OCLC Releases WorldCat Digital Collection Gateway

OCLC has released the WorldCat Digital Collection Gateway for CONTENTdm sites.

Here's an excerpt from the press release:

The WorldCat Digital Collection Gateway is available to all users of OCLC CONTENTdm Digital Collection Management software at no additional charge.

The WorldCat Digital Collection Gateway offers libraries a self-service tool to easily upload metadata from their unique digital content to WorldCat, the world's largest online resource for finding items held in libraries. Once the metadata is in WorldCat, libraries' digital collections are more visible and discoverable by Web searchers through WorldCat.org, WorldCat Local (including the ‘quick start’ version), Google, Yahoo! and other popular search engines.

"Libraries, museums and archives should do whatever they can to get their materials available online and expose their collections to users—wherever they are—on the Web,” said Roy Tennant, Senior Program Officer, OCLC Research. "The WorldCat Digital Collection Gateway is an easy and effective way to do this."

The Gateway has been piloted in 12 institutions. Since May, the pilot participants used the Gateway self-service tools to upload thousands of records from their CONTENTdm collections into WorldCat. Because they have used the Gateway to set up profiles for their collections, the pilot users' metadata will be regularly uploaded to WorldCat as they add to their digital collections over time.

Kevin L. Smith on "Open Access and Authors’ Rights Management: A Possibility for Theology?"

Kevin L. Smith, Scholarly Communications Officer at the Duke University Libraries, has published "Open Access and Authors’ Rights Management: A Possibility for Theology?" in Theological Librarianship: An Online Journal of the American Theological Library Association.

Here's an excerpt:

Several academic disciplines have begun to understand the benefits of open access to scholarship, both for scholars and for the general public. Scientific disciplines have led the way, partially due to the nature of scholarship in those areas and partially because they have felt the crisis in serials pricing more acutely than others. Theological studies, however, have largely been insulated from the push for open access; considering the reasons for that is the first task of this article. It is also the case, however, that the missionary impulse that stands behind much theological scholarship is a strong incentive to embrace the opportunities afforded by digital, online dissemination of research and writing. After discussing this imperative for global distribution, the bulk of the article focuses on how theological institutions, and especially their libraries, can encourage and support scholars in making their work freely accessible. Copyright issues, including the elements of a successful copyright management program, are discussed, as are some of the technological elements necessary for an efficient and discoverable open access repository. Options for licensing, both at ingestion of content and at dissemination to users are also considered. Finally, it is argued that the role of consortia and professional organizations in supporting these initiatives is especially important because of the relatively small size of so many theological institutions.

Forcing the Net Through a Sieve: Why Copyright Filtering is Not a Viable Solution for U.S. ISPs

Public Knowledge has released Forcing the Net Through a Sieve: Why Copyright Filtering is Not a Viable Solution for U.S. ISPs.

Here's an excerpt:

Copyright filtering, the latest proposed "magic bullet" solution from the major music and movie studios and industry trade groups, poses a number of dangers to Internet users, legitimate businesses and U.S. federal government initiatives to increase the speed, affordability and utilization of broadband Internet services. The following whitepaper presents a number of reasons why the use of copyright filters should not be allowed, encouraged or mandated on U.S. Internet Service Provider (ISP) networks. Among them:

  1. Copyright filters are both underinclusive and overinclusive. A copyright filter will fail to identify all unlawful or unwanted content while harming lawful uses of content.

  2. Copyright filter processing will add latency. Copyright filters will slow ISP networks, discouraging use, innovation and investment and harming users, businesses and technology policy initiatives.

  3. The implementation of copyright filters will result in a technological arms race. Users will act to circumvent the filters and the architects of the filters will find themselves caught in a costly, unwinnable arms race.

  4. Copyright filters do not make economic sense. The monetary costs associated with copyright filtering far outweigh any perceived benefits.

  5. Copyright filters will discourage investment in the Internet economy. Copyright filters will disrupt the Internet ecosystem, severely undermining our most promising engine for economic growth.

