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New & Noteworthy
Article Type: New & Noteworthy From: Library Hi Tech News, Volume 29, Issue 4
LYRASIS to serve as base for ArchivesSpace
ArchivesSpace project partners have announced that LYRASIS, the largest regional membership organization for libraries and information professionals in the USA, will serve as the organizational home for the ArchivesSpace open source archives management system. Supported by The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, the ArchivesSpace project is focused on developing the next generation archives management system, including a sustainable governance and support structure. Leading this effort are the libraries of New York University, the University of California San Diego and the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, working in close collaboration with the archives community.
The identification of LYRASIS as the organizational home for ArchivesSpace is an important step toward ensuring a sustainable future for the financial, technical and governance life of the ArchivesSpace system. In turn, it ensures continuity for the hundreds of archives that now depend on the Archivists Toolkit or the Archon systems to support the management of and access to archives. Engaging the ArchivesSpace user community in a new membership and governance structure will be the central factor in sustaining a vibrant software tool. LYRASIS’ demonstrated ability to foster collaboration among its member libraries and other archival institutions positions it well to support this activity. Development of the ArchivesSpace software system is slated to commence in summer 2012, with release by the end of 2013.
More information about the ArchivesSpace project: www.archivesspace.org
The World Bank announces Open Access Policy for research and knowledge, launches Open Knowledge Repository
The World Bank has announced that it will implement a new Open Access Policy for its research outputs and knowledge products, effective July 1, 2012. The new policy builds on recent efforts to increase access to information at the World Bank and to make its research as widely available as possible. As the first phase of this policy, the bank launched today a new Open Knowledge Repository and adopted a set of Creative Commons copyright licenses.
The new Open Access Policy, which will be rolled out in phases in the coming year, formalizes the bank’s practice of making research and knowledge freely available online. Now anybody is free to use, reuse and redistribute most of the bank’s knowledge products and research outputs for commercial or non-commercial purposes.
The policy will also apply to bank research published with third party publishers including the institution’s two journals – World Bank Research Observer (WBRO) and World Bank Economic Review (WBER) – which are published by Oxford University Press, but in accordance with the terms of third party publisher agreements. The bank will respect publishing embargoes, but expects the amount of time it takes for externally published bank content to be included in its institutional repository to diminish over time.
In support of the new Open Access Policy, the World Bank is adopting a Creative Commons Attribution (CC BY) copyright license for content published by the bank, the most accommodating of all licenses offered by Creative Commons. It allows anyone to distribute, reuse and build upon the bank’s published work, even commercially, as long as the bank is given credit for the original creation. The CC BY license helps the bank to maximize its impact while simultaneously protecting the bank’s reputation and the integrity of its content.
The World Bank content published by third party publishers will be available in the Open Knowledge Repository under a more restrictive Creative Commons license.
While much of the bank’s research outputs and knowledge products have been available for free on the institution’s web site, and on other channels, the new Open Access Policy marks a significant shift in how bank content is disseminated and shared. For the first time, the bank will have an aggregated portal to research and knowledge products, where the metadata is curated, the content is discoverable and easily downloaded, and third parties are free to use, reuse and build on it.
“Allowing unfettered access to the Bank’s trove of development knowledge is commendable”, said Cathy Casserly, CEO of Creative Commons. “For researchers, it increases the visibility, usage, and impact of their work. For users, it allows for the discovery of knowledge and encourages the open interchange of ideas”.
The Open Knowledge Repository, the centerpiece of the policy, is the new home for all of the World Bank’s research outputs and knowledge products. The repository – available at: openknowledge.worldbank.org – currently contains works from 2009 to 2012 (more than 2,100 books and papers) across a wide range of topics and all regions of the world. This includes the World Development Report, and other annual flagship publications, academic books, practitioner volumes and the bank’s publicly disclosed country studies and analytical reports. The repository also contains journal articles from 2007 to 2010 from the two World Bank journals WBRO and WBER.
The repository will be updated regularly with new publications and research products, as well as with content published prior to 2009. Starting in 2013, the repository will also provide links to datasets associated with research. While the vast majority of the works are published in English, over time translated editions will also be added.
The Open Knowledge Repository is interoperable with other repositories and will support optimal discoverability and re-usability of the content by complying with Dublin Core metadata standards and the Open Archives Initiatives Protocol for Metadata Harvesting.
“This new policy is a natural extension of our other efforts to make the Bank more open, including the Open Data Initiative and the landmark Access to Information Policy”, said Caroline Anstey, The World Bank Managing Director:
Anyone with Internet access will have much greater access to the World Bank’s knowledge. And for those without internet access, there is now unlimited potential for intermediaries to reuse and repurpose our content for new languages, platforms and media, further democratizing development by getting information into the hands of all those who may benefit from it.
