Metadata

  • Names and identities: looking at Flann O'BrienJuly 02, 2013 – Names and identities are a major focus of interest for OCLC Research. I adapt this discussion of our work in this area from the recent OCLC Research Quarterly Highlights. We know very well that names are not always straightforward. Brian O'Nolan and Brian Ó Nualláin are the English and Irish...read full entry...
  • Making things of interest Discoverable, Referencable, Relatable, ...June 10, 2012 – I came across the Ernest Hemingway phrase 'gradually, then suddenly' in an online discussion recently. Here is the context on the useful Goodreads quotable quote page. It seemed a statement appropriate to our times, and especially apt to a recent phenomenon: the growing importance of large-scale knowledge bases which collect...read full entry...
  • Linking not typing ... knowledge organization at the network levelJanuary 01, 2012 – 'Knowledge organization' seems a slightly quaint term now, but we don't have a better in general use. Take the catalogue. This has been a knowledge organization tool. When an item is added, the goal is that it is related to the network of knowledge that is represented in the catalogue....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...
  • There is more to discovery than you think ...February 05, 2011 – Colleagues at the University of Minnesota have produced another must-read report on the discoverability of library resources [Splash page, PDF]. Importantly, it provides a framework within which to think about evolving issues and in this way makes a real contribution to our understanding of the environment and ability to plan...read full entry...
  • Emerging network level management of the collective print collectionSeptember 12, 2010 – One of the recurrent themes in these pages is that systemwide coordination of print materials is necessary as libraries begin to retire collections - to offsite storage or removing them altogether. There are various drivers here: the demands on space, the emergence of a digital corpus, the cost of managing...read full entry...
  • Recommendation and Ranganathan - retreadAugust 08, 2010 – [I have been quoting the distinction made by Gavin Potter, a participant in the Netflix competition, about how our emphasis is shifting from sorting out supply to sorting out demand. I thought it might be useful to re-present this entry, the one where I first noted the distinction. I could...read full entry...
  • Discovery layers - Top Tech Trends 2July 04, 2010 – [No 2 of 3. No 1 here.] I was pleased to participate in LITA's Top Tech Trends panel at ALA this year (see the video and live coverage). We were each asked to talk about three trends: current, a bit further out, and a bit further out again. In thinking...read full entry...
  • Beyond records .. genresJune 26, 2010 – We tend to have a very record-based view of bibliographic systems. Searches in a resource result in lists of record-based displays for items. All fields may not be indexed. This means that the data works less hard than it might, given the variety of ways in which it could be...read full entry...
  • More on VuFindJune 06, 2010 – I wrote an entry on yufind the other day, noting its use of xISBN to cluster editions in results. yufind is an implementation of VuFind. Here is another example of the clustering: Villanova. As Till Kinstler points out in a comment, and as William Denton notes in a discussion of...read full entry...
  • A web-siting at Yale: other editions and xISBNMay 31, 2010 – I was looking at the Vufind implementation of the Yale University Library catalog - yufind - and was interested to see that it implements a link to OCLC's xISBN service to pull together other editions of a displayed result. Here is an example where several versions of Krapp's Last Tape...read full entry...
  • Reading lists, citation management and bibliographic tissueMay 22, 2010 – Here is something I wrote a couple of years ago under the title Personal reference collections as digital libraries. A little updating of examples and I think it still holds: We will see much more activity connecting user environments and bibliographic resources. I am thinking of citation managers, reading lists,...read full entry...
  • An all-through system? From Onix to MARCApril 11, 2010 – One of the recommendations of the LC Working Group on the Future of Bibliographic Control encouraged greater reliance on an 'all-through' system for bibliographic data, where data created upstream by publishers and others could be mobilized downstream by libraries. I was reminded of these words at the time. Records serve...read full entry...
  • Dublin core: the first fifteen years ...March 14, 2010 – The Dublin Core Metadata Initiative celebrated fifteen years of existence on March 1st. The initiative began at a workshop in Dublin, Ohio, jointly organized by OCLC and NCSA. The second workshop inaugurated the series which has continued to this day morphing into the annual conference along the way. It was...read full entry...
  • Name, rank and serial numberFebruary 26, 2010 – As authors are recognised as resources to be discovered, managed, ranked, and tracked, an interest in names and identifiers will continue to grow. A focus on research evaluation, reputation management, publication management drive this, as well as general information management issues in a web environment. Historically, national libraries have managed...read full entry...
  • Beyond bibliographic recordsDecember 06, 2009 – Our cataloging model revolves around the 'manifestation', the particular edition or version of a work that is to be added to the collection. This is also the unit of bibliographic exchange: we ship around MARC records which have data about 'manifestations'. These are the 'inputs' into our catalogs and bibliographic...read full entry...
  • Community bibliographyNovember 01, 2009 – I prefer 'crowdsourced' to 'user contributed' but neither works very well for me. In particular 'user contributed' does not seem a good term at all for a variety of reasons. Anyway, I was looking at the new catalogue at Ottawa Public Library powered by Bibliocommons earlier (following a mention by...read full entry...
  • Metadata sourcesSeptember 20, 2009 – A while ago, I suggested that it was interesting to think about four sources of metadata in our systems and services: Professional. Produced by staff in support of particular business aims. Think of cataloging, or data produced within the book industry, or A&I data.Crowdsourced. Produced by users of systems.Think of...read full entry...
  • Metadata reduxSeptember 04, 2009 – I was asked in a meeting recently to define metadata. This prompts me to adapt some text recycled from All that is solid melts into flows* ... Like most people ;-), I tend to think about metadata as 'schematized assertions about resources': schematized because patterned and machine understandable; assertions because...read full entry...
  • Strategic reading and bouncingAugust 30, 2009 – I was very taken by Timothy Burke's presentation at the first open meeting of the Library of Congress Working Group on Bibliographic Control. What was especially interesting was how he outlined a variety of ways in which he needed to interact with the literature. In his own specialties, he expected...read full entry...
  • Data flows in the book worldJune 14, 2009 – One of the recommendations of the Library of Congress Working Group on the Future of Bibliographic Control was that ways should be found of harnessing publisher data upstream of the cataloging process. The rationale was that this would make data about materials available earlier and reduce overall creation effort. OCLC...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...
  • SearchingMay 31, 2009 – I got a note from Debbie Campbell, Director, Collaborative Services, at the National Library of Australia the other week about their new prototype discovery service. The service is available at http://sbdsproto.nla.gov.au/ and provides integrated access to over 42 million metadata and text resources from a range of the National Library's...read full entry...
  • Metasearch reduxApril 28, 2009 – Here is something I said about metasearch in these pages some time ago .... The issue is that libraries have to manage a range of database resources whose legacy technical and business boundaries do not very well map user preferences or behaviors. The approach has been to try to move...read full entry...
  • QOTD: library catalogs and usersApril 21, 2009 – Karen Calhoun and other colleagues have produced a report on catalog data from user and library points of view. The findings suggest two traditions of information organization at work--one from librarianship and the other from the Web. Librarians' perspectives about data quality remain highly influenced by their profession's classical principles...read full entry...
  • Articles on structured data: matching, mining and mixingApril 19, 2009 – The current issue of Library Resources and Technical Services (not on the web) has a couple of interesting articles which touch on the complications of processing inconsistent data. Creating organization name authority within an ERM system Kristen Blake and Jackquie Samples LRTS 53(2) April 2009 p 94-107 This article looks...read full entry...
  • Copyright evidence registryFebruary 26, 2009 – I was talking to my colleague Bill Carney earlier, who manages the Copyright Evidence Registry initiative, as well as our work to synchronize Worldcat with Google and other digitization initiatives. OCLC has launched a pilot to explore the feasibility of building a cooperatively created and maintained repository of copyright evidence....read full entry...
  • Recording and disclosing print archiving commitmentsFebruary 15, 2009 – My colleague Constrance Malpas is inviting comments on the use of MARC Field 583 "to record and effectively disclose local print archiving commitments so that libraries might better judge the relative risk of local de-duplication efforts or, conversely, where maximum preservation benefit might be gained through a distributed archiving effort"....read full entry...
  • Metadata creation practicesJanuary 30, 2009 – We have released a report on metadata creation practices based on a survey of RLG partner institutions. 134 responses from 67 institutions were received. Ayers, Leighann, Beth Picknally Camden, Lisa German, Peggy Johnson, Caroline Miller and Karen Smith-Yoshimura. 2009. What We've Learned from the RLG Partners Metadata Creation Workflows Survey....read full entry...
  • Affinity strings, personalization and recommendationJanuary 11, 2009 – I heard about 'affinity strings' on a visit to Minnesota some time ago. I was pleased to see that they have written up what they are doing in the recent issue of The Code4Lib Journal: The University of Minnesota Libraries have created a MyLibrary portal, with databases and e-journals targeted...read full entry...
  • Card Catalogue OnlineDecember 18, 2008 – I was interested to come across the University of Bristol's 'Card catalogue online', a resource based on scanned images of catalogue cards. The digitisation project involved scanning 300,000 cards covering pre-1978 material held in the Arts and Social Sciences Library and all other branch libraries (except the Medical Library).As well...read full entry...
  • Zotero and WC listsDecember 02, 2008 – I have been looking at Zotero again while on vacation, as one does. I was impressed earlier to be able to import WorldCat lists to Zotero courtesy of Coins. Go to the citations view for the list and click on the Zotero folder icon in the address bar (assuming you...read full entry...
  • Repository interoperabilityNovember 11, 2008 – JISC has just made available a report by Nicky Ferguson and colleagues about consistency of metadata and policies between repositories. In the UK, a large number of Institutional Repositories have been set up very recently. Often, it seems, they lack sufficient clarity of policy and purpose. In interviews with depositors...read full entry...
  • Flexibility may not be a good design goalSeptember 26, 2008 – Jerry McDonough has written an interesting and important article about XML, interoperability, and the social context of standards making: Structural Metadata and the Social Limitation of Interoperability: A Sociotechnical View of XML and Digital Library Standards Development. Drawing on a number of examples he presents a strong conclusion: The digital...read full entry...
  • Dublin Core in BerlinSeptember 26, 2008 – A wide range of presentations from the Dublin Core conference held this week in Berlin is available. Much of general interest about the use of metadata in different domains and the semantic web, and lots of specific descriptions of tools, techniques, and initiatives, .......read full entry...
  • Meet the candidatesSeptember 02, 2008 – Here is the Worldcat Identity for each of the Democrat and Republican candidates .... Joe Biden John McCain Barack Obama Sarah Palin I will leave it to others to offer any commentary ;-) And here are some others to review .... George Bush George W Bush Bill Clinton Hillary Rodham...read full entry...
  • Metadata and HeraclitusAugust 31, 2008 – I was very struck a couple of years ago by a comment made by my colleague Eric Hellman. He talked about metadata in terms of rivers and lakes. In the library cataloging model we have had lakes - accumulating stores of data that do not change frequently over time and...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...
  • 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...
  • "Metadata tends to get more complicated the longer you think about it"July 18, 2008 – Something of a virtuoso performance from Andy Powell: Does Metadata Matter?. This a 30 minute slidecast (using 130 slides), based on a seminar I gave to Eduserv staff yesterday lunchtime. It tries to cover a broad sweep of history from library cataloguing, thru the Dublin Core, Web search engines, IEEE...read full entry...
  • Class numbers on worksJuly 09, 2008 – Classify is a protoype service which provides a snapshot of what class numbers (DDC, LCC, NLM) have been assigned to works in Worldcat. The records are grouped using the OCLC FRBR Work-Set algorithm resulting in a work-level summary of the class numbers assigned a title. You can retrieve a classification...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...
  • Linking to IdentitiesJune 30, 2008 – Thom has a note about linking to Worldcat Identities. The current API has various aspects ..... here is a list with examples for the two simpler approaches. See Thom's post for fuller detail. 1. Direct linking using an LCCN. Here is the link for Van Morrison: http://worldcat.org/identities/lccn-n85-148183. 2. OpenURL See...read full entry...
  • Encore at GlasgowJune 29, 2008 – I was interested to come across the Encore implementation at the University of Glasgow. This is still in development, but here is a description of current features ... Encore is a new way of searching the Library catalogue offering: single search box relevance ranked results location & availability details links...read full entry...
  • Calais - entity identification in the cloudJune 26, 2008 – Calais is a web service provided by Thomson Reuters, currently at no charge. Calais enhances your content with rich semantic metadata. Using your content as a starting point you can utilize Calais to automatically add metadata such as entities (people, places, organizations, etc.), facts (John Doe works for Acme Corporation...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...
  • CiteMeAppJune 22, 2008 – A new Worldcat Facebook application is now available: CiteMe. Get formatted citations in APA, Chicago, Harvard, MLA, or Turabian style. Start by searching for an item in WorldCat, the world's largest network of library content and services. Find your title in the results, click the Get citations links, and you're...read full entry...
  • Harvesting metadata for electronic theses and dissertationsJune 18, 2008 – Thom has a nice note on ETD 2008, held at The Robert Gordon University in Aberdeen. (ETD - Electronic Theses and Dissertations.) He notes our ongoing involvement in NDLTD: As part of OCLC's support to NDLTD we harvest metadata about ETDs, and make a union catalog (which includes metadata from...read full entry...
