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New & Noteworthy
Article Type: New & Noteworthy From: Library Hi Tech News, Volume 28, Issue 10
Viewshare: Open-Source Platform for Creating Interfaces to Digital Collections
The National Digital Information Infrastructure and Preservation Program at the Library of Congress recently launched Viewshare.org
Viewshare is a free, open-source platform that empowers librarians, archivists, scholars, and curators to create maps, timelines, tag clouds, and other embeddable web interfaces for their digital collections. Supporting multiple metadata upload options, and featuring data augmentation tools such as geocoding and ISO 8601 date conversion, Viewshare provides an free and relatively intuitive tool for building and sharing customized, interactive views of cultural heritage digital collections.
For more info you can see the launch announcement on the Library's Digital Preservation blog at: http://1.usa.gov/snqNHc
For more information, and to request an account, visit: http://www. viewshare.org
Confederation of Open Access Repositories (COAR) Launches New Web site
The Confederation of Open Access Repositories (COAR) announces the launch of its new web site at: http://www.coar- repositories.org The web site includes fresh content, added Web2.0 functionality, and an updated look and feel.
The site reflects a great deal of input from members. In particular, it includes:
.Online discussions hosted by working groups such as the Interoperability Forum (http://bit.ly/coar-interop-discussion).
.Published documents by COAR working groups, such as ``The case for interoperability for open access repositories'' (http://bit.ly/coarwg2), a new Open Access briefing paper.
.A global map (www.coar-repositories.org/member-and-partnership/) of COAR's members and partners.
.Announcements of upcoming events.
.RSS feeds to new content.
Norbert Lossau, chairperson of COAR, comments ``We are delighted to launch the new COAR web site. We feel that the new infrastructure will be extremely valuable as COAR expands its membership and leaves us better prepared to meet future needs''.
COAR, the Confederation of Open Access Repositories, is a young association of repository initiatives launched in October 2009, uniting over 60 members and partner organisations from 24 countries from throughout Europe, Latin America, Asia, and North America. Its mission is to enhance greater visibility and application of research outputs through global networks of Open Access digital repositories.
More information about COAR: http://www.coar-repositories.org/
Release of Kuali Open Library Environment (OLE) 0.3
The Kuali Foundation has announced the release of Kuali OLE 0.3, a milestone in open-source software development that addresses the functional needs of higher education research libraries for managing information resources. Kuali Open Library Environment (OLE) is a robust, enterprise-wide, easy-to-use system for selecting, acquiring and describing library information resources, which will link with enterprise business processes and value-added external resources.
Kuali OLE 0.3 release is a stepping-stone towards the full-product that is on track for 2013 implementation. As well as select and acquire functions with auditing trails for all purchases, the 0.3 step release highlights three potentially transformational developments:
(1) Kuali OLE 0.3 provides a flexible document store as a primary storage component for all library managed resources with faceted searching of all owned content.
(2) Kuali OLE 0.3 enables locally configurable workflows for library supply chain automation and management.
(3) Kuali OLE 0.3 provides a framework for potential enterprise integration utilizing Kuali Rice enterprise middleware.
This release also gives potential users access to a cloud-based test-drive installation and driver's manual for understanding and demonstrating the new software.
``This release is a key piece of the puzzle that is building the foundation for a holistic approach to library information system management that meets the functional needs of research libraries'', says Deborah Jakubs, Rita DiGiallonardo Holloway University Librarian and Vice Provost for Library Affairs at Duke University and Kuali OLE Project Board Co-Chair. ``I am very pleased with the deep collaborative efforts demonstrated by the hundreds of librarians and staff who have contributed to the Kuali OLE project. They are working in conjunction with the other Kuali software projects to provide solutions for higher education that reach well beyond libraries''.
Kuali OLE Release 0.3 is the result of collaboration of multiple higher education research libraries and commercial affiliates including Indiana University, Duke University, Lehigh University, North Carolina State University, University of Chicago, University of Florida, University of Maryland, University of Michigan, University of Pennsylvania, and HTC Global Services, Inc. Kuali OLE release 0.3 has received generous support from The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.
