Digital Preservation: PADI and Padiforum-L to Cease Operation

Established in 1997, the National Library of Australia's PADI subject gateway, which has over 3,000 resources on more than 60 topics, will be shut down at the end of this year.

Here's an excerpt from the announcement:

As is to be expected with any portal to Web based documents maintenance of web links becomes progressively more demanding over time. Websites are redesigned, migrated to new platforms, URL’s are changed, projects and their websites cease, so called persistent identifiers are not, and even when web documents or pages are archived in a web archive, questions arise as to which version of an archived page to link to (which date or even which archive as copies may be held in multiple web archives with different levels of completeness). The current structure of PADI requires the Library to commit around 0.5 of a fulltime staff member to locate, describe and enter links to new information sources and to maintain links to existing resources. Although originally conceived as a cooperative contribution model, increasingly the burden of adding material to PADI has fallen to the NLA as input from elsewhere has almost ceased.

The information-seeking and information-providing mechanisms of a community also change over time. After reviewing the gateway service the Library has concluded that the existing website, database and list no longer meet the current needs and that the Library’s resources are best invested elsewhere. While there may be more efficient ways of building a service like PADI today, using Web 2.0 tools, the Library is unable to make the investment in converting the existing service.

Reluctantly—because we still find PADI useful ourselves—we believe we cannot sustain PADI, and have decided to cease maintaining it.

A copy of the website has been archived in PANDORA, Australia’s Web Archive. The existing live website will remain available until the end of 2010; however no new resources have been added since the start of July 2010 and the existing links will not be actively managed. The archives of the padiforum-l list will continue to be available, however no new postings will be accepted from 30 September 2010.

Digital User Experience Librarian at Indiana University Kokomo

The Indiana University Kokomo Library is recruiting a Digital User Experience Librarian.

Here's an excerpt from the ad:

The Digital User Experience Librarian will take a leadership role in the continued development of the electronic resources collection and the Library’s Web presence in order to provide support for the teaching, learning, and research needs of our users. This work will include acquiring and providing access to electronic resources, and incorporating appropriate Web-based tools to support our users' information to knowledge experience. The position also includes some reference desk work.

Summary Findings of NEH Digital Humanities Start-Up Grants (2007–2010)

The Office of Digital Humanities at the National Endowment for the Humanities has released Summary Findings of NEH Digital Humanities Start-Up Grants (2007–2010) .

Here's an excerpt:

The bulk of this summary report reflects work done by the NEH's Kathy Toavs who got in touch with 51 of the project directors from the first two years of the program (2007 and 2008). We chose just the first two years because we wanted to talk to project directors who had concluded their work to find out more about outcomes. Kathy provides an overview of her research including a thorough discussion of the many publications, conferences, Web sites, and software tools that emerged from the first two years of the SUG program [Start-Up Grant program]. She also asked the project directors for their feedback on the program and Kathy provides an excellent summary of their thoughts.

Daily Tweets 2010-09-08

Information Technology Professional at Michigan State University

The Michigan State University Libraries are recruiting an Information Technology Professional.

Here's an excerpt from the ad (posting number: 4092):

Assists in the planning, installation, implementation, and maintenance of computer systems, networks, and software, heavily focused on the support of the Libraries' two Xsan storage area networks; works on developing and maintaining internal Web applications and relational databases; contributes as a team member within the Libraries' Systems unit working with librarians, staff, and students to support creation, preservation, access and maintenance of digital content; performs other duties as assigned.

Helmholtz Association Signs with SpringerOpen

The Helmholtz Association, a group of 16 German scientific-technical and biological-medical research centers, has signed an agreement with SpringerOpen to support its researchers' open access publishing efforts.

Here's an excerpt from the press release:

The Helmholtz Association has signed up for open access membership with Springer scientific publishing. The agreement means that the research centres in the Helmholtz Association will pay the fees charged to authors for articles published in SpringerOpen and BioMed Central journals. The Helmholtz Open Access Project assisted in the proceedings.

SpringerOpen journals are peer-reviewed open access journals in new, future-focused and interdisciplinary fields. They supplement Springer’s existing portfolio and that of BioMed Central, which offers over 200 open access journals from the life sciences and biomedicine. SpringerOpen journals appear exclusively online and are published under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which enables free dissemination of copyrighted content. The license does not give Springer exclusive rights to published content.

