Thursday, March 31, 2005

Couple of interesting responses to Google

A powerpoint presentation by Roy Tennant on what's wrong with Google Scholar. His points are good to keep in mind as we use it but people will use it.

An article by Marcus Banks that says Google Scholar--good; Google Print--bad.

Scholar: Unlike Tennant, Banks isn't afraid of crawling and indexing as one approach to searching. The service is immature but he sees where it could be helpful. He points to the Georgia State Library's Google site as an example of how it can be a useful educational tool.

Print: Essentially, he fears for the commercialization of scholarship and with it the possiblity of profit being more important than the quest for truth.

Cool new display feature in catalog

Liz just showed me some new links in the catalog. Go to do a keyword search for something that will return more than one hit. Then check out the hit list that turns up. Right from this multiple title display you can link to author and subject; and the location and status links take you to an explanation of what those links are.

Too cool, huh?


I really was in El Salvador in February. That's why I missed Scrapple that month.

Tuesday, March 29, 2005

How would you like your website?

With eggs or coffee or dinosaurs?  Or perhaps a biological disaster?

Replace all links to the library catalog, I say!

Yahoo blogosphere...or an alternative to google blogging...

"Yahoo Inc. said Wednesday it will soon start invitation-only testing of its new Web log and social networking service Yahoo 360, which aims to better connect users to people they already know."

Monday, March 28, 2005 search enhancement--related to folksonomy? -- a search service offerred by Amazon and based on Google technology has added a new service "openSearch" columns to it's search interface. In addition to the regular tabs for additional searches that offers (web, books, movies, reference...) you can now add custom tabs for any "openSearch" service.

What is OpenSearch?
"OpenSearch is a collection of technologies, all built on top of popular open standards, to allow content providers to publish their search results in a format suitable for syndication....OpenSearch is not a search engine—it is a way for search engines to publish their search results in a standard and accessible format."
Add your own custom column to and share it, you can make it an optional tab in the search interface.
n.b., you have to be signed into to add more than one tab to your results screen.

Thursday, March 24, 2005

Remember Jake?

I hear Jake is no longer being updated. Instead, there is now

According to their website:

CUFTS is an open source (GPL) OpenURL link resolver designed for use by library consortia. It supports multiple sites from one server, online management tools, usage statistics, and includes a knowledgebase of ~165 resources with ~200,000 title records. Sites can individually activate resources they have access to, as well as subserts of titles for packages to which they only have partial subscriptions.

Google Article

another google thing

Banks, Marcus A. The excitement of Google Scholar, the worry of GooglePrint. Biomedical Digital Libraries, 2(2). Published March 22, 2005.

Tuesday, March 22, 2005

Google new to me...

Nothing like blogging while the coffee’s brewing…

Check out; opensource projects, code, and API’s released by Google.  See the FAQ.

Monday, March 21, 2005

Muse & Google

The text of MUSE journals is now indexed by Google and will soon be available in Google Scholar. To retrieve Muse articles from Google you'll need:
  • a Hoopkins IP
  • a search string that includes
n.b., Google will not cache MUSE content and will protect images from inclusion in any of the image searching products Google is developing.

(I know, I'm sick of Google stuff, too. But this is our own press.)

kind of clunky interface to 'visual' display of hits

"OCLC has implemented a data visualization pilot project in conjunction with Antarctica Systems Inc. ( to evaluate library users’ experiences with searching and display of search results using a visual interface to the Electronic Books database on OCLC FirstSearch.

.... For the purpose of this pilot, users will be searching in a static database of about 211,000 electronic book titles. The pilot will run through April 5, 2005."
from a promo e-mail from OCLC

Personally, I'm underwelmed.

Visual mapping of search results
(you can run but you cannot hide)

Nstein Partners with Visual Analytics
Nstein Technologies, Inc., a provider of linguistic-based business intelligence(BI) solutions, and Visual Analytics, Inc., a provider of pattern discovery and information sharing solutions, announced that they have entered into a strategic partnership to provide homeland security and intelligence agencies with a fully integrated platform for collecting, analyzing, translating, sharing, and visually representing structured and unstructured multilingual data. Under the terms of the agreement both parties will engage in co-marketing and sales initiatives.

Sunday, March 20, 2005

Apparently Google is not popular in France

Agence Frances is suing Google for using it's photos, headlines and lead paragraphs on the Google site. They are asking $17.5M and, by the way, they have an approved news feed via Yahoo.