All software and materials delivered by the Kuali Foundation are available under the Educational Community License and can be adopted by colleges and universities without licensing fees.
The Kuali OLE Project Team is currently focusing its efforts on its Year Two roadmap OLE Timeline for extending the functionality of Kuali OLE. Release 0.6 (March 2012) will focus on Deliver and Manage User Relationships and Manage Entity Relationships, which will provide for circulation functionality and local contextual information for management of library information resources.
These first two releases are the initial components of a larger project to build an enterprise-wide library management system.
``We are pleased to see the Kuali OLE project's successful delivery of release 0.3'', Jennifer Foutty, Executive Director of the Kuali Foundation, stated. ``This is the start of a major effort to deliver full library information system management functionality and will complement other projects that are delivering major components of a full set of enterprise systems, including Kuali Financial System, Kuali Student, Kuali Coeus for Research Administration, and Kuali People Management for the Enterprise''.
OCLC Offers Web-Based Service for Small Libraries
OCLC's web site for Small Libraries (WSSL) is a cloud-based service that provides a simple web presence and a basic inventory management system for small libraries. Designed to meet the needs of libraries with two or fewer full time staff and a collection size under 20,000 items, WSSL allows libraries with no technical staff to expose their library and library collection on the web, with prominent site features for hours of operation, contact information, calendar functions, and policy communication, all with built-in mobile web support. It provides bulk import and export of catalog content as well as simple single-item description. Standard patron functions are provided including check-in, check-out, hold, cancel hold, and renew. Syndication of content is supported through worldcat.org and major search engines including Google.
With WSSL, small public, religious, and club libraries can manage their collections and provide online access for their membership, congregation, or the general public for less than the cost of a cup of coffee per day. Benefits include:
.a pre-populated, template driven web site;
a web display that adapts to mobile devices, tablets, and desktop computers;
access to a selection of open access, electronic full text content for users; and
simple inventory and lending functionality
WSSL is available for a free trial between now and December 12, 2011. To try it out, simply sign up on the WSSL Free Trial page. If you are a US public library, WSSL is very likely to have a pre-populated site that you can claim, or you can create your site from a simple template – either way the whole process takes less than five minutes.
Or you may want to check out our demonstration library, Loremville Public Library, a ficticious but typical small-town public library in Loremville Tennessee, with two staff and a collection of about 20,000 items. Mattie, who volunteers at the library and owns the local fly-fishing shop, says you can use her brother's library card if you want – he is out of the country for a while until things blow over. The card number is 217235467 - use 851300 as the password/pin.
OCLC WSSL: http://experimental. worldcat.org/lib/
Sony Introduces World's Lightest 6" eReader with Wireless Public Library Access
In August Sony announced the launch of the lightest touch screen 6'' eReader device ever, Reader Wi-Fi (PRS-T1), providing the most natural and immersive reading experience yet for book lovers. The new Reader Wi-Fi builds on the popularity of last year's line, while reducing size and weight and incorporating new and enhanced features. At under 6 ounces and with a 6" E-Ink1 Pearl V220 touch screen, Reader Wi-Fi is smaller than an average paperback book, can easily fit into a bag or pocket.
As part of Sony's continued effort to support the Public Library System, Reader Wi-Fi will also be the first eReader to offer wireless connectivity to the public library system in the USA and Canada via a dedicated icon on the device to allow easy and convenient borrowing of free e-books with a valid library card. Readers can access and download over 2.5 million titles via a Wi-Fi connection from Reader Store or shop from a wide range of bookstores and other websites that provide books in digital formats compatible with Reader Wi-Fi, such as EPUB, PDF and TXT.
``We believe in giving readers more freedom and flexibility while reading, and the new Reader Wi-Fi gives avid readers more access to content than ever. Bibliophiles can now buy, borrow or download free books wherever there's a Wi-Fi connection,'' said Phil Lubell, vice president of Networked Technology and Services Division at Sony Electronics.
