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HangingTogether: OCLC Research Collective Collection Tournament: Round of 32 Bracket Revealed!

planet code4lib - Mon, 2015-03-16 15:10

We are almost ready for the 2015 OCLC Research Collective Collections Tournament to begin! Here’s the bracket for the Round of 32, where we’ve randomly paired up all 32 conferences for the tournament’s first round competition.

[Click image to enlarge]

Competition will be based on a metric having to do with the contents of the collective collections – for example, it might be which conference has the most/highest/largest “something” in their collection. In the interest of fairness to all entrants in the Bracket Competition, we will not reveal the metric for the first round until after the entry period closes on March 19 (see below). Otherwise, those who enter after the metric is revealed would be able to take this into account when making their conference choice, while those who entered earlier would not.

Speaking of the Bracket Competition, THERE IS STILL TIME TO ENTER!!! Read the Official Rules, choose your favorite conference, and enter by 5 PM Eastern time, Thursday, March 19, 2015. You could win a fabulous prize!

Results of the first round competition will be posted on Friday, March 20.

About Brian Lavoie

Brian Lavoie is a Research Scientist in OCLC Research. Brian's research interests include collective collections, the system-wide organization of library resources, and digital preservation.

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Library of Congress: The Signal: Reaching Out and Moving Forward: Revising the Library of Congress’ Recommended Format Specifications

planet code4lib - Mon, 2015-03-16 14:11

The following post is by Ted Westervelt, head of acquisitions and cataloging for U.S. Serials in the Arts, Humanities & Sciences section at the Library of Congress.

Nine months ago, the Library of Congress released its Recommended Format Specifications. This was the result of years of work by experts from across the institution, bringing their own specialized knowledge in the needs and expectations of our patrons, developments in publishing and production and the technical aspects of creation, presentation and distribution. The Library of Congress invested so much effort in this because it is essential to the mission of the institution.

The Library seeks to acquire both broadly and deeply, collecting works from almost every subject area and from every country on earth. This forms one of the world’s foremost collections of creative works and one which the Library is committed to making available to its patrons now and for generations to come. In order to accomplish this, the Library must be able to differentiate between the physical and technical characteristics which will aid it in this effort and those which will have to be overcome to fulfill this goal.

With the Recommended Format Specifications, the Library created hierarchies of these characteristics, such as file formats, in order to provide some guidance. By using the Specifications, staff in the Library can determine the level of effort involved in managing and maintaining content which he or she might want to acquire for the collection and use this knowledge to make an informed judgment about his or her actions. In a time of limited funds and unlimited creation, acting strategically in this manner is essential for an institution like the Library of Congress.

Beyond the Books from user difei on Flickr.

It is not merely the Library of Congress which might benefit from something like the Recommended Format Specifications. The fundamental interest of the Library in creative works is to ensure that those it adds to its collection will last and remain accessible to patrons well into the future. Yet the identification of the characteristics which encourage preservation and long-term access are not ones which are of value to the Library of Congress alone. Creators of these works want their creations to last; distributors and vendors want to ensure that the content they are sharing will remain available to their customers long after it is sent to them and remains available for distribution to future customers.

Libraries and other archiving institutions need works which will last in order to fulfill their charges. So the Library of Congress has attempted to make the Recommended Format Specifications as useful and available as possible for these other participants in the life cycle of creative works. The process of creating the Specifications naturally came from the perspective of the Library of Congress, which has a rather unique role. However, the work which went into the Specifications was not sealed within an ivory tower.

The experts who developed the hierarchies knew that developing guidance which did not have the potential for broad application could not be successful. So they looked at the issue of preservation and long-term access as holistically as possible. Naturally, these teams of experts started with established Library of Congress guidance and documentation, such as the Best Edition Statement (PDF) and the Sustainability of Digital Formats; but they also consulted the recommendations of external groups such as the International Association of Sound and Audiovisual Archivists and the Audio Engineering Society.

