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New & Noteworthy
Pew Internet ProjectReleases Report on Internet Content Creation
The Pew Internet and American Life Project has released a new study entitled Content Creation Online. This survey and report finds that 44 per cent of US Internet users have contributed material to the online commons. It also finds that blog creation and updating is still relatively infrequent.
While blogs or personal online journals have captured the attention of the technology community, most of those who have made contributions have done so in less cutting-edge ways. Here are some of the things US adult Internet users have done:
21 per cent of Internet users say they have posted photographs to Web sites;
17 per cent have posted written material on Web sites;
13 per cent maintain their own Web sites;
8 per cent have contributed material to Web sites run by their businesses;
7 per cent have contributed material to Web sites run by organizations to which they belong such as church or professional groups;
7 per cent have Web cams running on their computers that allow other Internet users to see live pictures of them and their surroundings;
4 per cent have contributed material to Web sites created for their families; and
3 per cent have contributed video files to Web sites.
The Pew Internet Project has asked in its surveys at various times during 2003 and early 2004 about blogging. Those polls of Internet users have shown that somewhere between 2 per cent and 7 per cent of US Internet users have created blogs and about 11 per cent of Internet users are blog readers. These are not hugely impressive figures, but they are hardly trivial. They mean that anywhere from 3 million to nearly 9 million Americans have created these diaries. The report argues that the most eager and productive content creators break into three distinct groups:
Power creators are the Internet users who are most enthusiastic about content-creating activities. They are young – their average age is 25 – and they are more likely than other kinds of creators to do things like use instant messaging, play games, and download music. And they are the most likely group to blog.
Older creators have an average age of 58 and are experienced Internet users. They are highly educated, enjoy sharing pictures, and are the most likely of the creator groups to have built their own Web sites. They are also the most likely to have used the Internet for genealogical research.
Content omnivores are among the heaviest overall users of the Internet. Most are employed. Most log on frequently and spend considerable time online doing a variety of activities. They are likely to have broadband connections at home. The average age of this group is 40.
Pew Internet and American Life Project: www.pewinternet.org/
New ReportOn Gaming Technology and its Potential for Education
The National Academies Forum on Information Technologies and Research Universities is providing access to a report entitled: Unlocking the Potential of Gaming Technology. This report is a summary of the September 9-10, 2003 meeting of the Microsoft Higher Education Leaders Symposium held in Redmond, Washington. It was co-authored by Wendy Richard and Forum member Diana Oblinger. The report examines the potential of gaming technology as another tool to integrate technology into providing educational avenues to suit a variety of types of learners.
The National Academies launched the Forum on Information Technology and Research Universities in the fall of 2002. The Forum fosters national and campus-based dialogues aimed at helping research universities and their stakeholders to effectively meet the challenges of the digital age. It provides a newsletter, background resources and a news and resources Weblog.
Forum on Information Technologies and Research Universities: www:7.nationalacademies.org/itru/index.html
PALSIssues Research Report on Web-Based Repositories
The institutional repository, an open Web-based archive of scholarly material produced by the members of a defined institution, has come to the fore following the launch of DSpace at MIT at the end of 2002. PALS, the Publisher and Library/Learning Solutions working group in the UK, has recently issued a report, Pathfinder Research on Web-Based Repositories, that reviews recent developments and quantifies the growth of institutional repositories, and explores the impact their expansion may have on scholarly publishing. The full report is available at: www.palsgroup.org.uk/palsweb/palsweb.nsf/
The PALS Conference 2004, Institutional Repositories and Their Impact on Scholarly Publishing, will take place on 24 June 2004 at the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists, Regents Park, London. The conference will look at the current state of play in the development and uptake of institutional repositories, and will explore the implications for scholarly publishing.
More information is available at the PALS Web site: www.palsgroup.org.uk/
New Guide on Open Source SoftwareAvailable from NOSI
NOSI, the Non-profit Open Source Initiative (NOSI), has freely made available a new guide entitled: Choosing and Using Open Source Software: A Primer for Non-profits.
