Friday, April 17, 2009

Open Access News

Peter Suber at Open Access news has proposed using tags to collocate news about open access on Connotea. A group tagging effort to collocate information seems like an interesting method to me. It could easily become polluted by spammers, but maybe Connotea has safeguards against that. Using the Connotea platform gives them a Web page, RSS feed, and email distribution.
You can participate as a reader, a tagger, or both, starting immediately. To participate as a reader, just follow or subscribe to some version of the project feed.

To participate as a tagger, you'll need to create a Connotea account, if you don't already have one. I recommending putting the "Add to Connotea" bookmarklet on your browser. When you see a new OA development, tag it with If you have time, write a brief description in the "description" box of the tagging dialog.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Museum Collection Management Tool

Specify 6 is an open-source tool for the museum community to organize their holdings.
Specify is a client-server database platform for museums and herbaria which processes specimen information for computerizing holdings, managing collection management transactions, and for mobilizing species occurrence data to the web. Specify is free and open source software licensed under the GNU GPL2. Downloadable installation packages for all three desktop flavors as well as Specify's Java source code are linked to this site.

Specify is an integration platform that will transform biological collections computing. Specify's network savvy and pluggable architecture is designed for adding web service links and functional extensions. With our open source model, we look forward to community software development collaboration to extend Specify to bring specimen data to broader computational research and networking initiatives in the environmental sciences.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

IN Harmony Sheet Music Cataloging Tool

The Indiana University Digital Library Program has released the IN Harmony Sheet Music Cataloging Tool.
This tool has been designed to assist libraries, archives, museums, and individual collectors describe their sheet music collections in a robust and standards-based way. This is a production system of the Indiana University Digital Library Program and was used to catalog more than 10,000 pieces of sheet music for the IN Harmony project.

The tool collects descriptive metadata about sheet music and exports it in the MODS, simple Dublin Core, and OAI-PMH Static Repository formats.
Seen on DigitalKoans.

Tagging, Folksonomy

A couple of papers by Jennifer Trant on tagging and folksonomy are available. Studying Social Tagging and Folksonomy: A Review and Framework. Journal of Digital Information 10(1).
This paper reviews research into social tagging and folksonomy (as reflected in about 180 sources published through December 2007). Methods of researching the contribution of social tagging and folksonomy are described, and outstanding research questions are presented. This is a new area of research, where theoretical perspectives and relevant research methods are only now being defined. This paper provides a framework for the study of folksonomy, tagging and social tagging systems. Three broad approaches are identified, focusing first, on the folksonomy itself (and the role of tags in indexing and retrieval); secondly, on tagging (and the behaviour of users); and thirdly, on the nature of social tagging systems (as socio-technical framework
Tagging, Folksonomy and Art Museums: Early Experiments and Ongoing Research. Journal of Digital Information 10(1).
Tagging has proven attractive to art museums as a means of enhancing the indexing of online collections. This paper examines the state of the art in tagging within museums and introduces the research project, and its study of tagging behaviour and the relationship of the resulting folksonomy to professionally created museum documentation. A variety of research questions are proposed and methods for answering them discussed. Experiments implemented in the research collaboration are discussed, preliminary results suggested, and further work described.

CDWA -LiteTool

A tool, COBOAT, for CDWA-Lite is freely available from OCLC. (CDWA Lite is an XML schema to describe core records for works of art and material culture based on the Categories for the Description of Works of Art (CDWA) and Cataloging Cultural Objects: A Guide to Describing Cultural Works and Their Images (CCO).)
COBOAT is a metadata publishing tool developed by Cognitive Applications Inc. (Cogapp) that transfers information between databases (such as collections management systems) and different formats.

As part of the Mellon-funded Museum Data Exchange project, OCLC commissioned Cogapp to:
  • extend COBOAT to enable the extraction of CDWA Lite
  • make COBOAT available under a fee-free license for the purposes of publishing a CDWA Lite repository of collections information.
Configuration files allow COBOAT to be adjusted for extraction from different vendor-based or homegrown database systems of collections information, or locally divergent implementations of the same collections management system. The configuration files available for download are designed for output from the Gallery Systems TMS collections management system.

