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OPAC as a tool for user tagging?

Can library OPAC be used to gather information about useful library collection?

ALA TechSource | Mulled Whine
Librarians and users need information systems that facilitate input from users, such as a note in an OPAC record written by a user who makes an interesting connection between two books in the collection, or a user-supplied book review, or a typographical error spotted by a user, or—gasp!—tapping into the collective knowledge of the community of users of a library to help answer reference questions.

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Emerging Technology - Web 2.0 Arrives

Emerging Technology - Web 2.0 Arrives
By Steven Johnson
DISCOVER Vol. 26 No. 10 | October 2005

Emerging Technology - Discover Magazine - science news articles online technology magazine articles Emerging Technology
Software upgrades promise to turn the Internet into a lush rain forest of information teeming with new life

2005 - Best of WEB 2.0

The Best Web 2.0 Software of 2005 (
So in spirit of the holidays, here is a list of some of the best Web 2.0 software that I've come across so far. You may have heard of some of these, but hopefully you'll find a few nice new Christmas presents under your Web 2.0 tree.

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How Google is changing medicine

Google has won the battle of the search engines, at least for the time being and its more serious minded offspring, Google Scholar, is rapidly gaining ground. Within a year of its release Google Scholar has led more visitors to many biomedical journal websites than has PubMed. Once they discover it, many medical students and doctors prefer Google Scholar.6 Although both tools benefit from Google's trademark simplicity, Google Scholar indexes more peer reviewed research and is especially quick in locating highly cited items and the proverbial needle in a haystack. Doctors are encouraged to consult Google Scholar for browsing and serendipitous discovery, not for literature reviews; and they should use the advanced search page to find words and names that occur often in the medical literature.

Google's influence and power is writ large in the search field—so large that librarians are asking themselves some difficult questions. With all of this technology and freely available digital information, what will happen to physical libraries? Google's mission is to provide access to the world's information—but this is librarians' mission too. Will they be needed in the new information age?
How Google is changing medicine -- Giustini 331 (7531): 1487 -- BMJ

Viruses from your email address

Someone's sending from my email address! How do I stop them?! - Ask Leo!
You're minding your own business, and one day you get email from someone you've never heard of, and they're asking you to stop sending them email. Or worse, they're angry. Or worse yet, they accuse you of sending them a virus! But you don't know them, you've never heard of them, and you know you've never sent them email.


What is Library 2.0? - Discussion

This is where most of the current L2 discussion seems to be centered, and for good reason. Why pursue something if you don’t know what it is, or whether it even exists? I love the current discussion because, despite everyone’s differing perceptions of L2, there is a common denominator emerging that defines some interesting boundaries for the term. Naturally, a concise definition of “Library 2.0″ is not going to happen–it’d be a house built on sand. Assuming that ongoing discussion is part of L2’s foundation seems to be the pragmatic thing to do. Pursuing any subsequent action should acknowledge that L2 has a core set of ideologies that are interpreted differently by many. » Library 2.0: The road ahead


Year 2020 Library or Library 2.0

In continuation of my earlier reply [3] and in context of emails by Dr Sathya and Dr. Rajesh - let us carry on the discussion further.

If the assumptions made in my original email comes out be true, then question is "should be wait and watch" things happening? Or should be get prepared for it. People have already modeled future libraries based on the WEB 2.0 [4][5]. They refer it with a term "Library 2.0" [1][2] and have given following principles for it:

The Principles of Library 2.0

1. The library is everywhere.
Outreach via technology, beyond the bricks of the libraries’ walls—to users at home or students in the commons area—should be the goal of every organization. I kid you not, we cannot hide behind a reference desk or within a fortress-like building anymore.

2. The Library has no barriers.

If there are No IM on public PCs. No talking. No working together on the workstations people might say "NO THANK YOU" Librarians.

3. The library invites participation.

Your users won’t bite.

4. The library uses flexible, best-of-breed systems.

5. The library encourages the heart.
Library 2.0 will be a meeting place, online or in the physical world, where my emotional needs will be fulfilled through entertainment, information, and the ability to create my own stuff to contribute to the ocean of content out there—the Long Tail if you will.

6. The library is human.

Users will see the face of the library no matter how they access its services. Librarians will guide them via electronic methods as well as in person, and they will no longer be anywhere near the stereotype we still see in movies or on television. Versed in the social tools, able to roll with each wave of change, this librarian will encourage and educate future users. Isn’t that the kind of librarian you’d like to be?

