Current Cites

April 2015

Edited by Roy Tennant

Contributors: Charles W. Bailey, Jr., Peter Hirtle, Nancy Nyland, Roy Tennant

"Special Issue on Diversity in Library TechnologyThe Code4Lib Journal  (28)(15 April 2015)( - Anyone who has worked in the field of library technology knows that we have a diversity problem. This was in evidence at the first in-person Code4Lib Conference a number of years ago, where the attendees were almost exclusively white males. Over the years there has been a great deal of improvement within the Code4Lib community but there is still a long way to go both within that community and in the profession at large. This special issue of The Code4Lib Journal is intended to improve matters by advancing a conversation that is long overdue about problems and potential solutions -- not just within the library profession but also how we approach the diverse communities that we serve. Some of the intriguing article titles include "Feminism and the Future of Library Discovery," "How to Hack it as a Working Parent," "User Experience as a Social Justice Issue," and "Recognizing Cultural Diversity in Library Interface Development". Spend some time with this issue and be part of the solution. - RT

Bosch, Stephen, and Kittie  Henderson. "Whole Lotta Shakin’ Goin’ On: Periodicals Price Survey 2015Library Journal  (23 April 2015)( - The annual serials price survey is out, and it makes for fascinating - if depressing - reading. Why depressing? Academic library periodical prices continue to outpace inflation. In 2015, average increases were about 6%; the authors anticipate a 7% increase this next year. At the same time, funds available to academic libraries continue to shrink. Open access has yet to become a stabilizing factor on periodical prices: "OA is not relieving the pressure that rising costs have on library budgets." (The authors appropriately do not assess any benefits to OA other than its impact on periodical prices.) And there are indications that the Big Deal may give way to individual articles purchased for users on demand. Money that was once spent to build a national collection that could be shared will instead go for immediate gratification. Regardless of its implications, data like this is invaluable as we rethink the library's role in the scholarly communications process. - PH

Breeding, Marshall. "The Future of Library Resource DiscoveryISQ: Information Standards Quarterly  27(1)(Spring 2015): 24-30. ( - Breeding is well known as a person who watches the library automation landscape very closely, so his overview of where library resource discovery is going is likely to be about as accurate a prediction as anyone can make. This piece summarizes his much longer white paper that had been commissioned by the National Information Standards Organization and published online earlier in the year. Breeding begins by describing categories of discovery systems and identifying relevant standards and recommended practices in the field. He then touches on the idea of an open access discovery system, the integration of discovery services with resource management systems, the potential of linked data, a gap analysis, opportunities for future enhancements of discovery services, and some closing advice to NISO about potential relevant areas of action. - RT

Ciccone, Karen, and John  Vickery. "Summon, EBSCO Discovery Service, and Google Scholar: A Comparison of Search Performance Using User QueriesEvidence-Based Library and Information Practice  10(1)(2015): 34 - 49. ( - Researchers compared how the three services handled actual student search statements collected from search logs. This allowed them to analyze the results of real-world searches, which often contain “typos, punctuation errors, extraneous words, and other characters.” The observation was split into “known item” searches and topic searches. Topical search queries were rated according to “the number of relevant results within the first ten results,” with relevance being judged by members of the research team. Known item searches were judged by whether the item appeared, and if it was there, whether it was in the top three results. The authors concluded that all three search services performed about equally well for known-item searches, but that “Google Scholar outperformed both discovery services for topical searches.” - NN

Hennig, Nicole. "Selecting and Evaluating the Best Mobile Apps For Library ServicesLibrary Technology Reports  50(8)(November/December 2014)( - Amidst the deluge of new apps coming out every day, “[h]ow do you keep up with the latest apps?” This Library Technology Report helps librarians not only to keep up, but also to identify the best apps and uses for various types of libraries. The author kindly does not assume any prior knowledge, but begins with an explanation of mobile operating systems that allows beginners to get caught up. A list of standard features in mobile devices is followed by additional features that enhance accessibility. The traditional librarian role of evaluating resources includes reviewing apps. Possible venues for publishing reviews are provided, along with a checklist of expected features, such as: “Playfulness: Does it delight the user?” Once a library has identified apps they would like to feature, they can take up one of the many suggestions for community events (author events, hackathons, “app camp”), content creation, or use of apps in research skills instruction. A 30-page report is a relatively brief summary compared to the size of the topic. This one is packed with ideas and pointers to sources of more information. Even a cursory review could keep a librarian busy almost indefinitely, or at least until the next version of their favorite app comes along, whichever comes first. - NN

Lagoze, Carl, Paul  Edwards, and Christian  Sandvig, et. al."Should I Stay or Should I Go? Alternative Infrastructures in Scholarly PublishingInternational Journal of Communication  9(30 March 2015): 1052-1071. ( - One of the real puzzles of the past decade for librarians has been why faculty have not embraced new forms of scholarly distribution that could increase their voice while lowering costs. In this article, a research group from the University of Michigan uses A. O. Hirschman’s theory of exit, voice, and loyalty to explain why authors have not fled from traditional publishers. They suggest that while some scholars have voiced their displeasure with the current scholarly publishing environment, their loyalty to that environment is keeping them from giving up on it altogether. For the authors, that is a good thing. "The practices embodied in traditional academic journals," they conclude, "represent a valuable legacy worth preserving in some recognizable form. Thus, a massive exit to open access would not necessarily be beneficial." - PH

Swan, Alma, Yassine  Gargouri, and Megan  Hunt, et. al.Open Access Policy: Numbers, Analysis, Effectiveness  n.p.: PASTEUR4OA Project, 2015.( - This study examines deposit rates at institutions with open access policies listed in ROARMAP, which was updated by the PASTEUR4OA Project to include 663 institutions as of March 2015. Over three quarters of published articles from these institutions were not deposited, 8% only had a metadata record deposited, and 3% had a restricted document deposited. That left only 12% of published articles that were deposited as open access documents. The deposit rate for open access documents was four times as high in institutions with mandatory open access policies as it was in those without one. The study also examined deposit latency, correlations between deposit rate and selected policy criteria, and correlations between deposit latency and selected policy criteria. For example, the study found positive correlations "between Open Access and Restricted Access deposit rates and the following policy criteria: Must deposit, Cannot waive deposit, Link to research evaluation, Cannot waive rights retention, Must make item Open Access." This is an important study that reveals how open access policies work in practice, and it provides useful data to guide the drafting of future open access policies. - CB