Authors pay an open access fee for articles they publish in SpringerOpen and BioMed Central journals, and their articles immediately appear in the relevant publication at Dr Bernhard Mittermaier, head of the Central Library at Forschungszentrum Jülich, is enthusiastic about the agreement: "We believe that the open access journals offered by Springer are a good fit for the six research fields pursued by the Helmholtz Association. We are excited to be embarking on a partnership that will open up new possibilities for developing an open access forum for the findings of our researchers. This agreement is a step towards our goal of establishing sustainable mechanisms for ensuring fair publication fees for open access journals."

Humanities Research Associate at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill is recruiting a Humanities Research Associate.

Here's an excerpt from the ad:

The Research Computing unit at UNC-Chapel Hill is seeking a Humanities Research Associate to provide technical leadership to spearhead our engagement with faculty researchers in the humanities. This position will be a technical contributor and a partner in defining, implementing and supporting technologies to advance humanities research at UNC-Chapel Hill. The research associate will provide programming and technical expertise in areas such as text encoding and metadata standards, database design and queries, software development, web programming, and digital project design. Possible initial projects include implementing and supporting the use of SEASR for text and data mining; developing document databases based on XML and XML tools; and assembling collections of open-source tools and development environments to advance digital humanities projects.

Data Mash-Ups and the Future of Mapping

JISC has released Data Mash-Ups and the Future of Mapping.

Here's an excerpt:

The term 'mash-up' refers to websites that weave data from different sources into new Web services. The key to a successful Web service is to gather and use large datasets and harness the scale of the Internet through what is known as network effects. This means that data sources are just as important as the software that 'mashes' them, and one of the most profound pieces of data that a user has at any one time is his or her location. . . .

Since, as this report makes clear, data mash-ups that make use of geospatial data in some form or other are by far the most common mash-ups to date, then they are likely to provide useful lessons for other forms of data. In particular, the education community needs to understand the issues around how to open up data, how to allow data to be added to in ways that do not compromise accuracy and quality and how to deal with issues such as privacy and working with commercial and non-profit third parties—and the GeoWeb is a test ground for much of this. Thirdly, new location-based systems are likely to have educational uses by, for example, facilitating new forms of fieldwork. Understanding the technology behind such systems and the way it is developing is likely to be of benefit to teachers and lecturers who are thinking about new ways to engage with learners. And finally, there is a future watching aspect. Data mash-ups in education and research are part of an emerging, richer information environment with greater integration of mobile applications, sensor platforms, e-science, mixed reality, and semantic, machine-computable data. This report starts to speculate on forms that these might take, in the context of map-based data.

Daily Tweets 2010-09-07

Open Access Call to Action from Alliance for Taxpayer Access

The Alliance for Taxpayer Access has issued a call to action to thank Representative Wm. Lacy Clay for holding a Congressional hearing on public access to federally funded research.

Here's an excerpt from the call:

On Thursday, July 29, the Information Policy, Census and National Archives Subcommittee of the House Committee on Government Oversight and Reform held the first-ever Congressional hearing on the issue of public access to federally funded research.  The Subcommittee, chaired by The Honorable Representative Wm. Lacy Clay (D-MO), invited ten witnesses, representing a broad cross-section of the stakeholder communities affected by this issue, to testify on the implications of opening access to the results of publicly funded research.

The open, public hearing was a crucial and timely examination of the issue of public access and its advancement. For full details, including witness testimony, visit

All supporters of public access to publicly funded research are urged to please write to Chairman Clay to express thanks for taking this important step in Congress. Talking points and contact information are included for your use below. Your action is requested NO LATER THAN SEPTEMBER 17th.

As ever, please send copies of letters to SPARC/Alliance for Taxpayer Access via email to jennifer [at] arl [dot] org.