7. The library recognizes that its users are human too.

Libraries must now begin to use Web 2.0 applications if they are to prove themselves to be just as relevant as other information providers, and start to deliver experiences that meet the modern user’s expectations.

Now, should we plan some action for the year 2020 or keep on sleeping with "DILLI ABHI DUR HEY" attitude?




Re: 2020 - Shape of Academic and Research Libraries

Re: 2020 - Shape of Academic and Research Libraries

Dear Friends,

Thank you all very much in responding to email on the above subject. I had made certain assumptions that could be true in the year 2020. Under such circumstances, what could be the Shape of Academic and Research Libraries? I did not touch upon the Public and National Libraries, as their functions are more of serving the citizens and of archival of national heritage.

Some of you [1][2] have valid reasons to question such assumptions especially when it comes to India. Infrastructure like Electricity and Reliable Internet connectivity could be major hurdles. You won’t believe that even in Delhi, the capital of India, there are regular power cuts. Even in day of Govt. Control of power distribution the situation was much better. Only problem was billing and their payment. With private companies, billing and payments is no problem, can be handled conveniently over Internet. But the power cuts are a routine and unscheduled. So lesson learned is that Privatization without competition is worse.

But friends, hold a bit, lack of infrastructure won’t affect the coming shape of libraries in India. The Reason? Our Research and Teaching depends largely depends on what is published outside India. Even good Indian content is published outside India. So we have no choice if much of it is available in electronic format in future. I agree with some of you [2][5] that paper is more convenient mode of reading. But then efforts to develop display gadgets that will give the comfort of paper are on way and by 2020 could be a reality. So, I think, whether we are ready or not – content may only available in electronic form [3][6] from developed countries. Economics of publishing may not favor print formats. The publishers will be distributing the content, as done now, in various business models – Free, Fee Based, Pay-per-view etc. Only thing would be that confusions around copyrights etc would be cleared and taken care of by the year 2020.

Friends, training of the end-users will also be not a major problem then. The future users are the now primary school children. You will appreciate how both their teachers and parents keen to teach them computers. Infact, if a middle class Indian family is buying a home computer today, it is for their children. I hope this generation of users may be well ahead of present day users.
I am not painting a gloomy picture for future of Librarianship. I am only assuming a “worst – case scenario”. I know, I was told in my matriculation math class, how to solve problem and find unknown quantity – ‘Let the quantity be “X” !!!’ and so on.

So friends, under the given assumptions, what would be the libraries of year 2020 look like?

  1. - Satish S Munnolli

  2. - Varalakshmi

  3. - Surinder Kumar

  4. - Vasumathi Sriganesh

  5. - Rama Reddy

  6. - Prasanna


Year 2020 - Online is In; Paper is Out

Year 2020 - Online is In and Paper is Out:
Let us assume by the year 2020:
-- All content required for teaching, learning and research is available online.
-- 24/7 Access is available for free or fee.-- Online content is well indexed and rated.
-- Vendors provide single point access to premium content andorganized free content.
-- Access is available at a cost, which is less then 10 % of the totaleducational cost of a postgraduate student.

What would be shape [should I call future?] of Academic and Research Libraries?

Any wild guesses?
Let us dare to imagine.
Comments Please!!!


Steps to Perfect Journal

14 Steps to the Perfect CS Journal?
Blogged At
Chris Leonard,
Publishing Editor within Elsevier with responsibility for theoretical computer science journals.
E: c.leonard AT
OK - imagine for one crazy moment that I am in charge of Elsevier and I was about to embark upon a mission to make our journals the most attractive place to publish for computer scientists. What qualities would that journal (or journals) need to have?Having spoken to many people in the last year, I have come to the conclusion that the following points are (more or less) important. If I have missed any, please let me know.
  1. FREE ACCESS - at least at the point of use. Subscribers access the journal for 1 year, then all articles are available to everyone who wants them?

  2. DIGITAL PRESERVATION - the profileration of electronic journals is all well and good, but they need to be available in 100 years time. This could be done by independent 3rd parties.

  3. UPDATEABLE ARTICLES - following the example of versions on arXiv, authors should be able to update their articles whenever new date or results are available. Old versions remain available as well.

