Current Cites

May 2010

Edited by Roy Tennant

Contributors: Charles W. Bailey, Jr., Alison Cody, Peter Hirtle, Leo Robert Klein, Roy Tennant, Jesús Tramullas

Anderson, Ivy. "Model Language for Author Rights in Library Content Licenses Research Library Issues  (269)(April 2010)( - University authors are bit like people who accept software click-through licenses: they blithely sign their publishing agreements, assuming that they retain all the rights they want, and don't bother reading the fine detail to see if they have actually signed away their immortal souls. Librarians know better, and so have been at the forefront of initiatives that encourage authors to amend their publication contracts and adopt campus-wide open access mandates that automatically preserve some for authors some important rights. An ARL ad hoc working group is at work on a third, very promising approach. Since libraries already negotiate with publishers licenses for content (licenses that are worth hundreds of thousands of dollars), why not require as part of that content license that institutional authors retain needed rights, regardless of what their publication agreement might say? This article presents the group's draft model license that does just that. It is a clever way of exerting libraries' market power, and if widely adopted, could have an even greater transformative impact than the so-called "green open access" campaign. Comment on the draft now, and start thinking about how to include it in future content license negotiations. - PH

Ball, Alex. Review of the State of the Art of the Digital Curation of Research Data  Bath, UK: University of Bath, 2010.( - As e-science gains traction, the research data it generates becomes increasingly important. One consequence of the increasing importance of research data is a growing call for open access to it. This is often called "open data." However, unlike research articles and other conventional research materials, research datasets present special challenges, such as their potentially massive size, the frequency with which they are generated, and their data formats, which may be instrument specific. Metadata issues can be especially thorny. These challenges make it harder to archive and preserve research data in digital repositories. Such issues make research data a good candidate for emerging digital curation strategies, which deal with the entire lifecycle of curated materials. This report provides a timely, and at 57 pages, a reasonably concise introduction to digital data curation. In addition to general information, it provides specific information about practices in the UK, which make interesting reading for residents of other countries as examples of current activities. While research data curation issues may seem esoteric, it is likely that academic libraries, especially research libraries, will find themselves increasingly providing such services in the future. See Anna K. Gold's eprint, "Data Curation and Libraries: Short-Term Developments, Long-Term Prospects" for an overview of the role libraries are playing in data curation. - CB

Blowers, Helene. "From Realities to Values: A Strategy Framework for Digital NativesComputers in Libraries  30(4)(May 2010): 6-10. ( - Clearly this 2007 Library Journal "Mover and Shaker" and Digital Strategy Director for the Columbus Metropolitan Library -- one of the most dynamic public libraries in the country -- is someone to whom you should pay attention. In this piece she writes about her perceptions of "digital natives" -- the young people who have grown up taking cell phones and the Internet for granted. Blowers tackles the topics of digital privacy, digital identity, digital creativity, digital piracy, digital advocacy, and how to transfer these aspects of our current crop of (potential) library users to the digital strategies of engage, enrich, and empower. There is much to consider here, and to implement, if you want to engage and empower your digital natives. - RT

Cairns, Michael. A Database of Riches: Measuring the Options for Google's Book Settlement  (22 April 2010)( - Everybody has been waiting patiently to see if Judge Chin will accept the proposed amended settlement of the lawsuit brought by authors and publishers against Google, but with his recent confirmation to the Court of Appeals, it is unclear if Judge Chin will decide himself or turn the whole mess over to a new judge. In the interim, we have to continue to make educated guesses about what the Google database, if it is approved, will look like. In this new report, Michael Cairns, a former president of R.R. Bowker and a publishing consultant who earlier tried to calculate the number of orphan works in the Google database, turns his attention to the business model for the institutional subscription. It is the first public analysis that tries to estimate how much a yearly subscription might cost. One can question his assumptions about likely subscription prices or whether the market penetration he anticipates would meet the settlement's requirement for wide acceptance of the product, but I was struck by his calculation of how relatively low subscription prices for the database of out-of-print books would generate huge windfall profits for the rights holders. He estimates $260 million in total revenues per year, 70% of which, or $182 million, would go to the rights owners. It suggests that a low subscription/high market penetration business model, rather than the high subscription/limited sales model normally adopted when marketing to libraries, would generate the greatest revenues. - PH

Hastings, Robin. "A Year With Google Apps"  Computers in Libraries  30(4)(May 2010): 12-16. - At a time when many libraries are struggling to make ends meet, an article such as this that may save libraries money is welcome indeed. In this frank piece, Hastings takes us through the steps she took to transition her library staff from Microsoft Exchange and Office to Google Apps. In particular, it helps the rest of us a lot for her to note what they were able to migrate successfully (almost everything) and what they weren't (not much, in the end). Some things to note: going from using folders to manage email to using labels can be a conceptual and behavioral barrier, although certainly not an insurmountable one. Hastings wisely notes the importance of training in a transition like this, and another lesson was to not force people to use the technology as you would use it (they'll find their own way to use it). There are many libraries that should consider this path, and this article is a great place to start in looking into this option. - RT

Rodriguez, Joaquin. Los futuros del libro  (2006-)( - "Los futuros del libro"(The futures of the book) is a blog that specializes in the complex e-book ecosystem. It seeks to nform its readers of all developments that occur in technological, sociological and philosophical aspects related to e-books. Includes references and news of events, courses and seminars on the subject in Spanish language, and information relating to the digital publishing world. Of particular interest are the entries devoted to book reviews, and videos that incorporate various conferences. This is one of the main sources of information in Spanish on the electronic book, and its author is Joaquin Rodriguez, co-director of the Master in Edition of the University of Salamanca (Spain). - JT

Shapiro, Stuart S. "Privacy By Design: Moving From Art to PracticeCommunications of the ACM  53(6)(June 2010): 27-29. ( - What with all the privacy problems Facebook has been having, maybe a quick reading of this article might be in order. The argument here is that you start out with principles of security and privacy, building them into the system from the beginning and not as an afterthought once the product is nearly complete. Standards still need to be developed, particularly for privacy, but the author ends the piece arguing for "a firmer grasp of the obvious". - LRK

Walsh, Andrew. "Mobile Phone Services and UK Higher Education Students, What Do They Want From the Library?Library and Information Research  34(106)(2010): 22-36. ( - This article discusses the results of a series of small focus groups conducted at the library at the University of Huddersfield in the UK. A group of 18 students (graduate and undergraduate) were broken into 5 focus groups and asked to discuss their attitudes regarding mobile services that could possibly be provided by their library. Overall, researchers found that the students were most interested in services that they identified as highly useful. This included SMS reminders that carry renewal notices, interlibrary loan notifications, or reminders of group study room reservations. In addition, most of the students felt that this service should be provided by default, rather than as an opt-in service, though they did note that it should be quick and easy to opt-out. Researchers also discussed a range of other mobile services, including mobile websites and search options. Findings here were contradictory, with students indicating that they rarely used the mobile web (mainly due to the expense and difficulty of doing so); but when presented with a mobile web-based service that they perceived as useful—searching for books or journal articles—they expressed enthusiasm. Researchers also discovered that students had a very low interest in experimenting with new services, indicating that they would rather evaluate the usefulness of something and then simply adopt it, rather than play around with something just for the sake of trying it out. While this study is based on a small group of students, it brings up some interesting points that highlight the importance of determining what types of mobile services our patrons are actually interested in, rather than just forging ahead with a plan uninformed by the intended user population. - AC