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illuminea

July 2010

News and Features from OUP for the Academic Library and Information Community

E-books: Future perfect?

Interview: Two decades in Journals publishing

Designing

the future New spaces for new functions


illuminea | EDITORIAL

contents

3 E-books: Future perfect? Chris Bennett, Head of Online Sales, OUP

4&5 Designing the future

New spaces for new functions

6 News

with 7 Interview Martin Richardson

Two decades experimenting and innovating in Journals

8 Making sense of digital preservation “The e-book has become part of the mainstream consumer industry” says Chris Bennett, Head of Online Sales at OUP, in his cautionary commentary piece E-books: Future perfect?

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lluminea reflects on what reaching the tipping point for digital books means for publishers and the librarian and academic communities. With new and more sophisticated e-readers, e-books have become a much more tangible reality, but how will new ways of reading impact on academic libraries, which – like publishers – still rely on old print business models? This issue also offers a glimpse into the future of libraries, in terms of physical buildings. Examples show dazzling architectural feats, hubs of social activity, and havens for the intellectual community; less book fortresses and more houses for linked information, for learning, teaching, and interacting. Linked and smart data is the subject of technology evangelist, Richard Wallis’s article on how the Semantic Web will change libraries. And Nicola Wright, Information Services Manager at the LSE, writes about the Academic Libraries of the Future project and her optimism about what is in store for vast collections of books and documents. In the Library of Babel, Argentinian writer, Jorge Luis Borges, imagined an infinite library where books contain every possible combination of letters, spaces, and punctuation marks. Decades before the internet, Borges presents the problem of an abundance of information by having the librarians in a state of despair, crushed under the weight of sometimes gibberish, unconnected, and apparently meaningless data. The role of the librarian of the future is to continue making sense, guiding readers through this labyrinth, and preserving the past.

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OUP’s preservation initiatives and librarians’ attitudes surveyed

9 The Future Libraries project: The glass is half full

Nicola Wright, Information Services Manager, LSE

10&11 Directory

Conferences and contacts

12 Will the Semantic Web change what we do? Richard Wallis, Talis

Editor: Catarina Walsh Deputy Editor: Lizzie Shannon-Little Editorial Team: Damian Bird, Alison Bowker, Claire Dowbekin, Richard Gedye, Amanda Hirko, Patricia Hudson, Colin Meddings, Margaret Love, and Aviva Weinstein. Design: Sequel Group Ltd (www.sequelgroup.co.uk) We value your feedback and would like to know what you think of Illuminea. If you have any suggestions for future issues, or would like to contribute, please email lizzie.shannonlittle@oup.com Front cover image and Editorial image © Bodleian Libraries


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E-books:

Future

perfect? Chris Bennett, Head of Online Sales, OUP

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-books have enjoyed an unprecedented amount of media attention over the past 18 months. There are several interlinked reasons for this: trade publishers did not take e-books seriously until viable e-readers were developed; with the advent of the Kindle, the Sony Reader, and most recently (and with the greatest fanfare of all) the Apple iPad, the e-book has become part of the mainstream consumer industry; and trade publishers have finally accepted that an e-book should be more than just the digital manifestation of the published print work. None of this, however, has addressed the needs of students, academics, and librarians to any significant extent. Far from it: the plethora of formats and devices available has proved a frustrating and confusing distraction for the industry. As a result, some publishers have lost sight of the fundamental principles behind taking digital content to market: that it must be discoverable and accessible to a truly global audience, and that much of its value must lie in the enhancement of the research process through both scholarly worth and usability. In an increasingly crowded and fragmented information landscape, the ability to deliver the right content in the right place at the right time is essential. The most significant consequence of digital publishing is to connect producer and consumer via a much more direct supply chain than was previously the case; too many publishers forget that their authors are also their readers. Of the many formats available, I would discount any which are proprietary and therefore impose an artificial restriction upon use. (It is revealing that both Sony and

Apple have abandoned proprietary formats.) I would also like to dispel an enduring myth: that the PDF format is somehow representative of e-books to the scholarly community. Despite the fact that considerable improvements have been made to the format, it is inevitably limited by its derivation from print, and as a result is fated to die a slow death as it is superseded by XML-based ‘born online’ content. PDFs are certainly the type of e-books best-known to the current generation of researchers. The next will demand more, and will not tolerate a restrictive research experience. Therefore, ePub and other XML-based, non-proprietary formats will be a far better investment for both publishers and librarians.

