New & noteworthy

Library Hi Tech News

ISSN: 0741-9058

Article publication date: 6 June 2008



(2008), "New & noteworthy", Library Hi Tech News, Vol. 25 No. 5.



Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2008, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

New & noteworthy

Article Type: New & noteworthy From: Library Hi Tech News, Volume 25, Issue 5.

Internet2 K20 Initiative Launches Social Networking Site: Muse

The Internet2 K20 Initiative has announced that it has launched a brand new social networking site called Muse which seeks to significantly enhance collaboration, information-sharing and technology opportunities for the over 50,000 K-12 schools, community colleges, libraries and museums in 38 US states that are now connected to the Internet2 backbone network. The site is also expected to provide a better bridge between the US K20 community and its international counterparts worldwide. Within the short time since launching, the new site has already experienced significant uptake within the community.

“The Internet2 K20 community has traditionally embraced advanced technology to facilitate new opportunities for students at all levels to experience a richer environment for teaching and learning. The development of a social networking web resource is a natural progression for our community which has long sought more efficient ways to share experiences, ideas, resources, projects and collaborations across geographic boundaries”, said Louis Fox, Director, Internet2 K20 Initiative and Associate Vice President, University of Washington.

Muse was developed by University of Washington student web programmers under the leadership of James Werle, Associate Director, Internet2 K20 Initiative, University of Washington, and Jennifer Oxenford, Associate Director, MAGPI. The site expands upon the core code of Drupal, an open source content management platform, and provides many of the Web 2.0 features found in popular social networking sites.

Practitioners from the broad K20 community can set up individual and institutional profiles, describe projects, share resources, and create direct connections with their peers both regionally, nationally and internationally. The site also allows online communities to be created and scoped to a specific geographic area. This feature is geared for groups of organizations looking to share resources just within their immediate region while still participating in the global Muse community.

Currently, five regional Muse sites have been established including the MAGPI region of Pennsylvania, New Jersey and Delaware. MAGPI, co-founder and co-developer of the Muse system, has already seen tremendous adoption among its regional community. Since its launch, additional regional Muse sites have been created in Minnesota, North Carolina and Wisconsin with others expected to join in the months to come. Kathy Kraemer, TIES Education Technology Consultant and District Technology Integration Coordinator for Fridley Public School in Minnesota, agrees that Muse is already greatly assisting their efforts regionally and expects adoption to grow.

While the site continues to rapidly expand in use, Muse plans to introduce the ability for users to create topically-based communities, chat in real time about projects and interests, receive email “Museletters” tailored to those specific interests and provide RSS feeds to broadcast information on new users, projects and organizations as the site grows. In doing so, the site intends to provide the community the ability to develop stronger, more comprehensive collaboration groups and to promote the more rapid adoption of advanced networking applications among this unique set of Internet2 users.

Muse builds on the success of the nationwide Internet2 K20 Initiative in bringing together Internet2 member institutions and innovators from primary and secondary schools, colleges and universities, libraries and museums to extend new technologies, applications and advanced content to all educational sectors across the country. Through the Initiative, K20 students now have access to world-class learning experiences like master music classes taught by world-renowned musicians using DVD-quality videoconferencing or science experiments with advanced electron microscopes found at research labs using remote imaging instruments. Students also participate in programs, like Megaconference Jr., a project that brings together thousands of students in elementary and secondary schools from around the world using advanced multi-point video-conferencing.

More information on Muse:

Building the Twenty-first Century Library: New Report from JISC and SCONUL

Libraries should look for increased value from their principal library-wide computer systems, ensure that those “library management systems (LMS)” are integrated with other institutional systems and look to break down barriers between library users and resources.

These are some of the recommendations of a report published in March 2008 which takes a far-reaching look at the LMS market and attempts to help influence the future development of a crucial element of the academic library environment.

The report, commissioned by the Joint Information Systems Committee (JISC) and the Society of College, National and University Libraries (SCONUL), is based on findings from 100 UK higher education libraries and attempts to analyze the LMS market and its place in a user environment increasingly dominated by high expectations around ease of delivery, unhindered access to resources and their integration with user-generated content.

The report confirms that UK Higher Education is dominated by four LMS vendors with what can be seen as relatively little product differentiation, typical of a mature systems market. Movement in product replacement is slow, says the report, and customer loyalty to their LMS vendor is high. It also recommends that JISC and SCONUL work jointly with the library community and the systems developers to enhance understanding of “Library 2.0” developments and establish a strategic engagement with LMS vendors.

The report was written by Veronica Adamson, Paul Bacsich, Ken Chad, David Kay, Jane Plenderleith and is available at:

DLF ILS-DI Releases Recommendation; Vendors Sign On to the “Berkeley Accord”

In the summer of 2007, the Digital Library Federation (DLF) convened the Integrated Library System Discovery Interface working group (ILS-DI) to analyze issues involved in integrating integrated library systems (ILS's) and discovery applications, and to create a technical proposal for accomplishing such integration. “Integration” in this context includes both two-way communications between such systems, and context-sensitive one-way links from one system to the other.

On April 24, 2008, ILS-DI released a draft recommendation for review and comment on the group's wiki. The draft report gives technical recommendations for integrating the ILS with external discovery applications. This report includes:

  1. 1.

