Current Cites

Volume 15, no. 6, June 2004

Edited by Roy Tennant

ISSN: 1060-2356 - http://sunsite.berkeley.edu/CurrentCites/2004/cc04.15.6.html

Contributors: Charles W. Bailey, Jr., Shirl Kennedy, Roy Tennant

"Top 10 eBooks Library Patrons Are ReadingOverDrive.com   (23 June 2004) (http://www.overdrive.com/news/pr/06232004.asp). - At the top of the list of ebooks borrowed from public libraries during the first half of 2004? Michael Moore's Dude, Where's My Country. Suspense author James Patterson has two titles in the top ten; among the how-to books which made the list are a low-carb cookbook and a guide to tech resumes. According to OverDrive.com -- which is involved in "digital publishing and eBook technologies, and Internet solutions for digital asset management and eCommerce" -- library patrons and studen ts tend to prefer ebooks in PDF format. - SK

Council on Library and Information Resources. Access in the Future Tense   Washington, DC: Council on Library and Information Resources, April 2004. (http://www.clir.org/pubs/abstract/pub126abst.html). - The Council on Library and Information Resources (CLIR) hosted a conference in May 2003 to "examine key factors shaping the information environment in which libraries operate and how these factors will affect stewardship of the cultural and intell ectual resources vital to education and research." This volume consists of papers commissioned from four experts to address key features of the changing landscape, along with a brief overview at the beginning and a concluding essay. Contributors incl ude Abby Smith, Daniel Greenstein, Anne R. Kenney, Bill Ivey, and Brian Lavoie. - RT

Entlich, Richard.  "Flash in the Pan or Around for the Long Haul? Assessing Macromedia's Flash TechnologyRLG DigiNews   8(3) (15 June 2004) (http://www.rlg.org/en/page.php?Page_ID=17661#article3). - Those who create web sites who wish to provide advanced multimedia capabilities frequently use Macromedia's Flash technology to provide such funtionality. This informative and interesting piece reviews issues relating to its usability, access, and pres ervation. The format is also compared to Scalable Vector Graphics (SVG), the closest open standard competitor to the mostly proprietary Flash technology. Readers wishing for advice on a clear victor will be disappointed, however, since the issues are many and complex, with mitigating factors on both sides of the issue. Highly recommended for anyone wishing to create highly interactive web sites, or those wishing to archive same. - RT

Hillmann, Diane I., and Elaine L.  Westbrooks. Metadata in Practice    Chicago, IL: American Library Association, 2004. - This volume is a set of reports from the field on how metadata is being used today in libraries. Written by leaders in the field about their mostly cutting-edge experiences with metadata in creating new services or enhancing existing ones, this is a b ook not to be missed by almost any library professional. And if you're a cataloging librarian, run -- don't walk. After all, like it or not, your future lies in retooling your skills to encompass much more than MARC, which the editors of this book epitomi ze. - RT

McLean, Neal, and Clifford  Lynch. Interoperability between Library Information Services and Learning Environments -- Bridging the Gaps   Burlington, MA: IMS Global Learning Consortium and the Coalition for Networked Information, 10 May 2004. (http://www.imsglobal.org/digitalrepositories/CNIandIMS_2004.pdf). - The introduction to this paper states its primary purpose "is to explore potential interactions between information environments and learning environments, with emphasis on work that needs to be done involving standards, architectural modelling or interfaces (as opposed to cultural, organizational or practice questions) in order to permit these two worlds to co-exist and co-evolve more productively." This is biting off the easier portion to chew, as the report itself acknowledges, since the toughest problems typically are the social/political ones, not the technical. So although this paper is an excellent start, we a lso need a strong and sustained effort to work together collaboratively to overcome the very real organizational and political obstacles that may prevent the technical solution from ever being implemented. Also, although this fifteen-page paper is an exce llent overview of the issues, don't look to it for technical details. - RT

