Sony Offers One Million Public Domain Books for Its Current E-Book Readers

Sony has announced that one million public domain books from Google are available for its current e-book readers.

In related news, there are rumors that two new Sony e-book readers may be released in August.

Read more about it at "Sony E-Readers Get Access to 1M Free Public Domain Books from Google" and "Sony to Offer 1 Million Google Books through Its Readers."

"Open Science: Good For Research, Good For Researchers?"

The Scholarly Communication Program at the Columbia University Libraries/Information Services has released a digital video of a panel discussion on "Open Science: Good For Research, Good For Researchers?" (Thanks to Digital & Scholarly.)

Here's an excerpt from the announcement:

Open science refers to information-sharing among researchers and encompasses a number of initiatives to remove access barriers to data and published papers, and to use digital technology to more efficiently disseminate research results. Advocates for this approach argue that openly sharing information among researchers is fundamental to good science, speeds the progress of research, and increases recognition of researchers. Panelists: Jean-Claude Bradley, Associate Professor of Chemistry and Coordinator of E-Learning for the School of Arts and Sciences at Drexel University; Barry Canton, founder of Gingko BioWorks and the OpenWetWare wiki, an online community of life science researchers committed to open science that has over 5,300 users; Bora Zivkovic, Online Discussion Expert for the Public Library of Science (PLoS) and author of "A Blog Around the Clock."

Interview with Maria Bonn, Director of Michigan’s Scholarly Publishing Office

In “Turning Out-of-Copyright Books into Gold: An Interview with University of Michigan’s Maria Bonn,” Maria Bonn, Director of the Scholarly Publishing Office at the University of Michigan Library, discusses Michigan’s recent decision to offer print-on-demand paperback editions of over 400,000 digitized books via BookSurge and Amazon.

"Reed Elsevier Interim Results 2009" Released

The "Reed Elsevier Interim Results 2009" statement is now available.

In a related development, Reed Elsevier is putting Library Journal, Publishers Weekly, and School Library Journal up for sale.

Read more about it at "'PW' For Sale," "Reed Begins £1 Billion Cash Call to Slash Debt," "Reed Elsevier Drops Most in Year on Share-Sale Plan (Update 3)," and "Reed Elsevier Shares Drop on Profits Fall and Placing."

"Positional Effects on Citation and Readership in arXiv"

Asif-ul Haque and Paul Ginsparg have self-archived "Positional Effects on Citation and Readership in arXiv" in arXiv.org.

Here's an excerpt:

arXiv.org mediates contact with the literature for entire scholarly communities, both through provision of archival access and through daily email and web announcements of new materials, potentially many screenlengths long. We confirm and extend a surprising correlation between article position in these initial announcements, ordered by submission time, and later citation impact, due primarily to intentional "self-promotion" on the part of authors. A pure "visibility" effect was also present: the subset of articles accidentally in early positions fared measurably better in the long-term citation record than those lower down. Astrophysics articles announced in position 1, for example, overall received a median number of citations 83% higher, while those there accidentally had a 44% visibility boost. For two large subcommunities of theoretical high energy physics, hep-th and hep-ph articles announced in position 1 had median numbers of citations 50% and 100% larger than for positions 5-15, and the subsets there accidentally had visibility boosts of 38% and 71%.

We also consider the positional effects on early readership. The median numbers of early full text downloads for astro-ph, hep-th, and hep-ph articles announced in position 1 were 82%, 61%, and 58% higher than for lower positions, respectively, and those there accidentally had medians visibility-boosted by 53%, 44%, and 46%. Finally, we correlate a variety of readership features with long-term citations, using machine learning methods, thereby extending previous results on the predictive power of early readership in a broader context. We conclude with some observations on impact metrics and dangers of recommender mechanisms.

Supervisory Information Technology Specialist at Library of Congress NDIIPP Office

The National Digital Information Infrastructure and Preservation Program (NDIIPP) Office at the Library of Congress is recruiting a Supervisory Information Technology Specialist.