    (1)  A summary of a survey of the needs and discovery applications implemented and desired by libraries in DLF (and other similar libraries).

  2. 2.

    (2)  A high-level summary of specific abstract functions that discovery applications need to be able to invoke on ILS's and/or their data to support desired discovery applications, as well as outgoing services from ILS software to other applications.

  3. 3.

    (3)  Recommendations for concrete bindings for these functions (i.e. specific protocols, APIs, data standards, etc.) that can be used with future and/or existing ILS's.

  4. 4.

    (4)  Practical recommendations to encourage libraries, ILS developers, and discovery application developers to expeditiously integrate discovery systems with the ILS and other sources of bibliographic metadata.

DLF executive director Peter Brantley announced the following on his blog: “On March 6, 2008, representatives of the DLF, academic libraries, and major library application vendors met in Berkeley, California to discuss a draft recommendation from the DLF for standard interfaces for integrating the data and services of the ILS with new applications supporting user discovery. Such standard interfaces will allow libraries to deploy new discovery services to meet ever-growing user expectations in the Web 2.0 era, take full advantage of advanced ILS data management and services, and encourage a strong, innovative community and marketplace in next-generation library management and discovery applications”.

“At the meeting, participants agreed to support a set of essential functions through open protocols and technologies by deploying specific recommended standards”.

“These functions are:

  1. 1.

    (1)  Harvesting: Functions to harvest data records for library collections, both in full, and incrementally based on recent changes. Harvesting options could include either the core bibliographic records, or those records combined with supplementary information (such as holdings or summary circulation data). Both full and differential harvesting options are expected to be supported through an OAI-PMH interface.

  2. 2.

    (2)  Availability: Real-time querying of the availability of a bibliographic (or circulating) item. This functionality will be implemented through a simple REST interface to be specified by the ILS-DI task group.

  3. 3.

    (3)  Linking: Linking in a stable manner to any item in an OPAC in a way that allows services to be invoked on it; for example, by a stable link to a page displaying the item's catalog record and providing links for requests for that item. This functionality will be implemented through a URL template defined for the OPAC as specified by the ILS-DI task group”.

“Next steps:

“The DLF ILS-Discovery Interface committee will prepare a recommendation with a new interoperability profile, “ILS Basic Discovery Interfaces” or “ILS-BDI”, that includes the functions above, along with specifications of the proposed technologies (or “bindings”, in the language of the recommendation)”.

“ILS and application developers and vendors will support the ILS-BDI using the recommended bindings in future products”.

“The DLF will publicize these recommendations, and encourage further enhancements and cooperation between libraries, vendors, and applications developers in building more advanced, interoperable architectures for bibliographic discovery and use”.

Vendors who undersigned in support of the “Berkeley Accord” include Talis, Ex Libris, LibLime, BiblioCommons, SirsiDynix, Polaris Library Systems, VTLS, California Digital Library, OCLC, and AquaBrowser.

ILS-DI Working Group wiki:

P. Brantley's blog entry:

National Library of Australia Opens “Library Labs” Wiki Space

The National Library of Australia has recently opened this “Library Labs” wiki space. The aim of this space is to let colleagues interested in the development of open source library systems and service frameworks for digital library services know what the National Library of Australia is doing, to invite comments, questions and feedback and to provide a space for discussion and collaboration.

The Library has started to redevelop its digital library services using a service-oriented architecture and open source software solutions where these are functional and robust. It is also aiming to take a common (“single business”) approach to collection management, discovery and delivery. The Library is also interested in working with colleagues at an international level to provide prototypes and testbeds for new and emerging standards.

The wiki space features three search prototypes which have developed, with a fourth prototype (for newspapers) to be released soon:

  1. 1.

    (1)  The National Bibliographic Database (NBD) prototype: The NBD prototype is a simple demonstration of searching MARC bibliographic records using Lucene for storage and indexing. The database being searched is a copy of the Australian National Bibliographic Database (NBD) as at March 2008. It contains 16 million bibliographic records with holdings information for Australian libraries. The same data (more up to date) is also accessible in a public form through Libraries Australia.

  2. 2.

    (2)  The Beta Catalogue: The Beta Catalogue is a re-engineering of the National Library's catalogue, using the VuFind open source toolkit developed by Villanova University in Pennsylvania. The Beta Catalogue supports features such as relevance ranking, faceted refinement of search results, links to related information in web services such as Amazon and Wikipedia. In implementing the Beta Catalogue, the National Library developed a feature integrating it with the Ex Libris Voyager electronic call slip service. The Beta catalogue was released to the public in February 2008.

  3. 3.

    (3)  The Single Business Prototype: The Single Business Prototype (best viewed with Firefox or IE7) is a proof of concept for a new service that will integrate the Library's current and planned discovery services. This concept involves creating a logically integrated “national metadata store”. “Collection views” of that store would recognize the unique requirements of different types of information resource.

  4. 4.

    (4)  The Newspaper Search and Delivery Prototype: As part of The Newspaper Digitisation Program, the library has built a prototype of a newspaper search and delivery service. Ultimately this service will be incorporated into the Library's new integrated discovery service. This prototype will be exposed for public comment before the middle of 2008.