  6. Copyright filters will harm free speech. Due to technological limitations, copyright filters will harm lawful, protected forms of speech such as parody and satire.

  7. Copyright filters could undermine the safe harbor provisions that shield ISPs from liability. Under the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA), ISPs are shielded from liability for their users’ actions. Copyright filters could undermine these safe harbors, which have allowed the Internet to become the most important communications medium of the modern era.

  8. Copyright filtering could violate the Electronic Communications and Privacy Act. Copyright filtering could constitute unlawful interception under the Electronic Communications and Privacy Act (ECPA).

Orphan Works: A Statement of Best Practices

The Society of American Archivists has released Orphan Works: A Statement of Best Practices.

Here's an excerpt:

"Orphan works" is a term used to describe the situation in which the owner of a copyrighted work cannot be identified and located by someone who wishes to make use of the work in a manner that requires permission of the copyright owner. Proposed orphan works legislation, such as the Orphan Works Act of 2008 (H.R. 5889) and the Shawn Bentley Orphan Works Act of 2008 (S.2913), would reduce penalties for infringement if an infringer "undertakes a diligent effort to locate the owner of the infringed copyright." This statement describes what professional archivists consider to be best practices regarding reasonable efforts to identify and locate rights holders. It is based on the authors' knowledge of the kinds of materials that are likely to qualify as orphan works

JISC Final Report—CTREP, Cambridge TETRA Repositories Enhancement Project

JISC has released JISC Final Report—CTREP, Cambridge TETRA Repositories Enhancement Project .

Here's an excerpt:

CTREP created a connector between an Institutional VRE and an Institutional Repository. It is designed to be reusable in a number of different institutions where policy on deposit varies by means of a flexible deposit configuration system. In the process of executing the project:

  • the various stakeholders came to understand institutional cultural differences and address them in such a way that recent projects with a strong Repository and research dissemination/visualisation aspect have been more joined up than would previously have been possible
  • we developed an approach to policy expression designed both to avoid creating unnecessary tension within the institution during its development, and also to be authorable by a wide range of individuals
  • we have sought to record and capture lessons learnt (based, in part on case studies) for future institutionalisation projects
  • we developed a number of techniques which allowed apparent barriers to integration to be overcome by technical-architectural tools
  • we open-sourced the integration
  • we modified our approach to metadata/data binding in light of community feedback and developed a spreadsheet-based automated approach with which contributors felt comfortable, but which required a number of technical obstacles to be overcome through the use of creative programming techniques.

Software Development Manager at King's College London

The Centre for e-Research at King's College London is recruiting a Software Development Manager.

Here's an excerpt from the ad:

The Centre for e-Research at King's College London is seeking to appoint a Software Development Manager to lead its Software Development team, which carries out architectural, design and development work for a variety of projects, both College- and externally-funded, in the fields of digital libraries, digital repositories and research infrastructures. The post is open-ended (not fixed term).

EMBRACE—EMBedding Repositories And Consortial Enhancement—Final Report

JISC has released EMBRACE—EMBedding Repositories And Consortial Enhancement—Final Report.

Here's an excerpt:

EMBRACE (EMBedding Repositories And Consortial Enhancement) was an 18-month project led by UCL on behalf of the SHERPA-LEAP (London Eprints Access Project) Consortium, a group of 13 University of London institutions with institutional repositories.

The project had two strands, technical and strategic. In its technical strand, EMBRACE aimed to implement a number of technical improvements to enhance the functionality of the SHERPA-LEAP repositories. In a concurrent strategic strand, EMBRACE set out to investigate the challenges of embedding repositories of digital assets in institutional strategy to ensure repository sustainability.

Fair Use Evaluator and Exceptions for Instructors eTool Released

The ALA Office for Information Technology Policy has released the Fair Use Evaluator and the Exceptions for Instructors eTool.

Here's an excerpt from the announcement:

The Fair Use Evaluator is an online tool that can help users understand how to determine if the use of a protected work is a "fair use." It helps users collect, organize, and document the information they may need to support a fair use claim, and provides a time-stamped PDF document for the users' records. . . .

