Dr. John Hoey Joins the Scholarly Exchange Board

Julian Fisher, Managing Director of the Scholarly Exchange, has announced that Dr. John Hoey has joined the Scholarly Exchange Board.

Here’s an excerpt from the SPARC-OAForum announcement:

Dr. Hoey is the former editor-in-chief of the Canadian Medical Association Journal and long an advocate of open access publishing. A specialist in community medicine and internal medicine, he is Professor of Medicine (adjunct) at Queen’s University and a Special Advisor to the Principal on Public Health.

Scholarly Exchange, Inc. has eliminated a major obstacle in starting open access journals by providing a free and fully supported e-publishing platform. Combining Open Journal Systems public-domain software with complete hosting and support, this service offers scholars unrivaled freedom and flexibility to produce academic journals at a price that fosters the open access model. It also develops tools and methods to promote and support open access journals.

Last Call for the International Digital Preservation Systems Survey

The Getty Research Institute is conducting an International Digital Preservation Systems Survey. It should yield interesting results, so help out by filling it out. March 30th is the last day.

Here’s a brief description from Karim Boughida and Sally Hubbard at the Getty:

This survey is intended to provide an overview of digital preservation system (DPS) implementation. DPS is defined here as an assembly of computer hardware, software and policies equivalent to a TDR (trusted digital repository) "whose mission is to provide reliable, long-term access to managed digital resources to its designated community, now, and in the future"[1].

The survey was produced by the Getty Research Institute departments of Digital Resource Management and Library Information Systems, and will be distributed primarily among members of the Digital Library Federation (DLF). Results will be shared at the DLF Spring Forum, April 23-25, 2007 (Pasadena, California, USA), and with all respondents who provide contact information. . . .

[1] RLG. 2002. Trusted Digital Repositories: Attributes and Responsibilities. Mountain View, Calif.: RLG, Inc. http://www.rlg.org/en/pdfs/repositories.pdf.

EBSCOhost Databases to Include Blog Content

EBSCOhost databases will include licensed blog content from Newstex.

Here’s an excerpt from the press release:

EBSCO Publishing (EBSCO), the world’s premier database aggregator, and Newstex, the Content On Demand™ company, today announced an alliance to deliver Newstex Content On Demand™ and Newstex Blogs On Demand™ via nearly 100 EBSCO databases to customers worldwide. As part of the distribution agreement, full-text blog content from premier Weblogs with historical archives in a wide variety of categories including art, career, economics, environment, finance, food, health, law, marketing, medical, technology, and many more will be made available in online aggregated databases for the first time.

Unlike existing Web-based blog aggregation services, Newstex actually licenses influential blog content directly from independent bloggers and then takes in each carefully selected blog feed in text format and uses its proprietary NewsRouter technology to scan it in real-time. The resulting blog feeds, news feeds, and historical archives are delivered to EBSCO for distribution to customers in applicable databases.

Library of Congress Digital Preservation Web Site Redesigned

The Library of Congress has rolled out a new version of its Digital Preservation Web site.

Here’s a excerpt from Digital Preservation News: March 2007:

As you may have already noticed, the Web site for the National Digital Information Infrastructure and Preservation Program (NDIIPP) has been completely redesigned, with new content sections and more user-friendly text. The goal of the redesign was to make the subject of digital preservation in general and NDIIPP in particular more accessible to a wider audience.

Syracuse University Press Now Reports to the Library

In the Winter 2006-2007 issue of The Library Connection, the Syracuse University Library indicates that the Syracuse University Press now reports to the SU Library.

Here’s a excerpt from the relevant article:

In September Syracuse University interim vice chancellor and provost Eric F. Spina announced that Syracuse University Press would report to Suzanne Thorin, university librarian and dean of libraries. The new relationship enables SU Press to take advantage of the Library’s infrastructure to contain costs.

Report About Users’ Digital Repository Needs at the University of Hull

The RepoMMan Project at the University of Hull has published The RepoMMan User Needs Analysis report.

Here’s an excerpt from the JISC-REPOSITORIES announcement:

The document covers the repository needs of users in the research, learning & teaching, and administration areas. Whilst based primarily on needs expressed in interviews at the University of Hull the document is potentially of wider applicability, drawing from an on-line survey of researchers elsewhere and a survey of the L&T community undertaken by the CD-LOR Project.

