Submitted by John on March 17, 2016 - 8:27pm
Submitted by Blake on October 8, 2015 - 7:36pm
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.
Submitted by Blake on December 12, 2013 - 7:28am
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]
Submitted by John on July 15, 2013 - 10:40am
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....
Submitted by Bibliofuture on February 26, 2013 - 2:17pm
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.
Submitted by StephenK on January 13, 2013 - 11:36pm
This week's program deals with Wikipedia hoaxing, an Internet icon, and a miscellany of brief items.
- The Daily Mail: The war that never was: Most elaborate Wikipedia hoax ever as 4,500 word article on 'Bicholim Conflict' - a fictitious fight for Goan independence - fooled site for FIVE YEARS
- Yahoo News: War is over: Imaginary ‘Bicholim Conflict’ page removed from Wikipedia after five years
- PC World: Fake Wikipedia entry on Bicholim Conflict finally deleted after five years
- The Register: Anger grows over the death of Aaron Swartz -- Internet prodigy hounded to suicide claims family
- Althouse: "Prosecutor as bully."
- Threat Level: Aaron Swartz, Coder and Activist, Dead at 26
- EFF Deeplinks: Farewell to Aaron Swartz, an Extraordinary Hacker and Activist
- Reuters: Internet activist, programmer Aaron Swartz dead at 26
- BoingBoing: RIP, Aaron Swartz
- PCMag.com: Family of Aaron Swartz Blames U.S. Attorney's Office in Statement
- Legal Insurrection: Sad irony in Aaron Swartz case
- Patterico's Pontifications: EXCLUSIVE: Attorney for Aaron Swartz: Prosecutors’ Arguments Were “Disingenuous and Contrived”
- New York Times: Failing to Close the ‘Digital Divide’
- It's Not About the Books: Mission creep – a 3D printer will not save your library
- PCMag.com: FCC Chairman Wants to Ease Wi-Fi Congestion
- The Verge: JSTOR begins offering free yet limited access to its online academic library
- Public Libraries News: Discovery, warmth, knowledge, dreams, welcoming … what’s your five words to describe public libraries?
- Voices for the Library: Concern over loss of Arts Council England Libraries post
- Megan McCardle: Is Barnes and Noble Next?
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 gpodder.net. 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.
This work is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 United States License. To view a copy of this license, visit
Submitted by birdie on September 14, 2012 - 10:03am
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 lishost.org. Blake & team are da bomb.
Submitted by Blake on May 31, 2012 - 2:19pm
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.
Submitted by Blake on May 4, 2012 - 7:05am
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. "
Submitted by birdie on March 29, 2012 - 7:56am
Submitted by Blake on March 1, 2012 - 8:26am
RSA 2012: Bruce Schneier on the Threat of "Big Data, Inc."
"I mean Big Data as an industry force, like we might talk of Big Tobacco or Big Oil or Big Pharma," Schneier told an overflow crowd of attendees. "I think the rise of Big Data is as important a threat in the coming years, one we should really look at and start taking seriously."
Submitted by Blake on February 24, 2012 - 9:03am
Why Are We Boycotting Elsevier?
Walking away isn't always easy. It means we won't be able to submit our work to many journals, some of them with strong reputations. We may have to turn down review requests from friends who serve as editors. We may have to explain to tenure and promotion committees that our choices were made to further knowledge, and furthering knowledge is at least as important as building our reputations. This is why we should congratulate all those who are willing to put their tenure on the line to do the right thing.
Submitted by Blake on February 21, 2012 - 7:56am
Publishers hate you. You should hate them back.
So library-types, let’s get our story straight. Publishers have contempt for the authors they need to write works, and the readers they need to read works. Publishers are scared that the internet is going to disintermediate their asses into the dustbin of history, and the best response that many of them have come up with is to express their fear through hatred. For all the things that we might need to improve in libraries or apologize for, this isn’t one of them.