The Library labs wiki space also includes: reports relating to these prototypes; a report on the Library's vision for a logically integrated “national metadata store” and a new discovery service based on that store; the Library's draft digital library service framework; and information on some of the Library's related standards activities.

The Library welcomes comments on any page of the wiki space.

Library Labs wiki:

New Version of Kete Digital Library Software Released

Version 1.0 stable release of the Kete digital library software was released in February 2008. Kete is an open source ruby on rails application, released under the GNU General Public License (GPL). Initial development was through a partnership between the Horowhenua Library Trust and Katipo Communications Ltd. Funded as part of the New Zealand Community Partnership Fund in 2006.

Kete stores, organizes, indexes and retrieves a variety of digital files including MS Office documents, pdf's, images, videos, audio files such as spoken word and music, website links, and html pages/text. Kete encourages making links between different items that enable users to browse collections. It also facilitates discussion about items and topics to build understanding and foster collaboration. Kete was developed to be an open environment and any member of the community can participate by adding material, or editing entries. The software does allow for designating some items and/or areas private and others open to public input, and others “view only”.

Kete is open source and can be downloaded from the Kete website. Katipo Communications also offers hosted solutions and consultation services related to Kete software.

Kete development website:

Katipo Communications website:

Kete Horowhenua Archive:

VuFind Version 0.8 Beta Software Available

The latest release of VuFind, the open source library resource discovery platform, is now available. Version 0.8 Beta is now available for download, it can be accessed from VuFind or from Sourceforge. The major enhancement in version 0.8 is the new MARC import tool developed by Wayne Graham. This should help improve any issues dealing with importing records as well as a speed enhancement.

VuFind is an open source library resource portal designed and developed for libraries by libraries. The goal of VuFind is to enable users to search and browse through the library's resources by replacing the traditional OPAC to include:

  •   catalog records;

  •   digital library items;

  •   institutional repository;

  •   institutional bibliography; and

  •   other library collections and resources.

VuFind is completely modular so it is possible to implement just the basic system, or all of the components. Since it is open source, the modules can be modified to best fit individual needs or new modules can be added to extend additional resource offerings. VuFind runs on Solr Energy. Apache Solr, an open source search engine, offers performance and scalability to allow for VuFind to respond to search queries in milliseconds time. It has the ability to be distributed if it is necessary to distribute the load of the catalog over many servers or in a server farm environment. VuFind is offered for free through the GPL open source license.

More information on VuFind, including a live demo are available at:

VuFind download site:

Sourceforge download site:

OCLC and Orbis Cascade Alliance to Develop New Consortial Borrowing Solution

The Orbis Cascade Alliance and OCLC are working together to migrate the Alliance's Summit union catalog to a consortial borrowing solution based on the integration of, VDX, WorldCat Resource Sharing and a new circulation gateway in time for the beginning of the 2008-2009 academic school year.

The Orbis Cascade Alliance will implement a WorldCat Group Catalog with an interface based on This union catalog will present the 28-million-volume collections of the 35 Alliance member institutions at the top of results sets, followed by results from the rest of WorldCat, the world's largest online database for discovery of items in libraries.

The migration of summit to OCLC's consortial borrowing solution will include an immediate initiative to increase the accuracy and comprehensiveness of member library holdings in WorldCat and the implementation of a resource sharing system that combines the best of ILL and circulation capabilities and workflows.

Alliance member libraries also will have the option to implement WorldCat Local, a new service that combines the cooperative power of OCLC member libraries worldwide with the ability to customize as a solution for local discovery and delivery services.

“OCLC and the Orbis Cascade Alliance share a commitment to move library services to the network level”, said Jay Jordan, OCLC President and CEO. “This new consortial borrowing solution will offer proven services to facilitate resource sharing on a platform based on, the most dynamic library discovery resource in the world. We look forward to continuing our work with the Orbis Cascade Alliance in developing a consortial borrowing solution that will serve as a model for library groups worldwide”.

“This initiative will offer our users a better discovery experience and allow them to move seamlessly from our collections to the even larger collections available in WorldCat through interlibrary loan services”, said Lee Lyttle, Chair, Orbis Cascade Alliance. “We also look forward to a better discovery experience with enhanced searching and social networking functionality. All of this is an important strategic direction of the Alliance moving our members closer towards becoming part of a more global library. These are exciting developments that we know will benefit all faculty, students and staff of our member institutions”.

Full press release:

Summit migration news:

Stanford University Libraries and Deep Web Technologies Partner on Federated Search Solution

Stanford University Libraries and Academic Information Resources has partnered with Deep Web Technologies to release a prototype federated search service tailored to the environment of an academic research library. Federated search is a technology that allows multiple information sources – including deep web databases – to be searched simultaneously, so users can scan the breadth of library collections in a single query. Stanford has three demonstrations of the federated search solution in place so that faculty and students can test them and provide feedback.

All library catalogs at Stanford (Socrates, Lane Medical, Jackson Business, Stanford Linear Accelerator, and the Health Library of the Stanford Hospitals and Clinics). (Openly accessible).

