Current Cites

November 2010

Edited by Roy Tennant

Contributors: Charles W. Bailey, Jr., Warren Cheetham, Alison Cody, Peter Hirtle, Roy Tennant

Cervone, H. Frank. "Emerging Technology, Innovation, and the Digital LibraryOCLC Systems & Services  26(4)(2010): 239-242. ( - In this high-level overview of the role of emerging technologies and potential adoption within libraries, Current Cites contributor Cervone first cautions librarians to be careful what we describe as an emerging technology, since it may only be new to us. He also states the importance of libraries aligning their adoption of emerging technologies with that of their parent organization. He suggests looking to other industries for the latest in technology use, citing the conservative tendencies of libraries in terms of technology adoption (e.g., RFID was in wide industrial use before it became an "emerging" technology in the library sector). He ends by urging libraries to be agile in evaluating and implementing new technologies. - RT

Courant, Paul N. "What Might Be in Store for Universities' PressesJournal of Electronic Publishing  13(2)(2010)( - University presses have been in dire straights for some time, and some have been shuttered in recent years. What to do? Paul Courant,University Librarian and Dean of Libraries, Harold T. Shapiro Collegiate Professor of Public Policy, and Athur F. Thurnau Professor, Department of Economics and School of Information at the University of Michigan, is in a good position to provide advice in this matter with the both the library and the university press reporting to him (the library has one of the most sophisticated academic digital publishing services in the country, the Scholarly Publishing Office). After a thoughtful analysis, he concludes that there are two possibilities for university presses' future development: "(1) They could exploit scale economies in production and business functions, differentiating themselves by their unique skills in editing and sharing, complementary with the academic strength of their home universities. (2) They could help to create new types of scholarly publication that take advantage of digital technologies in ways that make them less expensive to produce." This article is part of a special issue on reimagining the university press, which is well worth reading. - CB

Eschenfelder, Kristin R., and Michelle  Caswell. "Digital Cultural Collections in an Age of Reuse and RemixesFirst Monday  15(11)(1 November 2010)( - At the same time that many librarians are encouraging open access to university research, their colleagues in museums, archives, and special collections are restricting access to digitized collections. Eschenfelder and Caswell report on a survey of libraries, archives, and museums of how and why these institutions control the access and use of digitized content. They then ask whether the reasons given as justification for controlling access are sufficient. They suggest that repositories should seek "to develop a range of reuse policies that reflect the different legal and ethical requirements of different collection materials." In addition, the free non-commercial reuse of unrestricted material should be encouraged. The article is a particularly useful summary of the literature and arguments for and against repository control of digitized resources. - PH

Johnson, Bobbie. "The Web Is Reborn technology review  (November/December 2010)( - The importance and significance of HTML5 to everyday use of the web is artfully outlined in this readable, non-technical article. As the web has developed, the original programming language of HTML has been stitched together with new add-ons and plug-ins like Flash and Silverlight, to allow for the rich multi-media web experience we enjoy today. The addition of applications (apps) on mobile devices and smart phones has called for even more patching and stitching to make things work. The central goal of HTML5, which is supported by Microsoft and Apple, is to give websites the chance to expand beyond pages and into programs. Multimedia components of websites will be handled by HTML5 and will no longer need add-ons like Flash. A faster and more efficient web browsing experience is expected, especially on mobile devices. This article starts with an overview of the development of HTML5 and helps to explain the role of organisations like W3C. The benefits and promises of HTML5 are discussed, as well as the challenges ahead to reach full deployment and use of this new version of the web's backbone. - WC

The Australian Communications and Media Authority. "Technology developments in the digital economy The Australian Communications and Media Authority  (August 2010)( - This government report looks at recent developments in the three key communications/information technology areas of Infrastructure, Smart Technology and Digital Community. Subtopics include diverse but related topics such as home network technologies, digital identity management, smartphones, ICT energy efficiency, location-aware communities, mobile payment and mobile coupon technologies, augmented reality and social media influence. A useful glossary is included, as well as numerous links to further readings. A useful overview to help keep up to date with big picture developments in ICT, as well as to plan future strategic library services. - WC

Wilson, James A. J., Michael A.  Fraser, and Luis  Martinez-Uribe, et. al."Developing Infrastructure for Research Data Management at the University of OxfordAriadne  (65)(2010)( - Driven by advances in e-science and funding agency requirements (such as NSF's Data Sharing Policy), the effective management of research data is an increasingly critical area of concern. This article discusses three research data projects at the University of Oxford: 1. the Scoping Digital Repository Services for Research Data Project, 2. the Embedding Institutional Data Curation Services in Research (EIDCSR) Project, and 3. the Supporting Data Management Infrastructure for the Humanities (SUDAMIH) Project. Oxford found that, while data set characteristics and management requirements may vary considerably among different disciplines, the "need for data documentation (metadata), training and support, secure storage, and linking data to publications are common across disciplines." - CB

Woody, William D., David B.  Daniel, and Crystal A.  Baker. "E-books or textbooks: Students prefer textbooksComputers & Education  55(3)(November 2010): 945-948. ( - This brief article looks at whether or not students are more inclined to use an ebook or a print textbook. Ninety-one undergraduate students were surveyed, and the authors found that 59% had used an ebook for a previous course. The study found gender and comfort with computers had no effect on the likelihood of a student choosing an ebook over a textbook. The researchers did find that students were more likely to use extra features, such as chapter summaries and review questions, in the print version, and that they were no more likely to use online content when using the ebook than when using the print version. - AC