Core imperatives: discoverability and commercial flexibility

the plethora of formats and devices available has proved a frustrating and confusing distraction for the industry

E-book business models are also bound, disappointingly, to a print past. A valuable lesson from the journals publishing experience ought to be that any print-based model for digital dissemination will have a short shelf life. (However, this business too has failed to free itself from its paper fetters, even though the physical product has disappeared more completely than is likely to be the case with books.) There has been considerable recent interest in patron-driven acquisition of e-books: the library budgets for a sum of credit from the vendor which is spent as a set number of user interactions with the full text equate to the purchase of the e-book. Parameters on which texts are available are decided by

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the library; yet trials suggest that, as with other usage-based models, patron-driven acquisition is comparatively expensive where the content is desirable, at the possible risk of impoverishing a library’s research holdings. Moreover, this and other models, such as short-term loan, assume that the unit of sale is equivalent to a print work, and do not envisage the transition to flexible, frequently-updated online content delivery services which transcend the print edition cycle. The current lack of innovation is not owing purely to publisher intransigence: library budgets are too often migrated directly from print spend, meaning that there is a predilection for purchase over subscription which is not necessarily appropriate to the content concerned, and therefore does not always serve the best interests of the patron. The core imperatives of digital publishing and librarianship are beginning to emerge with more clarity: discoverability, usability, interoperability, and commercial flexibility will, if they are realized, deliver a viable and vibrant future.

The Apple iPad Image courtesy of Apple

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illuminea | FEATURE

Philological Library, Free University of Berlin Reinhard Corner

Designing

the future: New spaces for new functions

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Libraries as “havens for the intellectual community” (Director of the Bodleian Libraries, Sarah Thomas, Illuminea, April 2010) or as teaching spaces and information-sorting facilities are in the midst of a major transformation.

Catarina Walsh, Senior Communications Manager, OUP

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or many years, academic libraries have provided readers with books and journals that they could borrow or photocopy for personal use, as well as a space for learning and teaching. But rampant changes precipitated by digitization are displacing the traditional role of the library. What will the libraries of the future house, if not physical books and journals? Information will still have to be found, stored, and organized. Some have predicted that libraries will become zones of sanctuary and security where people can network and consume information together. Physical spaces are adapting and reflecting these massive changes and are being re-conceptualized. Academic libraries are increasingly opening up to the general public, as is planned for the Weston Library (Oxford University’s refurbished New Bodleian Library). They are providing welcoming spaces for users – such as cafés and group-work facilities – where readers can relax and interact, while learning. Talking will be allowed, even encouraged, as work becomes more collaborative and sharing information – with the help of professionals – becomes more essential in the age of information overload. The trend in library architecture is moving away from forbidding, purely functional, officious spaces towards buildings that are more aesthetically pleasing; places which are inspiring, comfortable, and become social hubs for students and researchers. Technology will be integrated for the purposes of learning, with increased connectivity and wireless, multimedia areas. The library will also be eco-friendly. It will have to reduce its impact on the environment and natural resources, making the most of natural light, avoiding air conditioning, and preserving energy.


stocks its books within concrete cubes that seem to hover in the overall six-storey space. Suspended between them are concrete platforms that accommodate the openshelf areas and the reading places. The internal surfaces of the building are painted black to facilitate concentrated studies within the extensive, interflowing spaces.

Photo: Jan Bitter

Photo: © Bohlin Cywinski Jackson

The Philological Library (pictured left), opened in 2005, is the latest addition to the campus of the Free University of Berlin. Designed by the architect Norman Foster, it merges wall and roof to create the shape of a human brain, and uses shading and natural ventilation to manage temperature and daylight. The library has become the centrepiece of the University’s Dahlem campus and a Berlin architectural landmark. It holds 700,000 volumes.

environmentally-friendly library of the future. The gently curving green roof, made of grass, absorbs water and provides thermal insulation. The solar panels and recycled materials aim to save energy and resources. The design team hoped to create a facility that would be a dynamic teaching tool for green design and promote environmental awareness.

The Ballard Library and Neighbourhood Service Centre in Seattle is a public library that opens to the street and can be seen as a model for the

Created in 2004 and described by the architects responsible as a “new, massive library cube”, the University library in Utrecht, Netherlands

The Saltire Centre, Glasgow Caledonian University, was designed to provide users with a variety of different spaces, from noisy social interaction areas for group work to places for silent study. It is described as a flexible building at the heart of the campus that reflects the beliefs of its University in dialogue, debate, and differences in learning styles.