  4. BETTER PEER REVIEW - open, on-going peer review. Anyone can comment on an article and suggest improvements or point out inaccuracies. Maybe also worth adopting something like F1000 or this reviewer rating system.

  5. SOME PROFIT - a commercial company needs to make a profit to survive. What would be an acceptable level of profit to make (after tax)? Any excess could go to reducing the costs of the journal subscriptions.

  6. INTERACTIVE ARTICLES - apart from readers being able to leave comments on an article, it would be nice to see some real functionality in CS articles. Maybe raw data for manipulation within Mathematica or Maple?

  7. RAW DATA - all articles to have raw data available on the web in an open, interchangeable format.

  8. INSTANT PUBLISHING - if we adopt a model whereby people can comment on articles when they are published, peer-review becomes an constant, ongoing process. Authors may choose to make sure the paper is refereed before submission. When the editor evaluates a submission, he or she is simply making sure it makes sense and is in the right journal - a 10 minute process, eliminating the need for lengthy review processes.

  9. OPTIONAL PRINT - electronic journals with an optional print version available for a small fee.

  10. RSS FEEDS - all journals to have RSS feeds for Table of Contents.

  11. SOCIAL SOFTWARE - allow users to tag articles to create a folksonomy (good for discovering articles from other journals you wouldn’t normal consult). Adopt things like ‘interestingness’ but for journal articles.

  12. SEARCH ENGINES - abstract or full-text indexed in all search engines.

  13. ADVISORY BOARD - alongside an editorial board, an advisory board of scientists and librarians to suggest and comment on new directions for publishing the journal.

  14. CUSTOMER SERVICE - available via email, but also Skype, instant messaging etc. A regular weblog from this source would also help keep interested parties updated on what is happening behind the scences.

OCLC Report on Perceptions of Libraries

OCLC has come up with a 290 pages report on findings and responses from an online survey.

"Perceptions of Libraries and Information Resources (2005)"

Contents of the Report are:

* Introduction
* Part 1: Libraries and Information Sources--Use, Familiarity and Favorability
* Part 2: Using the Library--In Person and Online

* Part 3: The Library Brand

* Part 4: Respondents' Advice to Libraries
* Part 5: Libraries--A "Universal" Brand?

* Conclusion    

* Appendix A: Supporting Data Tables
* Appendix B: Sample Verbatim Comments
* About OCLC

The findings indicate that information consumers view libraries as places to borrow print books, but they are unaware of the rich electronic content they can access through libraries. Even though information consumers make limited use of these resources, they continue to trust libraries as reliable sources of information.

I hope, this report would be useful for librarians in better planning their services and activities.


Out- Sourcing Libraries?

Yes, change is the law of nature. No wonder, the technology differentiates “MAN – THE TOOL MAKER”[7] from “other animals”. It was the making of and using of “stone axe” which lead the departure of humans from his cousins. So technological advances are only Human.

However, being professionals we cannot wait and watch for “e”, we have to make it happen. Out-sourcing may be seen very simple, but someone somewhere is putting great efforts to make it happen. Be it Google, Microsoft or a Librarian has to make “e” happen as it will not come from vacuum. Thus we should on the other side – those will make it happen playing different roles.  

Medical and Clinical Librarians will have upgrade themselves radically to take up challenges of the future librarianship [6][3]. Those, who change and adopt themselves will survive others will be eliminated. Medical Informatics has a place for such professionals [1] and these would be instrumental in future health care teams [2][4][5].          


·  Clinical Informatics Staff
·  Health Informatics Senior Managers and Directors of Services
·  Health Records Staff
·  Information & Communication Technology (ICT) staff
·  Information Management Staff
·  Knowledge Management Staff

“Clinicians and managers alike rely heavily on knowledge management staff for support in training, education, development and practice. Clinical staff in particular, face a constant challenge in keeping up to date with the latest research and guidelines in their particular fields. Knowledge management specialists also provide training in search and critical appraisal skills.”


4. What Is eHealth (5): A Research Agenda for eHealth Through Stakeholder Consultation and Policy Context Review
“The scope of eHealth research (using, processing, sharing, controlling information) derived empirically from this study corresponds with “textbook” descriptions of informatics. Stakeholders would like eHealth research to include outcomes such as improved health or quality of life, but such research may be long term while changes in information technology are rapid. Longer-term research questions need to be concerned with human behavior and our use of information, rather than particular technologies. In some cases, “modelling” longer-term costs and benefits (in terms of health) may be desirable.”

