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New & Noteworthy
Article Type: New & Noteworthy From: Library Hi Tech News, Volume 27, Issue 6/7.
New Research Alert: The Fate of the Semantic Web
Technology experts and stakeholders who participated in a recent survey believe online information will continue to be organized and made accessible in smarter and more useful ways in coming years, but there is stark dispute about whether the improvements will match the visionary ideals of those who are working to build the semantic web.
Some 895 experts responded to the invitation of the Pew Research Center's Internet & American Life Project and Elon University's Imagining the Internet Center to predict the likely progress toward achieving the goals of the semantic web by the year 2020. Asked to think about the likelihood that Berners-Lee and his allies will realize their vision, often called web 3.0, these technology experts and stakeholders were divided and often contentious.
Some 47 percent agreed with the statement: “By 2020, the semantic web envisioned by Tim Berners-Lee will not be as fully effective as its creators hoped and average users will not have noticed much of a difference.”
Some 41 percent agreed with the opposite statement, which posited: “By 2020, the semantic web envisioned by Tim Berners-Lee and his allies will have been achieved to a significant degree and have clearly made a difference to average internet users.”
The web-based survey gathered opinions from prominent scientists, business leaders, consultants, writers, and technology developers. It is the fourth in a series of internet expert studies conducted by the Imagining the Internet Center at Elon University and the Pew Research Center's Internet & American Life Project.
Imagining the Internet – Elon University
This publication is part of a Pew Research Center series that captures people's expectations for the future of the internet, in the process presenting a snapshot of current attitudes.
Find out more at: http://pewinternet.org/topics/Future-of-the-internet.aspx and http://imaginingtheinternet.org
Open Publishing Distribution System (OPDS) Catalog Version 1.0 Release
The open ebook community and the Internet Archive are pleased to announce the release of the first production version of the OPDS catalog format for digital content. OPDS catalogs are an open standard designed to enable the discovery of digital content from any location, on any device, and for any application.
Based on the widely implemented atom syndication format, OPDS catalogs have been developed since 2009 by a group of ebook developers, publishers, librarians, and booksellers interested in providing a lightweight, simple, and easy to use format for developing catalogs of digital books, magazines, and other content. OPDS catalogs are the first component of the Internet Archive's BookServer Project, a framework supporting open standards for discovering, lending, and vending books and other digital content on the web.
Brewster Kahle, digital librarian and founder of the Internet Archive, says:
As the audience for digital books grows, we can evolve from an environment of single devices connected to single sources, into a distributed system where readers can find books across the Web to read on whatever device they have. OPDS Catalogs can help people find, buy, or borrow books, in the same way we use an open system to find Web sites, delivering the promise of a digital library to millions of readers around the world.
OPDS catalogs, which are easily produced from simple descriptive metadata, can be harvested by search engines and aggregated by online retailers; their design supports independent reading systems, bookstores, the development of portable bookshelves, and other applications facilitating the use of digital materials.
The Internet Archive makes available over 1 million public domain books in EPUB and PDF formats through OPDS catalogs. IA's titles are made available by Kobo Books, Amazon, and other distributors.
For publishers, OPDS catalogs offer new possibilities for digital distribution and promotion. “We're excited to support the OPDS standard,” said Mark Coker, founder of Smashwords, a distributor of over 18,000 ebooks for 8,000 independent authors and publishers around the world. “Our mission is to maximize the distribution opportunities for our authors. By supporting OPDS Catalogs, we make it easy for multi-platform e-reading apps, devices and online bookstores to expose our catalog to millions of readers.”
For mobile readers, OPDS catalogs, derived from Lexcycle's Stanza application, allow an attractive presentation of book catalogs on mobile devices. Well-known ebook expert Liza Daly, developer of the mobile reading application, Ibis Reader, says:
We've been impressed by how quickly OPDS Catalogs allow us to offer a collection of thousands of free and public domain books. Now that users have access to a wide range of different reading systems, it's critical that the industry move toward broad distribution networks that mirror the web.