Not only did the teams engage with the deep bench of expertise within the Library of Congress, but they took full advantage of experts from outside it as well. As much as the Specifications have to meet the needs of the Library specifically, the basic criteria which informed them were ones which are universally applicable: adoption, transparency, superior technical characteristics, coordination with international standards. The Recommended Format Specifications were written with the broader community in mind. And happily, the broader community has shown a real interest in the Specifications.

World Airline Routes from user josullivan59 on Flickr.

As we have shared them through listservs, articles, blog posts and presentations at various conferences, there has been a great deal on interest expressed in the Specifications. The Library has received comments and feedback from individuals and institutions as far afield as Germany and New Zealand. And we continue to disseminate the Specifications, not to enforce others to do things exactly as the Library of Congress does them; but to help them address the same issues we all face and hopefully help their efforts in overcoming these obstacles at least somewhat easier.

The Library does however seek a rather more tangible goal from the sharing of the Recommended Format Specifications with other stakeholders around the world. There is a real temptation, when accomplishing something like the Recommended Format Specifications, something which took years of effort on the part of many dedicated individuals, and that temptation is to lay down one’s tools and be satisfied with a job well done. And there is no denying that the Library considers the Recommended Format Specifications a job well done and rightfully so.

However, the nature of creative works, especially digital creative works, does not allow us to rest on our laurels. What might be the preferred format for a digital photograph or an eBook today might not be the preferred format tomorrow. Unless we keep reviewing the landscape and the ongoing developments in the world of digital creation, the Specifications will soon be as useful as a map liberally dotted with the phrase ‘here be dragons’.

Thar Be Dragons!!! by user eskimo_jo on Flickr.

The teams of experts within the Library are already looking back at the Specifications, identifying places in which they want to revise, update, tighten and improve them. And we are engaged in further investigation of potential additions to the Specifications. Currently, experts at the Library of Congress are working with colleagues at the National Archives and Records Administration, exploring the potential value of the SIARD format developed by the Swiss Federal Archives as a means of preserving relational databases. So there is more to sharing the Specifications with others than just in providing those others with an opportunity to take advantage of them; it also gives us a chance to learn more about what might make the Specifications better.

The Library of Congress has committed to a sustained investment in the Recommended Format Specifications, which means an annual review and revision process. And to accomplish this, it is actively soliciting feedback and comments from any and all who can help us make them better and more useful, for ourselves and to all of our stakeholders and colleagues in the creative world. This feedback is requested by March 31st, after which date our teams of experts will take the input we have received from others and the results of our own investigations to spend the next three months developing a revised version of the Recommended Format Specifications for the coming year. The greater the input, the better the product, so please do not hesitate to contact us here to share your thoughts and ideas about the Recommended Format Specifications.

Library of Congress: The Signal: Reaching Out and Moving Forward: Revising the Library of Congress’ Recommended Format Specifications

planet code4lib - Mon, 2015-03-16 14:11

The following post is by Ted Westervelt, head of acquisitions and cataloging for U.S. Serials in the Arts, Humanities & Sciences section at the Library of Congress.

Nine months ago, the Library of Congress released its Recommended Format Specifications. This was the result of years of work by experts from across the institution, bringing their own specialized knowledge in the needs and expectations of our patrons, developments in publishing and production and the technical aspects of creation, presentation and distribution. The Library of Congress invested so much effort in this because it is essential to the mission of the institution.

The Library seeks to acquire both broadly and deeply, collecting works from almost every subject area and from every country on earth. This forms one of the world’s foremost collections of creative works and one which the Library is committed to making available to its patrons now and for generations to come. In order to accomplish this, the Library must be able to differentiate between the physical and technical characteristics which will aid it in this effort and those which will have to be overcome to fulfill this goal.

With the Recommended Format Specifications, the Library created hierarchies of these characteristics, such as file formats, in order to provide some guidance. By using the Specifications, staff in the Library can determine the level of effort involved in managing and maintaining content which he or she might want to acquire for the collection and use this knowledge to make an informed judgment about his or her actions. In a time of limited funds and unlimited creation, acting strategically in this manner is essential for an institution like the Library of Congress.

