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.
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?
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.)
Has anyone else started seeing what looks to be faceted topical headings at the top of Google searches? This past weekend I was the groomsman at my brother’s wedding and had the unfortunate timing to catch a case of conjunctivitis in both eyes the day before the ceremony. (“Does your camera have red-eye reduction setting?” I asked the photographer. She seemed confused, so I continued: “How about pink-eye reduction?” She looked a little closer at my eyes, laughed, and said “That’s what Photoshop is for.”) Wanting to know more, I did what any self-respecting information-finder would do — I asked Google. And here’s what came up.
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.
ISSN Regina Reynolds, Library of Congress (U.S. ISSN Center)
There are 80 ISSN centers worldwide with about 150 people associated with the assigning of ISSNs.
The ISSN International Center is located in Paris. It assigns the prefixes to ISSN centers and holds a master copy of descriptive metadata — the “Key Title” plus other metadata elements in MARC format — for every assigned ISSN. It also provides documentation, a manual (about 80-100 pages in length) and support for new centers coming on board.
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).
On Thursday, Google announced a new service in the labs: Related Links
Last week, we quietly rolled out, 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.
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 and other tools.
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?