The Exceptions for Instructors eTool guides users through the educational exceptions in U.S. copyright law, helping to explain and clarify rights and responsibilities for the performance and display of copyrighted content in traditional, distance and blended educational models.

John Wiley & Sons to Use Attributor Anti-Piracy Service

John Wiley & Sons will use Attributor's anti-piracy service to track illegal use of its digital publications.

Here's an excerpt from the press release:

Attributor announced today that global publisher John Wiley & Sons, Inc . . . has selected its anti-piracy service as a tool to identify unlawful use of its books, e-Books, and other content online and prevent use of the infringed copies. Attributor's technology monitors more than 35 billion pages, including hosting sites and link farms, quickly identifying unauthorized copies and taking action to remove them.

"When Wiley content appears, without permission, on Web sites where users share the content free of charge or sell it without authorization, authors are cheated of their rightful compensation for their work. This affects us all, since the loss of compensation is a disincentive to authors' creativity and innovation," said Roy Kaufman, Legal Director, Wiley-Blackwell. "Wiley's agreement with Attributor will greatly enhance our ongoing pursuit of anyone who willfully infringe upon our intellectual property and will enable us to cost-effectively scale our anti-piracy efforts across the Web."

Coordinator, Library Systems at Texas Woman's University

Texas Woman's University Libraries are recruiting a Coordinator, Library Systems.

Here's an excerpt from the ad:

Performs responsible leadership and administers and supports daily operational requirements of the Libraries' information computer network system including hardware and software, online library system (ExLibris' Voyager), and web based technologies. Duties typically involve overseeing the installation of hardware, software, system upgrades, network security, web page design, interface and updates, planning and implementing a long-range automation plan, creating period reports, providing system documentation. Work is performed under administrative direction.

Rejecta Mathematica: Send Your Rejected Math Articles Yearning to Be Published

The first issue of Rejecta Mathematica, an open access journal that publishes papers that have been rejected by other math journals has been published.

Here's an excerpt from the announcement:

We are pleased to announce that the inaugural issue of Rejecta Mathematica is now available at math.rejecta.org! To recap our mission, Rejecta Mathematica is an open access, online journal that publishes only papers that have been rejected from peer-reviewed journals in the mathematical sciences. In addition, every paper appearing in Rejecta Mathematica includes an open letter from its authors discussing the paper's original review process, disclosing any known flaws in the paper, and stating the case for the paper's value to the community.

"Institutional Repositories: Investigating User Groups and Comparative Evaluation Using Link Analysis"

Paul Wells has self-archived his MSc thesis "Institutional Repositories: Investigating User Groups and Comparative Evaluation Using Link Analysis" in E-LIS.

Here's an excerpt:

The aim of this investigation was to look at user groups of institutional repositories. Past research on repository users has focused on authors and depositors at the expense of other users, and little is known about what types of user groups are associated with institutional repositories. This investigation used the research techniques of link analysis and content analysis to investigate links to institutional repository websites and determine what types of user groups are using repositories. These techniques were also examined for their use in providing a comparative evaluation of institutional repositories.

Two Presentations from the ALA 2009 "Digital Library Hardware Showcase" Session

Below are two presentations from the ALA 2009 "Digital Library Hardware Showcase" session.

Barnes & Noble's eBookstore Offers over 700,000 E-Book Titles

The Barnes & Noble’s eBookstore now offers over 700,000 e-book titles at $9.99 each. It will market the Plastic Logic eReader device in the future.

