Libraries - distributed environments

  • The decentered library network presenceApril 20, 2014 – Think of two trends in the development of the library's network presence. These have emerged successively and continue to operate together. A centripetal trend producing a library network presence centered on the institutional website, as the library wants to offer an integrated service. A centrifugal trend, unbundling functionality and placing...read full entry...
  • Discovery vs discoverability ... January 02, 2013 – I have been interested in the different dynamics of the inside-out and outside-in library for a while (see here for example). One especially interesting characteristic is the quite different approach to discovery in each case, even though this distinction has not yet crystallized in clear service categories. I was struck...read full entry...
  • Worldcat Identities Network: a 'mashup'July 30, 2011 – There has been some nice reaction to the Worldcat Identities Network. The initial motivation for this was to put a graphic display of related Identities into an Identities page. This did not work out and we decided to make it available as a standalone app. The aim is to show...read full entry...
  • Effective web presence ...May 31, 2011 – We are growing used to the idea that simply making things available on the web does not necessarily make them widely discovered or discoverable. I have used the phrase 'search engine interoperability' in these pages already. This is a play on 'search engine optimization', which some do not like (although...read full entry...
  • The library network and the scholarly recordFebruary 13, 2011 – The library community is a highly interconnected one. Networks are motivated both by library mission and effective management of resources. This trend will accelerate as the Internet favors shared services, and libraries will see more benefit in building such shared services. The Hathi Trust is an important example. The growth...read full entry...
  • Stitching costs - retreadJuly 18, 2010 – I am on vacation and traveling this week, and so am taking the opportunity to air again an entry of a couple of years ago on what I called 'stitching costs' .... We are familiar with switching costs, the costs of changing a supplier. I may decide not to change...read full entry...
  • VIAF design patternJanuary 03, 2010 – A blog entry by Paul Walk - An infrastructure service anti-pattern - drew some attention a while ago. He argues against a model in which a service provider independently develops APIs and a user interface, and in which, accordingly, the APIs are developed in advance of actual use or explicit...read full entry...
  • Libraries and catalogues: systemic attentionJune 05, 2009 – The Research Information Network in the UK has released a timely report: Creating catalogues: bibliographic records in a networked world [Splash page; pdf]. It is concise and has a useful Summary and Key Findings section. I found it an interesting read, in no small part because it rehearses various key...read full entry...
  • A single business system environment reduxMay 30, 2009 – The new prototype discovery service from the National Library of Australia caused a ripple of interest the other week when it was released. One reason for the interest is that it brings together access to a range of NLA resources (Picture Australia, Libraries Australia, and Pandora, among others) as well...read full entry...
  • National libraries on YouTube April 19, 2009 – While looking at the Library of Congress presence on YouTube the other day, I was curious about other national library presences. A very quick search for national library 'channels' revealed the following ... The European Library The National Library Board of Singapore The National Library of Wales The National library...read full entry...
  • Tile and organizational evolutionMarch 04, 2009 – A set of documents from the TILE project has appeared. TILE continues the work that was done by this group on the ILS last year. It extends this work by looking at library systems and services in broader contexts. In particular it looks at the library in the context of...read full entry...
  • More on repositories and search enginesFebruary 11, 2009 – I referenced a note by Andy Powell on institutional repositories and Google in an earlier post. Herbert Van de Sompel left a comment pointing to a short document he has prepared addressing some of Andy's concerns based on recent work with OAI-ORE. Here are a couple of the opening paragraphs...read full entry...
  • SEI - search engine interoperabilityFebruary 10, 2009 – I have used the phrase search engine interoperability in these pages a couple of times. This is a play on search engine optimization, which some do not like (although I think we should not avoid using a standard industry term). We value interoperability in libraries, and I think that a...read full entry...
  • Criss cross catalogsNovember 23, 2008 – It is interesting to look at the variety of ways in which newer catalog/discovery layer deployments are linking to third party services. The list of VuFind implementations on their 'about' page provides a good sample. There is some variety within the overall VuFind pattern. Here is an example from a...read full entry...
  • djatoka, OpenURL and OOMRef-JOctober 10, 2008 – djatoka, "A Reuse Friendly, Open Source JPEG 2000 Image Server" developed at Los Alamos National Laboratory, Research Library, was released recently. An article in D-Lib Magazine by Ryan Chute and Herbert Van de Sompel introduces it. A particular feature of the approach is its use of the OpenURL as enabling...read full entry...
  • Stitching costsOctober 08, 2008 – We are familiar with switching costs, the costs of changing a supplier. I may decide not to change my phone or email arrangements, for example, because I do not want to incur the effort of notifying all my contacts. Libraries are very familiar with switching costs given the range of...read full entry...
  • Worldcat on iPhoneSeptember 19, 2008 – Several colleagues have commented on the view of Worldcat optimized for the iPhone/iTouch created by our colleague Bruce Washburn. It is a nice use of the Worldcat Search API and it pulls data from Worldcat and Worldcat Identities. As I don't have a Safari browser or an iPhone to hand,...read full entry...
  • HackathonSeptember 10, 2008 – Check out the Hackathon being sponsored by the OCLC Developers' Network and NYPL Labs .... It is on Nov 7-8 in New York. Join fellow coders, hackers and tech-enthusiasts for a two-day WorldCat Hackathon at the New York Public Library. Sponsored by the OCLC Developer’s Network and NYPL Labs of...read full entry...
  • Data at the network levelAugust 20, 2008 – The impact of networking on organizational evolution is interesting: how does networking impact how libraries coordinate their resources to get their work done effectively? In the 'network age' there have been several major shifts in how libraries coordinate resources (and by resources, I am thinking about their budgets, staff, and...read full entry...
  • Worldcat APIAugust 18, 2008 – The Worldcat API was released beyond the original trial group while I was away.The WorldCat Search API provides access to WorldCat bibliographic records and holdings using the FRBR concepts to pull together various editions of the same work. The API provides access to the WorldCat databases from clients that can...read full entry...
  • Stuck in the middle ....August 03, 2008 – Much of our current model of network information and communication behavior is in the middle ground, it is based on the personal computer (desk- or lap-top) as a consumption target and the organizational website as the delivery target. In other words, the library website is the front door to network...read full entry...
  • Metadata crosswalk web serviceJuly 27, 2008 – Metadata crosswalks are becoming more important as more data flows from application to application. We have been working on this issue and the approach was described a while ago in the Code4Lib Journal. This paper discusses an approach and set of tools for translating bibliographic metadata from one format to...read full entry...
  • Library APIsJuly 18, 2008 – Building on some work by Owen Stephens, Roy has created a list of library APIs, or APIs of potential interest to library applications. It is in early stages and he welcomes suggestions for addition....read full entry...
  • Disclosure and diffusion - synchronization and syndicationJuly 16, 2008 – David Bigwood on his blog stats: Making your content available in more places makes metrics hard. Before Bloglines, Google Reader, Facebook Blog Network, Planet Catalog, and all the rest I could get a feel for the number of readers. Didn't matter too much to me, this is done for my...read full entry...
  • We enjoy visiting with our users while there is no place like homeJuly 10, 2008 – How libraries reach into the flow of their users has been one of the recurrent themes of this blog. Recently, I have been interested to see libraries begin to systematise this and to understand the issues around particular approaches. I mentioned the National Library of Scotland's presence on YouTube the...read full entry...
  • Terminology servicesJuly 07, 2008 – During the deliberations of the Library of Congress Working Group on the Future of Bibliographic Control (of which I was a member) there was quite a bit of discussion about 'webifying' (or 'webulating', to use the phrase of my colleague Stu Weibel) library terminology and authority resources. What this meant...read full entry...
  • xISSN and Title History ToolJune 23, 2008 – xISBN is now well established. xOCLCNUM was introduced a while ago, as an aspect of the xISBN service. xISBN is now being joined by xISSN, a new Web service. With this service you can supply an ISSN, and find out about any predecessor, successor, and alternate ISSNs and titles, and...read full entry...