Photo: David Barbour

Beautiful and Visionary Buildings

New Bodleian: “From a book fortress to an open and inspiring space” Oxford University’s Bodleian Libraries have secured planning permission for the renovation of the New Bodleian library, to be re-opened as the Weston Library in 2015. Oxford University Press has contributed £25 million to help renovate this space, meeting the amount that the Garfield Weston Foundation also contributed. “The work will transform the library from a book fortress into an inviting and inspiring space for visitors and readers” said Sarah Thomas, Bodley’s Librarian. The project will expand public access through a glass frontage, a large entrance hall, and new exhibition galleries, making Broad Street in central Oxford more welcoming. Exhibitions already attract 100,000 visitors a year and the new space should increase that number. Richard Ovenden, Associate Director and Keeper of Special Collections at the Bodleian Libraries, said: “Wilkinson Eyre Architects has created a stunning design that respects the building’s heritage while at the same time modernizing our infrastructure and providing better facilities for students and researchers, as well as greater opportunities for collaboration with and outreach to the wider community.”

“The shift from collection to connection” Olaf Eigenbrodt, Library Sociologist at Hamburg University, talked to Illuminea about the latest trends in library buildings and functions. Can you explain your concept of the “living room” library? It is all about comfort, safety, and identification. The living room (or the German Wohnzimmer which is much more like a parlour) is the part of the middle-class dwelling which is open for visitors and guests. It is also a family room. Both aspects - the cosy (or, in German, gemütlich) lounge and the representative meeting

place - are crucial for libraries as places between or beyond the public and private sphere. What is the role of the library in the digital age: as a resource and as a space? Resources libraries are not exclusive institutions for the supply of information any more. They continue to be important places for information storage and retrieval but the aspect of knowledge production is becoming more and more crucial. After the shift from collection to connection there is another one from connection to communication, which means the involvement of people, their

activities, and their individual needs concerning interfaces, networks, and intellectual access to information. The library as a space needs to offer infrastructure and environments for self-paced lifelong learning. The production of knowledge, either individual or in groups, requires a great variety of spaces. Unexpected discoveries and encounters (with information and people) are desirable in such places. But at the same time the library is a space for the management of contingency in a rapidly changing society. It offers safe and quiet places where people can slow down and think.

What are the big trends in library architecture? After two or three decades of functional open-plan buildings looking almost the same, architects and librarians have been thinking about library buildings in a new way since the 1990s. The main trends are: iconic buildings (with the “wow factor”), multi-functionality, multimedia environments, new emphasis on interior design (with lounges playing a big part), increased collaboration between public and academic libraries, and sustainability.

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illuminea | NEWS Oxford History of Western Music now online

New journals… new collections In May, Oxford University Press announced that it had been selected by the Organization of American Historians (OAH) to be the publisher of The Journal of American History and the OAH Magazine of History. David A. Hollinger, OAH President, said: “The Organization is pleased to be partnering with OUP and is confident that this alliance will ensure consistent excellence in the production and distribution of the journals.” The full publishing partnership will begin in 2011. OUP continues to strengthen its publishing programme. Other acquisitions so far in 2010 include the Infectious

Diseases Society of America’s Clinical Infectious Diseases and The Journal of Infectious Diseases as well as The Quarterly Journal of Economics and The Review of Economic Studies. As a result of the addition of these new high-impact economics journals, which will move to the Press next year, Oxford Journals has developed a new Economics and Finance Collection. It includes several journals that cover the entire subject field, as well as specialized journals targeting areas including finance, development economics, agricultural economics, environmental economics, and law and economics.

Cover of Captain America Comics #1 (March 1941), Courtesy of Marvel Entertainment, LLC.

If you would like further information, or are interested in a subscription or free trial for your library, please contact hannah. dernie@oxfordjournals.org.

