OA collection of high-res photos

Large Photos of Famous Places and Landscapes Now Available Free Online, press release, March 3, 2009. (Thanks to ResourceShelf.)

No need to pay for a high resolution shot of the Eiffel Tower, Grand Canyon, Golden Gate Bridge or a lovely sunset. Shots of these and numerous other famous landmarks, cities and places from around the world are now available free at FreeLargePhotos.com.

More than 2,600 images sized 4MP or larger are available through FreeLargePhotos.com. The site’s developer and manager, Roy Tennant of Sonoma, Calif., said, “The photos are free to individuals for personal use, but if they are used on a web site a photo credit and a link to the web site are required.â€? Commercial interests are charged $50 a shot if an image is used to sell a product or to promote a business or organization.â€? …

The photographs are the work of Roy Tennant, Carol Bean, David Chudnov, Mike Kramer, Daniel Kunkel and Elena Tennant. …

New version of VITAL repository software

VTLS Announces the Release of VITAL 4.0, press release, March 10, 2009. (Thanks to Charles Bailey.)

VTLS is proud to announce the release of VITAL 4.0. VITAL is VTLS’ solution for today’s digital and institutional repositories. Designed to provide all functions of a repository VITAL provides capabilities to ingest, create, maintain, validate, uniquely identify, secure, preserve and export the contents of institutional collections. …

See also our past posts on VITAL: 1, 2, 3, 4.

OA journals around the world

Heather Morrison, Open Access Journals: Around the World, and Top OA Publishing Countries, The Imaginary Journal of Poetic Economics, March 10, 2009.

As of March 10, 2009, the journals listed in the Directory of Open Access Journals are published in 97 different countries!

The top 6 OA-journal-producing countries are:

  • U.S. – 858 journals
  • Brazil – 370 journals
  • United Kingdom – 326 journals
  • Spain – 233 journals
  • Germany – 152 journals
  • Canada – 113 journals …

Draft of Open Database License for comment

Open Database License Draft Available for Comments, Open Data Commons, February 27, 2009.

After more than a year of drafting and consultation with interested communities, especially Open Street Map, the current (beta) draft of the Open Database License (ODbL) was released for public comments today. We’re delighted to have reached this stage and welcome comments and suggestions from interested parties.

Comments are due by 23:59 GMT on 20 March 2009, with an expected launch of the completed ODbL on 28 March 2009. There is also:

Comment. The ODbL is, as Rufus Pollock describes it, the “Attribution, Share-Alike” data license. Compare the ODC’s Public Domain Dedication and Licence, its “no rights reserved” license.

See also our past posts on Open Data Commons.

Interview with Dean Giustini

Elizabeth Connor, Interview with Dean Giustini, Biomedical Branch Librarian at the University of British Columbia, Journal of Electronic Resources in Medical Libraries, January 2009. See also Giustini’s self-archived version. Abstract:

This interview with Dean Giustini of the University of British Columbia (UBC) describes his interest in various topics including Web 2.0, Web 3.0, grey literature, open access, and teaching and learning.

See also our past posts on Giustini.

Profile of Brewster Kahle

The internet’s librarian, The Economist, March 5, 2009.

For a man who has set himself a seemingly impossible mission, Brewster Kahle seems remarkably laid back. Relaxing in the black leather recliner that serves as his office chair, his stockinged feet wriggling with evident enthusiasm, the founder of the Internet Archive explains what has driven him for more than a decade. “We are trying to build Alexandria 2.0,â€? says Mr Kahle with a wide-eyed, boyish grin. …

Mr Kahle is an unostentatious millionaire who does not “wear his money on clothesâ€?, as one acquaintance graciously puts it. But behind his dishevelled demeanour is a skilled technologist, an ardent activist and a successful serial entrepreneur. Having founded and sold technology companies to AOL and Amazon, he has now devoted himself to building a non-profit digital archive of free materials—books, films, concerts and so on—to rival the legendary Alexandrian library of antiquity. …

He founded the non-profit Internet Archive and, with a former colleague, co-founded a firm called Alexa that tracks and analyses the paths people follow as they move around the web, in order to direct people with similar interests to relevant information. Amazon bought Alexa for an estimated $250m in 1999. Mr Kahle continued to work on Alexa until 2002, but then dedicated himself fully to the Internet Archive.