And thanks, once again, for your continued support for public access! If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to contact us:

Heather Joseph
(202) 296-2296 ext. 157
heather [at] arl [dot] org

Jennifer McLennan
Director of Programs and Operations, SPARC
(202) 296-2296 ext. 121
jennifer [at] arl [dot] org

Talking points:

  • On behalf of the [your organization], which represents [number and type of membership], I write to thank you for your leadership in convening the first open hearing on public access to federally funded research. 
  • We believe that ensuring timely, barrier-free access to the results of the science and scholarship that our tax dollars underwrite will make possible an unprecedented variety of potential connections and discoveries, and improve the lives and welfare of people in the U.S. and around the world. We fully support policies that can turn this belief into a reality.
  • Your hearing was an invaluable and timely examination of the potential benefits of public access to the results of our nation’s $60 billion annual investment in scientific research.
  • By ensuring the hearing was inclusive and open, you created a very valuable forum for the diverse range of perspectives on the issue to be represented and explored.
  • The direction and nature of your questions also helped to surface key topics of discussion and provide much-needed clarity.
  • [detail why public access to research is important to your organization]
  • We look forward to working with you to continue to advance successful public access policies in Congress.

[end talking points]

Contact information:

The Honorable Representative Wm. Lacy Clay
Chairman, Information Policy, Census and National Archives Subcommittee
Committee on Oversight and Government Reform
U.S. House of Representatives
2157 Rayburn House Office Building
Washington, D.C. 20515
Via email: anthony.clark [at] mail [dot] house [dot] gov

FCC: Internet Access Services: Status as of June 2009

The Federal Communications Commission has released Internet Access Services: Status as of June 2009.

Here's an excerpt from the press release:

Report highlights include the following, as of June 2009:

  • Out of a total of 71 million fixed – as opposed to mobile – connections to households, only 44% met or exceeded the speed tier that most closely approximates the universal availability target set in the National Broadband Plan of 4 megabits per second (Mbps) downstream and 1 Mbps upstream
  • The number of mobile wireless service subscribers with data plans for full Internet access increased by 40% over the first six months of 2009, to 35 million
  • Cable modem connections increased by 3% to 41 million and aDSL by 1% to 31 million in the first six months of 2009
  • A 23% increase in fiber connections, to 4 million, was the largest rate of increase among fixed-location technologies
  • Satellite Internet connections increased by 6% to 1 million

Digital Projects, Assistant/Associate Librarian at Florida Gulf Coast University

The Florida Gulf Coast University Library is recruiting a Digital Projects, Assistant/Associate Librarian. Salary: $42,000, negotiable.

Here's an excerpt from the ad:

Your initial assignment will address the growing need for digital collection creation and maintenance within the Library. Major responsibilities of this position are to establish and maintain the FGCU Library's Institutional Repository, focusing initially on capturing and archiving the university's electronic archival materials; planning, organizing, and completing image digitization or sound file creation and resource description for items in the library's special collections; and establishing the library's electronic theses program in coordination with Graduate Affairs. This librarian will also be responsible for ensuring the safety of the physical holdings of the archives and special collections and any loaned materials intended for digitization, as well as, ensuring that archival-level preservation techniques are used. This librarian will be expected to work closely with staff at the Florida Center for Library Automation, with Library Systems staff, with other librarians and faculty, and with Administrative Services staff responsible for Records Management.

Handheld E-Book Readers and Scholarship: Report and Reader Survey

The American Council of Learned Societies has released Handheld E-Book Readers and Scholarship: Report and Reader Survey.

Here's an excerpt:

This report describes a conversion experiment and subsequent reader survey conducted by ACLS Humanities E-Book (HEB) in late 2009 and early 2010 to assess the viability of using scholarly monographs with handheld e-readers. Scholarly content generally involves extensive networking and cross-referencing between individual works through various channels, including bibliographical citation and subsequent analysis and discussion. Through past experience with its online collection, HEB had already determined that a web-based platform lends itself well to presenting this type of material, but was interested in exploring which key elements would need to be replicated in the handheld edition in order to maintain the same level of functionality, as well as what specific factors from either print or digital publishing would have to be taken into account. As sample content, HEB selected six titles from its own online collection, three in a page-image format with existing OCR-derived text and three encoded as XML files, and had these converted by an outside vendor with minimal editorial intervention into both MOBI (prc) and ePub files.

Daily Tweets 2010-09-06

Daily Tweets 2010-09-03

Cloud Computing: TierraCloud Launches HC2 Open Source Project with Fedora Plug-in

TierraCloud has launched the HC2 Open Source Project. HC2 has a Fedora Repository plug-in.

Here's an excerpt from the press release:

Web2.0s have invented a new storage architecture that runs on industry standard x86 servers using sophisticated software to create extremely reliable and scalable storage systems. This architecture, that may be called Private Cloud Storage, is so compelling that enterprises will have no option but to use it. Although enterprise storage architectures have been fairly stable since the mid 80’s with external block and file storage, TierraCloud expects these architectures will undergo a sea-change in the next decade.

"Current mainstream solutions are ill-suited to address new private cloud storage requirements" said Sriram Rupanagunta, founder of TierraCloud. "Acquisition cost, management cost, scalability and reliability are the key requirements. With HC2’s unique advantages in the areas of automated data management, extreme data mobility, and ability to run third-party storage apps, the total-cost-of-ownership will get slashed by 10x." . . .

"It has become clear that data curation will require distributed storage and application frameworks," said Sayeed Choudhury, Associate Dean of University Libraries at Johns Hopkins University. "No single institution can develop the comprehensive, necessary infrastructure to preserve and provide access to the large amount of data being generated by all disciplines ranging from the sciences to the humanities. HC2's emphasis on hardware choices, geographically distributed data and open-source software is compelling. Most institutions will be eager to experiment with private cloud storage and HC2 represents a useful option in this regard."

Assistant Director for Electronic Licensing at OhioLINK

OhioLINK is recruiting an Assistant Director for Electronic Licensing.

Here's an excerpt from the ad:

Responsible for leading the consortia’s planning, management, evaluation, and licensing of shared electronic information resources by the OhioLINK community. Working closely with the Executive Director to implement the priorities of the community, develop negotiating strategies, develop financial models and maintain strong communications with the CIRM and the OhioLINK community, and as the proactive liaison to the CIRM in this position.

Mobile Strategy Report, Mobile Device User Research

The California Digital Library has released Mobile Strategy Report, Mobile Device User Research.

Here's an excerpt:

This report is a collection of findings and recommendations from a mobile device user research project conducted in the summer of 2010. The California Digital Library undertook this project for three reasons:

  1. CDL wanted to understand how the proliferation of mobile devices with internet access in the general public and the explosion of mobile tools and products in higher education and libraries affect CDL constituents and services.
  2. UC campus libraries expressed a need for guidance regarding mobile access.
  3. CDL programs were trying to understand if they needed to support users in a mobile capacity and if there were opportunities for new ways to meet user needs.

In order to answer these questions, we performed an extensive literature review and conducted user research. The literature review helped us to clarify what is happening in the mobile world in terms of technology changes, device ownership, internet access, and mobile projects, especially within the higher education and library spheres.

We wanted to learn additional details about the role mobile devices play in the lives of CDL constituents. Very little literature focuses on academic populations in regard to mobile devices, and even then it usually focuses on undergraduate students. We wanted to expand this study to faculty, graduate students, and academic librarians. We sought information about the kinds of devices users owned, how they used mobile devices with internet, and what kinds of preferences and frustrations they encounter while using mobile devices as part of their academic lives.

Based on these findings, we developed both specific and general strategic recommendations in order to guide CDL in supporting and developing mobile access to its services.

Read more about it at "All Things Mobile."

Daily Tweets 2010-09-02

"Developing a Generalized and Sustainable Framework for a Public, Open, Scholarly Assessment Service Based on Aggregated Large-Scale Usage Data" Grant Award

The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation has awarded Indiana University Bloomington and NISO a $349,000 grant for "Developing a Generalized and Sustainable Framework for a Public, Open, Scholarly Assessment Service Based on Aggregated Large-Scale Usage Data."

Here's an excerpt from the press release:

IU Bloomington School of Informatics and Computing associate professor Johan Bollen and the National Information Standards Organization (NISO) will share the Mellon Foundation grant designed to build upon the Metrics from Scholarly Usage of Resources (MESUR) project that Bollen began in 2006 with earlier support from the foundation. Bollen is also a member of the IU School of Informatics and Computing's Center for Complex Networks and Systems Research (CNetS) and the IU Cognitive Science Program faculty. "We are very pleased to receive this generous support from the Mellon Foundation for planning the future of the MESUR project," said Bollen, the project's principal investigator. "The initial work on MESUR received a great deal of positive attention. We believe that there is tremendous potential in this area of research for improving the availability, rapidity and quality of scholarly assessment and this grant will help enhance the impact of MESUR and place it on a path toward viability as a public resource."

