Polish network of Digital Libraries

The article presents the political context and the current status of digital libraries network in Poland. It demonstrates the major challenges in the various areas in which libraries operate, problems which should be discussed.

It describes some important library initiatives that emerged in order to coordinate activities, and presents concrete examples (WBC, KPBC, POLONA) of the actual digital collections accessible via the Internet. The author also attempts to diagnose the situation and indicate solutions, which may bring measurable benefits to Poland and Europe.

URL : http://kpbc.umk.pl/Content/40554/Polish_Network_of_Digital_Libraries-2008.pdf

Tragedy of the Data Commons

Accurate data is vital to enlightened research and policymaking, particularly publicly available data that are redacted to protect the identity of individuals.

Legal academics, however, are campaigning against data anonymization as a means to protect privacy, contending that wealth of information available on the Internet enables malfeasors to reverse-engineer the data and identify individuals within them.

Privacy scholars advocate for new legal restrictions on the collection and dissemination of research data. This Article challenges the dominant wisdom, arguing that properly de-identified data is not only safe, but of extraordinary social utility.

It makes three core claims. First, legal scholars have misinterpreted the relevant literature from computer science and statistics, and thus have significantly overstated the futility of anonymizing data. Second, the available evidence demonstrates that the risks from anonymized data are theoretical – they rarely, if ever, materialize. Finally, anonymized data is crucial to beneficial social research, and constitutes a public resource – a commons – under threat of depletion.

The Article concludes with a radical proposal: since current privacy policies overtax valuable research without reducing any realistic risks, law should provide a safe harbor for the dissemination of research data.”

URL : http://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=1789749

Digital repositories and the future of preservation and use of scientific knowledge

Information and communication technology has a great influence on scientific communication and work of scientists. Ways in which research is conducted have changed; science has become more highly collaborative; network-based, and data-intensive. The existing system of scientific publishing is experiencing pressure for change under the influence of the exponential growth of information production, the dramatic increase in subscription fees, the increasing storage cost of printed documents, and the increasing power and availability of digital technology.

To conduct their research more effectively scientists need modern resources of digital information which would support their endeavor. Digital repository is one such type of information resources. Digital repository is an institutional digital archive of the intellectual product created by the faculty, research staff, and students of an institution and accessible to end users both within and outside of the institution.

Digital repositories carry a great potential for the advancement of scientific research. Digital repositories can store different file formats and types of content. An institutional digital repository can contain e-prints of scientific papers, research data, but also e-learning materials and other forms of institutional intellectual outputs. As the number of open access digital repositories grows, it has become evident that institutional repositories are now clearly and broadly being recognized as essential infrastructure for scholarship in the digital world.

URL : http://hrcak.srce.hr/index.php?show=clanak&id_clanak_jezik=99976

Journal tendering for societies: a brief guide

Hundreds of societies publish journals in collaboration with publishers. Some may be considering how and whether to renegotiate or go out to tender. Some may be considering whether they can/should/wish to change the business model of the journal (e.g. by a move to Open Access). Other societies may be considering using an external publisher for the first time.

This guide, based on our experience, is written for all of these. In their negotiations with publishers learned societies – especially smaller ones – may have difficulty articulating their requirements and assessing the publishers’ offerings. This is true where they wish to compare the newer models with typical “conventional” models, or simply compare different conventional offerings.

The reasons are complex and include:

  • lack of knowledge of the publishing industry on the part of the society’s executive staff (who cannot always find the time to acquire the knowledge);
  • the “author/research funder pays” models, which, whilst becoming more prevalent in the domains of science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM), appear (but may not actually be) rather less feasible in other domains.

This guide draws on the experience of one learned society, the Association for Learning Technology (ALT), in reviewing the publishing arrangements for its journal Research in Learning Technology, between September and December 2010.

URL : http://repository.alt.ac.uk/887/

A qualitative evaluation of The European Library

Evaluation of digital libraries assesses their effectiveness, quality and overall impact. In this paper we describe a qualitative evaluation of “The European Library” carried out by six highly qualified evaluators from the area of computer and library science. The findings – mainly usability issues – are presented along the ITF model and suggestions are given to overcome these findings.

URL : http://hdl.handle.net/10760/15519

Going beyond the textbook: The need to integrate open access primary literature into the Chemistry curriculum

Unrestricted, open access to scholarly scientific literature provides an opportunity for chemistry educators to go beyond the textbook, introducing students to the real work of scientists. Despite the best efforts of textbook authors to provide information about recent research results, textbooks are not a substitute for learning to use the primary literature. Chemical educators can use open access articles to develop research-related skills, to foster curiosity, and to cultivate the next generation of scientists. It is becoming increasingly important for chemical educators to teach undergraduates how online journals are changing the nature of chemical research.

Some institutions can not afford online subscription costs, and open access journals can be an important resource to provide practical experience. Open access publications eliminate the barriers to the central work of scientists providing chemistry educators (whether at well-endowed or economically limited colleges) with the key resources for enhancing student learning through current, relevant research.

URL : http://www.journal.chemistrycentral.com/content/5/1/18

The emergence of electronic books publishing in Spain

“After reference books and scientific journals, electronic books represent the next level of evolution in the digital revolution. Their presence in libraries and their level of knowledge on the part of users is still low. But the development of specific collections by the publishers, the development of increasingly refined online distribution systems and the improvements in portable reading devices (e-book readers) are causing a change in this situation, along with a turnaround on the production and consumption of such documents. In Spain, recent experiences by publishing houses are related to this new market, and they will change the current publishing scene in no time. This article discusses some of them and gives an outlook of future developments in the sector.”

URL : http://eprints.rclis.org/15459/