The leading independent reading application for the Android operation system, Aldiko, also uses OPDS catalogs. Aldiko co-founder Tiffany Wong says:
The OPDS standard is a major step towards a truly open ecosystem for ebook distribution, providing the much needed glue between readers and a growing number of independent ebook sources. OPDS enables content providers to reach more readers and enables readers to discover more and more content. Thanks to the adoption of OPDS, Aldiko users are not limited to content from a single ebookstore. Instead, they can access thousands of free and commercial content from different ebook catalogs right within a single application. Currently, Aldiko users are downloading over 1.2 million books every month through OPDS catalogs.
For libraries of all sizes, OPDS catalogs can permit library patrons to access digital books and other materials without having to visit a library website. In a special report [pdf] released in July 2010 on ebooks for public libraries, the Council of State Library Agencies (COSLA) endorsed the exploration of OPDS catalogs. The leader of the COSLA task force, Oregon State Librarian Jim Scheppke, writes:
State librarians across the country have been looking for ways to improve how library users discover and use library resources, especially e-books. In Oregon, and in other states I'm sure, we look forward to evaluating the potential of OPDS Catalogs as a basis for these improvements.
OPDS catalogs can be used to make data from one site available to others. “There is clear demand for enhancing library catalogs around the world with information about ebooks,” says George Oates, the project lead for open library. “We're looking forward to using OPDS Catalogs to help libraries supplement their own catalogs with ebook records.”
The OPDS specification is available at: http://opds-spec.org/specs/opds-catalog-1-0
Electronic Literature Directory Version 2.0 Arrives
Version 2.0 of the electronic literature directory was officially launched at Brown University at the Fourth International Conference and Festival, June 3-6, 2010. The latest version of the directory leaves behind the static layout of version one to take up the “web 2.0” model of collaborative curation through a wiki structure. “However, unlike the just-about-anything-goes format of the Wikipedia, the directory relies on the review and detailed annotations of an extensive directory review board,” says Davin Heckman, who currently coordinates the working group and teaches English at Siena Heights University.
The Electronic Literature Directory (ELD 2.0) is a collection of literary works, descriptions, and keywords. As the web evolves, the work of literature co-evolves in ways that need to be named, tagged, and recognized in a web 2.0 environment. For this purpose, the ELD is designed to bring authors and readers together from a wide a range of imaginative, critical, technological, and linguistic practices.
The ELD provides an extensive database of listings for electronic works and their authors. Bibliographic information on pre-web and other offline work is included, along with links to a great deal of work that is only a click away. The descriptive entries cover poetry, fiction, drama, and nonfiction works of electronic literature, including hypertexts, animated poems, interactive fiction, multimedia pieces, text generators, and works that allow reader collaboration. The directory allows readers and students to easily list all of an author's works and to browse through different genres of work.
Both a repository of works and a critical companion to e-literature, the ELD hosts discussions that are capable of being referenced and revised over years of use. In this respect, ELD content differs from blogs and wikis in that each entry, once it is approved by a board of editors, is unchanging. The submission of entries and their evaluation is open to anyone, and any entry can be supplemented if a later reader can successfully advance an alternative vision of the work and its context.
The ELD (version 2.0) was developed over the course of three years (2006-2009) by ELO board members Joseph Tabbi, Scott Rettberg, Ewan Branda, Stuart Moulthrop, and Stephanie Strickland. The peer-to-peer review process is coordinated by the network of editors at the electronic book review in collaboration with the board of the electronic literature organization.
Electronic Literature Directory (ELD 2.0) is available at: http://directory.eliterature.org/
Over 1 Million Digital Books Available Free to the Print-disabled from Internet Archive
More than doubling the number of books available to print disabled people of all ages, in May the Internet Archive launched a new service that brings free access to more than 1 million books – from classic nineteenth century fiction and current novels to technical guides and research materials – now available in the specially designed format to support those who are blind, dyslexic or are otherwise visually impaired.
Brewster Kahle, founder and digital librarian of the Internet Archive, announced that the Internet Archive will be investing in the growth of its virtual bookshelf by funding the digitization of the first 10,000 books donated. Individuals and organizations are welcome to donate their favorite book or a collection of books. Books in all languages are welcome.
Dr Marc Maurer, president of the National Federation of the Blind, said:
Blind people must have access to repositories of digital information if we are to reach our goal of becoming full and equal participants in society. Access to the books that have been scanned by the Internet Archive in a format accessible to the blind will be another step toward that goal.