Reader Wi-Fi will feature a glare-free Clear Dual Touch screen. E-Ink Pearl electronic paper displays a high contrast image that is easy to read for hours, even in direct sunlight. Book lovers can touch the screen to choose a book, swipe a finger to turn the page, zoom in and out by pinching fingers together or apart, tap and hold a word to find its meaning or translate into one of the five supported languages. On board are 12 dictionaries including two English language (British/American) and ten translation (to and from French, German, Spanish, Dutch and Italian). Readers can even ``write'' notes on the page or highlight text with a finger or the supplied stylus – just like a real book. With a battery life of over one month (three weeks with wireless on) and 2 GB of storage capacity (enough to hold about 1,200 eBooks), Reader Wi-Fi makes reading easier, virtually anytime and anywhere.
In order to provide the most engaging reading experience, Reader Wi-Fi offers users numerous options for customization. Users can view collections of digital photos on-screen, plug-in headphones to listen to stored music while reading, or change the image on the front cover to the current title or to a favorite photo as a screensaver when your Reader Wi-Fi is in standby mode. Users can also personalize the reading experience by choosing from eight font sizes and a choice of six font styles. Screen contrast and brightness are easily adjusted for comfortable viewing in any lighting condition.
Reader Wi-Fi (PRS-T1) is available online at: http://store.sony.com
New Initiative to Develop Standards for Digital Bookmarking and Annotation Sharing
The National Information Standards Organization (NISO) voting members have approved a new work item to develop a standard syntax for how bookmarks and notes should be located in digital texts and shared with others, especially in online environments that might be continually updated or mutable. The ability to accurately refer to a specific location within a digital text is fundamental for bookmarking and annotations in a digital environment. For both casual readers as well as professional and academic researchers, such pointers must be recognized across reading systems to enable social uses of books, articles and grey literature that range from personal memory aids to citations and critical analysis, as well as deep inter-linking. At present, no standards exist in this space.
``It is the golden combination of portability and translatability that enables sharing of commentary, whether in reading circles, classrooms or critical societies,'' explains Peter Brantley, Director, BookServer Project at the Internet Archive, and proposer of the new initiative. ``The difficulty in creating flexible sharing systems hinges in part on the many mechanisms by which bookmarks might be crafted. Locations within books can be named and referenced on many different types of frameworks.''
``Individual commercial e-book vendors have introduced varying levels of support for bookmarking and annotation services,'' states Nettie Lagace, NISO's Associate Director for Programs. ``But their use has been restricted to proprietary platforms, sharply reducing their utility for users who obtain content from multiple purveyors, or among communities who access content from different sources or on different platforms. Proof of concept models such as those developed by the Open Annotation Collaboration (OAC) can present some workable frameworks, but are not sufficient for real-world implementations.''
``NISO and the Internet Archive are hosting two pre-standards meetings with the generous support of The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation to obtain input for the new NISO Digital Bookmarking and Annotation Working Group on its scope, goals, and the advancement of a syntax specification,'' states Todd Carpenter, NISO's Managing Director. ``These meetings are being held in conjunction with the Frankfurt Book Fair in Frankfurt, Germany (October 10), and the Books In Browsers Meeting in San Francisco (October 26).''
An interest group list for this project (email@example.com) will be available for those who would like to receive updates on the Working Group's progress and provide feedback to the group on its work. Information on how to subscribe is available at: www.niso.org/lists/
ESPReSSO: Establishing Suggested Practices Regarding Single Sign-On
The National Information Standards Organization (NISO) has announced the publication of a new Recommended Practice, ESPReSSO: Establishing Suggested Practices Regarding Single Sign-On (NISO RP-11-2011), that identifies practical solutions for improving the use of single sign-on authentication technologies to ensure a seamless experience for the user. This recommended practice is the result of the NISO Chair's Initiative-a project of the chair of NISO's Board of Directors, focusing on a specific issue that would benefit from study and the development of a recommended practice or standard. Oliver Pesch, Chief Strategist for E-Resource Access and Management Services at EBSCO Information Services and the 2008-2009 Chair of NISO's Board of Directors, chose the issue of standardizing seamless, item-level linking through single sign-on (SSO) authentication technologies in a networked information environment, which resulted in the formation of the ESPReSSO Working Group.
