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Defrosting the Digital Library: A survey of bibliographic tools for the next generation web

by Citizen Scientist at University of Manchester on Mar 16, 2009

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After centuries with little change, scientific libraries have recently experienced massive upheaval. From being almost entirely paper-based, most libraries are now almost completely digital. This ...

After centuries with little change, scientific libraries have recently experienced massive upheaval. From being almost entirely paper-based, most libraries are now almost completely digital. This information revolution has all happened in less than 20 years and has created many novel opportunities and threats for scientists, publishers and libraries.

Today, we are struggling with an embarassing wealth of digital knowledge on the Web. Most scientists access this knowledge through some kind of digital library, however these places can be cold, impersonal, isolated, and inaccessible places. Many libraries are still clinging to obsolete models of identity, attribution, contribution, citation and publication.

Based on a review published in PLoS Computational Biology, http://pubmed.gov/18974831 this talk will discuss the current chilly state of digital libraries for biologists, chemists and informaticians, including PubMed and Google Scholar. We highlight problems and solutions to the coupling and decoupling of publication data and metadata, with a tool called http://www.citeulike.org. This software tool exploits the Web to make digital libraries “warmer”: more personal, sociable, integrated, and accessible places.

Finally issues that will help or hinder the continued warming of libraries in the future, particularly the accurate identity of authors and their publications, are briefly introduced. These are discussed in the context of the BBSRC funded REFINE project, at the National Centre for Text Mining (NaCTeM.ac.uk), which is linking biochemical pathway data with evidence for pathways from the PubMed database.

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  • dullhunk Duncan Hull, Citizen Scientist at University of Manchester I learn something new every day, didn't know about MARC. I only have a very vague recollection of card indexes when I were a wee laddie... 5 years ago
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  • cpikas Christina Pikas, Librarian at JHU/APL Uh - no - libraries and librarians have been innovating with metadata for decades. Indeed, librarians were early adopters of computers and machine-readable metadata (MARC records won't ring a bell for you). We had online catalogs way before the web. 5 years ago
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Defrosting the Digital Library: A survey of bibliographic tools for the next generation web Defrosting the Digital Library: A survey of bibliographic tools for the next generation web Presentation Transcript