The 1 million+ books in the Internet Archive's library for print disabled, are scanned from hard copy books then digitized into DAISY – a specialized format used by blind or other persons with disabilities, for easy navigation. Files are downloaded to devices that translate the text and read the books aloud for the user to enjoy.
Older books are available from the Internet Archive's unencrypted DAISY library and modern books can be accessed by “qualified users” through their NLS key – an encrypted code provided by the Library of Congress' National Library Service for the Blind and Physically Handicapped (NLS), that is dedicated to providing materials to the print disabled. Currently, over 800,000 people in the USA are registered with the Library of Congress as being print disabled.
As of today, the Internet Archive offers over one million books for print disabled people. Other large libraries for the print disabled include NLS, Bookshare.org, and Reading for the Blind & Dyslexic. Ben Foss, President of Headstrong, an advocacy group for people with dyslexia said:
As dyslexic and print-disabled students scramble to complete their end-of-year research papers and projects, beginning today, there is a great new library of resources that will expand the tools these young people need to be successful in school and in life.
By leveraging automated scanning and conversion processes, Internet Archive technicians can conduct a cost-efficient scan of more than 1,000 books per day. Books are scanned at sites located in San Francisco, New York, Los Angeles and other major cities in five countries. Most of the older scanned books have been reformatted for the print-disabled from broad digitizing projects. Scanned physical books came from the collections of over 150 libraries, most of which are in the open content alliance, but others as well. The funding of those scanning projects is coming from foundations, corporations, and governments.
Most of the older books have been scanned from library collections, with newer books having been donated to the Internet Archive by companies such as the online bookseller Alibris, libraries, and individuals.
The print disabled collection of books are now available through the Archive's new open library site (www.openlibrary.org), which serves as a gateway to information about millions of hardcopy books and more than 1 million electronic books. The Internet Archive will continually increase the number of books it makes available, and is currently seeking donations of books and ebooks from individuals, libraries, and publishers.
To access books visit: http://openlibrary.org/subjects/accessible_book
To access all books, a US resident with print disabilities must register with the Library of Congress: www.loc.gov/nls/signup.html
To donate books visit: http://openlibrary.org/bookdrive
Ingram's Accessibility Release Offers Students with Disabilities E-textbook Platform
VitalSource Technologies Inc., an Ingram Content Group company, announced in May an “accessibility release” for its industry-leading VitalSource Bookshelf® e-textbook platform.
The release, which makes the application more usable for disabled students, contains extensive internal feature and function enhancements, as well as support for third-party screen-reader applications. These new features include the new DTD (document type definition) v3.4 and VitalSource's “MathSpeak” program which adds rich English-language articulation to MathML tags.
AFB Consulting, the accessibility consulting arm of the American Foundation for the Blind, has been working with VitalSource for months, reviewing applications and recommending new accessibility features, according to Rick Bowes, senior executive consultant of the AFB Consulting group.
Scheduled for the May accessibility release are Windows, Macintosh®, and online updates in June, and iPhone®, iPod Touch®, and iPadTM releases in August. “The entire Bookshelf platform will be updated for accessibility in plenty of time for fall class starts,” said William Chesser, vice president and general manager of VitalSource.
The Bookshelf platform supports download, online, and mobile access points for content, according to Chesser. “We're working with the AFB Consulting to ensure each of these access points is developed for full accessibility and conformity with the appropriate section 508 and WCAG 2.0 (web content accessibility guidelines) standards,” he added. “I believe this establishes VitalSource as the only e-textbook platform currently in the market providing accessibility in all three places.”
Section 508, an amendment to the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, was enacted to eliminate barriers in information technology, to make available new opportunities for people with disabilities, and to encourage development of technologies that will help achieve these goals. Web content accessibility guidelines (WCAG) are part of a series of web accessibility guidelines published by the W3C's web accessibility initiative. They consist of a set of guidelines on making content accessible, primarily for disabled users.
