Working With the Web Architecture

As you may have noticed, the web has evolved a set of common principles that are a mix of ratified standards and ad hoc practices. The notion of a Web Architecture was codified in a W3C technical report called “Architecture of the World Wide Web” http://www.w3.org/TR/2004/REC-webarch-20041215/ or simply ‘Web Architecture.’ Those projects and protocols that align with the ‘Web Architecture’ are more likely to be picked up and used than those that do not. As a result, the OAI Object Reuse and Exchange (ORE) project seeks to provide an infrastructure for web-based information systems that exploit and enhance the Web Architecture, and therefore overlay cleanly on the existing web.

Introducing the OAI Object Reuse and Exchange Initiative

In the past few months a new group has formed to tackle the problem of representing and exchanging complex digital objects in a web-based environment. I am proud to serve on the technical committee for this group and over the next few postings I’m aiming to introduce the library community to the work of the Open Archives Initiative Object Exchange and Reuse group and seek the feedback of the wisdom of this crowd.

Vision and Scope

Google News Archive Search — Where Are the Links to Content from Libraries?

Extra! Extra! Read All About It! “Explore History as it Happened: Google News Now Has Archive Search” Extra! Extra!

In my imagination I can see and hear the herald of the newspaper carrier on the street corner barking out this call. Except, Kids These Days would probably decry the use of dead trees to carry stale news and already be reading it on their PDAs and text-messaging each other on their cell phones. As it is, I found out about it through a story on Search Engine Watch (also found in Wall Street Journal and the U.K. Guardian and the New York Times) which itself touted Google’s “200 Year News Archive Search.” It is a nice service; I look at it, though, and have to wonder about the changing — if not outright diminishing — role of libraries as couriers of information. After all, couldn’t links to resources from the user’s local library be included right there next to the commercial article suppliers? If they could, why aren’t they? And what does it mean that they are not?

A Known Citation Discovery Tool in a Library2.0 World

When it comes to seeking a full-text copy of that known-item citation, are our users asking “what have you done for me lately?” OpenURL has taken us pretty far when one starts in an online environment — a link that sends the citation elements to our favorite link resolver — but it only works when the user starts online with an OpenURL-enabled database. (We also need to set aside for the moment the need for some sort of OpenURL base resolver URL discovery tool — how does an arbitrary service know which OpenURL base resolver I want to use!) What if a user has a citation on a printed paper or from some other non-online form? Could we make their lives easier, too? Here is one way. (Thanks go out to Celeste Feather and Thomas Dowling for helping me think through the possibilities and issues.)

Electronic Resource Management Systems in Consortial Environments

This is a summary of the discussion of the LITA Library Consortia / Automated Systems Interest Group meeting on Monday morning of the ALA Annual Convention in New Orleans. The meeting consisted of a managed discussion of the use of Electronic Resource Management (ERM) systems in consortial environments. In some cases, comments from the two primary speakers and discussion among the commingled and unattributed. Inaccuracies and comments taken out of context are the responsibility of the author of this posting, and corrections or embellishments are welcome in the form of comments to this post or as private e-mail messages.

Authentication and Access in a Metasearch Environment

Mike Teets of OCLC and I teamed up to write an article on Metasearch Authentication and Access Management for this month’s D-Lib Magazine. The first part of the article is a bit of a primer on access management techniques followed by a survey and analysis of access management schemes in use last year. The key part, I think, is the “Recommendations” (access restrictions by IP address plus authenticated proxy servers is the best one can hope for right now) and “Next Steps” (Shibboleth is superior to other access control mechanisms beyond IP/proxy that one might consider, but there is lots of work to be done).

Google’s “Related Links” as a library’s “Find More Items Like This”?

On Thursday, Google announced a new service in the labs: Related Links

Last week, we quietly rolled out Google Related Links, which lets you display a unit of useful links on your web site related to your site’s content, including relevant news, searches, and web pages. It is a great way to add fresh, dynamic content to your web site, and it is amazingly easy to use.

Resources for Describing Visual Materials

A recent thread on describing visual materials from the IMAGELIB mailing list sparked the descovery of these resources.

First was this bibliography of thesauri-related materials by Leonard Will of Willpower Information, an information management consultant in the U.K. It looks like a really good synopsis, and will be useful when adding controlled vocabularies to the DRC through MetaBuddy and other tools.