Here's an excerpt from the press release:

Barnes & Noble's launch encompasses:

  • Barnes & Noble's eBookstore offering its customers seamless access to more than 700,000 titles, including hundreds of new releases and bestsellers at only $9.99, making it the world's largest selection of eBooks available in one place.  The company expects that its selection will increase to well over one million titles within the next year, inclusive of every available eBook from every book publisher and every available eBook original, which is a fast growing marketplace.  
  • More than a half-million public domain books from Google, which can be downloaded for free.  Readers can discover and explore this rich treasure trove, including everything from classic works by well-known writers to long-forgotten and obscure titles that are historically much harder to access.
  • An upgraded version of its eReader application, which was part of the company's Fictionwise acquisition earlier this year.  This device-agnostic eBook application supports both wireless and wired access to the new Barnes & Noble eBookstore.  Millions of internet-enabled devices are currently supported by eReader, including the nation's two leading smartphone device families from Apple and BlackBerry®, as well as most Windows® and Mac® laptops or full-sized computers.
  • First-time users of the eReader will have the opportunity to download free eBooks, including titles such as Merriam-Webster's Pocket Dictionary, Sense and Sensibility, Little Women, Last of the Mohicans, Pride and Prejudice, and Dracula.  See site for further details.
  • A strategic commerce and content partnership with Plastic Logic, whose eReader device is especially designed for business professionals. Barnes & Noble will power the eBookstore for the Plastic Logic eReader device. The ultra thin 8.5 x 11 inch wireless eReader is slated to debut in early 2010.
  • The free, full-featured B&N Bookstore app for iPhone and iPod touch users, which is now the #1 downloaded book app in Apple's App Store. In addition to enabling customers to easily place orders for books, movies, and CDs, the app also lets users search millions of products simply by snapping a photo. Using the iPhone's camera, customers can snap a photo of the front cover and within seconds get product details, editorial reviews, and customer ratings – even find and reserve a copy in the nearest store. The app also includes a store locator, bestseller lists, book recommendations, and a store events calendar.

Web Collection Curator at Columbia University

The Columbia University Libraries are recruiting a Web Collection Curator (job ends July 1, 2012 with possibility of extension).

Here's an excerpt from the ad:

Reporting to the Director of Original and Special Materials and directed by a multi-divisional Working Group, this new position will play a leading role in creating a new infrastructure for web content collection in the Libraries. Columbia has received a grant from The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, to develop and implement procedures and best practices for the acquisition, description and preservation of web content, initially in the field of human rights. Columbia University's Center for Human Rights Documentation and Research holds the print archives of major human rights organizations such as Amnesty International USA and Human Rights Watch.

The incumbent will work closely a second web collection curator, selectors, archivists, digital projects staff, senior managers, scholars and individuals in human rights organizations around the world to build a "Human Rights Electronic Reference Collection." Major activities will include securing archiving permissions from human rights organizations, analyzing, harvesting, and cataloging web content, and integrating web materials with the Libraries print, electronic and archival collections. The incumbent will play an active role in ensuring that the procedures developed are sustainable and transferable to other disciplines and collections.

eSciDoc Infrastructure Version 1.1 Released

Version 1.1 of the eSciDoc Infrastructure has been released.

Here's an excerpt from the announcement:

  • Improved Ingest with support for pre-set states (e.g., ingest objects in status 'released'). Ingest performance has been improved significantly.
  • Support for user preferences added
  • Group policies extend the existing authorization options and allow for better support of collaborative working environments
  • Support for Japanese character sets in full-text and metadata searches, including the extraction of Japanese text from PDF documents
  • Support for OAI-PMH with dynamic sets based on filters
  • Improved and extended functionality for the Admin Tool, which now comes with a web-based GUI

Here's a brief description of the eSciDoc Core Services, which are part of a larger software suite (see the General Concepts page for further information):

The eSciDoc Core Services form a middleware for e-Research applications. The Core Services encapsulate a repository (Fedora Commons) and implement a broad range of commonly used functionalities. The service-oriented architecture fosters the creation of autonomous services, which can be re-used independently from the rest of the infrastructure. The multi-disciplinary nature of the existing Solutions built on top of the Core Services ensure the coverage of a broad range of generic and discipline-specific requirements.

University of Michigan to Offer Print-on-Demand Editions of Thousands of Public Domain Books via BookSurge

The University of Michigan will offer print-on-demand editions of thousands of public domain books via BookSurge for between $10 to about $45.

Here's an excerpt from the press release:

The agreement gives the public a unique opportunity to buy reprints of a wide range of titles in the U-M Library for as little as a few dollars. As individual copies are sold on Amazon.com, BookSurge will print and bind the books in soft-cover form.