“For publishers who work with VitalSource, the new Bookshelf enhancements do not have to mean a change in workflow,” Chesser said, “but they may represent a moment of opportunity. A publisher who is already working with us doesn't have to do anything differently to see the benefit of these changes. However, for those publishers who are already moving to XML workflow – and most of them are – they can add a few simple tagging instructions to their process and see an even greater accessibility improvement,” Mr Chesser added. “We are working with publishers to provide them with the ability to enhance their content for really advanced accessibility support through the release of a revised DTD (v3.4), our `MathSpeak' program, which adds rich English-language articulation to MathML tags, and industry standard alt tag support.”
In addition to the accessibility features, the new release also includes enhanced navigation for users, automatic updating of content, enriched reference and dictionary options, and simplified content ingestion for publishers.
Accessibility has emerged as a key issue around the world as educators have begun to wrestle with electronic content delivery. While digital content is often seen as a potential money-saver for schools and students, educators are required to make sure implementations do not exclude disabled students.
KoboTM Makes the Kobo Desktop Application Available for Download
Kobo, a global eReading service, has announced the Kobo desktop application, a free, downloadable application now available from www.kobobooks.com that enables users to read, build a digital library, and shop for eBooks directly from their computer or laptop. The new application also allows Kobo customers with third party eReaders, such as the Sony Reader, to easily connect to Kobo to download or purchase content.
The new Kobo desktop application offers a personalized, secure and central destination where users can manage their entire Kobo reading experience. Through the desktop application customers can instantly access their library and download their purchases directly to their computer and read offline without an internet connection. Additionally, the Kobo desktop application enables users to shop for eBooks through the integrated Kobo eBook store and download content to their desktop to easily build and manage their library.
Kobo currently offers dedicated applications for iPhone, iPad, BlackBerry, Android, Android Tablets, as well as the Kobo eReader. Now with the Kobo desktop users can sync their entire library between their mobile devices and the desktop. Customers with popular eReaders can now manage their digital library in one place, connect to the Kobo store to buy or download free content from over 2.2 million titles, and benefit from Kobo's range of free applications for mobile devices. The free application also comes preloaded on every Kobo eReader making it easy for users to organize their library right out of the box.
Consistent with the overall Kobo reading experience, the Kobo desktop application allows users to customize font, style and size to suit their own reading preferences, and the company's signature bookmarking feature makes it possible to pickup reading where you left off. Plus, bookmarks follow a user from the Kobo desktop application to their smartphone, tablet, or eReader allowing for continuous reading on any device.
“Kobo has long supported reading across platforms, and now we are the first to provide an experience that supports a wide range of eReaders and mobile devices,” said Michael Serbinis, CEO of Kobo. “The Kobo desktop is the first phase of a new Kobo initiative to give readers more control over their eBooks, and new tools to display and share their growing library.”
The Kobo desktop application supports both Windows and Macintosh operating systems and is currently available for free download. The application also comes preloaded on every Kobo eReader. The Kobo eReader is available for purchase at Borders in the USA, Indigo Books & Music and Walmart in Canada, and Whitcoull's, A&R, and Borders in Australia/New Zealand.
A free download of Kobo desktop application is available at: www.kobobooks.com/desktop
IMPACT (Improving Access to Text) Widens European Scope
The European research project IMPACT has recently entered its second phase by taking up eleven new partners from Southern and Eastern Europe into the consortium. These new partners will contribute to the project's goals of optimizing Optical Character Recognition software and language technology for historical material and sharing institutional knowledge and expertise on digitization. They will also help to build the IMPACT Centre of Competence, which will be launched in early 2011 to provide a central service entry point for all libraries, archives, and museums involved in the digitization of text material.
IMPACT now brings together 26 national and regional libraries, research institutions, and commercial suppliers.
Six new linguistic partners will work on building historical lexica for the additional languages (French, Spanish, Polish, Bulgarian, Slovene, and Czech), while five new libraries will provide datasets. The new partners will also play an important role in demonstrating and disseminating the IMPACT project results, help setting up the IMPACT Centre of Competence and support building capacity in digitization in their countries.
More about this extension in the full press release on the IMPACT website: http://tinyurl.com/38a8gxr
IMPACT project is available at: www.impact-project.eu/
World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) Launches Library Linked Data Incubator Group
The W3C has announced the creation of the Library Linked Data Incubator Group, whose mission is to help increase global interoperability of library data on the web, by bringing together people involved in semantic web activities – focusing on linked data – in the library community and beyond, building on existing initiatives, and identifying collaboration tracks for the future. The following W3C members have sponsored the charter for this group: Helsinki University of Technology, DERI Galway, Competence Centre for Interoperable Metadata (KIM), Library of Congress, Los Alamos National Laboratory, MIMOS, OCLC, Talis, University of Applied Sciences Potsdam, and Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam.