In conjunction with the open source OAICatMuseum 1.0 software, COBOAT can be used to make CDWA Lite XML records available for harvesting via the Open Archives Initiative Protocol for Metadata Harvesting (OAI-PMH).

Monday, April 13, 2009

Twitter Congress

Now you can talk back to your congressperson in soundbites.
We promised you we were working on a new and magical development in citizen activism and here it is ready to go.

We've set up a process where all you have to do is send a reply to a
special Twitter inbox, and we will transit your message to all your
members of Congress, just like on all our regular action pages.
Here's how it works.
  1. First, become a follower of
  2. Send a reply to @cxs (our Twitter inbox gateway) that includes an issue category tag word (more on this in a second).
  3. If this is your first time we will send you a special encrypted link back to your own Twitter inbox as a PRIVATE, direct message.
  4. With that encrypted link (for you and you only) you can log in as your Twitter user id at the member's configuration site, and set up your contact information for your "To Congress thru Twitter" submissions (you only have to do this one time.)
  5. And BANG! Your messages simply get delivered in real time from then on. You can even get sending confirmations if you select that option.
Sounds easy, so let's give it a try. We have already a regular action page calling for the release of the Torture Memos. How tough an issue is that to support? Are they telling us these LEGAL opinions are so shameful, so beneath contempt as example of lawyering that they are ashamed for us to even be able to see them? How are we to have rule of law, if we are not even allowed to see what law they were operating under?

OK, here's what you do. The special issue tag for this action is very simply #p963, so you go to your own Twitter home page, and in the update box you type

@cxs #p963

and you send.

Wow, was that easy or like what! And your voice, on the subject of "Release The Torture Memos Now", will be communicated to all your members of Congress, and in this case the Department of Justice too. And you still have like another 130 Twitter message characters left to add any personal comment of your own that you like ... but none is required.

All you need to do is become a follower of "To Congress thru Twitter" at, and get all your friends to do the same thing, and you can read and share together all the messages that you and your friends are generating out on the issues.

But wait, it gets even better ...

You can send a message "To Congress thru Twitter" like this on ANY issue at all you like. All you have to do is make sure you include in your message one of the large selection of defined general issue tag words (not the same #p963 of course, which has PRESET the subject about the Torture Memos) and you can speak out on any issue under the sun. Organize your friends through Twitter to speak out. Start your own initiatives. Change the world right now this instant!!!

You will get more information on how all this works once you become a follower of and send your first reply to @cxs. The system will literally hold your hand and walk you through it the first time. We'll send you your own private, encrypted link (only for you and for nobody else but you), and that will log you in so you can see more about how the whole system is set up.

So speak out on the Torture Memos. Try it out now. Send a reply from you Twitter update box like so:

@cxs #p963

If you like, add any brief comment of your own about why YOU think the Torture Memos should be released. Sure we know they destroyed the video tapes of the torture sessions. And we know that destruction of evidence, let alone the torture itself, was a very bad crime. But was it a serious crime to write a so-called legal opinion? Apparently so, since they are so desperate to keep even those opinions a dark, hidden and evil secret.

Let us shine like the sun and cast the light of truth where it is most urgently needed. Send your first "To Congress thru Twitter" reply message now. And let's fire this puppy of democracy up!

Please take action NOW, so we can win all victories that are supposed to be ours, and forward this alert as widely as possible.

OCLC's Third Research Software Contest

News from OCLC.
I'm pleased to announce that OCLC has opened its Third Research Software Contest.

The prize is $2,500 and an expenses-paid visit to OCLC Research in Dublin, Ohio to discuss your contest entry and related issues and ideas with scientists, developers, and other staff.

We will be assembling a panel of judges to judge submissions based on these criteria:

  • Value to libraries, archives or museums
  • Use of OCLC services or data
  • Originality
  • Clean architecture and design
Deadline for entry is June 30, 2009 and the winner will be announced no later than July 31, 2009. Please see the web site for details, Roy