OUP supplies research journals to Indian colleges Oxford University Press has partnered with the Information and Library Network (INFLIBNET) Centre to supply 206 journals to 6,000 colleges in India over the next three years. INFLIBNET was set up by the Indian government to create infra-structures for the sharing of library and information resources and services among academic and

research institutions. Jagdish Arora, Director of INFLIBNET, said: “The response to the scheme has been excellent and more and more colleges are joining the programme. We expect to add more resources under the programme including Oxford Scholarship Online and other e-books collections.” OUP was carefully selected to

provide over 200 prestigious journals, which cover a range of subject areas such as medicine, history, law, economics, and politics, among others. The collection includes journals with high-quality Impact Factors such as the Journal of the National Cancer Institute, Political Analysis, and the European Heart Journal.

Oxford Medical Handbooks Online content upload Medical students, junior doctors, nurses, and allied health professionals now have unparalleled online access to the world’s best-loved medical handbooks, as the second phase of the Oxford Medical Handbooks Online project is scheduled to go live this summer. This new release features titles from the Oxford Medical Handbooks, Oxford Handbooks in Nursing, and Emergencies In series, taking the total number of titles available to seventy-eight. Over the last year, the pilot

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phase of the project has clarified the market’s requirements, in particular around the need for a choice of content. In response, we are excited to be offering a new ‘pick and mix’ sales model from autumn 2010, enabling librarians to put together bespoke collections to suit their needs. Between July and this point we will be offering free trials. Another development happening alongside the content upload is the launch of a new access portal, offering a single

entry point for the majority of Oxford’s medical books online. From the portal, users will also be able to link to other Oxford medical content, including our prestigious journals collection and titles in Oxford Scholarship Online. As always, we welcome input from librarians on our developing medical programme. For any feedback, and for more information, please email Alison Bowker, Head of Medicine Marketing: alison.bowker@oup.com.

Originally published in print as a six-volume set in 2004, the Oxford History of Western Music offers an unmatched narrative account of the evolution of classical music. The author, Richard Taruskin, is one of the most prominent and provocative musicologists of our time. Laced with brilliant observations, memorable musical analyses, and a panoramic sense of the interaction between history, culture, politics, art, literature, religion, and music, the work “is a visionary addition to our understanding of our culture” (Times Literary Supplement). OUP Editor Nancy Toff adds “the book is not only erudite; perhaps unexpectedly it is charming and engrossing. At every turn the narrative is full of delightful surprises”. The online edition will feature the newly updated text, plus each of the new volume introductions written for the 2009 paperback edition. It will also feature hundreds of images and musical examples, further reading lists that accompany all 69 chapters, as well as Taruskin’s original notes. The unique benefit to the online edition is the editoriallyselected linking to relevant entries in Grove Music Online for subscribers of Oxford Music Online.

For further information please contact: onlineproducts@oup.com (outside the Americas): oxford. reference@oup.com (Americas).


interview |

reviewed anonymously by experts in their field. What do you think about the criticism that it is a slow and flawed system? Like Impact Factors, peer review is a well-established system for evaluating research papers, not only to help editors to decide what to publish in their journals but also to give constructive feedback to help authors to improve the quality of their research writing. As with Impact Factors, there have been many experiments to try alternative systems but so far nobody has come up with anything better.

interview

Two decades experimenting and innovating in Journals Martin Richardson, Managing Director of Academic Books and Journals Divisions, retired in June after 21 years at OUP, where he launched the first online journal and experimented with new publishing models and ways of disseminating research. Martin talked to Illuminea about his time at OUP, mostly spent in journals, the transition from print to digital, open access, new technologies in research publishing, and the future of libraries. OUP began online journal publishing in the early 1990s. How was that initial transition from printing to digital publishing? I have been very fortunate to have worked at OUP during such an exciting time in our history. The internet has provided us with a tremendous opportunity to reinvent ourselves as a digital publisher after 500 years of print-based publishing. In the early days we made some mistakes and it was necessary to re-examine almost every aspect of the publication process. Initially the main challenges were technological, but we also had to learn many new skills, which have been incorporated into our work procedures. Today, we publish over 240 journals online covering a broad range of subject areas. You have always been keen on experimenting with new ways of disseminating research. Can you tell us about Oxford

Open, the open access (OA) initiative set up in 2005, where authors pay to make their articles free? Online publishing has opened up many new avenues for disseminating research results to a global audience, and open access is but one of a number of examples of our experimentation with new business models. We were one of the first publishers to transition a subscription-based journal to full OA, and to offer authors the option of OA in over 90 of our journals. The jury is still out as to whether OA will ever become more than a boutique model for relatively well-funded areas of research, such as the Life Sciences. How do you view Impact Factor, which reflects the average number of citations as a measure of the quality for science and social science journals? What other methods could be used to complement it? Impact Factors have become a well-established metric for research assessment. Though the system has many flaws, we have so far been unable to come up with anything better. A usage-based system (‘usage factor’) might offer the potential to provide a complementary metric across a broad range of subject areas, and other experiments are also underway. OUP journals use the peer review process, where papers submitted to academic journals are