Currently a hybrid environment of authentication practices exists, including older methods of userid/password, IP authentication, and/or proxy servers along with newer federated authentication protocols such as Athens and Shibboleth. The ESPReSSO recommended practice identifies changes that can be made immediately to improve the authentication experience for the user, even in a hybrid situation, while encouraging both publishers/service providers and libraries to transition to the newer Security Assertion Markup Language (SAML)-based authentication, such as Shibboleth.
``With the growing use of mobile devices and remote access, the older authentication methods are not manageable for either the content provider or the library,'' explains Steve Carmody, IT Architect, Computing and Information Services, at Brown University and co-chair of the NISO ESPReSSO Working Group. ``The ESPReSSO recommendations will help bridge the transition to more robust authentication methods that better match the needs of today's users and eliminate the need for multiple identities.''
``The growing use of web discovery services over the older federated search method have only increased the need for single sign- on authentication and consistency of access and context for the user,'' states Harry Kaplanian, Director of Technology, Serials Solutions, Inc., and co-chair of the NISO ESPReSSO Working Group. ``With a discovery service portal, users are often unaware that they will ultimately be accessing resources across a broad spectrum of platforms and providers, and the multiple back-end logins that occur can be both confusing and frustrating. In addition to addressing this situation, the ESPReSSO recommendations also identify methods that can be used to maintain users' privacy while still offering them advanced functionality, such as saving searches between sessions.''
``The ESPReSSO Working Group has produced a very forward-looking document,'' states Todd Carpenter, Managing Director of NISO. ``It provides recommendations that can be implemented immediately in today's hybrid environment and will also transition the community towards the preferred single sign-on methodology.''
The ESPReSSO Recommended Practice is available for free download from the ESPReSSO web site: www. niso.org/ workrooms/sso
Draft Release 4 of the COUNTER Code of Practice for e-Resources Now Available
The Draft Release 4 of the COUNTER Code of Practice for e-Resources is now available for comment and may be accessed on the COUNTER web site at: www.project counter.org/code_practice.html
This new Release has been developed with input from vendors, librarians and intermediaries. Release 4 is a single, integrated Code of Practice covering journals, databases and books, as well as multimedia content. As such it will supersede both Release 3 of the Code of Practice for Journals and Databases (published in 2008) and Release 1 of the Code of Practice for Books and Reference Works (published in 2006).
The Draft Release 4 will be available on the COUNTER web site until Friday 20 January 2012 for public comment. All interested parties are encouraged to review the documents and to submit their comments to the COUNTER Project Director (pshepherd@project Counter.org). Feedback received will be taken into account by the COUNTER Executive Committee in the preparation of the final, definitive version of Release 4, which is scheduled for publication in March 2012, with a deadline for implementation by vendors of 31 December 2013.
Standards and Recommended Practices for Next Gen Library Discovery Services
The National Information Standards Organization (NISO) voting members have approved a new Open Discovery Initiative work item to develop standards and recommended practices for next generation library discovery services. Using an aggregated index search of a wide range of resources, licensed and free, from multiple providers, these discovery services have the ability to deliver more sophisticated services with instant performance, compared to the federated search techniques previously used.
``Marshall Breeding (Director for Innovative Technologies and Research, Vanderbilt University), Jenny Walker (Consultant for Ex Libris), and I hosted an Open Discovery Initiative invitational meeting at the ALA Annual Conference in New Orleans in June 2011,'' stated Oren Beit-Arie Chief Strategy Officer at Ex Libris. ``We wanted to gauge interest in exploring the issues encountered with these new discovery services and in pursuing more formal standards or best practices for information providers to provide content to discovery services. We received an overwhelmingly positive response from stakeholders, which led the group to bring the project forward to NISO.''