Beyond the Books from user difei on Flickr.

It is not merely the Library of Congress which might benefit from something like the Recommended Format Specifications. The fundamental interest of the Library in creative works is to ensure that those it adds to its collection will last and remain accessible to patrons well into the future. Yet the identification of the characteristics which encourage preservation and long-term access are not ones which are of value to the Library of Congress alone. Creators of these works want their creations to last; distributors and vendors want to ensure that the content they are sharing will remain available to their customers long after it is sent to them and remains available for distribution to future customers.

Libraries and other archiving institutions need works which will last in order to fulfill their charges. So the Library of Congress has attempted to make the Recommended Format Specifications as useful and available as possible for these other participants in the life cycle of creative works. The process of creating the Specifications naturally came from the perspective of the Library of Congress, which has a rather unique role. However, the work which went into the Specifications was not sealed within an ivory tower.

The experts who developed the hierarchies knew that developing guidance which did not have the potential for broad application could not be successful. So they looked at the issue of preservation and long-term access as holistically as possible. Naturally, these teams of experts started with established Library of Congress guidance and documentation, such as the Best Edition Statement (PDF) and the Sustainability of Digital Formats; but they also consulted the recommendations of external groups such as the International Association of Sound and Audiovisual Archivists and the Audio Engineering Society.

Not only did the teams engage with the deep bench of expertise within the Library of Congress, but they took full advantage of experts from outside it as well. As much as the Specifications have to meet the needs of the Library specifically, the basic criteria which informed them were ones which are universally applicable: adoption, transparency, superior technical characteristics, coordination with international standards. The Recommended Format Specifications were written with the broader community in mind. And happily, the broader community has shown a real interest in the Specifications.

World Airline Routes from user josullivan59 on Flickr.

As we have shared them through listservs, articles, blog posts and presentations at various conferences, there has been a great deal on interest expressed in the Specifications. The Library has received comments and feedback from individuals and institutions as far afield as Germany and New Zealand. And we continue to disseminate the Specifications, not to enforce others to do things exactly as the Library of Congress does them; but to help them address the same issues we all face and hopefully help their efforts in overcoming these obstacles at least somewhat easier.

The Library does however seek a rather more tangible goal from the sharing of the Recommended Format Specifications with other stakeholders around the world. There is a real temptation, when accomplishing something like the Recommended Format Specifications, something which took years of effort on the part of many dedicated individuals, and that temptation is to lay down one’s tools and be satisfied with a job well done. And there is no denying that the Library considers the Recommended Format Specifications a job well done and rightfully so.

However, the nature of creative works, especially digital creative works, does not allow us to rest on our laurels. What might be the preferred format for a digital photograph or an eBook today might not be the preferred format tomorrow. Unless we keep reviewing the landscape and the ongoing developments in the world of digital creation, the Specifications will soon be as useful as a map liberally dotted with the phrase ‘here be dragons’.

Thar Be Dragons!!! by user eskimo_jo on Flickr.

The teams of experts within the Library are already looking back at the Specifications, identifying places in which they want to revise, update, tighten and improve them. And we are engaged in further investigation of potential additions to the Specifications. Currently, experts at the Library of Congress are working with colleagues at the National Archives and Records Administration, exploring the potential value of the SIARD format developed by the Swiss Federal Archives as a means of preserving relational databases. So there is more to sharing the Specifications with others than just in providing those others with an opportunity to take advantage of them; it also gives us a chance to learn more about what might make the Specifications better.

The Library of Congress has committed to a sustained investment in the Recommended Format Specifications, which means an annual review and revision process. And to accomplish this, it is actively soliciting feedback and comments from any and all who can help us make them better and more useful, for ourselves and to all of our stakeholders and colleagues in the creative world. This feedback is requested by March 31st, after which date our teams of experts will take the input we have received from others and the results of our own investigations to spend the next three months developing a revised version of the Recommended Format Specifications for the coming year. The greater the input, the better the product, so please do not hesitate to contact us here to share your thoughts and ideas about the Recommended Format Specifications.

