links for 2010-12-08

  • On the first of January every year works from around the world fall out of copyright and into the public domain. But, how do we know which works fall into the public domain when?
    In previous years there have been blog posts about this – for example, see theEverybody’s Libraries posts from 1st January 2008 and 1st January 2009. In preparation for Public Domain Day 2010, we decided to prepare our own list of authors who’s works fall into the public domain this coming January.
    You can find the list of 563 authors on our Public Domain Works project…
  • Science researchers at the University of California Santa Cruz were surveyed about their article database use and preferences in order to inform collection budget choices. Web of Science was the single most used database, selected by 41.6%. Statistically there was no difference between PubMed (21.5%) and Google Scholar (18.7%) as the second most popular database. 83% of those surveyed had used Google Scholar and an additional 13% had not used it but would like to try it. [… ] While Google Scholar is favored for its ease of use and speed, those who prefer Web of Science feel more confident about the quality of their results than do those who prefer Google Scholar. When asked to choose between paying for article database access or paying for journal subscriptions, 66% of researchers chose to keep journal subscriptions, while 34% chose to keep article databases.
  • This is the second in a series about how digital tools are changing scholarship in history, literature and the arts. The titles of every British book published in English in and around the 19th century — 1,681,161, to be exact — are being electronically scoured for key words and phrases that might offer fresh insight into the minds of the Victorians.
    This research, which has only recently become possible, thanks to a new generation of powerful digital tools and databases, represents one of the many ways that technology is transforming the study of literature, philosophy and other humanistic fields that haven’t necessarily embraced large-scale quantitative analysis.
  • The next big idea in language, history and the arts? Data.
    Members of a new generation of digitally savvy humanists argue it is time to stop looking for inspiration in the next political or philosophical “ism” and start exploring how technology is changing our understanding of the liberal arts. This latest frontier is about method, they say, using powerful technologies and vast stores of digitized materials that previous humanities scholars did not have.
  • When I look back at the plight of American research libraries in 2010, I feel inclined to break into a jeremiad. In fact, I want to deliver three jeremiads, because research libraries are facing crises on three fronts; but instead of prophesying doom, I hope to arrive at a happy ending.
    I can even begin happily, at least in describing the state of the university library at Harvard. True, the economic crisis hit us hard, so hard that we must do some fundamental reorganizing, but we can take measures to make a great library greater, and we can put our current difficulties into perspective by seeing them in the light of a long history…
  • We talk about journals, but we don’t talk about how we have access to them: free, direct from the publisher, in aggregators, etc. We talk about ILL, but we rarely mention how they may find a copy of the paper archived on a website – students can discover this for themselves and then wonder if we really know what we are talking about.
    We teach them about brainstorming keywords, narrowing or broadening their search as needed and identifying the types of information they may need.
    But would it also be useful to them if they understood the nature of the scholarly information landscape?
  • The DOI provides a way to permanently find a particular item. Publishers and scholarly societies change their websites all the time. Recently, a major publisher completely re-did their website, messing up all links into their site. I was quite annoyed. But the DOI could still link you to an article in a way that a URL couldn’t…
  • [Arcadia Project] One of the offshoots of the Arcadia Project was the joint UL/CARET CULWidgets product, which wangled some JISC funding to "provide users with services appropriate to a networked world" in a widgetty/web services way.
    Our two main production interfaces are the Cambridge Library Widget and the CamLib mobile web app, both soft-launched at the start of this term. This, the last day of term, seems a good time to look back and see how they've done.

About homlib

The Library of Homerton College, University of Cambridge.
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