The Library Linked Data Incubator Group will explore how existing building blocks of librarianship, such as metadata models, metadata schemas, standards and protocols for building interoperability and library systems and networked environments, encourage libraries to bring their content, and generally re-orient their approaches to data interoperability towards the web, also reaching to other communities. It will also envision these communities as a potential major provider of authoritative datasets (persons, topics, etc.) for the linked data web. As these evolutions raise a need for a shared standardization effort within the library community around (semantic) web standards, the group will refine the knowledge of this need, express requirements for standards and guidelines, and propose a way forward for the library community to contribute to further web standardization actions.
The incubator group has been initiated by actors from national libraries, university libraries and research units, library vendors companies, and other interested stakeholders. Its scope is however not limited to libraries as institutions, but is meant to involve other cultural heritage institutions, partners from the publishing industry, and other relevant domains.
Library Linked Data Incubator Group is available at: www.w3.org/2005/Incubator/lld/charter
Library of Congress Announces Enhancement of id.loc.gov Web Service
The Library of Congress is pleased to announce the enhancement of its ID.LOC.GOV web service, authorities and vocabularies, which provides access to Library of Congress standards and vocabularies as linked data. In addition to technological refinements aimed at improving the user experience, id.loc.gov now offers additional vocabularies:
thesaurus of graphic materials;
MARC code list for relators;
cryptographic hash functions;
preservation events; and
preservation level role.
The latter three are in support of preservation and technical metadata schemes. The vocabulary data are available for bulk download. Additional vocabularies will be added in the future, including (among others) the MARC code lists for geographic areas, countries and languages, and additional PREMIS controlled vocabularies.
The authorities and vocabularies web service was first made available in May 2009 and offered the Library of Congress Subject Headings, the library's initial entry into the linked data movement. In part by assigning each vocabulary and each data value within it a unique resource identifier (URI), the service provides a means for machines to semantically access, use, and harvest authority and vocabulary data that adheres to W3C recommendations, such as simple knowledge organization system. In this way, the authorities and vocabularies web service also makes government data publicly and freely available in the spirit of the open government directive. Although the primary goal of the service is to enable machine access to Library of Congress data, a web interface serves human users searching and browsing the vocabularies.
Explore it for yourself at: http://id.loc.gov
OCLC Releases MARCView and MARConvert as Open Source Software
OCLC and Systems Planning have announced the donation of MARCViewTM and MARConvertTM to OCLC, and OCLC's release of MARCViewTM and MARConvertTM as open source software under the Apache 2.0 license.
MARCViewTM and MARConvertTM software, developed by Systems Planning of Bethesda, Maryland, USA, are widely used applications designed to assist librarians and developers working with MARC records. MARCViewTM provides a user-friendly interface to navigate and display individual MARC, MARCXML, and UNIMARC records. MARConvertTM supports the conversion of bibliographic or authority records into or out of MARC21, UNIMARC or MARCXML and can also convert MARC records from one character set to another.
Stephen Toney, president and chief technology officer of Systems Planning, donated the software to OCLC. The MARCViewTM and MARConvertTM source code has been added to OCLC's open source repository, and the library developer community is encouraged to maintain and enhance the services.
“We appreciate the contribution from Stephen and Systems Planning and we are pleased that OCLC can continue to make these tools available to OCLC members and the larger library community as open source,” said Don Hamparian, co-founder of the OCLC Developer Network. “With such a strong user group, I am curious to see what new ideas the library developer community might bring to the software.”
The MARCViewTM and MARConvertTM software is available for download, along with some documentation, on the OCLC developer network web site: http://worldcat.org/devnet/wiki/MARCView
PREMIS in METS Toolbox Available Now
The Library of Congress and the Florida Center for Library Automation (FCLA) have announced the availability of the PREMIS-in-METS toolbox, a set of open-source tools developed to support the implementation of PREMIS preservation metadata in the METS container format.