SERU Working Group Draft Best Practices Document

The NISO Shared E-Resource Understanding (SERU) Working Group has released a draft best practices document (The SERU Approach to E-Resource Subscriptions: Framework for Development and Use of SERU).

According to the press release, this document "presents a shared set of understandings to which publishers and libraries can point when negotiating the sale of electronic content. The framework offers publishers and libraries a solution to the often-burdensome process of bilateral negotiation of a formal license agreement by allowing the sale of e-resources without licenses if both parties feel their perception of risk has been adequately addressed by current law and developing norms of behavior."

(Prior posting on SERU.)

DRAMA Project’s Fedora Authentication Code Alpha Release

The DRAMA (Digital Repository Authorization Middleware Architecture) project has released an alpha version of its Fedora authentication code. DRAMA is part of the RAMP (Research Activityflow and Middleware Priorities Project) project.

Here’s an excerpt from the fedora-commons-users announcement about the release’s features:

  • Federated authentication (using Shibboleth) for Fedora.
  • Extended XACML engine support via the introduction of an XML database for storing and querying policies and XACML requests over web services.
  • Re-factoring of Fedora XACML authorization into an interceptor layer which is separate from Fedora.
  • A new web GUI for Fedora nicknamed "mura" (Note: that we will be changing the GUI name to a new one soon).

Scholarly Electronic Publishing Weblog Update (3/21/07)

The latest update of the Scholarly Electronic Publishing Weblog (SEPW) is now available, which provides information about new scholarly literature and resources related to scholarly electronic publishing, such as books, journal articles, magazine articles, technical reports, and white papers. Especially interesting are: "7 Things You Should Know About Creative Commons"; "Factors Influencing Publication Choice: Why Faculty Choose Open Access"; "Institutional Repositories: Evaluating the Reasons for Non-Use of Cornell University’s Installation of DSpace"; "Metadata for All: Descriptive Standards and Metadata Sharing across Libraries, Archives and Museums"; "A Model for Academic Libraries 2005 to 2025"; "PANDORA, Australia’s Web Archive: How Much Metadata is Enough?"; and "Scholarly E-Journal Pricing Models and Open Access Publishing."

For weekly updates about news articles, Weblog postings, and other resources related to digital culture (e.g., copyright, digital privacy, digital rights management, and Net neutrality), digital libraries, and scholarly electronic publishing, see the latest DigitalKoans Flashback posting.

Mellon Grants to CLIR/DLF

The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation has given grants to both the Council on Library and Information Resources and the Digital Library Federation.

Here’s an excerpt from the CLIR grant press release:

The Council on Library and Information Resources (CLIR) has received a three-year, $2.19 million grant from The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation to support general operations. The award will allow CLIR to launch a range of new initiatives in six program areas: cyberinfrastructure, preservation, the next scholar, the emerging library, leadership, and new models. . . .

The breadth of CLIR’s new agenda is represented in six interrelated program areas:

Cyberinfrastructure defines the base technologies of computation and communication, the software programs, and the data-curation and data-preservation programs needed to manage large-scale multimedia data sets, particularly those pertaining to the digital record of our cultural heritage;

Preservation explores sustainable strategies for preserving all media in a complex technological, policy, and economic environment;

The Next Scholar explores and assesses new methodologies, fields of inquiry, strategies for data gathering and collaboration, and modes of communication that are likely to define the next generation of scholars;

The Emerging Library explores and articulates the changing concept of the library with particular focus on its core functions and the consequences for staffing, research and teaching, and economic modeling;

Leadership investigates and defines the skills and expertise needed to administer, inspire, and inform the next generation; and

New Models extrapolates from an array of CLIR’s findings and other related research how academic organizations, institutions, behaviors, and culture may evolve over the coming decade.

Here’s an excerpt from the DLF grant press release:

The Digital Library Federation (DLF) has received an $816,000 grant from The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation for a project designed to make distributed digital collections easier for scholars to use. The project, DLF Aquifer Development for Interoperability Across Scholarly Repositories: American Social History Online, will implement schemas, data models, and technologies to enable scholars to use digital collections as one in a variety of local environments. . . .

