Current Cites

May 2011

Edited by Roy Tennant

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

"Taiga Forum Provocative StatementsTaiga Forum  (26 May 2011)( - The Taiga Forum is "a community of AULs and ADs challenging the traditional boundaries in libraries." I'm not exactly sure what that means, but they clearly see their role as being provocateurs in the library space. Toward that end, their latest salvo is now out, which consists of 10 statements aimed to provoke discussion. Among them are "no more collection building", "oversupply of MLSs", and "library in the cloud". See the site for their description of these and others, and also for the opportunity to comment. Each statement is its own blog post, meaning you can easily comment on a particular statement. Also, they are hosting a discussion at ALA Annual in New Orleans: Friday, June 24, 2-4 pm, in the Morial Convention Center (MCC) room 334. - RT

Dobbs, David. "Free Science, One Paper at a TimeWired: Neuron Culture  (11 May 20111)( - In an article originally written for a different magazine and now posted to one of the Wired science blogs, Dobbs chronicles the efforts of Jonathan Eisen to post to the Web copies of all of his father's papers. Howard Eisen, a researcher at NIH, had published some 40+ papers by the time he committed suicide in 1987. The task has been daunting, in spite of the fact that there is no copyright in Eisen's work (since he was a government employee). Dobbs uses Eisen's struggle to illustrate what is wrong with the current model of scientific publishing. Along the way, he discusses PLoS, peer review, ORCID, and Mendeley. There isn't much here that will be new to people who follow scholarly communications closely, but Eisen's personal quest gives the story particular poignancy. - PH

Efron, Miles. "Information Search and Retrieval in MicroblogsJournal of the American Society for Information Science and Technology  62(6)(June 2011): 996-1008. ( - In this article, Efron explores how existing information retrieval techniques could potentially be applied to microblogs. He focuses on Twitter, and spends some time looking at the connections between people using the service, in particular those in the fields of information retrieval and human computer interaction. Efron uses this discussion to investigate how people are using the service, as this will inform how the information can be pulled from it in a useful fashion. He looks at ways of presenting results for those who search Twitter - rather than providing a list of tweets matching the keyword, he suggests that results would be more useful if they surfaced related hashtags (user-generated metadata), which would connect the searcher to conversations, rather than out-of-context posts. Another approach is providing results that identify people who are strongly associated with a topic, allowing the searcher to quickly find experts in the field. Efron notes that there are other techniques in information retrieval that may be applied to searching Twitter, and goes over some of them briefly in his conclusion. - AC

Erway, Ricky. Rapid Capture: Faster Throughput in Digitization of Special Collections  Dublin, Ohio: OCLC Research, April 2011.( - OCLC has issued another report in its continuing effort to encourage special collections librarians to make their holdings available electronically. Erway's report is especially appealing because it presents 9 case studies of institutions that have incorporated rapid digital capture into their normal workflow. Solid information on staffing, equipment, and levels of commitment prove that non-book digitization can be done "at scale" and without a huge investment of resources. Any special collections librarian who reads about these inspiring - and achievable - accomplishments should be asking "Why aren't we doing the same?". - PH

Li, Yuan, and Meghan  Banach. "Institutional Repositories and Digital Preservation: Assessing Current Practices at Research LibrariesD-Lib Magazine  17(5/6)(2011)( - Should institutional repositories be in the digital preservation business? The answer to this question has not been obvious, and the authors have helped to clarify it by conducting a survey of current practice in ARL libraries with institutional repositories. They found that 51.5% of respondents had an IR preservation policy and 78% were committed to the long-term preservation of IR contents. However, preservation may be limited to digital objects in specified file formats (90% of policies had supported or recommended file formats). The authors also gathered data on the use of specific IR software, preservation metadata, copyright permissions and deposit agreements, and content quality checks. - CB

Marcum, Deanna B.. Transforming our Bibliographic Framework: A Statement from the Library of Congress  Washington, DC: Library of Congress, 13 May 2011.( - This announcement of a new initiative of the Library of Congress is cite-worthy since it represents the boldest statement about the future of bibliographic description since the creation of MARC. Take a look at what the initiative will attempt to do: "Determine which aspects of current metadata encoding standards should be retained and evolved into a format for the future...Experiment with Semantic Web and linked data technologies to see what benefits to the bibliographic framework they offer our community and how our current models need to be adjusted to take fuller advantage of these benefits...Foster maximum re-use of library metadata in the broader Web search environment... Enable users to navigate relationships among entities—such as persons, places, organizations, and concepts...Explore approaches to displaying metadata beyond current MARC-based systems...Identify the risks of action and inaction, including an assessment of the pace of change acceptable to the broader community...Plan for bringing existing metadata into new bibliographic systems within the broader Library of Congress technical infrastructure..." This initiative will be well worth watching and engaging with as opportunities are offered. - RT

Neal, James G., Larry  Alford, and Mark  Haslett, et. al."Report of the Task Force on International Interlibrary Loan and Document Delivery PracticesResearch Library Issues  (275)(June 2011)( - In response to concerns raised by some publishers, an ARL Task Force investigated the practice and legality of international interlibrary lending (ILL). This final report and the three white papers that accompany it in issue 275 of Research Library Issues stress the importance of international academic cooperation. While the report will be of interest to people in ILL units, its conclusions are even more important to those who license content for libraries. Its review of ILL clauses in licenses revealed, for example, that while most publishers allow ILL and do not restrict it to one nation, it is nevertheless important that libraries insist on explicit language that allows them to send ILLs outside the US; send ILLs electronically, without first having to print, then scan, the requested item; and not require them to control how the material is delivered to the patron. All future licenses for electronic journals and books should include a statement that “nothing in the license may restrict exceptions permitted under copyright law.” As for ILL practice itself, the white paper on US law suggests one small change in the ILL request forms to explicate what are the requesting libraries obligations. All the reports are required reading for anyone involved in licensing of content or ILL. - PH

Van den Eynden, Veerle, Louise  Corti, and Libby Bishop  Woollard, et. al.Managing and Sharing Data: Best Practice for Researchers  Colchester, UK: UK Data Archive, 2011.( - Spurred on by funding agency requirements, there has been increased interest in issues related to research data management and public dissemination in recent years. The third edition of Managing and Sharing Data: Best Practice for Researchers provides a concise (40-page) overview of these topics. It covers the basics of the rationale for public data distribution; data management planning and budgeting; documentation and metadata issues; data format, organization, control, and conversion concerns; data preservation strategies; ethical issues; copyright, reuse, and open access considerations; and other topics. While coverage of any one topic is necessarily limited, it provides a quick, useful orientation to the major issues for those new to research data management. - CB