishing, Scholarly Journals on September 13th, 2009

                    John Wiley & Sons, Inc. has released its first quarter fiscal year 2010 results.

                    Here's an excerpt:

                    John Wiley & Sons, Inc. (NYSE: JWa and JWb) announced today that revenue for the first quarter of fiscal year 2010 grew 2% on a currency neutral basis, a result of strong growth in Higher Education (HE) and Scientific, Technical, Medical, and Scholarly (STMS) journals. As expected, Professional/Trade (P/T) revenue was down from last year’s first quarter. Including the $21 million negative effect of foreign exchange, Wiley’s revenue declined 3% to $388 million. . . .

                    Global STMS revenue for the first quarter advanced 2% to $229 million on a currency neutral basis, but declined 5% including unfavorable foreign exchange of $15 million. Increased revenue from journal subscriptions, new journal business, and global rights was partially offset by softness in books, advertising, and backfiles. Some of the shortfall in backfiles is due to timing.

                    Direct contribution to profit declined 4% from prior year to $94 million on a currency neutral basis, or 3% including favorable foreign exchange. The decline reflects the benefit of a bankruptcy recovery ($2 million) in the prior year, as well as increased journal royalties, editorial costs, and selling expenses, partially due to timing. . . .

                    For the quarter, journal revenue of $191 million was up 5%, excluding a negative foreign exchange impact of $11 million. The increase is attributed to higher subscription revenue and rights income, new business, and journal reprints, partially offset by lower revenue from backfiles and advertising.

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                      "Looking for Fair Use in the DMCA's Safety Dance"

                      Posted in Copyright on September 13th, 2009

                      Ira S. Nathenson, Assistant Professor of Law at St. Thomas University, has self-archived "Looking for Fair Use in the DMCA's Safety Dance" at SSRN.

                      Here's an excerpt:

                      Like a ballet, the notice-and-take-down provisions of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act ('DMCA') provide complex procedures to obtain take-downs of online infringement. Copyright owners send notices of infringement to service providers, who in turn remove claimed infringement in exchange for a statutory safe harbor from copyright liability. But like a dance meant for two, the DMCA is less effective in protecting the 'third wheel,' the users of internet services. Even Senator John McCain—who in 1998 voted for the DMCA—wrote in exasperation to YouTube after some of his presidential campaign videos were removed due to take-downs. McCain asked YouTube to review take-downs targeting campaign videos before removing them. Unsurprisingly, YouTube declined in fear of losing its safe harbor.

                      This Article does not adopt McCain's suggestion that service providers engage in individualized review of campaign take-downs. But this Article takes extremely seriously an assumption underlying McCain's request, namely, that fair use might be better protected by the DMCA as it is currently written. This Article puts forth a 'fair-use friendly' way of reading the DMCA to better protect users of online services. As a starting point, as noted by the court in Lenz v. Universal Music, copyright owners must consider fair and other non-infringing uses before sending take-down notices. Expanding upon Lenz, this Article examines the structure of the Copyright Act and broader principles of procedural fairness, concluding that permitting copyright owners to obtain removal of fairly used materials would accomplish de facto ex parte seizures of speech. Accordingly, copyright owners must "stop and think" before sending take-downs.

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                        Head of Library Systems at Mercer University

                        Posted in Library IT Jobs on September 13th, 2009

                        The Mercer University Libraries are recruiting a Head of Library Systems.

                        Here's an excerpt from the ad (Vac# F10-060):

                        The successful candidate will manage library systems applications for the University Libraries (Tarver Library/Macon, Swilley Library/Atlanta and Regional Academic Centers). This person will contribute to library success by anticipating technology trends and bringing technical, communication, and project management skills to solve problems and plan projects. Serve as the primary liaison between the Libraries and Mercer's Information Technology Services for systems enhancement projects. Work effectively with library colleagues, including regular visits and communication with Swilley Library and Centers to facilitate planning and implementations. Responsible for the Millenium Innovative Interfaces, Inc. library system. Supervise Library Systems Coordinator, who has day to day oversight of Millenium shared by the University Libraries. Member of University Libraries Management Team; reports to the Dean of University Libraries.

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