Urgent: Send a Message to Congress about the NIH Public Access Policy

Posted in E-Prints, Open Access, Publishing, Scholarly Communication, Scholarly Journals on July 15th, 2007

Peter Suber has pointed out that ALA has an Action Alert that allows you to just fill in a form to send a message to your Congressional representatives about the NIH Public Access Policy.

Under "Compose Message" in the form, I suggest that you shorten the Subject to "Support the NIH Public Access Policy." As an "Issue Area" you might use "Budget" or "Health." Be sure to fill in your salutation and phone number; they are required to send an e-mail even though the form does not show them as required fields.

I’ve made slight modifications to the talking points and created a Web page so that the talking points can simply be cut and pasted into the "Editable text to" section of the form as the message.

ALA Weblogs and Creative Commons Licenses

Posted in ALA, Copyright, Creative Commons/Open Licenses, Libraries, License Agreements/Contracts on July 14th, 2007

The American Library Association and its divisions have launched a number of Weblogs in the last few years. What copyright provisions are these digital publications under? Do they use Creative Commons licenses?

As the list below shows, the vast majority of ALA Weblogs have no explicit copyright statement on their homepage. The absence of such a statement does not mean that under U.S. law the Weblogs are not under standard copyright provisions. They are copyrighted, but by who? Unless ALA has a copyright transfer or work-for-hire agreement with Weblog authors, it appears that the author of each posting holds the copyright to that posting, and copyright permissions for uses of postings that exceed fair use would need to be obtained from their authors. (Some Weblogs have a single author.)

One ALA Weblog uses the standard ALA copyright statement (ALA Techsource), one is copyrighted under the name of the Weblog (ACRLog), one is under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 United States license (YALSA), and three others are under Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 2.5 licenses (District Dispatch, LITA Blog, and Office for Intellectual Freedom).

Thus, the vast majority of ALA Weblogs are under standard copyright provisions, one is under ALA’s more liberal copyright provisions, and a few are under Creative Commons Licenses that permit noncommercial use without further permission as long as it does not include the creation of derivative works.

ACRLog Urgent Call for Action about NIH Policy Vote

Posted in EPrints, Open Access, Publishing, Scholarly Communication, Scholarly Journals on July 14th, 2007

An urgent call for action has been issued on ACRLog about upcoming House and Senate votes on Labor, Health and Human Services appropriations bills that will determine whether NIH-funded researchers are required to make their final manuscripts publicly accessible within twelve months of publication.

Here's an excerpt from the posting:

We need your help to keep the momentum going. The full House of Representatives and the full Senate will vote on their respective measures this summer. The House is expected to convene on Tuesday, July 17. We’re asking that you contact your US Representative and your US Senators by phone or fax as soon as possible and no later than Monday afternoon. Urge them to maintain the Appropriations Committee language. (Find talking points and contact info for your legislators in the ALA Legislative Action Center. It is entirely possible that an amendment will be made on the floor of the House to delete the language in the NIH policy.

Want to know more? Listen to an interview with Heather Joseph of SPARC on the ALA Washington Office District Dispatch blog. Find background on the issue along with tips on communicating effectively with your legislators in the last two issues of ACRL’s Legislative Update and at the Alliance for Taxpayer Access website.

Peter Suber has issued a similar call on Open Access News. Here it is in full:

Tell Congress to support an OA mandate at the NIH

Let me take the unusual step of repeating a call to action from yesterday in case it got buried in the avalanche of news. 

The House Appropriations Committee approved language establishing an OA mandate at the NIH.  The full House is scheduled to vote on the appropriations bill containing that language on Tuesday, July 17

Publishers are lobbying hard to delete this language.  If you are a US citizen and support public access for publicly-funded research, please ask your representative to support this bill, and to oppose any attempt to amend or strike the language.  Contact your representative now, before you forget.

Time is short.  Offices are closed on the weekend, but emails and faxes will go through.  Send an email or fax right now or telephone before Monday afternoon.

