Herbert van de Sompel at Ticer: OAI object reuse and exchange: Support

van de Sompel describes his project simply as doing Web 2.0 type of things with scholarly communication with additional stuff to add to the value chain of scholarly communication. It is geared towards the machine readable web.

The ORE project brings together URI, RDF and Vocabularies. It has all to do with the semantic Web. The beta version of ORE was published June 2008. Best part of that document is the primer to understand what the project is really about. The primer though, will be completely rewritten by the end of September to make it less technical.

More info at:
Van de Sompel, H. and C. Lagoze (2007). Interoperability for the Discovery, Use, and Re-Use of Units of Scholarly Communication CTWatch Quarterly 3(3): 32-40. http://www.ctwatch.org/quarterly/articles/2007/08/interoperability-for-the-discovery-use-and-re-use-of-units-of-scholarly-communication/

Birte Christensen-Dalsgaard at Ticer: Intelligent / Next generation / Dynamic catalogue

Birte starts her presentation with the vision that libraries can develop intelligent systems that are able to follow you, knows your different profiles and knows where you are. She is not shy of data mining to achieve this objective.

Federated versus Integrated search
In the definition of Dalsgaard Federated search is something that Metalib does. i.e. Searching different information silos simultaneously and merged the results on a single screen. Federated search was nice solution, but ranking is lously,
With integrated search all content is harvest and indexed within a single system and search by users with any kind of tool. With integrated search you are able to rank in theory much better. However, it will not come easy. You have to balance the relatively “thin” metadata catalogue records and fulltext information. Where will the catalogue record be of a journal like Nature, which is a very important term in the life sciences. It remided me of an article by Tamar Sadeh (2006) which uses different definition than use by Birte.

Federated search is typically associated with:
• Database approach
• Queries
• Based on Z39.50 protocol
• Structured
• “Exact” match

Integrated search is typically associated with:
• Search engine approach
• Natural language
• Large Volume
• Statistical approach

In Denmark they have carried out a data mining experiment with library lending data to develop a recommender system. To their own amazement their privacy policy police did not object, but wherever you are trying to data mine and model data on users, privacy problems might crop up.

Interesting point she argues that we need different search systems for different research questions. A common search is a known item lookup, which is completely different from an explorative search on a new subject. Perhaps we need different search engines for these questions, and not expect one system to handle those very different questions.

Realizing that we actually need different search engines, we need to develop the library system as a modular approach.

Towards the end she gets back to the paradigm of Robin Murray: Synthesize, Specialize, Mobilize.

Sadeh, T. (2006). Google Scholar versus metasearch systems. High Energy Physics Libraries Webzine(12). http://library.cern.ch/HEPLW/12/papers/1/

Christensen-Dalsgaard, B. (2008) The Intelligent catalogue. http://www.tilburguniversity.nl/services/lis/ticer/08carte/publicat/christensendalsgaard.pdf

Marshall Breeding at Ticer: Library automation for the next generation

One of the disruptions in the Integrated Library System (ILS) market in the USA is that many libraries are shifting towards open source (OS) ILS. Most of these decisions taken in favor of the adoption of OS systems are religious decisions. Thus without a proper evaluation of the pros and cons of OS. At the end of the day costs of OS and closed systems are probably equal.


Breeding noted that the investment into Open Source ILS was last year about 10% of the market and will be about 25% of investment this year in North America. The installed base of OS ILS is about 2 to 3%


As examples of OS ILS het mentions

Koha – commercial support from LibLime

Evergreen – Commercial support from Equinox

OPALS – commercial support from Media Flex

NewGenLib – Open Source ILS for the developing world.


Next he goes on to explain the different shades of green that can make a system Open Source. In many cases an open API layer allows libraries to configure and manipulate the system to their liking. Breeding pleads for the development of universal API that can applied towards different ILS. Het talks about the Berkeley Accords.


Rethinking the ILS

Traditional ILS model is not suitable for hybrid libraries where print and digital come together. The classical ILS focuses on Cataloging + Circulation + OPAC + Serials + Acquisitions, whereas nowadays integration includes link resolvers, full text, federated search and Electronic resource management. However the foundations of ILS were carved in stone in the 1965 and still stand their time. We should be pushing the standards constantly. The influence that Google has had on our users is that they expect to do full text searches. Libraries are still worrying about Metadata, users want the data.  


The next generation ILS should be based on a Services Oriented Architecture wich consists of many small granular modules that complete the tasks.


Towards the end het makes mention of the Open Library Environment (OLE) project sponsored by the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation where they are rethinking the next generation of library systems.

Ticer: Digital Libraries à la Carte 2008

It took me some hassles, but I have finally a wi-fi connection in the lecture room at Ticer. Stephen Abram has finished his presentation which was schedulded for 60 minutes, but took some 90+ minutes. I will blog some of his presentation later, but in the mean time some of his planned presentation can be found at his blog. All the time of his presentation was well spent. Right now I am listening to Marshall Breeding on library systems.

Kjell Tjensvoll: The e-only library Helsebiblioteket.no

In Norway they have build a national digital health library. And what is really special about it, everybody in Norway, I mean everybody with internet access, is allowed to read, browse and download all medical journals. It is based on the national contracts for higher education and with a small additional fee to cover the national access.

Think about it. If all higher education institutions cover the main costs already and there is not much of an additional market to be expected, why not. If in the Netherlands for instance a publisher of scientific journals has already contracts with the universities and research universities, than there is not much of a market left, so why not open up access to the IP range of the whole country.

It takes some courage to develop and implement such a model.

I was much impressed by the fact that they managed to do this. As information junkie I dwell on this idea.

Kjell also showed the implementation of the portal to host all these journals and databases and it was interesting to see that they used the federated search and clustering engine of Vivisimo.

If I now had only a Norwegian proxy server to my availability.