5. Sahu, DK (2005) Access to information/knowledge: a clinician's perspective. In: IJD GoldCon and Cuticon 2005, 26-27 Nov 2005, Kolkata, India.
6. Sriganesh, V. (2005) Laying a foundation for Clinical Librarianship in India. In: MLAI 2005, 07-09 Nov 2005, Bangalore, India.

7. OAKLEY, KENNETH P. Man the Tool-maker.London, The Trustees of the British Museum, 1961. Or. wrappers. 98 p. Ills.

--- "Dr. Vivek Sahi" <drsahi@...> wrote:> *Hi....*> *Its called - Thinking out of the Box.....anyone who> has trained in six> sigma will understand this.....Sukhdev, I agree with> you there are lots of> things to think about before embarking on such a> project, but you wait and> watch with time, everything will be "e" thats the> down or upside of> technology, to let a machine to a humans job - off> course not in all> cases.....See what Google and Microsfot are planning> - I think they are> going to electronically format libaries> you will have the same> thing - ie borrow books with or with out a fee, and> if you send them back> late then you will have to pay a late fee.....I> think people should> understand this is the way the world is headed and> accept that....mark my> words this is what will ultimately happen......*> **> *Rgds*>> **>>>> On 28/11/05, Sukhdev Singh <esukhdev@...>> wrote:> >> > I would also like to differ on outsourcing.> >> > I wonder if anywhere in world a medical college> has out-sourced a> > library?> >> > Anyway in Indian situation if we have to consider> out-sourcing of> > library - the following have to be ensured first:> >> > --Medical Colleges are well connected to Internet> >> > --All the content required for learning / teaching> is available on> > Internet.> >> > --Students have unlimited access to Internet and> can carry it> > whereever they like to learn.> >> > --There is someone (ghost? / librarian) who will> acquire the content> > from number of vendors and publishers on behalf of> medical college and> > catalogues/indexes for the faculty/students.> Maintains users'> > accounts, collects fee, ensure quality service is> available.> >> > --There are additional topics of information> science / librarianship> > taught in medical colleges on how to use various> resources and when to> > use these.> >> > --And the above is economical for the country,> institute and learning> > community.> >> > I wish all the above are available.> >> > The economics still matters! - we all know when to> "Hire a Taxi" and> > when to "Buy a Car". When to Self-drive and when> to "employ a driver".> >> > When the requirement is casual / personal or for> small company -> > outsourcing could be a solution. But I wonder if a> teaching institute> > can outsource a library.> >> > In future the content publishing scenario could> change. But it would> > only require a highly specialized professional [or> team of> > professionals] to manage digital content and> library. Just looking for> > too simple a solution � outsourcing � even if> possible and economical> > � would be risky.> >> > I think, instead of short-term solutions, let some> of us work out what> > all would be required to have a modern medical> physical/digital> > library for a teaching institution. Under this> context, I would like> > to suggest the following two documents as starting> point:> >> > Sahu, DK (2005) Access to information/knowledge: a> clinician's> > perspective. In: IJD GoldCon and Cuticon 2005,> 26-27 Nov 2005,> > Kolkata, India.> >> >> > Sriganesh, V. (2005) Laying a foundation for> Clinical Librarianship in> > India. In: MLAI 2005, 07-09 Nov 2005, Bangalore,> India.> >


Science in the web age: Joint efforts

Nature has come up with a News Feature in 1 Dec Issue. It argues that
academia is a marketplace of ideas. But many scientists are reluctant
to embrace the latest web tools that would allow them to communicate
their ideas in new ways.

Nature 438, 548-549 (1 December 2005) | doi:10.1038/438548a

Salient Points are:

--web in its first decade was like a big online library, where they
mainly searched for information.

--Today it is undergoing a subtle but profound shift, dubbed Web 2.0,
to become more of a social web.

--The emerging web is largely being shaped by dynamic interactions
between users in real time.

--Social web complements the existing system of peer-reviewed journals.

--Scientists at Harvard and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology
(MIT) recently started their own wiki, OpenWetWare, to apply the same
approach to sharing lab protocols and data among biology groups

--Yet even the most web-savvy scientists remain unconvinced that blogs
have any useful role in science.

--once scientists come up with some sort of peer-review mechanism for
blogs that increase their credibility, without diminishing their
spontaneity, blogs will take off.