The Open Knowledge Repository is freely available at web site: https://openknowledge.worldbank.org/
More information about Creative Commons: http://creativecommons.org/
OpenStax College offers free textbooks, powered by Connexions
OpenStax College is a nonprofit organization committed to improving student access to quality learning materials. OpenStax College’s free textbooks are developed and peer-reviewed by educators to ensure they are readable, accurate and meet the scope and sequence requirements of your course. Through partnerships with companies and foundations committed to reducing costs for students, OpenStax College is working to improve access to higher education for all. OpenStax College is an initiative of Rice University and Connexions and is made possible through the generous support of several philanthropic foundations.
Connexions is the software that serves as OpenStax College’s publishing infrastructure. Since 1999, Connexions has been pioneering a global system where anyone can create course materials and make them fully accessible and easily reusable free of charge. Connexions is a web-based authoring, teaching and learning environment open to anyone interested in education, including students, teachers, professors and lifelong learners. Connexions allows authors and students to connect ideas while facilitating educational communities.
Connexions is a dynamic digital educational ecosystem consisting of an educational content repository and a content management system optimized for the delivery of educational content. Connexions is one of the most popular open education sites in the world. Its more than 17,000 learning objects or modules in its repository and over 1,000 collections (textbooks, journal articles, etc.) are used by over two million people per month. Its content services the educational needs of learners of all ages, in nearly every discipline, from math and science to history and English to psychology and sociology. Connexions delivers content for free over the internet for schools, educators, students and parents to access 24/7/365. Materials are easily downloadable to almost any mobile device for use anywhere, anytime. Schools can also order low cost hard copy sets of the materials (textbooks).
Connexions’ modular, interactive courses are in use worldwide by universities, community colleges, K-12 schools and distance learners. Connexions materials are in many languages, including English, Spanish, Chinese, Japanese, Italian, Vietnamese, French, Portuguese and Thai. Connexions is part of an exciting new information distribution system that allows for print-on-demand books. Connexions has partnered with innovative on-demand publishers to accelerate the delivery of printed course materials and textbooks into classrooms worldwide at lower prices than traditional academic publishers.
Connexions has received many awards over the past 12 years including: 2011 WISE Award, 2010 IEEE Signal Processing Society Education Award, 2009 World Technology Award for Education, 2008 Internet Pioneer Award from the Berkman Center for Internet and Society at Harvard University, and the 2006 Tech Museum Award of Innovation.
OpenStax College: http://openstaxcollege.org/
The rise of e-reading: new survey by Pew Internet and American Life Project
One-fifth of American adults (21 percent) report that they have read an e-book in the past year, and this number increased following a gift-giving season that saw a spike in the ownership of both tablet computers and e-book reading devices such as the original Kindles and Nooks. In mid-December 2011, 17 percent of American adults had reported they read an e-book in the previous year; by February, 2012, the share increased to 21 percent.
Looking at e-content consumption more broadly, some 43 percent of Americans age 16 and older read long-form digital text such as e-books and magazines and many say they are reading more because books and other long-form material are in a digital format.
In addition, those who read e-books read more books than those who do not have the devices: the average reader of e-books says she has read 24 books (the mean number) in the past 12 months, compared with an average of 15 books by a non-e-book consumer. For device owners, those who own e-book readers also stand out. They say they have read an average of 24 books in the previous year (vs 16 books by those who do not own that device). They report having read a median of 12 books (vs seven books by those who do not own the device).
Read or download the full report: http://libraries.pewinternet.org/2012/04/04/the-rise-of-e-reading/
The shifting education landscape: networked learning
Lee Rainie, Director of the Pew Research Center’s Internet & American Life Project, spoke about the shifting education landscape of networked learning at the fourth Annual National Repository of Online Courses Network Member Meeting held on March 26-27, 2012. The theme of this year’s meeting was “Teaching with the power of digital media,” and the event was organized by the Monterey Institute for Technology and Education.
Slides from Director Rainie’s keynote, “The Shifting Education Landscape: Networked Learning”, are available at web site: http://pewinternet.org/Presentations/2012/Mar/NROC.aspx
New survey finds millennials will benefit and suffer due to “always-connected” lives
A recent Pew Internet/Elon University survey reveals experts’ hopes and fears about the hyperconnected generation, from their ability to juggle many tasks to their thirst for instant gratification and lack of patience. Teens and young adults brought up from childhood with a continuous connection to each other and to information will be nimble, quick-acting multitaskers who count on the internet as their external brain and who approach problems in a different way from their elders, according to a new survey of technology experts.
