Sunday, July 12, 2009

Media Week 27: OCLC, Journals, Book Apps, Book Data, AARP

Most of these were posted to twitter this week. (@personanondata)

Springer launched an image back containing over 1.5 million scientific images, tables, charts and graphs, spanning all scientific subject areas. (GEN - Press Release):

SpringerImages allows users to search fast, broadly and accurately through captions and keywords (both author-provided and user-generated). A feature unique to SpringerImages, users can also search the sentences from the full text which refer to the image. The platform provides bibliographic information for the sources, as well as one-click access to the full text, allowing users to delve deeper into the context of the image and research surrounding it.

Images obtained from SpringerImages can be used for almost all non-commercial purposes, including integration into presentations and PDF documents. The platform enables the user to store image sets and saved searches. Image sets can be exported to PDF or PowerPoint (including their bibliographic data) with one click. Copyright and license information for images for commercial use is also available.

Eoin Purcell notes his approval (Blog)

Giles Slade on HuffPo offers some thoughts on the Kindle:

Feature creep harms the quality of any tool, but, most important, it obscures a manufacturer's ability to market it. The Kindle, on the other hand, is what you keep at home or take with you on vacation to relax into. It is for the book-lover who might occasionally buy a first, a signed or a special edition. It is lingerie. It is a box of chocolates or a bottle of double-malt. Especially well-timed for the recession as a luxury item that keeps on giving by allowing you to 'save' on cheaper electronic editions, it's now here to stay. Competition will drive it to adapt and compete, of course. That's only natural. Stanza, for example, has many attractive features that Kindle now needs to copy. It will.

According to the current growth curve, electronic books will dominate world-wide book sales by 2018. (This is the book industry's own prediction, and is extremely 'safe.' It does not anticipate a watershed or 'tipping point'). In any case, Kindle-Amazon and Google will continue to make good money. Traditional print media will continue to lose money as long as they stumble around wondering how to accommodate themselves to what happened yesterday.

Does corporatisation of Journals result in 'preemptive' and 'non-consultative' staffing issues? (HigherEd):

Needless to say, having respected editors removed from their positions at journals without any consultation with editorial boards is exactly the kind of move scholars fear when they consider corporate management of their journals. While some have speculated that Sage was taking sides in some kind of philosophical battleground, many have said that the problem here isn't one of philosophy or of one editor or another, but of academics not making the decisions.

In the discussion on Crooked Timber, a popular social science blog, one political scientist wrote: "Given the nature of journal publishing anymore, where firms like Sage and Elsevier think of their journals as profit engines first and charge enormous amounts for subscriptions, I’m amazed -- though perhaps I shouldn’t be -- that people immediately leaped to the conclusion that this must be a Berkeley against the world thing, or a Habermas vs. Foucault thing, or a history-of political-thought-vs.-critical-theory thing, or an administration-vs.-faculty thing, or what have you, and ignored the possibility that it’s all about the Benjamins (Franklin, not Barber)."

For those you like bibliographic data (and I know you're out there) here is yet another report on book metadata. Of the two recently published recently neither push the envelope; however, this one by Judy Luther is the better one. (Link): These are her conclusions which as you will notice are library centric:

  • Use crosswalks between ONIX and MARC to facilitate the creation of CIP and to provide publishers with an XML feed of MARC data.
  • Work to enhance the CIP record post publication could be shared with OCLC member libraries if database authorizations were expanded.
  • Expand training on MARC records with more international vendors to ensure broad conformance to standards and to eliminate duplication of effort by libraries.
  • Reviewing of OCLC records could be automated if attributes were exposed so that a manual review could be skipped if it was determined that the contributor is a trusted source.
  • Explore the value to publishers of incorporating in their systems the unique data elements added by catalogers (authorized names, subjects, series, and classification numbers).
  • For large data files received via FTP as part of an electronic feed, a “manifest” is needed to identify the contents to save staff the time of having to open the file to learn what is in it.
  • Descriptive metadata such as the series or table of contents could be synthesized and used to support more refined search results that would also allow better navigation from the collection level, to title level, to the article or image level.
  • Science publishers that are exploring tagging content at the chapter level need guidelines and expertise in-house to create and maintain good quality metadata below the product level.
  • The long tail of publishers would benefit from Best Practices and simple guidance for options on how to present their data in a consistent manner.
  • Economic conditions necessitate the need to simplify ingest mechanisms. A best practice could define quality control expectations.
  • There is a need for Collection Identifiers that represent the packages of individual titles that libraries acquire from both publishers and vendors.
  • The NISO Thought Leader Meeting on Digital Libraries & Digital Collections recommended the development of a tool that would enable publishers to self test the quality of their metadata.
  • Establish best practices for exchange, frequency of updating, feedback mechanisms, and reuse— making the supply chain more multi-directional (not just from publishers to community or from vendor to library).
  • Explore methods for integrating the recently published International Standard Text Code (ISTC) and the forthcoming International Standard Name Identifier (ISNI) standards into the existing workflow and promoting their adoption. The ISTC can be used to create associations among works and ISNI could provide authority control for authors.
Publisher's Weekly looks at Apple's platform support for book related applications (link):

With such a robust emerging market for smartphones, publishers are actively reimagining the very notion of the e-book, creating book-based apps that both enable mobile reading and enhance their books. Simon & Schuster, for example, has had great success with game and utility apps, made in-house and with the help of outside developers. One, called 365 Crossword, mines the company's huge back catalogue of crossword puzzle books to offer readers a puzzle for each day of the year. “We launched that in February, and it's done really nicely,” Ellie Hirshhorn, chief digital officer and executive v-p for Simon & Schuster, told PW. “Even the first day or two as we were watching closely, it wasn't just being downloaded in the United States—it was all over the world.”

Hirshhorn is quick to point out that mobile technology has enabled S&S to “marry the platform to the content.” The company also did well with a Klingon dictionary app pegged to the release of Star Trek. And, while Hirshhorn says S&S launched these apps because they hoped to learn about the market, “we are making money,” she adds.

AARP has sold to Ebsco their unique AgeLine database of bibliographic data related to medical and aging information for the 50+ market (PR):
"AgeLine is the largest database on aging, and is widely used both domestically and internationally. When AARP decided to sell AgeLine, it was essential to find a home that would continue to provide access to the geriatric community, and who would make the investment necessary to take it to the next level.

Our discussions with EBSCO disclosed that they would invest further in the database and make use of the company's larger infrastructure to support it. Confirmation of these positive attributes led to the final decision."

No comments: