ISSN: 1060-2356 - http://sunsite.berkeley.edu/CurrentCites/2004/cc04.15.5.html
Contributors: Charles W. Bailey, Jr., Terry Huwe, Shirl Kennedy, Leo Robert Klein, Roy Tennant
Metadata Practices on the Cutting Edge Washington, DC: National Information Standards Organization, 10 May 2004. (http://www.niso.org/news/events_workshops/MD-2004_agenda.html). - The PowerPoint presentations from this one-day workshop on emerging metadata practices are available at this web site. Topics include metadata quality, interoperability, linking metadata, metadata for image collections, RSS, MODS, METS, and MPEG-21. Contributors include representatives from OCLC, CrossRef, the Library of Congress, universities and the private sector. Given the wide range of presentations, if you're interested in metadata you can likely find something of interest here, but no single topic is explored in much depth, and you are sometimes left wondering what the speaker said about a particular slide if there are no accompanying notes. - RT
Christiansen, Lars, Mindy Stombler, and Lyn Thaxton. "A Report on Librarian-Faculty Relations from a Sociological Perspective " Journal of Academic Librarianship 30(2) (March 2004): 116-121. (http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/B6W50-4BP9R8V-1/2/c8ce5b45547451e8e5cbea5cb70e5927). - Results from a literature review and survey focusing on librarian-faculty relations. The study reveals a tale of unrequited love, so to speak, with much interest in faculty by librarians but "little or no concern" coming from the other direction. - LRK
Fallows, James. "The Twilight of the Information Middlemen" The New York Times (16 May 2004) (http://www.nytimes.com/2004/05/16/business/yourmoney/16tech.html). - "Information is both invaluable and impossible to value," declares James Fallows, in this engaging essay about how "the Internet's most fascinating impact has been on those who have decided not to charge for their work." Many publishers realize the value of giving away content for free -- there is the possibility of attracting additional paying subscribers and also, those who freeload can be included in circulation figures, making the publication that much more attractive to advertisers. Fallows indentifies "two information sources that make us collectively richer and exist only because of fairly recent changes in the Internet" -- blogs and taxpayer-funded data. Blogs, he fully realizes, run the gamut from "a nightmare vision of a publishing house's 'slush pile' come to life" to "an intensified version of insider journalism." And "taxpayer money," he points out, "is still behind a surprising amount of crucial data: nearly all weather observations and the supercomputer-based models that create forecasts; most basic scientific research; most research into disease causes and cures." As a specific example, he mentions Dr. Harold Varmus, who as head of the National Institutes of Health, spearheaded the creation of PubMed Central "as a publicly accessible repository of medical research articles." And he notes such conflicts of interest that result, for example, in commercial weather data providers lobbying Congress to restrict what the National Weather Service puts out for free on its Internet sites. - SK
Hane, Paula. "Science.gov 2.0 Launches with New Relevance Ranking Technology" Information Today NewsBreaks (24 May 2004) (http://www.infotoday.com/newsbreaks/nb040524-1.shtml). - Science.gov, originally launched in December 2002, calls itself "a gateway to information resources at the U.S. government science agencies." It offers links to authoritative science websites and databases of technical reports, conference proceedings, etc. A new iteration, Science.gov 2.0, was launched this month and, according to Paula Hane, it offers "additional content, technological enhancements, and a newly-developed relevancy ranking technology that helps patrons get to the best documents quickly." You can now access 30 science-oriented databases, up from 10 via the original Science.gov, and 1,700 websites, for a total of 47 million web pages. When you search, your results are "presented in relevancy ranked order," thanks to QuickRank technology developed by Deep Web Technologies. Hane goes on to describe how this works, and pinpoints a particular weakness: "QuickRank filtering is based on placement of key words: if a keyword is not in a prime location in the document, it's likely the result won't be ranked." Gary Price, editor of the ResourceShelf points out another weakness, that "...direct links to citations found via this metasearch tool are not available. This could cause problems in trying to get back to a citation or including it in a bibliography." Science.gov 3.0, due out in another year, will include more sophisticated relevancy ranking, better Boolean capabilities, field searching options and an alert service. - SK
Mackie, Morag. "Filling Institutional Repositories: Practical Strategies from the DAEDALUS Project" Ariadne (39) (2004) (http://www.ariadne.ac.uk/issue39/mackie/). - Filling an institutional repository with scholarly articles can be a tough job. This article discusses a variety of innovative strategies used by the DAEDALUS Project at the University of Glasgow to encourage faculty to contribute articles and to support the effort to do so. Initially, the project built support by giving presentations, offering a conference on open access, and including key faculty members on an advisory board. When this did not result in the desired contribution levels, project staff focused on contacting faculty who had personal publication Web sites or who had published articles in either open access journals or journals that clearly permitted archiving. Inevitably, it was unclear whether a subset of articles that faculty wanted to contribute could be legally stored, and project staff needed to contact publishers for clarification in these cases. Unfortunately, the project has been given "significant amounts of content that cannot be added because of restrictive publisher copyright agreements." - CB
Miller, Dick R.. "XOBIS -- An Experimental Schema for Unifying Bibliographic and Authority Records" Cataloging & Classification Quarterly (forthcoming) (http://elane.stanford.edu/laneauth/XOBIS_CCQ/XOBIS_CCQ.html). - This preprint of an article destined for Cataloging & Classification Quarterly discusses an experimental XML schema for encoding bibliographic and authority data elements called the XML Organic Bibliographic Information Schema (XOBIS). More information is avaiable on the XOBIS web site. This paper is based on an August 2003 presentation to the International Federation of Library Associations and Institutions (IFLA) Functional Requirements for Bibliographic Records (FRBR) Working Group in Berlin. Whether XOBIS itself ever goes anywhere or not, the concepts laid out by this proposal can inform and inspire us to consider the possibilities of a post-MARC world. - RT
Press, Larry. "The Internet in Developing Nations: Grand Challenges" First Monday 9(4) (5 April 2004) (http://www.firstmonday.org/issues/issue9_4/press/index.html). - While the title of this article may seem more grandiose than grand, Press makes a compelling case for wiring the rural regions of the world. He argues that a model for effective deployment already exists, simply by following the strategies of NSFNet as it enabled American universities to connect to the Internet. Of course, it's not that simple; people everywhere would need to "buy in", and cultural perceptions and cross cultural communication remain hurdles at a fundamental level. Most importantly, Press argues, the maintenance of newly networked ports in remote regions must necessarily lie in the hands of the village leaders, not a distant oversight agency. This is a timely article insofar as it illustrates how satellite technologies, wireless networks, and portable energy systems (such as solar technology) can combine to help remote regions and tribal societies "leapfrog" to the network era. What remains is the challenge of securing a long-term commitment to investing funds globally in support of rural networking. - TH
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