  • Workflow is an intermediate consumerMay 31, 2008 – I have been using the following contrast in presentations for a while. This is to make a distinction between library services - or any other service for that matter - in a pre-network age, and such services now. Then: people were prepared to build their workflows around library services. Now:...read full entry...
  • A gallimaufrey of itemsMay 02, 2008 – Some items of possible interest which were in a little email pile waiting for attention ...... Arrow An Australian colleague alerted me to the redesign of the Arrow Discovery Service. Arrow aggregates access to Australian research repositories. Welcome to the ARROW Discovery Service - where you can search 143,582 Australian...read full entry...
  • Platforming a library network: destination and switchApril 18, 2008 – I recently came across xignite, a financial web services company. Here is their blurb .... Financial events around the world impact not only finance professionals but every business. This is why successful businesses integrate key financial information into the processes and applications their employees or clients use every day. Until...read full entry...
  • Engaging academic users in a library serviceMarch 09, 2008 – OCUL (Ontario Council of University Libraries) has released a nice white paper which discusses issues in providing an end-user access environment for its shared resources, and more interestingly, how that environment engages with the behaviors and expectations of its academic users. This document (pdf) was created to highlight opportunities and...read full entry...
  • The two ways of Web 2.0March 02, 2008 – I find Web 2.0 increasingly confusing as a label; no surprise there. This is not just because of its essential vagueness, but because I think it tends to be used in a couple of very different ways. Where this happens there is bound to be some confusion. Schematically, I will...read full entry...
  • Registries, referrals, resolutionsJanuary 30, 2008 – I have written before about how registries provide 'intelligence' in the network. Scalable loose coupling between library services will benefit from good ways to discover those services. The Worldcat Registry includes data for library services (resolver, catalog, virtual reference) which drives Worldcat Local and Worldcat.org. Worldcat.org's 'understanding' of the library...read full entry...
  • To 'extract, transform and load' or to federateJanuary 10, 2008 – One of the major questions for library systems is the role of metasearch or federation. I have written about this here (Metasearch: a boundary case) and here (Metasearch, Google and the rest). The issue is that libraries have to manage a range of database resources whose legacy technical and business...read full entry...
  • Search web serviceNovember 09, 2007 – Under the auspices of OASIS appears a discussion document about the 'search web service'. The Search web service is a means of opening a database to external enquiry in a standardized manner that facilitates discovery of query and response possibilities and makes it possible for heterogeneous databases to be queried...read full entry...
  • xISSNOctober 31, 2007 – Our Openly colleagues have added a new service, xISSN, alongside xISBN. The xISSN Web service supplies ISSNs and other information associated with serial publications represented in WorldCat. Submit an ISSN to this service, and it returns a list of related ISSNs and selected metadata. The service is based on WorldCat,...read full entry...
  • OpenURL ReferrerOctober 25, 2007 – My Openly colleagues have added an IE version of the OpenURL Referrer extension. The Firefox version is already available. OpenURL Referrer is a browser extension that can take certain kinds of citations on the web and convert them to direct links to one of your local library's databases. This can...read full entry...
  • Discovery happens elsewhereSeptember 16, 2007 – I have been using the phrase 'discovery happens elsewhere' in recent presentations. I think it captures quite nicely an increasingly important part of how we think about our services. No single website is the sole focus of a user's attention. Increasingly people discover websites, or encounter content from them, in...read full entry...
  • Knowing about libraries and services in the networkSeptember 13, 2007 – I bought the following book in the congenial City Newstand in Cheyenne this afternoon. The back cover tells me that it was the Wyoming Historical Society Book of the year ... I like the 'get it', 'save it', 'add to it', and 'share it' features. Because I am sitting at...read full entry...
  • A catalogue in your faceAugust 01, 2007 – I was interested to see the Page Tools in the University of Alberta catalogue (look in the left hand bar below). A reader can send a correction or suggestion to the library: it would be interesting to know how many folks use this option and what types of suggestion are...read full entry...
  • The network reconfigures the library systems environmentJuly 06, 2007 – One of the main issues facing libraries as they work to create richer user services is the complexity of their systems environment. Consider these pictures which I have been using in presentations for a while now. Reductively, we can think of three classes of systems - (1) the classic ILS...read full entry...
  • Developing a 'next generation' systemwide catalogJune 12, 2007 – Judith Pearce from the National Library of Australia left an interesting comment about the integration, or not, of full-text book indexes and library catalogs. Here is an excerpt:Here at the National Library of Australia, just as we are starting to address the challenge of getting nice fully FRBRised, relevance-ranked and...read full entry...
  • Resolving the serials supply chainMay 29, 2007 – Link resolvers and the serials supply chain [pdf] is the title of an interesting report commissioned by the UK Serials Group and written by James Culling. From the summary: The current knowledge base data supply chain is characterized by a complex series of roles, relationships and inter-dependencies between publishers, other...read full entry...
  • Moving to a 'single business' systems environmentMarch 26, 2007 – The National Library of Australia has made an interesting report available, National Library of Australia IT Architecture Project Report, March 2007. [pdf] Here is the declared purpose:The aim of this report is to define the IT architecture that will be needed to support the management, discovery and delivery of the...read full entry...
  • Registry interfacesFebruary 20, 2007 – Ed Summers has a nice note on the Worldcat Registry of institutional profiles. Talking about machine level access through web services. The details are available here (free worldcat.org registration required). Two web services are now available. There are full details on the pages; here is what the headlines say: WorldCat...read full entry...
  • Worldcat RegistriesFebruary 19, 2007 – I wrote about registries a while ago.But this is exactly the situation we are in with higher level network services where we have no such directory services. Increasingly, library applications need to know about a variety of entities. We are used to thinking about information objects (books, journals, maps, etc)....read full entry...
  • Groups: Deff reportFebruary 05, 2007 – The role of the 'group' level in library matters is an interesting one, and one which - it seems to me - is becoming more important in the network environment. The cost and complexity of providing some services locally is pushing attention to the network level, where there may be...read full entry...
  • ScapesFebruary 01, 2007 – Google announced a while ago that they were 'deprecating' their SOAP Search API in favour of an Ajax based search syndication strategy [as reported by Brady Forrest]. One motivation for this, it was speculated, was that the SOAP API-based syndication of search did not support their ad-based revenue model. Why?...read full entry...
  • Moving compound objectsJanuary 29, 2007 – Herbert sent me a pointer to the report [pdf] of the first OAI-ORE Technical Committee meeting. From the website blurb:ORE will develop specifications that allow distributed repositories to exchange information about their constituent digital objects. These specifications will include approaches for representing digital objects and repository services that facilitate access...read full entry...
  • Standards for D2DJanuary 15, 2007 – JISC, ALPSP, Crossref, and The Publishers' Association sponsored a conference - Discovery and access - standards and the information chain - in December. The proceedings are now available, as is a summary. This is really an excellent set of presentations from knowledgeable presenters, and they all repay reading. I was...read full entry...
  • QOTD: getting in the flowJanuary 07, 2007 – Niall Kennedy argues that 'search is not a zero switch cost'. Even if a strong competitor emerges for Google they will have to do quite a bit of work given the steps Google has taken to embed itself in various user flows:Google is spending billions to integrate its search products...read full entry...
  • A couple of reportsNovember 28, 2006 – A couple of relevant reports have just come over the horizon .....First, from the Research Information Network in the UK comes an overview [pdf] of researcher resource discovery behaviors and preferences:Search and discovery are critical and integral parts of the research process. As this study shows, researchers devote considerable amounts...read full entry...
  • Boffyflow and spikeNovember 26, 2006 – Peter Binkley has a thoughtful post on libraries and Second Life, which could be generalized to a variety of environments. He kindly notes some of my remarks on putting library services into the flow and goes on to say of Second Life:But is there now, or will there ever be,...read full entry...
  • Web servicesNovember 13, 2006 – I have a short article about web services and some of the work OCLC Research has done in this area in the current issue of Next Space, the OCLC newsletter. There is also a general article by my colleague Tom Storey about 'moving to the network level'. Thanks to Science...read full entry...
