Wednesday, April 26, 2006

OpenURLs, they're not just for the commercial big guys anymore.

Right now you probably just see the citation to the book by CarolineBledsoe in the space below this text.

Caroline H. Bledsoe
Women and marriage in Kpelle society.
This will go to whatever link resolver you are using

But if you download the COinS extension for Firefox and configure it for Hopkins you'll see the Find IT button below this citation. Click on the button and you'll get a FIND IT menu that has a link that searches the JH Libraries catalog for the title.
How cool is that?!
OK, if you missed the point, this means that anyone can put a COinS enabled URL in any web page (blog, wiki, etc) and people who have the COinS extension configured properly can get their own link resolving button on that page.

Here's what you need to know:
Go to this link for info about getting the COinS extension for your Firefox browser:
Use these settings you'll need to configure your extension to work with the JH linkresolver
  • Link server base URL is
  • OpenURL version 0.1
  • Image location is
If you want to generate a COinS URL for your web page, here's a COinS generater page:

OCLC has now added COinS capability to Google Scholar and to their "Find in a library" service in regular Google. According to OCLC
COinS has already been implemented in various online resources including Wikipedia's Book Sources Page, Citebase, HubMed, and the British Library's ZETOC service."

One man's digital divide is another man's digital canyon

Reuters reports that the digital divide has shrunk in the last few years. But as you read the article you see discussion of India and China but not a word about Africa. The next to the last sentence says Central and Eastern European countries lag behind because
Mobile phone penetration is ubiquitous, but fixed line Internet connections are not widely available, while the business and legal environment is weak.

Tuesday, April 18, 2006

MS Academic Search

It even includes a list of journals covered!

SLIM is clever

Have a look at SLIM: Slider Interface for MEDLINE/PubMed searches. It uses slider bars instead of drop down boxes. Somehow it feels easier.

Most people read web pages in an F pattern

At least that's what Jakob Nielson says:

Eyetracking visualizations show that users often read Web pages in an F-shaped pattern: two horizontal stripes followed by a vertical stripe.

I have some questions about the pages they chose to use for the experiment but I could have missed something. I just skimmed the report. Since the text went all the way across the page I just focused on the headers and the images. The F-Shaped superfast skim wasn't possible.

Wednesday, April 12, 2006

MS challenges Google Scholar

Have a look at MS Academic Search . Right now it covers Computer Science, Electrical Engineering, and Physics. They are using OAI to harvest compliant archives like And it recognizes you if you're coming from a Hopkins IP. Pretty slick.

Another (possible) reason not to like Google Desktop

Posted on the ERIL listserv

Over the past month, we have received an increased number of notices concerning unusual spider activity. In most instances, we have found the Google Desktop Search with MSIE crawler installed on the machines associated with the blocked IP address. Are others experiencing this problem? If so, have you been able to resolve the conflict? I would appreciate any advice or suggestions.

Mostly I just don't like the idea of an organization that big knowing that much about me. But now it seems they might be an irritant to the community at large.

Thursday, April 06, 2006

Interesting CNI Presentation

At the CNI conference this week, there was a presentation about a web tool that was built at Allegheny College called Gnosh. It is a meta-search tool that incorporates components of social software into the search itself. Check it out.

Tuesday, April 04, 2006

not really scrapple but...

BBC reports women are voting in Kuwait for the first time ever and that there are two women candidates for one of the positions.

Serves to remind us that we aren't that far out from women getting the vote in the US. My grandmother on my father's side got the vote the year my father -- her third child -- was born. My mother's mother had two children before she could vote. Can you imagine that? When I was 11 months old my family moved to Galveston, Texas and my mother was not allowed to serve on juries there. I remember discussions about poll taxes when I was growing up and how they kept poor people from voting. (And, by the way, I couldn't have applied to Hopkins when I graduated from high school--women were not allowed. I couldn't even have eaten in the faculty club--again, no women allowed.)

Today it may feel like the air we breathe but the truth is the right to universal suffrage is relatively young. 1920 isn't that far back and people were dying in the 1960s to secure voting rights. OK, I'll get off my soapbox now.

Congratulations to the Kuwaitis.

Saturday, April 01, 2006

Making Singapore

Singapore is instituting biometric passports Does it surprise me that Singapore is on the leading edge of this technology? No, I have a friend from graduate school who taught in Singapore. He said that he flew in one time and his hair was longish. They whisked him out of line and chopped his hair off before he could enter the country. Of course this was in the 1970s when long hair meant something.