Peter McCracken, librarian and founder of Serials Solutions, has a new hobby – ships. His site, ShipIndex.org, helps people do research on hundreds of thousands of specific vessels. With over 1.5 million citations in it, the site tells you what books, journals, CD-ROMs, websites, databases, and other sources mention particular ships. It includes vessels mentioned in references sources like the Oxford Encyclopedia of Maritime History (a 2008 Dartmouth Award Winner), Naval Warfare: An International Encyclopedia, and others. It currently includes the contents from about 170 books, and whenever possible, it links to an electronic version of those books via Google Books. The team is working with several online reference publishers to incorporate links between their products, helping people discover references to ships in online databases, and helping people working in online databases to learn more about the ships mentioned there. Continue reading
On Wednesday, November 3rd the 30th Annual Charleston Conference will begin with a series of pre-conferences. One of them is called E-everything: Putting it All Together. Details of the program and speakers are listed below. If you are interested in attending, you can register online.
E-Everything: Putting it All Together
Electronic resources continue to flood the library marketplace at a staggering rate and there is no turning back now. Libraries are making an effort to accommodate the influx of electronic content while budgets and staffing levels continue to diminish. Publishers are undergoing a paradigm shift, trying to maintain traditional publishing models while experimenting with born digital content.
This full day pre-conference will discuss the current state of electronic resources from both the library and publishing perspectives and offer insight into the E-Everything future. Some of the current issues that will be addressed include access, content integration, technology, and discoverability. Presentations by librarians and vendors will update you, challenge your thinking, stimulate questions and generate discussion. Attendees will gain knowledge of the market and get ideas for plugging into the latest and the greatest information technologies for electronic content. Continue reading
On the Friday of the ALAMW Conference, the Independent Reference Publishers Group met for a panel presentation/discussion on using one single platform to host all reference content. It was an interesting discussion. I’ve summarized the panel in my notes below.
Independent Reference Publishers Group Meeting
Friday, January 23, 2009
Representatives from the following organizations were in attendance: Choice, CQ Press, Omnigraphics, Sharpe, ifactory, Sage, Salem, Neal Schumann, ABC-CLIO, Rosen, Credo Reference, Serials Solutions, NISO, Booklist, CHOICE, Wright State University.
The theme of this meeting and panel discussion was instituting a single platform for electronic reference content. Sue Polanka from WSU started things off with her wish list and each publisher had a chance to respond.
Sue Polanka – Wright State University
One day I’d like to purchase/license all of my reference content, regardless of publisher, and load it on the platform of my choice for the best cross searching available. This platform could be an existing one, like GVRL, Credo, ebrary, EBL, NetLibrary, etc. or some shareware, something developed by libraries. Benefits to patrons and librarians include: Greater access, more content, single search interface for ease of use and discoverabilty, easy to implement in library instruction and on web sites. These systems need to have unlimited simultaneous use, 24/7 access, with no DRM or other restrictions on downloading or printing, the most multimedia available during today’s expensive economic times and an actual ebook price, up front, would be appreciated.
Todd Carpenter – NISO
One platform has barriers to interoperability and they are bigger than technological, as in political and economic. [barriers shouldn’t prevent us from trying to do this. IRPG would be a good venue to discuss this. Seems like publishers would want to do this for reasons of – more exposure, and less cost of producing pricey interfaces – has anyone ever heard of epub or the IDPF? SP]
Peter McCracken – Serials Solutions
Federated products are often a starting point for research and therefore have an opportunity to have a reference role. The current design doesn’t work best for the patron since they get mostly articles. Somehow relevance needs to be a factor to assign tags to reference and get them to the top. We need to use field mapping more effectively. [I prefer a pre-indexed approach since federated products tend to be slow. Publishers/aggregators should take advantage of all metadata and tag reference items appropriately. If federated products are used, the reference content should be faceted as “overview material” or “background information.” SP]
Rolf Janke – Sage Reference
Publishers still have an infrastructure that supports print publishing. The infrastructure is a difficult component to downsize in favor of doing more digital publishing. Print is a one size fits all model yet e publishing is not so, publishers have a multitude of business models, interfaces, features, etc. The concept of a one size fits all platform for all publishers content is way ahead of its time, publishers currently could never agree on a standard business model. Pricing standards could help, but are not likely. [Gee, these must be the political and economic barriers that Todd was referring to? Looks like publishers could learn about collaboration from libraries. SP]
Ron Boehm – ABC-CLIO
Publishers need to invest in new things while maintaining our print production, which is expensive for publishers, particularly in these bad economic times. Right now we need to do both [e and p] or we would lose half of our business. The best strategy for ebooks is to have unlimited access. Ron supports the idea of publishers working with multiple aggregators or distributors to have reference content available in a multitude of platforms, but doesn’t recommend the libraries/consortia maintain their own platform. [Ditto on unlimited access and multiple aggregators. OhioLINK has been maintaining its own platforms for years. It’s a great system when you want to make enhancements and don’t have to wait on other companies or the majority of users to agree. SP]