  • Disclosure and repositories againNovember 04, 2006 – In the context of talking about disclosure I had it on my list to note Google's Sitemap some time, and in particular the use of OAI-PMH in this context.The Sitemap Protocol allows you to inform search engines about URLs on your websites that are available for crawling. In its simplest...read full entry...
  • Connecting discovery to location with a service layerOctober 13, 2006 – I have just done an entry talking about how discovery of library materials may be carried out in a different environment to the library system (in Google Scholar, WorldCat, or a local discovery system like the NCSU catalog, for example). One issue that arises in this context is how to...read full entry...
  • Distributing the catalog discovery experienceOctober 13, 2006 – In a recent article on the catalog, I discussed how 'discovery' of library materials was increasingly going to be 'disembedded' from the local library catalog, and 're-embedded' in a variety of other contexts. Those other contexts might need to link back to the library system, which is becomes more of...read full entry...
  • Zotero againOctober 06, 2006 – I mentioned Zotero the other day. I am submerged in several assignments and will not be able to look at it myself for a little while. In the interim, here are some mild opinions, tentatively offered: There are a range of generic options (create a new citation from scratch, capture...read full entry...
  • D2D in OhioSeptember 20, 2006 – Our close neighbor, Peter Murray, of Ohiolink, has been posting about Service Oriented Architectures. He has just been elaborating with some examples of how one might organize an integrated discovery to delivery experience across a set of independently managed services. In his example, WorldCat, OhioLink, and local library systems are...read full entry...
  • eFoundationsSeptember 18, 2006 – If they can keep up the momentum ;-), eFoundations, a new blog by Andy Powell and Pete Johnston of Eduserv, will be worth tracking. Here is Andy beginning a discussion of repository interfaces:Anyway, I digress... to get back to the main point, my answer at the time can be summed...read full entry...
  • Audience level in the service layerSeptember 15, 2006 – I notice that John Blyberg has implemented access to our Audience Level Web Service in PatRest:I’ve updated AADL’s PatREST interface to reflect an addition I’ve made to the PatREST specification (now 1.3). This addition takes advantage of OCLC’s Audience Level indicator. OCLC makes this information available via an XML web...read full entry...
  • Synthesize, specialize, mobilizeAugust 25, 2006 – I have used the synthesize, specialize, mobilize triple as a way of organizing some recent presentations and have found it very useful. Unfortunately, I cannot claim credit for coining this. This is a formulation of my colleague Robin Murray of Fretwell Downing, now part of OCLC Pica. It is presented...read full entry...
  • Registries: the intelligence in the networkAugust 20, 2006 – Interaction between systems and services on the network requires intelligence. Intelligence about what is in the environment (search or resolution targets, for example), about how to interact with found entities (addresses or interface specifications, for example), about who is authorized to do what, and so on. Think of two parallels....read full entry...
  • Q6August 11, 2006 – My colleague Jeff Young has a blog - Q6 - where he is discussing issues around the design and deployment of OpenURL 1.0. it is aimed at those with some familiarity with OpenURL.The first thing to notice is that OpenURL 1.0 blows the doors off of OpenURL 0.1. OpenURL is...read full entry...
  • Discovery and disclosureAugust 08, 2006 – Science Library Pad has a couple of posts about libraries and the long tail. He makes the following interesting point contrasting 'availability' with 'discoverability':For example, PhotoBucket is in the availability business. You get a bucket of storage, you dump your photos in. It is mostly not in the discoverability business....read full entry...
  • Library geeks 001August 08, 2006 – The Chudnov media network expands with the addition of Library Geeks 001. If you are a library geek, or just play one on radio, this may be the spot for you. In the first interview, Ross Singer talks about OpenURL and much else. Well worth a listen for those comfortable...read full entry...
  • WikiD and OpenURLJuly 24, 2006 – And while speaking of OpenURL .... ... my colleagues, Jeff Young and Thom Hickey, have an article in the current D-Lib Magazine about the WikiD repository framework which is an OpenURL 1.0 application. Here is the summary:WikiD demonstrates that OpenURL has potential far beyond its roots in citation linking. It...read full entry...
  • Resolution and transaction costsJuly 24, 2006 – Andrew Pace has a note emphasising the importance of OpenURL and resolution, placing it in the context of overall management of the supply chain that connects libraries and their partners. This is the right emphasis. A major challenge for libraries is removing transaction costs (the effort required to perform the...read full entry...
  • Retrospect: You can run but you can't hideJuly 10, 2006 – The video [wvx] of my presentation at the University of Edinburgh is now available. I have received several kind comments and enquiries - surely it wasn't two and a half hours long ;-) I still cannot get used to the fact that many presentations are often not 'private' to you...read full entry...
  • Small pieces ....July 10, 2006 – We have been interested in the great interest expressed in xISBN. It receives heavy traffic and seems to show how useful an easily recombinable web service can be. Thom compares the newer thingISBN service on LibraryThing with xISBN. Richard Wallis shows xISBN and thingISBN working with a couple more web...read full entry...
  • Libraries, research and learningJune 23, 2006 – Academic library services will co-evolve with changing learning and research practices in network environments. So much is clear, even if the picture is still a little blurry. We have come through a period - a decade and more - where the main emphasis has been on putting materials on the...read full entry...
  • Recombinant modularityJune 21, 2006 – I have been using the word recombinant on and off to refer to changing structures in a network environment. What we see at various levels - from organizations to schema - is growing modularization accompanied by flexible reconfiguration of those modules. Remixing and mashups have some of the same sense...read full entry...
  • Federated search that doesn't very wellJune 01, 2006 – I have written quite a bit in these pages about metasearch (see list of related entries below). In some recent presentations I have also suggested that metasearch is not a long-term solution to library or user needs. This has sometimes caused query or consternation, as libraries are investing considerably in...read full entry...
  • The owl of MinervaJune 01, 2006 – The home page of the Rush Rhees library at the University of Rochester displays a picture of a statue of Minerva. I sat through an interesting presentation this morning from Jennifer Bowen and David Lindahl about the Extensible Catalog project at Rochester. Their powerpoint template prominently featured a picture of...read full entry...
  • A great radio voiceMay 25, 2006 – A nice interview with Thom. Thom Hickey discusses OCLC Research, projects, technology, and licensing with Educause's Matt Pasiewicz In a 23-minute interview, OCLC's chief scientist covers such topics as OCLC's Open Source Software offerings and licenses, FRBR and other projects, grid computing and Ajax. [Research [OCLC]]...read full entry...
  • No user interfaceMay 19, 2006 – Amazon recently released its S3 service - a network storage system. Amazon S3 provides a simple web services interface that can be used to store and retrieve any amount of data, at any time, from anywhere on the web. [Amazon.com Amazon Web Services Store: Amazon S3 / Amazon Web Services]It...read full entry...
  • Lifting out the catalog discovery experienceMay 14, 2006 – I have been talking to a variety of groups in recent weeks, and the future of the catalog has risen to the top of the list in discussion and questions. The catalog is a topic of major debate. However, this discussion is really raising a set of broader issues about...read full entry...
  • The hybrid libraryApril 28, 2006 – The hybrid library was a term in common use in UK digital library development. It originated in the UK Electronic Libraries Programme, and, I think, was coined by that programme's director, Chris Rusbridge. It was discussed in different ways. The rationale for the term was to get around either-or discussions,...read full entry...
  • OpenSearch and SRUApril 17, 2006 – An interesting post on the OpenSearch developers' blog about a visit by Rob Sanderson, one of the people involved in SRU. We see many opportunities for collaboration going forward. To start, we hope to foster ongoing dialog between the OpenSearch and SRU communities. And on the technical side, there are...read full entry...
  • InnovationApril 13, 2006 – In the continuing discussion about the place of the catalog in the evolving set of library services and the wider network world, a couple of interesting links. First, a talk given a few days ago at OCLC:Birte Christensen-Dalsgaard (State and University Library, Aarhus (Denmark)) Developing Denmark's Next Generation Digital Library:...read full entry...
