The latest edition of the UK’s very popular WebUser magazine gleefully ignores all the recent stupidity by the EU and others. Thankfully we won’t be in the EU for much longer.
I just had a PayPal refund from Pinterest for my August Instapaper subscription of $3. On looking at Google News I see that the new owners, Pinterest, have decided to make Instapaper’s premium service level a free service. Nice.
But slightly worrying is that… “Pinterest has planned a strategy to be more than just a place to collect articles with visual content [and] Pinterest has a lot more to offer in the future”. Oh dear, which means some flash-harry Web designer will get his mitts on it and mess around with the layout. I like it just fine as it is, that’s why I was willing to pay for it. I don’t need an all-singing all-dancing ‘Pinter-paper’.
The Eastman Museum of photography has a newly expanded collections hub with 250,000 records, many with pictures. Some of the scans are quite large, such as this 2380px scan of a Minor White picture…
To get big pictures suitable for lecture or dissertation use, you need to use the Firefox trick and a Firefox add-on like RighttoClick.
Ingenta now has a new dedicated portal for all its open access journals, although the web-master seems to have overlooked the Underwater Technology title. There’s an annoying A-Z browse discovery option, which requires over 120 clicks to fully explore. But I clicked all the links, and discovered that the new portal holds several recently-vanished ‘404 not found’ open access journals. Evidently Ingenta has recently purchased or otherwise wrangled these OA titles for its new portal. There’s no RSS feed for tracking newly-added journal titles, but I made a basic one.
At first I thought that the new portal had not yet been indexed by Google or any other major search-engine. But I find that there’s actually a robots.txt file to prevent open indexing of Ingenta Open Home. Here’s Ingenta Open’s robot.txt file…
# Please do not index this site!!
It seems a pity for someone to park their open journal on Ingenta Open, if it’s not then going to be open to discovery by Google Search users. Though I do find that currently all of Ingenta Open’s current humanities and eco titles are exposed to Google Search elsewhere and in other ways. Which makes them indexable in JURN. Various UCL journals that have recently gone ‘404’ have thus been added to JURN again, and some additional journals have also been added…
Internationale Neerlandistiek (Dutch and Afrikaans linguistics)
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.
Over 6,000 new pictures of Rhode Island at the Providence Public Library, in “high resolution”. Sadly the new site has fallen over, possibly due to the traffic from several million H.P. Lovecraft fans on top of the local interest. But a press-release is still accessible on a different URL.
3,000 new Creative Commons pictures of the collection of the Nationalmuseum Stockholm, now on WikiMedia. Very sharp and hi-res, as 30-60Mb .tif files for the most part.
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.
Nearly all of Reginald Piggott’s Maps of Anglo-Saxon England, online at a reasonably large resolution.
Google is removing extended search from its Blogger.com blogs. A blog’s search box used to return additional results from the sidebar blogroll and Web pages your blog had linked to. No more…
However, such capability might make a useful plug-in for WordPress. I couldn’t immediately find such a plugin in a quick search. Possibly it might hook into DuckDuckGo to provide the functionality?
A new blog article on Visualizing Citation Cartels, using the data from an existing case…
“what is uniformly odd about these papers is that they cite their dataset as if each datapoint (paper) required a reference.”
Collaborative Librarianship has a quick survey article “Directory of Open Access Journals: A Bibliometric Study”, looking at the coverage of library and information science journals in the Directory of Open Access Journals (DOAJ)…
“It is interesting that no Russian language or languages used in the eastern regions of the former Soviet countries are represented in DOAJ.”
I did a quick DOAJ check. Subject Category: ‘Bibliography. Library science. Information resources’, then filtered by country of publication. The paper’s claim seems to be correct…
Switching to ‘Journal Language: Russian’ has the same result. Perhaps it’s just that there are no Russia-based library journals publishing in open access?
The Museum of Modern Art | MoMA now has a full online catalogue of its exhibitions, from 1929 onwards.
The new free Mythlore Index covers issues 1-128 of the long-lived Mythlore journal, which hosts work on Tolkien and his circle. Also indexes the Tolkien Journal issues 1–18, though not the field-leading scholarship of the Tolkien Studies journal. Mythlore Index also includes a subject index, and is a whopping 420-page PDF.
New from MIT, Ludwig Search is a hybrid between a grammar-checker and a search-engine. It compares your sentence with similar sentences found on major news sites and in PubMed.
MUSE Open is a planned “Open Access (OA) platform for monographs in the humanities and social sciences”, and has just been awarded, a “two-year $938,000 grant from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation to develop”.
Good news. But now I hope to hear that the other “42,000 books and 650 journals” locked away on MUSE will also be opened up, to the people who paid for their production.
e-manuscripta is a unified portal for finding manuscript material from Swiss libraries and archives. Not just bare records either, but PDFs of scans for public download. It includes over 1,000 maps and plans.
D-PLACE, which stands for ‘Database of Places, Language, Culture, and Environment’. Just launched, with records for 1,400 societies. My test search for ‘Dance’ in ‘Northern Europe’ gave three results, for Icelanders, the Irish and the Sami.
While African research universities often have better commercial journal database access than their counterparts in the West, what of public access to African-focused research? Great to hear an African voice on this, as Africa starts to buckle up for growth and international access. Chukwuemeka Fred Agbata Jnr. of Nigeria says that there is an…
“overwhelming call for the accessibility of African research [about Africa, but that this] has stretched traditional archiving methods.”
With a substantial increase in population and wealth now happening on the continent, he asks if there is now an opportunity…
“for archiving and digitising African-focused research [in order to] make African research accessible on a global scale.”
Let’s hope so. Although the author also suggests a commercial option, seemingly more in terms of access to contemporary and commercial data…
“monetising the whole process through a subscription model for online hosting of knowledge resources – books, research papers, journals, dissertations, and reports to investors, product and policy developers. [With African researchers getting] “a revenue share for each download”.
That might work for useful locally-created data — one might get the article or substantial data summary for free, anywhere in the world. But if you’re outside Africa then you’d buy the data download direct from the researcher, and in affluent nations your university would require you do that as part of your ethics code as a researcher. Though I’m not sure a commercial pay-per-download model would be useful for things like folklore, the arts, oral history and natural history, which might be better funded by a big pan-African consortium of nations, philanthropists and donors. And thus kept freely available.