Merrilee Proffitt and Jennifer Schaffner
University faculty and scholars demonstrated their uses of rare books and archives—in both digital and physical forms—to an audience of RLG Programs partners at a symposium in Philadelphia on June 4, 2008. Tony Grafton’s recent article in The New Yorker3 provoked the theme of the symposium: we’ll be travelling both the wide smooth road through the screen and the narrow difficult road of books and archives for a long time to come.
The audience of librarians, archivists, museum professionals and senior managers discussed administrative issues and opportunities for the use of digitized special collections. The academic speakers, however, spoke to us directly about their expectations of special collections and proposals for collaboration with scholars. These scholars emphasized the critical roles rare books, archives and other materials play in both teaching and research, and called for specific directions for libraries and archives to take in the near future. The primary users of primary resources presented clear imperatives for collections and custodians: work with faculty to understand current research methods and...
How does a protein fold? What happens to space-time when two black holes collide? What impact does species gene flow have on an ecological community? What are the key factors that drive climate change? Did one of the trillions of collisions at the Large Hadron Collider produce a Higgs boson, the dark matter particle or a black hole? Can we create an individualized model of each human being for personalized healthcare delivery? How does major technological change affect human behavior and structure complex social relationships?
What answers will we find – to questions we have yet to ask – in the very large datasets that are being produced by telescopes, sensor networks, and other experimental facilities?
These questions – and many others – are only now coming within our ability to answer because of advances in computing and related information technology. Once used by a handful of elite researchers in a few research communities on select problems, advanced computing has become essential to future progress across the frontier of science and engineering. Coupled with continuing improvements in microprocessor speeds, converging advances in networking,...
It’s one thing to say you support open-access publishing. It’s another to provide authors with a pot of money to actually pay for it.
That’s what’s happening at the University of California Berkeley. In January, the university launched the Berkeley Research Impact Initiative, a pilot program co-sponsored by the University Librarian and the Vice Chancellor for Research to cover publication charges for open-access journals.
The European Commission today adopted two initiatives in the area of copyright. First, the Commission proposes to align the copyright term for performers with that applicable to authors, in this way bridging the income gap that performers face toward the end of their lives. Secondly, the Commission proposes to fully harmonise the copyright term that applies to co-written musical compositions. In parallel, the Commission also adopted a Green Paper on Copyright in the Knowledge Economy. The consultation document focuses on topics that appear relevant for the development of a modern economy, driven by the rapid dissemination of knowledge and information. Both of these initiatives comprise a unique mix of social, economic and cultural measures aimed at maintaining Europe as a prime location for cultural creators in the entertainment and knowledge sectors.