The toolbox includes three tools: Validate, Convert and Describe.
Validate will validate a PREMIS or a PREMIS-in-METS document and return a list or errors or a conformation message. PREMIS documents are validated against the PREMIS schema. METS documents containing PREMIS are validated against the METS schema, the PREMIS schema, and the best practice Guidelines for Using PREMIS with METS <www.loc.gov/standards/premis/guidelines-premismets.pdf>
Convert will convert between stand-alone PREMIS and PREMIS embedded in METS. A PREMIS document will generate a METS document containing the PREMIS elements in multiple or single METS metadata sections. A METS document containing PREMIS elements in it will generate a stand-alone PREMIS document.
Describe will output a complete PREMIS description of a file, including extensions for format-specific metadata. Describe uses the DAITSS 2 format description service, which in turn uses DROID for format identification and JHOVE for format characterization. The resulting PREMIS document can then be run through Convert to turn it into PREMIS in METS if desired. Types of file formats that are covered are text, image, audio, video, and software.
All three tools support various modes of input: a source document or file can be addressed by URL or uploaded. PREMIS and METS documents can also be typed or copied directly into Validate and Convert.
The PREMIS-in-METS toolkit was developed by FCLA under contract to the Library of Congress. The toolkit code will be released under an open source license in SourceForge.
PREMIS-In-METS Toolbox is available at: http://pim.fcla.edu
Biomed Central Partners with Massachusetts Institute of Technology Libraries to Deposit Open Access Articles Automatically Using SWORD Protocol
BioMed Central, a leading STM (science, technology and medicine) open access publisher, has worked with the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) libraries to develop an automated system that uses the latest technology to automatically populate MIT's digital repository, DSpace@MIT, with the official version of articles by MIT researchers that have been published in BioMed Central's journals.
MIT's faculty played a leading role in the movement toward increased access to research results. In March 2009 the Institute's faculty unanimously adopted a campus-wide open access policy, signaling their commitment to making the published results of their work freely available. The MIT libraries, charged with implementing the policy, have begun to make articles available through the “MIT Open Access Articles” collection in DSpace@MIT, the institutional repository managed by the libraries.
DSpace@MIT contains the digital research materials of MIT faculty and researchers, including peer-reviewed scholarly articles, preprints, technical reports, theses, and conference papers. Once saved in the online repository, materials can be searched and shared worldwide. Already, over 1,000 articles have been added to the “MIT open access articles” collection.
In order to make it easier for MIT authors to submit articles to DSpace@MIT, the MIT Libraries worked with BioMed Central to set up an automatic feed of MIT articles, using a version of the simple web-service offering repository deposit (SWORD) protocol. The SWORD protocol allows the institutional repository to receive newly published articles from any of BioMed Central's 200 journals as soon as they are published, without the need for any effort on the part of the author and streamlining the deposit process for the repository administrator.
In describing the importance of the SWORD integration, Matthew Cockerill, BioMed Central's managing director said, “Campus open access policies are hugely important, but the effort involved in compliance can be a major obstacle to their success. That is why we think that automated deposit has an important role to play. We hope that this pioneering work by BioMed Central in collaboration with MIT libraries will encourage other institutions to work with us to establish similar automated feeds, and we encourage other publishers to adopt a similar approach.”
BioMed Central's SWORD deposit service is available at: www.biomedcentral.com/info/libraries/sword
New Encore Product from Innovative: Encore Synergy
Innovative announced in April the launch of encore synergy, the only discovery solution that fully integrates next-generation article discovery technology into a cutting-edge library discovery platform.
With encore synergy, library users benefit from all the features of encore discovery, which has already gone beyond the library catalog by including library programs, harvested digital collections, electronic journals, eBooks, and more in a single search. Now, encore synergy's deep article integration folds articles into the environment of local discovery, providing a superior user experience that includes single log-in support for all functions, consistent displays, and seamless, intuitive transitions between article and local catalog modes. Encore synergy achieves its integration natively, eliminating the need for data loading or synchronization by library staff.
