Thursday, November 10, 2005

Be Back Monday

Friday is a holiday here in the states, Veteran's Day. Saturday I give my talk about Free MARC Tools at the TLA District 8 Conference. Hope to see some readers there. So this weblog will be quiet until Monday. I have posted an MP3 of my talk on OurMedia. Other than that have an enjoyable weekend.

MS Office 2003 Research Pane

Anyone have any idea what it takes to configure our resources so they can be added to the MS Office 2003 research pane? Hoovers has instructions on how the user can add their resource to their research pane. What did they have to do on their side to make this possible? This would be just another way we could make our work more widely available.

Subject Access

Here is a field that was brought to my attention by the talk by Bill Moen at Access 2005, 656. "An index term that is descriptive of the occupation reflected in the contents of the described materials." I've never used this. Not many folks have, it seems. He had a collection of seven million records and it only appeared once. When would this be used rather than a 650?

Wednesday, November 09, 2005


LISA V - Library and Information Services in Astronomy: Common Challenges, Uncommon Solutions

June 18-21, 2006, Cambridge, Massachusetts, USA

The fifth Library and Information Services in Astronomy meeting will be hosted by the Wolbach Library at the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) Libraries. This First Announcement is meant to provide general information about the meeting. Additional details will be given in the Second Announcement, to be distributed in January 2006. Please forward this information to colleagues who may be interested.


The meeting will be held at Harvard University and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, in Cambridge, Massachusetts, USA, which is minutes away from the historic city of Boston.


The proceedings will be published electronically. Further instructions will follow in the Second Announcement.


Registration: US $300
Early Bird (before March 15, 2006): US $250
Single day: US $100
Student/Retired: US $50/day

Registration opens in January. Registration will be available for the
entire conference or for individual days.

Preliminary Program
  • The role of libraries and librarians in the era of the Virtual Observatory
  • Metadata and interoperability
  • Bibliometric studies using the Astrophysics Data System (ADS)
  • Dataset and facility identifiers - easier retrieval of papers based on observational data
  • Pricing aspects:
  • E-only vs. print -- does cancellation of print actually achieve savings?
  • Consortia models -- experiences from astronomy libraries
  • Difficulties in leaving "Big Deals" with major publishers
  • Access considerations:
  • Are we buying or renting? Access to e-journals after cancellations
  • Copyright issues
  • Reasons to keep print; is there a future for print?
  • When is full text not full text?
  • Open access and institutional repositories
  • Open Archive Initiative (and how it differs from open access)
  • Future of traditional journals
  • Pre-publication vs. post-publication peer-review
  • Technological aspects of electronic preservation
  • Digitization projects in astronomy
  • Migration -- preserving the integrity of the scientific record
  • Paper copies as backups for e-journals
  • How to use e-tools to set up an archive
  • Who needs commercial databases? Case studies on ISI Web of Science, Scopus, Scitation, et al.
  • "Invisible literature" -- what IS NOT indexed
  • ARIbib -- where is it and where is it going?
  • Retrieval of non-English language literature
  • Who's afraid of the big bad Google? Google Scholar, Google Print and more
  • Which search engines for which purpose?
  • E-metrics - how to measure library e-resources and services
  • Bibliomining -- data mining for libraries
  • Online library catalog -- does it have a future?
  • Blogs and wikis and podcasts, oh my!
  • Widening fields of activities, e.g., public outreach, education
  • Marketing in the astronomy setting
  • Webpages -- the library's business card
  • Disaster management
  • Libraries as publishers / providers
The conference Keynote Speaker will be Dr. John Huchra, Vice Provost for Research Policy, Harvard University, and Robert O. & Holly Thomis Doyle Professor of Cosmology, Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics, Cambridge, MA, USA.

Important Dates

Second Announcement: January 2006
Early bird registration and fee due: March 15, 2006
Late registration and fee due: May 15, 2006

Arabic Name Authority

Arabic name authority in the online environment : options and implications Speirs Plettner, Martha (2003)International Cataloguing and Bibliographic Control 32(2).

The article examines the efforts for incorporating non-Roman scripts, notably Arabic, in MARC bibliographic and authority records. Arabic name authority records have been handwritten using Arabic script and filed manually in book or card catalogs since the time that it was considered important to preserve this information. After the adoption of typewriters as tools in library cataloging departments, those who only had Latin script typewriters were forced into using transliteration schemes, a practice that has been criticized for compromising uniformity and accessibility.(Houissa) Later, typewriters fitted with Arabic character keys allowed authority cards to be typed in Arabic. There were also attempts to encode both Latin and Arabic scripts on cards—or in book catalogs, as the first dual-script name authorities; something that was encouraged by the catalog cards distributed between 1902 and 1997 by the Library of Congress.

Monday, November 07, 2005

Graphic Novels

Recently I've read a couple of outstanding graphic novels. Out From Boneville is a wonderful story, good for all ages. It reminded me, at times of Walt Kelly. Smith has an affection for people and his characters and their foibles. I'm going to be reading the rest in this series.

Blankets is another great story. It concerns first love, the cruelty of parents, and coming of age. All those things I'd not read in a book and my wife would have to drag me to the cinema to watch in a movie. Yet, here the form made it something I picked up, and I'm glad I did. Looking forward to his next work. Due to some sex, this one would be for teens and adults in library collections.

American Memory COinS-PMH Enabled via Greasemonkey

Dan on his dchud's work log describes the American Memory COinS-PMH Enabled via Greasemonkey.
Tonight I found Simon Willison's greasemonkey script that "fixes" American Memory to look better in various ways. It gave me the idea that the very suggestion we had for adding dynamic access to robust metadata and objects in our paper on this topic (see "Adding a Layer on Top of OpenURL Autodiscovery" section near the end) is not only possible, but doable now. As it turns out, it is, and it does!


I know, it's ugly, but, that's easily fixed. The point is - without even talking to anybody at LoC, American Memory now speaks COinS-PMH, and anybody could use similar techniques to pull robust metadata for these items with just a single click right from the human UI. I've fiddled a bit with attempting to make other American Memory collections work the same way (there are a lot of them!), and it kind of works sometimes, but, you should get the point.

Access 2005

Many talks from Access 2005 are available as MP3 files. Lots of good stuff here. I'll have to get to that conference at some point. Among the talks are:
  • Introduction to METS by Jerome Mcdonough
  • Sorting Out Social Classification: Folksonomies and Tagging In Practice by Gene Smith
  • A Radioactive Metadata Record Approach for Interoperability Testing Based on Analysis of Metadata Utilization by William Moen
  • (Grease)Monkeywrenching the Library: utilizing the sloppy underbelly of the web to expose our collections and services by Ross Singer
Seen on Lorcan Dempsey's weblog (always a good read).

Rights Metadata

Following the example of Yahoo!'s CC-search that was released in March 2004 and then incorporated into Yahoo!'s Advanced Search page, Google has incorporated a new element into its Advanced Search page that allows users to filter their search by Usage Rights. By choosing to search for content that "allows some form of reuse" or "can be freely modified, adapted or built upon", search results with be limited to content that is made available under a Creative Commons license.

From the Creative Commons news release. Are we identifying CC licenses for Web sites we include in the catalog? How often is field 540 used? Is this something our users want? Google and Yahoo! seem to think so. I know, in my catalog, when I do include rights information it is not is a standard language, so it would make limiting by that field difficult.