Christina's LIS Rant
Friday, May 28, 2004
  The Evil Empire Relents, a little
Pointed out by Anna on LISNews.com
Apparently Elsevier now says that it's ok to publish pre and post prints on your institutional website or in your repository as long as it's not the official version downloaded from Elsevier.
An author may post his version of the final paper on his personal web site and on his institution's web site (including its institutional respository). Each posting should include the article's citation and a link to the journal's home page (or the article's DOI). The author does not need our permission to do this, but any other posting (e.g. to a repository elsewhere) would require our permission. By "his version" we are referring to his Word or Tex file, not a PDF or HTML downloaded from ScienceDirect - but the author can update his version to reflect changes made during the refereeing and editing process. Elsevier will continue to be the single, definitive archive for the formal published version.
Thursday, May 27, 2004
  STLQ: When A Journal Ceases Publication - Commentary by George Porter
This just came up yesterday and this morning when we tried to figure out how to link to a journal that we have in print, and then is three different places online (for different years) and we don't currently get.
(pointed out first by Garrett, but I also subscribe to the feed)
  Trends in Weblog Searching [reprinted]
My b/ITe article has been reprinted on LLRX. (reminded by Garrett)
Wednesday, May 26, 2004
  Describing CS Research: A model for LIS research?
(link may only work for subscribers, pointed out by Confessions of a Science Librarian)
Unlike chemistry, the literature of library science is not well controlled. Our databases (Library Lit and LISA) are weak and incomplete -- especially when compared to Chem Abstracts, Medline, BIOSIS, INSPEC, etc. It seems ironic that librarians don't control their literature, but it actually makes sense. Librarianship is almost a meta-discipline. We draw heavily from communications, education, psychology, law, computer science (e.g., information retrieval) and we draw at least a little from just about every other discipline (e.g., bioinformatics). In this sense there are many parallels with computer science. Just like MLSes can work in any organization at any level in any industry, computer scientists are found everywhere. The linked article attempts to describe CS research by breaking it down into academic subdivisions and approaches. Anyone know of a similar article for LIS?
Monday, May 17, 2004
  Observation/Question: Can links substitute for citations?
A trend I've noticed recently is that there are more academic-type essays and articles on blogs but they are using links to http://isbn.nu or Amazon instead of footnotes or parenthetical citations to books or articles. My initial thought was that this is just a shorthand for the web but isn't appropriate for real academic work -- even if the article is posted electronically. My second thought: what are citations for? They are so that the author can give credit to the originator of the thought/data/quote and also help the reader find the work. It seems to me that links (if intact) are better at this than citations. Plus, there's no need to scroll down. In fact, you can sometimes link directly to the exact paragraph instead of just giving a page number. There are three complications: 1) when the link breaks 2) when the article is printed 3) all things can't be linked in the same way. One of the pleasures of a well cited work is that all of the citations follow the same pattern so the reader can easily find the volume, number, etc. Links do not reliably go to the paragraph; in fact, some may stop at the title page. For this case, should the author have to provide instructions (click here, scroll down to the third arrow, click on the box...). I'm sticking with citations because I like them but I won't discount an article just because it substitutes links.

5/18/04- An update: turns out that linking to Amazon gets the book higher in Technorati's BookTalk. It's kind of like chaos theory (if a butterfly flaps... becomes if an unknown blogger links...)
  Comment wierdness
Please note: the comment function will only work from the DOI post (5/14/04) forward because that's when it was turned on. The comment button exists for previous posts but doesn't work. Sorry!
Friday, May 14, 2004
  DOI Resolver Button
My browser is starting to look like the back of a hippie's car! It's very colorful with different bookmarklets and toolbars. After trying the CrossRef search earlier, I started to believe that DOIs were widespread enough to be useful. (when I was in library school they were still being announced). When I saw this button, I gave it a try.
Thursday, May 13, 2004
  law.com: Artistic Differences
5/12/04 by Brenda Sandburg, The Recorder
"Movie viewers with similar sensitivities will now find it easier to avoid profanity. Last month RCA launched a DVD player that includes a software program by ClearPlay Inc. that is preprogrammed to filter out nudity, sex, violence and harsh language from hundreds of movies ranging from 'Lost in Translation' to 'The Cat in the Hat.'

The technology has created a furor in Hollywood, with a group of 16 prominent directors, including Stephen Spielberg, Martin Scorsese, Robert Redford and Stephen Soderbergh teaming up with seven motion picture studios to get it off the market. The directors claim the editing violates their trademarks by mutilating and diluting their movies, while the studios argue it infringes their copyrights by creating derivative works."

Funny, this was just mentioned in yesterday's hearings WRT the DMCA. The software mentioned in this article provides instructions to mute, fast forward, etc., so doesn't actually copy the disc or circumvent the security measures.