  • MetalogueJune 18, 2008 – I am pleased to be able to report that my colleague Karen Calhoun has launched a blog: I'm Karen Calhoun, Vice President of WorldCat and Metadata Services at OCLC. Some OCLC colleagues and I have joined together to launch Metalogue, a new blog devoted to cataloguing and metadata topics around...read full entry...
  • Google and virtual bookshelfJune 05, 2008 – SEO by the Sea wonders about Google's plans for what it calls a 'virtual bookshelf site'. It presents a list of 13 such sites, from GoodReads to BookJetty. It then reviews a pretty interesting patent application from Google. A patent application for a virtual bookshelf program from Google was published...read full entry...
  • Consistent access to French archives and manuscriptsMay 25, 2008 – Calames is a recently released catalog of archives and manuscripts in French universities and national institutions. It is provided by Abes, which also provides Sudoc the French universities union catalog. Not only is there a shared public catalog, but Calames supports a shared cataloging environment for the creation of finding...read full entry...
  • Recommendation and RanganathanMay 13, 2008 – From time to time, we see a discussion about the relative merits of Google, or Amazon, and library catalogs as retrieval or search engines. There is one main difference that doesn't tend to get discussed much, and that has to do with the type of data that gets factored into...read full entry...
  • Some readingMay 07, 2008 – Here are links to several unrelated publications ..... Reconfiguring the Library Systems Environment portal: Libraries and the Academy, Vol. 8, No. 2, April 2008. http://www.oclc.org/research/publications/archive/2008/dempsey-portal.pdf (.pdf: 195K/18 pp.) [Lorcan Dempsey: Selected publications [OCLC]] This is a short piece adapted from an earlier blog entry. Lavoie, Brian, and Günter Waibel. An...read full entry...
  • Google and OAI-PMHApril 24, 2008 – There is an interesting note on the Google Webmaster Central Blog: When we originally launched Sitemaps, we included support for the Open Archives Initiative Protocol for Metadata Harvesting (OAI-PMH) 2.0 protocol, an interoperability framework based on metadata harvesting. In the meantime, however, we've found that the information we gain from...read full entry...
  • Copyright investigation practicesMarch 31, 2008 – My Programs colleagues have released an interesting review [pdf] of copyright investigation practices across several RLG Partners. In this project, staff from eight partner institutions participated in copyright investigation interviews between August and September 2007 to share the ways in which their institutions currently obtain copyright permission to provide users...read full entry...
  • TagsMarch 29, 2008 – Stanford researchers collected data from del.icio.us and come to some pretty interesting conclusions about tagging. Of course, they are talking about tagging of web pages where the text of the tagged item is available for indexing. Social bookmarking is a recent phenomenon which has the potential to give us a...read full entry...
  • Full disclosure?March 23, 2008 – An interesting announcement from CLIR about a $4.27M competitive program to describe hidden collections has just appeared. The existence of such collections must be more fully disclosed if they are to release more of their value in research and learning: With generous funding from The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, the...read full entry...
  • MicroformatsMarch 17, 2008 –  I recently installed the Operator extension in my browser. Operator leverages microformats and other semantic data that are already available on many web pages to provide new ways to interact with web services. [Operator :: Firefox Add-ons] Interesting to see it in action on the JISC National eBooks Observatory...read full entry...
  • Audience levelMarch 13, 2008 – We have updated the audience level experimental service pages. In this initiative we are using the pattern of holdings across different types of libraries (school, research, etc) to give a 'hint' about the level of interest of an item (juvenile, research/specialist, ...). You can read more about how we calculate...read full entry...
  • Data exchange and museumsFebruary 15, 2008 – My colleague Günter Waibel writes about a new RLG Programs project looking at the exchange of metadata between museum systems. Go to the entry for more detail. With the generous support of a $145,000 grant from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, RLG Programs will gather a select group of museum...read full entry...
  • CardsFebruary 11, 2008 – OCLC distributed around 2 million printed catalog cards last year. They are still being used .......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...
  • FRBR and Learning Objects (FLOR?)January 30, 2008 – Phil Barker looks at FRBR in the context of learning object metadata. The proposed object model borrows from the scholarly works application profile (SWAP) application model, which in turn is based on the Functional Requirements for Bibliographic Records (FRBR) entity model. The rationale behind this was that, firstly, scholarly works...read full entry...
  • QOTD: the bibliographic archipelagoJanuary 18, 2008 – Our bibliographic systems are like an archipelago. Scattered islands which need to be visited individually. In this context I was interested to read Bob Wolven: Now, however, more radical change seems both possible and responsible in light of developments taking place outside library cataloging. The balkanized system that has characterized...read full entry...
  • Cataloging and standardsJanuary 18, 2008 – Bob Wolven has an interesting piece in netConnect about cataloging. He mentions our approach to standards, among other things. Perhaps worse, the kind of consensus we have demanded drives us toward complexity. Our libraries acquire a vast and wildly diverse set of resources, yet we insist on treating all of...read full entry...
  • On the record: report of the LC working group on the future of bibliographic controlJanuary 10, 2008 – The final report of the LC Working Group on the Future of Bibliographic Control has been submitted and is now available on the LC website. On the Record: Report of The Library of Congress Working Group on the Future of Bibliographic Control (January 9, 2008) Read final report [PDF, 442...read full entry...
  • Intelligence metadataJanuary 09, 2008 – An interesting announcement about some metadata standards from the Office of the Director of National Intelligence (ODNI) which use Dublin Core. Dale Meyerrose, mentioned in the quote, is associate director of national intelligence and chief information officer at ODNI. These standards are a part of a broader attempt by Meyerrose...read full entry...
  • Library of Congress Working Group on the Future of Bibligraphic ControlNovember 30, 2007 – The draft final report of the Working Group on the Future of Bibliographic Control has been made available [PDF] for public comment. Responses are being accepted by the group until December 15, 2007. Different communities of bibliographic practice have grown up around different resource types: library collections of books and...read full entry...
  • Metadata creation againNovember 28, 2007 – Reading the report [PDF] of the RLG Programs metadata practice survey, this quote from a respondent jumped out at me: We use a variety of tools to produce a variety of records. Mature and established systems (such as our ILS) are generally effective. Tools for creation of XML are not...read full entry...
  • Partial disclosure: looking at catalog completeness in UK librariesNovember 26, 2007 – I was interested to read the following in a report just released by the Research Information Network in the UK about the completeness of catalogue coverage of research collections : The study shows significant progress: librarians estimate that 50% of material in their research collections is now covered by online...read full entry...
  • Logistics and synchronization: making data work harderNovember 20, 2007 – Updated: 11/21/07 I have spoken about library logistics before. Logistics is about moving information, materials and services through a network cost-effectively. Resource sharing is supported by a library logistics apparatus. The emerging e-resource discovery to delivery chain, tied together with resolution services, is a logistics challenge. Many of the e-resource...read full entry...