“Top 10” databases at Stanford (ABI/Inform, Annual Reviews, Biosis, Dissertations and Theses-A&I, Engineering Village, Expanded Academic ASAP, Lexis Nexis Academic, Periodicals Archive Online, PsycINFO, and Web of Science. (Limited to current Stanford students, faculty, and staff).

Stanford Digitized Content available from (openly accessible).

Users can access in real time the Libraries' digital content, including third-party databases, the free web and Stanford's proprietary information. Future enhancements to the service could expand the search to include content in ebooks and reference resources as well as other web content such as wikis and blogs.

“Stanford's project is very complex and it needs a federated search solution that's flexible enough to connect fully to a huge variety of information sources”, said Abe Lederman, Deep Web Technologies founder and Chief Technology Officer. “That's our great strength. We build solutions from the ground up, so there are no search gaps and our clients can feel confident about the integrity of the results they're delivering to their users”.

Unlike a standard search engine, Deep Web Technologies' federated search product, Explorit Research Accelerator, does not rely upon a stored index built in advance. Instead, it operates in real time, replicating the query and broadcasting into multiple databases. Lederman explains: “The Deep Web search engine immediately reaches out to relevant databases at various sites, drilling down into these information centers all at once, organizing the info and merging the results in a ranked priority list – in real time. So, not only are you delving into databases, you're getting the most precise and current results”.

Employing a familiar, intuitive search interface, Explorit quickly presents high-value results from a common, single point of access. Explorit is currently powering a number of science, technology and government search portals, including National Digital Library for Agriculture,, Scitopia, and Explorit is also being used for federated search at Intel's corporate library.

Stanford Libraries' Federated Search website:

Deep Web Technologies website:

Whitepaper: “How to Maximize Your Strategic Investment in Federated Search”

OCLC Releases EZproxy Version 5.0

In March 2008, OCLC released a new version of EZproxy, a leading software solution for serving library patrons remotely. EZproxy 5.0 offers new features as well as support from OCLC, which acquired EZproxy in January 2008. OCLC will honor the previous service arrangement for existing and new users whereby licensees continue to enjoy access to new releases of EZproxy and technical support at no additional charge. EZproxy 5.0 software is available to new licensees at the same price as previous releases.

EZproxy 5.0 software enhancements allow libraries to:

  •   View enhanced audit details that incorporate the location associated with the source IP address.

  •   Search across audit data to identify suspicious activity, including options to search based on location.

  •   Alter user access based on location, including the ability to block access or require additional information for access.

  •   Display a summary of database conflicts to identify and correct configuration issues.

  •   Develop advanced user authentication and authorization configurations using a new administration page.

EZproxy 5.0 will be the first release to offer technical support from OCLC.

More information:

Unofficial EZProxy Self-Support wiki:

The EZproxy e-mail list may be joined by sending a message to with “SUBSCRIBE EZPROXY” as the body.

CrossRef Announces CrossCheck Plagiarism Detection Services

CrossRef, a non-profit membership association founded and directed by publishers to enable easy identification and use of trustworthy electronic content by promoting the cooperative development and application of a sustainable infrastructure, announced in April 2008 an agreement with iParadigms, LLC to launch the CrossCheck service to aid in verifying the originality of scholarly content. iParadigms, LLC is a leading provider of web-based solutions to check documents for originality and plagiarism. Following on the success of CrossRef's recent pilot of CrossCheck, the service is scheduled to go live in June 2008.

CrossRef is partnering with iParadigms, LLC to offer its members – leading scholarly and professional publishers – the opportunity to verify the originality of works submitted for publication using the iThenticate service to check against a vast database of proprietary as well as open web content. Until now, there was no automated way to check submissions against previous publications because the published literature had not been indexed and “text fingerprinted” for this purpose. The CrossCheck database will include the full-text journals of leading academic publishers, and is expected to grow very rapidly over the coming months as CrossRef member publishers sign up for the service.

CrossCheck will be available to all CrossRef members who opt to contribute their content to the database. To use the service publishers will need to integrate the checking tool into their editorial processes and develop suitable policies and guidelines. CrossRef is working with iParadigms, member publishers, and editorial system software producers on appropriate technical information and guidelines for CrossCheck.

Ed Pentz, CrossRef's Executive Director said, “CrossCheck builds on the collaborative nature of CrossRef itself, and will provide an important tool for ensuring the originality of scholarly content. The system doesn't actually detect plagiarism – plagiarism implies intent and that's not something computers can identify. Instead it identifies matching text in different documents and then a knowledgeable person has to look at the results as part of the editorial screening process. We are pleased to be working with iParadigms and using the iThenticate service. Ultimately, the whole research community will benefit from CrossCheck”.

CrossCheck Pilot Project:

CrossRef website:

iParadigms website:

IBM Launches Mobile Web Initiative

In April 2008, at the 10th anniversary commemoration of IBM's India Research Lab, IBM unveiled a new initiative to bring more features and functions to mobile devices as they continue to rival the PC as the primary tool for Web-based business, education, communication, entertainment and more. The new IBM Research program will entail a number of efforts to bring simple, easy-to-use services to the millions of people in the world who have bypassed using the personal computer as their primary method of accessing technology, and are instead using their mobile phone to access the web, conduct financial transactions, entertain themselves, shop and more.