  • The network is the sunApril 11, 2006 – There is an interesting discussion about how to make the catalog visible on the open web on Web4Lib at the moment, specifically on how users might find their way back from Google to library resources. A theme is that it is also important to make library resources visible in the...read full entry...
  • Know your audienceMarch 23, 2006 – We have made an 'audience level' service available as a prototype. This is available as a human interface, a web service, and as greasemonkey scripts which insert an audience level in an Amazon or Open WorldCat page based on interaction with the web service. This service is based on the...read full entry...
  • Coins in Open WorldCat, Openly's OpenURL Referrer, and the OCLC Resolver RegistryMarch 16, 2006 – [Update: click on the picture for an example where a link to a resolver is showing.] I have mentioned Coins from time to time and am pleased now that Open WorldCat supports them:On March 12, 2006 OCLC added COinS to its Open WorldCat web pages. COinS is an acronym that...read full entry...
  • Coins in union cataloguesFebruary 17, 2006 – I noted with interest the announcement about Coins in COPAC, the CURL union catalogue in the UK. The Copac v3 Experimental Interface now has COinS in the full record display. The COinS is an HTML element that contains an OpenURL and is structured in such as way that it is...read full entry...
  • xISBN and compositionJanuary 27, 2006 – We have been pleasantly surprised at the uses people have made of xISBN. This is a web service which on input of an ISBN returns ISBNs in the same work set. It is an outgrowth of our work on FRBR. A partial list of people who have looked at it...read full entry...
  • Frameworks and reference modelsJanuary 27, 2006 – There has been a lot of discussion in various quarters of late about Frameworks or Reference Models for the library and related communities. Of immediate relevence, DLF, JISC/DEST and NISO have been looking at various ways of modelling the information environment in terms of processes, services (services in a technical...read full entry...
  • A palindromic ILS service layerJanuary 20, 2006 – Maybe we need an ILSSLI. That's ILS Service Layer Interfaces, or maybe ILS Service Layer Initiative. Lots of things have come over my horizon recently where interesting interfaces are talking to the integrated library system in the background. Here are some: There is the much lauded NCSU catalog which needs...read full entry...
  • Distance from the default: Web browser extensionsJanuary 19, 2006 – There is a nice page of web browser extensions on Library Success: A Best Practices Wiki. This includes things like bookmarklets, toolbars, greasemonkey scripts, and so on. For a nice discussion which puts some of these in context see Ross Singer's Access 2005 presentation. He talks there about the 'sloppy...read full entry...
  • A service-able catalogueJanuary 11, 2006 – Dave Pattern continues to do interesting things with the catalog(ue) at the University of Huddersfield. Check out the two screenshots from Amazon.co.uk. They show a seminal report which is now of great historical interest ;-) Notice that a Greasemonkey script has inserted a line above the title in each. The...read full entry...
  • Social bookmarking in the library: a new bibliographic tissue?January 08, 2006 – PennTags looks like a very interesting experiment.PennTags lets you organize and share your bookmarks. You can use the UPennToolbar or the PennTags Bookmarklet to post websites into your tagspace. PennTags can also be used to tag Franklin and VCaT records. [PennTags /]Functionally, it looks very like del.icio.us. Graphically, it looks...read full entry...
  • Systemwide discovery and deliveryDecember 22, 2005 – Judith Pearce of the National Library of Australia has written a really good paper on the emerging shape of resource discovery and delivery, with some contribution from my OCLC Pica colleague Janifer Gatenby. It takes a systemwide perspective: so the focus is on what we somtimes call resource sharing. I...read full entry...
  • Structured blogging and coinsDecember 20, 2005 – When I saw the discussion about structured blogging I thought of Coins among other things. And, hey, now I read this....read full entry...
  • Repository frameworksDecember 16, 2005 – Herbert Van de Sompel and colleagues at LANL have been writing about the aDORe architecture for a while (see [pdf] for example). They have now released software to implement an aDORe archive.The aDORe Archive is a write-once/read-many storage approach for Digital Objects and their constituent datastreams. The approach combines two...read full entry...
  • IdentifiersDecember 07, 2005 – A couple of things come together ... I was going to do a short post on the renaissance of interest in identifiers based on the approval by the IESG of the Info-URI, and on the growing awareness that we need to consistently identify the entities in our environment (institutions for...read full entry...
  • Service modelsDecember 02, 2005 – I mentioned the work of the DLF Framework a while ago. This has been looking at ways of developing service and process models for libraries as they evolve to support research and learning in new environments. The absence of common models undermines our ability to develop and design systems efficiently,...read full entry...
  • A handful of presentationsNovember 30, 2005 – I just noticed how out-and-about my OR colleagues have been in the last few months. Here is a note about presentations since September, pulling in a variety of things in passing. System and service architectures David Bigwood asked recently about the Microsoft Research Pane. We have been using it as...read full entry...
  • Where is the web?November 21, 2005 – Some commentary on how the experience of the web will move from one where destinations dominate to one where lightweight client-side approaches shape presentation and consumption. This is a world where links matter more: services built on URLs, maybe Coins, .... From Darwinian Web:The explosion I am talking about is...read full entry...
  • Discover, locate, ... vertical and horizontal integrationNovember 20, 2005 – I was involved in some work years ago which developed the discover-locate-request-deliver string of verbs to talk about integrating library services. One emphasis of the work was that discovery was one part only of a whole chain (discovery2delivery - D2D) through which requirements were met. Requiring the user to complete...read full entry...
  • That underbelly againNovember 08, 2005 – I mentioned that Ross Singer's presentation at Access appeared to have quite an impact on the audience. He went through a number of approaches to moving library services into the browser and the user's webflow. Things like bookmarklets, extensions, user scripting and scraping. It is now available on the Access...read full entry...
  • COinS againOctober 26, 2005 – I have mentioned COinS a couple of times. Dan Chudnov has a nice site which provides bookmarklets and Greasemonkey scripts which support linking to institutional resources by acting on COinS embedded in web pages. It leverages the data in OCLC's Resolver Registry:Below is a form for finding bookmarklets and greasemonkey...read full entry...
  • Bridging to user environments - 3GOctober 24, 2005 – Think of services provided to human interfaces as P-services - where p stands for person (or presentation). Think of services provided to machine interfaces as M-services where m stands for machine (or mediated). Our dominant model of delivery is P-service, a web interface oriented for presentation to human users. M-services...read full entry...
  • From metasearch to distributed information environmentsOctober 09, 2005 – The papers from the recent NISO OpenURL and Metasearch meeting provide a very useful roundup of the state-of-the-art in the declared subject area. But they also touch on other topics facing libraries as they construct distributed information environments. Some things that lodged with me as I skimmed powerpoint:One stop shop...read full entry...
  • Authentication and authorizationOctober 09, 2005 – The Task Group on access management from the NISO Metasearch Intiative - chaired by my colleague Mike Teets - has made a very useful report [pdf] available. This provides a framework within which to examine existing authentication and authorization methods, and describes those methods. It encapsulates nicely current understanding of...read full entry...
  • Making data work - Web 2.0 and catalogsOctober 04, 2005 – Tim O'Reilly has just made available a suggestive piece about Web 2.0, which provides many points for the library community to ponder. One of these comes back to a concern I raise regularly in these pages: making data work harder. He is discussing the use of data, and notes how...read full entry...
  • Find nearbyOctober 04, 2005 – I mentioned the find in a nearby library feature in Santa Monica Public Library below, where OpenWorldCat is used to find a book in libraries within a several mile radius. This has now been extended throughout the catalog: there is a new link on every record that has a localized...read full entry...
  • Linking to OpenWorldCatOctober 03, 2005 – Three examples of linking to OpenWorldCat have just come over my horizon. Each represents a slightly different use, which is nice. A pilot with the Santa Monica public library catalog. Click on 'check nearby libraries' in the box on the left. An ISBN link with a zip code qualifier shows...read full entry...
  • Hwaet! Such swift search, SRU on a clusterSeptember 19, 2005 – My colleagues write about parallel text searching on a Beowulf Cluster in the current DLib Magazine:This article describes our experience building a scalable, relatively inexpensive, and fast searching framework that demonstrated 172 searches per second on a database of 50 million records. The article should be of interest to anyone...read full entry...
  • StoneDSeptember 17, 2005 – An article in the current D-Lib Magazine describes StoneD, a bridge for moving content between DSpace and Greenstone instances. They must have decided against the attractive alternative - GreenSpace?...read full entry...
  • OpenURL Resolver RegistrySeptember 08, 2005 – This is a pointer to a new Alpha service from OCLC, the OpenURL Resolver Registry. This is a nice idea which potentially extends the utility of the OpenURL by providing a switch between a user/user application and an appropriate resolver. OCLC is utilizing a phased approach in this project. The...read full entry...
  • Service architectureSeptember 06, 2005 – A DLF Working Group, of which I am a member, has been working on approaches to service frameworks or architectures. A progress report is available, and DLF is looking to engage some dedicated effort to advance the work to its next stage. A Service Framework is a tool with which...read full entry...
  • New model library system vendorsSeptember 05, 2005 – The formation of SirsiDynix prompted a couple of interesting posts. Kenton Good predicted that there would be another coming together this year and wondered would it be Innovative Interfaces and Endeavor Information Systems. He speculated that:Ex Libris feeling isolated will radically shift their business model. Leveraging their plans to modularize...read full entry...
  • Metasearch: a boundary caseAugust 29, 2005 – A couple of metasearch reports have been recently released. One, carried out as part of an NSDL project at the California Digital Library, proposes 'approaches, principles and practices' which might be applied by anybody evaluating integrated search options [pdf]. The second, the RLG Metasearch Survey Report, discusses member experiences and...read full entry...
  • AJAX August 28, 2005 – Ajax buzz continues to be high. And Thom continues to write about implementation experience, in this case looking at how one might work with standard protocol exchanges with SRU. The initial impetus for changing to AJAX for Web applications is to improve the user experience by avoiding screen refreshes and...read full entry...
  • Simpler searchAugust 25, 2005 – One of the observations over time wrt library standards -- I am thinking mainly of protocols -- has been that we have overdesigned, ending up with solutions that are complex enough to cater for every last case, but are not simple enough to be widely adopted. For this reason, they...read full entry...
  • iPods, platforms and ecosystemsAugust 18, 2005 – There is an interesting article in Forbes suggesting that the closed approach that Apple is taking with iTunes and the iPod will lead to their decline. In an ecosystem, all the players share some key components. Devices that can read the Windows version of digital music (WMA) all share the...read full entry...
  • RecombinanceAugust 16, 2005 – Dan Farber writes:Martin refers to what I'm calling the recombinant Web (I'm probably not the first to utter the phrase) as Web mash-ups in his story. It's not exactly the same as the music-related definition of mashing together a few pre-existing songs into something new, but it has the same...read full entry...
  • Book handles againAugust 04, 2005 – Herbert left a comment on my note below about the Open WorldCat URL syntax, and there were a couple of comments along similar lines on Karen's FreeRangeLibrarian post. The gist was why not use the OpenURL syntax for these links. Sure .. we see OpenURL as very important moving forward...read full entry...
  • Book handlesAugust 02, 2005 – Look at the URLs in these sentences:I have spoken about the The World is Flat by Thomas Friedman several times recently. It is available in several libraries near where I live. They conform to a URL syntax that OCLC has just published (details here) that will be supported consistently. This...read full entry...
  • Linking into flowJuly 29, 2005 – There has been some justifiable buzz about COinS in the last couple of days. Dan Chudnov's work log has a useful piece if you want to find out more. COinS (ContextObjects in Spans) is a simple, ad hoc community specification for publishing OpenURL references in HTML. What does it look...read full entry...
  • Groningen thoughtsJuly 24, 2005 – The LIBER 34th Annual Conference in Groningen was a congenial event in an engaging city. LIBER, for those unfamiliar with it, is an organization which brings together European research libraries. I left thinking about three things, based on the presentations I saw and the conversations I had:Managing the collective book...read full entry...
  • Serving network peopleJuly 17, 2005 – A few months ago I was pleased to give a short presentation [ppt] over dinner at the Agnic Tenth Annual Meeting. I was looking forward to it as I had interacted with Agnic colleagues closer to the beginning of that 10 year span, and generally I like going to events...read full entry...
  • Crawling library resourcesJuly 17, 2005 – A colleague points me to Tony Boston's discussion of how the National Library of Australia has exposed NLA resources for crawling and indexing by search engines.The National Library of Australia is making digital copies of special collection materials available over the Internet. About 100,000 collection items including pictures, maps, sheet...read full entry...
  • Libraries, maps and platformsJune 27, 2005 – Thom previews Mike Teets' library mapping demo on the evolving Product works page. This page will be enhanced in coming weeks to showcase various of the ongoing initiatives which will find their way into OCLC services. Google Maps seems to have sparked a growing interest in location-based services, partly because...read full entry...
  • In the flowJune 24, 2005 – Workflow is important. We often think of the network as multiple individual opportunities: a mass of websites. However, just as we increasingly work, learn, research, and play in a network environment, so will services evolve to reduce effort and improve effectiveness. These services will support flow construction and resource integration...read full entry...
  • Greasemonkey, Silkworm and xISBNJune 19, 2005 – xISBN is another web service we provide. It takes an ISBN of an item as input and returns ISBNs for other items in the same work-set. So, it is a way of finding ISBNs for multiple editions, translations or other versions of the same work. It has proven to be...read full entry...
  • Bibliographic web servicesJune 18, 2005 – We have been experimenting for some time with web services in a research mode to deliver 'loosely coupled' bibliographic services. The idea is to be able to embed relevant services in a variety of different environments. Thom discusses our work with the LC name authority file. The aim here was...read full entry...
  • Of portals and portletsJune 09, 2005 – General purpose portal frameworks are becoming widely deployed. uPortal and Oracle Portal are examples. This is turn has driven interest in portlets, and in the portlet technologies WSRP and JSR 168. A portlet is a 'pluggable' user interface to a remote service. Portlets are a means by which several 'channels'...read full entry...
  • The user interface that isn'tMay 15, 2005 – Increasingly we need to think about library services in the context of the full web of user experience. This is easy to say, but it is rather more difficult to tease out what it means. One way to think about it is to think about some of the characteristics of...read full entry...
  • Just how simple?May 05, 2005 – So, thinking about some recent posts .... In the Bosworth presentation [ppt] mentioned below, the following desirable attributes of a 'web of data' are proposed: simple, standard, sloppy, and scalable. This is based on his view of what has made the web successful. Constrain choices and keep it simple. As...read full entry...
  • RSS: really something significantMay 03, 2005 – RSS has captured the headlines ;-) There have been a couple of major ripples in recent months:A9 introduced OpenSearch, a method for exchanging searches and results between applications. RSS is the format used for results. Adam Bosworth, the influential developer currently working in a senior role at Google, delivered a...read full entry...
  • Making OpenURLs work hardApril 29, 2005 – Check out Opening up OpenURLs with autodiscovery in the latest Ariadne. Because of this, we believe a new type of information resource optimisation is now needed to help fix the problem of insufficient integration. It is no longer sufficient to work only to improve human interfaces for usability and wayfinding,...read full entry...
  • Landscape and brandscapeApril 28, 2005 – Information landscape was a term used in various conversations some time ago to refer to the idea of a set of resources organized around user interests rather than around the characteristics of supply. For example, an information landscape might be a personalized selection of information resources delivered within a metasearch...read full entry...
  • Repositories ain't what they used to be ...April 22, 2005 – Repository is one of those words which needs to be accompanied by a qualification: just what do you mean in this context by repository? We are moving away from thinking about a repository as a 'bucket' into which we pour content. And towards a sense of repository as a set...read full entry...