Encore synergy applies all of the principles of encore to the world of article discovery, so that users:
discover both articles and local collections from a single search box;
are presented with article-specific relevance and facets such as full text and peer reviewed for article results;
benefit from RightResultTM relevance and local-collections facets in catalog results;
are offered smart alternatives for discovery based on the library's expertise and metadata;
see live results from article databases and the local catalog in a single search, including direct linking to all available full-text; and
discover all of the article resources the library offers, without being limited to a given discovery vendor's resources. Encore synergy is content-neutral.
“Encore Synergy continues the commitment that Innovative has made to the library user: timely, relevant results in an easy-to-navigate solution,” says John McCullough, vice president of Innovative's Encore Division. “It offers the ease of a web search combined with the intelligence and expertise of the library. Encore Synergy users don't have to `pick a lane' between next-generation local collections discovery and cutting-edge article discovery: it's all within a single interface.”
Encore Synergy is available at: http://encoreforlibraries.com/products#es
UNESCO's WebWorld Knowledgebase to Simplify Access to Online Contents
UNESCO's Communication and Information Sector (CI) has launched a new online service, knowledgebase, which has been developed to simplify access to different online contents and to enable users of its website to find quick answers to their questions.
WebWorld, the website of UNESCO's communication and information sector, contains a large amount of information about the sector's activities. Due to the complex website structure and the specificities of UNESCO's language, this information is not always easily accessible. Thanks to the new WebWorld service, knowledgebase, users can now find what they are looking for in a few clicks.
The Knowledgebase allows the search either by category or key word. The main categories cover the questions about the CI website, the sector's various activities and institutional structure, as well as more general information about UNESCO's events, publications, job opportunities, fellowships, contacts, etc. The search is enriched by a smart suggest, which displays relevant suggestions in response to key words as they are typed. This feature can help users who need answers to their questions but are not sure where to start.
The Knowledgebase provides a number of other interesting and useful features to its users. Printer-friendly versions of all knowledge items, as well as PDF exports, are only a click away. Users can rate items, add them to favorites or send them via email to friends and colleagues. Related knowledge items are detected and shown automatically to facilitate easy browsing. Users can also post their comments, subscribe to updates or send queries through an online form.
The CI Knowledgebase is available at: www.unesco-ci.org/knowledgebase/
CNI Spring 2010 Meeting Presentation Materials Available
Presentation materials from the CNI Spring 2010 Membership Meeting held April 12-13, 2010 in Baltimore, Maryland are now available.
Included are slides from “Codes, clouds and constellations: open science in the data decade,” the closing plenary presentation by Liz Lyon of UKOLN, and links to video of the presentation. Also available are links to information on open access policies from the opening plenary panel discussion, “Exploring institutional implementation strategies for open access requirements,” moderated by CNI executive director Clifford Lynch, as well as slides and papers from many project briefing sessions.
An archive of tweets related to the meeting is available at: http://twapperkeeper.com/hashtag/cni10s. Video recordings of some sessions are available, as are podcast interviews with selected presenters and attendees, produced by EDUCAUSE. Links to all audio/visual materials related to CNI's spring 2010 meeting are available from the CNI web site: www.cni.org/tfms/2010a.spring/
Recordings Available: ISKO UK 2009 Conference “Content Architecture”
Recordings of a selection of talks from the ISKO UK Conference “Content Architecture: Exploiting and Managing Diverse Resources” held June 23-24, 2009 are now available at the conference proceedings webpage. Published shortly after the conference, the outputs contain abstracts, presentation files, and papers – all available on the same webpage.
A selection of talks were edited and mp3 files are now available for the following presentations:
Keynote David Crystal: “Semantic targeting: past, present and future.”
Keynote Clifford Lynch: “e-research and new challenges in knowledge structuring.”
Madi Solomon: “Here comes everything.”
Charles Inskip, Andy MacFarlane, and Pauline Rafferty: “Organizing music for movies.”
Ian Davis: “Still digital images – the hardest things to classify and find.”
Chris Town: “Giving meaning to content through ontology based image retrieval.”
Danny Budzak: “Shoebox stories – online history in East London.”
Tom Scott and Michael Smethurst: “Building coherence at bbc.co.uk.”
Brian Matthews et al.: “An evaluation of enhancing social tagging with a knowledge organization system.”
Sarinder Kaur Kashmir Singh et al.: “Biodiversity information retrieval across networked data sets.”