Because the Senate Appropriations Committee approved the same language in June, you should contact your Senators with the same message.  But the vote by the full House is in three days, while the vote by the full Senate has not yet been scheduled.

For help in composing your message, see

Then spread the word!

steve: The Art Museum Tagging Project

Posted in Open Source Software, Social Media on July 12th, 2007

The steve project has developed open source tagging software for museums called steve tagger that runs on Linux, Macintosh, and Windows platforms (see the Steve Tagger 1.0 Install Guide). You can see how the tagging works at their live system site.

Here’s an excerpt from the About Steve pages that describes the project:

"Steve" is a collaborative research project exploring the potential for user-generated descriptions of the subjects of works of art to improve access to museum collections and encourage engagement with cultural content. We are a group of volunteers, primarily from art museums, who share a common interest in improving access to our collections. We are concerned about barriers to public access to online museum information. Participation in steve is open to anyone with a contribution to make to developing our collective knowledge, whether they formally represent a museum or not.

You can find out more about steve from the November 2006 "Social Tagging and Folksonomy: steve.museum and Access to Art" presentation and from other project documents on the Reference page.

Australian Framework and Action Plan for Digital Heritage Collections

Posted in Copyright, Digital Archives and Special Collections, Digital Curation & Digital Preservation, Digital Repositories, Digitization, Scholarly Communication on July 12th, 2007

The Collections Council of Australia Ltd. has released Australian Framework and Action Plan for Digital Heritage Collections, Version 0.C3 for comment.

Here's an excerpt from the document:

This is the Collections Council of Australia's plan to prepare an Australian framework for digital heritage collections. It brings together information shared by people working in archives, galleries, libraries and museums at a Summit on Digital Collections held in 2006. It proposes an Action Plan to address issues shared by the Australian collections sector in relation to current and future management of digital heritage collections.

Update on the DSpace Foundation

Posted in Digital Repositories, DSpace, Institutional Repositories, Open Access, Scholarly Communication on July 11th, 2007

Michele Kimpton, Executive Director of the DSpace Foundation, gave gave a talk about the foundation at the DSpace UK & Ireland User Group meeting in early July.

Her PowerPoint presentation is now available.

Source: Lewis, Stuart. "Presentations from Recent DSpace UK & Ireland User Group Meeting," Unilever Centre for Molecular Informatics, Cambridge—Jim Downing, 11 July 2007.

Crazy Bosses

Posted in General, Libraries on July 11th, 2007

Queen of Hearts

Let’s hope that you never have a crazy boss. But—take my word for it—they’re out there. If you feel that you’ve gone down the rabbit hole and are faced each day with a cross between the Mad Hatter and the Queen of Hearts, then, if you can’t just quit, you might want to pick up a copy of Stanley Bing’s Crazy Bosses.

You’ll meet a variety of crazy bosses, including the disaster hunter, the narcissist, the paranoid, the wimp, and, my personal favorite, the bully.

Bing offers humorous, but sage, advice for how to deal with these crazies.

Scholarly Electronic Publishing Weblog Update (7/11/07)

Posted in Announcements on July 11th, 2007

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: "Content Recruitment for Institutional Repositories (IR's)," DSpace How-To Guide: Tips and Tricks for Managing Common DSpace Chores (Now Serving DSpace 1.4.2 and Manakin 1.1), "Going All the Way: How Hindawi Became an Open Access Publisher," "Library Access to Scholarship," "The OA Interviews: Stevan Harnad," "Open Access and Accuracy: Author-archived Manuscripts vs. Published Articles," "Problems and Opportunities (Blizzards and Beauty)," Report of the Sustainability Guidelines for Australian Repositories Project (SUGAR), "Society Publishing, the Internet and Open Access: Shifting Mission-Orientation from Content Holding to Certification and Navigation Services?," Towards an Open Source Repository and Preservation System: Recommendations on the Implementation of an Open Source Digital Archival and Preservation System and on Related Software Development, and "What a Difference a Publisher Makes."