D-Lib: Reconstructing the Past Through Utah Sanborn Fire Insurance Maps: A Geospatial Approach to Library Resources

planet code4lib - Mon, 2015-03-16 11:14
Article by Justin B. Sorensen, J. Willard Marriott Library, University of Utah

D-Lib: A French-German Survey of Electronic Theses and Dissertations: Access and Restrictions

planet code4lib - Mon, 2015-03-16 11:14
Article by Joachim Schopfel, GERiiCO Laboratory, University of Lille 3, France; Helene Prost, National Center for Scientific Research, France; Marjorie Piotrowski, University of Lille 3, France; Eberhard R. Hilf, Institute for Scientific Networking, Germany; Thomas Severiens, Institute for Scientific Networking, Germany; Paul Grabbe, Institute for Scientific Networking, Germany

D-Lib: Development of Linked Data for Archives in Korea

planet code4lib - Mon, 2015-03-16 11:14
Article by Ok Nam Park, Sangmyung University, Republic of Korea

D-Lib: Storage is a Strategic Issue: Digital Preservation in the Cloud

planet code4lib - Mon, 2015-03-16 11:14
Article by Gillian Oliver, Victoria University of Wellington, New Zealand; Steve Knight, National Library of New Zealand

D-Lib: OpenDOAR Repositories and Metadata Practices

planet code4lib - Mon, 2015-03-16 11:14
Article by Heather Lea Moulaison, Felicity Dykas and Kristen Gallant, University of Missouri

D-Lib: Tools for Discovering and Archiving the Mobile Web

planet code4lib - Mon, 2015-03-16 11:14
Article by Frank McCown, Monica Yarbrough and Keith Enlow, Harding University

D-Lib: Trustworthiness: Self-assessment of an Institutional Repository against ISO 16363-2012

planet code4lib - Mon, 2015-03-16 11:14
Article by Bernadette Houghton, Deakin University, Geelong, Australia

D-Lib: Digital Library Research in Action: Supporting Information Retrieval in Sowiport

planet code4lib - Mon, 2015-03-16 11:14
Article by Daniel Hienert, Frank Sawitzki and Philipp Mayr, GESIS, Leibniz Institute for the Social Sciences, Germany

D-Lib: The Practice of Digital Libraries

planet code4lib - Mon, 2015-03-16 11:14
Editorial by Laurence Lannom, CNRI

D-Lib: Managing Digital Collections Survey Results

planet code4lib - Mon, 2015-03-16 11:14
Article by Liz Bishoff, The Bishoff Group, and Carissa Smith, DuraSpace

Hydra Project: OR2015 NEWS: Registration Opens; Speakers from Mozilla and Google Announced

planet code4lib - Mon, 2015-03-16 09:39

Of interest to many in the Hydra Community:

We are pleased to announce that registration is now open for the 10th International Conference on Open Repositories, to be held on June 8-11, 2015 in Indianapolis, Indiana, United States of America. Full registration details and a link to the registration form may be found at: http://www.or2015.net/registration

OR2015 is co-hosted by Indiana University Bloomington Libraries, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign Library, and Virginia Tech Libraries.

OR2015 Registration and Fees:

An early registration fee of $450 USD will be available until May 8. After May 8, the registration fee will increase to $500 USD. This registration fee covers participation in general conference sessions, workshops, and interest group sessions, as well as the conference dinner on Wednesday, June 10 and poster reception on Tuesday, June 9. For a draft outline of the conference schedule, please see: http://www.or2015.net/program/schedule-at-a-glance

Participants may register online at: http://www.or2015.net/registration. If you have any questions about registering for OR2015, please contact the Conference Registrar at iuconfs@indiana.edu. Any other questions about the conference may be directed to the conference organizing committee by using the form at: http://www.or2015.net/contact-us