  • Syndicated readingsNovember 08, 2007 – I think that reading lists and citation managers are interesting sites of connection between environments. They are potentially 'portables', travelling portals onto resources. I was interested to see the following discussion of reading lists on the Intute blog: One solution is to provide links to key quality Internet resources within...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...
  • Jon Udell interviews Stu WeibelOctober 23, 2007 – Jon Udell interviews my colleague Stu Weibel about Dublin Core, Worldcat, and related issues. On this episode of Interviews with Innovators, host Jon Udell invites Stuart Weibel to reflect on his leading role in the Dublin Core Metadata Initiative. They also discuss how databases like the Online Computer Library Center's...read full entry...
  • Processes and repositoriesOctober 16, 2007 – I find it convenient to think about current library systems activities in terms of support for three materials workflows: bought/print materials, licensed/electronic materials, and digital/digitized materials. This is being pragmatic rather than pure, and is open to challenge on many grounds. I have discussed these at more length here, and...read full entry...
  • Identifiers again: namesOctober 04, 2007 – One area where growing interest in identifiers is very clear is that of people, particularly in their role as authors or creators. In this context, the Names Project in the UK is interesting:The project is going to scope the requirements of UK institutional and subject repositories for a service that...read full entry...
  • Library servicesOctober 04, 2007 – I am attending events in libraries in the UK this week. I have already been in Oxford and Cambridge Universities, and head to the Open University tomorrow. The former two have collections of world significance. The third is figuring out how to better serve a widely dispersed population over the...read full entry...
  • QOTD 2: identifers againSeptember 28, 2007 – Tony Hirst of the Open University says:In the days when this blog was dominated by library related concerns, I used to spend a lot of time working out how to use ISBNs as pivot points for various book related searches; (librarians, of course, don't rate ISBNs - they'd rather focus...read full entry...
  • RLG and OCLC union catalogsSeptember 27, 2007 – I am occasionally asked what was the impact on Worldcat of the addition of the RLG Union Catalog. 52M records were processed as part of the load. 41.7M records were matched to existing Worldcat records. There was a net add to Worldcat of 8M records....read full entry...
  • Metadata creationSeptember 18, 2007 – "One of the main issues facing libraries as they work to create richer user services is the complexity of their systems environment." [The network reconfigures the library systems environment] This was how I began a post the other week about libraries and the systems that support their services. Karen Smith-Yoshimura...read full entry...
  • Subject and genre cloudsSeptember 16, 2007 – Worldcat Identities now has subject clouds. These are based on FAST headings in records associated with the identity. Here is the cloud on the page for Conor Cruise O'Brien. Click on the image to get through to the Identity page. Then click on one of the headings in the cloud...read full entry...
  • Give us a subject heading ...September 02, 2007 – I was interested to read the following in Susan Gibbons' The academic library and the Net Gen student. As gaming becomes a more mainstream pastime and an important element in popular culture, academic libraries should begin to develop collections of books and journals about gaming. To find some recent monographs,...read full entry...
  • Serendipity in stacks, racks and online sytemsAugust 16, 2007 – We have just spent a while on the San Juan Islands (off the North West coast of Washington State and East of Vancouver Island for unfamiliar readers - Wikipedia). I bought a couple of books in the congenial Pyramidion Used and Rare Books in Eastsound on Orcas Island. I was...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...
  • Bibliographic fore-understandingJuly 29, 2007 – On the website of the LC Working Group on the Future of Bibliographic Control ... A webcast of the third meeting, the topic of which was economic and organizational issues. For those few who do not have the time or the inclination to experience the full range of presentations ;-),...read full entry...
  • Early stuffJuly 03, 2007 – Thom has a nice post pointing to the materials with the earliest dates in Worldcat. Jars. Early records. Tablets. And ..... a fragment of mummy cloth. Thom has also done a Worldcat List of the ten oldest items he found....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...
  • Systemic change: CIC and GoogleJune 06, 2007 – Today Google and CIC announce an agreement to digitize ten million volumes across the CIC libraries. Google has been adding new partners since the first announcement was made about the Google 5. Some folks have wondered what rationale has governed selection of partner opportunities. We do not know, but they...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...
  • LCWGFBC IIMay 27, 2007 – The report from the second open meeting of the Library of Congress Working Group on the Future of Bibliographic Control is now available. The topic was Structures and Standards for Bibliographic Data....read full entry...
  • Four sources of metadata about thingsMay 20, 2007 – I think it is useful to think of four sources of descriptive metadata in libraries. These are not mutually exclusive, and one of the interesting questions we have to address is how they will be mobilized effectively together. I don't have good names for these. How about: professional, contributed, programmatically...read full entry...
  • Universal search and the rich texture of suggestionMay 18, 2007 –  There has been some discussion - less than I expected - about Google's steps to develop a unified search across its services (blogsearch, booksearch, YouTube, etc) so that blogs, video, books, maps, and so on are returned in results on the main Google site. This latest refinement sounds simple,...read full entry...
  • Data convergenceMay 04, 2007 – The agreement between RDA and DCMI folks on some shared directions provides some interesting food for thought. There is not a lot of detail in the announcement but it potentially provides a venue to look at a range of 'levels' (information model, 'element sets', encodings, content guidelines, etc) within a...read full entry...
  • A many featured catalogueApril 29, 2007 –  The Powerhouse Museum in Sydney has been doing very interesting work on their collection 'catalogue'. Some of this work is described by Sebastian Chan [blog] at the recent Museums and the Web 2007 conference in San Francisco in a paper well worth reading. Internally called OPAC2.0, the new catalogue...read full entry...
  • Corporate identitiesApril 17, 2007 – Thom has a post describing recent enhancements to the Worldcat Identities site. He talks about several nice features. A signficant one is the handling of 'corporate identities' alongside personal identities. So, for example looking at the entry for Alma Swan, one of the authors of the report I just noted,...read full entry...
  • Harvard tagsApril 07, 2007 – An interesting couple of videos [here and here] from a workshop organized by Harvard University Libraries on tagging. Harvard University Libraries hosted a forum this week, “Social Tagging @ Harvard: A Del.ici.ous Alternative or Passing Flickr?,” that looked at the online practice of tagging and sought to weigh the separate...read full entry...
  • Excitation - making connections with citations: a couple of presentationsMarch 30, 2007 – I was interested to see a presentation about Sakaibrary [ppt] at Getting in the flow. The focus was on creating citation lists from library resources and making them available in Sakai. This is an example of what I have spoken about as bibliographic tissue, the growing interest in lightweight approaches...read full entry...
  • WGFBC note of first open meetingMarch 18, 2007 – A quick note pointing to a summary of the first Open Meeting of the LC Working Group on the Future of Bibliographic Control by Nancy J Fallgren....read full entry...