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.

Web/Web 2.0 Tools and Techniques

Posted in Coding, Social Media, Techie on July 10th, 2007

Here’s a list of a few overviews of Web/Web 2.0 tools and techniques that developers may find useful.

Obituary: Peter Lyman

Posted in Obituaries on July 9th, 2007

Peter Lyman, former University Librarian at the University of California, Berkeley and professor emeritus at Berkeley’s School of Information, has died of brain cancer. He was 66 years old.

Here’s an excerpt from the press release:

In 2005, Lyman became the director of the Digital Youth Project, a three-year collaborative investigation founded by the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation of how kids use digital media in their everyday lives—at home and in libraries, after-school programs and public places. . . .

Lyman was born in San Francisco in 1940. He earned a B.A. in philosophy from Stanford University in 1962, his M.A. in political science from UC Berkeley in 1963, and his Ph.D. in political science from Stanford in 1972.

He was one of the founders of James Madison College, a residential college at Michigan State University with a public policy focus and was a faculty member there from 1967 to 1987. He also was a visiting professor at Stanford and UC Santa Cruz.

In 1987 Lyman moved to the University of Southern California (USC), where he founded the Center for Scholarly Technology and served as its executive director. He also was associate dean for library technology at that university before becoming USC’s university librarian in 1991. At USC, he helped envision and oversee the creation of a new, technologically advanced undergraduate library.

He returned to UC Berkeley in 1994 to serve as the campus’s seventh university librarian until 1998. He also joined the School of Information Management & Systems (now the School of Information) as a professor in 1994. . . .

Lyman became an emeritus professor in 2006. He served on the editorial boards of the numerous academic journals relating to information technology and society as well as on the board of directors of Sage Publications, the Council on Library and Information Resources, the Art History Information Project at the Getty Trust, and the Internet Archive.

Obituary: Martha E. Williams

Posted in Obituaries on July 9th, 2007

Martha E. Williams, long-time editor of the Annual Review of Information Science and Technology and former President of the American Society for Information Science and Technology, has died at age 72.

The funeral home web site obituary has been posted on ASIS-L.

Code4Lib Journal Established

Posted in Coding, Social Media, Techie on July 8th, 2007

The newly established Code4Lib Journal has issued a call for papers.

Here’s an excerpt from the call:

The Code4Lib Journal (C4LJ) will provide a forum to foster community and share information among those interested in the intersection of libraries, technology, and the future.

Submissions are currently being accepted for the first issue of this promising new journal. Please submit articles, abstracts, or proposals for articles to c4lj-articles@googlegroups.com (a private list read only by C4LJ editors) by Friday, August 31, 2007. Publication of the first issue is planned for late December 2007.

Possible topics for articles include, but are not limited to:

* Practical applications of library technology. Both actual and
hypothetical applications invited.
* Technology projects (failed, successful, proposed, or
in-progress), how they were done, and challenges faced
* Case studies
* Best practices
* Reviews
* Comparisons of third party software or libraries
* Analyses of library metadata for use with technology
* Project management and communication within the library environment
* Assessment and user studies . . . .

The goal of the journal is to promote professional communication by minimizing the barriers to publication. While articles in the journal should be of a high quality, they need not follow any formal structure or guidelines. Writers should aim for the middle ground between, on the one hand, blog or mailing-list posts, and, on the other hand, articles in traditional journals. . . .

The Journal will be electronic only, and at least initially, edited rather than refereed. . . .

Code4Lib Journal Editorial Committee

Carol Bean
Jonathan Brinley
Edward Corrado
Tom Keays
Emily Lynema
Eric Lease Morgan
Ron Peterson
Jonathan Rochkind
Jodi Schneider
Dan Scott
Ken Varnum

Archivists’ Toolkit 1.1 Beta (v. 1.0.19) Released

Posted in Digital Archives and Special Collections, Open Source Software on July 8th, 2007

The Archivists’ Toolkit 1.1 Beta (v. 1.0.19) has been released. This version can connect Archivists’ Toolkit clients to MySQL, MS SQLServer, and Oracle database backends.