The primer includes: case studies of nonprofits of various sizes that are using open source software; a process for evaluating whether or not open source is right for an organization or application; an overview of specific open source applications and steps to begin using them in an organization; and an overview of how to find support for open source software.
Written primarily in non-technical language, the primer is accessible to a wide audience, including nonprofit managers with little hands-on technical expertise.
The NOSI formed in early 2001 as an informal group of non-profit sector technology assistance providers who were interested in the potential of open source software to benefit the organizations they work with.
More about NOSI: www.nosi.net//history.shtml
Digital Preservation CoalitionIssues Introductory Guide on OAIS
The first of a series of Technology Watch reports commissioned by the Digital Preservation Coalition (DPC) is now available. The aims of the DPC Technology Watch Service are to identify and track developments in IT, standards and tools which are critical to digital preservation activities. The DPC has commissioned reports from experts on topics known to be of crucial interest and importance for digital preservation. The reports have been specifically commissioned to be written in a style suitable for a national and international audience with a wide range of backgrounds and written in clear, plain English which avoids unnecessary jargon and acronyms.
The first of these reports is a DPC/OCLC report, The Open Archival Information System Reference Model: Introductory Guide, authored by Brian F. Lavoie, of the OCLC Office of Research. The influence of OAIS extended, at a very early stage, well beyond the space data community it was initiated by but it still retains an aura of a complex framework applicable only to a highly specialized community. This report provides a clear introduction to OAIS accessible to all who have an interest in preserving digital information. It provides practical examples as well as contextual information about the development of OAIS.
OCLC ResearchLaunches ResearchWorks Web Site
The OCLC Office of Research has announced the launch of a new Web site, OCLC ResearchWorks. Subtitled "Things to play with and think about," ResearchWorks features demos, prototypes, and other interactive items that showcase the current work of OCLC researchers.
Visitors can explore the site, following their interest from one demo to another, and comment on and discuss them with others. The idea is to display some of what's on the minds – and the "workbenches" – of OCLC researchers. The ideas may serve as examples librarians can develop or incorporate into their own systems.
ResearchWorks features works in progress rather than full services or even polished prototypes. There are links to background information, a discussion form, and a form to send a message directly to the researcher involved with each project.
InfoEyes ProjectProvides Information Services for the Visually Impaired
Visually impaired persons in select libraries around the USA are participating in a six-month pilot project starting in March 2004 to test an online information and virtual reference service designed specifically for their needs. The service will be offered through InfoEyes, a virtual reference and information community for the visually impaired. Through the pilot project, visually impaired patrons will use QuestionPoint to work with librarians virtually to find what they're seeking on the Internet. QuestionPoint, the collaborative virtual reference service developed by the Library of Congress and OCLC, helps librarians track and manage questions from patrons through a network of reference librarians around the world.
The Illinois State Library and the Illinois State Library Talking Book and Braille Service are coordinating the pilot project; the Online Computer Library Center (OCLC) has provided software and resources. The project will test the effectiveness of assisting the visually impaired in using the Internet. In the pilot project, librarians will provide services that include voice over IP, co-browsing and application sharing. InfoEyes users will be asked to evaluate the service and resources to help librarians further develop the service. Libraries participating in the project include: the Andrew Heiskell Braille and Talking Book Library in New York City, the Cleveland (Ohio) Public Library/Library for the Blind and Physically Handicapped, the Illinois State Library, the Indiana School for the Blind, the Iowa Library for the Blind and Physically Handicapped, the Library of Congress, Maine State Library Outreach, the Mid-Illinois Talking Book Center, Nevada Talking Book Services, the Perkins Braille and Talking Book Library (Massachusetts), the Southern Illinois Talking Book Center, TAP Information Services, the Texas State Library and Archives Commission, and the Wolfner Library (Missouri).
Yahoo!'s Content Acquisition ProgramExpands Access to OAIster Resources
A repository of information that provides links to previously difficult-to-locate electronic scholarly resources is widely available under a new agreement between the University of Michigan and Yahoo! Inc. The repository – developed through Michigan's University Library OAIster Project – is now available through Yahoo!'s Content Acquisition Program (CAP) and accessible through Yahoo! Search.
