The Finnish National Gallery under CC0

10,000 pictures from the Finnish National Gallery, newly online under CC0 Creative Commons.

Not all have preview thumbnails, but those that didn’t have one still gave me the picture as a high-res download. DPI on my test samples varied from 96 to 300. Most pictures, with a bit of adjustment, would be usable in a magazine. A few of my test samples looked visually as if they were quite highly compressed in JPEG, despite their file-size. Either that or the camera’s focus is not always as crisp on the picture surface as it might be. But possibly that’s done on the principle that users would rather sharpen in Photoshop than try to unsharpen.

Picture: “Girl from the Islands” (1929) by Helene Schjerfbeck. obviously can’t be relied on the pick up all public domain items at the Gallery. Because a Google Images search for keyword found several “cat” images marked ‘Public Domain CC0’ that Europeana couldn’t find. Possibly that’s a result of Google’s A.I. automatically identifying what’s in a picture, and not relying only on metadata.


Added to JURN

Music & Science

Church Times (indexing only the book reviews)

Erasmus Law Review

Rechtsgeschichte : Legal History (partly in English)

Spanish Journal of Soil Science

Natuurtijdschriften (unified hub for 69 Dutch nature magazines, society journals and newsletters)


Public reports at the National Service Center for Environmental Publications (NSCEP) (USA). The EPA has also just announced that it… “will reverse long-standing EPA policy allowing regulators to rely on non-public scientific data in crafting rules [and in future all] EPA-funded studies would need to make all their data public.”

More GRAFTing

GRAFT has updated again. Now searching across 4,604 repositories, full-text and records alike. It’s very big, so it’s best used with sophisticated searches such as…

   intitle:Tolkien “Exeter College” Morgan

In this case, “Exeter College” focusses the results on his undergraduate years, while Morgan knocks out the potted biographies which inevitably mention Tolkien’s childhood guardian Fr. Morgan.

How to extract audio from a multi-Gb video file

I found the excellent 123Apps Online Audio Converter, which extracts the audio from any online video. No sign-up needed. I fed it a Web link to a 6Gb MIT conference video. (Sadly that was the only option MIT offered, but not all users have i) superfast Internet, ii) the spare disk space, or iii) a video editor that can handle such a beast of a file without crashing).

The 123Apps service downloaded the video onto its servers speedily (about 5 mins). It then offered me a .MP3 of the audio from the 6Gb video, with conversion to .MP3 taking another minute or so. The .MP3 then downloaded with no hassle, at a comfortable 495Mb containing a day’s conference audio at a good quality.

Similar services appear to place limits on the online video size they can digest, such as 500Mb or 150Mb. Which means it’s useful to know that 123Apps can handle very large video files, and that it works very smoothly.

To be continued… The Australian Newspaper Fiction Database

To be continued… The Australian Newspaper Fiction Database is excavating a wealth of fiction from the scans of pages of Australian newspapers. Interesting, but I must say that it has a search interface that only a librarian could love, and my search for “Rosaleen Norton” or Rosaleen Norton on the author field both threw up fatal database-error messages. An alternative search in the “Publication Author” field of the item grid, for Norton, worked but had no results.

As a wider test of what’s been digitised in Australia I went instead to Trove – Newspapers – Advanced Search and searched for “Rosaleen Norton”. She was a notorious occult/horror artist subject to an art censorship court trial in the early 1950s, and who as a girl had three H.P. Lovecraft-style macabre stories published in the popular Smith’s Weekly newspaper (Sydney, 1919 to 1950). She may possibly have been one of Lovecraft’s late postal correspondents, evidenced by some strong internal stylistic evidence and her story “The Painted Horror” strongly resembling Lovecraft’s lost juvenile tale “The Picture” (1907). He was known to send this story out at this time, for teenage authors to work over and learn from.

Excellent results were had with Trove. The accounts of the controversy and her trial show up in the 1950s. And two of her stories were available as scans and with original illustrations to boot. Though sadly the often-fragile UK-Australia Internet connection died before I could search for her third story, or see if there were other stories as yet unfound.

New book: Harnessing the Power of Google

I see that I missed the publication of a new book about Google Search. Harnessing the Power of Google: What Every Researcher Should Know was released in summer 2017, when I wasn’t paying much attention to news. It’s a short primer of 150 pages and the contents list looks very encouraging. These contents seem to chime with a blog review and an Amazon review, which both suggest the book is aimed at… “librarians who will be working with researchers”. Implying researchers of the type who will expect to be working with expert Google users rather than Google-phobics.

It’s possible to peer inside the book via Google Books. Sadly this shows that the book doesn’t mention the rich possibilities of Google Custom Search, as a keyword search of the text shows no results for either “custom search” or “CSE”.

It appears that the book has yet to receive any open/public reviews from librarians. But the business researcher blog Infonista has a polished and informative review.

“Access to Freely Available Journal Articles” (2017)

Access to Freely Available Journal Articles: Gold, Green, and Rogue Open Access across the Disciplines (2016 conference presentation script/summary, published 2017)…

“We randomly selected 300 articles that were indexed in Scopus and published in 2015. A hundred of them are from the arts and humanities, and a hundred of them are from the social sciences, and a hundred are from the life sciences, and all of them, again, randomly selected.”

These 300 appear to have been a random mix of paywall and OA and were then searched for on Google, Google Scholar, Researchgate, and Sci-Hub. The researchers were simply looking for free public copies of the articles, wherever they could be found.

The methodology used is slightly fuzzily explained…

“We just did a title search. We didn’t do anything further than the title search”.

Fuzzy, because a Google “full-title” known-title search “as a phrase” is not the safest way to go about such a test. Due to the way Google Search works, ideally one one would want to search on the first 50 characters of the title instead of on the entirety of a long academic article-title.

Also, Scopus is poor at indexing Open Access, only managing 29.18% coverage of the DOAJ Open Access titles even in 2017. And the Scopus spreadsheet, now sortable by OA status, indicates Scopus has very poor coverage of OA arts and humanities titles. So 100 arts and humanities articles from Scopus is not a great starting point, even if suitably randomised. The sample will likely skew heavily toward paywall articles.

Anyway, even with these limitations the results for public full-text free-access were somewhat interesting. From left to right, just for the 100 Arts & Humanities articles: Google Scholar, Google Search, Researchgate, and Sci-Hub (prior to its recent problems)…

Sci-Hub was known to have severe problems accessing things like recent Project MUSE articles, so perhaps glitches like that prevented an even higher result than 86%.