Submitted by Blake on February 16, 2012 - 9:12am
You are Elsevier: time to overcome our fears and kill subscription journals
"Thus, people joining in the new boycott have no excuses not to follow through. There are plenty of viable OA options and it is simply unacceptable for any scientist who decries Elsevier’s actions and believes that the subscription based model is no longer serving science to send a single additional paper to journals that do not provide full OA to every paper they publish. So, come on people! If we do this now, paywalls will crumble, and we all be better off. So, come on! Let’s do it!"
Submitted by John on February 14, 2012 - 12:37pm
As the Elsevier boycott continues to gain attention, a good example of what the company stands for: the Ex Libris bX service is a neat little recommendation tool that displays suggested citations, working from a known item and based on search traffic. It provides researchers with suggestions based on their area of interest, and the items displayed are usually additional relevant articles (similar to Amazon's "people who bought this also bought..." feature). The Elsevier ScienceDirect site embeds this service in their own custom application, but librarians noticed the results it was displaying were only for Elsevier titles. Here is the Ex Libris explanation:
bX itself is entirely publisher and platform neutral and sends and displays all relevant articles regardless of journal, publisher or platform. But those who build their own applications – like Elsevier did - can manipulate the data by filtering before displaying it. For the app on Science Direct Elsevier indeed filters the bX articles by those available from Science Direct.
Is it any wonder this company gets a bad rap?
Submitted by Blake on February 9, 2012 - 11:01am
Elsevier boycott gathers pace
Timothy Gowers is surprised and delighted that thousands of mathematics and other researchers have joined him in a public pledge not to have anything to do with Elsevier, the Amsterdam-based academic publishing giant. He is leading a boycott because of company practices that he says hinder the dissemination of research.
But he is not expecting a big response from Elsevier. “The goal of the boycott is not to get Elsevier to change how it does things, but rather to change how we in the mathematics community behave, and in that way to rid ourselves of major commercial publishers,” he says.
Submitted by Blake on February 2, 2012 - 9:23am
Mysteries of the Elsevier Boycott
"A couple of thoughts occurred to me upon learning about this. The first was along the lines of, “Well, at least this has the potential to get Elsevier’s attention.” Unlike subscribers, authors actually have monopoly control over something that Elsevier wants. My second thought, however, was, “Wait a minute. Why is Elsevier the specific target of this boycott?” "
Submitted by Blake on January 17, 2012 - 11:49am
Academic publishers have become the enemies of science
The US Research Works Act would allow publishers to line their pockets by locking publicly funded research behind paywalls. The free dissemination of lifesaving medical research around the world would be prevented under the Research Works Act. This is the moment academic publishers gave up all pretence of being on the side of scientists. Their rhetoric has traditionally been of partnering with scientists, but the truth is that for some time now scientific publishers have been anti-science and anti-publication. The Research Works Act, introduced in the US Congress on 16 December, amounts to a declaration of war by the publishers.
Submitted by Blake on January 6, 2012 - 1:45pm
Behind the Research Works Act: Which U.S. Representatives are Receiving Cash from Reed Elsevier?
"A bill (H.R. 3699) recently introduced in the U.S. Congress by Rep. Darrell Issa (R-CA) and Rep. Carolyn Maloney (D-NY) aims to undo open access policies at NIH and to prevent the establishment of open access policies in other federal agencies. The large publishers, as represented by The Association of American Publishers, has expressed its love for this innocuously named “Research Works Act.” Open access advocates understand it as another terrible assault on the public interest and as instrument designed to not only mislead those who do not understand how scholarly research and its communication work but to more intensively transfer public resources into private, corporate hands. I am not going to offer an analysis of the bill and its contexts here."
Submitted by Blake on November 29, 2011 - 8:31am
Liblime Versus Koha: What Is The Libraryland Opposite of Open Source?
"Briefly, it seems to me that the core idea of Open Source is “Thou shalt not require money or otherwise restrict the use of the product in any form” while the core idea of Trademark is “Thou shalt not use this product in any form without getting my permission (usually by paying me money)”. These two concepts seem to be diametrically opposed. This isn’t a case of another company using the same name to mean something entirely different. This is a company that specializes in supporting open source software trying to trademark the name of the software that they support. They work in this field! LIBLIME SHOULD KNOW BETTER!!!"