  • Models of metadata and sharing slidesMarch 14, 2007 – I was looking at the metadata framework proposed by Karen Coyle, Diane Hillman, Jonathan Rochkind and Paul Weiss and was interested to see that the categories they use mapped pretty well onto the categories I have sometimes used when talking about library and related metadata and interoperability. Go forward to...read full entry...
  • Metadata across cultural domainsMarch 13, 2007 – An interesting article by Mary W. Elings and my colleague Günter Waibel on cross-domain metadata practices has just appeared. Integrating digital content from libraries, archives and museums represents a persistent challenge. While the history of standards development is rife with examples of cross-community experimentation, in the end, libraries, archives and...read full entry...
  • GBS FRBRMarch 12, 2007 –  I mentioned Augustine of Hippo the other day, in the context of the interesting work that Google is doing to develop a contextual page for each book (resources about it, resources related to it, etc. See this Penguin Classic with the nice cover, for example). Searching for the 'City...read full entry...
  • LC WGFBCMarch 09, 2007 – The first open meeting of the LC Working Group on the Future of Bibliographic Control was held yesterday. I am traveling but will post some thoughts in coming days. Karen Coyle was typing very fast and has posted a series of comments....read full entry...
  • LC Working Group on the future of bibliographic controlMarch 01, 2007 – The LC Working Group on Bibliographic Control is having an open meeting about 'uses and users' of data on 8th March at Google in Mountain View, California. This is the first of three open meetings. There will be several expert speakers, and interested parties are invited to attend or submit...read full entry...
  • Worldcat IdentitiesFebruary 13, 2007 – I have been looking forward to mentioning Worldcat Identities. Thom describes the background here. This is very nice work by Thom and his colleagues. This initiative mines Worldcat for individual identities and creates a page for each. There are a lot of nice features on each page. Here are some...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...
  • Metadata complexesJanuary 30, 2007 – The current Ariadne has an interesting article outlining the work done by Eduserv and UKOLN on an application profile for e-prints. This application profile represents a relatively innovative approach to metadata, taking as it does the FRBR model and applying it to scholarly works. By making use of the benefits...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...
  • Tundish, maps and emergent knowledgeJanuary 27, 2007 – There is a famous passage in A portrait of the artist as a young man where Stephen Dedalus is talking to an English priest and is made uncomfortable about the Irish way in which he speaks English. Stephen uses the word tundish for funnel, a word unfamiliar to the priest....read full entry...
  • Finding fictionDecember 16, 2006 – FictionFinder has been available for quite a while. Check out the new version. This is a prototype which has several motivations. It takes fiction records from Worldcat and shows how the data can be made 'work harder' to create useful and interesting experience. It offers a 'frbresque' view of the...read full entry...
  • The book as platformDecember 04, 2006 – I was reading Benedict Anderson's Imagined Communities on a flight home the other day. A major part of his argument is that publishing - of books, newspapers, and so on - played an important role in creating a shared identity across geographically distributed communities, which in turn was important in...read full entry...
  • Managing citations and referencesNovember 27, 2006 – My 11 year old daughter was doing a project recently for which she had to do a bibliography. I was interested to see that she used http://easybib.com to compile it: this was on the recommendation of one of her classmates. It took some of the pain out of it, and...read full entry...
  • Metadata ...November 07, 2006 – Günter has a nice entry on metadata and explores correspondences across the GLAM sectors - libraries, archives and museums. He notes a specific content type in each domain, bibliographic, archival, and material culture, respectively. Then he compares the metadata stack for each type of material, using a useful typology: data...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...
  • 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...
  • Automated policy disclosureOctober 11, 2006 – ACAP is an interesting initiative from a group of publishing organizations. It has been noted in several places. ACAP stands for Automated Content Access Protocol. It is jointly sponsored by the World Association of Newspapers (WAN), the European Publishers Council (EPC) and the International Publishers Association (IPA). Here is how...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...
  • The word that will be on everybody's lips this fall ...September 21, 2006 – ... is Zotero. So says Dan Cohen. I'll write much more in this space about Zotero over the coming year (and beyond), since I conceive it not just as a free EndNote replacement (actually, it's already much better than EndNote in only its 1.0 release), but as a platform for...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...
  • 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...
  • 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...
  • Registries, research and jobsJune 09, 2006 – A colleague drew my attention to an advert for a Bioinformatics Curator at the University of Manchester, which interestingly touched on several different issues that have been on my horizon recently. Here is an excerpt from the ad:We have an opportunity within the highly successful myGrid project for a bioinformatics...read full entry...
  • ISBNs: an interesting data pointJune 07, 2006 – About a third of the print books in WorldCat have ISBNs. Brian Lavoie provided me with this number based on the data extracted from WorldCat to support his joint work with Roger Schonfeld of Ithaka on the systemwide view of library collections. (Their presentation to CNI is available [ppt]; an...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...
  • 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...
  • Search, share and subscribeMarch 06, 2006 – We seem to have turned a corner with library search. For example, one of the strategic priorities for the British Library is to 'transform search and navigation' in support of access to their collections, although there is little detail about what will be attempted. There has been significant recent discussion...read full entry...
  • Word clouds February 28, 2006 – Hey - a site aimed at 'book-lovers' and 'bloggers'. They have about everyone covered ;-) SnapShirts allows you to order a t-shirt emblazoned with a word-cloud. The word cloud can be generated from a book by your favorite author (they have a limited number available), or from your blog (you...read full entry...
  • Thinking about the catalogJanuary 12, 2006 – I said a few entries ago that I was working on an entry on the catalog. I need to hurry up! Some big catalogish things came along this week. First the University of California released a significant report on its bibliographic infrastructure, on how catalogs should be built, presented and...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...
  • 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...
  • Circulating intentional dataNovember 27, 2005 – I have posted a couple of times recently about intentional data, data that records choices and behaviors. I mentioned holdings data, ILL records, circulation records, and database usage records. One could extend this list to any data which records an interaction or choice. We are used to looking at transaction...read full entry...
  • Aggregate intentionsNovember 23, 2005 – I was interested to see the announcement about Ebsco and web services for bringing together Counter data.The wide acceptance of the Project COUNTER Code of Practice has assisted greatly in the standardization of how usage data is counted and presented. Libraries are now looking to consolidate this normalized data as...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...
  • FRBR fervorNovember 14, 2005 – FRBR is another of those things that we have given a public-unfriendly name to. This is a pity, because the concept is one that makes a lot of sense to people when they understand it. For example, in discussions about how OpenWorldcat data is surfaced in search engines this is...read full entry...
  • Blog searchNovember 06, 2005 – There are lots of blog search services around. It will be interesting to see how they consolidate, and what emerges as preferred functionality. I have ego feeds set up with several and in my experience none does significantly better than others, although I don't watch it closely. Blogpulse, Technorati, PubSub,...read full entry...