For more information on the Archivists’ Toolkit, see the "Archivists’ Toolkit Beta 1.1 Released" DigitalKoans posting.

Publisher Mergers: Walter de Gruyter Buys K. G. Saur Verlag

Posted in Publishing, Scholarly Communication, Scholarly Journals on July 5th, 2007

In yet another scholarly publishing company merger, Walter de Gruyter has announced that it has acquired K. G. Saur und Max Niemeyer.

Here’s an excerpt from the press release:

Walter de Gruyter GmbH & Co. KG has with immediate effect acquired the complete publishing programme of K. G. Saur Verlag GmbH, which since 2005 has also included the programme of Max Niemeyer Verlag. Through this acquisition Walter de Gruyter will become the market leader in the subject areas classical studies, philosophy, German studies, linguistics and English and Romance studies, as well as in library sciences and general library reference works.

For an analysis of the effect of publisher mergers on serials prices, see the works of Dr. Mark J. McCabe.

Index Data Releases Open Source Pazpar2 Z39.50 Client

Posted in Federated Searching, Open Source Software, Z39.50 on July 4th, 2007

Index Data has released Version 1.0.1 of Pazpar2, an open source Z39.50 client.

Here’s an excerpt from the press release:

Pazpar2 . . . can be viewed either as a high-performance metasearching middleware or a Z39.50 client with a webservice interface, depending on your perspective and needs. It is a fairly compact C program—a resident daemon—that incorporates the best we know how to do in terms of providing high performance, user-oriented federated searching. . . .

One cool thing it does is search many databases in parallel, and do it fast, without unduly loading up the user interface. . . It retrieves a set of records from each target, and performs merging, deduplication, ranking/sorting, and pulls browse facets from them. . . .

It doesn’t know anything about data models, so you can handle exotic data sources if you need to. . . you use XSLT to normalize data into an internal model—we provide examples for MARC21 and a DC-esque internal model, and configure ranking, facets, sorting, etc., from that. . . .

An Ecological Approach to Repository and Service Interactions

Posted in Digital Repositories, Institutional Repositories, Scholarly Communication on July 4th, 2007

UKOLN and JISC CETIS have released An Ecological Approach to Repository and Service Interactions, Draft Version 0.9 for comment.

Here’s an excerpt from the "Not the Executive Summary" section:

This work began with the need to express something of how and why repositories and services interact. As a community we have well understood technical models and architectures that provide mechanisms for interoperability. The actual interactions that occur, however, are not widely understood and knowledge about them is not often shared. This is in part because we tend to share in the abstract through architectures and use cases, articulating interactions or connections requires an engagement with specific details. . . .

Ecology is the study of systems that are complex, dynamic, and full of interacting entities and processes. Although the nature of these interactions and processes may be highly detailed, a higher level view of them is accessible and intuitive. We think that ecology and the ecosystems it studies may offer a useful analogy to inform the task of understanding and articulating the interactions between users, repositories, and services and the information environments in which they take place. This report outlines some concepts from ecology that may be useful and suggests some definitions for a common conversation about the use of this metaphor.

We hope that this report suggests an additional way to conceptualise and analyse interactions and provide a common vocabulary for an ecological approach. It should as a minimum provoke and support some useful discussions about networks and communities.

British Library Licenses Turning the Pages Toolkit

Posted in Digital Archives and Special Collections, Digitization, E-Books, Research Libraries on July 3rd, 2007

The British Library has announced that it is now licensing its Turning the Pages Toolkit to libraries and museums. You can see the software in action at their Turning the Pages Web site.

