ISSN: 1060-2356 - http://sunsite.berkeley.edu/CurrentCites/2004/cc04.15.7.html
Contributors: Charles W. Bailey, Jr., Terry Huwe, Shirl Kennedy, Leo Robert Klein, Jim Ronningen, Roy Tennant
Alves, Rosental Calmon. "Many Newspaper Sites Still Cling to Once-a-Day Publish Cycle" Online Journalism Review (21 July 2004) (http://ojr.org/ojr/workplace/1090395903.php). - This article reports on research from the University of Texas at Austin which found that out of 30 news websites being monitored, "only 12 updated their home pages frequently, and the rest made few or no changes during the day." This, says the writer, demonstrates "the difficulty in breaking out of the print paradigm." No consensus exists in the news industry as to how often websites should be updated. The study also found that smaller papers were less likely to update their sites during the day than larger papers, and that national news was the element most likely to be changed, followed by local/regional news. Few papers updated existing stories on their websites. - SK
Gibbons, Susan. "Establishing an Institutional Repository" Library Technology Reports 40(4) (July-August 2004) - Institutional repositories are a hot topic with academic institutions, and in particular academic libraries. This 67-page report is an excellent summary of institutional repository benefits, potential uses, features, costs, and software options. The author has been involved with establishing an institutional repository at her institution, but it's also clear that she did her homework in putting this publication together. The information here is accurate and up-to-date, and can serve as a very useful overview of the state of institutional repositories currently as well as useful guidance for any institution wishing to create such a repository. Although LTR is published on a subscription basis, individual issues can be purchased at the web site (www.techsource.ala.org). - RT
Goodman, Andrew. "The Future of Search" SearchEngineWatch (22 July 2004) (http://searchenginewatch.com/searchday/article.php/3384481). - In this report from the Search Engine Strategies 2004 Conference, held in March of this year, personalization is identified as "a key driver of change" in the search engine industry. It will affect both how search results are displayed to users and the content of those results -- e.g., a "self-learning" technology will be able to determine whether a user who types "eagles" into the search box is looking for information about the national bird or the NFL team. Keyword advertising will increasingly be targeted geographically, by IP address or by country. Several of the panel pundits at this conference agreed that "the concept of a single set of rankings on a given phrase (what search marketers often call 'the algorithm') may soon be obsolete." Also discussed was "paid inclusion" -- where advertisers ante up to have their links included in search results. Different companies have tried different methods of doing this, but as the writer pointed out, most of them "seem to understand that search engines lose their credibility when they turn into glorified referral services." - SK
Huffaker, David. "The Educated Blogger: Using Weblogs to Promote Literacy in the Classroom" First Monday 9(6) (7 June 2004) (http://www.firstmonday.org/issues/issue9_6/huffaker/index.html). - Huffaker explores the emerging potential of Weblogs as teaching tools for youth. Over 50 percent of all Bloggers are teens, yet Blogs as hands-on classroom teaching tools are still in the theoretical stage. He identifies several key value points of Blogging for classroom instruction, including instant publishing, journal (or diary) keeping, and two way communication -- all by means of a very simple interface. In some ways, Huffaker's analysis of Blogs casts them as a simpler version of 'ePortfolios' -- persistent, Web-based domains at colleges and universities that follow students through their entire academic career. His principal argument is based on the long-accepted fact that young students respond favorably to learning environments that emphasize storytelling, collaborative learning, and personal expression. He concludes by suggesting that more research into this area is needed, particularly in exploring how students develop language and vocabulary skills within the domain of the Blogosphere. - TH
Lavoie, Brian, and Lorcan Dempsey. "Thirteen Ways of Looking at...Digital Preservation" D-Lib Magazine 10(7/8) (July/August 2004) (http://www.dlib.org/dlib/july04/lavoie/07lavoie.html). - It's certainly a sign of maturity in our understanding of digital preservation, that we can have a thoughtful article like this that concentrates on issues beyond the more familiar technical obstacles. Indeed, the authors make clear that the technical part cannot happen as an "isolated process" but only as part of a broader "digital information environment." The authors go into 13 different considerations with this wider context in mind. - LRK
McCook, Alison. "Open Access to US Govt Work Urged" The Scientist (21 July 2004) (http://www.biomedcentral.com/news/20040721/01/). - Open access has been on the agenda of legislative committees in both the US and the UK of late. In the US, the House of Representatives Appropriations Committee recommended that NIH-funded research be made freely available on PubMed Central six months after it is published. If NIH funds were used to pay for publication fees, immediate availability would be required. Meanwhile in the UK, the House of Commons Science and Technology Committee wrapped up lengthy hearings into scientific publishing and issued a report that recommended funding institutional repositories and mandating that funded research be put in them (more on this development in "UK Committee Backs Open Access"). (If this wasn't enough to delight OA advocates, the European Commission has started its own investigation into scientific publishing.) - CB
McHugo, Ann, and Carol Magenau. "Reinventing Acquisitions with a 'Forget-to-Do' List" Serials Librarian 46(3/4) (2004): 269-273. - Not your mother or father's Acquisitions. That's what I thought when I went over this presentation originally given at last year's North American Serials Interest Group Conference in Portland. The first job I ever had in a library was in Serials -- Check-in, thank you -- so it was particularly interesting to see how the Acquisitions Department at Dartmouth was meeting the challenge of managing new digital services and formats while maintaining a tight lid on budgets and staff. Their solution was to drop (or otherwise modify) many procedures and processes long familiar to the acquisition function. This included such hallowed things as serials claims and TOC current awareness services. The Q&A section at the end of the report is also helpful in understanding how these changes were made. - LRK
Weber, Steven. The Success of Open Source Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press, 2004. - The Success of Open Source is a clearly-written scholarly book about a subject relevant to anyone who uses a computer. While the history and development of the open source movement is given here, the value of the book lies in this political scientist's exploration of the larger issues arising from the phenomenon of self-governing groups which evolve very complex software programs outside of the commercial proprietary realm. From the preface: "By experimenting with fundamental notions of what constitutes property, this community has reframed and recast some of the most basic problems of governance. At the same time, it is remaking the politics and economics of the software world." After describing in detail the people and processes behind projects such as Linux, Weber seems to account for every ripple in the large ripple effect which they create. Among the many examples he gives to illustrate open source's impact, a representative one is his point that Apache, the popular open source Web server software, performs the unintended purpose of keeping the server side from being hijacked to favor a particular dominant proprietary Web browser. Even people who've never given a moment's thought to where software comes from are, as end-users, affected by technology-enhanced openness efforts such as open access scholarly publishing, and Weber's analysis informs those developments too. - JR
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Last update July 27, 2004.