"This agreement means that titles that have been generally unavailable for a century or more will be able to go back into print, one copy at a time," said Paul N. Courant, U-M librarian and dean of libraries.

"The agreement enables us to increase access to public domain books and other publications that have been digitized," Courant said. "We are very excited to be offering this service as a new way to increase access to the rich collections of the university library."

Maria Bonn, director of the U-M Library's scholarly publishing office, said the reprint program includes both books digitized by the U-M and those digitized through the U-M's partnership with Google. The initial offering on Amazon will include more than 400,000 titles in more than 200 languages ranging from Acoli to Zulu.

All of the books being offered on Amazon through BookSurge are titles that remain available in their original form at the U-M Library. The U-M has been offering a limited number of titles for reprint on demand with BookSurge and other distribution partners for the past five years. A reprint "best seller" might sell 100 copies, Bonn said.

The U-M will set the list price of each book. The agreement calls for a sharing of revenue between BookSurge and the university.

"Should Copyright of Academic Works Be Abolished?"

Steven Shavell, Samuel R. Rosenthal Professor of Law and Economics at the Harvard Law School, has self-archived "Should Copyright of Academic Works Be Abolished?"

Here's an excerpt:

The conventional rationale for copyright of written works, that copyright is needed to foster their creation, is seemingly of limited applicability to the academic domain. For in a world without copyright of academic writing, academics would still benefit from publishing in the major way that they do now, namely, from gaining scholarly esteem. Yet publishers would presumably have to impose fees on authors, because publishers would not be able to profit from reader charges. If these publication fees would be borne by academics, their incentives to publish would be reduced. But if the publication fees would usually be paid by universities or grantors, the motive of academics to publish would be unlikely to decrease (and could actually increase)—suggesting that ending academic copyright would be socially desirable in view of the broad benefits of a copyright-free world. If so, the demise of academic copyright should be achieved by a change in law, for the 'open access' movement that effectively seeks this objective without modification of the law faces fundamental difficulties.

DSpace Lead Developer and DuraCloud Integration Engineer

DuraSpace is recruiting a DSpace Lead Developer and a DuraCloud Integration Engineer.

Here's an excerpt from the DSpace Lead Developer ad:

The DSpace lead developer will work in collaboration with developers from around the world to preserve and provide open access to intellectual output from a community of over 600 top educational institutions. The lead developer will be responsible for providing technical guidance, support, and leadership to the developer community in advancing the platform to be able to effectively manage digital assets for a diverse set of requirements and applications. S/he will interact with user groups to facilitate the integration of code and documentation contributions, expedite feature requests and requirements, and organize FAQs, wiki and forum entries. S/he will work closely and collaboratively with the developers and committers on the software to come up with a technical roadmap. S/he will provide technical oversight for key architecture decisions and will work with standards bodies to ensure the application adheres to applicable standards in the industry.

Here's an excerpt from the DuraCloud Integration Engineer ad:

The integration developer will join the team designing, building, and supporting the DuraCloud durable storage service and related Web sites for the DSpace Foundation, Fedora Commons, and other open source projects. The developer will be responsible for all aspects of requirements gathering, technical analysis and development, testing and documenting both APIs and customer-facing applications, working both alone and as a member of a team. The position, which reports to the Chief Technology Officer, requires a knowledgeable, enthusiastic, and self-motivated individual with extensive experience in integrating disparate code bases and projects using browser mashups, Web services, API calls, wrappers, scripts or database synchronizations. The integration developer will focus on best strategies for integrating DuraCloud and other DuraSpace systems as the underpinning for dynamic, collaborative Web-based applications. Other responsibilities include assisting the DuraSpace team in defining project goals, leading the software engineering process, and disseminating results (including software deployment, documentation, reports, journal articles, presentations at professional meetings/conferences).

Elsevier Launches Article of the Future Project

Elsevier has launched its Article of the Future project.