``Libraries increasingly rely on index-based discovery services as their strategic interfaces through which patrons gain access to the rapid growing breadth of information that may be available to them,'' states Walker. ``They expect their uniquely licensed and purchased electronic content to be made available within the discovery service of their choice. But it is often not clear which resources are available, which are indexed in full text or by citations only, or both, and whether the metadata derives from aggregated databases or directly through the full-text.''
``The scope of discovery interfaces is broader than what is managed in the integrated library system,'' explains Breeding. ``These services can include other local repositories and digital collections and the electronic resources in subscription information content products. We'd like to see a consistent vocabulary regarding all the elements involved, that there be clarity in the business rules that apply to the content once indexed, and that there be clear descriptors regarding the extent of indexing performed for each item or collection of content and the level of availability of the content.''
``NISO is very pleased to bring together the stakeholders in open discovery-libraries, information providers and discovery providers-to develop consensus standards or recommended practices on how to make these services more effective for all involved, and ultimately, for the end user,'' states Todd Carpenter, NISO Managing Director. ``Other areas of interest for the new Open Discovery Initiative may include a standard exchange of data describing what rights to the content apply within the discovery service and a standard approach to exchanging data in support of usage reports.''
An interest group list for this project (firstname.lastname@example.org) will be available for those who would like to receive updates on the Working Group's progress and provide feedback to the group on its work. Information on how to subscribe is available at: www. niso.org/lists/
Music Information Retrieval Evaluation eXchange Project Awarded Mellon Grant
The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation has awarded the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (UIUC) a $390,000 grant for Professor J. Stephen Downie to lead the ``Music Information Retrieval Evaluation eXchange: Next Generation'' (MIREX: NG) project, which runs from 1 October 2011 through 31 December 2013.
Since 2005, Downie has directed MIREX from his International Music Information Retrieval Systems Evaluation Laboratory (IMIRSEL) at the Graduate School of Library and Information Science (GSLIS) at UIUC. MIREX allows music information retrieval (MIR) researchers to come together to investigate how well their innovative MIR algorithms perform. MIREX has played a pivotal role in the growth and success of the MIR research community, having performed more than 1,200 evaluations of algorithms across 23 unique task categories.
In partnership with experts from Ithaka S+R, the MIREX: NG project will allow Downie to develop formal models for the financial and administrative sustainability of MIREX. Once the organizational structures have been created, the partners will work with the MIR community to finalize, and then implement, a sustainable business plan model to ensure the long term vitality of MIREX.
For more information, contact J. Stephen Downie: www.lis.illinois.edu/people/faculty/jdownie
Agricultural Thesaurus Linked Open Data Improves Access to Agriculture Topics
The National Agricultural Library's (NAL) Agricultural Thesaurus is now available as Linked Open Data.
The NAL Agricultural Thesaurus (NALT) is used primarily to organize and describe agricultural information. It provides standard terms in both English and Spanish that can be used for indexing to improve the retrieval of information.
Linked Open Data translates information into a form both readable and understandable by computers. This translation makes it possible for different information resources, such as web pages, datasets and research articles, to be interconnected at a level far beyond what we are used to, creating meaningful relationships that make it easier to locate related content.
With the NALT now available as Linked Open Data, Web developers can use the NALT to specify the relationships between isolated data silos, thereby improving research into agricultural topics.
How does that happen? With the NALT available as Linked Open Data, NAL can now connect its vocabulary to other linked data vocabularies, such as AGROVOC, the multilingual agricultural vocabulary from the United Nations' Food and Agriculture Organization. Once that connection is in place, the NALT, in turn, is connected to the web of connections AGROVOC has already made.
For example, a search for ``corn'' in a database that uses the NALT retrieves items tagged with that term, as well as other items containing NALT's specified synonyms, such as the English term ``maize''.
If, however, the NALT is connected to AGROVOC via Linked Open Data, then that one search for ``corn'' automatically returns items containing all the synonyms AGROVOC also includes, such as the terms ``Mais'' (the German equivalent) or ``kukorica'' (the Hungarian term). The Linked Open Data connection turns these two separate vocabularies functionally into one, and the researcher receives more related content as a result.