The projects, which will be led out of India, but also are being incubated in IBM's eight global labs in six countries, include:

  •   The Spoken Web – voice-enabled mobile commerce.

  •   Instant translation – real-time communication between multiple languages through mobile devices.

  •   SoulPad – enabling any portable device to carry computing applications in your pocket.

  •   Social networking on-the-go.

  •   Good Samaritan – mobile healthcare information made available in any emergency situation.

The “Spoken Web” project aims to transform how people create, build and interact with e-commerce sites on the World Wide Web using the spoken word instead of the written word. The Spoken Web is the World Wide Web in a telecom network, where people can host and browse “VoiceSites”, traverse “VoiceLinks”, even conduct business transactions, all just by talking over the existing telephone network.

IBM researchers are working on additional innovative mobile web solutions, including:

Universal Mobile Translator – IBM's researchers are developing new technology to facilitate speech between individuals who speak no common language with the goal of free-form dialogue facilitated by a PDA.

Portable power in your pocket – IBM's SoulPad software allows PC users to separate a computer's “soul” – the programs, settings and data it holds – from its body, the disks, keyboard, screen, processor and other hardware from which it is comprised. Once a computer's soul is stored on a storage device like a portable USB hard drive or iPod with SoulPad software, it can be carried around and reincarnated in any other computer simply by plugging in the storage device and starting the computer up.

Social Networks Go Mobile – consumers can communicate with their social network friends regardless of where they are with voice and SMS from either a PC or a mobile phone. For example, young shoppers looking at purchasing clothes in a store are increasingly looking for immediate feedback via their social networks, and the easiest way to make this happen is via mobile devices.

Healthcare goes mobile – IBM research has brought together mobile phones and “presence” technology combined with health records to provide a potential “Good Samaritan” with information on how to aid people in critical medical situations.

For the first time ever, more people will have a mobile phone than a regular telephone. Mobile devices outnumber PCs by three to one, credit cards by two to one and TVs by two to one. IBM's Institute for Business Value predicts the number of mobile Web users will grow by 191 per cent from 2006 to 2011 to reach one billion.

IBM website:

NSDL Now on iTunes U

The National Science Digital Library (NSDL) now provides access to audio, video, and other multimedia resources for science and math education through Apple's iTunes Store. iTunes U is a free service that gives users of Apple's iTunes access to audio and video from leading educational institutions. The Beyond Campus section of iTunes U includes museums, public radio and television stations, and other non-profit educational providers. The launch of NSDL on iTunes U Beyond Campus includes content from Pathways partners like AMSER, ChemEd DL, and the Exploratorium, plus material from the National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR). Popular materials include ChemEd DL's popular Chemistry Comes Alive! videos; interviews with NCAR scientists on the causes and evidence for global climate change; and a series by Dr Stephanie Chasteen of the Exploratorium's Teacher institute on the impact of nanotechnology on science, art, and commerce. There is no cost to use or download materials from NSDL on iTunes U.

NSDL iTunes U link:

iTunes U website:

NDIIPP Develops Chronopolis Datagrid Framework

One of the chief goals of the Library of Congress's National Digital Information Infrastructure and Preservation Program (NDIIPP) is to provide incentives to its partners to form alliances with others as part of the continuing growth of the national network of collecting and preserving institutions. The demonstration project, called Chronopolis, was formed to meet the archival needs of a wide range of cultural and social domains. Chronopolis is a datagrid framework being developed by the San Diego Supercomputer Center, the University of California at San Diego Libraries and their partners at the NCAR in Boulder, Colo., and the University of Maryland's Institute for Advanced Computer Studies in College Park.

Two collections from within the NDIIPP community will be incorporated into the Chronopolis preservation grid:

  1. 1.

    (1)  The Inter-University Consortium for Political and Social Research will provide up to 12 terabytes of data from its archives of social science and political research data sets. This marks the first time that the collection will be completely stored outside Michigan.

  2. 2.

    (2)  The California Digital Library will provide up to 25 terabytes of content from its Web-at-Risk collections of political Web sites, which were selected for preservation as part of the first NDIIPP partnerships, awarded in 2004.

Chronopolis leverages the data storage infrastructure at San Diego, Boulder and College Park to provide a preservation datagrid that emphasizes heterogeneous, highly accessible and redundant data storage systems. Each Chronopolis partner will run a grid node, with at least 50 terabytes of storage capacity, for NDIIPP-related digital collections. Storing the data at three facilities ensures that in the case of failure at one institution, the other two will be able to provide the same data. This cross-domain collection sharing for long-term preservation is a key goal of the Chronopolis initiative.

The Chronopolis methodology employs a minimum of three geographically distributed copies of the data collections, while enabling curatorial audit reporting and access for preservation clients. Partners will generate permanent information for each collection using the Audit Control Environment developed by the Institute for Advanced Computer Studies. Each collection from the Interuniversity Consortium and the California Digital Library will have a community-targeted Web interface to check on the status and authenticity of the collections while they are being managed within the Chronopolis datagrid.