Here's an excerpt from the ad:

Plays a key role in formulating long-range policies and in developing and implementing strategies and management guidelines for complex and changing digital library information technology systems, policies, best practices, and standards. Provides high level programmatic and technical advice and counsel to top management and other key officials on matters relating to new or modified digital library initiatives, policies, projects, and programs that affect or relate to current and existing library universal holdings policy, and life cycle management functions. Plans and carries out digital library project and programs, resolving conflicts which arise, integrating and coordinating the work of other projects and programs as necessary and interpreting policy in terms of established objectives. Participates on agency, Federal, and national non-governmental committees, task forces, and groups relative to national and Library of Congress digital library policy and technology planning. Presents policy project status briefings and recommendations concerning long-range LC and/or national digital library plans to top levels of management. Provides first line communications, which includes problem determination, problem resolution, and making recommendations to resolve digital library issues and requirements. Keeps abreast of changing and emerging digital library standards and best practices, trends, relevant technologies, and information technology systems.

Five Videos on PLoS Medicine

PLoS Medicine has released five digital videos in which Ginny Barbour, Chief Editor, discusses the journal.

Here's an excerpt from the post:

In the first video Ginny talks about the experience of launching PLoS Medicine nearly five years ago. This leads to the discussion in the second video about the decision to focus on the specific diseases and risk factors that cause the greatest burden worldwide. The third video is about the importance of open access to medical information; the fourth and fifth videos discuss PLoS Medicine's plans for the future and the achievements of open access respectively.

Open Annotation Collaboration Funded

The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation has awarded $362,000 to the Open Annotation Collaboration to "build new digital annotation tools and define and demonstrate a framework for sharing annotations of digital content across the World Wide Web."

Here's an excerpt from the press release on JESSE:

The OAC includes humanities scholars, librarians, and information scientists from four universities—George Mason University, the University of Illinois, the University of Maryland, and the University of Queensland (Australia)—from the Los Alamos National Laboratory Research Library, and from the Office of Advanced Technology Research at JSTOR, an integrated online archive of over five million items digitized from scholarly journals and primary source archives. . . .

The OAC effort will focus on annotation interoperability, creating data models, standards, and tools that allow scholars working in disparate locations to share and leverage annotations of digital resources across the boundaries of individual annotation applications and content collections.

As part of the OAC Phase I work funded by the Mellon Foundation, a new annotation tool, leveraging ongoing work at the Maryland Institute for the Humanities (MITH) that was initiated previously with a grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities, will be integrated into the popular Zotero Firefox Web browser extension. Created by the Center for History and New Media (CHNM) at George Mason University, Zotero helps users collect, manage, and cite research sources found on the World Wide Web.

In parallel with this work, researchers at the Center for Informatics Research in Science and Scholarship (CIRSS) at the Graduate School of Library and Information Science at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and at the eResearch Lab of the School of Information Technology and Electrical Engineering (ITEE) at The University of Queensland in Australia will examine the breadth and diversity of current annotation models and system architectures in the context of scholarly practices and scholarly-focused use cases involving annotations in both online and traditional settings. . . .

The co-Principal Investigators for the OAC Phase I project are Timothy W. Cole of the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, Neil Fraistat of the University of Maryland, Jane Hunter of the University of Queensland, and Herbert Van de Sompel of Los Alamos National Laboratory.

All work produced as part of the OAC Phase I project will be made available under open source license for the free use and exploitation by other scholars and non-profit educational, scholarly and charitable institutions.

"Experimental DML over Digital Repositories in Japan"

Takao Namiki, Hiraku Kuroda, and Shunsuke Naruse have self-archived "Experimental DML over Digital Repositories in Japan" in arXiv.org.

Here's an excerpt:

In this paper the authors show an overview of Virtual Digital Mathematics Library in Japan (DML-JP), contents of which consist of metadata harvested from institutional repositories in Japan and digital repositories in the world. DML-JP is, in a sense, a subject specific repository which collaborate with various digital repositories. Beyond portal website, DML-JP provides subject-specific metadata through OAI-ORE. By the schema it is enabled that digital repositories can load the rich metadata which were added by mathematicians.

Senior Applications Developer at New York Public Library

The New York Public Library is recruiting a Senior Applications Developer.