This example reflects the power of what has been called the ``Semantic Web'', as the computers themselves understand the meaning (i.e. the semantics) of the content and can then perform ``intelligent'' tasks for Web users-like connecting ``maize'' to all its synonyms and foreign language equivalents.
NAL, one of four national libraries, holds one of the world's largest collections devoted to agriculture and related sciences. It is part of the Agricultural Research Service, US Department of Agriculture, and is located in Beltsville, Maryland. NAL's move to openly share its thesaurus data with global web developers is offered in the spirit of the Open Government Directive to make government data publicly and freely available.
The NALT, produced annually since 2002, just celebrated its tenth edition in 2011. A Spanish version of the vocabulary has been available since 2007 and is cooperatively maintained by NAL and the Inter-American Institute for Cooperation on Agriculture. The data is used by a variety of government and private organizations to fulfill their need for a consistent and standardized terminology for agriculture and its supporting sciences.
The entire NAL Agricultural Thesaurus file is available for download in both machine-readable (RDF/SKOS, XML, MARC21) and human-readable formats (PDF, DOC). The RDF/SKOS files use the persistent Uniform Resource Identifiers (URIs) necessary for Linked Open Data. These URIs align with W3C standards.
For more information: http://agclass. nal.usda.gov/agt.shtml
Download the thesaurus file: http://agclass.nal.usda.gov/download.shtml
Library of Congress Publishes Initial Plan for Bibliographic Framework Transition
Deanna Marcum, Associate Librarian for Library Services at the Library of Congress, has announced the release of the initial plan for LC's Bibliographic Framework Transition Initiative.
``The Working Group of the Future of Bibliographic Control, as it examined technology for the future, wrote that the Library community's data carrier, MARC, is `based on 40-year-old techniques for data management and is out of step with programming styles of today'. The Working Group called for a format that will ``accommodate and distinguish expert-, automated-, and self-generated metadata, including annotations (reviews, comments) and usage data''. The Working Group agreed that MARC has served the library community well in the pre-Web environment, but something new is now needed to implement the recommendations made in the Working Group's seminal report. In its recommendations, the Working Group called upon the Library of Congress to take action. In recommendation 3.1.1, the members wrote:
Recognizing that Z39.2/MARC are no longer fit for the purpose, work with the library and other interested communities to specify and implement a carrier for bibliographic information that is capable of representing the full range of data of interest to libraries, and of facilitating the exchange of such data both within the library community and with related communities.
``This same theme emerged from the recent test of the Resource Description and Access (RDA) conducted by the National Agricultural Library, the National Library of Medicine, and the Library of Congress. Our 26 test partners also noted that, were the limitations of the MARC standard lifted, the full capabilities of RDA would be more useful to the library community. Many of the libraries taking part in the test indicated that they had little confidence RDA changes would yield significant benefits without a change to the underlying MARC carrier. Several of the test organizations were especially concerned that the MARC structure would hinder the separation of elements and ability to use URLs in a linked data environment.
``With these strong statements from two expert groups, the Library of Congress is committed to developing, in collaboration with librarians, standards experts, and technologists a new bibliographic framework that will serve the associated communities well into the future. Within the Library, staff from the Network Development and Standards Office (within the Technology Policy directorate) and the Policy and Standards Division (within the Acquisitions and Bibliographic Access directorate) have been meeting with Beacher Wiggins (Director, ABA), Ruth Scovill (Director, Technology Policy), and me to craft a plan for proceeding with the development of a bibliographic framework for the future.
``Below this cover note, you will find our thoughts about the way ahead. We have identified the requirements for the new bibliographic framework, based on the recommendations made by both the Working Group on the Future of Bibliographic Control and the final report on the RDA Test.
``We at the Library are committed to finding the necessary funding for supporting this initiative, and we expect to work with diverse and wide-ranging partners in completing the task. Even at the earliest stages of the project, we believe two types of groups are needed: an advisory committee that will articulate and frame the principles and ideals of the bibliographic framework and a technical committee that has the in-depth knowledge to establish the framework, itself.