  • InfoNovember 05, 2005 – After much labor, the Info-URI Internet Draft is formally recognized by the IETF. For more about Info-URI check out the web-site, with links to registry and FAQ. From the FAQ: The motivation behind developing the info URI scheme is to allow legacy identification systems to become part of the Web...read full entry...
  • A book is a book is a book ...October 30, 2005 – I came across the following lines in Derek Mahon's Selected Poems this morning. They are from The Joycentenary Ode, a poem written in a Joycean idiom ...Everybaddy readsYour wooks now inUnlimited eruditions;Now maybe my ears are especially sensitized to such issues (from our FRBR work) but I wondered if we...read full entry...
  • Engaging the viewer/listenerOctober 30, 2005 – The BBC has been a web innovator, and has a significant international web presence. Tom Coates has a post on a current project looking at user annotation of audio. This was interesting to me for several reasons which touch very closely on current library issues. First, he briefly describes the...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...
  • 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...
  • The reader and OpenWorldCatOctober 09, 2005 – Well, it has arrived! Functionality has gone live in OpenWorldCat which allows us to incorporate user views of materials. Check out the details and reviews tab here, for example. We do not know how this will develop: we think it is really important to provide a central presence on the...read full entry...
  • Making data work harder - intentionallyOctober 06, 2005 – Much of the data that we have, or potentially might have, represents choices. Choices made by users or choices made by a service provider to meet user needs. Holdings data. Circulation data. Database usage data. In its production services, OCLC tends to use holdings data quite a bit to rank...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...
  • Digital preservationSeptember 20, 2005 – Presentations describing projects shortlisted for the Digital Preservation Award for 2005 have been made available.The Digital Preservation Award of �5,000 is sponsored by the Digital Preservation Coalition. This prestigious Award recognises the many new initiatives being undertaken in the challenging field of digital preservation. The Digital Preservation Award is presented...read full entry...
  • A billion holdingsAugust 11, 2005 – The OCLC website is now carrying details of the billionth holding in WorldCat. It was entered by Worthington Libraries for The Monkees: the day-by-day story of the '60s TV pop sensation There are more details on the WorldCat page, including a list of libraries who contributed holdings on either side...read full entry...
  • Weibel linesAugust 08, 2005 – My colleague Stu Weibel contributed a nice retrospective on metadata to the recent ten year anniversary issue of D-Lib Magazine. Apt, as the Dublin Core Metadata Initiative with which Stu has been so strongly associated also celebrated its tenth birthday earlier this year. Readers might also be interested to know...read full entry...
  • Sound metadataAugust 08, 2005 – The introduction of Yahoo! Audio Search has alerted us to the benefits of putting metadata in the audio files we make available. (Most of these are talks in our Distinguished Seminar Series.) Something to do moving forward. See the Catalogablog post on MP3 and metadata here....read full entry...
  • New lookAugust 07, 2005 – Check out the new look interface to Find in a library. See, for example, the (current) page for Information rules. I like the way it highlights subjects and other editions. IMHO one of the major features of OpenWorldCat is the way it is beginning to release the value of the...read full entry...
  • Managing assets at IntelAugust 05, 2005 – Intel wants its developers to spend their time creating value, not to waste it looking for things they need to get their work done. After a false start six years ago, the chip maker now estimates that for every $1 it spends on metadata management, it saves $6. [Sidebar: Intel...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...
  • 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...
  • Rewarding experiencesJune 22, 2005 – It is nice to note a couple of recent awards. Thom describes the results of our first software contest. First, because we intend to run it again next year.Dazhi (David) Jiao of Bloomington Indiana won for his OPAC (sorry if that link isn't working, David is moving it to a...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...
  • All that is solid melts into flows ....May 31, 2005 – Like most people ;-), I tend to think about metadata as 'schematized statements about resources': schematized because machine understandable; statements because they involve a claim about the resource by a particular agent; resource because any identifiable object may have metadata associated with it. Metadata is useful because it relieves a...read full entry...
  • Wikis and WorldCatMay 29, 2005 – Thom introduces our plans to pilot a mechanism to capture user input alongside bibliographic records. This will be first introduced in Open WorldCat later this Summer.The idea is to have a Wiki that complements WorldCat. People could add reviews, cover art, comments, etc. and relate these to bibliographic records (maybe...read full entry...
  • Preservation eventsMay 24, 2005 –  The PREMIS Working Group has published the Data Dictionary for Preservation Metadata: Final Report of the PREMIS Working Group. Find the report and its components on the PREMIS project web page. This group was chaired by Priscilla Caplan and Rebecca Guenther and supported by Brian Lavoie and Robin Dale....read full entry...
  • Rich browsingMay 11, 2005 –  Eric Hellman has an interesting post in the current discussion on Web4lib about relative approaches to search by libraries and Amazoogle. He suggests that libraries should focus on browse, and leave search to those that specialize in it: I think that libraries should consider returning to their historic roots...read full entry...
  • Amazon: making data workMay 07, 2005 – I spent a little while just now looking at Amazon's Statistically Improbable Phrases (distinctive patterns of words in a book). And at their other data mining features. I tried some books with which I am familiar. First The Rise of the Network Society by Manuel Castells. Here is the Amazon...read full entry...
  • Library collections viewed systemicallyApril 11, 2005 – OCLC Research has been doing quite a bit of work on collection analysis in the last couple of years: mining Worldcat for management intelligence about the characteristics of libary collections. One strand of this work was reported at the recent CNI meeting under the title 'A System-Wide View of Library...read full entry...
  • MARC up?March 20, 2005 – Terry Willan, of Talis, has a thoughtful post on the current discussion about the relationship between MARC and XML on the xml4lib mailing list. He reminds people of the three layers in the classical library metadata stack: encoding (ISO 2709 or Z39.2), content designation (as expressed in the various MARC...read full entry...
  • Jim Gray interviews Tim BrayMarch 19, 2005 – Tim Bray talks about search, XML, semantic web, RDF and other things in an interview in Queue. The interviewer is Jim Gray of Microsoft Research. I wonder were the rhyming names deliberate ;-)I spent two years sitting on the Web consortium's technical architecture group, on the phone every week and...read full entry...
  • Harvesting and managing metadata collectionsMarch 17, 2005 – I got a note from Eric Lease Morgan that ties together a couple of recent posts. Peter Murray noted the importance to libraries of managing metadata collections potentially pulled from various sources. And as I noted a couple of days ago, my colleagues have just written about the OCLC Research...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...
  • The DC DecadeMarch 08, 2005 – This month marks the ten year birthday for Dublin Core, which originated at a meeting in Dublin, Ohio, in March 1995. The community we affectionately described in 1995 as 'geeks, freaks, and people with sensible shoes' has grown from the 52 original workshop participants to an international community of researchers...read full entry...