The project will address the difficulty that humanities and social science scholars face in finding and using digital materials located in a variety of environments with a bewildering array of interfaces, access protocols, and usage requirements. DLF Aquifer seeks to provide scholars with consistent access to digital library collections pertaining to nineteenth- and twentieth-century U.S. social history across institutional boundaries. The collections are in a variety of formats and include maps and photographs from the Library of Congress historical collections; sheet music from the Sam DeVincent Collection of American Sheet Music at Indiana University; and an array of regional collections, such as Michigan County Histories from the University of Michigan and Tennessee Documentary History from the University of Tennessee, that will facilitate cross-regional studies when combined.

By integrating American Social History Online into a variety of local environments, the project will bring the library to the scholar and make distributed collections available through locally supported tools. The project will take two years to develop and implement, from April 2007 to March 2009.

SPIRE Project Survey on Web 2.0 Use

A survey describing Oxford University students’ use of Web 2.0 services has been released (Results of the "Online Tool Use Survey" Undertaken by the JISC Funded SPIRE Project).

Here’s a brief description from the "Some Real Data on Web 2.0 Use" posting on TALL Blog.

As part of the JISC funded ‘SPIRE’ project we ran a survey to try to discover which online services people were using and in what manner. We were interested to find out which services were popular and if they were being used for work, for study or socially / for fun. The SPIRE project was originally looking into the possibility of using peer-to-peer technologies in UK HE and FE for informal sharing but switched to a more Web 2.0 focus as it became clear that these types of services where already having an impact on the tertiary education sector. They also appear to be where most of the informal sharing and collaboration is taking place online these days.

Polimetrica Publisher: An Open Access Book Publisher

Polimetrica Publisher is a scientific open access book publisher. It has published a number of books in the areas of applied, pure, and human sciences.

This excerpt from its "Our Open Access Manifesto" describes its philosophy and business model:

Polimetrica Publisher works from a simple premise: that for a better future of the people it’s possible to disseminate the knowledge by publishing innovative books freely accessible to anyone in the world who might be interested.

Informed by that premise, we’re trying to build a new model of scientific publishing that embraces economic self-subsistence, openness, and fairness; the model is based on the following elements:

  1. each scientific book is published in two editions: a printed edition, available in the market, and an electronic edition, freely available through the web; both editions are identified by a different ISBN code.
  2. each scientific book is edited in collaboration with universities or with authoritative professors or specialists.
  3. the printed edition is distributed on the international market.
  4. the electronic edition is free access through the Polimetrica web site.
  5. Polimetrica pays to the author or to the academic institution on all sales of the printed edition a 10% royalty of the net receipts.
  6. each scientific publication is funded by a contribution of 1.500 Euros about.
  7. anyone interested in our activities is encouraged to buy a membership; the members will have access to special conditions. Additional information are at the page
    http://www.polimetrica.com/main/membership.php

Polimetrica Publisher currently has three membership options that provide a specified number of books on CD-ROM/DVD, discount prices, and newsletters.

To download free digital book, the user fills out a form providing name, country, and e-mail address. A download link is sent to the provided e-mail address.

A book that may be of particular interest to DigitalKoans readers is Open Access: Open Problems.

Report on Sharing and Re-Use of Geospatial Data in Repositories

The GRADE project has released a report titled Designing a Licensing Strategy for Sharing and Re-Use of Geospatial Data in the Academic Sector.

The JISC-REPOSITORIES announcement indicates that the report presents "a licensing strategy for the sharing and re-use of geospatial data within the UK research and education sector," and that it "puts forward a conceptual framework for resolving those described rights management issues raised in relation to repositories."

Here is an excerpt from the report that describes it further:

Geospatial material created in the education sector can be highly complex, incorporating data created elsewhere either as found, or customised to fit the particular need of the academic or lecturer. The downstream rights can become very complex, as it is necessary to ensure that permissions have been gained to reuse or repurpose the data, and it is usually essential that correct attribution is made. There are currently concerns and confusion over the assertion of IPR and copyright of created geospatial data particularly where third party data are included.

This report considers a licensing strategy for the sharing and re-use of geospatial data within the UK research and education sector.

Scholarly Electronic Publishing Bibliography: 2006 Annual Edition

The Scholarly Electronic Publishing Bibliography: 2006 Annual Edition is now available.