  • Services for intermediate consumersApril 13, 2005 – Google, Yahoo!, Amazon .... For many these services are the first and last resort of research. They exercise a major gravitational pull on users [*]. We are rightly preoccupied with their impact on library services. A major reason for this is because we recognize that increasingly these are the windows...read full entry...
  • Off-web and on-webApril 12, 2005 – Andy Powell writes [pdf] about potential points of contact between the range of information resources managed by JISC in the UK and the major search engines on the open web. Interestingly, much has happened between the end of last year when this was made available and now. Google Scholar is...read full entry...
  • From infrastructure to intrastructureMarch 19, 2005 – Theo van Veen writes about the National Library of the Netherlands' (KB) plans for 'renewal' of their technical infrastructure in the current issue of Dlib Magazine. This is an important article in as much as it discusses how a major national organization is looking at unifying its D2D (discovery to...read full entry...
  • Repository infrastructureMarch 15, 2005 – An article in the current Dlib Magazine describes how we built the OCLC Research Publications Repository. We took a lightweight modular approach which leveraged a variety of capacities to expose the repository content through a variety of routes. It contains materials going back over twenty-five years.Our repository was built using...read full entry...
  • Metadata servicesFebruary 22, 2005 – Given the publication lag we have slightly updated the following paper:Metadata Switch: Thinking About Some Metadata Management and Knowledge Organization Issues in the Changing Research and Learning Landscape.Forthcoming in LITA Guide to E-Scholarship [working title], ed. Debra Shapiro. February 2005 preprint available at: http://www.oclc.org/research/publications/archive/2004/dempsey-mslitaguide.pdf (PDF:824K/25pp.)....read full entry...
  • The integrated library system that isn't February 22, 2005 – One can read the phrase Integrated Library System (ILS) in two ways: as a system for the integrated library, or as an integrated system for the library. Although the latter is what was probably meant by the term, neither is an accurate description of what the ILS has become. In...read full entry...
  • OAI and SRW/UFebruary 17, 2005 – The library community has deployed several niche protocols. Most were developed before the web, and perhaps need to be updated to be more 'webby' if they are actually to be more widely used. Certainly, in their current state they are unlikely to be used outside of the library community whatever...read full entry...
  • Metasearch white paperFebruary 10, 2005 – VIEWS, to remind you, is a group of system and service providers to libraries who have come together to explore issues surrounding the deployment of web services. They have recently published a white paper on the use of web services in metasearch [word].Searching of local and remote search targets is...read full entry...
  • A modular digital object repository frameworkFebruary 09, 2005 – An overview of the recent work on repository frameworks being done by Herbert van de Sompel and his colleagues at Los Alamos National Laboratory is available. This paper [pdf] will appear in The Computer Journal....read full entry...
  • A midwestern harvestFebruary 06, 2005 – The CIC Metadata Portal provides access to a range of collections in the CIC libraries. Metadata is harvested from collections distributed among CIC members. There is also a useful set of background materials on metadata and OAI....read full entry...
  • Linking to librariesFebruary 03, 2005 – Herbert left a comment a while ago on my message about linking to library catalogs. He suggested that the OpenURL was an appropriate way of making these links. We agree, and will be working with OpenURLs where possible. Our main aim is to get into the catalog, so we will...read full entry...
  • Virtual and physical union catalogsFebruary 01, 2005 – The CC-Interop project has been looking at the articulation of physical union catalogs and federated catalog approaches. A conference report and set of conference slides have appeared. From the discussion of Z39.50:There still exist considerable variations between all of the systems tested in their support for Bib-1 attributes [11] to...read full entry...
  • Library lookupJanuary 29, 2005 – I have come across a couple of sites recently which pass queries to library catalogs. Amazon light:Primarily using Amazon.com's Web Services API, Amazon Light 4.0 is an exercise in tying together various Web Services into a whole, adding content, context and some useful tools to the Amazon shopping/browsing experience. [Amazon...read full entry...
  • New resources on researchworksJanuary 20, 2005 – We have added some new resources to our ResearchWorks page, and more will be added over the next while. New resources include:XSLTproc: OCLC Research's XSLTProc is a tool for managing and using arbitrary XSLT stylesheets. [About XSLTProc [OCLC - ResearchWorks]]SchemaTrans crosswalk repository and schema transformation. Crosswalks in the SchemaTrans repository...read full entry...
  • Metasearch as a serviceJanuary 19, 2005 – Many libraries are dealing with an increasingly complex systems environment: the integrated library system (do we still use this term?), metasearch, resolver, e-reserves, ERM on the horizon, ILL, and maybe several flavors of digital asset management. These systems do not always easily work together and consume a lot of attention....read full entry...
  • Powerpoint points: access, preservation and identityDecember 29, 2004 – People have different styles with powerpoint presentations. Mine tend to be developed close to presentation and to be somewhat elliptical: points to keep me on course. Others are more carefully plotted narratives. Nevertheless, I find that quickly looking through a conference or workshop program of presentations can give quite a...read full entry...
  • RSS and journal TOCsDecember 28, 2004 – Leigh Dodds reports that Ingenta is delivering TOC data using RSS. The Tony Hammond article linked to has been widely noted. To be precise: in excess of 20,000 new RSS feeds containing the latest table of contents data for the academic journals that are still being actively loaded into our...read full entry...
  • Managing metadata crosswalksDecember 15, 2004 – My colleagues describe an approach to managing metadata crosswalks in the current issue of D-Lib Magazine. This paper proposes a model for metadata crosswalks that associates three pieces of information: the crosswalk, the source metadata standard, and the target metadata standard, each of which may have a machine-readable encoding and...read full entry...
  • More on intrastructureDecember 14, 2004 – Brian Nielsen gave a nice presentation about the use of RefWorks at Northwestern at the CNI Taskforce meeting in Portland just passed. He spoke about interaction between Refworks and their learning management system. There was a good discussion afterwards. Some of the focus was on moving data between systems, and...read full entry...
  • Stitching services into user environments - intrastructureDecember 09, 2004 – The Google Scholar discussions have underlined the emerging importance of the desktop (or, rather, the browser) as a venue of integration. The discussion of toolbars, FireFox extensions, bookmarklets and RSS feeds highlights the growing availability of desktop tools for interaction and integration. We could call these 'intrastructure'. They tie together...read full entry...
  • Logistics and learningNovember 29, 2004 – I have mentioned library logistics and also the services of Sentient Learning. I have just come across the Sentient Discover page, with the strap line: 'optimising the learning supply chain'. Maybe, we can begin using logistics after all!...read full entry...
  • Service registry and UDDINovember 13, 2004 – The latest edition of the Collection Description Focus Newsletter has an update on the JISC IE Service Registry. The IESR is currently accessible on the web at http://iesr.ac.uk/registry/ and through Z39.50 (details at http://iesr.ac.uk/registry/docs/iesrZ3950.html). An OAI-PMH (Open Archives Initiative Protocol for Metadata Harvesting) repository of IESR records is currently under...read full entry...
  • Metadata switch articleNovember 10, 2004 – Some time ago we began a portfolio project called Metadata Switch. We have recently written up a high level overview of some of this activity in the catchily titled Metadata switch: thinking about some metadata management and knowledge organization in the changing research and learning landscape [pdf]. This was a...read full entry...
  • Web services and library systemsNovember 04, 2004 – The VIEWS website is now available. VIEWS (Vendor Initiative for Enabling Web Services) is looking to advance the development of web services based approaches by organizations which supply sytems and services to libraries. OCLC is a member. VIEWS is an initiative by vendors and library service organizations launched in June...read full entry...
  • Service oriented architectures in librariesNovember 04, 2004 – There is a good description of why libraries should be interested in the concept of Service Oriented Architectures in Portals in libraries: library technology and planning for change, an article by Krisellen Maloney in the current ASIST Bulletin. Although the focus of the article is portals, I thought some of...read full entry...