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What will be the impact of new technologies, such as mobile phone access, on research publishing? Technology looks set to continue to have a big impact on the dissemination of research results over the coming decade. It is very hard to make predictions about which particular technologies will prevail, though as mobile phones have become ubiquitous it would be surprising if they did not play an important role in the future.

the internet has provided us with a tremendous opportunity to reinvent ourselves as a digital publisher after 500 years of print-based publishing

What will happen to academic libraries? How can publishers, particularly university presses, work with libraries to ensure a bright future in the digital age? Like publishers, libraries have had to adapt to their new role as a provider of digital materials. A recent survey in the US by Ithaka indicated that library’s role as a gatekeeper is diminishing, whilst their roles as a purchaser are increasing. Our approach as a university press has been to provide the highestquality research to the widest audiences, not just to a privileged few and to engage with librarians through advisory groups and other means to ensure that we continue to meet their changing needs.

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illuminea | feature

OUP’s preservation initiatives and librarians’ attitudes surveyed

Making sense of digital preservation Colin Meddings, Senior Library Marketing Manager, OUP

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arlier in the year we undertook an online survey on digital preservation which was generously answered by 475 individuals. Respondents represented a wide geographic spread with North American and European institutions particularly well represented. Unsurprisingly, academic libraries made up the largest sector of respondents with smaller numbers of medical, corporate, and government libraries responding. Oxford Journals has participated in a wide range of digital preservation initiatives for a number of years including agreements with the Koninklijke

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Bibliotheek, Portico, and participating in LOCKSS. In 2008 the Association of Learned and Society Publishers (ALPSP) published a report on publisher preservation strategies that prompted us to re-examine our activities in this area. Whilst looking into our internal processes and strategy there was one obvious but unanswered question: ‘Does our strategy align with the expectations of our library customers?’ In the process of answering this question we saw an opportunity to build on the earlier ALPSP research and explore library attitudes to, and participation in, current long-term digital preservation initiatives. Eighty-five percent of respondents stated that the issue of digital preservation is either ‘important’ or ‘very important’ to their library, which corresponds to a similarly high percentage of 91% of publishers in the ALPSP survey. In contrast, less than half of respondents (46%) stated that they were currently taking steps to ensure the long-term preservation of digital content. However, digging into the survey a little deeper reveals that the picture may not be so clear cut with some respondents making

differing assumptions about what constitutes digital preservation, and what counts as participation in an initiative.

Who should take responsibility of longterm preservation? In the context of our survey, long-term digital preservation referred to ‘ensuring the preservation of electronic scholarly literature with the specific goal of ensuring materials remain accessible to future scholars, researchers, and students’, and not to the issue of post-cancellation access. If this was apparent in our own minds, then this didn’t appear to be the case amongst the survey respondents, perhaps understandably so as the major initiatives often provide solutions for both eventualities on behalf of libraries. Despite these difficulties, some obvious trends did emerge. Initiatives supported by respondents correspond with those that Oxford Journals supports: Portico leading the way (44%), followed by LOCKSS (35%) and CLOCKSS (13%). One of the surprising results for us was the

high number of institutions locally loading digital content (44%). Of those that said they weren’t participating in programmes, 43% stated that they rely on publishers, and a similarly large proportion (41%) cited cost concerns as a reason why they aren’t taking action. When asked who should take responsibility for long-term preservation there was a clear preference for joint library and publisher initiatives, as well as a notable desire to see national libraries take on a greater role. We also attempted to tease out some opinions on the more difficult question of who should fund digital preservation initiatives. Again it was joint publisher-library funding that came out on top. The outcome of the survey has not changed our overall policy of supporting multiple digital preservation initiatives. In fact it has reinforced our resolve to maintain this approach, at least in the foreseeable future whilst the picture remains an uncertain and evolving one. What the survey has done is reassure us that those initiatives that we do support are also those most favoured and supported by our customers. It has also made us realize that more education and advocacy is required on this topic in order to help our customers and the wider scholarly community understand the importance of digital preservation and the complexities in choosing a solution. As a result, we have presented and discussed the results of this survey at both the UKSG and NASIG conferences and intend to publish a report later in the year on our website.