  • Sharing metadataMarch 05, 2005 – The lightweight bibliographic apparatus of reading lists and citation managers is an important site of integration, I believe. Refshare is interesting in this context. RefShare provides subscribing institutions and universities the ability to allow users to share their Refworks database or just specific folders from their RefWorks database with other...read full entry...
  • Thinking about metadata collectionsMarch 05, 2005 – Peter Murray [authority record] left a comment about my The Integrated Library System that isn't piece. From my world view, there is a fifth collection type that is capturing our attention: metadata collections. Into this category goes collections of OAI-PMH harvesters (someone else's "digital collection") and selected resource lists (e.g....read full entry...
  • Music AustraliaMarch 03, 2005 – The National Library of Australia has innovated with federations/aggregations such as Picture Australia. Now we have Music Australia, a very nice service which provides access to Australian music resources of various types. A strong feature about the service is that it makes data work - it is possible to traverse...read full entry...
  • Encoding identifiers in Dublin Core and LOMMarch 03, 2005 – An interesting draft document which is the work of many UKOLN and CETIS hands:This document provides guidelines for encoding a number of commonly used identifiers in Dublin Core (DC) metadata [DCMI] and IEEE Learning Object Metadata (LOM) [LOM] records.[Guidelines for encoding identifiers in Dublin Core and IEEE LOM metadata]...read full entry...
  • Deep linking and JK RowlingFebruary 24, 2005 – Larry Campbell asks about linking direct to a 'record' in Open WorldCat. This is possible: check out Pride and prejudice, The commitments, and I capture the castle. What do these have in common? Well, as I discovered earlier while helping with homework, they are on the bookshelf in JK Rowling's...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...
  • Works 4 you?February 17, 2005 – Dorothea left a comment which wondered how one would present FRBRized results to the user. We have been working on this internally. This screenshot shows an approach. Now, please note that this is an internal prototype at the moment. We are working on how to roll some of this into...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...
  • Find other editions in Open WorldCatJanuary 29, 2005 – We recently added a button on the Open WorldCat rendezvous page to find other 'editions' of the found item. This is an interim approach to implementing the FRBR model which clusters versions of a work. It helps find, for example, translations of a particular item. See Reading in the dark...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...
  • WorldCat in your pocketJanuary 19, 2005 – We have been looking at things recently which have made my colleagues interested in hardware again, and which also show how far we have come in being able to manipulate and move large amounts of data. WorldCat is our union catalogue of about 56 million bibliographic records, which represent approximately...read full entry...
  • Making data work harderJanuary 08, 2005 – As more activities move into a network space so more areas of our life are shedding data. This data is increasingly being mined for intelligence which drives services. And with data, quantity, as they say, has a quality all of its own. A major attribute of both Google and Amazon...read full entry...
  • Fielded search and citation ranking in Google ScholarDecember 30, 2004 – The introduction of a limited fielded search in Google Scholar has been noted in several places. I mention below the apparent role of citation in ranking. Together, these are interesting as they are responsive to the particular characteristics of the materials in Scholar and are a departure from the general...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...
  • Bibliographic access divisionNovember 20, 2004 – The Bibliographic Access Division of the Library of Congress has released its Stratgic Plan FY2003-2008 Goals and Initiatives for Fiscal Years 2005-2006 [pdf]. Its vision is The Bibliographic Access Divisions (BA) lead in providing immediate and convenient discovery of the universe of knowledge and creativity.Its mission is To provide effective...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...
  • Top booksNovember 13, 2004 – We have released a list of the top 1000 works in WorldCat. This list is unlike some other lists in that we have consolidated the various manifestations of a work as best we can and factored that into the ranking. To do this we used our FRBR work-set algorithm with...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...
  • Learning object metadataOctober 31, 2004 – A couple of recent studies have provided some rich data about the use of IEEE-LOM metadata. Jean Godby analyses the choice of elements in Application Profiles in a recent article, pulling together data from 35 projects. The focus here is on the choices made by designers of Application Profiles, based...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...
  • Collecting booksOctober 10, 2004 – I have just had occasion to reread Walter Benjamin's essay Unpacking my library. It is full of memorable lines (from the Zohn translation in the accessible Illuminations collection):"The only exact knowledge there is," says Anatole France, "is the knowledge of the date of publication and the format of books." And...read full entry...
  • Rehak's papersOctober 03, 2004 – Dan Rehak is very active in the development of specifications in the learning technology arena. He is based at the Learning Systems Architecture Laboratory at Carnegie Mellon. Two recent papers intersect with our interests. Good&plenty, Googlezon, your grandmother and Nike: challenges for ubiquitous learning & learning technology [PDF]. This caught...read full entry...
  • Identifying lawyersOctober 03, 2004 – Identifiers are becoming more important in our work. In another context, I was interested to come across the ISLN:Designated the International Standard Lawyer Number or ISLN, it's a new mechanism that helps us track the identity of each practicing attorney and lends another level of quality control to the Martindale-Hubbell...read full entry...
  • Metadata qualityOctober 01, 2004 – Another article establishes the importance of metadata quality or consistency for retrieval. This is an issue we are facing more as metadata is aggregated from different metadata regimes.The OAI Protocol for Metadata Harvesting has deservedly been hailed as an important tool in the development of digital libraries from multiple, dispersed...read full entry...
  • Union CatalogsSeptember 30, 2004 – A list of union catalogs:During the research work on my latest book, Library World Records, I used both Worldcat and several European union catalogs, in my search for specific books, because I travelled to several European libraries, being able to know if particular books I needed, for my book project,...read full entry...
  • Creating metadataSeptember 19, 2004 – Ross Atkinson suggests there are two kinds of metadata, iterative and explicative. In AACR terms, iterative metadata is the 'description'. it is not clear to me from this account whether he sees the 'headings' as iterative or explicative. Iterative metadata repeat and thus privilege language or other signs that occur...read full entry...
  • Collection level descriptionSeptember 05, 2004 – Libraries have historically been interested in trees: their descriptive practices have focused on works and their manifestations. Libraries are becoming more interested in describing woods, the collections of which individual items are a part. This in turn creates an interest in collection level description. 'Collections' tends to be used here...read full entry...
  • UKOLN focus and POIsAugust 27, 2004 – A very nice roundup of news and progress reports in the inaugural issue of UKOLN focus. There is much of potential interest here. Given our involvement, I especially note the report on the use of POIs.The work centres on the use of the OAI Protocol for Metadata Harvesting to exchange...read full entry...