  • Portable reading listsNovember 03, 2004 – Reading lists are an interesting site for discussion about interoperability between library and learning management systems, and one where one might imagine some progress given the shared interest.These are a place where library and learning management interests intersect. What requirements might one have of a reading list builder? To be...read full entry...
  • Educause view of evolving technologies 2004November 01, 2004 – The new issue of Educause Review [EDUCAUSE REVIEW | November/December 2004, Volume 39, Number 6] has a section which surveys evolving technologies of 2004. They include spam management, legal P2Ps, learning objects, and the convergence of libraries, digital repositories, and web content management. The last topic picks up the theme...read full entry...
  • AriadneOctober 31, 2004 – A particularly rich issue of Ariadne has just appeared, with a strong international flavor. It includes significant articles on a theses plugin for Dspace, the Dutch institutional repository initiative, Dare, portal frameworks, recent developments at the National Library of Australia, ISBN-13, and learning object metadata. And there is a strong...read full entry...
  • Collection and service description updateOctober 30, 2004 – Juha Hakala and Pete Johnston give a useful update of Collection and Service description within the NISO Metasearch initiative at the DCMI meeting in Shanghai. Despite several years of activity, it seems to me that the issues discussed in this presentation have yet to come into real community focus. Maybe...read full entry...
  • Bookmarklets, xISBN and Find in a LibraryOctober 29, 2004 – Corey Murata notes some nice lookup features for OpenWorldCat on Web4Lib today. This prompts me to note the OpenWorldCat xISBN bookmarklet. We make a range of bookmarklets available, originally inspired by Jon Udell's library lookup. The innovation we have added is that we incorporate xISBN functionality, which allows the search...read full entry...
  • Common information environmentOctober 21, 2004 – The Common information environment is a multi-agancy initiative in the UK to help coordinate development activities towards more 'well-seamed' information services from public sector organizations. The initiative's web presence includes a blog by its director Paul Miller....read full entry...
  • ARROW discovery serviceSeptember 26, 2004 – The Arrow (Australian Research Repositories Online to the World) project has a preview search system up. This discovery service provides access to Australian scholarly materials. It currently indexes metadata from 6 university repositories. [Australian Research Repositories Online to the World]...read full entry...
  • More on library portalsSeptember 21, 2004 – I have agreed to write regularly for Update Magazine, the publication of CILIP in the UK. The first article to appear is on portals. Stepping back, we can see some trends. A major one is growing awareness that the library portal is only one step towards creating an effective network...read full entry...
  • Learning and librariesSeptember 05, 2004 – The recent report released by DLF, Digital Library Content and Course Management Systems: Issues of Interoperation, makes it three: three recent reports on the increasingly important interface between library services and instructional technology applications. The three are: Digital Library Content and Course Management Systems: Issues of Interoperation. Report of a...read full entry...
  • Portal landscapeAugust 09, 2004 – PEPC 2004: The Conference provides a good snapshot of institutional portal developments. Increasingly, the library and other service organizations have to relate to a wider integration agenda as universities and other organizations aim to build congenial network environments for students and faculty. The library sits alongside access to student records,...read full entry...
  • SRU againJuly 31, 2004 – Another mention of SRU: the discovery+ project at Edinburgh has brought up an SRU demonstrator. SRU is a web services protocol for federated and parallel (e.g. via merged/union catalogues) searching of multiple bibliographic repositories. The protocol is a REST type protocol in which search queries can be requested via HTTP...read full entry...
  • SRUJuly 30, 2004 – Eric Lease Morgan has an article on SRU in the current issue. Ralph Levan gets a namecheck (Ralph's SRU code here). This article is an introduction to the "brother and sister" Web Service protocols named Search/Retrieve Web Service (SRW) and Search/Retrieve URL Service (SRU) with an emphasis on the later....read full entry...
  • Value and interoperabilityJuly 30, 2004 – A second discontinuity for vendors is the double-edged sword of creating true interoperability while selling unique value. Customers want open systems using open standards, but the very act of truly achieving this commoditizes the proprietary value of a system's uniqueness. Community source projects also create viable reference implementations of open...read full entry...
  • PersonalizationJuly 26, 2004 – The Personalisation in presentation services homepage provides access to a report recently completed on behalf of JISC. It makes an interesting distinction between customization where a user can configure a system themselves and adaptive personalization, where system interaction is based on knowledge about users gained from "tracking user activity and/or...read full entry...
  • Collections and service registryJuly 23, 2004 – A nice description of the design and technical choices involved in developing a centralized directory of collection and service description. My belief is that this type of service will become more important as time goes on. Also interesting in that they use POIs.The JISC Information Environment Service Registry (IESR) is...read full entry...
  • What is a digital library?July 18, 2004 – There was a discussion on diglib a while ago about what is a digital library. This was more interesting than most, especially when it came to Eric Hellman's question about whether particular services counted as digital libraries or not.A digital library is "Any collection of digital resources managed with the...read full entry...
  • Institutional portalsJuly 18, 2004 – Several case studies of institutional and library portals are available. The institutional cases are especially interesting as the library increasingly has to be visible in these spaces. To support these aims, the JISC has funded a number of case studies in the assessment and implementation of portal solutions within an...read full entry...
  • Physical and virtual union catalogsJune 22, 2004 – CC-Interop is a UK project looking at aspects of the interplay between what it calls 'physical' union catalogs and 'virtual' union catalogs. The latter are z39.50 enabled 'clumps' of catalogs. It has produced several reports, the most recent of which looks at the use of Collection Level Descriptions to 'landscape'...read full entry...
  • Arrow, Fedora and VTLSJune 19, 2004 – Arrow is an Australian project developing institutional repository facilities for Australian Universities. The National Library of Australia will provide a 'national discovery layer' for the initiative. At Members' Council somebody compared an institutional repository to a vertical file system; Arrow has a vertical file system motif on its web pages....read full entry...
  • YALA - yet another layered architectureJune 08, 2004 – Some interesting work from the Learning Systems Architecture Lab at CMU. CORDRA (Content Object Repository Discovery and Registration/Resolution Architecture) is designed to be an enabling model to bridge the worlds of learning content management and delivery, and content repositories and digital libraries. CORDRA aims to identify and specify (not develop)...read full entry...
  • Suber on OAI and ORMay 03, 2004 – Some nice remarks by Peter Suber in his latest SOAN:As I read the news, both halves of this prediction are coming true. On the one hand, mainstream, non-academic search engines are looking for ways to index scholarly content. Starting with OAI-compliant archives and CrossRef-compliant publications is a natural, both because...read full entry...
  • Common information environmentApril 22, 2004 – Report in the The Guardian about a somewhat aspirational UK initiative working to create stronger interoperability between information services across health, cultural sector, education, etc. Reading it, it occurs to me that we are seeing two responses to the Amazoogle factor: in one there is an emphasis on aggregation through...read full entry...
  • SRW interface to RDNApril 18, 2004 – The RDN provides a public SRW (SOAP) search interface to the RDN ResourceFinder. The RDN SRW interface conforms to SRW version 1.1. [Working with the RDN] If you want to search for 'banana' ;-):Note that it also supports simple DC and IMS views of the records. For those who like...read full entry...
  • Vendor integration - libraries and learningApril 04, 2004 – A major recent issue for libraries has been the relationship of library services to emerging instructional technology environments. Increasingly, on many campuses, the course management system facilitates the relationship between learners and between learner and teacher. Interestingly, there is now a systems vendor who povides integrating solutions between the worlds...read full entry...
  • YakpacMarch 31, 2004 – Yakpak is a children't user interface for OPAC data. It sits on top of a Z39.50 client. Produced by IndexData it is worth a look. It will be launched at ALA in Orlando....read full entry...
  • IndexDataMarch 31, 2004 – Some colleagues will be familiar with IndexData the small Danish company set up by Sebastian Hammer which provides the open source Yaz 339.50 toolkit which is widely used. Sebastian Hammer is moving to the US shortly, and David Dorman is now promoting IndexData products in the US. They have an...read full entry...