Here’s an excerpt from the press release:

From today, libraries around the World will be able to license the award-winning Turning the Pages software used by the British Library to bring some of the world’s most rare and valuable books online.

Since its launch in 2004, Turning the Pages has grown to become one of the most popular resources at the British Library, allowing the Library to bring iconic treasures such as the Lindisfarne Gospels, Leonardo da Vinci’s Notebooks and Mercator’s Atlas of Europe online for everyone to see. With the launch of Turning the Pages 2.0, and a completely re-built software platform developed by Armadillo Systems, May 2007 also sees launch of a new "toolkit" that allows other libraries and museums around the World to create their own Turning the Pages gallery. . . .

Michael Stocking, Managing Director of Armadillo Systems and developer of the Turning the Pages software said "As well as making it easy for our customers to create their own collections, we also wanted to enhance the Turning the Pages experience. We have migrated the software to a new platform that places the book in a 3-D environment so, as well as being able to examine the book as a piece of text, users can now also examine it as an object. They can now look at the book from different angles, zoom in and even look at two books, side-by-side."

Curation of Scientific Data: Challenges for Institutions and Their Repositories Podcast

Posted in Digital Curation & Digital Preservation, Digital Repositories, Institutional Repositories, Scholarly Communication on July 3rd, 2007

A podcast of Chris Rusbridge’s "Curation of Scientific Data: Challenges for Institutions and their Repositories" presentation at The Adaptable Repository conference is now available. Rusbridge is Director of the Digital Curation Centre in the UK.

The PowerPoint for the presentation is also available.

CLIR Receives Mellon Grant to Study Mass Digitization

Posted in Digitization, E-Books, Mass Digitizaton, Scholarly Communication on July 3rd, 2007

According to a O’Reilly Radar posting, the Council on Library and Information Resources has been awarded a grant from the Mellon Foundation to study mass digitization efforts.

Here’s an excerpt from the posting that describes the grant’s objectives:

  1. Assess selected large scale digitization programs by exploring their efficacy and utility for conducting scholarship, in multiple fields or disciplines (humanities, sciences, etc.).
  2. Write and issue a report with findings and recommendations for improving the design of mass digitization projects.
  3. Create a Collegium that can serve in the long-term as an advisory group to mass digitization efforts, helping to assure and obtain the highest possible data quality and utility.
  4. Convene a series of meetings amongst scholars, libraries, publishers, and digitizing organizations to discuss ways of achieving these quality and design improvements.

How Many Creative Commons Licenses Are in Use?

Posted in Copyright, Creative Commons/Open Licenses, Digital Culture, Open Access on July 2nd, 2007

In his "Creative Commons Statistics from the CC-Monitor Project" iCommons Summit presentation, Giorgos Cheliotis of the School of Information Systems at Singapore Management University estimates that there must be more than 60,000,000 Creative Commons licenses in use.

Based on backlink search data from Google and Yahoo, he also provides the following license breakdown highlights:

  • 70% of the licenses allow non-commercial use only (NC)
  • Share-Alike (SA) also a very popular attribute, present in over 50% fCC-licensed items (though SA is anyhow self-propagating)
  • 25% of the licenses include the ND [no derivative] restriction

Introducing the Networked Print Book

Posted in E-Books, Emerging Technologies, Publishing on July 2nd, 2007

if:book reports that Manolis Kelaidis made a big splash at the O’Reilly Tools of Change for Publishing conference with his networked paper book.

Here’s a an excerpt from the posting:

Manolis Kelaidis, a designer at the Royal College of Art in London, has found a way to make printed pages digitally interactive. His "blueBook" prototype is a paper book with circuits embedded in each page and with text printed with conductive ink. When you touch a "linked" word on the page and your finger completes a circuit, sending a signal to a processor in the back cover which communicates by Bluetooth with a nearby computer, bringing up information on the screen.