OAIster offers information that links to hidden digital resources such as the complete contents of books and articles, technical reports, preprints (unpublished works that have not yet been peer reviewed), white papers, images of paintings, movies and audio files of speeches. OAIster retrieves these elusive resources by tapping directly into the collections of a variety of institutions using harvesting technology based on the Open Archives Initiative (OAI) Protocol for Metadata Harvesting. The U-M's OAIster service provides access to over three million harvested records describing and pointing to these resources. Currently, the resources are created and hosted by 267 research libraries and institutions from around the world.
Many of the scholarly collections included in OAIster were not previously indexed in popular Web search services and remained hidden from those who need the resources for their research. By enabling access through Yahoo!'s CAP program, these materials will be widely available to an international audience of scholars, students, researchers and enthusiasts.
OAIster provides a direct link to an actual digital object – an image, book, document – not just a catalog or descriptive information. Examples of some of the collections currently available through OAIster include: the arXiv.org Eprint Archive (an archive of physics research); Carnegie Mellon University Informedia Public Domain Video Archive; Ethnologue: Languages of the World; Library of Congress American Memory Project; and Caltech Earthquake Engineering Research Laboratory Technical Reports.
CAP enables Yahoo! Search to expand the breadth and depth of content users can access. In addition to the OAIster project, other participants in CAP include National Public Radio, Northwestern University, the Library of Congress, The New York Public Library, Project Gutenberg, UCLA and the National Science Digital Library.
OAIster project: www.oaister.org
Yahoo! Search content acquisition program press release: http://docs.yahoo.com/docs/pr/release1144.html
ZapMeta Meta-SearchOffers Fast, Relevant Results, Preview Feature and More
ZapMeta is a meta-search engine, a search tool that searches the databases of popular Internet search engines and directories such as AllTheWeb, AOL, AltaVista, MSN, and others. Search results are initially displayed according to relevance. Tabs at the top of result pages let you quickly sort results by popularity, source, title, or domain – a handy way to get different perspectives on the same query. Each result has a "Quick view" link that opens up the top part of the page directly in the result list, offering a preview of the site. If you like what you see, click the "Maximize" link and the entire page opens up – still within the body of the result list.
Other features include related searches displayed in a box at the right of the screen, and a link to "older versions" of each result page. The latter is a hard coded link to the Internet Archive's Wayback Machine, allowing you to view copies of the page that have been archived over the years. ZapMeta also offers a directory search, drawing on data from the Open Directory Project, the largest, most comprehensive human-edited directory of the Web.
The Wayback Machine: www.archive.org/web/web.php
The Open Directory Project: www.dmoz.org/
University of California'seScholarship Repository Expands
To address the economic unsustainability of high pricing for scholarly journals, the University of California (UC) is providing alternatives to the traditional scholarly communication model through the eScholarship program at the California Digital Library. Now, UC faculty in all departments, research units and centers can use the eScholarship repository to provide free, open access to peer-reviewed journals online at http://repositories.cdlib.org/escholarship/
Since 2002, the eScholarship repository has offered UC faculty a central, online location for depositing working papers, technical reports, research results and conference proceedings from a wide range of disciplines. Scholars around the world have benefited from the free access to this faculty research. With the eScholarship repository's new peer-review capability, UC faculty have an alternative to publishing their research in for-profit journals, whose rising costs have become a burden to universities and libraries with shrinking budgets.
The first peer-reviewed journal in the eScholarship repository is San Francisco Estuary and Watershed Science, published by the John Muir Institute of the Environment at UC Davis. Other peer-reviewed materials in the eScholarship repository include papers and edited volumes from the UC International and Area StudiesDigital Collection.
