OAFindr test

My thanks to Klaus Graf. In a German-language blog post complaining about the lack of interest in making a good OA search engine, he has obtained and shown a screenshot of OAFindr’s two results for mongolian folk song. These keywords were used for my December 2015 group-test of OA search engines.

Neither of the two OAFindr results is in JURN, because they both come from a title published by the Canadian Center of Science and Education, a publisher which has long been on Beall’s List.


The Earth Awaits

This a fun new search-engine: The Earth Awaits – Find Cities in Your Budget. Find where you can live on earth, and at the budget you can afford. It also needs to have a big red button that factors in: “…and I need reliable flat-rate broadband Internet of at least 2Mb/s”, but apart from that it’s a fascinating service.


I can apparently live very frugally in Mangalore, India, in a one-bed apartment for just $350 a month (I’m factoring in air tickets and extra broadband). Wikipedia tells me Mangalore is a busy port city with a tropical climate, and it takes pride in being one of the “cleanest cities in India”. Subject to the monsoon but “extremely dry from December to March” with “56 per cent humidity in January” and temperatures getting to 90 degrees at noon. Not too bad, and certainly better than an English November-March winter. One can see how an un-regarded city’s authority might want to hook up with apartment rental services such as Airbnb etc to offer worthy western graduates a six month ‘you only work via the Internet, not locally’ residency visa, via advertising on such websites as The Earth Awaits.

How to get RSS from the newly locked-down www.scoop.it service

The owners of www.scoop.it have trapped all their free users. The service no longer offers any RSS feed, from mid August 2016. I’ve only just noticed, as I use RSS to bring posts into a blog and home page. Now you have to use their own “Integration” embedding, use of which requires a paid upgrade to a Business Account. Nor is there now any option to export or backup your Scoop.it blog, for which you would now need to use a third-party website ripper like HTTrack.

How to get around this bastardy…

Option 1. Really easy.

Go to the free Fivefilters Feed Creator, to solve the RSS part of the problem.


Add the root URL of your blog at Scoop.it. For instance, http://www.scoop.it/t/my-scoop-it-blog/ Below it in “look for links” type h2 which is the headline tag where Scoop.it puts its post titles within the Web page. Click Preview.

This will give you a basic free 10-item scraped post-listing as a viable RSS feed, suitable for embedding in the sidebar widget of a blog or on a home page. You can also use this to replace any defunct Scoop.it feeds in your RSS Feedreader.

For a small fee you can also buy the Fivefilters script and host it on your own server.

Option 2. Insanely complicated.

Use Feed43, to solve the RSS part of the problem. This is similar to Fivefilters and also free, but the setup definitely needs an experienced coder to get the feed working. I’m guessing that there are more advanced options than Fivefilters under the hood, though?

Option 3. Nuke Scoop.it, and go to WordPress instead.

Use a free third-party website ripper like HTTrack to backup your Scoop.it, open a WordPress.com account and in a departing post on your Scoop.it tell your subscribers that you are now blogging elsewhere. Possibly there are WordPress templates out there, and/or browser add-ons, that make WordPress work like Scoop.it?

Digital Index of Middle English Verse

Digital Index of Middle English Verse. A fine free resource and the record pages are extensive, but regrettably it has a search interface that only a librarian could love. There’s no dedicated keyword search, and only fairly limited topic tagging. If you want all poems mentioning a “star” but not Jesus, for instance, you have to do a Google site: search.

Opening lines of a prayer to the Morning Star and against the plague, England c. 15th century (modern English):

O heavenly star, most comfortable of light,
Which, with your ghostly gracious influence,
Has clarified and put to flight
All misty weathers perilous for pestilence.

Added to JURN

Annual Reports on Archaeology, U.S. Dept. of the Interior, Bureau of Land Management.

Cultural Resource Series, U.S. Dept. of the Interior, Bureau of Land Management. Various U.S. states.

National Landscape Conservation System Manuals, U.S. Dept. of the Interior, Bureau of Land Management.

Technical Notes series, U.S. Dept. of the Interior, Bureau of Land Management. Also Technical Bulletins & References series 1985-2014 (Idaho only).

Our Public Lands 1951-1971, U.S. Dept. of the Interior, Bureau of Land Management. (Added to OpenEco directory only)

Resource Inventory Notes and Resources Evaluation Newsletter series, 1975-1981, Yale School of Forestry.

Taxonomy of university presses today

A useful round-up of the “Taxonomy of university presses today”. The article boils down to…

* global presses (major publishers)
* independent success stories (often endowed, major universities)
* experimenters (increasingly open)
* integrated presses (tied to major university libraries)
* hidden presses (merged into university library for budgetary reasons)
* new entrants (“no legacy business to defend”)
* publishers of monographs (“resilient middle”, high-quality, regional-interest)
* publishers of monographs (under-resourced, “hanging on”, “resisting closure”)

During the JURN research I’ve also found a handful of ‘effectively publishers’ of specialist monograph series or diplomatic editions (facsimiles with a scholarly introduction and notes), often tied to a foundation or a museum or to a very long-term archaeological / historical / ecology project.


The free 9xbuddy is very useful and has been fast and reliable for me for several years now. Paste in the URL of almost any streaming media that doesn’t offer an .MP3 download. 9xbuddy then ferrets among the HTML and javascript in search of the actual audio file, then gives you a simple link to download it. It’s actively maintained and supports a huge range of streaming services. Also work for video, which is useful for lecturers who want to show pre-loaded video clips and thus bypass the usual wi-fi connection hassles.



Google has released the Google Noto Font, the only font to feature all 110,000 Unicode characters and cover 800 languages. The intention is get rid of the “⯐⯐⯐⯐” sometimes encountered while browsing the Web or viewing some types of PDFs. Noto is a 480Mb download. You may not want to install all the language versions of the font, as that may well slow down the loading times of behemoth software such as Photoshop.


Since the font is Open Source, the vast variety of shapes from around the world can also serve as a ‘design-mine’ for graphic designers.


LifeTurner: a streamlined online service to help a scholarly author to put all their papers and published works in order, to upload them in a suitable format, and then to store them ‘a digital vault’ ready to be released to the world as Open Access on their death. The service could also help to ‘buy back’ rights to the author’s formerly commercial works, also negotiate any picture rights involved. Then the catalogue would be presented as beautifully formatted website alongside an authorised biography, and endowed in order to stay online forever. As far as I know, such a personal service doesn’t yet exist.

GRAFT updates – 150 repositories added

JURN’s beta tool GRAFT has updated, adding indexing for another 150 repositories. GRAFT now enables a Google search across 4,951 repositories, searching records and full-text alike, from a thoroughly clean and up-to-date list. The last update before this one was in May 2016. Please access via the page linked above, rather than any bookmark, to enjoy the newly added range.