Thursday, July 31, 2008

By Tom Storey

One of the fastest growing trends today is combining data and functionality from several sources to create new services that provide a unique user experience. They’re called mash ups. Think Google Maps. Yahoo Pipes. Facebook Plug-Ins. Libraries are doing Web mash ups as well: Meebo Instant Messaging. Library Lookup. Bookburro. And, in a way, they’ve been doing all kinds of mash ups for years. Think story hour, open-shelf access, cafes, book lockers.

As a changing social and economic landscape raised concerns about childhood literacy and children’s recreational reading, Caroline Hewins initiated a read-aloud, storytelling activity at the Hartford Public Library. She mixed children and families and books and stories from the rapidly expanding body of children’s literature. The result was a useful and fun new library program.

As new social and economic trends changed information discovery behaviors, Dave Pattern introduced a way to bring readers from a popular book site to the library. He mixed the library collection with the bookstore experience to reach a growing new audience with a creative new library service. The result was traffic for the...

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Thursday, July 31, 2008

By Belinda Weaver

The University of Queensland (UQ) maintains an online research profiling system, UQ Researchers,to showcase the expertise of its academic staff and postgraduate students. The site makes available detailed research profiles and evidence of expertise at various levels. It incorporates school, institute and centre research profiles, CV-type profiles for individual researchers, research project and publication details, and details of available research facilities. External users can search for topical areas and seek opportunities for research collaboration. The service is often used internationally by aspiring research higher degree students who are seeking to identify institutions or individual academics with research strength in their chosen area of study. The UQ Researchers site provides access not only to the expertise and experience of individual researchers but also to that of research groups across the University. Participation in the service is currently optional. There is no mandate for inclusion.

UQ Researchers offers direct data entry, as well as a data sourcing system that automatically collects information about academics and...

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Thursday, July 31, 2008

By Dugie Standeford for Intellectual Property Watch


MANCHESTER, UK - The basic framework of the intellectual property (IP) regime aims to “close down access to knowledge” rather than allowing its dissemination, Professor Joseph Stiglitz said at a 5 July lecture on “Who Owns Science?” Stiglitz, a 2001 Nobel Laureate in Economics, and Professor John Sulston, a 2002 Nobel Laureate in Physiology/Medicine, launched Manchester University’s new Institute for Science, Ethics and Innovation.

Both were highly critical of today’s patent system, saying it stifles science and innovation.

IP is often compared to physical property rights but knowledge is fundamentally different, Stiglitz said. It is a public good with two attributes - “non-rivalrous competition” and non-excludability - meaning it is difficult to prevent others from enjoying its benefits. That runs counter to IP regimes, which are worse than exclusion because they create monopoly power over knowledge that is often abused, he said.

Patent monopolies are believed to drive innovation but they actually impede the pace of science and innovation, Stiglitz said. The current “...

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Thursday, July 31, 2008

Drawing on an expanding array of intelligent web services and applications, a growing number of people are creating, distributing and exploiting user-created content (UCC) and being part of the wider participative web. This study describes the rapid growth of UCC and its increasing role in worldwide communication, and draws out implications for policy. Questions addressed include: What is user-created content? What are its key drivers, its scope and different forms? What are the new value chains and business models? What are the extent and form of social, cultural and economic opportunities and impacts? What are the associated challenges? Is there a government role, and what form could it take?

Go to Source: http://onlinesocialnetworks.blogspot.com/2008/06/participative-web-and-user-created.html

Friday, June 27, 2008

In September 2005, library directors from 17 universities and colleges met to discuss the current state of electronic journal preservation and endorsed a statement calling for “Urgent Action” to preserve scholarly e-journals. Over two years later in January 2008, in the Portico and Ithaka invited 1,371 library directors of four-year colleges and universities in the United States to respond to a survey examining current perspectives on preservation of e-journals. A strong response has yielded interesting findings that we now share with the community in the hope they will spark useful discussion among library directors, funders, and administrators regarding strategic library priorities.

Go to Source: http://www.portico.org/comment/

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