Thursday Threads: Open Publishing Alternatives, Open Bibliographic Data, Earn an MBA in Facebook, Unconference Planning

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The highlights of the past week are around publishing — first with a model proposed by Eric Hellman in which consumers can pool enough money to pay publishers to “set a book free” under a Creative Commons license, then with an announcement by the University of Pittsburgh offering free hosting of open access e-journals. Since we have to be able to describe and find this content, their bibliographic descriptions are important; John Wilkin proposes a model for open access to elements of bibliographic descriptions. Rounding out this week’s topics are a report of a master’s degree program in business using Facebook, and tips for planning an unconference meeting.

From “Moby-Dick” To “Mash-Ups:” Thinking About Bibliographic Networks at ALA Annual 2010

Ron Murray and Barbara Tillett, both from the Library of Congress, are presenting their research in thinking about bibliographic information as networks of interrelated nodes at ALA Annual. This is a continuation of their “paper tool” work which was presented at the Library of Congress last year.

Google Search Engine Adds Support for RDFa, Or Do They?

Via a post and an interview on the O’Reilly Radar blog, Google announced limited support for parsing RDFa statements and microformat properties in web page HTML coding and using those statements to enhance the relevance of search results as so-called “rich snippets”. In looking at the example review markup outlined in the O’Reilly post, though, I was struck by some unusual and unexpected markup. Specifically, that the namespace was this http://rdf.data-vocabulary.org/ thing that I had never seen before, and the “rating” property didn’t have any corresponding range that would make that numeric value useful in a computational sense.

PHP Script for hCalendar to iCalendar Conversion

I try to do the “right thing” in postings on DLTJ. In the context of this discussion “right” is an attempt to be progressive: including hCalendar microformat markup for postings that include mention of events. The latest example of this was yesterday’s posting of the Learning, Libraries and Technology Conference. Embedded in the first paragraph is markup that another application reading the DLTJ feed can use to understand that the posting is talking about an event. (The Technorati Events” service is one example.) The key parts of the HTML are bolded below:

Specifications for Object Reuse and Exchange (ORE) published

ORE Logo The first production version of the Object Reuse and Exchange from the Open Archives Initiative was published today. In the words of the release announcement, ORE provides “the foundation for applications and services that can visualize, preserve, transfer, summarize, and improve access to the aggregations that people use in their daily Web interaction: including multiple page Web documents, multiple format documents in institutional repositories, scholarly data sets, and online photo and music collections.”

“Object Reuse and Exchange” Beta Specifications Now Available

Carl Lagoze of Cornell University and Herbert Van de Sompel of Los Alamos National Laboratory announced the release of the beta form of the ORE specifications yesterday. Here is the full text of their announcement:

Would the Real “Dublin Core” Please Stand Up?

I’ve been following the discussion by Stu Weibel on his blog about the relationship between Resource Description Framework (RDF) and Dublin Core Abstract Model (DCAM), and I think I’m as confused as ever. It comes as a two part posting with comments by Andy Powell Pete Johnston (apologies, Pete), Mikael Nilsson, Jonathan Rochkind, and Ed Summers. Jonathan’s and Ed’s comments describe the same knowledge black hole that I’ve been facing as well; in Ed’s words: “The vocabulary I get–the DCAM is a tougher nut for me to crack.”

Draft Specifications of OAI Object Reuse and Exchange Now Available

ORE logoLast night, Herbert Van de Sompel announced the availability of the draft specifications and user guide for Object Reuse and Exchange (ORE). This effort, under the auspices of the Open Archives Initiative (OAI), seeks to define a standard for the description and exchange of aggregations of web resources.