85% of respondents stated that the issue of digital preservation is either ‘important’ or ‘very important’ to their library


insight |

illuminea

Nicola Wright, Information Services Manager, London School of Economics and Political Science

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he Academic Libraries of the Future project is taking on the challenge of imagining the future for teaching, learning, and research, and thinking through the possible impacts that this new environment will have on institutions and their libraries. We are all used to planning for our services on a timescale of three to five years – this project is giving us the opportunity to raise our sights to the far horizons of 2050. The project is sponsored by the British Library, JISC, Research Information Network, Research Libraries UK, and SCONUL. Curtis+Cartwright Consulting Ltd is conducting the study (in conjunction with SAMI Consulting) and a series of workshops is being held during 2010-2011 to draw in the thoughts and ideas of a wide range of higher education (HE) stakeholders. The first of these

workshops were held in February and March this year and, as a participant, I found thinking this far into the future both exciting and slightly alarming. At the first workshop we considered a series of global, high-level drivers for change in HE, including economy, money, and wealth; globalization; and climate change. Discussion of these factors in the break-out groups certainly had the effect of sorting the optimists from the pessimists and it was comforting to move to less abstract ground in the second workshop as we began to imagine the storylines of several possible scenarios for higher education. We asked ourselves several key questions: • Are values in HE open or closed? • Is the emphasis on quantity or quality of students? • Do market forces or the state dominate HE? By combining the answers to these questions we were able to imagine a number of possible futures. In all we came up with six scenarios and we broke into groups to imagine the stories behind them. What does a “Utility HE” model – where

The Future Libraries project:

The glass is half full

I am an optimist and I see the glass as half full. Human beings are social animals and are likely to stay that way values are open, the state pays, and quantity is the focus – look like? How did we get here and what is it like to learn, research, and work in this environment? How might things be different in a market led “niche” model, focusing on quality and openness? Over the summer a further series of workshops will be held to enable a fresh cohort of stakeholders to flesh out the detail of the scenarios. For myself, I was struck by the freedom and creativity I felt by thinking so far ahead. Being released from the pressure of predicting the future gave me more confidence to imagine how things might be.

Reasons for optimism Some of our scenarios may paint a gloomy picture for the future of libraries and librarians. We might find our position at the heart of our institutions is gradually eroded, indeed in some scenarios our institutions will

become small, virtual outposts within a large, centralized HE production line. Information technology could drive the central distribution of standard information resources for learning and teaching, and thereby undermine the local flavour and history of individual library collections. There might be no need to provide physical learning and social spaces within a library building on campus. With the ever increasing range of technology, our skills in collecting, organizing, and helping students and researchers to use distinctive information materials might no longer be required or valued. However, I am an optimist and I see the glass as half full. Human beings are social animals and are likely to stay that way. A sense of place and the company of others is important – for thinking, discussing, arguing, and having fun together. Librarians will need to work harder than ever to understand their audiences, to tailor services to them, and to provide support at exactly the right moment, in the favourite ways of individuals. As ever more information is produced and consumed, the skills of organizing it will be in demand – but in new ways, using different tools. Mastering the skills involved in finding, evaluating, and using information for learning, teaching, and research will become ever more important, and librarians make good teachers. Further information about the project can be found at: http:// www.futurelibraries.info/

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illuminea | directory

Conferences

These are the major conferences we will be attending between July and the beginning of October 2010. You can either catch us at our information stand or contact us in advance to arrange a private appointment.

Africa

Australia

10th Southern African Online Information Meeting 4-5 August, Pretoria, South Africa Graham Grant, Online graham.grant@oup.com

IMPACT NSW 13-16 July, Albury, NSW Marika Whitfield, Online marika.whitfield@oup.com

Asia Academic Solution Seminar 2 July, Tokyo, Japan Kazunori Oike, Oxford Journals kazunori.oike@oxfordjournals.org 2010 International Caring Seminar 15-16 July, Taipei, Taiwan Liu Liping, Oxford Journals liu.liping@oxfordjournals.org BIBF 2010 30 August-3 September, Beijing Liu Liping, Oxford Journals liu.liping@oxfordjournals.org LARMLC 2010 2-3 September, Taipei, Taiwan Ivy Yu, Oxford Journals ivy.yu@oxfordjournals.org PULC Publishers day 15 September, Osaka, Japan 17 September, Tokyo, Japan Kazunori Oike, Oxford Journals kazunori.oike@oxfordjournals.org JMLA/JPLA Publishers day Date TBA, Tokyo and Osaka, Japan Kazunori Oike, Oxford Journals kazunori.oike@oxfordjournals.org

