This week Amazon takes center stage of DLTJ Thursday Threads with a report of their new Kindle Singles program for medium-form digital content and a screen-reader-aware version of the Kindle reader application for PCs. After that is a look at how scholarly discourse is changing — radically! — with the availability and use of near-real-time feedback loops. And we close out with a peek at shaky ground in the world of ISBN identifiers.
Earlier this week I received an e-mail from the director of the ISSN International Center announcing a session at the ALA Annual Conference in Anaheim to talk about the “linking ISSN”. Abbreviated ISSN-L, this is a new addition to the revised ISSN standard (ISO 3297, published last August) that allows for the collocation of separate ISSNs under a single ISSN-L. The ISSN standard now explicitly states that an
ISSN is a unique identifier for a specific serial in a defined medium. In other words, separate ISSN should be assigned to each different medium version of a serial. The ISSN-L table brings these separate ISSNs together.
This morning I got an invitation to join ResearcherID, a new author profile service from Thomson Scientific. The service sounds nice enough — who doesn’t want to take steps to avoid confusion between authors? — and if you have access to other Thomson products (like ISI Web of Knowledge or Web of Science) it may be even nicer. I’m all for the establishment of unique identifiers so we can start to do some interesting things with co-citation analysis and mining the web of connections in journal articles, but I’m not signing up. At least not yet.
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.