Here's an excerpt from the ad:

Under the direction of the Managing Director, NYPL Digital Labs:

  • Supports the implementation of a multi-instance Fedora repository
  • Codes, integrates, and maintains services and applications that support digital object ingest, preservation, search, discovery, distribution, and presentation
  • Designs, implements, tests, and writes documentation of custom software applications
  • Integrates and extends various open-source solutions
  • Manipulates large metadata sets

Presentations from "Rough Waters: Navigating Hard Times in the Scholarly Communication Marketplace"

SPARC has released presentations from the "Rough Waters: Navigating Hard Times in the Scholarly Communication Marketplace" SPARC-ACRL forum at ALA Annual 2009.

Here's an excerpt from the announcement:

The economy and its impact on library and higher education budgets are the most urgent concern for the library community today. While libraries have long been grappling with constrained collection budgets, we face a new urgency in continuing the transformation promised by Open Access and new technologies. This forum took a bird's eye view of the scholarly communication marketplace and suggested tactics for navigating through tough times.

EFF Releases Letter to Google about Reader Privacy and Google Book Search

The Electronic Frontier Foundation has released a letter to Google about reader privacy and Google Book Search.

Here's an excerpt:

  1. Protection Against Disclosure: Readers should be able to use Google books without worrying that the government or a third party is reading over their shoulder. Google needs to promise that it will protect reader records by responding only to properly-issued warrants from law enforcement and court orders from third parties. It also must promise that it will let readers know if anyone has demanded access to information about them.
  2. Limited Tracking: Just as readers can anonymously browse books in a library or bookstore, they should also be able to search, browse, and preview Google books without being forced to register or provide any personal information to Google. And for any of its Google Book Search services, Google must not keep logging information longer than 30 days. Google should also not link any information it collects about reader use of Google Book Search to that reader’s usage of any other Google services without specific, affirmative consent.
  3. User Control: Readers should have complete control of their purchases and purchasing data. Readers should be able to delete their records and have extensive permissions controls for their "bookshelves" or any other reading displays to prevent others from seeing their reading activities. Readers should be able to “give” books to anyone, including to themselves, without tracking. Google also should not reveal any information about Google book use to credit card processors or any other third parties.
  4. User Transparency: Readers should know what information is being collected and maintained about them and when and why reader information has been disclosed. Google needs to develop a robust, enforceable privacy policy and publish the number and type of demands for reader information that are received on an annual basis.

Read more about it at "Don't Let Google Close the Book on Reader Privacy!."

Irish ISP Eircom to Enact Three-Strikes Illegal File Sharing Policy

Under pressure from the Irish Recorded Music Association, a large Irish ISP, Eircom, will put in place a three-strikes policy in August against alleged copyright offenders: first strike, a warning; second strike, Internet service will be "throttled," and, third strike, Internet service will be disconnected.

Read more about it at "Ireland's Largest ISP to Start 'Throttling' Illegal Downloaders," "Ireland’s Largest ISP Starts Throttling and Disconnections," "Recording Industry Sues More Irish ISPs for Not Implementing 3 Strikes."

Draft: The Open Library Environment Project Final Report

The Open Library Environment Project has released a draft of the The Open Library Environment Project Final Report.

Here's an excerpt:

With funding from The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, the Open Library Environment project (OLE Project) convened a multi-national group of libraries to analyze library business processes and to define a next-generation library technology platform. The resulting OLE platform is predicated on Service Oriented Architecture and a community-source model of development and governance. Over 300 libraries, educational institutions, professional organizations and business participated in some phase of the project. Using input from those participants, the project planners produced an OLE design framework that embeds libraries directly in the key processes of scholarship generation, knowledge management, teaching and learning by utilizing existing enterprise systems where appropriate and by delivering new services built on connections between the library's business systems and other technology systems.

The OLE Project met all of its objectives and was completed on time and within budget. Project members are now in discussions with potential investing partners who will develop and deploy this new library technology platform. Although this is an especially difficult time for libraries to launch new projects and commit funding for them, project planners continue to hear from the library community that it is more critical than ever to create the technology infrastructure that can help libraries serve as a primary nexus of scholarly information management.

California Digital Library's Web Archiving Service

The California Digital Library's Web Archiving Service's first collections are available at Web Archives: Yesterday's Web; Today's Archives.

