Germany is at it, too

This just in — at least to my INBOX — Germany is working on a unified repository as well. Called the eSciDoc project, it closely mirrors what the DRC is going to be:

The aim of the Max-Planck Society’s sInfo program is to significantly improve the effectiveness of its
scientists and institutes by systematically exploiting the new technical opportunities (Internet,
digitalization, communication, open access). It addresses many facets of scientific work: information
retrieval, processing and evaluating information, distributing and storing information, scientific work in
the laboratory and at the desk, scientific work performed by individuals and in groups.

Bibliography of Christensen’s “Disruptive Technology” on Libraries and Higher Education

Please Note: This bibliography is now housed at This version will not be updated.

Over the course of 2005 I’ve become more attuned with Clayton Christensen’s model of Disruptive Technology and how it explains events shaping academic libraries (and other types of libraries, for that matter) and higher education in general. Below is the bibliography I’ve collected on this topic
to this point.
If you’re just starting in this area, I’d recommend a top-down reading. (Unless you want to start with the 2-hour audio book version of Christensen’s first work. That is how I started and I found it to be a remarkably gentle yet powerful introduction to his concepts.)

Repositories Visualized

On 12/14/05 10:26 AM, Richard Green wrote on the sakai-library mailing list:
The RepoMman projectat the University of Hull, UK, is looking into the area
of workflow as related to an institutional repository. Hull sees a digital
repository as being a tool for its users, assisting them to develop a ‘piece
of work’ (a generic term intended to cover almost anything) from inception
to final form – supporting such things as development, collaboration and
versioning along the way. In other words, we see a repository as much more
than a container only for ‘finished’ digital objects. We are playing with
the acronym ‘AMP’ (access, management, preservation) to describe some of the
related functionality.

Onto the Scholar’s Desktop with Firefox Scholar

I first encounted Firefox Scholar (a.k.a. SmartFox) in a Chronicle of Higher Education article by Jeffrey Young, and noted with interest this statement in the article:

For the browser-based software to work fully, however, digital archives must format their books and articles in a way that lets it sort out where elements like title, author, and other bibliographic information reside. Some digital collections already do that, and others could make minor adjustments to comply, says Mr. Cohen.

Unfortunately, there is no reference to what changes have to be made beyond the page on CHNM’s wiki describing the project in broad terms. Has anyone else heard of anything?

Introducing Geographic Scope to Physical Collections

So I don’t know how this one slipped past me: you can link directly into Open WorldCat via an ISBN/ISSN REST-based URL.

Now any Web site can create “Find in a Library” links for specific titles. The syntax for link URLs is straightforward and keyed on common numeric identifiers.

For instance, a URL that gets directly to the ARL SPEC Kit on Patron Privacy that I wrote a number of years ago is:

Folks, it doesn’t get much easier than that. Compared to junk our OPACs are creating, that URL is absolutely gorgeous. (And it is a real URL — it doesn’t pretend to be a real URL by redirecting you to some other, perhaps messier, place. Nice work, OCLC!)

Marketing Malpractice

I haven’t yet gotten around to writing the blog entry about why Clayton Christensen’s work is important, but this citation was too good to let go by. How can we apply this? How about: “People don’t want an article citation for their research topic — they want an article on their research topic.” So why do we inflict confusing, jargon-filled and content-thin interfaces on our uses? So we can drive them to a bibliographic instruction session? I think we’ll drive them away.