Chronopolis is developing a partnership that leverages existing high-speed educational and research networks and mass-scale storage infrastructure investments. Using datagrid technologies, the partnership will develop best practices for the entire NDIIPP community regarding data packaging and transmission among different digital archive systems. More information about the project is available at its Web site.

Chronopolis website:

UCSD press release:

Three Strategic Studies on Digital Repositories from DRIVER

DRIVER is an EU-funded 18 month project which has set out to build a testbed for a future knowledge infrastructure of the European Research Area. DRIVER, with ten European partners, aims to deliver any form of scientific output, including scientific/technical reports, working papers, pre-prints, articles and original research data to the various user groups.

Within the DRIVER project, three strategic studies on digital repositories and related topics have been carried out. The production of the studies was coordinated by SURF, the collaborative organization for higher education and research aimed at breakthrough innovations in ICT in the Netherlands, in close association with Amsterdam University Press and the following DRIVER partners: CNRS (FR), the University of Gent (BE), ICM (PL), the University of Goettingen, the University of Bielefeld (GER), UKOLN and the University of Nottingham (UK).

The studies are published by Amsterdam University Press, and are available free for download:

  1. 1.

    (1)  Inventory Study into the Present Type and Level of OAI Compliant Digital Repository Activities in the EU, by Maurits van der Graaf and Kwame van Eijndhoven. What is the current state of digital repositories for research output in the European Union? What should be the next steps to stimulate an infrastructure for digital repositories at a European level? To address these key questions, an inventory study into the current state of digital repositories for research output in the European Union was carried out as part of the DRIVER Project. The study produces a complete inventory of the state of digital repositories in the 27 countries of the European Union as per 2007 and provides a basis to contemplate the next steps in driving forward an interoperable infrastructure at a European level. Download:

  2. 2.

    (2)  A DRIVER's Guide to European Repositories; Five Studies of Important Digital Repository Related Issues and Good Practices, edited by Kasja Weenink, Leo Waaijers and Karen van Godtsenhoven. A practical guide to be used by repository managers and institutions for setting up and develop a repository and extra services. In this guide five essential aspects for realizing and amplifying repositories are described: the business plan, intellectual property rights, storing research data, curation of data and the long-time conservation of data. Download:

  3. 3.

    (3)  The Investigative Study of Standards for Digital Repositories and Related Services, by Muriel Foulonneau and Francis André. This study is meant for institutional repository managers, service providers, repository software developers and generally, all players taking an active part in the creation of the digital repository infrastructure for e-research and e-learning. It reviews the current standards, protocols and applications in the domain of digital repositories. Special attention is being paid to the interoperability of repositories to enhance the exchange of data in repositories. It aims to stimulate discussion about these topics and supports initiatives for the integration of and, where needed, development of new standards. Download:

RIOJA: Repository Interface for Overlaid Journal Archives

The RIOJA project will investigate the overlay of quality assurance onto papers deposited to and stored in eprints repositories. RIOJA is funded by the JISC (JISC, UK), as part of the Repositories and Preservation Programme. It is led by University College London (UCL), working with a partnership of academic researchers, librarians and repository administrators. The partner institutions are: UCL, University of Cambridge, Cornell University, University of Glasgow, and Imperial College London.

The RIOJA project will create an interoperability toolkit to enable the overlay of certification onto papers housed in subject repositories. The intention is that the tool will be generic, helping any repository to realize its potential to act as a more complete scholarly resource. The project will also create a demonstrator overlay journal, using the arXiv repository and PKP OJS software, with interaction between the two facilitated by the RIOJA toolkit.

To inform and shape the project, a survey of astrophysics and cosmology researchers will be conducted. This will be an online questionnaire survey, targeting scientists in the international top 100 academic and other institutions in these disciplines. The project team will also undertake formal and informal discussion with academic and managing members of editorial boards. The survey and supplementary discussions will help to ensure that the RIOJA outputs address the needs and expectations of the research community.

The project will also look to the future. First, the digital preservation requirements for a journal using the RIOJA model will be assessed. The costs of possible strategies will be assessed, using the UCL-British Library LIFE life-cycle costing methodology if appropriate. Finally, the overall long-term sustainability of a repository-overlay journal will be assessed. The costs of adding peer review to arXiv deposits, of implementing and maintaining the functionality which the survey shows to be most valued by researchers, and of providing long-term preservation of content, will be ascertained, and possible cost-recovery business models will be identified and appraised. Could the RIOJA journal be sustained beyond the lifetime of the project?

The RIOJA outputs will be made publicly available. It is hoped that the deliverables from RIOJA, and the lessons learned in the course of the project, will help to advise and inform the future development of overlay journals, including journals grounded in other subject areas and using other repositories.

The final report of the project is scheduled for release at the end of June 2008.

RIOJA home page:

iSchool at Syracuse Developing Metadata Assignment and Search Tool (MAST)

Researchers at the Center for Natural Language Processing (CNLP) at the School of Information Studies at Syracuse University (iSchool) are working to make more library and museum collections available online or through digital libraries. To this end, the Institute of Museum and Library Services Building Digital Collections program provided $191,000 in support to CNLP and a team from Digital Learning Sciences (DLS) at the University Corporation for Atmospheric Research in Boulder, Colo.