ALIA 1-3 September, Brisbane Marika Whitfield, Online marika.whitfield@oup.com Australian Law Libraries Association Conference 29 September-1 October, Melbourne Marika Whitfield, Online marika.whitfield@oup.com

Europe The 2010 CILIP Health Libraries Group Conference 19-20 July, Manchester, UK Mary Robson, Online mary.robson@oup.com Hannah Dernie, Oxford Journals hannah.dernie@oxfordjournals.org EIFL General Assembly 6-8 August, Lund, Sweden Adina Teusan, Online adina.teusan@oup.com Wolfgang Steinmetz, Oxford Journals wolfgang.steinmetz@oxfordjournals.org IFLA 10-15 August, Gothenburg, Sweden Adina Teusan, Online adina.teusan@oup.com Matthew Howells, Oxford Journals matthew.howells@oxfordjournals.org

BIS 1-4 September, Lausanne, Switzerland Katharina Baier, Online katharina.baier@oup.com Wolfgang Steinmetz, Oxford Journals wolfgang.steinmetz@oxfordjournals.org ODOK 21-24 September, Leoben, Austria Katharina Baier, Online katharina.baier@oup.com Wolfgang Steinmetz, Oxford Journals wolfgang.steinmetz@oxfordjournals.org Frankfurt Book Fair 6-10 October, Frankfurt, Germany Wolfgang Steinmetz, Oxford Journals wolfgang.steinmetz@oxfordjournals.org Katharina Baier, Online katharina.baier@oup.com

North America American Association of Law Libraries 10-13 July, Denver, CO, USA Chloe Hennin, Oxford Journals chloe.hennin@oxfordjournals.org Alexandra Mele, Oxford Law alexandra.mele@oup.com Illinois Library Association 29-30 September, Chicago, IL, USA Nancy Roy, Academic and Reference Library Sales nancy.roy@oup.com Belinda Hayes, Oxford Journals belinda.hayes@oxfordjournals.org Mid-Atlantic Chapter of the Medical Library Association Conference 13-15 October, Chapel Hill, NC, USA Chloe Hennin, Oxford Journals chloe.hennin@oxfordjournals.org

To schedule a meeting or to request any other information, please email the relevant contact.

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directory |

illuminea

Your contacts at Oxford University Press Here’s our list of handy contacts to help you gain access to the vast information resources available at Oxford University Press.

Journals contacts We publish over 220 academic journals, available to libraries (single and multi-site) and consortia as an entire package (the Oxford Journals Collection), a subject subset, or a bespoke selection tailored to meet the needs of library users. Journal back files are also available via our Oxford Journals Archive.

Sales enquiries For product information, requests for trials, and quotations please email library.sales@ oxfordjournals.org. To contact an individual member of our sales team visit www. oxfordjournals.org/for_librarians/quote.html.

Marketing enquiries For promotional materials and advice on marketing your collection to library users please email library.marketing@ oxfordjournals.org.

Customer service enquiries For customer service enquiries, including enquiries relating to online access, technical assistance, print issue claims, payment or invoice enquiries, customers should contact our support team: Customers in the Americas jnlorders@oxfordjournals.org +1 800 852 7323 (toll-free in USA/Canada) Customers in Japan and South Korea custserv.jp@oxfordjournals.org +81 3 5444 5858

Customers in other regions Consortia customers jnls.consortia@oxfordjournals.org +44 (0)1865 354949 Non-consortia customers jnls.cust.serv@oxfordjournals.org +44 (0)1865 353907

Online products contacts We also publish a number of other online products. Our acclaimed online products include the Oxford English Dictionary, Oxford Dictionary of National Biography, Oxford Reference Online, Oxford Bibliographies Online, and Oxford Scholarship Online.