The most famous part of the archive is the Wayback Machine (its name inspired by the WABAC machine in the 50-year-old television cartoon featuring Rocky and Bullwinkle). This online attic of digital memorabilia stores copies of internet sites so that people can see, for example, what economist.com looked like in January 1997. …

In addition to this archive of web pages there is also an audio library with more than 300,000 MP3 files, a moving-images archive with more than 150,000 films and videos, and a live-music archive with recordings of more than 60,000 concerts. All the collections are available free to anyone with internet access, each gathering its own set of fans. …

But all these things are steps towards Mr Kahle’s wider goal: to build the world’s largest digital library. He has recruited 135 libraries worldwide to openlibrary.org, the aim of which is to create a catalogue of every book ever published, with links to its full text where available. To that end, the Internet Archive is also digitising books on a large scale on behalf of its library partners. It scans more than 1,000 books every day, for which the libraries pay about $30 each. (The digital copy can then be made available by both parties.) …

Mr Kahle is taking a very long-term view. Universal online access to all knowledge may not be “a goal that is going to be finished in our lifetime,� says Mr Kahle. “But if you pick a goal far enough out, people can align to it. I am not interested in building an empire. Our idea is to build the future.�

See also our past posts on:

Podcast interview with OCLC VP

JISC, OCLC’s Vice President talks libraries, the future and learning, podcast (24:17), March 9, 2009.

… In this podcast interview OCLC’s Vice President Karen Calhoun talks to Robert Haymon-Collins, JISC’s Director of Communications and Marketing, to discuss what her organisation does in the field of providing digital content for learning and research, and how improved access to this well-catalogued knowledge can help improve the student experience – a key theme of this year’s JISC conference. Calhoun also clarifies OCLC’s recent proposed policy changes concerning the use of OCLC records, an issue that has generated lively debate within the library and information communities both in the UK and further afield.

See also this announcement:

… Calhoun says: ‘Libraries have the opportunity now…to support new forms of scholarly information dissemination through the open access movement, through repositories, and in a number of ways but this means of course adopting technologies and approaches that require the interfaces between the scholarly community and libraries to be much tighter and more interactive.’

In tune with the findings of the recent JISC-commissioned report on Open Access publishing, Calhoun believes that a cultural shift is needed, away from finding research value merely in the creation and control of data. She says: ‘We need to transition to making the value come from the exchange and the linking of data.’ …

Slowdown in STM market will encourage move to OA

Archan Venkatraman, STM growth takes hit, Information World Review, March 9, 2009.

The European scientific, technical and medical information market grew 4.5% in 2008, its weakest year-on-year figure since 2001, according to the latest IRN Research report. But the market remains upbeat, and focused on consolidation and flexibility to survive the downturn. …

Robert Parker, managing director for publishing at Research Councils UK, was also optimistic about the sector. He said the large European STM players had enough reserves to see them through lean times.

He added: “The emerging methods of information output and sharing, such as open access and social networking, will also have an impact on the role of leading players as they will increasingly embrace these new models to maintain their market share.â€? …

New network on research, education, and business

A new knowledge network devoted to the changing role of information in scholarly research, higher education and business practice, announcement posted to SPARC-OAForum, March 7, 2009.

Knowledge & Library Services at Harvard Business School and the Library at Copenhagen Business School are launching an international network of professionals interested in understanding the changing role of information (both tacit and explicit)– its creation, management, dissemination and use– in scholarly research, higher education and business practice. The primary goal of the network is to identify and discuss important emerging trends in a forum composed of subject matter experts from a variety of disciplines.

The network is called the “Global Knowledge Exchange Network� (GKEN). Its members will select areas of interest and form groups to address them. As a start, we have proposed four areas: Scholarly Communications and Open Access, Research Metrics, Cyberinfrastructure and Information Behavior. Each group is expected to identify developing trends within its subject, discuss them among its members, write trend briefings and, finally, predict the likelihood of the trends using prediction markets. Given the interaction, we expect that each member will gain and create significant new knowledge.

If you are interested in participating, please email Gosia Stergios