Current Cites

Current Cites, September 2006

Edited by Roy Tennant

Contributors: Charles W. Bailey, Jr., Leo Robert Klein, Jim Ronningen, Roy Tennant

Anderson, Janna Quitney, and Lee  Rainie. The Future of the Internet II  Washington, DC: Pew Internet and American Life Project, 24 September 2006.( - As the Summary of Findings in this 104-page report states, "Hundreds of internet leaders, activists, builders and commentators were asked about the effect of the internet on social, political and economic life in the year 2020. The views of the 742 respondents who completed this survey were varied; there is general agreement about how technology might evolve, but there is less agreement among these respondents about the impact of this evolution." Although the sample was not random and therefore cannot be considered representative, a majority of those who chose to respond felt that "Building the capacity of the network and passing along technological knowledge to those not currently online" should be the top priority. The Pew Internet Project created seven possible future scenarios to which the respondents could react, and numerous quotes from the respondents relating to these scenarios are included. - RT

Cheney, Debora, Jeffrey  Knapp, and Robert  Alan, et. al."Convergence in the Library's News Room: Enhancing News Collections and Services in Academic LibrariesCollege and Research Libraries  67(2)(September 2006): 395-417. ( - How digital are we? Consider this indicator: current events information. At one extreme, some consider it the type of content perfectly suited for delivery to a computer and won't access it any other way. At the other extreme some consider it untrustworthy and ephemeral unless it's arranged in columns on newsprint. Articles like this one can make librarians periodically (no pun intended) re-examine that range of user behaviors and spend some useful moments thinking about access, collections, archiving and community space versus personal needs. This case study concerns the reorganization of the Penn State library's news resources. It was a given that there would some kind of space for news, but nothing else was written in stone. Media, hardware, layout and archiving were all up for discussion, and after the research was done and focus groups were consulted, the result is a solution that increased the use of news collections and appears to allow for future flexibility in response to technological advances and shifts in user expectations. And not least, the undergrad who comes to appreciate it may just be convinced that there's more to current events than that infamous Facebook newsfeed. - JR

Chudnov, Dan, Peter  Binkley, and Jeremy  Frumkin, et. al."Introducing unAPIAriadne  (48)(July 2006)( - This article introduces a standard for enabling "a universal method to copy any resource of interest" one finds on the web. Dubbed unAPI, this work by an ad hoc group of library developers seeks to develop "a standard way to identify individual objects on Web pages; a standard way to discover a path to an API for retrieving objects; a standard API to retrieve object copies in all available formats." This is good and useful work, and is already being implemented in some systems. - RT

Crawford, Walt. "Open Access Perspective Part I: Pioneer Journals: The Arc of Enthusiasm, Five Years LaterCites & Insights: Crawford at Large  6(12)(2006)( - In this article, Walt Crawford follows up on an earlier study about the long-term survival of free e-journals (see "Getting Past the Arc of Enthusiasm" and "Feedback and Following Up: Getting Past the Arc of Enthusiasm." Five years have passed since his last examination of this topic, and some free e-journals have bit the dust or stopped being freely available; however, he was able to identify 40 free e-journals that "began no later than 1995 and have content as recently as 2004" (including New Horizons in Adult Education and Human Resource Development, which started in 1987). In part two of this article, Crawford conducts a preliminary investigation of 189 more e-journals, which were identified using the Directory of Open Access Journals. - CB

Goldsmith, Beth, and Frances  Knudson. "Repository Librarian and the Next Crusade: The Search for a Common Standard for Digital Repository MetadataD-Lib Magazine  12(9)(September 2006)( - Charged with selecting a metadata standard to use in their multi-million record digital repository, the authors studied the abilities of MARCXML, Dublin Core, PRISM, ONIX, and MODS to meet their requirements for granularity, transparency, and extensibility. This paper describes their comparison of these formats, states their selection ("Having, with something akin to disbelief, selected MARCXML..."), describes their principles of use, and evaluates their experiences over the two years the repository has been in operation. Their final observation is that "MARCXML has proven itself to be robust and capable in meeting all requirements without breaking the standard while remaining flexible and transparent to downstream use." This is an excellent paper that anyone interested in metadata issues should read. - RT

Huwe, Terence K. "From Librarian to Digital Communicator"  Online  30(5)(September/October 2006): 21-26. - "Digital Communicator" may not become the trademark name but what Terry Huwe describes here are librarians putting themselves at the forefront of emerging online information technologies and by doing this, making themselves indispensable to their institutions in ways that then open up opportunities for the delivery of more traditional library services. The technologies range from ListServs to Wikis, Blogs and Podcasts. Some prove successful, and some not. Huwe suggests having a "damage control strategy" for those that don't. The net result is an operation that "mainstreams" itself into the digital community. - LRK

Peterson, Elaine. "Librarian Publishing Preferences and Open-Access Electronic JournalsE-JASL: The Electronic Journal of Academic and Special Librarianship  7(2)(2006)( - The sample for this study was 100 authors who had published papers "within the last year in an established library journal still available in print format." There was a 60% response rate. What Peterson found with her six-question survey was that, while 80% of authors had considered publishing in an open access journal and 42% had actually done so, only 48% said the following statement was false: "Usually I do not publish in free electronic journals because they are viewed by myself or by my institution as 'lesser' than established journals titles." Moreover, when asked to "rate each of these items when selecting a journal to publish your article," only 7% said that "Free/Open-Access on the Internet" was very important and only 28% said it was important. In her conclusion, Peterson notes: "The written comments indicate that OA titles are not yet on par with their paper/electronic subscription based counterparts. OA editors need to ensure that their journals are peer reviewed, indexed, and of general high quality. Permanence in and of itself can also lend credibility to the title. It also appears that librarians think that even if the journal is indexed and peer reviewed, the editors can do a better job of marketing the title so that more librarians are aware of this new venue for publishing." - CB

Tractinskya, Noam, Avivit  Cokhavia, and Moti  Kirschenbaum, et. al."Evaluating the Consistency of Immediate Aesthetic Perceptions of Web Pages"  International Journal of Human-Computer Studies  64(11)(November 2006): 1071-1083. - A thing of beauty may be a joy forever but evaluating how it might affect perception of web pages is something like the "final frontier" of web design. The article discusses a series of studies on people's ability to rate the aesthetic qualities of web pages. The research finds that people are consistent in their own judgment but that this determination tends to differ from one individual to another. That said, the authors also look at "design characteristics" that might affect perception across a broad scale. This is interesting work in an area that's generally considered extremely hard to unravel. - LRK