  • More on RSSAugust 26, 2004 – Wired magazine on the growth and diversifying appeal of RSS. "RSS is at the edge of a huge acceleration in adoption," he said. "The early users have been bloggers, which have clearly exploded geometrically.... The next adopters are online content publishers. Corporations are starting to use the technology. This is...read full entry...
  • Reading RSSAugust 24, 2004 – Steve Gillmor makes an interesting observation about the uptake of RSS. I wonder what proportion of readers of popular blogs consume them via RSS and how many actually visit the website. This phenomenon coupled with the emergence of the search engine as the user's preferred entry point further distances people...read full entry...
  • Registry of digital mastersJuly 28, 2004 – Record creation guidelines for the Registry of Digital Masters are now available. Record Creation Guidelines are based on two Digital Library Federation papers describing the functionality of the Digital Registry, Registry of Archival Masters of [Born] Digital Monographs and Serials Functional Requirements and Registry of Digital Reproductions of Paper-based Monographs....read full entry...
  • Structured reading listsJune 28, 2004 – IMS has released its Resource List Interoperability Specification. In the future, I think, we will increasingly see the reading list as a 'portable portal' (a 'portable'?), as you can have services on the contained objects. The Resource List Interoperability (RLI) specification details how structured meta-data can be exchanged between systems...read full entry...
  • Changing face of A&IJune 12, 2004 – Overview of changes in A&I landscape from John Regazzi of Elsevier. This simple supply chain, however, has been transformed today into a complex, some might argue 'too complex,' information network. [Miles Conrad Memorial Lecture - 2004]He makes some statements about scientists' and librarians' preferred sources of authoritative information which have...read full entry...
  • SchematizingJune 09, 2004 – Schematize is cropping up in various places. Jim Gray spoke about schematized storage at OCLC recently [ppt]. He was talking about associating metadata with data. Here is Steve Gillmor:HailStorm's notion of a massive in-memory cloud of XML data and metadata was doomed, not by the daunting mechanics of schematizing a...read full entry...
  • MADSJune 06, 2004 – More about the Metadata Authority Description Schema at: The Library of Congress' Network Development and MARC Standards Office has developed the Metadata Authority Description Schema (MADS), an XML schema for an authority element set that may be used to provide metadata about agents (people, organizations), events, and terms (topics, geographics,...read full entry...
  • Recombinant metadataMay 29, 2004 – A very interesting article on metadata aggregation, Improving Metadata Quality: Augmentation and Recombination, based on NSDL experiences has appeared. Digital libraries have, in the main, adopted the traditional library notion of the metadata "record" as the basic unit of management and exchange. Although this simplifies the harvest and re-exposure of...read full entry...
  • NISO metadata workshopMay 23, 2004 – Powerpoint proceedings from Metadata Practices on the Cutting Edge - National Information Standards Organization (NISO) now available....read full entry...
  • Guidelines for use of identifiers in DC and LOM metadataMay 16, 2004 – This document provides guidelines for encoding a number of commonly used identifiers in Dublin Core (DC) metadata [DCMI] and IEEE Learning Object Metadata (LOM) [LOM] records. [Guidelines for encoding identifiers in Dublin Core and IEEE LOM metadata]...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...
  • Who makes metadata?March 03, 2004 – A couple of things I read recently about metadata and its creators. One of the people I interviewed for the scan described OCLC as a "social organization for ensuring consistency of cataloging". I am reminded of this when I come across discussion of emerging metadata creation models, in particular where...read full entry...
  • How good is the catalog?January 25, 2004 – Pretty interesting piece by a member of faculty in the history department at Swarthmore. I quote at length -- follow the link for the full piece.Using our library's catalogue, Tripod, I was both impressed at how generally strong our collection is for a small liberal-arts college (shared with Bryn Mawr...read full entry...
  • Roy Tennant on bibliographic data and XWCJanuary 15, 2004 – The point is we need to craft standards, software tools, and systems that can accept, manipulate, store, output, search, and display metadata from a wide variety of bibliographic or related standards. Our systems should be able to accept an ONIX record from a publisher, which contains basic bibliographic fields and...read full entry...
  • Statement of international cataloguing principlesJanuary 07, 2004 – Noted the following on Catalogablog. Statement of International Cataloguing Principles produced by the First IFLA Meeting of Experts on an International Cataloguing Code. Other background papers also available. [ddb, IFLA Meeting of Experts on an International Cataloguing Code, papers]...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...
  • Metadata and institutional repositoriesDecember 18, 2003 – Some interesting presentations at the 2003-2004 RLG Members' Forum. Discussion of Cornell and Indiana repository and digital library issues. Examples of the growing interest in rationalising repository initiatives within overall institutional perspective....read full entry...
  • Metadata and metadataDecember 16, 2003 – Interesting, and I think accurate, observation by Stuart Sutton in his review of Cilla Caplan's new book on metadata for librarians.While we frequently hear the naive remark (not infrequently from people who should know better) that libraries have been all about metadata from their beginnings and that librarians have a...read full entry...
  • David Weinberger on metadataDecember 08, 2003 – Author of Small pieces loosely joined and co-author of the Cluetrain manifesto on metadata. But that means that metadata, an abstraction of an abstraction, is directly and intimately tied to human projects and human desire. And what's desire? Nothing but the way we're pulled into the world, over and over,...read full entry...
  • Pete Johnston's report of DC2003November 13, 2003 – My own experience of DC-2003 probably emphasised the 'workshop' elements more than the 'conference' aspects, and I had a firm sense that activities in Seattle were part of an ongoing process that had existed before the conference and would continue afterwards. There was also a clear sense that Dublin Core...read full entry...
  • BL Press Release on DCMINovember 10, 2003 – Interesting to see that the British Library has put out a press release about a BL staff member chairing the DCMI Libraries Working Group.Robina Clayphan, Metadata Development Analyst at the British Library, has been appointed to chair the Libraries Working Group of the Dublin Core Metadata Initiative (DCMI). The Group...read full entry...
  • Union catalog of art imagesNovember 10, 2003 – A Mellon-funded project at UC San Diego to create a union catalog of art images. The intention is to explore its use for shared cataloging. I wonder how many images are held by multiple institutions? This phase is focused on the development of an underlying union database and the technical...read full entry...
  • Roy Tennant in Current Cites on delivery of the DC2003 conference proceedingsOctober 23, 2003 – From all appearances, all of the papers given at the conference are here in Adobe Acrobat format, and presented through an interesting application called "Seamark" from Siderean Software, which also serves as the host for the papers (I can't help wondering if anyone is backing these up somewhere, but maybe...read full entry...
  • Collection level descriptionOctober 21, 2003 – A coincidence of events has highlighted the issue of collection level description: On his recent visit to OCLC, Juha Hakala spoke about the work of The European Library (TEL) to develop CLDs for National Libraries. Special attention has been paid to digital collections and collection level descriptions. TEL is a...read full entry...