Many of the experts surveyed by Elon University’s Imagining the Internet Center and the Pew Internet Project said the effects of hyperconnectivity and the always-on lifestyles of young people will be mostly positive between now and 2020. But the experts in this survey also predicted this generation will exhibit a thirst for instant gratification and quick fixes, a loss of patience, and a lack of deep-thinking ability due to what one referred to as “fast-twitch wiring”.
These findings come from an opt-in, online survey of a diverse but non-random sample of 1,021 technology stakeholders and critics. They were asked to choose one of two provided scenarios and explain their choice.
About 55 percent agreed with the statement:
In 2020 the brains of multitasking teens and young adults are “wired” differently from those over age 35 and overall it yields helpful results. They do not suffer notable cognitive shortcomings as they multitask and cycle quickly through personal- and work-related tasks. Rather, they are learning more and they are adept at finding answers to deep questions, in part because they can search effectively and access collective intelligence via the Internet. In sum, the changes in learning behavior and cognition among the young generally produce positive outcomes.
About 42 percent agreed with the opposite statement, which posited:
In 2020, the brains of multitasking teens and young adults are “wired” differently from those over age 35 and overall it yields baleful results. They do not retain information; they spend most of their energy sharing short social messages, being entertained, and being distracted away from deep engagement with people and knowledge. They lack deep-thinking capabilities; they lack face-to-face social skills; they depend in unhealthy ways on the Internet and mobile devices to function. In sum, the changes in behavior and cognition among the young are generally negative outcomes.
While 55 percent agreed with the statement that the future for the hyperconnected will generally be positive, many who chose that view noted that it is more their hope than their firm prediction, and a number of people said the true outcome will be a combination of both scenarios. The research result here is really probably closer to a 50-50 outcome, noted Janna Anderson, co-author of a report on the findings.
Many noted that humans are experiencing a revolutionary era – with new communications tools changing the knowledge landscape all the time – and said young people are approaching life and its tasks and challenges in new ways, with good and bad results.
“While they said access to people and information is intensely improved in the mobile Internet age, they added that they are already witnessing deficiencies in younger people’s abilities to focus their attention, be patient and think deeply,” said Anderson, Director of Elon’s Imagining the Internet Center. “Some expressed concerns that trends are leading to a future in which most people are shallow consumers of information, and several mentioned Orwell’s 1984”.
Survey participants did offer strong, consistent predictions about the most-desired life skills for young people in 2020. Among those they listed are: public problem-solving through cooperative work (sometimes referred to as crowd-sourcing solutions); the ability to search effectively for information online and to be able to discern the quality and veracity of the information one finds and then communicate these findings well (referred to as digital literacy); synthesizing (being able to bring together details from many sources); being strategically future-minded; the ability to concentrate; and the ability to distinguish between the “noise” and the important messages in the ever-growing sea of information.
“There is a palpable concern among these experts that new social and economic divisions will emerge as those who are motivated and well-schooled reap rewards that are not matched by those who fail to master new media and tech literacies,” noted Lee Rainie, Director of the Pew Research Center’s Internet & American Life Project and a co-author of the study. “They called for reinvention of public education to teach those skills and help learners avoid some of the obvious pitfalls of a hyperconnected lifestyle”.
This is first report generated out of the results of a web-based survey that gathered opinions on eight internet issues from a select group of experts and the highly engaged internet public.
Details of the survey: www.elon.edu/e-web/predictions/expertsurveys/2012survey/future_generation_AO_2020.xhtml
NEH announces $17 million in awards and offers for 208 humanities projects
In March 2012 the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) announced $17 million in grants for 208 humanities projects. This funding will support a wide variety of projects ranging from an interactive collection of resources on the history of St Augustine, Florida, founded in 1565, to helping professors develop new courses on such topics as “What is free will?” The grants will also support fellowships for scholarly research, the development and staging of exhibitions, digital tools and the preservation of humanities collections and reference resources.
Among the grants announced are those that will support a traveling exhibition focusing on the events and impact of the American Revolution within colonial America’s Western frontier between the Appalachian Mountains and the Mississippi River, and an authorship attribution project that will use digital tools to compare the style of Abraham Lincoln’s later speeches and papers against anonymous newspaper articles sometimes attributed to Lincoln from early in his career.
Several projects receiving grants in this funding cycle will help preserve fragile historical and cultural collections and make them more accessible to the broader public, such as an effort by the New York City Municipal Archives to preserve and index approximately 51,500 New York District Attorney felony case files dating from 1916 to 1925.
NEH grants will also allow humanities scholars to pursue research on topics such as the influence of international dance performances in New York City between 1943 and 1960 on the development of American dance and choreography, and the “free produce” revolutionary-era boycott led by Quakers and abolitionists to protest slave-made goods as an early example of consumer activism.