The research team will integrate three digital library tools and services to create a new hybrid, computer-assisted cataloging system, the Metadata Assignment and Search Tool (MAST). MAST will enable libraries and museums to describe and disseminate their digital materials – whether they are photos, drawings, historical records or school lesson plans – efficiently.

Another part of this project will link these newly catalogued materials to state-level educational standards, which in turn will increase access to these digital resources for teachers and their students. “When a teacher asks `What do you have on ancient Egypt for my fifth-grade class', for example, we're hoping the librarian can use this tool to share a richer set of resources”, says Anne Diekema, CNLP interim director and research professor at the iSchool at Syracuse.

The new system has three steps. The first step involves extracting and assigning core metadata to digital material – much like the information collected in the traditional library's card cataloging system. This system uses natural language processing to have computers automatically scan and assign these key words.

The second step uses a process called CAT, computer-assisted educational standards metadata assignment tool. During this phase, a computer processes the metadata and finds and suggests corresponding educational standards, which are later verified by a human reviewer. The third step pulls this information into a searchable Digital Collection System, through which library or museum managers can update or customize the materials' descriptive information.

“Including educational standards provides an important service, underpinning educational practice, curriculum design, professional development and high-stakes testing and assessment”, says Holly Devaul, DLS manager of educational programs and services. “Digital library users have requested this information to support teaching and learning as well as accountability requirements”.

Full press release at:

Latest Revision of PREMIS Data Dictionary Released

The PREMIS Editorial Committee announced in April 2008 the release of the PREMIS Data Dictionary for Preservation Metadata, version 2.0. This document is a revision of Data Dictionary for Preservation Metadata: Final report of the PREMIS Working Group, issued in May 2005. The PREMIS Data Dictionary and its supporting documentation is a comprehensive, practical resource for implementing preservation metadata in digital archiving systems. Preservation metadata is defined as information that preservation repositories need to know to support digital materials over the long term. This is an extensive revision of the earlier PREMIS version 1.1 schemas.

This document is a specification that emphasizes metadata that may be implemented in a wide range of repositories, supported by guidelines for creation, management and use, and oriented toward automated workflows. It is technically neutral in that no assumptions are made about preservation technologies, strategies, syntaxes, or metadata storage and management. Members of the PREMIS Editorial Committee revised the original data dictionary based on comments and experience from implementers and potential implementers since its release. The Editorial Committee kept the preservation community informed about issues being discussed, solicited comments on proposed revisions, and consulted outside experts where appropriate.

Major changes in this revision include:

  •   expanded rights metadata;

  •   more extensive significant properties and preservation level information; and

  •   mechanism for extensibility for a number of metadata units.

The International Editorial Committee is a part of the PREMIS maintenance activity sponsored by the Library of Congress. The maintenance activity also includes PREMIS tutorials and promotional activities, and an active PREMIS Implementers Group.

The PREMIS Data Dictionary for Preservation Metadata, version 2.0 is available from: (3.1KB; requires a PDF reader).

An XML schema to support implementation is currently in draft and is available at:

PREMIS website:

Alternative File Formats for Storing Master Images: Koninklijke Bibliotheek Report

The Koninklijke Bibliotheek, National Library of the Netherlands, has published a report on possible alternative file formats for storing master images from mass digitization projects. Uncompressed TIFFs, the KB's preferred format so far, take up far too much storage capacity to be a viable storage strategy for the long term. The report is available from the KB website.

At the Koninklijke Bibliotheek mass digitization projects are taking off. In the next four years millions of high resolution RGB master image files will be produced and will have to be (permanently) archived. However, if all projected 40 million images are to be stored as uncompressed TIFFs, the KB will need some 650 TB of storage capacity by 2011. This is quite a capacity challenge, and thus the need arose to develop a new strategy for storage of images.

The project considered whether it would be possible to distinguish between master image files which must be stored for all “eternity” (because the originals decay rapidly and/or digitization costs are so high that repeating the digitization process is not a viable solution) and objects which are stored for access. The distinction would allow for a more pragmatic and economic storage policy, whereby projected usage would determine the storage strategy.

The draft of the report was reviewed by a group of selected specialists on digitization, digital preservation and image science. Their feedback was in incorporated in the final version of the report which is available at:

Preserving the Data Explosion: Using PDF – DPC Technology Watch Report

According to the report released in April 2008 by the digital preservation coalition (DPC), portable document format (PDF) is one of the best file formats to preserve electronic documents and ensure their survival for the future. This announcement will allow information officers to follow a standardized approach for preserving electronic documents.

Information management and long-term preservation are major issues facing consumers and businesses in the twenty-first century. This report is one of a series where The DPC aims to think about and address the challenges facing us.

This report reviews PDF and the newly introduced PDF/Archive (PDF/A) format as a potential solution to the problem of long-term digital preservation. It suggests adopting PDF/A for archiving electronic documents as the standard will help preservation and retrieval in the future. It concludes that it can only be done when combined with a comprehensive records management programme and formally established records procedures.