Hotel Reservations:

The OR2015 conference will take place at the Hyatt Regency Indianapolis hotel, conveniently located in the heart of downtown Indianapolis. Special room rates at the Hyatt starting at $159 USD per night have been negotiated for conference attendees and will be available for booking through May 16. More information on hotel reservations and travel is available at: http://www.or2015.net/conference-hotel-and-travel

Keynote and Featured Speakers:

Reflecting the significant milestone of the 10th Open Repositories conference and this year’s theme of “Looking Back, Moving Forward: Open Repositories at the Crossroads,” we are pleased to announce the conference’s two plenary speakers:

Kaitlin Thaney will be giving the opening keynote talk on the morning of Tuesday, June 9. Kaitlin is director of the Mozilla Science Lab, an open science initiative of the Mozilla Foundation focused on innovation, best practice and skills training for research. Prior to Mozilla, she served as the Manager of External Partnerships at Digital Science, a technology company that works to make research more efficient through better use of technology. Kaitlin also advises the UK government on infrastructure for data intensive science and business, serves as a Director for DataKind UK, and is the founding co-chair for the Strata Conference series in London on big data. Prior to Mozilla and Digitial Science, Kaitlin managed the science program at Creative Commons, worked with MIT and Microsoft, and wrote for the Boston Globe. You can learn more about the Science Lab at http://mozillascience.org  and follow Kaitlin online at @kaythaney.

Anurag Acharya will be the featured speaker at the plenary session on the morning of Wednesday, June 10, presenting on “Indexing repositories: pitfalls and best practices.” Anurag is a Distinguished Engineer at Google and creator of Google Scholar, and he previously led the indexing group at Google. He has a Bachelors in Computer Science from the Indian Institute of Technology, Kharagpur and a PhD in Computer Science from Carnegie Mellon. Prior to joining Google, he was a post-doctoral researcher at the University of Maryland, College Park and an assistant professor at the University of California, Santa Barbara.

We look forward to seeing you at OR2015!

Jon Dunn, Julie Speer, and Sarah Shreeves
OR2015 Conference Organizing Committee

Holly Mercer, William Nixon, and Imma Subirats
OR2015 Program Co-Chairs

Galen Charlton: Henriette Avram versus the world: Is COBOL capable of processing MARC?

planet code4lib - Mon, 2015-03-16 02:17

Is the COBOL programming language capable of processing MARC records?

A computer programmer in 2015 could be excused for thinking to herself, what kind of question is that!?! Surely it’s obvious that any programming language capable of receiving input can parse a simple, antique record format?

In 1968, it apparently wasn’t so obvious. I turned up an article by Henriette Avram and a colleague, MARC II and COBOL, that was evidently written in response to a review article by a Hillis Griffin where he stated

Users will require programmers skilled in languages other than FORTRAN or COBOL to take advantage of MARC records.

Avram responded to Griffin’s concern in the most direct way possible: by describing COBOL programs developed by the Library of Congress to process MARC records and generate printed catalogs. Her article even include source code, in case there were any remaining doubts!

I haven’t yet turned up any evidence that Henriette Avram and Grace Hopper ever met, but it was nice to find a close, albeit indirect connection between the two of them via COBOL.

Is the debate between Avram and Griffen in 1968 regarding COBOL and MARC anything more than a curiosity? I think it is — many of the discussions she participated in are reminiscent of debates that are taking place now. To fair to Griffin, I don’t know enough about the computing environment of the late sixties to be able to definitely say that his statement was patently ill-informed at the time — but given that by 1962 IBM had announced that they were standardizing on COBOL, it seems hardly surprising that Avram and her group would be writing MARC processing code in COBOL on an IBM/360 by 1968. To me, the concerns that Griffin raised seem on par with objections to Library Linked Data that assume that each library catalog request would necessarily mean firing off a dozen requests to RDF providers — objections that have rejoinders that are obvious to programmers, but perhaps not so obvious to others.

Plus ça change, plus c’est la même chose?

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