Fidelia Ibekwe-SanJuan: “Semantic metadata annotation: tagging Medline abstracts for enhanced information access.”
Paul Miller: “Exploiting data in the cloud.”
Chris Town and Karl Harrison: “Large-scale grid computing for content-based image retrieval.”
Marcia Zeng and Maja umer: “Mapping FRSAD model and other abstract models.”
Felix Boteram: “Semantic interoperability in an international comprehensive knowledge organization system.”
Emad Khazraee et al.: “EIAH data model: semantic interoperability between distributed digital repositories.”
ISKO UK 2009 recordings can be found at: www.iskouk.org/conf2009/proceedings.htm
Planets Market Survey White Paper Released
A white paper summarizing the findings of the Planets (preservation and long-term access through networked services) market survey is available to download from the Planets website.
The survey of 200 organizations worldwide and conducted by Tessella aimed to understand the requirements for long-term management of digital content. Contributors spanned libraries, archives, government, providers of digital library systems, museums, and commercial organizations. Key findings of the survey are:
The volume of digital content organizations expect to archive will increase 25-fold in the next ten years, from a median of less than 20TB to over 500TB.
Over 80 percent of organizations already need to preserve content in simple formats, such as documents and images, for the long-term, by 2019, 70 percent will also need to preserve databases, websites, and audio and video files.
A total of 93 per cent of organizations recognize the challenges of preserving digital content for the long-term and many plan for it: 76 percent include it in their operational planning, 71 percent in business continuity planning, and 62 percent in financial planning.
A digital preservation policy is a vital first step in preserving digital content. Organizations with a policy are more likely to include digital preservation in their operational, financial and business continuity plans, three times more likely to budget for it and four times more likely to be investing in a solution.
National libraries and archives with large volumes of, and variation in types of, digital content, as well as a legal and moral imperative to preserve it, currently lead the way. However, all organizations will face similar challenges as the volume and variety of content they hold rises.
To download the white paper and full report visit: www.planets-project.eu/publications
UVa Library Receives $870,000 Mellon Grant to Preserve Unique Digital-only Materials
The University of Virginia Library has received a major grant from The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation for a two-year project to model how institutions can preserve and deliver rare materials that currently exist only in digital form.
“Born-digital” materials include the works of contemporary writers and architects, as well as archives of current political figures and organizations. These materials are quickly becoming significant collections that require careful, planned stewardship to ensure their preservation and availability to scholars now and in the future, said Martha Sites, an associate University librarian and a principal investigator for the grant.
Programmers and archivists from UVa are working with counterparts at Stanford and Yale universities, as well as from England's University of Hull, to create a model for digital collection management that can be easily shared among research libraries and other institutions charged with preserving rare materials.
“In the past we received paper manuscripts from notable writers; now we're getting their work on hard drives,” said Bradley Daigle, director of digital curation services for the UVa Library and one of the principal investigators. “We don't want to lose the record of the artistic development of this work, nor do we want it locked up in technology that may become obsolete in the future. It's a huge problem that requires a huge solution.”
The universities plan to use 13 “born-digital” collections as their test base for the project. Examples from the UVa Library include “papers” that are actually correspondence, drafts and other materials in digital form from former Virginia Sen. John Warner and from author and critic Alan Cheuse, who is also a book reviewer for national public radio, creative writing professor at George Mason University and a former UVa English professor. The results will make these collections accessible to researchers for the first time.
The grant also provides for four digital archivists and a programmer who will explore and test how to process, preserve and deliver different digital collections across multiple institutions. The common approaches devised to archive born-digital “papers” will not only be designed to be used by different institutions, but they will also be demonstrated and proven in practice by the four partner universities. The work will include the creation of web-based tools and services to let librarians, archivists and eventually users themselves describe, link, preserve, and deliver digital information.
“Most libraries and archives currently lack a framework for collecting and delivering these materials,” Sites said. “The ethical and practical issues that accompany the business of stewarding born-digital collections have not been fully explored, and almost no best practice guidelines exist. This grant will make it possible to inform best practices and build tools that other cultural institutions can easily use in this crucial work.”
The project is to be completed by October 2011. For information, visit the University Library website: www2.lib.virginia.edu/aims/