We’ve spoken a lot about books friending books, people friending books, books updating their status, etc. We’ve even had library circulation events fire a tweet.
Here’s an interesting version of that idea, but for trees:
A good thought experiment, swapping out book for tree, what would all these fields look like?
XPERT aggregates e-learning materials and makes them available publicly:
XPERT (Xerte Public E-learning ReposiTory) project is a JISC funded rapid innovation project (summer 2009) to explore the potential of delivering and supporting a distributed repository of e-learning resources created and seamlessly published through the open source e-learning development tool called Xerte Online Toolkits. The aim of XPERT is to progress the vision of a distributed architecture of e-learning resources for sharing and re-use.
Learners and educators can use XPERT to search a growing database of open learning resources suitable for students at all levels of study in a wide range of different subjects.
We spent almost the entire status meeting going through the list of projects for which we are planning on applying for Harvard Library Lab grants. This is the first time the Library Lab (note: The larger Library Lab, not our group; our group is changing its name) has awarded grants, so we are all feeling our way.
The Oxford English Dictionary has announced that it will not print new editions on paper. Instead, there will be Web access and mobile apps.
According to the article in the Telegraph, “A team of 80 lexicographers has been working on the third edition of the OED – known as OED3 – for the past 21 years.”
The trajectory toward digitization has been long for the OED. In the 1990s, the OED’s desire to produce a digital version (remember books on CD?) stimulated search engine innovation. To search the OED intelligently, the search engine would have to understand the structure of entries, so that it could distinguish the use of a word as that which is being defined, the use of it within a definition, the use of it within an illustrative quote, etc. SGML was perfect for this type of structure, and the Open Text SGML search engine came out of that research. On the other hand, initially, the OED didn’t want to attribute the origins of the word “blog” to Peter Merholz because he coined it in his own blog, and the OED would only accept print attributions. (See here, too.) It got over this prejudice for printed sources, however, and gave Peter proper credit.
This morning we had a very productive conference call (yes, there are such things, you cynics!) with Steve Midgley about the federal Learning Registry.
The Learning Registry is a new project coming out of the Dept. of Education and the Defense Department, intended to provide easier, smarter access to federal content and beyond. The LR will list sources and provide ways to subscribe to metadata about the content at those sources. (There’s more in this blog post.)
We’d like to be involved in some way because (i) the LR might provide a transport/notification/subscription mechanism for those who want to use the metadata that Library Lab apps will be making available (even though the LR is apparently designed only to give access to metadata about federal content); (ii) the LR may enable our apps to subscribe to metadata from many other sources; (iii) we’d like to help the LR accommodate the needs and gifts of research libraries.
So, we’ll be talking more with Steve and the Learning Registry.
A study by Gunther Eysenbach in PLoS Biology suggests that open access articles “are more immediately recognized and cited by peers than non-OA articles published in the same journal.” Therefore, he concludes, “OA is likely to benefit science by accelerating dissemination and uptake of research findings.”
The study consisted of comparing citations among OA and non-OA articles published June 8, 2004 – December 20, 2004, in PNAS: Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. (Thanks to Don Marti for the link.)
Notes from yesterday’s weekly status update meeting:
Paul has loaded 12M records into a relational database, an important step toward putting ShelfLife onto a firm foundation and giving it the ability to assess relevancy by looking at the entire data set. We’re looking into how to make this a generalizable process. In parallel, Ben has started development of a rudimentary API (right now, “version” and “search”), exploring what is needed.
We’re looking at scripts to further automate accessing and extracting circulation data.
Annie is making progress on clustering works by the uniform title field, as well as some other data.This allows ShelfLife to present the reader with all (well, most) of the versions and editions of a book.
We’re looking at additional sources od usage data.
We’re starting to plan how to do focus groups for SL.
We’re talking with an in-house statistician about how to do relevancy ranking better.
Jeff is wire-framing a way of zooming out of StackView to show more book context.
I’ve read two articles by an editor over at O’reilly, Mike Loukides that I’ve liked a lot. What’s cool is they offer a layperson’s intro to data topics, but then quickly accelerate to specifics, practicalities and examples.
The first is “What is Data Science?”: http://radar.oreilly.com/2010/06/what-is-data-science.html
The second is “Data as a service”: http://radar.oreilly.com/2010/07/data-as-a-service.html
In this second story, he talks about visualization. There clearly has been an explosion of info visualization out on the web. Much much of it unremarkable. But he cites a super beautiful example that Ben Fry and company did for GE about aging: http://www.ge.com/visualization/aging/
Annie Jo pointed out that it’s a Java Applet. Slide that bar back and forth on the bottom and watch how SMOOOTH it is…..
Peter Sime has posted an 11-slide deck that explains FRBR with Macbeth as his example. (FRBR is a way of expressing the sometimes complex relationships among the Platonic form of the book and all its various manifestations.) (via the frbr blog)
According to an article in the Minneapolis Star Tribune, a St. Louis Park couple had so many books that they bought the house next door and turned it into their own library.
The article doesn’t tell us how many books they own, but a reasonable guess might be, oh, 200 gigabytes worth.