``When MARC was created in the late 1960s, early 1970s, the Library community, along with computer scientists, took a bold step that led to libraries being able to share bibliographic data. This was an extraordinary achievement in that individual libraries became nodes in a much larger network of library resources. A side benefit is that the cost of cataloging was significantly reduced. The new bibliographic framework we are aiming for will broaden participation in the network of resources, librarians will be able to do a much better job of linking their patrons to resources of all kinds (from the library and from many other sources), and costs can be better contained.
``The MARC standard is responsible for the creation of millions of bibliographic records from all parts of the globe. We recognize the need to continue supporting MARC during the transition, and, most likely, for years to come as libraries determine their timetable for making a change. The amount of legacy data, though, does not deter us from taking responsible actions for the next generation of libraries and librarians. The problem has been well defined by our partners. We now turn to partners of many types to help us find a durable solution.
``We are posting this general plan for your comments. Please let us know what you think. We are grateful for your interest, and we appreciate suggestions for improvement. We encourage you to post your thoughts to the Bibliographic Transition listserv. Your and others' comments will be publicly available for all to read. It is in this spirit of openness and transparency that we will proceed with the development of a bibliographic framework for the 21st century.''
The plan is available at: www.loc.gov/marc/transition/news/framework-103111.html
Links to the listserv, contact details, and all other official information, announcements, and resources related to the Bibliographic Framework Initiative are available on this web site at: www.loc.gov/marc/transition/
New BLDS Digital Library Makes Research from Developing Countries Accessible Online
With so many library users now expecting to access information through search engines, developing country publications tend to get overlooked in favour of the wealth of research available online from American and European academic institutions.
The British Library for Development Studies (BLDS) has the largest collection of economic and social development materials in Europe and over half of it originates from developing countries. But until now, much of the BLDS physical collection has only been available to visitors to the library or users of its Document Delivery service. BLDS is hoping that its newly-launched Digital Library will help redress the situation by making developing country research more accessible and visible online.
The new service, funded by the UK's Department for International Development, has been created to help decades of research from developing country institutions enjoy a wider global readership. BLDS is working with partner research institutes in Africa and Asia, to digitise their printed publications and host them online so they can be easily found through search engines. Nearly 600 papers have been digitised so far from Uganda, Kenya, Ethiopia, Zimbabwe and India, with more to be added in coming months as BLDS continues building partnerships with research institutes. The publications in the BLDS Digital Library are being made available through a Creative Commons licence which enables future sharing and dissemination of this content by others.
BLDS is funded by the Department for International Development (DFID) (through the Mobilising Knowledge for Development Programme) and the Institute of Development Studies (IDS).
BLDS Digital Library: http://blds.ids.ac.uk/digital-library
UNESCO Launches Global Open Access Portal
The Global Open Access Portal (GOAP), aiming at presenting a top level view of Open Access to scientific information, was launched at a special side event organized during the 36th session of the UNESCO General Conference, on Tuesday, 1 November 2011, at Paris Headquarters. The Global Open Access Portal presents a snapshot of the status of Open Access (OA) to scientific information around the world.
For countries that have been more successful in implementing Open Access, the portal highlights critical success factors and aspects of the enabling environment. For countries and regions that are still in the early stages of Open Access development, the portal identifies key players, potential barriers and opportunities.
The portal has country reports from over 148 countries with web links to over 2,000 initiatives/projects in Member States. The portal is supported by an existing Community of Practice (CoP) on Open Access on the WSIS Knowledge Communities Platform that has over 1,400 members.
The GOAP is a knowledge portal that has the following features:
Country-wise distilled knowledge on the status of Open Access.
Key organizations engaged in OA in Member States.
Thematic focus areas of OA.
Important publications on OA coming from different regions of the world.
Critical assessment of major barriers to OA in each country.
Potential of OA in UNESCO Member States.
Funding and deposit mandates.
Links to OA initiatives in the world.