“The grants announced today highlight the breadth of exceptional research supported by the National Endowment for the Humanities,” said NEH Chairman Jim Leach:
Whether it is supporting the scholars who comb through archives in search of long overlooked facts and perspectives, bringing compelling humanities exhibits and programming into communities across the country, or applying new technologies to enduring human questions, these projects will open up new ways of understanding our world and our past.
Institutions and independent scholars in 42 states and the District of Columbia will receive NEH support. Grants were awarded in the following categories:
America’s Historical and Cultural Organizations: Planning and Implementation Grants support projects that create new ways to excite, inform and stir thoughtful reflection upon culture, identity and history in creative and new ways.
America’s Media Makers: Development Grants enable media producers to collaborate with scholars to develop humanities content and to prepare programs for production.
America’s Media Makers: Production Grants support the preparation of a media program for distribution.
Digital Humanities Start-Up Grants encourage innovations in the digital humanities by supporting the planning stages of projects.
Enduring Questions Grants allow faculty members to develop a new undergraduate course that grapples with a fundamental question addressed by the humanities.
Fellowship Programs at Independent Research Institutions provide scholars with research time and success to resources that might not be available at their home institutions.
Humanities Collections and Reference Resources Grants allow institutions to preserve and provide access to collections essential to scholarship, education and public programming in the humanities.
NEH on the Road Grants help small sites defray the cost of hosting an NEH traveling exhibition.
Summer Stipends support full-time work by a scholar on a humanities project for a period of two months.
A list of the 22 new Digital Humanities Start-Up Grants is available at the NEH Office of Digital Humanities web site: www.neh.gov/divisions/odh/grant-news/announcing-22-new-start-grant-awards-march-2012
Complete state-by-state listings of grants: www.neh.gov/files/press-release/march2012statebystatefinal.pdf
American Library Association releases 2012 State of America’s Library Report
Publishers limiting library e-book lending, budget cuts and book challenges are just a few library trends of the past year that are placing free access to information in jeopardy. These trends as well as other are detailed in the 2012 State of America’s Libraries Report released today by the American Library Association (ALA) in conjunction with National Library Week (April 8-14).
The rapid growth of e-books has stimulated increasing demand for them in libraries, but libraries only have limited access to e-books because of restrictions placed on their use by publishers. Macmillan Publishing, Simon & Schuster and Hachette Book Group refused to sell e-books to libraries. HarperCollins imposed an arbitrary 26 loans per e-book license, and Penguin refused to let libraries lend its new titles altogether. When Random House raised e-book prices, the ALA urged it to reconsider. “In a time of extreme financial constraint, a major price increase effectively curtails access for many libraries, and especially our communities that are hardest hit economically,” Molly Raphael, ALA President, said in a statement.
The single-minded drive to reduce budget deficits continued to take its toll on essential services at all levels of society in 2011, with teachers and librarians sometimes seen as easy targets for layoffs. Even the federal Institute of Museum and Library Services suffered budget cuts, and the Library of Congress lost nearly 10 percent of its workforce.
School librarians faced especially draconian budgetary challenges in 2011. Cuts began at the federal level in May 2011, when the Department of Education eliminated fiscal 2011 funding for the Improving Literacy through School Libraries program, the only federal program solely for school libraries in the USA. The effects were soon felt at the state and local levels.
Academic librarians and their colleagues in higher education in the USA also continued to navigate a “new normal,” characterized by stagnating budgets, unsustainable costs, increased student enrollments and reduced staff.
Even during a period of budget battles, however, the library community, led by the ALA, stood firm against censorship. Internet-age versions of copyright and piracy issues shot to the forefront as 2011 turned into 2012, and the acronyms SOPA (the Stop Online Piracy Act) and PIPA (the PROTECT IP Act of 2011) became part of the vocabulary as the library and First Amendment communities took a strong stand against proponents of the legislation.
The State of America’s Libraries Report documents trends in library usage and details the impact of library budget cuts, technology use and the various other challenges facing US libraries.
The full report is available at web site: www.ala.org/news/mediapresscenter/americaslibraries/soal2012
Museums, libraries and public cultural institutions in an age of migrations
MeLa* – European Museums in an age of migrations – is a Research Project funded by the European Commission (FP7), which aims to delineate new approaches for museums in relation with the conditions posed by the migrations of people, cultures, ideas, information and knowledge in the global world. It aims moreover to evaluate how much these changes can interfere with the organization, communication strategies physical structures and the architecture of the exhibition places. Its main objectives are to advance knowledge in the field and to support museum communities, practitioners, experts and policymakers in developing new missions and forms of museums and libraries “an age of migrations”.
MeLa is an interdisciplinary four-year program aimed at reflecting on the role of museums and libraries, dealing with several complex and crucial issues such as history, socio-cultural and national identity, the use of new technologies and, last but not least, exhibition design and museography.
