Current Cites

February 2011

Edited by Roy Tennant

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

Band, Jonathan. The Impact of the Supreme Court’s Decision in Costco v. Omega on Libraries  Washington, D.C.: Library Copyright Alliance, 31 January 2011.( - It seems hard to believe that a dispute between a discount retailer and a Swiss watch company could threaten fundamental library services. Thanks to Costco v. Omega, however, it is no longer clear that libraries have the right to loan books and audiovisuals manufactured outside the United States. In at least some states, the "first sale" doctrine, which is the basis for all library lending, does not apply to these materials. In this report for the Library Copyright Alliance, Band reassures librarians that even in the absence of the first sale doctrine, there are other exceptions that arguably allow libraries to continue to lend foreign materials, and he suggests some acquisition practices that could reinforce a library's defense if it were ever challenged for loaning a book or movie printed abroad. Band's analysis is a useful reminder that library practice can only continue if librarians remain vocal advocates of exceptions (such as fair use) to copyright law. - PH

Dallmeier-Tiessen, Suenje, Robert  Darby, and Bettina  Goerner, et. al."Highlights from the SOAP Project Survey. What Scientists Think about Open Access  (2010)( - In 2010, the SOAP (Study of Open Access Publishing) project conducted a large-scale survey of researchers about open access. There were 53,890 responses from an estimated population of 1.5 million individuals exposed to the survey, primarily through scholarly publisher mailing lists. Of these responses, 38,358 were analyzed from respondents who said they were active researchers and who had "published at least one peer-reviewed research article in the last five years and who answered to a key question of the survey about their opinion on open access publishing." Eighty-nine percent of researchers indicated that journals that published open access articles were "beneficial for their field." Humanities and social science researchers had a somewhat more favorable opinion (more than 90%), and scientific and engineering researchers a less favorable opinion (around 80%). Twenty-nine percent of respondents had not published an open access article, with lack of funding to pay publication fees being the biggest reason (39%). By contrast, of the respondents who had published an open access article, 50% had not paid a publication fee. Two related analysis of the SOAP survey data may also be of interest: "Results of the SOAP Survey: A First Overview of the Dutch Situation" and "Results of the SOAP Survey: A Preliminary Overview of the Situation in EIFL Partner Countries." - CB

Fox, Robert. "The Golden MeanOCLC Systems & Services  27(1)(2011): 10-17. ( - This is a provocative article about the role of libraries in creating and organizing the technology that they routinely use. If we sign away too much of that technology to third party vendors, as in say, ‘Cloud Computing’, do we not risk potentially losing control? The ‘golden mean’ then as the author puts it, is understanding what we can continue to handle locally versus what we can outsource, while at the same time keeping in constant touch both with our users and with the panoply of technological options out there. - LRK

Guy, Marieke. "10 Cheap and Easy Ways to Amplify Your EventAriadne  (January 2011)( - Citing Lorcan Dempsey's coining of the term "amplified event" to mean an event that was made larger and more impactful through various methods of including those who couldn't attend the event, Guy outlines some specific methods for doing it: 1) Video it, 2) Stream it, 3) Podcast it, 4) Snap it, 5) Slide it, 6) Tweet it, 7) Blog it, 8) Webinar it, 9) Collate it, and 10) Promote, share, and archive it. Along the way she identifies many tools you can use to do these things. She also touches on issues of copyright and quality. Anyone putting on a conference should study the options outlined here, experiment with those that look potentially useful, and implement the ones that seem both effective and achievable. - RT

Johnson, L., R.  Smith, and H.  Willis, et. al.2011 Horizon Report  Austin, TX: The New Media Consortium, 8 February 2011.( - This is the 2011 edition of the technology tracking report praised in Current Cites last year. The six areas of emerging technology cited for 2011, grouped by their time to adoption, are: One Year or Less: Electronic Books and Mobiles; Two to Three Years: Augmented Reality and Game-based Learning; Four to Five Years: Gesture-based Computing and Learning Analytics. The greatest critical challenge facing higher education is digital media literacy, something that many libraries are alread addressing. Not only are the suggestions for the future instructive; it is also interesting to note the changes from last-year's analysis. For example, last year the Open Content Movement was seen as an emerging force. In this year's report, electronic books are depicted as a product, and potential savior, of traditional publishers. Read the report and think about its implications for your operations over the next five years. - PH

Vileno, Luigina. "Testing the Usability of Two Online Research GuidesPartnership: the Canadian Journal of Library and Information Practice and Research  5(2)(February 2011)( - This article reports on a small usability study undertaken to determine how difficult or easy it was to use the library's online research guides. Six undergraduate students were asked to complete five tasks using the research guide for their department. They had to find the subject librarian's contact information, two useful databases, information about tests & measurements, professional associations and one other specialized resource. Half of the students indicated that they'd previously had a library instruction session, but this did not seem to give them an edge in completing the tasks successfully. Overall the author found that the guides "did not help them make better choices" when conducting research tasks, and that they tended to make use of search boxes rather than navigational tools built into the page. The author lists several changes that were going to be made to the guides in light of the findings of this study, including using more headings and less jargon, making the pages shorter, and putting more information on the pages themselves, rather than in PDF downloads. - AC

Wilkin, John P. "Bibliographic Indeterminacy and the Scale of Problems and Opportunities of 'Rights' in Digital Collection BuildingRuminations  (February 2011)( - Wilkin, who needs no introduction to those reading this humble publication, writes of "bibliographic indeterminacy," which he describes as a "dearth of reliable bibliographic information" from which we can make informed decisions about our library collections. Having set that stage, he then reveals what he has discovered about the Hathi Trust collective collection in terms of publication dates and potential copyright status. His preliminary conclusions include: "The percentage of public domain books in the collective unlikely to grow to more than 33% of the total number of books we will put online...The body of orphan works—works whose rights holders we cannot locate—is likely to be extremely large, and perhaps the largest body of materials. If the guesses made here are right, 50% of the volumes will be orphan works...The likely size of the corpus of in-copyright publications for which we are able to identify a known rights holder will be roughly the same size as, or slightly smaller than, the body of public domain materials." He ends with a call to develop a legal or policy framework to enable libraries to open up access to the essential "orphan works" corpus. - RT