Tuesday, 15 November 2011


Emma Coonan, Jane Secker and Helen Webster gave a great seminar presentation  at LSE on the new curriculum for Information Literacy that emerged from Emma's and Jane's Fellowships.  (Helen is now working on implementation issues.)

Tuesday, 25 October 2011


LOCKSS (Lots of Copies Keep Stuff Safe), based at Stanford University Libraries, is an international community initiative that provides libraries with digital preservation tools and support so that they can easily and inexpensively collect and preserve their own copies of authorized e-content. LOCKSS, in its twelfth year, provides libraries with the open-source software and support to preserve today’s web-published materials for tomorrow’s readers while building their own collections and acquiring a copy of the assets they pay for, instead of simply leasing them. LOCKSS provides fully managed preservation and 100% post cancellation access.

Sunday, 2 October 2011

Ten questions for wannabee "digital scholars"

From Martin Weller's Blog:

Do you have an open access publishing policy for the outputs of the project?
Will you make the data openly available, or is some of it not appropriate to do so? If so, where will you put it?
Will there be one main individual in charge of social media communication or is it just distributed across the group?
Will you have specific twitter/blog/youtube accounts for the project or do individuals in the project have a high online reputation it would be better to utilise?
How will you incorporate analytics into the project? Do you expect to get a certain number of views, dwell time, global distribution, etc on a main site?
What media will you use? For example, will you create a 'trailer' video for the project and an overview of the findings?
How will you archive discussion around the research, eg twitter hashtag conversations?
Will you provide a curation service, eg a Scoop-It page of relevant resources as you go along?
Are there new methodologies you will employ, eg crowdsourcing?
Is there a planned release for findings throughout the project? Will any aspects be not open for dissemination eg via twitter or blogs?

Tuesday, 14 June 2011

John Palfrey's closing SSP Keynote

John Palfrey -- of Harvard Law School and the Berkman Center -- is taking a close interest in library issues and delivered the closing plenary session at this year’s SSP Annual Meeting. Kent Anderson has provided a useful summary of what he said.

Saturday, 4 June 2011

Hacking the Academy: contents list now available

The full list of contents for the edited volume is now available. Over 200 scholars took part in the project. All the contributions are online here.

Fascinating project.

Tuesday, 22 March 2011

Court rejects Google Books settlement

Significant setback in Google's path to world domination. CNET News reports that

Adding another chapter to a long, drawn-out legal saga, a New York federal district court has rejected the controversial settlement in a class-action suit brought against Google Books by the Authors Guild, a publishing industry trade group.

"While the digitization of books and the creation of a universal digital library would benefit many, the ASA would simply go too far," a court document explains. "It would permit this class action--which was brought against defendant Google Inc. to challenge its scanning of books and display of 'snippets' for on-line searching--to implement a forward-looking business arrangement that would grant Google significant rights to exploit entire books, without permission of the copyright owners. Indeed, the ASA (Amended Settle Agreement) would give Google a significant advantage over competitors, rewarding it for engaging in wholesale copying of copyrighted works without permission, while releasing claims well beyond those presented in the case."

The settlement would grant Google the right to display excerpts of out-of-print books, even if they are not in the public domain or authorized by publishers to appear in Google Books. When the settlement was initially announced in mid-2009, opposition flooded in from lawyers on behalf of Microsoft, the Electronic Frontier Foundation, and a coalition called the Open Book Alliance who decried it as anticompetitive.

"Google and the plaintiff publishers secretly negotiated for 29 months to produce a horizontal price fixing combination, effected and reinforced by a digital book distribution monopoly," a lawyer for the Open Book Alliance said at the time. "Their guile has cleared much of the field in digital book distribution, shielding Google from meaningful competition."

Well-known economics journal goes open access

Interesting post by Justin Wolfers:

Here’s a test of basic economic literacy: What is the socially optimal price of online access to economics journal articles?

If my students learn only one thing, it’s this: Price equals marginal cost. And the marginal cost of accessing a journal article is pretty much zero. The research has been written, the type has been set, and the salaries have already been paid — usually thanks to a university, think tank, or government grant. So the socially optimal price is: free. Every time we charge a price higher than this, we risk pricing out someone who might benefit from the insights of an academic scribbler.

The Brookings Papers on Economic Activity – the journal that David Romer and I edit — has decided to take this piece of economic wisdom seriously. The Brookings Papers are now entirely open access. Yep, we’re charging zero; nada; nothing; zip.

Sunday, 20 March 2011

The Internet-Informed Patient: March 28

We're holding a one-day symposium on March 28 on the implications of the Internet-informed patient for health care. The previous day (March 27) we will be hosting a Hack Day for developers and other professionals interested in harnessing IT to improve our use of health data -- both in terms of patient-centred Apps and making creative use of open health data to inform patients and improve decision-making.

Both events will be held in the Moller Centre at Churchill College, Cambridge.

The symposium will not take the usual form of a panel of expert speakers with a (largely passive) audience, but is designed as a day-long series of structured conversations in small groups primed by a few pithy, thought-provoking statements on a number of burning issues. The conversations will be live-blogged and some contributions will be video-recorded, so that a record of the conversations can be made available afterwards.

We still have some places available for both the Symposium and the Hack Day. If you're interested -- or know someone who might be -- please get in touch.

For the Symposium the contact is Isla Kuhn -- ilk21 (at) cam.ac.uk
For the Hack Day the contact is John Naughton -- jjn1 (at) cam.ac.uk

You can also get in touch via the website -- http://www.iip-symposium.info/

Friday, 7 January 2011

'Lending' Kindle books

The Kindle was apparently Amazon's best-selling product at Christmas, but many of its new users feel uncomfortable with the DRM-lockdown that comes with it. According to this report, though, there's been a slight relaxation -- in that you can 'lend' a Kindle book to a friend for 14 days.

Amazon is allowing Kindle users to lend a book to a mate, but the UK Publishers Association reckons e-book borrowers should get down the library.

The new feature allows e-books bought for the Kindle platform to be lent out for 14 days, delivered by email and springing back to their owners automatically as detailed by Amazon, but the Publishers Association (PA) is unlikely to approve, given its stance that anyone wanting to borrow an e-book from the local library should get their bones down to the building for a bit of physical interaction with their local community.