Google was sanctioned by a court in France for trademark counterfeiting, unfair competition and misleading advertising. The case concerned the way Google sell 'sponsored link' based on search words. For example, The Wharton Running Shoes store buys the search term Niki. Then you do a search of Google for Niki and find that Wharton Running Shoes is oe of the top hits in the sponsored link section. Niki is not amused.

Friday, March 18, 2005

Whistle while you work

This is way off topic (do we have a topic?), but I thought it was pretty interesting. The wonderful Blog of Death alerted me to the death of Jeanette Schmid, Austria's last professional whistler. If professional whistling isn't unusual enough, Miss Jeanette was born a man and had a sex change operation back in 1964. Ok, back to serious topics.

and now for something completely different

Need we say more? This is better than sliced bread, no scrapple, no spam... :) for scientists

Check out connotea, described as delicious for scientists.  Hat tip (and associated essay) to David Ascher.

Tuesday, March 15, 2005

OK, this might not work

But Google says they'll make a 'site flavored' version of their results list if you use this service. I've told them my site was about Maryland and Africa.

Site-Flavored Google Search

Create a Site-Flavored Google Search box by copying and pasting the following HTML code into your own web page:


Adding this code to your web site will create a search box that looks like this:

WiFi Lib Blog

This announcement has been posted to several lists. Please feel free toforward it where appropriateAs a step into the continuing growth of Wi-Fi in libraries, I amstarting a blog called Wireless Libraries. It is at:

If anyone is interested in becoming a contributor directly to the blog,please let me know and I will add you as a "member." That way you wouldbe able to add content to it as well as correct any content you add.I decided on a blog because it gives me a little bit of editorialcontrol for quality and content. I looked at wikis over the weekend butam still a little wary of using them because they are so wide open. Iwill also set up a second blog, if there is interest, to pipe contentfrom the LibWireless discussion group into it.

The list of libraries with wireless will not be part of the blogdirectly. This list will now be part of Marshall Breeding'slib-web-cats database. This is an ideal location for this information.The database is searchable by many different fields including type oflibrary. Marshall has added two fields to the database, one to indicatea wireless network and one free form field for adding your networkinformation and policies.

Each library in my original list will have to update or input your information. The database is at:

Wilfred (Bill) DrewAssociate Librarian, Systems and ReferenceMorrisville State College LibraryE-mail:
AOL Instant Messenger:BillDrew4
Wireless Librarian:
SUNYConnect: Blog:
"To teach is to learn twice." - Joseph Joubert

Things you might not know about Google

Alan Williamson's notes on a presentation at BayCHI/PARC by Marissa Mayer, Google Product Manager. My favorite it the reason that the Google interface is so spare.

On his web site Williamson describes hmself as "Java Mentor, author, BlueDragon architect, CFML guru and generally a good egg."

Monday, March 14, 2005

Don't Get Goggle-Eyed Over Google's Plan to Digitize

another one from the Chronicle of Higher Ed
OK, here I'm going to just copy & paste from a msg on LITA-L about the article.
"Basically, this Op Ed piece lists 'five reasons not to tear up your library card quite yet':
  1. Copyright. Obviously Google has some issues to work out regarding their intent to scan copyrighted works at Stanford and Michigan.
  2. Past Failures. Not past Google failures, but rather past failures in large scale digitization projects by other organizations.
  3. Preserving Books. What impact will industrial strength/speed digitizing have on the physical books? The author suggests that Google may have "underestimated, perhaps substantially, the percentage of books that will be damaged or that cannot undergo rapid digitization."
  4. Google's Future. Basically concerned about what happens if Googlegets out of the book digitization business, if libraries rely too heavily on one source for digitization.
  5. Ecological Concerns. The author is concerned about increased demand for printing, and use of paper.

The author then lists a few other concerns:
  • Increased potential for plagiarism;

  • Heavy reliance on English-language materials;

  • Will there be advertising;

  • The books would promote 'picking and choosing, not really reading'".

Bernie Sloan
Senior Library Information Systems Consultant, ILCSO
University of Illinois Office for Planning and Budgeting

Scholars Note 'Decay' of Citations to Online References

from Chronicle of Higher Ed

    Study finds that 1/3 of the 1,126 web citations examined went to dead or no longer correct links. Yeah, but notice the journals examined: Human Communication Research, the Journal of Broadcasting & Electronic Media, the Journal of Communication, Journalism & Mass Communication Quarterly, and New Media & Society. We're not talking JAMA .

    Anyway, isn't there some work on print citations that says almost a half of them have mistakes?