Annual editions of the Scholarly Electronic Publishing Bibliography are PDF files designed for printing.

Each annual edition is based on the last HTML version published during the edition’s year. Minor corrections, such as updated URLs, have been made in the SEPB: 2006 Annual Edition.

The SEPB: 2006 Annual Edition is based on Version 66 (12/18/2006). The printed bibliography is over 230 pages long. The PDF file is over 930 KB.

Petition for Public Access to Publicly Funded Research in the United States

AALL, ALA, ACRL, the Alliance for Taxpayer Access, Public Knowledge, SPARC, and other organizations have initiated the Petition for Public Access to Publicly Funded Research in the United States.

The petition states:

We, the undersigned, believe that broad dissemination of research results is fundamental to the advancement of knowledge. For America’s taxpayers to obtain an optimal return on their investment in science, publicly funded research must be shared as broadly as possible. Yet too often, research results are not available to researchers, scientists, or the members of the public. Today, the Internet and digital technologies give us a powerful means of addressing this problem by removing access barriers and enabling new, expanded, and accelerated uses of research findings.

We believe the US Government can and must act to ensure that all potential users have free and timely access on the Internet to peer-reviewed federal research findings. This will not only benefit the higher education community, but will ultimately magnify the public benefits of research and education by promoting progress, enhancing economic growth, and improving the public welfare.

We support the re-introduction and passage of the Federal Research Public Access Act, which calls for open public access to federally funded research findings within six months of publication in a peer-reviewed journal.

The petition follows a similar effort in the European Union, the Petition for Guaranteed Public Access to Publicly-Funded Research Results, which was signed by over 23,000 individuals and organizations.

UK Council of Research Repositories Established

SHERPA Plus has announced the launch of the UK Council of Research Repositories.

It is described as follows: "UKCoRR will be an independent professional body to allow repository managers to share experiences and discuss issues of common concern. It will give repository managers a group voice in national discussions and policy development independent of projects or temporary initiatives."

Digital Object Prototypes Framework Released

Kostas Saidis has released the Digital Object Prototypes Framework. It is available from the DOPs download page.

Here is an excerpt from the fedora-commons-users announcement:

At a glance, DOPs is a framework for the effective management and manipulation of diverse and heterogeneous digital material, providing repository-independent, type-consistent abstractions of stored digital objects. In DOPs, individual objects are treated as instances of their prototype and, hence, conform to its specifications automatically, regardless of the underlying storage format used to store and encode the objects.

The framework also provides inherent support for collections /sub-collections hierarchies and compound objects, while it allows DL-pertinent services to compose type-specific object behavior effectively. A DO Storage module is also available, which allows one to use the framework atop Fedora (thoroughly tested with Fedora version 2.0).

PRESERV Project Report on Digital Preservation in Institutional Repositories

The JISC PRESERV (Preservation Eprint Services) project has issued a report titled Laying the Foundations for Repository Preservation Services: Final Report from the PRESERV Project.

Here’s an excerpt from the Executive Summary:

The PRESERV project (2005-2007) investigated long-term preservation for institutional repositories (IRs), by identifying preservation services in conjunction with specialists, such as national libraries and archives, and building support for services into popular repository software, in this case EPrints. . . .

PRESERV was able to work with The National Archives, which has produced PRONOMDROID, the pre-eminent tool for file format identification. Instead of linking PRONOM to individual repositories, we linked it to the widely used Registry of Open Access Repositories (ROAR), through an OAI harvesting service. As a result format profiles can be found for over 200 repositories listed in ROAR, what we call the PRONOM-ROAR service. . . .

The lubricant to ease the movement of data between the components of the services model is metadata, notably preservation metadata, which informs, describes and records a range of activities concerned with preserving specific digital objects. PRESERV identified a rich set of preservation metadata, based on the current standard in this area, PREMIS, and where this metadata could be generated in our model. . . .

The most important changes to EPrints software as a result of the project were the addition of a history module to record changes to an object and actions performed on an object, and application programs to package and disseminate data for delivery to an external service using either the Metadata Encoding and Transmission Standard (METS) or the MPEG-21 Part 2: Digital Item Declaration Language (DIDL). One change to the EPrints deposit interface is the option for authors to select a licence indicating rights for allowable use by service providers or users, and others. . . .