Here's an excerpt from the press release:

Researchers and scholars now will be able to delve into archived Web sites captured by the California Digital Library's Web Archiving Service (WAS). This new tool enables faculty, researchers and librarians to capture, curate and preserve Web sites, thus creating permanent archives available to researchers everywhere. The social history of our times is now being preserved in archives as rich and varied as the contentious 2003 California recall election, hundreds of California state Web archives, the Guantanamo Bay Detention Camp Web archive and the Middle East Political Sites archive. New archives continually are being built and published and will appear along with the current archives, available at webarchives.cdlib.org/.

The Web has revolutionized our access to information. Documents and publications that once were difficult to find now are readily available to anyone at any time. Popular reactions to historical events unfold via blogs and personal Web sites, and we have an unprecedented view into popular culture and the formation of public policy. "This is a tool that can track censorship in China, political regimes in Iran, and social commentary around the world," states Laine Farley, California Digital Library's executive director. "CDL and the UC libraries are leading the way in building collections for the 21st century." . . .

CDL's Web Archiving Service is the result of a 4.5-year grant awarded by the Library of Congress National Digital Information and Infrastructure Preservation Program (NDIIPP). The program's mission is to develop a national strategy to collect, preserve and make available digital content, especially materials that are created only in digital formats, for current and future generations. Working with partners at the University of North Texas, New York University, Stanford University and the campuses of the University of California, the California Digital Library has built a service that is easy to use and allows librarians to begin preserving information that was slipping away. Martha Anderson, director of program management for NDIIPP at the Library of Congress, says, "There is a growing public interest in the archiving of public Web sites for future reference. The technical challenges of constantly changing sites and technologies and the enormity of the universe of potential content require immediate and focused action."

Open Access Repository Junction Project Funded

EDINA, the JISC National Data Centre based at the University of Edinburgh, has received a JISC grant for the Open Access Repository Junction project.

Here's an excerpt from the press release :

One of the objectives of the Depot [see the Depot project page] was to devise an unmediated (computer-assisted) reception and referral service, called Repository Junction, which collected information in order to redirect users to existing Institutional Repository (IR) services. This was to support the principal objective of the Depot, which was to provide a repository for author/researchers at institutions that did not (then) have an IR.

The new project aims to develop the Repository Junction from its current simple form contained within the Depot, into a stand-alone broker mechanism which can be easily adopted and integrated by services or projects run by other institutions or organisations.

OA-RJ will primarily look at addressing the problems of repository deposit currently faced by researchers who have written a multi-authored journal article associated with multiple institutions and grant-funding organisations. This project will test the broker model against a number of use case scenarios in ways that we expect to be sufficiently generic that it can be deployed in other repository workflows and environments.

Read more about it at "Open Access Repository Junction."

Digital Projects Coordinator at the Library of Congress

The Library of Congress is recruiting a Digital Projects Coordinator.

Here's an excerpt from the ad:

Analyzes and participates in the development of appropriate guidelines, standards and mechanisms for setting program priorities. Creates innovative approaches to software implementation within the broad framework of program strategies and goals using high level programming languages and other tools.

Works collaboratively inside and outside the project team and program areas to facilitate and encourage the development and implementation of institution-wide and national best practices and standards. Attends conferences/meetings to make presentations or for professional development to keep abreast of current trends in technology.

Directs studies and testing of digital library best practices and standards. Researches hardware and software to meet existing and anticipated needs. Develops cost estimates and makes recommendations for purchases of specialized hardware and associated software.

IT Specialist (INET) at the Smithsonian Institution Libraries

The Smithsonian Institution Libraries are recruiting an IT Specialist (INET).

Here's an excerpt from the ad:

  • Serves as an IT Specialist performing a wide range of web development, associated database design, data integration, and web support activities.
  • Develops new and maintains existing web projects and applications using established tools including MS SQL and ColdFusion, XHTML, XML and XSLT, CSS, JavaScript, AJAX, and JSON.
  • Develops or uses available APIs and web services to search, consume and interact with third-party data that follows library and W3C standards.
  • Assists in the review, analysis and development of web-based tools and architecture as they apply to the strategic goal of the library.
  • Assists in the development and maintenance of the Smithsonian's Digital Repository (currently using D-Space), including providing programming and server support and performing data transformations including MARC to MARCXML, and MARCXML to SQL.
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