    Wonder what the role of the library is in this? Scholars who link from the URL furnished by their libraries may be using unstable links. What if the link goes through Ingenta or through a database like EBSCO. When they change their servers that could cause problems.

    Friday, March 11, 2005

    Cool new products from smelly clothes to fiber-optic fabric

    Clever clothes react with smell:

    I want a sofa made out of this stuff or

    the world's thinnest, flattest light bulb

    And this light transmitting concrete on display at the National Building Museum in DC - click on the Future of Concrete).

    Not that this has anything to do with technology, but I also want a fu-chest, although it's much too expensive imho.

    Meetings of interest

    ASIS&T's SIG for Classification Research is holding it's 16th conference on classification research.

    It will be held at the ASIS&T annual conference in Charlotte N.C.

    Winey Websites

    Websites that help you select wine:

    Thursday, March 10, 2005

    Gifts such as dolls should be wrapped in pink paper

    This is not my idea, but's. And they've gotten a patent for it.

    Torvalds switches to Apple

    favorite quote:

    "...part of it is that I got the machine for free...."


    So who is not sick of hearing about institutional repositories at this point? I think the term is getting a little too much overkill, but here's a local conference that looks interesting:

    DASER: Digital Archives for Science & Engineering Resources
    April 29-May 1 2005
    College Park MD

    According to the website, the conference will cover:

    Impact of OA on the future of STM libraries;
    Institutional repository models: what works and what doesn't;
    Publisher-library collaboration strategies, now and in the near future;
    Institutional repository object issues--theses, datasets, learning objects, etc.;
    User needs and patterns related to digital libraries.

    They are marketing it to various populations including systems people and
    digital library professionals. It would be funny if they called them digital librarians.

    RSS feed for new books

    At last night's blogging program sponsored by the Potomac Valley Chapter of ASIS&T, someone mentioned that the Penn library was doing interesting things with RSS feeds. It turns out that they make available RSS feeds for lists of new books acquired by the library. You can choose subject area, location, format, and language. I know that Horizon is at least talking about doing this, but I hadn't seen it in action. Looks like it could be a really useful tool if the subject categories act properly.

    esm blog move (again)

    Ok, well I’m off of EBlogger.  It just doesn’t have the features I want!

    So I exported from EBlogger to WordPress, and moved my blog site off of MSE resources.  Thus, my new blog url is  WordPress is sweeeet!

    My old feed links:

    redirect to my new feed link:

    If you are using Sage or any other intelligent RSS reader, it should follow the redirect for the old link feeds. 

    The move wasn’t totally painless.  The two major issues were

    • that comments on my EBlogger posts didn’t export or were imported improperly by WordPress (I haven’t looked into the exact cause).
    • that EBlogger permalink urls were not mapped to WordPress permalink urls.

    <paul harvy>... and now, the rest of the story.</paul harvy>

    Wednesday, March 09, 2005

    Data Standards presentations

    The speaker's presentation notes and handouts from the ALA Midwinter 2005

    Codified Innovations: Data Standards and Their Useful Applications

    Microsoft Promotes Virtual Meeting Software

    Called Microsoft Communicator. According to the story it will be available for free download later in 2005, but pricing will be announced later.

    Tuesday, March 08, 2005

    Monday, March 07, 2005

    JSTOR in Google only as pilot

    FRom Newslink-- a news service of

    Letter to Editor

    I just read Paula Hane's article, "Google's Projects Continue to Generate Shock Waves" in the [March 1] InfoToday NewsLink E-newsletter (, and thought it would be appropriate to clarify the statements attributed to John Lewis Needham at the NFAIS meeting (as reported by Marydee Ojala) regarding Google's activities with JSTOR.

    The comments attributed to Mr. Needham overstated Google's involvement with JSTOR when he announced that "Google Scholar was adding JSTOR journals". In fact, JSTOR has only initiated a pilot project with Google to investigate the possibilities of enhancing the resource location alternatives for the journal content archived by JSTOR.

    JSTOR does not presently have an agreement in place with Google to include any content from the JSTOR archive in Google Scholar. The pilot project, as it stands now, only includes the indexing of a small number of titles within the main Google engine. We are in the process of evaluating this pilot project with Google - as well as possible projects with other similar resource location search engines - to understand better the benefits to our participating researchers, libraries, and publishers.

    Ms. Hane also reported that Ms. Ojala wrote that the journals archived by JSTOR and included in Google Scholar are all in the discipline of economics. The pilot project with Google currently includes 20 journals found in JSTOR, ranging in a variety of disciplines. All of the content from these journals has not yet been indexed by Google, so it could be that Ms. Ojala was only
    able to locate articles from journals in the discipline of economics.

