In a conversation format, seven anthropologists with extensive expertise in new digital technologies, intellectual property, and journal publishing discuss issues related to open access, the anthropology of information circulation, and the future of scholarly societies. Among the topics discussed are current anthropological research on open source and open access; the effects of open access on traditional anthropological topics; the creation of community archives and new networking tools; potentially transformative uses of field notes and materials in new digital ecologies; the American Anthropological Association's recent history with these issues, from the development of AnthroSource to its new publishing arrangement with Wiley-Blackwell; and the political economies of knowledge circulation more generally.
This paper by Mary Piorun, Associate Director and Lisa A. Palmer, Catalog Librarian, describes the Lamar Soutter Library's process and costs associated with digitising 300 doctoral dissertations for a newly implemented institutional repository at the University of Massachusetts Medical School. Locally digitising dissertations or other scholarly works for inclusion in institutional repositories can be cost effective, especially if small, defined projects are chosen. A successful project serves as an excellent recruitment strategy for the institutional repository and helps libraries build new relationships. Challenges include workflow, cost, policy development, and copyright permissions.
The development of the "Open Access" (OA) movement since early 1990s has been radically changing the scientific communication landscape. Within the last decade more universities and research institutions are recommending their scholars to make their works freely accessible through their web sites and/or institutional repositories (IRs). This article by Yasar Tonta of the Department of Information Management, Hacettepe University, defines the concepts of OA and IR and briefly reviews the current situation of IRs in Europe. It then chronicles the development of IRs in Turkey. The paper concludes with some recommendations.
Semantic search is an upcoming technology that has set the expectations too high. This article by Alex Iskold, Founder and CEO of AdaptiveBlue, a smart browsing and personalization company, discusses the myths and reality with regard to Semantic Search. According to the article, semantic search is going to help us answer questions that we simply cannot answer. Also, the article states that we have all been misled into thinking that these technologies are here to dethrone Google by delivering better search results.
It is observed that Government web sites tend to be slow, clunky, and far behind their private-sector counterparts. A new paper from researchers at Princeton University suggest that government officials abandon the dream of developing usable web sites, and instead focus on providing raw public data such as regulatory decisions, Congressional votes, and campaign finance data in open, structured formats such as RSS and XML. This raw data would be made freely available to anyone, and could be used for any purpose. According to Princeton researchers David Robinson, Harlan Yu, William Zeller, and Ed Felten, once the private sector has been relieved of the irritating task of manually scraping data from government web sites, a proliferation of user-friendly sites will allow people to sort, search, and analyse the data in a variety of ways.