  • Tennant on xISBNMarch 26, 2004 – Belatedly, it is worth noting Roy's remarks about xISBN in his recent LJ column:Useful on its own, it can be combined with the bookmarklet concept to become part of a compelling library service. Imagine a library user querying a catalog while viewing a book on Amazon and finding any version...read full entry...
  • OR OAI activity noted in Library Hi Tech News articleMarch 10, 2004 – Article by Gerry McKiernan on OAI service providers appears in Library Hi-Tech News Number 1 2004. [pdf]. Includes discussion of OR involvement in E-prints UK and NDLTD Union Catalog....read full entry...
  • Inside California Digital LibraryMarch 10, 2004 – The California Digital Library has a web page [Inside CDL] linking to its working documents. This provides an interesting insight into the shared collection development and technical issues facing a large group of research libraries working to build future infrastructure. Check out its project page for example:In partnership with the...read full entry...
  • Trip report VALA conference MelbourneMarch 08, 2004 – I presented the closing keynote [ppt] at the recent VALA conference in Melbourne Australia [VALA2004 Conference Programme and Links to Papers]. (Added 13 March: just came across a trip report for the VALA conference by Steve Thomas, University of Adelaide.) Here are some brief notes about the meeting ......read full entry...
  • National OpenURL serviceFebruary 18, 2004 – A national OpenURL service has just been announced in the UK. The OpenURL Router works by offering a central registry of institutions' OpenURL resolvers. An institution registers details of its resolver just once, at openurl.ac.uk. When the resolver has been registered at openurl.ac.uk, any service provider can provide users from...read full entry...
  • Info URIJanuary 19, 2004 – Cliff Lynch noted the Info URI press release with these words:While I don't usually repost press releases to this list, I wanted to share the news on this, in part because it represents an important new step in collaboration ACROSS standards organizations, and in part because I think the work...read full entry...
  • XISBN experimental useJanuary 18, 2004 – XISBN being used in UKOLN's demonstrator OpenURL application. Andy Powell writes:This looks pretty interesting. It uses knowledge of WorldCat and the IFLA Functional Requirements for Bibliographic Records (FRBR) model to work up from any given ISBN to the 'work', then back down to other 'expressions'/'manifestations' of the same work. I.e....read full entry...
  • Changing library environmentJanuary 18, 2004 – I have been looking at some of the presentations of Andrew Pace listed at NCSU Libraries Staff Presentations. Andrew is head of systems at NCSU Libraries and writes and presents frequently. In the light of OCLC discussions about 'unplug and play', I was interested in his presentation on the disintegrated...read full entry...
  • VTLS and OAIJanuary 12, 2004 – VTLS announces OAI support.Blacksburg, VA - VTLS today announced the release of a new "open source" product called VORTEX. The product is an add-on to VIRTUA systems and is designed to help libraries expose their MARC based records to OAI harvesters used in building specialized databases of information about resources,...read full entry...
  • Common Information EnvironmentJanuary 11, 2004 – One of the major difference between the US and European countries when it comes to library development is the degree of service planning and provision that happens at national level. I occasionally get asked about JISC by OCLC colleagues. This provides networking and data services in support of research and...read full entry...
  • TEL, SRU and CLDDecember 19, 2003 – The TEL project reports one of its main outcomes to be a "flexible systems architecture based on the SRU protocol". They have also produced an interim report on metadata issues. One of the interesting things about TEL is their support for the idea of collection level description (CLD) as a...read full entry...
  • Shibboleth and library portalsDecember 18, 2003 – Shibboleth is a federated system of authentication and authorization that can address many of these issues. When institutions and vendors join together in a Shibboleth federation, the library gateway no longer needs to mediate the authentication interaction between library users and resources, and it can use attributes available through Shibboleth...read full entry...
  • OAI service providersDecember 13, 2003 – A new report from the DLF looks at OAI harvesting activities: A Survey of Digital Aggregation Services. Martha Brogan. OCLC Research activities are covered....read full entry...
  • Web services and DialogDecember 05, 2003 – "The information industry is changing, and we are at the forefront of the transformation," said Roy M. Martin, Jr., Dialog president and CEO. "Today, the imperative is to offer the tools necessary to integrate information into in-house networks and professional and consumer services on the open Web. We must reach...read full entry...
  • CCC enables links with sfx and xaneduNovember 28, 2003 – Through Copyright Clearance Center's Copyright Integration Services, Ex Libris, a leading supplier of software solutions for libraries and information centers, and XanEdu, a publisher of online and offline course materials for the higher education market, now provide a convenient way for their application users to lawfully reuse copyright protected materials....read full entry...
  • SAKAI - significant open source initiativeNovember 25, 2003 – The University of Michigan, Indiana University, MIT, Stanford, and the uPortal consortium are joining forces to integrate and synchronize their considerable educational software into a pre-integrated collection of open source tools. This will yield three big wins for sustainable economics and innovation in higher education: 1) A framework that builds...read full entry...
  • Wils reviewNovember 20, 2003 – Tom Zillner has written a review of Lorcan Dempsey's The Recombinant Library: Portals and People (28 pp.). See Tom's review (three-page PDF). [WiLS News]...read full entry...
  • Another CIPNovember 19, 2003 – Several colleagues met with Norbert Lossau of Bielefeld University this morning. Norbert is on a tour of US universities and Jay arranged for him to visit OCLC. Bielefeld is working with FAST -- the text search company -- to create library gateway services. One of the interesting things they are...read full entry...
  • u-PortalNovember 19, 2003 – I argued a while ago that libraries' integration challenge was not so much to integrate information resources with each other as it was to integrate them with emerging user environments. Examples I gave were the campus portal and the learning management system. I have just got an email from a...read full entry...
  • Library lookup and XISBNNovember 14, 2003 – Nice note on Jon Udell's blog about XISBN:It actually sort of works, which says a lot for the flexibility of Web and XML technologies. But the big news here is OCLC's decision to expose its grouping algorithm as a public XML Web service. I hope this signals the beginning of...read full entry...
  • Unplug and playNovember 11, 2003 – I think this is a very nice phrase to describe some of what is happening as we look at service oriented approaches.Implementing an SOA leads to agile application assembly, which is a new approach to application development, maintenance and integration that I like to call 'Unplug and play': "... achieved...read full entry...
  • Trip Report - DLF Steering Committee and NDIIPPOctober 30, 2003 – The October DLF Steering Committee meeting included a presentation from Laura Campbell (LC) and Clay Shirky (consultant) about NDIIPP. There was considerable focus on the technical architecture being developed. They were not able to talk about the current solicitation (they can only answer questions submitted in writing). Final decisions about...read full entry...
  • Dynix and web servicesOctober 26, 2003 – We use Web Services with our new Vendor Integration Protocol (VIP), through which acquisitions librarians can check book pricing and availability within a matter of seconds with their book jobber. Baker & Taylor, Ingram, Book Wholesalers, Inc., and Brodart all support the VIP protocol. This is just the tip of...read full entry...
  • Program for managing university information in AustraliaOctober 22, 2003 – Announced on 22 October: Australias research information will become more easily accessible and better managed thanks to more than $12 million in funding to improve infrastructure. [Peter McGauran MP, Commonwealth Minister for Science - Media Centre] The funded projects are: * Meta Access Management System; * Towards an Australian Partnership...read full entry...
  • Recombinant libraries and special collections in ShelfLifeOctober 21, 2003 – The October 16 issue of ShelfLife refers to my forthcoming article on portals (now on the website):This article explores the design and use of portals in a library environment. It discusses the motivations for building portals, it discusses portal architectures and typology, and it examines the user environment in which...read full entry...
  • Common servicesOctober 20, 2003 – JISC has issued a call for proposals for studies in digital rights management, authorization, institutional profiling and other services. This is in line with growing interest in "common services" or what JISC calls shared services. The JISC Shared Services Programme: To enable portals and other presentation services to make sense...read full entry...