Adapting some well known concepts, like that of the “contact zone”, museums and libraries are being reconsidered in their historical forms and missions, addressed on the basis of new cultural productions and new connections. Consequently, their organizational structure becomes an issue of topical, historical, political and moral relations. In a manner which could be somehow utopian, museums and libraries could therefore be re-evaluated at the same time as public venues for collaboration shared control and complex translation, as places of power turned into places of cultural integration, places of complex hybrid multi-cultural representation of identity (different layers of identity), places of knowledge, places of conservation and places of meeting and mutual understanding on the free ground of cultural research, in every field of human knowledge.
The MeLa Project objectives thus focus on the possibility, on one hand, to study and deepen the above mentioned theoretical reflections, on the other hand to evaluate their operational effectiveness and applications on museum and library architecture, by investigating how all these new theories and changes have influenced the practice of curatorship, the design of exhibitions and the typology of museums.
The project intends to fulfill its objectives through the cooperation of nine European Partners, including different universities, two museums, one research institute and one small enterprise, which have all been chosen for their specific expertise and skills in the fields of the project. Each partner contributes to the research through different research tools and methods; some are more innovative, such as “Brainstorming” modules and “Research by Art”, while some others are more traditional, such as desk research and conferences.
At the end the Research Project is meant to produce some guidelines, which will be tested by a design application and collected in a handbook, aimed at supporting museum and library communities, practitioners, experts and policymakers in developing the mission and forms of museums and libraries in the “age of migrations”.
MeLa Research Field 03 team – Network of Museums, Libraries and Public Cultural Institutions – recently held a brainstorming event, a workshop on April 23, 2012 for MeLA consortium members and invited guests from the Research Field 03 expert group and other selected institutions. This event was an opportunity for the research team to network with scholars and experts across the topics of collaboration, cultural institutions, migration and European heritage, to take a look at questions outside its specific field of expertise and to develop its ideas further. The Research Field 03 expert group includes representatives from museums, libraries, foundations, associations and cultural policy.
The event program was in four sessions:
Narratives for Europe: Katherine Watson (Director of European Cultural Foundation), Dr Sreten Ugricic (Writer, Philosopher, former Director of the National Library of Serbia) – followed by Q&A and discussion.
European cultural and scientific heritage: Dr Bernhard Serexhe (Chief Curator of ZKM Media Museum), Giulia Grechi (University of Naples) – followed by Q&A and discussion.
Migration and mobility: Professor Rebecca Kay and Professor Alison Phipps (University of Glasgow and Glasgow Refugee Asylum and Migration Network), Dr Ellen MacAdam (Head of Museums, Glagsow Life), Sergio Dogliani (Idea Store) – followed by Q&A and discussion.
Collaboration models: Perla Innocenti (Research Fellow, University of Glasgow), Antonio Perna (Director, Sudlab) – followed by Q&A and discussion.
Presentation materials will be published online after the workshop. More information is available at the Brainstorming – RF03 webpage: http://wp3.mela-project.eu/wp/pages/research-field-03-brainstorming
MeLa European Museums in an age of migrations: www.mela-project.eu/
Newly published report highlights 2011 work, engagements of OCLC Research
The mission of OCLC Research is to expand knowledge that advances OCLC’s public purposes of furthering access to the world’s information and reducing library costs. OCLC Research is one of the world’s leading centers devoted exclusively to this type of work. Since 1978, we have carried out research and made technological advances that enhance the value of library services and improve the productivity of librarians and library users.
To meet these goals, OCLC Research is organized around three roles:
to act as a community resource for shared Research and Development (R&D);
to provide advanced development and technical support within OCLC itself; and
to enhance OCLC’s engagement with members and to mobilize the community around shared concerns.
The OCLC Research: 2011 Activity Report pulls together our 2011 work in these three areas.
“We are pleased to provide this activity report to those interested in the work of OCLC Research. It provides highlights of our work, focusing on 2011. The purpose is to dive more deeply into our work, to provide a flavor of important themes and to point to sources of further information,” said Lorcan Dempsey, Vice President, Research and Chief Strategist, in the preface to the report.
OCLC Research: 2011 Activity Report: www.oclc.org/research/publications/library/2012/2011activityreport-overview.htm
Download the report at: www.oclc.org/research/publications/library/2012/2011activityreport.pdf
Library Publishing Services: Strategies for Success from SPARC
SPARC®, the Scholarly Publishing and Academic Resources Coalition, is an international alliance of academic and research libraries working to correct imbalances in the scholarly publishing system. Developed by the Association of Research Libraries, SPARC has become a catalyst for change. Its pragmatic focus is to stimulate the emergence of new scholarly communication models that expand the dissemination of scholarly research and reduce financial pressures on libraries. Action by SPARC in collaboration with stakeholders – including authors, publishers and libraries – builds on the unprecedented opportunities created by the networked digital environment to advance the conduct of scholarship.