Sales enquiries For product information, requests for trials, and quotations please contact our sales teams: World exc Americas onlineproducts@oup.com +44 (0) 1865 353705 The Americas library.sales@oup.com +1 800 624 0153

Marketing enquiries For promotional materials and advice on marketing your collection to library users please email our marketing teams: World exc Americas onlinemarketing@oup.com The Americas oxford.reference@oup.com

Online support enquiries For customer service enquiries, including enquiries relating to online access, technical assistance, payment or invoice enquiries, customers should contact our online support team: World exc Americas onlinesubscriptions@oup.com +44 (0) 1865 353705 The Americas oxfordonline@oup.com +1 800 334 4249 (ext 6484)

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illuminea | insight

Will the semantic web change what we do? Richard Wallis from the innovative technology company Talis

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ince their inception, libraries have always been at the forefront of technology and its adoption. From the printed book and the printed catalogue card through to computing, technology has been adopted to improve what libraries do thus helping them provide a better service. From tags hanging off the end of scrolls in scroll libraries to today’s Marc records stored in library management systems, much of this technology has been targeted at the supporting metadata used to describe what a library holds or licenses. Publishing, from the printing press onwards, has taken a similar innovative route. Unsurprisingly, the majority of that innovation has been around the production and distribution of the physical item and, more recently, its electronic incarnation. The purpose, and therefore the expected quality, of book metadata has often been an issue

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between the two communities. Initially metadata helped librarians identify items so that they could find them for users of the library. In more recent decades it has been used to power direct access for those users. The introduction of the online catalogue delivered a massive boost to the accessibility of libraries to their users, and efficiencies in the process of serving them. By moving to online self-service methods of discovery, libraries became capable of supporting more users than wooden drawers of index cards could, and far more than face-toface interactions ever could. In contrast, publishers have not seen this explosion in the numbers of those that directly access their services, most of their interactions remaining with organizations, not individuals. Much publisher web presence is there to push marketing information to potential customers, not making it easy for users to find (pull) relevant information about what is available. The describing of items has always been a skilled and time-consuming task for libraries, building on the brief details supplied by publishers. The introduction of the catalogue card made item indexing simpler, and the preprinted cards launched by the Library of Congress in 1901 introduced some efficiencies into the process. In the 1960s, computing technology enabled libraries to start sharing efficiencies in the description process with organizations such as OCLC

and BLCMP [the organization from which Talis grew] emerging as cataloguing cooperatives. Both services are still used by individual library cataloguing departments to help keep their local catalogue current. Technology has had significant influence on how libraries operate, but has not really changed their core processes. They acquire an item then create locally-held metadata by cataloguing it. Basic metadata feeds from publishers or their agents (possibly helped by the cooperatives) speed things up; but this is still in effect the same process that librarians attaching tags to scrolls were engaged in. However, there is an emerging technology, or more importantly the paradigm shift in thinking that accompanies it, that has the potential to change this centuries-old process.

Towards a new landscape of Linked Data The Semantic Web, in the form of a web-based data-publishing principle championed by Sir Tim Berners-Lee called Linked Data, has the potential to create such disruption. In a Linked Data world every data element, such as author, subject, media format, publisher, user defined tag, etc., becomes a primary data element. In such an environment, what today we would call a catalogue record containing all the attributes of a single item, simply becomes just a set of links; a link to a description of an author, a link to a description of a subject, etc. Because the Semantic Web is built upon the World Wide Web, these links are web links meaning

Linked Data and the Semantic Web The Semantic Web vision, first published by Sir Tim Berners-Lee in 2001, envisions an online world where each piece of data, and its relationship with others, are defined as links. Linked Data is the pragmatic use of simple tools to build a web of data as the foundations of this Semantic Web. Although only emergent, large amounts of data from governments, the media, and community projects are already published in this way.

that the actual descriptions can reside on systems distributed across the globe. It is this globallydistributed nature of the Semantic Web that has the potential to change what libraries and publishers do. When descriptions of items in an individual library start to be constructed from links into a global web of data, the need to hold and maintain that data in every library soon disappears. Similarly, when publisher metadata consists of links to those same globallyavailable descriptions, concerns about quality will start to dissipate. With this, the need for local cataloguing expertise also disappears. Of course there will always be the need for skilled cataloguers, but that role may well be isolated to a small number of centres on the planet, only in national libraries and/or a few publishing aggregators perhaps. Could this happen overnight? Probably not. We may not see much change over the next few years, but – perhaps by the time we reach the onset of the next decade – we may be operating in a very different landscape in a very different way.


Illuminea July 2010