A Full Fall Issue
We are pleased to present our readers six articles and two conference reports, along with the usual array of shorter pieces and notices, to close off 2013, our nineteenth year of publication. It is an outstanding set of articles, in our view, and as a collection demonstrates that, far from plateauing in any way, the digital library research field continues to grow and mature in ways that would have been difficult to predict nineteen years ago.
We lead with an article by Simons, et al., reporting on 'Growing Institutional Support for Data Citation' within the context of a joint project between Griffiths University and the Australian National Data Service (ANDS). The project is presented as a use case and a model for institutional improvement of the infrastructure around data citation and measurement of the benefits of data citation, all in support of the growing movement to make published data a first class citizen in the scholarly world.
Next up is Kelly, et al., on identifying personalized representation of online content in web archives. The inherent mutability of digital content has been a problem since the start of the transition from paper to bits and this is now being exacerbated by the advent of differing versions of what is nominally the same item now being delivered differently to different devices, e.g., small screens versus big screens, and different locations. The authors analyze approaches to referencing these variations in archives and provide a proof-of-concept solution.
In our third article Nakasone and Sheffield address descriptive metadata for field books, e.g., the notes and journals kept by field scientists, including those historical records now kept in museums and archives. This should prove a fascinating topic for much of our readership, as it involves deciding whether these are museum objects, archival materials, or books to be catalogued. Field books relate closely, of course, to specimen collections and have inherent scientific as well as historical value, but they also present a large number of challenges in extracting and managing the relevant information.
Article number four, by Schöpfel and Soukouya, is a case study from Togo in providing access to digital theses and dissertations. It makes the point that global open access, despite its apparent simplicity, faces local challenges that need local solutions. Looking at this topic from the perspective of sub-Saharan Africa illuminates the point nicely.
The fifth article, van Veen, describes SIWA (Schema for the Integration of Web Applications), which was originally developed as part of the EuropeanaConnect project and has now been simplified to lower barriers to adoption. Those of our readers who are familiar with OpenURL will want to compare this approach to integrating services in a way that is appropriate to the consumers of those services.
Our final article, by Vierkant, reports on a census of open access repositories in Germany. A great deal of detailed information is presented, ranging from total number of items to software platform to value-added services and metadata formats. This is a valuable snapshot that will grow more valuable over time if it can be repeated and extended on a routine basis.
Finally, we close with two conference reports, one on the 17th International Conference on Theory and Practice of Digital Libraries (TPDL 2013) and one on the Second Plenary Meeting of the Research Data Alliance (RDA). D-Lib is currently planning a theme issue on RDA and we believe our audience will be hearing more about this organization, both in D-Lib and other sources, in the coming year.
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