A new report from SPARC – Library Publishing Services: Strategies for Success: Final Research Report (March 2012) – presents the findings of a project which investigated the extent to which publishing has now become a core activity of North American academic libraries and suggested ways in which further capacity could be built. The research described (consisting of a survey, some case studies, three workshops and a set of further reading recommendations) was mainly conducted between October 1, 2010, and September 30, 2011.
Based on the needs identified by the survey and the case studies, and discussed during the workshops, the project has identified a set of recommendations. These recommendations include:
Develop best practices for library publishing:
develop meaningful impact metrics for library publishing services – to demonstrate the effectiveness and value of library-based publishing programs and inform resource allocations;
establish editorial quality and performance criteria – to increase the value and longevity of the publications that library programs support;
promote sustainability best practices – to improve the long-term strength and stability of library publishing programs; and
develop return-on-investment justifications for funding library publishing programs – to support increased library budget allocations in support of such programs.
Collaborate to create community-based resources:
create a shared repository of policies, tools and templates – to improve and accelerate adherence to best practices and encourage community sharing and participation;
develop centrally hosted software solutions for publishing platforms – to facilitate cost sharing and support robust system functionality and capacity;
share service models and revenue approaches – to increase library publishing program funding options and facilitate the efficient implementation of successful programs; and
promote collaborations and partnerships – to leverage resources within campuses, across institutions, and between university presses, scholarly societies and other partners.
Formalize skills and training:
create formal and informal training venues – to provide training and community-building resources, including virtual online conferences and seminars;
articulate the particular value delivered by library publishing programs – to define the role played by library publishing and position such programs with authors/editors, university administrators, funders and others; and
establish dedicated library publishing positions – to provide program champions and improve program continuity and success.
Library Publishing Services: Strategies for Success: http://wp.sparc.arl.org/lps/
Assessing the impact of digitised resources – Arcadia Funded Research
The Arcadia Fund has given a grant of $143,000 to Simon Tanner of King’s Digital Consultancy Service (KDCS) to construct a synthesis of methodologies and techniques and resolve these into a cohesive and achievable methodology for impact assessment of digitised resources and collections. Tanner is the Director of KDCS, which is based within the Centre for Computing in the Humanities at King’s College London. Arcadia’s key mission is to protect endangered culture and nature, including near-extinct languages, rare historical archives and museum quality artifacts.
The results of this study will be made available through the KDCS and the Arcadia Fund’s web sites via Open Access.
It has recently become clear from a number of discussions with funders and educational organizations in the UK and elsewhere that there is a need to measure and elucidate the impact of digitised resources and collections more accurately. The recent research of Simon Tanner and Marilyn Deegan into the value and impact of digitised collections has shown that there is a lack of adequate means to assess impact in this sector and thus a lack of significant evidence beyond the anecdotal.
Previous efforts have either been limited to number-crunching visitor numbers without much segmentation and analysis, or the use of anecdotal or survey evidence to try to find out about value and benefits. We remain in a situation where the creative, cultural and academic sectors are not able to demonstrate from a strong enough evidence base that they are changing lives or having a positive impact with regard to digitised content in the way that other sectors have found it possible to do for their services or products.
In short, we need better evidence of impact. How has the digital resource delivered a positive change in a defined group of people’s lives? The kinds of changes to be measured are diverse, and are likely to be in the following areas: economic, social, educational, cultural, health, political and environmental, etc.
One problem is that many of the studies of the impact of digitized resources attempt to measure change over a short period of time (sometimes even as short as one year), and have no baseline metrics against which to assess what may have changed.
For the purposes of this study, it will be necessary to look at a range of organizations in other areas of activity to see how they establish this baseline and how they measure change and impact. In order to garner some longitudinal information, one approach we may take is to work with a small number of successful long-running digitisation initiatives (JSTOR and Ithaka, Yale/Cornell/Harvard, British Library) and test these methods and metrics against them.
One vitally important consideration is the sustainability of digitized resources. One of the key reasons that it has been hard to measure impact is that many digital resources have not been supported for very long after the initial development period (and therefore the funding) has ended, and they have not been followed up over time. Initiatives like the Strategic Content Alliance, JISC’s common infrastructure platform, etc. are addressing this, and we will need to work closely with these initiatives.
The researchers propose to produce a methodology and plan to better enable evidence gathering and results presentation for impact assessment of digitised collections or resources.
Whilst not seeking a pancea to resolve all the questions addressed by the Ithaka analysis, for instance, it will however seek to produce concrete and quantitative metrics and analysis, when what we have at present is mainly a series of anecdotal evidences.
