OCLC Pulls a Qwikster with WorldCat Discovery

In 2015, OCLC announced that WorldCat Discovery Services would replace FirstSearch at the end of the calendar year. The Discovery interface, similar to Open WorldCat, features a revamped design, faceted results, and improved listings of related editions and formats. However, it lacks a few advanced search functions available via the FirstSearch version. In response to complaints about these missing options, the retirement date for FirstSearch was extended to 2016. This week it was announced that FirstSearch would continue into 2017, while work is done building a new platform to support full-featured searching. Since Worldcat Discovery will apparently also be enhanced with new capabilities, OCLC's prolonged development cycle and plans to maintain two product lines seem confounding.

Another perspective on ProQuest buying the Ex Libris Group.

 Let’s not lose sight of the fact that we’ve lost another “content-neutral” discovery vendor as a result of this acquisition.  That’s not a good thing for libraries, although most librarians ignore this reality.  In the end, I believe they’ll regret doing so. We’ve had yet another check-and-balance removed from our supply chain. This post explains why content neutrality is so important and why that loss carries a potentially high price for libraries.  So, in this regard, this is not good news.  OCLC with their WorldCat offering remain our only content-neutral discovery solution at this point outside of open source solutions (which don't’ have an aggregated metadata database like Primo Central, which provides important functionality for libraries).

From Thoughts from Carl Grant: Another perspective on ProQuest buying the Ex Libris Group.


Koha trademark case won by NZ developers

You can Listen or read a good summary Here.
"If the trademark had been given, then potentially Liblime could have restricted the use of who used it so, the utter worst case was perhaps we would have had to rename the software in New Zealand which would have caused massive confusion."

[Via the great and powerful Gary Price]


Mendeley and RefWorks Flow: The next, next generation of citation management software

A decade or so ago, ISI's EndNote bought out most of the competition, practically obtaining a monopoly on the reference manager business. In the early Library 2.0 boom, web-based products like Zotero and CSA's RefWorks became the norm. Thomson Reuters played catch up by introducing EndNote Web, and NoodleBib and other adware/freemium clones cropped up in what is now again a crowded marketplace.

Mendeley, recently purchased by Elsevier, has gained fame by offering social media integration and and sharing cababilities. It notably works on the old Questia model of selling itself directly to individual users, not institutions. ProQuest is also putting the finishing touches on RefWorks Flow, which features similar collaboration tools.

The way these newer products allow users to share articles with peers raises interesting questions about them potentially being used as a new "Napster for subscription journals," especially since they are now both owned by major publishers. See my comment for some more philosophical questions....

Book binder's setting in small-town Nebraska is ideal

Article about book bindery in Utica, Nebraska.

Excerpt: Houchen has acquired 14 regional book binderies over the years, keeping a small bindery of five employees in St. Louis and bringing the rest of the work to Utica. They've expanded the Utica facility from 15,000 square feet when the Osbornes bought it to 40,000 square feet today. Their customer base has grown, too, from two states to 21, covering the middle third of the United States.

Today, they serve about 200 printing companies throughout the Midwest, ranging from small, independent self-publishers to some of the biggest names in book publishing. They also have 200 individual comic book customers.


LISTen: An Program -- Episode #228

This week's program deals with Wikipedia hoaxing, an Internet icon, and a miscellany of brief items.

Related links:

Download here (MP3) (Ogg Vorbis), or subscribe to the podcast (MP3) to have episodes delivered to your media player. We suggest subscribing by way of a service like The list of hardware sought to replace our ever-increasing damage control report can be found here and can be directly purchased and sent to assist The Air Staff in rebuilding to a more normal operations capability.

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Go Daddy Follow Up

From Nerdwallet - some advice on how to protect your website from crashing.

On Monday, GoDaddy’s servers were taken offline by “internal corrupted router issues”, causing millions of websites to shut down. Site owners had to wait in silence for six painful hours before service was restored. Although this was GoDaddy’s greatest and most widely publicized service outage since its founding in 1997, cyber attacks are nothing new, and they are increasingly on the rise lately with the growing desire for hacker fame and reputation advancement in the hacker community.

It you're in the market for a library-oriented host, I'd recommend Blake & team are da bomb.

The Maturing Threat of Open Access

Elsevier's substantial profit margin has persisted for as long as it has partly because of the lack of awareness and the apathy among stakeholders; those factors are changing.

The short investment thesis for Reed Elsevier is based on: 1) the low-probability but high-impact scenario of a revolt on the part of academics, libraries, governments, or any combination of the three that decides it no longer wants to subsidize this particular corporation; and 2) the new threat from disruptive green and gold open access competitors. As long as Elsevier takes a defensive, oppositional posture, competitors like Springer and others have the experimental open access field to themselves, with all of the brand-building and academic goodwill that comes with it. Neither scenario is likely to have an impact on share prices in the very short term. Even if the White House were to endorse immediately an open access policy on all federally-funded research, it would take some time before the effects would be felt in corporate profit margins. However, lackluster performance in the other business divisions and the short put option payoff structure of the Elsevier division make the company look like a safe short candidate than most. One short term risk to watch for is of an unexpected sale of the exhibitions or RBI divisions at a significant premium.

Elsevier's recent update to its letter to the mathematical community

Elsevier’s recent update to its letter to the mathematical community

"They are behaving much as one would expect: offering minimal concessions that will look as good as possible while keeping their profits intact. I realize that asking them to deal with the objections to bundling and exposing their journals to genuine competition is making a demand they are most unlikely to accede to, since their huge profits are based on stifling this competition. So instead, we must press on with the more positive step of developing alternative models, something I shall report on in the near future. "


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