The National Archives works closely with the DPC with issues surrounding digital preservation and will continue to do so. Adrian Brown, head of digital preservation at The National Archives said: “This report highlights the challenges we all face in a digital age. Using PDF/A as a standard will help information officers ensure that key business data survives. But it should never be viewed as the Holy Grail. It is merely a tool in the armoury of a well thought out records management policy”.

The report is a call to action: organizations need to act now and look hard at their information policies and procedures to anticipate the demand for their content (documents and records) in the future. Everybody has different criteria, types and uses for documentation so each organization needs to find one that works for its preservation needs.

Full report available at:

Changing Copyright Law to Reflect Digital Technologies: Study Group Report

After nearly three years of intensive work, in March 2008 the independent Section 108 Study Group issued its report and recommendations on exceptions to copyright law to address how libraries, archives and museums deal with copyrighted materials in fulfilling their missions in the digital environment. Section 108 is the section of the US Copyright Act that provides limited exceptions for libraries and archives so that they may make copies to replace copyrighted works in their collections when necessary, preserve them for the long term and make them available to users.

Digital technologies have radically transformed how copyrighted works are created and disseminated, and also how libraries and archives preserve and make those works available. Cultural heritage institutions have begun to acquire large quantities of “born digital” works (those created in digital form) and to digitize analog works already in their collections to ensure the continuing availability of those works to future generations. Section 108 of the Copyright Act in its current form does not adequately address many of the issues unique to digital media, either from the perspective of rights owners or that of libraries and archives.

The Library of Congress convened the group under the auspices of the US Copyright Office and the NDIIPP. The Library acted as a facilitator in the process and had no control over, or influence on, the report's final recommendations. The recommendations represent the view of the independent study group's 19 members – who came from the library, scholarly, publishing and entertainment communities in the public and private sectors – rather than the organizations by which they are employed.

Laura N. Gasaway, associate dean for academic affairs, professor of law and former director of the law library at the University of North Carolina School of Law, and Richard S. Rudick, former senior vice president and general counsel of John Wiley and Sons and vice chair of the board of directors of the Copyright Clearance Center, co-chaired the group.

The report was delivered to Librarian of Congress James H. Billington and Register of Copyrights Marybeth Peters. It will serve as the basis on which legislation may be drafted and recommended to Congress.

Among the recommendations are:

  1. 1.

    (1)  Museums should be included for Section 108 eligibility, as they perform many of the same functions as libraries and archives.

  2. 2.

    (2)  A new exception should be added to Section 108 to permit certain qualified libraries and archives to make preservation copies of at-risk published works prior to any damage or loss. Access to these “preservation-only” copies will be limited.

  3. 3.

    (3)  A new exception should be added to Section 108 to permit libraries and archives to capture and reproduce publicly available Web sites and other online content for preservation purposes and to make those copies accessible to users for private study, research or scholarship. Rights holders would be able to opt out of this provision.

  4. 4.

    (4)  Libraries and archives should be permitted to make a limited number of copies, as reasonably necessary, to create and maintain a single replacement or preservation copy. This alteration to the current three-copy limit would, among other things, enable libraries to more securely preserve digital materials, which often involves making copies.

The study group operated on a consensus basis. Where recommendations are made, they reflect agreement on the part of all participants, although that agreement is often conditioned on satisfactory resolution of related outstanding issues, as outlined in the report.

The Section 108 Study Group held its inaugural meeting in April 2005 and its final meeting in January 2008. These approximately bimonthly meetings were closed to the public to assure that group members could speak freely without concern for the views of their respective communities. The group also held public roundtables in Chicago, Los Angeles and Washington, DC, and accepted comments from the public that were solicited through notices in the Federal Register.

The Library of Congress's experience in planning for its NDIIPP and the continuing work of the US Copyright Office (part of the Library of Congress) indicated that new technologies had altered the activities of libraries and archives in such a way as to call into question the continued relevance and effectiveness of Section 108 of the Copyright Act. Consequently, NDIIPP, in cooperation with the Copyright Office, convened the Section 108 Study Group, an independent body reflecting the range of stakeholder interests. NDIIPP is the Library of Congress's national program to build a network of partners dedicated to the collection and preservation of the nation's cultural heritage in digital form. Because preservation of digital content necessarily requires the making of copies, much of NDIIPP's work is affected by copyright law.

More information about NDIIPP is at:

US Copyright Office:

Report and information on the Study Group:

RLG Partners Program Releases Copyright Report

Staff from the RLG Programs, part of the OCLC Programs and Research division, announced in March 2008 that the RLG Partner Copyright Investigation Summary Report is now available. This report summarizes interviews conducted between August and September 2007 with staff from eight RLG Partner institutions. Interviewees shared information about how and why institutions investigate and collect copyright evidence, both for mass digitization projects and for items in special collections. This report is one of the deliverables of the Contribute to the Development of a Registry of Copyright Evidence Project.

Participating partner institutions and staff include: Cornell University (Peter Hirtle); Emory University (Lisa Macklin); New York Public Library (Tom Lisanti); Rutgers University (Grace Agnew); Stanford University (Mimi Calter); University of California, Los Angeles (Angela Riggio); University of Michigan (Judy Aronheim); University of Texas at Austin (Dennis Dillon).

Report (pdf):

More information on RLG Programs Copyright Registry work:

Related articles