The new funding for "Developing a Generalized and Sustainable Framework for a Public, Open, Scholarly Assessment Service Based on Aggregated Large-scale Usage Data," will support the evolution of the MESUR project to a community-supported, sustainable scholarly assessment framework. MESUR has already created a database of more than 1 billion usage events with related bibliographic, citation and usage data for scholarly content.

The project will focus on four areas in developing the sustainability model—financial sustainability, legal frameworks for protecting data privacy, technical infrastructure and data exchange, and scholarly impact—and then integrate the four areas to provide the MESUR project with a framework upon which to build a sustainable structure for deriving valid metrics for assessing scholarly impact based on usage data. Simultaneously, MESUR's ongoing operations will be continued with the grant funding and expanded to ingest additional data and update its present set of scholarly impact indicators.

"This is a tremendous opportunity to serve the community and we are pleased to be partnering with Dr. Bollen on this project," said Todd Carpenter, managing director of NISO and co-principal investigator. "The project will require the coordinated and engaged participation of the full spectrum of stakeholders in scholarly communications and NISO is uniquely positioned to act as a neutral third party in bringing together these parties to obtain consensus and a successful outcome."

NISO Releases Cost of Resource Exchange (CORE) Protocol

NISO has released the Cost of Resource Exchange (CORE) Protocol (NISO RP-10-2010).

Here's an excerpt from the press release:

NISO is pleased to announce the publication of its latest Recommended Practice, CORE: Cost of Resource Exchange Protocol (NISO RP-10-2010). This Recommended Practice defines an XML schema to facilitate the exchange of financial information related to the acquisition of library resources between systems, such as an ILS and an ERMS.

CORE identifies a compact yet useful structure for query and delivery of relevant acquisitions data. "Sharing acquisitions information between systems has always been a difficult problem," said Ted Koppel, Agent Verso (ILS) Product Manager, Auto-Graphics, Inc. and co-chair of the CORE Working Group. "The rise of ERM systems made this problem even more acute. I'm glad that we, through the CORE Recommended Practice, have created a mechanism for data sharing, reuse, and delivery." Co-chair Ed Riding, Catalog Program Manager at the LDS Church History Library, added, "The CORE Recommended Practice provides a solution for libraries attempting to avoid duplicate entry and for systems developers intent on not reinventing the wheel. I look forward to the development of systems that can easily pull cost information from one another and believe CORE can help facilitate that."

CORE was originally intended for publication as a NISO standard. However, following a draft period of trial use that ended March 2010, the CORE Working Group and NISO's Business Information Topic Committee voted to approve the document as a Recommended Practice. This decision was in part based on the lack of uptake during the trial period as a result of recent economic conditions, and was motivated by the high interest in having CORE available for both current and future development as demand for the exchange of cost information increases. Making the CORE protocol available as a Recommended Practice allows ILS and ERM vendors, subscription agents, open-source providers, and other system developers to now implement the XML framework for exchanging cost information between systems. "I am pleased that CORE is now available for systems developers to begin using in order to facilitate the exchange of cost information between systems in a library environment," commented Todd Carpenter, NISO's Managing Director.

IFLA World Report 2010

The International Federation of Library Associations and Institutions has released the IFLA World Report 2010.

Here's an excerpt from the "Analysis and Conclusions" section of the report:

Open Access to information resources can contribute to reduce the impact of the digital divide. The fact that respondents that provided data for the specific questions indicated that nearly 90% of library associations are in favour of Open Access and that there are Open Access initiatives in about 76% of countries, is a very positive development. According to respondents copyright laws exist in 110 countries and in 72 countries the copyright laws include limitations or exceptions for libraries; 85 respondents reported that their countries have legislation that guarantees freedom of access to information and freedom of expression. These are all very positive aspects. Library associations and library communities across the world should endeavour to increase these numbers and to ensure that the principles underlying the questions are implemented and safeguarded in their countries.

Violations of freedom of expression and freedom of access to information are still very prevalent in many countries in all regions of the world. Interestingly enough very few respondents have reported on such incidents in their countries and most of the information comes from third-party sources—only 21 respondents have highlighted any issues, whereas the consulted third-party sources have listed issues in at least 109 countries (compared to 19 and 82 respectively in 2007). The fact that only a few respondents have reported incidents is worrisome, regardless of the reason for this. On the other hand, the fact that there are so many countries in which such incidents take place, should be a matter of grave concern to IFLA and the library community in general.

Daily Tweets 2010-09-01