PRESERV has identified a powerful and flexible framework in which a wide range of preservation services from many providers can potentially be intermediated to many repositories by other types of repository services. It is proposed to develop and test this framework in the next phase of the project.

A Long Road Ahead for Digitization

The New York Times published an article today ("History, Digitized (and Abridged)") that examines the progress that has been made in digitization in the US. It doesn’t hold many surprises for those in the know, but it might be useful in orienting non-specialists to some of the challenges involved, especially those who think that everything is online on the Internet.

It also has some interesting tidbits, including a chart that shows the holdings of different types of materials in the National Archives and how many items have been digitized for each type.

It has some current cost data from the Library of Congress quoted below:

At the Library of Congress, for example, despite continuing and ambitious digitization efforts, perhaps only 10 percent of the 132 million objects held will be digitized in the foreseeable future. For one thing, costs are prohibitive. Scanning alone on smaller items ranges from $6 to $9 for a 35-millimeter slide, to $7 to $11 a page for presidential papers, to $12 to $25 for poster-size pieces.

It also discusses the copyright laws that apply to sound materials and their impact on digitization efforts:

When it comes to sound recordings, copyright law can introduce additional complications. Recordings made before 1972 are protected under state rather than federal laws, and under a provision of the 1976 Copyright Act, may be entitled to protection under state law until 2067. Also, an additional copyright restriction often applies to the underlying musical composition.

A study published in 2005 by the Library of Congress and the Council on Library and Information Resources found that some 84 percent of historical sound recordings spanning jazz, blues, gospel, country and classical music in the United States, and made from 1890 to 1964, have become virtually inaccessible.

An interesting, well-written article that’s worth a read.

Source: Hafner, Katie. "History, Digitized (and Abridged)." The New York Times, 11 March 2007, BU YT 1, 8-9.

Trustworthy Repositories Audit & Certification: Criteria and Checklist Published

The Center for Research Libraries and RLG Programs have published the Trustworthy Repositories Audit & Certification: Criteria and Checklist.

Here’s an excerpt from the press release:

In 2003, RLG and the US National Archives and Records Administration created a joint task force to address digital repository certification. The goal of the RLG-NARA Task Force on Digital Repository Certification was to develop criteria to identify digital repositories capable of reliably storing, migrating, and providing access to digital collections. With partial funding from the NARA Electronic Records Archives Program, the international task force produced a set of certification criteria applicable to a range of digital repositories and archives, from academic institutional preservation repositories to large data archives and from national libraries to third-party digital archiving services. . . . .

In 2005, the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation awarded funding to the Center for Research Libraries to further establish the documentation requirements, delineate a process for certification, and establish appropriate methodologies for determining the soundness and sustainability of digital repositories. Under this effort, Robin Dale (RLG Programs) and Bernard F. Reilly (President, Center for Research Libraries) created an audit methodology based largely on the checklist, tested it on several major digital repositories, including the E-Depot at the Koninklijke Bibliotheek in the Netherlands, the Inter-University Consortium for Political and Social Research, and Portico.

Findings and methodologies were shared with those of related working groups in Europe who applied the draft checklist in their own domains: the Digital Curation Center (U.K.), DigitalPreservationEurope (Continental Europe) and NESTOR (Germany). The report incorporates the sum of knowledge and experience, new ideas, techniques, and tools that resulted from cross-fertilization between the U.S. and European efforts. It also includes a discussion of audit and certification criteria and how they can be considered from an organizational perspective.

UK EThOSnet ETD Project Funded

A UK-wide ETD project called EThOSnet has been funded for a two-year period by JISC and CURL (Consortium of Research Libraries). When the project concludes, the British Library will establish the EThOS service based on the work done by EThOSnet.

An excerpt from the press release is below:

The project builds on earlier exploratory work, also funded by JISC and CURL, which between 2004 and 2006 developed a prototype for the service. Independent evaluation has since given the prototype strong backing and suggested further developments, while a recent consultation resulted in expressions of interest from over 70 HE institutions to participate in the emerging e-theses service.

EThOSnet builds on these firm foundations and through collaboration with the British Library and the HE community will transform access to theses in the UK by providing the full text of theses through a single point of entry. In addition, in tandem with the emerging network of institutional repositories in the UK, it promises to become a central element of the national infrastructure for research.

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