    Bruce Heterick
    Director, Library Relations

    XML is an 'attractive nuisance'

    See Sam Ruby's excellent presentation on why XML is an attractive nuisance.
    Especially as it relates to weblogs.

    See Sam's presentation on Atom in Depth which provides a compare/contrast between RSS and Atom and the features of the Atom data model.

    See also:
    Mark Pilgrim on

    another Google hoo-haa

    Article on new feature in Google toolbar that turns things like ISBNs into links to Many other book providers are, needless to say, miffed.

    'cause you can't do authority control for the whole world

    KwMap -- keyword map to the Whole Internet --
    From their F.A.Q.

    # What is KwMap ? is a complex keyword refining tool, aiming to help you discover new keywords. It is a fact that search engines can only help you in finding something if you know the right keywords. runs on a multi-gigabyte database of keyword inter-relations. You can search all common concepts and you will be presented with related keywords (eg. 'car' -> 'wind shiled', 'formula 1', 'bmw') and keyword variations (eg. 'car' -> 'car parts', 'car insurance', 'rent a car'). We also run pertinent links associated to most of the keywords.
    # How do I use the keyword chart?
    The keyword chart contains two axes, one of them is for keywords which are different but related to your search keyword, and the other is for keywords which contain your search keyword. We try to place the most relevant keywords in the middle. You can navigate by simply clicking on the keywords. When you reach a dead-end or you want to change the theme, use on the "New Kw" button.

    'wind shiled'??? I guess it helps you pick up sites even if the authors can't spell...if that's what you want.

    Sunday, March 06, 2005

    Google spurns RSS

    Came across this interesting article when looking for some information about API's.

    Getting fired

    Blog-linked firings. My favorite story is the guy fired from Microsoft for taking picture of Apples on the loading dock.

    Friday, March 04, 2005

    The Dangerous World of Rare Books

    Did you hear about this? Some guys stole some rare books from a library in Kentucky and used a stun gun on the University Librarian. According to the library director, who posted the link to this story on a list serv, the librarian is doing okay.

    Unfortunately, this sort of thing has happened elsewhere:

    There's a black market for this material and some even sell library books on ebay (I know, my husband has gotten some).

    The perception of disorder

    In March of 1982, conservative theorists James Q. Wilson and George L. Kelling published an article in the Atlantic Monthly introducing a crime fighting theory known as "broken windows." The theory states:

    "if the first broken window in a building is not repaired, then people who like breaking windows will assume that no one cares about the building and more windows will be broken. Soon the building will have no windows...."

    Now the theory is being reconsidered because new research shows that people's perceptions of disorder don't always match the actual disorder in their neighborhoods. There is also an older (2001) article from the Chronicle.

    If our perceptions for disorder are off, what about our perceptions for order? Does this perception thing have any implication for libraries?

    The Ipod Shuffle

    A Long Island public library is among the first in the nation to loan audio books Apple iPod Shuffles containing audio books. Story at

    More on the shuffle from Apple...must...resist....buying.......

    Thursday, March 03, 2005

    CrossRef and Google

    CrossRef and sever publisher's reps met in January. They report that
    "Google agreed with the principle that if there are multiple versions of an article shown in the Google Scholar search results, the first link will be to the publisher's authoritative copy. Google would like to use the DOI as the primary means to link to an article so CrossRef and Google will be working on this as well as a template for common terms and conditions for use of publishers full text content." (my emphasis added)

    Wednesday, March 02, 2005

    Printing Google Print Books.... not allowed. From a listserv:

    "I'm surprised that no one has mentioned Project Gutenberg, where the contents of books that are out-of-copyright are available to be printed out or pasted into another document. Apparently this will not be allowed when Google has their database of books in place, even for books that no longer come under copyright restrictions. I read in the NYTimes a few years ago about a women who printed out an entire Jane Austen novel. It took her the better part of a day, but at least her effort was cost-free, except for the paper she used. Does Google have any idea that there is already a magnificent book digitization project on the net?"

    Tuesday, March 01, 2005

    Two more interesting articles on Google Print

    Once again, the French are not happy with us. "Jean-Noel Jeanneney, who heads France's national library and is a noted historian, says Google's choice of works is likely to favor Anglo-Saxon ideas and the English language."


    Barbara Fister's article in Library Issues 2005 is a more nuanced article than I've seen elsewhere. My favorite line from the article: "Technological change tends to be met with utopian optimism or dystopian gloom, and Google’s partnership with libraries is no exception." To true.