Monthly Archives: August 2005

Repository services for non-affiliated researchers

The British Library and the National Library of Australia are each involved in national Institutional Repository initiatives. These are Sherpa and Arrow, respectively. In each case, their role includes, among other things, providing a home for materials from independent researchers, those who will not have an institutional home for their work. Check out: the pilot … Continue reading Repository services for non-affiliated researchers

Metasearch: a boundary case

A couple of metasearch reports have been recently released. One, carried out as part of an NSDL project at the California Digital Library, proposes ‘approaches, principles and practices’ which might be applied by anybody evaluating integrated search options [pdf]. The second, the RLG Metasearch Survey Report, discusses member experiences and expectations with metasearch. Roy Tennant, … Continue reading Metasearch: a boundary case

Weaving commentary into Newsweek

I was interested to see Newsweek integrate blog commentary in a partnership with Technorati. Dave Sifry describes the relationship in a post: I’m proud to announce that Technorati and Newsweek are working together, including a deep integration of posts and links from bloggers (here’s an example) into Newsweek’s site. This includes the Newsweek Blog Roundup … Continue reading Weaving commentary into Newsweek

National Library of Australia – staff papers

The National Library of Australia provides search and browse (by year of publication) access to papers by its staff. It reaches back as far as 1995. This is really a nice resource, consolidating a useful range of papers, both as a current resource (NLA has been an innovator in several important areas) and as a … Continue reading National Library of Australia – staff papers


Ajax buzz continues to be high. And Thom continues to write about implementation experience, in this case looking at how one might work with standard protocol exchanges with SRU. The initial impetus for changing to AJAX for Web applications is to improve the user experience by avoiding screen refreshes and increasing the speed of interaction. … Continue reading AJAX

BL Labs

I note that the British Library (‘the world’s knowledge’) has a labs page at to report on pilot activities. There is some information here about in-progress work with SRU/W, selective disclosure to search engines, research repository services, and others. Welcome to British Library eIS Architecture Pilot Services. This site provides information about a variety … Continue reading BL Labs

From web page to web platform

A brief Cnet article broadly reviews some current developments as companies develop more platform services: making data and services available through programmatic interfaces so that they can be recombined within other applications. eBay, for example, already gets more than 20 percent of its listings via programs created by outsiders to automate the auction giant’s process. … Continue reading From web page to web platform

Simpler spelling

Whenever I write something in Word, it will still usually suggest several spelling changes where I have used centre or some other version with which the US spell-checker is unfamiliar. I notice from that invaluable resource that Melvil Dewey – spelling reformer as well as library innovator – is responsible for the shortened catalog as … Continue reading Simpler spelling

Simpler search

One of the observations over time wrt library standards — I am thinking mainly of protocols — has been that we have overdesigned, ending up with solutions that are complex enough to cater for every last case, but are not simple enough to be widely adopted. For this reason, they have remained within a library … Continue reading Simpler search

Desktops again

I write about intrastructure below, to refer to emerging ways of tying together data and applications in simple ways. RSS is an example, and we have seen a growth in the use of FireFox extensions, toolbars, and so on. I wrote: There is a danger that the desktop will become too crowded, and difficult, for … Continue reading Desktops again