We will commence with desk research into a range of organizations, public, private, commercial, educational, governmental, non-governmental, charities, etc. and will identify methods, studies, organizations and individuals with robust practices, methodologies and guidelines in impact assessment. We will also research the work being done on the preservation and sustainability of digitized resources by a number of agencies worldwide.
We will then gather together all the best qualified experts worldwide who specialise in impact assessment to garner their expertise. Together we will construct a synthesis of methodologies and techniques and resolve these into a cohesive and achievable methodology for impact assessment of digitised resources and collections.
We will test the methodology and its robustness by feasibility testing against two projects to provide case studies demonstrating the applicability of the methodology.
An applicable methodology for impact assessment of digitised resources.
Two case studies which act as demonstrators of feasibility.
A plan for how such an assessment could be carried out across the sector to provide the evidence base required to justify further investment in digitisation. This may form a second tranche of funding.
A proposal for how Arcadia and other similar funders could integrate the methodology for impact assessment into their funding process such that future projects engage in a sustainable fashion with the need to assess impact accurately.
Assessing the impact of digitised resources: www.kdcs.kcl.ac.uk/innovation/impact.html
Second white paper on orphan works – Berkeley Digital Library Copyright project
The Berkeley Digital Library Copyright Project has released its second white paper, titled “Orphan works: mapping the possible solution spaces”. The paper is the second in a series leading up to the Berkeley Law symposium “Orphan Works and Mass Digitization: Obstacles and Opportunities,” held on April 12-13, 2012 in Berkeley, CA.
This paper surveys a range of proposed orphan works solutions. The goal is to acquaint the reader with the wide variety of solution types, and to identify the positive and negative aspects of each. The paper discusses four general categories of proposed solutions to the orphan works problem: remedy-limitation approaches, such as the one advocated in the 2006 US Copyright office proposal, that are predicated on a user’s good-faith, reasonable search for rights holders; administrative systems, such as the one adopted in Canada, that allow users to petition a centralized copyright board to license specific reuses of orphan works; access and reuse solutions that are tailored to rely upon the existing doctrine of fair use; and extended collective licensing schemes, which permit collective management organizations (“CMOs”) to license the use of works that are not necessarily owned by CMO members, but that are representative of the CMO members’ works. The project welcomes feedback on the white paper.
“Orphan works: mapping the possible solution spaces”: http://ssrn.com/abstract=2019121
More about the Berkeley Digital Library Copyright Project: www.law.berkeley.edu/12040.htm
Ahead of the Curv: March issue of DigCurV newsletter published
DigCurV (Digital Curator Vocational Education Europe Project) is a project funded by the European Commission’s Leonardo da Vinci program to establish a curriculum framework for vocational training in digital curation. DigCurV brings together organizations from Europe, Canada and the USA with a strong track record of international work in the field of digital libraries and digital preservation.
A Market and Trend Analysis Report completed by DigitalPreservationEurope shows that digital preservation is becoming one of the main strategic priorities for institutions – they are increasingly aware that digital resources are fragile and that they are at risk. DigCurV will address the availability of vocational training for digital curators in the library, archive, museum and cultural heritage sectors needed to develop new skills that are essential for the long-term management of digital collections.
One of the first outcomes of the project has been the launch of a new registry of training opportunities. DigCurV has also produced an evaluation framework to assist people in selecting relevant training and to aid course design; this year we will build on the framework to develop a curriculum that will promote and develop new training in digital curation.
In this issue of the newsletter you will learn about CURATE: The Digital Curator Game, and how it is available for use by network members. The “Game of the Digital Curation Lifecycle” was introduced at the Digital Strategies for Heritage Conference 2011 as a novel way to explore with curators their changing roles due to the need to create, manage and curate digital objects. The game format provides a vehicle for individuals to distance themselves from their everyday issues by providing hypothetical digital project scenarios. The “Game of the Digital Curation Lifecycle” was created as a board game, with players advancing around the board to the next stage of the digital curation lifecycle each time they successfully make their way past the Start box. The winner of the game is the first person to reach the final stage, or “manage” of the digital curation lifecycle.
Following the trial of “The Game of the Digital Curation Lifecycle”, DigCurV received positive feedback from players and many inquired as to whether it would be possible to reuse – and translate the game into other languages – in future workshops and training events. Using the DISH workshop as a user-test, DigCurV partners reviewed the game, implementing small changes to ensure smooth play. The name has been revised to, “CURATE: The Digital Curator Game” in order to emphasize the focus on development of the digital curator rather than on the digital curation lifecycle. CURATE is available for download and reuse by DigCurV network members.
