Current Cites

May 2008

Edited by Roy Tennant

Contributors: Charles W. Bailey, Jr., Susan Gibbons, Brian Rosenblum, Roy Tennant

7 Things You Should Know About Flickr  Washington, DC: EDUCAUSE Learning Initiative, February 2008.( - This two-page Adobe Acrobat (PDF) document provides essential information about Flickr for an academic audience and how it might be used in an educational context. Following the format of the 7 Things You Should Know series, these basic questions are answered: 1) What is it?, 2) Who's doing it?, 3) How does it work?, 4) Why is it significant?, 5) What are the downsides, 6) Where is it going?, and 7) What are the implications for teaching and learning? Also included is a brief scenario sketching out how Flickr could be pedagogically useful. The Library of Congress Flickr project is specifically mentioned as an example of engaging with users "where they live". - RT

Statement of International Cataloging Principles (Draft)  The Hague, Netherlands: International Federation of Library Associations and Institutions, 10 April 2008.( - The web page for this publication states that "The IFLA Cataloguing Section held a series of five regional meetings of the world's cataloguing rule makers and cataloguing experts with the goal of identifying how to increase the ability to share cataloguing information worldwide by promoting standards for the content of bibliographic and authority records used in library catalogues." This draft statement is the outcome. My personal opinion is that it is firmly mired in the 20th century, and the early 20th century at that. The idea of "access points" is an anachronism in the age of computers, but the concept continues to permeate this statement of principles. It's possible for library users to find every book that is 22cm. tall if they so wish and the record has been fully indexed (the fact that it hasn't usually stems from vendors charging libraries for every index they create). But why should cataloging principles dictate how a record is to be used once it is created? But that's just my opinion, and all opinions are solicited from now until June 30, 2008. Knock yourself out. - RT

Darnton, Robert. "The Library in the New AgeThe New York Review of Books  55(10)(12 June 2008)( - Robert Darnton, Director of Harvard University Library, is no stranger to electronic scholarly communication, having been instrumental in creation of the Gutenberg-e Project. His essay balances praise of the scholarship opportunities made possible by mass digitization projects, such as Google Book Search, with the need for physical libraries and books far into the future. Projects like Google Book Search will not make libraries obsolete. On the contrary, he uses eight points to argue why libraries will be more important than ever. Darnton ends his essay with: "long live Google, but don't count on it living long enough to replace that venerable building with the Corinthian columns...the research library still deserves to stand at the center of campus, preserving the past and accumulating energy for the future." The essay provides some well articulated arguments you can use the next time a faculty member or administrator questions the need of your library in the age of Google. - SG

Harley, Diane, Sarah  Earl-Novell, and Sophia Krzys  Acord, et. al.Assessing the Future Landscape of Scholarly Communication: An In-depth Study of Faculty Needs and Ways of Meeting Them (Draft Interim Report)  Berkeley, CA: Center for Studies in Higher Education, University of California, Berkeley, Spring 2008.( - This report is an early draft of findings from a number of in-depth interviews and focus groups with faculty, librarians, and information technology professionals, as well as other related studies and surveys. It is highly readable and quite interesting, with a number of surprising as well as expected findings revealed. "It is clear from our interviews so far that many scholars, young and old, can be innovative in their fields without the need or desire to use cutting edge technologies," the report states, "it is reasonable to presume that there may be no one vision for technology-enabled scholarship in a field. Ultimately, the personality of individuals combined with disciplinary tradition, the needs of the field, and affiliation with type of higher education institution will determine how widespread public sharing of non-peer-reviewed incipient ideas and data will be and what forms final archival publications take." There is much here to ponder for anyone interested in the future of scholarly communication, new publication models, and how we can better serve both information and publication needs of college and university faculty. - RT

Harnad, Stevan. "The Two Forms of OA Have Been Defined: They Now Need Value-Neutral NamesOpen Access Archivangelism  (3 May 2008)( - One of the key problems of the open access movement has been to define what "open access" really means. Various manifestos have put forward varying definitions (e.g., the Budapest, Bethesda, and Berlin declarations) and Stevan Harnad has put forth his own definition at various times (e,g., see "Re: Free Access vs. Open Access"). Now, Stevan Harnad and Peter Suber are working together to disambiguate the term. In short, they identify two types of open access: (1) free of "price barriers" (i.e., available at no charge), and (2) free of both "price" and "permission barriers" (i.e., no unnecessary copyright and licensing restrictions that inhibit re-use). Initially, the terms "weak OA" and "strong OA" seemed suitable, but, on further reflection, the term "weak" seemed to have "pejorative connotations." New terminology is being considered, such as "basic OA" and "full OA." While this may seem like an abstract exercise, their work will have important real-world impacts, and it will help diminish confusion about the goals of the movement among its advocates, its opponents, and the scholarly community. - CB

Henty, Margaret. "Developing the Capability and Skills to Support eResearchAriadne  (55)(April 2008)( - Whether you call it eResearch (Australia), eScience (UK), or Cyberinfrastructure (USA), the need to support it poses challenges for libraries and research institutions, both at an individual and organizational level. Based on surveys and interviews with Australian researchers, this article looks at what is needed to "bridge the gap between the potential on offer and the realities with which we are living," with a specific focus on the need for improved levels of data stewardship. One theme that emerged from the survey was the need to develop specialists with specific skills. This includes technical skills that may vary according to discipline, along with equally important non-technical skills such as data analysis, knowledge of copyright issues, communication skills, team building, project management, and something one of the survey respondents called "researcher management." Another theme identified in the survey was the need to overcome organizational and cultural barriers, which need to evolve in order to improve internal communication, support external advocacy and education, enable collaborative opportunities, and develop appropriate policies and workflows. The article ends with a section on solutions and suggestions for achieving this, but this is very brief and not fleshed out. The main focus in on the gaps mentioned above. - BR

Nadella, Satya . "Book Search Winding DownLive Search  (23 May 2008)( - Microsoft has announced that it will end its Live Book Search and Live Search Academic projects and focus instead on indexing library and publisher book content in those organizations' digital repositories. Since Microsoft has been a significant funding source for the digitization efforts of the Open Content Alliance, this was bad news for the Internet Archive and the research libraries participating in that group; however, Microsoft said that it was "removing our contractual restrictions placed on the digitized library content and making the scanning equipment available to our digitization partners and libraries to continue digitization programs." About 750,000 books were digitized as a result of Microsoft's projects. Read more about it at "Microsoft Abandons Book Scan Plan," "Microsoft Abandons Digitization," and "Why Killing Live Book Search Is Good for the Future of Books." - CB