It did bother me, however, that Lessig was all for enabling the software that does circumvent the security to delete scenes, etc., but not for the DMCA reason, but for the general copyright reasons. It seems to me that this would change the artist's work and possibly misrepresent it. I believe abridged books have to be licensed by the copyright owner.
Wednesday, May 12, 2004
  House Subcommittee Hearing: H.R. 107, The Digital Media Consumers' Rights Act of 2003
U.S. House of Representatives, The Committee on Energy and Commerce, Subcommittee on Commerce, Trade, and Consumer Protection. Hearing on H.R. 107, The Digital Media Consumers' Rights Act of 2003. May 12, 2004.

It doesn't appear that the webcast still works, but the prepared testimony is still there. Unfortunately, the actual testimony was much different (as is frequently the case). The most interesting discussion happened in the question and answer period.

The way I interpreted it, Jack Valenti's main point is that there is no software that will allow one and only one copy to be made of digital media; therefore, no copies should be allowable. He waived around a bootleg copy of a DVD he bought in DC to demonstrate the efficacy of the current law. Also, he said that it would be an economic disaster if the DMCA was weakened because then no other country would respect our copyright. Hm. Right.

Nisbet, Jaszi, and Lessig (among others) discussed in strong terms the harms done by the DMCA and the value of weakening it.
  IEEE-USA Today's Engineer: Backscatter: The Collyers and the Web
4/4 by Donald Christiansen, pointed out via e-mail, What's New @ IEEE In Communications, v5 n5 (May 2004)
Compares case of the Collyers who saved everything with internet users with information overload. Introduces question of future role of librarians, but just in passing.
  ResourceShelf: The Librarians' Index to the Internet Featured on Voice of America Program
This is a link to a nice interview with KG Schneider and description of LII.
The reason I'm blogging is to provide the time location for the recording. The entire file is about 23 minutes and LII appears at the 13:30 mark. Hope this saves you some time.
Tuesday, May 11, 2004
  Lessig's Testimony on the Digital Media Consumers’ Rights Act of 2003
Pointed out by Lessig himself.
  Science.gov [2.0]: FirstGov for Science - Government Science Portal
This portal search page has be re-launched with expanded search tools. I wasn't terribly impressed with the last incarnation. Usually I'll access NTIS through DIALOG or now through Engineering Village 2 (yes, I hate the big E, too, but this is a really nice search interface) and if I don't find it there, I'll try DTIC's STINET or one of the agency's sites. Maybe this is better for the general public, though? (pointed out by Gary Price)
Monday, May 10, 2004
  ALA | 29may05: H.R. 107 Hearing Scheduled, (Digital Media Consumers' Rights Act )
Pointed out on LISNews.com on 5/10/04.
For those of us reading Free Culture by Lessig, this bill might offer some relief to the control of culture via the architecture. From ALA:
The DMCRA is widely viewed as the first significant digital rights bill and a credible attempt to modulate some of the excesses in the 1998 Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA). ...
H.R. 107 would:

  • Amend controversial Section 1201 of the DMCA to allow breaking a technological lock that controls access to and use of a copyrighted work if the circumvention does not result in infringement of the work
  • Decriminalize circumvention tools when they have substantial non-infringing uses
  • Allow scientists to research the strength and reliability of technological locks without subjecting themselves to civil and criminal penalties
  • Require proper labeling of "copy protected" CDs so that consumers know what device a CD can be played on.

See also: EFF's Deep Links, Slashdot, Joi Ito, and others.
Thursday, May 06, 2004
  The Guardian: On your marks, get set, search ...
5/6/04 Ros Taylor, Oliver Burkeman and Stephen Moss (pointed out by LISNews.com)
"Google, the world's most popular internet search engine, is about to offer shares to the public. It has built its reputation on being the fastest and most accurate way to find information. But is the internet really the quickest way to access facts - and get them right? We put Google to the test against more old-fashioned methods. "
Library does pretty well. I was glad because sometimes these things are stacked one way or the other.
Tuesday, May 04, 2004
  I love American Physical Society (APS)!
They are DECREASING their subscription prices for the upcoming year. That's right. They did careful calculations and found that they could decrease their prices between .5 and 3%. Let's all go read some physics journals in their honor.
(courtesy of SLA-PAM list)

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This is my blog on library and information science. I'm into Sci/Tech libraries, special libraries, personal information management, sci/tech scholarly comms.... My name is Christina Pikas and I'm a librarian in a physics, astronomy, math, computer science, and engineering library. I'm also a doctoral student at Maryland. Any opinions expressed here are strictly my own and do not necessarily reflect those of my employer or CLIS. You may reach me via e-mail at cpikas {at} gmail {dot} com.

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Christina Kirk Pikas

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