Registry of training opportunities: www.digcur-education.org/eng/Training-opportunities
Evaluation framework: www.digcur-education.org/eng/Resources/D2.1.2-Evaluation-Framework
CURATE game: www.digcur-education.org/eng/Resources/CURATE-Game
NISO publishes revised recommended practice for RFID in US libraries
The National Information Standards Organization has announced the availability of “RFID in US Libraries” (NISO RP-6-2012), a revision of the 2008 Recommended Practice that provides a set of practices and procedures to ensure interoperability among US RFID implementations in libraries. By following these recommendations, libraries can ensure that an RFID tag in one library can be used seamlessly by another, assuming both comply, even if they have different suppliers for tags, hardware and software.
Since the publication of the original Recommended Practice, the International Organization for Standardization (ISO) published in 2011 a three-part international standard on “RFID in Libraries” (ISO 28560) defining the data model and the encoding of data on RFID tags for item management in libraries. The revised NISO Recommended Practice has been updated to reflect changes in technology and security and privacy measures, and to serve as a US profile for the ISO standard.
“The international standard offers two different encoding options and many optional data elements, so it is critical that US implementers adopt a common approach for implementing the ISO standard,” explains Paul Sevcik, Lead Product Development Specialist at 3M Library Systems and co-chair of the NISO RFID Revision Working Group:
RFID in US Libraries recommends a common subset of the data elements to be placed on library tags in the US, as well as selecting the preferred encoding and formatting of that data.
“Adoption of this Recommended Practice will ensure that US libraries can procure tags and equipment from different vendors, merge collections containing different manufacturers’ tags, and, for the purposes of interlibrary loan, read the tags on items belonging to other libraries,” states Vinod Chachra, CEO of VTLS, Inc. and co-chair of the NISO RFID Revision Working Group. “Standardization will allow the RFID tag to be used in the entire lifecycle of physical library materials, including the upstream processes of acquisition and distribution”.
“This revision included input from RFID hardware manufacturers, solution providers, content distributors, and libraries,” said Todd Carpenter, NISO Managing Director. “Libraries that have been holding back on implementation now have the standard approach they need to protect their investments in RFID”.
Libraries, publishers, distributors, system providers and tag manufacturers are all encouraged to review and adopt the recommendations. The Recommended Practice is available for free download from the NISO web site at: www.niso.org/workrooms/rfid/
PCC Acceptable Headings Implementation TG offers RDA proposals for review
The PCC Acceptable Headings Implementation Task Group has prepared for comment a series of documents describing various aspects of the preparation of the LC/NACO Authority File for use under RDA. These documents replace, and greatly expand on, a set of documents made available earlier this year. The documents are available for download from this page: http://files.library.northwestern.edu/public/pccahitg/index.html
As before, there is a general document (“Phased implementation of RDA”) that outlines the procedure that the task group currently assumes will be followed. This is followed by a separate document for each kind of change to be made or other category of work to be performed. All parties interested in the use of the LC/NACO Authority File under RDA are urgently requested to read all of these documents closely, and to pelt the task group with questions and suggestions. Comments on these documents were sought by the deadline of April 15, 2012.
The task group would like to draw special attention to the document that describes the creation of 046 fields from subfield $d in personal name headings. To help everyone understand and comment on this procedure, the document is accompanied by a ZIP file that contains the results of a test program; the ZIP file also contains a document that describes how these results were obtained and how to go about evaluating them.
Comments on all of these documents will be gratefully received by the task group from all comers. Now that the date for Day 1 (March 31, 2013) has been set, the task group needs soon to set about establishing a more firm schedule for the various phases of this work, and concerning itself with other logical matters. As the task group goes about its business, the documents at the download site will be revised to reflect the group’s current understanding.
The final document available from the download page describes a service that the task group is making available, to allow anyone to preview the effect of the RDA migration on one or more authority records. This document describes how you can send an e-mail message with 010s for one or more authority records you would like to preview, and receive a message back for each record showing how the migration will affect that record.
Since the beginning of the year, the task group has received suggestions for several new operations that ought to be, or could well be, performed during the preparation of the LC/NACO Authority File for use under RDA. These have all been incorporated into the current plan.
The task group would like to extend its most sincere thanks to all those who helped with the review of subfield $c texts for personal names. The task group is still reviewing the responses; when this review is finished, the document at the download site dealing with subfield $c will be revised.
You can send messages regarding any aspect of the RDA conversion of the LC/NACO Authority File to the task group’s chair (Gary L. Strawn; email@example.com) or to any member of the task group. The task group members are listed at the end of the group’s charge, which is available from the group’s web site.
Acceptable Headings Implementation TG: http://files.library.northwestern.edu/public/pccahitg/
Phased implementation of RDA (document): http://files.library.northwestern.edu/public/pccahitg/RDA_conversion.Phases.doc
Alternate implementation schemes (document): http://files.library.northwestern.edu/public/pccahitg/RDA_conversion.AlternateScenarios.doc