Here's an excerpt from the press release:

Elsevier, the leading publisher of scientific, technical and medical information products and services, today announces the "Article of the Future" project, an ongoing collaboration with the scientific community to redefine how a scientific article is presented online. The project takes full advantage of online capabilities, allowing readers individualized entry points and routes through content, while exploiting the latest advances in visualization techniques.

The Article of the Future launches its first prototypes this week, revealing a new approach to presenting scientific research online. The key feature of the prototypes is a hierarchical presentation of text and figures so that readers can elect to drill down through the layers based on their current task in the scientific workflow and their level of expertise and interest. This organizational structure is a significant departure from the linear-based organization of a traditional print-based article in incorporating the core text and supplemental material within a single unified structure.

A second key feature of the prototypes is bulleted article highlights and a graphical abstract. This allows readers to quickly gain an understanding of the paper's main "take home" message and serves as a navigation mechanism to directly access specific sub-sections of the results and figures. The graphical abstract is intended to encourage browsing, promote interdisciplinary scholarship and help readers identify more quickly which papers are most relevant to their research interests. . . .

The prototypes have been developed by the editorial, production and IT teams at Cell Press in collaboration with Elsevier"s User Centered Design group using content from two previously published Cell articles. They can be viewed at http://beta.cell.com where Elsevier and Cell Press are inviting feedback from the scientific community on the concepts and implementations. Successful ideas from this project will ultimately be rolled-out across Elsevier"s portfolio of 2,000 journals available on ScienceDirect.

Librarian in Digital Library Services at Florida Center for Library Automation

The Florida Center for Library Automation is recruiting a Librarian in Digital Library Services.

Here's an excerpt from the ad:

The Librarian will be part of the Digital Library Services Group, which helps the libraries of the public university system of Florida create, manage and preserve digital information resources. The incumbent will provide support for digital special collections, electronic theses and dissertations (ETDs), archival finding aids (EADs), and other born-digital and retrospectively digitized materials. S/he will work with DigiTool, Archon, OAI data and service providers, and other commercial, open source, and locally-developed content management applications. The incumbent will provide expertise in describing digital resources (cataloging and metadata) to FCLA and library staff.

"The Dissemination of Scholarly Information: Old Approaches and New Possibilities"

Economists Omar Al-Ubaydli (George Mason University) and Rufus Pollock (Cambridge University) have self-archived "The Dissemination of Scholarly Information: Old Approaches and New Possibilities."

Here's an excerpt:

In this paper we began by setting out the basic goals of the scholarly communication system. We compared the current, journal dominated system, against those goals and found it wanting, and explored in detail alternative options in which distribution and filtering are separated and centralized filtering is replaced by a distributed, decentralized approach.

Using a simple model we explored the factors underlying the development of the current journal paradigm. There were two main factors: a) the high costs of information transmission in the pre-digital era (and, associatedly, fixed costs and economies of scale in transmission which make journals an effective club good) b) the natural complementarity of filtering to distribution which leads journals to act as filtering as well as distributional mechanisms.

With the collapse of transmission costs in the era of the Internet these original rationales for journals have disappeared. It is now possible for distribution and filtering to be separate and for the development of richer, and more complex filtering models based on decentralized, distributed mechanisms—with this latter process dependent on the first (if distribution and filtering are tied—as in the traditional journal model—distributed mechanisms make little sense).

We explored the various benefits of such alternative distributed mechanisms—and also provide a detailed description of how such a mechanism would function in appendix A. One of the main implications of our work discussion is that a crucial benefit of the open-access approach, in addition to the obvious one of reducing the deadweight loss to access, is that it permits the development of radically new matching mechanisms based on a richer set of information which offer major efficiency (and other) advantages. This second benefit, though often overlooked, is a major one, and is, in the long run we believe, likely to be the most significant.

Unfortunately, it is hard for new approaches to take hold because of the lock-in to the traditional 'closed' journal model engendered by the mutual expectations of authors and readers. Given the potential benefits afforded by innovation in this area, it is crucial that the potential of new approaches be thoroughly considered so that the scholarly community can adequately assess the options and, if necessary, take collective action to achieve mutually beneficial change.