The Global Open Access Portal, launched together with the revamped Open Training Platform (OTP) and the first UNESCO Open Educational Resources (OER) Platform, provides the information for policy-makers to learn about the global OA environment and to view their country's status, and understand where and why Open Access has been most successful.
Development of the Global Open Access Portal has been made possible with support received from the Governments of Columbia, Denmark, Norway, and the USA. This GOAP will be a work in progress, and shall be further improved with the support received from the community of OA practitioners.
Open Access is at the heart of UNESCO's mandate to provide universal access to information and knowledge, and the UNESCO Open Access programme shall continue to facilitate policy dialogue in Member States, share knowledge and best practices in the field of Open Access, and build and share local capacities through North-South and South-South co-operation to build knowledge societies for sustainable development.
Global Open Access Portal (GOAP): http://www.unesco.org/ci/goap
Performing Arts Digital Collections and Archives Now Available Through ECLAP
Nobel Laureate Dario Fo and Franca Rame were the special guests at an international event presented by the ECLAP project and held in Rome on 20 October 2011, organised by Centro Teatro Ateneo of Sapienza, University of Rome, with the collaboration of University of Florence, Compagnia Teatrale Fo-Rame, Fondazione Rinascimento Digitale, and the Italian Ministry of Cultural Heritage. Fo & Rame presented their archive, which features unique videos, images and texts representing more than 50 years of activity of the Dario Fo and Franca Rame theatre company. The remarkable holdings of the archive are being made available for the first time, thanks to the ECLAP e-library for performing arts.
ECLAP, the European Collected Library of Artistic Performance, is the new online archive for all performing arts in Europe, funded by the European Commission. For the first time, the collections of the most important European performing arts institutions and archives are available online through the ECLAP Portal, as well as through Europeana, the European digital library. ECLAP also provides innovative and unique solutions and tools to help performing arts institutions manage and make their collections accessible.
ECLAP contributes to Europeana with its collected performing arts records-videos, photographs, manuscripts, sketches and so on. ECLAP offers users and content providers easy-to-use, multilingual tools to upload, search, play, annotate, enrich and contextualise content. The portal's extensive functionalities allow users to create discussion groups, to network, to rate and share content.
ECLAP is also a Best Practice Network, making use of advanced database, delivery and IPR tools for the dissemination of the rich multilingual European heritage. The overall aims are to promote European culture and to improve learning and research in the field of performing arts.
ECLAP brings together for the first time a plethora of important performing arts records from major cultural institutions across Europe. Users can access this unique resource from a unified European portal, via mobile devices if they so wish. ECLAP was created for performing arts students, teachers, researchers, practitioners, performing arts lovers, and artists in general.
ECLAP web site: http://bpnet.eclap.eu/drupal/
2011 State of the Blogosphere Unveiled
Technorati's 2011 State of the Blogosphere and Social Media report is available on Technorati.com and was presented in November at BlogWorld and New Media Expo by Shani Higgins, CEO of Technorati Media at 11.15a.m. PDT. Since 2004, Technorati's study has been the definitive and most cited source on the pulse of new media, chronicling the evolution and maturation of this explosive industry.
Taking a deep dive into the entire blogosphere-with a focus on best practices for brands and bloggers working together-Higgins shared in today's presentation findings on convergence of blogging and other social media, consumers' trust and attitudes toward blogs and other media and, for the first time, brands' opinions and strategies for social media.
``Every year, thousands of bloggers and consumers help us deliver the most comprehensive report about the blogosphere'' says Higgins. ``By adding senior level agency and brand marketers, we are getting a 360 degree view of the brand, social media and consumer ecosystem.''
Highlighted findings in the report unveiled today include:
The leading influence on bloggers (68 per cent) is other bloggers.
2/3 of bloggers blog about brands, however brands are receiving mixed reviews.
18 per cent of independent bloggers report income from their blogs.
86 per cent of bloggers are now compliant with FCC regulations about disclosing what posts are sponsored or paid.
The report is available at: http://technorati.com/state-of-the-blogosphere/