Olsen, Florence.  "A Crisis for Web PreservationFederal Computer Week   (21 June 2004) (http://www.fcw.com/fcw/articles/2004/0621/pol-crisis-06-21-04.asp). - According to this article, the Federal Depository Library Program (FDLP)is lagging to such a great extent in "cataloging and preserving access to government documents published only on the Web," that access to such material is growing spottier and spottier. The GPO, which runs the FDLP, is wrangling with this "fugitive document" issue; "fugitive documents" are "electronic publications that remain outside the federal depository collections in 1,300 libraries nationwide." The agency is considering Web harvesting software, but this technology is not particularly good at unearthing information from the so-called "deep web." The author notes that a recent study by the California Digital Library "found that about 85 percent of the Deep Web is in the .gov domain." There are more government documents published online each year than in print, and the agencies which publish them often fail to notify the GPO that they are available. Also, the copyright issue can be muddled, as it sometimes can be hard to determine whether a report was produced by the government and is in the public domain, or whether the rights belong to a contractor who produced it. Up to this point, the GPO has established an electronic archive which currently contains more than 100,000 documents, and the agency is seeking help from experts, notably university libraries. For example, it entered into a partnership with the University of North Texas Libraries to maintain a collection of documents from defunct public agencies, known as the CyberCemetery. But everyone concerned recognizes that the problem is far from being resolved at this point. - SK

Robb, Drew.  "Text Mining Tools Take on Unstructured InformationComputerworld   (21 June 2004) (http://www.computerworld.com/databasetopics/businessintelligence/story/0,10801,93968,00.html). - Unstructured data, according to this article, "typically accounts for 85% of an organization's knowledge stores, but it's not always easy to find, access, analyze or use." Most of this is text files, and a new generation of text-mining softw are "allows companies to extract key elements from large unstructured data sets, discover relationships and summarize the information." While there are separate tools available for analyzing either databases or text files, "there are also techniques that allow the two to be correlated." These applications are relatively easy to install, but require special expertise in order to be used effectively. Users must not only have analytic skills, but must also understand the subject matter of the datasets under analysis. - SK

Schonfeld, Roger C., Donald W.  King, and Ann  Okerson, et. al. "Thee Nonsubscription Side of Periodicals: Changes in Library Operations and Costs between Print and Electronic FormatsCouncil on Library and Information Resources   (June 2004) (http://www.clir.org/pubs/reports/pub127/pub127.pdf). - Academic/research libraries have been confronting a major transition in the format of major parts of their collections, from print to electronic. This report, which analyzes data gathered from 11 U.S. academic libraries, examines the effects of this s hift to electronic resources on library operations and costs. "The study is useful not only for its findings but also for the significant questions it raises about the cost shifts now under way between libraries, publishers, academic administrations , and third-party service providers. These shifts point to the need for staff with new skills, a new array of reader services geared to digital delivery, and a willingness to negotiate new relationships with other units on campus, from academic computing to facilities management." - SK

Suber, Peter.  "The Primacy of Authors in Achieving Open AccessNature Web Focus: Access to the Literature: The Debate Continues   (10 June 2004) (http://www.nature.com/nature/focus/accessdebate/24.html). - In this article, Peter Suber, author of the SPARC Open Access Newsletter and editor of the Open Access News Web log, underscores the critical role that authors play in facilitating open access, and he suggests that open access advocates & quot;can guide, help or nudge authors" to become active participants in the open access movement. He emphasizes the importance of peer communication in this process: scholars are most likely to be persuaded by colleagues who have experienced the per sonal benefits of open access, such as higher citation rates for their papers. However, librarians can also be effective change agents by assisting scholars in depositing their works in institutional repositories, providing workshops on copyright issues, and through other strategies. Suber also discusses how the "Ingelfinger Rule" continues to concern scholars, who are hesitant to put preprints online because journals may view this as prior publication and refuse to consider them. He suggests that universities and funding agencies could require scholars to make their work available through open access arrangements, and he cites a study that offers preliminary evidence that they may welcome this. He concludes by discussing the importance of j ournal prestige factors in scholars' choices of what journals to publish in, and he suggests ways to enhance the prestige of open access journals. - CB

Swan, Alma, and Sheridan  Brown.  "Authors and Open Access Publishing"  Learned Publishing   17(3) (2004):  219-224. - In this survey research study, Swan and Brown assessed the attitudes of authors who had published in open access journals and those who had not. An interesting finding was that both groups had a relatively low awareness of e-print archives (fewer than 30% of each group), while 62% of the "non-OA" authors were aware of open access journals. Why do authors publish in OA journals? Ninety-two percent said free access, 87% said faster publication times, 71% said OA journals had larger readershi ps, 64% said higher citation rates, and 56% said concerns over the expense of conventional journals. The reluctance of non-OA authors to publish in OA journals was attributed to unfamiliarity with OA journals in their fields (70%), low impact or prestige of these journals (69%), smaller readerships of OA journals (64%), or an inability to find a relevant OA journal to publish in (56%). For other interesting findings, see the article (or the complete study, which is available at http://www.jisc.ac.uk/uploaded_documents/JISCOAreport1.pdf). - CB


Current Cites - ISSN: 1060-2356
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