The California Digital Library (CDL) expects the number of peer-reviewed papers and journals to grow substantially in coming months, with the addition of scientific monographs and other content from the University of California Press, as well as new journals sponsored by departments at several UC campuses, including InterActions: UCLA Journal of Education and Information Studies. Additionally, Comitatus, a 34-year-old journal sponsored by the UCLA Center for Medieval and Renaissance Studies, will be migrating to the eScholarship repository this spring.
eScholarship repository: http://escholarship.cdlib.org
California Digital Library: www.cdlib.org
Web ArchiveNew Archive of UK Government Web sites
Number 10 Downing Street, MI5 and the Cabinet Office are just some of the British government departments to have their Web presence preserved in the first-ever archive of government Web sites. The National Archives at Kew has successfully stored the first six-monthly "snapshots" of 40 government sites in its Web Archive, which will be preserving over 50 government Web sites as historic records. The archive is free and can be accessed on www.pro.gov.uk/webarchive
Since the Web Archive's launch in September 2003, The National Archives at Kew has been taking weekly snapshots of 11 rapidly-changing Web sites, such as the Hutton Inquiry and Number 10 Downing Street. The sites included in this six-monthly trawl are more static in their content than the 11 sites already archived and include the Security Services, the Inland Revenue and the Northern Ireland Office.
The National Archives has contracted The Internet Archive, to set up the new Web Archive, initially for one year. The Web sites have been collected using specially designed crawler software, which retrieves and stores pages on the site. The sites are then catalogued, stored and accessed using The Internet Archive's Wayback Machine software. You can enter the URL of the Web site you wish to view and then select by date from the archived versions available.
LITA President's ProgramFeatures the International Children's Digital Library
The Library and Information Technology Association (LITA) President's Program during the ALA Annual Conference in Orlando, FL, on Monday, June 28, 2004 from 2.00-4.00p.m. will feature Dr Benjamin B. Bederson, Dr Allison Druin and Dr Ann Weeks speaking on the International Children's Digital Library.
The International Children's Digital Library is a large-scale digital archive of literature for children aged 3-13. It is being built by The University of Maryland's Human-Computer Interaction Lab, a leader in children's interface design, and The Internet Archive. Faculty from the College of Information Studies and the Computer Science Department are collaborating to create a digitized children's library that will grow to over 10,000 books available in 100 languages.
International Children's Digital Library: www.icdlbooks.org/
LITA President's Program: www.lita.org/ala/lita/litaevents/annual2004orlandofl/OrlandoPresProg.htm
Improving User AccessNew Lecture Webcast Available
The Library of Congress Cataloging Directorate has announced that a new Webcast is available for viewing at: www.loc.gov/catdir/bibcontrol/bates.html
"Improving user access to library catalog and portal information". Originally presented by Dr Marcia J. Bates, University of California, Los Angeles, Graduate School of Education & Information Studies on December 12, 2003 and sponsored by the Library of Congress Cataloging Directorate, Library Services.
In this lecture, Dr Bates summarizes the research she recently conducted in her role as a principal investigator for the Library of Congress Action Plan on Bibliographic Control of Web Resources. Her investigations focused on three particular topics: user access vocabulary, links among bibliographic families, and staging of access to resources in the interface. From each of these perspectives, she shared her recommendations on how to achieve enhanced access to and display of records for selected Web resources across multiple systems. The lecture included a Q&A period to enable audience participation in the event.
WeblogsTwo New Library Technology Weblogs
In the ever expanding universe of library and library technology related blogs, the Pew report notwithstanding, here are two Weblogs maintained by James R. Jacobs, Government Information Librarian at the University of California at San Diego.
Diglet (Digital Letters of the UCSD Digital Library Planning Working Group): http://gort.ucsd.edu/mtdocs/diglet/
Library Autonomous Zone (ideas, issues, and insights on the high seas): http://gort.ucsd.edu/mtdocs/laz/
If you are looking for even more blogs on library related topics, check out LIS Blogsource at its new home: http://lisblogsource.net/
Bielefeld University LibraryThinking beyond Digital Libraries Conference Proceedings Now Available
The Bielefeld University Library has made available all papers given at the 7th International Bielefeld Conference on the conference Web site.
The conference, entitled Thinking Beyond Digital Libraries: Designing the Information Strategy for the Next Decade, while focusing on innovative technology, also addressed the role and position of academic libraries within their universities, with presentations by speakers from the university and enterprise sectors with a range of international views and experiences.