Here’s an excerpt from a jusTaText posting about the demo:

Yes, he had a printed and bound book which communicated with his laptop. He simply touched the page, and the laptop reacted. It brought up pictures of the Mona Lisa. It translated Chinese. It played a piece of music. Kelaidis suggested that a library of such books might cross-refer, i.e. touching a section in one book might change the colors of the spines of related books on your shelves. Imagine.

Lund University Journal Info Database Now Available

Posted in E-Journals, Open Access, Scholarly Communication, Scholarly Journals on June 29th, 2007

Lund University Libraries, creators of the Directory of Open Access Journals, has released a new database called Journal Info, which provides authors with information about 18,000 journals selected from 30 major databases. The National Library of Sweden provides support for JI, which is under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported license.

Here’s an excerpt from the FAQ page:

The purpose [of the service] is to provide an aid for the researcher in the selection of journal for publication. The publication market has continuously grown more and more complex. It is important to weigh in facts like scope and quality, but more recently also information about reader availability and library cost. The Lund University Libraries have made an attempt to merge all there items into one tool, giving the researcher the power to make informed choices.

Journal Info records provide basic information about the journal (e.g. journal homepage), "reader accessibility" information (e.g., open access status), and quality information (e.g., where it is indexed).

DSpace How-To Guide

Posted in Digital Repositories, DSpace, Institutional Repositories, Open Access, Scholarly Communication on June 27th, 2007

Tim Donohue, Scott Phillips, and Dorothea Salo have published DSpace How-To Guide: Tips and Tricks for Managing Common DSpace Chores (Now Serving DSpace 1.4.2 and Manakin 1.1).

This 55-page booklet, which is under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 3.0 License, will be a welcome addition to the virtual bookshelves of institutional repository managers struggling with the mysteries of DSpace.

DRAMA Releases Fedora Front-End Beta for Authentication/Full-Text Search

Posted in Digital Repositories, Fedora, Institutional Repositories, Open Access, Scholarly Communication on June 27th, 2007

DRAMA (Digital Repository Authorization Middleware Architecture) has released Fiddler, a beta version of its mura Fedora front-end that provides access control, authentication, full-text searching and a variety of other functions. DRAMA is a sub-project of RAMP (Research Activityflow and Middleware Priorities Project).

Here’s an excerpt from the news item that describes Fiddler’s features:

  • Hierarchical access control enforcement: Policies can be applied at the collection level, object level or datastream level. . . .
  • Improved access control interface: One can now view existing access control of a particular user or group for a given datastream, object or collection. . . .
  • User-centric GUI: mura only presents users with operations for which they have permissions.
  • XForms Metadata Input: We employ an XForms engine (Orbeon) for metadata input. XForms allow better user interaction, validation and supports any XML-based metadata schemas (such as MARC or MODS).
  • LDAP Filter for Fedora: The current Fedora LDAP filter (in version 2.2) does not authenticate properly, so we have developed a new LDAP filter to fix this problem.
  • Local authentication for DAR and ASM: In addition to Shibboleth authentication, the DAR and ASM can be configured to use a local authentication source (eg. via a local LDAP).
  • Generic XACML Vocabulary: XACML policies are now expressed in a generic vocabulary rather than Fedora specific ones. . . .
  • XACML Optimization: We have optimized of the evaluation engine by employing a cache with user configurable time-to-live. We have also greatly reduced the time for policies matching with DB XML, through the use of bind parameters in our queries.
  • Flexible mapping of Fedora actions to new Apache Axis handlers: Axis is the SOAP engine that Fedora employs to provide its web services. The new flexibility allows new handlers to be easily plugged into Fedora to support new features that follow the same Interceptor pattern as our authorization framework.
  • Version control: mura now supports version control.
  • Full-text search: We enabled full-text search by incorporating Fedoragsearch package.

Web/Web 2.0 Toolkits

Posted in Coding, Social Media, Techie on June 26th, 2007

Here’s a list of a few information-packed directories of Web/Web 2.0 tools that developers may find useful.


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